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

Warrior

     The sound of gunshot crackled through the crisp cold morning air.  The bullet penetrated through the misty dewy darkness of twilight, escaping into the vast emptiness, beyond auditory threshold.  It signaled the fresh start of a long 21-kilometer run.  Tens of thousands wobbled at their feet, their toes still slightly cramped from the morning cold.

The senses orchestrated themselves to lots of things happening around.  The ears captured all that was there to hear: the endless chatter of the overly-excited crowd, the rapid pattering of thousands of feet, the resounding siren of the police, and yes, the gunshot.  The eyes looked ahead… and about.  They saw people in orange vests in front, beside, and behind.  All running on their feet, their faces twitched by the lack of oxygen.  The sweet, small mouth – it gasped for air. The lung expanded and contracted at normal pace in intervals.  The Chambers of Life pumped slightly faster than usual.  Little drops of sweat trickled down the tiny pores of the skin, dripping onto the ground.

There she was, a young woman not over 20, running on her two feet, not too fast, not too slow, a speckled dot among the entire lot.  It was her first half-marathon in her life, and she was determined to make it.  Not that it was impossible; she had exerted a bit more than an hour on the training grounds running ten kilometers.  She mentally repeated to herself that she just had to go slow and take it easy.

It was only 4AM.  In the blank state of her mind, the young woman felt extremely refreshed.  Nothing crossed her thoughts.  She was so relaxed.  There was no sign of pain as she swayed left and right (that was the way to run, right?) and her heels hit the ground.  It seemed so utterly effortless.

But no one knew.  No one knew what the dear child had gone through, that only seven years back, her very life had hung on a thread.  That thread was about to snap if it were not for her seven life savers, all crowded around her in the surgery room with their green overalls on.

It had come from the back.  This big vehicle, a lorry probably, was speeding down the empty road with hellish swiftness.  A young, fat Chinese man was behind the steering wheel.  He had a companion at the back, open-air end; was he Malay, Chinese, or Indian no one could remember.

The companion was sitting at the back, but he was not sitting still.  He was frantic – but, good Lord, why?  The two appeared to be rushing from someone, something.  In all the hullabaloo, the driver did not even notice the young girl walking in front of him.

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Photo credits to Faizan Khiyani. Make-up and wardrobe by Alicia Ai Leng.

    She was just right in front of him, you know.

In a matter of seconds, everything happened.  The lorry slammed the girl down.  Her right shoe slipped out of her foot and flew off, landing distances away.  The impact forced the young woman out of her gait too,  and she landed on the ground with a thud approximately a hundred meters away.

Nonetheless the lorry did not halt its brakes.  It just went on as if nothing had happened.  It would have sped off if not for the traffic lights – and her younger brother as well.

The small thin boy ran as fast as his skinny legs could carry.  He wanted to stop the driver, and he did.  Stupefied by the horror that had occurred right before her very eyes, the boy’s mother stood watching.  The little boy made the driver’s companion hoist his motionless sister into the vehicle.  He vehemently directed the driver to the nearest hospital.

That night was a night of desperation.  As the heart monitor gave out its timely beep, doctors worked on the body, half hoping, half dreading; the child’s mother sobbed uncontrollably in devastation, and her brother did his best to look calm, although signs of overwhelming distraught showed in his eyes.  Friends and neighbors came to console the mother, but it seemed hopeless.   Finally the main surgeon walked out of the OT. “She has only 25% chance of survival.”  That was the last thing anyone wanted to hear.

Her spleen was removed – at least a huge portion of it – and her lung too, for it was completely lacerated.  Her blood capacity was below 50%, and her ankle and rib cage were fractured.  She was now very pale and thin.  Her eyes were shut close as her spirit breathed on and on, considering whether it should hold itself together or simply give up.

In the dire circumstances, her spirit fought through a tough combat between Life and Death, between the real and the Void.  It battled to keep the girl alive, her dear heart beating and her lung breathing.  Her warring soul never stopped for weeks on end.

Yet just when everyone was almost losing hope on the beautiful child, her beautiful brown eyes flickered open.  There were a few more battles, battles that were not as tough as the one before, but were still battles.  First she lost her voice – and then it came back, slowly, gradually.  Then she had to learn to stand up; she fell hard onto the ground so many, many times the searing pain shot through her feeble spine and left her semi-paralyzed for a second.  Next she had to learn how to walk again.  On several occasions she fell headlong on her crutches as she hobbled through the corridors of the hospital.

Nonetheless, she conquered each and every fight.  She grabbed hold of the crutches – and no, she did not hobble along anymore.  Rather, she walked the crutches swiftly, as if she were carrying the crutches with her wherever she went.

Finally, she let it all go.  She left her crutches behind and started taking small steps.  Before she had even mastered the step, she went ahead and started running – or jogging, more like.  It was very hard at first, but Sabrina always believed in allowing herself time to grow.  She did not condone in pushing herself far too much.  And run she finally did.

Today, at the age of 25, the young woman has not stopped running, although not competitively.  She has completed 21 kilometers in two hours – her first half-marathon – and she swims 10 laps in her condominium pool regularly.  She is now a month short to her bachelor’s degree, and is working on her first start-up, Brainiac Laboratories.  She aims to do her Masters too, with a focus on clinical psychology, and finally develop another startup concentrating on personality development.

Life is about firing one’s passions up to the maximum.  There will always be the inner struggles and the external ones as well.  Nonetheless, these come together to put the pieces up and make up the being as a whole. You just decide one day to grab your life in your hands and steer your own way.  It is about harboring a Spartan spirit, where the strength of the soul overcomes every war it faces with honor,dignity, and perseverance.

Red Scarlet

 

Love Yourself

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Parachuting. That’s me. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng.)

Part of the things that spills excitement in life is trying new activities that spark and ignite vigor in the eager soul. Yes, I am in love with such stuff, be it music, dancing, traveling, extreme sports, hiking, fashion, educating, entrepreneurship, or just plain old writing. It is a part of me I will never let go. Not for you. Not for them. Not for my faith even.

It has been a long way up, and a hard one too. Glad I made it. Still, the journey is not over. It is my own right to do as I please; I am not even going to hurt anyone. So really, why bother. The only person you are ever going to be afraid of is yourself.

There is a lot of acculturation that I have undergone, seeping into a beautiful love with my own self. It is a lot better to work on one strengths than shift focus on other matters. My faith has educated me to love myself as a woman; it has taught me the boundaries of where and what not to touch. Really, I mean it. I consider myself way better than the average woman, or even the average man (so well, I am at most times snobbish and arrogant). Not to say I feel so great, because I have done some pretty cool stuff like getting into flings and things like that. But well. I have learnt many good lessons in life.

For one thing, while most people my age are happily making babies or just having sex, I take pride that I am 25 years old and still am a virgin. I would love to stay that way as long as possible too, hopefully till 40. Despite dancing like Kesha and making guys go gaga, but well they cannot touch me.

I settled more than MYR50,000 with my own hands, my own toil and sweat – and I was nearly raped a few years back when I first left my abusive home to live alone. I had a terrible accident when I was 13, and I lost parts of my body, ie. a lung and the spleen. I wanted to commit suicide (twice), and I was suffering from depression that got so bad I was going to go sick in the head – but I put an end to it by channeling my thoughts and laying out my vision.

I sound proud of myself, perhaps. To be honest, it really matters a lot for women to develop themselves wholly first before getting themselves hitched. To know themselves, inside and out, is to develop their strengths and proliferate their abilities. It could be anywhere, from school to work to recreation.

Women also have rights to do what they want. They are not baby-making machines or sex dolls. Permit them the time and space to grow and nurture themselves. I for one have my own rights too, and one of the rights is to be left alone. And Coach D*, if you happen to be reading this, I would like to thank your wife for teaching me how to respond to special requests.

Red Scarlet

PS.: Coach D is one of the megaspeakingcoaches from the JT Foxx team.

Prison Break: The Great Escape

 

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Sunset at Pattaya. (Photo credits to Alicia Ai Leng)

Believe me, I have so many, many things to tell you. I daresay I have not seen the whole wide world yet, but thank god for the opportunity to venture a little further out. It all started out with a – what, bang? Crash? Whatever you wish to call it, everything came like one huge wrecking ball smashing the not-so-cozy corner of my final year. Really, I mean everything.

 

Oh, what a way to put it.

There I was juggling my new business, my love life, final year, family, and an ever-clingy roommate who did not know her boundaries of what-not-to-touch. It was really exhausting to deal with so much at a time. I will never share rooms with anyone again. Everyday was like a battle raging to be won by either side, Light and Darkness. My mind was imprisoned behind bars for what felt like forever. I could not breathe with the lack of oxygen. I tried taking each issue after another slowly, but heck, as I have always mentioned, Time did not have his mercy on me. My beautiful heart was longing for someone to take me by the hand and dance with me through the song of life.

Until life happened. I watched it unfold as I dropped everything right there and then, and took an international flight to a place called Thailand.

Lots of things needed fixing,and somehow I knew there just had to be a way out. But I needed a break from the prison first.

The Great Escape.

Red Scarlet

Money

OK.  The page is ready, we have got some photos up, and we are doing whatever we can to get everything going.  I have some good news, too.  A few revisions have been made, and now the updated amount is RM27, 691.00.  That’s like half the amount I had previously posted.

Why?  Well, to tell the truth, some activities have been minimized and slashed out of the list.  We are looking at a smaller target to start with – one that is almost half the initial size.

There is still the music, the dancing, the howling and the shouting, and all the merriment.  There is still the lights to brighten up the night… why, there is still the muist after the fire vanishes from sight.

By the way, I am registering the company real soon, too. So excited!!  Go Brainiac!!

P.  S.:  Was Miley Cyrus standing barefoot on grass when she was performing a duet with whotheysaidhernamewas – Jeanette Jane or something?

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Trademark of the company that hosts the Electronic Dance Movement.