Elusive

I’m so confused by my own choices. Am I making the right one? Did I give up too quickly? I miss the good and happy times so much, and now I’m seeing the potential for there to be so many of them. There was a dark time, why was I so affected by it?

The time when I watched such an amazing play with amazing company and still yearned for you to be by my side. When your name was said on stage, and my heart stopped. Gaurav and then my insides twisted and all the air left my lungs. I shrivelled and I wanted to cry. When I read posts and articles about love, and how love that lasts will last only through determination and sticking together through the hard times, I feel so guilty. And when finally faced with the possibility that we would have to stop talking, I feel this sense of doom everytime. When we had our last cuddle and kisses, and I couldn’t stop crying at the finality of it. Why did I rip myself away when it made me so upset.

“We were too good, and too intertwined to not spark and click again when we meet again”

Me and the deep blue sea

The last time I wrote, I was happy and I didn’t do a very good piece. Then I stopped writing for a long time because I thought I was fine. I think one part of why I’ve got here was the lack of introspection.

Now I will write again, but pardon me as my pen is rusty. I bend it at various angles and the ink comes out in bits and pieces. Still, here goes.

I can’t put my finger on that exact moment I felt unhappy. Unhappy is such a poor word, it can’t even come up with it’s own personality, it’s just the opposite of happy, leeching off the meaning of happiness. No, this has it’s own definition, an unfulfilled heaviness. Why is it that negative feelings are defined with respect to the positive word? Unhappy, unfulfilled, disillusioned.

It was just building over the years, collecting its momentum from when I first got into a relationship. I’ve spent my whole life taking care of people, from taking care of my sisters to finding someone to take care of. And this isn’t a bad thing, but if my worldview and happiness became defined by loving someone else, then who am I really? It became such that I felt boxed in, molded by societal expectations and norms – to be faithful and love someone, one must push through the hard times, one must support each other. But I don’t want to anymore. I don’t want to feel all these obligations weighing down on me, and be kept prisoner by these expectations that I define myself by.

Why be happy when you can be normal?

 

I like you too

13.03.15

Thank you for making me feel beautiful. For letting me realise that my ego and confidence isn’t something that I created out of the hot air of insecurities.

Maybe love could exist between the spaces of our fingers when we fist bump. In the pause between puns, and in the baskets of Cappadocia hot air balloons. In the awkwardly placed plane seat armrests, and floating in the stale air of the bus that drove 13 hours from Antalya to Cappadocia. Isn’t it funny how we skipped steps and did some pretty romantic shit together? Yet, we remind ourselves, baby steps.

I can’t imagine how you find the strength and patience to wait for me to sort out my life, and for that I promise I will. I’ll chase away the ghosts that broke my heart before I met you. I’ll clean up all my messes and hopefully, if you are still around, come back home to you.

“Walk with me, hand in hand through the neon and styrofoam. Walk the razor blades and the broken hearts. Walk the fortune and the fortune hunted. Walk the chop suey bars and the tract of stars.

I know I am a fool, hoping dirt and glory are both a kind of luminous paint; the humiliations and exaltations that light us up. I see like a bug, everything too large, the pressure of infinity hammering at my head. But how else to live, vertical that I am, pressed down and pressing up simultaneously? I cannot assume you will understand me. It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear. Some story we must have. Stray words on crumpled paper. A weak signal into the outer space of each other.

The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love.”
― Jeanette Winterson, Gut Symmetries

I’ve damn near got no dignity left

Loneliness is the proverbial monster under the bed, it keeps us company with fear. This heartbreak seems to be eating at me at places I don’t even register. Eating my feelings became something I do, and my complexion is telling me to take my emotions down a notch. In physiology, your body will always have a reaction to highly-stressed states. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are stressed and upset when your body is permanently on cAMP. Cause and effect is confusing even in medicine. Especially when it’s a vicious cycle of stress and depression.

I need to stop finding comfort in company, and be okay with being alone. Already I thought I was making progress, reducing the texts and eating alone. Yet, I let myself get carried away with the attention, and the warm embrace of being desired by someone. People aren’t band-aids for my gaping wounds, or the Xanax to my crap.

I will not be a victim of romance,
I will not be a victim of circumstance,
Chance, or circumstance, or any man,
Who can get his dirty little hands on me

– I Was An Eagle, Laura Marling

Because everything I love has gone away.

I don’t think that it’s the end, but I know we can’t keep going

How is it that we can’t define love, and yet know when it disappears? Logically it isn’t possible, you can’t feel the loss of something if you don’t know what that thing is. Yet, I feel it acutely, in the depths of my heart, echoing in the vacuums of one-sided phone conversations. Every nightly phone call, a lump in my throat impedes the dutiful reply of “I love you”, to your constant effusions. And yet, it comes out, strangled and apologetic.

When did your declarations go from warming my heart, to stabs of guilt? I used to screenshot texts, just to make them last longer. When we fought, I used to look back at these images, and smile at the knowledge that we loved each other.

And now it’s all over. It’s amazing how someone who meant so much to you at one point in time; who could cause so much pain, just fade away in the forward rush of time.

When we began, I wanted a love that was as all-consuming as the sun, a love that could penetrate space-time continuums, and warm our hearts from light-years away. Instead, we had one that existed in concerned texts, grocery shopping dates and care packs of vitamin C. My impatient heart couldn’t stand such love that resided in between bus seats and errands. I did try so hard. Tried to make you happy, tried to listen to all the worries of your life, tried to love deeply.

Yet I knew that this was one-sided, and it will probably always be. I knew that you loved me but you loved yourself more. Physics and yourself are the two great loves of your life, and I’ll always play the second fiddle in this strange harem. As you’ve said before, if I chose to leave, you wouldn’t stop me. So I did.

In your post break-up regret, you swore to love me as strongly as I did. But we both knew it was a reaction to the sudden lack of familiarity, a reflex to the loss of a daily habit. I couldn’t change who you were, and it was foolish of me to think that maybe my love could.

Thank you for being in my life, and for letting me love you. Thank you for trying in the end, even when I let go. If I had another chance at life, I would still put myself through this journey of loving you, even if I knew it had an end. Thanks for making me a better and more selfless person, in love and in life. I will miss you and I don’t quite know how this heartbreak will affect me. But I hope you’ve grown from this as well, and find someone who will be okay with your harem, or maybe even someone who you can love before anything else.

Don’t you dare let our best memories bring you sorrow,
Yesterday, I saw a lion kiss a deer,
Turn a page, maybe we’ll find a brand new ending,
Where we’re dancing in our tears

– Lost Stars, from Begin Again

When you aren’t around

What do I really miss? Do I miss you or do I miss love? When we love someone do we love them, or do we love loving them and being loved back? I accept your flaws, I love your idiosyncrasies but that’s what I think love is supposed to do.

All this, we’ve never talked about this. We never really faced this part of me, this part that I feel that really is, the core of me. I think. I don’t even know myself. I don’t know many things, and I admit them, only to myself. You are this all-seeing eye, you think you know everything, and you seek to know everything. But I exist in my ignorance, and in front of you, wear this mask of knowledge.

Bleary eyed scrolling through articles on thoughtcatalog tagged under love and sex, sometimes under breaking up.

Realising that everyone is confused about love and no one is a guru. Not getting tips anywhere, no guidance, stop living my life according to arbitrary lists.

We talk about forever because we seem to believe that by verbalizing it, we are making it truer. Since when did truth have a degree; there is truth and there is fiction. We find ourselves in the chasm, reaching for truth with our words. Or maybe you don’t find yourself anywhere but grounded in reality. I am never grounded anywhere.

me vs. you

I found this year-old post sitting in my drafts (with some edits from current-me), and it’s amazing how it really sums up how I feel nowadays. Past-me understands current-me more than thoughtcatalog. Also, this means what I’ve feared a year ago seems to be slowly solidifying and becoming a reality.


I’ve always wondered how i could love someone so grounded in reality, so adamant that only our perceptions of reality are valid. Granted, you expound on wormholes and alternate universes but they are all backed up by scientific documentaries you’ve watched. Everything is grounded in science. Even our love is grounded in science, in the transmission of electrical impulses. I don’t think you understand why I was sad when you claimed that all human emotion can be reduced down to neurons.

Words are my thing and math is yours but love is ours. I pour mine out in letters and diary entries while you express yours in fractions and infinities. We fumble along our incompatible ways of loving, trying to accommodate each other, trying to not lose ourselves among this amalgamation of languages. Our expressions may be variables that we find hard to solve but our love has always been the constant. And I am thankful that among the complex metaphors and long prose that I attempt to capture our love in, I will never succeed. We will never succeed. Because our love cannot be contained, cannot be expressed in fractions and quantified, cannot be known and expressed by an ocean of words, by all the versions of dictionaries. We exist in this continuum we have built between us, floating, struggling, together.

Despite that we will keep trying.

Ironically the day that we stop trying will be the day that our continuum breaks down. I don’t know about you. But I will fall. Hard. Through my woven web of words and phrases, I will fall. I will grasp at every past prose, verse and line written about you, and wonder if we managed to reconcile my words and your numbers, we would have made our continuum a new reality.

Turning Point(s)

I’m not going to do those ‘looking back at 2014’ posts, I think my attempt at journalling has left enough bad writing in my $5 typo notebook. Hopefully I won’t let the writing bug leave me again.

A lot of sad things happened to me in the past year, and in the pathetic end bits of J2. (Wow, look at me reflecting on 2014 even when I said I wouldn’t) Good things too, but I can’t really say exactly how my life for the last two years were. I stopped reading, writing and creating. Every time I try to start I give up because I judge myself very harshly (also I’m lazy). Who would want to read this shit or look at your feeble attempts at art? But after a very strange 2014, I’m leaning towards the tired ‘YOLO’/’fuck this shit’ trope and hence, the rejuvenation of this blog.

For the past few years, I think I’ve experienced how people could burrow away at life, and then wake up one day and ask themselves, “what the fuck has happened to me” Not that I’m claiming to be a troubled millennial with a quarter-life crisis (please, so passe *ahem* thoughtcatalog), but I do feel like I just woke up from this dream that was the past 2 years. I won’t go into deep analysis of how I even let myself lapse into this phase, but mostly, with the advent of Candy Crush, and more recently, Tsum Tsum and Simcity, emotions can be distracted by a few swipes of the screen, and primary coloured rewards that emit cute tunes. Never has satisfaction presented itself as adorable as tapping open a premium box to get a Frozen Ana Tsum Tsum. Also, the never-ending pile of assignments and ‘things-to-do’ distract me from really reflecting on things that happened. Emotions never lasted as they are ‘resolved’ by a quick rant or a few sighs and a pat on the back. Instead of dwelling in them, I threw them under my growing pile of responsibilities. Which isn’t good either.

I honestly don’t know what woke me up, it all seemed such a haze. The strongest feeling though, was that I couldn’t remember much from the past 2 years. Emotions that stayed and circulated in me for weeks until I wrung them out in words, in images and in tears, were the ones that I could link to memories. And the last occurrence of that was about 2012, early 2013. Time was definitely a factor, an expensive commodity that I decided to sacrifice retrospection, only to spend it on lives in Candy Crush and other time-related games that dangle new tries with a clock. How stupid.

Maybe I’m procrastinating from cramming anatomy into my head, and starting on biochemistry. Procrastination at it’s best. Whatever it is, I’m going to do some emotional spring-cleaning. My life, along with my emotions, has stagnated and mosquitoes are breeding. I feel like I’m in one place, and my head in another, and my emotions, everywhere. I have become a stereotype of the average smart asian kid, filial daughter and good girlfriend. I’m suffocating, help.

By the way – reading through my old blogposts, I actually quite like how I used to write… *self-praise* Hope I still have it in me.

-ist

Being in a conservative, traditional Chinese school, I have heard sexist and racist comments too many times to count. Every time a racist or sexist comment is being uttered, it is in response to a particular member of said subgroup wronging them in ways irrelevant to their race or religion, or a commentary about said people fulfilling the stereotypes of their race or religion.

Personally, I strongly believe in choice and equality. I believe that everyone has a choice in what and who they want to be, without hurting others in the process. I also believe that people are human beings and should be accorded with a basic form of respect – respect for what they believe in, again, as long as it does not hurt others. I do not preach my beliefs as I believe in choice. But it has gotten to a point where the situation is intolerable.

I think the social pressures of making friends and keeping them have eroded my beliefs. I have let my friends, and even my significant other, say racist and sexist remarks. I did not stop them, I did not scold them, or even explain why it is wrong. I guess I believed they were joking (as they claim they were) and I believed that they are better people than that. They are good people, but at the end they are racist and sexist. Moral absolutism does not exist, people can be good in many aspects of their life, and still be fundamentally bad in some ways. It took me this long to realise that. It also took me this long to realise that I have compromised on my beliefs just so I can keep some relationships.

In retrospect, there a few significant things that happened and phrases that I have let slip in the past. Now, they are back to haunt me, and remind me of how I have let my beliefs become affected by my incessant need to feel accepted. Now, they disgust me. These are serious things that could and in some cases, will hurt people.

1. Rape jokes, like no really YOU DID NOT GO FUCKING THERE.
2. Sexist jokes like, oh they belong in the kitchen/ why does she even bother she should focus on tending the house
3. Racist comments about malays, indians, blacks and actually every single race that exists except for of course, chinese.
4. When they were younger, they thought that the (other race) hawker over-charged them, so they laced their plates with a taboo food and dumped it in the plate collection bucket. *not mentioning anything in case there are consequences/this goes viral (unlikely)

Regarding 4, I think that is the most insensitive and disgusting act anyone can commit. The next step would probably be racial radicalism. I MEAN WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. He actually said that since no one but them knew about it, they didn’t really offend anyone. ARE YOU KIDDING THIS IS COMPLETELY A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. Looking back, I am disgusted at myself for begrudgingly accepting such a lame-ass excuse/disguise for racist behaviour. The whole affair is rude, wrong and offensive in principle and the amount of people who know does not change the fact that it is wrong.

This leads us to the actual problem.

Almost everyone thinks that joking about stereotypes or any racist/sexist statements or norms is alright, as long as they themselves do not partake in racist or sexist actions. Unfortunately, such jokes are already considered as perpetuating the sexist and/or racist problem. By treating rape or discrimination as a joke, you will then treat the actual occurrence as a joke. According to a commentary (http://kentridgecommon.com/?p=17815), Singapore has a much higher occurrence of rape than in India, with more than 4 cases of rape for every 100 000 people. (India has 1.8 cases per 100 000 people) Though it is true that we have a more open culture with a higher intolerance for sexism and discrimination, the statistics do not lie. Evidently, the problem lies not with the legislation against such crimes, but the society’s reaction to such crimes. Society does not look kindly upon victims of rape, even considering them almost as ‘low class’ as the rapists themselves, as if they have made themselves susceptible to rape. After eons of treating discrimination and pressing sexism and racism issues as a joke, when the punchline becomes a reality, people would prefer to look the other way.

The Little India riots are a brilliant example of Singaporeans’ callous attitudes towards foreigners and the very pressing issue of discrimination. Though it is true that the brusque and riotous way the foreign workers have reacted to the bus incident is uncalled for, the increasing discrimination against foreign workers is disturbing. We are driving them to a corner, and as with anyone, they fight back.

So what can we do, as individuals? We may not have the power to change society, and alter its norms, but we can suppress the urge to move away when a group of Indian workers flood the train at Little India. We can choose to sit beside foreign workers on the bus, instead of standing and leaving a seat empty (move out of the way bitch, move out of the way). We can choose not to teach our kids, or our younger siblings to fear the ‘ah pu neh neh’. We can choose to treat them like any other normal human – with respect.