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。
With money woes, no less.
It’s all good to talk about dreams and future plans, but not having money is seriously something I hate. If I am just talking about my day-to-day needs, I don’t need that much. But when it comes to special occasions like birthdays, weddings, baby showers etc, you need money. And unlike people who currently have jobs, I need to save on other stuff in order to prepare that amount of money.
I can go without expensive food or drinks with friends, but it is always a problem when they are the ones who are drawing steady (and relatively high) salaries and can easily afford many of the things that you are definitely out of your budget. It’s hard to always ask others to accommodate to your budget, since there is nothing stopping them from spending on things they can afford in the first place. And even if they do offer, there is no reason for them to always treat you when the place gets too expensive for your own budget. I thought the best way would be to say go ahead, and join them when they go for an inexpensive place the next time. The problem comes, however, when you get people who try to be thoughtful and make accommodations, but completely miss the point. Do you go ahead because you appreciate the thought, or do you make yourself sound so damn difficult to please by not turning up all the same? Honestly, you can’t win.
It’s at times like this that I have the slightest twinge of angst regarding my decision to leave my job, which was, to be honest, high-paying and a promising career. Just that twinge, because there was no need to scrimp and save and count every expense. I am already feeling quite useless living at home and leeching off my parents for daily necessities, so I don’t want to feel even worse by having to ask for money from them. I know this is a sacrifice that I willingly made, but I just can’t help feeling that urge to go out and get a high-paying job again, regardless of the job scope.
I sometimes feel a little out of touch with the friends who are deep in the rat race. I just took one year off it, and already I feel so different. I’m not sure if my career choices in the future will take me back into that world or veer me off completely, but at this point I can sense differences in lifestyle and priorities between some friends and I. I know real life needs have to be satisfied, but I really hope I don’t forget why I made that choice one year ago. Let this be a belated new year resolution for 2013, and also an early one for 2014, as well as the many years to come.
It’s always a pleasant surprise when help is offered unexpectedly. Unfortunately the current bout of writer’s block is also extremely unexpected. Doesn’t help that I want to make sure the edited draft is of a much higher quality compared to the previous one. Deadlines seem to always affect inspiration adversely. Urgh.
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.
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。
If you look just at teachings from the major religions around the world, you realise that they are definitely words of wisdom. They teach you love and tolerance and all the big ideals that most of the global society accepts as good and positive. I personally found inspiration and support from many sayings across different religions at different times of my life. But the difference between learning and feeling these sayings and choosing a religion to believe in is extremely different.
In many organized religions, there is a certain interpretation of the main ideas and believers have to follow certain rules. I understand the logic behind all these, since these help to convey a uniform message to believers and non-believers about what this religion is about. But I find that many times these rules become distorted or misconstrued by people, and they mutate. They become restrictions, and believers have a “us versus them” attitude. Many inwardly repel non-believers and try their best to convert others. But everytime I encounter such people, I feel like I’m being judged as a lesser person just because I don’t believe in the same things. Some others have learnt to put their messages across in nicer and more diplomatic forms, but it doesn’t lessen the feeling that they see you as a sort of a “sales target”. If you still stand firm, they give off a “well, you are alright, but still lacking since you are not part of us” vibe.
Of course, I have met many religious individuals who are genuine and respect that we are all different. But the fact remains that when religion is brought up when talking to most who are part of an organized religion, they exude a sense of superiority, like they are more “in the know” because they hold membership to one of these organizations many are familiar with.
I guess that’s what my main problem with these groups is – I find wisdom in many of the quotes and sayings I come across, but I hate the way the believers become when they realise you are not one of them. Their attitudes seem to say “Sure, you are entitled to your own beliefs, but you are still going to hell. Just sayin’.” Having a membership card does not mean you are a better person than I am. Not having one doesn’t mean that I have no principles and morals. I very much prefer taking lessons from wise words, regardless of source. In any case, beliefs are very much a personal thing to me, and I see no need to account to the world at large, or to join a group just for a more assured road to heaven. Likewise, I respect that everyone has the right to make their own decisions about these matters. I just ask for less condescension and more mutual respect. Is that so difficult?