Temporal

I think short-term engagements are cruel. There is no indication of permanence, and you get stuck in this no man’s land of not knowing whether to make deeper connections or keeping things light. You try keeping everything on the surface initially, knowing that it would be easier when the time comes to part. But you just start to make more connections when you begin to feel more comfortable around the people, and it really makes everything so much more enjoyable.

But all these come with an expiry date. Not to say that contact will completely cease after you part, but something essential will change. That is the inevitable truth.
It’s fine when you are dealing with it once in a while. But multiple times in a year just hits you.

Brief, fleeting, fun. Before you can go further, things end. You start wondering if there is any sense of permanence in relationships you form after leaving formal education, and whether this will mark the way you meet and interact with new people the rest of your life.

Will it?

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It’s been a long time!

Life has been busy ever since I came back from the UK. Every few months I experience a change in environment and that’s probably why I still feel like I’m in a stage of transition. Things have not settled down enough for me to actually get a sense of everything that has happened. I get this sense that I’m just floating about without any means of support sometimes, not just because of the different things I have been doing, but also because I seem to have to make quick decisions about relatively major things. It all boils down to my preference to want to sleep on things at least a week before I make a decision, and having a sense that my hand is being forced does not help matters. I also hate not being able to picture what lies ahead. While it does not need to be a clear five-year plan thing with all the objectives and steps laid out, I like to at least know what will happen and what it will be like a few months from now. I guess I have to wait a little longer for things to settle down, and for me to finally see where I am heading with all these decisions made. At least now I can put aside all those calculations and weighing of options that have plagued me since March.

On a brighter note, work is good. And that’s something I would never have been able to say if I had stayed on in my previous job. Best decision so far.

Checking In

It’s been a while since I have written anything at length on this site. People always say that inspiration comes when you are slightly depressed, so perhaps this is a good sign for my mental health, even if it means that I have not been particularly productive in this area.

I have been in a rather neutral state recently, having completed a short work stint at one place and waiting for confirmation from another. The upcoming work arrangement is something that I have been interested in for quite a long time, and I do hope it helps me grow professionally and allows me space to gain knowledge. In the meantime, I have just been letting myself (and my brain) go. I have been really lazy in doing anything remotely useful or mentally taxing – the most work I have done so far these 2+ weeks is reading fiction. Sounds really like a waste of time in this era, where one moment of rest seems like a sin of some sort against a ticking clock and work standard we all seem to hold ourselves against, but I am savouring it. It is such a rare opportunity to completely let go of work in any sense, to just stop planning ahead for once, and enjoy how it feels like to be not doing anything.

I guess this is a way of rewarding myself after advancing and working for such a long period without properly stopping. I have always been planning ahead – how to get a job as soon as possible after graduating; how to do well in my job and advance my career; how to avoid getting trapped in the blackhole of useless office politics and do actual work; how to write good grad school applications while working at the same time; and then how to do the best I can in school while living a relatively healthy life abroad by myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not the busiest person around. If I were to survey my friends around me, there are definitely those who have so much more on their minds and work much harder. But I felt like I needed a break, and therefore I took one. Work is important, but to me, family, as well as my mental and physical health are more important. Taking time out to recharge is therefore also a priority for me.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that my rest has completely recharged my energies, since I fell sick after the ten days. But it has also been a while since I can completely give in to an illness without worrying about work piling up while I’m recuperating, and just focus on recovering. No need to drag myself out of bed to go to work while I am still sick, or force myself to keep my concentration on work, only to feel terrible after I get home. Feels really good. I am definitely going to make the best of this so that I don’t regret it when my break comes to an end.

 

感想

最近偶然看到一篇文字, 作者说,当自己看到让人欢喜的一段话时,也会顿时感到开心。当他读到悲伤的句子时,他更会感触良多,而且也会记着那段话。作者想,他应该真的是个多愁善感的人。想了想,其实自己也和作者差不多,碰到欢喜的文字会高兴,读到悲伤的时候也会感慨万分。也似乎觉得悲伤的文字总是让人更难以忘却,更能触动人心。明明没那么不开心,可是就是对悲伤的文字情有独钟。 很多人都说,伤感或郁闷的时候是人最有创作灵感的时候。也许我是在藉由这些间接的感触来寻找灵感吧。也或许我就是喜欢搞忧郁的一个人。 也可能两者都是!哈哈。

PS: 我真的很不喜欢在电脑上用汉语拼音打华文字。真的太麻烦了!所以往往写了一小段就放弃了。:(

Moving Back

You won’t believe how much changes in a year. The way you do things, the habits you unconsciously develop, what you start to expect from your surroundings.
The very first thing that struck me after arriving back home is how hot this country is. Yes, there is sun (I was never much of a fan), actual colour instead of just grey, but the heat is definitely something I need to slowly get used to again. I had forgotten how uncomfortable it is to go someplace just a 15-minute walk away in the humidity and heat. You walk out relatively cool and comfortable, but you start sweating bullets just one minute into the walk. I hate how the weather makes you feel so sticky and uncomfortable all the time. And being a tropical country, we don’t get the option of a temporary reprieve when a cooler season arrives. One other gripe I have about the hot weather is the reduction of fashion options and accessories – it is too impractical to pair your clothes with a nice scarf or jacket, since you would probably start sweating so much that you would eventually discard them. And the nice trench coat I got at a bargain will be relegated to storage until I go somewhere colder. However, the climate also means that I can finally take all my shorts and skirts out of storage. That’s probably a trade-off I’ll have to live with.

Coming back home also means that I’ll have to start living with people again. While I was technically sharing a place with another girl, I could still avoid seeing people an entire day if I felt like it. Also, we respected each other’s personal space and never really got to the point where we had to report every single movement to each other, nor did we show up in each other’s rooms unannounced.

Living with family is obviously different. I definitely prefer it to living alone, but after such a long period of the latter, I do need some time to completely adjust back to such a living arrangement. I think I’m constantly moving between extremes. I moved from being able to live in isolation to living in a flurry of constant activity and noise. My family is extremely close and we get into each other’s faces without qualms. My aunt lives just below us, so we visit each other whenever we feel like it. It’s fun and I finally feel like I’m back home, but it’s also tiring. I didn’t have to articulate or even think about stuff I want to do when I lived alone, but now I have to deal with an almost constant flurry of activity around me. I also find that I constantly want to be involved, and I feel the urge to interact with my family just because they are there – almost like how a hostess cannot leave her guests to fend for themselves.

This reaction has also completely destroyed my ability to concentrate on work when I am at home. Living (practically) alone means you get a place to yourself, and you get to listen to your own thoughts. Some of my most productive days were spent at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and sun shining in from the window. Now that I’m back in my own room, I probably need to start to develop new working habits that enables me to shut off distractions better when I work at home. Or work in cafes.

Another major thing I’m still getting used to is the insane amount of food there is to be enjoyed. I know I have complained to whoever was willing to listen about the lack of good (and affordable) food establishments in the town I lived in. I’m definitely glad to be back in food heaven, but it’s hard to decide on one option when you have so many alternatives! I keep getting stuck these days when people ask me what I want to eat – I think I got used to not having options in the past year.

This year away has taught me many things. It has also made me realise that no matter how much you think you know a place, looking at it after a period of absence definitely elicits different feelings and emotions about it. It’s definitely good to be back.

初院回忆

周杰伦,新谣, 中文的舞台剧, 某个麦当劳分店,中秋节,麻将和扑克牌。。。每当接触到这些事物,我都会想到上初院的时光。

虽然只是短短两年的时光,但如果要说起学生时期的回忆, 我第一时间会想起的就是这两年.也许是校服颜色的关系,每当回想着当年,脑海中的画面总是像有点旧的照片一样微微泛黄.虽然那时会考当前,可是我现在只记得那时的无忧无虑。很庆幸有过这段时光,让我在成长过程中留下这么深刻的回忆.

Dissertation

That’s the only thing on my mind right now. No extra space for thoughts about life, how sucky the new NDP song is, or even plans after this is over. My time here is drawing to an end and all I can think of is whether I can complete my dissertation and submit it before that. It seems so easy when you read journal articles explaining so clearly how the researchers went about completing each aspect of their study. But believe me, when you actually write it yourself, it’s like words refuse to come out, and sentences refuse to form coherently. The idea is there, but you can’t articulate it.

URGH.

Ok rant over. Have to get back to work.