Friday, October 13, 2006

Birthday Blues

You know it's funny. For the first time in my life, I'm not conscious of my birthday the way I used to be. I mean, I know it's coming, I know the day and date, but sometimes I forget. Even with a counter on my blog, I forget that it's just days away, or right now, just hours away.

I don't look forward to it the way I used to. Is it the birthday blues? I used to be so hopeful. I'm young, I have so much potential, I have my whole life ahead of me, yada yada yada. But now another year has passed me by and I'm wondering, what have I achieved that I can be proud of?

It's not like I totally don't have any achievements, I do of course, minor stuff, little things here and there. I did well on my assignments at school/college, I do well at work, I've won a couple of singing competitions, I've written some great short stories although I haven't publish anything.

But there's nothing I can be *really* proud of. Nothing that I can look back at on my dying day and say, "I achieved that. I did that." With pride and without regrets.

Another year older, another year I feel I'm wasting my life away not living my dreams. I've always thought I had my life planned out so well. I'm gonna do this practical thing now, then I'll do my dream later, then I'll do my other dream after that...

But now I realize, that's no such thing as later. It's now or never. I can't keep saying I'll do it tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes.

I'm at a loss. Because I'm too much of a realist now to give up everything for my dreams. I thought I've become stronger now, more practical, more realistic, less naive, less dreamy... but sometimes I wish I could have my childhood back. I wish I could be the same innocent, dreamy, hopeful, happy, Betty I used to be.

I feel cynical beyond my years.

You know what people say, about growing old being mandatory, but growing up being optional? I think I'm growing up too soon, too much, without even being able to grow old yet. And in fact, growing up makes me grow old. I can't count how many silver hair I have on my head now.

I want to live my dreams, but I'm so pressured to prove myself at work. Ironically, I know I can do a whole lot better at work than I already am, but because I feel this wistfulness in my heart, and more importantly, because I'm not happy at work coz I don't get along with my manager, I get down more often than not, when things go wrong at work.

I mean, we can't always have good days, right? But I get a lot of pressure and criticism from my manager when things don't go well, instead of encouragement and guidance. In fact, I don't get much of anything from him at all.

Some days it gets so bad that I just want to quit there and then. But I won't. Because I'm too practical. I could do a lot better at work if I was happy there, but I still do well enough depressed. Better than if I were to quit and find some other job.

So the question here is, do I give up my happiness for a well-paying job? Or get a not so well-paying job and be happy?

It's a dumb question, I would leave and be happy in a minute!

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. I love my job, I love my work, I love my colleagues. It's only my manager I have a problem with. If I were to leave, to a not so well-paying job, what makes me think I'd be happier there anyway? I mean, what are my qualifications? There's not many options open to me. I might not like my new job at all, I might not have great colleagues, I might have a worse manager! And with lousier pay.

Better the devil you know, right? And be grateful for the good stuff in your life, rather than focusing on the bad.

I know...I *have* been depressed lately. I'm trying my hardest not to be. I try to be as positive as I can, but it's not easy facing things on my own. I know I'm strong. I know I can handle anything, but seriously, why should I want to lift heavy weights for no reason? No matter how strong I am, I'd still prefer not to have to be.

Is it really birthday blues? Or is it more than that? I haven't been myself for a couple of months now.

I want to achieve something. On my own. And I want it to be something important to me. Not necessarily to everyone else, but to me.

Perhaps I'll give myself a really special birthday present. Make one of my wishes come true.

There! You see! There's still hope!