Hello Holiday Season

Hello everyone,

So Christmas just passed and New Years eve is just around the corner. Everywhere people are posting about what a great year they have had and what they hope for in the coming year. It’s very human of us to behave this way.

It is so easy to look back on this past year and pinpoint moments of elation and happiness and base my judgment of the year on that because most of us are programmed “Bright Side-rs”. We look back and at the very least we can be grateful that we survived and lived to see the end of the year. We forget the hard learned lessons very easily sometimes in our efforts to be able to look back on our lives and see a series of happy memories and accomplishments to be proud of.

Who wants to look back and see all the bad? I know I don’t, and I’m sure a lot of others don’t either. It would be thoroughly depressing. This Bright Side approach is aided by the fact that we are constantly being reminded to be grateful, that things could be a lot worse. Which is undoubtedly true, things could be a lot worse.

What my problem right now is that this Bright Side approach sets me up year after year to repeat the same mistakes. Not identical ones, mind you. When i say “same mistakes”, I mean mistakes that are caused in essence by resilient character flaws in me that I just don’t deal with much less correct because at the end of each year, I want to look back and be happy about the good things and not dwell too much on the bad.

I make bad decisions about people I choose to trust and count as friends and each year I tell myself I will be smarter and yet, at the end of the year I look back and see all the party moments, all the laughs and all the good cheer and think “awww man, these people aren’t so bad”. And the same shit happens again…and again… and again… It might not be the same people but its the same pattern. I am stupid about how not to let people control me, how to not let them be able to hurt me.

I am also a terrible planner. As much as I suffer from OCD and want to be super organized, sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me and I overwhelm myself, which in turn leads to me getting nothing done, rushing last minute, or missing out on opportunities entirely.

These are the two main reasons that I am being consciously very critical of this past year 2014. I had a great holiday earlier this month and I think this holiday is part of why I have come to this realization. I learnt many things on this trip, about the world and about myself, and one of the lessons I am taking to heart is that good things happen when you stop relying on and waiting for others and just DO stuff you need to get done or want to get done. Another lesson is that I really need to get smart already as I approach my quarter-of-century mark and need to finally take some serious control of my life.

So here I am, saying that, I am flawed. I have some serious faults. But I am also realizing that I can control them, maybe even fix them. The first step was to realize that I am the architect of my own misery. For instance, it is my character flaw to be naive and trust the wrong people, because people are just who they are and what they do is what they do, so if their actions hurt me then in a way its my own fault for making the wrong decisions about said people.

This realization has brought with it a strange peace. You would think that by essentially taking away the crutch of blame throwing, I am being forced to really take a good long hard look in the mirror (which is not easy) and this should not equate to peace. But it does, and I am clearer in my mind and in my vision than I have been for years. I am at peace with people. It isn’t their fault. It’s my own, and because it is my own fault: I CAN FIX IT.

That’s where the peace is, knowing that finally there is an answer. If not an actual answer then at least an inkling as to what I need to do, some guidance in what has been a series of years marked by my stupidity. I have a project that inspires me and drives me: MYSELF.

And that is my main resolution for 2015….I will take care of myself, I will enrich myself, I will protect myself and I will better myself. Its about bloody time too.

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A lesson in useful non-English vocab….

Words that don’t exist in the english language:

L’esprit d’escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”

Waldeinsamkeit: (German) The feeling of being alone in the woods.

Meraki: (Greek) Doing something with soul, creativity, or love.

Forelsket: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.

Gigil: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.

Pochemuchka: (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions.

Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.

Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.

Ilunga: (Tshiluba, Congo) A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.


So sure I’ve suffered my share of GIGIL as an adorable child, but after many instances of PENA  AJENA as I was growing up, I finally realize that being aPOCHEMUCHKA, though increasing your own knowledge, tends to piss others off. So I broke the habit, and it became like a CUALACINO, a mere fragment of something that used to be there, except I then started to suffer from an accute case of L’esprit d’escalier.
My life is complicated >_<

List of annoying things and instances (current)

  1. People who don’t see the obvious
  2. When you really want someone to take a risk with you/for you but they don’t
  3. People who chew with their mouth open
  4. People who treat my illness as if it limits me, makes me less than I am or makes them want to be extra protective… I am a grown woman
  5. People who do not respect other people’s work and effort
  6. those who do not know how to take responsibility
  7. homophobic people
  8. procrastination (which I myself suffer)
  9. feeling old
  10. itchy feet/wanderlust left unsatisfied
  11. pending work
  12. the feeling of dread when I realize I am kinda lost right now… very annoying
  13. weakness
  14. need
  15. insomnia
  16. the book I began but haven’t made progress with
  17. my futile attempts at leading a more sound, secure, well managed productive life
  18. money troubles
  19. love… it can really suck
  20. chipped nail varnish

 

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As the hurricane hit…

I stood there on my terrace at 2:30 am as I witnessed the sky break open and let loose all its glory. I saw the night sky light up and I saw the rain and the wind and the trees joined my dance of joy. The past few days have been crushingly difficult and this was the release I had so prayed for. God and I have not been on the best of terms and there have been moment of doubt. I am not the most religious person but there always comes a time in everyone’s life that you cant help but fall to your knees and just pray, and pray so hard as your heart breaks and you don’t even know what you’re praying for but you just want something, anything to bring you back, bring back the life you felt, bring back the peace and assurance. I saw nature answer back today, I think. Or I would like to believe so. I was the only one outside that I could see, as my dad stood back in the shade and let me run in the freezing cold rain… because that was what I needed. And I looked back at him and he smiled at me. Said I might get ill and without even thinking I responded “Don’t worry, God will watch me”. I would like to think it rained for me,  and it rained for everyone frustrated right now. It was an outpouring of my tears and all our tears and those prayers for relief whether from some personal issues or from the stifling heat in general.

I stood there and watched even after I got out of the downpour. I watched till the cold air made me shiver and my chest hurt. I came back in soaking wet and took a shower, and it was 3:30am. In an hour, in just one hour, I’d been set free.

It was release, yours and mine. It was beautiful and terrifying and perfect. This is the moment that seems to have somehow changed me. And I cant even begin to understand how much or in what way that change has happened, its still too new and too raw. I just know it happened. I feel different. I feel clean.

I feel free.

The last post of the night…

Moonlight Industry

 

This is what is commonly known as a Plant (as in the factory sort). My father helped construct this one that you see. He was a project engineer/manager before he retired earlier this year. This is just one of many he has worked on. Growing up I would visit these sites, see these monstrous structures go from ground up and when they would light up it was like something out of a sci-fi flick or when seen from afar, like an ocean steam-liner with ist many chimneys puffing white smoke… I had a pretty wild imagination as a child luckily:

That’s me

And the sea will wash away traces of destitution from the sand…

Junkie

 

So many lonely needles I see, and once you see one, you see them everywhere. I have that problem. I see syringes and needles every day I step out, but none so lonely as this, stabbed into a piece of Styrofoam by the sea side, not yet washed away into the big blue beyond forever more due to the sea weed that blocks it path towards oblivion…oblivion no doubt, like the poor soul who found his own in the prick of a vein, washed away on waves of ecstatic highs lost to whatever ailed him once upon a time just like words written in the sand washed away by the tide, just like this syringe too, shall eventually be.

Tuppence A Bag…

Feed the birds…

Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)

Mary Poppins soundtrack (1964)

Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
“Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you.”
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
“Feed the birds,” that’s what she cries,
While overhead, her birds fill the skies.
All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares.
Though her words are simple and few,
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you:
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.”

Free form, rant-style writing where I just write. No edit, no plan, and sometimes, no punctuation…

“Is it possible that some people are born to be doormats?”

She had considered this many times during her 22 years on this sorry excuse of a planet. She wondered about a lot of things. Some would say too many things. It did, at times, get so overwhelming, that she wondered at the capacity her cranium had for all this bullshit. For if one was to be honest with themselves, what do things like whether some people are natural born doormats have anything to do with the greater picture.

That illusive big picture. Her mother had always tried to point it out to her, to show her what the Big Picture was. That there was some goal, some destiny, some place in life that one had to keep an eye on as they tripped and crawled on bleeding knees and bruised elbows through life. Bite the bullet, eat that pain, don’t you ever stop girlie! Gotta keep your eye on the prize!

Now she was a small girl. Petite being the politically correct term. The fact was that she was tiny, and as a child, she really could not, for the life of her and despite straining her neck, stretching up on her tiny little toes and squinting her eyes (all of which made her look almost like a meerkat) she could not see that damned picture. So she assumed her mum must be crazy. Or that it was something meant for bigger people. Well, it sure was easier on the neck muscles to just keep here eyes to where she could actually see and deal with whatever she couldn’t see just then, whenever she got to it.

Now at 22, she wondered if her goal had been to be a perpetual servant girl. If that was the big picture she had been told to look out for, that her place in the grand cosmos was as everyone’s personal assistant, then her mum really must have been nuts. But oh well, it was now at the point that this was fast becoming who she was. No longer a habit that she had some control over, she was now on autopilot and would probably track down an arms dealer to help out the person trying to threaten her with a fake gun because, what if he wanted to actually kill her? Then what? What would he do with that fake gun? Ill help him out by telling him where he can get himself a real one…

She may not have any control on it, but it does not mean that she enjoyed it or wasnt painfully aware just how much she was used on an excruciatingly regular basis. She knew before someone opened their mouth whether they were about to ask for something or not. And she always felt like a fish being gutted as she proceeded to do as she was asked, all the while cursing herself and everyone around her. And yet, she couldn’t stop.

Another thought that came to her that day, as she sat their at 2:30 am looking back on everything, whether one day she would be featured as a case study in some psychological research. Would they categorize her as masochistic? Suffering and evolved form of Munchhausen’s syndrome where she didnt identify with just one “captor” but all of them? Or would a new condition be set aside for her.

God, she thought… I need to get the hell away!

Blog: Interrupted

Interruption. They just put my teeth on edge. Of all the times the internet connection can choose to be a total failure at existence is when I settle in to compose a blog post. The worst part of this has been that I probably started off as having a great idea of what I wanted to write and by now, which is my fourth attempt, I am just blergh…

I believe that blogs are one of those outlets where one can express in terms of first draft with no fear. At least that is what I do. I find that more often than not, post editing, work tends to lose the true, raw edge that it once had. Sure it may not be spell checked and raped by the grammar Nazi, but that’s what makes it special right?

This post will not amount to much though, sad as that is. The internet has played one too many games with me this morning and I am now not as happy a camper as I started out. Maybe later in the day I shall make another attempt?

 

Just FYI: countdown to Malaysia has begun! just thought I should put that out there in case people started to wonder where the Travel part of this Travel blog is.

What does it mean to be a writer these days?

Long gone seem the days when Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg sat at their typewriters, chain smoking shoddy cigarettes and creating works that stood the test of time. Even more far afield is however Oscar Wilde went about it. Today, if you are reading this, piece or whatever, you know someone sat behind a PC or a Mac and mashed out a jumble of words, a hipster trying to sound like she knows something about something, all the while never sure if she is making spelling errors along the road in her quest to be “heard” and “understood” and that all illusive dream: Taken Seriously.

I am tempted to run the spell checker, tempted to through in relevant pop-culture references to sound informed and aware and up to date. But the truth is that I wish i didnt have multiple tabs open in my Firefox, a youtube, a hotmail, a gmail, a google and that worst of all, a facebook. I wish I wasnt distracted. I wish I could actually WRITE!