Missing Embraces, Real-life Smiles & Laughter

Good news: after not seeing my family for almost a year since my brother's solemnization, the government finally opened up interstate borders again, allowing me to travel back to my hometown as well as Shah's hometown; we got to hang out with our loved ones in the real world, and not through a screen! Bad news: Covid cases are still in the thousands daily here in Malaysia and, in fact, increased since the borders opened up.

Truthfully, if I had things my way, I would just choose to be holed up in the house so that I won't have to worry about exposure. But seeing the amount of photos on social media of people on vacations and dining outside with people from other households, I can see that a lot of people are warming up to this idea of "new normal" (ugh, this phrase) and I'm the one getting left behind. 

I grew up frequently catching colds and dealing with painful sore throats, which contributed to me being that little bit extra afraid of the idea of germs; close family and friends would tell you that I usually refuse to touch doors in public (honestly VERY grateful that they tolerate that and open doors for me, love you guys), and you can trace back pictures of me travelling on planes in a mask years back, way before Covid. (I remember getting inquired over the mask back then. Ah, how times have changed — as it should now too with the current situation, as masking is responsible, people.)

Then I think about how, as amazing as our tech is now, connecting through the virtual world is incomparable to a warm embrace, and a smile's crinkles witnessed up-close, and feeling the vibrations in the air from a belly laugh when someone cracks a joke. 

I'm still scared, but I also don't want to miss out further. It's a compromise that I have to arrange with myself, at the end of the day.

These photos were taken months ago, way earlier this year, when daily cases were a lot lower than they are nowadays. Does anyone recgnise this blazer-like tied top as the top half of my birthday suit? (Not the naked kind, I'm referring to the actual pink matching suit I wore during my at-home birthday celebration this year!) I matched it with my go-to ripped jeans, which brings me to this revelation: this has been the longest period of me not wearing jeans. Grocery is more than an hour from where my house is and I no longer want to subject myself to the discomfort of a tight jeans waist cramping on my belly's style while sitting in the passenger seat of the car. No thank you, sweat pants are my bestie now.

I'm afraid you won't be getting recent photos of me for a while. As I mentioned earlier, I have a real hesitancy about venturing outside my doors. I'm debating how — or even whether — to ease myself into my own kind of "new normal". Looking back at my old photos in which I played dress-ups is making me miss experimenting with style (FYI if you follow my Instagram, most of the ones of me looking made-up and all cute are old photos!). Then again, if you have read my most recent style posts, that has been my song for a while: I miss dressing up

I mean, for some reason, deciding which sweat pants to go with my comfy oversized sweater for a grocery run just does not have the same kick as choosing if my structured oversized blazer and red flare pants would go better with a pair of glittery boots or chunky sneakers — I wonder why? (FYI, the purple blazer + red flare pants is very much a real unworn outfit combo residing in my closet, just waiting for the day to make its debut.)

The only question is, am I going to do anything about it the dressing up thing, and I mean like a real effortful dressing-up session? We'll have to see.

Until my next post! Stay safe and be well, peeps 


  1. Hey beautiful! I'm sorry to hear about you being afraid because of the situation we're in globally at the moment. Truth be told, I'm sick of it and have resorted to my own new normal. Life is supposed to be lived fully and it's great that we try our best to adhere to the SOPs but it's also best to not fall into the fear-mongering. The virus is here to stay. We have to live side by side with it! I'm loving your outfit btw! If this isn't effortful, I wonder what effortful outfits we will be blessed to see from you in the future :) Stay healthy and happy, girlie!

    1. Yep, my germaphobe-self and the other parts of me will just have to create our own kind of "new normal", especially considering I have family members who are in the higher-risk category so I just cannot afford to take Covid lightly. I am currently back in my hometown but taking all the tight precautions as much as I can still.

      Hope you're enjoying the merry vibes of the end of the year and staying safe too!


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!