"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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Real Beauty


How to Talk to People of Colour

1. Do not ask me where I come from.

I am Australian. I was born and raised here. I am as Australian as any of you. I do not come from anywhere else and the colour of my skin should not have to force me to dive into family history for you. If you are so bloody curious as to why I am not white, at least have the decency to say 'what is your ethnic background?'. My skin colour is not for you to play geography; don't throw random country names at me or stare at me before passing judgement that I am in fact Cambodian. 

2. Do not ask me what my 'real name' is.

I was unaware that only white people with white names have names that actually exist, because apparently my name is yellow and therefore imaginary. If people of colour have anglo names don't ask them what their Chinese name is; their name is not an 'English name' just like when women wear pants they're not wearing men's clothes. 

3. If you cannot pronounce my name, don't try.

If you see my name written down and you don't remember how the alphabet works, ask me. My name is not something for you to make a great show of how alien I am. My name is not something for you to laugh at. 

4. I don't care that you've been to Malaysia. I especially don't care if you like kimchi. 

I don't need to be reminded that a) people fail to see the great cultural, linguistic and culinary diversity of Asia, which should never be considered as one single homogenous entity, or b) my culture is so alien despite Australia's extremely diverse multiculturalism or c) you think you know everything about a country because you once ate one thing people there sometimes eat. Telling someone of Korean heritage that you've been to Malaysia is like telling an Englishman that you've been to Poland. 

5. Don't tell me that my English is excellent.

I know my English is excellent. It's not a particularly special achievement considering that I am analytical and creative and grew up in a former British colony. And don't tell me that my English is excellent when you can't handle the fact that I beat your white kid in the WACE. 

6. Don't tell me that I'm good at languages.

No. I'm good at English. You would never assume that a white kid who is good at English is also fluent in 900 other languages. Asian babies are not born fluent in Mandarin. 

7. Don't try to introduce me to every other non-white person you know. 

Not all Asian people are besties for life; the Japanese did invade pretty much all of Asia and China disliked the nomads in the north so much that they built a wall to keep them out long before George R. R. Martin used that idea. I don't really care that you know tonnes of people who look like me and I don't appreciate that you appear to choose and categorize your friends by race. 

8. Don't act all surprised when I let slip that I have more depth and complexity than Cho Chang. 

I am not a stereotype, or a fetish, and I am not an anomaly or a freak of nature because I'm doing 'white kid things' or not doing 'Asian things'. I'm a person. I'm a human being. And all I ask is to be  treated as one. 


the joy of being listened to.

Now Playing: All Too Well by Taylor Swift (you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest)

I firstly must apologise for my apparent lack of blog activity - as it always is, my periods of low productivity are always during the times when I put the most work into my blog, just that nothing comes into fruition or I run out of steam. There are times when I can reel off post after post without even stopping to eat but writing has its own kind of exhaustion. I'm also in a kind of moody, melancholic, metaphysical kind of mood and so my posts have a kind of moody, melancholic, metaphysical edge to them - these are my most favourite posts to write, but are also the hardest and most taxing. 

Anyway. 

I know my blog is not the most high-traffic blog; there is no fanbase, there is no community, I can barely coax my readership to comment, much less command big fantastic projects like the vlogbrothers can. But my blog has its own brand of awesome, if I may say so myself; the majority of my readers are people I know or have known in reality, and a lot of them have the benefit of conversing not only through my blog, but through actual physical contact; or, at least, more intimate forms of virtual communication. This has created for me the most rewarding and the most addictive part of being the kind of blogger that I am - I have the exquisite joy of being listened to.

Nobody listens to anybody anymore, which I think has led to the rise of celebrity culture; we are so desperate to be heard, so desperate to be looked at, so desperate to be listened to, that we have made an industry of it. We have also made a taboo of it; just like sex is a taboo despite the majority of people loving sex, attention has become a taboo despite the majority of people enjoying attention. 

I'm an introvert, but I'm also something of an attention seeker. Introverts are attention seekers in a different way; people think that our quirkiness is our way of grabbing attention, but it's not; people read far too much into deviations from normal than is, well, normal. I crave attention that is genuine and sincere and engaged in a world that is becoming increasingly fake and insincere and distracted. People like me are provocative, and we know we are provocative because we like the visceral, raw, real, even sometimes violent response to exposed flesh or suggestive innuendo or blisteringly controversial political rhetoric. I have never been as interested in the popularity of my blog in terms of how many random strangers stumble across it, leave and then forget all about it; I like that my blog is provocative and engaging and, for some people, uncomfortably honest. I like that. I like making people squirm. I like making people feel warm and fuzzy. I like the knowledge that people are aware that whilst I may appear to be the kind of person they can push around, when push comes to shove I'm the one who writes the story of us, and in the end that's all that matters. My readers read something on my blog and that becomes our conversation the next time we meet up for coffee; my readers read something about them on my blog and feel elated, loved, or ashamed. I like knowing I can provoke that kind of reaction. 

I have always been the kind of person people don't listen to; it's not even deliberate, they simply cannot or will not hear me. A blog is not a networking site by any stretch of the imagination; it requires you sit down and shut up, and then your turn comes after mine. I know I am listened to, on my blog; I can say things that I want to say but can't without being cut off, I can say things I would not dare say to that asshole who is nonetheless twice my size and double my weight, I can say things to the people I love and I know that they are truly, genuinely listening. And that is such a rare pleasure, in this day and age, especially when you are someone like me. I had a certain savoir faire, a certain infamy, at high school but that is long gone now - at uni I am a rookie, and a rookie that not many people have the time to listen to. My only arrogance, I think, is the unshakable knowledge that I am the kind of person with things to say that are worth listening to; my only indulgence is that I have found a place where people listen. I would not give up these luxuries for anything in the world. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

just like I always wanted.

Now Playing: All Too Well by Taylor Swift (you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest)

As something of an expert on scars, I'll be the first to tell you that scars don't fade; I have more than enough scars that are older than memory to prove that. You can forget getting them, you can forget being angry at them, you can forget all those nights you cried over how ugly they make you feel. You can even forget them even when they're there, in plain sight; my scars aren't alien to me and so it doesn't often occur to me that my scars are different, my scars are other, my scars make my body look radically different from yours. But scars, once you get them, are always there, and we are all scarred people. Because the scar itself isn't the wound that caused you pain; the scar is a sign of the healing process, but also of our inability to fully get over anything, as if it never happened. Scars are the glue that holds us together, the only things that keep us going; like my pacemaker can never leave my body because my heart is literally too broken to function on its own. Nothing can ever be as if it never happened. It happened, and there's nothing you can do to change that.

I think people forget that we are all scarred people; we only remember our own scars, and we consider our scars the thing that makes us other; better, worse, more important, utterly insignificant, when in reality scars are universal. Not all scars are physical but all of them are real; you can't see my real scars but if you know me at all you know that they are anything but invisible. But scars are what we make of them; I have been shamed for my scars and glorified for them; people have kissed them better and others have torn them apart again.

I have a habit of living in the past; at the moment I seem to be existing solely on memories, which is a kind of surreal and dreamy but somewhat unpleasant experience. But there are memories which I have gone to great pains to block out, only to have someone lay bare all the scars of my younger and more vulnerable years. The people don't matter anymore, and somehow all that was said and done feels like water under the bridge - which is definitely not how I felt about it at the time. But the pain was real, and it still feels real, even now. If I remembered all the pain and trauma of my scars, physical or emotional, I would be too fucked to function. I have to forget. Living is about forgetting, teaching yourself to forget, forcing yourself to forget even the people who feel like they're keeping you together. This is why we have scars; we don't need anything else to keep it all together. But that's the thing we forget. 

I grew up on a solid diet of chick lit and rom coms, and there's always that moment when the guy comes back. It's normally raining, and he'sn normally throwing pebbles at her window. I had that moment, a couple of days ago, just like I always wanted. And it was horrible - like having scars torn open and having to sew them back together again. I had grown so strong without you, forgotten all about you and all the scars you made, but now I can see them again; harsh and cold, just like you are. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

you call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest, I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here because I remember it all, all too well. 

you lost the one real thing you've ever known, but don't you dare blame that on me. and if you wanted me to write warmly about you, you should have treated me better. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I bet it never, ever occurred to you that I can't say hello to you and risk another goodbye.

Friday, August 23, 2013

speak now #28: mr ticklefight

Now Playing: Swingin' Party by Lorde (if being afraid is a crime we hang side by side)

Have you ever been cooing at and playing with a baby, and then you give them a little tickle and they gurgle with laughter, and then when you stop they start bawling and you feel guilty and confused because you don't know whether they're crying because you stopped or crying because you did it in the first place, and then you brush it off because they're just babies and it's no big deal anyway?

This is how we look at sexual assault and lack of consent.

I hang out with a lot of guys, most of whom are older than me. I don't choose my friends by age or gender, but it just kind of ends up that way. I'm not going to pretend that there's never any sexual tension, or that I don't like the sexual tension; I have something of a reputation that I am a woman who likes the company of men and I happen to be friends with a lot of men who love the company of women. When you hang out with older boys things can get kind of rough, but I like it; I like playfights, I like the physical contact and proximity, the hugs that are always a little bit too tight and hands that are always a little bit too strong.

I hate being tickled.

I just don't like being tickled, mostly because I'm not in control of the situation. I am very short, pretty small and quite physically weak; especially considering that the company I keep universally tower over me and double my weight. I always have to remain in a position where I can say stop, and I always have to be with people who will respect that. When you're giggling uncontrollably it is impossible to convey how much you are not liking what is happening, and impossible to fight someone off. It's actually quite scary, because I know what it's like to be incapacitated - when you can't move, can't stop things from happening to you; it's one of my anxiety triggers. It's a combination of incapacitation and provoking a response that is completely antithetical to someone's true feelings; you're making someone laugh when they're in a position that they hate and can't get out of. And the people who resort to this kind of thing aren't the kind of people I like spending time with, the kind of people who say 'see, I made you smile!' or 'hey look, I'm cheering you up!' or 'I thought you liked it'. These are the people who guilt me into spending time with them. These are the people who are irrationally angry that I don't like them, that they don't amuse me, that I don't want them to touch me. It's my time and my body. I choose who can do what with both.

I am someone who laughs often and easily; anyone with half a brain and an ounce of charm can get a smile out of me. I am someone who loves touch and being touched; it is well documented that human beings die without physical contact, it's as important as food and water. I am someone who keeps up a collection of individual relationships instead of a network of friends, so none of my friends are really associated with the others, much less jealous of anyone else. If you have to resort to physical assault to get an involuntary smile out of me then all signs suggest that we really shouldn't be together. Ever. In any way. Actually, I'm having doubts over sharing this planet with you.

A lot of people don't understand my aversions to things that people don't consider to be things; they're always like 'oh my god, he was just being silly' or 'so he sat next to you on the bus every day for a month and put his arm around you, so what?'. A lot of people also think that just because I have close relationships with other people I have suddenly become public property, stuff like 'well he does x, so why don't you let him do y?'. This is because we think of interaction - physical, emotional, sexual, whatever - as a list of do's and don'ts, instead of a simple matter of consent. The only thing that validates what anyone does to me isn't who they are or what they're doing, but whether or not I like it and let them. What anyone else does isn't invitation for you to do it. My relationships with other people have nothing to do with you. No matter what I do or who I hang out with, I have the right to say yes and the right to say no. Why is this such a hard concept?

It is important for people, especially women, to learn how to say no. Most of the times I got into this kind of trouble happened when I couldn't say a clear, upfront 'no' at the beginning; either I was shut down or not listened to, or I felt guilty and didn't want to hurt someones feelings. If someone crosses your boundaries and makes you feel uncomfortable, they are an asshole and you have every right to hurt their damn feelings. It doesn't matter if it was 'accident' or 'they didn't realize' or 'didn't mean it'; what matters is that they are hurting you and that is not okay. It is equally important for women to have the right to say yes; and it is important for people to realize that saying yes to something doesn't mean that you can do it whenever you like, or that anyone else can do it. I am not being uptight or bitchy or arrogant or overreacting. And it's hard to say no to bodies bigger than yours, to voices louder than yours, to hands stronger than yours, to legs faster than yours, to tempers more volatile than yours. It's really scary. But I wish we taught girls that saying no is okay, and I wish we taught boys that rejection isn't some unforgivable insult that needs punishing. It is disgusting that in this day and age we consider protecting our bodies and our rights to be an overreaction. It is disgusting that in this day and age we teach girls to put the safety of male pride over the safety of our own bodies.

PREVIOUS SPEAK NOW

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Inconvenient Truth

Forgive me for being your friend of inconvenient truths
Of forgotten words and broken promises
Of flared tempers and sleepless nights

The wars you created in your mind are about to begin
The fears I created in my head are about to set in
I hope you will remember old times, for me

I am kind in the hope you will be kind in return
But I find myself becoming that bitter, angry, lonely child again
Let me redeem myself by redeeming you

There is something you should know that you never knew
Forgive me if this is something of an inconvenient truth
But no matter what is said or done, I will always be here for you.



Saturday, August 03, 2013

mockery

Now Playing: Better Than Revenge by Taylor Swift (she had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum)

I'll admit I'm not the most well-read person.

And by that I mean that I could tell you anything about feminism, or asylum seekers, or Harry Potter, or a few of my favourite Korean dramas. By that I mean I could tell you I have stacks of books, I sleep surrounded by books, and I've just ordered in more. But I don't spend a huge amount of time reading, and I haven't dug very far into the literary canon.

Do you know why? Because it's boring. And pretentious. And a stupid way to measure intelligence or cultural sophistication. Read because you enjoy reading. Read something that inspires you. Read whatever makes you think, makes you question, makes you challenge. Read even if it's not reading; read if it's watching, read if it's listening, read if it's looking, read if it's just having fun. For fuck's sake, do not think that inhaling books for their titles or for their authors is by any stretch of the imagination an achievement.

All the time parents come to me and tell me that their children aren't reading. They are; children are always reading, and they'll get to the good stuff eventually. They're reading what you don't consider to be reading - magazines, Twilight, surfing the net. Let them. If it's really trash, they'll get over it. If they don't, then it means something, even if it doesn't mean anything to you. All the time parents come and tell me that I must read so much, and that their kid will never be as good as me because all they do is watch television. They must hate it when I tell them that all I do is watch television, too. It's not what you read, but how you read; it's not what you read, but what you get from it. I wish people knew that. I have nothing but the greatest respect for literary canon, and some of the 'classics' are my favourite books. But not because they're classics. I haven't touched Twilight with a ten foot pole for years and stamping the word 'classic' on it won't change that.

My true passion is popular culture. How bloggers communicate, how vloggers communicate. Street art. The power of advertising. Film study and analysis of those mega-budget TV shows that are constantly being churned out. This has always been a huge part of my training and is a huge part of why I love what I do. In high school my English teachers taught us to study film, to study art, to study poetry, and all my classmates turned their noses to it. I loved it. When I first got to uni the first course I enrolled myself into was focused largely on film and television and I loved it. I went to bed every night inspired. Surely this is the kind of thing people were trying to cultivate in students, even before televisions were invented, even before mass marketing was a thing.

People are obsessed with studying what is right. When I was little and I was off chasing my English teachers for advice, or even just to talk about symbolism in Star Wars, people were madly cramming sums and equations. It never made any sense to me. English is something I have dedicated my life to. I will always use the skills I have been cultivating since I was a little girl. I have yet to meet anyone who will genuinely require Year 12 Chemistry.

Even in English my classmates were obsessed with learning the classics. I'd grown up in a primary school where nobody read anything at all and suddenly I found myself in a high school where actively engaging in a text wasn't the point; it was what you read. You haven't read Lord of the Rings? No? Why? Was it too hard? Did you not understand it?

Fuck you.

I am tired of people looking down on what I do. Yes, I study what people consider to be common entertainment; Shakespeare used to be considered in the same way. The works of Shakespeare have only really been considered worth studying relatively recently; in his time, his plays were banned from libraries because they weren't considered proper literature. Now they're masterpieces. Who's to say that that won't happen to all the films I watch, or all the TV I stay up watching?

I watch TV in the same way that people should read books. I've only watched about 3 hours of Game of Thrones but I've spent at least 300 hours obsessing over it, pulling it apart, analysing character and plot. I don't do what I do because it's easy; it's not. I don't read absolutely every book that falls into my lap because I don't read like normal people - cover to cover, forgetting the characters as soon as I finish the last chapter. I work extraordinarily hard at what I do, and it's important work. I analyse how media impacts how we see women, how we see LGBT individuals, how we see people of colour. I analyse how representations in the media can be linked to increases or decreases in the levels of rape or violence in society. I can write essays on how movies reflect our attitudes towards certain things or certain groups of people. Psychology backs me up, time and time again. Entertainment has never just been pure entertainment. The books you read because you think you have to; they were once entertainment too, and they were once discredited just like my work is discredited now. Do you really think anyone in the 16th century took Shakespeare seriously? Of course not. You didn't go to the theatre because you were cultured, you went to the theatre because you were bored and you wanted to get drunk and throw rotten vegetables at terrible actors. How do I know that? Not from reading fucking classics.

I am sick of people laughing at what I do. Mock me all you like, all of you know that I am the best English student in the best school in the state and inhaling books, even writing books, didn't help you beat me. You mock the things I study, tell me I'm wasting time, wasting potential, because you can't mock my ability anymore; you all know that I am very, very good at what I do. I am well read, more well read than you ever will be because I'm open minded enough to see the wealth of knowledge and the depth of discussion available in the variety of media that we are privileged to have access to. I had to watch my best friend and his girlfriend laugh at what I do, at the things I study, what I'm passionate about. He probably didn't mean it. Nobody means anything they say to me, because I'm just a little kid watching TV. I've found my niche, and I intend to exploit it. I'll make it, my way. You'll see. Mock me now, because I'll be mocking you later.

Friday, August 02, 2013

changeable women

Now Playing: Les Miserables Complete Symphonic Recording (in my life there is someone who touches my life, waiting near, waiting here)

Women are the changers of our society. We are this generation's radicals and activists; we have always been on the side of change, pressuring for growth and prosperity, throught history.

We do this out of necessity. If you're not a feminist, you're a masochist. If you don't persecute those who wrong you you condemn yourself to a life of persecution. Women have always lived in a world where we are forced to speak out or forced to endure a life of silence. The middle ground is not an option. Indifference is not an option. Ignorance is not an option. Peace has never been an option.

We have accepted women as bringers of change in a way that we have never accepted men as bringers of change. It is scary for a woman to out herself as a feminist; I've been told it's even scarier for men. In our patriarchal society stoicism, a fierce attachment to the status quo is encouraged in men - change is weak, effeminate, a corruption. All of us are expected to work towards maintaining the power and privilege of the hegemon, including the hegemons themselves. Women are given permission to be radical because their radicalism is silent. Their push for change is slow, and painful, and against powerful opposition; and in the end, men can claim responsibility when change has occurred. Look at us, we're so pro-woman. Look at us, we're so pro-equity. Look at us, we're so pro-choice. Let's just forget the bit where I was against it all.

It's not like that for men. Even a very moderately feminist man; even a passing remark by a largely indifferent man, can create a bigger impact in our male dominated society than the most radical feminist woman. And that scares the hegemon. They don't like the idea that the means by which the hegemon retains power - fear, ignorance and abuse - are so repulsive that even those who benefit from this regime feel obligated to question its ethics. Change is only tolerated in those who do not appear to pose a threat. Women are allowed to be changeable; men are not.

But this works both ways. Stubbornness, independence, stoicism - these are all things admired in men and detested in women. No doesn't mean no, in a woman. If a woman says something you don't like, the automatic reaction is not to respect a woman's opinions, or to challenge them in a dignified way, but to attempt to change them. Women are expected to change to suit the tastes of others. If you want a woman to be nice to someone you expect that she'll feel obligated to listen to you; if a woman is aesthetically unappealing, she'll change or face the consequences. Men are pressured into being unchanging when women are allowed to facilitate change, but the tradeoff is that women are expected to be changeable. Women are not respected enough as independent human beings with their own rights, especially the right to make their own mistakes, that we see them as being things we can change, we see their opinions and their circumstances that we, as strangers, have a right to change, or demand that they change to suit us. We expect this of women because women, unlike the hegemon, are not given their own place in society; we live in the margins, and when you live in the fringes sometimes you have to bend, or shrink, or stay silent. That is what marginalization does. We can scream as much as we want, because nobody will hear us. We can try and facilitate as much change as we like, but as people we'll always be changeable women. That is how the patriarchy likes it.

I don't.


pride.

Now Playing: Fire and Rain by James Taylor (been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun) 

I for one have never considered pride to be a sin. 

To the contrary, I am Korean. And there are few things more important to a Korean than one's pride. I am proud of myself, and of my achievements. I am proud of all the things I can do.I am proud of being a woman and a feminist and a student. I am proud of my friends, and I am proud to be their friend. I am a proud sort of person, and I am proud of that.

I have often found it strange, and then strangely satisfying, that when people broke my heart, or ruined my reputation, or humiliated or abandoned me - well, it hurt, but it was my pride that hurt more. It is gratifying, even in the depths of despair, to know that solving the problem doesn't involve trying to coerce someone back; it's about getting yourself back. It was my pride that made me lash out, made me fight back, made me rebuild what was lost brick by boring brick, made me crawl my way to the top. I am too proud to admit defeat, and because of that I have never let anyone have the last word. And of that, I am proud. I am not a pushover. I will be a force to be reckoned with. People shouldn't feel entitled to knock me around. You can hurt me, humiliate me, abandon me. I will get through anything. If you knock me down I will stand back up. And I do not depend on anyone.

The people who love me know who I am. They know my strength and my flaws. They know that I am loyal, and I am proud to be loyal. They know that all the things people say about me is just talk, and that people have been slandering me my whole life even though I am nothing, less than nothing. They know that I can be irrational and I do not always have control over my actions or my temper, but I always try my hardest to do what is right; and if it does not appear to be so, I can always explain myself. I had thought that I had surrounded myself with people who are as indulgent and as forgiving as I hope to be, that I had surrounded myself with people who realize that sometimes misunderstandings are perceived as malice, but everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. I had hoped that people loved me enough to give me a chance to explain myself. I have never thought badly of my friends, always defended them until undeniable proof forced me to do otherwise. When you have been slandered your whole life you learn not to believe talk. I forget sometimes that some people have not received this harsh education. 

I had always prided myself in the fact that my friends swear that they would never think badly of me. They know what a proud person I am, and they know how hard it is for me to swallow my pride, but I had thought that they would know I would do anything, even swallow my pride, for them. It hurts more than anything that, after so long, after all the things I have been through with some people, that they instinctively think that I am in the wrong, that I would stoop low and be enough of an idiot to think to get away with it, rather than consider that everything will be alright if I just have a chance to explain myself. It hurts more than anything that people go back on their promises, or conveniently forget them. It hurts more than anything that you would think badly of me, after all this time and after everything that has happened. 




obligation.

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 do it all for you, how can it be unfair?)

I've often found it strange that men don't seem to be obligated to like anyone; they don't owe anyone their friendship. Things seem so much more simple and uncomplicated - I like you, or I don't.

I for one struggle under this ridiculous expectation that women must be at least mildly pleased with everything; this ridiculous idea that women must fight tooth and nail for the right to be angry, or jealous, or sad, or even just indifferent. People, strangers, tell me to smile for no reason, and it makes no sense. I'll smile if something is worth smiling at. I'll smile if I want to. But I'm not obligated to smile. I don't owe anyone my smiles.

I am not the kind of person who can like everyone. I am not particularly likable and people seem to accept that; but what they cannot accept is that I do not automatically like everyone. This doesn't mean I'm deliberately malicious or provocative; you can not like someone without disliking them, and you can even dislike someone and still be civil. Women are supposed to be so open and it drives me insane. Liking is earned, and sometimes liking someone is simply not an option. I'll put my pride above strangers, thank you very much.

The criticism I get for being guarded is just too much. All my life people have warned me against making friends too quickly, or for falling for boys too easily, or for trusting too much. I have been hurt too much by letting people do what they like until I have to push them away, too late. I will not like anyone without good reason, and that is my right. I'll admit to sometimes acting the mediator between two people, or asking one of my friends to treat someone better; but that's all it was. I only requested someone be civil to someone, not that they suddenly become best friends. I would not dare to interfere in the relationships of even my closest friends, or the people I consider to have the most influence with. It would be nice to receive that kind of respect in return.

I have become guarded. I know people like to weep nostalgic for the open, innocent little girl I used to be, but I had to grow up. I have had to build walls when people ignored boundaries. I have had to sacrifice the chance to get to know people who I know to be perfectly nice people, because I have to put my sanity and my integrity first. When people don't make you a priority, and when people don't look out for you, you have to do these things for yourself. I am not being cruel, or cold, or malicious, and I do not intend to provoke anybody. There are people I openly detest, for sure, and there are people I do not trouble to be polite to anymore; but not even they contest my actions, and nobody can accuse me of being indecently unkind. When I say I don't want anything to do with someone, I mean it; I literally want nothing from them, especially not a fight; and if I have to swallow my pride to avoid a fight, then I'll do it. I am content with the relationships I have, and I am always open for more, but they must be on my terms. I do not owe anyone my love or my friendship in the same way that I do not owe anyone my body, and as much as you might fantasise me being friends with anyone and anything you might consider fondly, I am not obligated to be friends with anyone, and it is not your place to make decisions for me.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

I sometimes wonder if words have expiry dates. Can the decay of time render words impotent, as it does men? Without any contradiction, can words suddenly lose their meaning? Even if they are kind words, precious words, loving words you have used as balm or as armour? I have found in my own words great power and in the words of others great comfort; it is heartbreaking to think that words, like lovers, are of no comfort to you when you need them most.