I’m not sure what to take from the dream because this has never occurred in real life. I'm not sure if it's me or not, but, after stewing on it for a while, I noticed that the dream has a slight flavor of love. Oops!
Maybe you, my readers, can help to give me some inputs as to what this dream is attempting to tell me.
I dreamt that my History mate and I arranged to meet up somewhere before we joined the bigger group waiting at the restaurant. It was his first time in the town, so I volunteered to bring him over to the final destination. He broke into a wide grin when he saw me walking towards me and we exchanged a long hug. It was in the middle of a public place, but it was neither in Adelaide nor in Darwin, where he is located at now. It was somewhere that I don’t recognize in real life. He dragged me by the wrist when we saw salespeople in the distance and insisted that we head to our final destination through another route. The bunch of other colleges mates were elated to greet him too. When we made ourselves comfortable at the table and I retrieved my diary to record our next hangout, one of the mates complimented on it and asked where I purchased it from. So, I told them that it was gifted by one of my former lecturers for my birthday.
Memorable Songs - Part 15:55 PM
After almost three years, I still can remember the events attached to this song. Someone dragged me to the back of the Mac Lab during our mutual break and made me listen to this song. It was his favourite song and he used to continuously listen to this. He totally forgot that he left his MacBook Pro in the room and messaged me with panic in the evening when he couldn't find it in his backpack. Since my History class was in the first period, I threw my bag in the room and rushed to Mac Lab. The laptop was still safe. He treated me to lunch at the nearby cafe to thank me for my efforts (?).
Ah, the first time I was exposed to this song was during HUO 11, where the lyrics connected with me emotionally. Tears welled up in my eyes to the point where I was silently sobbing, embarrassing myself in front of my group of friends. My History mate caught wind of it (I think he heard me sniffling and saw me swiping at my eyes) and silently offered the entire packet of tissue papers to me. As if I wasn't insane enough, this song accompanied me on the Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth.
I usually avoid listening to this song because I'll be still caught up emotionally.
Life goes on7:12 PM
Before I start today’s post, I’ll have to extend my thanks to all of the law students who emerged from their hiding places to cast their ballots for the recent LSS elections. Regardless of the candidates you’ve chosen, you knew that to get your voice across the table to the representatives, you had to vote. This is an important principle of democracy.
To my campaigners and fellow candidates, it’s been an awesome time working with all of you! Although we weren’t accorded the opportunity to bring our plans to fruition and celebrate our success with a bang, I’m sure we’ll be able to cross paths or even catch up with each other somehow.
To the winning team, congratulations on your success! It’s been a hard-won fight. I wish you all the best in making law school better - not only for studies, but also a place where students can bask in each other’s company in between tutes.
Now that the elections are done and dusted, it’s time to focus on the exam revision for Administrative Law and complete the essays that I’ve left on the backburner. Let me tell you, concurrently juggling between 3 different citation methods ain’t fun. Maybe I’ll give you the context so that you’ll be able to get the drift: I almost cited a sentence from my World History textbook for my Canadian Law essay in the APA format when it should be in footnotes.
It was during our hourly break that my eyes landed on this quote hanging from a portrait outside our tutorial room. I was instantly attracted to it because it spoke volumes. Not to mention, success always come with a sacrifice - whether at an emotional or psychological level. An example of this could be the pursuance of studies abroad. I’m not going to name names. I know a former friend who desired to stay back in the home country to study, but the family insisted that he fly half a world away to pursue his degree. Another example would be arriving at the decision to do something (read: opting to swap arts electives for Criminal Law) at the expense of something else (read: the expedience of more stress).
Can I say that Che Guevara’s words can be applied to our campaign team’s defeat? Yes and no. It’s not that we didn’t play hard - heck, one of us even went to extreme lengths to introduce the dinosaur mascot under the baking sun. If it hadn’t been for the wind and extreme heat, trust me, I’d have lost the hoodie and turn up in a shorter dress… with full make-up. It’s a fact that we need to learn from the mistakes we made and approach the campaign, should all of us are interested in participating next year, from a different viewpoint. I admit, we definitely failed to engage the students and understanding their thinking and what they desire during their time in law, even if it means compromising on some policies. Most law students are enthusiastic about the after exam parties or the exquisite Law Ball, but we could’ve factored in those students (like myself) who wouldn’t willingly attend those events. Kinda ironic, huh? I campaigned for the Activities Representatives and love planning activities (such as Law Ball) yet would never be present in all of the events, lol.
Most of my friends - and some in law school - were disappointed that we didn’t win because they know what I’ll be able to bring to the table. Here’s the catch; my position on the hierarchy wouldn’t allow me to succeed based on popularity alone. To add salt to my little wound, it’s more of the connection and less on the policies that will secure the votes. I guess that answered my nonchalence towards the defeat. I arrived for the 2nd day of campaigning with the weird feeling that we better be prepared for our loss, but what I didn’t expect was the large difference in tallies.
Hey, there’s always next year - if I’m in the physical and emotional state to have a second shot at campaign again.
“This is it.”
Those were the three words that she sighed into the air when she arrived at the heartbreaking decision to do it. It didn’t shatter her heart as much as she thought it would, but, even in the back of her mind, she knew that it’ll threaten to derail everything that she arduously worked for. With a stone heart, she signed the papers and began laying the foundations for a new life. The decision couldn’t have arrived at a better timing - two years ago, it would’ve pained her to accept such a proposition. Two years later, she’s now a grown child with her own mind and capable of making her own decisions. It didn’t help that she was at the stage where she wanted to throw in the towel.
She slipped into the queue of fellow passengers at the boarding gate after the preliminary process of checking in and clearing customs were completed without a hitch. She fiddled through the contents of her backpack and found the item she was after: a laminated A5 photograph of the three good friends standing in front of the decorated Christmas tree at Forrest Chase in Perth with cheeky faces.
I know you guys will kill me when you learn of my plans, she thought as she recollected the memories made from their group vacation interstate, but it’s for the better. You’ll learn to appreciate each other in my absence. The truth is, I’m tired of hiding behind this smiley facade.
She knew that she should’ve discussed with them about her plans to transfer the remaining years of her degree to Perth if she honestly regarded them as family, but she reminded herself why she engaged in such a risky move. It wasn’t because of any ex-boyfriends or stalkers that led to the desire to start afresh in another place, a place that was familiar yet foreign. It was these two, the friends whom she came to appreciate and adore during her time on campus. The spark, which threatened to burn brighter than a campfire, will embroil them in an awkward and messy situation that could possibly lead to cracks in their friendship. Her departure signaled the best option for not only herself, but for them both.
Tears stung her eyes when she read the handwritten message at the back of the A5 photograph.
Two sugar canes, one potato.
“I’m the potato because I look like one. You two are sugar canes because you are lean and lanky,” was the explanation given. It made sense to her; while the girl had a well-proportionate figure, she and their good friend could do well with a couple more pounds added to their frame.
Replacing FOMO with GOMO9:59 PM
I was approached by Eventbrite not too long ago to help contribute a post on the dangers of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and how GOMO (Getting Out More Often) should instead be encouraged. FOMO is defined as the action of compulsively checking for updates and messages for the fear of missing out on the juicy details from your friends. As a young millennial who struggles to maintain the perfect balance between academia and personal life, like everyone else, I’m familiar with the first-hand experience of FOMO. I’m one of those people who will fight tooth and nail to remain indoors in the residence, but will, more often than not, be compulsively hooked to social media for updates. It’s a slight overstatement for me because I don’t leave my social media accounts open 24/7 a day, waiting to be the first one in the know, but I’m sure you get the drift?
Now that I’m no longer that young (don’t let my facial features fool you, I’m actually older than I look), I realized that the degree of GOMO will change with age. Why not jump at the opportunity to GOMO and experience life while I still have the opportunity to do so and balance the stress spanning from the degree I’m pursuing (yes, it’s capable of inciting mental harm if I’m not careful).
The message of this post is to replace the FOMO with the habit of GOMO (within financial limits, obviously!). There are wonderful benefits in GOMO while treating yourself with your hard-earned cash on memorable experiences. Believe me when I say that there’s more to life than being attached to your phone screen or the social media accounts.
First and foremost, you only live once
Instead of spending most of your free time to Netflix and chill, why don’t you embark on an adventure around your suburb? Maybe check out that newly-opened cafe that you’ve been longing to patronize but never had the time to do so? Or, maybe, donate to the fundraising events organized by charitable organizations and concurrently volunteer with them. No amount of words can describe the satisfaction of volunteering as it allows you to understand life from a different perspective.
Attend music festivals/concerts
Do nothing but eat, live, and breathe the ambience. There’s nothing more satisfying than to exit the auditorium on an all-time musical high. It cleanses your emotional wellbeing and accords a better mood.
Take a well-deserved vacation
After giving it your all in your studies or career, it is undeniable that your mind, body, and soul will need a break from all the earthly stress. There are many ways that you can plan a vacation within your financial budget. You can save up for a luxurious holiday (that should include a spa therapy) interstate or abroad or a quick getaway in your city, discovering the hidden gems that you never knew existed.
If you’re heading for a holiday abroad, it may make the trip much more memorable because you are exposed to the local culture and way of life.
Hope the above tips will help you to eradicate FOMO or at least lower its intervals in your life! It’s not an exhaustive list; it’s just enough to get your juices flowing - and you’re more than welcome to come up with your own list. If you need help finding cool events in your area, you can use sites like Eventbrite to find and create your own events to help make your own list!
Let's pick up the pieces and continue with the journey9:33 PM
You’d be forgiven for thinking that I left all of the work on the backburner to enjoy myself during the break. While I originally intended to balance the backdated readings with movie nights, it didn’t come to fruition because I fell under the weather right after I returned from a little getaway up north. It threw every other plan I had out of the window as I was in bed, nursing a fever, sore throat and back aches - yet I felt well enough for grocery shopping and the weekly obligations. I’ll chalk it up to the lower temperatures combined with the exacerbation of sleep deprivation due to various factors, one of which is assignments.
Taken in Fancy Burger, Synagogue Place, Adelaide
I can’t complain much because I have a bucket load of matters to deal with now. With the exam schedule comes the gaping truth that all of my final assignments are due in the same week as my Administrative Law exam (yes, you read that right!)
Talk about the timing!
On the bright side, my holiday starts at least two weeks earlier than my legal peers. I don’t mean to gloat or shove it down anyone’s throat, but I want to keep an open mind about it to calm the anxious nerves. Administrative Law has loads of legislation to understand and stew over it… and truth be told, I’ll have to start the revision and practice as soon as I complete the draft for my Indo-Pacific Foreign Policy final essay - or I’ll be screwed big time.
So yeah, summer break will be the time when I’ll truly allow my body to slide into hibernation mode to recover abroad - where it’ll be easier and tougher to contact me. I mean, chances of me leaving most of the social media accounts on hiatus are highly likely due to some undisclosed reasons.
No one likes being in bed the entire day; it doesn’t matter if you’re under the weather or not. I remember purchasing “The Best of Me” from the bookstore a couple of years ago and my heart ached after reading it. It was as if Fate had other plans and boy, it did. Amanda was dealt a second blow without any advance warning after not being afforded the chance to carve her own path at life.
You’ll have to watch the movie to understand my inference, but I must emphasize on the difference between the film adaptation and the book at the end. In the film, Amanda was on the phone with her son while at work, whereas in the book, the mother and son were back home, debating whether to file the medical application to investigate the shocking news.
What struck a chord with me was Amanda’s confession that “I had so many plans and I don’t know what happened” (44:15). The reader response lens drew the relevance to Amanda because I’ve asked myself this - from time to time. The original path that I envisioned myself on when I was in Grade 1 included a double degree (Law and Creative Writing). It slightly changed when I started high school with the inclusion of a postgraduate in either field. Shortly after I enrolled in college and embarked on the university preparations, I dropped the idea of doing a double degree because I knew that the stress will shorten my life before graduation and left the option of postgraduate at Fate’s hands.
Oh, the rest of October will definitely test my patience and endurance. How am I to complete all three assignments in one piece and still survive the 2.5 hours exam on the last day of that week?
Surprising me for the third time, I woke up with swollen eyes - an indication that either I didn’t have quality sleep or I must’ve cried at one point in my sleep. It took a while for my mind to think before I realized that it’s the latter.
I dreamt that there was a murder, but the evidence kept pointing to the possibility that it was done in retaliation for something that occurred in the past as an accident. I raced through the hospital corridor in a state of panic after receiving the news. When I saw the good friend in sunglasses at the distance with a sad smile outside the mortuary, I burst into tears as I knew that there was no denying the truth.
The person didn’t survive the impact of the car crash and succumbed to the injuries en-route to the hospital.
A visit to the past was needed to understand the motive and intention behind the person’s death. The next scene went all the way back to the 1900s Malaysia, where it looked like a slum with dilapidated buildings and the electrical wires exposed to air. It was a tragedy waiting to occur. The timeline skipped to years later. I was in a back room, dealing with our dog’s urine when I heard an acquaintance talking to my housemate. My heart sank when the acquaintance broke the news of a death.
Yes, I know the dream does not make full sense. Even I’m struggling to break it apart for interpretation. Like, why would my good friend show up in the dream?!
A Case of Curious Coincidences (Part 3)5:13 PM
Author’s Note: This is a scheduled post. At the time of this posting, I’m away from everyone and the computer screen, clearing my cluttered mind in an undisclosed location. I'll be back to the computer screen sometime next week.
Hiding in the basement library at this hour of eight-thirty in the morning, Crystal couldn’t help but wonder why she dragged herself to campus when her lecture was at noon. The serenity that the empty area provided allowed her to reflect and think. Although she wasn’t exceptionally exuberant with her second semester’s timetable, she had to be contented because it accorded her with a rest day (unlike the previous semester, where it was necessary to embark on the daily commute to campus). She disliked the idea of running into Ryan on campus because she didn’t know what to expect from him. He was gregarious on one minute, but as moody as the grey skies on the next minute.
No matter how she rationalized the coincidences last semester, there were a couple of things that didn’t end up. How could they have enrolled together for those classes without even knowing what the other party’s choice was? Why was it so coincidental that they, for their own reasons, decided to study this particular course at the same time?
She initially hoped that she could rid herself of familiar faces when she broke away from her friends and embarked on a separate path for this year. She needed it; she needed it because she thought that she wouldn’t have to face Ryan for a long while and she had to excel in this favorite course of hers, making her college lecturer proud. Little did she expect that it will complicate matters for her instead.
The winter break allowed her to scrape the last semester’s stressful contents out of her brain with a spatula and start afresh. She was thankful that her two friends collaborated to drag her out to the movies and a late lunch together, where it took her mind off the worry of her final grades.
And sleep too.
Gosh, she couldn’t remember the last time she had such fitful sleep. Her rest was usually tattered with the amount of workload and fear about her academic performance where either she was insomniac or adopted the vampire’s shadowy figure, ready to pounce on people who stepped on her tail.
Yet, she still couldn’t wrap her head around the stark coincidence.
She buried her face in her hands when she realized that the very decision of swapping things around will lead to further interaction with him until their graduation.
The pressure flowed in her bloodstream and bled the joy out of Crystal when she departed with Tracy from campus for the last of their three exam papers. She wanted to be done with this and crash for the next twelve hours - or until her body was fully recovered by the continuous bashing.
Maybe it was for the best that all her papers were scheduled within a week of each other.
When they arrived at the examination hall, they squeezed their way through the crowd and hid at the far end of the building, where it was quieter and safer. The buzz that sashayed around them was too great a risk for them; they didn’t want to absorb the additional stress from the crazy energy that bounced off each student.
“Psst, look who’s here.” Tracy whispered, pointing to a reticent soul standing across them.
Crystal turned her head in the direction of Tracy’s finger and sighed. “Oh, great.”
“I mean, look! He’s making us look like fool. He’s only carrying a handful of papers and I don’t see him carrying a bag.” Tracy shook her head. “Look at us. We’ve brought practically everything from the tutorials and lectures.”
“My dear, it’s alright. We feel more secure this way. Plus, God knows what he’s done in the days leading up to this.”
It came as no surprise. It was evident to her towards the end of the semester that Ryan would ace this particular course. Observing his body language in both classes led her to believe that he was not only sure about the value of his contribution for the discussions, but also his effort in attaining the desired grade. She smirked to herself, knowing that there was a whiff of anxiety in his thoughts. As he leaned against the hall and glued to his iPhone, she saw that his ankles were crossed - not a sign of being carefree and relaxed. If he was honestly and genuinely confident, his facial expression would’ve softened with faint traces of assurance. She could feel the nervousness off him in the same manner that she saw the fear in his eyes when they crossed paths in this very same place a semester ago.
“I know the guy,” Crystal continued after the silence. “That’s how he rolls. You can’t tell whether he’s relaxed or petrified over the final papers until there’s been an exchange of eye contact. Or, at least that was what I was led to assume.”
Tracy looked up. “Hmm? Do elaborate, Crystal.”
“This is not the first time that I’ve seen him here for the exams. The first time was actually last semester when we were sitting for our separate papers. I didn’t say hello to him when I passed by him because I was speaking to a female friend and he was busy with his revision. It wasn’t until the friend and I were returning to the main entrance that he shot a hello. Not to us, but only to me. When our eyes met, I saw the stress and panic floating in his eyes. He didn’t look as stoic as he does in class. It felt as if he was silently reaching out for help. I’m not going to mention what happened after the exams, but let’s just say that my friend whinged for an hour that Ryan was nicer to me than to her. Mind you, he knows her too.”
“That sounds funny and weird at the same time. Does she like him?”
“Nope. I know she's taken by someone else, but I'm not sure if he's single and ready to mingle.”
“Sounds like he does favor you more than her.”
“Oh my God.” Crystal laughed. “Tracy, I wouldn’t have a clue. I’m not a mind reader! But yeah, he’s an intelligent person who carries his weight.”
“He has always looked studious to me, but then again,” Tracy pointed out softly, “even the smartest student, if not cautious, could mess up from the pressure of time.”
“There’s one thing I don’t understand. Why does it feel like he’s forgotten that I exist or only speaks after I’ve acknowledged his presence?” Crystal sighed. “You know what? Let’s just make our way out of here before he catches sight of us.”
Torn between two . . . goals and one fact9:40 PM
There’s no way I’ll have such dreams unless my subconscious is extremely exhausted or it’s screaming for help.
I dreamt that we were late for our lecture in Hughes and when we arrived there, the lecture theatre was packed to the brim. We tried to squash our way into the few vacant seats remaining at the back. The lecturer verbally dragged us down to the front, where we found out that there were vacant rows of seats. It was like the invisible cloud surrounding that area cleared up. A coursemate was quietly sitting on one of the seats and stealing a moment’s rest when we made ourselves comfortable next to her. We were later at a dimly-lit parking garage, rushing to find our way out as there was a feeling of being chased or followed by someone.
In the next scene, I dreamt that there was a fire warning issued for the landed property that we lived in. We rushed to move all of the furniture and personal belongings out of the residence as fast as we could to a nearby safe place. The landscape was left alone, but I ended up walking through the fire, unscathed and alone. Oddly, I didn’t feel panic or fear - just serenity and security.
I also dreamt that a friend (his identity wasn’t revealed) and I took time out and went on an adventure to a resort. This was because he could see that I was heading towards the path of a nervous breakdown (although I was unaware of it). We obviously took separate rooms within walking distance to each other’s. I remember walking along the wooden route, heading to somewhere and being carefree and happy.
For the second dream, my personal interpretation of the dream is that I do crave an isolation period, away from the peers and in a place where no one can contact me. It is arguable that the moving of items indicates that the triggers need to be eliminated in a swift manner. Could the fire warning be a signal of me potentially losing my temper?. I don’t know, but it’s possible. It’s true, though. I’m reaching that stage where the stress is beginning to weigh me down.
For the third dream, is this a sign that someone is the panacea to the unspoken pressures I’m facing? Or, is someone worried for my emotional well-being? If so, I know who this dream is pointing to. Maybe I’m just in dire need for a beach/resort getaway?
Peace will come when one of us puts down the gun8:28 PM
The title is from the song lyrics of "Battlefield" by Lea Michele - and attached is the video for it.
After allowing my mind to stew for a couple of days, I’m not sure what to expect anymore. I don’t know, I’ve arrived at the stage where I’m contradicting myself. On one hand, I’m more than comfortable locking myself in the unit whenever I don’t have lectures or tutorials. At least I can be a disheveled suburbian girl who doesn’t need to care how she looks for the day. That doesn’t mean that I don’t place any effort in my attires, man. What I mean is that I can leave my hair in a mess state and change from one pair of pajamas to another. On the other hand, I need to breathe the fresh air and socialize with the slippery souls. At the rate that we are going, it feels like we’re catching each other’s shadows instead of the actual persons.
Now that we’ve officially reached the halfway mark of the semester, I’ll have to admit that while learning about the decisions countries make for their foreign policies is interesting, it’s nudging me to enroll in the quasi-law, quasi-politics elective that the Property Law lecturer is offering for next semester (especially since the course is about the influence of politics on the law or vice versa, I can’t specifically remember).
Six more weeks before crunch time - and I’m sure time will fly past me in the blink of an eye. Before I’m even aware of it, it’s revision time, hinting at the deadline of the final assignments due for my electives. Not too far away is the strangling Administrative Law exam. *sighs*
But who knows?
No, I'm not using alcohol to cope with the stress. To do so would be the dumbest decision of mine.
SWOTVAC and summer break, in itself, could bring different thoughts altogether. I might freeze all forms of communications during SWOTVAC to focus on the assignments and exam revision (yes, thank God, there’s only one exam to deal with this time around). Maybe I’ll use the summer break to connect with myself on a deeper level. It feels like I’ve abandoned a part of myself somewhere in the process of running after the elusive grades. If the plans are successful, I’ll be challenged mentally and physically by the prospective doubling of stress. The only positive side of it is that it will take my mind off things and keep me on the go most of the time.
Okay, we’ve arrived at the substance of the topic.
I know, I left the readers on a weird cliffhanger in the previous post (to the point where I made it sound like I’m a sacrificial lamb). No mortal is a saint, and there’s always that speck of imperfection or sin in all of us. With that in mind, I’ll pick up on where I left off and elaborate myself.
It’s more for the innocent player that my worries lie on. As he’s someone whom I’ve grown to appreciate and accept as an awesome friend, I’ll definitely step in and try to contain the burning fire. The matter is between me and the person; it shouldn’t require the involvement of other parties in the process. I could care less about this person’s conduct towards me because I’ve arrived at the stage where I honestly don’t care. In fact, if the situation isn't changing for the better, I won't take offence and will play the same cards as him instead.
Humans are just that complicated to understand, pfft.
It's just that I'm praying that he wouldn’t leave the innocent player feeling like the latter’s been snubbed.
[The term ‘innocent player’ refers to someone whose interest will be affected by the consequences of the game and, yet, is not considered a party to it.]
I wonder if I should take up photography as a favorite hobby again.
What’s making me suspicious is the fact that I dreamt that I obtained this person’s timetable (through legal means, don’t worry) for the entire academic year through someone else a while back. I'm honestly not sure what its relevance is to the current matter is. I've to throw caution to the wind about this interpretation because I don't know what to take from it - and it's scary enough that I dreamt of Kyle glaring at me before our papers in college. One of the dreams that I had last year recently came true, so yeah. There's a chance that this timetable exam could be a living reality and, if that happens, I'll verbally strangle someone. *shakes head*
Also, if it’s an advance warning to her suspicions, then I’m speechless. A part of me is hoping that her suspicions are founded on probable grounds, and not on reasonable grounds. If it is proven, you can already imagine me with saucer eyes and gaping at the stark coincidence of it all. If sneaky Fate additionally intervenes to complicate an awkward situation, it’s more than pure coincidence that history is repeating itself. Don’t ask me what I’ll do, though. It is something that I’ll only deal with if and when it happens.
It’s too soon to worry about it, especially since I’ve enough on my plate to crack the brain wide open.
Plus, I highly doubt that we’d be that lucky to land in the same tutorial without advance planning. It’s just impossible . . . (or maybe it is, this is, like, the second time I’m in the same class as an acquaintance - and we didn’t discuss about it beforehand.)