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.

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