Tag Archives: life

A life review (Third year)

It’s the end of my third year of university. I’ve been telling that to myself repeatedly now but it has not settled in. True, I have one more year to go but it is just hard to process that this phase is actually coming to an end.

To most, university is a means to and end. You want to get into a prestigious university to ease your way when you’re entering the work force. But for me, university IS my end. I think it was when I was 8, that the idea of studying abroad came to me, after one of my family member left for Australia for uni. Starting from then, I go through each round of exams, knowing that those were all means for me to achieve my goal, which was to get into a university abroad. Now, that I’m here, I’d be lying if I say i’m not slightly clueless about what I’m going to do next. Cause i’ve done it guys, I’ve fulfilled my biggest life goal.

Third year. To sum it up, it’s the year that I lived with no regrets. I was able to enroll in a summer school program, in a good university (Peking Uni), doing a course I absolutely enjoy (Mandarin), all while being able to travel around China (Yes, I’m including China in ‘third year’). And although I’m not going to say that all my courses were enjoyable and applicable in the future -I’m referring to you, Global Justice and Citizenship- the majority of it was. Like, how cool is it to be learning about Political Islam and the Politics of Sex and Gender? The courses may sound cool, but the contents will blow you off your seats. I don’t think that any other courses have impacted my political opinion and my general view of the world as much those two have. In all honesty, before third year, I was getting sick of Politics, sick of IR and academia and all these white privileged men telling me about everything that happens in Europe and America. It’s as if no one else exists, no one else matters. And it was so tiring to the point that I really questioned my degree. Hey hey hey, not anymore, ey.

Let’s also not forget all the friends I made this year. The new people I met, who surprisingly have become relatively important subjects considering the short amount of time they have existed in my life. Not forgetting my decision to dive into the world of relationships and although I’ve closed that chapter, I must say that I don’t regret ever trying it out. Most of it due to the fact that my partner was the best person I could ever choose to do this whole romance thing but alas, I realised that having feelings for someone and committing myself to a relationship are two very different things. While I am not opposed to the prospects of being in a relationship, I am quite sceptical now that I understand more about myself, my priorities and the lengths that I would go to for a person. In the future if someone manages to change my opinion then yay, great! but if not then, yay, great!

I am pretty sure that none of this is of any interest to anyone but I must say I enjoyed writing this unstructured, unimportant, post on my life. No tutor is going to comment after each chapter, no one to correct any errors or criticise anything I say. Cause really, who knows better about my life that myself right?

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Farewell to the skill I once had

I have genuinely lost all my writing skills. I think. It happened somewhere between the absence of a need to write essays and the not so inspirational surrounding I have at home.

No.
I am lying.

These are just reasons. It was the same last year during my first summer break and I had still managed to produce one of the longest works I have ever written.

It is me.

I have lost the ability to write with confidence. I have forgotten the emotions that kicks in, forcing my fingers to dance on the plastic keyboard of weirdly arranged letters. I cannot remember what it feels like to have the same 10 fingers vomiting something beautiful.

How do I write something that is close to my heart but not too close that I leave myself bare, like a display in the public spaces of free-entry museums? Yet, I do not want to write something so distant, something I do not feel connected to. That would just mean writing cliches and things you have probably read before.
I have a longing to be original, somewhat special.
But how do I even start to be original when I am clearly not.

I guess it is nice to amuse myself with dreams so high I can’t see them  even with 20/20 vision.

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The best feeling in the world is when you are able to stand up for yourself and fend off bullies.

There is only so much a person could take. Only so much hatred and frustration one could hold back.

It is absurd that a person does not feel safe in the confines of their own home. There is always the fear of being attacked, harassed or insulted and degraded on a daily basis.

The fight is rough, harsh shoves and raising voices but nothing beats the satisfying feeling of knowing that you can rely on yourself.

Proud.

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Hi World, I do not need for you to know me.

At a certain point of having this blog, I realised that I really wanted to be heard. I desired for my thoughts to be understood, for others to at least try to see it how I see it, regardless if they agree with me or not. But in all honesty that does not matter. I have discovered that now. That my goal was never to be understood by the world but by the few people I care enough to share what it feels like to see the world through my pair of boring, brown eyes.

Then isn’t it stupid for me to run a public blog when the obvious way to achieve what I really wanted is through personal communication? Well, I guess, but the more attached I am to someone, I find it harder to express to them my real thoughts. Especially the controversial ones I keep hidden. Also, I must say, putting my heart out on my sleeve isn’t something I am particularly good at.

Writing here is easy and between the two paths diverging ahead of me, I choose the easier one. As much as I know everyone who reads this are human, I do not put an identity on any of you, no faces attached to the views I get everyday. I am detached from you. So, I do not care what are your perceptions of me after you have done reading what I decide to tell you.

What I could do instead is maybe start a project like one of my friends have done. She writes letters to all the people around her. Despite the fact that she never sends them, it still serves the purpose: She gets her thoughts cleared up and it is kept private. Maybe I should start one as well. And maybe unlike her, I should hand them to people when I feel like the time is right. And just maybe, you might have one with your name written in block letters (cause I cannot write cursive)on a worn envelope with dog ears on two out of the four sides.

As for now, I have taken off the link of my blog from my public accounts. The only ones who have access to this blog now are people who have visited it or people who stumble upon it after being on the wordpress reader and they aren’t many of them. So now, this becomes more personal to me, well at least as personal as a public blog can get and I feel more safe writing what I feel like writing.

Ps: Also, recently I was hanging out with my sisters and I asked if they have read my blog and they told me that they had but they could not really understand what I was saying. They said it was too poetic (in a bad way). If you agree with them please tell me. I guess I sound like I am trying too hard half the time. Have I? I am not really sure myself.

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It’s been a while

I think, I think too much
And that’s another thing to think of
Besides the subject that is you
Running laps continuously around my mind
While I am always known as a slow walker
And I cannot keep up

My friends tell me they never know what I want
And I have never minded just settling with ignorance
But when every mention of you is accompanied
With multiples ‘i don’t know’
This once, I really care to know if I care for you

I seek left and right for some sort of advice
And there is one straight ahead who could help me
But how could I possibly ask you about you?
Even if your insights would be the most insightful

Timing is everything, I agree
So tell me if I should reopen this after a year
Or should I just let it go like I did three years ago?
You are 7 hours away but it does not matter
Because what are years and hours and memories?
They only make this sound more tragic than it is
When the only tragic thing is us stuck in GMT-friend

I’ll be honest, I am nervous
And if I’m lying I’d say I’ll talk to you today
All this time knowing today will never happen
Shall we trade experiences once this is over?
Today I wish for you to read this
Today I hope you could magically read my mind
Today I will stop being complicated and mess things up
All this time knowing today will never happen

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A reply to ‘Raison d’être’

Raison D’être

 

There are days when I force words out because my brain seems to act like a car sitting in the garage for too long, needing a few attempts before the engine purrs to life. Those days are hard and most of my work produced usually ends up in the draft folder I never revisit.

Then there are times when thoughts start to suffocate me and I cannot function. When my life looks like everything is right where it should be, but my mind is a mess I need to organise. It is then that my work seems less pointless. I guess because that is when I write the truth. Sentences that are not laced with exaggeration or randomly placed jargon to make it sound better.

I guess I write because there is actually so much about myself I do not know. This is partly because I never question anything really. When I am asked how my day went, it would take me a few seconds for me to actually think of it because I never do. I live knowing that I have to go through days however they turn out to be, so I never really cared if it was a good or bad day when I should.

I never really knew what I liked and what I do not. They used to be the same to me. I just power through whatever it is that comes my way. Maybe because growing up, I was never really in a position where I could choose for myself. Lessons are pre-chosen by my school or parents, I wear what is approved by my family, I do what seems to be appropriate to everyone else. I am a produce of a relatively constraint surrounding I would say.

Writing makes me question every underlying assumption I previously had. If not, what I write would not be convincing and if I am not convinced by it how would it ever help me sort out conflicts between the thoughts I have in my head? I do hope whatever I write would bring people pleasure or some sort of joy or satisfaction but essentially, they need to fulfill the main objective: for me to fully understand this loaned soul of mine and once I achieve that, hopefully I get to be a better person. Although that is arguable.

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13 years

There are some things you just cannot seem to forget.

She came home when she was 8, report book squashed between multiple other thick textbooks in a bulky Digimon bag. Like any other night, after the 8 o’clock news, when both of them are resting in front of the television, she entered the room. The thin green book in hand as she made her way to the right side of the bed where he lay. She must have been smiling. She was probably 3rd or 4th in class. Never the smartest but it did not matter to her.

She handed the book to him, and he shifted further up the bed, leaning against the headboard, the flimsy book in his right while his left hand lifted his glasses above his eyes to rest on his head.

‘How could your average score be below 90?’

She had never thought of why she did not do better than she did so she really could not answer and just looked some place else. Her score was 86% or 87%, she could not really remember.

‘I’m not going to sign this, get your mom to do it.’

She was a little shaken and confused, mostly confused, so she took her book back and walked out of the room. It was either that or she moved to the left side of the bed, where the other lay and got her to scribble her initials in black pen instead. She must have slept on a salty pillowcase that night. The book was later returned to her class teacher, with the other’s signature on that page.

And all the pages after that. Every single one. She had never bothered to ask him for his signature after that day.

She is 21 now but she still remembers. Each time, it hurts the same way it did when she was 8.

I am sorry.

I love you, but I still remember.

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The facets behind the social faucet

I need you to know that this is not me.

I am not a collected person, with collected thoughts. Not pensive most of the time with wise words spilling out of my mouth whenever it opens.I am not who I am on any of my social networking sites, not a single one. I need to clarify that who I am on my blog is not who I am on a daily basis. My blog consists of my thoughts when they are too much to be confined within the irregular spaces of my brain. These posts are me being swallowed by my own voices in the middle of the night, threatening the midnight silence.

In real life,

I am embarrassing even to myself. I read what I have written and I cringe but I have to do myself some justice so I shut my ego up and lock it somewhere far. Because my ego will not help me improve myself, my ego is satan dressed in my own skin.

I embarrass myself everyday, I am nowhere similar to my friends and they sometimes make fun of me but we love each other too much to leave anyone behind. I make jokes that no one laughs at or even worse I laugh halfway through a joke and never finish them. I make jokes no one can relate and I can never relate to jokes that are made by others but I laugh anyway. I laugh because it is nice to laugh together with others even when you have no shit what is going on.

I say stupid things every time, things that make my friends question if i am alright. But they know me too well to know that I could never convey what I think in the most cohesive way. That what I say could never really explain how I really think. Probably the reason why most of my essays are shit. In college, a boy once said that a statement I gave was probably the stupidest thing he has ever heard. So then I guess I must be one of the stupidest person he has ever met.

I am not a friendly person. Years ago, I would be so offended if someone says I am not friendly and I would argue with them about it cause I always thought I was. But some time ago I realised that I am relatively not friendly. I am bad at small chats and I could never give a good first impression. When I made ‘being friendlier to others’ as my resolution, that’s when I understood that I am not friendly. You are not friendly if you have to tell yourself that you need to be friendlier to people.

The photos I post are rare moments when I look acceptable in the eyes of the society. Photos that people my age consider ‘cool’ I guess. I have never bothered about the likes or my followers but I must say I do want people to think of me as someone who’s calm and composed. I am not. I have not met anyone clumsier than me. I ruin things too many times that nothing surprises me anymore. I spill things like it is my hobby and get into accidents like I take pleasure in things I cannot control.

I always like to think that I am strong and independent but I am neither. Living alone does not make you independent. Being able to do things on my own does not equate to independence when you are too emotionally attached to people. When the presence of someone is more of a need than a want. I have yet to reach the level of independence I wish I could have. And if it is not obvious enough, I am far from strong. I cannot give you any instances of me being strong. That just proves it.  My post on feminism? They are ideas I am too afraid too share with anyone. I cannot even stand up for my own race when my guy friends say misogynistic statements that make bile rises from my throat. Instead I smile, and mentally stab and mutilate every part of them in my brain. I am ‘that’ strong.

So,

I am telling you now that I am a joke. I have no chill whatsoever. Not a friendly person, not even smart. I am not strong and independent or anything similar. And as much as I hate all these sides of me, I have learnt that I cannot change them, well of course I try but these are deeply ingrained flaws I could never scrub away from myself. Just because I do not post things that indicate that these sides of me exist does not mean they do not exist. They do.

I am everything I love about myself and the flaws I have successfully accepted. Who cares if anyone likes me less because of all of this, I never declared myself as someone likeable. I never started this blog for the sake of others. It was always for me.

And there you go, another negative trait I accidentally expose.

I am also selfish. Haha.

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Insights

There are a few issues I am currently having with the situation I am in and I feel (as I always do) that these issues are not as significant as they ought to be. It is just that when I do not organise them in my mind, they are left scattered like that pile of dirty clothes that always cover your bedroom floor, appearing even when I do not feel like dealing with it, leaving my mind in a constant state of mess.

As you will soon observe, there is a reoccurring theme in my thoughts, most of them are very idealistic, coming from a privileged point of view. But I would like to cut myself some slack. I am 21, living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I am very blessed to do what I love doing: learning. This is probably the only phase in my life where I can get away with having an ignorant, simplistic view of the world. The few years where I could grant myself as much attention I am able to give. The most appropriate time for me to challenge my views whenever I want or pack my fallible opinions in a box and tuck them away and comfort myself by not having to confront the fact that they are not sound arguments at all.

Most of the projects or challenges that I have decided to take on are mainly because I am trying to understand myself. I need to know what are my limits, what are the lengths that I would go to for certain things. But most importantly to discover what I enjoy doing and what I could see myself doing in the long run. I never see anything I pursue as my end game. In simple terms, I do everything for my own enjoyment, I do them to avoid being bored at having a routine life (and sometimes just to humor myself but lets not talk about that). So, when people assume these are all done to fill up the spaces on my CV or to ease my way into the path that I wish to pursue after university, they are all wrong. I must say all the work that comes with being involved is not worth the 20 words you are able to fit into your CV to impress people and that people do not even care if you add your positions on your Facebook profile.

So do not do things for reasons other than to learn. Do not do things for the purpose of being able to meet certain people. Do not pursue something for the sake of the perception people will have on you. These are part of the experience that you will obtain but they should never be the purpose you pursue them. This may seem selfish but you should never do anything other than what makes you feel ‘better’? (I would like to use the term happy but it does not sound quite right, I was thinking of something more along the lines of satisfaction). Only be a part of something that makes you want to do it even when you are not obliged to.

Also, there are so many things that I feel like I should have some level of desire for but I do not. And that worries me because I have this assumption that you are only an adult when you desire what adults desire. So if you do not, does that mean you are not at that level of maturity yet? It is funny how we associate maturity to adults when all they do is desire for things that they have created themselves, ideas that they construct and later promote them as the larger things in life that everyone should aim for. Easy for me to say as I have yet to experience ‘real life’ and the problems that comes with it. I guess one day I will become one of them, with a tunnel vision for the ugly shade of green on printed notes and a narcissistic view of myself. I wish I could opt out of this stage of life, but I reckon I will not be able to. I just hope I do not die in this state.

And as for dealing with people I despise, I prefer to avoid them. Nothing good comes whenever I come in contact with them. I either repress my feelings which I think is not healthy for me, or I end up them cursing them in my mind or vent out to other people (I try to avoid this as much as possible because my thoughts on people should never influence how others think of them, that is sabotage and I am not cool with that), both are not great options. So the only possible alternative is to just retract yourself. It’s a win-win situation really, you do not have to bear with the presence of simply unpleasant people and you save yourself some sins that you would have committed otherwise.

There are so many things I should be grateful for, one being the friends that I surround myself with. I do not know what I have done to be so blessed but the people that I keep with me right now, know that they are the only people I would ever need. There are about 10 that I have in mind and I do not think that there is a need to explicitly mention their names but I need to put it out there that these people are the people I live my life for. The reason why I need to be good, the people I want to be nice to because they deserve having someone who is able to provide them with whatever they need to be happy and I am striving to be just that.

And on love, I think I have always known this all along but I have just been able to put it in words recently. I think you only truly love someone once you realise that you would love them even if you are not required to. More importantly I feel that love does not equate to dependence. That you could always love someone without the constant need for them. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be wrong if I love someone because I need them, because my goal is survival and they are just a mean for me to achieve that? I want to be alive and independent and then would I only want someone I consciously make the decision to invest my feelings in? It is almost as if I am saying here, I have everything I could possibly need in my life and I could die happy but despite having everything, I would go to great lengths to have you in my life even if I could have just lived it perfectly fine by myself.

Look, I have an essay of 2000 words due next week and I am stressing myself out but I have written 1200 words here without breaking a sweat. Now this really makes me wonder if I am doing the wrong degree or if this is just 1k of bull. No surprise, I have been producing crap worthy essays for some time now, this is just one to add to the pile.

haha

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Drowning in the dark

Fingers splay on the side of her neck, tips pressing down with slight pressure as they move in minuscule circles just enough to wake the nerves. The massage is almost a movement of plea for it to stop being so sore. Her personality is sore enough -at least to everyone else- and there really is no room for her body to add up to it.

…..

She has no rights to nag her own body, it was she who decided it was easier to let her head hung low. Not for a day or two but as long as she could remember, ever since her insecurities became visible to her. Her movements too harsh, her voice too much of a screech, her smile too crooked. It was obvious to her how people reacted when she was herself around them. The slight shift of the body, the millisecond frown of judgement, they were all tell-tale signs screaming at her although they do not deafen her, they still shut her from the rest of the world. In a way, her eyes are too observant. Paying attention to things she could live without knowing. Another flaw carves on a section of her brain that is taking up more space than it should.

…..

A sigh releases from her heavy lungs, not from the damp, salty air but the constant burden she carries for being herself. Her existence is more of an imposed duty. Days do not pass, they drag. At the pace of a Giant Galapagos tortoise. In the middle of a stone quarry. Under the burning Sun of the Iranian dessert. Every breath accompanied with a burn in her heart. It is a wonder how her heart is not the darkest shade of black on the html colour code. Wait, it is the second darkest, almost an achievement.

…..

One leg hovers above the covers with the other underneath, she blinks in the dark but it makes no difference. Nothing does anymore. Her friends are a constant blur of waves and unimportant chatter. A pleasant distraction on good days, a mass of wasted cells and organs on certain days of the month (seven straight days every month to be more precise). They are not stupid, her friends I mean, if we do not take into consideration their school grades. They know. She thinks she has an eye for details but she has forgotten that others could have the same qualities as well. She thinks that that made her special, if that is the case then she really isn’t. They know from her over calculated smile and the way she taps her fingers to the rhythm of when-will-you-shut-up. They discovered it for quite a while now but they are staying right where they are. It is always on the back pages of those glossy magazines, mostly life advices recycled from last decade’s edition: ‘…do not push them away’, ‘stability is important…support them’, ’10 ways to…’.

…..

Humid air makes her nerves tingle with excitement, a vast contrast from the dry air conditioned building she just exited. She looks up to the sky, questioning why she is wasting money on people who asks the same questions and tells her the same things. She begs for something different with hands clasps tight, eyes doing the same as she chants ‘different’ repeatedly in as many languages she remembers hoping that one of it is understood by whoever it is who decides her destiny. The trick -or spell? or mantra?- works. ‘Different’ greets her in the form of a lanky boy crouching against the wall with a smirk stretching across the side of his face that is not visible from where she is standing. The wind sends her an omen through the shivers travelling across her spine but she shakes it off, rapid blinking the only movement she makes for a while. The same wind pushes the light strands of his dark hair as his fingers try to tame it down. The same gush causes the crumpled piece of paper she has been holding onto to slip and float a couple of seconds before it lands in a puddle of muddy water. The already unreadable writing smears leaving a large blotch of blue under the bold, printed word: Prescription.

…..

Fall has always been her favourite season, the warm hues of orange and brown versus the slightly chilly air carrying the sweet scent of cinnamon and pumpkin. That year, autumn never came but she is not one bit sad. Spring took up all four quarters of her life, and it shows from the radiant bloom of her cheeks and the smell of blossoms in her hair. Her odd year consisted of wasting an extra 5 minutes everyday due to waiting and the consistent phone beeps every few minutes filling her phone memory with ‘what are you doing?’ and heart emoticons. Although she felt a certain kind happiness she has never felt before, her unfamiliar body cannot help but cringe at the constant show of affection but accompanying those cringes are no longer scrunched up noses but achingly wide smiles.

…..

He is an enigma, a rubix cube of mood swings and soft touches with far more baggage than the usually capped flight allowance. But she has her own too and although they try and try to pretend that they are better for the sake of the other, at the end rules are still rules and the fine has to be paid. She has always adored puzzles, envying the life of the man whose slender fingers have memorised the deep lines of her palm. She endures the pain her scalp makes whenever she tugs her hair out of frustration as the door closes slowly, broad shoulders fading away. The house feels too big for her and her soul that is shrinking with each minute she spends without the presence of a certain hot headed, cold hearted man who only knows how to do things in extremes. Like spending the night leaning opposite her front door with his head on his knees gently rocking to the tempo of regret, a thousand thoughts on ways to apologise but none that could wash away the guilt that stains him.

…..

She wears a white dress today, the one that makes her look like those characters in children books who always gets the prince. The hem floats around her ankles as she sits on a chair in the middle of the room, her breathing is even, even as her heart beats so loud that it echos in her ears almost making her cover them with her hands to make it stop. A lone tear slides down from her left eye breaking a promise she made to herself earlier this morning, her eyes suddenly find the ceiling peculiarly interesting and continues to stare from a corner to the next for the next couple of seconds. This is it. The day she has imagined multiple times growing up. Today, when the rays of sun woke her up from her slumber, eyes fluttering open while she clears up the haze of a groggy mind, she knew she could never be more than ready for today. With a determined breath, she stood up. Legs a little shaky as she gets in position. 1, 2, 3. She smiles as she took her final step forward, eyes close shut as she begins to feel the pull from her legs as it travels up her body. In the state that she’s in, she has lost sense of everything. She tries her hardest to control her body hoping it will not trash around like a fish out of water. The needle of the clock continues to move even after she has stopped, hands limp by her side while her neck looks slightly crooked. She is still beautiful even after everything that used to define her beauty left her, her personality, her smile, her kindness. Even with the pattern of a braided rope engraved around her neck.

She did not get the prince.

…..


I did it! Writing more than 300 words was always a challenge but I did it! Took me two nights and morning to complete this and I (really) hope it’s not too bad. 

And yes, she died.

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