31 March 2016:
Rough time.If you visited my blog a few days before today, you may have noticed that it was whited-out with a simple 'status update': Rough time. And if you read my previous post, and connected the two together, I suppose it's easy to figure out why.
I know that materially I am nowhere near deprivation, but then if one looks at the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, that's pretty much at the bottom end of the pyramid (which isn't enough). Already at the third level, love & belonging, I fumble badly in this area.
And, as I have mentioned over previous posts, NS isn't exactly a great time for me. Again, I know that comparatively I am 'living a good life' and this I don't deny / complain about. What I would bemoan is that at the end of it, what am I left with?
I truly do not know if, after I ORD, I will still keep in contact with anyone I knew from NS. At the top of my mind, of course I have a few names whom I would very much want to maintain friendships with. However, just because I want to doesn't necessarily mean I can.
Maybe I am too pessimistic, but then various experiences since childhood has made me have low expectations. As such, I would always keep open the possibility of a 'good friend' in NS disappearing after and hence never to contact again.
I have seen many times how people whom I place as first priority, subsequently place my as their second or third or lower priority. As such, I am not surprised if it happens yet again this time. I'll probably just give a little sigh and tell myself 'I told you so'.
AND I may or may not have elaborated on this, but it is this above fear that makes me paralysed when forming new friendships with new people. Then, they perceive me as aloof, which makes them not want to be actual friends.
What a vicious circle, isn't it.
I don't exactly know if what I'm experiencing now can be considered as depression, or perhaps it really is just a 'rough patch' I'm facing. What I do know, however, is that I certainly hope this patch can go away sooner than later.
I found the blog of W. I would've said 'my friend, W', but then, as above, I do not even know if he considers me as one. To be honest, back in JC, we barely spoke. In fact yes, I would think it was more acquaintance.
Anyway, I happened to chance upon this blog of his. It is relatively new, hence less than 10 posts in it. There was this part where he analyses the irony of his blogging, which in fact I felt it before: he actually blogs his personal feelings, yet does so on a public platform.
And to W, I will not 'expose' your blog, since that's probably the last thing you want. But then, if it's alright with you, you've gained a reader. A pity your articles don't come as regularly, but then again I'd guess it's because you're living life.
You have friends, true friends, whom you can count on. I must say I'm of course jealous of you, but then I suppose you're deserving of these people whom will stay by your side. Meanwhile, I will continue to search for mine.
Note to self: it's really hard, but try to stop being jealous and over-thinking things. In the past I have over-thought a whole elaborate scenario which dampened my mood greatly, only to bluntly realise how far from the truth my scenario was.
And, a wish: to accurately understand when people are truly angry. Especially to people whom I care a lot, I tend to get very sensitive. As such I may mis-judge their emotions and keep thinking they are upset with me, due to a totally irrelevant body language.
Then I get upset, which in turn makes them upset. Cue vicious circle #2. If only it was this easy to stop such a detrimental behaviour, with an on-off switch maybe. One can only dream . . .
11 March 2016:
I have trust and anxiety issues.My ORD calculator app tells me I'm 62.6% completed with NS. Excluding cadet days, from Dec 2014 to June 2015, I have spent almost 6 months as a non-trainee. During this period, with less strenuous activities to do and more time, I began to think.
And I realised I am experiencing a friendship dearth. Apart from a few groups, I have almost no contact with other friends from secondary school or JC. And although I'm the type that prefers little close friends to many aquaintances, the latter is what I've end up with mainly.
Even during my non-trainee phase, I can't exactly claim to have made many new friends. Perhaps G, yes, but even then I cannot confirm whether he thinks of me as a friend as well. I know many people from various coylines, but then I don't know them personally.
Through a series of occurrences, I ended up sharing with YS about the above and how I'm actually affected by it. That was extremely ironic, considering what happened previously regarding me and him. Again, I am not sure if he considers me as a friend.
Nevertheless, he responded by telling me that I came across as pretentious, in a way that I always seemed fine and problem-free to others. Another point was also about how I seemed to be very impersonal, and as a result people treated me merely as a colleague.
These came as a shock to me. Simply because I didn't consciously portray the above to others, yet apparently that is how it's being perceived.
Upon rationalising this, I attribute this largely to my trust issues. Simply put, due to what happened previously, I am very wary of making new friends. And because I was once 'dumped' (someone whom I regarded as friend actually doesn't think the same), I sometimes close up.
As a result, those who already treat me as a friend may instead think that my actions are indications that I do not want to befriend them. Or, in the first place, they see me as unapproachable hence don't even bother. What a vicious circle.
Another issue that crops up during this period would be that for new / would-be friends, they are very not used to my manner of speech and mean humour. As such, I end up offending them through mis-interpreted jibes.
The above aside, enter anxiety issues. Whilst it is not as serious as others, my procrastination is largely fuelled by anxiety and fear of failure. I've probably mentioned this previously, but it still is happening. This is very debillitating, as it affects my way of life.
Conclusion: I am broken, or at least very fractured. I really don't know whether this was self-inflicted or indeed due to external responses. But as YS said, in a play, I would probably play the character Blue.
Post-script: Come to think of it, how many people have I 'fooled' to think that I am perfectly fine? Should I have more easily and readily shared my story? Having done so with YS, I am in some ways more relieved, though nothing was really solved per se. It's more of releasing these pent up thoughts for an airing. At the same time, I also worry that when I do share, the person whom I trusted ends up leaving / disregarding me. I am really hoping that YS is not like that; he has promised so; I believe him; yet the cynic within me still thinks there's a 1% probability that he may simply become strangers (again). Obviously I'd do what I can do prevent it, but what if it happened because of my actions instead?
20 February 2016:
If there’s one thing I appreciate about NS, it’s that I get to experience office life as a ‘trial’ before I truly work. (Of course, I do realise that not all get to do so, as most go through a purely combat role.)
Currently, in my job, I deal with company commanders while in an office environment. (I don’t think I can really mention a lot more without breaching anything.) Already, this has made me learn a lot, all of which isn’t taught in school.
For one, it’s about power. In a sense, army made it easier to establish a power structure, as there is rank. So yes although there are quotes like ‘rank is given but respect is earned’, rank is still alive and kicking (and no way should it be abolished).
However, along come potential abusers of rank. They may try and pressure you to suit their demands, even though in the big picture that’s not feasible. The classic, old-school response would be to ‘suck thumb’ and do as they say.
Thankfully, nowadays, things are not as rigid. This is not to say that one can wilfully disobey superiors, but that now there are slightly more leeway for redress and consultation.
With that said, of course, there still *is* power play. I shall not (and cannot) mention intricacies, but let’s just say that before this I had no idea the CC function in e-mails was such a powerful one.
Side note: till now, I have never employed BCC (except when I’m sending a mass e-mail and protecting the recipients’ confidentiality) and I certainly hope I never have to do so.
Back in 2007, I watched Just Follow Law, a Jack Neo movie about bureaucracy and office politics. My parents especially empathised with the office scenes, but as an 11-year-old, needless to say I was rather clueless.
9 years later, I certainly know why my parents laughed so loud or seethed so angrily at certain parts of the movie. Willingly or not, I have been exposed (somewhat) to office culture. Welcome, I told myself, to the world of office politics.
Office politics is, no doubt, terrifying for a typical JC kid (of which I am one). He has no sinister agenda, full of book smarts and little street smarts. To the seasoned predators of the office, he is nothing but delectable prey.
... Okay, maybe I exaggerated and generalised. I’m sure not every JC kid is as such. And not everyone else in the office is bent on devouring the weak. My point is, for such people, we have no choice but to learn the hard way.
And learn, I did. For the past two months, I was embroiled in a nasty episode that left me isolated within my office. I don’t want to go into details, mainly because one shouldn’t air dirty linen out and also because that’s another 1,800 words long.
In fact, the isolation has not yet subsided and bad blood still exists. I don’t know if it will end, but at this point my take is too bad if it doesn’t, good if it does. As much as I had hoped for the best and most cohesive environment, sometimes we don’t get what we want.
In all, the lesson learnt is that I should never have been too kind-hearted. Also, be less trusting of people, especially those whom you don’t know personally for an extended period of time.
Also, the assumption that NSFs will not harm fellow NSFs is oh so wrong. Once again, I learnt this the hard way. But I guess 經一事長一智, so yes, I have emerged from this more knowledgable about the ways of this world.
At the end of the day, I am heartened that at least my boss knew how to judge for himself. No doubt he who hates me will immediately label me as a boss’ pet, or whatever is nastier. But, from the bottom of my heart:
I know that I, at any point in time, did nothing out of fear or favour to my boss, my colleagues or any superior. I did anything and everything with the betterment of the office as my sole motivation. It’s a pity that my intentions, no matter how idealistic, how well-construed, were still wilfully twisted. Alas a pity is just a pity and I intend to leave it at that.
To NS I say: thanks for the preview. True, I can’t quit, I can’t unsubscribe, but at least I can better choose my defences for the future. The future where even scarier species may lurk, awaiting my ensnarement.