I hope to attend a course as soon as we don’t have to wear masks anymore. I have fond memories of the basic French class I attended with my Aunt at the Alliance Francaise Singapour 14 years ago. The teacher was witty, lunches at the cafe were lovely & my aunt was superb company. I can’t imagine attending a class and not be able to see how the teacher enunciates and an online class is just not the same. Even though I felt shy and self conscious, attending the class made me feel happier and more alive.

One thing I’m so relieved about, with regards to Covid in Singapore (it’s the Omicron variant now), is that we don’t have to be quarantined in a separate facility if we only have mild symptoms. I read about people being made to share a room with a total stranger because there were just insufficient rooms. That would be one of my biggest nightmares. Well, I may end up being best friends with this person, but I’m too old for a school camp experience. I’d rather not suffer the discomfort.

There was a point during the initial lockdown that I was such a hermit that didn’t leave home for 80 days. It was a self imposed extended lockdown as I didn’t want to infect my older loved ones. I had two involuntary crying jags as it was just so distressing. The claustrophobia and lack of the usual routine. I was so thankful that my nieces FaceTimed me. I usually wait for them to call me because I don’t want to be a pesky aunt. Seeing their darling faces kept me going more than they will ever know.

I’m tired of wearing masks everywhere and it being mandated. On the other hand it is keeping us safe as cases are rising with the open borders. Also just too many people in such a small island (truly feel the crunch in the past decade) where it’s truly hard to safe distance. I’m so jealous when I read about countries like UK who have truly moved on and declared no more mandatory mask wearing etc.

Ironically though, I do wear another kind of mask all my life. An invisible mask to hide my sadness, insecurities and fears. Especially during cancer when I was expected to be positive, but deep inside I felt so alone. I know I should have continued seeing a therapist, but I stopped because I felt guilty about the cost. I only went 2 times mainly to overcome my fear of being in a plane. She used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and did help me, so therapy works. It’s scary though, because all that you’ve unconsciously suppressed comes bubbling to the surface. I don’t like crying in front of a stranger. It made me so embarrassed as I hated loosing control. The intensity was utterly unexpected. I planned to go for therapy during my chemo as well but it never happened. The best free therapy has always been writing and interactions with thoughtful readers.

I decided that if I start writing again I’m not going to sugar coat things as I hope to be as open as I can. It’s what I seek in other writers. That pure honesty. Everything laid out bare. I will do as much as I can have the courage to. In real life I rarely get that from many people, and when I do, it’s like striking gold. I truly hate small talk (life is too fleeting and time is too precious). Unless I meet resistance, I usually dive right in to things that matter, but not everyone is comfortable with this and then it feels like a one sided affair. After a while I pull away and stop sharing too. I also wonder if I’m odd for being so open. Perhaps all cancer patients tend to overshare when you’re faced with the possibility of loosing everything very soon.

I am thankful for friends I have never met in real life. People on Instagram who have similar values or who have gone through hard times (loss of a loved one, grief, anxiety, cancer) or who just happen to share the same interests like a good book. I hope I get to converse with you again, in this space. I know I’ve been away for some time. This has been mainly due to technical web design related frustrations which I’ll talk about in another post once I muster the energy.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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