obligatory existential crisis

in timely fashion, the obligatory yearly existential crisis season has hit strong and hard. the last time it happened this year, i signed up for sundown marathon, hoping that it’d give me some meaning and purpose in my life (i suppose it did – although it also left me with unrealistic expectations about my current ability to still run as fast as i did without training as hard).

this year, what’s keeping me afloat (pun fully intended) is underwater rugby, and every week, i count down the days till it’s thursday, then saturday, then sunday, then thursday again. time is measured in terms of when is the next time i get to go into the pool.

but that being said, there’s this constant panic (or is it melancholy?) bubbling within me – watching friends grow, chase their dreams, living out that heart-wrenchingly vibrant idea of youth that’s splayed out on narratives everywhere. and here, here i am, feeling stuck and lost.

maybe it’s this fear of being left behind (because i suppose, you never outgrow that feeling – sorry, secondary school rei), maybe it’s this sense that everyone’s moving on without me (how childish, how petulant that sounds!). it’s this fear of never being good enough, of never having enough common ground to find a home anywhere.

this sense that it wouldn’t matter anyway, this disappearance.

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bleach

every week, i look forward to thursday nights and saturday mornings (trainings on sunday are too early, i’m sorry). there’s an inexplicable beauty in looking up from the bottom of the pool, watching the lights shimmer through the surface of the water.

MEat

It’s been more than half a year of ‘turning’ vegetarian – well, turning isn’t the most exact word since I’ve had meat a few times in the span of these 9 months, and grad trip wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t eat seafood as well, but for lack of a better word, turning it shall be.

Like most things, it’s not as eventful or life-changing as I thought it would be, it’s pretty normal in fact. There’s no huge pang of loss when I think of what I can’t eat, nor is there an intense craving for any meats, no bitterness thinking another person’s meal looks so much more appetising than mine (u n l e s s, the only vegetarian thing on the menu is aglio olio – which has only happened once – in which case, shame on you for making me eat there).

Meat is an interesting thing, one that I’m still trying to grapple with. Where do I draw the line as to what is acceptable to eat or not? Ironically, I enjoy looking at raw meat, at red carcasses and butchers serving up portions. Perhaps it’s how visceral it is, how much closer we are to meat consumption when we see it carved up like that. Which, I guess, is one of the reasons why I decided to stop eating meat in the first place: because of how removed we are from the whole process of obtaining meat.

Sure, you may argue, that we are pretty removed from how crops are farmed as well – and yes, it’s true that lots of people would have had to slog their guts out, maybe sometimes in unethical ways, to get that dish of steaming spinach in front of you – but there’s something different about out-sourcing the responsibility of taking another being’s life. (Plus, the meat industry has terrible work standards as well – though that’s knowledge gleaned only from reading about meat packaging in America.)

See, that’s my current struggle. It’s easy to draw the line and say: no, I’m not going to eat cows or pigs or chickens. But when it comes to little shrimp, the heibi in my cabbage, does it become okay? (Laziness says it is because it’s too much effort to pick out all the heibi, and food options become way too limited if I rule out all dishes at the caifan store which have heibi in vegetables.) Defining what seems alright and what seems not is something that’s been on my mind for the past couple of months – especially when social etiquette may say that it’s much easier for everyone if you just eat seafood, since it’s troublesome to make exceptions (such as the upcoming National Day crab party).

I’m not sure, and I don’t think I’ll be sure for a long while. Until then, what I think is most important is to just do what makes sense to me. There isn’t much of a need to justify my eating habits to anyone else; and as my dad pointed out, there’s no need to call myself a ‘fake vegetarian’ to justify why I still drink soup even if it may have been boiled with pork bones, or eat vegetables fried with oyster sauce. (Then again, despite my constant in-eloquence, I’m a great believer in the power that words have and the importance of being clear in what you’re saying.) What matters most, something which applies to more than just this whole meat-eating thing, is being true to what you want to be, and being free to be yourself.

So, a) no, it’s not a phase nor am I doing it because it seems cool; b) no, I didn’t turn vegetarian for Samson; c) I don’t really miss meat; and d) #vegetablesrocksmysockscommunityclub.

Life is

ass,

a v e m e.

Run

I’ve recently downloaded Evernote on my computer so that I keep an easy online journal of what’s been happening this year – this place has been too privy to too many rants, already. But in summary, this semester has been wild so far. May be exaggerating (though given that my first year of uni was spent in mindless confusion, and the second and third were spent with emotionally-unhealthy company, perhaps I’m not) but these two months have been one of the best few months of university as of yet. Good people, good vibes – but I hope I’m not jinxing it by saying so!

Even so, more than a year on, it’s funny (and when I say funny, I mean ridiculously unamusing) how things are now. Forgiveness and acceptance are not the same side of the coin: forgiving is simple, but accepting what has happened is not – or is it the other way around? And so, I’m continually bemused (frustrated, apathetic, it’s ludicrous?) by apparent hypocrisies and ironies in one’s actions.

I’m sure you’ve forgotten them all, that you’ve accepted the past as the past, and maybe one day, I

(pathetic, I’m sure, for not being able to let go, for being frozen in time, for seemingly rejecting the idea that ‘people can change‘ when I once desperately almost-blindly shall I say stupidly? hoped so, and still do)

I will too.

ghost

Was mistaken for a 15 year old today which was a bit of a doozy. At first I was thinking WELL then at least I’m a pretty cool 15 year old before realising what a lame statement that was because it essentially wiped out one third of my life.

The terribad thing is that I don’t think I’ve changed that much in this past seven years: I’m still as bad with emotions as ever; I still take (too much) refuge in multi-coloured superheroes; I still struggle with finding a way out of my head, with trying to reconcile this feeling that there has to be something greater to life than all this dreary every-day.

When I think of what I’ve gained over the past few years, everything point towards the depressing negative: people can be assholes no matter how nice they initially appear; everything, everything ends. I still unintentionally ruin friendships, talk too much before I think, let things wither and get left behind. If anything, there’s a claustrophobic sense of time running out somehow and I not achieving anything much in life, that at the end of the day, I’m as alone as ever once again.

Which is rather ironic, because haven’t I already been through this phase in Secondary school? (The answer is: yes, but apparently, this crippling sensation never fully leaves you.)

I can say one thing though, I’m better at identifying when these periods of hollowness arrive now. Although plugging them with gratuitous marathons of super-heroes (now: Tokusatsu, because I’ve finally delved into the dreaded world of Kamen Rider) may be counter-productive, because they only serve as a reminder of how far away my reality is from what I wish it was.

And this time, I’m not talking about being a super-hero and saving the world.

kat

Once again, this semester has been a struggle with weight and body-image issues (although honestly, I spend half of my life worrying and the other half going screw that). I thought I was doing pretty well not being too obsessive with “being healthy” (whatever that means!) but 公公’s (admittedly well-meaning) “小孩子圆圆才可爱。” weighs a little too heavily on my mind – see the pun I made there!

But then again, as much as I may say I wish I were in a different body, this semester has also been about learning what I’m physically capable of. Fight Club has made me realise that muscle memory from Taekwondo hasn’t faded but also that dodging punches is a lot harder than it looks; the Spartan Race, that I’m actually able to scale walls that are one and a half times my height; that I’m back at a level of fitness where trekking up a mountain is nothing (admittedly, maybe it’s less of me and more of the mountain!).

At the very least, #rangerfit is the best source of motivation.