Adolescence is a time of oscillation between extreme excitement and extreme fear for the future. It’s a time for straddling boundaries: sometimes for iffy, tentative steps and sometimes for staggering leaps and bounds of faith. It is a collection of elongated days – from dreary, monotonous waiting – and a flurry of dissipating moments.
Did he create a skin for me? One that clung so closely to the joints that every knee jerk convinced him of the character I momentarily and involuntarily inhabited. Was I but a pellucid recreation, a passing silhouette of the past? Was I but a viable body for delicate, faery perfection? An apparition from a dream coaxed and coerced into the frames of actuality? Or was I merely good company? A friend for a day, a heroine out of boredom, a distraction from the acrid taste of loneliness.
Who can determine reality? Who would want to? There is no magic here.
I’m not the kind of person to say “that was a difficult test” as a safety net to protect my ego just in case I don’t do well; I mean it just as much as the next person complaining.
I hate it when people say “oh, stop, you’re going to do so well. I bet you’re going to ace it,” and then proceed to roll their eyes at me. No. It may have come from a place of good faith but all it does is put pressure on me, making disappointment that much shittier because I feel extra embarrassment from knowing that I had surprised people by my incompetence.
I really shouldn’t care what people think of me.
This situation reminds me of what my English teacher once said. It went something along the lines of: true confidence is when neither flattery and praise nor rude comments and insults make a difference to how you feel. If you were truly happy with yourself, it wouldn’t matter either way because you know what you’re worth.
He fleshed it out in two scenarios. Say, you walk by a group of people and they are saying things about you that you’d never want to hear. They’re tearing you to pieces and picking out your every flaw. How would you feel? Bothered? Severely hurt? Or say, you walk by a group of people and they speak about you as if you are the best thing on the planet. How would you feel? Extremely happy? Pleased with yourself? Flattered? Do you feel the peaks and troughs based on what others think?
Just goes to show how fickle we humans are. I can’t imagine not being the slightest bit affected.
you punctured this throbbing mass
with surgical skill,
releasing years of refuse
profuse, copious, redundant
and I don’t know how to stop
or how to go back
to the safety of tumorous
Sometimes you get dealt the wrong hand (I’m being punny again). That is, you feel unlucky. A little crimp in time and space directed a destabalising force in your direction, and you (of all people) had to live through the worst case scenario. You scrunched up your nose, closed your eyes and muttered under your breath “not me not me not me”, and yet your name was called. You. Of all people! You massaged your temples and sighed “not today”, but the very thing you wanted to avoid happened to find its way to you that very day, ironically at the right place, at the right time. And there you are, left dumb-founded and incredulous over how chance seems biased and devoted to ruining your life in the most tragic, dramatic way possible (unlucky people tend to be overdramatic).
I felt extremely unlucky this week but I won’t let that shake my faith. I didn’t do well, I wasn’t as prepared as I should’ve been, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. Yes, I feel disappointed but I did what I could and the only thing left to do now is to move on. Why cause myself more distress by ruminating about the past and dragging it into the future?
As my grandmother ‘s cute saying goes: there are both long and short fingers. It sounds less weird in Cantonese, but essentially, it illustrates how we can’t be good at everything and that we will fall short of something sooner or later.
Sobe says not to worry. Everyone has their turn with luck (or lackthereof).
Sounds like a stupid challenge but the aim is to try and look after my nails. We had Girl Day yesterday and obviously, that involved getting our nails done. However, because of my nonexistent nail routine, I ended up just getting my cuticles cut and nails stripped of month-old nail polish I couldn’t be bothered to remove. I was advised not to do any more damage to my dry-ass nails. I knew they were unhealthy because they chip constantly, but I didn’t realize how bad they were. The nail expert was not impressed and I had to look away, pretending my hand did not belong to me.
Little things like healthy pink nails with clean white tips are the manifestation of effort and care (basically, I’m much too lazy).
I know I will miss the encompassing wall of yellow with frogs wearing crowns and gowns in the foreground, chosen whilst I was on holiday because I would never have picked it myself. I imagine that one day my room will be whitewashed and lilac, with scribblings and a mosaic of photos on the wall, but for now it is a comfortable dwelling (no matter how childish and ugly) because it is familiar.
The light is always too dim and the mattress perfectly bouncy. Once my head sinks into the blanket and I curl up with a pillow, ‘just resting my eyes’ inevitably becomes a three hour nap. I’ve woken up drenched in sweat from dreamless nights and have sat up startled with cheeks streaked with tears from nightmares quickly forgotten. I’ve sprawled on the wood paneled floor to read and paint whilst listening to music and I’ve watched shadows flit past the starry (glow in the dark) ceiling, trying to match the shapes in motion to the hum of cars and muffled voices deep into the night. Home is an establishment of where things were and are. Or where things weren’t and aren’t. For me it is the heap of things and clutter and disorder that feels right. My desk is forever overflowing with stuff. But I can navigate through my own space. It is my territory and every inch of it is branded with my own memories. Mine.
The other day, I sat on someone else’s bed in a small, tidy room and suddenly felt this strange sense of dislocation and displacement. I realized just how soon I will have to make a new home in another space and I am dreading it. I’ll have only time to rely on to replace the warmth of the old and I’m impatient. But I’m hopeful that one day I’ll have these multiple homes to visit; nests of once upon a time.
The flesh is weak Lord, I am frail. I need You. All that I have comes from You – everything. Down to the last, minute details. I am Yours and she is Yours. Bless her with all that she deserves and give her strength and wisdom. Dampen her anxieties and alleviate her pains. Give her faith and show her love. Remind me of how much I love her and how much we both need You.
I shall pray for her daily.
rolling in the dirt
in your new dress and Sunday shoes,
hiding in the shade
with naughty boys and cookie jars,
you’ll never be a saint.
but don’t fret,
we expect nothing short of failure.
he cannot lose, he thinks,
caressing its smooth curve.
so deliciously sharp, he thinks.
savour the glint,
the opulence of blood,
the surge of electricity.
not to hurt but to feel
lively in a game of chance