How I Live Drama and Stress – Free

People, strangers and family alike, come up to me to tell me their life problems. Maybe it runs in the family. My late paternal grandmother told me about how people liked to talk to her, and I see it happening with my father too, and my family would say that whenever they left me alone they would find me talking to someone else like an old friend.

In the midst of listening, I’ve gotten responses like, “I wish my life was like yours so peaceful,” and “You wouldn’t understand anything because you don’t go through what I go through,” and “I wish I could be like you.”

However, none of them has asked me or wanted to really know how I do it. Most of them assumed it’s just “me” or that I was lucky to be in my position. The way nobody saw the hours of practice an iceskater puts in her art daily, they just saw her as a masterpiece or a participant to be judged. You would think that a person with gorgeous handwriting was born that way. Nope, she put hours of practice into it too. A person who writes well probably read 100 times more than you do, and a person who is ….you get what I mean.

It’s the same with me. I’ve gone through hardships. I remember the days we could literally only afford instant noodles and hotdogs weekly. We’ve had days where three of us adults would be on one kapcai motorbike because that was our only transport. Many other “difficulties” too, years of depression, months of illness from that depression, et cetera.

It’s just I never talked about it, and over time, realised the truths behind the reality of life. My experiences at first made me cynical and doubtful about everything. I wasn’t happy. Slowly I just saw that that’s not how I want to live, so I changed, and my life changed. So far, so good. Nobody’s given me a hard time. I don’t experience bad customer service. I get rejected and that’s okay. I always meet the right people I’m supposed to meet. I get lost and I turned and found the way. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was truly angry or truly sad, not even at funerals! Life is at balance.

Here are 9 I could think of, as to How I Live Drama and Stress – Free:

1. I write my own drama

Think of a writer of a film, or a soap opera. The writer knows that the story is his own work he could pause to have coffee, and then return to pour his emotions again. I don’t have drama in my life, because like a writer, I know to step back and see things from many points of view. I don’t see things from only my side. I see it from yours too. And it gets very interesting as it unfolds itself every step of the way, like enjoying a film in a movie theatre. Life is not made up of just one situation happening. It’s made up of the different things in the background as well. The way a soundtrack itself can be separated by different instruments playing music. When you look and listen to it on its own, the music won’t be as dramatic as when it’s all combined. That’s how I see things. One by one, and from all angles.

2. I don’t mind my feelings

I have feelings, but I don’t really care about it. When I’m angry, I just let “me” be angry because I’m just angry and that’s that. When I’m sad I’ll just be sad and that’s that. I don’t do anything anymore to “stop” feelings from happening. Feelings are a part of my psychological response to situations, the way my adrenaline might rush when I look at roller coaster or how my pupils dilate when I’m in low light. Try to hold a fart and see how much it would hurt! Feelings are just a part of my body response. Makes no sense to me to stop what I’m feeling because then that would distrupt the nature of my being!

3. I know I’m not responsible for your feelings either

Seeing how I understand feelings as a part of BEING, the way you wouldn’t tell your cells to stop multiplying or stop thrombosis from happening, I wouldn’t tell you to stop feeling what you’re feeling either. You’re feeling that way because that’s what your body is used to. Acclimatisation is a habit learnt by your body you know? The way how you see your life is a habit of your thinking. How do you unteach your body from acclimating? By just going back to the mainland, right? Same thing. How do you unlearn something? By just letting things be and stop trying to do something all the time!

4. I do my best because I want to do my best, not for someone else

I don’t have ambition to make my mom/dad proud or for the country to see me do well for them blah blah blah. I don’t. But I know when I do something I give my best, and whether they like it or not, look at #3.

5. I have no expectations of others nor myself

Many times I’ve heard people say “I expected her to be this or that” or “I expected myself to blah blah,” but “look at you!” People want to look at me, but nobody wants to ask me how I do things. I don’t expect anything and just let things happen. That’s all.

6. I don’t live in the future.

I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or tonight, makes no sense to me to overthink my unknown future. I make plans, of course, but I don’t stick to it 100%. I’m open to changes every step of the way, according to moment-by-moment lessons.

7. I don’t live in the past

Makes no sense to me to let events that had passed affect me. Even if it is a revelation about something, but is it still relevant today? If it is, I will learn from it. No, I won’t cry over it.

8. I laugh things off

A genuine humourous laughter kind of thing. Back then when I tried to jump off a building (ha, and you think I never went through this!) it seemed like the world is caving in and there was nothing left of me. Now when I think of me then, I laugh, because I didn’t see things clearly and assumed it to be absolute truths. Life has a gentle humour, if you get the joke.

9. I know life doesn’t revolve around me.

Millions of stars, multiple universes, another world, billions of people, I would be foolish to think that I’m the only one in the whole world experiencing what I’m experiencing, with feelings unique to my own. That’s something you’ve been brought up to believe about yourself, that you’re special and one of a kind. Knowing I’m not special puts my focus less on me, and more on what can I do to help. I want to help, really help, not help for recognition or friendship or love, but help because I know life works best when there is a real connection between us and everyone around us.

And number 10 which I just thought of:

I deeply and completely accept myself.

It did not live like this in a snap or after reading someone’s blog post. Figure things out yourself, but also stop trying to do so much. Live in the moment. All the best.

How To Feel Okay

Over the past few days and months people have come up to me to ask me the same question: How do you feel okay all the time? The question came from people who knew me from when I was a crazy teenager, to when I was figuring myself out, to someone who just knew me and got to spend two weeks in a room with me, to random internet people, and…my own mother.

Sometimes when the question is asked to me in my face I just shrugged and say “I just don’t feel anything about it”, but usually when it’s asked in an email or chat I will explain. This week however I had been busier than usual that when I received two questions from two different people about the same topic, I figured I should sit down and write about it. I hope that more people would be able to benefit from my peacefulness (because my name is after all Salamah).

Feelings are intangible and with my known-wild imagination, I tend to think of them as things we store in a glass bottle that is sealed with a cork. Sometimes you throw the bottle into the sea, thinking you’ve forgotten about it, then it returns back to shore ten years later. The shore is you. The bottle that returned are feelings you denied. You are now the littered beach all over again.

But why are we so ashamed to admit about how we feel that we constantly want to deny them? 

Would I Be Happy?

Ten years ago when I had a crush on the most handsome guy I knew I blogged about him, in the security of knowing that he doesn’t read my posts. Who knew it’s only ten years later that I’d like another real person, and be blogging about him too, knowing he doesn’t care about me enough to read my posts? Ha ha ha.

I’m a writer. I think of everything in exaggerations and poetic sense.

Let’s call the current crush W and the previous crush F.

A few days ago I presented myself with the question: Would I be happy if W ended up with someone else?

When He’s Out Of My League

A few days ago someone asked if I could help her create an email account and help her with her resume. She’s only completed high school (the same as me, then) and comes from a not-so-easy financial background. I know she currently works at a factory with miserly pay (USD 0.70 per hour) and I applaud her for taking the initiative to do something new. I like her. Very hardworking and caring, though I’ve seen how others took advantage of her kindness. I want her to be my sister in-law, but my brother wants someone to discuss philosophy with.

So we talked over the internet as I guide her on how to create an email. To my surprise basic things such as where to type the domain name she didn’t know. She was afraid to log out of the current email account, et cetera. Very basic things that are at the tip of my fingers, she didn’t know them. I was kind of mindblown. Then I realised it was because she didn’t understand English, making everything on the internet difficult for her. She needs an English teacher.

I have a friend who’s an English teacher. He doesn’t seem to look for feisty girls. I’ve observed that the girls he’s liked are the sweet, agreeable kinds.