I Will Be Great

giraffe The other day we were at Starbucks, you picked up a magazine and leafed through it absentmindedly, periodically stopping to take a sip out of the Hojicha Latte set upon the table, equidistance from you and me. When the swishing of pages paused for a little too long, I barely noticed, until I felt the uneasiness of your eyes boring holes through the book I was holding.

“Is this your article? Oh my god, it’s your name! In a legit magazine. In Starbucks!”

“Yeap, that’s me.” I quipped before snatching it over to snap a photo for my mother who’s still hung up over my drop out from Law School. “What is that.” She cooly replied.

I want to be big in the industry. Big, as in you’ll be saying my name in hushed whispers big. Big, as in you’ll be envious of my life spent living aflutter and be jealous enough to leave spiteful comments on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Big, as in big enough to pick up a random magazine on the news stands and either find my name in the mast head or as reference in a feature.

The sad news is? I’m still frightened. Frightened of the gargantuan figures in the industry, of the interviews I have to attend and the small talk I have to make. I am inferior of the way I talk, the way I laugh and the way I hold my wine goblet when a toast is proposed. I hide behind my laptop, behind the false sense of security it provides me, pushing out words I carefully compose and artfully string into a melody.

The sad news is? I’m not there yet. Not near, nowhere close. But it’s okay, because sometimes it’s fear that sets the heart ablaze and lights up the long winding road ahead. And I’m alright with that.

Some day, I will be great.

Back to Basics

A few months ago, my life spiralled out of control. And as quickly as I rose to what some people may consider the pinnacle of academic success, it took me just as fast to tumble back down. But I am glad to announce that I’m back in school. 🙂

These few months have really been a journey for me. Law School drop out (LSD) turned amateur writer, I had to pick myself up and brush off the dust from my mighty fall, apply for various jobs and finally walk out of the nights I would spend burning mindlessly through readings I did not understand and days in which I would end drowning in my own tears. Its not easy walking out of your comfort zone (when has it ever been?), definitely not easy having to pursue your passion when your skills don’t back you up, and worst of all (applies to me only lah), having to experience a change of environment over and over again.

PicMonkey Collage

Its my second day at school, and although I’m not quite close to being happy again, I think I will be soon. I can feel opportunities bashfully hiding in corners of my lecture halls, and seedlings of comfort eagerly awaiting blossom. I cannot say I feel right here, but I think I will feel that way soon. At least I hope I will—and that’s a great start.

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P.S: I’m the new food writer for Poached Magazine, so show me some love when you spot my reviews!

Goodbye, Goodnight.

One day you will realise that the infallible will fail you. And when that one day comes, you will want to burrow deeper into the depths of your duvets and never ever emerge again.

Happy Sunday to you.

Hungry For More

I’m starving. Logically I know I am. I can feel my stomach clawing for food, I can hear my head telling me to fucking eat something, but I can’t.

The empty space has become my best friend. Everywhere I go, I know I have company. It fills up the voids between our conversations and it plants itself in the gaps between us on the couch. Sometimes, when I feel like I am truly alone, it creeps along the edges of my feet, tickling the very tip of my toes like a salutation from a friend that never leaves, a compellation from an enemy that never goes.

I cannot feed myself, because I am feeding it too-this emptiness that seems to grow every single day. In good moments, it cowers away in fear, its normal composed disposition undulated by the positivity of my laughter, the warmth of my toothy grin. In others, it consumes me from the inside out, like a fetus trying to break free from the restrains of what used to keep it alive, like a predator discarding its carcass after a full meal. I am its full meal. My good thoughts, my better thoughts, my sanity, they have all fallen prey, willingly. But there is beauty in this distress, not unlike how there is always beauty in death, in burial. There is beauty in this course of putrefaction because there is weightlessness in being empty. Hate rushes past you, jealousy walks through you, anger dissolves within you and sadness evaporates around you. And love, love leaves you. The love we spend our whole life seeking and hating leaves you, because it can no longer manifest within your warm body of soul. You are barren land, and love happens to be the crop. Dearth and famine replace the empty space as your new best friend and you will be hungry. You will always be hungry.

I am starving. Every piece of my soul is breaking from the hunger and I want to eat. I want to feed myself until the throbbing goes away, until the hole in my chest is filled. But this is a hunger you can never quell, this is a hunger that will never wane. Because it only grows stronger with every bite.

Death Shall Not Part Us

“You know I’ll always love you right my unicorn? I have to go now, but I will always love you.” Your warmth was leaving me, as was your scent. I clawed at you desperately, my fists making little balled clenches around the fabric of your shirt. “But I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay here with me. Please?” I felt hope, joy and happiness slowly crawl their way out of my life. You were leaving me, and they were bent on guiding your course. Despair seeped out from the corners of my eyes, stained my cheeks and soothed my burning skin, as though mocking my naivety for trying to bridge the distance between life and death. “Baby please. Baby please don’t go. I won’t make it without you. Baby please please please stay here with me. Please.” What was a well formed argument aimed at trying to keep you here had become nothing but a string of hopeless pleas. My thighs were next to yours, my hands on your shoulders around your neck and I, the entirety of I was placed upon you. The weight of me, placed upon the firmness of yours. Just like we had been this morning.

You looked so calm, so serene. On your face was the same smile I loved so much, on your cheeks the dimples in which I lost myself. Nothing had changed. You were here with me. Everything that happened was nothing but a bad dream. You were here with me. So was your touch, your breath, your scent and your heartbeat. “I have to go now baby. But I will always be here for you. Always and forever remember?” You reached across the little distance between us and placed a warm palm firmly against my chest. “I have to return you this for the time being. I ‘ll see you soon alright? Keep it safe for me? I’m sorry I couldn’t let you keep mine for longer. But I promise to let you steal it back when I see you again. For now, take this.” Then, I realized my heart was beating again. “But I don’t want my heart, I want yours! Don’t go please. Stay with me.” This was a battle I couldn’t lose. When it came to you, I never settled for less. I never gave in. “I have to go now dear, but I’ll see you soon. I will always love you. Always and forever right?”

Dealing with loss is never easy. Your lingering scent on my pillowcase, your clothes in that little compartment I gave you in my closet. Trying to remove you from my life was like trying to remove a sticky price label from a clear surface. No matter how hard you tried, some of it remained. You had grown and manifested yourself in my life like a parasitic organism. You left yourself in my milk cartons, in my candy jars and breakfast toasts. You left yourself in my thoughts, my words, my memories and my love. You were always with me-in the air I learnt to grasp thinking it was your hands, in the corners of pillows where I would leave kisses, thinking it were your cheeks, in the clothes I learnt to wear, thinking it were your hands around my waist. Every day, I miss you. So much more than I can bear. But I have also been enlightened to the fact that every day, you are there with me, that you will always love me, even if death separates us. Always and forever.

Inspired by a dream I can now only vaguely remember, in which words uttered hit me like a particularly harsh November rain-painful but oddly comforting. I hope you never die, but everyone does. I hope you never die, and live on infinitely.

Courage and Faux Bravery

I smell like cologne. Like man cologne. And there are 4 new bruises on my hands and probably a few more on my legs. I am in the office with unwashed hair tied high on my head into a ponytail and a churning in my stomach because my colleague is talking about the delicious Bak Kut Teh she wants to have for lunch. But more importantly, I am trying very hard to recall the spark of brilliance I had last night which I vividly remember hastily typing into my phone but has obviously vanished in a puff of smoke. (Much like my sanity) The only thing I can remember is the title I so wittily chose for that epiphanous moment and am reminded that I wanted to talk about bravery.

I am afraid of many things-beetles, lizards, capsicums, oily hair, dry hair, being forgotten, making new friends, losing old friends… If I made it my personal conquest to collate them all, the list would probably take its place on the Guinness book of world records for being the longest scroll ever. On a scale of 1 to 10, I probably place myself between a 2 and a 2.5. Courage the cowardly dog would be so proud of me. It’s hard to tell that behind the gungho façade and the daredevil image, I actually am a piece of silken tofu inside. I, like anybody, get queasy before a rollercoaster ride and try to conjure up a million lame excuses in an attempt to avoid getting on it (even though I suggested it in the first place). I, like anybody, feel like my heart is about to escape from my mouth before I address a crowd way too large for comfort (even though I clambered and clawed my way to that position). I, like anybody, feel like my legs are reduced to jelly when looking down from a height over 4 stories tall (even though I willingly climbed up there in the first place). This is also possibly how the epiphany came to me last night. Even when we’re not brave enough, pretending to be fearless sometimes help make us that little bit more courageous. Note my attempts at faux bravery in the parentheses above.

Faux bravery AKA pretending-you-are-completely-unfazed-when-you-are-actually-scared-shitless is an art. It is like jumping into the deep end of the pool before you’ve even learnt to swim. I like to think of it as letting my heart grab hold of the steering wheel while my brain has been dumbed down by either too much fear or too much alcohol. But hey, the good news is that while pretending to be brave, you actually do become a lion, or get a lion’s heart in exchange at least. Feigning bravery often means you end up doing the things you would never have done in the first place, thus making you that much  bolder. Try having to exterminate a flying roach because you have a younger sibling cowering behind you in fear. You have no choice, so take a deep breath, mumble words of comfort (which probably is meant for yourself rather than for your baby sister) and pretend that that thumb-sized pest isn’t your greatest nightmare. When you’ve won that epic battle between man and insect, pat yourself on the back and throw your arms up in victory. You’ve just faced your biggest fear and survived. You’ve also become the most courageous person to have ever graced this planet, because courage isn’t about being fearless. It is about being able to face your bête noir.

However, there are times you have to come to terms with the fact that there are some phobias you cannot overcome and likewise, there are some fears you cannot face. But we will soon come to realize that being able to accept that truth is in fact an act of bravura as well. Therefore, I shall continue to stare at that daunting green stalk of asparagus and calmly convince myself that I, being so brave and valiant, will acknowledge the fact that I cannot and will never be able to stomach such a repulsive vegetable, give myself a reaffirming nod and walk away triumphant and proud.