Friday, May 26, 2017

I'm drowning in silence

Warning: this might come across as an emotional post, so continue reading at your own discretion.



Let’s just put it this way – I am tired.

I’m tired of everything around me.

I’m exhausting of feigning that life is devoid of any hiccups and those what nots.

No amount of words can describe my current frustration. It doesn’t help that it has clouded my clarity with traces of anger. I chose to slow down the pace in my academic journey after Taylor’s to prioritise my health because healthcare is expensive in Australia and my usual TCM practitioner is back home. It’s not like I can afford to take the flight out the moment I’m under the weather – my parents will give me an earful for it. I’m regretting this decision with a stab to the heart. I’m no longer the high achiever that I once was although the prospects of me landing a job solely rests on my GPA. It’s adding more stress into the mix – and I don’t need any extra – since I’ve reduced my social life to a bare minimum to focus on me-time and ensure that my head doesn’t cave in from the pressure around me.

If there’s one thing, I guess I’m still fortunate that I can mask my truest thoughts under the façade that I wear. You’ll find it ironic; whenever I’m in a crowd, I can laugh along with others or even slide a comical response and make the other party burst into a smile or laughter – all when I’m feeling like crap inside.

The crazy schedule that I forced my body to adapt to the sudden pile of workload has messed with my head. My psyche has created a form of self-comfort, in which I’m running from the chores of life and living my life in an alternate universe. I’m catching every word of the songs that I listen to like it’s a lifeline, like it’s air to me. I won’t throw in the towel because that’s not my style. I don’t surrender without a fight, but it sure as hell feels like I’m fighting a losing battle with my mind and heart. I know that I’m working with the other half of me buried somewhere in KL or Perth, I’m not sure. And I hate knowing that I could’ve been a better student who knows what in the world she’s doing.

Have I overestimated my capabilities or have I signed myself up for a long stay in the pressure cooker?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Broken Dream

Although it's a creative piece that I wrote during my time in Taylor's, I feel that certain stanzas of it are applicable to my current state of mind.



It hurts when you don't look back,
Not even to say a word of Goodbye.
I am standing under the rain;
The raindrops are piercing my heart
Through and through.
I can feel its sharp blade against it.
It is slicing the core of my soul,
Coating my emotions with blood.
Is that still rain clouding my vision?
Or are those tears blinding me,
Shielding me from the reality of dreams?

Dropping my knees onto the ground,
I hide my face.
I cannot deal with it anymore.
Dreams are supposed to brighten my life,
And not strangle me like a noose.

Like a candle in the dark,
It defines you.
Your entrance brings nothing but radiance.
It paints smiles on my face.
Your departure is melting all of my happiness.
You are transitioning me from a warm-blooded mortal
Into an icy cold human.
An emotionless person with nothing to care about,
It is who I am becoming.
The heartwarming grin that I am known for;
No, it's no longer there.
What is replacing it is the freezing glare
That burns into the bones.

I am looking out the window,
Looking back on the changes in my life.
Is this part of the dream I had?
Sadly, it is far from it.
No amount of words can describe it.
Dreams? What dreams are there?
Like the shattering of the snowball,
That is how my dreams have become,
Nothing but pieces of artificial flurry bits,
Floating around an enclosed area.
A lifeless person that I now am,
I am dead in my heart.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Unexplained Change

If this is what most practicing barristers will have to endure in their line of work, consider it my luck that I'm exposed to the amount of paperwork and preparation now - rather than while in the workforce. The original intention is to be a criminal law barrister after I've slogged for a number of years, but that possibility is vanishing in the same fashion as my confidence of nailing a credit for the mooting.

I know that something's changed yet I can't pinpoint the difference. I've been the type of child who loves the challenges of presentation in college, but my heart races whenever I need to do it in university. Some of the college friends have frowned at the negative changes. In their eyes, they've assumed that I'm a confident person with persistence. Now, if you give me a chance to remain behind the scenes, I'll take it in a heartbeat.

Maybe it's just me adjusting to the environment?



The practice moot was alright, but the amount of research that we needed to conduct for the written submission almost spun me in circles. There was a sense of peace when I laid the foundations for our team. It was as if, don't worry, I'll emerge from this scathed, but I'll survive - or maybe it's because the chunk that I had was the easiest to argue.

That can't be said of the second one - and part one of our graded moot. I'm not sure why, but I lost my coherence shortly before the other team concluded their arguments. It spelt trouble for me when the papers in my hand shook with fury. It also didn't help that a shovel emptied the contents of my brain too.

Could it have been anxiety attacks?

Could it have been nerves spanning from the lack of preparation?

Could it have been something else?

All questions with not an obvious answer in sight.

It faded for a split second when I addressed the de facto bench (on a side note, here's a shout out to the person who presided over our mooting: thanks for the attempt to soothe the nerves. I say 'attempt' because I was losing it internally). It was at the second half - when the questions were peppered in my direction - that my brain threw in the towel and rebelled. There was no panic per se, but more like a desire to hide in a corner of a dark room and breathe. Most folks who've worked with me in group assignments know that it's not a positive occurrence when my eyes shine as bright as the stars. I'm sure that it would've been evident from my body language when we exited the room that I didn't perform as well as I should (and craved). I mean, who exits the place shaking her head with a sigh unless there's defeat or disappointment?

It was with great effort that I pushed the emotional thoughts away - hell if I'm going to let those folks have a glance of the inner workings of my mind, especially when there's a chance that we could be on opposite teams for the final mooting. Thanks, but no, thanks. I instead focused on the fact that I did my best and there's nothing more that I could do about it, except to hope that whoever marked my oral will exercise some discretion instead of slaughtering me into pieces like a butcher. My mooting partner eventually told me that it was obvious to one of the tutors that I wasn't elated at all from his facial expression.

Oh well, the finishing line is in sight - and time to focus on nailing this. If I'm able to maintain my calmness - or at least project to everyone that I am confident, things should improve for the better. I don't have time to allow myself some breathing space because it's a wild ride there - and as long as I don't fall on my face from the high demands/expectations of myself, I'll be fine. Fingers crossed.

I really should consider joining Adelaide's version of KLPAC to strengthen the confidence and eradicate (or at least reduce) the fear of public speaking, but time is as precious as glassware to me. You wouldn't want to see how I behave when I don't have enough me-time. Trust me on that because I don't thrive under pressure.

The bright side is that winter break is in less than 4 weeks. Assuming that I don’t fall under the weather from sleep deprivation and stress, I think I’ll have to reduce the frequency of my social media use and learn simple breathing techniques on the side.

Maybe that'll help to prepare me for the intensity of Semester 2.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5/16/17

Start afresh?

A quick refresher?

It was in the middle of his tutorial when the screen of his S4 flashed twice beneath his pile of papers in the span of fifteen minutes. He stole a glance at it when his tutor’s back faced the students as he wrote something on the whiteboard. It was a message from Katrina on Messenger, demanding that he return her call as soon as possible as it was an emergency.

“What happened?” Brendan barked over the phone, conscious of the time flying past him. At quarter past the hour, the tutor announced that there will be a ten-minute break for students to stretch their legs or catch a quick trip to the toilet.

“Winnie was involved in a car crash on her return drive from an excursion in Clare. The attending physician wouldn’t tell much except that they’re trying to stabilize her condition. You better get your sorry soul to the A&E when you’re done. From the doctor’s tone, things aren’t rosy.”

A lump caught in Brendan’s throat when he saw Winnie in the ICU an hour later. He couldn’t recognize the lifeless body on the bed and if Katrina wasn’t there with him, he wouldn’t have believed that it was Winnie there. He observed that Winnie wore a neck brace, which indicated that she broke her neck, and an oxygen mask that obscured half of her oval-shaped face. Her head was bandaged. Wires that were glued to her led to the machines around her. One was to maintain her vitals and the other was the IV drip, but he failed to identify the rest.

Although there was silence around them, Katrina sensed his need to be with Winnie - alone - and squeezed his shoulder before she eased out of the room. As she sat on the row of orange chairs outside the ICU, she reflected on her history with Winnie. Instead of the jealousy towards her for the perfection that she had in her life, she now felt fear and worry for the poor girl. The accident was a stark reminder that life’s too short to hold grudges over something petty, like boys and relationships.

*

He was jogging on the walkway of Riverside Terrace when someone familiar stopped him in his tracks. It was a girl seated on the bench, staring into the scenery ahead of her. There were houses at the other end of the river and Nature’s disappearing hue reflected the colors of the building, creating a sombre yet beautiful shade. The wind picked up speed and blew her long chestnut brown hair in various directions. There was no one but the two of them there and in the silence, he swore he heard her sobs.

“Winnie?” He squinted, as if it’d help him identify the person at the bench. “Is that you?”

“Hey, Brendan.” She rose to her full height before facing him. Although she looked more relaxed, as if all the earthly burdens have been lifted off her shoulders, her eyes flicked with the trepidation of uncertainty. “There’s something I’ve to tell you.”

His heart raced. “What is it?”

She walked closer towards him and embraced him. “Please forgive me,” she whispered. “I can’t stay any longer as I’m tired of fighting.”

“No, no, no, that’s not going to happen.” Brendan pushed her back and glanced at her in the eye, denying the inevitable. “You’ll be fine. We’ll get through this together.”

Her voice was a tad bit above a whisper. “I’d always love you, but I’m tired of fighting a losing battle and I don’t want to drag you down with me either.”

“What do you mean?” His voice cracked as he pleaded. “Please stay.”

“I’m sorry.” She laid her lips on his before she disappeared into the distance without turning back once. She didn’t want him to see the tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks.

He longed to have her in his arms once again but his legs were frozen. He couldn’t run, what more move.

And with that, he shot up from his sleep and panted with horror. He reached out for the bedside lamp and, moments later, caught his reflection in the wall mirror. Not only was he slicked with sweat, his eyes was double its size. He immediately touched his cheeks, which were soiled with something sticky and wet. It was tears. Little did he know that he dreamt of Winnie’s departure and cried over it. Shortly after Winnie paid him a visit, she succumbed to her injuries. The warmth of the white lights greeted her as her body drifted to a quieter and serene place, where she’d feel nothing but love and peace.

Months later, it still strained his willpower to focus on his studies without sparing a thought on life’s cruel hand. Although her death was an accident, he blamed himself for not being there to protect her from harm’s way - even if it meant laying his own life in exchange for her. If God allowed him to make an exchange, Brendan knew that he would’ve prayed for Winnie’s revival at the expense of his life. It was more than once that he desired to seek the help of the university counsellor to cope with the sudden shock on top of the academics but stopped short of entering their office. Unlike Katrina, who eventually sought the help of a psychiatrist, he couldn’t form the words to describe his grief and chose to deal with Winnie’s death in his own time and pace.

He yanked an A6 picture from his wallet; it was them posing in front of a Christmas tree at Forrest Chase - the same one that Winnie fiddled with at Adelaide Airport while waiting to board the flight to Perth. The flashbacks of their happier moments stabbed him with such force that it tore his soul apart. Why couldn’t them three the best pals forever? Why did life have to intervene and complicate the friendships?

Monday, May 15, 2017

05/15/17

I dreamt that the three of us were supposed to board a flight, but all of the passengers were booted out due to something that occurred on the plane. The pilot announced that all of the checked-in luggage would be transferred to another aircraft, which was waiting nearby. Everyone was diverted there, but in order to board that plane, we had to go through another route. With little direction given by the pilot, we were lost and found ourselves at the boarding gate once again. Since it wasn’t anyone but the airport’s fault, I spoke to one of the on-ground airport employees about it and to see whether he’d be able to resolve the matter for us.

He understood our predicament and allowed us to use the reserved routes for employees to get to the waiting plane. He even hailed one of the vehicles to bring us there because it would be faster for us. He realized that because no one informed the passengers about the new location, it was a waste of time for everyone to head there by foot.

I’m aware that I won’t need the assistance of the online dream interpretation because I know what’s bothering me lately. The idea of having concurrent assignments has weighed me down tremendously until I fell under the weather. The moment the oral assignment for the mooting was done and dealt with, I noticed that my condition significantly improved, sigh. It is also another indication that my subconscious wants (or needs, I’m not sure) a break from the academic stress.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

5/6/2017

Although this occurred a few days ago, I’m still baffled by a specific event in the dream. I dreamt that I grew up in a normal family, but save for an absent paternal figure. He wasn’t a guiding influence since I was a little girl. It was on one fine afternoon when I walked into the kitchen and found a snail moving slowly on the door screen. I didn’t give it much thought, except to leave it alone on its journey to somewhere. I was surprised that it didn’t freak the lights out of me like it does in reality.

Seeing that it was the holiday season, we headed somewhere for a holiday. I can’t remember how or why, but we went out for a meal with my biological father. He seemed elated to see me and to know about the daughter he didn’t know he had. He even promised to drive us from our hotel (although we were familiar with the routes in that particular town). When we approached his car (it was a Mercedes), I noticed that there was a shirt stuck in the engine compartment and raised his attention to it.

Later that night, we gathered at the table with laughter permeating the air. My Mom was reticent but chipping in whenever and wherever needed. I believe that she wanted to analyze him and his conduct with him.

I can’t remember what I did, but I had a brief brush with the law. He stepped in to interfere (possibly to convince the police officer to drop the misdemeanor charges) instead of allowing me to face the music.

Any thoughts for the interpretation? I found it weird that I, as a law student, would have a dream in which I landed on the wrong side of the law.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

4/25/2017

"If it's meant to be, it will be."

The words that her cousin, Mia, constantly advised her with rang in her ears as she walked with the family members behind the van driving out of the funeral parlor. Victoria's eyes were rimmed red, but she trained herself to maintain her composure for her kin's sake as she remained silent. Looking at everyone in front and behind of her, all she could hear was them wailing at the premature loss of an upcoming doctor in their family.

She needed to stay strong, needed to keep the unit in unison in this grieving period.

"Isn't life unfair?" Mia loosened her hair with her fingers and rolled her eyes during happier moments with Victoria. "I've seen my fair share of relationships and friendships being torn like flimsy pieces of paper because one party played out the other."

Victoria raised an eyebrow. "And you're only what? Nineteen?"

Mia was one of the brightest youngsters of the entire clan, even more intelligent than Victoria, and bound for Cambridge to fulfill her ambition of becoming an oncology specialist. She desired to make an impact to the medical world by contributing to the continuing research for a cure to cancer after watching her sister's health debilitated from the illness. Balancing her intelligence was her cute beauty. She had round blue eyes that radiated warmth and cheekbones that illumined her elegance.

Three months to the dark day, she wanted to organize a separate farewell with her peers from high school and matriculation at different moments since they were flying to parts unknown and maintaining contact was tougher than first imagined. Her close mates from matriculation unanimously agreed to meet up at a serene family-owned cafe for a farewell lunch.

Just as she was leaving her client's workplace after a business appointment with her, Victoria caught sight of the stray dog digging with its paw and nuzzling something hidden in the bushes. Her years as a dog owner sharpened her knowledge and understanding of the canine friends; it heightened her curiosity and suspicions concurrently. She sneaked behind the dog and gaped at the gruesome discovery: a badly mangled and bloody body lying in the ditch with the head almost twisted off from the rest of the body.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4/18/17

The dream began in medias res, where it was at a crowded bus stop with passengers headed in various directions. It wasn’t a disorderly crowd, but it wasn’t an organized one either. People were scattered around each other like a fight was about to ensue. The poor warden was at the front attempting to keep everyone under control. I missed mine because it was packed like a can of sardines and the bus conductor wasn’t accepting more passengers. I was also torn between saying adieu to the person I was with (his identity was undisclosed – something in me knew that it’s a guy with jet-black straight hair) and staying back with him. I unwillingly called off the conversation because it was getting late at night and I wanted to head home to crash.

The warden was able to fit all of us into the shuttle bus that arrived at the central station. It was at that place where we had to take the ones we were supposed to board earlier. I ran from the car park to the nearby stop to catch mine. I noticed that there was a lady with flowing locks skating in front of me while she held a Chinese lantern. When I surveyed my surroundings, the buildings were decorated with the same type of lanterns with geishas who guarded it like German Shepherds.

To say goodbye will be indicative of me parting ways with something or someone, none of which I’m sure now. The person’s identity throws my suspicions out of the whack because I initially thought it was one of my Adelaidean friends. My subconscious could, however, be hinting at a college friend or peer – the ones whom are pals, not acquaintances. The online interpretation also suggested that it means I’m moving on from the worries that have burdened me.

The scene where I was part of the crowd could be illustrative of my desire for some time out, according to the online interpretation. In reality, I wish that I can carve some time out and hide in a place that is far away from familiar places and people. I’ve grown tired of the mountain’s worth of mess that I have to handle and resolve.

The part where I’m surrounded by Chinese lanterns might be a signal that I’ll attain the peace that I’ve yearned for soon. In addition, it might also mean that I’ve found the light that will guide me out of this path of confusion and darkness. As of late, I’ve not been academically confident and felt that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, as I’ve insinuated in one of the previous posts.

In another dream, I dreamt that someone – an older-looking female driver – drove the car with me in the front passenger seat as we fled the scene during the onset of a hurricane. I remembered that we sealed the house windows with tape and wood and ensured that all the windows were shut before we left. We saw the hurricane lashing its fury on the roads as we drove on. It was quiet on the road with an aura of a ghost town. The winds picked up speed and we heard its desperate cries inside the car. One of our cell phones that were kept in the white three-tier drawers rang, but we ignored it. I didn’t want to reach out to the back and destroy the masking tape that sealed the drawers.

I’ve only one interpretation: I must’ve been watching or reading too much about the severity of Tropical Cyclone Debbie that recently caused damage in Queensland. An online interpretation gave me the definition along the lines of danger, rollercoaster emotions, and the feeling of helplessness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4/11/17

Start afresh?

A quick refresher?

When their conversation arrived at its natural end a couple of hours later, she embraced him with a hug that threw him aback. She bit her lip and closed her eyes, unwilling for the tears to betray her thoughts at this moment. She didn’t want him to leave yet it was for their own good if she remained out of Adelaide. He reciprocated with a harder squeeze as he realised that there was a chance he’d never see her again. His T-shirt was soiled at the shoulder area and he immediately released her from his grip, only to notice that her eyes were rimmed raw.

“Oh my God, Winnie.” He wiped the salty solution off her face. “Are you alright?”

She couldn’t look at him in the eye like how a guilty and nervous defendant would avoid facing the presiding judge.

“It’s me.” He turned her to face him. “It’s okay, you can tell me anything.”

“I’m sorry, Brendan. If we’re in another world, the circumstances may be different… and it wouldn’t be arduous for us.”

“Don’t, Winnie. Don’t feel bad. I should be the one to apologise. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you in times of need. With that being said, I hope that you could at least grant one of my wishes.”

“What is it?”

“Don’t lose contact with me ever - no matter what.”

Winnie nodded.



Brendan’s mind whizzed as he digested and reflected on Winnie’s confession in the privacy of his hotel room on Hay Street. He didn’t know where to begin. Half of what she said was eerily accurate. His life would always be in Adelaide - that was where his roots were. He never craved or imagined of moving interstate for anything. She was correct; it’d be unfair and selfish for him to ask her to ditch her life in Perth for him. It was evident in her body language and her approach that her support system was here. But he didn't want to lose her either. He couldn't envision a future without her. He longed for her to be the first person - apart from his family - to celebrate life’s special moments with him. He cherished the food explorations with her and enjoyed driving her around town during the semester breaks. To hear and see her laughing out loud was his greatest wish and there was nothing in the world he’d exchange that for. He wanted to keep her worries at bay whenever she was in his presence like two carefree souls sailing on a yacht on the Tasman Sea.

Give her some time, his brain whispered. Give yourself some time. If you two are meant to be, time will be the connecting factor.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I'm still here, but I'm hiding behind the curtains

I can’t, for the life of me, believe that my darling baby has slipped into a heat-induced coma. I don’t know what happened to my Sony Vaio, but it crashed when I wanted to tackle the final bits of my Politics of Law research proposal. Thank God I had the nerve to keep a copy in Dropbox and Google Drive – or you’ll see me bursting into tears.

Am I allowed to whine about the late nights spent on the workload? The required amount of time and dedication this semester is more than I initially expected, but I guess it is what it is. I can’t complain much because we’re all in the same boat, gasping for air while struggling to stay afloat like a fish above water. This is especially true for us students who’ve to tackle at least 2 3 hour tutorials for electives. Gone were the days when we could chill until Week 3 of the academic calendar before panicking for dear life. It feels like time has slipped through the cracks of our fingers and propelling us to tackle our fears faster than we would like to.

I should be peppering the final details for these two assignments (although one’s not due until the end of the month. I’m sweating in fear over this one because by the time I’m able to polish it, it’ll be a day before submission… and I like to leave the assignment to sleep for a week before I return with a fresh pair of eyes). I don’t usually stay awake past midnight yet I’m suffering from a serious case of procrastination. I know that somewhere in the depths of my heart, I’m able to unearth the determination to complete the assignments tonight, but I can’t form coherent sentences that will make sense to the lecturer when s/he grades it.



Amidst the boiling temperature of the pressure cooker, the three of us managed to catch up over waffles. Although the arranged location was hidden in one of the laneways, it wasn’t as arduous as I initially thought because of its famous neighbor … and we ran into each other en-route. There was a slight problem that we didn’t foresee: neither one of us expected that the clouds will draw for us a chilly, cocoa-inducing day when we agreed on a day.

Something happened midway during our meal and it set the three of us on a trail of laughter. While my sister managed to recover on time, I bit my tongue to keep myself from rolling on the floor in laughter. I saw the gleam in the good friend’s eyes that if we started laughing out loud, we’d be dead from the lack of breath. The good mood from our outing evaporated the moment my eyes caught the blinking stars in the night sky. It has left me with a heavy heart from time to time because of those twelve words: “So, we should lie on the lawns and watch the starry night.”

Bam.

Inasmuch as I want to burn this miniscule memory of my life, it’s all in the past and there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. I can only send my wishes to the wind and pray that it will deliver it to the intended recipients.



At the rate that I’m speeding on, I’ve to pray that the upcoming mid-semester break will provide something along the lines of a brief respite for me to catch up on sleep and backdated readings. I’m drowning under the pile of tutorial notes that I have to gather to assist me with the assignments (it’s another three, off-memory). It is also on this ground that I want to apologise for my continual absence in the blogosphere - academics have taken a large chunk of time and I'm taking the little breathing space that remained to clear the stress with a spatula.

Gosh, maybe I overestimated my capabilities. The reason why I said that is because I’m highly tempted to scream my lungs out into the pillow to mask the volume. Lord, please save my soul from the torments that I’ve placed myself in.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...