Thursday, November 12, 2009

No One Likes To Fail

I am that person. I do not like to think I have failed at anything. You see, I spend my life trying to achieve perfection. I desperately try to be that cool, calm and collected lawyer for that big, global company. I try to be perfect at dealing with stress and pressure, by giving off this impression that I am rarely bothered and not easily ruffled. I eat pretty much the same lunch each day, I have my coffee at the same time each morning. I have the same morning routine, from the time I get up and shower, to the brushing of my teeth and the cleanse, toning and moisturing of my face. The same product used - Clinique. I am able to manage my life by avoiding whatever may upset this routine. I figure that I can avoid being hurt, or judged, or left as long as I am self sufficient, independent and free. This is a choice I made a long time ago. Since then, living my life through routine has allowed me to avoid a lot of sadness and hurt. When its MY routine, I have the say on when it is adjusted, or moved or interupted. I am in control of that routine for as long as I want to be.

The problem is that life cannot be that rigid and that perfect. I am learning this now. It is no feasible to isolate myself in the hope that by doing so, I am safe.

This avoidance, for the most part, is manageable. It is, at times, exhilerating. I can fly off to Thailand when I please. I can sleep in on Sunday mornings. I can live with a degree of instability because I do not have any responsibility to feed a child, a cat or a husband. I can be sad or upset when I want to be, I can shut off the world when I feel like it, I can reach out to one, or two people, when I am ready, but stay distant enough to ensure that they never lean on me. It is a method of existance which has, for some time, suited me perfectly. I have even, sadly, worn it like a badge of honour - "look at me, Miss Independent who travels the world on her own".

Until now.

And it is not until your behaviour threatens to ruin something precious to you, that you realise that things have got to change. You see, I've never needed anything to be taken away from me because money can buy it back. I lose my ipod, I get a new one. If I miss my family, I simply catch a plane to see them, or call them. If I don't like my housemates, I move out and get a new place. But the things that I cannot replace are friendships and relationships that I have been gifted with. There are some things in life that you can't just push away because things have gotten "too hard" or things aren't going my way. I have a responsbility to that other person (whether it is a friend, a relative or a boyfriend) to not run and hide or push them away, simply because I cannot have my way. It is not fair on the other person, because they have put in the same amount of effort as you have to cultivate the relationship or friendship as you have.

It is only when you face that momentary prospect of losing them that you realise that you need to make a change. There is nothing scarier than to act in your own selfish horrid way, only to wake up to realise that you could effectively be pushing away a friend that is going to make a difference in your life in such a positive way, and perhaps, who knows, for the rest of your life. Its now not good enough for me to keep one or two select people close only to then push then away to ensure that they never lean on me. Its lonely. Its not enough anymore. And it has the potential to place too much pressure on those very few you do share yourself with.

I need to make that change and I have avoided it for far too long. Heck, it was probably the reason why I moved to Singapore to begin with - to avoid being a part of a group, to avoid being leant on and to be able to get away with being on my own and be able to blame it on being "foreign". Soon enough though, the excuses run out and the truth of the matter appears - that deep down inside, existing on your own two feet, avoiding relying and engaging with others and going at it alone just isn't feasible in the long run. And as I said, when it gets to a point where your behaviour drives something precious to you away, then you know you need to change - and fast.

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