i fumble as i muse

The little wins in life

Maybe it’s because I simply did not choose happiness. I chose to be right, I chose pride, ego, superficial success, the list goes on. I forgot what life is all about as I chose a million and one things that are beside the point of being happy.

I’m starting to see there is a fine line between long term gratification and unnecessary suffering. 

I have a perfectionistic tendancy. I would ‘prefer’ to have things exactly as what I envisioned, with preference being an understatement and more accurately as an obsession. Trying my best has never been good enough, it feels more like a sad consolation for some failure.

‘Good effort’ feels like an insult. 

It needs to be ‘hey, good work’. Right?

When something goes wrong, I ruminate, replaying it over and over, analysing what I could have done to prevent it. I wonder why hadn’t I been more careful, more thoughtful, more well-prepared. Because if I did, it wouldn’t even have happened in the first place. 

When something goes right, it means I have upheld my own expectations, give myself a small pat on the shoulder and move on to the next item on the list. 

Come said next item with something out of place, I go back to runimate once again, and all the feel good emotions vanishes. 

Turns out I beat myself up more than celebrating the little victories in life. Have I been taking myself and my good efforts for granted? 

So silly, but so real. I know, I know, that it’s only human to make mistakes, it’s part of life. It really does take some conscious effort to remember it. 

This post serves as a reminder, for myself or anyone reading, to stop allowing erroneous mindsets from robbing the hard earned happiness we deserve. 

Speaking of little victories..I have a nerdy one to share. 

Last month I visited the library and borrowed some books. 3 to be exact, 1 crime novel and 2 non-fiction on psychology. 2 weeks later, I found myself in a library again as I had some time to kill while my boyfriend had to attend a short weekend course. Instinctively, I browsed the shelves before anything else. Afterall, the fun part of being in a library is picking which book to read, which alternative reality to dive into. But I caught myself feeling restless while browsing, I knew I should finish what I had previously borrowed before borrowing new ones or else it’s pointless to be busy choosing what to read and not actually reading them. 

Hence I decided to read my existing book while waiting in the library instead of searching. I feel quite proud of myself actually, haha. Because I actually committed to those books that I chose 2 weeks ago, instead caving into the thrill of picking up new ones. 

I ended up finishing that crime novel, great read – Sight Unseen by Iris Johansen. It’s a book series of a girl who was blind since birth. Thanks to a reconstructive surgery, she gained her sight on top of her acute observation sense so she had an interesting way of cracking murder cases. Almost like a female Sherlock Holmes version. That was the third book in the series. 

Today, we went to library as my boyfriend needs to get some work done and I could use the chance to focus on reading. I picked up the fourth book of that blind girl series and another book on human cadaver (my book choices are slightly morbid this time). Did not bite off more than what I can chew! Tempted to borrow so so many more and managed to curb the temptation. I’ve successfully battled that common woe of ‘borrow so many but didn’t finish any’. 

As I mentioned, it’s nerdy, you had been warned. 

Writing about writing

Once I manage to write on something, it sort of kicks start a momentum. I believe writing is not so much about the topic, but how a point is being brought across – just like how communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% of actual works spoken. Which means one topic can permutate into many different forms and that also means there’re actually endless things to talk about because it’s not about what you say rather, how you say it. 

And when I tap into my mind to create a post, by vacating all the buzz from the daily grind and focus on expressing my opinions, I feel that I can take the same posture to create more.

But truth is I haven’t really managed to take that spark and reignite a chain of other topics. I’m constantly hitting a writing block and constantly trying to break the ice. I feel like I am always warming up!

So if anyone starts noticing that I’m always either talking about 1. Writing or 2. Life, or 3. Dealing with emotions, yeahhh, am well aware. I think so too. And that’s because when I do write here on the blue moon, it’s mostly triggered by those reasons above. 

I am trying to shift the focus on lighter and more variated topics. Perhaps on certain trending facebook posts such the meme worthy wedding photos? 

Anywho, I’m mentioning this now partly out of my own frustration, how I don’t have the luxury of time to really commit. Another part in defense that I may be seeming like a one-trick pony..

Working on it. :) Till next time, cheers! 

Notes on my iPhone

This year 2016, I started picking up this practice to actually jot down my thoughts whenever I do get that urge/inspiration/whatever you call it..which I am trying hard to learn not be lazy and ignore them like I usually do. 

I pen down those thoughts which have overcrowded my mind, the type which I have encountered enough to know those kind of thoughts don’t just slide away. 
So, the way I do it is writing everything into this one note, created with the basic yet trusty Notes app on my iPhone where I dedicate add-ons here and there throughout the week. I know it is trusty because every single damn note created, will be backed up on iCloud. The first few notes are dated way back to the beginning of time. No one actually cleans up their notes, come on. Just try it for yourself, scroll all the way down and find a random brain fart dated 2014. 

Apparently this is an important consideration factor for me to decide where to imprint my mind process. God knows I have experimented with many other ways – including the very cute 2016 planner which I shelled out $30 for, which is currently collecting dust. And hence, I embark on my frequent private writing. 

Last year I mentioned my struggle on how to properly organize my memory and this really helps. With most of my carthasis done offline, this is why I havent felt a strong urge to write here (excuses haha) 

Here’s a little snippet of it..

1 Mar 2016

Just got off the phone with Jasmine. Going to let my emotions be. If I’m going through this dark valley, so be it. I’m not going to fight it anymore because it has only been counter productive. 

Wow, 1 Mar. It felt like I was done with that phase long ago. That was a mini turning point for me, I was going through quite an unhappy period. Had some strong emotions regarding my workplace, and as work is, it occupies bulk of your day, your week. So inevitably I was really affected and struggled to calibrate myself. I am okay now but the way to get here, I realized, is not by extinguishing all bad thoughts and emotions. I constantly did it for some time and it only made me sadder. It was ironic as I had lamented aloud that I was sad and became even sadder that I was sad, and on and on. The harder I fought against my emotions be it negative or positive, it actually comes back at harder. And it can be very frustrating when what you are doing is creating an exact opposite of what you want to achieve. 

That night, it was comforting to have her on the phone to encourage me that everything will be okay. Forget about labels like ‘clinical depression’ for now, let the emotions past – days do too, and see how it goes. If things doesn’t become better, we will come back to it. But things did become better. 

I have now accepted that some periods of your life are just going to be less sunny. You might feel crappy for awhile and it’s okay. I don’t need to pressure myself into being happy every single day. 

And I could have easily forgotten the significance of what happened if I didn’t jot that down. 

Actually I also have another note called  ‘Adventures of Esmond and me’..kidding, I simply uncreatively put his name as the title. It’s where I document any emotions which are more than ‘neutral gear’. 

Maybe I could do part 2? Stay tuned. 

2015 takeaway

I think I had a moment of epiphany. So here it is. 

In a blink of an eye, it’s almost the end of Jan 2016. At this point, I am able to conclude some of the things I took away from 2015. 

1. Thou shall not over internalize. 

Bad shit just happens. Good shit just happens too. I know that because, sometimes as much as I try to control things to go smoothly with all my means, something just has to screw up unexpectedly. Likewise how nice events occur unexpectedly, without me even trying (not complaining). I realize I’d been having an over estimated sense of control.  We can control what we can. But sometimes it’s better for one’s sanity by taking a small step back and let life roll out. I am not going to take every damn thing so personally anymore, as everyone knows –  life can be a bitch. 

2. Venting outlets are important

Due to contraint of time and energy, I found myself not being able to express my thoughts and emotions as I normally prefer. For most of last year, work got too busy for me to do what I usually like to do, such as penning down my thoughts or catching up with my support pillars or simply reading a book and sipping tea, etc. Prolonged periods of overworking, and I found myself being burnt out. That’s when I realize that no matter how life busy gets, I still need to find some time to take care of myself – emotionally and mentally. It’s important to find ways for carthasis, even if you have to get creative. 
3. Excuses dont save you

On the note of taking care of myself, further emphasis that nobody is going to do that job for me. Not even excuses. If I am caught in a tough situation with odds stacked up against me, how much can I blame, before I want to do something about it. As legit as the adversities are, am I going to allow myself be consumed by negativities? If I do that, then the obstacles are actually just a convenient excuse. Sometimes I think to myself, I just don’t have enough energy, or I’m not mentally prepared, or it can simply wait. But am I really okay to miss out on what I set out to do due to those reasons? Will I really get started when those reasons have passed and become invalid e.g when I do have enough energy for it? Or is it just procrastination?  Occasionally you get help from people and that’s a blessing in life. Friends who come around and help you feel better, add some perspectives, remind you, to add to the push factor. At the end of the day, only I can decide for myself when and how I want to get to places. 

4. Many things in life are subjective, especially opinions. 

Just take for example how you have a certain impression of someone and one fine day they do something that you don’t quite expect, something that doesnt fit your perceived profile of them. And you simply go, ‘Oh? I see’. Similarly, what the people around me have on me, is simply an impression. I portray what I want people to see. I find myself getting overly concerned about people’s opinions, asking myself if it is weird if I say this, or do that. Am i being out of character? Late last year, I tried shifting focus on what I want to say and do instead. People may be expecting me to behave in a certain manner, but it is certainly liberating to not give a shit to that. Life is too short to care about finicky nonsense. 

5. It’s never too late to start

Better late than never. Less is better than nothing at all. I’m trying not to be afraid to face my mistakes and change my direction. So all these while I might have been doing something incorrectly, followed by being embroiled in self blame- asking why didn’t I think of this earlier, look at the could have beens, yada yada, spiralling downwards. I want to take a step back, and admit to myself that yes, it is a mistake. Thing is, mistakes are a natural part of life. You are always moving forward – if you don’t err, you don’t grow. I am not perfect and will never be, and learning to accept that it is okay. Once I embrace that, it is easier to let down my pride and actually get down to taking the necessary actions for the better. 

2015 hasn’t exactly been easy. But I held on, gritted my teeth and tided through the ups and down. Truly, it is how you handle adversities, not how it affects you.

    Quote from my current favorite TV series

    Well then get your shit together.Get it all together. And put it in a backpack. 

    All your shit. So it’s together. 

    And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere, you know, take it to the shit store and sell it, or put it in a shit museum, I don’t care what you do, you just gotta get it together.

    Get your shit together.


    I just thought

    Those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind. 

    It’s not everytime that we can use a standard measurement to gauge what is right or wrong. But perhaps it is specifically in wholely subjective situations that people exert their personal judgement calls, because there is no absolute right and wrong. 

    Just a thought :) 

    Themselves over you

    More often than not, people consider more of how you will fit in their grand scheme instead of what you are actually saying. Which means, irregardless of what you are saying or even who you are, it doesnt even matter. Generally people will always choose themselves over you, and it is especially evident when they have to choose, in the smallest ways. I can’t deny I’m not like this either. Just human nature I guess. 


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