Sunday, April 29, 2018

THESE THINGS TAKE TIME

I was out last night for dinner with Ben (Glaser, it's a different Ben from someone else I was dating hahaha), we stayed out a little late past midnight. I had an 8am meeting this morning, so I had to leave home at 6am right, and I slept all the way in the train to work. About a year ago, or when I was depressed, I could not sleep regardless how I tired myself out, regardless what I did. I could swim and run and deprive myself of sleep intentionally, and yet I would lie awake in bed, feeling the worst things and not being able to fall into sleep. Now, just being able to feel tired and fall asleep during train journeys, feels like my life is back to normal. I am grateful for sleep.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

KOALITY

A couple of nights ago, when I was with my best friends, they saw that between my phone and transparent phone cover I'd displayed an Instax of us, in our onesies from 2016. I told them it is one of my very favourite memories because it was one night before my cousin had passed on in an accident, one week before I found out I was pregnant, and about two weeks before my miscarriage. My nose was still burned from the LA sun, as is apparent from the photo. I love these people so much, and I forget that we each have our own fights in life. For one of us, it is to carve a space in the medical world. She is a beauty, so naturally her worth is undermined. In Singapore, there are very few Malay doctors in proportion to the population, let alone female ones, but she is on her way to making her mark. One of us is a reminder to me that your social media experience is not you and does not define you, she doesn't have an Instagram nor Facebook, she doesn't need to show anyone anything about her life, and yet it is still worth as much happiness and love as anyone else's, if not more. One of us is me, and I am always fighting my own fight against the patriarchy, I fail sometimes, a lot of the time. My existence is to fight against the notion that a woman born Malay and into a Muslim family must necessarily have the same beliefs, must not show my skin, nor have tattoos nor piercings, nor have sex indiscriminately, before I am considered wholesome. I reject the idea that your parents and family define you and your existence, you are your own person and you can be wholesome however you want to be. We are not anyone else's opinion of us. You define you. #love
A post shared by Sarah Mei Lyana (@sarahmeilyana) on

Friday, April 27, 2018

GRACE

Monday night, I will be going to watch Fall Out Boy live, with the three sisters whom I live with. I haven't listened to their recent songs at all. I think it'll be fun. We saw the setlist, and I know they'll be performing at least four of their old songs that I know and like (Thnks fr the Mmrs, Sugar We're Goin' Down, Dance Dance, and This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race). I think I might've read somewhere that FOB might be problematic, but who knows, everyone is problematic in one aspect or the other. Imma just go for the music, and to be my sisters' chaperone. I cannot believe I listened to them when I was thirteen and am now going to their concert with my fourteen-year-old sister. F U C K ME I cannot be so old!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

YOU'VE GOT MAIL

Today I received an email from a girl (lady? I dunno?) who's read my blog and wants to be friends. I liked her email and I will have to reply it sometime soon. While I say I like making friends and having friends, sometimes it doesn't seem like it. In the past week, I had a guy I used to date for like, a month, in the past, and he said he wanted to be friends because he still cares about me and my life. While I appreciate the notion, I tried to give him all sorts of excuses why it wouldn't work out. I said we didn't have anything in common, and then we were both passive-aggressive, but then I gave in and so now we are apparently friends. I think I don't like it when men whom I used to date or have feelings for, tell me they just wanna be friends, because I always have very strong feelings, and I think if we are friends, my feelings will come back, but none of the men are ever worried about this, which makes me think, maybe none of them ever liked me as much as I liked them, and this saddens me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DNCE

baby you don't have to rush
you can leave a toothbrush at my place
we don't need to keep it hush
you can leave a toothbrush at my place   

I would really like to see A Quiet Place. That's all I have in mind. I switched to my new phone, Samsung S9, a couple of days ago, and it felt a little strange not to use an iPhone interface, although I'd only been an iPhone user for barely three years. My sister and I were experimenting and her iMessages to me can no longer be delivered, which is strange because I use a MacBook and my iMessage and FaceTime should still function and be able to send/receive messages from my laptop, no? Curious. If you're an American friend, please know that I have switched to an Android, alright bye.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

YOOGANE

Last night, I met Viv and Andrea for Yoogane, a Korean eatery where they cook your selected dishes in front of you. It's something like teppanyaki but it's done at your own individual tables? IDK.


When we were done with our meal, Viv tried to get one of the waiters' attention to box up the leftovers for us, but got ignored. The second time she did it, she was sure she'd do it right, so she was all confident with her "hi" but midway through her hi she realised the second waiter had also ignored her and her hi went progressively softer and her raised hand lowered itself in tandem, and it was the funniest thing, so I had to start filming, just in case we were ignored forever.

It was a fun night. It's been good. I used to be much more informative and I would totally be, but I'm old and tired, and perhaps one day I will have more words, but for now I'm just full. My heart is full. My friends are love.

Friday, April 20, 2018

JE NE SUIS PAS UN HOMME FACILE

I watched I Am Not An Easy Man on Netflix. Shahida and Pamela, two of my best friends, separately recommended it to me because they enjoyed it and because they know I’m a feminist. While I would say, as a film it is enjoyable enough and men should definitely watch it — I’ve decided any man I am seeing must watch it and I will get their opinions about it — I also felt like, now what? The film didn’t really set out with a solution. If it’s about raising awareness then great, I hope men are aware and feel more empathy when they are themselves objectified. Will they set out to change this world that we live in though? Hardly likely. Change is made out of people willing to put themselves at discomfort, and not many people do this even if it’s for a greater good. Still, I will take what I can. If a man agrees to see I Am Not An Easy Man with me and offer me his opinion, I am more than willing to sit through the film dozens of times. For the greater good, non? ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

CHESS NOT CHECKERS

A saying that Lin-Manuel Miranda favours is “chess not checkers”, and I really like it. Life is chess, not checkers. It’s not easy, it’s not fast, there are many rules, it takes patience, and there are multiple strategies to it. I am very tired today but life is chess, not checkers. It’s less than a month to my 28th birthday, which I am really looking forward to, because 28 is my favourite number and when I turn 28, all I want to say is “I made it” — the past three years have been especially rough on me, not even considering my tumultuous childhood but, hey, I made it to 28. I can breathe easy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

HO-HUM

Not much to say today. I read more of Hamiltome, armed with Post-its to annotate my own thoughts onto Lin’s annotations of the musical. I didn’t learn much today, but I felt content. Or perhaps, satisfied, to use my favourite track off Hamilton. I would be so much more useful if you placed me with books and words and told me to absorb knowledge from them, I don’t know why it costs so much to study. Where does the money go? I wish there was an equivalent for community college in Singapore. The thing about the United States being so diverse is that there is always an option for everyone, a safety net for people who can’t afford the expensive route. Wait, did I say I was feeling satisfied today? Yes, yes I am.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

THIS IS NOT A MOMENT
IT'S THE MOVEMENT

I am currently perusing my Hamiltome (official book title - Hamilton: The Revolution) at a Starbucks looking for college tuition aid, sipping on an iced shaken tea lemonade, wondering whether it is my Sbux consumption habits that are making me too broke for tuition, not the fact that tuition fees have been increasing by insane percentages. #millennial Here is what people see: I am at a Starbucks, with my MacBook, and a drink in my Tumblr-worthy tumbler. Here is what people don't know but what I am telling you: I am here for the free Wifi, and I brought my own sandwich from home, had to sneakily eat it from inside my bag, so I'd only have to pay for a drink and not food, which I can easily make at home. Still, though, all things considered - this is by far not the worst point in my life. It's been pretty decent. Pretty, pretty decent. I collected my new passport this morning. I'm thinking of whether I should burn my previous passport, it has stamps from my previous trips to LA/the US, and I've tried my best to rewrite or break off all ties to those times and memories, so. The difference between Alexander Hamilton's time and now is most definitely that we, as entities in this era, definitely have a much bigger say over who lives, who dies and who tells our stories. I will write my own story.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

BOSS

Today I went to get a free scalp treatment done at the hair centre that calls me up to get my free birthday treatment every year. Today, as it happens every time, they tried to get me to sign up for a package, citing that my scalp is oily and clogged and I am therefore prone to hair loss if I don’t do regular scalp treatments. That is what they have always told me, but my hair is still quite healthy, and I still don’t experience hair loss. Even if I did, so what? I think that a lot of cosmetics and wellness businesses do this, they try to make you feel bad about yourself, or inadequate, or fear for your future looks, and you don’t have to allow it. I only go for beauty appointments when they are free, and it doesn’t matter how many blackheads I have on my face or clogged pores or flab on my stomach, I work hard for my money, and nobody else should have a right to dictate what I do with it, nor pressure me into spending money on perceived imperfections. I am perfectly fine with my imperfections and if the world tries to make you feel otherwise about yourself, that is a sign of imperfection in the world, not in you. In any case, my hair does feel soft after having gotten blown dry. I will appreciate that for the year ahead HAHAHAHA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CAKE BY THE OCEAN

dive bar on the east side
where you at?

So a few days ago, one of the bigger influencers in Singapore, who goes by the moniker @bellywellyjelly on Instagram, had her sex tapes distributed by her ex-boyfriend Joal Ong, who has since deactivated his social media accounts, which seems to me pretty self-incriminating, since he was also a sort of public figure who depended on being an internet celebrity. I don’t know if anything happened between them as a trigger to lead up to the scandal, but if he did intentionally leak or post them, he is such an asshole. Of course there were people who found out and then commented that she’s a slut, but rlly, we are in 2018, can we stop slut-shaming girls who are having sex? Why is it that when a sex video is leaked, no one cares about the guy but the girl is suddenly a slut? If it’s okay for guys to be having sex but girls are not supposed to be sexually active, who are these men even supposed to have sex with???? This virgin/Madonna pretence has got to go. I think a lot of her followers are quite progressive and supportive though, which is great. I hope legal action and consequences happen to him. Honestly, why can’t people just be decent?

Monday, April 09, 2018

UNWIRED

Today, Facebook reminded me of this.

Text:
Earlier this week, my biological dad texted me after having read the post I'd linked, of him calling me ouzo: like an acquired taste, essentially unique. He was testing the waters, seeing whether I was okay with him, after half a year has passed. I was in no mood to entertain him, and then he said "maybe you're not ouzo after all", insinuating that I was hardened, that I was like anyone else who has not forgiven him. It irked me even more.

I forgave you when you strayed time after time when you and Mum were still married when I was a toddler. I forgave you when I was barely in grade school and you and mum fought so badly at the mall, you both somehow lost me and I made my way back home, about ten bus stops away, surprising everyone and even myself that I found my way back. I forgave you when you smashed the windscreen of the car Mum rented, despite the car having nothing to do with you. I forgave you when you harassed my maternal grandparents to let you into their house on account of some monetary issues with mum: my dear old late granddad who doted on myself and Adik and to my knowledge never spoke a word against you, and Nyai who, despite everything, tells us to acknowledge you because "no matter what, he's still your father." I forgave you for all the times my sister has low self-esteem and no trust in men because you were never there for her.

I forgave you time and again and allowed you into our lives and love my stepmother and four half-siblings but last year, when I was 25, I was approached by a man telling me to advise you because you had solicited for sex from his fiancée. Instead of showing remorse, your response towards me was that you didn't think I'd find out about it. The onus is no longer on me to forgive you, the onus is on you to change.

It's not that I'm not big enough to forgive you, you just haven't shown that you're big enough to deserve it.
My family members tire me out a lot. In the past three years, I got strung along by a man who was unfaithful to his soon-to-be wife, I found out my father was doing the same to my stepmother, I took a break for myself then got pregnant, then my mother chose to be really hard and unforgiving that I got pregnant.

Yesterday, I spent a bit of time with Mel, she was filling me in on where she is currently at with Gilmore Girls. My sister also said to me, the eldest child of my mother's four kids, and the eldest of my father's six (why do people have kids when they have no money or emotional capacity for them? religious people have the weirdest motivations), that my drama days are over.

You know, a lot of people have gone through less than I have, and they retaliate by doing the weirdest things physically, like they take out their anger onto the world. I just absorb things, and I write. All I ever do is write. Everything I feel, I channel into writing. Anyway, as I was saying, my sister says my drama days are long gone, which is a good, good thing.

I mean, I sort of feel it within myself, but to hear it from my sister is a good thing, because I guess she knows me best, besides myself.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

EAT YOUR GREENS

Last night I’d gotten home quite late ‘cos the train service ended early and I hadn’t known about it so I had to take the shuttle bus instead which prolonged my route by at least half an hour. And adding half an hour to my original route home is not a joke. At 1ish AM, I asked my sister whether I should do the whole change-out-of-my-work-clothes, wash up and go to bed thing properly or just go to sleep. I told my sister that I read that people who are disciplined get somewhere, get to places in life, but I’m the most disciplined person in my household, and still I haven’t gotten anywhere. I make my bed, wash my dishes/clothes/whatever, keep my room tidy, take my pills, write and read whenever I can, I finish what I start, I commit, and still: here. So she said “go to sleep kak, you’re tired and for all you know, you might die tomorrow, there’s no point in doing all the washing up things” and I said “that’s what you and I wish for every day, but we always live on, don’t give me false hope” and we laughed for a good few minutes. My sister and I are quite depressed people, because there is a lot that has been taught us that I think we inherently want to unlearn but it’s always two steps forward and one back. Every time I unlearn something I think doesn’t agree with me as a person, my family pulls me back and tries to mold me back into the person that they want me to be. One time, I matched with someone on Tinder who was actually pretty decent, and I asked him something like what he wanted in return (I believe he offered me his bathtub because my bio had stated that I like bubble baths) and then he said, “not everything has to be done in exchange for something” and he actually initiated that he understood and empathised with the fact that I might probably have met a lot of men who want things from me. If only everybody believed that you can do things without expecting something in return. I feel like my mother’s parenting style is that way so I grew up believing it, that for having been raised by her in her household, this-this-and-this are what must happen in return, and there is no negotiating about it. Where did this Tinder anecdote even come from? Who knows? I have to mention something about eggs and cars and I thought it was hilarious but the perpetrator would like it to be a secret so it will only live on in our memories, and here as an anonymous mention. This is the time that happened.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

HOLY DUCK

I’m on the way to work and I can’t even tell whether it’s my joints or muscles that are aching, maybe both. I didn’t even drink last night, I think I consumed too much sugar though, I had three ice-creams and the only liquor I had was from the lychee martini ice-cream. I need to swim, can’t remember the last time I worked out, and this lethargy must be contributed in some part by the inactivity of my body and limbs. Just one month, I think I’m going through this hustle for only a month or so, before I move to another type of hustle. One month more. I just want to sleep. Why did I go to a high-functioning social party when I barely just recovered from feeling like I was dead? Because I’m a sucker for punishment? Yeah, highly likely. I can sleep when I’m dead. Motherfucker I am so close to burning out.

Friday, April 06, 2018

PARTY

I am so tired but I told myself I would try to post once every day just to track my progression so here is my attempt. I went to a party tonight and the location was gorgeous. There were a couple of people who had co-founded a tech startup and were telling me about it. Apparently the layperson reason for why Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are so volatile is that you can’t do much besides buy and sell. So they’re endeavouring to change that by starting to bet on it and start hedge funds etc, and the more things you can do with it, the less volatile it will get. The female co-founder also said for her mid-life crisis she’d like to go to law school and get a law degree and I was like, whoa, I’m dealing outside of my league here. There were three Americans, talking up their places of residence/origin, like Salt Lake City vs Colorado. Today I learned that in the old-world-riches of the planet, skiing is apparently a little more prestigious and some private ski resorts look down on and will not allow snowboarders. I never knew. Such privilege. I saw many cute men, but while they made eye contact with me several times, it was the other men who kept me with my time and hitting on me. I never got to talk with the cute ones, but oh well. You win some, you lose some. It was overall, a very interesting night, and I enjoy mingling at parties, because you know, I’m superficial as all hell and also very talkative. People I’ve never even known tell me they see me fitting right in with people I’ve never met. This is why Singapore is not the place for me — also, the American lady told me she understands why I feel trapped, by having been born and raised here and never having lived anywhere else. She said she lived in Hawaii for a while and although people say things like “I don’t see why anyone would ever wanna leave” she said she had island fever, so that’s what I’ve got. Island fever. Being trapped in a tiny area of land, where there is nothing to do, and no one different to talk to. This was a pretty good attempt, for a last-ditch attempt, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

STRONGBOW

The fan in my room makes a lot of rattly noise. Last night, my sister Mel slept in my bed for a while and she finally said she wonders how I get to sleep. She’d always thought I was imagining things. I’m really excited to get out of here, not too soon, but it’ll be here soon enough. Today is #MLK50 Day and I’m gonna read about the whitewashing of his legacy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

SCOTTY DOESN’T KNOW

I finished Queer Eye. I want three new seasons to be out now!!!! I haven’t done much but I just recovered from some major downtime so imma cut myself some slack. Also I realise a lot of people are trash and they don’t give themselves any crap about it, I gotta stop being so hard on myself. I’m such a nice and good and conscientious person, fereals.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

SIEMPRE, LIN

I received the eco-friendly cotton hoodie from the Hamilton LDN Prizeo raffle. It is a lovely soft green hoodie that is clearly my new favourite hoodie. Tomorrow I am finally back to work. Ooh, also, I’ve been binge-watching Queer Eye on Netflix and so far I have cried at every episode.

Monday, April 02, 2018

COSMOS

Watching an episode of Cosmos and it’s about Michael Faraday. Isn’t it intriguing how Faraday built on the works of Isaac Newton and everything since and between, and then Albert Einstein built on Faraday’s works and a lot of science essentially is a compilation of works by people who sometimes never even met each other, across hundreds of years? I feel like there is an underlying notion to be taken away from this but I’m too tired to follow through.

HUMAN CAPITAL VALUE

I was watching Netflix’s Take Your Pills, which is about college students in the USA being hooked on Adderall, which is a pill usually used to help people who have ADHD, focus better. I wish I’d been given Adderall, I used to be so easily distracted. I also didn’t finish watching the documentary because it’s inclined towards like, aesthetics that make me think of Andy Warhol, like it keeps cutting in to static and white noise, and then hyperrealistic scenes of pills and whatever, and I don’t like it when things don’t flow in the most linear of manners. Maybe it’s also because I’ve been sick and this isn’t the best time to watch the show.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

CHRYSALIS

It is April Fool's Day in Singapore. I have been taking setamol, serratiopeptidase as well as amoxicillin, three times a day, for the past, I dunno what, four days? I think they're working but I have also had a lot of time by myself, being delirious and thinking incessantly, because idle hands (and brains) are the devil's workshop, as if the devil doesn't already reside in me when I'm at 100% health capacity - I kid, I don't believe in the devil. I don't fall sick often, but when I do, it feels like the end of the world, because when my system shuts down, it shuts the hell down. You know how caterpillars turn into butterflies and they don't actually quite know why they're spinning cocoons around themselves and turning themselves into jelly, and they don't even know that their end goal is to become butterflies? Yeah, imma coerce myself into believing this sickness is my chrysalis stage. Is this part of my delirium? Possibly, probably, yeah-huh. I've been taking my antibiotics and I think it's those pills that are upsetting my digestive system/stomach and making me churn and nauseous every time I eat, but if I don't eat, my sister says I won't have the energy to get better, so you tell me. For some reason, all this time to myself/by myself has made me realise how much of a mess of contradictions my mind and I are: I wonder if everybody is like this - I know I am possibly an average of many people I know, so yeah, I would assume most people are a mess, a mass of contradictions. I watched Netflix's The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, and at first, just like anyone watching the show, I of course thought, damn, I also want to build an extraordinary house somewhere in the Santa Monica canyons of CA, or in the gorgeous lush canopies of New Zealand, or in the Catskill Mountains of NY. Then I realised, all the people on the show, all the home owners are white people, they are Caucasian - regardless of which region of the world the episode is filmed in, they are white. Then I think, I cannot possibly allow myself to live in such luxuries whilst developing countries are still called developing countries instead of "countries struggling to recover from being ruthlessly pillaged and systematically destabilised" - I mean, white people make up only 20% of the world population, but from the North to the South, the East to the West of this planet, the richest of them, and the ones with the most ludicrously luxurious, beautiful, extraordinary of homes are still white. Why? Why do I date white men, four out of five of whom will tell me that the biggest problem they see in the world is income/wealth inequality, and yet continue to spend their money on visiting a new country every time, with a misplaced belief that visiting more countries means what, that you're one step closer to reaching nirvana? That they are somehow more worldly-wise? What is the point of recognising a problem that is almost unanimous with everyone else's worst/most urgent problem in the world, then closing both eyes to it? What have you done, that was not inherently for yourself? These questions, they are questions I ask myself because I know I'm a mess of contradictions, but I still find myself attracted to people who have never known it about themselves, nor seemed to ask themselves the same. My sister says I am more irritable because I am sick, and it is possibly true, I haven't been eating nor sleeping properly, and I just want to eat and sleep. Butterfly or not, please let me just be well enough to eat and sleep again.