It's hard to update a blog when more and more you feel limited by how these things linger online forever, like a dark mark from your past that will never be erased.
Might not necessarily be something wrong to post, but the person I am tomorrow might not agree with the things I said today, and what I felt did thought yesterday might be used against the future me.
I'm past being the rebellious teenager I was before, or the angry young adult I was most of my twenties, and I now see more wisdom in self-restraint than I would ever imagine myself appreciating in the past.
Twenty-year-old Irene would have scornfully jeered at the me now, for what seems like the lack of courage to uphold the freedom of speech. The fact remains that I have thoughts... very opinionated ones at that, which don't quite seem like they're worth expressing on public domain. I guess the older one gets, the more one sees the bigger picture, understands that in the grand scheme of things, standing up for petty issues is just not worth the consequences at all.
Today I was speaking briefly to a reader from the past, and I got a little nostalgic. I think the last time he checked back on my blog, I was descending into an almost hopeless self-destruction. For some odd reason, I seem to have gotten out of that phase relatively unscathed, save some rather ugly scars across the entirety of my left arm.
I know I don't update much anymore compared to the Irene who could churn out multiple posts daily, but all you have to know is, I am fine right now, better than I used to be, in a safer, warmer place than the abyss I was constantly trying to claw my way out of previously.
There's a lot less adventure in my life - I've lost some of my recklessness along the way, the sort of recklessness one approaches life with when one lives to die every single waking moment. I don't throw myself into dangerous situations the way I used to, because I quite enjoy my existence right now, and would not want to expire just yet.
Something has also hardened inside of me, a firmer certainty of my values, of what I view as right and wrong, and my tolerance for the things that fall into the extreme end of latter category has lessened. Strangely, despite all that, along the way I got more accepting of how different human attitudes can be, and learnt how much broader the definition of most things in life really are - I've seen more shades of grey than I thought was possible.
Time has had a contradictory effect on me.
I've lost a love. I think he was the defining love of my life. I don't think I ever cared about anyone quite the same again. But I've learnt to be a more considerate lover from all that.
I've travelled to many places, found things to love about each, but in the process realised that home was where my heart really was. Well, for now, at least.
I've widened my social circle, and found that I needed less friends, learnt to appreciate my alone-ness even more than I used to.
I've grown older, leaner, less wide-eyed innocence, and somehow, despite the subtle signs of aging I see creeping up upon my face, I've learnt to embrace my appearance the way I never could as a younger girl.
I'm still quick to anger. I've learnt to temper that by telling myself I have little to gain from rage. And then I take a step back, behind that barrier where things stop making much of an impact. It's not quite as satisfying as the dramatic explosions of emotions I used to indulge myself in, but it's infinitely better in the long run - less after-care or cleaning up to deal with.
As always, I walk the fine line between detached indifference and a consuming empathy... I guess I always isolated my heart because I felt things a little too keenly.
Everything has changed in this little bubble of mine. Nothing has really altered, beneath the surface.
For those who have been following me for more than half a decade, thank you for reading, thank you for your concern, thank you for caring even when I myself gave up for a little while. =)
It's hard to update a blog when more and more you feel limited by how these things linger online forever, like a dark mark from your past that will never be erased.
Posted by CreativeBitchin at 22:40
The way I see it, Internet trolls are immensely amusing creatures. Sometimes, if you think of it, these are the very entities who give more of a shit about whichever topic they've chosen to flame you on than you actually do.
Even when interest levels flag. Even when the targets of their cyber-harassing decide that there are better things in life to do than engage with these time-sinks (because why waste time and effort reasoning with those of twisted rationale and warped perspectives and sheer malice?)
And from anger to irritation to apathy to just plain amusement... I guess the only wise thing to do is to learn to make the most of the ugly side of the Internet. Watching internet trolls spontaneously combust from not being fed enough, in a gloriously self-vilifiying stream of verbal diarrhoea... Now that is always good entertainment.
I've come to the conclusion that the sort of individual who chooses to troll is usually one with too much time and not enough meaningful activities and interactions in real life. Maybe the person suffers self-esteem issues or some sort of complex. Loneliness and an inability to connect with other human beings normally, maybe, but it's not my business to counsel those who would make themselves feel better at others' expenses.
No, I'm not always right, but what is definitely wrong, is hurting people.
Posted by CreativeBitchin at 14:29
I've never been much of a fan of running. I mean, I remember when I was little, there were definitely occasions when I made quick dashes just for the pure joy of moving quickly across an expanse of space, but most of that has been overshadowed by memories of me falling over and skinning my knees badly (I've always been a klutz, more so when I was younger), or being told that I ran badly, or didn't run fast enough, or coming last for the running events during Physical Education classes.
And there were always worried, upset grandparents and parents and aunts yelling, yelling, yelling, "DON'T RUN AROUND SO MUCH! YOU'LL FALL OVER AND HURT YOURSELF!"
An ex of mine was a sprinter and a generally all-round sporty person. He used to laugh at me all the time, because a lot of things that came so easily to him, were a struggle for me to even do halfway decently. Maybe he didn't realise it at the time, but it made me even more reluctant to try a lot of things. Eventually I did, but that's a story for another day.
Anyway, I guess all that took a lot of the pleasure out of running for me. And I'm going off on a tangent a little, but if I ever have kids, I'll try my best to be mindful of things like these, and not deprive them of all the little childish joys children should be entitled to, and try my best to be encouraging.
So yeah, I was never much of a running person. Not even much of a walker. But recently I've been hiking a lot more than I ever imagined myself being capable of, and what with Ingress (refer to previous blog post), and a hyperactive puppy, and the re-discovery of the really awesome pair of running shoes an ex got for me a couple of years ago (aforementioned ex, yes, but the shoes were really given with all the best of intentions), I've taken to sort of running at the park occasionally.
Yes, occasionally, and not everyday, mind you. Only when I feel like it, for as long as I want to, and at a pace that both Alyx and I can take. We run alone, so there's nobody to tell me I don't run fast enough, long enough, with good enough form. We sometimes run in short bursts interspersed with lots of brisk walking, or we run the entirety of the park's running trail at a somewhat consistent pace, but I don't keep track. We run just because it feels good to run.
And something's changed a little over the past few weeks. I've begun to really enjoy some of these runs. Some, not all... but that's been enough for me. Like today.
It's been raining everyday in the evening, which has been a bit of a bummer, since I prefer to go to the park around 5.30pm onwards. Today I finished some work earlier than usual, looked out the window a little past 5pm, and decided it was just sunny enough for me to squeeze in a quick one before the weather changed.
Alyx and I head to Friendship Park (technically not a dog-friendly park anymore, but I run inside AND outside the park grounds alternatively, and the guards taking care of the place have never stopped me from doing so), and while driving there, I notice that the sky is starting to turn a little grey. Praying that I get at least a few rounds in before the rains start, I hasten to our destination.
As we get out of my car and begin to jog, a strong wind begins to pick up. I begin to experience rather contradicting emotions: the gradually strengthening winds feels good as I put one foot in front of the other; but the dark clouds I can see whipping up in the distance tells me that my run won't be a long one.
It feels so good feeling the concrete pounding beneath my feet. A beautiful purplish bolt of lightning shoots down from somewhere within the swirling mass of dark grey gathering in the distance, and I stop, amazed by the wonder of nature. My dog probably doesn't care about all of that, but she's enjoying this too - I'm usually trying to get her to heel and am constantly trying to remind her of her leash training, but today we're just running for the heck of it.
And then we're off at a nice speed again. I can smell the ozone in the atmosphere. The temperature drops and I'm aware we're running out of time. We complete one circuit but I decide to push my luck, so we start on a second round, keeping up the brisk pace we started off with.
I feel the burning in my lungs, and I think Alyx does too, but when I try to slow down a little, she pulls at the leash and runs ahead of me, so I increase my pace and keep running. We're halfway through the second circuit and I'm feeling good - the knowledge that we're literally racing against time for this, plus the experience of having an impending storm come upon us kicks up the adrenaline pumping through my veins, and I feel almost euphoric as we push ourselves towards the end of the route and towards the park entrance that I parked my car at.
It's already beginning to drizzle. There's more thunder and lightning. We don't break our pace at all; we just keep running towards my car. We're just a minute away and the drizzle's giving way to a slightly heavier rain... And we run past a small group of people sheltering under one of the main buildings at the park, we leap over drains...
I stick my car key into the key slot just as the storm breaks. We barely manage to get into the car before all hell breaks loose on Kuching. We're a tad damp, but we narrowly escape from getting completely drenched.
I laugh with exhilaration, as I pull the car door shut, while the dog shakes the droplets of rain off herself.
It was a good run, one of the best I've ever had. =)
As for Alyx? After a hearty dinner of raw chicken and some red snapper, my hyperactive nippy puppy was quiet for once - the intensity of the evening required that she recharge her batteries instead of harass us for endless games of fetch:
I posted awhile ago that we had a new addition to the Chan family. I named her Alyx.
Life has been rather different since her arrival, and the household has been been turned upside down by her presence. We've spent quite a few difficult weeks adjusting to life with her around - I personally barely slept the first six weeks due to her constant crying, and the need paper train her required that I be up early to let her out of her create.
We've lost hundreds of ringgit in the form of destroyed electronics - Alyx seems to have quite a thing for chewing up various cables and cords. Unlike the perpetually silent Cookie, Alyx is VERY vocal girl, with a wide range of barks, whines, howls and even shrieks to convey her feelings about everything. We've attributed that trait to both her poodle and chihuahua heritage, more so the latter.
I know some people say that a dog's personality is purely nurture - ie. training and socialisation, rather than genetics (nature). As much as I would like that to be true, Alyx has pretty much proven that breed does play a role in a dog's personality. She seems to have inherited her mother's chihuahua temperament, which is to say my puppy is very much a paranoid, jumpy individual with a deep mistrust for everyone and everything outside of her beloved "pack" of humans.
I've been trying to socialise her right from the moment I got her by bringing her out very regularly. She's been to countless parks all over Kuching with me (more on that later), and various coffee shops and even to some of my friends' houses to expose her to all sorts of people, and quite a few other dogs too.
|Contrary to how this looks, Bono the golden retriever was an extremely easy-going and friendly dog. Alyx was the aggressor for most part of their afternoon spent together. -_-|
While it's made her a little more tolerant of things, she still does react pretty defensively to being approached by people/animals/anything. She's also very territorial and will bark at anything that intrudes on "her" home. I've done everything I've read in order to reduce all that fear and aggression, but it's an on-going effort to moderate her behaviour.
That said, she's also brought a lot of lively aciivity to my house. There's rarely a quiet moment these days where the puppy isn't begging someone to play fetch with her. She's obsessed with the game, which is something none of us really taught her - she instinctively began bringing her toys back to us. She'll play fetch with just about anything, be it a soggy, sticky raw-hide chew toy, or her favourite plush sandal toy.
Unlike my traumatised Cookie (two attacks by neighbourhood strays left her terrified and not quite the same ever), Alyx LOVES going out. With all that boundless energy and an eagerness to explore, we've taken to checking out various parks around Kuching, which allows me to squeeze in a little additional physical activity (we walk briskly or even run, depending on energy levels of the both of us).
Since I play Ingress, which is a geo-caching role-play game, it's been a bit of an exercise in killing quite a few birds with one stone as I walk the dog, jog, hack/destroy/claim portals while exploring my city, all at the same time. And I can honestly say I've found the perfect Ingress buddy in her, because even when some portals take us on long drives out, she's perfectly content sitting pretty in the passenger seat, just enjoying being out of the house for awhile.
So whilst there's been a need to make various life-style changes to accommodate this noisy ball of fluff, it's been a pretty good run, so far. She's neurotic and paranoid at strangers, but with me and my parents, she's extremely affectionate, and constantly finds new ways to insinuate herself more deeply into our hearts.
Mrs. Chan was extremely against the idea of having her initially, because she couldn't accept the idea of a new dog so soon. Over the past few months, my mother has been the person responsible for spoiling my puppy silly. They meditate together (or rather, mum meditates whilst the puppy watches her, befuddled), take afternoon naps together, potter around in the garden together, watch the telly together.
I even managed to capture this rarely-documented moment of affection... my puppy suddenly decided she wanted belly-rubs and cuddles just as my mother was about to take an afternoon nap on the floor, on one hot day:
Most of all, my little Miss Alyx has been the unintentional reason (on her part) for much amused laughter at home, when she was Cone Dog for two long weeks after being spayed:
When I took like a million silly selfies with her as a reluctant furry prop:
When we bought all sorts of disgustingly adorable outfits to dress her up in:
(The bee hoodie obviously didn't go down very well with her. She was a bit confused and a little upset at how it covered her ears...)
I guess yeah, as yappy and bitey as she is, my little defender has definitely improved the quality of life for every member of the Chan household. It's been a good five months getting to know her, and here's to many, many more moons of that wavering between aggravation and love for our little dog with the big attitude... =)
When you have to talk about a topic you're as familiar with as the back of your hand, from years of working on and off in industries related to marketing - extension of product life cycle - what you do to spice things up is use Justin Bieber as an example.
Just because he's the epitome of cheese but your poor audience has to bloody sit through at least a good fifteen minutes of your reluctant droning anyway, so cheese you can laugh at > mind-numbingly boring rubbish everyone won't register at eight in the morning anyway.
Sometimes mindless rubbish like this sells so much better than topics with more substance.
Preferred outcome of compromising my stance against pop culture: I'm amused, you're (hopefully) entertained, and maybe some of you are actually fans of the kid, so let's laugh this one off and make this an experience that's less painful for all of us.
Just don't boo me off stage before I finish.
Posted by CreativeBitchin at 03:14
After some of the messages I got, hours after posting the previous entry, I think I owe a lot of people an apology. Was not aware I still had so many friends following this rather inactive blog, and I'm sorry, if I come across as being worryingly subdued recently, but the fact is, I've been a little overwhelmed by a lot of things, which I won't bore you by going into detail on, but sometimes, when too many things are happening at the same time, and a bipolar down-swing happens concurrently, things can start looking a little bleak.
I guess I just got caught up in that tidal wave of emotions, and as hard as I tried to stay afloat, I got wiped out, which upset me even more, because I thought I was better than that, after all these years of trying to master some self-awareness and self-control.
I guess there are still many lessons to be learnt. Today, I came to accept that it's OK to get thrown off course a little, because that IS part of living... the only thing that really matters is that one re-emerges (even if it takes a little bit of struggling and spluttering) from beneath that sudden storm, and aspire to get on with the programme.
Things are still not all peachy, but I'm definitely no longer so caught up in my own despair I lose sight of things.
On the flip-side of all this... I've observed that depressed people are possibly some of the most self-absorbed, selfish people around, which is something I try very hard to avoid inflicting on others, after years of over-indulging in my own pity party.
Yes, it feels like crap to be down in the dumps, and YES, your perspective gets rather skewed to the point you cannot look beyond your own pile of shit sometimes, and insignificant little set-backs become an emotional blow of monumental proportions. But there's always the choice of indulging in your inner Melancholic Molly, or to just suck it up and try to find a way to get around that crap.
Yesterday, whilst starting to feel a little better about things, two incidences in particular triggered in me those sentiments - a friend who has been depressed for a very long time, despite our best efforts to help, decided to share this link on Facebook (after months of attention-seeking behaviour which we've been trying to chalk down to indirect calls for help), and then a friend of a friend's who probably really did attempt suicide last night (no news as to how she is as of current moment).
Which really made me feel like losing it. Coming from someone who has done all sorts of drastic rubbish with the sole aim of self-termination at least a dozen times over, who still suffers from bipolar disorder, it sounds almost hypocritical. But this much I know - I understand all those thought processes. They usually fall under one or even a few of the following:
- They want validation that they are fucked up. And therefore deserve special treatment.
- They badly want people to understand them, empathise with them, not realising that that would be a tough call. Nobody can ever truly know how you are feeling because they are simply just not you.
- People are obliged to help them because it's the right thing to do, a.k.a. "HOW COULD YOU JUST DO NOTHING AND LEAVE ME TO WASTE AWAY!?"
- Misery loves company and they will feed on your unhappiness if you just happen to be in similar circumstances, just to feel less lonely.
- They genuinely feel like there's no other means out of their predicament aside from death.
But honestly, after over a decade of battling my own demons, I can say this with conviction: You cannot save someone who doesn't want to help him or herself.
You can move mountains and divert rivers and all that just to ensure that they don't fucking find reason to off themselves, but there's only so many occasions you can be there to offer love and support and circumvent all self-destructive tendencies. Eventually, you'll find that there are times you just CAN'T be available either physically or emotionally or even mentally, for one reason or another.
One main reason being the sanctity of your own emotional state. I know for a fact that there's only so much I can give before my own sanity gets severely compromised and I have to pull back from all of it and compartmentalise my own messy emotions.
They have to snap out of it themselves, and if they can't, and truly feel like death is the only solution... I don't know man, I don't think it's truly my responsibility anymore to drag the living dead back out into the harsh glare of a functional existence.
Sorry if this sounds rather bitter, but I think sometimes, you just have to let go of some things, and that includes this unreasonable guilt and silly sense of responsibility, when it comes to things that are beyond your power to change.
I need to recoup my energy to work on myself.
Posted by CreativeBitchin at 18:31
Today, I ran away from home. Which is a ridiculous statement considering I'm way too old to be able to legitimately do that.
But she does have a way of making me feel small and vulnerable again, with a heart so full of pain it wants to explode. I guess I've been feeling very low, it's not been a very happy few weeks, which has left me feeling completely drained (I do recognise it as impending depression, yes), and there's been so much drama happening around me.
I haven't felt so lonely in such a long time, trapped with all these really familiar and unwelcome feelings of despair. I guess, I feel like all those hard-gained shreds of self-worth are now being taken away from me again, and it doesn't help that I'm truly broke, for the very first time in a long time. Cheques from payments have not cleared, some are yet to arrive, and I'm just too goddamn weary to make the calls to check if they've been sent out.
I'm in a to hell with everything sort of mood right now.
And yes, I'll admit it, I feel like I've hit bottom again. Such a loser, after working so damn hard to manage every aspect of my life, just to suddenly lose my grip on it again, despite every desperate attempt to hold everything together.
No, it didn't feel cathartic, curled up on the cold tiled floor of the bathroom, sobbing. It didn't lift any burden, I didn't feel any much better for that pointless exercise in indulging in emotions. And so I stopped crying and left the house.
Saw her try to chase after my car as I calmly reversed out. Just wiped the drying moisture off my face, and drove away from all of that hurt.
Frankly I feel like a lie, not reaching out to my friends for help, in part because I've got too much pride to admit that I'm down in this shit-hole right now, and maybe in part because I feel so raw and so brow-beaten it feels like I don't deserve more concern, after a life-time of being fortunate enough to be saved by acts of random kindnesses.
What an oxymoron, too proud to ask for help, too self-loathing to want to burden anyone.
I'm suddenly so keenly aware of being so damn alone... which is strange, because I generally enjoy my solitude. I guess this is what loneliness is: not the absence of human companionship, but rather, the inability to connect with people when one is most in need of just that.
I'm so isolated, and I can't even find the strength in myself to call the one person who would understand, to bail me out of this shit. The only person who really knows me, considering how I keep most parts of my life carefully compartmentalised and hidden away from the general public.
How did I end up here again? I should grow up and stop being this rubbish in dealing with other people's complexes.
Posted by CreativeBitchin at 21:31
- alyx sfx (5)
- aww not another food post (46)
- bono (10)
- cookie monster (31)
- DIY (3)
- emohhhhhhhhh (19)
- events (25)
- four-legged friend (12)
- girly stuff (5)
- rant rave bitch (64)
- retail therapy (2)
- sandscapes (7)
- shopaholicspeak (7)
- snigger giggle (26)
- stating the obvious (6)
- stick-figure series (4)
- those gross greens (3)
- wah so drama (7)