Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Beast Called 'Real Life'

When I sixteen, my best friend and I had a dream, we detested the school we went to and wanted to leave it as soon as our last year of school came to a close. This plan consisted of us being wealthy in a matter of months of leaving our home town: she’ll be the first person who made millions selling worry dolls and I’d be in New York as a fashion stylist to Anna Wintour.

With the money we had from our fabulous jobs, we would buy every apartment across the globe – whatever we fancied, we could get it.

Even though our lives didn’t pan out the way we imagined, we’re still young. I feel my school girl frivolity is still alive – moving overseas may take a while, but it’s still simmering. There were other things I didn’t expect when I graduated all those years ago, to still be studying at a ripe old age of twenty three.

But what society thinks there should be a certain way to live life? To have a cool job, getting married and own a house by the time we’re twenty five? Are we setting ourselves a deadline that’s impossible to reach? Or are we trying to rush through things because we want to achieve everything now?

Recently, I had dinner with a few friends and all of them were talking about the dilemmas of life. One of them was particularly exhausted after she finished her rant.
“We worked hard at school to go to uni and study the degree we wanted. When we got to uni, we had to study hard to get the jobs we wanted. Then after that, we go back to uni to boost our qualifications. Not only that, but we need to get married. Then once we have kids, the cycle starts all over again”.

Few of the people at the table nodded. On the other hand, I didn’t agree.
“There are other ways to live life. That’s just one life, but you don’t have to live with it”.

“You’re still at uni. Uni life isn’t going to stay forever Tina. Real life has to begin sometime and this is it.”

I think to myself, I’m not going to be a university student forever – but if this is what real life is, it sounds tedious to me. Who says ‘real life’ is all about university degrees, marriage and wearing dull clothes?

Why do we feel the need to rush through our career, marriage and life in general? Do we always need to outdo our peers or is it something more than that?

I don’t hold the answers either –but I’ve observed that people finally reach ‘society’s expected goals’ such as graduating from university or being accepted into a corporate firm – it wasn’t as exciting as they first imagined. To compensate their disappointment, they try another goal such as getting married by a certain age, or some other goal. And again, to realise once they’ve attained it, it wasn’t as exciting as they thought it was.

What do you think?

Happy reading!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Breaking up and defriending friends is hard

Have you tried to sever a friendship with a porcupine?

Me neither.

Ending a friendship takes on many forms: an ugly confrontation, or a polite, “I don’t think this is working out”, or just simply cutting ties with them by not returning their phone calls or responding to their e-mails.

Friendship breakups are a tricky topic. No matter which side you were on, the dumper or the dumpee – they’re fraught guilt and betrayal. Questions such as “What did I do wrong?” infest your mind. It’s quite obvious what they did was wrong – whether they betrayed you or taking credit of your work. Ending a friendship seems harsh. Until recently, there was a time I felt guilty ending a friendship. Let alone defriending an actual, real-life friend on Facebook.

Sure, drifting apart does happen. Instead of talking once a day, it may be once every three months. But the friendship contract in theory, is never-ending.

But actually defriending an actual, real-life friend on Facebook is much more difficult. They might not initially know you’ve defriended. It just appears as a blip on their friend tally. Telling a mate that you don’t like them anymore – just makes you want to drink more vodka. There’s no easy way out. No cliché phrases such as “It’s not me, it’s you” will cut it. With friendship breakups, it’s you. You can’t talk to someone who brings poison to your life. Nor you can be friends with someone who only takes advantage of your good nature.

However, there’s one easy way to tell if you’re doing the right thing. And that’s how you feel. When the person is out of your life, it feels like you can finally breathe for the first time in months. There’s a peaceful calm that comes when severing ties with the person. And GUESS WHAT? You no longer have your mind infested with negative thoughts such as, “Does this person actually like me or not?” because you’re too busy investing into friendships that truly make you happy. It feels easy and you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

You feel so stupid when you should've done it sooner even when Toby the dog knows the friendship is over.

Have you had to break up a friend because it was no longer working out? Or defriended someone on Facebook? It'll be great to know I'm not the only one.

Happy reading,
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