I’ve been thinking

If I can write it all down without feeling anything I’ll know that:
1) I’m completely over you
2) or you were never really that special
3) I’m not good at writing

I’ve found that I can talk myself out of feelings after they have been diminished by time, like a shirt that’s shrunk from being washed too many times. See, I only saw you a few times, it doesn’t make sense to be attached. How could I think more of something so short-lived? Besides, who is to say that I knew you for who you really were? What if I only saw the good in you and gave you every opportunity to impress me? What if I wanted to believe that you were different and so I disregarded every other sensible reservation I had? That was probably the case. We had a good time, I’m glad we met, but that’s what happens in life. You meet people and they enter into your bubble for a brief time before you part ways and look back only to smile at your memories when they are triggered by a particular word, topic of conversation or a place.

Chicken nuggets and pistachios are terrible for coughs and sick people. Do not eat them. I repeat. Do NOT. Unless you want to stay sick then by all means… Speaking of illnesses, Asian grandmothers have concoctions and remedies for everything. Have a nose bleed? Boil some tofu in rock sugar with black beans. Have a headache? Make soup with weird looking weeds in it. Old people wisdom is gained through experience and family culture, through standing on a stool besides their own grandmothers when they were young, sewing and patching up their own clothes and copying their own mothers as they pressed dough together beautifully to make dumplings. This reminds me of the Aboriginals that I met in Australia with all these skills passed on through generations. Like how to weave baskets out of reeds and how to spot which type of ant you can eat (the ones that taste sour like lemon drops).

I caught myself in the self-serving bias (I love it when the things I learn in psych classes apply to me personally). I realized a while back but I never got the chance to write about it. So, at the beginning of the year when I was assigned a new English teacher, I was deeply disappointed. I didn’t understand his teaching style (which allowed for more independent thought) and I missed being spoon-fed. He was off-putting at first, had a strange sense of humor and an awkward smile. When I received the worst grade I’d ever gotten for English, I blamed him. Oh he’s a harsh marker, it’s not my fault. I had done well in the other class with my other teacher; am not dumb. I didn’t want to see that I hadn’t worked hard enough and I had to protect my ego somehow. So I shifted the responsibility onto him so that I didn’t have to feel wounded and less intelligent (not that school grades are a good measure of that). As the year progressed, I began to admire him. He’s amazing at what he does. He’s a passionate teacher, an interesting person and I respect him. I’d say he’s a non-conformist (even though he’d never call himself that) and he looks like Loki from The Avengers (which makes him automatically cooler). He’s humble and opinionated and makes cynical half-jokes all the time. I could shower him with praise for days. It’s not fair to blame others for our own shortcomings. At some point we must let ourselves be hurt, put our pride aside and learn.

The other night, I heard fireworks or things crackling outside. Were dragon dancers surrounding our building? Apparently, dragon dancers enter into people’s houses to clean them of evil spirits during Chinese New Year. Tradition is a funny thing. I was just leaving my friend’s house when I saw a host of people by the doorway. When I walk down the streets I see families exiting houses and walking in groups. As a part-outsider who doesn’t experience all the customs of Chinese New Year, I can see how peculiar and awesome it is to have so many people celebrate the same event in the same way. It’s this shared understanding that Chinese people have (or anyone who takes part in their own cultural tradition) and there is this overarching sense of unity. Everyone’s in on the know. Everybody is in high spirits, exchanging red packets and happily giving away money, blessing others and yearning for the company of close friends and family. 

Just some thoughts.


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