"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, August 31, 2012


Now Playing: Heavy In Your Arms (C-Berg Remix) by Florence + The Machine (whispering like it's a secret only to condemn the one who hears it with a heavy heart)

What exactly constitutes as desperate?

I think I'm right in saying that most girls I know would like to get married and start a family one day. I think I'm also right in saying that most boys - if not now, eventually - would like to do the same. There's nothing wrong with that - it's the most normal, boring, pedestrian suburban thing to do, to become like our normal, boring, pedestrian, suburban parents. It's evolution, human nature. It's continuing the species, as it were.

So what exactly is wrong with wanting that? Of course I want a relationship, and of course I'm quite bitter that nothing's worked out yet. But this isn't normal or natural. No. It's desperate, apparently.

It's commonly accepted that teenage boys with ruthlessly pursue teenage girls. The attractive ones are 'just being teenage boys'; the unattractive ones are being 'weird', 'seedy', 'creepy' and...it comes up again...'desperate'. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY????

This might seem horribly crass and very dismissive of the tummy butterflies and thrills of teenage love, but most teenagers are in relationships for sexual expression. Otherwise people would just be *friends*. Without a relationship, we have almost no means of sexual expression, especially us girls. If we dress up we're sluts, if we flirt we're sluts, if we do things with boys who aren't our boyfriends we're sluts. Basically, if you're a teenage girl and don't suppress every hormonal urge, you're a slut.

It's biologically accepted that adolescence is the transition from childhood to adulthood - from utterly sexless to profoundly sexual. But socially, emotionally...it's all under the carpet.



Now Playing: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Country Mix) by Taylor Swift (and I used to say 'never say never')

I am very unphotogenic. I can look fine in the mirror, someone takes a picture and suddenly I look like a troll.

I don't like cameras.

I've never really thought of myself as pretty. When I was younger it used to really bother me, and I would try so hard to try and conform to this ideal of beauty I had in my head and being endlessly frustrated that it didn't work. Even now I'll do my hair up, put a bit of foundation on, experiment with lipstick.

But sometimes...it is really, really liberating being unattractive.

Sometimes I choose the most nerdy combinations of 'holey trackpants and geeky t-shirts' to walk the dogs in and mentally claim victory when I can walk around the block without some seedy tradies in a van or some cashed up bogan in a cheapskate sportscar that ain't fooling nobody honking their horn or leaning out the window to whistle at me. This doesn't always work, because apparently now dishevelled hair is sexy and guys are now trying to sell that 'WE DON'T LIKE GIRLS WHO WEAR MAKEUP' thing. (fuck off. seriously. we all know you're lying) But sometimes people take look at me, snort in that way that can only possibly mean 'pfft. nerd.' and I'm suddenly very smug because I can be a bitch sometimes. I can be *cruel*. I can also be a bookworm slob.

I'm good at multitasking.

I mean, on school photo day I bullied my sister into perming my hair and put heaps of makeup on. I swung into form with all the grace of a baboon and people kept staring! And whilst it was very nice to get some attention and a few *appreciative* looks and a very cute and awkward email when I got home...honestly, I just wanted to bury my head in a book.

I think the reason that I'm very very cynical about people checking me out is that I'm an old fashioned teenager who spends lots of time PMSing on a steady diet of chick-lit, rom-coms and cookie-dough ice cream. Every single time I've liked a guy, he goes for the look and then just fucks off! Or the guy who likes your conversation and blah blah but then is like 'uh, I just want to be FRIENDS' and then goes to chat up the pretty girl with nothing good to say but 'Oh my gosh, like'. Or, I've been experimenting with the highly dangerous situation of 'I really like you...BUUUUT....' which is...I don't know. Don't do it. So as much as I like attention and flirting and kissing and all that other stuff girls aren't *supposed* to like...I'm not a huge fan of the look-and-go. I don't entirely see it as a means to an end, I'll enjoy the moment, but it's that moment you never want to end that always, inevitably, ends. You catch a train and you go home. I mean, it's like you reach the threshold of action potential and then fuckall happens (I have become *such* a psych nerd). You've got all this adrenaline and excitement and then you realize that the Mummy Boy is a Dickhead.

So me + attraction = ...nothing really. Nothing worth writing about, but somehow I've managed to do four years of that.

At least I know I can kind of garner some attention. It's a lot of fun and I don't think it's degrading at all, to be...you know, me. But I think I'll wait until it's worth my time, when not everyone I know are seventeen year old assholes who are legally obligated to stay within a square mile radius of me and are very very bored. And have only just recently become aware that I have breasts. I swear, the reaction to my entrance to the ball was *hilarious* - it's amazing what a thai silk dress and three hours in a makeup chair can do to even the nerdiest of nerds. Every time boys see me in a dress and heels the look on their faces is so mindblowingly hilarious I immediately kill that aura of feminine mystery by cracking up like a drunk hobo.

When I was little I was an early bird. I would get up at four in the morning and do nothing at all, just sit in bed and marvel at how it can be morning but still so dark (I was a slow kid). Then I'd make myself a four-thirty cup of tea.

These days, I stay in bed until three in the afternoon whenever I can.

Because I'm a lazy asshole who stays up til midnight doing absolutely nothing that is in any way meaningful, I spend a lot of time inhaling breakfast and then winding myself trying to catch my bus which is always annoyingly right on time (unlike the afternoon bus, in which the 4:02pm comes at the exact same time as the 4:32pm just to annoy me). I call these my ponytail days, because that's all I have time to do.

I know I look like shit - 5'3" wearing a snotty private school uniform with all the rebellious disdain of a state-schooler, earphones in, book out, hair in what is possibly the sloppiest ponytail in history. Rings under my eyes, hormonal breakout, the whole shebang. In school uniform I have roughly the same silhouette as an elephant, and I must recall a turtle in the way I lumber along with my schoolbag on my back. It's how I used to dress last year in the eleventh grade when I gave up on the whole institution of love and other animals. It's how I used to dress in primary school after all the boys politely told me that they'd rather eat snails than go out with me. It's a silent protest. I'm ugly, so what?

But I'm happy. I'm happy to blend in, sometimes, to just be in my own little world and not have to worry about the consequences of people wondering what my lips taste like or what I'd let them do before they run off to someone that they can date without their friends lynching them. Because when I'm 'pretty', I get attention from people I know don't give a shit. Boyfriends of the Future will have to somehow want to spend time with grumpy sleep-deprived dishevelled me in pyjamas and ugg boots as well as glamorous dressed up curled hair me in sparkly thigh highs. I'm still the same person, dammit, still the same crass sense of humour and dry cynicism and dubious intelligence. My best friends still smile at me on ponytail days. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...or how many times you've given someone chocolate.

bookie wook!

Now Playing: Viva la Vida by Coldplay (I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word. Now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own)

So I keep trying to tell people that I'm not a huge bookworm.

Which is slightly hard to do when you're that girl with the messy ponytail who's slowly stumbling down to the train station buried in a book. My excuse for this is really shit technology. I'm not afraid to say that I'd choose YouTube over Agatha Christie any day.

But occasionally I go on these massive book-buying sprees where I've watched movie adaptions or heard of this book or that book and I'll go MUMMY I NEEEEEEEED ALL THESE BOOKS NOW THANK YOU KCOOLBYE.

Last time I did this I bought The Time Traveller's Wife, Romulus, My Father, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, Wild Swans, Jane Eyre and some other stuff I can't remember.

My new book order, which is starting to come, has a bit of a feminist angle on it: Princesses & Pornstars, Lolita and The Female Eunuch. And I want to get Anna Karenina.

Reading Princesses & Pornstars. Woohoo!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's strange when you're someone like me who cries so easily to go through the motions with not a single tear. I cried, but it was as if something like this shouldn't be sullied by the tears of petty playground politics and the trivial trials of teenage love.

Everyone's shocked and saddened and maybe just a little guilty, but the beautiful thing about it is that we've become a family - this has brought us together, and we're all pulling each other through. I've spent the day with people in my arms, in people's arms, confused and stunned and just feeling very heavy. Death is such a pedestrian part of life - not a day goes by without it - and yet when it hits so close to home...it's humbling, to realize how fragile human life is.

We've all become so wild and reckless and gung-ho about things and this has suddenly given us so many questions with no answers. We've all done stupid things, things that have pushed us mentally and physically and emotionally to the brink, and now I'm starting to wonder whether I've done this with false assumptions of my capacities, with illusions about my strength to pull through. We all wonder how this all happened, what we could have done to somehow make things better. But there are no answers for questions like these.

All my love to each and every one of you. No matter what happens, we'll always be family.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I've been sick.

Now Playing: Breaking Down (Live) by Florence + The Machine (I think I'm breaking down again)

I know people think of me as a drama queen, or at least a wuss with a very low pain threshold, but I am honestly, truly, not very well at the moment.

My pacemaker is being a pain. I don't know whether it's stress or whatever but it's been hurting a lot lately. I'll just be walking and then suddenly it feels like someone's punched me in the stomach, or has stabbed me in the ribs. It's not something I can really explain, not a sensation I can really describe...but I am definitely not making this up. For all the horrible things I have ever wished upon the many people who have hurt me, this has never been one of them. It fucking hurts.

I had a panic attack a week ago and it was by far the scariest thing I have ever been through. You can't think, you can't breathe, everything sort of seizes up and everything just becomes very claustrophobic and intimidating. Which is the reason why I sort of lost my shit the day afterwards.

For the last week my sweet girlfriends have been graciously patient as hormones slowly eroded at my sanity and my ability to behave appropriately in public settings. Every day I would just lose it a bit more, and I've spent the last four days constantly on the verge of tears. That is, hopefully, over now. Thank you thank you thank you.

For the last two days I've been fine, and then I'll cough and suddenly feel awful and cough up blood clots - and then the nausea is over almost as quickly as it began. It sounds scary but the nurse says it's fine, just a consequence of my being quite sick a couple of weeks back. That I can handle. What is harder to bear is people glaring at me as if I'm making a fuss over nothing.

People always assume the worst of people, you know. I've been shocked by the distinct lack of empathy, the selfishness, the lack of understanding by some people - people who see concern as a sign of weakness, not the incredible strength that it is. It takes a strong person, a beautiful person, to ask if everything's okay, to do what they can to help. Not everyone passes through life with just little sniffles and colds. I am not well. Pain has always been a part of my life, and believe me, I know what agony is. I am amazingly self conscious of pain, and so I'll never really show it unless it's bad.

It's somewhat hard to explain the difference between concern and sympathy. Concern makes everything better - you feel like people are there for you, people are looking after you, when you feel weak and horrible and vulnerable. There's this look in people's eyes when they drop everything and run to you, put their arm around you, try to drag you to the nurses' office...it makes everything okay. Sympathy....I hate sympathy. It's condescending and just generally unbearable. And, because at school people are sharply divided between the small group of people who care about me and the large group of people who would like to see me at the bottom of the ocean, sympathy just reeks with insincerity.

I'm fine, really. Things are just a bit rough. But, you know...physical pain doesn't bother me anymore. It's how people react that can sometimes hurt more than anything my body could go through.

second class.

Now Playing: Mean by Taylor Swift (you've knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like a nothing)

I know I am not an easy friend to have. I'm too much to handle, sometimes. I try to tone it down, really, I do. But...I can't bear it, I can't bear not being myself. And there are a few - not many, admittedly - who love me for who I am; some people who have looked me in the eye and said 'You know what? Be who you want to be. You're beautiful in your own way.'

But most people just can't take it.

I'm not one of those people who's friends with everybody. I know people who are, and I swear to God, they're just as loud and as crazy as I am - but for some reason it's okay for them and not okay for me. I don't know, or care, anymore. Paraphrasing a bit from Little Women, you don't need hundreds of lovers - you only need one, the right one. I don't need thousands of friends, I just need a few. The right few.

But you know what? I'm not missing out. I remember trying so hard to fit in and then realizing that most of these people are hardly worth it, hardly worth suppressing every iota of personality in you and becoming as bland and as fake as the rest of them.

I don't know what the fuck parents have been teaching their kids, but I was taught that there are just some people you've just got to deal with, even if you don't like them. You can't actually hate someone if they've never done anything to you. If you hit me, I'll fucking hit you back. But aside from that I swear I have never done anything intentionally to anyone unprovoked. And it doesn't kill you to smile and say hi - or, if you can't even manage that, it doesn't kill you to not push people out of conversations and become an elitist bitch. I'm just as good as the rest of you. You are no better than me.

I can be quite selfish - or not selfish, but a little self-absorbed. I don't mean it, but I spend so much time alone and fending for myself that I forget, sometimes, how to treat people, how to have conversations. But I never meant anything by it - it's just me being incompetent as usual. But generosity...it's something that's so distinctly lacking today.

My mother is the most generous person I know. She's never said no to anything I've asked for, unless it's something absurd - as in, she'll say no because it's in my interests, not because her money is HER money and I can't have ANY of it - that's the attitude I see all the time, everywhere, and it kills me. I'm not exactly the richest person in the world and I don't exactly throw millions at homeless people, but the simple joy of doing something for someone, for looking out for someone, for being generous in any way...it's something I've really discovered this year. Once I borrowed a few dollars from a friend I new to be much more well off than me, and she was so paranoid about me repaying her she was texting me demanding money an hour later. Why? Is that all we are now, just judged by our material possessions?

I'm not a saint. There are some people I just don't like to spend time with, there are just some people I don't get along with and don't particularly want to be friends with. They did nothing wrong and I have no excuse, just intuition telling me we probably shouldn't be chums. And that's that. But I'll always say hi, always be polite, and I'll always be there to help if necessary. I'm not a saint - it's just what decent people do. Treat human beings as human beings.

I've been fascinated by how Facebook and social networking has totally broken down our sense of decorum. It's almost like fuck it, I hate you for no apparent reason and I'll make no attempt whatsoever to hide it. When our clique split apart I was assaulted every day on Facebook by an onslaught of pictures of what a wonderful time they were having without me, what a wonderful time they always had without me. Why bother pretending to be my friend for so many years if you did all that behind my back? There would have been no need to kick me out of you hadn't provided me with the illusion that I too am a human being. The audacity of it is...shocking, to say the least.

I'm tired of people getting so senselessly angry not over any offences against them, but just me - who I am, my existence in general. It's not my fault I'm not a characterless cardboard cut-out. I'm tired of people only being nice to me when they want help with schoolwork or to look up a word. There are no hellos, no goodbyes, no how are yous or what are you up tos - only 'WAS THE TEST HARD?' I'm not a paid tutor and I'm certainly not a fucking dictionary. If you want me to help, maybe you shouldn't turn your back on me or cut into my conversations just because I'm talking to someone you think is above me. I'm tired of people treating me like I don't exist - sometimes I enter rooms and I feel totally invisible. Sometimes people will come up to me, ask me some random question about some random subject, and just walk off. I don't expect to be friends with anyone, but does nobody know anything about common courtesy these days?

I feel like it's gotten particularly bad this year. I'm so tired of people pushing in front of me, ignoring me when I ask for something (even 'can you please stick this in the microwave before my pacemaker explodes') expecting me to hold doors open for them or to let them have right of way. I nearly cried when this boy held a door open for me. I'd forgotten what it was like.

I don't normally mention specific people or situations but one of my so-called friends only ever acknowledges me when she wants help. The girl who kicked me out of my clique, made me cry myself to sleep...I'm still cordial to her, even though sometimes I feel like I want to tear her from limb to limb. It's exhausting, being nasty and horrible and venomous, even to people who deserve it. But if I'm walking with Belephant she'll say hi to her and totally ignore little old me in the middle, toss her head and turn her back to me as I've done her some great wrong. What's the point of being all forgive and forget if you're still being treated like scum?

What exactly have I done? There is no law that says I cannot be myself - and even now, I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not. That...that is not exactly a flippant remark from me. It's hard, not fitting in. I never wanted anything so badly than to have a big group and just be swallowed whole by it, by the comfort of conformity. I had that for a little while. And I've lost it, and I feel like I've been robbed of it even though everyone's treating it like my fault.

A friend once told me that I shouldn't feel second class. But that's all I feel, now. I'm protected somewhat by the few friends I love dearly but the rest...if they notice me, and most of the time they don't, it's never a good thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the gun at my head.

Now Playing: Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine (a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat)

I was born in the Perth Hills. Nearly twenty years ago, we were one of the only Asian families in the neighbourhood - even now, Kalamunda isn't exactly known for its ethnic diversity. We weren't considered very Australian.

My mother came to Australia when she was eighteen - just two years older than I am now. She didn't come here to settle permanently, but eventually did. My dad didn't really intend to stay here permanently either but, c'est la vie, here we all are.

So I'm a second generation immigrant.

I feel like I'm suffering from a bit of an identity crisis here. I know Australia is a wonderful place to grow up and I have so many opportunities, but I think I have an outsider's cynicism - I wasn't born wearing the rose-tinted glasses all the 'real Aussies' seem to have. I know Australia isn't perfect, but saying that is a bit like criticizing the Dalai Lama. Australia is, apparently, above reproach, simply because we can walk down the street with minimal risk of suicide bombs.

I don't feel very Australian. I've become very restless with Australia. I don't feel like I'm always in sync with Australian values and the Australian perspective.

And I think that's okay. I'm not wrong or right, I'm just different.

But I feel like people are threatened by my lack of patriotism, my indifference towards the place where I happen to be born. They keep telling me who I am, keep trying to force me to say that I'm Australian. What am I? I'm descended from Cantonese peasants - and their lives and times, their loves, their triumphs, their sorrows...we will never know. I'm descended from the queens and concubines of kings, of generals and statesmen. I don't look Australian and I don't feel Australian, yet this identity that I'm not fully comfortable with is constantly shoved down my throat by people who have the comfort of belonging and don't understand how I can possibly be alive and sane as a pariah.

I'll decide whether I'm Australian. I was born a wanderer; I'll wander off, and maybe I'll return - or maybe I won't. None of you know me as well as I know myself. And I know, for the moment at least, I'm not as Australian as you would like me to be.

arsenic heartfires

I will not waste my
sparkling diamond youth
throwing snowflakes
at heartfires

I only laughed once
and trembled in shock
as the last infant tears
rolled down flushed cheeks

I always dreamed
of something violent in its intensity
profane, profound, humble
sacrilege of exquisite sincerity

and I wanted it all
I needed to taste the passion
of the blood that wrote the history books
and the tears of life and lies and time

perhaps it was only a dream
when I was seduced by tonic and toxin
but there is no virtue purer
and no higher order

than lust, and hunger, and desire

Click here for a discussion of arsenic heartfires

Monday, August 27, 2012

I really feel like I should explain why I was such a spaz today.

Now Playing: Heavy In Your Arms by Florence + The Machine (I was a heavy heart to carry but he never let me down, when he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground)


I have this theory that most guys dismiss PMS as hokum because everyone knows at least one girl who shrugs and says 'I don't have PMS. My periods don't bother me'

What guys fail to realize is that periods are like...well, periods are like adolescence in general. For some people it's all hunky dory, things grow when and where they're supposed to and nature just takes its course. For some people there's a little angst, a little pain, but no big deal. And for others, growing up is pure hell.

So for some people, periods really don't bother them. But I know some people who are actually bedridden by periods. So guys, seriously, have some fucking respect.

When I was younger I think I had a hormonal imbalance. I had horrific acne, and for a week before my period my legs would turn to jelly and I was just really tired and moody all the time - I burst into tears over absolutely everything. I've always found it strange that people are willing to drag me forcibly to the nurses office every time my pacemaker glitches, but laugh at me when I had tears streaming down my cheeks and bent double with cramps. Some days I couldn't walk. I could never predict my period, but when it came it was eight or ten days of heavy bleeding, wearing overnight pads in the middle of the day.

Why are periods such a taboo? I felt sick. I felt horrible and tired and teary all the time. And I didn't get one shred of sympathy. Pain is still pain. Whether it's tied up in the taboo of blood and sex and babies or not. I felt weird and creepy and unnatural lying in hospital, kept alive by technology - and yet its this most natural and uncontrollable thing that people detest, think that we're 'just making up'. At least periods are normal, natural - everyone has them. Yet everyone is so much more understanding because I have a FUCKING METAL COMPUTER IN MY STOMACH and I'm ALLERGIC TO MAGNETS.

I'm starting to think we'd be kinder to aliens than our own kin.

I think my body sorted itself out, because I don't get that now. PMS is just a very mild breakout and one day of being slightly irritable and just a little tired, followed by another day of being just a little bit more tired, a little bit more moody. And then it starts and all that stops.

Unless it's late.

I am definitely not pregnant, just putting it out there. I wouldn't even be talking about this if I didn't feel like SOMEONE has to break the taboo, and I probably should explain why I was such a psychopath today.

This doesn't apply to everyone - as I said, periods are different for everybody. But I am definitely not making this up. I am so tired and so wound up I am going to strangle anyone who tries to say I'm just making this shit up.

But for me, for every day I'm late the tiredness gets worse and the moodiness gets worse and worse. I'm six days late. I am a fucking psycho.

I'm already a pretty restless person. But all day I've been fidgeting, tapping, walking around for no reason, looking for people even though I have nothing to say to them. I lurch from retching at the thought of food to suddenly ravenous. I'll be shivering one minute and sweating the next. I've been shaking all day and I've spent the whole day on the brink of tears for no apparent reason. This morning I was super tired and moody and snapped at people but this afternoon I was running around like a loony. Any misunderstandings or glitches in any of my friendships or relationships have just been amplified ten thousand times. And because I'm so tense my muscles are a bit clenched and so my pacemaker's hurting a bit more. At least I get some sympathy for that. I have all of two girlfriends who can sympathise and only me, myself and I to empathise.

It's been a constant fight for composure, especially at school. But it's never been this late before and I'm really starting to lose it a bit. But why? Why can't I just tell people that I'm PMSing and be over it? No. Discretion - it's something we're taught from the cradle. You actually cannot buy a package of pads or tampons without the word 'discreet' on it. Why? Why do we hide it? We're only encouraging ignorance.

I'm sixteen. I'm a girl. I bleed. Sometimes it's shit. So what?

It was in this frame of mind I wrote that blog post 'guyfriends and notgirlfriends'. I don't actually remember writing it - it was sort of like psychosis. All I remember is seeing it, reading it, realizing someone may try to use it to commit me to an institution, and write the epilogue in a brief moment of rationality.

So I'm really not well. Please please please please don't take anything I say or do very seriously for a bit. I am so on edge and I have to spend every second fighting to stay reasonably normal. I'm sorry if I snapped at you today. I'm sorry if I've freaked you out. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry.

I'll be fine again soon.


walked   -   on   -   knives
and smiled

and I -
I know what that is.

a fish out of water
couldn't breathe
couldn't speak
but dared to dream


who was blind

he loved a mirror more than a mermaid
and the monsters turned
goddess to eunuch
to suit his tastes

the choice was always
shattered glass
or sea foam.

love is not blind

but he couldn't see her tears as she
walked   -   on   -   knives
and smiled

and he couldn't save her
he couldn't save her

there is no need to pray
no need to speak.

angels and princes

they couldn't hear her

they couldn't save her
with eyes that couldn't see
and lips that couldn't speak

he believed in fairytales
of love conquers all

but I begin to wonder
if true love's kiss exists at all

he never loved her
he only drowned her

walked   -   on   -   knives
and smiled

and I -
I know what that is.

Click here for a discussion of Mermaid.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

guyfriends and notgirlfriends.

Now Playing: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (remember when we broke up the first time, saying 'this is it, I've had enough', cause like, we hadn't seen each other in a month and you said you needed space...what!?)

***I am in a bad mood. Not helped by hormones, girlfriends, guyfriends and my sanity all playing truant.***

I've always had guyfriends. Like just one guy that's not a boyfriend but I'm closer to than all the other guys that I know. I don't know if anyone else does that, but I've been doing it for eleven years.

I'm hardcore.

Truth be told, I've been in love with all of my guyfriends at some point. But that's not the only reason why I'm friends with them - trust me, I'm sixteen. I've 'fallen' for heaps of assholes, realized they're assholes and then decided that my self esteem's not only not low enough to date them, but not low enough to be in the same galaxy as them. I guess the appeal of guyfriends is that they're not bitchy. I love crude humour. You can be yourself. They don't care if you haven't plucked your eyebrows. Granted, they still stare at your rack and don't understand feelings, which is why I haven't fully become 'one of the boys'. If you don't believe that a guy can check a girl out and maintain pure platonicity, then, well I was having a discussion with one of my guyfriends about another guyfriend who has a notoriously short attention span and this guy casually remarked 'He doesn't listen to me for very long. You have an advantage, there. You've got boobs.'


A minor side effect of having all these guyfriends is that I became very very flirtatious at a very young age. Mostly because that's just my personality - I was a freaking psycho kid, and that's translated into some pretty weird things as I've gotten older. But it's also because all this platonicity was wearing me down to the point where I would have to be so overtly flirtatious to extract even the tiniest response from guys - not that I was necessarily dying for attention, but you know, you feel like a bit of a retard if you do all that for nothing. What I didn't realize is that girls develop much earlier than guys, and so even though both sexes are 'dating' in year six (homosexuality was not really accepted in the snotty white foreshore suburbs I grew up in) for girls it was emotional and love and mushy mushy, but for boys it was like a status symbol. I have a house. I have a cricket bat. I have a football. I have a girlfriend. I am cool.

Oh, and I found out way too late that boys get boners *really* easily. Which I know is a little gross, but seriously - the sex ed stuff gave us innocent, virginal girls the impression that guys didn't get excited unless they were naked and in bed with Miranda Kerr. Apparently that's not the case. I found that out the hard way, though.

So now I'm sixteen and hanging out with seventeen year old boys, it turns out I have inadvertently been far too cruel to some of them. Sorry! Unfortunately, I'm past the point of no return - I'm addicted to red singlets and double entendres. Just deal with it. I'm not that sexy. At most I'm crass with a little extra cleavage.

My first guyfriend was when I was five. He was five too - we were getting on a bit in life. He was a pom with pretty eyes (sixteen year old me has learned it's not always such a good idea to get too friendly with poms with pretty eyes. But five year old me was cheerfully clueless.) He was crazy, I was crazy, it was all good. We would tell each other stories in this big treehouse thing in the pre-primary play yard, and I taught him how to write - yes, I taught my best friend how to write, not to the chagrin of him, he was thrilled, but to the chagrin of the long line of teachers who had failed in that task.

We had a huge fight about God-knows-what (what do five year olds fight about?) and then he went back to England (not because of me! I highly doubt grown-ups take the opinion of a five-year-old girl into account when discussing potential relocation) and that was that.

Actually, now that I think about it, he was not only a pom but a pommy bastard - a miniature one, but still one nonetheless. I think his mother had refused to let me go over to his house because I wasn't white. I picked on her, he became a mummy's boy, and then I was like 'fuck this, I've been through open heart surgery, I don't have to put up with a boy who can't write his s's without my hand over his'.

Oh, I was a good feminist when I was five.

My next guyfriend was when I was seven. It was a brief relationship - actually, to be honest, I only have two really vivid memories of him. He was English - again - and exactly my height, which was about 4' at the time. The first memory was when we had to write word searches for each other and, being OCD, I had put all the words in and then filled in the empty squares with the alphabet - in order. My carefully drawn word search took a seven year old boy about five seconds to complete. He, on the other hand, had the most atrocious handwriting and even worse spelling. His word search has remained incomplete to this day.

The second memory was hiding behind the playground making some elaborate contraption out of sticks, which was, he informed me, a 'Big Sister and Stupid Girl Killer' - 'cept for you, cause you're cool', he added, as an afterthought. I'm not entirely sure if he meant that I was a girl worth keeping or not enough of a girl to be worth killing.

After that he became popular and started having girlfriends. I was neither.

When I turned eight I had a very very brief period of BOY GERMS followed by OMG BOYS ARE UH MAY ZING. I was wrong on both accounts, but it was a pretty weird time. This was also when the bullying - and the boredom with the primary school education system and just life in general - really kicked in, so I didn't have another guyfriend until I was twelve. Someone asked me out when I was eleven and, being eleven and an *idiot*, I said yes. And because I didn't learn and I trip over the same stone so many times it eventually just pulverizes into dust, I made the same mistake when I was thirteen.

Don't worry, three years have passed without another Episode of Monumental Stupidity and Endless Tears On My Behalf.

A lot of things happened when I was twelve and acquired another guyfriend - BSC. I had a far bigger hand than was probably polite in inadvertently breaking up a relationship between my two best friends. I was cornered by a bunch of big hairy athletic girls (his next girlfriend) and told to 'keep my distance' and put up with so much assholery that I lost so much self respect it took several months of angry butch feminism just to become enough of a human being again to face high school.

Needless to say, we haven't exactly been penfriends.

The term 'never go out with your best mate' has never been so relevant than in year eight and all that shit with K. That was a big screw up. I just laugh it off now, because I'm sixteen and not a psychotic thirteen year old. But when you're a psychotic thirteen year old you tend to go a bit...psycho...

The problem I have with guyfriends, apart from friend zoning and people not understanding why you have such hot friends (seriously, concerning no other guy and girl would HE HAD HIS ARM AROUND HER IN FORM go around *so* quickly) is that you can't actually complain about anything they do. Because you're not a girlfriend.

I don't understand the logic either. But seriously, sometimes I just want to go out with my guyfriends for ten minutes just to tell them ALL THE ANNOYING THINGS THEY DO THAT PISS THE SHIT OUT OF ME and then be like KCOOLBYE.

But seriously, everything you try to say that isn't 'hi sweetie' (actually, even that) is taken as I WANT TO BE YOUR GIRLFRIEND CAN I PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE YOUR GIRLFRIEND - if not by them, then by the general population. Seriously, the students at Perth Mod are like Perez Hilton clones. I never have this problem with my girlfriends, which makes no sense. Like - seriously! We could be gay! You never know.

...just remembered my girlfriend's Christian. So no.

So here's just one thing I want to get straight. Girls - girlfriends, notgirlfriends - are always accused of bieng 'clingy'. I've figured out why.

Boys are fucking unreliable.

It is not 'clingy' if you say you're going to call, you don't call, and then a girl - no matter what kind of relationship you have with this girl - gets just a little annoyed. But boys do that. ALL THE TIME.

They don't even have legit excuses like 'my period's five days late so I ate my phone'.

It's not the call itself. We know you really don't have anything important to say if it's just a call. Only assholes propose or break up by phone. Call, don't call, show up at my door with a bunch of flowers, we really don't give a shit. But if you say you're going to call 'on the weekend', and then don't call - you set a girl two days of I MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG HE PROBABLY HATES ME.

It's a legit assumption to make. Well, it's not, but boys make even sillier assumptions, like I'VE MADE A DICK JOKE MAYBE SHE'LL LIKE ME NOW. But the second we try and reproach someone about it, their egos immediately inflate 200 times its normal (already huge) size and assume that we were dying of lack of Gospel of Guyfriend. They don't understand that the mothering instinct becomes very strong when you're friends with teenage boys who seem incapable of looking after themselves. We thought you were dying of multiple organ failure or that your phone and three of your fingers were chomped off by a shark mid-text. My bad.

I have *only* had this problem with guys. Girls are very reliable. The majority of them hate my guts and would only call to try and curse me to Hades.

I guess the major problem is that most of my guyfriends have been - to my eye - somewhat attractive, and so when they piss you off you get the same reaction when your dog has just raided your bin all over your sheets and is sitting in the middle of the snotty tissues and chicken bone catastrophe with big glistening puppy eyes. Part of you just wants to rip them from limb to limb but in reality you go OH MY GOD I HATE...GAH I GIVE UP YOU'RE SO CUTE...

***Disclaimer: I'm in one of those times when I'm watching standup on YouTube and trying to do homework at the same time, I'm very hungry and I'm about to laugh and burst into tears at the same time. I am not usually like this. Stay away unless you have sufficiently satisfactory peace offerings.***

Rational Epilogue: 

I love my guyfriends. I have had good memories with each and every one of them - I was just picking out a few examples of assholery for my own entertainment. I just really enjoy male company - and do not take that the wrong way. I've never had a boyfriend and I don't have a brother so trust me, I'd be a *total* nun if I didn't have my guyfriends - so I guess you could kind of blame them (or, well, one of them) for corrupting me, but innocence to experience has to happen somehow. I just know that I can be quite entertaining when I'm pissed (I get trolled all the time. I guess there's nothing funnier than a bright red 5'3" Asian with steam coming out of her Dumbo ears) so I wondered how PMS might translate onto my blog. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


They all died, you know
In comfort without comfort
I was born of Kuanyin
And a tyrant

I can't sleep, you know
I can hear voices in my head
Can you not breathe?
Is it so hard for you?

I try, you know
But all my shortcomings
As flesh and blood
They are faults, not insults

I can't do this, you know
I still remember
I used to count each warm prickly kiss
I still do, but they're not yours

It's too hard, you know
They expect me to hate chocolate eyes
And bygone dictators
But blood protects you from my fury

Don't say anything
Get over it
Be strong
He's still your -

They all died
I can't sleep
I try
I can't do this
It's too hard


Just breathe.

I have had enough.

Click here for a discussion of Breathe. 


It was a macabre silence
I have never heard anything


But all my words
Couldn't come 

I couldn't breathe in a river of blood

I wonder if the clouds hear me
And weep for pity

And when words fall on deaf ears
They are not words at all

They do not break the silence

And I, with my death
Might end this siege

This plague upon our house

But corpses do not speak
Do not hear 

It was a macabre silence
You could not take it 

It was not something you could bear alone
My cracked heart and spilled blood 

I have borne that alone
I could have killed you

If I had had the heart
To show you my pain 

And Kuanyin bore
A bloodstained child

A live monster
And a dead one

If you had known her pain
If you had anything left of you 

She would have destroyed you
As you destroy us

Do you enjoy passing your time
In macabre silence?

A laugh, a cry
Is too much music to bear

You find comfort
In emptiness for an empty heart

It is as if in your weakness
You have cut yourself off

You cannot bear the drumming 
Of hearts beating in unison

I am sorry
That you have lived your life in macabre silence

A lifetime of words
Upon deaf ears 

But now
You have condemned me too. 

It was a macabre silence
I have never heard anything


Click here for a discussion of Silence

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

empowering the subaltern.

Now Playing: No Light, No Light (Ryan Gosling Remix) by Florence + The Machine (you want a revelation, you want to get it right, but that's a conversation I just can't have tonight) 

The best part of my day is going home.

It's the only time that is liberated from the suffocating social dynamics and petty playground politics of school. I walk to the train station with one or two really good friends, and we just muck around. I normally get off at the train station everyone else gets off at and we buy Cokes and ice creams and just chill for a little while before we all go our own separate ways in a brief interlude of solitude before we are all reunited by the mystical powers of facebook. It's wonderful. I don't have to watch what I say, I don't get snide looks and little smirks of condescension just for being myself. I can hug people, talk to people, without other people glaring at me for not knowing my place. Egalitarianism.

It's the only time of the day where I really enjoy being around people - and a part of it is because the social overload is balanced by bus time. I don't have to worry about bitchiness or gossip or being stabbed in the back. I don't have to worry about group dynamics.

Group dynamics. Fascinating stuff - I'm studying next year in uni. But in reality, it sucks. Big time.

I've never been very good at groups. I don't like working in groups and I've never really had a big friendship group. My friends are individuals, and I love them as individuals - and in a group there will invariably be at least someone, normally someone pretty high up in the hierarchy, where that doesn't work out so well. I am enormously forgiving with my friends, and in turn they are enormously forgiving to me. My friendships are with very forgiving people. But there aren't enough people who forgive me for being human to have a whole group of them.

The force of conformity and the fear of ostracization is more profound than a gun to the head. It impacts us all, even those who have told me rather grandly to 'fuck the general consensus' and that they don't care what other people think. When we're alone and thinking rationally, we'll realize that membership of a social group or a place on the social hierarchy is not worth the personal sacrifice, but it's like being in love - once we're with people we don't think straight. We like to think of ourselves as the non-conformist, the unbeliever - the media has always told us to sympathize with the outcast, the unlikely hero, the subaltern. But we don't. When push comes to shove, once we gain acceptance we will go to any lengths to protect it, degrade ourselves to the most humiliating things, hurt the ones we love the most, just to avoid obscurity. Even me in all my gung-ho rebelliousness is impacted by this. The only reason why I'm not at this very moment is because I tried, I tried so very very hard to fit in. I'm not afraid to say that if I could make it work I would go with the flow. But it didn't work. It's not that I've rejected acceptance - I have nothing to accept or reject. Being the subaltern...it's liberating in a sense. I don't have to fight to be a non-conformist. Lack of conformity just comes very very naturally.

People are constantly telling me that I'm too blunt and too stubborn - I don't let enough slide. Do you know how much I let slide, each and every day? Even my closest friends hurt me pretty regularly, but I never complain. How much more can you let slide before you stop being a human and start becoming a doormat?

It surprises people that I am actually friends with one or two 'popular' people - people in different circles, circles that don't really consider me to be a human being on par with them in all their perfection. It's because I love people as people, as they are, quirks and all, and I don't judge - I don't judge them for their friends, even if I hate them and they detest me, or completely refuse to acknowledge that I too am a human being. Being friends with someone in a particular group is in no way a free ticket into the club - and I have never tried to be 'one of them', as it were. 

The hardest part about having friends in high places is the total lack of equality. It's year twelve. I'm done with social climbing. It never did me any good anyway. But it would be nice, you know, to approach my friends who are in different social groups without their friends blocking me out, pushing me away, turning a blind eye to what is so obviously more than just a cordial acquaintance. I'm done with girls bitching to my face and behind my back. It is the hardest part of my day - harder than any work any teacher could ever give me - to be treated with such condescension, and having to accept it, and smile, and be the better man when the last thing you feel like doing is being civil. I don't need to be best friends with everybody. But unless you've really rubbed me the wrong way - by being a dick, not by being 'weird' - I am unfailingly polite to everybody, and not polite in that snotty, pretentious way that is so well bred into some people. Say what you like about me, you can't doubt my sincerity.

I have never seen being different as a bad thing. I hate the monotony of high school - nobody seems to have any personality. If I went out with one of the boys in my grade it would be much the same as dating any other boy in the grade - nobody ever does anything to make them special, to make them unique, to make them different. Being different...people keep telling me that it's good, that it's attractive to be different, and yet all these years of bullying, of being ignored, isolated, ostracized, dismissed, totally unacknowledged...it wears you down to breaking point. Nobody's thrown a punch at me in a long time, but the slow psychological mind fuck that is the group dynamics of high school is really getting to me. Relationships of any kind - including friendships - are hard enough as they are. There are fights and glitches you have to work over, and sometimes they cave in on themselves even when conditions are perfect. But it's a thousand times harder with such a hostile social climate. 

And yet, I say nothing. I complain to my friends, the friends who treat me as an equal, and not the friends who are sheltered in the cocoon of friends I never had and never will have. I cry by myself. The power of the subaltern is that sometimes, it is the subaltern that has to protect the hegemon, not the other way around. No matter how hurt I am by some people, I'm always happy to know that they make my friends happy - at least they're nice to somebody, just not me. I'll never change for a friend, but I will put up with an extraordinary amount of crap on their behalf. I don't want to cause trouble, especially not now when none of us really need the extra drama. This is something I'll bear alone, and I won't try and pry someone away from people who are so very nice to them, even if they're horrible to me. I'm the subaltern. I've had a lifetime of ostracism, a lifetime of not being good enough for some people. I think I can handle this. In a few weeks we'll be away from the claustrophobia of high school, and we'll all wonder why it was so dreadfully important for so-and-so to be nice to us, or what was so imperative about staying in someone or other's good books. Time is nothing. This too will pass. The people to whom I meant nothing to will mean nothing to me, and simply melt into nonexistence. True friendships, I hope, will be a little more endurant.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Thousand Thousand Fearless Things #69

Now Playing: Yellow by Coldplay (look at the stars, look how they shine for you and everything you do)

#616: Acknowledging that at heart I have the mentality of a prepubescent boy. 69. LOL!

#617: August 20th, 1963- the most beautiful woman on earth was born. Happy birthday, mummy. 

#618: I love your big cheeky smile every morning, 오빠

#619: Ostracized.  

#620: It's so strange how invisible I am without my one-woman posse. 

#621: I think the sun just knew I left my umbie in my locker. It rained all the way home, but stopped just before I got off the bus and started again just after I'd got home. 

#622: Falling asleep in the bath. There's something about the hot water and the heady scent of castile soap and the soapy steam and just...oh, whatever, I was tired. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Thousand Thousand Fearless Things #68

Now Playing: No Light, No Light by Florence + The Machine (you are the silence in between what I thought and what I said) 

#606: Nothing says sexy like new lipstick

#607: And in growing up, you realize that not only are there people too good for you, but people that are simply not good enough

#608: It is totally unreasonable to pick on me when nobody else is doing any work, either

#609: Moderation can go fuck itself. I am top in English, in the top school. Why should I and everyone else be brought down by a few retards who can't read?

#610: You just have to beat me in everything, don't you. Including who can go down the stairs the fastest. 

#611: Late bus :(

#612: I am not the same height as a baby!

#613: Just the way people behave...it makes a working class girl like me wonder just what posh parents teach posh kids. That I'm scum? That I have no feelings? Because that's what it feels like

#614: A friend once told me to never give your children the same name as someone who has hurt you. Then I realized that that didn't really leave me many names to choose from. 

#615: ILY! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

yes, I'd be a terrible lawyer.

Now Playing: Lolita by The Veronicas (everywhere I turn I'm trapped in your heart)

Whenever I get into fights with boys (which is fairly often now) they always tell me 'you'd be a terrible lawyer'.

Yeah. Probably. Politics and Law is by far my worst subject. So what?

If you're Asian and really bad at maths (like me) other Asians try to console your parents by saying 'she can be a lawyer'. No. I was never going to be a lawyer.

It's not just because I'd do a terrible job of it and probably never get into law in university in the first place. It would be against my conscience, using my talents to defend people I know to be guilty, to fight people I sympathize with. I couldn't do it.

Boys complain that my arguments are too 'emotional' and...illogical. Gilligan's criticism of Kohlberg's theory of moral intelligence (you can tell that I just wrote a sociology essay recently lol) states that female moral development is based on compassion, on emotion, and Allan Pease states that women are psychology more developed than men at empathy and 'intuition' - the interpretation of verbal and body language. Male moral development, on the other hand, is based on principles of justice - rule of law.

There are sweeping generalistions, of course, but they are true to a certain extent. I don't pass judgements just based on empirical evidence - it's my main qualm with studying hard sciences. Emotional judgements can be somewhat irrational, but tempered with reasoning and education they are of greater depth than judgements made purely based on arbitrary laws and rules. Law is a man made construct, and is as flawed as mankind itself. There are exceptions to every rule - criminals who are not criminals at all, but victims. There are a wealth of things that are so undeniably and unquestionably wrong that are not 'illegal', but they should not go unpunished! We cannot only use our heads and not our hearts.

So when I argue, it is an emotional experience. Empathy, sympathy, passion, compassion...they're not weaknesses, they're strengths. Whack me over the head with a Bible, or the law, or science, or anything else you put blind faith into, but some things just need a little emotional intelligence, a little thought, a little compassion. A little instinct, or, dare I say it? Woman's intuition.

late bloomer

Now Playing: Lolita by The Veronicas (nursery rhymes I sang in my dreams, I'm lost in the woods and you're baring your teeth)

'I'm the messed up child of a baby boomer, I was in the gifted class but a total late bloomer'

Never mind that that line is from a song called 'I Don't Understand Job' (I'm sure you can guess what that's all about).

I guess I am what you would call a late bloomer. Development has nothing to do with intelligence, almost - when I was about eight, just before hormones kicked in, I remember feeling like I had to pretend to be much more grown up than I was - all I wanted to do was play with dolls and wear dresses.

Hormones kicked in early. They just took an absurdly long time to have any positive impact. Like Phenergan. You're asleep before you're numb.

One of the many idiosyncrasies about me is that I am - or can be - actually quite childlike. On the way to school a car drove through a cable gate and I just stood there and refused to move until the cable came back up again. I don't actively pretend to be a baby - but sometimes certain things just make me regress back into early childhood. It's not entirely uncommon to see me staring in big baby-eyed awe, or to compare handspans with people (my hands are almost always smaller than everyone else's, especially big hulking seventeen year old boys).

So there's that, and the fact that I have FINALLY acquired a vaguely adult-looking body and I'm sixteen and hormones have kicked in. Or, more accurately, everyone else's hormones have kicked in. Sometimes hanging out with boys is like chilling in the lion enclosure at the zoo. Chances are, nothing will happen. But there's always potential.

Being a late bloomer is having absolutely no experience at the age when everyone just assumes you have experience, or if you're old enough to behave in a way that might imply something about your past that you actually totally missed out on because you were geeking out over Star Wars or something. You miss a lot of bases, and everything gets a bit extra-chronological and incongruous.

But it's cool. It's exciting. You fill in the gaps with imagination.

Heavy In Your Arms

They call it falling, not flying
I cannot be the wings of angels
You will be a beast of burden
Tied to the ocean floor by blind lust

Forgive me for being so heavy in your heart.

Stagger on,
Love and blood and tears
Even happiness has sordid intensity
It is a heavy price to pay

And yet
You cannot resist
You would turn your back on the sun

One look, one taste, one trembling touch
And gravity shifts

It is not the Earth
Or God
Or even Helen of Troy
It is me.

Your chains...
You have the key, but not the will

And as you sink beneath the waves
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
I would not be one to challenge gravity

I can give you strength
But I cannot give you relief.

A fallen angel is an angel still.

They call it falling, not flying
They call humanity sin
And I am prize and price and penance.

This will be my last confession
I loved you, and never felt like any blessing

Forgive me for being so heavy in your arms.

Inspired by Heavy In Your Arms by Florence + The Machine
Click here for a discussion of Heavy In Your Arms

Saturday, August 18, 2012

your skirt's too short.

Now Playing: That's What You Get by Paramore (that's what you get when you let your heart win, I drowned out all my sense with the sound of it's beating)

The word whore has been misused in modern society. I am a whore, but not in the way people put it. The greatest women in history were whores. I am a whore in that I love conversation, I love people and yes, I love men. I am a whore because I'm not afraid of sex, or sexuality. I am a whore because people aren't intimidated by talent or intelligence or any real power - they're intimidated because I'm not afraid to try to be the woman that I think I should be. And so, they pick on the low-hanging fruit - my gender, and any perceived elements of my private life.

Women are supposed to be afraid, or at the very least disinterested, in sex and men and blah blah. We're supposed to be interested in the mushy stuff, the sticky sweet stuff - falling in love, getting married, starting a family, happily ever after. Which is all well and good, but...sex is the elephant in the room for every single one of these fantasies. And then we're told the lie that men don't care for any of the above and are just after sex, sex and more sex. Can neither gender walk the middle line?

Why are we so scared of a woman who is interested in sex? It's worse when you're young, and inexperienced, and a virgin - people think you're crazy to be, well, boy-crazy. Why? Women have hormones and desires and nerve endings just like men, but it's only men who are allowed to openly indulge. For women, it's still the Prohibition for us. Everyone knows all of this. But nobody's allowed to say it.

People will think you are a slut - that is the worst threat or warning you can tell a sixteen year old girl who's defiantly ripping ladders in her stockings or rolling her shorts up as soon as she's out of view of the house. So? So what? Since when has it been illegal for a teenage girl to be interested in sex, and since when has a certain behaviour or dress given people the right to make assumptions? Do they ever tell shit like that to boys when they're running around in nothing but boxers and a six pack? What's the point of women's liberation, what's the point of civic freedom, if I can't walk around wearing something pretty without people whispering behind my back? Or, more importantly, is what they're whispering necessarily bad?

Reinforcing the stereotype of women being afraid or uninterested in sex, as helpless little dolls who have to put up barriers against the desires of men, is just as damaging to the status of women as objectification. Either way, it's a suppression of sexuality, and therefore a suppression of rights. The look of shock on people's faces when they realize that I wouldn't necessarily run screaming at the prospect of sex is just as insulting as when people whistle at me or stare at my chest.

Sexuality is empowering. Or, at least, it should be. But there are so few ways to express your sexuality when you're a teenage girl, even if you are popular with boys, even if you do have a boyfriend. It's so stigmatized and tied up with taboos that quite frankly, it's scary. It's scary dressing up and being myself, it's scary to engage in conversation and be open and honest and maybe just a little flirtatious. The fact that sex and women and independence aren't normalized into society is evidence of continued societal discrimination and gender inequality. Men think about sex all the time. Guess what? So do women.

In history women rose to the occasion in a man's world by living up to potential - intellectually, emotionally, politically, and, yes, sexually, too. My skirt's not too short. My humour is not too crude. You can't be too interested in anything. Knowledge is knowledge, right? Experiences are experiences.

Forgive me for being a woman. No...forgive me for being human.  

A Thousand Thousand Fearless Things #67

Now Playing: Heavy In Your Arms by Florence + The Machine (this will be my last confession, I loved you and never felt like any blessing)

#594: Garfunkel and Oates

#595: A crazy post about a crazy first kiss

#596: Baby E!

#597: Getting sick of putting up with some people

#598: Weird comfort food. Don't judge me. You weirdos eat black pudding.

#599: Baseball metaphors...

#600: There's this turning point in growing up when you realize that your self esteem's not low enough to look at some people. Atta girl.

#601: Hit me. Get charged with assault. 

#602: When I'm a bitch, I'm a manipulative backstabbing scheming calculative psycho. I don't troll. People who extract joy from winding people up and watching them unravel aren't cruel. They're just tools. 

#603: The rush of creative juices. Lit essay :P

#604: Fainting when I get home and reviving myself with ice cream. Elementary, my dear Watson. 

#605: Oil cleansing. Like attracts like, and then refuses to fuck off. 

Friday, August 17, 2012


Now Playing: Better Than Revenge by Taylor Swift (sophistication isn't what you wear or who you know, or pushing people down to get you where you want to go, they didn't teach you that in prep school so it's up to me: no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity)

I swear, some people at school are insufferably ill-bred.

I've never been particularly tactful, and I've never been one to spare people what they deserve. I can be a bitch. I'm only soft because I feel too much - but occasionally the switch will flick off and I'm only looking for pressure points. But even when I am being cruel...there's always common courtesy, even if you only do it for yourself. Dignity.

There are some people at school who are put on a pedestal for being so nice, so smart, so friendly to everyone, having no enemies. Bullshit. Complete, total, utter, fucking bullshit.

Being polite is more than saying please and thank you. Being nice is more than smiling at people and asking how their day is going. Being friendly is not ignoring someone totally, or being so unbearably condescending...I'm sick of it. Just punch me in the face. Seriously. It would be less insulting.

Sometimes I feel like I don't exist unless I'm with someone - it's only when I'm with one of my girlfriends that other girls sit up straight and show me some fucking respect. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what I do - try to talk to them, do them favours, set myself on fire...I'm just background noise. And then there are others, when I'm with them, I become even more invisible. It doesn't occur to people to acknowledge me, to consider my feelings. It's like it doesn't occur to people that I can have friends in high places, different social groups. It wouldn't kill them to give me some kind of acknowledgement that I too am a human being.

I'm not a likeable person from the start. If you're my friend, you've gotten to know me, understand me, love me for who I am. Those kind of people come from all kinds of places. I've never been good at social groups, at finding my own niche in the social hierarchy. And yes, some of my friends are a good deal more popular than I am. But even so, I shouldn't be treated like a shadow. I don't have to be friends with everybody. But I shouldn't have to put up with this shit.

If I am ever embarrassed, it is not because I'm afraid of how people perceive me or because I've failed to live up to societal expectations - I only get embarrassed when I feel like I've let myself down and not behaved with dignity. Some people have no dignity. I am not worth any less because I'm not afraid to be me. When push comes to shove, there are no prizes for conformity, and no benefits of being so arrogant.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Now Playing: I'm Not Calling You a Liar by Florence + The Machine (and when you kiss me I am happy enough to die)

A few days ago my favourite vlogger of all time charlieissocoollike made his relationship (for a year! I can't believe he managed that long!) public.

Now, I hope this blog post doesn't sound too up myself. I have a very slow traffic blog. I am nowhere near as famous as Charlie McDonnell. But...I'm still out there, in the public sphere. This is taking 'wearing your heart on your sleeve' to the next level, seriously.

But um...yeah. I never know how to say things on my blog. Like things that happen in my life. Things that mean a lot to me that I used to whinge about and now I...can't.

I mean, how do I bring it up? Would I announce a boyfriend in some grand spectacle post? What about a breakup? Do I just not mention it at all? Is that even possible, considering how personal my blog can get? Or just mention it occasionally and hope people will cotton on? Either way it all sounds pretty cringe-worthy.

I expect to be blogging for a long time yet. It's wonderfully therapeutic, and it's so cool having a time capsule. But you know, things are going to happen that are like...personal...and I don't know how to bring it up on the public sphere.


But I may have mentioned, I'm really bad at secrets. Especially my own. And this...this is my secret. Other things are all tied up with friendships and relationships and all sorts of complicated stuff but this is my secret.

I guess this is my weird convoluted way of saying that I'm not an nbk anymore, and I feel weird because I feel like I'm keeping secrets from my readers even though nobody probably cares and lalalala and wololol but I keep writing about it without actually writing about it and yeah anyway I've lost it and I'll stop whinging about it. I promise. And I hope I won't brag about it too much. I don't know. It was pretty cool ;P

I don't even know why I'm bringing it up. I'll spare you the details, because it's private and special and I'll lose the warm fuzzy feeling if I just broadcast what's going through my head. I guess I'm just bragging, really, or maybe I'm just in shock because I didn't at all expect things to turn out the way things...did. But in all seriousness, I feel like you guys have grown with me and this is all a part of growing up and it should be on my blog, it really should. Because when I'm old and married and had thousands of kisses I'll flip through my blog and remember my first one. And yes, it's been nearly a month but um...I'm kinda...chicken...

I haven't spent the whole month thinking about it. I do have year twelve finals. I just haven't known how to bring it up but if you read closely through some of my recent posts I already have...

It's late. I'm tired. I'm not thinking straight. I might delete this in the morning.


And I'm not saying who!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

you're so yellow.

Now Playing: Yellow by Coldplay (hahaha. Appropriate.)

I remember when I was little, when we called peach coloured pencils 'skin colour'. I remember picking it up, to colour in a picture and I was like 'What the hell? No. This is not skin colour. If it was, it would be multicoloured'.

Oh, I was a philosophical one. At four. At fourteen I failed philosophy.

Since then, though, I've never thought that much about my skin tone. I mean, as much as I rant about rampant racism in our society and joke that I have to bleach my skin before going back to Korea (it's true. Everyone there is whiter than snow. Although in Seoul that is not hard) I forget that I look different to all my white friends - and, yes, most of my friends are white. It's just not something I'm self conscious about, you know? I'm self conscious about my scars and my tummy and my acne and how absurdly huge my ears are. But I'm yellow and I forget that sometimes. When I look at myself in the mirror I just think that's just how people are supposed to look like.

I only remember if someone makes a joke involving yellow and my friends might point out that I might find that offensive. I never think of it that way - I don't associate yellow with me and therefore yellow with offensive. Slitty eyes and ching chong, yes, but not yellow. Other people actually find it more offensive than I do - white people, mostly, standing up for me. I guess there are only so many jokes you can make about peach coloured pencils.

Now that I'm forced off my lazy ass to take public transport, I take the train home with my friend. One day we had both ripped off our tights (it isn't as seedy as it sounds, I swear) and we just noticed...damn, she's white. And damn, I'm yellow.

Does it bother me that I'm not the same colour as peach pencils? No. But it's weird that I never forget that I'm Asian, but I always forget that I'm...otherwise coloured.

This blog post made no sense. I'm sorry.

it's hard being a half of a whole when you feel like two invisible people.

Now Playing: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (again. I'm sorry, I only just got this on my iPod. I don't even have an ex to sing this song about. It's ridiculous)

Falling in love for me is easy. I fall in love with assholes. Chances are if I've met you, and you're male, and you don't look like Jabba the Hutt, and you haven't been a total dickhead from the get go...I've had a crush on you. No joke.

I'm not saying I'm fickle, I just...I don't know, I'm good at multitasking. At one point in year eight I was in love with...my first failed attempt at a relationship with a git, my current best friend, a boy who's now in my form and a boy I met in detention...all at once. I was a slightly psycho thirteen year old.

By the way, I don't speak to the first boy, the second boy is a sweetie (now), the boy who's now in my form is...just a boy and I never saw that year eleven boy in detention again and it's weird because now I'm his age back then.

But I've never felt like a half of a whole. Ever. That's what I'm trying to find - falling in love is the easy part (when you're a klutz, falling of any description is easy). I've never felt like anyone's really understood me. I've come close, very close, so close I could almost taste it...but then they say something and it's not bad or mean but you're just like 'No. Yeah. You don't get me at all. I don't know what the hell's going through your head. I still love you, though'.

It's the only thing that makes it easier to move on. Knowing that it's much easier to hate someone than to love them, or realizing that you're great friends with someone but a relationship would be an utter disaster, no matter how badly you used to want it. Or that you both like each other but, sadly, you're both too thick to carry a conversation without every second word being 'What?' Or nobody's done anything wrong but intuition just tells you to run for the hills.

The thing is, if you really are half of a whole, or on the way to that, you'll never feel misunderstood. You'll never feel the need to bite your tongue. You'll never feel like your feelings are being brushed aside in favour of meaningless emoticon banter. You'll never cry into your pillow and then say you're okay when you're not. You'll never feel like the other woman, and you'll never feel like Potential Girlfriend Replacement If Current Situation Goes South. You'll never think through everything that's happened and then realize that your current situation is totally incongruous with events of the past. You'll never bore your girlfriends to tears with 'WHAT THE HELL IS HE THINKING I CAN'T READ HIS MIND MAYBE YOU CAN EVEN THOUGH HE'S MY FRIEND NOT YOURS' You'll never make openly public bids for attention or lose sleep from sheer insecurity. How do I know all of this? Because whenever I've deluded myself into thinking that I could maybe possibly potentially hopefully take things up to the next level, I've felt like that. And then something totally assholey will happen and I'll be like 'yeah...this is why we're friends. I remember'

I've never had a close relationship with a guy and not felt at least one of the above. The distance that creates...you know it wouldn't happen if things were meant to work out. It's something you can put up with in a friendship, but it's one of the many warning signs I missed when I was young and silly and naive. So I think it's safe to say, that all of the (admittedly, very few) boys I know...are not The One. We're not the same person, not even a person with split-personality. At most we're conjoined twins.

I'm not saying that the perfect relationship doesn't have fights and problems and conflict. I'm just saying that you won't feel alone in those hard times. I always feel alone in those times. I have to do my own problem solving. All my fights with boys haven't been like civil wars, they've been more like...invasions. I've never felt like I could trust someone completely - which has never turned out to be a bad thing, to be honest. But when you're your own agent in a relationship, or a friendship...you do a lot of stuff behind people's backs, a lot of lying to people's faces. You don't do that to your other half.

The thing is, it's hard to feel totally understood, or to totally understand someone, when you're someone like me. I'm two totally different people in one. Once you get to know how I present myself to the world - which is complicated enough already - you have to meet how I am in private, and yes, it does freak people out when someone who is normally so loud and bubbly starts shaking and avoiding eye contact. I've kind of accepted that about me, but I don't know how easy it's going to be to add a third personality to the mix. It's why I still feel like I have to simplify things for people, to try and conform - but even if I wanted to do that (and I don't, not anymore) I can't - it's like trying to cram a triangle in a circle hole. Hell, sometimes even I can't stand me, so sometimes it verges on impossible to try and endear myself to other people. Although...this is the first year that someone has actually found me attractive and I've returned the favour and some...weird stuff happened. I mean, much good that's done me, but at least I know that there are possibilities.

I'm still trying to be fearless, even when that personal mission sometimes feels like it's contradicting my other personal mission to just get what I want out of life and be happy - and, you know, a relationship is part of that. I don't know why everyone expects us to not want what we all want, to just wait for it to fall into our lap, as if we're going to leave something so important and desirable to luck and fate and chance. I'm me. I'm psycho. But I've got friends - not many, admittedly - and I'll be up myself for just a second and say that I'm perfectly capable of something more, thank you very much.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus (we all suddenly just don't care about Earthlings) but I'm looking for a Plutonian. Like me.

my hair conditioner is a science experiment.

Now Playing: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (I say I hate you, you call me, I love you)

To make hair conditioner: Pick rosemary, wash rosemary, cram rosemary into glass jar, cover in apple cider vinegar. Dilute 1/4 cup in 400mls of water. Replace rosemary when it begins to disintegrate.

Because of my new shampoo (amazing Shampoo Bar from Corrynne's) I've been washing my hair less often, so my conditioner is used a lot less and spends a lot more time sitting in a dark cupboard, not being topped up or otherwise messed about with.

Which means that, especially where the rosemary is exposed...it's trying to form a mother.

and then I was topping it up today without looking properly at the vinegar bottle and then FLOOMP, a massive grey slithery thing plopped into the jar and I was like AAAAAAH

It was an actual mother of vinegar! It was absolutely fascinating. I've never seen one before.

If you put it in alcohol, you can make your own vinegar. Unfortunately it freaked out my sister, and so it went in the bin.

...I know, I'm a nerd. But it was really really cool.

I can only explain the first ten.

Now Playing: Good Intent by Kimbra (I know you didn't mean it boy, you meant so well)

Now, you're going to have to forgive me for going all American on y'all. I've been talking too much to my friend in Texas lately. And lbs...work in perfect...tens.

You'll get what I mean in a minute.

I was steadily gaining weight from about twelve until just before I turned sixteen. Part of it is just growing up - growth spurts and hormonal weight gain and etc. But most of it was that I was a fat little pig who drowned all her sorrows in ramen noodles. I was 105lbs at about eleven or twelve, and by the time I got back from eating my way through the Asian continent last summer I was 130lbs.

Yes, I gained 25lbs. In my defence, it sounds a lot better in kilograms.

I made my ball dress when I was fourteen, and about 110lbs. I deliberately made it a little bigger, and very very adjustable. But by the time ball came around two years later, I was in danger of not fitting in to my ball dress - or, at least, looking terrible in it.

So I got back, and I worked out every day. It was torture - partly because I am very very unfit, but mostly because I am very very lazy. I wouldn't eat any carbs after sunset, and in a rice-worshipping Asian family that is kind of...hard. I wouldn't look at junk food. The only thing I could do when I was upset was walk, work out furiously, or cry my eyes out. My days of ramen binges - I once at three packets of those really big Korean noodles in one go - were over.

But the hard work paid off. I wasn't skinny, but I lost 10lbs before the ball and with the help of a bustier everything was smooth and nice.

I lost 10lbs through blood sweat and tears. But now it's been nearly six months since the ball and I've somehow managed to lose...another 10lbs.

The thing is, I stopped actively losing weight after the ball. Mostly because I had to give in - I was having dreams about steak and french fries. I also knew that it was year twelve, and I didn't have time to work out as much as I liked. I thought if I could stay at 120lbs and then start losing weight again after exams, that would be great.

But no. Another 10lbs have slipped away, despite eating ramen (only once a week, I swear), sharing Cokes with my friends (and getting Cokes bought for me by lovely guys) and generally eating whatever I like. The only rule that I've strictly observed is that I only eat when I'm hungry - which means I have skipped lunch on more than one occasion. I haven't worked out for God knows how long, and my daily commute on the highly inefficient public transport system only started recently.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is NO LEGITIMATE REASON AS TO HOW I'VE LOST 10lbs. I remember, vividly, pushing myself to lose weight, watching the numbers ever so slowly crawl down, being depressed when they creeped up again every time I so much as looked at something that wasn't a salad. And then the exact amount of weight has just kind of melted off and I don't know how or why or when...where does 10lbs of body mass go? Sometimes I think it's just hiding under my bed and I'll wake up one day fat again. But now I'm back to my old foodie, anti-exercise self and I'm...dare I say it? Skinny. Well, skinnier.

Which is bloody inconvenient, to tell you the truth. I can't wear school skirts anymore, and when I put on my school shorts there's a really big gap between my back and the waistline. I have about two pairs of pants that fit me, and both of them are pyjamas. When I go out, I always wear dresses - I mean, I like dresses, but they're...um...the only things that fit me now. Because they're hand me downs. From my Asian Miranda Kerr sister.

So, yeah. I've lost 20lbs. But I can really only explain the first ten.

I am a slob.

Now Playing: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (I absolutely cannot believe it's been two years since Taylor Swift last released her album. I remember buying it when it came out and...and all the things that have happened since then, there's always been a Taylor Swift song to help me along. New album coming out in October!) 

I am a massive slob.

I've been skipping sports carnivals since year seven. Before then, I was vaguely excited - but then it got boring, you know, all those 'Well Done' stickers and 4th place ribbons in the last division. All the champions read out - they were always the same name. There was never any that much fuss about me, what I could do. All they cared about was who was blessed with the right genetics to have strong legs and make everyone else feel like fat little nerds.

The sense of relief, driving past school - vaguely 'sick', but on my mother's suggestion - on sports carnival day...it was wonderful. Not feeling bad because I was slow and tubby with short legs. Not bursting my lungs trying to win ribbons I always knew I'd never get.

I don't think I've ever been to a high school sports carnival, and I've been to all of one swimming carnival - and didn't swim. I can't even remember if I was on my period or not, but that was the excuse I gave.

So I'm at home, blogging and studying and listening to music. I slept for eleven hours and I'm still in my pyjamas. My hair looks revolting and I know I'll have to wash it before I show my face at school tomorrow. I'm not wearing any makeup and I've done the only thing I can do in the kitchen without blowing something up - make ramen noodles.



Now Playing: No Light, No Light by Florence + The Machine (would you leave me if I told you what I'd done? And would you leave me If I told you what I'd become? Because it's so easy to say it to a crowd but it's so hard, my love, to say it to you out loud) 

I always feel guilty because I know I am a difficult friend to have.

I'm really bloody complicated. Messed up. Intense. It's a lot more than most people can handle, or want to handle. I know.

I always feel a bit guilty because being friends with me is pretty...crazy. In my defence, I can be a good friend when I want to. I'm always there to listen to even the most messed up problems. I can listen to absolutely anything and not judge. I'm easygoing to the point of insanity, really.

Which is not always a good thing. When I say I'm 'okay', I'm either being a girl and living in that alternate universe in which 'okay' means 'I am totally not okay, you tool, and it's all your fault', or 'okay' means 'i'm not really okay but I don't want this to stop'. What can I say? I'm trapped by teenage recklessness just like the next man.

The only thing more insecure than worrying about taking up space is taking up time. I feel so guilty that people are wasting their time on me. I shouldn't feel that way! I'm a friend, and friends are an investment of time and love and energy.

But I've always been a secret. I was thirteen when someone first said 'don't tell anyone how much I care about you' or words to that effect, and nothing's changed since. Being a guilty pleasure is only cool up to a point. Then it's mostly irritating, partly degrading and very, very exhausting.

But I guess you know there's something wrong with a relationship where the best part about your whole week is listening to your girlfriends bitch relentlessly about how much of a twat your friend is, and agreeing with absolutely everything they say. I guess you know there's something wrong with a relationship when you can't say what's wrong, when you can't be angry, when you feel like you have to let everything short of murder slide. I guess you know there's something wrong with a friendship when you are supposedly 'best friends' with someone but you have almost nothing to show for it.

What comes between best friends? It's not academia, not even now that we're all so absurdly busy. No. It's society. Social groups will have more appeal than any single person.

So much has happened and almost nobody knows. I never thought things would turn out this way, and I never thought that once I had so much I would want so much more.

I'm not angry, I'm exhausted. And it's sad that, when all is said and done, nothing has changed - I'm the happiest when I'm tapping out an essay or sitting in English class. It's still what I do best, despite everything that has happened this year. It's very disenchanting, really, to be changing colour but people only see you in black-and-white. I'm exhausted by friendships and relationships and people. I'm so exhausted I don't even have the energy to say 'enough'. It takes less energy to smile, so I smile. There's not much else I can do anyway.

I know this is all really bad timing on my part. I should probably have scheduled my mental breakdown in the middle of summer, but shit happens when shit happens, you know. You can't schedule when you grow up, when things happen to you. And I don't even spend that much time thinking about it - and that's the point. I need to think, I need to talk, but I have no time for myself and nobody has any time for me. I feel like I'm going to explode. All I know is that the second the pressure's off I'll be alone. I won't see my girl friend every day and my best friend won't be there for me. So, really, nothing's changed. That's the part that is the most draining. Progress for progress's sake - I don't feel like I am moving anywhere, as a person. It's exhausting.

So, for all the people who have seen me 'tired', for all the people who have seen me stare blankly into space, for all the people who are getting more and more confused by the cynicism and sarcasm and double entendres when I speak...this is what's going through my head. I'm not angry or hurt or happy. I don't regret anything, and yes, I'd still do it all again if I had the chance. But I'm just exhausted.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

being brave.

Now Playing: Cameo Lover by Kimbra (this is non stop baby, you've got me going crazy, you're heavier than I knew) 

I was a pretty clingy kid, to be honest, despite being in daycare. My mum's colleagues used to call me 'leach' or 'parasite' because I always insisted on being held, cuddled, and clinging on to mum. Even now, I'm closer to my mother than most girls my age are - my mum is my best friend. 

I've never understood parents who's goal in life is to train physical and emotional attachment out of their children. I knew I could always run to my mother for a hug, to kiss something better, for a talk. I was never made to feel weak or babyish for it until I got to school and people judged me for it. I can't count how many times I've fallen asleep in my mother's arms, or gotten up at all hours of the night and crawled into her bed. That's what parents are for. 

But one thing that my mother did instill into me was guts. I get my guts from my mother - literally. The one thing I remember the most is 'don't cry'. 'Don't cry, G. Be brave'. I don't know any girl who isn't allowed to cry. 

I cry really, really easily. Let me tell you why. 

Sometimes people ask me how I handle my medical condition. What they don't realize is...what else can I do? I was born with my medical condition and I'll die with it. I don't know what it's like to look at myself in the mirror and not see scars, not see my pacemaker. I don't know what life is like without little nips of pain almost every day, I don't know what life is like without hospital scares. That's just life. This is just my life. I don't know what life is like without it. Being brave is just one of the things I've had to learn, like tying shoelaces and catching trains.

I guess this has affected my life in the fact that I've always been attracted to intensity - the kind of do or die, heat of the moment, complete rush of spontaneity. That's what I mean by living without regrets - it's not like I've never done something that I wish I could have done differently, or that I've never done something and then kind of wished I'd never done it...but I live without regrets by accepting everything. The good is wonderful and the bad...well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm a stronger person, a better person, because of the experiences that I have. That, and the fact that I am suffering from teenage recklessness and sometimes I simply can't resist. 

Physically, I have to deal with the pain. The little nips are muscular pains...they're hard to describe, I haven't gotten them from anything else apart from my pacemaker. I'm also really, really unfit, and get tired easier than other people - which is why I have burst into tears on more than one occasion when people have yelled at me for taking my time on staircases because a) it is pretty physically exerting for me and b) I fell down three flights of stairs when I was five. Hospital - hospital is just pain, and then when you get home the immobility is beyond frustrating - taking a lifetime to hobble down the stairs, of not being able to sit up, sit down, somehow finding lying in bed doing nothing quite uncomfortable. And then there's the appearance...it's hard not to notice my scars. It starts a few inches below my collarbone, right between my breasts, and stops a few inches above my navel. Sometimes I look in the mirror but I just can't imagine the scars away - I really have no idea what I look like without them. My pacemaker is about the size of my fist (although, admittedly...I have a tiny fist) and protrudes just where my waist dips in. Self conscious? Definitely. 

Emotionally you go to some pretty dark places, too. There are no words to describe the feeling of hugging your own father and knowing you might never see him again. There is no way to describe the sheer panic when they have the gas mask on your face and you can't breathe and it's heavy and sickly sweet and you know you're just about to pass out and the only thing in your head is 'don't want to'. It's hard not to feel a little violated when you wake up in intensive care in unimaginable pain with your shirt completely unbuttoned and a slit down your chest, and then a syringe of Panadol is forced between your lips like you're a sulky infant. On more than one occasion I have totally broken down and asked 'why? Why me?', and begged to just be normal, just to be like everyone else, to not have to go through this crap. 

I know you just have to get over it. I don't ask why anymore - there's no point. It's the main reason why I'm atheist - I cannot begin to describe the unimaginable rage that sears through you at just the thought that someone or something might be responsible for all of this, or that you are somehow guilty or deserving of the pain. Sometimes I can go days without thinking about it, without realizing I'm different, and then it'll hurt again or someone will bring it up and then I realize that yeah, I am a freak of nature.  

People don't see a lot of it. They see me as being relatively normal - in uniform, walking around, hair up, makeup on. They haven't seen me on a hospital bed, losing weight with cracked bleeding lips. They haven't seen me in a wheelchair. They haven't seen me rushed to emergency in all hours, they haven't seen doctors turning pale at the sight of my thick hospital file. They haven't seen the surgeon calmly scribble a picture of a heart and explain to me how they're going to dissect it up like a ninth grade biology class. They haven't seen me slowly inching down the stairs with tears rolling down my face. They haven't seen me with an opium headache. They see everything airbrushed, everything tucked away, the calm after the storm, everything cleaned up and hidden under clothes. I don't get to see that, but I feel...everything.

People feel the most sympathy/empathy when somebody was 'normal', and then becomes disfigured or disabled in an accident. Why is it that those few years of normality inspire more sympathy than a lifetime of having to deal with it? I'm not saying we shouldn't have any sympathy for people who become paralyzed after freak accidents, but it isn't any easier, being born with something. Sometimes I think it's harder. 

I really hate it when people try and brush it aside, try and compare me to paraplegics or cancer-sufferers and try to tell me that what I go through is nothing. No. What I go through is not the worst, nowhere close. I know people live with a lot worse and I have nothing but the greatest respect for them, for their strength. I am incredibly lucky to be alive, to be reasonably functional, to be relatively normal. But don't belittle what I've gone through. I've been through extraordinary pain, and I've been to some very dark places because of my medical condition. Not many other people have to question whether they should exist, whether their existence is somehow illogical or immoral. It's more than what most people have to deal with, and it's more than what most people can deal with. It is not something I would wish on anyone, and I don't need pity, but I would like some understanding and I certainly don't need people telling me that it's nothing. This is my whole life - it effects everything in my whole life. I'll tell you right here, right now, that if you weren't born with what I was born with, you couldn't handle it. Even if you could handle the physical pain, being born different, being born disadvantaged, deformed...if you let it get to you it can totally, totally screw with your mind. You don't know what it's like to wish, before and beyond everything and anything else, just to not have to do this, to just be like everyone else, and know that that wish will never be granted. 

And so that's how I've learned to be brave. I've got guts from my mum. Like all good daughters, I don't listen to my mother - I cry. I cry in pain and I cry in terror in hospital, but I never cry because I've given up, I never cry because it's gotten too hard. I let myself cry over relationships, over other stuff - but not this. When it counts, I've got guts - I get my guts from my mum. You learn eventually - not just me, but everyone - that no matter how hard something is, no matter how much something hurts, there will always be something even worse but you'll get through that and this, too. No matter how low things get, no matter how much pain you're in, no matter how scarred or scared you are by something, you have to be brave. Life can get hard, but it doesn't get any easier after you break down. Don't cry, G. Be brave.