Category Archives: I confess!!!

The joy Luck club..

The Joy Luck Club is the first book which made me cry, or I should say, sob with ugly abandon. Mostly because I really connected with the stories in it, and one thread in particular, that of June.
I grew up with similar pressures, my mother wanted me to be a prodigy, like my cousins. I lived through that story-the crushing disappointment emanating from my mother upon the realisation that I was no prodigy, I wasn’t even above average, I was just average. Unlike the book, I did not have the moment of clarity when June realises she could make her own choices and be strong/good in her own way. I grew up knowing I was average and knowing that it was the worst disappointment I would ever inflict on my mother.
Or was it all in my head? Was I transposing my own disappointment onto my mother? Had I wanted to be a prodigy more than my mother had wanted me to be one? Do I still want to be a prodigy of some sort? 
For so many years, I was bitter and angry about failing. I developed a severe fear of failure which resulted in me never aiming for more than low hanging fruit. I had no idea about my own future, what I wanted; no dreams beyond just having a ‘nice life’. I had no ambition, zero passion for anything. I always took the easy way out…
Taking the easy way out meant that I would never have to try. Taking the road more often travelled meant that I would always be good enough to succeed. It meant never having to disappoint myself or anyone else. It meant never having to think about what my heart desired.
There is no shame in being average, as long as you know your own worth. That’s not me.. I am one of those average people who yearn to be outstanding and yet will do nothing but stamp their feet and complain about how nobody gives them a chance. Because as I’ve said, not giving something a go means I don’t ever have to go through that crushing misery that comes with failure.
Two years ago, I embarked on a career transition. Which has so far, failed to pay any dividends. I thought I would be one of those corporate people, marching along with the besuited crowds in our matching black/blue suits along the road to corporate success (whatever that means). The reality is I am still lost, still have no idea what kind of ‘corporate’ I want to be (again naive me thinking that there was only one kind of corporate) and having to subsist on handouts from my parents and the occasional cleaning work. 
If I knew my own worth, would my story have ended differently? If I accepted my worth, swallowed the fact that I would be nothing more than ordinary, would I be happier? 

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In dreams

Dreams can sustain, but paradoxically they can also drain. What having a dream gives, sustaining the hope behind a dream takes away. One can live perpetually in dreams, one can use dreams as a shield, as a mask, and one can be lost in a dream…
I

What did he dream for as a child? Simple, nebulous ideas of an adult life spent surrounded by riches. But then what did he know about wealth? It was a daydreamed future of penthouses and stuff, of first class travel and 5-star hotels. It was a dream formed by an impression of Pretty Woman, in short, he dreamt of becoming a prostitute, whatever that entailed.
II

He dreamt of high powered careers, one requiring expensive Italian bespoke suits and shiny hand-made leather shoes of every possible hue. He dreamt of being able to fly business class to exotic locales, of gold filigree cardholders and power lunches. Where people would call his people and deals were made over caviar, champagne and cognac. Perhaps his dream here was influenced by American Psycho, the movie. Perhaps he desired the life Christian Bale had, with the beautiful body but minus the blood and gore.
III

He never had any ideas about the realities of his future. His dreams were simple-pass this exam, then that one; a life signposted by academic honours. He did everything he was told to do-which was to excel in all things academic. Nothing else mattered, he was told. Do this one thing and all your dreams will come true. He knew that that couldn’t be true. For at some stage, he dreamt of becoming a fashion model, and really what fashion model needed good grades? He dreamt of his face in magazines, the high end ones only of course, on glossy pages carrying the bold monikers of the fashion elite-Prada, Dior, Gucci. He dreamt of hobnobbing with Tom Ford, of meeting Miuccia herself and being a favourite of Karl. 
IV

Of his disparate dreams of his future, perhaps one thing was constant-a life of security, of comfort. A life where money would never be a concern and excess extravagance was possible. He dreamt of the different ways to get to that place never really rooting these dreams in the cold harsh reality of life. 
For what use are dreams if they do not reflect reality? 

The paths that could have been…

There are no excuses I can give-sure, reasons and justifications exist but not excuses. I will not make any excuses.. And by extension, that makes all reasons and justifications moot.
Without excuses, without reasons; there is no blame. Or rather, it is that the blame cannot be apportioned to anyone else. The blame rests solely with me; the blame resides in me. But to acknowledge that blame that rests on my shoulder, waiting to ensnare me in its waiting jaws in order to drag me down into that spiral of hell, that long descent towards self recriminations, is to give it power.. And I won’t do that, not this time.
All I can acknowledge is a weariness-a tiredness. The kind which comes with the constant push and struggle which apparently leads nowhere. Even on the most optimistic of days, those days when I can grudgingly admit to myself that I didn’t do all that badly, it is tough for me to find any point to the struggle. Where has it lead me? Did I learn anything? 
It behooves me to try again and again, repeatedly. For to give in and give up is to accept the bitter realisation that the path I chose, on my own, is not true… And I have not that strength to double back and find the true way. For even false roads lead somewhere; even they eventually end up in some kind of clearing-a denouement, an end. Even those byways and overgrown paths lead somewhere eventually; but of course, the constant fear of a dead end remains… 
The fact is, back then, decisions were made-small little inconsequential things, which at that time, didn’t seem to mean anything but which may have turned out to be my undoing. And realising those mistakes later, I still went ahead and did the same thing over… I have no explanation for those turn of events-no way to justify… And it is precisely the cause of why I am where I am. 
There is nothing to do now but to accept that events have transpired as they have, the chips have fallen where they may. As much as I can rue the decisions made, the paths that could have been, now fading away, there is no point in that. Why cry over a path that can never be traversed? It will not bring that path back-that journey can never be made… The only thing left to do is to walk the path I am on, to the bitter end… Wherever it leads..

A victim mentality..

The victim mentality.I don’t deny it, I have the tendency to play the victim card. I do it because it’s easy, because it’s expedient, perhaps because the only way I can sort of push myself to go forward is to have collect the sympathy I receive and use it as some kind of force to propel me forward, as though sympathy is some kind of battery for me. It’s pathetic isn’t it? But there I go again, seeking sympathy.
The truth is I really would like to stop wallowing in the filth of my own misery. I do. But essentially the detente with that is this: to stop wallowing in self pity, I need to make some very tough decisions. And I am risk averse; averse to making any kind of decision. And so I continue down this wretched path hoping for something to change, wishing for some momentous event to happen so I can delineate my life into pre- and post- this event. I go on doing things in the same fashion, living my life in the exact same way always putting of any kind of beneficial change, which I know I must make but am too afraid of making, off. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the very definition of crazy.
I know why I have lost readers over this period; because reading about one person’s self pity and watching vicariously as that person sinks deeper into the quagmire of fear whilst refusing to change in order to save himself is tiring. Beyond tiring, it’s boring. The same paths rehashed, the same topics raked over repeatedly as though ripping through old wounds and ancient grudges is going to effect some kind of change. I know. I have exasperated a fair chunk of what used to be my regular readers; exasperated them to the point where they have ceased reading, stopped visiting and I stand to lose the remainder of my readers if I continue on this path.
But what I cannot seem to do, what I wish I could get someone to tell me how to do, is change. I want to be able to say that I am truly not affected by the almost constant deluge of rejections I receive; whether it’s career related or men related. But I am. The frank truth is that it kills me. It destroys me. And yes, I wallow and I write…
Admittedly, I do know that the career related rejections are implicitly my fault. I must take the blame for that; because I haven’t thought through thoroughly what it is I want to do with my current degree. One could say that I am only applying for internships because it is the thing to do. I have zero conviction on whether I want to work in a bank, or in management consulting or in an investment bank or an accounting firm. I don’t know what it is I want to do and it shows on my applications, so the rejections should come as no surprise to me. Despite how well I am doing, and I am doing well all things considered, minus that conviction, I will never successfully get an interview. 
Here is my attempt then, feeble as it is, to maintain a sense of clarity, to in a way, stop playing the victim. I am not the victim.. It is perhaps for the best that I don’t get an internship because I don’t know if that’s what I want to do. And it’s ok to admit that. I just need to embrace that fact…
I will also cop to the fact that rejection in love is also to be expected since the timing isn’t right… And there really is nothing more to say on that matter.. 
All I can say now is that I am trying, I really am. There is no point in me trying to garner any kind of sympathy in order to ‘take strength’ from it.. But at the same time, without making the changes I must make, my life will not be in any state of flux. Meaning that whatever I write, will always sound like a rehash… 

waiting..

There are the similarities-both applying for internships/jobs and dating in that both are basically numbers games. They operate on the belief that as long as one does not give up, there will be a reward in terms of a job or a man at the end of the hard slog.
Here I am reminded of a scene in the movie Little Fish with Cate Blanchett. Her character, in the midst of a despairing soliloquy asks, ‘what more can I do?’. Or words to that effect. In essence, sometimes one can do everything right, do every possible thing and yet still not be able to achieve that goal of a job or a man. Somehow, something, whether one is able to distinguish what it is, or whether one is blissfully oblivious, keeps getting in the way. Put it another way, either one is not good enough, or there are other people who are superficially better.
I know, don’t I know it, that either love or a career or both in some kind of magic formulation is not going to guarantee my happiness. I know that happiness isn’t meant to be fuelled by just these two things, that career and love are not all encompassing.. Yet, these two aspects seem to be the only thing that I am aware of that has the potential to make me happy. 
Perhaps it is who I am; a person who conflates happiness with security, with having money. All my choices, be it in terms of my career or the men I date have been made in order to maximise the chances that I will have a secure life, and that I am able to lead the lifestyle I wish to live. But these choices haven’t necessarily been the best; in fact, I could possibly call a lot of them the wrong choice. 
I am fully aware that what I need to do right at this moment has nothing to do with either my career or love-I need to find a source of self worth that is not inherently linked to something external like a career or a man; neither can it be something as superficial as my body. I know that I have to find something that I am passionate about, and not be a dilettante about it. I just don’t know what it is… 
Once upon a time, I thought it was my writing-but let’s face it, the only reason I wrote in the past was because I secretly wished for literary fame and fortune-as much as I decried the ‘fame now’ ethos of Hannah Horvath, the ugly truth is that I felt the same way-that I was an undiscovered voice of my generation. Obviously I am not.. There already is a gay Asian voice, voices even; what more could I add to that conversation? being a dilettante, of course I basically gave up on writing once I realised that… And whatever I write now is basically just an extended version of my own rambling musings.. 
Take away the writing, what else is there? I am nothing special. Average in all aspects. Not that having a passion for something equates to being good or the best at that thing-see, another one of my warped ideas… 
I realised that I left of doing a lot of the ‘normal’ things that people do in the course of their youth; things like travel for instance. I left it off because I kept thinking how awkward it would be to travel alone, to be unable to share that experience. Of corse there was a semblance of fear there, but on the whole, I left off doing those things, waiting for something, someone to be able to do it with. And now, it’s basically too late. 
I can only hope and pray for some breakthrough now. Because I have done almost everything possible in terms of my career and my love life. Whether I did these things right is of course a debatable point.. That’s all I can do now really, return to waiting for something to happen…

Too late..

You said, we would make it work. You said we’d figure something out…
Were you just saying what you believed I wanted to hear? Was there any conviction in those utterances of yours?
I read too much into your words; just like I did with the man before and the man previously. They all paid lip service to the idea; the concept of the polite thing to say, the words which were in line with the social mores of what to say post sexual encounter.
I was foolish, of course, too naive. I wanted to believe what you said, I wanted to believe that you weren’t just saying it. You were different, I thought. You weren’t like the others, I thought. Turns out you are.
There isn’t much left to say now; the tattered remnants, the weary words which I attempt to squeeze from you in an increasingly desperate, increasingly foolish attempt to keep you interested. Interested in what exactly? What end am I pursuing? 
You were never going to be right for me, despite how many boxes you ticked. And that is my problem; the simple inability to see a man for who he is beyond just a series of boxes to wearily check off. The fault is mine and solely mine alone; for constantly pursuing men who are carbon copies of each other. How was I to know that men like them, men like you, just won’t ever see me as equal to themselves. Truly, I am not equal to you, with them. Not yet. 
By the time I am your equal, it will be too late. By then, I would be just like you, only capable of small, short term affairs-not of the heart, but just the physical. By then, I would be immune, oblivious to the hurt I would cause by acting in such a fashion. By then, I wouldn’t care the damage I would have wrought. 
Simply put, if it didn’t work with you, with all that you said; then it most likely would never have worked with anyone else…

Mysterious ways..

God works in mysterious ways… As mere mortals, we can never comprehend why it is the universe throws up these… co-incidences? Spanner in the works? Whatever term you prefer… 
To see him again, even as a glimpse on tinder..was not something I ever expected to happen; especially since he had claimed that the dating/gay apps were a ‘social experiment’ which he planned to cease. Turns out he never did. Turns out that was just something he said to me without meaning it. Turns out he lied. What else is new?
Seeing him as a frozen tinder profile; my fingers wondering to swipe left or right, brought back the memories I never wanted to keep. Snippets of the things he said, those words now severed from their context, the way he smelt, his hair, his face with that ridiculous shaving accident, the clothes he wore, the warbling wail of Billie Holiday on his iPhone as we had sex on his bed. The cozy conversation prior where we sat holding hands and drinking some of his home made tea. Oh, I’d buried those memories, those frozen friezes so deeply and yet, four months later, they resurface so easily.
Of course I remember how I fucked it up; how he rejected me; what his last words were; ‘I can’t, not for you.’ Those five words, so concise and yet so leaden with meaning. He couldn’t, not because he didn’t want to, but because I just wasn’t good enough for him.
It isn’t with bitter anger that I remember him with; only a deep sadness as how fucked up God was/is. For throwing into my path the most perfect man, one who’d ticked all the boxes except the most important one; that of actually wanting me back. 
To see him again after so long; why? To realise, perhaps that I am nowhere near healed? To be startled by the passage of time and how little it’s done to actually remedy the hurt he caused me? To learn that really, I never quite moved on? 
I cannot deny that a part of me hopes that as part of gods plan, as a part of the universes grand scheme, that this chance reminder is a means of getting us back together. How foolish is that? That I would readily give a man who hurt me so deeply another chance? It’s fucked up but that’s me; a fucked up individual.