hurts like heaven

I’m in a period of relapse, or rather what you call burn out, regression.

I’m at a point where I know I am exhausted; I’m tired of all the routines of study and work. I’m beat and my demons are taking over me.

I know it is temporary but right now they’re really getting into my system. I feel it getting stronger by the minute.

With the exhaustion of the thought of my existence and the unknown of what’s to come, the monsters I hid under the rug start to peep out. My past creeping back.

They come out when I face the mirrors, they talk to me when I see my photographs. They seep into my brain tissue when I see anything that could possibly remind me of you. They hold me dearly, as if comforting me, whenever I get lost in emotional moody songs- “It’s alright to be like this.”.

They’re not wrong. It is okay to be like that.

But I wonder when, if I do, when will I break free from their deceivingly comforting grasp. Everytime I do, they remind me that you, like heaven, hurts yet feels so good.

So now tell me…

How do I unmiss you?

so a stranger called me beautiful… now what?

I’ve always had self-esteem issues… but I don’t talk about it.

When people compliment me, I don’t accept it and even think that they probably just said it without much sincerity. Sometimes I even think they have an agenda because of the saying “flattery will get you places”…

Anyway, today was pretty bad. I woke up after a mere 4 hours of sleep and felt like less of a human being. I came out of bed after a thousand snoozes and looked in the mirror. As usual, I was displeased by what I saw. I began to shoot down myself with specified flaws, from the uneven pigmentation to the hooded eyelids that always made me look puffy. Afterwards I took a shower, came back and did my skin care routine.

Then I looked into the mirror again… “Okay… maybe I can work with this…”. So I messed up my hair to create a side parting, put on sunscreen and massaged my face. I put on a London style turtle neck with some culoids, sprayed some Prada candy and puckered up with some Innis-free lip balm.

For the final time, I looked at myself in the mirror… For a second, I felt prettier and happier but the longer I stared, the more I felt ugly while observing my face detailedly. Then a gush of throwbacks come pouring in, reminding me of the people who put me down and called me fat and ugly in the past. No matter how much I’ve changed for the better, I always saw the troll I was before.

But it’s okay. I still went on with my day and went to NCCS. When I got there, I found out I was gonna be attached to a lady who was a chines national. I said my greetings and found out she could only converse in Chinese… which was fine I guess because my Chinese was getting better.

As we were preparing… she asked for my nationality and said “你很漂亮。” which was “you are beautiful” in chinese. I shut it down with an awkward laughter and scratched my arm trying to shake off the anxiety from hearing that. She went on and said that she wasn’t lying and said I really was beautiful- ”我说的是真的。 真的很美丽啊。”

I was going to shut her down again but while she said that, she stared at me in awe and smiled. It was like she was admiring me as if she hasn’t seen anything so beautiful in her life. At that moment, I was sad. I was sad because I’ve always dismissed people’s compliments to be white lies and even felt uglier after that. I was sad because I couldn’t fully appreciate how beautiful I was even as she stared at me like that. I was sad because I’ve made myself like this.

For the next few hours she proceeds to say it more and stare at me the same way too. The more she said it, the more I felt at ease with her and tried to accept those compliments. She also got to know me and told me about her family. Towards the end, she asked for a picture with me and said it again :’). I swear my heart can only take so much.

Although she may never see this, I’d like to thank her. She may have done something so simple for her, but yet means so much to me. I’ve never felt so beautiful before. That was the most sincere compliment I have ever received from someone.

Hence forth, I decided to embark on this project to appreciate myself more often so that one day I may radiate a beautiful and pure energy that will inspire other people too.

so I had a painful first love…

How do you appreciate your first love?

I had a first love, just like most. I’d call it a great love, not because it beats romanticized novels but it’s great in the way that it transformed me for the better. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be in such a great place now without having been with him.

I wouldn’t call it a toxic relationship because he was a genuinely good person, who was just at the crossroads, lost and confused. What boiled down in our relationship was the clash of different phases in life, the indecisiveness on his part and the perpetually exhausting distrust I had towards him.

I won’t go into the details of the relationship too much but I’ll tell you how I transformed after we parted ways.

He taught me things like living a more frugal life and he broke down many misconceptions I had about people like him. He was gangster-like, “ah-beng” as what my friends called him. I used to be afraid to be associated with people like him until I took a sneak peek and realized they’re more than capable of having substance.

He taught me how to be more open to the unknown and be more independent. Very much like my father, he was a scholar who had to work after school almost daily to make ends meet. Dad always told me stories but I never really appreciated it until I saw it for myself. It was with him that I had my first meal alone outside too. I mean he didn’t leave me to eat by myself. But rather, I was waiting for him to end work so I studied while eating alone. It made me feel the reality of the need of being independent and alone from time to time.

After we broke up, I plunged into depression because no one left before. It took me about 3 months until I started to seek help from the people around me. With that, with my family and friends holding my hands, I forced myself out of the shadows and started to work on myself.

I had a gym membership and decided to shake off the weight from A-level stresses. I channeled the pain into a furious passion to shape myself the way I wanted and be a beautiful me that I could be proud of. I also started taking tea, which I really hated to drink before. I started eating healthy, more salads, less sweets. I lost 8kg in that month.

He, together with my friends, always complained about how I didn’t act like girls do, wearing makeup and dressing up to go out or impress the boys. So I started to learn and I was getting really good at it and my friends started to commend me. But with that, I also started to take care of my skin, progressively having long skin care routines that made my skin glow.

When school started, I was reminded of my goals to a medical practitioner. I was so furious that I neglected that dream just because I was trying to keep a self-destructive relationship going. So from then, I juggled studying extra subjects as I pursued my degree.

Acknowledging that I was slowly improving as a person, I realized that I had to let go of people who were not morphing me into the person I desire to be. Aristotle said we have 3 types of friends- Virtue, utility and pleasure (see:Aristotle: 3 types of friendships). Knowing I had little time to spare for friends, I made sure that the ones I held onto were worth it. I chose the friends that let me be transparent, at ease and loved. I chose friends that helped me realize my mistakes and push me to be better everyday.

All of these, I admit, were motivated by the pain of the thought of him. But I kept doing them until they became habits that made me a happy person. The more I did, the more I forgot these started off because of the thought of him.

It was then I realized that I have gotten over him. Maybe not 100%, but 90%. I still do think of him occasionally, even after 2 years. But there are no more urges to check on him, call him and be a part of his life. This doesn’t mean “good riddance”. I’m just happy for myself, for trusting time and those around me that I can grow and be happy.

If I don’t love myself, who will? 

This love was a sad one but it opened my eyes to a bigger world that would have never been realized had I not loved so hard like that.

I look onward to the future, open and hopeful 🙂

wardolf, I

I want to be a queen in an empire of my own.

No, please don’t misunderstand.

I don’t want to be in control of everything;

not even myself.

I want to be able to carry myself well, regardless of what I wear.

I want to smile at my enemies and not even break a sweat in fear of them.

I want to be able to be graceful, taking life one step at a time, with carefully thought out steps.

I want to be beautiful, to strangers but more importantly to those who love me.

I want to be radiating light and admiring life around me, hectic or not.

Just like a queen, I want to be a great master of my choices and actively live them without regret.

Just like a queen, I shall be a part of something bigger than myself,

King or no King.

thank you, really

Thank you, for the late nights and the laughter.

Thank you, for all the stoning moments and helping me realize I have a bad girl side of me.

Thank you, for opening my eyes to the beauty of different people.

Thank you, for driving me places I have never been to before.

Thank you, for the whimsical moments of pure innocent romance.

Thank you, for letting me try durian despite my parents’ wishes.

Thank you, for the cuddles that made me feel safe.

Thank you, for pushing me out of my comfort zone and feeding me so much.

Thank you, for the surprises on normal and special days.

Thank you, for trying to be close to my family… that really meant a lot to me.

Thank you, for being my happy youth love.

Well,

I’d thank you for the sad things too, but I’d love to only have happy memories of you.

I’m finally just smiling when I accidentally remember you.

Breast Ironing

Carried out all over the world, this traditional practice is done on girls who are about to have developing breasts. This is usually carried out by family members, by using hot metals such as hot spoons, to press on the tissue to suppress its growth.

This is done with the intention to prevent their children from attracting men to have sexual thoughts about them, thinking of it as an act of protection from rape, early child marriage and sexual advances. However, some of the intentions are flawed and made to be methods of punishments to their children. In recounts from girls who came out of the closet, it was found that parents would iron their breasts to threaten them. Parents use this as a form of manipulation, even if it was not intended at first. (There are some breast ironing video links at the end of this post.)

Thought we should respect traditional practices, this practice however violates human rights as these practices are clearly harmful, yet forced upon children against their will. This practice not only obviously brings about physical pain to the child, but also traumatizes them. Breast ironing can lead to breast cancer, cysts and depression etc.

The huge problem with this is that there isn’t enough official statistics about this as it is usually done secretly and so there isn’t enough education about this matter. Girls who had ironed breasts would not even know that they have been abused and might even think of it to be a usually practice to coming-of-age children.

Mutilation of the human body is odd, but actually quite common. This can be tied to female genital mutilation(FGM), which is a procedure to remove the clitoris and other external parts of the female intimate area as it was thought to some as an act of becoming a woman (How I Survived Female Genital Mutilation).

Even in so called “advanced” countries like my own, Singapore, these practices of female circumcision still exists and can be even done while the child is an infant (FGM in Singapore).

Videos to watch:

What is Breast Ironing?

Accounts of Breast Ironing

“My mum ironed my breasts aged 13.”

Wikipedia: Breast Ironing

News:

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Featured image taken from metro.co.uk

 

adulting enlightenment

it’s ok,

to lose some friends;

trust me when i say this,

because you’ll realise life is better off that way in the end.

it’s ok,

to spend time on the same few friends;

trust me when i say this,

because you’ll realise that it’s better to have great friends then a meaningless audience watching you succeed and grow.

it’s ok,

to be selfish and work hard for your career and passion;

trust me when i say this,

because there’s nothing happier than to not work a single day in your life.

i haven’t had it all figured out but,

i’d say I’m getting there!

i hope you’re figuring life out too 🙂

dad

9,

19,

29,

39,

49 beautiful and tiresome years.

an orphan then,

a scholar you came to be.

a doting husband then,

an amazing Father you are to me.

it’s all the same,

through time and time again,

i’d say the same to you again.

dad you’re my inspiration,

the one who lets me live my aspirations.

no excuses you tell me,

to shout and brace hard til I am my own inspiration.

I wish you love,

I wish you health,

I wish I’ll make you prouder in the years ahead.