“You couldn’t have strength without weakness, you couldn’t have light without dark, you couldn’t have love without loss” 
— Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle)

Have you ever felt sorry for yourself for far too long that another version of you came in your dream, giving yourself life advice? Yeah, that happened to me two days ago. My alternate ‘dream’ self was well equipped, I kid you not, with research, surveys and feedback on reasons I should stop licking my own wounds… and I got a little annoyed on being told what I should do, I decide to wake up.

Nevertheless, it was a good wake up call – quite literally.

Everyone has good and bad days. Over the years, I have learnt to condition my mind to focus on the good more than the bad. There are many good days this year, the highlight is spending more time with family, especially with my brother and my new sister-in-law! It is easy to feel positive and make smart decisions when we are surrounded by good people and good vibes.

But what happens when things don’t go the way we want to?

I don’t think we take enough time for ourselves and embrace our emotions, even the negative ones. When I feel down, I always toggle between two extreme ends; allowing myself to immerse myself in the emotions and feeling guilty to dwell in my problems which seemingly pale in comparison with others. In a world where everyone is racing to reach greater heights, simple living and slowing down seem almost laughable.

A prolonged shoulder discomfort early this year prompted me to visit a physiotherapist, which told me that the pain was caused by my spine is slightly rotated and tilted towards my right ribcage. I was told that I have scoliosis (I had an x-ray in 2013 which highlighted this condition, which I completely forgotten about). Let me tell you, being reminded that you have a physical condition that you can never change, only manage, can mess with your head.  For the longest time, the pain was what I could think about each day when I wake up and before I fall asleep.

It is during the same time that I start to question everything; my actions and my intentions – my character as a whole. I start to doubt the thoughts I believe with absolute certainty. I am a firm believer that we are the consequence of our choices and we have the the power to choose the life we want to have. At the same time I am paralysed, for fear of uncertainty and that my actions may trigger a chain of unfortunate events.

Although I have been increasingly transparent with my life, there are still some things I don’t talk about and let the wave of emotions passed me by like the gentle breeze through the sky. I don’t tell people about the times that I feel my airway closing up, and no matter how many deep breaths I take, it was never quite enough. The throbbing headaches and racing heartbeats make it almost impossible to concentrate on the task at hand. And it was until I constantly focus on the breath and let the feeling slowly fades away.

I don’t tell people that at one point in my life, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, so much that waking up in the morning is just as difficult as falling asleep at night. That I often wondered about the significance of my existence and it wasn’t until my aunt passed ten years ago that I realised how much death affected the living.

Memory triggers can be dangerous. As much as we want to close some chapters of our lives, our present is very much affected by it. I am still learning to be true to myself and be more emotional stable. I hope I will be closer to finding my peace and be able to look at happenings and people objectively and unattached, without any harmful thoughts.

I have not been myself lately. And it really touches me that people notice and pour little act of kindness; asking if I am okay, give head massages, offer a genuine smile and most importantly letting me have my space to heal.

See, as much as I feel detached from the world, I am still, very much, in it.

Today I am 28.

And I am always glad to be alive.

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