Random musings while flipping memories

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I usually try to plan my writing with a purpose (though sometimes I digress until I can’t recall what was my initial objective) but for today, I don’t really have an agenda in mind.

It is the Lunar New Year Weekend (Fri – Sun with half-day on Thursday) but due to the COVID restrictions, the celebrations and gatherings have been small and less entertaining. As a result, I actually stayed up late the past couple of nights and I found myself re-reading my diary entries since 2003. If I don’t recall wrongly, I started writing since 2001 but that book is at a different location which is not so convenient to retrieve. Anyway, I didn’t manage to read everything as I would probably need more than a day, but there were many moments that I found really amusing.

A flip down memory lane – I actually kept movie stubs (many of which have faded) and even receipts of purchases made for birthday presents (no idea what was the purpose) and big-ticket items I bought for myself.. In addition, I also have concert ticket stubs (many of which were just school concerts in my younger days), before moving on to the more expensive (concert) tickets as I grew older and have more money. Another funny thing was that I used codenames for some people – most of which I can remember but there were some that I can’t remember who they were, or why they were given a certain ‘codename’. I guess I was perhaps worried (at the age of 13) that someone would read it and I needed the codenames to save myself from embarrassment.

I enjoyed the reads. It brought me back memories of my teenage years but it wouldn’t have meant anything to a random stranger as I was very cautious with my words. So a lot of my writing were just a ‘gist’ of something or just a flood of emotions without any context. It’s funny how the younger me tried to hold my emotions back even to myself. My teenage years (13 – 16) were filled with annoying short forms like ‘tml’ (tomorrow), ‘tt’ (that), ‘lyke’ (perhaps a more cute way for like), ‘den’ (then), ‘smt’ (something), ‘shyt’ (to make it look less vulgar than shit), ‘realli’ (really), ‘k’ (okay, kay), ‘neva’ (never) and ‘mi’ (me). In case you’re wondering why short forms were necessary, back in the days before WhatsApp and online messaging, we were only allowed to send SMS (Short Message Service) of up to 160 characters and each message cost $0.05. It was a challenge to restrict your conversation to the few 160 characters and often, I found myself having to rephrase and reduce character count to be within the limit.

Most of my teenage writing revolved around my daily activities – I can write about things like what flavour cake my dad had, what board game I played, what I ate, the conversations I had with once important people and even the internal thoughts on how I felt about some people (e.g. bitchiness). I usually end off my writings saying that it is late/i’m tired/i have to sleep. This suggests that I usually write at night. Also, I realise that I tend to write whenever I have a dream that I want to remember. My life was all about school life, my cca, after school basketball, arcade visits, tuition class, random online games i played – utopia/gunbound, and all the self-declared cold war I thought I had. I write stuff like ‘I’m so bored’ and how I keep changing my ‘nickname’. At a point of time, I signed off as S+AR (Star) and then it went on to StAR- (that dash was important) and there was an icon I self-invetned – a star with wings and halo. There was StaRanGeL (Note: the awkward capitalization was a little trendy back in the days) and suddenly ‘mYstix’ came into the picture.  Before I know it, it became mYsticX staRLoEz (which I have no idea what it meant) and there was bLuReD.mYstixc StaRLoEz, moonBLadE and SiLveRstaR. And then it became [S]yN[C]epha[L] (we were trying to start some Sync clan or something and there was *]Ja[E]lyN]= which had been inspired from a ‘Jae’ clan. Gosh, these names were so ridiculous.. I wonder how much time I spent on all these back in the days. Anyway, guess what, there’s actually a ‘date’ to the final name that I have used since 2005.. On 22 Feb 2005, I finally ‘signed off’ as honeystars.

I think IRC chat was popular.. perhaps something was my user name back in the days too. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’ve never used my real name on the internet since I’m young. Someone told me that the internet was a dangerous place and I try to be as anonymous as possible, most of the time. This is why I never mentioned my real name anywhere on this website. Most of my close friends do not read my blog (unless they found me on Google while researching something) and if you don’t know me, it is difficult to associate this website to me.

I never knew I was so ‘philo’ back in 2005 – I wrote ‘like a bottle of red and blue sand, they mix, but purple is not formed..’ – was I trying to mimic some chemistry lesson learning or was there more to that ‘quote’?

Apart from the nonsensical stuff that I wrote, there were times that my writing got a little more emotional – writing about my tears and why I cried (I don’t even cry much these days, except from laughing too much). Even at a tender young age, there were times I mentioned that I wanted to have a chance to ‘wake up’ in the past and that I wanted to search for the strength to be strong like last time and that something was missing in my life. It was probably the rebellious stage of my life where I start questioning everything, feeling confused about everything and trying to make meaning out of anything. Guess what – being a lot older doesn’t mean that I have figured the answers out – I simply just realise that not all questions need answers; and that there can be 1001 things making you upset. The only way you can and should pick yourself up again is to find that 1 or 2 things that’s able to make you happy. You can’t exactly move on from sadness, there isn’t any timeline or switch that you can just ‘cut’ it off. What I’ve learned over the years is that you simply just get busy with the other aspects of life and over time, you will realise that it wouldn’t hurt as much as it used to. Aww. why am I getting emotional typing this ><

oh wow and there was this part where I wrote on how I bought roses to give my friends who were performing for a concert and I said I love white roses and wondered who would be the first to give them to me. looking back, the answer was nowhere near the idea of ‘romantic’, just a polite gesture from someone who I don’t even talk to for perhaps more than 10 years and counting. It’s funny how the childish hopes and aspirations fall short of the reality I’m in right now. If I could go back to the past, would there be anything that I would have warned my younger self about? Then again, I don’t wish for that to happen anymore because I came to the conclusion that life is full of surprises, and the only thing in life that you’ll ever need to learn is to be ‘adaptable’. That’s it.

[moving on to book 2] – yes I’m actually flipping through the pages as I type

This book was funny – I started writing in pencil. If I didn’t recall wrongly, I wanted to write and also with the chance that I wanted to erase all my writing sometime in the future. Why was I so afraid to affirm my emotions/writing/thoughts at such a young age? It’s hilarious that I wanted to hide from myself.. Oh wells; or perhaps it is still happening right now.

The highlight of my first post was that I wrote the song that I wanted my future husband to sing to me and the song I will sing back; on my wedding day. It was kind of a funny joke because the song in mandarin was (Jia Gei Wo) which meant Marry Me and my reply song was to be (Wo Yuan Yi) which meant ‘I Do’. I was addicted to the ‘Marry Me’ song back then cause it was a very nice song but who knows that 15 years later I’m still single and have no slightest intention of getting married. Even if I do get married, that ‘singing’ portion might not happen too because I’ll die of embarrassment and it is not something that the older me is willing to accept. I also wrote about celebrity crushes and how my friends and I discussed on who should get together with who and out of the 2 couples I wrote about, both the males are married with kids and both the females are still unmarried.. hmm?? It also seems like in book 2, I start to write more about celebrities/singers etc. I guess that was when the entertainment industry kind of started getting infiltrated into my life.

I wrote about my secondary school clique too. 15 years ago, I wondered if the friendship would last.. although we don’t meet as a full clique often anymore, I just met 3 of the girls this afternoon at one of their houses. It’s amazing how we knew each other for more than half of our lives.. Looking at my dad now.. He is still meeting his friends from 13 years old. I’m convinced that friendship can withstand the test of time and it is a lot easier with social media right now. My clique met/got together because of Basketball and bowling and we somehow spent most of our ‘after exams’ activities together. Fun memories of my youth.

and then i read this.. ‘I can and shall finish electrolysis tonight.’ oh gawd. i can’t even remember what electrolysis is without googling. It is something about electricity and water? All my chemistry knowledge has been returned to my teacher.. why did they make us learn so much science back then when most of this wouldn’t even be useful for real life?

There was a part where I had self-realization on how stubborn I was. Is it happier to live life the way you want it, make everyone else unhappy but yourself OR do the things the way everyone wants it to and be unhappy? and I did question myself ‘Why do I always try to change people except myself?’ oh gawd. I was sixteen when I wrote this. Had I been too mature for my age? There was another quote that I wrote in chinese (translated): It is very easy to forget one’s looks (face), but it is very hard to forget the emotions and feelings that you receive from someone. I can’t remember if it was from a drama, movie or a book. I’m pretty sure I did not come up with it. What had I been feeling when I wrote it down? This was another ‘contextless’ quotes in my book which the old me wanted to challenge the ‘future’ me on how pathetic my real memory was.

2006: “i have an evil wish that dota would close.” It is 2021 and dota has evolved and become dota 2. seems like evil wishes don’t seem to come true.

[On a side note] I recently compiled a spotify playlist of songs (It is a public playlist called ‘Fav 2003’) that I wrote down as ‘my favs’ from my teenage years. There was one song called Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C which gave me a super nostalgic feeling as it was overly used in every single ‘graduation’ event that we had. The lyrics of “And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives. Where we’re gonna be when we turn 25” and I’m like.. I didn’t even think 25 had been any significant milestone for me. Perhaps it could be different in a non-asian context where people move out of their homes and move to a different city for their university education and move again, depending on their job. However, in the tiny country I live in, I went to university in a place 1 hour from home, work in companies that are less than 1 hour transport away from home and I’m pretty much still in the same place which means that the where (in terms of location and distance) doesn’t matter to me at all. Ouch.

Now that in is 2021, will I look back in 2035 and analyse the lyrics of the songs by Ed Shereen/Justin Bieber/Maroon 5 and evoke a certain emotion out of me? Or perhaps that with the overloaded information we have these days, it is difficult to associate these songs with any precious memories? I mean I’m not exactly into english pop these days but.. we shall see.

There’s this ‘theory’ that I wrote a couple of times in my book which talked about the ‘sour grapes theory’ where the fox was not tall enough to reach for the grapes and walked away thinking that the grapes were sour. Now that I’m re-reading these memories of the past, it seems that there had been many times where I did walk away from situations, rationalising decisions instead of admitting a failure. I did mention in that writing that I would wait till the grapes were ripe and try again? Oh wells, years have passed and I don’t think I am able to ‘overcome’ this syndrome or perhaps understanding myself further or totally finding peace with my decision. I guess it is something that I will perhaps revisit again in the years to come.

I was trying to remember my career aspirations and it seems like I found my answer. At 16, I wrote that I wanted to work in the Hotel/Tourism industry but aspirations and reality dont always meet. Perhaps I didn’t try hard enough or perhaps my aspirations changed along the way or perhaps my aspirations were weak to begin with. Then again, if I had been in that industry, I would be suffering really badly from the COVID situation right now :/

[WoW and I wrote lyrics to songs from The Click Five. I used to like their songs so so much. Especially Good Day & Say Goodnight]

Oh and remember the story about the bottle of mixed different colored red and blue sand that I wrote in book 1? I wrote something: ‘The Reply: repaint all the sand’. As usual, it was a no context statement. Was it something that someone told me or something I came to realisation myself? But wow, didn’t know that I could connect the dots across the books.

Another contextless but interesting quote: “The harder you try to forget, the more you will be telling yourself to forget, and you’ll start remembering..”

[Have the sudden ‘feel’ that I am able to come up with a book of quotes from all my diaries across the many years. In fact, I toyed with the idea of writing a book while I was shucking mussels back in NZ. I was listening to a lot of autobiographies back then and wondering if anyone would be keen to read mine. However, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have enough experiences, or perhaps a wide spectrum of emotions or adventures to share. Now that I’m reading at my old memories, It does feel nostalgic and funny.. Would anyone be keen?]

Wow. I discovered another gem. I wrote lyrics to a ‘song’. Although I didn’t explicitly mention that I wrote it, I kind of have a hazy memory that I wrote it. It was called #Something Special (wait, were hashtags a thing back in 2006 or was I trending way ahead of time?).

One glance, no it ain’t over
Last chance, I tell myself again
Get real, I’m still trying..

Why, live my life this way?
I need something special (special..)
I’m bored, get me out of this
Bring me an adventure, (come soon..)
Cause I need something special..

*awkward* but that was the end of the first documented song I ever wrote.

[Oh wow, I wrote out the lyrics of ‘True’ by Ryan Cabrera. I remember that I love that song too]

Oh, and it was in 2006 where I got my first dips into K-pop. In case you’re wondering, It was Kangta from H.O.T. but I only got to know of him after he did the Collab with Vanness (the guy from F4) where they had a song called ‘Scandal’ and also ‘127 days’. At that point in writing, I had 4 ‘favs’ – Jay Chou, Edison Chen, Torres and Kangta. As you can see, it was the start of all my distractions from the more important thing called ‘studies’. Haha.

Also, it was year 2006 and I wrote that I had a new phone – Nokia 6233. When was the last time you heard of Nokia? If I didn’t recall wrongly, prior to 6233, I was using Nokia 2100..

*****

It’s a little awkward for me to end my writing but sadly it is 1:48am right now and I have work tomorrow. I can’t convince myself that I will be able to set aside time for a continuation of this ‘blast into the past’ writing. It takes a lot of time and emotions to go through my diaries and rather than leaving this post hanging for a long while, I decide to publish it now and should the time and emotions allow, I will write a part 2. In case you’re wondering, I still have 2.5 more books and 14.5 more years to go..

^I’ll be back!

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  • Very many “aha” moments reading this post ! As a fox who couldn’t reach the grapes, I wish I had just walked away with a rationalization. Instead I got depressed and cried under the grapes for a long time. I spent last winter reading through my very same collection of poems and things. It was very entertaining!

    • Yea the Fox story kinds of hits us at certain periods of our life and it doesn’t feel great when you’re unable to get what you want. Many people have different ways to manage disappointments and it is good to find out what is the best way that works for you! I have such a love hate relationship with my diaries. I love it for the memories and entertainment but sometimes it also brings about sad memories and ridiculous thoughts I had back when I was younger..