Thursday, May 18, 2017

To Remember

Dear self,

It is 18th May 2017, you just looked at your notes and wondered how on Earth you're doing a subject that your batchmate (of October 2012) did exactly 3 years ago. You're wondering what went wrong, how you could have tried harder and how you would've graduated 2 years ago easily if you were fundamentally different 3-4 years ago.

You worry yourself about graduating at 24/25/26 because of your job prospects, how prospective employers could look at your resume or transcript and immediately reject you because of some misplaced subtle gerantophobia. You are worried of how society would perceive you — your parents, your siblings, your friends, friends of friends, random people you just met at a 2am yumcha session. You are so caught up in thinking about how they might look at you and think "How is she still studying? Why hasn't she graduated yet? How hard can that course be anyway?".You fail to realize that more often than not, people don't fucking care.

The cold, brutal truth is that you don't cross their minds often enough to even warrant a question about when you're gonna graduate.

You've seen friends — coursemates, even — who have graduated at 25. One friend of yours graduated at 28 because he realized he hated his med degree, so he went back and got a degree in software engineering. He could have continued being a doctor but nonetheless, he rejected the notion, went back and essentially kickstarted his undergrad studies in a totally different major. Did he care? No. He did what made him happy, what he thought was right for his future.

So why do you worry? In the end, you're doing good by pursuing your studies, especially since you have combined both passion and rationality. I say rationality because at least with a degree in applied maths, you wouldn't be confined to one single field in your career. The options are exhaustive. You're not wasting your mental capacity by doing this, you're not wasting your time or effort. One day, this is all going to pay off. In the grand scheme of things, everything will fall into place in due time and you are going to look back and wonder why you wasted your time worrying anyway.

We know what we went through. We know about those nights spent crying because we couldn't cope with crippling loneliness. We know about those psychotic breaks, the suicide attempts, the horrible scars on the left arm, the inability to focus or retain information, the blanking out, the inability to speak, the horrible tremors. But those days are far and few between now. Sure, sometimes you get anxiety attacks now and then but that doesn't offset the amount of progress you've made anyhow. You've come a long way, You went from Cs and failing to As and Bs. You deserve to be proud of your progress. You also deserve to be forgiving about the times you do not measure up.

So don't be hindered by this small thing. 22 or 24 or 26, what the hell does it matter? You're still going to graduate and you're gonna be done. If you end up extending another few semesters, accept it and work harder. There's no shame in extending, there's no shame in graduating late. There's only shame and unending dissatisfaction if you keep measuring yourself by another person's metrics. Isn't it painfully obvious that we are programmed differently? It's equivalent to measuring yourself in pounds and then complaining that you're not lighter by kilogram standards. It is so ridiculously stupid to be making comparisons. While I agree that not all comparisons are necessarily bad, what you're doing is just self-destructive and counter-productive in the end. You just end up sad and devastated. So why do you do this? Why do you insist on this weird academic self-flagellation hahaha

You are going to be stronger in the long run, y'know. Perhaps you don't find yourself smarter or stronger now, but you will be someday. Every single moment, every small breakthrough, every heartbreak, every painful experience and heartbreaking realization is going to be added layer by layer to reinforce your knowledge about everything. And even when you think you've reached a point where you've exhausted that capacity, it's still going to grow. The sky is the limit.

So please, forget this self-pitying shtick of yours. Stop overwhelming yourself with this ungodly concoction of anger and hate and sadness. You make it seem like every rare mistake is like a regression in 200 steps but the truth is that it simply isn't. You give advice to random Redditors about the normalcy of making mistakes and how progress isn't a positively monotonic curve and yet here you are judging yourself with every panic attack, immediately labeling yourself as a failure. You're just not. It just isn't true.

Give yourself a break when you need to. Rest. Smile more. For god's sake, love your damn self.

Warmest regards with a sprinkle of ass-kicking,

Saturday, March 4, 2017

16 days

A few weeks ago, you were sick with what everyone thought was measles. I had a few tests and a proposal due the next week but I visited you anyway. Because even though you were surrounded by your husband, your kids and your doting babysitter. I went over anyway because you were sad that mum and dad didn't come to visit. I brought you food, forwent my books, stayed over despite the fucking risk of a highly contagious virus. Because I love you, and you're the only sibling I have alive now and honestly, if you didn't at least have me to visit, then what's the point of being family?

But the fact that the roles are switched now and you've just been ignoring my calls and texts is hurtful. Unlike you, I don't have anyone close to me over here. He doesn't stay here nor does he come around anymore. I'm not in the priority list for well, anyone except mum and dad. But to expect them to drop everything to come take care of me is misguided. It's just a fever, after all. As for him, well that's just another matter I'm too exhausted to discuss.

So I'll get over it. I'll get better because in the end, I'm all I have. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll stop loving everyone close to me, to even remotely suggest that is mean and depressing.

I don't go out much, not that I actually can because there's always something to be done. And traveling itself takes up too much time. It's been exactly 16 days since I went out to the mall, and that was only to buy groceries. My days are basically "Wake up - campus - come back - sleep - repeat cycle" now and at the very least, Alyson is always nice enough to talk to me. But she's pretty held up with stuff too, and that's okay. I don't expect her to drop everything to see me, of course. But I know that she would if I only asked.

You, on the other hand, are thoroughly ungrateful and mean.

And you, well I'm not surprised I basically don't exist if I'm even so much as 20 feet away from you.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

In a Picture

This is how I feel sometimes. The feeling isn't always there but when it is, it gnaws. Oh, what a hurtful gnawing.

Friday, November 18, 2016


I've been called ugly a lot in the past few years.

And even if it wasn't a flat out "She's hideous", it was always something along the lines of  "Were you drunk when you get together?" or "Is she like 500 times prettier than her profile picture?"

The people who do this are usually Aaron's friends and heck, maybe others whom I don't know. I know they do it because I'm an emotional masochist that pesters him for validation from his friends, positively thinking that they wouldn't be so off-put by the idea of their friend dating a lower-than-average Indian girl.

But I'm wrong a lot and consequently, my self-esteem takes a Hurricane Katrina-sized hit.

I try not to let it get to me because on the grand scale of things, looks aren't something I can change drastically (unless we're talking South Korean plastic surgery levels but I'm also fiscally challenged for that) and I can confidently say that I'm not the sum of the fairness of my skin or the sharpness of my nose. It's just not worth being bogged down by something as trivial as this and I try to focus on my actions instead (although most of the time, I fail at that too)

However, this week has been quite rough in terms of my feelings towards how I look.

It started on Monday morning when I was dressing up and I realized the scars on my face have gotten darker. Mind you, they're fixed drug eruptions caused by a drug allergy, so my left eyebrow and area under my mouth have these hyperpigmented circular lesions. I loathe how I look with them and try as I may, getting rid of them with an arsenal of expensive beauty products and herbal remedies is nigh impossible. I've been trying for 10 months and I fucking cannot.

Self-esteem nett loss = -5

On Wednesday, I went out with a friend from my Dino Media (ew) days and we were talking about another friend. She gets interesting projects and a lot of it is due to her amazing networking skills, then he added "It also helps that she looks like that" and that got me agreeing. Because looks do matter, and she's an impossibly beautiful person. At that point, I didn't feel envious of her but rather angry at my own circumstances. Because I was already on the lower end of the aesthetic spectrum and then suddenly I became allergic and suddenly I have these awful scars and from the lower end of the spectrum, I got bumped even lower.

It just didn't seem fair.

Self-esteem nett loss = -15

Then, there's also the pretty girl in Aaron's office and yes, yes I know that I shouldn't care but that got me thinking, I'm not remotely Aaron's type.

I mean sure, we like the same type of music and movies but notwithstanding all that, I'm simply not his type: Tall, cute, fair Chinese girls.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say I'm the complete opposite of that: Short Indian with the cuteness level of Harambe (RIP)

Self-esteem nett loss = Enough to warrant a post in my decrepit blog 

To be quite frank, I don't know why we're still together, sometimes. At a certain point, it just feels like we're being forced by the length of time we have actually been together. It's not that I do not feel love for him, I just genuinely think he deserves better. I do feel my insecurities play a huge part in this, but what if my relationship is what's playing a bigger role in my insecurities? If I were single, I know for a fact I would still feel insecure, but what if I feel a little less?

Self-hate can be a very terrible thing. But to be beautiful and hate yourself, maybe that's not so bad, eh?

I wish no one has to feel this way but I know that I'm not the first person to feel like this nor will I be the last.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I don't

I find sitting on my couch, binge-watching TV shows to be a form of catharsis for me. There's something pleasant about purging all your thoughts and zoning out to characters in a box, giving you a sense of superiority in sneering at the stupid decisions they make. Of course, this comes with happy ignorance that those characters are modeled after real people who also make terrible, self-destructive decisions. Like me. Maybe even you.

Lately though, I haven't been able to 'zone out' as much as I want. You could chalk it up to having a full load of subjects, rinsing and repeating between studying for tests and studying for finals. But I don't think that's it. It's rather that I've reached a point of diminishing returns on how cathartic TV shows are for me. Now, I just see myself in every broken character, every stupid decision and the result is that I'm utterly consumed with so much self-loathing, it's exhausting.

Not being dramatic, really. I just don't really know how to deal with "being okay" and still having the unwanted residue of depression hanging over me every single second. I don't remember what it feels like to look in the mirror and say "Hey, you're gonna do well!" anymore. I don't remember when it was the last time I bothered to look good for myself, let alone anyone else. I couldn't care less at this point because why not? Why does it matter? This hole inside me is filled with a viscous, toxic hate that's chewing at every strand, every fibre of my being and it just seems like it won't stop until I'm pushed off the edge completely.

Now, I don't know if I will actually Jump Off The Edge, it's not that I don't want to sometimes. I think it's more that I don't even love myself enough to give myself that break. If caught in a burning room and open window 16 floors above the ground, I would make my bed (on fire, no less) and lie on it. It's not apathy, it's that I will go all out to commit to this whole self-loathing bit.

It's so strange that even with all the exercising and meditating and general healthy lifestyle, I still feel like this. It's worse than feeling empty because you know you're okay, you know you're doing better now but you also know that this is it. This is the ceiling on the "How "okay" are you?" scale. I cannot do better than this and that's both terrifying and depressing. I want to be better, a better person to people around me, a better person to myself but it's akin to finding corners in a circle.

And with that amount of self-loathing, it's hard to see the people who surround me now being there in the future. Even now, I feel like this negativity and poison that I bring are only driving the ones who care about me further away. I don't blame them, really. I'm like an attention-craving puppy that always needs to hear "You're a good girl, yes you are!" in order to function. Despite numerous pep talks and happy wishes, I'm still the person so consumed by my past failures and unwilling to let go. I still fear that no one wants to be around this failure. This broken, fucked-up individual. I know that they care, but I also know that they can't be coming to put out fires I've gotten myself into again and again.

I suppose I know what it means to have everyone loving you but nobody liking you. Not even yourself.