Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Month One of School
I can't believe that less than 29 days ago I was at home blissfully enjoying my holidays, ignorant to what my first year of being a senior would be like. Life was all brunches and malls and TV shows, and then suddenly it became maths exercises, routine and class after class after class. January can't have been as long ago as it feels...
The first day of school was an unexpected ball of nervous energy. My brain is asleep and although I know class content should be my main concern, I can't help but think about my rigid tenseness and how I'm not doing anything about it. It's like I'm trying to establish myself as an unfriendly person. Normal school was never like this. Why does Year 11 feel different? Last year I ended feeling happy and this year I'm somewhat not treating myself like a human being? I'm doing everything I told myself I wouldn't do. I think I just need to suck it up and be normal again. Or be indifferent. Indifferent sounds nice.
Today was E's birthday and it was a good day for me too. My classes feel a lot nicer and I feel like we've fallen into a nice routine... and I really think my indifference came through today. Nobody really cares anyway.
Time to do some maths homework. I'm actually really enjoying maths.
It's Friday night and I've just finished watching a mediocrely cute movie and now I don't know what to do with myself. What am I looking forward to? After this week it seems as if school is my life and my life is school. I pride myself in my subjects and my homework and all the maths I seem to be doing. Training is tomorrow morning but am I excited? It seems as if I'm just going through the motions and somehow, suddenly this melancholy feeling has set over me because I feel like a buzz. I can't describe it. My life just feels empty and somewhat lonely, but no it's not. What is wrong with me? Where has my sense of purpose gone? Why am I not content with my lonesome self? Isn't it okay to be happy to be alone? I don't need people. Why am I afraid? I shouldn't feel bored and yet I do.
It's like I want school to be on tomorrow or something. While I may feel bored, it seems that what I really want is routine.
So this kid who looked 13 or something drove in a car next to us and pissed Daddy off and then stuck up his middle finger. And here's the thing; I can't help thinking that it's because we're Asian. I always try to imagine whether the kid would've done the same to a white family, and I never really can. I don't know whether this has to do with my life-time worth of bias against my own culture or the fact that racism is everywhere. I mean, I never thought masses of people would actually vote for Donald Trump, but look at that...
This has never happened before - where I'm really bad at something, where I'm just not smart. Is this what happens when commitment goes down the drain? I think I want to be good at everything this year; so that means musical instruments, my job, my fitness; they're all getting a little bit of my effort on the side - after studying of course. I don't like feeling dumb.
I need to roll my shoulders back and relax...
If you do all good and one bad, the good will not be mentioned. - Humans of New York (Federal Correctional Institution: Cumberland, Maryland)
sonder (n) - The realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness - an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to the thousands of lives you'll never know existed, in which might appear only once, as an extra sipping of coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing by on a highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
eunoia (n) - beautiful thinking; a well mind
When you fear your life you're overcome by this ghastly clarity. You calculate your odds every instant. You invent options and see possibilities you wouldn't have considered at any other time. You realise as never before that your life is the only thing that is absolutely, truly yours. There is a strength within us that we can't even comprehend until it's called upon. We are, at our core, built to survive. - Ten Thousand Skies Above You (p98)
I'm rude, dismissive, snobby, biased and disrespectful to so many people, and I deserve all the disrespect I get from anyone else. It's good to know that people aren't much different from me though. It's not an excuse, however, and I need to cure how unhealthy I am mentally.
6:15am - I don't understand why I'm feeling so miserable when there are so many things to be happy about in my life.
11:14pm - I'm continuously doubting myself based on what I see on social media, because apparently social media is basically real life to me.
I also figure I should stop gossiping so much, because the things I say seem to bite me in the back through paranoia. It's not like I care enough about these people to waste my words on them anyway, and even if I do care, why can't I just keep something, anything, to myself? It's just as real and important in here, isn't it?
And it's time to be less self indulgent because all that does is make me miserable. I need to stop trying to be this or that, or seem this way or that way. It's not always about me even though inside my head it seems to be. Why can't I try being outside my head? Maybe then it'll be less of what I seem to be and more of what I am - uncaring, trying, confident.
After spending dinner at C's house I realise how unmodest she is, which is honest and probably a good thing. She's quite self indulgent, and so is Daddy, and so am I. It's like we rely on our brains, or how smart we seem to think we are, to make us feel special.
I need to realise that people can't understand everything and see through that veil, so why bother trying to impress them or pretend for them?
Mummy's been having some awfully radical views on everything lately. It's like the concept of university has consumed her life. She's begun to make me feel as if a 99.95 ATAR is the norm of her expectations - as if I'm most definitely capable of that. If I let her remarks in she'll scare me. "The first semester is the most important." "You need to read extra, study harder, all the time." Daddy told us she was the biggest exam stress-head in uni, actually crying about how she thought she would fail (which wasn't even remotely possible). Maybe that's why she's being such an extremist. "What's wrong with young people these days?" she said out of the blue today. "Why do they have so many problems?" I thought she was talking about mental health issues, but as it turns out she was talking about Uncle J's nephew who wants to switch courses. She's forever updating me on C's acceptance to Monash, or H's acceptance to veterinary school. This morning she told me that taking a gap year is the worst decision you could possibly make. According to her they end up lazy and unemployed, and they open a restaurant and have an affair? I'm sure the affair happened as a result of the gap year - totally. She's been saying that university shapes your life, and your ATAR shapes your uni choices, so make a list of what you want to do now (at 16) or you're stuffed. Apparently realising you hate something is no excuse to give it up. Apparently you're supposed to persevere and basically live your life doing this job you hate. Basically she's telling me to never ever go off course, because there's no return. She disregards all evidence on how gap years can be helpful (not that I'm planning on taking one) and has no clue what not knowing what you want to be feels like. It's like she sees everything in black and white: study or no study. I never knew her views and motherly advice would be so absurd.
I feel like she's the kind of person who thinks the louder and more obnoxious, the smarter. I know I probably have a too-high opinion of myself, but just wait until she sees those marks on those tests. Wait until we do them. I hate being seen as dumb because it's the one thing I'm not. I don't understand why some people get that vibe from me? Is my silence a signal of stupidity? Maybe I should yell out my answers more. Or maybe I should just ace that test and prove them all wrong.
I really like spending time with her, but it's absurd how much time she spends talking about herself, and how much time I spend lifting her up. I feel like a lot of people would complain about her egotistical talk, but I just don't. What does that make me?
Ladies, don't mistake kindness for weakness.
Symmetry broke at the very dawn of creation. If it hadn't - if matter and antimatter were equal, gravity and antigravity too - then the universe would destroy itself in an instant. We wouldn't even know the disaster was happening - had happened - because time would collapse too. - Ten Thousand Skies Above You (p375)
Perhaps one day I'll actually understand that - figure out whether the author did her research or simply bullshitted a world of her own.
I feel like people who toot their horns get so much more recognition. * is always talking up her intelligence loudly, so people think she's a genius or something. * is always talking up her teams and competitiveness, so people think she's super sporty - and this affects the decisions teachers make too. If * uses big words and calls out answers, does that make her top of the class? Maybe I should be less modest. In fact, sometimes I put myself down when it's not even true...
If I were a live-in-the-moment type person then I would just shrug this experience off as an okay day spent in abject head, but instead I'm thinking about my future and my productivity and the moments I could've been having...
I have way more self worth than the picture I seem to be painting inside my head. What I say matters so I have to care because people are listening.
Tonight I went to P's house for dinner, despite not having finished the tasks on my to-do-list today. It's really made me question my productivity because I thought I was better than that. Studies over fun, remember? But is that really what's best? I honestly don't know what to think. Anyway, that's not why I'm writing. Sometimes, lately, talking to them feels like a need to prove popularity/experience - which I don't like but feel as if it's a way of life nowadays. * was telling me about some of the things she's been up to at parties, and I somewhat wish she hadn't told. Sometimes information isn't everything. I don't want to know about any of them doing things with boys in rooms. I also feel like my life just isn't exciting enough anymore...
I also ate a lot today and I don't understand why I'm going through this phase again when I thought I was stronger than that. I exercised with A, but that's not going to counter a whole week of eating whatever. I don't want to give it up though. I was snap chatting a boy from P's phone and then he wanted to see my face and I freaked. I just feel so ugly with oily skin and glasses and the idea of anyone seeing a photo of me makes me cringe, which is stupid. I don't like feeling ugly. I shouldn't but I've become a person behind a mask of mineral foundation and contacts.
Today I had my first assessment (a chem in-class) and now I'm scared. The school culture has set in and here I am obsessing over how I stuffed up a percentage question and described an exponential as "a curve". Suddenly these 3 marks are everything. It's like because I lost them I may as well scrap my chemistry marks for semester 1. My ATAR will forever be tainted. 3 marks and suddenly I'm not smart anymore. It has become the main topic of conversation with my parents. If only you prepared before this unknown in-class. If only you estimated before attempting. You stuffed up a percentage problem therefore you're a failure. School makes me sad but also weirdly motivated.