Thursday, 31 March 2016

Thursday

A spontaneous post to finish off the month:

7:30am
I frantically run around the house looking for clothes to wear to PE, and my sister does the same.  Both my mum and her blame me for all items of the PE uniform being in the wash.

7:55am
As my sister and I wait in the car she tells me that she has no friends in band, which at first makes me look down on her, then takes me back to some of my own band experiences.  I tell her that it doesn't really matter, because we play our instruments most of the time anyway.  I also encourage her to talk to girls in other grades, to which she replies that she is not friendly.  She will learn in a year or two that that's not how it works.

8:10am
As we walk into school I state that our parents are crazy, which sparks a conversation as to why.  Our mum skipped four grades and hence spent her brief high school life studying before moving out at the age of 15, which is why she is unable to comprehend or relate to our lives as well as most mothers do.  Our dad was an over-achieving kid who won all the awards and was good at everything, meaning he loses respect for us every time we come home with a failure.  Neither understand the concept of doing something for enjoyment rather than being good at it.  I didn't until now either.

8:30am
After having an avid discussion about physics, I have another rant about physics with AS, which goes off on a tangent towards study techniques and all things that are taking up my life right now - meaning school.

9:20am
We do this self-organised class-wide compliment sheet activity in double maths because I just really need it in this time of misery - with this heavy weight in my brain that won't move until the holidays begin.  I enjoy writing the compliments much more than receiving them because it makes me realise the relationships I have with each and every person, and the relationships I've had over the years.  People are so special to me and just because I'm not the best at making them feel as if I'm special to them doesn't mean I can't love them.  I love them all very much and I need to recognise this more often.

10:00am
We pass around chocolate chip cookies while blasting Justin Bieber and solving real polynomials with complex roots.

11:15am
An impromptu band rehearsal during the day is had, and while my instrument is stiff, I enjoy it.  I notice the randomness of instruments and it makes me wonder how people invented them, and how these weirdly shaped things with valves and pipes became so standard, how they worked out so perfectly to be able to make a perfect blend of sounds.

12:20pm
I arrive late to class and am asked to watch a video on changing the skinny stereotype of the modelling industry.

1:00pm
As usual TN and the rest are moving in a pack and are not there at the beginning of lunch, so I sit with another group and discuss how intimidating people can be, and some of the most awkward things that have happened to me.  The good thing about awkward situations is that they make for good stories afterwards, and it's fun to laugh about them.

1:50pm
We go for a 2km jog in PE, and unlike the free, flying feeling I had last time, this time it's clumsy and full of stitches.  This is what happens when you have PE straight after lunch.

2:20pm
HC asks me whether my parents smacked me as a kid, to which I answer that they did threaten to a lot, but probably only actually did it about three times in my life.  I would not classify this as child abuse, nor as detrimental to a family relationship.  However, I would also not do the same to my kid, ever.  I think it was my parents' culture, but it's certainly not mine.

2:30pm
I enjoy organic chemistry and naming carbon molecules.  I just get it.

3:30pm
I come to the realisation that I should probably do something about the fact that I will be missing the entire next week of school, and I have many grades to redeem.  Despite having forgotten my PE bag and being late to tutoring, we pay my maths teacher a visit.  I need to drum into my head that just because my mark wasn't spectacular, and just because my teacher doesn't think I'm great, doesn't mean I shouldn't show an effort.  It doesn't mean I don't deserve to be taking the subject.

3:40pm
I tutor my maths student on surds while taking her on a mission to find my PE bag and my sister.

4:40pm
For the first time in forever my mum picks me up and I tell her all about my day.  Normally she would walk into my room late at night and try to talk to me while I'm reading a book in bed, or preoccupied with homework, or writing in my diary, and the entire conversation would result in a shouting match.  It's different in the car.

5:10pm
I watch two episodes of Friends while eating easter eggs, dinner and pretzels.

7:20pm
For once the house is quiet and even though I don't need to, I choose to play the piano. I play, or rather stumble, through a beautiful piece full of chords and arpeggios.  It makes me feel like I deserve to have passions too, or love things as well, regardless of my ability or recognition or how legitimate I feel.

9:12pm
"You need to sleep, yoh?  For physics, ah."  A classic example of one of my mum's incredibly random visits into my room.  I won't be sleeping until 11pm earliest.

9:14pm
"D-d-don't be arrogant.  Do all the possible questions you could get.  Study another hour.  It'll make a difference."  She pops her head in again and I simply stare at her as she says this.  A minute ago she said I need to sleep but whatever.  I don't think I told her that this physics assessment was an in-class and not a test, and I don't think she has any clue what that means.

Good night

Love,
M

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

An Incredibly Slow March



It's been so slow that I'm writing this post a day early.


1.3.16

Is it sad that a comedy movie like How To Be Single can make me feel so inspired?  I just want to feel independent like her.  I want to do things I want to do, work towards them, climb the Grand Canyon, go to parties in New York.  Partying sounds fun to be honest.  I just don't know how to do them right. Dancing among crowds of people who you feel comfortable with, doing crazy stuff among them - that sounds fun.  The question is where do you find these crowds of people?  Do you need good people skills to have fun, to meet new, exciting friends or beings that become a part of your life.  Maybe I need to work on letting go of everyone and become that singular being who can achieve everything.  Of course I'm single.  I've never not been.  It's feeling independent that I want to be.


2.3.16

It's like I was surrounded by gossip today; not people telling me gossip but people near me telling each other... I know I shouldn't be listening in on all this gossip, but it's difficult when it's all literally less than a metre away from me.  I should be happy to be getting all this information, but it seems to drain me.  I barely soak any of it in and all it does is make me miserable.  Standing in that group made me feel miserable... I hate to sat it but all this gossip may as well be stuff of my imagination.  When I notice all these things happening around me, I notice how boring my life is in comparison.

I realise that in order to form a relationship with a person, it's more about talking to them than making yourself look good in front of them.  That's my problem - because I'm scared of conversations. But how will I get anywhere if I don't have any conversations?  I don't know how to fix this image vs contact problem.  I don't know if I ever will.

I just feel alone, y'know?  I have no one who wants to be around me when I'm feeling silent.  TN and I hardly talk, and when we do people are always clinging around her so I can't really say anything... I have no real group.  My group is everywhere.  I had to sit with others today, and I'm not as comfortable with others.  I should be though, shouldn't I?  What happened to being independent yesterday?

11:27pm
Texting TN made everything better.


3.3.16

"The real danger is not that machines will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like machines." - Sydney J Harris

I remembered everything - It's Not Summer Without You


5.3.16

I don't really like myself right now.  Lately I've been very focused on being smart, seeming smart - and that leads to being mean and selfish and seeming that way too.  I've been this overly self conscious person and all I want is to be carefree.  I shouldn't want to seem smart, I should just be smart.  And being smart shouldn't make me feel superior in any way.  I can't use that as a purpose for my existence.  I can't latch onto something to make myself feel better.  And I need to accept that sometimes I don't know what to say.  I just kind of wish I was one of those people who other people want to be seen around by default.  I don't want to be the opposite.  I want people to want to be my friend, but that means I need to want to be my friend too.

Today I eavesdropped on this lady talking about how to a 7 year old, the whole world revolves around them.  They blame themselves for everything - the way people treat them, and also only think about themselves.  Maybe I'm still stuck in the mentality of a 7 year old...


6.3.16

I feel weak just thinking about how much influence I let people have on me.  But I can't think like that.  I'm also strong.  I don't care if I'm missing out anymore.  I'm growing up.  All it takes are some nice words and confidence, and suddenly I'm a person again.  Either I make an effort or I stop caring. I am a strong person.  Kindness is not weakness.  I told AB about... probably because I felt pressured to since she's always telling me about her life - but maybe because I feel as if I can open up to her about this...

I am a person.  I don't need lectures like these.  I think I'm happy now.

"You allow things to cut deep and then you heal slow.  You take it each minute at a time, and let the salt sit in your wound... They have made chemicals in your brains do things beyond your control and now you're left to sort them out.  That's what it is to feel." - Leli


7.3.16

"Of course, to them, we're just kids.  One day, they say, we'll understand.  But I wonder if maybe I'm the one who does understand.  Sometimes I get the feeling they've asked me to hold this big invisible secret for hem, like a backpack full of rocks - all these things they don't want to know about themselves." - p39, What We Saw

"Please.  Judge me by my cover.  Judge me by exactly what I've worked so hard to show you." - p59


9.3.16

I think I've got a food problem again.  Throughout my hours spent watching TV, I simply can't stop eating.  I don't think my body understands the definitions of full and hungry.  I just ate dinner at 5pm today because it seems like if I'm not eating, I may as well be doing nothing.  My body feels like a balloon.  My skin feels stretched and I can't fight the need to keel over.  Why do I do this to myself?  Why can't I stop eating?

...

So my tummy pain seems to have gone down now that I've stalked some girl named Jenny Chang for half an hour or so.  The thing about gorgeous Asian girls who have pretty much exactly what I want, is that rather than feel proud of them, and of the achievements of my race, instead I feel jealousy.  I identify with them, but they're so much more than me.  They look powerful and happy, and I'm just not.  I'm not the gorgeous kind either.  I guess I can't just blob every ABC girl into one category, and I can't feel jealous of people I've only seen fleetingly through their Instagram either - especially when they're some random in America.  Trust the first pretty photo of an Asian girl on Rookie to make me jealous.  Why can't I just aspire and be?  There's no need for this negativity.  I'm happy for Jenny Chang and her Instagram, whomever she may be.

"You've got to have amazing friends by your side.  They are the ones who make you strongest." - Kat, Rookie


11.3.16

"I don't enjoy observing people as much as I used to.  Everyone acts like they're on a stage." - Humans of New York

I reckon I'm happy right now  I realise that I idolise people like * and * and Jenny Chang because I want to be like them, or maybe I just want to be pretty like them - but those are unhealthy thoughts.  I think the underlying thing here is that I want to be included.  I want to be that girl who laughs in the group, who is just as reassured as everybody else, and I need to recognise that I want to be this person.  Like in the movie I watched today, she turns up at a dance class alone and is content watching other people have fun, knowing each other, belonging.  She's just there to dance.  I say what I feel like saying, don't say what I don't.  I be what I am, do what I do.  People will be people, and I should feel just as reassured as the rest of them.  I think I'm happy.  I'm content.  Today I wore my hair out and contacts in, because I felt like looking good.  Making my exterior feel pretty makes me feel automatically more confident in myself.  I like that, even though my hair makes my face feel oily and gets in the way; I like feeling pretty.  No more stupid words or blurting should be coming from me, because if I say what I mean then there's no way it's stupid.  It's time to put on a show for myself and no one else.


13.3.16

Daddy has this picture of me painted inside his head, and he enjoys painting it for other people too.  This is why * and * see me as younger than I am, more petty, shallow, two-dimensional.  I'm not, but once the picture's made, it's made for the world to see.

11:47pm
My contacts are still in and my hair is still out because I want to feel pretty for a little longer tonight.

"Maybe this sense of how fragile our connections are is what makes us obsessed with saving them - writing them down, taking pictures, recording them in tweets, documenting them with status updates and videos...
Some moments should only be recorded in our hearts." - p320, What We Saw


16.3.16

Let's go back to the notion that you can't like someone unless you know them at lease semi-well.


19.3.16

I'm feeling socially inadequate.  At work today I purposely avoided talking to * for who-knows-what reason, and at Dragon Boating I can't stop making that grimacing uber-bitch face, and all I seem to be doing is sabotaging my life.  Well, actually, now that I'm writing and thinking about it, I'm really not...

I'm fine.


20.3.16

9:26am
Listening to Florence and the Machine takes me back to planes and Italy, and I'm overwhelmed by this miserable nostalgia.  Here I am doing maths homework with nothing but unwanted assessment in sight, and I'll never get what happened a mere two months ago back.

6:41pm
At 5pm AS came over to exercise and I didn't want to but she made me, which is why I need her.  I wonder if eating well and being active really does affect your mood.  Is there something about health that directly corresponds to happiness?  During the work out I had these moments of clarity where I thought about what's been making me miserable lately and why it didn't really matter.  I also realised all the things I have to look forward to, and to be motivated for.  After working out I went for a walk with her back to her house and fresh air is really what I needed today.  It's nice being able to have someone, a few someones in my life, who I talk to without a censor, who actually know me.  Sometimes I forget I have them, and being reminded is reassuring.  While I was walking I could hear someone practicing the drums inside their house and it made me happy.  It made me want to practice the piano.  I saw a couple coming out of their apartment holding hands, having a conversations about what he had told his friend.  I felt happy for them and their evident comfort with each other.  I think I need to start going for spontaneous jogs.  Fresh air is good for me.  I also want to start writing short stories.  Maybe they'll help me admit real feelings and thoughts to myself rather than staying in such a long state of denial about everything embarrassing or abnormal leading to possible disappointment. If there were a list of everyone who had ever had a crush on me, who would be on it?  I think I know who I would put on mine.


21.3.16

School has gotten harder and harder right under my nose, and I'm scared for the maths test tomorrow. Today was a happy day, and happiness makes me a better student.  Happiness and healthiness lead to a healthy mind, and it's time I retained that.  Chocolate is okay too.


22.3.16

Today I took the hardest maths test I could imagine taking and for the first time I'm legitimately concerned about my academic success, the one thing I've never felt inadequate at.  The thing is, after the test I was fine, still perfectly happy even, just a little shaken.  It was talking to Daddy that collapsed my confidence.  It always is.  Discussing the problems with him, trying to reassure him, it makes me realise what I could've done better, and my train of thought becomes a miserable what if.  He laughs and tells me it'll be funny if I'm below the average, the very real possibility of being way below the best, average - and it worries me.  It stresses me.  I have to do better next time.  I need to be calm even if I'm not in control.


24.3.16

"I'd had a lot of fun cooking with Frances back in the day.  She thought she was teaching me to cook, which made her happy.  I mashed food like it was Play-Doh, which made me equally happy." - p389, Endless Summer


27.3.16

I realise that I really dislike rude people, and rude is the one thing I am not.  I question whether I should be rude back to a rude person.

...

I just don't think I'm used to people being that nice, and I like it.  I want to be more like that.  I want to be able to talk to anybody without being self conscious, but rather be un-judgemental and there for the conversation or just to be NICE.  Rude people don't go anywhere, and neither do pretentious people.  I shouldn't feel the need to be rude back out of annoyance or justice.  Tolerance is not weakness, and not all eyes are on me, ever.  Maybe I'm a wallflower, and right now I feel okay with that.


29.3.16

I feel like I'm at an all time low.  I got * on my maths test, which was literally the average.  I am average.  The entire test was a mess.

I'm just scared that this mark has set the bar.  I just don't want to dislike maths because of this, or give up on showing that I care and trying.  I just want good grades. I just want to be able to say that I am smart.  Daddy's words are so harsh yet so true, and that's the difference between him and Mummy's persistent ridiculousness.  He understands, he's brutal and honest, and right now his honesty is telling me that I'm not as smart as I think I am, and there's absolutely nothing that makes me special.  I think he gave up hope in my brains a while ago.  He wasn't even disappointed when I told him my mark, because he expects that level of mediocrity.  It's difficult having an overachiever like him as a father.  Aunty Theresa said that in school his hobby was winning awards, being good at everything - and the fact that I dabble in stuff, that I do things I'm not the best at, that I'm not good at everything - means he doesn't respect me.

At least being upset over something real cures my conversational problem.  I can't have one-on-one conversations with acquaintances without freaking out?  Well apparently when something drastically depressing happens I can have full on D&Ms.  I become little miss I-must-approach-everybody.  It's too bad I'm too upset and identity-questioning to appreciate it.

I just don't know what to do with a sinking social life, mediocre grades, and a tendency to crave junk food.  I am miserable and I want out.


30.3.16

Yet another bad mark today, but this time full of careless mistakes that make me want to punch myself.  I dwell and dwell as if this 20% of my grade is the be all and end all, and suddenly I feel like I'm failing at all aspects of life.  Grades take the forefront and all social anxieties disappear in the background.  This is so much worse.  I need to do better.  I don't want to feel so average.  So many people are doing better than me now, and what do my teachers think?  Where is my pride?  I know it's not the end of the world so I need to stop and move on and know I can do better next time and how.  I can't let something like this dictate whether I'm happy or not.

Mummy and Daddy are discussing my marks again.  I can never escape it.

...

Sorry for such a negative month.

Love,
M

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A List to Happiness



I'm making a list for real this time.  It's not generic.  It's made of thoughts and things that have legitimately cheered me up, and it'll probably do the same for you.


SING

All the times I've caught myself singing in the car or in the shower, I've realised how un-miserable I felt.  I find myself singing random tunes I play on my instruments, or some of the songs my mum plays in the car, and the most feel-good songs of all: all those super catchy well-known pop songs.  Seriously.  Singing just makes me feel freer.  Even if you're in your room alone, feeling sad, and certainly not in the mood to sing, just do it.  Trust me.  You'll feel better immediately.

Here's something to start you off:

You had it all, the day you told me (told me) you want me.
I had it all, but let you fool me (fool me) completely.
Yeah I was so stupid to give you all my attention.
'cause the way you played me exposed your true intentions

AND ONE DAY-ay-ay-ay-ay I'LL HAVE YOU BEGGIN ON YOUR KNEES FOR ME...



HAVE BRUNCH

And I don't just mean eat a random meal in the middle of breakfast and lunch.  I mean go to a cafe with a friend or your mum or anyone and eat something delicious.  The middle of the morning is the perfect time to catch some fresh air and talk about whatever the hell you want to talk about.  For some reason there's this notion that people tend to have deep and meaningful conversations in the middle of the night, but I reckon they happen most in the middle of the morning.  There's something intimate and happy about brunch.  And you know, if the whole talking thing doesn't cheer you up, I can guarantee the food will.


WATCH AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS

They're just funny and so so endearing.  It's not a chick flick which makes you feel lonely after, and it's not some genius action sci-fi thing that makes you think, and it's not a drama like Gossip Girl (which also works).  It's a 20 minute sitcom that you have no excuse not to have time for.  Watch the episodes HERE.


BE EXCITED

Think about what you're doing in the future, preferably near than far, but the far future works too I guess - it's just harder to hold on to - and identify what you're excited for.  Whatever event it may be, it'll generally give you that ounce of motivation you needed, and put how happy your life is into context.  And if you seriously can't find anything you're excited for, try thinking in a different state of mind.  Either think of an event in a different, more positive light, or even identify something small in your day, such as the weekly activity you have on tomorrow, or whatever you're eating for lunch.  And if you still can't find anything, then plan something!


RE-READ A BOOK YOU LOVED

Don't re-read something you don't feel like reading just for the sake of it though.  Read something you haven't read in a while.  Read something you barely remember but know you enjoyed.  Read one of those no-brainer cute romances.  Read something set in a world that's so completely different and strange.  Escape to someone else's reality while you're not satisfied with your own.  Try some books by THIS AUTHOR or MAYBE THIS ONE.  And, to be immersed in a completely different world, if you haven't already read THIS SERIES, maybe you should.


EAT A LITTLE CHOCOLATE

It's Easter.  They're on sale.


READ OR WATCH SOMETHING INSPIRING

By inspiring I mean something that makes you want to go on adventures; something that makes you think of the big wide world around you.  It'll be something that makes all your sad emotions feel teeny tiny.  Or maybe it makes your sad emotions feel suddenly relatable, like they're shared with everyone because you're most certainly not the only one.  Try reading these one-liners HERE or watching THIS MOVIE.


DO SOME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

My PE class forced me to go for a jog for the first time in months, and it felt amazing - even more so afterwards.  The feeling of productivity, empowerment and freedom feels great, and somehow exerting your body and getting an adrenaline rush sends a signal to be in a good mood to your brain.  I'm sure there's something scientific about that.

Doing a social sport also helps because as well as exerting yourself, you're also having some great conversations and taking a break from whatever it is you normally do with your day.  If you're in severe need of something to break up your study schedule, take up a social sport, or even just go for a run, swim, bike-ride, pilates youtube video, anything.


SIT ON A BENCH AND PEOPLE-WATCH

I know it sounds cliche but it actually works.  Sometimes all you have to do to be a little happier is forget about yourself and your self-absorbed little issues for a moment.

If you have one of those self-conscious issues, you'll get used to sitting there pretty quickly.  People tend to be too afraid of you watching them to be concerned about what you're doing on the public bench you have every right to be sitting on.

Here's what I observed today:

Two men and an old lady walk into McDonalds, leaving their two adorable squash-faced dogs behind.  The black one seems to have a thing for me and sits right next to my leg until one of the men comes out and coos the dog back to the pole it's meant to be sitting at.  As soon as he leaves the dog comes back and plants himself right next to me.

A man rides his bike and keeps looking at the booster seat attached to his back to make sure his little girl, who is busy sucking on her chocolate gelato, hasn't fallen out.

"Don't look at me.  Don't look at me.  I'm stressed.  I'm stressed." I imagine a woman thinking, as she tersely walks past with her head fixed down at her feet in front of her.

"OH MY GOD A DOG" a lady skirts away from the black dog who runs up to her and her daughters. "AWWWWW A DOG" her daughters think.

An older sister and a younger sister walk past.  The younger sister starts kicking her legs up, and the older sister follows in sync.

The black dog plants himself on a man's bare feet as he walks out of the McDonalds.  The man bends down to pat the dog while lighting his cigarette.


EAT SOME FRUIT

because if you feel like eating, you may as well start off healthy.

Love,
M

Friday, 18 March 2016

Shortcomings

I remember doing this practice NAPLAN-style comprehension test, where I read this passage about a man who got invited to a house.  The caricature they provided for this man wasn't very likeable.  He seemed very proud of his intellectual ability though, and being the thinker that he was, he acknowledged all the mannerisms and anxieties that made him unlikeable.  They were referred to as his shortcomings, and he accepted them for what they were.

Now, I wonder if that's the healthy way to do things.  All these weaknesses about yourself; should they be fought, or should they be accepted.  Should you accept all the things that make you lesser to take you further down the road of self love and actualisation, or do you need to fight against these shortcomings.  Is it even possible to fight against your shortcomings?

In some ways I wondered if I was that man.  He didn't seem very happy in the passage, or maybe some of his shortcomings felt a little too close to home.  Either way, I wanted to get rid of them.


The protagonist of the last book I read was this photographer, and several times throughout the book this guy would ask her, "Why are you always focused on how things look?"  She quit a position to save face, she dated a guy because of the idea of being with someone like what he looks like.  I have come to a conclusion that the whole how-things-look train of thought is the basis of all my shortcomings.

Recently I've realised that my whole life, I've done things wrong.  My how-things-look habit has gone so far that it's been within myself as well.  It's not unusual for me to imagine myself as someone else and think about how they see me, because yes, I seem to be that self obsessed.  It's like that thing on Facebook where you can choose to view your profile from someone else's point of view.  Yes, I've used that too.

It's gotten to the point where I don't want to make a real effort anymore.  I don't want to love something.  I can't enjoy it that much.  If I seem too enthusiastic about something, only to not excel at it, well how does that look to myself?  How embarrassing.  It's like I'm in this constant state of denial where unless I'm amazing, what's the point?  That's why I'm flaky.  That's why I make myself look uncommitted, to the point where I actually become uncommitted.  If I tell myself I don't care, then there's the reason why I'm not amazing at what I'm doing.  I'm not making the effort, that's why.  I'm saving face towards myself, and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

This is why I deny being close with someone, or thinking about certain things.  If we're not actually that close, then there's a lot of disappointment coming my way.  If what I'm thinking is something I would judge someone else for thinking, then why the hell am I thinking it?  I know no one else can hear my thoughts, but what if they could?  It's like I'm always assuming they can.

People won't like you better if you're laughing with other people in front of them, or if you're being great at something in front of them.  They might admire you more, but you certainly haven't developed any sort of relationship with them.  For someone to like you, you need to actually talk to them, not just look good in front of them.  This is something it took me a while to discover, no matter how obvious it may seem.



On our joint Twitter account, my friend posted a tweet that said, "Some days I feel as if my friends at school will be mine forever and other days I'm convinced that they're all temporary."  Reading this made me feel as if I'd lost sight of how to do friendship right.  Friendships are about being there for each other, about understanding, about fun.  They're so much deeper than what they look like.  They're supposed to be there for the long haul.

So those conversations where I'm trying to seem like the supportive, open minded one, where I hold back when I disagree - they're not real.  It's about more than going through the motions of being best friends or whatever.  It's about more than tagging someone on Instagram and calling them your best or your favourite in the caption.  It's about telling someone your petty personal issue the moment it enters your mind.  It's about going to them for a good conversation and reassurance to cheer you up.  None of this happens for other people to see, and when you don't want other people to see but you say or think it anyway, that's when you know it's for you.


Sometimes I think I'm striving for good marks to prove something.  This form of success is a means to an ends of making my parents and my relatives think I'm smart.  Good marks are like tangible proof to other people that you've got intellectual ability.  In order to not seem up yourself, good marks create the 'aura of smartness' that you want people to see, that you want yourself to see.  And when the marks come back and I'm not as smart as I hoped I was, does that mean it's time to give up to save face?  Well, I certainly hope not.

And you know what else?  When I speak, the words that come out of my mouth sound utterly dumb.  I'm trying to avoid conflict.  I'm trying to say what I think they want me to say.  And if I'm not stating my real, pure, true opinions, does that even make me a person?

I don't think it's healthier to just accept your shortcomings for what they are, because if I just accept mine, then what kind of life am I living?

Love,
M

Monday, 14 March 2016

Farm

Instead of studying, I spent my Sunday on a farm.





We were invited by family friends, and being the extreme city based Asian family that we are, it was different.  My mum treated it like some kind of camp, insisting we pack a head torch, be aware of snakes, pack a sleeping bag just in case.  I don't think she registered that this place has electricity, and a house, and a toilet.












We didn't do all that much.  In fact, I could probably call it a waste of an afternoon if I wanted to, but I'm glad I went.  Photos make me happy, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.














Footballs are so weirdly shaped, and I feel like such a prissy person when I shrink away from their awkward bounces or weird spins in the air.





There was this one moment where we were sitting on a rock and the repeats of Pillow Talk paused for a minute.  It was peaceful, and pretty, and the sky was a soft red.









Love,
M

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Dreamer


I've been watching a lot of Gossip Girl lately.  I started on episode one, season four as a statement to myself: "I can do what I want when I feel like it without any sort of reason whatsoever," and I've just continued watching from there.  I reckon season four is my favourite when it comes to the relationship between Chuck and Blair, with wars and truces and a lot of conflicting emotions.  Their relationship is psychotic and powerful, to the point where it's so completely unrealistic.  Rather than wish for something like it, I simply relish in the drama and the life that no one will ever have.

I guess that's what Gossip Girl has over everything else right now.  I keep having these fantasies of people and places and things that'll never happen.  I know it's not healthy, and I know that all this wishful thinking does is make me disappointed by the events of real life, but making up these stories are a guilty pleasure in a way.  They make me so happy while I play them out in my head.  I know exactly what I say, and if I don't like it I get a do-over.  If I don't like what they say, they get a do-over too.  And what's sad and pathetic is that I see some of these people, and thinking about them when I'm not with them makes me feel creepy, even though I know everyone does it.  I'm too hard on myself.

Usually reading a good book helps - I can delve into a new story, with better characters and better events than my own, but unlike Gossip Girl, some of these books are realistic.  They make me realise all the things I want and don't have.  They make me feel lonely and lacking, and sometimes escaping reality is not the way to go on the road to happiness and content.

Although I've never felt the need for a boyfriend, I realise that all my go-to movies are chick flicks.  As long as they involve a cute guy and quirky drama that every girl secretly hopes will happen to her, I'm on the couch with a huge bowl of popcorn.  My question is, have I been watching these since I was 12, subconsciously wishing for a super cute relationship that's never going to happen to me?

I watched this documentary on Saturday that categorised chick flicks as a sub-genre just for girls.  If you hadn't noticed, these movies are pretty much the only ones that star a female protagonist.  And what are these female protagonists doing?  Well they're looking for love of course.  And at the end they always have a guy who's perfect for them, because obviously that's their definition of a happy ending.  It's come to the point where no matter what movie I watch, I always pick my favourite female character and ship her with some guy, and throughout the movie my main focus is on who she ends up with and whether it's him.  Usually it is.  How sad is that?

In How to be Single they mention this observation as well.  All these characters may seem empowered and sassy or spunky, and even though throughout the movie they go on and on about how happy they are to be single, they pretty much spend the entire time looking for boyfriends.  But How to be Single counts as a chick flick, doesn't it?  And after three boyfriends, Alice doesn't end up with anyone, does she?  She climbs the Grand Canyon on New Year's Day herself.  All she needs is a best friend and a goal.  And you know what?  After watching that movie I had that whole boys-don't-matter-whatsoever attitude, and I like that.

A boy calling me by my full name shouldn't make me feel special.  I don't care if they're sarcastic or tell me they missed me or god forbid, insult me as a joke - because they do that to everyone, and there's no point in competing for that.  I'm sick of this attention-seeking environment, and just because I'm special in my fantasies doesn't mean I'm treated specially in real life.

Maybe my mind has wandered into this realm of thought because as much as I'm sick of thinking this way, I'd become even more sick of my routine weeks without these little mind tangents.  My mum is crazy. Every day she asks me if I need to study, and if I'm not studying she'll ask me why.  "You can always find more maths questions and physics questions to do."

"Yeah, but why?  Why should I do more than I need to and already have?  Why can't I relax?"

"All you're interested in is laziness and fun!  You need to give that up for these two years."

"But I don't think I need to.  I'm already doing a lot of homework."

"DON'T BLAME ME WHEN YOUR GRADES ARE BAD THIS SEMESTER!  IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT SEMESTER OF THE FOUR!"

"My grades won't be bad and this is not the most important semester...  I'm also incredibly in control.  Do you want me to spell out all my assessment and all the material we've covered and will be covering and what I've already studied, in detail with a schedule and everything?"

"I think I need to ban you from TV."

"No.  I already did my homework in my study period and after school today."

"THAT'S ONLY ONE AND A HALF HOURS!?  You should be doing two or three a day!"

"I only had three classes today, and I finished everything that needs to be done."

"How are you supposed to succeed in life if you're not studying!?  When you start working you will have no work life balance!"

"Why not?"

"Of course you can't have work life balance.  If you have work life balance then there's no way you'll succeed."

"That's pathetic..."

Maybe my mum needs some fantasies of her own.

Love,
M

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Month One of School


I can't believe that less than 29 days ago I was at home blissfully enjoying my holidays, ignorant to what my first year of being a senior would be like.  Life was all brunches and malls and TV shows, and then suddenly it became maths exercises, routine and class after class after class.  January can't have been as long ago as it feels...


2.2.16

The first day of school was an unexpected ball of nervous energy.  My brain is asleep and although I know class content should be my main concern, I can't help but think about my rigid tenseness and how I'm not doing anything about it.  It's like I'm trying to establish myself as an unfriendly person.  Normal school was never like this.  Why does Year 11 feel different?  Last year I ended feeling happy and this year I'm somewhat not treating myself like a human being?  I'm doing everything I told myself I wouldn't do.  I think I just need to suck it up and be normal again.  Or be indifferent.  Indifferent sounds nice.


3.2.16

Today was E's birthday and it was a good day for me too.  My classes feel a lot nicer and I feel like we've fallen into a nice routine... and I really think my indifference came through today.  Nobody really cares anyway.

...

Time to do some maths homework.  I'm actually really enjoying maths.


5.2.16

It's Friday night and I've just finished watching a mediocrely cute movie and now I don't know what to do with myself.  What am I looking forward to?  After this week it seems as if school is my life and my life is school.  I pride myself in my subjects and my homework and all the maths I seem to be doing.  Training is tomorrow morning but am I excited?  It seems as if I'm just going through the motions and somehow, suddenly this melancholy feeling has set over me because I feel like  a buzz.  I can't describe it.  My life just feels empty and somewhat lonely, but no it's not.  What is wrong with me?  Where has my sense of purpose gone?  Why am I not content with my lonesome self?  Isn't it okay to be happy to be alone?  I don't need people.  Why am I afraid?  I shouldn't feel bored and yet I do.

It's like I want school to be on tomorrow or something.  While I may feel bored, it seems that what I really want is routine.


6.2.16

So this kid who looked 13 or something drove in a car next to us and pissed Daddy off and then stuck up his middle finger.  And here's the thing; I can't help thinking that it's because we're Asian.  I always try to imagine whether the kid would've done the same to a white family, and I never really can.  I don't know whether this has to do with my life-time worth of bias against my own culture or the fact that racism is everywhere.  I mean, I never thought masses of people would actually vote for Donald Trump, but look at that...


7.2.16

This has never happened before - where I'm really bad at something, where I'm just not smart.  Is this what happens when commitment goes down the drain?  I think I want to be good at everything this year; so that means musical instruments, my job, my fitness; they're all getting a little bit of my effort on the side - after studying of course.  I don't like feeling dumb.


9.2.16

I need to roll my shoulders back and relax...

If you do all good and one bad, the good will not be mentioned. - Humans of New York (Federal Correctional Institution: Cumberland, Maryland)

sonder (n) - The realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness - an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to the thousands of lives you'll never know existed, in which might appear only once, as an extra sipping of coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing by on a highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

eunoia (n) - beautiful thinking; a well mind

When you fear your life you're overcome by this ghastly clarity.  You calculate your odds every instant.  You invent options and see possibilities you wouldn't have considered at any other time.  You realise as never before that your life is the only thing that is absolutely, truly yours.  There is a strength within us that we can't even comprehend until it's called upon.  We are, at our core, built to survive. - Ten Thousand Skies Above You (p98)


12.2.16

I'm rude, dismissive, snobby, biased and disrespectful to so many people, and I deserve all the disrespect I get from anyone else.  It's good to know that people aren't much different from me though.  It's not an excuse, however, and I need to cure how unhealthy I am mentally.


13.2.16

6:15am - I don't understand why I'm feeling so miserable when there are so many things to be happy about in my life.

11:14pm - I'm continuously doubting myself based on what I see on social media, because apparently social media is basically real life to me.

I also figure I should stop gossiping so much, because the things I say seem to bite me in the back through paranoia.  It's not like I care enough about these people to waste my words on them anyway, and even if I do care, why can't I just keep something, anything, to myself?  It's just as real and important in here, isn't it?

And it's time to be less self indulgent because all that does is make me miserable.  I need to stop trying to be this or that, or seem this way or that way.  It's not always about me even though inside my head it seems to be.  Why can't I try being outside my head?  Maybe then it'll be less of what I seem to be and more of what I am - uncaring, trying, confident.


14.2.16

After spending dinner at C's house I realise how unmodest she is, which is honest and probably a good thing.  She's quite self indulgent, and so is Daddy, and so am I.  It's like we rely on our brains, or how smart we seem to think we are, to make us feel special.

...

I need to realise that people can't understand everything and see through that veil, so why bother trying to impress them or pretend for them?


17.2.16

Mummy's been having some awfully radical views on everything lately.  It's like the concept of university has consumed her life.  She's begun to make me feel as if a 99.95 ATAR is the norm of her expectations - as if I'm most definitely capable of that.  If I let her remarks in she'll scare me.  "The first semester is the most important."  "You need to read extra, study harder, all the time."  Daddy told us she was the biggest exam stress-head in uni, actually crying about how she thought she would fail (which wasn't even remotely possible).  Maybe that's why she's being such an extremist.  "What's wrong with young people these days?" she said out of the blue today.  "Why do they have so many problems?"  I thought she was talking about mental health issues, but as it turns out she was talking about Uncle J's nephew who wants to switch courses.  She's forever updating me on C's acceptance to Monash, or H's acceptance to veterinary school.  This morning she told me that taking a gap year is the worst decision you could possibly make.  According to her they end up lazy and unemployed, and they open a restaurant and have an affair?  I'm sure the affair happened as a result of the gap year - totally.  She's been saying that university shapes your life, and your ATAR shapes your uni choices, so make a list of what you want to do now (at 16) or you're stuffed.  Apparently realising you hate something is no excuse to give it up.  Apparently you're supposed to persevere and basically live your life doing this job you hate.  Basically she's telling me to never ever go off course, because there's no return.  She disregards all evidence on how gap years can be helpful (not that I'm planning on taking one) and has no clue what not knowing what you want to be feels like.  It's like she sees everything in black and white: study or no study.  I never knew her views and motherly advice would be so absurd.


19.2.16

I feel like she's the kind of person who thinks the louder and more obnoxious, the smarter.  I know I probably have a too-high opinion of myself, but just wait until she sees those marks on those tests.  Wait until we do them.  I hate being seen as dumb because it's the one thing I'm not.  I don't understand why some people get that vibe from me?  Is my silence a signal of stupidity?  Maybe I should yell out my answers more.  Or maybe I should just ace that test and prove them all wrong.

...

I really like spending time with her, but it's absurd how much time she spends talking about herself, and how much time I spend lifting her up.  I feel like a lot of people would complain about her egotistical talk, but I just don't.  What does that make me?


22.2.16

Ladies, don't mistake kindness for weakness.


23.2.16

Symmetry broke at the very dawn of creation.  If it hadn't - if matter and antimatter were equal, gravity and antigravity too - then the universe would destroy itself in an instant.  We wouldn't even know the disaster was happening - had happened - because time would collapse too. - Ten Thousand Skies Above You (p375)

Perhaps one day I'll actually understand that - figure out whether the author did her research or simply bullshitted a world of her own.


24.2.16

I feel like people who toot their horns get so much more recognition.  * is always talking up her intelligence loudly, so people think she's a genius or something.  * is always talking up her teams and competitiveness, so people think she's super sporty - and this affects the decisions teachers make too. If * uses big words and calls out answers, does that make her top of the class?  Maybe I should be less modest.  In fact, sometimes I put myself down when it's not even true...


27.2.16

If I were a live-in-the-moment type person then I would just shrug this experience off as an okay day spent in abject head, but instead I'm thinking about my future and my productivity and the moments I could've been having...


28.2.16

I have way more self worth than the picture I seem to be painting inside my head.  What I say matters so I have to care because people are listening.

Tonight I went to P's house for dinner, despite not having finished the tasks on my to-do-list today.  It's really made me question my productivity because I thought I was better than that.  Studies over fun, remember?  But is that really what's best?  I honestly don't know what to think.  Anyway, that's not why I'm writing.  Sometimes, lately, talking to them feels like a need to prove popularity/experience - which I don't like but feel as if it's a way of life nowadays.  * was telling me about some of the things she's been up to at parties, and I somewhat wish she hadn't told.  Sometimes information isn't everything.  I don't want to know about any of them doing things with boys in rooms.  I also feel like my life just isn't exciting enough anymore...

I also ate a lot today and I don't understand why I'm going through this phase again when I thought I was stronger than that.  I exercised with A, but that's not going to counter a whole week of eating whatever.  I don't want to give it up though.  I was snap chatting a boy from P's phone and then he wanted to see my face and I freaked.  I just feel so ugly with oily skin and glasses and the idea of anyone seeing a photo of me makes me cringe, which is stupid.  I don't like feeling ugly.  I shouldn't but I've become a person behind a mask of mineral foundation and contacts.


29.2.16

Today I had my first assessment (a chem in-class) and now I'm scared.  The school culture has set in and here I am obsessing over how I stuffed up a percentage question and described an exponential as "a curve".  Suddenly these 3 marks are everything.  It's like because I lost them I may as well scrap my chemistry marks for semester 1.  My ATAR will forever be tainted.  3 marks and suddenly I'm not smart anymore.  It has become the main topic of conversation with my parents.  If only you prepared before this unknown in-class.  If only you estimated before attempting.  You stuffed up a percentage problem therefore you're a failure.  School makes me sad but also weirdly motivated.

Love,
M