Coming from a family with strict & traditional upbringing, it had been a bumpy journey growing up. With parents setting the ground rule of “no-boyfriend-till-you-graduate”, it became awkward for me to approach such topic. There were many times where the thought of “Will I ever have a boyfriend, a husband in my life?” came to mind. After 27 years, I found the companion that I had been searching for, I never thought I would ever find that special someone to spend the rest of my life with.
I am happy because I finally realised I am the love I have always wanted and deserve. That we are each a you-niverse of infinite possibilities. That I am and we are slowly unlearning our way into unconditional love. That the first step is self-care. That loving yourself is one step closer to loving nature and others in an authentic, sustainable, centered way. I am grateful.
I had just gotten out of a very serious relationship because I wanted to travel and he could not understand that. I was traveling and felt like I had figured things out - I was going to explore and after, move to my home city, start working there and “settle down”. Then I met this guy and everything changed. I wasn’t planning on it, but we fell in love. We did long distance for a bit, I moved to be with him in London, and then we moved to start a life together in Singapore. While this was not how I saw my life going - I’m happy that I was open to the new path and I’m so happy I went on this unexpected journey with my now fiancé, future Husband.
It was my 30th birthday, and while I have had some or happiest times in Singapore, it is occasions like this where the absence of friends and family from your home country is felt most deeply. It’s as if I could feel each and every step of the 10,800 km that separates you from the home in which you grew up in. As I sat up on my bed, and walked across to my kitchen, my girlfriend was instructing me to go back into the bedroom. I had no idea what was in store for me. She soon called me back into the living room, and said: “I have a very special day planned for you my dear, all I ask is that you keep an eye on your phone.”
She did not disappoint. Over the course of the day, I received 60 different video messages from friends and family across the world. I was overwhelmed with happiness. It’s as if at that point technology had help us overcome those 10,800km, and I was sitting at home in my family living room opening cards and sharing laughs all together. It turns out my girlfriend had spent the preceding weeks contacting each and everyone of the people closest to me, and asked them to send across a message. While it was the videos that brought about that moment of unexpected happiness, I cannot underplay the thoughtfulness of my partner in bringing about this moment. Her actions bring me moments of unexpected happiness each and every day, and I feel so grateful to have this person by my side, scaling the vast and unexpected mountain that is life.
I climbed 2700 ft up a hill in Yorkshire. Ingleborough one of the highest peaks in The Dales. At the top I saw a huge steel cage. Locked in were Ravens and Blackbirds. Scattered on the floor were dead new born lambs for the birds to eat but no water. I went up to the cage and saw the sad eyes of the birds. I felt great sorrow. In an instant without thinking I went around the cage and saw a panel that could be moved. Suddenly my small body filled with strength as I pulled at the panel of steel bars. With all my might I strained and shifted the panel just a few inches. The birds flew to the gap and escaped flying upwards. I shouted ''be free my friends'', as they circled above me. I felt unimaginable joy as I descended the hill. A small Robin Redbreast followed behind me for a long while. Sweetly singing as if to thank me. I discovered later that farmers trap Ravens to protect newborn lambs and also feed them dead lambs that didn’t survive birth. I still feel the joy I felt when I see Ravens.
A few weeks ago, something I feared and dreaded happened. I thought it would be scary. It had made me redundant from my job. I thought that I would be very upset. But when it happened it was like putting down a huge back pack of rocks. I felt light and free. I hadn't realised the burden I carried. Since then I have been so happy. Happiness is not a continuous state. It comes in small bursts. You have to stop and appreciate the moments. I have had many of these moments over the last few weeks. Probably more than the whole of last year. It's been incredible.
It would be striking up a conversation with a stranger, where I would share that instant chemistry with and enjoy their attention, connection and the impromptu friendship and vulnerability. That gives me an unexpected happiness - as it gives some sort of hope that this conversation and acquaintance could grow into something more? A guilty pleasure/confession is feeling very satisfying, watching people who offended me and hurt me get their Karma pay-back, which always makes them suffer x10 more than what they did to me. That makes me happy and scared of my own self at the same time. The other confession is that there are some guys that would come across to me as intelligent and arrogant and hard to get - I like to use that chemistry I have with them and act completely uninterested and cold - other times low-key flirt - and just play with their minds. I need to stop doing that though.
I was once sure of what I wanted, when I was a child. But as I grew up, I realised my options grew with me too. So I tried to narrow them down to a few routes. And I started walking on those routes. And so, I walked and walked even as the ground started to feel more bumpy and I started regretting and doubting. Was it because, I really wasn't as good as I thought? Why did I feel stumped the more further away I went and my shoulders heavier with the weight of doubt and insecurity?
When I was young, whenever I felt downtrodden by my failures, somehow I had the drive to go on. In the past, things were clearer to me, which road I would take and not look back. But now, I look down and the road has stopped. Countless times, I have looked back, unsure of my decisions. Now I am blocked by my own fear. I see people far away, achieving greater things yet they are so much younger than me. I know it doesn't actually matter the age as long as you keep trying, but with each tick-tocking, I feel rushed. Rushed to not disappoint my younger self, to reach somewhere, to achieve something. As the time passes, the sound grows louder and faster. And yet, I find myself on a standstill. Turning back from where I am, I no longer know where I want to go, the directions in my mind are a jumbled mess. What am I going to do now? The roads are no longer clear to me. All I can see is shadows of past dreams and windows gloating at me , the success that seems unreachable, that I didn't try hard enough. That I wouldn't make it anywhere. That I am nothing. So I close my eyes and try to sleep these feelings away.
To me, the people around me are constantly telling me I'm blessed to have such good friends, and am blessed with such a good family. Im grateful for all of that, but i think that what people dont know is that i feel lonely sometimes. Even with so many people around me, I'm always overthinking about things and making myself unhappy. It is not that i crave for more, I just feel that sometimes i dont appreciate the people by my side as much.
I am male, I am a brother, I am happy, I am confused, I am searching for something, I have Faith, I am a dreamer, I am stressed, I have lied.
I Have high IQ but low EQ. I think I may be happier the other way round.
I like to please everyone and wants everyone to like me, but i dont like it. I hate being a doormat because i cant say no. And when i do share my feeling about how i feel to a particular person, i am deemed as rude. Sometimes i feel left out when it comes to friends. To be honest i rather live in solitude then live with my family because i want peace. Sometimes i wake up to my mum and grandma arguing. Sometimes my mum and dad. Sometimes i wake up and she argues with me. I just want a friend that doesnt take me for granted and just be there and if i cant get that. I rather be alone and live alone. Painting and drawing. I am happy though, because even though negativity outweighs my life more, doesnt mean i have to be negative. I am positive and i know one day ill be happy in an apartment i will buy and be a painter or an artist and just be content with life.
A part of me believe, I am something more than I am now. But a part of me disagree with that. I am searching for something but I do not know what it is. I am a dreamer but I am also a realist.
Life is interesting and it's always moving but sometimes I wished it could go slower or stop when I am exhausted or even skip some parts of it and just get to the easy part. But thats what makes life is. Something you can actually control little by little even if you do not have the courage or faith to do so but you'll learn to dance even in the storm.
I'm really tired of being happy, enthusiastic and pretending that everything is okay. These were the qualities that enabled me to survive. Some who know who I really am - I'm a terrible introvert. I hate going out. I hate socialising. I dont like to be happy and enthusiastic all the time.
Growing up in a very restrictive and strict family -
There were times when I was younger when I thought about suicide- I was 12 when I realised I had depression. But I couldn't bear it.
Why did I have depression? Well, I had pressure from doing badly in school- Failing math. My parents were so strict, I felt like a bird in a cage. It was suffocating for me.
When I was 14, I admitted to my parents about my disorder and went to a counciler. He told me I was being 'mature', but for me - I had many mixed emotions. Was I really being mature? Wasn't I a coward for not being able to cut or end myself? I had doubts but I just let it slide. (I'm glad I did)
It's been a few years since those dark days. There were definitely times when I thought about depression again, but I think I grew passed it.
I managed to be able to cope with it better. I thanked my 'cowardly' self when I was younger that I didn't manage to harm myself. I learnt to love myself more and began to start appreciating my body. Sure there were times I've wondered why I had my flaws, but then again, it's those flaws that made me who I am. Thus, with that in mind, I've learnt to embrace my flaws. After working at a service job, which made me realise many things, I grew to understand more about the adult world as well.
It's not easy to survive in the real world. I've learnt that I should use my time now and start thinking and planning for the future.
Depression, anxiety, other disorders are sure to come. More in the future.They are the obstacles in my life yet I need to learn to overcome them.
It's a tiring and tedious process, but I hope the ending of my story will end well.
I like adventures, I like climbing buildings. It makes me feel free and happy.
I was once bullied by a group of friends. They called me names and badmouthed me and I was not invited to any of their programmes/activities. I was hurt but I managed to pull through and I feel that I have became strong and hopefully in the future I will not be devastated if it happens again.
I have realised that I've been thrown into a fire by my colleagues. Rather than saving me with water, they poured oil into it instead. No one thought me anything. No one helped. Left out there to survive on my own. Was it wrong to pity them? Was it wrong to help them?
Life is about true happiness that only we can give ourselves.
Staying in Koya-san changed me inside out, helped me to see what is and is not important and why getting upset about petty things is self-destructive.
I have rediscovered my love of life, after many years of struggling with self doubt and insecurity. I really feel blessed