September 2018.

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September was good to me, and I think you can see it on my glowing moon face.

The past 30 days have been nothing short of amazing: I met friends I never thought I would reconnect with ever since high school. All the times I went out dancing were fun, safe and with people I absolutely adore from the bottom of my heart. I caught up with familiar faces at various events that I attended to just keep myself updated with the happenings in the various scenes. Then I was again blessed with the amazing company of the women at Aware, who always fill me up with hope for change and a sense of empowerment.

There have been so many conversations I have had with people, with works of art and of course, with books, that gave me new perspectives on certain subjects I may not be very well versed in. And somehow, these conversations always happen to come at a good time in my life where I have the space and energy to take them in and really dwell on them to feel them fully.

Is it true that somehow everything will work out and that the universe is listening?

Who knows, but I know I have been lucky in more ways than one. The people I find myself surrounded by are all brilliant in their own ways – in work, in aspirations, in achievements. But more than that, they have big hearts and they are people who live for more than themselves.

It is not always the easiest decision that makes things worthwhile. A reminder I should keep close to me for certain events have been trying but I am okay. Still hanging in there and not letting the doubts overstay their welcome.

I will try to focus on things I can actually do and work towards changes I can actually make happen. It is more productive and useful that way.

Anyway, if you only have the time to read one book this year, I really urge you to pick up This Is What Inequality Looks Like by Teo You Yenn. It will deepen your understanding of Singapore and reaffirm how the power of your words, your behaviours and ultimately, your individual choices can gradually help shift a system to benefit more people.

What are basic needs? And what does it say about us if not everyone has easy access to them?

Yes, I am talking about equality and with that, the repeal of 377A.

I honestly don’t believe that another person getting granted to a basic need and a human right threatens another person from those same privileges. It only threatens a stubborn world view that the world should be how one views it, and that one is always right.

This argument is not about morals, values, procreation or even religion at its core. It has become about pride, ego and how one is right while the other has to be wrong, “different” and an “other”.

Not everything is so unreasonably competitive, and rights shouldn’t be like this. Rights are for everyone, regardless of difference.

What makes us inherently human has to be divorced from our economical value, ability to procreate and the expectation to fit into a system forced upon us – and a system that is not natural, for that matter, but built by humans who are already buried for centuries.

Systems are made to carry society forward and to right the wrongs made acceptable in the past. Systems are made to serve us, and not the other way round.

So if the system no longer works, we should be throwing it out instead of trashing each other for not fitting into old-fashioned categories, binaries and checklists of a “normal” life.

That’s why this year has been so powerful thus far. We are fighting for change, and though gradual, I think I will live to see it all happen.

x

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August 2018.

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I have lived a couple of lifetimes this month. Death has come to me in many forms, but so has rebirth. If you are to weigh my heart, it is in equal parts of anger and love. Both born of the same fire, but one gifts light while the other just burns.

You don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. 

But as someone named in relation to the daystar, I should know better. I would not have existed if there is no sun. I should have known right from the beginning that I have always been and will always be meant to burn.

A moth drawn to a flame, not through temptation or seduction, but responsibility and circumstance.

Song of the month: God is A Woman – Ariana Grande

Family

Ever since the most recent incident that has occured and still is occurring, I find myself questioning the idea of family responsibility. What should it entail, and when does it tip from being reliant to just toxic? Should blood really matter when it threatens and holds you back? When does familial responsibility end and individual agency begin?

I am sure they can both coexist and ideally, go hand-in-hand, but when this is no longer an option… What then?

All these questions have been weighing on my mind for a while now, but increasingly so, with a newfound sense of urgency and discomfort. There are no answers and it is such a tough space to navigate. What is fairness when everyone feels justified and entitled to prioritising their own experiences and perspectives?

Late Night Texting

It was a privilege on my part to be invited and be a part of this year’s Late Night Texting programme with the Main Tulis Group. I rediscovered the joy and the exhilaration of performance. To lend my physical person to somebody else’s voice and being for those moments.

Thank you to the team for the welcome and the trust in what I can do. I was lost and uncertain for a long time ever since graduation about my place in theatre, and if I was a complete fool to think that I can carve my own space in the scene and make work. And be hired for work.

But this experience has been a reassuring one and one show that has really put a smile on my face throughout the whole process – from rehearsals to stage.

My thankfulness knows no bounds.

Onward to the usual hustle of auditions, crossing of fingers and working hard!

Personal Project

Still in the research phase since I got preoccupied with all the other aspects of my life, honestly. But I am back at it again! The worst thing I can do to myself is to completely cave, give up and just stay angry.

Yeah. I can blame my lot in life but what would that serve to do in the end? Exactly. Nothing. And nobody owes me a living so here I am stubbornly trudging on to get this project going.

Basically this is about the idea of womanhood, memories and objectification. I am gathering responses from as many people as possible to widen the experiences and the representation. Also, if more people participate and want to contribute in some way – performance, installation, etc. – I am all ears, so just hit me up.

I created a simple TypeForm to find out more about women’s memories so if you would like to share with me, click here.

This is the link you can share with others as well: https://dawn247.typeform.com/to/HG42vx

Aware Revolution Ball

Last month, I took part in a video interview with other women on a new campaign by AWARE that is to be rolled out later in the year. It is about the #MeToo initiative and would be a series of videos to raise awareness, educate and to keep the conversation about sexual assault/abuse/violence going in Singapore.

Most of us participants attended the ball on 25th August with the kind invitation of AWARE and our table was sponsored by the directors of the video. It was a very sweet gesture, and one that I am going to appreciate for the rest of my days.

All dressed up and sat together, the vibes were great and we all had big smiles on our faces the entire night. Through this experience, we found each other and bonded. There is so much trust, love and strength even though we all met only for the second time that night. It was amazing to witness everyone looking radiant, confident and comfortable in however they dressed and carried themselves.

I remember thinking, this is what healthy empowerment really looks like.

The first video was launched that night, and after having wine, we looked up and sat through the video with the rest of the ballroom. It was quiet and all the focus was directed towards the screens on either side of the stage. Hands were held, tears were shed but there was no loneliness. There was solidarity and power. Everybody present and just, there. Listening to the words that we said and have them echo throughout the entire room. Our truths there to be heard.

It was emotional and I was still feeling slightly unsure if I did the right thing, since vulnerability in the age of the internet is a double-edged sword, but all those worries vanished in that instant. I did what I wanted and thought was right, alongside all these other women who felt the same.

My hands were holding and being held by the women next to me. I was not alone. And even if I was, I believe in myself. There was joy in the newly found sense of fulfilment, pride and beauty. There was a glow around the table from encouragement and understanding. No words needed to be said, just smiles and that twinkle in all our eyes.

I felt beautiful.

And the first night in a long time, I laughed unapologetically. I smiled with a quiet confidence. I danced to music without subconsciously subscribing to a certain gaze of how I look like.

I just moved, felt myself and did whatever made me feel good.

I think I found myself that night, and this is most certainly love. The best kind.

Sexual Assault 

Since I was typing about the Ball, thought I would articulate a couple of my thoughts on sexual assault as well.

Women aren’t the only ones who experience and survive sexual assault. There are men, non-binary and queer folk who have such experiences as well, though they tend to be less visible.

Less visible does not mean that it does not exist.

And there is no such thing as a perfect victim. I do not have to be crying with mascara running down my face, not eating and sleeping for days, refusing to shower, staying in bed all day or closing myself off from the world to be a victim of such violence.

Sometimes life has to go on. And life becomes a distraction before the confrontation within the self happens. Everyone copes differently, and the worst thing you can do is to deny somebody else’s experience when they open up about it.

Suffering takes on many forms – seen or unseen, in tears or in smiles.

It is also difficult to speak about, especially when a lot of the times, it is through words and trust that these incidents are being shared. There might not be tangible proof like bruises, scars or a sticker to say that I have been violated before.

And because of that, it is so convenient to dismiss or shut down someone sharing their sexual assault experience. Perhaps the media has built your expectations on how assault, perpetrators and victims should look like. What a scenario should be like. How this whole conversation about sexual assault should go.

But sometimes words are all we have. And all we ask for is trust.

For you to believe us and to be there so that prevention can take place instead of the constant back-and-forth of damage control.

On that note, no perpetrator is a perfect villain either. Just because you know someone and they are nice, does not mean that they are not capable of abuse to someone else. Just because they seem well-adjusted does not mean they might not make that mistake of assault.

So listen. Take time to think about these things. And know that things have to change now. It can change.

I am back to reading since I went to the library last weekend, just to get other people’s words to speak to me instead of my own. Tiredness is an understatement at this point.

But I can confidently say now that I am calm, I am okay and I feel a lot of love. For my friends, for the world and for myself. This tiredness is from the daily grind but not a sense of defeat or anger.

Perhaps turning 24 has shifted something in me.

Anyway, if anyone would like to share or speak to me about anything at all, I am all ears. Be it topics on The Arts, womanhood, rights, philosophy, sex, sexuality, assault and abuse. Really. The rest of my months are open and I would love to sit down with people and just have conversations or sing or dance or write or make work. Anything.

Being alive has been good. Difficult but good. And especially good when there are people to share it with x

 

 

July 2018.

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Do you think of me the way I think of you? A person so essentially flawed, a cracked mirror, a reflection familiar to any face of humanity. Your calloused fingertips and their gentle touch. Your tired eyes partially hidden behind your dark spectacles. Your uneven skin, slightly hunched shoulders and that cigarette hanging off your chapped lips.

Do you remember me the way I remember you? Always with nostalgia, and a permanent soft spot for the way you made me feel.

Romanticised, perhaps, since we lived in two realities.

Hearts too uneven in weight to justify all these spilt emotions.

My birthday has always been an excuse to catch up with family/friends/familiar faces – be it over food or over text. (And occasionally get some extra cash from birthday red packets since the last time no-strings-attached cash came about would be Chinese New Year.)

This year is no exception – a sleepover with lots of love and supportiveness, a staycation with bottles of alcohol and the underwhelming World Cup as well as Karaoke sessions for days. They were all great and the celebratory weekend came and went like a whirlwind.

An absolute high that ran on adrenaline before I crashed, and my melancholic self came crawling out from under my cheerful exterior.

I love all the plans, the happy distractions and the occasional surprises people who love me do. I genuinely do, and I am so thankful for it.

The melancholy comes from the fact I was actually born.

That is the thing with birthdays for me. It is a celebration and a reason to be happy, but at the same time, I have never been happy about being born. Ever since I have been able to be self-aware and able to articulate my feelings, I always find myself going back to the question of my birth and why I am even existing. Is there really a purpose to my being given life? Do I need a purpose, even, to justify this existence? Why me? What is ‘me’ even? If I have a different name, a different background and a different culture, will I still feel this way?

“No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found. – Samuel Beckett.”

All these looping questions, thoughts and emotions that never drown in me for good; resurfacing year after year with zero closure. I just live with it and its accumulation. Sort of like the physical habit of hoarding I guess, but I do it invisibly in my mind and my heart.

Appreciation is free, and one gesture I am proud to keep up every July of every year. Letters written and sent. The better parts of my heart given away to better places.

I might not remember all the words I write, but just know I meant every single one of them when I was writing. Moments immortalised on paper.

Thankfulness should always last forever.

Internalised judgement drives one towards madness, and I wonder how much of myself is built upon all the societal ‘norms’ I have been trying to break.

Earlier in the month, I decided that I am ready to share about sexual assault and specifically rape for a campaign AWARE is running for its Sexual Assault Care Centre. So after a group consultation of sorts, I participated in the making of a video to share personal anecdotes and some thoughts I have about the relevant topics.

There is power in placing a face to a story, and I wanted to lend that strength to other individuals who may not be able to speak as openly about their experiences. To make it more real for people who still choose to not believe. I want the movement to finally become more preventive, instead of relying on the current model of name and shame.

Some life lessons we should learn by ourselves, but sexual assault is certainly not one of them. So I want my own lessons to contribute to the lessening of this unnecessary violence and its eventual extinction.

Though truth be told, this ‘coming out’ is anything but bravery. I still fear especially since it is a video that will be rolled out and my face will be right there. Also doesn’t help that I did it after my hair got dyed pink. There are fears about future employment in the performance sector especially, where my face and body is the vessel, and if the general public will recognise my face only for the experiences I shared, forgetting about the other aspects of my person. If I need to declare this involvement when I go for auditions leading up to the video’s release. If my family chances upon it, will they be angry and feel ashamed about me. If I should be afraid of possible backlash, losing acquaintances/friends and not being dateable, among other things.

And that’s where I catch myself having internalised all the bullshit I actively call out.

Why should I be made unemployable, if it even happens, because I stand up for something I believe in? Why the hell will I render myself undateable and by extension, undesirable because of something done to me and I speak up about it?

Would these say more about me or about them, and if they choose to make these decisions about me then… Were they worthy of my time and attention in the first place?

Why do I scare myself with these rhetorics told to us again and again with the intentions of not addressing misogyny, gender politics and to avoid having productive healthy and positive discussions about sexuality and sex?

I am angry with myself and yeah, I am still scared. Worries occasionally crossing my mind but I guess my belief in what this step can do outweighs my personal fears.

And hell, I have a lot of unlearning to do.

Painting has been therapeutic and when the wall I am working on now is complete, I hope I will get to focus a bit more on portraits or more blank walls. I really need to keep up with the art-making so I don’t lose touch.

What is family and is the bloodline really of any importance?

I think about the idea of inheritance – riches, poverty, mistakes, ancestry and all the history that flows within my blood – and feel like throwing up. Why must the shade of compulsory responsibility be such a dark maroon?

Typing poetry with the Proletariat Poetry Factory has been a gift, honestly. The chance to just sit in front of a typewriter, receive a prompt at random and just type whatever comes to mind with little judgement and scrutiny has been great for me. My brain starts working and I just focus on the sounds played into my ears and let go.

Auditions. Personal project #1. Redoing of script.

Gain a rhythm and just keep going.

Betrayal, similar to grief, might just be something you never get over. You just get better at overlooking its presence, but it is still there. You learn to live with it, work around it and leave it be.

But it shape shifts and changes its form when the words used to tell it are no longer the same. Some parts hidden by choice, and others exaggerated to suit your truth. Words cannot be replaced without their intentions and nuances changing.

Would you like to see a heart break more than once?

 

 

June 2018.

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Just a day more, and six months of 2018 have gone by.

Most times I would wish for time to pass just a little faster; living can be burdensome. But as I sit here typing this, I am surprised to find myself almost slightly reluctant for the next half of the year to come.

The six months that went by are testament to how change is the only constant. Familiar hands become a stranger’s, struggles with similar faces morph and shift in their capacities, while I question the responsibilities that come with my gender, my age, my work, my appearance and the blood of my ancestors running within my veins.

Moments of feeling a single emotion manifest into days. I go to sleep only to find my dream body living the same scenes night after night. My habit of lucid dreaming comes and goes, so it is no surprise that this is happening, really. But it gets insane that my conscious and subconscious are constantly questioning; the mind and body seldom quiet. Thoughts in whispered voices and just that itch on my skin – little freckles and bumps coming and going.

But somehow, the sense of flow from one day to the next keeps me alive. I am essentially always awake. The seamless transition of day, night, wake, sleep, travel and home reminds me of a river – no beginning, no end. It just is.

I find it difficult to articulate the parts of my life in bullet points like I have been doing up until May, so I am not going to do that. There is no use in trying to impose a structure that does not serve what I’d like to say.

Would you believe me if I say that after having a head of bleached pink hair, complete with my tattoos and piercings, I feel more like myself?

I really do feel it. Whether I do it to express myself or make up for all the insecurities I have, well, it is completely up to debate. But I feel good. I look in the mirror and acknowledge my reflection as my self.

How can feeling this good come with the hesitation of not “blending in”? I wonder.

As eyes stare lips move together with stereotypical assumptions thrown at me, I feel like a sinner. I cannot say I feel regret for loving myself this way, but I wish I did not have to take on the pointless need to debunk myths or expectations I did not ask for.

It is almost similar to how you inherit the decisions your ancestors and your family made. You are born into circumstances not of your own choice, but of the world and the people before you. Wealth, health, race, responsibilities and even religion.

I think it is impossible to be born pure, in the sense of a completely empty white canvas. Because from the moment of conception, dreams, expectations and the imprints of others make up who you are.

And will continue even after death, because you will now live on in their place.

Honestly, I do not fear death.

The idea of an end is comforting, though there is a range of ideal to horrific ways of taking a last breath. I fear permanent suffering – living in fear, dealing with consequences of an accident, emptying a bank account to simply stay alive for the sake of struggle. That, I fear.

Mortality, identity and the idea of inheritance have been weighing a lot on my mind.

Grief, almost a perpetual undercurrent behind my other emotions. Reading about misplaced identical twins wondering about the lives they could have led, meritocracy bullshit, the refugee situation especially with the children and even how Venezuela no longer has a need for money.

The things we are taught to hold dear, basically.

Work hard and you will reap what you sow. Your life is in your hands. Save up your money for a rainy day. Pursue a decent career for a higher standard of living.

Suddenly all these positive messages seem one dimensional and privileged. Not everybody has these options or even get to this space of being to fathom their own thoughts, emotions and who they are.

What we have deemed as important because we have them are pushing others to suffering, death and bitterness.

Even for us, it is sad to be chasing an unattainable sense of security for all time, because it can be taken away from you in a moment. How silly this whole business of living seem to be sometimes.

Observing the world from a country known for its safety, I am lucky and it sure is cruel for something as random as luck to play such a huge part in plotting life’s trajectory.

Even while typing this out, the thoughts still swim in my head. None of them simple and all definitely more than what they may seem at first glance. So I wonder, ponder and question so much.

How can we measure life besides gains and losses?

I haven’t looked up at the sky in a while, since I have been staying out past lights out and watching my feet to avoid snails on pavements. But I looked up today, an invitation from the downpour, and the gentle blue is calming.

I have other thoughts to share, but perhaps I will save it for some other time.

A heart so full

Bursting at seams

Muscled

Strength in emotions

Alright, it is soon July. Time to place all my love in words, and hand them out as handwritten words in letters. You can ask for love, and you should feel brave enough to occupy that space – especially with yourself. x

 

May 2018.

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It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Festivals attended, stories picked up and new questions waiting to be answered. May is the fastest month to pass for me, as of 2018. There is so much going on outside of me that I seldom had time to think about what’s going on inside of me – which served as a good distraction as I adjust to changes and relearn what it means to be independent on my terms.

But to be fair, I had a number of moments where I was so close to the edge and desperately tossed myself into fire and smoke to keep me here. Is that good enough? I don’t know but I will deal with my days as they come – one at a time.

There is a freedom in knowing that slipping up once does not condemn me into slipping down forever.

  • Embarking third month of employment

I am happy. Who knew I can get accustomed to sitting at a desk and type into a computer on weekdays? I still enjoy the company and I look forward to being comfortable in this environment. No stress, clear communication and at the end of day we can all still laugh together. Basically this environment gives me more than what money can buy.

No misery but mainly joy for most of the hours of my weekday life. Guess I am lucky.

  • Rejection(s)

Of all the auditions, scholarships and programmes I applied for, all of them came back with rejections. Maybe it isn’t much of a surprise though I was pretty miserable during the initial stages of receiving a response. Usually no reasons are given, so I entertained thoughts of why and what exactly I should be improving on. It’s almost as if everyone was moving on artistically and I am just here standing with my feet cemented to the ground.

But just gotta keep trying I guess. After all, if I remove my own self-worth from the rejections themselves, life still goes on and I am okay. I will do better. x

  • Self-love

Trying to set new boundaries for myself and spending more time alone. Relearning and trying to figure out what exactly it is I need now at this point in my life. Weird that it all feels so new to me, when it really shouldn’t be.

  • Reads

I am still keeping up my reading, though it has slowed down so much this month because of all the other stuff going on. But I’d just like to say that I Want To Go Home by Wesley Leon Aroozoo left the deepest impression on me of all my recent reads.

It isn’t too long too, so you can definitely make time for it despite the everyday busyness. About strength of the human spirit and what we can really do, despite being only one person. I cried almost at every chapter for so many different reasons – joy, heartache, admiration, helplessness, and most of all, respect.

Willing to lend the book to anyone, so let me know. Good stories deserve to be shared and live on beyond its pages. And this book is no exception.

Also, I recently bought nine magazines from Magpie’s #magbye sale – topics ranging from design to travel to thematic explorations such as the significance of hair. So if anybody wants to, reach out and you may read it.

Okay, I don’t really have much to say at this point so I guess my mind’s been pretty empty. Or I have more things I am uncomfortable with airing online this month. Hahaha. Either way, things are looking up and I hope I keep working at shaping my future the way I want it to turn out.

xx

 

April 2018.

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Since the last time I came here to type my thoughts out about March, time really flew by. Somehow I am here, together with everyone else, closing in on the last week of April. For some reason, maybe assimilating into a sort of routine has given a rhythm to my days. Letting them flow through days and nights seamlessly. My body battles the concept of day and night better and is able to just follow.

It’s been peaceful without insomnia and the common nights of staying up with a fear of sleep.

Now, I am also only on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter in the office, and that includes checking all my email accounts too.

So once 7pm comes, I am almost completely offline. Off the grid. Bye bye. I leave my computers behind and technology is far from my mind. It’s great. The time I have for myself become about books, dinners with friends and decluttering of my thoughts.

No longer do I feel the need to stay connected through social media 24/7 – this helps me be more attentive to when I do dedicate my focus to social media. I have more energy to read the articles I save, have quality conversations and have a more positive relationship with social media in general.

Besides these small changes that are gradually making big impacts on my lifestyle, here are just some points that have been dominating my mind this month.

Is it really about talent, or about opportunities?

Earlier in the month, I bumped into someone I had the privilege of performing with in a musical a year back. He has a great sense of comic timing and performs generously. Dedicated to his character, he always came to rehearsals on time, has a huge smile on his face and breathed life into whoever he is playing every rehearsal, every performance.

I bumped into him working at a fruit store – me catching onto his clear voice echoing through the mall. I walked over and managed to talk to him for a bit. “I’m (working) here now,” he said before congratulating me on my recent graduation. We caught up for a while before I had to leave. Waving goodbye but his expression stayed in my mind – a sense of acceptance and bittersweetness.

Thoughts around this chance meeting kept floating around in my mind. Getting jobs and pursuing aspirations: is it really a matter about talent? Some people just simply do not have the contacts, luck or the timing to pursue opportunities as actively. You see less of them, and those that get more attention this time round will naturally receive more validation. The cycle continues.

In this context, being on stage less than someone else… Does it really speak about your lack of talent? Does it say anything at all really?

Do we call this a pipe dream then? Are talents still talents if they remain undiscovered by the masses? Must success always be mass produced for it to be taken seriously?

The visible is always prized above the pockets of invisibility (selective or otherwise) we have around us. Chances or risks seldom taken. Exploration always within the context of costs, safety and results gained.

But does this diminish who we are, making our identities a delusion, if I am an actor who seldom gets on stage, if I am a writer remaining unpublished, if I am a businessman manning only a single store front?

Can I still associate these dreams with who I am as a person, if these dreams remain unvalidated by others?

I wonder.

To lose than to love

Affection only shows its face with such clarity in the face of loss. We never do learn, do we? Always yearning to grasp something with our hands only to careless lose it through our very own actions when we have it right in our palms.

Eulogies for the dead, thousands of pointless apologies for the living.

Opinions

Are the importance of opinions based on a person’s background, culture, education, social and economic status? Are anybody’s opinions able to be easily written off as invalid?

Who’s to deny their opinions that are informed by their unique living situations and environment?

I think history, facts (besides scientific ones) and laws are all questionable. They are about majority consensus and the desperation for human kind to hold onto something. It doesn’t make them all more valid than the unpublished truths, hearsay and the possibilities erased out of our inherited memory.

Why are we always looking for someone or people to look up to?

Why are some given more chance to be heard and to lead than others?

Romantic relationships

I have been thinking about romantic relationships a lot.

Isn’t it all about power?

Heterosexual relationships have always been prioritised because our kind needed to procreate to keep us from extinction. Now, we are far from biological extinction and are overpopulating the earth. Yet, the fear of other kinds of sexualities beyond the heterosexual still disturb individuals to the point of violence and unspeakable behaviours.

How can religion, the guiding force behind the balancing scales of good and evil, kindness and grace, breed such cruelty and extremity? How can another person’s private life and identity threaten anybody else to come up with lies and dangerous misunderstandings? How can you choose to hurt someone else for the sake of proving a point?

Does it even prove any point in the end?

(This is less about religion itself, but how we choose to interpret religion itself.)

Yes, that you are insecure and incapable of seeing the world as it is. The inability to take in the whole world as it is and the need to control what you want to see, to manipulate your environment.

The absolute refusal to adapt.

To want to struggle and fight for a power to say that the world should revolve your values, that you are right, that you are the greater and the rest of us, lesser.

Ego, pride, greed, greed, greed, greed, greed.

It is usually never about happiness, or making the world a better place. It is about territory and making the world all yours.

Otherwise civil living and agreeing to agree to disagree will come across as only natural. Respecting another’s space as much as you want them to respect yours. Opinions just opinions, and you take what you want, but take them in when you ask for them to be shared with you.

Anyway, on a personal note.

I have been drifting away from the notion of a romantic relationship. Maybe I am incapable for I cannot seem to believe in unconditional love. I question too much, try to understand too much and always venturing just a bit too much. I am unable to wrap my head around how some are so certain of joy, commitment and a future when everything in life is uncertain. My eyes go wide with curiosity but also, admittedly, envy.

Maybe a part of me still buys into the internalised concept of a “right” person and the never-ending pursuit of the “better”.

Maybe I love uncertainty too much – pushing and pulling the boundaries, changing my stance just to challenge and see where it takes me.

Maybe, and most likely, I am too stubborn and I fear settling. I hold on to this temporary youth and hope that risks will pay off eventually. When I grow older, I will not be lonely. You are only lonely when you are incapable of solitude and I enjoy solitude. There will never come a day where solitude would be too much, right?

I fear making a wrong choice that will cost me money to fix in the future.

How much is appreciation and understanding worth? Am I willing to fight for and break and piece myself back together for these to be a constant in my life? Or have I still to learn that it is my expectation and hopes that are the problem?

But for now, romance is overrated and I derive more meaning from my other relationships – trying to devote more time to my family, my friends and my work. I have time. No need for the unnecessary pressure and the apologies that come and go. They become good memories, but nothing really worth getting hurt over.

Emotions / Insecurities / Miscellaneous 

A better grip over my emotions, especially the negative ones this month. Maybe the space I have given myself has helped immensely and I can breathe through whatever, without setting myself to work towards another person’s ideals.

I am still shit at dealing with my physical appearance though. A problem that has plagued me ever since I was as young as five years old. In kindergarten, I remember a pair of sisters sitting next to me in church and telling me that I am so big, my one thigh is equivalent to both of theirs. I used to laugh, at that age, but I no longer find it funny anymore.

Also, I know I work a full time job as a junior writer but it doesn’t mean I have given up on my original dream of acting in theatre. I do many things and I want to develop all these areas of my interests. Hopefully they eventually pay off instead of getting me pigeonholed in different boxes by different people. I don’t want to struggle with this “oh you graduated from acting school but you are writing in an office so you gave up” nonsense any longer.

I will just work harder to prove myself at my own pace.

And I have been braver in trying to reconnect with individuals I lost touch with. I have been so pleasantly surprised so far and I hope it goes on for years to come. Fear is paralysing but may it never be enough to bind me to one place.

Ink count: 5. Pending: 2. Already tempted for more.

I think the books I have been reading are changing me.

Okay, This is getting too long and I have emptied most of this month’s thoughts. Let’s see what the following month brings me. Happy to still be alive and relatively alright in April. xx

 

 

 

 

 

March 2018.

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Hello hello.

I haven’t been typing on here for a long while since it has taken a backseat among other priorities. I am now more active on Popspoken, SINdie or my own portfolio site TeoDawn, in case you would like to find me. Or check if I am still alive or not.

(It is pretty unbelievable that I just let this blog go and update it only when I have the time. I used to pressure myself to keep posts going live at a consistent pace because dead space equates to irrelevance. Now, I guess I have grown and am letting go of things – being more reasonable with myself; taking things one step at a time when I can afford to.)

So this post is dedicated to the month of March, like how I had posts for the previous months of this year. I’d like to think that March is my foundation month, in the sense that I am finally starting to find my footing post-graduation. My identity, career-wise, is less in crisis and I am starting to enjoy defining myself as more grey than black/white.

  • 2018 Reading Project

I have read 31 books so far, and am starting on my 32nd one currently. It has been such a joy, to be back reading words instead of churning out my own. The fulfilment of allowing others have space in your mind, with your permission, to introduce you to new opinions, knowledge and aspects of life is such a discovery.

Ranging from sleep paralysis to feminism to authenticity, I dive headfirst into these books to come out renewed and rejuvenated by the fact that I have so much more to learn. It is impossible to know everything, or even learn everything in a single lifetime. But trying will get me somewhere.

And I relish in the knowledge that this means I will get to keep learning and discovering day after day. It will never end, and that makes life a constant excitement if I choose to let it be.

And being super deadline motivated, the library due dates are perfect. I hope I am able to keep this up for the entire year, and constantly keep my mind/heart/spirit open to the possibilities I might not have learnt of yet.

However, I do recognise the fact that by selecting the books to read, I might end up in an echo chamber situation where I keep indulging in topics I am already drawn to, and end up holing myself in too deep. This might make me less knowing, since I neglect all the other kinds of reads that might enrich me in completely different ways.

So an idea shared to me by a friend is to start asking others for recommendations. And I think after I am done with my current loans, I just might do that.

  • SUPERHERO ME Internship

Sort of ended on 24th March 2018, but I am hoping to continue the work somehow.

It’s been such a privilege to experience the whole three months with the new faces I worked with and the children I interacted with. There were many precious moments where I feel and see the work achieving its aim – be it in hand holding, creating work together or just sharing food with each other during break time.

Though fear at the beginning almost stopped me right in my tracks, I am happy to say that I was encouraged to push on – be it through the passion I witnessed or my own stubbornness – and emerged a more enlightened soul.

Some work is just worth it, despite the workload and the possibility of failure, and this internship was one of them.

And kicking off my post-graduation year, this internship is one of the best decisions I made in a long time that actually paid off.

  • Introductory Pottery with Mud Rock Ceramics

This! Finally, after all those years of saying I will do it and never got myself to applying for a course! I am on my last session today – glazing the works I did for the past four sessions.

Somehow pottery makes you learn so much about yourself, and the craft itself is so truthful that it is almost scary. It reveals so much of me that I refuse to admit in person – how insecure I am to take the first step with anything, possibility of failure stresses me out especially when I am in class and others seem to be doing better than me, I am competitive and prideful – needing myself to be good at everything I touch (which is so bloody ridiculous, seriously) and how I am too careful at executing new ideas in case I change my mind.

I discovered all this during my first lesson of pottery. Insane or what? Being so meditative and a quiet process, I could listen to all these insecurities and voices so clearly in my mind. And finally, with that, I could admit to myself all the cracks and flaws I have and head towards moving along.

Pottery makes you truthful to yourself, if you choose to be reflective during the creation process.

Because clay is one of the most malleable materials, it takes the form of whatever you want it to – sensitive to your fingertips, the force of your hands and the idea in your head. And reflecting back exactly what your manipulation is doing, even if you are unaware of what exactly you might be doing at that point in time of shaping it.

A mirror made out of Earth.

  • Employment

And since 26th March, I am employed! Although I am on probation for three months, and apprehensive at first because why did I graduate with a professional diploma in acting to be a writer right? Do I even have the skills and abilities to be good at writing? Good enough to be employed?

I will just have to try and keep myself open to learning. The company culture is open and warm. My fears for my first day was almost completely unfounded.

Everyone’s friendly and welcoming. No questions go unanswered. The music playlists are lovely – people sing and hum along. We laugh along to jokes, and help each other out while still having the space for our own freedom and independence.

The most important thing is I wasn’t made to feel like I need to earn my days to not be “new” anymore. There’s no such thing as a “you just joined the company so listen to us, keep quiet, know your place” hierarchy. The space, the people and the culture are conducive. I think without having any expectations dumped upon me and no labels, I fit right in.

So I am happy, and feeling very lucky to have this opportunity to immerse in a healthy creative culture while finding my way to financial independence.

  • Creative projects

Plenty are still up in the air at the moment, though I am actively working on an illustration project. Trying hard to find the time for it, but I just made deadlines for myself to meet, so that should help me keep on track.

Otherwise, rejection is common. I can drink it in place of mineral water now. Festival proposals and some programmes I applied for didn’t get through. But it’s okay, maybe I am meant to pursue other things for now, which I am doing.

But I am still up for creative collaborations if anybody would like to work together.

Being a beginner, I think the act of creation should be rewarding enough instead of the cash for money. Slowly but surely.

And to wrap up, I must say that I am so happy to have met so many friends – new and old – to catch up, discuss possibilities of working together and about the future. It’s always so nice to come back home to people who have each supported and shaped me in one way or another.

I wish all of you well, and send my love to wherever you go. xx

See you here in a month’s time.