Eight Years.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

For a while now the depression has been flowing to me like water from a broken dam, overwhelming and unstoppable.

But some time shortly after my birthday, perhaps because I had for so long been living in that lonely, bleak winter I had experienced in Toronto, or perhaps because time had finally decided that I ought to return to the waking world to move on and along, I started working proper again, after eight months of near-inactivity, of living in near-recluse.

May was filled with castings and pre-production meetings one day after another, in between I was tasked to make impossible deadlines possible, and at the same time stay on Pacific Time for my StarCraft II team, which has become increasingly important in my life — a source of laughter and happiness.

In the third week I shot for Elle, a few days later an editorial for SingaporeBrides. Before I knew it I was in Seoul for a project that stretched for two weeks into June. I returned home for a sleepless weekend, and left again the Thursday after for Seychelles to do another photoshoot.

The waiting hours during the trip has brought me some progress with The Glass Bead Game, I have now advanced past half the book, and found a quote I really love — "Every experience has its element of magic."

Even though Hesse's stories upset me a great deal more often than not, I cannot resist their charms that perhaps stem from the same yearnings as his protagonists. For needing to seek the answer to self, to wanting a way to solve the internal struggles, pains and conflicts.

Bit by bit, year by year, every now and then I would tell myself that, "This time for real I'd be moving on."

And then I'll have nightmares and they'll tear at my heart. I'll shed tears and hurt and think about this day and find myself at an utter loss once more.

But somehow the reading has calmed me, made me feel less alone. Even if the parallels and comfort are drawn from some fictitious characters, it feels like I'm finally able to take a step back and look at the larger map of my life again, with its paths and marks and light, and not just the seemingly endless abyss that I was for a long time so deeply submerged in.

There were no flowers when we visited today, it was still morning.

We had lunch after the visit and talked about old times.

Eight years. How has time slipped by us so fast?

My heart aches to remember those days that seem not so far away at all, to imagine what a fine man you'd have been amongst us today, to wonder what different lives we'd all be leading, just wishfully thinking...

But I understand now, to fulfill this life I cannot mourn forever. That I must find the strength to move on while remembering, without destroying myself.


Jessel said...

The time to move on is always hard - but with friends and words we share - you will find that which helps you go further - time is what it will take - and never fear what is inside you -- you -- later days

Jessel said...

The time to move on is always hard -- but with these words and the words of many -- you will find a way -- fear always holds us back -- but as you know - it is also what will start to push us further into the future -- later days

Pix said...

Plus don't forget that you are now no longer a child in any way, but a fully fledged adult. For any intelligent, emotional creature, that transition is usually so painful and bothersome that if you survive, you feel about ten years older than when you started. ;)

Tuesday said...

I can definitely feel your every ache and sufferings, hardships keep us strong and you're about to move on. Good for you and I wish you the best of everything.

Agnes said...

I, too, play SC2 when I'm down. I'm not so good but my SC2 buddies always cheer me up and somehow, killing those aliens and enemies... its so soothing :P

Hang in there, JN. Don't forget to remember the past but don't forget the fascinating tomorrow and the ever powerful present. Your gift is such an inspiration to so many of us.

Life is not meant to be easy... it would be so boring.

Also, think about it this way. Without the hurt, disappointment, and pain that you have endured all these years, could you really be the YOU that you see in the mirror now?

If you don't like YOU now, then do something about it. At such a young age, is working this much worth the pain?

Go scuba diving. That's what I did. Changed my life. True story.

Lastly, you don't know me but if you need to just chat with a random person, I'm all ears.

From a fellow Singaporean

Quique Mañas said...

At the beginning of the post I was worried, but I've seen you're an intelligent person!
Child days finished a long time ago. You've had a bad time but now, you're rising up again. You know that everthing had a good part and that life continues.

I'm sure you're important for a lot of people, people you know and people you don't know. You'll do great things.

Go on!

Anonymous said...


I wish I had some way to speak to you more personally than this, away from the anonymity of the internet. I've been quietly admiring you and following your work for many years now, having discovered you back in the old days of lolita livejourals in 2005(6)? Of course, we've all grown and we've moved beyond and I no longer wear frilly skirts but I always remembered you. It feels very strange that so many years on, I still "hear" your voice. Sorry if it sounds creepy-- It's hard to explain.

So much changes and grows. I'm sure if you looked back at the person you were in those days, you'd realise how far you've come. When I re-read a Shakespearean play (one that I read as a younger woman), I realise just how much I've changed. With every new reading, I realise how much my understanding of life has grown.

It's an old cliche but so true; life is a river. The world we tread upon is full of cracks. The river flows away into tributaries and through each of these dark before returning to meet the river again. *end cheesy metaphor*

Please always be strong. Though we may never meet, I genuinely hope for your happiness. Please grow, be beautiful and always live with passion. You bring so much beauty into this world; I hope that life will always return that favour to you.

With all the warmth in the world,
A long time reader

heroin_e said...

It's good to see that things are looking up. Funny - I picked up the Glass Bead Game a few days ago, too...

Anonymous said...

It's been years since people visited L. Everyone remembered him. Not many have completely moved on. Some just chose to leave it aside.

L's friend

Zhang Jingna said...

I visited all the years I was here, I know others have too, just individually.

Anonymous said...

I used to visit L two times a year, been sometime since I last went back though.

L's friend

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happend, but be strong. I wish you happiness.


Fern said...

Hello Jing Na. I love you, because you're such a strong person with so much to give and I hope you can feel it too. This world would be little without you.

dreamtomatoes said...

You've changed. Although I'm sure my black abyss was nothing compared to yours, I'm glad you don't feel like that anymore. I'm glad that you can see/feel the light now. I hope you'll find the sun.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for one more greet post. Keep rocking.

anaid-ace said...

for whatever it's worth, You might be happy to know that Gundam wing has a new manga novel: New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Frozen Teardrop

for its 15th anniversary.


Keep shooting! :)

Zhang Jingna said...

Thanks so much for that link! Made my day!! <3 <3

MaymayKay said...

I love your work and I love your soul. Really wish I get to meet you someday!