Return to the Old and Feeling New


You know, there is a certain kind of feeling that comes with coming home after a long trip overseas. You almost feel like a new book, unwritten in, because you haven't been subjected to the kinds of routines you had before you left. It's been so long since you've had a life there that you've forgotten how you used to live. This can be incredibly cleansing; you might stop doing all those bad habits you had before, you might start something new that you've wanted to do for a while but never got around to before. All in all, there's just a new feeling to life in an old, known place. I experienced this when I came back from Paris after 2 months in the summer of 2011, but now as I'm getting ready to finally go home after 4 months of college in the US, it's a totally new thing altogether. I wonder what it will take to get me used to the pace of life in Auckland again -- even home is not how it used to be, since our house is being renovated right now, we're living in a different house and the next time I come home after ANOTHER 4 months is when I'll get to go to the house I left 4 months ago... but by then it will of course be another building altogether.

Someone told me that life in NZ is exactly how it used to be. Nothing has changed. But, I can't remember how life used to be. Someone else told me that a lot of people back home have changed as well. But maybe I will have changed so much also that I wouldn't notice. Will it be like meeting strangers again? Or will we greet each other like old friends should?

The first goodbye is always the hardest. Nowadays, nobody really cares much when the Australians come back for breaks, even though we were in tears when they left the first time. Doesn't that kind of mean that some part of us died the first time we left the country? As if we were truly saying goodbye to a part of ourselves. Well I suppose that is also true. Life would never be the same after that first departure, so I guess we were mourning the loss of that once everyday life. Though, many people said "this isn't goodbye, don't cry", as Lewis Carroll said -- "I cannot go back to yesterday; I was a different person then."

I know a lot of people have criticized me as being someone who is consistently inconsistent, someone who changes with the direction of the wind. Maybe it's because I haven't found the person I'm comfortable being yet. Or maybe I already have, but haven't found the courage to share it with the world. I don't really know myself. But these are supposed to be years of reform anyway, right? There must be something wrong with me if I'm not continuously learning. Though I guess that's not the real issue: people are mainly concerned with being discarded and left behind as I seek new things. But for me that's not the case. I never want to let go of anything, actually. Even things I thought I would find easy to get rid of, nowadays I still find myself thinking about every now and again. I'm human after all. perhaps not the robot everyone thought I was, including myself at times? It's somewhat consoling. I don't think I've thrown my past self away since I've come here. It's just been a different experience, meeting new people who have no knowledge of your past experiences. I've enjoyed having a clean slate. Rediscovering myself and whatnot. It made me realize that I have a lot of holes in my past actually that people were around to fill and I took for granted, especially my parents and their expectations. So I needed to grow things in those places and be braver to reinvent myself and try to really feel what was important to me, not what I thought was important because other people told me they were.

Am I finished with that, a perfect individual coming out of my first semester now? No, of course not. I still have so much to learn about both myself and the world. But I think slowly I am understanding, little by little. I don't think I will really finished, even after my four years here and walking out of these gates -- "Enter to Grow in Wisdom". Grow I shall, naturally: nobody's ever collided with the sky though.

I'm ready to go back and enjoy the summer. I'm excited, a bit apprehensive, dreading the long flight but all in all ready to go home. I will miss college and I will miss the family I met here, but right now I am also missing my friends and family back home. Actually I'm lucky that the world is so connected now that I can just jump on a plane and end up on the other side of the world just like that. It's kind of great. I want to go to the beach and eat at Bruce Lee Sushi and lie in my queen sized bed and roll around without sinking into the mattress, and I want to hug my life size teddy bear and smell freshly cut grass and eat homecooked meals.

July 14 2012 . One Tree Hill

 Well, let's go home and see what it's like. I'm curious. Goodnight world :)

pic dump and monthly update. just to dump it in case I forget about what happened in my freshman year later in life.


So since the last time I updated, let's see what has happened...

There was the Harvard Yale game! We won. American football is a lot easier to follow than Rugby (at least in my experience). 

Thanksgiving has gone and passed. I went to New York City and stayed with Katherine for two nights including actual thanksgiving where I helped around the kitchen and setting up for dinner. It was a really interesting experience, an American thanksgiving. The turkey went into the oven at 12pm. We ate at 7pm. It was pretty crazy and the food was delicious (naturally) :D

Such nice table settings :) Such a nice house as well


The other two nights I stayed with Adam in the city where I also saw [imagespambelow]

Central Park

Metropolitan Museum of Art

And of course:

FOODFOODFOODFOODFOODFOODFOOD (cinnamon buns @ kat's, bibimbap, sandwich panini @ adam's, pasta carbonara @ adam's, raspberry mousse cake, cappuccino chocolate cheesecake, xiaolong bao, shrimp fried rice+pork shoulder+red bean pancake + bakchoyyy, cannoli (and jason's tongue, but nobody wants to eat that), hot chocolate, oreo ice cream sandwich, and sushi :D)

Yay image dump. So that was my thanksgiving in a nutshell.

What's next... oh yeah there was that one snow day on december 1st, which was a nice thing to wake up to I guess. Makes you feel like Christmas is coming (though in actuality xmas is blistering hot in the summer in the southern hemisphere)

Just as it was beginning to snow haha. You can see it gathering under the tree.

Last week was a big work week, I had to finish my photographic project for history of photography (which was fun, but also messed up my room entirely. It's no big surprise why the starving artist stereotype is an unkempt bearded 20 year old male in his messy studio apartment. It doesn't take much to mess up a place when you're working with paper and crafts, and I'm not even throwing in any paints or wet media...). 

Not that it's been all work. At the beginning of Reading Period I took a trip into Chinatown with the HVA upperclassmen and had dimsum. It was a relaxing introduction to what would become a somewhat hectic study period. 

HVA Christmas Event

Oh yeah so I should probably explain the weird relationship I have with HVA. What happened was I went to one of their events (the making Banh Mi one) where I ran into Arthur who I know from Archery, and I met Peter there as well because he was a massive troll. Anyway since then they somehow conned me into joining their mailing list and going to their meetings (even though I have absolutely nothing to contribute, the free food is good though)... but actually everyone there is really nice, and I like how it's kind of a small group so it feels a lot closer than some of the bigger groups like CSA or AAA. I'm not vietnamese obviously though, but I've met a lot of cool people at their events and stuff and I like hanging out with Arthur and Peter despite (/because of?) their supreme troll and annoyingness :) So yeah that's my story of how I somehow became roped into HVA.

I also took a visit down to the Carpenter Center last week to take a look at the VES studios and the work they've done. I was really inspired after going to that exhibit actually, I can't wait to take a VES class. Hopefully I get one lotteried next semester but it seems hard to get into them since there's so much interest. The History of Photography exhibition was also really good, the sandwiches and apple cider were excellent and the inclusion of gingerbread men in the snack tray was a plus one in my book :P

Then there was the CS50 Hackathon/CS50 Fair, which were both pretty good, but only came about after a lot of hard work and sleepless nights (which later induced illness as I found out). 

4am @ Microsoft or something

Then I had to do another all nighter pretty much right before the due date because I'm a silly student who didn't finish earlier. But all is well, everything was ok in the end, I finished and presented at the fair and CS50 is no officially over (sadface). Still got free swag from the fair. 5GB on Dropbox, tshirts from CS50, Dropbox, Quora and Google, drink bottle from Oracle and lots of candy cupcakes and helium balloons haha.


Well, I was kinda sick over thanksgiving and now I'm kind of sick again ....... I spent yesterday sleeping, trying to recover after the dual CS50 all nighters. I got up for a few hours during dinnertime to go and have dinner with an alumnus from an investment company which invests in tech startups thought, and he had a lot of compelling and useful things to say. 

I think I finally realize now the importance of time, especially in college. I always end up thinking about stuff that happened before in my life in the shower, and how quickly it all changed. Because I think when you're younger and adults tell you you'll understand when you're older -- that time's already come for us. We're standing in it right now and we have these four years to find out how to cope without extremely dire consequences. I think it's important to make the most of it then. Actually already 1/8 of my time for that kind of experimentation is gone. I better not waste the rest of it, huh :)

Wish me luck for my finals @_@ Economics this Friday and then History of Photography next Wed. And then flying back to NZ to see all my lovelies again~  ♥

Promise I'll write something actually thought-provoking soon. Maybe. Got a lot on my plate right now gaiz bear with meeeeee