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.