A REFLECTION: ANOTHER IN THE FIRE
- December 31, 2019
- Denise Lee
It’s late evening and I’m lying on my couch sick from something I ate in Bandung 2 days ago. Not how I imagined my NYE but I’m home and I’m safe and it was a good trip with C nonetheless so I’ll take what I can get. I thought that my story released a fortnight ago would suffice as a reflection but I don’t want that to be the only thing I remember from 2019 because this year has been so much more than me dealing with trauma. This entry will be a minimally edited since I won’t have time to ruminate for too long, unlike my past yearly reflections.
The truth is, I had zero expectations for 2019. I told myself that it was going to be another year of hustle at work and being busy with life. I had no plans apart from my birthday trip to Tokyo over Chinese New Year, where I took up most of my annual leave days – something that I rarely do at the beginning of the year but I thought, “Heck, it’s not like I get to be in Tokyo on my birthday every year and besides, nothing interesting is going to happen this year. Definitely not going to get a boyfriend”. After coming back from Tokyo, I chopped off my hair, absolutely regretted it (again) and had the worst food poisoning of my life from the beef tartare at Shin Nihon, which landed me in the hospital on drip. My stance on not eating raw food outside of Japan reigns supreme and you can attempt contending me on that.
As the year continued to roll around, I was more convinced than ever that nothing interesting was going to happen. Until one night after a long conversation (actually he was lecturing me) with my brother about my tiny social circle and therefore having zero opportunities to meet fresh faces, I decided to get on an app and found C. Call it whatever you like, but I think it was fate because I am the most sceptical person on earth about online dating and yet he was my one-hit-wonder. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a kind, patient and loving human being to call my own but in hindsight, after all the drama I’ve had over the last 8 years with shitty men, I think it’s finally time. And I sure as hell deserve to be happy.
This year has been challenging on so many levels. It was a year of growth at work because I had to really step out of my comfort zone and do things that sent the phobic Type 6 in me panicking to no end. I’ve had to come face-to-face with the monster in my closet which took a toll on me physically, mentally and spiritually. The combination of the two meant that I was constantly exhausted and struggled to balance everything in my life. It meant having to take a break from CHTBB. It meant not over-committing to events with family and friends. It meant having to have difficult conversations with people. It meant having to learn to accept my circumstances. It meant having to start new habits and hitting the reset button. It meant keeping a journal again and writing down my thoughts no matter how muddled they are. It meant learning to accept that it’s okay to need help.
In the last 12 months, I have experienced so many amazing highs and painful lows. I’ve spent this year laughing, crying, questioning and learning how to trust the process. God has never felt so far away yet remained so close. I tried so many methods to fix my problems – including going to the extent of finding a therapist who’s not a Christian because I could no longer hear the words “pray for God to fix it”. Yet after searching for so long, all I found was me on my knees using my final weapon. And it was the weapon I needed all along. I prayed for forgiveness and release. I’ve decided to stop therapy. It’s humbling that after going round in circles, I had to admit defeat because my way will never be enough. I needed The Waymaker.
This was my most played song in 2019 according to Spotify. I am not delusional and I know that there will still be challenges even after this. It’s a reminder that I’m still learning and I’m still hustling. There’s no doubt that 2020 will come with its own set of challenges but as I step out into the unknown (you sang it, don’t lie) I will remember that I found strength in 2019 and it is the strength that I have earned from my pain and resilience in pushing through. And that there’s another in the fire and I will never be alone.