Monday, October 28, 2013


With all the things going on in my mind, I'm amazed how much I have gotten accomplished in the past week - and how much I've successfully crammed into this coming week. I suppose the closing of the year and the big plans we have ahead of us in the first half of next year has pretty much pulled in enough work for me to charge at - far more than I expected.

There seems to be some complications in my insurance coverage for the jaw surgery that I'm really worried about now. To the point where I'm worried I might not get any coverage at all. :( I'm not quite sure what to do now...especially that all this is coming at a time when my braces are all done and I'm already ready for surgery. I thought this was all already settled. :(((

I'm turning the big 3-0 this week and it's bringing with it a barrage of introspective thoughts. I haven't been sleeping too well either.

This article was a big encouragement to me tonight though.
Lots of thoughts. Lots.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

a tough week

It's been a really tough week as my mind has been in "anniversary mode" - bringing me back to sad memories from this time, a year ago.

Why do I allow my brain to think of such things?
I guess it doesn't help that I'm somewhat of a journaller, and I pretty much wrote notes about every date that we had and the times we shared. Guess they were important to me. We ended because of a misunderstanding we had and... at some point he just decided that I just wasn't his cup of tea after all (or that he never really liked tea anyway). It was not an easy time for me... and it still amazes me how that could have happened (there are a lot of theories - both from my reflections, as well as from others who have cared - but we shan't go into that).

I guess this was a learning experience...and a process of learning to love myself more... and perhaps of growing up to be wiser with matters of the heart.

I had a little scare today as my father caught a really bad case of food poisoning and was really weak - to the point that he kinda SOS-ed my mum and we had to rush back home to check in on him. Something shook in me today as I was reminded that my parents are getting older and I could lose them any time. It struck a sadness and fear in me. I think part of me would truly die if I lost my daddy.

And at some point of time in my fear-filled racing thought processes on the speedy drive home, I thought to myself "Would this guy even care?" and "Is he even here for you?" And my answer was "Probably not" and "No". It was a jagged little pill.

If there has been one thing that has been weighing down on my back this past year, it would be the weight of this one memory. After the break, I found myself chopping off my hair, going through my mole excision surgery, deciding on my jaw surgery and getting braces, losing almost 8 kilos, going on very dangerous and reckless car rides, wrestling with the most terrible of thoughts about how much my life was "really" worth, having endless nights of crying to the point of dehydration, running away from home, ploughing through depression, leaving the company for a while to join a school in Hawaii for a few months, and now waiting for the completion of my surgery. It has been a journey.

One whole year.

I read somewhere that it is healthy to be patient with yourself through a time of grief (which a breakup is very much like). And somewhere else, I read that it is alright to feel the emotions of heartbreak in totality (instead of trying to suppress everything). I've pretty much been wrestling with it for the whole past year, and now, being back in Singapore, these two weeks seemed to ploughed up some of the deepest of roots - which I suppose is not necessarily a bad thing...though it hasn't been fun.

Still, even though this process has been a lot longer than I - or anyone else, especially my family and closest friends who have had to bear with my depression and emotional swings - wished it would be, I believe that I've been very courageous though the different steps I've taken along the way. The milestones have included constantly trying to mentally let go, choosing to respect the silence, deleting photographs, deleting conversations, storing memories in a box, and now...maybe it's time to take another bold step of getting the memory box out of the house. Maybe I'll keep them with a friend...or somewhere where I just won't remember anymore. And one day, I'll find the courage to throw it out forever.

It's not fair for a girl's heart to be locked up and fearful because it had once been battered by a man who probably didn't know better. Right? There's just so much more to life. So much more to look forward to that I cannot allow these bad memories to steal time and energy away from me. There's so much ahead of me. So much I want to do. So much I have passion for.

I just have to find and execute the courage to arise and get out of this completely.

Gotta eventually get to this:


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

the sickies and jitters

So I've caught the sickies. My stomach was churning the whole morning, I could barely function, and my FTA exam is rescheduled to early November.

Somehow, I've been debating a lot about the jaw surgery this past week. Perhaps it's because of a couple of posts that I've been reading about people having complications in their surgeries and how much it's costing them. A lot about surgery is about risk and how much you're willing to risk for a result.

The risks are pretty scary. I mean, yeah, there's the risk of death with anesthetics and stuff, but honestly, it's the in betweens - like loss of sensation in your face, numbness, lifelong pain, the need for more surgery (which would mean a lot more costs) - that are really frightening for me. I just can't imagine going through this 30K surgery, 6 months of healing up, to come down to having to possibly do more corrective surgeries, or not feel my face...forever.

Is the pain of arthritis in my jaw in my old age worth the risks now?

Sure, I've read through quite a few blogs that pretty much swear that they don't regret the surgery at all. Then again, most of them are those who didn't go through complications, and came out looking a lot better and happier and more confident than they were before the surgery. Otherwise, they were the ones who took any post-surgery challenges on as a learning experience. I respect a lot of them, and I suppose it's one way that people find their passions in life (like how when some people lose family to cancer they become great awareness campaigners), but I don't know what that would feel like if I were them.

I've also a few on my blogroll who, because of the post-surgery complications (and pain) they've gone through, have made it their life mission to make sure no one else goes through the same experience. And worse, I've also read of two or three jaw-surgery bloggers who displayed signs of desperation and depression in their post-surgery writing, who eventually closed their blog.

Maybe it's because my mother was asking me about it. She literally came to me and said, "Why do you want to do this? I think you're pretty enough." I also had another conversation when I was in Hawaii with a guy whom I shared about my jaw surgery and how I was doing it for medical reasons - to which he replied, "But it's also aesthetic. Which is okay." And how bothered I was at his assumption that regardless of what I said, I was in it for the aesthetics. It made me feel kinda sad.

Oh underbite, are you worth it?
Also nasty ulcer,
would you please go away soon? :(
I really thought I was completely sold that I'd go through this whole process - because it was logical, because it was practical, because it was completely medical, and because it just made sense to get it done now. And this is coming at a time just before I schedule my last appointment with Orthoman to get my surgical hooks in (Yes, he wrote back and said the casts were in order and we were good to go).

Perhaps this is something like pre-wedding jitters - where one goes through a time of absolute fear because you finally realize you're about to do something really big and possibly life-changing. :(

training the brain

OMG, so much more to go...
A few months ago, I decided that my brain needed some work, and I signed up for an FTA certification class. Now that I'm finally back from the States, it's time to take the exam (in T minus 7 hours). As much as I am thankful that I have the opportunity to study something and gain a little more knowledge of the world... I think I'm way past the age of staying up late at night to squish as much into my brain as possible for the exam in the morning (or so my body seems to have been reminding me through my struggles for the past few hours).

You would think that after having been through something like 25 years of my life in the crazy-competitive Singaporean education system, I should have mastered the art of time management, studying in chunks, and simply not leaving all this to the dreaded "exam cram" session.

Seven hours, and six more chapters to go.

And the pain of my braces constantly digging into this humungous mouth ulcer I have now isn't helping at all. :(

Come on brain, work with me.
I really want to do well for this exam!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

heart issues

It's been almost a year since the official breakup. In fact, it's just two weeks to the one year mark.

It's interesting how a heart works, or doesn't work, with one's brain. Frequent infighting in one body really isn't too healthy.

Yesterday my dad encouraged me to stop dreaming. He literally asked me, "Why do you want to dream on? When will it stop?" And even though I told him adamantly, "I'm not dreaming on. I'm over it. I'm through." I also said, "But it's tough because everything here triggers memories." And part of me wishes that the ex and I weren't such troopers to visit pretty much everywhere around the island so that I would have other memories I could think of.

But I suppose, and I think I've been told several times over now, that part of this process of learning is to realize that I'm worth more than how I'd been treated. And how dishonorable and telling the drama of the end was - that we couldn't survive through the flames of a simple misunderstanding. Or at least how unforgiving and unnecessarily harsh he was. And to think it was all over a petty misunderstanding. Surely he knew how unreasonable, hurtful, and unkind he was.

And yet, I have chosen to love anyway. And still choose the better - to still think the best of him.
But I have also been reminded that I have to love myself too.

"Stop dreaming."
I have never really believed in the concept of giving up one's dreams.

But I suppose when one dream seems to be eating up all else -where it's no longer a dream that encourages or pushes you to higher heights - it's more like a long drawn hopeful nightmare...prolonged emotional torture that really should be relinquished in exchange for freedom.

It's time to stop now, Ariela.
Be courageous.
Dream new dreams.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

ready for jaw surgery!

We are ready! ^^
When people asked me what I looked forward to most at home after spending three months in the States, my answer was a simple "I can't wait to see Orthoman".

I couldn't wait to see him because my teeth had been tied up for the past three months and locked into position by a white wire he twisted around all my braces to ensure my teeth didn't move over my time in the States. The extra wire made brushing an immense torture! Thank God that I didn't have much drama (like the dreaded possibility of broken brackets) which I really freaked out over before I left because it would mean having to have some strange scary person in the States look into my mouth to fix it *stranger anxiety *. Still, I just couldn't wait to find out if my teeth moved any way and how much my time away affected my jaw surgery schedule.

Just to give you an idea of what the white wire looked like, here's a shot:

I took this in Honolulu on my journey back after 3 months away and no Orthoman time.
You can barely see it, but there is a white wire twisted all around my upper and lower braces.
My estimated jaw surgery date was supposed to be scheduled sometime March next year. And knowing I'd have to factor in a 3 - 6 month recovery period where I would be locked down here in Singapore, I just couldn't wait to see him so that I could plan my year ahead.

When I finally saw him just hours after I touched down, he said the magic words "You are pretty much ready for surgery". Well, actually, I think he said something more along the lines of "Are you ready for surgery? I believe we only need one more visit to install the surgical hooks and I can send you to the surgeon. And you need not wait a month. Even next week is fine." Yes, typical Orthoman-deadpan and all. Seriously, I wish Orthoman would just lighten up. But I suppose the sunshine and rainbows coming out of my eyes and ears when I heard the good news might have helped a little. :)

Right now, I'm just waiting to see if the new casts he took of my teeth fit properly and whether just one more visit would really do, then it is time to schedule a surgery! I really didn't expect this process to go so quickly! It has only been nine months of braces (no bands and all), and my good obedient teeth are ready! I'm excited! :D

Thank you my lovely obedient teeth!