Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dreams vs Reality

A blog entry inspired by Joanna's blog post

It's 3.13am, I don't remember being awake at this hour for the best part of 4 months now, and I was mentally drafting a blog entry.

So I re-fired my laptop, and here it is.

The Boy has been so awesome to me.

He knew (from the umpteenth time I've ranted about it) about my life-long struggles with weight and lack of self-esteem and self-confidence, and my self-image issues. I recognise now that a huge amount of my issues came from my weight, but a lot also came from how my family, peers, society and I dealt with it.

I've lost quite a bit of weight a couple years ago, bla blah bla, but since being in England, lost a lot of my food inhibitions and embraced my inner Martha Stewart. Result: Meat grew on my bones. Again. And I tried to deal with this by alternating between controling what I eat and ignoring it.

My aunt recently commented on my weight gain on a photo on my Facebook. The Boy was sufficiently enraged. I wasn't so reactive, I've resigned to having my size, appearance and perceived weight gain and lost being scrutinised by all and sundry. He left a rather assertive comment below my aunt's comment. I showed my mum the offending photo.

Y'know what she said? "But, you have gone bigger these days!"

That's just how it is, isn't it?

Lately I've been fighting with my inner demons and my unwillingness to go home, or even at all near the society I grew up in. I see newly arrived Malaysian students in my neighbourhood and while I might mosey over for a nose, I'll never identify myself.

Joanna wrote about her (and mum's) dream as an 18 year old, and what to expect. To meet a decent Malaysian guy in uni - one who came from a decent, well-off background, to get married at 24, have kids couple of years later, a high-flying career and the standard-issue house, car, kids and pets.

Although my mum has never overtly put the same pressure on me (and in fact, told me to not settle for just any guy and that I should date a bit), for some reason I've put the pressure onto myself. Not with the guy, necessarily, but career-wise. I haven't been successful. At 24 I've got not much to show, and currently I'm not even employed. A disgrace!

And I could take the easy route and go home. But therein lies the problem. Each day I get 'out here', makes me guiltier for leaving my mum at home with my brother. Because she was ill, and because my brother had to be home and therefore not given the same freedom to go anywhere he'd like to go for days at a time. But yet, the environment is so toxic when I'm home.

I'm reminded almost each day what a failure I am as a daughter, a sister, a friend and a person - how selfish I am, how lazy, how inadequate. I've been driven to the brink many times, and the only reason I'm still here is because of the hope of escaping from it. The last time I was home, the thought of being able to fly away sustained me. I felt so guilty about wanting to leave, I cried on the plane. I asked myself if this is the right thing I'm doing. I'm still asking myself that question.

I think it is, for now. But I've learned demons follow a person. Mine are still haunting me, and through it all, The Boy has been an immense strength and support.

I still don't know how the story will be for the two of us, I wonder if I'm settling. Then again, he may be settling for me, too.

At the back of my mind, my dream man is a City worker, dashing, intelligent, intellectual, rich, well-traveled. Someone I can show off. Someone who can give me loads of dispensable cash. But in reality, The Boy isn't any of that...yet.

He is an artist; a laid-back, funny, down-to-earth, stubborn git. He is cute, endearing and surprisingly sensible and perceptive. He is close to his family, and while intelligent, is not an intellect. And we get on really well. For two people with nothing obvious in common, we're good together.

And I love him for being my strength, and for making me laugh, and for listening to my self-absorbed whinging, and for the person he is.

I don't know if there's any more dreams left in me - perhaps one or two. But reality is cold, and something I have to face, and I'm glad to have him with me on this leg of the rat race.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Endings internship that is.

Started yesterday, ended today.

Learned some, gained some and need more. Money, that is.

To the great job search, again.

I'm dejected, in truth...It drains the will of living out of a person, making one feel so insecure and inadequate of one's inabilities. But that's the way it is here, and I chose this path, so I will walk on.

Bruges was great, I will do a good blog post on it very soon, but on the ferry home...the dark waters beneath the ferry looked so inviting. It'd be so easy to just...jump in. While I'm still ahead. But is the situation bad enough? At all? Was I crazy? It is NOT end of the road for me.

So I took a moment to take stock, to look at the bigger picture. Yes, maybe it's time to go. Better now than in a year's time, when I still have not much to show, and not because of what I am incapable of. At least now I take away the most of what I have done; what I could do, but not have the opportunity to...and put it to good use elsewhere. "Free reins" was just an excuse, I'm not a salesperson.

I know what motivates me: That paycheque, the knowledge that what I do meant something, good communication and camaraderie, and that there's a team of supportive, equally enthusiastic workmates alongside me.

Will come back when I'm more cheery. Meanwhile, one gotta plod on.