Storytime #3: Keep those Aspirations alive

Hello my bookish friends, I am back! (I didn’t go anywhere LOL, but most of my posts are schedule and I go for days, maybe weeks without really checking up on my blog, aside from comments)

Here are my previous Storytimes:

1- Toxic friends

2- First love and Heartbreaks

 

As stated in the title, today I’m going to talk about Aspirations and others I would have considered taking!

When I was in primary school, I was about 10 (?) and I knew I was good in science (I honestly didn’t study much then, but I will have another storytime for studies!), so I wanted to be a Scientist.

Yes, wow, that was pretty weird for me now that I think about it.

But when I poured my heart and soul out into writing when I was 12, I immediately knew I wanted to become a Writer and from that day on, I never changed my mind.

Of course I was deterred a ton of times, but my classmates were really supportive, they read my handwritten short stories and even demanded for me to write more, which definitely made me happy and fuelled my love for writing. At one point, my math teacher was so interested in what my classmates were reading that we all stopped class for a few minutes so that she could read it.

A ton of my english teachers also really helped, they knew I had a knack for writing and they always pushed me (once, I cried when I failed an english essay because I have never failed it in my life, but that was a really good lesson. I swear I wasn’t angry at the teacher, in fact, I was thankful that he pointed it out and taught me there was always a different perspective to things). They also made me believe in myself just a tad more.

I must say that my ex wasn’t supportive and honestly when I was with him, that was the only time I stopped writing (RED FLAG RIGHT THERE. I should have seen it haha.) And he also didn’t encourage me about my writing and all.

Well, now that I’m way older, my love for writing hasn’t changed, in fact, it has grown even more. Writing isn’t just writing for me, it’s a way for me to express my emotions (that was why I ended up blogging) and it always helps me to cope with my anxiety and depression. As of this moment I have 4 first drafts, yes, I realise I can complete drafts, but I haven’t gone back to edit any of them and a new story idea has been swirling around my head LOL. I swear I’m going to edit SIREN SONG soon (starting end Feb) and tomorrow’s library visit, I’ll try to get some books to help. I hope that by this year, I can start querying and even sending out my manuscript (wish me luck)

The sucky thing is that my country is so obsessed with the idea of working a stable 9-5 job. I get that people like stability, but I am someone who loves aspirations. Honestly, I’m not working, but I am trying to turn what I love into my work because I know I would love it nonetheless.

There are degrees for English Literature (I was rejected by universities because my GPA was too low since I didn’t do well in design school, but hey, life isn’t all about grades. And if I had taken something more academically dependent, I swear I would have gotten into university. I’m more of a book type of girl, haha.) but in my country, if you don’t study full-time, you need to have a job to study it part time.

And honestly I grew up with the misconception that you need to have a degree in english literature if not you can’t be writer, which is absolute bullshit. No matter where you’re from or what you study, as long as you have a story to write or to be said, you can write and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Because you can.

My family doesn’t support me and honestly I don’t get much support, they don’t read my blog or anything like that. But I’ve grown used to it, you are your biggest cheerleader. Do it for you then, because you deserve it.

Moving in to another part of this post, I would want to talk about other paths I could have chosen instead of writing that I think I would equally love. (Ha, look at me go, talking as though I’m a New York Times Bestselling author LOL.)

  1. Baking
    This hobby/interest came out quite weirdly. I actually never knew about baking much, I mean we had like one subject called Home Economics were we would learn cooking and there was minimal baking involved. I swear we only baked once.

    I actually found out I liked baking when I first baked chocolate chip cookies for my ex. I realised that hey, I’m not a bad baker and I actually watch a ton of baking videos on YouTube. I now bake pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year, but I usually do cookies and I actually don’t bake often since it’s pretty expensive and well, I don’t have that many people to feed haha.

    My ex clique did say that my cookies were nice though, haha, but they didn’t seem to appreciate it much LOL.

  2. Music
    For music, I’ve actually liked it for a long time. My parents actually sent my older sister for keyboard classes in primary school and we had a keyboard set up at home. I would always go there and play the songs on the keyboard and then memorise them by hard and would spend an endless amount of time on the keyboard.

    I ended up falling in love with both the piano and violin when I watched an anime named La Corda D’Oro! There was something about the protagonist and the music in the anime that drew me to the violin.

    I ended up buying a violin and learning to play for a few months, but I quit because the teacher REALLY wasn’t good, he was very half-hearted and sloppy. If I played it half-decently, he would just pass and go on to the next part.

    After stopping the violin, I went to learn pop piano for 3 years, but I left when my teacher left because I really liked that teacher (I had 2 other teachers before him and the other two always took my silence as agreement, but this last teacher took my silence as pondering, which was what it really was) and he even let me choose my own songs. Yup, you got that right, my other two teachers didn’t let me choose songs that I wanted to learn just because I was the quiet kid. Until now, I actually still want to play the piano, but I think it might be a little late for that, haha.

    As of now, I’ve actually been playing the violin (I picked it up again) and have been playing for 5 years (including this year) and I’m at an unofficial grade 4! Haha, my teacher actually has been asking me to go for exams, but my anxiety scares the heck out of me and I heard during the exams, you have to SING in front of the examiners. That is a big NO THANKS from me LOL.

    Honestly, I wished I had started learning the violin or piano when I was a child because if I did, then I could have ended up studying it for a diploma or degree. This was one thing I am really upset with my parents about, Oo! And ballet! I’ve always felt that I think I can do ballet, but I never got a chance to try haha.

  3. Astronomy/ Astrophysics
    Now, Astronomy must be the weirdest out of the bunch of paths I would choose. I mean I did say I want to be a scientist, but my love for writing overtook that a long time ago, so why suddenly Astronomy?

    So I actually fell in love with Astronomy very recently when I researched for one of my novels, PROMINENCE. And after that, I’ve been hooked ever since.

    There’s something comforting and scary about space. When I look up into the sky, I’m reminded that my anxiety and my negative emotions are just a small part of a large universe, a small part of a big picture. It makes those emotions feel worthless and makes me feel less anxiety about things.

    But liking space is more weird, but I’ve never grown up living under the stars. I know logically this doesn’t make sense, but I live in a small country (Singapore) where there is a lot of Light pollution (meaning that there is a lot of light over a small surface area), so if I can even see one star in the sky, it would be a miracle already. I mainly only spot out the moon.

    Now that I really like space, I’ve always tried to look up, because I think we spend too much time looking down at our phones and the Earth around us that we forget to look up and see that everything is so much bigger and problems are so insignificant in comparison.

    Unfortunately, my country has NO COURSES, yes, not even a degree in physics for me to even try out. All Astrophysics degrees are in other countries and my parents would never send me overseas to study.

Yup, so that was my post about aspirations.

I know that sometimes, it’s though. The voices in your head question whether you are good enough for your dream. That everyone else can do it better than you, everyone else has achieved more than you. That you would never make it and the adults tell you that you should give up because dreams are just stupid things that fade over time when reality sets in.

It’s not about proving them wrong, it’s about you showing yourself that you can do this. The voice in your head? That’s you, the side of you that will do anything to tear you down.

Everyone goes through insecurities, even famous celebrities, we’re all human and designed this way.

But let me tell you, NEVER give up on your dreams and aspirations, because when you work hard at it, it will pay off. Time will take its toll and success will definitely not come easily, but nothing worth it comes that easily.

If I could tell my past younger self a ton of things, one thing that I will make her listen to is this:

“I know everyone else thinks you can’t do it. I know you have wanted to give up, many, many times. But you are worth it and you deserve it, don’t give up. Because if you do, it means that you’re giving up something you love, and you know as well as I do that this is one thing you can never let go and not regret for the rest of your life.”

Of course there are things I would have done differently, like make wiser choices about my friends and relationships, maybe even change the course that I had studied a diploma for. But unfortunately we can’t travel through time.

So live in the present and make it worth it.

God gives his strongest soldiers his toughest battles.

Love,

Michelle (Firstbooklove)

What are your aspirations?

Storytime #2: First love and heartbreaks

Hello my lovely people! I think it’s overdue that I have another storytime! My first one talked about Toxic friendships and this second one, well it’s there in the title, first love and heartbreaks!

Honestly, I debated a long time as to whether I wanted to even talk about this topic because it’s still a little raw even though it’s been years and I took it off my topic list (yes, I have A LIST and currently there are about 12 topics I want to talk about!) and kept thinking whether to put it back on and decided that I should.

I’m writing this post not to spread hate or talk bad about these people, by airing out the dirty laundry, I’m telling you the shit I did wrong too, and I’m okay with that, because this a reflection for me and I hope it’ll be a good warning/ learning lesson for everyone out there so that they don’t go through the same situations that I had to go through, because no matter how evil a person is, no one deserves to got through such tough things like this.

Okay, so I’ll split the different sections and of course I will not reveal all names (I’ll use flowers!), but if the person remembers me, I think they will know who they are and honestly, I don’t care much anymore, all these people are no longer part of my life and honestly, I don’t want them to be.

What solidified my idea of wanting to write this was yesterday’s anxiety attack that I had at night. I couldn’t sleep, I cried myself to sleep and it’s something that happens really often in the past, but now, I don’t do that as much.

Okay, let’s get to the real story!

There will be four parts! And each new section (meaning a different person) will be titled in bold! (Let me take a deep breath first, haha, this is scary to start)

Part 1: First Crush

So my first crush was kinda funny, this guy (mentioned in my first storytime in Part 1 as C!) was my tablemate and we sat beside each other. I had a crush on him because well, he was the class clown, he knew how to make a situation better and his smile literally lighted up the world. Let’s call him Sunflower! So Sunflower was nice to everyone in primary school and was always happy, frequently singing and dancing around the classroom.

So my best friend at that time told the teacher that I didn’t want to friend her (yeah, literally after she got jealous that her crush gave me a bear that HE asked me what I wanted for my present? And I still think it was her who told everyone I had a crush on Sunflower because only she knew) and I was crying, sobbing, literally since the teacher pulled me to the back of the class and kinda told me off, forcing me to befriend her again. When I returned to my seat, Sunflower literally whispered into my ear to just ignore her and honestly that is the most romantic thing that happened to my life XD

Of course, we never went out or anything since I didn’t confess and it was a crush, it wasn’t serious. Also, by the next year literally everyone knew I liked him, but I already didn’t like him anymore, so I found it pretty hilarious, but people were still making fun of me because of it and honestly it didn’t make me feel good, because the way people talked about it was as though I wasn’t good enough.

Part 2: First Love

Wow, this was my first heartbreak, of course later on I will talk about another one that completely shattered me, but let’s focus on this first. Let’s call him Camellia (flower that can withstand winter) since I never knew him in real life or even knew his name, all I had was his character’s name which had something to do with ice and guns.

So how can a guy I never met be my first love? Well, this person was someone I met on Maplestory, my brother, back then, love to get me to ‘date’ people in games (and I don’t know why I agreed, I still don’t haha) and so I casually asked Camellia and he said okay.

He was really nice and he taught me a lot about being kind and having heart. Our ‘relationship’ lasted 3 days and then suddenly, he didn’t come online anymore. I waited for days for him to return until I finally gave up. I was heartbroken and honestly I was sad.

I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that people could leave me so easily without even turning back. That was when my anxiety first started, and I think my depression too. I had anxiety attacks since 12 years old and at that time I never knew. I had attacks for 9 years before I finally realised that it was anxiety.

I was heartbroken by his disappearance and it really broke me, but it also taught me a lot of things withing that short span of time. I learnt to be kind.

Part 3: ?

I was desperate to fill that hole in my heart, so I tried to ‘date’ online via games. I was so emotionally broken that I tried to search for it in someone else, but I always knew I couldn’t.

So I played a game named Grand Chase and it really helped me through my depression. The game has closed down, but I love it nonetheless and play the mobile games and even have a comic that is entirely in Korean. People don’t understand why I’m obsessed with certain things, but it’s because it pulled me through tough times, when no one else was there for me, these things pulled me through when I wanted to give up so many times, so I cling to them for dear life.

I met another guy, let’s call him Dandelion, of course I never met him in real life and we kinda ‘dated’, but honestly, all the times online I don’t really count them though. So he (lives in another country) and he would say he loves me and would want to visit, which was kinda creepy, we don’t even know each other and have never met or even skyped or anything. I didn’t even know what love was and I doubt he did too. He kept talking about how he loved me, but he didn’t know me at all. That time I was focused on my studies and playing games, I didn’t even know myself.

So of course I broke things with him, I really didn’t know him and he didn’t know me.

Part 4: First relationship

Okay, so we are at the final and the most difficult part to talk about. This was the part I was scared to write. It’s been five years that we’ve broke up already, but it still hurts all the same. Let’s call him Rose, because he gave them to me once.

I met Rose when I was in secondary school, we were in the same class and our birthdays were really close too. We hung in different cliques of course, he would hang out with his friends and would seem like the leader while I hung out with my own clique.

So there was another girl in class, she was the pretty and popular one while I was the shy and smart one (haha talk about drama troupes, huh). So she actually had her eyes on Rose, but she also dated a ton of the other guys in his clique and she was known for changing her boyfriends really quickly.

(Okay, let me wipe away a few tears, I really meant it when I said this was the difficult portion to talk about.)

She and Rose would pass letters in class and it annoyed me to no end that I was the mailman. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like him then, I wanted to focus on the class and study (I REALLY wanted to study) and they were distracting me.

So how I found out that Rose liked me, was actually all by accident.

I confronted one of the guys in their clique (on social media, of course, I’m not good at confrontation) as they were calling my good friend names from a game (a zombie game and that zombie wasn’t nice). So this friend of Rose’s (I’m just going to shoutout that he was an extremely smooth wingman, but no names😉 And I don’t think Rose knows this as well) told me that Rose was the leader and I should confront him instead and he gave me Rose’s number. This friend was also the one who told me that Rose liked me and I was in disbelief, because all Rose did was to kick my chair (CONSTANTLY that I disliked him so much since I was trying to study) and make fun of me constantly. (Now I understand it’s a just a childish way to show someone you like them LOL)

And I must have been crazy reckless back then (the me now is like, you crazy bitch, what were you thinking? Confronting someone like that?), but I hated that my friend was suffering and I couldn’t speak out for her.

Okay, so Rose and I had each other numbers, he was skeptical at first but of course believed me in the end. So we chatted and all. At the end of secondary 3, when I was going for a CCA trip to help the less fortunate, he told me he had something to say when I got back.

And then he confessed and something in me actually told me no, but I said yes. I still haven’t fallen for him yet, but I said yes.

(Dammit the tears again. Let me take a breather.)

So we started dating in secondary 4 (I was 16 and he was too). We actually rarely went out as we were both really shy. Of course initially, we didn’t even communicate much face to face so we were great, I was happy.

It was in secondary 5 where things started to go wrong. After secondary 4, he didn’t go on and study and went to an institute that taught more practical lessons while I continued to try to head to polytechnic by studying to take the o-levels. We were in different schools but we made things work, he would pick me up after school, we would well, simply hang out at my house.

I’ll be honest. I’m clingy and easily jealous. I told you guys I’m going to be airing my own dirty laundry because I’ve come to terms with these things.

He would hang out with me for a while before wanting to go off, and he didn’t tell me beforehand what time he needed to go and if he had other plans after me. Because if he did, I would have respected it, but he would just say “I’m going to meet up with my friends” and then he’ll leave.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t in a good place in secondary 5 and polytechnic year 1, let me explain why.

Since I was in secondary 5, I had to study hard, because if I failed then it would mean that the year was wasted and I would have to go to school that would teach practical things (I’m not saying it’s bad, but if I wanted to learn that, I would have gone after secondary 4, not waste a year before going there). There was a lot of stress, a lot that I put on myself too, my subjects were passing, but not good enough for me, I kept feeling that it wasn’t good enough. I was barely passing additional mathematics and Chinese.

I didn’t tell my parents about Rose, because I knew that they wouldn’t approve since my mum is really religious (Rose is really religious too, I’ll talk more about that later) and my parents wanted me to do well and further my studies. So when my mum found out, she also realised that I stopped wearing my cross necklace. She came to me, CRYING. Have you ever seen your parent cry before? My mum NEVER cries and knowing that it was because of me, it broke me to pieces knowing that it was my fault.

I ended up wearing the necklace again and I thought the storm was gone. But things only got worse from there. During a meet the parent session, my mum ended up telling my form teacher (and probably my assistant teacher). She definitely told them to talk to me.

Because what came next really shattered me.

My teacher dragged me out during a class (I think) and sat me down in the school library and talked to me, reminding me that studies were the most important thing right now and that me and Rose could afford to spend time apart. (I swear she was telling me to break up with Rose) (I never told Rose this.)

In secondary 1 and 2 my results were REALLY good, I was in the top 10 of my cohort in secondary 1 and in secondary 2, I was top of my cohort. In secondary 3 and 4 I definitely dropped a little, but it was still pretty good.

And I was literally bawling, I mean what adult can do that to a child? I knew my parents had my best interest at heart, but that moment I felt betrayed and until this day I’m still upset at this. As a teacher, I thought you were supposed to build a child up, not tear them down.

I was just bawling in the library and this teacher stared at me like I was an idiot, making the biggest mistake of my life if I didn’t break up with Rose. One of my classmate (who my friends thought liked me- the one like a brother to me) saw me crying and he and another guy that used to be in Rose’s class gave me tissues and I was a mess to say thank you to them. (I doubt they even remember this incident or me, but here’s a belated Thank you! I’m sorry I didn’t say it back then, but I really appreciate the tissues!

(I’m crying again.)

After that, I was so angry, so extremely angry & also because of something that happened in secondary 4, my n-levels (I had a chance to enter poly early, but it was a mistake- will talk about this in another storytime). So my anger turned into fuel, to prove all these adults wrong. That I deserved this love and I would show them that I could keep this love and do well. I told myself that if I couldn’t do this for myself, I would do it for Rose. (Okay, I am just full on crying right now and the anger of this is still here. This type of pain is really hard to forget. I’m just tearing open this wound again and laying it all out there.)

I hated that it felt like there was no one on my side, no one at all. All my friends didn’t care much because I think I was really good at acting, I was better at them in grades and had a relationship, in their eyes, my life was perfect.

I was the only one falling apart.

And my relationship with Rose started falling apart. It was tough and I didn’t tell him about the teacher’s talk and how my parents didn’t approve. He also wasn’t supportive of my studies (and where I wanted to study) because later on he told me that “he wanted someone with the same education level as him”.

I was crying myself to sleep almost every night and the next morning when my friend asked me why my eyes were puffy, I would lie and say that I didn’t sleep well, and they bought it.

I was in so much pain back then, remembering it now has made me fall apart all over again.

Of course I’m not the perfect girlfriend, no one is. And I definitely had my faults, I was a mess, but who isn’t?

There were plenty of red flags that my friends caught on early, and some even warned me, but I refused to listen.

But looking back, I was simply too blind in love to see them.

He never brought me to his house (I only went once) and his parents disapproved of me (EVEN WITHOUT MEETING ME. They disapproved because I was simply Christian.) He would choose to hang out with his friends over me and when we hung out, he would flock to them even without letting me know beforehand (as someone with anxiety, I find comfort with plans- back then I didn’t know it was my anxiety).

He once literally pushed me onto the bus and watched me go before turning to leave with his friends. (That is why I never take that bus anymore.) I would stop him when he told me he wanted to work, not because I was jealous of the other girls around him (that was an excuse), but he didn’t spend time with me anymore. He would be gaming frequently and always put his gaming, family, friends and religion before me.

I was just a trophy girlfriend for him and I honestly, I wouldn’t be crying if I didn’t love him, but I don’t think he loved me.

I would try to talk to him about things we had in common, he was studying something with lighting and since my diploma had a little bit, I tried to talk to him about it, but he brushed me off angrily and said “if you want to talk about this, why don’t you talk to my friend instead”.

I knew he hated his course, but what he didn’t know was that I hated mine too. I went into my course through a special admission, the Direct Polytechnic admission programme, after passing an aptitude test and interview and my results did I secure a place, as long as I score lowered than a 25 for my o-levels, my future was secure.

When I found out I got accepted for the admission, I was elated, but he didn’t care. When I got my o-level results and it was 15, which was actually really good, he brushed me off too.

There was one time be bought me roses for Valentine’s day and I packed them into my schoolbag, freeing up my hands. I realised after that he actually wanted me to carry the roses in my arms, but I freed up my arms because I wanted to hold his hand (I also didn’t take home any textbooks for that reason). And I now know that I don’t like receiving flowers (I’m sorry, I didn’t know back then).

We rarely went out, I was a homebody and I guess he was sick of that.

There was one time, since we both gamed, he wanted to buy something and mentioned his parents kept his credit card, mine did too, but my mum handed it to me when I asked. So I lent him my card number to buy an item, he did pay me back.

And then a few weeks later, I find out that $300 have been taken out of my account. I went ballistic, because this money wasn’t given by my parents, this was money I saved up when I got scholarships because I studied hard and they rewarded students at the end of the year with around $600 and the money from when I worked part time. I didn’t even use that money for anything, not even to buy myself things.

I confronted him and he confessed he used my card to buy something for HIS COUSIN. I came up with a plan for him to pay me back (He didn’t and I told him to forget it, but if he really was a man, he would have tried to pay it back, right? He stole my hard earned money after all.).

When I cried at night, and told him I was out of breath, I was always worried and stress, he told me that it was nothing, it was all in my head. (But it was my anxiety. And honestly I don’t blame him, our school doesn’t teach us about it and my country is really conservative about mental illness). But now I know I had been gaslighted, by someone who I trusted.

He also told me that he almost got into a fight with his classmate because they said that he should break up with me and date someone else from their class. Was I not good enough for him? Is that why?

Rose never fought for me, if he had fought with his classmate for me, it wouldn’t have been romantic at all, he would have been an idiot.

He never fought for me because his parents disliked me when they knew I was Christian. His mum told him (which he told me) that there are other trees in the forest.

I loved this guy and at one point had thought of a life with him, hearing that I was just another one of an option, that I WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH for him although he had hurt me so much had hurt me more. And the thing was that he never fought for me, not to prove that I was worthy of his love or anything at all.

Nearing the end of the relationship, I at the max with what I could handle. I had a penknife in my hand. (Oh good Lord.) And I did cut myself, not hard enough to draw blood, but I wanted to draw blood. Of course I never threatened to kill myself if he left me and I never even told him I almost resorted to self harm.

I was just so tired and hurt. There were so many bruises in my heart that didn’t have enough time to heal. Although the cuts never bled, the scars are still here to this day and whenever I see it on my left forearm (near my inner elbow) and on the back of my right hand just above the wrist, I remember that moment. That I was so tired and wanted to give up.

Then the storm hit when he broke up with me when I was in the first year of my polytechnic school. I cried like crazy and he was saying that we could still be friends. He kept talking about how we could still be friends when I was the one begging and asking why, why did he break up with me and why I wasn’t good enough.

I was texting one of my poly friends (one of the toxic ones) and I told him I didn’t want to go to school tomorrow. My heart was broken and I was tired, I just wanted to wallow. This friend told me that I should try to go to school tomorrow and to make sure that I ate. How can someone I knew for less than a year still treat me better than a boy that claimed to love me?

So I told Rose that I couldn’t do this, I needed space to heal my heart. Eventually I cut him off, because that was the only way I knew how to heal. He finished his school and went to the army while I continued on with my diploma.

2 years passed and he starts talking to me again, and suddenly this boy, who ruined the shit out of my life (hey, I’m not saying I’m innocent, but it really was a tough time) wanted us to get back together. After all that hurt that he put me through and let me alone to pick up all those pieces on my own.

The day he broke up with me and I remembered my scars, I promised myself that I would never, NEVER allow myself to go back there, where I was so hurt that I thought that by hurting myself, I make another person love me more.

He went on whatsapp and even changed his tagline to “I wondered how we lasted so long.”

Wow, that really made me angry. We lasted so long because I loved you and worshiped you while you embraced all of that, taking until I could give no more and you tossed me aside as though I was worthless.

So I told him no and eventually cut him off again. Over the years he wishes me greetings on public holidays, but I reply coldly, because in the recent years, I realise that those were never genuine things, they were words and greetings of pity. I would rather have none than get them for pity.

 

 

So if you actually read this entire post, thank you for reading through and I hope you didn’t cry.

I’m not here to air the dirt about my ex or my ex crushes and friends, I just hope that this will help people spot their own red flags (if there are any) and that they can get out of the relationship ASAP.

If someone doesn’t love or respect you, get out of there, there is no point in loving someone who cannot love you back, my dear. I know it’s hard to hear, but back then, I needed to hear that. I needed someone to slap me and tell me that there were so many things wrongs, that I should have seen everything and listen to everyone who told me that there was something wrong.

Nobody deserves to feel as though they are worthless and you never have to feel that way. I learnt that the hard way and it’s long toll has still hurt me even until this day.

I still feel that I’m just always a second option to people and that nobody would ever put me first. No one would fight for me when I needed them to.

But as someone who has gone through all that, let me tell you that you are worth it, and never let someone tell you you are not.

I gave him the power to hurt me with his careless words. He used my insecurities against me, I grew up having my mum tell me I was ‘fat’ although I was around 45kg and he would grab me by my stomach fat and tell me I was chubby. He knew I wanted to write and told me that “it’s okay that you’re not good in that, you are good in maths”, which I was not.

When you take away someone’s ability to hurt you with their words, they no longer can hurt you.

He then told me that I was stronger than he thought.

And yes, I am. After going through all that shit, I could survive the Hunger Games and win. (I’m joking.)

 

Here’s to all of you, I hope you find someone who knows your worth, someone who NEVER makes you feel like a second option or worthless. Someone who will love you, scars and brokenness and all.

Here to me too, that I will find someone who can love this monster and this broken that I have come to terms with.

Thank you for reading this extremely long and emotional post.

Love,

Michelle (Firstbooklove)❤️

 

 

Storytime #1: Toxic friends

Hello my fellow friends! I started a poll over on twitter a few weeks ago (I think) and questioned whether I should start this series and majority said yes, especially starting with the story of toxic friends! Honestly, I’m not doing this to throw shade at my ex friends or those toxic ones, because I’m sure all friendships fall apart because of both parties, I just hope that I can give some things that I took away, learnt and some tips so that people don’t make the same mistakes that I did.

(I would first like to apologize if you see a ton of typos because I sleepy af and ate some strong painkillers, so, I’m sorry for the horrible typos!)

Okay, let’s start from the start, when I say start, I mean right at the START! Back in primary school!

In my country, our education system is primary school (primary 1-6), Secondary school (1-4/5), JC/Polytechnic/ITE and then University. I’ll split the story into 3 major parts, Primary school, Secondary school and Polytechnic!

Part I: Primary school

Okay, so in primary school, I was actually the nosy kid. Apparently talkative enough that one of the teachers used a ruler to hit the calves of my legs (and I was like, what, 7). So I ended up hating my primary school life and especially that teacher, and I still remember her to that day. Okay, horrible teachers aside, I had my first best friend when I was in primary 3/4 (9/10 yrs old). The two of us were in the same row because of our register numbers (on the class list) and the two of us quickly became friends.

We hung out every day and even talked about our crushes (who were best friends too). So there was this one time when I had a birthday party, and she suggested for me to invite our crushes (I question my life choices when I was younger lol). Let me just call her A and her crush B, and my crush C. (I hope this isn’t confusing)

So before the party, B asked me what I liked and so I told him that I liked stuffed toys. (Isn’t that normal for kids that were 10?) And so the party approached and B gave me a teddy bear that was holding a heart with the words ‘I love you’. And I didn’t care about that heart, I was happy that I got a freaking teddy bear, but was sad when my own crush, C, gave me stationery. Well the now me would have liked it, but I was a kid who hated studying back then, so I was extremely disappointed.

So I think A was horribly angry when she found out B gave me a teddy bear, and you know what she did next? She literally told the entire class that I had a crush on C. So when I started avoiding her and hanging out with another group of classmates, she was furious and she actually told the teacher that I was ignoring her. So the teacher pulled me to the back of the class and confronted me and A didn’t dare to look me in the eye after that. I ended up sobbing while returning to my seat but my crush very nicely whispered to me that she a bad friend (That is probably the most romantic thing that happened in my entire life lol).

So after that, the two of us just never talked and ended up in different classes a year later. The sucky thing is that our parents know each other and honestly I’ve forgiven her for then, but I probably wouldn’t talk to her.

The next major incident was when I was Primary 5/6 (11/12 years old). I had another friend, but honestly she wasn’t a good influence. Let’s call her D. D would get me to skip remedial classes to grab bubble tea, pick on a male classmate who was weaker than us (nothing serious of course, just like taking his stationery but returning it of course), she literally showed me R18 games.

So now let me introduce E. E was an outcast in the class because there were always rumors about her scratching herself in private places and well, sniffing her hands. But because the three of us all liked anime, we quickly became friends. I admit that I was jealous that D and E seemed closer, but that was the extent of my jealousy. There was once, I saw E well, scratching and casually told a classmate (at that time, I didn’t realise how loud-mouthed this classmate was). And literally less than a period later, the entire class knew. I definitely felt bad because I never expected that that classmate would tell everyone and obviously E blamed me for it. (I even apologized to her a few years ago via FaceBook, but then after thinking about it, it wasn’t really my fault, it was the fault of my nativity. But she brushed the apology off anyway, so…)

So E wasn’t friends with us anymore but I was still hanging out with D. D had an online boyfriend in primary 6 and she even introduced me to him, so I just said ‘hi’ and all. And sometimes when D wasn’t online, her boyfriend would message me to ask where she was and casually chat like “oh, D has shown me some pictures of you two.” (Talk about creepy?) So I just laughed (but I was kinda freaked out).

There was one incident where it was Christmas and I think we were just chatting because he asked where D was and I was telling him she wasn’t online. So I just casually wished him ‘Merry Christmas’ and he replied that he didn’t celebrate it. So I felt bad and just sent an image of like a Christmas tree to him. (That’s normal, right?) So, apparently, he took it the wrong way.

A few weeks after that, D told me that she and him broke up, but she didn’t tell me the reason and I didn’t press her for it. Nearing the end of primary school, she also suggested that we didn’t be friends anymore. (It was heartbreaking for the 12 year old me because that was when I discovered I had anxiety and was recovering from my first broken heart about my OWN online crush -will be in a different post.) So I was crying badly because I was dealing with the loss of some love, and now my best friend threw this bomb down.

So I literally begged for us to stay friends and she agreed, but of course we didn’t. And then I found out from her ex, that he ended up liking me. (Okay, this is extremely creepy because all I did was to send a photo for well wishes for Christmas, this still freaks me out and makes me go WTF until today.)

And that was how my primary school life ended. Well, after typing all of that out, I kinda understand why I’ve never been able to keep friends, because I’ve never trusted people after those incidents. (I find them pretty traumatic, especially for a 9 year old kid.)

Part II: Secondary school

ANYWAY, now move on to the next part of my life, Secondary school (secondary 1-5, 13 to 17 years old.)

Out of all the friendships, the best one was actually here. I managed to find my best friend here and honestly, we actually weren’t even close while we were in secondary school. Honestly, I had the best time of my life in Secondary school because everything was going well.

In secondary school, I was the opposite of my primary school self. I was extremely quiet and studious, topping my classes frequently because I studied so much.

I ended up meeting F, who came up to me on the 2nd day of school to ask whether we could be friends and I agreed. After that we met G and the three of us became an inseparable trio. The trio of us hung out frequently and joined the same CCA where we met H,I,J and my current best friend.

My friendship with F and G was okay, I did get jealous a few times but kept it to myself (of course) but we did end up drifting apart during secondary 4/5. But honestly, I did feel that F only stayed friends with me because I was good at studying and teaching people.

(It’s taking me a long time to write this segment, I’m having an anxiety attack rn 🙃)

I treated G like a big sister, but she was hanging out with another group of friends more than my clique and I guess we drifted apart which was sad. Also, after secondary school she moved overseas to study and I kinda was the one who burnt the bridge because when everyone was gathering to send her overseas, I was recovering from my first break up and seeing people I knew back then would really break me even more. And I guess they didn’t care much because they didn’t care to ask either, so… there was that.

H was someone I looked up to because she was fierce and ready to right any wrong. She was great at studying (better than me in maths and science) and I really looked up to her. Being in the same CCA allowed us to work together often and we usually were placed in leadership roles frequently. But I heard from my current bestie that H actually made fun of my name like using the first three letters of my given name (MIC) and she would make fun of it by calling it, “Made in China”. When I heard that, all the respect I had for her was lost. I mean I never tried to compete with her for the top spot in class, I just wanted to quench my thirst for knowledge, I guess she took it the wrong way? But we were never really close so….

‘I’ was actually a great friend, she would play 20 questions with me during class to get to know me better. I actually felt that we would have been closer and better friends if she didn’t treat me like a second option, only coming to me when J was busy. I am pretty thankful to I because she was the one who spotted my toxic relationship with my ex even before I saw it and she told me a ton of times but I refused to listen (if you happen to be reading this, I never got to say thank you! And I’m sorry, you were right.)

Honestly, the most toxic one was J. J is a very persuasive and guilt-trip talker. Since she was a Christian (no hate, I’m a Christian now, but wasn’t back then), she would invite us to her church for events. And I and me would attend with her and both of us didn’t convert but did visit regularly. We went for service and even had bible study together. But the sucky thing was that I told her I was uncomfortable with lying to my parent and telling them “i was hanging out with my friends’ when I was actually going to church, but she managed to persuade me that it wasn’t a lie. A ton of times she would guilt trip me into standing in front during service for alter-call and I wasn’t ready for that, but she always would try to get me to do it, using things like “If you don’t do it now then when will you do it? God will protect you and all… You are disappointing God.”

And when I started to see what was happening, of course I stopped attending church. Even the friend who was in charge of bible study got angry if I didn’t want to go for bible study and would even come to my house area just to get me to do it. And honestly I had to INFJ door slam all of them if not they wouldn’t stop.

And lastly, K. K wasn’t a part of the same CCA and we were only friends during secondary 4. A ton of people didn’t like her because of her rash and impulsive nature, she would get angry really easily and she wasn’t afraid to show it. She found a place at my side and I guess we just became friends. We did help each other with our studies and we got along quite well because I would confide in her whenever me and my ex had problems and she would tell me ‘not to cry’ because she knew I cried almost every night. And she was honestly the only person who stood by me during that time because everyone in my clique didn’t like her. Even my classmates didn’t like her. And not trying to toot my own horn, but in secondary school, a lot of people liked me because I was really approachable, kind and really good at teaching people what they didn’t understand.

But K didn’t really take advantage of me of course. But there was one time that until now I still felt really bad. Because my clique didn’t like her, one of them told me that K was lesbian, because of the way she would stick close to me and follow me everywhere. When the others chimed in, I easily gave into the peer pressure back then because I knew my clique longer than I did K, and honestly, I was homophobic back then (because I didn’t even know what it was and was brought up knowing it was wrong and sinful, that isn’t the case though, if you caught my LGBTQ+ post ) So I did avoid her for a while but she confronted me and we sorted things out.

We didn’t remain friends after another incident though. There was this time I was thinking of selling stuff on an app and wanted to find a supplier, so K introduced her friend who was an ah lian (singlish slang for ‘gangster’). And I didn’t really understand the way she explained things so I questioned K, but accidentally sent it to the group where the other friend was at. And this friend went ballistic. And I didn’t type or ask it rudely, I remembered asking nicely, like “Hey K, I don’t really understand your friend’s explanation of how she runs things, could you explain it to me?”

K’s friend went ballistic over nothing and K took her side even though I wasn’t even at fault while trying to clear up what she was trying to explain. K’s friend even went “If K didn’t tell you to apologize, you wouldn’t.” But why should I apologize if I didn’t say anything wrong? So, me and K are no longer friends.

And that is the end of this part! This one was the hardest to write because I was happy too. I know that thinking back now, some of them were toxic, but I did pull away pretty quickly too. Because personally for me, I don’t do well with big group of friends because I would feel left out really quickly. And when I make a friend, I kinda expect you to treat me as your first choice, because I would do that for you. When I make friends, I’m loyal to them as long as they are loyal to me. Like I can go to any lengths for my friends, but only when I deem you’re worth it and know you would do the same for me. (INFJ expectations 😂)

And honestly this part, I learnt that you don’t have to buy your friends with time. What I mean is, don’t spend all your time with them and let them push you around. I spent a lot of time on people who weren’t worth it because I never had the ability to say no. Learn to say no, if they’re your true friends, they will understand. And also, learn to compromise. Real friends will do that for you. And those that won’t, just leave. If they don’t bother to care about you or put you in second place although you put them first, it’s okay to leave.

It’s okay to leave and to say no, you’re allowed to do that. Don’t let that friendship blind you to being yourself too, don’t lose yourself while trying to make friends.

Part III: Polytechnic

Honestly, after writing the first part all the rest of this post seems insignificant lol.

In polytechnic, I was even quieter than in secondary school and my grades weren’t good although I did study hard, but I guess it’s objective in design school, right?

Okay, moving to the last part of this post! (I swear it’s been 2 hours lol.) Lastly, is the Polytechnic phase where I met L,M,N and O. We were in a clique and as mentioned before, I really don’t do well with cliques.

L was the queen bee, everyone would flock to her and heed all her decisions. Wherever she wanted to eat, we would follow. Many times I would turn them down because I became strictly pescatarian during this phase of my life. I was pescatarian since birth, but was still eating a little meat in primary and lesser in secondary. (I’ve totally stopped eating now, only maybe once every 6 months, but am going to stop that too lol.) So being pescatarian, I would always turn them down because they LOVED meat and wouldn’t go anywhere else (I’m not expecting them to go to places that have no meat, but at least somewhere where I would have an option, because isn’t that what friends do?)

So I really pulled away from them because I felt left out a ton of times, I had curfews but they loved staying out and spending a ton of money eating out and Starbucks. I’ve never been a starbucks person and still am not.

There was one time I worked with L and I did tell N and O that I wouldn’t work with her again on a project because we had different styles and I’m sure L took that the wrong way because she took that personally. Just because I said we couldn’t work together professionally, I didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends.

Also, I remember the exact point where I begun to cut them off. When we had a local staycation and we played truth or dare. I’m never a dare person so I picked truth. So she questioned me, starting with, “You’re over your ex, right?”

I wasn’t. It was 3 months after the break up and who are you to determine whether I am over him? Different people have different healing times and mine wasn’t 3 months. I had been with this guy for 2 years, did you think that 3 months was enough? And this guy was someone more than a friend and you already know that it takes me a long time to trust friends so… you get the story lol.

So L proceeded to ask me “How far did you and your ex go?”

Now, I would have understood if I had asked her this question prior to my turn and she was getting revenge, but I didn’t. And at that point in time, the whole clique’s attention was on me, of course I had to pretend I was okay and of course I had to answer. I ended up pointing the question to N to answer. I knew that was a cowardly move, but that was a very personal question that I never wanted to discuss in a setting like that. If you asked me privately I probably would have told you, but that was a low blow.

M was a friend that only came to you if she needed your help. She expected you to give her everything she asked for and go with her whenever she asked, but she would never do the same for you. And I don’t think I need to elaborate more, right?

N and I were initially best friends, but I was never her first option. She always had more important people that she would put over me although I was there for her a ton of times. She also flipped 180 degrees after a module and well L and M would gossip about it so much.

I only became close with O in the last year and she was a good and supportive friend. But she didn’t understand me enough. When the clique started ignoring me, the whole course knew and obviously I was the bad guy, I mean the quiet ones always are, right?

I was still friends with O, but the way the friendship went, it felt like she was still hanging out with me because of pity. She would claim that she defended me. And I never forced her to choose between me and the clique, but I guessed the clique did. But her answers were obvious, but she was still pretending to be sitting on the fence. She was already facing the side where the grass was greener, and it wasn’t my side.

I literally became known to the course as the girl who gossiped, A LOT. But the thing is, the only people I gossiped to was my current best friend (who wasn’t even in the same course or faculty) and the people in my clique. I guess now we know who spread the gossip rumors, right?

And honestly, the clique never respected that I was pescatarian. Forget being forced to go to all the meat BBQ places (I went once and never went again), but there was this one instant and after that I immediately cut them off.

One friend saw that I was eating Wanton mee, which had char siew pork and meat-stuffed wantons. So I gave them to O, and that left me with just the vegetables and noodles, right? This friend said, “Like that, you might as well not eat.” And that instant, I knew something in me snapped.

Also, there were many times I had to stay up to accompany them or had to stay out late even though I had a curfew, I literally had to buy my friendship with them using time. Because if I didn’t spend time with them, I wasn’t their friend.

So that story ended with the clique ignoring me and they never confronted me or anything so it was left like that. And that time one thing my director (for my project) said resounded within me. He said he was glad that I wasn’t hanging out with them anymore and I questioned him why. He simply said that they were childish. And that moment I was literally enlightened, because I didn’t realise what was going on.

An additional two people are P and R who were my project mates. P wasn’t well liked by a lot of people because anytime she opened her mouth, she would talk 24/7 ABOUT HERSELF. Everything that you added, she would link it to herself and wow, you must imagine my horror when she tells me that she and I are the same MTBI type (INFJ). Honestly, I only hung out with her because I didn’t want to sour the relations in the group (let’s just say I was secretly taking one for the team) and both of us didn’t have a ton of friends. But I knew she was using me too. We just used each other and honestly it wasn’t that bad (apart from the fact that she only talked about herself), but at least she respected my dietary needs. (Like only my best friend still picks somewhere there I can eat.)

And R actually told me that she has a mental illness and is getting treatment for it, but the way she said it, she wielded it like a sword and shield, using it against people and using it to push the pressure and responsibilities off her.

I won’t delve into anymore details, but I want to share what I’ve learnt.

If they won’t do the same for you that you do for them, leave. It’s not worth it. Friendship doesn’t need to be bought with money or time, it’s more like friendship must withstand all that.

Friendship doesn’t see money, it doesn’t matter. You two can walk around a mall with $0 in your wallet and still have a bloody good time. Friendship withstands time. You and your friend should be able to talk as though nothing has changed even though you probably haven’t talked in 3 months.

That’s how you know the friendship is worth it. You need both of you to understand how each of you view friendship and embrace that. Me and my best friend can not talk for months and when we text, it’s like nothing has even changed.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did, that was the point of this post and it still was. I wanted someone to tell me this when I was going through all that shit in the past, and I hope that my words here will be able to help you if you see yourself in any of the situations.

Don’t be afraid to walk away, you’ll find better friends, friends who will respect and not judge you for simply being you. You don’t need to buy their love, time or friendship. And if they can’t see that, walk away.

Don’t destroy yourself trying to love someone else, because in the end, you’re the only one who gets seriously hurt. Because it’s like throwing plates at a wall and you have to clean up everything later.

Peace out,
Michelle (Firstbooklove)