I am debating whether to write about this at all, but I feel compelled to since all I feel like doing right now is cry. But I just feel numb. You know those times when you feel like crying, but can’t and everything is just bottled up inside. I am afraid that the people who are not meant to read this, will read it and get upset and I really don’t want to upset or hurt anyone.
Still feel lousy and depressed right this minute. I now understand why most people avoid reunions. Especially if they are not successful in light of society’s conventional measures of success – great career and married with kids. Well at least in my circle, these are the key performance indicators (to borrow a term from work, as it seems like work to me). I am what I like to call gainfully unemployed (still finding the best vocation for myself) and not married, but happy. Happy that is, till I am told otherwise. I think yesterday’s reunion made me take a step towards what they call Social Anxiety Disorder. I don’t think I have it, but by the end of the night I had a splitting migrane (which I never get) and a serious case of nausea.
Well maybe it had a bit to do with the taxi ride there. The taxi driver was playing music that did the opposite of calming my nerves, and we were stuck in traffic for an hour that was moving an inch at a time. This, plus the cost, is why I only like to take the MRT (subway). The place I was getting to is inaccessible and there was no way to get there, but by cab. Throughout the journey I had to talk myself into not freaking out from one of my claustrophobic panic attacks. I had to trick my mind into thinking I was ok. It was mentally exhausting. At the end of the journey, my head was about to split into two and the cab fare came up to S$25, which itself made me want to cry.
I was nervous even before the dinner began. Everyone was sharing pictures of their grown up kids and talking about them going into good schools and it was becoming like a mummy meeting which was fine by me, as long as I wasn’t being interrogated. And then it started and I regressed back into the doormat I was in school. I felt like I was being bombarded and questioned like a defendant in court. I realize now that I was trying to defend myself and my lifestyle. The more defensive I was, the more depressed I felt. But right now I am thinking – Why do I need to defend my lifestyle? It’s my life isn’t it. No one else can know how you feel unless they live in your shoes. I know they all mean well, but I wonder if they had any idea how bad they were making me feel.
There is a friend of ours who avoids everyone, because her marriage didn’t work out and now I don’t blame her for wanting to stay away. Although my friends say divorce is ok, they don’t seem to be giving out the signals that it’s really ok. They do seem to sort of approve when you divorce and remarry. The constant seems to be marriage. Singlehood is frowned upon in my circle. Marriage equals happiness. And if you’re married, there’s something wrong if you don’t reproduce (I adore children, by the way).
Maybe over the years I have lowered my expectations as I realize that happiness is affected by your expectations. I think lower is not accurate. It’s more that, huge life circumstances, like losing my father suddenly and unexpectedly, have completely changed my views about happiness. It’s made me value aspects of my life that I would have totally taken for granted previously.
Singapore society can be very judgemental and obsessed with meeting the conventional measures of happiness. Sorry for the long rant, but I most often feel that the people who don’t know me (since I’m hide under the cloak of anonymity) understand me best, as I am truly able to be myself. And you know those people are you. So thank you so much for listening.
P.S. I truly feel like a Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables. I love this post that I just saw on Freshly Pressed because it made me feel that being different and sticking out, can be a good thing.