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! đŸ˜›

.....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)

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