about losing someone

loss makes you believe that you will one day find them again in familiar places,

in the faces of strangers you meet on the train,

in the busy traffic on a Thursday evening,

in the scorching hot city pavement on a busy afternoon and the sun’s rays filtered through trees,

in the crowd of people waiting on the bus stop you see through the fogged window when it rains,

in the muffled dings of the elevator bells you hear just when you stepped out for lunch,

in the 80’s ballads a co-worker is playing out loud from across the room,

in the purplish night sky and its barely visible stars that you barely paid attention to as you made your way home,

in the glass of water and the plate of steaming hot rice you were about to have at a place near your house; wishing it will fill your heart once more like how their cooking used to.

loss makes you believe that perhaps, one day, you’ll see them again somewhere near.

Hopefully, a sincere enough apology.

I have noticed that I’ve been healing, slowly.

No, it’s not that I got myself in a serious accident; while perhaps that would explain why I haven’t been writing anything for months.

If any of you have been reading my posts from the past few years, you may have noticed that I wrote a lot about hurt. I wrote about being chained down. I wrote about being unable to free myself, from certain people, from a certain period of my life. I wrote about being tied down. About being wronged. About how I’m willing to tear myself apart to make others happy. I wrote about being used, and how I was okay with it because it made me feel, at least, wanted; if not loved.

It wasn’t a healthy mental state; of course it wasn’t. It took me way too long to realize that, and as soon as I do, I learned a lot more than that.

It took me years until I stopped blaming myself for things that have gone wrong from as far as 2013. For years I had internalized that for whatever reason, everything was my fault. That perhaps, I just wasn’t enough. Maybe it’s how I dressed, maybe it’s how I acted, maybe it’s just me as a whole.

And I acted upon those thoughts, unfortunately, by hating myself. I hated everything about myself and it showed. I still remember my friend saying that she just couldn’t like me as a person. Even though she still hasn’t told me the reason why, I can see now why she would say that. I couldn’t be myself. I was desperately trying to fit in, to reach an abstract ideal that I thought would please others. I wasn’t even sure what that ideal was supposed to be.

I understand now that healing is not only learning to accept and love yourself more. It’s also acknowledging your wrongdoings. It’s realizing that even when you get hurt, you can still be the villain in someone else’s eyes.

Lately I’ve been thinking, maybe I was the toxic one. Maybe I was so ingrained in my own hurt feelings that I didn’t realize I was also hurting others. My ex had said to me, years ago, that he won’t be dating anymore after what happened to our relationship. Perhaps I was too fixated on how I felt that he’s mistreating me that I didn’t realize I was also treating him horribly. Perhaps I have been wrong all along.

What if I was the toxic one?

But then I realized, it’s not a competition. It’s not about who hurts whom the most, and in what way. It’s very possible that the situation just wasn’t right. It’s possible that we weren’t communicating well, or at all.

It’s possible that both parties made mistakes.

And I understand now that healing means you can say both “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”.

To those I’ve treated wrongly in the past, I am sorry. I’m sorry that I couldn’t see my mistakes and what I had done wrong back then. I’m learning, and I’m truly hoping, to be a better person now.

And I, too, wish that we can all heal in our own pace.

Definitely not what I was asking for.

(Written while listening to this)

I haven’t seen the stars in years.

Ever since I was 5, I haven’t lived somewhere with clear skies. It’s most likely that I live somewhere opposite of it. With tall buildings and blinding LED lights on billboards, I’d be lucky to spot a few on the night sky at clear nights. They look less like a cluster of bright lights and more like few, stray glowing dots on a sky that’s not exactly completely dark either.

Still, I look at the sky in awe, every time.

Once in a while, I go somewhere far; far enough from home. Once in a while I go somewhere with clearer night skies, and I’d go outside when it’s dark and just stand there, and stare at the sky. I’d look at the cluster of stars and not think of anything else. I’d think about how small we are. I’d think about how beautiful they look, and how far away they must be from us.

The sight will leave me completely breathless, every time.

I haven’t felt this way in years.

Things haven’t been bad, it’s just been alright. Just alright. I’ve been trapped in mostly routine; routine I cannot find happiness in. It made me sad to think that people used to talk about how passionate I was about the things I like. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find it anymore. That spark I feel whenever I talk about the things I’m interested in, that same energy. That joy.

And then, you.

I’ve always been using cliche metaphors about the skies and stars and the celestial, heavenly bodies ever since I started writing, and sure it gets old now, but I cannot describe it with anything better than this: You are what I feel whenever I gaze at the night sky. So far away, so distant, so remote. But I know that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Perhaps it’s why this feels like soaring at the skies. Thousands of feet above the ground, you’re slightly dizzy and your heart is racing faster than it ever has before. You’re also losing consciousness because oxygen levels in the air deplete when you get to a certain height.

I’m not sure where I wanted to go with that metaphor.

Well, I’m sure you’ll also leave me completely breathless, every time. Just not from oxygen deprivation.

(Honestly, though. I absolutely hate feeling like this, but I also kind of miss this? Lim mistaking obsession with admiration, once again. Nothing new, nothing new.)

 

Strings

I can still feel

millions of strings

tying my feet to the ground.

Why can’t I get back up?

Why can’t I soar up high?

Why can’t I smile again?

One of those strings is you;

telling me

that you

loved

me.

Another is also you, telling me that

you cared about me;

that I’m too precious

to be hurting myself

like that.

Another is, once again, you;

telling me that when I

hurt myself, I am also

hurting

you.

Another is you telling me that I am too much of a burden. Another is you telling me that my feelings are too much for you. Another is you telling me to stop trying to message you so much. Another is you turning your back away, telling me to go home when I told you that I needed to talk to you. Another is you, blaming me when I can’t meet you the next time because I was away. Another is you ignoring me on purpose every time we pass each other by on school corridors. Another is you only talking to me when you have something you need from me, and that something is always sex. Another is you telling me that my feelings no longer matter to you. Another is you telling me that what we had no longer matters to you. Another is you telling me that I no longer matter to you.

Another is you, telling me, to go on continue carving scars after scars on my skin and wishing for myself to die;

because you

no longer

care

about

me.
5 years have passed and I’m still trying to get back up.

I still trip every single time.

11:11

For this one 11:11, I dedicate my wish to you.

Sometimes I cannot fathom the fact that we’ve only really known each other for at least a year, and we’ve only started talking to each other since then. It doesn’t make sense to me how someone I’ve known for such a small amount of time can feel more familiar and more comfortable than some other people I’ve known for most of my life.

It always feels so odd talking to you. You’re the only person I’m okay holding a 2+ hours phonecall with. You’re the only person I know that I’ve ever felt comfortable talking to at late hours, all the way until 3 a.m., talking about the most private and personal parts of my life when I’ve only started talking to you regularly in less than 2 weeks.

All my life I’ve never been more thankful of having the chance to meet someone, before I met you.

Alright, so it’s your 21st birthday. Starting from this day you are now able to buy alcohol very legally with your ID, among with literally any other things that are often still illegal to do even after you’re 18, and I am very jealous of you.

(you still can’t drink alcohol, though. It’s for the good of your own stomach.)

This 11:11, I only have one wish for you: 

Persevere. 

Keep on growing, even when the ground is rough and dry. Break through the surface even if it’s concrete floor. Stay true to yourself. Life hasn’t been so kind to you lately, and things may have been tough, but you will persevere. You will march on, you will go through it and figure things out no matter what life throws at you,

and you’ll always have support. I will not let you down. When you feel like you can’t stand on your own, my hand is always here for you to hold. Lean on me until you feel like you’re strong enough.

And in the end, I know you’ll always be strong enough.

Happy early 21st birthday, starshine. May you shine bright as always.

day 1 – to the one who’s left us.

Pulang.

Ragamu telah rapuh,

Jiwamu lelah dibawa mengembara.

(Sembilan puluh tiga tahun bukan waktu yang singkat.)

 

Seperti apa kau menginginkan kepulanganmu?

 

Dengan tenang,

dalam sunyi,

seperti dentingan piano yang lamat-lamat terdengar di malam hari.

 

Atau

Dengan dentuman,

besar-besaran,

dan keramaian seperti layaknya hari kelahiran?

(kau terlalu tua untuk ini.)

 

Bukan secara paksa,

bukan seperti ini,

bukan dengan selingkar tali

dalam sebuah ruangan, dalam sendiri,

dalam sepi.

 

Namun matamu terpejam sama eratnya.

Namun tidur panjangmu sama lelapnya.