Good people, Bad people.

Sometimes I wonder, “Am I good people or not?”

I know I’ve done and said some things that are not good. But do they define me? Do they make me a bad person?

…And then I find my answer in the overwhelming guilt that I feel any time I make the littlest blunders.

I am Good People.

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I want to talk to you about my period.

I want to talk to you about my period.

I’m writing this because at least for a while, as I write, my mind will be a little distracted. There’s also things I want you to know; but more importantly, there’s emotions I want you to feel.
Everything I’m feeling right now is real to me. And it shatters me.
And I think the world needs to know.

It’s now 05:42 in the morning, and for the past 90 minutes, I’ve been writhing around in pain, sobbing hysterically, and hating my body for doing this to me every month.
And this is me on the first day of my period every month.

Sometimes, this is me for the first two days.

This pain will last a while. A good while. I usually succumb and swallow a painkiller, but without one, this pain can last a good 5-6 hours. Or sometimes the entire day. Or sometimes for the first 5-6 hours in the day, some brief respite for about 4 hours in between, before it resumes for another 5-6 hours and into the night.

“Menstrual cramps” is a very generic way of terming something every woman will describe to you differently. For me, it’s a crippling back ache, abdominal ache, sore hips, very sore thighs, aching calf muscles, and a headache from all the crying.
That’s just the external, physical pain.

There’s also an indescribable amount of discomfort to deal with since I can’t lay on my back because I may “leak”, I can’t lay on my sides because my hips are very sore, I can’t lay on my belly because again, I may “leak”, I can’t stand much because my legs are weak, I can’t sit long enough to rest because, again, I’m crippled with fear of leaking blood no matter how careful I’m being.
Also, I’m cold and shivering because that always happens on Day 1; but I’m also feeling hot and sweaty in between my thighs.
I’ve got on a pad that doesn’t help the hot, wet, sweaty feeling; and in about three days, I’ll have rashes on either side of my crotch because that always happens after about 4 days of non-stop feminine hygiene product usage.

Oh I haven’t told you about the emotional wrecking yet.

I’m sure it’s a lot of fun to say a woman is “PMSing” when she’s being a bitch, but you have no right. The emotional rollercoaster that JUST ONE month’s period is, is scary to describe.
I can’t speak for other women, but me? I go from stupid self-pity, to absolute hatred for my body, to a strong desire to stab into my abdomen with a kitchen knife several times, to insuppressible rage against everything and everyone, to fits of uncontrollable sobbing, to suicidal depression.

It’s easy to write all those things off. Even I do, a few days after my period is over… But I wish you knew how real all those feelings are at the time.
How real all those feelings are RIGHT NOW.

I’ve been dealing with this for the past 14 years.

That’s 168 periods. Or the way I see it, 168 times, over 14 years, where I’ve come close to yanking my hair off my scalp and crying myself into nothingness.

I appreciate all the help, support, and space I get from friends, family and colleagues during this ordeal, but I wish it helped. I really wish all their efforts helped.
I think I just wish for anything that could help.

Or anything that could take it away.

It’s now 06:23, I’m crying, but now I think it’s because of the self-pity I’m feeling as I proof read while writing, in addition to the pain, discomfort and emotional meltdown.

In other news, I might have to do nothing today, just like I do every first day of my period each month.
So that means calling in sick to work. Cancelling my lessons. Cancelling my home lessons. Cancelling my practice lessons.
Cancelling my workout plans for the next 4 days.
Cancelling any social plans for the next 3 days.
Avoiding people as much as I can for the next 2 days so I’ll have less apologising to do for being rude and snappy.
Going AWOL on my IM because, again, I might snap.

And even after I’ve taken all this trouble to type this out on my phone, I’m reconsidering sharing it.

I know it’s personal, and probably should not be out circulating on the internet.
And maybe not everyone needs to know.

But again, everyone needs to know.

I think people really deserve to know why most women are so messed up every monthly cycle.

I know no matter how much I try, I’m never going to be able to put into words the full magnitude of what transpires in my body and mind, but I think I tried my best.

It’s now 06:44. I think I’ll watch videos of animals being adorable and cry thinking about how innocent and pure they are, because I don’t think I can cry myself to sleep.

Of passions and misunderstood self-interests…

A little over two months ago, I changed jobs, again, and I know I harmed my career track record quite a bit. Who hires someone who can’t hold down a corporate job for more than 3 months twice, right?

You know what? Changing jobs for the third time has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself!

It wasn’t at all easy. I had to really weigh the opportunity cost involved with “walking away from Corporate”. But in my case, this was more in terms of time and monetary investments made in pursuit of suitable academic degrees, etc.

And then of course there was the fact that this couldn’t have been considered a mistake anymore. I was changing to a third job in a span of less than a year. I’d managed to hold down both past corporate jobs for an average of 2.5 months only.

But it is what it is. And I’d like to share my story now because: a) I want to clarify and reassure all skeptics that I am doing better than ever; and b) I’m sure I’m not the only one who went through (or goes through) the confusion and inability to stay happy with a regular job.

 

It’s funny really. All my life I’ve spent knowing that I’m ambitious but unsure what I want to do in life. Music was always there, but somehow I failed to see it as my Plan A.
And so I did everything to pursue a fickle, changeable Plan A; right from my not-so-brief tryst with CA, to the PGDM.

It’s been a journey. And yes, seeing where I am now, I do wonder whether all that study in the wrong fields, all those degrees… Were they even worth it?

In some way, they are.

If nothing else, I learnt who I was not, just by making these bad choices. I learnt where to draw the line to my infinite, probably childish ambitions. I learnt that I was only human.
And to add a cherry on top, along this mistake of a journey, I fell in love.

So it can’t all be considered a waste.

And so, two odd months ago, I decided to stop fooling myself.
So I made bad certification and career mistakes. Big deal!

I hadn’t lost all. In fact, I had never lost anything but money.
I’ve always been good at being a musician and at tutoring music and I thank the stars that I never ever stopped doing it along the way.

 

By the end of my PGDM course, I had zero corporate experience but 8 years of music teaching experience and a Grade 8 solo pianist’s degree.
But I ended up capitalizing on the former.

It took me two failed attempts at the corporate world to realise I was better than that.

 

See, maybe I could’ve still held down those jobs had I really tried… Had I really wanted to try…

But I didn’t.

I knew that passion for it would never come. Not while there was something else I was so good at and so passionate about.

So here I am now, narrating to you a tale that spans roughly a year. A year that saw me relocate houses at least five times, change jobs three times, change cities two times, and alter my resume at least six times.

Finally where I want to be, I’ve decided to teach music for the rest of my life, alongside being a musician and doing all things music!

Someone from my last job told me this while I was planning to leave. He said, “… passions are okay to have, but will you be happy making a career of it? You will regret the decision you’re making. If it were me, I’d buckle down and work harder where I am.”
He might have been right… In somebody else’s context. Or even his own.
He was wrong about me.
I haven’t been this happy about life in general, in a long time.
Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about anyway?

 

That’s all I’ve got to say.

Feel.

It’s been a while since I wrote, and as I do, I realise exactly how much I missed it, and how much more I regret that I did not put enough effort to keep writing.

 

This one’s a reflection, as clear as I can try to make it, of what I feel at the moment.

I like my space. It clears up my head, helps me think and see more clearly, and keeps me sane.
And so, wanting to have this space for myself everywhere I go, everything I do, is but natural.
I make no attempt to empathize with people who don’t place this similar importance on space.

This is me.

 

I like my autonomy. I function better, work more efficiently, and am 100% productive if I so choose to be.
Wanting the autonomy everywhere I go cannot be wrong, for that is how I’d like to be. That is how I find I am most useful.
I don’t see enough reason to give up my autonomy as I go along, quite simply because it defines me- Adds to my identity.

This is me.

 

I like to stop and smile. With passion flowing through me, I see no reason not to let it show.
Life is full of the littlest precious things that make me smile a rare, watery-eyed smile. Things that most people rush past and don’t see…
Things that a fast-paced, competitive life doesn’t give you time to see.
I cannot bring myself to stay away from passionate emotions that draw me. Losing myself occasionally is inevitable, and I am unapologetic for it.

This is me.

 

I seek meaning. In everything.
In music. In quiet. In noise. In travelling. In dancing. In exercising. In screaming. In crying. In loving. In hating. In sleeping. In waking.
In living.
I cannot convince myself into anything that seems redundant or makes no meaning to me.

This is me.

 

I am smart. Very.
I know it because I feel it.
I know it because I’ve sensed and seen it.
I know it because, on the rare occasions I’ve shone out, they’ve been of absolute brilliance.
I cannot be expected to seem smart at all times. And if you’ve known me and not experienced it, it’s because you don’t inspire it. My motivation to apply myself depends solely on inspiration.
I believe everybody’s does.

This is me.

 

I am capable of greatness.
I know this because I can feel it in my bones.
I know this because I finally understand where all my undecidedness stems from.
See… To not know what you want to do, what you want to become… Because everything seems doable… That’s how I know I am capable of greatness.
But alas, knowing I may not be able to do a lot of those great things simply because I don’t aspire for them enough, is also something I have to live with.

This is me.

 

This is me, now.

 

And I wish you were more like me.

A Letter to the Daughter I hope I Never Have.

Hello Sweetheart,

Welcome to the World.

I wish the circumstances under which I wrote this for you were better, or had me feeling more positive for you. But things beings as they are, this is what I have to say to you…

 

The world is a bad place.

I see good people every now and then, but I wish that instilled in me more confidence for you.

Sadly, it doesn’t.

And given that things are as they are, whether or not there are good people out there, I am expected to be a good parent- a good mother- and protect you.

 

See… This part baffles me, because I don’t know how.

I don’t know how to protect you.

Should I smother you with all my love and affection, and swear to keep you safe for the rest of my life, while consciously ignoring the awareness that I am taking your individuality and life away from you?

Or should I love you the way I wish my parents had?

 

Should I raise you to value and treasure your innocence, while also raise you to be more aware of defending yourself from any harm? This would mean letting go of you when the time is right…

 

Truth be told, sweetheart, I would raise you this way. Dangers, come as they may, should not mean I take away your rightful freedom to experience and discover life for yourself.

 

There is so much to see, sweetheart… So much to experience. So much to do…

And yes, your life will always be in danger.

 

Growing up female isn’t easy, sweetheart; I will not lie.

Every single day you spend might be a fight, an accomplishment even.

You’re going to have it harder to prove your worth… To be taken seriously… To have valid opinions…

There are of course, good people.

But we’re outnumbered, sweetheart.

I can promise you this- Growing up as a girl is always going to be a fight. Right from when you’re raised, to the day you breathe your last.

Life, is a fight, sweetheart. And men don’t have life any easy.

But to put things into perspective, your additional burden to bear, is that you will also have to fight prejudice from men and women around you.

You will always find yourself reminded of your femininity, your gender, and your feminine duties towards society.

You will rarely find yourself not being thoroughly assessed.

And men and women alike, will judge you and everything you are and stand for.

 

And if I wanted, I could protect you from all of this.

 

Or could I?

 

 

No. Your life will always be in danger…

 

But it isn’t just your life I want to worry about, sweetheart… It’s You. I want you to live. I want you to experience. I want you to do. I want you to be strong, stand on your own feet, and fight for yourself.

While I will always be there for you if you need me.

 

This is how I would like to care for you…

 

But sadly, it seems I may not be able to do so.

Society has me considering having you, so that I can keep you alive.

So that if I smothered you, kept all harm and danger away from you, and let not a scratch on your tender, delicate, pure skin, you will be okay.

But I’m not sure.

Will you be okay?

 

Will you be happy, sweetheart?

 

I know I wouldn’t be.

 

Being a woman shouldn’t have to be such a cross to bear, sweetheart, but sadly, it is.

And society has me considering raising you to be fully aware of your curse at all times…

By clinging on to you, a creation of mine, so tightly that it suffocated you.

By watching your every move, screening your every friend, moderating your every attire, regulating your alone time, restricting your outside hours…

Society has me cornered in the guise of saving you… Keeping you alive.

 

But I can’t do that sweetheart.

 

I can’t smother you. I can’t love and care for you so much that it ate into your very individuality.

I can’t be that parent.

 

I won’t be that parent.

 

And so, I’m sorry sweetheart, but I hope I never have you.

 

You deserve better.

You deserve to live a full life that is yours, and yours alone.

And quite frankly, the world isn’t ready for that.

 

And so, I am truly sorry sweetheart, but I hope I never have you.

Empathy.

 

“Do you want to know what scares me the most?” -she asked softly; her voice hoarse and barely audible.

 

“Yes”, he responded, sympathizing. She refused to look at him.

She’d been crying.

 

 

“Tell me”

 

 

 

Taking a long moment, she then turns to look at him, her watery, puffy eyes searching his.

 

 

“One day, I will die, and nobody will ever know how I feel.

 

Death is not what scares me; but knowing, that nobody has understood what I have spent all my life longing to express…

 

 

I will die misunderstood.

 

And That scares me.”