The end of summer break; afterthoughts from 30 pages of Hard Choices

Summer break has ended and the new term started about a week ago. Sociology is growing on me since I entered university. It is nice to have finally found something you’re interested to learn about. My good friend is a keen “advocate” of the sociology-related statements she make – you can read about the various posts she’d written here in our shared blog; she had also introduced me to documentaries on unorthodox topics we don’t usually discuss openly among our friends or even academics. She’s always full of zest to go out there and seek out for varied opinions; to hear from different people, from the minorities. There’re alot of things I gathered in my own thoughts from reading what she’d written and seeing the things she do, why and how she does it. I supposed the environment does play an extremely important role in influencing our preferences than our own instincts or any innate senses we have. I hope I’ll still feel as keen to never stop learning about new things related to this area of study after I finished school. And perhaps find new areas of interest to look forward to in everyday life.

Tonight, I started reading a book I was told to buy for a module I’m currently taking. It’s titled “Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus“. It wasn’t one of the prescribed readings for any nearing lecture sessions. I had wanted to know: what are academics going to say about the policies this time? Continue reading

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Childbirth

The concept of childbirth is highly-convoluting. Can you really understand how the human race came to reproduce itself; how the motivation came about for one to raise a being inside of them and then for the rest of their lifetime when the being gets out of them?

Whatever books have told us about this, about how it lies in the “supposed” natural instinct within all living things to have the desire to prolong their existence of our own kind. To want to leave some sort of a “legacy” in the form of a living being. I did think that it’s not puzzling for animals to procreate at all, it’s understandable why they’d do that to expand the population of their own kind to meet the logic of becoming a stronger and more resistant species. But for human beings? There must be a different sort of purpose! Aside from the agenda of the government’s attempts to control that. In the in-and-out conversations we’ve had among people in our lives, we had probably phrased the “legacy” term differently. When asked why people reproduce, they’d probably say something like to “carry on the family’s name and the blood line”. I thought I had figured out the reason why we would want to leave a legacy in the form of a byproduct genetically-created between a man and a woman. I think it is our fear of being forgotten. But I wouldn’t say I’m certain about this until I attempt to ask this to people and if they had an answer for that.

Then when I get told that this is where traditions are in play, it’s difficult to question that isn’t it? Continue reading

Here’s to more curveballs in life!

Happy new year, everyone. I don’t know if 2014 has been the best year of my life yet but surely I know that every passing year when I look back, most of the time I’m glad that I am at this point of my life and not back to any point of the past I can think of (which they’re usually moments that make me cringe bad).

Probably about a couple of years ago when I was 13 or 16 around-there, I’d never think that I will get this far – I don’t mean I’ve gotten very far in life now but certainly, I had expect things to turn out differently at this point of my life. I haven’t been especially sad or excited, any more than the previous years. I’ve always stayed the same; from the time when my mom told me how I was like as a child when I was in kindergarten until now. Being that awkward, slightly boring, easily-succumbed and weird person who’s most scared of socializing with real people more than anything else in this world. I don’t mean to let my mom’s words dictate how I’ll be like as a person in life. I think I accept that. Sometimes, I do feel sorry about myself. Sorry and sad. At times, I do comfort myself that beyond this exterior, I need to know there lies a louder imagination and a mind that so far, only I know it. You need to convince yourself of some things to cope with your vulnerability to the harshness of life. Whether these things are true or not, they say “fake it till you make it“. It will be relevant at some point.

I want to say I’ve been feeling down alot of times but it has little relevance to how life has been treating me. Most of the time, the sadness comes from the situations you imagine in your head and what’s behind these situations that you’ll never clarify. Self-inflicted sadness does anger me when I witness it because – why would you want to complicate things when it is as simple as it seem? The sadness can’t go away on the following year. No doubt there’re times you feel very happy about life without any logical explanation. It turns out to be you being cranky.

The point is, your personality may stay with you forever but life doesn’t always remain in that phase of life that sucks and you hated it so badly that you just wanna exterminate everyone around you and be the only one living on this Planet. Then life decides to throw you a curveball but you have no clue that it’s intended to be a curveball because you expect that thing (whether it’s an event or the next phase of your life) to be a continuation of your embarrassing and disastrous series everybody’s gonna watch you fail badly at. Suddenly, you don’t want everyone dead anymore because the right company of people will come by eventually in unexpected ways and they’ll make you see the good in people. And you know that it’s just in some people. This, I’m being optimistic for now. Teenagehood comprises of so many phases that are seen to throw you plenty of curveballs until you become an adult then you don’t get that many anymore.

You know when there’re expectations to how a living person would lead different phases of his life, i.e. mid-twenties, early-thirties, mid-life. Right now, I still feel like I’m stuck at this phase (not the sucky phase of life) but somewhere you can’t proceed any further in life doing these things that any living person will do. I can see everyone around me maturing (like my peers, friends, neighbors, parents and younger sis) and doing these things but it dreads to imagine myself doing these. I don’t particularly enjoy this phase of my life but I don’t want to be thinking how better or worse it can get as I am older. Thinking about a 30-year-old me scares me. About the kind of person I’ll become and the things I’ll be doing when I’m 30. It’s like watching a horror movie. It’s nice to see how the characters cope with the scares but it’s the worst nightmare to see yourself in that scene or any parts of it. I’m gonna be 21 next year. Can you imagine the 12-year-old me thinking what I’ll be like when I’m 21?

On the train home today, I thought about my New Year resolutions. It is not going to be good grades and looking prettier each year anymore. I have the tendency of making to-do lists without checking out at least half of the list. Just for the fun of it, these are the list of things I want to do in 2015:

  1. I wanna play Bohemian Rhapsody on the harmonica if possible.
  2. I wanna read 10 books this year – 5 common fiction, 1 fantasy, 1 romance, 1 crime/mystery/horror, 2 common non-fiction.
  3. I wanna exercise once a month.
  4. I hope to go on another community service project in sophomore year.
  5. I wanna travel to 2 or 3 countries this year.
  6. Stop feeling bad/sorry about things you’ve considered doing and have done.
  7. I wanna take the initiative to ask people whether they need help without hesitating.

Bye, 2014! I had fun writing this.

I’m leaving town! (with all the random things I want to write about)

I’m flying off to Chiang Mai tomorrow! A couple of months ago, I was looking forward to it but nearing the date, I seem to fear more than I feel excited about it. It’s going to be the furthest country I’ve been. I’m not going with my family, or people that I know particularly well. Now it feels like a crazy decision. I don’t mean it as a bad decision, whereby I’m having this immense urge to back away now and spin up an excuse the next morning to avoid getting on the plane. But I’m certain of why I made the decision to go for this one because I don’t want to be asking the question: “if not now, when will I ever do it?”. Partially because it’s in my to-do list when I entered university. It’s a nice feeling when you feel all motivated to do everything at once but this sort of feeling is not sustainable at all.

Surely I’ll do my best in the work I’m expected to do. Socializing is tiresome and difficult. Won’t you rather work with tools all day rather than people? It’s not boring at all. You could sing while you work. Talk (to yourself or the tools) while you work. Tools wouldn’t be like “what the hell is she doing? Stay away from that freak.” and even if they do, they can’t do anything about it. I understand, yes I understand that working with people can produce wonderful results than working alone, being all selfish, to claim the credit on my own. Teamwork is a funny thing. Having an opinion could awfully ruin relationships among people but at the same time, it is in this possession of opinion that produces the wonderful results that we speak of.

Anyway, it is not that I’m a hater of teamwork. I wouldn’t be an uncooperative and difficult member to work with. You could always give me whatever I need (or can) do and I’ll do it. Or if you don’t want to give me any work but allow me to choose, yes, that’d be fine too. At times, we can’t stand the opinions of others and the trouble’s when you have to make a tough decision to either forget about it because you’re probably the only one who’s having issues with the person’s opinion (and thus, it’s irrelevant if the majority doesn’t agree with you), or confront the person to tell them that their opinion is ERRONEOUS. As much as you don’t want to hurt them or probably you want to get both of your opinions to blend good together, you’re ultimately still trying to convince them to adopt a different opinion somehow. You could get me to work with a team of tools, plants or animals and I’d love it very much. And it’s not because I get to manipulate these things  beings so that they can’t rebel against me. You could get a kitten, monkey or the king of the Jungle to give me orders and I’ll still be very happy.

Now it feels nice to write about this even though it’s insane and it’s missing the point that I want to bring across. I’ve decided to bring 2 books with me on this journey. The one that I’m currently reading is The Catcher in the Rye. There are barely any climax events to keep you wanting to get back to the page you just dogearred but it’s mystifyingly good as you read on further. It’s very descriptive and it centers more on the things in the protagonist’s head rather than the things around him. He seems like a very intellectual and charming (and discriminating, and rude) guy but I still can’t imagine how he’d look like. I usually can, for the protagonists in the other books I’ve read. I can visualize the environment around him and occasionally, the people he interacts with, but not the appearance of his persona. He doesn’t describe himself as much as he describes the others. All I know is that he’s very tall for his age and has a noticeable amount of white hair. I would love to write alittle more about this but I haven’t finish the book.

Once again, I’ve got no idea how to end this. Abruptly, again. I’ll be finished with the book by the time I get back. Till the next post! X

The thing about parenting.

Any one of us might have swore to ourselves to never become the kind of the person we would despise. I always believe that we have a choice in everything we do and even up till now, I am still certain about that god damn same belief. Even though that is said, I still like to say that sometimes, we subconsciously do this and do that.

But now I’m thinking that maybe the subconscious mindset is what others perceive another to have. How can we be aware that we’re subconscious of what’s happening around us? In this case, I’m talking about being conscious of becoming that kind of person I mentioned.

How do I begin this… Continue reading

Hypothetical Hope.

If you could have one thing to bring along with you when you know that you’re gonna die on the following day, what would it be? It could a person, something, a value, or anything at all.

This question provided me with some interesting food for thought. There were plenty of things that came into my mind, that I want to bring with me if I leave the Earth the next day. I thought of a journal and a pen, maybe my laptop as well, and one person that I thought of was my Mom – but coming to think about it now, I didn’t consider why I would want her to follow me into such an unfortunate situation. Probably having the company of a close family member, or even the whole family, a best friend, or anyone else, makes one feel safe wherever they’re at.

For sure I couldn’t answer it instantly! There was just one thing you could bring. The question came off too sudden and I never really considered about hypothetical stuff like these. Reality doesn’t allow for such concessions (or does it?). If you weren’t given time to think, what would be your first response?

Death, I’m still not sure whether it’s a scary thing that I would fear. It could hurt, or it could feel like one of any other times when you wake up from your sleep – the only difference being that, you’re awake but you clearly see that you’re still lying in bed with your eyelids shut tight and it probably feels like a dream. I think the most horrifying thing that we fear about death is what really happens after it. I used to imagine the kind of situation that each one of us may go through when we transit from death to afterlife: I thought it might feel like being in a court hearing with a judge and a row of jury, while waiting for your sentence to be announced.

If everything else dies in me as I die on the following day, I think the value I would want to have is hope. I don’t mean I have plenty of hope instilled within me and that it stays with me as long as it is. Hope comes and goes so quickly. It can fill you up to the brim and can also be drained until a single drop isn’t left on the surface. It’s surely difficult to depend on one’s willpower to sustain so much hope within a single (literally lifeless) soul for any longer time, especially after death.

In reality, I thought that either we can pray hard and wish that it will miraculously come to us – through an ordeal or a “life-changing event”, or maybe remind ourselves over again and again of what’s lacking and once we’re all conscious of it, we struggle alittle and hope that it becomes a part of us in time to come.