Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Stepping Stones.

I saw him today.

It's been years.

I remember that fateful day when my life crumbled. The day i thought i would lose my mom, the only person who genuinely cared. My grades, slipping. And my best friend...gone. It was an awful day, maybe the most paradoxical yet. Because it was my birthday. My fourteenth birthday.

I remember feeling so alone then. And the worst part was that he was gone. Friends forever in a world that lacked capacity to contain the very word. I remember having to go through all the pain, and ominous nights. I remember feeling sad every day, every night. It was as if the darkness had consumed me, and i would lose myself in music. Every word, every lyric seemed as if they were written for me. 

I remember fixing a brilliant smile, putting on pretty, gay dresses. I had become such a good little actress, a perfect portrayal of what i was not. They thought i had become wild. Bold and brazen...a rebel. They saw what i wanted them to see. 

But everyday all i wanted was for night to come. Tears were no longer foreign, and the night my best companion. I felt so sad everyday, and it seemed my heart had turned cold. I no longer felt anything for any person or subject. My world was gray, bleak. But i had grown accustomed to it. Sadness was like a sea... you could drown, or lose yourself in it. I don't know what happened, but i had grown to like it.

I liked the sea. I could live in it forever. Weeks passed, then months...and years.

One day, something strange happened. We moved, and i met new people. I went out, and watched movies. I ate, talked, and laughed. It was strange to be laughing again...the sound was foreign, new. But i liked it. And i felt an inkling of what it was like to be happy again. Even when i felt the sadness, i smiled, for realization that it has been some time since i last felt similarly. Things got perceptibly better, and life was perfect. 

What naivete.

It was a lapse that was decidedly obtuse. I had neglected the fact that if i could lose once, i could lose again. And now the dark is again beckoning, calling. I miss losing myself in its coldness. It's tempting...but i won't go back. Sadness is a drug, but sadness is a choice.

"Are you always sad?" someone had asked.

"You have no idea" i thought in my head. But outwardly, i merely smiled.

I smiled, because although things appeared the same, i knew they were not. Because i had a new source of strength, and because amid the sadness, i knew i would one day learn to laugh again. And i realized that whether or not i was cognizant of the fact, all the tears were stepping stones, to the huge journey i had ahead of me.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wake Up.

No, i'm not talking about how you're probably in bed although its way past noon. I'm being serious here. Every morning we wake up, survive, and go back to bed. Really?

Were we really placed here...

To do this?

Yeah, maybe it gets better. You're studying for a good future, right? Have fun with that

Don't get me wrong, please.

I'm really not saying we shouldn't study hard. Of course we should, as students. Work hard to attain your fullest potential... but at the same time be aware of the things that are going around you. Don't chase society's norm blindly, because from the day we were born we were all conditioned to suit the advancement of society, especially here in our very own little city.

Here in singapore we boast one of the most extensive education systems in the world. Well, i wouldn't counter argue an indisputable fact. But what has our schools raised? Quick students...or cleverly, intricately programmed robots? Using the word "all" would be blatant audacity, so i will settle for the word majority. Most of the schools have advocated programs of rigidity, and students have been taught to stay quiet. Not to provoke trouble. Numb, and dull. Highly intellectual...but lifeless nonetheless.

Yes, work hard. But if i may, what exactly are you working for?

We work day and night, to achieve good results. Perhaps you want to go to a good Junior College. To enter a prestigious university. Maybe even to make your first million, retire, and live happily ever after. Please, wake up. The people who claim to retire after making their first million never do stop there. They want more. Us humans, we can never be content. You think you'll be happy when you acquire a certain something, until you see someone else, with a little something... more. And now you want that. The cycle is perpetual, continuous.

And so we work, day after day, towards an ambiguous goal, our reward always around the corner. Up the next ladder. We climb, because what we want seems so very near, but we never do reach it. And then one day... we wake up.

We wake up and see our upside down world. And we stare.

And for the first time, we ask. How is it that we have been living in such an illusion? How is it that we have come to accept the absurd notion of paying back the debt of our very own existence? How have we come to trade priceless time for stacks of paper? How have we traded memories for money, love for livelihood? How have we come to accept that it is actually okay for one to feel alone, in a world that consists a good seven to eight billion people?

Because everything that we have done, was for tomorrow. But tomorrow never came. And then we wake up, but it's too late. It's time for us to leave, but then we realize we never truly lived.

Everyone has to die someday. Everyone dies, but not every one lives.

Don't wait till then...wake up now. 

Wake up, and live life. Because it's the least, and the most that you can do.

Saturday, 5 October 2013


The very thought of a thought kind of puts me off a little.

I don't usually give this much consideration, but i guess a thought is a pretty big thing. The action of your hands on a gun can kill a person...yet it's the thought that pulls the trigger. So yeah,  huge deal. It's pretty much why we do what we do.

Yet it is so strange in some ways, so delicate, almost whimsical. A thought could exist in my mind... maybe a thousand of them on some nights, and then the next day they just feel so silly and i don't think about them anymore. I forget those thoughts. Like they never did exist.

And that's pretty awful.

Because some of those thoughts used to define my world. And there are some things i really don't want to forget, because they made up such beautiful memories. I want to grasp on them so tightly, to hold on all the reasons i smiled, to remember that i could be happy. But there they are, gradually slipping away from me, and i don't know if i will ever possess them again.

Then there are the other thoughts, the dark ominous ones, ones that remind me of my horrible past and things i never wish to see ever again. But they stay there stubbornly, refusing to budge, occasionally consuming my mind entirely.

These memories, they almost have a mind of their own. I don't get to choose. That's a rather scary thing to conceive. But i guess that's all it is and can ever be...a thought.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A little love.

Just read Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and it was beautiful. There's an indescribable delicacy depicted in suffering, how the slaves managed to survive living hell with hope and purpose. How the upper class dominated over the blacks as if they were but mere animals... when the "prestigious" themselves were the actual beasts.

In a way it makes me quite somber, because it is such an accurate reflection of the modern society. I suppose division of classes will exist as long as mankind does though i can't help but feel quite sad. The rich are getting richer, and the poor, so oppressed. Oppressed not in the way the slaves are of course, but it breaks my heart to see old grannies above 60 years of age cleaning up food dishes or washing the lavatories at the hawker centers. It saddens me to see old men sitting by the roadside selling tissue paper packs for a mere dollar. And it completely tears me apart to witness old people beg for money. I don't know, nor do i care if they are genuinely disabled, or if they are not willing to work. The fact that someone of such a senior age has to come our unashamedly to beg...it just reflects their desolate state of desperation. And what makes me feel so awful is that there really isn't much i can do, other than to give them five or ten dollars, hoping it makes their day a little warmer and the world a little brighter.

Thinking of the third world countries again, the fact that there are people starving out there, not just for want of basic needs like food, water, and clothing but also for want of love and education that they never dare dream of... it is quite disconcerting. Because here i am with my own house, and room. And i'm saying "life sucks". Upon that utterance i often feel so ashamed of myself. What good have i done, that i should not be born in a third world country myself, that i should not grow up not knowing when my next meal will come? Nothing. And yet God put me in this lovely country, beautiful singapore, and all i can do on some days is put up a dreadful fuss about the heat. It does make me sound awfully spoilt... i suppose i am, quite. And i am not proud of it, i'm working hard at being truly appreciative of all i have. To cherish things as they should be cherished. There's just so much i take as a granted, as if i deserve them. Deserve them! The horrible being that i am. Yet i successively abuse so many privileges...waking up each day knowing a lovely breakfast awaits, unappreciative of basic things, even to have a roof over my head or a complete, loving family.

I do wish there could be more good in this world though, that people should truly be equal, that no child would have to live in apprehension that he would be sold or flogged. Because it is all too real, when i actually entertain such thoughts. Slavery has long been an abolished act but the sale of humans remains ever so apparent. In so many countries children and teenagers are being sold, body and soul, inflicting horrible scars on their hearts and lives. I wince thinking about it. And the sheer knowledge that i could be one of them. I could be born in Thailand or Cambodia, where circumstances would force my family to sell me. In the poorer countries alone over 50,000 girls are sold into prostitution...and why do i think i am in a higher place? If the story were but a little twisted i could likely be one of them. But i am not, by His grace. And i just wish so badly that something could be done, sometimes it makes my heart ache.

Here I am living in a life so luxurious compared to half the people in the world and i am so complacent, so narrow minded. I never do think about the people out there who are actually suffering, every day of their lives and that has made me so discontented. But now i have and i want to help them so badly...but what can i do? One against the millions of helpless, some call it naive to think that one could even make any difference at all. I will though, in whatever way i can, if only to put a little more love into this world. When i sit down and picture the evils and injustice that is actually so much more real than i have formerly thought, i feel so burdened. I don't really know what has come over me really. All i know is that to imagine people out there who have never known comfort, or kindness, or love... it makes my heart ache. It really does. And i'd like to give it to them, the little that i can. To spread a little love, restore a little faith in humanity, in this world where it's often so dark, so cold, so hopeless. To let them see that there is light, after all... because there is. And that's a lovely thought to hold.

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