The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Like Magpie I Live for Glitter, Not You

Foreward: In case it wasn't obvious (oh, probably not; I haven't bothered to explain it to people), I'm doing something a little bit new with this blog in which it'll be a sort of playlist integrated into my life. Overall, while I was choosing colors, fonts and the background picture, I had Coldplay's Paradise in mind and that song followed me like the plague for about the entire week. When I wrote last week's post, I (obviously) had Arcade Fire's Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) {they heard me singing and they told me to stop | quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock} and wherever I went, I would be humming that song to my very own annoyance.

This week was a doozy. I can't wrap my mind around a song. Not even one. I considered some The Weepies songs that had the melodies and vibes I was gunning for, but lyrics that I couldn't really connect with. I am at the moment slightly fixated on Noah and the Whale's Hold My Hand as I'm Lowered {and please don't see me as a coward} and when I realized that that didn't make much sense, I thought of Laura Marling's Blackberry Stone, which, you know {I'd be sad that I never held your hand as you were lowered | but I'd understand that the world does what it does}. I also contemplated Amanda Palmer's The Bed Song but felt like pissing myself crying if I even so much as thought about it.

And to be embarrassingly honest, I've been unhealthily hooked on fun.'s Some Nights album {I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked} because the lyrics are unfortunately relevant to my life right now. So I came this close to using Some Nights (and I reasoned with myself that it was all right because the incredibly cool music video for it came sometime in the last week or so) but I wanted to look back instead of focus on the future {may your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground}. I finally decided on this, an anthem that was slightly overplayed in my primary school days, and something I rediscovered last year while I was making Hanna my patented 'I'm Sorry' playlist. You'll see why I'm digging up stuff from the past in a few.

Week 2

Ellie gave me a mixed CD. I named it 'ELLEN LEE GAVE THIS TO ME' on my iPod (which is named Ellie, by the way) and I feel happy whenever I think about it because the last time someone made me a mixed CD was middle of last year and I'm usually the one who gives these to people anyway so the point is, is that I greatly, deeply TREASURE this, Ellen Lee.
Monday was a day I had been looking forward to for the entirety of the previous week because I had a meetup with Ellie and Mei. Honestly, it feels silly to call it a meetup because we're not strangers anymore. Okay, scratch that: I went out with my friends, Ellie and Mei. It goes without saying that I don't see them often, and they don't see me often, and we don't all really see each other often all around, because time is a thing we're all hard pressed for (and some of us don't even live in Malaysia) so I feel like it's just precious, something to treasure, whenever I get to see them. No pictures, sadly, but I Ellie made a mixed CD for me and I couldn't stop sighing whenever I think about it even a week after her giving it to me, which is today, actually. Sigh.

It's going in The Box (I keep an Elle shoe box in one of my drawers where all of the things that I treasure and the odd knick-knacks I've collected over the past couple of years are kept if they can't be blue-tacked to My Board). Another thing that's going in The (Metaphorical) Box is the memories I made spending time with them that day. I would like to apologize if I come off as rude or standoffish sometimes, because I honestly am just that bad at interactions (I was making an effort at being not-rude, a.k.a. not-Me, that day, so if any of my usual impoliteness bled through, I'm sorry, guys). Like, at the beginning, before Mei got there, I didn't really talk to Ellie because I have no clue what to talk about without the presence of a monitor and a keyboard to filter my thoughts. Sad to say, but I am very much a mere reflection of the people around me, in the sense that if people talk to me, I'll talk to them back, but if they don't, I really can't bring myself to attempt conversation. Character flaw. I don't know if it's worth pursuing in the future.

Ellie bought one of Mei's Unplug For Art pieces, which is part of Mei's final year project. They're really nice. Mei is just really talented and Ellie is just really talented and really, I'm not going to say I'm not or anything, because I don't actually have the passion to pursue art, and at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about? (Talking about talent and being good at stuff always brings me back to passion, a concept I've been struggling with and trying to wrangle since the good old days of my sister still working at the Temerloh hospital). But I've digressed. Returning to the thing on Monday, after the initial catch-up, we headed over to the food court. I could chart our progression from food court to bookstore to some other shops to... actually, did we just walk around a lot or what? But I will not do that because that is boring and, well, no, not actually. Because that would be a waste of my time. Also not quite right, though. Because I have a piss poor memory and can't be fucked to try to piece the whole thing together again is the best answer I can give.

We talked about school, people, art, music, the hipster phenomenon, movies (I think? Well, we talked about the Perks trailer, I guess), and bunch of other stuff and typing all of this out, I paint us out to be more pretentious than we actually are. We are not. To cap it all off, Mei and Ellie are literally the most adorable thing on the face of the planet and hanging out with them feels like dying in marshmallows. We parted ways at around four or so and hugged and I hung around a while before my mother picked me up. Throughout the entire week, discussions regarding the whole school thing were a constant, with them constantly trying to change my mind. No reverse psychology in sight. Just outright pleading for me to understand the impact it's going to have on my life now. I can't with the whole thing anymore. I really can't.

That night, I called up my sister to tell her about the second bright day I had. Tuesday was definitely a do-nothing day, in which I tried and failed to make some sense of the shit I've printed out for the Prefects Party 2012 souvenirs (printed supposed CD pockets that did not work out at all because of complicated cutting so I took a page out of Ellie's book, bought stickers and paperclips and will get on that as soon as I've burned the CDs). You probably understood none of that but hopefully I will in the future when I reread this and think of all the (admittedly enjoyable) shit I had to do as a prefect.

The thing is, is that I have sort of decided to screen Wednesday through Saturday from this blog. I mean, it's private now, but I will unveil it soon. When I get my shit together and I don't feel like a lost cause all the time, I'll make the blog available for view by anyone and everyone, and then I'll have to go back and delete this part. I mean, it's not that anything happened that altered my life or anything (up for debate, actually). I'll write about my thoughts and feelings of Wednesday through Saturday in a more private setting (I actually have three private blogs, this one included, so I'm not short of avenues to express myself here). Maybe this is going to make this post shorter than last week's but I can't be bothered. I was supposed to have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Wednesday morning, but I chickened out last minute. The blanket reason I tell myself is because my parents don't believe in psychiatry. Even if I do choose to do this on a regular basis, they won't take it seriously and they won't be supportive. I've never expected anything much from my parents, they are very generous with what they've given me, but the least I expect from them is support. And if they deny this, then, well, have I got a bomb to drop on them.

Maybe I was scared, though. Maybe that's the actual reason I backed out of it at the eleventh hour. We'll never know. I'll never talk this out with a certified professional so we literally will never know. Today's Sunday and I came home at around eleven. I've missed the cats. I headed straight for Fluffy and cleaned his little nosy and then I checked up on my other two pets. Smokey is his usual unusually cheerful self (I say it's unusual because as a cat, also known as the grand master of bitch faces, Smokey seems to be smiling all the freaky time) but poor Caesar salad, he's sick and limp as if he hasn't been fed for days. We're taking him to the vet tomorrow. This is a pretty normal start to a pretty normal-at-the-start day. Calm before the storm, I'd say.

ONE

Chris was emcee at the BEA 2012 Children's Book and Author Breakfast the past Wednesday. Naturally, freak out. But supernaturally, John Green was also there. For the panel. Sitting next to Chris. And like a long time ago, he Tweeted this:


For the Chris Colfer side of things, I'm going to be linking to CCN's BEA tag for future enjoyment. But for the most part, I am not totally fixated on that. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've had my share of being excited and fangirling. I have pranced around the room with hearts in my eyes. I mean, two of the most awesome, least sucky people on the planet have interacted. They apparently like each other. How has the Earth not imploded from all this awesome yet? We may never know. But mostly, I'd like to touch on this:


(John starts maybe 23-25 minutes in. Before that was Chris, though; he introduced a few pictures from his books and was his normal, funny self.)

I would urge you to view the whole thing anyways because it's pretty interesting stuff. They talk about cool things and the atmosphere is pretty subdued because it's a room full of book-loving instead of rave-going people (or, you know, there could be an overlap somewhere) so it's like you have to take what they say seriously. And John Green's talking about how until he was ten years old, he believed that he was the only human being on the planet and that everyone else were just complicated alien constructs and that he was part of some experiment. I wouldn't say that I experienced... that exactly. Sadly, I think mine's much more narcissistic. Maybe it's until recently or maybe (shocker) I haven't fully grasped the situation yet and my mind hasn't stopped yet, but I believed (believe?) that the people around me were just not very good people. Like, all of them. That they're suffering was all in vain because they're all shit people anyway and that whatever good deed they've done or are about to do, it's for their own selfish reasons and the complete their own agendas and I categorized myself as one of these people, because I too am human. And it's the worst way to look at the world because when that whole thing with Andrew Lim happened, I felt like I was uprooted and had landed in Oz or some other place that was not here because I thought that people like that simply did not exist. And this is serious, I seriously did not believe in the good in people and I still struggle to do so today.

"At some point, though, I did come to believe - and I believe now - that you are human. And that you are just as human as I am and that your joy is probably as joyous as mine and that your pain is probably just as painful as mine, and what took me there? Angry birds. No, it was stories."

For him, it was a way 'out of his narcissism', as he says, a way to get him to believe and understand that other people were just as real as he. I mean, for me at least, this could all be a dream and the dreamworld could be the real world for all I know. We don't actually have regular checkups to console ourselves of the fact that we are humans, and that we are living in the world. And maybe reading a few words strung together isn't going to be that checkup, and most of the time it's not even the wake up call that I need to shake me out of my misanthropy but it's almost enough. And I understand what ten-year-old John Green went through, that sort of transcendent moment in which things just sort of make sense because you've read a book, because you have realized that in your hands, you're holding the words and the ideas that were once in someone else's head, but is now printed upon a page and I can't think of anything as legit as that. I mean, as Wikipedia has proved countless times, things on the Internet can be altered, can be false even though they present a very legitimate front. And while people lie in books - and that's of not much consequence in the grand scheme of things; we lie to ourselves all the time - it's a lie that has more of a purpose (and, in turn, more of an impact) than editing Chris Colfer's Wikipedia page to say that he's dating Darren Criss. "The thing about books is that because they are composed of text, because there is this act of translation that one has to do when reading, because I have to turn these meaningless scratches on a page into ideas that exist inside my head, I become the co-creator of this story when I read this story in a way that I don't become the co-creator of any other kind of medium-"

Not really something which plays a huge part in the bigger picture, maybe, part one, but it's relevant enough to include and besides which, I still am not completely over Fifty Shades of Green.

TWO


If you watch this and don't cry, you literally have no heart. And that's what I don't have. A heart. So the thing is, is that I've told a few people and they were attentively curious, and put in a fair dose of sad emoticons and yet I still feel nothing. I should feel more, shouldn't I? There should be more. I am just sad that it had to come to this, because I never thought that this is the it was going to end, back in Form 1. I thought I would stand up there with my fellow Form 5s and give my stepping down speech, and I thought that would be one of the most emotional defining moment in my school career. But it was a mistake. To make me a Head. Of anything, really, I didn't expect it, didn't ask for it, and in a way the extra responsibility sort of made me hate people more. The more I think about it, the more hatred builds and bubbles and when I'm in a position to confiscate and conduct spot-checks at my whim, it's hard not to think about it. It was a mistake. And I am kind of butt hurt that I wasn't chosen as the token Malay to fill in a spot in the Top 5 even though I would never, ever run as a candidate. And now, I don't see myself in the thick of it all. It separated me from the pack, more than integrating me in it. I am so lost at sea right now.

Being part of something special makes you special.

Rachel Berry said that in Season 1. I forgot the circumstances because really, who cares, but the thing is, the entire episode proves to dispute that. That just because she was in something that was considered special, sacred to her, it didn't mean total acceptance. The club fought a lot and Rachel only acknowledged that she saw them as a family when she was voted MVP of... one of the competitions. Later on, someone reiterated, "Being part something special made me special." (I think it was Mercedes, perhaps.) And it's such an integral concept of the show, at its core, that is what Glee is about. A bunch of people who were unique, who were special, that banded together to create something as special, even more special than they were individually. And when I was in Form 1, I thought I understood that concept, I thought I have reached a level at which I realize what it meant to be a prefect. "And [Marina] and I talked and she's gonna miss it, too. She says she'll like to do it all over again. And... she's right. Amidst the confusion, the fear and the chaos, we were always there for each other. We were always friends. And that's just it, isn't it? That's what the LPSA is about, right?"

I have never felt part of them ever since the start of the year. I mean, I guess, Hanna was right, and I just didn't really see it coming because I used to have her to lean on or to use or whatever, but I really am not interested in becoming one of them. It was this year that I just gave up, in the best way possible, because the world is one whole big competition against each other and I really don't care. I know it's because I'm privileged, because my parents are supporting me right now, but what is the harm in living small and living without indulgences as long as I can pay the rent, go to work, be happy and have Internet. Because right now? While I seemingly have everything a person could ask for? I'm not happy. So it obviously does not lie in possessions or position. So fuck it all, it doesn't make an ounce of difference if I'm the smartest person in class or the dumbest, and the fact that there is no possibility of me being the dumbest whatsoever is reassuring. So I'm not like them. I don't live to compete, or to please others, or to build up this outward image of myself that's positive and full of sunshine because I am not that person and I never will be. Being part of the prefects board didn't make me special, it made me standout, being with these people who expect rewards for their good deeds, who do things just so they can appear to care (even if they really do care, deep down - like during this year's prefects camp, when we upset the seniors and all I can hear from my fellow Form 4 prefects were, "We've got to show them." We've got to show them that we care, and who cares if we really do?). 
Orientation not only gave me lessons in bravery, selflessness, helpfulness, responsibility, punctuality, loyalty, friendship and the art of memorizing things (among a whole slew of other things). It gave me a lesson in humility. The geniuses of the world can't succeed without bravery; courageousness; boldness. However you look at it, whichever way you cut the cake, bravery is the one, the only key essential thing most prominently needed on the path to success.

"The brave do not live long,
But the cautious do not live at all."
Prince Phillipe - Princess Mia's Dad (Princess Diaries Movie I)
I am running away. I am not brave enough to go to school everyday and realize how different I am. I pale in comparison to Kurt Hummel, to Chris Colfer, and I've disappointed myself more than I can ever imagine. But I have made a choice I can't take back. I am where I am now because of myself just as much as because of other people. I no longer care for success as long as I'm not in debt. Never will I be a Gryffindor, because I've been running all my life and I'll run some more. And I'm not ashamed at my cowardice. And I'm not going to deny it. The geniuses of the world can't succeed without it but if I'm not happy at whatever success I've achieved so far, I can't see anyway forward past that.

Being a part of something special doesn’t necessarily make you special; finding the bliss in everything you do does.
-Chris Colfer (from his latest GleeFan interview and I almost hyperventilated when I read this because it's perfect.)

THREE

I'd like to preface this by saying that I mean no disrespect or offense, now until forever probably, because as callous as I come off, there are some things that I do take to heart, and I do listen, or try to anyways, as much as my human faults and frailties allow. I can't keep apologizing, and at some point or another, I have stopped caring, but that doesn't mean that I didn't care, in the past.

The people I've told so far have been almost indifferent, and I understand because mirrors. People are mirrors, as much as I like to fashion myself as one, because if someone told me they were moving, I would be indifferent too. When Afreena told me she was moving, all I did was think about it for a little while, made a few .gifs. and then I moved on. Not because I didn't care but because this happened. It happened. And I don't have the power to control these things. So I expected nothing less. I am going, I'm leaving, and whether people care or not, I can't control that. So Nisa had planned us to all go out on the last day of the midyear holidays: Intan, Raihan, her and myself, and I was in such a fuck it all mood last night, I invited Hanna as well. I don't regret that because I. I can't bring myself to admit to regretting anything because I feel like, right now, I am in a perpetual state of regret. Nisa said don't. She said give it time. And I can't accept that.

(All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock. It's not, Nisa. It's- it's not psychology. It's humans. We're defective. We care. We're sentimental. And yet our main goal, as it has been for centuries, is to survive. It's us we care about when we 'care' about someone else.)

I can't because time is not a salve to heal wounds. I don't trust it to be. I want to be less cryptic about this but I can't put it into words how I feel, what I'm feeling right now. It's not a mess, my emotions. I am very much still in control of them, one of the few things I do have control over, and damn it to pieces, my neurons betray me again. I can't translate them, just like I'm unable to translate a lot of things these days. To understand the future as it currently stands, we need to go back to the past.

(Hanna asked, are you sure, because we aren't exactly friends right now and it might be awkward. You know what, it was awkward, but I've been through worse and I'll go through worse. As I've come to understand it, there's no avoiding this anymore. There's no more 'trying', even if it might produce some semblance of a positive result because I understand now. It's over. You can't ignore the sign of four, you can't ignore it when you come to the last page of a book and there are no more pages left for you to read, because it's not over. You can still have your fanfiction, your imagination, your discussions. This is a book, and we have a shelf-life.)

I feel two things very strongly right now, with the third being something of an addition to the both of them. The first is that this is goodbye, no way around it. I have chosen this path, just like everyone has chosen the path that led them to where they are today and I still have time to turn back (I have about eight hours to turn back, actually) but I'm not going to. The thing is, I know I'll come to regret this. But this is... this is it for me, you know? This is the step that I've never had the guts to take when I was younger, the step that I should have taken when I was younger because it's the right one. It was the right one. For right now, I don't know if it is, only time will tell, but it's a choice that was clearer than crystal to me before, and it's a burden I am choosing to undertake (and choosing to dole out to those who care for me).

1. My dad asked me whether this was an emotional or analyzed decision, and I said both. I've thought about it and it seems to be the only way forward for me. I regret, more than anything, leaving Nisa. I regret, more than anything, leaving the prefects board and I regret, more than anything, hurting those who were unfortunate enough to call me friend, and I will regret, more than it all, this decision, but what else is there? The only possible solution, after everything else have been subtracted from the equation. And emotional because it's all just empty now. I can't connect with my so-called prefects friends, I don't have Hanna to look forward to sharing my life with anymore, and I can't expect Nisa to take the brunt of all of this and fill in so many shoes. I can't burden her with that. I'll only ruin things with Nisa, and I might as well have by choosing this route, but if I stayed, if I only had her to call friend at that Godforsaken school, I would have driven her away as well.

2. I am honestly just so proud of us. I know we've done nothing of value to the outside world because we are merely sixteen, but I will argue with you to the death that we have made something of ourselves. We had our golden ages, our moments. How high we made it when we were in Standard 6, so high. We flew beyond mountains and above clouds and we reached heights previously unheard of, or unheard of by me, at least. We were it. The four of us. And the fact that it all crashed in Form 1 is... it's just details. A mere stitch in the fabric of the biggest, fluffiest, most golden quilt ever. And the first week of PMR, with Nisa, Hanna and Nadiah. We were like flags, breezing on through life. And the sleepovers Hanna and Nisa and I had during the holidays.

I don't mean to make this sound like a 'and then there was two' thing because honestly, that is not my point. My point is that that was us. We were those people who were so happy, and so high, and so perfect, and so clueless as to the future and so ignorant of the past. We were bound to make the same mistakes over and over again, I more so than others, but we never let that get in the way of having moments because that, I've come to realize, is just the core of it. That is the core of life. And I can't explain it anymore than I already have. That's just it. That was me, there, surrounded by all of these people that I love and I've never stopped being in love with and to know that no matter what, a reincarnation of myself will always be that, will always be that high, is enough to sate me. I am satisfied with who I am today, because I was that person yesterday, because I had those people as my friends yesterday. And today neither matters nor will matter, because golden ages die. People don't stay golden forever. It's not in the cards, God doesn't orchestrate such things, and our job is to understand it, attempt to learn from the mistakes we are constantly repeating and just, at the end of the day, forget it. Because we've achieved perfection once before. It is not impossible to get there again.

"Feeling hopeful and a glimmery, flimsy, here/there/everywhere type of happy; so excited for the future and scared of it all at the same time. Cloud eight with silver linings and a hint of a storm brewing over the horizons."
I wrote this at one point in my life. Which means that whatever I've gained and think I've lost, I'll get again in the future. Maybe in a different form, but I'll feel this again, this immense need to be close to the future, to be closer to destiny and to be closer to the friends I was sure I would still have in that future.

3. I actually forgot what the third one was so if I ever remember, I'll come back to it. I just want to utilize this space, then, to say, that I will always love you, whichever reincarnation of me it is that's professing that love because I am me, past, present and future. I love you, Afreena and Raihan. I love you guys now because I've loved you before. I love you, Hanna, because I love you in every single reality. I love you, Nisa, because I never started to think about it but I know I will. I love you, Nadiah, because anger and contempt does not blind me to the fact that we had something worth fighting for, it was just given to the wrong set of people.

So it is not that I don't care. Far from it. It's that I know that in me, if I dig or if I just give it time to float to the surface, I keep the love I have for all of my friends and ex-friends, and I keep them in such a way that it doesn't matter when it's expressed or when it's felt, whether tomorrow's the last day of my loving them or whether I've stopped yesterday. Because I am every version of me, and one of those versions of me loved them. And that's enough.

So Intan and Hanna and I went out, sans Nisa. I understand now that she's admitted to it. I see the struggle in what she tries to achieve on a semi-daily basis. She wants this to keep. But like I said, we're books. We have endings, just like we have beginnings and middles, and trying to poke at the embers of something that's dying out in the hopes that the fire will rekindle is... it's like madness. Doing the same thing, expecting different results. I just want to bask in the glory of our golden days, with the firm knowledge that, if nothing else, we'll always have those days as a keepsake in our metaphorical memory box.

We went to Bangsar. I don't frequent the place often so I really was kind of lost. We mostly just ate and then bought stuff at MPH. Window shopped. Browsed. Talked. And the conversation was stilted, of course it was, but I never expected perfection. I've had a taste of that, and it's all right, it's okay, if that's not my life now. The reason I am so accepting of all of this is because I don't want to hold onto things, I don't want to hoard, like Nisa does. It's not a lost cause, nothing is, so of course I won't discourage anyone from hoping, and Nisa seems to be happy enough now that she's sorted that thing out with Raihan, but happiness doesn't keep, you know? Memories, though. Memories keep.


Just like empires are built and crumble, friendship works in pretty much the same way. I am undoubtedly lucky to have had Nisa by my side through most of it, but I've predicted ruin to come before, because like I said, who knows how much time we have left together, who knows when it'll all end? None of us humans who walk the Earth could even comprehend God's knowledge or his plans, and it's no use trying. Sooner or later, time's going to be up. And can't we all just appreciate, without hate and deceit and envy, that we were once golden and it hardly matters what we are now. Because people say, and I've been told, that once you have experienced the best day of your life, that everything will seem dull and morose in comparison.

What they don't tell you is that you shouldn't compare because who cares if it's healthy or not, you can look back and stroke those memories anytime you want. Happiness is not a state of being, in my humble opinion, it's moments. And moments are things are hard to get rid. They're something that I don't consider to have a shelf-life because you can keep them on the shelf for as long as you desire.

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