One Semester.

With the fatigue slowly fading away and the stress of the daily grind minimising with every blink of the eye, it is easy to say that everything was a great and wonderful learning experience. But I am pretty sure it wasn’t as easy to say these words just two weeks ago, or even one.

Seeing things in hindsight is like filtering a photograph through Instagram – only the pretty sides go through. All cotton candy and fluff. But I guess fluff is nice to look at.

I am glad that I made it out alive without pulling myself apart emotionally, physically and mentally. Close though, but never jumping off the cliff. I am glad that I am still intact with a head on my shoulders, feet on the ground and a heart in my chest. I am glad I am still me – despite the growth and the inevitable changes in my person, I am still comfortable in my skin and loving who I am.

It has been difficult.

For me: The lack of sleep. Missing my friends beyond school. Rushing from place to place. Skipping meals. Meeting deadlines for articles. Arguments born of misunderstandings and lack of respect. Work, work, work. Clashes in information. Condescending voices shutting me down in my head. Having no energy for things I used to make time for. The injuries and falling ill.

For others: Dealing with rejections on meet-ups and plans. Disappearance of my presence in lives, generally. Listening to my meaningless bullshit thoughts, bitching, complaining and the negativity that seeps into my blood every now and then.

Change after change after adjustment after compromise after change. Repeat.

There were bright things to put a smile on my face. Of course there were. It is all in the little things, like the ITI cats around campus, classmates getting me lunch, having an iced milo to drink, classmates laughing at and supporting each other, feeling like I did good work or waking up on the right side of bed. Or just counting down the days. Or spending quick meals with the boyfriend.

But I am not going to lie to myself that every day was rainbows and unicorns and ice kachang.

Anyway, I would not be surprised if the whole cycle repeats itself for the up-coming semester, but I think it is easier to convince myself now that I will not die in the process since I emerged from this one alive.

Stronger, more ready and more willing to trust.

After all, this is what I signed up for and I will finish what I started. I never asked for easy. I am young and if I do not push myself to the limit for my training, then when will I ever?

But now, I think I really deserve a short break.

On another note, thank you to everyone that has shown me love, kindness, care and concern over the past semester. I have been lucky to have all the encouragements and messages left at my door step to remind me how beautiful sunlight is when shining from the inside and why I am doing what I do.

Thank you.

Weekend Writing Prompt #1

(Use any three of these words in text: Delicate, wind, fob, apology and grumpy.)

The delicate wind caressed my exposed neck while scooping up my hair to dance with him. 

The rhythm was similar to the ebb and flow of the nearby sea. 

It felt good to feel a part of the jewel that will always be far more beautiful than I. 

It was his beautiful way of giving a sincere apology after the thunderstorm and a hurricane of the morning this Sunday. 

I closed my eyes and whispered, “Don’t stop. Keep going. I need you.” 

Planting the seeds of intangible language into the air, the wind left to carry them into the hearts of everyone that feels the same. 

And maybe, flowers will grow and a garden of comfort will emerge to uplift tired souls and share warmth with shivering hope. 

“Maybe I’m crazy. Probably.” 

(Looping the song “Crazy” on my iPod Touch as I am on the way home after experiencing Indulgence at 72-13.) 

When was the last time I actually went out of the house on my own, caught a show and took my own time to find my way back home? 

Taking photographs of the scenery that inspires me. Breathing quietly and taking steps my legs can cope with. Smiling when I want to and crying when I feel like it. Wearing an old tie-dyed shirt with shorts and sandals without someone saying that I look fat or ugly or not good enough. 

“Too old to be wearing that shit. Can you dress decently?” 

Hmm. 

Since growing up is out of my control, does that remove my choices to do what I want to make me feel better about this horrifyingly sped up process? 

That’s something I am still negotiating. 

Almost a couple of hours ago, I forgot what it is like to just go to a place of comfort, sit by the window and people watch, sketch, write silly poems meant only for me and drink iced milo dinosaur. 

I used to think that’s joy. Now, that might seem like a waste of time. Pity, no? 

Thinking about this now, when was the last time I did that anyway? Maybe back in 2013. Or maybe an obscure day in 2014 that I conveniently forgot about out of guilt. 

It is indeed funny how I write in my schedule and a diary faithfully every night only to want to lie to myself about what kind of days, months and years I have been living. 

Have you ever wondered if the days you spend are really true to what you want or are just elaborate schemes so you will look back at them to be able to think of yourself a certain way? 

The never ending question of reinvention and fabrication. How pretentiously poetic. An unnecessary burden. 

Why do I ask so many questions and seek no answers? 

“Stop asking why. It is irritating. These are not questions you should be bothering yourself with.” 

Living the nomadic life in my pursuit of truth, because having an anchor, a flag and a rooted heart scares me to no end. 

Risk of suffocation or joy of security? 

Be quiet. Do not answer. It is a rhetorical question, because I will never make myself choose. 

How could I? 

I am too afraid of making the wrong move, and after all, our skin cells die and get a second life every seven years. 

How am I to make a decision for the future girl that might feel different in new skin in a couple of months to come? 

“You are no longer a girl. You are a woman. Almost a grown adult. Youth does not stay forever.” 

Take my hand? Come into bed? Hold me? Sing me a lullaby and calm my mind. Lie. Look in my eyes and convince me this is a dream and I have no more questions to ask. 

And let me sleep in your arms. 

And pretend I am just an extension of another being more real, more safe and more wise. 

Arms.

“We are still finding each other.”

And in that moment when you said those words

I pictured arms growing from our minds, like wings on birds

Trying to feel the brain of the other

Just to know you a little better

Tracing your veins

Understanding every loop of your brain

Telepathically know what you are going to say

Maybe then we can truly be upfront and honest with each other every other day

But brains are just brains

And only speaking our minds can save us from this never ending rain

“No. I don’t want to feel nothing any further.”

Middle of May. 

(Just a record of notes I have in my phone throughout the month. To remember, to linger and to move on.) 

17th – Can you even try to forget something that supposedly means something to you? Or is it just a passing of time? Are we just growing old or growing closer?

16th – It is like grey clouds blurring your vision / And hiding the sunny sky fluffy whites behind it. A biased dark view that weighs down the tired shoulders. 

10th – When tears retrace their own steps. 

10th – Don’t ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness. – Ivan Heng. 

6th – I am so incredibly touched by the kindness showed to me by everyone. Even the Hokkien noodle stall auntie was sharing a small snippet of an incident with a customer and men. It’s like everything is good and my ears are given to me for a reason. 

5th – And when he said goodnight, loneliness is the blanket I wrap myself up with. Bracing myself for the long night ahead.

4th – Is it a happy ever after / Or just another disaster.

2nd – I have tasted heaven and cigarettes / But still dreaming of jasmine green tea on tongue. 

– 

On a separate note, I am glad the show is finally over and I can put my whole being into focusing on school for the next two weeks. The weight on my shoulders feel lighter and it’s easier to smile at the sun now. 

Small Joys. 

This week is Week Eight of the school term, as well as show week. I have no idea what made me do this to myself, but I did. 

Oh well. Passion has never been easy. 

The whole term has been full of ups and downs, but I have discovered kindness of others. That’s the key to my survival, and perhaps my own will power. 

  1. It only drizzled when I was climbing the hill up to school.
  2. Classmates acknowledging my presence, what I am going through and being there to support me – hugs, sharing food, giving me advice and even taking care of me. 
  3. One of my schoolmates went out of her way to prepare dinner for me. 
  4. Another would kindly help to get me lunch in the morning. 
  5. Teachers that care reminding me of my initial inspirations, idealisms and hopes. 
  6. Friends messaging me from all over the globe to give me love, remind me of who I am and checking up on me. 
  7. More positivity in dressing room compared to the past few days. 
  8. Completing the first show and going through the process of joy, excitement and fulfilment. 
  9. Receiving unexpected flowers on opening night. As well as a cute name tag from a fellow cast. 
  10. My dog came up to snuggle with me when I got home. 
  11. I received the tote bag I got from one of my favourite local designers in the mail. 
  12. Even my parents made me a bit of food since they accurately guessed that I would be tired and hungry. 
  13. Texting a loved one until I went to bed.
  14. That it is Thursday and I am still alive. Doing pretty well. Breathing. Not afraid. Just being present.  

These are really small gestures, but trust me. They mean the world to someone when they feel tired, everything is going to go wrong and a little bit lost. 

I am just lucky to have all these experiences, and I will definitely remember these sensations within my body for a long time. Too many things to be thankful for during this period of time, especially this week. It came at a good time. 

(Warm fuzzy feelings with a flutter in my chest.)