In Barcelona

I’m falling asleep on a comfortable bed in a cozy room that has a huge window by the side, from which the moonlight is flowing into the room, making this feel like a fantastical dream come true. It’s quite a lovely setting for a travel-romance book, isn’t it?

Well yes, if not for a couple of things:

  1. The first person that we met upon arrival was a creepy guy. And I don’t mean this in a flippant ah-he’s-so-creepy kinda way. Seriously, this guy was a creep. He suddenly appeared behind us – when we were trying to open the apartment gate – and asked us, “¿Qué tal?” a couple of times while leering upon us… Before reaching out to stroke my upper arm. Gosh, this must have been the most blatant form of harassment I’ve encountered in recent years. You could tell from the start that his smile wasn’t kind or normal, though. It was creepy and terrifying. But the contact just literally caused my brain to freeze – it was fear coupled with anxiety and helplessness. I gasped and moved away, asking my friend to step back from the gate too (because I realised in retrospect how vulnerable we looked – 2 Asian girls (who might not know how to speak the language) standing helplessly at the foot of the building, cornered by the gate lol. What a rude shock, but thankfully the night got much better with a very pleasant conversation with our apartment host and her friends in the very comfortable apartment.
  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about my identity as a Singaporean and as an Asian, especially about our role and position on the global stage. From first being proud of coming from one of the most prosperous countries in Asia and repping my country in a class full of people from big metropolitan Asian cities, to feeling tiny and insignificant af in the world, and feeling lost about what makes Singapore Singapore, and then to feeling small and insignificant even among Asian states…it’s been such a whirlwind of thoughts and sentiments which I’ve still not been able to figure out. But really, being in a western country has made me question a lot about my identity, about the country’s identity and position in relation to her history, and also reminded me acutely of the reasons as to why we are the way we are. I’ll probably write more about this in my journal when I finally get there some time, but let’s just say that it’s first and foremost for survival. 

Good night.

Whattheheckkk I just found out that the reading that I have chosen to ‘critique’ was co-written by MY PROF. UGH honestly, I don’t get the point of ‘critiques’ – like, if I’m so smart to critique your work, what am I doing in COLLEGE? Damn okay I’m not making sense now, BUT I’ve spent hours trying to start doing this stupid critique (that is already more than 24 hours overdue) BUT I’M NOT GETTING ANYWHERE AND I’M HUNGRY and things are going so badly and even my music on YT is experiencing interruptions and I’m tired and I’m emotional but I also know that it could be so much worse but it could also be so much better I DON’T KNOW WHY BUT I’M SUDDENLY FINDING MYSELF IN A FUCKING MESS AND NO MOTIVATION but it’s not like I’ve been doing anything much to burn myself out but basically, I’ve always thought that this semester was still fine UNTIL THIS WEEK or rather, last week, when I suddenly felt so overwhelmed with everything that I haven’t been able to get /anything/ done and I’m not even kidding about not doing anything ‘cos I really have done nothing.

fuck la but the good thing is that curse words sound strange in my mouth so most of my cursing is done in text, which is still not good but better than cursing all day but ya fuck la why can’t I be perfect.

Also, my struggles with this type of classes has led me to wonder if I am experiencing a life crisis ha  ha ha ha ha ha yesterday I was texting friend R about my messed-up life and then while walking, I met friend J who asked me how I was doing and…I just lost it fuck la SO WEAK SO VULNERABLE WHY CAN’T YOU BE BETTER WHY CAN’T YOU JUST GET A FUCKING GRIP ON YOUR LIFE.

I’m so touched when people actually care but I hate, absolutely hate being vulnerable.

Fuck la my prof for ANOTHER class just uploaded an assignment ugh honestly I can’t deal with this why can’t time just stop so that I can actually cope actually ya why am I so weak why can’t I do this shit properly dammit.

Ohmygod what if I can’t do anything in my life, like ever. Why are you so fucking incompetent my goodness can you at least up your game ugh.

Also, even my laptop is fucking messed up – I’ve been facing a copy-and-paste problem where I can’t paste things on some platforms which is bloody inconvenient LIKE NOW because this post is such a sign of weakness that I don’t want to  post online, but seems like I have no choice but to do it because it’s not like my computer will let me save it in doc otherwise.

Honestlyyyyy I don’t know why I’m overreacting and being so melodramatic but like why can’t I have a higher threshold for such crap and like life, basically.

Even when things are bad/ not going as well as you’d like it to be/ not ideal, please always remember:

There is always something to be thankful for, something that can encourage you and above all, something that is bigger and more important than you. And remember that whatever you do, it’s not just about yourself. It can be for one more person, or it can be for the whole world – but point is, there’s so much more that this world has to offer and so much that you can offer to the world.

It’s not just about you and your problems.

Day of (non-)work

Just ended a day of work where these things happened:

  1. Turned on FOUR lights that were supposed to be lit but weren’t: the globe, the fairy lights and the two display cases (!!!)
  2. Talked to co-worker about internships/life/accounting
  3. Played Wiki Game for hours (oops)
  4. Did closing in <4 minutes! We closed at 10pm sharp (based on the computer’s time), and ended up having to wait one minute for the punch card machine (which lags by four minutes) to strike 10pm (!!!)

What a pleasant day…of non-work.

Meanwhile, recess week is officially half over, and I haven’t done ANYTHING. Geez.

Random conversation with a random customer 

I’ve no idea who was the woman who just spoke to me, nor do I get the gist of what she’d just said, but I’m happy and thankful for a conversation that discussed life from a macro level, a conversation that put me out of my daze and got me thinking.

Times like this are the little things that make me enjoy working here. It’s been a while, hasn’t it!

Is this what a productive morning feels like? Right now, I’m on the way to work – yeah, same place – but before this, I’ve done: (1) showered (2) saved some readings and filed some (3) passed something off at my other work place (4) eaten breakfast, all in less than 2 hours! Typically, I would’ve just woken up!

I guess the next 12 hours are going to be wasted, but it’s fine… I chose this so I’ve got to work with it. 

This week, I’ve got to clear my overdue readings and do my extra-curricular work! And of course, revise for my mid-term next Wednesday. Guess that would be tomorrow onwards..? Tonight after I get back, I’m going to continue sorting out my files and print out all my readings (damn, do I have $$$ in my print card though..?) and then maybe hang out with my friend! We wanted to have a Harry Potter movie marathon!!

Otherwise, I’ll probably watch some CP documentaries?? 

Ohmy, the boss – guess which – just texted me asking me to take care of a new staff. Well, there goes my plan of faking to be a new staff myself. That happened the previous time too ): It’s okay, at least I have something to do! Was thinking of reading the 2 overdue readings for CP that I haven’t done so far! (That’s right, I’ve only NOT done 2 sets of readings!!! That’s an achievement compared to some semesters where all I did for a class was maybe 2 sets of readings?) Hehe.

Doing work sounds like a chore, but being productive makes me happy. Wait, then does that mean that I’m happy when I do chores??? Ok I think there’s a logic gap there. Anyway, having a restful sleep is great. I wish all weeks could be as low-key pressurizing/ low-key chill as this… Y’know when you have work to do, when the work that you’re supposed to do makes you happy and when there’s no tight deadline looming over. Is that why some of my friends like to start work early??? But one week is really very short, though. 2-3 weeks would be GREAT.

Ooh #nowplaying – Realize by Colbie Caillat. I’ve always liked this song, but I never knew the title! I really love this Spotify playlist, Chill Lah! It really makes me feel like I’m chilling.

Reaching next stop, time to reply my boss with an ‘okay!’. Lol k bye I’m here.

I thought I wouldn’t be texting you ever again – after I blue-ticked so many of your messages and after it seems as though there wasn’t any reason for me to continue again – but turns out, I might easily be just as fake as you are. Texting only when I have a question, and texting with ‘text-emotions’ only when I  have an agenda.

Like it or not, this is a pragmatic world, baby. I personally dislike such pragmatism but I guess…we all have little choice, right?

Wow I just reread my college application essays, and honestly…I’m quite satisfied with it even now. It’s not common that I’ll reread my previous essays and not end up closing the window while cringing deeply. Particularly for the personal essay, I actually still felt the emotions that I had felt in that instance. It was genuine okayyyy omg those days. I’m trying to do another application now, but I’m having so so so much trouble with it.

OMG I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING.

money!……???

I’m currently working on a story about a philanthropic gift made to the college, and I’m feeling so awed by such philanthropists who, regardless of whether they were born rich or became rich through their own efforts, contribute so much to society and to the needy. Myself being on the receiving end of such gifts, I am really impressed and inspired by the generosity of these people. I remember telling a friend right after my worries about financing my college tuition were alleviated “omg I’m feeling so inspired and thankful right now. Money should never be an obstacle in education man.” And y’know what, till this day – okay not like it was thaaat long ago – I still can recall those emotions and I truly, truly believe that money should never be an obstacle in one’s academic pursuit. Or rather, money shouldn’t be an obstacle in any meaningful pursuit.

/

Sometimes, it’s really hard being in a community of really privileged, mid-high income students. Like, really hard and really pressurising and you just end up questioning yourself and your values and whether you actually deserve the privilege of doing what you love instead of doing what is practical. You’d think that this would motivate you to work hard and be better than the rest, but you look at them and you realise that they are so far ahead and you’re just so incompetent and, for lack of a better word, plebeian in comparison. You want to be comfortable here, but you know you ought not be, because what you enjoy now is not a lifestyle that you can/should afford once you’re out in the working world. And unlike the rest of the college who can joke about the employment possibilities (or lack thereof) for LAC students, this is actually a real concern for you, in that you have higher stakes in not securing a job…because well, you were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth and the options of relying on daddy’s money or working in mummy’s company simply. do. not. exist.

😦 Not self-pitying but just questioning myself and what I ought to be doing with my life.