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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How I become after a month of being a complete social recluse.

(This post was written on a whim. You can clearly see where random moodswings and abrupt topic changes have taken place. Mostly though, I'm being extremely whiney and annoying. Because this is my personal space and I can be like this sometimes, so there.) (It also involves a lot of brackets.)


I don't juggle well.

And I don't mean juggling balls. (teehee someone said balls) (that's what she said) (why am I being so juvenile) (oh gosh look what not sleeping does to a person) (please don't leave me) (I'm sorry I'll stop typing in nonsensical brackets) (or try to anyway)

I meant that over these past few weeks, I have had six pressing obligations to attend to. Four are my course assignments, one is an upcoming mooting competition, and the last one is a secret side project I'm working on. I'm really excited about that one, and I'm hoping to be able to talk about it here soon!

The first five obligations basically require me to be glued to my computer screen every single available waking moment, doing the most boring research you could ever imagine, and attempting to type out an essay based on all the crap I've managed to put together. While I do love writing, there is absolutely no fun in writing law assignments. I mean, I have literally taken a break from researching, and stared at my wall for almost an hour, just because that was just so much more fun than what I was doing.

I've been so busy and worked up over producing decent assignments, that I'm now seriously considering pulling out of the mooting competition, just because the deadlines overlap. I've proven to be absolutely horrific at managing my time with more than one major obligation at a time, and I'm worried that in the end, both my assignments and my mooting performance will suffer.

I haven't had a decent, stress-free night of sleep in weeks, and I average around 5 hours of sleep per day. While the lack of sleep alone is fine, even though it makes me look like crap, its the bloody stress that makes me want to rip my skin off. So many times when I close my eyes, I still see myself sitting in front of the computer screen typing.

"Welcome to the reality of being a lawyer," says mommy after hearing me complain about things. Thanks a lot for reminding me that I'm on the brink of entering working life. Shit.


Because of all these things, I even banned myself from going out with my friends for a month, after all my assignments were handed in, and I felt like crap whenever I have to deny an outing. I also haven't been out shopping or having nice desserts or doing anything remotely fun yet in 2013.

I haven't been blogging much either. And although that may just be a convenient excuse as I don't blog much under any circumstances, it was just so frustrating how I was typing thousands of words, but didn't like anything I was typing. It's hard to insert wit into an assignment involving rights in land law, without being tasteless or irrelevant, and it might have just cost me marks. Oops.

I've become so anti-social, a hermit shell has been starting to grow on my back. So I suppose it isn't such a bad thing that my lack of sleep has made me look like a pimply monster with stringy hair and eyebags bigger than my Asian-sized eyes. It's not like anyone's gonna see me.

Or date me. Sigh. So much for 2013 being the first year ever of actually having a real Valentine's Date.


So really then, if I have all these complaints about my super heavy workload, then what the hell am I doing here blogging? Shouldn't I be reading enticing articles written by grumpy old farts in their brown tweed overcoats with elbow patches? Or putting together cohesive sentences using bombastic words in a desperate attempt to fool the lecturer that the assignment was done over weeks instead of 3 sleepless nights?

Umm, not really. It's the end of January, and I've officially been slogging my ass off for over a month now. My stamina has been worn to the ground, and I'm in that delusional state of mind where I believe I have earned my right to procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate.

And in the meantime watch every single video of this really cute British youtuber that I've literally just discovered two days ago, called "danisnotonfire". I've never been into skinny guys, as besides thinking their not masculine, being a plus sized person I dread being in a relationship where people describe us as "Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean". (Does anyone even know that line anymore? Sigh I am so uncool someone shoot me.)

But my Waterloo is British accents. There is absolutely nothing sexier to me, and it instantly turns an average looking guy into a male Adonis. And I swoon at British accents so much, I worry that when I fly off to the UK this year I'll be admitted by concerned strangers into a psychiatric ward.

I mean come on, how could anyone not be attracted to the way Jude Law or Hugh Grant speaks?  (Yes, my favourite movies are light and playful romantic comedies, go ahead and judge.) That sensual, mellow, soothing tone that is as comforting as hot chocolate on a cold, rainy night. Absolutely delicious.

But I digress. Where was I?


With all the assignment and mooting nonsense I have going on now, I don't think my brain has ever worked more in its life. And I don't normally entertain melodrama, but at this point of mental exhaustion, I really don't give a shit.

The sight of my law books now literally repel me. I can force myself to open books and pdf format articles, but my eyes just skim over everything and refuse to slow down to allow my brain to absorb anything. I sound like a waterproof mascara. And I would really like to go swimming, because I haven't in a long time, but my hair is already dry enough without the excess chlorine.

Oh wow. I can't believe I just went off on that tangent. I mean, that's the degree of randomness I normally have when talking with people I'm most comfortable with, but I usually have more structured outlines for blogposts.


I guess this is what happens when you decide to let yourself type anything and everything that pops into your head and publish it for everyone to see. What was that saying? It was better to keep silent so that people merely think you're an idiot rather than open your mouth and confirm it?

Meh. I'm sleep-deprived and in full zombie mode. I think I'll take the night off and go continue fantasising about my new youtube crush. But don't worry, I'm not one of those crazy fangirls that have celebrities as their wallpapers and screensavers and call them their "boyfriends" or "husbands". I hate those people. They annoy me.

But this guy is really cute, albeit skinny, and I know the attraction is fully based on the accent. Most girls never seem to mind if a guy is all skin and bone though. Skinny bitches. I wish I was skinny too. Then maybe someone would actually ask me out.


I'm sorry I've wasted your time. This is probably the weirdest post I've ever published, even though its how I regularly chat with people. I guess I've never seen my randomness in full-blown written style though. (teehee full-blown)

But I think I'd better stop now before things get out of hand. (that's what she said) (oh gosh what the hell is wrong with me I need sleep)

Please don't stop reading my blog. Pretty please?


Or I will hunt you down and force-feed you smelly tofu, Asian ninja style.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My first mooting experience.

Mooting is kind of, but miles different, from a debate. It's in an imaginary courtroom setting, with a judge sitting before you, and you have to represent your client and argue your case before the judge. Also, while debaters can spew theories and throw speculations around, mooters have to rely on precedents set in previous cases, meaning we have to read a disgusting amount of full judgements to find quotes by judges that will help our claim.

With a heart laden with trepidation, I decided to take a big step out of my comfort zone, and throw my hat into the mooting ring this season.

Those who know me, know that I dread speeches and any form of public speaking. I'm pretty comfortable expressing myself when I'm writing or when I'm having casual discussions with people, but put me in a formal situation and watch every part of me freeze up. It's like someone has just picked me up and dropped me into an ice box.

My brain refuses to spin, my throat becomes completely dry, and words just choke themselves coming out. I turn into a stuttering mess, and the level of discomfort I feel when public speaking is pretty equivalent to that of getting an injection. Both are painful to bear, and you just can't wait to get it over with because you hate it so much.


Clearly, I was out of my comfort zone. So why the hell did I do it?

Honestly, I needed something positive to put on my rather barren personal statement for university applications. Plus, I was in an irrational, 'what-the-hell-just-go-for-it' mood that day. So I did.

What was even out of character, was that I joined without a mooting partner (each moot team comprises of two members). So I had to approach the guy in charge of signups and ask him if there was anyone else that had registered solo that I could pair up with. Basically, it means I was willing to spend a lot of time with a complete stranger, again uncharacteristically. These surprises make me wonder whether I'm still a shy person deep down, or have I changed and my brain just hasn't caught up to it.

Luckily though, this guy Oliver also approached the organiser for the same reason at the same time. Since we both sort of knew each other, we decided to pair up.


And so we skip ahead to Round One.

Being first time mooters and all, you'd think Oliver and I would have started preparing much earlier. And you know, would have asked around for the most efficient methods of moot prep. After all, we had already received our moot question about a month before our match.

But nope, in typical Malaysian procrastination spirit, we only began preparing a week earlier. And with no clue what to do and where to look, we basically stumbled around like headless chickens the first few days. Until now, we have no idea how we managed to spend whole days being so busy but accomplishing zilch.

And then crunch time came. We had 1 day before we had to hand in our skeleton arguments (a rough outline of points you plan to argue which you need to exchange with your opponent 48 hours before your match), and we thought we had loads of time, because our points were already in our heads. We could finish up in 5 minutes, we thought.

Wrooooong.

Once we wrote things down, suddenly nothing made sense anymore. We had too few ideas, each lacking more depth than the other. We had no idea where to fit our case authorities, or which extract we wanted to use, and where we wanted to place them in our speeches.

So we stayed up the whole night at McD trying to make two skeleton arguments we were satisfied with. Went back at close to 4am when words started swimming before our eyes for a short rest, then met up again at around 8.30am to continue.

Once we got that out of the way, submitting the skeletons an hour late to boot, it was time to prepare the dreaded bundle of authorities (photostated judgements to show evidence of judges' quotes used). Again, we thought this would be a breeze.

"Why don't we just split the cases and meet back tomorrow? We'll print every highlighted page. Can finish early one lah."

Once again, wrooooong.

L and I both had church obligations the next day (Sunday), so we agreed to meet around 6pm. But the thing is, we also had unfinished assignments that we needed to attend to first.

Predictably, things didn't go as smoothly as we planned. We only managed to finish deciding which pages to print at past 9pm, and only finished printing at 10pm. We managed to beg the kindly uncle at the copy shop to allow us to photostat 4 more sets, but he wasn't willing to help us bind anything.

So we rushed off to another Indian shop, which happened to be closing. Again, Oliver's persuasive skills came through and we got our bundles bound by three very disgruntled guys repeatedly swearing at us in Tamil. (Oliver knows Tamil swear words.)

Which left us with 5 bundles, each with around 60 pages (we would  find out the next day that we only needed to prepare 2 bundles and profusely swear). The next step was to highlight the relevant areas we wanted to quote. At this point, it was 11pm, with slightly over 12 hours to our moot, and we still hadn't written out speeches.

Long story short, between L's unfinished assignment and our sheer exhaustion, our preparation only ended at 5+am the next morning. We had under 2 hours to sleep (nap) before we had to get up and going.

I didn't manage to sleep that night. The intense fear of public speaking and dread at embarrassing myself kept me up and angsty. After an unpleasant hour of restless sleep, it was time to get up and head to college and our imminent loss caused by my inability to string words together, and turning into a blubbering mess in the moot court.

This was us, probably at 4am and the peak of grumpiness:


Can you feel the non-existent love already, people?

And so, after we trudged on for 3 full days of practically non-stop moot prep, guess what? WE WON!!! (*proceeds to do strange victory dance. Wheeeeeeee!)

Most likely, it was because our opponents weren't as serious about the competition as we were. Maybe it was because we had a really nice judge that I personally feel was biased towards helping us. Least likely but still possibly, maybe we both are better mooters than we thought.

All I can say is, I really lucked out with Oliver as my partner. We work well together, we stay near each other, we both don't have curfews, and he has the most understanding girlfriend in the world that doesn't resent me for spending so much time with him. We balance each other out, because Oliver is extremely outspoken and charismatic, but I am far more organised, and we're both hardworking and competitive.

But still, even though we get along so well, one can only spend a certain amount of time with another person in a high-stress environment. By the day of our match, we had already told each other countless times that "I wanna slap you" (mostly him) and "I wanna kill you" (mostly me), and names had long been replaced with "idiot" or "asshole" or "noob". I've honestly never experienced such a feeling, where being within the proximity of someone whom I didn't dislike, filled me which so much irritation and annoyance that I constantly wanted to lash out.

So as much as I'm thankful for having him as my partner, I'm even more thankful for the short break we'll be taking from each other. Oliver and I have already agreed to avoid each other for a week-long "moot partner detox".


So, what are my honest feelings about mooting?

Well, it's still not my cup of tea. While I may have loosened the bonds of shyness, I still remain an introvert that just doesn't enjoy public speaking, no matter how good I may get at it. While I still plan to make the most out of this experience, I highly doubt that I will be voluntarily joining the next season.

But this doesn't mean I won't give it my all while I still remain in this competition. I'm far too competitive to let anything easily slip by without a fight, being a kiasu Chinese and all.

And so we move on to Round Two. (Ding Ding!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Once upon a time.

The beauty of being a writer (or at least, a person that loves to write more than anything), is that you never stop writing when inspiration hits, and you rediscover those notes when you least expect it. Little things you've wrote about in the past, about the way you felt about things.

You stumble upon rants you've made against your parents and siblings when you were a pre-teen and hated the world, gushes you've made about all 500 of your crushes, fights with your friends and how much it pissed you off, and all sorts of typical, self-obsessed dramas. Of course, as you were the one that penned it down, you get to relive your past, and get the privilege to remember things in your own words.

Words have always provided me with a safe, comforting sanctuary whenever I was feeling torn apart. And I had forgotten just how much I'd loved writing about my feelings, even more than 10 years back, when I was writing about how excited I was about going to Penang to stay with an aunt for a week, and how I was so torn between multiple crushes!

It also makes me smile to myself to see that I haven't changed all that much. I still have an unconventional sense of humour and horribly atrocious spelling. Even now, I constantly have to spellcheck everything I write, and it was only a few months ago that I finally learnt how to spell "guarantee". Yes, things are that bad.


But of all the little gems from the past you find, the ones that hit you hardest are the ones that you wrote about people you've loved and lost. Those that have etched a place in your heart, and have left scars which will never fully heal.

And if you're thinking, "oh great, more teenage love tripe", I have this to say: you are most certainly absolutely right. This post is in fact about one of my past relationships. I suppose I'm kind of a Taylor Swift that way; whenever someone phunks with my heart (whoops wrong artist), I absolutely have to express it no matter what. It's just how I cope with heartaches.

But today, when I stumbled upon something I wrote 2 years ago about the boy I was in love with, I realised how naive I was back then, to believe that I could never again love another person. Because I know that I still have my whole life ahead of me to find my soulmate, and I'm looking forward to finally meeting him.

But why waste a good short story?

So I'm patting the old me on the head, and letting my past go. I didn't even remember that I thought I'd never get over you, until I looked back on this and realised I had forgotten all about us. But we're both happier with our lives now, and I know we both want nothing but happiness for each other.

___

Par Amour   (dated 23rd February 2011)

Katelyn's feet gave way. She slumped to the ground, and just lay there. Uncontrollable tears caused her heavy black eyeliner to smudge in ghastly streaks down her face. Waterproof my arse, she thought bitterly.

He never loved her.

For so many years, she had been enthralled by him. Ever since she clapped her eyes on him in high school, she knew that he was something special. She held on to the hope that someday, he too would look at her the same way she looked at him; full of tenderness and compassion.

They would stare into each others eyes for ages, finish each others sentences, hold each others hand, be there for each other. They would laugh and cry together, people would be jealous of how long they lasted, they would do silly sweet things and have gooey nicknames for each other. In short, she wanted him to be her perfect lover. Her first lover.

There was a glitch though, Katelyn had never spoken to him. Nor had he shown any sign of even acknowledging her existence. As almost all puppy love went, Katelyn had a textbook crush. The lowly, common, average to the point of being invisible girl, falling for the popular guy. She was disgusted by falling into the common stereotype, but she didn't care. Not at all.

Eventually she woke up. She realized how out of her league he was, and returned to dating fellow commoners. She ignored how her heart palpitated every time he walked past, she chided herself for being able to recognize him by merely glimpsing his wristwatch from a 100m distance, she forced herself not to cry whenever he was with someone new.

He would never know this, but he had always been on her mind. Despite her dating others, it never lasted. Each relationship she had ended with her leaving, and it was all his fault. She wanted to datehim , trying to substitute him with others just left her consumed with guilt.

She watched from a distance as he went on with his amazingly blessed life, filled with social activities, popularity, and increasingly hot chicks. She couldn't tear herself away from him. She secretly pondered if she may be masochistic; constantly torturing herself by learning all about his hot, steamy relationships through the grapevine. The pain of knowing it wasn't her was like stabbing a jackknife through her stomach, and twisting it 'till she could no longer breathe.

***

Somehow in the present time, Katelyn managed to sit up. Her hands rigidly clawed into the rocky earth, leaving her delicate fingers scratched and bloody. Her breathing was laboured and choppy, her eyes wild and haunted.

Katelyn didn't register the pain; her mind was at a different place altogether.

***

It seemed like a dream come true.

She started saying hi to him as they passed in the hallways. She had nothing to lose; he was in yet another relationship, and as much as it hurt her and caused her to breakdown some nights, she wanted to be closer to him. Even if it meant just being friends.

The "hi"s in the hallways led to even lengthier conversations, then led to them talking online almost everyday. Eventually, they started texting constantly. Her face lit up every time his message tone sounded. Even though she constantly reminded herself that he was unavailable, she was still elated. He was exactly the type of person she thought he was, possibly even better.

And then he broke up with his girlfriend and started paying special attention to her.

He started giving her little gifts, calling her sweet little nicknames, and playing with her hair. He walked with his shoulder in constant contact with her shoulder blade; a clear sign of protectiveness and possession. He'd started holding her hand, then started holding her close. His kisses drove her wild with passion and desire. She was living in the her dreams and fantasies, only this time, her eyes were wide open.

***

'Pah!'

Katelyn spat into the ground. 'If only I knew what I was getting myself into.'

For the first time since she collapsed, Katelyn raised her eyes to survey her surroundings. She took in a familiar scene, that is her neighbourhood playground. She recalled coming here dozens of times with her family as a toddler, then eventually with her friends as an adolescent. 

Her heart full of foreboding, she still allowed herself one small smile as she recalled the fun times she once had here. Her gaze swept over the climbing set, the monkey bars, the see-saws, and the slide; then eventually came to rest on the swings. She lowered her gaze to the tuft of grass growing directly beside the pole supporting the swing set, where the grass was just one shade greener than all grass around it.

***

It was the school's annual Valentine's Day dinner.

Katelyn was standing in front of her full length mirror in her dressing room, nervously adjusting the straps on her pale pink dress and rearranging her freshly curled hair over her shoulders. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were wide, and she constantly reminded herself to breathe normally.

'Look, you don't wanna look like a freak on your first date', she told herself. Taking a deep breath, she reapplied lipstick to her white, trembling lips. He would be here to pick her up any minute, and when he did, she would be calm, collected, and perfectly poised.

Miraculously though, she managed to pull herself together. Unfortunately, he couldn't care less. He barely glanced at her meticulously prepared make-up or her expensive, flattering dress. He didn't offer to open the car door for her or pull out her chair. Hell, he even changed his seat so he didn't have to sit next to her halfway throughout the dinner. Katelyn was mortified, but too afraid to confront him, fearing the worst.

Katelyn spent the next few days ignoring him; partly because she was embarrassed and angered by his behaviour, partly because she wanted him to apologize to her first.

He talked to her all right, but it was what she never wanted to hear.

***

Katelyn yanked the grass up by its roots and dug frantically into the soil. Beads of perspiration lined her trickled down her forehead as she searched the compact earth for what she was looking for, for what she had buried at this very spot on that fateful day, exactly two years ago.

A single tiny silver heart, with delicate woven silver flowers and vines on its surface, on a thin silver chain.

***

"Look, I like you, and you're a great girl. But there's just too many things going on in my life right now. I would prefer it if we just remained friends."

Katelyn stopped rocking gently on her swing. Suddenly she no longer ached for his touch and unconsciously leaned away from him. She'd expected an apology about that fateful night when he'd asked her to meet him here, but she'd got much, much more than a simple "I'm sorry".

She had remained rooted to that spot 'till daylight faded, crying 'till she ran out of tears and her eyes were painfully swollen and her temples aching from her bruised tear ducts.

A lingering, loud shriek pierced through the silent night sky, as agony wrecked through her gut and left her in convulsions; she threw her head back and let her sorrow rip through the air. Again and again, until the heart-wrenching shrieks quietened into silent whimpers.

With a sudden burst of energy, she crouched down and began pawing desperately at the ground. When she felt the hole was large enough, she unfastened the necklace she'd worn around her neck since the day he'd given it to her as a small gift, and stuck it deep in the hole. Her emotions were surprisingly sated once the hole was covered, as if she'd buried her feelings for him along with the trinket.

When she finally left for home that night, she vowed she'd never look back.

***

Katelyn's fingernail struck something solid with a distinct clink.

Hoping it was not another stupid rock, she pulled it from the ground. Her heart jolted as she saw the dull gray surface of the silver heart, remembering how it felt when he'd first put in around her neck. Unthinkingly, she pressed her lips to it.

***

As it turned out, she found out she never mattered to him.

Her preconceived notions, her suspicions, they all were proven true. He had only been stringing her along to get closer to her cousin, who invariably belonged to the top gang in the high school social hierarchy. Apparently, he had never missed her, or regretted breaking her heart

Hollywood had made her believe in the lasting romance of the small town girl and the city boy. In retrospect, her rose-tinted glasses had blinded her, and led to inevitable disaster. She vowed to never repeat her stupid mistake again.

He went back to being popular, and she went back to being invisible. When they passed each other in the hallways, their pace would quicken and their eyes would be fixed onto the floor. Life returned to relative normalcy.

Until she found out ten minutes earlier that he had been apologizing to previous lovers for breaking their hearts. Until she found out he expressed regret over what him and his previous lovers would never get to experience. When every single one of his previous girlfriends had been talked to, she realized he'd never talked to her; she wasn't significant enough for him.

Why would he, I'm small fry after all.

And that's when all energy left her body while walking back home one day.

***

Katelyn fastened the delicate necklace around her neck.

Despite everything, she still remained friends with him.
Despite everything, she still cared for each him.
Despite everything, she still missed him.

Despite everything, after all this time, she still loved him.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A clean slate.


A new year has dawned upon us yet again!

For me, the coming of the new year brings about the greatest amount of hope and anticipation. 365 (well, 364 now) brand new days unfurling before us, ripe with endless possibilities, with countless adventures that have yet to be taken. The new year sweeps away all the mishaps and heartaches of the past, leaving us with memories and lessons learnt, and we shall strive not to repeat our mistakes in 2013.

Most of us, myself included, were apprehensive of "doomsday" on 21/12/2012. While I was not completely convinced that the world was going to end, and so did not in any way become a "doomsday prepper", I still had misgivings that we may after all be wiped out from this world.

Even though my Christian teachings have told me that "you will not know the hour when the Lord is coming", the hype surrounding the whole doomsday thing seeped through the cracks and stayed in my mind. When 22/12 rolled around, I let out a breath of relief I had no idea I was holding.

So this new year is even more special, because we thought we might have been dead by now. And while we will die someday, and the world will end someday, that day has not yet come, and we should celebrate everyday that we are still alive. I'm sorry if this post may seem more depressing than your typical new year excitement, but I promise you that it is acceptance of the reality of our mortality, that will lead us to cherish every moment that we have, and help us grow to be a better person.


I don't make New Year Resolutions, because I never follow through on them. But I wanted to list down things I hoped to achieve anyway, without placing such an imposing label on these hopes. So I simply hope that this year, I will become the best version of myself that I can be.

I hope to become a more compassionate, generous, and helpful person, be it with people I love or with people I have newly met.

I hope to be more adventurous and less timid. Maybe I'll finally go on a wild roller coaster. Or you know, finally set foot in a club. (Doubt it's possible to be more lifeless than me, eh?)

I hope for romance and passion; and hope to find true love.

I hope to be more outgoing and to form new bonds. I love my current peeps to bits, but it is possible to get too comfortable with your routine.

I hope to break those horrible bad habits, namely procrastination and laziness, that have left me once again struggling with last minute assignments.

I hope to regain my vigour to actively find the time and inspiration to write more often.

And I hope, above all, to have the strength and courage to follow my heart and conscience, in everything that I choose to undertake.


Rest assured that despite the sombre tone, I am extremely excited to see what 2013 has in store for me! I pray for good health, wealth, and endless joy for everyone reading this! I really hope I'll become a better blogger this year!

Cheers everyone, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 

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