i am running. i never used to do this voluntarily. it is a result of a negative metabolism and an increasingly bigger belly. i don’t really feel that young anymore or as invincible any longer.

i am running. halfway through, i realise that i’ve just been moving without actively thinking. i created a short playlist on my spotify that is called “CHARMZY RUNS” and it only has 5 songs because the max i’ll ever run is 4 rounds around my estate and that’s about the duration of 5 songs. cardi b, usher and little mix have been occupying my head and i find myself kind of amazed at how i just really stopped thinking for a moment.

i am running. i still don’t know how you came into my mind. i don’t really think of you that often anymore, not since i (and maybe you) had that moment of closure. it’s funny. there’s still a tinge of sadness whenever i think of you. i try to remember all the photos we ever took together but i can’t. i really liked the one where you pretended to eat my face at privé. and the one at the bus stop opposite the one where i alight at whenever i take 88 from bishan back home. my hair was freshly short and we were spending a few hours together after i got back from camp.

do you remember?

i still do. sometimes it’s vivid but most of the time it’s a vague memory that feels doctored in my mind. you made me promise not to delete our photos and i have always been sorry that i never kept it. i know that part of my life is over, but it was still a significant part somehow and now the memories have all been robbed away. there is hardly a trace of the time we spent together because i deleted all our text messages too. and then i thought of how we first started talking.

now here i am, seated on my parquet floor. i have just spent the past 30 minutes rereading our messages on messenger since 2013. has it been five years? at the start, i felt myself cringe at how obvious both of us were being. then i found myself smiling at the random check-in’s we would make on each other. it was so simple and i find myself missing you.

but i am reminded of how you aren’t the same person back then and neither am i. so hey, maybe i don’t miss you. maybe i just miss the person i used to be.

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i am honestly confused if i just read my fifteenth book for the year or not.

about 2 months ago i cleared my room and decided to get rid of my smattering jodi picoult and twilight collection that reminded me of my poor adolescent taste. my mom found a christian community that took in old books and clothes, so i spent a good deal of my last 2 weeks before i started working just clearing my room. i saw nineteen minutes by jodi and had zero recollection of reading it before – because i still have about 10-15 unread books on my shelf after all – so i kept it aside.

then my mom told me that on monday shems planning to reach out to the christian community again for a second donation and i thought ok time to finish reading the book. i have a habit of flipping right to the end of every book to see how many pages i have to read before it ends and i saw that the font was big and it was just 500 odd pages – so, alright, i thought this shouldn’t take too long to read.

there have been a few times over the past 2 years that i’ve felt “wow i’m getting old” and reading that jodi picoult book made me realise how my appetite for books has evolved, without really realising so. i think it didn’t help that i had recently read we need to talk about kevin, which also revolved around the same theme of suicide shooters, and that was definitely more enthralling and made jodi’s 500 pages look like honest childplay. wow how did i make that sound like i’m some condescending book critic? 

where was i. 

so i read about 260 pages and all was good and then the book started becoming familiar. it is/was odd that i don’t remember reading the first half before but clearly remembered the second half. which also meant that i wasted 3 hours of my time… in a way, i guess. 

..the long weekend is two-thirds over and i’ve never realised how completely liberating it is to just rest at home, even if it was with a pretty shitty book. 

fifteen books down, fifteen more to go before the year ends! 

also, i think i really may say goodbye to waiflike soon because there really are too many people and too many ghosts who know this space and it no longer feels quiet. 

today i sponsored a kid from the united states of america, her name is francis perry and she will turn 11 years old this november. her card was the first that i saw as char and i walked to the child sponsorship table. as cliche as it sounds i remember thinking “this is the child” and i made a quick decision there to set aside $35 every month to hopefully make her life a little better. 

it’s really interesting how things have panned out. i remember close to 6-7 years ago, char showed me the card of the philipino girl she was sponsoring. i didn’t know how to feel and there was that skeptic side in me that thought “does this $35 really make a difference?” 

and now here we are. i guess i will never ever truly know whether my small contribution makes a difference, but i want to give without expecting. i feel privileged to be in this position where i can give, without having to worry about whether i have enough. i have enough. and i find myself once again feeling so grateful and getting a timely reminder of how God provided and over provided in 2016.

and i don’t want to come off as parading this as a humble brag or to receive compliments that what i’m doing is noble or whatever synonym that comes along. 

it’s just a blessing to be able to give, and i hope that i never forget this.

i am on a cab. everything honestly feels like a blur. i have forgotten what it’s like to feel the alcohol run through my veins, to feel it gingerly on my fingertips. i am in control and not entirely. i think of the blotches on my face due to the omnipresent asian flush and i do feel slightly self-conscious. did they see the flaws in my make-up application? did they notice how widely i smiled compared to my usual subdued and overly serious persona? i am still on the cab. i did not realize how quickly we have travelled from point A to point B. i called shotgun and everything is wide in perspective. he, the driver, is driving extremely slow and i find myself drumming my fingers on my laptop. hurry up, i think. but “is it possible for you to drive faster” i ask. 

then in my head i visualize him speeding. finally. we are moving faster. but then we hit a car. and there i see myself in the bird’s eye view that i had when i read the bell jar many years ago. lying on some pavement, my body is contorted but i can’t make out my facial features. maybe the skin has been torn off or maybe i actually didn’t look at all.

it flashes in my mind for a second and then it’s gone. 

it was real, wasn’t it?

my friend syl asked me. 

“reading and drawing”

“wow yes it’s as anti-social as it sounds”


have been making reading a habit, particularly when i’m commuting. it’s been at least 2 years since my social media notifications have been disabled and now that i’ve started working, i really don’t want to become a social media slave or a working adult drone. really going to make self-improvement and self-awareness a daily occurence in my life. 

2017 feels like it has just begun. excited for this new season of challenges, learning more about myself through these challenges, growing as a strong Christian and always seeking to be a better person!!!!!