to my future boyfriend*

*obviously, you might not exist rendering this post moot.

To my future boyfriend,

a part of me feels sorry you got stuck with me. You’d probably know by now that I can be slightly erratic and terribly emotional at times, I’m sorry, I hope my mood swings and sharp tongue dulls over time but I never make promises I can’t keep. At this point, I obviously know nothing about you but I do hope that you espouse the qualities in a man that reflect God’s love to the people around you and to me. I don’t have a long check list of characteristics I want you to have because I know what draws me to someone isn’t how many boxes they tick, but rather how the person makes me feel and our ability to understand each other without having to continuously and painfully articulate each feeling we experience.

I love God though sometimes my actions reflect otherwise. I’ve changed so much from what I was before and I do like how I am now. I’m slightly more liberal with my thoughts and actions, but the values I hold still stay firmly rooted in what Jesus has done on the cross for me. I love Jesus and you have to love Jesus too. How that manifests itself, I really don’t know. But I do hope that our relationship first and foremost be one that is established deeply in what Christ has done. For without Christ, our relationship will fail.

I don’t wish you to complete me nor fill any holes in my heart I believe are missing because I truly believe that this is a whole lot of crap. With that, I hope we will be able to hold on to ourselves as we walk through this relationship together. You might not love the things I love and that’s alright. I probably will not be interested in any video/computer game you are obsessed with, don’t hate me. Obviously, being in a relationship means sharing our lives and allowing our worlds to collide in the most dramatically beautiful way possible, but that doesn’t mean we need to be sewn together. I want you to have the freedom to be yourself, to go out with the boys and then come home to me with the biggest smile on your face. In the past, I was never able to do this, but with time, I’ve learnt much about independence and have not just appreciated it but started to want it for myself too.

One of the things I’ve been told is that I love to go on and on about how great my friends are. I talk at length about how they have dragged me through my exams and put up with so much of my crap with nothing in return. I do sincerely hope you love them just as much as I do. I cannot imagine a scenario where I come out alive without them, they mean the absolute world to me, please do not ever make me choose between our relationship and them. And just as I love my friends, I hope to love your friends as just much. These are the people you choose to keep around you and though you might not be cognisant of it, they shape you and are partly responsible for you being the way you are. I’m dating you and therefore want to get to know the people who are a part of making you you. I might be extraordinarily shy at first, but that’s because I’m probably incredibly afraid that they might hate me, but I promise, if you love them, I will too.

Families can bring the largest amounts of happiness into one’s lives but also an enormous load of grief. I know this well. Whether we are serious enough to make it to meeting each other’s families will remain unsaid but I hope that if we do, it would be just a gush about how our parents did a great job in bringing either of us up. I hope your mother likes me. I hope my father likes you.

We came together into this relationship has individuals and as such, we both have our own hopes and dreams. We don’t need to have the same dream but it would be incredibly hard to move forward together if our steps cause us to walk to separate directions. Do we give up our dreams for the other? I hope not, because all I can see is resentment following. But, you are not my husband and as such we can be independent in some ways. Does this mean we will be doomed? I’m not sure.

You probably will know that I have been hurt deeply before and bear the scars across my heart to show for it. As I wear my heart of my sleeve, if you have gotten this far, I’m probably enamoured with you, fully exposing a heart that isn’t fully perfect. As much as I would like to ask of you not to break it, promises have not been made, vows not taken and therefore you can break my heart and I yours. If we aren’t meant to be together as fearful as I am of going through another breakup, I hope that we do part ways, sooner rather than later. Though there will be yet another scar, I would rather this than a painful marriage.

But, if God wills it, we do stay together and love each other enough to want to be married, I’ll need to write another letter ;).

writing

Writing apparently relieves the stress and tension burdening us and therefore makes the writer healthier due to lowered cortisol levels (according to this article). So this is me, relieving my stress.

After two years of a devastating breakup, I’ve found myself in a big funk. I was surviving, breathing and getting better, but none of it felt that I was really actually living. These two years have been so focused on getting back on track that I have found myself completely so on track that I started to feel stuck. I got myself so focused on one goal that I lost myself in that. I traded what I truly valued for less important things. Because of this, I found my angst growing and with a little help decided to break out of the continuous cycle, that is, my life.

It’s been truly terrifying stepping out of the safety that I’ve known. And to be honest, as much as I want to tell you that it’s been absolutely great, I know it’s been almost soul crushing and completely stressful. In the movies, instant gratification is always waiting for the person who decides to do something out of character. The main character steps out of his/her comfort zone and bam! amazing things happen. That’s not really what has happened for me. It’s been so incredibly hard. I went through such low periods of self doubt, of going back and forth, feeling so incredibly low that bad habits from the past start to show their ugly heads. Stepping out is so hard and I really find it difficult to see how this is a positive experience because all that’s happened have been negative. I want so badly to quit, to close my eyes and move back in time to a period where I feel satisfied, safe and comfortable.

Hence, as I sit here, feeling so insecure; feeling so completely vulnerable, I write.

Sometimes I feel like I have dug myself a greater hole than when I first started. Sometimes I feel so completely lost, I am not sure how to get back to my path again. But maybe, the whole point of wandering off was to leave the old path and forge a new path? Perhaps, I need to go through the darkness before I find where I’m meant to be. Breaking free is incredibly difficult because it involves letting go and pushing away all that hold us down. But once we get through the struggle, it gets better, I hope?

In animal behaviour lectures, we were told that when we attempt to make the animal stop behaving a certain way, we have to be prepared for the fact that it is going to get a lot tougher before it gets better. The animal isn’t going to like it one bit because he/she is so used to doing things a certain way and expecting certain results. When the results are changed, the animal’s unwanted behaviour will be emphasised because perhaps, the humans need a little reminding. We have to stay strong and hold on even though, we feel like giving up on the animal.

Maybe, the behaviour wasn’t that bad after all?

We can live with it.

Obviously, the past was so much better than what it is now. Let’s just quit and settle for the bad instead of enduring the worst.

These are the thoughts we have and tempted to give in. But we are meant to stay strong hold on. Ride the storm. It will get better. We need to be consistent, positive and tenacious.

Perhaps, that’s the same with me and stepping outside of my comfort zone and leaving my old path behind. It’s so incredibly difficult. My past bad behaviour has one hundred percent been emphasised. But, I have to stay strong, hold on and ride the storm. Because, one day, it will get better.

dyslexia part one

I’ve talked about this before, but I guess this is so dear to my heart and is somewhat my hobby horse, this is my brain abnormality – dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a brain abnormality which in the simplest terms means a reading disorder despite the subject having a average or above average intelligence. In university, this qualifies me to be enrolled with disabilities services, which then helps me cope with uni work through various provisions. Dyslexia alone is an umbrella term and there are various manifestations of this brain abnormality and not every single dyslexic faces exactly the same difficulty. For example, a friend has trouble spelling and commonly mixes up letters but has no problem reading and understanding what’s been written in a passage. I have absolutely no problem spelling, in fact, I’m pretty good at it. We get tonnes of huge crazy words in vet school such as isosthenuria or haemaglobinaemia (i have a clinical pathology exam on monday, so these are the words that immediately come to mind >.<), and I’m completely comfortable with sounding them out and spelling them. What I cannot do, is extract information out of a sentence/paragraph/chapter/book. I can stare at a page for ages and still have no clue what’s going on. In a tutorial, we were all handed a journal article and had some questions relating to the article we were meant to answer. This was a complete nightmare for me. As everybody scribbled down the answers, I was still stuck on trying to understand what this article was even about. As my peers filled up the pages of questions given to us, I sat, quietly panicking knowing I could only confidently answer 2 questions. 1. Journal title of the article. 2. When was this published.

It’s so difficult sometimes to come to terms with what I have because it has made me feel somewhat inferior to my peers. I can’t read. Let me rephrase that, I can read, but the amount of information I absorb from the text is close to naught. On top of that, my brain skims over details. It feels like somewhat of a disadvantage of have this in a content heavy course such as vet science where a deep detailed understanding of each microorganism or cell is required for a mere pass. I struggle so much with this obviously on an academic level and on a emotional level. Sometimes I feel like I’m set up for failure because vets are meant to think in a certain way and my brain really does not fit that mould.

Yet, in this deep dark hole I feel I am in at times, I know that without my dyslexia, I would not be the person I am today. Part of dealing with this insecurity is claiming it as MY dyslexia, owning it and being proud to have it. It is very apparent that I think differently to heaps of people. There are times when my thoughts and ideas get me really strange looks from my audience. I was listening to a lecture about dyslexics thinking differently and why that is. If I understood this right, our brains are made up of various connections throughout the grey and white matter. These connections can be short and they can be long. The combination of short and long connections make up one’s intellect. A majority of short connections tend to manifest itself as autistic thinking where thoughts are simplified and straight forward (could be wrong). On the other end of the spectrum, a majority of the connections are long are seen in most dyslexics, where thoughts are more abstract, less concrete. Dyslexics see the whole big picture first before actually noticing the various parts contributing to the whole. When I learnt of this, it felt like such a relief, knowing that inability to see things plainly and simply wasn’t really a disadvantage at all but instead opened me up to a realm of possibilities. It’s given me the ability to look at problems and come up with unique and different solutions. It has allowed me to be able to step back, look at the bigger picture and think of what the real problem is. Additionally, one thing I’m just starting to notice is how creative I actually can be. Creative not in the artistic sense, but having ideas which are differ greatly from the norm.

I’ve been watching videos from dyslexic advantage which has encouraged me to look at how positive dyslexia can be. I felt especially thrilled when Dave McComas one of the speakers who is a dyslexic NASA physicist put up a picture of his office. It was basically just a round with heaps of chairs and a huge whiteboard. No books! That pretty much sums up how I study as well, though I have heaps of books laying around still but they just collect dust.

At this point, at over 800 words, I know most dyslexics that attempted to read my entry on dyslexia would at this point have give up reading. I apologise.

I’m pretty sure this is will be an on-going discussion on this blog and would love to hear other people’s experiences. :)

TO BE CONTINUED

self-image

I recently (this year maybe?) started putting more effort into how I look. As much as I can, I try to get at least a thin coat of foundation on my face before I leave the house. Also, I’ve done numerous wardrobe cleanses and gotten rid of clothes that don’t fit, look dangy, I don’t wear anymore or I just plain hate but held on to it for so long because they were exxy. I spent quite a great deal of money on a new haircut – the works, as well. I’m pretty much trying hard to polish myself up from my usual ripped jeans, t-shirt loving self. All of these really have helped me to feel much better about myself and about meeting people. Yet, every single day I look into the mirror and hate everything I see.

It’s odd. Some people have picked it up and yet many many people have not. Sometimes, I get told how pretty I look, I blush and just say thank you and respond quickly with a compliment. One of my friends recently told me that I looked good and then said, but skinny girls always look good. Actually, I get that A LOT and honestly doesn’t really feel like a compliment to me, but hey, I’ll take whatever is out there. I realised that what she said probably came from her own place of insecurity. She recently had a baby and life as a working mum meant there was no time to go to the gym or focus on herself, her priorities were evidently different from my own. Dressing up and spending that extra 15minutes on her face just isn’t something she can afford to do. And that’s okay. At that point in time, all I wanted to do was tell her how each and everyday, I struggle with what’s looking back at me in the mirror. My legs are scarred, my breasts small (a friend grabbed them yesterday and exclaimed how tiny asian breasts were), numerous pimples have found their rightful homes on my forehead, I’m exceedingly short, I have slit eyes. Need I continue?

I’m not going to go on a rant about how the image of western beauty has shaped society to such an extent that the idea of beauty itself seems to come packaged with a pair of deep set blue eyes, blond hair, chiselled chin, a defined nose and carried by a pair of flawless long lean legs that never end. No, I’m honestly and truthfully not saying I blame society for how each and I’m assuming every woman’s insecurity with her appearance. I think it most definitely plays a huge role, but I do believe it ultimately boils down to what the woman wants to see in the mirror. The noise of the outside world can play on and drone on if she lets it and that voice will one day drown her.

Starting with myself, maybe when I stand in front of the mirror every morning, instead of wondering what horrid elves pulled such a horrid joke on my face, I should smile and see the person who values relationships and people above all else. I should look past my tiny eyes and see the girl who is loved by God and see a soul Jesus died to save. I want to look past the fact that I have to tiptoe to get an appropriate height over my sink, I love the fact that though I may be small, I’ve learnt to be brave. Maybe I should look at my pimples and see not the ugly they seem to be but that I’ve gone through a lot. This week alone came with a mountain of challenges and these pimples mark the ones I conquered and the ones I did not. They perhaps could remind of the lessons I have learnt and must learn.

I struggle with feeling good about myself, but today, I will not be drowned out. I hope you do the same.