Tuesday, March 3, 2020


I was at my grandmother's 77th birthday get-together, and talked to my cousin Diyana. She asked why I chose New York, and we fashioned an answer, together, that some places you instantly vibe with, and New York was mine. I'm sure I've said it before, but even with injustice or inequality, there are protests or demonstrations, and people are allowed to stand up for themselves, or for people who can't stand up for themselves. Singapore is a rich and safe country, from the outside, but it really is close to a dictatorship. How safe are you if you can't express how you really feel? The governmental party in power has been in power since 50 years ago, because every time any semblance of an opposition appears, the government quashes and quells them, suing them, taking them to court, using the state-owned media to scare these opposition voices and views. Coming from a place like this, I'd rather be in a place like New York, where I can be whoever I want to be, and say whatever I wanna say. Speaking of the US, I saw Dan have a I Voted sticker on Instagram so I naturally asked, and he confirmed he voted for Sanders! This is the nice Dan from LA, the sensible, cool, musically-overachieving one with the lovely parents (the kind of parents I covet, not even secretly), not the douchebag who cheated on his wife. If you have yet to vote in the primaries, I hope you realize that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are leading, and voting for the other candidates means that your chosen candidates are then likely to endorse one of those two. Essentially you are wasting a vote, because instead of making your choice, you will now be letting someone else make your choice. I hope everyone else I have met in the US is voting for Bernie, as far as I can recall, I am aware of all of them being on the left (but the Democratic left is a mess, don't get me started on: why are there only Democrats and Republicans in a country that purportedly practises democracy????). All except for one I fell in love with, whose political inclinations I would reckon to be more like political apathy. Well, I'm a little more grown-up now, and if there's one thing that's a turn-off, it's political apathy. Nothing is less attractive than being so privileged or even callous, to not care about what's going on to general society around you. I've been reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, it's a very heavy book (in terms of subject matter, not physically) and it makes me sad, because it's kinda about post-traumatic reactions and how trauma will live inside your body for pretty much ever. It's a thing that I struggle with, a little. When I see a kid being bullied by their parent (the other day Lucas and I saw a man being so mean to his daughter in a restaurant because she didn't know how to complete her homework, and he said very alarming things, and they were supposed to be eating but she wasn't allowed to eat!), I of course think back to when my father made me stand on chairs in restaurants, leaving me humiliated. I think it shows now even while I'm at work, I move very tentatively and am afraid of making any mistakes. Or like, when my father was cheating and I somehow got involved when the third party told me to mind my father's acts, if I'd lived in LA or New York, I would understand that lots of parents split up, lots of people come from blended families. In Singapore, I wasn't exposed to all these issues in a healthy, natural way. My mother shamed me for having sex with a partner I hadn't married, she shamed me for having gotten pregnant, and finally, made me feel guilty for having had a miscarriage. All these are traumas my body has been through, and at the weirdest times, I get triggered by tiny details in circumstances I don't even realize. It's a little sad, because I would say I'm no longer down and out, I've travelled and eaten some good food, had luxurious bubble baths or dips in infinity pools, yet the trauma threatens to break out of my memory when I least expect it to. I'm rambling now, but reading A Little Life is heavy on people with the healthiest of mindsets, so while I read it, I must remember to set breaks for myself, remember it is fiction (although it probably happens more often than you think, in real life), and move forward, always with intention.

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