Saturday, May 19, 2018


old buildings and back alleys fascinate me.

i remember this one time when i was on-location for Time Out Penang, i had decided to walk to my next destination instead of taking the bus and i stumbled upon a quaint coffee shop on Stewart Lane. it was on the ground floor of a postcolonial shop lot and i noticed that there were a bunch of foreign backpackers huddled together and watching a foreign movie, coffee cups and cans of beer in hand.

and then i walked along the intersection that connected Stewart Lane to Love Lane, once known as the lane that housed underground brothels where rich Chinese merchants or British officials would take on "lovers" while off duty (hence, the term "Love Lane"). i remember running my fingers on the dilapidated pillars, skipping along the drain and just breathing in the scent of a past that was once lively but had now been forgotten.

the strip connecting armenian street 

i share the same feeling when i'm walking along Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and Jalan Sultan in KL, as well as Heeren Street (now known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lok) in Malacca and Muntri Street in Georgetown. There's just something about beautiful, once-forgotten ruins that enrapture me. it's amazing when you're stuck in time while at the same time, you watch the present time continue on like how life does. i love hearing stories about the past, i love hearing about adventures and monumental events that have shaped a place (or a person).

maybe that's why i've always had a soft spot for art history, postcolonial architecture and old people. 

when i was living in bukit damansara, i used to jog along Jalan Beringin right up to Plaza Damansara where huckleberry/skullduggery are, and there was a really old, abandoned bungalow that i normally would casually jog past at night because it was too dark and i couldn't see it. 

But one Sunday morning, when i decided to go for a jog, it shocked me how beautiful, ancient and broken that bungalow was amidst the light. i noticed the green vines that graced the roman pillars, mirrors hung along the corridor and the swirl of the main staircase that connected three floors. it was an extremely eerie feeling but i couldn't help wondering who lived there, what was their story and how did this place came to be. it was only after i realized that i had been standing there for a good five minutes that i decided to carry on with my jog and ever since, i've never failed but to stop at that spot whenever i was jogging around the area. 

i've always loved exploring. being a curious cat by nature, there was always something in me that just wanted the thrill of exploring and learning about new places and people. my opportunity at Time Out Malaysia opened those doors for me and the lovely part about it was that i could write about it. i could express my thoughts in the way that i knew best. i lost so much of that spirit when i left that life for a new experience in digital marketing where everyday, i feel like my soul is being sucked out by demanding clients, the long hours, office politics and drama. 

maybe that's why i'm really excited for the semester break. i finally know what i'm going to do in the next three months. and while riding along my renewed spirit ever since the election, i hope that this new journey will be something beautiful. 

i'm just really excited.
and i think it's time to revive my old Nikon.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

this is it

you know what?
i'm relieved that people's idea of me has shattered.
from an optimistic point of view, this is exactly the moment i've been waiting for because i feel like i'm finally free of this prison that i've put myself in just because i was afraid of rejection.

i woke up this morning, wondering if there were more fig leaves for me to cover myself (if you're familiar with the biblical interpretation of Adam and Eve, you'll get what i mean) but then again, what's there for me to hide?

i'm at an uncertain and scary phase of my life because my heart feels like paper and at the same time, i feel like this an exciting time because my eyes will slowly be opened as to who will continue to be part of my life and who will reject me after they've realized that this girl tak boleh harap lah. it's like that notice that i used to see in shops: "nice to see, nice to touch, once broken, considered sold." most probably you're gonna throw that broken thing away right?

mhm hmm.
such is human nature.

which is good because i feel like i take in so much of people's bullshit because i still choose to believe the best about them and i am someone who always believed in grace and second chances. at the same time, not everyone shares my beliefs and i need to learn to be okay with that. i need to learn that not everyone is forgiving and that not everyone has the capacity for compassion.

i'm kinda excited to come out of the closet.
i'm also excited to embark on the things i have planned for myself once the semester break begins (i wasn't allowed to withdraw from the semester and my lecturers did all they could to keep me from withdrawing god bless them).
i'm excited to do a lot of deep diving.

"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me."

Friday, May 4, 2018

when you've hit rock bottom and the only way out is to go up

i'm surprised as to how i got here.
one month ago, all was right in the universe. i remember feeling so content and the thought that this was exactly what i want it to be. and yesterday, everything that i once believed in disappeared.

falling from cloud nine with a huge bump on my head, i'm wondering what exactly happened. i'm doing so much to pint point the exact situations, words and events that led to this explosion but the more i go through it, the more i become mentally exhausted. i've come to a point where i just won't try anymore and if people misunderstand my actions, then so be it because there's nothing i can do to change their perceptions of me.

i've spent so much of my early adult life perfecting the image of who i wanted to be: a responsible, strong, independent, emphatic, "possibly beautiful" woman. but at the very core, i am none of those. i am irresponsible, weak, dependent and selfish and maybe, just maybe, i'm gonna acknowledge that. and i'm gonna acknowledge that my porcelain image has caused hurt to other people simply because i wasn't true to who i was because i was so busy trying to be who i wanted to be.

okehh that sounded pretty deep but fuck it lah, i'm naturally a dark and deep person, so i'm just gonna own that. as i slowly transition to from "the woman i want to be" to "the woman i really am", i know that i'm gonna be losing friends or key people in my life merely because they are used to the image that i have crafted for myself. and you know what? it's okay. it's not their fault.

i'm done with pretenses. i'm done with saying "i'm okay" and "i'm fine" when i'm clearly none of those at this point of time. it's gonna take a long while for me to be okay with truly expressing how i feel (because most of the time, i'm an expert in denial and reaction formation - hmm...Freud would be one rich man if he was my therapist lol). but i have to and i owe it to myself to be honest with myself.

so, in light of recent events, i have made some decisions. i actually made those decisions while i was watching Avengers Infinity War because i couldn't concentrate throughout the movie and also because wow, Scarlet Witch should have more screen time just sayin'.
aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, here's what i have committed myself to do:

#1: i'm withdrawing myself from my studies 
ok lah, just this semester. i think the number one stressor in my life has been the act of juggling my studies and my full-time agency job. i thought i could do it because i scored straight As in my first semester which also happened to be my first three months at work but hahahaha looks like i couldn't keep that up. so, the very first thing i'm gonna do is withdraw from this semester. i don't know if this might affect my overall view towards my studies but this is exactly what i need to do now.

#2: goodbye, gin & tonic
i'm abstaining from alcohol until further notice. binge-drinking has affected the one friendship that i was so determined to keep and that really broke me (and the other person) because it opened my eyes to the person i become when i'm intoxicated and that whole situation was not fair for the other person. AT ALL. i regret the drinks i had last week and i regret the events that followed after. it is never fair to the other person when they have to take care of you while you're puking and saying things you don't mean. i need to start realizing the impact that my words have on people and if this means that i'm gonna say no to alcohol and start thinking critically before i speak, then so be it. i'm so done with binge-drinking and drinking in general. this will affect my social life because well, who doesn't love a gin & tonic, but at this point of time, it's gonna be green juices, smoothies, matcha latte and lots of H20 for me.

#3: deal with my emotional baggage
i'm done running away. i definitely have forgiven the people who caused certain events in my life that led to me carrying these baggages but it's time for me to stop running away from the past. i acknowledge that i carry a suitcase filled with early experiences of abandonment and rejection - these two main players - and i'm not gonna be afraid of these scars anymore. this will mean lots of "me time" where i'm gonna actively reflect and deal with it one by one. even if it means taking that scary step of speaking to the people who hurt me in the past. this has also led to cutting off social media from my time (except for my business accounts) just to withdraw and heal. i don't think i'm missing out on that much lah. unless of course, if Karlie Kloss comes to KL and i miss it then yes, i would really feel stupid lah :-P

#4: films, art, music and everything i love 

well, once i hand in my semester withdrawal form, i'm gonna have lots of free time in my hands (hell yeah!) which means i will do all the things i wanted to do, especially with immersing myself in the arts. i will never forget that one time at college during the symposium when my humanities lecturer selected me to present Raphael's "The School of Athens" during the exhibition and i was so fucking happy. LIKE OMG I COULD SHOOT THROUGH THE ROOF. hahahahahahaha. i remember explaining the fresco with so much enthusiasm and love for the painting, so much so that after the whole event was done, i was still reeling from the high of being so immersed in what i really love.

#5: reconnect with the people i love 
this past one year of extreme busyness has taken a toll on my relationships with people. as i begin the process of healing, i'm also gonna begin the process of being a better friend, sister, daughter and granddaughter. i always feel guilty that i sometimes forget to call my grandma and she has said repeatedly that she's my number one fan (LOL we both really love each other). my grandma doesn't have many years left and i don't want to deal with the regret that i had to deal when i lost my grandpa last year. same goes for my best friends. as we speak, i'm on the rocks with the one person who has been there for me in the last 8 years and yes, as much as i'm hurt and upset, i've thought and thought some more that this is a friend that i don't want to let go, so i will make amends once i'm ready. same goes for the friends that i've been putting on hold because i was too busy chasing my career and my masters. honestly, it is not worth it.

wow. it really does feel good to blog.
the relief that i'm feeling right now is just calming for my soul. i guess if there is one thing i cannot run away from is the fact that i'm a writer and that i will always be a writer. now with the free time i'm gonna have, i'm gonna start writing again.

if you're interested, click herehere and here for samples that i wrote for Esquire and Career Girl Daily. those were some of my best work and if i could, i'd do it all over again. being in digital marketing has killed my mojo for words because all that is in my mind now is KPIs, CTRs and CPCs but i'm determined to write again.

let the rise of Charli Myers begin. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

moving in the rhythm of grace

i almost broke down on the bus today.
in fact, there were many instances in the office today where i felt like the tears were gonna start streaming down my face but i took deep breaths, pulled myself together and continued on.

i've been going through a rough time lately. i thought that things would be better after returning from a wonderful holiday in Australia but no, i basically came back to a shit storm. i feel like i'm going through a season of brokenness - as the psalmist would say (cehh wahhh matt redman dah upgrade jadi psalmist) "when the music fades, all is stripped away".

- the old Social Media team is no longer the same
- many of our CiP groupies have left (or shifted to other agencies in the network)
- my boyfriend is no longer with me
- i have left the nest
- my college best friend is not speaking to me
- work is getting tougher
- don't even get me started about school
- i don't know where my life is heading

so as all these thoughts came rushing while i was on the bus on the way to school, i began asking myself: what is my purpose here on earth? if everything is gonna be stripped away, then what's the point? i guess it showed me that life is tangible and one day, all this will pass and just be a memory. as i felt overwhelmed with emotion, i felt the words of an age-old hymn planted in my heart: "amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me".

that's basically it. i'm a wretch and will always be a wretch. in these last four years, i have been very acquainted with my wretchedness. yet, i will say that i have not felt so broken in a long time. and you know what? perhaps i will acknowledge this season of brokenness and i will walk in this journey, fully acknowledging my vulnerability and letting God expose parts of my heart that i have kept tightly hidden.

i've decided to document this journey here in the following weeks (months, maybe?) as i go through this season alone. at least when i look back, i will never forget where i came from. it's gonna be scary to expose my heart on the internet but oh well, who the fuck cares these days?

despite going through this season of brokenness, i will not forget who i am. if there's one thing i take pride in, it's my very strong sense of self. i know the woman that i am and i have worked very hard in shaping my character. i will not falter, i will not resort to petty behavior. i will choose to empower and encourage the ones around me. i will not allow culture to define me.

to end this post on a positive note, i had resorted within myself that i was gonna get KFC alone after class and just allow myself to enjoy some fried chicken, cheesy wedges and fries. i honestly did not want to be alone but i knew that i had no choice but to just (wo)man up and be strong. after all, this is part of the single girl journey, right?

and at the right hour (just as class ended), i received a text from W asking how i was doing and then the magic words: "Girl I was just thinking of KFC. I suddenly got cravingss".

like, wow. 
talk about divine intervention!

i knew that i didn't wanna be alone tonight. i knew that i was too fragile to be by myself and it warmed my heart that W decided to accompany me after class. in the end, we grabbed McD (best ayam goreng ever; i finished my chicken, the fries AND the drink which is usually very out of character for me. i'm really suffering emotionally, okay?) and he just listened as i poured out my heart. it was so comforting to feel that i was being listened to and understood. W has been my friend for 6 years since college and tonight, we had such a fruitful conversation. i immediately felt a lift in my spirit and we hung out until midnight - just in time to wish him a happy birthday! 

so, as much as i think that i'm alone and that nobody loves me (lmao such melodrama), i guess there are a handful who do love me for me and i'm thankful for that. i really am. i really did not want to be alone tonight and just by a sheer miracle, i wasn't. 

it's 1.40am and as i'm typing this, i feel relieved. the road in this journey of brokenness is a very scary road and i'm prepared to navigate this alone. i'm strong. i can do this. 

i'll just move in the rhythm of sovereign grace. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

because running away is good for you (once in a while)

hello from West End!
i'm currently chilling in my sister's room before i begin my journey to Coolongata Airport with an overweight cabin bag that's filled with food (lmao such a malaysian) and secretly hoping that i won't kena tangkap at security.

before embarking on this trip that i've been anticipating since my first trip in feb 2016, i was burnt out, jaded, angry and tired with life. honestly, that was the similar situation i found myself in two years ago when i dropped everything and hopped on the first flight to Australia. and as i expected, taking in the sight and sounds of brisbane city, south bank and sunshine coast was everything i needed to recharge.

this past week, i found myself detoxified physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. it was good to be away from work and from my life in KL. for once, my life back home didn't exist and that felt so good. but as the days passed, i knew that it was time to go home and begin again with the lessons i've learned this past week:

#1: when you treat your body like a temple, it will show on your countenance
everything i ate (ok lah, 95% of it) was healthy, unprocessed, green, fibrous and high-protein. i passed every opportunity for the usual sweet treats that i would normally reach for but instead, i dared myself to try new things like kombucha, golden latte, spelt, buckwheat, coconut-based froyo, raw/paleo wraps and greek salads. i indulged in organic coffee and fresh produce just coz i had the chance and i cannot even begin to talk about how energetic i felt every single day and it was amazing to see my skin clear up bit by bit (well, that was also thanks to my 5-step japanese wakame skincare routine that i haphazardly purchased before this trip). it was amazing to complete my 3km run across alexandra parada at sunshine coast without stopping (at 6.30am) and the energy i felt after was the kind i always craved back home. i did not even plan to be healthy, it just came naturally. it felt so good.

#consume mindfully 
this phrase kept popping up in my head everyday as i ate, listened to music and met new people. i think it's time for me to be more protective of my energy and the things/conversations that i consume on a daily basis. being an ambivert, i always found that i had the ability have the best of both worlds; i was able to be extroverted and outgoing and at the same time, enjoyed silence and recharging alone. yet, i lost sight of that back home as i found myself mindlessly consuming the company of people that drained me and did not allow myself to recharge from my very busy life. this also applied to social media, music, books and everything else i allowed myself to experience. it was good that this whole week allowed me to take a step back and assess everything.

#work is not my saviour
yes, this. exactly this. throughout the whole of last year, when i was tasked to handle two heavy accounts and a few smaller ones, i found myself having to adjust my working style and my personality just to be able to keep up with the million things i had to keep up with these accounts. it was honestly so fucking draining to be someone that's not me. while i learned a lot about myself - that i was agile, flexible, adaptable and capable - i also realized that i felt very very far away from who i was. i had to be organized, on-the-ball, receptive, detailed-oriented, structured which was totally opposite from my natural free spirited and easygoing nature that i used to be. till this day, i feel so bitter and upset thinking that i allowed myself to be someone i was starting to dislike. now i know that i should take it easy, remembering not to take things seriously and just rediscover a better working self that can incorporate my natural personality while making room for these new skills i had to develop in order to keep these heavy accounts from slipping. i am inspired to go back to office and twist perspectives and start saying no to things that are out of scope. i don't live for work and i'm sure as hell not gonna die for it.

#don't lose your soul
so for those of you who've known me longer, i've been quite a rebel with matters regarding the church. i came to a point where i was restless and disillusioned and i left the church, despite my dad being a minister and despite the gossip, the haters and losing friends at one point of my life. well, out of respect to my family, i followed them to church yesterday. while i found myself unable to sing such scary hymns (come on guys, how on earth do you sing lines like "take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine" knowing fully that you want your own selfish way and living in the Lord's will cannot be done without his sovereign grace?) but i will have to say that the sermon touched my heart. For those of you who need a dose of reality and perspective, you should read the book of Ecclesiastes and as I listened, i was reminded of the vanity of life and how all this will disappear one day. I was reminded that i should invest wisely and remember that everything is a gift from God. i always believed that God has given us everything, yet we own nothing - maybe that's why i stopped holding on to a lot of things.

i'm still very heathen, pagan, whatever you wanna call me but all i know is that i'm restless. i'm done with the externals and the loud music, the jumping up and down, the speaking in tongues for 5 hours, the holy huddle. give me the real thing - i wanna hear sermons that will cause me to critically access my life, i wanna hear real, raw stories, i wanna see authenticity which sadly, i cannot find in the Christian community anymore. OK lah, maybe just the urban KL community. until i have experienced true conversion of the heart that is fully the work of God's sovereign grace, i am not coming back. there, i said it.

walao i typed so much. heh.

honestly, i'm glad to go home. i'm thankful for this time to just be with family and to recharge. i'm thankful for new experiences and i'm thankful to have had this opportunity. i hope that i will never forget how i felt when i was walking across the bridge from King George Square to South Bank, the same thing i did in 2016 and last night. i hope i will never forget who i am and what i stand for.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

because when i really evaluate the situation, i realize that i'm doing just fine

someone once told me that i should learn the rules like a pro so that i can break them. 
i can't remember who that someone is but all i know is that this someone plagiarized this concept from Pablo Picasso *insert laughing crying emoji*

at this point in my life, i am overworked, jaded and sucked dry. 
i have invested so much of myself into work and people and other things that should not consumer my energy and time that i've forgotten to water my own garden. 
i used to be so carefree and spontaneous. deep inside me, there was a free-spirited girl but as i learned the ropes of #adulting, i began to keep my fist tight. 
i had to shut that little girl inside me but now, i feel like it's all coming out. 
and you know what? i want her to come out. 

all my life, i've lived on the principles that i've built for myself and i think i have proven that i can do this. i used to think so poorly of myself but as i charter through life, i find that i'm actually doing okay. i don't mean to sound perasan but i think i'm doing a lot better and i should keep at it and stop telling myself that i'm not. in the words of warren-kwek-the-great, i need to stop being a reductionist. 

i've started saying no to things that i can't handle, especially at work.
i'm starting to allow myself to feel things again fully knowing that i will accept the repercussions that will occur when some decisions are made through #feels. 

basically, i'm starting to break the rules that i've set for myself.  
which has been the modus operandi of my life when i think about all the times i broke the very things i've built. lmao i see a pattern here. 

i'm happy to go off the grid when i fly off to Brisbane in 3 days and i think i'm gonna come back a different person (well, if i know myself, i would actually be the same but just a version of myself that has been me all along but was so held back). 

i might disappoint people, but that's fine. people have disappointed me so much but i'm still alive and breathing. i'm sure they will be too.
i might be seen as reckless but that's okay as long as i accept responsibility for the actions that stem from the reckless behavior. 

so actually raaaaaaiight, after i evaluate the whole thing, ekcelliii i think i'm doing just fine. 
i just need to cut myself some slack. 

just wanna be like my karlie kween 

now excuse me as i go back to listening to my preet playlist 
while enjoying a cup of instant seafood ramen. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

because the idea of someone is not the actual someone

some guys just like the idea of me. 

they go on and on about how i have my "own thing going on" and about how "ambitious and dedicated i am to my goals" and how "strong and independent" i am. some of them judge me by how they perceive me in situations (e.g. i'm talkative and friendly in the office and they expect me to be just that even when i'm off duty). 

and you know what's the funny part? 
the very same traits that they like about me are also the traits that they dislike the most. they say things like "why can't you spend sunday night with me? your goals can wait" or things like "you need to slow down and make time for me" or "you're not that busy, you're just making excuses"

and the worse part? 
that one line that makes me roll my eyes till i can see my brain: 
"you're such a great catch". 
PLS LAH. bullshit. 

and that's exactly how they see me. just another ikan bawal in the sea. another ikan to parade to their friends. another ikan to use as a trophy. another ikan to boost their ego. 

the worse part is when they've had experience with crazy ex-girlfriends and they judge me to be the same because "all girls are crazy." amirite, @TheMeninist? yes, i agree that girls are crazy. when i hear my friends go through relationship drama and notice that a lot of times, it's the girl who acts all crazy and in my head, i feel sorry sometimes that girls can be oversensitive, demanding and emotional. 

am i saying that i don't possess those above mentioned traits? i do. i just know how to manage my emotions, which is something i have learned as a result of being in account management and being a single woman who has to constantly face her feelings every single day because there's no one listening. but why is it that when i'm dating someone, they assume the worst about me just because they've had bad experiences? 

this is exactly why i'd rather be alone. as i grow older, i find myself protecting my energy and time. i have no time to waste on people who choose to see me as an idea of what they like instead of seeing me as me. it is so fucking rare to find someone who sees me for me. 
in fact, i can only count of one hand the amount of people who truly take the time to get to know me and have remained open minded of how they perceive me and these people (you know who you are) are such gems in my life who remind me that i dont need a multitude of people to feel whole. 

it's so rare to find someone who loves the outgoing and friendly side of me and who enjoys the times when i'm silent and contemplative. it's so rare to find someone who truly goes the extra mile to seek to understand my perspective and how i feel before they can throw their assumptions on me. it's so rare to find people who truly communicate with me and to these very, very rare souls, i am so thankful for your presence in my life. it's even rare to find someone who shares the same guilty pleasures as me and does not judge me for my taste just as how i remain non-judgmental to people's preferences. 

ok lah i didn't expect this post to be all emo but i had to say what i had to say. 
and i feel relieved. 

girls, don't fall for pickup lines like "you're different" or "you're such a great catch". if you were a really great catch, then they would let their actions speak for themselves. they would listen to you, seek to understand you and treat you with respect. expect nothing less than respect. you deserve someone who would take the time to get to know you as a whole person and who won't judge you based on how you are in certain situations. at the same time, treat guys with respect. don't do that cold shoulder thing because it just belittles you as a human being. if you're upset, communicate. if you're lost, communicate. don't expect a guy to read your mind. he is not your punching bag just as how you aren't. have some self-respect. 

you can do better. you are better than this.
if he only likes the idea of you and does not take time to know you, leave.