It is utterly hilarious how a relaxing vacation can turn into a stressful visit, highlighting obvious spaces in your life that didn’t need any more emphasis.
As I boarded my almost two hour flight to Phuket, Thailand for the weekend, I kept reminding myself that it was meant to be a short two-day and sun-filled trip that could make me feel the weight of work anxiety lift off my shoulders.
On normal weekdays, I tend to forget that I was forlorn, lonely, and in need of pure blissful affection because I was consumed with work and all of its unnecessary dealings and stresses. Then when I get home, I put on the TV and eat my home-cooked dinner only to be emotionally frenzied by what is happening on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Trust me, I keep up with their lives way more than my own, because as truly burdening and pathetic as this may sound, my life is empty.
Don’t get me wrong, on most days I am content with myself, just having the conversations I have in my own brain to get me through the explicitly tormenting week.
But in all honesty, I avoid thinking about how my best friend from the start of high school is getting hitched in less than two months, and I am still here thinking about what food to eat later after work. I dodge questions about my single life because I have no answers for them. I cringe everytime when I think that this coming weekend will be no different from the last. If I had no friend’s birthday celebration, I’d be laying flat out on the couch, on a Saturday evening watching random HBO movies.
So this year, for my 27th birthday, I booked a trip just so I wouldn’t feel so loser-ish, with three other single friends. They were good and trustworthy friends, who always tried their best to make me feel better and have pretty much proven their loyalty. We set off, thinking it would be a swooping trip filled with laughter and we’d be able to forget all of life’s burgeoning issues.
Well, just like how the higher powers always proves me wrong – we ended up on an island filled with blossoming and sexually active couples, who were in love and were ready to flaunt their love to the world. I bowed my head down in solemnness, feeling desolate and the same kind of emptiness that fills the pit of my throat, making it dry and hoarse.
27 is a solid number, an age where you’re suppose to be this diplomatic adult, having your career sorted out, life all figured out, and in a relationship that is all ready to get settled down. As I queued up to get my passport chopped at the immigration counters, to my every left and right, front and back, my vision was enlightened by happy and kissy couples.
Pretty much like all single girls, I looked at them in envy because I wondered what it must feel like to be assured of happiness. To look at this other person and feel like the whole world around you is disappearing, to feel like everything else is just background noise. I was faced with the very reality that I was indeed single, alone and lonely. The very questions often asked by family members that I have been dodging all along I began to ask myself.
See, I’m a master at plastering a huge and sincere smile on my face even when the heart inside my chest is aching. I have actual magical powers when it comes to making people think I’m okay especially when I’m not.
I try not to dwell on the missing pieces of my life. I try to imagine that everything is exactly as it should be.
Bottom line to what I am saying is that, being envious is one thing that is impossibly unavoidable and even more so when it is right there in your face, telling you that you need to stop pretending and face up to reality that as much as you try to put up a strong front, seeing other happy couple does strike a chord within your heart strings.
It does make you whimper quiet wishes and hope that someday, sooner rather than later, that it will be your turn to feel how it’d be like to be with someone who gets to be the best part of your day, how it feels to be able to fit the top of your head right underneath his chin, to explore new cities and countries with this other person, hand in hand, to know you have an adventure partner, to want to compromise daily habits for him, to learn how to cook that one dish he loves so much and to know in the hearts of your heart that he is this person you’d want to get on every flight with, while a destination awaits to be travelled upon.
But till then, I guess I’ll always be the girl who stares enviously at happy couples.