Sunday, November 09, 2008

Life on hold.

My life has been on hold. Somewhere along the lines, someone pressed the pause button. I keep waiting for some epiphany, some mind-blowing lightbulb moment where I can go, THIS is what my life is supposed to be about. And now, after almost 30 years of existence, I realise what I've been putting my life on hold for.

I am that little girl - the one who loved the story of the knight in shining armour and revelled in the stories of happy ever after. I would pretend to put a towel on my head and put on my mum's high heels, imagining how wonderful it would be to be that princess bride. And I loved playing house. I always knew in my heart I would have it all - that breathtaking romance, the fantasy wedding, the happy ever after of me and my hero riding off into the sunset.

I am still that girl. Still wanting that passionate fairy tale of a life. Still believing that he's out there. But in my quest for that, I have paid a price by putting my life on hold. For me, emotional investments are by far the most rewarding. I have always prioritised relationships. Because I am one of those who believes if I have my love-life in order, everything else falls into place. And it has been true. I cannot complain about my career for sure - in that department I have been blessed. But even my career has suffered thanks to my relentless search for 'true love' or whatever you call it these days.

THIS is my epiphany. I am tired of this quest. Of putting my life on hold for 'him'. Time and time again, it has proved futile and while he goes on with his life, I have just wasted another precious portion of possibilities. I am an intelligent, talented and highly capable individual - only held back by my desire to find that 'someone', to have a family and settle into the domesticity of life. What a shame. I have given up opportunities to work abroad and keep putting off the dream of travelling and pursuing my studies. I wasted three years of my mid-twenties with a man who promised a future with me and after picking out potential schools for our unborn children and going on the hunt for possible homes, one day he wakes up and tells me, "I don't see a future with you." And then I embark on another relationship with a man who goes off to pursue HIS studies and adds another year to work on HIS career away from home. "It's just two years," he tells me. While I dutifully nod and wait for him to come back, like a soldier's wife baking pies in some 1950s kitchen, waiting for her beloved to stroll back home.

So yes it's just two years. But it's two years of MY life. It's not about someone being 'worth the wait'. It's about how my life cannot be based on 'waiting'. Five years of my life - in relationships that require me to wait. Five years? I could have finished my Masters degree, worked in a broadcasting company as I've always dreamed, taken up that job in Switzerland (yes I turned it down because I couldn't bear the idea of being away from 'him') and spent summers in Ireland.

But here I am. Bitter and waiting in KK. Still writing for a magazine, griping about my pay, grumbling about the typical Malaysian government-service mentality and worst of all, watching other people live their lives the way they want to - while my life is on hold.

My life is on hold. And I'm expected to keep it on hold because as I turn 30, supposedly it's time to think of 'settling down' with the right man. I don't need the right man. I need to 'unpause' my life and do the things I've always wanted to do. I will not live for the 'Hims' in my life anymore.

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