word barf #8: this is the era

This is the era where people take social media as a serious representation of our lives. Where many filter out the hardships and display the plain ol’ and same ol’ beauty. Where the other party may stumble upon their posts, and feel even much more insecure, because their own lives aren’t as pretty as theirs. Like thick icing on a cake, they make their lives presentable too. This is where the chain reaction begins.

This is the era where people make money and gain fame by copying from one another. Where I see the similar types of clothing on five different girls. Where they promote about skin care brand A at three in the afternoon and then praise skincare brand B two hours later. Where their lives seem magical as though money typically rain at their areas. Princesses –with prince, or no prince (or occasionally different princes).

This is the era where people think so much about solely themselves. Where family is only mentioned on pick one: (mothers’/fathers’/parents’ birth) day. Where occasionally an #appreciationpost for their siblings or friends are put up once every six months (or maybe for the first time because their own Outfit Of The Day was really good in this photo). Where their Instagram grid is full of new faces because “Hey everybody! I have so many many many friends! I am popular!” when honestly, they never spoke more than fifty sentences.

This is the era where people feed off from other people. Perhaps it’s the popularity they want to steal, perhaps it’s the top-notch photography skills they want on their photos. However we can never find out their true incentives (and the truth hurts as well).

This is the era people tries to be different to stand out, and flourish for just that little while. Because people look up to these successors, and inevitably, people will follow. That difference is now shared, and that makes it same. One paradox we can see is the fact that we call hipsters ‘hipsters’ because they stand out for not touching the mainstream, but being a hipster is ironically a trend.

This is the era where we can’t plan a proper road for ourselves in the future. We want everything this instant. We want fame, we want fun, we want these kind of friends. We want them right now. We are so self-absorbed in the short period of time where eventually, all these bits of nonsense will not matter anymore in the near future. (We still want these nonetheless because the future seems far.)

This is the era where insecurities are rising among us. We look at them through social media and think that we are not enough. What we forget is the fact that these platforms veils the drastic imperfections, making them unsearchable.

This is the era where we are much covered in flaws, and instead of accepting them, we have a need to hide them away.

And I too, feel guilty.


a ‘word barf’ is that typical thought post without proof reading and mostly nonsense. it is written and posted because many thoughts run away. and it’s better to write them down before forgetting them. 

Mr. Grudge

like a Burr seed attached to one’s clothes
his arms are tight for he never lets me go
despite how much i wanted us to be apart
Mr. Grudge stubbornly clings onto my heart

and when i thought Mr. Grudge actually left
i crossed paths with Lady and he came back
together with his friends who make me sick
they dance along to the pulmonary beat

there was Miss Envy who shakes me awake
adding ingredients that spark up the hate
and Madame Despise who darkens my soul
so that when i’m with Lady, i’ll turn cold

sometimes an angel sits on my shoulder
telling me that Lady isn’t entirely wrong
i tried hard to reason it out, saying that:
Mr. Grudge is exceedingly too strong

he conquers both my heart and mind
i cannot love nor to Lady ever be kind
many remedies failed –he wouldn’t budge
so how do i get rid of clingy Mr. Grudge?

word barf #7: friendships

Where is the line drawn?

  I have to admit that I choose who I want to be friends with. It’s pretty silly because I believe that friendships develop over time, but then I realized that we choose whether or not we want to run miles for so and so.

There isn’t a perfect formula to boost your friend to go to the best friend level. During my early primary school years, I changed my best friend every few months or so. Currently my “best” friends include the ones who I still contact/insult ever since we were seven, and the ones whom I constantly hang out with for the past three or four years.

However there were things which I only blurt to my friends in school. I pick the ones who I want to listen to what I want to share. Perhaps it’s because this person can relate to me more, perhaps this one can give me better advice -I really do not know.

I also believe that most friendships are temporary. This could possibly the reason why I do not have many ‘BFF’s, for the ones who earn this title are the ones who have the potential to be involved in my life for the next sixty years or so.

The struggle: part I.

   This does not happen all the time, but often I find myself being a fool for giving in too much. Usually I get too afraid destroying the friendship and so I let them be -even if it hurts me.

Towards the end of last year I broke down in the girls’ changing room in front of a few of my classmates. Obviously shameless of my tears, I spilled my hurts between the muffled sobs. It was about this person who I was once friends with, but occasionally, the insults thrown at me were terrible. There was a point where he talked about my private life to another person, and it was my last straw.

We had stopped being friends long before my awful breakdown. Despite that he still exclaimed an insult meant for me. In the changing room, one of my classmates told me that he was a bully. And I have to confess, even if I still feel uncomfortable saying this: although we had good, fun, and memorable times together, he is a bully.

   The struggle: part II.

  I am not totally triggered by being taken advantage of, but I get absolutely hurt if people cannot sacrifice as much I sacrifice for them. I don’t mind doing things for them, but how can they not give just a little bit more time and effort for me? Like, are they really too lazy to read a 500-word post on my blog when I asked for feedback? Lolz.

Pretty upsetting and definitely hurtful. They could argue that I am being selfish for not looking at the things they have already done, but gosh, the amount of my heart and soul poured into this compared to theirs is vast.

Agreed. It’s silly of me being so calculative, but from this, I learn one thing. They view the friendship differently than I do. I can put them on the pedestal, but they do not put me in a place just as important. And that’s bitter.

I know this because I was once like that. I was self-centered, and currently, still self-centered like how many of us are. I would be lying if I said that I treasure the friendship as much as the other party did. I apologize for never giving my all if you are my friend (new or old) reading this.

So far in twenty seventeen I have not slack yet by treating these golden souls badly compared to how they treated me. Aside from that, I’m planning to repay the extra amount of effort they gave. It’s supposed to be a secret, but they’re too humble to know who they are.

The lesson.

  To stand up for myself is something I am still trying to do. There has to be a limit, and sometimes, snipping away the knot can actually set myself free. Another thing is perhaps to not expect too much from people. Even your ‘BFF’s can’t go all out for you. Truly it is devastating, but that is how people are.

  Let time mend the heart, but never be afraid to make friends.

flight

She did not ask to be introduced to this world, but here she is, full of hopes to achieve dreams and live an almost-contented life (because nobody can ever be truly content). Her first few years of her life were mainly about her following orders. Sleep at eight. No telly after six. Study hard.

Occasionally she found some joy in her home, but most of the time she was in pure delight among her friends. They were the ones that pushed her on, believed in her that she could do it -when nobody in her home can.

At that stage of her life, she is given the question that gave a little spark to her eyes. “What do you want to do later on in life?” Finally, with a little taste of freedom at the tip of her tongue, she spills her plans for building her own future. The response to her enthusiastic speech is unfortunate, however. Step by step, with more rebukes and opposing comments from the Backbone, she falls into despair.

There was the saying that goes “home is where the heart is” but she doesn’t believe it. Jealousy boils in her blood every time she sees the parents of her peers supporting what they wanted to do. How old is she now? Already reaching adulthood. She has her own life too, but home does not see it that way.

Stubborn Backbone does not understand, does not even want to step into her shoes. Hard-headed Backbone, cutting off her speech midway, saying things like “you will regret” “you think it’s so easy?” “people who do that won’t succeed”. She’s tired of fighting and exhausted from trying to justify herself.

That night is one of those nights where she hopes nobody hears the echoes of her cries from the bathroom. She hopes the soaked pillow will be dry when she wakes up, and that no one will notice her red swollen eyelids.

People her age are now enjoying herself. Some take their freedom to the fullest and she vows that she will never be like them -even when she has been living in a cage all this while. She will be moderate, she knows she can control herself for she has learned from the disasters her peers faced. She knows what to do, but she was never given a chance to manage her own life by her own self.

She is a child, not a pet dog. Sometimes even dogs were let loose so they can explore, so perhaps she is worse than a dog.

Don’t get her wrong. She doesn’t see “elders know best” as some bull manure. Nonetheless these elders should know that young ones are not as stupid as they think they are. Young ones might be impressionable, but if they were given a moderate radius to explore, they will learn what the world actually tastes like. These experiences able them to adapt.

If elders know best, elders won’t even shelter their children from such one-in-a-lifetime occasions. It turns into a cycle; the children will never grow up, and elders will never see such potential in their offsprings because these poor young ones were never given a chance.

And if Backbone thinks he’s sustaining, maintaining, saving this bond, he’s wrong. She has read one of Shakespeare’s classic, learning that Jessica had even left Shylock in the midst of all anguish.

That night is the night of her breaking point. The warm summer breeze from the window invites her and incites her to flee. If she survives, she runs away to pursue life, lead solely by herself and undriven by nobody else.

And if she doesn’t outlast the fall, the long deep sleep seems exiting enough.

word barf #4: dear long old friend

you are not alone.

i believe that this is a phase which everyone has went through. but you’re growing up, juggling jobs and earning the money which you deserve with your hard work you have put through. it’s hard to see our own flaws and we get hurt when people point it out. trying to change ourselves is a whole another level. it’s difficult. i know. i’ve been there.

we are quite similar after all.

our selfish desires. our views of the world. how we felt when people leave us and treat us in such ways. maybe these similarities are the cause of resentment for each other. i do not know for sure. the most i can do is to assume.

i assume that you lose in one thing: authentic love. bona fide.

for that’s where we are parallel. you can have more than a handful of friends to go out with every day and every night. you can have different pairs of ears to listen to your heartfelt problems. there can be more than three people sending messages to you right now, way more likes and comments on your photos than mine, way more views on your daily routine you uploaded on social media. people know you and you’re a star -well i like to think that you are.

despite the many faces you know, i presume that you’re never satisfied. you cannot express your deepest, darkest thoughts because simply it isn’t right. you don’t know them enough. they don’t know you enough. this authenticity in these many friendships is not there.

acceptance is the social drug which we think that is harmless. we unconsciously seek and repressively strive to belong to a place. we feel good when we’re there, and sometimes, we want more. perhaps it’s greed. perhaps we are addicted. obtaining a green card from everyone becomes a new goal.

i stopped what i was doing when i realised the growing monster in me. it was partly the reason why i left the place that has made me that way. i slipped into a rural site and adjusted my life. around three years has passed, and i’ve grown a little older to go deeper beyond the facade:

acceptance isn’t everything but we make is seem like it is. you and i are insecure, just like many, many other people.

your bitterness towards me hurts, i wanted you to be happy for these stages i’ve reached in life. however i wasn’t happy at your achievements either. the both of us desire what each other has as an individual. being known by many is something i secretly hunger for, but i remind myself that i need to appreciate all i have.

i shouldn’t overlook the love my small circle of friends have given me. i’m thankful for the love showered upon me. at the end of the day, quality is truly better than quantity.

despite where we are now -living as though we are non-existent to each other- i’m here when you’re down. i’ll help break down the barriers that hinder you away. and even if you decide to stay this way, i want you to know that i’ve forgiven you and that i am still here when you need a hand.

i wish you best of luck.

i didn’t know

i didn’t know that you have such a heart
to describe me with kind, fluttery words
i didn’t know that you have the guts
to bring up my name out of nowhere
i didn’t know that in your eyes
i was actually your good friend
i didn’t know you would say
that we were once close

i didn’t know that i can readily forgive
until i realised i’ve let bygones be bygones
i didn’t know that without thought i’ve wished
you success and happiness (but only in secret)
i didn’t know that absolution feels like this
without resentment, i now bid you riches
in wealth as well as future friendships

you didn’t know that i like you
despite what you had said and done
you didn’t know that i secretly side you
although your actions made people shun
you didn’t know i repeatedly gave in to you
even when i was aware you had lost respect
you didn’t know i long to be friends with you
regardless of the tremors i’ll face all over again

birds & bullets

“Would you sign up for war?” she asked. ‘War’ seemed like a big word for the both of them. Two eight-year-olds sat under the tree, shading themselves from Summer’s sun.

“W-war?” stammered the boy beside her. He was a little shorter than the girl, but he was always the fastest when it comes to races at the meadow not far down. His eyebrows scrunched as he thought hard. His fingers fiddled with his tangled shoelaces.

He finally answered with a timid voice, “I w-wouldn’t want to die.”

The girl frowned at his reply. She got up and walked away.

He chased after her, but her head start and long legs brought him to a disadvantage. His stamina never failed him however; he finally reached for her hand, pulling her towards him. They both stumbled.

She stood up again, brushing the dirt from her faded yellow dress. Her scowl suited her sour expression. The boy was still on the ground, stifling a giggle as he looked at her. The sun behind her gave the impression that she was some sort of angel that descended onto earth.

“I’ll be a brave boy and go for war.” He adjusted himself to his newfound confidence. “There’s no war for now but I’ll join the next one.”

She then gave him a smile that was brighter than the sun.

Many things happened during the years before the children’s ages doubled. They stopped racing throughout the woods by the time they were eleven, only to walk and enjoy nature’s wonders. Occasionally they would take naps on the forest floor, perhaps catch small fishes by the brook, or spot out for birds on the towering trees.

Responsibilities and priorities change as they grew, but the both of them never failed to keep each other intact.

Year nineteen forty-two arrived with the wind. They were only at the young age of sixteen.

It was just half past four in the afternoon. The sun made her tears glister and the boy could not make her stop weeping. He hated to see the pain written on her face, but there was only so much that he could do.

“W-war?” It was her turn to stutter instead. The boy nodded as his hands reached out for her.

He wiped the girl’s precious tears. “I’m a brave boy. I have to volunteer.”

If they look back to eight years ago, they would notice the switch of roles. Her face was red and her voice shook as she spoke. “You’re still so young. I wouldn’t want you to d-die.”

He said nothing and only pulled her to embrace. Her hands circled around him, and her sobs slowly faltered.

Her warmth was greater than the Sun’s, and for now, this was all he ever needed.