今天晚上和室友聊了整晚,从一开始关于考研究生和GRE,到毕业后的打算,再杂七杂八的。

突然间觉得很彷徨,很迷茫。我之前跟别人说过,上大学是因为我不知道还能干什么。可是现在,上了两年大学却一样睁眼瞎般走着。以前从来没担心过毕业后的出路和工作。总觉得,高中毕业了还有大学呢,不用担心。上了大一又觉得,还有四个学年呢。但其实转眼间就到了大三。再过一个学期我将会度过大学生活中最后一个暑假,在这之后的暑假我就正式踏入社会了。

这种感觉说不清,嘴巴里感觉苦涩不堪。上学,再怎么说每天都有固定的课程。而且很多东西都是有范围的,大部分都是在校园的框框里。有事情可以找同学,室友,教授,学校职员等等。就连出去实习,也是知道自己过后会回到校园生活里的。但是只要踏出学院,就是完全独立的人了。再也不会有甚么范围限制或者可以回去的地方。我突然就觉得很心急,胸口闷闷的,不知所措。就像鸟儿一样,如果一生都被关在一个大笼子里,偶尔扑腾翅膀飞一下,突然间把它放生到无限大的外面,它会因为害怕面对未知而不敢飞。

我就像那只鸟,双停在笼子的边缘一动不动。对外面充满好奇,到处打量,但是又没有足够的勇气展开翅膀向未知飞去。

我想人类多多少少都会害怕未知的,这也是为什么科学家上外空下海底,不断地不知疲惫的探索黑暗与未知。他们也是一头黑地扎了进去,毫无目的地的。我更怕如此。外面的未知太多,当我连自己都看不清楚的时候我怎么知道从哪个方向开始呢?

 

About 3 years ago, everyone in the class received a card from my CT, Mrs J. On mine she told me that I have a great personality and some other encouraging words. However, I couldn’t make sense of the last sentence. It goes like “sometimes you have to stop and take stock of the things that have happened around you”. It didn’t make sense and after a few shrugs I put it to the back of my head, like I always do. Over these years, the sentence didn’t bother me at all and I still had no idea what Mrs J was referring to.

Just recently, I finally knew why she had said that, and I am more than grateful for that because that sentence is probably one of the most useful lessons I have come to discover. If there’s any chance I’d see her again, I would definitely express my gratitude to her.

Because, “stop and take stock” is something that I have been unable to do. Something that’s been missing in me, and also something that is essential for me to learn to do.

I have never looked back. It’s evident from the way I treat my photos. I have taken so many photos but have hardly looked back at them once I’ve stored them in the hard disk/computer. After a gathering or outing, people would ask me, where are your photos? Why aren’t you uploading them? All those moments, memories, faces, smiles. Why have I never thought to look back? Because I couldn’t bare to.

No matter how beautiful the photos were, how happy the people in there were, all of these aren’t there anymore. They aren’t going to come back. No matter how much I miss the people, they were only them in that moment. At first, I must have done it subconsciously. And have done it so often that it has become an unquestionable habit. My heart must have been shouting “I DONT WANT TO LOOK BACK” all the time and I have muted it.

I am always escaping and avoiding things that hurt me or could possibly hurt me. I shun from them, like a basic instinct. I think it’s easier if they were just fading memories, not colorful, lively photos on the wall, reminding me every second that things aren’t going back. For those less than happy memories, I turn my back on them as much as possible. I can’t even bare to look at my mistakes, those wrong decisions, those time wasted.

And yet, I have wondered why shitty things are happening to me again and again. I didn’t realize that they are all my doings, getting back at me. I couldn’t see why because I’ve told myself not to. “Just let go,” a voice inside me whispers, “and it will be easier.” And so I did. In that process, I’ve become the carefree and happy-go-lucky person, at the cost of my own past. From Nanyang to Hwachong, I’m almost happy everyday. I wouldn’t let those ugly and heavy things catch up with me, so I ran, ran ,ran.

I have been running so hard that the past has become all but a blur. Even if I want to turn and look at them, they have been washed away by time and rain and wind. Now I have almost nothing to return to, not the happy moments, not even the sad and angry ones. There’s only echoes and blurry flashes of the memories left.

Behind the laughter and smile that I always have, is a fear that’s consuming me. A fear that has been unknown to me, until recently.

I. Need. To. Look. Back. And accept my past as a fundamental part of me, despite the dark thoughts, sad memories and in spite of the happy smiles and laughters. I am truly glad that I have come to discover this. It’s never too late, right? Happy 21st birthday. This realization is possibly the best one I can give myself (but tomorrow’s snowboarding is equally good! ^ ^), and I truly deserve this present.

Another reason I’m inspired to write is because nearing and on my 21st birthday, so many old friends have surfaced and talked to me. I met with Jenny and Xuean in London, Xuejun too. Maria wished me Happy Birthday on FB and she said that although we haven’t talked in a really long time, I am still one of her best friends in Nanyang. XiangChuin also did a really lovely present, recapping how the 4 of us met. It seems like, this 21st birthday is all about past and present coming together. It’s really heart warming, especially in this snow storm. Thank you guys, for loving me as who I am. I will strive to become a better person.

I have never been an A student. My brightest years, academic-wise, was during Primary 2 and 3, where I topped the class and eventually was the First place in class at the end of P3. Then I was “promoted” to another class in P4, which had many more “good” students. In my primary school, P1-4 classes were named in alphabetical order, ending with J and K which were the best classes of the year. At the end of P4, there was this “Streaming” exam which further divided students into different levels. The best class was R, followed by U, L etc., in the order of my primary school’s name, RULANG. I was sorted to R, the best in the whole level. There were 44 students, and to be honest, I probably ranked between 43 and 44, now that I recalled. I scored a fairly average PSLE score (for me) and went on to one of the best secondary schools in Singapore. Then 4 years later, I went to one of the best JCs.

All this personal history is just to show that I was in the better schools through out my 12 years of compulsory education. That’s just the pretty surface that others see. What they don’t see, however, is that under that grand academic cover lies a battered and torn person whose ego has long been defeated to smithereens. As I said, I have never been an A student. Far from it, actually. And further and further it goes as I progress to JC. My average grade dropped from A in primary school to B in secondary school to a historical U in JC. Btw, U means Underpass which is just another way of saying you FAILED.

I am not a particularly hardworking person, that I admit. But for the amount of work I put in, the grades just didn’t reflect it. I also discovered that I was STRUGGLING with the contents. Now that ‘s a first. I have never struggled with my studies. I did badly because I did not put enough time into revision, not because I did not understand them. It freaked me out and no matter what I tried, my average grade remained a U and I was probably the last few of the total 1000 cohort for my year. To even talk about that now makes my heart heavy with stress (that’s something, especially when I’ve just finished my final exam and will be going to London in 2 days). I ‘m not giving any excuses though. I did not do well in my exams and my final A levels, because I gave way to the stress and fear and I also did not work hard enough.

I just wondered, 3 semesters into my University life, that all I have done for the past decade (and more) was to let grades and mark define me. I let a letter grade define my daily mood and how I feel about myself that day. If I get an A for a paper, it would make my day. If I get a C, it would ruin my whole week. I have looked back at my JC life and decided I’m a failure I totally sucked at studying. I was out of breath everyday, under the weigh of the grades. Coming to the Uni, I am more laid back. My average grades are B+. I guess that’s still not a good grade, and I worry about my GPA a lot too. I mean, worrying about my GPA is essential and not a bad thing either. But to let it define how I feel, who I am is just unhealthy.

I am trying to understand myself, and search for a reason/cause as to why I lack so much confidence and self-assurance compared to others. It is because I have stepped out of the vigorous vicious cycle in JC, I have come to realize what a toll it had on me. I now have the courage to brace the bad grades and refuse to let it define who I am. I had reached a conclusion that bad grades means everything, and this have caused me to conclude that I was not good at everything. Maths, Biology, Chinese Lit, GP, Chemistry etc. Even photography. There was simply nothing that I did well in, and hence, no way for me to realize that that’s not all to a person. Grades are not all that a person has. I guess if I saw this quote in JC, I might be more motivated to face my grades.

 

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it’s stupid.

Albert Einstein

 

My mom has told me something along that line before. But I believe that she’s more like trying to console me than her actually believing it. Both of my parents, especially my father, come from an era where grades and eventually universities meant everything. It’s hard for them to believe that their daughter, who has always been in the best schools, could fail so badly during A levels. I do believe that I gave them a really hard time when my results were released. This is part of the reason why my self-esteem is so low. I don’t get any recognition of any sorts from anywhere. I don’t mean that my parents give me hell lot of pressure or anything like that. Their pressure on me was mild. But they themselves recognize grades more than other achievements and I believe that has partly contributed to my problem.

Einstein’s quote inspires me. It pulls me out of that swirl of self-hatred and remorse and sadness. But I’m still clueless as to what I am good at. I know for sure that climbing the tree is not my thing. However, the problem is, I don’t even know if I am a fish. You see, if you are a fish then you’d know you are good at swimming, if you are frog then you’d know you are good at jumping. But I don’t even know who I am and what I am good at. I guess it will take some good figuring out to find out who I am. But at least I’ve come to terms that I am not good at studying and I will not be struck down by it.

 

P.S. I really find it weird that I am writing this during my ITS work shift. All because of this random Einstein quote I saw in this random link a random friend shared on Facebook.  

I think there are so many signs (not the Communications signs) today, that are screaming at me to write write write.

First, there’s the Thought Catalog articles

A 20-Year-Old’s Diary Entries From Early December, 1971

and

Writing Is A Breathing, Living Thing, And That’s All I Want

that I opened.

I haven’t got to read them before I started writing. Just the titles alone stirred my thoughts.

Then there’s this ad on Douban.fm.

第一节豆瓣阅读正文大赛—-【复兴中篇】与【我的非虚构写作】首奖3万元 优秀奖5千元

Yup.

And then it just happens that I installed the WordPress app from Chrome store yesterday.

So all these and BOOM I just started splurging out the words, 磕磕绊绊的, because I haven’t done so for ages.

My mind is rusty a bit.

But I feel so good after writing.

I am such a weirdo. 

Sometimes there are just moments where I have the urge to write/record down what I have in my mind. Full sentences just appear in my head. Awesome sentences. But most of the time I’d just let it pass and fade in my head. Because I know if I start to write, I won’t know what to write. 

Words and sentences that seemed so right just doesn’t feel the same way when I write them down or type them out. So I would cease to record any of my thoughts because it would be pointless. 

Then again, I’d hate to lose these words because I know my tiny brain won’t hold them for me. 

I really wish that I can write, write, write. Just write my heart out. I have so much in my heart and mind, and because I hardly tell anyone, they are just stashed away, piled up in a corner. They get dusty and covered up with other stuff, so eventually I myself would forget about them. I would forget my troubles, my train of thoughts, my feelings at 2 am on a sleepless night.

I have a friend who would write her diary everyday, and she handwrites them. I wish I can be like that, to record my feelings everyday. I feel like that could be the THING that I have to do to bring myself out of a vicious cycle that I can’t even see. Sometimes I would ask myself, what are you doing with your life? I’m living everyday, and I’m promising myself changes which are never going to happen. Then I make more promises again to make myself better, so as to assure myself that things will be better. But it is NOT. 

Environment has changed. New place, new people. new everything. But I am still the OLD ME. And if I don’t change myself I know the finale for my college years will be the same as high school. And that’s something I don’t want to experience again.

People were forgiving towards me and they even blamed themselves for the results. Which made it worse all the more. But I am too much of a coward to step forward and say, “No, it’s all MY fault, and no one else’s.” Instead, I just sat there, tears dripping down, throat-locked, like I always do when shit happens. 

(Takes a moment to wipe tears)

Ahem. I think I have such a mess in my heart that trying to untangle a loose end is like pulling on my heart. It hurts and trigger my tear glands. 

I hate to say the next sentence, but I am already 20 years old, moving on to 21 in less than half a year. These numbers are so foreign, sitting beside my name like it shouldn’t be there. It’s like a big ugly scar that reminds me of my shitty self. I have promised myself to lose enough weight before 21 last year. But that just didn’t happen. I’ve lost some, gained some, and now back to square one.

I can’t believe myself. Isn’t there something that I want so much so much so much, that I could just strive for it? Like school, weight. But so far they just seems like a half-hearted effort. Come to think of it, I have never worked towards a goal before, no?

I didn’t have any concrete goal. Like losing X kg by X date. Or I had, but it just didn’t work. Me and the deadlines. Oh don’t get me started on that. 

Anyway, I think Sundays are always a bit sentimental for me. Sunday mornings. That blurring line between weekend and weekdays. Yikes. Or Yay.

Just a side note, while I’m splurging out all these, I’m listening to the Rock album on Douban fm. Never thought that I will rock. Oh well, I change all the time. For better or for worse. 

 

 

 

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