I’ve been struggling to write lately. And as a Communications Consultant with a BA degree in Journalism and an MA in Marketing, when I say I can’t write, it’s bad. It means something is wrong.
But I want to write today because I think it’s time I start another section on this blog in English. Because this is something I barely have the vocabulary in Vietnamese to elaborate on. But it’s important to me. And I hope it will help others, too. Just not the same audience I have for my Vietnamese blogs.
A lot of things happened this year.
Some of them happened too fast. Some of them dragged on longer than necessary. And I was waiting for the right timing to tell the full story. But then I realized, there is no perfect timing for something like this. I would never be able to see the full picture if I don’t write down the events as they take place and the emotions that follow them.
So, first let’s go through the timeline.
Around April, Petr and I moved from the two-bedroom flat into a house, his parents’ old house to be exact. I got a full-time job. Then I graduated with my Master’s in June. We celebrated our 5-year anniversary as I applied for an employment visa. But, August came and we broke up. I found a one-person flat in the city center and signed the paper lease within a week. I moved out. Then I got on Tinder. Met a lot of interesting guys. Some better than others. But nothing came about it. By November, I was traveling across Europe for my birthday, to Austria, Germany, Spain, and Brussels, doing street photography and having fun with the locals. And now it is December and I just started going to therapy.
I would love to write about the usual stuff on this blog, like tips and tricks on how to negotiate salaries or get that green card, but I can’t until I feel I can be honest with you, my readers, say admit that: I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything. Adulting is hard. Growing up is hard. Life is not all sunshine and butterflies. And writing should reflect that. Not glossing over it and giving you 10 steps on how to get over your ex, reconcile with your mom, and nail that job promotion. But, you are going to be fine. I know because I might be a hot mess right now but I am doing my goddamn best every day to heal and grow. So that’s why I decided it’s time to start writing again.
To be honest with you, I was afraid.
I was afraid of many things. Of people judging me. Of exposing my mistakes. Of revealing my insecurities and admitting that my life isn’t as perfect as I would like to portray it to be. The truth is, not everyone would be able to understand what I’m going through, and that’s okay. Funny enough, the people I wanted to hide my feelings from the most, are my family. I don’t want them to worry about me. I’ve been taking care of myself and nailing every single obstacle that life throws at me since Day 1 I came to the Czech Republic. And it’s been over six years. I hate admitting to anyone, let alone my family, that it’s not been easy. This year, in particular, has been brutal.
Someone said, if I want to do journal therapy, I should. Just don’t post it publicly for everyone to see. Because not everyone cares about the back story. They just want to get to the juicy part where they can pick out what’s wrong with you and your life and laugh at it. Not gonna lie, it hurt a lot when I heard that. Because I take my blogging very seriously. If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know I spent a lot of time and energy on them. This blog is hard work. I welcome discussions around the topics. I even welcome feedback on my writing. But what I will not tolerate is people, especially my own blood, judging me for my feelings and experience. And now you know why this post is in English.
The truth is, I can shut this blog down any time I want. I don’t give a fuck. It’s not making any money. My family doesn’t give two shits about it. When they do pay attention, they want me to stop being dramatic and weak and depressed and immature. But I keep the blog anyways, which costs me money by the way in case you don’t know how the internet works, because I know it helps many people. I know because I see the stats and the emails, and the comments. I’m not an influencer. But the fact is people find this blog useful. So I’ll keep writing. But, I want to write for myself, too.
I guess what I’m trying to do is, asking you, whoever you are, to accept me for who I am. If you don’t like this side of me, it’s okay, too. Just don’t stay to throw shades. I’m not a model citizen. I’m not a “halo” example of a true Vietnamese. I don’t always keep the apartment clean. And most of the time I procrastinate until the last minute and have panic attacks over the smallest issues. I’m just a regular flawed human being. Sometimes I feel sad. Sometimes I don’t want to do anything or meet anyone. But sometimes I’m awesome. Actually, most of the time I’m fucking awesome.
This blog doesn’t really contain any useful information about overcoming writer’s blocks or dealing with insecurities, but it’s my way of saying, hey, I’m a writer and I’m scared, too. If you’re scared of sharing your ideas and opinions with the world, you’re not alone. It’s fucking terrifying to speak up. But, either speak up now, to help yourself and others, or die a pussy.
I would rather live my truth and lose a few friends than have people adore a fake version of myself just because it fits with their agenda.
Write with me.
That night, when I thought about breaking up with Petr, I was terrified of the judgment that would follow my decision. It scared the shit out of me to imagine what Mom and Dad would say, what my cousin and her family would think, how Grandma would react. The list goes on but you get the gist. I was less concerned with my own well-being but rather how my decision on my private life would affect the emotions of others, some of whom I barely talk to. It was not the first time I wanted to end things with him. It wouldn’t be the last. But I was so scared.
I was fortunate enough to have friends who were there to support me, help me overcome my fear of judgment, and for once, put myself first. Most people didn’t have that luxury.
When I made the decision to walk out, I thought about how privileged I was to have the ability to leave. I thought about all the women that never got the financial and emotional support that I had to leave their toxic relationships. I thought about my future children, if I’d have them some day, what kind of childhood trauma I would put them through if they have to grow up in such a dysfunctional family that people can’t communicate effectively to each other on basic matters.
I was certain I had to leave when I still could. Because although it was the hardest decision I had to make in my entire life, it was the right thing to do. And I did it, not just for me, but for thousands of women who couldn’t. Women who were ashamed of admitting they weren’t happy with their relationships; pressured by families and society to stay with men they bear children with. Women who have gotten used to compromise, all the time; conditioned to put the well-being of others above themselves, all the time. Women who deserve better, but the patriarchal system they were born under forced them to settle for less.
So, write not just for yourself, but for thousands of people who couldn’t. Be the voice of the voiceless.
I’m able to open up about my insecurities and imperfections because someone else did, and I felt empowered by it. Now I write, so you can. And you’ll write, so others can. We’re in this together. We might be clueless terrified human beings but we write with purpose and courage. That’s what writers do.