"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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smiles.

It's a lonely walk around these hallowed halls
The hushed whispers of ancient wisdom
The smell of coffee and fresh paper

And one of these windows is yours

Marvel at how we met across time and place
Countries and continents fell at our feet
At our first words, first touch, first smile

And one of these windows is yours

There is something comforting in the simplicity between us
Only hurts and heartbreaks are lost in translation
I am glad that our common tongue is the language of smiles

And one of those smiles is yours

This is an alien place for me
A foreign landscape full of shadows
And things that go bump in the night

But one of these windows is yours

I wander down the boulevard of broken dreams
A forgotten woman
And a broken-hearted girl

But one of these windows is yours

It is comforting to know that you are here
And sometimes you think of me
And the sight of me dancing brings a smile to your face

And part of my heart is yours

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Comrades

I am tired of being your Eponine
If I cannot be your Cosette
Let me be your Marianne

Virgin martyrs and wartime comrades
You would not think twice of the sacrifices I make

But maybe as I die
You will hold me on your arms
And comfort me with a charade of love

Can you hear me sing
Singing the songs of angry men
This is the music of a girl
Who never wants to hurt again

Will you weep if I fall?
I dreamed a dream that life was more than this
But no matter
As comrades we will be equal in death

This I swear on the stars.

Inspired by Les Miserables
Click here for a discussion of Comrades 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Fifteen Year Old Me

Now Playing: Fifteen by Taylor Swift (when you're fifteen don't forget to look before you fall)

You've made it. Year Eleven. It's all you've ever wanted.

Dearest Fifteen, you're finally becoming the kind of person I always wanted you to be - the happy girl, the bubbly smiley girl, the girl who has finally found her place in this world. This is the first time in the long time you've finally felt happy - not lonely, or lost, or confused, or hurt. You're surrounded by people and they give you the strength to move on, from the tiny little big huge momentous problems of yesteryear, from the depression that crippled you, from the insecurities that kept so much of your free spirit caged. And I'm still angry at the people who took this happiness away from you, too fast too soon. If there was anyone deserving of a few friends and a few glorious moments it was you, dearest Fifteen. You never deserved to have something so precious robbed from you so cruelly.

But you live in the moment, dearest Fifteen. You live those precious moments with your friends, sprawled across the lawn next to the war memorial. Every class is an eye opener, your hand flies up in class more than anyone else's and you've got the best English and Lit teachers in the world. And the rewards start coming thick and fast, dearest Fifteen. Numbers mean nothing and certificates are just paper, but that feeling...that feeling of accomplishment, of learning something meaningful, of finally feeling respected and acknowledged for your work, is euphoric. Feeling like your life didn't matter killed you five years ago, but now you've got the drive you've never had before. I'm so proud of you, dearest Fifteen, what you've achieved this year.

You made so many friends this year, dearest Fifteen, but I hate to tell you that only a few have stood the test of time. You're not really quite sure how and when you became friends - it sort of just happened; from little things big things grow. Some of my best memories is all the fun we have together in class, during breaks, laughing our way home. Belephant stays, dearest Fifteen, and even though you trusted her as much as anyone else she's one of the only ones who didn't let you down. Of all your friends, most of them will lie to you, tell you you're not good enough, stab you in the back, blab your secrets. Dearest Fifteen, enjoy their friendship whilst it lasts, but I wish you hadn't confused it with the kind of unconditional love you extend to them - it's as ephemeral as a pumpkin coach, ever subject to trend and time. Belephant is still one of your dearest friends, dearest Fifteen, and I think you can count on her. I'm glad, though, that even though you're deliriously happy you never quite lose sight of reality. You never quite trust anybody. Even though this is a good year I know a part of you knows that this is the calm before the tempest, and you can't let your guard down completely.

You're finally comfortable in your own skin, dearest Fifteen. Two years of drowning your sorrows in food has taken its toll on you, dearest Fifteen, but I'm glad you've given yourself the chance to love yourself, and you're not agreeing with the judgement of a selfish childish little boy who broke your heart. But you've finally realized that it's more than thirteen year old boys getting you down - you've got a problem, but it's not a problem you're too afraid to solve. For two years you battled your demons all by yourself and looking back I have no idea how such a scared little girl had the guts to do that, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and that's a battle I'm proud of, even if I've still got the battle scars. And you've finally realized that you're not supposed to look like a supermodel, or a movie star, or even the pretty blonde girls in your grade. You're beautiful in your own way, dearest Fifteen, and you're finally old enough and wise enough to understand that. Your beauty isn't what you see in the mirror, or measured by how many boys you have falling at your feet - your beauty is how you write, how you think, how you feel, what you believe. Your love is imperfect and tempestuous, dearest Fifteen, but your beauty is in how you treat those you love. Nobody can ever say you didn't love them enough, dearest Fifteen. And even though sometimes I feel cheated and bled dry, never lose that. Love isn't barter, or currency, or a finite resource. In you, it is boundless and unconditional and so exquisitely beautiful. I hope you know that, dearest Fifteen.

Dearest Fifteen, most of my strength comes from the happy moments of this year, this year when you were finally happy to be you. It gets harder and heartbreaking from here on in, but you'll get through it. For now, enjoy the good grades, the friendships, the delicious happiness of being fifteen. I miss you - I miss simpler, wilder, happier days. But I haven't lost hope that one day I will be you again, dearest Fifteen. I haven't lost hope that one day I will be happy again.

Love,
Nearly Seventeen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednsday: What Women Want


different standards.

Now Playing: Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware (and from the outside everyone must be wondering why we try)

I just posted a status on facebook that went something along the lines of 'I want to be the Paper Bag Princess who fights her own dragons and gets her Prince Charming'. The story behind that is that the Paper Bag Princess is a book I read when I was little that was published in the 80s, in which the princess goes and fights the dragon instead of the prince, but her beautiful princess gown gets destroyed in the process and when she meets her prince dressed only in a paper bag he rejects her. I read a paper which discussed the Paper Bag Princess' role as an antithesis to Disney Princess mania, but also noted that the Paper Bag Princess - a strong, brave, intelligent girl - ends up...alone.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being single, voluntary or not, but I'm getting quite sick of this stereotype that feminists never want any relationships or family of any kind, that career women must give up any chance of being a wife and mother, that women who label themselves as 'feminists' don't deserve the label of 'girlfriend'. The meaning behind my facebook message was that I consider myself the kind of person, the kind of woman, who fights her own dragons and chases her own dreams, and I don't want to be excluded from my other dreams, like my dreams of getting married and starting a family, just because I'm more Paper Bag Princess than Cinderella. All I want is everything, and to be honest, I deserve nothing less. No one does.

We live in this world where women can have one or the other. Joining the fight for equal rights comes at a price - and that price isn't something I'm willing to pay. I want my Prince Charming, I have no qualms about saying that. I'm a feminist who falls in love way too easily, and that's not an oxymoron. I'm a Paper Bag Princess who can fight her own dragons. But I'd have the time of my life fighting dragons with you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

small town girl

Now Playing: Rambling Man by Laura Marling (let it be known that I was who I am)

I got my uni offer a few days ago, and several hours, a lot of swearing, lots of stupid questions and a massive headache later my sister and I got my uni timetable sorted.

I don't need a number to tell me how much I'm worth, but my ATAR was 95+ and this year I will be starting my Bachelor of Arts majoring in English & Cultural Studies and Anthropology & Sociology at the University of Western Australia. I will also be studying a minor in French.

You know, that does sound pretty cool. I'm really unbelievably excited for uni. I can't wait to jump in head first, fearless, and begin again. I've put a lot of thought into what I want to do and a lot of time and energy into doing what needs to be done to get to where I am now. I'm very proud of myself. Both my grandmothers didn't receive any formal education and I hope my mother and sister and I are making them proud by taking advantage of the opportunities they could only dream of when they were my age.

But, one of the downsides of going to a school like Perth Modern School is that sometimes it's hard to feel good about yourself. No matter how well you've done and how proud you are of yourself, there are always so many other people who are so much better than you. It's starting to walk the line between 'humbling' and 'ego-bashing'. A lot of alumni are going interstate and overseas and I can't help but feel a little jealous. The course that I'll be doing this year has quite a low ATAR cutoff, at least for Perth Mod standards, and compared to all the flashy universities in exotic countries it's really nothing special.

But I know it is the right decision to stay in Perth, for now. I'm studying overseas at the moment and whilst it's fun it's also pretty hard. The food is pretty crap. I miss my friends and family. I miss the comfort of familiar things, of a familiar language. Living by yourself means a thousand different distractions from having fun, or studying, or even getting in some zzz's. I really want to do well in uni, and I know I can't really do that whilst I'm writing a shopping list for the next time I take the trek to the nearest shopping centre two train stations away, or worrying whether the washing machine is going to explode because I pressed the wrong button. I'm only sixteen - over here people are shocked that I'm in uni, because in Korea sixteen is only a middle school student; someone who hasn't even started high school, much less uni. I've still got a lot of growing up to do. I still need my moments curled up on the couch that is older than I am with my puppy. I still need my mum.

And I'm not just 'settling' for UWA. UWA is a very prestigious school and I am honoured to be studying there this year. If I were living elsewhere I would seriously consider moving interstate to come to UWA, because for what I want to do it really is the best in the country. All my friends who are studying law and engineering and PPE are going all across the country and the globe to chase their dreams, and I couldn't be happier for them. But for me, my dreams started in Perth. This brief moment of doubt, of envy, hasn't taken away the unshakable feeling that I'm doing the right thing, that I'm taking that first small step in the right direction.

I don't feel like I'm limiting myself by not stepping outside of my comfort zone. If that was the right thing to do, I'd have the guts to do it. And I don't want people to look down on me because on the surface my tertiary education plans aren't so glamourous, or because they expected more from the kid who can write. Good things take time, and from little things big things grow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

You & I

In your eyes I see
The beginning and ending
Birth and death
Inception and destruction
For you and I.

But I know
And you know
There is nothing for you and I
It is a story I cannot even begin to write
I could never be your Scheherazade.

Even if there is a spark
And where there's smoke there's fire
It will be the inferno that consumes us
And for you and I
It will be the death of everything good and right.

Pyramus and Thisbe
Barricaded by history
There will always be some things
Forever lost in translation for you and I
A wall that keeps us worlds apart.

And a thousand years of genocide
Warns us of what happens when ancient worlds collide
So for you and I
We will be no more than
Stop, stare and smile.

Click here for a discussion of You & I

Thursday, January 17, 2013

tangible

Now Playing: I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift (I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now, flew me to places I'd never been, now I'm lying on the cold hard ground)

I'll let you in on a little secret.

It's not really love, and I don't know how to describe it other than the fact that to me, it seems like a real, tangible thing. Something you can touch and taste and feel. You hoard all those times someone smiles at you, winks at you, flirts with you, kisses you, and they become the things that make you walk a little taller, stand a little prouder, feel a little stronger. It feels real - even though it is as ephemeral as a pumpkin coach. Balm on old wounds. That feeling that you have something - you don't quite know what, or why, or how, how strong for how long - but it's definitely something, and for the first time the things that you are absolutely sure of include a few things that brighten your day. I spend so much of my time wandering whether the things I love are real or not, and when they're going to leave, it was nice having that false security that I had something I could trust. It wasn't exactly what I wanted and didn't always make me happy, but for now it was enough.

Now it feels like all those memories, all those moments I treasured, seem like nothing more than a particularly pleasant dream - they don't feel real anymore. It's like taking a long and sometimes painful, sometimes euphoric route back to square one. Because at heart I'm still a never been kissed little girl. I've got everything I've ever wanted for myself when I got to this point, but it still feels kind of empty. Because all those feelings, emotions...they were all connected to that thing you thought you had, that real tangible thing that you never had but now you feel quite lost without it. I think the only thing worse than losing it is realizing you never had it in the first place.

The truth is overrated. To a writer, the truth is no big deal, and sometimes the truth is just thinly veiled cruelty. I don't like being played for a fool, but what's the point in clueing me in? I was happy, in my own little world where things were finally starting to go my way. Everything good had a price, but it was a price I was almost willing to pay. Now I've paid it but I haven't got anything to show for it.

To be angry nor not - it seems a heavy choice to make. To lose a friend over something so well intentioned. To blame someone else for my mistake of trusting something as sturdy as a house of cards, for wanting something so badly I jumped in head first without looking. Now all there is left is to let go before I have to acknowledge that I never had anything to lose in the first place.

Being fearless has helped me find people to heal me, to find closure in old wounds, to become more like the kind of person I want to be. But begin again is acknowledging that anything that helped last year has only hurt me more. I got over my tiny little big huge momentous problems in that tiny little big huge momentous place we call high school on a lie. And now, I have to get over that, too. I don't know how or when or who I trust enough to help me, but I'm determined. I will begin again. Alone, if I have to. But even though it sounds weak and pathetic, I wish there was someone to hold my hand.

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Fourteen Year Old Me

Now Playing: Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift (at fourteen there's just so much you can't do and you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots)

Dearest Fourteen,

This is the year when English gets amazing. Year 10 English is the most amazing year academically for you, dearest Fourteen, and you soak in every minute of it. You've never learnt so much or worked so hard. Your teacher is absolutely amazing and you've got your mojo back, as he would say.

Other than that, school is retarded. P.E. is a nightmare, trying to keep up with big fast year 10s, you barely pass biology and being murdered over the phone by your maths teacher is no fun. But you hang in there, dearest Fourteen, because you're much wiser than you were a year ago. You see the light at the end of the tunnel. Year eleven. That's all you want. Once you get there, you'll be okay.

But there's a little hole in you, dearest Fourteen. I know you think you're tough and grown up but looking back all I can think of is how small you were, how innocent you were, how young and fragile and hurt you were. Every now and then you'll lose focus and slip back into the what and why and think what you could have done to fix things, to make someone you wanted want you back, to not be as low as you are now. And then you're even angrier that you're dwelling on that, on something little that hurt you so much, because you want so badly to be stronger than that. You swear you'll replace him but you know deep down that that will never happen fast enough. And even though every day that you're alone humiliates you, I'm glad. You're too young for all of that, dearest Fourteen. I'm still a little ingenue, dearest Fourteen, but I've seen things and done things that would make your head spin. Last year left you broken - angry, confused, hurt, humiliated. You got all the break up without any of the relationship and you feel totally cheated. But the thing that hurts you the most is that you know everyone is laughing at you - it was such a poorly made trap and you still fell headfirst into it. You cut yourself off, from all the people who hurt you. Your pride is hurting, dearest Fourteen, but you learnt some important lessons. You're not a princess, and this ain't a fairytale. The only person you can trust is yourself.

So this is the only year when I can genuinely say you have no friends. It's lonely, dearest Fourteen, but you don't mind. I miss that. Now I'm older and slightly more fucked up I am so desperately craving solitude but crying out for company all at once and it's confusing everyone. Especially me. All I can think of about you is a little girl jumping into everything too fast too soon, but I know I'm not giving you enough credit. It's the decisions I made when I was young and innocent and forever making mistakes that have gotten me to where I am now. So even though it feels like you're wasting your tears on boys who will never deserve you and sweating over work that will never mean nothing, it's all worth it, in the end. I just wanted to tell you that, dearest Fourteen. It was all worth it.

Love,
Nearly Seventeen

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

shutting off.

Now Playing: In My Place by Coldplay (if you go, leave me down here on my own, then I'll wait for you)

I can feel myself shutting off.

I never understood why people weren't open about how they were feeling. I never saw anything wrong or shameful about being so deliriously happy you just want to drown everyone you meet in a million hugs and kisses. Or being so blind with rage you can't think, can't breathe, can't speak. I've never seen anything wrong with the millions of emotions that have coursed through me through nearly seventeen years of life - euphoria, depression, joy, lust, pride, anger, jealousy, envy - the whole lot. It makes me human.

That's what I used to think, anyway. But for the past year I've gotten into the habit of saying I'm okay when I'm not, getting used to blowing up at little things and keeping the big things hidden from view. It's why I feel lonely, sometimes, even when I'm talking with friends. Because it feels like as every day goes by there are more and more things I absolutely have to tell them but will never breathe a word about. And it's building up inside me, a solid mess of lies and hurts. So many things that I can't solve by myself, but I keep convincing myself to try. And I do, I try really hard. Somewhere in my head the remnants of my rebellious childhood remain, a seven year old self telling me to get the fuck on with life and deal with whatever shit flies my way. Every day sometimes feels like a struggle...not to feel happy, because the majority of the time I'm still happy bubbly me, but...to feel lighter. I'm weighed down by just being a person and all the problems that come with being human.

But I can't find it in me to get help. I'm not afraid of what people will think - the majority of people who know me have figured out I'm pretty messed up by now. I've just become such a private person about things, because I know that if you let someone in you've given them the chance to hurt you. I'm so tired of being hurt, of being let down, I can't let anyone in anymore. I just take what I can whilst forever being in fight or flight mode. I know I need to fully open up like I used to but at the same time I know I can't. I've spent seventeen years unconsciously building walls to protect myself and now I don't know how to knock them down.

I'm a proud sort of person, but not proud in the way that I'm too proud to ask for help. I'm proud in that the simple knowledge that I'm human and can't do everything by myself on my own is humiliating. Every day I dream of self sufficiency, but I feel like I'll never get there. My body doesn't co-operate and I constantly rely on other people to help me, to tow me along when my energy fails me. But my mind, my emotions...I thought I could be independent in that. But it turns out that my one strength is as weak as anything else about me. I'm forever at the whim of people, and of problems I can't solve.

But now I'm scared that I'll become one of those people who shuts off, who doesn't tell anyone anything, who sinks further and further into their own problems until it's impossible to dig them out, or worse, they become invisible and nobody sees them and they fade away unnoticed. I can feel myself shutting off, and I'm scared.

바다

There was snow falling in the sea
Cradled by mountains
An icy haven and hostile sanctuary
And as I take the squid ink roads home
The real sea monsters are here in the streets
Crawling through the gutters and lurking in the drains

But my soul is safe in the deep.

Click here for a discussion of 바다 

Wordless Wednesday: The Republican Definition of Rape


Monday, January 14, 2013

Now Playing: No Light, No Light by Florence + the Machine (it's so easy to say it to a crowd but it's so hard, my love, to say it to you out loud)

It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. I've been crying for nearly two hours and I have no idea why.

So I'm doing what I always do in moments like this. Writing.

If I've learned anything it's that problems can't be solved if words start to fail you. You will have the same fights, the same hurts, the same things will pop up over and over to kick you in the face, and each blow will be worse than the last.

So I will try and explain.

First is the humiliation. That you let things hurt you. That you aren't as strong as you want to be. That you've walked blindly into traps and now you're getting hurt, again.

Second is the rage. Blind, uncontrollable rage that has no beginning or end, no provocation and no placation. It makes me feel stupid, childish, selfish, weak. The kind of rage that makes me do stupid things, say stupid things, send stupid things to undeserving people.

Third is the frustration. Because I don't know how to explain it. Anything I say, I know you will misunderstand. I barely understand it, so how can I try and spell it out for someone else?

Fourth is that kind of restlessness, like the rolling boil of a pot about to boil over, when you are in such dire need of a shoulder to cry on, a hug, a talk, and there is nobody there. It's loneliness and anger and falling on the concrete from cloud nine all at once.

Fifth is the guilt. The guilt that you're putting people you love through all of your crap. The guilt that comes when nothing you say is exactly the truth but you can't think of anything else to say that isn't a lie. The guilt that comes when you've convinced someone you're okay but you haven't managed to convince yourself, so it's a hollow victory.

And then there is the jealousy. It's not the jealousy people think of, the kind of childish, selfish, greedy thing that turns people into schemers. I'm not scheming anything. But it's the feeling you get, that hollow, empty feeling, when you realise that whilst you're alone in a foreign country and every day is challenging, when you're low and alone and lonely and feeling forgotten and neglected, there are other people for whom you are going out of your way to make sure they're not feeling half as rotten as I do. That kind of feeling you get when you never want to hear about someone ever again because they remind you of all the times you were in need and people failed you.

I am so tired of giving so much of myself and letting myself get bled dry by everyone. Nobody can say that I am selfish. I have nothing left of myself to look out for. Everything I have, I've given it all to you. And look what I get in return.

rough night

Now Playing: Sophia by Laura Marling (but if I sit here and weep I'll be blown over by the slightest of breeze)

I'm having a rough night.

One of the things I've learned from having depression is that no matter how good things are going and how lucky you think you should feel, you'll always have rough nights. Nights when you cry yourself to sleep for no reason. Nights when you want to hit and hug people all at once for no reason at all.

Living away from home is sometimes fun but always hard. It's hard to feel grown up and independent when you're the youngest person in the entire institute, so young that your classmates call you 'jailbait' and your teachers just can't bring themselves to not talk down to you. But then, when you're trying to decipher Korean instructions and Korean buttons on a washing machine or trying to tell the waiter that they got your order wrong and you don't particularly want octopus and squid ink rolls it's impossible to forget how alone you are and how tough you've got to be. We have to do everything by ourselves - which I don't necessarily mind, but when you travel for an hour to the shops only to find them inexplicably closed, or you haul a huge load of laundry downstairs only to find every single machine is broken down or in use, when you've had to endure crap unhealthy food for days on end, when you have a mouth ulcer that refuses to heal, when technology is always dying on you and your friends are never there when you need to talk...sometimes it all just gets a bit too much.

It's hard not to feel like low priority a thousand miles away. My friends all have other, more immediate people to worry about. I know when someone is far away their problems don't seem quite real, or at the very least perfectly postponable. Life here is hectic and crazy and confusing, but my friends are always in my heart, always in my mind. How many of them can say that back to me? It's hard fighting with friends, but it's harder still to fight with a very close friend who is very far away.

I'm glad I'm rooming with my sister, but spending large quantities of time in a very confined space with anybody will occasionally set anyone's teeth on edge. I need alone time and it's impossible to get any here. I need to see my friends and that's impossible. And I just want someone to give me the assurance that I'm not being forgotten out here in the snow. I'm still me. I still laugh, I still cry, even if you're not here to see it. I'm still your friend.

S.

and I am undone by beauty
yours and mine and hers

vanity that defiled holy ground
and destroyed our state of grace

I am forever at the whim
of the tides
of lies and fate and time

but you know me
I am the little girl
eternally afraid
and irrevocably fearless

sisters and lovers
loved and lost
too long, too late

I will travel a thousand miles to you
a broken heart to damaged goods

and...

and...

and I wish perfection did not exist
so you would be content
with imperfect me

Click here for a discussion of S. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

bird tracks in the snow

there were bird tracks
and paw prints

stamped into snow
and carved into ice

and somehow

though sunshine and rainy days
will take them away

they will forever remain
in my mind

and here i am
'where we make history', they say

but finding a blank space
for my name
in the history books

is like finding a warm, empty place
in this barren, frozen, bustling landscape

she wants the silence
but fears the solitude

she wants to be alone and together with you.

Inspired by Landscape (Demo) by Florence + the Machine
Click here for a discussion of bird tracks in the snow

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Eyes Open

Now Playing: Eyes Open by Taylor Swift (every lesson forms a new scar, they never thought you'd make it this far)

I did it.

The Certificate of Distinction is awarded to the top 0.5% (or top two) students in each WACE course, and for pretty much all of high school my goal has been to get the English Certificate of Distinction. And I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to finally get it, after all the sleepless nights, setbacks, bullying, stress, loneliness. It's euphoric to finally silence all the haters, to prove everyone wrong, to make my friends and family and teachers proud. It's impossible to think of pride as a sin when I'm so unbelievably fucking proud of myself for making it this far. I just can't wipe the smile off of my face.

It's been a long, hard journey, but my love of literature and the written word has remained strong and steady from the get go. Because more than numbers, more than certificates or awards or bragging rights, English has always been my first love. Numbers mean nothing and certificates are just paper without this obsession and passion that transcends almost everything else in my life.

For all the people who told me I was arrogant and selfish, that I was overreaching myself and just trying to make myself look good and others feel bad, the only difference between you and me is that you are afraid and I was fearless. What I've achieved isn't because I'm any better, or any smarter, or at a greater advantage. I've worked damn hard for everything I've ever gotten, but that's not it, either. I was ready to jump in head first, fearless, and you couldn't handle that. But I thank you, for making this path so difficult, for trying to cut me down every time I started to crawl my way to the top. Because I've learned, from you, that the things you want in life won't fall into your lap like cherries - you have to stand up and get them for yourself, because they're not going to magically float your way. You have to do something in life, write something worth reading or do something worth the writing. History can write itself, but it won't write you into it. That's the difference between the people who play the game and people who watch on the sidelines. That's the difference between the people who will be remembered and the people who will be forgotten. That's the difference between the people who are in the top 0.5% of the state and the people who bullied them relentlessly. That's the difference between me and you.

I told people that I listen to Eyes Open, the official single of The Hunger Games Movie, and think of English this year and my work towards getting the Certificate of Distinction. Perth Modern School was a wonderful, amazing place to learn and grow as a student and as a person, but it wasn't always the most supportive place and high school got very lonely at times. This was the first year where English wasn't just my baby anymore, something that I did purely for myself - it felt like everybody was watching. Sometimes it felt like everybody was waiting for me to break down, and I knew that watching me fail to achieve my goals would be just as entertaining as watching me take the crown. And sometimes the only thing that kept me going after all my friends, even some of my teachers, told me I was worthless was knowing that I have something that they don't.

I would like to thank the wonderful teachers in the Perth Modern School English Department, who have never been anything less than fully supportive of not only me but every other English student at the school. They are truly amazing people doing truly amazing work and I hope they know that I and so many other students are sincerely thankful for all of their wisdom and hard work. I would especially like to thank my English teacher of three years, Mr Quin, who is the most amazing English teacher in the history of the world and has taught me everything I know. I would also like to thank the retiring Head of English, Mr Allen, for listening to a little girl with big dreams when nobody else did.

My beautiful, wonderful, amazing parents, who are the most supportive parents of even my most impossible dreams - I can't thank you enough for being so supportive, for not chucking a fit when I quit maths before I could count properly, for understanding that I want to be a writer and not waste my life in some stereotypical Asian occupation, for putting up with me trying to prop a book up against the tissue box whilst I ate ramen and babbled about Shakespeare and post-modern American poetry.

My precious handful of friends, you are truly amazing people. Thank you for picking me up every time I fell down, for making me believe in myself when I started to become a whiny insecure little shit. I love you all to the moon and back. Stay beautiful.

I know I'm gushing at the moment, but this is only the beginning. I can't wait to get back and start uni, and I'm truly excited for what the future holds for me. It's going to be weird and wonderful and I'm going to be happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way. It'll be miserable and magical, and every day will be a whole new adventure. But even though I'm still a little innocent jumping and falling into the big bad world, I know that one of the sweetest pleasures of life is curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. And, you know...writing essays in the middle of the night when you're so tired that you can't sleep.

Watch this space, people. I'm determined to do you all proud. I'm determined that we will be remembered.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

like really naked.

Now Playing: Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran (all I know since yesterday is everything has changed)

I have no problem with nudity.

That's what I used to think, anyway. I don't understand this obsession with making nudity a taboo - I came across an old parenting book from the 80s in which the doctor recommended to not clean a baby's genitalia because it 'seemed immoral' - isn't it just sad that we live in a world where good hygiene is immoral and diaper rash is a sign of proper prudishness? Even though I was insecure about pretty much everything else about me this year, my physical body and appearance wasn't as big of a deal as it used to be when I was younger, and I have no qualms about admitting to birthday suiting around the house occasionally - seriously, everyone should do it. And I've seen people naked on TV, in change rooms, bra-and-undies naked before gym...and I'm really rather indifferent to it. I don't know whether it's because I'm not retarded and don't link nudity to sex or because I don't spaz out over sex. Maybe I'm just, you know...mature. I mean, I'm butt naked under the clothes I'm wearing. We all are. Like, really naked.

So that's normal, rational, birthday-suiting me. Faced with the unspeakable horror of the Korean wet sauna...I don't know if I can really say that truthfully.

Wet saunas are scary. There are hot tubs the size of swimming pools, about five hundred shower stalls with no doors, and millions of naked people. Like, really naked.

Before you go all teenage hormonal on me, it's really not as sexy as it sounds. I don't know how I can stress this enough. The women's wet sauna is not a porn-style steamy orgy - it's a menagerie of old women, wrinkly women, pregnant women, fat women, skinny women, scarred women, screaming babies, awkward adolescents, tantrum-throwing children...the occasional little boy who is very confused as to why nobody else has a penis and is absolutely fascinated by boobs...all completely naked. Like, really naked.

I went to the wet sauna once when I was younger and I remember it being a little weird, but it didn't freak me out as much as it does now, which is strange because I'm pretty sure 'sex positivity' wasn't part of my eight-year-old self's vocabulary. Now, I hate it. I wouldn't go if I didn't have to, but unfortunately the locker room for the gym that I went to in Suncheon was adjacent to the wet sauna, so there was a lot of naked people wandering around. Like, really naked.

I don't really know why it bothers me, to be honest. I don't have any problem with nudity. I don't see anything particularly gross or immoral or even sexual about nudity in the context of a wet sauna - really, I couldn't think of anything less sexy, and I definitely don't feel sexy in there. I don't care that none of the women there have supermodel figures, because I still believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way and the physical signs of the changes a woman's body goes through in different stages of her life is beautiful - and anyway, people with nice figures don't make the situation any less uncomfortable. Maybe it's culture shock, because in Australia there are naked people in change rooms and they don't bother me, because they're usually at least partially covered with a towel and make a point of putting some pants on fairly quickly, whereas here I have actually seen women talk on the phone, check facebook, play with their kids, do their hair, apply makeup, chat with their friends, eat ice cream...and then put clothes on. Maybe it's because I'm angry that Korea is such a sex-negative, patriarchic, conservative society and so you'd think that in return for holding my tongue I'd not have to have the woman who's obviously just had a boob job pointedly brush past everyone topless. Maybe it's because I know that Korean society is so image obsessed and body conscious that I hate stripping in front of random strangers who immediately start staring at my collection of scars. Or maybe it's because I'd just rather not have to put my stuff on benches that people sit on, totally naked. Like, really naked. Or maybe it's just because I'm so sick of funny looks and it really does feel unfair to get funny looks because I'm actually wearing clothes. Or maybe it's because I know that, outside of the wet sauna, these people's attitudes towards sexuality and nudity will totally change, and so the wet sauna is a little hypocritical bubble isolated from the suppression of sexuality and nudity that constantly suffocates me.

Or maybe I've just had way too much time on my hands overthinking this as I stared pointedly out the window and tried to ignore the loud, boisterous crowd of naked people around me. Like, really naked.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Thirteen Year Old Me

Now Playing: The Best Day by Taylor Swift (I'm thirteen now and don't know how my friends could be so mean)

Dearest Thirteen,

You've made it. High school. There's only one other boy from your primary school here, and a handful of ex-primary school inmates in the years above, so you've more or less left the past behind you. And I'm proud of you, dearest Thirteen. Because Perth Modern School isn't the kind of place where people buy their way in, and then use that against you. Things will get better.

Dearest Thirteen, this is the year of K. I...don't really know what you saw in him, dearest Thirteen, because he was never a good friend to you, and an even worse boyfriend. But you cling on, dearest Thirteen, because you're so insecure you're convinced that friendships that go wrong - and they always go wrong- are your fault. You're not the easiest person to be around, dearest Thirteen, but there's something so pure and innocent about how you treat those you love and K totally, totally took advantage of that. And getting dumped online wasn't even the worst part, dearest Thirteen, because somewhere in your selfish, childish heart you find the wisdom to see that K is like you - selfish, childish, forever tripping over his own feet and making mistakes. You realize how much of a mistake K is, how much he bleeds you dry and leaves you empty, when he won't hug you when his freinds are looking. Of all the things he's done to you, that's the one that hits you the hardest, because that mistake was hardly innocent. Eventually you get over K and what he's done, dearest Thirteen. But you spend a lot of time angry and hurt and you have every right to feel like that, but I'm so sorry. And even now I can't honestly say that I still don't miss him, just a little.

This is the year when the eating disorder hits, too. You're so frustrated you try and replace all the things you've wanted and been without for so long - friends, boys, acceptance - with food. Dearest Thirteen, I still remember that. I remember when eating was the only way to stop yourself from crying. But you're making yourself sick, dearest Thirteen, and nearly four years on I'm still trying to get better. But I don't blame you, dearest Thirteen. You're going through some shit right now. Growing up is hard. And ramen is sympathetic.

There were high points too, though, dearest Thirteen. You finally skip a grade and year nine English feels like home. Even though your teacher doesn't exactly like you and the work is hard and frustrating, you love it. You've circled every English class on your timetable and those are the periods you live for - everything else is just sitting duck.

There's a boy at the back of your English class who is the most beautiful boy you've ever seen, dearest Thirteen. K sneers and tells you that he'll never look twice at you, that he's too old and too good for you, and you believe him - I wish you didn't, dearest Thirteen. But even though you believed all that, you can't help but look. Dearest Thirteen, I've just had to teach one of my friends the important lesson of not sending emails to random strangers you don't know, so I guess now is the time to tell you not to text random strangers you don't know. But, I guess, don't worry about it, even if you're mortified you walked into that trap so easily. You're not going to believe me when I tell you that me and him are actually pretty good friends now, right? No, you won't. But it's true. He's one of the best friends I've ever had, dearest Thirteen, and he hasn't let me down like K let you down.

Dearest Thirteen, don't give up. You're on the right track, even if you sometimes lose sight of the light and the end of the tunnel. All you want is everything, and you'll get it all, all in good time. Keep writing, keep dreaming, and keep dancing around to Taylor Swift. Everything will be okay.

Love,
Nearly Seventeen.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dear Diary: 30 December, 2012

Now Playing: Fix You by Coldplay (high up above or down below, when you're too in love to let it go, but if you never try you'll never know just what you're worth)

So this is something I actually wrote with all intentions to publish. And then my iPad hid it from me.

Or maybe I just really have to find my glasses.

I wrote this when I was going through some shit. Actually, I've been going through some shit on and off for a little while now.

When I was little, people were a little...hostile. I think I just happen to piss off a lot of people. Firstly, I'm smart. Not at everything, and not all the time - I can barely count and I've said a lot of stupid shit in my time. But I am one of the state's top students, and I am good at what I do. That seems to piss people off. Especially girls. I explained this to one of my friends - girls see everything as a competition. Everything you have, you've taken from someone else. So a lot of girls took my talent in writing as a personal insult.

And I can't really say I'm sorry.

Secondly, I'm loud. And crazy. And different. Also pisses off people.

Thirdly...I go through a lot of shit, so I know I put my friends through a lot of shit. My body doesn't always co-operate - I've had to put up with depression, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, acne, scars and the consequent insecurities...and my pacemaker. Having a pacemaker is not fun. For example, on New Year's Eve I carried a 10kg backpack for a grand total of maybe half an hour, probably less. And for two nights after that the area around my pacemaker hurt so much I couldn't breathe.

People aren't very sympathetic to that, really. People just think I'm lazy. I am, but it also hurts to walk up a flight of stairs. It also hurts to lift heavy things. And sometimes it hurts doing nothing at all. But I suppose anger is easier than sympathy.

Friends and me have a pretty bad track record, so as a result, I've spent much of my childhood alone. And even though I still get so lonely I cry myself to sleep, I've grown used to solitude - so much that if I don't get enough time alone I get really cranky. People take that the wrong way, take it too personally. But more than that...I've learned to keep things to myself. I've learned the hard way that people aren't always sympathetic to your problems, and if they think that your problems are going to burst their perfect bubble of normality they'll head straight for the hills. That's what my childhood has taught me. If you want friends, you have to try and be the kind of person people don't want to leave.

It's been hard, making friends and knowing that eventually they'll leave for no apparent reason. It's been hard, not knowing whether you can trust someone or not - not that they'll tell people, but if they start to think you're too fucked up to be a friend of theirs. And I am fucked up, I know. But isn't everyone?

At the beginning of this year, my friends - most of whom I'd been pretty close to for one or two years - decided I wasn't good enough for them. That affected me more than I anticipated - I really stopped trusting everything and everyone. When I was little the only thing that kept me going was the unshakeable knowledge that I am good at something, and one day I'll strike it big. I never lost faith in that, no matter what.

This year I lost faith. I lost touch with what I could or couldn't do. I couldn't write anymore. Everything that I previously was so sure I was good at...suddenly I wasn't so sure. My confidence took a massive hit and I don't think I've fully recovered from that.

And I lost faith in people, too. I was at the end of my tether. I was so tired of being hurt, of being lonely, of being deserted. I put a wall between me and what few friends I had left and convinced everyone that I was okay, that I was holding it all together, when I really wasn't and I really needed help. I did what I always had to do when I was little - I had to try and fix myself. Even though I had people there who were willing to hold me, help me. I just didn't trust anyone anymore. I just didn't want to get hurt again. I just didn't want to lose any more friends.

So this is what I wrote. I hope it makes sense.

Dear Diary 30 December 2012

So, this has to be part of begin again, I think.

I think I've only just realized the extend of how much I was hurt this year. An insecurity that has crept into every part of my life - my work, my friendships, relationships, outlook, everything. I feel like I'm eight years old again - not good enough, never good enough.

And I hate it. I hate feeling like at any moment you're going to fail everything, lose everything, sink to the bottom and be desperately lonely. I hate not knowing whether people love you or hate you, whether they're going to stay forever or leave you tomorrow. I hate not feeling secure in anything or anyone, especially not yourself. When you don't know who you are, what you can do, and all you know is how easily and often you let yourself down. The paranoia is crippling - and then you become paranoid that people will sense that you're being paranoid, which is worse.

This past year, being fearless, was being who I wanted to be, and pretending that I didn't care if people stayed or left, as long as I could be myself. But that's the biggest lie of all, isn't it? I'm terrified of being alone, of being lonely. We all are. But the only way to live that lie was to pretend that I was okay - and I've quite perfected the art of being enchantingly funny even when all I want to do is break down and cry. I didn't trust anyone enough to totally break down when I needed to, I didn't trust anyone with my troubles, I didn't trust people to not run away if I showed them how close to the edge I am. I was just so tired of people telling me to grow up and get over it, in the end I kept it all to myself so I never had to hear that ever again.

And in a way it's strangely therapeutic. It forces me to get on with things, to try and block the paranoia and insecurity and depression out of my mind. I can't be sad, because I have to face another day. Smile at my friends. Do something nice for that girl who will never return the favour, say something to make that boy laugh. Be the kind of person they wouldn't want to leave, rather than the mess of a girl they'd run away from in a heartbeat - And it wasn't just for other people, too. I hated my depression, my paranoia, my insecurity. I hated not feeling well enough to face the day, strong enough to battle out petty playground politics, brave enough to grit my teeth and get over things. I hate how much I dwell on things, how I let little things hurt me, how I get too attached and fall too deep and get too hurt. It's hard to accept yourself as someone you don't desire. I tried to be the person I wanted to be, for me. I really wanted that giggly, bubbly, feisty, funny, witty girl to be me.

But it didn't feel all that good, outsmarting my friends, lying to them, always bracing myself for the goodbye, always ready to be the first to leave rather than face being deserted. People are under this illusion that I'm very trusting - and I suppose it fits in with my childlike personality - but the truth is, I'm just very open. I want people to know who I am.

I don't trust anyone. I never have. Aside from family I've never had the security of...not unconditional love. Not even close. I haven't even had the security that people won't randomly leave with no rhyme or reason. Because that's what people do, to me. I meet people, make friends, wondering when they will leave me behind, move on to someone better. And it's worse than being dumped online when you're thirteen and floating precariously on cloud nine. It's worse than being passed over by your first love. It's worse than any pain my fucked up body and numerous medical procedures have put me through. So much worse. I've lost friends and entirely take the blame for it, of course. There are friends I let go of when I should have known better. But for the most part, I try my best, I really do. And when things fall apart in my hands, nobody can honestly say what I've done to deserve what they're doing to me. But they do it anyway.

But I've always told people not to buy into stereotypes, or to judge individuals on how the majority behave. I think it's time to tell myself that, too. Because even though so many friends have left me, hurt me, given me scars that will never really fade, I have a handful of friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin, who have picked me up every time I fell, people who have let me cry on them and scream at them. And I think I owe it to them to start trusting them a little. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get lucky. Maybe these are the only people in the world who won't run away because I'm weird, or loud, or smart, or different.

I promised myself I would begin again this year, just like last year I swore to become fearless. And so, I'll make a promise to you. I'll trust you. I've got to leave some old scars behind, and take a leap of faith. I'll tell you the truth even if I think it's going to kill me, even if that means I have to say stuff we both don't want to hear. Because I have to begin again. I have to start trusting my friends. I have to stop lying to myself. Somehow, I have to find it in me to move on from the past, from the way things have always been. It's a whole new life now, a whole new day in a whole new world. And I can do this. I have faith. And now I know, somehow, that there are a tiny handful of precious souls who have faith in me too, and I can't let them down.

frustrated.

Now Playing: Drops of Jupiter (Cover) by Taylor Swift (can you imagine no first chance freeze-dried romance, five hour conversations, the best soy latte you will ever have and...me)

I've really missed my blog. 

If you haven't noticed already, I usually blog in different shades of pissed off. I do this for your benefit, really, because in real life when I'm angry I just look like an agitated chipmunk and my writing when I'm mad takes on a similarly entertaining tone. My blog is good stress relief. 

Things have been good here, in Korea, but sometimes it gets hard. I've never been very good with people, or language barriers, so a place with lots of people and a language barrier can get quite stressful for me. Truth be told, the reason why I have pushed myself to get so good at English is because I get very frustrated when people don't understand me, and so I've devoted a large part of my life to learning how to articulate myself. And, of course that all goes out the window when I'm trying to communicate in a language that I kind of know but, ya know, isn't as good as my English. I also need to spend a lot of time alone, which, you know, some people take that the wrong way. 

So it's been a little stressful.

And now I don't really know how to explain the multitude of things that have been swirling my head whilst I've been MIA. It's like that, isn't it?


Grandmother, forgive me
Careless child am I
To keep you waiting.

Grandmother, tell me a story
Something you have watched, silently
As you cradled the home of my forefathers

Grandmother, how do you stand unconquered?
A thousand men have laid siege on me
But you have risen above it all

Grandmother, you house my flesh and blood
Keep them safe, for I will never join them
Only wandering will rock my restless soul to sleep

Grandmother, forgive me
Unfilial child am I
To forever leave you wanting

Click here for a discussion of  

Holy Ground

You have already forgiven yourself, I think
I think you have tried to forget
But you remember the taste of me in the warm winter sun

I've almost buried that horse in the ground
I can nearly drown you out with the howling wind
And frost numbs old wounds

But you have what I do not
So it is I who is robbed, lost, wanting
You knew that when you left me here
And fled to higher ground

And so even in this bitter war
Where hearts fall like houses of cards
And memories are vulnerabilities

I cling to this
Where I stood in your arms
On holy ground

Tonight in the swirling snow I'll dance
For all that we've been through
But I don't want to dance if I'm not dancing with you

Inspired by Holy Ground by Taylor Swift

Click here for a discussion of Holy Ground

Dear Diary: 26 November 2012

Now Playing: Rambling Man by Laura Marling (it's hard to accept yourself as someone you don't desire)

Dear Diary 26 November 2012

Dan Savage talks about how The One doesn't exist - it's a lie that we buy into when we're young and silly and high on hormones and living off a steady diet of chick lit and rom coms. Dan Savage talks about GGG and that if you're not an asshat, you will meet multiple 'ones'. And these ones won't be perfect; at most, 'they'll do'. They're not even a full 1.00 - they'll be 0.64 or 0.87 and you'll have to make the conscious decision to round them up to 'the one'. And you won't be perfect for that person, either. There will be things about you that will drive them insane but you don't have to change who you are. Real love is loving in spite of the things that drive you mental.

So this theory - The Theory of Multiple Ones - can affect you in two ways, I think. Firstly, I think it makes you fall in love just a little too easily. I know I definitely have fallen for some assholes in my time. I think it makes you too forgiving of the things that really should be deal-breakers, and I think it makes you feel almost obligated to turn a blind eye to things that you secretly know you really can't live with. But I also think that the Theory of Multiple Ones makes you more resilient, more optimistic. It's understanding that love isn't finite, and that no matter how much of a dick the 'love of your life' is being, there is always always always someone better. It's helped me to move on - that no matter how treacherous, intoxicating, addictive some wild dangerous reckless love is, there'll always be more, and it always gets better. I don't believe in the one. I believe that I've met a few 'ones' - but nothing worked out out. And it's not as if I didn't give it a shot - surely I get brownie points for trying. But it didn't work out, and that's that. Because of the Theory of Multiple Ones, I'm over it. I can hold on to precious memories but look forward to a beautiful future. Because of The Theory of Multiple Ones, I can begin again.

That's the thing, though, isn't it? Love is the only thing in which you don't get brownie points for trying. You're supposed to fall in love, trip over it, stumble around blindly in the dark on the off chance you'll bump into your Fairytale Princess or Prince Charming. But you don't get brownie points for trying - you're called cheap, desperate, etc etc etc. Why? Things don't work unless you give it a shot. Everything I've ever gotten in life I worked bloody hard for. Love is no different. A relationship, a marriage, a family, is no different. Love and sex and relationships - we all want them, but we don't want anyone to actually want them. We expect all these things to fall into our laps and it makes no sense whatsoever. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I would like a relationship. I applied for uni. I bought plane tickets to Korea. Anything you want just needs initiative. According to the Theory of Multiple Ones, I'll find my >0.50 people by...looking, really. I am tired of people looking down on me for actively seeking out what I need the most.

I guess The Theory of Multiple Ones might bother some people - because by prescribing (prescribing? Is that the right word? Who the hell gave me the English Award?) to this theory I'm acknowledging that my love is not a finite resource, it's not a barter game, it's not a single use thing. It doesn't give people the permission to be a total dickhead to me, comfortable in the assurance that they are My One and Only and That is That. I'm acknowledging that if I love someone, I can always love another just as much if that person happens to screw things up. And you know what? I can honestly say that I highly doubt I'll properly screw things up. I'm not saying that I've never broken hearts before - I have - or that I'll never dump someone for no other reason than I just don't like them anymore, or I never liked them in the first place - because I have. But I don't think I have it in me to not do my utmost to be the most loving and sincere partner I can be, and I don't think I have it in me to lie and cheat and fuck over someone that I love. Who else can say that, really? I suppose being eternally single has done that to me. I've wanted so badly and I've spent so long on the sidelines that I don't take love for granted, and I've learned how not to do things. Really. I've watched so many relationships come and go, so many perfect things break apart, and I'm a fast learner.

I've always found it strange that people find it shameful to want love. We are human - we need love more than we need anything else - food, air, oxygen - you can have all that and still die of starvation. We need love and touch and company and intimacy more than anything else, and it is idiotic to try and deny that. We find it shameful because love is a wild card - there is no rhyme or reason. It's dangerous and treacherous and makes you incredibly vulnerable, but it's also inexplicable and unexplainable and totally irrational. It's not cause and effect, supply and demand. It's not predictable. We want to tie love to things like wealth or looks - temporal vanities and material possessions - but as much as love and lust keep the same company neither should be as shallow as that. We live in a world where everything has to be explained, justified. Love can't be justified. I've loved some of the worst people I've ever met, and can't stand some of the nicest, sweetest people I know. Love makes no sense, and we should just stop trying to make sense of it. All we do is screw things up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Hello Lovelies!

Now Playing: Fix You by Coldplay (lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you)

Hello my lovelies! I'm back!

Well, I'm not back in the country, but I'm back to blogging. I have Wifi - finally! - so I will be putting my iPad to good use ;).

I spent the last month in Suncheon, which is my family hometown, going back to Seoul occasionally to stay with one of my cousins and and my two aunts who live in Seoul and Ilsan. We've been travelling around the country, eating ourselves stupid, and blowing our budget shopping.

So it's been good fun.

When I blog at home I normally brainstorm in my head throughout the day - on the route to and from school, at recess, at lunch...in particularly boring classes or catharsis-inducing assemblies...and then I publish either from school or at home. But here with the limited internet and computers that refuse to co-operate with Blogger, that's been a little difficult. What I have been doing, however, is keeping a diary every few days on my iPad, and there's some pretty good stuff there, so I will publish some of it. And I will get back to regular blogging.

Where am I? I'm at uni! I'm studying Korean at Yonsei University and classes start very soon. I'm living in a dormitory house nearby, and the common room has pretty good Wifi...although my iPad is about to die :P Life here is...interesting - we've only been here for two nights. We're technically in Incheon, which is a big metropolitan city near Seoul, but because we're in Campus Town there is absolutely nothing for miles around except for universities and dormitories. It's absolutely unbelievably fucking cold outside, and everything is covered in at least half a foot of snow. But Yonsei is very pretty, and dorm life is fun. The people here are lovely - most of the Korean students haven't started yet and some don't live in the dorms, but there are a few international students around. The ones who have lived in Seoul for a few weeks are complaining about the total lack of food - there's a grand total of one cafe nearby - but we eat at American-style cafeterias which are not too bad. And, unlike back at home where eating a microwave meal may be the last thing you do, the food around here is pretty good. Oh, and there's always ramen :P

I have lots in the pipeline, so keep an eye on this space. My diary, plus I've got lots of thoughts on Korea and learning Korean and all of that. I've also read the entire Hunger Games trilogy several times over, so I have lots to say about that, plus I've got two poems ready to publish.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year. I love you all to the moon and back. Stay beautiful.

Wordless Wednesday: WTF