heart-pain / heart-work

Back here cos this is my safe space for whenever I attempt to mentally declutter:

I am actually and have been in a real soul and heart unease lately. It has been a few months but I feel like my bouts of loneliness are getting (or just feeling) worse. The thing is, lest you worry, I’m actually doing well in general, not depressed or overly emotional or anything of that sort, but there is this searing ache deep within that doesn’t seem to go away. Some stressors and root causes I’m aware of but most of them, I don’t. No idea. I just know I’m experiencing genuine heart-pain.

I do feel like I’m working very hard at work though and while I now understand and aware why i.e. what Point B I’m trying to get to, both in terms of career development and myself professionally …it does feel like I’m semi-consciously selling my soul away? The irony that by giving so much to work albeit understanding why …I feel increasingly empty. I suspect this emptiness (coupled with pure exhaustion) is perhaps partly why my bouts of loneliness are more painful than never before.

It feels like, “Is this adulthood?” cos if it is I’m not sure I want it hahaha. I was reading and reflecting about fitrah – natural inclinations, this ache of longing and wanting – today and understood that it is making its grand entrance and appearance in my life now… sigh, welcome to age 27. But woaaah if I have to carry what feels like only half of my heart from now onward, existing like this …woaaaahh. This is very painful in a deep and sad way.

I think I am also very upset that I’m always drawn and attracted to people who are ‘wrong’ – those who won’t or don’t get this religious part of myself, what more accept, or simply those who won’t like me back. Sometimes these two types appear in the same people. It’s like falling for all the bad boys who’ll never look at me as their type? Haha that sort of thing. But they’re so my type I guess or there are traits of theirs …or worse, I’m just in a real achy bout of loneliness that I look to them and wonder if they could fill this hole, only to become more upset and very hurt when they won’t like me back.

Sadly, I think this wanting perpetuates and aggravates my searing, gnawing loneliness – it’s like this feeling of waiting for an invitation from these guys …which will never come. I know the truth yet I’m naively foolish and forever hopeful cos I’m a person of faith – I believe in miracles! Sounds silly, but I believe wholeheartedly in divine intervention if He wills it.

These days I even start to wonder if I need more Muslim friends; I think I do because the right friends keep us grounded, y’know? And while differences are always celebrated and I’m a fierce supporter – I have so much of differences at work, the place where I devote 12 hours on an average workday, that balance is now necesary. But the thing is… I struggle so much in taking part and going to places and events of Islamic themes, at least in the Malaysian setting and context, cos of the infusion of Malay culture. I’m so genuinely very uncomfortable in those settings that I can’t even interact or make new friends except with the usual well-meaning but clueless aunties. I admit that I thought of needing to grow my Muslim friends warm bodies count too cos maybe this is a way to counter this (forever) ‘falling for the ‘wrong’ types’ since I will never not be ‘too Muslim’ – my Muslimness will always show through my actions of protecting my values and prayers – but trying to overcome the Malay agenda invasive in the Malaysian Muslim community… just thinking of having to go into the fold gives me anxiety.

With non-Muslim guys – friends, acquaintances, colleagues or sometimes a blend of all of them – I realized that for those who are (were… initially) equally attracted or drawn to me, at some point they will draw the line and back off. Chicken out. I notice because all of a sudden, I would get the cold shoulder or over-overly-friendly or profesionally-impersonal vibe. Sigh. Each time this happens I can’t help but think that this would not have happened if I weren’t a Muslim woman.

If only my headscarf isn’t so obviously representative of my faith… or if I am not so do-gooder in rushing for my daily 5 prayers… or my insistence in protecting my personal values cos they’re reflective of myself as a person of Islamic faith…

Yet. Here’s the thing.

That is the thing – argh this mad circle! I can’t and more powerfully won’t give them up either. I won’t give up these parts of me. I know this scares people (some, always those I have crushes on) but unfortunately, the one thing that I cannot not be and is not actually insecure about… it is my identity as a Muslim. I decided recently that I won’t hide my Muslimness anymore cos this is my truest identity, yet I keep feeling romantically and potentially rejected as an individual and woman.

It… hurts. I hurt.

…cue increasingly intense bouts of loneliness with each wave stronger than before.

God help me; I feel like I’ve only half of my heart and it’s an awful state to be in.


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