Everyone thought I looked fine.

Around this time of year, I get a lot of big thoughts. Cutting thoughts.

I’m having some of them right now.

A few days ago, I caught myself thinking about what I would do to spend even one more minute with my dad.

I caught myself thinking what-if, and those are dangerous what-ifs, so I’m not going to write them out. Those moments that I took for granted back home are so precious. Why didn’t I think to save his fuzzy voicemail clip?

It looks like I have it together, really. I decorate my home, I cook healthy food, I lounge around in the hot tub when I’m stressed. I even made a few friends in the city. I smile when I’m supposed to.

You wouldn’t have known.

That I was lonely, that I was dying inside, that nothing seemed to be working no matter how hard I tried. I dreaded going to sleep since I’d wake up in nightmares or worse, wake up in a dazed stupor fueled with caffeine.

I was alone, going home to a home that didn’t feel like home. With friends to call but none of them get me yet.

What if I’d stayed in Vancouver? What if?

Sometimes my music students tell me they regret that they didn’t start playing piano when they were younger.

Or they regret that they quit music when they were younger. It’s so hard to rewire your fingers to play the piano keys, after so long. Is it too late to play piano?

These words are easy to say, but cut so deep if you repeat them to yourself often enough.

I was hiding. I was convincing myself that I just had to get by, to suppress my feelings and just make money. Just survive.

Until I decided to be brave.

This is a story that I am living, and I get to write my own narrative. Just like you get to write yours.

I gave myself a break.

I am a big believer in pattern interrupts during piano practice, so why not apply them to my life? A pattern interrupt means taking a break from the task and changing your environment, for at least 30 minutes. This will help you process information, and you will come back refreshed.

Why not spend this time enjoying the life you’ve got? Instead of asking why your fingers can’t play a piece of music, why not ask yourself how you can work towards it? Perhaps you might try chunking or ghost playing.

Instead of asking why I don’t like Seattle, I started asking myself how I can fall in love with it.

So I went surfing. This is the single best thing I have done here. I also bought myself a dress so I’d stop feeling like a slug.

My narrative is not perfect, but it is changing.

Perhaps hearing my story will spark something in you.

Dear friend, you are worth it. I truly believe this.

Take some time today to do something for yourself. A pattern interrupt.

Your narrative is yours, and you are worth it.

4 Comments


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4 Comments

  • Reply Stan April 19, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Thank you for sharing your gifts. It is greatly appreciated. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Dad.
    Reading comments on your sight I can see that there are many thankful people that care about you. Wishing you the best

    • Reply Grace Lam April 19, 2019 at 8:33 am

      Thank you, Stan, I appreciate this a lot. It made me crack my first smile today. All the best

  • Reply Susan April 23, 2019 at 5:54 am

    Thanks for sharing these painful thoughts. I think it helps us to know that we all experience these types of feelings and sufferings…we are not alone. You are not alone. I laughed at how a dress would make you feel less like a slug!!! Do slugs not wear dresses?? ;) <3 I find that doing something outdoors in nature expands my view of the world and helps make sense of my place in it. Hugs to you.

    • Reply Grace Lam April 23, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      You crack me up, Susan! Slugs where I live, look like squished bananas, so no dresses here. Just squished bananas. Hugs back to you.

    What do you think?

    4 Comments