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Tag Archives: relationship

Your #Relationship With Words

Ah, relationships. Oh, how society loves to talk about relationships. We seem to care a lot about who got together with who, who is getting married, and who is still single. Our social media is filled with relationship goals and couple hashtags. But, have we ever stopped to think about our own relationship? Specifically, our relationship with words—the very words we speak into our own lives and the words we utter to everyone else? What is your relationship status with words?

Are You Single?

Are you single because the words you’ve spoken have left your heart broken? Or are you single because you cannot find the right words to say? Are the words you speak onto yourself, and onto others, hurtful and damaging? Or do you choose not to say anything at all, even when something needs to be said?

Let’s start believing in words again. Let’s start encouraging dreams, voicing appreciation, and verbalising affection. Let’s start building a relationship with words. Because words are potent enough to change even the most unchangeable person.

Are You In A Relationship?

If you’re already in a relationship with words, is your relationship healthy, loving, and nurturing? Or… is your relationship abusive and destructive? Are the words you’re speaking positive and uplifting? Or do you allow yourself to be battered by the painful blows at your self-esteem?

Let’s stop with the self-deprecating words that sabotage our confidence and devalue our worth. Let’s stop destroying ourselves and those around us with our very own tongues. Rather, let’s speak life and hope. Because words, once spoken, can and will determine our future.

Are You Committed?

Saying you’re committed means working at keeping the relationship together. It’s about accepting the flaws—that some days, you might make mistakes—but still striving to grow. It’s not about perfection, but loving yourself for who you are.

Let’s never forget how important this relationship is. What we say to ourselves can make us or break us. What we say onto others can motivate ambition or stir insecurities. Though it might sometimes be a challenge to say the right words, let’s endeavour to choose our words wisely. Because words will ultimately define who we are and what we become.

So, what is your relationship status with words? What are your relationship goals? Wherever you are in this journey—single, in a relationship, or committed—start cultivating a healthy relationship with words. Build a relationship that will make you a more fearless, self-loving, and confident individual.

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Posted by on November 15, 2018 in Original Works

 

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How About John? [12 Genre Months]

“How about John? He’s the closest to your type,” she said.

I shrugged in reply. It was almost always like this–conversations that moved from work to the possible candidates around me. And, because my type was often considered a niche, I was given the same names–encouraged to approach the same few men on a helplessly short name list.

“If you want, I know of a way I can get you and John acquainted,” she added, with a beaming smile.

Yes, I didn’t know John. But funnily enough, I knew a lot about him. Friends in common have showed me his social media profiles. They have spoken highly of him. They have shared their encounters and praised John’s admirable qualities. I wasn’t even sure if I could call John an acquaintance. I knew too much–it was as if we were actually friends.

“Nah,” I replied. My answer was always the same.

“A few of us are getting together this weekend. You should join–John will be there.”

“Nah,” I repeated. Why should I try? Based on past experiences, trying didn’t do me any good. Whenever I took steps to get to know someone new, I would quickly learn I didn’t fit their bill. It was always a waste of precious time–time I could’ve spent reading that book I bought three years ago or simply staring at a wall.

“You have to make an investment if you want something to happen, you know,” she said.

Did I actually want something to happen? Everyone made John out to be this sought after man, that I should make a move if I wanted to be noticed. But honestly, I didn’t care if he noticed me. So why did I need to get his attention? Why couldn’t he be the one seeking my attention instead?

Perhaps it wasn’t like this for John. Perhaps the gentlemen didn’t suggest names, show pictures, and offer help during their get-togethers. Perhaps it was only us ladies who tried endlessly to match-make our friends. Why did we do that? Why were we all equally guilty of making romance a key player in our happiness?

“It sounds like too much work,” I replied.

She sighed an expected sigh. It wasn’t the first time–I’ve made a lot of people sigh. They would either sigh at my lack of attempt or when I turned down a potentially good candidate.

“That’s not a priority right now,” I added.

She frowned an expected frown. It was a common response to my hypocritical statement. Despite the quest for love not being a priority in my life, it sometimes felt important–important enough to entertain suggestions and make plans. So yes, I was a hypocrite. But, not because I chose to be one. I had no reason for oscillating between genuine interest and resignation. I didn’t understand my actions and decisions in this subject matter. Was it just me? Or were we all on the same swaying boat, tossed in a storm of expectations and acceptance.

“How about Matthew?” she asked.

She wasn’t listening to me. No one listened to the boy who cried wolf. And, to prove my role in the acclaimed fable, I asked, “Who?”

“Hold on, let me show you.” She swiftly retrieved her phone from her handbag, excited to show me a new candidate. Alas, when I gazed upon his picture, I could only offer a disappointing response.

“Oh, this guy,” I replied with little enthusiasm.

“He’s almost your type.”

“Yea, but…”

“No?”

“No.”

“Seriously, it’s impossible to find someone you like.”

“I know.”

It was a blessing in disguise. If no one could fit my ideals, I could think about something else. I could spend my energy and resources on the other things that made me happy.

“How about you?” I asked. It was time to shift the conversation around–to stop dwelling on the fact that I might be single for life. Was that a happy or a sad fact? It didn’t matter. It was her turn to contemplate about her happiness. “Aaron is a nice guy,” I stated.

“He is,” she replied. “But our desires don’t align.”

“What desires? He seems like a good fit for you.”

“He wants a stay-at-home wife. I can’t be that.”

“Oh. That’s disappointing. I guess we can scrape him off your list then.”

“Yea.”

“How about John? He’s almost your type,” I said.

“I… don’t know.”

Was she now pondering if a relationship could truly make her happy? Did she care if John noticed her? Was she willing to take the first step?

She wasn’t like me. She never once said that a relationship wasn’t a priority. But, maybe she kept that thought to herself. Perhaps I wasn’t the only hypocrite. Or, maybe I was–she could be more hopeful than I would ever be. She could have more suitors and prospects. In comparison, my lack of effort could be a reflection of my unpopularity.

Stuck in the unknown of my own wants and desires, it was my turn to heave a sigh. I didn’t sigh at her response but at the undetermined, incomprehensible, and often bothersome state I was in. How long would I have to float in this unsettlement? Alike its very nature, I will never know.

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12 Genre Months © 2018 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in Original Works

 

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Window | Pillow | Chocolate

windowpillowchocolate

It has been three years. Three years since we boarded the plane together. Three years since we fought over the window seat. Three years since we flipped a coin, just to see who should ask the air steward for an extra pillow. Three years since he proposed with a box of chocolate. And three years since we said goodbye.

As I curled up in the stiff economy class seat, I wondered what life would’ve been if he didn’t walk away. Would we be living in the cozy apartment we imagined? Would we have named our first child after his favourite actress? Would we be flying to Peru, right at this moment, for our great Machu Picchu adventure? Would we still be in love? If we didn’t say those words, would we still be together?

I can still recall the night of our tiff. It was a pleasant night. The day was filled with gentle showers, setting dusk in a cool breeze, fresh with the scent of rain in the air. It was the perfect night to cuddle with a hot cup of cocoa, as we shared the stories from our uneventful day. But that didn’t happen. We would still be together, if it actually did.

“So you’re coming to my mum’s birthday party, right?” I asked.

“Sorry love, I can’t make it this weekend. I’ve got work.”

“It’s the weekend. Why are you always working on the weekend?”

“Trust me, I don’t want to. It’s the boss. You know how he’s like.”

“You should quit.”

He turned to me, eyes wide with surprise. Then he chuckled.

“I’m serious,” I added.

“I can’t just quit. The wedding needs money.”

“You’re not the only one working.”

“But I want to be. I want to give you the best wedding ever.”

Resting his hands on my shoulders, he gave a gentle squeeze as he flashed his famous childish grin. I smiled. How could I not?

“Fine. But you still have to attend my mum’s party. She’s turning sixty,” I said.

“Only sixty. She’s still young.”

“You know how some of the older people are. Sixty is a big deal. And if I go without you, she’ll ask an unbearable amount of questions.”

“I can’t go. I really can’t.”

“Just tell your boss-”

“I can’t,” he interrupted.

Why did he interrupt? If he hadn’t done so, I might have given in. I might have let him skip the party. I might have held my tongue.

“Why are you so straight with your decisions?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why can’t you try to work things around? Saying you can’t when you’ve not tried-”

“How do you know I’ve not tried?”

“I know because I know you. And I know, for sure, you didn’t ask your boss if you could have the weekend off.”

“Are we seriously arguing about this right now? I’m tired. Let’s talk about it tomorrow, alright?”

“It’s always tomorrow with you.”

“Yes, because I don’t want to say something I’d regret. So let’s talk tomorrow.”

He gave me a quick peck on the forehead before stalking toward the door. Here’s my regret. I didn’t let him go. I made him stay at a time he needed to leave the most. I went after him, reached for his wrist, and pulled him back.

“No, let’s talk about this now. We will forget about this tomorrow-”

“And maybe that’s a good idea.”

“How is that a good idea? We’re getting married. This is something we need to discuss. How do you expect me to live with a man who will be absent every weekend?”

“It’s only this weekend. Why are you making such a big deal out of it?”

“It’s always ‘only this weekend’ with you. Fine. Go then. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

Like a child, I folded my arms and glared. And for that brief moment, I had hope. I was expectant. I thought he would stay and ask for forgiveness. That he would choose to work things out, instead of leaving. But I guess, he really was tired. And without another word, he walked out the front door never to return.

I have cried enough over what happened three years ago – stifling tears in the shower and hyperventilating by the sidewalks. But nothing I did brought him back. What could tears do to bring the dead to life? Was there a potion for resurrection? Would true love’s kiss work? When I became too tired to feel anymore, I forced myself to move on. I forced myself to disassociate the past from my present. Though unfortunately, the memories live on. I can recount every part of it as if it were a movie I’d watch one too many times. But even if I don’t tear up, it leaves a bitter aftertaste of regret.

As the air steward walked past with a pillow in hand, as the child clumsily unwrapped his chocolate bar, as I gazed at the cumuliform clouds, I wondered once more what life would have been. And then I concluded before the seatbelt sign blinked red: life would’ve been great. We would’ve been happy. We would’ve created wonderful memories. But life, unfortunately, goes on. And if I were to ever find love again, so should I.

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Window, pillow, and chocolate were words given by kara562. Firstly, let me apologise for writing this rather depressing piece. You see, I’ve been watching too many sad dramas recently that they’ve had an affect on me. So, when I saw those three words, the two things that came to mind were aeroplane and regret. I don’t why. Hence, this story. I do hope it was an engaging tale though.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. It’s fun. You don’t have to try so hard. And oh, it makes a great writing practice.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Hello, Stranger

Hello stranger

Snap!

The Polaroid camera slipped out a film and as the image of my smiling face slowly appeared, my favourite waitress scribbled down ’37 seconds’ at the white space.

“Would you like to do it?” she asked.

Nodding my head, I took the picture and headed to a corkboard on the cafe wall.

“Hello, stranger,” I said out loud, as I reached for the picture already pinned on the board.

This young man, flexing his muscle with a doughnut in his hand, had previously pinned his picture thinking he was the new doughnut king in the joint. If only he knew the crown was no longer his.

Handing the picture of this stranger to the waitress, I secured mine on the board and beamed proudly. Yes, it may seem silly to be proud of such a small accomplishment, but I dare say it is an impressive one. I can down five doughnuts at top speed and everyone month I make sure to secure my throne. No competitor has taken my spot for the last ten months, and I deserve an applause for that.

After reclaiming my throne, I headed to my day job at a coffee house. I was working as a cashier while looking for a proper job that matched the degree I had. It was not the best job in the world, but it provided for my meals. And that afternoon, my friends decided to drop by and have lunch with me.

The round table of three people was accompanied with lattes and sandwiches. Not the typical meal for me, but nothing about that lunch was typical to begin with. It had been a year since I last saw my friends as they were studying and working across borders, and having them over had become a strange experience.

Thinking of them and the stranger that attempted to dethrone me, I skipped the ‘how are you’ and went straight to the oddest question I had in mind.

“Have you ever wondered what Hugh Jackman is doing right now?” I asked.

One of my friends looked at me, shook her head, and said, “Still fangirl-ing over him?”

I rolled my eyes and replied, “Have YOU ever wondered what Ed Sheeran is doing right now?”

“I’m done with him,” she said.

“That’s not the right answer.”

“It’s a strange question, but no. Now that you asked though, I’m beginning to wonder.”

My other friend chuckled and joined in. “I know what Woo Bin is doing right now. He’s probably on set shooting his latest drama.” She ended her sentence with the widest smile and I could not help but laugh.

“On a first name basis already?” I asked.

She hid her blush by downing a big gulp of her latte before asking, “Why the odd question though?”

I simply shrugged in reply.

I honestly had no reason for that question, it just fell on my lap and I had to bring it up. It was then that I started to wonder what my father was doing at that very moment; he was probably at lunch with his colleagues. And then my mother came to mind; most likely trying to reach my brother over the phone. Without having to try, I ended up wondering what my brother was doing; hopefully he was in class listening to a boring lecture.

Even though I did not intend to continue floating through the thoughts in my head, I ended up doing so. It took me a lot of effort to stop wondering about Hugh Jackman working out at the gym, but I eventually managed to focus on the two girls in front of me. When my ears were finally on their stories, I left the wondering behind.

After lunch, I made my friends promise me a dinner date before bidding them farewell. The day then carried on as usual, with customers making special orders, complaining about their coffee, and leaving generous tips. By the end of my shift, I was ready to clean up and go home. But just before I left, I decided to take one more customer.

“Hello, stranger,” the customer greeted.

“Hello! Having here or takeaway?” I asked.

“Takeaway,” he replied.

“What would you like to have?”

“A regular cappuccino, single shot.”

I typed in his order, gave him a smile and waited for him as he took out some cash from his wallet. As he passed me the bill, he asked, “Have I seen you before?”

Giving him a small smile, I shook my head. After all, how would I know if he has seen me before? As he didn’t press further, I waited silently as my colleague made his coffee. When it was finally done, I handed it to him and at that moment I took a good look at him.

“Have I seen YOU before?” I asked, before I could think it through.

He laughed and a thoughtful expression spread across his face. The two of us stood there for a moment trying to recall where we last saw each other and at the very same time, we blurted out, “John’s Doughnut House!”

“You tried to dethrone me!” I immediately continued.

“I did it again,” he replied with a smirk.

I was shocked but I was not backing down. “Ha! Not for long.”

“We’ll see. I was wondering who you were,” he said with a smile.

“Wonder no more,” I replied as I folded my arms coolly.

As soon as those words escaped my lips, they bounced right back at me and hit me hard. Why was I wondering what people were doing when I could just ask them? It was so strange of me to prefer one action I had no answers to, instead of another action that gave me what I needed. If connecting with a stranger was so easy, there was no difficulty connecting with someone I know.

That day, I went home with the phone number of a new friend and a revelation that the world is small simply because of human connection.

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We live in a world where we are surrounded by technology, and recently there has been a lot of talk about how technology has handicapped our ability to build relationships. This story is not about that. This story is about human connection and how we all have the ability to connect with someone without even trying. It is in our nature to do so. Technology did not make the world smaller, it simply showed us how small our world is. To have a world without boundaries, we simply have to connect with one another.

Yes, we might still be left wondering what our favourite celebrities are doing at this moment, but we don’t have to wonder when it comes to our family and friends. Give them a call or meet up for lunch; stop wondering and start connecting!

As always, let me know what you think of this story in the comments below 🙂 I have never written such a simple, plotless story before, hence this is a test to see if I can write well without a proper story arc. So please connect with me and give me your thoughts!

© 2014 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

 
26 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Original Works

 

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