The Next Five Years

“Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans” is something my father has been known to say on occasion, but which google reveals to be a John Lennon quote/song lyric. Never is that saying truer than it is for the month of February, which at 28 days most years, goes by in a flash. Here we are March 1st and I’m thinking, we should probably take down the Christmas tree.

My Mum wrote a very funny blog earlier this week, about how she feels she is just hanging around in the waiting room of life. She’s 43 years old and all her children have fled the nest, and she’s not sure what the next twenty years will look like. Well funny that, none of us do.

A day after reading her blog, a package I sent myself six weeks ago arrived. During the Christmas break back in Hong Kong, I spent some time going through some of my old stuff that has accumulated in my mothers tiny apartment. I found my old school blazer (which was gigantic on me in year 12 and now sits the way my work blazers sit…ever an indication of aging and thickening) old programs from Musicals I was in, and I found precious newspaper pages on which I featured.

When I was 15 and living in Hong Kong there was a section of the South China Morning post called “The Young Post” and for a period of time they had different groups of kids (I think they started with 9) come in, photograph them in a couple of different poses, and then send then get them to respond to certain questions. The idea was that you would vote one kid out of the young post every week.

I only lasted 3 weeks or so. My downfall week, the question was “tell us a joke”. My parents had a thick book of politically incorrect jokes that used to sit in our bathroom (wildly inappropriate for children, but hey, I learned a lot about sex and sexual interaction from that novel!) Now, I know what you are thinking, I went ahead and did the one about the Nun and the Irishman. WRONG. Because somewhere in the back of my rude-joke-packed-mind I realized that these jokes were hilarious but also WILDLY inappropriate for the young post, I looked up online, “politically correct, lame jokes,” and came up with the following, which I used as my answer:
“What’s brown and sticky? A Stick!”

I was eliminated. Well Fuck.

But that isn’t where our story ends today. The question before the one that ended my career as Supreme Young Person of Hong Kong 2004, was “Where do you see yourself in 15 years?” And I answered the following:

“Wow! I’ll be 30! Well I hope to be working in a creative Job, maybe Acting because that is something I have always loved, living in some far away exotic place, with some really hot guy.”


This year I will be 25 and that means it has been ten years since I wrote that.

Let’s check in.

I am certainly living in some faraway place; Toronto is NOT exactly close to Hong Kong, and I’m not sure what I would have defined as exotic back then, having lived the majority of my life in Asia at that point. Compared to the busy, loud, crazy city that I consider my home…snow covered everything is pretty exotic. Eh?

As for the job…at this point I’d take any job as the endless weeks of Temping blur into one another and my sent inbox fills with more and more desperate and unanswered emails, (I’m totally kidding, I’m still working towards the creative thing and have actually had a couple of non-creative job offers suggested to me, which I have politely turned down. I didn’t bust my ass being poor and interning for the last 6 months to give up and take yet another Admin job which pays the bills, but kills my soul.)

And as for the really hot guy thing, let’s not even go there. You don’t want to hear me gush about Canuck boyfriend and he’d probably de-friend me if I did. But I think I’m on-track with that one.

But the next five years is going to be pretty huge I’m guessing. There is obviously no way of knowing (because 2 years ago I would have never thought I’d be where I am today), but the one thing I do know is that life is an ever changing thing. You can never get too comfortable with the way things are, for better or worse, and it’s always for the better in my opinion.
I find it interesting that my Mother feels rutted in her life when she is still in the prime of it. I get it that the hands on child-rearing faze of her life has fizzled, but she never gets to stop being our mother (sucks to be you) and she never gets to stop being a part of her already fairly eccentric family. Maybe that’s her problem (and I suffer from it to) there are days when things just seem too calm and normal.

And that is freaky.
The good news is that she has the next generation to look forward to. Maybe not in the next five years, but, thanks to stupid biology, certainly in the next 15. And she’s already threatened to be the grandmother that feeds the grandkids sugar and lets them stay up late and gives them money to sneak out to concerts and will generally be considered “cool” and therefore loved more than me. Stupid ungrateful unborn, un-conceived children.

I guess we’ll just have to see where we’re at, twenty years from now.

Ridiculous Ramblings

I have a lot of time to think in the day as the job I’m doing at the moment requires me to sit quietly and listen, and only occasionally do something.


So I have lots of time to live in my own head. This can be a good and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it means I get to know myself, probe the depth of my crazy, really get acquainted with all the nooks and cranny’s, learn the quirks in the way I’m programmed. It’s bad obviously because it means I can obsess over things and they can grow like a shadow into huge monstrous things, made of some tiny little spec.

And like a child alone in their room, I, alone in my head, fixate on the spec until I’m convinced that the huge shadow has come to eat/kill/torture me and that I will not make it through the night.

But I always seem too. Which is disappointing. Not in the sense that I’m emo and like (boo) I’ve lived to see another dawn and, you know, live in my middle class life with my middle class problems, but because I’ve spent so much time terrified of things that aren’t, or are but not as big a deal.


So, recently, as you would know from my crude cartoon, a boy I love kindof broke my heart. And I haven’t really put anything out there online about it because sometimes I read heartbroken blogs or Facebook status’s and I’m like “REALLY!?!?!?! DON’T YOU HAVE A DIARY?!” because there are things that you just don’t want to know/don’t have enough care/brain space to know.

Think Homer Simpson and his “I learned so much it pushed other things out of my brain.”

And I’ll put it out there, I DO have a journal into which the worst of the rambling goes – it’s pretty schizophrenic as my pride, emotions, heart, ego, hurt, desire, regret and subconscious all vie to take over the pen (sometimes it’s like John Malcovich in there) with one page saying “I love him” and the next “What a douche. Just look at your fine self.” But that is not for the world to see. That is for me to collect myself and present an “I’m GREAT!” image to the world and then re-read it in a year when I’m done with being sad without anyone else having to know how nuts I truly am.

SO, what point am I rambling my way towards? *quickly scrolls up to re-read what has been written* ah yes.

Obsessing over things, seeing a monster in a shadow and being sad about getting my heart crushed.

Last night I confronted a real monster and it put things into perspective. My beautiful street, which I love to live in, in trendy Sheung Wan, is about 40meters long and 10 meters wide. There are probably 100+ people that live in it and it is high density living although the buildings are all low rise.

There isn’t much you could do at night that your neighbors would NOT hear and generally, it is a nice place to live. Except that last night (11.45pm) everyone in the street could hear a woman having the shit beaten out of her, screaming and crying, and a man screaming at her.

It was so loud, and was coming from our side of the street. I looked out my window and saw loads of people looking out of their windows too. I was shaking, it was the most horrible sound. Mum said “I know who it is, i’ve called the police on him before.”

We slipped on shoes, put on coats over our pajamas and grabbed our phones and keys. Mum and I marched into the street and stood outside the building.

Something not a lot of people know about my mum is that in her childhood, she was subjected to intense physical, mental and sexual abuse. Sometimes I think she is a bit of a hardass and a bit too “tough love-y” but when I think back to the first 15 years of her life, I can see that she’s strong because she had to be. She couldn’t give a f*ck and she’s not afraid of anybody.

Anyway she marched into the street last night and screamed up at the building (which is where the abuse-noise was coming from). The guy went quiet and then called down for us to F*ck off. My mum yelled back that she would not and that she was calling the police (which we did) and then we stood outside and waited for them. The horrible thing was, people in our street were yelling at us to shut up and saying even more obscene things like, calling us Sluts and Bitches.

When I looked up in the street there were people in so many windows. And we were the first to do something?

It put into perspective that there are things out there far worse than the fact that your ex changed his facebook status/picture/didn’t write back to your pathetic texts. There are worse things at 22 than feeling rejected or fat or not having anything nice to wear.

I am sad. But last night I also realized that I am lucky. I’m waking up today with a bruised heart, not a bruised face. I can obsess all I want in my head about shit, and try and guess the future (I’m really bad at guessing), but really, my present is extremely good.

I hope that woman is okay.

Picture thieved from: