When I Say “Leave me Alone”

Sometimes I like to have “space”. I like solitude, time on my own. You don’t really get much of that when living in a residential college.

There is, however, one pretty good way of being left alone. You could tell people you’d like to be left alone. But there’s a catch.

Tell people you’d like to be left alone, and you will be left alone. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much one-way. You could try to reverse it by telling people you’d like to join them “from now on” (the solitude’s been great, but I’ve had enough), but chances are good these people were probably a little offended you found you needed space from them in the first place.

Solitude’s a very difficult thing to understand. You want some, but not too much.

I’ve found that my best friends are the ones who pretend I don’t need the solitude. Even upon declaration of, “I need sometime alone”, they’ll call me maybe a couple of times, and leave me a couple of text messages (“hey, you alright? Join us for dinner, ya?”). They’ll carry out weak attempts to persuade me that I don’t need to be alone, while knowing full well that I do.

I wish I could be more like them.

When I Say "Leave me Alone"

Sometimes I like to have “space”. I like solitude, time on my own. You don’t really get much of that when living in a residential college.

There is, however, one pretty good way of being left alone. You could tell people you’d like to be left alone. But there’s a catch.

Tell people you’d like to be left alone, and you will be left alone. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much one-way. You could try to reverse it by telling people you’d like to join them “from now on” (the solitude’s been great, but I’ve had enough), but chances are good these people were probably a little offended you found you needed space from them in the first place.

Solitude’s a very difficult thing to understand. You want some, but not too much.

I’ve found that my best friends are the ones who pretend I don’t need the solitude. Even upon declaration of, “I need sometime alone”, they’ll call me maybe a couple of times, and leave me a couple of text messages (“hey, you alright? Join us for dinner, ya?”). They’ll carry out weak attempts to persuade me that I don’t need to be alone, while knowing full well that I do.

I wish I could be more like them.

Something’s Wrong

I wonder if I’m making things more complicated than they are, over-thinking issues that really aren’t anything at all. I do get these things right sometimes: my intuition to negative vibes are generally good. But though I do get that something is wrong, I often do not know what exactly it is.

Sometimes I think that maybe I’m just oversensitive to “cues” that are not really cues. When the physical world seems to back up the rather pessimistic mental world, the pessimism grows, i.e. when I think that something’s wrong, and I see something wrong, I tend to believe even more strongly in there being something wrong.

Problem is, I don’t know what.

Something's Wrong

I wonder if I’m making things more complicated than they are, over-thinking issues that really aren’t anything at all. I do get these things right sometimes: my intuition to negative vibes are generally good. But though I do get that something is wrong, I often do not know what exactly it is.

Sometimes I think that maybe I’m just oversensitive to “cues” that are not really cues. When the physical world seems to back up the rather pessimistic mental world, the pessimism grows, i.e. when I think that something’s wrong, and I see something wrong, I tend to believe even more strongly in there being something wrong.

Problem is, I don’t know what.

Journalism in Singapore

David Copperfield may not be doing the Asian leg of his world tour due to “unforeseen circumstances”, or, more specifically, a sexual assault charge. Singapore’s tabloid newspaper The New Paper published a story on this (not sure how long this story will be up on this site).

But here’s the part of the story that really caught my eye:

Another upset fan was undergraduate Luke He, 25, who had bought a pair of $128 tickets to the show and planned to propose to his girlfriend of four years after the event.

I don’t know who the bigger idiot was: the journalist or the undergraduate.

I Like Loving You

I like the trees, the grass, the sky;
I like the way the bumblebee flies;
I like the computer’s versatility;
I like the Honda’s fuel economy;
I like the Mona Lisa’s abstract smile;
I like the song Children by Robert Miles;
I like doing my weekly long runs;
I like eating hot, steaming buns;
I like being thought as one of two; and
I like the thought of me loving you.

Love Hurts

He looks out the window and sees her, packed bags and all, getting into the car. Tears well up in his eyes as he wonders if this is going to be the last time he is going to see her. He turns around and walks toward his desk.

Because he didn’t want her to see him in this state, he had avoided her for the past week or so, hoping to get used to life without her. He loved her, but never dared to tell her.

As he stands by his desk, he is overcome with guilt. “I should at least call her to say goodbye,” he thinks to himself.

Behind him in the distance, he hears the car door slam shut, the engine start, and the car backing out of the driveway. He picks up his phone and dials her number.

Her phone rings.

As he waits for her to pick her phone up, he hears the sound of a truck honking fervently. Then he hears a loud, thundering crash.

His ear, still pressed hard against the receiver next hears, “… is unavailable. Please leave a message after the beep…”

He stands, stunned. And decides to go to sleep.

Sacrifice

He approached me and asked me if I wanted to go.

I had books to read, TV to watch, and work to do.

I told him, “no”, thought about it a bit, then said, “yes”. It had been ages since I last went out with him.

I realised that even though I didn’t really want to go, as a friend I had go out with him once in a while.

In a friendship, sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

And besides, I felt this was a friendship worth keeping. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have cared two hoots about whether or not I said “no” one too many times.

On Writing Chinese (or 华语)

我昨天发现了我的电脑可以写华文字!

In case you don’t know what that means, it just says, “I just found out yesterday that my computer can write Chinese words!” I’ve been having a field day with it, typing Chinese messages to a friend, giving her plenty of opportunities to execute sweet revenge on me, after all my mocking her English, as her Chinese’s infinitely better than mine.

Writing in Chinese takes me ages. A sentence such as the one above takes me 30 seconds to a minute to write, while the equivalent in English would take something like 10 seconds, tops.

When I write in Chinese, I have to try to think in Chinese. My very limited Chinese vocabulary means that I don’t think very much. My Chinese vocabulary hasn’t changed much since I was 12, which is probably the age I officially passed a major Chinese paper. I do not remember any time after that where I got a grade any better than a D7, the equivalent of 49%.

This reminds me of an issue that I’ve long thought about, but never really bothered to find out more: how does language ability impact thinking ability in general, if at all? If my vocabulary was larger, would it mean that I would be able to process more thoughts? Perhaps if I knew the word for a, say, emotion, I would be able to verbalise that emotion, which would allow me to associate other thoughts or feelings, leading to ever more associations and so on.

Would it mean that I would have more precise thoughts? If I had a word for a shade of red, say, crimson, wouldn’t it mean that I would be able to think more precisely? The thoughts I conjure up when I think of “red” bring up memories different from those when I think of “crimson”.

So does improving one’s language ability improve one’s thinking ability?