In My Mind: A Heartfelt Message To My Best Friend

When I first met you at a friend’s house, I thought you were silly, funny and a joker. A personality that I see a lot and am familiar with within my group of friends. We didn’t know each other well back then. And I thought we could probably at most just be friends. We didn’t talk much and hardly exchanged any words other than ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’.

A month later, I flew to Melbourne to start off my journey in pharmacy. We still barely interacted with each other even though we were both in the same Whatsapp group. My memories are hazy but we probably exchanged a few insults/memes here and there but nothing worthy of the term ‘best friend’.

Fast forward to November, I came back to Brunei for my holidays. Very few of my close friends were back in Brunei. So naturally, I contacted you to hang out with a few other people. From there, we started to get to know each other more. I help celebrate your birthday with a couple of friends. We met each other at a friend’s potluck. And we had a bunch of fun drinking and talking about deep, personal lives.

I think to myself what was the turning point. How did we suddenly became so close and comfortable with each other. And now I remember. It was the day after an event I missed out on, you texted me to go play pool with you and I was relatively shocked. I was still sad about the fact that I wasn’t invited to the event. I agreed to go out anyway. I asked you: ‘Why did you personally call me out?’. You said you felt bad for me cause I wasn’t at the event.

That was the first time someone has actually done something really thoughtful for me even though we just barely knew each other. From that night onwards, we just became closer with each other. I would always overthink and tell you that I’m scared of the past and future. I would cry in front of you. But you told me not to worry about it. You told me that to go with the flow and don’t force anything.

And then I flew back to Melbourne again. We had skype calls together, personally and with other good friends. I would always find you for help and advice. I would always find you because you were someone that would actually listen to me and not always be there ‘just to reply’. You even told me that I was your ‘brother’ even though you never liked that kind of relationship between friends. I would always see you as an older sibling. Someone that I could count on. And that has always been what I thought of until recently.

I came back to Brunei in November again. I lied to you so that I could surprise you on your birthday. I asked 2 friends to help me with it. It felt nice to do it and see you happy. You’d pick me up for hangouts because I couldn’t drive at that time. You’d always do so much for me. Till the point, I felt like I was depending on you. I was envy; I was clingy; I was expecting too much. I felt bitter when I see you having fun with other friends without me. I would always expect you to be there for me when I couldn’t cope with my emotions.

You have your own priorities and I know that. You were always the type of person who would rarely get cues or hints. You were the type of person who thinks that most things are fine. But at some point, I thought clearly and ranted to you. I was disappointed. I was disappointed not at the fact that you hung out with other people, but it was the fact that you never gave me a chance to help you when you had a problem. Whenever you were suffering, you would find someone else to help you although I was there. I offered you car rides when I could drive and you declined. Yet, you accept a car ride from someone who was 10km away from you while I was only 3km away from your house. In the end, it felt like you didn’t trust me. And it seemed to me that you never cared as much as I thought.

In a way, I realize that these aren’t important because you did so much for me. But the emotions are real. They’re never fake. But I know it was all my undoing. I expected too much. It was never your fault to begin with.

I cried furiously about it. We almost broke our friendship. I was scared of losing someone important in my life again. I’ve had similar experiences before. And I promised myself to not let my emotions get the better of me. To not let another important person walk out my life. I almost did it again. I was fearful.

But you told me. You told me what was wrong with me. You told me what I should to myself. You told me that not everything will go my way. And I am forever thankful for that. Perhaps it made me realize that I should be independent. I should not rely on you.

In a way, I guess the series of events made our friendship stronger. Maybe it became more distant. Who knows? But one thing I know for sure is I shall become independent and be happy for myself. So that you would be happy knowing that I am happy.

Lastly, maybe you’re reading this, maybe you’re not. And I know you have heard of these sentences a lot. But I am sorry for what I have done. I appreciate having you in my life. Because, you are one of the greatest friend I have ever met. And that nothing will change how I think about you as a friend.

~CYC

Melodious Music: Slow Dancing In A Burning Room – John Mayer

It’s not a silly little moment
It’s not the storm before the calm
This is the deep and dyin’ breath of
This love we’ve been workin’ on

Can’t seem to hold you like I want to
So I can feel you in my arms
Nobody’s gonna come and save you
We pulled too many false alarms

We’re goin’ down
And you can see it too
We’re goin’ down
And you know that we’re doomed
My dear
We’re slow dancing in a burnin’ room

I was the one you always dreamed of
You were the one I tried to draw
How dare you say it’s nothing to me
Baby, you’re the only light I ever saw

I’ll make the most of all the sadness
You’ll be a bitch because you can
You try to hit me, just hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
‘Cause you can’t understand

We’re goin’ down
And you can see it too
We’re goin’ down
And you know that we’re doomed
My dear
We’re slow dancing in a burnin’ room

Go cry about it, why don’t you
Go cry about it, why don’t you
Go cry about it, why don’t you
My dear, we’re slow dancin’ in a burnin’ room
Burnin’ room, burnin’ room

Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?

This song is just a masterpiece on it’s own. The guitar riffs, John Mayer’s voice, the intuitive lyrics, the magnificent tune, just everything about it is perfect. Because it is that great, I will go through ALL of the lyrics. P.S.: All interpretation are my own so they might be wrong or correct. Before that though, I just want to give a special shoutout to Kevin for introducing me to this song because it really is a great song that I’ll never forget.

It’s not a silly little moment
It’s not the storm before the calm
This is the deep and dyin’ breath of
This love we’ve been workin’ on’

It’s not some stupid argument a couple is having. It’s not going to resolve like any other petty thing. It’s the start of the end. The end of something that both partners have been working on so hard to keep it alive.

Can’t seem to hold you like I want to
So I can feel you in my arms
Nobody’s gonna come and save you
We pulled too many false alarms

He wants to keep the relationship alive. He wants to keep hold of her. But he knows that it’s impossible. Nobody can save the relationship anymore. Not even the ones in it. And it’s all because of the little mistakes that accumulated.

We’re goin’ down
And you can see it too
We’re goin’ down
And you know that we’re doomed
My dear
We’re slow dancing in a burnin’ room

Ah, the chorus. It signifies that both partners know that the relationship is going down. That the relationship is going to end. ‘We’re slow dancing in a burning room’ They will still love each other till the end. A bittersweet feeling. They don’t want to let go. The memories. The love. The feelings. But they know it will keep going downhill if it continues.

I was the one you always dreamed of
You were the one I tried to draw
How dare you say it’s nothing to me
Baby, you’re the only light I ever saw

She accuses him of not pulling the weight in the relationship and not loving her enough although she said he was the only man she ever wanted. But to him, it was very clear that she was the only woman he ever wanted.

I’ll make the most of all the sadness
You’ll be a bitch because you can
You try to hit me, just hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
‘Cause you can’t understand

He has learnt his lessons from this relationship. From this toxic relationship. Because she doesn’t understand his sacrifices and whatnot. So she puts the blame on him and it leaves a dirty stain on the man’s ego even though what he did was right. And the song goes back to the chorus.

Go cry about it, why don’t you
Go cry about it, why don’t you
Go cry about it, why don’t you
My dear, we’re slow dancin’ in a burnin’ room
Burnin’ room, burnin’ room

Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don’t you think we outta know by now?
Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?

He hopes that she regrets about what she has done. And how she wants the relationship to work. But apparently, she never did. And they never knew that this would lead to the end of a relationship. They never knew how to fix the relationship but he still loves her while her love for him faded. And yet, all he can do is stay with her till the end of the relationship. Because he is in denial. In denial of the end of something that was great to him.

As a conclusion, I’ll leave 2 videos. 1 is the studio version which is great and 1 is a live version which is in my opinion, the best rendition of the song.

Late Night Thoughts: Homesick

When you first go to another country to study, you feel excited and enthusiastic. You can’t wait for a new environment; you’re tired of seeing the same people and same places. You want to experience something new. You finally get independence. You’re all on your own. You can do whatever you want.

But then you realize, ‘Oh, I don’t really know anybody. How am I going to make friends? Well, I just have to try.’ Then you try your best to approach people but most of them have their own clique. And you wonder, ‘This is going to be hard.’

As days pass, you realize this is harder than you thought. Things don’t go as plan. You barely know how to cook. Appliances go haywire. Daily necessities become a chore. Trying to save up money. Dealing with studies. Everything just became much harder. You want somebody to talk to. But all your good friends and family are far away. Contacting them is hard. Even with video calls, you just feel it’s not enough. You just want to see them. You start to reminisce the times you were at a party, doing stupid stuff and having fun. All the memories that you made. All of these come crashing down in moments. You just want to get back home. You just want to go to that airline website and book a ticket. But you know you can’t. The hopelessness. And then you cry by yourself in the lonely night.

Day 30. You know that sobbing isn’t going to help. You realize that you have to be strong, for your family and friends. To let them know you’re doing well. To not let them know that you’re not doing fine. To not let them worry about you. Everything seems to be going much better. You’re starting to live a much better life, blending in well with the new culture and new friends. You still miss the memories and the old life. You never forget them but you know, you have to move on and create new memories. Because in the end, you can always come back home; home to where you belong.

~CYC

Living Life: Back In Melbourne

Alas, my 3 month holiday in Brunei has come to an end. I’m typing this blog post now in Melbourne.

As usual, this 3 months back in Brunei really made me feel like I was at home. With my family, with my other ‘family’ and with my very good friends. Honestly, when I was about to leave for the airport, I was really sad. I didn’t want to leave them. I didn’t want to leave my beautiful home. I didn’t want to leave my great and awesome families and friends. I didn’t want to leave behind the good times we’ve had. It’s only been a few hours and I already miss them. It feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself. A part of you that is so essential to your life. You see them and interact with them almost daily. It really does suck to not see them for a long time.

However, I want this to be an appreciation post of sorts, especially to the 4 people who has been with me ever since I’ve been back. Shoutout to Kevin, Ehsan, Audrey and Nick Chin. You guys really made this holiday back home one of the best. All the times that we’ve been out together, just talking and hanging out, really made it for me. Thank you for all the good times. Special thanks to Ehsan and Nick Chin for helping me surprise Kevin on his birthday! I look forward to meeting you all again and let’s have another potluck :>

Also, special shoutout to my other family members who were part of this holiday too! Ben, Wei Ying, Wen Jun, Li Ying, Leo, Desmond, Yih Ping, Edward, Nicholas Lee, Soo Jing, Chann Yen, Stephanie, Dann, Zhi Chu, Fish. I think that’s all heh. I hope I don’t miss anybody out HAHA. You guys made the holiday really special too. I definitely won’t forget all the memories and I would like to see you all again some time soon. Let’s have another big party! 😀

Lastly, here’s a photo of the 5 of us. 🙂

SONY DSC
Left to Right: Kevin, Me, Ehsan, Audrey, Nick Chin

~CYC

Late Night Thoughts: Kampung Spirit

The more I hang out with my friends in this small town of Brunei, the more ‘Kampung Spirit’ I have and the more I realize how important it is to me.

When you go and start living in a busy area such as Melbourne CBD or rural areas such as Ferntree Gully, Glen Waverley etc., you have limited places to chill and hang out. Sure, you could go to a cafe to hang out but honestly, the food and drinks are expensive. And the vibes are never the same. Maybe you have the option of going to a friend’s house and just chill. But how often do you get the chance to do that if everybody lives far away from each other, ranging from 10km to 100km.

Here in Kuala Belait, everything is within reach from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Food and drinks are cheap. Going to a friend’s house doesn’t feel awkward and weird. Everything just feels nice. Wanna go out and have some noodles and tea? Only costs at max $5. Don’t feel like spending money? Come over to a friend’s house and just chill over some card games, board games or even just plain talking.

A few days ago, me and my friends went to a home-based cafe that has a live band on the weekends. For me, that was one of the most amazing nights I have felt. It felt better than watching fireworks at Docklands in Melbourne or even going to a festival. Just the atmosphere itself beats any other events. You can even go up and sing with the band, provided they know the chords to the song. Like, what kind of miracle do you have to get to experience that elsewhere? And did I mention it’s free? With drinks at $1 to $3 and food at $2 to $5.

In a way, this trip back home kind of further cemented the feeling of ‘chill’ that I want to live with. I just love this kind of lifestyle too much to give it all up. Who knows maybe I’ll find this kind of feeling in Melbourne and end up migrating there? But for now, I have no intention of leaving what has stuck with me throughout my life. The ‘Kampung Spirit’

Short Stories: Gift

‘Happy birthday my friend! Here’s a gift for you.’ said his friend while handing him a wrapped present.

‘We prepared this especially for you.’ said by another friend of his.

‘Awww thank you guys. But I don’t need this gift.’ He sets aside the present on a table.

‘Huh? Why not?’

‘… Because you guys are the ‘gift’. You guys are the gifts that I never realized I wanted but I needed. And for that, I thank you all. I thank you all for staying with me even though I gave you guys all the BS. I really am glad to have you all still with me as good friends.’ He sheds a small tear on the corner of his eye.

And they all hugged each other without saying anything else.

~CYC

 

In My Mind: Envy

Envy. Envy is one of the seven sins alongside with Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Wrath and Greed. It is also said to be the second most dangerous sin with the first place going to Pride. You might wonder why am I talking about the seven sins since it’s Chinese New Year and it’s such a heavy topic. Well, as all humans, we have our own ‘sins’ and for me, it’s the ‘sin’ of envy and recently I had something happened to me.

I spent my childhood in an environment where ‘competitiveness’ is a huge thing especially in education. Hence, the quotation marks. I was always told I had to get first in my class. I was always told to get 100. I was always told someone out there will be better than me if I don’t work hard to earn my place. As a result, I became jealous of other people. If they did better than me in a test, I would get bitter and get really sad.

As time goes on, I guess the jealousy of other people turned into envy and applied to other situations other than education such as family, relationships and lifestyle. If I see someone have great friendships/relationships or have a great family time, I immediately get envious of them. I want what they have. Therefore, I get emotionally frustrated and sad about my current situation.

Now, I only realized I have this ‘sin’ of envy only 3 years ago and I have been trying to fix it ever since. It has been going good for most parts but the only situation where I haven’t been able to fix my enviousness is friendship.

For me, I longed for a great friendship. Someone who I could have a deep talk to but also someone who could laugh and chill with me. Someone who I trust 100% in and someone who is honest with me. No lies and no BS. So whenever I see 2 or 3 people with that kind of friendship, it makes me envy them. ‘Why can’t I be like that? Why can’t I have a friendship like that? Did I do something wrong? Maybe I’m just not good enough.’ All these thoughts start flowing in me. Maybe the friendship I have with my friends isn’t what I thought it would be. It feels like a virus. It plagues my mind and thought process.

And you know, it turns out to be true. Story of my life. People just don’t see me the same way I see them. And it hurts really bad. Like a knife stabbed through the heart. I value friendship so much till the point where I cried a lot and can barely say anything. Why does my enviousness have to do this to me?

But you know what? I appreciate that they were honest with me instead of letting me live behind a wall of lies. Sure it may be bittersweet. But that’s life. You learn to accept it. If not, how else are you going to move on. Even then, at least we’re still friends. The worst part is only letting go of what I think the friendship should be. For that, I’m grateful to whoever that pulls me back into reality. The friends that puts the ‘realist’ perspective into my ‘idealist’ mindset. They’re the true heroes and friends.

As mentioned before, envy is the second most dangerous sin. And rightfully so. It weighs down on the human soul, making you relentlessly emotionally unstable and tired. Wishing you always had something better when you’re already well of with what you have.Without envy, you appreciate all the good things that happen in your life and make you feel content with what you have.

To end this post, I will promise myself that I will try to not allow my enviousness of other people get ahead of me. Because I do not want to experience the same suffering as I did last time. CYC out.

~CYC