It is now coming to be Autumn, somewhere on the face of this Earth – North America and Europe, you lucky people.
In a state of transience, isolation, and “presenteeism”. Coined, this term means that you are physically present here, whilst your mind is away wandering. Unproductive. Today i chanced upon this word when reading on depression, by a local author. Decided to explore campus grounds a bit today, checking out the Wellness Centre that caters specifically to de-stressing. How cool is that, a room that actually bans you from studying and reinforces on that much needed work-leisure balance in life?! Talk about local education systems and its intense pressure. ugh, we totally need this in every other institution in Singapore.
So…. curiosity clouding the mind, without giving much thought, I trudged in with some sort of uncertainty as to what to expect/anticipate – it felt weird, harbouring no expectations. i entered with an open mind, and i found myself pleasantly surprised. Ended up making a new friend, or an acquaintance, and found ourselves in a conversation that lasted for about three, entire, hours?! The staff and peer mentor were altogether astounded finding out we just met not long ago; that we didn’t know each other before. I guess that must have been heartening, connecting so quickly and being at ease with oneself?
This guy I was speaking to – just as i have issues of my own, he too, is a fellow warrior. The titles he grabbed from the shelf was “self-esteem”, “super confidence”, “brilliant relationships”; which did catch my attention… Shortly into reading, somewhere and somehow, a conversation started… My intent was not to psycho-analyse. Strangely, today was one of those days which I chose to be friendly, vocal, open. I don’t know why either. What was i hoping to get out of the Wellness Centre? Nothing much, honestly – I came in with no expectations. But what I got was productivity: Finished a book on depression, we talked about literally mind-mapping to troubleshoot, and tuning the F out and letting the T take charge in mental conditioning. Optimism was it, perhaps. Minimal checking of phone/social media, and just focusing on the now. It felt refreshing albeit having sapped a little energy. Perhaps this was how Dale Carnegie’s guidance has helped: for myself to be ready to open up again.
I am glad I was able to converse with him and help him think things through. For him to find me approachable, having sought counsel advice twice, that was enough for me. “Appreciated”, “Importance”, “Presence” – these words were think-shapes that just wouldn’t leave the mind; as if they were in paradise. I guess that four hours break wasn’t futile; it was fulfilling. And I am thankful, for all that has happened today. I am thankful, for being blessed.
As i slowly continue to hoist myself into reality and attune to its harshness, i sometimes find myself swimming in fear: vulnerability, for the uncertainty, for the overthinking, the monsters under the bed, the demons within, esteem issues, self worth, definitions, identity, every- and anything that quite eats into your security. It leaves you stripped bare, almost naked, and vulnerable. And sweeps you off your feet is the wave of panic that convinces you that you will almost drown.
A few nights ago, i found myself crashing. Burning in the heat of tears, having the innermost thoughts eat me like a zombie mercilessly feasting. Ultimately drained, i could not find the energy to even prepare for the next day, or brush my teeth, or apply the pre-sleep moisturiser.
Life, what are you to expect from it?