"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

Monday, April 29, 2013

the diary of a manic pixie dream girl.

Now Playing: Mykonos by Fleet Foxes (and you will go to Mykonos with a vision of a gentle coast, and a sun to maybe dissipate shadows of the mess you made)

I remember very clearly cutting ties with K back when I was thirteen. I used the summer break to my advantage; not seeing someone on a daily basis is handy when you're trying to make it abundantly clear that you never want to see them again. I have never spoken to him ever since.

I remember feeling remarkably detached - I suppose, in retrospect, the ties I made as a little girl weren't as strong as I supposed them to be. And I suppose, in moments of weakness, my memories reconstructed themselves so that I couldn't bring myself to stoop to his level. Because we never remember things how they happened - we remember only memories of memories, an elaboration of a summary, as someone once put it. Because our experiences are not experiences at all until they have been encoded somehow into our brain, and then subconsciously we flesh those out but the way we remember them instead of how they actually happened, which can sometimes be very different.

I remember trying to do something very similar last year - trying to cut ties. It almost worked, but not really. It's very hard to ignore someone you have a class with every day. It's very hard when that person actually makes the effort to reconnect instead of aiding in your efforts to fade into obscurity. And so c'est la vie, we are still very good friends. I always wandered why that happened with that person and not with K. Was it really lack of effort on his part? Was it only because K has never once offered up a genuine apology and I have grown up enough to meet people who honour me with sincerity every day? Or is it just me and my ability to be very cold to some people but totally unable to let go of others?

Now I'm trying to forget someone, and it's not working, although it's for all the wrong reasons. If I see anyone who looks like him I get a panic attack, which is mortifyingly embarrassing and pathetically humiliating. I can't think of him without making my skin crawl, but I find myself thinking about him a lot. They tell me that when you're someone like me, constantly engaging in power struggles with everyone, shamelessly proud of victory, you remember the people who disempower you, you remember the people who take away who you are instead of adding to it.

I never really had many strong friendships until quite recently and all I can say is how much I am learning, how much I am growing as a person, and I am quick to drop people who don't do anything for me in that respect. It's not just politics and theology and religion, it's...I'm learning, slowly, how to deal with people, learning how to compromise and still stand my ground, to get what I want and to give people what they want, to somehow function as a human being, to try and figure out relationships. I was the loner kid and I kind of suck at this but...I'm learning.

But I can't believe...I can't get over how horrible being a manic pixie dream girl is, and I can't believe I wanted that, so badly, for such a long time. I feel like I'm twelve years old again, genuinely hoping some Edward Cullen character would magically appear amongst a gaggle of snotty seventh graders. Why on earth would I want to be a manic pixie dream girl? Why? I...I don't get it. I'm horrified and disgusted but...this revelation of how disempowering the tropes and conventions of hetero relationships are for women, especially women like me, has somehow been empowering. I hope now that I have a better idea of what I want in life, of what I want in a relationship, in a person I could come to love.

The people who know me know that I'm pretty clucky, and I definitely have that innate sense of nurture and responsibility over my friends - even the ones that are older than me and twice my size. But that doesn't mean I'm your therapist, or your mother, or I'm going to wipe your ass and fix you up. I'm seventeen and never been in a relationship, I hardly know anything about men or being a girlfriend or sex or any of that stuff. If a relationship isn't about mutual growth than it's not worth my time. I'm done with cleaning up other people's messes; I can barely clean up the mess that is my own life.

There's a fantastic quote from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which Clementine says 'too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours'. People like to delude themselves into thinking that your weirdness is a result of being so well adjusted, so comfortable with who you are, so at peace with the world, when in reality it's almost always the total opposite - my wackiest times were at the height of my depression and all my wonderful insecurities, I was rash and rude and kooky because I was bullied and defensive and angry. It's attention seeking, sure, but it's more of a cry for help - a desperate, silent plea for a little love, a few friends, a bit of acceptance; but what you get instead is a person thinking they can lean on you when you're already so close to tripping over your own feet. I was just thirteen when I was the rebound girl, and time and time again people think they can lose themselves in my weirdness, use me as a pickaxe as they chip their way through the mines of mundane monotony. And I know what they're doing; making themselves a better person for other girls. Never me. Prince Charming never marries the sidekick, trust me, I know. Nobody has ever looked at me and thought 'I want to be a better person for this girl'. It's always 'I think this girl could make me a better person' or 'she could help me get that other one'. It's never about me, or us. It's always about you.

I think it's time for me to be a little more selfish in my relationships. I have to look out for myself - too many friends have let me down, and I'm a little tired of hopping around from lover to lover. I will always be there for you, always be an ear to talk at, a shoulder to cry on, and, if I'm not totally out of my depths, I'll try and think of something intelligent to say. I know when your 'I'll always be there for you' is just code for 'please be my crutch'. Neediness works both ways, and it's not fair if you're the one getting all the loving and I'm crying myself to sleep whether you're 'there for me' or not. I'm so tired of being the manic pixie dream girl. I wish someone could just see me for what I am.

Music Monday: On My Own

My favourite rendition of my favourite song from my favourite character of Les Mis.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

An Ode to Three Letters.

Never let me go
Tell myself it's time now, I've got to let go
Now all we know is don't let go
All the times I let you in, just for you to go again
This is the last time I let you in my door
Forget all about me and let me decay
Let me tell you now, you're the lucky one
Oh, let's go back to the start
When did you last let your heart decide?
Let me share this whole new world with you
I will not let anything take away what's standing in front of me
This song is to let you know why
Lord, let me find him
I'm going to let it happen to me
Let me come and break down
Open up your heart and let me pull you out of here
Let go of your mother and turn to your brothers
Let me come and hold you high
Tears streaming down your face when I said I'll never let you go
He slowly let me drown
I was a heavy heart to carry but he never let me down
Lay me down, let the only sound be the overflow
Let me fall, but catch me mid flight
Meet me there tonight and let me know that it's not all in my mind
Trying not to let the first tear fall
She'll let you take her home, it whets her appetite
Let me go and I will run, I will not be silent
When you're too in love to let it go
The hardest part was letting go, not taking part
So let's sit back and watch the bed burn
And I love you so much, I'm going to let you kill me
I'm letting go tonight, I'm letting you go
You came in wearing a football helmet and said 'okay, let's talk'
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
It was the wicked and wild wind blew down the doors to let me in
Let's take a breath, jump over the side
I won't let you close enough to hurt me
I should not have let you go
I know you get me, so I let my walls come down
Let's go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love
Let's run away and don't ever look back
Let you put your hands on me
Let's consider this lesson learned
All you do is let me down
And I think I'm ready to let you get under my skin
Let the sky fall
I let it fall, my heart, and as it fell you rose to claim it
Let it burn while I cried
I hold too tight and have to let go
I'm so cold, let me in your window
Oh, let me have it, let me grab your soul away
Let's waste time chasing cars around our heads
Turn off all the lights, let the morning come

*   *   *

I love this word
All the power in helplessness
All the control in inevitability
And the conscious decision of letting something happen
Or slip away.

Sunday Wordle: Favourite

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Now Playing: White Winter Hymnal (Cover) by Birdy (scarves of red tied round their throats to keep their little heads from falling in the snow)

Tea or Coffee?

Primarily tea, although I get mega cranky if I don't have my large latte from my favourite espresso bar before uni. My dad is a big tea fan, and my initiation into the world of tea was, ahem, five mugs of tea in a row. My favourites are Earl Grey and Vanilla Chai. I don't drink coffee at home because I haven't got a french press and I hate instant coffee.

Hank or John?

Funnily enough although Hank has featured twice on my blog I actually like John better because he's a history bug and a lit freak and a BESTSELLING AUTHOR oh and did I mention I absolutely love the story of him and the Yeti and his son is freaking adorable?

Books or eReaders?

I had a kobo and I hated it, and now I will tolerate reading books on my iPad (although no amount of technological awesome stops a free historical erotic fiction being laughably terrible and as sexy as a flatulent rhino) but honestly...I still love my books. Real books.

Delena or Stelena?


Favourite Harry Potter character?

Hermione, although I think of myself as a blend of Luna, Hermione and Ginny

Favourite song?

At the moment? White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes, (the cover by Birdy is also pretty awesome and much easier to sing along to) but my favourite song of all time is Never Let Me Go by Florence + the Machine. All that being said, though, my favourite artist is Taylor Swift. Have I confused you yet?

Now reading?

Supposedly Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because my English tutor told us so, but I'm actually reading Lolita.

Favourite book?

Gah. Too many. Too fucking many.

Hogwarts house?

Ravenclaw or Slytherin.

Bacon or cake?


Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars.

Favourite Austen novel?

Pride & Prejudice

Favourite Javert?

This guy

How old were you...

Started school: five, although I'd been in childcare since before I turned one
Left school: sixteen
First fell in love: eight
First love: thirteen (if you don't know the difference then you are actually considering the possibility that eight year olds are worth loving by people other than their mother)
Hairy fairy: apparently before eleven, but I genuinely can't remember because it was never a big deal until about three days before I first got rid of it
First lost tooth: Six? Seven? Probably seven. I remember being a late bloomer on that front.
The p-word: nearly twelve
First iPod: eight
First surgery: three months
First relocation: two, from the Perth Hills to the southern suburbs, and then when I was thirteen we moved to the northern suburbs
First kiss: sixteen
First plane trip: I have done the Great Singapore Dash more times than I can remember since forever but the first non-Singapore plane trip was to Korea via Malaysia when I was seven
Hit five feet: about ten or eleven, but I've grown a grand total of two inches since.

Where in the world have you been?
In WA Perth (obviously), Bremer Bay, Lancelin, Kalbari, Karlgoolie, and lots of other country towns and remote outback places, interstate Sydney and Melbourne, overseas Singapore, England, Scotland, Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and I have almost definitely forgotton some place

Pirates or ninjas?


Teenage nicknames?

G, coined by my friend using my email signature as an apparently necessary abbreviation of my two syllable name. Although admittedly I have also abbreviated his two syllable name too. Laziness is one of the few things we have in common :P

Dandelions or Dandy lions?

Dandelions, because I'm Korean and we eat that shit (well, not me personally, but the collective we as in the population of Koreans do)

Are there any words you still can't spell?

Yeeeeees. I get my z's and s's mixed up (like realise or realize) because as an Australian academic I'm supposed to be writing in British English but there's so much exposure to American culture (plus my anthropology professor is American and despite her doctorate in people skills and social mores she apparently still hasn't picked up our spelling differences) and there are lots of words that I can't spell but the worst one I think is boregieoouse...that one.

If you could live in any period of history what would it be?

Joseon Korea, because I would have a fairly good chance of becoming a royal concubine (and oh my goodness, the clooothes), Tudor England because the costumes are also amazing but honestly, given my Internet obsession and my addiction to illegally downloaded music...probably this one.

Peeta or Gale?

Hmm. I like em both in the same way that I like Damon and Stefan, but I would personally choose...gah...probably Peeta if he looked like Gale :P

What are you afraid of?

Hyperdermic needles, pain, the dark, certain people I will not name, and rejection.

Do you have any advice about high school?

Most teachers are bullshitting most of the time, use high school to fall in love and find something to fall in love with that you want to do for the rest of your life (top tip: a person doesn't count) and no matter what anyone says to you these are definitely not the best years of your life unless your life sucks.

Do you have any advice abut uni?

Uni is infinitely cooler than high school but also much harder, more confusing and emotionally draining. And also requires much more coffee. My real advice about uni is to not be afraid of learning what you want to learn because if you're good at something and you love that something job prospects will always be good.

Favourite movie?

Gaaaah...I've seen lots of good movies, but I like lots of different movies for different reasons. I just watched Warm Bodies which was pretty freaking awesome.

Favourite Disney movie?

Errr...is Lion King Disney?

Would you ever get a cat?

Yes, and I would call it Char Kway Meow (I have a feeling that joke will be lost on my mostly white friends and noodle worshipping family)

Favourite year of high school?

Year eleven, although year twelve was by far the most interesting and dramatic and intense and my best moments of year twelve were better than my best moments of year eleven...although the worst moments were infinitely worse.

Big Macs or Whoppers?

...never actually had either. The lamb burgers from grill'd are pretty fucking awesome though.

Favourite band?

Florence + the Machine

Second favourite band?


Third favourite band?

Fleet Foxes (I was following the I was following the I was following the I was following the I...)

Favourite shirt?

I have a shirt that says 'Stand Firm Defend Your Style'. Me likey.

Favourite scent?

Florally spicy vanilla-y scents. Favourite perfume? Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift.

Favourite city?


Do you wish you had a different name?

Ehhhh...in Korea I don't have a problem with it. In my current country of residence the spelling of my name is like on speed. So I wanna change it.

Favourite type of pie?

Apple. Shepherd. Pepper Steak. Curry Puff.


Favourite play?

The Importance of Being Earnest, Arcadia and Macbeth. And A Streetcar Named Desire.

Favourite teacher?


Favourite poem?

probably Postcards by Sarah Kay and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvel

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

...Team Henry DeTamble and Books That Do Not Suck, motherfuckers.

What questions do people in real life ask you the most?

1. So seriously, how do you actually spell your actual name? (jiyut iyun shiot oo)
2. Where are you from? No, like really, where are you actually from? (the question I like to call 'why aren't you white?')
3. So are you guys like... (the answer is always no.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Why do I always have to be reminded of
How much I love you
The kind of warm heartandeyeandsoul smile
Of youandI
How much it breaks my heart to see you cry
And how painful it is to feel your absence.

*   *   *

I do not think much of people
Who scorn the teenage lust
That still consumes me;
To think oneself to be higher
Than the rush of young love
Yet still think himself worthy
Of my nonexistent first love
(my rabbit heart is in another man's pocket, my dear)
And to rudely take the vacant seat
In the game of park bench love
You have already declared yourself too old to play
And it is most perverse, I think, old man
That you reduce me to a child
(I killed and buried a decade ago)
Under the pretense of making me ready
For your twisted affection

*   *   *

With so much blame
And pretend confusion
You pushed things too far
And don't think for a heartbeat
That I am content
Honoured, even
To be the girl you keep coming back to
Between delusions
I would not even like being
Your one and only
Much less
Your contingency plan.

this too will pass.

Now Playing: White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes (and backward you would fall, and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime) 

Nostalgia is a strange thing, when you're seventeen. Because seventeen is so young, young enough for people to still be under the illusion that you haven't lived long enough or seen enough of the world or know enough about life to...look back and realise that different times of your life were so different to what it is now.

I remember the sun pouring into the spare room of a house that has since been pulled down and a new house built on top of the corpse of the place I once called home. I remember my childhood bed stacked away in that room, four mattresses piled on top of each other and I would sprawl across it in my nightgown with half a library scattered around me. I remember the smell of damp bitumen and eucalyptus leaves that streamed through my window with the warm winter sun after it rained...there was a certain feeling in that house, a certain atmosphere, a funny quality of light and airiness that I miss beyond words.

I had a different smell then, a different sillhouette - a little seven year old child too roly-poly and innocent to ever catch the eye of the people that I have grown to want and provoke wanting from; I smelled of blueberry shampoo and cherry chapstick and the metallic stench of blood from eternally scraped knees. It's really quite saddening to know that that person is long dead, dead and buried ten years ago, but I still have her memories and all the nights she hid in the toilets and cried herself to sleep still haunt me.

A friend of mine from that time-ish of my life and I recently got back in contact again and she sent me a link to a song from the Fleet Foxes and the picture of the Fleet Foxes that stared at me whilst I listened to this euphorically awesome song triggered a memory of a camping trip, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, deep in the lush green woods of the untold story of the Western Australian outback, where the days were cold and the nights were colder and everything smelled like smoke and sleeping bags and...I look so different, from pictures back then, and the people I met I'll never meet again and just...I don't know. It's interesting when you're old enough to look back and remember all the times that will never repeat itself, to relive the memories of versions of yourself that were murdered by time.

About a year ago I relapsed back into depression - it was a very brief, almost-forgotten about time, but my thoughts were darker than they had ever been and I was very very briefly suicidal. But the thing that saved me was the realisation - a very powerful moment of nostalgia and enlightenment that still kicks in every time that I even begin to think that things are getting too much - is that I have gotten through so much, that no matter how bad things had ever gotten and how horrible I have ever felt and how terrible people have treated me I always got through it, because something that was innate in me as a child that I am trying to re-brand onto my being as a talisman is a dogged determination, and faith in 'this too will pass'. I was the kind of kid who was so socially awkward that I was looking for a way out for stupid things like not finishing my homework or being late for school - and then acceptiong the inevitability of bad days and marching on to better times. This too will pass...it saved my life, last year, along with a strong dose of reality and Tom Stoppard and a midnight email.

I've never shared with anyone how important that frame of mind is. No matter how crap your day is or how bad you think your life has become, guilting yourself out of it by trying to sympathise with people dying of AIDS in Africa just doesn't work, especially if you have the misfortune of being part of the 9/11 generation like I am - terrorists have been destroying American architecture and Americans have been fighting pointless bloody neverending wars since I was five, and I have a bad case of compassion fatigue (don't we all). The suffering of the world and the absurd privilege that I enjoy makes me angry enough to be a feminist and an atheist but doesn't humble me enough to single-handedly drag myself out of depression. The thing that did, though is 'this too will pass' tatooed on my brain, branded on my heart, forever etched into my existence and my very being.

At the moment I don't think I'm in remission, exactly, because I still have the alarming ability to get very excited over the coffee that I buy every day and the ability to be angry at people other than myself, which is a defining characteristic of my depression - being mad at the world and then breaking down when realise that your anger at other people is a light aimed not at a person but at a mirror deflecting that rage back at you. But I am incredibly frustrated at the moment, and my darkest moments are not consumed by guilt or self-loathing but jealousy and the indescribably draining feeling devotion pouring out of you into nothingness.But some things remain the same. When I was younger and I was sad I had nobody to talk to but now...I have people and still nobody to talk to. They're either never there - absentee friends, nonevents that I am still somehow vaguely responsible for - or I can't talk to them for reasons too twisted to explain.

But this too will pass, I am always optimistic about that. The good, the bad, and the ugly...all of it will be gone, eventually, for better or for worse. I will never again read books in a room of a house that no longer exists any more, but eventually I will look back at all my seventeen year old woes from a time and place of new problems, but also a time and place where my current troubles are past problems. This too will pass.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vacancy: BF

before you think the worst of me
this is not a revelation that i am human
and my heart beats for someone

i would not be so crude
as to publicly acknowledge that i
would like
that you're not allowed to want
until you have it

there's another occupation known as Alias BF

skills required: must make me smile.


by the way

how curious it is

that they took the word 'vacancy'

right off of my lips

i couldn't find the right word
to explain
the hole in my heart.

Click here for a discussion of Vacancy: BF. 

Wordless Wednesday: The Freedom of Atheism

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

so here's the thing.

Now Playing: Don't Panic by Coldplay (all of us are done for, we live in a beautiful world)

So here's the thing.

I'd love to get a bit more dialogue around here. I'd love a - dare I say it? More active audience.

I love getting comments on my blog. Anything you like - questions, counter-arguments...I read them all and I looooove them. I'd also love any requests for post topics - if you want more recipes, or more stuff about feminism, or religion, or about me, more videos or music, anything...just let me know :) You can ask me anything - of course if I don't feel comfortable answering it I won't answer it, but there's no harm in asking, eh?

As you know I published my first guest post by...bullying my mates into writing something for me ;). If you would like to publish on my blog you can email a post draft to me at geesycheesydarita (at) gmail.com and I'll read it over; publishing is entirely at my discretion and I reserve the right to make edits that I will inform you about prior to publishing. I really want to open up my blog to different writers, to new ideas...especially people who like what I write and would like to get into blogging but are maybe a bit too time-poor to set up an independent blog.

Stay beautiful!

Monday, April 22, 2013

growing into growing up.

Now Playing: Over the Love by Florence + the Machine (I'll cry over the love of you)

I'll let you in on a little secret.

I don't shave my legs anymore.

That's not a strict rule; I still have a razor somewhere in my bathroom cupboard next to my weird hair potions (latest invention: rolled oats, coffee, henna, yoghurt, honey and olive oil) and my half-finished bottle of BB cream, and I still use it from time to time, and on other parts. But my legs don't need the daily scrape that they once did - I leave the house with a soft fluffy down of hair and I feel just fine; I don't feel like Chewbacca, and I certainly don't feel like any less of a woman.

I was eleven when I first put a razor to my legs, something I did behind my mother's back fuelled by a deep-seated insecurity and self-loathing that I have struggled with ever since. My mother, ever the body-positive feminist, refused to buy me razors for a long time, and even now gives me disapproving looks when I throw razor cartridges into the shopping trolley.

I know my mother was just trying to teach me a little body pride. She saw the poisonous effect of growing up with snobby rich white girls and she was trying to prevent the psychological screw over of growing up that had already set in in spite of her best efforts. I know my mother saw me for what I was; not a young woman making her own 'fuck you, this is my body' choices, I was a downtrodden bullied little girl giving herself nicks and razor burns in a doomed effort to conform. My mother grew up in a time and place where leg shaving was unheard of; to her it must have seemed the height of vanity, and I don't think she ever quite understood the importance of hairlessness that consumed year six society. Also, did I mention that for as long as I can remember my mother has been blessed with beautiful, hairless legs?

But I don't regret shaving my legs, and I don't feel guilty or un-feminist for continuing to do so from time to time. Now I've learned the hard way not to shave bone dry legs with a bone dry razor I love the silky, sensuous feeling of shaved legs; and I know when I was at the height of my body image issues it was something harmless - unlike my binge eating - that made me feel a little better. I was bullied so much for my hairy legs that shaving them was a proactive solution to quiet down some of the talk that was dragging me into depression; when I was eleven I simply didn't have the capacity to hold my head high and be myself, and I couldn't have grown into that when I was being constantly picked on and put down. If I had never found that razor, never done it continually for years on end, I never would have weaned myself off the need for baby smooth skin.

I've grown into the kind of person who is brave enough to show herself to the world, warts and all; Year twelve was a particularly memorable year of eating in class with a totally bare face and greasy ponytail and I still managed to excite the teenage boy imagination. Part of the process of becoming comfortable with myself and who I am was conforming when I was younger, to enjoy the brief respite from the pressures of growing up that it provided, and later to go above and beyond that. I know when mothers are horrified that their baby girls are shaving and plucking and smearing their faces with too much makeup they're terrified that they're growing up too fast; but really, that eleven year old obsession with cherry chapstick is the height of childhood, not the end. Most girls in our society go through that time, that time when they don't feel good enough, that time when they go to any lengths to make themselves look like the popular girls at school and the airbrushed models on magazines, and it doesn't do anyone any favours to become yet another enemy, yet another person who doesn't understand.

When I look after my baby cousins, as I wearily sit out tantrums over the most petty things, I wish they could just see things from my point of view - Mummy's not going to run away if you have a nap, and the world will not end if there were only four instead of five chicken nuggets. But I know I only think the way I think because a not very long time ago in the galaxy of right here I was once like them, and I grew out of it. Children grow out of being children if you let them have their golden age of princesses and pirate ships. And Venus razors.

Music Monday: Loretta Maine

Sunday, April 21, 2013


And I fell in love again with
That album you once promised me
At 11:17 tonight

You know I don't like numbers but
Doesn't look quite...right

I know I'm the artist
And you've grown into a scientist but
We're all human and you and I both cry

My English tutor says silence is trauma

They all say that but I-
I think I can handle it.

Silence is regret, words I will never say
All the poems I have written like a map on my face
Tattooed on my arms when I hold you tight
Scrawled in coffee stains
Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don't
And sometimes they hurt and bleed and fade in time

They are stories I will never write
A song for a scribbled out name
That my love keeps writing again and again

It's so very quiet at 11:17
Just the tapping of keyboards
And the tapping of my heart

'I'd tap that', my lips move to the words
A vulgarly public
Vulgar persona says

A cage I wrap around myself
When warm comforting arms aren't wrapped around me
A mask I wear to hide my grief

A loud, bold, crass girl
He fell in love with.
But that girl wasn't me.

That girl,
She lives in his memory
That beautiful seventeen year old with long black curls
The one who broke his heart when he broke mine
She's trapped there

But I...
I ran away.
I crawled back into your open arms.

These are all the things you know
The stories I have no words to say

But somehow, you hear them.

All this devotion was rushing out of me and I...
I just realised that I am a liar

Because I always...
I always think that people are lying to me
And I lie back
An eye for an eye

But sometimes...
Sometimes they tell the truth and I
I lie, anyway, because I know of no other way.
Sometimes they tell the truth and I
I can't see that but somehow I know that

You always do.
Or, at least, I hope you do.
And I try my hardest to be honest to you.

It's 11:17 and my head is full of questions
On 23/7/2012 I was sixteen and full of answers
But now I am seventeen and full of...

I don't know.
Nothing, really
Empty coffee cups and long handwritten notes I will never send.

Questions of science, science and progress...
Tonight, they are much louder than my heart.

for a dear friend. 

back in the groove.

Now Playing: Here Lies Love by David Byrne ft. Fatboy Slim & Florence Welch (is it a sin to love too much? Is it a sin to care?)

I haven't written an essay in a long long long long time.

In retrospect, I probably should have written an essay 'for fun'. In my defence, I have been doing a lot of blogging and a lot of writing, so the gears are still well oiled even if the machine hasn't been in operation for a little while and...writing, when you love it as much as I do, when you've been trained by the best teachers in the world like I have...it's like riding a bike. It doesn't really leave you.

That being said, it is taking me a while to get back in the groove. I'm writing a pretty gosh darn big essay at the moment and I love it...I love the creative process, I even love the sometimes frustrating method of writing and deleting and then writing some more. This is what I was born to do, and it...it feels right.

That being said, I am slightly terrified. This is the first essay that I'll ever write for university, and odds are it won't be my best. But I don't mind, just like I didn't mind getting that shockingly appalling B+ for my first essay in year nine English. At least when you start off bad you can only go up from there. The hardest part of being academic, as I found out the hard way in year twelve when every essay became increasingly stressful and paranoid is that when you're at the top it's so very easy to fall.

Sunday Wordle: Just

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Things That I Have Learnt to Cook That I Am Very Proud Of

...and will probably save your undernourished underpaid student ass.

Fuck Starbucks Chai Latte

1. Add half a cup of water and one Chai teabag to a pot. Add extra spices if  you liiiiike (cinnamon, ginger, star anise, vanilla are pretty cool. Curry powder...not so much.)
2. Heat on low until bubbly.
3. Turn off and let it sit for two minutes. The teabag will probably have exploded by now but that's fine. Actually in hindsight you should have probably just ripped the teabag open and tipped it into your water at step 1.
4. Turn the stove back onto low, stir in 1tsp-1tbsp of honey and a dash of vanilla essence and wait for the water to get bubbly again.
5. Add half a cup of milk, put the lid on and then wait for it to nearly bubble over
6. Strain into a cup or a travel mug and enjoy cheating massive beverage franchises out of their crappy powder and frothy milk shit.

Tea on the go

1. In a travel mug add boiling water, milk and honey to taste, and two teabags.
2. Done. (It does taste pretty good, honest)

Microwave Nachos!

1. Fill a microwave safe container with about two handfuls of corn chips and half a cup of cheese (I like chopped up cheddar or frozen shredded cheese)
2. Put about 4 or 5 tablespoons of salsa into a little container. Tomato sauce works in a pinch, or sriracha if you like picking up chicks in cafeterias with tears of pain streaming down your sweaty, bright red face. I like medium or mild salsa spiked with tomato sauce and a little sriracha or gochujang. Gochujang goes surprisingly well with non-Korean food.
3. In another little container put about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yoghurt. Now would probably be a good time to mention that you can do all this container crap the night before and store it in the fridge.
4. Add your salsa to your nachos and zap it in the microwave for 1 minute.
5. Add sour cream and watch as everyone turns to look at you as you become the first person in the history of the world to actually eat something edible within the confines of a university ref.

^ this is actually my favourite uni lunch because I don't have to buy anything on campus, it's super quick and easy if you do the prep the night before and it's really filling and tasty and not too unhealthy if you use plain nachos and light cheese.

Mac and Cheese!

1. Half a cup of pasta per person. Anything that isn't long and pokey or big and annoying goes - I like using little shells because...I couldn't find any macaroni...
2. Cook pasta in salted water for one minute less than the recommended cooking time. Because recommended cooking times are for suckers.
3. Strain pasta. In the pot add a quarter cup of milk and 1tsp of butter for each half a cup of pasta. Add the pasta and cook until the milk reduces and the sides of the pot start turning gold and the whole thing is hissing at you menacingly.
4. Take off the heat and quickly stir in 1/4-1/2 cup of cheese per person. This is clearly not a Weight Watches approved recipe.
5. You can experiment with parmasan and stock cubes to flavour it up - with limited success, I might add.

...this is literally all I eat and drink these days :P

the atheist morality.

Now Playing: State of Grace by Taylor Swift (you come around and the armour falls, pierce the room like a cannonball, now all we know is don't let go)

A lot of people ask how atheists deal with morality if dear old God isn't in the equation. What stops us from doing what is wrong if there is no eternal damnation to scare us out of our minds?

If you knew me as a little kid you'd know that I was almost embarassingly shy, but not in a way you might think. I was pretty gosh darn terrified of getting into trouble, sure, but I was also terrified of doing something wrong. Much later on my sense of right and wrong became much more defined and I saw no problem with sassing teachers and flaunting dress codes, but my moral development is no worse than any God-fearing person my age; arguably, mine is better, because I actually use logic to justify how I treat others instead of a book. At the ripe old age of six I had very good idea of what was right and wrong, and I did that without God. So I think if I can do it, so can you.

The thing that stops atheists - non fucked up atheists, and I'll admit there are quite a few on the kooky side - from doing bad things is the innate desire to be good people. When you grow up without God your natural instincts are heightened; empathy, compassion, justice - these things don't just exist in the law and in scripture. Arguably, they are stronger in our minds, encoded into our very being.

A lot of people think that what I do is 'wrong', and therefore I have a pretty shit sense of morality. Perhaps. If you think being open about sexuality, engaging in normal teenage relationships, masturbating, and being a feminist is worse than being a sexually frustrated bigoted religious hypocrite, then sure, I'm doing 'wrong' things. If you think that my peaceful difference of opinion with God and my sometimes feisty clashes with religion popping up everywhere - my classroom, my university, my bedroom, literally fucking everywhere - is in itself worse than being religious, even when 'being religious' also encapsulates religious extremism and bombing and rape all that other nasty shit that religious people like to pretend isn't religious but it really fucking is, then yeah, I'm...immoral, but at least I'm not dead or behind bars. The atheist idea of morality is much more forgiving of human nature; we are by nature social beings, sexual beings, and when you try and ignore or suppress that shit happens. Rape culture is born out of our society's inability to be grown up about sex, to teach people the facts about sex and sexual health, to educate our young people on healthy forms of sexual expression and, ya'know, teaching men not to fucking rape. The people I know who have a bit of a reputation for being 'promiscuous' are perhaps the most moral people I know in terms of sex and sexual interactions; they are very clear, almost vehement in stating how they think men and women should be treated in a sexual context, and yet they're judged by how many people they've slept with instead of their 100% rape-free record, which is more than what a lot of their 'decent, upstanding' Steubenvilling right-wing religious counterparts can say.

Growing up is a total shitstorm - for everyone, not just me. Atheism has been very healing for me, to come to terms with reality, to figure out my life, to decipher right from wrong. Religion is an atrociously bad and inefficient way with dealing with humanity; it just doesn't work. Abstinence based sex education has led to a massive spike in unwanted pregnancies and STDs in the US, religion is the primary culprit behind the appalling treatment of women in the Middle East, and religion doesn't stop people from doing 'bad' things; it just makes them feel incredibly and unecessarily guilty about it. I live my life by the facts - the facts that contraception doesn't make you a whore, you won't go blind if you touch yourself, there's nothing wrong with sex or sexuality, and there's nothing bad about being an atheist.

The idea that humans are immoral savages without God is something I find quite offensive; I find the whole idea that I've achieved all that I have achieved and overcome all that I have overcome because of God to be extremely offensive. When I woke up after my surgeries, agony ripping through me with every breath, bloody and confused and disoriented, I didn't thank God I was alive. I thanked my surgeon - you know, the person who trained for years in science and fact and knowledge to keep people like me alive. When I graduated from highschool, the granddaughter of two illiterate women with a fancy diploma and a handful of A grades and a certificate or two,  I didn't thank God for my academic achievements. God had nothing to do with it. I was the person who procrastinated and cried and freaked out over every assignment. I was the person who slogged my ass to school - I'm pretty sure God didn't do that on my behalf. It was my teachers who marked every essay, who explained every problem, who discussed every issue, not God. Whenever I am presented with temptation, temptation to do something wrong - and by this I mean the raping and pillaging and murdering type of wrong, not 'masturbation is Satan's typewriter' wrong - the thing that stops me is not God; not God at all. Not for a second to I consider the absurd motion that I'm being held accountable to a supernatural being; that a Divine Creator of the Entire Fucking Universe seriously gives a damn whether I murder a tiny percentage of a tiny population of a tiny planet in a tiny Solar System in this incredibly, impossibly vast universe. I don't do bad things for the simple reason that they're bad, and I don't want to be a bad person. That's it, really.

Morality really is that simple.

But what about temptation? The very idea is problematic. Temptation is not inherently bad; we're hardwired to be vulnerable to sexual temptation and, surprise surprise, we wouldn't be here if people didn't give in occasionally. Everything that is considered 'temptation' in our sex-negative, God-happy society is just...humans being humans, really. Real temptation is more accurately classed as desperation; a psychological panic in which we do things out of an innate desire to save our skins.

If you look at all the terrorists and criminals in our world, they are either religious, clinically insane, desperate, or a combination of the three. Atheism doesn't cause anarchy, or even a corruption of morality; instead I would argue that religion is more likely to be a force of corruption than atheism. When I hear people spouting absurd claims about premarital sex will kill you, or that you can legitimately kill someone for apostasy, or that it's okay to rape a woman dressed like a slut, I find it very interesting that I am the one labelled 'immoral'. The idea that one can do anything they like because nothing is stopping them isn't atheism; it's insanity. And if you think that the only thing stopping us from being hardened criminals and destroying the world is God then...you're only one delusion away from insanity, mate.

manic pixie dream girl.

Now Playing: Back to December by Taylor Swift (if we loved again I swear I'd love you right)

So here's the thing. Last year, when I somehow managed to get attention from guys - the validity of that plural is questionable, but anyways - people would often say 'oh, it's only because you say interesting stuff'.

It's only because you say interesting stuff. Right.

I love how girls like to put down other girls by begrudgingly giving someone one positive thing, one tiny sliver of hope that they are vaguely fuckable, and then denying that there is anything else remotely nice to say about them. But the idea that it is insulting for a guy to like what you have to say, for that to imply that you're too ugly to get any kind of reaction out of the opposite sex...I don't know, I found it an interesting reaction to my very public nerdiness. I don't understand why it's insulting to make the (sometimes very true) observation that people appear to have no brain cells at all, but it's perfectly okay to say that anyone with half a brain is obviously a one eyed obese troll. I guess people have to come to the realisation that some boys like me, and it's not all about what I have to say.

Anita Sarkeesian at Feminist Frequency discusses a sexist trope known as the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' and, to be honest, I was a little confused by that one to start off with. I knew a lot of my appeal was what I said and, to the right audience, all the weird shit I do. Is that wrong?

Well, no. A lot of my friends are much more likely to say that I am intelligent or enigmatic or...slightly manic-depressive before they say that I am beautiful, and for that I am actually quite glad; physical beauty is a fleeting gift, ever subject to the whim of time, but beauty of the mind is eternal. But just like some girls wonder whether the people in their lives actually like them or just like their face sometimes...sometimes I wonder if they'd like me less if I took a break, didn't devote so much energy into being intelligent and entertaining 24/7.

I'm learning now that as deep and meaningful as intellectual connection is and how important it is for women to be more than just a pretty face, especially in relationships with men...real friends give you off days. Real friends love you when you come up empty and sometimes have nothing to say. Real friends don't run after thirty seconds of sounding like a total twat. Real friends are there for you whether you understood their spiel on right wing economics or not. Trying to hold people through intelligence is like trying to hold people through beauty...it just doesn't work. Real friends love you unconditionally, and I love them too. That's all it is, really. I still enjoy entertaining my friends with my antics, and I still love how my real friends don't judge me by how incredibly psycho I can be. But it's not all of who I am; I'm not the rebellious twelve year old in skull loafers and goth stockings anymore. I have...a little more substance now, I should think, being a uni student and all.

I was someone's manic pixie dream girl, and it made me realise how much I detested being cast in that role. The femme fatale, whilst definitely sexist, can be reconstructed into something empowering and I guess in some incarnations manic pixie dream girl might not be sexist. But as it is, in it's pure and raw form...it's horrible.

The manic pixie dream girl trope is described by media critic Nathan Rabin as 'that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.' When I was someones manic pixie dream girl I couldn't say anything remotely meaningful, couldn't challenge a remotely interesting debate...they just agreed with absolutely everything I said or laughed as the musings of a seventeen year old formerly depressed and thoroughly confused uni fresher entertained the living daylights out of them. I felt dumbed down and repressed; reduced to a trope, really. There was no interest, only a morbid fascination.

I know talking about sex and sexuality is an important part of mature relationships and I have talked that stuff over before, made something work as best as sixteen year olds can. This was different. Not only did this person introduce the topic waaay too early - about two days after I'd met him - but that conversation began and ended with what he was comfortable with and what he wanted to do. Sorry, did I say conversation? I meant monologue. The second I said I was uncomfortable he flipped out, and that was the end of whatever the hell that was. Literally.

I can't be someone's manic pixie dream girl. It's one thing to find someone who is weird and quirky and different interesting and fascinating and blah blah, but that kind of attachment is purely skin deep, very superficial and extremely selfish. If you don't love me at my worst you don't deserve me at my best; and I know I put my friends through a lot.

I don't walk out on friends who haven't wronged me. The reason why I am normally pretty comfortable with fighting with people that I'm close to is the trust and the faith that we're not going to part ways over a little squabble. People have left me for the most irrational things, and some have even admitted that there was no real legitimate reason for our relationship terminating at all. And I know a lot of people will think that I cut ties for no good reason, but that's not true. I found people to love and I've left people to drown and if you're one of the latter then you've hurt me. Badly. And I will not forgive you.

It's not just that though...my friends really understand me. A friend of mine knew of me for about three years before he actually knew me and he instantly saw the discrepancy between what people were saying about me and what I actually am. When somebody does something wrong and hurts you, that in itself is not necessarily a warning sign - people fuck up all the time, I certainly do, anyway, and you can't imply malice in stupidity. But what is a warning sign is when they start their defence with 'I thought you...', especially if you have not known that person for very long. Even the people who know me like the back of their hand will still ask if I'm okay, if I like this, what I didn't like about that, ask me what went wrong instead of claiming that they thought that I thought something that I wasn't thinking at all. If someone is strange enough to be cast as a manic pixie dream girl her thought processes are going to be very unpredictable and possibly just a little twisted; and it's the height of arrogance to think you can just tell what people are thinking and then act on that thought you've projected onto your blank canvas of a woman. 'Are you', 'what if', 'should I'...these are all questions we should ask the people we love, not 'I thought you'. The idea that somebody was trying to start a relationship with his head full of preconceptions and misconceptions and stereotypes was...disgusting.

The final straw was when someone tried to get me to help him deal with his problems in the context of a week old friendship that might possibly evolve into something more if we he wanted it to once I wasn't a legal child. One of the first things he said when I tried to pull away was 'I'd just been dumped'. Emotional blackmail, anyone?  Only I didn't feel a shred of sympathy, at all. I don't feel any sympathy for old men using young girls as emotional crutches; which is what the manic pixie dream girl trope is all about. Nobody gives a damn about how she's feeling; she's there to help, not to be helped.

The reason why I liked older men was because I was always the youngest sister who never gets taken seriously, or the older cousin rocking babies to sleep and cuddling screaming toddlers and juggling formula bottles and dirty diapers; I wanted someone to care for me and care about me in the mature, grown up way that I'd always been without. I wanted someone to look at me in the context of something romantic, something sexual, something grown up and egalitarian; it's just not the kind of treatment you get from self-absorbed teenagers and well-meaning but over-coddling family members. I love looking after babies but their love is one of clingy attachment and childish affection; endearing in a chubby three year old drooling melted ice cream, perhaps, but not so attractive in a partner. The manic pixie dream girl is just a mother, without any of the authority; a relationship with a manic pixie dream girl is the most condescending, patronising, degrading relationship with someone who saves your skin and wipes your ass and gets nothing in return.

When I was younger I wanted to be someone's manic pixie dream girl - because that was quite literally the only way I could get any attention. But now that I have the kind of friends that stay up until three in the morning whilst I regress into early childhood and cry over something silly, now that I have friends who will whether any storm with me, now that I have grown up and felt the rush of attraction, of love...being someone's manic pixie dream girl is a cheap substitution to being a real lover, a real friend, a real person in someone's life. Because that's all you are, when you're a manic pixie dream girl - a projection of thoughts and fantasies, a blank page for men to write on.

I'm the writer. That's what people don't always realise until it's too late. Writing gives me substance and gravity and authority in a world where people are constantly made into shallow, cheap, voiceless versions of themselves. There is no accountability, with relationships with manic pixie dream girls; trauma is silence, and in silence there is no responsibility. But I like to think that no matter how badly people treat me I will always find a way to arrange some kind of comeuppance. I'm not a manic pixie dream girl, I am not there to lure you out of the doldrums of reality, I am not going to paint you a blue sky. I have my own life to sort out, my own demons to face, my own art to create.

What do you do when they point to that person on TV
And they say 'when you grow up, baby, I want you to be just like them.

'They're so wise, so smart, so beautiful,
Look at them, changing the world
Just like Prince Charming does in your storybooks
They stand up for what is right and fight for what they believe in

'That's what you have to do, baby
I want you to be just like that.'

And then

I wanted to be just like them, too
I stood behind 5'11" of friend when
I was scared

And my cheeks burned with shame
Shame that I couldn't sucker punch that other guy in the face
Shame that I stood behind a man like a damsel in distress
Shame that I lived in a world where I still live in fear

I wanted to be Prince Charming, too
I want to slay my own dragons

But when I tried to stand
Tried to raise my hand for a spot

On that TV that they pointed to so many years ago
Telling me that was where I had to go

They said


Don't do that.
You're asking for trouble.
You can't change the world, you can't save the day

This is how things are
This is what life is

Keep your head down and your mouth shut
And maybe you'll get through this okay

And if you don't
Don't make me say 'I told you so'
Don't wear that, because then it's your fault

I'm sorry, baby, but that's the truth

You're not one of them
You can't be your heroes because

It's too
It's just so
I mean, when I said that...

I am just trying to make sure you make it to your grave alive.

Friday, April 19, 2013


and did you think
that my hands that pushed you away
would pull you

closer                            closer
closer         closer          closer

when life makes you pray
to gods you don't believe in

when you fall to your knees
of your own volition



scream at deaf ears

words took my first blood
can I

could I


I'll tell on you and

he's a panic room
and you're a jail cell

more power to you

no words to say

I fill my page with



My friend is my sword
My words are my shield
And I shall not want.

He is my courage as I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
And I will fear no evil.

Video Friday: Postcards

Video Friday: Confusing Anti-Abortionist Activists

On a side note, I think this really does show how little we think of women - of the rights and feelings of women - when we talk about sex and procreation and reproductive rights. When all those fuckers were sympathising with the Steubenville rapists nobody was thinking about the state of mind or all the human rights that were violated for the rape victim. We can harp on about how 'abortion is murder' - it's not - but when it comes down to it, we don't think about what demonizing abortion really is; punishing women for having sex.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What the Water Gave Me

My love took me to the river where he slowly let me drown
To drown out the voices screaming 'fire, fire'
May all the oceans in the world purge your mind
Of bloody limbs and broken hearts
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
The water will not forsake you now

There is a stream behind my house
I pray that holy water can save you from holy terror
The gods fight their war with human blood
Fight fire with fire

The Mighty Nile birthed a civilisation
I lay you down to rest in the valley of the Kings
May the water always run cool and sweet

For all those who fell to the inferno
I know that all the oceans in the world
Will not relieve you

But perhaps my love will give you
What the water gave me.

Inspired by Florence + The Machine
Dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Love Musings

All love ever does is break and burn and end
Loving him was like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street
Loving him is like trying to change your mind when you're already flying through the free fall
Loving him was red
Wishing you never found out that love could be this strong
We fall in love until it hurts or bleeds or fades in time
You were never a saint and I loved in shades of wrong
But this love is brave and wild
Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right
You never loved me, or her, or anyone, or anything
Keep those I love from me
There we are again where I loved you so
I say 'I hate you', you call me, I love you
He's like 'I still love you'
We had a beautiful magic love affair
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair
I love you to the moon and back
Fall in love with strangers
Everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool
And your lover in the foyer doesn't even know you
When you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you you're going to believe them
You know I love you so
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
You don't know how lovely you are
Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Fell in your opinion when I fell in love with you
A scribbled out name that my love keeps writing again and again
Found people to love, left people to drown
There is love in your body but you can't hold it in
There is love in your body but you can't get it out
Darling heart, I loved you from the start
There is love in our bodies and it holds us together
Our love is questioned, such a mournful sound
Oh, my love, don't forsake me
They took your loved ones but returned them in exchange for you
But oh, my love, don't forget me
You're my cameo lover, only here for a moment or two
Love is like a silhouette in dreams
A long gone lover's noose
Love is all that you need
A reflection of a lie will keep me waiting with love gone
I can't understand why my heart is so broken, rejecting your love
Without love gone wrong lifeless words carry on
His love will conquer all
It's so hard, my love, to say it to you out loud
When you love someone but it goes to waste, could it be worse?
When you're too in love to let it go
I remember gold days under love's warm haze
I fell for your inferno, where did all the love go?
Maybe it's you and your sick need to give love then take it away
Played by your dark twisted games when I loved you so
I wanted love without the build up
I was a heavy heart to carry, my beloved was weighed down
My love has concrete feet
My love's an iron ball
I loved you and never felt like any blessing
So in love that you act insane, and that's the way I loved you
I love you so much I'm going to let you kill me
I love you for giving me your eyes
I've been loving you for quite some time
I love you because you have given me no choice but to stay
No one else is going to love me when I get mad
You told me you loved me, so why did you go away?
I loved your handshake, meeting my father
I love how you walk with your hands in your pockets
I realised I loved you in the fall
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye
If we loved again I swear I'd love you right
Our daddies used to joke about the two of us growing up and falling in love
They never believed we'd really fall in love
Where love is lost your ghost is found
Sometimes love is not enough
No regrets, just love
Road to road, bed to bed, lover to lover and black to red
Could've loved you all my life if you hadn't left me waiting in the cold
This is his body, this is his love, such selfish prayers and I can't get enough
Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts
I fell in love with a careless man's careful daughter
You looked me in the eye and told me you loved me
The security of your loving arms keeping me from harm
Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead
Can't keep your loving from my mind
I never knew what your love could do
But there's no love, no love, there's nothing to take your place
Never cry for the ones you love
And with a word all of my love came rushing out
It's hard to love when you're giving me such sweet nothing
Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
Ain't no turning back when you're falling in love
Don't they know they're making love to one already dead?

Click here for a discussion of Love Musings 

Sunday Wordle: Things

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Music Monday: Coldplay!

It is a little known fact that I am a Coldplay fan.

This is my favourite Coldplay song, because...it's really sweet. I don't know. I just really like it.

And yes, I am aware that it is not Monday, nor is it 6am. Sorry :(

Friday, April 12, 2013

the languages of love.

Now Playing: All This and Heaven Too by Florence + The Machine (the heart is hard to translate, it has a language of its own) 

They told me that everyone has their own language of love.

I think...I think it goes further than that. I think every relationship has its own language of love. You never treat two people the same, and nobody responds to the exact same expressions of affection. Love is like that. It's a whole new language that starts when two people meet and ends until something tiny little big huge momentous do us part.

I think this because I'm just starting to realise how many problems arise when this language doesn't work. Doesn't do what it's supposed to. Doesn't convey 'I love you' in a way that the other person understands, or they understand it but what you say doesn't really convey how you feel.

Because 'I love you'...it's so much more complex than that, isn't it? It's why people are afraid of saying it, or only say it in those kind of mushy romantic situations. Because the truth is nobody loves only one person at any given point in time. The people you love might number in the thousands and you love them all equally, yet totally differently. We don't understand that, and it confuses us - we think that love is only for one person, and we're betraying that person by loving others, and so we push the others away when we still need them, like really need them, in a way we can't explain and sometimes don't even notice until it's gone.

I think that's the problem, when you're growing up. The languages of love that you're used to as a child change - people change, people leave, people break your heart and screw you over. And for the languages of love that don't change, you really need them to change, because what you understood so innately as a child is so alien as an adolescent, as an adult. It's why we push our parents away because we can't understand the tongue of soft coos to a baby and gentle words of encouragement to a child - for me, anyway, love is something more...physical, personal, something new and exciting and reckless and dangerous and you don't get that from family. And then, of course, you're surrounded by people who don't know how to express what they're feeling - sometimes they don't even know what they're feeling. You know you don't, at all.

Put it this way. There is someone that I love dearly, and nobody else understands why. Every day they tell me that I'm in a bad friendship, that we're not doing anything for each other, blah blah blah. Or they'll say that I'm after something 'more' - I used to be, didn't I, so how do we know that that suddenly changed?

It's so...it's so hard to explain how things are. Things that I see as solid unshakeable undeniable proof that somebody cares about me, that somebody gives a damn...people don't see it, and toss it aside, which I find particularly annoying from people I don't think care about me at all. Languages of love are impossible to translate. There are just so many things that I can't say or..won't say...and...

Trauma. We all have those moments, those memories in our lives, that we can't talk about - at least not in depth, and not entirely truthfully. They're not always painful memories, just...confusing ones. The memories that have no closure. Moments of intensity that you can't explain how or what or why.

Apparently those are things people can't speak about. I'm different. I can't shut up. I told you, I'm good with everyone's secrets but my own. I talk because I still haven't found a way to explain how I felt, how things feel, what I think. Poems and blogging and writing and talking and crying and screaming and drawing and painting and fighting...none of them...I can't find my medium.

Love is different. I know my language of love - it flows thicker than blood in my veins. I know exactly what I need from people to feel loved, to feel cared for, to feel wanted. And that knowledge...that knowledge is not power because every day I feel its absence.

People think...people think I ask too much of them. Too much time, too much to take away from other people in their lives and...I don't know how to explain to them that's not it. I have never seen the appeal in being the only person in someone's life - one of the guys in atheist club is polyamorous and I can totally, totally understand that, why someone would choose to live like that, why someone would like to structure relationships like that, even if nobody else I know does. I just...I know you can treat someone right without making anyone else in your life feel any different. I know that there is enough love in anyone and enough time in every day to do what little it takes to do that. I don't ask for too much. I have just spent my whole life asking nothing of people and getting nothing in return. I can't do that anymore. It's too much. I can't...I can't let myself be bled dry anymore.

But I used this excuse, to get rid of...someone. I told him I didn't have any space in my life for anyone else but that's a lie, I would have made space and none of my other friends would have felt any less loved. I couldn't tell someone to their face that I didn't like them, and I didn't like how they were treating me. Well, that's not strictly true. I did tell them the latter part, very clearly, on no uncertain terms, and when he didn't listen I...kind of lied to get rid of him.

I feel bad about that. I know he doesn't feel bad about behaving very inappropriately towards a very naive seventeen year old but I still feel bad about lying to him. In my defence, this guy...he made me scared. Very scared. I get scared of people who don't understand the concepts of 'taking it slow' or 'personal space' or 'boundaries', especially when they're a lot taller and bigger and older than me...and let's face it, I'm 5'2", 50kg and seventeen, so a lot of people are taller and bigger and older than me. And so, when you're little and small and young, you do what you gotta do to get rid of people who scare the pants off you. Which, now that I think about it, was probably his design.

I'm not really a...a people person. I need people more than I need food or oxygen, but...I don't really understand them. I don't know what's going on in peoples' heads and it's really...it's really scary sometimes because even though everyone says that I'm irrational they're irrational and I didn't know I didn't know I don't know what's going on I...

I spend a lot of time premeditating things - thinking about things, thinking about things I will do, things I want to do. And then...I spend a lot of time thinking about things, mulling over things, trying to preserve memories and store them away, away where people can't hurt them the way they hurt me, or trying to forget, things that I don't even know what or why...

Because in the moment...I don't know what's happening. I'm confused and the words don't come and my body moves without permission. People seem random and scary and I never know what they're going to do next. I didn't know my first kiss was coming until about a second before it happened. This guy, this guy that I just got rid of, grabbed me and picked me up and spun me around and I didn't know, I didn't know it was coming, didn't know what was happening, didn't know what it meant, didn't know why he did it.

People accuse me of extending conflict after it's all been resolved but...I can't think straight, in the present, especially under pressure. I miss things people say, and I say things I don't mean. And then I think back and just a few words, or a gesture, will trigger something and I will look back and realise I'm not okay, I'm not okay with how things played out at all, and that this problem needs a little more bashing out before it is properly fixed up. I can't think in the here and now; the present is too intense and confusing. I do the intellect stuff before and after. In the moment I am really...vulnerable, and afraid, and stupid.

The present is traumatic, for me. Not traumatic in need therapy and a padded cell traumatic, not even nightmare inducing traumatic. But to me, the present is defined by silence, by a lack of words. There's too much to process and I guess my infamous repartee cracks under the pressure. For most people things are linear, things are cause and effect and consequence, but for me...the present is a story with a beginning and the end and then I go back and write the middle in retrospect and you know what, sometimes it's fucking hard to connect two ends of a story together. I should know, I'm a writer.

This is becoming very long and pointless. I'm sure you can tell that I'm frustrated, and it's not just at love and other animals. And when you have nobody to vent at, well, you create a whole community to vent at, especially when the steam you have to let off might actually kill your fellow conversationalists in the language of love.

Not that I could ever really put this steam into words, that's the major frustration. The heart is hard to translate and I...well I'm even worse.

Video Friday: Women in Advertising

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Sweet Nothing

You think nothing of her sweet nothings
And too much of mine
Even when you reduce them to bittersweet memories
Of a time and place we will never know again

It is an insult to see so much in so little
And to think so little of so much

Time, I think, has made you sweeter
And something in the forge of time
Has created something stronger

A friendship of substance and gravity
Yet no clarity

And they keep telling to have faith
Problems are their own solutions
But it isn't easy for me to let it go
It eats away at this heart of mine
And there's a hollow in me now

I'm trying to hope with nothing to hold
Hollow victories and honoured promises

You know all of my battle scars
Prizes hard fought and lessons hard learnt
But now I cannot let anyone in
It is easier, now
To let people go

Them and they and you and I
Have killed the lion-hearted child I used to be

But it's hard to learn
And it's hard to love
When you're giving me such sweet nothing

Inspired by Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sunday Wordle: Women

Feminism vs Islamism

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

So on the feminism scene on Facebook there is an interesting chain of events floating around.

1. A 19 year old Tunisian woman called Amina posted topless photos of herself with 'My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone's honour' written on her chest in Arabic. Amina is now apparently missing and/or receiving death threats and a lot of backlash from conservative Islam - a five second Google search didn't unearth any specifics but you get the idea.

2. In response to this, there is now a 'topless jihad', in which women are protesting in various states of nudity against Islamism.

3. Some Muslim women are now presenting a counter-protest, claiming that they are not 'liberated by nudity' and that they do not need 'saving from Islam'

...That's some pretty intense shit, huh?

What do I think? Well, there are a lot of issues here and I think a lot of people are oversimplifying things and jumping to conclusions and etc etc etc.

First things first. Amina.

I think Amina Tyler is a hero. To post such a provocative and defiant image of yourself on the Internet is brave and, for her and for many other women in Islamic countries, empowering. Because the reality is that conservative Muslim countries with a strict adherence to Sharia law do not have the best track records in dealing with gender issues, especially in upholding the rights and freedoms of women, in protecting women against domestic and sexual violence, and pretty much idolizing some very backwards and dangerous stances on female sexuality, reproductive rights and the social and legal status of women.

These are facts. There are a thousand cases from Islamic countries - Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc etc etc - that I could quote to back this up. This is not an attack on any religion or any race or even any particular country. The fact is that Islamic countries are not safe, free places for women and this will not change without secular government and freedom of religion, just as a start.

But aren't women suppressed in liberal Western democracies as well? Yes. Rape culture and women's rights continue to be ongoing issues worldwide. But we have to focus on where this discrimination and violence is coming from. In the West, it's predominantly from conservative Christian values. In Islamic countries, it's predominantly from conservative Islamic values. It's really as simple as that. When we criticise how women are treated in the West, we are criticising the Christian values from which stems all this discrimination and violence. When we criticise how women are treated in Islamic countries, we are criticising the Islamic values from which stems all this discrimination and violence. All the outrageous punishments of women for 'adultery' and 'getting raped' are given under religious law, and violence within families against female members who damage a family's 'honour' are religiously justified. Whether you like it or not terrorist organisations like the Taliban and Al Quaeda are Islamist organisations, and use Islam as justification for their actions.

But then, of course, we must make the distinction - just because the Taliban and Al Quaeda and some instances of gendered discrimination can be attributed to Islam doesn't mean that Islam is all about Taliban and Al Quaeda and gendered discrimination. It's like Tony Abbott is a white heterosexual male and a total dickhead but that doesn't mean that all white heterosexual men are dickheads. But this distinction doesn't excuse a religion from responsibility in religiously-justified crimes. When Pope Benedict said that distribution of condoms in Africa causes AIDS Catholicism can't just immediately cut itself off and distance itself from the stupid words from a stupid and stupidly powerful man. We excuse religions - all religions - from responsibility for pretty horrific crimes and violations of human rights in the name of political correctness and that's just wrong. I visited the Blue Mosque and spent time with the most lovely people you will ever meet from Islamic countries, and that is a side of Islam that is often forgotten, that is true. The Muslims that I have been privileged to know are honest and kind and just good people. But the other side of Islam is ugly and it is wrong to erase that and pretend it's not part of Islam. It is. That's that.

Secondly: What do I think of the topless jihad?

I fully endorse it. It is important for women to make a stand and using nudity as protest is nothing new. The outrage surrounding it isn't about the actual nudity, it's about who is naked and why - men walk down the streets topless in Australia all the time and nobody cares, as long as they don't try and enter a pretentious 'no shirt, no shoes, no service' establishment. It's because breasts have been oversexualised and female nudity has been simultaneously glamorised and demonized that this is an issue. Women can get their tits out whenever and for whatever reason, I stand by their right to do that.

But more than that, the protest is important. Because the reality is that many women in Islamic countries live in fear. Many women in Islamic countries are denied their basic human rights - many are illiterate, married off at extremely young ages, and are forced through societal convention and fear to do things against their will. Many are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and the laws of many of these countries protect the rights of men to use this violence against women instead of protecting women against violence. The governments in these countries don't protect these women; nobody gives them voice. When I and thousands of other feminists protest for the rights of these women, we are not launching a blind attack on any religion - we are simply trying to procure the rights of less privileged women to education, healthcare and freedom. We just happen to piss off a lot of 'religious' people in the process, people who don't consider women to be full human beings and hide behind religion as they hurl abuse at others. We're not afraid of them.

And what do I think of the counter-protest by Muslim women who say that they are not 'liberated by nudity' and that they do not need 'saving from Islam'? Mixed feelings, to be honest.

Of course not every woman is liberated by nudity. I am, but that's just me. But all women are liberated by the right to dress however they like for whatever reason. The acceptance of nudity is often confused with the sexualisation of nudity, which is not liberating by any means and puts a lot of unecessary and stressful pressure on people of all sexes and genders. But the right for women - or anyone, really - to be nude, to celebrate nudity, and to protest in the nude should not be taken as an attack on peoples' rights to...wear clothes, which is how I feel a lot of the anti-topless jihad stuff is coming from.

But the idea that 'we do not need to be saved by Islam' - I hate to break it, but some women really do need saving from Islam. Perhaps Islamic women living in more liberal areas who have managed to get human rights and religious beliefs to harmonise - and seriously, that is an amazing thing that people of all faiths should be striving for. But when someone like me hears of child brides, rape, punishment of victims of sexual assault, brutal attacks on women who spoil their family's 'honour', and people preaching bullshit like 'female unchastity causes earthquakes' and some women 'ask for rape'...it is justifiable to say that some women need saving from Islam. Some people need saving from religion.

On the attack on Islam specifically...I feel like when people are defending a religion - any religion, but specifically Christianity and Islam - they try to paint religion as something totally innocent, some poor defenceless pillar of purity and integrity under constant siege by atheists and feminists and other Satan-worshippers. Whilst Amina's photos and the topless jihad is a critique of some ideals that are preached by some sectors of Islam, it is what it is - a critique of a religion. But religion is a choice - well, it would be, if it wasn't for many countries making heresy and blasphemy and apostasy criminal offences. Part of being an atheist is accepting that there is no hell, no heaven, no God, nothing after this life which is not planned out by anyone or anything - and that...that is really fucking scary, I won't lie. Part of being a follower of any religion is accepting that every religion has its nutcases, and every religion will be used to preach violence, hatred and discrimination. Pointing out the obvious isn't a violation of religious freedom, it's protecting the innocent. Not everybody chooses religion, but religion has an undeniable and sometimes not altogether pleasant impact on everyones' lives.

I also don't quite understand the argument of 'my religion isn't like that'. Religious belief or lack thereof isn't defined by an impartial third party - social groups of all kinds define themselves, and are judged by the definitions that are created internally. The nicest, sweetest, most honest and generous and kind person in the world can be a Christian, and so can the most ragey sexist homophobic violent asshole. It is unreasonable for one to say that all Christians are ragey, sexist, homophobic, violent assholes, but it is unrealistic to say that all Christians are nice, sweet, honest, generous and kind. And it is not an attack on anyones' religious beliefs to call the latter Christian a ragey sexist homphobic violent asshole. It's your choice to choose a religion, to choose the same identifier as the world's quacks and conservatives and terrorists and preachers of hate and blatant lies.

It is time for the world to stop hiding behind political correctness and face the facts. Religion is a major cause for much pain, hatred, violence and suffering in this world, and it's time for the world's religious extremists and bigoted leaders to be held accountable. Nobody will have any right to critique any religion if people did not insist on hiding behind religion to excuse, justify and glorify discrimination.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

what the actual fuck.

Now Playing: Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) by Florence + The Machine (you made a deal and now it seems you have to offer up)

If you ask me how the non-Korea part of my 2013 so far has been - don't, it will trigger a nervous breakdown - I will most definitely maybe probably possibly reply with 'it's just been a confusing blur of what the actual fuck'.

I've wanted to be a writer since I was four years old. Four years old was also the last time I was totally unaffected by insecurity - granted, I was an annoying whiny arrogant four year old, but I was free and uninhibited and I miss that. When I was five I told my mother I was ugly, when I was six my first bullies told me I was stupid, and my life has been a non stop war against low self esteem, body issues and insecurities about almost everything and anything ever since.

Up until I was about thirteen I really wanted to be an actress. When I was pretty hardcore into music - as most Asian little kids are - I considered becoming a musician of some description. I've always wanted to be an artist but turned to poetry when I pretty much consistently failed art, although I still can rough up some decent pencil landscapes. And now...I don't know.

In the words of Bryarly Bishop, 'I know I want to travel and be happy and try new things, but I also want to live on my own and afford food that isn't ramen'. That's all I really know, about life. At the moment I'm kind of living that, because I have travelled a bit and I am happy and I am trying new things, but I do live with my parents and I haven't got a job yet but if I do get the job I'm hoping for even though it's a pretty good student job if I did move out and only had that job I wouldn't even be able to afford ramen so....


The practicality of life is always getting in the way, especially when you're Asian and definitely if you went to a 'smart' school like I did. I tried to get myself into history because it was something I loved studying by myself when I was younger and really lonely, and because it has a little more legitimacy in the eyes of the pragmatic assholes who dictate my life, but history as an academic discipline is really not for me, as I established with my fairly-good-but-sorta-just-okay high Bs/low As I got for history in high school. And then I tried to get myself to do a double major in English and Anthropology because Anthropology, whilst totally ignored by the Asian aunties who pass free and totally unwelcome judgement on me, has just a little more street cred than English.

I hate Anth. I'm dropping out after this semester.

In my confusing life of weird one week relationships and constant fights with my friends and trying to establish an identity out of a wardrobe of hand me downs and trying really hard to pretend to be grown up English is the only thing that is making sense, the only rhyme and rhythm in this confusing swirl of what the actual fuck. I just got the essay questions for a big essay that I have to write soon and it's a little different to what we did in high school but that's okay, I can work with it. Nothing feels more like home than running into disgruntled peacocks on the way to English tutorial clutching a large iced coffee from my favourite coffee shop. English feels like home, and it's a comfort I'm clinging whilst everything else is...not going to shit, but just a messy jumble of what the actual fuck.

I'm seventeen, and I am reminded of how young I am every single day. Most of my friends are older than me and they look out for me, look after me, but when you're seventeen you're pretty much on your own, especially at uni. Calling the shots is fun and exciting and I wouldn't give it up for the world but it's hard. Really hard.

Uni makes you grow up. Fast. The hard way. It makes you deal with loneliness and problems and people and blah blah and sometimes it just goes over my head. I forget what I'm doing, what I'm here for. And then I trot over to English and I remember.

I don't really know what I want to do. If I stick to the path I'm on I'll end up as an academic - which is, you know, a good thing to be, but I don't want that to be the End Point of My Life. I could be so much more than just a person with lots of fancy letters before and after my name, writing shit that nobody ever reads. Last year for lit I spent a great deal of my time hero worshipping poets and mocking academics and now...now my life seems to be doing that the other way around.

I know I love poetry. Poetry is...it's indescribable, what it does to you. I think less writers can relate to this than artists - I know artists can relate to that rush of creating something, something beautiful, something that has meaning that you can't measure by any earthly means, something that wasn't there before you came along, wouldn't be there if you hadn't existed and will remain long after you are gone. I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for poetry, I know that.

I also know that I love social activism. In a world where writers and artists are brushed aside as useless and irrelevant social activism is my way of making people notice me, to say 'fuck you, I'm still talking', to make a real difference in this world that nobody can dismiss or ignore, as much as they dismiss and ignore me.

I just don't know how to incorporate these two things in to my career. You don't get paid for social activism, not unless you have some kind of legitimacy which I'm hoping a day job as an academic will provide. You don't get paid for poetry, and as much as I hate to say that food doesn't appear out of nowhere and I want a family, a family that I preferably don't raise on the backseat of a car in a caravan park. I just don't want to live life and be forgotten and boring. That's what I'm most afraid of. I want to be remembered, and I want to make a difference.

Trying to make meaning of this mess of what the actual fuck might be the hardest and best essay I've ever had to write. My life.