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.

Marry My Ghost

Footsteps pounded on the pebbled ground in the rain tonight, splashing water and drips of mud around as the boots advanced. The thick raincoat swayed hastily in all directions as if attempting to catch up with the speed.

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Work of art by Alicia Leng.

I stopped writing to look out from my window and noticed the dark shadow of a woman sliding past the wall of cold, lifeless stones caught my eye. Eager to find out who that was, I picked up courage and dashed downstairs, out of the door of my apartment. The footsteps were still ringing clearly at the other end of the alley. I followed the direction of the sound.

Quick. I had to be quick.

At the end of the alley, however, I could find no shady woman. No black raincoat. No heavy shoes.

There was a lamp-post standing at the wall. Its light was weak and flickering, as if agonizing over every last breath that it had left.

Something gleamed from a bundle of old cloth hanging from the wall. It was an old mirror, about eight feet in height.

Pulling the cloth down, I hurriedly wiped off the centuries-old dust with my bare hands. They were wet from the rain, so cleaning a little was fairly easy. But then – my heart stopped.

My very own reflection. She was looking hard into my eyes, trying to speak to me. Her pallid face was a beautifully molded plastic mask that shone in the dark, the only source of light. I instantly fell for her. It was madness!

Could she possibly be me? Her beauty was perplexing; but was it really her after all, sneaking up through the alley at this time of the night to catch my attention, only to lock herself in an old mirror? I was spellbound; I couldn’t think rationally.

She raised her right hand and touched the glass from the other side, as if to answer the thousands of thoughts that were speeding through my mind like a bullet train – and I raised mine. I did not know why I did but I just followed her. Her palm touched mine… and in the next instant, a mighty force tugged me hard into the mirror, away from the physical world and all its beauty where I used to belong.

THE END

Red Scarlet

Postscript: Some say that when you have loved yourself too much, you start falling in love with all your dark secrets and truth. When you have become so enchanted with your own inner world, everything else that is in existence no longer matters anymore. You pick up the pieces of the past and put them together. You speak to your heart. And you become one with your soul.

Out on the Verge

Sorry if I talk too much; I cannot help it. It’s what I do. You know what’s life? EDM is life. Yes, I am talking about Skrillex. I am talking about Diplo, Tiesto, whatever else.

It has been almost one month since I turned 25, and I am looking forward to many exciting – sometimes even shocking – revelations in the coming year. No, I am not going to shave all my glorious hair off and go completely hard-Punk. On a daily basis I am quite busy at the office, and apart from that I am working on a few other projects, i.e. the Spirit of Sparta and the Water Gate Series. Spirit of Sparta is going to be my first ebook on the Amazon, and just in case you have been wondering, it is an autobiography. The Water Gate Series on the other hand is a selection of children’s books for cognitive and English language training.

Not to forget, there’s also the Electronic Dance Music event geared towards happiness and the positive psychology experience. At present I am still open to investments and venture capital from any interested party.

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Out on the verge to something new. (Photo credits to Alicia Leng)

As you can see, I am running all around looking for solutions. Being critical requires looking from not just one idea, but several plausible answers. I am on the tipping point of madness having to sit and write, and at the same time improvise on plans and such. I am trying to make sure the ship I am manning stays afloat and sails through successfully. The end of the tunnel is a little more than halfway through, but I can see light at the other side. I am being bloody hopeful.

My dream is out on the verge of becoming a reality, and that’s what I am hard at work with.

Red Scarlet

 

 

Yin and Yang, Homeostasis, and the Great Escape

There’s a reason why I include a #PosPsy in most of my posts on Twitter and Facebook. It is something significant, very new, yet very powerful.

Earth. Fire. Water.

In ancient Chinese medical terminology, the yin and yang has traditionally been considered crucial to health. An imbalance creates a disturbance in the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to sickness. The concept stood extremely well through, that, till today, a lot of people are still counting on it to restore their health and heal themselves.

Scientifically, this refers to homeostasis, in which bodily systems must function in equilibrium to maintain a balance in the human immunology. Thus, a balanced exposure to earth (Nature), fire (the Sun), and water (rain, or swimming in the ocean, perhaps) creates a healthy mindset that is consistently firing positive motivation to keep your heads up in the name of life.

Positive psychology is not the law of attraction. It is a science unlike the latter, which has no research, no scientific backup, no validation. To think positively you have to decide to make the change in your life to start doing activities that are meaningful not only to you, but to everyone else. You have to be proactive and committed to using the right approach. In effect, it is doing more than thinking, acting more than praying and hoping for the best. It is a journey through a city called happiness, in which there are absolutely no shortcuts.

This is why I do what I do. I have returned from a trip to Langkawi Island not too long ago. Guess what – I paraglided! Of course I did not go in my white bikini. I do have a white bikini; see 👙. However, because I went all by myself (I was supposed to accompany my boyfriend somewhere in the morning, but I acted sleepy) I wore my favorite Batman t-shirt. The whole experience lasted for approximately 30 minutes, so I managed to return to the hotel before my boyfriend came home! 😁

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The Great Escape is essential. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng.)

Red Scarlet 

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)

Whispers in My Head

Shush. Stay silent, wherever you are. Listen to the sound of your heartbeat.

Do you not hear footsteps from afar?

Do you know if they are after you? Do you think you can make them disapprove? When the whispers are so soft, yet louder than your call? Do you feel you have what it takes to bring them to their senses ?

As the ink blots the paper, and the nib of the pen engraves the table in contemplation, the whispers say something I have always heard. The same, old, sad, sickening story. They tell me that I am too far to turn around, too far to leave, too old to strike another pot, too weak to lift myself, too this, too that. They tell me that I am too pale to look healthy, too ordinary to fit in, and too optimistic to make sense.

Well, I wish I could set the goddamn table into flames. I really do.

Because somewhere skipping in the back of my head, a little devil grins mischievously and asks, “Why not?” 😊

Red Scarlet

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Life

It bites. You scream in pain. It stings. You holler. It pinches. You yelp in agony. It scratches. You moan sympathetically. It locks you up in chains. You cry out. It snares at you. You whimper.

And then it licks you all around playfully. It overwhelmes you with love. It consumes you in its erotica, leaving you breathless. It shows you its gold and diamonds, endless treasure.

But just when you are trying to allow yourself to be fully submerged into its calmness, it rises up so high that it looms over your little head, and engulfs you, and drowns you into its nothingness.

When will this end? Is life really a trivial matter, and do we truly let ourselves to be played on in its little – and sometimes deadly – games? Probably the childlike soul is frolicking in its own deadly hide-and-seek, experimenting and testing the vulnerability of the body in which it is its abode.

The truth is, until you take charge, these so-called little games will never end.

And that’s just life for you.

Red Scarlet

 

 

Prayers

Sick.  A wee bit psychotic too, maybe. If, only if, the world keeps its silence and allow me to hear my own thoughts, I would be able to scavenge on the little bits of hope that wounds and scars will be completely healed. But will they? What if that does not happen?

Prayers are like wishes. You use them very wisely. When you are trapped, with nowhere to go, and no key to unlock the bars that cage you up, and you cry out loudly in the dark, hoping that someone hears your call – but who hears? That is the question.

The gods gave birth to me, their Athena, the Goddess of War. They breathed wisps of air into my body, before parting me to the Land of the Mortals with nothing but 10 wishes. I morphed through the darkness, with never a hint of what I looked like, wondering why on earth I was abandoned to such misery. Torching up the lands to eradicate the demons hungry for my flesh and soul, I gradually saw how life was shaping my destiny.

For many years, I clung to the belief that I belonged to celestial bodies in the Universe. Deep down, I felt I was estranged by my family thousands of light years away. Could they possibly see that I was in agony? Alone, with no one to talk to? Did they see how much pain I had to go through everyday? Could they even sense how I felt when I rammed my head against the wall out of frustration? Did they see the tears I cried every night and day, whenever I soaked my pillow wet? When would they even hear me?

Well.  They did.

Thus as my childhood reeled away with depression, I often pressed myself for answers. Sometimes I felt like I was slipping away into learned helplessness, and this turned my mood down extremely perfectly. I had that sad, sad face going on for days, maybe even weeks. I considered drinking up a bottle of dishwasher liquid. I dreamed of shadows following me every night when I hopped into my bed. I was duped into believing that that was the only way I was supposed to feel for eternity. Yet I also believed that I was here for a purpose I was still not aware of.

I often wondered how it was like to be dead, to be lifeless. I found myself questioning my own existence. There seemed no way out. So in the end, I decided to just live for the purpose that I was sent here for. Because if I really was the Goddess of War, then I was meant to win whatever battles I fought. Earth was only a testing ground for me to practice before I faced the actual war. Those 10 wishes were gifts from the gods to help me through. Even my real name was actually Marsinda Plueigens – or at least I believed. There was the green, the water, and the oceans for me to see as long as I lived. That was the beauty of life. But this life – this life was never meant forever.

Red Scarlet

Godsend

Today, August 6, 2016, marks the end of my undergraduate years as a psychology major. It has been six years of seemingly endless struggle and bittersweet happiness which did not just change when I decided to take my life in my own hands.

Way back in 1998, when I had first moved into the city, there were no tall buildings, the only shopping mall and hotel had just opened in the neighborhood, and there were no highways and express trains. Even the institute where I graduated from was really an abandoned block of concrete nobody bothered to work on until a decade later.

A good 18 years later, new constructions started sprouting up one by one.  The scene in this photograph is taken at the back of the campus after my very last day. It is an example of how as time progresses, things change – for better or for worse. In reality we pick things up along the years and discard those parts that are not as useful in our purpose. Humility is a lifelong process of learning and practice. Of course we must be grateful for the opportunity that we have been given. This is what shapes us into becoming successful individuals.

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It was really tough having to plan and manage my team for my company business Brainiac Laboratories while studying, working part-time, and writing together at the same time. I was really hard-pressed for results. I had to meet all kinds of people every single day. You know how god puts you to test something you abhor again and again – until one day you raise your hands in submission and begin to love it as much as you can. Is that good or bad? More than once my life seemed to be just hanging on a thin string of thread, waiting for a sharp pair of scissors to snap it cut. I have no clue why, but it just kept happening. The amount of tears I cried throughout all these years could have over-filled a pool. Things went down the drain several times; and I was so helpless all I could do was try to stop myself from crying. But I cried anyhow.

I had hated my life. I hated how everytime I had to register myself for subjects the following month, the management would pull out my accounts statement  to tell me that I had an outstanding of nearly RM20,000 to be paid before I could register for any classes. I hated how I had to write to them letters after letters attached with a new instalment plan of empty promises, and I hated how I had to face rejection with a solid face and unnerving gaze but a mind full of doubts. Last of all, I hated how my uncertainties seemed to be growing bigger very quickly.

I whirlpooled into depression for the second time as I sought for solutions. I watched as my friends – some of whom were even my batchmates – walked out happily out of unhiversity after their final semester. I saw how my friends started getting married one by one and having families of their own. This made me question myself a lot.

What set me apart from my peers was the fact that I had the ego of knowing that I was way better than them, so there was no point of getting along with them. That I had to spend a huge part of my day working at the bookstore, shopping mall, or what not, and then take a bus back to home to clean the house of mess (it was like that everyday, trust me) before I could actually sit and study. Right there and then I could run back to my house and give my mother a bear hug  and go lovey-dovey like any child would, but I did not. It has never been the way my family worked. My mother refused to pay for the education I was entitled to, and she was taking the money I earned from working part-time to buy other things for herself. The more I tried talking to her, the sharper the answers I received from her. I tried my best to listen and care for her but I never got anything out of it.  Every ounce of my energy was sapped away as I worked in and out and studied at the same time. If I ever failed to do as I was required, or I could not because I was really, really tired. I got hit by anything. My depression just worsened.

Like I had done many times, I asked myself a question: What am I doing all these for? It was quite a question because I pressed myself for the answers all day. I pushed myself forward to do what I could. I definitely did not want to go through the same things anymore. Yes, I was tired of being depressed; I was tired of destitution. I was sick of all the lies I was made to tell to cover my life from my “friends”. I was sick of the inner demons eating away at my soul, devouring up the life I was supposed to have.

The answer to my own question: I did what I did to save myself.

Red Scarlet

Scarlet Letter

 

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Big shout-out to my fans out there; thank you so much for being a part of my journey!!! Pictured here with my homie Jan Gregory Hamilton aka MC Noixe. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng.)

A few weeks before I started work on this post, I told an old friend of mine who was studying in Egypt at the time that I was going to develop an article that spoke about giving back. Oh, I’d love to walk back into the trance where I came from. Where there exists all sorts of music – hip hop, rap, R&B, soul, country, EDM, and dubstep. I can’t stop, and I won’t, because you see, this is my life. Music is the spirit of my soul; it is the catalyst for my heartbeat, which reveals itself in ecstatic dance.

If you pass me by and seem to be profoundly struck by something, it is my eyes. Or my butt. (Duh). Okay, let’s look up, not down. I am indeed fascinated with how to make the eyes look fascinating. My makeup is my makeup, and I guess that’s what sets me apart from other women. That’s the first few things you would notice when you see me. I am crazy obsessed about my eyes, for they are my assets with which I spot my target. It is how I transfer my Midas’ touch; so be extra careful with whatever you do when I walk by because that very thing you are doing could shoot you up into the skies, or it could land you down on the ground with a serious, spine-cracking thud if you catch my eyes!

Anyway, as a new chapter of my life is just about to unveil itself, I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone around me from the bygone era – club presidents, international speakers, life coaches, artists, dancers, psychologists, doctors, normal people, and everyone else for splashing wild, vibrant colors into my life. You are my Rorschach inkblot-the only difference is when I fold the paper in half, the shape, size, and paint does not match the other side. You are the music to my ears that cheered me on. You kept my mind in sanity when I sought questions of the inner darkness myself. Special thanks to my Mom, from whom I have learnt to be extremely strong-willed in certain matters and from whom sparked my love for extreme sports, my amazing blood brother Alexander (who happens to carry a completely different surname from mine and was himself a one-time sprinter and now is a great writer and graphic designer himself), and my cardiologist Dr David Khoo who is now medical director of the i-Heal Medical Center. Thank you also to my neurologist Dr Alex Ng, I think you were right about having to do the surgery to prevent the hemorrhage going up towards my brain. If not for that, I don’t think I would have the somewhat quick and wicked sense of humor that I have now. Thank you Dr Thambirajah for my foot as well; I catwalk a lot these days on my six-inch boots. As a matter of fact, I can’t believe I actually danced in them for the very first time in my buddy’s club last week. Oh boy. I would love to thank my family too, for turning up when I needed them most. Thank you to those of you who gave me ounces and ounces of blood anonymously, while I was laying there in my pallid skin sucking up on your hemoglobin like a vampiress. Thank you to my lecturers too, for the times we sat down together and shed tears and laughed. Thank you friends for listening to me when I was in serious trouble, and for helping me out. Thank you to my students for teaching me Arabic. Thank you Taylor Swift, for sharing your feelings through the songs you sing; you have been the reason for the teardrops on my guitar when we sing about bad blood and new romantics. I feel you babe. Thank you Jan Gregory Hamilton aka MC Noixe; we happen to share the same humble beginnings, which all began at the bookshop. It was great learning that we also share similar concepts about having fun and living the life – without drugs! Thank you to this journal of mine for being the platform for my catharsis as i reached out to connect to a larger audience. You are my role models and my inspiration. Each of you guys will forever have a special place in my heart. Without you, I am zero. Seriously, you guys rock.

I like talking about being on voyage in a cruise across the oceans. There have been quite a few times when I had to drop my anchor and tell my crew, “Hey, wait a minute. We’ll stop here and we’ll rest a bit until we figure things out.” There have been times I repeatedly told myself to be patient, because the answers get clearer and clearer as Time flies by (and no, Time is not going to leave me behind), to have the greatest faith and believe in myself and in God. When storms raged so harshly in the sky, you are the reason I pushed on. Thank you for keeping me afloat in this big ocean of life.

Now that I am dancing away, there sure still is lots to learn. Of course you can never go fishing if you do not know how to fish – and you have taught me how to fish. I have not learnt how to fish those enormous species yet, but one day soon, I will. I think everyone that comes into my life comes with something to teach me, even if they just happened to drop by for a quick hello. For instance, I do not like repeating myself. You either learn or stay out of it, or I’ll push you out. Whether it’s love, business, music, dance, or life.

I have met some pretty amazing people online and offline; some have been good friends, while others were just one-timers, telling rumors which are terrible and cruel, but most of them are so not true. Some of you guys are have gotten married, some of you are getting married next year (so fast! 😲), and some of you are still single, like me. I am really happy for all of you, and really I think it is time for me to shut up now because I have to conduct a few experiments tomorrow morning, so I need to get back to business. Or maybe I should shut down. 😁

Much love, though. I will be back. 💋💋💋

P.S.: Keep cruising! Time sure is passing really fast, but when stars collide by chance, we’ll figure something!!!

Red Scarlet