• Squid Wan

How to slow down? Singapore leh.

When we have enough, we want more. And we want it fast. We are constantly exposed to "rich" lifestyles and the demographic is getting younger. Gucci now sells Doraemon goods, what more can I say? This guy is wearing a USD 1,950 jacket. No biggie.

In a world where the younger generation are expected to have it made, loaded and not fail or speak about failure, sure. No wonder mental health is deteriorating, unusual behaviours and suicides are rising, and those who are not in a toxic culture trance are protesting for a better world. They're also supposed to dance for TikTok, be business owners, be activists and talk about the stock market, juggling everything like a pro, and still be expected to have healthy relationships, adequate sleep and look fashionable in branded wear they cannot afford, or look dope in thrift clothing. Some would argue that every generation had to go through somewhat the same struggles, but I disagree. I strongly feel that when I was growing up, if all of this was happening, it might not have the power to reach and impact me as much as it can with the current generation, because of technological advances that have escalated quickly since 10 years ago. Anyway, I have been deciding since the beginning of the year if I should finally upgrade my iPhone 8 plus to the new iPhone 12. It is so expensive but not as expensive as the Doraemon x Gucci jacket, I guess...

Right. Enough of that, back to me, please. Why did I start this article talking about the woes the younger generation have to go through? TikTok is starting to affect me, I guess. I think of my nephews and nieces, my friends' children and I want to contribute to creating a better world for them to grow older in. Recently, an ex-colleague's son lost his battle to mental health struggles. It broke me, I felt heavy for days, and it has kept the fire in me lit (keeping me up at night) to do and create more for mental health awareness. My generation and the generations above me are more resilient, but only because we are known to sweep problems under the rugs and max out our credit cards. Not many are willing to slow down, or even get into the conversation of mental health or to question outdated practices that no longer serve us. Most of us, really do not have the time. Juggling children, career, our elders, and keeping our finances hopefully in check, and wondering what other upgrades in life we need, a new house, a new car, this and that new gadget... and HOW to make more MONEY. Collectively, we need to slow down. And if we are privileged enough think about not only about ourselves but how we can help others. Let me tell you a story (about me of course)...

2012, I tried to take my life after a breakup. She cheated on me with someone she met at a friend's farewell party, and that someone ended up harassing me with text messages claiming how my ex never loved me. It was peculiar but now I understood why. She probably had some inner personal issues, and I was easy target because, as I mentioned in my first video, I lacked the self-love to stop people from stepping on my head. Anyway, after I popped too many pills in my darkened room I stepped out to get some water to wash them down, and that's when I saw my grandma, now 86 years old, who was sitting in front of the TV watching the news smile at me. It was no ordinary smile, because of the pills I had ingested her my vision was fudged up. Her head was floating dreamily above her regular sized body and her smile was wide like a Chesire cat and that's when I snapped out of my pain, ran to the toilet instead to barf everything out. I was 27 years old then. I promised I would never do such a thing ever, because my grandma, the woman who loved me unconditionally and had brought me up, did not deserve to feel the pain of losing a granddaughter. This is where my journey to achieving better mental health started.

2016, 2 ex-girlfriends later, and having maxed out my credit cards paying for my "party" lifestyle and part-time degree, I felt like a complete failure, again. Instead of ending it all, because I promised I won't ever, I went off the grid to compose myself and heal. It was only then that I discover the concept of self-love. You might think it's ridiculous, how I do not know what self-love is till I was 31 but I also did not know that lesbians were a thing till I was 18, even though I had friends who were lesbians in secondary school. I was either very ignorant or was always in my own bubble. So yeah, self-love was new to me and I vowed that I will build mine up and learn its ways. I needed it for survival. I also rebuilt my finances again, bit by bit.

2019, 1 more ex-girlfriend to the collection. I thought I was doing better, I thought no one could ever step on my head, I thought that in the last 2 years, I had built enough self-love to break the pattern of relationship misfortunes. This last one was the most unfortunate. She was a class act. She betrayed my trust, took my money, strung me along while she was with someone else, lied over and over and over again, and by the time I finally came to my senses, she had wiped out all of my savings, broke me into pieces, and unremorsefully moved on to her next "love". I struggled with rebuilding my mental health, I struggled with coming to terms with the money I might never get back.

2020, instead of taking my time to heal, I pushed myself to drown in making all of the money back. By June, partly because of Covid, I lost 80-90% of my income. I turned 35 in July, miserable, due to the goals I set out for myself that I can't achieve anymore. I would have been able to buy a house and even got a used car. I was bitter, angry and depressed. So, I went for therapy and I was told that I was experiencing a surge of anxiety, that I was always reacting on the extremes of the spectrum, be more patient with myself, forgive myself (this was the hardest to do), and be okay with being in the in-between. I needed to slow down. So this is me, slowing down. Taking time out to journal my thoughts on this blog, and thinking of you, the one person I hope to reach, hoping that by reading and watching my content, you feel less alone and more empowered to also slow down and focus on You.

To end this post, here is my January 2021 check-in video:

Have compassion for others and love yourself,


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