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.

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:

This is important.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The Basis of Our Beliefs

The truth is, humans are all just stumbling around in this debased world trying to find a way to make ourselves feel better; to feel good; to feel justified. And this is the basis on which we build our value systems.

We prioritise traits we think we possess because that means we are doing something right. It speaks for our place in the world and that we are basically winning at life.

Humans tend to exploit our best individual characteristics and try to mould the world in a way that gets us the best deal. This is the same in every other systemic problem- the ones propagating inequality are always the ones with the better lot.

We need to understand that with every belief that you propagate, there’s a flip side. With every person who says that intelligence is crucial and that human life should be measured by the quality of one’s ideas and thoughts, there is someone struggling over grammar, thinking there is no way he could ever be spectacular. With every person who thinks attractiveness is of paramount importance, there is someone with road maps on her thighs, not having the courage to pursue the life she deserves.

Attributes like intelligence and beauty should be admired, not pursued to the point of insanity. Ticking hourglass bodies waiting to shatter into a million starving girls, and ink-stains seeping into bloodstreams turning people into meaningless equations and scientific formulas shouldn’t be categories you fall into to have a fulfilling life. Life goes on if you’re not smart. Life goes on if you’re not attractive.

The only quality we should all strive towards in unison is kindness. Being accepting and loving towards all the different kinds of people that make up this strange world is the belief system that we should all subscribe to.

Angry Bitter Rant #2

This can be seen as a sequel to my previous post on stupid tumblr girls. Another one came on my dashboard (looks like the world really is full of them)

  1. When a guy calls you, he wants to be with you. What if he called to tell you that he’s engaged? Or that he’s gay?
  2. When a guy is quiet, he’s listening to you. Maybe he’s sleeping. Maybe he’s playing Counter Strike. Maybe he’s knitting IDK.
  3. When a guy is not arguing, he realises he’s wrong. There is a high possibility that he’s just like “What is the crazy bitch on about now? It doesn’t even matter. I wonder what’s for lunch…”
  4. When a guy says, “I’m fine,” after a few minutes, he means it. What if it’s a pause like “Is this the time to tell her I fell out of love with her 8 years ago and am now in an affair with her best friend? Nah. I’m fine baby”
  5. When a guy stares at you, he wishes you would care about him and wonders if you do too. Maybe he’s confused by the proportions of your face. Maybe he suddenly realised that you look like the Pringles dude.
  6. When you’re laying your head on a guy’s chest, he has the world. No, he just has your head on his chest.
  7. When a guy calls you every day, he is in love. MAYBE NOBODY ELSE WANTS TO TALK TO HIM. Which means there is probably something wrong with him and you should cease all contact immediately. Or maybe you give good advice. OR MAYBE HE JUST THINKS YOU ARE A GOOD FRIEND IS THAT REALLY OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY?!
  8. When a guy says he can’t live without you, he’s with you till you’re done. Awh honey, I’m sorry to break this to you, but people lie. He might have been caught up in the whirlwind of love, or maybe he just wanted another notch on his bedpost.
  9. When a guy says, “I miss you,” he misses you more that you could have ever missed him or anything else. This makes me MAD. Why does any emotional declaration from a boy mean more than one from a girl?! I mean sure he may mean it, but that doesn’t mean your emotions mean any less! That doesn’t mean you don’t miss him as much. And are you seriously telling me that this is more intense than any kind of loss you would ever face? How about if your best friend died from cancer? Will missing her be the same as 3 stupid words that some insignificant person whispered to you over the phone after 5 days of knowing each other? Please. IS THIS REALLY THE MESSAGE THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO PASS ON TO IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH?!!?!?!?!?

Once again this is me being crazy, please don’t be offended by my crap. I swear these girls just drive me nuts because they just put stupid meaningless sweeping statements everywhere and frustrate me. I wish boys would post something idiotic like this so I can rant about girls too sigh.

Why Babies Are All Beautiful

Today my friends nearly killed me by going on about how some babies are ugly and there is no point “pretend gushing” over them.

This horrified me on so many levels.

One of which is: when did we extend our societal conventions of beauty to BABIES? I mean, when we grow up, sooner or later, we are all going to feel pretty shitty about ourselves, we are going to be judged based on how we look, we are going to have all our flaws pointed out to us. Does this really have to begin at birth?!?! Soon enough, there will be plastic surgery for babies (“which is highly recommended because babies have elastic, highly malleable skin!” can’t you already imagine the terrible adverts with people pinching babies’ cheeks oh god) and low-fat baby food, and corsets for baby girls so they grow up to have stunning curves or something equally heinous! WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN. Enough teenagers and adults are battling every day from self esteem matters, can we please not expose infants to this?? Let them decide what they wanna do with their bodies once they grow up, and don’t let their awful parents make all the decisions regarding their bodies.

Secondly, I really think all babies are beautiful!!! I mean, I suppose if you look at it technically, they might not have perfectly symmetrical features or a cute little button nose or cherry red lips. But how many people do we look at everyday, despite their flaws, and say “wow that person is pretty beautiful”. Babies have a kind of ethereal beauty about them. Eyes that have never seen bad and registered them, ears that have only heard the pleasant sounds of cooing and lullabies, tiny fists that have never curled up in anger or to beat on someone’s back in hatred, delicate little feet that pad only on the softness of pillows and bedspreads. The innocence that we see in babies is something that we yearn so deeply ourselves. And when a baby looks at us, with that completely clear gaze, lets out a gurgle and grabs onto your finger with a little giggle, it fills you with this enormous swelling feeling that something so pure, that something so delicate and little could give you its attention and affection so freely. Babies are the only ones who love without judgement, the only ones who look past who you seem like on the exterior and manage to wrench out that emotion from you. And all this contributes to a beauty, to an adorability, to level of cuteness in babies that cannot ever be measured solely by the technical proportions and measurements of their faces.