The phone alarm went off at 6.30am, but Jason was already up half an hour before that, tossing and turning in bed in hopes that he could sneak in a few more minutes of snoozing. He dragged his feet to the bathroom with a stubborn dull thought of how his work day would be—replying a bunch of nasty emails before lunch, eating lunch alone, attending to his boss’ unpredictable requests and unreasonable demands. I really hate my job.
By 7.15am, he was on the train, embarking on a 45-minute journey to the office, dreading every single minute closer to his destination.
“Next station, Bishan,”—that’s where Kelvin’s new house would be. Had he not been able to get back home in time for dinner with his mum, he wouldn’t gain this piece of knowledge about his “successful” younger cousin. Though younger than Jason by three years, Kelvin climbed the corporate ladder faster than Jason did. As if that wasn’t enough a blow, Kelvin has found his life partner to marry before he turned 30. “Sometimes, I wish our son’s like Kelvin—smart and capable,” he remembered overhearing his mum telling his dad, aunties, and friends on several occasions. Am I really unworthy of love, even from my mother?
When he was younger, Jason always imagined that at 30 years old, he would have a career he loves, giving him room to grow personally and professionally. He would be the kind of manager that his co-workers look up and respect at work, while being amicable enough for them to hang out as friends after work for a few drinks. He couldn’t stay for long because he would have to rush back home for dinner with his wife and kids—a girl and a boy. After reading the kids the new storybook he bought for them and tucking them into bed, he stood by the door, looking at them and thinking how blessed he is that he “has it all”.
“Next station, Raffles Place,” the announcement brought him back to reality. The people around him, he wondered if he was the only one who didn’t achieve all that he wanted to, the only one who has left his dreams behind.
Why It’s Important To Talk About It
We all have met or known a Jason in our lives. He could be a friend, a family member, a colleague, an employee, a loved one, or even you.
What came to your mind when you were reading Jason’s story? Did you relate it to someone you know? Did you come up with a list of things that Jason could have done or should be doing? Did you think it was too late for Jason to work towards what he wants? Most of all, did you think it sucks to be in Jason’s shoes?
Does Jason have someone to talk to about these things?—I hope this came across your mind when you’re reading about Jason’s issues. When you’re stressed and troubled, your thoughts are as good as how you feel. We let the weight of all the problems that we are facing pull us down, waking us in the middle of the nights, looping worries and stress in the depths of our minds, all the way till the sun rises. We don’t bring enough emphasis to this but it’s so important to talk about what bothers and troubles you.
I started Aunt Available on the belief that having someone to talk to about the things that bother and make you feel bad about yourself is so important. If you haven’t found anyone to listen to you, Aunt Available is here to lend you her listening ears. Being heard and understood with no judgements is one of the fundamental things we need in life to keep us sane and mentally healthy. It’s a gift we all need but didn’t ask enough of.
According to Psychology Today, studies have shown that deep and profound healing happens when you simply talk to someone you can trust about your problems and other negative emotions. It’s important to talk about your issues with someone because it even helps to “reduce stress, strengthen our immune system, and reduce physical and emotional distress (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988)”. Just talking about what bothers you help to “reduce the activation in the amygdala, our brain’s alarm system that triggers the fight-or-flight reaction.” What this means is that when we enunciate how we feel, we activate the areas in our brain that deal with language and meaning, instead of the areas that control our limbic reactivity—we become more mindfully aware, instead of being reactive.
Science aside, I personally feel that if you are able to talk about and communicate your problems, concerns, and worries with someone you trust before these thoughts manifest into something bigger than they should, it generally is healthier for your mind, body and soul. Imagine a bottle that has a plastic seal stuck at the opening, and you kept trying to fill it up with water, only to have the water spilling out before it is fully filled. In this case, you’re the bottle, and we need to get rid of your troubles, i.e. the plastic seal, so that your life can be filled with the progress and positivity you seek, just like the water we need to survive.
Regardless how big or small the issue is, as long as it bothers you, it is BIG. Never underestimate the magnitude of your problems.
What kind of problems can I talk to Aunt Available about?
Literally anything under the sun! It can range from relationships, work and life in general. Even if you want to say “hi”, do it! I can’t promise that I will have the right advice for all of your problems, but I promise you I won’t judge, and I’ll listen and reply you.
How do I get help from Aunt Available?
All you have to do is to start sharing your problem with Aunt Available. It’s super easy!
Option 2: Send an email to Aunt Available about what’s keeping you up at night to email@example.com.
Aunt Available can talk to you about anything, as long as you trust the process and believe in the power of honest communication. I know how it is like before all hell breaks loose, and that’s why I want to lend my listening ear to you.
p.s. While it’s important to talk about your problems, it’s also important for you to know that Aunt Available is not trained or certified in any way to provide professional advice to your problems. Please seek help from professional practitioners, especially when you find yourself in dire situations that concern your health, life, finances, and legal issues. Aunt Available is not liable for the decisions that you take ultimately.