Isolated thoughts

Month: January, 2017

5. The new 

As I have grown, I find myself more nostalgic and appreciative of occasions such as the new year. Being abroad when such festive periods pass by is definitely different due to my current circumstances. On half of these holidays I am busy with work, which I do not mind, really, if it wasn’t an occasion that I truly enjoyed. I think that Chinese New Year is the one that I cherish the most, and for that I wished that I was back. Then again, I had a really good time last night having steamboat with a friend and his family, which is something that would not have happened in any other way.

Being around many Singaporeans is a rather rare occurrence for me. I have not lived with one ever since I have moved to Perth and even though I have many classmates and friends who are, we do not interact in the same way. Last night made me rather wistful, for I miss the comforting familiarity of interacting and joking that only happens with Singaporeans. It was very warm and welcoming. I feel very out of touch, and a little displaced but I absolutely loved it.

Things to be grateful for:

  • Transferred ownership of my car – which means that I am the proud owner of my very first car!
  • Had a wonderful time at the beach this morning/afternoon. I had a nice swim, and we played frisbee and acted like little kids burying each other and making funny sand sculptures
  • A little bunny was brought into the clinic. We named him Thumper and decided to keep him since I had Stormy’s cage, hay and food anyways. He is the cutest little thing.
  • Bubble tea + sausage rolls
  • Board games night!

I am hopelessly sunburnt, for I had rushed out of the house without applying sunblock properly to my back and shoulders. I have the swimsuit tanline on my top and bottom half and now plan on hiding indoors for the next few (rainy) days. I am trying to take the time to do the things that I would not have the luxury to entertain properly once school restarts. I am taking the opportunity to go to the beach and swim, sort through things and give notes and old readers that I no longer need away.

Currently exhausted for I had driven back home around 12+am and was tired behind the wheel. I was going about 10kms below the speed limit all the way but I suppose what matters is that I am home safe and sound.

4. Coping Mechanisms

Currently watching/watched: How to Get Away with Murder, Hacksaw Ridge

Read: Nineteen Minutes

Currently stressing over buying the car because of the consequences of getting a shitty one. I also have to sort out administrative work related to the vehicle transfer and ensure that the car can get me 250km south to Cowaramup safe and sound. Some things aren’t adding up; I have a shitload of organising and packing to do before the 3 weeks of non-stop pracs. I want to buy spray on sunblock but I legitimately don’t know if I have the budget to do so at the moment.

There’s also rego due soon, uni parking fees to sort out and car insurance to decide on. Unsure about whether purchasing a manual car is wise, for I always stress out at slopes and am quite terrible at hills when tired. Got cheap shirts and shorts from the boy’s section at kmart for prac which I find very thrilling. Did 3 loads of laundry and finally did my whites. Need to start on flexi week portfolio and do up a template for the upcoming prac activity logs and keep to it whilst doing pracs if not I’m definitely going to fall behind schedule.

Irritated that I don’t get to celebrate CNY back home – I want my reunion dinners and steam boats. Maybe next year, or the year after. Or the next. Maybe never. 2021?

Just tired of the never ending adulting. Don’t get me wrong, it is very exciting to exercise all this independence. It just gets exhausting ensuring that everything goes well all by myself – with studies, bills, transport and investing money. People have parents choosing their accommodation for them and don’t need to lift a finger to do anything, and here I am handling all of it by myself.

3. Shit happens

Stormy is currently lost, trapped in a cluttered old place and I’m so frustrated I spent the entire evening trying to get him back but he’s just not coming out. I’ve just been crying and its so so horrible I feel like a bad owner but he just ran off and theres too much junk in there that I can’t remove without permission to get a better shot at getting him out. I hate this so much.

I always make stupid decisions without thinking about the consequences. Consequences that end up hurting, or those that make things more difficult for myself. I just want this all to be over, to be able to make it to the end of 4 years abroad (now 3 years and 10.5 months left) and give it my very best shot. I just want to be able to permanently settle back home once and for all and never leave.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost, 18741963

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

2. Realities

I have reached a stage which seems absolutely absurd to me. I just spent the past hour medicating a sickly old dog, and preparing and hand feeding it roast chicken and sausages. All of it from 6-7am in the morning. I swear that some dogs live better lives than I do (especially those that get hand fed by yours truly), which is quite a wonderful thing. The chicken smelled delicious – I might buy myself one one of these days at Coles or Woolies. 

I couldn’t sleep till 2am last night, which is normal for I have spent the previous nights watching chinese shows till the wee hours of the morning. It is funny how we choose to entertain ourselves in certain conditions. I have never been one to appreciate my mother tongue, let alone the shows in the language. Whilst I find some things logically ridiculous and unrealistic, with entertainment comes this ‘suspension of belief’, where we put aside our realities and believe in the narratives presented to us despite the warped reflection of society and life around us. 

Then again, our perception can be vastly different from reality. For example, I had once believed that if I had failed my A levels, I would be screwed for life, for that was the environment that I was raised in. I recall being sat in a lecture theatre and being given a ‘wake up call’ by the principal herself alongside about 100+ of my peers, for we had fared poorly in the first tests of the year in 2014. It was the most irritating and anger inducing thing being told that we should buck up when I literally couldn’t for I was too far behind, and the system (at that point) was not working for me. 

When A levels were near, the teachers were all pushing the ‘your grades do not define you’ mentality. I strongly disagreed for I thought that good grades would get you somewhere, at least. That was what I had thought until I found out how many people make it into university via alternate pathways, other than the typical high school exam or a polytechnic diploma, and some who are my age have already gotten their degrees whilst I am barely into mine! I do not agree that a 3 month bridging programme is equivalent to 2-3 years of struggling with university level content and being pit against thousands of your peers on a bell curve to obtain certain grades. But then again, I believe that education should be accessible to anyone who desires it and wants to learn. 

I suppose that is one of problems of being brought up in a place such as Singapore. There are no other accepted, or respected, options. Not going to university was never presented as an option, not to me at least. We constantly judge and scrutinise, one’s educational qualifications, one’s family background, one’s ability to generate income, and one’s choice of partner when it should not make any difference in the way we treat and connect to them – as another human being. I dread the day that I find the need to conform, or feel the need to impress. I want to be unforgivingly, unadulteratedly me: rash, quick to anger, vexing, immature, and the whole ball of bad and good and in-betweens. 

I am quite grateful that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me. I have friends who see the good in me when I was at my most self destructive; who tell me that I am precious and someone to be treasured, fuck those who do not appreciate it. I have people whom I’ve never thought that I’d keep in contact or grow close with going above and beyond when helping, and providing encouragement in the darkest of times. 

List of wonderful things I’ve done this week:

  • gone swimming on a 38 degree day and had $2 oreo ice cream from HJ’s (simple pleasures!)
  • picked up good quality posture mattresses left on the kerb late at night, tying it to the top of a tiny hatchback with dog leads and making it home without being caught 
  • had bubble tea and those wonderful sausage breads from a bakery that I think is a Breadtalk knockoff
  • played with a baby kangaroo, and tried to feed it
  • played with a big fluffy puppy!
  • finished Spirited Away and Hana Kimi (silly high school drama, but hey) 
  • had a good chat with my Mom

All my farm pracs have been pushed back to Feb, so I will have 3 crazy weeks back to back before school begins. I predict that it will be quite challenging finishing up the activity logs on time before university begins, but I am so very excited for school to restart and to see all my friends (old and new) again. 

1. Beginnings

My new year will be spent administering medications to ill animals. I was quite stressed for one of the dogs had chewed through its drip tonight and I have to administer something every 4 hours or so; there goes my sleep. I do not mind though, for I was thinking of watching Spirited Away and filling in this Life Planner I bought on a whim from kikki.K. It was $6 and a steal: I hope that it would be fun and meaningful to fill in.

img_5561

We have new pets in the house: two stick insects named Twiggy and Pop. I’m still afraid of holding them on my hand hence the sleeve. They are free range and make up the centrepiece of the new table, and I am afraid of killing them with my ignorance. They poop a lot, and it sort of grosses me out but they are easy to care for and clean up after.

img_5457

I actually wanted to get myself a guinea pig/rat/mouse as a pet, but I do not know if I am allowed one and I cannot get myself to commit to one. With farm pracs and the current situation where I might get busy at night, not to mention university studies eventually, I am not sure if I can handle caring for it. The possibility of illness and veterinary bills also scare me, and the added financial burden is not one that I can commit to easily.

It seems silly to get a pet though, for there is always Morrie for company if I so desired. Also, working with animals almost every day with very temporary, fleeting contact fills the void (I miss Hun Bun terribly). I enjoy learning more about and handling animals that I have never handled before though, like this dove!

img_5502

I’ve gotten some stationery for the new school year super in advance, which was fun. I am looking forward to university beginning again, and I’m quite excited to get myself a car in the next few months.

This all makes me feel very ‘adult’ if it makes any sense, having to make decisions such as investing, choosing mobile plans, paying for the bills, purchasing a car and maintaining it, and driving about alone. I quite enjoy it. Not so much doing laundry, cooking and cleaning up. But if I’m going to do this I’m going to make sure I’m damn good at this domestic shit by the end. At the very least I can cook a pretty decent fried rice and breakfast now.

img_5541

I have learnt that the beaches have snakes and sharks, which can kill you. Despite much discussion and debate about whether we should ever enter the water again, we still went ahead to the beach to swim on the last day of the year.

img_5550

The beach was close to a port, hence the containers. I quite like it, it was quiet and the weather was beautiful. Sunny but also windy so that you don’t feel that burnt. I would miss driving this car – it makes me feel badass (which, of course, I totally am).

img_5558

I watched Your Name last night. It was the first time I have watched a Japanese movie, and it was really well made and it made me tear at times. I’m a sucker for bittersweet endings.

I do not have any specific new year resolutions this year. I only wish to take on the year with grace and faith in myself and my abilities. I shall turn 21, have many other firsts, learn a lot of things in the pursuit of veterinary science and also, about myself. This, and my best, shall be enough.