The Purpose of Life is to be A Nobody

Somehow I just can’t connect to medium.com but I found this wonderfully-written, profound article on Quartz while searching for my book online. It has original links to Design Luck. I have subscribed to Design Luck’s newsletter, but I don’t know what other articles there are. But this one just made me go wow wow wow wow.

Note that I don’t have the permission to repost this article yet, so I am saying it here that I did not write The Purpose of Life is to be A Nobody. I just find that it’s so spot-on to what A Nobody means to me when I wrote A Nobody’s Observations that I want the whole article in my blog. It feels so glorious to know I’m not the only one who now knows what A Nobody means.

When I titled my book A Nobody’s Observations, I did intend “A Nobody” to have multiple layers of meanings to it. I write everything this way, actually. In a way there’s no one exact meaning when you read my posts. You read it according to how you’re seeing things at the moment. Sort of like a writer’s play with the readers. The next moment, when perhaps you understand a little bit more, you see another meaning to it. But really, I love The Purpose of Life is to be A Nobody.

People have told me they don’t understand how I’m so “chill” or “don’t care” about many things. I literally approach CEOs the same way I’ve approached my security guards. I don’t look at an older person as someone I need to highly respect, neither do I care to look at credentials before I want to trust somebody. It’s all because I know I am a Nobody. …and that everybody else is a Nobody as well, thinking they’re somebodies.

I don’t understand what the writer meant in #3 because I don’t associate “struggle” with “defining self”, but it’s fine nonetheless. I believe in Resilience though, that everybody is resilient… I understand now.

Touch The Human Need

Yesterday evening I had to meet someone at Puteri Harbour and along the way, I saw throngs of foreign men in construction hats and safety vests walking into the woodland.

Managed to see container houses in between the bushes. I looked into the distance and saw magnificent skyscrapers enhancing the evening red sky. An irony; labelling this city “world class”, “education hub” blah blah while the ones who carry the heavy iron and ironing out the sketched ideas live in container houses.

I want to hug all of them.

Today I accompanied my parents to the morning market. I don’t enjoy getting up on a Sunday morning to go out, but once I’m out it’s really no biggie. I love watching people at the morning market.

The morning market or Malay word is “Pasar Pagi” or sometimes it’s called “Pasar Tani” (Farmer’s market) is where farmers sell their goods there. I highly doubt that they grew the vegetables themselves but whatever. Counterfeit watches and electronics. My dad buys his bottle of honey there every Sunday and will come home every time to test the authenticity of his honey. I’d rather just spend at a mall. What’s enjoyable to me is watching people at the morning market. Another kind of charm.

Love and Friendship

I think we’re misunderstanding love.

Love to me is a space inside of you that you keep clean, off all judgement, negativity, hatred, about another person. When you understand that everybody has something else in their minds, a reason for them to act on impulse or why they do what they do, then you’d find yourself incapable of hating or disliking them. In that way, I honestly say I love everybody. Don’t send more hatred to a person who already fills his world with it.

There’s my security guard who gets excited when he sees me. I drove and waved at him, thankful that he would want to share his smile with me, making my drives out of my neighbourhood so much more pleasant. I chose to live there because of the beautiful view, but I believe now it’s the security guards that make it so lovely.

Thank you.

On my way to a business meeting, I drove to my mechanic in my old vicinity (about 20 minutes drive away) where I feel this space of love again. It’s just already there. Sometimes you can feel it, sometimes you don’t. Who I would like to be this space of love, peace, and comfort for everyone. The mechanic was happy to see me too, as I was happy to see him. My parents think it’s because I’m a woman, but I honestly don’t think it’s because of that. Half of the world is women! If it’s true that women make men happy, then all men should be happy.

Tolerating

Why do you think “tolerance” or “tolerate” is a good word? I think when you tolerate, you take a ball of salt and you hold it. One day when you fall, wounded, that salt’s going to hurt you.

“Can’t you see what I’ve done all these years?! All these while I’ve been putting up with this and this is how you repay me!!!”

Understanding, on the other hand, gets the salt dissolved. When a person does something, you understand and it goes away. You won’t be holding any balls of grudge.

Have you noticed how you might be judgemental about the mother when you see a child crying non-stop, you try to tolerate the crying but inside you still plays a story about how irresponsible or stupid the mother is. But when you open up to understanding that something might have happened to them last night, or that she just lost ten thousand bucks worth of Bitcoin, the salt dissolves and a whole new feeling changes inside of you. You understand that no mother (in her right mind) would want a child to keep crying in public. Something must’ve happened that occupied her mind with something else. You’d start feeling empathetic towards her.

Look to be understanding, not merely tolerant.

Claiming My Neighbours

David Archuleta recently became relevant again in the eyes of the internet. He has been doing many shows here and there but nothing explosive that made the internet go crazy. I’ve always liked and respected that about David, that he chose out of this “Spotlight” to do his own thing.

A girl in a hijab posted a funny video of her lipsyncing to David Archuleta’s Crush (a song I hadn’t heard since Manila live). David retweeted it. It was 7 am for me, I was excited, happy, and thought the girl looked like a Malaysian internet celebrity. These young ones do a lot of silly things on the internet these days, you know? I don’t keep up.

So as always, as what I always did, where I can be, I tweeted to David that the girl’s from Malaysia and he should come back. The girl replied she’s from Singapore. I said whoops, okay, no matter. David should go back to Singapore too.  I thought that was the end, but nope. People kept retweeting it and replying saying I’m a Malaysian who is claiming a Singaporean to be theirs, and that “Malaysians don’t do that” and “Malaysian is becoming like Indonesian” etc. At first I was like, meh. Then it kept coming.

Picture in 2012, the last time most of us in South East Asia saw David live was in 2011/2012 before he went on a two-year Mormon missionary trip in Chile. I had the opportunity to fly to Manila in October 2017 to see him again after five years.

Binge Watching TV

A few nights ago I intended to take a break from my late-night “studying” sessions (read: studying for work), gracefully typing www.iflix.com into my search bar with one eye closed. iFlix is Malaysia’s Netflix I get for free since I’m subscribed to Unifi. I knew it was going to be a one-time thing. Just in case you didn’t know: I don’t watch any dramas, I don’t enjoy movies and I only listen to music when driving. Just wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I usually spend my free time watching documentaries, studying how-tos, and listening to talks (I am 100% boring).

When I clicked on the Documentary category, what came out instead were biographies about celebrities. NOPE. Horror? Nah. Adventure? Boring. I thought of Hilary Duff. Hilary Duff. That’s who I want to watch. I typed her name in the search bar and Younger TV came out. Oh man, it’s a TV series. TV series have always been out of bounds for me. Not only did I understand how much time a person would waste on watching one episode after the other, I also understand it’s designed that way so you get hooked and want more and more and more. It serves lonely people well.

YOUNGER

I watched it anyway. Three or four episodes per night. My usual 9 pm – 12 midnight spending time work-related I spent watching Younger. Guilty I felt, but at the same time, I wanted more.

Told myself work could come in later as I watched these 26 year-olds be somebody in the publishing world, understanding what my own publishers meant when they say they look for authors with no following. The editors and publishers at Empirical chase authors with thousands of followers on Twitter. The protagonist is a 40-year-old woman pretending to be 26, first faking her age to find a job, next faking her age for everything. Every night they go to the bar; if not something to “celebrate”, they’d go just for fun. They’d show up at the work the next morning looking flawless as always and the forty-year-old protagonist somehow always does her assistant job well AND has the eyes of hot looking men on her. The episodes open with an after-sex scene, kissing and stuff while I wonder if, in real life, people smell. Morning breath doesn’t seem to exist! Oh, TV, the ideal life.

I told myself, “Let’s just finish one series and see if I’m compelled to watching the next one.” Damn that autoplay button. I just sat my laptop at the edge of my table as I lay on my front on my squeezy Queen-sized bed not wanting to do anything else in that time I usually would have been productive or found out something new. Autoplay. Autoplay. Autoplay.

Last night I was up to the fifth episode of the second season. It was becoming addicting, I admit, I even took myself to look them up on Instagram. They were at the xth season already and Liza (the protagonist) was ikut nafsu kissing her big boss Charles, then somehow Kelsey (Hilary Duff) was kissing Liza’s hot boyfriend.

I shook my head. SMH. Is this even real life? I don’t think so. How could you hook up with each other like that? And what good does it bring me to watch these things? What kind of education or knowledge can I receive feeding my addiction to a TV series? The only kind of wisdom I got was that there is no point, so I no longer feel the need or want to watch the series anymore. As curious as I was, I knew watching it does nothing good. Something in me just switched. It’s as simple as that. I can’t find a good reason to continue watching (I do think it’s a good series). So I just stopped.

My entertainment is I guess not in the form of watching dramas. It’s not good for you once you binge-watch it either. I see it as a problem, an addiction problem. You might argue “at least I’m not doing drugs”. Mean or material does not matter. Root remains the same: addiction. It’s when you think you lack something so something else fills that void. The same way you feel clingy or needy around your boyfriend or girlfriend. The same way people eat when stressed. The fact that you feel so empty without it, you are addicted to it. If having it makes you happy, then not having it still makes you happy, congratulations.

If not, I say you have an addiction problem. The cure to addiction is connection. This kind of connection is not a Wifi on and off thing. The connection you lack is one that is never-ending, continuous and everlasting. We are all made of connections and I feel that you cannot establish a real solid connection with another person until your own connection with yourself is grounded. You think your husband makes up your “other half”? Take him out of the equation, do you still stand strong? A plant may wilt but a resistant plant knows to move towards the Sun. You are so full of resources, a being of intelligence. Why would you spend your precious time watching TV that makes you “feel” things or “forget everything” when you could use the time to learn how to connect?

Don’t take a pill to suppress the pain. Find out what causes it, and learn how to shovel it off entirely. Sometimes, you don’t even have a problem.

You just think you do.