Somethings you cannot say


It’s not that I don’t believe you– I do.

I believe that you’re not well, that you genuinely can’t come, that you do wish you could… to an extent.

But it takes its toll, and it makes me feel that I’m lesser in your eyes. I’m not a priority.

 

It’s not that I don’t think you’re good people, friends I mean.

I think you’re swell, and I think you do enjoy my company as I do yours… but it’s not 50/50, is it?

It takes its toll, the things unsaid and unremembered. It makes me feel lesser, I’m not your priority, that you don’t really have concern for me.

 

It makes it hard for me to fully trust you the way I would like to. Trust you with my time, effort and affection. It makes me want to build a wall, to keep myself safe, treat you as a arms-length-friend at best.

 

And you? I just can’t.

still can’t. Perhaps I forever can’t.

I wish I could surrender, give up, quit you and just never see you again, in any context.

Rather than look at you now

and teether between HATING everything you are and LOVING everything you are
between not caring at all and caring too much.

I don’t want
to hear of the things you do
and not know whether to roll my eyes and ridicule them
or laugh and smile endearingly
or just to be completely ambivalent and unaffected.

When I don’t look directly at you
When I don’t make conversation
When I don’t ask about the things in your life
When I ignore, act flippant and even cold

Do you know? That it’s conscious, deliberate? That it’s not because I don’t know what to say, what to ask? That it’s not because I don’t care?

It’s just because I can’t. Just can’t, still can’t, forever can’t.

I had a thought the other day
that some scars are permanent.

Brain on breakup; forgiveness, memories and betrayal


When we first decided to give it a go, there was one thing that I really wanted to make sure of, a promise I kept repeating in my head to myself that we have to keep: that no matter what happened, we would remain friends.

Our friendship was too important to me and the dynamics of our little clique too precious to me to risk. Besides, I really never understood how or why ex-partners could become enemies. It’s ridiculous and absurd! Surely if you’ve been that close, been that intimate and know each other that well… all that can’t just disappear! How can understanding and love flip 360 into irreconcilable differences and hate? So for whatever reasons you have to part, but surely you can stay friends. Chemistry between people (how well you click) doesn’t just vanish.

曾经心疼为何变成陌生?

Ha. ha. ha. This is irony laughing at my naive, foolish younger self.

For all of my previous convictions, all of my mental gymnastics trying to make sense of the chaos in my head, all of my musings and waxing lyrical about the nature of love, unconditional love and forgiveness… I realize that I’m hardly any closer at all to forgiving her, and I still have no idea how to be friends.

You think you’ve come so far, so far
But you’re not any closer, no you’re not any closer at all

I recently watched Tipping the Velvet, a 3-part BBC Tv series based on Sarah Water’s novel of the same name. When the main character found out that her first love was cheating on her, she literally ran down the streets shouting, “You said you loved me! You said we’d be together forever!” over and over and over. (Okay, on re-watching the scene, I see that I’m exaggerating a little, but that’s how I remembered it!) Even after so many month, I still find myself slipping back into that.

but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!

All those promises, both implicit and explicit.

Not just the promises, but words said during the break up. After the break up.

all the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head, running through my head, running through me head… 

And the memories. Memories that keep playing of their own accord, over and over.

I like how they did the constant flashbacks in Tipping the Velvet, with the most poignant memory replaying and persisting, a shorter and shorter snippet, while the rest fade. That’s exactly how it’s like. A few favourite memories play and replay, and soon those are all you can remember. You’d think that the more you recall something, the better you’d remember it, but each time you pull it from memory, it’s a brand new retelling. Little bits dropped, little bits added; it’s changed. It feels more vivid, yes. But at the price of accuracies in the details. It loses it’s nuances. It becomes exactly what you’re remembering it for. ‘Exaggerated’, more than ‘vivid’. If you remember it as Great, it slowly turns golden: the best example of great. Remembered for sorrow, it’ll take that shape.

I used to think that no matter what happens in the present or the future, at the very least the memories are yours to keep. No one can steal away the good times you’ve already had. You can cherish them always. I see I was wrong here too. Things that happen now, or in the future, can reach back into the past to colour and change the meanings of memories…

What am I supposed to make of them now? What am I supposed to do with them? How do I make sense of them? I really don’t know.

All those promises, implicit and explicit.

I guess you can’t trust words. You can’t trust people. If you can’t trust words from the one you trust the most… if you can’t trust words that are said with deepest sincerity and love… then what’s left that you can trust?

And I guess that’s why it’s so hard for ex-partners to remain friends, if the break up is not a mutual decision. That’s why it’s so difficult to forgive.

SHE BETRAYED ME.

the closest you can get
sticking the knife
the deepest it can get
and the most unexpected it can get.

It’s hard to get over betrayal.

Questions to Ask Yourself


If you are, then I'm happy for you.

or merely changed what you're running from?

If you don't trust yourself, you can't expect others to. And the basis of any human interaction and relationship is trust.

Lying to others is bad. But lying to yourself is far worse.

very, very much.

But if you've managed to do it, won't you teach me how?

I didn’t make these with the objective of posting them here, but was rather pleased with the results (yay more relatively successful attempts with watercolours) so I decided to share.

 

What makes a friendship?


What makes a friendship?

I’ve often asked myself that question, and, in my head, stared quizzically at my friends, trying to figure out the common denominator between them, why they are my friends.

Do you choose your friends? I certainly don’t, not to a large extent anyway. I tend to be very passive in the way I lead my life, and pretty shy and anti-social in the way I interact with people. I’m never the one to first approach someone else.

How did my friends become my friends? I don’t really know. I guess it tends to be a mixture of being brought together by circumstance and then staying together, becoming friends due to the friendliness of one or both parties. Which is then cemented first by the decisions to make the effort, to keep in touch, and later by the trust and understanding that time helps build.

So what makes a friendship, or any kind of relationship? What’s the crucial ingredient, what’s important to you?

Do your friends (or girlfriend or boyfriend or sister or brother) have to share your values, your ideals, your political or religious beliefs?
Do your friends (or girlfriend or boyfriend or mother or father) have to have the same tastes in music, same tastes in movies, same tastes in books, same tastes in food?
Do they have to enjoy singing, if you love to sing? running, if you love to run? gaming, if you love to game? playing basketball, if you love basketball? rock climbing, if you love rock climbing? photography, if you love photography? anime, if you love anime? being outdoors, if you enjoy being outdoors?
Do they have to spend a certain amount of time with you to qualify? Chat with you on the phone several times a week? Bug each other online every other day? Hang out every week or so?
Or do they have to meet certain criteria you’ve set down for whom you want to be friends with, or whom you want has a romantic partner? Does he need to own a car? Buy you flowers? Call you every night? Be of a certain social status (would you be friends with the weirdos and the outcasts?) Would you be friends with someone much richer, or much poorer than you? someone of a different race, perhaps, or different culture? Do they need to fit your stereotype of what a boyfriend or a friend should be?

I suppose that most of the time you would share some of these, many of these, with your friends. After all, it’s probably a common interest or activity that brought you together in the first place. And if two people were really completely different as night and day with no common ground, it would be difficult to carry a conversation, much less sustain a friendship.

And yet I dare say that NONE of that matters at all, not really. None of it is what makes the friendship, none of it is what defines the friendship and keep it going.

I have friends whom I hardly ever see, hardly ever speak to, because of our busy schedules and because we’re only in the same country once or twice a year. Friends who differ completely from me in their ideological beliefs, their way of doing things. Friends who don’t enjoy the same activities I enjoy, whose favourite activities I have no interest in. It may even be hard for me to explain what we actually do or talk about when we get together.

But it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that when we do meet, the meeting is the point, not the activity. When we do meet, we spend the time enjoying each others’ company. Certain people you just click with instantly, finding yourselves on the same wavelength. When we do meet, we feel at ease, relaxed and happy. Conversation flows easily, and even if it doesn’t, that’s fine and we enjoy comfortable silences. We trust each other enough to be ourselves, to speak of the things on our minds and in our hearts, unafraid of rejection or judgement. We understand each other with just a look or brief comment, but we accept and support even when we don’t fully understand. We love each other enough to care, enough to try; enough to make the commitment to always be there.

That’s what matters to me; that’s what relationships are made of. Every other obstacle is secondary, every other problem is just a stepping stone to be overcome. Because when you have that, nothing can touch it and nothing can replace it.

Circumstance allows your paths to cross. From there, it starts with a feeling, maybe. A spark, or some kind of comfortable compatibility where you find each other pleasant enough to be around. Time builds on that and as you get to know each other better, trust, understanding and love grows. Cement that with the active, constant decision to commitment from both parties and you’re good for life.

Compatibility. Love. Trust. Understanding. Acceptance. And mutual commitment.

When you have something like that in your life, where things have gone more than right at every step and stage, when every component is strong… cherish it. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t throw it away. It’s not that easy to come by.

Remy Ong and Social Media


If you’re Singaporean, you’ve probably come across this post on facebook (or online forums), or else read about it in the news.

Personally, I came across the facebook post first before reading about it in the news, and I couldn’t help musing about how much the way information (especially more sensational information) is disseminated has changed.

You could use this to champion citizen journalism, an example of how the internet can get information out faster, and without the white washing or censorship of traditional media. The truth gets out before the lies have time to form a coherent official statement.

Maybe, maybe not.

Social media can be a double-edged sword. What IF the person had a vendetta against Remy Ong (or whatever person involved in whatever incident) or simply didn’t like him very much? He puts his post, his false version of the story, out into the internet, and it spreads like wildfire. Regardless of what the official outcome turns out to be, the person’s reputation has taken a hit. Fans have lost their respect for him. At the end of the day, it’s still one person’s word against another, isn’t it? How do you know what you’re reading is the true account?

Ps. In this case though, the internet-first-hand-account version sounds more credible to me; I’m sure the sound of your car hitting a dog and the sound of it brushing the dog (if there’s even a sound?!) is quite different!