and i get paid?

i love what i do! last saturday, after eating a delicious home cooked meal i played board games with people. had ice cream and brownies for dessert. another saturday i just hung out at a ski lodge while watching people ski. and to prepare for sundays i get to spend time learning about things i like thinking about anyway. was i made to be in the ministry? my job doesn’t feel like a job. i love leading bible studies, preparing and delivering sermons, praying for and with people, and i like being with people more than i like spending time by myself. and i get paid to do what i love to do and would want to do with my time anyway. i get paid in chewing gum…j/k. sounds too good to be true, right? but it is real. i love it. things are so different from a year ago when i was still struggling with depression and trying so hard to stay alive! thanks God. thanks everyone. 🙂

bed time story

once upon a time, long story short, there was a woman who was called “stupid woman” by her significant other. one day she finally realized that indeed she was stupid! the man had some kind of knack for seeing into the future maybe? anyway, the stupid woman realizes that to stop being a stupid woman, she has to leave the man she loves. how could anyone love a stupid woman, she thought to herself? it was clear to the stupid woman, that she had to leave the man. stupid is as stupid does, right? i mean, to stop being stupid, for starters, the woman had to stop being with a man who kept telling her that she was stupid. it’s some what disturbing how much power our environment has over our psyche. keep calling someone stupid and one day they will see that he/she really is stupid. if for nothing else, they are stupid, aren’t they, for sticking around someone who keeps telling them that they are stupid? ah, as for a happy ending, as for happily ever after, well, upon leaving the man who wouldn’t stop calling her stupid woman, the woman immediately started feeling opposite of stupid. she thought to herself, if she had wings, i could fly! the end

i like the ending. it’s rather upbeat and happy, don’t you think?

lesson learned

i’m not sure that all good things MUST come to an end. it’s just that all good things seems to come to an end. if the honeymoon period of the romantic relationship had lasted a long time, would that have been better? i think not. my most recent significant other and i don’t see eye to eye on just what kind of a break we are on. i don’t think it’s a Ross and Rachel kind of a break from the sitcom Friends. for Rachel, while Ross and she were on a break, they were still a couple, but a couple who was taking a breather. and for Ross, well, he thought a break meant a break in being a couple. was he to be blamed for going on dates, etc. etc. etc.? i guess Ross and Rachel had major communication issues! turns out my significant other and i have major communication issues too. even our goals for the relationship are different. it’s kind of difficult for me to see what we actually do have in common at this point. yes, i have “strong” feelings for him. but i will never utter the L word again. it’s clearly not requited to the same extent, i am led to believe. and anyway, you can’t live on love. you can’t make a relationship work on love. it’s just not enough. you need mutual respect, compassion for each other, and willingness to at least try to understand one another. whatever love is in a romantic relationship, it doesn’t necessarily come with mutual respect, compassion for the other person as a human being and willingness to try to be there for one another and support one another through thick and thin.

just when you think you know

why is it so hard to figure things out in a relationship? for better or worse, i tell my bf every now and then about things that i’m not happy about. it usually happens in a form of a blog or an e-mail. and usually he has no comment. so i keep going on in variations on the same theme, about whatever i’m unhappy about. i don’t get upset over one particular action. i tend to get upset about pattern of behavior.

this past week, having sent my e-mail to my bf about stuff i’m unhappy about, i didn’t hear from him for an entire day! i started panicking i guess because i started bracing myself for being single again, you know what i mean? it’s nice to think that i’m independent and don’t need my bf for anything. i mean, who wants to need someone? that’s always been my way of thinking: avoid getting into a situation in life where i really need someone because they may not be there for me and break my heart. and i’ve tried so hard for so long that i’m perfectly happy being detached from entanglements of emotions to friends and family for the most part. it’s not the best way to live. i know that. but i don’t totally isolate myself. i just remain detached from emotions, as much as i can, as much as possible.

but then earlier this year, i met my bf. i don’t know if he would agree, but i was sure we would never end up dating. so i was unguarded and somehow opened up myself without all the protective gear i put on. strange thing is that i wasn’t scared. i wanted to be with him more than i was scared to be heart-broken. so this relationship is kind of a milestone kind of relationship, the only relationship where i wasn’t afraid to be in a relationship and the first time i was in the relationship because i wanted to be in the relationship.

i guess though, over time, as one would expect, i discovered little by little that my bf isn’t perfect. who knew? i guess i knew but it didn’t really register. so now, 9 months into dating the same person, willingly, i’m realizing that it’s time to work together or call it quits. that’s what it seems like to me. either i get better about communicating and let him know how i feel about some of the things he does that make me less than happy. or it’s time to walk away.

i’m an expert at walking away. i mean, i need to borrow someone else’s hand if i wanted to count using hands how many relationships i walked out from, unscathed and untangled, effortlessly. so this past week, i’ve been on my eject mode, like push a button, like on batman’s bat-mobile, and i pop out of the relationship, i mean the car, just like that.

i wasn’t going to call my bf after sending him a quarterly report about what i was unhappy about until i heard from him first. well, i had high hopes for about a day. then my bf called to see how i was doing. then later that night we had a conversation where i was trying to articulate what i wanted in a relationship and ended up sounding like i was in deep deep fog. i really don’t know. i mean, i do know somethings about what i want in a relationship and that my bf and i aren’t there right now. but it’s really hard to put my finger on it.

then as i was saying things even i couldn’t make sense of or why i was saying something, i started missing my bf. oh i don’t know. i just wanted to see him. and hearing his voice and the way he thinks and talks, well, these are all the things that made me fall in love in the first place.

so i’m thinking now that maybe before one throws out the baby with the bathwater, it’s worth the effort to try to make things work. it’s just like buying a lottery ticket. well, not exactly. maybe it’s like applying to harvard when you don’t think you’ll get in to the school. you may or may not get in to the school. but if you don’t submit your application, then there’s no chance at all that you will get accepted. and if you apply and get rejected, well, you haven’t lost anything really. but if you get in, well, then you call up the financial aid office and negotiate a sweet financial aid package. hehe. ok, if you get in to whatever school of your dreams, then you go to the school and live life. that’s all. simply live.

so i’m changing gears. instead of bracing myself for popping out of the car, i’m going to buckle up and keep my eyes open and stay in the car. after all, it’s the only relationship i wasn’t afraid to commit to. so maybe i’ll be surprised. here’s to taking chances in life!

complexity

i forgot that relationships are complicated! of course in the beginning it’s just about do i like him or do i not like him? does he like me does he not like me? but then later the question becomes, move to the next level or not move to the next level? and tons of other questions! why can’t relationships provide answers instead of posing questions! i guess sometimes you just know in your heart what the answer is. but even then, it’s not like you can just make reality match what is in your heart. all if not most of decisions are made by two people and take in to account two people’s hearts instead of one heart. and man, oh man, when you start caring about someone, really caring about someone, things get complex! anyone out there know how to simplify relationships? other than keeping one’s heart safely locked up in a safe to avoid getting hurt then becoming more alienated than one would ever want to! (C. S. Lewis said something to that effect – the only way to ensure absolute prevention of the heart being broken is to lock it up and not take any chances of getting one’s heart broken; but then the result isn’t any better. the heart is alone in isolation and the heart grows harder and colder.)

on a “happier” note, back in boston today and really enjoying my time here. i did miss boston! love this town!!!

the other shoe

i’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. i’ve been going out with my bf for about 8 months now. and things are fine, more or less. i’m doing a lot better over all. successfully moved and starting to settle into new place in nyc. don’t really miss boston too much. but then was i waiting for something bad to happen? for a while everything was perfect, well almost perfect. then i started crying on consecutive days and not due to my reproductive cycle, thank you very much. and couldn’t stop crying even when my bf was with me.

so all that to say, is happiness really only a phantom of the imagination? maybe it’s something disney and hallmark and the marketing people at various places conjured up so they could sell movies, cards, chocolates, flowers, etc.

i was always unhappy. i was depressed. totally utterly in despair. that i can deal with. well, except when things got really worse then i couldn’t cope anymore. so then when i started feeling better after 5-6 years of really bad depression, i was skeptical at first. many changes took place that could explain why i was feeling better. i stopped working with the therapist i had for about 5 + years without miraculous improvement or anything. doctors on my treatment team tweaked with my medication. i started dating my current bf. i hadn’t dated anyone in over ten years before i started dating him. i mean, i dated. but i didn’t have a boyfriend for i don’t even know how long actually.

spring of 2002 to end of 2008 (my second depression episode) utterly sucked. only thing that was going to make it worse was to be treated with ECT (eletro convulsive therapy). my old psychiatrist recommended that and was banking that ECT was my only hope of coming out of deep deep depression. well, i wasn’t going to have my brain fried. so i fired her. moved on to a new therapist, new psycho-pharmacologist, and continued on with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). well, for about a good 8 months i had consecutive days of non-suicidal ideation or urges which had never happened before since the depression of 2002 started.

lately, however, after months and months of not wanting to die anymore, i can smell it in the air. the muse which beckons me to death, to take matters into my own hands, it is slowly but surely making her move on me. past couple weeks, i cried, overdosed mildly couple of times, drank, and thought about whether there is really a point to my life after all. yes. the question that i could not get out of my head for about 6 years, not even for a single day, it came back to me. and i started wondering, what’s the point? why work so hard at recovery? why try so hard to feel better? it’s not going to last anyway. life sucks, right? and being depressed and feeling pain and suffering in life sucks even more!

so today i told my psycho-pharmacologist that i’ve been thinking about what’s the point of my life. i told her i had been dancing with suicidal thoughts. maybe for now it’s enough just to admit that i’m unhappy. being happy for the 8 months or so, well, maybe absence of utter despair is like happiness. but now as i’m feeling better, it isn’t good enough just not to feel pain. i want to have a meaningful life. yes, i want to have a life worth living. a life worth staying alive for. not sure i’m there yet. or that i’ll ever get there.

is it time to give up again? i’m not sure. all i know for sure is that while in the past i was happy just to see my bf, now i cry even when he is there. i cry because i want more. i don’t just want to hang out, i want some kind of certainty that things mean something. i’m not happy just to read some articles here and there, or to just send applications out even on slim chance that someone might look at my resume. i want a job. i want to go back to school.

but wanting things, that’s what leads to disappointment and pain. so i decided i think, subconsciously, not to want any of it anymore. so again i am where i was before this bit of relief found me after years of stormy darkness. i don’t want to be here anymore if being here means i’ll be unhappy and if it means i live to testify to the happiness i don’t have.

nrb (karaoke) for 3 hrs – un/requited love

this past weekend, i was visiting my bf and we went to no-rae-bang (aka nrb = karaoke) for 3 hours!  it was just the two of us.  that means each of us sang for about an hour and a half.  mind you, neither of us are part of a choir or anything like that.  i can’t remember the last time i was at nrb!

it was so sweet that my bf sang couple songs to me in korean.  🙂  i took a break from dating for about ten years before i met my current bf so it’s really strange not to be single.  it’s so nice and absolutely lovely that someone (someone i like) likes me and wants to be with me (at the same time i want to be with them)!  always always in the past it’s bad timing or some variation of unrequited love on either party.  mostly i would lose interest in about a month.  so i warned my bf too when we started dating that i expire in about a month in a relationship.

it’s really strange i must say.  all the phobias i have about intimacy, commitment and whatever else just disappeared.  not scared to get to know someone really well.  not scared someone is getting to know me really well.  not scared that he won’t like me the more he get to know me.  and more and more interested everyday as i get to know him better.  i mean, is this why people stay in one relationship for a long long time?  never knew why people would do such a crazy thing.  think i’m experiencing why anyone would.  🙂

so i’m wondering, i mean, i think the honey-moon stage lasted the first time we had to really figure out now to communicate better.  i wanted to just get off the phone and sleep.  he didn’t want me to just walk away from things we were talking about.  usually i just walk out on the relationship all together, let alone carry out the conversation to the end.  but somehow we talked it through, managed to end feeling better than when we started talking about stuff that was upsetting to both of us, and felt closer (at least on my end) than before too.  but do things really stay this good?  ok, granted it’s not always up and up and up and i’m not constantly experiencing feelings of happiness or ecstasy.  but for the most part, i feel good being with my current bf than not.  i think we’re both better with each other than we are alone or with other people we might be dating.

so anyway, plenty of things to blog about now even though my depression isn’t so crazy bad anymore.  after about 7 yrs of hard-core depression and constant battle with suicidal ideation, being happy for an enduring period of time of any length is just so strange.  i feel like i’m living someone else’s life!  i know i’m not.  i know it’s my life that has taken an absolutely amazing turn for the better.  and that my bf really knows me well, especially at my worst, and still is interested in me and loves me.  but man, talk about radical acceptance!  there are times when i wonder if all of it is really real!  🙂