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Of har gaos and the good life

Right in the middle of my conversation on the group chat with my friends (about dim sum and dressing up as it, no less) does it struck me that life has been good to me. More than a year ago, I was in a major funk. Everyday was heavier and darker than the one before and finding myself unable to cut out of the darkness I found myself swallowed in, I turned the blade to myself. (For awhile, I couldn’t wear sleeveless blouses.) I found a way to turn every comment towards me into one that would (and should) hurt me, because I felt I didn’t deserve any better. I thought about dying every day; hating myself even more for not being able to tip myself over; out of the window, off the ledge. I couldn’t see beyond the pain I was in, the pain I put myself in. I felt like I couldn’t live through the pain. I didn’t want to live through the pain. Tomorrow was something I couldn’t face, something I didn’t think I would come to see.

But look at how far I’ve come. I’ve made friends. I’ve forged a new dream. I don’t crumple into a ball after a bad day, I don’t slice my skin hoping it will distract me from the dull ache in my chest, I don’t cry in the shower anymore.

I’m alive.

I never thought I’ll see the beauty in life again, I never thought I’ll feel giddy with joy as I laugh breathlessly with my friends, I never thought I’ll feel my spirit soar with every wonderful book I finish and every song I sing just right.

I belong again. To this world and everything it has to offer me.

I am alright again.

And so as I plan my dim sum dinner with my friends for next Wednesday (I’m going as a Xiu Mai!), I feel just right. I’m going to be okay.

I love you. I’m glad I exist.

to the lighthouse

2nd post for the day because why not.

I’m ashamed to say that I did not finish this book (or read it carefully) when it was assigned to me as part of my class a year ago. But I am so very glad I picked it up again. It speaks of a family, the Ramsay’s, and their long and winding journey to the lighthouse that James Ramsay, the youngest son, so very much wants to go to. It ends with the Ramsay’s finally reaching the lighthouse. But in between it is peppered with stream-of-consciousness style writing detailing the fleeting (yet profound and moving) moments of everyday life, and the ever-changing nature of one’s feelings and thoughts. The book is lovely. If the book were a time of the day, it’ll be exactly like the one shown on the cover above. The late afternoon haziness and brightness, the almost sleepy, lazy happiness is captured in this lovely novel. I love that this book champions the everyday life. For one’s life to have been something, it need not be grand and heroic and exhilarating– the book weaves its narrative around the seemingly insignificant moments that are, years afterwards, we find to have been deeply etched into our minds. A 10/10 read, I am excited to start on her other works!

of goodnights and good mornings

The moon doesn’t seem to be on my side of the world tonight. I’m feeling a little tired right now and so I seek solace in the silence the world offers up to me, under this dark sky. I thought I got rid myself of the limerence but the longing is still there; and so I catch myself squirrelling away bits of you that you reveal, in careless joy and laughter (but you don’t see me) and the stilted conversations I attempt to have with you. (Your back, in front of me) I’ve grown accustomed to pining and maybe I’m just afraid to step up and be a little more brave. Maybe I’m afraid that (I’ve made you up in my head), that your figure in my heart and brain is a little more beautiful and tragic than you actually are (maybe I’ve made you up in my head) and that I could be so much happier if I let others be kind to me (like you may never could.)

Of days and days

Just one is those days that I feel terribly sad.

I don’t know why, maybe it was the finals that didn’t go too well (and I really loved the texts too, what a lousy feeling) and basically worries and worries about the world and myself and the distance I feel between you and I.

I want to know your heart. Will I ever?

Of adulthood and adulting

In another episode of disappointing parents:

My mum texted us to tell our dad to marinate the meat before she comes home (because she isn’t talking to him) and nobody say the message except for me, who forwarded it to my dad

And she got mad and yelled at my sister? Idk this is seriously why one of the reasons being at home is so anxiety inducing

My parents act out at home even when they’re civil and good outside and they take it out on us and they don’t really seem to care how we feel or how it affects us? I’ve never really felt protected at home ever because my mom is the primary antagonist and my dad does not step in to protect me when she goes overboard

I’m glad I’ve learnt to make friends, because even when I didn’t have any my parents didn’t try to help, did they even care tbh haha since my dad was busy gallivanting around with other women outside and my mother was being overly controlling in the household

They can’t seem to take care of issues on their own, the only support they give me is financially (and transport-wise I guess) but idk I can’t help but feel unfilial when I bring this up in my head

One of the reason why I wished I was dead tbh, I have nothing and nobody to live for

of connecting and reaching out

I think one thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is the very idiosyncratic, very human need of simultaneously wanting to reach out, to connect and also to be left alone. So many writers led lonely and depressing lives, many of them never quite feeling like they fit in or beset by their partners’ infidelities (Ted Hughes I’m looking at u). But I feel that too, when I want to let the world know (or at least, my friends) how I feel and then contrive to craft a post on social media about how I a feeling– but then just as much as I long to the feeling just ends quickly and I find myself deleting my post, word by word.

Can there be any true, comfortable way to be understood? Would there ever come a time where I know and believe steadfastly in my connectedness to the world, yet be content with my loneliness?

ANyway I love literature because so many of the words and stories seem to reach through time to sit nicely on my chest. How could a 19th Century author aptly describe my odd little friendship with one of my oldest friends? I have nothing in common with Leo Tolstoy, yet his words speak to me and perfectly made me understand how this friendship had puttered along so well. And books are then, perhaps, a little love letter from all of our beloved authors, spent and tied up in their own loneliness; maybe books and stories were their way of reaching out through time, to be connected to humanity (even long after they are gone), over and over and over again, for to be human is to love and be loved.

Of life and what you make of it

For the longest time since my JC days, my greatest fear in life was to have lived a life not worth living. I didn’t want to have to face myself at the end of my life and realise that I did not have anything to show for my length of time I’ve had on earth. But then with the beauty the world has shown me (in the friendships bestowed upon me generously, in the sunsets, in the wonderful poems and books) I started to be less afraid and learned to concentrate on the now.

But the ol’ fear is back again, with the fear of not getting a job, of not being enough, of always being the one not chosen.

And it’s made all the more worse because I’m afraid that if I fall, nobody is there to catch me and wait for me until I’m strong again to be capable on my own.

I think I’m spiralling because my mother offered to take me to some networking thing that she feels will benefit me- I don’t want to network, I don’t believe in going for this sort of things just to gauge what can other people do for you, I want to get to places on my own and I know I’m capable of it, just give me time.

But I also know that my mother will probably be disappointed and will want me to go (she never respects my no’s and my I’m not interested anyway) and it’ll just be another way for her to be disappointed in me.

I don’t know, I feel that my relationship with her had been fraught for the longest time and I don’t know how to bridge this gap, I’m just afraid I’m drifting more and more from her each day

But what can I do when all she does is talk and when she does listen, she only hears what she wants to? What can I do when she flies into rage over the littlest things? What can I do when she yells “you’re a disappointment” and “you use people?”

Maybe one day, our own growth will merge and we will be whole again.

Or maybe healing is something we both have to do on our own.

Of memories and remembering

I’ve associated you with so many memories of tears and anger that it’s been almost forever since I’ve thought of any good memories with you. It’s shameful, I guess, that for all you’ve done for me in my 21 years of existence should be distilled into few bad memories, so tonight I will try to associate every bad memory of you with really good ones.

  1. That Halloween when we were going out, and I insisted that we leave bags of treats out for kids who were trick-and-treating in the neighborhood. How precocious I was then, ordering you about as a 7-year-old. But you understood, you smiled at me and packed little bags of snacks with a note inviting kids to take them. Most were left behind, probably by kids who either didn’t see or didn’t care to take, but in that moment you chose to be kind and indulge me. I can only hope to be this gracious as a mother.
  2. In the moments you cried and held me after caning me because you let your anger carry you away (it’s okay mummy you were always impulsive in your anger), and you apologized and held me like I would disappear into thin air.
  3. Every time I spoke about a dish during the week – mummy, I really love dumplings, mummy remember that time when you made that omelet?- and the dish would mysteriously appear during dinner on the weekends, where you spent an entire afternoon slaving away in the hot, stuffy kitchen.
  4. The generous, genial smile when you gave us permission to order more food when we were out. (Almost always coupled with the phrase “mummy likes it when you all are happy”)
  5. That time in JC when I told you about my friend, envy thinly (and unconsciously) garbed as admiration. But you saw through my supposed adoration and told me that I was enough, that I didn’t have to feel about myself this way. I was lucky the room was dark because at that moment my eyes had filled with many, many tears and I had to slip out of the room, suppressing a sob.

Many, many happy memories with you. I love you mummy, happy belated birthday.