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Dear 2020 Abby,

Every year you tell yourself that this will be the year you’ll make things happen – and indeed you did. You have always been the kind of person who make things happen.

But this year will be better because that’s what life is all about – that it can always be better.

This year you will be surrounded by people with more clarity to tell you things that they see, not things you want to hear. You will find more honesty and truth around you as you live it with your integrity. And be around those who value honesty and truth.

Grow and heal, every single day. And remember that people actually want to grow up and be like you some day. So live your days courageously with respect and love and most importantly – LOTS OF FUN.

And never ever ever stop giving and sending out love, no matter what. It’s your core being, it’s the essence of your soul and it’s the person that you are. Hug more people. Kiss more foreheads and cheeks. Smile and embrace love as you fire it out from your chest like the true carebear that you are, standing on clouds of rainbow candy flosses in the clear blue sky.

It’s you that I have always love, always and forever.

T-2 to 2020

In this past decade, I got my name engraved on the floor of Publika alongside one of my best lines from my favourite poem. I owe it to Ong Jolene and Nani Kahar for making it happen.

Sometimes when I feel down and alone, I come by to this spot and just stare at words and name. “Aku Jantung, Kau Udara, Mari Kita Bernafas Bersama-sama.” – Abby Latif

I am probably the most insecure person I know, and it takes a lot of growing up to get to where I am right now, being able to feel proud of myself. There are times and circumstances when I still think I have not done enough. But this year, the biggest lesson I learned is to finally accept everything – EVERY SINGLE THING – that has happened, and everything that I am.

Thank you, for all your love that you have shared. Attention is the most priceless thing and ironically, everyone paid the price. I am a walking definition of an oxymoron. Here I am, humbly bragging about my milestones.

Come here when you can. Tell me how seeing my name here makes you smile. And if you can, feel the love that I have when I first wrote these words. Because love makes me smile.

And fuck you if you say Paru-paru makes you bernafas. Suka hati aku lah. You write your own paru-paru dan oksigen poem!

T-3 to 2020: Things I learned in 2019

Strength is built by facing your fears, pain, demons and dealing with situations.

Moving forward by numbing your pain and ignoring your problems is just cowardice ego.

Nothing is ever a good excuse to be cruel to the heart that loves.

My emotional front is always perceived as a crazy reaction. “She crazy” “Lembiknya, sikit-sikit emo” “She’s driving me crazy with her emotional outburst”.

I rather be crazy than numb because only when you’re so deeply connected to your soul and your emotions, you will know how deep you can actually love. Plus, only the geniuses loves like crazy. If you don’t love crazily, then… you no genius. Haha.

People who are brave confronts their emotions. They feel and question it, constantly. Because emotions are fucking scary and painful but it’s the only way to build your inner strength. If you constantly run away from it, you will never know how to deal with it and that’s just building more and more into your fear.

Never let your ego make you a coward. Do not take pride in running away from dealing with your problems and your emotions. And do not glorify those who does – you should instead be worried for they will falter and break when you least expect it.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

In the spirit of Christmas, the least or actually the best thing that you can do is to be true to the people that you love.

This is me back in 2008 when I was 26 years old experiencing my first Christmas lunch with my English boss’s family. I’ve always love Christmas, the food, the presents, the eggnogs, and the ugly sweaters (yeap, that one was brought by my Mom – all fitting the entire concept).

With all the cheesiness from my hands to yours – May you find your one true love filling in the shattered pieces of your broken souls.

Can’t go in

I can’t go back to how it used to be but I am struggling to define home.
Home used to be where the person I have entrusted my entire heart stays within the reality of being.
Of being together.
Of growing beside each other.
Because human being is a verb, one voice of reason once told me.
I tried my best to see not only beyond the raindrops but within its liquid splashing on my window screen as if hitting me with senses that I am not able to reach.
If we choose love because we enjoy the emotional care and undivided attention, then why didn’t love choose me in return?
If we choose a partner so we can be an equal to their strengths, dreams, intelligence and maturity, then why didn’t my partner choose me in return?
You will never be good enough for me, that’s what she said in silence, without any words.
And here I am, in front of a home I am still trying to find a sense of belonging in.

The conscience of being

There are nights when every single feeling and emotions decided to pour into your heart while your mind is facing the worst congestion of thoughts.
Thoughts that clasped around each other as if they were dancing but in motion, they’re collapsing into each other in the most vigorous brown movement while their hearts become prisms of light with souls piercing through each other.
If you don’t believe in the soul, if you only believe in science and that your body is made of matter, then, do you actually matter?
I ride on these waves of emotion like a pro suffer swaying left and right with the rhythm of a samba dancer.
But every now and then you can’t control the weather.
The wind might not carry you to where you want to go to.
So you fall.
You fall in the depth of the abyss where the bottom is endless.
How do you climb up if you never hit the bottom?
How do you get out if you never came through the door?
I live in my bubble of thoughts – thoughts that are sparing with each other, leaving bruises from disagreements.
I live in my abyss where free falling is considered flying, a skill every bird is born with, for I am no bird – just a soul.
If I am not good enough for you, I accept that.
I have accepted everything because I am the real deal.
The conscience of being.
At least – to myself.

Slide in my life, not DMs

This weekend I had so many great conversations with different people – friends, acquaintances and strangers. It’s amazing to have conversations outside of the virtual realm.

That’s the thing about today’s world. Your entire life is just social media and you will find having real and deep conversations in real life as either redundant, petty or even tiring. People claim to have social anxiety in person but when it comes to social media – everyone reveals themselves for selfies and OOTDs and brave enough to talk about the darkest things in their minds – because they can always claim it’s only an online persona.

If social media is the only social life this world have – then how would you present yourselves? Would the presence of charisma become redundant because any filter can make you look good and majestic validated by 200 likes?

For me – I am this person, online AND offline. My tone, my persona, my energy and my aloofness. I will engage and have discussions, conversations and banters with you online AND offline. That’s the real deal – Me. So you just slide in my life, not DMs.

Pieces 2

Managed to catch In Pieces 2 by Sutra Foundation and Masakini Theatre Company curated by Wei Jun.

What beautiful choreography, I was almost in tears with some of the pieces as I was enthralled when dancers uses their bodies as vessel of storytelling. I finally get to watch Sabera Shaik, Rathimalar Govindarajoo and Suhaili Micheline perform. How amazing they are in their most natural form of art.

Please find time to watch this show, happening until 3rd November 8:30pm in Studio Ramli Hassan. Minimum donation is RM 50.

Halloween 2010

However you want to live your life – fun, reckless, wild, adventure, crazy, experimental, grunge, deep, promiscuous, mysterious – the golden rule is to be kind and never hurt others.

Have fun playing with your demons and satans. I have played with mine. Now even my demons have mellowed down next to me sipping honey lemon tea reminiscing good ‘ol times when tequila shots and poop always end up at the back of the car.

Happy Halloween, Pumpkins.

Paying an homage to Halloween

When I was a teenager, one of my favourite movies was James and the Giant Peach. It made me feel like a little kid stuck in Tim Burton’s mystical surrealism and somehow have carved my alter ego’s realm – one that my subconscious lives till today. It allows me to never let myself be vanilla.

For me, mystical surrealism is an escape from reality – an avenue where everything and anything is possible – with so much taste and never any limit to what one can stretch and do.

I am a non-conformist. In reality, I respect ways and structures; but in my heart, I understood being out of ordinary. There’s always a place for both to exist, maybe not at the same time, but never to be disregarded by any means.

Quantum physics. Metaphysics. Consciousness. Light realms. All these dimensions exist intertwined within our realities and understanding. And the hollow void in between of it is filled with nothingness. And in the depth of this nothingness, magic happens. As surreal as it sounds, you need faith to be able to experience it in its entirety.