Friday, March 03, 2017

The end, begins

Just a post to mark this date - the commencement of the end of a chapter.

There are remnants of angst, and some loose ends to be tied, or severed, we shall see.

But mostly, the heart is leaping and cartwheeling with relief.

Such lightness, and joy. A brilliant start to the weekend. :)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

The self-praise expert

The other day, AB skimmed through my Luxembourg entries and couple more of my posts, then sniggered, "Your blog is mostly about you saying how great you are and how much you like being by yourself and being in your own head!"

Pfffft. He remarked that in half-jest, and I didn't take offense (used to his so-called sense of humour by now), but then when I checked through my posts, those are definitely recurring themes. :p

Hmmm.

For a nano second, I seriously pondered if I was perhaps one of those deluded narcissists who think they are nice well-loved individuals but actually deplorable self-centred nuisances.

My conclusion? I'm just a well-adjusted introvert who has a healthy dose of self-awareness, and prefers to see the positive in everything, herself included.  Pretty certain that these positive thoughts are way better than reading rants and grouses, no? At least so far, I've yet to hear any complaints about my self-exhortations. In fact most of my friends love me enough to even further fan those affirmations. *raises brows*

Then, there's that age-old argument that "It's my space so I have full right to decide what I write about." You, dear reader on the other hand, equally possess the right to choose not to read if my content irks you for whatever reason. I've always believed that to be the basis of a writer-reader relationship. So there. #sorrynotsorry

Ah well, I guess that's what you get when an introvert is dating an extrovert, we give each other the opportunity to see what it's like on the other side of the spectrum. ;)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The one that got away: the man child

Disclaimer: In case you missed my "introduction" to this series, read here for the context of why I named it so. 

Somehow, I thought it would be apt for my first entry to be about Z - after all, he was the one I was dating shortly after I started this blog all those years ago. He was also the reason I stopped blogging back then, and announced that I would no longer update.

Why a man child? Simply because this was a full grown man, clearly intelligent and a strong performer in his career, with a nice close-knit group of friends who are of decent character and upbringing. Yet, he has the emotional intelligence of a child - to be more specific, a brat.

This is a man who used to throw tantrums over the most ridiculous things, simply because he wanted to be cajoled. He turned up at gatherings with my friends with nary an attempt at getting to know them better, and even worse, showed a sourpuss face the entire time, answering any questions aimed at getting to know him better with short one-worded grunts. After two or three of these occurrences, I stopped asking him to come along, upon which he then flies into a rage whenever I met them instead of spending time with him. Essentially any behaviour of mine that doesn't seem to put him as my number 1 priority drew the question, "If you really love me, why would/wouldn't you do that?" Yes, really. I should also point out that while he felt entitled to be rude to my friends, I was expected to turn up for his outings and be nice to his mates. Double standards much? Yep, many times over.

He knew I had this blog, and would often check and read it not only out of interest about my thoughts and writing, but to question me about the most random things I wrote which somehow offended and supposedly were "attacks" on him. Needless to say, when he discovered that I had one other blog on which I use to track my workouts as well as post other content more personal than what's shared here, he completely lost it for an entire week. Well, thank goodness he didn't read those locked entries which are not visible - love Livejournal's function for that, when people won't even know if you posted content not meant for their viewing. Hurhurhur. But yes, that was what brought about me "suspending" this content - I just no longer had the energy to defend accusations that I was posting "pseudo" content here so that he wouldn't know to look for my other blog and posts. Zzzz.

Is it curious why I stuck with this dude for a painful four years since I was clearly not brimming over with happiness? Yes definitely, and I sometimes still feel like knocking myself on the head for not leaving three months into it when his tyrannical nature started rearing its ugly head. Yet, I guess it's an experiment or challenge of sorts to me - we met at a time when I was seriously questioning myself on my inability to stay in a relationship, having dated and left four guys before him. I looked at the happy relationships around me and wondered if I was really just unlucky with men, or was I the real problem, that I didn't try hard enough to commit to making it work. And that's what I did with Z. It all kinda worked, until one day when I realised that my reaction to a slight suspicion that he might propose marriage soon, was one of horror and paralysing fear.

My "fight or flight" instincts kicked in, and I was overcome by the urge to run away as far as I could, so I could have the headspace and distance to sort myself out. Didn't matter that we were long-distance at the time, I needed to get away from everything. That was my very first trip to the States, and it was definitely what I needed. I went around mostly on my own, spending hours walking around just checking shops out and sitting in cafes with a cuppa, no firm agenda in mind, just countless conversations with myself. It was the therapy I needed, to acknowledge to myself that YES, I am capable of committing to a relationship no matter what, but it really needs to be the right person. It's kinda not worth all that sacrifice if you can't even muster a modicum of decent respect, affection or trust with your partner. Obviously in this case, it was Z.

Once that was all figured out, I called it out with him over the phone, and for the first and last time, refused to back down from his threats, tantrums, blackmail, nasty comments, and finally sweet-talking promises to change his ways. No more, dude. I had enough. It took a good six months for us to finally, officially call it quits, which is exactly how headstrong and persistent Z is, and why I was often worn down in the past to just give in and stay, but having cleared the cobwebs from my mind, I wasn't going to let him win another battle of wills. To this day, I still feel immense relief that I am no longer with him, as do the closest friends, and that is the best proof that it's the right decision I made.

And thus, I concluded that I am just indeed unlucky with men, but that's really ok too. I don't need one, as much as I needed to be happy. That, I can do, and quite well too by myself. :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Happy day!

A piece of most uplifting news arrived in my inbox today. I could barely contain my grin or jubilance. 

A new chapter awaits. Filled with hope, sunshine, and a refreshing breeze. 

I know it will not be all peaches and cream, of course. There will be plenty of challenges and lots of learning involved. I need to reset some of the things I had gotten a familiar grasp on, and rehone the senses to gain new sets of knowledge, establish new networks and relationships. 

All a tad daunting, but also so exciting too.

:D

I can't wait, but in the meantime, I need to close the preceding chapter and make sure that's done nicely, gracefully and graciously. Because I wouldn't and couldn't do it any other way. 

That's all I can say for now, but more will be revealed in time. Stay tuned!  

Monday, February 27, 2017

Homemade apple cake!

AB's mum is quite the quintessential domestic goddess that I couldn't even dream of becoming. I had witnessed her prowess as a hostess in Luxumbourg, keeping her home in tip top condition while cooking and preparing a dizzying amount of food with barely any repetition. I should also mention that for lunch and dinner nearly everyday that we were there, she prepared three different versions of dishes, to cater to varying nutritional and dietary needs. Impressive is an understatement to describe her aptitude as a hostess.

Here on vacation, she declared leisurely over breakfast that she felt like baking a cake. "Nothing complicated," she said, just a "simple apple cake" for us to have for tea one of these days. She waved her hands dismissively, "I will get some ingredients from the supermarket, just show me what you have in the kitchen."

O_O That was the moment I knew how far away I was from her on the dom-goddess scale. I can't imagine ever thinking of baking anything during a vacation. Not even slapping spoonfuls of ready-made cookie dough onto a baking sheet and chucking it into an oven. Baking are special projects I embark on as assignments for myself once in a very blue moon. If I could, I would probably have shrank into a tiny kitchen elf and slunk away in dejection at my unworthiness.

But I don't animate (thankfully), so I just gave a weak smile and showed her where the flour, sugar and scale were. She smiled, "C├ęst parfait! I will get the rest." She winked.

And so a few days later, we had this beautiful cake sitting on the dining table. A generous piece was cut and served to me. The aroma of the apples reached my nose as I lifted the first bite to my mouth, and the cake tasted gorgeous. It wasn't very sweet at all, which was perfect, and the chunks of Granny Smiths lent a nice balance with its subtle tartness too. This was a cake made with pleasure and I was almost certain I could taste that, too. The coffee and conversations that afternoon around the table were the perfect accompaniment to it.

When I gushed my appreciation, she helpfully wrote down the recipe for it - four ingredients in total, and really straightforward measurements too. Alright, it looks doable enough - I might just make it one of my special projects this year.