answering the call.

It is my bed time: 2.00am. I inhaled and exhaled strongly in front of my reflection, trying to block the emerging panic from my own body. I know that it is from the black coffee I had a few hours ago, or it could be my PMS; but there is an underlying terror that is aching to be heard by myself.

The deep breaths allowed me to recollect my thoughts – a simple grounding trick that I often took for granted. I realised that I have let my thoughts clog up for months, if not a year, if we count this lockdown. The word ‘clog’ is a verb that I despise but haunts me, as it tells me that I have to take action, to pull the gunk out, to see the dirt and slime present. But it informs me that I have let it rot, and I lost my sense of self with it. Living in the small walls of my apartment is not helping either, as my walls, my routines, all blend into unidentifiable progress. I journalled, and journalled, but I do not have the heart to look back. My hand is tired of putting the pen on the paper.

I know that this final desperation comes in the form of wanting to connect, talk, and hopefully see something move forward. For months, my social circle is tied to my work and my immediate friends, which is less than the number of my fingers. I make myself known to others on social media, taking shortcuts such as short clunky messages and sending emojis. Sure, it does seem like an ideal world for an introvert, but even an introvert needs another person to validate their cues. I ache for visibility again, and to be heard, to know that there is room for meaning even in nothing.

I bought this domain earlier this year, hoping that it would be something monumental to my life. I’ve always wanted a domain name and a space dedicated entirely to myself, and no one gets to mess with it. As a teen, blogging was my lifesaver, a mark of me “living” my life. Regardless if it’s a mundane or silly update of my school days, or my current obsession, but at least I have a personal record online that is read by someone (even if there was no comments received). & I miss that. I miss having those chunks of text where it is entirely me, and without anyone interrupting my train of thoughts.

& I envy those who, at the time, could have an entire space, a domain, all to their self. They could take the photos they want. They have complete control on how to exist in this vast and permeative space of the internet. & years later, I can finally earn one. In retrospect, it is a materialistic goal, but at least it’s satisfactory enough to formulate my identity and thoughts to a void. And in this dire state where my life is driven off road due to the pandemic, the government, the greed and the arrogance of others, I need to get my sanity back.

I was also plagued with the fear of ‘wasting’ my life away, or not doing my life justice by not writing. This was the dream that the younger me dreamt of. I have all the time, resources and even capacity to do so now. It is even more demanding, especially when the world, the country, requires more voices to take it out of its darkest pits. Merdekakan suara, merdekakan rakyat. To watch young Malaysians walk for the sake of the country is inspiring. So I need to start buckle up and find that courage, too.

Other things that have kept me afloat:

  • I finally got on the K-Drama train. This year alone, I watched more shows and series than the past five years. Titles include Run On, Hospital Playlist, Move To Heaven, Law School, Kingdom. I may want to talk about them soon.
  • I am still clinging on dearly to Monsta X, with so many drafts and collected thoughts on what they mean to me and music. Regardless of the issues presented on stan twitter (in which is a place that is toxic, no nuance, and contrary to popular belief, exudes xenophobia), I still hold them dearly.
  • The young and newly debuted Malaysian athletes at the Olympics are bringing so much joy to us right now. To watch the diver Dhabitah Sabri smiling and enjoying each dive, and cry because she is proud of her own achievements, give me a lift to move forward. To see the badminton players cheer for each other and show their best through years of training made me want to celebrate my peers and continue write.

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