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.

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.

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.

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.

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.