Little stories that occupy my mind in the middle of the night #1

This late night storytelling is about an Indian man who I came across, but never had the chance to properly meet.

Seeing him made me so confused – why would someone, or anyone, walk around the carpark with a cloth at 11pm, and somehow looked like he wasn’t going to walk away? As this thought crossed my mind, my father greeted him with a smile and a wave from inside the car. So obviously I asked him if and how they knew each other, and my father replied, this guy washes cars for people for $30/month! When I heard $30, my brain took a double take and I just had to ask, $30/month only? What does he survive on? My father instantly replied, this is his side job, he has a day job and he washes cars for people in this carpark on weekday nights.My heart stopped beating for a second.

All I could think of was how tired he has to be, and how straining his financial situation must be, for him to be washing cars and selling his body to this manual labour that most people would gladly pay to escape from. Yet, he smiles brightly with warmth at every customer as he recognises the cars that are driven into the carpark every single weekday night.

I wanted to probe more to see if my father has any more answers to the many unanswered questions in my head, but I was starting to choke up from thinking about this man’s plight. Pity is a strong word to use, but I guess I would say I sympathise with him, not in a “he’s poor so I sympathise him” way, but rather in a “I wish I could be as strong as him” way.

Typing this made me emotional, only because I realised for a fact that I am not treasuring what I have. Everyone focuses on the things they wish to have, but forgets to be appreciative of the things that they already have. In order to smile so warmly at every single customer, you must be truly contented with what you have. Here’s to this Indian man who knocked some sense into me – thank you for teaching me so much; even though I have never spoken to you, you are a true inspiration and I hope you will strive on and achieve whatever you want!

Once Upon A Wish

Written in December 2016

Dear self,

I wish you knew how important it is to just be yourself and not be so bothered about what others think of you.

I wish you’d listen to yourself more as you give others advice.

I wish you’d become a better person you’d always hoped to be, but never tried hard enough to be.

I wish you knew that there are people out there who cares about you so you’d stop keeping everything to yourself because I know you’re suffocating.

I wish your laughter is 100% genuine, because I know you still fake laughters to please people around you.

I wish the world was a kinder place to you but since we know that would never happen, I wish you’d be kinder to yourself.

I wish you knew how to self-love.

I wish you’re more aware of the things around you because hatred comes so easily.

I wish… you’d be less self-conscious.

XOXO

Being an Ambivert

I don’t know how many people can relate to this – being an ambivert. For people who are reading this and wondering which spectrum of extrovert or introvert this term belongs to, it actually refers to being a mixture, or a balance of both.

First of all, being an ambivert means you are so awkward when it comes to meeting new people. Take for example, a social event, maybe a party. You are never sure if you are able to successfully strike up a conversation with someone you think you would genuinely like to know. Wait, you can’t even muster up the courage to approach them in the first place. You can’t even imagine what to say if you were to initiate anything. So you wait until someone, hopefully a mutual friend,  introduces you to this person. At this point, you feel lucky and happy to know this mutual friend just because that he/she introduced you to the person you wanted to know.

Then, the awkwardness begins. However, you are not a stranger to small talk at all! You engage in a conversation to know more about this person because well, that is what you had wanted to do in the first place. You are careful about revealing too much, you do want that person to keep on talking, and you are cautious about the things you say but at the same time, you want to blurt out so many things.

Consequently, the both of you start to become closer and closer, gradually but surely. Regardless of gender, you feel thankful to have met him/her at the party because it was the event that brought you together. Despite this appreciation, you are somehow still unable to open your heart up to that person fully, no matter how much he/she divulges. It is a headache, to constantly contemplate whether or not to say something that matters to yourself but more than that, you may be worried that this friend might judge, or lower their opinions of you.

Ego-involvement. That is it, no matter what you do, you are somehow unable to let go of this sense of pride in you.

Do you see? If this is relatable to you in some sense, you do have traits of an ambivert, which I believe most people are. There are some people, howbeit, who balance this ambiverted sense of self better than others.

My inspiration to write about this stems from my inner emotions and thoughts that I don’t usually confide in people. I don’t know if I’m going to regret posting this, but it is something that I thought was interesting enough to share.

Being an ambivert has probably made you realize that this world is made up of really nice people. Simultaneously, it is made up of really nasty people as well. Enclosing yourself in your own comfort zone may not be as bad as people think, neither is being alone. Being adventurous though, is something that you know you want, from the bottom of your heart. People nowadays are all for living in the now and #YOLO, right?

Periodically, you crave attention. You want someone to notice you for something that you are doing. Other times, all you want to do is go home and wrap yourself under the blanket and stop interacting with the world.

You are easily influenced by your peers, just as you are easily influenced by that soft but assertive voice in your head. Sometimes, there is no in-between. At times, you cannot spell out your decisions because you don’t know what your heart desires, even if it is a simple conclusion. To put it simply, you know what you want, but you just cannot put your mind to it and tell yourself that is the best decision you can make. You’re neither decisive nor indecisive, something along these lines.

Somehow, everything to you is a passing phase. Oh, I liked flat water bottles at one point because they seemed practical, now I like big and round ones because they are even more practical. Oh, I liked haversacks at one point because it is convenient, now I like tote bags because they are even more convenient. Oh, I liked pens with covers at one point because they looked classy, now I like retractable pens because they look even classier. It is because of this that you cannot decide what to buy for yourself, knowing that you’ll get tired of it. Even this thought makes you exhausted after awhile.

You never know how to describe yourself when the occasion calls for it. For instance, when someone asks you to list something interesting about yourself, you would think all the way back to kindergarten and eventually, manage to find something to say that may not even impress people who were listening. It’s pretty tragic.

Nevertheless, you are beyond grateful that you are an ambivert because you can empathise with both introverts and extroverts. In spite all that was said, the perks of being an ambivert are truly remarkable, to say the least 🙂

Maybe this is just me. 

I’m all for people following their dreams

Casually meandering into the boutique on my own for the first time, I stood briefly at the entrance with both arms stiff by my side and took in with my eyes all the colors on garments that seemed to reflect every ray of light shone on them. The stale odor of the new clothes filled my nose as the rhythm of the electronic dance music played in the store prompted me to nod my head along with it. I then walked in and proceeded to touch any clothing that caught my attention. Soft, smooth, thin, thick, warm, lightweight… they all felt so voguish.

Should I pick that soft sweatshirt, or this pretty suede skirt? Should I purchase that twenty-dollar vest, or that everyday dress? How do I decide what to choose? I craved to feel the best version of myself in whatever I wore, but at the same time, I wanted things that did not fit into that category. Living in a first world country where comfort has never been an issue got me to question my lifestyle. Had I been living, or just surviving based on societal standards? There are so many things that I want, and I intend to turn the wants into plans.

I plan to feel more than the six types of innate emotions that everyone else in the world experiences. I plan to feel genuine, raw emotions while doing something that I am truly passionate about. I plan to feel the soft wind brush against my skin and the itch for adventure tickle my heart. I plan to experience more than what I have imagined from books since a tender age. I plan to be the person that I aspire to be as I pursue things and subjects that I have always been sincerely intrigued by.

To 2016

I had begun to write a gratitude post for the people I am truly thankful for in the year 2016 like I did in 2014, but realised that it meant including lots of patronising and superficial content, so I decided that instead of just posting photographs and writing paragraphs of words that I don’t think will really sink into people’s minds, I will show my gratitude by appreciating and treasuring them more in my heart. Below are just some lessons that I have learnt throughout the 12 long months in 2016.

Things I’ve learnt in 2016 (so far) was written in June. Many of those things still hold true and are dear to me even though they are unexplained. I wrote the 10 things I have realised because I was extremely upset at a conflict that was supposedly over, but came back to haunt me. To be honest, I don’t think I have these 10 lessons drilled in my head yet despite the use of the word learnt. As mentioned above, these are the 10 things I have realised – a tad bit late, but better late than never, right? – as I was trying to sort my thoughts.

“I want so much to be strong.”

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.”

2016 had been such a painful year for me. I crashed emotionally harder than I ever did, and I was not the person I envisioned myself to be. It would be absurd and unrealistic to believe that I can become that person in just 12 months, but one can try. Baby steps, right?

Emotions are humanistic. They are natural but may not be wanted, yet they exist anyway. In order to be strong it does not mean that one has to be void of emotions, it just means that he would have to be in control of them and use them appropriately. Point #2 to remember.

Nobody else can look down on me except myself. At the same time, I don’t want to be one of those people who “peaks in high school”.

This was something said in several movies and books, and it’s something that is unerasable from my mind. High school for me was three years ago but since then, it was like I never found my calling. I am still stuck in this circle of “I don’t know what I want”. One fact that I have grasped is that most things never stick – acquaintances, friends, closer friends etc. I was not expecting to be in contact with everyone I knew, but popularity never lasts. I just wish I knew that when I was 14 years old. So here is another thing to add to my resolutions: do everything as if there will never be a second chance. That’s how I would know if I am truly passionate about something, or anything at all.

Cheers to a new year ahead of me, as I turn 20. May the obstacles I face be just a phase in my life, and may they always make me stronger than before. 2016, thank you for this hell of a ride, but I quite glad to be saying this personal goodbye to you. Let’s hope 2017 will be better than just average 🙂

 

NTS; 2017

This generation, or rather, the generation below yours, is truly the strawberry generation. They are less hardworking and less willing to find answers because they feel that they are entitled to the knowledge.

Someone told me this and it was just kinda embedded in my mind. Rephrased, but it carries the same meaning. Rather than just lazing back and waiting for an answer to be delivered, we should be working towards getting them. Our generation is so used to getting everything on a platter that most of the time, we just take it for granted. Yes, we have access to clean water and a roof over our heads, we have education that is compulsory and live in a country that is peaceful and harmonious. But I think it is exactly these privileges that made us who we are. Selfish, entitled brats.

C’mon now, I’m not saying we cry like brats just because we don’t get what we want. We, however, pause at crossroads and decide that if it gets too tough, we can always U-turn or just stay where we are, contented. But one can’t be happy forever. That was not how people above our generations lived. They worked, and when they got happy and satisfied, they work even harder because they know a brighter future awaits ahead of them. It is of a different era now, but I think this spirit can still be carried on instead of letting it die in the older generations.


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I saw this beautiful blog post about wants. Instead of saying “I want to”, I got to start saying “I plan to.” Turn wants into plans so that they become actual goals instead of mere empty words. It is a fact that I haven’t began to plan yet, but this will be my top resolution for next year. Speaking of 2017, it’s actually arriving in about half a month. How insane is that??

In less than half a month, a new year will arrive and everyone will be crafting their new resolutions for the year. But how many people actually stick through it for the entire year? Most people give up at the end of January, even on simple resolutions such as eating less junk food.

In less than half a month, high school students will be heading to school again and wishing that they graduate from the hell hole soon enough. Little do they know, the outside world is more vicious than they ever imagined, and college is only going to get tougher.

In less than half a month, I would be on my way to say hi to a month of winter break from school. There will be many important decisions to make, and most of it are to be made alone, but I will get through it for sure.

In less than half a month, my brother would be enlisting in the army and I would only get to see him for two days a week. Less, if he decides to go out with his friends on weekends as well. I’m definitely going to miss him.. Don’t know how I’ll deal with it yet but I’ll see as the date draws near.

These are just several changes that I will be experiencing in the coming month. I will never be ready but it will come anyway. To be honest, when people say change is the only constant I keep thinking about what changes I’ve been through. I’ve tried to view it from another perspective and realised that when people say change is the only constant, they mean time too. Time is constantly changing, and we take that for granted because it’s right beneath our noses. We can’t see it, touch it, nor feel it. But time changes. That is so important because now I know that and I need to do something about it.

So here is a note to self: planning is essential but spontaneity isn’t all that bad either. Stop getting caught up in situations and realising that leaving might be the solution, because it’s not. Determination is 🙂

Save me from my rocking boat

There are really so many things to feel inferior about.

Tonight, the thoughts settled in and set up a camp in my head. I know they will go away eventually, but it cannot be soon enough. I wish I can fast forward time just so that I can be as ready as I can to hear the final verdict but at the same time, I don’t want to hear it because I’m way too anxious. Maybe I didn’t make the right choices and neither did I prove myself worthy of anything, but I want it. But I know that as much as I want it, somebody else does too and that scares me. I don’t know what to do and what to feel right now except confusion and mess.

I wish and I wish harder but how will I ever know what is in another person’s mind? I don’t know what to say or what to do, so I will wait patiently. I hope that is enough.

Driving the edge of a knife

Have you ever been so upset that all you want to do is to cry all day? It’s torturous, the amount of tears you allow yourself to drop, when you don’t even allow yourself to cry when your favourite movie character died in that movie you love so much. Then again, you don’t know how to describe this hurt. It’s sickening. When someone’s words kills you, and their actions irk you, all you want to do is to get the hell out of this abusive relationship. But all you can think of at the same time, is how much this person has also helped you in ways that many others can’t. But you’re so fucking done. This is what happens when you’re upset, you want to stay the hell out, because fuck everything, you’re better on your own anyway. However when you’re no longer upset, you want to pacify that someone, make them happy and do everything in your power to make sure that they don’t get angry at you because you’d really be done. You won’t be able to take anymore of their bullshit because there is so much to say but you can’t. You can’t even mouth any of those things you kept bottled inside of you, ready to explode. You can’t bring yourself to hurt that someone, or rather, you know that someone won’t allow you to hurt them, because they so fucking goddamn defensive. You can’t escape from this fucked up hellhole that you are basically dropped into. You’re just going to continue suffering. You think to yourself, if there was really a reincarnation wheel, why the hell weren’t you born somewhere else across the globe because then you wouldn’t be suffering like this. But the thought of poverty and warfare strikes your mind and you reconsider that thought, because you know you’re fortunate to be sufficient and safe, at least. But, are you really happy? Can you ever be?

Was my mind just playing games

I always try to put myself in others’ shoes so that I don’t say the wrong things or make the wrong move, because there’s a saying: Do to others what you want others to do to you. Right?

I try and I try but as a very flawed human being, I slip. Through these cracks that I didn’t know existed and somehow I plunge. I was plunging, fast – and then the realisation that I’m falling kicks in. I start panicking and seek forgiveness for whatever wrong I have done. But that person may not be receptive because there is also another saying: Apologising after you have killed someone doesn”t bring the person back to life.

So, you start to regret.

This is exactly how I feel now. I said the wrong thing, by accident because it was meant to be a joke. That person responded badly and I realised my mistake, so I apologised but now, I am not sure where everything stands. I’m so confused, and slightly hurt that that person would take offence in whatever I said. But I know I was in the wrong so I would be more than relieved to take the blame.

Even though I’m worrying to death right now.

Many people mistake me as the kind who is not so sensitive. They are wrong. I spent so many years building a wall to deflect the insults and hate hurled at me but I still feel every punch, every hit and every little nudge. I can pretend like I don’t care and laugh it off but it will get me thinking for the next few days or so, even months, if it was a close friend.

I wished many times that I can just live fearlessly without a care about what others think about me. I even tried to be like that kind of person – carefree and full of life. But the truth is, I can’t. No matter how hard I tried I feel like I owe the world something and it would kill me to be such a person because I am not equipped. I’m not the prettiest, not the most capable and neither am I the most hardworking person out there. How am I to live a carefree life?

I am so aware that the world does not revolve around me. But when unfortunate things keep happening, I cannot help but dwell in my own bubble for awhile and just….hibernate. There are 5.4 million people in Singapore and 7.4 billion people in the whole world. Every single one of us earthlings have different fates and different paths that we wish to pursue, but that does not make us any less human. We all face difficult times and it really is okay to feel like your heart is broken.

Words of affirmation is my love language. I used to be embarrassed to reveal this but now that I know there are many others like me, I would gladly share this. It is so important that I receive praises for what I am doing so that I will do even better. I guess many people don’t know that, or maybe they try to sugarcoat the truth because they think that I don’t do well with bad comments and hate them. Which is not true. I appreciate whatever have to say about me because I know that there is an underlying truth.

I am getting tired of trying to be a better version of myself mainly because I don’t see much changes in the way people view and think about me. I know it shouldn’t matter because I should live for myself, but it does. It really does matter. At this phase I am only hoping that I don’t get so tired that I give up. I don’t want to give up.

Things I’ve learnt in 2016 (so far)

1) There are really so many types of people in the world, you will be genuinely surprised how selfish humans can be.
2) Even if it is not shown as an expression, sadness can be very prominent.
3) Frustration is a way of releasing anger and sadness from your system.
4) Everyone has their own inner battles. Don’t EVER assume otherwise, and most importantly, don’t judge.
5) You should never ever vent your anger at a third party, because everyone is born judgemental.
6) There are so many things in the world that you want to accomplish, so why not start on a few while you’re young and penniless? It’s thrilling.
7) There is no 100% truth in what everybody says. Apparently, a woman tells an average of 200 lies a day. Sometimes, I feel like I lie more than 200 times a day.
8) Don’t admire someone’s life from afar, much less compare it to yours. If you can’t get close enough to be part of their life, then get your own.
9) Happiness is a state of mind, anyone can achieve it as long as you have optimism.
10) You don’t owe a damn explanation to anyone at all. Just do your own thing, and leave no regrets.