“Relax”

The masseuse has been telling me to relax. Relax my ankles, relax my shoulders, relax this and that. My immediate response would be “I relax already!”, only to be rebutted with a proof that I hadn’t.

I really have no idea why I’m so tensed up. It’s not like I feel it or not like I make a conscious effort to tense it. In fact, even when I made an effort to relax (oh the irony), I was still too tense for the masseuse to do what she needed to. She ended up having to put her entire weight onto my ankle to fix it into place.

I wonder why though. It’s as if my fight or flight mode is always turned on. Really wonder what made me the way that I am – too serious, too tense.

They suggested knocking me out for the next session so that I will be sufficiently relaxed. I approve of it.

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“Relax”

A walk in the rain

When it was time to leave work yesterday, the sky was cloudy and it was beginning to drizzle a little. Just a little. So I asked that God would hold the rain while I crutched my way to the train station. Haven’t been carrying an umbrella around these days because I figured I won’t be able to hold an umbrella unless I have a third arm anyway.

Within a few minutes after I walked out of the building, I saw from the corner of my eye someone who stopped in the middle of nowhere. He was looking around, seemingly waiting for someone. Then the person behind him caught up and I thought, he must be waiting for him/her (I wasn’t paying much attention). Unexpectedly though, he/she brushed past him as a stranger would. Then, what is he doing here in the middle of nowhere?

When I walked up and intended to walk past him, he came up to me with his umbrella over my head, offering to help. I was surprised. I figured out that he was headed towards the direction where I came from, and I’m headed towards where he came from, so I politely declined his offer.

He looked around and hesitated for a few seconds. Then he said, “But I can’t leave you like this,” and insisted on walking with me to the train station. Well, if you put it that way, I wouldn’t reject your offer. He even added, “I can also carry your bag for you.” Don’t worry, I can carry that.

So as we walked for the next 10 minutes or so, we chatted a little. That’s a polite (and to avoid the awkward silence) thing to do when someone offers to walk with you haha.

Was grateful to this stranger though. By the time we got to the train station, the drizzle wasn’t a light one anymore and I would have gotten more drenched if not for him. At the same time, that walk opened my eyes to appreciate this world, this little island and her people a little more. While it’s still a fact that many are occupied with just getting on with their lives, there are still the kind souls out there who would stop for you and go out of their way for you. Gives me hope indeed.

A walk in the rain

Uber

Hopped onto the car. Just when the driver greeted me, something familiar caught my eyes. “Are you from Hope?”

Saw a Christmas invite for the last Christmas service on his car. From our conversation, I kinda figured out that he used to visit but stopped coming regularly. 

He said he couldn’t sleep tonight so that’s why he’s out driving. Could it be God – that’s something he asked, and something I asked as well. Is this a mere coincidence or God-incidence? Well, I don’t know, but I do hope this random encounter at 3am at this deserted office building reminded him something about God somehow.

And yeah, knocked off at 3am tonight/this morning :( But who knows, maybe I was really at the right place at the right time :) It’s been a pretty interesting day! Thank You God for blessing this first day of work in this new year!

Uber

Been a long way

Just met up with some university friends to just chat over lunch. Midway through the conversation, one of them made a sincere apology for what happened in the past and I said, it’s okay. 

Finally a sort of closure I guess. I felt a little uncertain in my approach when the conversation geared towards what happened during the Freshmen Orientation Programme planning process. In a way, I didn’t know what to bring up and what not to – in case we raked up unhappy events.

I was the Project Director in the FOP planning. Midway through the planning, a social explosion took place without warning, and I would say this was the main cause affecting my friendships in the course in the years to come. I grew increasingly aware that leadership was not for me and so, I dreaded the fact that I had to step up as the President of the next Student Committee right after the FOP. Life wasn’t easy then because people who didn’t know me disliked me since the camp. I hated the fact that I was in a course with only 50 people because I felt alienated by most of them who heard something from someone else which I had no idea what.

Many things happened in the planning and I guess my Vice Director and I could have defended ourselves. But all those times, I just kept sensing that God was telling me not to take things into my own hands but leave it to Him. And there were in fact times I found it hard to resist the urge to defend myself – and the fact of the matter would have cost some others’ reputation because of certain things they did. But the call was always to not do that, even if that put me at a disadvantage. In my heart, I had wished that some of these people who were angry at me would rise up as project leaders so that they understand the difficulties involved. 

At the end of year 3 sem 2, we went to Bohol. I didn’t want to be there travelling with a bunch of people who disliked me. But God spoke to me one day through a Psalm, telling me that He will rescue me. True enough, that trip became the turning point for many of those friendships, miraculously.

Interestingly, when the conversation geared towards FOP today, this friend apologised, saying that when she took on some projects at the community level some time ago, she understood my struggles. Her face turned red as she offered her apologies. It’s really okay because God showed up to save the day when we were in Bohol. In fact, the reason why we could sit down together for lunch (and meals before this) is because of God’s intervention. 

What today meant for us was I guess… a closure to things that were previously unspoken? And I’m glad there’s an opportunity like this, because things don’t always turn out this way.

And as I’m here typing this on a bus, I’m reminded of a friend who stuck by my side when I felt unwanted and alone in those 2 years. She came by after FOP, somehow, encouraged me through my presidency in the Student Committee, and celebrated with me when I finally laid down this huge Student Committee rock off my shoulder. I remember there was once a committee member lashed out at me on a group chat, and she found out about it somehow (she didn’t want to tell me how), so she texted to offer her comfort. I’m thankful for this friend. Texted her to say thank you – random, but this is what WX does isn’t it? 

It’s been a long way. So many things happened; so many twists and turns along the way. But thank You God for the experiences and friendships forged.

Been a long way

I’ll remember

For reassuring me that I need not worry. Even laughing the mistake off, as though it’s no big deal.

For not ever putting the blame on me, even though I was quick to point the finger at myself. Or maybe you already know that I felt guilty enough and didn’t need another finger pointing at me. Sometimes I wonder if you really know how I’m feeling, and if you do, I wonder if you know because you had made these same mistakes. That’s why you understand, and that’s why you can dispense that grace. 

For asking me if I was scared when it happened. Yes I was. Like when was the last time I broke anything deemed valuable? Maybe when I was a kid and I broke the vase at home or something – or at least a kid would think this is major enough to be scolded for. Felt that same fear last night. My heart was just pounding and woke me up a few times in the night.

For not saying anything else after that, other than guiding me as to what I need to do about it. 

I’ll remember you for these and if I meet someone as noob as this when I grow older, I’ll pass this kindness on. 

And you, I’ll remember you too. For calling and the first thing you asked was, are you alright? For laughing it off too, when I thought you would be pissed. For checking if I was alone in dealing with that mess. For asking if I had found a solution. For offering to help me with it. 

These are somewhat amazing people, that I had never expected to meet. Amazing in the way that they are gracious, kind, empathetic.

Thank You, too, God. For letting me meet them.

I’ll remember