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.

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.

Stagnant

They say the twilight teenage years are supposed to be the best years of your life. Clubbing at 18, 19, and night raves. All the things that Skins and various Instagram friends have put you up to. I guess it’s really the only few new things to try while you are sitting around waiting for life to happen. At least it’s in the very literal sense, happening.

There’s a sinking feeling when your friends are accepted into a gazillion courses in all their dream schools (especially in the UK), and I’m stuck here fighting it out for some insanely mugger competitive local course. Even now, there’s so much uncertainty. I don’t even have a place anywhere, and everyday I struggle with a 9 to 5 job, and the complete lack of life. Social media has set up this millennium teen party kids stereotype that everyone wants to be. Somehow listening to house music playlists on 8tracks and being in love with Skins have convinced me that I NEED to be like them. I NEED to take overexposed club pictures with red lipstick. I NEED to hold glasses with ombre liquid in them, and tilt my hips to an angle. I want to be fabulous.

I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that my parents are WAY over-protective, and this is the life I have gotten. That if I want to have life experiences and travel, I need to earn my own keep and break away from this family. I know people say that it would be a lot more satisfying if I manage to do all this – travelling, clubbing and going to Coachella with my own money, but boy, do I envy those who do it right now (I KNOW you didn’t get that Hermes bag with your own money)

Well, we’re back here at 1.26am

I saw this coming. After 2 weeks of actually studying (I literally tried, like 4 hours a day tried) I knew I’d end up here at 1.27am in the morning. After nights and nights of sleeping at 11 and waking up at 7/8, I knew I had to fuck with my body clock one last time. My period is late and I am stressed out over the notifications my period tracker app sends me. I’d like it to come so that the worst of it wouldn’t coincide with the exams. Please do.

I don’t remember how I ended up here, 1.29am in the morning, telling everyone and no one about my uterus problems and fearing the future. I never would say that I’ve studied hard in my life. Mostly I think because I’m scared. I’m scared to reach my ‘full potential’ because it may be very near and reaching it might mean that that’s it. That’s the most I can achieve. And I can’t deal with that. I can’t do anything and say, “yes, that’s all I have”. Because I want to believe that I am more than that, I’m more than 4 hours of studying a day, more than a ABBB for prelims, more than a desperate med school reject (I seriously hope at this time next year I will not be typing a post about being rejected from medical school because that would seriously S U C K)

Ironically though, this stupid, insane mentality is keeping me from my best. Do I have the courage to find what my best really is? I don’t know if I do. Maybe by admitting that I don’t have the courage would help. Guess that’s why I’m rambling in this one. I am praying to myself, literally begging myself right now. Please have the courage in this 5 days to reach your peak. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE A PEAK. And fucking reach it, climb up it, embrace the fucking peak. Reach this peak so that you can find new ones. You need to stop putting clouds above yourself so that you can’t see the end. IF you keep doing that, you’ll end up being so disillusioned that when one day, reality catches up and blows the clouds away, you’d realised you barely moved at all. Once again that would seriously S U C K.

Alright?

1.38am. I’m hungry.

The Last Lap

The more I try to push on, the more I feel like I’m losing sight of the end point. Some days everything feels meaningless, and I forget what I want. I forget that I am supposed to want things, have goals, and work towards them. I feel empty, empty that I am mindlessly working towards scoring higher statistics on a standardised test, empty that I trudge alongside many others, who are so very different, but made to look the same. Brown clothed, weary and tired, we push on. I’d imagine everyone be thinking the same thing, “oh god, look how lifeless everyone is, how lifeless I am, I must be more than this. I am more than this, and more than them”.

I hate how I feel like I’m being rubbed into the background, like how an amateur artist would use his sweaty fingers to rub the pencil to blend into the paper. All the good artists know that good artists do not use fingers like how the media portrays we do. Lead and paper don’t mix, they are held by weak Van der Waals’ forces of attraction, mere interactions of electrons, which are essentially, a probability. I want to break free.

How is it that a probability is chaining me to this system, that a mass of probabilities can hold me down and suffocate me?

But the thing is, even if I were to break free, where would that lead me? I have yet to have enough courage to discover where that would be.

“Work, bitch.”
– Britney Spears