A letter to the person who tweeted:

“A system that breeds people who shit on streets vs a 50K People protest and not even ONE broken window”

I share your frustration in the situation that is currently happening in Hong Kong, but your tweet made me angry. This is not the first time I felt personally attacked by your tweets, seeing that you hold strong prejudice against us “mainlanders”. You’ve called us pigs, uncivilized, and that you really can’t expect all that much from us. But this time it angers me much more than usual. Instead of addressing the actual issue and drawing awareness to Occupy Central, you chose to focus on civilians who had nothing to do with this.

Have you considered that “people who shit on streets” are also under the same control you fear for your people in the future? What about us? We’ve fought our battle before, but it ended in the June 4th massacre. So how dare you even speak of us in that manner when it could very well be your people who will “shit on streets” ten years from now? I am angry not because you criticized our system, but because you chose to criticize our system through insulting innocent civilians who might not even be aware of Occupy Central because they are under heavy censorship.

The prejudice that people from Hong Kong has about those from mainland China is not a new thing. We’ve always been the uneducated neighbours. The people who cut in line, are corrupted communists, spit on the streets, and are generally ill-mannered. The prejudice is held to the point where some people from Hong Kong will even refuse to acknowledge as being the same kind of “Chinese” as we are. But that is such an extreme case of stereotyping. Just like how you can find uncivilized individuals in Hong Kong, you can find polite individuals in mainland. When you generalize like that, how can you even complain when people assume you are good at mathematics because you’re Asian?

Even if you do a study and pull out statistics to back up your arguments that mainlanders tend to behave in uncivilized ways, have you thought about your privilege? Hong Kong is a place that has enjoyed immense wealth under British rule and still continue to do much better economically even after 1997. To people from the countryside or smaller cities, women are considered to have done very well if they managed to marry someone from Hong Kong. Doesn’t that tell you something? While you spit out hateful words about my people, we idolize your people because most of the time you are better off financially and have more opportunities.

In a country where resources have always been limited and the population ever-increasing, there is only so much energy you can invest in making sure everybody plays fair. We can’t afford to not butt in line and let everybody make a fair portion. We are all trying to cope in an environment that is incredibly stressful, and parents try their best to educate their children to be good citizens despite all the challenges they face. So next time before you make a comment that spits on us, count your blessings, remember your privilege, and re-evaluate your words.

Nomination for the Liebster and rule-breaking.

Sometimes life is surprisingly pleasant to me. Yesterday I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Todd, and this morning I received an offer to join the Teaching Awards Committee at my university. Just now I got off a video chat with my aunt and grandparents, all such lovely people in my life for whom I’m grateful. The weather is beautiful and my fever chills have stopped. Life is wonderful today.

I would like to thank Todd for the nomination; it really does mean a lot to me especially since I was never the child who racked up enough trophies I’d need a bookshelf to display them all. I would also like to thank all the people who take their precious time to read what I write, and especially those who take the time to leave comments. It feels wonderful to know that my thoughts are heard and appreciated.

So apparently some facts about myself are due:

1. There is nothing more frightening to me than the thought of working at the same job, doing the same thing, for my entire life. The Bee Movie really struck a chord in me with this one. If I had to stay in the same kind of career, let it be one where I continue to meet new people in a dynamic environment.

2. Here are some things I would like to learn: Korean (needs a lot of work), HTML & CSS (I’m rusty and my knowledge stops at a very basic level), a programming language (it will give me such a big headache but I swear I’ll get it down someday), jewelry making (!!!!!!), and swimming (this is laughable, I know).

3. I do feel that my nature is spontaneous and fun-loving. But for some reason I ended up as a responsible introvert who absolutely despises out-of-the-blue “plans”. Currently I am working on embracing the unregulated side of life. I will let you know the next time I say yes to a spontaneous lunch invite from a friend.

4. I can be very opinionated on a lot of things. My passion lies in body image issues, immigrants and their problems with settling in their new countries, problems with the current education system, and the relationships between fans and celebrities.

5. I have had big dreams, and maybe still do, about becoming a book cover designer and a custom greeting card maker. And what am I studying? Yeah you guessed it, it’s biology. But I do love it, albeit not necessarily in the way it can be taught.

I’m missing six facts and some question answering, but I want to keep this short. I would like to nominate Aliya and Kathryn, for they have blogs I connect to deeply :)

New day, new dreams

One of my worst traits is probably continuously finding new things to be obsessed about, yet never having any of them develop into a long-term passion. My energy is never focused, but constantly divided and shifting from one thing to another. In the perspective of high-achieving individuals who spend years to accomplish their focused goals in life, I’m probably a disaster. But seeing how I only hope to enjoy every day as they come, I’d say I’m doing a fabulous job.

Here are some of the new goals I came up with today. I realize that some might never be achieved, but just the thought of it being there makes my heart flutter with excitement.

1. Drinking more water
Inspired by a Superwoman vlog, I have decided that I really need to start drinking more water. My relationship with water is a little bit weird. My bladder seems to be a lot smaller than most people and I always feel like I have to pee; it gets frustrating after I’ve had to go several times in an hour. I’m always the one changing the toilet paper rolls in the house because my roommates seem to only have to pee twice a day.

2. Learn to make jewelry
While browsing Etsy for cute, simple rings, I was struck by just how much talent there is everywhere. By no means am I great at arts and crafts, but it won’t hurt to learn. I’ve taught myself to knit and crochet so I think making jewelry will be the next logical step.

3. Stretch everyday
I live a sedentary lifestyle. No matter how in shape I become, it will not change the fact that I have to spend most of my days sitting in class and sitting at my desk. My hamstrings are always tight and not to mention my shoulders. Stretching does wonders but is also very time-consuming, hence I’ve never gotten into the habit.

Life is a bit too short for just one dream or one goal. Having new ones everyday may seem a bit excessive but it’s the way I keep myself moving.

The nights I become hollow

My night began as a quiet one with some anticipation for a small-scale party at my place. But instead of laughing with friends and having a jolly time, I’m somehow left saddened and really really hungry.

It dawned on me during their stay that we’ve drifted apart as friends. As they crowded around my desk I felt like my space was being invaded. Their prying hands on my phone and laptop irritated me and the things they talked about were empty. I was hoping for a time spent catching up but a voice gnawed at my chest telling me it was nothing but small talk. It was stressful just how much energy I had to expend to participate in their conversation. I’m no longer sure if I spent more time hoping we could start the actual party or wishing they could just leave.

This feeling is so new to me because they are some of the closest friends I have, yet I felt out of place and awkward. Was it because I didn’t join them at dinner? Was it because I was just too tired to socialize? Or was it just because we’re no longer as close as before? Something tells me the last option is the most likely truth.

As I’m getting older I find more and more friends are leaving my life. I no longer feel I’m at the age where I can spill my heart to someone new. While I desperately want to make new friends, nothing is more comfortable and peaceful than spending entire days with the friends closest to my heart.

It’s a Friday night of the homecoming weekend, but I only feel empty.

Some mumble jumble about writing

Today appears to be one of those days where I can’t write. I want to talk about ideas, write about my weekend, but sentences just aren’t forming in my mind. I won’t go and call this a writer’s block, but let’s just say if I write for money I would be starving all the time.

A blog is a very interesting thing. When I first started blogging back in 2007, blogging culture was very much like an actual journal. You know exactly what to expect when people tell you they have a blog. You would expect a theme tailored to their personality and blog posts about their days, heartbreaks, lottery wins and (maybe) photographs. But nowadays, telling someone you have a blog is like saying you have a favorite color. Especially now that Tumblr is also considered to be a part of the community, it gets confusing.

What am I supposed to have on my blog here? I don’t doubt what kind of content I should reblog or post on Tumblr, but over here I always feel the need to be calculative. If I write too much about my feelings, does it come off as angsty and teenage-like? If I write too much about my days, does it come off as bland and normal? If I only post photographs of everyday-life landscapes, does it come off as “wannabe-photographer”? Eventually I find myself thinking way too much than is necessarily and I end up with a post like this one.

I don’t know how to end it either so I suppose I will talk about my weekend. I went to visit my boyfriend at his campus, and I loved it despite the awful shower and food that flowered pimples on my nose. We took two days to watch a movie because of how tired we got, and spent hours complaining about having to write a resume. I desperately wanted to stay with him but reality called and told me I have class tomorrow morning. So here’s to hoping for a good day in class tomorrow and a good day for words.

A moment of self-appreciation

Today instead of counting my blessings, I would like to thank myself. If there’s anything I don’t do enough of, it would be appreciating the girl who has chosen to stay in this turbulent journey of life. So here is a thank you, to me.

Thank you for holding your ground throughout the awful years of growing up, or so you call the “dark ages”. Thank you for making an effort to accept yourself instead of deciding to become somebody else. From thinking you were well above average to realizing your complete averageness, it must have been a hit. It was not an easy road, and you are still struggling at times today, but know that it is not an easy feat to be able to look in the mirror and think, I’m okay being me.

Thank you for trying your best to embrace every inch of fat on your body, and on places where you wish there is fat. You don’t think you look great in all the outfits you want to wear, but one day you will get there. One day you will flaunt the pear shape you hate and accept your thick waist, so be patient. For the time being, thank you for deciding not to care about other people’s judgement; I do appreciate the shorts and skirts during the hot summer months.

Thank you for making an effort to become less judgemental. Even now you still struggle with thoughts you know are wrong, but the important thing is you know to correct those thoughts afterwards. You have become much nicer not only to yourself, but also others. You have learned that the standards you set for yourself are for you only, and in no way is a person’s worth tied with their list of accomplishments.

Thank you for becoming more patient, and less petty. The pettiness still needs a lot of work, but it will come with time. One day you will become a graceful woman who will probably still watch a lot of dramas, and that is perfectly acceptable. The important thing is acting with elegance.

Most of all, thank you for keeping your faith in life. For your unwavering belief that life is a beautiful thing, I will be eternally grateful.

Project: Remembering the good

It’s always much easier to remember the bad things than the good.  I always say I had a terrible time in the first two years of university, but that is only what I remember. What I don’t remember are the nights I spent laughing with friends, even though the stress of exams have cast bags upon bags under our eyes. What I don’t remember are all the times I felt small triumphs, from catching the bus at the last minute to finding a great deal at Forever21. What I don’t remember are all the important times, the moments that will continue to matter up to my last breath.

Instead, what I remember is being a failure. Not going to class because I stayed up too late. Procrastinating on studying for my finals until a week before. Pulling out my hair because I can’t seem to get it. And that’s all I’ve written about as well. Complaining seems to come easier for me than talking about delightful times. I’m not sure if that is human nature, or just my nature. It’s probably just mine. 

All the good memories have been chucked away in the dumps of my brain, until minutes ago when I decided to go through my Facebook wall. As I kept scrolling, I was flooded with happy times. I checked the dates on the posts and pictures, and I see months like April, March, December, no way I was having this much fun in the middle of exams?! But that was the truth. In midst of crying about knowledge I can’t seem to remember in time for exams, I found laughter. The evidence irrefutably suggests that instead of having a miserable time, I had fun during miserable times. 

I think this is why I have decided to begin my most recent project. I have seen it on Tumblr and decided it would be cute and fun.

Write down good things that happened/things you are thankful for everyday on a piece of paper and put it inside a jar. Every time you feel overwhelmed by life’s happenings or you feel that nothing good as ever happened to you in life, read the things inside the jar. 

I have officially started early this month and I have yet to miss a single day. I also plan on reading everything once the new year comes, so I will have no choice but to remember that good things did happen. It’s just a matter of not dwelling on the bad.