Monday, July 22, 2019

MARGARET HAMILTON



I just woke up from an unexpected hibernation. Just got back from Good Vibes Festival in Genting Highlands in Malaysia, with my sister Lyssa, and Lucas. It's my first music festival at 29, and my body is absolutely wrecked. All I have to say is, if you are given the opportunity to and you're interested in such things, please go before 25 because man, I had no energy to keep up for two straight nights. It was fun, though. It was so great to be there with two of my favorite people in life. We came home and after the flight, the three of us had lunch with my mother, who was driving us home. Last week, Lucas also had his first dinner with my family, meaning my parents and three sisters. It was fun. He tried to let my parents know how it works to have two passports (he has an Australian and a Polish/EU one), which somehow was mindboggling to them, because the Singaporean government has done a mighty good job of using propaganda to convince our citizens of its power and ranking, despite the fact that you cannot hold more than one passport if you have a Singapore one. I am exhausted! I have to wash my boots from the weekend, and go back to sleep. Lucas and I are no longer flying to New York this summer because it turns out I may be able to start school without having to sit for any assessments, so we're going somewhere else instead. It will be my first time to this place but everybody who's been there has loved it, so I'm looking forward to it. It also is the origins of my all-time favorite food in life. Fun!!!! Life begins when the church ends!!!!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

JUST ADD WATER

I spent some time with one of the people from work I'm closer to, Kyrene, and we talked about what we both thought of love. She said she doesn't really think romantic love exists, more of a convenient justification for people to marry one person and procreate/copulate. I am inclined to agree, I'm not sure I can see myself committing to one single person for a lifetime, and then we both read an article in which science says love doesn't exist. I told Lucas about the conversation I'd had with Kyrene. He knows, as it stands, that I don't even really know what love means, or I have a warped idea of it. The fact is I saw my parents in a turbulent relationship. While fighting, one parent would ask me to throw away something the other had bought for them as a gift, the other would tell me not to. Whichever side I picked, I would still be wrong and one would still end up angry at me. The next thing I knew, they would tell me they loved each other and loved me. So now I have to keep unlearning what I've been taught love was. I have to tell myself that drama does not mean love. I have to re-parent and teach myself that I do not have to love a distant/avoidant partner, one that I have to work and plead to receive attention from. Lucas knows all this, and we speak about all this, and he read yesterday's post and we talked about it and how it affected him. He said, of my conversation with Kyrene, that he's known for a long time that what we know as romantic love are just chemical reactions in the brain, mostly to perpetuate the human race and all that jazz. He said, still, that he knows he loves me, because he and I want the same things, that we believe and work for the same things, that he's always wanted a partner he could talk to like a friend. We sang karaoke, just Lucas and I. We are both not the greatest singers. In fact, that's being very nice to our egos. Neither of us sings well, but enclosed in a tiny space, we listened to each other's warbling voices. When I am at his place, we play Taboo and we have our own inside jokes, like all couples do. I don't claim to know what love is, most of the time I don't know what it is, but whatever I feel for Lucas, it is strong enough to keep me safe and protected for a long, long time, I hope.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Hello, how are you? Did you get that promotion you were working so hard for? I hope you've met someone new. Sometimes when I'm in a car I wind down the window and it feels like that summer. Hello, how are you? You finally started that band you've always wanted to, and it looks way cool. I'm so proud of you, and I hope you receive that token from your parents. Hello, how are you? I wonder if you know every time someone talks about horoscopes I think about you and how much you knew about them, you said you had to know something well, before you could hate it and rebutt it. Hello, how are you? I will always have fond memories and a special place in my heart for you, telling me about the @midtownuniform account and when we laughed together at such Chads in Manhattan. Hello, how are you? I have loved and missed you all and sometimes I wonder if your ghosts will all stay with me even as I collect more memories with the love of my life.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

PANDORA'S BOX

I just finished reading Inheritance by Balli Kaur Jaswal. I don't know why Lucas recommended it to me so strongly and he even got me my copy of it. He kept saying I would be able to see how much the writer seemingly hates Singapore, which is apparent through the different characters' rants about it. As I read it, I completely related with many of the viewpoints of the "East" versus "West" that has always seemed to plague us. I also wonder if Lucas actually subconsciously meant for me to pick up on the mental health issues in the book.

When I first read the chapters introducing the protagonists, I started to feel confused and dizzy. It felt very intense, but in a way I'd never really felt, regardless of the book I was reading. So one of the characters has bipolar disorder, and she doesn't get diagnosed with it until she's close to thirty, and her family being a traditional Punjabi family pre-millennium, have never heard of bipolar disorder either, and they don't deal with it very well at all.

As I read Inheritance, I kept feeling discomfort. I must say it was written very well because I wanted to keep reading it, but it struck my raw nerves. I imagine that it must be like when I read a novel about someone struggling with sexuality issues and I enjoy reading about how eloquently it's written and communicated, but could and would never feel the pain that an LGBT reader would feel reading it.

I kept crying at the end of Inheritance, especially because she writes that in this case in particular, it was genetically inherited, and the father who didn't raise any of his children all that well, also has bipolar disorder, or at least a serious enough mental illness.

My sister has depression, and my father, I think he has bipolar disorder, or at least he has also been diagnosed by the institute of mental health in Singapore. Every time I think of all the things I abhor that he's done, I wonder if any of that could have been contributed by his mental illness.

I also know I have a tendency towards mental instability. I remember things I wrote, about Joey, or Bennett, or whomever the subject was. Some things I cringe about, and some things I feel outrightly embarrassed by. I remember one instance in which I blacked out, I don't remember what happened in a block of 24 hours, and I have a female anatomy, so anything could have happened to me in that time period.

It worries me, and it saddens me. Most days I function as normally as any person would, but it takes a lot of energy. Any day that passes without event is a day I subconsciously give thanks for, that I got through without constant monitoring, or medication.

There are things about me that are always at odds with myself. Sometimes I think, people are right, I shouldn't write about everything. It will live online forever, and I will only embarrass myself by it. On other days, I tell myself, the people in Singapore are used to a cookie-cutter, squeaky-clean impression of life. There are not many people who may find support or even relateable anecdotes of someone with shaky mental health. I want to tell you that I exist.

I smile and laugh a lot, but a lot of the time, that is not how I feel. On many days, for many hours, I think the human population is too stupid and it will be left behind. I think humanity has no hope to deal with climate change because everyone has their heads in the sand, like ostriches. I think in this day and age, if you're not depressed, there must be something wrong with you. I think things like this, and it worries me, because I know part of me isolating myself and putting myself on a different level, is definitely my mental stability.

My biggest fear is that I'm legitimately crazy and that I'm too much to handle. I'm scared Lucas will stop loving me because I will say something in a moment of psychosis or paranoia. I'm scared I will never be able to make something of my life, because I'm cuckoo. I really want to be able to do something in spite of this.

Monday, July 08, 2019

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD

It is the third day of my period and this is already my third period I've had since being in a relationship with Lucas. My cramps are still constant, but Lucas has been taking care of me with a rubber waterbottle filled with hot water, and now I have some sanitary products at his place. There is already more color in his room since we got together, there's something pink of mine hanging on his clothes rack, there is the purple Taboo game we were playing. We are still getting to know each other, and hopefully I speak for both of us when I say we both love what we discover each day. I really hope everybody who wants this, finds this. I say everybody who wants this because I know it would be silly to assume this is what everyone's happiness is, some people are happy by themselves, or happiness to them is finding love or company in different people, and that's cool for them. We've booked our airbnb for the upcoming trip to New York, it's actually a train ride across in Jersey, but if I do get in school, we will be living in one of the boroughs, so there is no hurry. I'm very nervous just even thinking about going to school, I would be one of the first two people in my extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins to be studying overseas. The first one went to Australia, and I will be more than twice the distance and time away.

Monday, July 01, 2019

JOLLIBEE

On days I need a little bit of a perk-me-up, I talk to Tina, or Irene, who are both at least half-Asian, and have faced their share of racial intersectional issues, and who both now reside in the US. I think generally people, whether from work, or the ones I've met through my travel, or my family members or whatever, they just let me ramble on about my thoughts, and I'm like the train that never runs out of steam. I do, actually, really depend on people propping me up every now and then, because I'm a human bean, and I never know if the course I'm setting sail on is ever the right one, if there even is such a thing as a right one. It takes so much time and energy to keep resetting myself, as if I have a map and compass, to decide whether there are parts of myself and my past that I want to reconcile with my future, or to simply leave it all behind.

These are the things that have helped me through the past week.
Irene: I think it's so important to understand what's wrong with society in the country where we live and the difficulties in our own race in order to breakthrough and unlearn the toxic behaviors. It doesn't mean we don't love our background or our ethnicity, but it's also the best parts of ourselves that get hidden because people prescribe to tradition and convention and don't feel ready to confront reality.

What's good is that many Singaporeans younger than us, especially women, are more and more open and aware of these goings-on and feel bold to take it into their own hands to explore who they are and be against the Asian patriarchy. But it's also gonna take time for things to catch up there.

And yes, while over here the dialogue is more ahead than a lot of places in the world, there are still so many difficult issues going around here, which I'm sure you are aware of! But it definitely is somewhat better living somewhere urban and has much more open leanings that are people-centric and with a social justice understanding, ie. where you've already been like NYC. (But of course a lot of hidden political affiliations that some ppl don't wish to display)

It's a very Asian thing where if you are outspoken that they expect you to just keep your opinions to yourself and fall in line to maintain harmony. Difficult, man. Sometimes we gotta voice out things because it's the right thing to do. 

Tina: I'm so sorry about your second friend. It's painful, but growing up and growing out of friendships is an unfortunate side effect to growing up in general. Different people for different stages.

Feminism is also SO relative and it's unfortunate when people fail to neglect that relativity. I've read your posts and you're very clear on the fact that you know your stance isn't like the majority of people around you. Like yessssss you're aware that your views are more US-centric (which is why you wanna move lmfao duh).

Feminism, racism, intersectionality means different things for different people especially when you put into context that everyone lives a different life with different needs.... but it's so upsetting and heartbreaking when friends warp your views against their own and make you out to be the bad guy when you're trying to communicate that relativity with critical reasoning and respect.

I'm sorry about your friend, but I'm so happy you've found solace and more in your partner. You're a radical romantic and you deserve this!

Lucas: For me the biggest culture shock is Singapore itself. Having lived and been in other Western countries (excluding Eastern Europe in my definition of Western) the US, while liberal in many places --- especially NY, is probably the least liberal of western countries but compared to Singapore it's still decades ahead. So I can't imagine how it would be coming from SG to somewhere where you can do so many things I take for granted.
I'm in the midst of scheduling my CUNY admissions tests in August, and it will be nice to be able to wear just one layer or so in New York! Also, I will have to start studying soon.