Friday, January 1, 2021

還欠你的我不能給

During dinner last week, Jaysen said he was jiak kantang, but then on one of our lululemon friends’ Instagram stories tonight, he was singing Wang Leehom’s Kiss Goodbye on karaoke??? Jiak shen me kantang one this one. The kantang grow in China one. Is call 土豆 one. Actually for all intents and purposes, he really is jiak kantang one la. If he weren’t so good with the English vernacular, I would clearly not be so smitten. Also, I haven’t seen him since we closed the store two days ago and we all met for lunch, but I saw him on a mutual friend’s stories for New Year’s Eve, and tonight I saw him on another friend’s stories for another gathering. So basically I’m going to mute all our mutual friends’ stories so I don’t accidentally see him singing or just being himself?!?! Watch! Me! Mute!!! All our friends!!!! I say this knowing full well that I’m going to see him at dinner next week lol. I’m just being a drama mama, because it’s the first day of the year and sometimes you need a little drama to spice things up. Just a little. No but really. Am I kidding about muting all the lululemons’ stories? Perhaps just for a while? Fuck, sometimes having a decent memory can be a double-edged sword. The moment my brain decided it was attracted to him, every single interaction I’ve had with him in the past year has now been flagged with like, pink Post-its. The Jordan Peterson check-in, the books he’s read and I’ve seen, the times he’s sung Malay songs and asked me for their meanings, the silly verses he makes up with everyone’s names. Mati mampos la, why did my goddamn brain decide to do this????? If I’d just not felt it before we closed, I would be perfectly normal now. Bodoh!!!!!!! Muka kau macam lontong, Sarah!!!! So it’s 2021 and I have a hugeass crush on someone who tells people their faces look like lontong (among other things, depending on his mood)Am I actually thirty years old? It truly doesn’t feel like it. To be honest, it feels great. According to Thinking, Fast and Slow, there are two systems in our brain/mind, the experiencing self and the remembering self, and I do not know which one is active now. I suppose because I am experiencing the feelings now, it is my experiencing self? The experiencing self currently feels simultaneously silly, bashful yet equally youthful because it takes me back to my much younger, carefree times, so it’s feeling rather happy. You know, when I’m accessing my base emotions, I don’t speak in English, I’m giggling and rambling in Singlish and Malay and Mandarin, just amusing myself and it makes me happy. It’s just me going “apa kau merepek ni, Sarah????” However, the experiencing self and remembering self don’t always share similar interests or even the same ways of feeling happiness, so perhaps when this memory is stored, one day my remembering self may not remember this memory as a happy feeling, when it is accessed? Could I feel pathetic if I look back on this in hindsight? Hmmm. Maybe that’s not how it works. Also, if you compare the two posts that have been written today, you can see a clear juxtaposition of my intellectual versus my carnal self. On a day both get to express themselves, I am happy.

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.