Moments of Clarity are Stupid

I’m very good at making decisions in the heat of the moment as these moments are the only moments when I’m not conflicted in any way. Usually, these decisions are premature or REALLY premature as displayed the next day or even in the following few hours.

Holden Caulfield, Dean Moriarty, the Lisbon sisters, Heath Ledger, Alaska Young and Jessa Johanssen are examples of characters that encompass the aimless wanderers, the parasitic personalities we never understand and also the wonderful essence of instability we all crave against our daily responsibilities. These are very real, yet very romanticised notions of truth and beauty regarding human nature. This is the only love/hate experience I have had in my life when trying to find role models. There are Manic Pixie Dream Girl stock characters that I used to aim to be like so guys would like me yet in real life, these personalities are not substantial, they do not garner respect and leave a trail of destruction and longing behind when they inevitably start showing their true colors and piss off to their next short-term victim. There are numerous, shallow tumblr quotes pasted onto pictures of flowers, the beach and hipster photography, for example, “love like you have never been hurt”, “live wild and free”, “you are young, lose yourself”, “go off the grid”, “take chances”.

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Let me give you a few “fo’ instance”s where the decisions I’ve made in a second have had a detrimental consequences on others:

  • Buying plane tickets too early and with no set plans
  • Seeing a cute rat at the petshop and buying it
  • Deciding on career paths without actually looking into it properly
  • Taking that second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh tequila shot

  • Me (in a relationship): Wanna meet up? ;) Guy (also in a relationship but not with me): Yeah :)

I look back on such moments and compare them to the decisions I have made that aren’t based on a new offer or recently learnt new information from a single source and I don’t know why I let myself be so easily led astray.This summer I have learnt that my decisions are 90% impulsive and once I’m in that headspace there is no arguing against me. This is a struggle I’m dealing with because now I don’t know what I want when asked at critical times. I’m not okay with not knowing, but I also know I cannot force myself, to will myself, to be a certain way or come to conclusions without being ready. That is something I should know already – I could not just will myself out of depression, it took a year of work.

When a friend pisses me off, I often want to delete them, but with this I can wait a day and I learn that it was a terrible thought. Other things I cannot wait for. For example, I am always tempted to reach out to anyone on my contacts list in order to get a moment of justification. I do not follow through with this except with my close friends. When I felt really bad once, I thought I needed to reach out to my ex or they guys I cheated on him with. This type of thinking shows no self-respect whatsoever, and I am proud I didn’t backslide or contact him/them in any way. I have never followed through with contacting people I shouldn’t have in months, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t written a message up and deleted it as soon as I was done.

That is why I’m needed to develop a foundation of healthy relationships between my friends, family and everyone I get close to. It’s all well and good to have fun and enjoy moments where I’m encouraging people to get out of their shell but I cannot just be that. A solid foundation can set-up sensible behavior from it in order to direct me, instead of an idea of what I want to be encouraging my impulses as good behavior. I cannot be so one track minded, there are so many variables and ACTUAL PEOPLE WITH ACTUAL FEELINGS involved in my life, and mine in theirs no matter how much I deny my affects. 

Gong Xi Fa Cai from Sungai Petani, Malaysia. I’m feeling great, mostly from having my fun-loving family around, despite how loud they are. I havn’t had a drink since the first post :) 

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Understanding Liminality

As an Anthropologist, liminality is an ambiguous, middle/in-between part of your life, an important part of every life practice in order to reach a goal. No pain no gain bullshit. To me, not being completely at ease in a situation is liminality, it is not just a mindset or clearly cut off at any point because everything is still subject to change – job, housing, relationships. Holidays are supposed to be a great mental stage of liminality, anonymity and loss of routine responsibility being the prime motivators. Because I am always going over everything in my head its exhausting, I have little time to enjoy my holidays and it sucks. 

Its 1:35am and I’m sitting in Melbourne Airport waiting for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. The last time I was doing this trip I was 17 and had just finished high school. I struggled seeing people going to work wearing plain, clean and ironed clothing as I was leisurely traversing through city streets and consuming my savings. To me, I didn’t deserve to be there, I wanted a family, a career and respect and a job to go to everyday was how to get there.

For the past three years I was aiming at finishing uni and that was it. I naively thought my life would be set once I completed tertiary education. Now that I have my degree I’m back to the drawing board. I’ve changed so much in three years that my degree is basically useless to me right now. I don’t want to work everyday let alone work in media. I was watching an episode of Girls and Jessa was saying to the father of the kids she was babysitting that its okay to not have a job or anything going for you, and that it can be your thing for a while. Here is my problem with this – the first thing people ask about you when they meet you is your name, you are obviously more than an arbitrary word that is your name, so the second thing people ask you is “what do you do”. This question has plagued me since the looming presence of my graduation, well before my final exams, before anyone asked. I don’t ‘do’ anything by societys’ standards anymore. Because of this, I changed who I was, I became a different version of myself for a while and dug myself so deep that now I don’t even know who I am beyond my name anymore, in any capacity – a career… a family… dreams… what dreams.

Rearranging your priorities is always going to happen, but refusing to enjoy what you have because its temporary is only going to happen if you let it. Just as my holidays fly by in a wave of negativity and stress, everyday situations are going to seem everyday if you let them be liminal states and not your life. Because your life is important. 

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Day 1: Deciding to commit to change long term.

This is my new blog documenting my post-graduate 2014 in Dunedin. Without alcohol or pulling guys.

In the past few months I have made a number of mistakes – I cheated on my boyfriend with a mutual friend and I started drinking every weekend and multiple times every weekend. I became completely unaffected by the pain I was causing and I was even selfishly justifying the behavior. The consequences of this behavior has resulted in the loss of friends, trust and respect from others as well as respect for myself.

However, Boxing Day 2013 was the start of a turning point. This day consisted of the company of a very much unexpected guy who I didn’t really know well. I kept seeing him every day after that and he really brought out the best in me when I wasn’t over-drinking. He still does. The numbness in my mind was going away and I was seeing positive things as well as realities of human nature again. He also made me see that people are always going to surprise me in wonderful ways and that there is always hope, I was just getting too used to seeing the cycle of negative thoughts again. He also inspired me to write again, and it felt amazing. He gave me ideas, and the second night I wrote with him there, I get asked to have my article published on HelloGiggles.com. I am making changes for myself but he was the one who gave me the push and no matter what happens with our kind of relationship, that is something I am going to hold onto forever. I’m clearly not in a healthy place to take care of his needs in every way right now.

The last time I lost myself was in 2011, my first year of University when I started binge drinking and smoking Kronic, the synthetic cannabis. It resulted in poor grades for my papers that year, insomnia, depression and anxiety, the latter is what I am still dealing with today. After numerous counselling sessions at Student Health, a change in my degree, a few months on Temazepam, a year without caffeine or alcohol, and over a year of Fluoxetine I became better and it was like that time never happened. I had a very tame, sober 2012 with close friends and a healthy relationship with my now ex-boyfriend.

For right now, these are my priorities for the year

Situations I am avoiding:

  • Drinking alcohol at all, not even one drink
  • Situations and environments where I don’t feel strong enough to say no to a drink
  • Having heterosexual male friendships, besides the very important one I previously mentioned

I successfully avoided alcohol for the majority of 2012 and I can do it again for another year. Alcohol can be fun but I’m very good at abusing it. I have never had a male friend that was just a friend because the sex part always got in the way. I slept around because I could, because I liked knowing I could convince guys to have sex with me. I know I can’t trust myself around them anymore.

Situations I am putting first:

  • Thinking about how other people are affected by my behavior.
  • Developing and building trust on my relationships with my five close friends here in Dunedin and my more-than-a-friend.
  • Employment
  • Daily exercise

I am leaving for Malaysia for a month this coming weekend and its going to be a great time for me to reconnect with my mother who I think should know about my behavior this year.