Ka Ikaika

I once read a poem by Jorge Luis Borges called “You Learn”. The poem goes :

'After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.'

The line  ‘So you plan your garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers‘ is probably the one thing I’ve come to learn over the years as I grew up. I watched myself being torn apart and I tried my best to help my friends who has to deal with a struggle. I was questioned about my life goal and I simply responded by saying I want to see my friends and family happy. Truth to be told, nothing makes me happier than to see my loved ones being happy.

This is Daryl. We’ve been friends for quite a bit and we’ve share our horrible college & university days with each other. Just like my other friends, he too has his own war and battles to conquer. Seeing him being happy and content with life makes me so happy. I can’t say any of us share two of the same pain for each heart and soul are created differently. Everyone has struggles that we don’t speak of, and nights where we’re forced to face our demons that we don’t talk about. There are people who don’t make it out alive and they would do anything to stop the pain.

Strength isn’t only measured physically but mentally and emotionally. The strength to hoist yourself up and not give up, that to me is truly amazing. Watching Daryl picking himself up after what his heart has been through, it makes me proud. That’s the beauty of pain. Once you’ve come to accept and forgive, there’s a sense of peace you’ve built within yourself. We talk about heroes with superpowers and capes but the most courageous you could ever do is to forgive. And that to me is pretty damn heroic. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Good things will happen to good people when you’re patient enough.

I destroyed loving someone once. It ate me up and I could feel my soul crumbling within me. I could feel the physical ache my heart bared for the longest time I can ever remember. After losing that person, I found myself. I taught myself to never be sad over the loss of a relationship (be it a friend or a lover) if self-improvement is the lover that I’m left in bed with. I taught myself to mend the broken pieces and I taught myself to love wholeheartedly again. I taught myself to be fearless and that it was okay to have emotions for I am only human.

Here’s to you, dear reader, wherever you are. If you feel like you can’t get through your day, just know that you’re never alone. Yes it is tough and it will only get tougher but hang in there, soldier. Believe me when I tell you that you were born with so much strength. Do it for yourself for you really are worth the fight.

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.


Warm Strawberries & Silent Prayers

The picture above was taken after being on the bus for almost an hour only to realised that I didn't get off at the right stop and I got off the wrong bus stop, walked 30 minutes until I decide to wait at another bus stop. Then I got on another bus, got off the right stop, walked for another 40 minutes and I finally reached the beach. Basically, I got lost in another country and my phone didn't have enough data to check anything. 


I was looking through all the pictures (polaroids, printed photos & the digital ones) and for every piece of memory that comes with them, I'm thankful. 2017 has taught so much about love in any kind of relationship ; even the relationship with myself. People have been asking how do I do it ; how am I still whole after watching me fall and tear myself apart. So here's what I wrote in my travel journal while I watched the waves gently hug the shore while I bury my toes in the warm loose sand, eating that box of strawberries : –

"Note to self :

You're at a tender age where life is viciously harsh. Some scars that are within you still sting from time to time. Some scars are sewn shut by your horrible sewing skills that makes them look uneven and jagged. But let me tell you that it is okay. Your best friends and family may not have seen you entirely at your worst where you know your healing mechanism somehow is so broken and you don't know how to fix yourself anymore.

There comes a night where your soul falls apart and you can feel yourself crumbling. It is going to be the toughest night you have to survive through. Everything within you feels hollow ; empty. Your hands are going to tremble because you're terrified. Your insecurities have all awaken and have began tearing you apart ; eating you alive.  You're then forced to face your inner monster with nothing but your stripped down, worn out self. You will break down until your throat feels tight and you're gasping for air. You're both equally exhausted and in so much pain. You're just sitting there waiting for dawn, clinging onto the mere hope that it'll be less horrifying. Yes, you are going be so desperate to stop the pain you're feeling and you'll do anything to divert the pain. But please, please hang in there with me for a while more.

There comes a day where the sky is at its best blue and you'll feel yourself shattering in public. You'll bite your lower lip to stop your eyes from forming tears, trying your hardest not to break down in public. Your fingers will be cold and you'll put them in the pockets of your best jeans while masking the obvious fact you're on the verge of crying. Pieces of your heart and soul will begin chipping apart and this is where you're going to pick it all up by yourself. You're going to try to mend yourself in a failing attempt to do so. Tears will stream down your face ; leaving stains on your cheeks and you're going want to stop breathing because the struggle is too painful. But please, please bare with me a little longer.

Don't give up. It's never the time to give up. Of course, it is easier said than done because who's to say what and how you should feel or not. I don't know what you're going through neither do I understand the pain you're feeling. But all I know is that if you're hurting, just take your time for it is okay. The world is already rough and it can be unkind. The last thing that heart of yours need is for you to be wicked it. The heart, the one that took 9 months for your mother to form and grow in her, is meant to love ; especially your entire well-being. You have to trust and believe in it. Just don't give up for you were born to discover places, create your amazing version of art and build your little path. You're going to stumble and fall but please be gentle. You need to know that you really are something and enough. You are loved by someone ; be it a family, a pet or friend. You've come a long way ; went to hell and back. So believe me when I say you really are strong enough to keep going. You got this, warrior.

With much love"

If you're thinking that I have got it all under control, some days I don't but I do take time off to reflect on my life. I've lost people ; friends and family. I've gotten my heart so broken to the point I could physically feel the pain.  Sitting on that warm sand in the picture, I had my passport, on my lap, that held immigration stamps which was the sole proof that I've went out, explored, and conquered. I learned so much ; so many things that I can't possibly type out in one post. But if it's one thing that I learned is you are never alone in this and you're worth the fight 


All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.



“The polaroid of you and I slipped out my purse. I completely forgotten that it was there. I picked it up and I smiled at it. There was no longer that bitterness in me.

I remember driving pass the spot where you once planted a kiss on my forehead. It was the night where you were so afraid to love me but you knew still said it anyways because all you wanted to do then was to love me. I remember how we sang our favorite song in public even though we both know we’re horrible singers. I remember our fights and the first time you cried in front of me. You told me you’ve never cried in front of anyone before but you did when you realized you were about to lose me. I remember holding you in my arms while you cried and begged me to stay. I stayed with you and I loved you more than I’ve loved any other person in my life. I remember giving you my heart. I still remember that night when you told me over the phone where you no longer wanted me. I tried to beg for you to stay but you said no.

I destroyed myself in loving you ; by giving all of my fragile heart to you. I fell apart. I remember the night where I stood in front of the mirror and I really couldn’t recognize the broken soul staring back at me. That horrible night that I was so afraid of falling asleep. It was that night my breaths were like as if I was gasping for air. I began wondering what’s wrong with me that I keep getting my heart broken. I remember how hard it was telling myself not to break down in public. I remember running to my car and losing all composure. It was as if my heart was so empty. The multiple of times I broke down. All the mornings I woke up missing you terribly that it literally ached. All the times where I muster the courage to hope you find someone else that would love you as much as I did ; someone that would calm the anger and hatred in you. Someone whose arms you’ll make your home in.

Then, I remember…I remember that morning I woke up where the pain no long stung anymore. I no longer miss you. I saw you on a Wednesday where you were out with someone new. I wasn’t bitter but instead, I smiled looking from afar knowing that the other person will love you. I lost you and it taught me what it was like to love.  I made peace with the pain. I forgave myself and I began loving myself more. I learned, even though it was a hellish struggle. I loved and I learned. Now, the thought of you no longer lingers in my mind. I no longer need you. I hoisted myself back up and stood on my own two shaky legs. I now no longer have the fear for love. I found myself. It took time and it really felt forever but I made it. I actually made it. out alive and this time, I’ve become a better me. Thank you for showing me that I am able to love myself without you.

So goodbye. Goodbye to all you.

– Here’s  to loving again.”

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

Bed Of Lies

“How long did you spend drawing the dream-catcher anatomical heart?”
“You actually found me.”
“Because I saw the car parked outside. You’re the only girl I know that drives a left driver’s side classic Mustang around here. And if I, of all people, can’t find you…honestly, no one will. I know you don’t want to talk to anyone but…”
“If you didn’t come here to admire my work but to lecture me, I suggest that you leave me and my bottle of Dom Pérignon alone.”

“No. I came here to see how you’re holding up. I can see that you’ve been making music, producing our music and work, doing cinematography and photography, creating art, writing and reading Bloomberg, WSJ, The Economist, books, and the freaking Encyclopædia Britannica. I also heard that you’ve clocked in almost 24 hours at different training sessions. That’s an average of 4 hours a day either at the pool, track field, courts, range and at the cages.”
“Then you’ve heard about that incident where I had to be rushed to the emergency….”
“I know, love. You barely slept for the past week, hardly eating and you lost so much weight”
“Unless you have a way to make nightmares go away that doesn’t involve me taking Ambien, I’m up for it. Because I literally just gave up on myself. I surrender. I give up.”
“Don’t. Just don’t. I give up. I know I never give up on anything but this…me…I give up. I just…can’t anymore. I give up on me.”
“Hey….shhhh….it’s okay.”
“I came here because this is my playground. We all used to come here. Kev and I used to come here all the time and we would sit on this roof and stare at the moon. We came here to make and produce music, develop rolls of films, do filming and photo shoots. We would create art ; any form of art.  Whether it was writing or something…this was our playground. And it’s like we always had all these solutions to whatever life throws at us. We made a promise that we’ll never give up on ourselves…And now..it’s just me here…and I’m scared…and I give up on me. I just…”
“Come here *holds tightly* Hey hey hey…it’ll be okay.”
“No you don’t get it, Ming. I’ve literally accepted that I’ll never be enough for anyone…and I just….am tired…in pain…hurting…and I just…”
” *wipes out tears* Look at me, Win.
” *stares* ”
” I’m going to tell the exact same thing that you told me when I was in your position and what you’re going to do is to take your own words that you gave me :  Never let anyone…not even me to determine self worth. Never. Ever. Not me, your siblings, parents, your best friends or any one else. Never.

I’m sorry that my side of the gender for being the same. I’m sorry. I really am. Look, even I, of all people, thought this was going to be perfect. I too thought he was different. I genuinely thought that finally things are going your way but he fucked up. If he thinks that he’s not the same like other assholes, then why did he do what he did? I don’t care if it was physical or not. The fact that he had slight feelings for her already tells you it was cheating. I know he told you that he’ll never do that to you but obviously, that was fucking bullshit. It was his choice and it happened while you two were together. It is not your fault and he never told you. Like he didn’t man the balls up to tell you! He kept that from you and he’s probably telling himself that he’ll tell you one day what really happened just because you’re emotionally unstable right now is just full of shit. Just face the music already! He doesn’t know what he wants and needs. He chose to lived up to all the things people say about him. How he’s a player and all that. It was his damn choice. You didn’t cheat on him. He did and he successfully convinced himself and his bed of fucking lies that he didn’t do anything wrong. 

This is not karma or whatever. This is entirely not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. You weren’t the one who cheated. You weren’t the one who fell for someone else or what ever the shit he did ; whether it’s physical or not. Don’t give me ‘He’s only human, can’t you be nice?’ line because you are human too and you don’t deserve to be treated like this. And I know you so well that you’re going to forgive him and be friends with him again. But look at you. I can physically feel that pain that you’re feeling and you have no idea how much I want to take you away from all the poisonous people in your life. The ones that broke your heart so many times, the ones who ended up saying ‘I told you so’, the ones who treated you like trash and the ones who took advantage of your kindness. I want to take away all your pain because you’ve been hurt for so long and I don’t know how much longer I can see you like this.

I know you want to give up, love but believe me when I say you’re good enough. I know for a fact that you are. You have inspired so many people! Because of you, I am who I am today. The rest of them will agree to this. We’ve become so successful because of you, Win. You taught us how to love again, how to get back up, how to fight for our dreams and that everything will be okay. You’re the strongest and bravest 21 year old I’ve ever met in my entire life. You’ve been through so much and you’ve saved lives. You helped lives. I know you got this. I mean, not right now, no. I know you’re scared of yourself and you want to give up on yourself and I know it’s hard. But please don’t. I know you got this. Do it for the author in you behind that unpublished book you kept in the box. Do it for the artist in you behind those magnificent artwork. Do it for the musician in you that smiles at the crowd after a performance on stage. Do it for the athlete in you that never gave up every stadium you competed in. Do it for the photographer and producer in you that is so ever talented. You got this. You really do.

He’s going to block you from everywhere and unfollow you and it’s going to hurt. It hurts because you really did love him with every ounce of your being and heart. This pain is inevitable. There’s going to be nights where you’ll find yourself crying in at 3 am because you wish things would be different and there will be days where you’ll play the ‘what if’s scenarios in your mind. There’s going to be memories that will haunt you in the shower. And then there will be the day where you’ll see him with someone else and you’re going to wish so badly that she was you instead and you’re going to hope that she’ll love him as much as you did. And you’re going to wonder what she has that you don’t. It’s going to hurt and there’ll be a stabbing pain that will send a burn to your heart.

But I know you got this. You can do this. You’ve made it this far and I know you can go further. You’re more than ‘good enough’ because you’re better. I swear on my life that you are. So please remember that I love you and I’m so lucky, blessed, grateful and proud to have you as my best friend. And I trust that you got this. As scared, tired, exhausted, sick, terrified, insecure, ugly, or ‘not good enough’ as you think you are, I’m here and I’m never leaving you. And if there’s a day when you feel like you’re not loved, you remember me, alright? Don’t give up on yourself. You got this. I know you do.”