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Tu veux ou tu veux pas (Or how I am not sure what the hell is going on anymore.)

It’s 2.01am in the morning and I can’t sleep.

My insides churn, like relentless waves crashing against the shore on a stormy night. My tears are stuck in my throat, and my breath comes out in sharp gasps, a drowning man aching for oxygen as he drowns.

I keep thinking what I could have done differently: told you the truth, called you earlier to tell you everything was okay? Perhaps right at this very moment, we could have been sharing laughs over a bottle of wine as we reminisced about how over the past two years we have been playing a long game of “does she? does he not?”

Instead, I am alone in my bed staring at my phone and I see your whatsapp profile looking back at me, empty.

I just feel so alone you know? For a second on Saturday morning as we murmured our feelings to one another, I dared to hope that I had an ally who would have my back. Someone that I could trust completely. Never have I ever dared to dream that that would be possible for someone like me.

There you were, fingers tender as you pushed my hair behind my ear and you whispered “I have always liked you.”

My heart stopped in that instant. I am not sure if you realised it though. I laughed off your comment. “Why would you like me? I am crazy!”

Then I say out loud a secret I have never told you, “I like you too,you know.”

You chuckle at that moment and proceed to tell me that you have known that I liked you. I am not sure why, but in that moment, I feel the need to protect my obvious lack of acting skills of pretending that I am not affected by you.

“Oh! But I so got over you in two months.” Lies. I am not over you.

(And probably never will be. A part of me will always remember you as the guy who made me realise that I am capable of feeling greatly about someone who happens to be one of the nicest, and most hardworking person I have come across in my life. It was always the little things you did that made me care about you.)

But for the rest of the night, it was soft cuddles and crazy talks, the kind that comes about when you are buzzed on cognac and life in general.

(I have never been that good at letting go. So I am not sure how to let you go. You have become woven into my tapestry of life, that I can cannot find the thread of where you begin or end. You have become a part of me and perhaps it will always be that way, your thoughts and actions rippling through various facets of my life.)

I am confused because we can’t seem to be honest with one another and we keep playing these games. Usually I am all for games but right now all I want is the naked truth.

No frills. No fuss. Just get straight to the point.

Tu veux ou tu veux pas?

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My cab driver shares his tragic state of love affair.

This is a story about love.

I was taking a cab to Pasir Ris Mrt after a wonderful lunch at a friend’s home when the conversation with the uncle turned to his Love life when I asked him how his day has been so far.

Turns out he was madly in love with a lady who was just too afraid of being together because of her complicated past. She has been separated from her husband for many years and has been living her life as widow with her three daughters. She is too afraid of what her children or society would say if she got married again at her advanced age.

He reminisces about the beginning stages of their relationship when she would be okay with kisses in dark alleys but today when they go out for lunch or dinner she would walk ahead of him so people wouldn’t know they are together.

“I love her alot. I don’t know how much longer I can live this way. But I love her too much to leave now. I gave her my word. I just wish she would live for herself instead of worrying what others thought of her.”

I sniffle a little and he hears me, and somehow he ends up comforting me, “I have been alone for so long, it is ok!”

I really hope things work out for him.

Cos you see, finding love in this disconnected world is so rare that when you get it, you should latch onto it as hard you can and fight to keep it alive. I think there can be nothing greater than to love someone and know that you are loved in return.

Sleep and the Teenage Brain | Brain Pickings

Biology’s cruel joke goes something like this: As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Suddenly, going to bed at nine or ten o’clock at night isn’t just a drag, but close to a biological impossibility. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise. Adults, meanwhile, have little-to-no melatonin in their bodies when they wake up. With all that melatonin surging through their bloodstream, teenagers who are forced to be awake before eight in the morning are often barely alert and want nothing more than to give in to their body’s demands and fall back asleep. Because of the shift in their circadian rhythm, asking a teenager to perform well in a classroom during the early morning is like asking him or her to fly across the country and instantly adjust to the new time zone — and then do the same thing every night, for four years.

via Sleep and the Teenage Brain | Brain Pickings.

A “Dynamic Interaction”: Leo Buscaglia on Why Love Is a Learned Language | Brain Pickings

Most of us never learn to love at all. We play at love, imitate lovers, treat love as a game. Is it any wonder so many of us are dying of loneliness, feel anxious and unfulfilled, even in seemingly close relationships, and are always looking elsewhere for something more which we feel must certainly be there? “Is that all there is?” the song asks.There is something else. It’s simply this — the limitless potential of love within each person eager to be recognized, waiting to be developed, learning to grow.It’s never too late to learn anything for which you have a potential. If you want to learn to love, then you must start the process of finding out what it is, what qualities make up a loving person and how these are developed. Each person has the potential for love. But potential is never realized without work. This does not mean pain. Love, especially, is learned best in wonder, in joy, in peace, in living.

via A “Dynamic Interaction”: Leo Buscaglia on Why Love Is a Learned Language | Brain Pickings.

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Your body’s amazing reaction to water

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

Writer James Nestor explores the science of the “mammalian dive reflex,” the phenomenon by which water triggers an immediate decrease in heart rate.

In 1949, a stocky Italian air force lieutenant named Raimondo Bucher decided to try a potentially deadly stunt in a lake on the island of Capri, Italy. Bucher would sail out to the center of the lake, take a breath and hold it, and free-dive down one hundred feet to the bottom. Waiting there would be a man in a diving suit. Bucher would hand the diver a package, then kick back up to the surface. If he completed the dive, he’d win a fifty-thousand-lira bet; if he didn’t, he would drown.

Scientists warned Bucher that, according to Boyle’s law, the dive would kill him. Formulated in the 1660s by the Anglo-Irish physicist Robert Boyle, this equation predicted the behavior of gases at various pressures, and it indicated that the pressure…

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crayons

iDoodle.

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”

― Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

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The first actual portrait I tried to do with crayons.

Inspiration: The Ikea painting I have in my room.

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Inspiration: Post card.

After finishing this sketch, I realised that I had forgotten to draw her nose.

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Inspiration: Newman made a sale of US$44M on his art piece.

I was hoping to sell mine for $44.

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Inspiration: A pop art piece

I was feeling very low because I missed someone very much. I was restless, and I wanted to create something. Decided to try out a style I hadn’t done before.

I draw because sometimes I cannot put into words how I feel. And making something out of nothing allows me to free myself from the emotions churning inside of me. For a while, all I have to think about is filling the canvas with colours.

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Letting go.

I find the door to my home closed as I exit the lift at my floor. I take the keys out of my bag and enter my home.

Its 11:46pm.

My parents have been waiting for me. I haven’t spoken to my father in months and my mother sometimes send me messages to make sure I am alive. I am a stranger in my own home. I can see that my father’s breath is erratic, fast and furious, his eyes bulging out of their socket.

I stand up straighter.

“What time is it?”

“11:30″

“You think it’s ok to come home at this time? That it’s still early?”

“Yup. I think so.”

“You think you are the only one who works?”

“Who said anything about work? I was having dinner with friends.”

I can see his vein ticking at his neck. Suddenly he stands up from the sofa. He comes towards and starts to raise his hand as if he can hit me. I stand still and defiantly look back without saying a word, daring him to slap me. My mother comes to her senses, and tries to restrain him.

He keeps yelling but I don’t hear a word. I see two strangers whom I don’t recognise anymore. People who were supposed to love me and care for me, but all they ever did was try to control me and the moment I started making my own decisions, labelled me ungrateful, a whore, and worthless.

I walk to my room, and as he continues to shout nothingness at me, I keep chanting,”I don’t care.”

I close the door to my room and burst into a fit of giggles.

I have done it. For the first time in my life, I didn’t back down. I didn’t end up in tears. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I feel no guilt. I see my reflection in my mirror and I say, “Hey there babes! You did it! A small step, but a step nonetheless.”

Mary Meeker’s 2014 internet trends report: all the slides plus highlights

Originally posted on Quartz:

Mary Meeker, legendary Morgan Stanley internet analyst and current partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, will deliver her annual State of the Internet presentation today at the Code conference in California. She has released her slides in advance. Here they are:

Some highlights from the slides:

  • Internet user growth has slowed below 10%, smartphone growth is still strong but slowing.
  • But mobile data traffic is accelerating—up 81% year-over-year—thanks to video, where mobile is now 22% of consumption.
  • Only 30% of the world’s 5.2 billion mobile users have smartphones—still room for growth.
  • There are still more global TV users (5.5 billion) than mobile phone (5.2 billion).
  • 97% of smartphone share OS “made in USA” vs. 5% in pre-iPhone era.
  • Mobile advertising is still underperforming vs. time spent on mobile devices, whereas print is still significantly overperforming.
  • About 5 million Bitcoin wallets exist, up 8 times year-over-year.
  • Tinder users “swipe” 800…

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The Baked Brownie: Guest Post by @wallflourgirl

Originally posted on gotta get baked:

I have such a treat for you guys today! Remember my funfetti Rice Krispies post, where I sang the praises of my friend Ala, aka Wallflour Girl? Well, she’s guest posting for me today and she really went above and beyond, both with her writing and with her dessert. Brownies are the best (obviously) and I’m in love with her “Wall of Smiles” idea. How this girl has the power to make me laugh and tear up in the same post is beyond me. Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about? Read on, my friends, read on!

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Hello, Gotta Get Baked readers! I’m Ala from Wallflour Girl and I’m so thrilled to be guest posting for Nancy today. I don’t think I’ve felt this excited since folks announced the launch of a new Sailor Moon arc coming out in 2014 after nearly 17 years of silence. Am…

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Vogue (January 2007)

Originally posted on Jolie-Pitt Press Archive:

The Bold and the Beautiful

By Jonathan Van Meter
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Fresh from filming The Good Shepherd, Angelina Jolie opens up for the first time about falling for Brad, life as a mother of three, and why she doesn’t need a shoulder to cry on.

It’s official: “The middle of nowhere” is about halfway between L.A. and Las Vegas, just off Route 40, at a dusty old airstrip in the desert called the Barstow-Daggett Airport—airport being something of a misnomer, a word that conveys a sense of modernity that this place most certainly does not possess. There are two tiny runways and a few long wooden sheds where a handful of single-prop planes are parked out of the life-leaching sun. There are also a couple of humongous empty hangars, built in the 1930s, that were used by the military during World War II and look as if they…

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