立冬

Beginning of winter.

More sunset photos, with embellishments that don’t really add to the quality of the picture.

Finally! It is reading break, which mean I’m going to do absolutely nothing for a few days while mentally agonizing over what I will have to do in the upcoming few weeks before classes end. Again, not much to report on this time as well: just the abundance of deadlines and deadly feelings and maybe some general dissatisfaction with the way life’s been going (on a micro scale, of course). I wrote last time that I wasn’t sure if I’d make it here mentally intact. I’m happy to report that technically, I’ve never really been fully mentally … whole, and I’m not any more so than last time. The usual.

I reread Pluto (by Naoki Urasawa) yesterday, as a sort of celebration for making it this far into the school semester. The same parts made me cry as when I read it for the first time over seven years ago. Doesn’t sound like much, but I was freshly entering high school and I was thirteen and very unhappy. I would sit alone in the library and read, engrossed and also groggy because it was 8am, and the bell would ring and I wouldn’t notice until the librarians yelled at me. Anyway, I digress. I reread it yesterday and I was still emotional and I still love it, very much, and wholeheartedly would recommend it to everyone I know with a reading comprehension level above that of a sheltered nine year old who has never browsed Wikipedia for fun. Ideally I’d suggest reading through some psychology pages or maybe the world politics of 1990s-2000s but I mean… it’s not necessary. You’re going to get it either way, but having the background knowledge sure is fun. That’s the main difference between my first read and this last reread: I know some More Stuff now. Anyway, no spoilers, but please read it… it’s really good…

What else? I don’t know! It’s winter, technically, so that’s going to be wild as usual here. Soon we’ll be up to a year of these posts, so I guess I should be figuring something out for that. That’s it for now.

霜降

Descent of frost.

a little collage

A bit late again, but it’s fine. I was listening to this a second ago: [slow/oriental]

For a bit of a change, I’m feeling quite negatively about school. There’s problems I have with institutions as whole, with the way society (every time I write this word, it seems like it should have quotation marks around it) views post-secondary education, the pointlessness of my getting a degree, the lack of knowledge and skills or anything to prove that I did go to university other than a piece of paper I’m projected to receive in about a year and a half; the disillusionment has been growing ever since the beginning of this semester. It’s no thanks to a particular instructor I have this semester for 2/5 classes. I’ve actually never heard rumours about this man (despite him saying so himself that he has a reputation for being difficult or something), but I’m not going to lie: they don’t seem unfounded. He regularly misinterprets not only the things I say, but written words. He’s (perhaps unintentionally) condescending, and every critique feels like a one-sided defense battle where I have to be careful of what I say or don’t say, and how I do that, and what does it mean? How do I define that? Is this the right term? Let me try again. Wait, no, never mind… that’s not what I meant. God, I can’t understand you.

Anyway, I’ve been second-guessing whether I do want to be a Creative Person after all. Seems like the odds are stacked up against me, and I’m nothing special. Just a little neurotic and long-winded, very petty, and I have no real social skills. I emulate the successful people I have in my life, I watch television and tone down what I see from there. Perform it for everyone. I wonder where’s the line between being having a Personality, versus being an outcast with no chance of being socialized. Maybe there’s no line (I can hear my instructor’s voice right now), but I like to draw boundaries, so let me do that. Let me try to figure out how to sort and quantify every tiny thing I see, analyze and over-analyze everything so I can make peace with everything in my brain. I don’t think I have the skills or the heart to be Creative. I don’t have the interest, the passion, the background and connections. I’m all I got, I guess, and there really isn’t much here.

Of course, I’m not making this a pity session where I divulge all my insecurities, childhood traumas, and regular traumas, this is just… well… evidence, I guess. Okay, it’s sort of a “woe is me” paragraph. I’m only a kid. You gotta let me whine once in a while. I just think maybe I’m not quite cut-out to participate in the art world. But I also don’t want tonor can I afford toattend more school. I guess I have a tentative plan right now for the foreseeable 3 years. I’m kidding, I don’t. I’m just gonna say, though: after 2020, I’m pretty sure I’m just fucking done with school for the time being.

What else do I talk about here… the weather? It sure is cold again. A couple of days ago, it reached 20 degrees, but then there was a thunderstorm. What an anomaly. I’ll include the pentads for this term below as a closing. My reading break is in two weeks. Whether I’ll still be mentally sane (or at least my current state) or not is up to fate, so… guess we’ll see.

豺乃祭獸
草木黃落
蟄蟲咸俯

 

寒露

Cold dew.

I have quite a few issues with the way some of my online classes are running, but for the most part they’ve been okay. Passable. Hopefully I pass those classes, too. Let’s see… it’s been a month now, and things are settling (microscopically), but the world seems as chaotic as always. Didn’t expect that to change, so I guess it’s fine. It’s alright.

I got my hair cut really short again, mostly because I was getting lazy with washing it and just having it in general. I went to the museum once, to a few bookstores, met some new people, ate some good food, went to the dentist, met some more new people, bought some shirts, and generally just tried to chill. It’s definitely quite hard to stay sane when you’re literally going insane… but I guess we have to try.

Well, the weather’s getting colder too. I don’t know what’s coming up, but I’m definitely not super optimistic today (because I didn’t sleep as much as I’d like, and I have a lot of midterms coming up this next week, and also because it is quite late already). By the way, the photo is from … around the Mid-Autumn festival day. I had a single moon pic, but it wasn’t really visible and I haven’t edited it yet. Working on it.

秋分

Autumnal Equinox.

doesn’t this kind of look mysterious

School has started, and despite not going there physically, I’m still feeling extremely stressed. There’s so much work… it almost feels like high school again, except this time I have to do my homework. It’s for marks.

Anyway, I noticed that recently I’ve been pretty much exclusively watching things that are crime-related. I wonder why that is… is it because they go case-by-case, which always introduces new fun events and characters? Is it because we get to see the main cast go through many different trials and tribulations, growing and furthering their relationships with each other? Is it because I have a short attention span and like things with Action and Suspense and some amounts of Violence and Gore? Is it because I like to guess who the real perpetrator is? Is it because I empathize with the troubled characters? Is it because I find the actors cute?

Yesterday I figured out the perfect amount of miso to put into one cup of rice. This may seem like a bland and kind of lazy way to make food, but at this point this is Chemistry. I’m experimenting. How much can I get out of one fairly cheap rice cooker? We’ll find out. I’m working on figuring out the best time to put in frozen things, as well.

There’s so much I want to do, and I’m going to have to organize my time better. Alternatively, I try to organize my mind better. Maybe get some diagnoses and stuff like that. It’s something I’ve been curious about since I was a kid.

Also! It’s autumn, which means it is getting colder, and which means it’s getting to the later part of the year. I really don’t know how to assess this year, but we’ll see how my mood is by then, I suppose. Funnily enough, the spring equinox post was the last one I wrote in Toronto during my second year. Not sure if that means time is slow or fast, but it sure is going. I should also be going…

…to bed.

See you later, then.

白露

White dew.

Self-explanatory. I went back to school (it’s online, but here I am). Hopefully everything will slowly reset and I won’t feel like I’ve made a massive mistake. Maybe it’s something I just have to wait out, which sucks because I hate waiting and I hate time. Sure, it heals all, but can it just do it a little bit faster. Can we skip forwards again?

Anyway, just going to leave up as a landmark. Hopefully next time is better.

处暑

Limit of heat.

mysterious lines

… I’m a little late this time, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’m pretty much all set for this coming semester in all ways except emotional. I’m always like this, though.

This summer is quickly coming to an end. It really has felt just like one super long week, with each day being largely the same as the ones before and after. It’s difficult to wrap my head around it, but not any different than how I usually struggle with the passage of time. What do you mean my siblings are all big now, and getting more articulate by the day? Where do I see myself in comparison to everyone else? How come I haven’t undergone any discernible change? You could say that it’s because I am me that I cannot find any sort of progress, but somehow I get the sense there’s nothing worth noting. I’ve always been observant, yet I’m also slow to take action. I tend to think (or overthink, according to others) things over and over until I come to a satisfying conclusion, then make a choice as to how I want to remedy the situation. It’s also hard to change a part of me that’s basically the basis of my personality. I’m very annoying and tend to go on tangents and lecture about things I find interesting while also admitting I’m full of nonsense. But if I hide that over-dramatic and obnoxious side, all you get is a super-washed out and boring version of me. It’s also the me most people know.

That doesn’t really matter either. I don’t think anyone really cares whether they’re seeing the real version of someone or not. It has nothing to do with how close you are, either. It’s more about how well you mesh, which is also why making friends gets harder and harder the older you get. When you’re kids, your lives would have been relatively short, with few defining events, and thus it’s more likely you’ll be able to get along with others. The older you are, the more experiences you have, and the harder it is to find things in common since there’s a much wider range. Technically, there’s no range since it’s infinite. Anyway, I guess the point is that I’ve found that some people I used to be friends with are now Completely Different from the person I’ve become, or at least are heading in vastly different directions.

Although I’m really just wandering aimlessly in one general direction, but that’s enough.

Anyway. I’ve been losing what little muscle I had before being stuck at home all the time, which is a bit of a problem. I really should do something about that.

立秋

Beginning of autumn.

bad edit of a photo I took a while back

It was pretty hot the last few weeks, so I guess it’s more like the Height of Summer. I don’t quite have a thought lined up for this post… hmm…

It’s almost time for school again, which I’m not looking forward to. Online classes aren’t great because I’m more likely to procrastinate. Plus, my courses aren’t even as much fun (or related to what I want to do, but I don’t have a choice). Taking a year off is also a risk, though. Not really sure what to do, but despite that, I still made a decision.

Recently I’ve also been drawing quite a bit, and watching a lot of Videos of all types. Hope to one day make one.

The downside is that I have been thinking too much, and mostly the same thoughts, over and over again. The only time the creation of new thoughts occurs is at 6-7am, when I am flickering in and out of consciousness. I have some of those written down on various apps on my phone, but they’re not all coherent. Either that, or they’re too personal to be shared. Or too sad. A couple of days ago, my brother looked at my drawings and said “sometimes I worry about you” with a lot of fake concern. Thanks. Sometimes 9 year olds can tell better than actual adults. Anyway, I’m going to go have some midnight snacks.

大暑

Major heat.

a little bit of a drawing from a few days ago

It has actually been quite hot the past week, which is nice. I don’t think I did much either… I enrolled in my courses for the next year. Amazing how I’m already going to be entering my third year. I really didn’t expect to make it this far.

I spent a good amount of last year alone, which let me do quite a bit of retrospective pondering. It was usually aimless and circular, but I suppose that is what entertains the lonely. On my 19th birthday, while at karaoke with some extended family, I ended up thinking of a metaphor for one’s past. I thought about how the things that I found unsettling about either my childhood or school years I ended up carrying with me, like balloons. A whole bunch of balloons, each carrying a memory of something bad. I thought about it sadly: why did I have to carry those with me? Why was my story like this? Why did these events and memories define who I am? … and so on.

Last night I went back to that thought by accident, and noticed that over the years, I’ve created quite a few metaphors for my sadness. There were the balloons, but I had also characterized it as a shadow, or some sort of burden; or as a parasite that dwells in my centre, taking up all the space; or like a character profile in games that pulls up my stats and skills; or a weight that keeps me stuck to the floor. Sometimes, I would be afraid of keeping them, and distanced myself away from those feelings-thoughts-memories, while other times, I’d imagined them as part of me. Part of what made me who I am, something that can’t be divorced. I guess those are all right, but in a way, it’s also just all… the result of over-thinking.

Well, it’s a great way to pass time. A thought exercise. Anyway, back to last night: I was watching dumb videos before sleeping of an interview. The person being interviewed spoke about being the child of a famous person, and having their flaws being televised from a young age, and all sorts of troubles that I could not imagine nor relate to. But, perhaps because this person was close in age to me, or perhaps because of some other silly reason, I could empathize. Everyone has their own sadness that they carry around. Who hasn’t felt wronged, especially as a young child? Either through making mistakes, or facing the consequences of others’ mistakes, we end up growing up.

So when I say I hate someone or something that I experienced, I don’t usually mean that I truly, one hundred percent hated them without remorse, but that I hate that whatever happened did happen, and that I hate how it made us feel. I say I hate high school, which usually just amounts to me hating the constant anxiety and unrealistic standards and unhealthy coping methods. I say I hate a specific person, but I usually just mean I hate how they treated other people/me, or the way they act in certain situations, or just how our relationship deteriorated. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve removed all instances of it from my mind, since I can still learn something from them.

I’ve yet to figure out how to navigate (with) my sadness, but I’m guessing I’ll figure it out with time.

This blog post has a bit of a different flavour from the last few, but I figured some change wouldn’t be bad. There’s really no major takeaway from this post either, just more of a acknowledgement that we’re all kind of not okay, but it’s okay anyway. I’m here to have fun, not mope around.

小暑

Minor heat.

an acid cube

We’ve reached the halfway point (and a bit more) of this year. What an amazing thing, to have completed half a revolution amidst all this chaos. It was my birthday last week. I barely remember what I did, but honestly, that’s good. That means not much happened. At this point, if nothing happens, that’s a plus. Someone (who I am not friends with) said that it’s a quarter of my life. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant… did he imply that I’ll make it to 80? I somehow doubt that I’ll do so purposefully. I mean, getting to 20 was a fluke. I didn’t really plan for it. It’s a welcome surprise, I think.

I don’t think I’ve much to say this time either, so have a list of Things:

1. Even if you miss something, it doesn’t mean you still want that something. Everything is different now, so things that worked before won’t necessarily prosper in today’s environment. But it’s okay to just recognize that, I guess.

2. You can’t hold on to everything you experience now. It’s just too much. Some things you can’t try too hard to capture and immortalize, because you’ll enjoy it much less. Sometimes it’s enough to just enjoy it as it happens. Once it’s over, it’s over. If you focus too hard on trying to remember it all, you might end up with nothing in your memories.

3. One of the harder things to do is to really know what you want right now. Sure, I say I want to play games and eat snacks, but is that going to make me less lonely? and then: what kind of connection do I really want right now? Is it companionship, or something else? Is my inability to trust people harming my friendships, making it more difficult to find that kind of camaraderie? Is what I’m doing now able to replace what I really want? Not in the long run, but that’s a problem for a later me to figure out.

4. Everything goes forward.

… there was originally a 5th thought, but it was kind of stupid, so I deleted it. It was like, intro psych levels of dumb. Anyway, I’m gonna eat snacks and draw. It’s summertime and I am 20 years old and I do what I want.

夏至

Summer solstice.

liquid meat cube

Another good time of year (the time around my birthday). Midsummer, summer solstice, whatever. Summer used to hold very hopeful and somewhat romantic notions for me, but over time I got over it. I came to the conclusion that it was the same as every other day of every other month of every other year: it was a time that I could capitalize upon and Get Shit Done. Anyway, my mood tends to fluctuate quite often, so I never get around to the Doing part of it all, but again, where’s the fun in burning out? I’m in limbo right now, trying to figure out if my current state of existing is an extended childhood nostalgia-filled daydream or just another unexpected part of moving forward. That’s how life is, right? Just keep moving on, going forward; your mistakes are just stepping stones or bridges, and death is waiting at every corner. I used to marvel at that idea, but just like all my thoughts, I got tired of mulling it over. So what? I go forward because that’s the only direction I can even go in.

Sometimes my brother says some really weird things. We got a new(er) car a few days ago, and my brother was stuck on the idea that so much money can be gone in a flash. Things like that seem so simple—everything we can purchase is a trade and the bigger things we have to save up more for. We budget and plan. Every choice we make has days of discussion and thought behind it. It’s interesting to think that once, I was also 9, and I didn’t budget my time or money, or have to account for Things I Have to Do more than 24h in advance… anyway, I kind of lost myself there. Let’s move on.

But! However! It is warm, and that means I can dress comfortably. My siblings are done with school, so hopefully that means more video games, baking, badminton, and annoying the hell out of each other and our parents. I got a haircut recently, too, so I’m in peak summer form right now. A massive shapeless blob that is ready to consume. There’s a bit under 10 days until my birthday. As mentioned before, I was really hyped to turn 10. But 20… that’s something I never expected. Halfway to my goal (just kidding. maybe). I’m glad I don’t have to celebrate it. I’d rather just stay at home. Fortunately, there’s a lot of time for me to do that.

Not much content in today’s post either. My sister made madeleines for Father’s Day today, and I think they turned out pretty good.