This year has so far been a blur of out-of-reach ambition, sucky time management and an onslaught of illnesses. I am racing against time to make a name for myself before I graduate — an extremely understated summary of the laundry list of requirements needed to be considered for a Tier 1 Visa. My goal is to be able to stay in the UK without having to forever juggle between academia and career — without having to be treated as a subnormality whose credibility must be accounted for by a Nine-to-Five tyranny. Gods know what morally depraved ‘unforgiveables’ a female mammal from a high risk country might get up to if she’s left to her own devices.

Getting a Tier 1 Visa right now seems like an impossibility. I am required to win awards like BAFTAs or the Man Booker Prize etc. And that’s on top of having to be famous and critically acclaimed in at least two countries. RIP. Continue reading

i already feel like a fraud every other day, living in and breathing in and feeding on my insecurities and worries for the future. i feel like i will never make anything out of life, never reach my full potential, never become who i am supposed to be, who i want to become.

my ambitions are driven by fear. i want to make something for myself. i want to live like i am capable of living. but i don’t know how. there are moments where i sit in front of the screen or a notebook and all i can feel is the panic welling up inside me, the frustration over my own incompetence, because i can’t get the words to make sense, i can’t get myself to make sense and i want to cry. but, there are also moments where i laugh at my own words, where i think myself a genius because all the plot points are coming together, and in those moments, i can believe whole-heartedly that my ideas are beautiful. but it’s like striking a match in the dark. it flares and flickers out.

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Recently I have realised that I do not write much about myself — myself as a physical, living being who is a part of this world. Instead, I talk about the abstract and the vague, ever-changing nature of a ‘self’. I dwell inside my own head to work out what it is that makes me who I am. While I do think about the physicality of life — the bodily pain and traumatically pivotal encounters from my childhood — they are only memories translated to me through hazy illusions of realism and distorted impressions of emotions and images. Sometimes these memories move, but only as glitches of corrupted film reels. More often, my memories are stagnant sun-faded polaroids.

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I used to be a quitter. A loser who would readily go down without a fight. I remember a time where an unconscious slight would make me burst into tears. Even as I grew up, I stayed that way. Every fight and tension that involved me during my younger years would end up with me losing and crying.

At fifteen years old, my schoolmates called me Crybaby. Bullies would make fun of me for this trait that I couldn’t seem to shake off no matter how hard I tried.

It’s still the same now.

Only, I no longer berate myself for being sensitive, no longer apologise needlessly when something isn’t my fault, no longer quietly accept the decision others make of my worth. Or I at least try not to.

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This was the time I studied under a bigoted professor, withstood harassment, stood up to racial slurs, received unjustified grades, re-entered myself into a mental hospital and came to a conclusion that it is always easier to be brave for other people.

(I hasten to add that this happened a year or two ago; I only write about it now because I am able to be objective enough to not start crying about it.)

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President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.

The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.

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I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education.  I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I’d become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.

I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.

Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.

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Here I was, once again, looking into MBTI and coming across an interesting thread on the internet. What is new?

It is pretty amusing that the users were trying to describe each type with only one word. I applaud their brevity and of course they’ve got to be doing this on an INTJ forum. Conciseness and INTJ do walk hand-in-hand after all.

I am an INFx so I wouldn’t know anything about that. Or, I try to but my indulgence with proses seem to get in the way. Maybe I could ask an INTJ to mentor me to be as profound as they are. I have just got to find one who won’t emotionally wound me too much.

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Boo Jiyoo
The only lookable picture of myself from Jeju

Being stuck in South Korea and having your flight cancelled was the worst thing that could happen to a socially anxious college kid who wished more than anything that she was at home reading century-old novels for the heck of it.

I am not sure how I survived. But I did, and this is a late revelation but isn’t it amazing how we think we can’t do something until after we did it, then realise we can actually do it? Not saying that surviving a cancelled flight is a big accomplishment or anything, but I managed to do that without even being unnecessarily grumpy.

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Question: Where does time go? Does it just… move on? Do we, humans, move on the way time does? How do humans move on? Is Death perhaps the Movement? Surely, death is only a phase we must pass through in order to Move On from Life?

We are always waiting, even if we are not conscious of it. We wait for meetings, we wait for appointments, we wait for people… and we wait for time. A time where we must do certain things, go certain places, act certain ways and say certain things. We wait for tomorrow; we wait for days that may not come. We wait for our loved ones, we wait for the Right Moments.

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