Daymares (When day dreams go bad.)

I stumble out of the car, intertwined with my best people. We’re laughing uncontrollably about something that won’t be remotely funny to anyone who isn’t here.

It’s dusk and our shadows double over in laughter with us. I turn around, in a desperate bid to catch my breath, and my friends aren’t here anymore. Just a stranger with a dirty machete and a dirtier smile.

I wake up from the dream-turned-nightmare with a sinking feeling at the bottom of my soul, and spend the next hour trying to invoke good dreams. Trying to rewind my dream and end it at the happy part.

This would’ve been a good time for Leo to help me Inception my dream to wake up before it got scary.

And wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that with our life dreams before they turn weird?

WakeMeUp

Wake me up before I go-go crazy.

Like that course you took to fulfil your childhood dream. Except you grew up and the dream hadn’t. Shoulda got out before it started suffocating you.

Or like that true love you dreamed into life. Shoulda woken up right after the song and dance sequence, before the drama began.

Or the this-is-my-passion kind of dream that you’re just not sure about any more.

During my early years in advertising, I toiled for months on end to create what I thought was a portfolio of my most creative work. That little book is currently doing the rounds, as I crawl out of my maternity leave.

The other day, I was asked what I was most proud of in my folio. I mentally scanned through all the words and ideas I had strung together in my career.

The ones I was most proud of though, were the words and ideas I had taught my son to string together these past 2 years.

What folio does that go under?

I taught the kid to crack his first lame joke, to do a goofy victory dance every time the ball leaves his little hands, to say please, even at 2:30am.

And I’m not even particularly maternal! Yet, it feels like I’m fulfilling something. A purpose? A calling? A he’s-so-cute-I-must-be-dreaming kinda dream?

I admire the women who give up their careers to be stay-at-home mums and vice versa, or people who start new careers after 20 years in another. They’re brave humans who accept that one dream must end so another can begun.

See, I love what I do. It’s fun, it’s with fun people and it’s mostly for fun. But I’m not sure it’s my dream any more.

There are so many things I want to do with my life; I have a feeling that in a few years, my career path will look like the steps of a hopeless drunk trying to make it from the front door to the bathroom. I’m ok with that, as long as it doesn’t end up curled on the floor clutching the toilet bowl.

“Dream big,” they say. “Never give up on your dreams,” they goad.

Would it still be called giving up if you didn’t care anymore?

Most of us get stuck in our dreams – both personal and professional – because we remember how much me wanted it. We don’t owe it to faceless motivational posters to follow through on our fading dreams. But we owe it to ourselves to follow our heart – even when it changes.

I’m starting to realise that if I want to end my dream on the happy note it deserves, I should wake up sometime soon.

Because if you have a dream, by all means, you should chase it. But if your dream starts chasing you, WAKE UP BEFORE THE GODDAMN MACHETE APPEARS.

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1 heart-2 bodies, and other such crap.

2gether

Yay to the high-school sweethearts who celebrated their 83rd anniversary, and the Obamas with their “we’re-just-your-average-everyday-power-couple”.

Yay to the BFFs with a split photo of them both all cheeky at 9-years-old and all giggly at 60, and the mum-besties who take exotic holidays together.

Yay to the profile photos, hazy filters and status updates that celebrate these relationships.

I’m very private about my relationships, and I’m not here to reflect on them. This is not a rant either, it’s an observation. Of sorts.

(I warned you about the dark side.)

In-your-face-book.

There’s a Lawrence Durrell quote that goes: “A diary is the last place to go if you wish to seek the truth about a person. Nobody dares to make the final confession to themselves on paper: or at least, not about love.”

Swap diary for Internet and paper for social media, and bam! You’ve got our whole over-sharing generation.

My facebook and instagram feeds poureth over with mush and goo. But when I put my phone down and look around, I see more toxic relationships and lonely people.

Geez. That sentence left a skid mark in my brain.

 

Hope is dope, yo!

To escape from all the negativity we see around us, we run back online. In fact, I think going online for a hit of hope is our current international pastime and/ or addiction.

And I do hope all of the relationships – platonic, romantic or confuse-ic – that are professed and flaunted online are true. I sincerely hope they are, for the sake of honesty and goodness.

 

Objects in the browser are not always how they appear

But see, I’m prone to the occasional stab of cynicism. And some of these 237-Like-photos cause entry and exit stab wounds, the size of my fist. It’s only a few seconds before the cynicism ferments into judgement. And then I curl up internally from the guilt and shame of being so petty.

Truth is, it’s 2016 and everyone knows not to take what we see online at face value. We’ve even been in some of those photos! But try as we may, we can’t help but let a bit of the negativity seep into our thoughts.

 

Move over, body-shaming. Hello, relationship-shaming.

Which is why, we need to start talking about relationship-image issues in the same vein as body-image issues. I bet it causes just as much depression, social anxiety and binge-eating/ crash-dieting.

Social media is the new Photoshop.

Conceal broken hearts and bruised egos, airbrush out emotional luggage, contour around any sign of disagreement. Post.

Except, we’re thrilled when models and celebrities say that what we see on magazine covers isn’t real. But when we share our lows, we have a volley of advice thrown at us or we’re shunned for being negative.

 

Don’t worry, be sad-dy.

Maybe we don’t need you to show us the light just yet, but just agree that sometimes relationships are more hard than hard-work. More All By Myself than Lean On Me

Let’s always extol the virtues of being positive and happy, but let’s not demonise loneliness and sadness. We need to normalise them.

There is no prescribed happiness, only your version of it. There is no perfect relationship (even pizza will let you down), only precious moments. Accept the highs and expect the lows. Be gracious or be ugly with it, it’s your call.

Like we’re taking ownership of our bodies, let’s take ownership of our relationships. Flaws and all.

And let’s also accept that sometimes, seeing friends or partners with their arms intertwined is more nauseating than heart-achingly cute.

(crickets chirping)

I’ve been silent for a while now. A month to be exact.

This time my excuse isn’t that I’m drawing a blank. In fact, the drawing is a bit out of control. And I won’t use the busy variety of excuse. That’s a given now; everyone is busy all the time.

And it isn’t even my inability to write. I’ve been writing. But as I read through each piece for the 100th time, I realise they’re all silent. Each one of them. No voice. No sound. Just a bunch of words thrown together.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve gone mute.

See, I’ve always been liked and hated for my chirpiness. It’s just what I do. Be chirpy, crack a few jokes, pass some faux wisdom and drop the mike. Some of my oldest (and nicest) friends have been in touch, wondering when the next blog post is due? When can they expect their dose of happy?

I’m sorry. I’ve got none to give right now.

independent

Life’s not easy, yawl. It’s like a long walk we’re all taking. Some of us are in a hurry, rest of us stop for a chilled beer every now and again. Some of us stop to smell the roses, rest of us avoid all clichéd proverbs. Some of us do all of it in one day. I’ve come to realise that the lonely parts are when those who were walking with you suddenly move ahead and you’re left behind smelling the goddamn roses.

And soon you lose your voice from having fallen into disuse.

If you’re lucky, a new bunch of people show up and you find your voice again. Or a better voice, as I have in the past. But you still secretly wish that the people who’ve raced ahead turn around and wave, as if to say they’re waiting for you. As if they still care.

Until one of that happens, I guess I need to embrace the quiet. And stop fighting it through a lethal combination of logic and counting-my-blessing-isms.

Today, I salute the quiet ones, the pessimist and the introverts. The clingy ones, the attention-seekers and the sooks.

I salute your courage to own your state of mind without crumbling under pressure from the positrons. Stay strong, my friends.

For a fiercely independent woman, I can turn into an affection-seeking hot mess in under 10 seconds. But I’m not shushing up and putting on a brave face. I’m going to accept my lows and embrace this voice until I start enjoying this walk by myself, if that’s what it takes. I’ll talk to the strangers and ones zooming past me; I may even holler out to those who’ve raced ahead.

Say hello to the dark side of Pigs, Figs & Higgs.