This story is hard to begin, probably because this has only happened to me one other time in my life. I was 17 and having sushi alone in a seedy cube of a ‘restaurant’ wedged between a hairdresser and a neighbourhood gynaecologist.

Back then, I had only been just introduced to her for a brief 10 minutes before texting her half my life’s tragedy and the horrors that were my relationship. I don’t know what kind of reply I expected, but it wasn’t an “Okay, that’s cool. You’re cool.”

Nat’s been my best friend for (nearly) the past decade.

I do not have photos of me before the age of 19. Thanks, hard drives.

Having flitted from external hard drive to hard drive throughout my teenage years – (Cloud wasn’t a big thing back then) all of which ended in broken whirring messes, leaving me penniless and laden with stress-induced migraines – I finally conceded that these supposed storage ‘life-savers’ and I were never meant to be.


I’m not level-Melvin Udall yet; I don’t take pleasure in flicking the light switch on and off five times before entering any room, or feel the need to bin a bar of soap after each use – That’s OCD, not habit. Or as we Singaporeans comically imitate the Thai: Same same, but different.

The need to abide by a routine – be it with the help from planners, task apps or lists galore (I’ve done it all) – has become a chronic disability, crippling my ability to spontaneously ‘enjoy life’. Or as I like to call it: Being unprepared.


They were also doing their squats wrong. I wanted to tell them, I really did. But then I thought to myself, “Nah, with manners like that, you’d survive that back injury just fine.”

Decked out in my usual gym garb, I made a beeline for my usual squat rack. Halfway through my set, two girls approached me, claiming that I was using their squat rack and that I should move aside.