I promise, I’m happy.

But lately, at the back of my mind

Fayth Ong
3 min readMar 18, 2024
Photo by Bna Ignacio on Unsplash

Parallel Universes

I promise I’m happy. Contentment and excitement keep my eyes open during the day, and my mind works through and opens itself to the imagination of possibilities when the sun disappears.

But somehow, I see myself in parallel universes, when the night is dark and the moon is nowhere near to comfort me. When the dreams I have buried and grieved for are laid in front of me with the grave of nightmares and almosts, along with the goodbyes I have uttered as I bury them in their tombstones. Somehow, they have risen from the ground and haunt me in my nightmares, supposed make-believe fictional tales turning into could-have-been realities and missed routines. Parallel universes of opportunities lost and opened doors I closed torment me in my slumber, reminding me of the multiverse that has existed because of the choices I made.

What ifs

But I promise, I’m happy. It has been a while since I heard myself hum along to another happy tune again while writing on my laptop. It has been a few years when my smile has finally reached my eyes, with wrinkles I do not mind forming.

But the weight of what-ifs have been getting heavier on my shoulder, as if there’s a burden I couldn’t get rid of, not knowing what I can do to take it off. The weight, what I once imagined was gone and had disappeared, has come back with a vengeance, and hasn’t left my mind. I wonder if I am truly happy, when the weight of the worlds, when the weight of the different versions of myself lay on my shoulders.

Can I still promise I’m happy and I have no regrets, when I continue to look at the past, and continue to wonder what could have been?

Different versions

But I promise, I’m happy. But then again, I wonder if I truly am. Because in my dreams, I can see alternate versions of me. When the multiverse collides in the reality I am in, I see myself, with versions I never get to become and wonder if I did. Would I be in Spain, sipping cafes and lattes while teaching in the morning and writing in the afternoon? Or in another dream, if some other version of me was a little bit more richer, a little more privileged, would I enjoy traveling just because I wanted to, and not having to find odd jobs just to make ends meet? Or would I be learning something new entirely in Hungary, trying to adjust to the language and culture just because I said yes to a crazy adventure? Or will I be in New Zealand, hustling but finally getting the life I wanted, with nothing stopping me?

But I promise. I’m happy. I have no regrets. But I can’t help but wonder.

Are my what-ifs a sign of something I could have been but never could be?



Fayth Ong

Teacher || Writer || Traveller || Athlete || Immortalizing moments through writing