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.

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