Bleh

Idiot. I printed 301 copies of a survey in school when I was supposed to print 30. Oh, the slip of a finger.  It took me too long to realize that the stack was well over 30 pages.

I was going to say ‘Oh, this sort of thing happens to me way too often’ but actually, it’s been hapenning a lot less recently (despite the fact that I dropped my dinner on the piano the other day). I think it may be a stroke of luck?

Just kidding, I’ve just choked on a mint.

Anyhoo, I’ve got so much on my mind that I feel like I’m on the verge of a blogging spree. A therapuetic typing session. I’m freaking out about the SAT’s, the future, people, friendships and just so many things I can’t even begin to note down in time before I am interrupted by another anxious thought.

I need to calm down.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Pidgeonholing

I made a sweeping statement about people the other day that I’m ashamed of. I was trying to explain why I was intrigued by a particular someone, saying that I liked the way he thought. Saying that it was different from talking to vapid people who don’t seem to be able to talk about anything of substance, or anything that really matters. But I was wrong. Because firstly, who am I to define what substance is? To judge what it is that matters? Probably nobody is really that insipid or vacuous. Everybody has something worth thinking about, as even if I don’t agree, their opinions are still valid and their thoughts still valuable (if only just to themselves). Everybody has their own subjective experiences and each person is as real as I am, with dreams, worries, aspirations and anxieties of their own. All it takes is an open mind and a chance to get to know them; a chance to see them open up to you. To say that they’re dead boring or shallow to the core of their being without truly getting to know them is to close a door on somebody who may be in need of a friend.

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”
― John Green, Paper Towns

I guess the best thing is when you feel as though there is a connection, like the person you’re talking to is choosing to express themselves to you (in particular) and is able to bring forth what is on their hearts. That, although it is the first conversation you have had with him/her, the topic of conversation seems more personal. Like, he/she is letting you see into the cracks. The tricky part is knowing whether or not the connection goes both ways (like gurl, maybe he’s like that with everyone).

So, I’ve got to remember that everyone is more complex than I know and will ever know. Once I understand this, the more I can understand other people. It is in knowing that there is more to know that more can be known.

 

The thing about blogging

Even though I use the second person pronoun, I write more for me than for anyone else (sorry). As in, even if nobody read my posts, I’d still post and edit until I was happy with my own writing and the translation of feelings and abstract thoughts,  too big to be contained, into symbols that can be understood on a screen.

However, I’ve come to realize that:

  1. I feel more comfortable sharing my blog with people who already have blogs. It’s a reciprical thing: show me yours, I’ll show you mine. It’s like gaining access to the quieter, pensive, honest, and sometimes hidden part of a person’s character. In this way, it’s easy to fall in love with people just a little bit through reading their minds.
  2. I feel more comfortable sharing my blog with people who don’t know me that well. And I’m trying to figure out why that is… Surely, it should be easier to show my blog to someone closer to me?

I don’t know.

Some recent firsts

It’s nice to keep track of all the new things. The small things that are, in their own ways, milestones of experience.

I don’t know why but I’ve always found little blemishes (like freckles) and markers of brokenness (like bruises) endearing. It’s lovely how the body carries records of too much time spent out in the sun and the results of spilt coffee and slippery floors as well as slight impressions of blunt furniture. Just the fact that you’ve broken a bone makes you a little more interesting because there’s a suggestion of a story behind how it happened. And well, I do love stories.

So, in some strange way, I’m proud of the fact that I chipped my tooth on Friday!!!!! The tradition involved in winning the Swimming Gala for school requires jumping into the pool, swimming across it, and copping a feel of the House Plaque. I had the honour of jumping into the pool, though in the frenzy of trying to swim with long sleeves and a heavy skirt against waves of chlorine pushed my way by the better swimmers (my eyes also suffered), I must’ve bumped into a line of floating buoys. Because as we were all smiling at the cameras on the other side, I felt my teeth grind across something with the texture of sand. My tongue felt the rough edge of my upper front tooth and realized woops I think I broke my tooth. Thank goodness it was just a minor chip- I think I can leave it to smoothen out after I pig out some more.

When the muscle in my foot was inflammed, I went to a chinese doctor. This was new for me, not because he was a chinese man, but because  he specialised in chinese medicine. He wrapped my foot in something brown and smelly and I basically contaminated the air wherever I went. It did the trick though!

Here’s what happened in a P.E lesson:

“Ugh do you smell that?” she scrunched up her nose.

“Sorry, probably my feet,” I smiled sheepishly.

She took a sniff of her matt again, looking a little embarrassed for me. “No, I think its the matt… it smells like spices.”

“Ha, I was referring to the medicine by the way.”

“Oh.”

And we both couldn’t stop laughing. A result of the heat and the silly yoga poses, perhaps.

Just before the end of summer, I re-ignited my love for fire (see what I did there). I’ve always loved playing with candles, blowing them out and re-lighting them and watching the flames eat the wicks and blacken spoons. I’ve just always been too scared to pass my finger through a flame, so when I happened to find a lighter, I just watched, mesmerised by how my friend could pass his fingers through the flame with such ease and confidence. It took a good twenty minutes before I grabbed the lighter and challenged myself to do it.  Trust me, it was super intense and exciting- just dangerous enough. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I had done what I was scared to do. Honestly, you could put me in a room with nothing but a lighter and I would have a blast. I played with that lighter so much I had blisters on a few of my fingers.

If you’re a tumblr-rer you’ve probably seen this quote/question: when was the last time you did something for the first time?

It should spark the adventurous spirit in you as it did in me. Why not add to the list of firsts? Expand your world view, experience more and live fuller.

I thank God for blessing me with the firsts that I’ve already experienced and for the many firsts to come.

Sobe xx

Dads and boyfriends

Maybe once or twice in your life you’ve heard of Freud. Sigmund Freud, the 20th century physiologist and psychoanalyst who delved into the unconscious mind and talked about sex a whole lot. I will always remember what my psych teacher said to the class one lesson: you can never argue with a freudian scholar. You can’t argue against the unconscious- freudians will just accuse you of being in denial.

I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyway, according to Freud, children experience the Electra/ Oedipus complex as they develop. For boys, the Oedipus complex is the stage of their lives where, supposedly, they struggle with lust for their mothers and fear of/hatred for their fathers at an unconscious level. On the flip side, the Electra complex describes what girls experience: attraction to their fathers and hatred towards their mothers who are viewed as competition. The details are not important and the ideas are obviously a little disturbing and absurd (to me at least), but I have actually heard that people find mates (romantic ones LOL) who resemble their parents.

I had a conversation about this a long time ago with a friend and she half-joked: “dude, you do like people who are like your dad.” I told her that the very thought itself was gross… but then I actually thought about it. And no, I still don’t think I’m attracted to my father (ewewew makes me cringe just reading that), but I do see some qualities in him that I would like in a future partner.
For example,  my dad is a highly intelligent person. He is an avid reader and such a geek- he would probably be able to give the names of birds  that I’d otherwise never have heard of like the L’iwi or ‘Apapane from Hawaii. He just has this passion and it’s amazing to see how much he appreciates and enjoys learning about birds. It’s the same with wine, classical music, maps and the romantic languages in particular. He just has the ability to absorb information and truly take delight in these interests without a goal in mind, like “I’m going to be a bird specialist” or “I’m going to be a sommelier”, even though he could very well be both.  I admire people like that and would be more attracted to a guy if he liked to learn, challenge and teach me things too.

My dad’s the kind of dad who will wake up earlier than usual just to drive me to school without me having to ask. He’s the kind of dad who would drop anything that he’s doing to help me or answer my question. He always carries the suitcases down the stairs even though his arms sometimes ache and he always carries the groceries without ever asking for help. He has a gentle and compassionate disposition (my mum would play bad cop and my dad good cop), and he is always willing to spare a few minutes to help someone. He is as selfless as one can get. My grandmother has said many times that my mum is a lucky gal and I agree with her, because I’m a lucky gal to have him as my dad.

So, just to clear things up, I’m not saying that I want to marry a guy just like my dad. I’m saying that I see wonderful attributes in my dad that I’d value in a guy. I’m not attracted to my dad, I just find some of his qualities attractive in a person.

Have a think about it yourself and I’m sure you’d be able to find some parts of your dad or mum’s character that you would really cherish in a potential partner.

Sobe xx

Scammed and hurt

Fashion Night Out was such a disappointment. I don’t know what happened to the “half work, half play” job description we were offered. The build up and excitement we felt towards the job was so incredibly unnecessary. There were no colourful piles of FREE macaroons alongside plates of snacks and party skewers. There were no beaded bubbles winking at the brim (from Keats’ Ode to Nightingale which I find to be a beautiful phrase) in tall wine glasses waiting to be served on trays to an array of lesser-known Hong Kong celebrities and models. There was no DJ (we were lied to), and lastly, the uniform did not consist of a white T-shirt and jeans. The video they showed us at the interview piqued our interests. Come on, getting paid to have a bit of a party with food, music, and people? Yes pleaase! But we were scammed. I felt kind of betrayed by how the party had actually ended the night before our work days and we were seriously unprepared for what the job entailed.

We arrived in four inch heels with extra makeup in our bags. How embarrassing. We wanted to look the part for what we believed to be quite a high profile event… But we were immediately given a full-black uniform with long sleeves and long trousers. It was hot and ugly. The heels were severely impractical and the leather rubbed my ankle raw. See, wearing heels takes mental strength and I’ve always wondered where my limit would be with respect to pain tolerance. I trotted and shifted on my toes, waiting for someone- anyone, to ask me questions or make use of my presence. I still can’t believe I had given up nine or ten hours of my time to stand behind customers in one section of Lane Crawford, directing them to other sales people and repeatedly arranging hangers on clothing racks to ensure that they were equally spaced.

#pissed #incredulous #childlabour

We spent the last hour (at around 10:00 pm) hiding out in a store room, hoping the sales people wouldn’t find us as we bandaged our feet and complained about the absence of macaroons.
The highlight of the day was the mango banana smoothie I had for my lunch break. Good times.

The thing is, I’d rather have been overwhelmed by customers and asked to walk back and forth from the store room to fetch expensive dresses of different sizes. I’d rather have been swamped with work. Instead, I did absolutely nothing. On the bright side, I am going to get paid, but truth to be told, I would rather have stayed at home and earned nothing.

From Sobe to Sobe to remember. 

2:10 am

Writing a post at 2:10 am on a school night is not the wisest decision and drinking rich coffee three hours ago was also not the best choice.
Here I am typing steadily as the aircon breathes, the fan slowly waves, and the clock ticks incessantly.

Today, for the first time in my life, I went busking on the streets (illegal in Hong Kong. We have a bad ass over hurrr). Not many shoppers and late night passersby heard me and I am extremely thankful for that, as my nerves caused me to lose some control over my voice. For some reason, my body was shaking. I was reacting physically to being in a performance-type situation, indicating how long it has been since I’ve sung in front of an audience alone. Being as critical as I am about my performances, the short, casual, and pretty much impromptu session helped me feel much less disappointed in myself. I loved the experience and have realized it’s always been on the bucketlist in my mind. Going to add and cross that one off!

I also spent the last few hours with her, watching her drink beer whilst I munched on a chocolate bar, curled up on a couch on the far side of the lounge. We confessed secrets and shared worries and doubts in our hearts. We talked about boys and God and faith and alcohol and sin and uncertainty. We talked about hope and motivation and planned for the future. The thing about meeting people in church is that it seems easier and more comfortable to share personal experiences without the fear of judgement. With essentially the same values and core principles in general, the support system feels genuine. I have not known her for that long but time itself is irrelevant; sometimes short-lived experiences leave lasting impressions. She’s leaving tomorrow and I’m going to miss her.

Sobe needs to sleep.

To remember.

I know its irrational

but I have this fear that one day I’ll have writen all my big thoughts down. And that if someone has access to my blog, our conversations will be rendered meaningless. I mean, what more will there be to say?

I guess, more than anything, I’m scared that one day I’ll have run out of meaningful thoughts. Yes, that’s my new fear.

SKELETAL

You’re lovely

Because your words are never wasted
& your kindness never punctuated.

If I were to encapsulate a moment-
a moment where you demonstrated beauty,
I’d capture your entire life:

I’d hang you up on my wall
in your naked splendour
to remind myself
of what I’d like to be.

Taking high notes from Australia

My eyes feel funny, like things aren’t as clear as they could be. Like words can appear sharper and I’ve been staring at things so closely they’ve lost their shape. I need to make sure my eyes are working properly by looking at something wider and bigger than what my eyes can take in- somewhere without walls and rectangles.

***

The great crashing of the ocean is enough to instil fear. But from up here on these weathered rocks, I feel safe. I bend my head to write and then turn back again to look, and the yellow hues have sunken a little lower between grey and blue. Clouds are golden speckled and I see that sunlight actually shines in linear streams. What a shame it is that the sky does not match the same sky in the photo. Nothing will capture that purple.

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Seriously though, the pictures pale in comparison.

***

This keeps happening. I keep doing things that are meant for people half my age. I want to eat from the children’s menu, I want to drink the kid’s size coffee-free expreski, I want to go to the animal farm and I want to blow bubbles.

***

I felt depressed thinking that I had spent half my day half-sleeping and listening to music that I didn’t even choose. It was almost as if my body was too weak to move, eyes too dull to see. The heat was lulling me to sleep and even when I was awake I felt dull dull dull.

***

Animal farms love me. I accomplished the goal of picking up rabbits and guinea pigs, and that was a very difficult challenge indeed. The brown ones reminded me of dirty rats and I didn’t really want to touch them even when they were the easiest to ‘capture’. Some had red eyes and I was thinking how creepy it’d be if they only glinted red at times, like when they’re running into a corner and you catch their eyes in the sun.

Sheep with heavy wool shrouding their heads look like they’re from the 18th century. They look like a bunch of Mozarts who haven’t washed their wigs.

***

We had a Valentine’s Day dinner with a few candles with wicks almost too short to be lit, almost completely submerged in wax.
Opera music
Special Fried Rice again
along with lamb chops, salad (I think I hate French Parsley)
risotto from the packet tweaked with wine, rosemary, leftover chicken
fizzy apple juice that looked like beer.
It wasn’t so bad but it wasn’t spectacular. I wish it didn’t take much for me to feel spectacular.

***

I do this thing where everything I write sounds cynical and I describe every time as a crappy time, which turns out mildly entertaining for me to read.

From Sobe to Sobe to remember xx

And yes, I’m trying to be punny with the name of this post.