bruises.

I have a galaxy woven between my ribs
and every blooming bruise is a dying star
no matter how much i try to forget you
you creep in again
every time I memorize the northern sky
you dip your fingers in and mix
and mix until
each constellation has melded with the others
from black to blue to fading green
the yellowing bruises on my ribcage
stay far longer than you
ever do
every movement reminds me
never again
never again
never again
never again

New Year, New Me?

People love to think the new year will change them overnight, but I disagree. It’s just a moment arbitrarily decided to be called The New Year. It’s not going to give you magical powers to start exercising, stop procrastinating and become a better person. HOWEVER, I do believe we can all take this opportunity to START AGAIN. You can make realistic goals to help you become that magical version of you who you’ve always wanted to be. Personally, I never really set new year resolutions before but I am going to start this year. It’s a new year but not a new me just yet; I want to be the New Tiffany in twelve months time.

My resolutions for 2014:

  • Take care of my body. Eat a healthy amount of food, no more, no less. Too often in the past I would overeat just because I had a large portion on my plate. I am going to control my eating habits to limit unhealthy snacks and eat slowly to digest and hopefully stop overeating. Another thing is that I often work so hard that I forget to drink water even when I’m thirsty, or lose track of time so I am forced to shower very late or very early. No more of this nonsense.
  • Be creative. Specifically, write more. I said I was going to write a lot in 2013 but school and life got in the way. This year, I will be going a “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar to keep track of my writing habits. I want to write a novel by December 31, 2014. (If you don’t know what the “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar, watch charlieissocoollike’s video on the subject on YouTube to find out!)
  • Read 52 books. I think this is pretty self-explanatory. I will take a picture and give a rating out of 5 to each book I read. These will be posted once a month right here on wordpress.
  • Improve people skills. Yes I’m an introvert, but that’s not an excuse to stay at home all the time. I’m going to go to the parties I am invited too (not that there are that many…there’s only about three I can think of from now to June) even if I feel awkward. It’s time to get out of my comfort zone.
  • And finally, improve my education. I am striving for a 90% average to get into the universities I applied to. I think it’s around 88% right now so I must do better! Plus, I am making a resolution that no matter what happens, I will try to make the most of where I end up in September. I will not wallow in tears freshman year of university if I don’t get into my first choice.

What are your resolutions? Suggestions on mine?

A year in review: photos of my 2013.

Here are some selfies and photos taken of me that are representative of my year. Some are milestones and some are just crazy adventures that happened along the way.

feb 2013 bday Birthday, February 2013.
march 2013 semi Semi-formal dance, March 2013.
april 2013 golden daffodil ball Charity ball, April 2013.
june 2013 schools over party End-of-school-year party, June 2013.
june 2013 first vlog My first vlog, July 2013.
july 2013 versailles Versailles, France, July 2013.
july 2013 eiffel tower day Eiffel Tower, Paris, July 2013.
august 2013 beach bbq Beach party, August 2013.
nov 2013 les mis Les Miserables in Toronto, November 2013.
dec 2013 xmas Christmas, December 2013.

This year has felt oddly long, I don’t know why. I didn’t think the first half of these were from this year until I put some thought into this photoset. I’m so glad my blog has grown this year and I’m really proud to have gained many more followers (although you guys never talk to me!) and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts. Thanks for a great year, wordpress.

See you in 2014!
Tiffany xxx

Where did my time go?

Image

Oh man. I don’t know how I managed to lose so much time. I can’t believe there are only a few days left before Christmas! I could have sworn I posted a blog just a couple of weeks ago but apparently I haven’t been writing since mid-October. That is positively insane. Writing is one of the only things that quiet the chatter in my brain. 

Guess this blog isan update on my life, so here goes:

I applied to six Ontario university programs in November. They’re all business/commerce programs and pretty competitive as well. Dunno if my marks are up there but I have to take the chance, right? Since most of them are due early February, I’m working on filling out supplementary forms at the moment. I hope to finish at least one draft of them all by the end of Christmas break. More exciting is my application to LAW SCHOOL in the UK. I am on draft nine of my personal statement but I still don’t know what I’m trying to say… That’s due on January 15th so I slave over it every day.

I have to finish two essays in the next two weeks but I don’t know what I want to say. One’s my English ISP and the other is my law ISP. If anyone wants to talk to me about feminist literary analysis or American drone strikes I’d be so happy.

That’s all I’m going to say about academia today. On to my personal life. I went to a party two evenings ago for one of my best friends. It was for his birthday but also Christmas but also a celebration because we’re in the last year of high school. At one point it got emotional when people did impromptu speeches about how freaking awesome our group is. I don’t know how to leave these people when we all separate to different universities next year. (Of course the saddest song on my iTunes starts to play just as I write this paragraph.) I was biting my tongue really hard to keep breathing normally. Speeches like that make me teary.

This is a moment in my life where I feel like I’m playing a game of chicken against every other 17 year old. We are all driving towards the edge of the cliff and trying to be braver than all the others…trying to be smarter and snatch spots at the best universities. Teachers, parents, mentors all egg us on and encourage us to fall over and get on with the next part of life.

The gravel crunching under my wheels is so loud. I’m teetering. I’m about to fall off, but not before I pass calculus.

bruised elbows and chapped lips.

the boy with bony hands and calluses on his fingertips loves
the girl he calls perfection
a true angel
and feels unworthy of her

he says “i’m monstrous”
he sees his chapped lips
(the bottom one chewed on when she is around)
and bruised elbows
(from spinning into sharp corners to hide)

she says “you’re beautiful”
just look at your warm hands
(carving secret messages out of steel strings)
and your pink lips
opening to reveal barking laughter
(not to mention the warm embrace you give your mother
when you show her your science fair medal and she cries)

you never saw yourself until you saw yourself in her eyes
and so for the
first time
since you met her
you
breathe

A metaphor.

Those who are important to me are lighthouses in my universe; my boat traverses seas and monsters and sirens, guided by the faint beams through the fog. I am thrown out of the boat and salt stings my eyes but the glowing light on shore keeps me fighting towards the surface. When at last I break the surface there is nothing but clear skies and the fog has passed. But I know my lighthouses will be there when it grows dark once more.

Now that I am in my last year of high school I feel I am in that tiny boat fighting against everything out in the world but I was reminded today that I am still tethered to the dock, so to speak, by someone important to me. She said, “Don’t forget to email me once in awhile once you’re at university”. Very casual, not trying to pressure me but just a teasing comment. I realized that I might be going out into the unknown, but I am not the only one with changing circumstances. It’s not only the ones leaving who are affected, but those who are left behind.

I told her I wouldn’t forget. After all… “When new sights grow old, and I start to feel cold, I’ll sail home again”.

Chinese tourists.

I am a Chinese Canadian. My parents were immigrants from Hong Kong and I was born in Canada. I have only been to Hong Kong and China once in my life.. I can’t really read or write Chinese. I can speak Cantonese well but my Mandarin leaves something to be desired. (I am taking classes though. I’m trying.) I know Chinese values and customs but I am more comfortable with Western/Canadian ones. And when I travel, the most annoying thing to me is being mistaken as a “Chinese tourist”.

I am not ashamed of being Chinese; just ashamed of the stereotypes of Chinese tourists. The Chinese are prone to clumping together in large, loud groups. In every major city, Chinese tour guides can be found leading packs of Chinese tourists wearing fanny packs and carrying many, many cameras. They have the reputation of being brash and oblivious to the customs of others. Even in places meant for quiet worship there will inevitably be Chinese tourists speaking as if they were in the Super Bowl stadium during the last touchdown.

On my latest vacation, these stereotypes followed me everywhere. One example that stands out in my mind is when I wanted to get an English audio guide for a museum. The following exchange actually happened:

ME: *waits in line to get an audio guide* Hello.
EMPLOYEE AT MUSEUM: Do you want me to program it in Chinese?
M: No. I wan–
E:  Japanese?
m: No, I–
E: Korean?
M: No–
E:  *very puzzled* What language do you speak?
M: English. Can I have it in English?
E: No way! Where do you come from?
M: *thinks: are you kidding me* I’m Canadian, I’m from Canada.

How can this kind of thing still happen? The man didn’t even let me speak and kept cutting me off, sure that he knew what language I spoke/listened to. He couldn’t comprehend that I spoke, *gasp* English.

I am so frustrated with this kind of thing happening everywhere I go. Do I need to make a t-shirt that says “I KNOW ENGLISH” or “I AM FROM CANADA, NOT CHINA” to make this clear to others?! I don’t want to be so frustrated but I can’t help it. It’s so annoying to have to deal with this in 2013. Everyone wants to say that POC are no longer being treated differently. The fact is, though, that the world hasn’t really changed all that much. I wish people would be better about these things. I like being Chinese, but I hate these stereotypes.

This is something I have been thinking a lot about this month so I want to read your opinions. Please comment what you think if you have some time!