Twist of Fate

Yesterday was a particularly awful day. My relationship was non-existent and flushed down the gutter and I was on the brink of seriously losing it because I was just so damn tired and unable to find a way to continue coping with all the stressful situations that were being thrown my way recently.

But then came along a fantastical twist of fate. An email had landed in my Inbox from the UK Visas and Immigration Office (the “decision making” office) in Bangkok and they informed me that my application was overturned, a decision on my visa had been made and that I should please submit my passport to the visa application centre as soon as possible.

And so commenced: THE FREAKOUT. I couldn’t let myself believe it until I showed it to my dad and he said it was real and not some sick twisted joke. It was real! So unbelievable after everything that this visa decision has put me (us) through… It is incredible that one day I can just open up my email and find this message that twists our fate.

I am glad that something good (or seemingly good) has happened. I’m being very cautious though (can you tell?) – I don’t want to get my hopes up only to have them lead to nothing. I don’t want to celebrate too early only to be disappointed again. There are no words I can think of right now to describe just how much I want this to work out. I want it more than… Well, a lot of things right now actually!

So now we sit and wait and hope that everything goes as smoothly and well as we hope it can.

“Suffering comes from desire, not from pain.”

How do you prepare yourself for the worst? You can see it coming towards you and it’s stupid but a part of you still allows for a small hint of optimism and belief that everything will not fall apart; that in fact, it will just stay the same as it always was. You know you’re really kidding yourself and even though you argue that it’s about self-preservation, being optimistic at this point of time will really only lead you to feeling more hurt because you hoped. You hoped and you believed because you want it so much – the desire is what makes you yearn and in turn that is what makes you suffer – because we all know that there’s a 50-50 chance that you won’t come out on the other side OK.

So how do you prepare yourself for the emotional winds that will go tearing through your life with a whisper of a word? How do you make sure you come out on the other side bearing some resemblance to your old self?

Absence

long-distance-relationship

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder; but that’s not really true for everyone…

Absence may make the heart grow fonder [for some], but if the heart is wavering and the bond is weak, absence can only assist in tearing it further apart.

The Struggle… It’s Real

I am exhausted. There’s a heaviness that has settled into my bones that has made it so difficult for me to feel energized and I’ve been feeling really weighed down over the last few days. I feel sluggish, weepy and worn out all the time and it seems like the only energy I have left is for lying in bed and reading or being knocked out. Even in sleep I am disturbed and I find myself waking up more frequently during the night – and that’s saying something because I normally wake up 2-3 times a night as it is. The struggle is so real.

There has been no news from anybody about anything and my last hope was dashed today when I finally cancelled my flight. All of this has put such a strain on my relationship and I’m worried that this time there’s no making it through the storm. I know life isn’t fair but part of me doesn’t care because it really hurts and I don’t know what to do about it. I feel resigned to let it happen because the events of the past two months have so greatly affected our plans to take this relationship forward; this domino effect seems to be triggered every time we have something settled.

I love SDC but I won’t make someone suffer anymore than they have to and after everything that we have been through, maybe now it really is enough. It hurts so much to see him suffer and to hear him be tortured by his thoughts. I know I’m suffering just as much too but I feel like none of this would even be a problem if it weren’t for me – if I didn’t come from a country where the culture is so old-fashioned, if I weren’t about to lose my job and have an uncertain future, if I didn’t get refused the visa. I know these things are out of my control but I still feel bad about it; actually, the guilt of it is eating me up inside. I don’t want to make it harder for him by keeping us stuck in this ‘endless situation’ but I also don’t want to do the one thing I should probably do in order to make his life easier.

Help.

Being Thankful

On Thursday last week, many people around the world celebrated Thanksgiving. To state the obvious, I know I’m not American, but it is a day that I too enjoy celebrating because, besides the fact my oldest, bestest friend growing up is American and invited me to celebrate every year, I love the general feel-good vibes that surround the special occasion; and if I’m being really honest, it’s also about my love for Cranberry sauce! Serious question though: why is this sauce that we all love so much not on menus year round?!

HappyTurkeyDay

This wasn’t my first Thanksgiving in Jakarta – last year I went with a few friends to the Four Seasons Hotel and had an incredibly sumptuous meal – but this year was a lot more personal as we decided to do a ‘Thanksgiving Potluck‘ by the poolside of a friend’s apartment. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t afford to buy a turkey – who knew those buggers were so expensive?! – but we replaced the lack of turkey with plenty of roast chicken and needless to say the dinner was a total success! We had roast chickens, stuffing, gravy, glazed beans and carrots, creamed spinach, cranberry sauce, mushrooms, mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, apple pies, plenty of bread and (for once) lots of wine! It was a major feast and by the time we finished eating, we could hardly move; it was delightful :)

Unfortunately though, we started off dinner quite late so everyone was famished and were impatient to get the feast started, and as such we kind of skipped over the ‘giving thanks’ part of tradition. Let me first state that I do agree that just like with all the other commercialized holidays we now have, it’s important to not only be thankful, loving and appreciative on just the one day per year that society celebrates but every single day of our lives; nevertheless, it’s always nice to be able to share our thoughts and feelings with an intimate group of friends (no matter how embarrassed you may feel at the beginning). I thought I would share them here too.

There are two things that I am especially thankful for this year: my family and my friends, both new and old.

No words can express how thankful I am to have my family around the last few months. There were times, of course, that we still argued and I wanted nothing more than to scream with rage when they said or did things that were beyond infuriating, but since receiving news about the refusal of my visa, I couldn’t be more thankful that they live here now. They have been more understanding and supportive than usual and having them around has made it easier for me to come to terms with the difficult news as they allow me to be alone to process my thoughts and to purge my emotions. My dad has done everything that he’s capable of to help me get my case out there in order to prove how unjust it is and even though it has yielded nothing so far, I know it’s one step more than I could have done by myself. I’m so incredibly thankful for their quiet but unwavering strength and support.

Then there are my friends. This time last year I was quite lonely and had a handful of ‘friends’ that I could occasionally hang out with but I couldn’t really speak to about important ‘matters-of-the-heart’ (so to speak, as corny as that sounds) but this year things slowly, but gradually, changed. I now have a solid group of friends who I can do both with: talk to about the important things that matter and who I can spontaneously call on for good company. Being without friends close by has made me more appreciative of having them now and while I know they are only transient residents in Jakarta, I am extremely grateful for their friendship; especially when I know I have them to help me through funks like the one I’m in. Of course, there’s no discounting the friends who have been with me through thick and thin over the years – their friendship continues to be steady in my life and even though we’re thousands of miles away I know we will always make time to support each other whenever each of us needs it most.

It’s true what they say:

Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

My family and friends are that for me. <3

Panic VS Calm

Staying Calm

Don’t panic.

These are the words I tell myself with everyday that passes and I receive no news from any of the jobs that I’ve so frantically applied for. It’s OK. Everything is going to be just fine.

Just don’t panic.

It has been a year since I last found myself in a “state of panic” over the job hunt. It’s amazing how much the prospect of not being able to find a job before the current one ends can cause an individual so much stress and anxiety; my heart speeds into overdrive, my stomach churns with wave after wave of butterflies and my head spins with endless thoughts. It makes me feel sick. I’m feeling so unsettled about my future which in turn makes the future of my relationship topsy-turvy and that in turn makes me feel even more panicked and I wish it all didn’t feel so much like a snowball reaction. I know the feeling won’t get better until I lock something down and can justify letting my guard down to feel stable again.

What makes it worse (for me, of course) is that other people who were in the same boat as me have been contacted and/or offered positions in new places. Even worse is when it’s someone who doesn’t need to look for a job right now because they’re already secure in their position and yet they find an opportunity they want for the future and in less than 2 days it’s theirs. I know this will sound green and pitiful but it’s not fair. I want to pound my fists against the wall and scream it out loud. And I want to wail. How is it so easy for them and so difficult for me? Not one place I have submitted my application to has contacted me regarding the dozens of applications I have sent out over the past 2 or 3 weeks – not even a response to reject me and even to me right now that would be better. At least there’s the acknowledgement of receiving something.

It’s not that I’m unhappy for my friends – I’m thrilled for them because I know what it feels like to worry and wait – but that’s exactly why I’m so unhappy for myself. I haven’t ever been known for my confidence in my abilities (or for my self-promotion) and all the events of late only seem to make me question myself further. I mean, if people like my friends (who I know are so incredibly smart) are able to find a job in a span of a few days or weeks, then that obviously means there’s something wrong with me because it’s taking me so long, right? Even though I work quickly and efficiently without sacrificing the quality of my work and even though I’m a quick learner, maybe I’m just not creative enough or assertive enough or take initiative enough… I have recently found myself comparing my abilities to a friend, who coincidentally took over my previous position and so much more responsibility has been given to her than it ever was to me, and it makes me feel so… inadequate. There was obviously something wrong with me to not have been given the same… What else could it be but that they didn’t see the same potential in me?

Faith

I’m trying to remind myself that everyone is different and so it’ll all be OK but it’s just getting so difficult. The struggle with hunting for jobs is in trying not to lose faith in yourself and not losing the strength to keep going when you don’t hear anything from anybody. That it’s all just a matter of time and if it’s meant to be it will happen, so just keep trying. The thing is that sometimes it’s just so damn hard.