Thursday, December 31, 2020

MORNING GLORY

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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

PAPER RINGS


I count my blessings for getting me through a challenging, unfamiliar year. I was put on a lockdown, like the rest of the world. This affected my income and savings for my future studies. I broke up with a good man who was so kind to me. I do want to give thanks to my second family at lululemon Takashimaya for sticking through my mercurial highs and lows. In my first interview, we answered tough questions about our personal lives and I remember every interview candidate crying from displaying our vulnerability, just as I did. Sometimes, when you’re in a fortunate enough position, you can curate scenarios where like attracts like. I’ve gained and grown so much with this team, and I have had so much fun so many times, even through a year that was quite honestly nasty af. I’ve seen my bosses and friends dance like they in a club somewhere (honestly I ran out of energy laughing at one of them). One of the sweetest, most kind-hearted people organized a surprise crowdfund for me, and they put together pretty much one month’s rent’s worth of money. This means I didn’t have to talk about the principles of redistributing your wealth as a way to go against capitalism, but they were already engaging in it. I flirt with my boss quite a bit, she calls me “sour plum” from my Lush body spray, and I also actually really like her scent. I find pretty much everyone in the team superficially physically attractive, but beneath the surface, I love them so much more. I have loved the one who doesn’t know how to accept compliments, the person who calls others “lil shit” when she gets comfortable with them, the guailan human pretzel. I love my Three Sarahs Club, the angsty bread-loving bb who cuddles up to all of us, the mama who dotes on and looks after the entire team. I also actually think I liked someone the moment I heard them trying to figure out the time signature to the remix of a song. It was like a — eh??? Oh no I was just looking at muscles and then I went and caught feels???? This year has been dark, but I am grateful that you’ve all shown me some of your light, and made me feel a little lighter, so much of the time. I like you and love you. (No squad pic bc Covid.)

Sunday, December 27, 2020

AMBROSIA


(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

HAPPENSTANCE

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

CAJÓN

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? 

I DON’T NEED A PARACHUTE



Two years ago, I met Tina for the first time in New York. I was nervous that day, just as nervous as I would have been if it were a first date with a romantic partner, perhaps even more so. People talk about how hard it is to find love, but sometimes it’s just as hard to find true friendship. The kind that doesn’t depend on circumstance, the kind that actually exists in spite of it. Tina and I live in opposite hemispheres of the world (though not for much longer) and yet we are kindred spirits. We’ve had to navigate Asian parents and parenting, and she’s been so much of a big sister to me, although sometimes she’s also my soulmate and my wife. We’ve had our fair share of adventures with men and with life. It makes me feel validated to know there is someone else just as trusting and vulnerable with her heart, who writes about parallel universes and timelines, who doesn’t judge me for outgrowing spaces I no longer fit into. On one of our outings (it was at a Women’s March, after we’d seen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez make a speech in the flesh!) we eavesdropped and overheard a first date going south and burst into inward giggles. I am simultaneously thirteen in middle school, and eighty years old in a nursing home, when I am with Tina. Old souls at heart, childish imps somewhere lower in the body. Thank you for being spacegirltina, for bringing me to The Ramble and teaching me about birds, for letting me talk to your cat Hadley, for giving me the space to grow and for telling it like it is. Thank you for your trust and for being someone I can trust. Thank you for reflecting and growing and calling me/yourself out on our bullshit. Thank you for being in my corner and having my back and supporting me when I need it. I love you and I promise we will grow old together and we’ll talk it out, no matter what.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

ZUKARA

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. 

BOTH OF THESE THINGS CAN BE TRUE

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

GERANIUM


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.

PRAMANA

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

90’S TREND


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.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

BE GREATER THAN AVERAGE


I’ve been feeling up and down about being single again, but at the moment, at this very moment, I have a little bit of positivity. I think it’s a good time to learn to be by myself again. I don’t think I’ve actually had much time to learn to be the person I really am. I’ve been away from my family for a maximum of two months at any time in my life, and that definitely hasn’t contributed much space for me to find and set my own boundaries. I hope I live in a house that has puppies or cats though, or both! Then, even when I need a cuddle I can cuddle the animals. I learned many things in my latest relationship. Someone asked whether I was in love with Lucas when it ended, and I don’t know, I found the question just a little bit misguided. I don’t think it’s sustainable to have a passionate love be the foundation of a long-term relationship, or at least being in love as grounds for a relationship to continue. First, I did love him and do love him as a person, but secondly, I am not unrealistic enough to believe that a fiery kind of being in love will be ever constantly present in a long-term relationship. I didn’t have a solid, stable love in my parents’ marriage to model my expectations after, but I can see from my friends whose parents are still together, that their children are people who recognize that staying together is work and effort, and there will be times when you are in the lovey-dovey kind of love, and then there are times when you power through because you know that’s what your partner would do for you. Then there’s the question of whether love alone can sustain a relationship. I may not seem it, but I am more pragmatic than it seems. I require and crave physical touch perhaps much more than the average person does, and this is why my friends at work have learned to hug me sporadically, or touch my arm, or sit right next to me on the couch and place their head on my shoulder, or whatever. I am not made for a long-distance relationship, least of all in a pandemic-faced world where being able to travel is not guaranteed. Where I used to loftily think “love is all you need” –it was such a grand idea I had the quote painted on my wall, obviously– I no longer do, and haven’t done so for a mighty long time. Taylor Swift is dropping her new album, evermore, the sister record to folklore, tonight and I am quite honestly living for it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

FARAWAY FARADAY


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

DOJA CAT

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

LA PLAYA CARMEL

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.