Of Struggles, Reason to Fight, and Moon River

When I was a kid, my father almost always worked until very late every day. It baffled me to think that I never had a good, long, conversation with him until I hit puberty—not because we didn’t want to, but because he was never around, to begin with.

After all, he always went to work before I even woke up, and returned home after I fell asleep. And to be perfectly honest, I think there was a little part of me that resented him for that—for not being around when I wanted to talk to him about my day, or anything.

Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

“I don’t have a choice,” he said one day, during one of the rare moments when he actually got to go home early. I remember it clear as day—the sky was dark, curtains were closed, and my mom had stored all our food in the fridge because that’s what she always did after I finished dinner; my dad never ate at home.

“What do you mean, you don’t have a choice?” I remember myself asking.

“No matter how tough the going gets, I need to work for this family. For you,” my dad replied.

“You mean for the money,” I retorted.

He didn’t deny anything. Instead, he looked at me, let out a long sigh, and gazed at our half-dilapidated, leaking ceilings for a good second or two, before continuing our conversation with a lower tone to his voice that almost resembled a whisper. “Yes, I do this for the money. But you have to remember where the money goes. It goes to our food. It goes to electricity so you can sleep comfortably with the AC on every night. It goes to your school tuition. It goes to our family—hence I do this for the family.”

“But families don’t run on money… right?” I remember my younger self asked him.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

To be honest, I don’t really remember what he told me that night. Even after I asked my dad about it, he simply said that he already forgot, and proceeded to bombard me with other questions about how my life went, how was work, and so on. But as I try my hardest to paint a picture of that sliver of memory, I imagine my dad would most likely reply with something out of his wisdom bag—something that only a man who worked for money, and worked for a family, could ever have spoken.

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My Favorite Stationeries – Early 2020

If you know me at all, then you would know that I’m borderline obsessed with stationeries. And I’m not just talking about my obsession for fountain pens—I love all stationeries equally. Want to make me happy, even during my worst days? Just introduce me to some unique, cute stationeries, and 9 out of 10, I would snap out of my bad mood instantly.

I know, I know. With me being a writer, and a stationery addict—pssh. Painfully obvious and common. But I’m okay with that. There’s just no helping it! I just love the feeling when I find a brand new stationery product I could marvel over all day long—be it a new pen, notebook, or anything.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

And if you clicked on this blog post, chances are, you’re a stationery addict, too! (Or you would just close the page after reading this sentence because I have just generalized my audience. Or because I sound weirdly jollier than usual. I don’t mind. I’m on a happier mood by default whenever I’m talking about stationeries.)

So anyway, here’s a short list of all my favorite stationeries in early 2020, not sorted in any significant order:

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Acknowledgements (Polaris Musim Dingin)

I somehow made it like a trend not to include the acknowledgements page in my recent books. There is a valid reasoning for that, however, in case anyone thinks that I simply don’t have anyone to thank for. On the contrary, I would much rather post the acknowledgements on my blog instead, out of time (and space) constraints.

In any case, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their gallant contributions toward the completion of Polaris Music Dingin.


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Wanting to Break Free

The other day, I fell face down in a parking lot–ripped my upper lip, chipped off my front teeth, sprained my knee, cracked my phone screen, and dented my laptop. Not even a week after, I fell again–this time hitting the back of my head against the floor. I wouldn’t lie; this has been one of the worst week ever for me.

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

So when I was lying down in the hospital bed, and right after the nurse and the doctor checked whether I had a concussion, I started thinking about this… whole series of misfortune. They came out of nowhere, and they struck like a repeated bolts of lightning. Each with more intensity than the previous one.

What did I do to even deserve this, I had thought. I kept on searching for a satisfying explanation, be it a realistic one or not. Did I lack sleep? Do I suffer from a unique bodily balance deteriority syndrome? Did I upset my ancestors? Did someone hex me into tripping over nothing? It doesn’t matter how illogical the reason is; I just wanted to blame this whole misfortune on somebody. On something.

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Writing Slump

I don’t really feel like writing today. And that is okay.

You see, the thing with having a hobby is that, people start to think that we would enjoy doing it every day and every second of our lives, which is just wrong.

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

Of course there are days when I dread the very thought of having to write something on my blog. Of course there are days when I don’t want to write for prompts for my followers on Instagram. It just happens, and that’s just the way it is.

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A Much Needed Pause

The other day, I tried something new: I sat completely still for several minutes in the middle of a busy day.

No, I wasn’t sleeping, in case you’re wondering. I merely took several minutes to decompress right there on my desk, in-between my bustling schedule. For around ten minutes, my small desk became my solace of comfort, as I silenced every other outside interference, and focused on breathing alone.

It was then when I realized I’ve neglected this simple decompression method for awhile. Right after getting a new job, I felt like I had to catch up with everyone else as fast as I could, and I sacrificed my much needed rest to work, work, and work.

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