on the count of five – things I tell myself lately.

i.

I’m sitting in one of three Starbucks available in this city …trying not to lose my cool over something trivial and small – unstable wifi connection – because that would be… unbecoming. I’m supposed to do Miri better this second time around, isn’t it? Patience is key. … Okay fine – excuse me – maybe all my anger and annoyance will only reside here:

ugh, this fckn city-town.

ii.

I’ve been thinking about my last entry, written last week. An ongoing ordeal, we could call it. To love and be loved. A big question mark follows because here, the most obvious question – how? I’ve no idea. “Get to know someone,” Eldest Sis kindly said the other day. “Give someone a chance, spend time with him. Maybe you’ll like what you find.” I didn’t know to laugh or cry; she said these so kindly – not one trickle of judgment in her tone.

There’s a guy, to be honest, that Cousin Bro kept pestering wanting to introduce me. He’s one year into the company and apparently, we’re the same age. For an entire year, he’d not-so-casually bring up this dude in our conversations – I’d ignore each time because hello, excuse me? How about you focus on husband-hunting for your sisters before your cousin sister? … But as it would happen, last Friday during the company’s New Year’s open house event – I met the guy. Who’s uh… on first impression – I’ll give him the benefit of doubt since we spoke too briefly, fine – is exactly like Cousin Bro.

Uh. No thanks.

I mean, the guy’s nice. My Cousin Bro is nice. But he also has ego the size of Everest and because he’s so intelligent – which he is, but he believes it the strongest – he’s that sort of person who has a hard time understanding why everyone isn’t on the same page as him. Why people – worldly mortals like you and me – just don’t get it, in other words.

Yeah – uh, no thanks. Maybe next time…

iii.

Yesterday I had lunch, finally, with Platonic Crush – an old buddy from internship days who then joined the company and who has been dubbed that because isn’t there always that one guy(friend) in our lives who, no matter the years, remain ethereal in our minds? – and it was so much fun that to be honest, had I been given a moment afterwards – I’d cry joyful tears. I think there’s just something – okay, a lot – to be said about being able to be my authentic, old self. I’m allowed to be goofy and silly, say unbecoming things without feeling judged or censored. Here’s someone who understands my jokes and who, though I’m unclear if he likes all of me or not, I truly feel he does accept me wholly as myself – weirdness included.

Man, ugh – I love this guy.

If only, like always, forever and ever – sigh, this (religious) line I can’t cross.

Why do I always love the ones I can’t have and make mine?

iv.

I think I miss a lot of things. I’ll be honest. I love this newfound freedom and this need – desperation even – to be brave here, like with driving. But I think I miss a lot of things. Before all these newness – which I know, will eventually be my new-normal – and different environment. Sometimes I have to literally remind myself that I’m still in Malaysia – still in fckn Malaysia – because East Malaysia can be a different beast. I’m experiencing culture shock right now, still. I recognize this. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, other times overly emotional over the littlest things. I’ve only mingled with and befriend kind people thus far, those who only ever mean well …though sometimes misguided in their beliefs and impressions of me… I’m a lot perplexed whenever this happens. “That’s not who I am,” I’m desperate to utter these words.

I’m learning, still learning, to ease in.

v.

Or…

Maybe – maybe – in truth, it is simply this: I don’t want to be swallowed by loneliness. Again. I want to do myself and this new environment better this time around. I really, really want to – but I’m starting to feel like, maybe I need some guidance.

Because you know, while school is predictable with thousands of guidebook, road maps, helping hands – the school of life is an unpredictable puzzle; no two maps are alike. But if it’s one thing I am consoled by, it is that much like school, there are lots of courses with different, creative subject matters; the goal isn’t to enroll and score them all – there’s no need for 4.0 – but to enjoy the learning, living process. Being terrible in one subject only means I’ll learn to do three others better. Failing one also doesn’t mean it’s the end – I’ll just revise my curriculum and study plan so the school of life will work better for me.

Remember: the goal isn’t to die trying – it’s to enjoy the learning experience.

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