Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Graduation = change?

Elena and I doing Superman impressions at our graduation at the Barbican, London

So, I've supposedly come to the end of my life of study and am now meant to be a successful, monochromatic, idealistic yuppie in the big, bad world of corporate finance and lawsuits. oh dear. If that is by any means a measure of success I have failed at every single one. I am still studying and endeavour to become an eternal student; after all, is not life a teacher in its own right? I'm by no means monochromatic although I did boast in the like-mindedness of a drunk to Elena, whilst probably overstuffed physically with Ben and Jerry's and mentally by Jonathan Ross, that I could use big words like monochromatic and steam engine. Really I said that. I wonder if the deans at Kings thought it was such a good idea to graduate me now...

It's true I'm idealistic but so is almost every 20 something year old who thinks he or she could become 'someone' in the world. However, I'm also a self-proclaimed pessimist. I've given up the dream of having a million bucks before I hit 31, instead think that I'll be mauled by a lion or get eaten by cannibals before I turn 45. I hear that human meat really isn't that nice to eat. We should introduce pork to those poor cannibals. They have no idea what they're missing. Char siew pork, roast pork, soy sauce pork, pork in batter, pork in butter, pigs in blankets, pig's trotter, pork and mushroom, ginger pork... mmmmm. Back to thoughts of why by the world's standards I might have failed...

I do wish I could wear black and white but although I sound like one, I think they belong better on a zebra. Besides, as Murphy's Law would have it, I'd probably accidentally bleach my blacks and spill cranberry or tumeric or orange pasta sauce down my whites. I like colour. I dream in colour, not black and white or sepia. I think beige is a very safe colour. Very chic. Very au natural and sometimes I wish I could wear beige but honestly, I don't think I'm poised enough. People say you shouldn't wear horizontal stripes if you're short or tubby, of which I am both, so everytime I go to shops, I restrain myself from stripes especially when they shout orange, blue, yellow and green altogether because someone akin to Trinny and Susannah say that's what I should do. Sigh. Maybe I have compromised already.

With regards to corporate mumbo jumbo, which although I admit hold part of the world together economically, are actually very unefficient at tackling social ills and global problems. The closest I'll probably come to a corporate world of pumps, lipstick and coiffed hair-dos is serving them as they brunch in a room above the rest, literally. Part of me wonders what goes on behind those panels of oak but part of me feels that even if I were 'part of that world' I wouldn't like it very much. Or maybe it's just because I'm not so I think that way. Maybe if I were, I would find I would quite like to stay.

So, my childhood dream of owning my own company by the time I'm 24 looks impossible as age becomes more of a reality; one really does think one can live forever when one is THAT young. But I'm working on my little projects that'll probably only affect a few and effect even less, studying as I go along, wearing red when everyone else is wearing brown, wondering whether I'll ever, as an adult, ever be free enough to own a dog.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Don't talk to me; I'm ovulating!

Most of the below, although nothing extraordinary in the female world, may prove unnecessary, unfamiliar and downright scary to the male of our species, unless you happen to be a gynacologist, psychiatrist or have many, many sisters... If you should fall into the former category, feel free to not read this entry, rather skip to the entries below or if you have read those, wait another couple of days for a following entry which should have nothing to do with the female reproductive system.

premenstrual syndrome
–noun Pathology.
a complex of physical and emotional changes, including depression, irritability, appetite changes, bloating and water retention ...

Abbreviation: PMS
Also called premenstrual tension.

ovulation [(ov-yuh-lay-shuhn, oh-vyuh-lay-shuhn)]
The periodic release of an ovum from the ovaries (usually from only one ovary). After the ovum is released, it travels into the fallopian tube, and from there is moved to the uterus. Ovulation generally happens approximately two weeks into the menstrual cycle.
[Chapter:] Medicine and Health
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third EditionCopyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

So, now that we know the difference between PMS (or PMT as it is otherwise known) and ovulation, please do not mistake one for the other.

I'm one of the lucky few who don't get cramps, leg hair, arm hair, facial hair or cold sores. I don't get PMT, PMS or PM anything. If anything, mine reads PO (pre-ovulation). So whilst I don't get extra cranky before the big that-time-of-the-month (I say extra because there are some who will vouch for my crankiness whatever the time of day, month or year) when we try to shut ourselves away if we didn't need to network daily for social survival, my emotions reach peak control during PO time. When my emotions reach their peak, my brain stops working, what little reason and logic I had goes dormant and everything either falls apart or looks gloriously happy. When I am up, I'm sky high, oblivious to almost any worry and care in the world. But when I hit a trough, it results in blog entries like the one published before this. Where every question is a burden, every memory bitter, every travel weary and every thought gloomy. It doesn't mean I'll be all gloom and doom for a month until my jackpot strikes lucky and I resume basking in 'ignorant' bliss. It merely means that for those few days, don't ask me any 'life threatening' questions such as,

"Where should we go for lunch?"
"What will you do when you see so-and-so?"
"Do you know when we'll see you again?"
"Did you hear about so-and-so with so-and-so?"
"Do you know what bus number we need to take to get to X?"

The questions in themselves wouldn't break my back but it wasn't a bale of hay thumped on him that broke the camel's back was it? Just a straw.

Also don't make out any personal suggestions such as,

"Do you want to talk about it?"
"If you want to say anything, now's the time."
"Are we okay?"
"Do you really mean that?"
"Do you mind if I..."

because if you do, don't be surprised if I give you the blackest look I can muster, my way of controlling my emotions from taking over to turn me into a blubbering wreck. Yuck. I'll probably put on my absent, spaced out look to avoid understanding the questions or forgetting it altogether. And then what usually happens is the other party gets hurt or thinks I don't care or thinks I'm being difficult.

I'll try get some T-shirts printed when I go home for Chinese New Year so that when I am going through PO, both pre and post, look out or a sign across my T-shirt yelling out, "Don't talk to me; I'm ovulating!" and stay well away.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Being here and there

Trusting God is very hard for a myopic person who thinks she's right most of the time. Since God, having perfect vision, knows exactly where I'll be going, what I'll be doing, who I'll be seeing, why and how I'll get there, wherever 'there' is, sometimes I do wonder, "Why can't I know just a little of that? Wouldn't it make life SO much easier knowing that what that person said wouldn't still hurt in 20 years time or that it didn't matter that I missed the bus." I guess that's the 'Eve' in me. The 'Eve' that wants more but not 'more' in a contented, I'll-have-what-you-give-me-Lord 'more' but an I-want-all-I-can-eat 'more.' The Eve that wants everything and wonders why she doesn't have it all. The Eve that wonders if somehow, somewhere, she has been cheated out of having A,B,C that X,Y,Z has. Or worse than being cheated, if, without hindsight, she chose the path she did, but only because she didn't know that the path would lead her to where she was now. I suppose there's an 'Eve' in all of us to that respect. Is there such a thing as getting out of life's rat race, not just financially, but emotionally, intellectually, socially, even spiritually?

Gah. Fluctuation doesn't look good on a stocks and bonds chart and it certainly doesn't look good on life's chart of feelings. One day I'm euphoric, the next I'm depressed. One moment I'm striving, the next I'm blase. One minute I'm confident, the next I'm insecure. Maybe that's why guys don't talk about them. I wonder of they deal with them in a different way or just hide them or ignore them... I would really love to know. Maybe I should take a leaf out of their book and do just that instead of trying to analyse every "Oh" and "Hmm..." Argh!

Am I restless because I'm going against what I should naturally be doing or am I going against the grain because I'm restless? Is my restlessness the cause or the effect of something I'm doing either rightly or wrongly? I have no idea. Maybe I should get married, get divorced then 'continue' on with life. That sounds so stupid but makes so much sense at the same time. Just chuck everything out of the window and stare at and empty shell and try to remember what things were like before life got so complicated. Trying to go 'green' perhaps and discard all the complications of people and voices and opinions. I need a punching bag. Or a dog.

Know what my problem is? I haven't surrendered stuff to God. Big stuff. Huge stuff. Stuff's that been swimming in my head since childhood. Stuff I don't even want to talk to myself about. Stuff that even when I do talk to myself and God about and repent of, still exists in memories, in character. Not taunting or condemning me, but affecting my here and now nevertheless. Stuff that affects the idea of friendships, companionship, relationships. So I try to sit on them. Maybe eat a few more bars of chocolate so I can compress them with another huge burden and then to hide the other burden under more legalism and knowledge. Knowledge doesn't just bring power. It brings death. I feel suffocated under knowledge, which proves, to me anyway that even knowing God alone doesn't save. Only God saves.

I graduated yesterday and for a brief moment, my camera jammed. I panicked. Not because the camera was new or that I wasn't savvy enough to fix it but because I thought I had lost the pictures in them forever. Even simple things like a picture of my dog back home or of friends, pictures which can be taken any other time, seem so important. Maybe because, even though they can be taken another time, the situation cannot be recreated, my dog will age, my (male) friends will grow facial hair and as the years go by, we all will look a little older, a little wiser(?) and a little less yet a little more. The past cannot be rewritten and even though a big part of me wishes it could, I wouldn't be me today if it hadn't happened. Anyway, I prayed and God fixed my camera so it's functioning again. Unlike my camera, I doubt God just 'fixes' people. I don't think it's because He can't. I don't know whether it's because He won't but I know that His way is the best even though many times it wrecks havoc with me, myself, I. I just want to be completely broken so that I wouldn't even consider me, myself, I. And yet, God isn't satisfied with a broken spirit, He wants a purified spirit. I guess that's the hard part. If God only wanted broken hearts and souls, all He has to do is let us go and we would fall, crash and burn. But He wants us pure and so goes on to purify us so that we will be blameless and holy before Him. I suppose as one refines gold, all the dross is revealed to be thrown away. In the same way, perhaps, the more God moulds me, the more my filth is revealed and in being revealed, can then be thrown away. It just seems, so many times, that after all the dross is gone, there wouldn't be much gold left. Maybe I'm a rock of dross. What then? I really don't know.

Sometimes I do wonder whether my love of travelling, of exploring new cultures, of never settling in one place, stems from running away from God. Maybe I don't want to do what God wants me to do so I just shut my ears and run wherever like a headless chicken. Sometimes I happen to run in the direction God wants me to go, but if I did it would be sheer luck, in my decapitated state. It all boils down to faith. I'll be honest. I'm worried that God's big plan for me is to settle down and drive my kids to school everyday for 20 years and cook, clean, and walk the dog (as much as I love dogs). Not that I don't think I'll mind doing that, I just want more. There's that word again; m-o-r-e. I very rarely think that God is going to send me to the stake to burn or that I'll be stabbed in the street or that I'll be ridiculed repeatedly and constantly for preaching the gospel. Maybe I should start thinking like that. I don't know.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I'm still haunted over memories that I lost in Scrabble. I think what made it more traumatic is who I lost to :( but the thing that makes it most traumatic is that the incident did not actually happen at all. It was all in a dream and yet to me the intangible lost in my dreams meant more to me than if I had actually lost in real life. I mean, if I can't fly off rooftops and change into random animals in my dreams, then when? If I can't even win at Scrabble in my dream, should I really care about winning at all? Some might say, "It was only a dream, it doesn't prove anything," but to me, I need to prove things to myself, if not to other people, all the time, yes, even in my dreams. Perhaps it comes from hanging around guys too much for the last how many years. Their priorities and maybe even way of thinking is starting to rub off on me. Notions of wanting to be respected and admired, of feeling sufficient have now taken a more important seat than wanting to be protected or even loved. Self-sufficiency is slightly different from sufficiency. I can be sufficient because God is sufficient for me but when I am self-sufficient, I no longer depend on God.

Right down, hints of a migraine are starting to annoy me, even more so because I have a 12 hour flight tomorrow. London, here I come. No sweet grass of home but certainly sweet.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I Lost

Had an awful dream last night that I lost Scrabble because I didn't know whether falafel had two 'f's or one 'f' in the middle of it :( It was a very distressing time in my R.E.M - Rapid Eye Movement (the part of sleep where dreams come). Am still trying to get over it. Might be traumatised by this for the rest of my life...

New Year's Eve celebrations were moderately fun. Went to church, had dinner, watched Roger Moore do his cheesiest best, witnessed the birth of a plastic stegasaurus and watched fireworks sparkle around the Twin Towers - they didn't quite manage to go over them. The annoying thing about not having internet access at home is that when I'm buzzing in the middle of the night (I'm nocturnal), I don't have a blog to write all my thoughts on. Have now bought myself a laptop though so hours of Spider Solitaire keep my brain in tip-top, webby form.

Am feeling extremely muggy hence the spasmic thoughts. Will be in London on Wednesday. Was meant to be Saturday but I promised Jo I would be there for her birthday.