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?

 

 

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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.

 

February 2018.

Haven’t written on this space in more than a month now, and I have almost lost all words for myself to speak beyond work.

It’s been crazy though as a fresh graduate, having work to keep oneself busy can be seen as a privilege. So that I am grateful. At the same time, however, I really do think I can cut myself some slack and slow down just a little bit to breathe.

No longer can I have a main list of projects stuck to my wall because not being able to cancel them off after completion makes me feel unfulfilled. I have swapped to “every day to-do lists” to feel more accomplished and less self-defeating. I have also been slightly better at making choices based on what should be my priority, like family, even though those decisions may cause me a setback in the grand scheme of things. I decided to give myself a try and to dive into conversations with people I might not even know.

So I guess I am learning and this tiredness is a small price to pay for all the experiences I have gained.

The tiredness also helps me sleep, which is a complete bonus.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot and here are just some of them that I feel I can somewhat frame them in language:

Calendar

Even though major festivals are seen as major only in their designated fields, it really keeps the audience confined instead of trying to grow them.

So, for example, if you are a film person, you would already to following the social media pages or have access to information necessary to know when SGIFF is going to happen. Similar to the other events that happen, such as SIFA, SDW, etc.

And I was thinking, if we can have a major calendar that consists of all these festivals and festivities for the nation to access, it might spark interest and curiosity. Eventually may even lead to new audience giving it a try.

Just like how there’s a major calendar announcement for long weekends and public holidays, can’t we also have that done for all the major festivals in Singapore?

Worth a try since some people don’t attend certain things not because of disinterest, but because of lacking information.

Coverage

I have been struggling with this a lot. As I am older now, I feel like a lot of my prior understanding to things are greatly influenced by accessibility, by colonisation and by internalised standards.

Currently, I am reading a book about Patti Smith and her collection of work. Her roots and belief in punk culture, her choice to reclaim the “archaic term nigger”. And I was so struck by her accessibility to resources and the privilege to choose this route, be successful and be known to the world. To be free. To build Rock n Roll culture and simply roll with whatever she wanted.

I started wondering about the black people, the asians who are starting all over again after the various wars and the fucked up situations that simply keep happening. Be it from discrimination, human emotions, bullying or plain gaslighting, among other things.

And my thoughts went to why some narratives are repeated more than others? Why are we so struck by white success stories so much more when they made themselves have the upper hand all along? Why do we support that by covering their people more often than our own?

KPIs can only go so far and all it does is encourage you to keep building that skewed perception of excellence and accomplishment, when really resources can be going into building our own people up.

Writing has become a business and people need to survive, sure, I get it. But maybe it can be a matter of balance? And I think some causes are worth the effort to build and to introduce to the world.

What we cover in the media is what we are telling people should matter. And with that power, maybe we have to look past initial analytics to serve a smaller community, keep at it and eventually the numbers will come.

That’s how all communities grow. Just have to give it a chance.

Inherent Unfairness

And since it is Chinese New Year, friendly gambling happens within families. Just for the fun of it and to try your luck sometimes.

Every hand is different, naturally. Some people end up losing way more than others. Others, might simply keep winning.

Though the starting hand is different among every one and the starting point is not the same, we all still abide by the same rules and risk and bet all the same. We recognise and accept the risk, the unfairness and still choose to go for it.

If you don’t like it, you simply choose to not play.

And this is so much like life, at this point. The more I think, the more I feel like I am stuck in a simulation and constantly question myself why I choose to play. What is the point? And surprise, there is no point.

It is just a question of whether you can make this whole life thing work and mean something to you to keep going.

Chance. Risk. Gamble gamble gamble.

So take a gamble. Take risks that you feel may be worth it, and the rewards may come. Otherwise having tried is good enough.

Then try again.

And I think if I view life this way, I might have the motivation to just keep myself alive for a while longer.

Quick Up-Date: January

It’s only been the first week and a half of January so far. Didn’t leave the country or anything, but my inner life has shifted a little bit. Just enough to have an impact.

– Getting back into reading

Dropping by the library a week ago and picking up borrowed books brought me a lot of joy.

I purchase books every now and then, especially local literature. But running tighter on cash nowadays, getting back into the routine of regular library visits don’t sound too bad.

Have read 4.48 Psychosis and The Clockwork Orange so far. Getting into Ovidia Yu’s works soon (currently reading Dr K K Seet’s foreword) as well as a book about Illuminating the images of suffering for theatre.

I have also been reading my entire backlog of saved articles piled up through the years. Been learning and been thoughtful through this whole process, feeding my mind.

If you have more articles you think I should read, bonus if it challenges my way of thinking, send them my way!

– Superhero Me Internship

After attending the welcome lunch last weekend, I am pretty excited to be spending my time until end of March on this.

I’d love to gain more knowledge and experience working with different groups of people as well as empowerment. So this will be quite a learning journey for me I believe.

– Piercings

Current count, I have my standard ear lobes, septum, nostril, daith and helix. Some being quite troublesome at the moment, but no pain so they’ll be alright with more healing time. Fingers crossed.

Wanted piercings (and more ink) for the longest time, so I am happy to have finally went ahead to go for them. Super happy to have found a friendly and trustworthy piercer as well!

– @TeoDawnInks

Side project but grateful to engage in crafting with my heart and hands again.

Working on two murals and one journal at the moment, and I have handed over the eight diaries I had the privilege to work on so far to their humans.

Hopefully as the year keeps going, I will be able to consistently work on more projects throughout the 12 months.

teodawn.blog

Been contemplating for a while, but yes, I have a simple website now that I am still in the process of moving my theatre reviews over, and then the writes I have done over the past couple of years.

This space remains my casual blog of text vomit and random thoughts. That’s more for proper reviews and all that.

Look it up if you are interested! It’s the closest of a child I will be having in my life.

– Sleep cycle

My sleep cycle is still pretty screwed up but I have been letting myself go. And slowly move my body clock to take rest slightly earlier each time.

But if I have no early days, I indulge in more quiet time when the entire household is asleep to read and write and sort out things in my mind. I like this.

– Keeping the engines running

Been putting in the time to declutter every now and then when I need some time off, sending out emails and crossing my fingers a lot.

But I have been making plans and starting moves to engage in the parts of me that I didn’t manage to really explore past couple of years.

So, I guess I am doing pretty good if I may say so myself.

I have also been a lot quieter on social media, and I like it this way. So you might see less of me on this page and every other account I may have.

But I think that’s okay.

Still looking for people to have coffee, tea and drinks for the rest of the year. So stranger or not, I am waving at you

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