Saturday, August 27, 2016

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In light of the recent incidents in my alma mater, I've been thinking a lot about life, death, and past events. 

I won't go into the details here, but for a better understanding of this topic, my good friend Shermaine wrote an informative advocacy piece on her blog. You can find it here. She raises several good points about the very pressing issues about the stresses of the education system (or in our context, the Raffles programme) and society, as well as how expectations - be it caused by ourselves or external factors - could trigger certain decisions. 

The recent tragedies have been absolutely heartbreaking to learn about, and hearing about such incidents never fail to flood me with memories and emotions from four years ago. It was a period of time where I felt the most helpless, the most lost, the most frustrated, the most worried - as a friend and as a fellow human-being, attempting to help another see the beauty in this world at a time when it was the most difficult and challenging to. I've never publicly written about this particular incident, probably because I found it to be taboo (which as Shermaine pointed out, is also exactly the problem, we don't talk about these things enough... but then again, it's honestly such a delicate issue and it may not always be wise to hold non-general conversations about these things).   

Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to be able to reflect upon that period of time with relief, as opposed to sadness and regret. But I know that not everyone is as fortunate as myself. 

Suicide isn't uncommon. In Singapore, there is actually an average of at least one suicide death a day - and that's excluding the attempts.While I can't say that I understand what goes through the minds of those who have tried to take their lives, I do think that it isn't difficult to come up with several reasons to explain why some of them do what they do.

I'm in no position to speak for others at all, but it got me thinking about life. More specifically, my own.

Personally, I feel that my life is only worth living if I understand my purpose for existing. Afterall, what's the point of living if I don't feel like I have a good-enough reason to exist in this world? What's the point of going through the motions without zest, without enthusiasm, only to die eventually? I wouldn't want that.

However, I have to qualify this. I'm in no way saying that you shouldn't continue living if you have no clear direction in life. Finding one's purpose takes time. Some find it through religion, some through an immense passion for a particular cause, some through the simple fulfillment of making the people around them happy, some through a career choice. But we weren't all born with a clear purpose. We've got to search for it, and accepting this as a fact is so important - it's holding on to this hope that you exist for a reason, that truly matters.

Can one really find something that's worth fighting for? Can one really wake up to a new day feeling absolutely excited? I choose to believe that it's possible, but it does take a whole lot of ignorance to feel this way. Sometimes, knowing too much can prove detrimental to one's emotional well-being. Think about this: if we were all ignorant about the evils of the world, ignorant about harsh realities and ignorant about our own failings, we'd probably all be senselessly and inexplicably eager for what tomorrow brings.

But that's exactly it. We could also try to make a conscious choice to hold on to the hope that good things can happen, to believe that we can actually make an impact (however small) on this world. Sure, while the odds are all stacked against us and evidence usually points otherwise, who's to say that you aren't the special one? At least, by keeping these thoughts close to our hearts to guide us in our actions, we may all just be a little happier. That's just all I hope for.

Sigh I'm sorry, I really don't know where I'm going with this. I've been staring at this piece for a couple of days... writing and re-writing and re-phrasing sentences, and finally decided that I'm just going to put this out there. We're all still trying to figure things out - so give yourself credit for that, and trust that you'd be able to make sense of everything eventually.
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Watsky x Infinity

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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It's no secret that my favourite artiste of all time is Watsky. I've blogged about him before, and quoted his lyrics numerous times on all my social media platforms. I've even tried to perform one of his spoken word pieces for a poetry assignment in school... although the plan fell through when I realised it was way too challenging to articulate the way he does.

Somehow, I find myself falling in love with every single one of his songs. Some are better than others, but there isn't any one that doesn't bring me joy. His lyrics are always so raw and relatable, although my admiration for him goes beyond his musical work. His personality is an art form in itself and I'm always in awe at how he balances humility and confidence. Having passion for what you do is always sexy too, of course.

That said, I don't support all of his projects. While his new book, "How To Ruin Everything" was pretty well-received by others, I didn't enjoy reading it at all. Sure, he revealed a lot of himself in the book and divulged information about his less-than-perfect life, which made him seem a lot more human, these anecdotes weren't things I didn't already know about him. Most of them were events he's already mentioned before in his songs or poetry. Plus, I don't think prose does justice to his writing ability because one of the characteristics I love most about his poem and lyric writing is his very conscious and witty choice of words.

With all that said, I was pleasantly surprised that Kinokuniya actually stocked his book in its physical store (!!!). Maybe the Watsky fan base in Singapore is growing, and that makes me so happy because one day it'll be big enough for it to be financially viable to hold a concert here. I'll be the first in line, for sure.

Two days ago, he released his brand new album and needless to say, I've been listening to it on loop. It's been a while since he's released anything new and while I haven't had time to properly read and digest the lyrics to all the songs, one of my favourites so far is track number two. It truly speaks to me, especially at this point in my life. If anyone's actually reading this, please at least give Watsky's music one shot--I haven't embedded anything on my blog for a very long time but his album release definitely warrants it.

Talking to Myself 

One day you opened up your eyes inside of you 
Inside a world inside a universe you didn't get to choose 
You didn't get to pick the rules or pick the past or set the pace
Or cast the cast and crew you didn't get to pick your starting place 
And though it was a race you didn't understand 
You simply lined up on the blocks and when the pistol popped you ran 
And when you tripped and dropped you pocked yourself up off the ground
And picked your scabs you knew you had to pick a plan to end what you began 
As you got older there were days of cold surrender 
Days of shrugged whatevers folded in with days of shocking splendor 
But as time advanced the lovely days were covered up from view 
By an advancing melancholy haze that hovered near the dew 
Yet there were moments 
There were these pure arresting moments when you stepped outside your head 
Outside your pain outside control, outside the bullshit, out of body, out of rage
Outside the need to get it, get it, you will never get it, that's okay. 

Have you felt a little off today
Had a lot to say 
But wound up talking to yourself? 
I've been hunting for a kindly ear 
But couldn't find one near 
And wound up talking to myself

Had a little spot - where you been going through a lot 
Wanna shove it to the bottom - but a trouble gonna bubble to the top 
Then the bubble gonna pop - and the hustle never ever gonna stop 
Cause you get up in the morning get ahead, get to bed and then you do it all again until the moment that you drop 
You need a plot - what you wanna witness with this life you got 
You kicked and fought tryna get up in your skin and pick this lock
That ticking clock lets you know that bitch you got these situations with you 
Issues someone fit to quick should sit you down to talk 
Ever wonder who's the crazy the one - people walking to work as if nothing is off
But if a person really got it they would be cracking a bottle on somebody's head and looting from shops 
Are there times you're alone now when nobody's home but you walk around 
muttering under your breath second guessing shit saying goddammit 
goddammit goddammit just whispering soft
Do you ever get lost, deep in your thoughts, tripping when you think about the cost of seeing this through? 
When you tie your stomach into knots that you don't know hot to undo 
But do you ever have another moment after that, when you can see 
There's no one way this has to be? 
Or maybe that's just me. 

Have you felt a little off today
Had a lot to say 
But wound up talking to yourself? 
I've been hunting for a kindly ear 
But couldn't find one near 
And wound up talking to myself

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