If you want to impress me

teach me something, offer a new perspective, one that opposes mine even. Don’t regurgitate what’s been said a billion times before. Don’t tell me what I want to hear- you’ll have more luck offending me with an opinion you can support. Don’t sound like you’re reciting from a textbook, unless you’re showing me your talent for memorisation. What do you think? Don’t be indifferent. Show me your ambition. Inspire me.

I’ve figured out why I don’t like you as much as I wanted to.

But it’s not only you. People who come up with the most generic, obvious and safe things to say (yet try and make themselves sound smart by doing this) really bore me. At least admit your inability to make any sort of meaningful contribution to the conversation (if even just to yourself).

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Intro/Extrospective

I’ve learnt some new general things:

  • Hypocorism is the fancy term for ‘pet name’. I love hypocorisms and nicknames- they remove an awkward formality to introductions. And they’re fun and sweet, especially when adopted with a story or derived from an experience.
  • Airport security uses specific, casual-sounding phrases that code for different problematic situations (in America at least).
  • An old streambed was found on Mars and the minerals in the Martian bedrock were found to be composed of the chemical building blocks of life!!1! lol
  • A Slow Loris should not be a pet. Their venemous teeth are usually pulled out, they’re hard to take care of (can’t be potty trained) and they’re treated terribly by those who capture and sell them.
  • Boycotting is difficult (maybe even ineffective) because so many brands work in conjunction with other larger companies and organizations that subsidize them. You buy from one and end up befitting the other in some way. The interconnection is crazy. Apparently, Nestlé owns close to 8,000 brands.

I’ve learnt some self stuff:

  • Sometimes I wish I had a disorder so that I can blame my inadequacies/ failures/ incompetence/ laziness on it. It’d take away the blame and responsibility from myself to make a change. Sometimes I just don’t have the will power. It’s a terrible thing to wish upon myself (and one which I’d regret if it came true).
  • I’m incredibly anxious during holidays because whilst I try to enjoy myself, I keep thinking about work and productivity. When I get home, I don’t do anything to help the situation.
  • It really bothers me when people say things about me that I do not agree with, or have an image of me that I believe to be inaccurate. It can be something as small as ‘what? I thought you didn’t like dark chocolate’. The gap between my true self and what others perceive is something I’d like to reduce because… Because what? I’ll have to think about that.
    1. It means people don’t know me as well as I’d like them to
    2. It means I give off the wrong impression (and I don’t like to be at fault here for not being ‘myself’ enough).

I’ll be adding to the lists. Why do I bother to note these things down? I just want to remember and learn things outside of the tiny bubble I live in. I don’t want to learn to impress, to sound smart, to feel superior… No! That in itself was ridiculous to type. Why put in the effort for something so shallow and superficial? I want to learn because I am a genuinely curious person. I want to learn for myself because I want to know more and be aware of things that might not concern myself at all. I realize that’s something I actually like about myself. If anyone were to share their world with me, carrying interest in their voice, an excitement in their eyes, I would be absolutely captivated.

Christmas

I did say that Christmas dies a little every year. It fizzles out like the golden spittle at the end of a sparkler. You really don’t want the brilliance to end but it does -and you’re left with a smoldering grey stick.

I remember the sheer enthusiasm I had for decorating the Christmas tree with some hand-me-down tinsel and baubles, hiding presents and cards in the branches and leaves of plastic. I remember the glittery star I had picked from some antique store, and how my mouth watered at the sight of new boxes of chocolates stacked on top of each other. I snaked the coloured Christmas lights around the tree and turned the lights off in the house just to admire the different light-flashing settings. I remember seeing my dad sneak into my room with a present in hand and waking up early in the morning, still overjoyed at the fact that my stockings were filled. The mornings resonated with Christmas songs from an old tape:
…three french hens two turtle doves… hosanna in excelsis… GloooOooOooria… and shivers accompanied each step out of the house. I used to bake mince pies with my Grandmother and standby looking expectantly into the oven as the pastry turned golden. I would force my parents to try them and they’d always say they tasted better than they did. My dad taught me how to make chocolate fondue (by melting chocolate in a bowl placed in hot water) and dipped strawberries in it, realizing too late that the chocolate hardened much too quickly. My grandmother and I shaped coloured icing into snowmen and mistletoe and decorated a rich fruitcake. My family crowded around the table to exchange gifts and we pulled crackers and popped party poppers, releasing streams of confetti down and into our shoes by the door. We lit candles and my brother and I played with the flames, watching them lick the edges of paper and eat at toothpicks. And of course, there were the sparklers. They were always a treat.

I just don’t enjoy Christmas the way I used to. My siblings and I go on our separate laptops and the dinner table is quiet for the most part. Everything is rose tinted when you’re a child. But I guess that’s besides the point. It’s great that Christmas is a time for families to come together and enjoy good food but it’s Jesus’ birthday and not any random holiday for me and my family. It’s strange to think how Christmas has been commercialized into a holiday that people no longer associate with Christ, and even weirder to think how an old guy with a beard became such an integral part of Christmas. Beats me.

If anything, I am thankful for the reminder that He is my saviour, no matter the circumstance. He is my family, no matter the distance I feel to my own sometimes. And that hope is something that cannot be easily extinguished.

Sad

I’m disappointed
that you’re disappointed,
that it’s not enough to be plain
or whatever it is that clothes me,
white-washed, worn.
And the cold, it’s seeping in
through fingers bent over a keyboard
(you’re not one for conversation).
Don’t let it freeze what’s in my veins;
I’m too young to be tentative,
too young to be afraid,
but I think I might just get used to
monophony.
Whilst loneliness is promiscuous
and easy to please
(she’ll take anyone)
I’m partial to your jaded self.
You colour me bitter and blue
and that’s infinitely better
than white-washed.

My reason

I always forget that the most important part of who I am should not be a part of me but all of me. I am a believer of God and a follower of Christ and I must remember that my identity rests in Him.
My purpose is to perfect His will. That is what gets me through when I am bored and tired of living (I guess I’m impatient and prone to resignation), questioning what sort of significance I even have in the universe. There is a point to this.
And don’t I ever forget it.

Possibilities

My feet stuttered. My legs were so tired I couldn’t feel them. Each of my last strides was a thud disconnected from my body, and I knew I reached the finish line only because I watched it happen. My brain sort of hurt, as if my head was being compressed. It was so strange. What is it that makes some people better at sprinting than running long distance and vice versa?

I watched amazed as people slid over poles half a head taller than themselves. Bodies first, then the legs. Like a wave. Will I make it? Each successful jump for me came with a rush of relief. Then I started landing on the pole, leaving me with bruises that remind me they’re there when I sit.

My last sports day and we won. Speechless. Incredible. Couldn’t have gone any better.

I basically spent 3 hours watching Mr. Nobody, craning my head to see the screen with most of my face buried in a pillow. I kept thinking that I’d finally understand it if I waited it out… But I was disappointed. If a movie gets a lot of hype from a friend, expect it to be worse than it’s made out to be. It’s better to start off with little to no expectation. And this applies for many things. I did however, appreciate the idea about parallel universes and the branches of possibilities that come from each moment where choice is involved. These quotes stood out to me:

“As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.”
“Every path is the right path. Everything could have been anything else and it would have just as much meaning.”
“In chess, it’s called Zugzwang, when the only viable move is not to move.”

Then he tried to explain the Quantum Theory to me but I think he’s going to have to do that again sometime soon.

And then you go and write something like that and I see how much better you are than I am …. And that’s why it’s not a possibility. I may not know you well but you are a beautiful person. I admire you.

Sometimes when I’m walking alone, I wonder if you’ll pass by in a taxi. Maybe you’ll be looking out from a window as you’re riding the bus, bored and sleepy, when you see me. Maybe you’ll think ‘I think I know her’ and then forget me in an instant, or maybe you’ll think ‘ah yes, I remember’ and wonder how I’m doing and how things could’ve been if you really got to know me. But it’s all wishful thinking.

to remember

Classification

I’m not very good at dealing with ‘About Me’ sections. One-liners. Describe yourself in three words. Social networking snapshots in less than 50 characters.

I’m never satisfied (how can one ever be?), because it requires condensing and distilling to the simplest essence of character. It requires the ability to distinguish between self and other, the persipacity to realize what is most significant and striking about yourself. Nobody puts down “human” because that’s obvious enough, and nobody puts down the ordinary, like “I go to school on most days”, unless the ordinary is made exceptional. It’s about what makes you you.

I love reading what people come up with. I love it when people are self-aware and are opinionated, weird and confident. “I’m obsessed with cats and fishfingers”. “I have a penchant for grainy, black and white movies. And a thing for aristocracy (like Lorde).” I love it when people are like “I say what I want and do what I want” or when people are like “I care too much about people”. I love it when people have favourite quotes, movies, books and music. I don’t even have to agree with them- but it means that they’re not passive people. They are impacted by things, they feel things with depth and by consequence know what they like and don’t like.

I am envious of them, because I on the other hand, am so indecisive. I’m not certain about many things when it comes to describing myself. I dislike not knowing how I feel, or worse, feeling indifferent. Usually, I make references to food because that’s what I’m most comfortable with, for instance, my twitter one-liner goes: ‘fro-yo gives me dopamine surges’, which aptly describes my feelings towards froyo (it makes me abnormally happy) whilst very subtley hinting at my interest in neuropsychology (dopamine and pleasure and all that). It’s neither too serious nor completely useless. I’m always munching on something but I cannot go as far as to say that I’m a foodie. I like cooking but not that much. I love food but I don’t know that much about it. I don’t have an all-consuming passion, like being really into health and running and sports (even though I do like running), I don’t wake up every day excited to write a song and spend hours of my day researching top hits, releases and music history (even though I do love music and songwriting- albeit not very often these days), and I don’t throw myself into the blogging sphere by blogging many posts a day (it only happens sometimes) and staying up until 3am each night reblogging things on tumblr (not anymore). It’s so hard to characterize myself as a kind of person in particular. So ‘about me’ sections make me anxious.

I am a self-proclaimed romantic. That is one thing I can say for certain. I like to romanticize things and I like people who do that too. Glossing over the good bits, glorifying the ordinary. I forget the guys’ name but there was an artist that focused much of his work on sidewalk weeds and I found that a very captivating concept. Elevating and showing the beauty of the overlooked. Otherwise, the only thing I can be sure of is the fact that 1) I’m not good at ball games and 2) I’m not good at maths.

But why am I even concerned with trying to fit myself into some category? It’s just this annoying thing we have ingrained in us isn’t it? The need to classify and clarify? On one hand it can help us identify who we are, how to behave, and be more comfortable with our place in the world, on the other hand, we’re limiting and restricting ourselves. By saying for years “I’m not a maths sort of person”, I’ve internalized it. And that is what I think of myself. I’m alluding to the labeling theory here (yay psychology lol).

So… I don’t know what sort of conclusion I’m coming to. I don’t know. I’m a confused individual.

10/12/13

So she talked to him on the phone today whilst I was sitting on the sofa and reading some poetry. She told me to be quiet and said “if you have something to say, talk to me on facebook”. That was a ridiculous and hilarious thing to suggest as I was sitting in the same room as her, less than a meter away. But that was the plan anyway. So I listened to them talk in turns, sharing little things about their day, and let their banter be the soundtrack to my scrolling through blogs. I noticed the ease with which she spoke and his chuckles interwoven through her voice and felt happy. This could be something. But if this is where it ends, it’s sweet to see the beginnings of a relationship. Someone is making an effort with her. Finally. Someone is willing to take the time to enjoy her company, her laughter and take part in insignificant conversations (which are nice and full of that mundane charm, if that makes sense). I’m happy about this. The excitement of her having a crush and watching the trend of modern day romance unfold.

And now she is asleep because she woke up at 6 today, God bless her, and I am sitting on the floor in my uniform, completely stuffed with fried rice and waiting for someone to reply to me on facebook. I’ve just remembered what she said today that made me smile. She said she was still praying and that she was praying about him too. God, You are incredible.

Also, I have a tonne of art work to do but now is not the time. Perhaps tomorrow.

INSIDIOUS

I’m selfish, I’m so selfish, I’m sorry. And because I’m selfish I won’t let you forget. I’ll come by like a tickle of wind, like a sudden chill in the evening, a hushed tone when you’re not really listening. I’ll be the ache in your joint that reminds you of an old wound, and sometimes the odd feeling that nags at you, the word on your tongue you can’t quite put a finger on.
I need love, I’m sorry. So I might say things that I’ll regret just to know that you haven’t forgotten about me.