Time

Time – A paradox really. We have so much time yet, we don’t have enough of it. The one thing that can never come back or money can buy, no matter how rich you are! Time is the one thing I feel I do not have enough of. I feel that it is constantly running away from me, and I so desperately wish it would slow down. Every passing moment, time is only leading me to that final destination of death. There’s this overwhelming sense of sadness that I am unable to express in words. It’s the one feeling that is so inexplainable and I struggle to articulate. I talk about time because it has taken me a long time to coherently write this post, funnily enough, because I couldn’t formulate my thoughts on this topic and felt I didn’t have time to write for my blog – the paradox.

Time doesn’t feel significant when you’re in the routine of life. I feel that day to day, our routines do not allow us to reflect on how significant of a topic time is. We only focus on the immediate tasks at hand that need to be completed. I am only able to think about time the minute I stop and take a few moments to myself. Time is the one thing that comes to the forefront often. For me, I feel that there is never enough time to do everything I aspire to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t do the things I feel so passionately about. It’s just that I feel I don’t have ENOUGH time to do the things I feel so passionately about. 

Time is a complexity because despite having the same twenty-four hours in a day as everybody else, I feel that so many of us fail to complete things that relate to our greater purpose in life. I am unable to determine what it is about time that makes me feel like it is escaping me. Time feels like a melancholy because I feel that as I get older, I realise just how quickly it is passing me by, and there is this sense of overwhelming sadness about how precious and sacred time really is. In the blink of an eye, you get to an age where you spend a lot of time reminiscing about life. Maybe this is the reason that elderly people smile when they look at young people because they understand the complexity of time. This is what elderly people must feel like when it comes to reminiscing on the past, realising that life has passed them by so quickly. Sometimes I wonder if I will look back and wonder whether I did enough with my time. Will I feel that my life had meaning and purpose and I fulfilled that purpose?

As humans, I feel that we are constantly chasing time away, rather than just being present and enjoying every moment of our lives. We are always looking forward to the next thing that will happen, and I can admit I am guilty of this. I appreciate that enjoying every moment of our lives is impossible because that is not what humans are designed to do (we wouldn’t know what enjoyment was if we never felt anything else) – but if you think of it in the context of how one day, these moments where we wanted time to pass quickly for whatever reason, is often the time we so desperately want back, it is this thought that immediately slows me down. 

The sad truth is that time escapes us all. It’s just that most people don’t think deep enough about what their time means. I started thinking so deeply about time and it has taken me quite some time to come up with thoughts on how this subject makes me feel. I write this with overwhelming feelings – some feelings of happiness that I appreciate time so much and am self-aware about how this topic impacts me to an extent. Some feelings of sadness that are difficult to express. More often than not, we spend our time not living in the present. Living in the present is so important to really make the most of all we have today. I forgot that all the time I was worrying about how little time I have, I was living in anxiety. I complained to my friends about never having enough time and I recognise now, that I started feeling this way because I wasn’t doing enough of what I loved doing – like writing, learning, reading, growing, and focusing on self-development. I wanted more time in the day and started wishing that each day could be forty-eight hours or that I didn’t need to sleep so I could have more time. Work took over my life and I wasn’t taking care of myself because I would spend all my time focused on just work. So many of us are guilty of this and we don’t even realise it is what causes our misery. 

The anxiety was taking over my life and then one day, I had an epiphany! The epiphany was that you can never have enough time no matter what you do because there is so much we want to do with our time. I worked on accepting this and found a great podcast by Jay Shetty (On Purpose), which changed my mindset. He mentions that time is something we cannot control. I knew this all along, but I needed to hear this from someone else to recognise that I am not alone in how I feel about the topic of time. He also mentioned that time is something we must create. I had this sudden awakening that although I am not in control of time, I am however, in control of how I use that time and I was the only one that could create the time to do the things I wanted to do.

I am at the start of this journey of creating time for the things I love doing, despite being so busy. It’s a choice we make on how we spend our time, so I made choices. I started waking up one hour earlier than usual because the morning is when I am the most productive. Each day of the week, I focus on a task I love doing and do that for the first hour before I do anything else. I’ve only just started doing this recently, but I have already noticed a difference. Some of those things include reading, reflective writing, online courses, listening to a podcast or audiobook and making notes, writing a gratitude list and of course, focusing on blog writing. In such a short space of time and creating a little time for what I want to be doing, I have noticed that my day is so much more productive, and I feel so much more energetic and positive. 

Looking back now, it all seemed so simple. All I needed to do was create the time. But as humans, I’m sure we can all appreciate that when there is this overwhelming sense of sadness that clouds our mind, it can be hard to see clearly. Don’t get me wrong – I still feel a little sadness when I think about time. But I just don’t feel that I am wasting as much anymore because I am on the road to figuring out what time means for me, spending time on the things I love and enjoying the wonder of where this journey of time will take me. 

Until next time. 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

The Game

He doesn’t want a relationship. He wants something casual that has the potential to turn into a relationship. He wants to go with the flow so there’s no commitment. He wants a woman who will make him a priority whilst he only makes the effort as & when it pleases him. He wants a woman that will be starved of his presence so that she’ll drop everything just to see him. I know this because I know this game very well. 

We all know when a man truly wants a woman, he will go to lengths to impress her even if it’s with simplicity. He’ll make it known he wants to spend time with her. He might want things to start off slow but he’ll make sure she knows that she’ll be his & this is leading somewhere. A man that truly wants a woman makes the effort and pursues her. He makes himself available & plans on when to meet with her, not using spontaneity as an excuse to just see her when he has a spare hour or so to say he tried. It’s the expectation that she’ll drop everything because that’s the only time he’s available. If he wanted her to feel important in his life, he’d make sure she knew it. 

And this is where THAT game comes in. The game that’s meant to pull her in. But what he doesn’t know about her is that she knows exactly when it’s being played. The half hearted effort & trying to play it cool is boring as fuck. She needs stimulation and not just physical baby. He told her he doesn’t play the game whilst playing the game. He thinks it’ll pull her in but she’s enigmatic so this trick of trying to pull her in will only puzzle him because it will push her away. And she laughs. She laughs hard because what he fails to remember is she’s not one to play games with. She plays that game better and he’ll be the one to lose. 

Until next time.

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

One sided love and why I am choosing to walk away

One sided love really fucks you up! If you love someone and that love isn’t reciprocated, it fucks you up mentally and emotionally. It’s a different kind of heartbreak. The thing about one sided love is that you are often left questioning your self-worth and wonder why you weren’t good enough for the person who wasn’t able to commit to you. What was it that you lacked that didn’t allow that person to fall in love with you? In reality, if you love someone and it is one-sided, you’re not the problem and sometimes, neither is the other person. After all, you just can’t help who you fall in love with. Loving someone who you think is worthy of your love is not the problem. It feels like the problem because you’re not loved back. You constantly overlook the flaws of the person you love and in the end, the only person you burn is yourself. You have this hope inside you that one day, that love will be reciprocated because you believe that your love is powerful enough to do that and you wait, and wait, and wait, and it doesn’t come. That’s when you get to the point where you are tired of waiting and realise that for your own sanity, you are left with no choice but to walk away. There is no one that can protect your heart like you can. 

When it comes to one-sided love, most people, including myself, have this idea that they will be able to do enough to make the person they love, love them back. You do the absolute most for this person because you can see something they cannot. You think that once they see how wonderful you both can be together, it will all fall into place. Often, it’s this idea that is completely in your head that somehow, you will both be perfect for each other. Instead, what happens is that you end up feeling confused, hurt and a bunch of other mixed emotions because of how the other person treats you. It’s almost like one minute they’re into you and pulling you in, and another they’re not into you so they’re pushing you away. But then you come to the realisation that you can’t make someone love you no matter how much you love them and how much you try. Instead, all that is happening is that your emotions are on a roller-coaster because you think that there is hope when they are into you for some moments and then suddenly, they’re not. When you start questioning how long you can continue taking this heartache for (because honestly, one sided love is one of the worst pains) you know it is the beginning of the end. The length of time a person fights for their one-sided love varies for people. Personally, for me, a year was more than enough. A man will not be hesitant to commit to a woman unless he doesn’t want to commit to her, no matter how much he tries to make a woman believe that he needs time. Too often, women give men a lot of time in hope this will change things and in the end, they still don’t get the commitment they had hoped for. A man is happy to go with the flow in case he doesn’t find someone better whilst wasting the valuable time of a woman just because she fulfils his needs whether they’re emotional, mental, or physical for that period of time she is in his life. And that is what I went through. 

I met a wonderful man and I thought this was it for me. I thought that because of how our relationship slowly evolved, this would be the perfect thing. See, we started off as friends and then slowly we became more than friends. As a woman, I naturally wondered where this was heading and every time I questioned it, I was told that it was better to go with the flow and see where things end up. We were practically in a relationship without calling it a relationship. We did absolutely everything together. We spent a lot of time together as couples do, and we were in communication daily, just as couples usually are. 

However, slowly, as things progressed and my feelings started getting deeper, we got to the six month mark and I was still wondering where this was heading. Reflecting on this situation, I can now see that six months is far too long for a man to decide if he wants to commit to a relationship with you. The problem was that the man I was in love with had never been in a relationship before and I was the first woman that he was like this with. I still had this hope that one day, he would realise that we were made for each other. Every time we fought, we would take some space and then we would always come back and fix things, no matter what happened between us. That for me told me that this was something special because I had never had that in a relationship before. Also, because he had never been in a relationship before, it made me think that he was learning in the process and would eventually realise that we were more than just friends and he would be able to commit. That was one of my very first mistakes – making excuses for this man. 

It got to the one-year mark, and I started realising that I was selling myself short. Things that were of significance for me in a relationship, were things that I had started overlooking because I always wanted to make sure that he was okay as he had never been in a relationship. I was more focused on meeting his emotional needs rather than my own. Even near the one-year mark, this man still wouldn’t commit to me. If that isn’t enough time, then no time will ever be enough! He was always confused about what he wanted and every time the conversation came up, I stressed the fact that this wasn’t going anywhere and that he should let me go so we could go our separate ways. I was okay with moving on because in my heart I knew that I had tried everything so I would happily leave with no regrets. I never realised this at the time but whenever the conversation came up of me walking away, it wouldn’t go anywhere and then the following few days, there would be this extra effort from his side. He would want to spend more time with me, and he would want to do things that I liked doing. Now, as a woman who was being stupid in love, I would always mistake that as an unsaid answer that he wanted me deep down and was just scared to commit, making excuses for him. It’s funny looking back. Even the times when he deeply hurt me with his words and actions, I always forgave him thinking that because he had never been in a relationship before, he didn’t know better and allowed myself to be disrespected. Again, making excuses for him. I think I had been very patient with him and although we were together but not officially together, I still had this unspoken level of loyalty towards him because of how I felt. The thought of entertaining another man was almost like I would be committing a sin and would be considered as cheating because in my head, I didn’t want to risk ruining a chance if we ever had one.

After a series of events where I started feeling like I wasn’t important enough in his life anymore and felt like he was changing towards me, that’s when it really hit me that this man never had wanted me in that way and would never be able to commit to me, no matter how many mixed signals he would give me. I started behaving in a clingy manner always questioning why he didn’t want to spend time with me anymore and why I wasn’t important enough. I wondered what had changed so much in such a short space of time. And that was the problem.  You see, if he really did love me and see a future with me, this man would do everything in his power to reassure me and help get rid of my insecurities. He would make the effort to spend time with me. Instead, he contributed to my insecurities further which made me feel even worse. I started understanding that he wanted me in his life because he was lonely, and I was fun to be around. I was useful to him because I would help him discover himself through self-reflecting, having deep and intellectual conversations and always being there for him. I realised that he was being selfish because he knew how I felt about him but since he liked how I was helping him become a better version of himself, he was fearful of letting me go. Despite him making me feel like I wasn’t important enough and not a priority in his life anymore, I still tried to be normal with him, but it got to a point where I just felt like I was bothering him whenever I would try to talk to him. He would respond to me very slowly despite being on his phone. And that’s when it hit me. If you feel like you’re begging for someone’s time and attention, you’re losing yourself in the process.

I decided that because he wouldn’t let me go, I would have to be proactive and decided that I needed to walk away from the thing that was hurting me the most. The first thing I did was decide that I needed to get out of the environment where we would spend all our time, so I booked a flight to come home and spend time with my family. Being away from our regular environment allowed me to gather my thoughts on matters and really question what it was that this man was doing for me apart from hurting my feelings. This allowed me to determine that I had no choice but to walk away from the man I loved. I realised I would have to love him from a distance. The next thing I decided was that I needed to walk away in silence because I finally accepted that this was not going to go anywhere, nor would it ever go anywhere and all I was doing was building myself up for further heartache the longer this continued for. His avoidant personality makes him fearful of commitment and he isn’t emotionally available, so it means that until he doesn’t work on himself, he unfortunately won’t be able to make that commitment, to anyone. It was also when I realised that I was doing all the emotional work in the relationship, and I was the one that was holding the relationship together. If I was no longer willing to do that, this relationship would fall apart. And I couldn’t continue being the one doing all the emotional work because the only thing that I was doing was not acknowledging how I had been feeling. Instead, I had been busy trying to understand him, rather than myself. I realised that my emotional needs were not being met and was always working on meeting his emotional needs. I knew that once I was ready, I would need someone who was mature enough to commit and was emotionally available. I crave security, maturity, and stability in a relationship, and I knew I wouldn’t get this from the man that I waited so long for. I had to walk away for myself.

Now, because I know that every time I discuss leaving, he doesn’t let me go, I decided I am going to do that by taking ten steps back. It’s never easy to walk away from someone you love. In fact, it’s one of the most heart-breaking things. Maybe in time, he will realise that he is ready to commit and, if we’re meant to be, we will. However, I just decided that I couldn’t be around anymore waiting, building him up in hope that he would commit to me whilst wasting my own precious time. I decided that I needed to put my own needs first. I know that it is difficult to walk away from someone you love, and it is a process. A long, difficult, and hurtful process. But in time, that hurt will subside.

I finally started that process, but I haven’t figured it out completely and I will have to figure it out along the way but currently, I decided to not respond to any contact from him for a minimum of 72 hours to slowly start reducing contact. I also made a list of pros and cons about the person I am in love with. The final step in the process that I decided to take was to write a list of all the reasons that I am choosing to walk away and refer to this list daily. I re-read it to remind myself of why I need to walk away. It’s only the start but I also know myself and know that if I decide to do something, there is no doubt that I will succeed. I remind myself of all the hurt I have been through in the past and know that I was able to get through that, which in turn made me stronger, so I know I will also get through this, no matter how difficult it currently seems. Time heals all wounds and there is no doubt that time will heal this one too. I am just exhausted and emotionally drained of giving love and not receiving it back. All I am doing is giving it to the wrong person because I know that for the kind of person I am, someone out there will be lucky to receive the love I have to offer and the right man will appreciate it from the beginning, rather than making me feel insecure or make me question my own self-worth. 

The sad truth is that despite several relationship experiences I have had; I am still a little oblivious when it comes to figuring out if a man is emotionally available. It always seems like they are at the beginning. My problem is I am too understanding, accommodating, and giving in a relationship. There have been far too many times where I have put the other persons needs before my own, but I don’t want to do that anymore. For a while I lost myself by giving all my love to someone else rather than to myself. I don’t want to go through that ever again where I forget my self-worth. I chose to walk away because I am prioritising myself. I am the most important person in my life. Which leads me to a quote that I feel is relatable; ‘what doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger’. 

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? How do we truly forgive someone? Why is it that we can forgive what people say or do to us, but we find it difficult to forget? For me, forgiveness is about understanding. It is the understanding that people sometimes do things without giving it much thought and what the repercussions of their actions could mean. Forgiveness is an individual journey that requires a lot of practice and patience. It is about our own peace of mind. It is about letting go of our ego, accepting the hurt and truly allowing ourselves to feel it. It is only then, that we can release that hurt and forgive people. In fact, forgiveness is cathartic because it allows us to continue with our lives without being stuck in the same place for too long. We’ve all been in situations when we’ve needed forgiveness or needed to forgive. So why is it then, that although we forgive or are forgiven, we find it difficult to forget the person’s actions? 

My take on why it is difficult to forget a person’s actions that have caused us hurt is that words truly do cut deeper than a knife. You see, words stay with you forever whereas a knife leaves a wound and the pain is physical, but eventually that physical pain subsides, and physical pain can eventually be forgotten. It leaves us with a faded scar and we are only reminded of the physical pain it once caused when we see the scar. However, when pain is caused emotionally or mentally, that pain doesn’t ever truly go away even though it also lessens over time. You battle with the emotional and mental pain because it is more difficult to reason with why that pain was caused. For some reason, it is more difficult to forget the emotional and mental pain because it is a different kind of pain, one that in my humble opinion, is a bit more difficult to explain. When it comes to emotional or mental pain, I feel that as humans, we have to make the choice to not let our emotional and mental pain get the better of us for our own sake, but is something that is never forgotten.

One of the hardest acts of forgiveness is when we forgive those whom we never truly get an apology from. Despite this being one of the most difficult acts of forgiveness, it is one of the most liberating. It is the willingness to understand that at times, despite people hurting us, sometimes it can be unintentional, even though that can be difficult to comprehend. It is also about having to make peace with what was said and done whilst acknowledging that the person whose actions have caused us the hurt, was maybe coming from a place of insecurity or a place where they are hurt themselves. I feel this because we never truly know exactly what another human being is going through. You see, every human being has two versions of themselves. The one the world sees and the other that the world doesn’t see, and it is often the version the world doesn’t see where the hurt caused to others usually comes from, even if they don’t know they are causing hurt. It is deeply embedded in their trauma which we all have as humans. Even though we can acknowledge and understand why someone might cause us hurt, it is still not justified to hurt another human being. Can you imagine a world where everyone thought like that? Where we were so intentional in our actions that we didn’t hurt other people? 

Another difficult act of forgiveness I feel is forgiving when we are in love. Often when we are in love with someone, we choose to forgive the person we love for many things whether it is comments they make about us, accusations they throw our way or generally not making us feel like we are important enough in their lives. But my question is, how long can one keep forgiving until those doors forever close? How much forgiveness can one person give to the same person over and over because they either claim they don’t know better or didn’t think of it in that way or see it the way we do? And how much understanding is too understanding? I am starting to think that forgiveness in love maybe continues until we are one day strong enough to walk away from the love that ends up causing us more pain than it should. And we all have different breaking points in this. It is when you realise that you drop your ego each time by forgiving and trying to be understanding of the person you love, but you also realise that even though you are trying to be the better person by forgiving, that love will continue taking from you because it benefits them, which in turn can lead to resentment. It is only then that the doors of forgiveness for the person we love must close. Why is it that we are willing to continuously forgive those we love even when they sometimes hurt us so deep, it is almost like a knife has been stabbed in your heart and twisted? 

I have been hurt so many times and I have had to forgive those who hurt me with words, their actions, their accusations, and by those whom I thought would never hurt me. Forgiveness means to not be resentful towards those who have hurt us and sometimes that is difficult. As humans, we can often be resentful because we are hurting. And that is okay. That is part of the process of allowing ourselves to feel that hurt, to acknowledge and accept it. But how long can one be resentful for?  Sometimes revenge is also something people wish to partake in when they are unable to forgive but, I feel that being revengeful is a waste of one’s own time because I am a true believer of karma. Whatever you put out into the world comes back to you at some point in your life, which is why I choose the path of forgiveness, no matter how much I have been hurt. It is human nature to hold onto resentment for a while, but I think some people hold onto it much longer and the negative consequences of this only affect their own life. 

I think the beauty of forgiveness can sometimes be when we forgive those who never truly apologise to us but one day, they have the realisation that their actions must have hurt us. Sometimes we get the apology we deserved much later than expected and it can be difficult to fathom, especially if we have moved on. This is when you appreciate that the person who is seeking your forgiveness has been able to reflect on their actions and has finally understood why they may have caused you hurt. However, for some strange reason, despite doing all of this, I feel it still doesn’t allow us to forget, and I am unsure why. 

With all that being said, from personal experience, once you let go of the hurt a person has caused you by choosing to forgive them, you generally live a healthier and happier life. You may never truly understand why a person hurt you whether it was intentionally or unintentionally. Forgiveness is more for your own sake, rather than theirs and that is what people who hold onto resentment fail to understand. You don’t forgive for someone else, you forgive because it is something that will make your own life better in the long run. But the hurt is not something we will ever forget and every so often, I am personally reminded of the hurt I have been caused no matter how much I try to forget. I am starting to think that maybe it is a part of life and it in turn, enables us to become the people we become. 

Until next time,

Yours,

The Unveiled Reflector x

Outgrowing Friendships

I never thought we could outgrow friendships until I outgrew one not that long ago. It’s funny, isn’t it? We make friends and sometimes we think friendships will last a lifetime. You meet someone and you think this is my person that will go through life with me. Sometimes you make friends in the most random ways and don’t imagine you would become so close but then slowly, one challenge in your friendship turns into another and then suddenly, the friendship starts deteriorating. I had a friendship like this of eleven years. We were inseparable and we grew together a lot. But things started to change the moment a man entered her life. For me, I feel that friendships shouldn’t change just because one person gets into a relationship. I feel that when the rose-tinted glasses are on, some people don’t value their friends as much anymore. However, at some point when you get complacent in your relationship and the rose-tinted glasses come off, you start missing your friends and by this point, it could be too late. 

I made a friend in my first year of university. I had moved away from home so friends were of a lot of significance whilst living away. In the first week, I was the only one in my accommodation. I’d been away to a different city to meet with some friends and whilst I was away, a girl moved in next door. I introduced myself and that was the end of the conversation. In the first semester, because we lived together, we ended up spending some time together and after bonding over some music we both liked, we realised we had a lot more in common than we initially thought. During our first-year at university, our friendship slowly grew from strength to strength, and we just worked. We shared a lot of things about our lives and started hanging out with each other all the time. Eventually, our circle of friends became the same and we did everything together. We were always there for each other, but the thing I liked most about our friendship was that we could be our authentic selves, yet it never affected our friendship. Even after we left university, we stayed the best of friends. We would go to family events our families had and we would go to each other’s houses regularly. We would sleep over and travel together. We went on quite a few holidays and we would have the best time. There was just this unspoken level of understanding that we had. We were from similar cultures, so this strengthened our friendship when we discussed issues relating to our culture. Our friendship was this solid for eight years. Meeting at the age of eighteen, you can only imagine how much we went through together, with all the changes a young adult goes through around that age. We grew as people and there was this unbreakable bond, until it slowly started breaking.

In 2017, our friendship started to change when she met a man who didn’t like me. This was her first serious relationship and despite always saying that no man would ever be able to get in-between our friendship, one did. We were on holiday at the time in Dubai (not knowing it would be our final holiday) and had an argument about something which I guess marked the beginning of the end. Things were not okay for the rest of the holiday, but we made it through and got home. After that, there was this distance between us, but I valued our friendship so dearly that it didn’t make sense that we had fallen out and felt things were unfixable. I always like to fix things because I am one of those people that doesn’t feel content if things aren’t right, especially with someone who has been a significant part of my life for a long time. We eventually made up after me turning up to her house and wanting to talk through things. Her boyfriend at the time still didn’t like me but that was okay as long as I had my best friend. However, from then on, it was never the same. 

See, the thing is, sometimes, when a friend gets a partner, their priorities change which is completely natural and I can understand that. However, no matter happened, her boyfriend decided that he just didn’t like me even though I tried to make an effort with him. They eventually got married in 2018 but we both were busy with our lives, so it wasn’t the way it used to be and we were both in different places. I don’t think that is a good enough reason for such a solid friendship to change so drastically, but I appreciate that if your partner doesn’t like one of your friends, your natural instinct is to be a little distant because you don’t want to upset them. This is not me agreeing whether that is right or wrong but just outlining that I can understand why this happens. As we continued with our lives, again we grew distant, and months would go by where we would no longer make the same effort with each other. In late 2018, I lost a college best friend and wanted some support from whom I thought would be able to provide that for me. I had never seen death so closely and it had impacted me in more ways than one. However, my ‘best friend’ just didn’t know how to be there for me so another nine months went by and when we spoke this time, I asked to meet up so I could tell her that I had a job offer and was moving abroad. I didn’t want to move abroad with our friendship being so frosty. Despite everything that had happened, I still had faith that our friendship could still make it through any difficulty we went through. This was in mid 2019 and we again, talked about our differences and what was going wrong in our friendship. We talked about how this could be fixed which was great! We were back to being semi-normal and were making more of a conscious effort with each other. At the start of 2020, we had a disagreement over something but this time, my best friend was quite rude and honestly, it just wasn’t what I needed. I think I was just fed up by this point of things always seeming to go wrong and me always being the one to initiate repairing the damage. A few months later, she tried to contact me to tell me about her sister having a baby and I just felt like I didn’t care anymore, especially because the real issue had been brushed under the carpet. It was a brief conversation, and we didn’t speak after that for months until I got a birthday message. I replied to her message but when her birthday came a couple of months later, I knew that not contacting her would mark the end of this friendship completely. And that is exactly what happened because I made that decision of ending a friendship I didn’t think would ever end. Since October 2020, we have not spoken and honestly, I am content with that.

There are many reasons I feel content with my decision, but I felt like it got to a point in our friendship where I started wondering why every time something went wrong, it was always me that was making the first move to fix things. I think I am at that point in my life where I have realised that sometimes, you can’t always be the one to fix things, regardless of whatever trauma someone has been through in their lives. I realise that at times, you have to let things just fizzle out because sometimes, things have an expiry date. It can never be justified that one person in any kind of relationship is always the one doing the emotional work just because the other person has a certain type of mentality. One thing I learned towards the end of our friendship was that maybe my best friend had a slight ego problem which is why she could never be the one to initiate fixing things when they went wrong, no matter how she felt deep down. Maybe it is also one of the reasons that things used to get brushed under the carpet unless I was the one wanting to communicate about them.

I personally think that the decision to not make contact with her on her birthday was because I had made peace with how the friendship turned out. I felt that regardless of how much we tried to make things right, they would never be the same. It wasn’t always an easy journey for me. Since 2017, I was deeply affected by how our friendship had turned out because I talked about it a lot with those closest to me. The way the friendship turned out bothered me. I mean, of course it bothered me because if it didn’t, I wouldn’t have talked about it so much. I also think that in the process of talking about it so much, I had already mourned the loss of the friendship which is why I was very content with the friendship fading away. It is completely normal to mourn a friendship because when a friend has been a huge part of your life, you feel the loss when things are no longer the same. I feel everything so deeply so the fact that this friendship had turned out the way I had never imagined, really did break my heart.

Reflecting on the friendship we had, I now believe that sometimes, people only come into your lives for a short period of time to teach you things or because that is exactly what you need at that point in your life. I am not sad anymore because I have made peace with the fact that maybe throughout our twenties, we needed each other for whatever we went through. We were destined to grow as much as we did together before we both progressed onto separate chapters in our lives. I always remind myself that not everyone that comes into my life is supposed to stay and I feel that is how I have made peace with the fact that even when we don’t ever want someone to leave our lives, sometimes people do and we have no choice but to accept this bitter truth. It does however, get easier as time goes on.

Now, my ex-best friend is married, and she has welcomed a child into the world which is wonderful. There are no hard feelings from my side. I feel we have both moved on with our lives and I am personally very content with where I currently am. I don’t think I would ever want to fix this friendship anymore or try to attempt to go back to how it used to be because that is impossible. Plus, I feel too much has happened in the interim period for it to go back to how it was once upon a time. Instead, I cherish the memories we made, and I will always wish her the best. It’s just, I choose not to be a part of her life anymore because too much has happened for me to make that effort. And that is how I know I have outgrown the friendship.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Bariatric Surgery: Post-Op Thoughts

I did it! I had the bariatric surgery on the 25th of June! I travelled to Turkey, Istanbul because it was cheaper than other places. The hospital itself was a private hospital and it was an excellent facility. I was admitted the day before the actual surgery where lots of tests were done, including an endoscopy. The next morning was the day of the surgery. It was a little scary because you just don’t know what the outcome will be, but it went smoothly, and it was a success. I have never seen an operating theatre before, so that was a strange experience in itself. I thought I would feel a lot more emotionally just before I had the surgery, but I was surprisingly quite calm, and my brain really was not thinking much. I think I just wanted it over and done with. I remember seeing them inject the anaesthesia and within thirty seconds I was out. After waking up from the surgery I was in complete agony. I could feel where I had been operated on. My vision was very blurred, but I remember seeing that I was being given morphine through a drip after crying out in pain. Thank whoever invented morphine! I stayed in the hospital for four days in total which was an adequate time to recover a little. I say a little because bariatric surgery is a surgery that needs a few weeks to recover properly in my humble opinion, but this is best done at home as you start to resume daily life. I slept a lot after the surgery and each passing day, the pain lessened a little. I started a liquid diet one day after and personally, I loathe liquid diets. However, it is a necessity for two weeks post-surgery. This is definitely the worst part for me. I am on a liquid diet until the 15th of July where I will then be able to start the puree stage. The puree stage lasts for two weeks and then it is solid foods, but still with some restrictions. I am okay with this as this is only the beginning of the journey. I know this part is temporary and eventually, I will be able to cook flavoursome food. 

I did this alone and I am glad I did because this journey is mine and mine only. I wanted it to start off with just me and I am very independent as it is. I travelled to Turkey, had one day of sightseeing and eating delicious Turkish food (their breakfast is divine) and then it was time to go to the hospital. Despite doing this alone and being content with that decision, it has been tough at times. It is the little things you need someone to help with, like helping you get up so there is no pulling near the incision sites, or someone to lift your suitcase at the airport. However, I managed all of that and I am now back in my own little space which I am grateful for. There is no place like home after all. I have been back a few days and have managed to rest a lot so already, I am feeling a better. I am also doing normal things such as driving, walking, doing household chores and so forth. The only things I am struggling with are not being able to bend over to pick things up, so I must bend down by squatting and just do things very slowly in general, like getting in and out of the car. I can sleep but only on my back whilst being turned to the side a little, just so there is no pulling near my incisions. The most difficult thing is getting out of bed because it adds pressure in my stomach, and this is the most painful part. I remember in the hotel one day I got out of bed and cried out in agony because of the physical pain. Since then, I have been taking it much easier, but it takes me a solid five to ten minutes to get myself out of bed. I have low levels of energy, but I am putting that down to the lack of nutrients with only being on a liquid diet. 

This is no walk in the park. The part I struggling with is that I am still feeling hunger and because my brain thinks like a fat person, I think that I can still eat the same as I used to. Deep down though, I know my stomach will not allow this and I am glad. This is the part that proves just how challenging this is because I must constantly have a conversation with myself to remind myself that I do not need a lot of food to be content and that I must listen to my hunger cues, not my brain hunger cues. This is so much more than just having an operation to help you reduce hunger. It is the psychological work that goes into it to help prevent you from getting into the same situation as before. The hunger I was feeling was intense after surgery. I wondered what the difference was because immediately, I did not feel any difference. However, this is down to the fact that the hunger hormone ghrelin has not reduced completely yet. As time progresses, this hormone reduces, thus, not feeling as hungry. I have noticed now, nearly two weeks post-op, that the hunger is reducing and my protein shakes, water, fresh juice (selected fruits) and broth do keep me satisfied. I am interested to see how much I will be able to eat once I do start the other stages and will be able to eat actual food. 

Despite some of the challenges I am currently facing, I don’t regret doing this. After having the surgery, it has become even more clear that this was the absolute best decision for me. I have no regrets and I would highly recommend this to anyone that has had several failed attempts at trying to lose weight. It is not just about losing weight, but it is also about the healthy lifestyle you gain when your entire being is not focused on food. I have already started noticing small differences such as my face looking a little smaller, sleeping more restfully through the night, not to mention a 4kg reduction on the ‘glorious’ scales thus far. There is so much to look forward to but the thing I am looking forward to most is being satisfied with less food that is nutritious, building that healthy lifestyle I have always wanted to achieve. This is a progressive journey where I am learning each day. I am excited to see how my life will be as I continue this lifestyle change. I will document this journey with honesty because I know it is not going to be smooth sailing. It’s going to be one hell of a rollercoaster, but I am in for the thrill! 

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

To the men who hurt me – thank you!

I’ve had my fair share of encounters with men who I thought things would either work out with or thought they would be non-judgemental towards me and be able to accept me for who I am. I’ve been on the dating scene since I was eighteen, on and off. Twelve years later and I am still single because all the guys I meet, are emotionally unavailable, do not have a secure attachment style, have unhealed trauma and don’t even know it, or they just do not understand what it entails to be in a relationship. Too often, I meet men who need validation, want to use me for an ego boost, cannot commit or want me to build them up for the woman they think they deserve because I am not good enough. I am not sure what it is about me that attracts these kinds of men. A part of me feels that maybe I am too nice and too understanding, not to mention accommodating. I question where it is that I go wrong that a guy wouldn’t want to be with someone like me. But then I remember that no matter what you are like, some men cannot handle a strong woman who won’t take their rubbish. That is when you become the problem and men usually want out because a lot of men that I have come across, need to be made to feel a certain way for them to want to make that commitment. When you are a strong, independent woman, men are scared, especially if they are not mature enough to handle a bad-ass woman like that. That is why you are made to feel that you are the problem, even if you’re not. Weak men tend to look for a damsel in distress that needs rescuing. If you don’t need that, it becomes a problem because the woman won’t need as much validation and won’t need to depend on them. Currently, I am off the dating scene, mainly because I am working on myself more than anything. I want to focus on my health with the bariatric surgery coming up and my emotional and mental well-being before I even give a man any of my time. I have come to the point in my life where I will be able to tell after a few encounters whether there is potential or not because I refuse to waste anymore of my time on men who are not mature enough to handle a woman like me. Never again will I ever apologise for being an honest, open-minded, strong, independent, and free-spirited woman! To all the men that hurt me and used me as their emotional punchbag, I thank them for everything. It is thanks to them that I have become who I am today. It is because of them that I learned I am not the problem and took the time out to really get to know myself and become a better version, but still working on becoming the best version of myself yet. I felt some examples of how I have been treated by men in the past and the things they have said or done will help you understand why I think the way I do, so here goes.

I was dating a guy at university who tried it on with my friend and hoped I wouldn’t find out until another friend told me what happened at a party. I used to do the most for this guy. I would cook for him, make him feel at home, supported him with his basketball games and was completely devoted. After I found out what had happened with my ‘friend’, I left him shortly after because I was so emotionally invested whilst getting nothing in return. I used to see him out and about with lots of different girls. He was emotionally unavailable, and I didn’t know it at the time because I didn’t even know what it meant for a man to be emotionally unavailable. He was selfish, a bit of a narcissistic douchebag and thought his height and eight pack could help him rule the world. I completely cut him off because that is the scorpion side of me coming out. I find it easy after a while to make it seem like someone didn’t exist in my life. Years later, he tried several ways to get in contact with me but failed. Eventually, he managed to contact someone I was in communication with and told them he needed to speak to me urgently. After being told he had serious health issues, when I spoke with him, he told me that he had been hospitalised and had a near death experience. He said that the only person he had thought of was me, and that he was a fool for letting me go. He told me he has never met anyone like me. He said he didn’t realise what he had at the time but now he does and wanted us to give it another shot. I told him that he will be searching for me in others and will never be able to find me. I then lied to him and told him I was married now because I didn’t even want to waste a second pretending to care for him or be friends with him. I was not willing to invest my energy into someone who couldn’t value me when I was in their life.

I started talking to a guy on a dating site and we got on like a house on fire. We met up after about two weeks of talking non-stop. I drove to meet him at a place that was suitable for him. When I got there, he had made no effort and was in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt and was so different in real life. He wasn’t able to hold a conversation as well face to face. After we left, he stopped messaging me as much and then, when I questioned him about it, he basically told me that he needed to explore other options and that we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. He also went on to tell me that he was shallow and wanted someone who looked a certain way. My argument was that you can change your physical appearance over time but if your personality sucks, it can’t be changed. I do give it up to him for being so honest and straightforward. Anyway, looking back now, it doesn’t even matter because he has a right to want to be with someone he finds attractive. I was willing to look past that and go only based on personality. I think in this situation, I was too accepting and should not have questioned whether I was good enough but rather, whether he was good enough for me. 

I once invested myself in a guy who was a lovely mature man but had commitment issues at the age of thirty-seven. We were getting to know each other but after a month, he didn’t want to continue. That was fine. Sometimes you think a person is right for you but then you realise they are not shortly after. However, this guy wanted a second chance, so I gave him one. I travelled to South Africa to do some voluntary work and whilst I was there, he started getting defensive about things like taking space, yet he had never asked me for space. Anyway, a few weeks into my South Africa trip, I decided I was the one that needed to take space in our ‘relationship’, and I say this loosely, but I don’t think he had mentally prepared for that and was taken aback. He didn’t take me seriously when I asked for space and although he had agreed to give me space, he was still contacting me, not respecting the boundary I had set. A few weeks of not being normal, I finally got home. When I got home, he was in the middle of moving houses and had a lot going on. I’d been back for a few days, and he had clearly taken a step back because even once I was back, he still couldn’t make time for me. It’s never a good feeling when someone has pulled back because it is almost a sign of what is to come. I tried to talk to him, but he was always busy. Eventually, he did make the time to speak to me just to tell me that it was over. He wanted to explore other options and give the woman his family wanted to introduce him to a chance because he felt I physically wasn’t his type. It’s funny. Men will literally have a woman that could have it all but will still want to see what else is out there just in case they can do better. Sometimes men fail to look at their own reflection and are ungrateful. I think by this point, I’d been through the same thing on several occasions that I accepted it without hesitation. He had done this before so this time it didn’t bother me as much. I had told him at the time that if he ended it the second time, there is nothing that would ever make me want to give him a third chance. I applied for a new job and moved halfway across the world within three weeks of that ending. It’s funny how things happen and fall into place. Maybe that was the reason it didn’t work out because I was never going to be in the country, yet I didn’t understand it at the time. Only, after a few months, he contacted me by creating a twitter account and messaging me on there as he had no other way of contacting me. He told me that he couldn’t believe he had met someone like me and then let me go. It obviously didn’t work out with the woman his family had introduced him to. She was too different to what he had wanted personality and character wise. It was only after her, he realised that I was perfect for him. We are not together but this man still believes that we should end up together because he thinks that because we liked each other once upon a time, things can go back to how they were at the start. The only issue Is that I don’t know if I want to be with a man who couldn’t appreciate me when he had me. I don’t think I could allow myself to go back to someone who couldn’t see my worth and always made me feel like he could do better. This experience taught me that even if you are enough, a man can make you feel like you are not and then when he tries to make you feel like you are enough, you will always have a doubt in the back of your mind.

Another time, I dated a guy who was all talk, promised me the world, even spoke to my family about marrying me and then I travelled over the summer and things went south. He just failed to communicate with me through calls or texts, telling me that he had so much going on and wasn’t able to share it with me because he needed to deal with such severe issues alone. He also gave me the silent treatment for a week because he got upset over something trivial.When I did finally come back to the country, he was shocked that I had ended the relationship and there was no going back. He had assumed that once I came back into the country things would go back to how they were before I left. He underestimated my strength to walk away from a relationship that didn’t help me continue growing. He didn’t understand that communication is one of the fundamentals that helps a relationship develop. It’s the foundation of a strong relationship! The minute you hit a difficulty, if you start giving someone the silent treatment or can’t make time for your partner to check in at least once a day, then there is some serious inner work that needs to be done. The minute you start moving like you don’t even want your partner in a relationship, a wise person will start understanding their value and remove themselves from situations like that. He learnt the hard way that I would never give him that chance again. He tried for a few weeks to get me back until he eventually realised that he had me and he lost me because of his stupid mistakes. What he doesn’t know is that the first time you do that, it triggers something in the other persons mind and when it happens again, you already know it is going to happen even more. I think that is the point where you decide whether it is worth being treated like that regularly and deep down, I knew it was not what I deserved. I walked away with my head held high, wished him well stayed content with my decision.

I started seeing a guy who was all for me but then used to get angry over the smallest things. Like he used to get annoyed at me for speaking to any other male, even if it was a waiter in a restaurant. He dumped me because he saw a draft TikTok video on my phone with a guy but without questioning anything, his avoidant personality decided to up and leave me. When he decided to leave, he would have a habit of calling me to verbally abuse me. He said some nasty things. He told me I wasn’t even beautiful anyway and called me an elephant. That was on one occasion. On another occasion, he called me a mother***** because he was so hurt. He told me that he was grateful that he had been saved from being with me and that I was always around men, so I wasn’t a good woman. That wasn’t true. He never saw my phone ring when he was with me, and I was always at home when he contacted me. This man had severe anger issues, but he used to take his anger out on me. Of course, I realised that he was saying those things because his ego was bruised when I wouldn’t chase after him. He tried to control me, and I am too much of a free spirit to be controlled. I blocked him because I didn’t need that kind of negative energy in my life. This man had some serious issues, and I didn’t even feel sad that he left my life. In fact, I blocked and deleted him because he was rude, arrogant and a time waster. His trauma triggered him to behave in such a way that I almost sympathise with him because he probably doesn’t even know he has unhealed trauma. I didn’t have energy to fix him. That was not my job.

Finally, my favourite is my most recent experience! I met a man who I thought was perfect. We started our relationship off as friends and rather quickly, became the best of friends. We just worked. We always made time for each other, we were in communication throughout the day and when we argued, we would fix things straight away. Everything just flowed smoothly. I felt like I was on cloud nine. Until one day I didn’t! I had never met a man like that. Someone who was calm, collected and patient. A man that didn’t raise his voice, would apologise if he made a mistake, always made time for me, and would find everything I said interesting. We would have discussions about anything and everything. We watched movies and tv shows together. We went shopping together, ate together, chilled on the beach, laughed together and it was all so perfect. I had never met someone that made me feel like I could completely be myself like that before. We were so comfortable in each other’s presence. My issue was I fell in love with this man. I fell in love with him because we had built the foundation of our relationship solidly. I just couldn’t ever imagine getting bored of him. Time was never enough with him, and we constantly spent time together. On the days I didn’t see him, we would talk over the phone and then it was exciting when I did see him. I loved what we had. We could walk and talk, and I made him laugh. We talked about travelling together and doing so much more when the pandemic was over. It felt surreal sometimes that I had met someone with whom I had formed such a strong bond with. This was it for me. This was the relationship where we could only go from strength to strength. But then small things made me do a double take. For example, for someone who was not religiously practising, his criteria for the kind of woman he wanted changed. Apparently, I was too Western (having been born in the West and him being from the East), he was worried about the next generation yet wasn’t bothered that for the next generation, you had to make sure that as parents, you had a solid relationship. That you had to deal with your own attachment style and unhealed trauma. He told me he didn’t trust me and accused me of cheating on him. For him, there was too much wrong with me. However, the main problem was that this man had never been in a relationship before, so it was going to be a problem because not only did he not know what he was looking for, but he also didn’t know what it entailed to be in a relationship. The fact that I had never judged him, asked him for anything apart from time, understanding, trust and patience became too much to ask for. He kept giving me mixed signals about what we were. I had moments where I felt this man was in love with me and other moments where I knew this man saw me as nothing but a friend. Despite everything we went through, I realised that this was never going to change. This man wanted things to be a certain way but just didn’t want those things with me. I started to feel like he was using me to pass his time even though he tried to convince me that he enjoyed spending time with me. I don’t doubt that but at the same time, I couldn’t be there for him to build him up for another woman. I was the one helping him understand his emotions, reflecting on his life, just being there at his every beck and call and always putting him first. But then I just couldn’t accept being the same with him. Deep down he has a complex with a friend he has been friends with for eighteen years. He introduced me to this friend, and we got on well. His friend is in a relationship, and it was nothing of that sort. But then things went bad because he didn’t like the fact that I casually spoke with his friend. I had messaged him on social media, and it was literally just a casual message to hang out as a group, but he thought I had disrespected him by communicating with his friend. He kept throwing accusations and had a problem if his friend mentioned me. I have no communication with his friend and his friend knew who I liked. But I decided that I didn’t need an insecure man who would accuse me and think the worst of me. Whenever his friend would call him & if we were together, he assumed we were conspiring against him. I was so emotionally drained by this point. I just got tired of always being there for someone who wouldn’t show up for me emotionally. He loved being around me but not enough to want to be with me. He apparently had no problem with me dating, yet he had a problem with me just having a casual conversation with his friend. There is so much more to it, but a section won’t cover it. This one needs a post of its own.

Some other experiences in the notorious dating world have included occasions such as a guy who wanted to date me even though he had a wife back in his home country. He would argue with his wife and take it out on me, using me as his emotional punchbag. He was a manipulative man, masking his manipulation as kindness. I had another guy who went on a date with me and tried it on. When I rejected him, he told me the next day that he wasn’t looking for a relationship because of his own personal issues. I met another guy who was handsome but was so weird! I wouldn’t hug and kiss him on the first date, so he got moody with me and wanted to leave. I blocked him straight away because which loser does that? We all know what he was after, and I refuse to entertain a man like that. These are just some other examples of weird men I have met where I laugh at them because they must think women will forever be vulnerable and believe them.

Sometimes, you think you have found someone who is non-judgemental, so you open-up to them about your life. However, later, they use that against you. Men will have no idea what they want from a woman, yet they will behave like they are in a relationship and treat her as if she is a partner. If one person doesn’t trust in a relationship, there is nothing a person can do to make someone trust them again. Men will use women they don’t see a future with for personal reasons and then want a different type of woman for the future. Sometimes the men you think are the kindest, most caring and patient, are the ones who hurt you in a way you don’t even realise is hurting you. They hurt you in a subliminal way and mask it as kindness, like they could never do anything wrong. Sometimes, a man will judge you for the exact same things they are doing but it is worse for you because you’re a woman. They will want forgiveness if they make a mistake but won’t find it as easy to forgive. Men will literally drain you emotionally and then wonder why you are done.

It’s interesting how our past experiences shape who we become and how we handle things. The way I am at the start of a ‘situtionship’ is so different to before because like I said, I no longer have time to waste on men who are not worth it. I used to invest so much of myself because I used to believe that you have to give it 100% from the get-go. Not anymore. Now I wait a few dates to see if the man will be worth my time and energy, worthy of the love I have to offer. I question what he will be able to bring to the table that I bought. I hold myself down pretty well, so I need a man who knows how to handle a strong woman otherwise it isn’t going to work. I don’t entertain men who are not equally as strong and don’t know what they’re looking for. Like I said, I don’t build men up for other women. I don’t give time to men who literally drain my positive energy as time pass.

All these experiences may have hurt me at the time and every time something went wrong, I blamed myself. I always felt like I wasn’t enough and that it was because I am not attractive enough. I only saw flaws in myself because that’s how I was made to feel. But I guess that is what happens when you are non-judgemental, and people are judgemental towards you. You only see your own flaws because you don’t judge others for theirs. When I think about it all now, I laugh. I used to question whether I was good enough, but I never questioned if they were good enough for me. I only saw faults in myself. Maybe if I wasn’t so emotional, maybe if I was slim, or I wasn’t so opiniated or feisty, they would like me. The whole time I thought it was about me, but it was never about me. I was never the one who was emotionally unavailable or didn’t know how to hold a relationship down. The minute I stopped blaming myself, I became free.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Bariatric Surgery: Pre-Op Thoughts

I can’t believe I have made the decision to have bariatric surgery! I have never had surgery before, so I am nervous as hell. I hate needles and hospitals, yet here I am, willing to go under the knife! But I guess that just proves how much I want this and how much I need this in all honesty. The surgery date is approaching fast and with it nearing the end of the academic year here in the Middle East, I haven’t had a lot of time to really sit down with my thoughts and gather them until this last week. This is when it hit me like ‘Oh f***, it’s happening’. The fact that the surgery is becoming a reality is scary and nerve-racking. I can’t believe I am about to start a whole new chapter in my book of Life! There have been so many thoughts that have been going through my mind as the date gets closer, but they have all been chaotic. They have been hard to articulate. There has been so much to think about that I almost feel like I do not know where to start. 

I am excited as I embark on this new journey. I wanted my thirties to start off with a healthier and happier me. I can’t help but wonder what this fresh new start will bring. As I have been sitting with some thoughts, I am excited because of what this means and the positive changes I am hoping it will bring. I feel I will start seeing results quite quickly and this will motivate me to keep pushing when I am struggling. It’s also the little things like the fact that my clothes will fit better. I won’t constantly be worrying about my next meal. I will be able to be more physically active because my body will allow it. I won’t be exhausted all the time because of my weight, I won’t be out of breath for walking small distances, food won’t control me, and I won’t have to feel completely uncomfortable in the skin I have, are just some examples. 

Despite all the positive thoughts I have and the excitement of a new chapter, a part of me deep down can’t help but be apprehensive a little. See, the thing is, if you’ve never had to battle with weight to the extent where it has impacted your entire life and it feels like everything has revolved around physically being a certain way, it can be a little difficult to understand why someone like me might have such fears. I’m not saying that my fears are overriding my positive thoughts completely, but at the same time, if I fail with this then I question whether there really is hope for someone like me. See, my biggest fear is that I won’t be successful long term. And that’s what it comes down to. My weight has been a problem for me my entire life. I can’t even begin to imagine a life where it won’t be a problem. However, I think I have come to terms mentally that my weight and this health journey is going to forever be a personal struggle for me. It’s the biggest mental challenge that I face, and it requires a lot of inner work to form healthy habits. I am trying to work out why I am an emotional eater. I am scared that even though I am having surgery, will it really mean I eat less? I can’t imagine what it will feel like to not constantly feel hungry or be worried about food. Bariatric surgery is such a personal decision that I am worried people are going to question how I am losing all this weight and judge me when and if they find out, even when they might not know anything about surgery. I’m trying to do the mental work but it’s hard. It takes a lot, and it is an evolving journey. I can’t imagine what it will feel like as I am changing physically. I’m scared about whether this will even work for someone like me. I can’t imagine what it might feel like to not always be the biggest person in the room, wondering if I am taking up too much space. Maybe I won’t feel like people are judging me all the time or only staring at me because of my physical appearance. Maybe I won’t think that the only thing people are thinking when they look at me is how I let myself get this way. I can’t imagine what it will feel like to eat smaller portions and feel full. I am wondering whether even after the surgery, will my eyes be bigger than my stomach and want to eat more? Will I be able to differentiate between head, emotional and physical hunger? Will my brain be able to catch up to my body whilst I am losing weight, or will I go through body dysmorphia? I am scared that I will go back to old eating habits, feel uncontrollable around food, and that emotional eating will get the better of me. Will I be able to meal prep enough to cook homemade healthy foods and be able to listen to my intuition as to when I should stop eating? Will I be the mindful eater I am working on being? I wonder if I will ever be able to love my body the way I want to because of the loose skin I will most likely have. I know loose skin isn’t the end all and be all and it is something that can eventually be removed, but I feel that feeds into the body dysmorphia and will result in me not feeling different. I am scared that I won’t become active like I want to because I will still be hesitant that my weight will stop me. Most of all, I am scared that food will still be my vice and I will eternally be self-conscious about my physical appearance, feeling like I am not living in the present moment.

It’s a fact that bariatric surgery isn’t going to be a quick fix. In fact, this surgery is just the tool I need to get started. It’s the mental challenge that can be the most difficult part. That’s all it is – a mental game. I know nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and fitness is something that I will forever need to work on. My weight will always be something I need to keep an eye on, and it will forever be a work in progress. It’s a lifelong journey that I am about to commit to, which is why I am fearful. I am wise enough to know that it isn’t going to be smooth sailing and a perfect journey. But I want this change. I have wanted it for so long! I want to be the best version of myself, and I am hopeful that this will enable me to succeed. I don’t want to be who I am physically anymore. It’s tiring and makes me unhappy. I’m just fed up with constantly feeling this way. I hate it and feel like this is always on my mind and prevents me from living the life I dream of living to the fullest. I just wonder if I will ever feel supported on this journey without feeling like food choices are a constant mental battle. Finally, all these chaotic thoughts lead me to one final thought. I have no idea what to expect. A life after bariatric surgery will be completely new territory to me. All I know is that as frightening and as scary as this seems, I am excited nevertheless to begin this new chapter in my book of Life.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Oh – Look at her weight! Confessions of a fat girl

What is the worst thing a human being can be? Is it being fat? Truth be told, I can think of things that are much worse! So why is then, that fat shaming and fat phobia is a thing? Why is it that if someone doesn’t fit the stereotype of how a woman should look, it becomes a societal problem?

I’m fat. I have been my whole life. From a young age when I didn’t even understand what fat was, it was pointed out to me by those closest to me. At the age of eight, I couldn’t understand why there was this sheer panic about what I looked like. It was like the adults were talking about me in hushed voices, but I couldn’t understand why. I was a chunky child, a bit bigger than everyone else but not anything concerning at the time. You could almost call it puppy fat. As time went on, I started feeling insecure about how I looked. It was always pointed out that I needed to lose weight, but I didn’t understand how to lose it. It’s not as simple as everyone saying ‘just stop eating that’. **Rolls eyes**

I started secondary school and in my first year, I used to get bullied. I was always quite vocal, so I never let the bullies win. I made friends with a group of girls and that was the first group of friends that I had ever had. I’m still friends with one of them now (see Frenemy post). I was the biggest in the group. I got through schooling always being concerned about my weight. I tried to starve myself but that didn’t make me skinny, so I stopped that. I used to gorge on chocolate on the way home and people had a way of embarrassing me about eating junk which resulted in me not wanting to eat in front of people. I was insecure but I was good at hiding it by being funny, witty, and never allowing anyone to say anything about my appearance, without ripping into them. I masked my insecurities by being the class clown and feisty. Eventually, people just knew not to say anything to me because they feared embarrassment. I feel the problem is that no one tries to understand why children feel the need to do that. Thinking back, if I had the right support, I would have been able to talk about how those things made me feel and maybe the right person would have guided me to understanding things better; not that I am blaming anyone. I believe it is linked to emotional eating and there is a deeper reason to it. Sometimes, children just need to be understood and I felt I was never understood as a child.

Growing up, whenever I watched TV, I would see these pretty perfect looking women who had incredible bodies without an ounce of fat. I thought their life was perfect. I didn’t understand at a young age what it meant to have a certain type of body and why it was a big deal if you didn’t have that certain type of body. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with mine but then at the same time, because of everyone else, I knew something was very wrong with mine. My body was a problem because it was a problem for everyone else, not me.

I kept hearing the word ‘diet’ floating around without any real understanding of what nutrition and a healthy lifestyle was. I tried every diet under the sun! I tried shakes from the age of fifteen and it didn’t work because starving your body never does. I tried something called Diet Chef. Diet Chef was calorie controlled pre-packaged food and it tasted vile. I tried slimming world and that would work for a week, but I could never prep as much as would be needed whilst living with my family who were eating completely different things. It was a constant battle trying to figure out the right thing to eat. Someone always felt they had the right to comment on the food that I chose because they felt they had a right to tell me what they thought of it. Being fat is not a problem for the individual as much as it is for everyone else around them. I would always find the slim people around me complain about their weight constantly and it started to feel like they were trying to make themselves feel better because deep down inside, they knew they were not in the same position. Maybe they were just dealing with their own insecurities and needed validation.

I spent all my teen years trying to achieve a better body because that is what would mark my worth in the world after all. It was how I would be accepted by society for looking a certain way. I even spent most of my twenties not feeling good enough. And to be fair, I have started my thirties feeing similar. I don’t think it is always because of how we feel about ourselves but more about what others can make us feel like. This is the point where someone will say that you shouldn’t let others dictate how you feel but honestly, I am positive we have all been in a place where we have been affected by what others say to us. It’s just an unfortunate reality of life. And I guess it affects us because deep down inside, we all just want to be accepted for who we are.

Fast forward to 2021 – I have tried many more diets since my early teens. These have included calorie counting, having a gym and personal trainer membership, keto, slimming world again and again, Atkins, reading weight loss books and another shake diet. The list is endless! Evidently, they didn’t work otherwise I wouldn’t be making confessions about being a fat girl. But here’s the thing a fat person will never tell you. Being fat is one of the hardest things. I mean, judgement is inevitable if you look a certain way and people have a fat-phobia, but it’s the constant shaming of how it makes you undesired, how it’s because you can’t control what you eat, how you’re branded as the epitome of laziness. But that is far from the truth. I enjoy healthy food just as much as food that is classed as unhealthy. I am not lazy – I work 14-hour days. I cook sometimes when my schedule allows it because let’s be real…. If you leave the house at 6am every day and sometimes don’t get home until 20:30, trying to weigh out carbs, protein and fats is the last thing on your mind when you need something quick, so you can sleep to repeat the entire process all over again the next day. It’s hard because it is such an internal struggle when you want to do the simple things like wear certain clothing but won’t because you know there will be someone who will comment, or just not feeling like you are the biggest person in the room or taking the most amount of space. It’s the simple things like not being judged when you’re amongst a group of people who have been blessed with great genetics. And it is also about the simple things like being able to live your life without always feeling like you’re being judged.

I can’t deny that I am self-conscious and insecure all day, every day. I hate looking at the reflection in the mirror and I feel that I am constantly being judged by others because they can only see my size. I hate shopping for clothes despite clothing stores being more inclusive. I don’t like wearing bright colours because I don’t want to be noticed. And sometimes, I question if I am worthy of love because men have judged me and told me that the way I look is something that they can’t look past. It’s a different kind of hard. I know most people would say you are the only one that can change that and there is truth to that. But here’s another part of that truth. Losing weight is the hardest thing that I have ever had to personally do. Yes, I am now better educated when it comes to nutrition and what a healthy lifestyle entails, so I am more aware of what I am putting into my body. The problem is that losing weight is hard, not eating healthy. And I think that is where most people are mistaken. Eating healthy is easy when you are educated on nutrition and you can prepare meals, but it’s the fact that when you are eating healthy and are not seeing results, it becomes challenging. It’s getting the weight off that is hardest in my humble opinion.

Another thing about fat people is that they don’t actually need people to tell them they are fat. They are not blind. They have mirrors. I have mirrors. In fact, I am surrounded by them. I don’t need human mirrors. Human mirrors use horrible words and mask it as a way of being concerned for you. It comes to a point where people stop saying horrible things directly to you but as a fat person, you just know you are being judged behind your back. They’re not saying it out loud but believe me, they are thinking it. And that is what makes you self-conscious. It’s almost like people look at you and are grateful that it is not them that is in that position. Or they feel the need to iterate how they wouldn’t even allow themselves to get to that stage if it comes up in conversation. It’s almost like people have sympathy for fat people because they feel sorry for them. But that is something fat people despise; I can assure you of that.

So, that brings us to the present. All the above reasons are why I have decided to have bariatric surgery which is going to happen in the next month. I made this decision after several attempts to lose weight, not because of what I look like anymore, but more for health purposes at this stage. I want to be the healthiest and fittest version of myself. The bariatric surgery is a tool to help me achieve what I have always wanted to achieve, and I won’t deny that I need help with this. I want to be accepted in society without the fear of being judged on my outward appearance. Bariatric surgery just physically stops you from being able to eat so much and I feel once you start seeing results consistently, it motivates you to continue on the journey. That is how weight loss is achieved actually. It’s the start of a lifestyle change. The lifestyle change where choosing the right foods is a mental challenge and weight loss is the side effect of that mental challenge. But when you’re not constantly battling with your mind about how much of something you should eat, the lifestyle change becomes easier. Eating is a normal part of life. We all do it whether we are happy, we are sad, we are hanging out with friends or we are just craving certain things. Food is simply a part of life. An important part of life, so I have made this decision because it is something that is important to me regardless of what other people believe is the right way to achieve a healthier lifestyle. I will also be interested to see if losing weight will make people treat me differently. Oh, and bariatric surgery is not an easy way out like most people seem to think. In fact, I am frightened of what my life will be like once it is done because of that mental challenge. But excited at the prospect of a new life nevertheless.

Until next time. 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

LOVE

One of the most complex topics ever known to mankind. LOVE! What is love? We all have our own idea of what love is. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives, whether we’ve given love or received love. Sometimes love has hurt us and at other times, it’s brought us moments of happiness. Here’s my belief about love; as humans, our innate desire is to love and be loved. There is no other purpose in our lives. That being said, love is complicated beyond measure and one blog post will not suffice. This is a continuously developing post and it has been hard to gather my thoughts on the subject. Experiences change our perspective on love so here are my thoughts on this topic thus far. 

I was the type of woman that believed in that forever kind of, unconditional love. The kind where no matter what happens, if two people want to make their love story work, they can. Everything was about that unconditional love finding me and consuming every part of me. But recently, I have been reflecting a lot on love. My thought process has changed on this. I see love differently now, and I can explain why. 

The first experience we have of love is through our primary caregivers. That for me is the unconditional kind of love, the love given by our family. No matter what happens, your family will always love you. But that can be complicated because I feel there is no right way to be loved, and people love according to what they think loving someone is, be it our family. For example, the way my mother loves me is different to how a friend’s mother loves her because their way of showing love would also be different. It is just who they are. I think our way to love is based on what we perceive love to be, rather than what it is actually is because no-one truly knows what love is, and that is what makes love subjective. You can’t explain love because it is different for us all. Even two people in a relationship with each other will describe and explain love differently. There is no right or wrong way to love either. Love is a personal thing. That is why people don’t always understand what other people’s love is like. Love only works when you meet someone who understands your perception of love and vice versa. Otherwise, the relationship is seen as disastrous when in reality, people should just accept that it is not the type of love they are seeking. 

Since a young age, I’ve been looking for that all-consuming, unconditional love. I have found it at various points in my life. It has been different with the men I loved once upon a time. Some love stories have hurt me, and others have destroyed me. Some even made me feel like I would never love again. No pain compares to that kind of pain. It is indescribable. I remember once when a man I really loved, left me and I cried myself to sleep but woke up in the morning and questioned whether what had happened was real and continued crying. The pain of heartache is hard to describe but it is almost like someone is squeezing your heart in their hand and you can feel the physical ache. You feel miserable. Sleeping is difficult and you often wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, your entire existence just hurting, amongst other things you experience. Yet, here I am. Still standing and still believe in love. It’s just, my perception of love is not what it once used to be.

As stated, love for me is subjective. We all have our own versions of it, and we love people differently. We learn to adjust the way we love someone depending on the kind of person we meet. Love isn’t a forever thing either. That is why we can fall in love with different people at different points of our lives. But the difference is, sometimes we commit to loving the same person for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean you love that person more. It’s just you were able to work through the difficult times through the commitment and are still together. It’s when your perception of love is being reciprocated. That’s where marriage comes in and for me is, that’s what marriage is. Marriage usually has a foundation of some form of love but then eventually, the thing that holds a marriage together isn’t just love. It is a bunch of feelings and emotions like compromise, compassion, trust, empathy, understanding, companionship, communication and so forth. 

Reflecting on love, anyone you speak to about love will tell you something different. Sometimes, people can confess their love soon after you meet them but isn’t love just a feeling or an emotion? A feeling or the emotion of love that we feel in those moments, hence feeling like we are in love? So then why is it that if someone confesses their love early on, we mark it as a red flag? You can mean it at that time because it is the person you are willing to give your love to. We give love in the way we see fit which links back to my point at the start, that our innate desire as humans is to love and be loved. I also think love is a feeling that can be nurtured and grows. For example, I loved a guy who had been courting me for over a year and this turned out to be my favourite love story. I know that love grows because I grew to love someone with whom I didn’t think was possible. I became attached to him. But does this mean it wasn’t really love? Isn’t attachment just a form of love? You learn to love people you didn’t think was possible. You end up loving people for different reasons in moments where they are a part of your life. My belief now is that whenever it hasn’t worked out, it is just because that person didn’t want to build with my version of love. 

At this point in my life, love isn’t about that all-consuming, unconditional kind of love I once thought it was. Love for me now is about feeling safe, secure, respected, trusted, and appreciated for being me. Yes, that is what most people believe a form of love to be but the criterion for love reduces the more you experience it in your life. We must appreciate that we won’t always be loved the way we want to be loved but we can choose to love the other person the way we want to be loved. And to be honest, that is what most people do. That is what we know love to be. We love according to our perception. For example, because I believe communication to be an integral part of a relationship, I am an excellent communicator and feel that someone who is open to that, would mean our love works. Another example is that because I like receiving affection, I openly give affection, again, meaning our love could work. This is based on my perception of love. I think this is where Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages come in too. We all have a primary love language that we prefer but I think that the preference isn’t just about receiving love according to that love language, but also giving love in that language as that is what we think love is, again, going back to our own perception of love. For example, spending quality time with someone I love means I feel loved too. I have also started to feel that love isn’t permanent unless you choose to make it permanent. Love for me is a choice. Love develops and changes as you progress through life and a relationship. People start by loving someone in a certain way and then, when the relationship progresses, the love changes. Maybe expectations have something to do with it because after all, you only ever have expectations from people who mean something to you. 

Now that I have experienced different kinds of love, I no longer look for love like I once used to. I look for companionship. I look for safety and protection. A caregiver. Someone who will give me the bare minimum things like respect and affection. Someone who will be a provider in the long run. This is because I feel I can grow to love a person who gives me all the things that are a requirement for me in a relationship. It is about understanding and being able to get on because I feel love grows the longer you spend with someone, and you have a mutual level of respect. Love to me is a commitment you make when you choose someone to love, especially when that love is reciprocated. Love is supposed to be calm. Love grows and develops in these circumstances.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Today I miss him

But all I want is to hold his hand, for our hands to be intertwined. I want him to kiss my cheek & tell me that he is lucky to have me in his life. I want to be locked in his embrace, to feel the warmth of his breath on my neck. I want him to hold me close and tell me it’s all going to be okay. I want him to tell me how he’ll always be here for me. I want him to tell me he loves me unconditionally.

I miss him. I’m missing him so much my heart aches. I’m missing his presence, his voice, his laughter. But then my mind goes back to all those things he said to me. It goes back to how he doesn’t trust me, how he thinks I cheated, and my heart is broken. My heart cries because I’ve been loyal to him for as long as I can remember. Everything has been about him. Even when I’m not thinking about him, he is the only one I am thinking about. He has this hold over me and he doesn’t even realise. But instead, I must pretend that I’m okay. That nothing is wrong. He doesn’t understand the depth of my love. He doesn’t understand that we could have it all. He doesn’t miss me the way I miss him.

He won’t let me go because he needs me in his life and my mind can’t quite comprehend why. He doesn’t love me, yet I’m one of the most important people in his life. But at the same time, I’m not simple enough for him, I’m not cultured enough and I’m not religious enough. And that is the reason he believes we can’t work in the long run. I’m not really sure what else can be a sign of him not wanting me. I’m not sure why I’m holding on but also, why he won’t let me go. He doesn’t want there to be an us. There can’t be an us. There’s too much wrong with me. I don’t think I will ever understand how someone can be such a significant part of our lives yet be so insignificant. But I made the decision to let him go for both of our sakes. I had to be the strong one in hope that we will both find what we are searching for even though my mind believes we found it in each other deep down.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Him & I

We’re the happiest when we’re with each other. When I am with him, I forget the world. It’s just me and him in this little bubble, talking, laughing, making jokes, understanding each other. He is my best friend. With him, I can completely be myself. I can talk about everything; I can have mood swings and show an attitude. But he’s still there. He accepts me for me. We have deep and meaningful conversations about our journey through life. We talk about how we will always be there for each other no matter where we are in the world. And I trust him. I trust him with my life and the fact that he won’t ever leave me. He trusts me with his and shares all his secrets with me. We have this bond that is indescribable. Like, we just get on. We make each other laugh with our lame jokes that others might not find funny. We have an excessive amount of sarcasm pouring out of us. We share our food, and he even lets me steal the pineapple from his slices of pizza. We also compromise on a lot of things. If I’m being moody and he leaves, he’ll call me shortly after and shows his caring nature and kindness, trying to reason with me. He’s the most patient with me and gives me space. When he knows I’m being off with him, he becomes talkative. I’m there to guide him through his difficult thoughts and emotions. He’s learning to share his thoughts and emotions without the fear of being judged more each day. He values my opinions and is interested in everything I say. He learns a lot from me, and our time together, whether it is going for a walk, sitting on the beach, walking around a mall, or just lounging on the sofa is peaceful. We fight but we hate fighting and can’t go for long without making up. He’s a shy and reserved person. He’s simple. That’s how I met him. Me? I’m out there. I’m loud and feisty and expressive. I ask a lot of questions. I force him out of his shell. But we balance each other out. I’ve got him and he’s got us. This is a love like I’ve never felt before. It’s true what they say. Friendship is the perfect recipe for a relationship. And I love him and what we have, I want this forever. I have never felt like I can grow with a man like this before. He is my favourite. But this man, I don’t think this man is mine to keep.

Until next time.

Yours,

The Unveiled Reflector x

He only knew he loved her when he let her go…

His silence was speaking volumes. His silence told her everything. All she could do was sit there, feeling the hurt to the extent that her heart physically ached. Nothing had ever hurt like this before. She was hoping he would have the courage to tell her directly that he didn’t want this anymore. That he didn’t want her. But he was the biggest coward she had ever met. Maybe because he was in denial about how he truly felt. She was his first love, and he didn’t even know it at the time. Maybe he was confused about how a woman could do that to him. He had never come across that level of emotional depth until he came across her. She was everything he needed. That enigmatic personality. The strong souled woman who had been hurt many times over but still loved like she had never been hurt before. That once in a lifetime kind of woman. The one that would get away. Everything she felt was from the depths of her soul. She was it and this was no ordinary love. But he let it all go.

He let her go. And then she had no choice but to leave because he wasn’t man enough to admit she had been exactly what he was looking for. He let her have his heartbeat, but not his heart. He was guarding his heart like he had been the one who had been hurt several times over, not her. But the truth is, breaking her heart just proved he was like the rest. Breaking her heart made her stronger than she already was. He just failed to realise that in letting her go, he was experiencing his very first heartbreak. She knew how to mend her broken heart. But unfortunately for him, he didn’t.

The thing about a woman like her is she’ll always cross his mind and he’ll always wonder what if? But when his mind wonders, seeking the answers, he needs to remember it was all on him. He needs to remember; he was the one who didn’t make her feel secure, wanted, appreciated, respected and most importantly, loved. All she ever tried to do was show him what unconditional love was. But he was the one that was seeking her in other women who physically looked better. It was all on him. He only realised she was that drug, that addiction he needed once he let her go. They really could have had it all. And as much as she sobbed when he gave her no choice but to walk away, he also gave her wings to fly and find someone worthy of her love, who would help mend her broken soul. He only knew he loved her when he let her go.

Until next time,

Yours,

The Unveiled Reflector x

Frenemy

Do you have a friend that can be identified as a frenemy? That one who is your friend but secretly hates on you? Your friend that seems to be competing with you? Or reminding you of your shortcomings to make themselves feel better? I feel many of us have that one friend at some point in our lives. Friends play an important part of our journey as we progress through life. From a young age, we try to make friends with ‘our’ type of people. Someone we can connect with and share parts of ourselves with. We place our trust in them and hope for a lifelong friendship. Sometimes that works. Sometimes, two friends remain friends forever, because they have a mutual understanding. You trust each other whole-heartedly, they can respect your boundaries and you theirs, you celebrate each other and your successes, and know how and when to give each other space. This is the definition of friendship for me. But I feel that sometimes, friends can secretly envy you.  

At the age of eleven, I made friends with a girl at school. We are born one day apart, both the same star sign, from the same culture, yet we were different because she was skinny, and I was fat. That automatically makes her better, right? Well, according to her, it does. We spoke to each other all day, every day. But from a young age, there was some bullying that was a ‘joke’ in her eyes, all because she made fun of me being fat. See, my thoughts are that if someone is insecure about something, and you do everything to make them feel more insecure, then you are deliberately being malicious. You should not use people’s insecurities against them. Friendship is about trust and trusting your friends enough, to not do something like that because if they do, then that is intentional. They are making a choice to make you feel that way. Growing up, I wanted to be skinny because that is what was classed as beautiful. Anything other than that, would resort to being taunted about things such as not being good enough or not being desirable. So, my alleged best friend thought it was a great idea to nickname me ‘Fatz’, to remind me of my insecurity constantly. Despite having the conversation about how it made me feel, she paid no mind to, especially when she would say it in front of other people in an attempt to belittle and embarrass me. She had no intention of acknowledging how it made me feel because she was used to calling me that.

We got through our GCSE’s and schooling was all coming to an end where we started deciding what our next steps would be. This would be the starting point of where our differences became more prominent. I have always been an advocate of education because for me personally, academic growth is important. Academia is a personal choice. For me, it was important to have views on things happening around the world at a young age and it still is. I never dreamed of going to the sixth form attached to my school. It wasn’t the place for me as I have always been too much of a free spirit. But my friend wanted me to stay because it would mean that she would be lonely without me, and I was selfish for wanting something different that didn’t necessarily involve her.  

Although there was some tension, it was fine because we had a weekend job together at the same place. Here she met a man who was a good ten years older than her and was our manager. Now, being in a new relationship at the age of seventeen with an older man was the best thing that could have happened to her, until it was the worst thing that happened to her. Over a short period of time, our friendship started deteriorating. Namely because she broke the best friend code by talking about all the bad things about her beloved boyfriend to me, and then repeating to him, everything I was advising her, which wasn’t necessarily what he wanted to hear. I ended up becoming the problem in their relationship and he hated me. She was in love so that was the end of our friendship for a year. We eventually reconnected because he was out of her life and she realised that she had made a mistake by sharing everything with him. However, our lives were very different at this point as she had taken on the working world and I had chosen the student life at university, completing my undergraduate degree. 

After finishing university and moving back home, we started to spend more time together. Now at the age of twenty-two, we were in different places in life. She had a stable job, and I was searching for one. I worked as a customer service advisor because it was something temporary until I figured out my next move. However, things started to change once again. There was this constant need to reiterate how she was beautiful because she was skinny and the snapchat pictures of a flat stomach were constant. Every time she headed to the gym, it needed to be known. It was almost like she felt the need to continue using my insecurity to validate herself. She had to constantly remind me that she was something I was not. It even went as far as her telling me that ‘all men want something pretty to look at’ when I trusted her with the experiences I was having with men. I mean how rude! She obviously needed my glasses to recognise that I am more than pretty. I am f****** beautiful!

However, after some time, she reunited with her psychotic long lost lover, and married him for reasons that are still beyond me. Whatever reason, low and behold, it didn’t work out. He was the same aggressive and psychologically abusive man he had always been. They got divorced and a year later she met someone else. Now this man is lovely. He really does love her. But since then, there has been this silent competition that she is in with me, but only by herself. Namely because I don’t compete. I am a firm believer that people’s fate is always different so there is no competition.  We get what is in our destiny and depends on how hard we are willing to work. It was a silent competition because everything became about how wonderful her life was, how much money she was earning and how much her things cost. See, the difference between her and I is that I don’t ever talk about money. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel that people who constantly need to reiterate the price of material possessions to have an interesting conversation are coming from a place of insecurity, almost like they are trying to compensate for something. There is something missing in their lives which is why they must give themselves self-worth and importance by making it a point to tell you how much they earn or what material possessions they have. I appreciate that sometimes we share these things with those who are close to us, but then there is excessively talking about it which is a red flag in my humble opinion. 

Whilst all of this was going on, I had decided to further my own education by studying for a master’s and working full time. However, because I was constantly busy, it was a problem as it meant I didn’t value our friendship. Yet, it was always me that was accommodating her needs for what she needed in this friendship. It was always me listening to her problems because they were bigger than anyone else’s. All the important things were happening in her life. She was getting married, she had bought a house, she was having a baby. The things in my life were not as important such as furthering my education and looking after my sick mum. She had a problem if I would make the effort to call her on my drive home from the library and say she didn’t appreciate that I was doing something else at the same time. It felt like she wanted me to make her a priority in my life, instead of me making myself a priority in my life. 

Now, the problem is we’re still ‘friends’ because you can’t prove someone is a frenemy. Instead, you get told that it is in your head and you’re the jealous friend. You become the problem! But the reason that we are so different is because we took different paths. However, she was never able to appreciate mine because it wasn’t the typical, wanting a fairy-tale ‘happily ever after’, whilst I did everything to appreciate hers. From when we were at school, I always said that I wanted a professional career whereas she was concerned about getting married. We grew up in different environments. My parents were strict but not as strict as hers which made sense as to why she wanted to get married young. She wanted the freedom her family wouldn’t give her and the only way to get that was to have a husband. It’s a cultural thing. 

At the age of thirty, again we are in different places. I work and live abroad; she is married with two children and a husband. We have very different lifestyles. I am grateful for mine. I cherish memories and precious moments with special people. But I feel there is this still this subliminal competition despite me living halfway across the world. I feel that maybe there is something missing in her life which is why material possessions have become a priority in her life. My successes have never really been celebrated in this friendship. Her successes are always extraordinary, and no one gets opportunities like she does which is why her successes are always more important. Everything is about all the job opportunities she has been receiving amidst a pandemic and the amount of money she can earn on a temporary role. I wonder though, is it because she has this need to overly glamourise her working skills because she didn’t pursue higher education and is trying to prove that she is better than me with all that comes her way despite not being as educated? 

As time has gone on, our conversations have become more and more about her life and I find it boring. I want to discuss things that don’t involve money, material things or the refurbishments to her house. Everything is about constantly shopping online and showcasing it on social media, and the minute you raise something about this not being healthy, the jealousy projections begin. She feels the need to be concerned that I am single because I should really get a move on with starting a family. Why is that associated with success? I am trying to understand what the real issue is here because I don’t think having a family is associated with success. Having a family like a partner or children, is a choice we make. And I respect people who make that choice. But I also need people to understand that for those of us that don’t, we also need to be respected just as much, without being labelled as ‘getting on a bit.’  

Why can people we think are our friends, be like this towards us? I am genuinely trying to work out whether this is all in my head. I am trying to make sense of it because if I am the issue here, I want to work on this. Is it that she constantly needed to make me feel like I was inadequate to make herself feel adequate? Or am I just experiencing this in a negative way, and she may be coming from a place of love? I’m uncertain. It’s just that the difference is, I have never spoken about her insecurities or used them against her. It’s not the person I am because I believe that unless you are perfect yourself, you have no right to do that. To anyone. Ever! So, in my mind, I am trying to comprehend why she would need to remind me of mine. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Tell me if you have, or have had a frenemy, how you knew and how you dealt with this. 

Until next time. 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

The ’30s’ Club

Well, I officially I joined the 30s club in October 2020 and it’s a different kind of club. Not because I feel different but because other people try to make you feel different about being 30 years old. Personally, I think it’s a cool club. I guess all clubs are cool in their own way. The 20s club was all about fun, misunderstandings, not having boundaries, putting up with people’s trauma and negativity, trying too hard, feeling lost, and failing to recognise myself in the mirror. But those things started to change towards the end of my 20s and these changes will hopefully continue for a lifetime. 

People always make being 30 years old a big deal. Like, you’re supposed to have your life all figured out by now and heaven forbid if you haven’t. Apparently, I’m supposed to have a husband and children by now because my biological clock is ticking and men around my age will start seeing me as old. Well, I have neither; not a husband nor children, which according to many, is just unfathomable. In fact, I had a friend recently imply that I should go back to an ex and give him a chance. He couldn’t appreciate me when we were together but because she is losing hope that I will find ‘the one’, she thinks I should give it a shot. I mean, people often find the one in their 20s, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work unless you work on yourself and build a relationship together. Relationships take a lot more work than people think. It was disappointing that my friend didn’t have faith I would find the love I’m seeking and so worthy of, and implied that I should settle for less. According to her, she has her life together you see, because she has a husband and two children. But we both see life very differently; we always have with all due respect, but more on friendships later!

So, back to the 30s club. Who said that you’re supposed to have it all figured out by 30? Who said you must have kids by this age? Let’s be honest, not everyone who is a parent should be one. For me, the 30s club is a different kind of mature. I can set boundaries and keep myself to myself, not have to worry about what people will think and without ever feeling like I am wasting my time and energy on things and people that I don’t want to. I did a lot of people pleasing earlier on in my life. It’s what happens when you don’t know yourself unfortunately. I know myself rather well now. I love my own company and I genuinely just don’t have the time to be dealing with trivial issues that do not serve a purpose in my life. Honestly, I have no interest in what ‘she’ got up to over the weekend. I have never been more content with who I am as a person and who I am continuously growing to be. The journey of self-love is never ending and one hell of a mind game.

So, why is it that we as women are made to feel like we are not enough when we get to a certain age? Why is it, that the only question you get asked is when you will get married? See, I feel that I am the best version of myself that I have ever been and I am working on becoming an even better version of myself now. I am sick and tired of being made to feel like there is something wrong with me because I don’t fit into the norm of having met someone and not planning a wedding. Weddings are overrated anyway! I admire people who are married and have children. I feel that that job role is harder than being a career focused woman because you have this beautiful little creature that depends on you for absolutely everything, but it also depends on you to lay the foundation right for mental health and emotional intelligence, and a whole bunch of other things. I imagine parenting to be hard. But the truth is, that’s exactly the role I don’t want to have. I haven’t lived enough of my own life yet. There’s so much I want to do and accomplish without the added pressure of bringing a child up right or looking after someone else’s child if he is not mature enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of love. I believe in unconditional love. But I don’t want to marry the wrong one or just settle. So, for now, the conquest continues of finding someone who is worthy of me. That doesn’t mean I have it all together when it comes to relationships. Remember I said tangled mess? Well, that is my love life and always has been. 

Until next time. 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

Start a blog they said. So here it is…. ‘The Unveiled Reflections’

Here I am, at the age of 30, starting a blog. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve done it for the last 14 years. Always handwritten though. But you get to a point where you wonder what the purpose of all of this writing is. You contemplate whether publishing online will even be worth it because after all, this writing of yours is raw, real and, are your innermost thoughts and feelings, unveiled for the world to see. 

There are so many other blogs. Why on earth would anyone ever be interested in anything I have to say? What is so important that people would want to read my writing? Could I even gain an audience? But here’s the thing. After getting through 30 years of life, I have learned that there are so many people who can relate to me in so many different ways because they have had similar experiences or thoughts. I have learned that talking about the things we so often go through but fail to sometimes talk about, means that other people may feel misunderstood too. I learned that my  reflections could help people in so many different ways. I learned that the purpose to me starting my writing at such a young age was always meaningful because I was always wiser beyond my years, with a lot to say. 

The thing is, If you saw me on a regular day, you would think I am unapproachable and would never imagine that someone like me has ever been through all of these things. But I’m not unapproachable. I’m always just lost in my own little world analysing everything around me, trying to understand it all. The truth is, you might never know me but I have a feeling that you’ll know me pretty well through my writing. I’m not saying that I have been through the worst of things. In fact, I write from a place of peace and contentment with some tangled reflections, still on this journey of life trying to figure this out. 

I appreciate who I am today and I am eternally grateful for all that I have been through. The only thing that has ever truly helped me has been my writing. When the people around me misunderstood me, I needed an outlet, and that very first Tinkerbell journal at the age of 16 helped me. In this big bad world, growing up without guidance (not intentionally) meant I had to figure this thing called life out myself. And I am still trying to figure it out, The funny thing is, even though I didn’t know at the time, Tinkerbell is me (not because I think of myself as a fairy) but because I am sassy, feisty, stubborn and hot-tempered. Albeit, not as hot-tempered as I used to be once upon a time, and so, the writing began. 

Here I am 14 years later, ready to share myself in a way that very few have ever seen or known. Completely raw, unedited and real. No lessons on how to write, not a professional. Just an ordinary woman in an extraordinary world writing through her experiences and reflections, whilst maintaining my day job.  

There is no order here. This is my life in reflections as they happen with snippets to the past. After all, the past is important because of who I am in the present. It is all important for you to continue on this journey of self-discovery with me. It’s all a tangled mess, you know, like the cables behind your TV. Oh, and with some foul language at times. Let’s be honest, you can’t be more real than that that when expressing yourself! But in all seriousness, I hope you are able to relate to something here, through my writing, wherever you are in the world. And always remember, choose kindness. We’re all on a journey here and no one has their stuff figured out.  

Yours,

The Unveiled Reflector x