Monday, September 11, 2017

DO-IT-(FOR-)YOURSELF

you know I'm such a fool for you
you've got me wrapped around your finger
do you have to let it linger?
do you have to?

stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
yeah I know that everyone gets scared

but I become what I can't be
stop and stare

you start to wonder why you're here not there

I know she knows that I'm not fond of asking 
true or false, it may be
she's still out to get me
I may say it was your fault
'cos I know you could have done more

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive

men weren't meant to ride 
with clouds between their knees
I'm only a man in a funny red sheet

looking for special things inside of me
it's not easy to be me


I just can't look, it's killing me
and taking control
jealousy - turning saints into the sea

it started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?
it was only a kiss, it was only a kiss


why you scared? (I'm not scared) 
'cos all of the stars are fading away,
just try not to worry, you'll see them someday
take what you need and be on your way


This post started out as one thing but eventually evolved into a completely different thing, if not a dozen different ones. I don't think this post has any sensible structure, so you might wanna take it as a stream of consciousness. The lack of structure and flow might niggle at me, but I don't think I'll be coming back here for a while, so it doesn't matter much to me anymore.

At work, we were asked to choose our favourite perfume and say why it was our favourite. I chose I'm home... and I said it smells like two kindred spirits meeting on a first date and something you want to go back to forever after. If anyone else sniffs it, I'm sure they would say no such thing, because it doesn't, not from actual fact.

I only said it after the fact because that was the one I'd worn on my first date with Suff, at Sentosa, during which he said I smelled heavenly. (The top notes of I'm home are vanilla and cocoa absolute, and I just realised perhaps Suff said I smelled heavenly 'cos he loves chocolate, and personally, my favourite scents are all vanilla-based. I love vanilla. I'm super fucking vanilla.)

Before the date officially began, we bumped into each other at Ion. I always thought that Suff and I were a case of happenstance. I happened to know about him years ago, we happened to match on Tinder, etc etc. I liked that we didn't actually arrange where to meet at Ion, we just happened to meet.

When we were in the cab to Sentosa, we jerked over a hump and I instinctively said "ohmakkau", to which Suff dorkily retorted "asal dengan mak aku? Mak aku ada kat rumah." It was so lame but it cracked me up.

While we were on the beach at Sentosa, Suff told me about particular lines (shit, I forgot what they're called) and when they intersect, people believe they're significant regions/locations. I dunno why my takeaway from the date is that.

The beach is my favourite place, so my best and favourite dates are always on the beach. I guess it's because being near/in a body of water calms me down, and the sea breeze helps, and stars, etc etfc.

On the night I met Joey, I was wearing Taylor Swift's Incredible Things. Guess what it smells like? Vanilla. Vanilla works for me. So anyway, on the night I first met Joey, we played ping pong in his house. I completely sucked at ping pong not for lack of trying, but because I was wearing a rather restrictive vintagey halterneck dress (the blue and white striped one that's not the most conducive for ping pong or for anything much, actually).

After a few rounds of me doing more shrieking and laughing than actual playing, I told him I was tired so he showed me to bed. Joey said "you still smell very nice, are you sure you were actually trying at ping pong and that you're tired?" and I giggled.

While I was still in LA, Joey said "you're a good writer" and this meant a lot to me. For one, he's a genius who works with the likes of Elon Musk at SpaceX, and for two, Joey doesn't read, he didn't even read the copy of Philip K Dick's The Man in the High Castle that his mum had gotten and delivered to him. I read it at his house, and it became one of my favourite books, though it's one of the books where I'd say the (Amazon Prime Video) adapted TV series of it doesn't really live up to the book.

But yeah, Joey's not a wordy person, but he read my words (blog/IG and FB posts, letters to him, etc) and he said "you're a good writer" which I guess could go both ways 'cos he doesn't have much of a benchmark to compare to (what would he know about good writing, amirite?), but I also appreciate that he even read my lengthy essays.

I know why people like to read what I write, I'm emotive and that's where my strength lies. It makes people feel things. Even for people like Joey who can't be bothered to read for pleasure and would rather be working on or driving his racecars, for all time.

When I was with B/Xun, we would sit on a bench near school and look up at the stars. He taught me how to see Orion. This was when I was between the ages of 18 and 20. We also ate pizza and we would place our ears at the side of each other's heads and listen to each other chewing, and differentiate the sounds between the crust and the dough, etc.

One of my favourite times was years into our relationship, once when we woke up together from a nap in the late afternoon. I was extremely groggy, and I wanted to ask "what time is it?" but my mouth curled up into a yawn, so it came out more like "hah-hah-hah-hah?" which he answered with the time. I was amazed that he knew what I was asking, but he brushed it off, he said he knew me well enough to understand the intonations of my yawn. I loved it.

I guess sometimes people see it as an inherently good thing, that I know how to express my thoughts and feelings, to evoke thoughts and feelings from other people. As Mad-Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Jr. said, play to your strengths. And I suppose I do. But on the flipside, the fact that I'm a romantic person and also a writer can be excruciatingly painful for me. When the words have left everyone else's minds, the experiences stay with me, just as I describe them, and it takes me ages to get over anything.

Everyone likes to read the nice things, the sweet, the gushy, the stars and the racing and the back-and-forth banter but of course no one wants to know about the bad. Nobody knows about my anxieties or the toxic things that happen. I suppress it and pretend it doesn't happen, I don't admit to being emotionally manipulated, by man after man after man. I don't talk about my own addiction to the drama and the friction.

I was talking to my cousin Hazwani about this, and she says perhaps my blog has been a rather main factor of drama being perpetuated in my life, of late. 13, 14 years ago, I would not have foreseen this. I wrote for myself, my classmates, some of the other students in the same cohort, and a few of the teachers. Even from all the way back when, I was one of those whose writings amused, or made an impact. Even if all I wrote about were classes and crushes.

A decade later and I had developed a ten-year-old tendency to write down everything that happened, and I chose to continue this tendency. I was still blogging about life and including the minute details, just from sheer force of habit. The stakes got higher and higher, and suddenly the actual practice of religion would be discussed by grandaunts about me, and pregnancy and miscarriage were things I mentioned.

Suddenly, people didn't like what they were reading, and they thought they had a vested interest to control the way I was living my life. I've never liked changing what I wrote, to suit what they were comfortable with. I thought it was hypocritical, because for one, just because I didn't write it did not mean something would not happen, and for two, I felt like to give in to them would mean the cycle of the elders living like ostriches with their heads in the sand would go on, and I'm quite a big advocate for change, especially to traditions that have no real place or meaning in whatever current society.

On the other hand, I lived (and still do) under my mother's roof, so it was only right that I acquiesce to her standards.

I'm a social media addict. This is quite obvious. This is a real thing. I thrive on attention. It doesn't matter whether the attention is from men, family, or friends. I also spend way too long scrutinising my feeds of other people's posts. It takes 28 days to make or break a habit. I'm not going to look at Suff's social media for 28 days, and I'm off Facebook for the time being.

I don't know why people say I'm strong, because I have some real weaknesses, which seem to me so frivolous, I still let external factors influence me. I don't know if anyone has gotten a life hack for transitioning from lovers to friends, but I most definitely cannot. I will feel wistful if I see his posts of his kitten, because his kitten is a sibling of my own. I will feel sad and miss him if I see his face, and his words. But more importantly, I'm genuinely scared to see anything I don't want to see. I dread it, and I know if it happens, it happens, but maybe after 28 days, I will be able to cope better, once there is a bit of detachment.

At my therapist's advice, I wrote a letter to Joey last week, which he does not know about, but which I feel really liberated me. It was one of those things that contained a lot of resentment about how nastily I felt I was treated after our mishap. I mean, it was bad enough that we were irresponsible enough to let it happen, the fact that Plan Bs were a suggestion for future meetings just flagged out to me that this man was incorrigible, he didn't even think of correcting his callous attitude.

I have no clue how it worked, but just acknowledging the bad things that happened afterward --- bad things that, as I've said, I tend to deny, because no one wants to know about them, and also mostly because I wanted to believe that I hadn't made such a big mistake if the party involved wasn't such a douche --- instantly helped in lifting a huge weight off me.

I went back to read the posts from a year ago, when I initially fell for him. And then I ended up reading my archives from my eight weeks in LA.












Here are my thoughts about everything, at this current moment in time.

I want the smartest of men but the smartest of men tend to be not the most emotionally-attuned. I went for a racecar driver who works on rockets and plays the violin and deejays music, he's going to be too smart to give a fuck about feelings. He is going to be Rick Sanchez, jaded by everyone's emotions and being too stupid for him.

My sister Mel's boyfriend, Dan, said that I was like a DLC (downloadable content) for his summer vacation. Joey saw that I was a tourist and he took me as a fun addition to his summer. I said that fact didn't really bother me because it was supposed to be mutual, it's just that I'd hoped he would have been more of a kind and empathetic human being when I'd gotten into trouble, especially with my parents.

I dunno, I guess perhaps by that time, he'd really removed me as a DLC and he treated me as a glitch in his game. Even after writing my letter of animosity towards him, I gave him the slightest benefit of the doubt that he would not have reacted so lackadaisically if we had not been so far apart, and two, using my therapist's system, I also acknowledge that what happened to make me detest him so much afterwards, did not and cannot change the fact that I loved him in the summer of '16.

He took me to SpaceX, raced in the Malibu canyons, we had strawberry cheesecake and ginger snaps ice-cream on Venice Beach, brought me to eat Asian food with his friends, played the piano and deejayed music for me, etc etc.

And then I thought about it, and I had pretty fucking good times even without Joey in LA. I stayed in a lodge and happened to make friends with their cat called Princess, kayaked in Lake Tahoe, saw the Perseid meteor shower, climbed Mount Freel at 10 886ft/3 300m, watched a baseball game, went to the nicest beaches, read a couple dozen books that I picked up from take-one-leave-one bookshelves/birdhouses all around LA, went to Hogwarts at Universal Studios and had the best motherfucking day.

My sister is right. There are still hundreds of people who would give anything to have my life, my own personal traumas included.

The thing I have to acknowledge and am always coming closer to acknowledging is I always go for men whom I think are different/interesting/thrilling, because I like people who are larger than life. Of all men I could have gotten involved with in LA, I was attracted most to a rocket-scientist-racecar-driver-violinist-pianist-deejay extraordinaire, despite myself knowing for a fact that if such a mishap had happened with the other men, most of them would very likely have been much nicer and more responsible (also, my mother would flip if she knew of the men). Then I met a man whose brains my own felt so in sync with, who writes so freaking well, a published writer, a man after my own heart, but who said he was emotionally unavailable. And I still went for him.

My therapist says if you're okay with rollercoasters, then it's okay to live a coaster life. She didn't say I had to stabilise it, she just said if I was okay with it, then it's okay, and I DON'T KNOW WHY I NEEDED HER TO TELL ME THIS. !!!!!!!111!!!1ONE Like a rollercoaster, I need to know just before I reach the peak and come crashing down, that it will all be okay. You will stabilise, you have safety harnesses on. Your heart will plummet, but it will continue beating, and you will continue to have peaks and valleys, and it is okay, because you like it this way, and you choose for it to be this way.

My close friends, and possibly the general opinion of the public, think that I fall for people very easily. I think there's some truth to that, but it's not the whole truth. I think, and I feel perhaps this is the case for most people, I'm a mix of a maximiser and a satisficer. I don't fall in love with anyone and everyone. I've always dated many men, before LA, in LA, after LA, but you don't hear all the stories because they're not the ones I fall for. I don't talk about all my dates. They don't sustain my interest enough for longer than an average of two dates, and then I forget about them. As I've said, I'm attracted to men who are larger than life, which makes me quite picky with my options and a maximiser, but when I decide on a man whom I think is different/interesting/thrilling enough, then I become a satisficer and work with what I have. I feel like, okay so this is somebody who edged out all the other fish in the sea and caught my interest and attention, it was really hard to spark something in the first place but he did it, so now I can truly like/love him, no holds barred.

I think Suff will always be an anti-hero, the half-blood prince, the Severus Snape in my life. I miss the times when he would always say mea culpa, he writes delightfully well and says the right things at the right time and has pretty much similar interests. Just two weeks ago he told me he did stand-up comedy, and I instantly thought what the fuck is there anything I want to do in my life that he has Not done? Yeah no I don't think he's dabbled in journalism. (But in any case: Netflix has 1 female stand-up show for every 9 males whaaaaat.)

I know this is scoff-worthy, but I loved the little things, like when Suff gave me a code for three free months of Netflix. Do you know how much I love Netflix? It is one of my favourite things it even appears on that dashboard on the right. My dream is to be rich, and alternate between reading books and watching Netflix, with all my time. I loved when he sent me photos before he posted them on social media. Because I used to creep on his social media all the time, clearly.



Even though I've probably said more.... ummm, dubious things about Suff than about Joey, on this blog and wherever, I think I knew him, the real him better than I ever knew Joey, of course. And yet I was always ready to talk about things and work things out with Suff. I wanted to be loyal and compromise, and I wanted the best for him, because I think that's what love is (I still do want the best for Suff and Joey): loyalty and compromise and acceptance. But knowing most of the negative/heavy things about Suff first, and still being okay with it, I guess that's what is meant by, to love someone is to know, but to know is not to love. That was one of Suff's things that he liked to say.

I was ready to be down for him but he didn't want to accept my flaws. God only knows why, if God exists, but in any case, this throws back to the time he linked me to God Only Knows, and was majorly excited about it. That feels like an entire lifetime ago.

Actually perhaps I know why. I've been self-sabotaging and instigating craziness for the past two months. I kept pushing him to commit but I mean who could blame him for not doing so. I was emotionally unstable and I have so much baggage. I would keep telling him about Joey, and sometimes when I felt something about Joey, I would project it onto Suff and take it out on him instead. I'm like Mickey from Love (Netflix original!!!!). When I see her engage in toxic behaviour to her own self I'm like wtf u doing but then I do exactly the same to myself in real life.

We were each horrible extremes of our flaws. I was clingy and jealous. He did not care to assuage my worries because he can't be bothered with my insecurities. I didn't trust him and was horribly envious of his best friend, because of my own experience with B. Yep, my Christian boyfriend who kept me in the dark from his family for all of three years, because they wouldn't have approved of me. Even during that relationship, I hated being in the shadows and would try to make myself more visible in his social circles, and it was something that irked him.

As my friends and family, I would guess you are inclined to take my side. But I'm sure y'all also know how intense I can be. And how overwhelming it can seem to someone who has known me for all of two months. Don't get me wrong, Suff has definitely made some dick moves but for each dick move I also was a crazy bitch so, it was always a matter of who set whom off first. Y'know?

Despite all that has happened, for someone who professed himself as emotionally unavailable, for someone who wasn't ready to take on someone else's emotional baggage, he honestly helped me through a lot. In my nights of hysterics and mania about my trauma, he was there to calm me down and talk me through the worst of it. And I suppose that's why I would like to maintain a friendship with him when it's possible, but for now, if any of you happen to read this before meeting me, please don't ask or talk about it. I'd rather keep it out of sight, out of mind.






My little kitten is called Lorde or Mochi, and she has an Instagram account @mochioverlorde. I should have gotten a kitten ages ago, I think she's helped relieve some of my anxieties (or perhaps that's the therapy at work).

As a teacher to young kids, Huda once told me not to belittle anyone's worry, because at any point of time, that is all they have felt and that is the entirety of the gravity of a situation. A student of hers lost their wallet and they thought it was the end of the world. And I know, I hope one day, ten years, twenty years, ten months from now, I get to look back and laugh and think, Sarah, remember when you thought the world would end? There is a world beyond your world, there is life beyond your life. There are other worlds than this.

But also: I wanted to apply for a writing fellowship with a feminist publication but I missed the deadline 'cos I was busy with work. God freaking dammit. Idk if I've said, but when I recently met my ex-boss, at Unilever (I mean she does marketing for them but I've never worked at Unilever), said it's a waste that I'm not doing copywriting 'cos she loved my words and thought I should be doing it.

Ack. I don't know what to do. Should I do copywriting or journalism? I kinda have to start off with an internship again, because my educational history has nothing to do with writing, but I don't have the money to go back to an internship. Should I apply for a copywriting internship at Y&R? Should I go for a journalism internship elsewhere instead? I have to save enough to sustain myself and for a buffer if I have to start off on an internship.

.....TFW you went on a break to LA to reset your life but your break broke you and really reset your life back to zero. -.-

My life is still nowhere, to involve anyone else. I need to sort my shit. Get my ducks in a row. I have a feeling some of my inability to commit to a career option is because my biological father could not make anything stick profession-wise, and growing up, my mother always said I was just like him. It's fucking toxic, I can't stand when divorced parents do that. I have to unlearn and unpack so much shit. I am in charge of my own life, I am in charge of my own life, I am in charge of my own life, and neither of my parents contributes to nor limits my options.

I'm certain that if I ever have a kid, it will be through adoption. Certain. Genes or blood do not have to affect how much you can love someone.

I have therapy in an hour. YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS! Love therapy. Ok bye! Seeya when I've made something concrete of my life.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

42

Beautiful - Clem Snide

now and then
I get insecure from all the pain
I'm so ashamed




to all your friends
you're delirious 

so consumed in all your doom 

trying hard to fill the emptiness 
the piece is gone 
let the puzzle undone

I love how you can sort of jump and bop to this version of Beautiful and I find it way more fun and inspiring than Christina Aguilera's polished rendition. This post is about everything and yet nothing at all. It's about the past 365 days and may influence the future 3650, perhaps.

This is the 42nd post on the updated blog, missing out on hundreds from the decades I'd written about. According to Douglas Adams, 42 is the answer/meaning to life and everything, so perhaps this post will be in line with that.

A year ago, I flew back to Singapore, in complete bliss and no awareness that I'd messed up my life for the year ahead. In the time since, I managed to convince myself that I was okay, because I'd taken a short break in Laos, and the more time passed, the more I believed that the length of time that passes without a commotion would be more or less equivalent to how much I was healing.

I never went back to the hospital for my follow-up appointments right after I received the news, I never talked to any professionals with regards to my mental health. I tried to self-medicate, by which I mean I denied being mentally unstable, and exercised and "ate better", that sort of crap. And then I started dating, on and off, I assured these men that I was okay, because I subconsciously and consciously, desperately wanted to be okay.

I wasn't, and still am not, but I'm making my way there, slowly. The things I used to enjoy, I find scary. I am paranoid and defensive, and when I went into my manic modes, I think I've actually gotten quite unhinged. I broke down, a couple of weeks ago, and then I decided it was time to be an adult and face the truth.

I went to see a therapist at AWARE, the local NGO that works towards gender equality in Singapore. She made me come to terms about my entire life, that there are some things I just have to accept. She also told me that the body has its own sensory memories, so certain situations may cause some feelings to resurface, even if the situations between my current experiences and those in my memory are completely different and unrelated. She advised me to be mindful of the feelings I felt, and try to understand why I was feeling such-and-such, instead of giving in to them.

I cried a little during my session, but I'm looking forward to my next one. I also went for a meditation class, with Shahida, at her yoga studio. I really enjoyed it, because I've always indulged the emotional rollercoaster that I've always seemed to be on, but I think I've had enough. I look forward to only physical rollercoasters in future. It was nice to be calm and still.

That night, I went to sleep telling myself "be still, my heart" and I think it/I actually listened to me.

I've never been very good at adulting. The only reason I bought a two-month ticket to the US, was because I was running away from life last year, which is possibly the reason I landed myself in even more shit. Everybody has to deal with life, and the thing about me (past me, hopefully) is that I think I can go through life without dealing with consequences.

*

One of the things I've always believed in, and will hopefully always believe in, is that people generally are good and kind, and if they're not, it's because they're going through their own shit. In the past year, and I mean in the past three hundred and sixty-five days (count them), and even before that, when I went through stuff with Daniel Grayson or with my own father, people generally piped up with nice things to say.







There were more, from messages on Facebook to Instagram direct messages, to the dozens of texts I received. Some of them were in closer local social circles, and I don't want to put them here, because I'm afraid the other people in the same social circles will recognise them from their stories, and that's not up to me to decide.

These are people who are not my best friends, nor family. When one of the people I'd always respected and admired (ie. my mother) made me feel like I'd fucked up and disappointed her, these people were there to show me concern. They didn't have to, I'd never done anything for them, nor can I do much for them, ever.

I don't want to tell myself, regardless of my now self or my future self, that people can be depended on, because I learned in one lesson, that sometimes those whom you think can, cannot, and those whom you never consider, will swoop in to fill in that space.

I want to tell myself, that among all kinds of people, there are a few you cannot trust and those whom you can. I want to tell myself to always choose to be someone who can be depended upon. I want to be someone who has more empathy and understanding because of all the shit I've been through, although the alternative is way too easy. It is too easy to become a cynic and not care and believe that no one else cares, that's the easy way out. And I, I've always resisted the path of least resistance. Who lives to do the easy things? Not me.

I want to go on, and be for other people, what all those very-nearly-strangers have been and done for me. I want to always believe in agape, and demonstrate it. I promise I will not Rick Sanchez myself, regardless what happens. Sarah Mei Lyana, if there ever comes a day something happens to make you lose hope and faith and become bitter, come back to this.

Speaking of Rick Sanchez, my sister Mel and I spent about half an hour actually having a conversation about his heartwrenching character development. Rick and Morty is such a brilliant show, and if you haven't started watching it, what are you doing with your life? I like that he's such a genius he even knows he's in a TV show (he breaks the fourth wall occasionally, and he recently requested Morty's company on a twenty-minute adventure ie. the length of an episode).

In any case, one of the friends I'd made during my Y&R stint, Joss, saw the tumultuous and harrowing experience I'd had in the past year, so she asked if I wanted to do a photoshoot with a theme of reflection, regret, overcoming and acceptance. I said yes, immediately.

If you know me well enough, you'd know possibly the reason why I haven't actually made much of my life is because I haven't chosen what I want to do. I have about ten different life paths in my head, and given that I'm not a genius like Rick Sanchez to have figured out the space-time continuum and travel between alternate universes, nor do I live in Potterverse where I can turn back time with a Time-Turner and do ten different things with my life as I please, I'm stuck doing almost nothing with my life.

Sometimes I want to be a professional drummer, at other times I consider very seriously being a stripper (because the me I am now has too many inhibitions and I dream of being an uninhibited stripper like Jane from the film Closer), being a model is also in my head, especially because people keep telling me I should be one, because generally I'm tall and slim and decent-looking with makeup, and I'm like, yeah, sure, if someone would hire me as a model, I'm there! 😛

.....then I end up writing out all of those things because the 10 000 hours I've come closest to putting into anything, is writing.

Speaking of which, this is my new all-time favourite interview with Vanessa Nadal, who happens to be Lin-Manuel Miranda's wife but is an incredibly amazing woman to her own credit. She was an engineer but became a lawyer, because she's interested in both those things, and she's also always torn between all her passions.

She speaks candidly, in awe of Lin who's very focused about the things he wants to succeed in and that he puts 10 000 hours into, and basically I want to marry a Lin-Manuel, and have a kid just like theirs, who is the MOST ADORABLEST THING EVER, I mean, srsly, could y'all please creep on LMM and Vanessa Nadal and their son Sebastian Miranda-Nadal, BC I CANNOT EVEN CONTAIN MY LOVE

If you're asking who Lin-Manuel Miranda is, he wrote the musical Hamilton and if you don't already have the Hamilton soundtrack as an earworm, I feel I must seriously reconsider our friendship. Am I kidding? Am I not?

When Joss and I were doing the shoot, there were some frames in which she made me smudge my eyeliner and lipstick, and look as if I was angry at life for everything it had thrown at me, and she said she didn't see my anger. I tried but I ended up laughing quite a lot.

I don't indulge in anger very much, my default dispositions are thrilled or extremely sad, but anger, I don't see the point in, honestly. If there was a Pixar Inside-Out film made of my emotions, Anger wouldn't see the light of day, I'd bury it under all my sadness. I had a conversation with Han, and she said she's more of the angsty/angry kind (she literally said simpan dendam which means something like holding grudges, and it amused the fuck out of me, 'cos she rarely speaks Malay).


This is one of the frames I got from the shoot. The rest might be up on Instagram, sometime. I love this 'cos it seems very Lana Del Rey to me, and Lana Del Rey is now my new favourite aesthetic.

Speaking of LDR, I have decided I no longer like Taylor Swift. I think my liking for her started to decline during the presidential elections last year, when she refused to make any political statement except for once, asking her followers to vote. Even then, she never revealed her political stance, for fear of dividing her fanbase or losing one side of the camps among her fans.

I thought it was rather sad, considering she has so much influence on her stans and fans, but even then, she'd rather keep all her fans, than make an important political statement. The reason why she doesn't even have to make strong political statements is because she's Taylor fucking Swift, she's a white blonde blue-eyed beauty, she's not affected by politics either way, which is a waste of all her fucking privilege.

And then Look What You Made Me Do came out, and initially, as the 1989 stan that I was, I thought, okay well, here she is standing up for herself, against all her detractors. It seems Taylor enough, I'll let it slide. Then I realised, from one of the many articles written about the music video, that she had a single $1 bill in the bathtub of diamonds she was lounging in, which was in reference to her sexual outrage of modesty lawsuit, in which she won $1.

The lawsuit had barely happened and gotten wrapped up, and the music video must have been filmed sometime before then, for editing and fucknots to happen. This means that all of her steps are calculated for her own benefit, and they are all indeed PR moves, and TAYLOR SWIFT NEEDS TO NOT, with her white "feminism". But she gives no fucks about feminism if it doesn't include herself or people who look like her.

In a world where America is increasingly going back to white supremacist notions, Taylor still wants to make it about herself and her petty feuds, when she could be writing so much more meaningful songs. COME ON SWIFTY, U CAN AND MUST BE BETTER THAN THIS. You need to stop victimising yourself in a world where you are literally one of the most privileged people, and do something for actual underprivileged classes in society.

Suff called me a Becky, like the white feminist Taylor Swift is. If he hadn't been joking, I would have been deeply affronted. I am NOT A BECKY!!!! Speaking of Suff, I met him this week. We had ice-cream at McD's. I love ice-cream. I love..... ? A lot of people and things. But mostly ice-cream, and people who get ice-cream with me. :)

Still not a clue what I'm doing with him, but this time, at least I've admitted I'm not okay, and he knows this, so we'll see. He also made me a pinky promise, sealed with a thumb-twist, for the end of this year. I found the pinky promise so adorable, who even makes pinky promises anymore? Suffian Hakim, that's who. I like pinky promises just because pinkies are called pinkies and the word has my favourite colour. Yeah, sometimes I make no sense.

This week, I went for my first therapy session, which helped. I went for meditation class, which helped. I had ice-cream with Suff, which helped. I spent time with my family, which helped. I went for the photoshoot, and came to terms with my loss and overcoming my loss, artistically, which helped. It has been a most helpful week.

I want to thank all of you for being there for the past 365 days and anytime before that, if you were, and anytime after this, if you are. I have gone through the worst of my life and joined the ranks of adulthood. It's about damn time. I can't pass for a teenager for much longer, however young I look. I'm an adult, and I have adult life to get through.

Happy Labor Day to my American friends! I miss you all, always! Enjoy the barbeques and whatever else y'all get up to on Labor Day weekends. Have so much fun you pass out and forget what the heck happened this bank holiday. ;)



maybe all this is the party
maybe the tears and the highs we breathe

maybe all this is the party
maybe we just do it violently

but you're not what you thought you were

but you're not what you thought you were
(liability)

Friday, August 25, 2017

PRISONERS OF OUR OWN DEVICE

Hurt - Johnny Cash

I hurt myself today 
to see if I still feel 
I focus on the pain 
the only thing that's real 
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting 
try to kill it all away 
but I remember everything

what have I become 
my sweetest friend 
everyone I know goes away 
in the end 
and you could have it all 
my empire of dirt 
I will let you down 
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns 
upon my liar's chair 
full of broken thoughts 
I cannot repair 
beneath the stains of time 
the feelings disappear 
you are someone else 
I am still right here

if I could start again 
a million miles away 
I would keep myself 
I would find a way

My life is a compilation of stranger things. In my universe, I tell someone I love them in the same breath as telling everyone else their insecurities and vulnerabilities. I've done this before, my mother asks why I have to share such details with strangers, Joey had to tell me to remove his thesis book that had his full name, because his mother and workplace could see that he had knocked me up, my best friend(s) has/have had to repeatedly ask me not to include some facts because it hurt them, my sister and I have had cold wars from the things I mention, the men I dated did not feel comfortable with being out there.

It has been decades-long since I've had a filter, for myself and my weaknesses, because I've never really seen a threat or harm coming from it - in fact, quite the opposite, the more I expose my darkest sides, the more... unknown figures would appear and tell me that it was okay. But I realise it doesn't happen for anyone else who is featured on my platforms. If I tell everyone everyone else's story, the audience does not seek out any individual character and tell them, hey, it's okay, we understand. Nobody gets comforted except myself. I am the protagonist of this story, of my story, and nobody feels as invested in all the supporting characters of my story, although in my eyes, they are very much heroes, and I, I am merely the narrator.

I am still embroiled in a situation that I cannot figure out. I have not been meeting him, it has been three weeks, but we are still talking, always talking. Someone once told me, you love the people whom you see parts of yourself in, because it reminds you that there are those things that are loveable about yourself. This sounds very selfish, and it is, I don't claim to be altruistic, nor do I believe in altruism. I connect with him very easily, and yet, on the flipside, there is so much I could learn from him, because there are parts of us that are at complete odds with each other. It creates friction but within the friction, I also find a balance. We might be like Mandarin ducks.

I have caught myself up on Rick & Morty. It is possibly (trying to think of alternatives, but I think there are none) my favourite animation. It reminds me of Pat, one of my nicest Couchsurfing hosts who had Rick & Morty quotes tattooed all over his body. I liked Pat's apartment a lot, it was the one that was messy as hell with books and movies, but it was the apartment that I was most comfortable in, and one that I could foresee myself having.

this could be heaven
or this could be hell

Sunday, August 20, 2017

OUT WITH THE OLD
OUT WITH THE NEW

Get Free - Lana

finally
I'm crossing the threshold
from the ordinary world
to the reveal of my heart
undoubtedly
that will for certain
take the dead out of the sea
and the darkness from the arts

this is my commitment
my modern manifesto
I'm doin' it for all of us
who never got the chance
for... and for... (shut up, shut up)
and all my birds of paradise (shut up, shut up)
who never got to fly at night (shut up, shut up)
'cause they were caught up in the dance

sometimes it feels like I've got a war in my mind
I want to get off, but I keep ridin' the ride
I never really noticed that I had to decide
to play someone's game or live my own life
and now I do
I wanna move
out of the black (out of the black)
into the blue (into the blue)

finally
gone is the burden
of the Crowley way of bein'
that comes from energies combined
like my part was I
was not discernin'
and you, as we found out
were not in your right mind

there's no more chasin' rainbows
and hopin' for an end to them
their arches are illusions
solid at first glance
but then you try to touch them (touch, touch)
there's nothin' to hold on to (hold, hold)
the colors used to lure you in (shut up, shut up)
and put you in a trance (ah, ah, ah, yeah)

sometimes it feels like I've got a war in my mind
I want to get off, but I keep ridin' the ride
I never really noticed that I had to decide
to play someone's game or live my own life
and now I do
I wanna move
out of the black (out of the black)
into the blue (into the blue)

So my current favourite track is Get Free from Lana's record Lust for Life, and I like it so much I can't decide on a favourite lyric. I feel like, finally, at this age, I realise that life isn't about chasing rainbows, because rainbows will always end. There's no such thing as a happy ending, it's just happy rides and sad rides, and good times and bad times.

Also, the next person I watch live will definitely be Lana Del Rey.

It's like, remember the time someone messaged me privately on Facebook to tell my father to stop soliciting for sex from his fiancée (the person who messaged me)? Me? I was 25, like what could I have done about my father's habits, lol. I had to shake it off.

Remember the time Daniel Grayson courted me for about a month and I thought, hey, here's a nice, smart man, and then he literally fucked me over when I found out he was engaged back in the US, and all of a sudden I was the bad person for telling her about it? I had to shake it off.

Remember the time I got pregnant accidentally, and had a miscarriage? Instead of consoling me, my mother said she'd wanted to abort me and that she feels guilty that I was a child out of wedlock, and she made me feel shameful for having premarital sex? I had to shake it off.

So I had a post that was up for just a while, and it was quite raw and vulnerable, and I'm starting a new job in September, so I don't think it was the best idea to leave it up in its original form. Additionally, it was not punctuated properly and I'm very anal about such things so I edited it lololol. Here is a slightly polished version, with a little extension at the end. Perhaps a director's cut.

I had an anxiety attack last Saturday, brought on by thoughts of my miscarriage. I think about my miscarriage quite often, but I suppress my base emotions just to be able to go on with daily life. My defence mechanism is sexual innuendo, and humour layered with sarcasm and snark, layered with bitterness about little things.

The most unexpected of things can set me off. When I was watching Glow on Netflix and a miscarriage was made light of, I felt a sucker punch to my stomach. When I take cabs that smell like the one I took from the polyclinic to the hospital to check whether I was really miscarrying, I get a terrible headache that make me feel like the driver is bringing me to the end of the world.

Last week was one of those weeks where too many details collided, and my panic and dread spilled over into a full-blown attack. I had a nervous breakdown and cried all the way home from work, but when I got home, my parents and sisters were in the living room, so I had to go into my own room and cry to myself, because the miscarriage is a thing that does not get discussed with my mother, not if she can help it, which she can.

This Monday, I went to the doctor to get medication for my attacks and he prescribed me Lexotan. It is a type of bromazepam/benzodiazepine, but of course he also recommended that I eventually see a therapist (I have called AWARE and they will be scheduling a counselling session for me soon).

For three days, the meds worked and I felt like I was in bliss. I didn't have excessive thoughts or feelings, and if you know me, you'd know this is a major rarity in my life. I enjoyed being in a bubble, and not feeling anything.

Then, on Thursday I found out something that I would rather not have found out, and I came down from the meds by a bit. On Friday, despite having taken my medicine, I still felt anxiety and dread and pain in my heart (not sure if it's my literal heart but it was on the left of my chest so I assume it was), and I began crying.

I wondered then, whether it was natural to keep medicating myself from my thoughts and feelings, because essentially those are what make a human human, and secondly, it felt like all the medicine had been doing was bury my feelings and thoughts and kept them in my subconscious or something, because they were and are certainly not gone.

I could tell you that I was crying about my miscarriage, but honestly I was crying about Suff and what I'd learned yesterday. I don't ask to have a lot of feelings. I don't control it. I don't decide to feel something and then turn up or down the dial of intensity. I wish I could, I wish I had no feelings, which is why I enjoyed being medicated from them on those three days. It is fucking silly, I know, to have feelings about the littlest things and people think I'm dramatic but if it were up to me, I'd take this heart heavy with emotions and step on it, crush it, replace it with a non-feeling thing instead.

I'm going to come right out and say it, because it's the truth and I'm not a fan of denying the truth. I love Suffian Hakim. I do. It doesn't matter if you think I'm ridiculous or stupid or gross, because I'm probably all those things, and yet what I feel would still be true. We once had a conversation where he gave me sort of summaries of the things that he felt heaviest about, and immediately, I felt so much for him. They are things that weigh him down, the way there are things that weigh me down. His things are things that, if I'd gone through, I would rather not talk about, because they are just not things you want to think about or talk about, and this is coming from me, the person who talks about everything.

Every time Suff pushes me away or distances himself from me, I tell myself that we are all products of our lived experiences, and I don't even want to imagine the experiences he's lived through, that have made him so guarded against romantic love. I know he wasn't originally that way, people aren't inherently hard and cold until things happen to make them that way, and I understand. I understand that yeah, perhaps if I'd gone through the things that make him heavy, I would also not believe in anything permanent, nor trust in anyone, because nothing has ever lasted, and even someone I trust most could let me down, so why even try?

But I love him, and so by way of loving him, I wish and hope he was a little bit softer, and a little less callous with my feelings. I think of things like "I wish all the people who let him down hadn't done so, so that they wouldn't have made it so hard for him to let me in."

This was one of my favourite nights together:


I was crying and crying and crying on Friday, despite my medicine, that it hurt. I was fighting through the bubblewrap of Lexotan, so that I could and would feel the feelings that were bubbling and frothing over, so that I could and would cry it out.

After a while, I couldn't handle my own feelings anymore, because it was just too painful and overwhelming that I called Han. It is a testament to how serious things felt for me, because I don't usually have phone conversations with anyone, I don't like my voice over the phone, and much prefer texting.

We talked for 45 minutes, and in the last fifteen, my best friend started crying because of how heavy she felt for my sadness. This is my best friend Han, who is yet another onion, and about whom I've said things like "Han cried at such-and-such movie, which means it is really sad, because Han never cries!!!"

She said that she'd also hoped that Suff would have stuck around for me, in a more committed way, I think she could tell how much I liked him (just as everybody can). Over the phone, I kept telling her I wish I didn't have so many/such intense/any feelings, because all they do is hurt me, and I don't want it anymore, I don't want to have to negate my feelings with chemical substances, and I sobbed and sobbed, and Han had to tell me she wishes she had more feelings, and for me not to wish such things.

I cried, because it reminded me of when I was younger and had my longest-standing boyfriend (of about three years), who was the Christian Chinese guy, that we all knew would not last. I cried, because when I was younger, even when I was going through heartbreak, I felt young enough and strong enough to brave through it. I cried, because my mother, despite not really agreeing with my choice of boyfriend, was still one of my best friends back then, and she would listen to me proclaim about how "life is for taking chances and feeling all the feelings, and that I don't regret anything" and she would run her fingers down my hair and tuck me in to sleep and wipe my tears.

I cried because sometimes people say I choose the wrong guys, I choose someone from a different religion, or a transient character in my life I meet while travelling, or white men who don't have a long-term plan to stay in the country, etc etc, basically saying I gravitate towards the star-crossed lover dynamic. But this time, I didn't. I chose a Malay guy whom I'd admired for years, I chose a guy who liked the same things I did and communicated the same way I did. I chose a guy who was a safe bet for me, and still, I was hurt.

I cried because I wish he would trust me enough with his issues, as I trust him with mine. I cried because I love him.

When I got home, I couldn't take it anymore. It was overwhelming me, and it hurt too much, and I didn't want to pop another pill and ruin my routine.

My parents weren't religious when I was young, and I was not brought up to be religious even up to my teens, so I am really tak senonoh (not wholesome?) when it comes to praying. Whenever I pray, it is a real actual effort on my part to do so. I have to confirm with my sister every time, where the qiblat is (direction of Macca), and I always bring the book to the toilet to know how to take wudhu (ablution) etc, etc.

My sister was having her period (menstruating females are not allowed to pray, don't ask me why, the gender politics in religion have always been one of my main contentions with believing in such practices and rituals) so she couldn't lead or guide me. So my grandma came over to my room, in her happy manner, to guide me and lead by example. I prayed with her, as much as I knew how, and then when my grandma had taken off her telekong and left, I suppose I had my own conversation with God (yes no I know I am the biggest sycophant who turns to God only when I need and half the time I completely don't even believe) but I dunno. I think it helped. I don't know how and what it means, but perhaps baring your soul to the universe, helps to alleviate a little something something.

I am very tired and very sad and I hope that God eases all our paths.

Edit: I went quite berserk last night, and I realised, it could be because between today and ten days later, exactly a year ago, was when I conceived the poor little foetus. It was conceived at exactly 33.8768°N / 118.3931°W. They've moved house, so it doesn't matter what you do with those coordinates.

I am looking forward to seeing a therapist, I want to know how much more I can be enlightened about my situation. I know for sure, one of the biggest things that keeps holding me back is my guilt, and the fact that I actually wanted to keep the baby and raise him/her. Yeah, I do want a kid, but I don't necessarily want to give birth.

I feel like I really crashed and burned last night, but the good thing about crashing and burning is that I am a phoenix, like Fawkes, and it is finally time to rise from my ashes again. I will keep being reborn, no matter how many times I burn. One year is long enough. I'm okay with not being okay, so gimme what you got, life. Watch me shake it off.

Friday, August 11, 2017

DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER

I got so much shit to say
but I can't help feeling like I'm camouflaged
fortress around my heart
you were mine just yesterday
now I have no idea who you are
it's like you camouflage

but it's good to see you here again
I don't wanna say goodbye
but it's about half-past ten
and I have to catch my ride



Tonight, Mel and I went to have dinner with the paternal aunt who got married last weekend. They live in Denmark so we only see them once a year, if we're lucky. The wedding was a beautiful, simple one but my aunt had a clause for the guests not to use our individual phones for photography so we'd leave the photography/memory-making to the professionals. I think the photos will be very nice, can't wait to see them!


This is our cousin Ieyas. He still calls us Giant #1 and Giant #2, for the first time he met us in his memory, we were towering over him, and he was still tiny. I used to be Giant #1 and Mel #2, but of course, my sisters have all grown taller than me (at least the ones in my household), so now I'm #2.

We don't often get to catch up, but Ieyas is one of those kids with a brilliant mind, which means of course that we enjoy talking to him. We asked one another about our favourite movies, and TV shows, and songs.

His parents raised him with their own tastes, I suppose, which is adorable, because he likes all the classics. He likes Indiana Jones, and Star Wars, and the Back to the Future franchises. When Mel and I said we'd never watched any of the Back to the Futures, he said he didn't hear anything and walked away from the table! HAHAHA such a dramatic kid.

Ieyas is also a fan of Friends, and was happy to recount to us their visit to the local Central Perks cafe. I think it may be time to take out my DVD boxset and do my annual viewing of the entire series.

He said he has a book of interesting facts, so one of them was that there were four asteroids named after each of the individual Beatles, and so on and so forth. I got him a copy of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, I aim to give one to each of my little cousins and nephews and nieces, so they all have a little inkling of inspirational women, and have a spark of feminism in them.

Ieyas had a solo in his school's Mamma Mia production, and when his mum suggested it was The Winner Takes It All, he cheekily said no, The Wiener Takes It All. So young, and already with the wordplay! This one will do Mel and I proud. ;)

They're flying back to Denmark tomorrow. Mel and I have thought of visiting them in Denmark for ages, but it's never materialised. Perhaps next year will be when it finally happens. I would really love to see all the things Ieyas has told us about.

On the way to dinner, I saw the guy who used to work on the digital campaigns at Y&R, we rarely saw him 'cos he's Malaysian and based in the Malaysia office. I wanted to say hi but I forgot his name so I walked past him nonchalantly. Working in an advertising office, regardless how short it was, will always be a fond memory. It could be so stressful, but so fun at the same time.

*

I don't know if I'll be dating Suff any longer. I needed to get away, because I don't know what I was becoming. It made me think of my mother, and how stifling I feel she can be. I don't know if you know or can relate (depending on your demographic and the ethnic community you grew up in), but up till today, my mum still texts me about the clothes I wear, like the one I posted on Facebook today.

Every time she does it, I think to myself, I wish she would accept that the values she believes in and the values I believe in are just completely different, and I don't subscribe to what she thinks is right or okay, etc. And yet, there I was, wishing Suff would drop his values for mine. My mother is the person who has raised me for 27 years, who has not managed to make a dent on my value system and Suff and I have known each other for just over a month, yet I was trying to change him.

I had an idea of him that I liked, and I expected him to conform to it, and he just didn't. I know for a fact it's hard to change. I've lived my life being used to having attachments and being expressive with my feelings, that just the mere suggestion of changing the way I am, and letting go, is ludicrous and laughable. But I was trying to get Suff to be more like the person I was, even though it's not something he's used to, not even close.

I also kept saying I knew him, when I don't, not really. I've never seen him with his family, or friends, or anyone he's comfortable with, to see the person he really was. He did ask me to visit him in KL for a few days, and I really wanted to, but my colleague Daion is already on a trip in Bangladesh and we're shorthanded so there was no way I could have gotten away from work.

It just seems like I had him pegged as the person I wanted him to be, and if he fell short of that person, I pinned it on him as a fault. It was just like Tom did with Summer. It was very unfair and so much pressure to deal with.

Last night, he said he felt like he could love me in another world, if we'd met earlier, and I cried (actually I'm crying now, hahaha), wishing I was the Sarah in that particular alternate universe in which we could have worked out. I wonder if I'd talked to him at that party three years ago, whether it would have made any difference.

A while ago, before I knew any part of his story, before I learned that I had to be patient with him and give him space, I learned something on social media and I didn't think it tallied with what he was telling me. It reminded me of the time Daniel Grayson said he was somewhere else, but I saw on Facebook that he was back with his fiancée in the US, and I learned that it was his fiancée, and not whatever cock-and-bull story he was pulling on me.

Instead of asking Suff about it, I disappeared and didn't give him the benefit of the doubt. Frankly, I suppose I started pushing him away before his own issues even kicked in for him. I can be very flighty and given the sour relationship between my mother and father, of course I have my own issues with commitment. This is why I subconsciously tend to find guys who don't want to commit, then I get to blame them instead of myself.

When I found out about this, I actually couldn't sleep and I asked Mel (who, fortunately, is a nocturnal animal of her own accord) to go film something downstairs at 3am. Clearly, I have some real deep-seated issues. But also: no, you don't have the best sisters, my sisters are the best. 😛

It just doesn't help that he has his own baggage, and I have mine. There are things I wish I'd done differently, there are so many things I could have gained his trust with. But it's okay. Perhaps AU!Sarah is doing better with this than I am. Maybe AU!Sarah with fewer issues meets AU!Suff with fewer issues, and they are happy together.

Today, I was being honest with myself. I don't know whether it was a coping mechanism I needed to have in place to survive that period of my life, or it was the hormones making me extra romantic and fond of the time I'd spent with him, or whatever the reason was, but I made Joey sound like he was a lot nicer to me than he actually was.

Don't get me wrong, while I was there, I could observe him in his most familiar and comfortable settings, but we... we had more lust than like for each other, to be very honest.

I couldn't talk to him very much. He was a rocket engineer, and when I read his dissertation, a lot of it flew over my head. In retrospect, what we had was very fun, but fun is something that perhaps sustains you for a summer and not much else. Also, after the storm that happened in my life, he rather ignored the consequences and pretended nothing had happened to change me.

I say all this because, I look back on my time with Suff, and I will really miss the time we talked to each other (not to say that there wasn't any lust, because holy freaking god was there ever hahahah). I enjoyed everything we had. It was just such a nice experience to have someone who would say something I was about to say, even if he beat me to it. It's like a "ergh I wish I'd gotten there first!" simultaneously with a "omg I was thinking the same thing!"

I think our brains were wired similarly, and had similar interests, and even ways of thinking about those interests, and that is quite rare for me to find in someone of the opposite sex.

control yourself
take only what you need from it

Saturday, August 05, 2017

BEAT DEATH IN LIFE

The Laughing Heart - Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

It has been a really good week, I think, all things considered.

This morning (technically it's past midnight now so it was yesterday), I went to the salon to get my hair done, because my aunt is getting married tomorrow and my bangs were ruined from the time I tried to cut them myself.



I love the stylists at this salon, they've always been so nice, since the time I've been going to them at Ion, up till now that they're at Holland Village. I had to do work during my session, because I've been backlogging crap, and my stylist said "you carry on, please don't let me bother you" while he was doing my hair. So sweet!

I might be the most amazing hustler but I cannot wait for September, when I will drop one of my part-time stints so I can get more sleep. Otherwise I'm always cramming my time doing work during other appointments/in transit so that I don't lose either i) income and/or ii) sleep. Both of which are very important to me, at the moment.


He saw that I was getting bored of doing work so he brought me an entire container of lollipops!!!!!!!

I met up with Kellynn at Waa Cow in U-Town, because I saw on Facebook that she was selling some of her books and so of course I bought a few from her.



When I first saw her, I saw that she was wearing a ring on her ring finger so I thought it was her engagement ring, but she said she'd lost it just two weeks ago during a work trip to Chiang Mai, and although it is a sad, annoying thing to have happened to anyone, I couldn't help but laugh. This girl!!!!!!

She did say the silver lining was that she'd taken a few days before telling Mo (her fiancé, of course) about it, and naturally: he said it was just a ring, they could get it replaced, and he was more concerned about her having taken a few days before telling him. He guessed correctly that she was afraid of his reaction, and so he said "you don't ever have to feel like you can't tell me anything."

Gag-reflex, Y U TWO SO SWEET. Kel and Mo are truly my real-life relationship goals, though.

I think it's also to do with the fact that I have heart-eyes for Kel, always have. She's a very English-y (English-y is such a non-Englishy term, I fail myself), wordy person. Ever since we were high school classmates and I knew she went for writing camps and I always saw her with a book or books, she's always had this position in my head as like, a "books mistress/mistress of words".

I know there are many real-life couples I could aspire to, but Kel has such a way with words, it just bowls me over. You know how there are a few people who have told me "you have a way with words", well I feel that way about Kel that I could never achieve, which means, imagine the way she writes. Whenever I read captions of her and Mo on Instagram and/or Facebook, I'm like EH STOP IT AH, your words are giving me FEELS. I only wish I could write like her.

In any case, Kel does research and communications work on migration/migrant workers, such as domestic or construction workers, which I feel is really meaningful. She did say there's the potential of burning out, because while they do educate through seminars, it would be hard to effect actual change to help them (the workers) through policy-making, especially in a government like Singapore's, which is about as transparent as a solid opaque brick wall.

Here are some of her words.



We had salmon bowls at Waa Cow, because they'd run out of their signature beef. The auntie who served us was the sweetest and cutest though. She gave us a bottle of hops, mead and who knows what else to make up for the fact that they'd run out of everything else we'd ordered. The mead was really nice.

After lunch, I got an ice-cream and we sat on the lawn outside Starbucks.


I will always have a fondness for NUS, although I've never been an enrolled student there ("she doesn't even go here!"). I used to go swim/run with Han, or crash her engineering lectures, or meet Khalis at YIH, or watch his hall dance productions, orrrrr I also went to a few of the dorms, because NUS is a landmine of angmohs (angmoh: local colloquial term for white man, fyi), so, you know. One of the men I dated who was from Portland, Oregon and did his masters research on mangroves (I have no clue if he's still here) lived in the U-Town dorms, and uhhhh, well.

I also feel very romantic about NUS as a whole because I really want to study. I don't know if I'm romanticising it, and I know people who have had enough of studying would choose not to, but I really want to read and write about books, or take up gender studies, or something, you know. My ideal life is to study forever, just for the sake of gaining knowledge, and I wish education was more accessible/affordable. But you know, we all have wishes in life.


Me contemplating every ice-cream: if I finish this ice-cream, I will no longer have ice-cream.




Kel told me about Cat, who is her friend and whom was my editor for an article I wrote. Cat is so cute lah, I remember she had to keep editing me for tone because did you know (yes you know): I cannot write objectively, everything I write is clearly coloured with the subjectivity of my feelings. But also hi Cat, I like you very much, because your name alone is amazing.

I had ice-cream, and books, and friendship, and it made my afternoon a brilliant one. Kel went back to work, and I did work at the student centre.

Kel asked about my book, she says she can't wait to read it. Khalis also said he would read my book and I take this as a joke because Khalis doesn't read and he doesn't like books, and Han too said, "you really have to write your book soon! you are so funny!" Okay Han you pay for all my bills, and I will write a book in which you are an astronaut and fulfill both our dreams in one, can?

I'm just gonna put it out there that I aim to have my book complete at the end of 2018, which gives me at least a year. Okay, thanks, no more pressure, please. :P

I had a post published on Facebook, but I'm cross-posting it here for Han, because my best friend is the foil to my character and has absolutely no social media presence, she has no Facebook nor Instagram nor anything that requires her to be sociable, so how we are best friends will always be beyond our comprehension. All Han does is read my blog and ask me to write more so she can read my blog. So demanding, this girl.

I wanted to say, Han, that I was thinking of this, when you asked me for my reason in the conversation we had, that was a continuation of the one when you first started. This stance might be.... relevant?

For the rest of you, that paragraph above is cryptic because it's not talking about me, I'm never cryptic when it comes to my own life, lolol.
Exactly a year ago, I met the man who would change me and the course of my life, for better or for worse, or perhaps for the same, all things considered.

After the Dodgers game, I would take an Uber to his place in Manhattan Beach and meet him for the first time. I can hardly believe it has actually been 365 days since then, I still remember being at the game and semi-worrying about my luggage that I'd left in a random tour group's bus because it wasn't allowed in the stadium.

About three months from the day we met, or nine months ago, I remember telling myself (some people would call the same act of talking to a void: praying to God, so you can call it what you will) that I would not love anyone else, that I did not want to love again.

I had about 23 times more attachment to him than I'd had with any previous man in my life, because of - I dunno, the chromosomes he'd provided, who knows? - and I wanted our bond and my loss to mean something, so I would always love him and no one else.

Then, slightly over 28 days ago, I started feeling it. The tendrils of interest, then care and concern, creeping into my heart. Again. I was starting to feel like perhaps I could give this new man something that he was and is still not ready to provide me in return. It is a small form of sacrifice, regarding his feelings before my own, risking being hurt. Again.

I'd known about this lesson a while before experiencing it, but now I think it's ingrained into my brain. I should not and cannot and must not cheapen love by attaching a sell-by date (or the opposite, whatever it's called) to it. Love does not have to last forever, or for a lifetime, for it to remain love.

You can love the wrong person, someone who does not love you back, someone who is bad for you, someone whose parents disapprove of your relationship, you can try to love just for the length of a summer but have it drag on for half a year later, you can get married and have kids and love your spouse and get divorced, and your love still counts as love. Your love is not only valid if it lasts.

One of Joey's housemates remained good friends with his ex-wife, and one of my ex-bosses still lived in the same apartment with his ex-wife, his children, and his current wife, all of them amicably (while I was working with him, I don't know their current situation).

"Of course, my relatives talk about it," but he says, "they're not the ones paying my bills" and he wants his kids to have a healthy, loving relationship with all their parents. All their parents. What a quaintly pleasant expression, instead of having to choose, constantly divided, between one or the other, your dad or your mum, your loyalties questioned.

I will always love the people I've loved, the great summer love with whom I created a new kind of love, my ex-boyfriends from a decade ago, all of it still lives and I still have the best memories of loving them. And I will still move on to love new people in my life. As my friendship with one of my best friends will always remind me: "hold on when you get love / let go when you give it"

Have a good week, err'one, so much love from Sarah Mei Lyana!
After I did my work at NUS, I met Han for dinner in town. She said that Suff sounds like a smart Mat. The man is so arrogant about his intelligence relative to our Malay population, I'm guessing he would say the term is an oxymoron. I feel like he actually did write it in Harris bin Potter, it seems very familiar.

Han also asked whether I was dating anyone else apart from Suff. I told her I had a Tinder guy ask me to the Singapore Coffee Festival, and my first instinct was "even Suff knows I don't drink coffee", so I declined because clearly, my mind would just be on Suff. I don't know why I'm so loyal, before he left for KL on Wednesday, he told me he was going to hook up with Malaysian Minahs.....

*massages temples* this one Suffian Hakim testing my patience level: Melyssa Novianna Azalea

My sister sort of enjoys watching me react to Suff: on certain nights I will be ranting to myself, and she's like "yesssssssss" she seems to think she can now take a backseat and, I dunno, pass the baton to him? I think even Han is amused, it's like they are now the trifecta of a testament to my patience, what have I even done to deserve this???

There are things I consciously allow myself to feel, like knowing his favourite songs to sing to, and then there are things I unconsciously feel through no volition of mine, things like missing ruffling his hair with my fingers, or feeling a sickening pit in my stomach when I think of him with someone else.

I was having a conversation with my colleague, and I wonder if there is an impression that I'm some sort of invincible? Just because I'm brave or unfiltered with my feelings doesn't mean I don't feel the same insecurities that I would think cripple everyone else. I have been used and cast aside by men, time and again, no matter what I say to them, and no matter how I try to protect myself. Every time I say "I love you" I'm really scared they will say "I know" back. I'm scared that one day, they'll drop me and move on to the next pretty, young thing. All I want is also to just be enough for someone who is enough for me. I just, I don't have a habit of hiding my feelings to avoid a loss, because it's such a tremendous waste of the human experience.

Iiiiiiiiiin any case, because it's been almost a year, this popped up on my memories.


I wish I could have everyone experience everything I did in LA/California. I hit the beach for surfing, climbed a mountain, raced through canyons, went to so many people's workplaces that they loved being at, went to scientific and art museums, fell in love again and again and again. I know it wouldn't be the same for any other person but myself, because I open myself up to anyone and everyone, and when people see me being vulnerable, they tend to also bring out the most humane sides of themselves. I wish you all knew why I love the place so much. I wish I could design a technology that would allow you to immerse yourself in someone else's experiences, be in their shoes, I think it would help with creating empathy in people. It would be like Phoebe's power in Charmed, or Rogue's from X-Men.

I miss Cali so, so much, I think I'll go in late 2018.

Suffian is in KL to write his next book which is launching soon enough. Every time I want to text him something, I don't because I know how it feels to be distracted when I need to meet deadlines, and I get very anxious for my own work, so I'd rather not have secondhand anxiety for him. I'm gonna take this time to watch Star Wars and read as much as I can.

I had ice-cream three times this week: with Suff, with Kel and even again with Han. I have been settling some monetary issues for now and for the future. I have been procuring books to indulge in. But all of that notwithstanding, I know y'all know the main reason why I'm feeling so light and happy, is because I'm falling for someone, and there is a reason why "all you need is love" was on my bedroom wall for many years, before we moved to this house.

Mel and I are apparently the flower girls at my aunt's wedding later. I'm not sure what that entails but my baju has flowers on it. That's sort of a joke but honestly my outfit does have a flower print.... Imma be flowergirling with my sister, then come home and crash, finish up my work for the weekend and then actually repay a bit of my sleep debt. My hairstylist said it was obvious that I'm lacking sleep. :(

PS: There are things I'm considering that unfortunately I cannot be too public about, for my own well-being, so my social media settings have become quite strategic. If you know, you know. ;)