But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


I've only got 3 and a half hours left. So much to say, so little time.

Dear 2013,

You've been a doll. I have bad memory and even worse nostalgia, but you really are one of my better years. There were times when you were difficult. To name some, my 8 week depression in which I didn't talk to my friends at all during that period. You added the death of one of my uncles, which didn't really give me the wake up call I wanted, but it was enough. And only a few hours before my seventeenth birthday. It wasn't ideal, but I can't say I was expecting a bad one. I forgive you though, for a period of nothing but solitude in a dark room. One could only tolerate me for so long. I understand the need for some dark days. Things can't always be jolly and bright.

Having said that, you've given some unforgettable moments. I can finally say I had a group of friends, although it only lasted a year. I donated blood for the first time. I jumped two grades up in my Add Math test. I noticed my improvement in my drawings, which is nothing but satisfying. I cried while reading a book. I ate my first sashimi (and hated it). I got involved in my first proper theatre production, albeit backstage; even so, it was incredibly fun. I went to prom, the first party I can't say I regret going. I've learned to love myself - I can't say that I do, but I'm learning. I learned that people aren't as bad as they may seem.

This turn of the year is very important to me, solely because a lot of changes are going to happen. You're leaving, 2013, and you're taking a lot of things with you. You've never coming back. I suppose I wrote this as a kind of closure.

You're taking away my time of being a high school student, my beloved position as captain of the drama team, the time we honestly though we'd win but didn't, my grown relationships with my teachers, my first experience reading The Book Thief, the sinful things I did out of spite and anger, the first time I fell in love, the good things I'm glad I did this year, my uncle. It's hard to say goodbye to those things, especially when I know I'll forget it in 5 years time, possibly even before. I don't want to. It scares me that something so emotional and life-affecting and important as these could so easily be forgotten. To be honest, I can't even remember exactly what happened during half these times. They've become vague memories now. And I guess that's why I feel the need to document this.

When I started high school, I thought I would leave it crying, images of pure unadulterated happiness flooding my mind and hugging my friends with a heavy heart. I knew that was not going to happen within 5 months time. Despite knowing full well that Hollywood, at least, had in no way captured the bitterness that was SMK Damansara Utama, I kind of proved myself wrong. Yes, I didn't leave school crying, instead I left it with rather a sense of freedom. There were only three things on my mind, 1) I might never see my friends ever again, 2) I'm surprised I'm kind of okay with that, and 3) will I be home in time to watch NCIS? Don't get me wrong, I love my friends. And not talking to them ever would be heartbreaking, but enough has happened this year that I've come to terms that not everything is eternal. If it's time for it to go, then there is nothing I can do to make it stay. A goodbye should always be at hand, always be ready. As of today, I've only spoken to Yvonne 4 times, Amanda Irdina thrice, Arman twice, and not to the rest at all. I'm not proud of this. I need to remind myself that having a goodbye at hand doesn't mean saying goodbye first. I can't be proud. At least, I left school with one last photo with Amanda Loi, Shash and Dhaarsh and a vow not to order Pizza Hut for the next two years. I doubt I'll be able to keep that vow.

This year, I became captain and director of the school's drama team - my drama team. I met some great juniors and we had our time together. I personally thought we were good, great in fact. We were incredible. And I'm only taking less than half of the credit, most of it belongs to the props team and Ming for an amazing script and of course, the actors themselves. They endured my shrieking and piercing whistle, but at the end of the day, they made it work. During that time, I became close to Puan Shaja as well. She became my mum in school. I know that if I come back to school as an alumni and the world has forgotten me, she'll welcome me with a hug. I'm confident of that. It was during this time I met Puan Amirah as well. She became our sort of judge in school. She was cool and followed us into competition. We didn't win, though. I was heartbroken, I wanted to demand a reevaluation, but as Adam said, "Rezeki di tempat lain". You're right. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

Pokcik passed away on the 16th. I was told at 6:30pm, right when I was running between bedrooms to gather my things for tuition. It was unexpected. I didn't expect anybody to go away that quickly. I cried a lot. I'm willing to bet I cried nearly as much as Aliya did. That was the only night I felt any form of affection for Aliya. I didn't go to school the next day, even though I wanted to. Partly because it was my birthday and I wanted to prove to myself that hardly anybody would remember it (I'm proven right each year) but mostly because I wanted to pretend his death didn't happen. Instead, I accompanied Aliya to his funeral and cried some more. I came home and took a nap. The best (and only happy) thing that happened to me that day was Arman and Lutfi surprising me with a lollipop after tuition. Lutfi just happened to be there, but I'm grateful to him too. The house has never been the same since, and if anything, Aliya and Chu's constant presence in the house makes me a more secluded and bitter person. I avoid human contact. I don't talk or hang around my grandparents much anymore, which is wrong because their deaths are drawing near. I don't think I can take it. I can't even wrap my head around Pokcik's. It feels like he took another holiday. Only, he's never coming back.

I never knew what falling in love felt like, but I somewhat experienced it this year. He was charming and heartwarming. Let's just say, I was smitten and it took me a while to find myself again. Now I think I was a fool. But what fun is it in being so serious all the time?

My cousin was acting in Seussical and I didn't understand my family's overreaction. To make it worse, my grandparents demanded I stop ballet when that was the one place I didn't feel so out of place. I've never invited them to any of my performances since. But the moment my cousin got involved, it became okay. I got angry. I didn't talk to them for a week at a time. It killed me, but I didn't want to give in. It wasn't fair. I'm crawling back to them though. I have pride, but I'm trying to tone it down a bit. I love them. I want them to love me. I'm coming back to them. The night before last, I spent two hours trying to work Atok's iPad. It gave me warmth.

I joined backstage because I couldn't attend the rehearsals due to SPM. I wasn't happy at first. Incredibly jealous, in fact. But once we got to the theatre and I progressively got more comfortable with the crew, I didn't want it to end. I still wished I was performing, but I suppose it's just as fun as losing my voice to keeping the kids upstairs and telling the boys to shut up, working 14 hours when I only got 3 hours of sleep and slept on the shaky stairs, getting annoyed by Badrish when both of us were bored and getting to watch the mechanics of the show. I didn't fit in with the cast - I still don't - but the after party was pulsing and my heart was beating to it. It was the first party I ever thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a blessing, truly. If I speak any more of it, I'll ruin its meaning.

Prom came. I didn't want to go. The only thing that changed my mind was 150 bucks would go to waste. Instead, I brought extra money and decided to ciao after a while, take the night train to KLIA and people watch. If my bag was big enough, I wanted to bring my sketchbook along. Alas, I had my hair up and my heels on. I looked pretty - I felt pretty. I spent half the time on the balcony and poolside, but I made Puteri wait because I wanted to play Let's Dance. The only regret of the night was that I didn't discover the Xbox sooner. It wouldn't improved my night 10 times. But that's okay, it was still a great night. I had to be careful though; one move, and I could've completely fallen for somebody. Fortunately, I held my ground. I'm learning to walk in heels now.

But most of all, I learned that I need to remind myself often. So here's a note to me in the future:

If you want something, you'll have to work at it. You have to be grounded at all times, because once you let yourself go, you'll fall behind. You can't depend on anyone, absolutely nobody, except yourself. I'm not saying that you shouldn't trust anyone - hell, you'll need trust to succeed. But don't expect things of people, and the only way to get it done correctly is by doing it yourself. The moment to leave it to someone else, they won't do it the way you would and you're going to have to do it again yourself anyway. If you don't, you'll never learn. You'll never improve. Other people will, but you'll stay the same. Don't be like that. Strive, darling. Be the best you can be and reach higher. Besides, the satisfaction of completing something is immeasurable.

You also need to finish what you start, own up to your mistakes, be more humble, lose some of that pride. I know it runs in your veins and you can't help it, but that is exactly why you tell yourself not to turn out like some of your family members. Try to change. Be the person you want to be. It's hard - nobody said it's easy - but it's rewarding. At least try.

This new year is meaningful to you. You're leaving for college, your fixed school years are over. You'll have to be brave. You'll have to find courage. You'll need to make important decisions and take responsibility for it. It's okay to be afraid. If you weren't, then you're doing it wrong. By the time you read this again, I hope you're surviving college and its pressure and stress level. Listen to good music. Pray, have faith. Believe in yourself. For God's sake, believe in yourself. Trust yourself. I know I'm still there, somewhere buried underneath the darkness. Even if it seems endless, I'm in the darkness. Parts of me. I shine like stars in the night. Look for me. You'll get through it. I know you will.

By the time you read this, you'll know more than I ever will. But don't forget me. You'll need me someday. You'll still be as messy and clumsy as I am, possibly even messier and clumsier, but your heart will be colder and your eyes will be harder. Don't be so harsh. Don't let the world turn you into stone. Have some warmth. Be a mumbling seventeen year old who cries for attractive beardy men in fantasy worlds. Don't forget me. Don't lose me. Don't lose yourself. You'll never be this young again.

Thank you, 2013. You've been wonderful.

Much love,
2 hours and 18 minutes to a new beginning.


Guess who's a blood donor now?


16/7/2013, Tuesday

I was riffling through my notebook, and I found this.

It's sad. I haven't spoken to them in a month.


"Believe me."

Arman's little counseling session seemed to cheer me up - despite the 20 minute breakdown in the girls' toilet immediately after he left me. But that only lasted for a couple of days.

I'm back to my cry-to-sleep playlist.

1. Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran
2. Violet Hill by Coldplay
3. Be The Song by Foy Vance
4. Yellow Brick Road by Angus and Julia Stone
5. Explosions by Ellie Goulding
6. Kiss Quick by Matt Nathanson
7. Only Ones Who Know by Arctic Monkeys
8. Youth by Daughter


So many people know me. I wish I did. I wish someone would tell me about me.

Bette Davis, All About Eve (1950)


Nothing like someone making you a playlist.

I haven't heard it yet, but I've never had someone give me a proper playlist before. It feels lovely, and I'm excited!


when your little girl
asks you if she’s pretty
your heart will drop like a wineglass
on the hardwood floor
part of you will want to say
of course you are, don’t ever question it
and the other part
the part that is clawing at
will want to grab her by her shoulders
look straight into the wells of
her eyes until they echo back to you
and say
you do not have to be if you don’t want to
it is not your job
both will feel right
one will feel better
she will only understand the first
when she wants to cut her hair off
or wear her brother’s clothes
you will feel the words in your
mouth like marbles
you do not have to be pretty if you don’t want to
it is not your job

- it is not your job | caitlyn siehl


Are you afraid of falling in love?

Very much so, yes.

It's okay to be afraid, but it will never be the same.
I'll love you another time.


Do you know what you can buy with 50 cents? Respect.

Don't think for a second we were on a bus ride home.

I've only just begun to love When A Heart Breaks by Ben Rector, thanks to Mia's suggestion for Scene 7 of Bajet, Ah? but I already have to link it to incredibly bittersweet nostalgic memories. I suppose, you can compare this to the previous emotionally overwhelming event I had, which was SOMTI, in the sense that I think it'll impact me so hard I can do nothing but cry in a corner each night but in reality get over it in a week, but I really believe I will never forget how these past two weeks made me feel.

We did our best, and to be honest, it was amazing. We didn't win however, and naturally I am very disappointed. But even the disappointment of not getting placed and knowing we were good enough to can't mask the things I feel for the drama team itself - my drama team.

When we started, I was skeptical. We recruited a couple of juniors from choral speaking, one from last year's drama and one of his buddies who didn't even officially join as well as fellow classmates. I didn't really know them, and found one of them attractive. I thought, my only job in this project was to direct and win. That was it. To be Miss Bossypants and secure victory.

That was not the case however.

I'm ashamed to admit, I did give up on them after a couple of days of dwindling about, none showing commitment nor interest. Soon after though, everything just changed. As much as I wanted to win, I knew that this experience was going to be priceless. (Later, I would cry my eyes out knowing I was right.) But that was the it; my objective was no longer solely victory - it was to make sure that I'm having fun and so are my actors & crew and perform to our full potential. Thankfully and gratefully, that was what we did.

With Adam's YOLO motto, there are little incidents that I will now vow to never ever forget to remember;
  • Yang Ler's lisp ("I was born this way, okay!")
  • Adam's substitution (which is one of the best decisions I've made in my life so far, even though I can't take full credit for it)
  • Adam The Person and Adam The Adam
  • The Drama Club Fanning Ceremony, officiated by Mia Meor
  • The tin foil tiara that made Yang Ler a princess and Shi Hou an anime prince
  • All the days that we wanted to practice but couldn't due to the unavailability of the stage and/or absence of certain key persons
  • Mia's knee injury while dancing with Tina, at which I panicked but still managed to get some ice
  • Tina completely spamming my notebook with ridiculously accurate doodles
  • Putting make up on Yang Ler, which he surprisingly reacted well to
  • Seeing him out of the comfort of this school uniform for the first time, and realising he's skinnier and more muscular than I expected him to be
  • Adam and Aswad being grateful they had ""masculine"" roles
  • Zhi Cong snoozing while his best friend was being tortured by getting in touch with his feminine side
  • The jamming session we had the first time I brought my speakers
  • The first ever time Aswad exaggerated his McD scene and had me in stitches, wondering how in the world did Mia and Rachel maintain their stoic faces and Adam his angsty puppy one
  • DJ Yangbeatz and "They call me Lee Yang [insert title here] Ler" 
  • Zhi Cong's effort on trying to be Luke, but ending up being The Muscle on Puteri's crew and the minor role as Customer #1, honorary ustaz from China
  • Rachel and half of her wardrobe
  • Yang Ler's little dilemma of needing to shishi but not knowing how to in his pelekat
  • His earlier problem of the tummy that doesn't want to stick to his real one and the fear of his pelekat falling off
  • Our priceless sauce counter and cashier
  • The eternal gratefulness that Aswad didn't pick either play but decided to do both the BM and the English one
  • "Eh, butterfly!"
  • Not breaking down at all throughout the entire competition, unlike the choral speaking one
  • Adam being extremely famous amongst the Sri Aman girls, and us suspecting of Yang Ler being jealous
  • Fawning all over 6 year old Aisyah Arman after our performance
  • Yang Ler's incredibly pathetic Tap Tap skills
  • His equally pathetic facial hair, even after two weeks of not shaving
  • His odd similarities to being an ape and/or Monkey Fist
  • The double stinkbomb at the competition
  • Our unforgettable props, done with sweat and blood by the crew
  • Messing up Yang Ler's parting on the first day I did his hair, and then getting a "Now you know how to comb my hair properly!" on the last day
  • Wiping my powdered hands on his lap and him saying "Eh, eh, nevermind, I have another one here! *gestures at other lap. It's my father's one you know! HAH HAH TAKUT!"
  • Evangeline of Taman Sea's orgasmic butter cake
  • James Lim, the ladies' men of Damansara Jaya Drama Team.
  • Yang Ler and Teeter (the crazy amount of shouting and/or cursing he did, and that time he passed a level just by shifting his seat)
  • Patting the duct tape onto Yang Ler's tummy and his reaction ("EH, don't hit my tummy!")
  • Dragging Zhi Cong off the table and across the block because he couldn't find the toilet
  • Making icing until midnight
  • Not sitting down for the entire bus ride home, because both Puteri & I involuntarily became stewardesses (of which Yang Ler's demand for a cherry on a chocolate cupcake caused me to fall onto Aliah's lap, disrupting her lunch time)
  • Getting high on cupcakes and had a party on a bus, where my accidental change in flash settings made us look like we got knocked out after the competition and went clubbing instead
  • Everybody's emotional mug shot clips
  • The salute Aswad, Shi Hou and I gave Puan Shaja as she left the parking lot
  • Feeling significant
I think that's really it.
With these people, I feel significant. And who doesn't want to feel that way?

I had to shout my lungs off for them to start the scene, and search the ends of the Earth for my boys, but everything was perfect at the end. I'd like to say that it's my work, but let's be honest, I couldn't have done anything without Ming's incredible script, nor did I could I have done much without incredible actors. I just seamed them all together.

But this I must say - we are incredible.

We don't need trophies, titles or certificates to say that we are. I know we are. Yang Ler may or may not be joking the entire time, but he spoke the truth: "It's not about the winning!"

Yes, my boy. It's about the memories I've created with you lot. It's priceless - extremely priceless - and you all complete my painfully pathetic high school life. I literally could not have a better drama team, not a better supervising teacher, even if I handpicked them myself. Last year's was awesome, but this year's is amazing. We had fun. We had time to have fun. I'm okay with words, but I may not have expressed myself enough or even correctly here. To be honest, I don't even know exactly why this is such an emotional rollercoaster, but from the bottom of my soul, I thank you very much. I had the time of my life.

Let these drunk (just because it wasn't in a club, doesn't mean it wasn't just as crazy) photos be the symbol of our hardships, Frank.
Some photos courtesy of Anis, Nabila, Fara and Puan Amirah

(Yang Ler being a complete badak with his signature -__-)

This would've been one of the most adorable pictures ever!

We'll end this post with a delicious pizza, shall we?

I knew I was fine, 
About this time yesterday. 
I don't need answers; 
I just need some peace.