the bolter

recently i've been following the old english drama upstairs, downstairs and it is so absorbing! that's the problem with me, i fall too deeply for these sorts of things.

anyway, yesterday i watched the episode 'the bolter' from season 3 and i got so numbingly upset that today i just needed to let it all out by casting some aspersions.

just some background though, i generally cannot bear mr. hudson, i tolerate mrs. bridges, ruby and richard bellamy, i have a love-hate relationship with rose and james, and i adore hazel and edward. now onto my (potential) tirade...!

all that glitters is probably just false pride

i am such a snob.

but it's desperately complicated. i've been trying to write this entry for ages now but for my own confusion on the topic. what makes me a snob? why exactly am i a snob? and why do i propagate the fact so? lots of times during long car rides, or when i find i cannot sleep, i try to evaluate myself. it gives me something to do, and it's frightfully interesting.

now considering the fact that i don't enjoy talking, i find that thinking is the fastest way for me to scrutinise my character and my situation, and writing helps me to organise my perception of it. i wrote two drafts of this topic and i didn't like them so i discarded them completely (which was a pity, because i had some lovely sentences in there). i'm very particular about how i write and how i portray myself, which is wonderfully fitting for this post because that's the crux of it--- i am a snob.

for a while i thought it was my parents fault, me believing that all parents are solely to blame for their children's faults. but i find it's not true. i have plenty of faults that have nothing to do with my parents, like my being over dramatic and being prone to extreme emotional investment in fiction...!

my parents are really good people, and i honestly mean it. i was sitting in the car with them one morning when i heard them talking about some people that i really did not care for, but my parents were discussing how to help them with full sympathy. as a pastor's daughter you're aware of a lot of things going on in the church. ironically, plenty of scandalous things occur in church, but that's besides the point. plenty of times my parents have proved themselves to be oh so kind and understanding, accepting the most horrible people and being patient with them; even the comments and conversation of people who are prickly and rude being endured by them, and i never hear about them getting offended or making enemies.

so why am i a snob? with such long-suffering parents and indeed very little cause to actually be proud, how did i end up such a snob?

i notice i have this wicked habit of looking down on people, like i believe that am better than them. but why? after some deep contemplation i suppose it has its origins in my extreme pickiness, perfectionism and general distrust & dislike of people. i have hopelessly high standards, and naturally lots of people don't make the cut. my time spent outside of social groups, curiously peering in, lets me observe people, and i rarely like what i see.

it's not that i hate everyone. in fact, i don't hate anyone at all. i just cannot bring myself to like people who don't live up to my high standards of tolerability, and that's about 70% of the people i meet.

now i know it's ridiculously ironic that i, alyssa, stupid and silly as i am, can dare to judge people so. how i know it so! it's all my fault. i'm a snob because i despise myself! and instead of taking on that role of obsequious serf, i go all the other way around, to high and mighty witch.

i have disliked myself for years and years, and have cursed myself an uncountable amount of times. but to keep myself above the reproach of others, i have learned to criticize myself more harshly so that i may justify escaping their hatred. it's come to the point that i have drunk so much of my own derision that i can't bear to take a drop of anybody else's.

on all my previous blogs, this was the topic i'd write about the most. i plagued me so, and i was firmly stuck in the quicksand of my self-contempt and shame. now i do my best to hide it. i try to be dignified and confident. i try to be kind and patient. i try to be funny and charming. i do all this so that i can shield the fact that i'm treading in a swamp of self-loathing and insecurity (and you can't say writing about it on some obscure blog is letting the whole world know about it, ha.)

so i see now that i look down so often on others, because of how harshly i look down on myself. this inferiority complex has been my constant companion for nearly half of my life. i am a snob, because it is my façade. it is my mask, my shield, my disguise. all because it's so much easier to find fault with other people than to just get over yourself.


snobbery briefly suspended

for a really long while in my life, as most people i've had the pleasure of knowing would be aware, i was deeply obsessed with korean culture. to me everything korean was fascinating and stylish and i worshipped korean people and craved korean friendships and dreamed of being like a korean person. i taught myself to read the the korean script and somehow managed to learn basic words and phrases and slang from watching hours and hours of korean television and listening to all sorts of korean music.

with careful calculation and impulsive spending, i worked to dress in the korean way and used korean words in all my conversation and exclamations (though not that i talk to so many people, ha). i bought hundreds of ringgit worth of merchandise and literally plastered my walls with posters. my parents shook their heads and people laughed and when that happened i sulked and glowered.

now that i've suddenly lost kilos of interest in korean culture (although i'm not completely unburdened:--) ), i suddenly understand more clearly the perspectives of almost everyone who thought it necessary to contribute their opinions. when i was drunk on the fascination of the new world and universe of korean culture i firmly believed i wasn't crazy at all. now i'm not implying that korean culture fans are insane, but i see now how ridiculous i was. at least my sister could in all honesty tell people that she was contentedly obsessed, but i denied strong feelings like a teenaged girl trying to hide her secret fancies.

i admit i've almost always been like that. i'm the queen royale of having to eat my own words. i'm forever trying to make up for the silliness of my past. not just my actions, but in my attitude about my actions too. i always thought i was perfectly justified in acting the way i acted, and vehemently renounced any allusions to my behaviour being on the negative edge. i was living in perfect denial.

in my life before i ever began to adore korean nationality, i was viciously against anything asian. i was earnestly the most ridiculous bigot you could ever meet. my sisters always complain that i'm a horrible extremist and as much as i hate to admit it i really truly and honestly am. when i'm cold i abhor the hot and when im hot i detest the cold. thinking seriously about it now, i am appalled. i'm amazed no one gutted me when they had the chance because if i met 13 year old alyssa today i would probably do it myself.

anyway, i can't exactly remember what i was so obsessed with at the time but i just really hated asians with a passion. i was practically a white supremacist! i watched so much western tv and listened to so much western music that i just boxed myself into a grand big hole. i recall a guy from my church exclaiming about asian pride and i remember being so entirely disgusted with him. i could not imagine how any asian could boast in their biological and cultural backgrounds. how could anyone be so nonsensical as to advocate asian pride!?

alas! my life was to change. when i was about 14 years old, some friends of my sisters gave them a korean drama to watch. i thought it was stupid to indulge in such empty frivolity. then slowly, slowly, i became sucked in. the gravity of such gripping drama could not keep itself from laying its hold on me. it was like i was thrown into a blender, my head whirling and my heart being chopped up into little tiny pieces that swirled about with all my broken ideals and opinions until i became an entirely new creature. suddenly, being asian wasn't such a bad thing any more.

as the temperatures of my affections changed, so did my worldview. the west became like a sickly virus i needed to avoid like open sores or cholera. asia was all of a sudden the land of proper, civilised living, and its inhabitants the rightful kings of the earth. there was no culture better than that of the asians. i laugh now, thinking of the rapid changes of my head and heart, but i was serious then. i was suddenly seized with the fever of asian pride. perhaps that guy from church was onto something after all!

the derision of my sisters rained like arrows in a battleground. i knew i was doomed to live in infamy after this drastic change of my viewpoint. "i was a silly little idiot then," i would loftily tell my sisters, while scrolling though pages of k-pop articles. i still understand my feelings from that time, but oh how stupid i feel now!

pride, pride, pride. if i never ate anything all those years i would still be kept sickeningly alive from the steady diet of the fat of my ego. i constantly had to reach into myself and pick out the bugs of my emotions that ate at my insides, souring the integrity and virtue of my character. i had to pay the ultimate price for my arduous & changeable opinions: my dignity.

notwithstanding the fact that this happened quite a while ago, the conflict is still fresh everyday. even since i've moved on from an obsession with korea into a growing fixation with britain (ehem), i need to consciously choke back my opinions and strong feelings on all sorts of issues. i don't know if this can be considered progression or regression but i realise that i share a bit less of myself with others now. i'm afraid of boxing myself again into absolute standards that are completely subjective in the real world. i'm suddenly afraid of being a person that hides her head under a paper mask to try and prove a point.

earlier, i wrote that i now understand the perspectives of different people in a clearer way. i suppose these tumultuous manias have actually served me in the long run. by inadvertently placing myself in such polar situations, i have learned the feelings of opposing sides.

in this case, there are two parties-- the obsessor, and the observer. the obsessor is overcome with feelings. she is so deeply fascinated by the new world she's found herself in that little else matters to her. she will staunchly defend her lifestyle because it is so beautiful and fresh to her and soon it becomes like a cosy and well-worn glove. the obsessor feels like she has found her home.

the observer, however, is on the outside. the observer cannot see the appeal of the obsessor's new life and openly scorns and ridicules it. besides, the life of the obsessor is oozing and starting to get annoying. the observer fails to see the charm of the new life and just sees everything the obsessor does as something silly and useless.

as a shame-faced experiencer of both angles, i realise that they're both perfectly normal and logical and understandable positions, and i'm sure everyone has gone through such at some point in their lives. people do things we can't understand and we disagree. it's normal.

life's like that, i guess; we develop and we change and we realise things about ourselves that we didn't think so deeply about before, and do our best to improve on them. i'm glad that God has given me the grace to see my mistakes and to learn from them (and not to smite me, annoying creature that i was and am still :'--( ). i'm glad that i am able to catch and call out my pride, that which has been so elusive and invisible before.

and i know i haven't totally transformed yet; i'm still a silly little girl with absurd opinions that weed and bloom in my heart, but even then i'm not completely the same. i've decided to learn from my mistakes and to learn to control my passions and overpowering views that toss and change with the wind. as my heart is moulded and set into the person i mature into, i want to throw off my foolishness and be steadfast in all that is good and true, and i will. i don't want to blindly cling to ideals that end up changing my whole self into a manner i know will probably change later. i want to be sensible, and to really be me. i don't want to commit myself to false pretences any more.

for affections and fancies change with every sunrise, but as God has made me, so i shall be, and as genesis 1:31 says, that is very good.


feeble masks but glowing promise

for a long while, i prided myself on being a splendid writer with the most flowing and beautiful language you could imagine. now, as i sit and actually type and read over my sentences, i cringe and have to tie myself to a chair to prevent myself from deleting every trace of myself from the internet.

it's funny, my situation being that i'm the number one critic of all that is written, whether i have the qualifications or not! i can't bear books with poor writing, and i mercilessly laugh at poor grammar. i pride myself on having so much classic literature on my "books read" list, and guiltily keep all my modern literature hidden away at home, certainly not for anyone to find out about!

i admit that i am the chief of snobs, and a most tiresome one at that. but i am tired of my charade. i am tired of trying to hide my silly favourite pastimes. i am tired of trying to present myself as the most distinguished and clever person you will ever meet. it's tiring because it's not real, and it's tiring because everyone else knows it's not real.

of course i want everyone to think me intelligent and witty and classy, but so much of that is not me at all. in all honesty, i'll say that i'm a bumbling, nervous girl with the social graces of a dust bunny. i'm scared of men, and i fear strangers much more than eternal loneliness. i can barely eat lunch with my friends without constantly worrying about gravy stains on my face and little bits of salad wedged in between my teeth, doing the wrong thing and inadvertently offending someone by the way i use my chopsticks.

and oh my deep desire to be beautiful! in malls i make the subconscious effort to cruise by all the mirrors to check if i've suddenly and miraculously transformed into a beauty. of course, 9 out of 10 times i'm bitterly disappointed because i still have oversized lips and a moon face and horrendously veiny skin. yet i pretend that i don't care about looks, and feign nonchalance when people discuss beauty.

i see pretty girls and envy them with a passion and constantly comb through my sister's sns accounts to compare myself with them. i look through old selcas and scrutinise every picture until i get so tired of them that i delete pictures i thought were fine before.

whenever i feel attracted to some guy i try to convince myself to feel otherwise. i wrote in my diary recently about how none of them "deserve the misfortune of my affections", and i think of how dreadfully embarrassed any poor boy must feel if he found out that slimy alyssa fancied him! so i try to box in my heart, and stuff it away because it's tiresome to imagine myself subject to such weakness. and of course i keep it inside, and pretend that i am better than everyone else, and call everyone dumb.

this is why i try to mould my image into something far from myself. i want people to realise how clever i am, and to be ignorant of how scared i feel. i want to push forward the picture of myself as a cold but a kind person. someone above the idiocy of humanity and feelings, but good and nice.

it's so silly to think of it now! i'm so self-obsessed that i'm forever twisting and tweaking myself mentally so that i can appear better to the people around me. i scramble about on the inside in the hopes that on the outside i would be seen as shiny and wonderful. and how completely stupid and foolish i make myself.

still i realise everyone goes through this. maybe not exactly the way i do, but who exists in this world who doesn't want to hide his faults and only show his best side? it's impossible for anyone to want to flaunt every single fault of theirs and keep away all their virtues. everyone has something about themselves they are quite ashamed of.

yet each one of us is so busy focused trying to hide his faults from others that in the end we don't even realise each others shortcomings very much. aren't we humans so silly? and so sad.

but i thank God that we're not hopeless. foolish and irrational, pathetic and pitiful as we are, i believe with all my heart that perhaps there is hope for us yet. we're broken and miserable, but humans are not stuck in a rut. there is a way out, and i will be there-- maybe slowly, but somehow i will be better.

in the meanwhile, you can just pretend that i didn't just pour out my heart onto the internet, and when you see me you may bow to my overflowing grace and poise and then leave me alone because i'm naturally so much more than you will ever be.


obstacles only idiots face

i was just thinking today, and suddenly realised something really horrible about myself. an awful thing i noticed about me is that whenever i meet or see pretty girls, i subconsiously resent them.
it's terrible. these girls literally do nothing to me and i scorn them just because of their physical appearance. this discovery makes me positively mortified.

i suppose i'm forced to admit that i'm just jealous. I AM JEALOUS OF PRETTY GIRLS. it's stupid and ludicrous but i realise i become really snarky when i talk about them and ridicule them when i get the chance. why am i such a trainwreck!?

i honestly hate this. just because pretty girls exist i oughtn't get on edge. it's not a competition! and there's far more to life than physical appearances. but how do i force the way i feel?
of course plenty of my friends are gorgeous but i suppose because i know them i don't feel so opposed to their existence, although it doesn't stop me from comparing between us. it's not fair! why do i have to feel this way?

if i was telling my mother about some girl who disliked pretty girls because she was jealous, she'd say that girl had an inferiority complex. the thought is disconcerting.

whenever i get disturbing thoughts like this i just wish i didn't exist. i feel so bad. i'm so very sorry to all those girls i scorned without knowing them properly first. i'm sorry i'm so ridiculous. i'm sorry i'm so at odds with myself that i mentally attack those better than me.

it's not my fault i'm unfortunate looking, but most of you can't help looking lovely so i really oughtn't be so cruel. besides, it's wonderful that so many of you can help looking beautiful, and it's wonderful that you work hard to make yourselves look stunning.

women were, after all, created for beauty, and beautiful you all ought to be.
i just need to get off my high horse and step back so that i don't generate any more idiotic sentiments in my head and thus speed up the degeneration of my being.


he thought his love slept sweetly: he finds she is stone dead.

one of my favourite books is jane eyre, by charlotte brontë. admittedly, i only started really appreciating the story when i watched the 2011 movie starring mia wasikowska and michael fassbender, and oh, how delicious mr. rochester was! ha ha ah, but that is besides the point (and quite unfaithful to the details of the novel, though it's a mistake i will gladly overlook).

jane eyre is a romance told from the eponymous character's point of view. as a child, she lives with her aunt reed, who despises her and sends her away to lowood school where a tyrannical clergyman is master. when she is finished with school she becomes a governness at thornfield where she befriends her employer mr. rochester who is twice her age and surprise, surprise, the man she eventually falls in love with.

it's a beautiful romance, because the love described is so understanding of the other, so deep and so full of heart. one of my favourite things about their love is that it is based almost completely on just what they learn about each other and experience with each other. i remember mr. rochester being described as ugly, and jane as little and plain, and yet their love is as (or more) passionate than any other. there is nothing to attract them to each other except for the way that they're able to connect with each other. their love is totally from the heart. how absolutely gorgeously romantic is that?!

to me jane eyre is the most believable and relatable heroine i have come across, and as much as i adore ella of frell and lizzie bennet i cannot relate to them. they're plucky and outgoing and playful and beautiful. jane eyre on the other hand, is thoughtful and quiet and plain. she is completely steadfast with her morals, and will not compromise her self-respect for love. though personally i can't exactly boast of such high principles, i like to imagine that i will not dishonour my standards in favour of my feelings, and i admire jane for what she does. although she loves mr. rochester she runs away from thornfield when staying would compromise what she believes in.

it's also comforting to read about a heroine who is loved not for her beauty but her spirit (it gives me a certain hope, ha.)

fairytales and romances are such fun, because we love to imagine that we are in the heroine's shoes, and our hearts beat when the hero makes his love made known to the heroine, and we feel like as if we are the ones being confessed to. it's a wonderful feeling!

but then we close our books, we switch off the television and we think about the story. "when will this happen to me?" "can this happen to me?" the story is scrutinised and strictly compared to our lives. then Aha, the comparison is drawn, the verdict is in. the characters are nothing like us!

when i read a story or watch a movie i want to relate. i want to empathise and understand. i want to feel
i suppose that is exactly why i love jane eyre so much, because when i read the book and watch the movie (literally again and again) and i see her and her character, i get the feeling that i remotely see me.


alyssa, me, myself, alyssa & i

sometimes i rather wonder how much of me people really manage to see. not how often they see me physically, but what percentage of who i really am as a person reflected on the outside.

do they see the person i force myself to be (when i actually care enough about appearances, ha), the quiet enough and friendly-enough-not-to-bite-your-head-off pastor's daughter with the occasional unintentional-but-maybe-just-maybe-not snubs at weak jokes and uninspired conversations?

or do they see the moody and woeful 20 year old, with all her eye rolls and scowls and bitter mutterings under her breath? can they feel her derision and scornful laughter at their attempts at gentility, and well-intentioned though badly timed efforts to talk to her?

which brings me to a question i've had on my mind for ages. why do people talk to me? do they feel sorry for me, because of my permanently miserable expressions? do they just need someone to talk to? granted, it is quite rare for me to be mobbed by people desperate for a chat, but i'm not avoided like the plague either, which does still make me wonder why people come to talk to me, for i certainly don't initiate contact either unless strictly necessary (i.e. emergency reasons like probably fire?).

of course, i could be merely over thinking something completely insignificant, because i've realised that for some people, light conversation is a common part of everyday life??1?!?! oh the horror.

but alas! i have strayed.

what do people really think of me? being a rather seasoned narcissist, i always try to imagine the opinions friends have of me. most of my fictional conclusions are quite negative, to say the least, but i cant say i've never believed that some people find me charming (names undisclosed!).

perhaps there are some people who might find me agreeable enough but to be totally and brutally honest, if people were to seriously think about who i am, they would probably conclude that i'm 

1. sometimes nice enough-- though
2. full of airs and graces & given to being a hoity-toity, 
3. a fairly decent listener
4. and rather helpful to have around when you desperately need a second person to check your english grammar.


i do apologise, i am quite fixated on myself. but there, welcome to my blog...!