to a friend

I must express my anxiety in writing this. This has been no easy task in the last few weeks but to reflect is greatly beneficial and this episode did not disappoint.

I had known her for almost two years now.

We were not close in the first year, and only grew closer in the last year of our friendship. We were on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it came to having anything in common and the only thing we ever bonded were over boys.

However, that didn’t stop us from having weekly lunch meetings, talking the latest gossip and generally having fun. The two-year age gap between us didn’t stop much and we were at some point, at the best of our friendship.

There were so many traits of her that I ignored over the course of our friendship because she was my friend — so many things that should have been an indicator that she was far too immature for this life but I was at odds with myself.

This girl, this child, was far too immature and I watched from the sidelines as she made bad, selfish decisions over and over again. She hurt the feelings of so many people around her and I watched all of it and whilst I tried not to control her decisions, I could do nothing more but to advise her on things that she would not listen to.

While she constantly hurt her friends with her bad decisions, she continuously came back to me for advice to make herself feel better and yet, she followed none of it. I found myself growing frustrated with each day but I could do nothing more than watch.

I watched as her long-distance boyfriend broke up with her because of her constant fighting and arguments over nothing. I watched as she found a new man as a rebound less than a month later at a club, and she fell in love. I watched as she cried when she found out that he was married. I watched as she continued this relationship with a married man knowing that he had two children waiting for him back home for the next four months. I watched as she swallowed the promises that he would leave his wife for her. I watched as she slept with three different men in the same weekend, each not knowing that they existed and each thinking that they all had her to themselves.

Her friends watched her from the sidelines as she made all these bad decisions and so did I. And those decisions never stopped there.

I watched as she left a boy for four hours while on a date to meet with the married man and sleep with him. I watched as she broke her best friend and another boy’s heart in the same night as she got together with the same married man at the clubs. I watched her cry to me the next day and ask for my advice to do better only to not listen. I watched as she left another boy at the clubs by himself on my birthday and leave with someone else.

And I watched as she stabbed me in the back and ruined my relationship with the only person I saw a future with.

She laughed as I expressed my disappointment with her. She didn’t heed my words seriously but then again, she never did. I watched her handle the situation immaturely and without hesitation, I cut her out of my life.

I do not hate her. I don’t, but I cannot see myself to be acquainted with her again. Not with her betrayal and not with her immaturity. She needs to grow up and sometimes, people don’t do it at all in their lifetime. I can only hope that she is one of the lucky ones.

Maybe one day, we’ll be friends again.

But today is not that day.

the impending realities of getting out of an abusive relationship

I need to start off this post by saying that I was never physically abused but abuse is abuse even if he didn’t lay a hand on me.

The emotional and mental abuse took a toll on my future relationships as a result of my traumatic past relationship with my abuser and many people ask me, “Why didn’t you leave? Why did you let him treat you like that? Why didn’t you walk away from it? I would have.”

It’s hard to say why, but one of the reasons was because I loved him.

Or at least, I loved the facade that he put up around him to the point of no return even when his abuse became evident as our relationship progressed further down this spectrum of hatred, self-worthlessness and despair. It got to the point where I hated myself and when I tried to leave him several times, I would feel so lost because I felt like I needed him in my life.

He was wonderful to me in the first part of our relationship.

I met him just three months after my father passed away and to me, meeting this person who said the right things and did the right things felt like a blessing to me. I thought he was a gift from God because my father had been taken from me to be replaced by someone else.

Oh, how I wish I wasn’t so naive with those thoughts.

His first sign of abuse came just a month after we started dating. I should have seen it coming but I was far too deep in my emotional vulnerability and dependency on him to walk away.

He had found out that I had gotten part of my father’s inheritance money in lieu of his death and he tried to tell me what to do it with it. Three times despite my repeated sayings of “no” which he couldn’t seem to comprehend. He decided then that I was stubborn and couldn’t spend the rest of his life with me and yet, he continued to see me.

I continued to see him because I adored him and I wanted to make it work but him, he wasn’t determined to make it work so why did he continue to see me?

It was a question that lingered on for so long even after we broke up and he left Australia for home back in America.

His repeated signs of abuse came soon after. He would tell me things that would hurt me on purpose. He brought my self-esteem down to the worst and often played the victim card on me. Every time I tried to leave him, he would pretend that I was the bad person for trying to leave him and he would successfully guilt-trip me into continuing our abusive relationship.

I remember his words at one point, “I know I am a hard man to love and I’m used to people leaving me and this is no different.”

Manipulative, yes. Guilt-tripping, yes. Abusive, yes.

Of course, I tried to prove him wrong. I wanted to prove that even though he was difficult, I would still love him and he knew the kind of person I was and he exploited that.

The first time I tried to break up with him, his truth and lies came to light.

He admitted to a lot of things; things that should have made me walk away and to this day, I never understood why I came back. It might have been the feeling of emptiness or the feeling that I needed him. It might have been the emotional dependency I had on him or it might have been the foolishness.

But the first time I tried to break up with him, he admitted to a lot of things.

“When I first started dating you, you were like this project for me because you were so innocent and never had a boyfriend before. I wanted to show you what it was like to have a boyfriend.”

After a while, I caved again and contacted him again. I would still never understand why but I felt so lost without him. It might have been my need for love or my loneliness that came after my father’s death but all I wanted was love.

During the course of our relationship in the last month, I had never been made to feel so uncomfortable in my own skin, and in his presence.

He repeatedly told me things like, “If you wore certain clothes, or wore makeup a certain way, or went to the gym and got yourself a bigger bum, you could be one of those Instagram models.”

He repeatedly told me to eat healthier food but never encouraging me to. All he did was beat me down for eating unhealthy but never offer the moral support to do it. He was in short, disgusted, with my eating habits.

He was embarrassed to be with me and constantly tried to hide the fact that he hated being on my Instagram stories or posts. He hated that I introduced him to my family and hated meeting my friends, barely interacting with them when he met them.

He repeatedly talked about how he hated Australia and couldn’t wait to go home, disregarding my feelings that I would have been sad to see him leave.

After he did leave, we broke it off but I promised him that I would be friends with him because he often talked about how alone was and his lack of friends. He talked about his loneliness and suicidal thoughts but it was all a ploy for me to feel sorry about him and stick around while he did whatever he could to gain a crowd of friends back home.

When he did start to go on dates with girls, he would shove it in my face. He repeatedly told me with much arrogance how beautiful those other girls were and that he “wanted a relationship with them”. He treated me with the utmost amount of shit whilst he dated other girls and each time, they only lasted a date or two before he caught onto his shit and stopped seeing him.

Only then, did he come back crying to me.

Sometimes, he treated me like an ego-booster.

I still had these feelings for him and I would send him long paragraphs about how much he meant to me and how he seemed perfect in my eyes. He relished in them and never returned the same amount of respect for me.

He told me the most fucked up things.

He told me that I was “just another girl.”

He admitted to using me for free car rides around Australia whilst he was on his stay here and admitted to using me to make his trip more interesting while he had a shitty career in the marines with zero friends.

He admitted to using me, and said to me on the phone, “I kind of used you and you still fell in love with me? You’re like the most retarded girl I know.”

He admitted that even if we had tried to do a long-distance relationship, he would have still broken up with me.

He lied saying that all the times we ever fought, it was because he was in the military and when I said that we had never fought because of his job and started listing down actual reasons why we had fights, he pretended to be surprised that I would remember everything.

He admitted that he never truly felt any romantic connection with me.

He admitted that he stopped being nice to me after a while because he didn’t want me to fall in love but continued to see me because he didn’t want to be alone during his time here.

He told me that how he hurt me could never compare to how his ex-girlfriend before me hurt him when she cheated on him.

He told me that my makeup skills were heinous when I had only started doing it the month before.

He told me that I was a boring girlfriend who only wanted to sit and drink coffee all day long.

He told me that the reason why he couldn’t love me was because I wasn’t beautiful enough.

This was an abusive relationship on its own that took me six months to get out of after we broke up. I repeatedly went back to him because of how worthless I felt without him and it was him who made my mental health deteriorate.

You’d probably still ask me, “Why didn’t you walk away? Why would you let him treat you like that?”

He was my first boyfriend. He was my first relationship and I had no idea that this was not the sign of a healthy relationship. I thought that this was how I was supposed to be treated in all my relationships.

I thought this kind of behaviour in a relationship was normal.

That’s why I stayed.

This abusive relationship affected me to the point that I ruined many potential future relationships. I became desperate to fill this hole in my heart and instead of going slow with someone, I expected a full relationship out of them. Every time something went wrong, I automatically assumed that it was because of my physical appearance.

I was made and conditioned in a way that made me think that I was never going to be beautiful enough for any relationship with a man.

It brought my self-esteem down lower than it was before. I almost gave up on wearing makeup ever again because what he said about my makeup skills made me feel like I was walking out of the house looking like a clown. He made me feel embarrassed to be in my own skin and flesh.

Whenever I had arguments with my mother that often gave me suicidal thoughts, I wanted to talk to him about it because of my emotional dependency on him and every single time, he would heavily sigh and downplay my problems as though it was all petty talk.

Whenever I missed my father, and wanted to talk to him about it, he would heavily sigh and talk about his own friend who lost his father at the age of three which was barely old enough to have a proper relationship with his father. He would brush off my feelings like they were nothing to be crying about because “other people have gone through worse.”

Whenever something went wrong with prospective dates, he would heavily sigh and talk about himself and all the things that were wrong with me and why boys didn’t like me. He talked about his tastes and what he didn’t like about me and generalise that all men had the same tastes as him.

In the last three months of us trying to be friends before I completely cut him out, I completely hated him. We were constantly arguing over everything and I was always questioning why he did the things he did. He would make up lies and change his answers every time. We would argue some more and not talk for a week.

He came back to me crying every single time afterwards, begging me to stay in his life because of his lack of friends. He begged me to stay and yet continued to treat me like I was dirt. Every time I threatened to leave, he would promise that he would change but he never did.

Finally, I cut him out of my life.

My mental health improved significantly. I didn’t give up on makeup and my skills improved significantly. My relationships with boys didn’t get any better but I learned to let them lead.

Perhaps, the only reason why I kept letting him back into my life was because I tried to see the good in him and when he promised to change, I wanted to believe him. Fortunately, I was brave enough to see past that front and move on from the one thing that made me live an insufferable life for so many months.

The turning point in my life came to this boy. I adored him but not emotionally. He was the cutest that I had known and I wanted to spend time with him even though I didn’t see a realistic relationship with him because he was a completely different person from me.

We hung out three times and each time, I let him lead what happened.

One day, he decided that it was just wasn’t working out. He wasn’t looking for anything serious and I adored him to the point that it was getting serious for me.

And then he just told me, “It’s not working out and it happens.”

I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand how rejection could be so easy. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t telling me it was because of my appearance or something else. I didn’t understand a single bit of what happened.

I consulted my best friend for advice. I was devastated, and I asked him if he thought I was pretty because I couldn’t understand why that guy couldn’t like me and my best friend simply told me that he did think I was pretty.

And it just made me realise that maybe, things don’t work out and it happens.

It has nothing to do with my appearance or personality. Sometimes we just don’t match and things happen. Shit happens.

I moved on with my life, determined to take a break from dating because I genuinely liked him but the week after, I met him.

I had never seen a realistic future with someone before. I had never thought about marrying any man before because I just couldn’t see myself with them in the long run but him? I saw all kinds of futures and we didn’t even talk for very long.

When I first started talking to him, I didn’t like him too much. I didn’t think he was cute but maybe a bit. I didn’t think too much about him and I was careful not to catch feelings because I was afraid of what would happen if I trusted anyone too easily like how I did my abusive boyfriend.

Slowly, I started to like him.

And I knew he liked me too.

He felt like home to me. He never let me go to bed upset with him and we would always resolve our conflicts the same day they surfaced and we always went to bed adoring each other. He treated me well. He treated me the greatest, like the queen I deserved and I knew that.

I tried to do the same for him but soon, things came to light.

I was constantly arguing with him over small things and I would fight more than necessary because I was so used to fighting my abusive ex-boyfriend just to get my side of the story heard.

I refused to apologise for so many things because I was a pleaser for my ex-boyfriend and was constantly apologising to him and I refused to do that again. So I never apologised.

I said hurtful things hoping that he would change himself because that was how my ex-boyfriend made me change myself.

He was constantly saying, “Let’s look past this and move on” just so I could go to bed happy and not upset with him. He was constantly putting his pride down for me so I could win our arguments and he would relent.

He was supportive of me even in dire situations and I couldn’t do the same because I didn’t understand how support meant in relationships.

In so many ways, I couldn’t understand a healthy relationship.

In the end, things ended because of me. I couldn’t appreciate him enough and I couldn’t treat him the way he deserved.

The last time we had an argument, he told me, “I try to treat people the way they deserve like how I do you, but I know what I deserve too.”

He was right and we both knew it. I didn’t treat him the way he deserved and he had the kindest, most beautiful soul and he deserved more than what I could give him.

This is the impending reality of getting out of an abusive relationship. It had affected my relationships with other people, even with the ones who treated me well because I couldn’t comprehend a healthy relationship.

I hope that one day, I meet someone who fills his shoes. He set the standards high and I hope one day, I meet someone who fills his shoes and bigger.

is it time to forgive?

I’ve written about this many times and I suppose, this will be the last time I ever will.

It’s come to that point in my life where I close this chapter of the book and go onto the next one. To move on and accept that whilst the events had unfolded many months ago, I cannot deny that they happened and I can only learn from it. While I try to hope and pretend that they didn’t exist, the truth never ceases to exist.

In July 2018, I met someone who I thought was my first love. He was, but with the help of manipulation, lies and false sense of securities, oh yes, I loved him.

My first boyfriend saw me as a fling. In fact, I never saw him as a boyfriend until he called me his girlfriend and we just foolishly went on from there. I was young, inexperienced and I had a lot to learn from the world outside my own.

He manipulated me, emotionally abused me and in every sense of word, lied to get what he wanted. He was sure to repeatedly remind me that he wasn’t a liar, but yet, he was the exact same thing he said he wasn’t. Perhaps hypocrite would suffice for his character.

For months after we broke up, I tried to leave him. I tried to stop talking to him even knowing that despite how much I loved him, he was toxic and bad for me. I tried to cut him out of his life but every time, he would manipulate me and play the victim as if I was the bad person for leaving him.

“I know I’m hard to love and that’s okay because in the end, everyone just throws me away as easily.”

He uttered those words to me once and it made me determined to keep loving him and be there for him to prove him wrong.

Oh, how I wish I knew just how manipulative those words were.

He emotionally abused me several times. He took my self-worth away just so I could bring his up. He made me feel like life wouldn’t have any sense without him. He made me feel like I needed him in my life or I would lose all meaning. The first time I confided in him, he judged me for the situation that I was in, shamed me and called me things that I didn’t think I was.

That, in itself, was enough to emotionally abuse me.

It took me six months to cut him out of my life. I tried for months and finally, I had it. The last time I spoke to him, I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t sad. I wished him good on his future and bid him congratulations for finishing with his service to the military.

And that was the last of it.

My self-worth has improved considerably since then. I’ve not had anyone tell me that I wasn’t beautiful enough, or that I was too boring, or that I had no redeemable qualities. I’ve made myself my own person. I’ve gotten my school work done and fixed, my own makeup has improved on my own accord and no more hearing “if you improved your makeup by doing what I told you to, you’d look like those beautiful Instagram models.”

In the last six months, I had been talking to a new man every single week in search of replacing my ex-boyfriend. In hopes that they could fill the gap that he left. Hoping that one of them could make me as happy, but to no avail. I got disappointed every single time and it made me frustrated, desperate.

Why couldn’t I find someone who could make me happy?

Two days ago, my sister told me, “You are your own happiness. Don’t depend on your partner to make you happy because it’s not their job. Their job is to amplify your happiness.”

I’ve never heard of anything truer.

A few weeks ago, I met someone. This one was different because he was special. I don’t mean to scare him away and I don’t want to. And the first time I met him, I had never felt more happier in so long. Not because he made me happy but because I felt happy that I could be myself around him and he wouldn’t shame me for what I was. I felt like truly, he was different from everyone else I’d met.

How cliche is it?

I try to be patient with him. Not rush things. Not expect things. We’re in a limbo that I can’t figure out but on the inside, I know that he’s just as scared as I am.

I’m scared that he’ll use me as how my ex-boyfriend did. I’m scared that if he doesn’t return the feelings that I have for him, he’ll use my feelings to his advantage. I’m scared that he’ll manipulate me knowing that I would do anything for him. I’m scared of what’s beyond what we have now.

My fear stems from my ex-boyfriend but I’m no longer thinking about him anymore. I haven’t thought about him in a long time. I would take an even longer time to forgive what he’s done, and I would admit to a forever never where I will let him back into my life.

This is the last time that I write about him because I may still be angry, upset and hurt, but he is no longer part of my life. It has been a month and I hope it goes on to be a year and a decade where I won’t think about the boy who broke my heart and crushed it single-handedly. I will never step foot into someone else’s life with much anguish expecting them to bend by my traumas because this is me starting anew.

I want to be able to love again without fearing the bad and I want to be able to smile knowing that whoever smiles with me smiles genuinely.

But most of all, I want to be able to forgive myself, accept that it happened and to forgive him when I’m ready because we are all fools and he was a fool who didn’t know he lost a gem.

punishing the good

This is not the story of how good deeds go unpunished.

This is not the story of how good people are always on the bad end of the lucky spectrum.

And this is not a story of the good being bad.

No, this is an experience that I, and millions of others have all felt and encountered at least once in their lives. This is the root and cause of all lack of motivation to aspire and inspire and this, unfortunately, needs to be addressed.

I went to religious school from aged 7 until I was 14 when I decided that I’ve had enough of it. Being raised Muslim wasn’t anything bad. In fact, I cherished the idea of being Muslim because I felt like it was a religion that made the most sense to me and one that God truly listened to.

When I was 13, I remember taking an exam for religious school. We were to perform a proper set of prayers with recitation in Arabic and everything else including what to do next such as prostration, standing and so on.

I was raised a Muslim but not religious. I didn’t know how to pray until I was 20. I could read the Quran but never finished and it’s been at least seven years since I’ve touched one. I have a hijab set at home but never wear one out.

In a normal Muslim’s eyes, everything that I am is worth condemning for.

During this particular exam, I couldn’t perform the prayer. I didn’t know how to and all I did was just guess what to do next. I didn’t even recite anything because I had zero knowledge.

The examiners watched me with frowns on their faces for about 5 minutes before one of them stopped me.

“You’re a Muslim and yet, you don’t know how to pray?”

Her question seemed simple but her tone was clearly condescending to me.

Yes, as a Muslim, I did not know how to pray. Was it worth something punishing over when all I did to do was learn? Why are such behaviours punished for? This was a religious school and I was being questioned on my lack of knowledge?

From 14 until 18, I was devoid of any thought for my religion. I was embarrassed of it because I felt like I didn’t know anything about it and was therefore unworthy of mentioning or thinking about it. I avoided it like the plague. No, I did not abandon God but I abandoned all my persistence and motivation to learn.

When I was 10, I failed a maths test.

I was smarter than the school average and was sent to a smarter class but as a result, I was one of the weaker students in the particular class. I failed my maths test for the term and received 4/10 for my grade.

Everyone was rejoicing over their grades while I hid mine in embarrassment. My peers around me knew how bad I was and asked what my grade was but I refused to reveal my grade so during break time, they snuck to my desk and by the end of recess, my whole class knew my bad grade and laughed at me.

I cried on the way back to class and my teacher said minimal to nothing about the situation despite being aware of what happened.

Why am I being punished for trying my best only to fail? Why do I get laughed at for being bad at something I didn’t ask to be bad at?

When I was 12, I was in extra after school classes that my mother paid for. They were for my primary school leaving examinations and I was doing badly in maths. I was often the weakest in any maths class and this was no exception. Because of my lack of knowledge, I was rarely motivated to do any homework and to be given extra homework outside of school? This was worse.

I remember sitting in class, being asked by the teacher of how I could solve a simple fraction equation. I knew enough but I didn’t know how to solve it. I specifically admitted to the teacher that I was unable to solve it and I didn’t know.

She waited in front of the class and asked me to tell her what should be done step by step.

Even when I didn’t know the answer, I guessed. I recited off steps that I thought were familiar to the question and she didn’t write any of it down. Instead, she stared at me like I was stupid and shook her head in disbelief when I was done.

“Out of all that rubbish you’ve just told me, you could just do this and this and this.”

She proceeded to write her own answer on the board, embarrassing me further after I specifically told her that I didn’t know what to do.

Why am I being punished for trying to learn? Why are my good intentions being punished?

In my eyes, the world is against us.

Stop punishing what you want to see. Stop punishing the good intentions of the people around you.

“Look who decided to finally join us for dinner.”

“You actually finished your work?”

“How can you study so hard but still get a C grade?”

I do not think that it’s right to punish good behaviour despite how much it doesn’t match your expectations. People are trying and motivation should be given, not taken away. You should reward, not punish.

If it wasn’t for the teachers who saw my potential in secondary school, I wouldn’t be here where I am today. If it wasn’t for the teachers who inspired me to do so much better, I would have still been trying to find that lost motivation somewhere.

But not everyone is as lucky as I. I didn’t ask for my inspirational teachers but I got them. Some people beg for them but never get them. I plead to this world to stop disregarding effort for lack of skill and knowledge because we are all trying to learn something and do something.

Don’t be the one that takes it away from them.

reception to rejection

Thrice, I have been rejected by boys I sought after in my lifetime.

Rejected of the love that I desired in exchange for the affections that they might offer.

What is this in life? What is it to be rejected over and over again only to be told that it is useless, that I need to change myself?

I cannot garner such attitudes, This is the way I am, so deal with it. I am not changing myself for anyone.

But what if that one person that you so desired promised you the better life if you did change yourself? What if they promised the future of tomorrow, secured and steady in the event that our lives change?

Many of my rejections I took as an insult, a plague in my thoughts that I cast out to make myself mentally and emotionally stronger. Many times those thoughts are transformed into excuses to why I didn’t need to change.

I was my own person, and if they couldn’t deal with it then they didn’t deserve me.

Years pass.

I’m a better person emotionally and mentally. I’m strong, independent. I’m relied on a lot, grown up. I’m unique in my own ways. I handle rejection better now.

But I spent so much time depending on the expectations of other people that made me change myself that I forgot to set expectations for myself.

I no longer know what makes me happy because I spend too much time making others happy. I find it difficult to express and understand myself because I invested more time into empathizing with the people around me. I sought the approval of others that I didn’t think about whether I approved of the person that I was.

I realized that I hated myself.

I couldn’t love myself.

I was insecure of myself.

I couldn’t look in the mirror without pointing out the flaws rather than perfections.

What saved me from it?

Rejection.

I wanted to be better. I wanted to improve myself. I wanted change my lifestyle. I wanted to think ahead for my future rather than live in the now.

Now is relative, the future is planned.

Plans change but our goals remain intact. We set ourselves up with expectations, expect to compromise and keep working towards that bridge.

I got rejected by the first person I’ve ever loved but my reception to it changed.

He made me realize my potential that I never knew I had. He made me see that I was someone rather than a something.

He made me see that dreams are easier to touch if we tried.

Today, I frequent the gym to 3-4 times a week, and albeit for less than an hour because I’m still new to it, I still make the effort.

Today, I’m inspired to do so much more than the meager everyday work that we do everyday. Routines are anything but instruments of growth. What we need are lessons and challenges everyday and today, I challenge myself to do something different. Yesterday, I cooked dinner for my mother as she arrived home from work. Today, I went to the gym to work on my bum exercises when I was so shy to do it before.

Tomorrow, maybe I might work on my diet.

My love, the one who’s hurt me multiple times because he thought he was “teaching” me, he helped me to realise that life is so much more than before. I hate him for the things he said to me, such hurtful words that brought my self-esteem lower than before but in return, he wanted me to care for myself better.

He didn’t love me, but he cared for me. He couldn’t love me because I didn’t love myself. He didn’t love me because I wasn’t beautiful enough yet.

I might not be good enough for him now.

But I know that one day, I will be better than him.

And I know that I will come out stronger and better.

This is my reception to rejection.

getting your shit together 101

Sometimes, we all need life to knock us down.

It gives us the sense of a reality check, the sense of everything that crashes down on us and it’s important for us to understand that we need that. We need to understand that when life knocks us down, we have to get back up and not continue the same bullshit that caused us to fall before.

We need improvement. Life is always a continuous ravel of improvements that must be made every few days. It’s like going to school and learning something new everyday, or going to work and helping to make a bigger sale than before. Meeting new people everyday. Finally doing something that you couldn’t bring yourself to do before.

Something that helps us improve.

For me, I feel like my life has been in torn shambles these past few months. I’ve been walking on thin ice, about to break down every few minutes or hours in lieu of my father’s death that up until now, I’ve kept blaming all my unhappiness on, and also my breakup with my first boyfriend who has continuously hurt my feelings over and over again.

Just today, I was hurt by him, once again.

But it made me realise something.

This is the last straw. This was the moment that killed and destroyed every ounce of feelings and love I had for this guy because of how many times he had knocked me down, pushed me away and mercilessly rejected my love. He is in no position to return my affections but he is also in no position to treat me as such in cruel, insensitive ways.

I sat against the wall on the floor in my house crying for a whole hour after getting off the phone with him. My ex-boyfriend, my love who I cherished no matter how short our relationship, and he hurt me once again.

It only lasted a whole hour and that was the most that I was going to give him.

Now, I sit on my bed with much resolve.

I listed down on Word of the things I needed to do to get my shit together. The only few reasons why it was hard for me to find love, and why it was hard for my ex-boyfriend to love me was because I had nothing. I had nothing and I needed to get my shit together in order to become this proper woman who has her life together.

My list starts with finishing up assignments at university. They have been long overdue for months. It’s about time I stopped procrastinating and finished them up because I know that they’re not difficult work. They just require more thinking than usual which I absolutely despise.

It’s time to change that.

I am also an aspiring novelist and author. Next down in my list is to finish editing my fully-written novel. Unedited, I needed to have it planned out perfectly, plot lines as well as character development before sending it to a literary agent. My dream is to see my book on every major bookstore shelf, and editing it is the beginning to my dream.

I know what needs to be done but I’m not doing them because I feel like they’re too much and too overwhelming but when I say it out loud, it’s easier than it sounds.

Getting my shit together means that I am becoming a woman who knows what she wants and what she has. It means that I’m finally understanding adulthood in ways that I’ve never understood before. Taking responsibilities and understanding how this world works.

Childish mentalities should no longer be tolerated by myself if I need to get my shit together.

In no way of judging people of these mentalities, I have come up with several pieces of advice for myself to follow, and for others to read and relate.

  • Always, always form connections and acquaintances wherever possible. They may not be your friend, but they will help you in the long run. Others abide by “quality over quantity” but when you pick the right people, you will have quality and quantity alongside with benefit.
  • Don’t let social media dictate your social life. If by all means, a person is toxic on social media, block them or unfollow them. I have done this to many of my friends whom I am still friends with in real life because of their content that I immensely dislike. Social media should not cloud your friendships in person.
  • Don’t let social media dictate your relationships. If a future partner or significant other is jealous over a picture of your ex-partner that you still have on your profile, drop them immediately. In my opinion, exes are memories made and at some point in my relationship, I was happy. I’m not going to delete happy memories off of Instagram just because we are no longer together. Instagram is my memory book and it will stay on there as a memory.
  • Work should not be only a job. I know many people who lead lives working a job with the mentality of “I come to work to do my job and then leave. It’s nothing more than that.” I find this to be a childish mentality because work should not only be a job but a career, otherwise you are leading a miserable life. Even if you are only working a temporary job to sustain a living, you should be doing something that you immensely enjoy, or at least form friendships with co-workers who will respect you in the workplace. It will also give you good graces and opinions should your future job need referrals.

Getting your life together seems like a difficult task. But when you list everything down on paper or computer, it seems small and it seems like you’ve been overthinking it your entire life. Always start with the small things and venture out bigger. Secure a financial future, secure a job, start a family at a right time. Fall in love with the right people.

Don’t take anymore bullshit than you need to.

What you need to do is invest time in yourself. First, take a breather. Relax. Go to the most relaxing cafe and have some coffee to wind down. Do it for maybe two to three days. Go to the gym and let loose.

And then, do what you hate most and finish it.

It’ll feel like you’ve conquered half the world.

When you’ve done what you needed to, go to the second thing on your list. One by one, maximise your concentration.

It’ll work out.

taking control of my life

I realised many things the day my father died.

One, I lost everything and two, my life was going to spiral out of control.

Both of which are true, and both of which made me fall into this pit of potential depression. I admit one thing; I had thought about death many times since then. And I always asked myself what would happen if I was gone, because we rarely imagine how life would be without us.

Would it be better or for the worse?

I digress.

I lost control of many things in my life the day my father died. I lost control of my emotions as I sit on the bathroom floor pleading for help in silence. I lost control of the way I acted around people, from being the person who always told the truth to everyone no matter how harsh, to being the person who accepted things and remained patient no matter how cruel the world was.

Many times, I find myself staring at nothing, wondering how all this came to be. I see nothing in the future that is worth living for anymore, and I think about giving up on my family several times as well. But I know I cannot, because they depend a lot on me for many things.

At twenty years old, I’m made to make calls to insurance companies, handle simple visa matters for relatives, made to deal with much and it suffocates me. I admit this much, and I know this much. I know that it stresses me out to the point that I’m tired of life now.

I feel like my life is spiraling out of control, and fast.

I fell in love, and as quickly as I did, he was quick to say he didn’t return my affections.

One of the reasons he admitted to, I can’t love someone who doesn’t love herself.

And it’s true, I don’t. I hate the person I’ve become in the short months since my father’s death but I refuse to keep blaming his death for everything that’s happened in my life. I refuse to let it be the reason that I’m failing.

I’ve always wanted to do many things, and I’ve never gotten around to it even before he died. I cannot be blaming him for things that I couldn’t do before and now. I cannot keep blaming him for the rest of my life. He is at rest, and he deserves the peace.

I’m taking back the control in my life. Even when times feel like I’m losing control, I need friends to remind me that I’m in control and it’s my life. I have perfect control over everything. I just need to start somewhere.

For me, I shouldn’t start with the people around me. I don’t have to make them happy or put them first.

For me, I need to start with myself and put myself first. I need to try and be a better person not for others, but for myself.

I’ve always been self-conscious of my appearance, weight and other small things and it’s time I took care of it.

I started coming up with a skincare routine; washing my face twice a day with facial, face masks once a day everyday, night cream and day cream. All of it essential to getting good skin.

My diet has always been a problem. Fast food and instant noodles are part of my daily diet, and that needs to change. I drink soda and soft drinks more than I do water, and it’s affecting my health that I can feel it.

Taking back control of your life doesn’t always mean getting your shit together straight away like in the movies. It means to improve that version of yourself to become something better, and to keep improving until you’re someone that you’re happy with. It means that you’re doing something with what you have instead of letting them crumble down to waste. It means amidst the support of family and friends, you’re heeding the advice that you’re given and accepting that help is essential in this part of your life.

I do not have depression. I know that I don’t, but sometimes, I feel like I go through this depression stage that makes it hard to explain.

But I want to take it away, to improve and take back control of my life that spiraled out of control so quickly.

I miss my life seven months ago when my father was still alive. Seven months without him felt like seven years. I cried daily for the first four, and in the last three, I met someone whom I fell in love with, who pulled me out of depression. He did not cure my depression, but he helped me understand that there is more to life than just sadness and darkness.

Granted, he sometimes contributes to my depression stage, he tries to help in small ways. He thinks that I don’t appreciate them but I do. I appreciate them, and it makes it hard to not love even more but that’s how I deal with unrequited love. I don’t try to appreciate something that isn’t meant to be as such.

Never be afraid to ask for help. Never be afraid to speak out to someone you know would listen. Never fail to understand that you don’t always have to confide in best friends. Never forget that strangers are better listeners than friends. Never forget that you are not alone.

It starts with yourself and how you look at life.

I’m taking back control of my life by starting to improve myself in ways that I never had before. Take care of yourself and you start to realise that difference it makes, the confidence it adds, the esteem that you needed.

What other people think or want doesn’t matter because it doesn’t help you. Let them help you help yourself, and that’s the furthest that they can go to help you.

For me, everything starts with what I want.