There are days where you feel invincible, days where you feel as if the mere tipping of your toes will hoist you high enough to pick a star out from the night sky. These days, everything you do is adequate. Even the mere act of breathing makes you revel in the fact that there’s so much you can do, will do and have already done that you will one day compile into a heaping list that’ll give meaning to your existence. Days like this, you wish will never end.
Then there are days where you feel like a sail boat on windless sea. Days where hours spent relentlessly working amount to nothing, like scribbling with white ink on white sheets, like dusting cupboards during dry storms. Days where you try so hard but get no where. Days where light blinds and darkness suffocates.
Sadly, today is one of those.
I don’t have pearls of wisdom or words of comfort because most of us have these days that nothing can turn around. Reassurance stings like swabs on wounds and advice falls like bitterness at the back of tongues. Bad days remain bad despite all the good in the world.
But it’s alright, because like everything else, days too shall pass. Good ones, bad ones, they’ll all fall into the valley where we’ll forget to pull them out for scrutiny so even when we look back, we look pass them, through them, away from them as if they never even happened.
So just hold on tight and keep your knees a little too close to your chest for comfort. Let this bad day reign over you, will it away and celebrate its passing. Oh, and admit defeat. The earlier you surrender, the less it hurts.
Image credits: Daniel
Sitting in a corner of Coffee Bean shivering to my icy death on a painfully uninspiring Thursday evening, a text from a long-time friend makes me realise that the elusive love we spend our entire lives looking for are actually seeds sown in the ground and waiting to bloom.
There is potential for love everywhere. A slight liking towards a new friend, a flush that blossoms on your cheeks when he calls out your name to say good morning along the hallway, the slight touch of an attractive stranger when he shuffles restlessly in his seat. Perhaps we’re all too blind from the lists we have subconsciously constructed from the people we would like to have in our lives to notice the ones that actually are.
While we’re constantly searching for the coifs of perfectly gelled hair and rolled jeans that leave a perfect amount of his ankles exposed, we miss out on the things we wanted in the first place altogether. We push away inklings of love, the could haves and the would haves, in search of what reality tells us to be the perfect relationship. The healthy one.
And while we put on veils, masks and a wonderfully set up disguise, we miss out on the ones who love us for we who are underneath. We miss the ones who internally acknowledge the relentless efforts we put into making ourselves perfect yet love us blemished, crumbled and crushed anyway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
P.S: I’m the new food writer for Poached Magazine, so show me some love when you spot my reviews!
There will come one day where you will forget the sound of keys chattering beneath your fingers, the feeling of fullness when words fill you up, the satisfaction of seeing black ink on blank canvas. There will come one day where you cannot remember how, what or why. There will come one day where you hit rock bottom and have to start all over again. And what will come as a surprise is that you’ll actually feel okay.
Letting go of everything that keeps you anchored is scary. It is more than scary. It is frightening, petrifying. It is the first time someone took away your safety blanket. But letting go of everything that validates you also makes you hungry. It is a kind of hunger that reeks of desperation, and desperation is a good thing. It makes you want to learn, it makes you want to lap up knowledge like a starving stray cat. It lets you put yourself out there with zero remuneration, it humbles you, liberates you and reminds you that as much as you are something, you are also nothing.
It is okay to start over. It is okay to leave things unfinished and start brand new even if it means you spend week after week wallowing in tears, hopelessness and unworthiness. Because when they begin fade away, you are fearless, famished and so much better than you ever were.
I am a stranger in my own home, a wandering spirit without its soul.
It feels a little lonely tonight. Just a little. Maybe the air is two and a half degrees too cold and the night sky four shades too dark. Maybe its six and a quarter decibels too quiet and three minutes too fast. Maybe there are no reasons to why I happen to feel alone tonight, just like how there are no reasons to why I shouldn’t.
I have somehow or rather accepted the fact that I won’t be getting any sleep tonight, and I still don’t get why I’m still trying so hard. I am desperate to leave this mess , and this desperation seems to escalate with every case I am forced to dissect and every word I am forced to burn into memory. I am lesser of who I am, and more of who they want me to be. I don’t try anymore, I don’t fight. I have possibly given up on most of the things that I thought were extremely important to me, but now seem to be of no value to anyone, or anything here. I am desperate to leave and to reclaim the things I have lost. I am desperate to leave, but afraid that this mess extends further than what seems to be.
Sometimes people will make you feel worthless. They will make you feel like you’ve been relegated to the bottom of the food chain. And for 6 weeks now, I’ve been swimming around like krill, my sole purpose of existence to fill the bottomless, souless bellies of these whales that surround me every single day. And for 6 weeks now, I have failed to retaliate. But soon you will realize that, when cornered, desperate people can achieve even the most unbelievable feats. And right now, this is me.
I am messed up, I admit that. I have no solid plans for what lies ahead, neither do I have any plans for now. I am about to throw away what seems to be a blindingly bright future and walk the unknown path in the search for happiness. I am not sure if it even exists, or if its too elusive to belong to someone like me, but unhappiness is something you should never get accustomed to. Happiness may not exist, but you should never stop searching for it. And if in this course of forage brings broken noses and scraped knees, count me in. There is never a losing battle, because every time you put up a fight, you’ve already won.