be stronger.

Funny how many people get the impression that I’m “strong,” even though I often feel so unbelievably weak. You’d think by now I should be somewhat less needy and clingy and overall emotional independent. But no, I’m not. I need love and the presence of people who love me right next to me as much I did when I was 14, 16, and 18. I don’t think that will ever change.

What does need to change, however, is my tolerance for the lack of it and the ability to understand that sometimes, I just can’t have it. What I need is the grace to live without it, even if I’m unhappy. Be more optimistic, be more brave, and be more tolerant. That’s what growing up is all about, isn’t it?

Patience & Faith

The best things in this world often require them. How else do we deal with this world of uncertainties? Behavioral economists correctly note the obvious: we all want certainties in our lives, but perhaps that is just because we always want what we don’t have, and that is most certainly one of the things this world does not afford us, along with immortality. An interesting thought, if we had one of these, would we also want the other? Say, if you could be immortal, then uncertainty wouldn’t be so bad, would it? It’s the very fact that we only live once, for a definite period, that we are so afraid of the uncertainties. We want to minimize mistakes, regrets, and get things right the first time and not let once in a life time opportunities slip by. But if we could live forever, would that still matter as much? I suppose ti would still matter to a degree, since nothing really repeats itself exactly. So having infinite number of chances doesn’t mean you can have the exactly same chance twice, and living forever isn’t quite the same as going back in time and reliving the same life. But I digress…

Exactly what makes these two things difficult? The uncertainties or our desire for acquiring utility now? Probably both. But we have no control on time, or chance. So given the circumstances and facts of life, it is perhaps that we wait and hope for the best; however gruelling and difficult. 

So I’ve come to accept that I’m going to make mistakes as long as I live. It’s probably not a good idea to beat myself up over the mistakes I’ve already made or let it lead to self-doubt. Regardless of what I have decided and done, life moves on. No matter what, I’m still alive, and there’s still tomorrow. It doesn’t matter that I’m 20, or more than half way through college, I could be 80, but as long as I live, I might as well be prospective and not be brought down too much by what I can’t change. 

By all account, I’m happy enough. I’m not perfectly happy, but when have I ever been perfectly happy? Yet I can’t ignore the missing piece- the missing person -that makes life feel incomplete in its absence. I’m trying to get used to it, though I can’t say if I’m successful. In my most optimistic moments, I try to tell myself in time everything will be okay, and this makes us stronger. But there are always those moments when I can’t stop myself from wondering why I chose this and if I could indeed survive this for much longer. 



swing of things

So I went to a hiphop dance audition today. That was fun and interesting. I guess one of the perks being here is I kind of get a fresh start at things. I get the best of both worlds: new opportunities and the curiosities of being a freshman, but with some wisdom and experiences of a junior. But on top of that, I also get the benefit of doing things without having to worry too much about their long term consequences, because well, I won’t be here in the long term. It’s really quite awesome, kinda like summers stretched into a year. You know, people tend to do crazy things in the summer because those warm nights and exotic locales can fool you into thinking that they are more transient and wonderful than anything you’ve ever encountered before. Every moment becomes ridiculously romanticized and people actually live like there’s no tomorrow, or just…summer is short.

But I’ve been there, those crazy summer adventures and whatnot, and I can say I’ve had my fair share of everything that is suppose to experience, both the good and the bad. In a way, I’m glad that I have had those memories, especially the painful ones. It’s better that i have learned the lessons of living abroad on my own and dealing with every sort of inconveniences and surprises while it was still relatively short-termed. 

I wonder if I’m getting a bit desensitized towards traveling. Afterall I have been doing more sightseeing in the past year than I have in all of my life before combined (maybe). And I really just miss staying home and reading a novel, watching movies with friends, you know, trading the exotic and exciting for the warm and cozzy. It’s not really being lazy, at least not completely. I still manage to convince myself to get off my butt and go see new places and stuff, but they just don’t fascinate me as much as before. Maybe I just need a break. So it’s rather a shame, you know, me being in London but not really going anywhere. But I guess that’s more incentive for me to come back to europe in the future, as an American citizen (which will make everything 100x easier). 

On the other hand, I love playing bridge with my singaporean friends. I like snuggling in my bed and trying to read about ontological arguments and god and such, and then predicatably falling asleep after only 10 pages. I still find it a bit strange that I have to go to another floor for showers, but hey, it’s better than battling with the stupid shower system we have on this floor. The weather is actually better than Cleveland, and less crazy than Duke’s. So despite all the rain and such, I don’t mind it as much. I do really need a pair of boots though, somehow it never entered my mind to bring the pair I had from home. Unfortunate. 

Life is getting more busy by the day, but in a good way. I’m currently babysitting a pair of rather cute kids for a Duke alum once a week, it’s a relatively painless way to earn some cash. I’ll also be starting badminton and salsa this week, so that’ll be fun. Probably will take some hiphop class too when they start. Classes are going alright, still need to get books and such. Also, I need more motivation for lsat’s and doing hw when they don’t count XD.


That’s what it is, my life in London. Nevermind the lack of gothic architecture and vast amount of space that I miss more than I have expected, but as much as I might complain about the claustrophobic atmosphere and reckless drivers, I must nod to the charm of this international city. For someone who has spent the last decade of her life living in quiet suburbs of America, London is a 180 degree change if there ever was one. Nevermind that I was travelling in Europe and stayed in oxford this summer, even my visits to this city only few months ago were nothing like living here. They weren’t lying when the urbanites mused about rushing down a crowded street, leaves swirling in an autumn breeze, as they are carried away in an intoxicating rhythm. Though Starbucks is grossly overpriced and incomparable to those in the States, it makes me wonder why they even have any business when european cafes are so much superior and cheaper. The distance between Commonwealth Hall and LSE is approximately the same between East and West campus, yet the route couldn’t be more different. The street is a typical London street that is congested 24/7 and lined with dozens of shops and restaurants. Within the meager 1.8 miles, this same street also manages to take up three different names. Exactly why a name could only be used for a little more than half a mile I will never understand.

But aside from the delicious mochas, more restaurants for me to explore in a year, pastries that too beautiful to eat, and a street of shopping with not one of each shop, but 2 or 3 (yes, there are 3 H&M’s on Oxford St.), I I can still be so hopelessly homesick. I miss Duke, or rather, my friends at Duke. I miss all the conveniences I’m used to, all the ‘free’ things (buses, printing, etc.), and I miss people that I can hug and sit together in a room comfortably without saying a word. 

If you ask me whether I made the right decision in coming here…I can’t quite tell you. It isn’t quite what I thought it’d be, though the academic part is quite perfect and meets all of my highest expectations. But I couldn’t have foreseen the numerous difficulties and discomforts and incoveniences. Nor could I have fully imagined how much I’d miss him, or how painful separation would be. It is so like me, always a bit too optimistic and always managing to convince myself that it won’t be too uncomfortable to put myself out of my comfort zone. I wonder if this has become some sort of a habit for me, always putting new and challenging experiences on something like a pedestal, willing to sacrifice so much for them. Then in the end, I seek confirmation from others that it was worth it, because I’m often a bit too scarred by the adventures to remember the conviction and passion with which I made the initial decisions. 

So I try to console myself that at least I will have good stories to tell, and that maybe, just maybe, I have grown a little bit. But really, sometimes I wish I could just remain a happily ignorant child if knowledge and wisdom comes with such a high price. As for stories…well, there are always the books and NYTimes…. Why bother getting my own hands dirty?

Yay for daily quotes

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity”. Gilda Radner, 1946-1989

Delicious…maybe it’s an acquired taste, but I’d like to have it nevertheless.

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
George Bernard Shaw

Word. Sounds a bit like my life right now.