Symbolic superstition

25 Jan

I spent the last couple of days springcleaning – something I know plenty of Chinese families indulge in, the days before CNY.

See, the belief is that if the past year was crummy or you want to make way for the good luck of the coming year, you clean house before CNY. No sweeping, clearing or throwing out stuff on the day of CNY itself. You don’t want to toss out the ‘new luck’ supposedly.

No, I’m not becoming faux Chinese – apart from my maternal great grandmother being Chinese and my dad being approximately 15% Chinese, I’m quite happy to be Dusun, thanks.

It’s just symbolic for me, in a way. I wanted to get rid of all the debris from last year and all that clearing was a way for me to symbolically let go. This year’s New Year gave me a lot of pain. I had a wonderful time ushering in the New Year at a dear friend’s place, with a group of fun, lovable people. And with me was a guy I’d just started dating and it was a time of fun, laughter and drunken jenga.

But then the very next day, my date told me he couldn’t see me anymore. And that was the end of that. I was so depressed I cried the entire weekend. The leftover pizza we had, I kept in the fridge and didn’t toss it out until today. It took me a week to even clear up the cigarette box and stubs he left behind, I was that devastated. It helped that the very next week, I got a job offer and started work for The Agency. Work kept me busy, and my friends kept me sane. At night though, I’d still come close to tears and feel utterly miserable in the hours before I went to sleep.

I hadn’t wanted to start dating so soon after things went to pot in my four year long distance relationship. MFM was an accident, a bad idea, something utterly unplanned. Maybe it was because we were both on the rebound, that things happened too fast and I was too vulnerable. I was so scared initially, but the more time I spent with him, the more I adored him. I loved that whenever we were together, we could talk non-stop and things were always comfortable and never contrived. But I was always afraid that it was going to end, that it would be a case where my affection would be unreturned in full measure. My guy friends who did know MFM had their reservations about him. They felt he was leading me on, and that it would all end badly.

And my fears came to pass. I gave it everything I had, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. And it hurt. It hurt so bad.

It’s hard, letting go. Hard, trying not to relive the good times and all that could have been. But as I threw out all the accumulated rubbish in my house, and weeded (or at least tried to) my garden, I silently prayed that I could let go of all my emotional baggage as well.

I don’t want to be afraid of being hurt again. I don’t want to close myself off from people, afraid of rejection or betrayal. I don’t want to always be thinking that I’ll be played again, made second best again, dejected again.

There can be no perfect happiness, or a life without pain on this world. But I want to live it anyway. I will seize the roses, despite the thorns and bask in the sun’s warmth, even when it burns and it dazzles and makes me perspire in the heat.

Like my spiritual mentor says, I’ll jump first. Fear later.

I don’t want to be a lifelong hostage to my fears. I won’t be my own jailor.


One Response to “Symbolic superstition”

  1. TS Lee January 30, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Hmm… Getting rid of relationship does give you some time to focus all your energy on something else. Perhaps, your new job. Just don’t overdo until you forget about life.
    I really like what you said about not wanting to be a lifelong hostage to fears. A lot of people tend to use work as an excuse they are still single, but somehow I feel it is the fear from past experience. And you’ve just made me realize that I could be one of the prisoners…
    Good luck, all the best!

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