what is it like being twenty-six

a glimpse of michelle in her natural habitat

it’s been a really long time since i last surfaced on this website but let me tell you how much you have been missing – nothing, because since the last blogpost until this present one, i have predominantly spent most of my time in my rented room in KL looking like this ^

(that’s not entirely true because i did not have a PC up until January this year, but regardless it is still not too far away from the truth)

i turn 26 today. it’s pretty uneventful compared to how most birthday celebrations go, but with a second full lockdown in Malaysia due to Covid, i am thankful to even be healthy, employed and safe. the past 2 years have certainly been strange (to put it gently), to the point that i feel like i am perpetually coping with the strangeness that seems to have permeated every aspect of life. working everyday as usual, as if a ravaging virus hasn’t completely changed everyone’s lives forever. not being able to travel home to see my parents as often as i would’ve liked. social gatherings being a luxury rather than a daily activity that used to be the norm a mere few years ago. life still trudges on for everyone and we adapt to the “new norm” as it develops, but i also realise i’ve been distracting myself more than ever before. i’m sure it’s perfectly normal in light of recent circumstances, but the realisation does bring with it a slight discomfort.

which is why i make sure every little comfort counts. getting boba during a sleepy late afternoon weekday with Amber is a comfort. learning to play TFT every night with my friends is a comfort. receiving a care package from my parents is a comfort. watching Hell’s Kitchen with oli over Discord is a comfort. finishing a Chloe Ting workout video is a comfort. ordering Super Kitchen chilli pan mee for my birthday lunch is a comfort. whilst little, they all add up to remind me how blessed i am to still be able to derive joy and dopamine from the only comforts i can be afforded during these trying times.

so today, i take comfort in turning a year older while being surrounded by the love generously given by the ones i love, be it near or far away.

(and i also take comfort in re-learning to find my writing voice. again.)

Published by

Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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