There are singers who make me cry, from the power of their voices alone. There are also singers who, despite my not understanding their native language(s), have the ability to de-ice my hardened interior and let light in to what I am convinced is my blackened heart.
I don’t know how I got here;
I don’t know how I went from feeling and acting like I’m 100% to 10% – all within days, mere days. So I sit here, slumbered in the quiet of my studio apartment on a sunny, bright Friday afternoon acknowledging and too aware that nothing is wrong, yet nothing feels right. Why is there never a simple answer to anything, why why why?
This is me saying – when real life is back on-track, it is a bitch.
I want to rest this weary soul. I just want to go home.
I want to play with my nieces and nephews in-person, no longer this Aunt who loves them through photos and words, halfway across the globe, yet likely to them, more imaginary being that anything. I want to stop seeming like I’m someone who is everywhere, because the reality is I am nowhere. I want to stop worrying about my father from a distance, knowing he’s okay – as okay as he ever will be at sixty-five, that is – and yet never quite able to quit this nagging feeling of gotcha! and what if…? One just never knows and if there’s one regret I hope I will never shoulder, it’s the one where it’s too late. I want to be home, in all its baggage and heat and frustrations, because between the two demons of equal evil, hell, then I’ll choose the one I’m familiar with. Left to my own devices – I cave inward anyway, never outward like others.
I look at photos of friends who’ve moved abroad one, two – three tops – years and they’ve assimilated so well. They’ve got friends of all colors and backgrounds, seeped into the cultures of their new homes, permanent or temporary, like they’ve always belonged there. I’m told social media is an illusion but I’ll be damned; happiness isn’t so easily orchestrated …that hand on another’s shoulder with broad grins on their faces – in that moment, they were genuinely happy.
Last night it finally hit me: I am Malaysian down to my bones. Six years and I have never, not once, scrapped that. Yes I’ve changed my accent, but so what? Yes I’ve picked up certain things like cursing and saying like disgustingly way too often, but so what? Yes I’ve learned to survive somehow, but so what? So fleeting, so goddamn fleeting.
Maybe I’m just angry today, because I’ve been feeling sad for the past 48 hours.
The realization kills me somewhat, because it means that I will always be a paradox – always a goddamn paradox. Why why why can’t I just be one thing, for ever an unchanging concept? Never able to settle in one place because triggers and nostalgia from the past are too goddamn loud and affecting to my soul that it becomes second nature for me to run – both physically and figuratively – while my heart, my goddamn heart, never stops yearning for the idea of home that is frozen in time, space, and… memories. Why why why do I allow myself to be cut wide open? Never able to settle in the nook-and-cranny of someone else’s arms, yet the curiosity lingers for days to seemingly no end these days. I am great at giving out advices, while eating up my words when it comes to myself. I seem like I’m everywhere, when in reality I’m nowhere.
I am so tired of trying; holding on; pushing forth. I’m tired of putting up an illusion that I’ve never believed in, in the first place. I’m grateful for the past six years, I am and will always be, but the truth is, it’s also six years too long.
Some days like today, honest-to-God – I just want to go home, whatever that it is now.
This place does nothing for my soul.
“Are you feeling sick anywhere?
Was it hard?
Don’t worry about me,
I just need you to be okay;
when your heart is aching,
when no one is there for you,
just come here.”
— Roy Kim, Home