sunday

for days now i’ve woken up feeling like grounded glass. i cannot lift my eyes forward because i carry the residue of yesterday. peanut butter out of the jar, into my belly and into the air. i feel like i am wading in it.

frustration. what does it feel like in this body? like heat rising under a lidded pot, like thrashing through a million hangers– why do i have so many  fucking clothes! that I don’t even like! All of them are roadblocks i have built and i am so angry with myself. a tower of terror, this sense of failure. it’s a stifled cry, out through the nose… i’m suffocating because i know better than to wallow.

Jesus, will your victory be mine today. Hurry, do not delay.

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4am thoughts

Full bloom is when the earth won’t stop smiling, the world won’t stop spinning into the furthest of reaches.

If I could put your laughter in a box, I would sink like sand. Quick, hold me.

Be the person that proclaims with your being: I am proof that there is good in the world.

High tech marks a forward trajectory, approaching Most Human and then surpassing it.

Phone therapy replaces phone sex. What have we done to our insides?

My ego loves you. I however, don’t.

Time feels like the tired grope of my hands on a rope pulled tight. Down the rabbit hole we go.

Dear J

I learnt what “skid marks” were the hard way. I also lived with the most putrid, rotting fish fingers in the fridge – so pungent I caught a whiff of it on my robe after a hot shower in California. To be fair, I contributed to this lifestyle by allowing us to keep the leftover Chicken Masala in the microwave after a night out, still a superior alternative to the kebabs across the street. ‘Twas good whilst it lasted but we weren’t raving to it.

It’s not exactly socially acceptable to pee in the same room as another person, with the door open. I don’t usually let people listen to me pee either. So I think what we have is pretty special. There’s also no one else I’d rather be caught tatas out to the sun with but you, babe. Only in France.

And don’t even get me started on “when the day is winding down”. The onset of night is the beginning of delirium. We can get away with following a good looking man home (half joking), guffawing in tears in supermarkets, malls, parks, trains… We have left echoes of our joint existence in narrow lanes and bar corners. We are insufferable, but who can help it when you pronounce ‘Gare du Nord’ like that??

You are my saving grace on Moody Mornings, your positivity dampened only by scoundrels that demand you donate to them- the deaf, blind and mute. All of them hearing & speaking. You drag me away from hopeless conversations and you help me snag all the deals. Ask for the iPhone charger, you say, the hotel adapters, an umbrella, low sodium meals on the airplane. Where would I be without you? Soaking wet, wandering through the streets of Paris, lost, and dying from chronic high blood pressure, most likely. And I can’t thank you enough for trouble shooting my laptop and updating my phone so that I can upgrade my emoji usage. I have been waiting for a ‘crossed fingers’ pictogram for the longest time. You are my I.T Wiz, MY ROCK.

I am thankful that you’re always on my cycle: lazy-day bud one day, hiking and yoga bud the next. Wine buddy one day, I-would-rather-die-than-drink buddy the next. Thank you for listening to stories about the same guys over and over again. Thank you for seeing the best in me. And most of all, thank you for understanding that my God is my compass.

I am always glad to know you are near, your sandals thumping behind me.

I don’t hate sports

May you find community wherever you go. A special circle of mutual affinity. Our rituals: bowing before we begin, slapping our gloves together in a congratulatory manner after each round. We thank our partners. Let’s make that a practice always. Thank you. Thank you.

***

I made a new friend at a Muay Thai class the other day. Her name is Ava. She’s got more stamina than me, more grit. I gave up after the thirtieth kick. Fifty just wasn’t going to happen. It’s been a while since exercise has made me want to vomit- it was a close call.

***

I love yoga and kickboxing because I’ve learned firsthand that with consistency, I get results. The more PROGRESS I see (I’m obsessed). No wonder people are addicted to the gym life; it’s so rewarding. Gradually, you realize you don’t need to take as many breaks between punches. You can do more than five pushups. Your back stretches further, your legs don’t strain. It’s easy, you’re a little bored, you burn for the next challenge. And your arms are more toned, your shoulders broader. You’ve shaped yourself physically- a tangible marker of progress. I’ve always loved that one can guess what sports people do from their physique. Broad shoulders, slim waist, muscular legs: swimmer. Well defined calves, skinny frame: tennis. Big and burly, bulbous arms and chest: rugby. You literally build and shape yourself from your commitment and training. It’s empowering.

Be Like You

As opposed to Flume’s Never Be Like You (I’m sure I titled this as a result of Uber ride brainwashing. It is way overplayed on the radio in Los Angeles). I’m going back to this draft because I am busting to create. I savor the feeling of excitement for things to come, of having too many things to say. It feels like magic, like I’m about cry a rainbow and fart glitter. Like, I can make something good and be pleased with myself for inciting in others what the arts do for me. I empathise with all creators out there who lose it all once they get to the workstation. Here I am, coffee by my side, my family rooting for me, fingers poised by the laptop. It’s a sunny day, there should be no distractions, no problems. But no, I’ve just eaten a burger and I can barely function. Or suddenly I’m illiterate and I don’t know how to write. Or I feel like napping- drained before I even begin.

Also, I’m embarrassed to call myself a creator, what with how hard people work to practice their art. I am trying and that counts for something right? I have a creator’s heart LOL but I don’t have too much to show for it. A few things hold me back. For example, I’m not naturally good at writing– it takes me forever to write essays. It is a torturous process of editing and re-editing a sentence until it is perfect. I do not type away and then correct, which could actually work in my favour. I just want it all to be good the first time around: why can’t I be amazing at the things I love on the first go? I guess evidence for what I claim to love is precisely how much work I’m willing to put into it. How committed I am to it. I am  basically an aspiring relationship therapist. If I truly am passionate about creating, I will do it even if it takes me ten years to write one page. And that attitude is just what propels people into success, because practice is progress. Baby steps. Like playing Brain Wars. I shy away from the Maths because I don’t want to lose; I must annihilate everyone with my Quick Eye and outstanding Concentration. However, the more Maths games I play every day, despite losing to the lowly ‘Chickens’, I will gain the skills I need to one day #pwn them all.

Back to the backstory of this post. There was a period of time when I was actively trying to figure out my life/ college goals. Kinda cool how I heard the words “the most urgent things are most often not the most important things in life” through the mouths of different people. God reveals himself through people, truly. The first time I heard it, I was overcome with anxiety. What is most important to me? What are my priorities? It made me reflect and think about what I’m doing to best serve my long-term interests, because I must find a purpose. I must be twelve steps ahead of the game and great at what I do. Forward-looking, successful. Okay, I’ll focus on my grades, my position in my sorority and pursue spiritual psychology. I want to attend life coaching/ therapy sessions and get a taste for this world, learning to facilitate conversation about who we are designed to be. My goal is to create a space for people to be and feel authentic, to be loving towards themselves, honest, vulnerable. There is no place for pride or self-consciousness for genuine connection and compassion is our humanity. I want to proclaim that God knows our sufferings and that He is greater. He will sustain us in the night, be our constant when no one else can carry us. He looks upon us with perfect love even when we believe that we are unworthy and undeserving. All well and good.

It is only when I heard it the second time that I was directed towards God: He is the answer, the cure to my anxiety. He exposed my pride. How on earth can I pursue what I say is most important to me without cultivating an attitude of humility in everything I do?
If all I want is to be recognized for being an achiever, to be heard the loudest, to have the most significant role… I am missing the point. Following Jesus means taking the back seat- this is what he did when he died for me. It’s not that I’m to make myself less important or significant, it’s not that I must put myself down and feel lesser compared to anyone else. No, it’s confidence in who I am and realizing that I don’t need outward praise and recognition. It’s showing love to everyone without reserve. It’s saying that I’m not too good for a small job, too holy to associate with someone who chooses to live indulgently. My problems are not bigger than anyone else’s. I am to be a blessing in others’ lives. I am to serve more than I seek to be served. I am to make room for people in my heart and think of myself less.

I want to be like You, Jesus. That is my goal.

Fighting curiosity

Abstinence is harder than doing something in moderation. See, the very fact that you have tried something means you have given into tempting possibilities. You want to know what it’d be like, even if it could go wrong. You hope that you’re the exception, that you can handle whatever it is you choose. “I’d never be the sort of girl to…”, “I’m not like that…”, “I’d never try that”. You say those things until you are that sort of girl, until you are like that, until you have tried it. Then, you realize that you have the possibility of becoming any person you might have once despised or sworn you’ve never be. “You’ll never understand until you experience it” becomes the defense for anyone who doesn’t get it (yet).

There’s a possibility, no matter how small, that this could turn out well. I’ll make it happen, I’ll change his mind. Sure I’ll try heroin because I can handle my pot/ Buzzfeed has announced that I don’t have an addictive personality. Hello, this hope destroys us! We never learn when people tell us first hand the important lessons like: he will never change for anyone. Why couldn’t we have listened? Why did we go through with it when we were so solemnly warned? I tend to retort: whatever, at least I learnt from the experience. But it’s almost as if we honour and value our experience more than we do others’. Like, why is it that commonplace events or similar situations experienced by the people closest to us do not apply to us? I’m probably luckier than they are, I’ll handle it better than they did. Is this egotistical or is this totally normal and healthy? Or is this just a normal bias that hinders more than it helps?

Granted, every person is different, every situation is different and I can only know what I know. But we can avoid a whole lot of pain and stupidity if we could just view the experience of others’ on the same horizon as our own. Better to fail from a well informed decision than from plunging head first without any true consideration of others’ experiences and advice. It’s not spontaneous, it’s flat out S T U P I D. “Follow your heart” is about the worst advice I’ve ever heard. Unless you’re Oprah. Good post on Oprah-read it. 

 

Fami/y

This year more than ever have my eyes been opened to the love around me. I am so grateful to have my family. Just this evening, coming back into a dimly lit house, without my brother… I felt a little bit emptier, heavier. And when he came back, I felt my mood lift. No wonder grandma wants us home, just for the sake of us being home.
My brother cares for me deeply and wants the best for me. He recommends only good things for me: his favourite Psychology classes, water bottles with the most refined filters, health supplements, green drinks and infrared saunas (#hip, #LAfit). He is so patient– I saw this in the way he poured baking soda painstakingly over the mattress so that I would have a clean bed. Funny seeing a bed like a powdered doughnut. He was so patient when the vacuums stopped working and we crouched by the bin to drain the bag of nastiness. He loves me in the way he knows best, by giving and sharing the best of what he’s encountered. I know that there is nothing in this world he will not shield me from. I never have to worry.

And my extended family! I have a group chat that is constantly firing. Birthdays, graduations, illnesses, job anxieties. We all congratulate and thank each other. We all give advice: you should talk to the baby every day in both languages, you should play her this type of music. You should try this soup, go to this restaurant on your holiday. We are all praying for you and we will thank God for His goodness together. We share in each other’s joys and sufferings and it is such a blessing.

Lord I see your love through my family.

instead of studying for my midterm

VIGNETTE

In another life
You tousle his hair and it’s strangely light
— a dirty blonde. Must have skipped a generation.
And you refer to him as “buddy”.
It is a dream that I spit on for its
cheesy fucking sentiments.

MIRRORS

I want to be sweet to you.
Then I want to delete you.
You call for me.
Then you leave me.
You must be tired, too.

St. Teresa of Avila

“I know now how little my strength and small virtue can achieve if You are not always granting me Your grace and helping me not to forsake You…”

“May You be blessed for ever since, although I have forsaken You, You have never so utterly forsaken me as not to raise me up again by continually giving me Your hand. “

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand”.
– Psalm 37:23-24

“How true it is that You suffer those who will not suffer You to be with them! What a good friend you are, Oh my Lord, to comfort and endure them, and wait for them to rise to Your condition, and yet in the meantime to be patient of the state they are in! You take into account, O Lord, the times they loved You, and for one moment of penitence forget all their offenses against You… I cannot see, O my Creator, why the whole world does not strive to draw near to You in this bond of friendship.”

ENTROPY

ENTROPY
I come undone easy
like a sail untied.
Speak truth to me
and reorder my heart.

“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.”
– Isaiah 26:3

“Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.”
– Psalm 25:5