- First impressions don’t really matter. Think about this: once you made a good impression; either by dressing up or acting like you normally wouldn’t, you’re gonna struggle a lot to preserve that image of you.
- Don’t expect people to treat you the same way as you treat them.
- You will meet new humans and you might have less time for the old ones, but keep in touch not just by seeing each other on social medias; initiate personal contact with them.
- People grow apart. According to Dunbar’s number, which is 150, that’s the average number of stable social relationships we can handle at one time. That means that, as you move on to next chapters in your life, the people in your direct vicinity change too and the names on the list of 150 change. Some names would be removed and replaced by new names. And that’s okay.
- People are generally nice and friendly, even if there is a language barrier.
- “It doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.” – Ryan Holiday
- Knowing just a few words/phrases in someone’s native language can easily make someone’s day. However, do not know too many or else it might convey the impression that you actually speak the language, which of course makes someone’s day even more, but then you’d have to put on a poker face because you absolutely understood nothing when they spoke more and that someone’s day would then be a teeny bit ruined.
- It’s possible to love platonically.
- It’s easier to make new friends when you’re alone…even easier if your new friend was also alone. Loners attract. That’s kwy’s Friendship Law.
- Despite the amount of friends I have (ya i admit that i’m quite sociable) I think it’s very important to be able to be alone, being the company of yourself. Though I have failed to execute this well at the time of finishing the draft.
- Do not text someone you care when you’re in the company of someone else you care. Two things here; you should respect the company; and because you might not be focusing completely on both parties, you might sound rude
- Trust your intuitions about someone you just met. Bad vibes always turns out to be true in some way. Protect yourself.
- You really only need a few friends that truly care about you and support you. Quality > quantity.
- When asking for advice: people will impose their reality on you and tell you stuff based on very different mindsets. So only ask for advice from people with whom you’d trade places with.
- Never take advantage of your friends in any regard. Or make them feel taken advantage of.
- Everyone has boundaries that might be very different from yours; physically, emotionally, mentally.
- Dropping someone off will always be hard, no matter how much that someone has wronged you.
- Envy shouldn’t exist in a friendship; you should be genuinely happy for a your friends’ achievements.
raw thoughts on this topic. feeling slightly better after almost-breakdowns today. hoping for a better tomorrow.
i loved writing. not just text producing, but actual writing by hand. there’s just something very soothing about transferring ink from pen and graphite from pencil to paper (i prefer the latter). i don’t have the best penmanship, there’s nothing unique about it other than it being very tiny at times; at least i don’t write cursive, but that’s for another day. anyway, that’s why i like to write cards; i really like practising the craft.
i am right-handed and i broke my right arm. the hand has been immobile since because of the splint. i am currently physically-disabled. so i have to learn to use my left hand in activities like brushing my teeth, using chopsticks, and writing. i’ve been practicing to write since day 2 and maybe i’ve made good progress cos people said things like “wow you write real good, it’s legible”; i think they’re too kind. i started out optimistic because this is an opportunity to train to be ambidextrous. but it didn’t escalate that quickly.
i stopped playing badminton intensively after my favourite player retired early because her knee ligament was torn and she could not regain her level of play. now i know what it’s like to have a torn knee ligament: it’s hard to straighten the leg and i couldn’t bend the leg completely. i go out with a crutch. i get offered seats. passersby give me pitiful glances.
i also suffer now and then from panic attacks and have experienced what it feels like to be depressed and i had mild suicidal thoughts before. ya, deep down i’m kinda screwed up. i know exactly when did i fall into this dark hole and though i know what’s it like outside the hole and how to crawl out of it, i’m still stuck inside. it’s worse now cos the stronger half of my limbs aren’t functioning. i guess i’ll stay here for a little while longer.
back to the question i posed on Instagram:
not surprisingly, most people think that a mental disability sucks more than a physical one. i would think so too, if i weren’t so handicapped now. as someone who has been affected in both ways to the point where i ceased to function as a normal human being, i think i am quite qualified to answer this.
i’ve been pondering upon this for a few weeks now. to me the question boiled down to something like:
what is worse? theoretically being able to do something but for some reason not do it or being theoretically unable to do something and thus not do it?
gotta thank French for this epiphany; merci for the existence of pouvoir and savoir.
i decided that it’s worse to be unable to do things because you simply cannot.
do you know how depressing it is:
to concentrate real hard on writing and it still happens slowly and comes out ugly?
to loathe writing when a long sentence is encountered? this is an understatement because after 3 weeks, i am officially avoiding writing. because i’m that incompetent.
to look at the mess at home and not being able to tidy it up as i wanted to?
to require assistance in basic tasks? i’m a burden to the people around me.
to despise walking?
to not be able to shower properly? i’m a dirtbag.
to realise that, without help, i couldn’t survive? what is self-sufficiency; seems like a million light years away.
however i must say that it’s definitely easier to recover from physical illnesses because of medical advances and people can actually help with it (surgeries, care, etc). although there are also drugs for mental illnesses (i’m never administered any btw), in the end the patient is the only one who could help themselves, no external interference will be extremely helpful.
take care, everybody. life is too short to be disabled.
In 4 days I’ve managed to do some very dumb (but luckily pretty minor) things that could demonstrate my skills in being so clumsy that one day i would die in such a dumb way that you couldn’t feel sad for me cos it’s so ridiculous.
- So I’ve cut fingers with a knife twice in two months now, that makes it an average of once per month. It’s not a very shallow cut and some flesh is missing and there was an amount of blood but ya im still alive. Handicap-level was quite high though I cut my left hand cos I could barely shower and do dishes without feeling pain and coincidentally i was smart enough to host parties at my place so i had to make my guests wash the plates,
- I choked while showering. Don’t ask me how.
- I sprained my ankle very badly this morning cos i wanted to wake up to kill the alarm clock but somehow i twisted my ankle. While being half conscious. I think it was because my legs were numb beforehand so my leg isn’t correctly aligned? And I panicked because of that annoying alarm so boom, I’m jumping around my house on my other good foot. Handicap level is mega high cos i can barely move without feeling pain at the swollen fat ankle.
First update came just two days after i published the original. i really am gonna kill myself soon am i? It’s Thursday and I haven’t left my residence since Monday night because of the sprained ankle. However, I’m feeling a lot of love from my friends; neighbours helping me buy stuff from the city and checking on me, friends coming over to study with me and accompanying me, and generally a lot of kind messages and tips on healing my ankle. Life is great. Okay not really cos there’s snow outside and i really wanna have a real snowball fight but i can barely run.
- the reason why i’ve been reluctant to leave my home is because i’d have to put on shoes cos it’s cold outside (at home in Malaysia it’s perfectly fine with slippers) but my classmate and i saw people building a snowwoman (we know it’s a woman because she has long hair. sorry i don’t have a picture) so i had to go out. In slippers. My extremities were so frozen that it hurt for a long while even when I got into the warmness of my house. so yeah. DUMB. But also, because of the freezing cold, i walked more normally in the snow cos my feet were numb.
This post will be updated as I gather more convincing proofs that one day i would have a tearless funeral.
It’s a strong word. It’s a strong verb. It’s a strong emotion.
I haven’t grieved for a long time; I’ve also never grieved the loss of a friend. I don’t know what to feel, or rather, I don’t know what I am feeling.
I don’t think my brain has completely registered it. Maybe it understood it for a while when there were tears streaming down my eyes while I was trying to study how to measure temperature. I didn’t exactly learn how to because it’s in German, the language that brought us together.
It’s been more than a year since we last saw each other in person, though we did do video calls with the others in Australia and Hong Kong this year. I will miss the random phone calls when I was in Göttingen, in Selangor, and in Osaka. I don’t think anyone else has ever tried to reach me at so many places.
I’m sorry for not texting you that often, especially since we started university, how was your university life actually? I’ve only managed to hear a little about it from other people’s mouths. I wish I talked to you personally instead.
I thought we had time. After all, we were supposed to have a Goethe reunion at some point right? And we’re all in Europe, a small continent, where it takes just over three hours to fly from one end to another end.
I cannot imagine how the others who were much closer to you are coping; I’m suffering. I had company the days before and couldn’t mourn properly. Tonight is dedicated to that.
It is strange.
I think, subconsciously, I believe that you’re gone. Yet consciously, my brain couldn’t grasp that concept. Alas, sometimes I couldn’t believe that my mom’s gone too, haha. Why are we alive if we would die anyway? What’s the purpose of life then?
I didn’t care enough to decipher your Instagram bio, but now I want to know. Maybe I’d write a computer program to find the answer. I hope you’re laughing in heavens at how much trouble this little beer lady will be going through.
How do I find your Spotify playlist that has the MAINSTREAM songs we listen to?
I’m drinking mead, aka honey wine, and I’m under alcohol influence but I also have to do the dishes myself later.
Brandenburger Tor, it’s been a week since I last texted you, why don’t you reply?
though i actually don’t feel that bad but it’s actually bad. why am i so optimistic. anyway it’s late so this is gonna be a listicle.
BAD THINGS THAT HAPPENED TODAY (November 12, 2018):
- Belgian train delays en route back to Aachen. The trains were never on time anyway.
- my bolster broke open and most of its inner organs came out while i washed it in the washing machine. i am so sad. the bolster has been with me for almost 15 years i think. i’m gonna be a surgeon and sew the wound. but tomorrow.
- i bought a cork board to better organise my stuff and i also bought Sugru for that matter but the board was too heavy and i spent 30 minutes trying to fix it on my wall and ultimately gave up which is shitty cos there are now stains on my wall and an unhanged cork board.
- i didn’t get a cheese cloth to sieve my honey oat vodka so i had to do it manually by hand. for a longgggg time. feeling so dumb.
- a bus driver got out of his bus to scold me cos apparently i was cycling to close to the bus.
- i normally look forward to receiving letters in the mail but today i got one that notifies me that i have to pay some taxes. worse thing is, they didn’t even spell my full name out and got my gender wrong. how dare they ask me for money if they don’t even respect my basic identity.
- freaking drying machine didn’t work
- i accidentally locked myself out of the room while returning some stuff to a friend. the problem could be easily solved cos i know the caretaker well. but. there is always a but. BUT lazy ass me has the habit of leaving my key in the keyhole so i don’t misplace them anywhere else in the room so my key was left in the keyhole and the replacement key wouldn’t work. that’s why the caretaker had to pry open my door (he did it in less than 30 seconds) and i have to pay a fine tomorrow.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE:
- i had a great weekend in Belgium though i spent too much money and calories.
- i managed to do some home improvement stuff
- i did rock-climbing!! it was soooooooo funnnnnnn i can’t wait to go again
- i handed in my homework on time
- i have great friends!!!
lame ol’ title cos i don’t have the time nor energy for a better one. then i should write when i think of something better? well, then, this would never be written.
I’ve been in Aachen for about two and a half weeks in total but it feels much longer than that, though I still rely on Google Maps and Apple Maps to get to places. I walk and run (to chase the buses) and take the buses a lot. I’m gonna get a bike soon cos the public transport isn’t punctual lol. Apparently cos some buses come from the Netherlands and Belgium. Haha.
I understood about 60% of the class because damn, it’s so bloody hard to learn something in another language!!! It’s kinda depressing…but i’ll get through it. I hope. There are about 70+ of us in this course, one of the smallest groups in the university; the most popular course, Mechanical Engineering, has like, 1500 students.
I spoke mostly in Mandarin dammit, why are there so many Mandarin-speaking people here?????? I had troubles understanding and expressing myself in German on the first few days, but now I’m starting to ghost Chinese people and befriend Germans so it could only be better from now. Yay.
I obtained a Bachelor of Beer certificate on my first day of university hahahahhaahhahahahaha. We had to drink ten beers in ten different bars in 9 hours but we finished it in 4.5 hours aahhahahahaha we are amazing ngehehehehhehehehhehe i can’t wait to be a double degree student wahahahahhahahaha i’m gonna list this on my CV.
I joined the juggling club. I understand the idea of it but my stupid arms cannot work like a robot…I hope I can join our seniors soon to play!!!
I was chosen to be the “Social Coordinator” of the Chinese-German Society, aka as “Party Coordinator”. Time to show China some Malaysian-Chinese culture.
The other Malaysians here are super amazing and we all had fun confusing the shit outta everyone when we speak in Mandarin and English. MALAYSIA BOLEH! Most of them are from Penang, or that part of the country, how surprising. And we are planning to start a Malaysian Club!
I told myself and a few close friends a few months ago that I wanted to be antisocial in uni..IT IS NOT WORKING.
In the past two years, I have had to bid farewell too many times; either temporarily, eternally, or it-might-be-temporary-but-could-be-eternal-too-ly.
Before that, the major goodbyes that I had to say were on the last day of primary school, the day my mom died, and the last day of secondary (high) school, spanning five years.
What do you mean by major goodbyes?
The case with my mom, that’s obvious. As for others, my school mates and teachers, it could be goodbye forever unless we make an effort to keep in touch and try to see each other again. Major goodbyes also consists of leaving a physical location and a phase of life. For me, mostly people though.
Yet in the last two years, the rate of Goodbyes for me increased tremendously; I’m not talking about some random stranger I met on a random day, I mean people that I have had the chance to form an emotional attachment to; places that I’ve lived in (different from a short getaway, this typically means living somewhere for at least 2 weeks and leading a normal life, doing non-touristy things but human things); stages of my life where after I completed the current activity that’s beneficial to my future, I would never ever repeat that activity again. Allow me to elaborate.
I believe this is self-explanatory. Surely you have experienced that feeling of sadness and heartbreak.
I am lucky to have the chance make friends from all over the world. I met most of them while studying German in Germany, over there, a course typically runs for a month or two months; I did two two-month courses and three one-month courses, so five courses; some people were only there for a course or two. I was meeting new people at the beginning of every course but I also had to say goodbyes at the end of every course. A lot of my friends back home wouldnt be able to relate because how could I be so heartbroken for people I’ve just known for a month or two? Well, try seeing the same people every day during 80% of your waking hours. Some maths: so a normal human is probably awake for 16 hours per day (going by the 8 hour per night guideine), 80% will be 11.4 hours, per day. Sounds a lot? Because it is. Most of my classes started at 8.30am and ended at 1pm, we hung out during breaktimes too. Then we had lunch together. After lunch normally we split up and went back to our own rooms to mind our own businesses. Then we’d have teatimes. Then dinner. And more hanging out after dinner. That’s a shit ton of time spent together with someone I’ve just met.
In contrast, back in the school days in Malaysia, I was basically just home after school and the only times I got to see my friends and talk nonsense were during recesses, co-curricular activities, and maybe weekend meetups but that was rare cos we couldn’t drive yet. It’s actually not a lot of time. I’m trying to say that I might have spent more time in a month in Germany with someone new in my life than someone back home whom I’ve known since primary school.
Oops sorry this turned out more long-winded than I expected. Back to it.
So there’s five goodbyes just at the language institutes in Germany. And I met some of the people again but we had to say goodbye again and honestly that really sucked. Through my solo trips this year to Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia, I’ve had to bid more farewells because really, when would I see any of those people again?
I also had to remove some people from my life, normally toxic people but sometimes, just friends who grew apart. Think about it…these might be unspoken goodbyes. Sad. Yet I have no control over these things.
Last year, I left Freiburg im Breisgau where I spent a total of six months three times; I cried on every occasion. It literally broke my heart every time but I suspect that most of it has got to do with the people I met there. People again. Darn it.
Leaving Germany in November was another odd farewell. Though I was sure that I’d be back in within a year, I couldn’t help but felt an emptiness in my heart while boarding the plane.
Gaining a better appreciation of people and life, I also had little twitches in my heart when having to depart from Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia. Although I might have complained about things, the question that would pop into my mind whenever I’m on my way to the airport was: When would I see these places again?
PHASE OF LIFE
From being a baby to going to the kindergarten, then primary school, then secondary school, then college/pre-uni; those are different life phases. Most people I grew up with follow the same trajectory up till the end of secondary school, then we all diverged. Some went to university, some started working. I studied Cambridge Advanced-Levels. Most of my coursemates went to study right after while I learnt the German language. The past nine months or so being home is essentially a gap year, which I’m glad that I used to gain more life experiences. I’m blessed in so many ways and am grateful for it.
After this, I’m starting university; two years later than most peers; but I’d be there. I cannot imagine the life after studies though…at this point I’ve spent more than three quarters of my life studying I cannot visualise anything without it. Ha. Ha.
I looked forward into starting the new life but now that it’s really happening, I find myself sad. It’s a weird mix of feelings.
Sad to leave my family and friends here, sad to leave the previous phase of life (the #foreveralone phase), sad to leave Malaysia.
This is one of my worst writings, possibly because of my laborious attempt to transition to German time while being in Malaysia…I am sleep deprived. Also it took me more than a month to write this and this is a last minute finish. Mmm, gotta have better writing strategies after this.
Thank you for reading if you’ve made it to here.