Saturday, 2 January 2016

Memories, time and dreams

We've done it again: switched from old to new. Another year has passed; another stack of resolutions has grown smaller or bigger. I didn't write a 2015 blogpost this time, because I feel like these Wombat Tales and Pictures already suffice as extremely long reminders of important memories. If not, I've got my pictures or poems. Surely this blog contains mostly holiday memories, but I know what's been bothering me, I know what needs to be fixed, and I feel no need to explain myself towards anyone else but myself or the ones I have been unfair towards due to my flaws. 

New year resolutions make me feel optimistic most of the time: a new start with new ambitions, there's nothing unappealing about that. However, this optimism slaps me in the face every time because it does not last long. After all, using a deadline that's not met until a year later can be easily forgotten or tarnished by procrastination. Smaller steps are easier. Taking a photo a day on Instragram has proved to me that it is okay to be proud of myself just because I managed to keep this silly promise of mine. It keeps me going every time I see my number grow. Currently it's 53/365 pictures. They are not the greatest of all and I have never had 40 followers or 30 likes, but it feels like a little injection of positivity every time I post something. Every time it's one step closer towards getting myself something I want; towards exploring whether I want that something bad enough. 

But possessions and numbers aren't everything. The holidays have always been a good excuse for spending time together, and so I have given in to this cliché during Old- and New Year's Eve as well, but I don't like huge, meaningless parties. I don't see the point of dressing up nicely, acting like a doll and consuming far-too-expensive and far-too-much food. I usually prefer spending time with people one-on-one, it's easier to have meaningful conversations that way. But sometimes, when you put a bunch of people together with the same level of wackiness, it can turn out quite memorable. 

Mahjong with my siblings during old year's eve; Dungeon and Dragons with my university friends during new year's eve.

In a world where we carry the last technological changes in our pockets, it's easy to forget about other ways of communicating other than sending simple Happy New Years through Whatsapp. I am guilty myself, because I have a couple of friends overseas, and so you will often find me clutching to my smartphone. However, this does not mean I do not enjoy some old-fashioned face-to-face discussions or stabbing fun at each other through playful competition. On my previous (deleted) blog, it was not the page views that kept me writing, but the long, albeit rare, comments which invited me to discuss. I wish to keep these occasions alive, whether through the real world or the digital world. 

Despite having so many interactive products nowadays, such as the Wii, which seek to connect people, I still find myself enjoying those old-fashioned board games. I remember visiting my friend in New Zealand two months ago, and at night we'd just spend the time by playing board games with her grandpa, knitting bunnies or watching movies together. Her mother laughed at us for being two adults acting like grannies, but such a memory is more important to me than that 100th time I played Wii Sports. I have always been a homey person. Most of the times when me and my university friends hang out, we cook together at someone's house and play games or watch movies. Call me boring, but I would like to have such a night over being drunk and grinding against strangers any day. The non-drunk memories are the kind of things I'd babble about as a grandma, probably as a result of seeing kids gluing their face to their Smart Watches. (My mother often scolds me for being so attached to my phone.)

Don't take away my MP4; don't take away my envelopes.

I will admit that I am a romanticist. I am far too attached to certain things, such as my old mp4 player or all the cards and letters I have gathered from people over the years. I still write too many letters or cards, and enjoy stuffing boxes full of small objects to be sent overseas. Even though I type most of my poetry or diary-entries, I can still appreciate spending time using ink and paper. Some poets feel that this way of writing is therapeutic, but it does not work for me because my thoughts are too rapid. Writing letters is a whole other story because I feel like I am dedicating my time to a person I care about. Oh, the dilemmas of being an aspiring engineer, thinking about all the dying trees because of letters, or the wasted plastic due to the on-going fabrication of mp4's because some wackos refuse to use their phone for music storage...

Give me my cd's and play cards with me till the middle of the night.
Then there are my cd's which I buy and keep for nostalgic reasons rather than practical reasons (too afraid I ruin them) Some days ago I was rummaging through my old house and found some of my father's cassette tapes. Most of them included the Chinese songs I've grown up to, but there were a bunch of English classics which I could at least sing along to. I took all the English ones and even found two blank cassettes. Yes, I do still have something to play cassettes and cd's with. And yes, I am contemplating making silly mix tapes. Even though cassettes are far less practical than anything we have today, there is a certain beauty that comes with this impracticality. Using cassettes forces you to slow down, to not skip through, to be patient and go through it all the way it was intended to.

I am stuck in the past, always have been, not only materialistically but also emotionally. I sometimes wonder how many people promise themselves to let go of the past when a new year commences. I know I do, each and every year. But like I said in the beginning of this post, promises with smaller time-frames are so much easier to be loyal towards. It is impossible to simply forget because there will always be something in the present that triggers a memory from the past. The only way of letting go is acceptance, but that is easier said than done. Therefore, I will not speculate about the death of sadness and failures, I will just deal with it on a day-to-day basis. It's all I can do.

So what now? I can't go into this new year empty-handed, can I? I didn't, but I cannot sum up my rewards. Numbers and bullet points seem to dislike me, anyone will realise that when they first start to join any social media platform. For me it's been this blog, my Instragram, and since a few days, also my LinkedIn account. Well, I've got to start somewhere. I'm a 21 y.o. blank page in the eyes of society, it frightens me to think about officially entering the working community within 2.5 years. The fact that I'm graduating for my Bachelor's Degree within 1.5 months doesn't help to keep down the fright. And what about after these 1.5 months?

It should be time for my Master's Degree, but since I do not know which direction I want to head into yet, I am tempted to do an internship first. This will be my second big project for 2016. Other than that, I'd just like to improve on my visual communication skills. A few days ago I revisited my DeviantArt Account, in the hopes of keeping my sketches alive. In the future I might have to scrap some blogging-time for my visual art. Hopefully I can at least manage one drawing per week. There's always so much I'd like to do yet I never end up doing it due to the amount of unfulfilled wishes. It will be hard to focus on one thing and abandon another. I had such big plans of taking this blog to the next level, but I guess that will have to wait. Even though design is part of my degree, I have always been leaning more towards the engineering side of things. Therefore, my skills in design are lacking.

All I ever seek for is happiness and the chance to improve on myself. Let's just hope I'm not taking too many big steps here. Wish me and my art luck, and I will try to keep you guys updated. :)

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