They say life is like a journey; a one-way ticket with no return. Its scary isnt it? The thought of living life with no detours, not knowing when your final destination (pun intended) will be until the shadows of the grim reaper himself beckons for you at the finishing line.
Looking back, I believe this one-way ticket has brought me to more than one paradigm of life than i can ever imagine.I have lived through different emotions - sadness, happiness, anger, ecstasy, surprise, shock, rage, irrationality, logical thought, sick - you name it I got it.I have lived through different relationships, with each hookup and breakup teaching me that the other species is just as complicated and dysfunctional as my species being. It has also taught me that the “perfect” relationship does not equate to a fairytale ending, because a perfect relationship never ends. I have lived through life, and death - having been through both funerals and baby showers.I have lived through different mentalities towards life - from hating the world to hating the world alittle less. Lastly, it is through my friends where i can see myself grow.
Just had a dinner gathering with my secondary school friends of 8 years and we were just talking about how we’d used to end our gatherings before 12 just so we could catch the last bus home back during the secondary school days. Moving on, when we were in our junior college/ polytechnic days, our meetups would sometimes end a little past 12, with the choice of cabbing home coming into play. And now - almost 21, our gatherings would last till the wee hours of the morning, with the ultimate mode of transport being a… CAR! *tada* We have entered a new phase of our lives.
I guess in that sense, a car would seem like the hallmark to our growth in life. We have all come a long way in this crazy ride - living through the tumultuous humps, acting recklessly in times of irrationality - these memories would scar us but not destroy us, for it is these failures that make us more resilient souls.
They say life is like a journey; a one-way ticket with no return. But this one-way ticket has brought us to the depths of hell and back to earth, and sometimes even to cloud nine before plummeting to the rock bottom again. We would never know what this one-way ticket holds, but one thing we know for sure is that this would be an unforgettable journey, till the very end.
In the process of dedicating 3 posts to my horrible day, I guess i found a kind of inner peace within myself ( and probably cause im tired since its 5am in the morning as I am typing this out). I realized that our struggle with imperfection will always be prevalent since humans usually desire what they don’t possess. In which, “perfection” is one of the many unattainable yearnings we crave for.
This idea is quite similar to Durkheim’s notion on the paradox of human nature. Yet, unlike how Durkheim thinks of external moral regulation as the only way to free the self, I believe a solution to alleviate or to break-free from this eternal suffering would be to learn to accept ourselves for who we are. No one is perfect- it doesnt matter if you’re physically “unappealing”, or embody certain flaws which causes you to be alienated from society - since what are considered “flaws” are social constructs anyways. Love comes from within, and when you learn to love yourself for who you are, people will learn to see things from your perspective.
Today is a sad day.
Today is the day where my imperfections were magnified.
But in sadness we find hope, and with this enlightenment, i hope to liberate myself from sadness and social prejudice.
If you are feeling the same way as I am, I hope you would find liberation from within as well :)
"How can the mind be so imperfect?" she says with a smile.
I look at my hands. Bathed in the moonlight, they seem like statues, proportioned to no purpose.
"It may well be imperfect," I say, "but it leaves traces. And we can follow those traces, like footsteps in the snow."
"Where do the lead?"
"To oneself," I answer. "That’s where the mind is. Without the mind, nothing leads anywhere."
I look up. The winter moon is brilliant, over the Town, above the Wall.
"Not one thing is your fault," I comfort her."
- Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
with a battered mind, I eventually completed the reading. The only thing that I took away was the rag-to-riches narrative and the fact that this successful business was rich, and nice about it by donating part of his wealth to the poor.
okay maybe not in that sense, but you get the drift.
R was at my place and we were BOTH supposed to be studying, but he was too obsessed with this online game called Bigfarm that he lost track of time. Bigfarm was this online game where you had to plant crops and animals and collect profits from such a mode of subsistence. Personally, I thought this game was perhaps it was a way to relive his mushroom days ( he was a mushroom aficionado and had a was in charge of a mushroom farm back in his primary school days) , but after time spent with me dwindled exponentially thanks to that obnoxious virtual farm,my dislike for it grew exponentially as well and I hated it so much that i envisioned myself hacking into his virtual farm just to set his crops on fire.
That said, R’s addiction did enlighten me in two ways:
- The glint in his eyes and the pride in his tone when he speaks of his virtual farm made me realized that I should engage in something that is peaks my interest and use that activity as a means of seeking solace from reality.
- His obsession is getting out of hand, but I realised that he was not perfect since he too, was procrastinating on his work. In comparison, at least i made progress. This made me feel less of an imbecile since we were both equal beings with similar imperfections, and this meant that we could understand each other’s plight while overcoming them together.
A few minutes after contemplation, R and I decided to dine outside for dinner. (Well actually it was me since R was thoroughly fixated onto the computer screen and any question thrown at him would be replied with an apathetic “yes”) We both needed time away from what we were doing to “rationalize” our minds to be efficient members of the society - that means more productive studying and less idleness.
We decided to eat at this place called “Standing Sushi Bar” since we were both craving for Japanese cuisine and they had this promotion on Thursday where 5 slices of sashimi were going for just 3 dollars. The shop opens only at 6pm and we arrived at 545pm thinking that we would be the first few customers. Yet lo and behold, a string of customers were already queuing outside this shop. This inconspicuous shop was suddenly made conspicuous thanks to the long line of humans. and there you have it, this is Singapore, the place where people would queue for anything good, cheap or both. There were about 10 to 15 people infront of us, of which majority were students.The sight of a queue irked me in fear that i had to wait more than 30 minutes just for food.
"last warning, THERE ARE SO MANY IRRITATING STUDENTS" I casually remarked.
" Well, you are one of those irritating students queuing also right?" R retorted tactless as he was in a midst of the game of candy crush.
What a slave to technology.
" SO ARE YOU" I retaliated.
Just then, our nonsensical bicker was suddenly punctured by two piercing voices from behind.
"HAIYO this girl not pretty leh, look at her nose… SO BIG!" one commented.
" i think okay what! i like what she is wearing." the other replied.
Great. two bitchy, superficial girls who seem like experts in demeaning other girls as they placed themselves on a pedestal. From their shallow conversation, i would presume that the “perfect” girl would be someone who embodies the slim figure, the doe-eyed, a small buttoned nose, and ample bosoms.
Arent they subjecting themselves to the male standard of beauty then? How can gender equality ever be achieved when women are stepping on their compatriots?
These thoughts ran through my mind as their conversation ensued. I took umbrage at their remarks on their “victim” being “big nosed” since i myself had a gigantuous one, but at the same time, I suddenly felt myself being conscious to my body image. Sans make up and modish clothes (was clad in a casual shirt and shorts), I felt my physical imperfections magnified as my self-esteem took a huge dip, as I could feel their judgmental glares scrutinizing every part of my body.
I felt conflicted. A part of me felt ugly, repulsed by my own physical shortcomings, yet another part of me felt annoyed for degrading myself to their benchmark of beauty(which was also the male gaze).
R has repeatedly told me that I was a beautiful woman for if i was not, he would not even have dated me. Yet, a boyfriend’s words can never be fully trusted, especially since he has only one politically correct answer and any deviations would entail the equivalent of death. So an alternative to measure “beauty” would be another person’s perception of you, preferably someone whom you arent particularly close to for he or she will be more subjected to judge you from your physical appearance and considering how materialism is on the rise in light of commercialism, most people would prioritize outer beauty than inner beauty.
Okay i think I am digressing here so back to my narrative. Promptly at 6pm the store opened and we successfully had a hearty meal - to hell with our figures!
Today is a sad day;
today is the day where i feel my imperfections magnified.
it started off with the incessant ringing of my alarm clock. In fact, it wasnt a ring - it was a melodious tune that crescendo-ed gradually with every passing phrase. What i thought was an optimistic way to start the day turned out to be a mistake. How could anyone be so chuckle-some getting out of bed? This aint a fairy tale where one could wake up oh-so-voluntarily wide-eyed the moment sun rays cascade through the windows and hum merrily about “dreaming of a true love’s kiss” while hitting that high A( or whatever note that is, im not perfect pitch okay) effortlessly.
this is reality - an alternate timezone where one does not have the same recurrent dream of “true love” , where one possesses something called the morning voice.
So anyway, by this time the tune had crept from a piano to a forte and i had enough. I rummaged blindly through what i think were more pillows (my room has LOTS of pillows) in an attempt to silence the sickeningly mirthful tune. After what seemed like an eternity, there was silence. Now i could finally sleep undisturbed by overtly optimistic things. I was then transported into the metaphysical realm called the dreamworld.
This is where i had to bear the fruit of my actions.
It was now 12 noon. I had snoozed for a good three hours before i could officially drag myself out of the comforts of my bed. However, despite being completely conscious this time, i felt worse that before. Three hours of study time had been given in exchange for my personal desire - excess sleep. It is only week 2 of school, yet I am already sorely lagging behind my readings. No, this was not a dream. This is reality sinking in; this is me drowning from the never-ending workload, and this process of drowning will last for another agonizing 12 weeks. That is, if i survive. My new year resolution has been broken - three goddamned hours of my life wasted to procrastination and laziness.
Procrastination and laziness - these were the imperfections that i have been plagued with my entire life. Try as I might, they will always be there - lurking in the darkness - waiting for the right moment to chain me from excellence. I know everyone has imperfections and the two Achilles heels are a common trait, but do note that I am not even talking about perfection here. I am talking about being recognized.* I do not want to be just another face in the crowd. I want to be THE face in a crowd.
These imperfections were like a disease, conflated into one fatal virus that gnawed slowly but surely into my living soul. For a moment, it made me wonder if the idea of imperfection was something social, or biological. Perhaps, mediocrity and genius were all pre-determined. And i was born for mediocrity.
I hated myself. How can
the my mind be so imperfect? These thoughts overwhelmed me as I attempted to read the first paragraph of my reading on successful businessmen in Singapore - the capable ones whose intellectual minds could not comprehend the meaning of “mediocrity”. What a cruel joke, i thought as i attempted to read the first paragraph through my foggy vision.
A series of unfortunate events has driven me to the state of dedicating a post to one of my resolutions for 2014, that is, to rid myself from rachet, irrelevant people.
Marx was wrong about how human nature is neither inherently evil nor good because EVIDENTLY, prior experience and observations have shone “light” on the flagrant evil of the human nature. Evilness of such takes root akin to a dormant volcano. They are dangerous creatures, lurking in the corner of conversations - silent. They are intentionally impervious to your invitations, responding only when the question has been forced upon them. Otherwise, they’d be oblivious to your presence and most of the time, leech upon other species-being till the individual is rendered useless or irrelevant.
And mark my words, this is the time when the dormant volcano erupts upon you. Like the soil scattered along the grounds of the volcano and neglected from the fertilizers brought about by the volcano, this being pours out unto you, entirely encapsulating the notion of “SHARING IS CARING”. Then and there, piles of lava would reign upon you and the overwhelming bouts of the other’s woes rain upon you. As the soil that has been deprived of nurture from the volcano, you temporarily bask in the lava spew onto you. But as this event evolves from a joy to a burden, you first begin to doubt, then imperceptibly despise its lowly attitudes.
And before you know it, this toxic volcano ceases eruption as it embarks on its hunt for another “prey”. Worse, it could cause an internal conflict between your other fellow soil-mates, oblivious to its hidden agenda.
Moral of the story: Stay away from dormant volcanoes for they are morally corrupted.
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman
men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty.
Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call
mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this:
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build.