No need to get all the details of my story straight after all

I used to rip out pages from my diaries. Entries that I thought were too embarrassing, filled with things I couldn’t bear to read again. I didn’t like thinking of the fact that I had once been a person who harboured such thoughts in her head, no. Into the bin they went.

I also deliberated for a long time over the question of whether to delete all my old posts, which contain thoughts and sentiments which I may or may not still identify with. The person I am right now would not write those very same things. But perhaps that’s the whole point- these words from the past capture states of mind I was in across the passing of a few years. I don’t have to relentlessly go over everything, all the bits of pieces, and edit for accuracy. “This reflects what I thought at that point in time, and I may have slightly changed since.” > I’ve learnt to appreciate this for what it is, and my past selves for who they were. Right, who am I kidding! Am still trying to learn. It’s always a process.

haze

Many beautiful things don’t last forever

That does not detract from their beauty

Life- faces, kisses on the head

so fleeting, so precious

Many things inside waiting to be shared

But I don’t know what to say

What should tumble out, and what should stay within?

Life- love and loss, smiles and fears, triumphant shouts and quiet burdens left untold and unspoken.

Beauty and love in these short little moments that are everything

sad and weary smiles, laziness under the sunlight

Humans are both more insignificant and significant than we think. What is the value of one beating organ in the chest? Yet time, love, memories, emotions, all there is between souls- perhaps larger and greater than we will ever be.

Closure

I want a sense of closure, for this period of my life that has come and gone. Was mulling over it and couldn’t sleep. If nothing in my life gives me the feeling that I need, then I shall give myself closure by posting this. Accept, digest, off you go.

Probably pretentiousness

It’s November and so many things have happened every since the last post (July?) I got to write for The Shizzle, which was really great. With that, I finally got around to creating a Medium account and seeing two articles published there is so satisfying. Well, I was supposed to get around to pushing out more pieces but…

Yes, school. I’m going to call it a roller coaster. Not always a pleasant ride, but I would say now that the unpleasantness was necessary for personal growth. At some point in time,  the outside world became a confusing blur that grew incredibly hard to connect with and manage. A little strange, considering that these problems didn’t exist in the first few months. There was this internal turmoil which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Every day seemed to be a struggle. I seemed to get annoyed over little things people said and did and…the entire environment in general.

However, I had my breakthrough after reading this section from Marie Kondo’s The life-changing magic of tidying (am seriously quite excited to clear my clutter in December) titled “If you’re mad at the family, your room may be the cause”, in which she says, ” If you feel annoyed with your family for being untidy, I urge you to check your own space, especially your storage. You are bound to find things that need to be thrown away. The urge to point out someone else’s failure to tidy is usually a sign that you are neglecting to take care of your own space. That is why you should begin by only discarding your own things.” Other than its practical application in tidying in real life, I realised that hey, it might apply directly to the situation I’m facing. It was perhaps never about the external environment and overly-high expectations of the outside world/academic expectations. Perhaps all the dissatisfaction and criticism which I directed outwards simply pointed to my own turbulent insides and inner frustration.

So I decided to “embark on a journey of self-discovery” (ok, standard) and explore my own emotions, baggage, dreams and whatever (Marie said storage too, not just the room right?) I was mildly surprised by what I found. I realised that I had a long history of running away. I realised that I was great at dealing with uncertainty in some areas, not so much in others. I realised that I was a sensitive and rather emotional, sometimes needy and whiny person in general. (but that’s okay, it’s supposed to be)

And after reading Heather Havrilesky’s latest eye-opening column (she does have some really good ones) I realised that growing up and “being an adult” (if there is such a thing) means intensive emotional management and doing things you don’t necessarily want to do. Having a specific goal in mind that is hard to attain only makes the journey harder because it involves a LOT of expectation management, perseverance and a resilient trudging towards your goal/vision which has to be clarified/refined. I was incredibly idealistic before and didn’t think about how the goal would be difficult to attain. (Seriously, just having a meaningful job can be difficult. Why did you keep telling yourself it would be straightforward?)

Also, people face frustration. People face ennui and listlessness for 3-4 YEARS. People struggle. And it will be like this until retirement or something. For me, it isn’t about lowering my expectations of others/the world. I think I have to lower my expectations of having a stable and ideal emotional state 24/7. Firstly, by purposely self-questioning, I was practically INVITING AND WAITING for a tidal wave of underlying emotions to hit. Secondly, for someone who’s reflective and contemplative (and self absorbed) volatile emotions are to be expected, practically. There’s no reason why I should be entitled to naturally feel otherwise. People put in effort to learn how to manage themselves and grow and develop and cope with lyfe and all these things. I will have to learn how to do the same.

Life is not all or nothing. It is a fluctuation. The key is to neither give in to your frustrations, nor ignore them and live in denial. I will work on feeling my feelings and acceptance and practising honesty in all aspects of my life (ugh the number of times I’ve repeated this like a parrot to so many people…) and there is no “end of story” because I won’t ever get to a point where improvement is completed or any end point where I will feel done. Life is always “in progress” and after all the occasionally pretentious ramblings, I think I’m finally grasping that for real:)

“Cleaning quietly on one’s own generates another interesting change- the ability to tolerate a certain level of untidiness among your family members. Once I was satisfied with my own room, I no longer felt the urge to dispose of things belonging to my siblings and parents. When I noticed that communal spaces such as the living room or bathroom were messy, I cleaned them without a second thought and never bothered to mention it.” Marie Kondo has set my immediate goal.

Neuroscience> the soul and heaven

http://www.counterbalance.org/neuro/neuro-print.html

I don’t necessarily agree with all this article states (I haven’t digested all of it anyway) and I don’t intend to critique this either. But it contains Augustine, Aquinas-somehow, it’s still a-queenas for me rather than a-qui-nus, my brain seems to find the former endearing and more worthy of being the default, lol. …Phineas Gage, neuroscience, the afterlife and free will. And so yay. No more hopping around different sites trying to consolidate everything.

Just to jot down a few thoughts…

1) The part about the bodily resurrection-I think this makes sense. I always thought that the resurrection of our bodies sounded rather extraneous when our souls would be floating about happily anyway. Having our bodies back would be a nice add-on perhaps? But with this the resurrection of the body becomes a necessity. But yet the scrapping of the dualism theory flies in the face of a personal account I have on my hands. Or maybe it doesn’t…?

2) Heaven isn’t really going to be a palace with cloud flooring and shining rubies. Much of the Bible is metaphorical, and I’m thinking what we deem as heaven is going to be more of a new dimension, a completely new way of being that we with our limited scope of understanding cannot picture or come close to imagining.

3) I’m not really concerned with the exact metaphysics. It may bother some others, but for me I’ve accepted that God operates via a different…plane from us and there isn’t much point trying to figure out how everything is going to work.

4) What does bother me though, is the issue of salvation. If our morality, values and character can be completely destroyed with brain damage, how on earth (lol) is God going to do any judgement? Even if Gage committed all the sins possible to humanity post-accident, how can Gage as a person even be evaluated when pre-accident Gage and post-accident Gage are two different people, essentially? The problem is that it’s not that his reasoning and morality was damaged and that he was incapable. He had full consciousness and everything after his accident…it’s the fact that he completely changed. I don’t think God is going to treat him as two separate beings though? The whole thing seems terribly unfair and convoluted, and I have no idea what to make of this. If God decides to evaluate the pre-accident Gage instead because the post-accident Gage is a warped and damaged being, then I wonder in what other circumstances God would decide to consider and juggle all these various aspects and conditions.

4i) I wonder how judgement is going to be made. People always bring up the kid in the Amazon rainforest as an example of a non-Christian being saved (and it just has to be the Amazon) But last year I wondered, what about an Amazon rainforest in the figurative sense, rather than the mere physical space that people usually speak of? A boy in this enclosed area without contact with the external world can be pardoned. What about people who are trapped in metaphorical rainforests, constructed by themselves or imposed on them by others? If someone has been brainwashed into a killing machine from birth, are they going to be condemned if they can’t be converted? If someone erects mental barriers in a desperate attempt to protect themselves, are they going to be condemned if they fail to accept Christianity then? If someone is born with particular personality traits or even influences that makes it difficult for him/her to be receptive to new ideas, are they then not more prone to rejecting a new religion and hence, more likely to be condemned? Once the rainforest isn’t defined by concrete parameters, there is no longer an answer.

5) All this brings to mind two scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The first is where Harry and Dumbledore view the whimpering, pitiful remains of what is left of Voldemort’s soul. All the evil had damaged his soul beyond repair, and could no longer go on. The second is where Snape was protesting Dumbledore’s orders to help him, fearing for the state of his own soul. Dumbledore simply replied that it would be better for Snape to kill him on his orders than for Draco to kill him instead which would result in the destruction of Draco’s soul. What I find interesting is this idea of a soul as a thing, something that can be nurtured and damaged but not exactly your intellect or even emotions. Might it work this way? That God will be the decider of what occurrences in a human life is good/evil and whether and in what ways they separate the human from God?

If there is a Creator, then I trust that the Creator of all things would have it worked out (okay as if He needs to work anything out) It’s just that the issue of salvation would seem to have an impact on my attitude towards daily living and how I live with others, which is much more my concern rather than the exact mechanisms and workings of the afterlife.

 

 

I’m waking up and I don’t feel anything

Back to this site-finally! So much for getting a domain and planning to tinker around with wordpress.org and code and stuff. It ended up being put on hold indefinitely because of the internship.  Oh well. Maybe Medium can take over articles meant for public consumption? This site can be reserved then for mad thoughts and rambles.

I feel like I was in some kind of trance the past week. It’s been a very weird time. I spent most of my time repeating what strangers said, swimming around in my own head…I can only hope that the me that I was presenting to the world was acceptable and not too cringeworthy. I seem to have just woke up about half an hour ago though. No…I feel that I have been stumbling around in a haze for a very very long time, and finally I’m out of it. After sighing, praying, hoping and feeling frustrated, I was abruptly brought back to reality with a vague sense of unpleasantness. It was frightening though, because I felt dead inside. And yet I thought it was a true and important moment, which is why I’m typing at 12.48 am now trying to preserve that particular point in time. I’m not very good sometimes when it comes to self-honesty, and so I’d better have my memory of this stay intact before it gets distorted somehow into a nice little pretty thing which simply maintains my existing comfort level.

The clarity was unsettling. It felt a little forlorn and real. I’ll try to hold on to this into the week and beyond. Then I can at least begin to start.

Language to me

Language is a joy. Language is a tool by which people are enlightened and grow in wisdom. 
Of course, language can be a dark vehicle. Downfalls are brought about by words and ideas. Yet one is also formed and shaped by words and ideas. 
I don’t care how economically viable stock words and phrases are. I wouldn’t trade sensitivity for the world.
Words are a magical thing. Something powerful. Or maybe just something that could help someone understand something a little better. 
I like tinkering with language because there is delight to be found in novel language structures and creative writing. Or because it can present a universal experience in beautiful ways. People bond over manifestations of empathy and understanding. People can relate, they can smile, laugh and cry together over what is shared, treasured and hated. 

On a side note: When reading fiction, however, I’m impatient with long, flowery descriptions. I don’t like gratuitous details to evoke mood and atmosphere. I only want to know the characters; what they say and do, what they feel, think and learn. I like reading things from different languages and cultures because one essay or story tells much about that culture it’s from. I like seeing human relationships from different perspectives, and reading about thoughts and sentiments that are sometimes unique to a particular society or culture. It seems so selective. Strange.

Fear and doubt: what then?

A stumbling block on the path from zero confidence: How are you sure of whether you’re actually following personal desires or following a self-made projection of yourself, which can be false? (The wiles of the ego) Past mistakes may very well be repeated without awareness. When you deny yourself for too long, you become unsure of whether you’re accurately picking up what’s in the heart or simply echoing the contents of your immediate surroundings. 

It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.

~Roy E Disney

But what if all you’ve been doing is passive absorbing, and the question becomes “How do you know what your values are?”

Zero confidence: A character study

This is exactly the sort of thing I worry about. 

I’m not a person. I’m not a living being. I’m just floating around and passively absorbing. It’s no wonder at all that I don’t know who I am. Every outburst in the office has been due to a nerve getting touched. Rendered a defensive mess by the reminder of my insecurity, whether consciously or unconsciously. 

The worst thing is that I take it out on those closest to me when it isn’t their fault. 

You think by following what they suggest, they’d be glad. But what painfully simplistic thinking that is. You know that everyone would be happier if you actually started acting like an actual human, rather than throwing tantrums in front of everyone. Hurry up. They don’t deserve it. 

Yes, they don’t know you well enough to suggest decisions and give advice. They lack the skill sets to help you. Yeah, big deal. At least they’ll support you in whatever you choose. 

I would think everyone, myself included, deserves me. Not crumbling remains of what used to be there.