[Letter] To the future me

Hey, remember when we coloured our hair purple? Was a fun experience!
Hey, remember when we coloured our hair purple? That was a fun experience!

Last November was a very eventful month for me. To say that it was overwhelming is an understatement. Things happened. Hearts were opened. Laziness was indulged. Panic was had. Triumph was snatched.

And we’re not talking just about Nanowrimo.

The heart of November, to me, has always been about the writing. It’s always one of the things I look forward to the most when the end of the year approaches. Nanowrimo always marks the beginning of the last two months for me. More than any other month in a year, Nanowrimo reminds me that madness is around the corner for the next 120 days and I need to be prepared. The rest of the year, in comparison, is spent, in a way, hibernating.

But this year has been very different. So very different.

For the last few years, I was content to simply write. I rarely had the opportunity nor inclination to submit my stories anywhere. I was simply coasting along.

Last year, however, just before Nano, I had an incredible change. It left me bent, maybe a little cracked, but it was necessary. Like the bamboo, I needed to have the heavy rain and strong winds to wash me anew and see how far I could bend without breaking.

As it turns out, I could bend quite a fair bit.

This year, things were slightly better. Or I should say, much better. The clouds that remained after the storm gave me the time I needed to absorb the lessons from that thunderstorm. It hurt, of course, but it also crystallised for me, somewhat, things that I wanted to do.

I did kind of lose my way for a while. That gloominess meant that I couldn’t see the sun for a bit, that I was indulging in mere fantasies and continuing to drift without a concrete plan. The raindrops were still on me, and I lost myself in the illusion that drifting and coasting along, was all I could do in this life.

If anything were to happen to me, I wasn’t the one to do it. For once, I wanted things to happen to me, instead of always having to be the one to chase the rainbow.

As it turns out, allowing myself to stand still and hesitate was probably one of the best decisions in my life. A strong wind, from multiple directions, came and swept me off my feet. Some days, it’s not blowing in the direction I want. Other days, it’s such a strong wind that all I can do is stand, hold my ground, and open my arms wide to feel it running through my hair, carressing my face, and making me feel joyously alive.

I haven’t allowed myself the pleasure of merely being in a long time. To exult in my senses, delight in my mind, and please my imagination.

I was sorely lacking this for the longest time, and I didn’t know it.

So what happened in November?

Well, for one, I won Nanowrimo by the skin of my teeth. For another, I met an interesting group of friends, one of whom opened my mind up to new possibilities. Also had a timely and much-needed reminder to take care of myself and those I love. I travelled, and for once, did not feel as though I should be guilty for travelling. And food. Ah, glorious food!

It’s been almost a week since December started, and I’m still excited. There’s ideas I want to explore, things I want to write, articles to make and Fiverr stuff to check out. And if you are wondering, yes, I offer resume-checking services now.

Some of the leads may not pan out. Some of the plans will probably fail. But I’ve never felt this loved or this supported before.

Sometimes, the jigsaw puzzles just fit.

See you soon.

Sex Education Part 1?

When it comes down to it, I think that sex education is directly tied to being comfortable with your body. I don’t mean necessarily that you feel comfortable to put it up on display or even to expose yourself. At its core, knowing how your body works is an incredible sense of empowerment.

You know the phrase, “Knowledge is power?”

Basically that’s it.

The knowledge that you know your body, that you know how it will react, what pushes it to its most efficient, how it helps you get the job doneā€¦ All this is empowering when you realise just how much information you have.

~~~~~

So what does knowing your body have to do with sex education?

Well, it comes down to basic protection. The thing about sex education is that it is supposed to demystify the process of having sex and/or everything related to reproductive health. And reproductive health is more than simply sex.

What is sex education anyway?

In most definitions, sex education is more than sex. What is sex? It’s a mating activity that two (hopefully) adults partake it. Sometimes there may be more adults. Sometimes there may be only one. Sexual activity varies, but involves one human being (or more) touching themselves to achieve orgasm.

Where do they touch?

Usually the genitals, but there are other parts of the body, called the erogenous zones, which also serve to stimulate sexual desire. In females, such stimulation will lead to the lubrication of the vagina. In males, it will lead usually to the stiffening of the male penis. The desire, when accompanied by physical stimulation, is supposed to peak to the point it culminates in what is called an orgasm.

And now, here we get into a somewhat murky part of the syllabus.

Traditionally, it has been taught that orgasm is the ultimate aim of sex. What makes it murky is that a female’s orgasm is not as obvious as a male’s, and is often thought to be harder to achieve. For males, it is taught that ejaculation is proof of orgasm. Another word for this process is “climax.”

However, while it is true in many cases that orgasm accompanies the male ejaculation, it is not true in all cases. Google says that orgasm is characterised as a feeling of pleasure at sexual climax. In males, it is considered to be an accompaniment to ejaculation. However, in cases of rape and non-consent, it is possible for the body to be sexually stimulated and achieve climax without actually achieving orgasm.

Hands up if you followed me through all that. Good. You know now a little bit more about mechanics of sex than you did before. Would you be surprised to learn that the Malaysian education syllabus doesn’t include that bit of information?

And we haven’t even gotten into the topic of how sex can be pleasurable, how to protect yourself, and taking good care of your reproductive health. We teach our kids about how eating fibrous food is good for their digestion. We teach them that exercise is good for their health. We teach them the importance of keeping clean.

Yet when it comes to their genitals, we are strangely silent. The genitals is another part of the human body. It is used every day, as part of our natural bodily processes. It is as part of us as our arms are. Where is the shame in that? In learning how it works to keep our kids safe?

We tell our kids not to play with knives because they can cut themselves. We teach our kids how to play sports in accordance with the rules so they will keep their limbs intact. Yet we will not arm them with the information they need to make safe reproductive health choices. Are we not failing them as parents? As adults?

008: Innocence

Two little girls innocently playing with pigeons
Two little girls innocently playing with pigeons

The two of them were sitting in front of the couch, sullenly apart. Mit ate the popcorn noisily, while Tim was staring intently at the TV. There was nothing really, they could say to each other that hadn’t been said hours before.

So the two of them sat on the couch, staring at the TV but not really watching it, each counting down to the minute before they could finally go to bed. By all accounts, it was too early to sleep.

Not that either one felt like sleeping, but that semblance of normality needed to be kept.

“Are you going to shout at me or not?” Tim finally broke the silence, still not looking at Mit.

Mit continued to eat his popcorn noisily, ensuring he crunched it as loud as he could. If there was ever an image needed for sullen, he was it, with his feet on the couch, face on knees and a huge frown on his face when he was not stuffing it. He simply projected a sulky, silent air that would usually push people away.

But Tim was not like people.

“Mit,” Tim had a way of saying Mit’s name like it was the most precious thing in the world, and that he intended to savour it.

It usually sent shivers up Mit’s spine, and now was no exception. But Mit did not intend to give in, so he just raised his hand and motioned for Tim to stop talking, before continuing his crunching.

Tim sighed, and moved over the couch. He took the bowl and put it on the coffee table in front of them, before putting his arms around Mit and hugging him close. Mit did not attempt to push him away, but he still sat like a curled hedgehog on its back.

There was still a lot of anger and resentment.

“Mit, there’s nothing between us. It was over a long time ago. She wanted to ask me for advice, and that was why we met. That’s all,” Tim explained for the hundredth time. He was keeping count.

“What, so that lunch where she so easily put her hand over yours and you didn’t move it away was casual?” Mit’s voice was biting, sarcastic.

“If you had stayed a bit longer, you’d have seen me pull away and told her never to touch me again. That touch wasn’t innocent, and I won’t lie. But I didn’t encourage her to think so,” Tim hugged and nuzzled Mit. All he wanted was to be as close as he could to Mit.

“Seems like you enjoyed it,” Tim could feel Mit’s body relax a bit, but he did not push the point. He just held on to Mit.

Mit did not move either, letting Tim warm him. There would be time enough for punishment later.

~~~~~

It’s kind of hard and surprising to allow yourself to swim back into the deep end of the ocean after you’ve spent years swimming in the shallow part.

At least, that’s how this relationship feels like.

It’s rediscovering perhaps, that I’m not quite as 2-dimensional that I thought I was. That I am much, much larger than I appeared to myself. That I’m not single piece of paper with specific words and traits associated with them alone.

Basically, I reduced my life to being a single sheet of paper, and now I’m rediscovering that there is much more to myself than I had allowed myself to think possible.

It’s quite refreshing and really incredibly freeing to feel this. To realise this. And more importantly, perhaps, to allow myself this.

I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed the innocence of curiosity. The pleasure of reading for my own sake, and not because I needed to complete things. The delight in being myself, in letting myself be cute, silly, serious, intellectual, boring, and so much more.

In just being me, without worrying what other people might think about me.

I guess I lost that innocence of being. And now I am slowly finding it back, thanks to the new guy in my life. Or rather, the faith he has in me when I don’t have faith in myself.

Who said you couldn’t restore innocence?

This entry was written for the 100 Themes Challenge. For the full list, click here.

Desire vs want

I find desire to be a very powerful word. To me, it has more connotations, more strength, than just a want. A want is something you would like to have, but you can’t have right now, for whatever reason. And you’re aware of it, and you realise that it’s not necessary. It’s not something that will spur you to action. It’s just… there. And a want can be ignored. It can be tied up with necessity, but more often than not, it’s often something you’d just want to improve on.

A desire on the other hand, now this is something else entirely. There’s a certain sensuality in the way desire sounds, in the imagery it evokes. A need, perhaps, is to drink something to quench your thirst. Want is to have something cold to swallow, perhaps a cool isotonic drink. A desire, on the other hand, may be to have that drink served to you in a tall chilled wine glass rimmed in gold. With the fragrance of blueberries wafting up your nose as you sip.

And that’s just the imagery it evokes. Desire, in contrast to a want, is to me something active. When you desire something, you go out and make it happen. Or you get someone to help make it happen. It dresses up a want into something more. Makes it respectable. Take this exchange, for instance:

“I want that car in my garage,” said the Shah.

“Ah, now that, sire, is a very good choice. Perhaps… we could discuss the price privately?” the dealer replied, rubbing his hand in glee.

Compare it instead, to this.

“I desire that car,” said the Shah.

“It is yours, sire. If you would step this way, we could get the arrangements out of the way…?” the dealer could not abase himself fast enough.

A desire, I suppose if we go by the exchange above, also means that you would not be putting a price onto what you want. It’s an active component after all, not a passive one. Desire makes you go do things, because you feel you deserve it, that it’s something you should have after an ordeal. Want, on the other hand, is something you see by the wayside, as a by the by. It’s not a necessity, and perhaps never will be. Desire, on the hand, can and will be a necessity, even if it is just a dressed up want.

This entry is brought to you by an overdose of beautiful new tech gadgets I am convincing myself can wait for at least another 18 months before I even consider them, much less lust over.

Seriously, look at these beautiful phones!
Seriously, look at these beautiful Z3 Compact colours! Image from http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/

REVIEW: Lucy


Hosted by imgur.com, image from http://hdwallpape.com

Lucy was awesome.

Lucy is… seriously, quite really, awesome.

You need to know my biasness first. It’s Scarlett Johansson. I loved her as the Black Widow, I love her even more as Lucy. And I love how in Lucy, I felt very terrified for her character in the first 10 minutes than I did screaming for her in Avengers. So there.

Now back to Lucy. TL;DR summary? Lucy is a fairly innocent young woman who becomes the first human with the ability to use 100% of her cerebral capacity. What follows is a mix of anime cutscenes, Korean action sequences and the realisation that it’s a very European show.

TL;DRating? 8/10.

More under the cut! And some some spoilers ahead! Continue reading

[Prompt] Dragon Dances

Dancing Snake Lady from Manga Matrix
Dancing Snake Lady from the book, Manga Matrix

Needed some inspiration to kickstart the writing juices the other day, so got Nick and Des to give me random numbers. This is the first page, second one’s coming a bit later. Let’s see if this will be a story… Continue reading

What does a kiss taste like?

What does a kiss taste like?
Soft, gentle, undemanding
A chaste kiss
To say Hello.

What does a kiss taste like?
Hot, hard, fierce
Unrelenting desire
Passion unleashed.

What does a kiss taste like?
Hints, teases
A memory made
Changed forever.

What does a kiss taste like?
Skin on skin
A tug, a pull
An intoxicating emotion.

What does a kiss taste like?
Dominance, submission
A battle of desire
Passionate days.

What does a kiss taste like?
A beginning, an end
A greeting, a farewell
A journey.

~~~~~

Been meaning to write something simple for some time. And then today, that line just popped into my head. What is the meaning of a kiss? Is it in the lips? Is it in the body language? Is it, in the grossest sense of the word, the saliva transfer?

It’s probably all this and more.

A kiss.

Such an innocent thing. So much meaning. Much impact.

Ok I’ll stop with the doge thing. XD

It’s more intimate than a hug I feel. And more private though. But it’s a gentle reminder. Of being loved. Of being cared for. Of having an intimate bond.

A bond that might not break no matter what.

I like hugs. I love kisses.

I think it’s mainly because I don’t have that much opportunity to kiss. So the hugs help make up for it. No, I take it back.

I love hugs.

They’re awesome. And it’s more comforting than a kiss. A kiss, no matter how you look at it, is brief. It doesn’t happen for long. But a hug?

That lasts as long as you need it to. Three minutes. Four. Even an hour. Holding someone until they feel comforted. Until they feel someone else loves them the way they do.

I’m blessed to get both. Well, not the intimate kind of kisses now, but the others, yes.

I’m blessed to be loved.

More importantly, I’m blessed to be able to love. Even if it doesn’t seem like it to the receiver (sorry, I admit I’m somewhat a tsundere.)

Thank you, for loving me.

[750 Words] Or how I procrastinate

Dragon plugged into office comp
Dragon plugged into office comp

Writer’s note: a cut from today’s stream of consciousness writing. And in case you were wondering, yes I haven’t forgotten my list of things to write nor the 100 weeks challenge yet. XD Continue reading