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It's been a while LJ, old friend.

I've graduated, worked as an engineer for a year; and am going back to grad school (!)

(Y'know, because #BobMorley aka @WildpipM said something along the lines of 'Be cool. Stay in school')

(...am I as kickass as Raven Reyes yet? :D)

Starting to feel a bit of trepidation (how the heck am I gonna survive a Master's in Data Analytics with a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering?!! shdlsjhgljnkDEAD), but I'm excited at the prospect of working constructively for the healthcare industry after. And I'm truly thankful that, by His grace, I'm going to be graduating debt-free and with a job waiting for me at the end of it, to boot (fingers-crossed I get the scholarship deed signed with no hiccups)

Am I glad to be out of the engineering industry though; mainly because of the rampant sexism still prevalent, at least locally.

I truly did (do!) enjoy the technical rigour that comes with the job-scope of an engineer. Solving problems is something I genuinely enjoy (that's what spurred my interest in a Data Analytics course, duh). Micro-managing boss--fine, bearable. Never-ending string of projects--super tiring, but as junior-level engineer in a large company I've got to grin and bear, right? So when it came to pushy male colleagues who persistently sent text messsages despite my ignoring their previous ones (this cames after I nicely rejected their date-offers), it was seriously the last straw.

Some context: the first pushy male asshole colleague was a peer junior-engineer who was honestly quite socially-inept. At work, he'd literally sit in silence beside me to blatantly stare at me, which would make any normal person uncomfortable. I asked him (in as bitchy a tone as I could muster) if he had nothing better to do, to which he got the hint (thank goodness) to get lost, but apparently not the hint that I didn't like him bothering me (what the heck.) The whatsapp chat log was literally him talking to himself. And asking me not to be angry, and other goosebump-inducing one-sided monologue. After he left bars of chocolate with an unsigned note on my table and bought roses to 'apologise' (purportedly on the advice of his friend) even after I hinted that I had a boyfriend, I decided that this was considered harrassment enough for me to approach my manager.

Apparently this wasn't the first harrassment case my manager had dealt with, but I don't think my manager handled it very well because creep#1 sent a final passive-aggressive whatsapp that I didn't know whether to laugh at or ignore (the final part of the great wall of text contained something along the lines of 'please don't whatsapp back so I can forget you'. Yes, because I've been replying to your messages all along, right?) I was relieved anyway, and thought that was that.

But no, because of my unexplainable tendency to attract socially-inept and pushy creeps, I encountered a second pushy male asshole colleague. Later, through his creepy wall of text messages, I found out to he'd been planning his pushy male asshole moves since before I even officially started work, when I turned up for the department outing that they organised for getting to know would-be employees (where he'd randomly come up to me at a buffet and had rudely said 'You're one of the new-hires right? Like Ana?' without any context or introduction, and then walked off when I mumbled some sort of affirmative). Eventually, as I started work, I began to give him the benefit of the doubt because he claimed to have a girlfriend--maybe he's just a socially awkward person naturally, and doesn't have any ulterior motive since he's attached, right? (Plus, I'd hinted to my colleagues that I was attached)

Wrong. Apparently.

After I firmly and clearly stated that he was 'not my type even if I didn't have a boyfriend' he continued to send me long-ass essays explaining why he found me attractive (seriously, does he really think that will change my mind instead of freaking me out?). Naturally, I didn't respond to any of his multiple essays. I blocked him on every channel possible (heck work when you feel threatened, man). Thank goodness creep#2 was shifted to the other office (still in the vicinity, but a different office location) shortly after, or I'd have to physically interact with him after this (these?) horrendously awkward episode(s).

Didn't bother approaching my manager this time 'round, but I knew I had to get out of an industry that has an especially high prevalence of guys who don't respect boundaries and the social cues of someone ignoring your messages.
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As an overweight child in an all-girls' school I'd been bullied because of my chubbiness; until I joined a sport and made the school team (upon which I lost the excess weight) and decided to start making more effort in schoolwork (which showed in my grades). Gradually my reputation as social pariah faded, and I made friends and discovered what an effective immunity friendship stood as. From then on, I'd resolved to be kind; especially to my shyer peers, fellow bookworms and music fanatics; kindred spirits, really, who're typically the target of bullying by the 'cool' gang. I made snarky friends, quiet friends, outgoing friends--I befriended everyone who was willing to, so that in my social circle, at least, there would be a minimal hierarchy of popularity. As a former target of girl-ostracism, I understand how it is to be at the lowest of your lows with nary a friend--I wanted to reach out to anyone in a similar position.

What I didn't realise until college is that some guys are assuming assholes who mistake friendliness for flirting and don't bloody take negative hints.

I've learnt now that the adage about loveliness on the inside translating to outer beauty applies negatively to most guys: the outwardly less attractive guys I've encountered are ugly-inside shitheads. Who need to learn to respect boundaries and take hints. Assholes.

Call me a sexist feminazi, but I think I'll stick to being amiable to females thank you very much.
(or: an overdue reflection on an Ending and a Beginning To Come)

So. Uni's come and gone in several blinks of both eyes--some (blinks) in wonder, others in increduility, euphoria, despair, determination, and a whole slew of emotions and experiences that have become a part of the me-mosiac I am today.

I am grateful. For the god-given blessings, his grace--for things that I've been aware and unaware of, for the opportunities, the epiphanies, the snippets and shadows and conversations and instances crystallised into some part of my mind.

(For the record--and it's with utter gratitude and relief that I report this, I did manage to muster my second-upper honours--largely thanks to a miraculous final semester.)

In particular, I'm thankful for this job I'm about to enter; even for all the salary comparison that I've been faced with these days, I'm choosing to perceive it as another opportunity to learn and experience--which brings me to the centre of this character-reflection.
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Caught Disney's Inside Out on Friday--Hooray for Disney films! And hilarious singing volcanoes; I Lava'd them, teehee.

Reveling in Childhood aside, I think I saw a bit of my well-meaning bossiness in Joy--
Note-to-self #1: Try to tamper down on bossiness.

Sometimes I wonder what my friends ever saw in me; because for all my bossy, stingy, complaining self, I'd find it tough to be my friend. I am trying to be a better friend and person, though. Starting with trying to be nice to ex-classmates whom I'd held (mostly, in retrospect) unfounded prejudices against.

Reading my older blog posts makes me cringe and laugh (in some parts) at my childishness. I suppose I may very well cringe at this very entry in a few years, but que sera sera, I guess. We'd not be without our past selves, nor our futures without our present ones, right?
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Anyway, back to self-reflection--
Note-to-self #2: Rant all you want IN YOUR HEAD, but bite your tongue while at work at all costs, because lessons/the point sometimes only occurs to you in retrospect.

and finally

Note-to-self #3: Please, for goodness' sake, learn to reject people more gracefully. Be it friendzone-type rejections or rejection in other work/social situations.
On further reflection, I've always had bad experiences in rejecting gracefully. On one hand, I'm OCD-polite/non-offensive innately, so it's really difficult for me to ignore people/their messages without feeling bad (unless they piss me off). Yet whenever I try to drop social cues (e.g. slow and abrupt text replies, trying to get more people to join a meetup whenever I get invited to go for supper/drinks, and outright saying 'nah, feel like staying home; thanks though!') they don't seem to get it. STOP BLOODY CROWDING ME OKAY. Grah!

(Okay maybe NTS#3 will take some more time to work on, sigh)
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On a happier note, I'm starting to fall in obsession with Keira Knightley's Lost Stars; lyrics AND melody. (Almost non-existent chance of appreciation for the Adam Levine version, though; can't see the appeal of his nasal-type singing. Sorry.)
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Please don't see just a girl caught up in dreams and fantasies.
Please see me reaching out for someone I can't see.

(Take my hand, let's see where we wake up tomorrow.)


Here's to hope for a good start in a new chapter.

  1. Remove yourself from audible/visible radius of non-relatives

  2. Hide

  3. Drown yourself in music

  4. Unplug your headphones and blast teenage-angst MCR

  5. ...or perhaps Purcell's Dido's Lament

  6. ...or the more age-appropriate Muse

  7. Bury yourself in solitary activity far away from her

  8. Resign yourself to the fact that you'll probably have to actively avoid the neighbourhood shopkeepers for a quarantine period

  9. Wallow in frustration and go for a run (provided your period cramps don't get you down)

  10. Ride out a fresh wave of despair when you realise that it's only Saturday; meaning you still have to go through Steps 1 to 9 for the better part of the weekend

ARGH. Blkhjjkdbahjkghjvhjk.
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On a more coherent note, I do acknowledge that the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the US is a step towards more liberal civil rights; but I still maintain that people are making too-large a hullabaloo about being LGBTQIA here at home.

I mean, a person is a person (is a person); why the heck are you seeking more planes along which to discriminate (as in to differentiate) when it's only a slippery slope towards discrimination?

...which is why I'm not tinting my facebook profile picture a medley of colours. (I'd initially wanted to tint it the colours of the asexual pride flag, but figured that no one would get my point)

What I'm saying is that everyone should be treated with respect and that no person should enforce the teachings of his/her faith on another who chooses not to believe/suscribe to the same religious belief. You don't see catholics rummaging through drawers to confiscate people's condoms, do you? *coughOVERLYAGGROEVANGELISTScough*

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But my mother is still Mrs Bennet-ish. And my period is still very much here.

And I'm starting to regret delaying my first day of work to September.

:(

Had a rather uncharacteristic, and quite a public meltdown today, thankfully out of view of my profs; but in full view of passing friends.

In retrospect, it was mostly a combination of post-dissertation-defense jitters/stress/anxiety and the lack of sleep from the snowballing of multiple deadlines/exams; but obviously it appeared to anyone who witnessed the meltdown (and the more telling puffiness of my face after my eyes had stopped tearing) that my defense proceedings was the cause of my episode.

I'm torn between feeling bad for my friends (who, upon seeing me in such an uncharacteristic uncontrolled-tearing, anxiety-ridden state, were obviously at a loss as to what to do) and embarrassed and irritated at my lack of control over my meltdown manifestation (for really, at the rate I was going, my swollen eyes/face made it seem like I'd been through some apocalytic breakup or something).

I suppose the silver lining in my undisguisable post-meltdown evidence was that it served as a barrier against the approach of creepy acquaintences.

Moral of the story: Cried-out faces make the best creepy-acquaintence (read: socially-inept individuals) deterrents by nature of them not knowing how to handle such a social situation.

And on that note, maybe I should induce a cried-out face more often if my weird-person-magnet tendencies persist past this phase of my life.

Anyhow, this is one more step towards graduation.

ONWARD!

For reasons unknown

or, A Series of (Partially) Paradoxical Epiphanies (and whiny complaints)

  1. I should prolly learn to laugh at myself more. Instead of getting pissed and angsty all the time, that is. Some anger is good, but excess anger and stress doesn't feel like it'd bode well for my mental health and the people around me.
    I doubt it'll be easy though; considering my inclination towards pride and stubbornness. And the ease upon which I get embarrassed. But here goes anyway, a resolution to learn to laugh at myself.

  2. I may be a tad paranoid, but what exactly is it with me attracting the attention of socially inept guys (who I have to see in lectures every other day)? Why, why, WHY can't it be the normal guys (like my friends, who I'm reasonably comfortable around. Look who's friendzoning now, you sexist pigs. Haha, kidding!) who are interested instead? I suppose it's something to do with not ruining the friendship and all, but seriously, I don't see how I've been giving off 'looking-for-a-boyfriend' vibes to mere acquaintances. In fact, I purposely go out of my way to make my wardrobe as drab and as figure-concealing as possible (not that I've got any nice figure to speak of anyway) when I head for classes. Or y'know, as guyish as possible (though admittedly, I love my skinny jeans. But I always pair baggy tees and sneakers with them unless I'm with my girlfriends). And aside from my involvement in my extra curricular activities in my freshman and sophomore years (which I've pretty much ditched over the course of my junior year), I've been relatively low-key in college. In fact, with my hobbies/interests and tendencies so mixed-up and random, and with my character flaws, I really don't see why I'm of any interest. And now all my previously-single girlfriends (yes, even those I've met in uni) have gone and gotten themselves attached. WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO RANT TO ABOUT FEMINISM AND IRRITATING, SOCIALLY-INEPT GUYS NOW, HUH?!!

  3. And now I'm about to embark on my senior year of college (How on earth did junior year pass without me realising it?!), and I'll likely be attending interviews and networking sessions. Which means that I'll need to dress nicely (read: disguise my fats and appear as slim as possible) and look pleasant in order to improve my chances at getting a competitive job. On this note, I've been reading up articles about interviews and college grads whenever I chance by them these past two years or so; and what d'ya know, looks DO matter after all. Which means I need to learn to put on makeup and walk in heels and all that jazz. Thank goodness I've mastered walking in wedges (and they make me taller too, yay!). They should do for most interviews (..right?) About that makeup thing, though; my mum's prolly not the best person to ask seeing as how the last time my (YOUNGER) sister and her managed to get me to sit for her to make-me-up (or whatever the term is called) I emerged looking like a cast member of the Traditional Beijing Opera. Needless to say, I wiped everything off. I think she got the hint, too; because she said something about going to those make-up counters at the mall when I more recently brought up needing to learn to put it on. But sitting for an excessively long period of time, holding your breath while some lady (or dude) breaths into your personal space, shoving sticks of chemicals at your eyes and cheeks and everywhere else on your face while mumbling for you to 'close your eyes, please', or 'look up', or 'imagine your grandma in a bikini and make a monkey face' isn't likely to be comfortable, now is it? And I'll have to learn to shove those chemical sticks into my face, too.

  4. Why couldn't I have been born a guy?!?!?!

  5. I should seriously do something more meaningful with the remainder of my vacation before senior year actually begins. Like attempt to learn C/C++ or Python or some other useful language. Buuuut, I'm a lazy bum. And I want to start a band :( Only, if I posted it on facebook, (and with my luck) some weird acquaintance'll likely comment and then it's Hello Awkward Facebook Situation. GAH. Noooo, and I really really really wanted my own band, too :(

  6. I need to learn to say no to people more gracefully, and with a backbone. Instead of running/hiding/saying yes even though the voices in my head are sinking their figurative heads through their hands. And I need to be able to be more bitchy upfront without feeling guilty. And be more badass/kickass.

GO ME, baddy-kickass girl!

...yeah.
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"But my heart, it don't beat it don't beat the way it used to
And my eyes; they don't see you no more
And my lips they don't kiss; they don't kiss the way they used to
And my eyes don't recognise you at all--"

-The Killers

Gently, Still, the Silence creeps

This never-ending tale─
Gently, still, the silence creeps
Upon aching soles.

Whisper arias of
Stale air, between flimsy blue
Curtains and blankets
Threadbare, nondescript
That have seen many before
And many to come.

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Haiku run-on. Poetry muse is somewhat back, I guess.
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In other anticipations, results for my night classes of the past semester are out tomorrow.

*Flaps imaginary wings and runs around in distress* (Pleasepleaseplease let me pass and do decently for both modules)

The only (minor) silver lining is that Emma Approved is back on tomorrow!

...which translates to Tuesday morning because of the time difference, grah.
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Not that I'm obsessed with the topic of relationships of the romantic kind in real life (fictional ones, on the other hand, are another matter altogether: self-professed junkie, heh), but am I really that much of a social deviant as a single, unattached female at twenty-two? In particular, why the sudden deluge of interest in my relationship status from ninety per cent of my social circles?!

Go away go away GO AWAY. Bleah. The more they butt in, the more I'm inclined to react childishly. Haha.

Okay, need to work on being more mature now.

(Yeah, right.)

Because F.T.W.W.W.

This semester's been crazy, and I'm but scant-past the halfway point.

As usual, when I feel like my life's spinning out of control, everything freezes up, and my drive to work just...disappears.

Only, this has been my worst of my uni life. And I don't know if the fortress walls I've been building and retrofitting over the past decade or so can withstand this episode; even if it must. (mustMustMUST)

I've simply got no time to spare for any emotional lollygagging, but I can't seem to divorce the emotions (and the irritating baggage) from my system.

In the past, talking to my girlfriends used to be able to purge these complications, but now with them all attached, it's different; because I can't and won't be so selfish to deny them time and mental involvement in the upkeep of their relationships by monopolising their time chewing their ears off over my issues.

I hate that I'm financially dependent on someone else.

I hate that I'm starting to feel the tendrils of cynicism and apathy creeping upon me, yet I can't seem to stop emotions from bogging me down during the most crucial times and in situations where I can't afford to be bogged down.

I hate that the people in my world stigmatise my single status at my age. Or even at any age. And I hate the pressure they place on single women. Granted, I've never actually had any sort of boyfriend; but I'd be content single if only they'd stop stigmatising, and if those desperados twice my age would stop trying to chat up single girls within my age group. And if socially-inept guys would stop trying to talk to me when my body language clearly displays discomfort at their means of 'interaction' (or worse, try to forge a deeper friendship with me).

Let me disclaim this: I have nothing against socially awkward individuals, unless they make me uncomfortable when they try to befriend me; for instance by saying something like "Actually, I've noticed you in lectures before," (when I've distinctly not any recollection of that person, and make it a point to dress down to blend in with my peers/be as invisible as possible in lectures) and follow up a few awkward lines later with something like "I see you WhatsApp quite often on your phone...can I ask, do you have a boyfriend?"

Dude. I just met you three weeks ago, and our acquaintance has been circumstantially-forced: a surface one.

In the first place, I'd have thought that my plugging into my iPod when you grab a seat on the bus next to me, and my (hopefully pissed-off, but probably closer to) apathetic expression would have been indication enough that no, I don't particularly wish to converse with anyone, you included, at the moment. In case you're still not aware, trying to ask questions and proceeding to talk at me despite this is generally considered socially-obtuse. A social faux pas. Something that people who have reasonable degree of emotional competency generally do NOT do.

So yes, saying those things about noticing me and prying into my personal life in light of this type of behaviour chalks up to being emotionally-inept in my book. And that PISSES. ME. OFF.

Have I mentioned how this idiot does not share the identity of the Pansy I'd ranted about a few posts back? (The one who didn't get that I was getting crowded by his company after rejecting his date-offer?)

I may be generalising and stereotyping majorly, but things like these put me off interacting with guys.

And from there it's a never-ending cycle of getting irritated at guys --> getting nagged at/lamented at for being single ('Why don't you have a boyfriend?' or 'Quick go find someone,' well-meaning though they may be) --> having the misfortune of being stuck with socially-inept guys who come-on too obtrusively and keep not getting my non-verbal cues (for some reason, I've never had this problem with females); then back to getting irritated at the male population.

At this rate, I think I'm going to end up single forever (which I'm okay with, sans all the above-mentioned associated problems) and a perpetually irritated bitch-ice-queen (which I'm not-so-okay about).
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In retrospect, for all my wishing for a Darcy/Knightley/whatever fictional equivalent of a S.O., I really just am in want of some cognitive, best friend companionship.

Tags:

Beyond the door, there's Peace I'm sure

Death is a strange thing; it may affect a friend drastically--and yet leave another untouched altogether. It is merciless, because it stands for an irrevocable end of life on earth; yet it is fair, because it strikes everyone sooner or later.

But as I said; Death is a strange thing, because there seems no pattern to whom or when it strikes.

Terminally ill people pass, but some survive beyond their expected 'deadlines'. Then there are healthy, rational beings who die from freak accidents.

And then there are those who are taken on days that were supposed to be happier for a long while more.

I don't think I'll ever understand it.
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In those last few seconds of life before I take the plunge into the end of this world and go before Saint Peter, if I'm ever (un)fortunate to possess awareness of my impending passing, I wonder how much of my life I'd be proud of; how at peace I'd be with leaving forever.

(Even if that miniscule period of time may seem much longer at that moment, it certainly wouldn't be enough of time for regrets)
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愛しい友人, stay strong; He calls us back in his time.

From Finland, with Love

Today was rainy, like the day before
So I put on some music and locked up the door
And danced and sang the profanities
Writ' to sweeping melodies
All the while tapping beats one to three
And my shadowed partner waltzed along with me

Then it started snowing, and so changed the song
As tune and rhythm both changed along
Another mood, a new, different cut
Still the music plays; still, the door is shut
I am audience, dancer; altogether
Spinning and sliding, to snowy weather
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My poetry muse is gone D:

Or perhaps I'm just rusty.

Tags:

Because I need to purge this negativity

I once read somewhere that the draw of fiction lies in the escapism it affords.

I couldn't have expressed a truer sentiment myself.

That would make me the Queen of Avoidance, I think. The Duchess of Cowardice, the Baronness of Diversion.

I still stand by my love for fiction, though.
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You know that feeling when you've come to the end of a good book, ficlet or television drama series, and your life suddenly seems so devoid of fulfilment?

*insert longing sigh*

The drama in question is seriously danged good (it's trumped Secret Garden to top my favourite Korean Drama list!):

The King 2 Hearts.

Seriously, go WATCH IT NOW.

And my favourite Korean actress is officially (fangirl alert!) Ha Ji Won. The roles she play and her ability in portraying them are just so ass-kicking and awesome.

Damo, Hwang Jin Yi, Secret Garden and now King 2 Hearts.

(I wanna be kickass-cool like Dana Scully, Gil Ra Im and Kim Hang Ah!)

Okay, that's enough exclamation points and fangirl excitement for one post.