Similar boat, different ocean

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Kimberly Dias

Dear Kimberly, 

I feel so angry all the time. This pandemic has messed so many of my plans. I had decided to go on my first international holiday after my exams. I also planned to take a break from my academics, work for sometime before I enrolled into a university to pursue my further studies. Now everything has gone for a toss and my life seems to have come to a standstill. I feel like I should just give up on making plans as anything I want to do is just not possible during this pandemic. How should I come to terms with this? 

Hannah 

Dear Hannah, 

Thank you for writing in and sharing your concerns with me. I can imagine the anger you feel at the moment but know this, you are not alone! Every person around you is in a similar boat, just in a different ocean! Most of us have that angry feeling towards this pandemic. I am sorry your plans didn’t pan out as you hoped they would. This entire phase has been surreal, unexpected and overwhelming. It has made almost every person on this earth alter their lifestyle in several ways. Many people are struggling to make ends meet due to loss of jobs, little or no income or poor availability of essentials and so on. Most people are struggling to find a ‘new normal’, a few others have found a way to use this opportunity to catch up on things they’ve always wanted to do but never had the time or just experiment with new ideas and hobbies or develop/learn new skills. A great way to approach this entire situation is by counting your blessings. If you look around you, you will always see someone else who is in a tougher or worse situation than you. 

Life is uncertain! If your plans didn’t work out this time maybe it is because life has better plans in store for you. Your plans may require some tweaking, however, the goal need not change. The goal in your case was probably just unwinding and seeking a change through your holiday. By getting employed, you probably wanted to work on building your skills and confidence as well as gain exposure into the real world. Could you think about some other tasks you could do that would still help you achieve these goals? You could consider learning a new skill or finding a job online or just enrolling into a new course online. Give it a thought and I bet you’ll find a much better idea which suits what you’re looking for. All the best. 

Kimberly 

Hey Kimberly,

My best friend has really hurt me with something she said and I don’t think I can ever forgive her. She has apologised so many times but my heart just cannot let go of the pain she caused. What should I do? 

Faye

Dear Faye, 

Thank you for your email and for sharing your predicament with me. It must have been so difficult to hear the words your best friend spoke which caused you so much pain. I can’t help but wonder where it stemmed from and why? However, the fact that she is apologising so much only shows that she still cares about you and didn’t want to hurt you intentionally. Take the time to feel everything you are feeling right now, all of the mixed emotions. No doubt, you cannot unhear what she said but have you considered accepting her apology? 

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you accept everything that she said, but you just accept that she said it and you move on. By doing so, (easier said than done), you will find yourself feeling free from some part of that pain. You may or may not be able to share that same level of friendship again – it could get weaker or stronger and that is a course entirely for you to decide. Take your time and don’t jump to conclusions. Time will heal everything you choose to accept and come to terms with. Tread carefully and respectfully. Remember that sometimes it doesn’t matter how hurt or broken you were feeling; what matters is if your friend can make you smile again. Good luck. 

Kimberly

Two things prevent us from happiness:  living in the past and drawing comparison with others

Do keep writing in with any queries you may have at ask.kimberly@yahoo.com

Until next time, be kind and stay safe! 

(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)