Ahh, the 1st of June. The time when I usually do an introspection on how the last 5 months have been, and hopefully use the remaining months of the calendar year to consciously make better decisions and lead a happier life.
It hasn’t been all peachy, but neither has it been consistently awful. I’ve been thrown out of my comfort zone more times than I care to admit, but with reminders to be more self-aware, to apply critical thinking to myself even in more emotional and challenging moments, to make choices and define contentment on my own terms, and to not only face my fears but also learn from them; it has been manageable…with a few pleasant surprises.
In between buying more from Carousell than I sell, watching Netflix, putting the effort to write more on the blog, working my ass off as a Integrated Media girl with newly added responsibilities/portfolios, and being fun yet firm mom to my 2 little boys; I’ve been investing time and part of my salary to sign up for workshops to learn new things and meet new people. Where do I get the extra time and energy to do so? I make it happen, even if it means utilizing my annual leave and working overtime on the days leading up to my annual leave just so that I can fully immerse myself into learning without worrying about work, or asking the husband and mom in advance if they can help with the kids for a few hours if it’s over the weekend. And of course it helps that both of them, especially mom, are the encouraging sort. Mom even signed me up for a workshop recently after attending a preview because she believed it’d benefit me (and it definitely has).
On the upskilling front, I’ve also been going for training and achieving a few professional certifications (though a ‘decorated’ media person rarely gets any recognition that a soldier does) with the series of Google accreditation (and hopefully, Facebook too, really soon), and having the opportunity to put new knowledge into practice with media campaigns.
Through a calling, or in non-believer’s terms – a eureka moment – which happened days after my 33rd birthday this year, I’ve also been back at church after staying away for 6 years, this time round, with the boys in tow.
And before you think what a humblebrag I am based on the above paragraphs, I have also been plagued with challenges which I’ve yet to to recover and grow stronger from. House-viewing and hunting hasn’t been smooth-sailing, with lots of hiccups (who would have knew taking a loan solo would prove to be a lot less straightforward) and the areas of friendship, marriage and family leave much to be desired. Instead of making decisions based on what I believe, I have been letting too many people’s opinion sway me and not trusting my gut. On the health front, I even had Shingles, which was only diagnosed a week and a half after my first symptom and lasted for 2 more weeks, making my self-quarantine myself from the kids and most people more unbearable than the agony I was in.
It has been a bitch juggling all hats that I wear in equilibrium and especially self-deprecating when I’m subsequently told off for my shortcomings regardless how I attribute it to being impulsive and ‘human’, during vulnerable moments of confiding. Yet a necessary metaphorical slap in the face to shock me into a new mentality lest I continue to feel entitled.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is – as grueling as the past 5 months have been in every aspect of my life, it has changed things for the better – with all of its pain, sacrifices, imperfections and risks. There are times when I still doubt if it’s worth the cost, the effort, the responsibility, yet as a good friend recently reminded: we react to situations to what we feel is the best at that point of time, just like how everybody has their way of handling situations, and that’s not for anyone else to comment.
Today marks the 2nd time this week I screamed, threatened, scolded, ignored and slam my bedroom door at my eldest kid for being defiant and displaying his anger. Not remotely close to anything I should be proud of as a parent, yet an action which came out so naturally when I decided I had to respond in a bigger way when he demonstrated his unhappiness. All because I had specially taken a day off work just to spend time with the kids. Entitled much, although on both occasions before hitting the sack, I just had to sneak into his bedroom just to look at him sleep, guilt- ridden that I had sent my son to bed sad, and without closure – something I utterly dislike being at the receiving end of. And Liam, if you are reading this post, know that as big as my actions last night and tonight were, I regretted it the instant I slam the door and decided to ignore your apology. I regretted not being brave enough to be the first to apologize. And that is something on my “to do more of” list for the rest of 2017, and the years ahead.
I guess through this post I’m writing for my future self and perhaps a few readers who resonate, I just want to say: stay resilient and there is no shame in accepting responsibility for things gone wrong. What matters you learn how to get back up after getting knocked down each time, even if ego is the culprit, and teach the kids how to thrive in the global culture we live in today.
Keep calm and cycling on… even if it’s on a stationary bike