on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

what it means to be present

This is the first time since moving to SF that I’m back in Singapore and I’m not desperately trying to escape the first opportunity I have. I’m still ambivalent about the country if not leaning towards a negative sentiment – still a step forward considering how much PTSD I had – but I wouldn’t be back here if not for my family. The people I miss, the country and all of what she embodies, not so much. I have friends dear to me who care so much about the country that sometimes I wish I can have half that sentiment, just so I can feel better about everything.

Six months on, I have learned that the passing of my grandmother did impact me profoundly. It is not the event itself, but the realization that I have not been very present for the people I care about. We cannot control life’s events, but we can choose how we are with people. Death itself still does not terrify me, missing out on opportunities to be truly present with people break me. We can spend everyday with somebody but not truly be there with them. It is not the amount of time we spend, but how much energy, how much of ourselves we are willing to give in that moment.

I have always given a lot of myself to my work, but having nobody to depend on while growing up made me sort of either detached or insecure with people. I don’t like forming deep bonds, because of the number of times I have to break them as a child in order to survive emotionally. At age 34, I am beginning to realize how much I still do not understand myself or my psyche, how many assumptions I had about myself are turning out to be wrong.

One thought on “what it means to be present”

  1. kimathomas says:

    I love this line so much: “We can spend everyday with somebody but not truly be there with them.” Beautiful post, Winnie.

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