Kill Your Darlings

This post managed to wrapped all my thought that has been edging me for the past year. Time moves so quickly. I’m tired of being expected to fix other people. I just want to do things because I want to.

I’m no longer responsible for your thoughts and actions. Because new or rekindled relationships are of my own prerogative. Happiness or to manage happiness, is of my own. I steer my own path, I make my own goodwill for myself. And I don’t have to explain myself to you people who aren’t ready to receive me fully anyways.

So I will growl at you for barking in my space. Be that b*itch who who prods your eyes by looking at you. The one who shuts you up with a one liner. Because I have to take care of myself. I am responsible of my own properties (including my children), and I own my monies. You have no right to take, tell me how, or even try manage my life – because you don’t live it.

So I kill those damn darlings. Because I have to.

>>> Thank you Anna. This is a very wonderful post.

Compass & Quill

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Faulkner said that in writing, it is paramount to kill your “darlings,” those special, yet extraneous, details that ego often asks us to keep in the manuscript. Creating feels so good, and it’s easy to fall prey to your own fripperies. If you don’t watch it, fear of whittling down your paragraphs can lead to a clunky, over-embellished final product.

My life is feeling over-embellished and lopsided right now. Too much detail in all the wrong places. Too many time wasters. Too little quality content. It strikes me tonight that my true connections are few, and I could be spending my time much more wisely than I currently do. Most of the actions I make in the social media sphere are an effort to woo or impress, but whom? The only people who follow my memes and photos, and longwinded musings are either good friends or decent acquaintances. We “like”…

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Whirlwind

It had been a whirlwind of a week. That also happened within a day – today.

Adam got his exam results today. He’s an average student who has a technical mind. Observant. Then his cousin April, is the same year as he is.

It had always been an issue for me when parents tend to over express their child’s performance academically. Because it is insensitive and it creates this environment that you have to only be one way smart. More to those who flaunt the results of how many As is scored.

April has always done well in school. Getting into the best class and etc. And I thought it was a relief when she decided to leave for another school after primary. But they all just showed up at Adam’s secondary school for orientation. So they’ve been yet again, attending the same school for 3 years now.

This year’s exam was a big one. And she scored many As, where Adam did average with a few Es. Her dad soon flaunted in the family group about she did so EXCELLENTLY bringing home so many As. Then he again posted she did EXCELLENTLY for the exam in the extended family group that consists of aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces… Of course they were soon asking what Adam got. Let’s not talk about social media that I don’t care much about. But that was the word of the day, EXCELLENTLY.

In the extended family group, MIL then began asking DH if he had gone to pick up Adam’s results. I ignored. So did he. We were lucky that other family members helped play it down.

It was past 2PM when MIL tried calling me – 3 times. I didn’t pick up. We don’t communicate you see. I don’t call her for fun so she reciprocates. I mean, I don’t call my parents for fun so why should it be any different with anyone else?

Then messages began coming through:

“Has your DH gone to pick up Adam’s results?”

Ignored and not read.

About half an hour later, came through another message from her:

“If you’re mad with your DH… why are you being mad with me… not picking up my calls… neither are you replying to my messages”

Ignored. I shared it with my Boss. She laughed. We would fret together whenever MIL’s trying to get through to me. She said, “Well, just get it over with. It’ll go on forever if not done anything about.” Of course she’s right.

So I packed my things as it was at the end of the day already, and told Boss, “I’ll just bring my troubles home,” where she laughed very hard.

I thumbed out. Started the car engine and just sat in there for a very long time. Browsed through Facebook, read articles and listened to Khalid. Then it was timely, I opened MIL’s messages and replied:

“I’m so sorry. First day back at work and swamped. Phone was silent when I was in a meeting and had sooo much to settle. I’m still in the office right now.”

Did your DH pick up Adam’s results?

“No he’s at work. I did.”

Is it so difficult for him to leave (even for a while) for his son’s sake?

“It has been this way for a long time. We’re all used to it. Just forgive him (lol I laughed out loud as I typed this last sentence).”

How, hasn’t he been back? What about labour law for leave?

“He came home last night. Sometimes he’d skip a night. It has been long since he got any day off. He just has to be there at site for ongoing work even weekends.”

Are you sure he’s at site?

Ok. She’s insinuating he’s probably having an affair here.

I told myself: If you are so worried about it, why don’t you go and wait for him at the site because I’m not the one with trust issues right now.

Well, I really wanted to say that to her. Of course I didn’t. Instead I replied:

“He’s not well right now, with flu. He has to be present there. The job is ongoing and he’s without having anyone to help backup the job for him.”

He should be taking medical leave then.

“If God is willing, he’s working (referring to the ‘affair’). There are problems with the supplies they are using for the repair work. So he’s really trying to get things done.”

Oh.

That was the best answer she could respond with.

On another note, April’s mom texted me asking if Adam did alright. To which I responded with:

He did okay. Not EXCELLENTLY. But he’s okay.

I’m such a bitch. It was sooo important for me to use that word in my response.

Then with all the chaos of emotions for me, I shared my feelings and screenshots with Sister1. She’s a blabber who likes to talk about herself in the end. Belgh. Well, moving on…

She was at the house when I came home. Started blabbing picking up from the messages we had about MIL and SIL. Apparently, she has shared and shown the thread of messaging with our youngest sister, who was also there at the dinner table with us. There was a fine disturbance in me amidst all that laughter erupted. As she blabs on, she unraveled that she shared the story AND THE SCREENSHOTS of my conversation with MIL, with her friend. OMG. So insensitive. She does this to me all the time – sharing my life’s stories because it was something she felt funny about. I just thought she’d stop already since I stopped talking to her way back. I have trust issues with her, not with DH!

I questioned her then and there why she had to share it with her friend. Answered with excuses to which I said, “I’ll be totally f****d if it goes viral!” “Oh no, no I’m sure it wouldn’t,” she assured me. I just had to make sure I told her what I needed her to hear. Enough mind messes for me.

Then eventually when we had the time without Sister1, Younger Sister and I just sat through and talked about how bothered we were with her attitude. Despite having 13 years of life’s difference, the youngest sister I have is the more sensible one I can always talk to.

DH called me later at night and told me that his mom had been hounding him since before noon. About the same issues she was hounding me with. Making sure he turns up at the wedding this weekend TOGETHER with me and the kids. Asking why he can’t make time to pick up the results… Oh she really needs to have something better to do. She said everything except her thoughts about him having an affair.

I mean, she probably meant well. But escalating things for the dire need of attention. Like, she’s the only person I know who’s able to wear sequins from head to toe.

Moving along, I told him she had tried prodding me before and this was the third time her asking if he’s having an affair. I told that I really wanted to tell her if that if she really thinks it that way, why don’t she wait for you at the site to make sure you’re really working or you’re actually doing something else. He laughed out so hard and completely just took me in before we hung up.

So that was my day. I hope yours was better.

This travel

Being an INFJ…

There is a wedding in the East Coast that has been setting itself in and out of me.

1. The bride is a cousin living in the East Coast. The groom is from my state. Bride is final to be married and so her family is keen to have everyone there.

2. Culturally, both sides will host their own reception to celebrate the marriage. This is to inform and introduce the newly wedded couple to families, friends and the general public. So Groom will be holding his here.

3. Bride’s mom is MIL’s eldest sister who everyone calls Mummy. Bride’s eldest brother is Sir Richard, Mummy’s first child. Mummy and Uncle were millionaires. But now, since the construction business has gone down, so has their income. 

4. When Sir Richard came with his immediate family over a few months ago, I told him in person, that we will be missing the vow ceremony on their side. Instead we will attend the reception that the Groom will be hosting.

Reason being is that school begins in January and a lot of money to prepare the children’s uniform and books etc that we will have to spend on in December. The cost of flight to travel is more than what is expected of from that school preparation. December alone can see an expense of 8-10k.

4. So there was a lot of drama in the extended family messaging group. The pleading to attend, announcements of cheap flight rates (that wasn’t), the calls to my husband, the telling Bride is the final one, etc. Sir Richard was persistent. MIL claiming Mummy cried to her, the Mummy calling my husband and his brothers a few times.

5. Sir Richard chalked over my words. Repeatedly messaging in the group saying, ‘We can find money, but this is family’ – over and over again. F**k him. Then give me your money. But you can’t. Because your mom gives you the money to foot all of your family’s expenses (house, car), including the college and life expenses for your daughter in Michigan. No idea what you work for life.

6. So Sir Richard’s parents are footing the two-nights accommodation by the beach and a one-night trip to the foot of the mountain. But their themes of 2 events has us to wear this specific cultural dress type that not everyone has, can carry, can afford to find or buy. The other one has this specific light lime green tone to represent the whole family. It should only comply to the immediate family right? But MIL is not like that. We must all come together. From headdress to the bottom.

Bride’s event will be by the beach for 2 nights. 3rd night all will be transferred to the foot of a mountain where rainy season means you’d have to pack heavy sweaters. How do we even manage that? So formal wear, light clothing, heavy clothing, formal shoes, sneakers, slippers.

6. So when finally Mummy called again, DH just said, he no longer want to think about it and went ahead to purchase tickets for us. We were still at the point, recovering from the cost of my car repair and had to pay over 1k for another thing in November too.

7. Being DH who has a few roll-outs for maintenance work with jobs going simultaneously at a few sites, he can’t afford the time either. It’s in the middle of 2 jobs if he is to still go. He is to fly back here earlier than us.

8. So about 4 weeks ago I had anxiety. About what to bring, how to work with their themes, how to pack, how to survive because I didn’t want to be housed in the same apartment as MIL. We’ve not had a holiday in 4 years. We haven’t been spending time with each other. Only a good 30 minutes to 3 hours per week that spend with each other, what more with the kids. It’s only fair we get our own little bit of time and space. 

9. 1 week ago Bride’s family reminded that the 4th night will on our own terms and arrangement at own cost. Literally it’ll be me and the kids because DH would’ve supposed to have gone back on the day we move to the foot of the mountain. Then I had anxiety and fear that MIL would want us to pay and foot her a room, where we would be. 

In the same announcement, they also broke it to us that, there isn’t any cafe or breakfast available at the apartment. Whut. Do I have to cook? 

I went ballistic internally. I was so angry inside. 

10. To manage my anxiety, I made a list of things to bring. Finally, last night I made the kids pick out and layout what to wear and I have slowly began packing. I had worn out the anxiety about the preparations by then.

So this afternoon, I made a feedback text to DH on the preparation like we need to get more socks, Adam has no green attire that fits etc.

11. DH came back in the evening – rarely happens. He brought Adam looking for the green thing. We sat outside to talk for about 30 mins, before he drives out to his other site that was doing a maintenance job 3 hours drive away.

He tried to see if he could still manage a flight out on Saturday night. FYI, the event starts Friday night and ends Saturday noon.

I told him no need to put effort in. I know deep inside he just wants to be present WITH US, but it’s pointless. Why spend more just to effort that will be fruitless?

12. I told him I’ve already texted the other brother of the Bride to request that we be housed separated than MIL because I don’t need to be stressed out further. Him not making it there with us, I kinda expected 98% to happen.

13. So, I have another 30% packing to do. But I work in the morning with a hectic schedule. Need to rush to the bank too to sort out some things. And expectantly to be home late to train a staff who’s only available after 5.30pm as he is base in another state.

14. Oh. Sir Richard called DH asking to help purchase and bring tobacco for him. The shop is in a mall 20-45 mins away (depending on traffic), will cost us time and money to get it for him, which will save him four bucks per tobacco pack. DH has declined with his own reservation of what we could be dealing with at the airport. Policies change over time that we not know of.

I told DH, it will cost us more than four bucks help Sir Richard save his own bloody four bucks.

15. I feel much better writing this. Hopefully I get a good night’s sleep and rest it all off. So many other things to do.

Thank you.

Edited: Because some flow didn’t make sense. I must’ve been so everywhere when I wrote this.

OMG seriously, “Whuuuuttt…?”

Sooo…

I’ve past the panic mode about packing. Instead it’s going the opposite way, where I’m taking just literally one step at a time. Chilling. And piling clothes (just only my clothes for now and the kids’ swimming gear) on that middle patch of my bedroom floor. So the pool of clothes lay around the so many inches of TV that just broke inside without sight. It has sound, only no sight. I cannot envision what it was trying to show me. 

My brain is so multi tasking right now. It has been 2.5 hours since work began. So I sat in the car for 0.5 hours haha, terrible me. Then it began with, to purchase another flight ticket because afternoon meeting cancelled, then multiple hotel rooms… Reminders to all to sort out the mess in our store rooms that the department has been closing their eyes to. Well, in my case, I didn’t even know it existed until last week (or was it the week before). I shook them all in the department’s WhatsApp group. Then this new supplier has been emailing our printing artwork request to this other sales department about getting our finalisation – to all their support staffs.

Be like,”Whuuuuuuut…”

So their staff kept coming physically and emailing the emails to me. I literally wrote back, “(PIC) has been in contact with your company on this matter earlier so I don’t understand why she is not looped at all in this email that has been sent to everyone else none related”. Yes, I agree, Momma can be a bitch and she doesn’t care. 

One email from my boss came through. Requesting for this credit card statement in October be sent to Finance, because it is currently outstanding. My brain sent shock waves. Because I assumed it was already done since I haven’t seen it on my desk for a few weeks already.

Reeled backwards to look into emails, if I had sent scanned them etc. Nada. Zilch. Then I looked into Boss’ tray. It was still in there. Where 5 items were still pending Boss’ feedback and receipts. I looked again at the email I received, Finance sent the email on 29 Nov, and Boss only sent it to me today. Well, okay. The dateline required by Finance is today. 

Yet again, “Whuuuuuuuttt….”

So I feedback Boss on the status. Boss said, Boss has approved everything online. I empathize. It has nothing to do with online approval. This was something that Human Resource would need to process, because it is not like other general claims like your mileage and subsistence. After all these years, Boss still doesn’t know how it works, even though Boss has been here as early as the pioneers. 

My head itches. Plane tickets purchased. Stills settling room bookings. And sorting out other documents that are still here on my desk. 

Had been in this bubble with Mr Plane (the one who needed to get on another flight back here earlier) because, I told him that Boss has given clearance but Boss just asked me what time he was going to be on flight AFTER I purchase his ticket. So that means looking forward, he has to deal with Boss directly if suddenly there is anything Boss needs to be done while Mr Plane is where he is. 

“What we don’t have time for any meeting.” – I’m saying if she might want to arrange something, please go directly with her. (I don’t need to be your in-between).

“When is she anticipating for it?” – I said, IF she wants to arrange something.

“Then the meeting you mentioned?” 

Blegh. Whuuuuuttt… 

This went on for like, back and forth, a whole 20 minutes. So annoying. 

And while I was in the midst of all of this, the stationery came for delivery. So I cleaned up the stationery shelves, threw out some stuffs, filed some, and back to my place. I have a half eaten hash brown with me. And a few other claims to be sorted with. 

Just I was closing this post, Boss just responded my email that explained the credit card statement is still pending some receipts that Boss need to provide to complete it. 

Boss on Email: Please advice on the below claim.

Me on WhatsApp: (Sent a separate WhatsApp photo of what’s needed)

Boss on WhatsApp: (No response. Instead asking what time is the flight Mr Plane will be taking.)

Me on Email: The claim is still pending some receipts to complete the submission.

Boss on Email: I have approved the one in the system (online).

Me on Email: This one doesn’t go through the system. It must be hard copy, given to Human Resource for processing, and then Finance.

Boss on Email: Please remind Human Resource. Thanks.

Whuuuuuttt?
And then they tell me to smile after they make me a bitch. 
Sigh. 
Have I not been… 
Oh well, I’m just gonna leave it for now.

I hereby would like to empathise myself and will have this Fish Filet burger eaten in silence while I decide which funny thing I can watch on the iPhone to pacify myself. Maybe I’ll have a smoke somewhere…

Studying patterns

Driving out at work to get lunch by myself is a calculation of time vs effort which in the end is eating alone at my workstation, food I bought or brought from home earlier in the morning, Nobody goes out with me.

I consider that a pattern, that I’m still studying. It’s taking so long to solve. Because I do think I need to go out some times, for me. So I randomly get something nice to have like 1-2 times a week, which is equivalent to my own and their per week expense for lunch – They say I’m high maintenance.

Really, no you f*****s. You don’t ask me out and I tried asking, you don’t want me to. I mean, you guys have your own thing going. And who cares about what I spend on? You don’t pay my bills, right…

With all of this going I’m still studying the pattern and hope to break it one day.

This emotion that I can’t paint

I feel sad. Angry upset. Sad. I cry.

We don’t holiday.

  1. No time.
  2. No money.
  3. Commitments.
  4. Lost of effort.

The last time we went somewhere was 3 years ago when his cousin married in the East Coast. Not a holiday, it was a family commitment. Last year when I was so fed up with his schedules that I checked myself and the kids in town for 2 nights. Then he had to wreck them up by displacing my arrangements and being in it for just 24 hours because he had some major job going at the site. Him just being there because… he wanted to be a part of it. But not with peace of mind. Stressing me for no reason when all I need was to relax and enjoy whatever. Definitely not one for me.

So this time, I self-declared to his other cousins that we shall not be in must-travel-by-flight state for this other wedding because the cost would be too much for us to bear. School will reopen in January and you need 1K per child for school supplies, the whatever books, uniforms etc. If us going, it will be 10K for December in total.

They kept re-posting, “You can find money, but this would be the final wedding from us,” in the extended family group. Their parents pleaded. My MIL said her sister cried for little support from their side of the family. Oh the invisible pressure. The to-be bride’s brother posts cheap flights. So much that it pressured my husband to just, “I just want to get it done. Clutters my brain. Unnecessary stress,” and buys the tickets that costs 3K. Money that we struggle and need for school.

What is left of me? He will travel with us for the wedding ceremony by the beach but return earlier for an ongoing job. MIL and FIL will be there (along with the relationship history that is not so great – especially with MIL). I hope not to share the same apartment that the to-be bride’s family has paid for with them. I worry of panic attack and showing resentfulness. Being upset and unsatisfied.

So the bride’s family will arrange a family thing at the base of the mountain in rainy season – the day after they wed by the beach. So…

  1. Light normal clothes
  2. Formal clothes x 2 events
  3. Cold place clothes x 2 days/1 night
  4. Slippers, shoes, sneakers
  5. Toiletries
  6. Towels
  7. Swimming gear

For 3 kids. And myself. Can you see all this? For a 4 night stay?

I’ve actually gone past this ‘the things you have to bring’ shit. I had that panic attack 2 weeks ago.

And now it’s, sadness, because we haven’t had time for each other. I barely get 24 hours in a week with him, awake. We need time with the kids. We need time for ourselves. We need time to recuperate. All the time that we don’t have. While all other people go on holidays and have family time together, be it with or without holiday.

So what is this wedding? It’s a family commitment. Again. Which will cost us 10K by the end of December. When I only bring in clean 2.2K to make ends meet. We financially struggle. But they are our commitments that we have to care for. How sure are you that the bonus will come on time? How sure of you that we’ll get the amount we know will help us go by this period of time? I sure don’t know it.

I’m so sad of this lost, of our own deserving family time. The 5 of us. Wasted thousands just to appease people. Where in the end I’m left, with the in-laws. No other family is going except his brother’s with age gap so big that I feel wonky-ed out from this very beginning. Where I think I’m expected to foot and find a place for parents-in-law for the final night. Not communicating and keeping myself below radar for now. Although, I have secretly booked my own; but not happy when all the other aunts and uncles messaging in the group telling to-be bride’s brother to help arrange for them to stay in the place I booked.  

I hope to breathe. At least get to enjoy myself, ourselves; without creating much resentment having to cope things will all elderly and shit. Or not get bothered by my sister who will be Airbnb-ing her new apartment asking me what to put in them, when she has been a traveler doing her own Airbnb overseas so many times in so many years. 

It’s not nice when you have this sadness-jealousy. Wrapped around sadness-anger, anger-disappointment. Like a cycle that is pretty much, will suck me in and out of a loop. 

The cycle needs to change. And I need a break from my own thoughts.

Time

This morning. Spellbinding. I bound myself onto you. 

But you are not. Because the bed was empty.

What is this life, with or without meaning. With little or more meaning.

Shall I share my empty spaces with you. The one who I allow willingly to be tied with an invisible rope from the heart.

Shall I share my uncomfortable and wonky places with you. All my utmost unsettling discomfort and distances. Will you run it with me.

Will you find your dreams and share worries with me. Will I find and do mine with you. Will we create our dreams and walk through them together.

But I feel broken. Of family commitments and limitations. How limitless is expected of us, when we need to bask in our own selfishness. We haven’t had our own time together. 

Could we find time for us? There is no knowing. Of what lies ahead. If we still have time, or would’ve run out of it.

Ironically, it is I, whom I miss the most. Empty spaces and pauses have left me broken, waiting for the one I long to be wrapped in. Warm arms and safety net. Safety net that has slowly tattered and I find me standing around it.

Help me up. Meet in the middle. Let’s mend it. The safety net, together. 
I’ll make you coffee and light your cigarettes, and be in each other’s comfort. Call the kids to when the mend is left little. Teach them how to finish that bit. So we can build each other something greater.

Time can break us apart, but with time, it also heals. 

I’ll wait for you in the middle, if you do same for me. Because all we need is a little time.