ready, set, hashtag.

20:36
pardon the rather abrupt end to the last post— i'd been thoroughly overcome by manic excitement and felt absolutely compelled to strike whilst the iron was hot. (or before i lost my nerve— whichever would've came first.) drama ensued. predictably so. when the move was as lightning quick and as drastic as it was, it would come as no surprise that i'd rock the boat. it's all a tad tedious to regurgitate now because the truth of the matter is that nothing really matters. not in the grand scale of things. being here, not being here. doing this, not doing this. having things, not having things. everything is only adjusted reality. and in time, with space, everything becomes possible.

survival is innate. that much, you come to find, is out of your control entirely.

day 75 here today. and 125 days of being absolutely 100% single. i'm pleasantly surprised to learn i've (well) crossed over the 100 mark. although, i am still 605 days away from achieving the goal. and what i've come to discover is that perhaps i'm not at all a part of #teamrelationship after all. for what it's worth i've been extremely content with this lightness that has cloaked me like second skin. i go to bed without a care and wake up with exactly that same nonchalance. there is no need to be wondering what my other half has done, will do or is presently doing— there is no constant aching, longing and hoping for more. for change. for anything, really.

just a total aloneness. there is only me. and here. and now. and this. what's in front of me. everything that supposedly needs doing, simply do. and everything that has not yet been achieved (or unable to), let go. being here, in this place, teaches me that nothing is actually important. everything is only perceived.

like deadlines i keep missing. like plans that won't stop falling through. all the best intentions people can and may have— 99% of the time, they simply dissolve into disappointment and evaporate into thin air.

what is the meaning of anything? nothing, when you really come to think about it.

there is so much that i keep meaning to do— only for myself. personal projects i've concocted that i hope to accomplish out here but zero results. there has been absolutely nothing achieved except for piling on more on the backburner. songs i've meant to compose, posts i've meant to write, stories i've meant to tell, moments i've meant to capture... everything sits on a dusty shelve, dying.

ready, set, forever?

19:39
i've been meaning to write for the longest time. only, the trouble is that i'm usually finding that i'm the most verbose in that period of quietness and solitude just before sleep comes to claim me. and that i don't always have my laptop close at hand. which annoys me because i very much prefer writing on this wide(r) keyboard. at any rate, it's no new knowledge that i (severely) lack self-discipline. i keep saying i need to implement a daily routine with updating and to date, have not actually began to action anything. maybe this blog is going to be nothing but a testament to how much i fail on a daily basis to actually cultivate self-discipline.

ce que c'est amusant.

today is day 72 and by chance, i have just checked the ek website and saw that there will be an open day for the ninth of next month. i've been praying and praying for a chance to try again and i am ecstatic to say the least. i really want for this to be my life and now, more than ever, i am certain that this is what i want to be doing for the rest of time.

please, God. grant me this.

otherwise, i really wouldn't know what plan b will be.

ready, set, jellybean.

01:30
one month, 19 days and 10 hours.

that's how long i've been here. i'm writing this from the confines of my small office. perhaps when i'm finished, i will head back to the confines of my shared room, brush my teeth and have my first early night since... i don't even remember anymore. tonight, against doctor's orders (and lowkey unintentionally), i'd skipped dinner. instead, i'd ended up busting open a packet of the jellybeans that'd been in my belated birthday care package five sent and scoffed half of it. without even really meaning to. what is my life?

it's t-minus three days to new father's arrival and eight days till i take my first flight home. truth be told, i'm more than ready. and for some strange reason, keep having pangs of nostalgia envisioning myself walking through ou and driving everywhere. and, SLEEPING IN MY OWN BED. with only my standing fan on, clad in nothing but skin.

BLISS.

dear God. how much do i miss all the places that feel safe. it's hard out here. nothing, no one i know (and i mean, really know) is here. it has only been a little over a month and already i've caught a terrible infection— and i know who from, too. it's just confirming that everything out here is treacherous to my wellbeing. and nobody is who, what and how they seem. on the surface, everything seems simple enough. but there are complexities underlying and for the most part, nobody who isn't in the exact situations can never know or understand.

ready, set, sing.

22:31
i turned a year older three days ago.

i cannot believe how quickly time is slipping through my fingers. it feels like sand falling softly, quietly between fingers. there is much that happens here and yet, some days, i wonder what i've really accomplished from one day to the next. the one serendipitous thing i've realised about this place is that this is where things keep getting found (instead of lost). and it's a small joy for me to know that i am (finally) here in such a place, now, at this juncture of my life. my (small) hope is that in enough time, i'll come to really, genuinely, find the me i want to be, am meant(?) to be, too.

it's the penultimate day of birthday month. and every time i'm back here, i kick myself for not exercising the discipline to commit to writing. if not once a day then at the very least, once a week(!!!) i really ought to make this a habit now. by hook or by crook. lest my entire year here just whizzes right by!

it's strange when i think about being here— it feels a lot like if i were incarcerated. of course i can't make the direct comparison! i've never actually been in prison. but we run on schedules here. and i suppose, rightfully so.

in the mornings, i wake up, get ready and leave the house (really, a room with two single beds in) before 1000. breakfast is optional. if i eat anything at all, it'd be because i've already planned to skip lunch that day. but sometimes, i do breakfast simply because it's a chance to sit in the restaurant and not have to speak to strangers. lunch and dinner is a contact sport activity. strictly non-compromisable. you get a telling off (and possibly a mark on your record— who knows?) if you're found not to be at a table with strangers. and you need to seek permission if you'd like to not be speaking with strangers at specified meal time/s that day. it's all a bit strange but toto, you already know we definitely not in kansas anymore so let's not get it twisted now.

at 1215, there's a requirement to stand in a line around the swimming pool's perimeter and do choreography to either one song or two. sometimes three if the microphone guy's feeling like he has time to kill, i suppose. it's a bit of a spectacle. especially since nobody ever gets the choreography pat down. people start on whichever side they want and in the event of not really knowing what the devil to do next just wave their arms to the beat and scream "allez!"

departures are quite the sight here, too.

staff gather on the pier to say goodbye, take last minute selfies, exchange contact information then ultimately wave boats off. and the waving doesn't stop until the boat is well out of sight. it's sweet and sad at the same time because every time i'm waving off a boatload (literally) of folks i've grown close enough to, i'm panicking on the inside thinking about having to start the entire process of Eating With Strangers over again.

at 2115 every day, we do a line dance at the bar's dancefloor. at 2130, the evening show commences. at 2215, when the show ends, we lead group dances.

everything runs like clockwork. every day. these pre-scheduled allocated hours of the day are collectively referred to as "key moments." and they're basically the times of day where you're required to be seen. participating. laughing. smiling. and screaming "allez!", mais bien sûr.

but let's backtrack to my birthday.

because that's how this post began, at least.

my 29th was ushered in in a non-eventful way. there was no neighbourhood block party, no surprise cake and song at midnight, no all-night rager at the bar, no embarrassing clap clapping through the restaurant at dinner— nada. and on all counts, i was happy. sure, it felt strange not to have the pomp and circumstance but everybody who really mattered wished me with a hug (and for some, a kiss on each cheek) and it was all enough.

the love that i accept (and recognise as bona fide) is quiet love.

how does 29 feel different from 28 then? for one, my most recent piercings have recently flared up thanks to sharkweek and so, as i write this, my boobs are pretty much literally stinging and on fire(!!!) even with my high pain threshold, i am able to acknowledge extreme pain and this is extremely painful shit!!! i am simply cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and absolutely running out of saline solution (because i still wear contact lenses out here— i broke my spectacles. d'oh!) and trying my best not to wear any clothing when and where i'm able and just praying to God and Mother Mary for the swelling to go down and for this entire (hormonal) ordeal to pass. the proper way to handle the infection (besides cleaning, cleaning, cleaning) is to swap out the barbell to a longer one so there's give to host the swelling but guess who was the genius who decided to leave behind her whole entire collection of studs and barbells?

THIS GUY.

so this, too, shall pass. or... my nipples become so infected, they just die, rot and fall off. whichever. whatever. (i'll report back on status in a week or so.)

and for the record, it's really the right one that's giving me hell. which was also the one that was pierced by not the same lady who pierced me the first time— argh!!! and i was almost certain the bitch pierced me crooked, too. and that's the lesson, kids. BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR PIERCERS. it's not worth being a fuck about things.

ARGH!

there is the option, of course, just to lose the damn thing entirely. but it'll have to be left to heal and then re-pierced and i just think i'd really rather have the infection pass and keep the crooked fucking thing. we're all special and no two potatoes are the same anyway, right?

dear God. is this what happens when i'm left with nothing but narrating my thoughts onto a screen at 1015. there's some items i'm supposed to be submitting but it's also a saturday so, what's the hurry? it'll only be looked at on monday anyway.

that's the beautiful part about working a six day week, i guess. a lot of my work tends to get cleared on this one day: saturday. that's when there isn't singapore to heap on new work and when the next day is a day where i can stay in bed all day if i wanted to. (and this week, i want to.)

my next big order of business is to book my ticket home for ma's birthday. i haven't told anybody that the leave has been approved as my plan is just to simply (and quietly) go home. i didn't think i was up for making the trip back because do i bring the one carry-on? do i check the luggage? do i buy more shit? do i take things to leave at home? (the answer is probably going to be ALL OF THE ABOVE) and it just felt like more trouble than it was worth but suddenly i thought of all the char kuey teow and pan mee and poke i'd eat and getting to spend time with juneau again and thought, okay. why not? suddenly, i was motivated. and since i've made my list of what i'd do once i'm back— the excitement is growing.

funny how love can rekindle.

and it's easy, too, if you just allow yourself to really remember the good that was there.

note to self. (and all that jazz.)

happy motherfuckennn birthday, sugar. it's the last of your 20s.

deep breath. and here we fucking go!

ready, set, release.

04:27
it's funny how quickly time passes here. i find myself lost on what day it is, what time— and i seem to always just be late for something or other. running behind. waiting for time to catch up. some days (like this morning) it's frustrating. i lose whole days just doing. but doing what? sometimes it all doesn't feel like actual work. last night, though, was rather fun, truth be told. the entire team was present and it just felt good. to stand there, united. cracking jokes. laughing at nothing. everybody trying to make time pass in their own small ways. sharing moments amongst ourselves and yet, collectively being in one place. frozen, for a while in one single space in time.

there are some nights where i feel like this is all one perpetual summer camp with strangers. i don't entirely care for these people. i doubt anybody truly feels the same for/about me. and then there are these profound moments of emotion within me. often, it would be stirred by having been by the water. staring up at the sky. just being swallowed by quiet.

being here is good for my soul. and whilst it does pretty much isolate me from everything i love (to any extent) and truly know (inside out), i want to keep living this way.

is that terribly selfish?

blue asked for me last night again. he frames it like a question which answer relies solely on my intent/desire. but we both know it's more so a case of when he wants me, i go.

being with him is easy. it's a little eerie but at the same time, i welcome it. there are no hang-ups and the closeness we share always ends up leaving me wanting more. he is a drug, no doubt. but there's a fine, fine line between indulgence and hedonism and falling down a long, dark rabbit hole. the last thing i would do is catch feels. and yet, there is this crazy soft spot i have for him that's all nicely tucked away— even if i do say so myself.

i don't feel like it's deep. or even that it has potential to be. which is perhaps something that leaves me somewhat melancholic every time we come together only to come apart again. he will go in a month from tomorrow and the moment he's gone, i quite honestly believe that it'll be out of sight, out of mind. not that it needs to be anything more, of course. but truth be told, in a different world, he'd be who i would give entirely to. (like i have, too, in the past.)

not sure what it is about characters like him. unlikely, for one. but placid. reserved. deep. you know. perhaps some could say contrived but me, i like the mystery.

am i even making sense now? it's pushing 0130 and i'd told myself i would leave this quaint little office of mine at 0100. after i'd completed some work, that is. surprise, surprise— i've ended up doing fuck all work. feeling blue withdrawals.

it's pretty no bueno, not going to lie.

ready, set, whirlwind.

22:27
today marks four weeks since my last update. so much for wanting to be diligent and logging every moment of my journey here. tut, tut. i'm terrible, yes. i know. well, since the days leading up to my leaving home, i've pretty much hit the ground running. two intense days in singapore later, i hop on a four and a half hour-ish flight and find myself here in paradise. it's strange but somehow, i feel as if all of the things i've experienced and really come to familiarise with in my life has very much so prepared me for this.

the first person i meet is the funniest, sweetest, kindest and most helpful person— who reminds me so much of my guy best friend from another time in my life and who also turns out to be, my neighbour. he has since left and so has one other person i really liked off the bat. and there it goes— the meeting, the instant liking, the having to part not long after. story of my life.

the strangest thing i have to admit to encountering, though is having full-on attention. it's no doubt this life, this place is a bubble. the size of which is even more amplified due to the fact that we're all on an island full of holidaymakers and staff. it's slim pickings, for sure. and the fact that there's only so much to do after hours doesn't help tremendously. but i've just tried to get my head down, blend in. and, you know, like always, i just feel like i've done nothing more than colossally suck.

maybe it's because i know i've slacked a ton and i really should just buck the fuck up. (truth be told, putting all of this down in writing is no help one bit to my conscience either.)

perhaps i'll put in a late night tonight. seeing as how i have a call with regional tomorrow. fml.

so i'm not sure if this'll serve as useful knowledge to anybody else but if there's a soul looking (for whatever reason) to relocate to the maldives, here's a thing or two i can tell you about the place: one, if you're on any type of medication at all, plan out how much you'll require in the duration of your stay, purchase in bulk and bring it all with you. for that matter, do the same with dental floss and nipple covers/stickers. i haven't actually ventured into looking for either myself but i've been told that these things will probably not exist for sale anywhere. so far, toiletries have been a dream to shop for because the variety is OFF THE CHARTS!

two, any place you take a cab to within the capital will cost 25usd regardless of the distance. three, it is entirely possible to have a wax that's clean and fast. i wouldn't vouch for it being cheap but if you ever felt like you needed to do a bit of housekeeping— head for salon femina because the place has bomb reviews and it's better to just go with a recommendation with something like this, methinks.

four, just bring a whole lot of usd. it's the preferred currency and somehow, everything just sounds a whole lot more expensive in ruffiya (because they count things by the hundreds and thousands). five, it's really not too terrible a place to live in except everything is done at a dying snail's pace. account for that and try your utmost always to be anywhere at the crack of dawn. well. that's my strategy (for life) anyway.

i'm fading now. and that's all i can think of off the top of my head anyway. i'll definitely make it a point to update more, i promise. not for anybody else's sake, really— just so i don't actually get amnesia some day and just forget an entire portion of my existence here.

ready, set, weekend.

12:59
it was a long weekend last week on account of "new malaysia" and all that (fun first time in history) jazz. so off to a luau we three went on friday night. pineapples, rum and hula hoops galore! it was a sweet and dinky do— the crowd wasn't particularly outstanding but there was good music and fun enough people in denim shorts and grass skirts so all in all, it did end up being a good time.

we closed with a lowkey pow-wow at junglebird and that was friday.

saturday night was another lowkey affair. (the absolute best kind!)
a home barbecue featuring an array of pork and beef cuts— nothing but meat. and there were fun treats for dessert which is always delightful. sweets are my kryptonite after all.

a relatively early end. there was talk of hitting the club but i wasn't entirely up for heading into town. cuddling at home on a couch would've been my preferred choice but i hopped into juneau and took the long way home.

sunday was mother's day.
decided to opt out on group celebrations and instead took momsy on a waffle date for tea. the café was, as usual, a full house but it was really lovely to see other families celebrating the most integral figure of any family. definitely a nice, warm memory of personal time with momsypie.

my evening agenda was rather off the cuff. but it was really nice to be pleasantly caught off-guard, i'll say that much. as always, the timing of my life leaves much to be desired but the beauty of it all is that it leaves things in a state of chill. which, after the nightmare false start earlier in the year, is more than extremely welcomed.

and now it's exactly seven days until i supposedly leave the country. i say supposedly because nothing has been confirmed as yet and whilst i have an urge to get a headstart on packing, i'd like to have firm information on, well, everything before i get to that. it's frustrating, to say the least but if it means buying myself extra time at home, i guess i'll quietly (and gladly) accept the blessing/s.

isn't it funny how things always seem to go? the minute

ready, set, rise.

14:32
so the 14th general election for malaysia has concluded. and it was an awesome, awesome feeling to have gone with my entire family and stood on the side of change. collectively, we have all been a part of the history that is now etched forevermore. a 55 year-old country with a brand new governing body after 60 years.

never have i felt prouder. malaysia deserves a shot at having new leadership. and to know that our votes actually made a difference is nothing short of amazing. i'm not actually even sure what these changes will be or even how they'll look like but now that we're here, i guess all that's left to do is to wait and see.

ready, set, beware.

13:36
anyone who knows me well at all will know that i have a strange fixation with teeth— in that, i tend to notice a lot beyond the average person. now, i've personally always been conscious of my teeth which is perhaps where the abnormal preoccupation stems from if i were to make an educated guess.

last friday, i'd decided to pay a follow-up visit to doctor kate of inspired dental to revisit my file and speak with her on my treatment plan. but when i'd arrived, i was made to wait over 35 minutes and was told by the receptionist that there was a major delay due to some patients who arrived late to their appointment and i was asked if it'd be alright for me to wait an additional 30 minutes, essentially turning the wait time into over an hour. obviously, i was pissed off and extremely disgruntled with the level of service. so i ended up doing a quick search on other dental clinics within the vicinity and was directed to all smile dental specialist that was three minutes away. i rang to check if the clinic was full.

the receptionist assured me that there was no queue so i booked a car and headed over.

upon entering, i noticed that the clinic was dead empty save for the staff behind the counter. after filling out a form, i was asked to wait for a couple of minutes and then i was called to enter the room.

the doctor who attended to me was a petite chinese lady who seemed really young. she didn't introduce herself. she just asked what the problem was and what my concerns were and that's how we began the session.

things took a slightly strange turn when she began recommending me to go back on braces. she kept iterating she was merely presenting "options" but her tone was condescending and the "consult" ended up being really uncomfortable.

in the end, it just seemed as if she was unwilling and did the job half-heartedly. also, i had to be the one to ask how to address her and she seemed reluctant to give her name (clearly). it was an entirely strange experience and my reason for writing this is to serve as a simple warning to anybody who might chance across this post: be so careful when deciding on any type of doctor for treatment and please pay attention to your instincts.

although something wasn't sitting right following the initial "consult" i was still stubborn and decided i wasn't going to waste an afternoon without actually having any treatment so i'd pressed. and that was how it felt like the ultimate job done was half-assed. as soon as her hands had lifted off of my mouth, i felt massively uncomfortable and could hardly close my jaw to bite down. now i'm no medical professional but it had just felt like she'd fucked up. it felt wrong. so i'd voiced that and she'd said "it'll take some getting used to" and proceeded to give flimsy excuses as to why it might feel awkward.

i had to keep insisting (that it was uncomfortable) before she decided to rectify following which she asked "okay? better?' in a tone that, for some reason, i found to be rather cutting/sarcastic. also, i was told that the treatment would cost 280myr but when i went to pay, the bill presented to me was 320myr. "doctor always takes the 40myr consult fee," the nurse had insisted. this was also a point of discomfort for me as normally, dentists waive the consult fee if patients follow through with the treatment as far as i know.

paid 320myr and walked away dissatisfied but also, lowkey terrified to cause trouble because one: it was almost closing time, two: this doctor lee seemed to be disagreeable with me and three: i just didn't want additional problems. i mean, in a situation as such, i'm clearly at the mercy of the doctor. as mentioned, i'm no medical professional so whatever is told to me, i have to take on blind faith.

yesterday afternoon, i'd scheduled a second appointment with doctor thiru of pristine dental and true enough, my suspicions had been confirmed— the job that was done by aforementioned doctor lee was improper and, well, laughable, really. because she hadn't done anything worthy of 320myr and i basically got suckered. fuck.

doctor thiru suggests i revisit with her (to justify the money i'd paid) but i quickly shut that down as it was truly an uncomfortable experience and i didn't feel like she'd appreciate my coming back to tell her off or demand anything additional from her.

the moral of this story is that it never pays to rush into these things and whilst you may be dead set on seeking treatment, sometimes, it's just better to be safe than sorry.

ready, set, realise.

01:15
i've always been a girl who loves love. this is no big surprise— i'm a cancerian after all. and in all my years of writing, as much as people have the (strong) tendency to deduce that my writer voice is incredibly dark and depressed, on the contrary; i've often written very heartfelt things in the times i've been in love and during these times, my posts, too have (sometimes heavily) featured my significant other. seeing as how, at this time of writing, i am a total single pringle not up to mingle— and fully intend on staying as such, i was struck with this inspiration to craft my own sort of tribute to all of the boys i've loved before. now i know that it's a real silly thing to say that if i could have a word with my younger self, this would be all the things i'd share with her because there's no such thing as a time machine and the time for warning that younger me will never materialise but hopefully, who'll ever know, this could save some other younger somebody who, if she's anything like me, has the incredible knack for so openly wearing her heart on her sleeve and for finding herself head over heart in love with the real unconventional (read: un-easy) types.

so here you go, rebel heart.

this one's for you.

you thought this was everything. everything the books told you. everything the songs sang about. everything the movies were of. you thought that this was love. late night long drives. spontaneous suppers. the one thing that motivated you to steel your nerves and be brave enough to sneak out. you remember nothing but the sound of your heart pounding. holding your breath. hands trembling. and running, running, running the moment you'd cleared over the gate. 13 was the reason. 13 always was. and at some point, laying in his bed one random afternoon, watching him sleep, tracing his face with only your fingertips, you swore that it would always be him. that everything could try and pull you away but nothing could ever keep you apart. and you were happy. but you were scared. and it was sad. and you didn't know why. but time showed you why. and it was like you'd always known— that the only thing this love would ever do is hurt you. over, and over, and over again. relentless. unending. and even though you'd have given anything to have been his choice, he never chose you.

and ultimately, you learnt this: everything you thought you knew was a lie. real love, good love, true love doesn't hurt.

love never needs to hurt.

then you'd hoped and you had prayed to have had the chance to find somebody like you. and along he came: 68. he'd found you exactly the way you'd wanted him to. there was something so odd about it all but with him, you wouldn't ever stop laughing and so one random meet turned into another. and another. and suddenly, you were both walking home on the street— buzzed and happy. singing deliberately off-key. now here's the thing you'd come to know about being with the person like you (essentially, yourself): you share all the same demons. and sometimes, those demons you triumph over in yourself but sometimes, you don't get to replicate that same success in the other person. even though you've synchronised heartbeats and feel everything the same. you come to realise that the best thing and the worst thing can be one and the same.

you didn't think it would but it hurt like hell to learn this: two people broken in all the same ways just won't fit. and the thing about Forever is that people have different interpretations of it and that place, how you've pictured it, it doesn't always look the same from one person to the next— even though you could very well be one and the same on paper.

one slow day at work, you'd passed the time combing through this particular blog reading all there was to read on her love story. then you'd begun wishing with all your heart for the same— a fairytale love. and the thing about wishes is that you were warned to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. and got it, you did. it was a whirlwind from the get go. mainly because you couldn't believe it yourself how it was all unfolding. this boy from 6,502 miles away (so google tells you) had wished you good morning every day and good night every night pretty much without fail for an entire six months and y'all hadn't even met. and you'd talked about everything two people could possibly talk about— love. sex. religion. dreams. fears. hopes. scars. the past. the present. he'd been the first to let slip the words and you had smiled to yourself holding on to that phone, secretly rejoicing. victorious because you'd won the secret competition to not being the first to admit your guard was down. and this may have been the fairytale you'd desperately wanted but all of the challenges were also the most difficult yet because for the first time ever, you had to experience what it was like not being in the same room, not breathing the same air, not simply a 10 or 15 minute drive away.

there was no hopping the gate. there was no jumping in a car. there were time differences and broken phonelines— entire oceans keeping you both apart.

and it was always a fight. even when there technically shouldn't have been anything to fight about. and from all of the struggle, you learnt this: love isn't difficult. love must never be.

you had been at the end of hope— then 23 came. and for a while, everything held real promise again. you were overjoyed, overwhelmed— because for one split moment in time, you had really started to cave in to that darkness within. that belief that there was no one coming, nothing more for you. that you were truly destined to be alone. finding 23 was like breaking the surface and breathing again after having been underwater for so long. but there was something about him that felt so surreal. being with him was like moving within a dream. maybe, deep down, some part of you just always knew that the end with him would only ever be right round the corner.

and maybe it had felt all too familiar once you felt it slipping. maybe you'd come to apprehend second time around that you can't always be the only one fighting to hold on. 23 had been that sudden spark of light you'd so badly wanted in the darkness but it hadn't been a flame he'd wanted to feed. and so with this final heartbreak, you have learnt this: love is not the million excuses not to do something. love is the one reason to do it— and to keep doing.

love is a conscious choice. love is a will. and real love, good love, true love will always, always find a way.

ready, set, review.

12:27
thanks to the fact that i have some time now on hand to really get (better) acquainted with netflix, i'm finally crunching down on writing this post— a review of the last 82,491,301,114,353,972,489 things i've watched in the past God-only-knows-how-many-hours-it-has-really-been.

i'll start with the documentary that completely shook me: WHITNEY "CAN I BE ME."
i rate this: ❥❥❥❥

the documentary definitely granted interesting insight maybe because prior to my watching it, i really hadn't done very much looking into whitney houston as an individual. in fact, through watching this interview, it was the first time i'd heard her speaking voice. some parts of the documentary i found were a little bit hard to follow— especially when the voiceover's come in with just the names on the side; sometimes it was hard to really recall who was who and how they were related back to houston. also, i felt like there were some aspects of the documentary that felt oddly unfinished. i'm not certain if it was due to editing or censorship or why that feeling was even present. still, i felt it was a good use of an hour and 40 minutes. i personally can't help making comparisons to AMY though as, for me, it was still the best celebrity documentary i've seen to date.

i actually watched this movie some years back so it isn't a new one. i'd forgotten the story, though so i decided to re-watch and i think watching it now at the age that i am, it definitely provokes deeper thinking. especially if you were the wife (beyoncé knowles' character). would you believe your husband was telling the truth? often times, it's hard(er) to accept if a man says he did nothing to encourage the other woman. unfair? perhaps so. i felt the thing that was lacking was a stronger backstory to ali larter's character. and the ending, as always, felt rushed and abrupt.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

first of all, i was pleasantly surprised to find that the film boasted such a star-studded cast list! and secondly, man, did this film make me fall in love all over again with katherine heigl. i wish she'd be in more films! i really loved her chemistry with patrick wilson (and sidenote, i really love patrick wilson's face! is it just me?). i really enjoyed the contrast of the film's setting to its storyline— it was, in my words, deliciously dark.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥❥

this was 23's recommendation and he couldn't stop raving about it so i decided to give it a chance. i thought the backstory was quite weak in the sense that there was no reason to why any of it was happening but i liked that the film jumped right into action and the focus was more driven towards the audience building affinity for the protagonist. with films as such, by the end of it, you'd find yourself shouting at the screen "go! go! RUN!" and really becoming invested in the primary character. i would recommend this for slasher fans.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

another oldie which i'd forgotten the storyline to. whilst i don't really claim myself to be a kristen bell fan, she is very hard to miss in any film. when i'd been younger, i'd definitely got odette yustman confused for megan fox. even though this is a movie i've seen before, the cast list still surprised me— a lot of big names in this. plotwise, i thought there were strange gaps. it just felt as if the younger lead characters (bell and yustman) were confused on a stance and it ultimately didn't play out well. just a fun, no-brainer watch with cool cameos.

i rate this: ❥❥

lily collins is gorgeous as ever. even as an anorexic, i could hardly keep my eyes off her on-screen. this was a film about a subject matter that is close to me. i was a little worried initially that the material might be triggering but decided in the end to give it a go anyway. whilst i felt that the premise was acceptable, i didn't actually enjoy the screenplay. for some reason. (perhaps it's just me.) there were a couple of scenes where i felt were too exaggerated and unnecessary. not the best depiction but definitely brave for addressing something so prevalent in young society in such a visual way.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

maybe you'd be able to tell by now that i have some sort of fondness towards psychothrillers. i figured out the twist to this fairly easy. it wasn't difficult given there's only focus on three characters throughout. before you catch on, though, you might be slightly confused as to whether it's meant to be a ghost story or whether you'd be tricked with the whole "haha, jaykay. it was just (a) dream(s)" schtick. so it did keep me curious enough to want to get to the end and learn the full picture. it was actually a very graphic film which i wasn't expecting so that was a pleasant surprise. i really didn't like the lead actress, though so they could've probably done better casting someone with more on-screen likeability.

i rate this: ❥❥

i risk being the unpopular opinion but i didn't enjoy this film. then again, maybe this film was made for this reason? i can't be sure. i haven't read any other reviews or done any sort of additional research post-watching. at first, it was interesting and i wanted to see where it'd go but having watched the full film, i found it confusing and really couldn't feel anything for the character layla except disdain. i found her to be so stupidly stubborn (ignorant, in some respect), easily influenced and generally, confused as an individual. i thought the film concluded well, i enjoyed the cinematography. maybe it wasn't so much the storytelling, just the story itself.

i rate this: ❥

i didn't have a clue about the roxanne wars until i'd watched this film. i liked that for once, there was focus on a female rapper's origin story. i almost wish that there'd be more now. particularly, lil kim's.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

let's be honest: with these two, it wouldn't have been a groundbreaking, earth-shattering storyline. but i really, really love their chemistry and they genuinely sold the relationship of being sisters. i'm not usually a fan of amy poehler but there was something about her acting alongside tina fey that made her really bearable. likeable, even.

i rate this: ❥❥

on to a serious note with siblinghood— 6 BALLOONS was a netflix recommendation that couldn't stop jumping out at me. the title itself was already attention-catching enough. i thought that the movie was captured beautifully. i liked the interspersing of the "audiobook" vo and the real life sequences. i thought the storyline was strong and even though i felt like the lead actress could've been prettier and had more of an immediate likeability, it was undisputed that she sold the heck out of her performance and i believed her being the anguished, concerned, protective but at wits' end older sister.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥❥

this was interesting for its base premise. however, i felt like the message kind of got lost a little later on. it felt like there wasn't really a point anymore to the film after a while and the ending was just a flimsy cop out. i'd first paid attention because i had no inkling of what the sex industry was like in morocco but like i said, i felt like the storytelling flatlined.

i rate this: ❥

and to the point of pointlessness, there's DUDE. another film about typical american high schoolers and drugs. except this time with slightly heavier elements thrown in the mix. it was good to watch for the chemistry of the four lead actresses but it wasn't anything particularly groundbreaking. some odd humour thrown in with regards to teacher/student hooking up (i can never be onboard with that shit— probably because all the teachers i ever knew were gross, middle-aged and basically projections of parents themselves). it's already immediately obvious that the people who'd laud praise for this film would be the potheads.

i rate this: ❥❥

on the other end of the Films About Teenagers spectrum is TEENAGE COCKTAIL. a film to reaffirm my never wanting children in this day and age and more specifically, girls. probably because i just know too well all of the shit kids get up to. this film i liked because i found the storyline to be smart. it definitely brought up flashbacks of THIRTEEN and to some regard, i would say, became its updated version.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥

loved this from start to end (but 23 didn't). i wasn't sure what i'd be in for but i've always loved all of the wayans brothers so i guess maybe me loving this wasn't going to be such a task. the only concern i had was whether he'd overdo some jokes but everything was nice and grounded and relatable enough.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

was recommended this by a korean after i'd declared that i enjoy watching foreigners speak korean. apparently, this is a rather dated series but it's still extremely fun for me to watch simply because i find it clever that the show is both serious yet humorous so i guess that makes it seriously funny. watching it, i always find myself wishing there'd be such a show here. too bad malaysia will never be as progressive, i don't believe.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥❥

discovered this by total chance and fell head over feet in like, i completed the entire season in a day! at the time of my discovering it, i hadn't realised it was a reality contest. i was just loving the fact that i got to hear so much indian-english accents and hindi(!!) what made it more awesome was that these young, female, indian comics were completely hard-hitting with their comedy— nobody came to play! the judges i felt could've done a lot better with their critiques. hoping next season will boast a whole new panel.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥

had the random urge, for some unknown reason, to watch a christmas movie. and so i chose the one with all of my favourite elements in: royalty, christmas, going undercover— perfect.

a super easy watch. i didn't really like the lead actress but she was tolerable. the prince was sufficiently good-looking but the one i thought stood out onscreen was definitely honor kneafsey. the ending made me bawl like a baby. only because it was perfect and something i've always secretly wished for myself.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

another film that sheds light on african american upbringing. (honestly, there have been times where i've personally wondered how accurate these portrayals are.) this time, it's an underdog story. which i always love so there's already some bias there, i suppose. a rather predictable storyline but still worth a watch if you're into girl power and underdog stories. i didn't know a lot about high school wrestling to begin with so it was quite an interesting watch, for sure.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

kind of lowkey watched this one in honour of 23. everything basketball related has some link back to him now for me, fml forever. it took a while for me to get into because i'm not the one who's insane about the sport so it takes a while for me to get into any type of sports-related movie actually, but the premise is not difficult. storyline isn't the most original but what won me over was michael rainey junior's character. i thought that given his age, he acted well. it was not a very predictable twist and the closure felt hurried but still a good watch.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

an interesting spin on a psychothriller storyline although, i strangely felt as if the whole film was rather short. not entirely sure if it was just my perception. i found dylan walsh more annoying than creepy but i liked the premise so i tolerated through for that reason. disappointing falling action in the storytelling, i felt.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

took a total chance on this movie because of the fact that i'm a wayans brothers fan and the chance didn't pay off. the GROUNDHOG DAY format isn't anything new but it definitely felt arduous in this film. in fact, i almost gave up on it midway without feeling the need to get to the end. didn't feel as if the payoff was great either.

i rate this: ❥

i'll admit that i was pulled into watching this movie because i saw uzo aduba's name in the cast list (and, okay, because it involved debate and candy was in the title). i thought it was a quirky film. i enjoyed the pacing and the characterisations. it was predictable in the sense that one could easily guess where everything was headed. i found jacob latimore's acting to be stronger than sami gayle's in that, i enjoyed the former and found the latter borderline unbearable.

sometimes, i seriously question casting choices. it'd be cool if i could some day see the process of cast selection from start to end.

i rate this: ❥❥

another GROUNDHOG DAY tribute (almost literally). i found this one to be more bearable than NAKED. although the storyline seemed a bit flat initially, it really redeemed itself towards the end and judging the movie in its entirety, i found it had a genuinely nice heartwarming message that's really quite original so kudos to the scriptwriters for that!

i probably had some bias going into it with adam devine as i was already familiar with him via MODERN FAMILY and have fondness for his offbeat, underdog character. again, i wasn't a fan of the leading lady (not sure what it is about netflix's casting with lead females, i swear) but i think the real lead was meant to be shelley hennig's character anyway which i loved in the background.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥

watching this was eye-opening for me. not because any of their deaths were news to me but because, i guess, i hadn't realised how difficult this particular age was for so many. call me naïve but here i was thinking it was just me. definitely interesting for me to have learnt about brian jones and jimi hendrix. i hadn't known too much about them prior to this documentary. it wasn't the most in-depth documentary i've ever seen but i didn't regret the use of time.

i rate this: ❥❥❥

my random pick of an old film that didn't turn out so bad. again, not the most original premise— definitely something that hollywood has since overdone but i felt like this could've maybe been one of the earliest executions of it and i was definitely a fan of joyce hyser. i thought the on-screen chemistry between her and billy jayne was stellar and she really did make a convincing enough boy.

i rate this: ❥❥❥❥

and there you have it— all of my weigh ins on netflix picks. clearly, i have too much time on hand but i'm happy enough to have the chance to relish in it now. pretty soon, it's going to go and then i'll find myself missing the days where the only real decisions i'd have to make were what to watch next.

ready, set, standby.

21:44
confession: i hate my parents' marriage. and i think know it is why i seem to have some sort of toxic addiction to bad relationships. and that i self-sabotage. run from potentially good things. i don't actually know which one it really is. then again, maybe it's all of the above. all i know is that i'm severely fucked up. and i hate my parents' marriage.

i hate the way they are with each other. i hate the way they talk to one another. i hate the way they talk about each other. i hate how they just have so much anger and resentment towards each other and yet, neither of them are brave enough, or i guess, strong enough to leave. to just finally give up and cut loose and go on to be free and be happy.

it has been over 30 years. and i am so sick of this shit. and it's crazy that i take to the internet to write confessions to strangers and, well, just about anybody with an internet connection, really but the truth is that nobody cares. and nobody really reads anything anyway. people live their lives and the world spins madly on and everything happens even when nothing does.

why must it only ever be that i gloat over the good things? when the fact of the matter is that 99% of my life has been serious struggle. i've never been one to lie about who i am, where i've come from and what i've seen. i don't even feel like i need to be embarrassed about this shit. i didn't choose this for myself.

and the one thing i must always remember is never to ever choose this for myself. today marks one month, zero days and one hour of being single for me. that's four weeks. 30 days. 721 hours. and yes, i am keeping track of this shit just like addicts do with their sobriety because i believe that i am severely addicted to (bad) relationships. eight years, three months since i was 17. i've been in terrible, terrible relationships. not always with bad people. only that i accepted way more shit than i ever needed to. and i never questioned why. the longest i've ever been single is five months— i couldn't even make it to six. or 12. that's no fuckin' bueno.

last night, on the phone to five, i was able to make a lot of (new) connections to discern some of my behaviourism. it was odd seeing as how there'd been a time when i'd found myself struggling to explain me but somehow, last night, i'd managed to make the link. perhaps it'd been the cold medication that'd aided me. in drowsiness, i had found lucidity. ironic, no?

there are obvious fissures in me. and i know that this insatiable craving for love, proximity and affection springs from this entire tsunami of a shitty past. now, more than ever, i just need out. and i am hoping, wishing, praying like crazy that this is going to be the turning point for me. once and for fucking all.

Dieu, s'il te plaît, protège-moi de moi-même. amen.

ready, set, formulate.

22:43

happy first of the month!



a brand new month, another new start. hooray!!! i'm genuinely looking forward to everything may will bring and hopefully it will be a solid month for second attempts. january brought a lot of big changes and felt so, so huge and promising and april was all loss. so i'm really holding my breath that may will be a slow and steady and rebuild and hopefully by june (birthday month and also, mid-year!) everything will feel a lot more rooted and concrete. God willing.

earlier today, momsy and i had ourselves a day out and we ended the day on a sweet note— with the most divine belgian waffles!! the ice-cream flavour was my choice: honey cheese and it was simply scrumptious.

so it's t-20 days to departure and boy, oh, boy does it feel like there are lots to do!!! first thing tomorrow, i'm going to have to make a visit to the inland revenue office and then to ssm to register my business, to the bank to open up a bank account and finally, look into possibly scheduling an appointment with my gynaecologist. so much to do and time's a-ticking!

ready, set, reflect.

23:03
driving is when i do most of my thinking. it's easy to focus when there's nothing but road out in front of me and only one solitary task at hand: to get myself wherever it is i'm going. of late, i have been reflecting a lot. particularly on my relationships— both friendships and romantic.

i think about why it is that in these past five years or so, i've lost more friendships than i've made and yesterday evening, it was something momsy said that struck me:

if something broke or ended, it was for a reason. so you must accept it and let it go.

it's strange how it's hard to see what the reason/s are when you're not yet at the end of the story. to illustrate, here is something to reference:

this story is told in an eastern folklore of this man who lost his horse that ran away. when the horse ran away, the neighbour came to him and said, "you know, bad luck, isn't it? your horse is gone." he said, "what do i know about these things?"

(a) few days later, the horse came back with 20 other wild horses. and the neighbour came and said, "amazing. it's not bad luck— it's good luck! you've got 20 more!"

the man says, "what do i know about these things?"

his young son is going and taming one of the new horses and a young horse kicks him and breaks his leg. the neighbour comes and says, "terrible, isn't it? your son's leg is broken. bad luck that these horses came." the fellow says, "what do i know about good luck and bad luck?"

(a) few days go by and a bunch of thugs are coming looking for recruits to join their gang and they're looking for all the able-bodied young men. they're about to pick this young man but find out his leg is broken and they said, "we don't want him. we're going to move on to the next house." so the man comes and says, "good luck, isn't it, your son's leg was broken."

in one little series of episodes, we don't know what lies ahead. why don't you wait till you stand before God, face to face, and you will find out there were reasons why He didn't stop that trigger. so you will see the heinousness of evil and see the majesty of love and good.

i will always love this analogy because it's so true that a lot of times, (and as things occur), it's easy to receive them as "good luck" or "bad luck" when in fact, these events that happen are often times pivotal in taking you places in life. sometimes, away from a horrible outcome. it's just funny that not a lot of us actually stop to consider how significant one small thing can be. but i've really come to learn that one second, one minute, one hour and one day can really be the difference between being alive and being dead. between being safe and being sorry. between being somebody so acclaimed and so celebrated and being just another total nobody.

in a single moment, everything can change.

perhaps i have been in a more introspective state of mind now more than ever because i am drawing close to end of yet another life and on the brink of starting another new one. in about four weeks or so, i will be writing from the comforts of brand new four walls— leaving these ones behind, for good. i feel ready but conflicted. excited but scared. i want so much for everything to change yet stay the same.

and i know that this is so utterly selfish not to mention, childish of me. but this is, unfortunately, the human condition, isn't it? we all want our cakes and to eat it, too. but the choice is simply one. if i stay, i will never go. and if i go, i must not look back.

the days are dwindling down. days to appreciate what small joys i have. the freedom and liberty to drive where i want to, when i want to. the comfort of knowing exactly where everything is. the only thing that's stifling to me is the severe lack of company that i am now left with but truth be told, Loneliness has always a friend of mine and as i have come to accept, will always be. so lucky for me— wherever i go, this bitch is coming with me(!)

quite honestly, i owe a lot of this growth— my progress with detachment and learning independence to my two years with five. i had no idea what i'd been signing myself up for but amen and hallelujah for that entire experience because now, not only am i so much better equipped to handle this reality of having a full life entirely on my own and away from the people i've been practically permanently attached to the hips of for all of my life; i know now that it is simply the inevitable. and as much as i would love to stay a four year-old forever; it is simply abnormal and unhealthy to live life totally sheltered and in fear.

if i don't do this now, then i'll never fucking do it. trust and believe.

damn.

just close your eyes and jump, huh. guess this is the leap of faith people are always talking about. funnily enough, i thought that for me, it'd be something applicable to relationships. then again, maybe this is the only relationship i'm supposed to know. married to the job. (hashtag.)

ready, set, brace.

22:44
this morning i'd woken up at 0456 and hadn't been able to fall back to sleep till after dawn broke. i'd teetered on the brink of breaking down about the anaïs incident but managed in the end to fight it by self-soothing. i just turned to good ol' tv instead. utilised the time to catch up on GREY'S ANATOMY and MASTERCHEF JR and eventually, i wore myself down.

now it's 2219 and tonight, oddly enough, i heard off 23.

i'd told myself that the only way i'd make it through scrubbing away all the feelings was to honour my 100-day radio silence but the funny thing about age and all of these disappointments and heartbreaks i've come to be so well-versed with is that i've developed quite a bounce back. and now, all i feel is numbness. isn't it great to know you're finally on your way to being a grown-up?

worth a mention: i received the best news this morning but i'm going to wait a bit for everything to firm up a tad more before i document it all, i think. i know, i know, i'm one superstitious git but i don't like the thought of jinxing things or getting too ahead of myself so a little suppression's not going to hurt. heck, even momsy has yet to be updated and she's usually the one i jump to to share news like this.

spending more time (paper)journalling has really got me introspecting a lot harder than usual. which i wasn't even sure was ever possible but, hey. looks like the learning never ends(!) i've come to realise just how quickly i tend to get swept up in emotions and allow myself to be whisked away and now, more than ever, i am finally able to accept and understand why it is so necessary to practise restraint. the key is simply discipline and self-awareness. which is the ultimate struggle for this dreamer/romantic but throughout all of these failed relationships there was but one unchanging variable— as soon as it became glaringly obvious that i was the party more emotionally invested a.k.a. the one who loved more (even by a hair), i became immediately unattractive, disposable and, well, dull. no longer was there any sort of "mystery." somehow, men seem to thrive on that agony of not really knowing what or how a woman really thinks or feels. it's what drives them to still compete. it's what'll keep them on edge and wanting to strive. i suppose it's simply the same logic for me with work. as soon as something becomes easy, i start to stray.

so really the key for me to succeed in relationships is to keep being a tight-lipped, emotionally constipated bitch. because someone significantly older once told me that the more someone can't and don't have something, the more they want it. perhaps it's just plain human condition. to believe that the grass is greener and to keep chasing something perceivably unattainable. who can really say? all i know is that since my status change i've transformed into a complete block of ice and in all honesty, i'm really relishing it.

the extreme weather fluctuations and my erratic totally fucked up sleep patterns has me unwell. scratchy throat, blocked sinuses and all. sounds like i've got my weekend cut out: bed, bed, bed. hip hooray.

ready, set, reset.

18:40
so, this just in: as of right now, i am totally without anaïs and at this time of writing, i may very well be facing the possibility that all of my 28 going on 150 years worth of photographs, videos, documents, screenshots, blog back ups and what-have-you's might potentially be all gone.

i'd been so very careless on tuesday evening— dropped the drive and in true stupid girl fashion, taken it for absolute granted that it'd all be hunky dory, fine and dandy and didn't stop to realise how serious it'd mean— losing the entire history of my existence to date.

although, in the strangest way, i feel... liberated.

perhaps this way, i suppose, i would be relinquished of any direct responsibility to getting rid of it all. it's funny how they say be careful what you wish for because often, it has, in some way or other, ended with me getting exactly that. and then i learn that i had absolutely no idea of the weight of my wish/es. so when will it end? when does the cycle break?

i'd been wishing so hard for so long now to completely forget my life and i guess, well. wish granted?

it feels weird to be on this end. for the first time in my life, i am writing a blogpost with no anaïs plugged in, whirring and warm to keep me company. i miss the ability to scroll through time and see in tangible form— a moment, a feeling, a memory captured in a click of a camera but truth be told, i feel like the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse. where there was simply no time (and no camera on-hand) to be taking snapshots. there was only living. experiencing. and now knowing after all that has been said. after everything that has happened. these people, these stories, these times, these places— regardless of photographs and videos aside, have all taken place. past tense.

there were moments where everything mattered. and now? well. now i ask myself: so what?

nothing is certain now. i tried multiple times to revive anaïs. for the briefest moment, all was well. her presence was detected. the folders present. contents intact. and stupidly, i had thought we were out of the woods. even as i write this, i question how i've become this unfeeling towards so much. i know for a fact that there was a time i would've completely gone to pieces. a different me. a younger me. the me who'd mourn my heart out that things end. and in the end, we always lose. truth be told, i have felt absolute nothingness post-drop till now. i guess i ask what good it would do to grieve and mourn and cry. if all of the information is lost and gone for good then no amount of tears, anger, frustration and regret will ever, ever bring it back.

now there is only learning.

learning to appreciate. (to really appreciate.) learning to be more diligent. learning to be a (hell of a) lot more careful. and learning to really savour moments. to remember a moment, a feeling and to convert it to memory. not simply to rely on a photograph. or words typed on a whim. to properly utilise the mediums at hand. to make time to write. and i mean, actually write.

maybe in the end, it is truly necessary to lose everything because only then can one ever know the true value of anything at all. and when there is nothing left to burn, it is yourself you have to set on fire.

ready, set, slay.

23:23
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." 

ready, set, good.

16:21
having been blessed with very precious quality time with some really unexpected but good company lately, i've come to really appreciate the reset on my entire life during this holy month of april. the last week of march leading up to the month and the start of q-two saw the loss of a love, the loss of a life and the loss of (my means to earning) a living. so as i sit here now with only the sound of my standing fan on full blast in the background, typing this; my current life score boasts zero all.

shocking.

i've given up feeling anything at this point. the only thing i continue to pray for is the courage and the strength to keep trusting in God's plans and path/s for me and to carry on. even without the ability to see. it might seem like such a cop out to revert to relying on prayer when i'm faced with personal adversities but i've taken it upon myself to pray the rosary once a day every day and i find it truly shrouds me in a cloud of calm. maybe it was time for me to put aside all of my selfishness and sulkiness and return to Him. and it feels good to be embraced by His grace.

yesterday morning, i'd woken up feeling disjointed and sad. there was an unexplainable heaviness on my chest and without even a second thought, i'd called my spirit mom all the way in texas. and hearing her voice and filling her in on my current situation had not only lifted the weight but had made me laugh and smile and i realised that God always has help at the ready.

it is so, so good to have a faith family.

whenever i start to have small moments now where i feel like lamenting out loud, i really give further thought to my situation/s and think about all others who have less than or even who are worse off and how well they cope. how much they're still able to believe, forgive and love. how they seem to never give up on the thought of some day being where they want to be and how they're so able to hold on to hope. it's through both knowing and witnessing the strength of others that i am able to find mine. and i am just so thankful every day for little things that i'm able to achieve and accomplish. even if it's something as simple as finally taking the time to fold away clothes and have clean underwear.

perhaps this is what i really need to remember. that it's always okay to feel overwhelmed, spent— i just need to put my hand up and ask for a timeout. but i really don't need to quit. and surrounding myself with good, positive, supportive energy is so essential as it helps me recharge and teaches me to give myself more grace for simply being human and making mistakes.

the other day i found myself reminiscing on the girl i was, the girl i have been. the one who seems to always fail to place a higher worth on her self and her heart and i feel sorry and sad for her. to know that i have always, always, always been so afraid to end up all alone and feel as if i need to be everything people want to please them if only it means they'll love me back is just plain pathetic. therefore, now, i've vowed to just keep holding myself higher. and to always, always, always remember to never, ever lose my edge or independence. it's very easy for me to get swept up in emotions— i'm just a girl who loves love at the heart of it; but i need to never forget that loving people the way that i have has only ever caused me grief and heartache.

there is no knowing where any of us will be or could end up. but from hereon, i'll only be living in the present. and wherever i am, is wherever i will be reminded that i am still alive. happy. healthy. and forever grateful.

all the time, God is good.

and God is good, all the time.