Monday, July 24, 2017

SLASH / STROKE

you've got to change the world
and use this chance to be heard

your time is now

One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to see Muse perform Butterflies and Hurricanes live.


It is my favourite by Muse, but I don't know anyone else who thinks the same. I love everything about this song. I don't think most people even know about it, 'cos it's one of their lengthier tracks that would never get airplay. When I was in the mosh pit at their most recent concert in Singapore, I was close enough to them that I shouted for it to be played, but I was ignored, because it's one of their older songs and really not popular enough to be performed at their concerts nowadays. :'(

In any case, I think Butterflies and Hurricanes is very apt for the situation that was my entire year from July 2016 to July 2017. What started out with a seemingly minute act as beautiful (cheychey) as a butterfly flapping its wings, turned into a full-fledged hurricane in my life, tearing it apart.

It has been quite a weekend, and I mean that in the best possible way.

I bumped into an ex-boss, actually she's my ex-boss's wife, but she was also my sort-of boss, and she expressed concern 'cos they hadn't seen me since way before I left for LA the first time. They knew about what happened in my life last year through social media, and she told me that I should chill out, because "I'm still young."

This is not the first time someone has said this to me, that I need to take a chill pill. I hope it is one of the last times, though.

Sometime last night or this morning, I felt a relief I haven't felt in ages. It was like something ---- God? I don't know what? every time I mention God I feel like I need to make a disclaimer about the God I believe in and then I'm like stfu Sarah your relationship with God is between you and God and if you don't believe in God, you can justify it solely to the God you don't believe in: and oh my that was a tangent I did not see coming, sry ---- but as I was saying, something eased the weight that had been burdening me since... 2015?

I feel like the last true light year I had was 2012 (by which I mean the last year I felt free, not as in Buzz or Woody nor the astronomical distance).

I can't quite explain why, for the past few years, I've been such an old soul, and so, so heavy. I didn't used to be like this. I used to be so sunshiney and positive and carefree it would get annoying. I used to be so frivolous and I would blog about the most frivolous things, the everyday situations that I would still have extraordinary feelings about.

Then I started to date more frequently and more seriously, and I realised that the lifelong absent father syndrome/abandonment issues from my childhood were actually, truly leading me towards emotionally unavailable men. Men who would lie, who cheat, were commitment-phobic, who would do everything but not have a label on our relationship, and as much of a trope as it is, I would crave their concern, and the tiniest bit of affection would leave me feeling so happy and high.

Today I decided the same way I want to be a financially responsible parent and leave all the struggling-to-keep-afloat issues behind when raising my child(ren) if I have any, I realised all these parental-complexes end with me. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. C'mon Sarah, you can recognise when it happens, you can avoid them.

And then last year happened, and with it came a loss I never expected. Together with the loss of my cousin, then finding out about my little one and trying to come to terms with it, and then finding out that it was gone, then facing the consequences at home, all of it happening out of my control, felt like four sucker punches in the span of two months.

That loss that I had no power over, it killed a part of me forever, I think. I also think that's why I deleted my decade worth of blogposts. I know it disappointed and upset some of my very best friends and family members (and possibly still does, under the surface) but I was in incredible pain and I told myself, if I can face this terrible loss, they can face a stupid loss of typed-up memories. So I deleted the archives, and the personalised blog labels, the hashtags, the travel anecdotes, the in-depth biopic of every character I was close to in my life, everything. I was petty and I wanted to inflict some form of loss onto someone else. Of course it was a ridiculous move to make, and I regret it a little now.

Yesterday night/today, though, for some reason (again, perhaps it is God in whatever form), I feel like I've accepted that we all have our ghosts to live with, I cannot and must not carry all of it with me wherever I go and whomever I meet.

This morning, Huda came over to have McD's breakfast at my place. She brought my belated birthday gifts, which happened to be really apt for my mood.


It's a book of poems by Warsan Shire, because: if you give me words, I will feel your love, and I will feel more love for you in return.


She also brought my souvenir from Cambodia, a sketch poster of (500) Days of Summer, which was once upon a time my all-time favourite movie, until it got replaced by La La Land, because: relevance.


Suff said my room is "very girly" and I couldn't call him out on "girly" because I was distracted by other things.


Huda's words will always have a calming, soothing effect on me. Case in point:
"I think that when one has experienced a loss the way that you did, one has a tendency of picking up everything that still remains, and holding on to them closely, tightly. But here's the thing: not everything can/should be held on to. Not everything is a battle to be fought for. Life is not a war."


She got me a rose gold bangle with the words Live Lightly engraved on the outside, and que sera sarah on the inside (because punning is our language of choice).

After what I went through with Suff (story to be unfolded later), it was apt that she gave me a bangle that says to live lightly, but what is curious is that she got it for me way before he appeared, because I'd generally been heavy, in my soul, for a long while in life. What is even more curious is that I could have gotten it from her anytime earlier, but it was only now that I received it. I don't think I will be living lightly because of the bangle, but I think perhaps I finally received it because I'm actually ready to live lightly, and it will now be my companion, true to its inscription.

Huda's status on Whatsapp for the longest time has been "hold on when you get love / let go when you give it" and I've always liked it whenever I see it. I'm going to keep bearing that in mind.

So once upon a time, I chanced upon a blog belonging to a Suffian Hakim. He had written a Singaporean parody of Harry Potter and so it became a viral thing on social media and appeared on my feed. He was a Malay guy whom I considered very intelligent, witty and funny, and I also found him attractive.

Throwback to a couple of years, maybe three years ago, I saw him at a party or a media launch or something or another (you know how I always somehow end up at launch events and I don't know how or why??) that I think the agency he worked at had planned. So like, I already knew who he was, right, but I had to pretend I didn't, so I tried to catch his attention. This guy clean ignored me, and thus I felt uncool af, although I think af had not come about into existence circa 2015.

Fast-forward to June 2017, a month ago. I saw that he had Super-Liked me on Tinder, and I literally, historically-factually rolled on my bed in excitement, because this was the Suffian Hakim whose Instagram account and blog I had been creeping on intermittently, for years. If he had not Super-Liked me, I would have Super-Liked him first. #YouHadMeAtSuperLike

When we met, he felt familiar. And I don't mean in that I knew a few facts about him from stalking him online. I mean it was easy to talk about the similar things we enjoyed, or disliked, or were interested in. I'd never met a Malay man as fascinated by the origin of words. He can't speak Malay, he really sounds god-awful speaking it, I sound better speaking Malay and that's saying something. It was comfortable and I had my guard down all the time. He made me laugh, deep, hearty laughs. I watched him play football once, whilst also reading the new book he's working on, because he writes. When I read his words, I swell with this thing that might be close to pride although I can't quite place why. It amuses me when he sings along to songs he doesn't even like, because he has a brain that remembers lyrics. I loved learning that he was in fact a multidimensional person *fake shock* unlike the words and ideas that I'd read on his blog. There are things that I will remember, like when he started rambling about freedom, autonomy and independence and I simply nodded my head yes but actually feeling bewildered at where he'd started the tangent from, before he continued the game of Pepsi-Cola on my fingers, pinning my thumb down after having lulled me into a false sense of security. I don't know if that was the general vibe of our entire dating experience.

I got him a tauntaun sleeping bag for his birthday because he is a Star Wars geek, and I'm such a huge geek for geeks (new title of my autobiography: geek for geeks). I have the video footage of it, and it's adorable, it still makes me smile, watching him get all excited about it and exclaiming "best fucking gift ever!!!!" in the dorkiest of manners.

Of course, for all my deep, intense like for him, sometimes there are just some things you can't quite gloss over. We disagreed about feminism sometimes, but I have a feeling it's the medium of communication that really breeds mistrust, because when you text, you're not able to convey your nuances in voice, or you can't tell how the other person is feeling and work off that, or try to clarify your point of view. I mean, I know he would be familiar with the concepts of feminism I advocate, but how do you talk about abuse apart from face-to-face? Or like, when he asked about the book that he has out, and I didn't want to talk about it in text, because I have all the respect for him and the book, but I doubt he felt it, and it's just challenging overall, sometimes I wish I could have met him just to talk.

But mostly: I think the issues that he has and that I have were tough to compromise. He doesn't like being tied down or accounting to anyone, and I'm as possessive and transparent as it gets. I have trust issues with people keeping me in the dark, because it was more the norm than an exception that guys generally lie to me for the kick of it, just because they can. So, you know. We're compatible, yet the ghosts of our parents or past relationships or lived experiences that we each carry and our flaws are not.

This could be a very weird way to sort of end this post but I would like to say, Joey doesn't give a shit about me, and I generally don't give a shit about this. This is for your benefit, whoever you are, I don't know who you are or what you do, but you should know who you are. He doesn't care for me. He housed me because he knew it was temporary, he never saw it as anything more than a fun summer fling. What I hold dear and close to my heart are my memories of him and of what we did together for that one short summer month. Because it was a respite from the craziness of my own life. I appreciated him, and the little joey that was not to be. This is because I get attached easily, but Joey never reciprocated it. He missed me because generally, once you've spent 28 days in someone's company, you will be inclined to catch feelings for them, but he missed my company and that's all there is to it. I have very much admiration for Joey and love him for the person he is, I mean he's a stellar man, but we weren't the most complementary of people, except in certain aspects *clears throat* no but whatever, yeah.

So... I dunno, I'm trying to go back to bite-sized pieces of stuff that I think my friends have missed. I know y'all used to read it on and off for entertainment, and lately my life and I had been too depressing to be at all entertaining. I think, I hope, today is the change that stays. I really miss the person that I used to be, which is a ridiculous thing to say, because I get to decide the person that I am, and I want to be that person again.

'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
stop crying your heart out

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