They will love the better you but I still own the ghost of you

If 2004 holds the title of The Worst Year of My Life, 2017 is the runner-up.

Still, I am nothing if not grateful. For the hardness of this year has only made me softer.

To all the things I lost: thank you for setting me free.


I need to hide within a storm So have the lightning come And bring the winds that scream And spill the fog all over town And break through every door And strip away the trees And raise the rivers high Just help me drown And hold me in your standstill ground I will sink down And you’ll be washed away You’ll be washed away

It’s June, and I’ve already lost three people. Two to death; one to life.

Death is much easier to accept. At least they couldn’t help it and you know there is no coming back from it. Losing someone to life is abstract and riddled with what-ifs and maybes and hopefullys – down to the last second. Until holding on becomes more painful than letting go. Then cue Cheryl Strayed: “Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” Cue Rumi. Cue Rachael Yamagata’s entire discography.

I took a real beating. A kick in the stomach. I was down on my knees. I could barely stand. Defeated, I did the only thing I knew would give me solace. I took out my prayer mat. I cried many tears into that mat. I made supplications I had never made before, and I felt an instant relief I had never felt before. But it doesn’t end there. It’s an ongoing process, as it should be.

My yoga mat is the other mat I started taking out more regularly. If the prayer mat is for my heart, then the yoga mat is for its physical encasement. Hatha yoga invigorates me, whilst yin yoga teaches me to find calmness in keeping still.

I discovered Yasmin Mogahed. She was sent as a tool to steer me back to the right path. She fed me verse after verse until it got through to my thick skull. Accept, even if you don’t understand. Nothing is an accident. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. If something is taken away from you, it is for your own good. And know that it will be replaced with something greater. You are going through a purification. Yes, it hurts, but trust the treatment. Pain never comes without a purpose.

And over and over and over and over again.

I can’t claim to fully understand now. But I’m beginning to see where I went wrong and why things happen the way they do.

It’s not okay, but it will be.

I’m not okay, but I will be.

Will we ever get to the other side?

We bandied confessions, tears, forgiveness, reassurances and hopes
in between sleepy good mornings and sleepier good nights.
We showed our feet
and our food
and uttered familiar names of people and places.
As usual I become your dictionary/thesaurus and I’m only happy to.
Your laugh, that hair, your hands, and mine.
It’s like you never left.
We cleared out the grey; everything is clear now except
For one.

Do we swim or do we sink?

Picture Guy has resurfaced, calling me “my dear”, and bearing apologies/problems/questions. Considering I last heard from him nine months ago, I’m surprised and thrilled, but mostly? I’m furious. I want to tell him to go fuck himself. I’ve got no time for him. I don’t care about him. I no longer want him in my life. But those would all be lies. I could never bring myself to say those words to him anyway. Besides, wouldn’t embracing him be easier? Wouldn’t falling back into our old routine be easier? I wouldn’t have to miss him anymore. But three days since his first hello and I’m still trying to decide if no longer missing him would be worth the heartache when the conversation eventually stops.

Every time the sun goes down

I want us to talk again – the way we used to when the sun was coming up, and we were miles away from anywhere.

I want us to talk again – about all the things we would think about, yet never thought to say out loud to anyone else.

I want us to talk again – like the way we did before we wanted to do anything more than that. I want us to talk.

And if we never talk again, I want you to know that I miss that most of all – and every time the sun goes down, I think of all the things I wish I could tell you.

~ Lang Leav

This made me think of you, I said.

Now it makes me think of you too, you said.

(I’m sure he thinks of you all the time too, she said.)

It’s not that we can’t talk anymore, you said.

It’s just that things are different now and it’s too diffic–.

I know, I said.

You’ve said that before, I said.

I hope you’re well, you said.

I hope you’re well too, I said.

And just like that
we go back
to not talking

Toe to toe, back to back, let’s go

I was running late for lunch with ATH today so I decided to book a cab. I had uninstalled my taxi app before going to Ireland and haven’t reinstalled it since I got back.

(I am also the last person in this country who does not use Uber for two reasons:

1) I’ve got to create an account and enter all my details, so signing up for Uber is a calculated move rather than something you do when you’ve been on the roadside for 20 minutes waiting for a cab or given up on your typical misguided optimism that you will get to the centre of town via bus-MRT-walk in half an hour.

2) It gets charged to my card and who’s got money in her bank account these days? Yep, not me. Heh.)

Instead of reinstalling my old taxi app, I decided to install Grabtaxi. I’d never used it before, I figured what the hey, give it a go. My impression of Grabtaxi was that it was merely a pool of the various taxi operators and whoever happens to be close/convenient takes my request. Survival of the fittest. But among taxi operators, not randos with a car a la Uber.

So imagine my surprise when a private car turned up for me. I guess Grabtaxi has gone the way of Uber now then? I got in, and All The Thoughts proceeded to fill up my head. Upon seeing a taxi on the road, I began to feel guilty that I was giving money to a schmuck with a car who is already wealthy enough to own a bloody car in this country who just happened to be going the same way I wanted to go, instead of a hardworking “taxi uncle” (what we endearingly call our taxi drivers here) whose actual livelihood is driving a taxi. Who has to pay commission + tax to the taxi operator for every job they do, plus pay an exorbitant monthly rental of the cab. (Grabtaxi takes a commission too, but less, and no tax, so the driver earns more.)

ATH laughed when I told him of my ethical dilemma and called me a softie. He said I should not feel guilty at all, that that’s the way it goes. It is, I know, but I can’t stop feeling bad that I deprived a legit taxi driver of $14 today.

I’ve been in a self-destructive mood these days. I want to experience freefall so I’ve been fighting the urge to jump off a cliff. JT said to me yesterday, “Don’t come crying to me when your heart is broken.”

I should feel more of an ethical dilemma about this than the taxi thing, but I will pick and choose my own ethics, thanks. I’m just playing with fire cuz I like the heat, you know?