“There are things that I can control, so I just try to focus on those things and do that really well. I try every day to meet my own standards, which I set impossibly high.

– Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent.

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One day into the madness of finals week and I’ve already been through all seven stages of emotional hell, but alas, I don’t intend to discuss any of that. Not right now. And I don’t intend to wax poetic about Florence’s film, The Odyssey, or Beyoncé’s Lemonade either.  (I’d love to but my linguistics paper’s in two days and I’m behind on revision.)

I’ve just popped by to rather self-indulgently announce that a short essay I penned for TYCI, a Glasgow-based feminist collective, has been published and you can read it here.

“Better done than perfect.”
– Yash, my beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox* twitter mutual whom I don’t know irl but now take writing and life advice from because of her aforementioned qualities.

*
leslieknope-list-ox

Slouching towards a devastating plateau

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The written cannot hear the well-worn writer;
Words fall apart; the thesis cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosened upon the pages
The ink-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of reason is drowned (under masses of books and essays).
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

First of all, my apologies to Yeats for this awful and, frankly, shameless butchery of his poetry. My only excuse for it is that nothing seems to be able to capture my academic career’s descent into utter confusion and chaos as perfectly as The Second Coming does.

Secondly, will someone please just shove me off this metaphorical diving board and get me to set pen to paper and write something of actual consequence? I’ve been planning this essay – and rewriting outlines – for the past two weeks, and the books and essays I intend to reference have been marked, highlighted, annotated, but I can’t seem to start writing this English paper due in three days.

I’ve always been able to meet deadlines no matter how late I start writing, but perhaps I’ll be done for this time.

As I was beginning to revise for my French test this afternoon, after dawdling away my first hours of being awake in bed with books and coffee (the drizzle outside just seemed too perfect for me to not read), it just struck me that I’m in my final week of academic instruction for the year. I’m three weeks, one essay, and two final exams from finishing up my freshman year at university.

Stunned by the realisation that the end – or rather, the break – I’ve been desperately clawing towards over the past few weeks is now in such close proximity, I took to my journal to scribble some disparate reflections on the past eight months. And then I came to my second revelation – it seems I’ve been handling university life surprisingly well thus far, if I may say so myself.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have agreed several days ago, when I stayed up till four in the morning in a futile attempt to pen a new piece for my Vogue Talent Contest submission. (I ended up reworking another unpublished essay for submission instead when words could no longer flow through my drowsy and cheap caffeine-muddled consciousness then.) But since my to-do list is steadily struck off with the completion of my art coursework and essays, I’m now able to afford a rose-tinted, retrospective view of my first year at university.  Continue reading

“You know what you’re going to go through – it’s the knowledge that makes you scared. When you don’t know anything you are not scared. The only thing I know is that [fear] is needed. One day I was not afraid. I danced. It was very difficult, even more than usual, and I didn’t have the pleasure.” – Sylvie Guillem

(I) The past month and a half has finally compelled me to confront the painful consciousness of human fragility. I was always aware of death for it happens all the time – people slip away every moment we remain breathing and alive – but the genuine understanding that death may befall anyone, including myself, at any moment had never occured to me until recently. Continue reading

drawing blood

Just found out today that I’m horrified of needles.
I was at a health checkup this morning to put to rest my health anxieties and the process, inevitably, included getting my blood drawn. The last time I’ve had a needle prod into me was almost a decade ago, when all the eleven year olds across the country had to get immunised – what for I’m not sure – but the needle was more inconspicuous and I was much gutsier then. God knows what happened for me to begin worrying about everything.

I was so freaked out by the entire process of drawing blood – the massive needle, the dull blood itself spluttering into the plastic tube, and the thought that there was a foreign object caught in me – that I exited the room afterwards to a full blown panic attack. Tears, nausea, pain, the feeling that the world is closing in on you as you forget to breathe. God I must’ve looked like a wimp to everyone else who were simply going about their own business then.
I suppose I ought to consider myself fortunate they didn’t stare.

  1. Remind me never to look as any medical procedures that involve blood occur
  2. Thank god I’m not a doctor.