17, now. – same same but different // last goodbye

like the moon that constantly 
waxes and wanes 
still there through cloudy nights and 
sunny days and starry skies 
through 
dreading the end of an era and
heartbreak, nostalgia and homesickness 
through adventures across asia and undefined nothingness
I’ll always come back.
(even if I do accidentally lose myself //
stronger and fuller than ever) 
so 
I think I’m ready for bigger adventures 
I think I’m ready to grow up.
—————————
I turn 18 today! I’ve thought a lot about this day and what it might signify for me, and I’ve decided it to be a semi-fresh start. I’ve been holding on so hard to being 17 and by technical definition, still being a child, that I’ve been holding myself back from trying to do more adult things. 

17 was my best year, with so many hellos and goodbyes and fairy tale endings and happy new beginnings, so I’m ready to leave all the major changes of “new beginnings” behind and just take life as it is now. It’s really fitting that I’m back in Hong Kong for my 18th, where everything – from my life to school to finding out who I am – started, as if I’ve come full circle and completed my childhood journey. Growing up will never be as simple, straightforward and quick as saying so, but it’s not like I’m going to become an entirely different person. I’ll always come back to who I’ve been ever since I was a child, and with that, I’m fully ready for the last goodbye, after saying it again and again to all my friends as they left for uni: goodbye childhood, and hello new experiences in adulthood!

xx.

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17, now. – here’s to my best summer

the waves lull  
and we sway blissfully 
free, floating and drifting 
through the quickly passing days. 
I wish we could stay 
here, together 
forever 
–––––

My summer is ending soon and in many ways it already has, so before I move on to a new part of my life, make new friends and have new jokes, here’s to 14 years of unbreakable friendship. Class of 2017, thank you for the best summer of a rotation of different hangouts almost daily. I’ll miss us so much, and I think I already do. All the best in the next chapter – if we survived IB, BS biases, and everything that was thrown in our way the last few years, we can do anything. Keep in touch, and we’ll meet again soon. :)

xx.

17, now. – paradoxically timeless 

between the foreign lullabies and
the slowly setting sun,
nothing and everything
happens, happening, has happened,
all at once –

our laughter fades quick past
the lined skies and neat roads
clattered footsteps drifting into the cloudy night
all the screams and screeches
in our shared house are
only memories now

and as the whisper of soft silence rings
in the distant rush of the highway
the end of another dream looms:
I really wish we could stay
this way, forever

—–

I jumped from my grad trip in Japan almost immediately to another, way shorter trip in Korea. The difference between the two countries and the company I’m with is drastic, and this is my last night so I can say this, both have been enjoyable in their own ways. I’ve never felt so at home and natural with the people I’ve been with and I’m so grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

For real, both trips happened way too fast and was over before I even realised it. While two weeks have gone by, it really feels like nothing much has changed at all.

xx.

night walks 

forgotten winds and a sliver of silver  
bid good evening 
as I wander lost and jumbled as my thoughts  
still on home field, but not at home  
 
I wish I could remember 
the sweetness of nighttime air and 
the ease at which words come 
and instead have forgotten 
how to meticulously pick things apart – 
from dialogue to meanings to symbols. 
when will, and when can I let, 
things come naturally again? 

————-—

I’m a third into my exams and all this mindless studying has me realising that I might have lost who I am on the way here. IB has been emphasising so much on the 10 qualities, some of which include being balanced, reflective and a risk taker, I’ve kind of forgotten what else I should be/ am. I can’t even remember my pre-IB hobbies. Waiting for the next 10 days to pass quicker so I can find out whether I actually have a personality, or if I lost that as well (along with my writing skills :///).
x.

17, now. – i miss winter

i miss cool and carefree days
now, more than ever
our sunken but starry eyes and
our air of invincibility
facing forward to our futures

we’re closer
now, more than ever
our glee and excitement may be undeniable
but i don’t like how sinking reality is,
how the heat clings onto my skin
stifling and unshakeable,
or how my heart twists,
uncomfortably unpleasant,
every time the realisation ‘it’s the last time we’ll ever…’ crosses my mind

winter may’ve been
stress and coffee and panic but
i’d live through it all again
if it meant we’d have more time together

———-

Today was our last official day of school; my last regular school day as a secondary school student. My last day as a primary student didn’t do much for me, because I knew I’d be seeing majority of the grade in secondary anyway. But the feeling I have now… oof. Nothing really feels real yet, probably because I know we’ll be back during our study break and back to sit for our exams and back for graduation. Despite that, I’m still so thankful for the past 14 years at this school. I feel all weird and upset inside thinking we’ll never have classes together again, since everyone’s off to different places next year. I’m definitely going to miss poking fun at and with my friends in class, being so in tune with my friend that we can lipread and think of the same dumb jokes, and really, just… all the little moments we have in regular classes.

In short, I loved watching everyone grow up and growing up with everyone, and even though we had some awful moments, I wouldn’t change a single thing. Thanks for the past 14 years, SIS!

x.

life will be good

crisp wind and fresh air
smells of infinite possibilities
under infinite blue

pantomime trees sway gently in the breeze

we hum our own tunes, melodies
blend into what becomes the songs of life

it only gets better from here

17, now. – family is synonymous with home

dolled up and feeling like
a stranger in my skin
festive reds and golds but
familiar places with familiar faces
i start to ease up –

passing years have seen us drifting
time zones and lifetimes away
but a rhythm settles and the distance
disappears with the lively chitchat
and sharp cluck of chopsticks reaching for food

because
family is family is family
and here with everyone is where
i’ll always feel settled
and comfortable
and at home.

This recent Chinese New Year was so precious to me – I saw so many relatives who I hadn’t seen in years. I realised my family had our own traditions; aside from the usual radish cakes, we pass the phone around when my aunt in the US calls, we crowd the sofa for our annual family photo, etc. I found that despite not having seen some relatives since forever, I wasn’t awkward around them – one of the reasons we are family is because we can be comfortable around each other. All in all, it was a really touching holiday, even if I am a month late on reflecting this. ❤︎

x.