i think jealousy comes in all forms

Jealousy comes in all forms and I’ve just felt the most platonic kind of jealousy one can feel for their friend. It’s not the kind that makes you want to stab The Other Woman or cry yourself to sleep in bed because you loved them so much and the jealousy makes it painful to deal with the truth.

No, I’m talking actual platonic jealousy.

Last year, I met someone who I really wanted to date. I was moving on from a painful breakup just a week after — a bad idea, I know — but after three weeks of pretending like everything was sweet and sound, we both realised we weren’t cut out for the romantics. We decided to remain friends but we were close friends because obviously we knew each other on another level but the relationship remained platonic.

Months later, I asked him if he wanted to try at the dating scene again between us both and again, he said no, his feelings haven’t changed.

Fair enough and I accepted it.

So what is this jealousy I’m feeling recently?

He told me he was seeing someone recently and as happy as I am for him because he’s been single for far longer than I have been, I can’t help this feeling in my gut. I’m not in love with him as much as we wish we were because he is the perfect man for any lucky woman. He is mature, tall, proper and smart. He guides me in ways that I never had anyone guide me and he teaches me things that my dad would’ve wanted to teach me once upon a time.

I’m jealous at the thought that I lacked something that his new love interest had.

Maybe it’s the age. Maybe it’s the experience. Maybe it’s the maturity but all I know is that I feel this form of jealousy that a woman could be perfect for someone like him when I’ve struggled to keep my relationships close knitted for more than two months.

I’m jealous of the relationships he has because I’m still trying to find my own. I’m jealous of not being enough for the right person or wrong person and I’m jealous of having romantic relationships instead of platonic relationships.

No, I am not in love with my friend but I am jealous of these relationships that he has. Our relationship is so platonic that all I really want is something that he has because I want one for myself too.

There are different forms of jealousy — and not all are evil. Some are sad and some are just painful to deal with. I might cry myself to sleep tonight in bed but at least I know it’s not because someone is hurting me.

i’m glad i never told you i love you

To the man that I will always love, this is a letter to you that I write that you will never read but I hope it touches your heart one day.

You appreciated me from Day One and I should have appreciated you the same but my fear from my past relationship stopped me from letting you have all of me. I had all of you but you didn’t have all of me when you deserved more than me.

Whenever we were together, I knew I was Home then. I knew what it was and it wasn’t a place but it was you. I knew it when we first met and I knew it the last time we ever saw each other and I’m glad I never told you I love you.

You used to watch me on the screen like you loved me and I could it in your eyes, whatever it was. I saw it as bright as day and I knew then that I never settled for less. I never settled for someone who wouldn’t appreciate me and it was all I needed.

I suppose the right thing to say would be “thank you” because I never thanked you for showing me what it was like to be treated like how I deserved. To be in a healthy, happy relationship even if we were not in one.

Even as I have more lovers after you, all of them don’t make me feel like how I used to feel when I was with you. There is nothing wrong with them but my heart always turns back to you and I still lay in bed sometimes thinking about what went wrong and what I could’ve said to make you stay. But the truth is, nothing would have made you stay anyway because you were already looking for a way out.

I’m glad I never told you I loved you because it would’ve hurt me more than it already did when you did find your way out.

22

The day I turned 22, I realised that a lot of things have changed.

I realised that as I sat in the same living room with someone I tried to date not once, but twice, and how platonic it sat between the both us came the certainties of our relationship. I realised that while we weren’t together, we were in this together — how he took care of my heart when it was broken by other people over the course of almost a year that I’ve known him and how he searches for ways for me to leave toxic, co-dependent relationships around me. He takes care of me in ways that I crave but without the romantic attachments and I realise that I found a gem when I thought I lost one prior to meeting him.

I realised as I sat in the same car with a potential love interest that meeting people outside social media and dating apps is possible. The first and definitely not the last. As we sat listening to music and talking about nothing important in particular, I realised that relationships transcend beyond appearances, age and time. Being 13 years older than me had no effect and he certainly did not make me feel small for my age in comparison to his. He smiles when I say something outside of our generation gap and when we clash, he smiles because he accepts his age and I accept mine. The understanding that nothing will ever happen between us stands clear in our relationship and when we both understood it, neither of us broke each other’s hearts.

I realised when I sat in the same room with my family that we break apart but we don’t abandon each other. We seek for our own personal space and companionship and if it means finding ourselves by ourselves, then we do it. I realised that if it meant sacrificing our own sakes for the sake of others then so be it.

I realised how much I’ve grown. Over this quarantine period, I’ve almost sent text messages to my ex-boyfriends and I stop myself — a feat almost impossible in the months before I turned 22. This is the growth that I didn’t think I needed, the path to another form of redemption for myself because of the things I did and hardships I put myself through over the last few years. I had always tried to go back to toxic relationships and this time around, I have the strength and discipline to tell myself that I deserve better than someone who doesn’t want to be with me.

22 is the age of luck, at least to me. It reminds me that as we grow older, we grow up and make better decisions. It reminds me of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned over the last years. I wish I could describe the things I’d learned from the start to the finish but it wouldn’t be enough to express my feelings and the journey I’d undertaken.

I’m excited for 23.

where am i now?

At age 19, I lost my father to an accident that changed my life forever.

At age 20, I received two book offers from independent publishers to independently publish a book that I had taken three years to write — and I turned them both down.

At age 21, I became a business owner along with my mom for a famous American franchise and we are currently one of the top performing stores in Australia.

At age 22, I still do not have my diploma.

A lot of people say that education does not define where you stand in life and I agree, it doesn’t. Where I am now, I never needed a diploma or a degree but it doesn’t take away any credibility of those who have achieved those certificates. They worked hard — so did I and together, we form a society.

So where am I now?

I don’t have a diploma and yet I run a business beside my mother with a lot more potential to go further and I beg that the rest of society awakens their hidden potential as well. Where are we now and are we on time? We are never on time unless we run because when you stop the hustle, you stop your growth. That’s where I learned that we never stop growing and we never stop learning.

Am I still hustling to receive my diploma? Yes, I am still going to classes for it and every day that I think about giving up, I think about how close I am to the finish line and I think about it everyday that I work hard for it. I have all these dreams that are unrealised and they take nothing but time so all I can do is take it step-by-step.

After all, I turned down two offers to independently publish my book because I wanted to do it traditionally.

After all, I am a business owner beside my mother and I have learned so much more this year than I did in the last decade.

2020 was the biggest learning point for me. I think about all the trivial boy problems that I have as a growing young adult and I think about how little value they add compared to what I’m doing as a life career.

My next goal is bigger than what I am today. I want to be able to create jobs in lieu of the recession from COVID-19. Am I able to perform this act? I believe so, because after all, I am where I am today because I hustled.

the effects of having ‘money’

Money can either bring the worst out of people or the best. But most times, it brings out the worst. Money can make people say and do the most horrible things out of spite, jealousy or in some instances, expect.

Why is the word expect in italics?

I can’t emphasise just on how many relationships and friendships were ruined because of expectations. These expectations caused the downfall of our relations but I can admit that these downfalls were needed because without them, we would still be living a toxic life.

My family is not by any means, rich. We do however, live a comfortable life. We do not have to worry about where our next meal is going to come from and we definitely do not live pay check to pay check. So we live comfortably. We have nice, comfortable cars and we live in a nice comfortable home.

However, after the death of my father, the true faces of relatives and friends come to surface. The inheritance from the death of my father prompted these people to develop the mentality that my family was ‘rich’ and to be fair, I understand their sentiment but at the same time, we are not ‘rich’.

We live comfortably. We don’t spend more than we need to and we make sure we can afford something before we do something.

A relative of mine once expected my mother, the holder of the inheritance, to pay for the adoption of a child for her. She expected us to buy him new clothes, new luggages and new everything. While we were kind and would love to extend our help, it only goes so far to a certain extent. Our help is not limitless.

My mother is a single parent now who is widowed. She needs all the money she can get and if this money is all that she has now, then she has much reason to deny anyone help.

A ‘friend’ of ours who we barely know and barely knows us pushed us to open our own business and hire her as one of our own because she refused to look for her own employment. During the coronavirus crisis, she expected limitless hours and refused to settle for less than what we could afford. She often told us about her financial problems as if looking for financial help and not once did she appear concerned about the decline of sales during the coronavirus as she had the perception that we had money.

She sees all our comfortable cars and strives to buy one just like ours even when she cannot afford it.

None of my family show off our wealth. We don’t drive upper class cars like BMWs or Mercedes cars. We drive average middle class vehicles and yet, people look at us as though our wealth is all but nothing.

There is a saying that comes in different forms — don’t show off your wealth because at the end of the day, we all get buried in the same coffin.

But what protects us ‘wealthy’ people who do nothing but remain modest? How are we supposed to treat those that treat us as ATMs even while we live a comfortable, but tough life? We are surviving but not for long.

No one sees it from our point of view. Our wealth is not limitless. It does not live on forever. We may have ‘money’ now but what about the next 30 years?

The effects of having ‘money’ can cause you to lose relationships because of how people treat you. They say that people treat you better when you have money but I say the opposite. People treat you worse especially when they’re comfortable enough.

i hope this is my last

This is a great day to remember, of all the days in my life.

I’m sure of this one, not because he is the first person who genuinely wants to be with me and isn’t because of other childish reasons that I would’ve come up with many months ago to convince myself. I’m sure of this one because of myself — the one thing that had been pulling my past relationships back and this time, I’m sure of myself and this time, I’m sure with him.

These last two years have been a whirlwind of terrible times, relationships and friendships. I’ve had to deal with so many toxicity that when I removed them from my life and left them in 2019, I feel like I’ve never been in a better position than I am today. I’ve molded my very being into a woman that I didn’t think I could be.

I hope that this relationship is my last. I hope that I never have to find someone else again because I’m sure of this one. I once said that I wanted to marry someone I only knew for a month but if I knew what I know now then, I would’ve thought differently. Not because he was a bad person but because there was someone out there who was willing to give me more.

Before today, I never knew what it was like to be wanted by someone.

I was always on the chasing end of a one-sided relationship but this one is equal on all grounds. We both want to be with each other and we both want to make things work. I was always open to the idea of a long-distance relationship but he was the first of us both to suggest to me that we should give it a shot, even when I tried to deny all possibilities of it because I was afraid.

He’s not embarrassed of me as how my past flings have been. To say that he would show me off is an understatement because I know he’ll do more than that. I think of him as someone important to me — a treasure that I want to keep forever and a gem that I want to protect from this world.

I have had my bad share of relationships before and I couldn’t heal from the trauma of my first boyfriend. It affected all my relationships after and I couldn’t learn to function in a healthy relationship but this time, I feel like I’m at my best. I thought I couldn’t unlearn all the toxic traits that I had picked up from him but I have and I am learning everyday how to pick myself up and be a better woman.

The woman I was 10 months ago, begging for a boy who showed me my first healthy relationship even when I could not live in it has now evolved to a woman who understands what she deserves and what her partner deserves.

I think a “thank you” is in place for some people.

my soul search

I’ve done a lot of soul searching in the last few years.

When I say “a lot”, I really mean a lot. It’s taken a great deal for me to find out what I’m really made for and it’s not what it seems. I thought my calling was to be a writer for my passions always pulled me closer to the edge than anything else but it wasn’t my passion that brought out the best in me; it was the one thing that I never liked doing.

Leading is apparently my forté but I never thought that it would’ve been my calling. I don’t like it as much as I thought I would because the responsibilities are far too much for my liking but I’ve completed more than what people my age — at 21 would have done. I like to think that I’m a successful woman but I am far from that and I still have much to learn from the business world.

“Don’t let it go to waste. You have a talent,” is what my mother always tells me. I tell her that I don’t like this life and she tries to convince to use this gift that I have.

I never liked business. That is a given. It was never my thing but my talents have brought me further than what most people are capable of and it is a gift that I would truly be willing to let go to waste just so I can spend it on my passions for writing.

Soul searching is an interesting term. I did a lot of that in the last few years. I started when I was 17 just starting fresh in a new school and I had isolated myself from a group of friends whom I felt were far too materialistic and unreal for me. I never felt like I could truly fit in so I isolated myself and from there, my journey to soul searching began.

I discovered my passion for reading at a very early age but my passion for writing was a whole new level — a skill that I never knew I had and I fought to improve it over the years. I first realised I had a knack for writing when I wrote a post on this very blog in 2016, when I was 18. The post is long unpublished now but it was one of my best. My father had read it and he told me that I wrote well and I had this talent that shouldn’t go to waste.

I began writing my first book then. My first, real book and it was 32 chapters long with over 100,000 words. It took me almost two years to finish it and it is still one of my proudest works. I never got it published even though I had two offers to independently publish it and I never went through with it because I wanted a traditional publisher. That was how much I wanted it to be done right.

It’s been almost three years since I’ve finished that book and even to this day, it still lays somewhere on the internet, unheard and unpublished. I wait for the right time when I finally get to see it on the shelves and I pray for an opportunity such as that everyday.

I have immense knowledge and skill in many categories and some may think that I’m sucking my own tit but I am talented in more ways than one. Even to my small, 5’0 body, I can accomplish more things than people older than me could but the thing is, I don’t want to hold that much power and responsibility.

Being good at everything means nothing but expectations and failures. Being good at everything means that the whole world looks to you for an answer even when you don’t have one. You’re bestowed this power and you don’t want it.

I can’t describe the number of times I’ve thought about death. It’s the one few times that I spend my days alone and I just think about what if I just disappeared. My mind reels at how everything would fall apart because everything depends on me as a person and all I am is a 21 year old girl who wants to live her best life and be a person on my own. But with these responsibilities and people looking to me for answers, I feel a sort of suffocation that I shouldn’t have to feel at my age.

But I do.

My passion is writing. It is a sole activity that one completes on their own but my talent for leadership and my skills are needed and sometimes, having too much feels like too much. Sometimes I think about death not only to imagine life without me but also to end this feeling of suffocation that I relieve everyday of my life.

I don’t brag. People around me know that but this is the truth about myself. I searched my soul deep enough to discover the truth about my own life and it is that I’m a leader with these skills that I don’t want and these expectations on me when I just want to live and survive on my own.

I think about how I never got a proper, normal dating life until my father died and it was one of my worst experiences of my life. I was 18 when I had my first boyfriend and I wish I’d never met him because of the pain and trauma he caused me. I had to grow up after that.

My gifts may be beyond what an average person would have but they do still stop somewhere because I could never unlearn the abusive behaviour that my first boyfriend showed me and it has impacted my life greatly to a point that it affected the rest of my relationships. I’m still learning to heal but two years is far too long for me to try and understand what love truly is when it’s not pain and hurt.

The only time my soul connected with someone was once last year with someone I barely knew and even then, I wanted to marry him. But all good things come to an end and I spent the last nine months trying to connect with someone else to no avail, and only with my last unsuccessful attempt to date someone did I realise my true problem.

My insecurities and failure to put my trust in someone had affected my ability to love someone. I wanted to deny that I was damaged but I was far more damaged than my partner was and he had gone through so much more than I did. But while he learned to heal over the years, I was learning to project myself onto him.

It was toxic behaviour and it hurt when I learned that I was a toxic being in his life but nine months later and I’m still learning. Slowly but surely, I try to understand. Slowly but surely, I find my true calling.

I am a natural born leader and I know what I bring to the table. Boys may be afraid of that but I know that if people like him existed then there would be someone else who would be willing to hold my hand while I lead. My worth was taken away from me several times throughout my life by people who didn’t know my potential but I see what I bring to the table and I see what I can achieve.

My love life has been a failure but like I said before — my talents stop somewhere and love is where it stops.

But I know somewhere in my soul searching that I’ll find the answers. I’ve found my calling and who’s to say that I won’t find the answers to love.

One day.

protecting my peace was the best decision i ever made

The title of this post says it all.

Protecting my peace was the best decision I ever made. In between the struggles of dealing with my father’s death, my abusive, narcissistic ex-boyfriend, losing the boy I would’ve truly wanted to marry and my best friend, I settled on this peace in my life that I never knew could exist.

Sure, problems do still persist — the ups and downs of home life and school but this is the most peaceful I’ve ever felt mentally.

Ever since those unfortunate events unfolded in my life, I’ve found myself easily cutting people out of my life and I find myself growing mentally healthier as time goes. I used to stay in a place because of my desperation to fit in but I never knew how toxic a place could be no matter how much you wanted to be in it.

I think about my choices every now and then. I think about what could have been avoided and I think about the things that I could have said that would have made people stay but I think about the times they made me feel after and if they loved me, they wouldn’t have done what they did. It’s hard to cut people out that you truly cared about but when you do, the peace that comes after is serene.

I wish I could describe what I’m feeling now.

This feeling of content doesn’t come unblemished. I periodically find myself feeling lonely, craving for the emotional bonds I used to have with certain people but at the same time, anger slowly sets in followed by the meditation I do to forgive myself for allowing bad things to happen to me. It’s a circle that doesn’t seem to end but when I find my peace each time, I strive to protect it.

I’m sitting in my living room now writing this post. I feel the loneliest that I could ever feel, not because of the lack of romantic partners or friends but for the people I had to cut out to feel what I feel today.

It’s well-deserved but it doesn’t make me less sad or disappointed.

the truth behind working for a fascist and toxic employer

I was 19 in 2017 when I first got hired at Cotton On.

My manager at the time was young and my sister’s age. She was a bit quiet and sometimes, we worked in silence because I just didn’t know what to say to her but she was “cool” in a lot of ways. She wasn’t very authoritarian and was chill with her staff because she knew their abilities and rarely had to work us down.

She had a lot of nice things to say to me. One of those was that she was easily impressed by how meticulous I was with working and cleaning the store. She was the one who hired me based on my merit and experience working in a bigger-chain retail store during my time in Singapore so she did what she thought best and hired me.

She left a little while later to move interstate and there, we were unmanaged for a long time. My regional manager who was living in Cairns at the time frequently flew interstate to visit our store and he placed a wonderful Portuguese lady in our charge for a few months. I worked often because I was in university and had more time off but in April 2018, I flew back home to Singapore in lieu of my father’s death.

I stayed off work for a month and proceeded to come back later on working full-time hours for another month. The Portuguese lady resigned after getting a full-time job and I worked 35 hours then, managing most of the things in the store and the only things that I didn’t do were the rosters and visual merchandising. They were handled by another proper manager from a neighbouring store.

My regional manager was extremely supportive of me, viewing me as strong-willed for working as hard as I did just a month after my father died. He had high expectations from me and often told me, “You are a winner and I know how amazing you do your job.”

The month after, my mother told me to go back to university.

So I settled for working a good bunch of hours as I did before my father died while I went to university at the same time. They had a stand-in manager from the neighbouring store to work at ours and she frequently told me that she hated the store because of how anxious it made her and I agreed. We were small, cluttered and messy.

A few months later, she moved interstate and we were yet again, unmanaged.

In September 2018, they finally hired a manager for us.

She had zero experience in retail and was the security guard at the same shopping centre. She had no sense of urgency, extremely lazy and incompetent, played favourites and was the worst choice for a manager. She rarely unpacked any new stock and was always doing something that was not necessary or important, later blaming the staff for not doing their jobs when our regional manager came to visit and was shocked by the number of stock boxes still not unpacked.

I had a stellar amount of respect at first when she tried to tell me how to do my job properly and I was like sure, it was my fault. But I soon came to realise that this lady did not deserve my respect when she did not take her job seriously. She always screwed up the rosters by missing breaks and was generally bad at everything. She laughed her mistakes off while being extremely irritated by the mistakes of the rest of the staff.

The last straw for me came when I had done two full days on Sunday and Monday. Our regional manager was visiting the coming week and my manager had given me a list of things to do, including unpacking new visual merchandising stock on a Sunday which we generally never did because it was a short working day and we usually focused on cleaning up the store. I came in the following Monday and found that there were 7 visual merchandising stock boxes on the trolley to unpack so I did what I could and cleaned the rest of the store at the end of the day.

The next day, my store manager came in and told another staff that she had stuffed another four boxes of VM stock boxes under the table for me to do but “apparently Sophie had other plans.”

Eventually, I picked a fight with her but we made up and after a while, she quit the next month.

Following that month in November, we had a new area manager who was going to stay in our city permanently and look after all 5 stores under her. Our regional manager was going to stay where he was based and wouldn’t have to fly in every five weeks to check on us.

She was the worst area manager I had ever seen. She was rude, played favourites and was bad at her job.

I didn’t have much chance to work with her in the first few weeks as it was Christmas and I had gone home to Singapore for a holiday. When I came back, she had significantly reduced my hours per week from an average of 18 hours to 3-6 hours. Instead, she rostered other staff from other stores on in my store as though they worked there.

She frequently berated a lot of staff, telling them in their faces that she didn’t like them and they did not deserve to work in the store while telling other staff that “I think you’re an amazing team member and should work in my favourite store.”

She made another store manager of our neighbouring store burst into tears and resign. She made uncalled for comments and demanded that she did the rosters for all the stores, only rostering staff that she had favourites and giving other staff like myself from zero hours to the minimum of three hours a week. She could hardly do visual merchandising and messed up the store while doing so and when HR received a complaint from a customer with regards to the unsightly store, she placed the blame on the staff.

Not long after, everyone had enough of her and sent in a complaint to HR who eventually sent her to another state or fired her.

However, we were unmanaged without a store manager again and manager of our neighbouring store was sent to us to manage us.

She was nice to me.

Or at least, in front of me.

For the next six months, I was put on the rosters for three hours a week, every Friday night for closing. It was the one day in the week where we would be open until 9pm and all the stores know that late-night Friday shifts are to be alternated between the staff but I was made to do late night Friday shifts every week for the next six months with no explanation.

My manager was in many ways, lazy, incompetent and a liar.

She frequently stood behind the counter doing nothing and was always on her phone. She never went to get change for the tills and the money tills were always left with $50s, $100s and at one point, it was completely void of coins and this frequently happened during weekends when banks would be closed to get change and she wouldn’t be working and be affected by her own laziness. She never threw the rubbish out from over the week and would let it accumulate to the point that the weekend staff or Friday night staff like myself had to make two to three trips to the bin outside. She never cleared up the small bin behind the counter and it was always filled with her food containers which she ate over the week. She never cleaned the store. She was lazy and tried several ways to avoid coming to work and to leave work earlier, giving excuses that she had gastro or that she had to leave two hours early due to a house inspection that she had to attend. She would wait for staff to come to cover her breaks and leave for two hours instead of the one-hour break that she was supposed to have. Many times, if someone fell sick, she wouldn’t bother finding them a cover and would force a staff to work by themselves on a weekend even though it was her job as a manager to come in even if she was not rostered on.

I was told by her many times that “I can see you’re a good worker” but I later found out from another staff that she had told the latter that “Sophie is always on her phone and that’s why I’ve put her on for three hours and she doesn’t do her job.”

I was made to work three hours closing shifts on a Friday night with barely any customers for six months and was frequently told by her that I was a “good worker” but yet, she was talking about me behind my back. I felt that I was never always on my phone and would complete my tasks when I had any and I would have preferred for her to come straight to me and address my excessive phone usage during work hours but she had instead lied to me and blamed our original regional manager who had not been our regional manager since the year before about being made to roster me on for only three hours a week.

During stocktake, she had asked everyone if we were good to work from 4pm to 8pm that day and I agreed as I had classes from 9am to 12pm and stocktake would not clash.

When she posted the roster for that week, I was made to do opening despite her knowing that I had class that day. She claimed to not have known that I had class but I had told her multiple times that I had class and I was the only staff in the whole store who went to school.

She later admitted to another staff that she purposely put me on for the opening shift that day because “Sophie scans slow and shouldn’t be on for stocktake.”

I’ve never done stocktake with her before and didn’t know where she would have known that I was “slow” at scanning for stocktake.

The store manager of our sister store in the city was often also angry with her work ethics but he also had favouritsm and I was not one of his favourites.

In Cotton On, as staff, almost everyone uses their own staff discount codes or their friends’ staff discount codes to buy something for themselves. They are not allowed to do so but because many of the staff are always rostered by themselves for the whole day with the exception of a three-hour cover that is split with a one-hour break for the full-day staff and another two hours of hard work for the store, they tend to do what they do.

I was one of the staff who did so.

I had the permission of another staff who told me that it was fine for me to use her staff discount if I was alone to buy something for myself as I remembered her code by heart and I bought something for myself one day.

The store manager for the sister store came to visit and did a “random” bag check on me just as I was leaving the store to go to the bank and deposit our money claiming that he was going to start doing bag checks on every staff leaving the store and found the item in my bag with a receipt, demanding to know who had completed the transaction for me and I told him that I did so myself.

He never checked the bags of other staff ever again and reported the incident to HR for using another staff’s discount code.

A representative of HR called me three weeks later and interrogated me on the incident.

Claiming that “this is just part of my investigation”, she demanded to know why I completed my own transaction and I told her that I had bought a shirt because the item that I had worn to work was see-through that morning and I had also bought a bottle of water and a pack of tissues to increase our KPI sales.

She then tried to coerce me into admitting that I had bought a fourth item because “that’s what it shows on the receipt.”

I told her I didn’t buy a fourth item and she repeated herself, “That’s not what I’m seeing and I’m going to ask you again what else did you buy because this is all part of my investigation of this incident.”

I repeated myself that I didn’t buy a fourth item.

She “looked” at the receipt she had on her computer again and later admitted that it was a void item and that I didn’t buy it.

I will not forget how a HR representative tried to coerce me into admitting a crime that I didn’t do. If I had bought more items, my punishment would have been heavier.

For someone who continuously repeated that it was all “part of her investigation”, she had a lot of trouble distinguishing a void item and a sale item and I had no respect for someone who wanted to tell me how to do my job while being incompetent in her own.

And in this case, I quit as I had enough of what was happening in the store and how I was continuously disrespected.

I found that I hated those in managing positions who liked to flaunt their positions and tell others what to do while being unable to do their own jobs. The only ones that I thoroughly respected in their respective managing positions was my original store manager who hired me and my original regional manager who was based in Cairns as they were both amazing at their jobs while being humble with their position in the workplace.

This was the worst workplace that I had ever worked in with a fascist employer who spoke highly of their own authority but refused to correct their own behaviour and a toxic group of management team. In their desperation to find staff in managing positions, they had hired the most incompetent, laziest people to work and had caused the downfall of the workplace environment.

And this is the truth of working for a fascist, toxic employer and never again will I stoop so low to allow myself to be treated like this by people who were quick to spew orders while being unable to do their own jobs.

jan 1, ’20 — happy new year

It’s the new year.

I still find myself wishing for the past to come back even though we’ve finally reached a new year and sometimes I wish that I can reset my memories so that I can start afresh but that would mean losing what’s important to me. It would mean losing the memories that I still hold so dear to me and it would mean losing what I have left of someone I deeply care about.

As we step into this new year, I can say a lot of things have changed since the start of 1st January 2019.

Exactly a year ago, I was still begging my abusive ex-boyfriend to stay in my life, hoping to turn things around or be given another chance at love. I was in one of the worst places of my life and this was only the start to subsequent heartbreaks from the trauma of my past relationship.

I had grown so much over the last year. I learned to set standards for myself and that a man needed to deserve me before I gave him my all, and I learned that what happens, happens. No more begging anyone for attention, no more self-doubting. No more settling and no more feeling sorry for myself.

2019 was a test of my courage, bravery and mental strength.

I am so goddamn strong for being alive right now because it had tested me enough with the betrayal of my best friend and so much more. It tested me when the people at work had so much to say about me behind my back and it tested me at home. It tested me in the last months of my wavering relationship with my ex-boyfriend and most of all, it tested me in losing the one man I would’ve wanted to marry.

Never have I been placed in a difficult year, with the exception of 2018 when I lost my father but I feel like the years get tougher and tougher as I go out into this world each passing day.

I want to say one thing — 2019 was full of lessons. They were lessons that I never knew I needed but it was enough for me to learn.

2020 will come at me stronger than before and I know I will be tested against my own wits. I will contemplate life so many times that it’ll look suicidal but I know that these are just tests. I will look to the sky so many times that I’ll ask God why he does this to me and maybe, I’ll get an answer for my strength.

Maybe, something might go my way this time.

But one thing I learned in 2019 was that with losses come great success.