the outline of your face

I could have sworn I finally forgot what you looked like. I thought to myself, if I’ll never forget the pain you caused, I should at least forget how you look like.

I should forget how deep your dimple piercings were and how I used to love playing with them. I should forget how your eyes, though small, were the most beautiful pair I’ve had the privilege of gazing at. I should forget how you had the most lushest lips I had pressed against my lips.

I should at least forget the details on your face, so that I may at least be able to miss you in a crowd and not be reminded of what I lost.

After so long I believed that I did it; I finally forgot what he was like.

But today I found out I was wrong.

Out of the blue, I had a detailed image of you in my head. So detailed, that as I scanned across the mental image, It ticked off all the points of details I remembered. No idea what triggered this, but whatever. It’s done.

What made it worse was, it was a moving picture. Watching you move, made it more painful. As I watched you move, I felt my heart burn like corrosive acid on skin.

I felt alive with emotion yet dead with no hope.

So with this, I’ll try to forget you again from today.

hurts like heaven

I’m in a period of relapse, or rather what you call burn out, regression.

I’m at a point where I know I am exhausted; I’m tired of all the routines of study and work. I’m beat and my demons are taking over me.

I know it is temporary but right now they’re really getting into my system. I feel it getting stronger by the minute.

With the exhaustion of the thought of my existence and the unknown of what’s to come, the monsters I hid under the rug start to peep out. My past creeping back.

They come out when I face the mirrors, they talk to me when I see my photographs. They seep into my brain tissue when I see anything that could possibly remind me of you. They hold me dearly, as if comforting me, whenever I get lost in emotional moody songs- “It’s alright to be like this.”.

They’re not wrong. It is okay to be like that.

But I wonder when, if I do, when will I break free from their deceivingly comforting grasp. Everytime I do, they remind me that you, like heaven, hurts yet feels so good.

So now tell me…

How do I unmiss you?

young love? lost love?

Many people think it is a bad idea of meet up with a person you’ve loved romantically before.

That was my mindset too, before today. But I went ahead to meet him because he was a different case. Hear me out.

What we had was 3 years ago and we had significant time apart and reunited as friends a year ago. When we united as friends, we already had our own romantic relationships and we were really platonic. Trust me. We did not meet at all, apart from group meetings. I guess there was a mutual understanding that we could still be in each other’s lives but slowly and steadily.

We would usually interact through social media and hardly on private messaging. Take for instance if I were to post about a tiring day, he’d just send me a message on Instagram telling me to push on. Little things like that. I’d just reply with thanks or just read and let it be. We would also talk to each other about our own relationships and when he’d talk about how he likes to tease his girlfriend, I would even take her side and tell him off. That’s how much of platonic friends we were.

But you see, that was the beauty of it-almost a whole year, of being distant, yet still following each other’s lives, like guardian angels.

Through the little, yet frequent buzzes on social media or messages of checking up and support, we were able to build a trusting and stable friendship. Knowing that there’s always someone caring, even in the subtle ways, makes me feel very loved and he was able to make me feel that love, from a friend to a friend.

I wouldn’t call it a reversal or undoing the romantic part. We didn’t choose to forget what we went through and act as if nothing had happened. Rather, it should be called maturity.

Maturity on both sides, to know boundaries. This, in line with working on ourselves as individuals and respect for our lovers, makes for a successful platonic friendship.

With respect for the partner we love, temptations become insignificant. We don’t constantly have to fight temptations to fall back because we both understand that what had happened was meant to be. Instead, we look forward, to the future and we are grateful to have each other as friends.

If you’re curious how the day was like:

I was terribly late… We started off with lunch, in a pizzeria in the middle of the city, under the blazing hot sun. We had pasta, pizza and Coke Zero which cost about $68🙃

We started to catch up on university, friends, outlook on life, current relationships etc. Towards the end of the meet up, we ended off with talking about the law internship we were in together with a bunch of other cool people then we went deeper and talked about what happened between us. Honestly, it got me a little nervous as first. But as we were talking more about it, i started to feel at ease and just think of the whole thing like “wow young love”. And some parts of the story he shared, I honestly even forgot had happened. But at the end of it all, we concluded that, what we had was not lost, for if you truly loved someone, you never stop loving them.

After that, we parted ways and I met up with my significant other and appreciated my partner even more.

I am more than grateful to have met him. He’s a great person and I really, sincerely have faith that he’ll do many great things in life.

So to those who don’t believe past lovers can’t be friends, you’re wrong. For if you really wanted to be strictly friends mutually, excuses of “temptations” and “cheating” would not even be considered.

so I had a painful first love…

How do you appreciate your first love?

I had a first love, just like most. I’d call it a great love, not because it beats romanticized novels but it’s great in the way that it transformed me for the better. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be in such a great place now without having been with him.

I wouldn’t call it a toxic relationship because he was a genuinely good person, who was just at the crossroads, lost and confused. What boiled down in our relationship was the clash of different phases in life, the indecisiveness on his part and the perpetually exhausting distrust I had towards him.

I won’t go into the details of the relationship too much but I’ll tell you how I transformed after we parted ways.

He taught me things like living a more frugal life and he broke down many misconceptions I had about people like him. He was gangster-like, “ah-beng” as what my friends called him. I used to be afraid to be associated with people like him until I took a sneak peek and realized they’re more than capable of having substance.

He taught me how to be more open to the unknown and be more independent. Very much like my father, he was a scholar who had to work after school almost daily to make ends meet. Dad always told me stories but I never really appreciated it until I saw it for myself. It was with him that I had my first meal alone outside too. I mean he didn’t leave me to eat by myself. But rather, I was waiting for him to end work so I studied while eating alone. It made me feel the reality of the need of being independent and alone from time to time.

After we broke up, I plunged into depression because no one left before. It took me about 3 months until I started to seek help from the people around me. With that, with my family and friends holding my hands, I forced myself out of the shadows and started to work on myself.

I had a gym membership and decided to shake off the weight from A-level stresses. I channeled the pain into a furious passion to shape myself the way I wanted and be a beautiful me that I could be proud of. I also started taking tea, which I really hated to drink before. I started eating healthy, more salads, less sweets. I lost 8kg in that month.

He, together with my friends, always complained about how I didn’t act like girls do, wearing makeup and dressing up to go out or impress the boys. So I started to learn and I was getting really good at it and my friends started to commend me. But with that, I also started to take care of my skin, progressively having long skin care routines that made my skin glow.

When school started, I was reminded of my goals to a medical practitioner. I was so furious that I neglected that dream just because I was trying to keep a self-destructive relationship going. So from then, I juggled studying extra subjects as I pursued my degree.

Acknowledging that I was slowly improving as a person, I realized that I had to let go of people who were not morphing me into the person I desire to be. Aristotle said we have 3 types of friends- Virtue, utility and pleasure (see:Aristotle: 3 types of friendships). Knowing I had little time to spare for friends, I made sure that the ones I held onto were worth it. I chose the friends that let me be transparent, at ease and loved. I chose friends that helped me realize my mistakes and push me to be better everyday.

All of these, I admit, were motivated by the pain of the thought of him. But I kept doing them until they became habits that made me a happy person. The more I did, the more I forgot these started off because of the thought of him.

It was then I realized that I have gotten over him. Maybe not 100%, but 90%. I still do think of him occasionally, even after 2 years. But there are no more urges to check on him, call him and be a part of his life. This doesn’t mean “good riddance”. I’m just happy for myself, for trusting time and those around me that I can grow and be happy.

If I don’t love myself, who will? 

This love was a sad one but it opened my eyes to a bigger world that would have never been realized had I not loved so hard like that.

I look onward to the future, open and hopeful 🙂