Thursday, July 23, 2020



I think it's time. Maybe I am in a different headspace now, maybe I'm not. I have got sunscreen on, so I'm trying not to cry it off, but I've also learned from many people that when the tears come, let them come. At our birthday celebration last year, I told you about the man who had made me feel unsafe by making a remark that was insinuated to be about what I was wearing. My reaction to this sprang up from many emotions. My body has stored many different memories in its muscles, some stored way down and buried, and I think one of them was the time I was followed home at midnight and flashed by a man at the staircase landing. In Singapore, supposedly one of the safest countries in the world. When that happened, I was again asked why I came home late, what I was wearing, and this time last year, I did not want to have to defend myself. As my best friend, I just wanted you to allow me to feel hurt and upset, even if you did not feel it with me. You said the man who passed his comment to me might have had protective intentions, but you didn't acknowledge the underlying message that if he's telling me things about my clothing, it's a free pass for other men to leer at me based on what I wear. I should be able to wear whatever I want to wear, and if men are being predatory, tell the men to stop being predatory. The onus is not on me to protect myself. A month before that, you said you felt as though we weren't doing as well in life as the other two. I still don't know if all three of you felt that way, or it was just a feeling you had. I'd never really felt such a thing, but the conversation changed, and I was happy to plan my future with your tips to help me along. You used to tell me your husband had also gone through difficult family situations in life, but he still "made it" and was taking care of his mother. I felt like you had a benchmark to cross off milestones in a person's life, and I was falling behind. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was sad you felt that way. I didn't think I was less successful than the other two, or than any of you three. Perhaps I have different milestones I celebrate in life. I celebrate being able to love and be open with my feelings, I celebrate having had mental health issues and overcoming them, little by little, year after year. I celebrate knowing when a relationship has run its healthy course and being able to end it. I celebrate being open about therapy. I celebrate being a pioneer that other people turn to for advice on what is acceptable moral behavior and what isn't. Maybe I don't celebrate success as reaching career milestones or stable finances in a world that defines your worth through your capital income, and I'm proud of this. There is so much I didn't say to you, from that one conversation, and maybe it just stung me enough for me not to know how to approach it. I have enough on my plate, never being enough for my mother, for not being religious, for having been conceived out of wedlock. I was sad that I didn't seem to be doing well enough for you. I do not fault you, we may have different mindsets and the way our friendship ended was my responsibility to take, and I take it. I do miss you, and I loved you. We had sixteen amazing years together. I have feelings for men I spent only weeks and months with, and I still do. My brain and body remember all the things I went through with you. The characters we met, like Naya and her straight-out whackjob delirium, the times we were both bitchy and mean about other people, the way you took care of me more than my own family could have. I appreciate you and I will always miss you, but I have become much more radical than a lot of people we know. I am more Marxist than the people I know at work, I am the most outspoken atheist that any of my extended family members have possibly encountered in their lives. I wish I could go back to a year ago and have a civil way of getting closure for both of us, but I am so tired. I am so sad and tired from trying to fit myself into spaces I don't belong in. I'm tired of having to justify myself and my actions and my thoughts to my family and friends and colleagues. I don't know what's happened in your life, I barely know if you're really the one who's had a child, but I will always hope for the best in your life, and I'm sure, I choose to believe you are doing the same for me. I have to tell y'all something. The worst possible way to cry, and you can trust me on this because I've gone through many variations, but the absolute worst is crying while wearing a mask so your tears and snot are wetting it through and you can't wipe it. My boss saw me crying when I arrived at work today, and she said crying is a sign of being vulnerable, and that is strength. Shoutout to Sherie, I love you, thank you for giving me time and space.