this is what the truth feels like

I’ve a lot of saved half-written drafts, maybe because I’m always self-censoring, worried about people knowing that I’ve written about them. But I guess I want to write for myself now, and whoever happens to come across this, great.

I think that I’ve always been the victim of a negative narrative that I’ve crafted on my own, and it has become so much a part of me that I have come to accept it as the truth. I feel as though I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t invisible, to guys in particular. Even if there’s no reason for them to dislike me, I convince myself that they do; that I have some sort of mysterious male-species-repelling vibe. And I repeat over and over again, I am a girls’ girl; I can make friends with girls instantly (most of the time) but

And then all these feelings bleed into things I do, and I twist things to fit that narrative. I look at my friends’ pictures, or comb through other girls’ pictures, and feel like I can’t ever be like them. I don’t know why I want to be. I guess it all goes back to wanting to be wanted, by as many people as possible. To feel accepted, desired, loved.

We can flip the script, I know that. I made it happen myself. I was angry and often felt friendless. I was usually described as weird, quiet, snobbish, serious. I let my true extroverted self burst free, and now when I meet someone new, I’m fairly confident that even if we don’t end up friends, small talk is no sweat.

So why is it that until now I can’t shake off this icky feeling that makes me feel less-than?

And Sharms asked when her hopeless romantic friend who once believed in The One became such a cynic…so I told her it was because of someone who was still in love with someone else. Another way of switching the narrative – to something closer to the truth. I used to tell people that he didn’t want to do long distance, and I’d just shrug and laugh and say “I mean I get it, it’s hard. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway.” But that was just so that I didn’t have to admit the harsher truth. That he didn’t care enough because he was still stuck in the past. & in a sense that made me feel like I wasn’t enough either. It only amplified the insecurities that had always existed. Stories of boys flying halfway across the world to be with girls they’d only just met made me think that those things only happened to other girls, not me. I wondered if I would ever leave such an impact on someone that they would miss me for years after.

So I changed, again. I decided that I was sick of portraying myself as the naive, innocent girl who was waiting for her true love. Maybe true love would come someday. Maybe not. But I would play the game the way others did, since they seemed to be winning.

Usman actually asked if I’d just come out of a bad relationship when we were still in the talking/hanging-out-as-friends-but-not-really phase. Actually I’d just hit my lowest point barely a month ago. Let someone treat me so badly that I haven’t actually told anyone the details. But it doesn’t matter because that person is not important, and I’ve pretty much forgotten everything. I guess my walls were up because I was afraid to hope once again, only to be told “I’m sorry I can’t be what you want me to be”. To have to understand that sometimes you not only have to compete with living, breathing humans but ghosts – memories, flashbacks, a love that once was.

So. Here we are. Here I am. Taking things slowly, learning what it’s like to be ‘normal’ for the first time. Doing things most have done ages before, a million times over. Still battling those demons, and trying to be open about them. Hoping that they will go away if I keep feeding my brain new stories. Ones that remind me that I’m loveable and fine and that it doesn’t matter that everyone else has had so many ‘somethings’ before. It doesn’t make them any better or more worthy – see, even as I typed that, a voice inside me fought against it.

To a whole new story, not a chapter.

 

 

 

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I thought I was a hero, but I was just a child.

5 months since my last post and a few half-complete drafts on different topics…so much has happened and some things have changed, yet a lot remains the same.

Was just reading some old blog posts again, trying to figure out if I’ve grown up a little. I think so. I’m glad. But in the same way a former fat kid never really forgets the way he was made to feel (& here I’m only going on the sentiments echoed by certain people, it may not be the case for everyone), I feel the same sense of envy and insecurity wash over me when I see/hear about certain girls. I still inwardly flinch whenever people talk about their past, and secretly hope that they will stop. I still feel like an outsider who has only been granted temporary access to this world I know nothing about. I still feel like at any time, I could slip up and end up back at the beginning.

The past few years, I kind of gave up on my childhood dreams. I figured I could afford to try again, and so this past weekend I auditioned for 98.7 Star, something I’d always wanted to do. I’m really hoping they’ll bring me back for the Wildcard round, since my group had the ‘highest chance’ of returning. I know I can do this. I will need some training, but still. In any case there are probably other auditions/competitions to try out for, and I’ll slowly work on getting there.

I’ll be graduating this Friday, which means I can’t say “I’m a student” anymore to get discounts or avoid overpaying for certain services etc…and I need to buck up and be more serious about everything. This is the real world, and I’ve cruised by with only a few stumbles here and there (maybe a large fall too, but nothing I haven’t recovered from), but now I’m not gonna be protected anymore.

In many ways, I am so lucky. Sometimes I don’t see that, and I focus on things that I don’t have and get upset. So I guess that’s why people think I’m spoiled, even though I never really ask for a lot of things. I think the problem is that I’m constantly comparing. I’ve been doing it ever since I was a kid. But I’m working on it. Staying away from social media more. Avoiding topics I know would only unleash those demons. Sharing less about myself too.

Again, all these terrible things are happening around the world, and you can’t be anyone’s hero if you’re too busy fighting your own self.

 

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all of the doubts & the outbursts keep making love to each other

Never liked Selena Gomez all that much, but I must say that her latest album has tons of catchy songs perfect for a confidence boost. Or whenever you’re in that kinda mood. 

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Not gonna go all Carrie Bradshaw on anyone, even if Rebs always jokes that I’m a lot like her. Just been thinking about how us girls are often damned if we do, and damned if we don’t, which is very unfair in my opinion.

I used to slut-shame people a lot when I was younger. I had friends who had their first sexual experiences pretty early on in life, and adults would usually tut and remind me that they were making mistakes, ‘bad girls’ etc…so I guess I adopted a slight holier-than-thou attitude. Not that I was necessarily pure or innocent. I just gave people that impression. So much so that my friends, in the midst of recounting endeavors or even just bringing up the topic of sex, would ask if I was uncomfortable. 

I’m not religious, and I’m no prude. Yes, at this point in time last year I hadn’t even held a guy’s hand or so much as kissed him. Barely even went on a real date. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to. And that’s what I mean by how we’re judged, as girls. Virgin-shaming is a thing as well. I didn’t ask to have limited experience; to be a late bloomer. 

I may have written about this years ago, but my standpoint remains the same : if you feel like you’re ready (emotionally, physically, whatever), do whatever you want. I mean, as long as you’re old enough. I personally wasn’t anywhere near ready to date or go further at 18, but that’s a pretty good age, right? Standard.

Stop thinking about what I want what he wants what your parents want What do you want

I don’t like the idea of saving myself for marriage, and I candidly spoke about it to my mum the other day ( yes, we are that close). I am pretty certain most of us will end up marrying (if we even want to) guys who have slept with a few people. Why is it that we have to treat virginity as some kind of special gift to bestow upon that one person? He didn’t wait for you. Why should you? Just because you’re a woman and society tells you that’s the right thing to do? Because it’ll save you from becoming way too emotionally attached and ending up with a broken heart? (Mum agreed with me, by the way)

There isn’t a way to avoid that. You could still find yourself choking back sobs over someone you never dated, let alone slept with. Years later, this Chosen One could leave you, and hollow-eyed and devastated, you’d have to learn to pick up the pieces on your own. You can’t get angry at him for anything. You made the decision to build ‘the first time’ up into something of great importance. 

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I’ve had to ask myself lately what I really want. And honestly, I have no goddamn clue. All along I thought that I wanted my soulmate. Then I just asked the Universe for something real. Now I tell myself I’m fine with being casual and not having labels. What a far cry from who I used to be, huh. 

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But let me tell you one thing – whatever I choose to do, I do it fully aware of the consequences. I do it sober. I do it knowing that I will not have regrets. I do it because I genuinely want to, not because someone is forcing me to or because society is giving me some sort of invisible pressure. 

It does not mean that I will not make mistakes. I’m the kind of person who would give my all to someone. Sometimes these people may not be deserving of that kind of treatment. Sometimes I give people one  chance too many. But then I learn. I tell myself that someday, someday, someone will take it. Take this love and thank me for it. Till then I’ll be busy earning the necessary cuts and bruises life loves doling out.   

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I’m drowning shadows once more

16 days into the new year and I’ve not made much progress…filed for graduation yesterday, which makes things feel that much more final . This chapter of my life is ending, and maybe that’s why I feel so lost right now. I know it’s supposedly normal, but I never wanted normal. And I always had a plan. But now I don’t. Because last time there was always the next stepping stone to hop onto, the next thing to aim for – and now it’s just this vague idea that I need to “get a job”, “grow up”.

There are so many things I would love to do, but I’ve never admitted some of my crazy ambitions to anyone because I’m afraid. It’s the same old fear of never ever being good enough. So I sit there, wondering if I’ll ever be able to pursue that career and secretly googling how to break into that industry…who knows, really. Sometimes people don’t end up realising their true passion till later in life, and they still make it, y’know?

I know I’ve never been very kind to myself. So that night, I decided to tell myself, “you are worthy of being loved”. And it just felt so foreign that I started crying as I repeated it over and over again. As though I’ve never believed it before. I’ve had a lot of “me time” lately, not out of my own volition. So I think maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something. That I need to be alone, even if I don’t want to, so that I can figure things out.

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That day I just spontaneously went into Botanic Gardens for a little stroll, after mum told me that I really needed to chill and be by myself, free of external voices and opinions. There I wandered about aimlessly, looking at the trees and the pond, telling myself that this too would pass.

I don’t really get it- I know how to be alone. I’ve eaten alone, watched movies and gigs alone, travelled alone…I don’t need to learn how to do those things.  & yet the Universe insists on things continuing as they are. Perhaps it knows that as used to it as I am, there’s still a yearning inside of me to have company, & specific company at that. It’s the same wherever I am in the world, however many years have gone by. 

& I keep trying to fix it, like it’s a problem. I analyse. I write things down, come up with reasons and solutions. I try to figure out what other people seem to be doing right, & I attempt to learn from them. But luck, timing and a ton of other factors play a huge part, and no amount of theorising will solve anything.

I have always been an impatient person. I rush through things. When I was a kid, I’d finish my assignments quickly. I  tend to want to drum fast, drive fast…walk fast. I always assume that things should happen instantly, and if they don’t, I tell myself that they’re never happening so that I don’t get so disappointed. I feel this need to know what’s going to happen next, when, and how it’s all going to end. But the faster you go, the more likely you are to crash and burn. I’m aware of this.

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I also tend to get over-excited about things. And then it all just kinda blows up in my face and I end up back where I was, only slightly more bruised and battered this time. Weary. Wondering why it’s always the same story…worse, why it’s always a story that never gets written or is abruptly cut off a few pages in.

It’s not too late for me to change, I hope. It’s only mid-January…or should the word be already ? You know, like how sometimes people say “don’t worry, you’re only 23″ and I’m like, “that is a harmful thing to say. I’m already 23. The word ‘only’ lulls me into this false sense of security, this illusion that I still have a lot of time, but I don’t.” Even when I was 18 I’d be like, I’m old and ancient. Which is kinda funny, looking back…and makes me seem like a total Marnie (Girls reference).

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Not a good thing, since she’s supposedly the most-hated character on the show. I totally do not want to be like any of the Girls – they’re so messed up, though I can relate to them in certain ways.

 

 

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‘Cause she walk like a boss, talk like a boss

Note: This title is grammatically incorrect because these are lyrics from Ne-Yo’s ” Miss Independent” & my blog post titles are always lyrics relevant to the topic! Just throwing that out there in case grammar Nazis are getting their panties in a twist over this (HAHA PEARL WANTS TO BE AN AUTHOR? WHAT A JOKE…)! 

Just watched The Intern yesterday and loved it! (Warning: Spoilers ahead)

I loved Anne Hathaway’s character, Jules,  right away. She’s the kind of woman I want to be, except maybe with a better work-life balance and a working husband. Oh, & a better relationship with my mum, which I do have. She just seemed so put-together from the get-go, but of course she’s only human, which means there’s tons of shit she has to go through as well. She wants to be everything – successful CEO, great mum, loving wife – but there simply isn’t enough of her to go around.

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The pivotal moment that made me cry was when Robert De Niro’s character, Ben, defended her in front of the ‘other mums’. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a housewife, if that is your choice. I think it’s really lovely to dedicate your time and life to taking care of your children and ensuring that they’re raised right. But those mums were snarky and when Ben told them that they ought to be proud that one of their own was out there, breaking the glass ceiling, I was like : YES! YES THANK YOU!

& when he and Jules discussed her husband’s affair, he told her that it was most definitely not her fault and that she shouldn’t ever sacrifice her career in hopes of ‘winning’ him back. I think my heart broke into a thousand little fragments just watching her try to process the fact that it was truly happening and act like a rational adult. I mean, I’m sure this sort of thing warrants a huge emotional breakdown, but she just kinda sobbed, sucked it up and went about making decisions she felt were right. No matter what the cost. (& yeah her hubby did apologise but if it were me, I don’t know if I’d be so forgiving…)

I don’t know…such a heartwarming film, really. With a great message. Not just about work/marriage/family/feminism, but also about genuine friendships with unexpected people…

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tips on being gentlemen for the current hoodie-and-tee generation of ‘boys’ from a suited-up De Niro…I was still tearing up as I left the cinema. Here I am, typing this and looking at the vision board of all my female role models which I made over a year ago, but what have I done? I don’t think I’ve made much progress since my last rah-rah-I-want-to-be-a-strong-woman-too post. In fact, I think I’m spiraling further into a cesspool of mediocrity. I used to be so excited about working for IRO, even, but I’ve lost that feeling too.

Time & again I’ve begged the Universe to take away the same old issues that drag me down, and make me super busy, but I’ve come to realise that maybe that’s something I have to solve on my own. Feel like such a letdown to my younger self. I think being back home makes me myopic sometimes. It’s here that all the insecurities surface again and I become my worst self …tired, unmotivated…I was even googling ‘quarter-life crisis’ that day, god.

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I was convinced 21 was the age! That was my original deadline! Now it’s 30. Cutting myself some slack. 8 more years to go, girl. You can do this.

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Flying like a cannonball, falling to the earth

Something’s been plaguing me the past couple of weeks but I talked to my newfound insta-girlfriend about it & realised that she had the exact same feelings too. Basically, that we’re all just a bunch of confused people who don’t know what we want and what we’re supposed to do. Like how I always tell people “I kinda know what I want to do with my life, but then there’s so many things I wanna do that I don’t really know, y’know?”. Does anyone ever have everything all figured out? Even at 50, you could decide that you need a change. & then you’ll have to start racking your brains for ways to assign meaning to life after 50. Everything’s different- the experiences you’ve accumulated over the past half-century would’ve helped shape who you are, but who are you becoming? Who do you want to be for the next half-century (or at least the next 2 decades or so)?

Sometimes I realise that I switch my opinions on things really easily. Flipping through my diary entries and reading old blog posts from about 3 years ago, I get the sense that I’m anti-marriage, almost. Choice quotes : “DON’T GET MARRIED UNLESS YOU’RE 10000% SURE!” – yes, I actually wrote 10 000%.  “Is there even a point? It’s just paperwork. & if you decide to divorce it’s going to be messy.” “Just watched Four Weddings & a Funeral and there was a quote about how marriage is the definitive icebreaker. Which is true. And sad.” & so on.

& then sometimes I envy people who have been assigned the label of ‘wife’. I think there’s something nice about building a life together with someone. I look at kids and think about how it must feel to be a mum. How noble…how beautiful.

Like yesterday at Kino I was browsing through this wedding planner book with Rebs as a joke, and cooed over the pretty decorations. But then today my dad told me a few stories about unhappy marriages/ppl who get married for practical reasons like money and companionship, not love – and I was like, “And that is why I don’t believe in marriage.”

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Lately I’ve also been doing this funny thing where I try to be vague about my sexual orientation, for no apparent reason. Not that I see a need to identify as one thing or another, really. Not that anyone cares, I think…but I can’t explain it. It’s almost as though I know I want to be with a guy, but then since I don’t ever have much luck in that department, I would feel happier if people thought that I was into girls instead. Like, see there’s nothing wrong with me. I just prefer girls, that’s all. It’s my choice.  But the truth is that I don’t, although sometimes I briefly wonder if I should try – it’s not like I’m not attracted to girls at all. & then I just get really confused and decide to let things be as they are.

& I’m supposed to be a humanist/pretty-much-an-atheist but I strongly believe in Fate and stuff… I also realised that if I just replace the word “Universe”  in my thoughts with the word “God”, I’m essentially praying, aren’t I?

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I’ve also decided (not for the first time) to try adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. This time I’m gonna be a little more serious about it. The clutter around my desk and in my wardrobe is seriously starting to overwhelm me. Living out of a suitcase and being all Shailene Woodley-esque sounds very appealing right about now. If I simplify my life, things won’t be so confusing. I think money is better spent on experiences instead of material objects anyway…though I have to admit I still lust after pretty clothes and unnecessary stuff. Ah well. One step at a time.

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I know you’ve had a rough time. But here I come to hijack you, hijack you

I’ll love you while we’re making the most of the night. 

Wow, it’s been almost a year since I last blogged…! Not that the end of 2014/first half of 2015 was uneventful or anything, but I guess I just felt like the odd lengthy FB post was enough. & perhaps I didn’t want to keep writing about the same thing over and over again.

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But I’m still constantly running. Away from reality. Is it something about this place? I feel so bogged down by negativity. The bored, lifeless faces around me on the train…the constant worries I hear about the future; about jobs…people who are close to me going through depression/dealing with serious issues…the routine of school-work-external classes-meeting friends. In class, I’m just daydreaming most of the time. The only time I pay attention is when it’s Lit. I feel so empty and frustrated that I keep planning my future and googling jobs in cities I want to move to, but I haven’t found anything suitable. I keep thinking that things always change – someone might say something that’ll throw a wrench in the works and make me want to do something else; go somewhere else. So I keep waiting for a sign from the Universe that’ll give me clarity.

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Still, there’s the underlying guilt that leaving is an option for the privileged – leaving and being able to live comfortably elsewhere. Of course anyone could buy a one-way ticket to chase their dreams and work hard from the bottom. Those are the people who usually end up successful, and I admire them so much. But I don’t know if I have the ability to do that, & so I’m going to need a little help starting out. I stayed here for the past 3 years, as promised, and so in turn, mum has agreed to finally let me go/support me (at least in the beginning). To what extent, I don’t know. I know I look like a lazyass since my grades suck and no one ever sees me studying, but I’m willing to work hard if I feel like there’s a purpose. Just need constant motivation, I suppose.

I know that I want to write. And dance. And help people. And meet lots of people. And travel. I want to speak their languages and immerse myself in their culture. But what kind of job would allow me to do all of that?

& everyday there’s just so much tragedy in the news and unhappiness in the lives around me that I start to trivialise my own sadness. I tell myself that my own problems aren’t really problems, and that I don’t deserve to feel sad. It exhausts me, because I want to be strong and happy, especially when the world doesn’t need another sad soul. I don’t think that I’m the nicest person around, but I keep wanting to give. Like, I keep thinking, maybe I can absorb all this pain and shoulder the burdens of others. Let me take it all. Let me just be nice to people and love others without expecting anything in return. Let me listen to them and be there for them.

But I don’t think I’m that noble. I certainly haven’t done enough. I need to keep reminding myself to stay on track. Don’t be all talk and no action. Sometimes I slip up, distracted by my personal desires, but then someone asks me what I want to do and I’m reminded again of what my ultimate goal should be. I really believe that everything happens for a reason, and that seemingly inconsequential things lead you to where you’re supposed to be in the end. So let’s wait and see.

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