Peace

These days i am mostly peaceful.

Feel like i really haven’t been fair to this space. How did i find it in me to post every day, or every couple of days?

How is it that secondary school / JC life was so much more (externally) stimulating than university, where everything should be happening, haha.

And how is it that i like it this way?

Getting old, i guess.

Either that, or the storm has migrated inwards. Everyday i learn new things, think new thoughts. It’s very exciting in its own right.

Birthdays

The past month has been filled with 21st celebrations. Told myself that no matter how busy school life was, I can’t miss any of my friend’s parties. No regrets at all, although right now I’m pretty much swamped for recess week.

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Started it off with Lucas’ Great Gatsy-esque banquet. No brakes on this one: it was the full works, lobsters and wedding cake, candles and suits. Trust Lucas to pull off something this grand. Very glad to have been part of such an amazing (also intimidatingly dramatic) event though.

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It’s fascinating how different my friends are. The way their parties are held can be polar opposites, yet very impressive in their own way. Just yesterday was Amanda’s 21st auction party. It was themed old school, with a typewriter for a guest sign-in, and all sorts of old school snacks (fancy gems!!!, haw flakes, jello shots).

All her guests bid for items she has accumulated, with all the proceeds going to charity. What an Amanda move! I outbid Justin for a um puzzle/headscratcher/ball!

Amanda’s cake was also made of mini bomsi kuehs. Adorable and strange. Kinda like her.

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Took a mid-week break for an ice skating adventure with my group dynamics project mates! ☺ Everyone was very patient with me, who can’t..exactly…skate very well. Lol.

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Not forgetting Vanessa’s sea themed pretty party!!! Wish so much I could have gone earlier, missed most of the games. But nonetheless weaseled a few photos with the birthday girl, who was radiant and beautiful as always. Love her and miss all the times we spent in St Nicks together so much.

It was so good meeting all the St Nicks girls again, no matter how short the meet was.

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Also very very glad I made it to Bryan’s 21st!!! A very last minute decision with Cleo and Lucas but definitely worth it. If not just to play with Baileys and Champagne, Bk’s incredibly adorable dogs.

These are people I’ve known since 15 and holy crap now they’re all adult-y and driving around doing great things. I’m so proud of y’all.

Not even you

a couple of days ago, i was told this by my boyfriend:

“yeah well, I’ll never let anybody get in the way of me, my dignity and my principles
not even you.”

he did something i didn’t approve of. i wasn’t directly involved, and wasn’t in the right position to judge or interfere (and beyond voicing my disapproval, i didn’t). besides, i knew him well enough to understand why he had to do it.

despite that, what he said did sting for a moment. no one wants to know that they’re second to anyone or anything.

it wasn’t very long before i decided this was the answer I’d respect the most, and also reminds me why I’m in a relationship with him. I like him precisely because he has such strong principles, and because these were principles I agree with and admire.

If I love someone who would cave in to what I demand of him (in terms of core values), I’m not loving him but the idea of him in relation to myself: once he compromises his self who is he but an extension of my whims?

I’m a huge believer of sacrifice in relationships, but if there’s one thing you don’t relinquish it’s your fundamental principles. So although I was opposed to J’s specific action, the implicit motivation rather impressed me.

It reminded me that beyond being part of a couple, he is an individual – and one I respect in all respects. I like that he loves me wholeheartedly, and considers my needs and opinions – but has the courage to know when he has to stand his ground.

I asked myself if I’d do the same: whether I’d pass on the advice of a loved one for my dignity and principles. Being mortally afraid of confrontation, I might not be able to – although I very much want to believe I would (!!!)

Taking apart my immediate and cognizant mediated reactions, I’d say we’re all part of the massive struggle between our desire to maintain social relations and to be individuals. While J’s individualism on some level did hurt me, i cannot deny him his right to it on the mere basis of preening our relationship. Also, i feel safe enough with a few knocks of conflicts between us.

Or perhaps i can put it this way: my love for him as an individual increased enough through this event to offset any negativity stemming from his disregard for my opinion.

PS for continuity’s sake: J has since apologised to me – I think more for his brusqueness than his belief.

Notes

I still keep a schedule in physical form. 

Standard school-issue journals throughout my convent school days might have a role in shaping this habit in my formative years. In JC when diaries weren’t given out, i became a loyal fan of Muji weekly planners.

Sometimes i do wonder why i’ve not exported my days over to electronic planners. It is indisputably more convenient: there are too many times event changes upset me not so much for the schedule disruption than the ugly cancel marks it’s gonna make on my planner. Haha. It’s more accessible, more compact, more flexible.

But i’ve stuck with my physical planner. I’ve always thought it was habit, but it really doesn’t explain my stubborn refusal to switch platforms. Then it struck me: i have an implicit fear that one day digital data will collapse upon itself from its sheer immensity.

I’m not sure how irrational this fear is, but as a child of the computer age – having been there for the birth and frightening acceleration of e-advancement – i am inherently wary of its sustainability.

I straddle the ridge between hardcopy world of mountain, sun, and organic daisy fields, that drops into a dark, mystical, swirly void of digital data. I’m too young to stay independent of such technology in my daily life, but too old to be free of all skepticism.

Sometimes i’d stop and think about all that data i have in my Mac. The dozens of files, the hundreds of documents and images, millions and millions of words. I am overwhelmed just by the sheer amount of information contained in my laptop. I am often petrified imagining the total informational weight of the internet.

I guess my question is how. How is it possible that humanity exploded into this hyper-intelligent species capable of condensing so much into so little? I am equal parts impressed and suspicious. There is no way my fear that all my digital notes, blog entries, and photos may one day drain into oblivion from a single binary coding glitch.

Maybe a century from now someone might read this and laugh at the awe and unwarranted anxiety experienced by a person tentatively rooting into the infant years of computer technology. Or maybe no one will read this because somewhere down the road a plug is pulled and all we’ve coded online tumbles into a digital sink hole.

Suspension

When i’m on a vacation, especially as a child, i find myself in a very particular mood-state. This is where language fails me with its clunky inability to condense nuanced specificity… i’ll label this overarching mood as “suspension”.  What i feel is a blend of quiet, surreal thrill, a disjunct from everyday life that is at once uncomfortable yet pleasant – thrown into the mix is a good dose of homesickness. It is potently contradictory and overall, can be quite disturbing if i weren’t distracted by vacation activities.

I’m very prone to homesickness — i feel like this should be qualified as a possible basis of my weird emotion tumult to what should be every kid’s favorite time of the year. I get immensely homesick everywhere and anytime possible: sleepovers, holidays, camps… in fact i even get homesick at home. And by homesick, i don’t merely mean missing the physical space of my house. By homesick, i mean a terrible toxic cauldron of unfamiliarity and displacement gurgling inside, telling me i’m not where i should be, that this place has no place for me, that i should be somewhere else except i don’t know where that is.

For some inexplicable reason, i’ve been hurled into a quicksand of suspension since a few days ago. I’ve gotten that before: in Sec 3, for a period of time i felt vividly like i did back in primary school. It’s difficult to describe because “Qing in Primary School” is not a qualitative emotion, but that was exactly how i felt. Sometimes i enjoyed it, because i felt (superficially) carefree – other times, specifically when i’m reminded of how i’m not in primary school, it was just immensely oppressive.

Basically, what i feel now is “Qing on a vacation when she was 11″.

Which is problematic because i am not. I’m not 11, I’m not who i was back then, i could never go on a vacation in the same terms and context as i used to. It’s the mood-state of suspension with a stab of nostalgia and the pervasive knowledge of loss: that my childhood, that period of my life, cannot be replicated. It’s like a ghost of an emotion haunting me, if that even makes sense. If ghost is too trite a term, i should maybe call it a poltergeist: it mocks whoever i am not and don’t have now.

It’s pretty bad, except subtly so. Which is worse. My immediate emotions derived from the suspension mood-state juxtaposes with my secondary, underlying one – derived from understanding of my current self and context. How do i justify the underlying discomfort to my immediate feelings of dream-like suspension?

I want it to go away. I guess it is better to live in the present, whether it’s relatively more or less pleasant than the past.

Factoid Generator

I may actually have outgrown this blog: something i prayed would never happen.

Its no longer the perfect medium for my musings, because i’m stricter with the form they take. Or rather, i’m more conscious of an imaginary audience who would be strict with the content of my thoughts. Hopefully this is just a phase, and i’d eventually develop either a) intellectual rigor to produce substantiated posts or b) shamelessness whereupon i’d just dump my insights in raw and be ok with criticism.

In the meantime, desperate for an outlet, i’ve taken to physical diary-writing. This is something i’ve not done for a long, long time (since i started this blog in 2006 actually!) So i guess this is kinda a reversion than anything else. Behold my freakishly neat text, at least until the end of the page:

 

 

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I may also have been unwittingly subjecting my friends in real life with more of my sporadic factoid outbursts, which may or (more frequently) may not be of interest to them. J pointed out that i have this tendency to introduce completely random facts to people, which are not conducive for further conservation, and thus makes things awkward. This discussion took place after a Mug’s dinner, where yes i do take liberties with, and often do as i please without considering social norms (because none of the Mugs adhere to this).

J, in one of his cutting wit moments, mumbled “autistic” when i whined on about how i just enjoyed sharing interesting factoids with friends. OFFENSIVE and never letting him forget this (!!!) It’s true though, in retrospect. That i have been using sentences very enthusiastically of the structure: “DID YOU KNOW THAT (insert psychological findings / weakly explained philo-physics / anything on my Feedly)” So maybe i have been a little excessive with that…

I’m sorry if any of you were subject to my outbursts. I guess it’s cause i’d rather have friends i know than unseen strangers on the internet judge me.

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On the other hand, my discussion with J took a weirder turn. His point was that people might not want to know or think about whatever shred of information i’ve dished out – because the topic isn’t of their interest. I insisted that people are, and that i’m always curious to know about issues i’m unfamiliar with. He attempted several times to initiate a topic that might bore me but failed. At last he landed on how binary works on computers 101010001011: he knew so intricately about the mechanisms, and i on the other hand was so fueled by fascination, that he spent quite awhile explaining its entire operation. And ended up being very impressed by his strangely detailed understanding of binary.

 

Anger

“This can cause a subterranean anger to build inside the Nine’s psyche, which can erupt into consciousness in occasional fits of temper which quickly blow over, but which more often manifests itself in passive aggressive foot-dragging.”

Type 9 descriptions were the most spot-on with this aspect.

I’ve always known it about myself. On better days i see myself as conciliatory and harmony-seeking, on critical ones i recognize my fear of confrontation disguised as peacefulness. To be frank, i still consider my avoidance of conflict with others in positive terms. There is nothing i find more unnecessary than discord when things can always be resolved in quieter ways. I dislike chaos, noise, messy and effusive outpouring of emotions against each other.

What i don’t admit to are the problems associated to my faulty internal anger regulation mechanisms. It’s true that i refuse to face up to my anger – i tell myself that it’s difficult to jolt me into anger, that i seldom feel it towards others, that even if it does arise it diffuses. The truth is probably closer to what enneagram revealed: that i let it build until i can’t keep it in anymore.

I can’t even deny it because i’ve witnessed those outbursts. On most days placid, almost nothing can get a rise out of me. It festers and then an insignificant trigger can set me off. Yelling in the canteen and then hiding out in a corner in school until my friends spent half an hour coaxing me out, silent throwing of furniture and then five minutes later obediently putting everything back into place, shrieking in the park… it’s these maladaptive expressions of anger i need to correct.

And by correcting i don’t mean reign in – because reigning was exactly what formed these outbursts. I thought i was ‘in control’ when i stop myself from revealing anger in smaller doses. WELL i was wrong. Most of the time i wait until i’m alone to let them out in full, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Having lived this way for 21 years i find it difficult to operate in any other way. Allowing myself the privilege of anger when it’s due requires anger towards another. External conflict might come into play here, and i’m mortally afraid of it.

Try though, i will.