quiet thoughts/ 12am rambling

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.


clairezy and i were having another one of those intense TOG conversations that we have been having since she started reading the book and fell in love with it. then it spiralled into me realizing that she actually has a secret blog and then we exchanged urls, something that i realized is a first for me. i don’t think any of my friends my age actually has a blog now or maybe i just never asked. after all i think half of my close friends still don’t even know about this wordpress.

i ended up binge reading her dayre and then i felt inspired to write. i was thinking of how our friendship was so unexpected and i really love how we text so often, even if it always ends up becoming a TOG gushing marathon of how we need a love like rowan and aelin. if you’re reading this, please read the throne of glass series. it’s amazing and beats harry potter hands down, and this is coming from a true harry potter fan who already owns all the books but still paid $60 to buy another set because “i want to own the series with the kids edition covers” if you’re sick of male leads and are into female leads who don’t take shit from males and know how to stand up for themselves… this book is 10/10!!! actually why am i even recommending it when only maximum 10 of my friends know this blog hahaha

i went off tangent again. i am always rambling, it’s a consistent thing on this wordpress.

my shower thoughts consisted of me making mental lists of the friendships i have now and realizing that i’m so thankful for the friendships that i have in my life right now. i also realized that over the years i let some friendships go and placed less value in some, and sometimes i do think “maybe i should made more effort” or “i shouldn’t have been too quick to let that friendship slip away” but what’s done is done and i’m thankful to God for clearly putting some people in my life and letting them stay

primary school: none
secondary school: char and jo
karate: wei and ya ting
jc: rach bb, theo, lyndi, zihui, sherrie, haein
uni: zijie, syl, weiyun, clairezy, zit, emz and ezzy
internship: qianhua, qiantong, sam and chim

and it’s really not about lists or being cautiously selective, i think i just realized over the years that when people matter, you make time for them. and most importantly, that friends that you used to love and always thought would be there in your life forever could really eventually leave and end up being a stranger. i’m 24 this year and there’s only 21 on this list, there are some friendships there that are certainly stronger than the ones that are newer, but i think these are the friends that i would really want to keep in my life and i really hope to strengthen these friendships and that in 5 years time all their names will still be on there.

there’s been a lot of friendships that i’ve lost over the years, names that used to appear in this wordpress however vaguely or not and i’ve made mistakes before of putting my pride first / not making enough effort in friendships that i assumed would always be strong / putting my relationships first over my friendships.

i went for my first cell group in 11 years last saturday and it was a reflection session. one of the questions was “what are some areas that you want to improve in your personal life?” and i didn’t write it down then, but i would add now that i’m really going to strive to be a better friend to those who really matter in my heart.

that children these days are really ill-mannered or simply that there is an utter lack of manners. i am people watching and i spot a p4 or p5 boy ordering popiah. he waves and greets the uncle before he gives his order. i find myself smiling because the children i find myself surrounded by, my tutees and their siblings, find it difficult to even say a simple “hello jie jie” to me. i understand even more so now why my mom harped on manners and made us develop the habit of even greeting our neighbors in the lift. i observe the boy longer and it occurs to me that i am looking a little creepy. then i see him walking up to his father and i feel so tempted to walk up to them and tell his father how i think he did a great job raising up his son to be so well-mannered. 

almost immediately as that thought crosses my mind, another kid beside me demands a $1 from his mom and says “I WANT” to his grandmother’s chee chiong fan. it’s such a stark comparison and at such an interesting timing. the differences are so glaring and i cringe internally at the way he demands things from his mom. why do parents nowadays allow and condone such behavior? i don’t intend to be a parent but i’m certain that i would want my children to always comes from a place of kindness and have extremely good manners.

the thought of wanting to go up to the first boy’s father to compliment him reminded me of a lady i saw when my mom and i were on the train in bangkok a month ago.

i thought the way she carried herself with so much poise (note to self: stop slouching please!!!!) and elegance was so beautiful. i couldn’t stop staring and i told my mom “she’s so beautiful” the way she did her hair, the way her skin glowed and my mom and i were on some maxi dress craze at that point of time and her maxi dress just complemented her whole look. it was insane. i thought of how all those primary school fiction books that i used to read used phrases like “couldn’t take my eyes off her” and that was literally how i would describe it. i told my mom that i was tempted to just walk up to her to tell her how beautiful she is. but i let my self-consciousness get in the way. in the end we alighted before she did and all i did was send her major positive vibes. and also took creepy photos of her hahaha

i’m sipping on my teh bing and thinking that the third time such a thought crosses my mind of wanting to compliment a stranger, i’m just going to go ahead and do it.

a friend whose opinion matters said “i’m glad you’re happy” so i replied thank you and probably added a smiley face. then i thought to myself am i happy? do i feel happy. because at that moment i was feeling tired and all i wanted to do was to take the train back home and sit down on the bed. i don’t know if i am happy. isn’t happiness a fleeting emotion. but happiness is certainly a choice

we are not even between our first tray of shots. i order a bottled beer and i was thinking “this sounds familiar”. then i realize it was the same beer you took photo of with my face in the background. and for the first time, i admitted that a part of me will always love you. i did love you, didn’t i? despite everything, i guess i did. i guess i did.

and then i think “you, again.” it has been a while since i last saw you and i am wondering why we are meeting again. my emotions are the same and they haven’t changed for years; dread, disgust and disdain. but this time you are different and it feels strange to hear your voice. i don’t remember what the first words that left your mouth were because i am not listening. i am indignant and i am disinterested. the words that leave you mean nothing if they aren’t an apology. 

and then i realize that you have strung her along. i think “she looks better in person” but i won’t let myself admit it. i wonder if she knows what you did and i wonder if she would look at you the same way that i do – a coward. i am angry and there is always a bitter aftertaste when you are the subject. i look at her; i see kindness and perhaps even a little naivety that i used to have. what was it that my mother called it? young love.

but i see past the kindness in her eyes and her genuine curiousity at the aggression unfolding on my end. i am indignant but i am at a loss for words. i am fighting a war of my own as i try to think of what to say to you. i have brought up this hypothetical situation over and over in my head but nothing quite cuts it when it happens in reality. but then you break the silence before i can by telling me that she is better than me. and what surprises me is that it hurts. why does it hurt? 

immediately i lash out and point out your most glaring physical flaw. the pits on your face are greater in number and they cover your entire face now. i spit out a “at least i look better than you” and instantly a bad taste forms in my mouth. the words hang heavy with regret on my tongue. why is it that even in dreams, i seek to win? 

i get up. i realize that i have woken up before my alarm. i am shaken because of how alarmingly aware and conscious i felt i was. i still feel anger coursing through my veins and i feel out of control. i think to myself that i am not this bitter resentful person. i am not. but there i was looking and feeling visibly affected and maybe if i convince myself long enough, i can tell you that i am better than this. that i am better than you because i have forgiven you. i am better than this. but i think we both know that i am not.

a lot of quiet moments spent abroad are ruined by excessive phone usage – particularly with the inane need to take photos of literally everything

when is the next time you’ll be looking at the poorly taken photos of random signs? or flowers outside your hotel? or buildings? i’m not saying zero photos – i’m saying “you don’t need to take a photo of every single thing” so, sure, go ahead and take that photo of that something that has piqued your interest. but i hope you also take some time to look at it closely beyond the screen. too many attractions and beauty in this world are ruined by overly enthusiastic tourists struggling to capture that perfect shot. and of course, to each his own, but i would like to think that the beauty of the moment is that you are in it.