Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

On new year's day - 2019

It feels like there are just too many things to reflect upon and there's only one new year's eve / new year's day to put them up on FB, or other social media pages - but really, who really cares but us alone?
I wanted to joined the rest of those who shared lists of their 2018 career and personal milestones & achievements on the feed. That would be nice to inflate my constantly-being-put-to-test ego a little; however, something else is gnawing at me - some other half-answered and unanswered questions.
2018 was a trying year for me in the business, and I went through a emotional roller-coaster ride in examining the worth of my work and my personal values. Countless hours 'wasted' on unproductive thoughts, etc - but looking back, I embrace those dark moments as important part of growing up and learning to face my own doubts. 
Anyway, it wasn't just me - many others have felt the waves of repercussions of our changing nation. In the months of bleak businesses, some of us have turned to other things - our families, friends and self-development. Family ties, old and new friendships cemented themselves in our days of worrying about the arrival of next work call. New skills learned (if you forgot that it is quite a challenge to learn new things when you're too busy doing what you already know); and new seeds of creative work sprouted. 
In the good days, I was too busy stepping on the gas peddle and making sure I get to destinations on time, and then - "ka-ching!" Count the money in my bank, and on to the next job. In the quiet days of 2018, I had time to contemplate, and re-evaluate...
...about what does it all mean to me? Really.
What are the most important things to me? After paying bills and putting food on the table - and then what? 
I keep saying that my goals are simple and forward - do good work and get paid, and take the money to travel. Why do I need to travel? What does travelling do for my soul besides satisfying my desire to watch life and being on a foreign mountain every year? 
What does it mean to me to be an artist? How and where do I strike a balance between being an artist to being a performer? 
What is it that I really need, to find the inner peace, and true contentment? Am I the happiest when I know I am the most popular singer around? Or am I the happiest when I have deep connected conversation with a friend? Or is it when I pretend to be a songwriter? 
And that soft, timid voice that nags inside - "How can you contribute more? " 
Questions after questions come at me - questions I thought I have answered ages ago, questions that I thought were simple. I am marching to the new season with a bag full of questions for myself.
If anything - I am proud of 2018 journey as a person who is trying to be kinder; constantly finding ways to understand others, and MYSELF (it's also a sure fire way to reduce frustration and conflicts), and learn to be more loving (not something that comes natural to me). I am still rather thorny, insensitive, coarse and quite impatient at times - but I know I am trying to better.
While I start my new year with a bag of questions in my head, I am utmost grateful for having really good, true friends. Thank you goodness for friends and my community. Despite my affinity for solitude, I know I am well because I balance a community and solitary life nicely. 
To all those who crossed paths with me. All of you who were kind, patient, generous, forgiving, and loving towards me - THANK YOU...I won't name you all, there are too many of you.
For the lesser experiences I've had in 2018, I embrace them as my teachers in becoming a better human being. 
Here's to life...let's face the music and dance. Peace out. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Vintage Tales Series: [3] Manic 80s Jumpsuit

Going to post on FB on Oct 24
Episode 3 [Janet's Vintage Tales, No. 3 - Manic 80s Jumpsuit]
In the spirit of 'weird fashion' from last week's episode, let's have another weird one, maybe weirder one this week (I had a hard time choosing a photo from the pile I have) - this one I'd call it manic.

About the outfit, I have to admit: I really cannot remember where and from who I bought this red cotton jumpsuit from - it was secondhand.
Chong See Ming took this photo Dec 20, 2008 - "Tomboys & Angels" show at Annexe Gallery, Central Market. In fact, I've been looking at all the photos that she and I took at this show and I'm so tempted to post some of them up (I guess I will - keep an eye out on my feed tomorrow or later today).
December of 2008, it was at the wake of the authority's slam down on 'leilani lembut' problem. The gang...Pang Khee Teik did you organise this one? I forgot. Anyway, some artists and activists got together and threw a 'fashion show' at the gallery - paying tribute to humanity's colourful paradox of personalities (blurred lines of genders). Although I was a frequent audience in the theatre but I'd hardly call myself an activist or an artist yet, so you can imagine how flattered I was when I was asked to be part of the show.
Each 'model' were to portray two looks (of what I remember now): one androgynous and one feminine/masculine. The models were asked to catwalk in two personalities - the butch and the femme.
This outfit was my first look - a boy in a pair of pants but he really just wanna be a girl - hence the flowers in the hair and that wild makeup (we had a group of activists backstage with crazy makeup kits). I was slightly bewildered with the makeup given yo me, but it grew on me :) I chose this jumpsuit as my 'male alter ego' because it spelled androgynous to me.
The jumpsuit, 80s carrot-cut, cotton, a no-fuss zip-down the middle on the back. I have worn it back to front, sometimes with a belt too. Can't recall if I got it at a friend's home garage sale (was it your house Sandra Wolf?), was it from Justine Teh's Vintage Socialites?
This outfit still sits in my wardrobe now. Time for a walk in my red suit I hear?