Sunday, October 26, 2014


I’m not sure how to begin; I’m pretty new here. I’m hazarding a guess that starting off with some reasons as to why I, and not Irina, am the one writing this entry would be a good start.

This is a response to Irina’s blogpost about second love. She is my second love as well, which is pretty much a sweet slice of serendipity (this is my favourite word in the world, FYI) when I think about it. Truth be told, I wish she was my first love, because that would mean that up till this point, my love life would pretty much have been clean, cool and smooth sailing. C'est la vie.

First, maybe some background information about me (although not too much, this isn’t a personal expository article). I’m 21 and thus, two whole calendars behind Irina. The age doesn’t bug me at all though. At the start, dating an older woman can be an entirely scary prospect and I still remember being gripped by an overwhelming anxiety each time I opened my mouth to speak to her. 

“What if she thinks I’m a small boy? Is my world-view mature enough to capture her attention or is it going to bore her to tears?”

But as time wore on, things just began to flow naturally. Nowadays, I don’t even really have to care or think about what I say to her. Nonsense just streams from my mouth and I don’t have to filter my thoughts. The outcome is pure bliss. It’s good to see your partner for what they truly are and not as a number. To be completely honest? It’s also pretty fantastic dating an older woman. She’s in control, she’s mature enough and she’s strong— things I didn’t suspect I would find myself attracted to at first but which now I find irresistible components of the her magnetism that grip me and refuse to let go. 

(Funny digression - I’m writing this while Facetime-audioing Irina and she assumes that my fervent typing was me summing up my economics notes. Far from the fact, love — I never type so purposefully unless its about a topic I’m really passionate about: in this case, You.) (I am passionate about economics though. Hm.) 

Right now, I am studying in Oxford University and doing Economics and Management. I one day hope to sell my soul for money (I’ve said this joke so many times that I’m beginning to suspect there’s some truth underlying the punchline). I am exactly 10924.916 KM away from her, which sucks most of the time. Well, all the time. But its good because she keeps me sane, stable and satisfied with what my lot in life is right now. The workload is abysmally tough, the weather cold and without her, I think I would be pretty depressed right now. But the prospect of seeing her again in exactly 42 days (at the time of this writing), of coming home after class each day, calling her up and finally hearing her gentle voice is what has been getting me through these cold days and colder nights. 

She has this way…. with words. Her words are pretty simple (she complains that I’m unnecessarily pretentious with my choice of vocabulary) but yet they have a… calming effect. She chooses the right words at the right time. She knows exactly what to say when my mood dips to cheer me up. She also doesn’t hesitate to scold some sense into me when I’m behaving like a brat, which makes her a truly impeccable girlfriend (I assure you, there’s not a single trace of sarcasm there. If you have a girlfriend who knows how to discipline you and in the process make you realise you’re actually quite the little shit, she’s a keeper). So yeah, I get to hear from her almost daily. If you look at the math, sound travels at 340.29 m/s. 

So, 10924.916 KM isn’t that far after all. 

So steering this back on track, what’s second love like? It makes everything right. It closes the wounds you’ve had inside of you. It makes you feel like you are worth the love that you had previously thought you weren’t deserving of. Recently, I’ve learned an axiom of life from a friend here in Oxford, and her words made quite a lot of sense:

“There’s a lot of reason to question things in life. Like, you just wake up and realise, why am I? There’s a lot of things that we cant understand as of yet and probably will never understand. The only probable truth in life is Love.”

I paraphrase of course.

So yes, second love is better than the first. Falling in love the first time is easy. But giving it away to someone again, after the first heartbreak, is something that requires a conscious decision. It takes a lot of courage and it requires you to trust the person. Before love comes trust. You know what it is like to be crushed and smashed and ground into an interminable oblivion. You trust that this person, as you place your trembling heart in her hand, will handle it with the utmost care and delicacy. That she’ll hold it both tightly and gently at the same time—she won’t let you fall and she won’t hurt you. That she understands the profundity of the exchange that is taking place. 

I’m not religious (I try to be but haven’t found the right time nor place), but falling for a second time has taught me that God’s greatest gift to us is our ability to love. Love is powerful; it is the thread that holds the entire tapestry of our being. Thus, something so sacred must surely be the divine handiwork of some celestial being. That means that no one else has the ability, means or right to take it away from us. This gift is ours and ours alone and we will never lose our ability to exercise our love. It is our choice. We and we alone make our own decision to love. I seriously doubted my capacity to love anyone again after my first breakup, but Irina stirs something deep inside me. I took the plunge, and I am the happiest man in the world right now (except when I’m drowning in a 200 page management reading list) because of that. 

I love Irina and I wish she was my first love. I would have loved (am I overusing this word? My essay tutor told us to cut down on repetition, maybe I should thesaurus it. But then agin, there’s no substitute for a word that’s both a beautiful noun and verb) to discover what holding hands, having a first kiss, falling asleep together and so much more felt like with Irina. But the what's past has past and there’s no point looking back when the road ahead is long and the scenery beautiful. The future is bright, especially with her by my side. 

42 more days. Fall be kind.

Yi Ming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I saw this on tumblr and I thought, it's magically on point. 
This is an old poem by Neruda, and one of the first lines goes like, 
"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."

Friday, October 17, 2014


So how do I do this again? How do I start an entry without sounding too abrupt?

Maybe for starters..... a short confirmation that Irina is still Irina. She still stands by the principles she believes in. Bruised with life experiences from the past month(s), her views might be much broader now with more varied perspectives.

And before I fill you guys with updates, I just have to point out how incredible you guys truly are. I'm more than impressed by how patient you guys have been, so so understanding and supportive with my hiatus. I'm actually proud that my readers embody such attractive qualities. Simply brilliant human species. Thank you.

Yoohoo, I'm Attached!

Haha. Yes. Unexpected. This news shouldn't be new to you if you've been following my updates on Instagram and read the previous entry. I just want to make it official and thought it'd be nice to share this with y'all. Ain't too sure what to disclose at the moment and where to start, so let's just talk about the elephant in the room: my new relationship status. I've been penning my thoughts here since forever; significantly more personal from the time I found my first love to the time it ended. And here's to second love.

Many say second love triumphs the first. I can't vouch for that yet, but I can see why it can be true. Disclaimer: I'm not imposing my reflections on you guys nor am I implying that the assumptions I made are applicable to everyone but I'm just trying to make a point that if I, the smashed, the tragically imperfect and the skeptic at love could have another go at it again after the damage I experienced from previous relationship, second love could make you feel like anything is in fact, possible. 

It feels a lot more real, a lot less pretentious. I'm not insinuating that it was previously but you know how girls (and guys too!!) are like with the ideals they have in their head. A lot of time guys and girls unknowingly drown each other with their own set of unrealistic expectations and the relationship evolves to become.... something else. Going back to real, I had the thought of keeping this relationship entirely to myself without broadcasting it to the world. If you've been a long-time Irina reader, you'd have realised how much I've cut down on the mushy posts. I thought what potentially spurred me on previously could be the pressure from people. "If they think we can make it, maybe we can and we should stay together" without realising human tendency in comparing their insides to people's outsides. What's on social media is merely a choice of depiction. Now, without your head waaaay up in the air after having a better understanding of what fits in a relationship, you stay rooted and clearer - a lot more aware and in control of the situation and yourself. 

Second love will test your tolerance for change. It feels a little like getting onto bicycle after not riding for years. You'd feel rather shaky and very unsure of your own ability. After all, you were told that you were the defective one in the relationship. How should/would you react to this new pair of hands that's gonna keep you safe? Would the slight differences matter or are they too jarring for your comfort? The size of the palm. The lines on the palm. The texture of the skin. The temperature of the hand. The intensity of the grip. Loving an unfamiliar body might leave you feeling disorientated for a while. Aaaaaaaaand of course, you'd get over it. Loving someone is like riding bicycle; a skill you'll never forget. You'll eventually learn and get used to the quirks of the other and try to embrace them all. Slowly, you'd realise how amazing you are to be so accepting towards the different people you love and loved at the various phases of your life and how that's a reflection of your personal growth. 

He's over at UK pursuing his degree now. I'm dealing with something I never thought I would. I guess that's what love does. It pushes boundaries, and that includes getting you waaay out of your comfort zone. I wouldn't say long distance relationships are the best thing ever but you learn a few new things besides getting better with Skype or FaceTime features. You learn how to fight. Fights where you can't slam the door or tune the other person out or deal with it later - you've to communicate effectively because all you've got is silence on the other end that stretches into sorrys. Through the heartbreaking process, you will also learn to fight back the tears during late night webcam sessions because all you can think about is the countdown that only seems to get longer with time. 

What I am trying to get at is ultimately, your subsequent love might just be better than the previous. It doesn't matter what's lost; what matters is how brave you're to have had love and able to love again after the heartbreak. Others do not define your ability to love. You, only you do. 
And that's a pretty powerful thing. 

7th December. 
Can't wait to see your face at the Arrival Hall.