Wow *blows dust*. It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. A lot has happened since then. Not gonna go into details but just some highlights, yes?
365 days ago, right around this time, I was at the restaurant below my apartment, having dinner for the first time with my now boyfriend, Michael Grudziecki. It was one of those perfect night where the wine was flowing and conversations went on for hours. I didn’t want the night to end so I invited him to my home and we ended up talking until it was very, very late. He left the next morning to catch a flight to Thailand. I was sad because I thought that was it, it has to end there, no? But I found myself packing a suitcase 4 days later to meet him in Bangkok and it was lovely. We parted ways at the airport and promised to keep in touch. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it. Speaking from experience, that is just what men say to be polite. I expected nothing. But somehow, things are different with this man. We had our very first FaceTime the next day. And we started sending emails which now evolved to love letters. We have datenight on Fridays – where we actually dress up and meet via FaceTime. I traveled to Munich and we went on a road trip to Marianske Laszne, Prague, Wroclaw and Berlin. I met his family and I hope they like me. 5 months later, he came to Malaysia and we traveled to Malacca, Penang, Vietnam and Hong Kong. He met my family and they love him. My mother now refers to him as “my son”. Now, I’d love to sit here and blab on about how my perfect relationship with my perfect boyfriend is in my perfect life. I’ve seen many girls raise their boyfriends to Disney prince level. We are sold such picture perfect representation, which isn’t reality and it creates a haze. I find love hard. But that sentiment is typically fueled often by my menstrual cycle, a monthly phase in my life where all men are toxic. Ridiculous, I know. But I am a woman and while we are so many wonderful things, we are all surely ridiculous. It makes us far more interesting than men, but it it also is never a smooth ride. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing negative to say about Michael, quite the contrary, he is a remarkable man and one I am honoured to call my boyfriend. But we have had our problems. Just last week, we argued about a lamp and things got weird for two days. So to sit here and write about how we made it to month 12, feels like a triumph in one way or another. Anyways, so yes the road of love can be tumultuous, for me at least. I might be hard to love. I might make love too hard. I don’t know. But I will say this, this is what I’ve learned this year: he is he and you are you. I simply decided to let the expectations, the plans and the infinite what ifs to unravel and instead to love with ease. Life is manic but love should be calm.
To Michael: Happy 1 Year! Let’s try making it to 20. I love you!
There really isn’t anything more enticing to me than love. We as women, especially, seem to relish this topic, over coffee or 2 glasses of wine. If you are in love, know that it is a good thing – it is probably the best thing that can happen to anyone. Just be careful not to let anyone make it light or small for you. I’ve learned that there are two kinds of love. First would be the arrogant, mean and egotistical that uses love for self-importance. The ugly and debilitating kind. I’ve dragged myself through toxic relationships many times before. And the second would be a flood of everything good – kindness and compassion and consideration and respect. The recognition of the other person as valuable and great. It will release in you strength and courage and goodness that you never knew you had. Love – if you have it, be grateful for all the glory that comes with it. If you love someone, there is really no harm in saying so. Sometimes, what you feel the other person might not for some reason or another but always, always remember that it does not make your feeling less valuable or good. I know your feeling because I have it too and I am really happy you have it. Don’t ever worry about losing because nothing good gets away. I read this somewhere and I held and highlight it high. Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
As a 33-year-old. I still don’t know much, but what I’m about to tell you, these simple things, these I know to be true. Not because someone told me, not from a book I read, but life forced them on me. Some were liberating, others are painful to learn, but most of all, I am happy to discover these personal truths that I can call my own and share with you.
You only have yourself in this world. Your family, friends are your trampoline to bounce you up, but you have to use your own power to get back from whatever or whoever made you fall. Wine doesn’t work, dwelling makes things worse and being angry is a wasted emotion amongst all the beautiful feelings that you can feel.
Being nice is a good thing. But be careful to not let ungrateful people stab you in the back, the feeling is horrible, especially if it involves someone you love. They have their own sick ways to make you feel so fucking guilty and you will get sucked into the same game, the same vicious cycle EVERY SINGLE TIME. This is a lesson that I had to learn over and over for as long as I can remember. There are always people who will take you for granted. But remember, it is your right, your decision to be in control of your space, time and energy. Your happiness should be your first priority. You owe them nothing! In fact, they can banish to whatever sad abyss that compelled them to wrong you in the first place.
Most men are a waste of time. They are mean or controlling or lying or just lousy in a way you can’t quite define, but can feel in your uncertain dissatisfaction with them. But then, there are good ones – they are few and far between. You will only come across one or two in your lifetime, but they will be shockingly and perfectly great. You will finally have faith in something your married friends have bored you with for the longest time. I might have found one and I might just marry him.
Great friends are hard to come by. They will tell you when your mascara runs or when you have lipstick on your teeth. They are the ones who will call you from time to time instead of just texting. They will greatly despise all the men that mistreated you and defend you until their voice are hoarse. They will turn up on your doorstep unannounced. Turn their couch into a bed for you. You might not talk or meet for months, but when you do, it’s as if time had not passed at all. They will ask for favours the same casual way they’d ask their family. They will get really mad at you but will also forgive you. They will be the most important people you know in your life and I am lucky enough to have friends like this.
It’s been raining the whole day and I just clicked the ‘x’ on my work email tab commemorating that I am done with work for the day. I have Ennio Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso score playing on my speaker and I feel a tiny comfort sweep into my little space. It’s been a series of great days that culminate in a month I tied up into a box of memories to add up to my ever expanding collection. You see, I have always envisioned the various chapters of my life as lives in themselves, simply because when I look back, the spectrum of colour seems so much different to where I am right now. I am fiercely nostalgic to a point where I’m afraid this could be just an over-sentimentalization, but then again… I see my life as a story and no good story is ever boring. As you already know, back in November, I flew to Bangkok to meet a man and ended up falling in love. Last month, I traveled 9,682 kilometres to Eastern Europe to be with him for a whole month. At first, I was afraid that he would get exasperated after a while because, let’s face it – I am insane – and that I would end up on the street should we decide after a few days that we are not well suited. But that didn’t happen. If it’s anything, I fell even more in love with him. I felt so, so loved. We went on a road trip. We had so much fun. So here we are, in month 4 of 12 and I’m looking ahead, hoping that the love I feel doesn’t abandon, fail, betray or trick me as the days go by. Now, I’m not a fan of sugar-coating stories, we’ve had our disagreements and there are a few accounts that I’ve replied his texts with one-word answers. It’s terrible. I tend to forget that now, the things I do can affect not one, but two. And vice-versa. I’m learning how to be a good girlfriend, perhaps I never knew or I forgot. But I don’t really think about it too much because a pressure like that could break a relationship all in itself. I would like to believe that Michael loves me enough to look pass my fluctuating moods and melancholic episodes. For now, my craziness and his patience coalesce well enough for him to call me every night and for me to text him I love yous, I miss yous about 20,000 times a day. For now, I don’t need to think about forever. Knowing that we had yesterday, we have today and tomorrow is ours too, that’s all I need to feel happy and okay.
Oh, I wish we could hang out together – I would love to have you over for breakfast. I make a mean French Toast with blueberry & crushed ginger snaps and drizzled with agave sugar. You can help me with coffee – I like mine black with half a teaspoon of sugar, thank you. We’ll talk about what juice to have later. I’ll suggest carrot & ginger. You want orange. I will mix all three just to be fair. We’ll sit on my bed with the windows wide open while listening to Spotify. I’ll tell you about the boy I’m in love with and how he has no clue. You’ll tell me about cute things your boyfriend did for you. I’ll feel happy for you, but sad for me. For a split second I’ll feel alone, but not lonely. We’ll continue to talk about nothing that is everything and everything that is nothing. The sun will start to set and the sky turns gold. You’ll sit cross-legged at the corner of my bed while I agonise over my makeup and I’ll curse when I smear mascara on my cheek (because let’s face it, I’m a disaster!). You will assure me that I look amazing and that my outfit is the perfect combination of provocative and playful. We’d go out without a plan. One thing we’re sure of is we need some wine. There might be a bar, or a few bars. We might also share a plate of truffle fries, there might be handsome men, or there might not be. There might be taxis across town and back again. There could be nothing, or everything. But anything at all is fine with us – because it’s the weekend and we have each other and the promise of a night together that we will laugh about tomorrow.
Here are some thoughts I found in the sun, here are some thoughts I want you to read and here are some thoughts I want you to know; love yourself. There is nothing wrong with self-love. There will come a day when you need to make definitive decisions for your future where you need to place yourself first. There is no way you can give to others if you’re not whole. I wish I could tell myself this when I was younger – that I need to love myself enough to walk away from people that weren’t making me better. There are a lot of people in this world who can make you feel inadequate, who will go to great length just to make you feel so fucking small. My ex used say to me when we fight, “I would really like to see how your life turns out one day when I leave you.” I have to say, it hurts a lot. In his mind, he upgraded me and that by being with me he’s actually doing me a favour. Eventually, we broke up. Yes, it was painful. Yes, I cried myself to sleep for months. Yes, I wallowed in melancholy dirge for half a year. And then, I decided I’ve had enough. I took time to focus on the relationship with myself. I paid attention to my needs. And it’s been great. You need to understand that after love, life does not stop. Life keeps going and it’s really up to us to create the story we want to live. But always remember to love yourself first. Protect yourself, protect your heart. People owe us nothing: they can just walk into our lives, make us feel hopeful and loved, then disappear without any explanation or apology. And for us girls, we often get carried away too soon. And it’s always a mess. But you shouldn’t regret anything. You should remember all of it. You should remember all the time you wasted in your room or someone else’s room. You should remember the people you tried to love and those who tried to love you. Then I want you to remember the moment you developed an understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t. I want you to remember being comfortable with yourself and not feel the need to apologise for every goddamn thing. I want you to always, always remember the very first time you decided not to put your entire being into someone’s careless hands. Because remembering and realising that you will always have you, that’s pretty fucking great.
I’m aware of being alone.
I’m not scared. Not anxious. Not unhappy. I’m actually enjoying this phase in my life but also excited of who I might meet and what will happen. Am I going to meet him at a cafe? Or when I travel? Or from online-dating sites? How will it happen when it happens? I let myself bask in these ridiculous imagination sometime. It’s fun and I’ll smile.
I’ve had my heart really, really shattered only once. It hit me suddenly one morning and I carried around the ache in my heart for 6 months. I lost a lot of weight. I locked myself in my room and binge watch something inane on Netflix for hours. I refuse to meet up with friends. Went on a drinking rampage alone only to regret it immediately.
6 months and I’ve had enough. I’m not this person. I could be a lot of things but I’m not weak.
There have been boys since. Awkward, failed first dates that still makes me laugh. Men I enjoyed for a few months, weeks, days and also those that I would love to have known better. It’s a collection of experience.
Often, I wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Well, I’m not the easiest lady to date. A submissive one, I am most definitely not, darling. I’m opinionated. I don’t dim my voice when I have something to say. I have a temper that can be borderline satanic. I’m moody, prone to melancholic behaviour which I don’t even realise and most of all, I often enjoy (but not always) being a loner.
I’m not in a hurry. I’m not on quest to snag a husband. My heart is not in a mad rush to dive into someone else’s life. I just want someone who can meet me in the middle. A relationship where our lives meet, but does not become one. No, not yet. At the age of 32, where most of my close friends are already married and having their 3rd child, or are living with boyfriends, friends who have been with the same partner for a long, long time. I’m not ready for all that.
Right now, I’d like to find someone who held those promises to me.