This is me, unfiltered. Raw and real. Emotions out there. Vulnerable.
For the past week, I’ve been going to bed at 6 in the morning, sometimes 7. Exams are approaching fast and as the countdown continues…I get a little more anxious. Nervous. Fearful. It’s a major exam, one that will differentiate between getting into any one of my dream universities for the course I desire or failing to even be considered.
My mind’s sort of a jumble of thoughts right now so bear with me. I wouldn’t have expected to be where I am today about 2 years ago. The plan was to enjoy the holidays after high school and get into college for A Levels and work my arse off. Instead, I was greeted with a whole different journey ahead of me. Loss of loved ones and grief. Lots of grief and pain to the point where I could not see past it. I couldn’t imagine myself getting back up ever again to pursue the things I like. Heck, I haven’t even been able to bring myself to go to piano classes ever since I lost my aunt simply because the place brought memories I’d tried so hard to keep locked in a box. Even my piano teacher had her name. One time, I broke down in a friend’s car as we drove past that place and I’m not one to full-on cry like that in front of friends. The kind of crying where you can’t complete your sentences, sobbing hard. I’m usually the calm and collected one. The one that tends to be there for the ones she loves. Thank you, Amaliyna, who drove around my house in circles just to give me some time to get things off my chest. I know you’re reading this because you’ve always supported my writing and ambitions. Thank you.
I wouldn’t have even imagined having to put my studies on hold two years ago. I wouldn’t have imagined feeling like I’ve been left behind in this rat’s race. Feeling stuck when I should’ve been going off to university this September. Feeling the humiliation when someone asks me what I’m doing and having to say “Oh, I’m still doing my A Levels”. Or having my heart break just a little more than it already was when someone told me “Well, it wasn’t your parents so I don’t see why you’re this affected,” to my face as though there’s certain laws you have to abide when grieving a person you loved. Sometimes, you can see judgement in people’s eyes…maybe they saw me as a weak person or maybe it’s my own imagination stemming from my insecurities. I’m not even sure. Not everyone understands. But, despite that, I’m thankful that some have my back.
I was revising on the heart in my uncle’s house when he asked me if I was purposely studying it to help his condition, a few weeks before his surgery. I wish. I wish there was something I could’ve done besides doing research and speaking to the surgeon only to have every suggestion shot down.
I barely know what I’m saying. There’s probably no flow in my writing. Losing people one after another…it broke me. I don’t think I even realised I had loved them so deeply till the day I lost them and I felt like I’d just received a sucker-punch. Movies make it seem easy sometimes. Grieve and then move on. To me, it felt like I was drowning. I got panic attacks and I slept a lot more. I was tired. So so tired when the nightmares would wake me up at night, forcing me to relive the days I just so badly want to wipe from my memory. It felt like I was slowly drowning into the oceanic abyss. Couldn’t find it in me to swim back up.
It’s April. She left on April 21st 2015. Every time it gets closer, I get back the flashes of memories. July 8th is around the corner too. These two dates…It’s difficult because I’m trying hard to not let it affect me and maybe that’s why I’m writing this. Pour out my emotions through words and hopefully, it’ll put me at ease, even if slightly. Because, I can’t afford to let this bring me down so close to the exams. Not when my loved ones seem to think I can do this.
I’ve got lots to be thankful for. A big family that loves me unconditionally and held my broken pieces together whenever I was in their protective arms. Friends that made sure I was okay. Rachel (Leong. I know two Rachels), despite being at loss for words the night I lost my uncle, picked up the phone and was there for me. Friends who chatted with me late at night, listening to me reminiscing on memories. Friends who welcomed me back to college with a hug and making sure I ate. All of you…I don’t think I can ever thank you enough for the immense amount of kindness and love you’ve shown me. There are simply no words.
Eventually, you do find a way to adapt. Each in our own way. Some try to forget it ever happened and some prefer to surround themselves with memories to keep them alive. At one point, I felt as though I had lost all purpose in life. But a lot of time to think and develop yourself changes your views. Instead, now, at 20, I have made a list of all the things I want to do before 30. Kind of like a bucket list but with a time frame so I work harder to cross them off my list. Some of the things in there are a little bit reckless and adventurous and then there are some that are ambitious. But, it’s me. It’s me doing things that breathes an air of purpose into my life. Maybe, I’ll do a post on it one of these days.
I don’t believe there’s actually a way to move on and recover but I’ve found a way to build my life up again around the circumstances. There are still days where I find myself with a tear-stained cheek or where the reality hits me that they’re gone and it just knocks my breath away. But behind all the stormy clouds, there are days where the sun peeks out and sheds some light. I smile, I laugh. I live.
And, so, she found it in her, in the end, to break through the surface of water she was entrapped in, and drew in her first breath in over 2 years.
P.s. If you’ve ever felt like this or have any of your own journeys in life you’d like to share with me, don’t hesitate to comment below or even DM me on Instagram (if you’d rather it be private). I’d like to hear from you all!