Sunday, June 17, 2018

STUFFOCATION: Final jottings

By now you should be quite 'sian' (bored) hearing me talk endlessly about James Wallman's STUFFOCATION. I bet you do, but please bear with me for one last time. I've finished reading the book. It's a good book. A little wordy and repetitious, but if you ignore that and focus on the message, you'll find that it's a good book.

I've had the book for more than two years and I bought it because I was fascinated by its title. Stuffocation. Stuff + Suffocation = To kill or be killed—instead of by the deprivation of oxygen, as by obstruction of the air passage or inhalation of noxious gases—by stuff instead. I decided to read it two days ago when I returned home for the Raya holidays.

What can I say after reading Stuffocation? I'm happy to say thank you, James Wallman, for validating my thoughts and for helping to confirm that my attitude towards things is correct, and it's OK not to live a flashy life even though I totally could. Thank you for giving me so many real-life living examples. Thank you for introducing new terminology such as 'medium chill'. I'm happy to be a professional hippy with a calculator. I have nothing against stuff because good stuff makes me happy and functioning as a proper human being. I just don't like flashy stuff that don't serve any real purpose. I've never been bothered by branded goods and I don't care if others care that they must have them because it's their life, right? They do what they want; they buy what they want.

Meanwhile, I'll probably still continue to buy books because books have shaped me the way I am today. I'll continue to dream about the trips I want to make. The languages I want to master—I have this fantasy that I could speak any languages ever since I was a kid... I want to continue to look at beautiful things. I want to try to create something, help something and someday foster cats and dogs when I finally stop lugging suitcases around.

I am happy as I am. T-shirt and jeans. A backpack or large handbag where I stuff my crap in. A small cosy apartment, cattle-class flights and maybe occasionally on business class (that's how to keep things special). I'm truly happier that way. The only way to find out what truly is you is to go out and try it, and see how you feel about it. Honestly feel about it. Not what other people think you should be feeling.

I'm happy when I've built a relationship with my favorite stalls at Lau Pa Sat. It's truly awesome when the uncles and aunties selling their stuff knows exactly which order # you'll have or if you're at the mixed rice stall, the jie-jie knows exactly what vegetables you'll be having with your brown rice. When you go to the beer counter, the aunty gives you Tiger without asking. Oh god, I will miss Lau Pa Sat now that I've moved along to another better (and smaller) place in Singapore. My CBD experiment has come to an end.

What I'm trying to say when I'm rambling so much is, experience life. Don't just be a mindless consumer. Remember to medium chill. Help yourself. Help others.