March 10, 2009

on those funny, familiar, forgotten feelings

Posted in Strange Feelings at 12:16 am by meldee

Softness amidst steel.

Canon EOS Kiss, Ubud, Bali.

***

Sometimes the smallest, weirdest things stick in your mind long after the person who’s said it has disappeared.

Sometimes it hurts more than you’d like to acknowledge it does, because usually it’s true.

It feels weird, because you know so much time has passed, but it haunts you and it aches.

Oh, it aches.

I never was the type who could bear the idea of someone else despising me. Perhaps I have chronic insecurity issues (which come to think of it, I reckon I do). Perhaps I’m a doormat.

Perhaps I just can’t forget some things, even though I do have a legendary goldfish memory.

Perhaps it’s just bloody Venus in retrogade swirling around some toxic feelings but oh, what I’d give to do things differently.

Perhaps it’s just me.

But because of that obscure comment, as wrinkly crooner Tom Jones warbled, ‘those funny familiar forgotten feelings started walkin’ all over my mind’.

I am now beyond mortified that I know the words to a Tom Jones song, even though it is only the chorus (and I Googled it, so I must be cheating).

Maybe it’s not my time to forget.

The question is, have you?

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August 28, 2008

on light

Posted in Poetry, Strange Feelings at 10:50 am by meldee

I’m true blue and mellow yellow.

Canon EOS Kiss, Gurney Drive, Penang.

***

light hear/ted

am i not/ing

flickers of pain/full

rejoi/sing along to my

wishful song, i wish

i could be (f)old/ed

int(w)o stars and fly

night sky and smile

(just for a while)

and moon/beam down

laced in dreams

of senseless schemes

i am a clo(w)ne

duplicitous drone

of light.

July 14, 2008

on rage

Posted in Strange Feelings at 9:07 pm by meldee

tangled.i.am

Canon EOS Kiss.

***

Another one of My Moments. Pure, unadulterated Arien rage.

When I feel the hot bile choking me as I draw breaths and struggle to keep my screams down.

The blood rushes to my temples and I really do believe I could seriously beat the next person that pisses me off in the very slightest way to a pulp.

My knuckles ache to bleed. Bleed to ache.

Muscles coiled, ready for anything. Waiting for an excuse to pounce and roar and fight and frighten.

I’m wound as tightly as a spring on Prozac (if you catch my drift).

I despise everything, these heinous circumstances, all that I’ve done, all that I am.

I’m scared. And angry. Unspeakably so.

What the hell am I playing at? What did I expect? Why am I being so utterly foolish? Didn’t I always know it would end up like this? I wanted it this way, didn’t I? Now I’ve got what I wanted, and the truth is, it hurts. It sucks. It’s utterly maddening and I wish I weren’t me just so I could beat myself up.

***

Then my timid fish comes out from behind the seaweed and begins to weep.

I’m sorry.

July 10, 2008

on being outside, looking in

Posted in Strange Feelings at 1:52 pm by meldee

‘Does anybody hear me?’

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, Jonker Walk, Malacca.

***

I often get the feeling that I’m living someone else’s life. I’m not meant to be here. I’m an imposter. A fraud.

But the question is, where else would I be if not here and now?

July 9, 2008

on peace

Posted in Strange Feelings at 10:43 am by meldee

Life from death.

Canon EOS KISS, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

***

I am restless. Listless. Unfocused.

Yes, again.

Then I found this post ( and this one, too!) and it reminded me that this will all make sense one day.

I hope.

All I need to do is sit tight and hopefully find peace within myself.

Possibly, one of the hardest things to do when your mind is traveling at warp speed, and you know your thoughts should be trailing your work (or vice versa) at a similar velocity.

I need to get away. Somewhere, anywhere. This weekend.

Lie on my back and watch clouds roll by and take no heed of the insects crawling with their pokey little feet across my limbs. Feel fresh air fondle my (badly in need of a trim) hair and sunshine kissing my cheeks. Eat too unhealthily and drink too much. Listen to my own out-of-tune hummings and do clumsy two-steps barefoot in the grass with no one watching. Read a trashy romance novel and cry at the soppy parts where undying love is realised and declared.

Take technically imperfect pictures and write silly poetry nobody reads anyway.

Find some part of me that still has faith that everything will turn out A-OK.

July 3, 2008

on openings

Posted in Strange Feelings at 9:56 pm by meldee

God, where’s my open door?

Taken with my EOS KISS, 50mm lens. Jonker Walk, Malacca.

***

Sometimes when all entries and exits have restricted or no access, the best thing to do is to sit inside and wait for a door, or window, to open.

If you wait long enough and miss the sunlight, open a window. Or door.

If not, break through.

It can be done.

June 19, 2008

on realisations

Posted in Friends, Malaysia, My Home, Strange Feelings, The Thesis at 9:54 am by meldee

Lever/age.

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, 50mm. My room.

***

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be at work.

After the mini-drama this morning when my usual computer wouldn’t log me in (there are five computers in my office, only three of which work–mine, D’s and the one behind my cubicle) because apparently the time on the computer and the main server wasn’t the same. I was growling quite ferociously because just a few hours ago I’d sworn that I’d transcribe at least one interview today.

Then I remembered to thank the computer for shitting on me (not literally lah ok) because it reminded me to be patient (yes, I’m still in my Reclaiming Zennity (wtf) phase).

So I hopped on to the computer behind me, checked emails, etc, and after a while, frustrated with the non-scrolly mouse and squinty old CRT monitor, I tried my computer again. And yayness, it works now.

So, um, my point is, um, I need to, um, recover from this morning’s, um, drama.

That’s why I’m blogging in lieu of working.

*defensively* But I will do it eventually! I, um, swear.

By the way, why on earth am I justifying myself to myself? In cyberspace at that. Jeebus.

***

So I had lunch with two friends of mine from primary school yesterday. I don’t know if they still read me regularly (heh), but if they do, holla, M and L! 😀

It’s been 10 years since we kissed our dark-blue-(sexy?)-white blouse uniformed days behind now, and of course it’s inevitable that people change. We were just updating each other over green tea and sushi, or rather, those two that see each other regularly were updating me on things that have happened lately.

Apparently M was not surprised at all that I’ve taken the path that I did. I am, and I look at myself each day with wonder. I certainly never would have guessed that the emotionally unstable, awkward, unpopular misfit kid that I was back then would turn into who I am today, though that’s not to say I’m not still a misfit kid…I reckon I disguise that fact a little better now.

We were talking about relationships, about the idea of marriage and settling down, about the phenomenon of “everyone who goes to Melbourne doesn’t want to come back, everyone who goes to the UK almost always does”, old friends, double lives, and such. The unavoidable question that came up was why I want to go back to Australia when “the country needs people like (me)”.

I guess no matter how many times I’m asked it, it always throws me a little each time. This country, every country, needs people like me. Like you. Like them. It’s unfair to assume that because some people are activists, warriors for social justice, policy makers, etc, that it’s their job to run the country and see that it doesn’t go to the dogs. It’s everyone’s responsibility, that’s why we’re citizens. That’s why we have the right to vote and question and not merely accept the status quo.

It stings that the thought even crosses the minds of people that I don’t love my country, though I know I hardly have control over what I think, what more what others do. Ah well.

On the topic of relationships, I was also asked if the cross-cultural thing was an issue. That stumped me a little. Besides the fact that T likes Vegemite and I hate the stuff (we’ve reached an amicable decision on Promite being our spread of choice), he uses funny language sometimes (as do I), and that he’s white and I’m…er, not, I never really thought of the ‘cultural differences’.

He wears jeans, I do too. He speaks English (or Australian), so do I. We know (almost) the same music and movies, we both believe in good manners, we can both hold our own in an argument but still respect each other.

And I know this may sound really obvious, but I’ve never seen him, or anyone else, as ‘that white guy’ that is so different from me. He’s just T. A person. I mean, of course we all do it, refer to someone as ‘the white boyfriend’ or ‘the Malaysian girlfriend’, but itsn’t it kind of arbitrary? It’s all just labels, words that don’t really mean anything.

Or at least they don’t really to me. But then again maybe it’s because I am such a product of M.University’s cultural critiques, etc? Have I thus lost my ‘Asian values’ and crossed over to the dark side? Am I sucking up to neo-Imperialism and turning into one of its many poster-persons?

I dunno. I really don’t. I’m not saying that I think M or L are wrong in saying what they did, or that I’m right, I’m just stating what happened and the corresponding thoughts that crossed my mind. And it struck me how just a few years ago I’d have chipped in, talking about how Western values have corrupted us all, and we’re fundamentally different because we are Asian.

But what is Westernness, or Asianness? I’m not disrespecting history or culture as in, you know, traditions, ceremonies, bla bla bla…I mean it as a whole. Isn’t it just different ways of doing similar things? Isn’t it like religion, where all paths ultimately lead to God/s? And who created these labels for things anyway, did Humankind (observe my attempts at being Politically Correct) not decide to make these distinctions? I hardly think they mulled over these things and its future implications/connotations for days/weeks/months before reaching a conclusion. Isn’t culture thus, to some extent, arbitrary?

Gasp. I think I might get burned at stake/flogged/stoned to death for heresay.

But I digress.

Anyway, like the title of today’s post says, I realised how much I’ve changed. How different things are, yet how achingly familiar. I still love my friends, and my family, and home, but I’m different now. I don’t think the way I used to, I don’t even feel the same.

Weird eh. One of those strange moments when home suddenly feels like a foreign land, and all things once-familiar feel just that much more strange.

Maybe this is a feeling that comes with age. Lever/age. Whatever.

June 12, 2008

on leaving

Posted in Malaysia, My Home, Strange Feelings at 10:58 am by meldee

Walking away (into the light).

Taken with my Canon EOS Kiss, 50mm lens. Monash Cultural Night, Sunway University College 2008.

***

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, leaving home.

Not just moving out of home per se, but starting out afresh in another country. Away from family that loves me and feeds me awesome food, distanced from the things I love doing, separated from job stability.

It’s not just because of the boyfriend—of course, he is a big reason in my wanting to go (why else would we suffer through two years of long-distance relationshipping?!), but if you believe me, he’s not the only reason.

I need the taste of the unknown, to venture where people don’t know me. To wander (emotional) baggage-less…yes, even with the precious little money I have. Money that I’ve been working myself ragged to collect, money that’s truly my own.

I think I understand now why my Dad touts the proudest moment of his life being going to the UK with my mum with only 700 Pounds to last them 3 years. It takes a giant leap of faith and optimism indeed to venture out of one’s comfort zone into the (relative) unknown.

I feel conflicted, and I can’t help it. Since I got back from Australia, meeting activists and such wonderful kalyana mitra , being immersed in work that I have found such passion for– writing and working with children, I now feel reluctant to leave.

This, no matter what, is home to me.

No matter how I bitch and whinge and lament the political system, corruption, horrid traffic and crappy pay.

At the risk of sounding cocky (and I’m not, I’m more in awe than anything else), I know I could do well here. I keep getting calls from a headhunter trying to hook me up with PR jobs and other offers of full time work.

But at the same time I know myself well enough to need to quench the thirst within me to try things on my own and venture out to start over again. Just because. I know if I didn’t do this, I’d be deeply dissatisfied and restless. And I’d be miserable. Never ungrateful, let me assure you, just terribly unhappy.

I expect that people who don’t know me (and indeed, those who think they do) might be puzzled at my wanting to leave behind this stability and assurance of a cushy job, free accomodation and Nyonya food every night; it’s something I don’t expect anyone to understand. I feel I hardly understand it myself; all I know is that I must do it.

Yet I cannot go without reluctance.

It’s not just the surface things I’ll miss, like the awesome food, 24-hour Mamak and cheap and abundant shopping. It’s knowing that I’m Malaysian, I’m home.

I know this is so cheesy but when I landed back in KL from Australia and that disembodied voice on the MAS flight said, ‘and to all Malaysians, selamat pulang. Welcome home’ I had tears in my eyes.

Leaving home, being one of the thousands of graduates to abandon mothership Malaysia (so to speak) disturbs me somehow: I’m not going off in search of greener monetary pastures (though that’d be a bonus); I’m not going off because I hate the Government (they’re people too); I’m not going off because I see migration as a quick fix to my problems. I am not going off also just because of the boyfriend—moving there also means uncertainty, because I don’t have a job there, no immediate family, no activist/spiritual/shopping buddies. It’d just be me and him (and his kooky housemate who stole a signboard for my future study, apparently).

I don’t even know yet how exactly I’m going to stay in the country—study visa? No money to study; besides, my brain is going to give out on me soon. Work visa? No job offer (‘yet!‘ pipe up my Sagittarian planets cheerfully), no money to pay for one. Spouse visa? And get married in 9 months? Eeps. I don’t want to get married because I have to, I want to do it because I want to. In my own bloody time, thank you.

But I’m trying to remain optimistic and upbeat—my Sagittarius moon and mars are most rambunctiously cheering me on and urging ‘you can do it, Mel, you can do it! All you need to do is believe!‘—though my more pragmatic parts want to grab that freakin’ bow and arrow set and shoot old Saggi down.

(I realise how schizo I sound )

So why do I so badly want to go? Good question, I guess I’d have to say I don’t really know the answer to that.

And I suppose the only way to find out if I’d make it is to walk forward, walk away from home (into the light).

June 10, 2008

it’s only words

Posted in Random Ramblings, Snapshots, Strange Feelings, Uni at 10:36 am by meldee

Taken with my Baby Bazooka (a.k.a. Canon EOS KISS and my ‘nifty fifty’ lens) at the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Sometimes words are so arbitrary.

***

So I’m back from my brief holiday, sunburnt as hell and supposedly reenergised.

It was pretty good fun! Pictures are up on Facebook if you’re my Friend, if you’re not then you’ll have to make do with this one 🙂

At the risk of whingeing (again), I’m not feeling reenergised, not really. I came back to news of the passing of one of the country’s best known feminist activists due to cancer, crazyhigh jacked up petrol and diesel prices, the fact that Rodham-Clinton’s out of the Presidential Race, and a 4,500 word 60% assignment which I am dying at 3,800 words because I’ve run out of things to say.

See? The arbitrariness of words. I really don’t see why we have to say things at times that are already known. Skipping nimbly to another topic, the problems with blogs is that so many people are talking, but nobody’s really listening. Are they?

Am just rambling. Talking, and listening to myself.

***

I got given a pair of home-grown avocadoes today. They remind me of giant scrotum. Maybe I’ll keep them on my desk at uni as a talisman.

November 19, 2007

emo post #328.2

Posted in Bah!, Random Ramblings, Strange Feelings at 7:23 pm by meldee

I’m so not drinking anymore alcohol for…well, a while.

After a night of emo-talk with an emo girlfriend in Stabucks Taipan (where we got pissed off with snoopy customers giving us weird looks as we did our Goddess/Angel card readings respectively, so my friend offered them readings—sadly, our efforts to extort money from them did not work, but we did manage to convince them we were from (a fictional, as far as I know) Paranormal Institute of Australia, P.I.A. and to go on vacation wtf), I got home and emo-ed some more.

And listened to (and leeched off another friend) more emo acoustic songs, I decided for the first time since….well, a reeeeeeaaaaalllly long time, I needed alcohol.

So I went trip-trip-tripping downstairs and attacked the Baileys (had three glasses, on the rocks) as I had no mixers for the vodka, and didn’t feel very much like red wine (though I suddenly do now, hmm!). I then embarked on a journey of Feeling Sorry For Myself, which is actually a road I take quite often lately, especially at times when my life feels pointless.

But don’t we all have that? Those niggling, nasty moments when routine seems  more dreadful than anything else in the entire world (I have no earth planets whatsoever in my astrological birthchart, if that explains anything) and the idea of doing this (i.e. continue living as per usual) makes you want to rip your hair out, strip buck naked and run screaming the lyrics of an aggro Linkin Park song, running down your street. No? Well then, maybe it’s just me.

When do we ever know when ‘our time’ is up? Why are we so preoccupied with studying, getting good grades, making money, etc? Hasn’t there got to be more to life?! *cues Stacie Orrico music*

But oh, you know what I mean. I was playing with my Angel cards today when the question, ‘what will my life’s legacy be?’ popped into my head, and I drew the Family card. Which is actually quite sweet because it totally resonates with what I want to do with my life. Um, which is, to get married, have kids and continue saving the world from home (I am perfectly capable of doing this, thank you).

What irks me is the limitations society imposes dictating when you can get married and have kids, and to whom. By virtue of my, oh, well, upbringing, education, qualifications (because all this counts, the way good teeth, etc matters when farm animals are being bought wtf), potential (like farm animals have the potential to give birth to many healthy young for meat wtf) and all that…the average age for someone in my position is to settle down by 27. At the very least. 32 is about the max; after that it’s all downhill and people (i.e. nosy gossipy relatives) will start speculating that you’re too fussy or fatally flawed in some way (like maybe, you cannot cook, for instance)—you’re never gay or single-by-choice, because those are both Unnatural States to your typical Chinese family.

But what if I only had enough time to live till say, 24? Does this mean I have to give up my dreams of having a family of my own simply because I’m not the right age? No no no, don’t ask me whether I’m sure I’ve met ‘The One’ or whether I’m sure I want to do this, this is purely hypothetical and thus completely inconsequential. But just for argument’s sake, yes, say I’m abso-positivite-luuuutely sure.

Then again, how sure am I that I’d die at 24, hmm. Hell, I could die any time. Like…even in 5 minutes! Or 5 years ago! Or…

Oh, bugger it, this could go on forever.

I just hate how we’re all contained in small little neatly compartmentalised boxes. Ping! Time’s up, move on now to the next inherently natural phase of your life. This is all bollocks. A friend of mine told me how she had a minor disagreement with her colleagues about why she should get married now and start having kids so she can have someone to look after her in her old age.

LIKE HELLO, HOW NEANDERTHAL IS THAT.

Ya, ya, ok maybe it’s not Neanderthal; it’s tradition, it’s sweet, it’s being pragmatic, proactive and far-sighted. But with cases of child abuse on the rise (as per today’s The Sun; but for some reason I cannot find the story online), even the educated elite cannot escape from being abusive parents if they are that way inclined. Because honestly, don’t flout someone’s education as a reason why they would not abuse their kids, education is inconsequential in that sense.

Raaaaaaah! I am such an angry child.

And incredibly random too. Just verbal-diarrhoeaing again. The point of this entry was to blab about how I felt so sorry for myself I drank alone and ended up a tad bit inebriated and sent silly text messages (which I now deeply regret) to my poor boyfriend at 3am (my time) telling him all sorts of Really Embarrassing Stuff. Which I am obviously not repeating here.

There, that wasn’t so hard was it? I am too cheong hei (long-winded, one of my 5 Chinese Terms) for my own good. Now let’s all get on with our boring, mundane and utterly pointless lives *flings hand around dramatically*.

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