Beyond the surface

As I sit in front of my laptop, I’m trying to find the words to explain why I have come up with a completely new website separate from the Blogger account that I already own. Before I opened an account and a blog on WordPress.com, I was reading an article where the author listed reasons why people/individuals should start blogging. I admit, this wasn’t my first rodeo around the writing/blogging thing. I have done it in primary school as projects, then in my polytechnic years (tertiary education) to write about makeup, movies and a touch on my life beyond these two hobbies. As I was reading, I thought, over the course of the last year, I find myself less willing or inspired to blog anymore. I find myself somehow less than what I was before I entered my school, and somehow more than who I was before I entered my school.

I’m a fresh graduate with a diploma for creative writing in television and new media. I failed to get into any universities not just because I was not accepted, but also because I forgot to apply for my local universities. It sounds stupid, shocking, and impossibly unprepared, but I was, and am. At my school, I was at first happy, because I finally found people who were like me. The geeky, book reading crowd who also loved movies and writing. We were an extremely mixed bunch, with a cohort of less than 100, and only two classes. I met many people, was changed by them, and became incredibly hurt because of it.

I was not a perfect student, I’ve never considered myself as such, though in my primary school days I considered that my peers thought I was a teacher’s pet. It felt like everyone in the diploma was somehow better than me, and they outshone me. It was a different experience, and now as I recall, I did nothing to make myself shine brighter than them. I was just blissfully in awe of the people around me, and doing the same procastinating-mugging-sucking/scoring shenanigans that I had become used to over my primary and secondary education (Although my mother did pull me down on my third year in secondary school to make sure I knew which subjects I sucked at and needed to improve on, and the ones that I was certain to score and score well). In my diploma, there were no exams, which was one of the reasons why I entered the course. But thinking about it now, I don’t think it was a suitable choice for me.

I am a very self-conscious person. It may not seem like it as I can brazenly speak to any stranger about anything in particular, or randomly dance or act in silly ways in public. Self-conscious, as a trait, is often linked to the trait known as ‘shy’. I am shy when forced to speak to strangers, which is something I have had to learn that is normal (more on that in another post). But I am not self-aware.

When forced, I can, do and act out a plan fairly well (perhaps because I am a Capricorn; yes, I do believe in horoscopes). But I do not like, and at times, do not follow the plan (rebellious Sagittarius chafing at the leash). I am blunt, though some of that roughness have been smoothened out. Like right now, I am due to go for a test-drive for a full-time job selling skincare at an expensive brand, and I am still sitting here, writing about myself. The practical side of me knows that I should take the job for the money and the experience, but the open-minded, direction-free, doesn’t-like-being-tied-down side of me hates the idea of having to stand for the entire day trying to get customers to come into the store and having to work every day (though I had previously done so during my internship). And feeling guilt because I have agreed to something that I am not sure I want to venture into.

And now, I have sent a message cancelling the test drive, because I would rather finish this post of mine – I expect it will get very long. I hope, whoever has read until this part, will be kind enough to continue with me.

I realise that this is not a good combination. It has caused me much grief. I am not as good a media student and graduate as I should be, I am not as good a worker as I could be, and I am not the same girl who entered the course three years ago. As you and I can tell, I am very guilt-riddled by who I should be, and feel even more so because I rarely, if ever succeed. I have many ideas, or at least I used to, but my ideas rarely pan out, and I am usually too inexperienced to actually carry it out. I am not a great completer (someone who finishes what they set out to do) but I will make it to the end.

Now, it takes me much longer to open up to others, and to warm up to the main idea of what I’m writing (not that I was good at that before, but now I have a conscious understanding of it).

Just as a warning, I am going to talk/write about something else now. 

Earlier today, I was reading my latest posts from my blogger account, linked above. I realised that I sounded like an unhappy person trying to be chipper, pretending all was fine. I directed a lot of rage towards the ShadowHunters tv show on Freefrom, the re-branded, re-named ABC Family, and I still stand by what I wrote. I reread a post I wrote last year. There’s only one post, so you can’t miss it. In it, I could feel the pain and darkness that was surrounding me. I still carry it with me, but I can tell it has become lesser, as the knots in my stomach, the constricting of my throat and the burning of tears in my eyes plague me less frequently now.

 But there is a wall now between my feelings and me. The way I picture it is a thick, fog-like wall between me and the opera masks that depict happiness, sadness, and rage. I still laugh, I still shed tears at time, but I feel I get angry much more, though I have mellowed on in some ways around my brother. But the emotion never last. I don’t stay happy. I don’t stay sad. I also don’t stay angry. I have had to learn to say sorry after having done something in rage, but not feeling anything about it except that it was expected. I’ve wondered, even tried self-diagnosing, if I had a mental disorder or illness.

In Singapore, where I was born and am living, mental illness is still a very taboo subject. The new generation of young adults- the next generation of the working class – believes that we are very open-minded, very liberal as we were raised in a techno and info savvy multiverse where everyone gets a chance to speak their mind, but not everyone’s voice is heard because there is too many. Singapore remains a conservative country and government. We have laws against homosexual behaviours, Section 377A of the Penal Code. It covers homosexual, or gay, men only, but the population is largely uncomfortable or against LGBT. There is Pink Dot SG, which celebrates LGBT community in Singapore, but according to this article, the older population is largely against it. Homosexuality and mental illness are both difficult subjects to ask the population about, due to their ‘incendiary’ capabilities.

Because of this, I am afraid of asking for help. I have had only one incident where I went to a therapist willingly with my mother, and everything had spewed out. But since then, the wall between me and my feelings have built up, thickened. I know that I like eating cooked vegetables in large quantities, and I enjoy the guilty pleasure of an overly-sweet cheesecake from McDonalds’. But I can’t decided whether I like a movie or not based on my own judgement and beliefs. I have often entered a cinema to watch a movie, come out thinking that ‘It was okay.’, return home and watch the video critics and read some of the articles about the film, and then becoming confused by the different opinions. I feel that I cannot trust my opinion on things, and that there is this almost flippant attitude about the fact that I can’t trust myself, that I have.

This is how I felt with the ShadowHunters series, and the season 5 of Once Upon A Time. The posts for ShadowHunters are herehere,and here. The Once Upon a Time post was here. I was sassier with the OUAT post, but there was a palpable underlying rage in my posts. I don’t like being angry at stuff. I understand that there are things that infuriate and frustrate in life, but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to be a party pooper. Writing these posts was the hardest thing I’d ever done, and since writing them, I have only churned out one post, which reviewed The Huntsman:Winter’s WarMy review was markedly nicer than the critic’s opinion, and even Kristen Stewart’s, who is an idol and role model of mine. But there was a dissatisfaction that I had with the movie, as it had lacked that extra something that would let me leave the theatre with a smile and going over the movie with my mother, who had accompanied me.

So, yeah. This is me, currently. Welcome. Thank you for reaching the end.

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