Rachel Platten - Better Place6:17 PM
First and foremost, I'm relieved that the rain is no longer (greatly) affecting my emotions. I could sit by the balcony with a mug of hot chocolate (or warm milk, depending on the time) and read my favorite book while the clouds pour its sadness.
I mean, sure, the memories will arise like ashes, but that doesn't mean I should let it continuously affect me, right? I've been wallowing in those negative reminiscences and emotions for too long now; it's gone as far as to messing with my psyche - and I need out before it sucks me deeper into the dark abyss.
If there's another thing I've learned from a very dear friend of mine, the aura radiated by the people around you matters a lot. Trust comes from the actions instead of words; sure, everyone wants to stick around for the fun times, but they will not hesitate to 'split and spit' during the bad/trying times. It's like the wedding vows, if you ask me. When you exchange vows with your fiancé/fiancée and taking him/her as your beloved, you promise to be there - for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.
Secondly, I know that I'm shedding another part of my former self: I used to take great offence whenever someone tried to take a swipe at me, but I couldn't be bothered much about people's comments or impressions about me now - especially since there are some faces who will never be pleased no matter what you do. It's either you take me for who I am or leave it.
The consequences of stooping to gain a person's satisfaction or friendship have been a companion of mine when I was growing up. It made me realize that as difficult as it may be, I need to walk away if people are only there to reap the benefits instead. Look, I'm answerable to God and my parents, no one else. It's all that matters.
Like what Dr. Seuss said (and I'm paraphrasing his quote), only the opinions of those who matter needs to be acknowledged.
And that says a lot.
And that's the end of my sudden outburst. I'll be candor; something recent has made me so irritated that it tested my limited patience. *sighs*
After struggling to sleep, I finally managed to fall asleep - and ended having a crazy dream.
I dreamt that I had just finished shopping for pet supplies (read: dog food and toys) at the pet store in Taipan and before I could even grasp what was occurring, I was bundled into the car by an older male passenger. I could hear the commotion around us (something like rival gangsters thrashing it out with each other) as our driver sped off for safety.
The back passenger seats had additional storage under it. It was where the driver asked me to hide the Barbie dolls in it as he navigated the curves of the residential area's back roads while the mafia were chasing us. We had to prepare to flee on foot with our own weapons for safety, but that was the worst case scenario. As the driver attempted to lose the mafia in the chase, there was something white in the atmosphere.
I couldn't make out what it meant in the uproar; just found it peaceful as the flashback of a happier memory resurfaced. It was the four of us were having a rooftop conversation where we sat on the roof, having late night chats and laughs about our fun times.
No one can find the rewind button, girl11:43 PM
Author's Note: The title is from a song called "Breathe (2 AM)" by Ana Nalick.
It's a quiet night at the time of this posting and I'm gazing at the full moon above me, hoping that it'll envelope me with some warmth and comfort.
Being caught in the crazy storm earlier this week gave rise to a couple of thoughts that I never entertained or spoke about. Watching the winds slam into the billboards and picking up speed sent shockwaves down my spine.
I've seen this imagery before; we were locked indoors once during college's second semester during our free periods while waiting for the storm to subside - and cringing when we saw our peers drenched in rain as they dashed across the street back to safety. Although Shaney and I managed to avoid being terribly soaked from our getaway to Coffee Bean, it cannot be said for our shoes. I disliked how fidgety I was, especially when the flashback of me nursing a warm cappuccino from the same coffeehouse while listening to the raindrops hitting on the windows arose.
I was quietly panicking as I forced myself to breathe when I saw the storm.
I loved the rain when I was younger to the point where I fell ill with a high fever from getting myself drenched in the rain during first grade. It permanently knocked out my taste for agar-agar. But I no longer fancy the rain now; in fact, I'll try my best not to think about my happier moments with the rain.
Maybe it's because of the memories associated with it... for me, it feels like when it pours, a lot of the unwanted thoughts will arise from the ashes to taunt me.
Or maybe it's the work of a particular person when he asked (or taunted, I don't want to remember) me to dance in the rain with him and our mentor - hours before my MPU (Malay Language) exam in main campus.
*takes a deep breath*
No, I shall not entertain the emotions associated with those reminiscences. I'm in the process of creating a brand new (and happier) life for me here, and, in all honesty, it's doing my soul some benefit.
The storm also reminded me of a now-departed college mate of mine. He took leave a couple of days before my return home and it broke my heart when I received the unfortunate news on social media. It made sense that the unfamiliar Malaysian number on the phone log could've been someone - most likely his father - informing me of the untimely departure, and yet I missed the call because I forgot to bring it with me to campus, sigh.
I'll be candor; it still tugs at me that I couldn't attend either the wake service or funeral Mass in person due to transport issues and I didn't constantly keep in touch with the person weeks/months before.... this sad moment. I guess it'll take some time for me to overcome the feeling of guilt and to grieve for someone whom I'm friends with. While the peers commemorated his life online, there were still some of us who chose not to pen a tribute for him on social media until much later.
Growing up in the self-sufficient suburb, death was such a familiar theme that I eventually was used to. I think I may've mentioned this before, but attending at least 4 funerals before reaching the legal drinking age isn't pleasant. I eventually made up my mind that in lieu of honoring the dead through words, I'll silently offer my prayers instead.
Which is what I did.
Thinking back, it's really odd. Not only were we - my friend and I - chatting about how influential the rain is on our psyches a night before the downpour, I was thrown awake by the sighing winds that night itself.
I know things may happen in threes, but is there a hidden meaning somewhere?
Jumbled Thoughts6:39 PM
In relation to the previous post, I was in touch with a friend about anxiety, depression and its impacts on personal life. I sort of suspected that things were far from rosy sometime after the spring break, but, me being me, I chose reticence - until the completion of exams.
My dear friend didn't even know much about it until I spammed her with pertinent questions (after my final paper). I mean, she was vaguely familiar with my situation, but I was careful not to spill too many details earlier. Just enough for the person to have a rough gist. Each situation is different from another and therefore requires a unique approach to it. What may work for someone else might not have the same effect on me. Plus, I didn't want to allow the weaker, anxiety-filled side of me to be exposed and it would have only added to the immense stress I was facing.
It's an inner battle that only I can resolve. (No one else.)
Anyway, that's all in the past now.
I intend to make 2016 a better year - by surrounding myself with positive love and ridding myself of the negativity. Even if it requires me to stay away from most of the social media accounts, so be it. If I don't learn to shrug petty matters off now, it'll make my career life a thousand times harder than it will be.
I don't need that kind of unnecessary stress at all.
Another month and O-Week will make its grand appearance.
Whether I like it or not, it signals the arrival of life as a sophomore with the preliminary (or rather introductory) lectures for enrolled courses. Fast forward another 4 months plus and it's SWOTVAC lurking in the distance.
Remember how I mentioned that I've a crappy academic timetable? Now that I come to think of it, I shouldn't be whinging about it even though I'm stuck with morning lectures most of the time. It could've been worse; the lectures for two of my courses could have been in the late afternoon/early evening.
Oh well, isn't that part of university life? You can't always have THE perfect timetable every single semester and have to make personal sacrifices (I'm talking about time to socialize with friends or even to explore on foodie adventures - for me, at least) for an effective time management.
One thing's for sure: attending O-Week as a sophomore will exhibit a different set of feelings (assuming that I'm fully capable of emotions by then).
And on that note, I shall bid my adieu.
If I'm lucky enough, I may be able to write about O-Week and squeeze it in for publishing before the commencement of sophomore year.
My academic timetable isn't perfect, but the timing surely could have been worse. Due to the lurking surprises, the original plan was burnt in the fireplace - and that left me in a tad bit of a quandary.
Which means I'll be doing something that I never expected I would.
"This is madness! I knew it was a mistake!"
I'm in South Australia for a year now and finally adjusting with the life here. It usually doesn't take me this long to be accustomed to a place. I'm not exactly ecstatic on another round of obstacles, but life is life.
And one year down is another year closer to graduation.
I'm throwing caution to the wind that I'd have picked up the pieces before being thrust forward once again. I've made a silent promise to myself; I need to have all the weapons to slice everything into pieces (just think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, lol). While I'm unhappy that I had to swap the arts elective (because I didn't know about the prior permission necessary to enroll in a non-law elective and the time slots were snapped up in a heartbeat), there's nothing much I can do about it.
It's too soon to tell, but we'll see how it goes.
I can only be prepared with a foolproof plan for next year's enrollment.
The Beginning of a Change - Part 44:18 PM
They eventually agreed to meet up at Bar 9, which coincidentally was opposite the campus. Although it was technically a favorite among the law students, it was far enough to avoid the university buzz. Michelle was additionally confident that they would not cross paths with familiar faces due to the chosen time.
Mike looked up at the sound of Michelle's voice. "Oh, hey."
"I honestly thought I was late." Michelle sighed, as she sat next to him. "How's life been?"
"I'm doing quite good. What about you?"
"I've seen better days, I'll admit. Life hasn't been exactly smooth-sailing."
"Make that one after another."
"Yikes! I know the feels. Where's the co-creator you've been speaking of?"
"Sophia? I have no idea. She said that she'll be coming on her own from somewhere, but I'll call her shortly if she doesn't show."
"I actually thought she'd be coming with you. She knows where we are, right?"
"Yes." There was annoyance in Michelle's voice, but whether at his obvious question or towards Sophia, Mike couldn't decipher. "In fact, she was the one who asked me to arrange it."
"Yup, says that she wants to meet you too."
Ten minutes later, a grim-faced Sophia was seen riding the escalator down to the food court.
Michelle pointed in Sophia's direction. "Yup, that's her coming."
"Sorry for my tardiness." Her face softened as she apologized. "I was carried away with another errand."
"It's alright." Mike nodded, offered a handshake. "You must be Sophia. I'm Mike. It's nice to meet you."
"It's nice to meet you too, Mike." Sophia accepted the proffered hand. "I've heard a tad bit about you."
Michelle's eyes widened in horror and shot daggers at Sophia.
"About your work in critical analysis, I mean," Sophia corrected herself, embarrassed that she gave voice to her thought. "I hope I didn't miss anything important."
"Nah, you're fine."
"Mike and I were just talking about random stuffs," Michelle added. "And, babe, take a seat. It's really awkward talking to you when you're standing."
"Sorry." Sophia smiled sheepishly before a seat opposite Michelle, diving straight into business. "I actually have my laptop with me now. Do you want to critique it on the spot, Mike? And I'll write it down?"
Mike nodded. "Sounds like a good idea."
Sophia rummaged through her knapsack and fiddled with her Mac for what Mike assumed was the soft copy of the parody.
"Here you go." She handed the laptop to him. "Because it's the unedited footage, don't expect the scenes to be perfect."
"It's okay, Oh yeah, why don't you two grab a coffee?" Mike suggested. "I don't want you girls to be bored out by the waiting and dying from the thirst."
"And, uh, Michelle?" Mike dug into his wallet, passed her a $10 note. "Would you mind to help buy a small cup of chamomile tea?"
"Sure, no worries, Mike." Michelle rose to her full height and signaled a stunned Sophia to follow her.
"Sounds like the two of you are buddies now," Sophia commented when they were out of earshot and queuing for their order.
"What's that supposed to mean, Soph?"
"Well, he asked you to help buy his tea? I'm assuming it's something only good or close friends will do?"
A thought suddenly dawned on Michelle, but she wasn't about to give Sophia the satisfaction.
"It's just that I asked for his advice for Classics and he feels obligated to return the favor. That's all."
"You'll kill me for saying this, but there's more than meets the eye here."
Michelle rolled her eyes, sighing.
"Hi, how are you?" The cashier greeted Michelle. "What can I get for you today?"
"I'm good, thanks. A small cup of chamomile tea and a regular flat white, please." Michelle shoved Sophia's wallet aside, reading her thoughts. "Make that two regular flat white. With no sugar."
"Thanks for picking up the tab, Michelle," Sophia said.
"Aye, no worries. Let's grab the number and return to the table before Mike thinks we've ditched him..."
Knowing better than to disturb Mike and Sophia, Michelle whiled the time away on her Mac as she attempted to pen the pointers for the upcoming Public Law research essay. She occasionally raised an eyebrow, threw in a comment or two whenever it was needed or addressed Mike's queries - as she was the one who drew the storyboard and more familiar with the scenes than Sophia.
Mike had to pause and play the video multiple times to provide Sophia with the best feedback and advice on improving the quality and content.
"It's just that uploading it for me and downloading it for you will take quite a while due to the size and broadband. I actually have another suggestion. Since Michelle has a copy of it too, it'll be faster if you obtain it directly from her."
Which will also give you two more time to socialize without me being the light bulb too.
"It's in my pen drive and I left it at home," Michelle protested.
"That's not a big problem. I have mine with me now." Mike shrugged. "Perhaps you could extend another copy of the video into my pen drive? That should be the fastest."
The Flashbacks of 20157:41 PM
2015 started off alright, but it did not end with a bang for me.
Now that 2016 has made its grand entrance, I honestly hope that it'll be a better year for me - academically, emotionally and physically.
It was mostly recipes that I experimented with before the flight out from KL. Due to some family matters, my time in the blogosphere was limited, hence the sudden shortage of blog post.
I don't know what influenced me to arrive two weeks earlier in Adelaide than the fellow international peers, but here I am, in the residence, thinking what I'm going to do until orientation time. Since I had the excess time in my hands, I embarked on a couple of food reviews here in Adelaide while discovering the favorite joints to hang out in.
Chinese New Year arrived and passed without any thought, even though it landed in the middle of my orientation. I know a lot of my friends were scowling that this is the first time they had to celebrate CNY away from their families, but the prospect of that has never affected me.
It's not due to my religion that I no longer celebrate the festive season; it's just that I outgrew the whole celebration.
And I'm quite happy with that decision.
It was my first day as a freshman. I was not nervous, but I certainly wasn't ecstatic either. I've trained myself since CPU to keep an open heart and mind towards the academic environment around me. Plus, I just wanted to remain low under the radar and focus on the important matters (having a healthy balance between life, friendship and studies).
It was encouraged but not compulsory for us, the newbies, to attend the introductory lecture for Foundations of Law. I'm glad that I attended it because I was able to meet the lecturers (a shoutout to Adam, Alex and Matthew!) who would be guiding us for our first year.
While I slowly weaved through campus life and started to gain ground, the caffeine habit that I thought I kicked after college graduation returned. There were multiple occasions when I was drinking flat white at 9 am (Contracts seminar) and cappuccino at 1 pm (Contracts lecture) on Wednesdays.
To make matters worse, I had to tackle being homesick and emotionally drained at the same time.
I don't remember living a life during this month. It was such a fuzzy period that I struggled with completing the contracts assignment during the autumn break.
There's a month plus before exams. As my friend remarked, time really flies. On one hand, we're attending O-Week and now, we're being propelled to face the finals in confusion. I guess you could say that we were used to CPU's grading system, lol.
I wasn't too elated when the examination timetable was resulted. Sure, I should thank my stars that I didn't have to sit in the exam venue for torts (the reason was later explained by my tutor), but the idea of pulling an all-nighter was a little too much to handle. The only other time when I had to work late into the night was due to the script preparation and memorization for the English & Drama Festival (and that was by choice).
Winter began to roll around, snagging with it the sunshine. I wasn't too sure if the emotions I felt were a direct result of that - or if I was really turning insane with the workload.
No matter how much we wanted to avoid sitting for the exams, we couldn't. The only way of getting around it was to deal with it. *sighs*
Something must be wrong if I was super excited over the torts exam, contrary to my previous feelings. As if that wasn't insane enough, the second exam was an early morning one. I wasn't fully prepared for the paper, but I just wanted it to be done with. (I pity my tutor if he was the one who marked my exam paper. I wasn't fully prepared to tackle the questions and I'm sure it didn't sound coherent to him too.)
The last exam was in the afternoon and because it was the wintry season, the sun couldn't wait for us to complete the paper before saying adieu. Contracts was such a struggle that I didn't have much time to rest the aching fingers from tightly gripping the pen. Two parts with five sub-questions in 3 hours will definitely not fetch perfect results from me. I didn't have the extra time to review my answers for any last-minute correction. It was like, it was game over at exactly the moment I wrote a full stop.
It was an opportunity to catch up with those closest to me and the adult friends too. As this post hinted, those who have been with you through thick and thin are the ones to keep for life.
Just as when I thought that I could attain the missing pieces of me from those places, the plan backfired. I was more miserable than I expected.
The places that I visited coincidentally held the memories that I did not want to face, but somewhere in my subconscious, I was also aware that I cannot avoid it forever. Had I known that it will land me in this emotional mess, I should have forced myself not to associate the bittersweet memories there.
And because we're all camera shy, the pictures are edited to mask/protect (depending on how you look at it) our true identities.
These are the only two pictures - even after being filtered - that I dare to upload online.
I remember being somewhere on the North South Expressway en-route to Johor Bahru, taking a coffee break with an acquaintance when I stumbled upon the exam results online (and to my bestie's countless messages about it). I was heavily upset with myself as I could've attained a higher score for foundations, but why wouldn't my brain cooperate with my heart to accomplish that?
The beginning of second semester started off alright, I reckon? I was satisfied - for once - with my schedule as it was not as taxing physically, but it involved a climbing eyesight.
As the weight of the three courses crept up on me, that's when my health nearly took a beating. The warning signs were there (loss of appetite, emotional and physical exhaustion, intense stress), but I shrugged it aside and did not deal with it. Things didn't get better either. The caffeine habit became worse as I began replacing lunch with at least a regular cup of coffee.
I can almost hear someone saying, wah, orang ni nak cari pasal ke? (Translation: wow, is this person looking for trouble?)
It was time for the spring break, but it was not all fun and games for me. Although it didn't leave me with much of a break, I'm grateful that we - Group 13 - used it to seal the loose ends spanning from the case log.
In addition to that, I had to concurrently tackle an International Law comparison essay on Senkaku Island/Diaoyu Island. I'm rather relieved that the lecturer chose this topic (instead of the South China Sea dispute between China and the rest of the Asian countries over the ownership of the little island).
Learning from the mistakes committed with Law and English, I worked late to ensure that there was an equal contribution to both International Law and Property Law.
It was a crazy month indeed.
There were three assignments moving at the same pace, and I'm unsure how my bestie and I even survived the intensity. The case log wasn't much of a worry as we were nearing the end, but unlike me, I left the final details to another group mate to handle. Basing off the past experiences with Husky and Carol, I knew what would happen if I didn't let someone else take charge of the formatting and arrangement.
Now that I look back, tackling the research essay was a major obstacle because of the time factor and topic familiarity. Then again, we weren't familiar with the other three choices either. As if that didn't break us emotionally and mentally, greeting us after the completion was the simulation.
I swear, I almost banged the wall in anger and misery. I don't like the idea of having one assignment after another, but I am in no place to vent about it.
Didn't I face a similar situation with History and World Issues where both assignments were due at around the same time?
Inasmuch as I was not looking forward to another round of exams, it's a must if I want to move on and eventually graduate from university. I almost blew up for the property law take home exam, and I'm still surprised that I didn't get a minimum pass (50%) for it.
No, I didn't have much of the confidence to attain a credit either.
As for the last exam, which was public law, I almost threw in the towel, but had to force myself to relax and remain calm. (I eventually discovered the reason behind the pre-exam jitters later that night, dayum.) I remember being shocked when I saw the final grade: I was 2% away from achieving a bare credit! Like, really?!
I knew I was answering on autopilot as I do not remember anything from the paper... and tried to avoid talking about it with course mates.
I was ready to vacate the exam venue after that. I didn't care if my friends were waiting for me; I needed to be alone on the ride out to convince myself that I did my best amidst the silly/stupid mistakes committed.
As our flights were a fortnight later, we ended up organizing a farewell ice cream session in a gelato shop near campus. I figured that it'd be for a long while before we would meet up again; we were flying out and returning to Adelaide at different dates. I didn't mind meeting up after the summer holidays, but I guess my bestie had other plans up her sleeves.
When my course mate later sighed that he feared that he didn't do as well as he hoped for during our farewell ice cream session, I had to will myself from shaking and letting the fear/nerves reveal itself. Or even worse, tear up over my mistakes.
You'd think that I enjoyed my time home, but as the results day was after my birthday, I didn't have the heart to celebrate the end of my freshman year.
Yet, when the special day rolled around, I did something that would leave Papa Carrie shaking his head and Mama Carrie rolling her eyes. Our friend was shocked of my antics too, and let's just say that it was a great time (that we almost went for seconds) amidst the travel hiccups from the seafood village.
I'm sure the mens rea and actus rea must have fled the building when I purchased the flight tickets to Brisbane. Who in their right frame of mind would leave for another holiday a day after a night flight?
I guess only me?
I wasn't even able to run that many errands as I wished. The reason boils down to me sleeping for 13 hours on the night of my arrival in Adelaide (and woke up at almost noon the next day). Anyway, it's a lesson learnt.
The Brisbane trip didn't do much to soothe my emotions either. In fact, I didn't want to be involved in the festive spirit of Christmas (although I intended to visit Southbank for the decorations). As someone who's a regular Churchgoer, it is not a good sign (and I'm sure the parish priest will be shaking his head with horror and worry).
A close friend from Taylor's - though from a different matriculation program; I'm from the Canadian side and she's from the Australian side - flew in from Melbourne to visit me over the Christmas and New Year break.
Brand New Year, Brand New Look1:37 PM
[UPDATED: 1/1/2016, 7:30PM]
First of all, welcome to 2016!
After spending hours making sure that everything works (even though it's a pre-made blog template with all of the codes), here's the finished product.
I'm still not satisfied, though. I need to polish certain areas and I'll be doing the following at my own pace:
New Things To Be Introduced
- An updated "About Me" page
- An insight into how "The Tempremental" was created
- A 2016 resolutions for the blog
- Categorized sub-menus for the recipes and travel posts
I dreamt that I was chasing after ghosts, which involved running from one place to another. In addition to that, I was touring the many floors of that shopping mall, hoping to purchase presents for the friends I had in mind.
I had to rush to the airport to send a friend off to Wales. Although she graduated from the university here, it was by sheer luck that she was able to secure an employment with a respectable TNC in Cardiff. I was stuck at the aerotrain and growing frustrated at the train's tardiness while our mutual friend was caught in the traffic congestion. In actual fact, the Welsh-bound friend is still an accounting student here.
When I finally arrived at the departure hall, what greeted me was the flap display (airport message board/flight information display system, depending on which you are most familiar with) and the toilets were on my left and right. My Welsh-bound friend and mutual friend were nowhere to be seen in the busy hall.
In another scene, we were driving through a small area - with the lush greenery surrounding us on a bright afternoon. It was just me and the driver, no one else on that road. I couldn't clearly see the face, but something in me felt that the driver was a male.