Friday, 18 March 2016


I remember doing this practice NAPLAN-style comprehension test, where I read this passage about a man who got invited to a house.  The caricature they provided for this man wasn't very likeable.  He seemed very proud of his intellectual ability though, and being the thinker that he was, he acknowledged all the mannerisms and anxieties that made him unlikeable.  They were referred to as his shortcomings, and he accepted them for what they were.

Now, I wonder if that's the healthy way to do things.  All these weaknesses about yourself; should they be fought, or should they be accepted.  Should you accept all the things that make you lesser to take you further down the road of self love and actualisation, or do you need to fight against these shortcomings.  Is it even possible to fight against your shortcomings?

In some ways I wondered if I was that man.  He didn't seem very happy in the passage, or maybe some of his shortcomings felt a little too close to home.  Either way, I wanted to get rid of them.

The protagonist of the last book I read was this photographer, and several times throughout the book this guy would ask her, "Why are you always focused on how things look?"  She quit a position to save face, she dated a guy because of the idea of being with someone like what he looks like.  I have come to a conclusion that the whole how-things-look train of thought is the basis of all my shortcomings.

Recently I've realised that my whole life, I've done things wrong.  My how-things-look habit has gone so far that it's been within myself as well.  It's not unusual for me to imagine myself as someone else and think about how they see me, because yes, I seem to be that self obsessed.  It's like that thing on Facebook where you can choose to view your profile from someone else's point of view.  Yes, I've used that too.

It's gotten to the point where I don't want to make a real effort anymore.  I don't want to love something.  I can't enjoy it that much.  If I seem too enthusiastic about something, only to not excel at it, well how does that look to myself?  How embarrassing.  It's like I'm in this constant state of denial where unless I'm amazing, what's the point?  That's why I'm flaky.  That's why I make myself look uncommitted, to the point where I actually become uncommitted.  If I tell myself I don't care, then there's the reason why I'm not amazing at what I'm doing.  I'm not making the effort, that's why.  I'm saving face towards myself, and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

This is why I deny being close with someone, or thinking about certain things.  If we're not actually that close, then there's a lot of disappointment coming my way.  If what I'm thinking is something I would judge someone else for thinking, then why the hell am I thinking it?  I know no one else can hear my thoughts, but what if they could?  It's like I'm always assuming they can.

People won't like you better if you're laughing with other people in front of them, or if you're being great at something in front of them.  They might admire you more, but you certainly haven't developed any sort of relationship with them.  For someone to like you, you need to actually talk to them, not just look good in front of them.  This is something it took me a while to discover, no matter how obvious it may seem.

On our joint Twitter account, my friend posted a tweet that said, "Some days I feel as if my friends at school will be mine forever and other days I'm convinced that they're all temporary."  Reading this made me feel as if I'd lost sight of how to do friendship right.  Friendships are about being there for each other, about understanding, about fun.  They're so much deeper than what they look like.  They're supposed to be there for the long haul.

So those conversations where I'm trying to seem like the supportive, open minded one, where I hold back when I disagree - they're not real.  It's about more than going through the motions of being best friends or whatever.  It's about more than tagging someone on Instagram and calling them your best or your favourite in the caption.  It's about telling someone your petty personal issue the moment it enters your mind.  It's about going to them for a good conversation and reassurance to cheer you up.  None of this happens for other people to see, and when you don't want other people to see but you say or think it anyway, that's when you know it's for you.

Sometimes I think I'm striving for good marks to prove something.  This form of success is a means to an ends of making my parents and my relatives think I'm smart.  Good marks are like tangible proof to other people that you've got intellectual ability.  In order to not seem up yourself, good marks create the 'aura of smartness' that you want people to see, that you want yourself to see.  And when the marks come back and I'm not as smart as I hoped I was, does that mean it's time to give up to save face?  Well, I certainly hope not.

And you know what else?  When I speak, the words that come out of my mouth sound utterly dumb.  I'm trying to avoid conflict.  I'm trying to say what I think they want me to say.  And if I'm not stating my real, pure, true opinions, does that even make me a person?

I don't think it's healthier to just accept your shortcomings for what they are, because if I just accept mine, then what kind of life am I living?


Monday, 14 March 2016


Instead of studying, I spent my Sunday on a farm.

We were invited by family friends, and being the extreme city based Asian family that we are, it was different.  My mum treated it like some kind of camp, insisting we pack a head torch, be aware of snakes, pack a sleeping bag just in case.  I don't think she registered that this place has electricity, and a house, and a toilet.

We didn't do all that much.  In fact, I could probably call it a waste of an afternoon if I wanted to, but I'm glad I went.  Photos make me happy, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Footballs are so weirdly shaped, and I feel like such a prissy person when I shrink away from their awkward bounces or weird spins in the air.

There was this one moment where we were sitting on a rock and the repeats of Pillow Talk paused for a minute.  It was peaceful, and pretty, and the sky was a soft red.