"man, i feel just like a rockstar."

03:40
everdearest 21,

it's 0304 and i'm sitting in my lit room, wearing the jersey you left me and missing you so much, i feel like there could actually be a physical hole where my heart is supposed to be. perhaps it was watching a couple (that we know, by the way) dance so well together tonight that sparked the longing. perhaps it was experiencing a flashback to the last memory i have of dancing so much and sweating so much and laughing so hard– you were very much part of it.

perhaps it was simply that i was quite intently filling mj in on us, but mostly you. and i guess it can also be attributed largely to the fact that once again, i find i'm pouring myself into bed and wishing i could have your still, warm, sleep-breathing form to press my entire self against and eventually, melt into.

there's something about feeling unified with you that calms me. there's a lot to be said about how quickly i'm at ease any time our bodies are intertwined. i'm in love with the way we just fit. i'm in love with shape of us.

and i realise that the thing i miss most is the feeling of your face on mine. and it's hard not to have the last thing i feel in absolute pitch black darkness be the lovely soft press of your lips on mine and the first thing i see once i've successfully rubbed sleep from my eyes be your beautiful eyes blinking back at me in soft morning light. i crave the gentleness of your voice when you say "good night" and "good morning." i know i will want the warmth of your breath, the tingle of your fingers laced into mine and the abundance of kisses that i will be showered generously with every day of my life for as long as i still breathe and wake to live through another day.

when i think about what it means to be home, i am reminded of that feeling i felt the first day i saw your face in the crowd. i had stood on the steps with slight apprehension that i would either fail to identify you and be identified in return but the minute i had caught sight of you— i was immediately comforted. and just standing there, still was all i had to do. not only had you eventually moved straight into my path but right to my line of sight, too. and for the first time, i had noticed before i'd been noticed.

i don't know what anything means. often, i guess and i assign my own interpretations to the smallest of occurrences, interactions, circumstances. and often, i suppose, i am quick to jump to doomsday conclusions. but with you, i just feel safe. and with you, i have this assurance that i will never be deliberately hurt or let down by you. and with you is where i see myself– time and age regardless.

with you is the only place i want to be. always and all ways.

you are making your (long) way back to me. and i can only hope that when you spot me at the airport smiling (at the fact that i have, once again, been the one to have spotted you first) something will stir in the very core of you and your heart will be the voice that speaks to you and tell you now, you are home.

"you don't know how you met me, you don't know why."

22:33
so the first five days of the lunar new year is officially over and done with. today is also the day my babybrother turns 22. it's crazy to think that he isn't just a teenytatertot anymore but to me, he'll always be.

i had a moment in my head at some point during the day where i realised just how estranged i've become as a person in my adult life. year by year, the only thing that is as sure as my receding hairline is my loss of friends. the large core group that my social life was always heavily cushioned by is now no longer— everybody's flown the coop. and to perhaps add insult to injury (though not by their own volition), they're all now retired to the married life. one by one, not only are they brides with pinterest-worthy weddings, they've all decided to pop buns out their ovens and my once Party Till The Break Of Dawn crew has now, collectively, traded in their 24/7 Party Animal gold medals for a different type of no sleep marathon: parenthood.

yikes.

so this is where i'm at. at the tail-end of my 20s with absolutely no plans for change. i'm still trying to diet my way back into a size four dress and thinking i'll splurge on a brand new all-black outfit rather than save for... goodness knows. whatever it bloody well is that 20 going on 30 year-olds are meant to be saving for. i internally silent scream every time i see someone else i know stretch out into a 10-person version of their former self and cannot help but gawk at their enlarged nipples every time they plonk out their awfully engorged breasts for teenytiny gaping mouths to feed.

perhaps i'm horribly unfashionable with my wanting to stay a size six, ahem, four forever and having the great dilemma of choosing whether to carb or not to carb.

terrible, isn't it? just how painfully transparent i am. i couldn't hide my peter pan even if i tried.

segueing into new job updates—

i cannot say i particularly enjoy my present job scope. i try to think about how i can be (so much) better and i find i'm always zapped the minute i'm through my front door. on so many occasions, i vow to work on a plan after hours so i can head into work the next day fully prepared instead of squander time and feel massively unproductive at the end of each workday but then i'm home and crawling under the covers with abnormal summit on just becomes a lot more attractive.

i've had some fleeting (yo-yoing) thoughts on offering my blogspace for commissioned posts but i'm not sure anybody reads blogs anymore. and certainly not self-indulgent ones that dare speak of never wanting to grow up (like me/mine).

there's only eight days left till the demise of dayre. it'd be interesting to see if the app would vanish altogether overnight or if it'd just crash/be taken off appstores. what does a dead app look like anyway?

ugh. i really ought to work on better structuring for posts. but any time i'm greeted with this blank white space, my fingers lowkey go ape. i very much miss creative writing. i'd really like to assign myself a weekly writing prompt but i struggle to co-exist with the knowledge of my failure/s. so perhaps at present juncture and for the short-term, let's first try to still strive in achieving this blasted one post a day goal i've been assigning myself since... goodness-even-knows-when anymore(!!!)

"one day i'll be something in this great big world."

01:13
i'm so grateful for whenever i get the chance to drive out of the city. getting to see green and blue skies make me happy. i had the lovely opportunity to play delivery girl this past week and it was quite satisfying to arrive at houses, ring doorbells and meet happy customers.

my second favourite holiday this year was spent with one of the most talented, conscientious artists i have had the privilege to meet and know: my nail technician who hails all the way from shibuya in tokyo, japan. every time i silently kick myself for spending the sort of money i do whenever i pay her a visit, my return to her provides me with the rationale of why i do. she takes such pride in the work she does and doesn't ever lose patience— not in the slightest.

whenever my time is up, i always find myself promising to be back one more "next time."

it's eight minutes past 0100 and we're now on to the third day of celebrating the lunar new year. 23 and i spoke for exactly 36 minutes and it's t-minus five days till he's back in the same continent as i. to say that i miss him would be a severe understatement. tonight, my complex question to him had been: "how do you know you love me?"

"i've told you why i love you, baby," came his reply.

"no. i mean, how do you know?" i'd pressed.

"i don't understand what the difference is."

"everything that's broke leave it to the breeze."

01:17
wow.

i didn't expect to be this affected— dayre's going to officially cease to exist in 16 days. and maybe it was always just a silly little app/platform but there was such a loyal, thriving community that was extremely encouraging, (mostly) positive and it was a good little neighbourhood where all kinds of writers could convene.

now everybody will be scattered back into cyberspace and whether or not we end up remembering one another enough to find our ways back to one another, i guess, we'll see.

seems a little bit odd to be feeling so sentimental about something that i had started simply to keep up with my all-time undefeated favourite south east asian blogger. i used to read her blog so religiously and would comment on every post after. and she was my introduction to the mobile blogging app. so i downloaded it immediately after i'd read her announcement that she was on it. and the rest, as they say, is now history.

it didn't always use to be an open, loving community.

back in the very early days, people would leave comments saying "please unfollow" because they were wary of strangers reading/following/commenting. "i don't know you" was lament after lament. it was a strange period. and i'm not sure when there was that big bang that led to the surge of new waves of people but suddenly, there begun a community. people who were in long distance relationships such as myself found comfort in reading other stories of long distance relationships. and here was a space on mobile that allowed for extremely raw expression/s.

the best part of all of this was definitely the friends i've come to make. i've met up with three dayreans— two of which still text me on a semi-frequent basis and there are a handful who're always among the first to personally write me when they've read something alarming/shocking/saddening. the relationships are truly priceless and never could i have ever even realised that people could care about lil ol' me and my nonsense— all of my tribulations; all of my (very) small accomplishments.

it is going to be so strange to be without the comfort of the community.

it's like leaving home at 40.

but at the very least, i have some links to new spaces. and my bookmark bar is filling up nicely. (and there's also bloglovin' to help with management, amen.)

here's to the end of an era and something we all once shared. here's to the next 16 days and waiting with bated breath to see if someone would swoop in at the last second to buy dayre over and breathe new life into it. here's to knowing one chapter of everybody's story. here's to being grateful to have been part of and witness to the growths and the journeys. even if it was just for one period of time.

here's to the friendships that'll survive past this platform and continue to grow and strengthen.

here's to love.

and here's to life after death.

"let Your voice be all i hear now."

17:20
a quiet lunch at my desk earlier had me counting my blessings.

i've pretty much gotten over my initial culture shock of being here and swimming with new fishes. my first day had been internally turbulent. i hadn't been able to shake the What've I Done?!?? feeling. but yesterday, the whole lot of us went to lunch and sitting there— at two large round tables combined, waiting to be served— i had a small moment where i felt like weeping. it was such a good (and full) feeling— to be sat at the table and to be breaking bread. everyone was present. there were several conversations going simultaneously. there was happy chatter. intermittent bursts of laughter. and i was included. even though i wasn't actively contributing to any one of the 10 conversations. just feeling the vibration of combined energies was enough. i was so happy. and suddenly so appreciative. it has only been four days since my official joining and already i've been a part of more than one lunch where my bosses have generously picked up the tab. i'm treated with so much warmth and my opinion is asked for and respected. yesterday, the power unexpectedly went out and we ended up having a snack party in the darkness which suddenly segued into a casual brainstorming regarding new implementations. it just felt so good bouncing off ideas and it was nice to feel like we were all part of the problem-solving. and then i watched the girls rock-paper-scissors for who would drive to midvalley as they wanted to go outfit shopping for chinese new year. and even though i hadn't been part of their original plan, when i'd asked l where they were off to, "d'you want to come?" she'd asked without so much as a second's pause. "you sure?" she'd asked a second time when i'd politely declined and i felt my heart bloom.

it might seem like such a triviality and my expressions may likely be eye-roll inducing but it's truly like being re-introduced into a new society. i may be the alien here but i am also very welcomed. and it's just a very lovely feeling, you know.

to be wanted.

"fuck your two cents if it ain't goin' towards the bill."

23:39
this is what life is like, i feel.

you open your eyes and you find you're in a pitch black place. there's literally nothing that you can see except absolute darkness. and you wonder if your eyes are even open at all. you can't know if there's anything ahead of you, behind you or around you. so you stand dead still.

suddenly there is a teeny glow. a dot of an orb and you see it bob against this inkiness. you think your eyes might be playing tricks on you but, no— there's an orb of light that's really moving through the darkness.

and it's coming straight for you.

the light comes close then gets raised. you're able to see it's another person. he has raised the light to his face. so you can see the outline of his features. "hello, friend." you say. you think he's a friend because he has come for you. somehow, he knew exactly where you'd been standing. plus, his face is kind.

"come." his voice is gentle. you are comforted. ah, yes. this one's a friend. and you follow him without another word or question.

there is nothing you find odd about this trek. in fact, you are simply grateful to have company at all. what's more, he has a light and appears to know exactly where to go. there is no conversation but you like that. no need for small talk. and the novelty of it all— that you're able to travel a path in utter and complete darkness with zero conversation between the pair of you is somehow both amusing and exhilarating.

you cannot wait to see where this all leads.

the light is held just barely an inch of this strange guide's extended arm. it is neither lowered nor raised. just a steady ahead. and his pace is calm and relaxed. if not for the blinding darkness, you would think you were strolling through a luscious garden. drinking everything in.

then all at once, there is a halt.

it is so sudden, you're surprised you both did not collide. "why have we stopped?" you asked for the first time. surprised at how the sound reverberated. had he brought you to a cave? for the first time, you stretched your arms out width-length. to feel for walls. nope. none there. you shift positions to have them out in front of you. sure enough.

a wall.

"where are we?"

your voice again.

"why have you brought me to a wall?"

then the light is raised and you're able to visualise that there are a couple of things now bathed in white fluorescent glow. a wall, yes. the man's face and half of his torso. what was it that had given you the impression that his face was kind? you wonder silently. realising for the first time what you'd just done.

trusted a complete stranger in pitch black darkness— asked no questions, spoke nothing and assumed he'd come to lead you out. because how would he have known just where to find you? surely, someone good had sent him.

right?

"is this a dead-end?" you ask. your voice now has a slight tremble. what did any of this mean?

and somehow, something was already telling you— you weren't going to be getting any answers from your stranger guide. not today, buddy.

he holds the light for three seconds longer. and somehow, in the harsh fluorescence, he suddenly looked sinister.

"you have just learnt," he says, speaking deliberately in a voice so soft, he might as well had been whispering. "not to trust that someone will never lead you astray."

then he takes a step back and all at once, vanishes. as if the darkness had just swallowed him whole.

feeling the wall in front of you, you turn 180 and begin to walk as straight as you're able back to, perhaps, you were hoping, where you'd been standing previously. so far, so good. putting one foot immediately in front of the other, you were doing alright... thus far. no tripping, falling and bumping into anything just yet. thankfully.

this darkness is starting to piss you off. because your eyes actually feel tired. i guess they're just straining so hard to see but there is nothing. so what's the difference? you might as well keep them closed.

you dare yourself to close your eyes. and there we are— much better.

oddly, you're not too scared anymore. you've managed to alleviate some pain for yourself. and it didn't seem complex. keep walking in a line.

then you actually do make contact.

you bump into the form of a person. your eyes fly open. a light.

for a second, a small panic rises. not again! the voice inside your head shouts. was this the same stranger?! you step back. the light advances. it's the same guy!! right?

RIGHT?!

"hi." his voice steely and cool. "come."

"WHAT?! NO. i'm not falling for this again. i really don't even know you," you sputter. you feel anger creep in.

"but i've been waiting for you."

and before you can say another word, he turns on his heel and the light goes with him and though you hadn't yet recovered from the first strange encounter, you suddenly feel comforted by the fact that there was one more person in this godforsaken darkness. and what's more— he has light.

he's running. at least that's what it feels and sounds like. rapid sounds of footfall. you run, too. keeping your eyes trained on the orb of light that's bouncing and jumping erratically against all of the darkness. there is nothing to see, nothing to hear and why does it feel like all you're doing is running round in circles? but no matter. run you must. so run you do.

and you're breathing so hard. you don't recall running to have ever hurt this much. but your lungs are on fire and your chest feels unnaturally heavy and everything's screaming out for you to stop and catch your breath. you want to ask why you're running. what's happening???! but you're also afraid to know. then suddenly, you feel an arm block your motion. oof! your stomach runs into the arm. you want to shout out but "sshh..." comes the low warning.

then all at once, a gush of cold air. and padded footsteps. it sounds like a large animal. but there is nothing except the abnormally large gust of air that billows on your face, you feel your hair blow upwards and your eyes squeeze shut in reflex.

and then, the light is cast.

the stranger's face comes into view. his eyes seem to twinkle. lips tugging ever so slightly.

"you're welcome." it's a quiet, soothing tone that sounds like a lover's.

and before you're even able to find your voice, he takes a slow backward step back and disappears without a trace.

"you've just learnt how it feels to trust again even though you've been betrayed," says a voice, loud in your ear.

you jump.

a light and it appears to be rising in slow-motion.

all you see is the curve of lips. teeth. straight, almost luminous teeth.

"come." 

"not trynna be indie."

23:57
tomorrow will mark the beginning of (yet) another new chapter in my life. it'll be one more new role in one more new corporation. and as i walk out one door to go through a second, i realise how significant the timing of things are. for all things, there is a reason and a season. and it would appear that both these things have been accomplished for me. hence, going into the rest of this year and to continue on in the journey of (my) life, i have learned some very, very valuable lessons which i'd like to document.

to be present means to never lose sight of what's at hand. be it a task or be it an individual. love is not a feeling— it is a duty. one that needs to always be fulfilled regardless of emotions and circumstance. yes, it might be that i am feeling sad about the loss of a loved one but life goes on. and the world doesn't stop turning. and there needs to be a clear and hard separation between giving yourself enough time to catch your breath before you carry on further and just flaking out altogether. it is never okay to have fragmented focus and this, i've perhaps come to learn the hard way. i need to always, always, always finish one thing before i take up one more.

it would appear that my learning what self-worth means is not simply exclusive for romantic relationships. my entire recent past experience has taught me what self-worth means on an individual level. as a person, it's so crucial to know what it is i deserve and never allow myself to feel like i'm smaller. undeserving. there should never again come a time where i am bamboozled by false, glinting things. concert tickets, free make-up, hand-me-down clothing. yes, they're all nice things to have but at the end of the day, these need to be the bonus Good To Have If They're There things and not what anybody believes i can be bought with. fairness is key. and as long as i relent to being the doormat, there will always be those who'll take advantage. so if i want to stop being treated like the gum on the bottom of anyone's shoe, i must first stop believing that i am worthless and accepting ill treatment of others.

when i'd been a child, i remember a time where i'd greatly disliked my name. spited it, in fact. growing up in a society that could never spell it or pronounce it accurately was frustrating and i'd vocalised this unhappiness to my father— the parent who'd named me. even as a child, i'd sensed his hurt when i'd defiantly declared i'd replace my name as a legal adult. and perhaps i'd never really thought it a big deal since. a name is just a name, after all. until the time i was forced out of my identity. now i am never prouder to own this name. to announce and claim it. just like how i came to confess my relief following every break-up— i hated all the times i was forced to conceal parts of myself. shed them, sometimes. deliberately re-write and alter them other times. it was unfair. it was (always) unwilling. i loathe having my existence dictated and i will never again accept being stripped of my Me-ness.

no man is an island. we can never be everything we need in this life because there's just no possible way. there will always be a requirement to be dependent. and where i receive help, may i never forget that it is worth the while to reward the ones who are loyal. diligent. who will work without complaint. do without defiance. and those who will gladly go beyond their call of duty. for all of the times i've ever been on the receiving end of ill-treatment, let me not perpetuate the cycle and always give credit where and when it is due.

this serves more as a reminder than an actual lesson in itself. i've always been a character to thrive on words of affirmation myself and so, i'm of the school of thought that people shouldn't hold back when it comes to expression. especially (and even more so) if it's related to love and affection. i think the only way a person can truly and honestly know where he stands in another person's life is if he is told. and the fault is with the person who won't say what's in his heart and mind. never wait till it's too late. if it is at all possible, take all the chances you have. tell somebody you love them. today and every day.

everything i don't want done to me, i shouldn't first do unto others. as much as possible, i believe it's important for humans to live kindly. but sometimes, it's just about me. one person. and not the whole world. i've always told myself this:
there's enough brokenness and pain in the world. if there is one thing you can do when you leave something, leave it a little more whole. better— even if it's just a bit.
we all start with the man in the mirror. and to give compassion don't cost me a dime.

this year will be my last lap as a 20-something. and as i gear up to head into the next decade of living on this earth, i've come to accept and understand this simple principle— if it hurts you or causes you unnecessary pain/difficulty; stop. just stop. it's okay if something hasn't worked out. it's okay that it quite possibly never will. it doesn't have to. i don't always have to have it right right away. i need to practise granting myself this grace (a heck of a lot) more. quitting is not always a bad thing. sometimes it's just saying i tried. it's not happening. i'm done trying. it's okay.

now, time to move on.

it's no revelation— i've always shied away from difficult conversations. i'm a non-confrontational character. i don't enjoy it, i never have. and at some point in my entire existence to date, i strongly believed that i'd never be able to change this about myself. but now here i am— a lot wiser to the fact that more relationships end because of all the conversations un-had and because too much went unsaid. maybe i was always afraid that admitting to hurt was me admitting to weakness but i know now that unhappiness festers. and a lot more hurt can come from a wound that never properly healed. (or one that never healed at all, for that matter.) and for all that could be risked from having these difficult conversation/s, they're still always going to be worth having at the end of the day. because whatever the outcome, there'll always be something to lose and something to gain. everything comes with opportunity cost. it is just the way things work. live greed-free.

once, somebody had told me that i should stop seeking perfect love. because humans aren't perfect, this search is futile. funny how it hadn't occurred to me until it was shared with me. i've come to almost expect this now. that i'd be hurt and disappointed. made to feel sad by the ones i love most. it is only when someone is close enough and knows you well enough are they granted power to upset you. they'd always be the first to know how and where to hit you where it'll hurt most. so i find i'm the sort who never lets anything go. i tend to remember too much for my own good. and yes, i guess i may forgive but i never (ever) forget and this, ultimately, has cost me quite a fair bit— if i'm being totally honest. perhaps we never forget the traumas we've all survived but for the sake of the ones who continue to love me in spite of all my errors, i must practise wiping the slate clean. i wrote "learn to" because i don't believe i'm 100% there yet. it's still an ongoing process for me but hopefully, one day, it'll just read: let go.

God, grant me strength.

this final lesson is one i needed most.

in all of the struggle, in all of enduring hardship, it's sometimes not the easiest thing to remember that pain and suffering, like joy and moments of plain gladness, can end, too. storms don't last forever just as much as bright, sunny days don't. and whatever it is that feels difficult and long will some day cease to be. and then there will be temporary relief and respite before the wheel heads back down again and round, and round, we'll go. it really helps to know that everything i once thought would be impossible to overcome, i've overcame. and for every bleak moment, all i needed to really do was put my hand in the hands of God and trust Him. wholeheartedly. humans may be fickle and imperfect but God's love for me and for us all is steadfast and perfect. He has never forsaken me. i know now in my heart that He never will.

if happy times pass, so will sad times. always remember this: when God leads you to it, He will lead you through it. and though it might not always be the easiest thing to do— i need to really try and do a lot better in remembering this: be happy where you are. everything is only a matter of perspective. greener grass is a fallacy. the grass is always green where you water it.

there is a slight heaviness that comes with knowing that after this year, i can no longer lean on my youth as the convenient excuse to my still being a mess and have an easy pass to making young, dumb mistakes. but if not for anything else, i'm thankful i had this trying decade. there was much to discover about myself and i had many opportunities to grow.

there can never be change without challenge and when i look back on all of what's transpired in my life, this one thing rings true:

there were no failures. only lessons.

@sgrmse