I’ve got no good cover photo to use for this blog. Mainly because the amount of photos I’ve taken the last month and a half can be counted with just 1 finger, or none at all.

On that note, I should consider going outside tomorrow and doing something. I have been feeling a little cramped lately.

It’s been a good month since I last posted. No real reason for it, I just never felt a need to write a blog. In fact, I don’t really feel the need now, but that’s for later. I’ve got a checklist for points I’d like to hit, so it’s time to get started. I guess I should just sub-headers again, they were kind of fun.

Cindy is Eighteen

5 years is a long time

5 years is a long time

It makes sense to start off with something that happened recently.

Although it was not on her birthday, 15 is a pretty close number to 16, so it was good enough.

It was a fun time, some segregation (as Stephanie says) and some mingling was present, but it was still quite fun. I can definitely say I don’t miss IB exams at all, seeing how some of them were studying there. Others apparently should’ve been studying, but to nobody’s surprise, Osu! and League were much more appealing activities.

But man, realizing that Cindy’s 18 is realizing that I’ve known her for 5 years (give or take some months).

Wow.

5 years is the amount of time to start and finish secondary school. I remember grades 8 to 12 felt like forever when I lived them, yet for someone else those 5 years passed so quickly.

I was actually quite surprised that it had been so long. I could suddenly understand the perspectives of my parent’s adult friends. They would visit maybe once or twice every year or so, and each time would remark how much I’ve grown. To me that always seemed so weird. I mean, of course I’ve grown, time has passed. It just makes logical sense that during a child’s period of growth, a year or two would result in large changes. But now I can understand. As we live our lives, we (obviously) focus on what happens around us. Life is a day to day, moment to moment struggle. Seeing the growth of other people lets you step back, and realize all that has happened.

There’s also the point that living every moment of life as myself (wow, big surprise!!), I don’t really notice change in myself as easily as someone else would. I like to think of it in a photography related manner. Being myself, I get to see myself every moment of everyday. Let’s say that is akin to taking a photo of myself every minute. If I were living the life of someone else, say my parent’s adult friends, they see me maybe once or twice a year. Let’s say that is akin to taking a snapshot of me every year. When one compares the photography I take of myself, there is minimal difference between them. Only 1 minute has passed after all. Maybe my hair got moved a bit, but that’s all. If you look at the yearly photos instead, it’s much easier to see change.

I’m not sure why I just explained that. After writing it, I felt like my point was obvious, though it was probably not clearly expressed.

Anyways.

At Cindy’s party I met Atho (Antho? Anthony?) in person for the first time. I always thought it was ‘Antho’, but now looking at it, maybe ‘Atho’ is what his display name actually was. Oh well.

I exchanged maybe like 10 sentences with him, but he doesn’t seem to remember me, not that I blame him. It’s hard to remember every stranger you seldom interact with. In fact, I can’t even remember what the last game I played with him was. Left4Dead? League? Something else? The struggle.

42 Days

Wow, it’s been 6 weeks since my last blog.

Many things have happened, including final exams, networking, job searching, family struggles, Overwatch, and zero personal development.

That last one might just be me not realizing it though.

I’ve used to always use this blog as somewhere to vent and/or discuss feelings (usually vent). The last few weeks had a lot of pent-up emotions, so why didn’t I blog?

I’m not really sure.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the last few weeks, every time I had a pent-up emotion, I would just run through scenarios in my head.

Why am I feeling this way?

What would I say if they confronted me about it?

Is there a justification for me feeling this way?

How do I resolve this?

It calms me down, lets me think more rationally about the topic, and eventually I don’t feel out of control emotions anymore.

But I don’t blog.

Since there’s no real point, and I don’t feel anymore need to write anything.

Also, there’s always this nagging feeling of what to include and what to not include.

While this is a personal blog, and probably no one in any position to make life super awful for me will read this, it just doesn’t feel right to include too much personal information. Not information as in name, date of birth, or phone number, but something else. I don’t feel right writing ‘I hate my parents’, because while I might feel that way at that moment, it’s not something I would or should say afterwards. I find myself looking at what I write from an outside perspective.

If someone were to judge who I was based off what I write, what would this sentence say about me?

And in turn, a lot of what I write falls into depravity of ‘trying to fit in’. Much like in day to day interactions, I want others to see a certain side of me. They can’t see why I chose the action I did, so they can only base assumptions of my character based on my actions. The quote “we judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their behaviour” (apparently by Stephen M.R. Covey) fits well here. That translates over to my blog as well. Readers can’t see why I chose the words or structure that I did, but they can see what I chose. I wouldn’t want to (nowadays, I a lot of previous blogs that probably have this exact phrase) ever write “I hate my parents” or “I want to kill myself” because it portrays at characterization of me that I don’t want associated with me. Yet, at that moment I do feel that way.

Sometimes I end up writing that sentence, or something similar, but sometimes I don’t. That constant choice of what to include and what to avoid is much too annoying to handle, and usually puts me off from writing. If writing is supposed to be a relaxing past-time for me, I’m not going to continue if it’s no longer a relaxing past-time.

I am Twenty-One

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Phone camera comes with phone quality.

At the end of every April, I grow older another year.

This time I have achieved 21 years of life.

Not much has really changed since last year. At least that is what I think.

I’ve switched from SFU to UBC. I now use Discord instead of Skype. I am now 21 instead of 20.

Nothing really big. I am still mainly the same person I was a year ago, but I guess that makes sense. Even if 365 days go by, I am not going to suddenly become a different person.

At that’s kind of a disappointment.

I wish I had changed more, improved at those issues I’ve had about myself, maybe create new issues as well. But alas, that is not to be. Instead, I’ve just become more at peace with my problems, and less motivated to improve. My eyes have gotten worse, my general health seems to be declining, but overall nothing has really changed.

I wonder if that’s how it’s going to be 20 years from now.

I become more at peace with myself, my eyes have gotten worse, my general health seems to have declined a bit, but overall nothing has really changed.

It sounds a bit saddening actually. Oh well, I’ll live.

Alcohol

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Yay, more phone quality. This was also in the dark, so it is quite a noisy photo.

Generally tastes pretty bad.

The amount of red wines I’ve tried over the few months have not been too impressive. It has not made me want to try other kinds of wines or cocktails or anything alcohol related.

I still have yet to really get drunk. I think it comes with the fact that I have yet really drank a lot of alcohol. 2-3 cans of beer isn’t very alcohol intensive. I guess I’ve just got to keep waiting for that opportunity to arise. Allen’s offer to go drinking as yet to transpire, so there’s that I guess. I don’t really think I’ll ever drink with my friends, as drinking involves not driving, and living where I do, not driving seems like an impossible criteria to overcome. I guess it could occur at my house, but then that limitation falls upon other people, and at the end of the day, that’s just passing the problem to someone else.

My parents also gave me a lecture on alcohol yesterday.

To put some context to this, I have drank alcohol in front of them, I have generally drank more than them during those moments, and I have not ever done anything truly stupid because of alcohol. I am also twenty-one.

I was told to ‘never drink alcohol with your friends, you can’t trust them’. I was told I ‘cannot stay out past 11, it’s dangerous’. I was told ‘don’t drink and drive’.

I took insult to the first one. Even if you were to very intensely judge my group of friends, I don’t think it would ever be fair to say that any of them are ‘irresponsible drinkers’. In fact, I would be much more eager to place them under the category of ‘people who hate alcohol’ than anything else. To say that I can’t trust my friends to drink around them sounds like a hypocritical thing to say when they only drink with their friends. I mean, I’m brought along solely as a way for them to drink and be able to get driven home again.

The second is so limiting. While I understand the overall premise that staying out late is generally problematic, I also can differentiate situations from each other and make a decision whether or not it’s too late. I do not want, or need, a blanket limitation for things. Every situation is different, and I can make that judgement then. Also, their problem seemed to be more ‘it is bothering your host’s family’ than anything else. What if their family isn’t there? What if their family is okay with it and just sleeps anyways? I find it frustrating that there are all these possibilities, but I’m just told to not consider the differences.

The third is so obvious that I felt offended I had to be told. In fact, out of the three people in my family, I am probably the most straight-laced one about driving. My mom legitimately drank 3 cups of wine last week, and then said she was going to drive. My dad tells me that you can drink 3-4 cans of beer and drive fine. My entire life I’ve seem to break this rule over and over, and here I am, trying to generally follow this rule, and then get told that it’s dangerous.

Actually, writing this, I realized I had a small sip of 17% alcohol soju that night, and that I indeed did ‘drink and drive’, albeit at a much lower scale.

I’m still annoyed though.

Summer Once Again

Sun, heat, shorts, no jackets, and a time to meet with friends.

It’s that time of year again.

But just because it’s that time of year again, doesn’t mean that the same things as last year will happen.

In fact, one thing I can already confirm that is different is the reduced ability to catch up with friends.

Sean – somewhere in San Jose (?) at Intel for the next year.

Jimmy – I think is working at Google.

Clay – MIA.

Alex – I think is working.

Yuchen – Working. But the guy is pretty much a ghost (to me at least)

I had a chance to meet with one of them, but wasn’t able to attend. Missing that was quite sad. Frustrating as well.

Summer usually means summer school for me, but 3 weeks ago I was sure it wouldn’t be the same this year.

I was 20.

I hadn’t registered for any courses.

I was going to find full-time work (anywhere).

I was going to make a schedule around that work to indulge in hobbies, and hopefully live a better lifestyle.

I was going to work the grind of networking in preparation for CPA Recruit.

But life never goes as you planned.

Now I am 21.

I am registered for an online Astronomy course.

I am enrolled in a Real Estate Trading Services Licensing online course that requires 20 hours/assignment.

I had to change my job applications to part-time and most likely got declined because of it.

I have much too sporadic a schedule to plan anything ahead of time.

I now feel less independent than I did 6 years ago.

Some way or another, none of my goals, aspirations, or intentions translated over to reality.

I had a small goal of picking up a CRT and trying to get into competitive Melee. I originally thought of that goal around 3-4 weeks ago, and it looked like it could become a reality. I only had to choose a CRT from the hundreds on Craigslist, borrow JV’s copy of Melee, and set aside some time to practice & enter tournaments. Now, it looks impossible. It has nothing to do with any of the things I just listed, but more from things that were not a problem 3-4 weeks ago, being a large problem now.

Looks like my summer goals are going to be pushed back another term/year/life.

A Short Rant on Independence

I know I just said that I have been venting all of my frustrations through my head, but this one is special. I indeed have been pushing this one through the whole ‘self-reflection’ process, but every time the process is complete, it starts all over again.

Let me start with a disclaimer. My parents are good people with good intentions and wish the best for me.

Now let me start my ‘opinion piece’. My parents are not good parents.

You act like such a child.

Is a phrase I’ve been hearing a lot. Not in English, mind you, as my parents only speak Mandarin to me. A language I do not have a good grasp of. To say that I am ‘verbally fluent’ as my resume says, is maybe stretching it a bit. I had handle basic and intermediate level conversations perfectly fine, but you throw in some seldom used words, or more technical terms, and I am down for the count. It doesn’t help that I can’t communicate how I want to, as I go through the process of thinking of what I want to say in English, changing it into Mandarin, and then trying to think of remedies for my lack of vocabulary. It usually ends up in me not being able to communicate properly when it’s about anything important.

I have the burdens of an adult with the treatment of a child.

That is to say, my parents expect me to act the way an independent adult would, while acting as if I was a child.

I am to be responsible and make reasonable judgements on what to do and how to do it, yet I am constantly faced with restrictions of what I am able to do.

Example: I am expected to have found a internship position at a big four accounting position (for those of you unaware, this is probably a less than 0.1% chance of success), yet I am not given the time to go through the needed networking and associated tasks necessary for such a position to take place.

I am expected to be able to find a employment while balancing studies and trying to improve myself as a person, but my out of school time is spent working for my mother, helping my father, or doing tasks they do not want to achieve. I am so furious as my mother for constantly being upset at me over my lack of employment, when literally the week before she basically made me unable to not get a job. The position was looking for full-time only, I applied as someone looking for full-time only, and then I was told by her that I could only work part-time because I had to spend the rest of my time at her office (because she told her actual employed workers to take an extended break to save costs), and learning UBC’s year long Real Estate Trading program in about 2.5 months. I was then told that I am an incompetent individual who has only brought shame to their family and have costed my parents a lot of undue stress. Because of those issues, they decided that the best path for me was to forget anything I have ever wanted, and listen to them.

I was then chastised the next day for having no personal aspirations or goals, and having to have my entire life path chosen by them.

I’ve always wondered, why does a parent want to have a child? Is to to bring life into this world? Is it to have someone to accompany them when they’re older? Is it to continue their family’s legacies and stories? I’ve categorized the reasons into two groups: for the child, and for the parents. ‘For the child’ is a category where the reasons for having a child is mainly about the child. To let someone else live a good life. To bring another happy individual into this world. To let someone’s future aspirates bloom. ‘For the parent’ is a category where the reason for having a child is mainly about the parents. To have someone continue the traditions of their family. To have a heir. To have someone who can take care of them when they grow old. Neither of them are inherently good or bad, it’s just how you go about them.

My parents always tell me that they will always support me in what I do, and are here to make my life better. Very child focused attitude.

Yet what I feel is that they will only support me if what I am doing is what they want me to do. Not so much child focused.

I remember when I had my first confrontation with my parents. I was 16. That day, I remember screaming ‘I know you only want me to succeed because then you can brag about it to friends and family’. My dad looked hurt, and my mom screamed at me saying I knew nothing and that they only want me to be happy, regardless of success. At that moment, I honestly believed the only reason they pushed all these loft ideals and goals on me were so they could themselves benefit from it. Either financially or emotionally. Anything was okay. Their response made me kind of believe them. I had be doing a lot of reading to try and understand why my parents acted so different from the ideal western parent. I know that they believed that the path they chose for me would the best one in terms of financial stability and social status. The path they chose was the one seemed to be the best one after their filtered all the options through their livelihood and experience. From their perspective, the path I was going on would lead to more painful struggles. As a parent, they wanted to make sure I would live a happy life, and pushed me towards a path where there would be less problems. That is what they thought.

I don’t think they considered the issues that arise from their pushing of their goals on someone else. I am definitely not happy living the life that they chose for me. While up to this day I have not really faced many large problems like injuries, financial problems, or emotional trauma, I am definitely not as learned in the world as I would have been if I had experienced them. While secondhand learning (thank you psychology for your efforts, but I do not remember the actual term for this) is indeed a thing, one learns much better experiencing it themselves. I would also be (I think) much happier living a life where my problems come from my choices, than a life where my problems come from someone else’s choices. I much rather clean up the problems I create, than the problems someone else creates.

When I think about, not much of who I am now was by my choice. My career path, accounting, was chosen by my mother. I would have probably chosen engineering or computer science. My education path was chosen by my parents. Synergy was not the program I had wanted to apply to, that was Eric Hamber’s mini school. IB was not the path I had wanted, my parents wanted that for me. I did not want to take HL Math, Physics, and Chemistry, but I felt that if I chose any other subjects, my parents would not approve. I did not really chose to transfer to UBC, my mother and grandparents said that UBC was the better school, and off I went. I did not choose to study real estate, but here I am now.

At the end of it all, what do I want changed? While it’s not too late to change my disipline, schools, and life, I am not exactly unhappy with my current situation. While I would be happier doing something else, it’s not an awful time over in my camp. However, what I do want to be changed, is how my parents parent. If they want me to achieve something, I only wish to be granted an environment where achieving that is possible. I don’t want to be told that I don’t go outside enough, but then be told going out to play once a month is ‘more than enough’. I no longer wish to be expected to find a job, then be told I am not allowed to find a job.

So why don’t I tell them?

Because I can’t.

While language deficiency is indeed a very real problem as I can’t explain my points well enough in Mandarin to make my mom understand, and they don’t understand English well enough for me to read this, my main problem is my parents will not change. Either they are just unwilling to change, or unable to change. Regardless, every confrontation I’ve had with my parents about this, results in them spending the next few days unhappy at what I’ve done, ignoring everything I’ve ever said, telling me what I’ve said is wrong, and then playing the I-gave-birth-to-you-so-you-better-shut-up-and-listen card. The topic is no longer ever able to be discussed or else I will be thrown a list of expectations I’ve failed to reach. While the failures are exactly what I want to talk about, I want to talk about why I wasn’t able to achieve them, but they only want to talk about how I wasn’t able to achieve them. There is no ‘why’ beyond ‘you didn’t try hard enough’. No one tells the hockey player that missed their last shot of the last game in the Stanley Cup Finals that ‘you lost because you didn’t work hard enough’. Everyone understands that they indeed worked hard enough to reach their goal, which is why they were so close to achieving it. Their failure was the result of so many other things. Bad management by the staff, a lack of skill, the other team being better that day, the food they ate was bad, a fan screaming obscenities in their ear, a piece of ice changing the angle of their shot, another player missing a shot in a previous game. So many things could have caused that missed shot, but at the end of the day the only person to get blamed is them. While it might not be the perfect analogy, that is how I feel.

I also kind of want to move out. I’ve never really had this urge up until recently, but it sounds like a great idea. A lot of chance of that ‘personal development’ that I’ve been chasing, and a lot more freedom that comes with the extra responsibility. Though I don’t think I could ever convince my parents of it unless I got a job somewhere far away (beyond 1-2 hours of driving), but this seems to be a new goal of mine. Hopefully it’s a goal that comes soon. Though I’m not too sure how great it feels to move out and gain freedom, and then some time later move back in and lose it all. Hopefully it’s something I won’t have to ever experience. Thinking of living alone reminds me of the week trip I had in the states. While it was definitely not freedom as there was a schedule for every waking hour of the day, it definitely was a sigh of fresh air. Not sure when I’ll ever get to have this kind of talk, as having a talk about gaining more control of my life results in me becoming fearful of every moment I am at home.

Conclusion?

I felt like I needed a header to separate the previous point from the closing I was going to write. I’m not sure what word I could use instead of ‘Conclusion’, but I’ll try to give it more of a thought next time.

Sometimes I feel like I should plan out what I want to write beforehand, but most of what I write is thought of on the spot. I always feel like if I plan out what I want to write beforehand, it just limits what I think about to just what I prepared. But without preparing anything, I never remember everything that I wanted to say. Oh well.

Life’s pretty rough, and being at home is no longer a ‘safe’ place for me anymore. But this is still a small problem relative to the other possibilities I could be facing. I’m not starving, dying, or living in a warzone, so life is pretty good in that respect. I’ve just got some of that first-world problems, and I’m having some difficulty continuing to deal with all of it. But there’s not much else to do but deal with it and just soldier on. If anything, that’s the only thing that I’m great at – dealing with it and moving on.

And with that, this way to long blog post can come to a rest.

Hopefully things will be better later on, but it’s not yet bad enough that I can’t handle it.

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