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. ;)

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