Solution to Inner Drama? : Outer Drama

So the therapy I mentioned in the previous post (as obvious as this title is), is drama🎉. And let me just say that I never expected drama to be something I use to destress myself because it is such a tiring thing that requires so much discipline. But it seems that enveloping myself in drama really does help me channel that negativity into peace.

As I go back to help out for Lit trail and Lit Night rehearsals now, it feels calming to surround myself with the class, my girls, Antz, Rui and Jenny, even Daryl’s nonsense, in fact- calms me down. It helps me find myself again. I think Lit Night will always be a therapeutic process for us, no matter what stage in life we’re in. In Ming En’s words, “Too damn overly attached, but wouldn’t trade this for anything”. Kenji was right (Ew. That got stuck in my throat.)

Basically, Epiphany has the year ones perform a devised piece every year during Literature Fest. This means that we come up with everything from the choreography to the scripts, before acting it out.

I feel good about what we’ve done so far and how it comes from a genuine and raw place for all of us. It’s basically a collection of monologues and we can kind of see how it all melds together and interweaves for now. I frankly had no idea what I wanted to do until Megan suggested this exercise where we write for 3 minutes straight without stopping at all. That was really how I realized how upset I was about the little things that happened over the past year and how disillusioned I was with the people around me- by writing about it.

It’s all very ambiguous, but when I first read it out, it felt more liberating than I ever thought it would. Rachel (Who was Bin Hui’s JC classmate by the way, such a small world) mentioned how it sounded like spoken word poetry. I let myself be flattered for a moment- I didn’t think it would be as well received as it was, after the shitty writer’s block I went through recently. And then there was the oh shit moment when I realized I didn’t mean for it to be a poem and I can’t seem to write prose properly anymore. 😒 But Melissa said it was good so I’m relieved because this means I’m on the right track.

So here’s my monologue. I added the highlighted parts the 2nd time I went back to it. I originally wanted to audio it, but then I would read it like a poem, and I’m trying to break that. Plus, I was too lazy. Well, if anyone has any comments, let me know:)

Back straight, shoulders square, knees together, never to part, ankles locked, soften your gaze and smile- no teeth. Now, what did you want to tell me? Whatever you say next, I’ll try my best to understand. I promise I’ll understand.

Are you okay? Can you keep going? Do you need some water?

I understand.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone has their own perspective. Some stronger, some less complex. Some more than others. Some equal to others. I wonder if there’s a scale to measure reason, to measure the true winner of a debate so we can honestly move on to other things. I don’t think there is though, because there are two equal sides to every coin and then there’s us in the middle. Keeping the two sides from melding together, keeping them apart.

Heads, or tails, no one is to say. We certainly don’t have the say.

We are the thin line between peace and conflict. Because of us, our world can have neither.

I understand. I understand that there are two sides to every coin. I understand chances and I understand probability. I know what you want and I know what she wants and I know what he wants. I’m just not sure… what I want and whether or not I’m in a place to choose.

I understand that I am in the middle. Average looks, average grades, average choices made. There are poems written about the rich and the poor, records of the highs and the lows, stories of the good and the bad. How many pay attention to the middle? The people whose hearts are beating regularly, who are not dying patients or supermen and women? Those who are morally ambiguous and neither saints or sinners? Who don’t hate their jobs and don’t love them, and have everything and yet nothing to say? Those who have the greatest potential to surprise you, but rarely do?

(The Middle is where writers get blocked.) Being in the middle does not make you insightful, or ‘deep’. Being in the middle puts you at attention. Being stuck in this limbo makes you listen.

It’s like looking at a pretty painting and being the only one who notices all the flaws. The edge of that canvas is chipped. Insecurity. The subject of the painting isn’t smiling. Jealousy. The colours are too dark. Guilt.  The picture is too packed. Hubris. The hypocrisy. I know. I told you I would try my best to understand. And now I do.

Back straight, shoulders square, knees together, never to part, ankles locked, soften your gaze and smile-

NO TEETH!

I didn’t know how upset I was until I made mistakes. I couldn’t see how upset I was until I was sorry.

I wanted someone to tell me what was right, someone who could make sense of the situation. (Plato said we were all halves. All incomplete, insufficient, imperfect halves. I wonder if our halves would understand. I don’t think they would. That’s probably why we split in the first place. )

Sometimes when I’m alone, I close all the windows in the house, just so I can empty my mind and listen to the quiet. If only we all sound like that.

And sometimes I think to myself, “It’ll be okay.”

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Change: Back to One

I haven’t posted any blogs for a while now. I had a lot I needed to sort out and to be frank, for quite a while now, I couldn’t seem to express myself in words. And I started doing what I did in my Primary school diaries- Avoiding things that were difficult for me to talk about. I didn’t think I would be doing that at 19. But denial is a disease for all ages I guess.

I’ve mentioned how difficult listening to everyone’s problems has been. And 2016 has given me a particularly huge influx. I’m glad that I’m easy to talk to, no matter if it’s about small problems like stress, or issues like relationships, break ups, family, jealousy, discomfort… but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s tiring. And as much as I care, to want to be there for everyone, that is precisely why I get very attached and affected by their problems. It’s like looking at a big picture and being the only one who sees all the flaws in its truth. I felt disillusioned. But part of that was my fault as well. I saw confused flaws and inconsistencies as hypocrisy, and I should have given these people more credit.

Still, I snapped. At my Cellgroup, for me seeing the problems they told me about, and for me overthinking. I was really rude and took it out on genuinely well-meaning people with good intentions. That was my mistake and I’ll have to work that out for myself. 

Just this holiday, I started acting very unlike myself. I was neat. Not exactly organized, but I organized whenever I could. Everything from my clothes to cutlery to my bags. And the insomnia I last had during A Levels came back. It’s true, I have bad sleeping habits, sleeping at awkward timings, but I always, always slept deeply.

All that aside, what really sent me into a mini panic was my hand trembling. That only ever happened during A Levels when I’d been clutching my fists too tightly in my sleep. My GPA was coming out around that period of time, so I thought perhaps it could be because of stress from academic issues. Maybe I just had jitters even though I kept telling myself I didn’t care. That day when Sze Liang noticed the trembling, it really put me on edge.

I have been told many times not to keep things inside. It’s strange, I always thought I was an open book. I always thought I voiced out my opinions enough. I always felt I was being lazy, not taking up as much as I should. But I remember every event or activity I’ve been part of organizing, people told me not to keep things inside. That was the feedback I received for 2014 Ying Xin TXY Orientation Camp, from Yun Fang and Feng Ling. “Don’t bear things on your own.” Hong Wei’s message was as such too, in his own way. On the 2nd day of Camp, when I was completely exhausted, I’d sat outside the auditorium, and completely stoned.When he had some spare time, Hong Wei came to sit beside me and we just got the silent rest I needed before getting back to work again.

 I just always thought those people thought too highly of me. I wasn’t some self-sacrificing nice girl. I’m still not. In actual fact, I thought my refusal to filter, my blunt straightforwardness was honesty. I was honest with what I said, not with the way I acted. Not with the way I felt. And I really didn’t know I was upset till it was too late, and I was sorry.

Other weird things I did: I couldn’t read, I couldn’t finish watching my Korean Dramas. Like sit down and read a book or watch an episode properly. I used to go through 3 or 4 books a day. I couldn’t write either. My poetry account is rotting. I got obsessed  with rubik’s cubes from watching this China Show, “The Brain”(最强大脑) and bought 3 off Carousell. I stopped smiling at Babies and kids and I just didn’t know what to do with them. And let’s be clear, it used to be like my life’s momentary mission to make crying babies on MRT trains laugh. Somewhere along the line I just sort of lost patience, I guess?

I just needed to chart my thoughts out somewhere. I’ve found a therapy that I think will help me move on from this mistake and release all the pent-up frustration and negativity I have inside. But that’s a whole new post in itself, which- I promise- I’ll find time to write.