117 – I’m not a great scientist. I think.

I don’t think I’m a good scientist.
Too clumsy.  Find myself spilling things, dropping things, and breaking things.  :s I try to be careful. Really, I do.
Don’t get me started on my awful pipetting skills (how do you do the exact same thing twice and end up with different volumes???).

But I guess there’s more to being a scientist than good technical skills. Gotta think like one too (i.e. This isn’t working,  how do I make it work? What can I change? What did work? Etc.)
Not too good at that either I don’t think.
For the most part, I’m enjoying my time in the lab. I don’t particularly get excited by the work I’m doing – like the way I do when I work on art or writing projects – but it’s okay.  Got me thinking I don’t want to be doing this forever though. A summer or two?  Cool. A few years? Maybe. The rest of my life? Nuh-uh. My brain isn’t wired for this,  I guess.

Been wanting to play a lot of league lately and not study for my MCAT (I’m in big trouble, I know). It’s just that working in this lab is fairly mentally  dehabilitating and the last thing I want to do when I get home at like 7 is study.
But I’ve got to.
I know.
If I don’t want to work in a lab for the rest of my life,  I need to do well on this test.
But…
No more but’s.

I’m always afraid of people inferring I want to be a doctor because my parents want me to. Because I don’t believe parents should force their kid onto any career path. Children need to live their own lives.

I’m lucky enough that my parents support (for the most part) what I want. On the contrary,  my mom would’ve probably preferred me not to pursue med school (or attempt to pursue) – too much pressure and work that she doesn’t think I can handle/not good for me.
Maybe she’s right.  Maybe I should’ve taken the easy path (Business) where you don’t need an extra 4 years before building your career.
But I don’t think that would fulfill me.

And I’m aware of my privilege in the opportunity to choose (or attempt to choose) a career that fulfills me.
It’s amazing how my family could be so poor and yet end up with me as spoiled as I am. I’m a living contradiction (a part of me I may dig deeper into in a future post. It’s something that I’ve come to realize, accept, and appreciate over the past couple of months).

For now, I’m going to continue to question my capabilities and identity, for how can you figure yourself out if you’re not asking any questions? 🙂

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89 – I am really, really struggling.

Studying at university isn’t at all what I thought it’d be like. Professors aren’t always intellectually stimulating and sometimes they don’t particularly care for teaching as in the case of a certain Psychology course I am taking. There are those,  however, that try their best to be open to students and allow for learning that is both worthwhile and interesting. I am, more or less, caught between those extremes.

I am not doing well at all. I thought my first year was a disappointment, but I brushed it off as a negative consequence of having class sizes of over a thousand people…and for my constant state of illness. The latter, of course, was the reason I came to dislike living in Toronto. More so than last year, I’m finding classes to be difficult and that the amount of studying and effort I put into a class does not necessarily correlate to the grades I am receiving from the mid-terms. It’s challenging.

There are no words that can describe how frustrated I am at this Psychology course. A lecture should not be a rambling, of discussions in abstract ideas, of the various thoughts that go into your head as prompted by an image. A powerpoint should not be composed completely of diagrams and repeated slides and irrelevant points in no particular organized manner. That is not education. That is not how you should teach.

What you are doing is talking in a disoriented manner, giving a speech without proper preparation, guiding students on various tangents that don’t seem to make sense because your thoughts are not coherent and organized. It is taking away so much from the students. It takes away a sense of understanding, a sense of learning and fulfillment, and it gives the impression that you don’t care about us. There is problem when the course textbook fails to provide any depth or any additional information relative to your lectures – this begs the question of whether we have the appropriate textbook or if we have inappropriate lectures. I, and so many others, agree upon the latter. Cohesion and clarity are two elements essential in understanding, both of which this particular professor fails to provide.

I have less than a week to decide if I will remain in the course. I feel like I have suffered so much of it that I might as well continue suffering. But why is education under your standards suffrage?

I am struggling. Barely holding onto a ship that’s already been sunk. This past month has been making me doubt myself. Over and over. How am I supposed to get to where I want to be when those that are supposed to guide me are leading me into a thicket?

I am fortunate, however, to have understanding friends and family. I am not alone and I know that I will always be my harshest critic. Yes, I may be reprimanded for not doing well in school, and at this rate, I may never become a doctor, but nothing will compare to my own disappointment and anguish in myself. Because of that, I am trying my best to stay strong. Happiness is subjective. If I can hold onto that, then perhaps nothing will be able to bring me down.

I am going to hope that I improve. And I am going to work for it.

If I fail, I want to be able to stay that I tried my hardest – and that is something that no one can take away from me.

I am struggling. In school. With this course. With getting my life in balance (due to living alone and all). I am really, really struggling, but I won’t give up.

I know that if I can just hold onto my tiny shard of happiness, and enjoy the fulfillment of living life on my own terms (which is in itself a luxury of sorts), then it doesn’t really matter where I end up. I just have to be happy.

And I hope that you are too.

40 – Who is it that you cannot let go of?

As the sands of time trickle down the hourglass, I find myself more and more engaged in the people I have known rather than those that I know now. Sometimes I wonder if it is the forgotten friends of the past that enchant me or just the fact that these friends remain as memories that I may manipulate or alter at my will – though my personality struggles to keep them uncontaminated. In my mind, I glorify these individuals – they become the kindest beings, the most understanding of the world, and almost perfect in every regard – but not quite. The individuals that linger on within my memory are those that are the most human – those that are inspirational in that they are strong against their environment and perfect because they are flawed. I look up to them endlessly, hold their words close at hand, and live my life changed evermore.

There was this one lady that used to come by my house every month or so, a beaming smile upon her face and a bible clutched dotingly in her arms. She was young, enthusiastic, and brimming with the passion of a  second year university student. I could never turn her away, not the first time, not the third time, and not at any time for that matter. In fact, if she were to swing by right now, I would probably stand at the door and listen to what she had to say. That’s what I did. For the five or six encounters that we had before my father finally answered the door, surprised to see a young woman asking to see his twelve year old daughter. He turned her away of course, as fathers do to protect their daughters. She never came by again. Perhaps she was shocked that my parents had no clue what I was getting involved in or perhaps she was afraid that she was doing something not quite legal in the sense that I was a minor and didn’t have the maturity to make my own judgement. I did, however, have the maturity far beyond others of my age. I’ve always regretted that – growing up too fast that is.

On the matter of religion, those encounters did not shape in any way my religious views. However, they shaped the way I viewed the world. Her passion and unending dedication to God and to her religion inspired me to hold a similar passion in everything I do. She made an individual effort to spread her faith and to promote something she strongly believed in – that is something that not only requires time and patience, but also effort and diligence. Looking back, I was more attracted (in the infantile sense) to her views and individual perspective of her religion and of her God more than I was interested in converting to Christianity. I found confidence in what she said and yearned to be able to reflect the same confidence when I spoke. Seeing how far I have come from that meager, shy existence to the homunculus of passions I am today, I owe some of it to her. I feel like I had almost found a friend in her – though our age difference and diverse interests would certainly have been somewhat a barrier. She was accepting, yet unrelenting to other views – she didn’t force you to believe what she did, but she tried her best to convince you to see her side. I don’t believe I’ll ever amount to the strength that she possessed, but I’ll travel along that path and see where it takes me.

I keep an almost collection-like memory of individuals who have changed my perspectives or my attitudes in life – individuals like that young lady. Sometimes, I have difficulty letting go of the past, but other times, I am found staring off too far into the future. In the case of these individuals, I feel an innate urge to solidify their presence within me – as if even today, they continue to influence my every thought and action. I believe that to some extent, this is true for everybody. Whether it be their parents or a stranger, their best friend or a teacher, everyone has someone that they cannot forget and someone they hold next to their hearts. For me, it just happens to be a lot of “someone”s. For me, more than specific events in time or specific material awards, it is the individuals that remain forever prominent in my minds. For me, due to my association with the virtual world, many of these individuals have been those that I have never met in the real world. This doesn’t make them any less significant in comparison to anyone I’ve met in the flesh and blood and perhaps it even adds a new layer of permanence in that I have been exposed truly to the minds of these people without the barrier that is real life interaction and formalities. I have lived, loved, and learned with these friends, these models of inspiration in my mind – and thus, it is only natural that they remain forever floating and out of my sub-conscience.

If you have had the time and interest to read through this entire rant-like thing, then ask yourself this:

Who is it that you cannot let go of?

34 – Happy Father’s Day?

Happy Father’s Day to all those lucky fathers out there!

It was a beautiful Sunday today, full of that crisp sunshine that summer promised me it would bring this year. Now if only it would stay that way for the rest of the season. The rain is no fun. No fun.

For myself, I’ve always held mixed feelings for this day. It comes and goes every year. I remember being four years old and incredibly attached to ‘dad’. He had also more gentle than mom. More likely to spoil me with things that mom refused my silly little pleading for. I got my obsessive collecting disorder got him. So did my brother. It’s not that we’re materialists…we just like to keep things for extended periods of times. Organized little groups of things. My stuffed animal collection still grows today.

I must’ve been six when my dad went back to Hong Kong (we immigrated here when I was two) to take care of grandma. Or so that was the reason. Even after she got better, he remained there. For years. Ten long years. He just returned last year. I can’t say what my feelings are about this. We don’t really have a relationship anymore. We used to. But in his mind, I’m still twelve. Or whatever. He missed the entire process of me growing up. And nothing will ever change that.

But take me back to when I was the four year old girl happily riding on my dad’s shoulders, taking pictures in the park with the spring air glorfiying the occasion. She looked up to him. I looked up to him. We were a happy family then.

I remember being six/seven, naive and enthusiastic about everything. Writing letters with poorly drawn doodles for dad. For his birthday. For father’s day. For Christmas. I remember stopping that summer when I was seven. After we visited Hong Kong. After my view of the world changed. After I lost my innocence.

Things happened that summer vacation that I really don’t want to talk about.

But I think it’s time I did.

My mom, my brother, and I were on the bus. My mom and I were looking out the window.

I saw it with my own eyes. In the restaurant. My dad with a woman.

At the time, I had no idea what it meant.

My mom turned away from the window when she saw it, her face troubled. I kept staring out through the glass, absorbed in the urban foreign-ness and familiarity of the city I was born in. Captivated by all the cars and bikes and people that passed by. Captivated by all the different stores and cafés and especially by the plush toys in some of the cuter stores. The cuter stores.

Other things happened on the vacation that completely warped my mindset, that eradicated any speck of innocence that had persisted in my heart prior. But that one moment still haunts me today. Still haunts my dreams.

When I was ten, dad came to visit again. He brought toys that were suitable for an audience far younger than ten and fifteen – the age that my brother was at the time. The years had slipped his mind. Communication was awkward.

I visited HK again when I was twelve. It was a simple holiday. Nothing significant.

When people ask me about my parents, I say mom.

When people ask me about my family, I mention my brother and my mom.

Absent.

Gone.

Missing.

There’s more, of course. To what he is. To what my family is like. To what I grew up with. But I think that getting that one moment out of my memory and putting it to rest here has tired out my brain. Too many memories. Too many synaptic pulses.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

30 – That feeling when someone gets too close.

It’s been a while since my last rant. Why do I do this to myself? Writing lines and lines of text that really don’t serve a purpose. It makes me feel annoying like a neurotic with criticisms for the entire world. Maybe I am. Sigh.

There are thoughts that just clog up my mind. And they stay there and stay there until somehow, sometime, these thoughts turn sinisterly sad. And then it hurts. It hurts so much. But I really can’t let the tears out until I get it down into text. It’s weird. Writing fixes everything for me. And you know what? I’m comfortable with that. I like having this medium I know I can rely on when there is nothing or no one else.

I suppose I have always been the type of person who lets her emotions rule her life. Reason has never been my nature – though I wish I could have just a little more sense in my head. I’m tired of things not making sense. Tired of not having the answers to my never ending cloud of questions. In general, I’m just tired. I’m not sure why. And I’m tired of not knowing why.

But lately, I’ve been thinking of all the people that I miss having in my life. Wish I could have them here still. I feel like somewhere along the way, I made the wrong decisions. Fell in with the wrong people. I’m not where I want to be and I’m not sure where I want to be yet. There’s no point of regretting what has happened, but it doesn’t hurt to reflect for the future.

People that knew me more than my family did. That I talked to everyday. That listened and supported me. These people are limited these days. But I’m fine with that. We have different phases in our lives. Sometimes there will be more people that care. Sometimes less. It’s not that I don’t have friends. I have more than enough. I’m just not close with any of them really. Not even the ones I’ve known for over ten years. I’ll gladly go along with the facade that they know everything about me and I know everything about them. That’s what best friends are for, right?

And lately I’ve just been in a bad mood. Lack of sleep? Not likely. I’ve been sleeping more than my required amount. I feel tired even when I’ve had perfect rest – feel sad even when things are going well. I’m way behind in my blog reading, but I think I just need to sort things out first. I don’t want go around half-hearted. That’s just notme.

I don’t know if I want to be left alone or if I need someone to talk to. It’s confusing.

And you. You’re not letting me into your life and I no longer know the right words to say. So I’ll give you your space. As much as it hurts in my heart to do so. As much as I don’t want to. Should I let go?

Perspective. A word I’m not quite used to. I wonder, just a little, what people think of me.

Oh I almost forgot, I got semi-published in a mini compilation of short stories. Fun. It’ll look perfect in my portfolio for university – if I wasn’t going into Science. It’s funny how divergent my passions are. How fragmented of a person I am. Not that it’s not okay to be a little cracked. A roughened teddy bear. I try too hard to be innocent sometimes. Too hard to be someone I’m not.

Optimism. I tried to go a week without thinking a single negative thought. It worked…but not the way I wanted it too. I was hoping that if I conavinced myself I was happy, that somehow the emotions would follow through. My feelings have never been quite so kind to me. They never bend to my will – kind of like myself really. I don’t like to be under anyone’s control.

I’m a Libra. I don’t let go of grudges easily. I’m sorry to anyone who has suffered from my frustration due to these infuried grudges.

Yeah. I’m not really sorry. I’m allowed to be mad sometimes, right?

Someone was looking at my blogspot the other day so I decided to pay it a visit. Found an entry that immediately brought me to tears. Because even though time has passed, nothing has changed.

Monday, 21 September 2009. “Untitled”

Sometimes I feel like I’m just a piano-playing shell to my mother. Sometimes I feel like I’m being suffocated under pressure. And other times, I’m holding strong…

If anyone’s interested, you can read the rest of it here.

It’s sad. How things are the same.

26 – Listening

I have always, always, been a good listener.

It has always been the matter of not having a person to listen to and not the matter of myself not being able to listen. I mean I’ve been alone for a lot of my life. Even as a kid. I became isolated from kindergarten onward. It took forever to sneak back into the status quo. I still don’t quite fit in, but I’m a whole lot more comfortable with who I am now.

And the Internet. Oh, I can’t even begin to describe my feelings and attitudes towards this global network. I have a lot of stories stored up in my head – stories of other people’s lives. The ones who trusted me enough to tell me a little more about themselves. Of course, these remain their stories and I’m not here to share them.

But instead I want to tell the story of my younger self and of the only person in my entire life who listened unconditionally. He did. I told him everything, every single little thing. I doubt he even remembers me now, but I remember him. He made a difference in my life. He taught me to look past the tedious bits of life and see the happiness awaiting at the finish line. He taught me how to stay positive despite my constant fits of depression and loneliness. We stayed up late talking about me. Just me.

I don’t know a single fucking thing about him. Oh yes, I should probably mention that this is another one of my ‘online relationships’ – but it is more than that. It was more than just two strangers randomly chatting. He was family to me – as were others…but they never got so close.

So now the only thing I know about him is that he was studying in Florida, going through his second year of college, I believe. I was ten. He was probably around nineteen. And yet, everything felt so natural.

I feel like I had to grow up too fast.

Can I please, please be that four year old kid again?

The one that laughed on top of her father’s shoulders, the one that collected cute little Pokemon plushies, the one that used to be so sure of where she was going?

Oh life. You play with me.

—tumblr: I’m sorry.

21 – You shouldn’t call someone weak.

She ruined history for me. I’ll never look at her class the same way.

I don’t care if she was having a bad day. I don’t care if she was stressed out.

You don’t make a student cry.

You don’t call someone weak just because they’re too sick to stay in class for the rest of the day.

You don’t say “it’s not okay” to miss ONE class especially when I’ve taken the time to come see you beforehand.

You don’t emphasize how important class is when I’m just about to miss one.

I don’t care if missing one class in university means missing three classes in high school. I’m still in freaking high school.

There’s more to life than studying.

————

I suppose I went with the misconception that you were an understanding teacher.

That you were someone I could look up to.

And for the first time in my life, I was hurt by the words from a teacher, a “sensible” adult, a role model.

I mean, it’s okay to scold when a student does something wrong.

But what the hell did I do?