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.

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Saturday Jukebox: Time

Saturday Jukebox

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Maybe my favorite Pink Floyd song.

Skip to 2.13 for lyrics.

You know, that long ass intro does kind of throw you off…especially if you’re stoned. You get wrapped up in that trippy clock ticking sound and lose track of time, almost falling asleep, then all of a sudden the vocals come on and you jerk awake thinking, “Oh fuck, when did this happen and how long has it been?” Which, if you think about it, is basically what the song’s all about.

 

Saturday Jukebox: Nostalgic Indie

Saturday Jukebox

Indie tracks often have a tinge nostalgia in both lyrics and tune. It’s one of the most compelling qualities about this genre of music. With Christmas and all the festivities winding down, I’m feeling a bit beat and bittersweet. Another season, another year. Maybe we’re just growing up too fast.

1. Cigarette Daydreams – Cage the Elephant

2. Fluorescent Adolescent – Arctic Monkeys

Transcending Infinity

Musings/Rants

You know that frustrating/humiliating moment when someone captures in one paragraph the essence of something you’ve been trying to express for years? The worst part about it is that you now have to recycle that same paragraph every time you write about that topic because it is so achingly, irresistibly beautiful.

“Consider a single piece glowing in your family’s stove. That chunk of coal was once a green plant, a fern or a reed that lived one million years ago, or maybe two million, or maybe one hundred million. Every summer for the whole life of that plant, its leaves caught what light they could and transformed the sun’s energy into itself. Into barks, twigs, stems. But then the plant died and fell, probably into water, and decayed into peat folded inside the earth for years upon years – eons in which something like a month or a decade or even your whole life was just a puff of air, a snap of two fingers. And eventually the peat dried and became like a stone, and someone dug it up, and the coal man brought it to your house, and maybe you yourself carried it to the stove, and now that sunlight – sunlight one hundred million years old – is heating your home tonight.” – Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We Cannot See”

Firstly, if you haven’t yet read that book, please do your soul a favor and get it off Amazon or something. If you have read it, please don’t say anything because I’m only half way through.

Anyway, back to the point. I’ve written before about time. About how relentlessly it marches on and how powerless it renders us. Time is relative – it shrinks and stretches inside our minds. It doesn’t backtrack. It doesn’t pause. But it is transcendent. It bounces off one mortal to another, from one generation to the next. Maybe we don’t have to see time as an enemy. Maybe time is just a carrier of the intangibles, a vessel that transports the essence of our existence – our worries and hopes and fears – from one era to another. Time is what connects us and what makes us care about tragedies of the past and uncertainties of the future.

It’s Just Water.

Musings/Rants

Apparently I have to be thirsty all the time to remain healthy. At least, that’s what the doctor said: 3.5L of water everyday to keep the new kidney hydrated. For someone who only drinks water when she’s out of spit, 3.5L is a herculean task. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve drank more than 2L of water in a single day. Most days I probably only drink two or three cups worth. In my defense, the most common source of free H2O is Arrowhead. I can’t stand fucking Arrowhead.

Anyway, I figured I’d better fix my drinking problem (haha) if I wanted to be fit enough to return to school in seven weeks time. So I went to a supermarket and bought the biggest freaking water bottle I could find (1.5L), and forced myself to consume two bottles of that ever day. Basically for the last week I’ve been emptying and refilling that same bottle a gillizion effing times a day. And it’s been successful. I’ve been peeing every thirty minutes (I accidentally typed “every thirsty minutes”), like 10 times a day. But it hasn’t been easy. For a lack of a more elegant metaphor, that bottle is like a stubborn, desperate ex who stalks you everywhere thinking you still have feelings for her. Like, you dumped her months ago and are trying to get on with your life but she’s always lying right next to you TOPLESS, nudging you with her toe, eye-fucking you, and basically forcing you to make out with her for a good 20 secs before she’s satisfied enough to leave you alone for the next ten minutes. Then it starts all over again. That’s my relationship with the bottle in a nutshell. It’s always begging me to make out with it even when I’m NOT THIRSTY (literally and metaphorically).

To make life less agonizing, I changed things up a bit today. In place of that stupid freaking behemoth of a bottle, I drank from those red party cups used for beer pong. I’m essentially switching the two bottles for 8-9 cups of water, which may sound more intimidating but is actually a hundred times easier to conquer. I think I ended up downing more than 10 cups in a lot less time. Why? I really don’t know other than that it’s a psychological thing. The closer we feel to the end, the more motivated we are to get there. Remember that goddamn mile we had to run in freshmen year of high school? No, I don’t actually want to relive that traumatic experience. But I do believe that running four laps around a 400m track was less painful than running a straight mile, on a road stretched so far out that we can only see about a quarter of it from the starting point. I don’t think I could complete that in an hour, let alone 10 minutes. That’s also the reason why senior year went by so much faster than any semester in any of the previous years. When you feel like you can see the end, everything becomes a blur. Maybe the last ten years of my life will sprint by even faster than senior year did.

Unless I get run over by a bus or something tomorrow morning. In that case, the last ten years of my life didn’t outrun senior year of high school.

10 Things I Can Do in Ten Minutes

Daily Prompts

Inspired by the ten-minute free-write prompt on the Daily Post.

1. Listen to any mainstream radio channel without wanting to shoot myself.

2. Study without going on Facebook or watching Youtube videos.

3. Remember that I’ve done absolutely nothing in the last 6 months.

4. Blink more than once.

5. Cuss more than once.

6. Give up on reading a Game of Thrones book.

7. Pee less than once.

8. Pee.

9. Realize that I need to start writing more meaningful posts again…

10. Write this post.

Waste Away

Daily Prompts

Life is too short to be sensible.

I sobbed at the end of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Not the silent, graceful weeping that poignant movies inspire but the soul-ripping/nose running/chest-clutching kind of howling. That’s a slight exaggeration but thank God I watched it alone on my laptop. The point of me telling you this is that I didn’t howl like a hyena because baby Benjamin died in old Daisy’s arms or because they never got to live their lives together like any normal couple. Instead, I cried because Benjamin died as an effing newborn, all cute and happy and excited and shit. How can a creature that bears not the merest blemish of having experienced this stupid world be allowed to return to the dirt?? I was freaking traumatized. Yes, Benjamin did get to experience in reverse order all the joys and despairs of life, but it’s just much easier to accept death when someone carries the physical scars of having lived a long and fulfilling life. When you watch someone die, you want to hear one last, exhausted gasp that says, “I’ve had enough of this fucking place.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that our bodies and minds want us to abuse the hell out of them. Discover them, stimulate them, max em’ out. I don’t mean destroy them with drugs and alcohol or anything, but don’t waste so much energy planning and not executing. Even if we’re lucky enough to live till 70 or 80 years, we’ll only have around 40 to 50 of those years to really explore our full potential. It’s really just not enough time to debate on the pros and cons of every major decision. Make mistakes. Have regrets. Be heartbroken. Keep fucking up and sooner or later you’ll get something right.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quote ever:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-time-to-waste/

Nov 1st. Goodbye Fall

Daily Prompts, Musings/Rants

So I guess we’re down to the final two months of 2014. I really should be used to it now, but it still amazes me just how fast time flies by when you’re not paying attention. My attitude about time is pretty clear: I always wish it would slow down (except during math class and awkward conversations). That way you can actually take a moment to access your situation and understand the person you have become. We think we’re jogging side by side with time, living life to our own rhythm, then one day out of the blue we’ll wake up all confused and frantic, wondering how the fuck we went from smoking pot in the principal’s office to raising six grandchildren.

I’m not even 20 yet, and I’ve already had a few of those epiphanies. Just an hour ago I was flipping through the channels on TV when I stumbled into a replay of the 2008 Wimbledon Final between Nadal and Federer. It was one of those matches that you remember exactly where you were when you watched it. I was in a hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand, with my parents and brother. We were on a two-week road trip to the South Island during second semester break (we had four breaks). Fast forward six years: we’re in America, my parents are divorced, and my brother is almost half a foot taller than I. Was that really six years ago? It seems to have happened both yesterday and a million years ago, like a Victorian tragedy that occurred this morning. How did it all happen? I think if I had a moment in those last six years to reflect on what was happening, I would have seen what was to come. But retrospection happens after everything’s said and done; you can reflect and lament, but you can’t fix jack shit. Time doesn’t do pauses or rewinds.

So with that said, I’m totally prepared for November to zoom by as quickly as October did, although one thing we can do to slow life down is to take it one step at a time. Focus on smaller things rather than the larger, more abstract picture. I think taking part in the NaBloPoMo and writing one post a day may help with that. Making every second count, one post a time.

Time Warp

Musings/Rants

I first started playing the piano when I was five years old. It’s one of those obligatory skills that 90% of us Asian kids are expected to possess. I ended up loving it, but my earlier years were hell. Half an hour of practice was my daily ticket to half an hour of games. I remember glaring at the clock hanging above the piano, fervently willing it to tick away faster. What I eventually realized was that the longer and harder I stared at the clock, the slower it stumbled on. In the moments when I actually focused on matching the keys to the notes and playing music, minutes sprinted by like seconds. Time is an enigma: when you turn away it accelerates and when you look straight into its eyes, it comes to a screeching halt. But all the same it marches on, beat by beat, minute by minute.

I’m obsessed with time, if you haven’t already picked up on that. I’m intrigued by the various ways we interpret and experience its paradoxes. Time heals old wounds – missed opportunities, bad decisions, deaths of loved ones. Memories become fuzzier and pain becomes milder. But the gaping void left by those wounds only intensifies with time – your best friend getting the same job that you turned down years earlier; your son graduating from law school at the same age you went to rehab, exactly thirty years ago; other girls becoming mothers while your daughter stays seventeen forever. Time heals wounds; time reminds us of what we lost. We can either turn our backs on it or embrace it, but we can’t escape it. It’s bigger and more permanent than all our pains and joys and fears and hopes.

I’m afraid of time. I’m afraid of aging. Yes, it probably sounds stupid and naive from a nineteen year old college student, but I don’t doubt that years will fly by before I can catch my breath, and I don’t doubt that years from now I’ll want to revisit vignettes of my youth. I wish I could say I know exactly what kind of person I will be in ten, twenty, forty years’ time. But that’s just not true. The only certainty is that I will be a different person, but hopefully I can still find traces of nineteen year old self.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Marcel Proust:

“Poets claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.”

Happy October!

My Awesome Life

My mom just randomly told me that we’re going to San Diego in about ten minutes, so this will be a super quick post. I cannot believe we’re down to the final three months of 2014. It’s stupid and I really should know better, but I keep expecting time to get tired, take a breather, and slow down at some point. But after 19 years and a half years, it’s still sprinting. Oh well, October is a beautiful month. Candies, pumpkins, costumes, ghosts. Let it all begin.

A year ago I spent October rushing to morning classes and strolling around the streets of NYC. This year I’m rolling around on my couch gaining calories watching weird shows on TV staring at my phone for hours at a time killing my eyes and wasting my fucking life away. And blogging. This may sound cheesy but getting into blogging has been my saving grace. It’s hard to take a semester off and stay at home when all of my friends are off to school and my parents are off to work. Blogging kind of gave me a sense of purpose. Makes me realize that these past couple months and the next few months will not be wasted. If someone had told me back in July that I would still be blogging regularly now, I would have laughed. I didn’t think I’d enjoy blogging this much, and I have no desire to stop anytime soon. So thanks everyone for following and reading my posts. It really means a lot. Have a great month!