Category Archives: Coming Clean

Cat Off My Chest

Imagine a humongous furry being stuck on your chest refusing to get off as you try to get on daily life normally with furs smothering your every orifice on your head and claws sinking into your shirt as it attempts to resist gravity when you stand up. Imagine doing work every single day of the year with that humongous being stuck on your chest.

2011/2012 have been a wonderful year of keeping my head up with that humongous being stuck on my chest while treading water in the calmest of the seas. I did a crash course on organising food parties in the last minute while coping with multiple deadlines, proposal writing while my neurons were being deep-fried in preparations for and the end of year exams, almost an entire summer worth of effort gone down the drain because of undue circumstances from left, right, front, back, above, and below, my first time to playwright through dozens of writers block and trying not to mess it up with technical reports, sacrificing precious times planning and leading rehearsals instead of brushing up my Matlab skills, and potentially screwing up my chances of landing a job after graduation by forgoing three company offers for summer internship and a careers fair combined with deteriorating academic performance.

I failed to keep the main thing the main thing.

I did not listen to advice.

I should have slept less.

I should have cared less.

I regret not going all out from the top.

Growing Up (Part Two)

I studied ballet as a child and continued right up until Grade 5 (I took the Royal Academy of Dance exams) before stopping completely as I entered boarding school. The only Malay girl in the class of twenty or so of Chinese girls, also the roundest, plumpest, cutest of the lot. The one with one of the best moves but lowest stamina.

My asthmatic condition restricted the amount of sports I could do without ending up a wheezing heap. After bugging my mum how I’d love to learn how to dance like the graceful dancers on stage after watching Swan Lake when I was four (I think) and my mum signed me up for lessons not long after that. I can’t remember exactly how I had mummy to sign me up for piano lessons, but I started both around the same time with one hour lessons for each on a weekly basis.

As I advanced into Grade 4,  my grandparents expressed that I should be spending more time on my academics instead of dancing. There aref times I can become exhausted juggling practices, extra-curricular activities at school, and school work. There were comments that leotards were too revealing et cetera et cetera. For some reason I agreed to what was  said by my grandparents and nearly quit but my mum forced me to continue. Grade 5, my ballet teacher told me I was not ready for the exams and should spend another year of training. I insisted on taking it. Received a Distinction (like a First Class) for my final exam. Yeahhh little round dancing blob bouncing across the dancefloor LIKE A BOSS.

My piano teachers have always been strict. I remembered being hit, being shouted at, had the notes scribbled onto my fingers with marker pens, I’ve cried several times during lessons. I admit to being an absolute horror at committing myself to practice, and all I played was exam pieces and songs from other books my teachers teach me. I was never one to explore other manuscripts, until I was in Grade 6 (I took ABRSM for Piano) when my teacher noted that I was skilled enough and should be attempting to play pieces outside the syllabus. Sure, I failed my Grade 6 Theory exams and I can’t play Rimsy-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee to perfection, at least I’m not a robot when I play. I’ve heard many brilliant technical executions but  for the same chords my notes carry more emotion than the show-offs (although sometimes when I play I look stiff and my expression looks stoned depending on the level of difficulty of the piece I’m playing).

My singing have been a disaster throughout the years which I took my practical examinations (it is the vocal section of the exams). Somehow I noticed after I stopped taking exams I began to sight-read better and I could sing almost perfect tune by reading the notes off the manuscript. I can also harmonise well with another person singing.

Around 8 or 9, I was diagnosed with hearing loss in my left year, surprise surprise. I’ve been dancing and playing music for a few years already and it was pretty bad when it was diagnosed. Latest check up last year revealed hearing loss in both ears. I wore a hearing aid (just for my left ear) in secondary two but took it off for after a while. Life without perfect hearing is peaceful. I don’t hear the air-condition and refrigerator humming in the background, I don’t hear the footsteps of my neighbour going up and down the stairs outside the apartment, I don’t hear people spreading half-truths behind my back.

I’m not sure how I get about these days, either people around me are naturally loud or I lip-read all the time.

Growing Up (Part One)

I was a very stylish little child, almost always seen in dresses with matching shoes and accessories my mum picked out for me. Somehow when I began to reach adolescence, I warped into the bespectacled, almost always in oversized clothes, wrong shoes, wrong hair, few friends, a time of ultra-low self esteem. The confidence was there but the self-esteem was just a nano-particle. I spent more time with people who were older than me rather than my peers. Now I’m pretty much okay I guess. Mostly sticking to t-shirts/shirt + jeans + flat/canvas shoes combo. Hair remains unchanged. More friends. That was my growth summed up in a paragraph.

People have always asked if I am of mixed parentage. As far as I am concerned, my mother is Malay and so is my father. When I was a baby I was told I looked like an Arab born whenever I am put on the headscarf because of my fair skin and the red cheeks. I was also told my father sometimes wonder if they took the wrong baby out of the hospital when I was born (because all newborns look alike). My father looks more Indian than Malay. My mum doesn’t have the typical Malay look, but she’s fair-skinned. The younger me also spoke English and Malay with a twang (probably from watching too much Disney cartoons). Combine that with fair skin and curly hair and you’ll get a mat salleh with Malay DNA.

An unforgettable statement by a teacher back in Mantin was “I thought you made your hair like that to make a statement”. Statement my foot laa. Back then I kept wishing I had hair like those models on the shampoo adverts. I suffered peer pressure to permanently straighten my manes. I remember having three or four girls armed with a hair iron each who spent hours trying to straighten my hair. Suddenly all the boys looked at me as I made my routine trip to the dining hall for dinner. I never asked my mum if I could straighten my hair permanently because it was costly (and you’ve to do it once every couple of months to maintain it) and my secondary school fees costed a bomb (close to half of my university tuition fees last year, you do the maths).

My hair is naturally curly and its never been dyed until now. I sported a fringe in secondary four which was a bit of hair flopped over my forehead, straightened, and styled like a china doll. Compliments were received when it overgrew and I let it sweep across my face in a side bang. Then it got annoying when it kept getting into my eye so I gave up on fringes for a while. I’ve tried cutting my own hair which turned out not too bad. People can’t really see the difference if I had been to the salon or not because it looks just the same to others regardless.

I see bokehs without my spectacles or my glasses on. My eyesight is powered by -6.5 and -0.7 right and left respectively as of the most recent check-up. I began with -3.0 in primary 3. I never realised I was short sighted although I’ve been sitting on the floor about 3 metres away from the whiteboard during of my lessons until my mother realised she couldn’t see me waving in a store when I was looking in her direction and I had trouble reading the menu behind food ordering counters. From secondary 1-3 I have been wearing the thick glasses before I switched to Nikon lenses (yes, Nikon lenses for my specs) which manufactures them thinner for the massive power I needed so I don’t end up with heavy, thick lensed viewing tool slipping off my nose, and gradually eased to using contact lenses on a daily basis by the time I was in secondary five (after I broke my spectacles for various reasons for the fifth time in a year). My thick specs was the main reason why I refused to put on braces for my teeth. I had enough dealing with criticisms on my hair + baggy clothes + spectacles combo. I didn’t need another one to annihilate all that’s left of my self-esteem.

Looking back, I think I did a pretty good job resisting all that peer pressure. My handful closest good friends who see me now will tell me I’ve changed from the person they knew back then in terms of physical appearance. Butterfly out of the cocoon.  Some would say I’m still the same. Some who saw me during prom or my prom photos would go “OHMAIGOD”.

In my opinion, I’ve just grown a bit taller, wear more clothes that fits properly, and developed dark shadows under the eye, have better self-esteem and a bigger circle of friends which traverse across a world of interests, industry, age, and experience. Woosta! I’ve survived the past twenty years of my life. Alhamdulillah 🙂

Complications

Thank God I kick-started the day with a good serving of breakfast and wonderful company at one of my favourite place in UK. The remaining daylight hours was a downhill physiological ride and my psychological state was in the red all the way home, until I received a call from a friend which cheered me up slightly.

I may be 19, but I’m dealing with grown-up matters 90% of the time now. I have very little time for childish behaviour or temperament and I do not appreciate people depreciating my desperate attempt to make these people see the cup has half full, not half empty. This isn’t a situation where the optimist builds the plane, the pessimist comes up with the parachute. I’m trying to convince these people things will work, that it will be a win-win situation with proper design.

Many people think it is easy to do the things I do. Life’s a stage, and like any other really good performers do, we make the difficult look effortless.

When I say I cannot do something, it means I have exhausted or nearly exhausted all means and resources to get that thing done.  When I say the body or organisation that I’m working with or collaborating with is a professional body or organisation, it means I’m doing serious business. Altering any arrangements which have been done or undergoing planning means having to deal with the highest level of hierarchy of the body or organisation I’m working with.

And these people don’t have time for kids’ play.

These people may not be well known as they keep a very low profile, but people in the know would know not to mess with them.

 

My Mummy, My Hero!

On my way to town, I noticed many fathers bringing their daughters for a day out.  I suddenly remembered today was Father’s Day and died a little inside, reminiscing the relationship between my father and I.

He has ceased into the background of my life, his most significant role being the other half of my DNA makeup and my surname. My parents divorced when I was three (I think ). My mother raised me up single-handedly from that point on, even providing for nearly all of our financial needs.

“Mummy” was my first word, “MUMMEYYYYHH!!!!” was the first thing I cried out when a stranger bumped into me – daddy ‘accidentally’ left me behind on a family outing in a shopping mall. My mother will be the first person I call for help once upon a time when I was absolutely terrified of cockroaches, and couldn’t get into our apartment for the intense fear of the icky creature sitting right in front of the door. My mother stopped some of my primary school teachers from constantly picking on me. I took counsel from her when one of my high school teachers tried making my life difficult.

Now that I’m studying abroad, I began to appreciate more of her efforts in bringing me up well. I used to get a decent scolding for being untidy and inconsistent with the house chores. After about nine months of living in a shared flat with four other guys, mind you, – who consistently leaves pots and plates unwashed for weeks, forgets to put out the rubbish, leaves lots of grease on the grill and stove and not bothered to clean up afterwards, inefficient in paying the utility bills, the list goes on and on- I realised just how much work she has been doing alone all this while.

She kept the house clean, prepared my meals, worked 9-to-5 (and countless overtimes), sent me to ballet and piano lessons until I moved into boarding school. Did anybody offer to help her? Few. We stopped hiring maids when I was 7 or 8 after many of them ran away, ran away with some belongings which weren’t theirs, and or siphoning off resources from the kitchen to share among the other foreign maids working with other families in the neighbourhood.

We managed.

We lived well.

As for my father, I only see him occasionally during Aidilfitri or any other times when we meet up. I would rather keep my distance from him, and I do not appreciate anybody trying to reconcile our relationship. Nothing is broken anyway. Reason being, having him close may see myself getting tied down with his 1903734682195 problems.

I am content with my little happy family bubble of my mother, grandfather, and several close family friends of ours. I have a little circle of friends whom I cherish. To all the single parents out there (including couples with kids who are technically married, but the other half is away for work more than half the time), you have my deep respect.

To mummy, Happy Father’s Day.

May God bless you always.

Bryony Kimmings

If you are young, innocent, naïve, yet to have your first kiss and the territory of the land below un-ventured – the following review is to be read at your own peril. If you feel brave enough to discover what lies beyond these lines – fuck on.

Bryony Kimming’s Sex Idiot was a brilliant mind blowjob.  Full-on honesty and highly uncensored, she bares it all as she retraced her sexual encounters to find the contractor of her STD.  Little did I know what to expect when I redeemed the free tickets to her performance. I came out of the theatre feeling as if I had just lost my virginity.

She admitted to her problems with alcohol – drinking irresponsibly, ditching the contraception, partner after partner after partner and hello STD!

There were bird headdresses. There were bright red heels. She changed into a matador costume. And then a white lace dress. And then she took out her underwear. There was a contemporary dance called ‘Sex’. She demonstrated the expansive ability of a condom. She stretched it right over her head as you would wear a swimming cap. “If the guy tells you his dick is too big for it (the condom) it means that it is bigger than my head!”

Then, she started handing out scissors to the audience. Contributions of hair from you-know-where were asked for. When the cutting tool was passed around the guy next to me took it, slipped it into his pants and snipped off a little of whatever it was (I buried my face into my hands and was half-sobbing into my friend’s shoulder on the other side of me) and passed the thing right across me into a teacup which was used to collect all the donations. Another guy sitting diagonally across in the row before me did the same.

Oh the shock, the horror, the trauma! Right then, a bottle of Jack Daniels was also being passed around. I should have done with a large gulp of it to swallow the next to come.

Apparently the scissors have not been washed since her tour show in Edinburgh. She took a clear tape, stuck the donated hair onto it before putting it across the top of her lips to resemble a moustache. It was her way to telling us BE CAREFUL of doing what other people tell us to do. The ‘moustache’ was on her lips for almost five minutes while she sang a song of a douchebag of an ex-lover.

I would recommend every impatient, sexed up, pre-pubescent boys and girls to watch this show. It is not cool to be fucked and fuck up your future in the process. Best ever education on sex I’ve ever had. Vivid. Live. Sexy. Burnt into memory. Damn woman. You’re brilliant!

Now, I would like to take a shower, cleanse myself and pray.

Dear God.

Please grant me a safe fucking life.

Amen.

Treading Toes

Trouble is my middle name. I cannot sit down and be a good girl, and my capacity to stir up things is beyond my own comprehension. Not all is bad however. This nature of mine has developed skills for damage control. Appeal and apology.

In self-justification, one of the reasons why I seem to override all hierarchy and protocols when I need to get something done is – I cannot tolerate people who waste my time. I have gotten into trouble for this before, and it gets me frustrated sometimes when people don’t take me seriously. I’m not somebody to do something without reason. Even if I don’t happen to find one at the moment of execution, the reason would present itself at the end of the day.

Second, people make assumptions of me. It is flattering to have people thinking you’re larger than life, but it invites a whole host of negativities – anger, jealousy, dissatisfaction, resentment. I could use the silent confusion to my advantage, but I have yet to develop the meanness for it. It could be that, or I am simply putting restrain on my full abilities albeit unconsciously.

The incomprehensible capacity for chaos most probably stems from my own overflowing enthusiasm. I would probably explode with energy if I don’t transform the enthusiasm into something else. For now, I’m trying to develop some immense enthusiasm towards my academic matters, but it is still at beta stage and prone to glitches.

In Malay, one sentence to describe me would be – Tak makan saman! (doesn’t give a shit). I really need to find something or somebody who can help me tune all this excess energy into productivity. I’m a fireball of energy damnit!

*BOOM!*

When the Ox Farts

This is the amended version of a little something I sent to a friend when she got the news of rejection from Oxford. I just thought I would put it up to come clean, as well as a source of inspiration to some of you. Life is full of unexpected turns, you’d never know where you might end up. So, enjoy the roller-coaster ride while it last!

hey ya! just to let you know you’ll still be my über kawaii-chan no matter what. even my heart broke when I was told by the head of sixth form that the principle was rather reluctant to write my reference if I wanted to apply for Cambridge.
and this was like what, in the middle of exams? i tell you i felt like a huuuuge pile of crap. I just sat there under the shower for like one hour, staring at the wall. damn demotivating if you asked me, and I actually cried in the office when I was told I was ‘not recommended’ to apply for Oxbridge. it is hard to get over something you’ve dreamt off since what, like when I was four or sumtgh.
Anyway, i almost fell into a bout of depression when I missed my grades for UCL. wah-lao, that one lagi siao. dah lah visa kena apply cepat cepat kalau tak the flight which was booked since last year burn. I was lucky to get my CAS from Bath quite soon, but that period between results out to Visa application was gila nak mampus. I tell you, I didn’t sleep much, more like I didn’t sleep at all. and thanks to the
lousy ppl at VFS, i MISSED my flight, after so much drama, I finally landed my ass in Bath.
🙂
you’ll never know what lies in the future, so heads up!

Private message, Facebook, 21st December 2010