Adventure is the new ‘cool’

We have never loved risk and safety more than we do right now, because we want to live, scream our lungs out then laugh, tick boldness of the checklist, and break the law – but we also want a familiarity to return to. It’s easier to be daredevil when you know you have somewhere safe to go back to at the end of the day. (Not everyone has that kind of privilege.)

I want to try new things, because I’m afraid of missing out. FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, my generation calls it. Because that’s what spontaneity sometimes feels like: not a pleasure, not the burst of adrenaline pushing you out of a comfort zone, but an intentional act of trying to replicate what is ‘cool’, and a fear of failing authentic replication. It used to be the latest clothes or the latest Tamagotchi or the rarest YuGiOh cards. But these days it’s all about action: you skydived off a plane! you bungee jumped! you leaped off a cliff into water! you danced in the rain and then under the stars! you crowd surfed! you partied until 5am! road trips!

The braver you seem – the more exhilarating your adventures seem – the better you become and the more you are envied. The internet has perpetuated vicarious experiences more than ever before, turning them into a trend. These trends in turn become propellants for individuals to try those experiences out for themselves.

I am no exception to this whirlwind. These days as I sit at my desk with a book open, reading, I cannot help but wonder. Could I be as exciting as those characters who are driven by circumstance and admirable will into the shining light? Could I really gatecrash a formal dinner party, like James Bond? Could I really hop on the next plane to New York City and dance in a flash mob in front of Times Square? Could I really run down the streets in tears and find myself knocked over by Ed Sheeran wearing a disguise and trying to escape paparazzi?

No. No. No. The rational part of me highly doubts any of this would happen, unless I put in the effort to make them happen (even then, the chances are slim). But the irrational part of me? The part that wants to believe this urge to pursue the idealistic is more than just a trend? More than just an attempt to be ‘cool’ and to feel that I’ve lived a life worth living?

That part hopes.

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Change in the Wind

you say that nothing has changed, then why do I feel as though everything has? you no longer laugh at the jokes that once made you laugh, you no longer answer questions that you would have once carefully contemplated, you no longer spend the time telling detailed recounts the way you once would have. it is like we are two pieces of driftwood moving towards different horizons, no matter how hard we try to hold onto the other. why does something once so infinite now feel like it has an end?

I like to read stories, and in stories, the ending always signals to a maturity in the characters, a change that stems from the lessons they have learnt throughout the novel. they have a new sense of determination, a new sense of purpose, a new sense of what it means to be themselves. yet I feel more lost than ever. I can’t seem to find my way back. I can’t seem to find my way home. when home didn’t feel like home, you were my home. I never thought the day would come when I wondered: if you didn’t feel like home, then who would?

I don’t have any answers, only questions. and I’m afraid to ask any of the questions because I’m afraid I already know the answers to them. but maybe it is good to be afraid, maybe fear means that I still have something to lose. the battle isn’t lost yet. maybe we are only at the climax of the plot, and maybe by the resolution I will finally be able to admit that winning is not returning to the beginning where everything was familiar, it is arriving at a new beginning where nothing is recognisable yet somehow you still find the courage to move on anyway.

Mosaic of musings

I’m good at putting you aside. I’m not good at forgetting you.

I’m staring out the window, but really I’m staring into my thoughts.

I’d like to pick a lock and go where I shouldn’t go. Because sometimes going where you shouldn’t go leads you to where you’ve always wanted to go.

When you jump, you’ll fall. But I’d rather be falling than be standing still till the end of time.

I’m silent, but my heart is loud.

You’re like the night: littered with stars, drowning in ghosts.

rain

Update on novel-writing

Hi guys! Sorry for my lack of posting in the last week or so… life has been crazy and… the truth is, I’ve taken up novel-writing again.

Despite my many (failed) attempts at writing novels in the past, I’ve managed to muster enough determination to try again. I have to admit – I’ve always been more of a writer of short pieces. I never seem to have enough patience to plan and come up with intricate storylines and backstories and characters, which is why novel-writing and I have never clicked together. I would write a few chapters with this great burning idea in my mind, but after a while, the idea would grow darker and darker until I found I could not see it anymore. Then, I would take a ‘break’ which was really my way of giving up without saying that I was giving up.

But this time, this time I feel stronger than I’ve ever been. I feel like I finally have a grasp of the problem that keeps drawing the reins and pulling me to a complete stop. It’s not merely that I’m too impatient, it’s also that I’m too much of a perfectionist. I fret over the smallest of phrases and even as I write the current chapter, my mind wanders to the flaws of the previous chapter, and I fall into a spiral of self-criticism to the point that I just stop writing altogether.

I’ve always liked shorter pieces of writing because you get to capture a single tiny moment in time; you don’t have to worry about all those other moments, just that single moment. Novel-writing, on the other hand, forces you to think about a collection of moments and how one moment can impact on all the other moments. I like jumping right in when it comes to writing, but novel-writing can only be successful if I consider the consequences and aftermath of whatever scene I happen to be constructing.

What are some of your thoughts on novel-writing? What has your experiences with novel-writing been like? Tell me in the comments below!

And the story I’m currently writing is actually on Wattpad, so look here for a direct link to it. It’s titled ‘Expectation 2.0’. Here’s a synopsis for it:

Life’s all about recreating yourself, right?

Unfortunately, as with most things in life, that’s easier said than done.

Meet Bree Harper: she faces daily bouts of shyness, tripping over and blushing furiously while talking to strangers. When she unwillingly finds herself at a uni party one night, she’s challenged by the one and only Jay Winters (aka. ‘the life of the party’) to a match of reinvention, i.e. shatter as many expectations that people have about you as possible, and do that all in a month.

But a game like this is bound to have consequences.

I’ll keep you guys updated with whatever happens next, and will get back to poetry writing as soon as I can 🙂

a music to a heartbeat

The beauty of music, I always thought, was the way you could immerse yourself into it simply by putting on your headphones and the way it deciphered for you those feelings you otherwise had so much trouble deciphering. It was the way it gave you the tears you needed, the heartbeat you yearned for, the flash of life you searched for.

Sometimes when I play the piano, I find myself wondering: how could something black-and-white simultaneously be so rich with memories and emotion? How could something that is in essence just a series of sound patterns, become so meaningful to the ear? Maybe it all rests upon our interpretations of these sounds, our innate abilities to find points of resonance within the music and to connect.

Music was never about isolating yourself from the world, it was always becoming more in tune with it. You turn on the music, block out the white noise and listen to the world as though you are listening to it for the very first time.

Question and Weird Answer #1

WELCOME! This is where you give an unconventional answer to the 3 questions I present you with below: a bit of fun, a bit of creativity, and I want to get to know you a little more!

(Leave a comment below with your answers… if you don’t have WordPress, just insert your email address in and you’re good to go and comment… or create your own post… whichever you prefer 🙂 )

1. What wakes you up in the morning?

The frustration of needing to finish off the work I didn’t finish off yesterday as well as the work I have planned for the day. But more importantly (sometimes this thought is salienced, sometimes backgrounded, depending on whether it’s a good day or a bad one), the thought that this is it, I am living my life right now, so I might as well get my bum out of bed, go out and do something with it: change something for the better and live the day the way deserves to be lived.

2. What is your favourite compound word?

I’m going to be a little sneaky and pick an (old?) Anglo-Saxon one (if you’re wondering why Anglo-Saxon, it’s because I’m attempting to learn Old English).

“woruld-candel” which literally translates into “world-candle” and means “sun”. It just struck me how pretty it is to see the sun as a candle lighting up the world, rather than as a hot glaring ball of fire.

3. What is your favourite video at this exact moment in time?

I just had to ask this one because I am currently OBSESSED with YouTube(rs). Here’s one that I thought was so aesthetically beautiful and I loved the background music and the whole video was basically like Instagram in motion:

Now your turn! Answer the above three questions. For all you Grease fans out there, tell me more, tell me more…

New days ahead

As you may have noticed upon entering this site (unless you’re a new visitor… if that is so, then welcome!), I’ve officially changed the theme of my blog! *fanfare* *cheering* *whistling* *bird-cries*

I’ve noticed that a lot of you don’t actually have WordPress… not to worry! You can still get updates of my posts by clicking on the flower-shaped widgets icon on the homepage, then clicking ‘follow’, then entering your email address.

Also, I really do want to interact with more of you peeps! You can find me in Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to tweet or Facebook me, or simply comment below if you like, what content you want to read on this blog next… poetry, flash fiction, life musings, quirky metaphors…? Send me your suggestions, and I’ll collate them into a poll 🙂 Then you guys can vote! Exciting stuff.

So that’s all for now! Bear with me while I haphazardly stumble and trip and fall on my face… In the meantime, stay awesome, stay brilliant x

Love in ten sentences

And I accept your challenge, unbolt! Haha, I feel like I’m a knight in medieval times picking up the gauntlet that you’ve thrown down. But thank you for giving me this chance to participate in such an interesting poetry-writing exercise… here it is 🙂

NOTE: For those who don’t know, ‘Love in Ten Sentences’ involves writing a poem with 10 lines (4 words in each line), and every line must contain ‘love’ in it. Then after the poem, you simply share with everyone your favourite quote about love.

The love you had,
you threw that love
away, for what? lovers
mad and miserable? un-clover
hearts and tainted gloves –
your flaws unloved? Why
the love you have
is broken love; unthreaded,
fragile, dying love. Yet,
you keep that love.

My favourite quote:

He loved her simply because he loved her.” – Tolstoy

And here I leave… my love in your hands 😉 Take it! Convert it into your own ‘Love in ten sentences’! Yes, you… the awesome person (or creature) reading this. And if you do decide to write a poem for this challenge, make sure to link me in the comments, so I can find my clumsy way to your work and have a read of it.

Right to freedom of speech… but how ’bout, right to be heard?

I find it very interesting, this idea of having the freedom to speak our thoughts aloud. Because how can freedom of speech truly exist when we are constantly (and unknowingly) censoring ourselves? Personally, I often find myself considering the consequences of what I’m posting, what I’m sharing and what I’m saying, before I actually post, share or say it.

It’s inevitable. From a very young age, we’re already exposed to these societal paradigms that over time become embedded into our consciousness; we’re taught about what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’, about what’s ‘appropriate’ and what’s ‘offensive’. In some ways, this renders us incapable of having a way of thinking outside that box, mainly because most of the time, we’re not even aware that we’ve been confined into this box.

The truth is, even if we do speak our mind and voice our opinions, it doesn’t mean that we will be heard. There’s just so much content out here on the internet, and sometimes I can’t help but wonder about all those articles or videos that have never even been read or watched before, that remain forever hidden in the ever-changing, ever-expanding sea of information.

But to end on a somewhat more positive note, I just want say that, even if you are just a voice among millions, what’s important is that you are your own voice. You aren’t dead static; you’re alive and what you utter, matters. You’re a small but significant piece in a larger jigsaw puzzle. You may not be noticed by many; yet without you, the picture could never possibly be completed.

Dear Me

I’ve been so incredibly busy over the past few days (thus, lack of posts… sorry!), no time for any breathing space. Today, I’m finally giving myself some.

As you may know, International Women’s Day is coming up very soon, and I’ve been noticing more of those #DearMe videos on YouTube, where you ‘write’ (or film?) a letter to your younger self, giving any advice, insights or words of inspiration you’ve accumulated over the years.

So here’s mine, written to my 12-year-old self.

*** *** ***

Dear me,

You’re a few weeks into high school, and already, you find yourself struggling. Struggling to remake yourself. Struggling with that foreign, incomprehensible word.

Friendship.

You’re surrounded by a whole group of these so-called ‘friends’… friends who don’t talk to you, who don’t ask for your opinion on anything, who don’t even share a single inside joke with you?

You’re afraid. You think they choose you as a last resort because of who you are – this boring, serious, overly shy girl whom no one will ever cast a second glance towards, who doesn’t even deserve the attention to be laughed at. You’re afraid of being invisible. And alone. You’re afraid to get out of bed every morning because you know it’s just going to be another day of fake smiles and words left unspoken.

I won’t tell you that real soon, the universe will miraculously answer your prayers and change your life for the better. That would be false hope. What I will tell you, however, is this: Nothing will ever really change until you be that change yourself.

It’s okay to be afraid. What’s not okay is if you let those fears overcome and define you. Remember: fearlessness isn’t about having zero fears; it’s about pushing forward despite those fears. So… just hang in there, okay?

Because down the road, you will meet these amazing people. They will embrace everything that is weird and special about you. They will know you better than you know yourself. All you’ll have to do is make eye contact with them, and they will understand exactly what you are trying to tell them. And then, there’ll be those days and nights when you’ll be walking and talking and laughing, and suddenly, you’ll understand.

Everything will make sense. That foreign, incomprehensible word will become your lifeline, your saviour.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s going to be all rainbows and sunshine after that. You’ll still be faced with moments of doubt and loneliness; you’ll still be caught in messy dilemmas you can’t seem to escape.

You’ll still be struggling. Struggling to figure yourself out. Struggling to pursue your dreams in a practical manner. The truth is, one struggle will always be replaced by another – but you will have your friends, your family, yourself… and one day, you will realise that just because life’s a struggle, doesn’t mean you can’t dance your way through it. Life will never be perfect, but if you keep focusing on the bad, you will miss all the good.

And happiness? You may think that those people you hang out with are the ones who dictate your happiness. I’m telling you now: They aren’t. You are.

Stay brilliant. Stay brilliantly you.

x Katherine