Random Rant

This is a random post so I don’t expect to make any sense. Also I am writing this on my phone so excuse formatting and spelling.

If you knew me in real life you would know I always go for classes. At 22 I learnt flower arrangement. Over the years I went for writing, drawing, painting, sewing, and graphic design classes. Not at the same time. I had always wanted to be a designer of some sort. And a writer. And a DJ (NOT AT MALAY WEDDINGS! Something like David Guetta but only way cooler). Or an artist.

Two months ago I was busy with fiction writing class. I write a lot for work, but it’s mostly serious stuff like passive-aggro emails, notices for students, minutes of meetings, and Facebook posts for work, which was why I was excited to learn from a local published author.

I respect the craft, and for a brief period was even seduced to devote whatever spare time I had into learning everything about writing, and completing writing exercises on Word, selecting all text, and changing the font to Courier New.

So I went for class. There were about 20 of us, tired after work, most were MOE teachers, and the structure was:

  • Peer Review for the previous week’s homework
  • lecture about writing techniques
  • writing exercises (short ones)
  • videos

There was a woman who probably took one look at my hijab, decided we would be best friends, and started talking non-stop to me about writing. I was amused. I was just there to be a sponge and learn, and maybe network a little.

She talked about publishing a book, name-dropped everyone in the local scene (unfortunately I am not familiar) and bragged about writing one script for the local Malay channel.

I looked uneasy because I would be embarrassed if she asked me anything Malay channel and I didn’t know. My mistake was to tell her I didn’t watch the Malay channel. I should have explained I meant I didn’t watch TV in general, but the damage was done; I now came across as pompous. Which, if she had made the effort at all to get to know me, is hilarious. I worked as a dishwasher/cleaner/kitchen help when I was jobless at 23. I worked in fast food as an attempt to discover myself (the only thing I learnt was cheeseburgers and double cheeseburgers were different). I am far from pompous.

She told me she worked as a cleaning lady and earned SGD 1.7k a month despite having a degree in finance. I nodded. I subscribe to the belief that we are not defined by our jobs, but she obviously had already sized me up. She started talking to me in that tone. That tone people use on me when they want to emphasise my life is…. easy, and I have no right to complain about my ‘first world’ problems.

Two lessons later she asked if I taught, and I said no, but I did admin work in a school.

Her reaction was funny. She crinkled her nose in disgust as soon as I said ‘admin’, as if I didn’t warrant the same respect a teacher did. When we had Peer Review she took a full 20 minutes to read my writing, and criticised it (didn’t like it, the pacing was weird) while I sat there not knowing what to do with my hands because she didn’t do the homework so I had nothing to read.

Fuck. I didn’t like her and I hardly give toss about strangers.

The class is now over. I am now learning about writing in an MOOC (f yeahhhh).

Here are some pictures of what I am currently up to after work:

Sewing! (Attempt)

Reading these two books (I read the second one when I was in my teens, but I am re-reading because I really want to understand local writing)


Okay bye.

Metamorphosis

I realised I now find blogging challenging because of various reasons:

  • I am older now, so whatever free time I have would be spent on reading, catching up on sleep, and meeting social obligations (I’m bad at this, but trust me I would make the effort sometime)
  • I am older now, so I try not to tell everyone what I’ve been up to on a real-time basis. This is why you hardly see me checking in to places on Facebook or posting photos of this and that. Simply because I don’t want you to know
  • I am older now, so I am starting to not care about irrelevant things. Irrelevant things such as who got married, who’s pregnant, who’s more successful, who got married again, who posted what-with-whom on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Having said all that, in the beginning of the year I told two friends I wanted to make improvements to my life. There were certain things I wasn’t happy with, such as my weight, my seemingly dull life, my overthinking, and my inability to sustain relationships. I no longer go for talk therapy, and I don’t particularly enjoy reading self-help books, and I don’t listen to anyone anyway, so I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to do.

But four months later, here are some things I have learnt so far, and the list might change (or grow) because life is always a work in progress:

  • Selecting what to change

I have to be realistic. I am approaching my 30s and my health should be prioritised because I hear stories of people suddenly dropping dead and I don’t want to be them. I also wouldn’t be able to do the thousand things I want to do in life if I were sick. So I went to a clinic for tests, I tried to find fun exercise activities to do with friends, and I consciously took note of my sugar intake. I don’t try to smoke less though, because that’s for 2018 (let’s be realistic, come on).

  • Stop victimising myself

This was a bit hard to do. In order to take control of, and improve my life, I need to stop assigning blame to my environment or other people, starting with my dad (I blame him for everything, especially my entire existence). Still working on this.

  • Overthinking or ‘decoding’ 

I worked in government service for almost 6 years of my life (which is more than half my adult/working lift) and maybe I was unlucky, or young, or both, but those jobs forced me to interact with people who weren’t forthcoming. As a result I had to decode body language and snark to understand what they really wanted, and I brought this habit into my current life. I would not say the by-products of those interactions were 100% negative, though. The experiences made me less naive and more wary.

In the earlier part of the year I liked someone from work and he did this thing I really didn’t like. When he didn’t agree with things I’d suggested he would keep quiet and hope I’d shut up. My brain automatically translated this into ‘lack of interest’ (on his part) and other negative thoughts. I talked to him a few times about this and to be honest I cannot remember even the gist of what we argued about but sometimes you have to trust your instinct. Also, why would I consider dating someone who cannot be honest with me? If you don’t want to go out with someone just tell them lah.

  • Sustaining relationships

I don’t mean just romantic ones. Even platonic or familial. I am so bad at this. I made the decision to cut irrelevant people out of my life and although I second-guessed myself a lot in the process, I think it turned out OK in the end. I did this not to be un-Islamic, but as a form of self-care and self-love.

A little note before I say bye

The decision to improve my life did not come randomly. The hardest part of the journey was to look the problems in the eye and ask myself whether I wanted and was willing to make those improvements. I think challenging experiences exist in our lives so that at the end of it all we come out as stronger and kinder people.

But of course we must do the work.

 

 

New York City

Let me just begin this by saying I am not interested in traveling. My disinterest is equal parts lazy and equal parts lack of money. I am not broke, but I am not exactly sitting on a pile of money. I like to spend money. I also don’t particularly enjoy doing 3-airports-in-24-hours things, therefore when I landed in JFK I was ecstatic. Plus I had to shit so bad, but the Singaporean in me forced my rectum to behave because I did not want to re-queue. I also think maybe it was because I would look suspicious and any US airport is not the place to look suspicious.

I had no problems with the immigration (yasss!!!) but I had a serious case of jetlag. I sleep a lot normally so when you put me on a plane for 14 hours straight (and 8 hours before that) I tend to want to sleep more, regardless of how many hours I slept on the plane.

I have been to NYC once for two weeks in 2015, and I stayed in Brooklyn then. It’s not that scary but I remember I had to be alert all the damn time and I was always ducking into delis. This time I stayed near Times Square, so moving around was easier.

The second day I was there I went to Strand (the bookstore) in the evening and spent maybe an hour or two browsing. Ended up buying 11 books, stopped by a cart to get dinner, and took the subway back to the apartment. I bought two Tennessee Williams plays (one I am using as a mouse now heh), a few books on writing, a Neil Gaiman, and a James Patterson.

Highlights of the trip: I went for my third play of the year, I went to MoMA, and I was mistaken for a Filipino at least 3 times. It doesn’t bother me now. I also went to 54 Below for ‘Broadway Loves Kelly Clarkson’. I took videos, but YouTube has a bunch of videos, so I will link to those, instead.

One of my favourites (it is one of my favourite KC songs anyway, plus I have a similar jacket hehehe!!!):

We said Hi to the singer who sang ‘Miss Independent’ after the show (I liked this song as a teenager because Miss Christina Aguilera wrote it)

And my favourite:

If you are interested, you can view the rest of the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_tl7Dl6pOJOt8nJ2HjevvRlX4YGAYMn2

Before they dimmed the lights, this is what Feinstein’s looks like:

f54b.jpg

We of course got booth seats (had to share with a couple) because New York. 

We went to MoMA on one of the days. Some pictures:

Lessons I learnt from this trip:

  1. Don’t buy pet food unless you’re OK with dogs (I am not! I am terrified of dogs)
  2. People work hard to get where they are (i.e. they work multiple jobs while going for classes when they want to make it somewhere)
  3. Maybe it’s time to learn about your own history (I know nothing about Singapore or being Malay and I am embarrassed sometimes)
  4. Speak louder and be confident

Good night! 🙂

Introduction

I’m bad at introducing myself and I hadn’t blogged in a couple of years so I am really rusty. To make this less awkward for all of us, I will do it in bullet points! I love lists. This is the get-to-know-me post, so I’ll try to keep it short:

  • I started (or am starting) this blog as a way to amuse myself and share with you the things I’m working on (this, at the moment, means ‘nothing’). I like Facebook and all but I need to take a break from social media.
  • I have a cat. His name is Ollie. You all know him. He is three years old. I don’t know how old that is in cat years so I just tell everyone 25. He has been 25 for 2 years now.
  • I am turning 30 in 7 months. I am pretty nervous about it and a large part of it is personal pressure; I just think it’s that age you have to stop making excuses for being a dumbass and I have a lot of anecdotes to confirm my dumbassery.
  • My mother will probably read this so I will try to not talk about sex. Or alcohol. Or alcohol-fueled-sex. Or anything bad about her relatives. Or her helicopter parenting. Maybe I should not tell her I have a blog.
  • I like all kinds of things. Except coleslaw. And dogs. And stories of people eating dogs. Actually I like dogs. I am just scared of them. Not the same way I fear God, but it’s God > Getting old > My mother > lizards > my phone dropping into a drain > dogs. I like reading, Reddit, music, and movies.
  • I hadn’t switched my computer on for the last two months because my Microsoft-everything expired, and then I stuck my tongue out when I realised it was expensive (100+ a year!) and then I had an ah-ha! moment because I work in a school I get stuff free helloooo 
  • My favourite Miley Cyrus song is ‘Adore You’. I attempted to karaoke it in February 2017. I did OK. My favourite Elton John song is ‘Rocket Man’. I still cannot decide my favourite Mariah song.
  • I spend whatever free time I have on Netflix (the ‘chill’ part is needless to say), reading, and watching standup comedy.