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Choices

In the face of conflict, I find that I have a strong tendency to keep quiet because I’d never know when I’ll say something wrong or ignorant. However, it can be argued that you’ll only learn when ideas are exchanged. One side of me just wants to keep absorbing like a sponge - a reason why I keep to myself so much. But even a sponge will have its own saturation point. What drips from then on are musings like this one or any others that drift by my head.

I have lost a lot of drive to keep writing these days. Mainly because I don’t know the consequences of what my words might trigger at any place at any time. In my metaphysical mind/universe/space, whatever you want to call it, once you release something, something else will come in to take its place. Such constant motion keeps on going. I have been extremely selective with what I say and who I say it to for this reason, and not just because I’m afraid of how it affects people, but how it affects me as a person as well. I somehow believe that with every action one takes, every sentence once speaks, it affects not just the state of mind, but a person’s overall characteristics as a whole. Every inner notion, dismissed or put forth, causes something. Or at least, that’s what I feel sometimes.

Whilst I have struggled to keep a hold on myself these few months, I also realised that evidently everyone else is out there with a mind on their own. I haven’t forgotten, i just have been a little busy with my own thoughts and busy with processing what everyone’s saying and doing in further hopes of learning how to interact with them based on not just their words, but their body language as well. Understanding is one thing I’m constantly having to learn. Some people are more empathetic than others and I have spent most of my life on the opposite end of that scale because of my past.

As introverted as I tend to be with an occasional rush of cynicism, or in some people’s words, “typically INTJ”, growing older also taught me that I can no longer be as carefree and liberal with my actions as I want to be. To “not be bothered by what others think of you” actually has its own boundaries. There are some things that cannot be controlled by an individual that others like to poke fun of and judge them by, and those are the things that one probably shouldn’t bother with. Individualism is one thing, but overboard assertiveness to the point of mild aggression on the scale is another. There is a distinction between the two, often confused by a person’s need to feel understood or validified combined with miscommunication. Of course, I stick to the personal belief that i do accept these people - just that I do not have to be like them because i am ultimately myself, and it’s not like I don’t have enough to figure out on my own already.

But for things within range of control, I am still learning how to not get overly excited while I talk lest I get too loud, learning how to not send off vibes that put other people off or assume that I’m disinterested even though that might not be the case. These are things I have had to pick up (and am still having occasional trouble with) as I go along, as a way to cope. One would be sick of being outcasted or being written off as “anti-social” and “blunt”. Things and circumstances can change over time and my pessimistic world view is slowly shifting. There is enough chaos around as it is, and everyday I try to wake up being aware of it and wanting to absorb as much of the world as I can and let it swirl around inside me. It slowly gets processed.

As much as I do agree that there are a lot of things that are superficial in this world, I have to state that these things are unfortunately mandatory for survival - and I don’t mean that in a crude, sad way. Despite the occasional insult I get that I take quite personally because some people just love attacking me, I still have to get along with certain people to get past my days. What doesn’t kill me shall make me want to fly even harder.

A society has to function, but the lines around the grey areas grow fuzzier to me everyday. I’m still figuring it out. For a person who used to be a very fixed extremist who wouldn’t hesitate to speak up, I have become more withdrawn. And the thing is, I’m not ashamed that I’m quieter or more ‘withdrawn’ compared to what I used to be like. There are lots of things that require critical thinking. Things that require change but are a challenge to fix. The main thing is stepping away from aggression because it does more harm than people know. Staying positive is a challenge and sure as hell tires one out, but for some reason is worth holding onto every once in a while.

Life can throw just about anything in your way, anyone, any job, any good or bad thing. I have gotten remarks that I have become way more “zen”, and i guess that’s just how I truly was when I was a kid. Not forcing things too much faster than they can move, yet not staying stagnant. Life’s a whirlwind, enjoy the ride. Whatever that comes in my way, and whoever I meet, I’d just happily embrace.

I’m writing this at past 4 in the morning from a stressful day, and for some reason that pulls an awful lot of clarity in my head. For once, I’m not tense or anxious about what I’m about to post, or write, or say. Like any human, I have emotions and I have worries, but hanging onto the solidity of my own life itself is the fuel that keeps me going.

I don’t exactly know what my point is so I don’t know how people are going to make sense of what i’m writing here, but I guess what I’m saying is to keep your chin up and keep surfing on. Here’s to a great last two months of work, and looking forward to school starting in June. Cheers.

Now I should really try to get some sleep. Also my left shift key is wonky. Bummer.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written something like this. Or at the very least, it feels like it’s been a while. Time is the same for everybody, and yet its duration varies depending on how an individual is feeling.

As for me, I have been feeling out of it.

It’s something I can’t quite wrap my head around. The feeling of moving forward yet being squished by the pressure at the very same time. It’s exciting and unnerving. It’s everything in a moment. All of a sudden, you have so much to lose. In that split second, you still feel hints of how you have nothing left to lose and nothing left to prove.

I was at work the other day and a lady suddenly rushed in and called for our attention. An old, elderly man had just collapsed right outside the store and he had nobody with him. He was just out and about. All alone, in the city, in the middle of a bustling shopping mall with nobody accompanying him. He had trouble talking and standing up after and it took them a really long time to get him onto the paramedics’ wheelchair because of the shock he was in.

That incident alone spun me into deep thought for the rest of that day itself.

Which brings us to the next question: why move on? Why carry on?

I don’t have the answer. Like time, it varies for everybody.
I don’t think I need a reason right now because there are too many. I guess sometimes life is just a matter of doing it. Just doing life. No cuts, no buts, no coconuts.

May this journey continue to be as rewarding and fulfilling for me to have pulled through so far. It’s going to be an interesting year. The winds are once again blowing in different directions, but I’m no longer afraid of letting it take me.

I hope to remember how happy I am now. Right now, I am very happy.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody.

p/s: I actually like coconuts.

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It’s funny how people are nice and polite to you only when they spend lesser time with you while you still treat them the same. The longer you’ve been around them, the longer they forget about who you are since you’re always listening to them trying to talk about themselves and imposing themselves onto you. It’s always about them and never about you. “Me, me, me.” there’s never a “How are you?” or a “How about you?”. Whether being a quiet person works well, I don’t really know because they will tell you that you have been extremely noisy and that you talk too much. When you have tried your best to stay out of their way yet still not show any disrespect, they will tell you that you have an attitude problem because of the multiple times you finally snapped back when they pushed you over the edge, hard. It’s outrageous. The thing is, there’s never a right answer to this. It’s the worst paradox that I’ve had to live all my life, and guess what - I’m starting to believe that it always might be.

There will always, always be double standards so long as it’s humanity.

I’ll tell you this. I’ve never felt more out-of-sync.

I hate to sound pathetic right now, but perhaps for today and just for today, I’ll allow myself to be a little bit more upset and angry. I’ll drown myself in the pools of self-doubt without anyone yelling at me telling me to stop before I can get over it. I’ll just lay here feeling this way because I’m sick of being denied of my rights to express myself or say a word whereas people blab on all the time. There’s no right answer. There’s never a right answer. I’m not correct and I never will be. The truth is that they all don’t love me. They’re only pretending. Nobody will when they see this monster inside of me. The monster that they have forged with their own words, the rage that I could not prevent from manifesting.

The more I suppress, the more I feel like a zombie.
My trust runs dry as I lose faith in humanity.
As I slice myself up and send these pieces to everybody,
I’m afraid that I might never, ever be happy.

No one told me
The right way
The right way to go about this
So I’ll figure it out for myself
'Cause how much is too much to give you?
Well I’ll may never know
So I’ll just give until there’s nothing else

Yeah I’ll give, give, give (until there’s nothing else)

Give my all (until it all runs out)
Give, give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left

I had ramen with my favourite people today. They’re not in the picture because I took this while we were leaving, but it’s always nice to meet them up. The same few kids who entered the world of design with me, and all sharing the same dreams. I feel inspired tonight. Deep conversations always keep me mentally invigorated after. I missed this feeling. I guess we’ve just been so busy and we always rarely meet up, but the best kind of friendship is the kind you can walk away from and return to making time for a meetup every once in a while and connect just as nicely, right?

Can’t wait for our next meetup.

That being said, the ramen was pretty decent - and take that from someone who has very high standards for good ramen. I’m always on the hunt for good Japanese cuisine, regardless of where it is. Ambience and concept of the shop is awesome too. Free hard-boiled eggs and beansprouts for all, lively, and the interior really takes me back to the ramen shops in Japan. I love the touch of the Sakura flowers and the wall mural a lot, as well as the layout of the shop itself.

I’ll be visiting there again for sure.

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You will have people who will say nothing to a man who spends fifteen hours playing GTA or Assassin’s Creed, fifteen hours of his life all day every day playing with pixels on a screen, who, the minute he turns to poetry or philosophy or any other art, hears nothing but hassle after hassle about how he needs to start living in the real world.

I can relate to this. Some people are just too bitter or angry in their lives, busy being angsty - to even dare to face what’s abstract and positive. It’s quite wonderful. Philosophy, poetry, fine arts, pop culture, and music - were things that played a major part in solving my existential crisis and these things have never stopped inspiring me actively. I refuse to step away from the arts - in fact, it’s what really pushes me and I will never stop believing in it. This world needs more colours.. And I’m going to work for it. I am a designer and this is what I believe in.

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Sometimes you just can’t help but feel unneeded when you watch the one you love get so much love from everybody else- but of course these stirring feelings of sadness mixed with exhaustion are only temporary. My body is playing tricks on me again. I’m probably just very tired, exhausted, and suffering from dehydration and the lack of sleep. Occasionally I feel sick but I can manage to eat some things. I have so many stories saved to tell her because I want her to be the first one to know everything, and now I just need to buy some new chapstick because drinking water doesn’t help soothe my lips. All my friends are busy as hell as well, and it’s like I’m feeling extremely distant from everybody. I’m almost near the state of self-isolation if not for the fact that I know better than to disappear and delete my presence just because of a temporary feeling.

Man, I miss her so much. It’s sad that she’s getting a particularly busy week coincidentally when I’m having a stressful week as well but hey, that’s life. Sometimes it throws different things at you and sometimes you have to put up with it for a while before you crash into each other’s tired arms, huddling up exhausted from everything. For some reason, her presence is just so invigorating to me. It always has been since the very beginning and I’m glad we are the way we are, because under normal circumstances, we could have never met and we would be way more lost right now if not for the fact that we have met each other and collided, and started being one as something new.

It’s my birthday today and I don’t really care about it. It just feels like any other day. My birthday always falls on either examination dates, or days I have to work extra anyway. It’s very likely that my birthday is closely related to my moods - perhaps this is why both Summer and Autumn always feels the most existentially-chaotic to me. There’s always a pattern somewhere and I know it. There’s my least favourite and favourite seasons.. And in these two seasons I always get very heavily influenced by the temperature and weather as well as the pressure of the chains of the society because it’s all related - are the two seasons I get the most stressed, the highest productivity, but also too easily swayed by impulsive feelings that make me feel like I’m extremely distant from everybody.

I miss the cool breath of Spring. Winter is also too damn depressing. As the world gathers around in their festivities, amongst these people - I feel a one-ness and the more I feel the happiness through them, the more I feel lonely and want to push myself to radiate happiness the same. But how much can I push myself to keep feeling without burning myself out? Because these sleepless nights and these haunting dreams are something else and they all seem to be telling me something. How do I fix this? How do I repair this? I wish I had the answer, but for now I’ll just keep on wondering. I miss those summer days - where we both had lots of time with each other, but some days people are free and some days people get busy. It’s always the case and it’s going to be okay.

I’m going to be okay, and frankly, we’re all going to be. One day we’ll just get tired of thrashing about and learn how to coexist truly as human beings. We start to understand things we never believed in. We experience pain and we learn through these little things.

What matters is communicating and pulling through and at the very least - and one day you will be able to see the true beauty of everything and things you can learn will curb the anger you have to put up with. Great things in life can be achieved. One thing I learnt towards the end of my 21st year in the few months before my birthday is that sometimes we need to put up with people’s flaws as long as they don’t get too overbearing on you - because believe it or not, sometimes these people will push you forwards and strengthen not just your interpersonal skills, but personal beliefs.

I refuse to see myself as a pushover, but more like because I know that if I keep thrashing about being rigid or too imposing, no matter where I go - my presence will always threaten other human beings and I will never be able to learn from anyone whereas they will always continue to take my mind away from me.

I am still me, but I’m choosing to embrace the sadness and guide it towards what I can learn from it so that I can stop being so angry at everything - because when I’m angry, everyone else will feel threatened or saddened by me. It’s a chain effect and I’d rather stop spreading such a feeling because it will always hit right back at me.

I’m probably just exhausted. And upset at the fact that I’ve been having to burn so many off-days away because I have to go around running errands and so I haven’t had the time to sit down and actually be productive doing things and I just feel like I keep procrastinating on them though they’re not urgent but I really want to get these things done but I really don’t have the energy.

I’ll figure it out or something. I probably need to add swimming and more drawing and reading to my daily routine to balance out my brain’s hyperactivity during the wrong timings. And now I shall just go to bed so that I can wake up with a smile when she calls me. :) I’m looking forward to talking to my dear girl. That’s my one and only birthday wish.

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I am but a slate
Let me feel your hunger through you
Your pain through you
Your confusion
Your exhaustion
Let me take it away
And trade it
With something new
As you listen and you speak
On an axis like your feet
When you wake is when she sleeps
The angels cry and lovebirds weep

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I’m having my supper break late from work now, my stomach growling as the food touches my chapped lips. Friday nights are usually exhausting.

I turn on my Facebook and I saw that a friend wished me Happy Birthday right around midnight.

And then I remembered that it’s now Saturday here. The clock has struck past midnight and I am now 22. At least the number seems cool. To me, my birthday is just like any other day. I’ve long decided that my age shouldn’t matter too much for me except mark the amount of years that I have survived - and I’m proud that I lived and more than thankful for everything.

Now I’m going to sign off and eat my food.

p/s: I miss you.

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rei-sei:

i hate how you can get a perfect score on a test and still feel like you learned absolutely nothing. it’s almost more frustrating than getting less than a perfect score. it’s an empty A.

That’s how I used to feel when I wrote both Chinese and English narratives in classes back in secondary school and scored and A or get my stories featured for no reason when I never paid attention in class because I felt like those teachers didn’t know how to teach the subjects the right way because nothing they did worked for me (and it’s true, they didn’t).

Eventually I stopped writing because I didn’t know how to truly improve myself and my teachers didn’t know how to point me in the right direction because I don’t know.. I was more plot-headed than they were. Like literally I was pretty much praised for plots and every now and then my obligatory essays would get featured - they didn’t know what to do with me anymore because nobody knew how to teach me anything and that kind of felt pretty lonely and frustrating and made me doubt my own abilities because I felt like I had problems with writing narratives and never understood why I scored when all I saw were flawed pieces of writing. And I had to worry about my chemistry which I have never done well in. And trying to score As in Biology. And trying to pass History and Social Studies because I was struggling with quick essay-writing.

I started wanting more but at the same time I suddenly felt like it was pointless to want more when people like to settle for just “good enough”. But I always wanted to be better because I really wanted to write a good story that both I and the reader can thoroughly enjoy.. But I don’t think I’ve ever achieved that fully.

I ended up scoring Bs for English and Cs for Mandarin when my expected grades for both were As, for my Cambridge exams because I was so stressed during my essays to be written within the 1.5 hour time limit I got serious writer’s block all the time and ended up having it so bad to the point where I was dozing off while writing because it all went dry to me. So in that I know I couldn’t deal with my creativity blocks back then. (Translation: Shit Fi/Se is shit under stress)

I ended up scoring very well for History and Social Studies even though I only revised those the night before the exam because apparently I was better with elaborating and linking up points, seeing patterns and writing shitloads till my hand cramped lol. Suddenly my writing shone in an area I never thought that it would. I never thought that it will now mean something to me and now I see it. It’s the associated memory and ability of only remembering rough constructs and concepts and elaborating on them naturally like it’s the flesh expanding. I guess I can’t get away from how an Ni-Te user writes after all.

But I could never understand grades because I moved onto a course which didn’t require me to take exams but always have me get graded on personal projects and I would always struggle between Bs and Cs and always feel like I need to redo everything every single week for my integrated projects. Man.. Looking back, that whole course was intense and I don’t know how I fucking survived it but I guess it’s why I feel like I can take on anything now.

I’ve been pushed through the extremities of stress from either scoring too well without trying or not scoring well no matter how hard I try, to the point where I feel like there’s some kind of formula to actually absorbing, wanting to absorb, and also utilising it in the way of reproducing or demonstrating the skills or knowledge and how they influenced you in your personal thinking. But grades always felt shady because it’s always like, “Why should I need to prove to you? And how accurate can it be? I already know what I know.. I don’t need this” but I guess grades are nice in the sense that you will push yourself hard during an exam to see how much you actually do know and how well you can apply it and manage your time.. which is why I now don’t feel like I’m afraid of going back to school anymore.

I guess that took college-phobia away from me. That and also because I was a rebel who got annoyed when people tried to tell me what to do and everyone was like “go to a junior college and then to college!” and I was like “no, I want to be a photographer or a graphic designer and then I’ll take it from there because these are institutions that teach you want you want to learn straight-up though it’s named as a diploma but it makes you completely industry-ready” and also I was feeling guilty about spending any kinds of money because I feel like it’s not worth it but now I’m going back to school and catching up on what I missed in GP (general paper) and other world-skills and critical-thinking modules in culture, politics, consumerism, psychology and sociology.

I’m excited in what’s about to come because I know it can both enhance my current work and my mind, and also open up way more doors for me in opportunities and work in the future so I will not have to worry so much about having a company not want to hire me and have faith in wanting to study hard for it and also wanting to keep producing to improve myself and my mind, eye and skills in visual, written and verbal communications. I guess you can say that I have learnt certain things in reverse? I learnt how to behave around people based on how they talk and behave, before I learnt how to talk to them.

I guess the cognitive dissonance was obvious when a science-minded person like me stepped into dealing with the arts without knowing what I’d do with it and getting terrified because everyone around me seemed talented already and I didn’t know how to interact with them without feeling like they’re making use of me because everyone would only just come to me for IT/Audio help or to grab softwares from me, I had a love/hate relationship with how we would always walk around looking at one another’s screens to see what each other came up with during our tutorial sessions but eventually I kind of avoided doing my work in school or class because I didn’t want people to think that I was bad - since people liked to only group with others that they find skilled or talented and then I will always have to struggle with feeling like nobody wants to work with me or like working with me is boring already.

But what came out of it plus a quiet year away from the imposed education system was finally a clear mind and feeling like I have been enlightened with some kind of major epiphany that will never leave me. Emotions feel less unnatural to me now and though I have DPD, I feel emotions way more frequently now and I really have to thank my soulmate for this although she keeps saying that it’s just only me. I think the arts teach people about feelings and emotions and critical thinking more than anything - and also eventually you will know when to follow it and when not to follow it. Since the arts are usually good at stirring up emotions or make people think, they are also good at making people overthink lol.

Sometimes what we see on a TV screen or in a book - a person in a plot will scare us but it doesn’t mean that because we can relate to a character or slip into their shoes easily that we’re always going to be like them or are going to exactly be them. I think that’s the only one thing I learnt because when I was at the extremes of my emotions I realised that I was either acting like ALL the characters in Doctor Who, ALL the characters in the Phantom of the Opera, ALL the characters in literally every story I read and EVERYTHING in literally every song I have ever heard or like my video game characters - and touching any of these mediums made me feel HORRIBLE for being able to relate to song lyrics or storylines. It feels horrible because it’s painful to know that it’s a dramatised version of reality and it only enhances allllll the emotions instead of teaching you how to truly control yourself to not give in to impulsive thinking based off emotions stirred in a moment and that’s when we make the worst conclusions and decisions. That’s why I always listen to music that only ever matches the opposites of my mood so that they can neutralise what I’m actually feeling. And that’s why I feel the importance of always listening to a wide range of genres and having songs from different kinds of artists to make you happy.

And that’s when I realise the impact stories can have on us. What’s important is learning the underlying message and moral of the story and the concepts in them to know when and when not to apply them to everyday living. If you follow a character portrayed blindly you will always submit and see yourself as always flawed and the moment you allow yourself to be influenced by such a thing you will get scared and not want to trust yourself anymore.

Right now I’m listening to electro and some warm music because I’m feeling moody and it makes it go away literally because if I was listening to something I can relate to it would make me even more confused about myself and not be able to help me through with it because the mind does need to take a break from thinking about things to be able to make clear judgement - for when it starts to get tired, judgement is blurred with feelings of sore irritation or sadness from mere physical and mental exhaustion.