my ringlet of chagrin

believing in God as i have always done my whole life, up until now i've always trusted that if anything befell me or was a certain way with me it was because God had a special reason or purpose for it. now don't worry, this isn't some kind of crisis of faith post but today while i was doing the laundry i hit on something that totally perplexed me.

now if you've ever had the misfortune of having to meet me and to know what i'm really like you'd understand that i am terribly, passionately and irrevocably in love with language. i've recently had some conversations about how language is so important to me and how language isn't any old commodity but the most wonderful art and decoration upon your life and how people who don't appreciate language Just Don't Get It and are quite frankly not people i care to give my whole heart to anymore.

the thing that confounded me so deeply was the fact that i am me, this language drunk person, filled with words and an intense affection for things that are beautiful and exquisite and fascinating-- and yet i am here, in malaysia, where 90% of the population is hung up on everything else.

i don't mean this as an insult to the country-- it's a decent country, with fairly decent people, and enough pretty things to pass any low, basic standards of... art.

why am i here! why am i malaysian! why am i doomed to live here forever!

it's not a personal thing! don't take offence at me. it's not that i hate this place and desperately want to escape (no i probably do). i just don't fit in.

and no! this is not a post about how i feel so insecure and out of place but just why am i like this!?

why in the world did God choose to make me so enamoured of language and then drop me off in this land where beauty is just an afterthought or not even a thought at all! you know, i'm not complaining about the country here. i'm lamenting over how i'm even Like  This  !

it doesn't make sense at all! why did God make me so fervent and so bent towards my passions concerning language and beauty and yet put me here in a place so cold towards finesse and the very whiffs of sophistication?

i am Not saying that i am full of charm and elegance and grace, but what's the deal, Lord????

should i abandon myself? should i conform to the dullness and crudeness of malaysian society? should i throw away my love for beauty and deeply thought out language to embrace the place where i stand?

I AM NOT BEING UNGRATEFUL. i am not spitting on the ground where i was born. i am not deriding the hands that hold me. i'm just so confused and at a loss as to why i would be here when i'm so totally out of place.

i want to love it here. i want to belong, and to be proud of where i'm from. i want to say i'm glad to be malaysian, and actually mean it. i like living where i live. i love my family, and i know so many lovely people. just that why does it feel like my interests are not important here, and why is my concern for beauty such a ridiculous thing?

i'm a malaysian, and yet i'm a ludicrous one. i feel so caught between.

i fear i would be too much of a rube in another country, and yet here i feel like i'm not allowed to be myself. i'm in a constant conflict.

oh it's such a silly. i feel like i'm beating a dead horse. there has to be a purpose for why i'm so, and why i'm here, but where is it? where is my purpose? where is my answer for the way things are? so far i suppose i can accept that i'm a middle child, shy, a little insecure and rather ugly, but this really puts a damper on how i see myself.

what is the point?

i still don't know.


not even money

today, for some particular reason, i decided to watch the heiress. i'd already watched washington square some weeks ago and it both intrigued, fascinated and disgusted me. aND Regrettably, i related to catherine sloper.

the rude realisation that apart from the $30,000 inheritance, catherine sloper and i are basically the same person! plain, shy and not particularly clever-- she just screams alyssa koh, but rich.

ben chaplin as morris townsend was pretty blegh in washington square, but montgomery clift in the heiress...!

comparison of leading men for the benefit of my eyes

the most impactful bit about these movies was the way morris townsend courted catherine. oh how my heart broke for her! seeing him so charming and attractive yet with the knowledge that he's a conniving ass you really feel so torn. adding to the pain of catherine being insecure and unsure of herself, i could feel myself being stretched with the desire to see starved-for-love catherine finally drown in affection and the truth.

i must admit it was a bad idea to watch the heiress today. i couldn't even finish the entire film because halfway through i felt too emotional and had to close my laptop and sleep it off. ha ha.

indeed, my day started quite poorly and i felt pretty ridiculous all through class and then when i started watching the heiress it all came home to me and i was in such a state!

olivia de havilland is so lovely, and to see her in a 'plain' character dismayed me because the girl had to be dressed and styled to look unattractive but i don't even need to try and i'm by default, repugnant.

the conclusion of this post is that i shouldn't be watching dramatic movies when i'm feeling emotionally volatile.



being the middle child is kind of a drag. while i do my best never to praise myself in public, i have decided, after careful consideration, that i'm a pretty legitimate example of the classic middle child with middle child syndrome.

i was the middle child of three daughters for the majority of my formative years, so it seems that being the middle child has been ingrained into my very being. my middle child role has become such a significant aspect of my character that it has quite substantially shaped me to be who i am right now.

technically, i'm not really the middle child any more. i'm supposed to be the younger older sister of four girls, but to be hair-splittingly honest, i don't think i will ever stop being the middle child. it's on my fingerprints and has been very decidedly stamped onto my forehead.

being the middle child is kind of a drag. being in the middle means that you're constantly forgotten and often neglected. now i'm probably the last person in the world to jump out at any opportunities for attention but hey, i'm still a human like anyone else, and no one in the world totally wants to be left alone and forgotten no matter how moody and crusty they get, especially not with the people they're closest to.

being in the middle just means you're kind of disremembered along the way. sometimes it's a sort of advantage for me, when i'm dying to be left alone-- but within my family, the people that i love and respect, it does slightly hurt.

i love my family. i think i have the best family in the world and my parents are literally better than everyone else's (i have a right to my opinion, OK!!) and my sisters are wonderful and i generally just have the greatest family ever. this then gives me cause to believe very, very strongly that it's not their fault. it's not their fault that i sometimes feel this way because it's just that. the middle child gets forgotten. no family, not even the best one on earth ★coughminecough★, is immune to the ravages of the middle child syndrome.

ok, i admit that there are some families i know who don't seem to have obvious middle children with middle child problems. my personal reasoning for their unfair lack of issues is that these technical middle children probably were a different gender from their siblings, or didn't grow up as the middle among their siblings; like they were probably the family babies in their formative years before their younger sibs came along so they unfairly escaped the torments that we less fortunates went through. anyway, i'm going to forget these people for the rest of this entry because they aren't in the pain club and don't know what i'm talking about and are ultimately irrelevant!

getting back to the main matter, i've noticed that one of the distinct marks of the middle child is that s/he is (or at least feels like) just a filler. the eldest child is the leader, the youngest is the pet, and the middle child is the stuffing. we're just here to make up the numbers. we're the child our parents' friends don't remember; the one who's absence is unnoticed. sometimes we're basically nameless.

don't misunderstand, this is not a pity party! there are also many great things about being a middle child. it's nice to be forgotten when menial tasks need to be done, and when you're meeting parents' friends who are also awful and you can get out of talking to them because they don't care about you (thank God!). i mean, being the middle child is pretty freeing if you think carefully about it. my parents don't fawn over me, and check over everything i do, nor do they expect me to be The Responsible One. i'm at liberty to be myself without the pressure of my parents' constant supervision.

being the middle child is kind of a drag, but it's kind of great too. just like every difficult situation in life, it's an adventure and a challenge, something that moulds you and turns you into something beautiful and unique and special. ok so occasionally my parents forget i exist, and people only know me as so-and-so's sister, and it seems like no one understands me, but in the end, i'm glad i am the middle daughter. i'm glad that i go through all this crap because now i can understand what other people are going through. it's the pits to be forgotten, but now that i know what it's like to be invisible, other people's struggles become clearer to me. i recognise the struggling, and i understand that pain, and i realise that maybe somehow i can be a friend to those who feel like no one cares about them.

i used to think no one loved me at all, and sometimes even now these thoughts come back to me every once in awhile. i know what it feels like to believe the world is against you and that you're the scum of the earth. it's horrible and painful on the inside, and i'm sorry that anyone has to ever feel that way, because i know it feels terrible.

yet i don't regret ever getting to such a point. for their sake i regret doubting my parents and my family and their love for me, but i don't regret the times i spent sighing and crying and aching and sobbing, because these are experiences and exposures that help me to understand the pains that others go through. i am so glad that i have this pathway to empathy. only by having lived the misery do i ever get to genuinely commiserate with people who are hurting inside themselves.

if i had a chance to relive my life i think i'll do it the same way, even if it means that i have to sacrifice my eyes and my tears and the throbs of my heart all over again. i hate being introverted and shy and sensitive, and feeling things so deeply, but if it helps me (though other people have different ways) be a better friend, sister and daughter, then i will happily resign myself to my circumstance, and accept it with a full heart, knowing that it is all for the good will of God who makes everything wonderful and beautiful in His time.