Thoughts


If you’re reading this, there’s a big chance you’re one of those who know that I’ve been working on my History coursework for ages (in addition to Literature, but that’s for another post). And I am proud to hereby ask for your ‘Congratulations’! Yours truly has finally sent in the assignment.

This was the coursework task: ‘Within the context of 1898 to 2007, how far has China’s history contributed to its potential as a future superpower?’ 

Was I an idiot to choose this title? Very much. Not least because China’s history is so – well – much, even more so over the span of the recent last century. And even after proofreading the end product, there was only a single-sentence mention of both World Wars I and II. I admit, the amount of resources on China was overwhelming, though thank God there was information (of which I got off the school library, the Jubilee library, Waterstone’s bookstore, Amazon books, Googlebooks, as well as statistical information from the Internet – I’m listing them just so I impress my future self).

For the most part, the writing of the essay itself wasn’t fun, and I had to constantly change my writing plan depending on how it suited the essay and as different historical events came into light. Points were shifted back and forth, the essay structure changed again and again, and the language was edited every time the structure/points changed or when the essay was extended. And because this was my first History assignment for the Exam Board, I had no idea which tack to use for approaching a 3000-word essay. In the end, the research was done simultaneously as the essay was being written, but it definitely helped that I had watched documentaries and short video clips, and read a handful of background information when beginning to tackle the coursework. 

Intense? You bet. Especially because I wanted to make it a perfect essay, and because I found so many interesting (but utterly irrelevant) pieces of information. This sense of accomplishment, however, is incomparable.

I always sort of tuck my writing work away, keep them like keepsakes, and they never fail to remind me of what I can do. Just so you know, this one’s going on top of the pile.

I’ve been accepted to University of Sussex! For those of you who don’t know, Brighton is in the county of Sussex, so that basically means that I’ve got an offer (conditional, of course) to  local university! 

I once replied to Sarah’s post, saying something like ‘Oh it’s okay if what you do now might not be what you do in the future, because what you do do now will lead you to your future’. An abstract concept, if you like, and a hell lot easier to say than to live through it (sorry Sarah). Lately, I look at something Shakespeare wrote and just think, ‘Again?’ Or I try to read some prose and all I want to do is chuck it out of my sight. Or I come across some seemingly thought-provoking modern literature like A Thousand Splendid Suns and I’d decide it’s monotonous before getting through two pages. 

And guess what? I’ve just signed up to do English Literature for another 3 years of my life. 

Oh golly.

If there’s any good that’s come out of taking Eng Lit at college is that I’ve learnt to enjoy poetry a lot more. But what happens when I get sick of ‘discovering’ another ‘great’ poem that simply says, in a different way, what I already know? What happens when I get bored trying to learn life’s lessons through a string of words and the hollowness of language? 

Here’s a conversation I recently had with a teacher –
Him: Unembellished love. What do you mean by unembellished love?
Me: Something like, pure love. You know, without being accessorized.
Him: Why don’t you just say pure love? ‘… but for all the thought-provoking themes it relays …’ Hmph. Relays. Why not conveys?

Who cares about the difference between ‘pure’ or ‘unembellished’ or ‘true’ or ‘pristine’ or ‘immaculate’ or ‘simple’ or ‘authentic’? Will I now be picking words out from modern fiction, trying to dissect every word? Am I going to be one of those critics who pick up modern fiction and trash those who ornament their work with words? Oh, let’s all just pick up a Jodi Picoult and exclaim ‘Ah there, you see, she’s using words she picked up from a thesaurus’!

If Literature is supposed to mean something, it’d better show itself soon. Patience ain’t this girl’s virtue.

It’s been some time since I posted something worthwhile, since I wrote anything of substance, since I actually sat with myself and be okay to explore what’s sufficient of me. 

Here’s the ugly truth: I never quite know what to post here. When I come across some really witty quote, I’d think ‘Hah! Great for a post!’ – then I actually start to live life, and the blogging just seems too distant a part, too other-worldly, too artificial and non-solid for me to engage in when I’m actually out there. Or how do you know if you’ve revealed too much of yourself? And words are such that once the impact is hit, the damage is done – you can never quite reconstruct or alter or erase it from someone else’s memory, and that’s when it dawns on you: You’ve said too bloody much. You’re too exposed and too vulnerable, like a clown in front of a gaping audience as you try out your juggling and skipping, self-conscious both when you fall and when you don’t. 

A lot of people can tell me what to do – heck, you-can-he-can-she-can, yet you’re still only voicing what’s already in my head. I have all the intellectual answers, I am too old for my age, I’ve surpassed all this ‘self-exploration’ and ‘self-discovery’ – yet I’m still not there. 

If life was really meant for us to just grow up, do the self-discovery crap, have kids, lug through fifty years of cooking-cleaning-careering, then I’m really not supposed to understand God.

The Internet is a world of its own. You Twitter each other, checking out FaceBook profiles and updating your status on Myspace. You blog your life like you would in a private journal, you change your MSN name to clue in on your life, you Instant-Message on practically every social network there exists. 

Aren’t we all just oh-so-chummy?

What the Internet does, though, is distort the real person that you might be (that is, considering you have a life out there, which might just be me imagining things or you wouldn’t be reading this right now). Or rather, it tests the limits of your privacy. Like, if I whipped out pictures of a new DSLR and posted it all over FaceBook, you can bet that when we next meet, our conversation will be nothing like this:

Me: Guess-what-guess-what-guess-what?

You: What?

Me: I got a new DSLR!

You: Oh my goodness! (combined excited screech)

Instead, it’d be more like this:

Me: I got a new DSLR!

You: Oh yeah. I saw.

Me: You did?

You: Facebook.

Me: Ah. Okay. Right. (scrambles in head for next topic)

See? No feverish scream, no overwhelming excitement, no flurry of great ado, and whatever suspense you could have had was resolved the moment you breathed through the window of the Internet world. 

Then again, we’re stuck in this superficial net of websites and webpages so there may not be any point in trying to resist it. Unless, of course, I do it and you do it and a whole great army of people do it and suddenly we’re this amazing fleet of new people renewing an old idea of socializing.

Who knows. We could be the next wave of non-computer people.

Tabby – Til next time. Maybe we’ll be able to meet up somehow, LoL.

Gitz – Yes, sweetie. Sort me out. Haha. I need sorting out.

Well, after slightly more than 24 hours of pure travelling (including waiting for boarding, transit, on the bus, on the plane), I’m finally home. I’m at work now, and it’s the only time I can get online (lunchbreak now) because the internet at home isn’t working. I know what you’re thinking – What? No internet?

NO LIFE LAH!

You ain’t far off.

I think I need just a couple more days to get used to this. It feels kind of odd/strange/unreal. I feel as if I’m still in air, having not really touched ground, suspended between two lives.

I will miss Brighton – I’m already beginning to. I will miss the incredible freedom and utter independence. It’s like, when you’re on your own, you account for no one else. You live life based only on the network that you create for yourself – friends, teachers, people you meet. It’s cool if you walk  over to Waterstone’s and read books until your eyes pop, or if you shop until you literally drop, or if you sit in Sput-In alternating between stuffing your face in a jacket potato and peoplewatching – you don’t have to go into lengthy explanations about why you’d rather not go back home yet, or why you’d like two more minutes to walk around (except, perhaps, ‘Eh, file a missing person’s report ah if I’m not back tomorrow’). There are drawbacks, of course. There are times when you’d feel anti-social, times when you feel lonely, times when all you want to do is curl into yourself.

All my life, I’ve lived a sheltered life. Too much of one, to be honest, but for which I’m eternally grateful to my family. And so when I leaped and tore myself away from my roots, I learnt to just bloody stand on my own two feet. I learnt to wash my eyes and see life from a different angle, yet I’ve also learnt to appreciate what I’ve known before and to know that there are certain habits or little ways of mine that I will have to live with, because I cannot escape.

Every time I start something new, I convince myself that there is another perspective to life that I’m about to discover, another secret for me to catch, another mystery to unlock so that I don’t live life by a humdrum pulse. But there aren’t all that many perspectives to take anyway. I feel as if I’ve tried nearly all, and I still can’t nail it.

If you’ve got the Big Secret, let me know. Or give me some sort of clue so that I wind my way through and find it – but still, give me a clue. A hint. Anything, really. When you reach a point, you stop being fussy.

Random note to self: Part I, fin. Part II, fin. Part III, fin. Hence, Part IV and Part V, left. And definitely the longest two. Especially if I want to add in one part with MC’s POV.

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Sorry! I know I should be sued for my inconsistency in posting. First, I post so sporadically. Then I post some mysterious Mandarin list of words which, apparently, few get what the hell passes through this brain of mine. Then I disappear for so long before consenting to post.

*whacks own head*

Indeed, today’s title is ‘Every patient has his own doctor within’. When you think about it, it’s very true in many aspects. Perhaps when you’re at your darkest hour, there really is no one who can heal you, except yourself. Your determination has to pull through, your perseverance mustn’t waver, your positive mind should be your pillar – if you grasp each concept with an apt grip,  you have nothing left to fear. 

I don’t know about you, but life gets to me sometimes. I do get fed up with routine, and the monotonous steps I seem to trudge through; I do wonder if there is a higher purpose in life, or if we’re all just keeping ourselves busy till we can finally lie on our deathbeds; I do wonder if, while I seem to lead this lovely (and am very grateful to my parents for this) life, I would lead more meaningful a life if I were a pauper, because everything that passes through my fingers would resemble gold. 

Two minutes later, I’d be cursing myself for thinking such thoughts, because how can I? When I have so many things to be grateful for? 

I’ve always wanted to grow up and make a difference in the world. Nowadays, what does it matter if I ever make a difference in some future, faceless, nameless person’s life? What does it matter if I leave behind a significance to my name or not? I’d be dead and gone, and is my soul really going to ascend into another place? Maybe all this time, it’s just been my mind and me, my mind being me, my mind controlling me.

All I’m saying is that, whenever I’m in a roller coaster, I’ll have to be the one to seek my chance and push the ‘stop’ button.

And whenever you want to run away, all you have to do is kacau a friend and let her lay out your ridiculous ideas in their ridiculous positions from a sensible perspective. (Yes lah, it’s you lah).