Tuesday, December 31, 2019

12/31/2019

We’re entering a new decade in a couple of hours’ time. For some, it marks a new beginning. Maybe the start of a relationship or a shared life. For some, it marks the death of something. For some, it marks the continuation of something. In short, it has an element of the unknown for everyone.

Speaking of a new beginning, I’ve never been one to celebrate - or even welcome the new year with a bang or with fireworks. As far as memory serves me, I’m forever left to my own devices and would tune out the celebrations by doing my own things. This can range from catching up on my favorite drama series on TV or even procaffeinate. Yes, procaffeinate. You read that right.

If I’m honest, I expected that the last day of 2019 would end on a more fruitful note, i.e. me being able to clear the files instead of carrying all of it into the new year. *shrugs* Unfortunately, it’s not meant to be - especially when there were last minute arrangements to deal with things. I’m not whining that the shortened office hours is a bad thing. It is a good thing, especially when the chance to leave for home early doesn’t come often. But I felt like I was working against time to ensure that everything was done and dusted, leaving me with no chance to focus on other paperwork.

Here’s to hoping that 2020 would be a much better year than 2019 for everyone.



This is me signing out - and see you on the flipside!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

12/8/2019

The irony of the month is that I didn’t want anyone to know when my birthday was - or for anyone to celebrate it on my behalf. What’s worse is the knowledge that birthday wishes are no longer important. If there are wishes, there are wishes. If there’s none, there’s none.

Life doesn’t just revolve around this. After all, I need to focus on other grave matters too.

Garden pots at a friend's balcony 
I also haven’t been in the mood for a celebratory session since … forever. When my college friends threw a birthday surprise, I felt a mixture of annoyance and gratitude at their actions. I don’t know if you concur with me, but I feel that birthdays are mere reminders that we’re all a year older and running on limited time to make our dreams come true.

Yet I slipped away to my favorite coffeehouse and spent the hour with coffee and cake next to me - alone. I guess that’s the beauty of working in a centralized area where you’ve a choice in F&B outlets. The place wasn’t crowded at my chosen time, which permitted enough personal space for me to stew and release the work stress. If I’m honest, it’s not easy to concentrate on your paperwork when everyone wants a piece of you but not in a respectful manner. *blows the top of my fringe* I’ve received calls that pushed me over the edge and forced me to adopt a strict and insistent tone (that almost went into sarcasm). I’ve also received sarcastic calls that threatened to blow my head off. Coupled with the emotional stress behind the scenes, there will come a day when I’ll crash and burn.

On a side note, the Christmas decorations are slowly making its yearly appearance at the shopping malls, albeit with a different aura than last year. Chances are unlikely for me to purchase all of the items on my wish list due to the emotional stress, but at least window shopping gives my brain a temporary break from work. I’m able to breathe in the dazzling decorations and take a chill pill instead of wondering about the unfinished paperwork all the time. Yes, you read it right: I think about work on the downtime too. *shrugs*

Cookies & Cream Tiramisu with Ice Blended Pure Vanilla from Coffee Bean
If I have a choice, I’d work overtime and on the weekends - but I think my office management wouldn’t be pleased with me not having a work-life balance. Come to think of it, I already have a freelancing career that I balance with my primary employment. Don’t worry, both positions are in different fields than each other.

Whoever said that blogging isn’t a job should give it a go.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

12/03/2019

Somewhere en-route to the airport before sunrise 
The look in your eyes speaks volume.
You long for someone to understand you.
Someone to assure you that all would be well.
Someone to hold your hand along the way.
A home where you can rest your heart.

The light in your eyes have dimmed.
Your shoulders are hunched forward,
Drained of hopes and dreams.
You drag your feet,
Pushing against the weight of the world.

Each step is heavier than a brick,
With melancholy weakening your mind.
The path of darkness lulls you with its soothing voice,
The afterlife becoming the goal.
A perfect remedy for your pain.

A part of you wants to be saved.
Dusk being replaced by light,
You still hold the hope for a savior.
Someone to be there with you.
Someone who is there with you.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

12/01/2019

Now that the year is drawing to a close, I'm somewhat relieved that I have a bit of breathing space to clear the backlog that has accumulated in my paperwork. This is the result of being a newbie and having to waddle my way through unfamiliar territories. It's still familiar in some ways, but not for the most part.

I don't know; at least my work life has some positive aspects attached to it - unlike my personal life and emotions, which are still in the mud. All I desire now is to throw myself into work as much as I can - even if it means a nervous breakdown or burnout. Exhaustion is thick in the air with me wanting to ignore everyone and plug out the phone line from its socket.

A shop selling teddy bears in Sunway Pyramid
The lunch hour is there for a reason yet I’m continuously against the idea of catching a meal outdoors and have a change of environment. I’m working through the lunch hour most of the time - unless I’m confident that the paperwork doesn’t warrant enough urgency for me to do that. It’d mean that I’m working for straight hours and nursing frequent headaches at the end of the day without the valuable break while toying with the idea of popping Panadol tablets.

In an attempt to keep the stress at bay, I decided to throw everything to the backburner and window-shop at my favorite stores. Yeah, I know it’s the season of giving and I should treat myself, but I still won’t. I’d rather hide under the blanket and sleep through day and night to allow my exhausted soul to recuperate. The irony is that I know what has caused my soul to feel this way but I haven’t taken steps to deal with it.

Hari Raya Celebration at Sunway Pyramid
So, maybe it’s the period where I should learn to relax and take a chill pill - instead of being frazzled and walking on a thin line while resembling someone about to crash and burn.

Monday, November 11, 2019

11/11/2019

I’m hiding more in my hoodie and creating an invisible barrier that divides the highly intense work environment and my personal life. You see, I’m someone who’s easily influenced by the environment that I am in, regardless of work or accommodation. For me to focus well, I’d need to distract myself from intense stimuli even though music is considered a stimulating factor for some people. Somehow, songs blasting through the earpiece at an obstreperous volume allow me to be in that element at the risk of hearing loss. This action permits me to be more productive and able to focus on the task at hand yet we both know that I don’t have the opportunity to do this all the time. My concentration will be shattered by the continuous phone calls. I know that there’s an option for me to ignore the calls, but not when it annoys the hell out of you.

*shrugs* That’s me for you - even when I’m under the weather. I won’t allow myself to take sick leave if I’m still able to move around, albeit slower than usual.

Knowing myself, I slept at odd hours last weekend to complete the urgent paperwork. I usually avoid bringing work from the office for the very reason listed in the first sentence of this post. But sometimes you have no choice. I know I need some downtime but a messed up sleeping schedule doesn’t help either. Even at 16 hours later, I’m operating with a blurry mind, especially since everything needs amendment or inclusion - to such a stage where I mixed papers and documents appeared in different files. *sighs*

Staying up until the wee hours of Sunday morning was a danger that I was aware of - yet the perfectionist in me refuses to sleep until I was confident that I had done as much as I can to buy more time in the office. I mean, I’ve the choice of heading home only after everything has been done, but that would be leaving after sunset and I’m not sure if I’m willing to take the risk since safety is an issue right now. That leaves me with no other method but to bring the documents with me and work in the silence of my place after everyone has gone to bed.

So, if you ever see me with panda eyes or in a terrible mood, do us both a favor and try to limit the conversation - unless I make the first move of talking to you.

Monday, November 4, 2019

11/4/19

It’s close to a year after graduation yet I’m still on the journey that I envisioned myself to have at this age. I don’t know if this is the result of the decisions that were wrongly made when I was younger. You’ll convince me that things can’t be rushed and there’s a time and place for everything, but I don’t know if I’ll believe that. The circumstances I endured kind of twisted my perception of things. I’d believe those words if it is sad in another world, but not in this current one. I’m losing bits and pieces of myself and even my dreams just to survive and fulfill the wishes of others.

An owl brought to life with balloons, helium, and creativity  - as part of the Halloween decorations in IPC
I stared out of the window at my favorite coffeehouse and observed the foot traffic entering the cafe. I sigh, knowing and reflecting on the exhausting journey that shaped me into the person I am today. Gone into the wind is the cheerful, carefree girl and taking her presence is someone who’d rather feign normalcy than to let anyone see her at her weakest moments. Yet it’s draining her and making her withdraw into isolation.

Then there’s the whole topic about work.

Although it has relatively been okay, I’ve operated on auto-pilot to the point where I’ve made mistakes on the job or unable to remember work-related matters (even after months in this position). I don’t know if the lines between my personal life and working life merging into one fuzzy line. I’ve ensured that these two portions of my life never intertwine with each other for the fear that one will affect the other yet the seams in the middle are breaking apart. What’s worse is that I’ve the desire to pull the covers over my head and waddle my way through the paperwork while keeping everyone at an arm’s distance due to insecurities.

Chinese Zombie (殭屍) - as part of the Halloween decorations in IPC
As if that isn’t exhausting enough, I sprained my back a couple of weeks ago and refused to let the doctor/chiropractor have a look of it. No matter how much pain I was dealing with, I just bit my tongue and relied on the infrequent use of Panadol. I’m sure I was close to collapsing from the sudden pain radiating in my nerves upon rising to my full height after being seated for some time. I had to throw caution to the wind and hope that the pain will leave on its terms, but it was difficult to move around without the freedom of movement. Somehow with the guidance and patience of time, my back manage to recover - although I still can’t fully squat without losing my balance.

The same thing can’t be said about the emotional side of things. I still don’t feel good. Fighting against the current has drained me to such a stage that I’m exhausted. I’m aware that I should take some time off to permit my emotions to recover, but once I do that, I’ll be greeted by an amplified workload and an even more limited timeframe to work with. And I know myself; I'm more than capable to become a workaholic and sacrifice my social life to ensure that

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Giving up the fight

Kings Park, Perth, WA - 2013
In her clouded mind, she only sees mazes.
She wants to slice the rope that keeps her alive.
Her brain, interwoven with draining thoughts;
It can no longer hold on for dear life.

Yet she succeeds in her attempt.
Her essence sucked out of her body,
Surrounded by pools of sticky metallic red.
She slides, and slides at a dizzying speed.

A peaceful zombie takes on her appearance.
Her exhaustion, it bleeds out of her eyes.
Sinking like an anchor to the bottom of the sea,
Relieving her heavy shoulders of the earthly worries.

A lightweight body resting away from sight,
Not wanting to be discovered.
Her shadow floats around to protect her loved ones,
Blending in with her newfound environment with peace.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Eventual Departure


With an exhausted heart,
Yet she carve a path out of this mess.
These shoulders of hers,
They are heavy from unspoken burdens.

A different life haunts her with memories.
Her current life taunts her with obstacles.
Withdrawing into her shell,
She seeks solace in the silence.

Darkness welcomes her with open arms,
A place where she can call her home.
Isolation is the protective mask she wears,
As she descends into the dark abyss.

Her burdens disintegrate into particles.
Her eyes are dull and lack of life,
Describing her eventual permanent vacation
As she spends the rest of her days as a zombie.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Yet another ranting

The morning commute is draining me even more than I expected no thanks to the late nights and early mornings of my accord. I mean, who wants to willingly wake up at the crack of dawn and rush to their workplace with the fear of running late? No one, right? Yet I know a handful of people who do that on a daily basis as they live a terrible distance away. Even though I’ve the option of relying on either the public transport or the family car, it’s still a drag for me because it’s hard for me to sleep earlier. I don’t like to fall asleep during the commute as that would make me look like I didn’t sleep for 30 hours straight.



Mind you, I’ve done it before in real life. I remember it well: I was on the go the moment I landed in Adelaide. While I scooped my luggage from the baggage carousel and cleared Customs, I kept track of the time in the hopes that I wouldn’t be late for class. Due to a miscalculation on my part, I landed mere hours before the start of an academic week. I ordered an Uber cab from my phone and convinced the driver to use whatever route necessary to avoid the morning peak hour congestion so that I can arrive at my residence for a change of clothes on time. I managed to arrive on campus in time for my Evidence tutorial and somehow let it slip that “I spent the entire night on my return flight”. I caught up with the sister over coffee and lunch, completed errands at the grocery store and finally headed home - all about 5 hours later. As I was too exhausted to cook dinner, I purchased a bowl of salad from Poke Me (located somewhere in Gawler Place, near Hello Sarnie) and had it delivered via UberEats. I figured that the tiredness would send me to bed immediately after dinner but I found myself floating in the air for the next 7 to 8 hours with a book in hand. By the time I slept, it was 4 am the next morning. And if it hadn’t been for classes the next day, I’m sure I’d be awake for close to 36 hours.

As what I referenced earlier, if I keep busy with the paperwork, time flies faster than expected. Before I’m aware of it, the office takes a life of its own and sends everyone scurrying to complete their paperwork. That’s not to say that I’m not in a rush myself, but I can’t focus whenever there is a buzz of activity around me. Throw me in a silent office before or after hours and you’ll see me flourish at an unprecedented rate with music blasting through the headphones. Only problem? You’ll see the significantly permanent BB cream on my face. But the more hours I pull for work, the less I have for myself - and that’ll signal the entrance of a burnout, be it an emotional or physical kind. It wouldn’t be worth it to sacrifice my health once again.

If I don’t keep myself busy, the stack of files will grow in height and there’ll be an added pressure to complete it. And I don’t want this either; nothing in life is worth the amount of stress - and I’m already dealing with enough stress as it is in my personal life, solidifying the frown lines on my face. We both know what continual exposure to stress would do to one’s system: either high blood pressure will say hello or I’ll collapse from a heart condition. IF you read online articles, a majority of it, if not all, have illustrated the dangerous effects of cortisol on the body and on the emotions.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

10/06/2019

This is one of my most personal thoughts to date, so please don’t be offended if certain parts of this post have that element of anger or apathy.

There’s a part of me who feels that I’m losing the battle, but whining is not an option as there wouldn’t be anyone capable of understanding it from my angle. I don’t want any suggestions or any advice because it’s my life we’re talking about. My life has enough stress from my personal and work life as it stands. I don’t need the extra stress to weigh me down or incite a tension headache. What I truly need is someone who comprehends and not pressure me with irritating words. The said person should be someone who is there for me in the silence.

It’s rather evident to me that my own happiness is being drained from my system, leaving me with nothing to fall back on or even hold on to. Finding my way out of this emotionally draining journey is already an arduous matter. If I have nothing as a foundation block, it’s not going to help much. The fact that history is repeating itself isn’t helping either. I feign normalcy and keep to myself with my exterior mask. On the inside, my ticker is exhausted and heavy with all of the negativity. What it sees now is pure black and white. The middle part known as gray doesn’t exist for me. It’s either this or that with no in-between. At least with the gray part, you have an insight as to how unpredictable life is.

But not for the current me. The ancient day me accepts the gray part and would attempt to work with it, never allowing it to pose as a nagging obstacle.

Sometimes I miss those days when I tread along the sandy beach, deep in thought and comforted by its serenity. With the sound of waves crashing into the shoreline, it works to flush the negativity in my heart. The thought of being welcomed by the limitless water does have its way of making me feel emotionally better - even if temporarily. But not now. Speaking of the issues bothering me would do nothing good. In fact, the opposite may happen. It’d worsen things as I highly doubt those around me would jump at the first instance to assist me or drag me out of the situation. I mean, how would they be able to? They’re not the one experiencing the full consequences of it. Most of them won’t be able to relate in any way. Their criticisms and suggestions would leave me gaping out of horror. Since there’s a probability of that occurring, the best method for me to deal with my issues is to isolate and withdraw into my shell to have a bearing of everything. This may be a dangerous ideology due to the invisible sufferings - and the potential of slipping through the cracks into darkness.

Sometimes I long for those days when I didn’t have to shoulder the weight of the whole world and pretend that life is okay and stable. Those days when my eyes crinkle into a smile that is full of warmth and contentment. That’d have to be one of those rare moments in my life where I genuinely experienced merriment, but I’m aware that wishing for the past is now useless. We have to live in the present and for the future.

But life does not work that way.

A part of me is conscious of the consequences should things go south. It’s nothing good either. Think of it as a leaky icebox spilling liquid everywhere. If I want to prevent that from occurring, I guess I’ll just have to find a way to cope and not crash under the pressure like breadcrumbs.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

10/05/2019

Truth be told, I’m exhausted and it’s not something describable in words. I reckon words won’t suffice as a form of elaboration. I don’t know how to elucidate on it when I don’t even know what or how I’m supposed to feel. Maybe it’s the insecurity rising from the ashes to taunt my cloudy psyche. Maybe it’s an indication that my system craves to retreat into its shell.

The strong smell of someone behind the stove has sporadically lingered in the workplace for the last couple of days that it’s made me hungry too. The scent is the strongest at the area near the pantry. None of us have that extra amount of time or energy to be cooking. We’d rather be keener on the completion of our relevant paperwork. Yet the nature of the scent is unknown. Yes, there may be eateries around the office, but I highly doubt that it’s able to permeate the air indoors. As if things couldn’t become weirder, a rat visited us. Okay, maybe more like loitered outside our main door before it decided to leave. As long as it ain’t the size of the one Mama Carrie’s dog caught at home, I’m not even the slightest frightened by its presence.


I’ve been tempted more than once to transform the cubicle - and add in some personalized items like a framed photo of Swan River or Glenelg Jetty. Or even give the table a good scrub down, alone and in stress. A tidy, clean table may pose as a motivation to work harder, but not when there’s a growing stack of files that never seem to stop. Lol, I’m confident that if there’s an additional drawer (built-in or movable), it’d be occupied by the files and leaving a tad bit space for me to store my lunch bag.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Just let me sink



Trust died the day my innocence perished.
Pushed against the brink,
Nothing soothes the broken, scarred heart.
Words no longer offer the protection and power
Of a wizard’s cloak.

In the evil eyes of life,
I’m collateral damage with my presence.
In the chaotic world,
I’m just an invisible soul,
Moving back and forth like waves.

Suspicion is thick in the air.
My shoulders are weary from the weight.
I retreat into the protective shell I call home
Yet I flinch at the touch of love and comfort,
Choosing to slip into darkness.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A reflection

“Sometimes I wonder what life would be like had I not made that decision.”

Now that I’m seated at the table by the window of my favorite coffeehouse, nursing an Iced Blended drink, it’s rather evident that my life has taken a divergent route as a result of that choice made. It has taken me to places I no longer want to visit and emotions that I no longer want to feel. Those periods of my life, they are best buried in the past yet remnants of it have leaked to taint my present and possibly, my future. This was not the life I planned for as a young child growing up in the little suburb that I still call home.

Lol, this life and that dream were on divergent spectrums with nothing in common.

Fringe Night Illuminations, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2018
“Maybe it’d have been better if things stayed the same.”

I’ve caught myself reflecting on my past, knowing that I’m no longer the same person that I was before the start of my tertiary education. A lot has happened in these last five years - and enough to alter my personality as a result. Thrown into the mix were avoidable yet traumatic circumstances. I mean, hearing someone jump from the building and stumbling upon their lifeless body may have the potential to cause PTSD in some cases. Friends whom I thought were there for me turned out to be just like the rest. Not only do I not recognize the reflection in the mirror (sunken eyes with a permanent shade of eyeshadow), those around me have also noticed the changes in me. The way I carry myself. The way I talk. There’s nothing much that I can do about it, truth be told. You can only ask why my brain was unable to shelter me from the consequences of those emotionally numbing events.

Then again, people will always change - there’s no way around it - especially when they’ve been thrown into the deep end of life or experienced something so traumatic that it changes the very essence of who they are.

A hibiscus flower part of the National Day celebrations | Copyright (c) to The Tempremental 
I’m not sure about you, but I personally believe that mental tension and irritability are connected with each other. One will not co-exist without the other. Now that I’m in this stressful stage, a lot of the physical symptoms have resurfaced after years of dormancy. You might suggest that I reduce the workload if it’s causing a lot of tension, but it’s rather impossible. The stack of files on my table have grown in height, sending me jitters down my spine every time I look at it. The truth of the matter is that I know the causes behind it, but my hands are tied when it comes to the successful resolution of it. Work-related stress would not impact me in that manner; only emotionally-related or academically-related ones will.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A mixture of subconscious and reality

I dreamt that a boy and a girl were at a resort hotel to run their errands, but they were chased by unknown figures. No matter how they plotted their exit by running around, they found themselves stuck on the 4th floor.

Since the elevator doors and access to the staircase were coated with ice particles, the girl decided to throw caution to the wind and ran up the steps while the guy took a risk by waiting for the elevator. Not knowing what to do next, he threw himself into the swimming pool in an attempt to commit suicide by drowning. Yet his wish didn’t come true. He was fished out by the very same people who hunted him and the girl down earlier.

The camera then panned to someone giving up the fight. It was me as a lifeguard. After saving the guy, I end up collapsing in the water from exhaustion and swallowing too much water.

*scratches head* As I only remember bits and pieces of the dream, it’ll be arduous to decipher the dream but I can try my best to do so.

There was a sense of panic when the guy attempted to prematurely end his life in the dream as I didn’t know if he’d be saved on time. Somehow, the panic gave way to peace when I was the one at death’s door. Seeing that I didn’t struggle or fight against the currents, I’d say that a part of me is dying and replaced by someone I don’t recognize.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

09/12/19



Is it safe to say that no one would relate or empathize unless they’ve experienced something similar?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Reminiscence is thick in the air



Her eyes crinkled with happiness
As she received his gift.
Like a child excited over a candy store,
Her grin widened into a curve.
She whispered her thanks in his ears
As he pulled her close to him.

The warmth of his love,
It radiated through his hug.
Her strawberry-scented hair shampoo,
It lingered in his olfactory.
Love was heavy in the air,
Splashing sugar-laced water everywhere.

Memories of their relationship,
It dawned on his mind
Like ash clouding the air.
A sudden ache weighed him down
Like a boulder in the ocean,
Reminding him of his untimely loss.

Tears swam in his eyes
As he mused on their shared history.
Being with her soothed his fears.
The way her laughter sounded in his ears.
The way her words danced when she spoke.
All left his heart with a gnawing pain.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

09/08/2019

As I watch the stack of files increase in height on a daily basis, I feel a whiff of stress swimming in my bloodstream. It acts as a reminder that there’s uncompleted work requiring my urgent completion.

A recycled picture from an ancient time ago
I don’t know if it’s even worth working overtime now. It’s not in anyone’s best interest for me to sacrifice my health and end up taking unnecessary medical leave to recuperate from any medical condition. I’m not doing it at the risk of losing the position altogether. I should maximize the full lunch hour to my advantage and have a change of environment, but when you’re pressed for time, there’s no way of getting it done. I’m forever propped in front of the computer and returning to work as soon as I’ve finished my meal.

Working through the lunch hour has sent me straight into the path of tension headache before. A throbbing headache greeted me almost immediately after I drank coffee. I’m not sure if it was the result of exhaustion or the lack of adequate rest. I barely functioned at the end of the day and felt like someone knocked my head with a hammer every time I stood up to my full height.

But that’s not to say that the long weekend was spent catching up on sleep, though.

Berry Fruit Tea at RM 12.90 from Pin Tea
After months of craving a particular drink from Bubble Tea Street, I made the journey there to fulfill the cravings. No, it’s not the trend of bubble tea (or boba, depending on which name you use to refer to the drink). It’s more along the lines of fruit tea instead. I had sampled bubble tea twice - once when I was much younger before the hype swept across town and another time in college - and didn’t fancy it.

It took me a while to satisfy the craving as I didn’t want to drive there amidst the traffic congestion - be it humans or cars - unless I had to run another errand within the vicinity at the same time.

Apart from that, I splurged on two pairs of footwear on clearance - even though I’ve a storage box dedicated to shoes that I wear on an infrequent basis. Is that a sign that I might be emotional spending? I hope not because it’d burn a further hole in my torn wallet . . . and holding a second job concurrently wouldn’t be in my favor at the moment.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

08/27/2019

I dreamt that I went to view a condo unit situated in one of the medium rise buildings in Brisbane. There was an initial roundtable discussion with the property agent and the person in charge from the management about the tenancy, such as the duration of my stay and any additional conditions attached to the agreement. Yet I couldn’t confirm about taking vacant possession of the unit as my would-be housemate would need to take a look at it to see if it suits him as well.

The condo unit was spacious with lots of natural light spilling into the area - a benefit of it being a corner unit. The kitchen had an open concept to it. On the right was the kitchen cabinet and the built-in appliances. To the left was the white dining table and another balcony that fronted a shorter building. There was a road separating this building and the neighboring structure. The walkway then extended to the living room and another balcony. On the left was an LCD TV with a set of three seater sofa facing each other. When I peeked my head out of the sliding door, I observed that this particular property also came with a sea view. What struck me as odd was the blue aura that I felt.

The waiting area outside the condo came with grey walls and grey tiles. There were three elevators facing five units. As we waited for the elevator, the neighbor at the other end of the row was about to enter his unit. He and his wife sounded like they were from Mainland China, judging from the Mandarin accent that they spoke in as well as the way they carried themselves. Next to the unit I viewed was a locked cabinet displaying a fire hose reel and portable fire extinguisher.

I initially wasn’t sure who or what the dream hinted at because I didn’t know head or tail, but after asking (someone) for his opinions, the pieces started to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. This is one of the dreams closely associated with my real life. My personal interpretation of this is that I’m subconsciously craving for a bachelorette pad that I can share with a close friend whom I can trust in a safe, reputable place. It’s rather close to another dream I had about sharing a unit with someone.

Dream-Meaning.net interprets this as To dream that you are hunting to rent a new apartment, suggest transitioning into a new phase in life. You are up for new emotional and financial adventures, perhaps a new job or relationship. If the dream features hunting for apartment with a significant other, it suggests that you are ready to move the relationship to the next level.'. Connecting it to the dream context, I wasn't in a relationship with the would-be housemate; rather, I was trying to reduce the financial costs by sharing a place with a close friend. Flowing from that, it's relatively accurate, considering what has happened so far with regards to a job. As to what constitutes a new phase in life, maybe it's the future me signing the tenancy and receiving the keys for a tastefully decorated semi-furnished residence in a place away from familiar faces.

Another angle has a darker explanation. DreamStop.com opines that 'Renting is a constant drain on resources, and is not a permanent residence. Therefore even if you dream about renting a very nice house, it still indicates that your life is not stable, or does not feel stable to you.”. Well, look at what showed up. This has hit a sore part of my life, but for reasons that I'm unwilling to share on a public domain.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Just a Little Update from the Weary Soul

Eek, I hadn’t realized that it has been weeks since I last blogged.

I guess that’s work does to you, especially when you’re in the service industry and completing tasks like how plates after plates of delicious food are served through the kitchen service window at a bustling restaurant. It also doesn’t help me that I’m pressed for time, seeing that I’m still clueless and finding my way around the office.

I’m drained by the time I returned from work.



I won’t entertain the idea of staying back in the office after hours for now. Maybe after I familiarized myself with the company practice will I consider working OT when there’s an urgency of documents and if I live nearby. I don’t want to be caught in the peak hour traffic congestion and arrive home an hour or two later.

At least being busy and on the go has kept my worries at bay . It forces my brain to focus on something else, which is the tasks that are associated with my job position. Believe me when I say that extreme worries don’t bode well for anyone as it sends you down the path of insomnia. The university student in me may fancy the late nights because there’s additional time to perfect my assignments. The working me dislikes it because it craves for as much rest as possible to start off the day in the right mood. I don’t want to rock up to work with a spoiled mood and on the verge of irritability. I’d also like to avoid the tendency of downing cups after cups of coffee and tannin to keep awake and forgetting to hydrate myself with water instead.

I’ve paid for this countless times before.

Yet nothing much has changed with my emotions.

I still harbor the longingness to withdraw from social interactions when I’m on my own and away from the workplace (although a close friend would rather have me not do that). I crave for the time alone to recuperate from all the peopling during the day. I still have no idea whether I’m an introvert or not, but my battery depletes faster than a reasonable person’s. You wouldn’t want to see me or speak to me when I’m running low on energy. As mentioned above, I’m irritable and walk in circles with annoyance at myself. I’ll cite a recent example; because of the sudden urgency to complete a task, I felt a growing dislike at myself for not being able to do it on time and about to tug at my hair. I’m also suppressing my own emotions with as much self control as I have in exchange for a fruitful period. I don’t like when there’s too much free time. I prefer it when I’ve assigned tasks after tasks to finish. It permits time to fly faster through the cracks of my fingers.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

08/20/19

And so, it shows that I haven’t been active on the blogosphere for some time now. I can’t even remember when my last update was.

I’ve not disappointed without a reason, though. Life took precedence once again with me focusing on my current position. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I’ve managed to secure a job related to the field that I studied in. The amount of paperwork in my current position is enough to keep me busy to such a stage where I’m working through lunch. I know that it’s not the healthiest option as lunch hour is there for a reason. It’s to provide employees with an hour’s break to refuel or to catch a breath.

Yet I love it; I’d rather swim in continuous stress in the workplace and fry my brains than to harbor feelings of boredom. There’s another reason; being nose deep in the paperwork allows me to lose myself in the tasks on hand. It’s dangerous because my brain can never rest. It’s forever checking off the work-related mental checklist. The effects of this is perilous. As if to make it worse, I’m suppressing my thoughts and emotions whenever I’m in public. It’s only when I’m alone, away from prying eyes and judgmental ears that it shows in my eyes. I know that it’ll worsen if I don’t do anything to resolve it.

It’s not that I don’t want to take precautionary or mitigatory steps. It’s more along the lines of not wanting anyone to know what I’m facing with. Ever since I’ve been kicked to the kerb after that critical period, it’s given rise to the feeling of abandonment. No one deserves to know what’s happening in my life or to me while life moves forward without me.

If I’m left alone to lick my wounds, then I shall be left alone, away from those judgmental ears.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I'm a shadow

Folks, if you’ve wondered where I’ve been and why I’ve not regularly posted here, it’s because I had a basket load of matters to resolve offline. Throw in the casual position and most of my time would be dedicated to life away from the blog. I mean, who would’ve thought that in the blink of an eye, it’s close to a year since my return? I’ve been swimming against the emotional currents for such a long period that I’ve lost track of time.

Now that the casual position has ended, I'm introverting and spending more hours indoors. While this may be beneficial for my side hustle, I don't think it does the soul good to avoid the outdoors. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I twisted my ankle while trekking the hill. I’m not sure what caused it to occur although I’m sure I kicked into something - be it a pine cone, a stone or a cracked tarred road. It’s still slightly swollen as I write this post, though. And that was close to three weeks ago.

Yet I had a quick catch-up with a friend. Although he was worried that I might expose the ankle to further pressure (I arrived at our agreed meeting point by foot), I was adamant that my ankle recovered well enough for us to meet. I didn’t want him to travel all the way, only to discover that we can’t hang out because of my foot.

Somehow chatting with him allowed me to be myself, forgetting all of the worries on my mind. Even if it was for an hour. An hour may not sound fast to you, but for us, it did - without any recollection or warning about it. If there was a chance for us to stay back longer, we’d have taken the opportunity in a heartbeat.

Just a cup of cham (read: a mixture of tea and coffee) and a glass of iced coffee were what we needed as an accompaniment in our conversation. We even picked up from where we left off - disregarding the curious eyes and inquisitive ears surrounding us but exercising enough care to avoid getting in-depth about sensitive topics.

It still wasn’t enough to stop me from beating myself up over the backdated work. I’ll eventually have to complete them and tick it off the list when the deadline rolls up, but I can’t seem to find the passion/motivation in me to get started on it. I don’t know what’s happened along the lines . . . especially when I was never like that. *sighs*

Maybe I need to learn to take a breath and tackle it - one by one.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Memories of What Was Once


Memories are thick in the air,
Suffocating us.
Tears swam down our cheeks.
A promise that we made to each other.

A promise to live well and stay well.
We laid down our masks.
We bared our souls to each other,
Not hiding our pain.

In our pairs of lifeless eyes,
We saw a reflection of ourselves there.
You stared at the bottom of the cliff,
Thinking that your body will be lighter soon.

I gave it my all to pull you back
And save you from the edge.
I was on my knees,
Not wanting to lose you to the dark.

We helped each other to recover,
One second at a time,
One step at a time,
One day at a time.

With a little crack of a smile,
Remnants of a happier you rose to the surface.
A glimpse into the kind of person you were
Before your days turned darker than the clouds.

The warning signs glimmered like a night sky,
Yet I missed my chance of saving you.
The winds sigh around me in mourning.
Exhaustion crept deep into your bones.

You threw in the towel and gave into the darkness.
I’m now in the position I tried to save you from.
I’ve lost the light of life in my heart.
The similarities were the one that drew us close,

Yet it now forced us apart from each other.
As I edge closer towards the end,
My lips lifted with a smile,
Knowing that I would not abandon you in death.

Friday, June 28, 2019

What now?

Amidst the hectic state, I was finally dragged to trek the hills with the family - a habit that we engaged in on a weekly basis before circumstances changed me. Yet the hour-long exercise wasn’t enough to strangle the negative emotions in my heart to death. I don’t expect it to happen soon either. It snuck in and took up residence at the start of my degree, so it’d require time - but how long, only God knows - for it to leave.

It’s true that time will slip through the cracks of your fingers. It was just yesterday when I showed up for work with fear and anxiety about my work environment. In the blink of an eye, three months have passed, which signalled the end of my position. There was nothing much that I felt, but I wasn’t surprised either. It’s after all a casual/temporary position and I warned myself not to become accustomed to the workplace and colleagues for the fear of being attached. Although it’s not in the field of law, the scope was just as challenging since I’m not familiar with this particular industry. The only one I’m familiar is writing (housed under media), but at least it gave me some much-needed time away from law. The intense pressure that grew stronger in the duration of my undergraduate days kept me away for the time being.

There was no way of running away from the emotional exhaustion. I found myself hiding the pain and tears from friends and colleagues. Even when we’re texting on Messenger or chatting in person, I’d pretend that I’m as happy as I sound. I know that it’s bad for me to bury my thoughts and feelings without speaking of it, but that’s how I’ve coped all these while - so much so that I’ve forgotten how to speak up. To put it into writing, I’m drowning in the current - wanting to hold on to something but unable to reach out. I don’t know if it resembles a burnout or it’s merely an exhaustion, but aren’t those two similar in its own way? I’m hiding so much that even my closest friend has no inkling about it - because I don’t want any more questions about it. Since I chose not to spill the beans, I’d have to suffer from the effects because no one would be able to help me.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

06/06/2019

"All I see before me is that final 24 hours in Adelaide. The sadness swam in their eyes and their hearts shattered into pieces."


The moment I close my eyes to that particular song, all I see in my mind is that vision dancing in my mind. The vision where they forced themselves to hold back their tears for the fear of flooding the tears with the sticky solution. Come to think of it, it may be a subconscious cry for me to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. It may also be an indication that I’m using the alternate universe or a happier past to cope with all the earthly stressors.

The document that did a 180 on me arrived on my doorstep faster than I expected. Any form of elation was replaced with a wave of anger in my bloodstream. Anger that I played my cards in the wrong fashion, which backfired in my face and landed me with irreversible changes. Anger that everything in my plans derailed like a train driver who has lost control. My circle of friends will never have an understanding of how I’m feeling unless I speak of it - and you may ask why I’d rather torture myself emotionally than to let them know.

I’ve said it from time to time: it’s my battle to fight and I’ll deal with it alone. Yes, you’ll definitely remind me that what I’m suppressing and what I’m projecting to those around me will crash into each other and make a clear path murky. And yes, it’s exhausting down to the bones to feign that everything is okay when it is not, but it is what it is.

I found myself reliving a flashback of me travelling with the Carries, Papa Carrie’s business acquaintance, and the guy’s family to a resort interstate. While I don’t remember the exact details of that trip, we were there at night. I wore the pair of Japanese flip-flops as the adults gathered at the cafe near the swimming pool. The children - two boys of differing ages - and I were close by, doing our own thing. Maybe the large age gap created an element of awkwardness between us - or I’m distant whenever I’m introduced to someone new. I need time to warm up to the person. I’m not shy; just … cautious, for lack of a better word.

Could this be a sign that I’m living in the reminiscence of the ancient days? For all I know, I’ve descended to a stage where I could care less about the wonderful Pandora’s box of the future. All of the unexplainable pain and aches that left me for such a long time have returned to harass me on a frequent basis. The recent one came when I returned to my cubicle after completing a task. As the pain knocked on my ribcage, I had to hold it while I hid behind the table to let the pain go away on its own. Maybe what I read is true after all: pains and aches will manifest weirdly out of stress and anxiety. Don’t let the looks fool you; I’m in a world of stress and anxiety as its toppings.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

05/12/19

If I’m zoning out, that’s a sign that I’m introverting and plotting the resolution of personal matters in my brain. What’s worse is if it occurs at the workplace and in the presence of colleagues. I don’t want to be mistaken as someone distant, but I don’t want to be pushed to the edge where the annoyance will glimmer in my eyes as a warning. All I need at that time is some moments to myself to process the information overload. If I don’t do that, my brain will be weighed down like an anchor with unnecessary matters . . . and it’ll be splashed on my face. No wonder the Carries have zoomed in on the fact that one has to be adaptable and flexible. Things are fishy when I’m boiling like a radiator in a room that has a comfortable temperature, which meant that my mood is about to slide off. I slipped out for lunch alone at a nearby eatery without my colleagues knowing because I needed the time out to clear my brain and calm myself.

Yet they are cool enough to understand that I’m not as fluent as them in the common language spoken at the workplace. Even though I grew up in a multicultural and multilingual society and have been exposed to at least 4 languages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m fluent in all of it. My brain still doesn’t work fast enough to swim between languages, trust me.

But what I’ve recently observed is that I’m more selfish when it comes to weekends and holidays. I’d rather stay at home and recharge the introvert battery than to head outdoors in the midst of a crowded place. Hang on, I know what you’d say about this. Beggars can’t be choosers; working folks only have the weekends to run their errands and complete their shopping. If my battery isn’t fully recharged over the weekend, I’ve a tendency of working with a charcoal face. That’s why things are much better if and when I’m fully rested and ready to attack the working week head-on. Don’t blame me; I would love to be on my own for the remaining 25% as I don’t thrive in a crowded area. I thrive better in solitude. Throw me in a room with all of my work and the expected timeframe for completion and leave me alone until I poke my head out for assistance. Oh, and copious amount of coffee would be lovely as it’d keep me awake until I crash after hours. It’s a weird habit I have since before college.

“You have a caffeined bloodstream.”

My childhood friend would always quip that phrase each time we head off to our favorite coffeehouse to catch up. And I’ve learnt to take it in my stride as it’s true. Still, I can’t complain much. Life in law is more hectic than this and the first one to take a beating is my social life, as I’ve insinuated before.



Come to think of it, this reminds me of a touchy conversation between me and someone. It is a topic that only a handful of my nearest and dearest know. It’s the precursor to who I am today. In the quiet moments to myself, I questioned most of the decisions that I made in the last five years. The anger and sadness rose from nowhere into the air, suffocating me with all of the regrets. Yet the irony is there; the more I should arrange for an appointment with a counsellor/psychiatrist, the more I’m unwilling to do so. It’s rather safer for me to keep everyone at an arm’s distance instead. Although the specific someone desired for me to spill more beans as I’d feel much better after ranting, it’s arduous to do so . . . for personal reasons.

Maybe it’s true; the suppressed issues are deeply entwined with my identity that eliminating it would remove a significant part of me.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

05/02/19

There was a slight reprieve in the form of the Labor Day holiday, in which I was able to catch up with life and to do some shopping for new work clothes. You’d be surprised; the ones that I have in the closet aren’t exactly appropriate for my future permanent position. What made it inconvenient is the fact that I’ve never incorporated those colors into my everyday attire. For those styles, I wear it from time to time, depending on the occasion.

Yet the break wasn’t enough to refill the energy tank. One day’s rest is never enough, believe me. If you thought the life of a university student was tough, having a full-time career is another story in itself. The tank’s depleted to the point where I need a long break, but I’m only saving my annual leave for important matters instead. It didn’t help my situation when my body protested out of stress. The last time I was under the weather with symptoms like this, it was in the midst of my final year. Remnants of it first showed up during work, but the ignorant child in me thought it was related more to overthinking rather than a fever. It wasn’t until 48 hours later that the symptoms showed up at full blast: body chills, a rising temperature, a growing desire to sleep . . . you name it. I’m not surprised, to say the least. While my body tried its hardest to fight off the infection, I ran errands instead of locking myself indoors to rest.

Talk about testing my luck.

Although the fever was drastically reduced after spending a night in perspiration, it wasn’t enough. I returned to work with faint traces of it and even swung by the convenience store to buy paracetamol tablets - something which I’ve never done before. If I’ve attended classes while recovering from a fever before, repeating it for work shouldn’t be a problem. My friends would disagree with me on this, I’m sure. As what I’ve elaborated to a peer before our final exams, I’ll be that employee who will rock up to office even when ill unless I’m bedridden. I’m aware that it’s unhealthy as it’d affect the work-life balance and send me on a downward spiral, but that’s just me.

That brings me to the possibility of emotional exhaustion.

I should’ve realized that the tendency to come down with fever or cold might be a spillover from my intense academic days. But there’s more. I’ll tell you why; I’m now easily annoyed at my inability to concentrate on the tasks at hand. I’m making what my folks would term as silly mistakes. The pre-Adelaide me was never like this: she had the eye to spot mistakes and was more observant. While a reasonable person is able to move on from their errors within minutes, I can spend the entire day reflecting about it and where I could’ve done it right.

Maybe it’s a sign that I’m shrouded in brain fog. Or maybe not. Only time will tell which is which.

Monday, April 22, 2019

04/22/19

A lot has happened over these couple of months. Combined with what I endured since my final year up until now, I’m not surprised I always push myself close to breaking point. A part of me is aware that I’m using work to escape my emotions. A bad choice, yeah, I know. It’s the least I can do without bursting into flames at an unsuspecting and innocent soul. Another part of me has the sneaking suspicion that it’s the result of suppressing my emotions, leading to a personality change.

Those who are close to me (which are far and few between) cringe whenever they see me in this stage. Sure, they’ve encouraged me to come clean with whatever that’s bothering me. Yet there are certain things that’ll forever remain a secret from them. I’m weary of explaining myself to someone who hasn’t lived through the circumstances I was thrown into. I mean, it’s seriously unfair and it’d be a waste of my breath. At least with someone who understands, there’s not much need for words. Just a look in each other’s eyes is enough; the rest speaks for itself.



Also, I’m bushed to the point where I can sleep all weekend. It’s a common occurrence that most of my Saturdays are spent on catching up on lost sleep, lol. The beauty is that I’m unsure of its root cause - whether it’s from work, sleep deprivation, a tired soul . . . or a combination of it all.

One thing’s for sure; the sensitive antenna has absorbed all of the emotions around me once again. The good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it. What made it a bit tough was the sour mood that enveloped me as I made my way to the workplace. I wouldn’t say I bailed out on my colleagues, but I declined their invitation to join them for lunch. I needed to be alone for a while to recover from the emotional overload, but ended up spending the lunch hour with another colleague and our takeaways. Trust me, it’s not because I’ve lost my marbles. Even as a university student, I comprehended the unhealthy idea of eating at your cubicle, especially when papers are strewn all over your table and you’re working without a break.

Say what you like, but time slips faster through the cracks of your fingers when you’ve a million things to attend to and concurrently multitask. Succeeding tasks that roll one after another is perfect because it takes the edge off my mind. Being on the go all the time soothes the overthinking mind - yet it drains a large amount of energy from the body.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Divergent Path

Questions swirl in the air as I battle between anger and sadness at the deck of cards I have. A part of me feels it’s unfair that I’m in this situation with no light at the end of the tunnel. Yet the new moon brought me on a new adventure in life. I won’t go into the full details of the job scope due to the NDA. The daily routine is somewhat a form of practice, seeing that my intended field has more challenges and stress than I’ll like to admit. All career fields have its own challenges and it’s arduous to describe the level of stress. What I find stressful may be as easy as pie for you. What you find stressful may be something lovely for me instead. It all depends on the individual themselves.

Let’s just say that it’s a different field from what I majored in uni, but believe me on one thing. Educational boundaries are limitless - as long as there is a burning passion to learn about something. I can’t complain much as things seem to be okay right now. That’s something I’m petrified about. No matter how smooth the plans are, there’s always a tad bit of fear that something would go wrong somewhere and somehow.


Jasmine Green Milk Tea


Pork Dried Pan Mee

Speaking of which, I never fail to stumble upon new eateries with my colleagues’ daily recommendations. Lunch with them is sometimes a food exploration for a couple of reasons:


  • With them being around, I have to actually eat. I don't think I had regular lunch as a university student
  • By remembering where the eateries are, I'm able to decide on the spot when I'm in the area or within the vicinity
  • I'm sampling items that I won't purchase in a normal circumstance


That aside, the working week doesn't leave me with much time to pursue my hobbies either. I'm drained of any energy by the time the weekend rolls around. Even my plans for a project are delayed at the same time. But that has no time limit attached to it - yet. To settle it requires advance and tedious planning on my part - or late nights on some days. Is it something that I'm able to do?

Stay tuned to find out more.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

04/26/19

Although it’s been a couple of months now, I still remember what happened in the depth of those nights. I swallowed the emotions that spread in my heart like wildfire. My insistence of swallowing it resulted in the physical manifestation instead, causing me to suffer from immense back pain. It was at this stage that I promised myself that I’ll never return to this state of mind.

Yet, nothing has changed.

It’s safe to assume that I’ve momentarily lost my marbles as a result of the overthinking and late nights. I’m close to the precipice of emotions where I’m questioning each and every decision of mine . . . but I’d rather struggle with everything on my own. It’s not because speaking of it may amplify my problems, but more along the lines of my desire to avoid it. Truth be told, I’m extremely exhausted - even way more than I’m letting on. Even close friends have no idea what I’m dealing with. Although they’ve encouraged me on multiple occasions not to bottle up my feelings, I’d still throw myself into work to take my mind off it. I don’t want to rant on anyone when all of our shoulders are burdened with our individual responsibilities.

It’s as clear as day that there are undeniable changes in me. Maybe I’m facing with what they call reverse culture shock. Or maybe I’m being torn in two different directions . . . again. Familiar places have become unfamiliar. I’m more irritable than ever. I’ve written about this in the on-campus magazine before and I never expected that I’ll have to deal with this as well. I mean, I had my suspicions when I went east. I just never expected it to be this bad. Throw in other matters that I’m experiencing, it’s no wonder that things have derailed in this manner.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Torn in different directions

What I endured as a youngster has returned to haunt me. I know this for a fact because all of those side effects. It blew out of proportion in my final year when the stress was amplified. My lower spine radiated with such pain that I thought of two possibilities: one was a kidney issue and the other was a bone problem. Neither of which turned out to be true. It was just the physical effects of what I faced. Once I forced myself to take a chill pill and breathe (and boy was it hard!), the pain disappeared the next minute.

"You'll be okay."


There are moments in time when I had to swallow my emotions and say that I’m fine when I want to be left alone with my thoughts. Throw in the fact that I’m still overcoming my past experiences, it’s not easy to be around people at times. Someone once told me before that being alone is a risky game because it may lead to loneliness. If it is for an extended period of time, it’s a downward spiral into the dark abyss - where anything can happen. Even depression. I’d rather keep to myself than to seek help from those closest around me. There’s so much that I had to handle and resolve with no one to air my grievances to; only the salty solution to accompany me to sleep most of the nights. The tears would come at the most unexpected times with a wave of anger suddenly engulfing me instead. It’s either that or I’ll slip into the realm of dark thoughts.

Trust me, if you haven’t lived a day in my shoes or gone through a similar experience, don’t critique or judge my decisions. Since I secretly believe that there’s an element of dislike, I’m only doing what’s best for me and my emotions - even if it means pushing people to an acceptable distance.



There are moments in time when I hope that there’ll be someone who can hear me out and share my burden. Isn’t that everyone’s number 1 wish? To find everlasting happiness with someone they can love and trust with their lives? But I’m a realistic person. It’s not often that you’ll find someone who’ll not use your vulnerabilities against you. Finding that perfect person will be close to impossible, if not harder than expected. This reminds me of a late-night conversation that I had with an acquaintance about love and relationship. While the person only knows what I’ve told him, he comprehended my reluctance about the whole idea of a relationship. Yes, love may be sweeter than sugar and there would be beautiful memories for the lovebirds. On the other end of the spectrum, however, love has the most potential of breaking hearts and causing emotional havoc to the parties instead.

A part of me envisages the importance of having a stable career and settling down with Mr. Right, but I’m sure all of us are aware that only the lucky ones are able to have both. No wonder I’ve heard that marriage is similar to a life sentence.



There are moments in time when I’m seated at the edge of the cliff, pondering on the choices and options that I have. I’m also wondering whether there’s a lesson that needs to be learnt from all this. I keep landing in the same pile of mess; it’s as if the plot is repeated with the same conclusion at the end. But what it symbolizes, I don’t know. All I’m aware is that I feel like I’m torn in two divergent directions right now. Everything that I once believed in is being challenged by what I’m experiencing. What I’ve once regarded as true has turned out to be the opposite. What I’ve avoided all these while, I’m forced to face it dead in the eye now.

"I'll be there for you."


Even as a little girl holding the Chinese lantern and walking around the neighborhood with her friends, I understood that avoiding issues was never a permanent solution. I’ll eventually be weary from all of the running. I can’t be avoiding it forever. While I have presented the best version of myself to everyone, it has bled a lot of energy to maintain that facade.

After what I’ve lived through, seen, and experienced, I’m not who I once was. I can feel the change taking place in my bones. It’s not that difficult to notice; the fury will burn alight in my eyes to mask the brewing sadness. The ghost of my past is a faded memory that I’m clinging onto for dear life. It may mean that the issues I’ve avoided are bubbling to the surface and demanding that I take care of it. Or it may mean nothing.

And that has caused a lot of negative changes in me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

03/13/19

I dreamt that we drove along the quiet, dim roads in search for the right building. I’ve no idea what time it was, but there was no parking whatsoever. It was cordoned off and blocked by the residents. We were frightened to illegally park the car and infuriate anyone.

There was a spiral walled staircase that led to an elevator that was guarded by someone. When we told him why we were there, he guided us to the 11th floor, house number 4. At the corner of my eye, I spotted a lady walking in our direction and instead ignored her.

The next scene panned to a house with white tiled floor for its porch and white gates. It was a share house with the main tenant. Both of us came to the collective decision to move out due to our respective decisions. Standing in the middle of the living room, the house was vacant and devoid of any decorative pieces. We had instructed the storage company to take all of our items a couple of hours earlier and remained to clean the unit. The main tenant walked out of the door, following her friend who helped to carry her luggage. I stayed on for a little while due to whatever reason I had. I noticed that there were pairs of jeans in different shades of blue placed by the open window of the master bedroom, which left me wondering whether the house came with an odd aura and influenced us to return vacant possession to the owner.

The scene where we drove along the dimly lit road could be an indication that I'm feeling lost. Or maybe the fact that I've not found what I've been searching for. The dimly lit road can also be looked as a dark road. In which case, the online interpretation suggested that 'if a road is dark this man represent confusion, problems, or a lack of understanding as you pursue goals.' I'd say that this is an insight into my current feelings since I'm as confused as ever. There is a bucket's worth of problems that I need to resolve. With no one to air my grievances to, all those emotions have turned inward and caused such havoc that I dislike everyone and everything around me.

Another interpretation is as follows: 'To dream of a paved road represents your path in life being easy or laid out for you. Your sense of direction is clear or catered to. Smooth sailing or nothing getting in your way. Negatively, a paved road may reflect a difficult time of your life that feels like you can’t escape the mundane. It may also reflect a life path that is too easy.’

As for the spiralled wall staircase, there may be two elaborations for this. One stems from me continuously binging on a Taiwanese drama called ‘Fated to Love You’. The other may be best explained by the online interpretation, where ‘if you see stairs at a public area or unknown place, it defines the issues that are related to your behavior and interactions with the outer world.’ Now, I won’t mention much about my behavior on a public sphere, but my social interactions have been affected by what I’m experiencing now.

I don’t know what to make of the scene where I dreamt of 11th floor, house number 4, though.

I'm not sure what a porch would mean, but 'a porch can represent the people who are close to you but not those who are part of your immediate family. Those you keep at a safe distance. Is it time that you let one of these people in? Is there someone whom you want to have a closer relationship with? Or do you need to put someone back in that group, if you have allowed them to get close to you and regretted it?’ If this is my subconscious desire to be closer to someone, I'd prefer to throw my feelings into the sea and turn into a stoic child. It might also hint at a couple of folks whom I know. My personal interpretation would be guarding my innermost feelings in the depths of my heart from the outside world.

As for the empty house, the layout of this property has a familiar aura to it - and it's because I know this house in reality. The online interpretation suggested that the 'porch can be called a positive sign, because in most cases it promises good and new opportunities. However, it may presage negative events; it all depends on other elements of a dream. Dreaming of a porch is a harbinger of a carefree life; this symbol indicates that a dreamer has nothing to worry about.’ Although it may indicative that I've nothing to worry about, I highly doubt that this is accurate.

There has to be something going on with the multiple pairs of jeans being hanged and blowing on its own. I don't own that many pairs in reality although I love denim. Although it is defined online as ‘To dream of seeing denim jeans represents a casual degree of discipline. A comfortable or casual attitude towards goals. Focus, discipline, or willpower that is comfortable not overly concerned. Your ability to persevere without worrying about anything.' I wish this is accurate because I don't feel this way at the current moment. Furthermore, 'Negatively, a pair of jeans may be a sign that you are not serious or focused enough. You are talking a very casually disciplined stance towards a situation. Casually accepting a situation the way it is without believing that being more serious is important to cause any desired changes.' This alternative interpretation makes more sense because I feel like I'm not as focused as I'd like to be in all of my endeavours. My brain has gone off on its own adventure and left me in a zombified mode.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pure Bliss



Happiness dance in her eyes,
As she shares a glance with him.
The man of her dreams;
She is twirling with him
With their fingers entwined.

She found her refuge in his arms.
Safety envelops her like a parent’s love.
She found her home in his arms.
Her eyes crinkle up with love,
As she rests her head on his shoulder.

All the fears and worries,
She burns them with the fire of their love.
All the hopes and dreams,
She breathes life into it
As she moves on from her dark past.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Oiso Korean Traditional Restaurant, Tropicana City Mall (3 Damansara)

Note: this is the second time that I’m reviewing Oiso Traditional Korean Cuisine and Cafe. The first review can be found here.

I recently contacted the owner of the restaurant to find out about the current branches. It was at this time that I discovered that Oiso moved out from their previous location in IPC to Tropicana City Mall (now known as 3 Damansara).



The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the mall and diagonally opposite Oliver Gourmet, which makes it easier for anyone to locate it. Placed outside Oiso is the menu stand with a menu for any potential diner to peruse before making a final decision. Next to it is a garden decoration, as if to welcome all of the diners with a bouquet of yellow flowers. This signifies a welcoming aura that may draw you into Oiso. Instead of having cubicles or dividers to block out the tables and chairs from the rest of the space, Oiso practices an open concept principle for their seating arrangements.





We arrived at the height of the lunch hour crowd, so we waited for a while before the waiter guided us to the first available table. We observed that the decorative pieces in the Tropicana branch differed from the ones in IPC. Firstly, instead of framed pictures adorning the walls of the restaurant, it is replaced by a waterfall and Oiso’s signage. Secondly, there are built-in shelves that displayed more decorative pieces and the Korean coffee sachets. In front of the shelves are more tables and chairs to accommodate more diners.



Due to time constraints, we settled on Oiso’s speciality, which is bibimbap. Priced at RM 21.90, it is basically Korean mixed rice. It comes with raw cabbage, chicken strips, seaweed, carrots, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and a sunny side egg in a sizzling claypot. Its accompaniment is a handful of bowls with various side dishes, consisting of spinach, kimchi (fermented and salted vegetables), gochujang sauce (Korean red chili paste), anchovies and seaweed soup.

Once I mix all of the ingredients in the claypot, it balances the sweet and salty aftertaste on my palate. The taste of each individual ingredients also contributes their fair share to the dish. While the chicken strips are salty, the raw carrots and cabbage compliment the chicken with its neutral taste. Yet the dish was a tad bit overly salted for my palate. As it left my tongue with a burning sensation, I was tempted to order a mug of cold coffee to quench my thirst.





Name: Oiso Traditional Korean Cuisine and Cafe
Address: G-13, Ground Floor,
3 Damansara,
3, Jalan SS 20/27,
Damansara Intan,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: +60163684211

Thursday, March 7, 2019

03/07/18

I’m either losing my mind or I’m feeling shaky as of late.

Now that I’m forcing myself to return to writing, my head keeps thinking of that specific person. I don’t know what it signifies or why my subconscious is doing that, but one thing’s for sure. We’ve not been in continuous contact with each other. In fact, we’ve not been on speaking terms for years now. It’s not that we had a falling out; we were carried away by life’s responsibilities.

It also doesn’t help that I’m forever reminded of the polar bear statue on the rooftop of the foreign company. It was my landmark every time we drove past the Shah Alam toll in my childhood. It signified so much yet so little to the younger me yet I find myself being comforted by that memory.

Maybe there was a reason why I destroyed all of the documents evidencing that period of my life. I didn’t want anyone to stumble upon it and steal a glance into my past. It’s not that I’ve a shadowy past; it’s just that it’s something that I prefer to keep it private. It should remain with me and only me, where I can bring it up in my mind whenever I’m down. Plus, I can’t forget my past because it’s the foundation of my identity. I’ll just have to accept it and let the feelings wash over me whenever it arises. Sure, we all have our happier moments in life devoid of all complications, but it’s not called life without those mishaps.

I’d like to chalk my sleepless nights to insomnia and the copious amount of caffeine I’ve taken. Believe me when I confess that I’ve taken coffee for dinner. But I know that’s not the only reason. It’s evident that the hidden side of me - the one where only I myself know - wants to rebel against the stereotype. It shows up in the form of those energy-zapping thoughts. And boy, can those thoughts keep my mind active when I’m supposed to be catching up on sleep. Troubled thoughts have kept my mind racing, but no one can understand it until they are in the same boat.

My body has felt weird for the entire week, as if I’m in a dissociative state. Truth be told, I don’t blame him for what he did. Although it left me in a state of daze in the days leading up to my exams, and the witnesses in a state of shock, I empathize with him. He must’ve felt that he was pushed to the edge without an escape route to break his fall or an encouragement that there was more to life outside of the abyss. He must’ve wanted to drastically end the pain that he lived with in exchange for some much-needed peace.

Up until today, none of us know his identity. Only bits and pieces of it.

Up until today, I still remember the fright swimming in her eyes when we caught each other’s glance.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

02/28/19

Anger boils in her heart,
As she scans the crowd around her.
She finds herself reliving her old memories,
Clutching her weak heart.

She is thrown to the kerb,
Helpless and homeless.
Jeers and taunt are what she hears,
Not words of encouragement.

Down on her knees,
Curses and laughter are thrown at her.
Down on her knees,
She swallows the tears that swim in her eyes.

The walls are up,
Shadowing her heart with darkness.
Her heart is stone cold,
Protecting her from the societal disappointment.

Her eyes speak of indescribable sufferings.
She yearns for a home
Where she can rest,
Away from all of the mess.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Blending in with the crowd yet standing out



Standing in the midst of the crowd,
People walk past and around her.
Her face is fixed in stoicism.
Her eyes are soulless.
She stares straight into the distance
At something without form.

She is boxed into a corner,
Molded to compliment a stereotype.
She is forced to live a life,
One that was planned for her.
One that she disliked with a vengeance.
But never the one that she dreamt of.

Her hands are tied,
Like the prisoner that she is.
Her eyes are blindfolded,
Forced to follow the flow of water.
People’s perception of her,
Forced down her throat.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Torn between two worlds

How do I even phrase this?

It can be said that I’m at an emotional crossroads where I don’t know how or what I should feel anymore. All I see are the bad and the ugly, not the good. I just want to disappear into the abyss somewhere inside me and run on autopilot. It’s arduous to see the positivity in all of the negativity around me, especially when this was not the life that I envisioned as a little child. I understand that circumstances change as we all grow older - by the minute, by the day, and by the year. But whatever happened to innocence and jolliness?

Yet it’s impossible to live the life that we all want; we just have to adapt to the cruel twist of life.

The life that I wanted for myself wasn’t supposed to be in this manner. I understand that I won’t have the best of both worlds because that’s how life is. I’ve to choose between one or the other - and knowing the person that I am, I already know which route I’ll end up choosing. It’s the route that will disappoint those closest to me. Don’t blame me; I’ve been deeply disappointed by the cards that I am dealt with. It’s not that I don’t know how to play the deck of cards. It’s because I overplayed ‘em. I’m also dispirited with the way things have turned out.

“It’s out of your control. Nothing you do would change the fact.”

Yes, you can console me with those words above. Deep down, I know with clarity that I have half the blame to carry. I won't and can't deny it. There's nothing more that I am able to do. I can only bite the tree bark and cry in the silence before I pick up from where I left off.



A conversation with a friend some weeks ago reminded me of something that happened an x number of years ago… at a time when I was a different person altogether. I'll be candor; I cared for a certain someone in such a manner that there were sleepless nights. Yet, I dreamt of the said person with a confrontation about our tiny misunderstanding. The person reacted differently; instead of meeting my gaze with a glare, it was full of warmth. In reality, we were driven apart by circumstantial silence.

Nobody - not even the person themselves - knows about this. I made pact with myself not to come clean with the person about this. Whatever I want to say, I'll bury in the depths of my heart. After everything that has occurred, I've realized that it was easier to let go than to hope for the impossible. The ship has sailed and won't return to dock anymore. It'll be something that I'll have to live with for the rest of my life, just like the rest of the mistakes made.

Imagine how one experience can shape a person’s viewpoint about life and define their personality.

Now that I’ve learnt the importance of caring for those whom I regard as my nearest and dearest, nothing much has changed. I’ll never allow anyone to know how much pain and suffering that I am under. It’s my battle to fight and only mine to fight. Why would I want to dump a container load of emotional crap and burden others when they have their own issues to deal with? It’s just not fair for them.

Just because I chose to let my disappointments slide doesn’t mean that I’m unaffected by it. I made a decision not to throw tantrums about it because it would only worsen things. Giving voice to it wouldn’t improve the current situation, so why waste my breath to bother about it?

But what’s important now is to ensure that I don’t sacrifice my physical and mental health in pursuit of my dreams again. I’ve placed my physical health on the line in college until I earned an earful from the TCM practitioner and had to take a day off my classes to recuperate. My mental health took such a beating that it’s affected my emotions in more ways than one. I can’t afford to endure part two of this.

Friday, February 15, 2019

02/15/19



Exhaustion creeps heavily in the air,
Wearing me down.
No one understands me for who I am,
Only knowing me for what I am.
All are fooled by the crinkling eyes
And the curved lips.

The harder I thumb on the wound in my heart,
The more the wound bleeds.
As I compress it close with pressure,
The heart drips blood in its wake.
All of the sadness devouring me alive.
The cries of help silenced by my stubbornness.

Eyes are pressed shut,
Not wanting the tears to flow down the cheeks.
Memories swim in the brain,
Choking me with nostalgia.
It rises from the ashes in my mind
And leaving nothing but pain behind.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Just let me be who I am

Now that I'm a year older, life is not what it has been made out to be.

The truth has either been sugar-coated or toned down to protect all of us from the full exposure of society. All we focused on (when we were younger) was to work hard in the name of high grades. It didn't matter if we were close to sacrificing our mental health because our future was in the line. If we didn't have a well-paying career, we wouldn't have successful lives. Yet we missed the memo about exercising caution in the big world ahead of us. Not everyone is there to see us succeed. This includes those whom we call close friends and acquaintances. Some of them are there to remove the carpet from beneath our feet and watch us fall flat on our faces. Some of them are there to plot our downfall from behind the scenes.

In which time, their masks will slide off and reveal their true personalities. I feel that this has been a common occurrence in my situation where I see who are there for me only in those moments of great assistance. 


Now that I'm a year older, this place no longer carries that air of familiarity.

Four years of biannual flights weren't enough to retain my memory of the places around me. What I remember is not what is now greeting me. Driving past those areas have left me with such ache that it is hard to describe those feelings. I still remember hopping to that cafe during my break time to catch a breath or to sink my face in their lovely honey lemon tea. If I was lucky, the person who always served me would be on duty. He would always take the initiative to remember my special order and serve the drink to me in the way that I like it: hot, honey on the side. I still remember running up to that quiet, but not so secret hide-out of mine whenever I needed a timeout or to clear my mind. It didn't bother me that friends were able to find me there - I just wanted a place away from noise and humans.

The faces that surround me are all faded remnants of the past. While they are still the same people whom I know, the bond that once held us together has been loosened and stretched by my absence. And the distance of time. I'm in a position where I belong neither here nor there. I don't feel welcome in both places - being here makes me reach out for the comforting arms of reminiscence and being there makes me crave for the stability that I grew up with. 

Now that I'm back, how did I land myself in this situation?

Gone were the days when I'm the one having the loudest laugh and being the pistachio of the group. I am more contented with letting someone else steal the show while I nurse my boredom with a mug of coffee or a pint in the background. It's easier that way; I don't have the excess energy to pretend that everything is okay when it's not. Maybe it's because of what I was exposed to as a young child. Maybe it's because I never got everything that I wished for. Maybe it's because I decided to shed a part of myself to cope with everything that has since happened. What I envisioned for myself never turned out in the way that I wanted it to. 

As they say, if you have never been in the person's shoes, never judge them for the actions that they have taken or will eventually take. This is applicable to that incident some Novembers ago. I wouldn't wish this on anyone because it takes a lot of strength to deal with the side effects. Although it's been such a long time now, I still don't want to talk about this on a public sphere due to its complexity. It affected so many people that we are forced to deal with it in our own way.  

Yet it provided me with the insight of the other side, the part which not many people are aware of. The part that is forever subjected to people's judgmental viewpoints.
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