Time and the Ambitious Project

No, I’m not talking about my music and poems.

I’ve experienced the convulsion of dealing with my unspoken love for someone and a few doomed love stories but I’ve never experienced a dark adventure of a thrilling ride into the world of terrorism nor fighting for my life in a tsunami attack.

I’ve lost friends (and cut contact with them) due to the different path of lives we all chose to take but I’ve never experienced losing and witnessing the loss of my loved ones to tragic death.

I often go through extreme sadness that would lead me to shut myself from the world for a period of time but I never suffered from multiple personality disorder that will take me over that leads to hurting someone I never meant to.

One’s life to some other people may look interesting and stocked with a riot of laughter. But the truth for some of us is that the life that we live can be eye-grabbing and terrifying at times.

We don’t know what the people around us go through. No surprise that we may not even know what’s going on in the life of someone who is close to us.

When I look at the people around me and get to know them better, I find each and every one of them very interesting. For some, I sympathise, and for the rest, I draw my inspirations from them – mainly for my poems.

Sometimes when I want things to change for the better, I’d hope to get a call from someone who’d help me sort things out. Like telling me what to do, step by step till I achieve something. This rather sounds like a mental delusion, though.

And sometimes when I feel like my life is falling apart and I want to start over, I’d imagine myself living in the era of civilisation that dates back to maybe 2600 BC. No idea why but it somehow calms me down.

Sometimes I’d hope so badly that this is just a movie I’m in based on a novel for some good reasons. And I’m just brought on board to replace someone else who was supposed to be essaying this prominent role of mine.

To many, good things are being delayed for all sorts of reasons. And of course, after having to go through one hurdle after another, we’d all hope that happiness will eventually see the light of day sometime soon.

Whoever that is directing this movie I’m in, we truly have a lot of creative differences.

But life was never meant to be easy for some people. In fact, some of us are meant to deal with the constant worrying nexus between what’s wrong and what’s right in life every now and then.

And people often tell me that God will only give the toughest test to His toughest soldier.

If it was up to me, this movie will come with a template that boasts flamboyant colours – because as important as ‘sadness’, ‘annoyed’ and ‘anger’ is to us as human beings, ‘happy’ needs to come for a visit quite often.

Finding happiness is everyone’s ambitious project. Feel-good quotient in movies is either contrived or excessive. In reality, one need to strike the right note. And to do this, it is very important to surround ourselves with positive people who carry with them positive vibes and who cares about you.

Some of us don’t have much time to live. One’s vivacity and positive outlook in life are very important. To the readers, a person who doesn’t care about you is not as a matter of course a bad person. It’s just that they are not attached to you like you are to them and that’s something we cannot force.

Investing in your time is investing in your life. Do not invest in those who does not care enough about you to invest in you. A person who cares about you will take time for you and he/she will not make you feel bad for taking up said time.

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A Wish Your Butt Makes

Farting and burping – I’m no stranger to that. Of course, I try not to do it in public places or at banquets, but I never had to really hold my gas in when I’m with my family and close friends. In a day, I probably produce gas with the equivalent energy of an atomic bomb.

And yes, I’m polite enough to say EXCUSE ME all the time. It is organic. Like passing gas.

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Anyways, I mean passing gas is au naturel, and as human beings, we are all definitely aware of the existence of our butthole and its multifarious functions. And really, farting is one of life’s simple pleasures.

If one is not embarrassed to admit that he/she is okay with another person sticking something in it (anal sex), why hesitate to relax the muscle at the lower end of the rump and allow gas from your gut to just escape?

Let it go. Such bodily function really is a specimen of human perfection. And in my opinion, farts are also vital to the success of any relationship. It truly impacts intimacy. The frontage must crack eventually.

A few weeks ago I had dinner with my three best friends and husbands and a baby. We later went to their hotel room to chill for a bit more. Between discussions and jokes, a husband farted so very loudly that nobody can avoid acknowledging its solid roar! Everyone cracked into a lawless laughter. And it happened twice within half an hour!

Now that’s intimacy. And that’s the beauty of our close-to-a-decade relationship. We are comfortable enough to loosen our corset of civility and just be ourselves. We embrace every flaw, every idiosyncrasy, every irritating habit including every fart (and burp).

Already some of us have problems like lactose intolerance, food taking longer to pass through the intestines, bad metabolism and what not, why torture yourself restricting the locomotion of your breadbasket?

Like wearing corsets and body shapers. Those really bothers me. I detest the idea of wearing them.

Reason being, they increase the pressure on your breadbasket and make it more difficult for the gas to pass along normally which then result in sayyy… bloating (duh) and constipation.

Farting may be socially inconvenient, but it’s good to get rid of this gas. Abdominal pain is no joke. And repressing that monstrous gas of yours for hours can really cause hemorrhoids! A frequent visit to the bathroom due to diarrhea is bad enough, why summon hemorrhoids?

I’m just saying that farting (and burping) should be embraced. And farting (and burping) shows you’re comfortable. If you’re comfortable enough to fart (and burp) in front of a friend, there is truly nothing you can’t do in front of him/her. Farts show you have nothing to hide.

Think about it, in China, you can actually get a job as a professional fart-smeller! And that’s the beauty of farts! They prove that anything is possible. After all, according to health experts, passing gas frequently is actually a sign of good health.

All our lives, we are restricted from farting whenever we like. But really, just let that butt make a wish!

Don’t do it in public places when you’re surrounded by people but do not hold it in. Be kind to your system and find a perfect place to do so.

Whoever is reading this, even if you held the gas in all day, it will escape in your sleep. TRUST ME. You probably farted in your sleep last night – I’m just saying!

PS: Guys, you know girls fart. If you fart, so do girls. A study has proven that when guys and girls eat the exact same food, girls tends to have even more concentrated gas than guys. So, our butt makes more wishes than you. The end.

The Earthian Hope

Women are often emotionally charged – in everything. And everything will be twice as intense as compared to what men are feeling – except for sexual fantasies that is. And this is all based on observation and my conversations with people. Although I do know a few women who thinks and feels more like men do.

To escape the real world and walk away from problems that we can’t handle just yet, we often daydream and fantasise about happy things. And it’s really interesting how our fantasy life affects our personal and professional goals – the way it somehow ameliorates our lives and influences our relationships with people. But it’s really different with kids.

According to my mom, my baby sister often indulges in her fantasy world compared to the rest of us. And somehow, observing this sort of made me think if her fantasies have a lot to do with her future goals and dreams.

She would put on my other sister’s high heels, my mom’s comfortable clothes and began ‘teaching’ her ‘students’ in the living room. Often my mom would just watch and smile to herself.

I asked her a few times what she wants to become when she grows up and every time she would say, “I want to become a teacher.”

Me: But why do you want to become a teacher?

Her: Because I like to tell people what to do and punish them if they don’t do what I say.

Me: But that is not what a teacher do.

Her: That is what they do in my school.

Me: So your teachers always tell you what to do?

Her: Yes. And if people don’t listen to them, they will scold them.

Me: Like how? What do they tell you to do?

Her: Our homework. If we don’t finish them, they will scold and punish us.

For a 9-year-old, this is pretty innocent, really. Kids do not really understand the concept but it also shows that somehow they have a certain reaction that can be worrisome.

But in her case, it’s not the fear that influences her thinking. It’s power. She feels powerful and this is the fantasy that she concocts from it. A fantasy that became her favorite which she can switch on any time of the day. Her daydreams and fantasies are important as part of the way she would relate to and understand life. Her imaginary dialogues and profound conversations in her head will of course change over time. Perhaps after she hits puberty.

After thinking about it for a while now, I believe that daydreaming and being able to live in our fantasy world once in a while plays a crucial role in our lives. In a way, I think it helps us lead our lives. Sort of like a guideline and a motivation.

I sometimes daydream too. When I was younger, when reality was not very harsh on me. But of course, I keep them to myself. We do not need to tell each other our daydreams, we keep them secret as we worry that people would underestimate the importance of our fantasy. And after all, they may not worth anything to others. And we do not need anyone’s approval.

Today, however, my daydreams and fantasies – whenever I happen to have them – are more about achieving professional goals and perhaps finding that true love I have been searching for.

15 years ago all I wanted was to have a job in a magazine or newspaper company. I wanted to become a journalist and a newspaper columnist. Well, that never happened. I had a few odd jobs before I became a writer.

I was a waitress, I was a charcoal product promoter, I used to work at a shop that produces and sells pirated softwares, CDs, and DVDs and I was a machine operator at Western Digital for a while too. The one I liked/enjoyed the least was the waitress job. And working 12 hours a day/night in a factory totally messed up my biological clock. I respect those who can do it. But these odd jobs played a crucial part in my life as well. In terms of growth – personally and professionally.

That one particular vivid fantasy of writing a long-ass interesting article for a magazine and covering a journalism breakthrough for a top newspaper company when I was 15 eventually led me to where I am today. In a different industry but almost close to my field of interest. Fantasy is all illusion but mine is rooted in reality.

We can only hope for something. But if we work hard enough for it, if it is something that we really want, nothing is impossible. I truly believe in this pep talk.

If my baby sister really wants to become a teacher when she grows up, I pray that her dream comes true.

rhymebo0k : The Rapsinger and Whatever

“I enjoy writing but I don’t really have much to say. Unlike you. You live to write. You have so much to say.” – Charmaine.

“Your poems are deep! I like how you put so much thoughts and emotions in your poems. Keep ’em coming.” – Sukhbir.

“When you go back to Kuching, you must write a novel. You write beautifully.” – Geetha.

“Wahhhhh so high level I can never write poetry!” – Belinda.

The above are comments from a few people on my writing – particularly my poems.

Here’s something about me – I’m a recluse most of the time and I’m quite a private person when it comes to certain things, but I blog. I’m a writer by profession. But other than that, I write poems and songs. That aside, I sing and rap too.

Here’s what’s written on my SoundCloud:

rhymebo0k is an underground rapper, singer, songwriter, and a producer whose music genre focuses mainly on hip-hop and R&B.

Her musical journey began in 2004 when she formed “TruCkerDreelz” with her cousins – Kehem, Ozzy, and Romeo – in Kuching (Sarawak), their hometown. “Rugged Companion”, their first mixtape, saw her co-write, rap, sing, and co-produce all 5 tracks in the album.

In 2005, “Pretty Lady” and “Between You and Me” from the mixtape were aired on XFresh FM and Hitz FM. Since then, rhymebo0k went on to grow her musical repertoire and began producing her own music.

In 2007, one of her tracks, “So Fly”, caught the attention of an established independent artiste, Galvin Patrick, who later produced a remix of the song.

Steadily expanding her network, rhymebo0k decided to collaborate with two independent musicians – Nutty Slicc and Sleezy Moss – in 2011. The trio founded “The Unstoppable Inc.”, which still sees her rap, sing, co-write, and co-produce songs. In the same year, the trio released their first mixtape entitled, “Dreams of Hope”. Their second mixtape, “Borneo Gliders” was later released in October 2012.

2013 proved to be an exciting year for rhymebo0k. Not only did she release her first solo mixtape, “The Rap Singer”, but she also released her first album, “Rhymebook” under “Starrdome Music Group” later in December. The album consisted of 9 tracks including “Across the Sea”, a collaboration with a multi-element band, “Swaiv”.

The album was also co-engineered by Kehem, who is now a well-established producer and video director in the local music scene in Sarawak – the epitome of TruCkerDreelz’ success.

In the same year, “Cold Sweat” from The Rap Singer mixtape was featured in “Republic of Borneo”, a compilation CD album published by “Seventh Tribe”. The same track is also featured in her album, “Rhymebook”.

Her R&B track, “Shoulda Known Better” – featuring independent artistes – Son of Age and Swaiv’s vocalist, Meryll Pearl – hit the airwaves through Red FM. It was also aired on 104.5 CVFM, an online radio station in North East England.

The following year saw “VIMA Malaysia 2014” nominate her song “Talk the Talk” – featuring Sleezy Moss – as “Best Hip-Hop Song”.

Born to set one’s soul ablaze, rhymebo0k – also a poet – is currently working on her second album, which is aptly named, “The Lov Era”.

So, I was listening to all my old and pending songs earlier and it somehow brought tears to my eyes. Some of the songs are about some people who used to matter in my life.

And ohhh… I have not been able to write or produce anything for almost two years now. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I really miss it though. The whole creative and emotional process then, to the technical process. It’s really exciting. I hope to get back to that again soon.

I uploaded some of the old songs. I’ve got a couple more to upload but I’ll do that some other day. Whoever is checking the link out, I hope you like the songs.

My Portraits As They Wilt

Droopy and exhausted. Two words to describe my current condition. It has been wearisome for a while now. My mind, my soul and my body. I am tired.

Tired is an understatement. But I really am tired of so much. It’s paralysing me. A couple of times I snapped back whenever I feel like driving my car into a wall. There are days where I just want to give up and bury myself in my pillows. Or just curl up with someone and cry into their hug for a year or two, if not forever.

I have not been able to sleep for a while now. And if I did fell asleep, I’d be awake in three hours. When I go to bed, I’d often toss and turn but I still can’t get the sleep I so desperately need.

If I’m allowed to be dramatic; I would like to describe myself as a walking fatigued soul. Stuck in an unrelenting storm of painful emotions.

I’m in agony. There’s worry, there’s stress at work and in my personal life, there’s envy, anger, and sorrow – these are all in the mind people would often say. And I always tell myself that happiness is just a state of your mind.

But I somehow feel like this is normal. Perhaps it has always been. And I feel old. I have never been old before, but when that time really comes, when I hit my 50s or so, being old probably won’t really feel new to me. It somehow feels like a permanent state of being at the moment.

I’m like a wilting rose. Or something like that.

And I used to think why would anyone cut themselves. Succumbs to meth and any other drug addiction or commit suicide. They probably went through the same thing at one point in life.

When will this end? How will this end?

It’s disappointing that I know the root of my problem and that I’m helpless because I can’t even walk away from it.

But I can’t and I should not give up. At least not now.

These voices in my head. The noises in the background. That constant assault of sounds of negativity. I need to eliminate them.

PS: I was listening to Kabira when I was typing this blog out. I’m running out of data on my phone. Sigh. I really need the Wi-Fi back.

The English Weather

I was having dinner with my friend last night at this Malay seafood restaurant less than 10 minutes drive from my house and her workplace. It was a pretty good dinner, we talked about a few interesting topics, and we saw a badminton match! We were there for a good two hours, just catching up.

We sat pretty far from the TV, so we couldn’t really see things clearly but the ambiance was so lively and everyone cheered when our badminton player Datuk Lee Chong Wei won the match. I must say, sports really brings people and the whole nation together.

The whole time we were there, I was entranced by this really adorable sight I see in front of me. An old couple, in their early 60s maybe, sitting so close next to each other, having dinner. They were probably on a date and were both so into the match as well.

I couldn’t help but observe their every move, every glance they gave to each other, every smile and everything they say to each other that I can catch. The cutest sight was when he shook her shoulder during the second set of the match where everyone almost loses hope on our badminton player. Mrs Wife just put her hand on Mr Husband’s lap. She probably said ‘calm down, he will be fine’.

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I don’t see this very often in my life. Perhaps in movies, but not in real life. And unfortunately for me, a lot of things took a tragic turn in my life that shaped my mind differently on the three vital things in our lives as human beings – love, sex, and marriage.

But seeing this last night did bring little tears to my eyes.

LOVE. SEX. MARRIAGE.

These are God’s most complicated gifts to mankind – at least for me. They are there. They always are. Always were. Always will be. And none can remain unaffected by them. And they are also in some such way something we just never really talk about.

And we, out of curiosity, when we were young, get our information from all the wrong sources. Some, in a debauched form – like learning about sex from porn movies and believing that is how it should be.

What is love? How does true love or romantic love feel like? It is different from loving your family and friends but how different is it suppose to be?

Shakespeare said, “Love is blind and lovers cannot see.”

He got that right.

What is sex? Who created sex? Why is sex so important and why do we have this desire? Why do we crave for this intimacy? This touch that can be as dirty as the blood stain on the devil’s hand.

And what is marriage? Why do we give so much importance to this arrangement? Is this an ultimatum? Who ordained it?

Love is like a weather. We can’t force it, forget demand for it, or take it away from someone else. Like we can’t change the English weather or control our farts. It’s really an ecological and biological balance we have no control of.

Once I tried not to fart during an interview, the gas went back in and I can hear an explosion inside my stomach. And naturally, it came out as a burp. The most disgusting burp ever. It made me sick, I almost puked.

In the same manner, we can flirt with someone and seduce him later but what I found out from all my failed relationship is that in some such way, they are all a result of infatuation, resulting more to lust than romantic love. But of course that was not all there was. It takes a few other reasons for one relationship to fail.

Although I do believe I loved my first boyfriend very much. I like our date nights, our evening drives, our walks at the park and the fact that he prefers KFC’s original recipe than the spicy ones. But the funny story is, I did not like him at all in the beginning. High school was a bitch. Before I met him in person, there were so many rumours about him that annoyed the hell out of me.

However, till today, I never fully understood what true love is, how romantic love is supposed to feel like and how am I supposed to know that I have it and even more so, how do I keep it and keep up with it. But love, they say, will make you do strange things. And that it is normal to lose control, lose yourself in the early stage.

But hey, it really means so many different things to different people. And it is so complicated that I realised lust and sex is a lot easier to comprehend and practice. And perhaps for one obvious reason – because it’s technical. But it is also a desire that some of us have no control of. After all, you can have sex with someone you are not in love with.

To feel the hands of another on our skin is a basic human need. And sex is a desire that is as normal as the desire for food, coffee and cigarettes. Be it men or women, we all have that sex instinct and wants. They may not be of the same lustiness of course. Many have said that the sexual urge is stronger and more aggressive in men than in women. But they do fudge together a powerful steam in us for at least until we’re in our 60s or so.

I remember my conversation with one of the guys I sort of dated. He said that men in their 20s can masturbate at least 6 times a day. I don’t know how true this is but I would take what he said as a fact judging from our physical reactions towards each other.

And in high school, words were going around that the guys must indulge in masturbation, else their penis will be of no use in the future like a broken car engine – for some reason. And that masturbation can help their sex life since that is how they learn what they like during sex. I guess that is true.

I guess it also really depends on your own self-pleasuring habits. Maybe you just need it to help you sleep better and you don’t have to wait until someone else is in the mood. To each their own. And you can do it solo. Unlike marriage.

Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” And this attachment must lead to marriage?

I do not mean to offend anyone who is married in this blog – yes, this is a disclaimer. I have nothing against it, but it is just something I don’t truly believe in. At least not just yet.

There is something within all of us that makes us long for the company, friendship, and admiration of the opposite sex and we want to be with that person for the rest of our lives. But I grew up in a certain environment watching certain incidences that shaped my heart and mind the way they are now. My opinion on marriage may offend the people I truly care about who are married.

I grew up understanding that a good teammate does not necessarily make a good partner. And I witnessed many sad events. This is as far as I can go on this topic for now.

But on a separate note, a friend told me that I should never give up on love. That we as human beings were built to fall in love. That we will always crave for a specific person.

I do know that I have a very strong desire for emotional union with another person. But as the Malay saying goes, ‘jodoh itu di tangan Tuhan’.

What will be, will be. It can’t be forced. As Kabir, the Indian poet put it: “The lane of love is narrow; there is room for only one.”

There may be ‘the one’ out there. Just maybe.

The Servant’s Heart

_20160817_201045“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
— The Buddha

We’ve all been stuck between a hot burning flame and a black hole when it comes to making decisions. At some point, after all that struggle, we’d just look to our instincts.

I would have this compunction or fixed attitude of thinking about my values when I make my decisions and choices. Sometimes, I feel like I constantly need my moral compass to guide my decision-making. This got me question if morals are flexible.

For example, English is my second language. As I’m not a native speaker nor have I ever taken any special English language class, I never take a word lightly. I grew up understanding that is important to have my own opinions. But it is also important to properly use a word so people are not offended when I speak.

Sometimes I still filter myself and make sure that I know the meaning of the words I tend to somewhat exploit in my speech. After all, today, we live in a world where sometimes we don’t realise how hurtful our words can be.

Just a few days ago, I was doing some personal self-evaluation. I’ve always known my flaws, my weaknesses, and my strengths in terms of work. As a person, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a girlfriend.

My mom is 52 this year. All her life, she had to overcome impossible obstacles, but she has astonishing exciting and success stories. One of our recent conversations got me thinking a lot about her willpower. I wish I could disclose and share it here but that’s too personal.

At the same time, I couldn’t help but think how I’m so much like her. And that I have to be stronger than her for her.

It’s beyond doubt that it’s because of her, I became the first person in my family to go to a university and complete my degree with honours. She had to mortgage her jewelry. That was one decision she didn’t hesitate making.

From an early age, I knew my family was different than most. At the age of 2, when we were still staying at kampung with my paternal grandparents, I could feel that our household was hostile and unhappy. This made me realised I had the ability to absorb people’s emotions very easily – probably the moment I was born. And I had my first near-death experience when I was barely 1 year old. My eyes turned white. It scared my mom to death.

At 3, we moved out. We moved to Kuching and my mom was so much happier. That hostel room we stayed in was her happy space. Although at that time, she was a young adult juggling her problems, work and being there for my dad and me at all times. Even though she’s tired, she still managed to go about the day with a smile on her face.

My mom never sugar-coated life, and she never makes promises. She had me when she was 23. Since I was born, she had no choice but always to have faith and believe in me.

Just watching her, observing her, feeling helpless that I couldn’t help her when I was younger, in some such way instilled practical life and surviving skills within me (I was also driven by anger and disappointment).

I owe all of my accomplishments to my mom. Of course, she had a dream for me. I didn’t turn out the way she planned but she’s cool with whatever now. I turned out decent – very ambitious, but not greedy. I mean, no matter what we do, what mistakes we make, what we say, or how much we upset our moms, their love for us will never peter out. It will always be pure and unconditional.

Watching my mom taught me how to work for what I want, rather than expect it for free. I learned that considering the long-term outcome over the short-term is important in decision-making.

At times I feel like she would unknowingly set unrealistic expectations for my sisters. But I know where she’s coming from and all she want is the best for everyone. She would push everyone to do their best. But she does it her way, which may not be in favour of some people. Moms, huh. Let’s face it, they put up with our crap.

My mom is a very simple person. Pride, arrogance, greed and selfishness are rampant today. She doesn’t practice all that. It’s not organic to her. And they are definitely not the right ingredients for happiness.

Every day, there are terrific opportunities to be appreciative and thankful. To humble ourselves which we may overlook. Of course, when shit happens, we can choose to be bitter and resentful. But that’s just really tiring. The best decision is to let it go or start shooting ammo.

My mom is appreciative and grateful. That’s how she go about her day and that’s what makes her different. She is truly an inspiration. At least for me. That one conversation somewhat opened her eyes to look at things from a different perspective.

My mom will never know this blog exist. She pays no heed to technology and I pay very little. But I know she knows that I’m here, there, anywhere and everywhere. And right now, I’m about to make a decision that she would probably not like in the beginning but will be fine with later.

PS: Some people are born appreciative, thankful and humble, while the rest just luxuriate in flattering themselves. I don’t have a servant’s heart. I care for people and I’d put them first. But at the end of the day, I’d die only for my family and friends who truly matters.