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Nearly every fibre of my being is telling me not to post this: An existential crisis in full swing

Nearly every fibre of my being is telling me not to post this: An existential crisis in full swing

*NOTE: Extremely self-serving & potentially triggering post ahead*

Dear Internet,

It's September. The last time I contributed to this website was in March (just over 6 months ago) and I know that I start off every post with some kind of reference to my lack of motivation to post, but I've decided it's now my brand, so you can either read on and live with it or f*ck off back to scrolling instagram.

One of my favourite things to do has been to write about me. Does that make me a narcissist? It really is just the easiest thing for me to write about. I never 'learned' to write, as such, I've got no real professional writing experience or literary qualifications, so stream of consciousness style posting and just pouring out words with no real structure has always been my go to. Blogging itself has always been basically keeping an online diary to me; a way to vent and to untangle everything in my mind. But as life has evolved and I've gotten older, I've actually progressively become more inhibited, to a point where things are actually just too personal to share and put out there into the general public. Not really because of the embarrassment (though, maybe it should be?), but because of PRIVACY OF OTHERS, you know? It's kind of disrespectful?

That being said, let's go old school K Lowe and do the overshare in the most respectful to others way I can. It’s Friday and I'm in the mood to jump straight in, well aware this is going make people I know screenshot, cringe and look sideways. I'm currently in a state of limbo, which is a place I have been before - often - so I now wonder if limbo is my constant? But if so, why do I feel so uncomfortable with it? Or maybe uncomfortable is where I thrive and I just haven't realised it yet? Right now I can't really tell you anything in my life that feels stable or grounded. And for a person who is a bit neurotic and a bit of a control freak with no ability to compartmentalise, you can see how this is going down.

I broke up with my boyfriend almost five months ago. We were together for just over six years, which is the longest relationship I've ever had in my life. The period just before the end was up there with one of the hardest times of my life, the other being when I was in one of the most toxic relationships of my life that I want to write about, but... Can't. Why are the hardest times in my life related to my relationships with men? My therapist surely has something to say about it. He thinks I'm attracted to people who aren’t available or ‘difficult’ because that's all I think I deserve, because I'm not white living in a white society and I've always felt like I had to work hard for people to like me, or even just to acknowledge that I exist - to not dismiss me upon looking at me. It’s shame, and it’s learned behaviour.

Heavy.

So there I was in the first half of this year, anxious and the skinniest I've been in the last 10 years (isn't it funny and fucked up, how many people will tell you how great you look when you lose a bit of weight? When you’re literally just crying, not sleeping and eating scrambled eggs for dinner every day? And isn't it extra funny and fucked up how you hold on to and feed off the compliments even though you know you're ruining your body and mind?), screen-shotting advice ("You made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time", "You have this one life. How do you wanna spend it? Apologising? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don't see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.") and quotes from The Four Agreements ("Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want." "Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.") and reading them back to myself constantly, generally just trying to be more positive and less self-loathing (unsure if it's worked) and hold it all together (again, cannot vouch for this as a successful coping mechanism).

Sometime during this whole period that I have dubbed 'my demise' (because I am both privileged and dramatic), I: moved into my brother's old bedroom (mine doesn't exist anymore) at my mom’s (and when I say moved, half my shit still lives in the apartment with my ex, one thing I weirdly can comparmentalise); endured several conversations that involved people questioning my actions ("Do you think maybe you need to have a baby so you can have a life purpose?” “Are you SURE you're doing the right thing?” “Maybe you just need a new job (side note: maybe I do, tbh)?” “Have you thought about freezing your eggs?”); had a falling out with a good friend that I can’t seem to recover from; realised I really don't HAVE that many friends; spent a lot of time alone trying to manifest some kind of inner peace and clarity; did (still doing?) some questionable shit like sending aggressive emails to my employer; tried to deflect by investing all my time and energy nursing other people through their life crisis' because selfishly, somehow, helping them makes me feel better; cried publicly, mostly during yin yoga classes; spent a LOT of money impulsively; have gone to more therapy than I think I have ever been to (side note: is there any merit in knowing why you are the way you are? Am I really paying $180/55 minutes to have someone confirm my low self-esteem to me?), and weirdly, the least problematic thing I have going on is my relationship with my ex, which seems to be okay because he's a level-headed, wonderful person.

During peak avoidance phase I bought a flight to New York. And a ticket to see Bon Iver in LA. I decided then, that I would go on a holiday and I would spend a lot of time alone, I would attempt to stay off social media (I'm pretty sure the internet is ruining people's lives) and when I got back I would try to shift myself out of this head space and I would stop answering questions about my breakup; like somehow this trip was going to change everything for me, it would be a full stop and a breath before starting a new paragraph. And I did it; I spent the time drinking American-strong vodka sodas, staying up late and sleeping in, basking in the heat, eating great food, unpacking my concerns with Kate (my best high school friend), dancing alone, walking downtown listening to Vanessa Carlton's 'Making my way Downtown'. It is so cliché but there were some truly great moments that will stick with me - dare I say it - forever. The trip was everything I needed it to be.

I flew back into Auckland this week.

You know that saying, 'Wherever you go, there you are'? I can't stop thinking about it. Sure, I lived in fantasy land for a little while, but now I am back to reality which, as my dad likes to remind me, is 'pretty good compared to most' - it’s true, so why can't I marry that up in my mind? Am I that much of a brat? What is this feeling of unsettled and dissatisfied and how do I get rid of it? Is it possible to get rid of? How can I know that I am overreacting and worrying about things that haven’t happened yet still do it at the same time? Why am I scared of everything? Am I in the depression stage of the five stages of grief? Or just mentally weak? Someone recently told me they don't know of anyone who thinks like me. I didn't know whether that was meant to be a criticism or an observation or both, but it spiraled me into a whole new string of thoughts about how people don't like me because I’m Chinese and because of the way I think. These days it feels like I live between two states: irrational, overthinking and jittery, outwardly projecting nervous energy; and rational, complete relaxation, emotionally-numb, 'no-decisions-we-make-in-life-make-a-difference-because-we're-all-going-to-die-anyway' comfort. Where is the middle ground?

And before you say it, I've been both on and off the pill during this period of time with no real change so it's not that.

Honestly, I have no answers and there's no real point to this post (or life! Ha!) but for months now, I have been keeping these secret notes in my phone whilst simultaneously trying to publicly keep up appearances, and as much a 99% of every fibre of my being is telling me not to post this, 1% of me thinks this is a necessary part of the process and right now, maybe this is where I’m meant to be.

Yours truly,
Unhinged K Lowe.

Summer Holiday Free-Writing Bonanza

Summer Holiday Free-Writing Bonanza