Melancholy was a feeling that I became very familiar with my first few weeks back in The Netherlands. I went through the day dragging my feet, feeling so down that I lost my appetite and barely wanted to speak. All I wanted was to return to Singapore, the place that was home, to see my friends, house, and boyfriend again.
I had made sure to spend my last few months in Singapore crazy busy. I was scheduling people in weeks beforehand just to make sure I’d still get to see them. I kept myself this busy so that I could never tell myself I didn’t make the most of my time in Singapore, and to keep me distracted from the fact that soon I was leaving so soon. I definitely do not regret filling my schedule to the point of sheer sleep deprivation, because this helped me to realise how many good relationships I had in Singapore. I knew I always had people and a place to return to at home.
Getting on the plane was difficult, because I knew this was the first time I was leaving Singapore on a one way flight for the first time in 9 years. This small country had come to mean so much to me over the years that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to call another place home.
I want to put it out there, that it is important to let yourself feel emotion in these situations. Suppressing the emotion won’t take it away, it just buries it and it will reappear at a moment not much appreciated. I had my moments where I was full out enjoying and laughing, and I had moments I’d randomly burst out crying. The thing is, that’s okay. You have to find proper outlets for emotions. Some people let out emotion by talking, others by art or music- to each their own. This way you refrain from bottling emotions and randomly having them all burst out.
In Melancholy part 1 I want to explain one of three methods in which I learnt to help the melancholy go away and how I started getting comfortable in my own skin again. Reality is that things brighten up, the sadness goes away, and day by day you adjust more and more till eventually you have a day that the thought doesn’t run through your head you’d rather be somewhere else than here. Everyone adjusts differently, some always miss the place they left, others adjust and forget about their attachment to other places.
The first advice I’m going to give is hang out with friends and family. These are the people who are there for you to lean on and support you no matter what. During my first two weeks in Netherlands, every time I was alone or not occupied, I became melancholic. However, when I got to being around my family again I managed to laugh, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Those are the moments to look for and hold on to as long as possible, to keep your mind away from the darker places it can go. I’ve only spent a total of 2 weeks in Netherlands now, and despite the constant pain of missing people, it has gotten easier. I’ve made sure to catch up with extended family, and keep busy to distract myself from missing home. A quote by Charles Kettering says, “you cannot have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time”. treasure the past, but let it go, look to a brighter future, and never forget to enjoy the present moment.
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