The Happily Married Man

There’s something about a man who’s happy to tell people that he’s married.

And that his lovely wife is at home waiting for him.

And that despite countless tantrums and frustrations,

he still thinks it’s the best decision ever.

My heart is dancing.

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Self-exclusion

On good days, I’m advising friends who are down to pick themselves up because nothing’s ever that bad.

On days like today, I wish time would just swiftly pass by.

I spent the first half of my day surrounded by people. My flatmate, her husband and her friend. I could decide whether I would try to be in the know of all private jokes and stories. I could laugh as hard as they would. But I chose to exclude myself. I sat in the corner and spoke when I was spoken to.

You see, after 3 months of being apart, I sort of don’t remember how exactly it feels to be with H. I know from memory that it is good. But how good? I’ve been excited to find out again.

I spent yesterday evening in the loving company of my flatmate and her husband. They were in constant mockery of each other, and I found that endearing. I missed having that person to do all these things with, make jokes that are fully understood, have your little weird traits be appreciated.

Then last night, I dreamt that H came home. And all the feelings came back. I remembered how good it was to see him again. And the alarm rang. Damn the alarm.

Now I’m left to sit in the empty apartment thinking about how empty this feels, without him. Being with company didn’t make me feel like participating. Being among strangers didn’t make me feel better. I wasn’t quite in the mood for much else, so I was happy to buy a frozen pizza to bake for dinner. I sort of just want to hide in my shell for a bit. At least just for today.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. If I return to dreaming of all other weird stuff except H.

Masterpiece

Yesterday H and I had a good long video chat. We haven’t had one of those in a long time, usually because the connection gets in the way.

Honestly, it was mostly one-way – I had a lot going on that day: two interviews, in person and via telephone. He listened patiently, intently and responsively. He was happy to see me excited. I was happy to elaborate on the nitty gritty details and see his responses to them. It was fun. I missed it. He’s my favourite person to talk to.

That evening, I was watching The Voice of Germany (I’m a big fan), when Jessie J came on and performed her new song “Masterpiece” with the hopefuls. I caught some lines of it and was already in love with the song, I searched them up. It was one of those songs that clicked instantly with me, because I felt exactly like this at this very point in my life. I would love to belt it out:

I still fall on my face sometimes
And I can’t colour inside the lines
‘Cause I’m perfectly incomplete
I’m still working on my masterpiece

And I, I wanna hang with the greats
Got a way to go, but it’s worth the wait
No, you haven’t seen the best of me
I’m still working on my masterpiece

And it made me realize that H makes me feel exactly the same way as this song. Even though it’s been a tiring journey, he believed from the start that I was working on my masterpiece, even way before I realized it. (Such a great feeling.) He believes any visionary leader would take me under his/her wing. He has hopes and dreams for me.

As I inch ever closer to starting my career here, I, too, started to have hopes and dreams for me too. I, too, believe that I can take anything that comes my way and make it great. I’m not going to give up and go home and whine about this place.

I’m going to kick some ass, you’ll see.

LDR woes

Yesterday, I faltered to my feet.

Through bad internet connection and a bunch of other frustrations, H and I turned on Skype at last and I couldn’t do it. I was armed with stories but all I wanted to do was cry my heart out.

And you’d think it strange. I had a very well-filled weekend: dinner before the Halloween stuff happened, sweet treats with coffee before a night at a bar celebrating dias de los muertos. It was a very interesting weekend with ups and downs.

But yet, I was just upset about everything and nothing. I was upset that I couldn’t control the situation. I was upset that I was crying about the same thing – that H is away. I was upset that the connection still sucked.

I was thinking about how absolutely useless I am with long distance, that I wasn’t getting used to it at all, that I seem to be getting worse with time. I pretty much felt like, if he was coming back next week, I would’ve been crying till that day.

But H, as always, calmed me down and made everything okay. I’m not sure what or how, and he might not know either, but I was fine again. I went through the evening baking myself a focaccia bread.

Then the flatmate bade her husband farewell in the evening. They see each other every weekend, and still, when he left that evening, she kept quiet and stood by the window to watch him drive away.

It just so happened that I was looking for her that I realized she, too, was crying. And she said, it was so stupid because she should’ve been used to it by now.

Then it hit me – I’ve said that line a thousand times. And I was weirdly comforted by the fact, through her sorrow, that I was not alone.

Bang bang boom

I had one of those well-packed weekends – it came and went.

I had invited a friend over for dinner on Friday, took a long walk with another friend on Saturday morning, visited another at her place in the afternoon and spent my Sunday on a day trip in Szczecin with others.

I literally had to speed-bake on Saturday morning, race to point A with my bike and my fingers pink from the cold, spend some good time, race back with the bike, try to catch my breath, and race to point C.

We also took the train early on Sunday morning, way earlier than I was used to. On the way back, I sat next to a friendly man, as we conversed at ease in German.

In retrospect, I think I’m doing relatively well, living without H in Berlin. I’m filling up my weekends and I’m working on my German.

I truly enjoyed the weekend. It’s not that I was guilty that I had fun without him. I didn’t. I knew he wanted me to have fun here and create my own Berlin life.

But somehow, while I was thrilled to meet friends and have a good time with them, I still cannot shake off the feeling of knowing it would be just so much better if H was here. H makes everything way more fun without realising it.

If only the next 8 weeks would go by as swiftly as the weekend did.

The Path Thus Far

It’s funny. I grew up as a little girl hating boys. Boys were stupid and boys bullied me. So I went to a girls’ school between 13 and 16 years old. Then I decided they weren’t bad after all, and I started dating.

Hearts were broken, of course. Mine included. At a certain point, I was comfortable being on my own, thinking I’d never find the right one for me – and yet it didn’t matter, I didn’t care.

But the path took a sharp turn. I met someone, with whom I had the fondest of memories 2 years before, again, and the same good feelings returned. We pursued it further despite everything lying ahead. We were both at uncertain phases of our lives. But miraculously, it persevered.

In 2011, we spent a total of 2.5 weeks (1 + 1.5) together.

In 2012, we spent a total of 6 weeks (2.5 + 2 + 1 + .5) together.

In 2013, we spent a total of 17 weeks (1 + 1 + 15) together.

In 2014, we have spent a total of 32 weeks together so far. During which, he proposed and we married. H has now left for India for work and will return within the last weeks of December.

It’s funny that the time has only increased so far and we’re still hungry for more time. We need more time together.

But it’s amazing, looking back on what we have done and how crazy we have been – to take the leap of faith of being together without being together, to then make the move and be together, to then decide to want to be together for the rest of our lives.

And till today, I think it was the best decision of my life, and I can’t wait for the man of my dreams to be home.

Honey to the ears

Fiancé: So, are you glad to return to Germany in 2 months?

I: Yes, and you know that.

Fiancé: (Fist bumps in the air) I know, I just wanted to hear it like a compliment.

I: Are you glad that I’m glad?

Fiancé: Yes, and you know that.

I: I know, I just wanted to hear it like a compliment.

Wedding discussions

Recently, I came across a song, which the fiancé recommended a long time ago, and I thought, oh my gosh this is a perfect song for our wedding, I relate to every word!

Lo and behold, the fiancé is unimpressed.

I: Why don’t you like it?

Fiancé: It’s too soft and he sings so pathetically.

I: What?! It’s too soft?

Fiancé: Yeah.

I: Be honest with me, darling. Are we going to dance to a rock song?

Fiancé: (makes a rocker face)

I: If we dance to a rock song, I will take off my shoes and put sneakers on.

Fiancé: Ok!

Time to shop for new sneakers.

Sleeping Alone / Waking Up Alone

Disturbing dreams. Knot in the stomach. I don’t think I’ve experienced these weird feelings for a while.

You see, for the longest time, the fiancé and I have accidentally created a routine. We head to bed together, cuddle and say good night. In the morning, I always manage to somehow wake up a little earlier than him, see him roll over, peek open his eyes just for a tiny bit, smile his gorgeous irresistible smile upon seeing me there, give me a quick kiss, then continue to sleep. I’m not a morning person, but it takes a lot to ruin the start of that day. (Like realizing we’ve overslept, or other bigger issues.)

My brain gets crazy though, so it isn’t that I’ve had rainbows and unicorns in my dreams since living with him. I do have mildly strange dreams that involve him or the family, but that was it.

But since he left on Friday, I’ve had an amazingly creepy dream. I was gritting my teeth so hard, I felt one of them pop out. Panicking but unable to loosen the grit, I tried to save the tooth and quicken my steps to find a dentist. Along the way, I could sense that my teeth were starting to crack, and a bunch of them losing grip of the gums. A few more popped out. I grabbed a napkin to try to save them all. But as I continued walking and more popped out, some start to rain onto the ground. I freaked out. I checked my teeth in the reflection – some were missing, some were cracked in halves. It was a sense of just sheer panic.

This morning, I woke up with a knot in my stomach. The kind that I still can’t shake off an hour after being awake. The kind when I’m extremely anxious and nervous about something – I can’t even remember the last time I had such a knot. I’m not sure what it is.

It seems I’m not up to the “adventure” of being home with my parents, without him. I need to be home with the same guy every night. Oh fiancé, you’re engaged to a 60-year-old lady.

Perspectives

Returning to my parents’ in Singapore after being away for 8.5 months has been rather interesting. Spending a long time away from everything here, and a long time together with the love of my life has really changed my perspective.

As we know, the Germans are stereotyped to be direct, frank, honest, straightforward. S, in particular, is all about going straight to the point or opening up a discussion. It was a say-it-and-mean-it culture. When something is bad, one discusses the many solutions and evaluate which is better.

Coming back to the land of reservations and judgements, it was a slight culture shock. I’ve forgotten what sarcasm and bitchiness was like. I’ve forgotten that what one says doesn’t necessarily dictate the truth. I’ve forgotten how one shouldn’t say this and that to this person because it would cause him or her to lose face. I’ve forgotten how power play was like. I’ve forgotten how I should shut my mouth because some older folks aren’t interested in hearing what I’ve to say actually.

But approaching these folks with no judgement also helps (I think!) to bring out the best in them. It does surprise me how that changes. Sometimes we behave according to the thoughts of others, which is really weird.

But if that’s true, I’m glad S has brought out the non-judging, the problem-solving person in me.

On a side note, I’ve not much time left to refer to S as my fiancé. So from this point on, S shall be referred to as the fiancé.

Another perspective I’ve gained is that leaving the fiancé for an indefinite amount of time while we first got together, or leaving the fiancé for a fixed number of months, or leaving the fiancé knowing that I’ll live with him soon, or leaving the fiancé with an engagement ring on my finger has no effect on my crying. It’s equally bad each time.

But it really sucks to be apart from the one you spend every waking happy moment with. Perhaps in a way, the leaving always makes us more appreciative of each other. In any case, ohne dich ist alles doof!