Uncharacteristically Motivated

It’s quite rare for me to be feeling this intense, fiery passion for something that I’m feeling right now and I want to document it, so that I can look back and draw strength and motivation from it when I’ve lost my will and way to fight, because I know that’ll happen, it always does. This time I want to be a little more prepared though.

Just a while ago I was stressing severely about something, and my friends managed to calm me. When I started to feel better, I got word that I didn’t make it into a club at uni which I was really looking forward to, my last shot at joining a club any time soon (or so I had thought at the time), and to say I felt dejected would be an understatement. Any positive feelings my friends had made me feel all dissipated in that moment. I had every intention of moping around for the rest of the night and wallowing in self-pity.

Until I remembered that something I’d been anticipating and dreading for so long was about to come up soon, and all was not lost: Dramatics club.
When I was younger, I used to be the lead in all the plays we had and acting was something that was fun and came naturally to me. Then I lost my spark sometime along the way, and although I don’t know if I still have it in me, I really want to give this a shot again.

I remember how exhilarating it felt to be in front of an audience. I remember a time when the nervousness fueled me and helped me want to do better. I don’t know when that morphed into crippling anxiety but it did. Now though, the urge to act and do well again is overpowering my anxiety and I might just be able to go through with the auditions. I really want to. I don’t remember feeling this hyper and motivated in months, if not years.

I realize how all the clubs I applied to, I did so halfheartedly. But this, I want with all my heart and soul, with every fiber in my being. I know that also means that I’ll take it all the more harder if I don’t manage to make it through, but at least now I can give it my all and hopefully there won’t be any regrets of not trying.

I’ll fight tooth and nail for this.

Let the record state that I have vowed to try my hardest, no matter what.

Now let us all hope I manage to carry through with that promise and don’t lose sight of what’s important to me at present.


Artwork by Alice X. Zhang


Inexplicably Tired

One would think that after more than a year of therapy, I would have gotten over most of my issues. Although many of them I have successfully resolved, sadly, some are still very much prevalent.

Like how there are some days where my anxiety and overthinking cause me to work myself up into a frenzied state. It happened again this morning in class and after a series of minor mishaps, I ended up with a fever, a drained mind and body, and extreme disappointment in myself.

Like how my anxiety manages to convince me that I’m a huge bother to the ones I call friends so I try not to talk to them about my problems because they don’t seem very valid or serious, and I usually end up just internalizing everything and feeling very lonely.

Like how the littlest of things set me off as of late and I’m a bouquet of emotions and turmoil.

Like how I’m constantly worrying about making sure I don’t offend or hurt any of my friends, and it just exhausts me so much but I don’t know how to stop.

Like how I can’t help but feel very inadequate and useless at times lately.

Like how I’m terrified I’ll hurt someone who seems to really care about me, how I’m afraid of being another name on his list of people that have broken him, how I’m never able to figure out how I feel about him because when I’m around him, I’m a plethora of emotions: anxiety, the fluttering-butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling and the usual bouts of numbness. I’m afraid of what we are and where we’re headed because everything is so uncertain and I want to avoid the potential chaos that is to unfold soon and want to run away into the woods where no one could find me. I’m afraid of making decisions and taking action.

I’m afraid.

And tired.

Just inexplicably tired.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by Saisona

Time Well Spent

There’s so much that makes me cry,

but there’s also so much that makes me laugh.

We are bodies of wonder

that have the power to hold so much goodness

and light.

Oftentimes though,

we get sidetracked by life

and the several obstacles it hurls our way.

But when you think about how

they come your way because you can overcome them

and learn from them,

then things don’t seem so hopeless anymore.

Though this doesn’t work every single time,

there are times where it manages to fill me with hope;

a hope which I then wish to fuel the world with.

I believe that if I just manage

to make even one person’s world better

and more bearable to live in,

then I’ll consider my time spent well worth it

here on this beloved mother ship Earth.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by chekspir

Originally published on The Literati Mafia


For a long time, what I’ve tried to teach myself is to never expect the same level of sympathy and empathy that I give to people, because I realized then that I have a heightened sense of empathy and that can be both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing: I am very sensitive to people’s mood changes and can easily tell if they’re sad or not. And if they do happen to be sad, then I always try to uplift their spirits, even when I feel dead on the inside. At the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about every person in the group and if they’re having a good time or not.

It’s a curse: quite frankly, it’s exhausting. I often have times where I’m lonely because people don’t sense changes like that in me very often, if at all. Sometimes I even manage to cry in a corner in the presence of my friends but they never even notice, or if they do, then they don’t have anything to say. I wish they’d realize I don’t need any words, and that just a comforting presence is more than enough sometimes. It would have been a huge comfort today as well, when my emotions got the best of me and I broke down a little. But alas, it was not meant to be.

I’ll be okay, though. I always am in the end.

I guess it just sucks to feel invisible sometimes.

And it’s a lonely feeling, knowing that at the end of the day, there’s no one who’ll always be there to pick you back up except for your own self.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by orange-magik


This post is, in fact, not related to shushing in any way, shape or form.

Lately, there has been very little that has motivated me to sit my butt down and actually write down a bunch of words. Wait, I should phrase that differently.
I have not felt emotions strong enough for many days that made me want to drop everything I was doing and compile my haphazard thoughts into words that could even remotely express the depth of my feelings. Until today, that is. Or rather, today’s events happened to be the catalyst that pushed me towards writing all of this down.

The reason behind all my blabbering happens to be a group of people I met very recently: SHHHH, as I’ve been referring to in my head. In the very short time that I met some of them, they have managed to become people that have impacted my life, even if by just a little bit.

S, being someone I’ve known a lot longer than the others, is someone I am very grateful for. He has been a support system and often nudged me towards doing things that I knew I should have been doing but did not have the courage to face alone. He sought me out despite not knowing me much at all, and I don’t think he even realizes just how much that, and all his other actions, have meant to me. He has reinforced my belief that everything is not what it seems, and that a human being is like an onion: there are many layers to him before you reach the core. We’ve bonded over a wide array of things, from music to art to life experiences and, although it might be risky, I’ve subconsciously gotten used to his presence and take comfort in it.

I met the four H’s for only a few hours but they have turned out to be people that I wanted to write and tell my close friends about. I’ll now refer to them as H1, H2, H3 and H4, in order of conversing with them.

I got to know H1 the least out of everyone, but I remember him as having a joyful aura and he managed to make me feel very welcome in the small amount of time I knew him. Bless his soul.

I found H2 to be very boisterous and amusing, and it was hard not to smile and laugh in his presence. I know that he can be generous and caring, and his actions helped decrease my chances of having hypothermia. He seemed to be the life of the party and I had the most fun around him.

H3 happened to be someone I connected with on many levels. I found out that we have a very similar taste in music, and many times throughout the day I caught him and I singing the same song under our breath and we happened to have had the same songs stuck in our head even; it was like telepathy. He was wonderful company while the others were away, and he also managed to make me feel less self-conscious about a part of myself that I know other people find odd. I am very glad to have met him.

H4 happens to be the catalyst that triggered the urge to pen down all of this. Initially, I connected with him on the basis of our mutual introverted nature and I had very deep and meaningful conversations with him when we were getting to know each other. Just a while ago though, I happened to read his writings and I cannot express just how much I loved all that he had to say. I saw a little bit of myself and my siblings in his witty thoughts and remarks and they thoroughly engrossed me. I found that we have a similar thirst for knowing things that might seem random and unimportant to others and getting to read his work has made me feel so eager to read more. He truly has a way with words and I do admire him a lot.

I love their friendship and the way they all interact with one another and the people around them. They seem like very awesome people and I just had to write about them. So glad that our paths crossed each others’!

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by Stacey Zimmerman



Things had been so good lately and I think I jinxed myself because here I am today, it’s week two of freshmen year, and I broke down at uni a few hours ago.

I know how awful it feels to be abandoned and I wouldn’t want to make anyone experience that ever. But things happened today and I ended up crying in my little bubble of solitude at an otherwise crowded space because I realized a few things.

I have two friends but I prefer person A over person B as a friend, but B relies on me and cares for me and it feels like a betrayal to him. If I had to choose one, it wouldn’t be B, and I feel my heart breaking for him.

Meanwhile, in trying to protect both of their feelings, I did something which I wasn’t entirely comfortable doing and I ended up being dishonest, even if all I did was tell a white lie. I think B might not be a good influence on me and I feel like I may need to let him go. And that makes me feel awful, because in his eyes I’ll just be another person who let go of him and hurt him.

I hope he doesn’t hate me and forgives me.

As for my friend A, I would like to get closer to him.

I hope we make memories together, and I hope neither one of us loses ourselves along that way.

© Ashes 2018

Break Her Spirit

An age-old tiredness

resides inside her,

like the weight of the world

alone she must shoulder.

The demons screech

and claw and howl.

They’ve wreaked their havoc:

her mind befouled.

For, now she pretends

to be happy and calm,

which is just a cover

for the raging storm.

Inside, she yells

and begs for help.

“But dear, lonely girl.

Only you help yourself”,

The demons cried.

They shook with laughter

as they saw  her spirit break;

it was just what they sought after.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by Miles Johnston

Originally published on The Literati Mafia


My bones feel weary, my mind feels heavy and I just want to shut myself off from the rest of the world.
Today was an exceptionally hard day for me. So it was my first day of uni, and for someone who took a gap year and hasn’t interacted much with strangers in months, it was borderline traumatic today. I love so much about this uni though and I hope it becomes a sort of home for me. But right now I’m having a hard time adapting.
I left early because everything overwhelmed me, and now I feel like a failure and a coward for backing out.
Tomorrow marks another day at my new life and I hope fervently that it goes better and smoother than today.


Come at Me, Life

Most days life just passes by in a rush.

Things are so uninteresting and monotonous

that you don’t even remember them happening.

But eventually there always comes a bump in the road

that jars you out of your reverie

and forces you to take action;

to change;

and the very thought of it is frightening.

I fear that said time is coming for me soon,

and everything inside me just screams

for me to run far away from here,

so I don’t have to do something

that I don’t feel ready for in the slightest.

But then again,

are any of us ever truly ready

for the events that unfold?

We try our hardest to prepare but

life always tends to spice things up,

and pushes us towards situations that force us to fight;

to adapt;

and to survive.

So life, if you’re listening right now,

throw everything my way all at once

and get it over with please

so that I can go home after fighting the battle,

brew a cathartic cup of tea,

and recharge until the next calamity strikes.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by 3mml

Originally published on The Literati Mafia

My Love from the Star

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short story called The Struggles of Immortality. I had only a few hours to meet a deadline so the story was something I came up with in a hurry. Normally I take the time to sit down and really feel the things I write, but due to the shortage of time, all I did while writing those words was think about how I should be feeling instead of actually feeling anything.

I had no idea that what I was writing actually had a similar plot to a show that I was going to be watching in a few weeks’ time. And today, I finished watching said show: a k-drama called ‘My Love From the Star’.

I knew I lacked emotion when I wrote the story. But I never knew the depth of those emotions until I watched this show.

So today, I cried. I cried so much more than I’ve cried in a really long time.

I cried for the characters and how much they loved each other. I cried for the amount of people the alien lost. I cried for the love he lost centuries ago. I cried for the years he spent distancing himself from humankind because of that loss. I cried for how he finally loved again but the timing was wrong and he was forced to leave her despite everything.

I cried for the time they wished they had but would not get. I cried for the time they had already lost. I cried when he eventually did disappear and how adversely it affected her. I cried when I thought of the struggles they went through. I cried for the years they spent apart.

I cried because for a few hours, their heartache was my heartache. And I cried because they deserved so much more.

I realize that these are fictional characters. But that’s when you know that the show you’ve watched or the book you’ve read is really good: it makes you feel very strongly and it makes you cry and it makes you want to die a little.

So I regret the time I wasted on not writing my own short story well enough. I regret not feeling everything better while writing it. I regret not doing the characters any justice. And I vow to do better next time, to be a better writer next time.

Here’s to the amazing writers and people involved in making this show: you’ve made me feel a plethora of emotions in a short amount of time and this show killed me a little on the inside. In other words, I loved it so much.

Thank you for this show and everything it made me feel. It helped me realize my shortcomings as a writer. I’ll definitely try harder.

© Ashes 2018.

In Another World

When shadows overlap,

they merge to become darker,


That’s what we see, at least.

But what if

in another world,

their merging created a story;

something deep and meaningful.

What if,

even for the briefest of moments,

somewhere out there

something magical happens

when two shadows meet.

So maybe,

just maybe,

in another world,

our short time together

lasted an eternity.

Maybe in some other world

I made your heart race

like you always did mine.

Maybe our love was pure

and deeper than the Mariana Trench.

Maybe I finally made you happy.

Maybe, just maybe

there is a place

where our love was true,

where the words ‘I love you’

made an impact:

made the stars align;

created galaxies;

were felt by every soul in the universe;

and they maybe even

meant something to you.

© Ashes 2018


Artwork by Aliza Razell

Originally published on The Literati Mafia