At the station,
Awaiting for the train to arrive,
Misplaced in the crowd.
Muffled by the chaos,
Lost its grasp.
The old lady,
Unashamed, snaked her way through the crowd,
And cut the line.
Ignorant, argued and disputed,
About trivial #firstworldproblems.
But then there was me,
Waiting for the train to arrive -
I just want to go home,
Whatever that means.
What a powerful statement!
This is one of the most amazing thing’s Ive seen on Tumblr.
This really gets to you.
There are moments in life when we all just need a break. A break from the conventions of the world; a break from the formalities of the world; and a break from who we are and how we are perceived by others.
I would say that I’ve been living pretty much a well-planned life. Just like many Asians (didn’t want to generalize, but it’s true), I do pretty much what everyone else expects me to do, and do them well enough. If my life was a book, it would be a textbook. It’s filled with content, but pretty much everything about it is predictable - just chapters after chapters of ‘knowledge’ (whatever that may mean) written with language formalities - if you get what I mean. It lacks the moments of inspiration and aspiration in a novel; and does not reflect the spontaneity that occurs in real life.
Spontaneity is something that people may be scared of because of the uncertainty that is attached to it. But what we don’t know is that spontaneity actually helps us reorganize ourselves. It’s an opportunity to redefine ourselves and find better ways to live our lives. As Graham Greene said in his short story “The Destructors” - “destruction after all is a form of creation.” While it’s probably unnecessary to go in that extreme route, to destroy ourselves, it is sometimes not a bad idea to break away from what we usually do, and break away from the confinement of a planned life.
This leads us back to the idea of taking a break. There is actually a lot more to taking a break than say a nap or play games on your computer. Looking at it from a broader scope, taking a break can mean learning something new, doing something outrageous (how ever that’s defined), or just being spontaneous. It’s a process that can sometimes lead us to learn more about some of the undiscovered facets of ourselves. Ultimately, what’s most important about taking a break is that taking a break allows us to move forward.
Moving forward in life is probably the least you can do as a human being. When you are not moving forward, it actually translates to moving backwards in life. So next time when you feel like you’re not making any progress in life, or even just with school work, try taking a break: do something you’ve never done before, learn something new, have fun for a bit, be spontaneous and open to uncertainty!
In French they use the term “la petite mort” as an idiom for an orgasm.
That means “little death”.
Gotta love the French.
Life can be intimidating, especially when uncertainty is constantly overshadowing like the gloomy weather of Pittsburgh.
In these moments of uncertainty, fear, and inconceivable fate, it can take great effort to regain confidence and competence in life. But it is in these moments of solitude that we realize we’re not alone.
Some say that life is a train ride, you meet new people at different points of your journey. At different points in time, these people may leave you, or continue the journey with you until they absolutely have to leave.
I’m glad that at least the seats next to me on my train are filled. These seats are not filled with random people who gets off almost as soon as they get on, but with people that are willing to accompany me on my journey and willing to share their journey with me.
Sometimes when my life feels out of control, I like to talk to my friends.
“u can talk to me anytimes, day or night, 2am or 2 pm ahha”
A simple dialogue like that may seem trivial to many people, but it means the world to me. As much as I don’t want to be seen as vulnerable or weak, I can only say that I am probably weaker than I think I am. However, I think that realizing our own vulnerability will allow us to regain strength to conquer our lives, and regain the conscience to continue our journey.
This semester was not off to a particularly good start, family, friends, work, all seem to be slightly falling apart, but I know that those who continue to be seated by me will continue to do so, and that I am never alone. At least for today I wasn’t ;)
I look forward to tomorrow as much as I do for the day after, and the day after that. It’s going to get better, I just know.
The explosions, the action and the challenges to our imagination that many Hollywood blockbusters strive for today deserves to be deemed creative successes, but it is not everyday now that the film industry is willing to invest in a film that depicts the life of normal human beings.
WIN-WIN is a movie that does exactly that.
Certainly, the situation in which the movie depicts is not something common to most people, but the core issues that the movie address probably concerns the majority of people in the world today. Family, ethics, welfare, and the balance of all these factors that co-exist within our lives.
The balance between visually depicting reality and expressing reality is what this movie succeeds in. We don’t always experience these core issues in the situations depicted in the movie, but most people can probably still relate to it, because these aren’t some farfetchedworldsavingmindblowingconcepts. They are real and relevant to almost everyone in this world.
The music, the acting, the cinematography - there is nothing particularly striking or mind-blowing here, but it’s real, and it’s hard keeping it real in a movie, because you always run the risk of boring your audience. Win-Win however, was not boring at all.
I especially want to applaud the performance of the actor who plays Kyle in the movie. The subtle dynamics that his character demonstrates is undoubtedly a major factor contributing to the success of the movie.
Okay, that was quite a vague review. For those of you looking for a condensed/concise version of the review:
It’s really good. Watch it.
So here’s the deal, English is not my first language, which makes me an ESL apparently. (*note the redundancy) Um okay… What does that have to do with anything, you ask? Well, since I haven’t written anything in such a long time, I thought I’d first use that as an excuse for this piece of poorly written writing that I’m about to write. And what’s the subject for today? Writing.
That’s right: I’m going to write a poorly written piece of writing about writing, in English I should add, which is my second language.
I’ve always had a fear for writing, especially in English. The truth is, nobody around me ever seemed to have noticed, because I never had troubles in high-school English courses, so it appeared. I even enrolled in English Honors in Grade 12 recommended by my teacher. In reality, however, I’ve always struggled with English. I have never really written anything that I am truly proud of. Sure, the romantic murder mystery that I wrote in Grade 10 received one of the highest grades in the class, and the essay on ethics I wrote in Grade 12 received a perfect score. Despite the reassurances from grades of one assignment after another, I am still very fearful. Why? It didn’t take much for me to figure out that I simply did not want people to catch on my ‘ESLness’. Just like many foreign students, I was afraid that people would laugh at me for saying/writing something ‘stupid’ or in proper terms ‘grammatically incorrect.’ Fortunately, I barely have an accent when I speak, so that took off some of the stress I had on trying to be ‘not stupid.’
To give you an example of being stupid, here’s an anecdote from elementary school:
I was on the soccer field one day, and all of a sudden the girls around me decided to do splits. Right, splits. Seeing that they were going to do splits in jeans, I thought I’d make a comment and so I said, “If you do splits in jeans your jeans might…”
Exercise (1) Complete the above sentence with the most appropriate word: a) break b) rip
Okay, okay, I chose a). I knew it wasn’t the right word at the time, but the word ‘rip’ was on its coffee break. What happened next? The girls began to laugh. LAUGH. Not giggle or chuckle - LAUGH. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to a point where I basically sealed my mouth for a very long time, and spoke only when I had to.
Maybe the anecdote was stretching it too far, but it demonstrated how trivial events to one can have a significant impact in the life of another. Beyond that, where I’m really getting at is the fact that just like me, many people will have the same fear, and what many people seem to resort to and succumb to eventually is finding friends who speak their language so that they never have to embarrass themselves in front of people. Similar things apply to writing. To write well in one’s first language is already a difficult task, needless to say, writing well in a second language, causing many people to avoid it as much as possible.
But I like writing, because so much of writing to me is no longer about getting the grammar right and using the most appropriate analogies. (YEA! find those mistakes all you want… okay maybe not.) It’s about the communication between you and the world. It’s about throwing an idea out into the world and getting the unexpected back. It’s about sharing an idea with the world and then realize that there is someone out there who shares the same vision. It’s about finding your place in the world that many are lost in. And in the process of all of this, maybe you will begin to appreciate your own writing, and even yourself as an individual.
Maybe that wasn’t such a poorly written piece of writing about writing after all. It definitely wasn’t great, but it was written in my own words and in my own way that defines me, an ESL student who still struggles with English.
We live too good of a life that we sometimes take for it granted. We complain about it and even at times we say we hate it. But think about it this way: there are many people out there without the chance to even complain about their lives. They live a life where the only thing they can and should do, is think about how to survive this next minute. It’s true.
We take so many things in life for granted that even what most of us claim to be a basic right in a democratic and developed society, education, becomes something we take for granted for without realizing how privileged we are.
Recently, I had a chance to watch the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” which addresses some of the detrimental problems in the education system of US (I won’t go into details about the film, watch it for yourself). I think more so than being shocked by the statistics behind the failing education system, I was even more moved by the innocent faces of these children. Their faces, radiating that innocence that we have lost complaining about life, that innocence that we have lost, hating our imperfect lives. It is knowing that they will never become the doctor or nurse they want to be, the dream they want to live up to that really struck me. And it is that moment that forced me to question myself, that forced me to think about how privileged I am.
The world is imperfect, and it is all about finding perfection in the imperfect world that one will realize how fortunate he/she is.
So it’s at this point of the year when the littlest things can become significant sources of rage. It’s also at this point of the year when I feel like I’m going through some sort of social crisis. Memories of the past are still unforgiving in trying to congest and delude my mind, and as I am writing this, I am hoping that maybe I’ll just be able to gain the motivation to move forward rather than to linger in the past.
I have always known that I am socially incompetent, but clearly, I am unaware of just howincompetent I am. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never really experienced the social life of high-school, or perhaps it’s because I’m just a strange and unfitting individual. But I hope that my friends will understand that despite my many failures, I still really care about them, and is very very thankful for what they’ve done for me.
That’s another thing.
Talking about friends is difficult for me. I love talking to friends, but sitting down and trying to write a blog post about friends just doesn’t seem to be something that I can do naturally. I think part of it is the fact that I am really insecure and unconfident socially. I’m constantly scared about losing myself in a group of friends. I’m scared that my presence will go unnoticed and I’m scared that others won’t be able to accept me as who I am. Most importantly, I’m scared to be alone.
This is when I find confidence elsewhere, or attempt to at least.
Clearly, I am having a hard time finding enough confidence and security elsewhere. That’s why I feel like I am losing slices of control of myself everyday. That’s the problem when you don’t really know what defines yourself as an significant individual in this cruel space called reality. What is my value to the society, to the space around me, and to my friends.
Maybe I’m just thinking too much. Or maybe I’m going insane. Whatever it is, I hope that people will understand that I’m trying really hard to make myself a better friend and better person.
Again, thanks to all those people who still believe in me.