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15 April 2014 @ 09:26 am
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16 April 2016 @ 12:35 am

I feel dirty for committing, as though it's so much cooler to be distracted, disinterested, aloof. Lately this applies to work (easier to act like you don't care about outcomes) and fun (easier to act like you're too good for pointless shit). Until I drink, then the chains come loose - I become some sort of bastard wild child, gregarious and stupid. But the shame always follows the morning after, as though my commitment to fun - this wallet-losing, phone-breaking, social media-fucking, rude-tongued side of me - was a mistake. Most of the time, it is. I'm always sorry for acting out of character, for stepping out of my supposedly reserved persona and slipping into this careless, wispy outfit. I had so much fun, but god, I always feel dirty when this happens. Like it's so wrong to make new friends and small talk, to do absolutely useless shit like eating bak chor mee with strangers after stealing earphones from the bar. I woke up at 4am after a night of drinks with my colleagues, and I couldn't go back to sleep. That was how ashamed I was; I'm not allowed to feel that free. Surely there's a price for all of it.


The emotion I'm struggling the most with is disappointment. I deal poorly with perceived failures, even though that is part and parcel of life. Failures are normal. Yet I say all these horrible things to myself. I should be protecting myself - not stroking my ego, but staying compassionate to the most critical part of me. So I was awake at 4am, whispering angry words and feeling sad, and I don't want to do this to myself but this panic always returns when I least expect. I punish me for being happy despite achieving nothing at all. Around me, creatives win awards and recognition; the best I can manage is to come close. That's all I have done my whole career. Come close to something, yet end up with nothing. It's the process, you say, learn from it. I get that, honestly I do. Winning is not everything. But a part of me acts like it is, and when I'm at my most vulnerable, my whole being follows suit. I get so mad. It is okay to fail, supposedly, but I'm unable to forgive myself.


I am no longer enamoured with advertising. I skip ads, and I question the intentions of the most well-meaning campaigns. Have I become cynical, a bitch? I can't tell what's wrong; perhaps I'll be miserable wherever I go.
24 January 2016 @ 02:54 pm
A lot of the time, our deepest anxieties are caused by the lizard part of our natures desperately trying to claw away from an inevitability. I get anxious because I want to avoid being awkward at a party. I get anxious because I don't want to look stupid in front of industry people I admire. I get anxious because I don't want to look uncool when I meet my boyfriend's friends. It's just an endless list of shit that I want to avoid, but can't, and I end up anxious about it. As a result, it causes me to be deeply unhappy before those situations even arise.

But some of the anxiety can be eased by doing the opposite of what your lizard nature demands: accepting that these situations (looking or feeling stupid, uncool or awkward in social settings) are inevitable. I think, while my anxiety has not left me in many ways, I've gotten more adept at handling some of it. By simply acknowledging that, yes, this is going to be awkward, and I may look dumb as shit for some of it, but none of it is going to matter next week. That, yes, some people are going to think I'm standoffish, or strange, or weird, but that's okay because only three things can arise from their impression of you: 1) they're going to realise you're not that weird in the long run, after you warm up with them, and 2) they're gonna keep thinking you're weird, but accept it, or 3) they just think you're weird, stop talking to you much, then forget you exist. All three outcomes actually don't do harm to you in any way.

Contrary to popular belief, it's okay not to be the most popular person in the room, it's okay not to be The Guy that everyone wants to hang out with. It's completely fine to be 'the girl who dances really funny at parties' or 'the kid who doesn't say much but has this obsession with Star Wars'. I don't think I've begrudged a person for being quirky in their own way, and minor idiosyncratic moments rarely lead to me no longer wanting to hang out with a person. I still believe good people can see past the status quo. And that, if they are meant to matter to you, they won't judge you on the small things that set you apart.

That said, I'm still terribly shy with people I like, especially those whose work I admire. I'm also somewhat hopeless with very beautiful people, because who isn't? But I try to tell myself constantly that it's okay to make mistakes, to look stupid once in awhile, because ultimately no one cares how badly you do - everyone has their own struggles. In their world, I don't matter too much.

Much of my anxiety comes from my ego. I have to learn to let it go.
03 January 2016 @ 06:45 pm
I haven't written for ages and I regret it, only because I've lost opportunities to reflect. 2015 came and went, and with it several lessons and memories. Good times, bad patches, everything nostalgic or shiny and new. 2016 arrived before I knew it, and I spent the first days of the year with friends and acquaintances. This is becoming a pattern for my new years, and I find that I like it. Learned mahjong with Kwok's pals, spent special time with Christine, Megan and Stef, all three who mean so much to me. Last night, I watched football at Penny Black with Kenneth and a few ex-colleagues - I truly adore watching football with Kenneth, he's fucking mad. Though one has to be a little bit crazy to be a Newcastle fan. It was a lot of fun.

People talk about resolutions every year; I don't have any this year. I even forgot to write a thank you post to my friends, but I think I could do it soon, after the thrill of a brand new year has worn off. I'm thankful for them every day, new year or old year. Some friends have dropped off the radar - people leave, people return, the ebb and flow of life. I think about it often, about the ones I love who no longer have room in their lives for me, and those I left behind. And it's okay. You don't need to be close to everybody to be complete.

Nothing changes from 2015. I still want to do more yoga, swim more, work hard but work less, and just give myself the permission to enjoy life. Daniel and I booked tickets to London, and we're so excited to see Arsenal in the flesh. And, of course, I already bought my seat in the Harry Potter & the Cursed Child play. We're going to Barcelona and Paris too, and it's just a lot of look forward to, exploring a side of the world I've never been to. In a few days, we're going diving with Dan and Lydia, and that makes me so happy because I've been myopic my whole life - I never thought I'd be able to go underwater and discover a whole different planet. Lasik changed my life, returned my thirst for activity. And, after this, when I return to mundane routine, I just want to return to the mat as much as I can, and go swimming as much as I can, too. Just these small things. I want to do them well.

I've come to terms with my sadness and awkwardness; learned to accept them, roll with them, allow these negative feelings to exist. The act of rejecting them hurts more, so I choose to go with the flow. I find it helps me cope with being around myself so much better.
22 August 2015 @ 01:00 am

On my way home in a cab tonight, an awful realisation struck me. My anxiety has not left me; it has simply manifested itself within me in different, yet damaging, ways.

In the past, I was crippled by the fear of people, and spent days by myself, stuck within the safety net of my mind. My fantasies were odd. I lived in a sort of purple haze, between smoke and alcohol and aloneness. All of these things soothed my troubled heart.

I became particularly social the past year, aided and abetted by colleagues I became genuine friends with. I never expected comradeship with the people I work with. Admittedly, I used to treat my co-workers with some level of contempt. My previous agency changed this. I became friends with these people, and learned to care deeply for them. We drank together often, held parties, teased and confided throughout cruelly long working hours. I learned something - people could be fun. You could be close to not-so-close friends, with none of the superficiality our souls constantly tried to avoid. I was social, I was happy. I understood how to be okay around people.

And, because I learned what a beautiful thing it was to be okay around people, I forgot how to function in a place where you weren't okay with people. A new agency, bigger than you've ever known an agency to be, with hundreds more people you've never met, too large to be called a family and too strange to class as friends. I crumpled. I became more intensely social than I'd ever known myself to be - I drank more than I ever have in my life the past few weeks, because I wanted so desperately to be okay around people I didn't know. It's ridiculous, and it's killing me. I'm underweight; my closet anxiety ate away my appetite, and all I had to fuel me lately are coffee and alcohol. It's no way to live. I kept thinking, this is okay, I am okay, and I'm not shy and that is proof. Yet, as I sat in the cab, exhausted with a mild headache and a puzzled stomach, I realised - my god, I feel sick. Because I haven't eaten, I haven't slowed down on the socialising, I haven't let myself sleep or be alone to recuperate. I haven't done my reading, I forgot about football, I just occupied myself with people, people, people because I needed to validate myself in some way, to convince my soul that I was still okay. All the while my physical body fell apart - losing weight, heavy breaths, hazy and anxious under the veil of confidence and detachment.

I am exhausted from trying to fit in all the time. I need to recover, I need to be alone, I need to eat again. This desperation to find what I had in the previous agency - I have to let go, learn to be okay again, to readjust to new people and environments. I'm clinging on to a ghost, and I'm fading away here, pensive and stupid and anxious, so high-strung, trying to prove what I don't even know - what is wrong with me? I want to stand still, shut up, take care of myself once more. People come and go, but I am all I have, and I need me to be okay.