Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Second thump..

"True friendships are never serene."

-Marquise de Sevigne

“I heard your parents last night.”

I watched her from the corner of our so-called secret garden as she fluttered about, a small watering can in hand. She was busy watering the base of four apple trees which, to our surprise, had come into full bloom so suddenly that afternoon. Delicate pink-white petals swirled about like a million tiny butterflies whenever the wind blew, reminding me of the passing winter, now diluted in the warmth of spring.

She looked back at me expectantly. Her candid statement held no venom; just plain curiosity.

I know. The whole neighbourhood must have heard my family. A student-community whose residents lived in close quarters would have little to hide from one another. If walls weren’t thin enough, tongues certainly went a long way in facilitating the spread of rumors. Not that last night’s events needed any helping. The desperate yelling and slamming of doors made things plenty evident, I was sure.

I wanted to give her a good answer. I wanted to tell her that my family was not broken; that no matter what happened, there is still love there. I wanted desperately for her to believe it.

But I had no idea how to convince a friend of the existence of love. For children like us, love was objective. If it existed, there would be spring and apple blossoms and school holidays. If it didn’t, then there would be yelling and doors slamming and misery. Our juvenile world often ruled in solid colors, and we were built to believe brighter shades were best.

After last night, my world was swathed in dark, angry hues. I remember hiding the car keys so my father wouldn’t leave the apartment. Sadly, my efforts were defeated by innocent and obedient little brothers who presented them promptly at my father’s angry demands. It didn’t take long for them to realize what was happening though. No amount of hugs from my distraught mother could have calmed them as they watched my father walk through the door.

And yet..

Here I was, barely the next day, enjoying the first spring afternoon of the season. With delicate petals sticking everywhere, I was hardly the picture of pity. The warm sunlight managed to paint me just another happy girl basking in God’s gift. My sorrows were thus camouflaged; my worries deftly cloaked. And I realized, belatedly, that I wanted it to stay just so.

“I think the trees need more water, don’t you?” I asked, picking up my own empty watering can as I go. I hoped she’d heard my silent closure on the subject. I was never one to start a fight, but I wasn’t going to back down if she insisted.

She grinned, and threw a casual arm around my shoulder. “Yup! But I think our watering cans are too small. Maybe we should get a tub.. Think your mum would mind? She’s the coolest!”

A crash course in girlfriend diplomacy: successful.

Lesson 2: Love does not exist exclusive of hate. Love exists because of it.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Off track!

First of all, I blame my current theme on the new, slightly-improved Designer button Blogger's currently sporting on my dashboard..

Like my cyber abode's new look, other changes are abound in my life at the moment. Lots of going places; not all of them business. Plenty of new experiences to be found; not all of them pleasant. For a few months now, my life has been anything but routine. There are weeks of dull nothingness, and then one weekend would leave me breathless. My mind toggles three ways:

work, study, home = career, education, family = money, knowledge, life.

Forgoing any one of these is impossible, but pursuing all of them could mean the death of me.

Could being the operative word here..

There seems to be a distinct line between earning a living and getting a decent education, at least where Malaysia is concerned. For instance, I've spent the past three weeks up in Penang attending classes and academic discussions. It's been almost two years since I last step foot in a lecture hall, and the experience left me feeling strangely... unfit?

Working life seems to have stripped me of most of my studious capabilities! I lost focus in class and fumbled through tutorials. My usually nimble tongue faltered on more than one occasion, brought on by a sudden fear of heaven knows what. Lit reviews became excruciating, not to mention the labwork. I was starting to grow envious of my full-time-student coursemates. All the time in the world to focus on just one thing.

But I guess working has its own selfish perks, no? Financial freedom is a large part of that. Add a wider social structure and a stable life routine, and most people would be content to simply leave education behind. Or at least be tempted to.

My choices are meager. I'm not yet an employee; not really a student. I'm just stuck somewhere in between doing everything I could to please both sides of it. It's starting to wear me down a bit, but I suppose like everything else, I'll manage. What doesn't kill me can only make me stronger, right? So pray I stay alive long enough to find out..