There is beauty in teenage angst 

Nobody understands me.

Easily the mantra of every angst-ridden teenager.

Nobody understands me.

The declaration that plagued me and probably every single teenager who has ever stormed off in a snit.

Nobody understands me.

False.

Possibly the most life-altering thing I have ever learnt is that nothing I have ever felt before is unique to me: it has at some point been felt by someone else.

I learnt this the first time I read Plath.

Comforting, but also terrifying because life then becomes a game of combinations and permutations, the same old human experiences in jumbled up chronology, with a myriad of filters and geotags slapped onto them. Perhaps all you are is yet another notch on the bedpost of life.

Nobody Everybody understands me.

The former seems preferable.

To someone whose priority in life is individuality, this universal camaraderie is terrifying. Being alone, though painful, conjures up singular and original. Being part of this transcendental humanity, though comforting, conjures up hackneyed and ordinary.

To my younger self: there is beauty in teenage angst. 

A confident voice inside your head– you are alone because you are special.

The voice changes– you are not alone so neither are you special. 

Today I’m telling myself: you are not alone, neither are you special, but that sure as hell isn’t going to stop you from being.

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Here’s to capturing little memories.

Today was the last official day of my first year at college and I’m just recalling how I came so close to (stupidly) leaving all this behind but I am so glad I didn’t because nothing beats the happiness and comfort I found in NUS.

I can’t possibly stuff everything in here, but: minority lunches, ridiculous lit exposure mod lectures, Crocs are Kool, Bollywood chaos with Miyuki, uTown study sessions and slacking on the green with my one true love Dana, walking from uTown to KR because shuttle buses are crap, being in a constant sweaty as heck state, constantly laughing in marketing lectures with Darren (with amazing teachers who come up and thank you because they are just that humble), being challenged every minute in Crit Reading, being absolutely befuddled by totality, Crocs finding out about Oedipus for the first time, his shorts, Un Chien Andalou, leaning on Aisyah during an intense moment in class and not getting shrugged off, R21 Thursday lunches with 1Fass, EN Alots Anonymous, “please be my doctor”, horrid groupwork, “media are”, bitching sessions with Doob, Fluff Bakery, Miralliance, SyaSya, all the birthday surprises, #alagucomestonus, umbrella feet, last min essay rush all-nighters, my gurl Amy, ‘whispering’ stupid things to Crocs and getting into trouble because he always laughs way too loudly, always having Aisyah (even if she does give me too much tough love), freezing lit lessons, cute encounters with cute white boys, collab commons, compliment circles, “ooookay, okay okay, ooookay”, getting lost in FASS pretty much every day, “Darren is a good guy! It’ll be fine!”, bad printing memories in CLB, reading short stories in class complete with voices, finally learning more about my indian history, favourite hugs from Mira, picnic on the patch, unexpected fanfic company with Jingyin, “I only wear these shoes with this outfit cos they match”, spontaneous lit lunches (and planned lit lunches), bad module bidding memories, hangman with Mei Jia, screaming with Gerrie at The Player and so many more wonderful, beautiful, fabulous, precious, insane memories and even if I may not always remember them all right this moment, I’ll always remember how they made me feel: 100% young, free, wild (using this ironically, I promise)

Ended off the year in the best way possible, with an amazingly standard school day with great lit baes, Thursday lunch, and dinner at uTown. Lying on the green holding hands with Amirah and Dana (cos i’m a ho) (sorry Aisyah we luv u), staring at the sky and pretentiously trying to identify stars, rolling down the slope like madwomen under the cover of nightfall, finding the best seating positions with Dana. I can think of no better tribute to the emotional roller coaster of an academic year I’ve had at NUS, and right now I’m so unbelievably filled with warmth and happiness and goodness and it sucks that every happy moment is turning into a memory so swiftly but I’m so prepared to enjoy every bit of the next 3 years to come and just AIYA I’M HAPPY I STAYED IN SINGAPORE AND WENT TO NUS AND EVERYTHING OK EVERYTHING IS GREAT LET’S HOPE I DON’T FLUNK OUT.

Glasses

Some nights I leave them off so that the streetlamp starts to look like the moon and distant lights like the stars. I leave them off so that edges are softer, so when I brush against them, I’m less likely to bleed. Without them I don’t see the grills on my window- only the wide open sky. When I run my fingers over my face and look in the mirror, I look ethereal, fresh, alive. I leave them off so I don’t see disappointed glances or smiles marked “Fragile!”. People wear their hearts on their sleeves, but I prefer not to see. Through my imperfect eyes, flaws seem like a work of fiction. I throw them down, crush them beneath my heel. I will not see, I will not feel.

Public Service Announcement

Today I realised that some people are genuinely unaware that it is not okay for us to use the N-word. I get incredibly annoyed and angry every time this happens, and I think it’s about time I properly pen all of it down so that hopefully people read and repent (I’m joking) (not really) (stop it)

  1. Let’s start off with the word itself! The N-word is originated as a neutral term referring to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger which literally means “the colour black” (information from wikipedia because its so reliable yay) While it has a perfectly “neutral” meaning, the historical context of the word gives it a twisted and mangled and incredibly offensive undertone. This word, which people oh so love to use, was used by awful white men as a way to undermine and disrespect their black slaves, whom they had abducted from their home continent. Think about that. They were stolen from their homes, and then mistreated, and the name they were branded with is simply a word describing their skin colour. They turned something inherent and natural into a symbol of hate and oppression. Then there was the whole magnificent civil rights movement which finally got the blacks a modicum of the rights they deserve, and banished the N-word from the Dictionary of the Decent Human.
  2. “But the real N-word ends with an ‘er’ I say the one that ends with an ‘a’. It’s totally different!” No it really isn’t.
  3. “But black people say it all the time now!” This is called intergroup usage vs intragroup usage. Many blacks see the usage of the N-word amongst their community as a way to reclaim it, also known as reappropriation (refer to: the pink triangle that Hitler used to identify homosexuals in the terrible days is now being used as a pride symbol in many pro-gay groups) For so long this word has been associated with oppression and slavery and torture and disrespect that they want to take it back for themselves and pair it up instead with camaraderie and affection and brotherhood. (refer to: jay-z and his opinions on why he uses the N-word in his raps)
  4. “Why can’t we use it as a term of endearment too! I mean, I don’t mean it offensively. It’s just a word.” No. It’s an offensive word and we have no place in using it because the blacks have had a tough lot in history and we owe them that. Frankly, we all lost the right to call them that endearingly when they were tortured for about 245 years and the rest of the world did next to nothing to stop it. Like Oprah says, every time you hear or see the word, remember that it was probably the last thing a black slave heard before he was lynched. Words are never just words. THAT IS NOT HOW COMMUNICATION WORKS. WORDS CONVEY MEANING. THAT IS WHY WE USE THEM.
  5. “I understand why it isn’t allowed for white people to say the N-word, but why not Asians? We never did anything to them.” Well guess what buddy, just because you didn’t do anything doesn’t mean you don’t have a place in the global community which is the world. Just because it wasn’t your conflict, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a conflict that you should care about. Also, fun fact: The British used to call Indians the N-word so HEY not so removed from the problem are we?

 Basically what I’m trying to say with all this rage and words and bolds and italics is simply: