Spaces

There‚Äôs a lull in work currently. But I don’t think it’s good to lose whatever little writing rhythm I might still have in me. So here I am.

How have you been, dear Reader? Has the world been kinder to you in recent times?

Understandably, this year has been bleak in so many ways due to the whole Covid-19 drama. And it has yet to reach a satisfactory conclusion for the most part. In fact, most of our lives have been deeply impacted in ways maybe most of us don’t really wish to dwell too much on.

But these are just circumstances. The external layers, the things that envelope us, but should not define us.

What makes us who we truly are is what goes on inside us.

What has been bubbling within you lately? Do you still dream? What do you hang on to?

I must admit, in these recent years, I have not been left with much to hold on to.

Yes, family is an anchor, and God is always, always there. But there are times that I do wonder if I have enough with me to keep me going to the end of my days.

Will I be at peace with the version of me that I find as I draw my last breath?

Then again, nowadays there is so much to keep me busy that perhaps I shall not have time to think and reflect too much. Maybe that is good to avoid overthinking, which is something I am almost constantly doing throughout my life.

It feels strange to be writing to you right now, honestly. Like it’s a lost part of me. In fact, it’s almost like I cannot identify this blog as mine. Did I really write all those past posts?

I hope you are well, dear Reader. I shall do my best to write to you more often. This is a resolve I usually break the moment I finish writing a blog post, so I will not promise you anything further than this. I only hope to return soonest with more tales to regale you with.

I don’t lead that brilliant a life, I’m sorry to inform you. But I do have lots of thoughts floating about, and imagination and wistfulness, so hopefully it’s sufficient to keep you around.

I’ll see you again soon.

Unwind

There are things I often imagine myself doing, Sitting in bed journalling at the end of every day is one of them. But I never really get round to actually doing it.

I do wonder why.

I guess other ad-hoc things often get in the way. And the fact that I am almost always trying to accomplish one too many things each day.

When will I actually act upon what I envision in my head?

Hopefully before I run out of days. Or time.

Isolation

For some reason, I feel lonely today.

Perhaps it’s to do with having to constantly interact with my almost three year old son’s imaginary friends. Or the fact that out of the blue, a few different friends have decided to dub March as Meet Up Month, calling for reunions and catch up sessions.

Nothing wrong with all these things, I suppose. On brighter days, those may actually be considered good things. Funny things. Treasures to cherish.

But today, for some reason, I feel like I want something else. I want space. I want time. I want the liberty to do things I like. Not that it needs to be for long, or that I need a retreat away from everyone. I suppose I just need that metaphoric quiet spot I used own. That cloud from which to sit upon and dangle my feet, where I can watch the world pass by and think my own thoughts. Be comfy in my own sea of emotions.

I am a melancholic. I guess try as I might, I cannot run from that reality. And when there’s too much noise, too much talking, too many things that vie for my attention that I cannot hear myself think, I feel uneasy. I don’t feel like myself.

Funny that I should be admitting this to you, my random reader and friend. But that seems to be what life is coming to. A senseless bunch of events, strung together like beads on a string. And someday, when the space on the string runs out, its time to complete the loop and say goodbye.

(Okay, next I write, I promise cheerier things. TTFN!)

Expansion

While the year is still pretty fresh and crisp and new, I ought to make it a point to expand the variety of content on this blog.

There are things I have carried in my head for months and years, but have yet to surface in writing in any of my (past and present) blogs. Perhaps it is time to put some things into words.

In addition to what I usually talk about here, which is mostly parenting, my writing career and life reflections, I shall aim to share more with you about the following:

  1. Food (because well, we are Malaysians and it is such a big part of our culture)
  2. Craftwork that I indulge in
  3. Quirky stuff I stumble upon online (as a vague means of continuing an old column I used to write during my journo days)
  4. Music music music (because I was raised on it)
  5. Books and movies (whenever I do get round to consuming any such forms of entertainment)
  6. My life as a church leader’s kid
  7. Marriage and love life issues in general (without revealing too much that it will embarrass my husband, hopefully!)
  8. Poetry (oh it’s been so long since)
  9. Photography (something I have always wanted to delve into but never quite got round to enough)

Alright, I think that’s quite enough to keep me occupied throughout 2018. If anything other than the above comes to mind, I’ll be sure to alert you to it. For now though, I think that’ll do.

I also have to forewarn you that I may, on occasion, go through random bursts where I put up more than one post at a time. Or sometimes none at all for a prolonged season. This being all because my life is currently unpredictable like that. Thanks to one growing and roving toddler.

Anyway, I hope to be back to see you soon. Need to focus on getting some work done meantime. Plus, son is snoozing on my lap and I need to dispose of him put him back into his bed.

TTFN!

Time and again

Ironically enough, it's become extremely hard to write anything that I feel is heartfelt and of significant worth nowadays. I've been feeling so ever since I made writing my official career path, I think.

Funny, isn't it, since you'd think that because you're devoting more time perfecting your craft, you should be better at it and everything should come so much more naturally than it did in the past?

But this is how it's been. Regrettably too, might I add.

I revisited the old, first proper blog I ever wrote, Veritas Project, recently. It surprised me just how differently I used to write. So uninhibited. So candid.

In some ways, I wish I was back at that place and time of my life, and that I had utilised those moments more fully to revel in the emotions of that season more, to write more wholeheartedly. Because now that I am where I'm at in life, here in my 30's, there's a great difference in the things I'd write and how I'd write them.

Yet, of course, I'm not discounting the value of experience and where it has gotten me. I write now through the lens of someone who has seen more, who realises what she is capable of, and who now knows so many more precious things about the world and the seasons and rhythms of life.

Time and again, though, I keep returning to this point of contemplation that I need to put forward a more genuine version of myself whenever I write. Particularly when I blog for a wider audience, like I do here.

The difficulty here lies in the fact that having been a journalist in the not-so-distant past, my writing disciplines have been shaped to habitually involve the practice of self censorship. We do it all the time in the newsroom, although the reasons for doing so may differ each time. The words we allow to escape our keyboard are filtered: tapered down in its depth of feeling, politically correct, shifted and sorted to take on a supposedly neutral form, appealing to the average reader. Which is, in reality, probably no one.

Here in Blogdom, everyone is writing nowadays to garner as much Likes as possible. Building a band of followers that will faithfully swallow whatever you put out for them, just because they feel like you know them. You are like them.

For that is what is being peddled. Writers putting on a front of being an expert and knowing something special. Teasing readers with minimal prose, abandoning the art of it all, and replacing it with GIFs, memes, haphazardly compiled lists of things that nobody needs but everybody identifies with and wants to know about. A place where words are money, so make as much as you can, with as little beauty infused into those sentences. Because, what is the point in poetry? It is unnecessary and underappreciated.

Then there are those writers' circles, those exclusive associations formed amongst writers on social media platforms. Where writers rant and rave about the perils of the realms of publishing and lament the naivety of rookies seeking their way into the fellowship. Spouting advice like, "If your writing is rejected by publishers, it's because it's worthless. Please move along".

I somehow cannot fit into this landscape.

As it is, I already have trouble believing that I am a writer, and even more so calling myself one. And all this… this massive community of successful people before me; corporations who make profits from the words crafted by others; the formality of it all; the formatting of pages, columns, fonts; the rigours of being part of the publishing process… all of this feels stifling to me.

I want to go back to that spot where simplicity and freedom of expression were. That quiet corner in the middle of nowhere that I could sit at for as long as I needed to, use as many paragraphs and pages as I wanted, and express precisely how I feel without fear of judgment or ruthless editing.

Where it was just me and you, my darling reader.

I still want to tell my story. But (and this may be hard to believe, coming from a person with a history like mine) I am having trouble finding the right words.