“Constant fear of falling erases even your will to fly”

I’ve got Nine Muses new mini album on repeat right now. I’m not sure how I feel about the PV for “Wild”, but the mini album is wonderful. “Spotlight” and “action” are brilliant, mature pop tracks and OK, “wild” is not too bad either. It’s great to have something new to listen to- K pop is constantly disappointing me lately, and I’m very out of touch with the Japanese music scene. Although, there is always the old favourites to turn to. Actually, I was listening to Ayu’s album “secret” when I saw it had been released in 2006 and I realized I had been listening to Japanese music for about eight years now. That’s a little crazy, to think of myself, 13 years old and discovering the likes of Hamasaki Ayumi and Gackt for the first time, falling in love with Japan and the Japanese language. Eight years later and I’ve still not managed to learn more Japanese than “Arigatou” but I’m about to visit Japan for the 2nd time. Of course, before that I’ve got exams to get through first.

Currently, I’m spending a large chunk of my time in the library studying with my friend and it’s amazing how much more tolerable long hours struck in the library, tired and hungry and frustrated with endless revision, is when not alone. My friend has been helpful and we’ve had a lot of random conversations to break up the time. I realized this is the very first time I’m really talking to a guy, beyond the polite non-conversation, and its interesting. I’m still worried about saying too much,  becoming too comfortable but mostly I’m relaxed and its easy and enjoyable to not be alone. He’s also been wonderfully tolerant of my moaning. I realized this week that I can be incredibly whiny. I don’t mean to but something my friend said, maybe his tone made me realize just how much I had been complaining and I felt a little embarrassed. I don’t want to be one of those people that only has negative things to say. I have friend who is like this- but in the opposite way. She’s very upbeat and positive, very ME ME ME about it all to- listen to how wonderful my life is, and listen to me telling you that everything is wonderful in your life too…sometimes you just want to shake her and tell her that sometimes things are not OK, and that’s its OK to admit to that. But then there’s me and I realized that lately I’ll been all ME ME ME, listen to how much my life sucks and its like, shut up already self. My friend has been so wonderfully patient with my whining but I highly doubt he wants to listen to it all the time. I’ve definitely got to try and be more positive.

Even though, things are hard right now. I’m still very stressed out and anxious. I had my first exam yesterday which was my weakest subject- telecommunications. I had been stupidly hopeful that because I had worked, I had revised I would manage to scrap a pass. Alas,  it really did not go well at all. I opened the paper and my mind just went blank. I knew the first two questions, they were exact copies of the past papers and tutorials I had done multiple times but I just could not remember. I just could not think. Then it got to the last two questions and all I wanted to do was cry. They were strange questions, difficult questions. The more I went over the questions, the more my mind went blank.  The more I tried to think, the more I could not. The more panicked and anxious I became. By the end of the exam I was near tears. I knew it. I did . And yet, I could not do it. Worse, I was talking to my friend today and I really did make some very stupid mistakes that I should not have. I should have done better. I am terrified. In order to progress to the MEng I have to pass all my exams. Its the first requirement. But for this subject I fucked up the lab report, and now the exam too.

Thursday night, I was so sad and disappointed that I could not concentrate and although I went out to the library to study I ended up getting nowhere. My brain still would not get into gear. Today, too, I struggled to concentrate on revision. I’m so close to finishing this year, but I’ve already lost motivation. I think that I’ve become  so scared of failure that it has paralysed me and that is so ridiculous. Snap out of it, I tell myself. But I’m like that overly positive friend telling me to cheer up- empty words that don’t do very much at all but frustrate the one who has to hear it. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to fix this, I think. I don’t know how to “snap out of it” I don’t even really know what I’m feeling or why. It’s all a bit crazy.

Today, I woke up fairly late, then tried to bring some order to my room in preparation to getting it cleaned. With exams and everything I turned my back on cleaning and it just started to pile up, so seeing so I can get my room cleaned for free, I decided I would. I was not prepared for it. They were supposed to come at 1.00pm. At 1.30pm I was frantically pacing, wondering where they were. Then there was the knock on the door. I stepped out. They stepped in.  I heard…noises. Out of the corner of my eye I saw them moving things. I tried to look busy by fucking around on my phone but curiosity and nervousness made it difficult to concentrate on anything. My room really was in a terrible state and I know they deal with students and they’ve probably seen it all, but I still could not help imagine them judging me. In the end they gave my room the ruthless, thorough cleaning it needed. They did move some things, and accidentally threw away a pair of my socks, but I think that’s a fair price for how glowy and clean my room is now. It’s nice to have a clean, shiny environment. And OK, its pretty great to have that without having lifted a finger myself. One less thing for me to stress about, you know?

After my room was cleaned it was back to the library, sitting by my friend and trying to get stuff done. Today was slightly better than last night, admittedly. Most of the crushing disappointment has lifted, and my friend’s reassurances that everything will be OK actually did help, because sometimes you do need to hear things like that. And there’s a clear  difference between me and the person I used to be- the person I was would say “If I’m going to fail, why bother?” but now even if I feel like I’m going to fail, I’m not going down without a fight. I cannot let my fear of failure stop me from even trying. My next exam is on Tuesday- which will be mathematics. Then my last is on Thursday- electronic engineering. As much I long for them to done with already, I need to stay positive and work hard.  No matter how exhausted and sick of everything I feel, I gotta keep fighting my way towards my dream. Towards the future. I will not give up on (my) life again. I must not.

I do wish though that there wasn’t the constant threat of ” too late.”

“Will the moon understand my loneliness? Wonder if the stars understand my scars.”

Yesterday actually turned out to be a lovely day. I had one lecture in the afternoon, so I slept in and took my time to get ready. Once I got to lecture my friend told me he’d pick me up later, which was very helpful, then went off before I could ask him to be just a little bit more specific. I managed to get his attention after the lecture and he told me he’ll pick me up in 15 minutes. Ok, so I was no expecting such a small time frame. I rushed back to halls and threw everything into my handbag and only just noticed he’d texted me that he was already there. 5 minutes early. Typical. I rushed out and met him outside halls and then we drove to the mall. We chatted the whole way and it wasn’t awkward, you know. It was actually quite nice. i mean, I did say some things that made me go fuck self, really but not as bad I can get. Nothing mortifying. At the mall we went and ate supper- subway sandwiches, and he bought us these Chinese sesame snacks which were very tasty. The one had a peanut filling, and the other had something called lotus(?) in them. I have no idea what that is. Poor guy could not explain in English either XD We finished just on time for the movie. By this time I was nervous…because he kept telling me we were going to see a horror movie, after I told him I’d watch anything but horror. Oh I knew he was joking, but I wasn’t quite sure. Thankfully, It turned out to be a action movie. He seemed greatly amused at my relief. ¬__¬ It was a terrible movie, but in a fun way. We giggled and whispered to each other throughout which only made it more entertaining. Its also really weird and interesting that in this country they blank out the audio every time a character swears, which makes for an intriguing movie experience!

Once the movie was over, my friend drove me back to halls, and we still talked and I was actually still managing to not make a fool of myself.

I think though… I think I’m more socially awkward when you first meet me. If you get through the initial “did she really just say what I thought she said?” and bouts of uncomfortable silence as you wait for me to respond, and don’t make a HUGE DEAL of the fact that I am shy, then its actually ok. It’s just, most people don’t get past the shyness, or make a huge deal out of and make me feel even more uncomfortable than I already probably am. (seriously, if someone is shy don’t draw attention to it, please? it’s like saying well, this is awkward and effectively making it more so) There are so few people who will stick around. Who will make an effort to get past and to accept the silences, the offishness and the awkwardness, and see the other parts of my personality. I’d like to think that I am more than just shy and awkward, that underneath that there is something worth getting to know. :( But there are few who will take my personality just as it is, and accept it.   I cannot believe this person seems to have.

Anyway, I had a lovely time. You know , this was the first time I went outside of uni with someone I met at uni? And it wasn’t nerve wracking. I came back and I wasn’t exhausted, just really relaxed and happy, because I had been exactly myself. That sounds weird, but I have such trouble trusting people that I am constantly putting up walls, getting anxious, and I rarely relax and be myself. I always look forward to seeing my sister or my best friend, as they have always been the only ones that I can let my guard down around, and that is such a fucking relief you know. it feels so wonderful jut to be myself for even a few hours and not to have to worry about it. in this case, not have to worry too much. I’m not entirely trusting this person yet. Really, it makes me terrified to think I am beginning to trust them, because I don’t want to. I want to put my walls back up and stay hidden behind them, always. I have been hurt before, and I don’t want to be hurt again. And it also makes me so, so sad that I’d have to make someone I would sorta call a friend here. Although I sometimes think to myself I’m ready to leave Malaysia, sometimes I do think I don’t want to leave. I’m conflicted, basically. There are definitely some things I will miss about here. I have begun to feel slightly settled here.

That’s the thing about studying abroad for a year. It is that you go for a year, which gives you the safety of a return ticket, but you are going for a year, which gives you plenty of time to settle, then having to leave just as you think to yourself, yeah, I’m doing OK here. And I do miss things about the UK. When I get frustrated or down its reassuring to think about going back. But at the same time I don’t like the UK. I’ve never felt like I fit there. It’s never felt right. It’s not my home and I’ve never thought of it such. I don’t know. Maybe when I go back the time away will have uncovered some fondness for the country?

Its just, more than that,I am dreading going to university for third year back in the UK. I did not make any friends in first year, and by third year everyone will be in pretty solid friendship groups. Where am I going to fit in? I did not fit in the first time, after all. I’m too shy, I don’t drink and I don’t go clubbing and in the UK if you don’t do those things, making friends becomes infinitely harder. Almost too hard to bother. I have a huge group project next year and I worry. Who will I be with? Will I get on with them? It’s wierd. I have been in a different university every single year for the past three years, and now I am returning to the same one as first year. Just.. it makes me nervous.

And I do feel sad that I’m probably never going to see, or speak to, these friends I’ve begin to make here ever again. :( I want to onto onto these friendships somehow, even though I’m not sure if they are actually friendships, if I’m not making a big deal out of nothing (as I tend to do, admiteddly). I don’t know. Just, I had so much fun yesterday. And studying in the libary. Sitting whispering to each other in lectures. All these small things I’ve never had in my foundation or first year of uni. All these tiny little social interactions that I did not think I needed or would enjoy, but I do. I do.

It’s always on my mind now. Just two months to go. I cannot believe how quickly the time is going. I’m starting to get really scared. About my last bunch of exams, about going to Japan, and finally, going back to the UK. It’s just happening so quickly.

“There’s an innocence I possess. But you, you keep snatching it away, even from the smallest openings”

pavilin_2
pavilin_2
The past week has been a particularly stressful one, despite having a lot of free time deadlines are beginning to pile up, and exam time tables have even been released which means I’ve had to start getting serious about revision. That is, I am going to have to. Last week I was preoccupied with a particularly awful maths coursework due on Thursday.

I’d been good and started it when it was issued, weeks ago, but every time I sat down to it I became lost and confused. I literally could not do it. This meant that by Wednesday I still had not completed a single question. Thus, I found myself sat in the library with my friend for the majority of Wednesday afternoon, struggling through it together. We did as much as we could, then went home. I took a break then sat down to work on it some more, found the stupid error that was messing up everything, and then redid most of it all over again. At 1am I was lying awake and reading, when my friend texted me. I offered to help him. So he came by my halls and we sat and discussed it for a little bit. That was awkward. I was bare faced, with wet newly washed hair and in my pajamas. Thankfully in the time it took for him to drive here I had managed to get dressed at least, but I still wonder at the fact that he drove all the way here for my work. Well, in the end  I completed my maths coursework about an hour before the deadline and by skipping all my lectures on Thursday. A job well done, clearly. Honestly, by the end I was near crying with frustration. I wanted to do better this semester, but I am still struggling. It’s not like I am not trying to be good and getting things done- its just  cannot do it. I spend hours struggling with just a handful of questions, or reading through notes that might as well as be in Russian for all I understand them. That is why I am so, so grateful for this friend. It is so good to have support from someone. But it’s so frustrating that I had to find someone like that here, when I have so little time here. :/

After the stress of Thursday, I was badly in need of a break. In a lucky coincidence my lecture was cancelled on Friday so off I went to KL to shop. I’d given myself a generous budget for the day and was quite excited. Naturally, the day would go terrifically wrong.

{Lengthy post under the cut}

Day by Day

It’s been a while since I posted regularly hasn’t it? Reading through my last entry its completely obvious how out of practice I am- and how stressed I was at that time. I have an unfortunate habit of using lots! of! exclamation marks! when stressed! It doesn’t read well does it? I also find that I have been so stressed lately that blogging became just another thing I have to do which it should never be. I want a record of my time here in Malaysia and that isn’t going to write itself, and that doesn’t have to be a chore.I admit, everything seems like too much effort lately. I am feeling very drained. My last exam was yesterday and so I ended up staying up until 4am reading and totally I woke up at 2pm, literally woke up, as if 10 hours of sleep is a natural amount to be completely passed out for, and finally dragged myself out of bed at 5pm. Today I was supposed to get through the large amount of chores I have but in the end I have spent most of it asleep.

Isn’t it strange that its already the 17th of January? Christmas last year was a very quiet affair. (Last year. What.) The Semester ended like it always did- suddenly, with deadlines that seemed so far away suddenly beginning to pile up, tests to be taken, lectures finishing and with that came the realization that oh shit, lectures are finishing and I am only on example sheet 1, then  panic and finally, beginning to properly revise. Revision is largely how I spent my Christmas break. It was not a very Christmassy Christmas. The only time it really felt like Christmas was when I went out into KL with my friend a few days before the 25th to go see the Christmas decorations at KLCC, Times Square and Pavilion. It was a ridiculously fun day. We went to KLCC first and had  lunch- western food, of course. Then we went to M&S and indulged in more western  food- I got very enthusiastic  and brought shortbread and microwaveable Christmas puddings and chocolate covered hazelnuts, dolly mixture, chocolate coins… Proper chocolate and sweets and something to make me feel Christmassy. Then we went onwards to Times Square and finally pavilion. As for the decorations? Spectacular, of course. Christmas here is more commercial than anything else of course, so they really go all out. We saw gardens of Christmas trees coated in lights, a small army of giant toy soldiers, angels hanging from the ceilings, and of course there was some mediocre Christmas music playing, though nothing as awful as what had been playing in Tesco earlier. Pavilion had the best Christmas decorations of the lot, but it was all fairly grand.

Christmas itself was spent in my room revising. I did phone my family of course and we talked randomly about this and that. With my mom being in Cape Town it was fairly quiet for my dad and sister, too.

New years came too quickly. I spent new years eve in the library then at 10 to midnight, just before leaving, I texted my sister “happy new years!”, amused that it was January 1st here whilst it was still midday on new years eve there. I talked to my sister as I walked back to my room. Later, I spoke to my Grandmother, too. Her and my grandpa also spent a quiet Christmas. It seems that no one in my family is really celebrating this year. Even for new years, my sister, who used to always go out, was staying at home with my dad.  That did shock me, but then my sister has changed a lot since graduating. As we were talking on the phone she told me about her job and what she wore to work and all the things she had bought lately and I once more became very aware of those three years between us, of the fact that my sister is maturing fast, is an adult now. This makes me happy whilst it also makes me sad. As time passes I know my sister cannot remain just my sister for much longer, but will likely one day have a husband and her own family taking up her time. The distance between us will only grow further, you know? I don’t feel mature or adult-like, but spending Christmas alone and not celebrating definitely made me feel little adult, like I’ve truly outgrown Christmas mornings spent opening presents and lazing around watching movies with my sister or arguing over a game of monopoly with her whilst waiting for my Dad to finish lunch. I’m growing up now and things are quickly changing, have been changing for the past few years. I guess this was the first year it hit me how different things are becoming, in this strange new adult world I am about to venture into, tentatively, one foot in the door and one foot still on the threshold.

I was alone and revising, or to be honest, procrastinating from revising.

All the time examinations were creeping closer, a parasitic presence in my mind. I have struggled this semester with the work, with getting myself to work, with everything. But I tried very hard with my revision. I reminded myself again and again of my goals to get onto the MEng course and struggled on. In the end… it did not go well. I’ll write a separate entry about that, lest this gets too long. And now? Now I have two days free then I’m flying to Thailand where I’ll be meeting my sister at Bangkok airport, and we’ll be exploring Chiang Mai and Bangkok over the course of 6 days. I’m both very nervous and very excited. After that? A couple of days break then I’ll be spending the weekend in Penang. That I am excited for. So in the end? I may be tired and miserable right now, but I certainly have a lot to look forward to.

Studying abroad for the year, despite everything, is still one of the best decisions I ever made.

Spending all my time

Todays entry will be a list because I am tired and do not feel well and therefore don’t want to think about how to link these random things together-

– About 3 weeks ago I noticed a speck of dirt on my leg. Thinking nothing of it I went to brush it off. Only to find that it was hard to the touch and embedded in my leg. Upon further inspection I realised it was a tick lodged in my leg. (Well, technically I didn’t know until afterwards when I googled it that it was a tick. I’ve never seen one before!) I panicked and tried to remove it myself, but in the end my sister had to pull it out. I think when I tried to remove it I must have squished it because a week ago the bite site became red and itchy. I was feeling fine but with Malaysia coming up so soon I went to the doctors anyway. One doctors appointment later, and a weeks worth of antibiotics that have made me feel ill, it has gotten worse and it turns out, I potentially have mild Lyme disease. D: What are the chances of that?! I now have two weeks of new, stronger antibiotics to take that will finish one day before I leave the country.

I really do not need this right now.

Also, it does not inspire confidence in me that the doctor I went to today sat for a good 5 minutes flicking through a medical manual, and then blatantly googled my symptoms in front of me. Thankfully, after googling myself I find she has given me the recommended medicine for the treatment of Lyme disease…

– I have now have two weeks to go before I leave the country. I did a test pack on Saturday and was made to realize just how little 20kgs+7kgs(main+hand luggage) is. I kept trying to pack everything and had to spend some time trying on my clothes, really  thinking about whether it was comfortable enough, suitable for hot weather, versatile etc. I gave myself the rule that if something did not match with at least three of the basic items I am definitely taking (plain camisoles, t shirts, cardigans) then it had to go. I still have too much stuff though. Before I actually physically tried to pack I thought space would be the issue but my suitcase is half empty and I struggled to pack it properly because i simple did not have enough clothing items to add padding. Packing is very stressful when its a holiday. When its for 10 months it is even worse. I just want all my things with me! But I have no weight at all. Also, it is weird packing only summer clothes for a year. Although I am glad I don’t have to mess about trying to fit in sweaters or jackets.Ah, and I have almost finished my packing list. Which is another thing I can soon strike off the list! (there is still a fairly small amount of things being crossed off the list)

– I really need to meet up with my friend and discuss what she is packing so we can ~compare~. Which even if Iam feeling not so great should be OK. However it is also her 21st birthday party this weekend. Yeah, I know.  I have to go because it is her 21st but I am wondering how on earth I will get through it.  I am praying that my new antibiotics won’t make me feel as terrible as the current ones, although it seems they may make me feel similar or worse. I am also praying that the potential Lyme disease stays potential and symptoms apart from the red ring rash don’t suddenly appear. please, please just let it heal and heal soon.

– I still haven’t finished file sorting on my computer.

– I started to scan in my university notes. There is nothing quite so dull, even with a feeder scanner to make it easy.  I also came to realize that I remember absolutely nothing from first year. I cannot C program anymore, I never got communications engineering and the little I did understand is now gone,  and most likely I’ll struggle in practical labs too. (I always struggle in practical labs, but I seem to get worse as time goes by. :/) I came to the obvious and belated realisation that actually, I am not just moving abroad in two weeks, but starting second year in two weeks too. This is terrifying in itself, without the added complications of adjusting to a new climate and new place etc. I worked up the courage to look at the modules  for next year which added to my fear. I cannot afford to fail this year but I really wonder how things will work out now. I had gotten into a comfortable routine at uni last year, but obviously I will not be able to replicate that. I struggled first year and second year can only be worse and I won’t have the support of my dad, and I’ll be coping with the change of moving, and in all honesty, I really am not looking forward to having to study again. Too much free time has made me very lazy :/