t-minus 24 hours

Tired and anxious and feeling like everything’s closing upon me. This is definitely not a good mood to be in the day before a thirteen-hour flight and a big move across the world. Not sure why such trepidation always sets in right before I’m meant to leave home. Perhaps it’s the feeling of having to leave my mom; her overbearing concern eating into every sliver of excitement I might’ve had before, her dread devouring me. Or perhaps it’s just the logistical messes I’m in: the borderline overweight suitcases, delayed parcels, and — dear lord — the seemingly unresolvable timetable clashes. Everything seems to point to the sheer pain of being independent, and of having to sort my own shit out as an adult. But I know I won’t be alone in London, and I know everything will resolve itself eventually. Maybe, above all the adventure and all the thrills, being at home is what I really want.

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at the end of the day

I’ve just turned in my final copy at my job, and, whilst having yet to say my last goodbyes, have concluded two months at my internship — at last. Of course, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities and the little luxuries that my job has afforded me, from the copious amounts of food and drink, to the travel — a lifestyle that almost borders on profligate. Yet, I think I’m ready to head back to class.

Two months divorced from my studies, I can almost feel my critical senses disintegrating at the back of my head. For despite the amount of writing I’ve done, there is only so much you can say about a plate of short ribs or a bowl of fries. Certainly, there are people who’d probably understand the palate in greater depth and detail, who appreciate food as I do literature. Alas, it seems I’m not such a person despite my love of good food. So it’s back to the classroom, and back to the books, as I attempt to finish up the last of my long-overdue summer reading in the next two weeks.

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying off to Hong Kong for a holiday with my family. And then there’ll be a week of emotional farewells. And then, London.

Dear lord, I simply can’t wait.

all the glamour and the horror and the fuckin’ melodrama

These days, I cannot seem to keep track of time. There are encounters that I’ve willed to happen but cannot bring myself to see to; other engagements that I’ve never intended for, that inadvertently occur for one contingent reason or another. Then there are the appointments that one must keep, regardless of how early or how late in the day they may be, or how lethargic you are. Those are most tedious.  Continue reading

“There are times now, and my life has changed so completely, that I think back on the early years and I find myself thinking: It was not that bad. Perhaps it was not. But there are times, too—unexpected—when walking down a sunny sidewalk, or watching the top of a tree bend in the wind, or seeing a November sky close down over the East River, I am suddenly filled with the knowledge of darkness so deep that a sound might escape from my mouth, and I will step into the nearest clothing store and talk with a stranger about the shape of sweaters newly arrived. This must be the way most of us maneuver through the world, half knowing, half not, visited by memories that can’t possibly be true. But when I see others walking with confidence down the sidewalk, as though they are free completely from terror, I realize I don’t know how others are. So much of life seems speculation.” 

— Elizabeth Strout, My Name is Lucy Barton

summer reading list

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The Wilkes-Barre News, Pennsylvania, June 17, 1901

Sure, my summer’s — technically — begun about a month ago, but those languid days, I’m afraid I must admit, dear reader, have been whittled away in bed or at various cafes around town.

Twenty-five days down, a hundred and seven more to go.

Here’s how I intend to keep myself productive (and sane) before the time comes for me to pack my bags for London: get a job read.

It turns out that I don’t particularly want to be employed — not for this summer, at least, and not at a soul-crushing nine-to-five. After all, it must be self-evident that hammering out inane promotional articles at one’s desk simply cannot hold a candle to late morning brunches with my mom and afternoons spent with my best friend, traipsing through museum galleries as we get up to our typical shenanigans. Surely I ought to spend more time with the people that I hardly get to see during the semester?

And so I shall devote some of my time to reading, instead, partly in preparation for the following academic semester (because I’m a nerd), and partly to catch up on my mammoth to-read list.

The following’s some of the books that I intend to finish by the end of this break, though this list will be updated (if I’m not too lazy to do so) as I receive more recommendations and acquire more ‘loot’ from bookstores:

Black Beauty

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lady Audley’s Secret

Aurora Leigh

Julius Caesar

Macbeth

The All’s Well That Ends Well

Henry IV

Fun Home

Too Much and Not The Mood

On Beauty

The Refugees

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

At Your Own Risk: A Saint’s Testament

Footsteps: Literary Pilgrimages Around The World

On a side note, please do drop me book recommendations, if you have any, for they’ll be much appreciated!