Father’s Day. 

Father’s are figures of strength, a sense of resilience to keep the family together and the epitome of responsibility. I really believed that. When I was younger, being closer to my father was easier. He always seemed to be home more often, less strict and he is good with playing games. 

That was a time obliviousness clouded the future implications my father’s choices would have on the family. 

(More time at home is equivalent to less work, which means less money. So on and so forth.)

But when you grow up and that imagination has been proven flawed, it is difficult to reconcile what my father is, to me. And then, the questions come. 

Does a single mistake, even though it doesn’t seem like he regrets anything so far, enough to reduce everything else he did for me? 

He loved us, does he still love us despite the choices he chose to make? 

Did he really love us? 

Why does he not see the consequences of his actions? 

When he grows older and comes back to me for money, would I give? 

Is it ever an obligation to give your parents monetary allowance when you start work? 

Even when you know the money will be spent on ridiculous choices you never agreed with? 

What happens when you become an adult and your values go against your parents? 

When is the time you are able to speak up against your parents, as an equal? Is it age, holding a job, what is it? 

Does that time ever come? 

Is there even a time for that? 

The questions come and go. They make me recognise that I am not entirely okay with the current situation. It frustrates me that no straight answers exist and even I, am lost in my questioning and confusion. Never knew how annoying advertisements can be until I fund myself in this place. 

At this point, now, what is there to even celebrate anymore? 

That figure in my life, has gone. Beyond recognition. 

Untitled #45. 

If I am never lost 

How do I discover new grounds 

I never knew before? 

Then again, am I to navigate 

Foreign lands and not fear? 

What do I trust if holding onto 

Myself is not enough and 

The trees in the forest are all the same? 

Shadows are always darkness but 

A blessing for there will always 

Be light that filters through. 

If I am always found,

How do I grasp hold of unfamiliarity and

Never be overlooked? 

Too Familiar. 

This is too familiar a narrative to the point of choked up tears and a sense of shame. Perhaps we are bent on reliving the phrase that we always tend to hurt the ones we love, simply because the phrase has to exist for a reason. Perhaps we are all just cruel. 

Maybe it is how love is really just about choice, that makes everything sharper at the edges and scarier. 

Because we all know that years of relationships mean nothing in the end. The moment you choose to have out and to search for the greener grass on sides you have yet to visit, the love evaporates and ceases to exist. 

(Of course it depends on the intentions of the relationship in the first place, the reasons for leaving, the level of honesty and how the hurt is being discovered. Every relationship is different, and that’s why we may fail in so many ways with no one with a clear answer to share with.)

Suddenly you are free and the other person is free falling. You look at this face of years loved and feel nothing. To go from sparks to nothingness is a darkness in itself; never to realise how you found yourself in this place. The hands you yearned for are now let go off, with your own arms hugging another body, another soul so similarly but different enough for excitement. The crying face that used to break your heart and keep you up for days, now merely stains you with guilt that you can shrug off. Not think about. Not care about. 

After all, that love is no longer your burden to bear. Yes, it has become a burden, a bane and a burnt out flame of used to bes. 

And the entire process starts again. Never-ending. (Marriage is not a destination nor a remedy. Just a hope for stronger commitment and a legal bond that will hopefully strengthen resolve.) 

How do you say you love, only to turn your back on them when someone comes along? When you choose to hurt them deliberately? 

This has always puzzled me, though this narrative is too familiar for comfort. 

At this point in my life, I have found an answer that will keep morphing as I live but I hold on to for comfort now. 

I think this happens, because the choice of love was simply not strong enough for you to resist fulfilling your own desires (that probably weren’t communicated or swept under the carpet). Because your fear of disappointment, your being afraid of the consequences, laziness in not saying that you didn’t want to work on this anymore, was greater than “us”. 

You felt you were more important, than the other person you fawned over and wanted to protect with your life. But really, you wanted to protect yourself first and only when that was fulfilled did you open up your arms for someone else. 

Is that love though? No one knows the answer, but this question is worth thinking over. 

And would the problem be solved, if it was ever that simple, if two people came together only to love the other person more. 

Has that always been what we are all searching for? 

On a separate note, have we all thought about and are aware that love changes the way a person grows and someone being in a relationship, you might have contributed to the change that started to drive you away? 

How do you love a changing person? How does anybody love you? 

How do you love yourself? 

My heart is tired of hurting for other people, and I am tired of all this unanswerable questions. 

Whiskey. 

Fur of orange white 

Eyes of sky and soil

Temper of unpredictable weather

Strength of a life lived through will 

– 

Literally the taste of tough love. 

I still have all my scars from four incidents of bites. But then I only knew my own pain and none of yours. 

You have always been untouchable. 

And now you really are. 

Rest well, my little friend. 

(Closest to) Silence. 

I remember watching this entire film that was silent. Yet it wasn’t called a silent film, because its exploration is about silence and not about the genre itself. I remember being fascinated, intrigued and a huge sense of calm wash over me. 

Today, I wonder if I can find silence but I know I can’t. The world is too noisy and the city never sleeps. 

Here’s a list of experiences I have that I think are closest to the silence I am searching for. 

Echoes in the mental chamber

Radio play on an Uber

Highway at 3am 

Heart beating in ear drums 

Air-conditioner whizzing 

Speeding motorcycles every blue moon 

Flickering toilet lights 

Wasp hitting the mirror persistently

Applying make up on my face 

Breath of the sleeping body next to you

Rustling leaves during windy weather 

Flowing tap water 

Construction workers digging underground 

MRT doors closing at every station 

Buzzing of traffic lights 

Yawns in a quiet classroom 

Shifting in bed under comfortable comforters 

Purring of a lonely cat under the void deck

Applying body foam to skin during shower

Clicking of high heels 

Lights going off past midnight 

Lights coming up past midnight 

Shy kisses on closed lips – slow and deliberate 

Running fingers through hair

Humming 

Crickets in the dark 

Echoes of the heart

FYiP 2017. 

(Post-show and just a gathering of reflections made.) 

I have never really had the task, and privilege, of having to create from scratch. As a young performer, I usually get projects with ready scripts and become a pure actor in terms of my role. Within that scope of acting, is my freedom. And this time, it is almost like I had so many things to think about; so much control and unfamiliar spaces of exploration. 

It is a luxury, in certain ways. Theatre is severely beautiful but in the world of economics, it is close to impossible to create original work all by yourself. 

It boils down to funds, connections and the themes you choose to present. Venues are expensive, even if you choose to work with minimal props. How are you planning to fill up the seats? Publicity, sponsors and having to prove your worth to paying audiences?  And of course, you have to pay your crew and your designers, especially on a very professional platform. 

We should not perpetuate the cycle of starving artists when we are in the field ourselves. It is almost hypocrisy. 

So this chance to present something in my voice, under the school’s wing, has been the greatest gift to me. This has been an experience to remember. I think, I grew the most during this short term of ten weeks or less. 

Having to put a script together and picking a topic from the millions out there, was the starting point. Spoilt for choice but limited by time and resources, I had to take something and stick with it. There is no time to hesitate and be fickleminded about. 

Time was always ticking. And going off in my mind every now and then. 

At this point, I want to thank every single person that opened up to me and sat through personal conversations. Inspirational and raw in their own ways, it sparked my determination and my own commitment to dig deep into my experiences. 

It has been difficult and despite warnings that it is going to be an emotional journey, stubbornness is always a strong suit of mine. For better or for worse. Hahaha. 

Some days, I read the script and end up crying by the second page. Other days, I simply get by. 

But I am so thankful for my guides – my teachers and the handful of my close companions. It is a wonder that I got to where I did with my work and how I managed to be vulnerable about something I have held onto so tightly so long. All the encouragement, problem solving, going deeper into the text and forcing the performer to emerge, breaking down this wall of distance and working the space, the physicality of body and still being supportive despite my consistently shit insomnia and attendance. 

I don’t talk much, and most days, I try to disappear in school as much as possible. But I have been reminded of kindness and that relationships go beyond what might occupy my mind 24/7 and kill me slowly. 

And with this work, thank you to everyone that turned up, got tickets or sent me notes to lift me up. I might not be the most visible or the hand that reaches out often enough to upkeep friendships, but all of you do mean a lot. So thank you, even though it will never be enough for all the support all these years since my decision to pursue theatre. 

I am touched, and happy that I finished what I wanted to do. And glad I had people with me, throughout. 

I am going to zone out for a bit now. Will post more of my thoughts when they come to me. xx

95%. 

(Slightly delayed post but my eyes still hurt, my mind still processing and my breath still trying to catch up to my heartbeat.) 

I surprised myself to say that I would stay. 

Bringing up reasons of youth and being career-driven, it was an amazing opportunity to leave. A reason that was completely unjustified and a betrayal big enough to walk out the door. Never looking back. 

Lying, and betrayal are never justifiable. 

It was insane for something like this to trigger a landslide of emotions. Perhaps it was also my being thrown into a state of disbelief. After all, I would have never expected him to lie to me. Maybe I was a complete fool to think that handing my trust so freely is the best thing to do. And that me only giving honesty would allow the same space for the other to do the same. 

Guess I was wrong, and learning it now is better than never. That, I will forever be grateful. 

The weekend was painful. Walking down the river, breaking the more I walked and crying for almost 24hours is not even funny anymore. My breath couldn’t catch up to the crying. My eyes shrunk in size as the tears were messing up the face. My hand permanently clenched, shoulders locked and teeth biting my lips. 

A contradiction of giving up. Feeling tension all over but spirits drunk on misery. 

The questioning is always the worst, and I did all that to myself. Somehow this is one habit that never really goes away. 

Possibilities of other lies came up. Insecurities screaming in dead silence. Accusations, insults and blame accumulated in my mind, with some spilt.

The noisier my mind, the more I needed silence. 

So why stay? 

This is a risk worth taking. Maybe it will turn out to become a “told you so” moment, but at this point in time, I find my feet planted and my heart still somewhere else. Because I let it be there. 

If I was hurting so much, maybe there is something there – a feeling, a comfort and a person I still hold onto. Maybe the pain in that moment was the perfect illustration of me needing this other being, in some way that cannot be rationally described. And I knew, my hurt was not alone and was fully coupled with his. 

Maybe I am staying because I recognised him. 

Leaving has always been easy, for me at least. Learning to stay is the difficult part. And maybe my definition of “need” has to be further thought about and reflected upon. Maybe I need people in different ways that they need me. 

And I need to find that, instead of cancelling every relationship I discover. 

But I draw the lines and I know, anytime it gets too much, too cruel I can walk away. Only after trying. 

I have to sit in this fire. Let it burn and go through this process to come out alive, in a different way. Perhaps with someone else’s hand to hold.