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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Let Me Rest My Head on You

Datanglah sayang dan biarkan ku berbaring
[Come my dear and let me lay]
Di pelukanmu walaupun tuk sejenak
[In your arms even if it’s only for a while]
Usaplah dahiku dan kan kukatakan semua
[Caress my forehead and I will tell you all]

Bila kulelah tetaplah disini
[When I am tired please stay here]
Jangan tinggalkan aku sendiri
[Don’t let me be by myself]
Bila kumarah biarkanku bersandar
[When I’m angry let me rest my head on you]
Jangan kau pergi untuk menghindar
[Don’t you go and evade me]

When I first hear this song again, the first time after almost a decade, what was on my mind was my boyfriend resting his head on my shoulder as we sat on the couch; which was our description for a perfect date. This post was supposed to be on how our partner, our boyfriend and/or girlfriend needed such attention. How fancy dates and cool nights out are exciting, but sometimes they just need somebody to lean on. Then it strikes me, I need somebody to lean on too.

One of the challenges in my personal growth right now is defining what I want. I have always been content with what I have, and since I am used on being independent, I don’t ask people for help. I don’t feel like I should ask people for help because “I got it”, so there is no point of bothering other people. The insecure part of me keeps on thinking that being helpful is good and attractive, being helpless is not. And I don’t think I am special for thinking like this. There must be other people, many people, who simply cannot say what they want because they are afraid to hear the “no” or because they are afraid to be a burden.

This is a wrong way of thinking. Relationship is not a one-way street. Life is not a one-way street. What you give, you take. It might not be exactly eye-for-an-eye type of transaction, but if you give something you deserve some kind of retribution in return. I like caring and spoiling my partner, it makes me happy; but it doesn’t mean that he can’t or shouldn’t care for me in return because I don’t exactly ask for it. Just because I don’t need a million dollar doesn’t mean I will say no to it, especially if I earned it fair and square.

The meek and submissive mouse in me rebel as I wrote this article. Don’t attract attention and be happy for what you have, it said. But I can’t. Looking back, I think my marriage was salvageable had only I receive the attention like in the song lyric. I am strong, I am smart, I am independent; but sometimes I need to lay my head on the shoulder of my loved one as I rant and talk and let the burden off my chest and my shoulder for a little while. Sometimes it is not enough to be a meek, accepting little mouse. Sometimes you just want to be a cat and bothered your host so thoroughly until you get his/her attention, with claws might or might not included in the method.

It is not even an outrageous request. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in a place where we just had enough with life, the point where we don’t want to adult anymore. I’ve been there, and I want my partner to stay. I want my partner to hold me close and listen to my rant, and then hug me closer afterwards. Yes, my rant about my $15/hr job probably sounded less important than your $30/hr job. But you know what’s even more important than that? My sanity. My existence. If I am not important enough for you to help me deal with my emotion, why should yours be important for me? And this applied to so many people. Too often in a relationship we ended up thinking one is more important than the other, that our partner is more important than us or vice versa; when we should instead realize that a good relationship is a balanced one, that’s where all the respect coming from.

My dissolution of marriage taught me a lot of things. It pretty much forced me to stand up for myself. Yes, I still love taking care and spoiling my partner; but this time I felt more comfortable to ask to be treated the same in return, albeit still with the “If you don’t mind, can you please…” attitude. Hey, managing to solidify what I want in the relationship instead of accepting it as it is, and actually demanding it too, is a pretty big leap for me. So far it worked pretty well. It made the relationship went smoother and eliminate the guessing game a.k.a “If he/she like me enough he/she should’ve known that I prefer…”; and it also give me the confidence that I need. Knowing that I have the same share on the table enables me to be more assertive, and it helps to know I am strong enough to walk out of the table if by some horrible stroke of luck the table got messed up again.

Trust me, this is not easy for me. The words are grand and it conjured such a dashing image of me being a power-woman, but the reluctance to put somebody in trouble (a.k.a asking for attention) sometimes still get the best of me. For example, I hesitate for quite a while on whether or not letting my boyfriend know I was a bit sick this morning. I know a balance must be made. Flooded a person with unimportant information and he/she might think everything that come out of your mouth is unimportant. Let’s tell him when it’s REALLY important, the meek mouse said triumphantly. He ended up knowing anyway, most possibly from my non-characteristic silence. And no, little mouse, he didn’t break up with me just because of that. Take that, you little twat.   

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