Disclaimer: this post is inspired by one of the chapters of Nicola Yoon’s masterpiece, Everything Everything. I loved that chapter (it might be my favourite but I can’t say so exactly because there were so many chapters that I fell in love with for the beautiful writing style). And because of that love, I wanted to give something like it a try. So here goes.
Like many other nights that came before, tonight is spent on cooking dinner for one.
Butter sizzles on the pan and I rush over to pick the garlic cloves I’ve sliced; shove them all in. The sweet scent wafts up. My stomach grumbles; it’s been a while since I’ve eaten – I’ve specially saved my appetite for this. Chili, shreds of lettuce, a bowl of washed and drained spaghetti – all of them go in the pan. A sprinkle of salt and a bit of cheese could do, too.
While everything is cooking, I find that my attention is divided. One eye on the pan and the food; the other on my phone that is leaning on the kitchen utensils holder. It was playing another vlog of Zoe’s.Another vlog, I say, because nights spent cooking dinner for one, are nights spent listening to her videos at the very same time.
Zoe’s voice booms out of my phone’s speaker, occasionally drowned out by the sounds of cooking – but that doesn’t bother me. These nights come by so often, that I’m more than happy to watch – I mean, listen! – to her vlogs over and over again. They give me company. A background noise that keeps the loneliness at bay.
Come and join me on a trip down the rabbit hole with Owlcrate‘s Wonderland-themed November box – to a world full of lively characters, of a scenery bursting with colour, of riddles and mazes, and a hint of darkness hanging in the air. A lyrical world where sense doesn’t make sense and unbirthdays are just as worthy to celebrate as birthdays are. Getting curiouser and curiouser? Read More »
Alone with your thoughts can be a scary place to find yourself in. Scary, lonely, a maze to get lost in, an adventure to seek, a vocal silence, or a much needed sense of peace – easy to get into but to crawl back out will take a feat.
It’s where I found myself in the short getaway that I went to. And in it, I found solace. In it, I found that it was where I needed to be, if only for a while.
In that place, you’re allowed to breathe. Nothing pushing to get in to your thoughts, nothing clogging in your mind; heart left untouched – at least from the outside. But inside – oh, inside, where emotions are set to motion, and feelings take charge, to breathe can also mean to suffocate.Read More »
Five days away – but not away from home. Away from Brunei for a while, yes; staying in a different place for a while, yes – but not away from home. Because this time, home came with me. My mom, my dad, my sister and me altogether – home in the flesh, home in two pieces of luggage and home under my skin where in the place of my heart, there was, for once in quite a while now, ease and comfort and peace.
I brought home with me for a five-days getaway to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
We came for a relative’s wedding – which was a beautiful event for a perfectly matched couple and I was swooning over the happy smiles seen on the day. The trip was expanded to four more days where we got to spend time together. A little getaway.Read More »
My hair tie sits beside me, as stagnant as I am. I grab it, tie my hair into a ponytail and let it hang at the base of my neck. But it’s too hot in here – so I take it off, style my hair up into a bun at the top of my head instead. The hair bun was so tight, it pulled on my scalp. But that’s how I like it best – so the breeze could reach me, and there’s nothing to tickle my ears. Besides – I have work to do, stories to tell and fingers itching to type on the laptop that hummed faintly on my lap. Things that were calling for me, more important things compared to worrying about hair.Step one: get the thick helmet that is my hair out of the way. Out of sight, out of mind.
I glance down at the notebook sitting to my right, where I had scribbled ideas on to non-stop from the moment I first opened the book and started writing only days ago. Or was it weeks ago? I can’t tell when – it somehow feels like a long time ago, now that I think of it. Whenever it was exactly doesn’t really matter at the moment. What really matters now is that I have ideas on my mind and on paper, and that I need to turn them into something – something else; something more. So I narrow my eyes, focus my gaze. It’s time to pay attention.
I lock my gaze on to the notebook, squint real hard. But the writings on it look so foreign all of a sudden, the words seeming as if they were written in a different language – a language I don’t speak; a mess of words I don’t recognize. I blink, look at it again. And again. The same sense of unfamiliarity greets me. With each look, the words become blurrier and blurrier. Maybe it’s because there’s so many things going on in my head that I can’t seem to discern the stuff that’s right front of me. Maybe that itch and that calling was stronger than I thought – and that it wanted me to do things now. Well, then. That’s okay. I’ve looked at my notebook enough times before this, anyway. I’m sure that when I open up a new page on my laptop and start typing, the ideas would flow easily – the way they did when they first came to mind. Yes, maybe that’s the way. Step two: look back at what you’ve brainstormed. Then begin creating. Read More »
I wasn’t going to write a November Snippets post – I was just going to skip November and then pretend that not having ‘November’ in the midst of other months I’ve done (and hopefully will continue to do In sha Allah) doesn’t bother me at all. But it felt like I was somehow keeping future me in the dark, to not document what life was like in November 2016. So here I am, writing this despite everything that screams in my face the reasons why I’ve decided to skip November in the first place.
November was the month of waiting – waiting for exams to come (for me to be done with them), for my second semester of my first year to finally come to an end (ANNNDDD it’s a wrap! One year down, three years – and infinite tears – to go!), and most especially waiting for home sweet home (which, hands down, was the highlight of the month although the days leading up to the flight back home were probably the most draining days of my life to date).Read More »
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.
But there is this gap.
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.
Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met.
It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
– Ira Glass
The other day I was watching videos from New Age Creators and I came across one that featured a quote by Ira Glass. I used to love this quote so, so much. It’s a quote that really resonated with me and was something I tried to remember and keep in the back of my mind, as a way to motivate myself. To remind myself to keep working towards my goals.Read More »