Sunday, February 17, 2019

TREMOLO

So my youngest sister found my PSP and I began replaying Loco Roco, which is the most inane game but has the funnest soundtrack and adorable characters. You can switch to even a pink blob.



(i. Yes everything I own is pink and ii. Yes I should be writing, leave me alone!!!)

Also, one of Lyssa's favorite things in life was to watch me play Spyro: Year of the Dragon, and one of my favorite things in life was to play it just for her to watch. That's our all-time favorite game in life.

I decided that to propose to me, someone has to get a Playstation (do they even still make those?) and a Spyro: Year of the Dragon disc and let me complete the game again for Lyssa before I will marry.

MEMORIES OF THE ALHAMBRA:
SPOILER ALERT

My sister and I started watching Memories of the Alhambra. It's about an augmented reality game, developed by a young South Korean boy living in Granada, Spain. The game looks and feels amazing and completely life-like and if it actually existed in real life, it would sell out for sure. We were just watching it being played and it was addictive, I can't imagine if we were playing it. The endorphin release pattern must be equally strong if not even stronger. The creator patents the game under his sister's business, that she doesn't know of. The sister runs a small, run-down hostel. One day, an investor is interested in her hostel because he knows about and wants to own the game, and he offers her a time-limited offer of 10 billion Korean won, if she signs within ten minutes. Every ten minutes, the offer goes down by a billion won. She eventually signs and receives the ten billion won, which is 12 million Singapore Dollars. Before the deal, she was maintaining the hostel, she was a tour guide in Granada for Korean tourists, she translated documents between Korean and Spanish, she works at a musical instrument store. After the deal, she's richer by 12 million Singapore Dollars. If someone offered me 12 million SGD, I would barely read the contract. You can have my soul for all I care. I would take the money, buy a visa to migrate to the States, get an apartment, save one million for potential health issues (one in three people will get cancer in their lives -- that could be you, me or a person unrelated to either of us, but then I've got the cancer genes), and then, assuming each person's undergrad and grad studies ran up to 500,000 USD, I would find ten girls from underprivileged communities and give them the money to pursue their studies. I love thinking about ridiculous things like this. There are enough people in the world who are wealthy enough to give away 12 million SGD (9 million USD) like that, it's not even a dream so much as whether you know how to talk to the right people. It's all just a numbers game. Some people love numbers, some people love games.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

JEREMY BEARIMY

So Lyssa was watching her all-time fave TV show, The Good Place, that I used to love when it was still being a comedy. She was re-watching the latest episode so far, S3E12, Pandemonium, the one where Chidi has to get his memory erased, and Eleanor would be the only one who remembers their love story. Before they proceed, Michael shows the couple a film reel of all their highlights together so far, and it has me bawling, even though I'd also seen it more than once. After Chidi has his memory erased, Eleanor talks to Janet, who is in summary, a robot who knows everything.
Eleanor: Janet?
Janet: Hi there.
Eleanor: Can you just, you know, like, tell me the answer?
Janet: Sorry?
Eleanor: You know, the answer. To everything. You know all there is to know in the universe. Crunch the numbers. Tell me the answer. What's the point of love if it's just gonna disappear? And how is it worse to not love anybody? There has to be meaning to existence, otherwise the universe is just made of pain and I don't like the thought of that. So, tell me the answer!
Janet: I know how you feel. Back on Earth, I had to watch Jason have no recognition of me. It felt like... right before someone pushes a plunger and murders you.
Eleanor: Sure.
Janet: The more human I become, the less things make sense. But that's part of the fun, right?
Eleanor: What do you mean?
Janet: If there were an answer I could give you to how the universe works, it wouldn't be special. It would just be machinery fulfilling its cosmic design. It would just be a big, dumb food processor. But, since nothing seems to make sense, when you find something or someone that does, it's euphoria. In all of this randomness, in this pandemonium, you and Chidi found each other and you had a life together. Isn't that remarkable?
Eleanor: Pandemonium is from Paradise Lost. Milton called the center of hell "pandemonium", meaning "place of all demons". Chidi tricked me into reading Paradise Lost by telling me Satan was, and I quote, "my type". A big, mean, bald guy with a goatee, I mean, he wasn't wrong.
Janet: Oh no, that's very on-brand for you.
Eleanor: I guess all I can do is embrace the pandemonium. Find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.
Janet: We'll do this together. In the words of the man that I love... "I got you, dog."

Friday, February 15, 2019

OH SARAH

How do you tell someone you miss them? How do you say life is short, fuck it, please think of me? How do you express the fact that being calm and cool is breaking you down, in a world that has demonised having feelings as weakness? I'm so tired. I just wish someone would fight as hard as I would. God knows the benchmark would not be set so high if I weren't such a fighter.

H'SUAN WEN HUA



Me on my bed reading these posts, actually shouting to myself: I WILL ONLY ACCEPT SOMEONE WHO LOVES ME THE WAY BARACK LOVES MICHELLE ALL OTHER APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED
Also me: *clutches at my stomach from my period*
Me: why I gotta be so damn dramatic tho?

AUTONOMY

I'm on day two of my period and as usual, it's uncomfortable enough to keep me awake. This is after I've popped two Advils to avoid the regular excruciating cramps. I'm considering removing my ovaries, more and more, but I'm a little worried my life partner might want kids. I know adoption is an extremely viable option that I'm increasingly inclined towards, and my body is my body is my body and if a man thinks any less of me if I can't have kids then what the fuck am I with such a man for, right? But, I don't know, I've changed my mind about some pretty serious things in life in the past three years, what if one day I really find someone I want to start a family with and actually want my own kids? Jeez. Will there come a time I will value my blood relatives over someone I could adopt? Why do I have to be a woman in this world? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

MR. POOPYBUTTHOLE

Today I was going through my Instagram Story archives and I saw the one of Ben telling me about Grand Central Station while we were there and his voice soothed me and made me smile. If you don't think Valentine's Day has made me miss him to no end, I'm not sure if you really know me.....

B: "my school was actually the basis, one of the three schools that were the basis for..."
S: "Gossip Girl? Oooh!"
B: "yeah.. the people that the characters were heavily based on.. were actual people that I went to school with"

How strange it was that I fell for him. When I was first listening to all of that, I did not know nor realise I would like him so much.

When I was in New York, one of the prompt answers I had on Hinge was Best Travel Story: I went to SpaceX when I dated someone in LA.

Quite a few matches I had that week, responded to that prompt with, "oh damn, that's a cool date to beat", which I find strange.

Maybe it's just the person I am, but I think people need to be nicer to themselves, regardless of their jobs. More often than not, people who hustle hard at their jobs are lacking in some other aspect. And people who have principles I find most admirable may be struggling, just 'cos they've got morals and are trying to work things out in life. It all just boils down to what each person finds important. And working for lots of money makes no sense to me 'cos in a world with homeless people, being a millionaire or anywhere close to it is not a moral outcome. It's all just pishy caca. You are not the company you work for.

SHAKE IT OFF


I am the love of my life until someone else loves me as much as I love myself. Happy Valentine's Day, Sarah Mei Lyana. You are one of a kind.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

SANS SERIF

I keep thinking about how excited Ben was at having found the same exact ramen that he had had in Japan, right in Brooklyn. I had ramen with my cousin when I got back, and the restaurant had a panel of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a banner of which Ben had in his room, and which I gave him a lapel pin of, from The Met. What does it all mean? It means nothing, but it means all the things. Nothing is absolutely good nor bad, nothing is absolutely meaningful nor meaningless. Nothing is absolutely absolute.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

LIGHT

I met my cousin Hazwani last night, and I also had a workout session with Han today. Both times, I told them about Bennett. They separately asked things like, you're okay if he dates someone else? You don't wanna try long distance? I answered internally to myself, no I don't want him to date anyone else, and yes I do want to try long distance. But I'm unable to confirm where my life is going, not for at least a month or so, and it is unfair to expect him to wait on a word I am unsure of, not so soon after we'd just gotten to know each other. Ben did say sometime before I really had to leave, that he did want it to be me, and I do still want it to be him. I tell myself, well if he dates someone else and it works out, then good for him, I will be happy. Yet I will not be dating, I'm finally taking time to myself, to let the rest of my life fall into place. I have gone through this a couple of times before, sometimes you rush things and it still doesn't work out because it was never going to. If he and I don't find a more suitable relationship and neither of us settles for anything less, then que sera, Sarah.

JET LAG

I'm in the living room of my mom's apartment, listening to my sister Aqilah and her boyfriend do their homework. It's so strange how first relationships are, when girls don't yet realise what mansplaining is, or that it's being done to them, and they don't call it out. I don't say it out loud, because I think people should be able to make their own decisions and learn from them but wow, what a learning curve that is. I'm leaving home in a bit to go for a swim with Han, I hope that helps to set my sleep pattern to something that remotely resembles those of the people living in this country. This post is here to serve no real purpose besides giving me something to do to keep myself awake. I miss Ben. Mochi reminds me of Tux.

Monday, February 11, 2019

JAMEELA JAMIL


"....Tell him about sex. Not just reproduction, but sex. The fun, pleasurable part of it. The joy of equal pleasure and enthusiastic consent. Do not shy away from this. Do not make it an awkward topic in your house. Because if you push him into the shadows, he will find Pornhub in there and that will become his teacher. And nobody needs that shit. I believe that learning sex from porn is like learning how to drive from watching The Fast and The Furious, a fucking terrible idea. Tell him about the history of the word no for women and how new it is to our vocabulary, and how if he were to abuse our historical conditioning to bend to the whims of men, it would be the greatest sin and sign of weakness that he could show. And when it comes to sex, tell him technical consent isn't the gold standard. It is just the basic, complete, most bare foundation. And anything less than a woman being enthusiastic about something sexual that is about to happen is a sign that he must stop and talk to her. Tell him that being generous in the bedroom will be reported far and wide among the lands -- because we tell each other everything, and his name shall become legend among us...."
Jameela Jamil is an actual queen. Please watch this speech, I love it and it is very important and very true. A generous man in the bedroom is rare, and therefore very precious. And very cute. Okay bye!

SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD

In the many twists and turns of my romantic history, I almost feel like I've learned a thing or two from each stage so that I can utilise them for the big boss. Like Scott, some lessons had to be repeated so I would actually learn them properly. Fall would be a great season to love someone I've fallen in love with.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

RAISE A GLASS TO FREEDOM
(SOMETHING THEY CAN
NEVER TAKE AWAY)

Remember the time my mom changed my bike from a fixie to a freewheel, without asking or telling me, because she thought it was safer? So I came back and my sister Aqilah had added a phone-holder, a bottle-holder and I don't know what else to it. I mean, I know I left home but like, it woulda been nice to have been asked about my things. On the plus side, I guess I don't have to spend money on those additions. On the neutral side, I doubt they'll help me not cycle and fall right into a drain. That was 4 years ago and still the trauma lives. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Edit: also my youngest sister Arina left her wallet at home so I just passed it to her at recess so I'm now officially the eldest sister again. Why does anyone have more kids when you're expected to bail them out over and over again? This even includes bailing me out. Sigh.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

MOONSHOT

I watched Before Sunrise on the plane. I think it was my third time seeing it. It's one of my favorite romantic films, and all it is, is two strangers talking to each other. That's the best way to fall in love, talking non-stop about things. Also, I'm now in Singapore, but I'll be back where I belong soon enough. In the meantime, hello sun! I can now walk out wearing just one layer, and also flip-flops! Oh how my toes have missed being free. On the way back, I took ANA flights and damn, do the Japanese get food right. It's like somebody told them: airplane fare, but make it fashion.


Also my stopover in Japan is now my one and only time there but I had only one hour in transit. For someone who loves Japanese food, I've never been to Japan, which is a mighty waste. I must go there when I'm earning more, go on a food trail or something. One of my ex-bosses said something that has stuck with me for the past 5, 6 years? She said, don't keep spending your money travelling to nearby places, because chances are you'll find similar mindsets and cultures and lifestyles and experiences to your own. To really grow and push your thinking and boundaries and challenge yourself as a person, you should travel as far away as you can, and see how differently people live. I've kept that advise and used it, and I think I'm better for it.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

MY DEAREST, AMERICA


I did one for Cali so the least I could do was do a one-minute montage for New York, right? I didn't really take as many videos 'cos I didn't think I would have a deadline, but eh, I think I have at least as much fondness for New York as I do for the West Coast. As they say, Cali has the weather, but New York has personality. :P


If you compare the two videos, you'll see that the only thing they have in common is Hamilton. I doodled some Hamilton things when we ate at Wurstküche in LA, where they have wax paper and crayons to entertain you while you wait. One of the songs I used in the West Coast video is also from Hamilton.

Two and a half years later, I finally got to see Hamilton live in New York. Life is chess, not checkers. The day you plant your seeds, is not the day they grow. I'm writing a book, and by virtue of the book, I will meet Lin-Manuel Miranda. Watch me water my seeds. (I dunno why that sounds like innuendo, I don't mean it to be, jeez.)

PHOENIX





Sometime in 2016, I was introduced to @hamiltonmusical by one of my best friends at the time. Since then, I have gotten pregnant, miscarried and fallen into a deep depression. I also somehow managed to keep writing myself into even worse trouble, just because I inherently want to write the truth, despite my mother and grandmother always telling me that I shouldn't share "bad things" about myself. I have constantly found something to identify with in Hamilton, especially because the casts across all productions are always so diverse, and representative of the Great America of immigrants that the US has always been. Lin-Manuel Miranda makes me believe that I will attain the future I want for myself. I have a tattoo of the line "the fact that you're alive is a miracle" and it reminds me that it took immense strength and courage for me to persist on to this day, and the fact that every person's journey to existence, instead of the converse, is a miracle of odds. Today I finally saw it, in the actual greatest city in the world. I laughed, and I cried at It's Quiet Uptown. If you have ever known loss, you would too. I didn't sing, because I would have ruined it, but I mouthed along almost throughout. It is my favorite work of art, and I'm glad I'm alive for it. #hamilton #hamham #broadway #newyorkcity
A post shared by Sarah Mei Lyana (@sarahmeilyana) on

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

NO GREATER LOVE

Today I recalled again that time is not a measure of love, that I was with a guy for close to two years, and I didn't really feel much for him, that I liked being liked, and he was the first person who said they liked me.

I love Tina, and I am profoundly glad we got to know each other through a Facebook group for feminists, perhaps two years ago. We never really spoke to each other, and in fact I deleted my Facebook last year, so it was like we weren't even in each other's lives, just strangers who could have unfollowed each other on Instagram, but didn't. Tina has an exceptional memory, so she tells me what she learned in linguistics, about Kachru's concentric circles of English, how some Americans tend to be surprised that I speak English "very well", 'cos I don't come from a Western country. Singapore is English-educated, we were colonized by the British, so whether I like it or not, I speak English just as well as the British have taught me to. She tells me about Frankenstein, how Mary Shelley had written about it for her pain of having lost a child, and Frankenstein was basically her way of using pain to birth something greater. Tina talks about all these feminist notions and feminist writers and she also talks about her previous dating life. She tells me about when she was in more "fucked up" times, or at least about her misadventures in dating, and it helps. I feel like with Tina, I have found my tribe. She's half-Filipino so she understands the pressure of conservative Asian cultures, and yet she also lets me know if I have anything sexual I want to ask about, I can ask her. It's one thing to have friends back home in Singapore tolerate or give me just enough room to talk about sex or the like, but it is another to have a two-way conversation, to know that I'm not just being not-judged, but that I have a listening ear as well as someone else's stories to take away and learn from. Tina is sentimental just like I am, we feel so much and she reads a lot and she somehow knows the right thing to say or the right book or film or whatever it is to point me towards, so I can relate to something greater than I am. She likes silly things like astrology and she also literally serenaded me with How Can I Live at karaoke while kneeling on the ground, she's so melodramatic. She's so fun and live-in-the-moment I admire her so much and want to be her in those moments. I look at her and her boyfriend of four years, Sean, and I think, one day I will live with a long-term boyfriend and we will be like them. I'm so happy that she's found Sean, I'm happy that she does things like get balloons for him after a bad work day, and that they go bird-watching and lose their city stresses to the park, and they love each other in a comfortable, safe way even though they've both been through shit before this. In New York, as it is in other places, it is difficult to find love, and perhaps like anywhere else, it is also difficult to make real friends. I'm grateful that I found a sister in Tina, and I love her.

On our first date, Bennett ordered a grilled mac and cheese sandwich, which means yes, there is macaroni and cheese between two slices of bread, which is then grilled, because this is America. I noticed that he wasn't eating much while I was almost done with my food, which apart from being caused by him telling me about his life, he also said was due to the fact that he was nervous, and he gets nervous when you know you like someone new. I thought it was adorable he said it, men don't generally speak to me so candidly like that, I wear my heart on my sleeve but it is rarely reciprocal. Ben has two and a half cute somewhat-pixellated hearts tattooed on the left of his chest, like when you have three lives in a video game and you're midway through your first life. I have never met a man with such a dorky tattoo, and I have never liked any tattoo so much, as much as my own. (This is not to say that I saw his tatts at the diner, it is winter and we were both sensibly clothed in layers.) We walked around Manhattan, talking about sci-fi books, him gushing about Westworld, myself trying to take in his story as well as I was taking in every new view I'd not yet gotten accustomed to. He is the first person to have brought me into Central Park, that night there looked to be some sort of commotion going on, there was a South American country's flag being carried on but neither of us recognised what it was, though I think I guessed Venezuela. We talked about productivity, and trying to define what we each meant by productivity. At the park, before he asked if I wanted to make out (leading me to guffaw for a good three minutes), he told me something very tender. Sometimes I can tell when people say things 'cos they've been reading what I write, and sometimes I know that they try not to fall into that trap of just being what I'm seeking, and with Ben, I just felt like I'd met a male counterpart of myself. He's honest and vulnerable because he's honest and vulnerable, and I like it that he wasn't trying to hide it, nor was he trying to play it up like some kind of get-in-my-pants badge either. I talked to him about my life story, which we joked about quizzing him on because I'd embellished it with so many details, and then when I asked him questions I hadn't even mentioned in the story explicitly but just during our rambling conversations, he remembered all of them. He told me about his life story, and I remember all of it, and I won't put it here because those details are for me and not for you, but I found it the most endearing because men don't usually share their life stories so easily, you have to work for it, you get to five dates, you get one nugget of important information, etc, but Ben told me his life story, like I'd told him mine. There is a comfort I feel with him that I don't ever want to forget, I trust him so much, we did something together for the first time and I was loud in a way that I didn't even think about and embarrassed his housemates would hear, and I was like omg what is going on. We talked about good things and bad things and things we were good at and bad at, and he has the most gorgeous curly hair, and pretty eyelashes. He spent the first three nights saying "I really like you, Sarah" and saying good and nice things about me, without an agenda beyond wanting to let me know he felt it. I like Ben a lot, and you might doubt it but I wouldn't, I do love him. We played word games, because he also studied linguistics, and there is a point when chemistry usually ends and you're left hanging for the right words to say to each other, but I never felt it with Bennett. 

Monday, February 04, 2019

ANGELS

for New York, for Bennett, for Tina, for Cupid and Psyche, for all the guardian angels:

they would be in love, love, love
and every day I'm learning about you
the things that no one else sees
and the end comes too soon
like dreaming of angels
and leaving without them
and living without them
being as in love with you as I am
being as in love with you as I am
being as in love with you as I am
being as in love, love, love
love, love, love
love, love, love

xx

MOXIE



I spent the day with one of the greatest loves of my life, a good friend. She brought me around Central Park, where she taught me that if you donate $10000, you get your own bench and you can inscribe anything you want on a plaque. The first thing that amazed me was that there were so many people who had the $10000 to spend (it amazes me because I'm #workingclass), but the second is that they were so sweet. They were from families, employees, best friends and lovers. A lot of them were for grandparents. One of the ones that caught my eye was in memory of a Nicole E. Vest, it said "just living is not enough," said the butterfly. "One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

She talked about The Great Gatsby, and how it symbolises the great American Dream, and the striving towards that dream, and of course I identified with that. She says a lot of the time people fail, but the dream lives in trying.

We went to the Met after bird-watching in The Ramble in Central Park. At the Met, Tina told me about the story of Cupid and Psyche. I'm not much of an art person, I don't know what Impressionism means, never took art in college and I never read about it on my own. I do, however, love my stories. Tina says that the great lesson to be learned from the story of Cupid and Psyche, is that when it comes to love and romance, you shouldn't pay too much heed to advise from anyone else, but listen to your heart, and it reminded me of what I'd said to Bennett.

On Sunday, he'd a little bit of a back-and-forth on what he wanted, re: his own life, as well as what we were doing with each other. At the end of the day, when we'd settled down a bit and talked things out, he said he was worried, because he wondered what my friends would say if they knew that he'd been flippy-floppy on only the third date.

I told him, for one, the friends whom I keep company with are great people (I have great taste :P) and they are empathetic, considerate and very rarely judgmental. When I went through a miscarriage with Joey, or when I broke up with Adam (in large part due to my instability but also, eh, I guess I recognised deep down that we weren't supposed to be together), they are always saying, "well he might also be going through stuff" or "maybe he just hasn't reached the level of maturity", etc etc. They also know that everything is contextual, so they wouldn't necessarily say anything bad without knowing all angles.

For two, out of many people in the world, I think I listen to my heart quite often. If I know something is good for me, it is good for me. Even though I might have come here without a real solid plan, and I'd quit my job, and had no income, and I broke up with someone within a month of being in New York, I know it was the right thing to do.

I'd been in the US twice previously, both times in LA. LA has given me some of the most magical romantic times, but it also broke me. For the past two years, I was depressed in Singapore and I gave the power to LA to write my narrative, but I knew I had to rewrite it for myself, so I made it back to the US. I came to New York instead. I had more magical connections, I experienced more firsts, I opened myself up to more people, and I realised, the magic was not just in LA. It was in me. It is in me.

I am no longer depressed.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

TRUE LOVE WILL FIND YOU IN THE END

Today I hung out with Tina, my best friend in New York. We had Mexican food and I'd thought I'd be able to have good horchata for a final time in the US before leaving, but the horchata we had was horrible. We also went to Sephora for me to check out US-exclusive makeup, and then we went to Books Are Magic, where I got a book and a souvenir T-shirt for myself. I don't like the idea of souvenirs because souvenirs are touristy and I don't quite like to visit a place as a tourist, but I do like the bookstore a lot and the tee looked comfy, so I got it. While eating, Tina asked whether I had any favorite moments in New York, and so I listed some of them, in no particular order.

One was being at the Women's March and watching Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and so many inspiring women, that entire day was electric, plus the disastrous first date that we got to eavesdrop on was epically bad. One was when I was eating a bagel with Adam at a park in Greenpoint. That was one of my first weeks here, and the temperature had really just started dropping, so neither of us really even wanted to be out. I was so cold that I pretty much inhaled the bagel, and to my brain at the moment, I'd never appreciated food as much as I was doing then. It was amazing. Bagels in the cold are now a thing. Another was seeing a proposal at Brooklyn Bridge, and then another definitely when a stranger danced with me as we both listened to a drummer, on opposite platforms waiting for either of our trains to arrive between us and break our eye contact. I had a brilliant first date at Slate NY, I enjoyed the date very much, and we stepped out onto a snowing night, which was romantic and magical, but never evolved into anything more, and yet it was a great date nonetheless. Karaoke with Tina was extremely fun, and I challenge anyone to be more fun than Tina is at karaoke, the woman is one-of-a-kind and I wish everybody could know her. I went to Alexander Hamilton's grave with Ben, and on the same day some pigeons shat on his coat while we were at the castle that has a view of the Statue of Liberty. Bennett took me to Grand Central Station, and he told me that his prep school was one of the schools that Gossip Girl was based on, we looked down at the crossing crowds, and we felt small and inconsequential in a good way, the way you do when you look at stars, and we headed to Central Park, where he proceeded to ask me whether I wanted to make out, and I remember laughing non-stop because he was the cutest. He is the cutest. Tomorrow might make the list, Tina and I are going to the Met!

so kiss me and smile for me
tell me that you'll wait for me

Saturday, February 02, 2019

I'M CALLING IT

I haven't thought of the one for ages. I haven't believed in the idea of the one in a long time, nor do I do now. It's not like I believe in God nor fate nor do I think there is a person made just for everyone in this world. I think the one is just the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with who chooses the same with you, and that could literally be anyone. I do, however, think that I've done my fair share of dating, to know what I want, and what doesn't cut it. (I also think that dating enough should be the norm and recommended. You spend years of your life taking on jobs and determining the right profession to be happy in. It should be the same with your romantic life. These are two of my favorite articles that back it up.) It takes real effort for me to feel like I've never felt before. And yet it takes no effort to talk about climate change and our projected values for the world. I've dated maybe forty men in my life, seriously or one-off things, and not a single one has ever asked me "would you like to make out?" on a first date. At Central Park, no less. You had New York on your side. I was very amused to have been the one to tell you that the MBTI was thought up by two women who had no scientific background, and of course I knew you think the whole thing is foolish. It's like I knew slow walkers are your pet peeves, and yet you told me I could let you know if you were walking too fast for me. You could never walk too fast for me. It feels easy to think of you, am I back in middle school? The answer would be no, because I've never been to middle school and I have no clue what ages comprise middle-school-dom.


We saw a family with two kids who had lollipops, one of them asleep. I wanted to tell you but I was preoccupied: one time, I fell asleep sucking on a Chupa Chups lollipop and I woke up with ants in my mouth. One time, we took the Subway and although it shouldn't usually feel so comfortable with someone new that you can fall asleep together on a train ride, we both did, with your head on mine. Also, may I just say, I have no idea where I placed my glasses so I'm typing this with my phone literally four inches away from my face. That's irrelevant to this post, it's just me being a dumbass.

Friday, February 01, 2019

POLAR VORTEX

If you Google polar vortex, I think the definition is "so cold Sarah could die", I mean literally try it and see. The temperature in Singapore now is 88°F, which I have lived in for 28 years. The temperature in Queens now is 13°F. I don't believe in God but who do I pray to for help?

FEAR IS THE HEART OF LOVE

When it's good, it's easy. Sometimes you try so hard and you blame men for not trying hard enough, but I think I've just now learned that the fact they don't try means they don't think you're right for them, and that's okay. When it's good, you don't have to stay up wondering why they're not holding onto you while you sleep, you don't have to struggle wondering why you're still awake while they sleep, you don't have to make up conversation by yourself while they're driving, you don't have to provide justifications and qualifications for love, you don't have to wonder why they don't seem to say they like you very often, you don't have to grip onto topics of common interest and pretend you understand their lingo, because they won't do it for you. Sometimes it's good, and you can talk about anything, and they will feel warm and comfortable, and you will like their dorky video-game-three-lives-heart tattoo as much as they like the tattoo on your spine, sometimes they will tell you you are beautiful and you believe it, sometimes you think they are just as beautiful and try your best to make them believe it, sometimes they are wonderful and feel just right, and sometimes you play games and it's easy to connect because you like the same things and dislike the same things and sometimes, it's easy because it's good.

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

Is there a scale to impostor syndrome? Is it measured by how often you feel it, how intense you feel it, the duration of time for which you feel it in any one moment? Over the last few years, I've read about nationalist rhetorics, of Trump and his goddamn wall, of Brexit, and you know the gist. I wonder if anyone looks at me in New York and thinks I am here to steal a job that should rightfully belong to someone who was born here. I feel less than, I feel not good enough. I don't even have a college degree, I've never been to college. I tend to think a lot about what other people think about me, and I worry all the time, that people don't want me here. It's silly because I have brains and I'm capable, I'm sure I can do a lot of jobs just as well as other candidates, plus I have the hunger for it, to prove myself, to prove that I belong. Singaporeans qualify for the H1B1-Singapore visa, which costs 460 USD to file. $460, that's the same price as like, a new phone. Why not? Why not me? Why not now?

Also, upon further pondering, I just thought about the people I know who weren't born in Singapore but are living and working and studying in Singapore, and I don't think any of them is stealing anyone's job so, pfffft, shut up and settle down, Sarah. If someone has a bigoted opinion about immigrants, you shouldn't care about them.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

AMPERSAND

Bukankah saya seorang berbangsa Melayu? Apabila saya menulis CV, saya mencatat bahawa saya boleh berbual dan menulis dalam bahasa Inggeris, Melayu dan juga Mandarin. Namun, jika anda boleh membaca tulisan ini, anda pun akan faham bahawa saya tidak berkebolehan untuk berbual atau menulis dalam Melayu secara lancar. Saya tidak tahu apa CV dalam bahasa Melayu pun. Apabila saya menulis dalam bahasa Inggeris, ternyata saya selesa dan berpengalaman menulis dalam bahasa Inggeris, apabila saya menulis dalam bahasa Melayu, tulisannya seperti seorang kanak-kanak berumur enam tahun. Perkataan demi perkataan, saya berfikir dalam bahasa Inggeris, dan saya fikir, apa perkataan ini dalam Melayu. Sesungguhnya saya rasa ini sesuatu yang patut dikasihan, kerana bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa yang sungguh romantis, bahasa elok untuk menulis pantun, dan saya tidak pernah menggunakannya, melainkan menggunakan bahasa pasar untuk berbual bersama keluarga saya. Adakah ini makna sebenar seorang bilingual? Saya rasa sememangnya tidak.

Am I not Malay? When I am putting together a CV, I state that I'm able to speak and write in English, Malay and also Mandarin. However, if you can read this, you'd understand that I don't have the ability to speak nor write smoothly in Malay. I don't even know what CV is in Malay. When I write in English, it is obvious I'm comfortable and experienced writing in English, when I write in Malay, the writing seems to be that of a six-year-old child's. Word by word, I think in English, and I think, what's this word in Malay. I do think this is regrettable, considering Malay is a romantic language, a language for poetry, yet I have never used it but to speak coarsely with my family members. Is this what it really means to be a bilingual? I think not.

(Also, I wrote this awkward paragraph in Malay first and then I wrote the smoother, more eloquent paragraph in English. Sigh.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ON A GOOD NOTE

When I left Singapore, my manager wrote me a letter. It was funny 'cos Aileen always said she wasn't good with words, and as long as I was working at Lush Vivo, they always knew me as the girl who was good with words, right. But then Aileen wrote me this goodbye note, and I bawled. I think, given my strange childhood and many suckerpunches in my past, it is really hard for me to inherently believe in my worth, but when my manager who works with me and sees me on a weekly basis for a year or so, writes good things about me, I just feel good to know I'm special. I'm special, and sometimes it scares other people that I'm so different, but that's on them, and not on me. I must remember that if ever any man doesn't think I'm special or doesn't treat me like I'm special, I can do without these men. My worth is more than a man who is scared to admit and see me for what I am. This is what my manager wrote:
Dear Sarah,
I actually don't know what to write. You see, I'm terrible with goodbyes and I refuse to say goodbye. From day 1, when you were wearing a red shirt, clutching a book, undies showing (in a good way) claiming to be feminist, you already stood out amongst the crowd. Nope it's not your fluent impressive way of introducing yourself, nor your height. =) It was your kindness. Somehow I knew then and there you were a good person. There wasn't anything that changed my mind: your non-religious way, history, lifestyle, beliefs. No matter what you do or say, we just knew, you were a good person. So much so it scared some people. At first, your sincerity and kindness were doubted and I would like to apologise that I wasn't able to protect you, and you had to go through a difficult time at first. But not long after that people really saw who you really are and you started taking care of everyone, including me. I don't think there's any way that I can thank you enough for being a good friend/sister/staff/colleague. My only regret is we don't have much memories outside work (but God knows even if I turn back time we still won't have much cos we're that old and lazy to go out). Lol. Also, every time I work with you, it doesn't feel like work, just hanging out with a friend. That's why in general I don't need to hang out with you outside of Lush to consider you one of my dearest friends. I really suck at expressing my feelings but I hope you get the gist of how much you mean to me and how much I'll miss you. I pray to all Gods that they guide you while you chase your dreams in New York. I believe in you Sarah, we all do. Please do not forget us when you're a famous New York Times best-selling author. Stay in touch. Text me when you need someone to talk to. I promise to reply. Even after three months.
you. Aileen.
Damn, people always hustle me, saying they're not good with words, and then they make me cry!! I'm supposed to be the writer!!