Love Talk

Can you adore another being, without being in love with yourself?

This one was a discussion I often refuse to have or dwell into, because I simply think that loving and respecting yourself is a completely different and unrelated matter to giving out love towards others.

You can be completely miserable and charitable at the same time, caring about other people, fighting on the causes you are passionate about, etc etc.

But I guess, a personal relationship does not belong in the same pile.

It is difficult to respect somebody, a particular person, when you don’t hold up the same values for yourself.

I guess it’s cliche for me to say, but the way you treat and expect to be treated by other people is the reflection of how you feel about yourself,
and how you expect to be treated by yourself as well.

My therapist once told me, that there are two kinds of people when it comes to love and loving. There are those who are full of love and are self-sufficient, so when they meet a partner of equal self-sufficiency, they are looking to give out and exchange energies. Sure, one might be a level above the other, but they are fulfilling each other and ultimately balancing each other out. Like a perfect mixology.
And then there are ones that came out empty handed. They searched for love in order to fill the deserted space they have within them. All they do is take, take and take, eventually leaving both in the relationship exhausted and drained to the bone. Because they were looking for love, but what they get from their partner, was not the kind of love they were looking for.
Love that others give you, whilst it offers temporary comfort, it would not sustain you, not like self-love could anyway.

So, up to this point of my life, I don’t think we can love others when we cannot radiate the same love towards ourselves. We would end up looking for the wrong kind of love, in the wrong person.

We would always demand them to prioritise us, focus on us, hold us and love us, but get this, nothing, NOTHING would ever feel enough. No matter what they say or what they do. We would always ask for more, more, more, until either one eventually gets drained and pushed to the point of absolute exhaustion.

We cannot trick ourselves, thinking that we are loving ourselves by loving another, because that is simply against the algorithm that the universe had put out.
The love that we give to ourselves and the love we receive from external beings, are two completely different things. It is so incredibly sad to want to radiate love to another person and have it blocked by a giant metal wall of self-hatred and disgust.

Work on tearing down your walls, fill your entire being with such saturated self adoration to the point where you feel like you were going to explode.

Then, you can start thinking about spreading that overflowing love to the person you know deserve it the most.

written on June 9, 2018.

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La La Land

I have an entire universe built inside my head.
As I grew bigger, older in the past 25 years, so did it.
It’s one I choose to live in,
rather than the one I have to live.

My universe is one with endless possibilities.
I run around town in my underwear, wrapped in a hooded jacket that would fit my entire family.
I write for a living, but not in the conventional way we know.
I write and write for days. My creativity flows with inserts of genuine soul in them, they make young girls look in the mirror twice and grown men cry.
People consume my writing like a cars consume fuel and thus, giving me life. Life for my body, life for my spirit.

In the universe we all share, as you know, I also write. I am a writer who have sold 3 books, one of which made its way into the national best-seller list.
My freelance writings are often hidden, as I’m also a ghost writer of some sort.
I write for money, not for a living. Contrary to popular belief, money does not give me life. It lets me buy expensive things and gradually pay for this downtown loft apartment in New York, the best state of all.
But it doesn’t give me life, not to my body, not to my soul.

That is, until I met you.
You are not the reason I am alive, nor that you give me a life at all,
but you fired a flame inside me,
and I lit up from within,
resulting in the flush of colour you see ever-so-slightly on my cheeks every time I see you.

I was alive,
just like that, you had fired up the rusty engine within me.

But this is the universe we’re talking about, not mine.
It has its own algorithms to how connection works, it has its hidden agendas and conspiracies.

It brings people together, just to pull them apart in the end,
it brings us to the top, only to slam us back down.

It brings happiness to us, for us to find how shortly it would last
and how abruptly it would end,
forcing us to recover from the damage, three times longer than the time we got to savour such happiness.

When we spent that night devouring an assortment of street food and talking about politics, I couldn’t help but think how fast you will be gone from my life.

In my universe, nothing could ever be good enough to pull us away from each other. Plain and simple.
In this one, though, I am not the master of my on fate.

We’re meant to love, not to last

written on June 6, 2018.

Sidney & Sally

“Is it selfish? To want to die before anyone else does?
To want to just end everything now before anyone else could?
You see, I often feel like it’s easier if everyone just die already.
Think about it, there won’t be any problems. No conflicts, no clashes, no nothing.
It’s easier when everyone just… disappear”

“But it’s not possible though, is it, Sal?”

“Well, there’s seven billion people in this world, so, no, it’s not technically possible to kill everyone off.
But think about this. It’s easier to mourn the loss of someone and memorize them for the good times and good characters the possessed when they were alive, rather than, you know, solving conflicts and having to deal with people.
So if we can’t get rid of seven billion people, then maybe, we can get rid of one instead. Ourselves.”

“Wow. Haha. You know what, I think they should hear these kinds of thoughts of yours and I think they might just reconsider on calling me the sick one”

“Whatever, Sid, at least they don’t see me running around with polaroid cameras all the time, chasing moments that would already be gone by the time your pictures dry”

“Hey, sex, drugs and polaroids, Sally. You know me.”

“It’s kind of mind-fucking to actually think that we are best friends. People think that a boy and a girl can never be friends, until they see us. If only they knew that we came from entirely different time and space continuums”

“Actually, we ain’t that different, you and me. I’m sick and I let everyone see it. You, my friend, are also sick, but the difference is that you don’t let ever let it out.”

“Huh, I guess you’re not entirely off, but, whatever, at least I’m not the one who have developed a reckless sex behaviour and addicted to drugs. So that’s a win in my book”

“Well, drugs and sex. That’s a win in mine”

written on May 28, 2018.

 

Fitting The Past Into The Present

There was barely any light coming in from the window.
Its way have been blocked by the dark mahogany coloured blinds,
it was 5 am and it was raining.

As she rolled the blinds open,
she was reminded of the daily visual she would see almost every morning.

“It must have been three years ago now.
Crazy how much could change in three years”

Fully up on her feet, she showered,
jump out in a heart beat and put on the lightest coat of skin tint,
a layer of liquid cheek colour,
a wisp of lip creme,
and brushed mascara through her eyelashes and brows.

Next comes the pair of slouchy jeans she hasn’t put on in a while,
then the white t-shirt
and the oversized bomber jacket.

After making sure she locked all her doors three times,
she got into the driver’s seat on the 5 seater SUV.

The time was now 6 am as she drove away
from her comfortable house.
Lonely, but comfortable.

The stereo was now on,
on a low enough volume that doesn’t shut out the sound
of passing cars and motorcycles.

She headed for the park,
a green sanctuary in the heart of a bustling city.

She was hungry now,
but she opted for coffee.

 

Reliving

written on May 28, 2018.

Kebahagiaan itu tak ada di Pulau Dewata

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Lautan aku seberangi

Demi kebahagiaan sejati
Norma dan adat istiadat ku langkahi

Namun kebahagiaan sejati
masih enggan untuk memunculkan rona jingganya

Ia menyimpan semua kesejukannya
dalam sebuah kotak tanpa nama
dan menutupnya rapat-rapat.

Lalu aku mulai mempertanyakan
Bentuk apa yang sesungguhnya akan ia ambil
ketika ia memutuskan untuk menjumpaiku
yang telah mencarinya
bahkan sampai ke ujung dunia.

Apa yang akan kudapati
ketika ku kecap keberadaannya dalam ruang dan waktuku.

Yakinkah bahwa ia akan terasa begitu manis
atau akankah ia datang dengan sedikit taburan kegetiran
yang membuatnya terasa begitu berharga.

written in Denpasar on April 29th, 2018.

The Coffee Shop Analogy

I am writing to you from the brighter end of the horizon.

Today, my life isn’t so bad. Had you asked me yesterday, I would have served you a very different answer.

But in this moment, I am in my perfect element.
Sitting in a coffee shop.
It is not too busy, but not dead either. Most of the seats are occupied by people who are on their personal computers. There are three guys to my left who are seating as a group, but they’re all on their laptops and are wearing huge headphones. I caught a glimpse of their screens and it seemed like they were working on editing a picture.
“Must have been a group of photographers”, I thought.

Some other people on the other tables are having a light conversation. About their salaries and their love lives, but they are not being too loud. I love it, they are sensible.

This coffee shop is almost fully decorated with wooden panels, the warm yellow lighting really just sets the atmosphere.
But it is located inside a department store, so there are quite bright lights coming in, but it doesn’t interfere with the atmosphere in the room.
It’s almost like this joint is in its own little bubble, in the middle of a brightly-lit department store.

Oh, I just noticed, on my far right, there are three Japanese men sitting in a group. They are dressed quite formally, with pants and long-sleeved shirts. Their grey hair told me that they must have been above the age of fifty.
They are conversing quietly, but not in a secretive manner, and laughing in unison here and there. It sounds so pleasant in my ears, like I could feel the subtle cheer in their conversation. I could feel it, I could hear it. Although I could not understand it.

As for me,
I am sitting in a set of tables and chairs meant for four people. So I have quite a space between me and the person on the next table. He is sitting alone, just like me, but instead of a laptop, he had not took his eyes off his phone, from the minute I sat down.

Oh wait, remember the Japanese men I was telling you about? behind them, sits a lady.
She does not look very comfortable. She is sitting alone on a table for three. Her makeup looks very up-to-date, her slim legs looked longer because of the sky high wooden clogs she is wearing. Hair straight and long, huge hoops and a tight cotton dress adorned her figure. She is sitting uncomfortably and keep looking left and right.

I don’t want to talk about her anymore, it somehow makes me feel a bit uneasy and weirdly, anxious.
Her demeanour just screams anxious to me.

I took another spoon of the cake I ordered. It’s a lovely and luscious boston cream cake. Boston cream is one of my favourite things, put it in a donut, cronut, or cake, I’d eat them all.

I like to plan out my food and drink sometimes, I think about them too much. Since my cake would be sweet, I ordered a Vanilla Sweet Cream cold brew. I was sure the strong coffee taste would balance out the decadence of the cake.

I am in my perfect element.
My surrounding is filled with people, but I am alone. I am plugged into my earphones and doing my own thing. So is everybody else.

I am in my perfect element. My laptop is on 68 percent brightness, just the way I like it. My dress is made of corduroy material, which is perfect for the temperature of the coffee shop.

I am in my perfect element.
I am aware that life is not always going to be smooth-sailing, but I know that I want to be someone who can make a contribution in making the world just a bit more comfortable for everyone, like this coffee shop. Anxious or happy, alone or in a group, everyone can feel okay in this coffee shop.

I know I want to be someone who will be remembered for the contribution I made, no matter how big or small. I want to be remembered and celebrated as the women who is able to create her own element, regardless of the condition she is being put under.

So, this is me. Writing to you from the brighter, happier end of the horizon.
Some days are better than others, some days are worse.
When I come back to this tranquil place, you will know.

Perfect Element
written on April 17, 2018.

 

Adulting

It is one of the scariest, most confusing phases in life that I have ever had to go through. So far, anyways.

All of a sudden, 24 hours in a day can never seem to be enough.
It became harder and harder for me to manage time between work responsibilities, family time, social demands, searching for higher opportunities and of course, as an acute introvert, a huge chunk of quality time with my self.
Surely, this is something anyone in their mid-twenties are dealing with, and I would like to shy away from the mundane stuff that everyone talks about, for a second.
Everyone knows that time management became difficult, finishing chores and mundane responsibilities became rewards in and of themselves.

But there is one huge thing that caught me off guard and almost threw me off completely in this entire process.

Transitioning from child-like behaviour into a more adult mindset is just as tough as the other stuff, if not more.

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For example, up until I was 20 years old and graduating from University, I was very much used to having people telling me what to do.
Education systems sort of have that common setting that dictate what you’re suppose to do, and in what way. Although in my case, education did promoted free and critical thinking, but I was at least told what to think about.

It then brought me to a year and a half of pursuing a Masters degree. On one side, yes, I had become somewhat passionate about education, but on the other side, I knew it was a safe option. I could at least buy my self another year or two before I have to throw my self into the so-called real world.

Now, in terms of the technical stuff, I would say that I have handled ‘adulting’ pretty well so far, but in terms of the way my brain works, believe me, I still have long ways to go.
I was raised as an independent child, yet still, it doesn’t make it easier for me to go through the transition and shifts in my world, and my brain is definitely not cruising smoothly through it all.

It could be very overwhelming at times, and some other time, it just felt like I have such huge burdens being imposed on me without me agreeing upon it, and I just felt like I didn’t deserve it or it was not my responsibility.

Given the conditions that I have, it could be challenging at times to maintain positivity, but what I have learned is that we should all let the negativity pass through.

Although we shouldn’t let it stay with us forever, it is also not the best idea to repress and deny the fact that we are struggling and that we are having a hard time adjusting to a completely distinct point of view and objectives we had a couple of years back.

After all, I believe that one of the things that makes us more of an adult than we were yesterday, is our ability to stand through tough challenges and our resilience in facing problems.

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So, I am not sure where or how to end this post. I wish I could tell you some ways I cope with adulting, but, alas, I am still struggling and exploring my ways, too.

I will, though, leave you with this.

Accept changes. Try as much as you can, not to repress things. If you are like me, who simply cannot open up to someone else, find a healthy and enjoyable way to channel whatever emotions you’re feeling. For me, writing does the job just fine, but there are always unexplored options out there for you to discover.

Falling over is not a taboo thing. In fact, it is one of the things that makes us human. Just make sure to rise wiser and hopefully, more of an ‘adult’.

 

written on April 5, 2018.

You Have Lost (Not an April Fools Joke)

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

The mac n cheese does not bring you warmth anymore,
working out now feels like a chore,
and coffee only seem to agitate you more.

Everything seems out of place,
yet they feel like they are meant to be.

You can no longer distinguish between the right and the wrong.

Every pleasure brings you guilt,
Every sin tasted so sweet.

And so you go out of your way to put the blame on somebody else,
“Everyone sucks”, you yell.

So you decided to lock yourself up in a little sanctuary you call your bedroom.

First you try sitting on the desk,
but those pile of papers only bring you stress.

So you scooched over to the vanity,
playing with lavish cosmetics only reminded you of who you used to be.

The bed it is.
Two pillows under your head, a blanket over your body except your face and your tippy toes. Just the way you like it. Wait, liked it.
Doesn’t seem so pleasant anymore.

The sound from the TV was now too loud. You turned the volume down. Still too loud, so you turned the TV off altogether. Too silent.

You become restless.
No longer knowing what would bring you comfort anymore.

Anywhere you sit, lay or stand just don’t feel natural.

Dragging your numb feet to function, when everything inside had combusted simultaneously.

When you no longer know how to comfort yourself,
what happens then?

Defeated

written on April 2, 2018.

Between these lines, you shall read

To the souls who constantly face internal battles,

I hear you.
Not the voice you make when you speak,
not the silent cry you let out once every late night,
but the voices trying to take you down every minute of every day,
every version of you.

There are days when you struggle to even remember your name,
who you are,
and what you are here for,
like an inconsistent amnesia that keep coming and going.

When the blue moon comes around,
your head get all cloudy.
Like everything couldn’t get any worse,
but yet they just keep taking you deeper and deeper,
to the dark pit they wanted you to be buried in.

And when the green vapour took its turn to occupy you,
you face every direction with the spirit of a warrior.
Invincible, indestructible.

I know you feel sick.
You hate the way you’re feeling,
despise the lack of control you have,
and wishing for a different universe inside your head,
a still and quiet one.

I have learned, time and time again,
that wishing would not really do much around here.

So, rise above.
Help yourself by lending a hand to others.

It always seemed to be easier to carry someone else’s burden,
rather than our own.

In the middle of it all, you would find yourself in a balanced point,
and in that moment, even if it lasted for just half a second,
remind yourself of who you truly are,
what ground you’re standing on.

It’s a struggle, to keep playing guerrilla with a being you share a home with,
but I believe, that nirvana awaits.
After all the battle, paradise will always be at the end of the tunnel.
In this life, or another.

On International Bipolar Disorder Day

written on March 30th, 2018.

 

It’s called ‘Overthinking’, they said

Stories are made of association.
A simple matter that used to have no meaning at all, could gain a certain relevance in the story of someone’s life when they come to an encounter with it, thus giving such matter, meaning and existence.

New meanings could also be gained through experiences, good or bad, they are more likely to stick around longer and more vibrantly, as such change could make the relevance even more noticeable.

Writing was just a part of daily life, part of the basic education system, until it became a platform of social criticism, a tool to express creativity and frustration, a way out of a crippling depression.

Religion was always a belief, a guiding light and pathway of carrying out mortal life and afterlife, until it became the one thing that parted two lovers, until it was turned into shields for selfish human agendas, until it became a reminder of past and present sins and guilt.

There are not really ways to avoid gaining new meanings to existing items in life, nor there is a loophole to avoid gaining new relevances for previously undiscovered things.

It is now a matter of controlling such meaning, whether us, mortal, flawed human beings, are capable of doing so.

False Positives

written on March 30th, 2018.