Hello everyone, how are you? I am… so sick… so not that great. I have what I feel like is a chest infection, but since it’s like a cold I refuse to go to the doctor over something I’m familiar with. I haven’t been to the doctor since I was 19, so 6 years- because I don’t really go unless I don’t know what’s wrong with me. And since I generally do, I haven’t gone in years haha. I just hate how you can’t get an appointment when you want to- it’s always a few days later and I’m normally better by then.
I know that I left you on a downward spiral last week where I had my weekly existential crisis over my motivations but today we are sick physically but better mentally lol. I’ve been thinking about how there’s pretty much only 1 month left of 2018 and all the things I’ve achieved this year. This month I’ve finished my 8 week yoga course, which blows my mind since I specifically remember buying the course online and turned 25 (disgusting). And normally my mind’s path is 25 = what have I got to show for it, I’m actually at peace with what I have gotten up to this year.
- I went to Thailand and China. For some reason I woke up with Thailand on my mind this morning. The heat, the convenience stores, the constant smell of fish sauce and the dogs that just run around the street. One of the saddest things about our trip to Thailand was that my brothers and I LOVED going to the convenience store and buying up all the cheap snacks that we had not seen before, and yet was very geared to our Asian taste. RIP us forgetting just the amount of snacks we bought in our bags, and ending up having to dump heaps at Customs before boarding our flight to China RIP RIP. So sad.
- I went to Queenstown! For work, but I think it was the push I needed to see more of NZ. I never really had much interest in going to Queenstown, but after going I was like I HAVE TO GO BACK TO QUEENSTOWN. It was beauutttiiffuulll, and like everyone on holiday, I started plotting how I could move to Queenstown and spend my days stuck in traffic next to the Queenstown Lakes because even that mundane task was made beautiful in Queenstown. I even got to go on a helicopter ride to the top of.. something… Coronet Peak? The Remarkables? Anyways it was amazing!
They had beautiful mountains, beautiful lakes and beautiful meadows and I wanted to be a part of that beauty. However: a) there are no marketing jobs in Queenstown b) Living in Queenstown is just as, if not more, expensive than Auckland c) I’d have no friends and find hard to make friends in a tourist city when they’re all going to leave d) there is no good Chinese food. I figured that my dream job was to work in some sort of marketing /social media in the Queenstown Council, but I don’t know if they would have the budget to do that? So I managed to talk myself out of that one but if my partner was ever like “lets move to Queenstown” it’s like “have you been looking at my TradeMe property history??”
- I moved out!! Fucking hallelujah, I was not going to turn 25 and still live with my parents. I am still having a great time at my flat, my friend/flatmate is perfect and her cat is sloowwwlllyyy becoming better friends with me. She only sits on my lap when noone else is in the house but at least she is sitting on my lap :”'( she does get really excited when I try to lie down with her and she did this really cute thing where she breathe-purred all over my face and I thought that was super duper cute :””'(
- I watched all of Greenleaf, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Suits, Game of Thrones, Designated Survivor up to date. I know this is a weird achievement but they are very good shows and I love watching TV shows. Also Designated Survivor > House of Cards
- Read more books than last year
- Because 4 points is bad luck
Thanks so much for reading this and my blog so far! Will be back next week for sure.
So I have turned 25 now and I was telling someone that I could have a legitimate quarter life crisis and she was like “crisis? you have nothing to worry about! You’re too young to worry about anything”. And I was like Susan, you are wrong there. I may not need to worry about my kids not sleeping, or my marriage falling apart or financial troubles, I may not have be at rock bottom, or any where close to the bottom, but you know what I can worry about? Never finding the right person to have those kids or that marriage to fall apart in the first place. How am I supposed to meet this life partner? What should I do with my career- I feel like I am trying my best, but is my best good enough? What do I even ultimately want? I’ve never had an OE, I’ve never been to Europe and I’m scared that I never will. How do I make time for all the things I want to achieve?
I feel like the things I want are contradictory. I want a partner but I barely respond to the boys that shoot their shot. I am chasing after both career and travel when I know full well that I can’t do both at the same time.
Now that I am older and instantly wiser, I have identified my problem. And that is that I am a hard subscriber to other peoples ideas of success to the point that I know it’s their ideas and not mine- and yet I still feel EXTREMELY pressured to achieve it. I mean, there is myself thinking I am successful, but would I really be successful if other people didn’t think I was?? Does a tree falling make a sound if noone is there to hear it…!!! And I want very, very badly for other people to think that I am doing better than ok.
Note that I am saying successful and not happy. Because I am 25 and a fountain of wisdom and critical thinking, I know that success does not equal happiness and happiness is a lot harder to come by. If I lived life for my happiness I would be a volunteer at the SPCA and swimming in debt from the multiple holidays I would’ve booked myself.
For my parents to think I am successful, I need to be earning money, buying a house and marrying now (haha fuck off no way for the last one). For my colleagues to think I am successful, I need to be killing it in my career and getting noticed for it. For my friends and peers to think I am successful I need to be well travelled, look the best I can and be genuinely happy. This has shaped my version of success, where I want all of those things combined, right now. I sort of think I must be greedy- I want everything that other people want, and want me to be the shining example of it and make people either be jealous, respect, or approve of my life.
And I have to ask myself (because I can’t afford a psychiatrist), why do I care about what other people think of me so much?? Isn’t that is the million dollar question in self help books thats supposed to make you realise you’ve been leading your life wrong and start you on the path to happiness- when you realise you should not live up to anyone’s expectations but yourself?
Deep down, I think it’s because I do not want anyone to look down on me because I have not met their expectation of success.
Fuck guys, I may have just realised one of my biggest fears in life- I HATE being looked down upon.
Maybe if I wasn’t Chinese, maybe if I had not started off poor, or extremely shy, maybe if I hadn’t been raised in a culture where everything is about your image, or maybe if I wasn’t such a goddamn people pleaser and wanting to make the people around me happy I wouldn’t have such a complex about it. But I do, and I want to avoid it at all costs because being looked down on closes so many doors. If people think I’m useless, nothing is actually going to come my way. No one will want to be around me. And I don’t know why I value achieving success over achieving happiness so much, but I am so compelled toward wanting to be better, wanting to be more, after achieving one thing its onto the next.
Fortunately, that’s also why I’ve never gelled well with people who like being “popular” lol. I hate people who try to enforce a sense of superiority or hierarchy because I don’t need that “you can’t sit with us” bullshit in my life.
I am just not enough. I’m not making enough money, not enough people love me, I don’t have enough things, experiences, fun. I am constantly measuring myself up to other people’s high expectations and impressions- and I’m so fucking short (like… literally).
I’m not a very positive person.
I think I’m quite calm and neutral. I typically don’t get too excited for anything apart from food, however I can go low low low when I am bored, lonely, stressed or anxious. I don’t know why, but I always feel like have one of those emotions quietly simmering at the back of my mind.
I am glad to see that other people my age feel the same way- I read a blog of someone I know who said that she tries to take a walk, grab a coffee and accept her anxious feelings, so at least I’m not alone. I think the anxiety we feel is normal when you’re under pressure to perform, or that you don’t want to disappoint people, or you’re not sure whether the life decision you’ve made was the right choice and although I logically know its normal it still feels shitty.
I realise that I don’t really have a method to make me feel better- in fact, my “solution” is to DISTRACT.
I will always try to distract myself from those feelings rather than focussing on them. It solves it short term, but the feelings always comes to confront you somewhere. Thankfully, the invention of social media means that I can avoid feelings for a longer time #catchretweetsnotfeelings
Ways to distract yourself from reality (apart from binge watching Netflix):
- Update or make a Pinterest account and start pinning: One of the more conservative of social media, Pinterest is something that you can spend hours doing yet is incredibly hard to be social and therefore be judged on since you can’t find other non celebrity people easily. Make boards about: your dream home and décor, recipes, places you want to travel to, quotes that are dear to your heart, prints and art you like, outfits you like, things you want, memes you find funny and stuff you’re weirdly obsessed about. I know you have one. Watches? Plants? Mine is waves.
Also you can make secret boards if you really, really don’t want to be judged, aka boards about your wedding or photos from people you know
- Go on reddit if you don’t already know how and read some threads. If you’ve never heard of reddit, it’s where Buzzfeed gets all their content with funny stories from but packaged up in a much easier to navigate, but tamer way.
- Watch some interesting but funny documentaries. And I don’t mean like funny clean documentaries but docos with some personalities that would never be shown on mainstream TV but are wicked funny. I like food and travel so my recommendations are Huang’s World which was made by Vice. My other recommendations are Fuck That’s Delicious and Matty Matheson’s stuff, this guy who only eats pizza and their docos from VICE Japan
- I know everyone knows to binge watch tv shows and movies on Netflix, but stand up comedians are also very fahnee and underrated in NZ. I like Ali Wong and Daniel Sloss
- Can you literally tell that I have no other recommendations but to spend time on the internet
- Walk to your closest dairy or grocery store to buy yourself an icecream (different from coffee, still exciting)
- Go to an Asian grocery store! I’m very lucky to within walking distance of an Asian grocery store and I love going there because 1) cheaper fruit and veges than chain grocery store and 2) everything is so interesting and different! Like you do not see frozen bitter melons, pickled tofu and roast ducks on the regular. I spend a lot of time just looking at all the different products and seeing what they’re used for. I swear I spent like 10 mins looking at some pickled galangal thinking ‘wow’ the entire time lol.
Of course, there are the tried and true ways of making yourself a cup of tea, talking to a friend or taking a nice long bath but I feel like that is said a lot and I wanted to share my favourite content that helps me take a break from worrying or stressing.
Do you have any other ways that help you distract from dwelling that work for you? Would love to hear them.
See you next Wednesday!
Scorpio season is nearly upon us and you know what that means! It’s my time to shine!!
Sorry this post is a little bit late: having an online blog that is public is so much harder when you have secrets (how very Scorpio of me). I’ve learnt the hard way that noone reads what I write… until I say something bad and then everyone suddenly knows what I’ve done.
Since it is nearly my birthday, I have been thinking about what I could get myself. i could never, ever be a minimalist. I don’t know how people do it. On my bed alone, I have so many layers and different types of duvet and sheets for different types of weather and when something is in the wash. I don’t know how they go to their houses and are satisfied with their bare walls and empty gardens. To me, personalisations and possessions bring your presence to a room when you’re not there, and make it so much more comfortable when you are. Plus it is so fun and nice to have things.
Anyway, here are some more things I want that I am currently thinking about getting.
Things I Am Currently Lusting After/Considering:
- Estee Lauder Beautiful Belle perfume.
First off, noone raves about Estee Lauder perfume, and I’m not sure if I actually like the scent or the idea of it- it has lychee, which I love and it’s not bad. I do want it but the smallest size is $118 :/
- Ecoya Sweet Pea & Jasmine candle
The smallest candle costs $20. I know I’m being extremely price focused here but I want bang for my buck. It would be so underwhelming to get myself a small candle that costs $20
- Peter Alexander Vanilla Caramel (? I think it’s called Tahaar? or is that the character from The Good Place)
The caramel vanilla cookie or something candle in Peter Alexander smells divine. But it is huge and costs $50. I can’t burn it in my room because I’d probably start having a headache and get soot in my lungs.
Can you tell I want to relax with the theme that I am angling at lol. There is a Thai massage place near where I live. Maybe its time to treat myself and pay a stranger rub my body for an hour.
Haven’t thought what book I want haha
I really want an ipad!!
I think out of all of these I want the ipad and the massage the most. I really don’t think I can do both.
So guys, what do you think I should get?? On one hand, a massage could make me feel better but an ipad is a thing that can last forever and I will be able to watch food videos while lying down
Place your votes down below, and see if I I have made up my mind this time next week,….
How to trap a cat, Esther style:
- Pet target regularly to get target used to you
- Buy target treats
- Brush target’s fur regularly
- Hug target
- Make sure weather is cold so target will appreciate extra warmth
- Take yoga classes to ensure bones and legs are bendy
- Make sure target is tired and snoozing
- Make sure you are alone so target doesn’t prefer anyone else
- Soft voices only
- Pat target lots until target is purring
- Slowly bring your legs up to rest around target so that target is sitting in the circle around your legs
- do not freak out that plan is going well
- get angry that you didn’t bring your phone but remember that you have a webcam on your computer
14. Become best friends with target and live happily ever after!!!!!!!!!!!! This is my fourth flatmate Booboo, and I’ve been working on trying to get her to be in love with me. I think she knows who I am now, and is used to me- so all that is left for her to do IS FALL IN LOVE WITH ME!!!! She is a baby and I want to hug her lots lots lots.
Esther 4 Booboo 4eva
So I spent 2 years or even more harping on about how I wanted to move out, moved out and stopped talking about it lol. So I guess I should talk about it a little bit more for closure on this topic haha.
Do you like it?
Yes! I like it very much. I love being able to do what I want when I want, buy what I want, wear what I want and eat what I want. Yes my parents had an opinion and way to do all of the above. I definitely love the freedom.
Do you miss your family?
Honestly, I do believe absence makes the heart grow fonder. My parents haven’t been this nice to me since my age was a single digit and I don’t miss them at all. I do miss my brothers- I guess something that I could try aim towards in the ‘future’ is to buy my own house and have my brothers move in with me. I think we would all have a lot of fun.
What have you been eating?
I don’t like cooking complicated recipes, so I have made Japanese curry, baked chicken, butter chicken with a ready made sauce and pan fry stuff. I am actually looking forward to making a teriyaki beef stirfry in the near future (my flatmate liked it and I liked the sauce) and this self claimed life changing chicken Udon .
I also eat out perhaps once- two times a week, go to my parents about once a week, and then when I make things it typically lasts for about 2-3 servings. So I don’t actually need to cook too much (I think).
Is it expensive?
I think I have been shopping for more clothes and shoes since moving in since I don’t have a mother to judge my purchases more! So yes, I am spending more money than I would’ve at home, but I refuse to be a 25 year old living with their parents so it is what it is. Also I could probably find cheaper rent but only marginally and somewhere thats not central Auckland and convenient. And what’s the point in moving somewhere inconvenient?
Have you been doing your chores?
My room is way cleaner than it was at home! Plus I do laundry, and for the first time ever felt unsettled when my room was messy. Who am I??
Do you get along with your flatmates?
I love my flatmates- we were friends already, I knew they were chill, I am chill, it’s all chill. Also, they have a cat who I am slowly getting to like me. She wanted me to touch her stomach like twice this Sunday and she totally purrs when I touch her now.
Have you learnt anything yet?
- even if they are from kmart things can rack up and if you only want it, you don’t need it
- I have wasted a lot of money in my life. I never knew my makeup/skincare/bodycare addiction was so bad. I have so many large size shampoos, conditioners and bodywash, makeup I haven’t opened, a lot of skincare masks and moisturisers and not what I actually run out of on the regular- which is contact lens solution. I cannot buy anymore since I have no place to put them now. Except I just bought new shampoo and conditioner yesterday as a backup of backups ….
- Pets are like babies
- I would go crazy if it was me and a cat. I’ve always thought it would be glorious living by myself and with a cat. Until I spent a few hours by myself and the cat. The last time I did that was years ago and I started feeling lonely and crazy for constantly baby talking to a cat that would never answer me back. I got sick of the sound of my own voice but I couldn’t stop paying attention to the cat. I like being on my own- when I lived at my parents house alone for 2 weeks I loved it!! However, I’m not sure if I could live alone for more than a month, even if I had a pet for company. God forbid if I was home alone with a BABY if I find a cat pretty hard!
Got any more questions for me? Comment, message me, DM me, tweet me, you know where I am! @missestherz
If you think I’ve recovered from my Quarterlife Crisis spiral well here’s some news for you: I haven’t lol. I’ve actually been reading ‘Womens Wellness Wisdom’ by Dr Libby and also forced to meditate in yoga class, which all are trying to tell me the same thing: relax. let it go. drink less caffeine. stop being materialistic. eat real food. chill.
Both my yoga classes and Dr Libby both advise meditating (she says that meditating can do the same things as medicines sometimes) but I have discovered that perhaps… maybe I like the stressy thoughts.
I’ve spent years on this blog going through one existential crisis to another, normally bought on by jobs, breakups or just general comparison of my life compared to others and I just generally like thinking about stuff. I like thinking about things I want (pets, houses, clothes, food, furniture, art… let’s say my trademe history is pretty expansive), about what I should do this week, the things I need to get done, even my favourite band. There’s never calmness in my head, and I’m also always compulsively checking and refreshing social media. And you know what? I like it. I never feel bound or ‘sick’ of social media despite my jobs in it. When my yoga instructor tells me to clear my mind, I am literally trying to remember my grocery list. Steamed vegetables. Coconut water. Chips? Juice? Hot sauce. Instant ramen? Instant rice. Grapes. How did I make a Japanese curry again from that video I watched? Cook onions. Buy 2 onions.
Clearing my mind is so.. boring. I don’t actually think meditating is for me… because I have so much fun thinking. It does spiral into worrying and stress, but to push those thoughts aside for .. silence… is not something I want to do. And since I refuse to turn my mind off, perhaps… I like thinking stressfully. I’m unable to stop because I think my mind enjoys having stress rather than nothing. A clear mind is just so boring. Maybe since my life is so stable, my mind creates these things like quarterlife crises just to have something to think about. I can imagine myself on an island in a favela, sun shining but I’m cool in the warm shade, waves crashing, partner by my side and a masseuse rubbing my back and being at the best time of my life and I would be able to worry if I let myself. I need to be constantly occupied: social media, watching a tv series (sidenote: Designated Survivor on Netflix- extremely underrrated, I’m obsessed), reading books, online shopping, listening to podcasts (sidenote no.2: currently listening to Black Hands which is a podcast about the Bain murders. I am convinced David Bain is guilty) and I enjoy being occupied and having lots of thoughts. Maybe I don’t like meditating because I don’t like having a calm mind, and my constant search of happiness and peace is not really possible when I love to think about my life constantly and also love being distracted by entertainment.
I just find it funny that the thought of clearing my mind absolutely sours me lol. I can think of nothing worse than being still and having a still mind. Props to you if you do meditate, since it’s crazy good for you. But I have a sneaking suspicion that if I cleared my mind for more than 30 minutes I’d fall asleep judging by the amount of yawning I do after a 10 minute one- and thats even with me replaying a youtube video in my head and listening to the teacher.
Maybe I’m not chill because my mind likes being extra. I’m not exactly stress free but I’m never ‘throw everything into the wind’ either. Or maybe I’m just extremely normal, and the only reason I feel so alone in this is because everyone keeps their thoughts to themselves, while I’ll happily spill it out to the internet. But not in person. Honey I only overshare to strangers not people I know, God forbid!
Well, until next time. Here is a pic of me with a Great Dane that I met at a work event I was looking after!
Guys, I can’t sugarcoat this. I think I am heading into a quarter life crisis. I’m spiralling, I know it.
Ever since my last post where I was positively gloating about achieving all the goals I set, I came to the realization that I should probably think about what I want to do in the next 5 years and that I am turning 25 soon, and it has not been good. Because every time I think about what I want to do next, it’s a big fat I DON’T KNOW.
I have several problems bugging me. First is the idea of moving away from Auckland to another country (I would NEVER move to a smaller town than Auckland…) because I have no clue what is left for me in this city. NZ is made up of 70% small businesses. Plus I wouldn’t be paid any better anywhere else in NZ considering that Auckland is the biggest city in NZ. I don’t want to get too in depth with career talk as I am in no position to talk about it freely but it’s been bugging me. I don’t really have a “passion” or a direction I want to take with my career. I don’t want to go up, I don’t want to go down and I don’t want to remain the same. So what am I supposed to do? I can’t figure out what I want. I can’t even do like a goal setting thing or those life coach programmes since I already did one session and we all know what it’s about: they can’t tell me what to do. I’m supposed to figure what I want on my own. But I can’t??? Also, I have this thing where I hate people telling me what to do, much like everyone else in the world. I hate it when people give me advice when I don’t ask for it, or volunteer to tell me how my life should be going. Some advice to constant advice givers: when you give advice to someone who hasn’t explicitly asked for it, i.e. me, it instantly puts me on the defensive. And to put it bluntly, I don’t like advice on my life. I’m always biting my tongue when people give me advice. When they ask me ‘why don’t you do this….?” All I want to say is ‘because I don’t want that.” I don’t need help with finding out what I don’t want. I don’t want a lot of things. But I am having such a hard time figuring out what I do. I’ve been struggling with it ever since I left high school.
I also cannot seem to find a boyfriend, or even an adult cuddle buddy here (TMI?). Is there something wrong with me? Are my standards too high? I don’t even necessary need someone I can hold a conversation with, as long as they can hold me down and you know what? I’m not finishing this sentence but you get the idea. I constantly feel like I’m missing out, and life is so much more easier when you are not alone. But I just don’t know how to find someone that I’m happy with. Like, how does that happen? Where am I supposed to meet them?? Everyone, including me, believes that it ‘happens when you’re not looking for it’. Buuuttt how do I ‘not look for it’? Because not only am I putting the pressure on myself, it’s on everyone else’s minds too. You read the escapades of my mother, and when I was living with her every time I go out she thought it was on a date which could not be further from the truth and gets my blood boiling at the thought. It honestly makes me sick that my mother thinks she can meddle in my love life but I’ve already had one rage on my blog, I don’t think you want to read another one. Honestly, that is one battle that I am always itching to have. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so angry at my mother before, and I am always ready to have a major screaming, door slamming and bridge burning argument whenever I think about it and my parents are fully aware so they never want to talk about it lol.
I also scratched my car and cracked the mudflap (?) of it as well in the last two weeks, went to Queenstown for work which was beautiful, and just all these other little problems and annoyances which is making me feel like everything is just so annoyingly wrong and nothing in my life is actually fulfilling. Like nothing is actually going wrong. I have a good job, a nice flat and great friends but in my mind I’m convinced I’m starting to unravel because my life is going on and I don’t know what I want to do with it.
I think I have a lot of pent up frustration that I have so many unanswered questions that I cannot find solutions for. And I feel like I am going in circles because no one else can find the answer for me, all of my problems lead back to how I don’t know what I want.
God. I know this is the question of nearly every 20 something millennial, but when will I be able to get my shit together?
So it’s been a month since I set a few goals for myself in this post here, so it’s time to give myself a monthly review.
- Post more regularly on instagram and a new blogpost every Wednesday
I was posting daily on instagram for about 10 days and although I was starting to get more followers, none of them were ‘real’- they were just accounts that would ride the hashtags and follow accounts that used them in hopes of them following back. I think I only gained 1 new authentic follower from my instagram endeavour, and I started running out of pictures to post. I like posting pics of flowers, myself, animals and food. I did not recieve flowers, already had too many selfies, and do not take cute enough pics of my flatmate’s cat. I have gone out to eat many times, but none of them deserve the instagram just because they weren’t that good. I put stuff on my story and one of the restaurants reposted it, but tbh I did not have a good meal there, I thought it was a ripoff. Am I supposed to tell the restaurant that?
I have been posting a blogpost every week though!
I am going tomorrow since I am a good girl
Like this needs to be a goal lol
- Catch up with my friends and hang out with them to show them I looove them
I did, especially in the first week of my emancipation! I caught up with a lot of my friends!
I did not have internet at my flat for about 2-3 weeks, and knowing this I had downloaded yoga tutorials since I figured if I had no entertainment, I would definitely do some exercise. However, I learnt that I would rather lie on my bed being bored than even consider doing any physical activity. I did not have any internet, any books, and I would still rather do nothing.
So for the first time in my life I have enrolled into a fitness class… I know, I’m lowkey anxious just thinking about it. I’m doing a beginners yoga course starting tonight.
- Visit my parents once a week but only on days when they’re cooking nice food
I have been doing this even when they haven’t been cooking nice food! I really do think absence makes the heart grow fonder- I went out to yumcha with them, and since it was a weekday (I’m currently on annual leave), it was just them and me. All attention was on me and I was like :O this must be what it feels like if I was an only child. But god, thank fuck I’m not my parents would be even more tiger parenty and meddly in my life if I was the only kid they could project/focus their energy onto. Oh and because of my brothers they’re naice they can keep going.
I can’t buy an ipad, but maybe I could’ve if I had not spent all my money on the next goal…
- NO BUYING CLOTHES, MAKEUP OR SHOES
I’m sorry to say that this has been a MASSIVE FAIL. Right after I wrote those goals, I got bored since I had no internet and decided to go to the mall. Which is a strange thing for me as I a) go to a mall every single day for work b) was actually craving having activity around me when I think I’m an introvert?? Anyway, I went straight to the mall and went on a kmart splurge, bought myself some converse shoes and bought all this extra beauty stuff that I didn’t need. I have been buying more clothes than usual this month and yet I still don’t have enough things to wear…
Well I haven’t touched my savings, so that’s great! I’m living within my means!
I’m not sure what my goals are for the next month. I feel like those above were all I wanted to achieve… I guess something on my mind is what I am going to do next year. 2019 is only about 3 months away, and I feel like I need a loose 5 year plan in place.
Let me know if there are any goals you have in mind for the next 5 years – I would love to read your hopes and dreams, and how you would like to have life take you!
I saw Crazy Rich Asians and it was everything I needed it to be.
And I am NOT exaggerating. I’m actually feeling a little bit emotional about it now because I felt like I could relate to everything in that movie, or at least could understand it fully. Being an Asian outside of Asia. Speaking in Cantonese. The stress of parental expectations. Everyone in the movie having the same type of skin, eyes and hair as me, and being seen as hot or desirable.
I have never felt so validated after a movie- is this what white people feel like after seeing anything??
The movie was just in its first scenes and the main character Nick was describing his cousins and their immense wealth, and I was like yeessss. Finally a story where the Asians aren’t criminals, foreigners or immigrants but actually in a position of power and covet. Where the audience is made to feel jealous of these Asians.
I have never watched any movie, read any book, watched any news story or anything in my world where people have felt admiration and envy to Asians. The Asians I see in my media are either first generation Asians battling racism (like me lol), fresh off the boat Asians, or wealthy Chinese people “ buying all the farms and houses in New Zealand”. In my world they’re the people that smuggle in banned animal products, or the ones who do weird exercise in the parks, the ones yelling in gibberish making a piece sign in one hand and wielding a selfie stick in the other. The bad drivers, the ones who make leaky houses and who put MSG into their food. In my world, in my country and in my town, people like me have always been painted for me as different, as an outsider. Being Chinese was an embarrassment at my worst self hate times, and acceptance at my best. I know I should be proud. I am proud. I should be secure.
And Crazy Rich Asians made so feel so secure, because it made me feel understood. I don’t know how to describe it, when you see something in a movie and it makes you think “I am not the only one. This must be real because it’s being played out. This movie understands me. “ This movie, played all over the English speaking world that I feel different from, will show more people a part of me that I would never usually articulate and help them understand me and my life better and NORMALISE it.
I will never be an Asian American meeting my billionaire boyfriend’s dynasty, but I understand what it’s like to speak Chinese, look Chinese but not think like a Chinese person. I know exactly how Chinese people judge you on your family, your money and how they try to add face. I’ve never been married, but my fear of having a Chinese mother in law exactly like Nick’s Mum makes me fully understand her character. A storyline that I had only seen in myself and my Asian family and friends is now on the big screen and acted out like it’s normal. Not some white person being introduced into Asian culture for the first time, bumbling around the family and eating dumplings with a fork. But where they talk about tea ceremonies, different aunties and wearing the colour red and it’s no big deal, because everyone gets it. Being Asian is normal in this movie. The main characters are Asian, the supporting characters are Asian. I know this doesn’t mean exactly mean acceptance in the real world, but at least it’s a small step toward it.
I also really appreciated how unapologetically Asian it was. There was no shame in making the audience listen to a Cantonese soundtrack, whereas I struggle telling people my Chinese name. I always, always feel foolish doing it and even when the Cantonese songs were playing in the movie, I felt a little bit self conscious because the audience was listening to it and they weren’t Chinese. I’ve always felt self conscious over the Chinese culture and language, because I know that if the people witnessing it even express one negative thought over it, even if it’s a frown on their face, I get quite hurt and upset. Like who are you to judge me and my culture? But no one laughed, no one thought it was wrong. So not only did it help introduce Chinese to the Western audiences more, but it helped me not be so defensive over it. I constantly need to remind myself to be proud of being Chinese. Some aspects like food, places, fashion, I am completely open and proud about, but other aspects I don’t like to broadcast. Crazy Rich Asians is helping me see that it’s ok- to be fully proud of being Asian. To broadcast it, because it looks so vibrant when you do.
And this is why representation is so important- it can make such an impact on someone’s life. I am sure I am not the only off shore, child of immigrants- Asian who saw this and felt this way because Crazy Rich Asians is number 1 at box offices right now. I loved every moment, and I think it’s going to be one of my favourite movies of all time (although another Kiwi Asian I know HHAATTESS this movie sooo not all off shore Asians liked this).
I’m going to do something outrageous now, and that is see the movie again this Friday- I hope this movie gets the most attention and money it can, because it’s what it deserves. It’s what I deserve.