mentally unsettled, as always

I went to buy tickets for the evening showing of Moana today (online ticketing was not working) and decided to have a solo lunch, as you do, at the mall. The minute I got the bill and was going to leave, two people I recognised walked in and my gut reaction was to try to make myself invisible.

They ended up sitting at the table beside me and I felt myself go rigid. I made it my mission at that point to not make eye contact and stare at the other end of the shop. I paid for my meal and exited as soon as possible.

Here’s the thing: the only person who was actually hyperaware was me. These are two people I don’t really know. One of them I went carolling with 5 years ago, the other was a student two years below me in secondary school. Would they have recognised me? Probably not, there was a slim chance of that.

But my instant reaction was to hide. My sympathetic system kicked in and I wanted to bolt.

I feel like that’s a classic move with me. I don’t know what it is. The last time I bumped into a person I knew in 7/11, I did my best to bolt but I got caught and made conversation. Which was fine. It wasn’t weird, not really.

Yet I don’t know why I do that. It’s not even with people I ‘don’t like’ or had ‘issues’ with. These two were regular people that likely, didn’t remember me.

Is it a thing to react like that? Or is it just my own personal mental issues getting in the way again?

giphy

 

 

32

Hello my darlings!

As you may have noticed, I have a fontanelle (‘soft spot’, get it? nah, it’s a bad joke) for using numbers as post titles. It’s a thing for me. There are about 32 days left in the year and frankly, I don’t quite know what I’ll be doing for them.

Aside from diving head first into Gilmore Girls discussions, I have not done much. Last week two friends and I went to the medical council here to register ourselves for our internship next year. It just grounds the whole experience of medical school, you know? Working as an ‘adult’ in 2017.. gosh.

I went to Malacca with my parents just for a really quick food trip last Saturday and I don’t really have anything to say about it. I’m going to add some pictures that I took there for no real reason and absolutely no connection to anything I’m going to write about.

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2

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I’m going to plug a few things just because I have not done this in a while:

My Dad Wrote A Porno– Jamie Morton sits down with two of his friends and reads a terrible erotica novel thing his dad self-published and it is hilariously terrible. I recommend you listen to it, if you don’t mind the filth, but please do not put your parents through it, unless they’re incredibly cool about the whole thing- which most parents would not be. It’s funny, I can say that. I listened to a few episodes while I cleared out my room on Sunday.

This Is Us- As you know I’m very partial to Milo Ventimiglia’s face, and he’s in this, so yeah. If you have not heard anything about it, I would say watching it without knowing what it’s about is a good idea. Go in without any expectations. Highly recommend it if you like shows about complex relationships, be it romantic or familial.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them– This is almost an unnecessary plug but I really enjoyed this instalment to the HP franchise. We all kinda know that JK Rowling jumped back in because it churns out money but I am sure that she’s also itching to see if ‘she’s still got it’. I know, I sound like a sceptic, but since the last book, I’ve just been very ‘bleh’ about it all. But this movie has opened a new area and since there are no books, I will not be able to be disappointed in the execution. Also, Eddie Redmayne as Newt is A+.

Postmodern Jukebox’s cover of Closer– Kenton Chen is talented and adorable. That’s all my justification for this plug.

Good Girls Revolt– an Amazon series about women in the workforce in the 70’s, struggling to be recognised for their talents and to be allowed the same job opportunities. I think I like it because it reminds me of Mad Men, in the sense that the characters are messy and make the stupidest decisions that make you want to shake them on occasion.

Have a good week guys!

11

On Rory Gilmore

I just finished watching the episodes for the Gilmore Girls revival and my heart is so full, and my eyes have just finished crying. I need to write this out because this has to go somewhere.

Be warned, spoilers abound. And this is a rant, basically.

Gilmore Girls and I have a strange history. I was not allowed to watch it on TV when it was on TV here in Malaysia. It was always on a school night, way past my bedtime. My mother didn’t like it because she felt that Alexis Bledel didn’t enunciate enough. I watched a few episodes here and there, some I would be able to find online. I followed it through clips on YouTube when it was still airing, but I mostly watched it on my own via the wonders of the Internet, once it stopped airing. I have gotten much closer to the show since reliving the episodes while listening to the Gilmore Guys Podcast- it got me through many quiet days, bus and train rides in Melbourne.

I was always Team Luke from the start, maybe because I didn’t start at the beginning so the Lorelai-Luke thing was a thing already. I was Team Jess mostly because Milo Ventimiglia looked the way he did (and still does) and because they connected over the same things I loved. While I can fully acknowledge he was a terrible boyfriend for a lot of their younger years, he was a three-dimensional character. And that fondness for Jess never quite left and grew more so when he came back with his life sorted, and straightened out Rory’s life in Season 6. I was always Team Grandparents because who doesn’t love Richard and Emily? Believe me, a lot of my tears for the revival were scenes involving Richard not being there.

Between Rory and Lorelai, I was always in favour of Rory. When I was younger all I wanted to be was Rory Gilmore. I actually looked up ‘How To Be Like Rory Gilmore’ and stuck that list in my diary when I was 14 because of how much I was obsessed with that character. She read books, she knew pop culture, she was smart, she wanted to go to an Ivy League school. I shared so much of that with her, I genuinely wanted to learn to drink coffee just so I could be more like her. That’s practically insane.

I always saw myself in Rory and I always rooted for her, even when she screwed up big time (cheating with Dean, stealing a boat, DROPPING OUT OF YALE). I understand that feeling of being lost and uncertain now more so than back then because that is generally what my 20’s have been so far. In Seasons 6 and 7, Rory was in a place quite similar to me right now- that liminal space between becoming an adult and transitioning out of childhood. When she got her act together, of sorts, I cheered for her. I was proud of Rory heading off to follow the Obama campaign back in 2007.

Now that Amy Sherman-Palladino (and her husband, Daniel Palladino) have graced the world with four new episodes that are to act as closure for us fans, I was excited to dive in head first back into Stars Hollow. I was given another round to cheer on Rory Gilmore, and maybe see her end up with Jess or someone that made her happy.

Instead, we are taken on this journey that we’ve kinda seen before. Rory is a bit of a mess; she’s cheating with Logan, who is engaged, and once again, she has no direction. My first reaction to this news was to get so mad. (Note that I didn’t get to watch the episodes when they came out yesterday because I don’t have a Netflix account, so I was reading the recaps on TVLine) Number One, she’s CHEATING with Logan- that was a huge deal for her back in Season 4 and 6. And now she’s cheating again. The words disappointed didn’t even cut it for how I felt. Number Two, she has no direction? Again? It felt like a repeated storyline that we have seen before and I was just ‘done’ with it. Not to mention the fact that I was personally miffed that Milo Ventimiglia was only in two episodes, but that’s beside the point.

Also, the final four words. Really? REALLY?

After calming down a bit and watching the episodes properly, I get it. Kinda. Well, I realised that I still ‘get’ Rory. She’s a mess, there’s no denying that. She’s not lost it all completely, but there is some floundering around. The more I thought about it, the more I realise that Rory and I have something in common, maybe something we’ve always had in common.

We thought we were Leslie Knope, but we are Rory Gilmore. Or at least she is, and that’s okay.

No, I do not condone cheating in any form. I do not applaud the fact that she got ‘lost’ again. But she’s an extremely ‘human’ character, she’s terribly flawed.  And so am I. Who am I to be disappointed in a fictional character who’s making mistakes (that I agree she’s consciously making, so I’m not pardoning that) when I am doing the same thing. I’m floundering too.

She’s 32 in the revival. I’m 24 right now. She’s lost. I’m kinda lost, too.

I think the reason they wrote her this way was to reflect the ’30-somethings’ that have been chewed up and spat out by the world. The ones that are floundering and swam back home, despite being over 30. Maybe it was to remind us that no one truly has it all figured out. No one has a binder full of ‘life goals’ that work out perfectly. We just go from experience to experience, bounce from one place to another on this messy journey of life, and that we are simply figuring out everything as we go. We make horrific mistakes through our own choices and we have to figure our way through the mess.

That sounds cheesy, but gosh, it is how life works, isn’t it? The whole revival was about that: the transitions in life, whether it be for Rory, Lorelai or Emily. All three of them flounder a little and they managed to figure it out; on to the next stepping stone across the river.

I am kinda irked that the revival did not give me complete closure on Rory but in some ways, the final four words left things so open that there is a possibility for future episodes, or just really well thought out fan fiction. It’s not a full stop, it’s an ellipsis. And isn’t that what life is, all the way to the end, and even beyond that, depending on whether you’re into the ‘afterlife’ or not?

Rory Gilmore is a mess. She’s not a perfect princess although Stars Hollow treats her as such. Rory Gilmore is flawed and while I cringe at some things because GOD DAMMIT RORY GILMORE, I still love the character. She’s like the best friend I cannot truly fault because I get where she’s coming from.

Yes, Rory Gilmore is still a contender. And so am I.

rory
Image from Netflix
p.s. I am thankful that ASP did not mess up Jess as a character. He’s weirdly the most mature one out of everyone in the show and is the personification of ‘character progression’. I am glad that the revival did not make me want to take off my #TeamJess backwards baseball cap anytime soon.

p.p.s. I am mad about Paris and Doyle. I refuse to be over that.

#Aesthetic

Over a week ago, a friend of mine posed a question to a few of us: If you were to put pictures that described your ‘aesthetic’, or like a mood board, what would be on it?

I couldn’t quite think of the right things at that moment but after careful overthinking, here’s what has come to mind. If I were to come up with a mood board of sorts, it would involve pictures of the following things:

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Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans!

past patiently waiting

Sometimes I think that there will be a day that I wake up and I don’t have to deal with what’s in my brain.

brain

I always think that there would be a cap on mental health, on how long it would affect me. I keep wishing it was like the flu and that I would get over it. But it is not and that is the most frustrating part.

And there are good days and bad days, more often bad than good when I am unoccupied.

I dislike talking about this because this whole year has been awful for that reason. I can go back to every other post and spot where I talk about being miserable . It is tiring to feel this way and it is tiring to know that writing things out here is simply passing on the negativity to someone else.

There is a sense of my generation being coddled and giving ‘too much weight’ to mental issues and emotional distress. When my mother points out that it is ridiculous that students were allowed to skip an exam because they disagreed with the results of the presidential election, I do not disagree.

Are we too concerned with taking ‘mental health days’ that it becomes an excuse for us not to function on a daily basis? Is there a point when ‘self care’ becomes ‘self indulgence’? How do you know when you reach that point? Are we simply validating narcissism by giving in to our emotions more often than not?

When our elders have taken ‘worse beatings’ both physically and mentally, and yet been able to get up and go to work the next day, is it right for us to cry in the corner of our rooms? Is it fine for us to quit something the moment it gets hard or makes us uncomfortable? I have done just that and till today I question my actions.

At the same time, I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed and questioning everything in your life. I understand what it is like to be trapped in the vicious cycle of wanting to change and being drowned by how inadequate you feel.

I am trying to be conscious of the ‘when’, the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. I am trying to not be cruel to myself and especially to others. I am trying to make clear decisions. I am trying ‘to try’.

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a kind lie

Everyone has their monsters. And it is selfish of me to pretend like no one else is fighting a battle within and without themselves.

When I came back two weeks ago, I was given some news that was completely unexpected and made my world shift. I don’t say that lightly, not like I have said it before. In the last post I spoke about pagan rituals, and how cursed I’ve been. That was complete bull compared to what I heard that Thursday. This was terrible, massive news that made me metaphorically hit myself over the head with how self-centered I’ve been. As much as I would say what it is, it is not my news to tell, and never will be. Why am I writing it here? Because I’d like to remember how I reacted when I look back in the future.

This was terrible, massive news that made me metaphorically hit myself over the head with how self-centered I’ve been. As much as I would like to say what it is, it is not my news to tell, and never will be.

Why am I writing it here? Because I’d like to remember how I reacted when I look back in the future.

There are some things you can tell someone over the phone, or over Skype, and then there are some things that you reserve for ‘face to face’ moments. This was one of those ‘face to face’ talks. I get why I was not told when I was in Australia, I get why it was held back. While the news was a few months old by the time I was informed, I could see that the impact it has had is still fresh.

Right now I’ve ‘graduated’ medical school with an unclear path ahead of me. I have a lot of time on my hands and I intend to use all this time properly. We get so little in retrospect and I’ve regretted a whole lot of things in my life, just this year, already.

The world is kinda upside down lately. This year has been tremendous in its chaos. But we should keep perspective of who we are as people, of what our values are, and work towards what we hope this world will be.

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

Late Night Chat

So for all technical purposes, i am wide awake on the plane. I’m not surprised. it’s slightly past 5.30am in Melbourne so my body clock thinks we should be awake. it’s a great thing have, this highly accurate biological clock. but it’s not great when you’re traveling on a plane, and you are going 3 hours backwards in time. i think it’ll take a while for me to adjust back to the normality of Malaysian timing.

I honestly am incapable of having a proper sleep if i am on plane. I don’t do well with not being in a proper bed. and having many other people somewhat in close proximity. i have three seats all to myself so i don’t have to worry about bugging other people, but me flipping open my laptop might have affected the guy across the aisle. He’s now fixing up his iPad to watch something. hey, more “company”.

The air steward noticed i was awake earlier (when I did not open my laptop up) and thought he had woken me up when he was taking out his luggage from the overhead compartment.

I think I have slept a total of slightly over two hours. My routine so far has been listening to an OST from a musical and hoping to doze off. I have slept between Never Ever Getting Rid of Me and You Matter To Me from Waitress, These Palace Walls and A Whole New World from Aladdin. I’ve got Kinky Boots playing right now and I doubt I’ll be going back to sleep. There’s a good four hours left on this flight.

I’m going to end up clacking away on the keyboard because I have nothing else to do.

I totally exhausting the battery life of my phone. I’m surprised it hasn’t died yet. 64% left. Seems about right, I guess.

Once Kinky Boots is done, I’ll move on to Hamilton.

The guy across the aisle is watching Gotham. I do have my external hard drive but I am not going to attempt to balance that over my lap and watch something. Maybe I should do a hard drive purge. That seems doable on a plane, right?

Nah, that would mean taking out the bag within the bag and rumagging through It looking for stuff which would result in waking up some oher people who have such a comfortable time in Slumberland. I don’t want to do that.

The staff in the airport weren’t very nice. I’m not the most pleasant person, but hey, service with a smile and some warmth is what we’re suppose to get right? I hate complaining about anything related to the ‘service industry’ because the people in it tend to get a lot of flack, but honestly, the staff in Malaysian airports actually smile at you. You don’t get a smile from the people in the Melbourne Airport. I had a few issues with luggage being overweight, then having to carry one bag as handcarry- and that bag having scissors in it causing me to be stopped-, then walking through the immigration section and ending up in the line with faulty machinery, so all of us had to ‘present ourselves’ to an immigration officer. Also, carrying that bag (which I’m pretty sure is almost 13kgs) was awful. I wish I had checked that one in, and then pulled the trolley bag.

I have made pretty shit decisions here.

Wait, not here, I’m not longer in Australia. I’m in international waters.

Australia and I have not gotten along too well a lot of the time. Thankfully, I have had no serious issues when it comes to my true purpose of being in the Land Down Under aka being in the hospital. Those minor personality clashes could be handled. All the other crap has not been ideal. It’s just terribly frustrating at times but thankfully, it’s over. I hope.

Once upon a time, I read that my horoscope for this year did not bode well, and while I roll my eyes at horoscopes, I wonder if my bout of bad luck throughout this year is actually related.

Guy across the aisle has fallen asleep but Gotham is still playing. It’s an old episode because Joker Is still alive. I’ve reached In This Corner in Kinky Boots. That’s the second song in Act 2. I’m very sure that I’ll end up listening to Hamilton soonish. Kinky Boots has a really good soundtrack, guys. You should look it up if you like musicals. Cindy Lauper did really well to make the songs very catchy and worked in all the messages the movie wanted to get across.

Okay, it’s the episode of Gotham where there’s a ball-type thing. I think it’s the episode that Joker dies. Guy across the aisle is totally out of it. I’m kinda jealous that he can do that.

Anyway, I wonder if I should actually look up ‘ways to lift a curse’ because I feel like that’s what I’m under. Where do I buy sage, guys? I think they sell that in the spice rack corner of the grocery store, right?

Ah, Soul of a Man is playing. Totally a good song. You really feel this one (and the next one) in your bones. I am resisting the temptation to sing out loud.

It’s the Alfred flirting with Jim Gordon’s girlfriend scene. That always makes me laugh. Poor Alfred.

I know I’m not suppose to believe in curses because that’s not a thing, but hey, I’m Asian and grew up in an Asian country, so rituals to ‘buang sial’ aka ‘getting rid of curses/bad luck’ are actual things. I am very tempted to do it. It’s kinda pagan-ish, but it’s also partly cultural. Maybe I should take a shower in holy water. Hah. Or just go to church, pray really hard, and carry out some weird pagan ritual as well.

Yes, yes, that sounds terrible and unChristian, but hey, I’m kinda desperate.

Hold Me in Your Heart is playing now and I can still see the performance in my head. This song gave me goosebumps. It’s all about acceptance and all that other mushy stuff which ties in so much with the production. Also, it sounds like a Whitney song so it adds to it.

Guy across the aisle is still asleep. Oh wait, he moved. I think he woke up. Maybe he felt me staring. I should stop staring at other people and keep my eyes on my glowing screen. The backlit keyboard on my laptop is the best thing right now. Three cheers for backlit keyboards.

Guy across the aisle turned off his iPad. He’s going back to sleep. Good choices, man.

Let Me Raise You Up is such a 70’s-80’s happy song that I just want to dance to it. I normally do that in my room when I listen to it. I’m one of those people who find it hard to not wiggle around when the song/beat is good. Crap, I’m doing the weird shoulder shimmy thing and the air steward gave me a smile. Thankfully all Hamilton does is make me attempt to rap along very badly.

Microsoft Word says I have written approximately 1200 words so far.

I watched Godspell on Tuesday night and it was pretty good. I forgot how campy that musical is. I still remember most of the words and the lyrics. I was the annoying cast member who knew everyone’s lines. I’m also the cast member who did not have great control of her emotions throughout rehersals.

Hamilton it is.

Yes, I am going to keep going for as long as I cannot come up with anything else to do. Has anyone seen the documentary Hamilton’s America? It’s ideal if you’ve been obsessed with the musical as I have been. Again, the eternal question of Am I ‘in love’ with Lin Manuel Miranda or do I want to BE Lin Manuel Miranda? The documentary further solidified the fact that there really isn’t a distinction between those two things for me.

It’s Thursday and it’s now 6.38am in Melbourne. I have about three hours more on this flight.

I am not completely free today. There’s a how to write a prescription exam at 2pm today and I’m going for it. It’s on campus so I’m going back to uni. I am not gonna lie, I’m kinda regretting that decision, but hey, it’s important to know how badly I don’t know how to prescribe anything for anyone.

Oh, yeah, I have one more week of “classes” and then I’m officially done with school. I am crazy intimidated by the future. I admit that my time in Australia has kinda showed me how working life would be like and though Malaysia will be 1000% more intense, it isn’t too bad. I think I can do it??? I get along with patients relatively well, I have developed the skill of writing notes during ward rounds really quickly. I have put in a bunch of IV lines, done an ABG, taken blood cultures, done catheters. I’m equipped in a way. But I know that I’m lacking in other departments- like prescribing for instance.

I am not throwin’ away my shot, I am not throwin’ away my shot

Eh, yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry

There’s this guy who keeps walking around, but he’s dressed in normal clothes. He was able to get behind the counter when I checked in and spoke to the staff, so he’s either the Air Marshall or they have a weird system where they have crew members who don’t wear uniforms anymore for some reason.

Ooh, turbulence. Seatbelts on please.

Everyone is awake now. Poor people, forced out of slumber.

 

Work, Work

Angelica

Work, Work

Eliza

And Peggy

The Schuyler Sisters!

Look around, look around. Must be nice to be a part of something so phenomenal as Hamilton. Everyone knows your name, the opportunities opened for you. It must be absolute magic to be a part of it, to help create something so iconic.

In other news, I think I may actually go into psychiatry. After much consideration and looking at my time in the hospital, and my approach to patients, it’s not an unreasonable route. I’m not a surgeon, I’m not a pathologist. I would definitely be taking the medical path and not surgical at all. Year 5 has solidified that for me.

My favourite lines from Farmer Refuted:

My dog speaks more eloquently

But strangely your mange is the same

And

I pray the King shows you his mercy

Is he in Jersey?

 

What else should I write about?

My best friend is flying off to Germany tonight and the plan is to see her off because it’ll be a while before I see her in person again. It’s almost become cult tradition to go to the airport together. I’m probably going to be half asleep when we make our way over because it’ll be three hours behind, and I normally am ‘out of it’ at 10pm. Forgive me if I take a nap in the car, girls.

Back to Hamilton’s America, because now Right Hand Man is playing and it’s in relation to something Chris Jackson said about playing George Washington: as a half-Black man, Chris Jackson difficulty trying to reconcile Washington’s slave trading/owning with who he was as the first President and a great leader. We love to separate the good and the bad when it comes to history’s heroes. We often do the thing where we don’t associate the bad behaviour of our heroes with who they are to us. And the thing is, whatever bad they did does not reduce the amount of good they did do, but we need to remember that people are not black and white, or purely good or purely bad. There’s a reason we learn about the duality of man.

This comic was shared in a group chat a few days ago and while I relate to wanting to erase my own past at times, another thing that struck me is how I am quick to judge others and form firm opinions on them, and refuse to budge on those opinions despite years and years going by. There are people from high school that I still cringe to think about because of how much we could clash at times. I don’t know if I could talk to them now, or actually acknowledge their existence if I ever saw them in public. I may not always stalk people on facebook (heck, I’m not even friends with people I don’t get along with), I occasionally find myself thinking that “I cannot believe other people actually like this person”.

That’s pretty unkind, right? I find it difficult to separate their previous unkindness from their potential to be good to other people. Well, clearly, it’s not just potential, it’s actual ability. That’s another thing to work at- remembering that people are not the two dimensional charicatures of their true selves that live in mind.

John, should have shot him in the mouth, that would have shut him up

Oh, I guess I preordered food on this flight. I don’t remember doing that.

Leslie Odom Jr. is tremendous. Did you see his speech at the Tony’s when he won Best Lead Actor in a Musical? It gives me goosebumps. The first time I saw Leslie was in Smash where his character was sadly underused. His voice is pure gold. When he breaks over the This man will not make an orphan of my daughter, I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

It’s 7.27am Melbourne time. About two hours to go.

This has been 2290 words that’s pure rambling. I applaud you if you made it this far. I can never stay up late enough for those weird ‘3am talks’ that people have during sleepovers. Even when I share a room during school camps/ out of campus stuff/ trips elsewhere, we don’t stay up that long talking. I don’t know if that’s because we’re usually very tired because we typically are. But this very long post is a taste of how tangential my thoughts would be at a 3am talk.

You have no control

Who lives, who dies, who tells yours story

Guy across the aisle is playing some sort of quiz-game on the iPad with the person beside him. I like quiz games. I would have liked to play that. Oh well, he’s not written 4 pages in Microsoft Word, so in a way, my time was spent just as well. Haha.

We negotiate the terms of surrender

I see George Washington smile

I don’t know why but those lines give me goosies. Yorktown is such a good song. I’m glad that they chose to do it for the Tony’s.

The turbulence is getting to that weird point where you feel like your organs have not had time to keep up with the outer shell of skin and skeleton due to inertia.

Guy across the aisle and his friend have stopped playing and are now leaning back with their eyes shut. Maybe I’ll try to get some shut eye, too. Let’s see how long that lasts.

NOTE: I didn’t take out my laptop though I had lots of time after that. Headphones on and finished Act 2 of Hamilton. We landed at 5.50am and now I’m home.