9.12.18 | Station Eleven

I usually hate reading. Or at least that’s what I thought.

When I was still in primary school, the books I read consisted of pre-teen or teen fiction books like Dork Diaries or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Nothing wrong with reading them especially as a kid, but I wouldn’t call them works of art in regards to literature.

Eventually, I got sick of reading these simplistic novels and I tried branching out a little. That introduced me to Percy Jackson, which everyone raved about for years. At the time, at the peak of my loneliness in 2015, the series and Heroes of Olympus gave me something to invest in and a source of happiness. Truthfully, I was just relying on it for personal gain and I really didn’t enjoy the novels as most did. Still, I do commend Rick Riordan’s work, especially with the plot of his series. I had a few issues with characters and development, in my own personal opinion.

As someone who struggled sitting down and focused on over 100 words on each page for several hours, reading didn’t generally interest me much. So a lot of books never really struck a chord in me. Majority seemed either boring or seemed superficial. I’ve tried reading several books that were commendable in the Teen Fiction section, such as The Girl on the Train, which was a good book but it didn’t motivate me to pick up another one.

So I just stopped reading altogether. This year, when I had to read 3 books for English, I was only able to read 1 fully. And that one book was really boring, in my honest opinion. It did have an important message but it didn’t strike with me. For the past few years, I’ve just ended up reading mangas or fanfictions, which might explain why my English skills have declined considerably.

But anyways, next year they added new texts to the English curriculum for year 12. Since my results come out this week, I thought I might as well busy myself by forcing myself to read, if I want to do well next year.

The two texts were Extinctions and Station Eleven. I had one look at the blurb for Extinctions and decided Station Eleven seemed slightly more appealing in terms of visual and blurb, so I started on that today at the library.

What I didn’t expect was to be so invested and interested in the book. This book was apparently a New York Times Bestseller, and a modern piece of literature (I suppose), so I kind of assumed it to be boring since I have the attention span of a hyperactive toddler. Yet somehow I found myself reading the first 5 chapters in one sitting.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve enjoyed reading so much. There’s something about the way the author strings words together and how her characters are flawed and different ways, but not in a way we’re they’re evil or anything. Heck, the setting for this story is an apocalyptic world, but the lack of cliche and originality of it makes it so refreshing.

I don’t know how you can make a setting like that not cliche yet the author does just that, and in a really interesting way too.

This was probably also not the intended impact but there were some small sections in a chapter where I laughed, like when the main character for that chapter wheels 7 packed trolleys into his brother’s apartment.

I’m no reviewer (especially with my poor English, according to my BIOLOGY tutor) but I don’t know, reading something like this where there is no overused plotlines or cliche romance or superficial characters and shock factors is just really refreshing. I should probably stray away from the Teen Fiction secion of the bookstore from now on.

But yeah, I’m only 5 chapters in yet Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a gem. And this is coming from someone who usually hates reading.

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29.11.18: 12:31am

I really do wonder where I went wrong when it came to forming solid, true relationships with people, because I’m not sure.

All I know is that I’ve been seeking the wrong people all this time, and I kind of dug my own grave by portraying myself as this dumb, clumsy person who people find funny (to laugh at) in attempts to get people to like me.

I’m glad I realised what I went wrong with. Only problem is I have to wait until I get out of high school to properly restart.

Social media is a pretty powerful thing. You know, when you are too scared to even go out with your ‘friend’ group because you don’t feel comfortable with them anymore, then you see all these other people living their lives and spending time doing both fun and mundane things with friends and loved ones. It plays with your head with a little. Of course they don’t have the perfect life; it’d be foolish to think that way.

But you still end up envious of the relationships they have either way, platonic, romantic or family.

It’s the whole thing about loneliness again. You know, I’m finally at a decent point where I’m confident enough with my physical appearance to feel okay to talk to most people. I feel like I’m somewhat ready to make friends again, yet I’m stuck in a group that I pulled myself in 2 years ago when I was trying to rid all the pent up loneliness and anxiety I had.

It is a learning experience, I suppose. There’s also the whole thing about joining another group, but I have tried that. Groups are too established right now and I’m not outgoing enough to be able to fit in. I also have a ridiculous fear of being excluded in friendship groups which doesn’t help things.

Yeah. Distracting yourself only goes so far, but it will do for now. I might get myself a part-time job in the summer holidays or do volunteering work or something.

I’m gonna sleep now. I’m oddly tired, so it probably wasn’t a good idea staying up today. It just kind of happened anyways.

24.11.18: 11:35pm

I honestly want nothing more than for my brother to move out.

It’s not because we have a bad relationship or anything. It’s just because I dread going to sleep everyday because of him.

In a literal sense. He is ridiculously loud. And I’m a very sensitive sleeper.

I’ve slept with earplugs everyday for the past 3 years, and yet a lot of sounds jolt me awake, even if they’re not loud. It’s so annoying, and I want to just sleep but somehow I’m still so sensitive to sound even with earplugs in.

Having my brother stay up until 2am literally every single day doesn’t help. A lot of school days I want to sleep early. Problem is, my brother goes to the gym at night a lot, and after going to the gym, he gets really hungry. And that’s a problem since he keeps clattering pots and pans and throwing stuff in the sink at 12am and my room is right above the kitchen.

My house also has really high ceilings so those sounds echo so it’s ten times worse. I’ve told my mum about my sleeping issues and she just tells me to stop stressing about things and sleep.

The thing is I’m not stressing, I can literally be extremely tired yet be kept awake by noises downstairs until 2am everyday.

I tell my brother to be quiet and he says okay, but then he’s still so damn noisy. It doesn’t help that he plays games in the early morning and laughs really loud too, in the study room. And the door to that room is practically broken, so the noise becomes even louder since it can’t close.

It seems like I’m the only one with this issue, but when my brother went on a roadtrip with Teri earlier this week, it was so peaceful in the house, and my parents always go to sleep early. I actually wasn’t fearing for whether I would go to sleep each day.

I don’t know, I really wish sometimes I could switch off the sensitivity in my ears and not worry about being unable to sleep everyday. It’s pretty stressful and sometimes I panic at around 2am after being kept up and being unable to sleep. Those nights usually finish with me pulling all-nighters.

Anyways, I hope I sleep tonight. And have a nice sleep at that, as well.

19.11.18 | Exams and End of Year Bucketlists

It’s nearly 11pm and less than 24 hours until my exam. I’m just sitting on my bed and staring at my practice exams.

I think only now has it kicked in that I could’ve done so much more work. I basically slacked off this entire week because I completely lost the plot when it came to studying. It’s almost like I couldn’t be bothered to do anything after Biology was over.

This subject is gonna contribute to my ATAR, aka my final score that’s gonna make or break my university preferences and essentially my future.

I remember thinking at the beginning of the year that Vietnamese might actually be my highest score, and I worked pretty damn hard with the help of my parents throughout the year to get the top of my class for the second half of the year.

So now, looking at the past written exams, which also contributes the most to my final score for Vietnamese, I feel like I’ve let myself down at the last hurdle.

I don’t know. I KNOW I can do well, and I’m not trying to be overconfident or anything. Out of all my subjects, this was perhaps the subject I had the best shot at scoring well in, even over Biology. I’m completely screwed for my subjects next year, which is why I really want to do well this year.

At the start of the year, my motivation was to get high scores and prove everyone wrong for doubting me or making me question my self-worth. But now it doesn’t serve as much of a motivational factor as I originally planned. I don’t really have any motivational source right now. I’m kind of doing the exam for the sake of it.

Because even though I’m fairly good at Viet, I don’t love it. I was already really hesitant to pick it up as one of my subjects that contribute to my ATAR. It was only because I got a good score that year on my report that I chose it, because I could do well. It’s a big difference to Bio, where I’m probably average in my cohort (since I’m in a selective school with a competitive cohort) but I really love the subject.

So I still don’t feel any motivation to do well for Viet, even as I’m writing this now. That just makes me more disappointed in myself. I don’t know why but I just don’t care for some reason. I hope I’ll do well tomorrow. Maybe by some miracle or something.

I’m really craving a chai latte right now. I always convince myself to have one whenever I’m tired, even though I know it doesn’t help. It’s a therapeutic drink for me.

After exams are over, I’m gonna start an entire list of what I want to do. Sadly, I can’t go travel since I’m broke and legally not allowed, but I really, really want to draw, and learn a different language apart from Vietnamese. I also want to work on my OCs (original characters) and get back into writing, and finally be able to draw them. I’ve mentioned my OCs once on here, I think. It’s honestly really fun creating a whole new set of characters for a story. That’s probably my favourite part of writing; character-building.

My cousin Anna is having a farewell party too, before she heads off to England. My brother’s currently in a different state and is sitting several interviews for Medicine and Dentistry, so he might move out next year. So yeah, it’s gonna be weird if they’re both not around.

Random note, but I really miss riding my bike. It’s probably the only kind of physical activity apart from swimming that I genuinely enjoy (netball too I guess) but since I live right near the city, it’s kind of dangerous to ride my bike to school (since my school is smack bang in the city too). But there’s this sense of freedom and exhiliration when cycling. You explore different places, but at a much faster pace.

Anyways, I should probably head to sleep. I’m free after exams to do whatever up until results day (help) in December, so that’s not nerve-wracking at all.

I guess I’ll see you guys soon.

19.11.18: 12:20am

It’s currently 12:12am and tomorrow’s my Vietnamese exam.

It’s kind of weird to think that it’s finally tomorrow after I slacked off and did nothing for the whole week, but I did a solid practice exam today, so I’m hoping for a good score. (crossing fingers 8 practice exams is enough)

Since I slacked off, I basically spent my time on my Kpop stan Twitter account (ah twitter language) and ended up buying another album (Stray Kids’ I Am: You). I seem to have a liking towards JYP groups (since I bought GOT7’s Present: You earlier in the year) but maybe it’s a coincidence. Anyways, I’m broke.

Recently, getting interested in Kpop really has dominated my life and my savings, but it’s really a source of happiness in a sense. A lot of people choose to judge these idols based off their appearance without getting to know the core of these people, due to toxic masculinity and beauty standards and all. I used to not understand why people liked Kpop too.

But you get to realise it’s not crazy fangirls and toxic fandoms (they sadly do exist though but don’t dominate), but amazing communities and idols who are incredible people and really remind you that there are kind, selfless and hardworking people with genuine hearts in this world.

Sorry, anyways. I’m not going to talk much about Kpop on here and I don’t plan to, since that’s something I spam-tweet about on Twitter, but yeah. My main focus on here is IRL and moreso living in the moment, but I just wanted to get my point out there concerning stigmas about Kpop. And it’s perfectly cool that people don’t have a preference for the genre or the idols, but I wish people would stop being so judgemental about it.

I’m not sure if I wrote an update on Friday but I ended up skipping school and have basically been catching up with hobbies, interests, etc. Yesterday was also my last day of Vietnamese school as well as my cousin Amy’s birthday.

My cousins, my brother and I just ended up playing around at the playground in the evening and it was really nice. The sky was really pretty too. I’m a real sucker for gradient skies when it’s sunset and it has that really pretty mix of orange, pink and blue. It’s common but it never gets old.

Overall, it’s been a good few days but I’m extremely distracted. Hopefully I can pull it together for my Vietnamese exam, and then I’m free for the year!

Yeah, this was a pretty uneventful update. I think I’ll go downstairs and eat some cereal before I go to bed. My mum might yell at me if she finds me awake, but oh well.

~Erin

15.11.18: 12:50pm

I’m skipping another class as I write this now (we’re not doing anything in class anyways), so I can go home and do another practice exam for Vietnamese.

Today was quite nice; I had a nice talk with a few people I usually don’t talk to.

Earlier in the year, I acted in a play at my school as one of the leads, and through that I got to meet some cool people; that included a year 10 girl named Annie, who saved my ass when I forgot one of my lines out of nervousness and made a complete mess of myself (but we won’t speak of those times, haha).

I don’t get to see her often, but she’s honestly super nice and it was nice talking to her again. Moreso refreshing, I suppose.

Things feel a little brighter today. My platform at the train station is right next to the river, so it’s nice and breezy.

I don’t know. Sometimes you find yourself embracing peaceful and blissful solitude.

12/11: 8:47pm

I just had dinner with my brother and Teri. It was really fun when we were at the restaurant and it was their way of treating me for my birthday yesterday, so that was nice.

It was kind of awkward when we got home though, because obviously I ended up third-wheeling, not just romantically but in general since they were just talking about uni and their friends, etc.

We were supposed to be binge watching movies but it kind of ended with them just talking the whole time. I feel a bit weird after it, as I always do when I wheel but it’s fine. I mean, it’s also understandable; I’m on a whole different education level from them and they’re in a relationship.

It kind of gives me hope for the future. My brother used to be cooped up in his room all day, playing games and never going outside. Uni changed all of that and he’s one of the most social people I know.

I also talked to my cousin after running into her on my way to the tram stop hone, and she said from her experience, year 12 goes really fast. She also said she doesn’t feel sad that she’s leaving, mostly since she’s just tired. I’ve had my differences with her but she’s definitely had a difficult year and I hope her gap year to England next year will let her take a break from everything.

So yeah, there was my Monday night. I hope everyone’s Monday/day has gone swell. I might post tomorrow.

~Erin

12/11: 2:53pm

I want to say a quick thanks to a girl who I’m gonna call Jill, for giving me a really nice gift today, with a kind message.

We’re not very close, but she was my closest friend in Biology and without her, I wouldn’t have gotten through the year, especially in that class.

She’s just a really kind person. There are some people outside my group who are just super nice and awesome, but they’re all in their own exclusive groups.

If I happen to meet them in uni, I hope I can continue being friends with them after high school. Just a word of appreciation for them.

~ Erin

(note: I think my posts are probably gonna be split up into two categories: one with proper structure and layout to summarise a whole day, and the other to just be brief thought posts with timestamps!)

11/11: 10:10pm

I swear this is the final post, promise.

My family’s gone to sleep and I feel sad again. It just reminds me of yesterday when I sat in the bathroom at 2am, crying and singing happy birthday to myself quietly.

I guess this is kind of embarrassing, but I just feel really lonely, I guess. Even when you’re surrounded by people all the time, you don’t feel like they’re really there.

My family also postponed the usual family birthday party to about a month later since my parents have to go to a wedding or something and my brother has a few interstate university offers and also decided to go on a roadtrip. So by the time my birthday party comes around, it doesn’t really feel like my birthday anymore.

I guess I haven’t properly celebrated my own birthday. I mean, there’s only 2 hours, so I might as well. This might seem self-indulgent, but I think the most important person who should celebrate your birthday is you. Treat yourself and celebrate the anniversary of your existence.

So here’s an ol’ Happy 17th Birthday to Catherine. And I pray I can be happy in the present and future. 🎈

~ Erin

Social Interaction

Fourth post. At this point it’s probably to make up for my inactivity.

I had a sudden thought about myself.

Everyday from school, I go home, eat dinner (super early since my mum has to go to work), then I usually watch Youtube, browse Twitter or Atarnotes, maybe read manga or something, OR I study. Then I go shower at around 10pm on average before going to sleep.

On weekends I just study, lol. I go to the library on Sundays but I never go with anyone.

For a while, I realised that this wasn’t the norm. A lot of people at school and apparently everywhere talk with their friends on Skype, message, video call like almost everyday. They also meet up with friends often.

I actually never text my friends. I also hate video calling or calling, period, with a passion. I almost never meet up with anyone either.

It’s starting to make me feel kind of sad? Even my close friends meet up with other people, but we almost never go out together.

It seems anyone with a solid friendship group hang out together all the time. Me and my friends never do that ever; and I almost never do it with anybody.

It’s also bothered me for a while that I can’t really hang out with my friends because they live so far away. But even so, we still never meet up, even once or twice outside school. We don’t actually talk outside of school either.

I feel like they’re not really my close friends, you know? I mean, we talk at school but that’s about it. I don’t really feel like I can talk to anyone outside or at home.

Yeah, I don’t know. I guess that’s the thing with finding really close friends. I just haven’t found anyone yet. Kinda explains the whole loneliness thing. I had the same problem with my ‘group’ at my old school.

– Erin