Monday, 28 October 2019

I'm in San Francisco, baby!

We strolled along Golden Gate Bridge – yes, the one that you see on postcards. The three of us girls who marched along the coast of East Coast Park six years ago for our Passing Out Parade from Basic Military Training. This time round, we walked for a total of 17 kilometres – not quite the 24 kilometre route march that we did six years ago with 15 kilograms on our backs but it sure felt almost as tiring.

We started off with a hike along Land’s End, which was absolutely awe-inspiring – just imagine the waves crashing against the shores with the Bridge standing firm against the currents in a distance, as vessels of all sizes came and go. After the hike, we took a break at one of the highly recommended Seafood restaurants along Fisherman’s Wharf and pampered ourselves with succulent scallops and fresh shellfish. The impressive display by the Blue Angels right after lunch was a bonus – a blessing (as it was not planned for) in fact. After that, we took a ferry to Sausalito, a picturesque island North of San Francisco, and decided to embark on a long, long walk back to San Francisco.

7pm. We were walking along the Bridge with our legs completely sore from the day’s hike, the wind brushing across our hair in all directions, sending shivers down our spines. The bridge didn’t seem so long from afar but now that we were walking across it, it seemed to be never-ending. I dragged my feet, one step at a time, wrapping myself tightly with my fleece jacket to keep myself warm. It was when we were about halfway through the Bridge that the sun started to set on San Francisco. I looked to the East and saw the lights come to live all along the coast. It was beautiful.

In that moment, I forgot all about the fatigue in my legs. I forgot about the piercing cold and exclaimed, ‘I’m in San Francisco, baby!’ There and then, it dawned upon me that in spite of how difficult the past year has been, and that no matter how hard life gets, it is still worth the living as there is still so much of the world that is left to see and explore.

It is in moments like these that I’m glad I’m still alive, glad that I slogged my way through the dreadful moments in life to be right where I’m supposed to be.

Till my next adventure!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Of depression, loneliness and death

‘Funny when you're dead how people start listening.’
-       The Band Perry

She was born in 1994. The same year that I was born. I don’t know much about her, apart from the fact that she was part of a K-pop girl group that I used to follow, that she had the beauty of an angel and that she struggled with depression (like many of her fellow colleagues in the same industry) before finally giving in – no – having the courage to put an end to it.

Her name was Sulli. Sul for snow and Li for flower. I don’t know when she fell into depression but perhaps it was when she started receiving waves of criticisms for dating a significantly older man – a complete no-go in the K-pop industry, considering that dating itself was equivalent to sabotaging your own career. Or perhaps it was when people who knew her about as little as I did started leaving nasty comments on her Instagram page about how attention-seeking she was. She probably tried to take those comments with a pinch of salt initially; tried to be who they wanted her to be. But she soon realised that she was not being true to herself.

She was found dead on 14 October 2019 in her apartment. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed but everyone knows it was suicide.

Nobody speaks up about issues of depression, loneliness and death but I’m sure that in some way or another, we all can empathise with Sulli – some more than the others. We work hard to earn our keep; we eat, drink and be merry, but we are all so damn lonely on the inside. We constantly feel that no one understands us but the fact is that everyone has to carry their own bags of shit. A part of us wants to be true to ourselves, wants to do whatever the hell we want without being judged, but society is so messed up that we have to either deny that ‘too loud’, ‘too shy’, ‘too confident’, ‘too insecure’, ‘too uptight’ or ‘too free-spirited’ parts of ourselves, or live with constant judgement. But you know what?

Society is not just a noun or a matter-of-fact that has nothing to do with us. Society constitutes each and every individual one of us; and it has a heart, whether warm or cold. So why don’t, why don’t we for once stop putting up our fences and judging each other according to standards that none of us can uphold? Why don’t we stop isolating ourselves and breeding loneliness with our superficial conversations? Why don’t we stop contributing to the brutal murder of one another?

I hope that poor girl is finally out of her misery, and somehow – just somehow – know that we are all sorry.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

The paradox of life

You mean the world to someone but you mean nothing to the world.
You climb the corporate ladder by drowning in a pile of work.
Your spouse is your closest ally but also your greatest enemy.
Freedom of speech is great as long as it doesn't offend him, her, and all of them.
True freedom can only be achieved when everyone puts aside a little bit of their own freedom.
The earth is dying but it will outlive every one of us.
We fight wars to keep peace.
Our stomachs are full but our hearts are empty.
© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.