That’s why she’s in love with you, you know… There were a lot of other boys, but they didn’t scare her. She rather frightened them, I think. You’re very different. But I think you frightened her, and that’s why she likes you.
—Aurelia Plath, Sylvia
—Aurelia Plath, Sylvia
Completely blank and left with not a single word to put down on the paper. That’s how I feel. completely empty.
I wanted to laugh at that moment.
Is this the feeling people get when they have been driven to a point? When they finally know that they know nothing?
I know I don’t have to know everything - and that it is okay to not know everything. but that instance of not knowing a single thing despite it being possible to know something - have I already lost you at this point? cos maybe I already lost what I wanted to say.
I don’t usually repost Thought Catalog but here’s something that I thought really resonated with me:
Constantly reminding myself that 2014 is a project that I’ve set out to find out who I am and what I want and that I cannot settle for less or expect more than necessary; That I have to learn to stand my own ground, be my own person.
“If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.”
― W.H. Auden
15.01.2014 Wednesday Morning, Cool & Clear weather
Boarded bus 14, the bus I usually take to school in secondary school days. Tapped my card against the ez-link reader and proceed to the upper level of the double decker bus. First thing that caught my eye was the girl wearing a Temasek Secondary school uniform. I sat down in front of her.
Memories came back in tiny but clear pieces. The girl I was back then, the morning bus rides, the afternoon bus rides and the late night bus rides. I seem to have lost the memory of who I was back then. Seems like someone entered my memory and erased them. Who was I, really?
Dear 16 year old self, if you could see me now, what would say? Would you laugh back at all my insecurities and reply in a classic manner, “I told you so”; or will you smile at how far I’ve come and all the things I’ve done?
Dear 16 year old self, if I could write a letter to you like what I’m doing now, I would tell you, to continue doing what you are doing. You were my favourite age; at the right time and right place. You were daring - fiery and fighting, doing everything under the sun; You were cautious - trained by the hard times that hit you then; You were rebellious - not in the showy way but you were hoping for a change. And that was you, all in one. Conundrum and all.
Looking back, I may lament that you didn’t take enough risks, didn’t get to know yourself better, but I think back then you already took all the risks you knew how to take. Perhaps I would have warn you of what a horrible place Junior College was, but the insane fireball in you would have jumped on it and gone to pursue it even more.
Dear 16 year old self, you believed in love. And sometime down the road, you would always believe in love. What taught you this wasn’t the romantic love that everyone purports in status updates or social media but the very love from family and friends. Any kind of love comes from the same basis - to see that even if someone who is not family, you will love and cherish them equally as much as family.
You fell in love, didn’t you. With the wrong one. (But was it love, you’d ask)
But it’s not wrong.
And maybe it was love, or it was not.
Does the definition matter?
You were caught up in it - that intense feeling; that exclusivity;
Whatever the definition, as you’d soon learn, nothing defines as clear as emotions.
Remember what it taught you. It didn’t teach you to stop believing in love. It taught you that you are capable of love. Of wholeheartedly believing in someone. It taught you that you are different - and that someone saw that in you. It may not be the right person but you’d go on to find out that there will be many people who will see you for who you are and accept that.
And one day, unexpectedly, someone who is ‘right’ will actually come along to accept you for all your emotions and conundrum.
Dear 16 year old self, if there was one thing, just one thing at all, I would have asked you to read more. Don’t wait for time to tell you how precious time is, and how precious reading is. You’d learn more from books in a day then anything else.
You’d grow up just fine. Amidst your insecurities, you will do okay. Learn to let go, growing up is tough enough. Don’t make it tougher for yourself.
Your 21 year old self
Wednesday morning, 7:58am
It’s tomorrow, again.
The only way things seems to turn off and on - is waking up tomorrow.
There is so much to do
/or is there?
Unfortunately, the people who are supposed to love us aren’t always able to give us the kind of love we need. Whether they are our mothers or our fathers, our grandparents or our siblings, some family, no matter how good their intentions, leave us feeling empty, invalidated, uncared for, and alone. And on the days when that pain becomes too much to bear, our work is to recognize that those people whose love we so desperately pine for are never going to be able to meet our needs. Not because they don’t care, but because they can’t change who they are.
Their scant affection isn’t a reflection on our worth. It isn’t even about us. It’s about them and their own limitations and struggles. It’s about their unique way of expressing love and the fact that it doesn’t match up with our own. And we don’t have to internalize that. What we need is to start reaching out to the right people. We need to create a family of people outside of our family. People who can meet our needs and reciprocate our love.
We need to appreciate our families for the ways in which they are able to show they care, and be accepting of the ways they can’t. We need to make peace with who they are and if necessary, we need to give ourselves permission to let go. We need to know that our worth isn’t something another person’s love can give or take away. We need to trust that with or without their affection, we are enough.
There is too much love
and too much hurt
you keep inside
It’s funny that I still believe there’s a state of normalcy to all that is; to both of you. Like seasoned circus performers, familiarized with each other and their routines; yet seeking a change that’s not quite of your own.
Letters of the alphabet are being to scare me - first it was C, now it is D. Yet I am also reminded that words that sound ominous are also used positively - contagious positivity or damage control. Random pairings but significant nevertheless;
Funny how I am running to words (or writing) when in reality I think words have failed me - I have used some words too quickly, too forcefully, too assertively.
I keep telling myself and others that change isn’t overnight but at time like these, I really wished it could be.
It’s been such a long time since I’ve properly written a post but I know that it’s important to come back. So I guess this is a little part of me.
It is important to me to keep a record of what is going on, what I feel, what I hoped or am hoping.
Anonymity doesn’t get us anywhere these days and the truth is even a blog isn’t really yours anymore. I still keep a traditional ol’ pen & paper diary ( which is really a notebook ) but I write differently here. I write in a less name-dropping, less messy, less all-over-the-place manner. It is here that stories are written; that anyone that happens to come across this tiny ( beyond tiny) space will be able to connect to and it is entirely a question mark sometimes. That’s how I like writing here.
So what does coming back means?
I’d like it to be Me. Coming back to me. I think the biggest project of 2014 is probably me. I know what I have to work on and what I aim to improve on. As always, I’m not sure how it’s going to be, but I’m excited that at least this year, I’ve truly set a genuine goal to better this self.
I know it is gonna be hard. But i think this year is gonna be okay. It’s going to be like every other year - there are the classic days, but there will always be the surprises; be it good or bad. Funny how people want answers every new year. For me, I’m still trying to figure out the questions.
I typed an entire post but it was lost;
Maybe like new year resolutions - we put them out too soon only to take them back in just a while.
I wonder what the new year will bring. I feel an apprehension but I also believe that this will be a good year.
Hopefully the words don’t play me out too soon.
Promise to write more;
Thank you for finally talking to me, Dad.
"Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind." - Aristotle
I think it is safe to assume that many of us will be shock at the word, Cancer.
I myself have been shocked by the word a few times in my lifetime and I’ve lost loved ones to this incurable illness.
/I remember that afternoon receiving Prof’s email.
In this email, he shared with the class that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. A curable one and one in which he will seek treatment but nevertheless a serious one.
His point in sharing with us his condition was not merely about telling us the unfortunate diagnosis. He uttered his main objective of the email was on reassuring us that the module will carry on as scheduled, and that our education will in no way be affected.
Even after all that has happened, the main point of his email was “your education is extremely important… I told you at the beginning of the module that I am committed to doing whatever I can to see that you are successful. I want to be entirely clear in saying that I remain absolutely committed to that goal. I told you, as well, at the beginning of the term that teaching is very important to me. My illness has not diminished my conviction in that regard; and I will continue to offer the best possible module I can.”
The semester carried on as planned. Every Wednesday morning in that small seminar room located at a quiet part of the faculty, the lecture will commence. Prof would always commence the lecture on time. As the semester passed, Prof looked weaker then he was at the start of the semester, with occasional coughing. But he continued being strong and cheerful, often joking about his illness. Even today, in our last lecture, he still joked about having to shave his head bald. And he thanked us for having lift his spirits over the semester.
I write this post to Thank this wonderful Professor.
Thank you for the wonderful lessons both within and beyond the module.
I wrote this post on a long train ride home and I thought about the people I had lost to cancer and I had just lost someone so dear to me barely a few months before the start of this semester.
so Thank you, Prof - for showing me (once again) that the illness, as scary as it may be, can be beaten. Thank you for believing that education bears an utmost importance in your pursuit as an educator. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, extensively - that even while undergoing treatment you would send us newspaper articles highlighting contemporary relevance to our module. & Thank you for teaching us character - to be courageous and to be strong.
Educators are a dedicated bunch. I’ve come across a lot of teachers who have inspired me in more ways than one. And it is today that I am once again, shown the beauty of an educator, a teacher who loves to teach, to share and give knowledge and believes in education.
Take heart, have faith. May you and your family be well.
Suddenly had a flashback about 婆婆
I really miss her.
I really miss going back to her house and seeing her. Or picking up the phone to call her.
I really miss her cooking and her random little words of wisdom.