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Leaving my skeletons behind

Extracted from my latest Dayre post.. here’s an emotional bit of me I haven’t shared in quite awhile.

Laying quietly next to him the night before, we talked about things like we usually do, throwing topics out there and discussing just about everything and nothing. Then we came across the topic of whether it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Being someone who loves deeply each time I decide I’m truly in it for real, I would say.. Life would have so little meaning if you didn’t give your heart away. Such love can be in the form of friendship, kinship or relationship. It’s selfless, bold and fulfilling.

But sometimes, it doesn’t always stay that way. Life gets the better of love. Patience turns into annoyance, effort morphs into complacency, kind words evolve into harsh ones and love slips through your fingers without you even realizing it.

I can’t say I don’t envy people who have never felt great loss of someone important in their lives. Sometimes I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse to be the type of person who feels every single thing intensely. Maybe living in oblivion is sad in its own quiet way, but it’s not the kind of sad that leaves you picking the pieces of your heart off the floor.

Most break ups are sad. But some are mind numbingly tragic.

Maybe, one day you’ll meet someone who starts a fire in you that never dies. But the saddest truth you’ll come to know is that you may not end up spending the rest of your life with that person.

Perhaps it’s especially morbid to meet such a person at a young age, because you spend the rest of your days trying to fill the empty hole they left behind. The realization that it’s probably never going to feel the same with anyone else is overwhelming. Suddenly, your life is completely defined by three segments: Before you met him, when you were with him, and life after it all fell apart.

I thought I knew what it meant to be heartbroken, but I did not know what it really felt like until I found myself choosing to lie on the floor instead of the bed to cry, because the floor felt cold and hard, and I just wanted to feel something apart from the hole in my empty heart.

Not eating, not moving, barely breathing, replaying the same sad song for hours on end, replaying everything you could and should have done better, questioning the point of your very existence, questioning God even though you’re not even religious. It’s when you choose to bleed just to know you’re alive.

It’s also when you’re wailing loudly despite knowing there’s no one there to hear your pathetic cries or to give you their sympathy. I thought we were going to have children and the rest of our lives together. After all, that’s the only future I ever knew. People don’t realize that I did not just lose a boyfriend of 6 years – I lost the house we were staying in together, my job that we worked together in, my everyday lifestyle, everything that I knew.

I thought that when the days of uncontrollable sobbing and being motionless in bed for extended periods of time stopped, so would the pain. Today, it has been more than a year since I decided to leave my ex of 6 years.

While I don’t cry over it as often as I used to, and no longer see his face or hear his name in everything I do and everywhere I go and I realize that my life is my own.. it still gets me real down every now and then. Just when I thought I’ve gotten over it, there will come a sleepless night that convinces me otherwise. And then it hit me.

There are some wounds that will take more than just a few years to heal, and there are broken hearts that surgery can’t fix.

I should allow myself to feel everything that I am feeling, and I should feel no shame in admitting that yes, even though a year has passed (it’s coming to 2 soon), sometimes I still think of Sam and everything we used to do and have. Not in a particularly romantic way, but sometimes, just mourning the loss of something really special and great.

After all, we’ve stayed in three different homes together, raised adorable pets together, been through unimaginable shit with each other, built a business and worked together, saw the other person’s face everyday for 5 years straight – we basically revolved every inch of our lives around each other. I did spend more than a quarter of my life with this person, and he taught me a lot of what I know today as a person.

I was supposed to marry him, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I did not. I left him instead. Because despite how truly amazing we could be together sometimes, the bad times would rock and shake my entire world and left me with zero self esteem, and a lot of negative emotions, which eventually ate me up inside. Our lack of experience in dealing with difficult life situations and snarky attitude got the better of us.

Everyday, I am still learning new lessons from my previous relationship. I often reflect and think about what it all means. Everyday, I am finding new meaning. Recently, I’ve found myself thinking about Sam a lot more, and I was confused by why this was happening.

After some pondering, I realize it’s because of a new character making a significant impact in my life story. Shortly after my break up with Sam, I dated someone for 8 months, from late last year to a few months ago.

Yeah, it didn’t work out. I’d hate to call it a rebound, but I guess I was lonely, and he was enthusiastic, appearing at the right place at the right time. I thought that was what I wanted. Several months in, however, I realized it was a mistake, and called it off when I could no longer keep up pretending that it was going fine, when it wasn’t. We weren’t suitable for each other at all.

But this time around, dear dayre, it’s different. Right from the start, I could tell. This guy makes me feel things I never believed I would feel again. Emotions that I haven’t felt since 7 years ago. He tugs on heart strings from parts of my heart that I did not know were still alive. It made me flashback to when Sam and I first got together.

I felt overwhelmed with a ton of emotions. I was shellshocked that this was even happening. I thought my love with Sam was a once in a lifetime sort of experience, so how could it be that I’m fantasizing about a future with this new guy the way I used to with Sam? Immediately, I recognized what I was feeling.

I felt guilty, like I was replacing Sam. Or rather, the placement of Sam in my heart, in his good memory. While unpleasant thoughts of how everything went to shit still do haunt me, at the very core of it all, I choose to remember him as the guy who taught me what love was. Even after he left, that’s how I always saw him.

I always knew I would be able to have relationships after Sam. I’m generally a cheerful person, and I have lots of love to give, so it wasn’t going to be a problem to find someone to have a relationship with. I just kind of expected that I would have relationships that could never match up to what Sam and I had. I assumed I would get into relationships, watch them not work out, get the hell out of them, rinse and repeat.

But what I did not realize is that my undeserving, malfunctioning, fucked up piece of shit scumbag heart could still, by the grace of God, love someone THAT wholeheartedly again. Somehow, this guy makes my broken heart feel whole again.

And that actually scares the shit out of me.

I was scared of several things. Firstly, the higher you go, the harder you’ll fall. All that vulnerability I took so long to harden my shell just to cover up for, is now being exposed once again. Of course I’m scarred, and naturally think of the worst case scenario. I can tell this would ruin me all anew if it doesn’t work out. And this time, I’m not so sure I will be okay again. I barely made it out with my sanity and dignity intact for the last one.

Secondly..

What makes it even more terrifying is that he’s been one of my best friends for more than a year, and I was very close to him even before we started dating. In a way, he’s been my rock and support, consistently being the best to me, always lending a helping hand in my time of need and making me smile without fail.

So if we don’t work out, I stand to lose one of my closest friends in this lifetime.

Thirdly, I guess I’m royally screwed because I feel like he could be the new love of my life. I don’t know, I could probably even marry this guy. He seems like he would make a great dad and husband. Perhaps it’s too early to tell right now, but that’s how deep I’m in it already. And I’ve only felt this way two times in my entire life: once with Sam, and once more with him.

Let’s give the new guy a name. Let’s call him D. My relationship with D the last two months has shown me how I’ve grown as a person, and a partner. I’m noticeably more self giving, patient, understanding, gentle and willing to compromise. Much more so than before. Only someone like D could bring out these traits in me and encourage me to be the best version of myself possible, because he’s such a great character himself.

So yeah. Basically I’ve been thinking of Sam more often these days because I find myself going through similar experiences with D as I had with Sam, and I’m frightened by the similarities. Can you blame me? It ended so badly for me the last time and I’m just afraid history will repeat itself.

But no love ever came without sacrifices and risks; I should stop this negativity and focus on the good. Because, God, I want to be happily in love again. I want to hand my broken heart to someone else to mend, and not have to bear this burden all by myself.

While I’ve learnt to discover happiness in doing certain things alone, I think generally I am a very social person and it saddens me not having someone special to talk to me about all the thoughts that swim in my head before I sleep at night, or just having someone around for a cuddle whenever I feel like one.

Someone I can devote all my time, affection and love to. I love myself, I do, but I find much greater joy in loving someone else. I used to think that was a sign of weakness, not being able to be happy alone, but now I think that’s just bullshit.

Some people are happier being single, and the world can accept that, so why can’t we agree that it’s perfectly fine to admit that you’re happier being attached? I don’t mean get into a pointless relationship just for the sake of being one (which is possibly what I did for the previous guy I dated) but actually being with someone who becomes your better half. How is that not an ideal situation to be in?

And that’s exactly how I feel. Despite only dating for two months, I feel like D is my better half already. He has always been the ray of light to guide me past difficult times, and he makes me want to become a better person, for myself, and for him.

Sam might have been the love of my life up till I was 23, but D could be the great love of my life, for well, the rest of my life. And even if it’s not D, although I hope it is, I should be open to the idea that love doesn’t die when the relationship does. Love is a form of energy, and it should be transferred into different forms and reinvested in new people.

I’ve held relentlessly onto precious memories of Sam and I, safeguarding and regarding them as the best I’ll have in my life, leaving little room for anyone or anything else to enter. But I shouldn’t hold onto something so tightly when its already over.

I shouldn’t be worried about D becoming something to “replace” what I’ve been holding dear – he is in fact, a whole new category and placement of his own, earning a rightful and massive spot in my heart, creating new memories to replace some painful ones that currently exist.

Maybe it’s time to give yourself a break, Jess. Perhaps it really is time to stop asking yourself each and every day, “Why did something so good end so bad? Will we ever have the chance to start anew? Will I ever be as happy again? Why did you say and do the things that you did? Why couldn’t you have done any better?”

Because you know what. The past, truly has come and gone. Like there’s literally nothing I can do about what I’ve already lost.. That’s gone with the wind. What I CAN do is actually take the hard lessons and truths I’ve gathered from my relationship with Sam, and apply it in this new one. Don’t screw it up Jess. Let’s not make the same mistakes again, you know you won’t forgive yourself this time. We’ll be the best that we can be. We totally deserve another chance at being happy again.

And make me happy, D does. Dear dayre, he makes my heart sing. He makes the bad days better, and the good days the best they could possibly be. When I gave up on myself last year, he didn’t give up on me. He holds me when I cry, listens tirelessly when I talk (too much), kisses me when I least expect it and smiles at me for no reason. And when he smiles at me, I can never not smile back at him.

He’s a constant ball of positive energy, and seems to absolutely adore every quirk I have. He laughs at all the weird shit I do, even the horribly unglamorous and dorky stuff. He makes me feel like I can truly be myself, because someone loves me just the way I am. He knows about my past, my dark secrets and my pain. But he looks at me and smiles as though I am perfect.

Sometimes I feel real emotional when he does that, because I know that when he looks into my eyes, he doesn’t see the rain that I hide behind them. He sees rainbows, twinkles and fireworks and most of all, he just sees a girl he loves more than anything he’s known before.

He doesn’t look at me with sympathetic or frowning eyes like he recognizes the broken person I am, all he knows is that I make him complete. He accepts me with all my emotional baggage, scars and tantrums, and gives me renewed faith in many things I gave up on.

There’s just something really beautiful about that kind of naivety and innocence. Starting on a clean slate. No past to worry about, just the potential of a future to look forward to. Just so many chances to make things right this time around.

I may not have believed it was possible to do so before, but I feel like I am slowly but surely letting go of my pain and regret. I’ll never forget the crazy beautiful devastating memories and all the lessons you’ve taught me Sam, but my heart has had enough of crying over what we were.

We are no longer. We only exist as separate entities now. You in your own world, and me, in my own.

To think, my world used to be you. And now, I have a whole new world without you. Looks like the world is bigger than we thought it was, huh?

I really hope you’re doing well, and being happy, wherever you are. That’s all I ever wanted for the both of us – to be happy. Even if that means living without each other’s presence. We have memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for being a part of my life, and in some ways you will definitely always be. But I think I’m ready to start a new chapter now.

And this one will begin not with tears but instead, with a smile and a hopeful heart, and you will not be the main character no more. I may not know what the ending is, but ultimately I am the author of my own life story, and I can rewrite the ending if I don’t like it enough – that is the most empowering thing I’ve ever felt.

To realize that your heart is even more resilient and powerful than any other part of you that exists because it can stop beating completely, and then burst back into life one day again… is indeed a life changing thing.

I’m leaving my skeletons behind, memories in my heart, and regrets to the wind.

xoxo,
Jess

Discovering Shiberty Bakes with Olympus Pen F

In the blink of an eye, I have been the owner of a dessert cafe for close to 3 months now.

Where does the time go?! It feels like just yesterday that I was searching for a suitable place to rent, running around like a headless chicken, trying to get everything sorted out, and now, Shiberty Bakes has been serving up yummy desserts 6 days out of a week… And what a CRAZZYYYY roller coaster ride it’s been!!!

I have learned so much about life and business through these few short months, and I have much more to discover. I’m a real rookie in this industry, so every baby step is considered a huge learning curve for me! Everything from learning how to deal with suppliers, customers, staff, coming up with new dishes, perfecting the recipe and execution… these things have been responsible for keeping me up at night, and making me a better, stronger person. Didn’t realize till now, how even the simplest of things can be extremely difficult to accomplish yourself.

I have never slept or lived the same way ever since starting this business, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else. Owning a humble little space I can call my own that serves up yummy food has always been a dream of sorts for me, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to try this out before I hit 24!

From the very beginning, I made it a point to document this life-changing F&B start up experience with my latest photography toy – the highly raved about Olympus PEN-F!

So for those of you who haven’t been to Shiberty Bakes before, let me introduce you to my café with a little help from the Olympus PEN-F!

 

The kitchen, in the beginning. It has now been converted into a war zone and looks like this but 10x messier X)

Blank space by Taylor Swift comes into mind when I look at these photos of before the cafe got filled up with furniture, and everything else! So much room for possibility and creativity. When I see a blank slate, I don’t think of emptiness, but I see potential.

Let’s take a little tour and see what Shiberty Bakes looks like now together, shall we?

The above photos are all taken with the Vintage filter, which is in built, and my personal favorite filter because it makes my cafe look like a bakery that popped up from the 1950′s!

One of the unique points about the PEN-F is that it has a creative dial located on the front of the body of the camera, and features 4 different filters – Monochrome, Colour Profile, Colour Creator, and Art Filter! This makes it especially convenient and useful for people who are not too fond or well versed at Photoshop or have no time to edit their photos, yet want to achieve a dramatic mood with their pictures.

Some Before & After examples of what you can achieve with the filters - I love how the same image can look so different, with a simple twist of a dial! These are all unedited photos.


Featuring Light Tone filter


Featuring Vintage filter. Don’t you just adore our tongue-in-cheek personalized calligraphy quotes?!


Featuring Pin Hole filter


Featuring Colour Profile. I love how this mode makes the colours pop!


Featuring Monochrome. This mode makes a relatively ordinary filter look very nostalgic and evokes more emotions than in color, for sure!

Featuring Colour Creator

And y’know, because I’m the owner of a kick ass dessert cafe, you’re about to be treated to a visual array of absolutely decadent desserts, proudly taken with the Olympus PEN-F.

Don’t worry, these sweets don’t cost you any calories when you’re only looking at them through a computer screen. If you’d like to get your hands on some of these, though, you know where to find us!!

You don’t have to do much work to get good photos when the PEN-F is so powerful and the photography subjects this colorful and delicious-looking!

Our opening month’s special – Fairy Floss toast! With Fairy Floss that looks like unicorn hair, cotton candy and vanilla ice cream

Salted egg yolk macaron

Chocolate Baileys cake, which was a popular flavor until we removed it from our menu!

Matcha and Red Velvet macarons

Buttermilk Waffles! With sea salt and vanilla ice cream, drizzled with maple syrup. Would you look at the ridiculous amount of berries we lovingly pile onto every plate?!

Customizing fresh floral cakes is our forte.

Blackcurrant Blueberry (aka Ribena) cake, we were surprised to have a local celebrity walk in and ask for this for her birthday celebration!

Charcoal Waffles! These waffles will stay crispy throughout your entire stay here, we promise!

Customized cupcakes for Twitter’s office in SG :)

That time I helped a friend deliver this cake and flowers (whom I also ordered for him) to his girlfriend..

Matcha toast

Rocher toast!

It’s quite amusing how different our toasts look now, as compared to these Beta 101 versions you see above. We’ve only been open a couple of months but have made drastic changes and tons of amendments to our menu, recipes and general operations! Everyday, we are striving to serve our customers better. And I admit, we have a long way to go still, and we humbly ask for everyone’s support and kind understanding.

There’s always something to be improved on, and something that can be done better. I would like to thank everyone, from my followers, to my friends and even complete strangers who have enjoyed our desserts from the bottom of my heart for showing their support to Shiberty Bakes since our opening, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys! Hope to see more of you at the cafe soon!

Shiberty Bakes is located at 46 Owen Road #01-277 s210046 and we are open Tuesday – Sunday, and Public Holidays, from 1pm to 10pm (9:30pm last order).  

Call us at 6291 5221, or drop your orders at orders@shibertybakes.com if you want anything you see here for a special occasion! We still do cater dessert tables and customized cakes for weddings, birthday parties and other events, by the way!

Shout out also goes to Olympus for always producing amazing cameras, such as the PEN-F, allowing me to capture these memories and photos so well. :)

xoxo,
Jess

How to Overcome Emotional Dependency

As most of you would have observed by now, I’m going through a pretty rough patch in life. Rough would be an understatement, most days it feels like I’m crawling on my knees through shattered glass just to get by. I’m 50 shades of confused, frustrated and miserable a lot of the time. I struggle with self-esteem, staying positive and finding purpose in life on a daily basis. I blamed everyone around me, including myself, and spend more time wallowing in self-pity than I’d like to admit. I didn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. I always felt like my happiness revolved around how someone else treated me, probably largely due to how my previous relationship panned out.

In a desperate bid for some clarity, while sobbing to myself on the bed in a relatively hysterical state, I googled “Being emotionally dependent on someone” just to read up some quotes on people who have gone through a similar situation, hoping they’d make some sense for me. Yes, I google everything. Recipes on how to make food, to self-diagnose myself when I’m sick, and when I need life advice..

What I did not expect was coming across this FANTASTICALLY AMAZINGLY GREAT EMPOWERING ARTICLE called “How to Overcome Emotional Dependency”. I expected generic advise that would slip away from me the second my eyes left the page, but after reading through the whole thing, I feel so grateful towards the brilliant and wonderfully empathetic author of this article for helping me regain a substantial amount of self-assurance and sanity. You know how you can listen to the advice of many, but accept none until you come across something so true and logical that you can’t possibly ignore?

Yeah, this was it for me. I feel absolutely compelled to share this article with you, in sincere hope that it will help whoever’s been feeling as shitty as I have. I hope that after reading this, you will find new direction and begin rebuilding your life, piece by piece, as I am trying to do. These are words I will refer to time and time again, over the next few months.

How to Overcome Emotional Dependency
(source: click here for the original article on howtoforgivepeople.com)

When your happiness starts to rely on any person, achievement or outcome (or a fragile combination of these) then you may discover that you’re emotionally dependent. It’s not an easy thing to face, nor is it your fault but it is a challenge which is vital to address.

It takes great courage to learn how to overcome emotional dependency but it’s worth doing so that you feel more in control of your life. Becoming gradually more independent and less attaching takes time and practice but it can be done.

 

SEE INDEPENDENCE AS THE ANSWER TO LIFE’S PROBLEMS

When you’re struggling, it’s tempting to reach out for the wrong answers to life’s problems. These include leaning too much on people or trying to escape how you feel through self-destructive habits. It’s good to take stock of what you become when you’re dependent.

That realisation can also be useful when you’re struggling. For example, may be tempted to contact someone again just because they didn’t reply to your first message but then say “Okay, I don’t really want to be that person”. The more needy you become the more you realise:

“The secret to happiness is freedom”

It starts with embracing the concept or ideal of freedom. That doesn’t mean you can never depend on anyone at all in any situation. But it does mean making a commitment to gradually overcoming dependency and becoming more emotionally free in whatever way you can.

You might look at the path to independence as a learning experience that leads to greater peace, hope and happiness. The good news is that you’re already on that journey and will gradually be able to feel calmer and happier more often without relying on any outcome or anyone being there for you.

 

RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR NEEDS

The ironic thing about wanting to be less “needy” is that the solution may be to recognise that your needs are actually very important and won’t go away if you neglect or ignore them. Dependency is often a result of both neglect and self-neglect of important emotional needs.

Emotionally speaking, we all need certain things such as calmness, a feeling of safety, a sense of purpose, self-acceptance and opportunities for connection. It’s good to keep your needs simple but it’s also important to do something about them and to prioritise them.

“From now on my happiness comes first”

Feeling needy is usually a sign that you need to be doing more for yourself. The path to emotional independence involves figuring out not only what you need but how to constructively help yourself. There are always many different ways to make yourself feel a little better, one step at a time.

Part of looking after your needs is regularly measuring how you feel and doing something about it. You might decide that one thing would be great for you but then it starts being stressful so you decide there’s no point forcing yourself to carry on. So it’s good to adapt to your changing needs.

 

AVOID GIVING AWAY RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR HAPPINESS

People who haven’t learnt how to look after themselves emotionally are more likely to reach out for someone else to do it for them. But no matter how good someone makes you feel, it’s still a good idea to preserve and develop as much emotional self-reliance as you can.

“It’s my job to look after me”

It takes a lot of practice but eventually you will be able to take care of yourself in situations where you might normally depend on someone else. For example, if you feel lonely or stressed you could experiment with different ways of making those negative feelings dissolve.

There are many ways to make yourself feel better: calming breathing, gentle massage, consciously switching off thoughts or meditating, enjoying films or music, talking on the phone, going for a walk and so on. Make it your project to figure out and repeat what works best for you.

 

AVOID CONFUSING YOUR NEEDS WITH ANYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

An important step along the road to freedom is allowing other people to be free rather than holding onto resentments about their behaviour. It may be tempting to get angry with someone who isn’t there for you during a crisis or lets you down in some way but it isn’t the solution.

Consider how many times you may have passed a homeless person in the street and not even thrown them some loose change. When you become an “emotional beggar” you’re in a similar situation. You can ask for help but there’s no point demanding it because nobody owes you anything.

“The only way to free yourself from other people is to free them from you”

Part of the solution is simply accepting that people have natural limitations when it comes to friendships, relationships, humanity and understanding. They may find it hard enough to stay positive as it is already without having to look after those who can’t seem to look after themselves.

Imagining that anyone “should” help you when they haven’t explicitly agreed to do so can come across as manipulative because it confuses your needs with their responsibility. It’s not worth testing anyone’s limits by pressuring them to be someone they may not even be capable of becoming.

 

PRACTICE SAVOURING YOUR ALONE TIME

It’s likely that children learn a lot about how to become emotionally independent through the simple act of playing. As as adult, there’s no need to be any different. Alone time can be seen as “playtime”, a chance to rediscover that child-like sense of authentic joy and spontaneity.

How much you enjoy your undisturbed playtime depends partly on how willing you are to improve the experience. It can become the ultimate chance to look after yourself, unwind and explore hobbies and interests. Some people even get addicted to being with themselves. As Maxwell Maltz said:

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone”

By transforming the experience of being with yourself you can make a new friend for life. You can practice doing things just because they’re fun rather than to achieve anything. Loneliness may be little more than boredom combined with self-pity or with wanting companionship too much and too soon.

A good start is to stop resisting the fact other people aren’t around and see it as something sacred and vital to growth. It takes time to get into it but fascination, exploration and creativity are great substitutes for neediness. You could even make a list of interesting things to explore:

  • Books and articles
  • Music and music videos
  • Movies and shows
  • Comedy videos and shows
  • Games and diversions
  • Fascinating facts and info
  • Educational videos and courses
  • Creative projects

You could also become more playful in your everyday life, experimenting with retro dance moves, dramatic singing, silly voices, funny faces, crazy phrases or humorous observations. Less serious music can also create a fun atmosphere, whether it’s James Bond theme songs or Flight of the Conchords.

A hermit’s true discovery is that anyone can eventually become perfectly content on their own, far from the imperfect outside world. Realising how much you can give to yourself and remembering you are the only person you can totally depend on can free you of the much less reliable human race.

 

REPLACE SELF-HARSHNESS WITH SELF-LOVING BEHAVIOUR

Negative mental habits are one of the main factors that cause people to run away from their own company and depend on others. Maybe you punish yourself by dwelling in the past, overthinking negatively, being impatient, insisting on perfect results or stressing yourself out in some other way.

Self-harshness is a product of trying to forcefully control things, which includes being angry with other people because it affects how you feel within your interior world. The alternative is learning to talk to yourself positively, dwell at peace with the present moment or find constructive distraction.

“I’d rather relax than control anything”

Two kinds of self-pressuring to watch out for include forceful insistence (“pushing” sensations that go with thoughts such as “I need this!” or “It must be like this!”) and fearful resistance (“pulling” sensations that go with thoughts such as “Oh no!” or “It can’t be like this!”).

We all beat ourselves up every now and then but it’s important to catch yourself in the act and let it go. You can gradually replace self-punishing behaviours with acceptance, playfulness, self-encouragement, self-calming, positive focus and positive self-talk examples of which include:

I’m willing to make the best of any situation
I’m so proud of myself for facing all these challenges
I’m willing to do the best I can to be as happy as I can be
It’s amazing what I can achieve with work and patience
I am open to all the good things that can come my way
I am learning to be stronger and more positive
I am so grateful for [whatever it may be]
Everything is going to be okay
I am a cool/nice/great person
I deserve to be happy
I love myself
I can do this
Another way to reduce self-harshness is to cultivate a sense of fun and playfulness around other people. Activities might include playing board games, card games, computer games or light sports. The key ingredient is not “playing to win” but taking everything less seriously.

 

RECOGNISE AND LET GO OF DESTRUCTIVE CHILDHOOD PATTERNS

A lot of neediness may stem from difficult events that happened during childhood or adolescence. Identifying these events and the way you responded to them as a child is a great way to recognise why you may have got stuck in a place of emotional dependency.

You don’t want to get lost in the past but exploring it to some extent can help you to let go of patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour that you may have formed when you had no idea how to deal with what was going on. It’s good to avoid “re-living” the same story over and over again.

“The role of the present is not to reverse the past or compensate for it”

Therapy can help. Part of the solution is learning to distinguish between present situations and past situations they may remind you of. You can also increasingly distinguish between the helpless child you once were and the self-calming, self-caring, self-approving adult you’re becoming.

You may identify certain “triggers” that make you feel helplessly attached. You can then start seeing such things as an invitation to a trap you don’t have to fall into rather than as something irresistible or impossible to ignore and which inevitably pulls you into dependency.

 

LET GO OF RECKLESS IMPULSIVITY

Emotional dependency can create overwhelming and confusing emotions. Reacting impulsively to that internal state can be very dangerous. What seems like a great idea when you’re in a “reactive” mood could turn out to be a really bad idea so it’s worth stepping back from that.

When you feel calm you can think things through carefully. But feeling needy, upset, sad, stressed, angry, manic, tired, hungry or drunk isn’t a great basis for drawing conclusions or making snap decisions. To avoid consequences you may regret, it’s good to heed the advice of Winston Churchill:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”

When you’re in the grip of intense feelings it can seem as if they will never go away. But the truth is that they always do when you give them enough time. This is why people often remind themselves “This too shall pass” rather than doing something reckless merely to escape.

The irony is that desperately reacting to make feelings go away often escalates problems with people. Rather than becoming involved in a potentially never-ending cycle of drama, it’s often better to allow emotional “ups and downs” to run their course by avoiding the temptation to do anything rash.

 

FACE AND EMBRACE YOUR EMOTIONS

You may sometimes need to confront painful emotions that you are experiencing. A lot of people push away their physical feelings rather than trying to sense them directly and this causes them to “run away” from their emotions and become dependent. The solutions include:

Expressing and embracing your vulnerable child-like self
Suspending all thinking and just resting for a while
Relaxing your body and breathing deeply to help experience emotions
Saying “Mmmm” a little while breathing out through the nose
Sensing your physical feelings and letting go of resistance to them
Focusing on staying calm even while physically feeling emotional pain
Not focusing on or creating any associated thoughts or mental images
Not suppressing, pushing away or reacting against your emotions
Not identifying with or trying to amplify or prolong emotions
Radically accepting and loving your emotions whenever you can
Seeing yourself as a survivor and recognising your strength
Confronting and dealing with feelings like this may seem like an impossible thing to do but it’s healthier than trying to ignore them, repress them or escape from them. By learning to acknowledge and physically feel any emotions you can learn to move beyond them.

It may also help to talk to other individuals who struggle through a support group for codependency, love addiction or substance abuse. People who have been through similar issues are less likely to judge you when you’re going through a hard time.

 

11. RECOGNISE WHEN YOU START BEING TOO CLINGY

A bit of adventurous self-introspection will often help you identify patterns of dependency in your thoughts or behaviour that you can work on overcoming. An example might be having an attitude of wanting “all or nothing” from people instead of appreciating whatever is freely offered.

You may also recognise how you start thinking about what you want so that you can nip some of that dependent thinking in the bud at early stages. Spending too much time or energy focusing on what might be good for you may seem positive but it can be dangerous for one reason. As C.S. Lewis put it:

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose”

If you start attaching to anything or anyone too much you’re giving them too much importance and so you may need to give both yourself and them more distance in order to avoid becoming dependent. The sooner you realise this risk the easier it is to avoid getting into trouble.

You can even recognise and let go of neediness in your everyday thoughts. Changing your language is one way to tackle that. Instead of saying “I need to” you might start saying “I’d like to”. Instead of saying “I need this” you might say “I would quite like that”.

 

AVOID GETTING CARRIED AWAY BY DESIRE

It’s easy to get carried away by the idea of wanting things to be a certain way. It starts with
a mild preference but then it gets twisted in the mind, going through several stages:

“That might be nice” → “That couldn’t possibly be bad for me” → “That would make me happy” → “I probably need it to be happy” → “I’m starting to feel strangely unhappy without it” → “Nothing else could make me happy” → “I could probably never be happy without it” → “I’m unhappy, that just proves how much I need it” → “I need it so much that nothing else exists anymore”

An example is meeting someone and starting to imagine that they are “the one” instead of “just one of many” and not necessarily even good for you. It’s better to avoid wanting anything too strongly. To stop yourself jumping between the steps of desire mentioned above you could say:

“That might be great but I can survive without it just fine”

It’s very dangerous to believe that something can “make me happy”. What’s really happening there is that you are making your happiness depend on it and that dependency then makes you unhappy. The more you focus on what you think “makes” you happy the more you start to depend on it.

People often try to inspire themselves by focusing on a personal goal. Focusing on what inspires you is a great idea and a goal can be part of the fun but you can still do that without making everything depend too rigidly on a particular outcome. The solution is inspiration but without “goal fixation”.

 

RECOGNISE EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCY IN DIFFERENT FORMS

We all sometimes experience a feeling which, on a subconscious level, might be explained in terms of a child jumping up and down and screaming “I want my ice cream!” It may be that the child is spoilt or just so distressed that it genuinely seems as if ice cream is the only possible answer.

To any adult observing the scene, it is obvious that the child could be okay even without getting any ice-cream. And so it is important to observe the child within yourself and to recognise when you might be holding your own happiness to ransom by insisting on something you might not actually need.

“I am willing to try my very best to be happy in spite of X, Y and Z and even without A, B or C“

Identifying what you have recently made your happiness rely on can be an eye opener. For example, a troubling thought like “People are driving me crazy!” can be reinterpreted as “I can’t be happy unless everyone is great” which is clearly a little overdependent and unrealistic.

Another example might be “Nothing is making any sense!” which is another way of saying “I demand that everything always makes sense” and not strictly necessary for a happy life. Recognising which arbitrary conditions you keep placing on your own happiness can increasingly set your mind free.

 

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEPENDENT BELIEFS

It’s very easy to suddenly become psychologically addicted to anything, such physical intimacy, companionship or external approval. Nobody can blame themselves when this happens because they often do so without fully realising the precise role that they played in making that happen.

If you start telling yourself that you “need” something this is likely to alter your “reality”. You can persuade yourself of anything but it’s good to take responsibility for doing so. When you depend on something, your mind creates a system of self-reward and self-punishment around it.

“I did this to myself”

For example, I could keep telling myself over and over again that I “need” to see a black cat run across the street. If I genuinely start believing that and hoping for it then this will affect my emotions. When I finally see a black cat run across the street I may even feel blissful.

I could say that the black cat “makes” me happy but it’s not really true. I made my happiness depend on it by strongly persuading myself it was what I needed. I rewarded myself with happiness at seeing the black cat and punished myself with disappointment if I didn’t see it.

 

AVOID IDEALISING ANYONE OR ANYTHING

The more we idealise what we want, the the deeper we sink into the quicksand of desire. The more you imagine anything to be perfect or put anyone on a pedestal the more you are setting yourself up for a disappointment. What seems like the Holy Grail can sometimes turn out to be a poisoned chalice.

Worshipping anyone as if they are some kind of “saviour” figure is particularly dangerous. Imagining that someone has a magical ability to make you whole is really a way of persuading yourself that something is wrong, that there’s something you can’t live without or that you can’t be okay.

“Nothing is ever quite what it’s cracked up to be”

It may seem like idealising someone is a great compliment but you’re not doing yourself or them any favours. Sliding into dependency will make you feel like a stalker the moment they change their minds about having you around. Focusing on their flaws for a while can help offset such over-attachment.

Idealisation is a form of escape from life. Rather than coping with reality, we create a fantasy in which we can lose ourselves. It’s easy to become addicted to a fantasy but it’s inevitably disappointing. Anyone we worship in our imagination can be boring once we get used to what they’re really like.

 

AVOID CATASTROPHISING WITHDRAWAL

Some people believe that they can’t love themselves unless someone loves them or that they don’t exist unless someone acknowledges them or approves of their existence. They mistakenly assume that their survival depends on being attached to someone on whom they have to depend.

Imagining that you can’t live without someone or something only gives them power over you. You may subconsciously think that being denied what you want would cause you to fall apart but it’s an illusion that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy only when you start strongly believing it:

“Everything is going to be okay”

As long as you’re determined not to abandon yourself then you never have to fear anyone else’s absence. You may sometimes go through a hard time but you also have the ability to get through it, comfort yourself, soothe your distress, learn positive lessons and come out stronger.

You might even visualise yourself without having what you want but as a strong and self-caring person with high self-esteem. If you feel dependent on someone who is also dependent on you then it may also help to visualise them being okay so that you can both detach a little.

 

DEVELOP A VARIETY OF SOURCES OF JOY IN LIFE

Independence doesn’t always have to mean that “happiness comes from within”. It’s okay to have a few people and activities that inspire your happiness. In fact, working on having a few stable interests and buddies in your life is very much part of the solution to becoming more independent.

Even if nothing seems wildly exciting to begin with, there’s something very healthy about gradually building up different sources of contentment rather than single-mindedly chasing one particular goal or short term “fix”. It also means heeding the following advice:

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

When there are a few things to focus on then it doesn’t have to be devastating if one area doesn’t work out for any reason. Without complicating your life too much, you can make it interesting in a number of different ways rather than having one or two outcomes on which you strongly depend.

It’s never too late to develop new hobbies, passions and friendships but it’s also worth remembering that sometimes you may need to put a sustained effort into these areas before you can expect to get anything out of them. In the long term they can become very rewarding and fulfilling.

 

LEARN TO SUBSTITUTE WHAT YOU START DEPENDING ON

It’s not usually worth needing anything from the wrong people or situations. You may sometimes find yourself “barking up the wrong tree” but sometimes the solution is to figure out what it is that you need and to accept that it doesn’t have to come from that particular source.

When you start being a bit clingy ask yourself what it is about a person, situation or outcome that you like so much. This allows you to figure out how to substitute that by looking for it elsewhere rather than seeing them as having some kind of monopoly on that benefit.

“Nothing is irreplaceable”

For example, if you love how much someone empathises with you then you could look out for a few more people like that and learn to do it for yourself and others. Any need can be met in a variety of different ways so learn to identify what you want and patiently go after it in more than one form.

A relationship breakup is one of the hardest challenges and similar to overcoming drug addiction. As in “rehab”, the most effective approach is “cold turkey”, giving up all contact with the other person, starting a whole new chapter in life and remembering that time eventually heals all.

 

LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS ABOUT PEOPLE

When you’re emotionally dependent, you’re more likely to have unrealistic and slightly intense notions about what you can expect from others. This may be driven by a naive idealism about what friendships, romantic relationships and other arrangements are “supposed” to be like. It’s easy to:

Confuse mere friendliness with friendship
Confuse a casual friendship with unceasing loyalty or availability
Confuse being attracted to someone with them being right for you
Confuse romantic curiosity with serious romantic interest
Confuse a romance or relationship with unconditional love
Confuse any cool experience with the start of something greater
Confuse doing someone a favour with them having to do something for you
For example, you may think friendship must always be “true” and involve “being there for each other” in hard times or always being genuine or kind. You may think that a partner should love you forever, can never turn their back on you or must forgive you just because you’re sorry.

Needing more from people than they feel ready or able to give just isn’t realistic and it can also make you appear unreasonable. Even in a crisis, it is pointless to push on someone to do something for you just because you would be willing to do the same for them: no obligation strictly exists.

“A bond can be beautiful even when it’s temporary and limited in scope”

Everyone is good for some things and useless at other things. Some people will be great at empathising with you or boosting your confidence. Other people will be useless at that but they might be a hilarious travel companion or the perfect partner for a new hobby. Nobody can be all of these things.

There’s nothing wrong with “fair weather friends” as long as you remember what you can’t expect. Nobody can be a substitute parent and their idea about how everything works may be much more casual. Many friendships are about occasionally amusing each other and nothing deeper.

 

THINK IN TERMS OF VIRTUES RATHER THAN OBLIGATIONS

Disappointment is a common human experience but a good way to recover from it is to look at what you expected in terms of virtues that aren’t possible for everyone, given their natural weaknesses and limitations. Instead of accusing anyone of a moral crime, a better conclusion might be:

“They’re only human, they have lots of good points but x is clearly not their forte”

For example, if someone lets you down when you feel sad then you might be tempted to think “What a bad person!” A better way to look at it might be: “They have many good points and sometimes they are kind – just not in an unlimited way or in every situation. I can work around that”.

If empathy, humanity or some other virtue does not always come naturally to a person then needing it when they simply don’t have it in them involves demanding something that is in a sense “supernatural” for them. It’s unrealistic to insist that anyone should rise above their limited nature.

 

PRACTICE CHANGING YOUR FOCUS REGULARLY

The power of focus is what can get you both into trouble and also out of trouble. A good way to prevent yourself from becoming too attached to anyone or anything is to practice switching your focus regularly or asking “What am I going to focus on?” so that it never becomes too narrow or selective.

A good way to ween yourself off anything that starts becoming addictive is to throw yourself into some other area of life that can keep your focus balanced. If you’re willing to find something inspiring enough to totally distract you then you probably will succeed.

“Maybe it’s time to spread my wings”

It may help to consciously stop yourself from focusing on, thinking about or visualising whatever you need to depend on less. You may need to give up bad habits such as compulsively checking phone messages and remove reminders such as photos, social media and so on.

If you never focus on something it can’t control you emotionally. You don’t want your life to be about one person, situation, goal or outcome. A good way to change that is to decide what you should be focusing on less and what you should be focusing on more and proactively making that happen.

 

PRACTICE EMBRACING MULTIPLE OUTCOMES

Outcome-independence may well be the essence of freedom. You can develop a more independent frame of mind if you practice imagining the main outcomes a situation could have and then embrace each of those scenarios by looking at them as positively as you can.

“Whatever happens could be a good thing in some ways. It may even be for the best”

The funny thing about life is that you never really know what’s good for you. Sometimes you need a “bad” experience in order to learn the amazing lessons that will result in becoming a much happier and more independent person in the long term.

As Oscar Wilde put it, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it”. Sometimes we get exactly what we want and it is a disaster. But when we don’t get what we want, we often forget that it might not have resulted in a fairytale ending.

 

TAKE THINGS SLOWLY AND PLAY IT COOL

Putting any kind of forceful pressure on others to meet your needs can ruin good situations or make bad things worse. You can often avoid such consequences simply by making it a rule to outwardly behave in much the same way as someone who has complete emotional independence.

No matter how you feel, you can make an agreement with yourself to communicate in a way that allows people to relax and feel totally free. By doing so you are refusing to let any personal feelings or difficulties get in the way of things going smoothly and you are also following a simple rule:

“Go with the flow”

A good way to take things slowly with people is to imagine what it might be like if you were already way too busy or had too many friends. You are less likely to “come on too strong” or need “too much too soon” when behaving as if you already have everything you need from life.

Playing the role of someone who “has it all” can help you avoid giving anyone a sense of being inappropriately pushed or relied upon. You can “fake it till you make it”, using the appearance of totally casual behaviour to allow people take things at their own natural and often gradual pace.

 

DEVELOP GREATER PATIENCE WITH LIFE

It takes time and practice to become more independent. Part of it is improving what you can do for yourself and part of it is having the patience to wait for some things in life to fall into place rather than depending on the next person or outcome that might be good for you.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

There is often a risk that people will feel punished just because they aren’t the kind of person you’re hoping to meet one day. So rather than trying to change anyone it’s better to be patient, diplomatic, to accept that “everyone has their uses” and to look out for people who are good for you.

It’s okay to struggle and to make mistakes. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is setting yourself some artificial deadline such as “I should already have what I wanted by now”. Some people don’t end up with anything they wanted but discover a far greater happiness later on.

“If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter.
But if you continuously compete with yourself you become better”

Everything will get better if you’re willing to slowly but surely build a simple, good life with a flexible attitude towards contentment. As long as you never want too much there will always be enough time for everything you want. Above all, it’s never too late to start feeling joyful.

 

IN CONCLUSION…

Nobody is entirely independent and even people who seem very “strong” are not as free as they imagine. Their sense of emotional well-being often relies on what’s going on in their lives and on knowing that someone who cares about them is a phone call away should they ever need help.

But it is possible to learn how to overcome emotional dependency, at least enough to feel much better. At some point, even when things aren’t going very well, you’ll be able to say “I’m happy not really because of what’s going on but in spite of it”. Developing that attitude takes time and practice.

The answer is a combination of greater emotional self-regulation, self-encouragement and a willingness to broaden your horizons while prioritising your happiness.

xoxo,
Jess

A 4am letter to no one in particular

Tonight’s one of those rough nights.
On a scale of 1-10, I would say tonight could be a 4, which isn’t very high on the Miserable scale to be honest. I’ve had a few 8′s or 9′s that rocked my world this year.. So tonight is still quite manageable, I guess. I don’t feel the need to talk to someone while bawling my eyes out, but it’s still nice to have a form of release, so here I am.

As I lie awake in bed with only my bleak thoughts for company, I start to wonder to myself, why is it so difficult to find someone whom I can hand my heart to and trust them not to be careless with it? Relationship problems have messed me up so much, even I am shocked by its significance. Why has my confidence diminished? Am I placing too much of my self worth and value in being treasured by someone else? Do I really have to stop loving myself because someone I love stopped loving me the right way? If I give up on myself, who would still bother placing their faith in me?

It hurts inexplicably to love someone so much that you lose yourself in the process, forgetting that you’re special too. I guess I now know why self love, self respect and self worth all begin with “self.” These things can only be found within you, and not anyone else.

I will be turning 23 years old in a month’s time, and I feel like I’ve hit a quarter life crisis already. I am without purpose, without direction and most definitely without motivation. I’ve never been the sort to have my life figured out (study hard, do the right thing, get in the right uni course, find a stable job), I’ve always accidentally or inadvertently taken the whirlwind route. Skip school, do reckless things, fail exams, become self employed since 16, go to a private school, apply for university overseas then withdraw my application after being accepted, to sell cakes online.

But I’ve always taken a leap of faith and believed in myself. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing, I knew that I would make sure it all worked out in the end. Even when I flunked my O’levels like some delinquent joke, I told myself, “It’s going to be okay. You don’t want to work in a job that relies on certifications anyway.”

But this time, I’m really not sure if I’m going to be okay. I’m scared. Fuck that, I’m terrified. I told myself I would take a few months to feel better. It’s been way longer than that now, and I don’t seem to feel much better. In my bloody defense, most people go through a break up (and that alone is heartbreaking enough) but for me, all of a sudden, I’m also out of a job and place to stay. It’s a lot to deal with all at once. Unemployment, sudden singlehood and relocation. See, me and him, we had everything. By everything I mean we shared our entire lives, including income making ways and housing together. I thought we were set in concrete. I thought he was the man I was going to marry and have children with. But now I’m going to have to move out soon. I’m leaving literally everything behind. Soon enough, we will be complete strangers. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that concept. Spending 6 years of your life extremely intimately with someone, and then having that person thoroughly removed after that, does things to the way you function every day.

I have been without income for awhile now. Maybe I should be worried about how I’m not that worried about money. Money has never been a priority to me. As long as I am able to live comfortably, I’m happy. These days, I just try my best everyday to feel as normal as possible on the inside. Where got time to think about money?

Sometimes I wonder if that’s considered being irresponsible. My friends and mother throw interrogating questions my way, “What are you doing with your life? How long are you going to continue like this?”

The truth is, I’m just getting by, guys. I’m getting by, and perhaps I’ve turned into an under achiever, but for now, that’s damn well good enough for me because you don’t understand how not crying to yourself to sleep can be the best part of your day until you’ve been in a situation that hopeless.

Get a grip on yourself and move on, they always say. It’s easy when you have bigger, better and brighter things to look forward to. But what if it’s the entire life you used to know that you’re walking away from? What if you had to let go of what you considered was the best thing to ever happen to you because it was also ripping you apart from the inside?

He cleaned up the house and made a nice dinner tonight. It was extremely nice of him. He tried to hug me and do normal couple-ish things, and it broke my heart to have to push him away and pretend like I didn’t care for him anymore. I’m the one who wanted this, so I have to grit my teeth and go through with it, right? I have to admit, some days it feels like it might be easier to just forget about everything that happened and get back together. After all, we are so familiar with each other. He knows how I like my foot massages, I know how to finish his sentences and he knows what my farts smell like. I know the food items he would order in a menu, and he knows I can’t sleep without a bolster at night.

Why would you want to erase all of that and start over again with somebody new? But I have to remind myself, that I gave it all up because it became too painful to hold onto. Too many things were said and done, that I will never forget.

I may have forgotten what he said or did specifically on the many different occasions, but I’ll never forget how it made me feel (and still makes me feel). I have tried my best to forgive and forget, but too much damage has been done. I wish I could put all these negative emotions locked away in a chest that I could throw into the deepest part of the ocean, but I can’t.

I carry the fucking baggage around with me every damn day, and when I think it doesn’t matter so much anymore, I’m proven wrong when I look into your eyes – all I see reflected in them is my disappointment and silent resentment.

Recently, I find myself questioning my own decision. The decision that took me months & possibly years of tearful pondering to get to. Was it really the right thing to do? Will I ever find somebody who loves me as much? What if in a bid to pursue greater happiness, I was leaving the best thing in my life behind? What is more important, somebody who loves you to the ends of the earth and back or someone who can love you the right way?

To whoever is reading this, I hope you find someone who knows how to love you when you are sad.
Someone who makes the bad times better, and great times, the best.
Someone who has the words to say to make you feel better, even if sometimes they can’t actually help.
Someone who won’t take you for granted or their frustration out on you when they’re upset.
Someone who will constantly remind you that you’re extraordinary, someone who loves you in a way that makes you feel complete.
They should always be your better half.
They should be the reason why you wake up in the morning with a smile on your face, and not the reason why you cry so hard, you can’t even breathe properly.

I’m not saying they’re not allowed to make mistakes. And I certainly am not implying the right one will never make you sad. But a healthy couple fights fair and well, even when times are bad. We do not resort to belittling the other person and making them feel worthless. We are all only human after all, and to err is what we were born to do.

But when a person makes a mistake, they should be willing to fix it, tell you they’re sorry without being asked, and try their best not to do it again. Someone who cares about you should not choose to deliberately hurt your feelings over and over again.

By no means am I the perfect girlfriend or partner. But I gave fucking everything I had. I have nothing left to give, and perhaps for this reason alone I shouldn’t let myself be ridden with guilt, blaming myself for walking away. No matter what other people say or think, I loved you with every cell in my body. It’s just that now, I have absolutely nothing left. I wish I did, but I have no more love left to give you. I am an empty shell, a shadow of the person I used to be, and I am not the same girl you met all those years ago anymore.

I am so sorry.
I’m sorry for you, and I’m sorry for me.

xoxo,
Jess

All the things I miss about being in love

I miss being in love with someone who loves me back.

I miss waking up in the middle of the night from nightmares and having someone right there to hold me until I fall back soundly asleep again.
I miss knowing that I, too, mean everything to the person who means the world to me.
I miss long talks at night planning our future together and being genuinely excited thinking about it.
I miss having someone to cuddle every night.
I miss knowing my name is safe with that person because they loved me for who I was.

I miss having someone look deeply into my eyes every time I talked to them because they cared about everything I said.
I miss someone wiping away my tears when I cry.
I miss not ever having to feel completely alone.
I miss trusting a person wholeheartedly and knowing they’ll never let you down.
I miss believing everything he will tell you without a doubt in my mind.
I miss being with someone who tells me with a convinced look on his face, “You’re the girl I’m going to marry.”

I miss watching movies with someone till we fell asleep late in the night, and feeling like I could spend the rest of my life doing exactly that.
I miss waking up to your significant other in the morning and laughing at their puddle of drool on their pillow.
I miss having a warm pair of hands to hold in the theatre because mine always gets cold.
I miss forehead kisses every single night.
I miss how I knew I always had someone to talk to no matter how insignificant a topic I have in mind.

I miss having someone to share my life with, every little happening and important event.
I miss believing I was worth loving.
I miss loving someone so much, I would gladly exchange my life for theirs.
I miss knowing I’m the reason for someone’s happiness.
I miss someone asking me what I wanted for dinner, and then lets me steal his food when his meal is nicer than mine.
I miss cooking someone’s favorite dishes and seeing him eat them greedily in appreciation.

I miss falling asleep on someone’s shoulder during long car rides.
I miss knowing no matter how great a shit storm life throws at me, I have someone who will be right next to me going through it together.
I miss grocery shopping with someone who was happy to cook with me.
I miss having someone’s undivided attention and being his top priority at all times.
I miss trying to impress someone’s parents, hoping they will like me because I want to be part of his family some day.

I miss putting extra effort to look pretty when going on dates and hoping he would notice it.
I miss going on holiday with someone who makes every great adventure in life even better simply by being part of it.
I miss having someone to love me even when I can’t love myself.
I miss being with someone who is reason why you remember that there is always a reason to smile every day no matter how shitty you’re feeling.

I miss wanting to become a better person so that he can be proud of me.
I miss waking up all excited everyday because it’s another day to be spent with him.
I miss being in a relationship that felt right.
I miss hearing someone special say “hello” to you, and it would sound like the best thing you’ve ever heard.
I miss feeling like everything I ever needed in life was standing right in front of me.

I don’t know if I will find love like that again.
And that thought scares me. Knowing I had something so special, then watching it slip through my very fingers over the years and not knowing exactly how to stop it from going.
Going, going.. Now it’s gone.
Until the day I find someone who’s willing to pick up the pieces with me and go through everything all over again, I guess I’m going to have to learn how to be alone without feeling completely lonely and miserable.

I guess I don’t mind the being alone part so much. What really gets to me are all these voices inside my head telling me,

“You’re never going to find somebody who will love you like that again.”

…And I almost believe them.
Almost.

But I still hope I’ll find someone to have and to hold in my life again some day. I know finding that person will be worth all the prior heartbreak. And it will be worth the wait.

xoxo,
Jess
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