The closing of a chapter.
The beginning of a new phase.
"I think it's time," Baby said to me today. "Are you gonna write about it?"
"Is it? I have so many other things i need to write about!" I made excuses. Then reverted to the core emotion: "I'm scared!"
"Face your fear!" she cheered with gusto.
I think it is time... most people have guessed, but i've spent the past month bumping into friends who ask me, "Where's Jun?"
And then i have to go into a whole explanation in summary about how we've broken up.
So i'm gonna write about it so everyone can please stop asking me cos i'm bored of talking about it already. My friends are bored of talking about it too, they've had to deal with it for MONTHS.
I'm not even sure where to start. It's such a long story. And i've learnt so much from this relationship.
When Jun first started courting me in the third quarter of 2015, i relished in it. He's such an amazing person who's full of love for animals and nature, and he loved me so much he would do anything for me. He spoilt me silly with all my whims and fancies, insisted on picking me up from the airport every time i flew back from somewhere, threw me a surprise party, cooked everything i loved to eat, introduced me to new places to eat, always made sure i was comfortable + well fed + happy.
He treated me like a queen and even tattooed a song verse he associated with me on his arm.
Friends were stunned when they heard that one. "Wow. He's going for gold," said Lexie.
It felt wonderful. Jun is so easy to love cos he's so loving and lovable. Everyone loves him - all my friends, my family, all animals..! He doesn't have an enemy cos he's just so sweet.
When he asked me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with him, i naively thought that 'if we can reach the peak together, we can conquer life together!' and took it as a test to see if we really could go through it. We did, and had a lot of fun at that (which i will blog about soon... to get it over with cos it deserves a post).
After Kili, we continued having traveling adventures, and i followed him to places he would compete in ultraruns at - Hong Kong, Japan - and as the end of 2016 approached, we started talking about our future and what we wanted to do / where we wanted to live. It seemed ideal that both of us wanted the same things - to travel extensively, experience life, love nature, see the world!
He pitched the idea of us starting a business in Melbourne, where we would start a restaurant business, package it so it could be replicated into a chain, sell it after a couple of years of working hard, then we'd take all the money and start moving around the world. It seemed like the most logical step for us to take after reaching the ends of our energies here in Malaysia... he would run the operations in the kitchen, i would work on the design + marketing. He said he wanted to marry me, and have children whom we'd tow along with us on our adventures. He even showed me instagrams of traveling families and how we could be just like them.
This was why we spent so much time in Australia earlier this year - to suss the scene out, do some research, and pitch the proposal to our investors and sponsors. They loved it, and gave us the green light. I found myself signing on a piece of paper to move along our migration process to meet with the officer, and caught myself hesitating at the dotted line, "Am i really doing this? Am i moving to Australia?" I signed it and went headlong into the plan.
During this whole phase, we were fighting terribly. I should have seen it as a sign, but i made excuses for it - that it was stress from his closing down one of his companies, that it was my work stress, that it was a phase, anything! I didn't want to give up. I believe that couples go through fights and it's about working our way through it by communication.
I'm the kind of person who tries to understand the core of an argument. I will never leave an argument hanging. I need to know WHY we are fighting, and what about, so it doesn't repeat itself. When i broke down our arguments, i was astonished to find that we were fighting about the same thing. As in, we would MEAN the same thing - but the way we communicated was on such different levels that we didn't understand each other. It was either that, or that we just didn't have the same way of processes.
As we entered 2017, i started getting more depressed and agitated. As it was, i felt depressed in 2016 (even suicidal, which i blogged about, but i know i'm NOT gonna go jump off the balcony, i'm just acknowledging the feeling). Jun knew i was not happy. I knew i wasn't happy, and tried to pinpoint the cause of it by eliminating factors out of my life one by one to assess my emotions and moods across many weeks - alcohol, meat, drugs, exercise, work. There was one occasion when he quietly said, "Maybe it's me." I didn't answer to that cos i refused to think it was.
Because i was so agitated, i didn't want to be around people. I didn't see the point. I would just lash out and say really grumpy things and be the worst company ever. I believe when people are agitated, they really just need time and space alone. It's so obvious and simple. We push people away because we really want to be alone to process our thoughts and emotions or whatever it is we want + need to do, in solitude.
I really wanted more time and space, and felt suffocated that Jun was staying over every night. It never bothered me before but it did around the end of 2016. I requested for more alone time, and he worried that our relationship was regressing. The more he clung, the more i struggled. He knew he couldn't control how i felt and had no choice but to let me have a couple of nights a week, which i would spend sitting on my sofa writing and thinking and crying. I was so confused and all over the place. I didn't know why i was so upset!! It's a frustrating phase to go through - to feel angry + sad and not know WHY. I felt like something was wrong with me, that maybe i needed therapy, maybe i needed a change, maybe i needed to quit my job/company, maybe i needed to go full vegan. I went over and over all these possibilities and outcomes in my head.
Looking back, i now know why i wanted him out of my space. Our energies were simply clashing. We had both stopped making each other better people, and were instead dragging the other one down. I felt tired and moody all the time. And our energies clashed to a physical point where we couldn't even sleep next to each other anymore cos he started having bad dreams that people were attacking him and would hit me in my sleep. I got punched, head butted and elbowed in the face -_- I ended up starting to sleep with my arms covering my head in defense mode, and thought how ridiculous the situation had become. My bed is supposed to be my safe space! I once went to work with a bruise on my eyebrow and Baby asked me how i got it. I totally forgot how, till i recalled that i got socked in the face the night prior.
The sleeping issue gave me more of a reason to have him sleep over less. I didn't scold him for it, cos the poor guy is dreaming when it happens... but i couldn't sleep properly anymore next to him, and would wake up angry, which made me even MORE agitated!
We were still fighting a lot, and i recall we would fight almost every day for a year. And i still gave excuses for it. It got so bad in Australia, i jumped out of a moving car in the middle of a forest (which he was slowly driving) cos i couldn't take being in the same space anymore. I tried ejecting myself out! How insane. We made up and continued our relationship.
When we got back from Australia, my emotions escalated. I felt more depressed and upset. I spent more nights crying alone. And we spent more time fighting over stupid small things. I was so tired. I gradually started to think that 'us as a couple' was not what was the best for both of us.
A relationship shouldn't be a struggle like that. It shouldn't be painful and sufferable. It should be happy and loving. A flow. I loved Jun deeply, but i discovered that i wasn't in love with him. I didn't want to move to Australia. I didn't want to have children with him. I didn't want to be with him any longer.
On April 22nd, we had yet another heated argument which brought us to complete angry silence. He drove us back to mine, grabbed some of his things and silently left. I remember feeling relieved that he'd gone back to his. And i decided that that was it. I refused to live like this any longer. I refuse to spend the rest of my life fighting. It's not worth it! I just want to be happy.
I didn't want to break up cos i didn't want to disappoint people.
I felt like i was disappointing Jun, my parents, his parents, our friends, everyone who was equally invested in our relationship together - saying we look alike, are so good together, etc. The truth is nobody knows what goes on between a couple except the both of them.
I especially felt like i was letting my parents down. My mother had been hinting for years that she was waiting for grandchildren, and i felt like something was wrong with me by not feeling the same way with this man i had been dating for over a year. But my parents could see that I wasn't happy... and for my birthday in mid-April, my mother wrote me a short note with an ang pow wishing that i get to spend my life with who i want with. I cried when i read it. And knew that at the end of the day, my happiness is their happiness. There is no point continuing a charade when we weren't truly happy inside.
Jun deserves someone who can love him the way he needs. And i deserve someone who can love me the way i want. We both deserve better.
We broke up that night. The next day he came over to mine, and we held each other and cried. It was a tragic loss for us because we did love each other madly, but my love for him had changed and there was no stopping its flow.
I knew that my journey with him was closing, but i also knew that he had yet to reach where i was. In a past relationship when i dated an older man in my mid-20s, he had broken up with me very abruptly because he innately knew that it wasn't going to work out in the long run. I didn't understand it then, and spent 8 months mourning and analysing what went wrong, and what was wrong with me. It was only years later that i learnt the core reason why. I didn't want Jun to go through what i did, so i told him that since i was the one ending things, i'd allow him to choose our end date so we could go through the last phase of our relationship together where i'd be around to talk/explain to him and answer his queries on WHY and WHY NOT.
It felt right to do so. Everyone else (my friends and family) thought it was a stupid idea.
"Why would you prolong it? You want to break up, then just break up!" my mother scolded.
"Just end it," said Serena.
I know many people wouldn't understand, but i was really just going with what felt right in my heart. I know Jun is such a sensitive person, it would break him to leave him just like that, just because i was done.
Hoping he would choose June or July (after his birthday, so he wouldn't be single during it), he instead chose Malaysia Day in mid-September, which was the 2-year mark of the first time we kissed. Regret kinda set in when i heard that, but i had given him a choice and decided to stick with it.
So from April - September, we did this dance where we were still together, but the people closest to us knew we were gonna break up come September. We were all very open about it and would talk about it freely in front of one another.
I heard of a phrase which resonated with me and i told Jun it, "We're consciously uncoupling."
Him: What? Isn't that what Gwyneth did to Chris?
Me: What? Who?
Him: It's what Gwyneth Paltrow did to Chris Martin
Me: I don't know... (i don't read entertainment news and had to google it up)
But that's what we were doing, based on a feeling i had but not knowing that people were already doing it. Jun was bitter and hated the phrase, "Please stop saying that."
Bali in July was a much-needed separation for me. I needed to get away, have some me time, be myself again, heal, and find out who i am at present, without Jun intact. While i was away for a month, he sought solace in my closest friends. I think, spending time with them made him feel closer to me. I am indebted by the love that my friends have for us... they all spent time with him separately, talking to him about me, cos they know me so well. I'm sure they said things that would have made an impact on our process, that wouldn't have been the same coming from me. They came together as an amazing support group, and I couldn't ask for better friends.
When i returned from Bali, Jun could see how much happier and centered i was, and resigned himself to the fact that i was making the right decision for happiness.
Observation from my part brought me to realise how we were running in a loop of emotions together as a couple from April till September - sadness, anger, happiness, then back again. We would be happy together, embracing the time we had left; then we'd go into fights, which would end quicker cos there was no point fighting anymore; then sadness when realisation hit for the upteenth time that we were going to be separating. As we approached September, the loop got smaller and smaller.
I'd like to remember our happy times... when we could joke about our impending separation. Once, he was driving and jested, "Maybe i'll just run the car off the elevated highway and kill us both. If i can't have you, no one can!"
Me: "Psycho... i'll just jump out of the car. Again. Do you remember that?"
Him: "I'll lock the car doors."
When we reached our destination which was a weekend market, he was still talking about committing suicide together and i said, "It's not suicide if it's not voluntary" and turned away to chat to the first person i could that was not Jun. It turned out to be Tony Eusoff, who jumped into the conversation like a fish in water, "Are we talking about dying together? I'm in! Group death!" He pumped his fist into the air. We all laughed. "I'm not a part of this," i'd shake my head while walking away to find other people to talk to.
In the months approaching September, Jun cooked as much as he could for me - saying that i was his muse and inspiration. "What else do you wanna eat?" he'd ask, "You better tell me now before i won't be able to cook for you anymore!" We spent many days in our last month together just staying in to cook, rest and be together. I started measuring the amount i time i could see him continuously before i wanted to get away. The days and hours got shorter and shorter. From a few days in a row, it went down to 48 hours.
Jun wanted to go to India in September to climb a mountain, and asked me numerous times to go with him. At the beginning around July, i thought it might be a good idea, kinda like a closing chapter on our relationship. Since we kicked it off with climbing a mountain, we could end it with climbing another. But as Sept drew closer, many signs pointed to me not going. First was that i couldn't and didn't want to be next to him alone for longer than two days, without the ability to not fight. We might push each other off the mountain or something!
Then it was also work, time, money, and intuition... i felt that he needed to go alone to heal. And i needed to stay here. He needed to bring himself out of familiar grids, so that when he returned, he could follow his new patterns and continue with those. Since he's got back, we have bumped into each other once and messaged perhaps twice.
And that's how the longest break up in my life has taken place this year.
I have learnt a lot from this (as i'm sure my friends have too - having had to watch on in bemusement and puzzlement).
I believe that when two people go into a relationship or conscious connection together, they do so because both their energies are drawing them so deeply as there are many things to learn from each other. When the lessons are done, the relationship is done. I stopped learning and having fun with Jun, which is a simpler form of a deeper love that i'm searching for... we connected on many levels, but i wanted and want more. I want to be able to laugh and learn with someone i decide to spend the rest of my life with. I think i will find that person in time. But i'm also okay if i don't... i'm willing to accept that everyone's life is different, and i'm prepared to be single forever as long as i'm at my happiest state.
Jun taught me to be more empathetic and compassionate about the people and beings around me. As an athlete, he taught me how to get moving regardless of rain or shine, and to push one's body. He taught me how to plate food and treat it with respect and love. I'm sure that with all the time we spent next to each other, millions of bits of data and information have passed between our bodies, educating us subconsciously about the other.
I learnt that i had to be who i am, and not this character or role i made up in my head of who i thought everyone wanted me to be - married, with children, successful. I mean, YES, i actually want those things... i want children. But above all i want to be happy with the person i have them with.
Letting myself believe that this person was the last in my journey cost me a lot of energy... but it's all meant to be. I was meant to learn from this. I will never allow myself to return to a state of unhappiness which i now know is due to my brain and heart being unaligned.
And now that i'm aligned again... i am in a constant state of happiness... it's crazy.
I almost forgot how it felt like, i feel like me again!
It was almost me in the past year, but i feel like i was in a drugged slumber and now i've awoken.
Last week, someone i met in an office looked at me in the eye and said, "Do you believe in energy? Cos i do and... You're alive."
And i replied, "Yes, i am."