Learning to Say No to the Naked Girl in the House

Let me tell you a story.

At the time when I was completing my undergraduate studies, during my last two semesters, I was up round the clock doing my part-time job and drafting up plans and brainstorming ideas with my team to lay the foundations of my business.  I also had to work on my senior project – which was, much to my pride, apparently the first actual human experiment to be conducted on-campus.

At that time, one of my juniors who was a foreign student would always hang out in my room because her rented room was too far from university. Sometimes she would bring another friend along with her baby. Most times she would turn the music on loud and walk around the house naked. Yes.

I also had another friend from a different faculty who would come every evening to ask me to help her with her assignments because her English sucked real bad. By real bad, I mean real, real bad. She did not understand what her lectures were about. She could not comprehend her assignments. She could not even remember what I taught her. I ended up going with her for days to the library just to help her with her assignments.

Okay, I was being quite helpful. Never did I express my tiredness or lack of time for my senior project. But as days caught on, I realized I was putting off a lot of my own assignments and postponing several deadlines – deadlines I set for myself. I began feeling as if I lost my value and energy. My hard work seemed to be running down the drain dealing with all the drama in the house.

Due to all the stress, I lost the job that had been feeding me for the past three years. I told my girlfriends no, I am sorry, but I cannot possibly help you anymore. But did they understand what I was telling them?

Well, I moved in with the one from the other faculty because she was willing to help me with the accommodation. But what I did not realize was that she did not even know how to send an email or write to her husband in English? I always wondered why the heck she could not write to him in their own native language? I also noticed that although I told her that I was quite busy with an exam the next day, she still asked me to help her with her presentations!

Oh, I hope you do not get into the same problem as I did. What did I do to solve the problem then? I scolded them vehemently. I also unfriended them. On top of that, I got up very early every morning at approximately 6AM, did my prayers, and then walked 500 meters to school. Every morning before the sun rose itself.  I tried studying in the library… until my friend who couldn’t understand English turned up again out of nowhere to ask me to assist her! One day she even brought another friend who was having issues with her own project.

God bless my heart and my soul. Why was getting away from my girlfriends so important? I had definitely sworn myself out of lesbianism, to be sure. So why did I have to give them a hearty scolding every time and run away as if I were the thief?

Because it is very crucial for my subjective well-being. I needed a lot of time to think about more important matters, like my fees – I was graduating soon anyway.

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Here I am talking to you on my video. And please, when you say no, please mean it. Don’t you dare laugh after saying it because there is nothing funny about the “No”. And no, I am not naked. (Photo credits to Alicia Leng)

Alone time. Hard, death-like situations are opportunities for growth, and to grow, you need to think. You need to rearrange your thoughts and give yourself a little peace of mind as you navigate yourself well. Even if you are not in a dead-end situation, you need some precious time for yourself. For growth. For self-care. That moves us to the next section.

Self-care. You only have all the time in the world to attend to every matter around you. Give yourself a little gift of time. Sip slowly over a hot cup of green tea, read your favorite detective novel, or simply do nothing for awhile. This leads to the next point.

Well-being. A holistic approach to self-care looks at not only proper functioning of the body, but also the well-being of the mind. We got a brain to think, not just for ourselves but also for others. This mass of grey matter, with all its fancy nucleus accumbens, mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways, and the stuff in your hippocampus (pardon my language) that puts you to making the right judgements – resembles other muscular tissues in the body, and requires consistent exercise to keep running. And as far as we help others do their thinking, we have to give ourselves a break to redirect our focus too.

Exercise. As mentioned earlier, self-care in the positive psychological perspective involves working out on a timely basis to keep physically and mentally fit. Join a dance class to get the entire body moving freely.

Opportunities for Self-development. Time is of essence, and the time in which we invest our time is very important. When you are already tied down with a long list of things to do,  it’s okay to say no. Just say it. Don’t even feel obligated. You need time to fine-tune your strengths, because stars don’t grow overnight. They always emerge from the core of mysterious nebulae and take millennia to mature. In the same way, great ideas always form from muddled-up minds of a plethora of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom altogether. You just need to reorganize your thoughts so you don’t leave them hanging. When you mix the ingredients for a cake in a bowl, and then put the whole thing in the microwave, you’ll get a cake in the end. Of course however well it’s done requires all the love, care, and patience it needs too. So you need to be very clear to anyone who is begging for your attention while you are trying to make an amazing cake, to be able to concentrate on making such a nice cake.

Of course in reality the cake is you, and I bet you are sweet too. What about those girls who came into the picture from the start of the story – did they stop asking me the same goddamn question? No, they didn’t.

Poor girl.

Red Scarlet

PS.: No one could find any photographs of the naked girl, so pardon me.

Parachuting, Skydiving, and A Little White Bikini

So, it seems like I am turning 15 (oops) in a few days. I have applied for a three-day leave to go to an island outside of town. I’m so super excited!!!

I cannot wait to jump into the beautiful blue ocean in my white bikini (pardon me). I will dive in as deep down as I can go. Oh my god…. The bitch [sic]! Well, it’s going to be really fun to be out in the sun getting the vitamins. I envision myself laying on the sand sipping on orange juice, I suppose, sunglasses on over my eyes. I’ll just do that, I guess, while drowning my heartbeat into the sound of the waves washing the shore repeatedly. Or probably I’ll dance on the beach, with my radio playing Closer by The Chainsmokers and a bright yellow beach ball on my hands. Oh my.

There’s an endless list of things that I want to do on the beach and in the sea. But wait! One more thing… skydiving packages are available, and so are parachuting packages. Which one should I go for?? Oh my gosh, if I do sky dive, it’s going to be my first time yet. And if I parachute, it’s going to be my second! So what if I parachute???

I don’t know whether I will be in my white bikini still, but we’ll see. 😊

J’taime adore,

Red Scarlet

PS: Y’all know I’m underaged, and that’s a lie.

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I’m underaged; y’all know it. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Getting Lost

Pack your bikini.  Throw in your hammock.  Take along some food, maybe.  And, oh, do not forget your sunglasses.

Go alone.  Switch your mobile phone off.  Disconnect yourself from the world.  Throw it away; forget yesterday.  Lose yourself.  Challenge your limits;  go the extra mile.  Push yourself a little further than usual.  Gain the courage to embrace the unknown.

And there is no need to be afraid.  Where you find water, jump in.  Where you find the ocean, plunge in.  Get wet.  Inhale and exhale whole-heartedly as you allow the tiny rippling droplets of sea hydrate the  pores of your skin.  Where you find the forests,  run through and get yourself lost in the trees. Capture the magic that you find in the air.  Look for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that comes in between the rain and breaking sunlight.  Sketch imaginary dreams in the blue sky.  Close your eyes.  Live in the present, in the moment.

Pay attention to the inner dialogue, that little voice speaking inside your heart.  Be one with your mind and soul.  Be it rain or shine, let the weather wash away your anxieties.  Let the gushing sound of streams in the waterfall filter out your emotions.

One of my Getting Lost excursions. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

One of my Getting Lost excursions. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Drive somewhere you have never set foot before.  Head out to the beach in the morning; slowly tread along the shores in your bare feet, and feel the waves brush gently between your toes.  Head to the hills in the evening and find a little spot where you can get a good view of the sunset.  Turn the light breeze into music as it orchestrates over your ears.

Grab hold of Mother Nature, and never let go.  Permit yourself the luxury of freedom.  It is best to travel without planning the day.  Let life happen as it should.

Life gets in way with what we are occasionally; it has us chasing after several things that we wish could be ours – but are not, unfortunately.  Normally we forget who we are in the process; we imprison ourselves in our own rigmaroles and deny ourselves the meaning of life.  Like auto-generated assembly lines we operate tediously from dusk to dawn.  Every single interaction with another human being becomes programmed by rules and instructions set by society.  We arrive home flustered, exhausted, and frustrated.

The solution?  Get yourself lost.

My Getting Lost excursions are kind of memorable.  The last time I got lost, I hiked up a hill filled with waterfalls.  The trail was steep and slippery, but I managed to climb all the way up.  I had fun on my own in the gushing currents. On the way down, I met a furry little kitten who was fending itself from nasty babboons.  What did I do?  Well, I picked him up and carried him down to the foot of the hill, chasing those monkeys away in the process.  I even had lunch with him; I watched as he munched at the burger I bought him.  That was just one of my excursions.

What about yours – why not go somewhere new, away from the world today?  Find your Narnia; it could even be simply at your backyard.

Red Scarlet

Turn Down For What?!

You there!  Yes, you!

Please excuse me…. Umm-YOLO!

This is how I express myself.  (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Breaking free!  This is how I express myself. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Okay, okay.  Really sorry for the abbreviation, because I rarely use them in my writing (it is just not my  etiquette), but guess what: You only live once.  Romance.  Risks.  Life and death situations.  Fight-or-flight.  Or the other way round.  Shame.  Attitude.  Opportunities.  Courage.  Determination.  It is worth the risk.  So take it, god damn it.

This is just a simple little life project of mine, some scheduled before I get married, some scheduled before I think I want to die. I am an expressionist when it comes to art and things like these; I believe in self-expression. I am always wanting to go beyond what I think I can do and do as much as I can, with the time I have in hand.  I am always on the lookout for opportunities, spreading out my dendrites bare naked to really savor the sweet fruits of work.

Life happens, of course, and there is going to be a teeny-weeny little switch in the way things are every now and then.  You just got to adapt.

Just like me and my best friend, partner in crime for life, and love.  He said time will tell, and as time ticked by the minutes, he awakened my soul.  His existence brought a whole new level of experience to me, incorporating more actions and deep thoughts about sharing beautiful times.  Making me think seriously, how do I want to do what I want to do tomorrow?  With whom?

Below is my list:

I want to express myself through music, writing, the eclectic arts, and the sciences.

I want to dance in the rain.

I want to fly with or without wings.

I want to bungee-jump off the mountains in New Zealand.

I want to travel around the world.

I want to explore the earth like a wanderlust.

I want to sky-dive.

I want to climb the highest mountain in the Himalayas.

I want to dive around beautiful Grecian islands in the Mediterranean.

If there is an expedition to Pluto, I want to go too.

What he calls the Rock-Star Personality, because I am always, always wanting to do anything and everything right away.  But he wants me to sit and wait for the moment to happen, because he really, really wants to come along with me.  And I want him to come along with me, too.  I feel kind of sad when we do not do something together.  It is just the way I feel.  Some parts of life can be so hard, but the thing is we will survive.  These are beautiful times.

The only drawback is the fact that right now I am kind of confined to my studies, but only for a little while.  I hope everyone will be a little patient and hold on, because my journey has not ended yet.  From a positive perspective, I sense a lot of excitement in the air.  The vibes are vibrating vigorously between the particles; a whole aura of happiness is beaming between the neutrons and protons, the charges canceling each other out because of the equilibrium, thus making the charge positive.  Sometimes it is too positive I cannot hide… but wait!  I got stuff to do which will be done soon enough, so please, please, please be patient with me, and be good.

At times when it rains so bad the roofs start shaking, I want to go out and dance in the rain.  I want to get wet, so wet that I am drained.  I want to jump off the cliff even, and fall so freely there is nothing to do except living in the moment.  I want to shake, and shake, and shake it all.  I want to break free, and experience life right now, right as it is.  The Blitzkreig, with its natural warring attitude-that I want to fight along also.  And I do not care,  because these make me feel so fulfilled.

You should join me too.  Come on.  Fasten your seat belts.  Ready.  Jump! Beeil Dich. Yallah.

Love,

Red Scarlet

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Turn Down For What?! by Alicia Ai Leng is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://theladyintheredscarfmindtalks.wordpress.com/.

Trauma: The Coping Mechanism

The time I am writing this is already past 3AM in the morning.  I am just done with the first round of analysis over some creative work by a particular trauma victim.  His writing was exceptionally good – therapeutic for him in a sense – that set me in deep wonderment.  Though it did not eventually unclasp the locks to his initial dread, it helped him approach death with a much more positive perspective.  Surreal as it sounded, probably to more “normal”people like you and me, it was a hopeless situation he was dealing with.  One that had only one end, and a horrific one too.

Where the sweet mouth could not move, and the beautiful lips refused to speak, but the Chambers of Life keeps pounding, and pounding, and pounding, beating loud and clear to dear life, attempting to suppress the drowning emotions away, but at the very same time wanting to cry out.  Or wail, even.  Oh, who would hear? More importantly, who would help?  Often the searing pain of even re-enacting the ordeal in the silent, yet tragic mind results in the victim pulling a mask over his face, only to hide the scars that so embolden him.  Time over time the mask grows so thick it necessitates a trustworthy companion to walk carefully down the dwindling stairs of terror right into the dungeon, allowing for the past to surface, little by little.

In the case of unjust death, all the victim could possibly do is sit and wait for the minutes to tick by, slowly, dreadfully, wasting and rotting away into disintegration.  It is quite an unfortunate thing to realize, but sometimes the laws and politics interfere with the people, and that becomes an absolutely dangerous thing.  The truth is that all of us are looking for a purpose in life; some have found it, while others are still searching for it.  What is you were looking for your own treasure box of purpose, when out of the blue, someone comes up to you and tells you that you are going to die tomorrow?  How would you feel?  Or worse still, what if the ground cracks and opens up, consuming all that was once rightfully yours in less than an hour?

With the blink of an eye, one’s locus of control is shattered into a thousand pieces; every sound, every moment is scrutinized in the senses.  Everything seems to get out of hand right at the point of time.  Social connections are lost, food is gone, the gory scenes of dead people are everywhere – even the air pukes of death.  Images of the self in the same state of destruction, with blood streaming from his wounded torso, form in the mind.

But we keep going, do we not?  And that is the beauty of it.

Red Scarlet

PS.:  It is about time we get serious.

If You Looked at Love Hard Enough

Could you name me a certain film that does not have any love theme?  Kind of hard, isn’t it?

Films and music videos and dramas – stage art, as a matter of fact – really have a sort of influence over the complex ideologies of love.  It just crossed my choo-choo train of thoughts these very words from a song of a 90’s band The Corrs that goes along the lines of: “I will run away, I will run away with you.”

Oh, how sweet that would be.  But it is a little too idealistic, is it not?  Because love, no matter how gentle or how vulgar – love sells.

I told a playwright friend I will turn up with a post on the very same subject, with the very same title, If You Look At Love Hard Enough by Mat Atahari.  And in the state of meshiness (pardon the pun) my mind is caught up in, I shall write this little prose, regardless of what you presume. Hopefully it will give a little insight into my understanding of the subject matter at hand.

(Photograph courtesy of Alicia Ai Leng)

Is love for real, or is it void? (Photograph courtesy                          of Alicia Ai Leng)

If you looked at love hard enough

You will find a way

Even when the going gets tough

If you looked at love hard enough

You will cherish each day

Oh, and never once let out a gruff

If you looked at love hard enough

You will do what you can

Forgive me, and look pass

If you looked at love hard enough

All the pain sheds away

Grace befalls everyday

Leave the trivial stuff 

Oh, yeah.  Period.

On Being a Little Selfish

They fight.  Argue.  Yell.  Scream at you, even.  On another note, they clamor for your attention because you are prone to letting them have something they know they cannot get elsewhere.  At least they know you are kind enough to give them what they want.  (Wink-wink, ha-ha).  Period.

Photo Credits to Alicia Ai Leng

Photo Credits to Alicia Ai Leng

On a regular basis, however, there is nothing wiser than simply putting a stop, albeit temporary, to every single source of distraction and leave oneself to the luxury of being alone.  Forget the rest of the world, everyone else included; and enjoy the air breath by breath.  Keep away from human contact – if possible, go on a trip to some place and spend a little time in indulging in the self.

One of my favorite activities these days involve taking my hat down and tipping off at strangers I bump into British-style.  I love how I am given the opportunity to act like a m************ tourist.  Which I actually am.  JS.  It is kind of fun pretending to not know the local language and watch them struggle in my mother tongue.  Ok, I admit I am being a little too evil.

Forget the world for awhile would not hurt.  (Photo Credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Forgetting the world for awhile would not hurt. (Photo Credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Well, this is just a part of life where you discover and rediscover yourself, constantly.

Expend on a journey to get to know yourself better.  For the world must keep itself silent for a moment so you are able to examine your own thoughts. Plan out your life at your own will.

Get crazy.  Get wild.  Get started.

Red Scarlet

PS.: Do not forget the quid.

Laughter

Maybe I am a little insane.  This I confess.

I just got back to my burrow after a good jog at the nearby track.  It was slightly longer than usual; and here I am referring to the distance covered.

I increased the number of sit-ups and push-ups too.  As I headed out to the nearest 24-hour store, I started feeling a recurring pain in the cardiac muscle.  Oh no, I thought.  Not again.

The first incident came about more than a year ago.  It lasted for just a few minutes – but it hurt enough to claim storage in my mind’s capacity.  Enough to teach me plenty of values.  Of life.  Of the self.  Of the people around me – especially those I care for.

I drink at times, but I have never placed a lit cigarette in my mouth.  I am quite proud of the fact that, each time I hit the community pool, I complete ten full laps back and forth.  Non-stop.

What I have absorbed in my mind has taught me so much about life’s worth.  I have, as of date, already discovered the cause, and in the process revealed the conclusions altogether.  It is not that I wish to vye for fame.  I have simply accepted the dry facts.  Now I just intend to… prolong my lifespan a little bit, perhaps?

My quickest, and also easiest solution, of course, is laughing.  Laughter, after all, is the simplest and most unconventional method of healing.  Among all other forms available, laughing is such a natural remedy, especially for the pain in the heart.  I laugh at anything and everything, so much so friends and colleagues gave me a cute pet-name (that I shall not reveal!).

Yet I see this as a positive activity.  An array of happiness oxytoxins jetspray themselves into the bloodstream from the glands, every time that occurs.  They squirt out and rush off to the cheeks, giving them a soft, rosy glow.  It catalyzes the heartbeat by just a wink, and here even a wink helps.

There is, I presume, of no use, because the Chambers of Life beat so diligently… but no one hears.  And so, I churn out my music on the paper.

Laugh for all of heaven's sake. (Photo Credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Laugh for all of heaven’s sake. (Photo Credits to                            Alicia Ai Leng)

Spill it out.  It is now very close to 3AM, and I have a class at 8.30AM later.  Let’s just laugh.

Red Scarlet

Fly With Me

I may not be exactly so much – no, not in adequate proportions – but yet I consider myself an extremely artistic person.  I like to imagine my little notebook as my guitar where I play my notes on.

Call me crazy… maybe.

There is nothing wrong in that.

What goes on in my mind you do not know.  And say what you wish, I do not mind even.  I do not even know what matters are playing in your head.  Really.  Our perceptions are not all similar.

Uh-huh.

I assume I must have gotten so drunk over my music, for it depicts the buried treasures of feelings beneath the sweetly adorned grave, however deep down they may be from the surface, washed off in the rain and thunderstorm and covered by the dampened, soiled earth.  Events that go by do not oftentimes (I do not know why, but I dread this word – oh, yeah, that is out of topic so I shall bring it up later) make sense.

Nonetheless, there exists a factor in the human nature… a component known as resilience, that makes us stand so far apart from one another.  The factor that puts us up on our two feet constantly, always chasing our dreams, big and little.  That sets us running forward, never to be pulled back, climbing ountains so high and diving into seas so deep.  That seemingly brings us so close to our pinnacle  by only an inch, only to have it snatched away by another Dream-Chaser.  Which we drown ourselves into, only to watch it melt slowly away in all the heated commotion.

But we just go on our journey in a more lighted path.  We can’t stop.  Because we won’t stop.

I am like… yes!

Come.  Fly with me.

Confidence is one big part that keeps us going.

Confidence is one big part of us that keeps us going.  (The Author when her hair was still untreated.  Photo credits to photographer Ekamil Razali.)

Red Scarlet