Archive | September, 2012

Why I like being alone

29 Sep

I live on a tiny 704sq kilometers island city whose ruling governement has been the same for the last 40 years. This same government recently told me that my tiny island city is more than capable of sustaining a population of 6million people with ease.

So I decided to do some research while considering the statement issued.
To put words into numbers, my island city home is about the size of Chicago or 3.5times the size of Washington D.C (that’s what Google tells me..) but our current population (5.35mil) is more than Finland (5.26mil), UAE (5.31mil), Ireland (4.72mil), Norway (4.7mil) and just slightly behind Denmark (5.54mil) and Slovakia (5.48mil).

Yes.. My island city home is a very very cramped place.

Whether we are as cramped as compared to China, India, the U.S., Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Indonesia or Russia – I really won’t know, that would require me to process too much math and math really isn’t my thing… Sorry!

In this city, we have no choice but to build our homes up towards the sky. Like many of my fellow countrymen, I live in the public housing estates, in a block of flats that goes up 12 storeys, 10 units or families per level. This set up only applies to the older buildings… Newer ones goes up to 17 storeys and above, with the same amount of units per level, if not more.
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What separates you and the dude living upstairs and next door, is a pretty thin, hollow concrete slab. You hear him clearly from your bed. You hear him walking, shifting his bed, and practicing his drum kits.

You hear him every single day.

You hear your next door neighbour as well.

And the family staying in the next block – about 3 average sized 4 door cars parked in a parallel line separates the 2 blocks.

You hear the parents screaming at their daughter for having a boyfriend while still in school.

You hear her scream back, saying she hates them..

You can hear the baby living downstairs too.

When you step out of my house, you get caught in endless waves of human bodies, rushing to work, rushing off work, for dinner and home.

At work, it’s the same thing. You are constantly surrounded by people needing, wanting your attention. Constantly bombarding you with information whether you like it or not.

You are expected to give and provide a certain level of energy to keep these people engaged and happy.

By the end of a work day, you are completely drained and all you want to do is escape back home, to your sanctuary.

And then you remember the neighbors.

On a weekend when you head out to town for some entertainment, it’s the waves of humans again.

If people knew where they were heading or what they were doing, it probably wouldn’t have been that suffocating.

Half the people you see walking pass you look like zombies.

No objective, no goal, no mind.

Just floating around, taking up physical space.
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Now, can you see why I like being alone?

When I am alone, I finally have time for my own thoughts. It is finally quiet enough for me to hear my own thoughts.

When I am alone, there is no need to entertain or please anyone but myself.
I can go anywhere I want, do whatever I like without having to consider what my partner might want or be interested in.

It does sound selfish and frankly, a little anti social at times but I’d like to think I’m entitled to being selfish every now and then.

Being alone gives me a sense of peace and calm that would otherwise be lost in this noisy world.
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Too much information, too many opinions, too many people fighting to be heard. Too much noise generated to try and fill that dreaded silence people sometimes equate to being alone or loneliness.

I think people sometimes dont understand that noise does not equate vibrancy or life or being opinionated.

If everyone talks at the same time, who’s listening?

If no one’s listening, doesn’t that mean you are just contributing to the pool of noise?

Being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely, and being constantly surrounded by people doesn’t necessarily mean you are not lonely.

I’ve always thought, that people avoided being alone because the notion scares them – as my lecturer puts it, humans are social creatures, we inherently crave acceptance and contact with another human being, and we all have a certain fear of dying alone.

There’s nothing scary about being alone I think. Being alone doesn’t mean you are deprived from human contact, it just means being selective.

It will not kill you to be alone, it is loneliness that does.

I’d rather be alone than lost in a noisy world full of lonely people pretending that they belong.
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STOP RUBBING IT IN OUR FACES ALREADY

26 Sep

Hi there!

Yes, I am talking to you.

You have been going on and on for the last 3 hours about how popular you are and how many guys are left panting in the aftermath of your glorious presence.

And how much you enjoyed flirting around with these said men, how annoying they can be, constantly trying to vie for your attention, buying you drinks and rescuing you from the other less likeable, less good looking guy.

You have been going on and on about how you just want to have fun. You don’t really like all that attention, and that it really isn’t your fault that men are attracted to you.

Yes, I get it.

I fully, sincerely, totally know what you mean. Not that I have to go through THAT whole ‘center of the spotlight’ thing, but yes, I figured I get what you mean.

Frankly, its starting to get on my nerves.

Not the center of attention/attraction part, but your whole whinning and lamenting part.

I’ve heard that same story for the umpteen time, so please stop it already.

I understand why flirting can be fun, and probably only awkward people like myself would be totally afraid of it.

But thats not the point.

True, it really does suck big time when I spy this really cute guy across the room, and want so badly to approach him and start doing what you do – flirt, that’s the word, but clam up at the very last second and make a complete fool out of myself.

Its fine really. 

I’ve always looked back at those experiences as events I’ll live to tell my nieces, so they’ll feel less like a loser should it happen to them as well (I sincerely hope not..).  

Again, that is not the point.

What I’m really trying to ask of you is to spare a thought for mere mortals like us.

Mere mortals who do not have your long endless legs, your deepset eyes, your ample bosoms, FLAWLESS SKIN, shinny hair and exotic good looks. Mortals like us do not have your excellent genes, we have average length legs, that sometimes end a little too abruptly. We have average run of the mill looks, but we are happy with what we have.

AS LONG AS YOU STOP RUBBING IT IN OUR FACES ALREADY.
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I celebrate my awkwardness and frankly, I think I’m a pretty interesting looking. 😛 But there are and definately will be days where we wake up and feel like we need to smash all mirrors in our line of sight just to avoid looking at the face that stares back at us. There will DEFINATELY be days like that.

There will also be days where we would feel that sudden impulse to buy an air ticket to Korea and have them cosmetic surgeons fix our faces to look like that or that:

Yes. There will definitely be days where we hate ourselves so much we just want to curl up at home in our sweat pants under the smelly blanket.

But on days where we feel fine enough to head out into this cruel, impressionable world, we really don’t need you to make it any worse than what we already know it to be.

Isn’t it bad enough that you good looking people get away with so much more than we mere mortals do with the simple fluttering of your lashes (my lashes are way too short for fluttering..) or a twirl of your hair?

Do we really need or want to be regaled with stories of your conquests EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Sigh.

It’s fun the first few times but thereafter it just becomes tedious.

I don’t hate you, nor am I jealous.
Just spend the next 10seconds in our shoes. I’m not asking for much, just 10seconds will do.
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For mere mortals like us, we are our greatest enemies, along with the tons and tons of media influencing us, telling us constantly that we are not good enough.

That we need to be thinner, we need bigger boobs, smaller waists, perkier asses.

That having blemish-free skin isn’t good enough, YOU NEED SILKY SOFT SKIN.
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That we need a bigger wardrobe, bigger shoe cabinet, bigger bag closet.

We are supposed to be female Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen, ex Kate Middleton current Duchess of Cambridge in public and a vixen in the bed room.

There are so many invisible enemies surrounding us already!

We don’t need you to add on to our insecurities and insufficiencies.

We can leave the men to do that..

Put yourself in our shoes for that few seconds and try to see things our way.

I bet you feel the same insufficiencies and insecurities as we do.

So for that few seconds where you feel what we feel, PLEASE JUST STOP RUBBING IT IN OUR FACES ALREADY.
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Day (286) – Tu Me Manque

25 Sep

The sin quote speaks to me..!

The Better Man Project ™

Dear Hard Work,
I used to hate you,
When you called my name,
I heard it but ran away from you,
When I knew you were coming,
I used to hide from you,
When you influenced others to talk to me,
I quickly made excuses to get away from you.

Afraid of the pain because I didn’t want to get hurt

Afraid to fail, so I didn’t even try
Afraid of the shame that you might put me through and
Afraid of your name because of what you have done to othersWho do you think you are?
Making me so afraid of who you are?

Reflection in the mirror,
Shadow behind me,
I take one step and still,
Your ahead of me,

Sweat on my face, tears in my eyes,
I keep on going,
I heard you tell no lies,

You turn the poor to rich,
F to A’s

Is…

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Los tres reyes de oriente.

24 Sep

The textures of this picture is priceless

Entre caminos

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Son of the desert.

24 Sep

I stopped breathing for a while when I saw this and I cannot stop smiling now..:)

Entre caminos

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Maybe it’s me, not you

24 Sep

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It’s a strange thing really.

I think of you a lot. I’m often wondering what our future will be like together, the bloody awesome things we could be up to together.

The future seems infinite and really exciting.

You were worldly, sophisticated, intelligent and charming. I loved listening to you; every conversation was a learning lesson that led to a discussion and further exploration.

You were that flint, that spark of intellectual challenge I needed badly.
With you, I unlearned my self imposed restrictions and learnt to set my mind free.

You made me a better version of myself.

But things seemed to have changed recently. You’ve become more reclusive, less accommodating and more angst. What happened to your worldly-ness and sophistication?

You seemed to have stopped looking forward and expect the world to revolve around you.

Everything annoys you nowadays.
You think everyone is one level below you; me included. You have an explanation for every phenomenon we see when sometimes, all I want is to appreciate it’s beauty and wonder for what it is.

That awe and wonder I have is what keeps my faith in humanity.

And all I want to do is to admire it quietly, respectfully. Nothing else.

Some things are better left ambigious don’t you think? It makes it all the more amazing and charming, don’t you agree? 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know you anymore. You taught me not to be a cynic and yet, you are gradually becoming one.

You said you appreciated my independence, but now you seem to want me to be something else.

Our conversations and discussions of the past, have become a thing of the past.

What happened to you?

I know I’m still in love with you, yet at times I don’t.

It’s almost like you are no longer the person I fell in love with.

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Maybe I’ve outgrown you.

Maybe it’s just me, and not you.

Maybe is such a dirty, hopeful yet ambiguous word.

I don’t like maybes.

Another 9 things I would like for you and I to know more about you

22 Sep

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1. What kind of art are you into?

A: Everything! Music, dance, plays, operas, paintings, films, photography… You name it, I’ll ‘ve more than happy to go check it out or take a class on it..ha!

I always thought art to be an expression and extension of the artist, so it really shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what form it comes in.

It is the celebration of the spirit and inspiration behind the work produced that truly matters.

Art is and should be more than just a label, it is about the human spirit.

And in my most humble opinion, the human spirit cannot be explained or contained with mere labels.

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2. Would you say you are in love with yourself?

A: of course darling, of course! If one does not first learn to love oneself, how will one ever learn to love others??

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I’m not saying we go the whole way and do the whole narcissistic thing ala Emperor Caligula but love yourself enough to treat yourself with respect and to take good care of yourself.

Everything starts from within, if you have nothing inside, what do you have to give?

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3. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

A: I wish I had ZERO FAT genes and more tall genes so I could look like Gisele Bunchen or any of em Victoria Secret models
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But we all know that ain’t going to happen.

So lets be practical.. I cant think of anything that I’ll wanna change about me self really because I wouldn’t be me anymore if I did change right?

Now where’s the fun in that??

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

A: This has to be my favourite question of the list!!

I fell in love with Morocco when I was 5 watching Lawrence of Arabia (dont ask.. That’s another long story..)

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and then Austria/Salzburg (and Christopher Plummer..hehe) when I was watching The Sound of Music.

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At a ripe age of 7, I fell in love with Turkey/Istanbul watching Sean Connery make love (and mayhem) in From Russia with Love
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and eventually with Rome at age 8 after watching Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (how can anyone not love that film??).

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So if I had to pick a place anywhere in the world to live it would a tough call amongst the 4 locations above!

My vote currently swings towards Istanbul and Morocco.
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Morocco has been a favourite so let’s leave that out but Turkey, oh Turkey!

I’m in love with that place. The people are amazing, the culture is amazing and there’s just something incredibly, intangible-ly lovable about that place.
It has an indescribable charm that not many places have. Not to mention the incredible amount of quality museums, ancient city, cultural and world heritage sites that are there.. The thought of it sends good shivers down my spine..
Oh did I mention Istanbul also has a really awesome cultural festival that runs practically for the whole year??
Le sigh..
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Sigh.. I miss that place already.

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5. List 5 of your favorite movies, and why you love them.

A: This is as good as asking me which limp would I rather lose – my arms or my legs…(-_-)”

So..! I’m gonna cheat and say that aside from the movies mentioned above, my top 5 favourite movies are..

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1. Children of Men
One of the most brilliant films made about a dystopian society in the near future, where women have stopped giving birth for good. Realistically scary.

2. Schindler’s List
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3. The Pianist
Schindler’s List and The Pianist are on this list because I have a thing for war movies, especially if it chooses to focus on the humanity (or lack of) of the victims/abusers.
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4. All Indiana Jones movies
I’m kinda cheating here but it’s Indiana Jones!!
I fell in love with antiques and archeology because of Indie!!

5. All Fast and Furious movies
Yes…I know it’s kinda trashy but all those cars! All those beautiful, sexy, orgasmic looking cars..!

6. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A: I want the power to read people’s minds and fly?

Ha! Fly because I like the freedom that it entails. The freedom to go wherever I want to and to be able to see the world from up above, that sounds really amazing…
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Power to read another person’s mind because people dont speak their minds anymore!

I think it’s awfully tiring to have to constantly guess whats on the other parties’ mind.

7. What would your ideal holiday be like?

A: Lets see… Lounging on a white sandy beach by the turquoise blue sea, with a good book in hand and an ice cold beer by my side..
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I love beach holidays but let’s be honest, I’d probably be sick of it after 2days..

I’d much rather be backpacking through antique cities and ancient sites really.

What can get more exciting than checking out, touching and feeling old places??
I love history and art, anywhere that fulfils both that criteria would be my ultimate holiday!
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Oh oh oh.. I’ve just figured what would be my ideal holiday..

A bloody good mix of lounging, Musuems and getting lost.
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It’ll be even better if it’s fully paid for.. 😉

8. Do you believe in any faith/religion?

A: I have no religion. I believe religions were created by men to explain things they couldn’t explain naturally and as someone or somebody to turn to when they are scared or need someone to blame.

While I have nothing against religions or religious people, religion to me, is another way for those in power to control others.
I respect your choice and the god(s) you believe in so please allow me my right to observe and not participate.
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But I do believe in faith.
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I have faith in humanity and the inert need and desire to be good and do good. I intend to hang on to that faith for as long as I’m alive.
I mean no harm or ill intent, please do not take offense at my beliefs.
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9. What was your favourite subject in school?

A: Music, history and language! I recently did Philosophy and Gender Issues, and I think they are pretty awesome too!

This may sound a little crazy, but I want to pursue philosophy and cultural studies further..ha!
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Yeah… I like topics that require me to argue with myself. I’m a nerd..

Questions/things I would like for you and I to know more about you

21 Sep

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Questions I would like for you and I to know more about you was actually a list of 25 questions a friend of mine made me answer years ago.

We were suppose to exchange the list once we were done but somehow both copies are still with me..haha!

Rereading the list has bought back quite a bit of memories THUS I’ve decided to post the all questions here!

So people please bear with me as I post the remaining 19 questions over the next few days..!

Its been 7years since I last saw the list, so the answers have been updated as well.

Please feel free to repost the questions if you’d like.. 🙂

Cheers & with love,
Panalyah

6 things I would like for you and I to know more about you.

20 Sep

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1. What kind of men do you attract?

A: Ha! Most men aren’t attracted to me actually. I’d say the few who are, are those who fancy a challenge and is most willing to put up with my awkwardness and quirkiness. I’m an atypical kind of girl, I behave too much like a boy and I am highly curious.. So yeah, he has to be highly confident and intelligent to keep up and keep me entertained!

2. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

A: Definately pro choice. You can give me all the bull crap about how it’s a sin to terminate another life, I’d say it’s my life thus my prerogative. If I live to regret it, I want to make sure it’s a consequence of my choice not yours. There were days where I wished I was never borned but I guess I didn’t have a choice then.

3. If you had a child, what would you like it’s gender to be? What would you name it?

A: Eh… First of all, I dont intend to ever have a child. If it weren’t for the complications involved in getting my tubes tied, I would have done so a long time ago. That’s why, I have pacts and agreements with my friends to be their kids’ godma.. You know, for in case my maternal instincts do flare up? I’ll return the kids to their original owners when they become a nuisance..ha! AND, in the event that I do change my mind (or have enough confidence) about being a mother, I will adopt. Why limit yourself to being the mother of one, when you can do more good as a mother to many?

On a side note, if I ever had the chance to name a child, I’d call my daughter Athena, after the goddess Athena for her wisdom and justice. I’ll name my son Alexander or Hermes, after Alexander the Great and the god of messengers and travel.

Yes, I have a fascination with Greek gods and goddesses.

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4. If you had a choice to be anyone else who would you be and why?

A: ehh… I’ll still be me but with Rumi and Ghandi’s wisdom, empathy and generosity thrown in! I love myself too much to want to be anyone else really.. I may not be a Miss Universe quality looker but hey, I think my look fits my character..! Rumi and Ghandi both have profound influences in my life, I want to live as much like them as I can.

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5. If you could pick 3 values as a life mantra, what would they be and why?

A: Freedom. Happiness. Wisdom. IN THIS SPECIFIC ORDER!

I want the freedom to live as I want to live, go where I wanted to go, do what I want to do, think what I want to think, feel what I want to feel and say what I want to say and not be judged based on my gender sex or race.

I believe happiness is the most basic human right a person should have.
It can come in many forms and I am a firm believer in appreciating the tiny happiness we derive from everyday events.

Happiness is a continuous journey, it is not an end.

Finally, I want the wisdom to know right from wrong, good from bad. Wisdom to realize when freedom and happiness are right infront of me and be wise enough to grab it and never let go. Most importantly, wisdom to realize and appreciate the value of freedom and happiness.

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6. Last but not least, tell me in your own words, what kind of person are you?

A: I am atypical, neurotic, awkward, quirky, hyperactive and intelligent to name a few.

I am better experienced than described.

I am a woman, so hear me out.

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Letter to my 25 year old self

18 Sep

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Dear Self,

I know things haven’t been easy for you. I know that feeling of wanting to be irresponsible, even if it’s just for a day. I know that feeling all too well.
That feeling of wanting to drop everything, pack up your bags and disappear for the next 3months. The adrenaline of wanderlust fuelling your every day and the joy of meeting new people everywhere you go.

Yet sometimes, the thought of being irresponsible scares you.

You wonder what will happen if you did just leave. Who’ll pay your bills? Whats going to happen to your parents? If you simply threw your responsibilities aside, who will take over? Will that person hate you?

I know I probably would.

I know how you feel.
That sense of helplessness, of being stuck in a rut and constantly wishing things could be different.

I know that dreadful feeling you have as you drag yourself to work early in the morning.
Like a cattle herded to a certain death at the slaughterhouse. Each day as you squeeze yourself into that train cabin, you are certain a part of you died by asphyxiation.

You could see responsibility’s hands wound around your neck.
Tightly.

I know the times when you feel like you are all alone in this world, even though you are constantly surrounded by people. No one really understands you when you are hanging out with certain groups of people. You don’t really understand them either. It almost feels like you are all there out of loneliness, to fill that aching need for companionship in your soul.

Your skepticism gets the better of you sometimes. You struggle to trust people because you’ve been disappointed by a number of people in your short life. Childhood memories are hard to erase, you can suppress them, but memories really works like a bitch.

You will begin to wonder if you’ll ever meet the love of your life, someone you can walk down the streets hand in hand when you are old. Skepticism keeps you from picturing anything nice, rationality tells you the probability of that happening to pretty low, judging by the state of affairs you are currently in.

You will feel all that and more.
You’ll regret not travelling earlier, further, more adventurously.
You’ll regret not starting school earlier.
You’ll regret letting responsibilities rule your life.
You’ll probably regret having spent the last 20years of your life being someone else you are not to please everyone else.

You’ll regret all that and more.

BUT, no matter what happens, don’t lose hope or faith in the future. It may not seem like it, but things will eventually become better.

What else is there to life if you have nothing to be hoping for?

There will never be world peace in your lifetime, so dont stress out too much about it.
Let others fight their own battles, you have your own inner demons to deal with.

Hold on to your beliefs because you’ll need them in the future. Your beliefs make you the person you are.

I am hoping too that life would indeed ‘ve better by the time you re-read this letter. You’d be in a much better place, doing something you truly enjoy and believe in.

Don’t worry too much about it, eventually it’ll all pass.

In the meantime, have as much sex, drink as much booze, smoke anything you want (as long as you know your limits) and travel whenever you can. Take as many courses as you can humanly manage.

You can rest when you are dead.

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