Category Archives: Written Word

Back in the habit

Back in the habit

doctor who

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been gradually slipping into a new, but familiar, routine: I’ve started writing again (I refuse to call it ‘blogging’ because ‘bloggers’ in this country are like ‘celebrities’; they call themselves that because they have no idea what the term really entails). Although most of what I write is just emotional ramblings that mean something to me at the time of writing, it would appear that said ramblings seem to mean something to other people as well, because more than one person has told me that reading my website is like reading all the things that they themselves are thinking, but are afraid to say — or in this case, write — out loud.

I will admit that for the longest time, the number of posts on this website had dwindled considerably. I thought it was all part of the natural progression of life. I started writing publicly in 2004 (and you will likely never find my very first website, because I did not use my real name back then, and this one you are reading only dates as far back as 2006); the 12 years that have passed since can be considered light-years in this field, because writing is something that can cause burnout faster than most people realize, but I’m quite pleased that I’ve managed to accummulate a fair amount of ramblings over the years.

Things went a little quiet while I was working as a full-time writer for a magazine, because when you spend all your working hours writing, the last thing you want to do when you get home is write some more (and even then, I ended up bringing a lot of my work home, because I hated transcribing interviews in my office). And believe you me, I did a lot of writing between the hours of 9am and whatever-it-took-to-finish-what-we-had-to.

It didn’t get very much better after I left the magazine to go back to public relations, because that job involved a substantial amount of writing too, and I retained my column in The Star newspaper only because it allowed me the flexibility of writing whenever I wanted, and it also occasionally published some of my articles on its website. As a result, my website remained quiet, although I did try to write at least once a month, if only to get some of the angst off my chest because there wasn’t really anyone else for me to talk to about it.

Leanne Koh 001Leanne Koh 002

Then last year, Empire: Lebanon led me to briefly consider closing down this website, as well as my Twitter and Instagram accounts, because the stalking had reached biblical levels and I was tired of feeling as though a 48-year-old woman was watching me shower through a secret camera installed in my bathroom (which will be my exact answer if ever anyone asks me what it’s like to be stalked). Instead, I went on hiatus, because the only thing that stopped me from actually shutting this place down was the assumption that I might want to come back here at some point. Today, I can honestly say, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I WAS THINKING.

So why do I write? Or Tweet or Instagram or put myself out there in any form? My hiatus gave me the answer, and it was so simple that I’m ashamed I didn’t figure it out myself.

I am a writer, pure and simple. Unlike Shonda Rhimes, who gets off on having people cry at the TV because she’s a successful screenwriter, I get my thrills from spewing coherent sentences that hopefully mean something, and putting them out into the big unknown (or not-so-unknown, if the statistics are anything to go by). And most importantly, I have nothing to hide, nothing to fear judgment for, and nothing that people haven’t already thought but aren’t willing to say. I suppose there’s a narcissistic element to it as well; I always think all writers are kidding themselves if they don’t find themselves a little bit narcissistic when it comes to their work, because who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing their name in the byline?

So here we go again, my renewed attempt to write a little more regularly. Now that I’m slowly weaning off my other jobs to focus on the restaurant and other plans for the future, I hope that writing won’t be so much of a burden anymore. People have always told me to take this website to another level by making money off advertorials, but that was never the reason I started this website. This was, is and always will be my outlet for all the things that go around and around in my head that polite society forbids me from giving voice to. And if some people feel that they can relate to my writings and see me as that voice, a voice for their unspoken fears, then I’ll add that as another reason to keep this space alive.

In these pages

In these pages

pages

The lights are out, the music soft
The effect from the wine is heady
I look around and then next to me
But I know that you’re not ready
For all the things I need to say
In order to clear my doubts
And if keeping them in can stay the pain
Then I’d rather go without

“I can’t stop reading your posts, they are amazing,”
You told me long ago
“I wish I’d known you earlier,” you said
“It’s never too late,” I said, my face aglow
But as the time went by and words turned scarce
I realized I was lost
Because keeping them in did stay the pain
But my peace was what it cost

So I put my pain from pen to paper
And from the floodgates came the words
Yet, from 4744 miles away
The wheels of torture whirred
“How can she write these things?” they squawked and bleated
I felt the walls closing in
Until a voice told me, strong and clear,
“The truth is never a sin.”

Now as I tell the story of us
I see all the things that could have been
But I know that time is a fickle mistress
And the survival of its plague must now begin
So in these pages I will live our lives
My pen will dance to thoughts of you
Until the day that you pick up my book
And decide to see these stories through

Barriers

Barriers

lang leav love

It’s so ironic that the best kind of love — a love that exists without conditions, without demands, without reasons, without questions, without bounds, without reserve, without self — is the only kind of love that can never be allowed to exist. It’s so bittersweet that after having discovered what it truly means to live our lives they way they should be lived, we have to give them up, even if it’s only temporarily, just to make other people happy. It’s almost laughable that after all the sacrifices and all the heartbreaks, we have to keep on sacrificing — all in the hope that one day, we will be able to break those barriers and live our lives once more.