December 4, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I failed which sucks, but I failed the one thing I was very confident in, so it’s worse. The side parking was my downfall, but it wasn’t because I didn’t know HOW but more of me being distracted by people using the other parking corner. If I hadn’t looked at her and focused on my lane, I would have passed. But thankfully, I passed the road exam, so I get to NOT do that the next round, on the 18th of December.
December 3, 2013 § 2 Comments
Big day tomorrow, retaking my driver’s license exam. Fingers crossed that I pass. ID, L license and that special letter from the Transportation Department all packed.
I’m nervous. Do say a prayer for me. I really want it to go well so I can finally put this behind me. I think I can breathe better once it’s over.
November 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
So, I mentioned previously that I would be painting the living room, the dining room and that bit before the kitchen. It was suppose to be 2 different shades of gray but somehow they turned out looking alike. I guess the living room does not get as much sunlight as I would like. It’s all topsy-turvy but hopefully you’ll agree that the fresh coat of paint improves the place.
I’m thinking of changing up the living room in the next few weeks. And of course, Christmas decorations will come out soon! I am exhausted from all that painting yesterday, and I had a driving class this morning(!) but that was the best thing I’ve done during this break.
November 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
SO, I did not receive any emails from the admin staff today so I believe I can safely say that I did not qualify for supplementary papers. This can mean 2 things: I am clear to proceed to Year 3 OR I have completely failed and will not be moving on. I hope it’s a YES YOU CAN GO ON reply in December, when final results are out. I won’t overthink anything right now because there is nothing I can do but leave things in the hands of the Lord. Thank you to those who beamed me kind thoughts and prayers in the last 24 hours or so, I am truly grateful.
Tomorrow I start my driving classes all over again. I don’t particularly look forward to it but it’s something I need to get over with. 3 days of classes this weekend and then another 2 in the next two weeks (if I don’t require additional lessons). Wish me luck. I do hope driving a manual car is like riding a bike, that it’s something that never quite leaves you.
What else shall I be doing during this break? Painting the living room and the dining room for one. Christmas decorating, redecorating the house, learning to cook singlehandedly and perhaps finally touching that guitar that has been sitting in the corner of my room for quite a while. I have decided to spend a bit more time writing this time round so, hopefully, there will be regular updates here.
I feel better right now. I just hope to wake up tomorrow with a positive attitude.
November 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Things have been a bit jumpy lately mainly because news about whether or not any of my coursemates and I will be sitting for supplementary papers would be out this week. I’ve been crazily checking my email on Monday and Tuesday and today. I nearly died when I received an email from the student administrative staff with the title “Further Assessment Notification 2013″. It turned out to be an email informing us that the announcement would be made tomorrow via email and only those who have to sit for further assessment will get the email. I swear to God I felt my heart stop just reading the title; it was not cool of the admin head to word the subject of the email that way, not cool AT ALL.
I think if I get the email about supps, I’d have a mental breakdown. There will be a lot of crying in my room and isolating myself from the world. I cannot bear the idea of not getting through to next year. I can’t bear the idea of having to sit for further testing. It will break me. It will tear me into little pieces, I just know it. I am very worried about it because this year has been really really rough in terms of emotional health. I have been messed up since DAY 1 of class right up till the end and frankly, my grades have suffered badly. I just want this year to be done with and allow myself to start again in Year 3. I just want this dread to end. I can’t take it.
In other news, I have my refresher course before I take my driver’s license exam (again) in about 2 weeks: December 4th. My only consolation is that once I pass this, I will still get my full certified driver’s license, instead of the probationary one, thank God! I hope I have not completely blanked out on how to drive a manual car. I am terribly ashamed of my colossal mistake this year that nearly drove me over the edge and going back to the previous paragraph, if I get supps, I will really tip over that cliff. I don’t think I’m capable of handling anything more right now.
November 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Okay, not literally him but that hippie-type character he played in Liberal Arts (which is this awesome movie that you must watch at least once). You see in this movie (which is possibly one of top 5 movies of all time), he does this whole speech to Josh Radnor’s character about “imaginal cells and caterpillars” (real stuff, look it up) and concludes with:
That is why there’s no reason to be afraid. Because everything is okay.
Maybe I need Josh Radnor in my life. He wrote that movie. Those lines are super neat, something I wish I could remember on a daily basis.
I spent part of my Saturday at an orphanage/boy’s home for my good friend’s 21st birthday party. (yes, she is awesome that way, celebrating her 21st with orphans. Did I ever mention the Community Medicine thing we do where we go to NGOs and help out? Anyway, she was sent to this orphanage/boy’s home). Instead of buying presents for her, we were tasked to buying presents for the kids. So, when she mentioned this whole ‘party with orphans’ (that sounds crass, huh) a while back, I had two main reactions:
1. Oh my gosh, that’s really nice of you. You’re so kind for thinking of them instead of completely bailing once our community work was done.
2. HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO TALK TO YOUNG BOYS?!!
Clearly, you can tell which one was the stronger reaction. The only time I’ve spent with kids are my cousins and I either adore them or I detest
him Ian them. I was trying to psych myself up, I told myself that they were just kids and if it didn’t work out, I can easily bail. I bought them 2 different games: a variation on Jenga and some other mathematical mind game that I never played before.
So, come Saturday, I was all geared up and went with a “you know what, these kids don’t have families. Be nice and be yourself, you probably have a heart in there somewhere” attitude and lo and behold, I did. For the first time in my life, I was called ‘Akka-Grace’ which is a respectful term for ‘older sister’. When you walk into that home, you feel the warmth of those kids. They were… really boys, loud, crazy, energetic. The energy I forgot existed in primary school.
We played that popular ice-breaking game where you’re divided into two big groups with a curtain drawn between the teams, then you had to guess the other person’s name once the curtain drops. It was crazy. I played like I was a kid again, and that helped. I think I know all their names by now. We also played Twister and by ‘we’ I mean ‘the kids’ because I am massive compared to them and they were far more enthused about it; I spun the wheel thingy.
Then came the point where my friend told them that the presents we all brought were for them. The cheer on their faces were priceless. Each of them got to open a package; there was this one kid with cerebral palsy sitting on the floor next to me and when he opened the package to find chocolates, the look on his face was truly one of those MasterCard “priceless” moments. I think that will forever be etched in my mind. I’m glad my presents were a big hit. Most of the kids were very gung-ho about playing the Jenga-like game but a handful were learning how to play the mind-game thing, which I had to learn on the spot and explain to them.
We left at about 4pm; nap time for the younger kids and the older kids had to clean up. While we were walking out, you could see them waving from the windows and thanking us.. I don’t know, it made me feel impressed at how spirited they are. These boys are from abusive families, some with parents who were criminals.. it’s amazing how much being in a stable-r home has helped them.
If they can get through what they were dealt with in life, I could do miracles with my hand. (is the card metaphor coming across well? you know, ‘the cards you’ve been dealt”… “cards in a hand”.. never mind). Like the imaginal cells in caterpillars (no really, look it up), there can be change for the better, if you keep going.
And I intend to.
October 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
What I have learned today:
My attention span runs away during mass
Kellogg’s “Smore Pop Tarts” are repulsive. If those are the ideal of this famous treat, I do not know what Americans enjoy.
I am obsessed with Oral Aid.
I don’t know why but the worst thoughts always enter my head when I’m at 6.45am mass. The thoughts that haunt me, the ones I’ve thought I had repressed, the things I thought I had gotten over. Unfortunately, I had not.
There’s this bit in one of my favourite chick flicks, “He’s just not that into you” where Justin Long’s character tells Ginnifer Goodwin’s character that ‘women thrive on the drama’. Naturally, she goes “of course not!” or something like that, and he fleshes it out:
“Oh really? So you never wait until the last minute on a deadline or phone bill because secretly you kind of love the drama of not knowing whether or not you’re going to make it?”
to which she answers, “…maybe.”
Maybe it’s a general statement to say that women do it; I think a lot of people do it. A lot of procrastinators do it. I know in my own weird way, I do do it. I have my eternal love affair with Mr. Procrastination. I tell myself, ‘no, he’s bad for you. he’s no good’ but he pops up at my door, leers at me, looking all dapper in a suit and tie… and I invite him to bed.
okay, maybe that description is a bit much. But if you were like me and you were cheating on ‘real life’ with Mr. P, you’d kinda understand what I mean. You go down too far and you push things because you get overwhelmed. You push, push, push until things are just too far along, then the next thing you know, your water’s just broke and you’re stuck in the desert without any gas in the tank.
I need to stop writing in metaphors.
I learned a big lesson this year when it came to procrastination. I pushed something so far until it came crashing down and has basically eaten me up inside ever since. It’s the frustration that creeps up on me every Sunday morning. I thought I had it under control, I thought I knew better but then it came time for it and I found out I was too late.
No, I did not have a baby, and no, I did not leave an assignment and didn’t get to hand it in. But I missed something major, something very important that should have been written in red marker on a table sized calendar: I missed the renewal date for my driver’s license. There’s this one year window where you have to get it changed from a “probationary” to “certified” and I missed it. It’s foolish but I forgot what year it was; I kept thinking it was 2012. Then when I did go all the way to change it, I found out I missed the deadline by a few months. MONTHS. If I had been better prepared this would not have happened. If I had written down important dates, made proper lists, kept a freaking reminder.. I would not have to retake the practical exam (thank goodness there’s a system where you can skip all the theory hours) at the end of this year. I hang my head in shame because I had gotten over this hurdle 2 years ago but now I’m going to be relearning how to handle a ‘manual’ car all over again.
You would think that I’d have learned from this horrible experience.
I have not…not really. All I ever get is consuming guilt and self directed anger because I am the epitome of failure. However these feelings don’t crop up when it’s time to hand in assignments or study for exam deadlines. Again, I push push push and pull off a miracle the night before. Or pray for one. But there’s this misconception that prayers without effort on our part will guarantee safe passage. I have had no such luck. This year has been nothing but tragic in terms of studies and my personal life. I blame the proverbial homewrecker that shares my bed at night (can’t help it. I love metaphors).
No, no, Mr. P never forces himself on me. I blame my wanton ways.
Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford says that guilt is not a good motivator for change in a lot of cases. LIke putting pictures of lung cancer or gangrenous wounds on cigarette boxes: the future complications of tobacco abuse usually stresses the smoker out more, leading the person to ultimately light another cigarette. Being mindful (something I learn in ‘suicide watch class’) is the key in high pressure, high guilt, high stress situations. You need to be aware of how you’re feeling and understand it, before letting it pass. You need to learn to talk yourself out of feeling like the absolute worst person because that only drives you to act in more damaging ways. Something Dr. McGonigal (isn’t her name just fab?) recommends is writing yourself little notes, as though you’re writing to a friend who’s going through what you are. What would you say to this friend? What would you write to coax him/her out of his/her shame spiral?
Luckily for me I have written to a good friend about how wretched I’ve been feeling and thankfully, unlike the last time I reached out to someone else, she replied with words of comfort and understanding, but most of all, solid advice on forgiving yourself. I thought I’d share part of it:
“You are not the worst person in the world, in fact you are one of the most amazing people I know in this world and it’s people like you that remind me why life is good and that I’m not alone. You have incredible worth and talent and you have so much good to do in the world. I do not think these setbacks will change any of that. “
I printed out the her reply because I’m cheesy that way and I’ve placed it on my ‘post it’ board. I read it every now and then to remind myself that failure is normal, that failure is a step in growing. Failure is okay, but you should never let it tie you down. Here’s something else she sent me that I thought I’d end this blog entry with:
“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy. But if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.” – Conan O’Brien