Monday, March 07, 2016

Do not jump...

Last month, someone jumped from a building where I used to live.
I got a second hand account of what happened.
One of my neighbours from that building told me that he heard a loud noise and the building shook.
When he went on the balcony and looked down, he saw a body lying at the bottom, on the steps leading to the doors into the building.

This shook me.
I didn't see it, I didn't hear it happen, yet it shook me.
I don't even live there anymore, yet, it shook me.
Had I been in the building...had I been walking nearby...I can only imagine how I would feel!

The next day at work, I wasn't myself.
I told a coworker what happened, and she confided in me that her dad also committed suicide a few years ago. At the time, she never told anybody how her dad was found, just that he passed away.
It's only on that day, that I learned that she carried that lie and the weight of it for a couple of years, until she could come to terms with it. Her dad did not leave a note. His car was found by the side of the road, on a bridge and his body at the bottom.

I admire her for still being wholesome.
I admire her for being so stoic this whole time.
Part of me does not understand. Maybe because even in my lowest of lows, I never felt like ending my life. I'm not being judgmental, I don't know what goes through the mind of one who turns to suicide. But I've been told it is very common for people to have these thoughts. And fortunately not everybody who has these thoughts go through with it.

February was mental health awareness month.
The media talked about it at length. One morning, I heard a parent talk over the radio about how his daughter, a teenager, took her own life last year. The story was heart-wrenching. It's hard enough for a parent to lose a child, but for a parent to question whether they could have prevented it, it could be mental torture day in and day out.

I, personally, don't think I could ever do it, even if I am depressed.
I do not have piercings or tattoos because of the pain I anticipate I would have to endure.
Plus I would not want my family to go through the pain of going on without me, of ever thinking that they could have helped.

I know that in the moment, due to their illness (depression or any other mental disorder), people who commit suicide are not thinking of the pain they would inflict on their loved ones. In that moment, they think that taking their own lives would actually make everything better.
It makes me sad that there are so many people in the world who think they have no other choice.
It scares me that I may be walking by someone having these thoughts and not knowing what they are going through.

This is a reminder to myself and to the world to be kind to others, you don't know what kind of day they are having.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's 2016, leave me alone!

I cannot believe that a month in 2016 is almost over.
If the first few days of the year is any indication, this year is going to be a rollercoaster!

Over Christmas, I reconnected with a high school friend who really wanted to match me with this guy she knows. Long story short, she gave him my number, without my permission and when the guy messaged, I debated for the longest time whether I should respond or not. My aunt also wanted to match me with the same guy and I had refused at the time. So what is it with this guy that everybody wanted me to meet? Turns out they matched me with him only because he happens to run marathons and knowing that I also run, they thought we would be a good match! 

After a few texts, he admitted to having failed his high school exam twice and to being in the 'food production industry' now. That was a major turn off for me. First, that made me realize that I am an intellectual snob. I have absolutely no interest in someone who cannot perform academically. Second, his obvious lack of ambition, having relinquished his job as a chef in favor of a social life, did not inspire me at all. I like guys who are driven by ambition, and his nonchalant 'now I work Mondays to Fridays from 6:00am to 2:30pm and I have week-ends free' as an excuse to stopping being a chef, did not impress me. An ambitious man, who did not like the lack of social life as a chef, would either work towards owning a restaurant, or becoming an executive chef. It did not help that the guy gave the 2 options, either being keen on meeting him, or being a jerk. So I chose to be a jerk. 

A few days later, my cousin messaged me that a popular online dating website was having some kind of discounted rate. Why does everybody want me to be in a relationship? What is wrong with my life right now, that everybody seems to want to change it? My cousin asked me, when I said that I'm not looking, 'what will you do when you get older?'. I answered 'Exactly what I've been doing all along: whatever I want!'. 

I understand that people in marital bliss think that I'm miserable alone. But I'm not, and nobody seems to understand that. Would me being in a relationship and eventually married make me successful or happier? Can I not be successful being single? I've heard a lot of stories of women who are useless, do not hold jobs, do not contribute to society, but are able to be in relationships and get married. Are these women worth more than me, just because they got hitched? 

Most of my supportive friends understood my position when I told them the story of the cook. But one of them said to me 'You are not getting any younger, you cannot afford to be picky'. I've heard it before, but that one time was the last straw. Yes, I know I'm not getting any younger, but do I want to settle just because it's about time? I don't think so. I hardly ever want for companionship, and the guy who does make me want to give up the kind of life I've created for myself would have to be worth it. 
Why give up a peaceful, drama-free life for all the complications of being in a relationship? Statistics on divorce and real-life examples around me certainly do not make me want to be in a relationship. And the few successful marriages around me do not inspire me. I'm happy for them, but I do not envy them. As with many things in life, being single is a decision. I could, if I wanted, put myself out there and find someone. But I don't. And people do not understand why.

It is 2016, why can't a single woman be left alone? 
Sometimes I think that people cannot see me be happy on my own and just want to add misery to my life. Other times, I'm more lenient and think that they mean well (that maybe if I find a 'better half' the happiness would double?!?), but are not really looking out for what would really make me happy. 

Right now, it is for everybody to leave me alone.