PROMISE.

I remember how we’ve promised,

To meet at the campus lest a war breaks out,

Well, now the war isn’t here and the place still persists,

I’m still under the trees but where on earth are you?

Rest.

Darling, I thought you were ready,

That your heart’s been healed at best,

So I loaned you the key,

To my empty cracked chest,

For a while, you took good care of it,

Filling it with souvenirs you’d brought from your life,

And for a while, I too was contented,

For how could I not be when your smile was that bright?

But, you have to understand when I decided to close the chest,

Was when I found you still snuggle close to her old sweater,

While wonders filled the space in my case,

You were having a hard time cleaning the haunting scent of hers,

So, darling, for now I think we both deserve a rest,

You, from the haunting scent and I, from the newly-filled space,

But, don’t forget when you’re done cleaning the pest,

Come by knocking for you still hold a key to my broken chest.

Politik.

They say politiking is the way of life,

That you have to hold your tongue to strive,

That although you might call people your friends,

You shouldn’t say everything on your mind just because you can,

But he, he thought differently,

For what’s the use of a listener if he can’t listen to all your pleas?

And what more can a friend do than to listen freely?

Tourist

Darling, I saw you weeping the other day,

You said it was ‘cos of this boy who only wanted to play,

He’d tasted you twice and decided to leave you at bay,

But heed me, child, this is actually okay,

For no matter how good a place may be,

Some will find it boring and ultimately flee,

Listen to me, child, and listen closely,

Just be yourself and show it to the world bravely,

While some will turn their nose and walk away,

There are bound to be someone who will stay at the end of the day.

Born Perfect?

Lady’s Gaga hit song “Born This Way” has surely won the hearts of many struggling audiences in coming to terms with themselves, but should we really trust it entirely?

There has always been this question floating around when you contemplate about yourself, your strengths and your flaws. The question is “should I be who I am born to be? Or should I strive to be better?

If you decide to go on the first path, self-development is a no-no for you. You would only do what you think is best and you will have to accept whatever flaws you have. If you were born biased, then you will have to be biased for the rest of your life, and be proud of it – a proud bias (how cringe-worthy).

Conversely, if you decide to stick to the second path, you’re all about self-development. If your guts told you to pick that cute grey shirt out from the store, you have ten more voices telling you that you shouldn’t because your sense of fashion is not that good and that it needs improvement. Better listen to your friend who has a higher sense of fashion and improve yourself first.

I have only picked out the worst of those two cases to showcase just how bad it can be sticking to only one end of the spectrum.

My take on this is that there are two types of “stuff” that makes you who you are, namely your preference and your character.

Your preference is what you prefer. It’s your own style, and it’s unique. Your preference includes your favorite color, your favorite book/movie genre, your favorite hairstyle, your favorite types of clothes, your favorite hobbies. It’s your own taste. When it comes to preference, just follow your guts. I mean… loving the color orange is not better than loving the color grey. They are just different. That’s all. You were born to have those preferences, so be proud of them. Though don’t go around telling people which to choose because they also have their own rights to preferences.

Now secondly, your character is your habits, your personality, your traits, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses. These are what you should keep a look out for improvements. You were not born to be lazy, unproductive, chronically late, dishonest, or cowardice. You learn those traits and that means you can unlearn them. Your characters need refinement all the time, whether it be learning from somebody else, from a movie, from a book, or from self-reflection. By all means, change and improve them. Do not ever use “I was born this way” as an excuse for a flawed character.

So the conclusion is that you shall be proud of the preferences you were born with, and at the same time strive to be a better person with more refined characters.

Existential Crisis: Yay or Nay? (Spoiler: It’s a Yay!)

fog-3
How i feel like being in an episode of existential crisis

Most people have in one point of their life, gone through a moment of self-reevaluation, and might reach a conclusion that life is meaningless and/or valueless. This period of reckoning that life is meaningless is called “existential crisis”. Well, the term is sort of self-explanatory. You have a crisis concerning your whole existence! When you are in one, it feels like fog is drawing around you, to quote my best friend, Poj. To be in an existential crisis makes you feel like life is emotionally distant, like you and life is divided by a thick fog. Such a crisis comes from several major causes including:

  • Depressive disorder
  • Major psychological drama
  • The sense of being alone or isolated
  • Or even when you are searching for the very meaning of your life (just to name a few)

Some people might suffer this due to some shocking shattering of their world view by a major dramatic event, while some others sort of suffer this crisis re-occuringly; the later type of people are mostly intelligent people who occupy their minds with problems beyond their everyday life crisis.

Now, many people find their “time-out” during the existential crisis depressing, constricting, or just plain uncomfortable. For me though, I find my life pretty comfortable, enjoyable even during a time of existential crisis because when you are busy contemplating the very meaning of your existence, or the validity that you are alive, everything else tends to pale in comparison, which means you do not give a flying fuck on things that are not important to you anymore. Oh, the new iPhone is out? Who gives a shit! You just bought a car that is worth all of your life savings? Meh. Oh, The Voice Cambodia is a controversial show in the moment? Well, I must be emotionally constipated, because I can’t seem to find a fuck to give. Excuse the language but to be honest, I just don’t care. Now, you might think being a careless asshole is not very tempting, and that’s true. But just because you don’t care about most of the mainstream things that are happening around you doesn’t make you an asshole. You can still care about the anything that you want; and by all means, do it. For instance, I would immerse myself in physics and space, astronomy learning when I’m fogged with this existential crisis. Everything else that is not supposed to matter actually doesn’t anymore. This makes life less complicated; you save more time and energy to do the things that you love, even if that means merely hanging out with your friends.

One down point of being in the fog for me is that I tend to become very emotionally distant from my friends. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them lots, but I just can’t seem to bring myself out of the fog and actually feel their presence when we are hanging out. This makes me look like I am not enjoying their company; and I just fear that they would be mad at me for doing so.

Now for all of you that find the fog very uncomfortable to be in, I suggest you to find something that can make you feel present. For me, it is drawing during which I have to concentrate all of my emotional, mental, and physical efforts in order to produce a sketch. My friend, Poj, who coined the metaphor “fog” as an existential crisis finds math comforting and that it can bring her back to reality. Therefore, if you want to be out of the fog, do something that needs concentration, math puzzles, sketching, playing musical instruments, biking, hiking, whatever suits you.

Well… it actually took all of the fuck I have in these past couples of days to cook up this article. Enjoy the hell out of it!

Thunder and Lightning

Today, my friends and I got the last tickets for an ancient dance entitled “Thunder and Lightning” by the Sophiline Arts Ensemble. Basically, it depicts the myth of “Ream Eyso & Moni Mekhala”. Needless to say I fell in love with the graceful movements of the dancers. Each and every one of them moved so fluidly as a result of long hours of rehearsing I assume. This begs the question, just why haven’t I learned to appreciate Khmer ancient dances? Growing up, like most kids, (the fact that almost half of the audience today were foreigners supported this point), Khmer ancient dances are just a far-fetched fantasy land of some sort. It was never “there”, so to speak. I have never been to a dance before. I think it’s because of the lack of exposure. Anything worth-while can be loved by all if it is exposed to the public enough (that is the basis of marketing). Take the case of Sean Seavmey for example. The main reason for the lack of exposure, I suspect, is the lack of funding. This brings me back to the time when art is promoted and properly funded with prestige by the late king Norodom Sihanoulk. Artists were rich, famous, loved, and most importantly, given pride. I mean, for god’s sake, the late king himself has starred in as well as directed several movies. However, now, artists have to make-do all by themselves. They have to seek fund, promote, and perform all by themselves. I mean… can you imagine how hard it is in a country where art is not widely appreciated and generally regarded as a waste of money and time? At the end of the show, I figured that if the leaders ain’t gonna support them, only the fans remain. For me (and a whole lot of others out there), art is what gives meaning to life. I do not want this art to be lost which will deprive the future generations from being inspired. So to Cambodian youths, I urge you, stop wasting your time and money on Chattime or Koi and actually go support Khmer arts. If you keep an open mind while observing any art, you will find meanings that you would not have found anywhere else otherwise, I can assure you.
Mrs. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro said there would be another ancient dance four months from now. Set your eyes out for those fliers and get your money ready.