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Friday, February 15, 2019


I was the Cinderella in rag
A pretty rag, one that burns like fire
Yet a rag, nonetheless
As the other ladies twirled around me

Their perfect silhouette
The fabulous dresses
The elegant makeup and hair
The unmistakable grace

Will you ever see me among that crowd?
The simple, unremarkable peasant
Botched makeup and silly sneakers
Laughing and dancing gaily

And even if I am a true Cinderella,
I'd still ask you this
Even with the magical dress
And the fanciest glass slippers

You'd leave me, won't you?
You'd discard me, won't you?
You'd tell me I am worthless, won't you?
You'd stop loving me, won't you?
I held my head up high
But inside I shivered with fear
I tease and taunt and seduce
But inside I barricade my heart

I do not want the blow from you
To be told we don't belong anymore
To be blamed for less than perfect
To see the love gone from your eyes

Yet I still look for you across the room
On every nook and cranny of this city
I still call you in my dream
Still expecting one day you are real

Beloved King, I am waiting for you still
Alone in the throne of this desolate land
Loyalty and love are all that I can offer
And all that I ever want in return

Here I am naked with my scars
The rotting wound that consumed me whole
An ugly wench covered in dirt
A hideous monster among men

I'll love you but will it be enough?
Even if I'm perfect, will it be enough?
I want to believe it is
Yet I keep telling myself that it won't

Dearest King, I love you already
A love that will destroy me if it went awry
With no hope of coming back
Yet I still want you to come

I want to rule the world with you
To lay safe in your arms protected by your love
To be accepted for who I really am
My King and fellow ruler, I await thee.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lesson in Loneliness


I lost quite a few friends in my life. Some we simply drifted apart, some with a drama that will put reality tv series finale to shame. Some like a bad breakup, we simply stop talking cold turkey.

The latest trim hits me hard as it seemed unfathomable, even though I knew it was coming. I had to tell 4 different people about it just to get it out of my chest. I don't take friendship lightly and my fear of abandonement is chronic. It was painful.

This is the end, I thought. In my mind the chain reaction will start and soon one by one everybody will leave me and I will be alone. As always. I cursed myself internally and wishing I'm normal. Wishing I am less outspoken and more 'fit in'.

Yet as I step in another dance floor a couple of days later, and as I tried to fit people in on my weekend agenda I realized: I am surrounded with friends. 

There are people in the dance club who always seemed happy to see me. There's the lady on the bus who shared her biscuits with me. There are tried and true friends who stick with me no matter what. I even have better friendship with my exes than with some people I called 'friends'.

When I fell into despair over losing yet another friend, I gave myself a little peptalk: "Did you hurt them? If yes, is it intentionally or an accident? Is it something that you can fix? Or is it just because you are you?"

I asked myself: "Do you really want to be with somebody who can't accept you for who you are? Someone who choose to see only one side of you and not as a whole, not even trying to understand the reasoning behind that side of you which they choose to see?"

The answer is, as I giggled across the dance floor, as I strutted into a game shop with my super short romper and all eyes upon me, as I flexed and stretched in a yoga session at the gym, the answer is no.

And it's tough. Not many people have the strength to walk this earth alone. We want to be with someone, we want to be accepted. It plays to our basic instinct to group together. Herds have better chances of survival than a single lone creature.

Yet at the same time, human is a complex creature that has the ability to think and weigh consequences. We are multi-faceted diamonds with many sides and it is impossible to appeal and accepted by everyone we met. We can hope to, but we can never force someone to like us.

It is sad when I feel alone and unliked. The world doesn't stop rotating, though. There's music to dance to and shows to attend, board games to play and delicious meals to be cooked. When you are comfortable with yourself, the number of friends can't bother you much.

Then again, are we ever lonely? The smile we give and kindness we show in our daily life go a long way. I have bus drivers whose face lit up when they see me simply because I always come on board with a smile and get off the bus with a cheerful "Thank you!" Are these not our tribe, too?

Even our belief is not exclusively ours. There's 7.7 billion of people in this planet, statistically there's gotta be other people who see things the way we see things, who shared our preferences. It won't be a complete copy of us as each person in unique, but it means we are not completely alone in our thoughts.

Go read this again but change 'friend' to 'boyfriend/girlfriend'. This writing will still be relatable. Don't be sad if you are not somebody's diamond or a side of your cut is not acceptable to them. You are still beautiful and the world still appreciate the beauty that you offer. Loneliness is not always a bad thing.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Whole Lotta Fear

Saw a post in Indonesia where a woman was berated for captioning her FB post recipe as "Baby Cumi". Cumi is squid in Indonesian. The reason why she got berated was because she used the word "Baby" which to some Indonesian perceived as Babi or pig, even though the word baby has absolutely nothing to do with babi/pig/pork.

I can't help thinking, how insecure can you be with your belief that a completely non-related word can trigger you to a point where you felt offended by it. Even though pork/babi is forbidden by Islam, just seeing that word shouldn't 'stain' you.

Other example was when my company got a request to eliminate a certain sign in our label because it looks like a cross. Cross is a naturally presence sign. If your belief is hurt upon seeing such innocent sign, then you have really, really big issue.

It looks so backward, don't you think? "That's why I am an Atheist." "This is what happen when you are in a primitive country." "Yay for Islam. NOT." We look at them with distaste for their foolishness, for their baseless fear and seemingly small mind. And then we did exactly the same thing.

The news of Kenji Lopez-Alt apologizing for his MAGA hat ban hit me hard. I love Kenji. I followed his blog Serious Eats almost devoutly. He is awesome. Yet, he choose to follow the crowd and put the ban on MAGA hat, which to me as discriminatory as the "If you are Trump supporter swipe left" on dating apps profile.

I know at this point some of you will stop reading. "Another dumb Trump bitch". My words mean nothing because I support the evil by defending this abomination. But do I really support the evil, or are you just angry because I do not see things your way?

HRC won the popular election by 2% margin. It means there's still 49% of the voter that choose to entrust America in the hand of Trump for 4 presidential years. Using that logic, 49% of Americans are all racist bigots. Statistically, it means out of 10 friends you have, 4 or maybe even 5 of them are closeted racist bigots. 

You can say "No! My friends are all anti-Trump as we all should! Viva la revolucion!". Do you really know, though? If the slightest indication of them supporting Trump can result to their excommunication or even lost of job opportunity, why would they show it? 

I refuse to believe that. Life is not a multiple choice quiz. Sitting on the bus everyday, I see people's worries. I've seen struggles and hardship. I understand where the fear and resentment is stemming from. I understand why to some, he is a better option. And this has nothing to do with being white or racist.

I've went to enough dates where my date was relieved to know I don't judge them for their political belief. That is sad. Everybody should be able to express their belief and not afraid of repercussion. I thought that's why people immigrate to America on the first place.

Yet the freedom to express our belief should not be an excuse to oppress others, to view others as lower than us, or even to intimidate others. Sadly, in all kinds of beliefs, this is what happened. People are using their belief as an excuse to lash out their inner demons. Translation: people are dicks, and not always the fun type.

People who wear MAGA hat can be a dick, as well as the ones who wear pink pussy hat. Roaming the street of Jakarta and Los Angeles made me realize: it's always the person, not the attribute. Regardless of the race and social status, people will find an excuse to be a dick if they are so inclined to.

Why am I writing this? Because we need reconciliation. Because we need to stop being scared and angry over a hat, just like that Indonesian poster got offended over the word "Babi". Because the more people get pushed and vilified over what they belief, the more likely they will fall towards the dark side of it.

We want equal rights for all genders, race, all human kind. We are not going to get it by excommunicating people or putting people into specific clusters in our mind. We can only do it by reaching out and opening ourselves. Sure, some of them are dicks. It's ok. We can just go "Ewww" and triple washed our hand, or MarieKondo it and sent it on its way.

Greed is absolute. Lust is absolute. Evil is absolute. Fear is not. Look past one's attribute and search his/her reasoning. If it's fear, we can work with it. As a human, we can agree to disagree. That is how advance we are as a species. We can do this. We are better than what we are right now.

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