Friday, March 22, 2019

THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT

For at least the last half of my life, my favorite number has been 28. It's a so-called auspicious number to the Chinese, I think, but for many years running, it was also my register number in class, and I felt an affinity with it. Before I turned 25 and experienced the rollercoaster that the past three years have been, I thought that when I turned 28, it would be the best year of my life. I would be happy, and I would have figured out love, and my career, and all those things that are supposed to make a life fulfilling. I am now twenty-eight years old, it's been ten months since I turned this age, as my birthday is coming up in May. Unsurprisingly, because life can rarely be planned or turn out as expected, this has not been the happiest of years. However, even though I can't be said to be completely happy, there is something about this past year that has satisfied me. With my father, I learnt to let go. I used to always have the expectations that he would eventually become a better dad, but all those expectations ever did was disappoint me. It tires me out to have contact with him, so I have slowly been setting up my boundaries. Sometimes you have friends that you can only spend time with in small doses, and sometimes you can't help if your parent turns out to be one of those people. Setting up boundaries is healthy, regardless who the other person is in your life. My mother is a religious person, and I am not. Just yesterday, while I was throwing up in the bathroom, she made comments about the shorts I was wearing, she said "how can I show you my concern when you keep doing these things." In the past year, I learnt not to allow my mother's expectations to color my impression of myself. I started wearing what I wanted, I got the tattoo I'd been wanting for a long time, I lived mostly the way I wanted to live. Then there was one. This man had the biggest butterfly effect in my life. After he'd fucked up the trajectory of my life, he wanted to move on, and assumed I was ready to move on. When I was 27, I was still holding on to a lot of anger. I thought, if I'm not happy, why should this man, who fucked up my life, be allowed to be happy? So I did things out of anger and spite, but then I turned 28, and I resolved my issues with my own parents that contributed to my sense of self. I realized, as they say, that just because this man was not allowed to be happy, did not at all contribute to my own happiness. I finally knew I had to apologize for what I did, and so I did. Yesterday, the man and I finally apologized to each other for what we'd each done, and we even ended on a neutral note, by hoping we each could get past the negativity. It means so much to me, knowing that we had finally come to a point where we could wish each other well. It has been a tough year in my life, but I did everything the best way I could, and I am proud of myself. Also, on an unrelated note, Irene texted me about my love for Shark Tank, and she told me Chris Sacca is a douche who engaged in sexist behavior, so I went to read up on it, and got led to this.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NAUSEA

Today was a dramatic day and the day I've felt the worst in at least a year. So if you follow me on Instagram you'd know I've been doing babysitting to supplement my income. My current baby is the daughter of a businesswoman who's working in Singapore this week, so I've been taking care of the baby in hotels. Today I either got food poisoning or stomach flu and was feeling nauseated. While this was physically happening, I somehow had started the big conversation that I'd been working up the courage for. I've been feeling uneasy because I knew I did some things wrong as well, and indeed he said he had gotten quite angry. We had as civil a conversation as we could have had, though, I think. I might have fucked up his life just as he fucked up mine, but in different ways. I felt guilty and guilt is the absolute worst feeling because this time, you can't even victimize yourself. We sort of thrashed some things out, after two years ish, while I felt more and more nauseated. So then I was carrying the baby in the fancy hotel lobby to pick up a delivery, when I started throwing up. The hotel staff noticed immediately, they held the baby and entertained her, while giving me medicinal oils to sniff and asked if I needed medical attention. I eventually left because I thought I would be feeling better after having vomitted, but then from the hotel to the train station, I kept throwing up. Along the way, after having thrown up on the steps in front of a shopping mall, I was completely out of energy and I lay in front of my pile of sick, waiting till I felt better. Two white girls from the nearby international school, UWCSEA, asked if I was okay, and helped me to the nearest restroom where I again alternated between having the runs and throwing up. Another lady in another cubicle asked if I was okay and whether she could call me a cab. I cabbed home without incident, fortunately, but after having showered and cleaned myself up, I just woke up and threw up all the water I'd just drunk to hydrate myself. I was literally swimming in my own sick, and my sisters and mother have been helping to clean it and myself up. I have never been so fawned over while being sick, from the hotel staff to strangers on the street, to my own family. My stomach hurts because there is nothing left to heave and regurgitate, and I don't even get to see my kid tomorrow. This is one of the worst times I've felt. It's so strange, after years and years, I still feel terrible because I care for this man and all we've done is fuck shit up. My icon for today's mood app is the most depressed one. I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I can.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

JEOPARDY

My new favorite game to watch is Jeopardy. I keep saying the answer and then rephrasing it as a question before the buzzer, as if I'm on the show. I love games and especially trivia games. Some categories are very American though, I wish I knew more about the USA than I already do. I was watching the college championship and the overall winner wins like USD100,000 which would definitely help to pay off their tuition fees. If I get into school, perhaps I should apply to play on Jeopardy huh.

MOOD

To be honest, I think I really do need to get back to school. I just feel like there is so much potential I have yet to tap on. I know a degree doesn't mean everything, and that learning can happen anytime, but I also think everyone who says so, is able to do so from the comfortable position of having gone through a college education and gotten a degree, so that's pretty much moot. I think I hinge on love because I haven't been able to really better myself and my opportunities, and of course, the solution to furthering oneself as a woman in society was always through marriage. I don't believe in God but jeez do I really want this. I told my sister I'm a little bit scared to potentially go back to school and be pitted against all these youngsters who have come straight out of high school and have been conditioned to study and read and burn through all-nighters and gotten themselves in that momentum. I'm a little afraid of being left behind and that I've forgotten how to study, if there is such a thing. On the flipside, I would say my age does also equip me with a certain level-headedness and maturity, and some foresight and clarity to know what matters to me and what doesn't, and I think I have a bigger passion and fire and grit to stick through the entire run. I have the drive because I've taken long enough out of the game, and I know just how much I need this. Please let me have this.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

I finished the Drive to Survive docuseries! So now you don't have to read about me talking about F1 as if I know anything. I clearly don't, except I do know how to admire the cute drivers. When they featured the Austin circuit, someone sang Star-Spangled Banner and there is a line that says "the home of the brave." One thing that people usually describe me as is brave, and I really do want to live in the US. Anyway, the F1 is really reflective of life because the richer teams are always faster, and can always hire the better drivers. It's not really all about the racing talent. It would be perhaps more fun if every team received the same funds so they can all spend the same amounts on research and developing their engines, and the drivers received similar boosts and race on level playing fields. F1: Drive to Survive is a great look into the industry, to see the drama and politics and blood, sweat and tears that go into each race weekend and every season but ultimately, it's unfair and it just doesn't make sense to follow a sport where money means winning. I went to check my CUNY application status, and there was a video stating that the application status of submitted documents will be reflected after a month or so, jeez. There are some people who dislike me and vice versa. They don't like that I'm so self-aware and honest and conversely, I don't like people who are not honest with themselves and not self-aware. If I have to spend time with five people and be the average of their personalities, you can be sure I'm choosing the five most honest and self-aware ones. Yes, I do still have feelings for someone who has made a great influence on my life, without the person even quite meaning to, I think. It takes me no effort to admit that it's been three years and I like him, but it's okay. I have strong, lasting feelings and I spent a month with this person and since I met him, I've grown into perhaps what is an even more authentic and real me, than I ever was before. So I don't regret it at all. What I cannot stand is people who have unresolved issues and have never begun to face them straight on. You can try to give me advice as the 30-something-year-old person you are, but the way I see it, I'm braver facing the ups and downs of my brain and life, than you are. You think you're settled but you keep coming back to me. I don't have time for you. You're not wasting my time, you're wasting your own.

PUSHING BUTTONS

My bad, my bad. I really need to take in the bigger picture before saying things. They feature more of Singapore in the eighth episode. It's reportedly the most intense, thanks to the heat, humidity and tight corners. Marcus Ericsson who used to drive for Sauber has a really good sense of humor. So in Singapore, they each dip into an ice bath to cool off from the heat. Ericsson says "make sure when I come out of this, the camera focuses on the right areas, yeah, the weapon is not very big at the moment" because of the ice HAHAHAHAHAHA I laughed so hard. He didn't get renewed for 2019. Charles Leclerc got signed by Ferrari, and the entire episode is dedicated to his godfather Jules Bianchi, who died after an F1 accident. Leclerc is also goddang cute, but he's 20. Way out of my range. It's not the fact that he's a Ferrari F1 driver that makes him out of my range, mind you, it's his age. :P

ROUND THE OUTSIDE

The seventh episode is almost exclusively about Romain Grosjean. I almost feel pity for him, he started crashing often and got a reputation for it, it affected him and he kept doing it, and then it's basically a vicious cycle. I feel like those seasons were like representative of my life: like Sarah, what on earth are you doing, at some point, you have got to stop blaming it on bad luck???? He looks like he might have made somewhat of a comeback in the later episodes/races though, so hopefully he's not as depressed as he sounds. I feel like you'd need to have the strongest and most balanced mental health to be an f1 driver, or even anywhere in the industry. All that pressure. By the way, I was almost asleep but had to wake up to give a great big hacking cough and now my throat is dry as ever. Sigh.

IGGY

If you were not afraid, what would you do? Maybe I would be a fuckgirl. Maybe people who are fuckboys and fuckgirls just listen and are in sync with what they really wanna do, and they're all happier for it. I already have a number embedded in my brain. What the hell am I struggling for? What am I waiting for? Well, I guess, I literally am waiting for school results to come in from four colleges. If I don't get in, I give the fuck up, srsly, maybe I'm just meant to slog it out and never ever go to college.

Monday, March 18, 2019

MOSQUITO

Just caught the sixth episode of Drive to Survive. You know, the only reason I get to watch so much Netflix is 'cos the episodes are downloadable so I just while away my transit time to and from work, watching all the content possible. Anyway, in this ep, it shows the 2018 Force India drivers at loggerheads. Esteban Ocon is made out to be the ultimate underdog, whose family didn't have money but somehow got him into F1. They showed him practising on the racing machine at home, with his eyes closed, so he's memorized the turns to the precise seconds. It amazed me, if nothing else. He got dropped though, they had to make way for a new driver with the new investor (who practises blatant nepotism by getting his son to drive for the team he invests in lol wtf is the matter with this sport????). Force India chose to stick with the other driver, Sergio Perez, just 'cos he had more sponsorship money -- which matters a whole lot in an expensive activity like F1. Perez didn't even outqualify Ocon in his home circuit of Mexico, not even with the overwhelming support of his Mexican fans. Money seriously turns the world into bullshit. Sergio Perez's face reminds me of Elon Musk's for some reason, it's got this smug quality that makes you just want to punch him. Also, I think it's hilarious that whenever the show moves to a new circuit, they wax lyrical about how challenging it is and how important it is, and the significance each circuit bears. Then they went to Marina Bay, and nobody said anything about it. It's all glitzed up at night, so no one can see the lack of personality this country has in the day. Oh Singapore, you truly do not matter. No one has a disdain for their home country the way I do, seriously, do you think I could set a world record for it?

ABNORMALCY

I'm so physically tired from being ill. My colleague told me to go get a flu shot 'cos the last one I had was decades ago in school. I'm not exactly scared of needles but it's not a thing I'm thrilled about. It's a thing I would do if someone said they would reward me with, say, a nice dinner, for getting it done. I don't know whether to say that I'm truly a kid at heart or if everybody is just kids and there is no such thing as adults. Taylor Swift's Love Story is in my head, and you know what that means. Or maybe you don't. Maybe only I know what it means. Does anyone actually ever know what I mean? It means we love who we love who we love, and there is no changing that, as little sense as it makes, because love is not a sensible thing.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

TEARS FOR FEARS

It's been a strange day and I've been in the foulest of moods at work. I wish I were in California, away from this mess. People are so trying and if I'm living this one life, why can't I just live WHERE I WANT TO. We should all be able to. I feel like I need to take some weed edibles to calm my nerves but obviously I can't do it in this country because it's illegal and my mother is a cop. One day I'm going to spontaneously combust, I'm sure of it.

BAKU

In the second episode of Drive to Survive, they cover the Baku circuit. The two Red Bull drivers collide, and then another of the top teams has a tire puncture from debris, and suddenly Carlos Sainz driving for Renault has a chance at the podium. People love rooting for the underdog. Also many of the drivers are very cute and attractive, is that like a prerequisite for being an F1 driver? Carlos Sainz Jr is super cute. Something about him gives me Ashton Kutcher vibes. I'm still sick and having my breakfast before I head off to work. The second half of March looks to be a long one, but I think I'll feel better once my body bounces back from this sickness. I feel like I suffer from the man-cold. You know how it's just a common cold but I feel like I'm going to die? It's just the heatiness of my head and brain and eyes.

PRE-MED

@textsfromyourex on Instagram is really one of my absolute favorite profiles there are. Why are all exes like that? Why is it such an epidemic? What has happened to romance, jesus fucking christ!!!! Please! Talk to me when you are ready to find someone to marry, or NOT AT ALL. It's insane, I want to write a book on why men are insane fuckboy exes. (And some women, but mostly men.)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

MULTIVERSE

needless to say, I keep her in check
she was all bad-bad, nevertheless (yeah)
callin' it quits now, baby, I'm a wreck (wreck)
crash at my place, baby, you're a wreck (wreck)
needless to say, I'm keeping her in check
she was all bad-bad, nevertheless
callin' it quits now, baby, I'm a wreck
crash at my place, baby, you're a wreck
thinkin' in a bad way, losin' your grip
screamin' at my face, baby, don't trip
someone took a big L, don't know how that felt
lookin' at you sideways, party on tilt
ooh-ooh, some things you just can't refuse
she wanna ride me like a cruise
and I'm not tryna lose

then you're left in the dust
unless I stuck by ya
you're a sunflower
I think your love would be too much
or you'll be left in the dust
unless I stuck by ya
you're the sunflower
you're the sunflower

every time I'm leavin' on ya
you don't make it easy, no, no
wish I could be there for ya
give me a reason to go
every time I'm walkin' out
I can hear you tellin' me to turn around
fightin' for my trust and you won't back down
even if we gotta risk it all right now, oh
I know you're scared of the unknown (known)
you don't wanna be alone (alone)
I know I always come and go (and go)
but it's out of my control

and you'll be left in the dust
unless I stuck by ya
you're a sunflower
I think your love would be too much
or you'll be left in the dust
unless I stuck by ya
you're the sunflower
you're the sunflower

ADRENALINE

There is a cough syrup that I really like, it's called Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. It's a thick, sweet syrup that I like to drink sometimes even when I'm not sick, so when I'm really ill it's like my favorite thing ever. My mom knows this so she bought me individual sachets for me to bring to New York, I didn't even know they existed in such a form. You just tear one open and drink out of it, it's like a candy. That kinda small thing reminds me that my mom loves me. It's very cute, I love Nin Jiom. Anyway, I've been watching Formula 1: Drive To Survive on Netflix. It reminds me of the adrenaline I had in LA. It's a whole other world, I think. Especially for Singaporeans. It's a tiny city state here, there are too many cars and traffic lights, and speed limits mean everything, and you can't even race at night 'cos you'd get demerit points and all that. One of the lines I heard in the show, is possibly true to the type of person I am: the highs are very high, and the lows are very low. I want to experience everything, and I can't or tend not to say no to anything. I remember when I first got to know Joey, I was on his bed while he was at work. I texted him "do you work at the SpaceX, like Elon Musk's company?" and he said yes of course, because there isn't any other SpaceX. Sometimes I confuse myself because I want to be in every space possible. I want to feel the rush of racing in cars, but at the same time, I don't agree with the personal politics of a lot of rich people. For example, when I was in New York and especially when I was dating Adam, he was completely against Amazon setting up their second headquarters in the city, because it would have driven up rent and priced out regular everyday citizens who live there. This is something Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also campaigned for, she didn't want Amazon to be set up there, which eventually really fell through. When Amazon said they were pulling out of their plans to set up in NYC, Barbara Corcoran, who is one of the sharks on Shark Tank, was immensely upset. She's a New York-based real estate mogul but on Shark Tank, she can be extremely empathetic, she's dyslexic so she used to be called the dumb girl in school, and she helps so many business owners who have reading or learning disabilities, when they come on the show to pitch their companies. It's strange, Barbara said NYC lost out on a great opportunity, but of course, she hasn't lived like the majority 99% (?) in New York for ages. I don't know where I'm going with this, I just think that there are so many layers and dimensions to everyone and everything, and it's so hard to pick and choose what the right and wrong is. In any case, I've finally started driving lessons. As a person who takes note of too many stimuli at once, I'm a little nervous about it. I do however think that if millions of people can do it, so can I. I'll let my conscious brain and unconscious brain settle it, one of them will take over the activity. I figure if I'm living on my own eventually, it would be useful to be able to drive and move my things around if it gets down to it.

MOJAVE

A white terrorist was arrested for a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch. At this point of time, I wouldn't say I have much affiliation with the mosque, I think religion is illogical and I can't really see eye to eye with anybody who believes in any god, which really makes me part of a minority in Singapore, and in my community. However, I must say that regardless of religious affiliation, the white man has always been the safest, because they have constructed every possible system to keep themselves safe, whether it's in terms of politics or finance or geography or any other opportunity, and yet the white man has always been the most dangerous to other people.

(Also yes, I'm fully aware I date white people and that as a person of color, I shouldn't date my oppressor and I do remind myself to check why I'm attracted to the people I date. One of the lowest benchmarks I set for any man I date is that they acknowledge the privilege accorded to them, just based on race, if nothing else. To be perfectly honest, this is why I stopped dating British men, it may be weird to say but I hate thinking about the fact that the British colonized pretty much the entire world. So now I date Americans????)

I saw on Nina's Instagram stories that she'd shared screenshots of Tweets by @wajahatali, and here it is in its entirety:
Let me quickly explain why the Christchurch mosque shooting affects many of us, not just Muslim communities. If the shooter's manifesto and social media feed are accurate, he was inspired by a right-wing ideological infrastructure that thrives, recruits and radicalizes online. He wrote a manifesto, just like Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik. He cites right-wing personalities and military battles glorified by white nationalists, such as the Siege of Vienna in 1863 - where Europe staved off Islam apparently. Like mass murderer Breivik, he wants to punish Muslims and immigrants for allegedly invading his soil, he wants to take revenge. Notice the language of "invasion" - does it sound familiar? It should. It's used against immigrants and Muslims in America - 2018 midterms. He left behind a video, live-streamed his rampage with a camera on his head, making it like first-person video game Doom. He shared it on social media sites. He wants to be known. He is a hero, a martyr, the one brave enough to do what others can't to save "Western" civilization. Compare his methods and alleged ideology to Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette, who killed 6. He was a white nationalist who loathed immigrants, refugees and Muslims. Christopher Hasson, a domestic terrorist, just caught, also wanted to kill Muslims, inspired by Breivik. Compare this to the Tree of Life Synagogue shooter in Pittsburgh. He killed 11 Jewish worshippers. He shared a post on his Gad account about punishing "filthy evil Jews" for bringing in "filthy evil Muslims." This was in reference to the Soros-caravan conspiracy theory. The underlining ideology anchoring all of this is White supremacy and their main fear is "replacement." That the immigrants, Jews, blacks and Muslims will replace them, the Whites. Remember Charlottesville? "Jews will not replace us." See Steve King's Tweets about babies. Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief advisor, cites Camp of Saints as one of his favorite books. He recommends it. It's a racist novel about brown immigrants "invading" and overtaking France. White nationalists believe Jews are the head of the cabal who use the rest of us. We are dealing with angry, disaffected men, mostly White, who find purpose and community with these extremist groups who give them a hero's narrative through violent ideology of White supremacy. They are saving civilization by getting rid of the rest of us. It's like White ISIS. The victims are not just Muslims, but also Jews, immigrants, refugees, Blacks, Sikhs, Latinos and women (they really hate feminists). It's a zero-sum absolutism. No grey area. Just like ISIS. These groups are rising in the US and Europe. They have mainstream elected messengers. Pay attention. Take this extremist ideology and terror threat seriously. Be wary of politicians, academics and media heads who give it a platform and spout it under the guise of "free speech" and fighting "political correctness." Look out for each other. Love each other.

Friday, March 15, 2019

TIFFANY

I've fallen a little bit sick. My throat is parched, I'm sneezing often, and my head aches. I was looking at an Instagram profile, one of those soulful, vegan, ~get back to your roots~ zen types (it's not someone I follow so it's not any of you). Ahhh I wish it were so easy for me. You attract what you think, the conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time so choose a positive one. This sickness will pass. I will have enough sleep when I need it. I was reading Hold Me Tight and I really need a man to love me this much. I just need One Man, who will be okay with my family background, who understands my issues inherited from my parents and how I was raised, who understands my defensiveness from several men who have just piled on my issues, who is willing to say "I will take this on and love you anyway because you're worth it", just one man. My brain hurts, I need to rest but I am on the way to work. The conscious brain can hold only one thought at a time: I am loved, I am worthy of love, I am loveable, and I will be loved.

ALONE

The phrase "staying together for the kids" is on my mind. I would reckon at least 60% of why I don't do well by myself is 'cos I yearn to be loved by a man, to prove that men don't always leave. I hate it when men disappear, and then they come back out of goddamn nowhere, it really reminds me of my dad. Please stick around, please stick around, please stick around. A couple of things Bennett said to me when we were dating resurfaced today: he said sometimes men don't stick around because they've seen that someone has gone through a lot, and there's a lot of pressure on them, they don't want to potentially add on to the hurt that's already been dealt to a person. He also said every day ends, so even if you're having the worst of days, you will never have to live through the same day again. He also said he wants a wingsuit sometime in life, he said this while I was watching them play Steep. Fuuuuuuuck. Sometimes I think I might be incapable of love. Do you think that's true? Do I just want to be loved without actually doing any loving, or am I self-sabotaging now? I need to sleep and turn off my brain.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

LIVE A LITTLE

Today Sharifah picked me up from work, riding her bike to surprise me. We went to Tampines for lunch, and I felt so free and happy. I'm not sure why, but sometimes being on a motorbike is the best thing, once in a while. Sometimes it gets really hot and sweaty and uncomfortable, but occasionally it's really fun, like nothing else. She's hilarious, she only recently got her riding licence and we had to exit the mall's basement, she said "I'm really bad at slopes, hold on for your life". I've read that thrillseekers tend to be secretly depressed. In my case, it's no secret but even for Sharifah, I could totally see why she likes living life on the edge. I didn't stop smiling once while riding on her bike. It's completely different from being in a car.

OPPOSITE / ADJACENT

It would be so interesting if I stopped believing in marriage or monogamy. Practically, I don't think I could ever really subscribe to a lifestyle where I engage in ethically non-monogamous relationships, I've always thought it was messy and of course, I form attachments way too easily. However, I have also been told that people have the misconception that I am a "good decent Muslim-Malay girl", not the one who doesn't fast in Ramadan or who has a tattoo. I mean, seriously, I am a geek, when I am not dressed up for Instagram, I look like trash that walks around wearing spectacles. I have gone from listening to and abiding by my parents' rules to completely disregarding them. I have gone from being miserable about my miscarried fetus and praying for it, to being completely convinced god and the afterlife are made-up concepts because human beings are too self-absorbed to accept that the world does not revolve around us and that we could ever cease to exist once our bodies are dead. If there were any extreme changes to be made in life, I think I have made that journey, so. Life is transient and so are my beliefs so far. I have definitely read stuff that say that marriages are doomed to fail because we're not meant to have lifetime partners, especially not in an age where the average lifespan is close to a hundred years. People change and then so do dynamics between people and their relationships. To cap off this post, I will very predictably say I hope this doesn't scare off my future husband because I still want to get married, but everything has the potential to change, and to go into a marriage not learning as much as you can about your partner's mindset, is likely what dooms it to fail, anyway. One day my mother will muster her courage to read all my recent posts and she will have an aneurysm and perhaps she will throw me out of this apartment. Maybe spiritually, even if not physically.

UNLEARNING

There are a couple of things that I know for sure I dislike about each of my parents. It is not enough or it is easy enough for me to critique them or criticize them for such traits, but the toughest part is obviously unlearning those behaviors and teaching myself to do and be otherwise. One from my mom is that she is high-strung, and so it is that I am constantly battling between an inherent learnt programming to react to things in a high-strung manner, and being mellow and chill about things. It feels almost like schizophrenia, I have to constantly second-guess myself and ask, is this reaction the real me, or is it the me I learnt from observing my mother? It's even harder because I still live with her, still hear her complaints about the reality television we watch, of her disapproval towards strangers making out. And then there is my dad. I'm not even sure where to begin with him, but I feel very strongly about his... priorities. I feel like at age 46 you should have learnt and matured enough to at least get your shit together financially, but this still doesn't seem to be the case. The only reason I can think of is perhaps he lacks a proper system of priorities and prioritizing. If you are a father of three in your household, then I don't see a reason for you to be too broke for dinner, and if you are, then the thought of branded headphones shouldn't turn up until the phrase "too broke for dinner" leaves your lexicon for the rest of your lifetime. If you are not too broke for dinner, then I'm not sure why you would say you are, in which case your priority is still not your children's well-being and mental health, because children should not have to hear or worry about their parents being short of money, especially when they're younger than ten. Having said all that, it is a tough act to remind myself to balance being mellow and kind and forgiving towards myself, but also to prioritize financial responsibilities and consideration of everyone within the circle of people I could potentially affect in my life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

STAGE RIGHT

The new episodes of Terrace House Karuizawa just got released. How strange it is, watching it again in Singapore. The last time I watched it was with Adam in December, and now Adam and I are dunzo. One of the things I really liked about having gone to New York when I did was actually feeling out how it would be to be in a relationship with him. We didn't work out, but it can never be said it was for a lack of trying. We used to be able to chat, long-distance, about many things, but when it came down to it, I don't think we had the right kinds of feelings when we were next to each other. You really can't force love. Anyway, in the latest episodes, there is an older house member, whom the commentator panel deem as an adult, because he's 31. He's looking for love and even has marriage on his mind. So apparently the real line of maturity that validates someone as an adult is when they're in their thirties. Also I've been reading (as I do) and apparently most guys will go through their stages of being fuckboys, and they eventually grow out of it when they're ready. I've been going after the wrong age category all this while! They magically turn into caring, responsible, selfless, mature, straightforward, honest adults at age thirty! How amazing this science is. Alrighty, I will date no one younger than 30. Not even 29 years and 364 days old.

SEASHELLS

I really like being in a relationship. I like being one half of a whole. I think it's silly to justify the fact that I want to be in a relationship, because good relationships are great. You have a best friend whom you can talk to about many things, most things, everything if you're really lucky. You can tell them you're having cramps and they will cuddle you and get you chocolate. You can tell them your family members, or work, or politics or anything in life is tiring you out, and they'll listen to you. You watch TV shows that you may never have watched without each other. You sleep in someone's arms, and you feel great telling someone you love them and being told they love you before you drift off to sleep. Sometimes you have sex before going to sleep, sometimes when you wake up together, and sometimes just in the middle of the night, if you're both feeling lucky. You have someone to send memes to, and dress up for, and you can cook for each other, you can cook and eat together. You remember each other's favorite snacks when you shop for groceries and it feels great both to be the person getting that snack for your loved one and to receive that snack from your loved one. It's great if you both think of each other as snacks, which is why I tend to date only men I'm physically attracted to, and on the flipside, it can't be any different because which man wouldn't think I'm a snack? :P Sometimes it hurts because you fight and have to compromise but then you remember that they were in your corner fighting for you against your own demons, so you realize it's worth losing parts of yourself when you're getting so much more in return. When you go to the movies, you have someone's shoulder to lean on, and when you're walking on the sidewalk, you have someone's hand to hold, and when you go to parties, you have each other's looks to catch to signal that you'd rather be home Netflix and Chilling together than at this party of people you barely even know.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

SWISS MISS

Today I'm having a messy hair day. I washed my hair and it's drying into a big, all-over-the-place nest. On my way to work it reminded me of another day I'd looked like this, and I was honestly looking a trashy mess. A guy approached me in the train, gave me his namecard and asked me to text him because he wanted to take me to dinner. This had and has never happened to me in Singapore, before nor since. I took a chance and went out with him. He's an investment banker with CreditSuisse, I looked him up on LinkedIn and stuff and he's legit. I couldn't tell what his ethnicity was, neither from his name nor from his looks. Dinner was alright, but I could tell I wouldn't want to see him again, but he was so insistent on us meeting a second time, it was so scary. I remember feeling really pressed to get away in a cab. Since that night, I've felt that people who have money are scary. They think money can do anything and that they can get whatever they want. This was two years ago. I'd blocked his number on my old iPhone but when I changed phones last year, the blocking didn't stick and I found him trying to call me on multiple platforms again. All this to say, the world makes no sense. I wish that technology in one of the Black Mirror episodes exists, the one where you can block people from your actual sight. Is that the White Christmas ep? I think so.

HALP

One of the things that could give me an aneurysm is seeing support for Donald Trump as president. I was on his Instagram profile and there were thousands of comments saying he's been doing a good job. It makes me sick to know that so many people are such racist bigots. Yuck. I want to say I've never spoken to a Republican in person, but then I think if my family were there, what would they subscribe to? They would be immigrants so they might not be on Trump's camp, but they also love using patriarchal bullshit to control women's bodies, so. Trump and his supporters are so nasty I really feel ill. Or maybe it's the period taking effect.

NOTHING DOING

One of the things I know I shouldn't do when I'm writing is overuse commas. I tend to do so because I type as I'm thinking, so I ramble in run-on sentences instead of using periods effectively, even when they're necessary. I notice it seems to be a reflection of the person I am in life, I just go on and on instead of pausing for breaks in between days and weeks and chapters. I will try to remedy both situations from this point on. My period app says my period is due in three days, and I'm probably going to jinx it (more like: my period is going to wreak havoc on my hormones and then my moods), but I'm feeling happy at the moment. I'm looking forward to future chapters in life, I'm feeling proud of myself for finally having learnt my own value and worth. I really think one of the toughest things I've had to do in life is learning real ways of how to love and be loved, because those lessons were absent in my foundational formative years -- a truth that can be verified because my sister Lyssa struggles with the same issues. Life is calm and fun and joyful, and I haven't had a man in it since January. That may not sound long to you, but as a serial dating addict, that's an accomplishment in my book. Small wins are still wins, and big wins are made of many small wins.

Monday, March 11, 2019

FIRST STRING

I don't think I've said this here, but the Ben I used to date in Singapore, he and I had a little something happen while I was in New York. His name is Benjamin, so to avoid confusing y'all, I will refer to them by their full names in this post. Benjamin and I met as friends, after I'd broken up with Adam. The second time I met Benjamin in New York, it was the week I'd also started to date Bennett. At that time, Bennett and I were not yet an item but I liked him a lot, but of course I used to be with Benjamin in Singapore and there were old feelings. At the end of that week, Bennett asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend, and I did, and I really liked him, but the next day, I met Benjamin 'cos he'd arranged to bring me to Alexander Hamilton's grave, and to go to museums. I went, and I told Benjamin that Bennett and I had gotten together-together, like an item. He got upset 'cos he hadn't expected it, although I had told him about Bennett while I was dating him. Benjamin then said it was unfair, that I'd gone to New York and gotten together with Adam, then even Bennett, and that I was "shoving it in his face". I told Benjamin that I thought we were friends and I treated him as a friend by telling him about the men I was dating, but he wasn't ready. I told him he was the one who dumped me when we were dating long-distance after he'd gone back to New York from Singapore. I told him that hurt me because that was when I was still unstable and hadn't gone for proper therapy, and I asked him why he broke up with me then, if he still liked me. He said he only broke up because we were not in the same place, and he didn't see us being physically together, but now that I'd made my way to New York, he realized he wouldn't ever underestimate me again. After that day when he brought me to Hamilton's grave, I told him we could only be friends through our entire lives, because I was done, and I couldn't feel the same anymore. I'm not looking for temporary dates who are only there when times are good and easy, I want someone who can see a future with me, who's in it for the long haul. I'm not even asking for help to uproot myself and implant myself in the US, all I need is someone who sees my worth and will wait and be by my side through it. It is not on me if anyone doesn't fight for me or with me, and then thinks they are entitled to me. If you allow me to do it on my own in my tough times, then why on earth would I want you to be my partner when things are easy?

A LIST

So here are the things my future husband will have to do before we get married. I'll come back and edit this post whenever anything pops up in my mind. He has to have read Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson, we are going to dance to the choreography that Allison and Luther do in the episode The Day That Wasn't from The Umbrella Academy, he has to get me a first-gen PlayStation and a copy of Spyro: Year of the Dragon for me to complete, and he has to love me like Barack loves Michelle Obama (although I'm not sure how measurable this last one is). All in all, not the most impossible of lists. I find it way more meaningful than, say, a skywritten proposal or anything like that.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

OOOOOF

I was watching S8E22 of Shark Tank and there was this guy Rick who has a business called Under The Weather. The pitch was going so cute, the sharks were laughing and having fun. Then the entrepreneur starts talking about his journey to starting the business and he tells the story of how his brother who was his partner, died in a car accident because of snow and skidding. The entrepreneur starts tearing and it's the first time I've seen all five sharks have actual tears in their eyes, and it was so sad, the poor man was so vulnerable and wow. I've seen so much Shark Tank in the past three weeks but this was a first. Owwww, bless his heart.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

PARADIGM

So I suppose I sorta, kinda used to believe in soulmates or something like it? Like I believed in a higher power so it would reassure me that oh there is someone out there who was actually really made to be my partner. And then I stopped believing, but 90% of people around me and that I'm close to believe in that whole thing so it's hard to really shift away from that mindset, right. Now I feel more anxious because if no one was made to be my soulmate, what if I end up alone or settling when I shouldn't? Speaking of beliefs, sometimes I think of the things my grandma says to me and I swear I have to hold back my laughter because it really is nonsense to me. So she doesn't like me to be completely naked, even if I'm in my room alone, putting on my makeup after a shower. She always says I should at least have a towel wrapped around me because "even if no human eyes are on me, there are unseen 'djinns' looking at me"?? Also if you have long nails or paint them, there are apparently tiny little devils/demons sitting on them. If you whistle, you're calling the devil. Basically everything has to do with this supposed devil creature. Man, I don't even get it, is it culture or scripture? I just want to study and emancipate myself and if I ever have a daughter, I'm going to let her wear whatever, hook up whenever, and introduce the best birth control to her. What century is my family living in????? Jfc bye felicia.

CONUNDRUM

One time, I was having a conversation with my sister Lyssa and she said I tend to contradict myself. I say men are trash but I also am impatient to marry or find the right one, etc. I told her, among the sea of trash, there are definitely some good men left, an absolute layer of cream as opposed to gunk and filth that dominate the sea. I also think I deserve a man like that, because at the very least, I think all women deserve a man like that, but especially because I'm a good person who does good things and I'm self-aware about my good and my bad, and I like a man who is self-aware, about his good and his bad. Upon thinking about this further, I realize perhaps this is why women may start catfights with each other, because a good man is a prized possession, a rare gem. Within that tiny selection, I now have to search even further for someone I'm compatible with. The size of my dating pool is like a kid's inflatable backyard pool. The entire gender needs to be revolutionized for the good of humankind. First up, why do men behave like fuckboys?

PRECISION

I dreamt I met Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I took a photo with him and he asked not to post it on social media immediately, so people wouldn't stalk him, and this is literally what he actually does in real life, so I thought it was real. He had his dog Tobillo with him. I also showed him my tattoo, and told him Hamilton saved my life, which it kinda did, and still is doing. Yesterday was International Women's Day, so I've been seeing quotes all over social media but the one I currently identify with is: there is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT

One of my close friends is pregnant, and it might be an anembryonic pregnancy, or a type of miscarriage where the baby does not have a heartbeat. At least, on her previous checkup, this is what the doctor said, but she's waiting for a bit longer to check whether it is definitely the case. I hope it isn't and the baby pulls through. I know my friend and her boyfriend were happy and looking forward to it, and she would be a really good mother.

She hasn't told many people, but she approached me about the pregnancy because I'm one of the few people our age who has experienced being pregnant. It reminded me of a couple of paragraphs I read in Michelle Obama's memoir, in which she says a miscarriage is lonely, painful and demoralizing. Michelle Obama was the First Lady of the United States for two terms, she was a highly successful lawyer in her own right, she is well-educated, and generally wholesome and well-rounded, and if she could feel lonely and demoralized from a miscarriage, I just hope people know that it's a much bigger mental hurdle for women than it may seem to be. I also hope that people know it's okay to talk about things that are difficult to talk about, and more than that, it is even more important to talk about things that are difficult. This is what Michelle Obama says about it:
After many years of taking careful precautions to avoid pregnancy, I was now singularly dedicated to the opposite endeavor. I treated it like a mission. We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we'd felt. Seeing women and their children walking happily along a street, I'd feel a pang of longing followed by a bruising wallop of inadequacy. The only comfort was that Barack and I were living only a block from Craig and his wife, who now had two beautiful children, Leslie and Avery. I found solace in dropping by to play and read stories with them.

If I were to start a file on things nobody tells you about until you're right in the thick of them, I might begin with miscarriages. A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralizing almost on a cellular level. When you have one, you will likely mistake it for a personal failure, which it is not. Or a tragedy, which, regardless of how utterly devastating it feels in the moment, it also is not. What nobody tells you is that miscarriage happens all the time, to more women than you'd ever guess, given the relative silence around it. I learned this only after I mentioned that I'd miscarried to a couple of friends, who responded by heaping me with love and support and also their own miscarriage stories. It didn't take away the pain, but in unburying their own struggles, they steadied me during mine, helping me see that what I'd been through was no more than a normal biological hiccup, a fertilized egg, that for what was probably a very good reason, had needed to bail out.

Friday, March 08, 2019

ROCHESTER

I emailed CUNY about my transcripts a week ago and I haven't received a response, besides the automated one when I first sent it. My transcripts that I mailed a month ago don't seem to be updated and I don't know if they got lost or just haven't been processed. CUNY is in charge/an umbrella of 25 institutions so maybe that's why there's a delay but ergh I don't want my applications to be incomplete by the time they make a decision. Breathe in, breathe out. It's okay, Sarah, remember if you cannot change an outcome, you might as well be calm instead of anxious about it. Also, CUNY's motto (translated from Latin to English) is the education of free people is the hope of humanity, also translating to why the hell was I born in Singapore, seriously? At this rate, I might as well just submit my name in for 90-Day Fiancé and marry an American for the visa. o<-<

Thursday, March 07, 2019

DED

So ever since I moved back, I've been in the same room as my third sister Aqilah (who's also the one who modified my bike). She moved into my room when I moved out but now we're sharing and the youngest sister is the only person who has her own room in this apartment (that's what happens when you have seven people living in a household). Anyway! So Aqilah and I were talking about Titanic while we were each on our respective phones, and she asked me, "Shakespeare wrote it, right?" Titanic! Written by Shakespeare! I almost died laughing out loud. She just said "I'm embarrassed, I'm going to sleep" hahahahahaha. Also today I thought when I'm more financially stable in life (and also maybe if I'm living in the US and have more freedom) I'm gonna get birth control. It had better help with the period pains. I'm not having the pains now, not yet for the month, but I just thought preemptively, birth control might improve my quality of life by 10473829%. I'm only exaggerating by a factor of, slightly.

END GAME

Taylor Swift wrote a piece titled 30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30, and because, after five years, I can no longer pretend to be a closet stan, I have picked out the ones I thought resonate strongest with me, or things that I should really, really, really try to remember.
ONE: I learned to block some of the noise. Social media can be great, but it can also inundate your brain with images of what you aren’t, how you’re failing, or who is in a cooler locale than you at any given moment. One thing I do to lessen this weird insecurity laser beam is to turn off comments. Yes, I keep comments off on my posts. That way, I’m showing my friends and fans updates on my life, but I’m training my brain to not need the validation of someone telling me that I look 🔥🔥🔥. I’m also blocking out anyone who might feel the need to tell me to “go die in a hole ho” while I’m having my coffee at nine in the morning. I think it’s healthy for your self-esteem to need less internet praise to appease it, especially when three comments down you could unwittingly see someone telling you that you look like a weasel that got hit by a truck and stitched back together by a drunk taxidermist. An actual comment I received once.

THREE: Trying and failing and trying again and failing again is normal. It may not feel normal to me because all of my trials and failures are blown out of proportion and turned into a spectator sport by tabloid takedown culture (you had to give me one moment of bitterness, come on). BUT THAT SAID, it’s good to mess up and learn from it and take risks. It’s especially good to do this in your twenties because we are searching. That’s GOOD. We’ll always be searching but never as intensely as when our brains are still developing at such a rapid pace. No, this is not an excuse to text your ex right now. That’s not what I said. Or do it, whatever, maybe you’ll learn from it. Then you’ll probably forget what you learned and do it again.... But it’s fine; do you, you’re searching.

EIGHT: I learned not to let outside opinions establish the value I place on my own life choices. For too long, the projected opinions of strangers affected how I viewed my relationships. Whether it was the general internet consensus of who would be right for me, or what they thought was “couples goals” based on a picture I posted on Instagram. That stuff isn’t real. For an approval seeker like me, it was an important lesson for me to learn to have my OWN value system of what I actually want.

SIXTEEN: Before you jump in headfirst, maybe, I don’t know... get to know someone! All that glitters isn’t gold, and first impressions actually aren’t everything. It’s impressive when someone can charm people instantly and own the room, but what I know now to be more valuable about a person is not their charming routine upon meeting them (I call it a “solid first 15”), but the layers of a person you discover in time. Are they honest, self-aware, and slyly funny at the moments you least expect it? Do they show up for you when you need them? Do they still love you after they’ve seen you broken? Or after they’ve walked in on you having a full conversation with your cats as if they’re people? These are things a first impression could never convey.

EIGHTEEN: Realizing childhood scars and working on rectifying them. For example, never being popular as a kid was always an insecurity for me. Even as an adult, I still have recurring flashbacks of sitting at lunch tables alone or hiding in a bathroom stall, or trying to make a new friend and being laughed at. In my twenties I found myself surrounded by girls who wanted to be my friend. So I shouted it from the rooftops, posted pictures, and celebrated my newfound acceptance into a sisterhood, without realizing that other people might still feel the way I did when I felt so alone. It’s important to address our long-standing issues before we turn into the living embodiment of them.

NINETEEN: Playing mind games is for the chase. In a real relationship or friendship, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t tell the other person how you feel, and what could be done to fix it. No one is a mind reader. If someone really loves you, they want you to verbalize how you feel. This is real life, not chess.

TWENTY-TWO: How to fight fair with the ones you love. Chances are you’re not trying to hurt the person you love and they aren’t trying to hurt you. If you can wind the tension of an argument down to a conversation about where the other person is coming from, there’s a greater chance you can remove the shame of losing a fight for one of you and the ego boost of the one who “won” the fight. I know a couple who, in the thick of a fight, say “Hey, same team.” Find a way to defuse the anger that can spiral out of control and make you lose sight of the good things you two have built. They don’t give out awards for winning the most fights in your relationship. They just give out divorce papers.

TWENTY-THREE: I learned that I have friends and fans in my life who don’t care if I’m #canceled. They were there in the worst times and they’re here now. The fans and their care for me, my well-being, and my music were the ones who pulled me through. The most emotional part of the Reputation Stadium Tour for me was knowing I was looking out at the faces of the people who helped me get back up. I’ll never forget the ones who stuck around.

TWENTY-FIVE: I remember people asking me, “What are you gonna write about if you ever get happy?” There’s a common misconception that artists have to be miserable in order to make good art, that art and suffering go hand in hand. I’m really grateful to have learned this isn’t true. Finding happiness and inspiration at the same time has been really cool.

TWENTY-EIGHT: I’m finding my voice in terms of politics. I took a lot of time educating myself on the political system and the branches of government that are signing off on bills that affect our day-to-day life. I saw so many issues that put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, and felt like I had to speak up to try and help make a change. Only as someone approaching 30 did I feel informed enough to speak about it to my 114 million followers. Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric. I’m going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year.

THIRTY: My mom always tells me that when I was a little kid, she never had to punish me for misbehaving because I would punish myself even worse. I’d lock myself in my room and couldn’t forgive myself, as a five-year-old. I realized that I do the same thing now when I feel I’ve made a mistake, whether it’s self-imposed exile or silencing myself and isolating. I’ve come to a realization that I need to be able to forgive myself for making the wrong choice, trusting the wrong person, or figuratively falling on my face in front of everyone. Step into the daylight and let it go.

PAY IT FORWARD

One of my friends, Bhavna, is heading to volunteer with a couple of friends at a refugee camp in Bangladesh this May. They formed Project Rohingya Sisu (PRS), a Singapore-based initiative that aims to empower Rohingya children through education and supporting their mental well-being. You can find out more about them here: projectrohingyasisu.com

You can make an impact with them on this journey by donating to the cause via http://bit.ly/PRSgiveasia or helping them spread the word to more people. On their behalf, I would like to thank you in advance, this really means a lot!

SUIT UP

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

CLOSURE

One of the mantras I really like to be reminded of is: if you don't heal what hurt you, you'll bleed over people who never cut you.

I believe this is relevant to me because each of my parents had their issues while growing up, and they still have their issues now, and it's always spilled over to me, and continues trickling down to their respective kids and families, because neither of them has gone for therapy or sought continuous psychiatric help for the situations they were in.

My mother had stage three cancer, for goodness' sake. That alone is enough to take an immense toll on any person's mental health, but my maternal grandmother (the one we live with) and I just recently concurred that my mother is not a person who talks about her problems, who shares her issues with anyone else, for fear of burdening them. The problem with this is no matter how much you try to shoulder a burden alone, sooner or later it will affect your children and loved ones, in more insidious ways. Your beliefs are skewed, the pain you want to carry by yourself hardens you and you are now hard, instead of soft towards others.

The last time I saw Joey was September 7, 2016. It has been 911 days since I saw him in person, although we did chat, on and off, for close to a year following that.

Before I met Joey in LA, the last big thing that had happened to me romantically was I fell for a guy who was engaged to be married, and I didn't know. That means when I was in LA meeting Joey, I was in fact trying to heal from having been manipulated, used and betrayed.

I liked Joey a lot. It didn't matter that he was an engineer who is basically the most techbro person I've ever dated and will ever date. We didn't speak the same language when we spoke, he would watch rocket launches and I would read a book while listening to Hamilton. I was interested in languages, he was interested in math and science.

In the aftermath of having been the third party (although I do count myself as also having been cheated on 'cos I was completely lied to), I told Joey I was afraid of being honest with my feelings, and he told me he also found it hard to face up to his feelings, or to express them. This was no surprise, he was obviously a techbro.

Nevertheless, I liked him because you cannot explain feelings. We went to Big Wok, a place for Mongolian BBQ on Manhattan Beach, and the paper placemats had horoscopes printed on them. Joey made a dig about how horoscopes were definitely "not something somebody just made up out of nowhere."

We ate sushi after he'd bought his motorbike at Thousand Oaks. He told me he never used to like sushi until he was older. Once he'd gotten his bike, he asked if I wanted to go for a ride with him, but I was at his place with only one set of clothes, so I wore his jacket and jeans, which were oversized on me, because I'm "tiny and the average techbro who gyms during his lunchtime is able to bench-press my weight."

We watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen together, and The Little Prince, and Pacific Rim. He laughed at all my choices, but he watched them anyway. While I was in LA, I had fun with him, and I guess I held those memories really close, just because I was really happy and I thought it was a good way to heal from the past.

The night we raced back to LA from Malibu in his Mazda, I desperately needed to pee (the number of times I needed to pee when I was out with him and he told me to just do it by the side tho....) but apart from the memory of myself in a dark portaloo, I also remember the immense star-filled sky that night. Say what you want about the LA population being fake, the city and coast remain one of the most romantic backdrops of the world. I put my hand around his on the clutch, and he allowed it to go on while he drove.

Joey was a techbro, but he also knew how to charm women. He had boyish good looks, he played the violin and piano, and he drove and rode mercilessly. He barely needed to try, and so he didn't.

Once I'd gotten news of my miscarriage, he dropped off the radar. I have to admit though, I did send him a message to leave me alone so that I could heal. But then I gradually texted him again, but he didn't respond to my messages unless they were suggestive and frisky in nature.

In the past year or so, I have written abrasively about him, and while I still do think there's more than a little truth to him having been a class-A fuckboy, a portion of my anger and resentment was also misdirected towards him, instead of at my mom and how she handled my situation. I hadn't had the energy or wherewithal or mostly hindsight to really face up to the underlying concepts and cultures that were brewing up storms in my life.

He was a fuse, but the lifestyle and community I'd been born in were the ticking time-bomb. As the person I am, that bomb had to and would have gone off one way or another. I think June through the third quarter of my last year was one of my most unstable periods in life, during which I was not sure if it was worth the courage and struggle to keep going on another day, and another, and yet another. So I went for therapy.

To this day, I feel a little guilt and a little shame for going on such rants about Joey. Just a little. I mean, he really did not contend with me unless it was a visceral form of communication for pleasure, and this was even after he knew he'd gotten me pregnant and I came from a conservative family, and he knew I was a fragile person with delicate mental health issues. He didn't handle it well, and sometimes, being a techbro just doesn't cut it as an excuse.

I really don't know how to find closure or whether it can even be found. But I can try. I'm trying for my own sake, because unless and until I really heal from this, I can't be content and healthy in my future relationships, and I really do want to be. I don't know if he still reads this, but somehow or other, news will travel to him anyway, so. It's been 911 days, and while he might have contributed to some of the down days, I could also have sought better help for my mental health, or I could and should have done it earlier.

Whether he reads this or not, I think what's important is, in my heart I forgive him. I forgive him wholly, and do not begrudge him. I do not need him to write me an apology or have any measurable form of remorse for me to forgive him. The point is not in his intention, it is in mine. I'm only just realizing that this could be close to true closure because if it were to be about him being apologetic, in the event that he never feels nor expresses his remorse, I would still be hanging on a thread and never be at ease. This way, I decide and am able to make my own peace by forgiving and forgetting (the anger and resentment). I hope he also lets it all be in the past and has forgotten and forgiven me. It's time for me to live and let live.

Monday, March 04, 2019

DELICATE FUCKING FLOWER

So I did some work today but I also spent half an hour doing this for my desktop. I mean... Time that you enjoy is not time wasted, right?


Today, I had a guy that I matched but never met in New York, suddenly text me, and he said he was up to video chat if I was. I no longer had the text conversation or his number so did not know who he was, at all. I said I was back in Singapore, and he said he knew, so that means he must be following me somewhere, and that would also mean he would know about Ben. I declined his invitation and told him I'd gone through the online dating with someone else (Adam) only to find out we weren't what we expected each other to be. And then in the afternoon, my first ex-boyfriend, the one whom I never felt strongly for, also asked if I was up for coffee. He's also married, and he usually works overseas but he's back for a short break. I'm not really interested 'cos I wouldn't say we're friends, we don't keep in touch and never talk, so I don't know why we would even have coffee. To be honest, the only people I would ever want to meet again are probably Joey and Bennett. Joey, because I remember listening to this podcast where a woman meets a man who had once slept with her with a grey area of consent, and this had happened way back before date rape was a thing. They met, even after each of them had moved on and started families and it became a story of reconciliation and recovery, of sorts. If that kind of thing could give me closure, I wouldn't mind meeting Joey. I'm not hell-bent on it, but I'm not against it. However, I really think every other man I used to date needs to stay the hell away, I'm running out of excuses to give as to why I'm not interested in meeting. I just don't see a point. If we're not already friends, I don't want to be friends. (Just in case you needed this disclaimer, I'm not saying Joey ever did anything without my consent, I just meant we went through a weird, negative thing that I perhaps took really long to move on from, I don't know if it's possible to get closure, I don't even know if closure is a real thing. Also, every time I thought I could get closure from my dad by trying to be on healthy terms with him, he just disappoints me, until I just decided you know, I cannot and will not waste any more energy on this. Some people are just never going to be worth the effort and forgiveness. So closure? Can it happen? Who knows?)

DUNNING-KRUGER

Thanks to Viv, I watched Behind The Curve on Netflix, it's about people who believe that the Earth is flat and that conventional science and education are all conspiracies. Tim Urban appears on it, along with psychiatrists and CalTech astrophysicists, other science writers. The flat-earthers are divided, most of them can be clearly seen to have some kind of personality disorder, a delusion of sorts, they're paranoid and whatever. They conduct their own experiments to prove there is no curvature to the world, and when the results don't corroborate their theories, they come up with other excuses as to why it doesn't work. They believe the sun and the moon are just hanging from the sky on top of a flat plane and that we are all in a dome like in the set of The Truman Show. I mean??¿¿?¿? It is very weird and my sisters were also saying "how can anyone believe the earth is flat?" And yet, and yet, if I asked my mother and grandmother what they think about evolution, and vaccines, and whether the Earth is flat, they would probably scare me with their answers. It is mentioned in the documentary that sometimes flat-Earthers can seem like ordinary people, living among us. My youngest sister who is fifteen years old doesn't even know if she believes in dinosaurs. It's like, it always seems ridiculous when someone else believes something slightly off-base, but it's so hard to believe something you've always held to be true, to be the thing that's off-base. People just cherry-pick what they want to believe and leave whatever they find undesirable.

PATRIOT ACT

The new episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is about civil rights under the Trump administration, and it basically highlights how Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross etc, work against the very communities they're supposed to protect. It really is sad to see that the only problem the show has is in choosing which cases to even expound on and explain, because the administration just seems to be doing worse and worse things all the time.

So I was talking to a friend at work yesterday, and she asked me whether I was planning to date again. I told her I was waiting to see how my school applications will go, 'cos I applied to study either psychology or women and gender studies, at four different colleges in New York, 'cos I just applied through CUNY. The results will be out starting March 18, and if I do get in, I'd be starting school in fall this year, right.

I said I didn't feel there was a point in dating now, 'cos I might (or might not, I don't know) be leaving in the third quarter of the year to study for four years in the US. She said I should just have fun, go out for dinners, just enjoy the company, and not take things too seriously, 'cos she's engaged to be married at the end of the year, and she misses just dating around. She's not even the first girl friend who has told me this in the past two weeks.

The thing is I really admire and you could even say I envy people who can do that. I always try to do things like that and it never works out. I'm not an easy-breezy casual dater, even if I do think people should date around before getting married.

Look, I remember the things people say and do, way beyond what the people probably even meant or intended to. Nick said I was the first person to have made him come after he'd gotten a divorce from his ex-wife, which I then realized was an exact line that happened in Friends. I met Nick in 2015, four years ago, when I went to LA the first time.

I remember Joey's number, which drives me insane, because those are nine digits I haven't texted for close to two years. I've changed my phone twice and gotten a new laptop since, and the number is lodged stubbornly in my brain. For goddamn what? I don't even know. I remember Adam putting on a record while he cooks his dinner.

I remember all the things about all the men I've dated, the one who had an STD, the one who doesn't believe in monogamy, the one whose parents recently got divorced once their kids had grown up, the one who got cheated on. I remember Ben telling me about Tux wanting to sniff at drinks and food in human dishes, just to know what it is, without any interest in actually consuming it.

On my timeline of my brain, you could slice a tiny portion and I would be able to pan in on it and magnify it for you. So no, I really don't think imma try to date casually anymore. Me outtie! Me outtie! I'M OUT!

Saturday, March 02, 2019

GABRIELLA

Before I left for work today, my sisters were watching High School Musical at the part where Gabriella stands up during one of the basketball games and sings, TROOOOOYYYYY, because HSM is crazy weird like that. My brain would not stop thinking about the word Troy and I could not get why Troy had captivated my interest. Walking to the train station, I recalled that the apartment Bennett stays in is on Troy Ave. This bit of information did not come easily to me. In my last week in New York, I wanted to leave him a package without letting him know but I didn't have his address 'cos the previous times he'd booked a Lyft for me or we had made the trips to and fro, together. So I couldn't Postmates the parcel to him, I didn't have his address nor could I even recall the street names. Because I never know when to give up, I tried to remember the names of the businesses I'd seen when we were walking to his place from the Subway. I also didn't have enough time to make the trip there by train before I left, so I had to Lyft there. I pinned my destination by approximation on the Lyft map, and arrived slightly after 1am, and then I saw the exact address. Technology is a very useful resource. Also, I do the weirdest shit in the name of love.

JUST KEEP SWIMMING

This morning, I swam ten laps with Han. Swimming is a thing I enjoy, it's one of the few things I feel like, I set a goal and I can commit to it. I also finished writing a piece today and sent it in. Today was a productive day, in some ways. I've been watching Shark Tank (only seasons 7 to 9 are available on Netflix SG) and I really like it. I think it's because I have never really thought of the business world, I don't think I know anybody in a first-degree contact/relationship who has a business. It's fascinating to learn all about the business/entrepreneurial world. It gives you a lot of insight onto what makes a good business, and what sets aside an investable one. There are a lot of terms that I've probably heard for the first time, I really enjoy getting into the sharks/investors' mindsets and finding myself having the same questions for the business owners. Although I've learned a lot from the show and react the same skeptical way whenever the valuations run way out of whack or knowing that the sharks are gonna say that it's still too early in the business for an investor, I still could use some explanation for what, hmm say, Series A funding means, and what a valuation cap is or how it comes about. Or like, what a convertible note means and how it works. I really like to learn new things, and the business of Shark Tank is an amazing enthralling universe I can't believe I never knew about. I think one of the other things I enjoy about it is most of the time, the ideas and products being pitched are ingenious, some of them are so new that you've gotta think about creating a whole yet-to-exist category in the market for them, so oftentimes you realize, damn, there's always gonna be a better, more delicious, faster, cleaner, cheaper, more fun way to do things. These are the brains working on biohacking and some of the minds that formulate the ideas come right out of Silicon Valley, MIT, had perfect SAT test scores. It's a perfect TV show to geek to while still almost always being entertained by the performance/demonstration parts of the pitches. I think if someone roped me in, I could be a good team player on a business. I've definitely learned enough acumen from observing the sharks to be a good enough devil's advocate, hehehe. I mean if you shadow the greats and reverse engineer all the businesses that the investors have made deals with and given advice to, I'm sure there is some form of cookie-cutter template you could stick close to for best practices.