Ideas are Bulletproof

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School makes you appreciate the lesser things in life — like showering at absurd times of the day and seeking refuge from the scorching sun beneath the comfort of your blankets and artificially chilled air.

I just spent the afternoon curled up in the fetal position on fresh bedsheets when I should have been halfway across the island, stiffly sat upon a lecture chair fighting sleep. I tell myself sacrifices have to be made in order to retain whatever’s left of my sanity on a stuffy Monday morning and guiltlessly enjoyed my midday nap. A 10 hour work day is way too intense for the second week of school.

While waiting for the train in the sweltering heat and mindlessly scrolling through my Tumblr feed, I realised we fall in love with the idea of things like a moth helplessly attracted to a burning flame. We repost images we see online of people we’ve never met and rolls of cigarettes we’ve never really tasted. We fall in love with the simplicity of an image and the endless possibilities of perfection it brings. Flowers that never have to wither, balloons that rise without limit and love that’s captured infinitely in the summer.

I once asked why he never bought me flowers, insisting that I was being denied the one thing I truly loved and brought me immeasurable happiness. (Peonies particularly. Others not so.) In return, I was told what I loved was the idea of receiving and not the actual act. That I fell in love with the images of bouquets with the pastel hues against the flushed skin, the smiles and joyous laughter I was conditioned to expect when I held a stalk between my hands. In reality, I wouldn’t know what to do with them the moment the excitement faded. I would trouble with where and how to dispose of them, I would fret when they gradually lost their elegant disposition.

We fall in love with the idea of things because we can’t help it. Because things are always so covetable, so beautiful, so flawless when we only see them in a two dimensional world. We replay scenarios in our heads, convinced that we’re irrevocably smittened, until one day ideas become reality and we begin to grasp the unfathomable knowledge of why and how ideas are and will always be better kept in fantasy.

Blurb: Burning Out

I sometimes feel like I’m a firecracker. No, do not imagine a girl with firebrick red hair and a devilish glint in her eyes. Not a spitfire, a firecracker. You know the kind that burn a little too quickly, a little too noisily and has barely any other significant function besides drawing your attention for that mere few seconds that its lit? Yup, that kind of firecracker. For that moment, I am blindingly beautiful, I steal your breath and make you believe that I’m perhaps the brightest thing you will ever see. But then as fast as I implode into sparks of brilliance, I simmer out faster than you can say goodbye. And what’s left? The little glow at the end of the road. The glow that is always shining, albeit less brilliantly, less flamboyantly, but surely, always there. That’s the difference between you and I. You’re the fluorescent bulb and I’m the spark. You’re the Chardonnay and I’m the Absolut. I’m the one they drink to forget, and you’re the one they drink because they want to remember.

Losing Things

Coming back to work after a 19 day holiday is like one of the worst forms of hell anyone can condense onto a blue Monday morning. Maybe that is the reason why my head is spinning and I feel like I am floating on cloud 21, the evil cousin of the adorable cloud 9. I also happen to only have $6 left in my wallet and approximately $21.54 left in my bank account, which leads me to telling you why I am at work today-its supposed to be payday. But of course, judging from the extra cheerful and positive tone of this post, you would have guessed that my net asset status now still stands at $27.74 (I found 20 cents at my desk) and my sanity at negative 58.

I have yet to find the crux of this post, or my messy stream of thoughts for that matter. I expected to have matured at least a good 20 years after spending some time away from this city and the people that I hate and love so much, but I guess I only gained 5 at the maximum, not too bad if you aren’t picky. You know how people love to shrug their shoulders and send you a nonchalant look while telling you “Bro, you lose some, you gain some.” almost as if they have looked past the frivolous matters of life and into the real essence of it? I kind of feel that way now, minus the fact that there isn’t someone I can tap on the back and deliver that quote to, except my boss who I think will take away whatever Zen feelings I have now.

It is true though, that life is this never ending cycle of losing and gaining. Perhaps the only constant. You lose a toy and gain independence. Lose a lover and it leaves a gaping hole in your heart. Lose a job and get back freedom. We are habitual creatures. We complain and whine about what life takes away from us, yet never once consider the times where we get back so much more (ok, maybe just equal amounts) in return. I sound so ridiculously clichéd talking about this, I’m probably going to regret it the moment I hit update, yet I need to remind myself that while life forces you to leave some things behind, and stealthily promises something else in return, there are certain things that are too important to give up. Things like your conscience, your integrity and yourself. These are things that you cannot give away in hopes you get something better in return. There will be no better you, than who you were meant to be.

Social Detoxing

I remember when my mother was having this yoga phase, she would do these monthly starvation routines where she consumed nothing but salt water and swallowed banana slices whole at the end of the day. She called it a detox and was convinced it would rid her of all the toxins and poison in her body, just because her best friend at that time swore by it. Whether it worked or not, I have no idea. However, the yoga mats have been neatly rolled up in their corner for quite some time now and I can no longer recall the last time she ate a banana.

I like Facebook. I like being able to know what my friends are up to without having to engage in a long and dreary conversation about how their pet cat died last month or how their so bored at work. I like being able to see exactly what’s happening to them-how they look in their new haircut, how they look at work, how their new boyfriend looks like, how they now look like. I like being able to snigger behind the shield of my computer screen and make wicked (but honest) remarks that would put Simon Cowell to shame. But I also dislike it. Facebook is like a breeding ground for drama. It is like a bubbling cauldron filled with all the necessary ingredients for an emotional showdown, it is a nesting spot for the bitch, bitcher and bitchiest. Facebook is Sparta, it is an arena for the worst and the ugliest.

So I have decided that I need a cleansing. A social cleansing to be exact. Even if it means that the cute waiter at the bar who sneakily asked for my name so he could run a search of me on Facebook can’t find me there. There are bigger and better things in life to look forward to besides the lunch your friend had yesterday, there are greater and more important things in life that you should occupy yourself with besides the silly little blurbs your friends post online. Take time out to really ask them how they are instead of inferring and convincing yourself that they are okay. Even if it means you have to tolerate the whining, the dramas, the hoard of irrelevant information, do it.

I guess I’ll be off the social radar for a while then. Maybe I’ll even take up yoga, make a few hipster friends and run off to live in a cave high up in the Southern mountains in Mongolia. (Wait, are there even mountains, let alone Southern mountains? Whatever.) And if you’re really bent on knowing how I am, or how I’m doing, I’m sure you’ll find a way. They have snail mail there, I think.

Aligned

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When I look into my mirror now, I have this urge to let out a hearty, deep from my belly laugh because my hair is ridiculous. But I am so happy with it, because it is such an exquisite, intricate mess. It is so out of control, whacky, odd, crazy, completely insane, but it is so me. And I am so contented, so happy, so childishly elated by the state my hair is in, because for once, I feel like everything is aligned.

Risk Everything

Its annoying how I only seem to be able to recall what I wanted to write about after I shut down the computer, therefore resulting in my dark room being illuminated by a spot of light originating from my phone screen.

Today, while meeting a friend to pass him a portable charger meant for Bo to use in camp, I came across a scene that made me feel like we were all growing up too fast. For once, I turned up early for the appointment and thus had the opportunity of seeing the entire family tumbling out of a silver car only to spend a few more moments with the tanned boy who was about to return to Tekong island for a week. But what surprised me was that besides family, someone else stumbled out of the car looking a little less cheery than her normal disposition. Then it struck me. Wait. Did his girlfriend just step out of the same car his entire family was in? What happened to relationships being kept a secret from the prying eyes of nosy parents? What happened to parents finding out about a budding love story being its greatest kryptonite? Have I been out of this dating arena for way too long and thus not being informed regarding the change in dating protocols?

I used to think that love in high school was an idealistic but unrealistic dream. I admit it is a little too cynical for a child only 18 years young, but heck. What are you supposed to think of relationships when the ones around you only lasted weeks at length? A friend and I used to describe the dating patterns in school using the analogy of a football championship. Its basically a mass exchange between the competing teams. Well in this case, players. You play, you ditch, you swap. I must admit though, whether true love or fleeting love, the mere idea of being submerged inside it is amazing. The nights you spend on the phone contented listening to the sound of silence that puts a tangible distance between you and the one you love, the lubdubdub of your heart which you’re convinced is a special melody only played when you know the one you seek is within sight or thought, the eternal promises fiercely whispered to overcome all odds and be in love forever, that is not something mere mortals like us can resist. But what I witnessed today was more than the euphoria or the surge of adrenaline one experiences when a lover utters the three words we all long to hear.

In fact, there was no hand holding, snogging or even a word exchanged between them. Yet during the short moments I spent with them, I could barely look anyone in the eye before I awkwardly said goodbye and scrambled away. Perhaps it was how there was no hiding, no awkwardness between them that made me feel like I had walked into an intricately woven web and upset its delicate balance. And then as I walked away, I thought to myself; she’s not just his girl, she’s family.

I don’t know when it’ll be my turn to meet the family of a certain boy whom I’ll be able to call mine. To me, love remains at the stage where my parents should be kept in the dark and milestones were celebrated in weeks, not years. But the few seconds I spent with that family today really made me realise that as we grow up, the way we love changes too. Instead of playing a game of swap or merry go round, we’re looking for someone who keeps us grounded and as cliche as it sounds, someone to spend the rest of our lives with.

And that, is a very frightening thought.