Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess!
Perhaps you’re tired of me opening most of my articles with something about how life could be daunting, perplexing, and anxiety-inducing. I’d like to put that all aside today and focus on something that’s quite the opposite—happiness.
I mentioned in an Instagram post last week that I work quite an unconventional schedule. I don’t enjoy my Saturdays the way most people of the working class do because I work in the food and beverage industry, and for my job in particular, I need to run a café shift once a week as part of market research and to support our operations team. So in lieu of a missed Saturday, I get to enjoy a weekday off.
I had a rough past few days, not to mention, I was so exhausted I passed out on the couch last Wednesday evening after only a few shy sips of red wine. My “off day”, as we call it in the company, fell on a Thursday this week. You could say it started out the usual way an off day for me would—woke up with no alarm, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and prepared to do the laundry. Before I completely rise from bed, I’d sometimes get caught in the web of social media, and as I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw this beautiful quote from one of the accounts I follow (@lost_nowhere) that somehow stuck to me:
“Sometimes we give love to the wrong person, and we sit there and wonder, ‘how could I have given love to that person? They don’t even deserve it,’ or ‘what a waste of time.’ But the thing is, you shouldn’t think about it that way. You should think of the fact that you were able to give love, because if you are able to give, that means you have it inside of you. It’s the same thing with kindness, with honesty, with your ability to care about people. Don’t focus on the way people abuse that. Focus on the fact that you have it within you, and that it makes you who you are. It makes you a beautiful person, a beautiful human being.” – Najwa Zebian
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I took it as an affirmation, and for some strange reason, I felt happy, lighter, and more positive. And it’s funny how small shifts can impact your day in gargantuan levels. I confess that I’ve been rather mopey the past few days (maybe because that time of the month is nearing), but practicing simple things such as gratitude and contentment can really help turn your day around and do wonders for the soul.
Our cleaner came while I was doing the laundry, and it’s always nice to have someone to talk to about Manila. We talked about her kids back at home, how the house she is building in the province is reaching its completion, and how much we enjoy the beach and the simple, slow life. It’s something I miss from time to time, and one big thing I learned was that I could always find happiness and freedom wherever I may be. Five years ago, I had a dream to uproot myself from the city and settle to a place near the sea. But things change, and what I was once so sure of, ended up winding down in a totally different direction.
It used to break my heart a lot, thinking about what “could have been”, and what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to grieve a dream unfulfilled, but we move forward and find happiness in whatever situation life throws at us. Didn’t you realize that as of today, this living, breathing moment, you’ve survived 100 percent of your worst days? There is happiness in making a delicious cup of coffee, in laughing with a friend, in hugging a loved one, in playing soft jazz music indoors while the rain pours heavily outside—never mind the laundry; it’ll dry up sooner or later. There is contentment in finding time to look through old journals and realize how much you’ve grown as a person. There is gratitude flipping through photos of travels to destinations you’ve never dreamed of adventuring to. Not all days are perfect, but there is value in finding happiness even in the most mundane of situations.
Do something you enjoy and distance yourself from things (or people) that bring you down. I find social media to be an unlimited source of triggers that could either impact you in a positive or negative way—so scroll wisely. As a first step, find something that you are grateful for—gratitude, I feel, is one of the easiest emotions that bring happiness. Happiness can take the form of chocolate ice cream, a breezy day, a silly selfie, or even as simple as breathing. Try it.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Marian Hukom
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