Life, Uncategorized

How love can ruin a great friendship

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There was this guy; let’s call him Jake. Jake shared the same classes with me back in high school, and naturally, we became friends. We found out that we had so much in common – we both loved watching anime, playing badminton, Skyping, you name it. We had so much in common that we clicked right off the bat.

The day we met, I just knew: I had met my soul mate, my brother, my confidant. He was my best friend – an amazing one, one who’s been through thick and thin with me, and dealt with all my drama and shits. He stuck by me, offering me advice and always reminded me to be level-headed when I felt like I was losing it.

Bottom line, I loved him… but as a friend. It was purely platonic, and I had never once though of him as more than a friend, a brother-like figure (in addition to the one blood brother who I’m actually related to). If anyone asked if we were dating, I’d gag – for show, and also because I’m so utterly disgusted at the idea that I would date my best friend. I just couldn’t see it happening. We connected too well; there was no mystery whatsoever… we got on just a little too well to be in a relationship.

Or at least, that was what I thought.

One afternoon in October, we hung out, like we always did. We went cycling, and we started a DMC about our love interests.

“So, Nancy, who do you like?”

“Hmm… no one.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“How about Leo? Skye? Or the D triplets?”

“Nahh… I wouldn’t date any of those. They’re just friends.”

“What about me? Would you ever date me?”

“No… of course not.”

“Why?”

“Because… I don’t know. I’ve just never really thought about it. It’s weird. Because you’re so close to me… I – I’d never imagine that happening. Just no.”

“Just no,” I said.

“Oh…”

“It’s your turn now. Who do you like?”

“…”

“You.”

Shit.

That was the moment I knew I fucked up. Real bad. I’d just rejected him… before he could even ask me out. And that wasn’t even the end of it. The wind was starting to build up, as the clouds darkened for the night. So guess what the inexperienced-with-dating-matters part of me decided to say?

“It’s getting cold. I should go.”

Wow. Just casually running away during an awkward moment.

And I avoided him for the next month or so, until one day he finally confronted me, demanding to know why I’d been avoiding him. But it was so awkward. I couldn’t face him, because everything started to make sense. Why he was so nice to me, the things he’d do – always offering to lend a hand, always looking out for me – he saw me as more than a friend. He had, for more than a couple of months.

I’d been so oblivious.

Even after the confrontation, I continued to avoid him… we used to Skype almost everyday, and then… slowly… as I ignored him, we stopped talking altogether. He tried talking to me at school and all, but I would always come up with an excuse, so that I didn’t have to talk to him. Finally, one day, Jake typed a very long message to me on Skype, declaring that he thought the “peak of our friendship” was back in October, before he confessed to me. He thought that he had ruined our friendship with that confession, and he was very very sad, very apologetic for that… for something that he didn’t even do wrong.

We chatted via Skype because I felt more at ease than talking to him vis-à-vis. The next time I saw him in school, I was feeling more comfortable around him. But that didn’t stop me from being slightly cold and detached towards him, because I wanted to ensure that he no longer felt the same way about me.

But Jake was still as patient and understanding as before. He gave me space when I needed it; he put up with all my mood swings (that has only happened after his confession). Then he asked me to be his girl again 6 months later.

At this point, I knew he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. That’s when I thought, “This needs to stop.” So I did what I thought was the best way to avoid him: block him on all my social media, and keep my conversations with him short. I’d always surround myself with my girlfriends and not even throw a single glance at him, even when we were in the same class, even if we sat side by side.

Really, I could’ve handled the situation so much better than I did. But I guess there’s no second chance to redo.

It was rude and mean of me, I know. But then again, I was an inexperienced 15-year-old – I knew nothing about love. Except that it had the power to ruin a friendship which once meant the world to me.

Love may be a great thing, capable of uniting people as one. It’s like an invisible bond between two individuals. Love brings people joy and happiness in life… it heals all wounds…

But what if this romantic love comes in the way of a purely platonic love? Does this then mean that love has triumphed all? That it has destroyed the ultimate gift of God: friendship?

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Time to break that friendship

Have you ever had that one friend who meant the world to you?

She might go by the title of “my soul mate”, “my bestie”, “my BFF” or “my sister”. Whatever it is, she was the closest person to you on Earth, except maybe other than your family.

But then one day, a boy swoops in and snatches her away from you. You’re now an incomplete half, and you’re slightly jealous of the attention she gives the boy. But it’s okay, because it’s your part to be a good friend and be supportive of their relationship… but there comes a point when enough is enough.

So exactly when is too much?

1) When your BFF’s boyfriend is around every single time you girls hang out. Like. Literally. Every. Single. Damn. Time. It frustrates me so much when you’re constantly the third-wheel. As if things are not bad enough, it sometimes feels as though your BFF doesn’t even want to hang out with you alone anymore, because they’re head over heels for a guy who’s only known them for a quarter of the time you’ve known each other.

Solution: Talk to you BFF about it. Tell her that you’re feeling neglected and see how it goes. I once had a friend who was in a very clingy relationship with her boyfriend – it was a mutually clingy relationship – and I brought it up to her. However, she shot me down, claiming that I was jealous. I’d been so mad, I’d stopped talking to her. And to be honest, I don’t regret ending that friendship. Sure, it might have meant the world to me at some point, but it doesn’t anymore and if I can cope with it, I’m sure you can. After all, who wants to be a second-place, replaceable BFF? We all want a girls’ night out sometimes.

2) When both their social media is filled with posts about the two of them. Need I say more? Isn’t it annoying when the two lovebirds only post pictures of each other on Facebook and Snapchat? It’s almost like you don’t mean anything to your BFF anymore. What’s worse is if both the boy and the girl were actually your close friends to begin with. And now you’re just feeling left out.

Solution: Honestly, just stop looking at their Snapchat stories or Facebook profiles. As much as you want to believe otherwise, you know what the posts are gonna be about. You’re just feeding your negative self when you view them every single day. You’re becoming obsessed. Just stop. Literally. Just stop following them. Or stop stalking their profiles every 5 minutes.

3) When you’re not the only one feeling like your BFF is in a super clingy relationship. Even her not-so-close friends feel like they’re being brushed off.

Solution: The best way is to broach it up to your BFF with the other friends. If she doesn’t take it well, then she’s a goner. Why waste time on one friend who’d willingly drop her BFF for a guy she’s known for less than a year?

4) When she’s always on her phone texting her boyfriend even if you are able to snag some alone time with her. HELLO? I’m supposed to be your BFF? Don’t you think I at least deserve some form of respect? Even people I’ve known for 10minutes have the decency to put down their phone to hold a conversation with me. Your boyfriend doesn’t need to know your whereabouts every 10minutes. Besides, I’m pretty sure you’re safer being with me than him?

Solution: Talk. Hold conversations. Do activities which doesn’t allow your BFF to easily pick up her phone. Do something that interests her. Watch a movie. This way, she’ll be so engrossed and doesn’t feel the need to text her boyfriend as much.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. For me, you’re either a sisters-before-misters kind of girl or you’re not a loyal friend. I’m not even asking you to pick me over your boyfriend, but I’d really appreciate it if instead of spending 24/7 with your boyfriend and 1/7 with me (and your boyfriend together), spend 2/7 with me (ALONE) and the other 22/7 with your boyfriend. Like, I don’t care what you do. You can talk to me about him I guess, but do give me some of your time?

If your BFF brushes you off immediately every time you bring up this conversation, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your friendship.

Sure, good friends are hard to come by. But sometimes, it’s necessary to let them go. They shouldn’t just ditch you so easily.

Life, Uncategorized

Why fifth-wheeling might just be better than third-wheeling

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Picture from Smosh (2014)

Yep. We’ve all been there, done that.

We’re the girl in the black sweater who awkwardly sits by the side, trying to look away whilst our bestie makes out with her significant other. We plaster on a smile and try to be happy for our friend… but sometimes we just can’t help it. We feel a bit lonely, a bit left out. We wish that we were the one in the relationship.

It isn’t just envy or jealousy, which are often negative emotions in a relationship. It’s not just the feeling of being left out, but also, the fact that we can’t just walk away and avoid the massive PDA in action, because it’s just right there in front of you. And you can’t just bail on two of your friends, right?

So you just sit back, and relax, while your friends suck each other on their lips until one of them passes out, or you pass out from grossness.

My point is, no one likes being the third wheel – the “awkward one”, the “lonely one”, the “single pringle”.

This may be counter-intuitive, but over the years, as more and more of my friends get together, I’ve started to realise something: although I may still be the only single one within my social circle, it’s more comfortable to hang out in larger groups, even if it means fifth- or seventh-wheeling.

Let me explain myself.

1. 3 couples (+ me) is more rowdy than a couple (+ me). With more friends in the same setting, it feels more crowded, and thus, less romantic. There are less chances of PDA happening, and if any of that does happen… well, run away to another couple! Chat them up!

2. You won’t feel as left out or lonely or awkward. I think this one’s pretty obvious. There are probably about 4 other people you could talk to when you hang out with 4 couples, and a pair of them are in some sort of deep conversation.

3. Conversation topics tend to be more inclusive. Rather than hearing your friends date-talk, and you just sitting opposite them and pretending to be interested in the scene unfolding in front of you, the conversation tends to be more inclusive when it comes to group hang-outs. Think of it this way: the more people there are, the more topics we’ll come across. Since it’s not just one couple, the talk won’t revolve around inside jokes that we, third-wheelers, don’t know about.

As the only single lady, I’m stuck with third-wheeling my friends all the time, but I’ve now learnt to get the couples altogether so I can fifth or seventh wheel instead. Trust me, it’s a worth a try if you’re an awkward human being just like I am!

Feel free to drop a comment about your experiences as a third wheel! 🙂

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When The Greatest Showman produces the greatest show

 **************** SPOILER ALERT********************

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Image from Google

After sitting in the cinema for the first 5 minutes while Hugh Jackman sang “The Greatest Showman” (which, by the way, sounded strangely familiar to “Despacito” or some pop song), I didn’t know what to expect next. Sure, I got that this is a film about a great showman, but what could the 2-hour movie possibly be about? Was it just going to be entirely songs and choreographies? Was it just a full-on musical on film, or was there an actual plot to it?

To be honest, the plot is actually very simple: there’s no other way to describe it, except that it tells the story of a poor tailor’s boy and his journey to fame. And apparently, it’s based a true story (search up P.T. Barnum on Google if you’re interested!). Simply put, there’s actually nothing spectacular about the plot; however, the storytelling techniques more than compensated for this. The sonorous music, amazing choreographies, as well as stunning special effects add drastically to the film’s allure… enticing even my friends who have a strong distaste for musicals. Even they left the cinema claiming that it “was a good movie”.

Regardless, it wasn’t entirely the visuals and audios that made this movie so spectacular. That alone wouldn’t have been enough for this musical-film to overtake the comedic, internationally well-received 3 Idiots, in claiming the first play in my list of favourite movies.

Yet it did. Why?

Well, let’s begin by looking at something Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson) said.

“A MAN’S STATION IS ONLY LIMITED BY HIS IMAGINATION.” – JENNY LIND

There is inspiration to be found in every aspect of the movie – in the characters’ dialogues, in the songs, in the plot itself. It’s a very motivational film, based on P. T. Barnum, who, by the way, was a real showman in the past. It is a very meaningful film, and it shows people how nothing’s really impossible if you believe in it, and work hard enough.

Regardless, there are always costs to success. With Barnum’s increasing fame, he starts to abandon his family, the ones who were there constantly supporting him, through thick and thin.

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Image from Google

The Greatest Showman is an extremely well thought-out and well-choreographed film. It is undoubtedly one that should be watched and appreciated globally, not just for its musical numbers, but also the amazing acting. The multi-talented actors and actresses should be celebrated, along with Michael Gracey’s successful movie. I have never been more impressed by a movie than this. A truly great movie.

 

OST:

 

Rating: 10/10

  • Loved the musical numbers
  • Awesome visual effects
  • Commendable film overall
  • Can’t think of anything bad!
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Movie Review: Dead Poets Society (1989)

***** SPOILER ALERT*******

For a movie rated as a PG comedy and drama on IMDB, I wouldn’t have expected to find myself holding my breath, with my eyes glued to the screen, more often than not. I mean, the film title may have suggested a creepy aura to it… but still. To be honest though, although I like the sound of Dead Poets Society, I think the film would have been better suited with a less cult-like sounding title. Maybe just something plainer, like Mr Keating, or Honor Code or something… I don’t know, that’s just what I think.

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I have to say, its mysterious aura is brought out really well

Regardless, with its deep-set themes revolving around conformity, I highly doubt this is suitable for anyone younger than a teenager. In fact, I doubt they would even understand the main message behind the film. After all, 10 seems a bit young for someone to develop his own thoughts and mustering up the courage to go against his/her parents, unlike Neil Perry.

With the arrival of the new English teacher, Mr John Keating, cleverly played by Robin Williams, who encourages his students to think for their own, we see many of the boys in the preparatory school undergo a dynamic change in their characters.

This is demonstrated through the self-proclaimed members of the Dead Poets Society: Knox Overstreet, Todd Anderson, Neil Perry, Charlie Dalton,Cameron, Meeks and Pitts, especially the first three. First off, we have Overstreet, who finally musters up the courage to act upon his infatuation with Chris, a pretty blonde he fell in love with at first sight. He even sneaks into her school with a rose in hand, reciting a handwritten poem to Chris, despite knowing that she was already in a relationship with Chet.

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“Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

Then we have Neil, who auditions for a school production – A Midsummer’s Night Dream – and gets the major role of Puck. He was extremely good at it, but it didn’t change the fact that his father had an Asian parent mindset – that he is to go to Harvard and be a doctor or whatsoever. Even after trying and talking to his father countless times, even after his father saw how amazing his performance was, he refuses to acknowledge that Neil had his own passions and interests that may not agree with his father’s wishes. Immediately after the performance, Neil’s father brings him home and lectures him together with his mother. To which, Neil has finally given up arguing, and makes up his mind to commit suicide that night. Luckily, the other 5 Dead Poets didn’t end up having the same fate.

And finally, we have Todd Anderson, who started out as a timid boy who was afraid of public speaking. They had a homework task whereby students were to write a poem of their own then recite it in front of the class; Todd had chosen not to do it, so as to avoid reading in front of the class. But Mr Keating wouldn’t let him go just like that. No, he didn’t give Todd detention like any other teacher would. Instead, he pushed him through verbal attacks, inspiring him to come up with a poem on the spot, encouraging him to reveal his inner loud self.

Mr Keating wasn’t just any English Literature teacher; he was a life mentor who evoked a livelihood in youths like Todd and Neil. He cried when Neil committed suicide. He actually cared about his students, but because of this, he was fired.

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It’s not fair at all, is it? But I guess, at least he managed to wake up the rebel in Todd. At least he has the respect of the whole class, as evidenced by the last scene.

Overall, I think Dead Poets Society is a film with quite a meaningful message. With its monochromatic colours and cult-like aura, its sense of conformity is strong. The theme is there, though I don’t understand why certain scenes were added – for example, the scene where Charlie Dalton brought Gloria and her friend to their Dead Poet Society hideout. I mean, what was the point of this, really? I felt that the boys would have done what they did even without the help of the Dead Poet Society; they would’ve done what they did, because of Mr Keating’s classes. Thus, I felt that the mysterious aura detracts from the main theme a little. Since I felt that the society was not the main motive for the boys’ actions, I feel that the title is not fitting for the film. The mysterious aura is there, but I’m not too sure why.

It’s an original film, no doubt. But if you’re looking for a light drama, somewhat comedic, maybe this is a film for you. Don’t expect to find yourself too emotionally connected to the characters though, because if you’re looking for a way to purge your emotions, this isn’t the right movie.

 

My rating:

7/10

  • Original plot
  • Sometimes I feel that the film gives off English school vibes, rather than American (possibly a misfit of venue and design)
  • Themes of suicide and parental pressure to act according to their wishes (I’d say it’s more suitable for older teenagers)
  • Very mildly intimate scenes (Overstreet kissing Chris’s forehead)
  • A good movie to watch if you’ve just watched a very heavy, emotionally-laden film.
  • Last scene was amazing.
  • Great messages in the film

 

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Secret to Life: Optimism

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https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/endless-gloomy-road_757913.htm

 

Life is a one-way journey. It starts with birth and ends with death. Some situations are beyond our control, whilst others, we have control. Either way, life’s journey doesn’t change: start with birth, end with death. What we can change, however, is our attitude towards the ups and downs in life. 

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” 

Just like every economic decision, the decisions we make in life all have an opportunity cost – that is, the next best alternative foregone when a decision is made, for all you non-economists out there ;). Anyway, my point is, we make so many decisions in a lifetime, that if we were to relive our lives and make different decisions, we’d be completely different from where who we are today.

In fact, if I were to relive my 18 years of life, I don’t even need to make different choices for 6570 days I relive. All I need is to make one decision differently, and my life might just change ever so slightly. Well, maybe not. That depends. When I say “slightly”, I mean that I would not be here in front of my laptop blogging; I’d probably be out there in the sun playing football. Or maybe I wouldn’t be an avid foodie. I don’t know what I would be, but I do know, my life would be different if I had made different decisions.

See, it’s fun to think about what life could have been, if you didn’t make this decision, or if that didn’t happen. But the thing is, we never know for sure what life will be, until we live it. There’s really no point thinking about what life could’ve or should’ve been. Even in unpleasant circumstances, even when things seem dark, there’s no point looking back and thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that,” because there’s nothing you can do now. But what you can do, is make the most out of what you have now, and learn from your mistakes. Don’t think about what life had done to you, but look forward to what life will offer you.

So no matter what happens, good or bad, keep your head up high and look to the (hopefully) brighter future. If you’re in a storm now, know that sometimes when things seem to hit rock bottom, the only way left is up, so that’s something you should look forward to. No point being all sad about it, right? 🙂

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The all-or-nothing mentality that plagues us.

It’s common knowledge that not everything in life is black and white.

When a person is killed, the person arrested at the scene of crime is not necessarily the murderer.

When you read a poem, you realise that there’s more than meets the eye, as you learn to look for figurative and metaphorical meanings.

When you make a new friend, you believe that she’s a genuine friend, until the moment she stabs you in the back and talks about you behind your back.

Nothing is really as straightforward as it seems. Yet, many people nowadays love to adopt a black-and-white or all-or-nothing view when it comes to labelling females. We’re either sluts or Virgin Mary’s. There’s no in-between. It’s not a continuum, but an “either or” situation.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll understand what it’s like to be both a slut and Virgin Mary at the same time, as ironic as that may sound. I’ve been called a “Virgin Mary” because I have never had a boyfriend in my whole life, up till high school, which is where I am at the moment. Yet, I also happen to have lots of male friends, because, well, maybe I’m just a friendly person. But no, people just cannot seem to understand that we’re all just friends. Apparently, I must be a “slut” since I have the contacts of at least 5 male friends saved in my phone. Just think about it. It makes NO sense.

It’s 2017. Sure, females may be free from traditional gender roles, but what difference does it make, if the titles of “housewife” and “caretaker” are only going to be replaced with extremes such as “bitch”, “slut”, “whore”, “Madonna”, “Virgin Mary” – I could go on and on, but you get the point. We’re not objects, for Goodness’s sakes. YOU don’t get to decide what we are, or who we are, based on who you see us with, or what you see us do. Nothing is as simple as it seems.

Just the other day, I was out at a restaurant, where I saw a table of 8 teenagers: 1 girl and 7 boys. You’d think that she’s a player, she’s a slut: my point was proven, 5 minutes later, when a couple sat down on the table next to mine, and started whispering to each other not-so-softly. I could hear them talking about what a slut she was. I may not know who this poor girl is, but one thing I know for sure is: these people have no association whatsoever to the girl either. They have absolutely NO business gossiping about her relationships. For all we know, they could have been her brothers. As to how it relates to us, well, none of those boys cheated on us. So why should we care? Just let the birthday girl have fun and enjoy herself. Why do people see the need to label girls because of the friends they choose to hang out with? Sure, we may not always make the right choices, or the wisest choices, but why is there a need to put others down?

 

We all know that it’s morally wrong to put others down. But sometimes, we still do so ourselves, be it due to jealousy, due to anger, whatnot. Our emotions drive us to do irrational, judgmental things.

But what good does this bring?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It doesn’t make us any better a person, nor does it make the victim any less good than she/he is, because at the end of the day, we’re just making judgments about someone whom we’ve probably never even spoken a word to.

So, before I conclude, here’s a message to all of you out there, who’ve been victims of this whole name-calling, who’ve been culprits of this whole phenomenon: stop putting others down. Don’t say a thing till you understand the full story, and stop judging.