Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Day 15 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Well, this is a weird prompt. But, I would like to be a panda. Firstly, because giant pandas are the Chinese national animal and secondly because they're adorable. They're also endangered, so even though I would probably have a short life, I wouldn't mind because it would definitely be worth it.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Day 14 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have

  1. I'm curious and I really, really love learning new things. Although it may sound weird, it's true. I have a knack for thinking of weird questions that make my brain hurt, and I have a notebook for writing down interesting things I think of or learnt that day. It's kind of like a diary, but not as personal because in my eyes, knowledge is free. 
  2. Self-control! I used to procrastinate a lot by watching Youtube videos or chatting, but now I've learned how to get things done in time. 
  3. I'm hopeful, but I like to take my optimism with a dash of salt. So, basically I'm a hopeful realist. 
  4. Perseverance. I believe that we were given this life because we were strong enough to live it - and we're not going to get anywhere if we don't know how to pick ourselves back up and brush off the dust. 
  5. Prudence. Although I don't take many risks, the ones I do take are generally well thought out (which is why I'm indecisive). However what I have come to realise is that even though risks can get you farther, sometimes they do backfire if they're not calculated well enough. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Day 13 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 13: Describe 5 weaknesses you have
Weaknesses? Nooo! 
  1. I'm a workaholic, and a perfectionist. I tend to work slowly on things so they're done just the way I want them to be, and if something isn't done to the best of my ability I won't hand it in. 
  2. Making decisions. I'm very indecisive, and if I don't get enough time to think about what I want to do, I usually pass the decision-making to another person. For example, I don't like it when my parents ask me what I want for dinner when we're getting into the car - this leaves me with limited thinking time. 
  3. Being in close proximity with teachers. Listening to the lesson or even being in a small group with a teacher is okay, but if I ever have to go to another classroom and ask for something - no. Please no. 
  4. Public speaking. I'm quite relaxed talking around my friends, but when it comes to presenting information to a bigger group or performing on stage, I get panicked and seem uncomfortable and awkward.
  5. I'm very trusting, sometimes even to the point of being naive. *ahem*. 
So what are your strengths and weaknesses? Leave a comment below! ^_^

Day 12 of the 30 Day Blogging Challlenge

Hello~

It's day 12 of the blogging challenge! My posts have been extremely inconsistent (oops) but i'm going to keep working on it until I get to day 30! But for now... day 12!

Day 12: Describe a typical day in your current life.
(Disclaimer: my life is in no way interesting. So, skip this post if you're not interested in reading about me brushing my teeth and eating breakfast)

  • I wake up at around 6 (so early, I know). It's kinda nice to be in my house when it's quiet and peaceful. Makes me feel happy. ^_^
  • At 6:30, my sister comes downstairs (I live in a house, I'm really lucky) and I eat breakfast. In case you're wondering what I do between 6 and 6:30 - I pack my bag, feed the fish (my little lovelies) and just relax for a bit. 
  • After eating breakfast, I brush my teeth and wash my face (I mainly do this to make Trisha happy). If I have time after that, I'll watch a bit of TV (by a bit, I mean 10 minutes). 
  • My bus comes from between 7:00-7:30 (it's messed up). Generally I get to school at around 7:40 though. 
  • School starts at 8:00! If it's a Monday or a Thursday, I'll stay back and do karate (yellow-belt woot woot) and if it's a Wednesday, I do CIT - campus improvement team. On Fridays my mum picks me up and I do swimming from 4:00 to 5:00. 
  • The first thing I do when I get home is eat. I kinda have an obsession with food. And cleanliness, because the second thing I do is take a shower. 
  • After that, I work on my homework until 6 (dinnertime). After dinner, I work on more homework. 
  • I work and work and work until my homework is all done, or until 9 - whichever comes first. If I finish homework early, I can use the free time to listen to music, read, blog or post pretty things on tumblr. 
  • At 9 I go to sleep, and next thing I know it's another new day. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Day 11 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge (finally)

I know, I know, I'm a terrible procrastinator and what should have been finished last year is being carried on to 2014 (we're in 2014 guys, can I get a round of applause for surviving another year?)
Ehem. Without further ado, day 11!

List 10 pet peeves you have

  1. People who feel a need to read everything they're typing, aloud. I do understand that it's their call but really, nobody wants to know what they're typing. Unless it's something that involves me, I'm not interested. That's just the way I function. 
  2. People who feel a need to write "FIRST" in the comments section (I'm looking at you, Youtube). There's always a nice feeling you get when you're first but it's a bit sad that people want to be first so much that they need to be first everywhere. Even when they watch funny cat videos or cute ducklings crossing the road. 
  3. When somebody says literally, but doesn't actually mean it literally. If you were "literally scared to death", then you'd probably be dead. Not telling me about how you died. 
  4. People coughing or sneezing behind me. *shudder*
  5. "YOLO", "swag" and "dope". But mostly YOLO. 
  6. Having to click through every single tab to find the one playing music. I have a bad habit of opening multiple pages at a time and when that one tumblr page plays music I have to sort through every. single. page. 
  7. People who wait in long lines for food, then don't know what they want to order. Indecisiveness is a curse but if you wait in a long line, you have plenty of time to spend being indecisive! 
  8. Tangled earbuds. No matter what I do, they always get tangled. I even tried tangle-proof ones (contrary to advertisements, they don't work). 
  9. Crying children in public spaces (especially on aeroplanes or in supermarkets). 
  10. Slow walkers who walk in a big group, spread out horizontally. No matter how hard or how many times you try, you're not going to get past them. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

If you are in a shell...

In English class today we were shown this video of Harry Shum Jr. This video of him performing a dance with paints and coloured powder made me think a lot, about "shells".


What is a shell? A shell to me is an escape route, a hideout from reality. A little corner that I can have to myself, keep to myself - a place where nobody can hurt me. Shells are fragile, yet strong. It might seem like nothing can hurt you while you're locked inside.

Shells are strong enough to last you for a little while, but not forever. Eventually one sentence, one particularly well-timed insult, one word, can bring it all down - and your world collapses onto you. Everything you've built in your shell breaks. Crumbles. Shatters.

Shells are like cages, and also like clingy friends. They're useful for keeping others out, but also good at keeping you in. Time and time again you can try and get out of your shell - take a risk, try something new, make more friends - but you can't. You've built your reputation on that shell and now you can't get away from it. It's keeping you in, and telling you to stay in there. You're nothing without your shell.

Spending a long time in your shell can make you passive and emotionless. In your shell, you don't need emotions. You don't need to feel sad when people make fun of you. You don't need to feel happy when you achieve something , because somebody's going to come and push you down. You don't need to feel excitement, because why bother?

In the video, the narrator says that it can take a lot of hard work to break out of your shell. Instead of working hard on reinforcing your shell, you'll need to pour your heart and soul into something new. Something that puts you out there, something that cracks your shell open. Something that makes you feel whole again. Something that can make you cry when you fail, something that can make you smile when you get back up and brush off the dust.

No matter how cool, secure or confident we seem we all have shells. We all have that one little place to retreat into when the going gets tough. Shells may be safe for the time being but they're dangerous in the long run. Long periods of isolation can leave scars. Though the scar gets smaller in proportion as you grow, it's still going to be there. The scar will be a part of you, but that's okay. Only when you have a scar, can you remember clearly how you got up and kept on going.

This video made me realise that even though you may feel like you are in your darkest hour, there's always light at the end of the tunnel. Everything gets better - you were given this life because you were strong enough to live it. There's refuge in knowing that you're not alone. Everyone has a shell, everyone has their own problems.

Nobody's perfect, but you don't have to be perfect to be happy.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Brainwashed, mindless, judgmental... zombies.

Continuing off of my last post, people watching can also teach us to never make assumptions about people from one glance. We've all judged books by their covers before (admit it, we're on to you). Walking on the streets or through a shopping mall, stereotypes and assumptions flood my head.

That woman is a cleaner so she must be poor.
That man is relatively well dressed, has good manners and drives a Ferrari so he must be filthy rich. 
Etc. 

Even though we may feel like we are getting our information from primary sources -we are there after all- and therefore making reasonable assumptions, we could be completely wrong. Going around spreading word about [insert name here] because you saw him/her today acting/dressing/speaking/etc in a specific way, doesn't mean that is who they truly are.

Here in 7th grade, so much is spread through rumors and gossip. Everyone here is aware that gossip is not reliable, nor is it a good thing, but we still get drawn into it. Gossip is like the celebrity gossip site - or the media - of school. So when we hear rumors, we often immediately believe what we hear. Maybe we'll think "That's my best friend, they wouldn't lie to me" or "Everyone is saying this so it must be true". Often times it's not.

We shouldn't believe the things we hear until we go to ask for first-hand proof from the subject - the person being talked about, or seen. Getting off from the bus, I once saw a boy with seemingly-new shoes (yes I looked at his shoes, don't judge) and seemingly-new, expensive-looking headphones plugged into a new-ish looking phone. The first thought that came to my mind was "Wow they must be rich. Aren't they lucky, getting all that stuff from their parents". Later I realised that I could have been wrong. Maybe they saved up for their stuff. Maybe his shoes, headphones and phone are all old and just very well taken care of. I'll never know the truth unless I go to ask him.

You could say that we make these assumptions because that's what we, as humans, are programmed to do. But I for one believe that we're making these assumptions from the media. Why? The media is everywhere. Radio, TV, the internet, magazines, newspapers... the list goes on. Media surrounds us all the time and influences the way we think. We're constantly bombarded by flashy signs or commercials that tell us: "Do this! Do that! Buy this! No don't buy that, this is better!" So it's no surprise that the media can tell us: "Think this! Think that! Don't think that, it's wrong. New evidence suggests that by thinking this, you are thinking the right thing!".

At the end of the day, it comes down to two things:

  1. Perspective
  2. A huge shield barring us from the truth, aka censorship
One example I can think of is smoking and the side-effects of it. From what you can find on the internet, smoking is very bad. You can get lung cancer, your senses will be dulled, premature aging, increased chance of infections, impact on physical health, impotence, etc. But there is always a slight chance (I say slight because you never know) that smoking could benefit you in some way. But of course, the truth would never get out because the media and the government wouldn't want that. 

Unless somebody very brave and very well prepared stepped up to reveal the truth, nobody would ever know. 

Contradictory.

There is so much we can learn from people-watching. Not just about people individually (e.g. weird habits or something like that) but about society as a whole and how humans function either individually or within a group.

One thing I've learned is people often act or behave in different ways in different situations. I once had a friend (let's dub her Anastasia or Ana for short). When we were alone, she was playful, caring and waltzed about as if she didn't have a care in the world. She acted like a big sister to me and answered all my questions, no matter how stupid or insignificant. When we were with our relatively small group of friends, she was mostly the same but held back a bit more and sometimes embellished the truth a bit, making up some stories that were false.

But the real change came when we were with other people (who I sometimes called "outsiders", or at least in my head - haha). Ana would make up new parts of her that were utterly ridiculous and construct lies out of thin air. At the time, I was too young and too scared to confront her about it so eventually we just distanced ourselves about this. Although we were once very close, we drifted away because she felt pressured to fit into this "perfect" life or stereotype.

I was bored so I was wandering about through tumblr when I saw a post that were quite interesting. It didn't occur to me to screenshot it (oops) but what was said really stuck with me.
"Why don't boys feel ugly without makeup on? Because society hasn't told them that they need it"
(okay everyone a round of applause, tumblr just got deep)

Sometimes society just seems like one big contradiction, and nothing makes sense anymore.
Be yourself! No, not like that.
You're unique! Just like everybody else.
We accept everyone! But only if you are normal, good-looking, athletic, smart, etc. 

Honestly if the "space" that is allocated for people society will accept gets any smaller, nobody is going to fit anymore. We're people, not Barbies or Disney princesses or whatever.