ขอบคุณคะ (thank you)

by ty

i woke up to my alarm still set at 5:50 in a shirt which i had packed but didn’t wear during CAP and for a moment, i thought i smelt kent ridge.

throughout the weekend before CAP, i remember the repeated reminders that resurfaced over and over – socialise, quit being a child stuck in a shell and please do not come out of the camp with nothing but your luggage and a sigh.

and at the end of this: i’m extremely grateful for meeting such great og mates, especially the ones who kept helping me along and reeling me into their conversations, leaning over to pull me back into the group whenever i lost pace with their zesty footsteps – and the sweetest OGL, marisa and bev for repeatedly trying to keep our OG together even though all we did in the morning was sit in a circle and use our phones.

the workshops and all were such sturdy reaffirmations, what with all the critiques and occasional compliments.

but above all, likened to what i had repeatedly mentioned in my application form, CAP did exactly what i hoped it would this year:

too close for comfort, like you’re lying flat on a photocopier machine with it’s blinding lights – but it gets warm and when your skeletal structure’s printed neatly against crisp paper, you’re given the time and space (explore the negative space, feel the warmth coming out from your body – as the dance poetry instructor would say with a soft grin) to run your fingers over the bumps and indents in your joints and

truly get acquainted with yourself.

(as they all question, when did you ever know yourself?)

across the past five days, its true that it was more of a struggle than i’d pictured it to be. with the constant reminder to breach past the excuse of anxiety and uncertainty, i questioned, on several occasions, whether i belonged, why i was sitting in that crowded hall with uneven numbered breaths, and how hyperaware of everything i had grown to become – it wasn’t like this when i stood at that same position in a bright yellow shirt

three years back.

and the next thought that came was: everything has changed so much since then – but never too much.

from unpolished chinese poetry to traces of self-identity in the line breaks of poems (born from teenage angst, as our og would say), from tangible proximity to jolting awake from a dream i’d never deserve, from meeting people to seeing them again and realising how they don’t look all that different

but we all are, now

different.

and waking up feels different, realising that perhaps design and calculations aren’t a necessity. perhaps learning to be raw, sincere, honest and paying attention to how every inch of your body reacts to movement is what matters – being you.

you are, at every minute, everything you always were / don’t be afraid to be obsessive / if you keep loving someone, they never die.

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