Restraint

I need to stop over-promising. Saying I’ll be there for the birthday song when I end up eating a burrito at twelve instead. Saying I’ll call when I end up being welcomed into a new circle of people with my phone in my bag. Planning on a morning gym session when I’m most likely getting less than five hours of sleep. Initiating a group dinner date when I end up ditching for a trip to Target for command hooks. Texting ‘I’ll see you’ and having to compensate with frozen yoghurt or Jamba juice (because they’d work for me as peace offerings) when I end up meeting someone else. And then there’s me implying that I’ll see you again.

***
With you, my boundaries -without prompting- fall away like crumbling sand. I am losing the wrestle and I don’t want to play. Self control is a joke and I am desperate for transformation.

Proverbs 19:20-27
Listen to advice and accept instruction, so you might grow wise in the future…
Many plans are in a person’s mind, but the Lord’s purpose will succeed…..
If, my Child, you stop listening to discipline, you will wander away from words of knowledge.

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Big Kid

It’s unfair that I’m expecting you to have your life together at your age. You’re allowed to be a little all over the place, asking people for favours, missing classes, that sort of thing. You’re allowed to doubt what you’re doing here, whether you’ve made the right choices. I need to be compassionate. You’re just a big kid looking for answers.

I’m fond of ya

Generally
My show of affection is not deliberate, much like when a dog bounds to the door and wags its tail. It’s not something I think about, but it’s akin to a shot of caffeine. I glow around you. You have made me this way. I blossom for you. You bring out the best in me.

I proclaim to the world that you are significant. I tell people about you. I want them to know things about you, things that I like. I am convincing them that you are great.

I remember you.

Friend
I don’t cuddle you all that often. I may lie on you and slump on you because I’m comfortable or I want to annoy you with my suffocating body weight. I may make you handmade crafts on your birthday, tell you our anecdotes and keep you in mind. But most importantly, I choose to act in a loving way even when I don’t agree with you and actually want to punch you.

Grandmother
Although I may not necessarily give you a lot of my time, when I do see you, I listen. I take you in. The things you says, the way you say them. I want to remember you and the things that make me love you. I tell you I love you. Thank you. I take your arm in mine or embrace you. I love you.

Boy
I tend to touch you more. And it’s a combination of all the above.

It was so nice

Why do I allow you to hold my clammy hands and let you tell me it doesn’t matter? Why do I volunteer to entertain you with something I’ve learnt? Are we so open that we cross? Me and you- we merge. Or do we want the same things? Like, a hand to hold. A face to wake up to.
“You make me want to be cute”.
Does it matter that it’s me though? Doesn’t it just feel right to let the actions carry us before thought and ration make their statements?
But I like who I am when I take a swig of your beer. When I tell you a story of an underwater dome so that you may fall asleep. I like telling you stories. I like that self. Because I like the moment we’ve created.

There was no buildup, no awkward introduction. Just me on the floor, legs crossed and you on the bed. We like those who think we’re lovely without even trying. I am me and there is no filter. I want to adore someone. I think you do too.

I want to remember your voice. Your goofy grin. When you close your eyes or look up to hum. Mmm- between phrases. It’s the link between sentences. I remember your freckles, where your chest is. Yaanoee (that’s how you say ‘you know’)? The way you inhale deeply. Your rounded handwriting on the post-its: the words you live by. But I’ve already forgotten your laugh. The sound of it is missing from the playback. I need to remember before there’s nothing left. I miss the jolt when your hand was on my spine. We are so funny together.
We were making plans. Yoga, beach, fake IDS… take me to these places with you. This was nice.

That’s interesting

Interesting people are interesting because they teach you something. About kombucha tea and chia seeds, the formation of knots from repairing muscles in their shoulders, the panopticon structure, the way cryptography works. About enzyme supplements and DMT trips and trips to bakeries in obscure european towns. We like interesting people because we like learning. There’s novelty in learning and you want to be surprised. Maybe I’m only interesting because of the people I meet. I love studying them and I want to expand. I take and I gather that beauty inside me and explode with the things I have learned.

Or maybe you’re interesting because you’re not me. How are we the same and how are we different? Which leg do you push off of when you skate? What’s your favourite ice-cream flavour? I can’t believe you eat celery. Maybe you’re interesting because I haven’t conquered you yet. But I never truly will. You’re not me. On that note, we’re all interesting, I guess. Just depends whether or not I’m bothered with the details.

This is what being interesting means to me. Language is a shortcut for the many metaphors and experiences that compare. The word is defined by the individual’s experience, and so we need more words to describe the one.

Enhancer

You are more attentive, more aware of what is already there. Flavours acute, beautiful things made more beautiful because you are fixated on the details of what it is. Broken into pieces and made more intense; the sum of it all. Each vessel lit up like broad-beamed floodlights. It was always this way. You were just numb to it.

Like, your stomach is expanding, appetite growing for more experience, more of life. Things are so good and I don’t want to stop.

Perhaps what we see when we close our eyes, the shapes we imagine and the colours we envision are real. Suppose what we see in our mind, those things we believe to be distortions are the truth. Our waking lives are tunnel-visioned. We live through a filter. It is a filtered reality. We know this is true (we live through a filter) but to what extent? Is the inside out? Have I created or did it already exist?

Impulsive

If you know me, you’ll hold me to what I said instead of what I’m saying. The better, more level-headed me, instead of who I am now. But what if what I wanted then is no longer what I want? Whose to know if this is a phase, a special case? Whose to know if change is for the better or worse until the disaster unfolds? Overwhelming possibilities make me stubborn. I’m plagued with WHAT IFS.

If I am to make a mistake, let it be my own. Maybe I’ll agree and say I should’ve listened, but I brought it upon myself.
But then again, what seems to be worth it now may not be worth it later. I am floored.

Pity the man

Why a God who makes it impossible to be good? I am inclined to sin. It’s just easier to be self-serving, easier to do what feels good and lie in order to continue. This culture is certainly hedonistic. Pleasure, indulgence, do whatever feels right, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or yourself in the process. But what if you’re hurting yourself without realizing it?

There was that time I thought that maybe death would take me. I thought: I will lie here and wait. I wanted to accept death but I could’t help but fight it. My body wants to survive. I want to live. But I knew that the ultimate goal was to conquer myself. I wanted to embrace death; non-existence. And it became clear to me that in being, I’m constantly fighting myself. I’m battling my humanness, the temptation I am swimming in. Drowning in. The denial of self is a virtue. This is why I need saving. If being good was easy, I would need no saviour. I would not be humble. In my pride I would need no God- I’d be the devil, because pure, godly perfection is unattainable.

God, save me from myself.

Hi, I’m new

Yeah I’m not from here, I know you can tell from my accent. I also don’t know how to use credit cards and which numbers ‘account number’ refers to. I don’t know how to get to that bus stop or which way I should go to get to school faster (Google maps is sometimes a LIE). I don’t know how to be an adult. But I’m trying, I’m learning, and I can now successfully cook asparagus and salmon fillet. I can also sort the whites from the coloured socks and shop for sponges but I can’t deny that I’m missing my helper from back home… It’s strange how something so commonplace in Hong Kong isn’t a thing here at all. Alas, my bed sheets remain a perpetual mess. But what is the point when, at the end of the day, I’m going to roll around in it? 

My mattress sits in the living room and my suitcases are lined up against the wall. My books, boxes and bags have dominated the floor. And I realize now that I do mind when people sit on my bed- people who I’ve just met. With a group of friends that I’ve gradually gotten to know through the seven years of high school, I’ve been used to the quiet understanding between us. It’s a different thing, having to get to know strangers. In the beginning, it’s all fine and dandy, because neither party can afford to be rude and neither knows the other’s annoying habits. I don’t like the sound of chewing. I hate it. But I can’t tell her to shut up like I do with my friends. 

Things aren’t as I thought they would be… But my mind couldn’t have prepared for them anyway. When I first arrived, LA highways and palm trees were extraordinary, lifted from screens and Tumblr photos I’ve seen- like seeing celebrities in real life at a concert. You’ve seen them in adverts, on various media and you know they’re real but it doesn’t quite register; it’s the merging of two formerly separate realities. 
I didn’t think I’d be emotional when my parents dropped me off after dinner (dad’s birthday) on the second day of orientation, but as I hugged them, thanked them and told them I loved them, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude my eyes began to leak. Thank you for working, paying, making sure I’m well and alive. Thank you for giving me the incredible privilege of planting my feet on the concrete of Los Angeles, let alone UCLA. Thank you for loving me, for the life I’ve led up to this point. Thank you for being my parents, because that is a privilege too.
I’m also beginning to understand just how expensive a comfortable life is. Again, it’s something I’ve always known but not fully appreciated. Whenever I was hungry at home, I only had to open the fridge to resolve the problem. Someone would always be there to cook dinner and there’d be fruit at the table. Now I have to worry about things like paying for school, electricity, wifi and rent. It’s much more than I’m usually responsible for. This independence they speak of- or freedom from reliance – is slowly waking. 

Without a car, I can only be bothered to walk a certain distance. I thought there would be a coffee shop for me tucked around the corner, but 1) It’s further than I’d hoped. 2) Coffee is expensive. 3) It’s crowded. 4) It’s Starbucks and Coffee Bean and they’re both not very homey. Where are the nearby hipster coffee shops with pillows, drapes, lounge chairs and live music?

 The problem is not so much that I’m new… but that everything is new to me.