Day 332 to 352 – November 28th to December 18th, 2018

Three weeks. I haven’t written in three weeks.

I’m not saying this in any particular tone per se, not incredulity or dismay or even surprise at this point. The past three weeks have been so incredibly busy, filled to the brim with work, exams, trying to keep up with everyone, and sleep, mostly. But man. Not writing has definitely taken its toll.

This time of year is always like this though. It’s like the final act of a show – climactic, the final test, the application of whatever lessons were accumulated through the year. And you know, it’s not too bad this year. At least I’m not having breakdowns or anything like I did last time!

Granted, I’m underplaying it a bit – I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, dreaming about work every night, and I basically have been alternating between sleep and work for the past two weeks or so except for the few days off I’ve had (or demanded – much needed). Not to mention, trying to keep up with everyone and everything in my life hasn’t allotted much time for, well… myself.

There have been nights where my anxiety has returned full-force, old worries and fears that resurfaced that kept me awake at night despite long hours of work prior to my attempting to sleep.

All of this is on a surface level though. Beneath all this turbulence, there’s this part of me, the inner-knowledge and voice of wisdom that knows that this too, shall pass. Like all things in life.

And, despite all the surface-level turbulence, things have been pretty good. In fact, they’ve been pretty amazing. I haven’t gotten sick, I get all the sleep I need, no one is killing each other at work the way they did last year, and so far this season has been passing by without a hitch. It’s exactly one week today until Christmas, and I know it’s going to fly by.

On the bright side as well, I’m off for the next two days (I have an exam on Thursday) so I’ll finally have a moment or two to myself.

One week until Christmas and two weeks until this year officially comes to an end. Wow.

I don’t know why, but I have this unmistakable feeling that 2019 is going to be a year of… momentum. That’s the word that comes to my mind (and gut) when I think about it. And not just for me – for everyone I know. It’s going to be a year of change. Things are going to happen; good, bad, neither, both. It’s going to be an imperative year for everyone, major shifts to come about. Comfort zones will be left.

Anyways! What have I missed in the past three weeks that I’d like to touch upon?

Let’s see…

Radha and I have been catching up lately – she’s been super busy with her new job and all the studying she’s been doing for the various certifications she’s striving for. We have plans for sometime at the end of this month, since I haven’t seen her since my birthday weekend in October.

She says she’s met someone, and once again it’s the same story: he’s “the one”, this is it, this is the feeling she’s been looking for, and she feels “at home” with him. And it’s the same kind of person again – a thirty-something guy in business who’s not looking for something “casual”, he’s looking for a wife.

She met him this past Friday, they’ve been on two dates, and they’re already planning on going away together this weekend.

The reason I’m laying this all out here is because I’m torn. On the one hand, I really want to have faith and trust her process – she’s well-enough in tune with herself to know when she can or cannot trust someone, right? But I don’t know. My logic side is berating me for condoning this by not saying anything. I’ve advised her to be careful, but should I be talking her out of this? Telling her to take things slower, to gauge the person and situation?

I get where she’s coming from, I’m an all-in-or-nothing kind of person myself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t look before I jump.

In the end, she’s a highly intelligent, capable twenty-five year old woman who can make decisions for herself. Of course I want to look out for her and what’s best for her, but I can’t make decisions for her (and I doubt she’d listen to me otherwise, either way). I’ll do my best, I’ll advise her to follow her gut but also to please be as cautious as possible.

It’s difficult to remain objective when you have attachments. This might be the third or fourth guy that’s following in the exact same pattern she’s had of late – meeting an older guy online, having that seemingly “instant” connection, pursuing said “instant” connection (usually physically), and then the guy ends up bailing with some sad, lame excuse usually along the lines of “you’re too good for me” or “this is too intense for me”, or even “I can’t give you everything you need”, after having promised the world and then some.

I swear I’m not judging – I’m genuinely concerned. I don’t want her to go through this. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this life, it’s that sometimes you have to be the one to save yourself. You have to be the one to see your patterns for what they are before you break them, regardless of how many people point them out to you.

I had a pattern too. And lord knows people tried everything to point it out to me, make me see what I was settling for. But nope. I wouldn’t hear any of it, defended my choices against it, even though everyone was right (in different ways, to different extents).

Before all the therapy and self-actualization, I once upon a time had a thing for broken people.

I honest to goodness didn’t see it at the time, but people I thought I could save were my catnip. I was drawn to them inexplicably, like a moth to a flame.

It was Nadia (my therapist), who advised me to pursue someone who didn’t initially make my heart skip, or make me nervous. She saw my pattern for what it was, and told me to give a chance to someone who didn’t need saving, someone who was whole in themselves. She was right, and I’m so glad I did give that someone a chance. Because now, I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in.

But see, I had to go through those relationships, go through the worst thing I ever did, to finally say “I’ve had ENOUGH. I’m NOT putting myself through this again.” That’s when my pattern finally revealed itself to me. Not through anyone telling me, or showing me the light. I had to learn the “hard” way. (I put hard in quotation marks because this is subjective – it may seem like I took the hard way, but to me, I wouldn’t have it any other way).

So that’s why I’m leaving things be as they are. I once read this quote, something about “be careful who you try to save – you may be intercepting their karma” or something like that. But in this sense, it’s more so like “be careful whom you try to save – you may be interrupting their life lessons.”

I love everyone in my life. I never want to see the people I love suffer, and if there was anything I could do about it, chances are I would. But in cases like these, I have to remind myself that sometimes love is being able to let go – to truly trust in someone else’s process and know that no matter what, everything happens in their life for a certain reason or a certain lesson.

Bottom line, not everyone needs my “saving”. Sometimes, it’s best to keep the advice to yourself, be encouraging and supportive, and let things be as they are. Everyone experiences things differently.

Anyways, moving on!

The last two weeks of this month are promising to be jam-packed, a little crazy, definitely amazing, Christmas filled, people filled and potentially a tiny bit stressful. I’ve got my last exam this week, plans with my friends and my cousins afterwards, the last retail weekend before Christmas, I’m planning and hosting this year’s annual cousinly Christmas weekend and Secret Santa gift exchange, and there shall be tons of family parties and good food, I’m sure.

I definitely intend to make the most of it though, and hopefully amidst it all, find a little time to myself.

Last but not least – Adrian.

I’m already smiling and I haven’t even begun yet, LMAO.

I just… I honestly never knew I could have it this good. I dreamed it, hoped it, wished it, but never really knew it, per se. I never knew I could be with someone who looks at me in the way he does.

His dad’s left to Vancouver, so we’ve had his place to ourselves for the past two weekends and it’s been wonderful. We went out, we stayed in, I read quietly while he worked soccer games, and we just spent some good quality time together. I know nothing should have changed since he’s asked me to be his girlfriend but… I don’t know, it does feel different to me. Maybe it’s just a mental thing, maybe it’s just how good the certainty feels. But suddenly now it’s like, we look at each other and we just know we have so much time, you know? Does that make sense? There’s so much we want to do with one another – travel, try new places to eat, new adventures to experience, so much more.

And like we’ve been seeing each other for the past eight months now, but suddenly everything feels weirdly new again. I have a newfound appreciation for waking up beside him, for holding his hand when we walk together, for the way he kisses my forehead or pulls me closer.

One morning this past weekend when we were in the midst of waking up, he looked at me in the semi-darkness of the sun’s first light and he was like, “I’m so happy you’re my girlfriend.”

And it’s a word. It shouldn’t mean much, shouldn’t make a difference. But it made me so happy. Is that society’s doing? Or is it the certainty that he ultimately decided he definitely wanted to be with me?

Maybe it makes me so happy because I feel like it was a well-earned certainty. We took time to get to know one another, spent time with one another, went out for incredible dates and had genuine fun with each other, met each other’s friends and family, and really invested in that “in-between” time. Maybe that’s why that word feels so good now – because it feels like I’ve earned it, in a way.

If I relate it back to my “relationship-house” metaphor, it feels good because we actually put time into building our foundation, making it secure, before building the house and deciding to live in it. That foundation is always going to be built upon because you never really stop getting to know someone and the house is always going to change, but for once in my life I didn’t rush into building a house with someone, only to have it all fall apart due to a weak foundation.

And that’s why this is different.

I’m slowly but surely getting over my whole “this is too good to be true” fear and that whole “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feeling. Those feelings are based off of old wiring from my past relationships and experiences.

One night, we were lying together and cuddling and I ended up voicing all of my hidden fears and anxieties to him, the ones that had been keeping me up. The recurring fear that I didn’t know what I was doing or where I was headed, the anxiety that I was “running out of time”, the sadness of struggling so much with school and trying to finish.

And one by one, he tackled every one of my fears and anxieties with kindness and encouragement. No judgement, no condescension, just plenty of care and support until I felt better.

It just feels nice to have someone to lean on again, especially when it gets tiring being the only one keeping me upright.

Anyways, it’s safe to say I’m more head over heels than I ever thought I could be, and Lord Almighty am I ever happy. Truly, completely, effortlessly and freely happy.

And so, so, so thankful. I cannot begin to express my gratitude at having found someone who makes me this happy.

It’s been an amazing year. Here’s to making the most of what’s left of it.

Love always and in every way,

Stephanie.

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