Thursday, December 31, 2020


I don’t usually care that much for fireworks, they’re not great for the environment and the resources could go toward serving more underprivileged communities. However, Singapore has a lot of money that the amount we spent on the fireworks wouldn’t affect the reserves we could spend on community work, they just choose not to do so, fireworks or not. Also, the entire estate was rowdy and sounding their car horns in cheer or generally catcalling and clapping enthusiastically to send off the bastard year that was 2020, it was impossible not to have been infected. I had a pretty good view of the firework display too, so all in all, a nett positive experience. The store I work at is closed for the month of January, for renovations to be done, so I’m taking a break while transitioning into school. My classes start in exactly a week. In my first sem, I’m taking PHIL 158 Eastern Philosophy, POLI 100 Identities and Communities: An Introduction To Politics, and SWAG 211 Introduction to Indigenous Gender. It’s not the heaviest load because I don’t know how school now is like, and I can’t take heavy loads (or I do, but in other aspects — lol have you realized I’m incorrigible?).

I met my cousin Diyana for coffee last week, and she told me about a course called Facilitating Powerful Conversations. She’s gone for it and she says it’s really made an impact in her life since she attended it last year and made tweaks to her habits. It sounds like a self-improvement book you could read, but I suppose going for such a course and having yourself assessed or exposing your habits to the facilitator and other course attendees could make it stick in your memory for much longer, making it much more effective in application. She says the ministers in Singapore are sent for the course so they can help foster the meaningful discussions that should be held among themselves and the general public. Diy also has a long-term vision that got me really moved and excited, she and her husband have a sort of goal of setting up some kind of framework to nudge Singaporeans into getting more in tune with perhaps their emotions and more sensitive sides. The system in Singapore, like many of the big cities of the world, tends to rely heavily on monetary values and reflections so much so that the greater public are rather emotionally stunted at coping with maybe workplace boundaries, familial relations and so on and so forth. I’m not sure of the exact outcome of their idea, but I have faith.

When I discuss the removal of capitalism from our society, the common question asked is: but what would we use to represent value? It’s because capitalism has been around for so long that it’s a tremendous effort to imagine a world without. One day, hundreds of years ago, they lived before a capitalist world was invented, and someone had to dream up capitalism. It was also a frontier to them, it was something unreal and imagined. That means, it is possible and we can remove it and replace it with something that prioritizes community and care. When capitalism was just being imagined, that was perhaps what the world needed, constant and exponential progress and innovation for societal advancement. They lived in a scarcity mindset. In our current society, there is no scarcity (not yet) and we can and should switch our mindset, before climate change reverses things and we’re back to permanent scarcity. There are enough houses in the world to home all homeless people. There is enough money in the world to support every single person. There are enough resources to give everyone food, water and shelter, and the fact that people are still living in poverty is only highlighting that the system we subscribe to is highly morally corrupt.

The store told us to bring home anything we wanted before we closed and it was torn down. One of the things I took was the store’s Rubik’s Cube. I’ve never solved one before, as far as I can recall I can solve up to two or three sides, I think. I want to know if anyone figures out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube by themselves, or everyone simply watches a Youtube tutorial on how to do it. I suppose I will learn from Youtube, I’m not a genius by any measure and I don’t have the time to waste on learning how to solve a Cube. I’m currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I think my therapist would have liked that I’m reading it. I don’t go to therapy any more, I don’t have the money to go regularly but I did go very regularly for about six months last year, and I think it already made so much difference.

At the start of 2019, I wrote down some affirmation sentences for myself and I filled up a page with each affirmation. They are things like “I am present and patient”, “I will do what is right, even if it is not easy”, “I am brave, honest, kind and compassionate” et cetera. I didn’t have the easiest childhood (nor do I claim to have had the toughest, though) and a lot of my adulthood so far has been about unlearning my childhood and reprogramming myself. That’s the reason I write those affirmations and repeat writing them until the entire page is filled. At a cellular level, I keep having to remind myself and override all previous knowledge and commands, so that they grow used to believing kinder things about me. I’ve written three last week but I want to write five more by the end of this week. I don’t think everyone has to do it, but if you’ve struggled with setting intentions or sticking to your boundaries or anything else like I have, you might want to start 2021 doing something similar.

Next week, I will be starting school online in Vancouver timezones, which is 15 to 16 hours behind Singapore. I’ve never had a regular sleep schedule but this might be pushing it. I hope it doesn’t bring on the depression if I don’t sleep at night and I don’t get my regular amount of sunlight. Please ask me out to sweat, or to the beach, or anywhere in nature, so I can regulate my life even while taking classes literally overnight.

The new year is here. I wish you independence, love, joy and fulfilment, health, and wealth in the most unexpected ways. Excelsior.

Sunday, December 27, 2020


(Jaysen looks as drunk as I feel. I want to give everyone a hug and tell them how much I love them.) 

I’ve had the longest of weeks. After work tonight, I headed to Jaysen’s for a potluck dinner with Rebecca, Nate, Lixuan, Putri and Sarah Yap. They kept making dirty jokes and watching my face to see how I’d react, I now have a reputation for being the most dirty-minded person in the team, as has usually been my role in any social circle I’ve been part of. I love them. We drank wine and gin and played board games like Codenames and Joking Hazard from Cyanide and Happiness. I love board games. The episode that we’d filmed for Into The Vault also got released on Channel News Asia. I haven’t seen it but I may watch it tomorrow. I tried to build my timetable for my first semester, so I’ll be doing my first semester from Singapore in January and the administration work is a bitch and I don’t like the idea of having to schedule my mods after ten years out of school. I have to do it, obviously, so I will do it. While at Jaysen’s, I tried, I really tried not to flirt with him very much, and I think I succeeded. Sigh. I have more self-control than I thought I did. There are so many things going through my life and mind and all I can think about is Jaysen??? What is going on? How did I get here? Am I in denial about something else??? I dunno. In any case, I’ve really had a good week with my lululemon team. I love everyone so much, everyone I’ve had dinner with, everyone who’s bought food for us, made lunch, everyone who’s left and written the most amazing cards. I really want to write the most personal notes to everyone. I think I’m woozy from the drinks and I need to sleep. I’m one of those drunks that go around telling everyone how much I love them. Yes obviously I am. Is that right grammar? I don’t know. I love Takashimaya and I’m going to cry tears of gratitude and I hope I don’t have a hangover tomorrow. I will be working, what even???!! I feel like I'm going to keep embarrassing myself but I'm a student again and I'm surrounded by the greatest, loveliest people and I'm perfectly okay having a full heart and thick skin.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


I have people in my life who say the nicest things about me. They say I’m a diamond, that I’m going on to shine in life, that I will change the world, that I make a difference. Tonight I had an early Christmas dinner with a few of my team mates from lululemon. If you’re agile enough, you will see my stories on Instagram, documenting this life-changing occasion. After dinner, they gave me a box wrapped pretty badly and asked me to guess what it is. I thought it could have been a compact jacket at first, then it became smaller, so I thought a book. I tore and tore more layers until I eventually got to the envelope and found a wad of fifty dollar notes. It amounted to $1130, which is strange as fuck because 11 and 13 are two of my favorite numbers and I’m pretty damn sure they don’t know it???? (Inb4 anyone asks: 11 is my birthdate and 13 is Taylor Swift’s HAHAHAHAHA.) I cried. Almost the entire team had contributed to this fund, and I had had no clue. The amount may not be that much to each person, perhaps a nice dinner out that you’d forget in a bit, but it meant the world to me. In a world that expects you to hustle, what means the most is knowing that people care that much to help you, and want to see you succeed. I don’t believe in God, but I believe in the kindness of people, and in love. For all the sleepless nights spent studying and cramming and writing, I will find resolve, thinking of tonight. When people see something good in me and say it, what really happens is you’re seeing all the good and nice things that have happened to me, from other people, that have made me the person I am, and the courage to safely be myself. Thank you. No amount of words can express my gratitude, so this will be repaid in my actions of making y’all proud of me, when I study. I love Team Takashimaya 48121. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


don’t believe the things 
you tell yourself so late at night 
you are your own worst enemy, 
you'll never win the fight 
just hold onto me, I'll hold onto you

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. I’ve cried several times about Lucas. I think what bothers me is I don’t always feel secure enough about myself to decide whether someone is right for me. Lucas has been my first real serious long-term relationship as an adult, and I wanted to hold on to that safety and security. My grandma asked why I wasn’t speaking to him, she dotes on him and she says she’s sad because he’s alone without family in Singapore, and I cried so hard again. She doesn’t understand that it’s not always up to me whether I’m on talking terms with someone, and I understand that people need time to heal. I have cried even over Joey. Since 2016, we have found time to reach out to each other, even if for the tiniest periods. I think this year we each finally realized how so very unhealthy it is. Not staying in each other’s lives might have been a loss for the better, but it is a loss I can still grieve. It is alright and even usual to feel two very different feelings, like grief and relief, about the same event. I like him and had the best summer of my life with him, and nothing can change that. Sometimes, a lot of the time, I weave great narratives in my head. I am not one to spectate in life. Even if it hurts me, even if it breaks my heart and I fail and I cry until the pain feels physically impossible to bear, I remind myself that it’s all part of life, that it’s a miracle I am alive at this point and privileged enough to feel the great burden of heartbreak. I even reached out to Jaysen to talk about my schoolgirl crush. It was awkward when I saw him at work yesterday, but Jaysen is Jaysen and I am me, and eventually we began flirting a little again. I love him and I like him and we enjoy flirting with each other because we find each other attractive, and that’s okay. I really like people who, like myself, shoot their shots, because you never know otherwise. You cannot weave great narratives about people in lieu of interacting with them. We may have met in far flung places in the world, but unless we have conversations, you will never know the dimensions I have in my person and vice versa. I am a terrible person, I’m the worst, and I can also be much, much greater than your narrative can contain. I can make you laugh harder because I’m a tease, and I know it. Do you? 

Sunday, December 20, 2020


Every time I’m done writing a post, I think my thoughts have been poured into the world and I can rest for a bit, a few days or so. In a few hours, I begin to have new thoughts and feelings, oftentimes far removed from the last thoughts I’d written about. I wonder how Taylor Swift remembers all her songs, she has got nine albums with at least ten songs each on average, meaning she has a total of at least a hundred tracks, and I’m sure some of the melodies and lyrics overlap. I would be so confused, but then again I’m not musically inclined so what would I know. Taylor Swift is a genius if you asked me. No one has asked me but the good thing is I have complete autonomy over this space and I do say Taylor Swift is a genius.

Every time I leave a person behind, I leave a part of myself buried somewhere. I want to dress up as Zuko and Katara for next Halloween, I’m a little (hahahahah a little) neurotic so I make plans like this a year in advance. In contrast, yes my visa/passport applications are delayed because /I/ took a long time to get started and I will be leaving for my studies perhaps in March for the next semester. I have no complaints tbh, it will not be as cold if I arrive at that time so the sun-loving person in me is way okay with that. Anyway, as I was saying, I want to go as Zukara for Halloween. I would have told Lucas about this, because we watched a good part of The Last Airbender together (the animation of course). However, Lucas and I are not on talking terms at the moment and also, it would be weird to tell him: hey, when I’m in Canada, I’m gonna find a guy to be my Zuko. Weird weird. 

I have lost many parts of myself this way. I used to have a best friend who was the mathematical/engineering brain among the two of us, but now I do not know anything about her life. I used to have a best friend whose family would sing Hamilton when I came over. I no longer know about her either. I don’t begrudge anyone for this, anyway. Sometimes I think Joey would like me as a friend, and he wanted me as a friend, and I think I’m a great friend to have when all is said and done. I think he needs more female friends who know about mental health and feelings. I don’t think I could be friends with him though, we start by talking about SpaceX and I sometimes want to ask him about his car, but it takes me too much energy to navigate how to be friends with him. I want to reserve my space and energy and I suppose other people would want to do the same for themselves. 

Sometimes, if I could build a partner, I would want so many different parts of so many different people. I want someone who knows the human body the way a personal trainer like Jaysen might. I admire the way he encourages and advises the lululemon team when we are bouldering. I would like a person like Lucas who is very in tune with social justice and trying to level the playing field for everyone from all different backgrounds, and who is politically far-left. I enjoy the way Adam is in the know about music and pop culture, and how he occasionally just goes right back to teasing me about Taylor Swift. He also plays the piano, drums and bass guitar so yes, I do like my men to be musical geniuses. Sometimes when I break up, I forget who to talk to about all the things I used to talk to them about.

In the past two years, I have lost many people or drifted apart from them because they have said not-politically-correct things and I didn’t give them a chance. Moving forward, what I really want is not to be so black and white about it. I would like to have proper conversations about all the things I disagree with, and build proper boundaries, instead of just cutting shit out. This is going to be a much harder lesson in practice so I will need help to hold myself accountable for it. 


The year is going to end soon. This past week has been a multitude of events and I need to sit and process all my feelings, from the past year, from my entire past life. I’m still sad about breaking up with Lucas. There are many tangents I think about when it comes to him. I worry I may have made the wrong choice, that he is as good as it gets and I was just too broken to recognize what true love is. I wonder what true love is and whether I had it with Lucas, I read articles about love and many of them basically emphasize that love is hard work. Perhaps I had it and I didn’t know how to work for it. I am confused by the world, so many people get married when so many people also don’t end up having happy marriages. Lucas and I both did not find the idea of marriage appealing, he thought it was archaic and I suppose so did I. Every day I grow to believe you can and probably do have multiple partners that fulfil very different needs and if you can’t marry all of them, you shouldn’t marry any of them. Yet, at the bottom of my idealist romantic heart, of course I want to get married. I am but a woman who has been conditioned by the world I grew up in. This year, I also finally healed a wound that was open for either 30 years if I take it to be about my father, or 4 years, if we take it to be about Joey. The way I thought I loved my dad was the way I thought I loved Joey. I didn’t love either of them. Thinking I loved them is just vilifying the word love, because I had a toxic relationship with each of them, craving their validation, and I don’t think it can or should be described as love. I actually had a text conversation with Jaysen a few minutes ago. Of course we are just coworkers who enjoy flirting with each other and who feel comfortable enough to speak about matters that we don’t necessarily talk about to anyone else on a daily basis: philosophies and theories are things that are more academic than they are accessible, but we acknowledge a fondness for and attraction to each other based on discourse. It’s funny how I only discovered this in my last week at lululemon, did I inherently know that if I had spoken deeply with Jaysen any sooner, I would have developed an attraction to him? In any case, he said I’ve come a long way from when I started with the company. I used to be awkward af on the floor, I would back up into an invisible shell and be practically useless, and so he said I’ve grown. My team leaders have also said the same thing at times, of course, but so has Lucas. After our breakup, Lucas said he had seen me grow from the time we first dated to the time I ended the relationship. That’s really all I hope for in life, perhaps if not always happiness, then growth as a person. I don’t have a tether in life right now, when I move I will not be tethered to my family’s values and religion, I will not have a romantic partner to lean on and buoy myself to safety, I will have nothing but myself, and this scares me. I’m sad about it, but I also know I have never left a certain comfort zone I’ve built for myself, and I want to grow out of this shell I’ve occupied for the last 30 years. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020


honey, when I'm above the trees 
I see this for what it is 
but now I'm right down in it 
all the years I've given 
is just shit we're dividing up 
showed you all of my hiding spots 
I was dancing when the music stopped 
and in the disbelief I can't face reinvention 
I haven't met the new me yet 

there'll be happiness after you 
but there was happiness because of you 
both of these things can be true 
there is happiness 

past the blood and bruise 
past the curses and cries 
beyond the terror in the nightfall 
haunted by the look in my eyes 
that would've loved you for a lifetime 
leave it all behind 
and there is happiness 

tell me, when did your winning smile 
begin to look like a smirk? 
when did all our lessons start to look 
like weapons pointed at my deepest hurt? 
I hope she'll be a beautiful fool 
who takes my spot next to you 
no, I didn't mean that 
sorry, I can't see facts through all of my fury 
you haven't met the new me yet 

there'll be happiness after me 
but there was happiness because of me
both of these things I believe
there is happiness 

in our history 
across our great divide 
there is a glorious sunrise 
dappled with the flickers of light 
from the dress I wore at midnight 
leave it all behind 
and there is happiness 

I can't make it go away by making you a villain 
I guess it's the price I pay for seven years in heaven 
and I pulled your body into mine every goddamn night 
now I get fake niceties 
no one teaches you what to do 
when a good man hurts you 
and you know you hurt him too 

honey, when I'm above the trees 
I see it for what it is 
but now my eyes leak acid rain 
on the pillow where you used to lay your head 
after giving you the best I had 
tell me what to give after that 
all you want from me now 
is the green light of forgiveness 
you haven't met the new me yet 
and I think she'll give you that 

there'll be happiness after you 
but there was happiness because of you too 
both of these things can be true 
there is happiness 

in our history 
across our great divide 
there is a glorious sunrise 
dappled with the flickers of light 
from the dress I wore at midnight 
leave it all behind 
oh, leave it all behind 
leave it all behind 
and there is happiness

A week ago, I received mail from my team that I was doing volunteer work with. It was a keepsake for me to bring to Canada. They'd made a plaque of sorts, it looks like a screenshot of a track playing on Spotify, with the photo of me dressed up as Taylor Swift for Halloween and the song they'd chosen was Clean, because at the time they'd asked me for my favorite song, it was my favorite song. evermore had not yet been dropped, but now it has, and I think happiness is now my all-time favorite, and it's a masterpiece. If you do one thing for me this year, please press play on the video above, and listen to it once.

I think Taylor Swift has grown so much since writing 1989, the album that Clean is from. Happiness, despite its title, is about the end of a relationship, and it's written so real, in both its sadness and joy. It is about how two people can have given each other happiness, and how these two same people can also find happiness after each other, elsewhere, in other people, in other places. A couple hours ago, I received a text, it was from Joey, he said "you're a good person, and you will make someone very happy." If you have not been in my life long enough, Joey is the person who got pregnant with me. I used to say he got me pregnant, but he and I both were caught up in the consequences together, and neither of us made the decision to get pregnant. It just happened to us, because we were young and foolish. 

I used to think, or perhaps I still do think, Joey is the person who acts as proxy for my father. My father left the family when I was about six, and despite his multiple infidelities, despite the fact that he was rarely financially responsible for myself or my sister, I think I insidiously tried to win his approval many, many times over many, many years. I would be the one who would clean up his marital messes with my mother, I would still take care of his mother, because I still cared. This year, I didn't, and I don't. In 2020, whenever my father texted or asked to meet up, I would give him the bare minimum of my attention, or I would plain ignore it. I hadn't found the ability nor motivation to do the same with Joey. Tonight, though, just because he said I'm a good person and that I will make someone very happy, I realized that was all I wanted or needed. I wanted his approval. I want the acknowledgement of someone who's refused to acknowledge me as a person. I think that's the bare minimum I could receive, and I'm fine with that. He was a proxy for my father, and neither of them really deserves my energy. The ironic thing is by sending me that message, he was telling me not to spend any more energy on him, and in that tiny gesture, he was much, much bigger than my father has ever been, and it broke the proxy. Joey is not my father, and I don't need his approval. I needed him to resurface my childlike tendencies, and to avoid such situations, ever again. I am also really, very proud of Joey for sending me that. I think he's always been a massive bro-type person, and for him to do something with an ounce of maturity, I can tell there has been a lot of growth in his character.

Today, Jaysen was being his usual self, annoying the hell out of me in the backroom, so I asked, "why are you so annoying?" He said "'cos I love you" and I saw it as my one chance. I don't know how it works among you and your opposite-sex coworkers, but I don't say "I love you" to the men I work with. I can be affectionate with the girls, sure, I love them and I can say I love them, but I'd never said so to Jaysen. I said I love you too. I didn't know what it meant, I didn't know if it was platonic, but I said it. I don't know about Jaysen's life, he works multiple jobs too, so I don't know if he's dating or if he likes someone from one of the gyms he teaches at. I don't know much about him. I just knew that was my one chance to say I love you, so I said it. Does it mean I will remember that his favorite scent is geranium, and his rice purity score is 22? Probably. There is so much in my head at any one time, I'm thinking of the song happiness, I think about how Lucas made me happy, and how I want someone else to make him happy because he deserves it, I think about how I was happy with Joey, with Ben, and Adam, with so many people, who are now happy with other people, and I'm happy for them. It's weird saying it now, but when I'm at work, the person I want to see out of the corner of my eyes is Jaysen. If I can be near him, I will make my way to be near him, just within the confines of our job requirements. Will it mean something in the greater scheme of life? Probably not. But do I want to feel as safe and comfortable in my day to day life whilst I am tired out from interacting with strangers I really don't care one bit about? Yes I do, he brings me small happinesses, the way my other coworkers also do. At the end of the day, it makes me feel safe. It makes me think of the one time I was trying to push him out of the way while we were on the store floor, and he didn't budge a tiny bit, because the man is pretty built, so I told him I didn't realize he was so solid, but he is. He's like a well-rooted tree, physically and mentally and I think that's a good thing to look for in a partner, so maybe that's what's coming next, somewhere in my future.


What are you attracted to? In a touch-starved world, it is very hard to ascertain. Are you attracted to a man’s arms? Do you observe his confidence and charm when he is climbing a rock wall? When you work hours upon hours in the same environment, do you look forward to a man scatting and saying random nonsense to make you laugh? When you go around to give other female coworkers hugs, do you also want to give him one? Why do I not? Men need the human touch as much as women do. On a separate note, please hug your platonic opposite-sex friends because they really need it. Does it make you wonder, why did I hold my hand out and why did he hold it? Why do I want to spend more time with him beyond our waged hours? When you end work and have dinner, and he asks “who do you think is doing the most important work in the world?” and you banter: about Bill Gates, SpaceX and Mars, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, do you think he knows you are feeling massively attracted to him? Does everyone else feel my attraction to him? Is it palpable in the air or is it just me feeling it??? I just broke up two weeks and some change ago, and I swear I didn’t have these feelings before then. It was like he wasn’t there, and now he is. He’s a man, and you realize you like his voice, and you enjoy flirting with him, it’s a schoolgirl crush that works, because you both like words and this entertains you and stimulates you. I could and would talk to him for hours, but of course, I’m leaving for Canada and this, this attraction and infatuation is a silly, silly, silly thing. Also, how does he know you idolize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? I have never spoken to him about it. Was he breaking the fourth wall? Or am I?

Sunday, December 13, 2020


the more that you say, the less I know 
wherever you stray, I follow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
wreck my plans, that’s my man

you know that my train could take you home 
anywhere else is hollow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
wreck my plans, that’s my man

life was a willow and it bent
right to your wind 
head on the pillow, I could feel you
sneaking in

The music video of willow is thematically a continuation of the cardigan video, which is really, really strategic for her to play to her fans. Taylor Swift is great at leaving Easter eggs for Swifties. There’s also an invisible string in the willow video, a callback to the track invisible string on folklore. There is a Handmaid’s Tale-esque scene in the willow video, where the witches are wearing full facial masks (like that worn by Phantom of the Opera) which I think she did so that they could film it while being compliant with social distancing protocol. It is so, so smart and for years and years, when I think back to 2020, all I will recall is that she released folklore and evermore in a single damn year, because lockdown has switched on all of Taylor Swift’s creativity. 

I’m so tired of this year already, and if you’re not exhausted by the massive, unending unpredictability and sickness that this year has been, you must be a sociopath. It makes me think of the chapter(s) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when the magical folk had all become aware of Voldemort’s return, and so everyone was panicking. This resulted in mass weddings, including Bill and Fleur’s. I mean, when life has all but imploded, is it time to throw caution to the wind and get married? Could be. I think marriage is a strange procedure anyway, so truth be told this is as good and as bad a time as any other. 

The man in willow is a Korean-American dancer named Taeok Lee who has longish hair in the video, he’s so cute and fits the theme so well and I’ve always liked men with longer hair. It always reminds me of this time when I was maybe five years old, and is one of my favorite and perhaps first childhood memories. My mom and aunts had brought my cousins and I to the zoo, and my closest cousin Hazwani and I were wearing matching overalls. We saw a couple walking in front of us and my aunt asked which animals the couple were like, and being five, I had no clue what she meant. She said they were like lions, because the super cool girl had her hair shaved/cropped very close to her head, and the guy had long hair. I thought that was super impressive when I was five years old, and we were at the zoo and had just seen the lion with his mane, and the maneless lioness. I wonder if anyone else in my family remembers this memory, and I wonder if this is what they call an invisible string.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020


I see how this is gon' go 
touch me and you'll never be alone 
island breeze and lights down low 
no one has to know 

in the middle of the night, in my dreams 
you should see the things we do, baby 
in the middle of the night, in my dreams 
I know I'm gonna be with you 
so I take my time 

baby, let the games begin 
let the games begin 
let the games begin 
are you ready for it? 

I’ve had a couple of really good days. On Sunday I held two separate sessions of steamboat for lunch and dinner. Lunch was for my SYNC team, the people I did volunteer work with, and dinner was with Nina, Chloe, Tif and Kylee. No one from the latter group had met one another before, they were all from different workplaces and social groups. Both groups came over and ate with me, shared stories, played Taboo and other card games, and we laughed so much. It was supposed to be a day of farewell for me, so it was really amazing to feel so much love from them, and warm wishes and hopes for me. My heart was bursting at its seams, and I look forward to seeing them in Canada one day. Today Tami, my friend from Lush, came to lululemon just to pass me food for lunch, and I really appreciate it too. 

Yesterday I started my day with some rest and release, so I went about the rest of my day at ease. Do you know what I’m talking about? Yes, of course you do, you all know me pretty well. I think I’m looking forward to Christmas this year, it’s a little daunting but also something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while. 

Tina offered to fly me to NYC during my school break. I don't know if it'll actually happen yet, there are so many things on my mind that a break to NYC is not at the forefront of it. I have a very strange relationship with money, I think it's because I didn't grow up having it (and I still don't have it) so I feel very strange accepting things like this. Tina is also not rich-rich, and whenever she does something like this for me, I think of the cost of it, and in my head there is a tally of how much I one day want to spend on her, when I finally run into some money (when?!?!?!). 

I am very grateful to all the generous people that have been in my life, I wish capitalism weren't a thing. I also don't understand why people who don't earn that much can find it in their hearts to spend on others, and billionaires cannot? Why did they turn out so damn unethical? Who raised Jeff Bezos?????? Also applies to all other billionaires. There are approximately 3000 billionaires on this Earth, and that's 3000 too many. You cannot and do not get to being a billionaire unless you are massively profiting off unethical systems.

Friday, December 4, 2020


I think I’m allergic to something. More specifically, I think there’s something my lips are allergic to and I don’t know what it is. My lips may be the most sensitive part of my body because whenever I get an allergic reaction (or whatever it is), it’s my lips. They’re currently red and itchy. I need to figure out what it is: is it my mask? a part of my skincare routine? something I ate? Please Skydaddy answer my queries. I learned yesterday that Skydaddy is what the Tiktok generation calls Jesus and I legitimately died in laughter. RIP me. Gen Z’ers are so irreverent I wish I were part of them they have the best sense of humor but I honestly can’t deal with the technology.

Today I was going through Instagram stories, both mine and the people I follow, and I realized we all always post about the same things. You can guess who posted a story based on what the content is. I have friends who only post about their kids, some who post solely about their fitness gainz, others who post the sky all day errday. I went through my stories, and in a week, I go through a cycle of: sexual puns that I can’t tell anyone because if I only send them to one person the person would get sick of me pretty quickly and my colleagues might report me for sexual harassment lololol, a rant about capitalism and how sick I am of this stupidass hustle culture, the state of my mental health, a mention of Taylor Swift every two days, a scab or wound that has formed somewhere without my knowledge of how it happened. This happens every goddamn week and still I post the same thing, day in and day out. I’m so sick of it lol why do I do that when it’s so predictable? I don’t know, but I’m gonna try to either break the cycle or stretch it out so it doesn’t happen quite so often. I think a term you might use for what I’m feeling now could be jaded. Where did it arise from? I honestly wish I knew.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


In a bid to occupy myself the previous weekend, I finished watching The Queen's Gambit, a seven-part miniseries on Netflix. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes that Lin-Manuel Miranda likes to say, "life is chess, not checkers." I know the basic rules, but I'd love to learn how to play chess properly. If you know me, you'd know what scares me most about ageing is the idea of losing my mental faculties, so playing chess is a great way to sharpen my mental acuity and stay lucid for as long as I possibly can. The series is about chess, but it's also very much about life and the human condition. In one of the episodes, one of her previous chess opponents seems to be making a romantic move on her. He says some strange and mean things though, then he goes to the restroom and seems to berate himself for sounding like a douche in her presence. It's very weird, how people can be so smart with their brains and yet not be well-equipped to appeal to other people or to communicate such that the people they fancy would like them too. In another episode, she begins to be attracted to yet another of her previous opponents, she says she likes his hair, and I was led to believe he also found her attractive, but then he says "don't even think about sex" to her. I didn't understand it, whether he was trying to make her focus on chess, because by saying what he did, it almost made her even more interested in him, so was that his intention? Who knows. I went bouldering with my friends today. I managed to stay uninjured, except for a minor scrape on my elbow. It was fun, and I'd like to do it again. Today I have observed that my biceps are much more prominent than my triceps. Will I ever be able to do pull-ups? We'll see. I am a work in progress, and always will be.

Saturday, November 28, 2020


Yesterday, everyone at work was sympathetic because they all knew I’d broken up. At first, one of them, Jing, didn’t know, and she thought my swollen eyes were a result of allergy. Yeah, I’m allergic to breakups, for sure. Jing is hilarious, there’s a running joke that she’s the store manager so she said I could pass off all my guests to her and chill for the day, because of my breakup. I have grown to love everyone in my team. They suggested that I go for more spin classes, because you get endorphins from the workout, and it’s held in the dark with lots of flashing lights, so that’s as close as you can get to clubbing in these COVID days. Sarah is holding a Armin van Buuren x Gareth Emery spin class next week, which would have been perfect, but it’s popular and I’ll be waitlisted. It would have been appropriate, Lucas used to tease me about doing white girl tingz, like going for spin classes, and I indulged him, because it’s totally warranted, I think I do some more white people tingz than he does. Except for stocks and bitcoin, he definitely has that white people money more than I do. Now I can go for all the spin classes. This week I’m going climbing with Becs. We’re going bouldering, which is done without harnesses, so please goddamn pray I don’t fall and hurt my spinal disc like my namesake Sarah did. I do not want to miss my flight due to hospitalisation. As I was saying, I’ve become so fond of my team. I love the little dynamics between each little group, I love Jaysen making inappropriate jokes with his double entendres and making me snort in front of strangers, I love it when we’re changing up visual merchandising and one person is figuring out the time signature to a Christmas song remix, I love opening boxes and hearing people say ridiculous silly things because it’s the end of the day, and we’re all delirious from having taught in the day, or gone for three different sweat sessions, or from just a daily battle with keeping depression at bay (or is that just me?). I broke up with Lucas a month before I leave, because I didn’t want to grieve the relationship while I’m by myself in Canada, and my lululemon team have been so, so essential at propping me up, as well as my friends from everywhere else. I only hope Lucas reaches out to his support system as well, it has been written in research that women deal with breakups better than men do, because women are allowed to talk about their sorrows with their siblings and friends and men generally aren’t. Here’s a reminder that gender restrictions are toxic for everyone, and I’m a little relieved that Lucas is a little more sensitive and sensible than many men I know. If you’re sad, let yourself be sad, and tell the people you know about it. Alright, I’m out.

Friday, November 27, 2020


try as he might, he’s unable to speak
he grabs her by the hair, he strokes her on the cheek
the bed is unmade, like everything is
dark little heaven at the top of the stairs

take me like that, ruin it all
then build it again by the light in the hall
he drops to his knees, says
“please, my love, please —
I’ll kill who you hate, take off that dress,
you won’t freeze”

one more night
that was a good one
one more night
the end should be a good one

he starts with her back ‘cos that’s what he sees
when she’s breaking his heart,
she still fucks like a tease

release to the sky
look him straight in the eye
and tell him that, now,
that you wish he would die

you’ll never touch him again
so get what you can
bleeding him empty just because he’s a man

so good when it ends
they’ll never be friends
one more night
that’s all they can spend

I did it. He said he knew something had been off since I stopped asking if he’d move to Canada with me. Of course I knew it was improbable, he has a good, well-paying stable job that he enjoys and it would be immeasurably selfish to ask him to move when I’m barely starting out in life. This evening, I packed all my clothes and things that had accumulated at his apartment, and I cried all the way in the cab home. The measure of how much of a good man he is, he called me the cab home, after I’d ended our relationship. Falling in love is easy, but staying in a relationship, it is so much hard work. Breakups are strange. You’ve met each other’s families and your sisters joke about your partner to you. You have to remove the emojis from their name in your phone. What do you do with all the happy posts of each other on social media? Do you archive them, delete them? He was such a good person, and he deserves so much more than what I could give him. When I was younger, I saw my parents split up in the most godawful, hurtful, poisonous way possible, and the one thing I took away from it was, if any of my romantic relationships end, I’d want to know that we can stay friends and that we care for each other, instead of turning against each other. Time to sleep it off. One day at a time, one thing at a time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


As we live in the age of abundance, I was watching Netflix during my break at work. The show I’m currently binging is the ten-episode Emily In Paris. It’s a terribly idealistic show, as is the usual for things I watch. Emily is flirting with a (really cute) boy, he is introducing her to champagne and she downs it all in one. He tells her to go slow because you’re supposed to savor it. Later, they end up in bed (because obviously) and she in turn tells him to go slow, because you’re supposed to savor it. At this point of time, I squeal really loudly, warranting my friend Sarah to ask why I’m so excited, so I tell her. She has finished watching the whole show, and she loved it too. I think my colleagues think I’m a sex-crazed maniac, which let’s be real, is true. And it’s completely fine. Right???? So anyway. After the encounter, the really cute boy’s mother finds out that Emily has slept with him, and it’s revealed that he is seventeen years old!!!! Emily is mortified when his mother wants to speak with her in private, but it turns out the mother is asking if her son is a good lover. It seems to be important to her that her son is good in bed, because to be honest, it truly is important. The French are insane! 

At this point in life, Sarah has informed me she is rewatching the show because she’s highly entertained by how amused I am at it. Call me an influencer, y’allllll. Also, a couple minutes ago, we were talking about French men and Sarah reminded me of the French man that ruined all French men for me. I have told this to everyone as my Tinder nightmare story. So one time, years ago, I was on a Tinder hookup sprint, because fuck that, you only live once, right? So I went to the hotel room of this guy who was in Singapore to renew his visa from Bali or whatever, and his friend had just left the room. So we do the deed in, like I swear to God, ten minutes. I thought we’d hang out and watch TV, but he’s in and out (of me) and getting dressed for dinner. I was a little stunned, so I look at him, he looks at me, and he asks “what are you doing? Are you waiting for money?” and I burned up in my face. And that is the story of why French men are the literal worst!!!!!!!!! Why do men always think women want their money that they don’t even have???? I can’t roll my eyes back any further in my head. In what universe would I hook up with a person on Tinder for money? Do I look like I have the time? I literally have no time. I find people on Tinder for one thing, and men can’t even give me that one thing. Geez, men need to stop flattering themselves.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


On any given day, I start my morning thinking of Tina. We just FaceTimed for close to two hours. We chatted about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, when I’m there next year, doing a Friendsgiving might be fun. I do not know if men discuss the tattoos of the people they bed, but I’m aware of some of the tattoos on some of the men’s bodies some of my best friends have been intimate with. It is thrilling, discussing the meanings or non-meanings of such things. Should I start an OnlyFans to fund my education for the next four years? The answer to that is a resounding no, but it’s always a question I can ask. 

There is a person at lululemon who’s also a pilot, she joined the team recently and I guess she joined because there aren’t a lot of flights happening at this time. She’s my age so I initially thought I wouldn’t really connect with her because her accomplishments seemingly tower over mine. However, she shared a vulnerable fact with me, making herself vulnerable, and I instantly liked her. She has a base check coming up soon, I think that’s when her piloting skills get reevaluated and she was on edge. I think it’s nice when people show their vulnerable sides, because that’s the most relatable part of being human. We all go through shit and we’re possibly the only beings capable of processing and making meaning of the shit we go through and connecting through it, so why would you let that go to waste?

Friday, November 20, 2020


I’m looking at flights to Vancouver. I have an option to transit through either SFO or LAX. The layover in LAX is 17 hours, which is honestly pretty much an entire day but it’s also the cheaper option. I’m not sure if I’m gonna leave the airport at any rate, I can’t find information about whether I’ll have to quarantine, as a visitor from Singapore. It would be neat to be able to go to the beach and have an ice-cream. Or two. I love New York from the bottom of my heart, but LA has the sun, sand and sea, so y’all know I will always be a West Coast bb. I mean, whilst it hasn’t burned itself to death, at least.

I was talking to my colleagues in the past weeks, and two of them said at two different times, that my eyes lit up and I looked happy. I was reminded of the story of Cupid and Psyche, that Tina told me about when we were at The Met, looking at a statue of them. It’s basically Romeo and Juliet in deity form, which is ironic because well, it is. Tina told me this morning that she’d mail me my The North Face puffer coat and backpack when I get settled in to my apartment. Of all the instances of happenstance that have occurred in my life, getting to know Tina via an international Facebook group for women of color must have been the best. Men in New York, please do better so y’all deserve her.

I daresay no one would be able to say they’ve had a fantastic year this year, maybe except Jeff Bezos and all the pieces of shit who have capitalized off a global pandemic to earn staggering profits whilst watching poor people suffer. Therefore, I think it will not be surprising to hear me say, I want this goddamn year to goddamn end already. When a vaccine has been created and approved, may it be distributed smoothly and easily and thoroughly, with no fucking jagoffs trying to prioritize or maximize profit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


you did all that you could do 
the game was rigged, 
the ref got tricked 
the wrong ones think they're right 
you were outnumbered, this time 

but only the young 
only the young 
only the young can run 
can run, so run 
and run, and run 

so every day now 
you brace for the sound 
you’ve only heard on TV 
you go to class, scared 
wondering where 
the best hiding spot would be 
and the big bad man and his big bad clan 
their hands are stained with red 
oh how quickly, they forget 

they aren't gonna help us 
too busy helping themselves 
they aren't gonna change this 
we gotta do it ourselves 
they think that it's over 
but it's just begun

Taylor Swift has a song called Only The Young that she wrote after Donald Trump became the last president. I think the title is slightly ironic, because both candidates this time were geriatric white men who must be so out of touch with most of Gen Z’s requests for the world they’re gonna grow up in. Heck, I’m a millennial and I’m already out of touch with my sisters sometimes, a lot of the time.

I unravelled last night. I should have known something was up when I refused to schedule therapy. I’m not one to do the difficult thing, I push and shove until the difficult thing is done, but I don’t do it. The last time I faced a difficult decision, this was exactly what was said to me: “if it were me, I’d want to run away too” so I tried to run away, again. I’m 30 and I still don’t want to do the difficult things. Come on, Sarah, where is your character development?

I’m on the way to the office to submit my biometrics for my pending visa application. I also put in an email to the landlord of an apartment I saw on craigslist. The place looks quite alright in photos, so fingers crossed. I had a massively long night, but I’m glad I unravelled through the night, because I needed to. 

Monday, November 16, 2020


Sarah: Did u finish watching the dash and lily show? It started out a lil cringe but i straight bawled at the last ep ugh new york at christmas ❤️💔

Adam: Omg yr already done? We have three episodes left

Sarah: I have anxiety i have to binge my shows. Enjoy!!! I hope yall have some tears too hehehe

Adam: Did you agree the main girl is you

Sarah: Um idk, she was a girl in new york who loved books which is an experience i’ve had but there are a gazillion girls who are probably like that

Adam: Eh I thought it was uncanny
I bet Tina would agree

Sarah: But what about it was uncanny tho? Her first scene was literally her caroling and i can’t sing hahahaha

Adam: Like she’s also a super idealist and romantic sentimental girl

Sarah: Do you, not know... a lot of idealist romantic sentimental girls? I feel like if someone is an idealist then the other two come naturally with

Adam: Lol well I guess not really
Like I could totally see you in the club and slam poetry scenes

Sarah: Omg!!!! That is true

So I spent 3.5 hours on the way to and from work yesterday, just watching Dash and Lily. It's adapted from a book for young adults, I think. The first two episodes are a little bit cringe, but I did get into it by the end. It's basically about these two teenagers who have never met, but dare each other to do things through a notebook, first introduced in The Strand. The Strand is a popular bookstore in NYC, that's in need of saving, through these terrible times we live in. They finally meet properly in the final episode, back in the bookstore, and everything about it is perfect. 

Lily is an idealist who loves Christmas, and Dash is a cynical grinch who has walls up to guard himself. Eventually he has the bookstore set up especially for her, with her favorite pie from Gowanus, etc. It obviously reminded me of my own experience in New York. In that episode, when they meet, they don't know what to say, because they'd been communicating only via the book and telling each other things they hadn't told anyone else. Lily then just says, "sometimes words aren't enough", and kisses him. 

I know what this feels like, when you love books and words and even though there are a million ways to say I can't stop thinking about you, sometimes you just need to touch. I think the pandemic has been affecting everyone in very strange ways, I don't know if there's such a thing as hooking up safely, I don't know when the last time anyone got a hug was. I do know human touch is very important, so remember to hug the people you can meet.

Yesterday, at work, I was telling my friends that we’d finally sent the first black person to the International Space Station, and they didn’t know what the ISS was. When you’re thirty and your colleagues and friends are mostly in their teens or just past their teenage years, sometimes your cumulative knowledge can be more than theirs. I wonder if it will be the same when I’m back in school. Perhaps. It was strange explaining the ISS to them, I thought everyone knew we had astronauts that are based in space, but the idea was completely foreign to them.

Sunday, November 15, 2020


The best way to get someone to watch something is by telling them the main character is them. I don’t have that much time ‘cos of work but you best believe I’m gonna try and binge this on the way to and from work. The show looks like it has got good ratings so far, and Adam says the main character is not completely out of whack, so that’s promising. Lololol.

Also, is true love in this day and age anything apart from sending each other memes every time you see a funny one? Who knows. I love memes. Memes r love, memes r life. Make my wedding a meme wedding.

Saturday, November 14, 2020


Desire starts low in the body, in my body. It is a dull stretch, polished well around the edges, so you don’t feel it growing beyond its original boundaries. The longer you ignore it, the more feral it becomes. There are tiny bits that feed it, that slip under your radar, a system that you might have intentionally removed the battery from. Your best friend telling you she made a man cum four times in the last night. Watching your favorite porn star use your favorite vibrator on one woman, then another, and yet another. Watching a couple ride on the same bicycle, thinking of the many ways I could twist that with my words. Twiddling my thumbs and remembering the multitude of manners those two digits can form permutations of pleasure. I’m hungry, and not in my stomach. Sometimes, I’m anxious because I heave the weight of the world onto my shoulders, when literally no one has ever asked me to. Sometimes, life’s more fun when you push desire to its very edges, then give in to it. As Mary Oliver said, you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

This morning, I saw my favorite Instagram account, Awards For Good Boys, feature a podcast by Asa Akira interviewing Owen Gray. The man himself says he has a following because there are legions of people who think he’s doing the most, by doing the least, of showing he cares for female pleasure. I realized that’s why I liked him, putting me in among many others. At first, I thought oh fuck, I don’t want to like him just because he’s shown the bare minimum of basic human decency, but then I realize, what choice do I have? There is simply no alternative, also underscoring why crowds of women flock to him. So, I shall allow the soft animal of my body to love what it loves.

Thursday, November 12, 2020


In a turn of events, because of Samsung's stupidity, and also a lot of silliness on my part (don't ask, I'm exhausted), I am now using an iPhone XR. It was my sister's as she's switched to the new iPhone 12 Pro, and so now it's mine. I hope it lasts for the next four years of my school life, because I really do not want to buy a new phone. This means I have gone full circle and sending thotty photos on iMessage is a thing I can do, jeez. Today has felt like a very long day, it actually was going pretty well. It's felt like one of the longest days of my life. The only way I can describe it is when you've taken a long flight to another continent and the time difference has made your day longer and all your body wants to do is go to sleep, but the time dictates that you stay awake, because it's not! yet! night time! Yeah that's what this long day has absolutely felt like. I went shopping with my mother and sister, and my mom got me two winter coats, I suppose she felt obligated because she had bought the iPhone 12 for two of my sisters. No but I do recognize that it was very nice of my mom to set me up with a couple of winter outfits, I really do like both coats, and I can't wait to keep cozy in them. My head feels awful, the constant pressure of not having enough money is giving me a tension headache, I think. I need to drink more water. There is a food show on Netflix that I quite favor, it's called Somebody Feed Phil. There's an episode about Singapore in the latest season, it was filmed last December, pre-COVID. I really appreciated the episode, because it actually showcased the different ethnicities' cultures through our food. If there's one thing Singapore does absolutely, unambiguously, wholesomely right, it is the food. The episode also does talk about some of our manmade extravagant structures (the waterfall in our airport, srsly why does anyone need a waterfall in an airport), whilst highlighting that it's all taken a very expensive toll on the people at the bottom. If you've never been to Singapore, I think watching Somebody Feed Phil feature it is a good introduction. It's a little like Hong Kong, but simultaneously better and worse. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


I met Dea today. I hadn't seen her for a couple of months. When we had just met today outside the Thai place we would eat at, I finally saw Tom, her boyfriend, via a videocall. He's cute. They met in uni in Australia but now they're doing long-distance because of COVID. Today Dea told me they'd had phone sex (of course you have to, in a long-distance stint) and I spat out my laughter. I swear I didn't ask. I suppose I just click better with other people who have one-track minds. I would like to say, masturbation is also a great reliever of stress, and my favorite is the Hitachi magic wand. It's great. A little heavy, but fucking ace otherwise. Dea was telling me about her plans of maybe bringing in a health shake into Singapore for me to introduce to people from lululemon, as most of them are instructors in gyms, but I don't know how much longer I have here. Today I finally had progress on my visa front. Speaking of gyms, I would really like to train my upper body, my arms are shite and I want to do pull-ups!!!! This morning, my lululemon friend Nate asked how I was, so I told him I wasn't doing too well, because I thought I was gonna get my period today, and he said "oh shit" and walked away???!?!!?! He's a 27-year-old man??? Men!!!!! Please do better?!?!? The past few days were a little rough, I was stressed out by my finances and Alex Trebek also died. He's the adorable host of Jeopardy whom I'd admired for years and who's taught and impressed me so much. However, I made it through my day, and I am quite happy today.

Saturday, November 7, 2020


Dyou think I could learn the chords to this song? I also think she sings in a register that I could reach. It would be a useful party trick, or even just for the bedroom. I suppose I may as well get a holistic, wholesome education in the next few years. 

any time you want to, pick up the telephone
you know it ain't nothin'
drop a couple stacks on you
you want it? you can get it, my dear
five million dollar home, drive Bentleys I swear

I want your body, I need your body
long as you got me, you won't need nobody
you want it, I got it, go get it, I buy it
tell them other broke bros, be quiet

stacks on deck, Patrón on ice
we can pop bottles all night
baby, you can have whatever you like
said, whatever you like, yeah
late night sex, so wet so tight
gas up the jet for you tonight
baby, you can go wherever you like
said, wherever you like, yeah

shawty, you the hottest
love the way you drop it
brain so good, coulda swore
you went to college
hundred can't deposit,
vacations in the tropics
'cause everybody know
it ain't trickin' if ya got it

you ain't never ever gotta go in your wallet
long as I got rubber band
banks in my pocket
five, six rides with rims and a body kit
you ain't gotta downgrade
you can get what I get

my chick can have whatever she wants
go in any store, buy any bag she wants
I know you ain't never had a man like that
buy you anything your heart desires like that

I'm talkin' big boy rides and big boy ice
let me put this big boy in your life
thang so wet, it hit so right
put this big boy in your life

Also, the race has been called. The motherfuckkker has lost. Time to heal and rebuild everything he's damaged. Life is almost okay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


I haven't scheduled a therapy session for weeks and my mind has been cluttered with election anxiety, so it's been a dump. It is a good day though, when you're woken up by your favorite people telling you Biden may have won the next term of presidency. It's not the most ideal situation but in a world like this, you have to take any wins you can get. Take them and revel in them. One thing at a time, one day at a time. I learned of some character development and it made me happy. I think when someone gets placed in a box but they defy those boundaries and have dimensions to their person you never knew about, it's such a nice surprise because people are so complex and dynamic. It reminds me of the sea, and you know water is my favorite element. In the very last episode of The Good Place, Chidi tries to cushion the idea of death to Eleanor.

He says, picture a wave in the ocean: you can see it, measure it, its height, the way that some light refracts when it passes through. It's there, and you can see it, and you know what it is, it's a wave. And then it crashes on the shore, and it's gone, but the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be for a little while. The wave returns to the ocean, where it came from, where it's supposed to be.

Some people have a calming effect on me, just like the sea, and I am glad for it. I'm a very anxious person so I don't know if I'm that person for anyone, but I do hope I have that effect. I don't live near the sea, so sometimes I go through turbulent times forgetting to return to nature, but it's there, the sea is always there, and I can always find it. I should really schedule some therapy.

Sunday, November 1, 2020


When I was at the Singapore concert of the 1989 world tour, and heard the version of Love Story on it, I knew it would always be my favorite rendition and that I wanted to look like Taylor in that outfit. My favorite holiday has been Halloween for almost a decade, and I hadn't gone as Taylor Swift, so I thought this would be my year. She technically plays the piano on the 1989 performance of Love Story, but I mean, I didn't know how to bring around a piano, so I settled for a guitar instead.

Tina has recently become single and she made a Spotify playlist called Soundtrack to Singledom. Half the songs are about sex and I love it. New Yorkers' music tastes really hit different. I recognize more than a few songs and artistes from stuff Adam used to listen to. When Tina was going on dates, she sent me some really thotty photos, of her in uhhhh, outfits (or lack thereof?) that I haven't worn for years, and I have to say, in the case of breakups, the people who really stand to win are the women's girl friends. If you don't send your nudes (or close-ish) to your best friends, do you even really trust them???? My dudes, if you've got it, flaunt it (with consent!!!!!!), is what I always say. It's open season, shoot your shot!!!!! If you and your best friend don't hype each other up like Tina and I do, what even is the point? Two days till Trump realizes he's stepping down from office, I hope!!!!!! I keep getting email updates from CUNY about the upcoming semester, am I supposed to have told them I chose another school? I never formally enrolled with them though, and I've already paid for my first year in BC, Canada.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


I used to like watching Bojack Horseman. When I was in LA four summers ago (in 2016, just before the Trump administration), someone introduced me to it for the first time. To my deepest consternation, I have forgotten his name. I know who he is, I couchsurfed at his place and he was never home because he worked on a TV crew. He was writing a play and he had notes and books all over his apartment, and he also had a gazillion tattoos on his body. I just forgot his name. This makes me feel like a bad person, but that's what I am. I am good and bad and all the things rolled into one human being. I know he wrote me a nice review on Couchsurfing, because I cleaned up his apartment in between reading all the books he had, and I wanted to check for his name, but I have been paywalled out of my account because I don't want to pay a fee to keep the site up (I haven't been an active member for years!). At this point of time I'm honestly trying to play a game with all my brain neurons to recall his name: should I go to a baby names website and look through all the names?? is it Leo? Howard? OMG it worked, my brain worked. His name is Patrick!!!!! I wonder how he's doing in life. As I was saying, I first watched Bojack with him, and I followed it for a couple of seasons, but one day I stopped. I don't remember the particular scene or why, but I know Bojack is a depressed character and as far as I know, he doesn't really do much about it. I think it hit too close to home.

I think I'm a high-functioning depressed person, but my sister may not be. I've gone to her school to help her get back in, but she eventually dropped out for good. She recently got a job a couple of months ago, but in the past two weeks, she's missed work without a "physical illness" and didn't inform them prior, so I don't know how long she can hold onto the job. I say "physical illness" in inverted commas because despite not being contagious or tangible like fever or the flu, I know depression can make it pretty physically impossible to move or want to do anything. When she doesn't go to work, she starts crying or curling up and then you can't really get through to her. As a high-functioning depressed person, I can go to work without seeing a point in it, I just become a mechanical robot working on autopilot. My rationale for it is so that I don't become a burden to anyone else. When I'm spiralling into my episodes, I recognize it and I either seek out medication or therapy. 

This time of the year is the worst for my family, I think within the same month in 2016, I had a miscarriage and our cousin that my sister was the closest to, died suddenly in a motorbike accident. This is the first year since then that I haven't had a full-blown meltdown, but I have a feeling my sister hasn't become conscious of her triggers yet, because she went to the cemetery last weekend, and it brought on her latest episode. I had some mean thoughts about her yesterday, I didn't say them to her, but I know I was being very mean about it. Sometimes, she asks how to get rid of depression, and if I have said it once, I must have said it at least thirty times, for her to go to therapy regularly and take medication. I think her condition is so bad that it truly cripples her from even keeping herself in check to do those two things. I don't know what else we can do for her, there was a period of time our other sister kept tabs on her taking her medicine, or sent her to the clinic for therapy. These are things a seventeen-year-old should not have to do. This is the same sister who is also affected by my night terrors, the poor child. I think I had mean thoughts last night because as an onlooker, you can feel helpless and useless.

I don't know why I started this tangent. As a so-called adult, I have made many friends, younger and older, who also suffer from depressive episodes. These are people who have great prospects in life, they graduated from Harvard, they're yoga teachers, they're white men with no financial debt living in Singapore. I know that depression is both a debilitating disease that can affect anyone, and I know that it's exacerbated by capitalism, which thrives off making you feel incomplete and less than, and you have to beat it in the smallest of ways, reminding yourself that you are happy without another pair of shoes, without getting surgery to perfect your vision, without all those things that all these other depressed people have in their lives. You have to constantly ignore every single sign thrown at you, and remind yourself your worth is more than what a capitalist system expects of you, or the completely made up monetary value you can contribute to such a flawed system.

Monday, October 26, 2020


I didn't have it in myself 
to go with grace 
cause when I'd fight, 
you used to tell me I was brave 
and if I'm dead to you 
why are you at the wake? 
cursing my name 
wishing I stayed 
look at how my tears ricochet 

and I can go anywhere I want 
anywhere I want 
just not home 
and you can aim for my heart, 
go for blood 
but you would still miss me 
in your bones 
and I still talk to you 
when I'm screaming at the sky 
and when you can't sleep at night 
you hear my stolen lullabies

According to my sister, I have night terrors. None of my exes ever told me this so I'm not sure if it's only happened in recent years. Apparently my thrashing and flailing during my sleep is strong enough to wake her up sometimes. I don't remember if I slept well by myself when I was in New York. I don't remember sleeping by myself very often, ever in my life. I thought I slept better with someone by my side, but I guess not.

Thursday, October 22, 2020


I just had a few moments of being very happy. I don't know why, perhaps my blood sugar spiked from the food I'd consumed, maybe not. I am happiest when I'm in love so I suppose I was in love. Not with anyone in particular, just in life. Yesterday morning, a friend at work, Nate, made Eggo waffles for the morning team, because somehow our pantry always has Eggo waffles stocked. I remember trying them for the first time only after having seen them on Stranger Things. Do people actually like Eggos or was it only made popular because of the series? I love junk food, I eat cookies and ramen and ice cream all the time but I really think Eggos are rather trash. If you're gonna make instant waffles, at least make them good?!?!?!?! The presidential debate is in a few hours. Here is a reminder that Trump hustled in the last elections, polls were shown as Hillary leading, perhaps causing Democrats to lower their guard and not turn out in their highest numbers. Don't trust the polls. Don't trust anything. Go out and vote!!!!!!!!! If y'all allow Trump in the White House for another four years, I swear there isn't enough time, with climate change, to see America ever become great. The world has its eyes on you. Also AOC was on Twitch streaming herself playing Among Us and that's why she will one day be the first woman POTUS, when all the sensible young people vote her in. I'm keeping myself alive just to see that day happen.

Saturday, October 17, 2020


We went cycling at East Coast Park today. It's a long stretch of beach from the airport to wherever the heck it stretches to, and it was nice to see, people in their safe groups of five. Parents were teaching their kids to rollerblade, the sun was not too hot as it was past four in the afternoon. It felt lovely, to see pockets of friends enjoying water activities, families rejoicing in raucous laughter. 

I was having a lot of fun, until my left elbow hurt, and I wondered whether it's because I have hyperextended elbows. I don't actually know what that means or entails. Ben told me we both had hyperextended elbows before, and you know me, I thought, oh this guy cycles and snowboards and he knows his body (and mine, and I'm not exaggerating) very well, so if he says I have hyperextended elbows, I have hyperextended elbows, whatever that means. I suppose I have better awareness of my own body since I met him ---- aaaah, that's another chapter for another day. Anyway, my elbow hurt the second hour of cycling is all there was to that. I won't have a bicycle in Vancouver (although I might get a skateboard) so I need to squeeze in all the cycling I can get here. Sometimes, when I spend time in nature, breathing in the breeze, I think, the world is okay. This pocket of time in this pocket of space is okay. Then I swam in the evening, and I did many continuous laps and I love swimming, so that was another pocket of time that made today great. 

I recently watched The Dawn Wall, about these two men who free climb The Dawn Wall, a relatively smooth surface of El Capitan at Yosemite. I'd wanted to go back to climbing classes but my friend Sarah from lululemon went bouldering in a gym last week, landed poorly back onto the ground, and she had a slipped disc or something or the other in her spine, and she had to be hospitalized!!!!!!!! So that makes me wonder if I really want to learn to skate in Vancouver. If I fell and scraped my knees that's fine, but if I have to get hospitalized by myself in another country, I WILL LOSE MY SHIT. Anyway, what I wanted to say was I've been to Yosemite before, but it was in the dead of winter and it was covered in snow, like the Mac OS default desktop once upon a time, and I definitely wanna see it again in spring. One day. One day. Before the world ends.

We watched Feels Good Man tonight, it's about Pepe the Frog and how it snowballed from being a general meme all the way into being an alt-right symbol and listed as a hate symbol, like a swastika, by the Anti-Defamation League or whatever. Bro, that really got out of hand and I feel terrible for the creator, he's such a hippie-type person, who like, needs therapy. Matt Furie says this world is a garbage world, which is completely legit. I hope Trump doesn't win again. The film ends well because Hong Kongers co-opted Pepe to be their symbol for freedom in their protests against authoritarianism, so that's some good shit man. It was a good Saturday and it feels good, man.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


We recently watched A Life On Our Planet, which I think should be mandatory viewing for everyone who lives on this planet. It highlights how poorly we've treated the natural world, all our mistakes so far, and I think David Attenborough makes a little bit of a simplistic yet necessary case for how we can do better, and how of course we must: the political will to divest from fossil fuels to renewables, the act of engaging in sustainability, eating what you can grow, etc etc. I think Indigenous Peoples Day recently passed in the US, and there is a lot of knowledge that Western imperialists can gain from indigenous peoples on sustainability. They've lived directly on the lands for thousands of years, taken care of it, taken only what they needed from it, and given back to it. We're coming back full circle, and what's left is for the main actors and perpetrators who are treating the world like shit (and they know who they are, people who work for BP/Exxon and the like) to stop and turn to the alternative. I chanced upon this piece of writing on Orion Magazine shared on an activist group, and I really felt it:

Beyond Hope by Derrick Jensen

THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have — or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective — to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.

To start, there is the false hope that suddenly somehow the system may inexplicably change. Or technology will save us. Or the Great Mother. Or beings from Alpha Centauri. Or Jesus Christ. Or Santa Claus. All of these false hopes lead to inaction, or at least to ineffectiveness. One reason my mother stayed with my abusive father was that there were no battered women’s shelters in the ’50s and ’60s, but another was her false hope that he would change. False hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities.

Does anyone really believe that Weyerhaeuser is going to stop deforesting because we ask nicely? Does anyone really believe that Monsanto will stop Monsantoing because we ask nicely? If only we get a Democrat in the White House, things will be okay. If only we pass this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. If only we defeat this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. Nonsense. Things will not be okay. They are already not okay, and they’re getting worse. Rapidly.

But it isn’t only false hopes that keep those who go along enchained. It is hope itself. Hope, we are told, is our beacon in the dark. It is our light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. It is the beam of light that makes its way into our prison cells. It is our reason for persevering, our protection against despair (which must be avoided at all costs). How can we continue if we do not have hope?

We’ve all been taught that hope in some future condition — like hope in some future heaven — is and must be our refuge in current sorrow. I’m sure you remember the story of Pandora. She was given a tightly sealed box and was told never to open it. But, being curious, she did, and out flew plagues, sorrow, and mischief, probably not in that order. Too late she clamped down the lid. Only one thing remained in the box: hope. Hope, the story goes, was the only good the casket held among many evils, and it remains to this day mankind’s sole comfort in misfortune. No mention here of action being a comfort in misfortune, or of actually doing something to alleviate or eliminate one’s misfortune.

The more I understand hope, the more I realize that all along it deserved to be in the box with the plagues, sorrow, and mischief; that it serves the needs of those in power as surely as belief in a distant heaven; that hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.

Hope is, in fact, a curse, a bane. I say this not only because of the lovely Buddhist saying “Hope and fear chase each other’s tails,” not only because hope leads us away from the present, away from who and where we are right now and toward some imaginary future state. I say this because of what hope is.

More or less all of us yammer on more or less endlessly about hope. You wouldn’t believe — or maybe you would — how many magazine editors have asked me to write about the apocalypse, then enjoined me to leave readers with a sense of hope. But what, precisely, is hope? At a talk I gave last spring, someone asked me to define it. I turned the question back on the audience, and here’s the definition we all came up with: hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.

I’m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don’t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn’t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it. Many people say they hope the dominant culture stops destroying the world. By saying that, they’ve assumed that the destruction will continue, at least in the short term, and they’ve stepped away from their own ability to participate in stopping it.

I do not hope coho salmon survive. I will do whatever it takes to make sure the dominant culture doesn’t drive them extinct. If coho want to leave us because they don’t like how they’re being treated — and who could blame them? — I will say goodbye, and I will miss them, but if they do not want to leave, I will not allow civilization to kill them off.

When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to “hope” at all. We simply do the work. We make sure salmon survive. We make sure prairie dogs survive. We make sure grizzlies survive. We do whatever it takes.

When we stop hoping for external assistance, when we stop hoping that the awful situation we’re in will somehow resolve itself, when we stop hoping the situation will somehow not get worse, then we are finally free — truly free — to honestly start working to resolve it. I would say that when hope dies, action begins.

PEOPLE SOMETIMES ASK ME, “If things are so bad, why don’t you just kill yourself?” The answer is that life is really, really good. I am a complex enough being that I can hold in my heart the understanding that we are really, really fucked, and at the same time that life is really, really good. I am full of rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, despair, happiness, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and a thousand other feelings. We are really fucked. Life is still really good.

Many people are afraid to feel despair. They fear that if they allow themselves to perceive how desperate our situation really is, they must then be perpetually miserable. They forget that it is possible to feel many things at once. They also forget that despair is an entirely appropriate response to a desperate situation. Many people probably also fear that if they allow themselves to perceive how desperate things are, they may be forced to do something about it.

Another question people sometimes ask me is, “If things are so bad, why don’t you just party?” Well, the first answer is that I don’t really like to party. The second is that I’m already having a great deal of fun. I love my life. I love life. This is true for most activists I know. We are doing what we love, fighting for what (and whom) we love.

I have no patience for those who use our desperate situation as an excuse for inaction. I’ve learned that if you deprive most of these people of that particular excuse they just find another, then another, then another. The use of this excuse to justify inaction — the use of any excuse to justify inaction — reveals nothing more nor less than an incapacity to love.

At one of my recent talks someone stood up during the Q and A and announced that the only reason people ever become activists is to feel better about themselves. Effectiveness really doesn’t matter, he said, and it’s egotistical to think it does.

I told him I disagreed.

Doesn’t activism make you feel good? he asked.

Of course, I said, but that’s not why I do it. If I only want to feel good, I can just masturbate. But I want to accomplish something in the real world.


Because I’m in love. With salmon, with trees outside my window, with baby lampreys living in sandy streambottoms, with slender salamanders crawling through the duff. And if you love, you act to defend your beloved. Of course results matter to you, but they don’t determine whether or not you make the effort. You don’t simply hope your beloved survives and thrives. You do what it takes. If my love doesn’t cause me to protect those I love, it’s not love.

A WONDERFUL THING happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope didn’t kill you. It didn’t even make you less effective. In fact it made you more effective, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your problems — you ceased hoping your problems would somehow get solved through the magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters, brave salmon, or even the Earth itself — and you just began doing whatever it takes to solve those problems yourself.

When you give up on hope, something even better happens than it not killing you, which is that in some sense it does kill you. You die. And there’s a wonderful thing about being dead, which is that they — those in power — cannot really touch you anymore. Not through promises, not through threats, not through violence itself. Once you’re dead in this way, you can still sing, you can still dance, you can still make love, you can still fight like hell — you can still live because you are still alive, more alive in fact than ever before. You come to realize that when hope died, the you who died with the hope was not you, but was the you who depended on those who exploit you, the you who believed that those who exploit you will somehow stop on their own, the you who believed in the mythologies propagated by those who exploit you in order to facilitate that exploitation. The socially constructed you died. The civilized you died. The manufactured, fabricated, stamped, molded you died. The victim died.

And who is left when that you dies? You are left. Animal you. Naked you. Vulnerable (and invulnerable) you. Mortal you. Survivor you. The you who thinks not what the culture taught you to think but what you think. The you who feels not what the culture taught you to feel but what you feel. The you who is not who the culture taught you to be but who you are. The you who can say yes, the you who can say no. The you who is a part of the land where you live. The you who will fight (or not) to defend your family. The you who will fight (or not) to defend those you love. The you who will fight (or not) to defend the land upon which your life and the lives of those you love depends. The you whose morality is not based on what you have been taught by the culture that is killing the planet, killing you, but on your own animal feelings of love and connection to your family, your friends, your landbase — not to your family as self-identified civilized beings but as animals who require a landbase, animals who are being killed by chemicals, animals who have been formed and deformed to fit the needs of the culture.

When you give up on hope — when you are dead in this way, and by so being are really alive — you make yourself no longer vulnerable to the cooption of rationality and fear that Nazis inflicted on Jews and others, that abusers like my father inflict on their victims, that the dominant culture inflicts on all of us. Or is it rather the case that these exploiters frame physical, social, and emotional circumstances such that victims perceive themselves as having no choice but to inflict this cooption on themselves?

But when you give up on hope, this exploiter/victim relationship is broken. You become like the Jews who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

When you give up on hope, you turn away from fear.

And when you quit relying on hope, and instead begin to protect the people, things, and places you love, you become very dangerous indeed to those in power.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a very good thing.

Sunday, October 11, 2020


Tina moved to Brooklyn and is making new friends, so she has followed Adam on Instagram and reached out to him. Apparently he asked how I've been doing, so Tina told him about my plans, and he said he's glad I'm getting away from my family. I had a lot of fun with Adam and I like being happy for him, and vice versa. When we were together, it was nearing Christmas and I'd bought him the cookbook from The Great British Bake-Off, because we'd watched quite a few episodes together and he loved the show unabashedly. It was adorable. We broke up before Christmas, I think, so I eventually gave the book to Tina instead, and now they're friends. At least online if not irl someday. How funny life works. I love Tina very much and I also care for Adam, so I hope they look out for each other because the world needs more of that. I finished reading Americanah and I absolutely loved the ending. The middle of this week was absolute hell for me, my visa application stressed me out and so did the medical checkup. I don't have the fondest feelings for hospitals and clinics because i) I found out I had a miscarriage in one and ii) once, I was in a car crash while being driven home after being put on a drip for one night in hospital. This time, as always, the nurse had trouble drawing blood, the first vein on my right arm didn't yield any blood, and she said my veins are tricky. So she moved on to my left arm. I almost cried. I don't like blood, I don't like pain, and I don't like hospitals. She used a syringe, and the vein in my left arm cooperated. I was not happy in the middle of this week, but I had a good day today, I saw Tina's face (on videocall) for a good hour and we laughed and I love her, and I'm having a happy moment now. My sister and I are chatting about my day, so I told her about Adam. I call her Jie, because the whole family calls her Jie.

Jie: so who's Adam?
Me: the guy I dated in New York
Jie: the guy with a nice car?
Me: huh?
Jie: isn't there a guy who like drove you and sped around?
Me: no that's Los Angeles, that's literally the other end of the country
Jie: I don't know the map!
Did I know, before I turned 17, that LA and New York are on opposite coasts? I don't know, I cannot recall, and so my sister gets a free pass for tonight.

To all my American friends, to my exes, to my exes' ex-girlfriends, to my exes' current girlfriends, to my exes' ex-boyfriends, to my exes' current boyfriends, to all the non-binary partners, to everyone who lives in America and can vote, please do so. I don't care what your opinion on Joe Biden is, we all know he's trash but Trump has done so much damage that even regular Biden trash would be better. V O T E !!!!!!