Monday, September 14, 2020

TROYE SIVAN

I was actually having a pretty good week last week. I had a games day with Reen, Chloe and Rebecca. We played Kingdomino, Codenames, Anomia, and Blokus. It reminded me a little of Ben, because he works (used to work? I dunno) in a games café, and we also played board games on one of our dates. The winter coat that Tina had ordered for me from The North Face had arrived at her place. I think my friends in Singapore are also worried about me getting seasonal depression in Canada, and Pearlyn initiated a conversation in which she wanted to buy me heat tech pants from Uniqlo. I met my cousins to celebrate one of their birthdays. I met Kylee for the first time, she grew up in Texas but is working here now, she's half-Filipinx and really reminded me of Tina and we had a really good dinner together. I had a therapy session, during which my therapist said I'd made a breakthrough, and I felt like I was good to reduce the frequency of my sessions for the sake of my school savings (I currently do one hour of therapy every fortnight). Last night, though, I was woken up by terrible news to someone dear to me, and I began having nightmares. Dhuha, my one (1) friend in Vancouver for now, had posted Instagram stories, saying the air and entire landscape had a yellow tint to them, due to the NorCal wildfires. I Googled it and apparently it's also affecting the air quality in the town of my university. I had applied for school in New York and got in, then changed my plans due to the political situation of the USA, and now this happens. I want to be either cryogenically frozen and woken up from my slumber when the Earth is at a sustainable period, or tbh I want to fuck it all and move to Greenland (?) or the Bahamas (???) or I don't know, anywhere that's not affected by pandemics and climate change. 


If this is how you've been feeling, you're not alone. Also, I've signed up for a mental health first aider course at work, as well as done some reading on it on my own. If you're struggling, you may approach me and I will try to help you. We can sit in this dumpster fire of a world together. It's not fine, and it's okay if you don't feel it's fine, because it's not.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

OCCAM'S RAZOR

So I don't know if you've seen, but on one of my recent posts I received this comment:
Hello! I am one of those who read your blog and I have never responded because shy. But since you said you would like people to message you, here I am. It's very interesting to watch a malay girl with a common malay face pretend with all her might to be white! Don't so yaya la okay?

If you're not Singaporean, you may not know that yaya means pretentious, my friend Tami who's Indonesian asked me what it meant so I thought I'd just clarify. I read the comment and I was a little confused, so I created an Instagram story poll asking if I was yaya/pretentious. All the responses (95%) said I'm not, except for one. It was just a random account with no followers or whatever, and this account also began to leave strange sarcastic comments on my older Instagram posts, asking if I was "mixed, because the photo was gorgeous" or highlighting that I have a shallow personality. Seeing as the account only appeared after I'd created the poll in response to the comment, I'm going to do the obvious and think it's the same person who'd left the blog comment, that owns the Instagram account.

I think the nature of the comments was slightly strange, but I'll just give it the time of day since I'm already writing this. The commenter took offence that for a Malay person with a common Malay face, I pretend with all my might to be white. As far as I recall, I've never tried to look white, or not-Malay. I don't even speak with a "white accent", I think I have quite an obvious Malay accent and I don't try to mask it, so I really am not sure what they mean. I guess this person doesn't know me in real life, which is a huge relief, because I wouldn't want someone I personally know to think such things about me. Next, I actually think Malay people are attractive and have attractive features, so if I have a common Malay face, I'm going to take it as a compliment, thank you for that? If they meant that with a common Malay face, I'm actually unattractive, then there's something problematic in that. This person is either not Malay and is racist against Malays, or they are Malay and self-hating. Either way, I don't understand it. 

Also, this person created a fake Instagram account to comment anonymously on my older posts. That takes dedication and effort. I'm guessing that they haven't told their close friends or family members that they started the account to leave such comments. In that case, whatever I write about or however my behaviour, I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm at the very least living my truth with more volition and freedom than they are. I cannot imagine putting in so much energy into disliking someone that I'd have to carve out sessions to hate on them, away from my own social life. 

When I shared the comments on my Instagram, most of my friends said this was likely to be a teenager's work. If they are a teenager, then perhaps I'll let them grow out of it, like a toddler going through their Terrible Twos. However, if this person is older than a teenager and is closer to my age of thirty, then it's really high time someone told them that they are an unhappy person. I don't know how or why they are unhappy, but they are. Happy people don't put in energy into being mean and nasty to other people, and happy people would also know this method does not work. If they felt safe and secure about themselves, they would know that no matter what anyone else said, their own self-worth and what they think of themselves is what matters. All this to say, the person who commented does not feel safe and secure, and doesn't know what it means, to feel safe and secure about themselves as a person. 

I was going to let it slide after the Instagram comments, but today a comment popped up on a much older post, and this time it was attacking my intelligence as well as my... sexual worth? I'd blogged about Mochi falling and breaking her leg, two years ago, and the person went all the way back to comment on it. 

"I’m still lowkey pissed that she stupidly lost her balance and fell from the window ledge, if she did"

But you don't think you are high key stupid for not meshing your house before adopting a cat? You act like you are damn clever but your writing and your attitude shows you're just another immature moron dying to believe she's unique. No wonder all the men you've dated before humped and dumped you.

Now, I'm an immature moron dying to believe I'm unique. Also, that's why all the men I've dated before humped and dumped me. I'm not sure why the phrase of choice was "humped and dumped" me, as if it matters that I've had many sexual relations in my life. Is this person... a conservative? Is there something they think is inherently shameful about having sexual experiences? I don't know, but also weird of them to assume they know why I was dumped. I could ask all my exes now if that's really why, but somehow I think they would have nicer things to say about me than this person does.

Whatever the actual motivation is, I would like to say: please see a therapist. You may not be able to see or accept it now, but everything you say is more reflective of your issues than of mine. It's clear to everyone apart from you. I do not know who you are, and it can stay that way. I don't know why you've chosen to have a personal vendetta against me and revolved your feelings around my life. It does seem that no matter what actions I take, you will be bitter about it and I'm unable to provide a reason why. However, I think you should share your misgivings about me and your actions towards me with at least two loved ones whom you really trust, and ask for their advice. I have no way of verifying that you do, as I don't know your identity, but this is really not for me. Whether you go to therapy or seek help, it will not affect me. I'm living my life the way I want to, but your obsession with hating me is truly unhealthy, and I do think you will only be happy, when you've let go, and learned what your own issues are. I'm guessing your immediate reaction to this would be to lash out against my suggestion that you seek help, and perhaps your anonymous comments will proliferate. I actually strongly hope you give it time and think of yourself, and not of me, regarding this matter. In the long run, it would benefit you and your life much more if you paid attention to your own feelings and your own actions instead of mine. The attention you crave for yourself has to originate from you taking care of yourself, and not from provoking a person with mean words. I wish you well. This is the last comment I will be making a note of, because I prefer to expend my energy on things that serve me well. 

Sunday, September 06, 2020

VACUUM

I had a rather eventful morning. We arrived at the store to find that a pipe had burst in the mall. The escalators and elevators weren't working, and our store was flooded. We were in crisis management mode, we watched as the electrician fiddled with the power boards, we used bowls to scoop out water from beneath the floorboards. Our floorboards are wooden, and I think they got quite waterlogged, because you could feel them being soggy and uneven when walking on them. This year has refused to let up on us. It was interesting to see that there are vacuum cleaners that suck up water, and they were used to dry up our store of the flood. They reminded me of the fact that I will soon have to vacuum-pack my clothes into my suitcases so as to fit in more things efficiently. Tonight is one of those nights I feel slightly anxious and panicky about Canada. What if they don't understand what I'm saying? What if it's too cold and I get depressed? What if my schoolmates are too young and into TikTok and I am left behind? Then I tell myself it's okay to feel scared of new environments, and also to be aware that I'm probably getting my period in two days. I'll feel depressed but then my body will say SikE! Lol I'm prepared for it.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

BIG SUR

I've got an early morning for a shift tomorrow and I've got some ingredients prepared for special easy breezy toast, as well as an iced chai latte from CBTL in the fridge to help me wake up. It's been some pretty good few days. I love having stuff prepared for breakfast. Today I was looking through Spotify and it makes me so happy that, when I'm not listening to Taylor Swift, I have the option of listening to all sorts of music from everywhere, I can listen to playlists of white noise for studying, music that accompanies rain, sounds for sleep. You name it, and Spotify usually has it. I think we've progressed so rapidly that it's easy to forget how far we've come. I remember the days of using Kazaa or Limewire to download song by song in mp3s. Kids these days would not relate! It's so wild that the world is accessible now. All we have to do is push for that accessibility to reach everyone, after giving them basic necessities like housing, clean water, access to medicine, etc.

A couple of days ago, my sisters and I were watching Jeopardy because they released some new seasons on Netflix. Jeopardy is my favorite game show and I think I'm pretty good at it because I know a little bit of trivia from all sorts of backgrounds. I keep telling them that if I appeared on an episode of Jeopardy, winning just one game (average of $20,000 given away in an episode) would really help me out. My sisters said I could try out for any game show, not just Jeopardy, so they suggested this inane, silly and hilarious show The Floor Is Lava, where you literally try not to fall into lava while navigating a tricky room full of hazards. The prize for The Floor Is Lava is $10,000 per team though, and I said $10,000 isn't enough because if we split it among the three of us sisters (the other one wasn't watching with us), it would only be $3,500 each. Both of them then said they wouldn't want to split it equally, knowing that I'm in debt for school, and they said I could treat them to a nice meal. I was so touched by this, I went to sleep after shedding a few tears. It doesn't matter that the entire thing is hypothetical, my family is not rich and $10,000 would make a huge difference to my 24- and 17-year-old sisters. The fact that they offered to participate in an imaginary game show to help me out with my educational finances, I think is very sweet and mature of them, and I hadn't expected it from them. They're really cute, I can't believe they all used to be babies and now they're thinking of helping me out.

A lot to be grateful for, and I'm grateful for that.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

I CHING

A couple of nights ago, I was doing a box shift with a new colleague, Millie. She's a theatre performer who was acting in London before she had to come back to Singapore due to COVID. She heard me listen to Burn on my break, so during our boxes shift (when there are only lululemon staff in store), she played the Hamilton soundtrack and we sang and rapped together. She has a lovely voice, obviously, being a performer, and I was so happy to be talking to her. She told me about The Last Five Years, another musical that sounds absolutely heartbreaking, I think I'm going to love it so I'm going to have a listen to the soundtrack. There's also a film version with Anna Kendrick that Millie doesn't have the best impression of, so I won't be watching that yet. The concept sounds fascinating, it starts at two different points of the timeline in a relationship, so for the woman, the play commences at the end of the relationship, and for the man it starts at the beginning, and they only sing together on one song when their timelines intersect in the musical. I'm intrigued, and also preempting certain sadness at the story.

Last night, I visited Tami and her little baby Bima. He's just a little over a month old. When I arrived, he was being fed his night bottle of milk so I carried him and fed him the last half. He was adorable, so smol and his voice was gentle and soothing. He was gurgling enthusiastically and I melted. It's been such a good week. I am very grateful for it.

Tomorrow, I have a SYNC meeting, it's getting quite convoluted and I don't really like things that are messy so I feel a little iffy. Then I have to go to work because a girl has to pay her bills.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

DRUNK UNDER A STREETLIGHT


vintage tee, brand new phone 
high heels on cobblestones 
when you are young,
they assume you know nothing 

sequin smile, black lipstick 
sensual politics 
when you are young, 
they assume you know nothing 

but I knew you 
dancing in your Levi's 
drunk under a streetlight, I 
I knew you 
hand under my sweatshirt 
baby, kiss it better, I

and when I felt like I was an old cardigan 
under someone's bed 
you put me on and said I was your favorite

a friend to all is a friend to none 
chase two girls, lose the one 
when you are young, 
they assume you know nothing 

but I knew you 
playing hide-and-seek and 
giving me your weekends, I 
I knew you 
your heartbeat on the High Line 
once in twenty lifetimes, I 

and when I felt like I was an old cardigan 
under someone's bed
you put me on and said I was your favorite 

to kiss in cars and downtown bars
was all we needed 
you drew stars around my scars 
but now I'm bleeding

'cause I knew you 
stepping on the last train 
marked me like a bloodstain, I 
I knew you 
tried to change the ending 
Peter losing Wendy, I 
I knew you 
leaving like a father 
running like water, I 
when you are young, 
they assume you know nothing 

but I knew you'd linger like a tattoo kiss 
I knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs 
the smell of smoke would hang around this long 
'cause I knew everything when I was young 
I knew I'd curse you for the longest time 
chasing shadows in the grocery line 
I knew you'd miss me once the thrill expired 
and you'd be standing in my front porch light 

and I knew you'd come back to me 
you'd come back to me
you'd come back to me
you'd come back 

and when I felt like I was an old cardigan 
under someone's bed 
you put me on and said I was your favorite

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

AJ HACKETT

I went to Sentosa with Tif and suntanned for three hours. On hindsight, it maybe wasn't the best idea. We're both red, and I don't usually burn, I just get brown, but this time my skin feels raw and dry. Eeps. Yesterday was such good sunny weather, and the water was cooling without being cold, so I guess that's why we could splash about for that long. I put on sunblock but I'm not sure how effective it would have been against skin cancer. Only time will tell, eh. I also met another longtime friend for dinner and had such a lovely time catching up with her over easy conversation.


Tina has told me she'd get me a winter coat for Canada, and honestly, she feels like the big sister I never had. I mean, I'm very close to my cousin Hazwani but she's only a couple months older and I don't think she tries to be my elder sister. Tina, though, I really trust her like a big sister. I have seven younger siblings (who even still has seven siblings in this day and age?) and it feels nice not to feel like the oldest sometimes.

I'm on the way for a visual merchandising shift. I'm a little behind schedule, and may need to rush at the train station, but that's life.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

ABBOT KINNEY


This morning Adam messaged me to say Hamilton is fine. I've known him two years and he wouldn't watch it at all, so I'll take what I can get!!!! He used to be a music critic (now working at Know Your Meme) and he says of Hamilton, musically it has its charms. It's the small wins, y'all. Take them where you can. 

I tried to coax some opinion of folklore out of him, but he hasn't listened to all of it. I thought he wouldn't actively hate on it, because some tracks off folklore were co-written with maybe the frontman (or guitarist? I dunno and don't actively care) of The National, and I know Adam lurrrrves The National. 

You know I had a few American boys (the Bens, Adam, Joey, etc) and the USA is not at its greatest right now, or anywhere near its greatest, so I tend to worry about these men in America. Sometimes I wonder if this is how a mother feels, I just wanna have a dashboard that says, they're all alive, and they're all okay. It helps when they intermittently text me to ask if I'm alive or to tell me about the things they know I listen to. Stay alive!!!!! (Hamilton reference that no one apart from myself will get, sigh.)

Sometimes I feel like people think I'm a.... social experiment, for lack of a more appropriate term. They read my words and view my Instagram stories, and they observe me, but rarely interact with me. It gets a bit lonely, being an Other. I don't really enjoy it, I wish I could extend my hand and have more people on my side. I would like it if more people were open about their mental health, or even just about their daily thoughts, and to fight for what's right on behalf of people who can't. I don't understand why it's such a novelty to be an open book. To such a point that I have to move literally across the world to find my tribe so I fit in. I'm a regular human bean, I enjoy memes, I can watch Selling Sunset on Netflix and appreciate the properties. A couple of nights ago, I met a friend from Lush, her name is Seri, and we had such a good time just laughing over past shitty Tinder dates.

I am on the way to work and the shift hasn't started but I'm grateful that Adam reached out, I'm grateful that my sister made toast for breakfast and my mother made steak for lunch, before I left for work.

Friday, August 21, 2020

TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME

The car I'm in has some really sombre melancholy string music playing and it's got me in a funk. Today I had a really nice two-hour chat with my mentor Val, and she said I provide a different perspective from anyone else's in the team. I made a jokey allusion that it could be that my brain is wired differently, due to my on and off depression. I used to really like rollercoasters and fast cars, but recently sometimes when I get into a car, my chest gets really constricted and I feel a fear, I don't know why. It's like I want to reach out to Joey to drive safely and ride safely. I think about this one time I was talking to Adam about Kafka, and I didn't know there was a writer Kafka, I thought it was just in the title of a book. I felt really embarrassed but at the same time I felt also soothed by his reaction to me. It felt like a friendly hug or him squeezing my hand. This happened while we were chatting across the world so it wasn't physically happening. Sometimes when you immerse yourself fully in any situation, it is difficult to separate the you that exists now from the you that was tangled with three, four, five men ago. I don't know if you know what Muslim or Catholic hangover is, or if I'm using it correctly, but having grown up two decades believing that at the very end of all this, I would be guaranteed a spot in eternal paradise, to switching to a mindset that when it ends, it just ends, gives me crippling anxiety at times. I want a salve to rub on my spiritual being, but I don't want to lie to myself with stretched out niceties. I think what cripples me about it ending when it ends, is the fact that this temporary place is so painful and broken. I wish people were just nice and good for the sake of being nice and good, to make this world a better place, to save someone else from their crippling anxiety, maybe. I wish there were no religions or rat races for money and accomplishments, but people helping people to get through the dreariness. I don't feel so good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

SMOKESCREEN


a rush, a glance 
a touch, a dance 

look in somebody's eyes 
to light up the skies 
to open the world and send it reeling 

a voice that says, "I'll be here" 
and you'll be alright 

Last week, Jayden sent me a message for a work stint, and y'all know your girl has to always be hustling so I said yes. He owns a production studio and was being filmed for a docuseries for CNA (it's the Asian version of CNN) and needed a model for a photoshoot. When you're the model for a shoot, they call you a talent, although I needed no talent at all. I was just born with the looks they needed. 



The inspiration for my makeup was 60's Twiggy, and my makeup artist was Benji. I loved his work on my face and hair. Honestly, I wonder why they don't call the makeup artists the talents instead, because they are way more talented with what they do. There are few things more luxurious than going for a shoot and having yourself prepped by a makeup artist and fashion stylist.


That's Josiah the stylist. It was my second time working with him, and we had so much more fun this time, maybe because I was the only model and we had more chances for interaction. I really like working with Jayden and Josiah. I think they're very conscious of cultural connotations, and every time Josiah wanted to put something on me, he'd verify whether I had ethnic ties to the accessory (like a nose ring and chain, for example). If they were taking photos of me with a cloth on my head, if it looked like a hijab, they'd style it differently, because despite being a Malay, I do not identify as a Muslim. 

In this shoot, we had three different shots and concepts, but with three different things raining on me. The first one was sparks, so Josiah stood overhead behind a partition and held sparklers that sparked down on me. I was super happy that happened, because I'd missed Singapore's National Day fireworks the previous week, but now I had my own personal ones raining down on me, and the shots looked fucking ace.

The second one was glitter confetti. It was a retro vibey concept, and for a couple of the shots, the confetti actually caught the glint of the camera flash and fell at the perfect angle near my outreached palm, to look like a diamond sparkling in the photo. The moment the snapped photo was reflected on the monitor, we all looked at it and it really looked like the photo had already been DI'ed (agency speak for editing with Illustrator). 

For shots of things raining on you, they obviously do it more than once, just to get the best option. Josiah and Xuan (the other makeup artist) collected the confetti once it had fallen onto the floor, to drop them on me once again. As the confetti was glittering like diamonds, Josiah encouraged me by saying it was a vision of my future, with riches and luxuries raining down on me.

Jayden was directing my poses while taking the photos, because if you've forgotten, I'm not actually a model. He kept saying "broken wrist, soft fingers" and one of the producers, Ami also kept saying the same thing and flicking her wrist up and down, and honestly, everything was hilarious and I had to keep from laughing just so they would get some useable shots. When she sent me the release form, Ami signed off her email with broken wrist, soft fingers, and I LIVE FOR IT!!!!!!


The last shot was with water, and they played Rihanna's Umbrella.

In between one of the shots, we were filming scenes for the B-roll, which is just extra scenes they can intersperse with regular footage, just in case of shortage. Jayden and Josiah were styling my outfit while I just stood there like a dummy, but then Josiah felt a tiny scroll-like thing in one of my blouse's sleeves, so he said it could have been a message from a child worker in India, saying "please save me" and from that point on, I could not stop laughing at the idea. I ruined the entire B-roll, they were always trying to have a conversation and I burst into laughter at the thought of it. 

Also, they used a sliding camera to pan in and out while filming the photoshoot (how fucking meta is that), and I had to glance right into the filming camera, and right there and then, I felt it. It was my Taylor Swift moment. I WAS BASICALLY TAYLOR SWIFT!!!!!!!


Josiah sent me a message yesterday to tell me that it was just a piece of a broken hanger that had fallen into the blouse. Dang. I thought we could go on a rescue mission to save a child worker. Or perhaps it's better that no child workers were involved in the making of our shoot. 

The entire lights, camera, action of it all made me think of La La Land. I cannot wait till the shots are ready. They are honestly fantastic, without even needing to be touched up. The concepts and planning were stunning. Back to regular programming. Remember, when you're taking photos: it's all in the broken wrist and soft fingers. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

WE WERE MERELY FRESHMEN

I just ended my therapy session. I talked about how irritable I've been. Lucas was late to meet me last weekend and I lost my temper. I've never liked when people arrive late, I think it's irresponsible and being responsible and accountable is kinda one of my criteria of being a decent human being. However, in the past week or so, I've been just tired out from work. I've taken up more shifts than originally allocated because I need to save the money. Working at my job is physically tiring, I'm on my feet for seven hours, and our masks always have to be on. The fact that I have to wear a mask the entire time already adds a discomfort and ensures shallow breathing for half my day, but what takes the cake is seeing crowds of people who don't follow protocol for social distancing, who wear their masks the incorrect way of only covering their mouths, etc. I don't like people who make light of the pandemic, we've seen thousands of unnecessary deaths, and if you insist on doing your shopping in person instead of the online options that are readily available, at the very least do your part to keep yourselves and the people around you safe. My therapist came up with five methods to check in with myself when I'm on the floor working, I must remember to try them out and check back in with her on their efficacies. 

For some reason, this morning I thought of something I'd heard from Khalis when we were much younger. He's a Muslim, and at the time we had this conversation, I think I was questioning religion and faith. Khalis said he'd watched a video in which scientists played a Muslim prayer or gospel song, and measured the heart rates of control groups of people, finding out that the Muslim prayer had a calming effect and that the people were "at peace". He brought it up as if it was conclusive evidence that Islam was the one true faith, and that even science could back it up. I looked at him, with what I'm pretty sure was puzzlement, and let it go, but what I was thinking was, that's not a scientific experiment. Or at least the results are not very conclusive of much. They didn't play any other religious tunes or hymns from any other faiths to compare the results with, they didn't play even non-religious songs in comparison. For all you know, it could just be that the prayers were low-pitched, and low-pitched sounds from any instrument and in any language would have calming effects. Khalis is a Malay man, though, and if there's one thing I know about Malay men, they hate being proven wrong by Malay women, so I kept quiet. Why am I thinking about that now? Who knows.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

NOTICE ME, SENPAI

My family has just arrived home after a drive to a 24-hour supermarket. We went together because my sister Lyssa has just passed her driving test and received her licence today. We had our parents, my other sister Aqilah and I, all trying to advise her on the drive, on the freeway, to the slope up the mall carpark, to doing U-turns. It was an entire hour of anxiety and cortisol, so I'm allowing my body some time to return to its baseline, which to be honest, is probably always pumped with more adrenaline and cortisol than found at most other people's baselines. When I am in Canada, I hope my sisters come over and take turns to drive. It will hopefully be safer in my university town and the rest of Vancouver Island, I know Singapore is just overcrowded with people and vehicles. 

Today at work, someone said my perfume smelled peculiar, and I found the remark peculiar, as well as interesting. I was wearing my Twilight body spray from Lush, which is a relaxing, comforting scent made of lavender and tonka, something akin to vanilla. Everyone else at work had said today they loved it, and they knew it because it's a signature scent from Lush, and I wear it occasionally anyways. The reason I found the remark peculiar, is because it came from my boss, and I've always liked the scent she uses, but I've never been able to place it, nor have I been able to ask her what it is. I really like her scent, but I don't know if it's because her perfume is a nice one, or because I find her very attractive. I'm still a tiny bit intimidated by her, which I think a lot of us are, and I don't know if that plays into the power dynamics as well. She has a girlfriend, and I'm also in a relationship. However, I'm mature enough to admit that being in a relationship does not prevent attraction to other people, as well as to acknowledge that repressing any thoughts and feelings would just strengthen them. My boss is also a spin instructor, and I work at lululemon, so you can expect the entire team to be fit and strong and overwhelmingly attractive. Everyone has such tight and toned bodies, and it is very hard to deny their physical allure. Today, as friends, she asked whether we liked boobs or butts, and I'm pretty sure I went around trying to stabilize my heart rate after the superior I'm attracted to was asking me that. Sometimes I literally stutter at work because I'm surrounded by such fit people. This is rather unlike me, y'all know I'm an extrovert and I'm usually very sociable. I have now been relegated to being the beta. I suppose the time had to come, lolol.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TITANS

In a recurring dream, I absorb the feelings and energy of everyone in the world. Every single dissatisfaction, every joy, I absorb all the vibes and then there is an explosion once I have absorbed it all. The explosion is a cold blue, and nothing breaks or physically moves. I think people and animals die more from the aftershock than the initial wave. The explosion wipes out all living things on Earth, and then there is peace. It feels like something I have seen on Heroes. I don't recall the storyline of that show, except that Hayden Panettiere is a cheerleader and I think the wiping-out scene is about her. I think. I find dreams very hard to describe, perhaps because they are not always lucid or easy to explain, nor bound by the laws of physics. I wish I could connect to a program that could display my thoughts, exactly as I visualize them. There must be a way this is already happening. I don't know what the dream means, maybe I just think it's a cool scene visually. Maybe.

I walked past a few schoolkids on my way to work today. They were talking about who they thought would get the top score in History in their class. I remember those days in my life. I wonder if those are the conversations that will happen in my near future. Will it be as competitive? Will it be more collaborative, given our subject of study? A year ago, I was in Japan. I am really looking forward to a year from now. Tina asked whether I was going to be in Canada for winter this year because she's planning gifts, and I think this is the cutest thing ever. It feels so adult, I don't know why. It reminds me of when white kids are asked by their mothers to write thank-you notes for their gifts.

Monday, August 10, 2020

SAFETY CAR

Last weekend, I learned a lot of things. I learned about Abella Anderson, Mia Khalifa, and gloryholes. If you don't know what those mean, don't Google them because I don't want that to be on me. I ordered truffle butter to be fancy, and Sue asked me to look up truffle butter on urban dictionary, so now I know what that is. Now, every time I spread truffle butter on my bread, I will think of something else. Yesterday was Singapore's National Day, which is when we gained independence from the British. It's only the 55th National Day. I worked the entire day, and I was absolutely flat-out broken by the end of the shift. You'd think, given that people have been working from home for months, a long weekend wouldn't actually mean anything, but we were still overworked on the retail front. Working on a public holiday can really break your spirit, and it's not worth the 1.5x pay, at all. After work, we went to Mount Faber to catch the fireworks. There were many other people there, I suppose because we had all Googled the best place to view fireworks from. We went to the peak of it (not actually very elevated but relative to the rest of Singapore, it's a peak), but I think the locations of the fireworks were changed because they know people were gonna be at home due to social distancing measures. Thus, although we were the closest to the sky, we saw none of the fireworks, only orange tints behind buildings, and heard the sounds. So typical of Singapore. I feel like they know I see nothing special here, so there were no fireworks for me. Sigh. I'm in a car to work now, I had and have no energy to deal with public transit. It's still a public holiday and I'm still working, so please pray for my soul. I actually don't believe in prayers, so it would be nice if you just dropped cash into my account, thanks. I haven't even gotten to work but I just wanna get back home to have a nice, long, relaxing, pampering shower, so I look forward to that. Also, if someone could just remind me to bring home my truffle butter from the work fridge, that would be perfect. *chef's kiss*

Thursday, August 06, 2020

BLOODBANK

My mouth guards arrived, so I hope I don't grind my teeth to death. I want to get Teva sandals because I need sandals that are very comfortable, but perhaps I'll wait till I'm in Canada, so I don't have to bring them over with me. Also, when I arrive in Vancouver it doesn't seem like it'll be the proper weather for me to wear sandals, so we'll see. My cousin and I walked past a skate shop a few days ago, and I was sorely tempted to get a skateboard or rollerskates, even though I am thirty years old!!!! Last night, my heart palpitated for a bit, and I'm very sure it had something to do with the explosion in Lebanon that I read about, and suppressed in my mind for the entire day. My therapist says to let go of the things I cannot control, so that's random chemical explosions, people who refuse to wear masks, anti-vaxxers, etc. I learned a while ago, that the reasonable people who should be having kids, the people who understand the gravity of global warming, of income inequality, are more unlikely to have kids, and conversely, people who are anti-vaccine and the like, are more inclined to continue having kids. This means, a decade or two later, voting will be skewed to conservative policies because reasonable people will be outnumbered. For that one single reason alone, I would adopt if I never had my own kid.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

TALLEST TIPTOES

I think my favorite moments in life are the ones that seemingly have no consequence, though are likely to set an entire timeline in motion. Playing beer pong with Solo cups before we trail off, I walk behind you on the roof. I asked why the pool had been filled in, and you respond, why would we need a pool when there's an expanse of beach to swim in, so close by? Fair point, I think. The place must have been flipped and sold for a fortune at least once by now. I walk barefoot in the grass, soft and a little brittle from the clumped up soil, wary of the blades of green that tickle and may yet cut me. There is nothing to do, and all the time to do it. Water has to be near me, perhaps because I am fiery, I am fire, all the time burning and feeding on oxygen. Unlike the blessed, I am affronted by a disregard for consequences. How could they do this, why would they say that, what does it all mean? I flicker and grow, engulf myself in flame, then I turn to that life-giving water to put it out. It feels nice, it's cool and soothing, like aloe on sunburned skin. I want to run my fingers through your hair, just barely touching your scalp for a sensual massage. How intimate and yet, by most measures, inconsequential.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN DYNASTY

there goes the loudest woman 
this town has ever seen
I had a marvellous time
ruining everything 

I am still very much enjoying the discovery of folklore. I like the feeling of having slightly different thoughts and emotions each time I immerse myself in a track. One day, years from now, I will listen to the same tracks and think about this time in Singapore, perhaps. I have loved having Taylor Swift as the artist I grew up with. On New Year's Eve turning into 2015, I sang (meaning I butchered) Mean in a dive bar in front of a man whose parents lived in a cosy house in Topanga. I always sing Mean at karaoke, always. Then a man played Love Story while I watched him on his turntables, and I have never associated the song with anyone else since. Last year, I watched the Reputation tour concert on Netflix with Lucas, and he somehow got brainwashed into thinking he likes her music, although he's never listened to the songs from the album again. I really like this album. I like how the aesthetic is her with braided hair walking in a black and white portrait of the woods, and I cannot wait to fulfill my cottagecore fantasies in Canada with folklore as my soundtrack. 

I know you think I'm crazy, but I always feel an affinity with Taylor. When she released 1989, I was all happy and I was dancing in LA to Shake It Off, etc, and I hadn't had The Miscarriage. Then Reputation dropped and I also had a lot of angst at men and my mother and in general. Last year, I fell in love, and Lover was released, and it was very pink and gold and rose-tinted and infatuated. Now, folklore is here, and there is a lyric of how Taylor is now buying gifts for her exes' babies. She's outgrown her angst and pettiness and I feel a little bit like that too. It's in the way I remind myself that sometimes when I'm feeling out of sorts, it could just be a simple primal human unmet need: have I slept enough and do I need to sleep? It's in the way I'm adulting and have paid my annual medical insurance premium and my second student loan interest instalment even though I haven't even commenced my studies. One day, as testament to how adult I am, I will drop my studies and start a dropshipping business and completely give no fucks about and buy into consumerism and capitalism, and that's how you know I have become An Adult, because adults are sellouts. 

I had a whole other thing on my mind but wow I went on a Taylor tangent. Did you know I'm still collecting a list of rich people I can email about partial sponsorships of my studies? I include my PayPal and Venmo and all sorts of things and I think my emails are always very funny, except when I'm depressed. Or maybe they're even funnier then. I was watching the second season of the F1 show on Netflix, Drive to Survive, and they showed an investor in Haas, who's actually dropped off, he owns a company called Rich Energy, which is like, the most douchebag name for a company? Like, who greenlights this shit, don't these people have devil's advocates? Speaking of F1, I still think Carlos Sainz has a perfect face and you cannot change my mind. Also, one of Lucas' housemates is a triathlete who competes for his country (now suspended because) and his bicycle is made of carbon fibre so it's the lightest thing ever, and I was amazed at how I could lift it easily! Lucas says it's what F1 cars are made of, so they are light, too. 

I met my SYNC group members for the first time this week after the lockdown. We're writing a proposal together to submit to a grant for funds that will funnel into mental health in Singapore. I feel very encouraged, and I'm actually glad I have more time before school to nurture it into existence. We had a really good session, we had dinner before starting work and asked questions to get to know one another, and I was so pleasantly relieved to find that we were mostly on the same wavelength, even humor-wise.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG
THEY ASSUME YOU KNOW NOTHING

i) A couple of nights ago, Dhuha sent me a DM on Instagram. A decade ago, we were in a hobby group (?) on Facebook, called #TVWhores, because we all watched quite a bit of TV. I think they were geekier (I mean this in the highest respect and I think I wanted to be as much of a geek) than I was, they watched Doctor Who and stuff like that, but we'd bond over Community and Sherlock, and such TV shows of that era. Anyway, Dhu moved to Vancouver for work, and I never really kept in contact with her, but she dropped me a message.


I felt an instant relief at seeing her message, because up to that point, I personally knew zero (0) people in Canada. Now I know one!!! Dhu lives in Vancouver too, but on the mainland, whereas I will be offshore on an island, 1.5 hours away by ferry (how quaint is that???!!!). I cannot explain it, it's not as if she will be holding my hand taking me to school, but my fear decreased exponentially and my excitement was allowed to be more prominent. 

I am really ready for Canada. If you don't know how Singapore is, it's like an entire country like New York City. It's a concrete jungle, and no one even sings songs about it, about how you're able to be free and creative, because you're not. I want to be in Canada, and be a faerie in the woods (HAHAHA), and sit by a creek, and do my assignments and read books, and not worry so much about climate change, because there won't be a human person being stupid and careless everywhere I turn. Also, I've seen Dhu's photos on Instagram, and it looks amazing. Trees always look so good in Canada???? 

ii) I went to Sarah's community class last week. She's starting her journey as a spin instructor, and in that one class, she made me cry. She put on this track without lyrics, and she told us to close our eyes, and to thank our bodies for having taken us so far, for having gone through all the deep and dark times for us, for still being here. I was probably having a moment in my mental health, but I was feeling proud of my body, and I shed a couple of tears.
 

I've gone for yoga and spin classes, I'm swimming more often, I run when I need to clear my mind. I just signed up for a boxing package. I haven't gone climbing in literal ages. Actually, the last time I climbed was in LA. I want to climb again to give my arms more of a workout, so I think I might take up a few climbing classes in August. 

You know, I went through a mental health journey before joining lululemon, so I'm very aware of when people overexercise to distract themselves from going through whatever they're going through mentally. I try not to do so, but I can see it happening quite often where I work. I hope I can be as good an influence on them as they are on me. I want to suggest that along with sweaty pursuits, we can claim a bit of the budget for crying pursuits (working title lolol). Physical healing can only go so far, one day when you've spent too much time at the gym, you still have to take time out and visit a therapist to talk about what's going on in your brain. I feel like lululemon could take up the suggestion in a more positive manner than other workplaces, they do offer quite extensive ways of employee welfare, and mental health is a huge part of someone's welfare.

iii) Elon Musk Tweeted a ridiculous Tweet about Das Kapital. I wonder what his partner Grimes thinks about it. Imagine being so smart you can plan to colonize Mars, and yet still be so staggeringly stupid you think pronouns suck, that leftists just want everything for free, while you amass more wealth than you could spend in your generation or your children's, or your grandchildren's. I wonder if everyone working at SpaceX is a dudebro. 

The people there must be between 20 to 30 years younger than he is, and younger generations are much more exposed to compassionate thinking. Come on, Joey, your ex- and future partners are counting on you, your partners and your friends' partners must have imparted some of their compassion to you and your dudebros. You made sure to tip generously, you paid rent when your housemates couldn't keep up with their payments, because you know some people cannot help the situations they were born in or got themselves into. Wealth is created through labor, and billionaires profit off of the labor of the working class. 

You all know this!!!!! I am manifesting all of my debating knowledge, of conviction, of persuasion, to all the people who are working with and for multibillionaires. Late-stage capitalism is not sustainable, because it works by exploitation. We can create a more sustainable system, and we must. No one needs that much wealth, and more importantly, no one should live with that much wealth, when half the world could not help being born into poverty.

Monday, July 27, 2020

FOLKLORE

Tonight is one of those nights. Personally I have had a good day, many good days. However, there are thoughts with dark edges swirling around in my brain, tonight. I think about Yemen and I think about how billionaires shouldn't exist. I think about how one single billionaire could help a humanitarian crisis because I cannot. I am literally two degrees away from a multibillionaire. The last time I spoke to Joey was maybe nineteen days ago. He asked if I was still alive. It's almost like a running joke between us, except given the state of the world, there is a lot of seriousness underlying the joke. Joey said the US is sucking so hard right now, and I know for a fact that's a red flag, for someone who loves America as much as I remember. He still works in SpaceX, still could talk to Elon Musk if he wanted to. Could I write a letter on behalf of Yemen and ask Joey to pass it on? Very likely. Is Elon Musk likely to give it any notice? Highly unlikely. Four years ago, almost to the day, I sat next to Joey in his bed in the house on Manhattan Beach and I said Elon Musk got where he was because he had white privilege. Joey said he didn't, Elon didn't have an easy time growing up, so you know. When privileged people cannot see their own privilege, they are not inclined to help those without. I don't know what Joey thinks now, four years is a long time. They say when you meet someone above the age of twenty-five, their thoughts are set for life because the prefrontal cortex is fully developed at that age. I, however, always change my views after learning new information, and I'm thirty, so I have hope. For Elon Musk, though? I'm not so sure.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

MCM

Today I learned that a person I used to see in debate circles, Imran Rahim, has been accused of sexual grooming and predatory behaviors while he was a debater or while he was coaching as a debater alumni (alumnac?? Is alumni the plural?? Idk you'll have to Google this yourself). He's married to someone I would say is the most popular Instagram influencer in Singapore, Andrea Chong. I also used to see her coming down to debates tournaments to support him, etc. I say Imran has been accused because I haven't read firsthand accounts, but there have been corroborating allegations all published through a political party member whom I would think can be considered quite credible. The party member who posted the allegations seems of sound mind and employs logical argumentation procedures so I wouldn't think he would bring to light false accusations, although I could be wrong. Imran wasn't the most handsome of people, but finding Malay men in debate circles is near impossible, because as you might have figured, educational systems in Singapore are quite, quite classist. I obviously always was a little in awe and impressed by him, this eloquent and confident suave Malay law student representing the top university of Singapore. I really do wonder if the allegations are true. I would like to know, because if there's one thing I hate, it's people with power getting away with abuse. He's since issued a statement that there is no truth in any of the allegations, so I really hope the PAP (the very powerful incumbent political party in Singapore that Imran just so happens to be in) conduct a real and thorough investigation. Although some of the allegations seem to be from debating times, nearly a decade ago, I think what's important is, if you've commited a mistake or more, you own up to them and commit to the change you might have made. This is so that the victims and survivors are not gaslit, are given some sense of closure, and are not left fearing for future potential victims. Also, I didn't see Imran nearly often enough to make any kind of judgment on his character, but hearing the allegations, I'm not at all surprised. The debates circles in Singapore were rampant with predatory acts. The debates coach who used to teach me and the team I was in, was known for his shady behavior. About five years ago, although that was when I was 25 and very much already an adult, and he was no longer my coach, he still tried to ask me out alone to a bar in Clarke Quay, and I highly suspected it was to proposition me for a casual one-nighter, so I bailed at the last minute.

Friday, July 24, 2020

THE 1


I'm doing good, I'm on some new shit 
been saying "yes" instead of "no" 
I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn't though 
I hit the ground running each night 
I hit the Sunday matinée 
you know the greatest films of all time were never made 

I guess you never know, never know 
and if you wanted me, you really should've showed 
and if you never bleed, you're never gonna grow 
and it's alright now

but we were something, don't you think so? 
roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool 
and if my wishes came true 
it would've been you 
in my defense, I have none 
for never leaving well enough alone 
but it would've been fun 
if you would've been the one 

I had this dream you're doing cool shit
having adventures on your own 
you meet some woman on the internet and take her home 
we never painted by the numbers, baby 
but we were making it count 
you know the greatest loves of all time are over now 

I guess you never know, never know 
and it's another day waking up alone 

but we were something, don't you think so? 
roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool 
and if my wishes came true 
it would've been you 
in my defense, I have none 
for never leaving well enough alone 
but it would've been fun 
if you would've been the one 

I, I, I persist and resist the temptation to ask you 
if one thing had been different 
would everything be different today? 

we were something, don't you think so? 
rosé flowing with your chosen family 
and it would've been sweet 
if it could've been me 
in my defense, I have none 
for digging up the grave another time 
but it would've been fun 
if you would've been the one

I gotta give a shoutout to Taylor Swift for dropping a surprise eighth album, the first song of which I really like. Thanks for giving 2020 something worth remembering for. It sounds majorly different from all of her previous music. It's way more chill. The name of the album is folklore and it really describes the music.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

CO-SLEEP

Dear,

I think it's time. Maybe I am in a different headspace now, maybe I'm not. I have got sunscreen on, so I'm trying not to cry it off, but I've also learned from many people that when the tears come, let them come. At our birthday celebration last year, I told you about the man who had made me feel unsafe by making a remark that was insinuated to be about what I was wearing. My reaction to this sprang up from many emotions. My body has stored many different memories in its muscles, some stored way down and buried, and I think one of them was the time I was followed home at midnight and flashed by a man at the staircase landing. In Singapore, supposedly one of the safest countries in the world. When that happened, I was again asked why I came home late, what I was wearing, and this time last year, I did not want to have to defend myself. As my best friend, I just wanted you to allow me to feel hurt and upset, even if you did not feel it with me. You said the man who passed his comment to me might have had protective intentions, but you didn't acknowledge the underlying message that if he's telling me things about my clothing, it's a free pass for other men to leer at me based on what I wear. I should be able to wear whatever I want to wear, and if men are being predatory, tell the men to stop being predatory. The onus is not on me to protect myself. A month before that, you said you felt as though we weren't doing as well in life as the other two. I still don't know if all three of you felt that way, or it was just a feeling you had. I'd never really felt such a thing, but the conversation changed, and I was happy to plan my future with your tips to help me along. You used to tell me your husband had also gone through difficult family situations in life, but he still "made it" and was taking care of his mother. I felt like you had a benchmark to cross off milestones in a person's life, and I was falling behind. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was sad you felt that way. I didn't think I was less successful than the other two, or than any of you three. Perhaps I have different milestones I celebrate in life. I celebrate being able to love and be open with my feelings, I celebrate having had mental health issues and overcoming them, little by little, year after year. I celebrate knowing when a relationship has run its healthy course and being able to end it. I celebrate being open about therapy. I celebrate being a pioneer that other people turn to for advice on what is acceptable moral behavior and what isn't. Maybe I don't celebrate success as reaching career milestones or stable finances in a world that defines your worth through your capital income, and I'm proud of this. There is so much I didn't say to you, from that one conversation, and maybe it just stung me enough for me not to know how to approach it. I have enough on my plate, never being enough for my mother, for not being religious, for having been conceived out of wedlock. I was sad that I didn't seem to be doing well enough for you. I do not fault you, we may have different mindsets and the way our friendship ended was my responsibility to take, and I take it. I do miss you, and I loved you. We had sixteen amazing years together. I have feelings for men I spent only weeks and months with, and I still do. My brain and body remember all the things I went through with you. The characters we met, like Naya and her straight-out whackjob delirium, the times we were both bitchy and mean about other people, the way you took care of me more than my own family could have. I appreciate you and I will always miss you, but I have become much more radical than a lot of people we know. I am more Marxist than the people I know at work, I am the most outspoken atheist that any of my extended family members have possibly encountered in their lives. I wish I could go back to a year ago and have a civil way of getting closure for both of us, but I am so tired. I am so sad and tired from trying to fit myself into spaces I don't belong in. I'm tired of having to justify myself and my actions and my thoughts to my family and friends and colleagues. I don't know what's happened in your life, I barely know if you're really the one who's had a child, but I will always hope for the best in your life, and I'm sure, I choose to believe you are doing the same for me. I have to tell y'all something. The worst possible way to cry, and you can trust me on this because I've gone through many variations, but the absolute worst is crying while wearing a mask so your tears and snot are wetting it through and you can't wipe it. My boss saw me crying when I arrived at work today, and she said crying is a sign of being vulnerable, and that is strength. Shoutout to Sherie, I love you, thank you for giving me time and space.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

DEUTERONOMY

I woke up at 5am this morning to get to work by 7am. We did visual merchandising which is when we have new items and change up the look of the store before it opens. It was a good shift but my entire body is aching. The DOMS I've been suffering from Sunday's ashtanga class has been quite intense and it's lasted until now, I'm not sure why. 

I had sushi and ice-cream with my fellow lululemons today. I'm really easing into the family and I'll miss them a lot when I'm overseas. I need to sleep early tonight, I'm exhausted, even though I've really been trying to offload or spread out my tasks. Work has been quite good, though. There's a lot of planning to be done and I'm excited to see how the execution will turn out. 



This morning, I received a text message from Tina and it was actually everything I really needed to hear, but now I just need to shower, eat and sleep. Today I am grateful for the little big things, and for Tina. Of all the things in New York City, I am grateful to have met her.

I hope Kanye gets the help he needs for his mental health.

Also: my mom got home and she asked me to change from my shorts to something longer, because my sister's ex-boyfriend is over at our place to play games on the Switch. In this household, women don't have rights and I look forward to Canada and anywhere else I have rights.

Monday, July 20, 2020

ABERCROMBIE

I met a friend from high school who follows my previous best friends on Instagram. The friend asked me about them, and I said I didn't know anything, but they then told me the one I was closest to, might have had a baby. This brought back so many feelings, I'm trying to sit with them right now. The friend I met asked whether I'd ended the friendship over a petty reason, and then I asked myself, did I become the ultimate epitome of my biological dad having abandoned us, by dropping my friends? I don't know. A month or two before we fell out, I remember the closest friend of mine saying it was a good thing I was going back to my studies, because she thought that she and I were the less successful among the four of us in a group. I had never thought of it that way, and when this conversation happened, I internalized it instead of bringing it up with her in a healthy manner. I may always regret having all the issues build within me, and between us, until I eventually broke and instinctively decided to stop meeting her. If she's a mother now, she's in charge of molding a future life and I really hope for the best for her and her family. Unpacking all my feelings at this news is going to take an entire therapy session.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

PAPER MARIO

A thing that I say to my therapist more often than not is that I'm bored. I don't know if that's actually what I'm feeling, or if I'm using the correct word to describe it, but I always say I'm bored. I'm bored by the human condition and how predictable people are, and how often people take the boring path most taken. I don't mean this in terms of career, more like in mindset. I used to work at Lush, right, and I knew someone who bought Lush stuff and said that Lush is expensive, and they wondered why, because higher prices weren't good for the customers, obviously. One of the reasons Lush is slightly steeper in price is it pays for ethically farmed ingredients, it supports socioenvironmental causes, etc. However, the thing that gnawed at me was I worked for Lush, meaning even as a salesperson or brand ambassador (as Lush calls their salespeople), I deserved to get paid a working wage. This person did not consider that the price of the products clearly factors in my wages, and I felt slighted. True, I may not have had to study very much to work at Lush, but it took me a lot of energy to constantly be facing strangers, and be "on" at work. Nobody, no matter how congenial they are, nobody is nice or wants to be nice all the time. Yet service staff are demanded to be, while at the same time not given enough respect to apparently deserve working wages. I attended a healing session for feminists yesterday, and we all shared our instances of misogyny. We talked about how women are usually unconsciously given the task of reparenting themselves, reparenting their spouses, and then also parenting their kids. Reparenting means unlearning what was taught to them by their parents and relearning what they would want to have learned instead. It's a lot of invisible emotional labor that nobody pays women for. I'm bored by people expecting me to educate them about "social justice things" and then saying it's my fault when I don't. I didn't go to school for this, I haven't gone to school for this yet. Everything I know, I read through Instagram posts, through online articles, through academic papers. I didn't pay for any of it, except with my time and energy. If I, as a retail worker, can carve out the time and expend the energy required to educate myself and keep reeducating myself, most of you with your multiple degrees must have some more leisurely time than I do, to do the same, unless you are paying me for it, in which case, sure! I'm bored by people who don't feel good about themselves and set out to make others feel bad as well. Come on, do you know how much of a cliché that is? You have got to stop thinking being broken is a good excuse to break anyone else. I'm bored that you're not doing the work on yourselves, acknowledging the flaws within you, so you can actually be better and do better for you. I'm bored of people who veer towards either the extremely emotional or logical sides of things. The former refers to my mom, who pays too much mind to her feelings, but spends no thought on her mind. The latter, to people who think they are Rick Sanchez, that think it's possible and even encouraged to boast about how brainy they are and that feelings are not real, not important. Rick Sanchez has an abusive manipulative relationship with his closest companion Morty, and his daughter Beth keeps lingering, hoping for scraps of his affection. All of them are broken, and they allow themselves to be. Also, none of them are real, which should be enough reason that you cannot be Rick Sanchez, you literally are not able to. I'm so bored by people who may be affected by toxic masculinity, who don't display the softer sides of their sexuality, or even acknowledge it fully, because of conditions placed upon them by other broken people. You are all clichés, and you bore me. I'm bored that you haven't realized that being in touch with your brain that can always be improved with more information, as well as your heart that can always expand with more compassion, would make you a much more interesting person. This world has been around for eons, and the fact that we are in this situation now, means we've all indulged in being broken for far too long. This is what happens when we're all thinking of only ourselves, without being in connection with the seven billion other people who are alive. Aren't you bored of this already? Wouldn't you want to see or know how the world could be if we all dived a little deeper, and cared a little more, to change ourselves, instead of taking everything at surface value? Wouldn't it be more interesting to see something we've literally never seen before?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

WATERPIK

Today my sister told me that I grind my teeth and snore when I'm really knocked out from work. Lucas has never told me the same thing. He says he's never noticed it so he might be a deeper sleeper than I am. That means I need to get a mouth guard. I lost my retainers after my braces years ago, and I'm too cheap to replace them with real ones, so I'll find some silicon mouth guards to protect my teeth from the grinding in my sleep. I've been using sunscreen daily for the past week. I've never used skincare, apart from cleansing my face after makeup. I never really envisioned myself being old, and so have never tried to safeguard against wrinkles in old age. I feel like I'm really coming out of survival mode, and into planning mode, that I'm actually putting on sunscreen so I don't get cancer. I also have incorporated caffeine and niacinamide into my skincare routine. I don't know how effective they are, as many people have pointed out, I generally already have very clear skin, but I hope this routine proves itself to be useful as I age into my forties and fifties.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

YOU'RE ONLY YOUNG TWICE


we're not in love
we share no stories
just something in your eyes
don't be afraid
the shadows know me
let's leave the world behind

take me through the night
fall into the dark side
we don't need the light
we'll live on the dark side
I see it, let's feel it
while we're still young and fearless
let go of the light
fall into the dark side
fall into the dark side
give into the dark side
let go of the light
fall into the dark side

beneath the sky
as black as diamonds
we're running out of time
don't wait for truth
to come and blind us
let's just believe their lies
believe it, I see it
I know that you can feel it
no secrets worth keeping
so fool me like I'm dreaming

HAPPY

My depression is at an ebb, and I have had almost three good and happy weeks. I must acknowledge it, lengthened periods of happy times don't come too naturally nor easily for me, so when they're here, I recognize and appreciate them. Today I went to collect my new identity card. While re-registering for it, I had to fill in my religion, and now it's stated as "no religion". When I posted it on Instagram, a friend replied that I had guts and strength. This is because the conflation of race and religion in Singapore is extremely strong, and unrightly encouraged by the government. If you're born Malay, you are automatically assumed to be Muslim and that is your identity. Being a vocally ex-Muslim Malay is not easy here, to this day I have acquaintances who don't understand that I can be Malay without being Muslim. They think that as long as my identity card states my race as Malay, I immediately cannot consume pork. Also, I am shunned, sort of on the down low, by some of the Muslim community. I think my mother feels more ashamed to admit to anyone else that I am no longer Muslim than she would feel at anything else. 

Anyway, besides collecting my card and going to work today, I had dinner with some ex-colleagues and very lovely friends from Lush. We laughed so loud we were told by the café staff to lower our voices. Amazing. After that dinner, some girls from lululemon were having KBBQ and so I joined them for that. We shared embarrassing stories and I told them about the French guy from Tinder who was very rude to me (one day when I'm in Canada I may talk about the implied prostitution but not while I still live in this household). It was a good, good, good, good night. Tomorrow I start my day off with therapy, then a work shift, followed by a yoga session (I finally managed to book a mat at Hom Yoga!), ending the night off with two friends from my high school. This Saturday, I have three Zoom sessions, two with the mental health collective subgroups and one with a healing feminist circle. I'm not sure why I've been overbooking myself so much that I don't even have time to do any actual work, but that's life. I'm happy and I'm happy to be happy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

RISE UP

I finally got to watch the Hamilton film on Disney+. If you have yet to watch it, please do. You don't even have to pay to see it in high quality now! Since the Black Lives Matter movement, Lin-Manuel Miranda has acknowledged that Hamilton the musical may be criticized for paying homage to Hamilton, a man who married into a family that exploited slavery, even if Hamilton himself did not directly do so. I love how Lin is so quick to be accountable for anything problematic he could be involved in, or that he directly created or engaged with. He says criticism is valid, instead of being defensive, and I think that makes for a better world. I have a tattoo of a lyric from the musical, that's how much I love it. Every time I watch the bootleg version on my laptop (now I will have a better version thanks to Disney+), I am reminded of my time in New York. The Disney+ version obviously has clear and crisp audio, so you can hear each lyric being rapped or sung, together with impeccable visuals, so you see the best angles of the choreography and don't miss any of the facial expressions of the cast members. It truly could be the best free way to watch Hamilton, and appreciate the lyrical genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, barring if you won lottery tickets to see it on Broadway, which may be suspended for a long, long while thanks to the 'rona. I honestly cannot express how much I would like everyone to see it, every time someone sees it for the first time, the first thing they do is tell me they finally understand why I love it. The mood of the musical is perfectly the mood of New York City, the hustle and bustle, but also of New York City especially in the time of now. Underlying the Trump administration and all his debauchery, is a strong electric current that runs through the city, of dissatisfied people wanting to start a revolution. Hamilton was a key factor in the USA's revolt against the British to gain independence, and maybe at this moment in time, there is a Hamilton-esque figure in the world, rising up in revolution against the greedy capitalists of New York City, against late-stage capitalism. The musical is perfect to me, it's intelligent and snarky and funny and warm and brave and everything I always want to embody. I hope that when people watch it, they think of me. Not in a I-know-Sarah-loves-this-musical kind of way, but in a wow I could see Sarah writing or doing exactly what Hamilton did kind of way. Of course, Hamilton kind of sort of brought about his own downfall, and perhaps, thanks to the musical, I never will. What is history for, if not to learn from?

Monday, July 13, 2020

CUMPLEAÑOS

It's been rainy the entire night and morning so it's a little gloomy but the weather is also nice and cool. That's not usual in Singapore. I swam yesterday, for a longer time than I'm used to. It's great. It's getting near impossible to book a mat in my usual yoga studio, given the COVID-19 distancing precautions. I have sweat money to use courtesy of lululemon, so I'm thinking on whether to sign up for a Ritual gym membership. I did their online sessions during the lockdown and I like the style. It's a little scary though, when I go to a professional gym or yoga studio, I'm likely to be the least fit participant there. I do know it's not a competition with anyone else, and it's only to improve my own fitness and strength, so there's that. 

I've had two good weeks, with the aberration of the Singapore elections. That was very disappointing, but I cannot say it was too much of a surprise. We'd always known the boomers will take a longer time to come around. I'm reading Americanah by one of my favorite people in the world, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She wrote a cute short book and also presented a Ted Talk, We Should All Be Feminists. I like the Americanah book so far but haven't gotten too deep into it to have any thoughts about it. I've also been watching Say I Do, a Netflix series where one half of a couple proposes and plans a surprise wedding for their partner. They all have had very serious issues, with health or finances. It's nice to see that they all get the amazing dream weddings they deserve. It's strange when I see such weddings happen in films, I think that's a pipe dream and unattainable, but these people are regular real-life people who may not even have the comforts I have in my life, are granted the most beautiful, special, meaningful occasions, so. I don't know what's realistic and what isn't, anymore. 

Today my mentor scheduled an online 1:1 session and I was a little nervous, as I always am. She just took five minutes to pass on some compliments that they'd discussed about some things I do at work, and also to check in on me. That was great. I am determined to make this a third good week.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

SPICE GIRLS

In the past year, I've distanced myself from people who used to be my best friends or close friends. These were for a variety of reasons. They did not acknowledge toxic masculinity as being insidiously present in our racial and religious community. We don't see eye to eye in politics and they don't support minimum wage. They didn't really see systemic racism in Singapore. They're not feminist. They're not vocal enough. They don't believe in therapy. This applies to a range of people I used to meet very often, and describes perhaps up to ten people I was or still am friends with. I have equally high standards for the relationships I'm in. My partner is in a company that doesn't support black lives? I will raise the issue. He reads Marxist books written by old white men but not brown women from Southeast Asia? Also called into question. You're a Democrat but you voted for Clinton instead of Sanders? That means you still don't empathize with class issues and you're dropped. Anyway, all this to say, as long as you don't value the life of a marginalized person (black / woman / LGBT / minority / poor / disabled / immigrant, etc) as much as you do your own life, and if you don't use your voice and platform and privilege to amplify theirs, I don't think you're entitled to my time. In this aspect, I think I've made my boundaries very clear. 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

JALAN KAYU

The election results are pretty much out and it's an improvement from 2015, but barely. It could have been a much better improvement and there were some extremely close battles and margins, but it still slid to the worse outcomes. I am angry. I have a right to be angry. I am sick and tired of living in a world that the previous generation brought me into, without much consideration of how I and the future generations would get through it. I am sad. I am very sad for all the efforts that went in, for all the still younger generations that could have tilted the results, the ones who are exposed to more balanced resources, but who were denied the vote, and who still have to make their ways through the same tough obstacle course, for at least the next five years in Singapore. If my generation ever leaves a legacy, I would like it to be known as the ones who took it back from the most selfish generation and carved it into a more caring, less self-centred system of living. To soothe myself to sleep, all I can think about is, at least I will be in Canada for at least the next four years. I'm sorry, Singaporeans. This country has let us down. It has let us down time and time again. Fuck off, Singapore. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

V

At 30 years old, I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I allow myself to be vulnerable and open up to the deepest joys and sorrows life can bring. I am human and I am proud of it. An important thing therapy has taught me is that there are no wrong feelings. What I feel is the right feeling. I don't have to think I shouldn't be feeling this, or it's not okay to feel this way. I feel it, and that means it's okay, because I'm still alive and life still goes on, so it must mean it doesn't defy the laws of physics for me to feel any kind of way. This applies when I'm feeling unexpectedly happy, or excited, or disappointed, or angry, or decidedly still in deep liking with people I thought I didn't. My feelings are okay, and I am okay. I voted, and it was quick, but I still felt nervous. I am but one person in my district, but it felt so big, so much beyond me. Somehow this feeling reminds me that I am made of stardust, and that I am the product of millions of years before me. That feels okay.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

THE AND STANCE

I had a therapy session this morning. I brought up a recent thing between Lucas and I, and my therapist is trying to get me to be comfortable using the "and" stance. This is when I think of an incident in my story or from my perspective, I think about the incident from his perspective and I reconcile that what I feel and experience can be true and valid, AND the things that he feels can be true and valid, at the same time. This may sound logical to anyone else, but it's quite foreign to me. I don't know why, I just was never taught the exercise. I don't know why I think in false binaries and dichotomies and as if everything is a zero sum game. My therapist is trying to get me to eventually be able to have difficult conversations, by myself. I don't know about you but I'm not a fan of difficult conversations. However, I am an adult now, and I can do the adult thing, and that means having the difficult conversation. I also told her about the unexpected thing that happened. I framed it rather positively, or at least I said I saw growth, because I think there has indeed been growth and development, so she received it positively, or perhaps she has a little different of an impression than she cares to let on. Tomorrow I vote for the second time in my life, and then I can wind down and breathe for a little while.

SANDWICH GENERATION

I had a very good day. I collected a pair of sneakers that I'd won in a contest. I had dinner with Noran. I'd missed her and it was so good catching up. I was doing alright for a year or so but now before I sleep, I spend an hour wondering why people do the things they do. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it's all just Rick and Morty. I keep rambling to myself and giggling, and nobody knows why, except for one person, but do they even know? Do they????? I have no clue. Today was a good day and I've almost had two solid good weeks, and all I need now is just some relatively good election results this Friday, please and thank you. Please, Singapore, please. Also I'm just trying to write this out but my sister is talking nonsense to me so I'm out, gotta tune in to her now. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

BIG BLUE HOUSE

I was supposed to wake up early to do some work today, but found that I'd gotten my period. I just took a Naproxen, which is the NSAID I take for the cramps. I hope it works, I had some errands to run today, and I'm really not in the mood for this. Imagine thinking someone is Joe Alwyn, but they think they're just some rando, how's that for a segue. I really need to get my work done, but I'm so sleepy and tired and out of it. Please, body, please cooperate with me, in return you may have ice-cream this weekend as a form of delayed gratification. The shit I have to tell myself, honestly, I am a child. Why do I type ice-cream as ice-cream when it's actually ice cream? Hmm.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

IRREVERENT

This morning, Tina sent me a Twitter link to an article that ICE is making international students leave if their classes are moved online, so we commiserated over/celebrated the fact that I didn't continue with my application to the college in New York. If Trump gets re-elected this November, I will have nothing more to say. The global atmosphere of dread would not ever dissipate if that happens. 

She also said it's wild that we have our races displayed in our ICs. 

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Today I re-registered my IC with a new photo as every 30-year-old Singaporean is supposed to do. I just realized it's called an identity card when I'd thought all along that it was an identification card. When I was 16, I was even more of a dork than I am now. I had badly-rebonded hair, I couldn't keep my mouth closed when I smiled because I hadn't gotten braces yet. In the time since then, I've had some pretty heavy times but I have also had the best times I've had in my life. I want to go back to 16, when I didn't think of climate change everyday, when I didn't know about socioeconomic injustices and was blind to my own privileges. Then again, maybe 15 years later, I will also have experienced even more unbridled and as yet unknown joys and passions, who knows. Maybe I will cringe looking at my photos at thirty years old. I look forward to it. (I still really resent the Race marker on our cards, but that's another long story.)

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The Singapore government denies that it's used for racial profiling, but the Singapore government isn't honest about a lot of things. The fact that it says Malay means that I will be put on a back burner if I'm looking for a place to rent, or if I'm applying for jobs, until they don't have any more Chinese people to fill up the space. I used to be able to get away with it better than other non-Chinese people in Singapore, because I'm not religious and I speak their language, so I always stated in forms that I can actually speak Mandarin. I no longer do so, even when I can assimilate, I refuse to because it means making myself less than, or admitting that I'm less than unless I'm similar to them. 

An up-and-coming minority-race woman politician, Raeesah Khan, whom I've likened to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is being persecuted because she's called out the systemic racism that exists in Singapore, and the political party in power says she's sowing discord among us. She's not in my district and the gerrymandering by the PAP is strong, but I really hope she wins in her district. We vote in three days, so the entire country will have heightened anxieties until then. I will have to bring it up to my therapist. I will remember to sit with my feelings and feel them, instead of writing about them.

See you this weekend, with some good news, I hope.