0173 – A lesson from my sister

My younger sister cried because of me.

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0172 – Black holes and revelations

Here is a part of the lyrics of Starlight by Muse

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
Of the people who care if I live or die

I’ll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away
Never fade away…

Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to
Hold you in my arms…

As I leave Thailand on this metaphorical trip (not that many people care if I live or die, but that’s besides the point) to USA, I’m moving far away. Far away from the memories.

Little did I know I was moving towards an even more intriguing journey, one in which I forge lasting friendships, discover more of myself and experience a new culture. America is really a wonderful country. It has that wondrous effect on me. I just love this country.

Now, I am wondering what my expectations were when I came to America. Surely, I didn’t think I’ll meet friends who I’ll get along with so well so quickly and I didn’t know that I’ll feel so disheartened that I’ll be leaving them in five weeks.

I have my hopes and expectations. Yet, everything is just not what I expected.

I receive many welcome revelations. Yet, it pains me that in five weeks, there will be a quasi-black hole that attempts to dissolve all these memories and joyous moments into oblivion.

Oh, dear memory, will you fade away?

I have a short term memory. It is a challenge for me to remember everything vividly and lucidly. In the future, when I might forget this Brewster Academy experience, I won’t realize how priceless and meaningful this moment is.

The sad truth is that the my personal black hole is pretty strong; it sucks a lot of things in. That’s just simply the truth.

Even as I am writing this, I have a heavy heart. I feel a loss of hope. I feel a bleeding sense of loss. In the future, I can only hope that I remember.

Our hopes and expectations.
Black holes and revelations.

Interesting lyrics. I’ve never really listened to the lyrics of this song before. I never realized how beautiful it is.

You know what, my memories, I’ll promise not to let you go – if you promise not to fade away.

0171 – An opportune light-mindedness after long serious posts

In Brewster Academy, there is a literature teacher (Person A) who is married to a TOEFL iBT teacher (Person B).

While I was talking to my culture teacher in the staff room, the literature teacher walks in, and my culture teacher said, ‘B is A’s significant other… Sometimes significant, and sometimes other. *laughs*’

I laughed too.

I don’t know why I like that. I just found it funny. Weird I am.

0170 – Recess?

Can I take a recess?

I’m sitting at my observe-the-landscape spot in Brewster Academy for the 2nd time. This time, the sky is gloomy with many gray clouds and only sporadically allows sunlight to pass through. Still, it’s green and quiet.

Concrete and bricks are sometimes intolerably boring and confining. Green seems vast and free. Sometimes I really need a break from life. There are so many things happening all at the same time it’s hard to organize my thoughts. I live in a perpetual state of confusion and agitation.

I just wanna lie down on green grass looking up at clear blue sky and forget about everything else. But that’s not possible. I can’t even relax now. There doesn’t seem to be any breaks soon. There’s a whole world ahead of me, and fight I must.

0169 – What I am Thinking

My friend said he can read what other people are thinking quite easily, but he can’t read me. Hah.

Well I don’t know why. Maybe because I’ve been hiding lots of stuff for a long time so I’m really good at it. Or maybe it’s because I have a lot of stuff going on in my mind so it’s difficult to really see what I’m thinking. Or maybe, it’s because I’m actually confused about what I’m thinking myself, so it’s impossible for others to know what I’m thinking.

Whatever it is, many people’ve tried to read me because I barely reveal anything about myself that’s of personal nature. I don’t know why. Maybe I don’t trust people enough.

—————————————————————

I’ve just thought of something. If this is a really free country, why must I wear dress shoes to work? Why must I wear sneakers when meeting adults? Why can’t I wear flip flops all the time? Why must the media stereotype? Why are there so many societal expectations?

—————————————————————

Walking in sandals, carrying a sling bag on my shoulder, a shoe bag in one hand and something else in the other, I feel like a Singapore boy. I don’t know why, but I do. This makes me miss Singapore (and my friends) very very much.

0167 – The convolutions of life

Will anyone disagree that life is convoluted?

There are many challenges surrounding us. Some of us have less problems than others. Some of us are better than others at dealing with these challenges. I happen to fall under the ‘others’ category for both.

First of all, academic challenge. Literature. Physics. Arts. Music. Social sciences. Philosophy. Never ending.

What I want to focus more on is real-world challenges. There are so many life challenges facing me. Some of the challenges I unneccessarily get myself in. Some of them I’m willing to be in, some of them not.

But do we really have a choice? Is it destiny? Fate? What’s the difference between destiny and fate anyway. They’re both beyond human control.

I’ll not get into the topic of how/why we are given unequal problems to solved and unequal problem-solving abilities. It’s more convoluted than convoluted.

Anyhow, back to challenges. Challenges are everywhere. Some of us actually go through them without realizing it. Yet, some of us who are more sensitive and less versatile than others feel the full effects of challenges, be they depression, anxiety, apprehension, anger, loneliness, emoness, heavy heart or some other inexplicable feelings. They suck, but I gotta suck them up.

You know, when a conflict occurs, I like to talk to both parties, and I put myself in a precarious position in which I find very difficult to extricate myself from. What I say matters, and it’s hard to determine what to tell the other party. Now I really know why third-party mediators rarely work.

People call me a pessimist. Well yeah maybe I am. But it’s hard for me to remain optimistic when I get sulky everytime I face problems. I can’t be happy all the time. That’s who I am. At least I’m glad that perhaps, I’ve gotten through some of the problems that I’ve faced, and helped some people along the way.

I hope that I can be stronger, face my challenges, and in the process mature and garner lifelong friendships.

0165 – Politically correct.

Somehow and someway and somewhy (yes i just made up the word), people reply ‘Good thanks’ when asked ‘How are you?’ even when they are relatively sad.

Damn it. I am feeling sad and depressed and exhausted and lethargic. I wanted to write a nice post. I’m going to try again.

Let’s start with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Amusing character she is. She is the call-me-senator-don’t-call-me-ma’am lady. She’s the lady who was just accused of being racist. She condescended Condoleeza Rice. She’s a tough one ah. As her campaign slogan says, ‘Boxer gives a damn.’

She’s an interesting character because she isn’t afraid to speak out, although sometimes the thing she speaks might not be appropriate. But the point is she’s not very ‘restrained’ or ‘confined’ by societal norms. Yet, one might go agape when one hear what she says. Sometimes, they’re just not ‘politically correct’.

From my culture class, I know it’s shortened PC. There’s even an acronym for politically correct. Must be an important term. My teacher likes to reiterate that America is a society that places great emphasis on being politically correct, or, in my own terms, you can’t always say what you feel.

So is America really a free country?

Well, I don’t know. I haven’t been to that many places. I can only compare USA to Singapore and Thailand, and I must say USA is a freer country. It’s just not possible to have absolute freedom, or else there’ll be too much conflict. After all, political correctness is there for a reason. The truth is there are unique individuals out there and each and everyone of us speak and act freely to different extents. That’s why this is a very convoluted world. I never know how to behave correctly. People boggle me. People amaze me. People infuriate me.

In any case, one wouldn’t want to be misunderstood. I’m always misunderstood. Or maybe I just don’t understand others. I like to make assumptions. Two days ago, my teacher said to assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. ass+u+me. I laughed. but it’s true. When dealing with others, one has to ‘suspend judgment’. I’ll add a word there and say ‘suspend premature judgment’ instead.

My teacher also said that often times, the misalignment between intent and impact is the source of problems. Interesting. Never looked at it this way before. Now that I think of it, many people hate me because I make the wrong impact that I didn’t know I convey. My intent is (mostly) either friendly or indifferent, but sometimes I don’t convey my intent that well. So, looks like I really got lots of things to learn!

0164 – Going with the flow.

I think I have already blogged about this. Furthermore, I used the phrase ‘go with the flow’ many times. But this is a new country, and going with the flow is a little bit harder.

There seems to be… lots of friction as I try to go with the flow. The amount of work I have to do is one. The emotional trouble is one. Cultural adaptation is another. Going with the flow now requires much effort.

The thing is I’m still ambivalent about this summer program. As much I want it to end, I don’t want it to end. Despite my obvious exhaustion and lack of sleep, I am having so much fun going crazy and acting like a small kid.

Where will the flow take me after the next five weeks? Will the fun end? Will I have more work? Less work?

These are questions that I’m not even sure if I wanna find out the answers to. I really don’t understand myself sometimes. What I know is that I want the fun to be there but I want the work to stop, but of course the world doesn’t revolve around me.

Incidentally, my panda eyes are changing in size. I should set up the Panda-eye length index (PELI) to see how sleep-deprived I am. lol.

Also, two days ago, I said ‘Roger that’ to my teacher, and she ‘LOL’ed at me. She said it made her feel like she’s watching a TV show again.

Phrases that I love:
– Roger that (I am so sad that I don’t get to say this a lot.)
– The thing is
– like
– You know
– Damn it
– Shit
– Shit happens
– Kind of
– Sort of
– What in the world!!!

0163 – Acting like a kid.

I have a friend who acts like a kid.

I like that friend.

There is so much stress nowadays it is impossible to act like like a child all the time. I have to act maturely to finish all my work. I have to constantly work.

But in between, I derive much joy from acting like a kid. I cannot believe how childish I am. The things we do range from stealing water bottles or sweaters and making funny faces. I mean, is there anywhere in the world where two 18-year-olds still play the steal-my-water-bottle-and-I-steal-yours game? It’s insane. But…

I love it. It’s so much fun. It’s silliness. It’s carefree laughter. It’s childish bliss.

How much longer will I be able to act like this?

The sad truth is that… I’m gonna leave this friend and all the other friends I go crazy with in five weeks. And it’s really sad sad sad.

0162 – Pleasing myself

Quick note: In a previous post which I said there’s this small thing I can’t understand about USA… Now I remember. I don’t understand why America only has one staple bullet size. In Thailand, we have smaller bullets for thinner documents, and bigger ones for thicker piles of documents. It’s just more… cost-effective (and cooler too, if I might add), don’t you think?

Anyway, about pleasing myself. On Saturday night, I was extremely restless. It was hot inside. I wanted to go outside. So I went out and lay down on the floors and watch the stars. I acted on impulse. Though the stars weren’t that spectacular, it was beautiful nonetheless. I felt good just lying on the field with winds blowing through my face. and good company too. 🙂

On Sunday, it was hot inside again. Extremely hot. It was the REAL summer now. Sun was out in full force. I went to lie down on the protective shade of the tree next to a different huge grass field. The best thing was there was wind, and it was so cooling. I loved it. I rolled around listening to music. I watched the foliage. I watched the sun rays. I watched the ducks gallivanting around seemingly lazily. I watch the glistening surface of Lake Winnipesaukee. I watched the clear blue sky. God it was bliss. I am so doing it again next Sunday.

This time I went alone. And nobody seemed to be around except for the guy whose house was near there, but not near enough to be audible to me. So I had a really peaceful time. Everything was nice and green. I never knew nature is this beautiful. I love this campus. It feels so good to be outdoors.

I gotta please myself more often. Stress has already occupied 90% of my brain.