From Time to Time

Right, where to begin?

I’ve been missing since last October and have not been updating any stories for the longest time ever. Adulthood (i.e. work and commuting between cities) took a toll on me in so many ways, don’t get me st–

Okay, so maybe that is where I can start.

Late 2018 was the busiest time at work, not to mention I finally got one (out of three) of my wisdom teeth pulled out. The procedure itself was not as gruesome as I imagined it would be (I have never been afraid of the drill sound since I was a kid, I was just weird that way), but post-surgery is indeed the most excruciating part: at least four days of swollen gum-slash-cheek, missing out on good meals during the holidays, the “recovery pain”, of course, and unexpectedly, the worst form of gastritis I needed to endure ever all throughout the first week of the new year. To think I have two more to go. Yippee.

But I still will opt that from dealing with people in the workplace as a general rule. I consider myself pretty fortunate because my team is helpful (not much drama that I can’t handle), the boss is nice, and the pay is alright. But some of the external stakeholders, unfortunately, are amongst the worst kind of people I have the absolute displeasure to meet. I constantly feel like I am tiptoeing between wasteful wrath and erratic anxiety inside, while I have to maintain a calm tone and a slight smile in meetings both virtually and in person. Honestly, if it’s the thoughts that count, I will be serving a life sentence by now. In a mental asylum.

Speaking of anything that is just as bad as dealing with people, getting personal paperwork done in one’s adult life feels even more like an achievement than I imagined it to be. Where I live, everything is in transition to be online-based but weirdly, it all becomes even more complex than it was before. This year is also gonna be the first time where I’m going to report my taxes by myself, and extend my passport in-country. With no clear information on the procedures publicly reliable enough, I suppose it is no exaggeration to say I am overwhelmed and exhausted.

Going through all of these, I guess I have also become more straightforward in speaking up against any ridiculous behavior or senseless opinions, which makes me look like I’m more prone to being seen as “sensitively passionate about (insert cause here)”. In the aftermath, I get to question if the fight is really worth it or regret how I no longer seem to be choosing my fights as wisely. Even if I do not really engage in these discussions, I found myself to be so frustrated, lamenting “WHY?” loudly in my head that it hurts. Things just seem so unfair, heart-breaking and depressing; almost as if calming down is no longer an option.

Nevertheless, I have become braver in saying things I never dared say out loud.

For instance, this thing about being “old” for turning thirty soon. My peers have been more and more age-conscious, and continuously saying “We’re getting old” in many situations, which can sound rather insulting especially to those turning forty and, of course, my parents’ generation currently struggling with mid-life crises and post-power syndrome. On the other hand, I do feel a certain type of unhealthy, self-pressure just because there will only be three years left before I turn thirty. I recently realized that it is not the concern of why I have not figured things out as “being thirty means being a proper adult” because, d’oh, there is no such thing; everybody’s just doing things on their own pace. Instead, it is this feeling of “I don’t think I have done all the things I wanted to do in my twenties before it’s over”, but I just don’t know what specifically it is I wanted to achieve at thirty or things I particularly wanted to try before thirty.

At this point, I feel like I really should be contained somewhere remote and not be allowed to communicate with society with concerns that my closest circle would probably kill me themselves due to exasperation.

Another one is about birthdays. I don’t like mine (there I said it) because I really do not see why I should be born to this bleak place, or why I should exist even in mind. All of this… living we need to do is just too bothersome. It also reminds me about my late grandfather, whose birthday is close to mine, which just makes me sad because he passed away around the time I finally felt I have an ally who could help untangle the madness that is my family. It doesn’t help that both our birthdays are close to the lunar new year and everyone is in a celebratory mood while I just want to be alone. But thankfully, it has not bothered me as much this past couple of years. Guess one develops some immunity to this; same with all these questions of relationships from the elder relatives.

To be honest, I was just too busy stuffing my face with all the food. One of the best part of the lunar new year (the other being the hongbao monies, of course. And these people are telling me to get married to be obliged to give them out. Ha!).

At the same time, responding to the article about anti-natalism which receives much attention these days, I do not find filing a lawsuit to my parents would solve my unwillingness to live. It is weird to feel a bit relieved and somewhat thankful that I am not the only person who thinks being born is a curse and that I hated that it happened, but even if I did sue my parents for it, I will still be struggling to survive this world anyway. The quickest way not to exist is there, but it is unfortunate that I am too much of a coward to suffer from physical pain. Not to mention my parents also had no choice of deciding they will have me–the person–as their child; they only know they will have a kid. So I don’t think it’s fair to blame it all on them.

With that, I also wanted to say something which I hope can also offer some consolation on why things still–or just–do not make sense in one’s adult life. Shit. Doesn’t. Discriminate, so it is with luck and goodness. Jerks are jerks no matter what gender, race or any belief they hold. Sometimes there is no reason that can explain why things turn out one way and not the other; sometimes it works, while on another it doesn’t, and that’s okay. It sucks and it angers us at the very moment it happens, but we should learn to let them go, especially if it’s something that is out of our control. Things just happen around here and sometimes it is not our fault that it came out a certain way. It’s the same with people. Assholes are assholes and they take all forms and shapes; there is no justification to blame them being assholes to any group they are profiled to belong with. If anything, they be shape-shifters.

As I write this, I feel glad that I can finally post something after so long, despite it turning out to be an unsolicited premature lecture about life in the end. But I suppose this may also be a good reminder for me to try to slot in doing something that I like or will take my mind off of whatever is happening around me, just to prevent me from exploding time bombs like this–keep myself functional enough. Now and again, at least.

Cheers to 2019 and the auspicious year of the pig.

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