but we don’t know yet, do we?

I don’t know if it’s just me or does anyone else ever gets paranoid about their relationship so often. Is this normal? Is this healthy?

I know it hasn’t been long. Some say it’s understandable that there are many questions popping up once in a while at the beginning of a relationship. Some says it’s sign of being cold-feet which I should ignore. But I can’t. How can you when the past keeps haunting you till now? I know things have changed (for the better) (or at least I very much hope so) and that we are not the same now as we used to be. I’m not paranoid about the other person cheating, because I do (I think I do) trust that he won’t. My paranoia is whether he will ever like me as much as he liked his ex or whether I will ever mean as much to him. I know this is stupid, and annoying too. I try to convince myself that this shouldn’t matter and maybe he does if he’s willing to make all that effort for us to work. After all, he was the one to initiate the whole thing (not that I don’t want to. Of course I do too.) But why? Why me? Why now?

It’s only natural for one to want to find out why the other person is attracted to you/ what they see in you. It’s not a trick question is it? Should everyone have an answer for it? What should the answer be? Besides physical attraction – personality? Sense of humour? The fact that they make you happy even without doing anything? These seem to be the “standard” answers, so cliché that it seems pointless to even ask the question. Of course the person appreciate your presence and company and that’s why you’re together. Why would you be if they don’t? Then again, aren’t those criteria the same ones that you would consider when choosing your friends? So what makes this person stand out? What makes he/she more special than the rest that you consider them more than just friends? Feelings? Are these things explainable or are they just there – something that cannot be expressed in words? Do people just get together because they like each other? Is one capable of liking two or more people in the same way at the same time? Why then would you go into a relationship with that person if he/she’s not the only one who owns your heart in that sense?

Another thing, is silence a sign of a bad relationship? – one that is not working? Why have we become like this as soon as we’re “in a relationship”? The calls now seem obligatory, like a chore, just because “we have to”. But do we? Can we go on for days without talking? We didn’t used to be able to go on a day without texting 24/7 and finishing it with an hour-long phone call where we actually talk about stuff and no silences whatsoever. It was so different. What happened? What changed? What did we do? Friends tell me that this is a sign of doom that it should be put an end to. Is this the only possible explanation? Should I? Do I want to?

Friends vs the brain vs the heart.

The battle inside me keeps growing and I am trapped.

Insomnia again, Where Rainbows End (half way review), Christian talk

Almost three and I’m still awake. Got a 9 am seminar tomorrow so this is going to be great. Since I can’t get to sleep, might as well catch up with my reading.
I’m currently reading Where Rainbows End by Cececlia Ahern (there’s a movie out now based on the book called Love, Rosie, staring Lily Collins.) I’m currently (literally have the book open right in front of me, on page 374, more than half way through, so I thought I’d share my impression so far).

What is it:
Rosie and Alex have been best friend since childhood. They’ve been through basically everything together but then they’re separated when Alex moved to Boston with his family. They hardly see each other anymore and live very different lives. Yet, they manage to stay in contact after more than twenty years. Odds and misunderstandings keep getting into their ways over and over again as if to deliberately stop them from staying friends. Years of friendship have nurtured into something more. Will they risk anything, even their friendship, for love?

The writing style:
The book is written in a first person narrative in forms of letters/email/messages/postcards, which is a really fresh approach, contributing to the smoothness of the story. The letters are sometimes interrupted by an incoming message or a postcard but still the story flows really nicely and never seems abrupt. I also like how Alex’s bad spelling habit (‘no’ instead of ‘know’) is carried on throughout the book. The language varies for each and every character, as well as as they grow up, meaning the voice is extremely convincing.

The story:
Since I haven’t gotten to the end, I don’t know what happens at the end but so far I enjoy it quite a lot. The story is very relatable and realistic, concerning current issues happening in our society like single parenting, teenage pregnancy etc. Instead of dissing these “problems”, Ahern approaches the subjects through a whole different viewpoint – although teenage pregnancy is not encouraged or promoted, it is not condemned or looked down on as well. In fact, the writer suggests that something beautiful might actually happen because of one impulsive mistake made as a result of excessive drinking (another social issue that was touched on). Things happen for a reason was the message that I got from the book. Whenever something seems to be working out, something else happen and completely destroys the original plan. True that it isn’t very encouraging, but as the story goes on, better things happen as a result of the previous obstacles. Rosie, being the main character in the book, has gone through so much ups and even more downs (giving birth as a teenager, raising a child single handedly, getting married, cheated on and divorced, being unemployed/ struggling financially, missing out on being twenties’ like for normal people who does not have the responsibility to raise a child and so on) yet she keeps on going and (yes, she does whinge and complain fairly often, but) she is still able to look onto the bright side and not give up, even when she’s considered about it. This attitude to life is what we all should learn from.

Speaking of life and obstacles, there was a guest talk hosted by the College Christian Union today on the question”Is there more to life than this?” The talk was given by Tavis Bohlinger, an American singer/actor, now studying for a PhD in Theology at Durham! I enjoyed the talk immensely and felt like it was in some ways spoken to me specifically. Having born with a religious background, Bohlinger still faces many obstacles in life, preventing him from reaching his goals. But as Christians, why would God do this to us? Why would he stop us from achieving our dreams? Why would he give us a hard time when things seem to be going smoothly for us? I struggle to answer these questions myself and I sometimes doubt if what I believe actually exist. I raised a question because I felt like he would have the answer to it since he too has been through a lot, if not more. The question was What do you do or what keeps you from not losing faith in Him even when you’re at your lowest and when nothing seems to be working again and again? his answer was simple yet complicated: we can never lose faith. Faith is something heavenly and that can never be lost. I don’t know how to explain what he said but I kind of understood it, at least it made sense to me then. I do feel like my faith is shaken but he reassured me that it isn’t and it’s just an illusion because God holds really tightly onto us and never lets us go. I need to try and get rid of my doubts and get to know Him once again. Speaking of which I’ll be joining the CU for a weekend away in Newcastleton so I’m pretty excited about this. It’d be a great way to get to know more about the Gospel and to meet new people.

That’s all for now I guess, my eyes are getting bit tired but I’m tempted to continue with the book. I’ll probably read another few pages, finish up the chapter and head off. Breakfast at 8. Don’t even know if I can make it, probably not, but then again, I can hear my stomach growling now so I probably will, with difficulties.

P.S. Realised this took me half an hour to write. It’s already past 3:30am oh god.

Seminar, Money, Concerts, Coffee

Woke up at 7 (got out of bed at 8) for my 9am UK Con tutorial.

During breakfast, a few of us decided to go through the questions together just in case we completely missed out on something. It was actually a brilliant idea because during the time while i was preparing for the seminar myself, I had completely no idea if I was on the right track or not. Being able to discuss it with someone is so helpful; not only did I realised I was not being an utter idiot for knowing absolutely nothing, I actually have gained something from all those intensive hours of dull reading. Knowing that I’m going on the same pace as everyone else improves my self-esteem by a bit. At least now I realised I’m not behind, even though I might be on top of everyone else.

Having a lecturer/ seminar leader who is relatively more relaxed and “chilled” does make a difference. The atmosphere was not intense which makes it more welcoming for questions and suggestions. This encourage more people to raise questions without feeling stupid and hence improve everyone’s understanding on the topic discussed.

I’m thoroughly pleased with how the seminar went today, despite the fact it was so early in the morning. I did manage to get some sleep till lunch right after it.

Maybe it’s because of the limited allowance I get from my parents, I am becoming more and more obsessed with online freebies and online surveys where you get cash back and rewards? I think it’s slowly turning into a disorder which I need to control. I also have been inconsistently looking for part time jobs on campus and in town. Think i’ll need to earn myself some extra cash because I have as well an obsession with going to concerts. Music concerts here are much more common and comparatively cheaper than the ones back home (Hong Kong) and so I’ve been hunting for tickets every single day. Just got my friends and I some tickets to Jessie J’s concert this coming January. Gutted that we got it a few hours too late because the one in Newcastle has already sold out. Ours are in Leeds which isn’t too far away. Train tickets are around £12 with railcards if purchased in advance. Train tickets to New Castle would’ve been only or even less than £5 though on the day. Anyways, I’m sure we’ll have a great time since we haven’t been to Leeds properly so it’d be great for us to do a proper day trip and explore the town there. Really looking forward to that.

Oh and speaking of free stuff, will be heading down to Starbucks in a bit because I’ve got coupons for free coffee! Can’t wait to taste their Christmas flavours (I’m so excited to try their Hot Chocolate!) . They’re my favourite. Last night my friend treated me my first ever cup of Costa Christmas Coffee. I had the black forest hot chocolate. It was heavenly!! and they were giving out free food as well because it was their launch for the Christmas edition last night. Had the best 30 minutes break from work.

(This’s a cheery post for a change!)

P.S. We ran down to Starbucks at lightening speed for that cup of coffee but it was closed. Gutted!!

Realisation (turns into a massive rant)

I’ve probably mentioned it in my last post, which was written in less than 24 hours ago, that I had a hospital appointment in the morning. My cousin was nice enough to come along to keep me accompanied. As usual there was a massive queue and due to some technical issues, all appointments were delayed by half an hour. Normally I’d rage because I’m not a particularly patient person but since I had someone to talk to to pass my time, I didn’t mind much.

So yeah, we talked a bit, quite a bit about me and how I was finding my “new life” (ie. life as a Uni student, which only started since October, so it hasn’t really been that long). Everyone kept reassuring me that first year would be the best time of my life and since I only need 40% to pass, I should enjoy my time here to full extend and it wouldn’t even matter if I don’t start work till the very last term. I still hear a lot of these but I cannot say I agree or feel the same way at all. In fact, I feel very much the exact opposite. I am so stressed out of my mind. It’s only been four weeks and I’ve been spending most of my time outside lectures in my room reading law books and writing essays, preparing for seminars. I’ve missed three lectures so far due to a hospital appointment and I feel ashamed. I cannot understand how people could just miss lectures as if it was the easiest thing to do in the world. Some are even so proud of it that they keep count on how many lectures they’ve missed. Unbelievable. Even my best friend who (sort of) sworn that she would not miss any lectures when she starts Uni told me that she’s missing three in average every week. I only get 8 contact hours per week. Missing three means skipping almost half of that. I can’t possibly bring myself to do that. You might think I’m just trying to come across as a goody-two-shoes but I’m not, trust me. I am not enjoying this subject at all. Ok, I do find Tort and Contract kind of interesting as they are applicable in life but the Constitutional Laws drive me mad. I know they are too relevant in our daily lives but as a non-EU citizen, it’s not as relevant to me as it is to the rest of my class. Also, they’re more factual which means all you have to do or can do is to memorise everything.  I don’t have a bad memory. I used to enjoy History when I did it in GCSE. Ancient History though, I was never really that into current History. They seem much less interesting to me for some reason. Ancient Egypt and Greece used to be my favourite. Anyways, like I said, I did not volunteer to do Law. So why the hell am I committing three years of my life to this subject might you ask. Well, both my parents are Asians. Very possessive and controlling ones to be precise. If you’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and thought Amy was dictatorial, my parents will redefine that for you.

I believe that being able to choose your own subject is just like any other basic human rights. Freedom to choose? Isn’t everyone entitled to that? Why am I not then? Having to commit three years doing something you do not enjoy is torture. Fair enough, for GCSE and A Levels you get more than one choices so even if there’s one or two subjects that you are not particularly keen on but you had to do it cos your mom said so, you’ve still got the rest to distract you. Yet, in Uni, (not including double or combined honours) you only get one choice. One. Three years you’ll have to devote your life in that single subject. Nothing else. Nada. Sure you can take night classes for extra curricular activities and such, join clubs and societies but they aren’t the same. They aren’t your degree. You don’t have to do well in it. You don’t have the pressure to pass and succeed. You can if you want to but there’s not obligation implied. The pressure is self induced if there happens to be any so you can’t really complain about that. However, having to told which degree you must do or else you won’t even get to study anything at all is a whole different thing. Not only now do I have the existing pressure to pass my exams at the end of the year, I also have the pressure to, if not catch up, keep up with everyone else’s pace as understanding something you lack a passion for is not the easiest thing to do. On top of that, I am, unfortunately in this case, an overachiever, as in even though as long as I get 40% I’ll pass, I know deep down that I can do better than that and so I would not want to “just pass” but to do better and achieve higher. This is self induced pressure. Yes, you can say it’s my fault and that I can’t blame my parents or anyone else for this but when you think about it: if they hadn’t forced me into doing something I do not enjoy, but rather, allowed me to take up Languages instead, I would not have all this stress and anxiety. The latter may be have been my own doing, it could have been avoided if I was given a choice or a say like most of my peers. After all, it’s me who has to spend three years doing this degree, not my parents. Sure, I have to depend on them financially so it does make sense for me to obey whatever they wish me to do, but what about fairness? It’d be stupid for me to say that money’s not everything because here it is, seeing as if they decide to cut me off financially, I wouldn’t be able to continue my education and that would be the end of my future (I do not intend to offend anyone and am completely aware that it isn’t compulsory for someone to have a degree in order to make a living nowadays but I believe that having one would somehow put me into a better position when I am finally ready to do so.)

Sorry for the rant but I just need to get this out because it’s been bothering me since as long as I can remember and it still does. I might eventually come to like or even enjoy this subject but I’d still be equally pissed off with the fact that I did not have the freedom to choose.

Oops, realised I’ve sort of gone off the topic a little bit… (have I?) Realisation: I realised that besides my parents, I am in fact my own worst enemy, being the main cause of this burden of stress as I grew up with the expectation, from both my family and myself, to live a certain way: to perform well (in the Asian sense, not just passing your exams but to get at least 80%/ an A grade in whatever you do) academically, to behave in a certain manner (no unnecessary piercings, no tattoos, no crazy hairstyles/ colouring, minimal to no makeup) and to obtain certain achievements (to graduate University is a must, 1st hon if possible, I would not know how my parents would react if i get anything less than a 2.1) anyways, I have come to conclude that my parents are definitely not the only ones to blame for my pressure and that I am a major cause of this entire thing myself. I’m learning and willing to seek for help to cope with all the stress that I’m experiencing right now. I need to sort this out sooner rather than later.

Insomnia

I’m not even sure if I am medically diagnosed with it but I just assume I am. I’ve always had problems with getting a decent night sleep, finding it hard to fall asleep and harder to stay asleep. (Currently in bed with my Spotify on because I couldn’t fall asleep. It’s been an hour at least.) I’ve had a tough week (formative essays to due in and tutorials to prepare for…#lawstudentsproblems) and am constantly exhausted, physically and psychologically. Being only 19, I feel like I’m already fed up with (life?) I’m not even sure. My thoughts and moods are extremely inconsistent, swinging like a mad pendulum. I thought being physically worn out would make it easier for me to fall asleep but guess not, my actively hyper mind keeps on going like a crazy thought generator. It never seems to work as well when it comes it work, only does when I’m trying to get some sleep. Ok now my eyes are getting tired from staring at the tiny screen on my phone typing this so I’ll try and close them and hopefully get some sleep before waking up at 7 tomorrow for my hospital appointment. My plan for an early night failed epically, yet unsurprisingly.

Sorry for the depressing first post.