Monday, August 30, 2010

How do you say...?

working it out: 1

I'm watching my friends' marriages completely fall apart. Crash and burn. I see them hurt and claw through the darkness, and my heart is so incredibly broken for them. I wish I had all the perfect words to comfort, I wish I knew just exactly what to say that was eloquent and would make sense, something that would convey just how much I love them and just how unbroken they are.

I want to sit with them in the darkness and hold them as they cry. As they feel every fiber in their being hurt, hold them so tight and convince them that their world isn't falling apart. I want to be angry with them, I want to grieve their shattered hopes and dreams, I want to remind them you are beautiful, you are stronger than you think you are, you are loved.

I want to remind them that it is safe to fall apart, I want to remind them that this burden, this need to keep your shit together is unfair. I want to say, do what you need to do.




Get Angry.



Fall Apart.

it's okay, it's okay, it's okay.

Just don't forget to come back into the light, just don't forget that there are so many people behind you, next to you, ready to be there when you are. This, this is just a bump, a life lesson, a fork in the road that will take you to some place so special if you let it.

I want to say, this does not define you. Do not be embarrassed by this and do not let anyone else make you feel lesser for this. Your story is yours to keep, your truth is important only to you, tell it if you want to, scream it from the rooftops with details or bask in the privacy that this is your right to not have to say anything. This is your journey, and yours alone. It is up to you to tell the story, it is up to you to define it.

...this is such a hard sucky way of finding out who you are and what you are made of. This period, these hard, hurtful, devastating emotions are a special kind of hell-on-earth. It feels like you're the only one and you are so lost, so confused, so exhausted. So done. I want to say, I'm here. I want to say, I believe in you, but more than that I know with all my heart that there's a bigger picture. There is sunshine after the storm. That this is the yucky awful bridge that will take you to where you want to be. Where you're hoping to be. Where you're begging to be.

It can happen.

Really and truly.

But I can't say that. I can't say that because it's like a slap in the face. I can't say it because sometimes, the hard things, the promises, the "there is a silver lining, this happened for a reason, it's all going to be okay" might not be what they can or want to hear at the moment.

I remember that when everything was falling apart and people kept on telling me how "good" this was, I wanted to slap someone. I wanted to say are you fucking kidding me? I wanted to say take it back, I don't want the lesson, I can't see the lesson, I don't understand the bloody lesson. I can't hear you, I don't get it so please please don't tell me this happened for a reason because right now? Right now, I don't get it, right now, I'm just trying to get through the next minute, and maybe the next 5 after that. And then maybe I'll get through 15 mins, and eventually an hour. And someday, someday maybe I'll be able to go through a whole day without falling apart but for right now, right now, I am completely and totally overwhelmed and I have no words. So please please don't tell me that this losing my marriage, losing my identity, losing what feels like everything to me in this moment, is a good thing.

So I don't know what to say.

I don't know how to say, I believe in the happy without rubbing it in their face. I don't know how to say, I was there once, I was once at that dark dark place of confusion and sadness, I was once so incredibly broken and hurt and there were days that felt like forever, and there were days where it was so hard to keep the faith but that I am here. I am here and it is beautiful and I believe in you and I know you can do it. I can see, from the other side, all the good that can come out of this.

I don't know how to say that I'm sure that these decisions were not made lightly. I'm sure that this was in no one's fault. You don't have to explain, you don't have to hide. I know the person that you are, I know the incredible, loving, amazing, friend that you are. This was just where life took you and this was the road that you had to take for you. This was the healthy, this was the grown-up, this was the "right" wrong thing.

I get it, I get it so please please stop beating yourself up.

I believe in marriage. I still do. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe in trying and trying and trying again. I believe in fighting for a marriage, in respecting and honoring your vows. But I also believe in making the healthy choice. Making the right choice that is needed at that time. I believe that sometimes, people change, people grow apart, people become unhealthy for each other. I believe that sometimes, marriages just fall apart. Sometimes, something special can become toxic, sometimes hard choices are made to preserve, to protect. Sometimes, life just happens and sometimes, marriage isn't forever.

I'm not judging.

I love you, just for you. I love you in the ugly, in the yucky, in the sad. I love you in the happy, and the laughy, and the crazy delirious awesome.

I'm not choosing sides. I love the both of you. I love the both of you and I refuse to choose sides. I refuse to say who was right or who was wrong because I don't know what happened. This is not my judgement to make, this is not my decision to make, this is not for me to pit one side against each other.

I love you both.

And I'm so so sorry.

I'm sorry that two couples that I love so dearly and have so much respect for are having to go through this yucky ugly thing. And I know that you're trying, I know that you're probably sick of trying and sometimes it slips. Sometimes, we just make mistakes. Sometimes, it's just ugly. This is ugly. It's messy. It's sad.

Let's call it for what it is.

It's ugly.

But I also know that this is a new beginning. This is a beginning that in no way disregards the past. This is the beginning of healing, of discovering, of independence.

This is the beginning to the rest of the new you.

This beginning, no matter how hard and awful and terrible it began, is still a beginning.

In the end, you decide.

I love you, and I love you too much to let you hurt alone.

I'm here,

whenever you need me.

How? How do I say all that eloquently? Precise? Not in six thousand and seventy two overwhelming words?

after winter comes the summer.
after night comes the dawn.
and after every storm, there comes clear open skies.

-samuel rutherford.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I'm looking for closure, for words, for a place to put my feelings and be filed away, to be said out loud then secured into a safe place. I'm looking for healing, for mending, for a place to be grateful, to be honest, to say all the things I don't say out loud. The fears, the ugly moments, the moments where insecurity and being blindsided collide in a catastrophic spectacle of being hurt and struggling to find the ground beneath you.

So much happened this week, so much happened and it was a week packed to the brim with so so many intense highs and lows. A week of transitions and adjustments, a week of hard lessons and such happy proud moments, a week of loving, healing, hurting, hiding, coping....a week of breathing in and out then in again.

It is hard to define the challenge of being lost. The slow slow snail pace transition of adapting and redefining a new normal. I'm grieving, in some sense, for the things and people and the places I have left behind. I crave for this safe place. I crave for my independence and the security in knowing. In knowing just who I am here, in knowing my surroundings, in figuring out the people and the friendships and the intricate change of the new and the different and the adapting.

How do you describe what it's like to be in two different places at once, a part of me so excited to be home and another part desperately ready to be at a place I know.

Is it possible to be so happy but so sad at the same time? Is it possible to be home but so incredibly homesick for another home so far away? How do you really define this feeling? I've been trying and trying to find the perfect way to describe this transition but words fail me, I miss. I miss so very much and deeply and badly. I miss and miss and miss, in a sad melancholic lump-in-my-throat-bite-back-the-tears way. I miss my best friend, and my safe place, and my cupcake store, and our lunch dates, and my loving crazy awesome surrogate family. I miss friday nights with friends in stupid dingy hookah bars, and The Bachelor dates with the girls, and driving and stupid silly stinky Sylar and a little big girl that started 4th grade this week. I miss Target and Cache and TJMaxx and I miss going into a store unembarassed, unassuming, unknowing to even be worried to ask if they have my size. I miss being normal, and a regular, and a local. I miss knowing exactly who I am in a crowd, I miss being completely secure in the decisions and choices I have had to made, I miss just being.

This week has probably been the hardest.

This week stripped me and knocked me down just a little, this week, I took punches and bruises, this week, I fell apart just a little. Questioned, swallowed a mouth full of insecurity and let my confidence take a beating. This week, I let different people make me believe that I was less than I was.

This week, I let someone make me feel fat and ugly.

This week, I let someone make me feel dumb and stupid.

This week, I let someone make me feel like a failure.

This week, I got just vulnerable enough to let someone hurt me with insensitive words.

But the difference is, I know that this week, I let them.

I allowed them to make me feel that way.

I am better than this. I have worked hard hard hard to be better than this. I have worked enough to know that this is a journey, a transition of sorts, bumpy and rough at times. That this period, this moment of blinding vulnerability is part and parcel of defining a new normal. That most of all, this falling back is pivotal to moving forward.

But more than that,

This week, I will forgive myself for letting someone make me feel fat and ugly.

I will forgive myself for letting someone make me feel dumb and stupid.

I will forgive myself for letting someone make me feel like a failure.

I will forgive myself for being just vulnerable enough to let them hurt me with their insensitive words.

And in that, I will forgive them.

This week, I will choose to learn this precious lesson. This week I will take the shattered pieces of my pride and guard it fiercely. I will try harder at mending these broken relationships without letting it break me. I will learn to say no thank you, I will learn to stand up for myself, I will learn to speak up instead of run. I will learn not to beat myself up for the things I should or should not have done, the things I should or should not have said, the decisions I should or should not have made.

I will choose to just be. I will choose to kick ass. I will choose to laugh, and appreciate, and be grateful. I will choose to learn, I will choose to not be bitter, I will choose to be better than this.

But more than that, more than anything else,

I will choose to move forward.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

~Leo Buscaglia

Saturday, August 7, 2010


bar italia w an extra finger.

I have tried, in the last three weeks, writing and rewriting my thoughts, summing it all up eloquently and giving words to this experience.

I have a nice little collection of drafts, of things I started to say, tried to say, didn't know how to say.

How do I talk of all the special and the wonderful and the assurance that this, this moving, was meant to be?

or of constantly adjusting to the culture shock can sometimes be so demoralizing. of the trials and the challenges, of all being sometimes so scared, so alone, so terrified of what's to come and having fleeting moments of insecurity bite me so hardly in the ass?

or how I miss and miss and miss somemore. How a part of my heart is so sad and longs so much and how long-distance sucks balls.

But yet, I also want to tell you about the beautiful. I want to document the beautiful. The amazing amazing little things that have happened, that has made my heart smile so big and my gratitude for all that is happening immense.

Of how when we were taking a break, out of breath, encouraging one another on our spectacular nature hike, how a little teenage boy, stopped, and asked so kindly, so genuinely, so honestly, if he could share his 100plus with us. A simple cup of offering, so thoughtful, instead of making fun, instead of pointing and laughing and nudging his friends and whispering like teenagers do, he asked if he could share his drink with us. And that, that meant the world to me. I wanted to ask him for his mother's number, to ring her up and say, what a fabulous and spectacular job you've done with your boy. What a gift to be reminded of what it means to compassionate, to share, to be kind.

And when we finally reached the top of the hill, seventeen hundred breaks and six buckets of sweat later, it felt so incredibly good to know we did it. We did it! And as we crossed a rope suspension bridge 1000ft(?) above the sea level, it was hard not to notice just how beautiful the moment was.

If you know me, you'll know that I am definitely not a let's-go-be-one-with-nature-and-run-in-the-woods-kind-of-girl. It's hot, it's humid, there are furry creatures and mosquitos and what the hell is this fresh air bit? Give me an elliptical, a tv, some headphones, a trainer and a clean, organized, no surprises methodical place and I'm good.

So this bit, this part where I actually enjoyed the fresh air, the slight breeze, the bits of thunder rumbling in the background and the splash of the waterfall as I look away into the city and down beneath me into miles of rainforest, I was in awe. I was in awe of the God that had orchestrated all this beauty, and I was in awe of the God that was orchestrating all the moments in my life.

I was with friends, an impromptu agreement to walk the canopy together after a night full of reconnecting. I've been trying to think of the words to describe what the night was like...I had worried it would be awkward, I had worried I would be exhausted fielding seventeen hundred different questions and that we would have changed, that I would have changed too much and that I would feel just so different. I should have known better, I should have known better than to let my insecurities mess with my mind, I should have known better and given my friends and myself so much more credit than I did. A 15 year friendship doesn't just happen because it's convenient, a 15 year friendship happens because you love each other just as is. Because my friends? My friends just loved and the love fest was evident in our laughs and smiles.

I am so so grateful for these relationships. I am so so grateful these relationships have survived and more than once last night, the thought crossed my mind on how meant to be this moment was. How right it felt to move home. How freaking blessed I am.

We have watched each other grow up, mature, fight through the awkward stages of puberty and adolescence. We have rebelled together, stood up for each other and bickered with one another, pushed and pulled throughout the years. We have learned to overcome challenges together and apart, we have learned when to guide and when to support, when to push and when to just be there. We have seen our way through death, through divorce, through job interviews and separately moving to different continents and learning to find ourselves, our purpose.

Our friendship may have it's bumps and bruises, our friendship may not be perfect, but our friendship is so incredibly special.

My first year in college away from everything that I knew and stuck in the booming metropolis of Pensacola, Fl...I longed for a familiar face. I longed to run into someone at Target that I went to primary school with, that just knew me more than the "international student", that knew me just for me. And slowly, as I adjusted and learned to call America my home, I made new friends that are now old friends but a part of me has always longed for these friends. These friends that know me, that have watched me grow up, that I can talk to even if it's been months since we last spoke. These friends that I can raise an eyebrow across the table and laugh uncontrollably in our secret joke, these friends that have so much history in the stories that I tell, that I can refer to a moment that needs no further elaboration. These friends, and how we've travelled and lived in all parts of the world and yet somehow, miraculously found our way home to live in Malaysia or are on our way here. We represent America, Australia, London, Switzerland, Scotland, Europe and it is just so crazy how we have made it back here in very unconventional and unplanned ways, ways that sometimes hurt and were sometimes expected and unexpected but in retrospect, were so right.

Our circle has expanded and is constantly expanding and contracting, revolving. We have included significant others and friends from uni and friends of friends and the faces have changed. We make new friends in our "other lives" and every once in a while, a neat opportunity happens for our paths to cross and it is really neat to see the "other side". Our priorities may have changed and our personalities may have matured, our accents a strange eclectic mix but the core of who we are remains the same. And for that, I am so, so grateful.

These are friends I will hopefully grow old with.

How special is it to be able to say that?

"The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."