reminiscences

I feel numb. I’m having one of those escapism spells again, and now spend every waking hour either reading time-travel novels or listening to audio books. Only when I have to use my brain for something else, such as having a conversation with another human being, my mind would very briefly visit the reality. Even when I was eating, or brushing my teeth, I still had my iPad in front of me so I could continue with the story. I guess that’s why I like bath more than shower!

But then I laugh. Haven’t I always been like that? When I was in my 8th grade, I was multitasking one day, cooking rice and reading a novel at the same time. The electronic rice cooker did not exist then, and I had perfected the skill of making rice by overfilling the pot with water and filtering out the excess water after some boiling. That day I was happily stirring the rice with one hand, while holding a book on the other hand, cooking my famous rice dish. To get rid of the excess water, I had to put the book down on the counter. The book turned on its spine and opened itself up to occupy more of the counter space while I was lifting the pot and trying to put the pot on the counter. In order not to get the book dirty, I used one of my hands to push the book away. I certainly overestimated my strength, and the pot was too heavy for me to hold on with just one hand. So the accident happened. I dropped the pot and dumped the boiling rice mixture on my legs.

I remembered my parents’ anguish over my months of hospital stay, but I don’t remember the pain anymore. The reminiscence of the hospital days were more sweet than bitter, as I spent weeks doing nothing but eating, sleeping and reading. My new skin from waist to toe was raw pink for a long time, and I was able to skip all gym classes even though I was well enough to do anything.

When I was younger, I thought that all kids read non-textbooks under the quilt with a flashlight. And my first year college dormitory living proved me right. All of my 6 roommates did the same thing after the lights-out. But I don’t think anyone went as far as I did in order to read novels in the classroom. During elementary and junior/senior high school, the seating were determined in the beginning of each semester. For as far as I could remember, I always deliberately picked the wooden desk that had a gap or a hole in the middle. It wasn’t too hard to do, though sometimes I had to help the size or position of the opening with a small knife. During the class, I would pretend to listen to the instructors, but my hands would be flipping pages under the gap and my mind would be completely immersed in a novel. I don’t know how I was able to keep good grades. Just imagine what I could have become if I didn’t waste all my time in my dreamy fantasy land…~OT158AI001F

Anyway, I just found this picture of my elementary school class. No, unfortunately I am not the pretty girl in red with braids, smiling sweetly like a princess. I am the out-of-focus one on the right with glasses.

At least I’m adult now and I don’t need to hide under the quilt or dig a hole in a desk. If I want to stay up and read all night and can live with the panda eyes the next morning, it is my prerogative entirely.

reaching perfection

IMG_0967Oh my emotions were like 50 foot ocean waves yesterday, but when it came to writing today’s post, I got nothing.

It’s not that I don’t want to share. It’s just that I myself have absolutely no idea as to why I had such stormy moods, what triggered it, and what it meant to me.

At least it gave me a good release of tears, which I heard was tremendously good for one’s health.

When I finally got home and had dinner last night, I went under the cover immediately afterwards. My mind first went into obliviousness because I fell asleep, then my mind went on to visit the fantasy land of the early 1700s through yet another novel.

Therefore, to this moment, I still have no idea as to why I was upset. One thing I do know is that I’m the ultimate escape artist and my skills of dodging any real life issues are reaching perfection. When the Chinese Taoists making pills to prolong lives, they believed that if and when the fire in the stove turned into pure green, they would have achieved their alchemistic success. Therefore the Chinese saying for “reaching perfection” is Lu Huo Chun Qing (炉火纯青), literally means “the stove fire has turned pure green”. And my stove fire is reaching the color of green.

Looking at the unfinished nearly half glass of wine next to my computer and the uncharged phone laying dead on the desk, I had to own up to the fact that I had crashed and rebooted last night. I think it started in the morning when for no reason whatsoever there were so many cars honking at me, which utterly confused me, as I thought I had a broken light or something. Then there were the meetings where I did the work but everyone else took the credit. After that was the emotional socking story of M.E. which stirred me into tears and made me aware of my own lacking. But I knew it was not any of those things. Those were little things that served as reminders that I had been hiding from problems, and that I’m still hiding from problems today.

I know that I have a pretty smooth life, and I treat any small bumps in the road like it was the end of the world. But I don’t believe I need to toughen up. Because to do that is to say that there will be more and bigger bumps in the future. And I refuse to believe that. I rather think that any setbacks are small and transient, and in the future there will not be any bigger challenges for me to face. Hence there should be no need to prepare my heart and mind for hardships. Why does one have to suffer first before rising up? I determine to go back to my fantasy land. And if the real world is not sunny and bright, I simple won’t bother to come out.

swap

elevator or stairIt’s not a tombstone question. It’s not about finding who we are, what we meant to do in life and what our tombstones will display after we die. These are good topics to contemplate from time to time. But by all means we should not stop living just because we don’t have answers to these questions.

I have seen people live in great confidence. They don’t think; they do. And I, as an observer, could envisage writing illustrious eulogies for them already, though they are still young and still morphing into even greater beings as we speak.

What I tend to do is thinking too much, lumping all my desires and challenges together, and feeling hopeless as to what, if anything, I could do. It can be easily overwhelming and causing anxieties. One of my best traits, however, is the ability to escape from reality and immerse myself in a fantasy world. It has served me without fail since childhood and it is still my best weapon against my unnecessary apprehensions today.

Gratefully, I was inspired to separate my many hopes and desires and to only address one single item at a time. I was also encouraged to replace the time-wasting escape methods, such as reading a novel or watching a movie, to more productive ones, such as drawing, painting or playing a music instrument.

It was Valentine’s day yesterday and I felt content. TO LOVE AND BE LOVED. Isn’t that what we all want in life?

Author’s Note: Sorry for a short and delayed post. I had a day trip from 7a to 11p and was simply physically too tired to write anything.