On Warnings

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The problem with ‘new’ friends is that you could be questioning their “standard” of moral values.

I do not think of our friendship as new, despite having known you for just a little under two years. The fact that we talk often, almost every day, including my sharing of some of my deepest darkest secrets from the past, on things that only we share between us, should qualify you as a friend whom I do not question his standards of moral values. Being a man as honest as you claim yourself to be, I would think you could also see through me; you should know me better.

I understand the reason for withholding the information from the start, given that he was a good friend of yours too. But again, I would think you would know me better than to withhold the information.

Is it too much to expect friends to warn you of “potential problems” before you go out and meet a person for a first date? A warning of “He is [insert fact told first hand, from the horse’s mouth], but you might want to check with him, in case it is no longer applicable” would have been sufficient. Especially when you stated such information was “public knowledge” within your social circle.

I am disappointed. It may have been fun and games, but it was a fact that should have been disclosed to me, if you had considered me a good friend; I would do exactly that.

What is up with me and people I hold dearly these days. It is as if conflicts are making their way in to test these friendships. *Sigh.

Lesson learned: always ask questions with specific wordings in mind, in case even your very good friend could not see that you would appreciate the information.

On Connecting The Dots

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“Why does the male character in those short stories remind me so much of you?”, I said as you sat down across from me.

You looked at me with those piercing eyes I have fallen in love with from the first time I met you. A frown appeared, and you shrugged your shoulders.

I kept on reading those stories and saw a picture that resembled something I have seen in the past. To fulfil my curiosity, I went to the site where I thought I have seen the picture before on the internet.

It was exactly the same picture.

I was right. He was you. And she was one of them from the past.

I scare myself whenever I manage to connect the dots, as useless as it might be in this case.

Maybe I should have taken up a career as a private investigator.

On Social Media Detox & Blog Walking 

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I had fallen asleep at 9PM earlier this evening, and as it always happens, I am up every four to five hours later. Oh, what I would do for an undisturbed 7-hour sleep.

Maybe I am still suffering from insomnia. It is just after 2AM now and I can’t go back to sleep after being awake about an hour ago.

For the umpteenth time today (earlier yesterday?), I decided to go on a social-media detox. A digital detox is impossible given my need for news and reading materials from the internet. I have come to realise—yes, for the umpteenth time, too—that my addiction for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has becoming a little unhealthy, that I decided to take a drastic measure of deleting all those social media apps from my iPhone—again, not the first time I have done this. This time around though, I add a self-imposed restriction of blocking those social media websites from the browser; I enabled the Restriction setting on my phone. That also means, no “Adult Content” websites. (Ahem)

I have tried social media detox multiple times in the past, only to fail miserably. The only time I succeeded being away from social media, was when I was subjected to a no-phone signal situation in the middle of the sea during a live-aboard diving trip; I guess that doesn’t count. It is rather sad, to think that I, supposedly someone with “enough intelligence” to not be so distracted, can have little control over my desire for soaking up information and (sometimes useless) updates from strangers and friends I follow on these social media platforms.

Then again, intelligence plays such little role when it comes to an addiction. The drug and sex addicts, or any addicts out there, would agree.

So, there it is. Now that I have announced it on the blog of my intention to stay away from social media for, oh let’s try 14 days for now, and perhaps, if I could handle it, for 30 days, I shall be accountable for my action. I am doing this for me, because never have I felt so…out of control with the need to “connect” online; I know I am not the only one when I read up on “social media addiction” on the internet. (Thanks Mr U “The Editor” for suggesting I put this intention up on my blog!)

It is Day 1 so far, and I found myself itching at this ungodly hour to run to my home-office with the iPad to check on Twitter, like I usually do, because I can’t access those sites on my iPhone now. Like an addict usually on crack, I could feel myself physically fighting the urge to cave in.

But I refrained. I CAN do this.

Instead, I went to The New York Times website and started reading their articles. Then, somehow, I ended up on a personal and anonymous blog from Singapore by a female writer, that reminded me so much of a blog by a certain (male) writer I used to read, also from Singapore. It reminded me why I used to “blog-walk” and found inspiration to write my thoughts online, back in the early days of my blogging. Their blogs read like personal journals of writers with mad skills in stringing words, writing beautiful prose of their thoughts. Sadly, those guys hardly write anymore. (That’s you, T, with your deleted site, and DW with your blog).

[Segue: At this point, I realised that it is mainly the desire for distraction that I often fulfil by going on those social media platforms. I have instead now replaced scrolling social media feeds with reading…blogs and news. At least I hold my attention span longer reading each articles and blog posts, yes? Tiny progress is still a progress, albeit prematurely.]

Reading that blog reminded me that I used to write that way. I used to write from the heart, often with no inhibition. This blog was—and still is—my playground. I have recently started getting back into it, as some of you may have noticed.

So, if you’re still reading this, expect a mix of writing chaos, the brain-dump, word-vomit style of personal entries, as well as short fictions, from time to time. If you’re sticking around, thank you, and feel free to comment, as some of you have done so, both privately and here in the comment section. Those feedback are often what keep me going. If you are not sticking around, thank you for stopping by when you did.

It’s almost 3AM now by the time I finish writing this post. Thankfully, there is no work tomorrow with the Christmas long-weekend coming up. I plan to catch up on the previous six Star Wars movies, starting with Episode IV: A New Hope, before I go and see Episode VII: The Force Awaken next week. (Oh, shush. Better late than never.)

As for those additional times I would hopefully gain from being away from social media, I intend to read the many books gathering dust on my bookshelf, as well as catching up on all the movies and TV series I have yet to see. As it is, I probably need to retire early to read all the books and watch the movies I want as it is.

Back to sleep, for now.

[Written at between 2AM-3AM this morning, edited and posted approximately six hour later of 24th December 2015]

The Gift of Deafening Silence

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I grabbed the bottle of wine from the cupboard, a Pinor Gris from a Marlborough winery in New Zealand. I had kept it for sometime with the intention of taking it to the housewarming party over the weekend, as a gift to her and her husband. 

I never made it to the housewarming party. It was supposedly cancelled out of a misunderstanding that was largely my fault. I have apologised for such mishap, one that I have never felt so horrid over.

A week has gone by and neither of us has spoken to each other. I try to keep the issue out of my mind, thinking that what we need is time. Time to cool things off. Time to let the awkwardness pass. 

I wrapped the bottle of wine on Saturday morning; I would have been taking it to the party that evening. I wrote a Christmas card, wishing them a congratulations too, on their new home. I intended to drop the wine at her parents home on Sunday morning. 

As I was getting ready to bed, scrolling through my Instagram, I saw it. The party was still held. Clearly, I was not there. It hurt. But it is what it is. 

Sunday morning came and I left the bottle of wine at her parents’ home. 

I am not sure at this stage whether I left a Christmas & housewarming gift, or a parting gift for the end of our friendship. Only time will tell. 

On Friendship and Loneliness

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If there was anything today’s incident with one of my closest friends taught me, is that things are not always as rosy as what they seem to me. What appears to be okay in my books when it comes to connecting people, it may not necessarily be seen through the same pair of eyes. 

I cried. It may seem childish, but to fight with one of the closest people in your life—your best friend—sucks the living soul out of you. 

What’s worse is, I usually would confide in to another close friend. Unfortunately, I can’t, for he is right by her side. Things will get even more complicated.

And this is the moment I finally understand, when people say, that as your friends go off all coupled-up and hitched, when it’s “two become one” for them, it’s sometimes losing two friends, for you. While I have accepted throughout the last few years that I will not see many of my friends as often as I did before they were married, it still sucks, especially at times like this. It is the loneliest I have felt in the longest time, especially not being able to confide to any of them.

I don’t know what to make of this. Apologies have been said and accepted, and I guess only time will tell, as to how solid our friendship is. 

But man, being lonely is not fun. It is no wonder some people settle for second best.

 

Life Is Too Short

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“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.”

If there is one motto I live by, it would be “to live with no regrets”, as cliché as that line is. The last few months…actually, make that this year (or the last five years?) taught me so much, that the quote above by Mark Twain holds true. Ever so true, for me.

When one is so caught up in the moment, sometimes the mind is so clouded, one can’t think clearly. I had a few of those moments this year. But I realise, as I took myself outside from the situation, looking in from the outside, I asked myself whether I would have done them all over again if I had the chance.

And the answer was still yes: I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Every experience teaches you something; be it heartache, failure and success. You may not realise at that moment what lesson there is from the experience, but trust that there is always a blessing in disguise.

Last weekend, as I started the silly season, with year end get-together invitations started rolling in with various group friends as well as new acquaintances, it reaffirmed what I have thought all along; that I am living the life that I have always wanted. It might not be all that I wanted…yet, but it is the life that I am happy and very content with. This is not a post to brag about how wonderful life is for me, but it is a reminder to myself, that indeed, life is too short. It’s too short to play games. It’s too short to not say to the other person what you really feel, or what you want. It’s too short to wonder “what if”. It’s too short to rush through that kiss overlooking the water-view. It’s too short to…well, you get the gist.

It’s too short to not let those things that make you smile, happen.

And so Mark Twain also said,

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

That Mark Twain sure knew what he was talking about.

Go on. Live a little. Life is too short.

The “Missing” Game

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“Let’s play a game,” he said, lying on his side, with his arms wrapped around her.

“What game?”, she asked, in her half-asleep state. It was half past midnight, and way past her usual 11 o’clock bedtime.

“Whoever misses the other person, loses the game.”

She turned her head around and looked at him.

“What are we, 12 years old? Plus, what’s the prize for winning the game?” she asked.

He thought for a while, before shrugging his shoulders. She rolled her eyes at him, a smirk on her face.

Unknown to him, she thought to herself, “Bring it on.

***

She woke up from her nap to the sound of the rain hitting on the corrugated roof. It was just past eight in the evening. She missed dinner, but after the big lunch she had today, she didn’t feel like eating at all.

She looked at her cellphone, and contemplated on what to do next.

“I can’t lose the game,” she thought to herself.

She started typing a chat message to him on her phone.

“So, what was this ‘game’ we agreed on last night? The one who misses the other person, loses?”

A reply came not long after.

“Yes, that game. What about it?”

“Just clarifying what I thought I heard, during my half-asleep state,” she replied to him.

“Okay,” he typed.

A beat, then,

“So, missed me yet?” his next message appeared on her screen.

“As if. Please,” she retorted to him, hoping he’d sense the playful smugness in it.

“Okay, miss.”

“Missed me yet?” her turn to ask.

“Don’t get your hopes too high, miss.”

“Do I look like someone who would have my hopes high on–of all people–someone like you?” she quickly replied.

“Good for you,” he said.

Five minutes later, him:

“So, how was your Sunday?”

She proceeded to tell him what she got up to that day, and him telling her what books he had been reading all day, and before they knew it, two hours passed, spent on chatting away with their usual bantering. She couldn’t help but feel attracted to his wit.

And so, it appears that they are both still on a level playing field. No one was missing anyone. Yet.

Well, technically, until one of them expresses so.

“What are you guys, 12 years old?!” a voice somewhere echoes.