Up in the Air

My Awesome Life

I’m on the plane right now, leaving a place that I’ve come to regard as a home like no other. Funny thing is, I’ve probably had this same feeling about every place I’ve lived in so far. Places that hold a special place in your heart not only look spectacular but also produce the kind of memories that evoke neither bitterness nor ecstasy–just a dizzying fondness.

Home is running barefoot all year round, across scorching sand and frozen grass. Home is circling around the same blocks searching for cheap eats at 2am. Home is driving with mom at dusk, dozing off to shitty radio hits and craving cheeseburgers. Home is the bookstore with the greatest flat white in the entire world.

And home is where friends are–real friends who talk to you because they care about your opinions, not because they just want to brag about parties and sex. Home is where you can nap on a cliff and know that someone’s always there to catch you. It’s where a genuine conversation is not some shallow one-way traffic that leaves you feeling like you’ve just wasted hours of your life.

Home has nothing to do with time. You can fall in love with anywhere instantaneously or gradually. It’s never isolated. Maybe I can’t hate New Zealand because the memories there are so pure and the scenery is so beautiful. Maybe I can’t love California because I’m not going back to the same people I met and cared about 2 years ago, or the same family that I moved there with before high school started.

Maybe home is just a mirror of our consciousness. It’s supposed to change with time, with us. We can’t love something with the same intensity forever. I want to go back to New York. The place that I’m in love with at this moment.

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Moments.

My Awesome Life

If you’re one of those few awesome people who follow my blog regularly, you’d know that I’m obsessed with time. I used to write about it frequently until I realized that my obsession is so ironic because I’m always wasting time.

If I have a two hour gap between classes, I’d spend it stalking people on social media or playing that stupid new iPhone game instead of finishing those seven excruciatingly long pages in Symposium. That means those seven pages are reserved for midnight, after Netflix and dinner with friends and the internship columns and the ten other distractions that I can’t even remember right now. But at midnight I’ll remember that I haven’t showered in two and a half days and, being obsessed with time, I’ll feel obliged to change that. So instead of reading those pages and getting a good seven-hour sleep for the test tomorrow morning, I’ll hop in the shower and start thinking about the dumbest shit like the first time I’ve ever listened to Nirvana or that remarkably beautiful moment each fall when I realize that the leaves are no longer green.

And before I know it it’s 12.40am, but for some reason I don’t start reading until 1.40am. By then I’ll feel so guilty for wasting so much time that I only read 3 pages for 20 mins and hop into bed at 2am. But ofc I don’t sleep till 2.30 because my perpetually nostalgic mind will wander down memory lane to a bunch of obscure memories from 6, 7, 8 years ago that I had long since forgotten.

I haven’t stopped feeling guilty about my inability to conserve time until yesterday morning at 5am, when I went to sleep. I got back from a friend’s friend’s birthday party (because I have no friends of my own) at 3am, slightly tipsy and quite lonely and very, very depressed because all my (very few) friends ever talk about is their significant other halves while I, talented kind and exceptionally beautiful, remain directionless in life and partnerless in love. Anyhow, right after I got back two of my friends wanted to Skype together. I obliged despite my exhaustion because in that frame of mind I would have slept next to the security guard just to be next to someone. And as we Skyped and bitched about people and life and love and school, my drunkenness and loneliness and self-loathing slipped away one by one, so subtly that I didn’t notice anything until happiness, the intoxicating happiness associated with familiarity and company, pretty much made my head explode. Life is better with company. I fucking hate that line because it’s so fucking true.

And that, finally, brings me to my grand epiphany. Maybe wasting time is how we’re supposed to college. Maybe not knowing how to focus on the important shit is the beauty of our 20s. Drinking past midnight. Talking till dawn. Procrastinating on absolutely everything. Sleeping so late every night that morning doesn’t begin until the clock hits double digits. Reminiscing on the not too distant past, speculating on the not too distant future: nostalgia and optimism so closely intertwined that they’re almost interchangeable. It’s toxic, I know. But it’s temporary. We can’t afford to waste time and abuse our bodies so carelessly in our thirties, or forties, or God forbid fifties. Maybe it’s okay to be that reckless, spoilt college kid once in a while.

Why I Started Writing

Writing

I have to wake up in four hours, which is probably why I’ve decided to write this behemoth of a post. Maybe I should rename my blog to “Chronicles of a Chronic Insomniac.” Anyway, I haven’t written a really personal post in…a week, so I’m gonna jam one down your throats to help you get to know me better, because 120 posts later there are obviously still so, so many things you don’t know about Yours Truly.

Writing started as an escape from a reality I hated. It was right after I moved to New Zealand. I was nine years old and spoke no English. I understood a little bit of it, but I hated my accent so much that I never spoke. And I mean quite literally never spoke a word for almost the entire year (I had my fellow Chinese classmate translate everything for me). The thing that hurt me most, however, was my hairdo. I had this weird ass mullet thing that didn’t quite reach my shoulders, and the moronic shitheads in my year all thought I was a fucking boy. Like, I’d go to the little girl’s room and they’d say, “Wait, that’s the girl’s room. You can’t go in there!!!” Honestly, I was not this mad until I looked at my old school photos a couple of months ago. I was fucking adorable, okay? An adorable fucking tomboy. Oh my god I wanna do some awful, awful things to those twats. Moving on. I was such an unconfident kid. Everything around me freaked me out. One time this girl laughed at me after I fell off my chair. Okay, whoever dumb enough to fall off a freaking chair probably deserves a lot worse than that, but it just got me so bad, you know? Questions bombarded me all day. Did she tell anyone? Are they all laughing at me right now? Is that why that guy is staring at me like that?

Insecurity followed me like a plague. The paranoia climaxed (lol) during speech week. I hid behind a bookshelf. Okay I’m gonna stop here because I’m starting to sound like a bully victim and I’ve never been one. Not compared to the really bad cases, anyway. But anyhow, I’ve hated public speaking and socializing ever since. To this day. So I turned to writing. Diaries entries. Notebooks. Dozens and dozens of them. I don’t know where they are anymore but I do remember I never sounded bitter or upset. I sounded indifferent, mechanically recording down every detail of my miserable, though at times joyful, early years. Somehow those emotionless entries were incredibly therapeutic. The more I wrote about my nerves the easier they became to handle, and slowly I began to talk and open up. The more I wrote about the kids around me the less foreign and less intimidating they seemed, and slowly I began to make friends. I think that’s when I discovered the magic of writing: not only does it offer an escape from the complications of reality, it also offers you solutions to those problems.

The rest is pretty much history. I’d fall hopelessly in love with writing, even though I wouldn’t become particularly good at it until my early teens (which, in light of my twentieth birthday yesterday, seems like a century ago). I’d fall in love with essay writing, journalistic writing, erotica writing, fiction writing, and now blogging. I’ve crossed the whole spectrum, from the bizarre to the embarrassing and occasionally the sublime. I haven’t written a diary entry in a decade, but I won’t ever forget that’s how I got into this messy, beautiful, glorious love affair. And I won’t forget that I writing began as a necessity, not a hobby, and certainly not an obsession. I suppose you can say it’s almost an accident that I became a writer at all. But then again, very often the best things in life do begin as accidents.