studying, career & relationships

I really should have slept in this morning, why on earth did I put set an alarm. Moral of the story is that it’s 3:20pm, and I’m feeling too tired and sleepy to do anymore essay research. So I’m taking a break and blogging!

I have started another blog by the way: Community Development Ideas & Discussion. It’s really just a tool for me to study, practice my writing skills, think about the issues I am faced with in my studies. In the future I hope also to use the blog to reflect on my practice as a community worker (I can already do some reflection on my volunteer work I guess), and perhaps write some decent posts about specific issues. At the moment I am doing textbook questions and posting them online, lol.

In fact I am becoming the biggest nerd, but this trimester at university has to be the most fascinating one. I am taking a unit about humanitarian resettlement, and anyone who knows me knows I feel passionate about the refugee and asylum thing. Doing an actual unit forces me to spend time reading and getting informed – yay! Plus I can better understand the situation of the families I work with. My other unit is about community development theory and practice, and again I have been able to analyse my current work as vice-president of the harp society in light of my studies. I love that I am able to make clear connections with my studies and my work. I think that’s the whole point but it wasn’t happening when I was studying music. So I have started reading this textbook just out of my own will, plus I have already pretty much completed all the research for one of my first essays, and I even started writing it! I feel on track with my studies for now, which is a huge relief.

Yesterday I Skyped with XXX and it was super fun. I can’t believe he will be back here on Sunday already; those six weeks have gone so quick. I can’t wait to see him again!!! My bestie!!! He’s been enjoying himself in LA but I think he is ready to come back home now. On Sunday (a few hours after landing), him and I, as well as his guitar teacher and his wife, are meeting up in a church to start recording our album (his teacher & wife will be recording us), so that’ll be fun, and the next day XXX and I are back to rehearsing at university in the mornings on Mondays! 😀 Fun times.

Last week I sent XXX a meme and made a lame comment/joke like, “y u no dating me” , which then led him to ask me if I would in fact date him. (I was NOT expecting him to ask me that!) I told him I think about it, and he told me he also thinks about it; we both are wondering the same things about dating each other. These include: what would dating be like, would it work, are we better off as friends? I cannot tell you how much time I spend daydreaming about being XXX’s partner … I love him so much and he is my best friend, and he feels like family, and we have so much fun together! Plus our friendship has often felt like a relationship to me, to such an extent that I feel a relationship wouldn’t feel THAT much different to the current state of things. So I don’t know. I will give XXX the diary I have been writing in, and also some time to think things through, and I am sure one day we will have a long chat about it and decide together what is best for each other and for us together. 🙂 On the one hand I’m super excited to think he’s considering dating me, and I’m like thrilled that maybe one day we’ll date but on the other hand I don’t mind giving him the time he needs (coz I think I need it too) and I think it’s nice not to rush into anything.

Last night I attended an event hosted by a local NGO; it was an interview with the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. The interview went for about 1.5h but I could have sat and listened for many more, Kon (the man’s name) is an incredible speaker and the issue is close to my heart. All of what he said resonated with me and it was so nice to be in a room where everyone was like me. More than that, as I was listening to him I could see myself doing the sort of work he does. I have a strong work ethic and when I am passionate about something I will work tirelessly at it; I have pretty good organizational skills (lots of people have said this about me); my leadership skills are developing … I’m not bragging but I know what I’m capable of, and I know if I so desire it I am entirely capable of becoming CEO of something one day as well.

But I have done music all my life and I am in constant demand as a musician. While it’s nice getting work, I don’t want to do it anymore, it’s just not a career suited for me. What’s more, is that now I know for sure what I want to do with my future (working for refugees), I am feeling no motivation to do music anymore. I would rather work with refugees and not get paid, than do music and get paid – I think that says a lot. So I have been reflecting on this today, realizing I am not very happy at the moment because I do too much music (which I don’t enjoy doing), and not enough work that actually speaks to my heart. At least next year should hopefully be a little different, since I am cutting back on the gigs I am taking on (I have actually refused quite a number of them already) and I am also refusing any new students. My professional music website will get deleted. Little by little the music world shall forget me! Yay! However, XXX and I ARE doing an album this year and WILL do a tour and I’m just not sure what that means for me …

But obviously this has also made me question whether XXX and I should enter in a relationship (that dreaded question!). It becomes clearer to me that my career should have either nothing, or very little, to do with music (unless I integrate both music and community development). I am not saying a relationship is doomed to fail when the two people have different careers, merely, what if our careers decide to keep us separated? (i.e. he finds himself travelling around on tours, or he keeps wanting to go elsewhere to record his albums or for gigs; or what if I one day get a job that requires me to move to a developing country or refugee camp)? I mean – what would be the point of being in a relationship if we are not even together in person?! Then I have been having the worry of what if he likes me less for quitting music? 😦 That’s a terrible thought! It makes me cry!

Well these are challenging times trying to figure out your career and how to get there when you already have sort of a career and you are respected in your field already. I shouldn’t have worked so hard at music, lol. But maybe if I hadn’t I’d never have met XXX. I wonder what the future has in store – I am actually a little terrified 😦

tired!

Is it so surprising?
I study quite a lot from Mondays through to Wednesdays, perhaps on average 6-7h. Thursdays I work, and Friday I might study some more, and I try to get the week-end “off” (Saturday I have some private students and Sunday is split between choir and chores). Studying for a whole day is very exhausting, especially because a lot of my study involves reading lengthy texts, some of which are quite technical. Also because right now I am taking a unit on humanitarian resettlement and some of the stories I have read are emotionally challenging to come to terms with.

Today I read this report, published by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, about the conditions asylum seekers and refugees live in, in the detention centre on Nauru. This is of interest to me because the Australian government sends those asylum seekers there, because the Australian government does not want anyone (who doesn’t own identity documents as well as a visa) on the territory – so it sends the people away. As the report shows, the asylum seekers and refugees are treated in the most inhumane way possible – this treatment, added to the despair of waiting for a visa which will likely never come – causes many of them to become depressed and attempt suicide. In fact, two have lit themselves on fire and died. Australia cannot send these people back to their own country because that would be a breach of the Convention on he Status of Refugees, which Australia is a signatory of. However, that Australia keeps people in indefinite detention, and that these detention centres provides little mental and health care, is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I am disgusted and almost under shock. I have since signed the petition and am wondering what I can do, as a 22 year old Australian citizen, to make a change. I think I will spend the next few days coming up with some sort of action plan. Perhaps I can write a letter to my local representative. Luckily, my writing skills are reasonable and I can voice ideas quite strongly if I take enough care. Perhaps I can do a video to educate others …

By the way, in case you did not know, there IS a difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee. A refugee basically has the right to international protection under the UNHCR’s mandate – they have applied to be a refugee and the local authority has agreed that they meet the criteria to be a refugee under the Convention’s criteria. An asylum seeker is someone who has left their country of origin but is not yet recognised as a refugee. Think of it as everyone starts off as an asylum seeker and only after a process termed Refugee Status Determination, they can become a refugee (assuming they meet the criteria).

So anyway, I am reading a lot about this stuff at the moment, which is fascinating (I am highly interested by the refugee issue), but at the same time it is a little sobering.

To make matters worse, my younger sister has been feeling back and leg pains the past month and as they are not going away we’re starting to worry that her cancer is coming back. It doesn’t look very good at the moment … I had to take her to the hospital today for a doctor’s appointment. As x-rays showed nothing, the doctor has prescribed a bone scan, which should hopefully tell if anything is the matter. My sister has been cancer free for about 2 years I think. Yes, that is about right. I just hope it isn’t anything serious, but why would she get pain if there’s nothing to worry about? I’m a little scared. Especially because there might not be much the doctors will be able to do to save her if she has relapsed … I guess we will find out sort of soonish. “Hopefully”. I remember in 2013 she would complain about pains (also in her back) and they would be so painful that she would yell out in pain … it was actually a little annoying, and we would ask her to be quiet, because obviously we had no idea it was leukaemia … then one night she just couldn’t get to sleep and she was crying and yelling out so loud, keeping everyone awake, so we called one of these after-hours doctors that come to your home. The doctor had one look at her and said, “this is really serious, you need to get her to the hospital as soon as you can”. It was 11pm that night and my dad took her to the children’s hospital and she stayed there for a week straight, doing all sorts of tests and scans, until the final diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was confirmed … and the intensive chemo began …

So I am not exactly in the mood to accept the cancer a second time, let alone how we would cope as a family. Back in the day it wasn’t too difficult on me. My mum would be the primary caregiver of my sister, visiting her at the hospital most days and bringing her food to eat. However a lot has changed since. My mum is sick herself and unable to drive, especially not long distances and in heavy traffic. If anything was really the matter and my sister required to stay over night at the hospital, some type of solution would have to be agreed upon between my dad, my older sister and I … and I hope that won’t have too much impact on my current past-times, interests, workload etc.

But perhaps I am over thinking and nothing is wrong.

On Sunday I was in a really good mood, and XXX and I were going to Skype. However he went busking and then got caught up chatting to people on Venice Beach, so our call was cancelled. We talked yesterday though. In fact we had a few moments of awkward silence, I don’t know why … I was waiting for him to ask about me. But he just didn’t really. He was happy to talk about himself, and what he’d been up to in California. I guess with him being away it means he has priority to talk first? And talk about himself? I don’t know. It sort of made me sad that he didn’t ask about my life. And also I could hear that he was clicking on his laptop so he was obviously doing something else at the same time as talking to me, and that made me sad too. But also I was tired yesterday from not getting to sleep until half past midnight and waking up at 7am and studying all morning.

And then of course today he posted two videos on Facebook. One of him when he was busking on Venice Beach. Of course I watched it and like the first thing I noticed was that a girl had filmed him, because you could definitely hear her voice. I just got jealous, a little. And the other video is of him playing music with a girl. And I just got jealous again. It really annoys me that I do but I think I know why I do. Obviously it has to do with feeling insecure (am I ever good enough to love??? Are the other girls better than me????) … but also I think it has to do with the fact that I cannot personally be friends with a guy without falling in love with them!! And maybe I apply the same principle to XXX (ie. he will eventually fall in love with his lady friends), but I shouldn’t.

I remember when he first told me about him going to California, I got all sorts of weird worries. I’d ask myself what if he likes it so much he wants to move there in the future? Or what if he meets someone and decides to move there permanently to be with this person? Well he has said he likes the place and that he’d love to move there next year, so yay that’s obviously great, isn’t it. I guess I can’t be sure exactly if he meant it, or if he still feels that way. And as for the second worry … well, I don’t know either. You know, I don’t even know if he loves me. If only he TOLD me!!! And I remember on Sunday I was in such a good mood, I was ready to say “I love you” over Skype …. and came Monday, I had no more energy nor motivation to say it, I don’t know why. Anyway, XXX and I have never told each other the three-word sentence and I don’t know if we ever will. We keep saying we really like each other and that’s as far as we’ve gone.

Anyways, so I am not in the brightest of spirits at the moment. I am deep in my studies which are fascinating but confronting at times; I am trying not to get too worried about my sister’s health; I am not happy with myself for feeling jealous; I worry I am not good enough (this is especially hard because I am everything I want to be!!!! I do my best at being caring, thoughtful, good, kind, inspirational, respectful, gentle, trustworthy …); and I’m very tired physically as well.

Well hopefully the next post will bring good rather than bad news.

ramblin’ about love (of course).

Since my last post, the main event that’s taken place is that my beloved mentee, friend and host brother Cutie Pie has left as his exchange came to an end. I got the chance to meet his parents, who are both such nice people. Then on Sunday morning my mother and I dropped Cutie Pie off at the airport. They were quite tight on time after checking in so the good-bye was very quick, barely any time to register he was going and that I probably won’t see my sweetheart for at least one year, if not two. I shed no tears, but on the way home I had a knot in my throat. I was a tad disappointed that Cutie Pie hadn’t written me a good-bye letter as he had said he would; even though I was aware his last few days here were very busy with meeting people for lunch or dinner to say good-bye. But he made up for it because after his domestic flight he wrote me a nice long message over FB, pretty much thanking me for everything I had done for him this past year, and also expressing that he enjoyed my company. I have not heard from him since.

On Monday, his sister and boyfriend had arrived so I met them in the city in the late afternoon and showed them around. We spent around three hours together and it was so nice. They were at the airport early the next morning to join the rest of the family …

And so that’s the ‘end’ of my story with Cutie Pie for now. I cannot believe how fast this one year has gone. It feels like only yesterday that I was getting nervous at the idea of meeting him. I am so surprised how the Universe brought me and Cutie Pie together. Isn’t it so amazing? He came from Bern and of all countries he could have gone to for exchange, he ended up here in Australia; not only that, but in MY district, and in MY club. What was the chance of that happening! And it was weird how my club appointed me as his mentor when I had no idea what being a mentor was all about (but from the feedback I got, I did a good job). It really gave Cutie Pie and I the opportunities to bond and become great friends. And if anyone could see how we interacted towards the end of the exchange, they would know that we grew quite close in a way. Emotionally speaking, I still feel like Cutie Pie was very reserved – I mean, I never learnt any of his secrets (the things I am most curious about, lol). But he was definitely his real, authentic, weird, annoying self around me, which I’m very happy about.

I have started writing him a letter and I will post it in a few months’ time … I will aim to write to him every once in a while. He enjoyed my letters (I wrote him many).

As for XXX, he’s still in California, busy doing his things. I’ll be Skyping with him on Monday. YAY!!! I can’t wait until he gets back; life is so dull without him around!!

But in case you didn’t know, a part of me was very attracted to Cutie Pie because he is literally one of the most handsome/beautiful person I have ever come across. He’s so tall and his hair is golden coloured and soo smooth and soft; his face is like perfect —- his eyes, omgosh I am in love with his eyes. It’s really a shame I never got to kiss him. Oh also I loved touching his skin (does anyone else love touching someone else’s skin or am I just weird?), it was always so soft and warm (and my hands would always be freezing). One time we were watching a movie and Cutie Pie and I were sitting next to each other on the couch, and somehow I ended up sort of holding his hand (that’s right – we must have been fighting and neither him nor I let go of each other’s hand) and I just started stroking his hand gently … yes, I was slightly infatuated with him! And then a little later he started fighting me again to the point that he was lying on top of me, and I’d wrap my arms around his waist and hold him against me … (the maturity between us! lol). But on another evening, we were having dinner with my parents, and as usual Cutie Pie sat next to me and I’m not sure how it happened either but he started stroking my hand too, it was so sweet! An I remember thinking to myself, “OMG is he actually touching my hand???!!! ACT NORMAL!!!!” lol. And this other time he again fought me and threw me on the couch and threw himself on top of me and I held him down and then stroked his hair … in all honesty, I don’t know if he was just teasing me as a sister or if he was looking for anything more. I remember asking him (in the middle of a fight), whether or not he had treated his other host sisters the same way, and he’d replied in the negative. I don’t know why he treated me any differently. I’d wishfully assume my ‘special’ treatment was because he had something for me; but when I mentioned wanting to kiss him he had a negative reaction. Maybe he wasn’t ready for it? Perhaps in the future … Although it’s highly likely that in the future I will be dating XXX. But I don’t know, maybe not.
And what about the time he legit lifted me up in his arms? He was obviously trying to show off his strength … (but I was worried he’d break his back). I honestly don’t know if he ever — how to phrase — liked me in a romantic way. I wish I could know …

And there were times I felt so close to kissing him, too; that didn’t help with the crush. We were fighting one time and I was pretty much sitting on top of him and I leaned closer and closer to his face because I was trying to grab his phone, which he was holding out; I really could have kissed him then (it did cross my mind). One night I was playing piano (his favourite piece) and he came from behind me, and sort of bent over and looked at me and his face was so close that again all I could think of was kissing him (and I probably blushed). And that one time after a Rotary meeting (jeez, this goes back to last year!!!) where we kept walking closer and closer towards each other until our faces were like 10cms apart. But I will never forget how one time as he got out of my car, he said, “Kiss kiss” and even made kissing sounds, and I was like, *omg does he want to kiss me?????* like why on Earth would you even say that if it wasn’t on your mind!!! Imagine if he wanted to kiss me all this time!!! And it just never happened!! 😦

He did admit he wasn’t mature enough for emotional things … I’m not certain what he meant by that but perhaps that was exactly it you know, like not mature enough to act on his feelings for me? I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s enough ramblings – makes up for my lack of posting hey! I’ll miss my baby, my Cutie Pie, my annoying host brother, my mentee, my boxing coach, my handsome charming young man who has such a genuine, caring and loving heart inside …

blue and sad and tired

Good evening everyone.

I’ll say honestly I haven’t been feeling the best recently. I’m constantly tired, lethargic … I have these huge eye-bags that make me look very ugly and then I feel bad for looking so bad … My doctor advised me to do a full blood count because often lack of iron makes one tired (and I was low on iron at the beginning of the year) but the results showed my iron levels are within the healthy range so there doesn’t seem to be any “physical” reason for my tiredness.
I don’t know myself exactly what is wrong, or whether there is anything wrong in the first place. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been doing as much as I have been doing? But then that’s not really true, I’ve been quite busy the past few weeks. I think maybe it’s a little burn out from the constant stress I had the past five months? I cannot tell, but I am simply exhausted, very often. Last Saturday I even had to cancel my students’ lessons because I was physically ill from tiredness (I was throwing up, which happens when I am extremely tired).
On Wednesday morning I met Cutie Pie’s parents and we went for a little tour around the city. Yesterday we had lunch at a botanic park. Cutie Pie is leaving on Sunday morning … Obviously it’s making me feel slightly depressed. Maybe that’s been affecting my health a little. Or a lot. It’s hard to tell. I don’t know. He’s having a party right now with his high school friends and I’ve been hiding my room. I came out to grab dinner and he came to find me, asked me if everything was alright, he cooked me a sausage, asked me a second and third time if everything was alright and when I said yes for the third time he said, “good, so I don’t have to worry anymore”. He can really be so sweet sometimes.

I believe I have mentioned, some time this past year, that Cutie Pie is unbelievably handsome (in my opinion of course). And that I have wanted to kiss him. So last night we’d both gone into our respective bedrooms for the night, but obviously I couldn’t sleep because all I could think about was kissing him. So I thought, let’s just do it. I threw the covers off me, got out of bed, walked across to his room and there I stopped, my heart already pouncing like mad. I thought, “no, maybe I shouldn’t”. And then I thought, “yes, I should.” But honestly, I had no idea what to expect. All I wanted was him to know how I felt, that was basically it. So I knocked on the door. I heard him go, “mmm yeah?” and so I said in a loud enough voice, as clearly as I could, “this is gonna sound dumb, but I really want to kiss you.”
YES I DID say this.
Exactly this.
I then heard him go, “noooo ….” and so with any remaining courage I had I just quickly said, “ok, I’m leaving, bye” and I rushed back to bed.

So I was pretty much rejected, not that I expected any different. I guess sort of because I did think he had a little thing for me because of the way he treats me. But I guess I made it all up in my head.
Nevertheless, I don’t feel particularly sad about the rejection. Actually I am just so happy I told, because that secret I was keeping inside weighed a tonne and I just wanted him to know. I would always wonder whether I should tell him, whether I should just kiss him without asking, how he’d take it, if he wants to kiss me back etc … I am not troubled by all these thoughts anymore at least. That is a relief. A huge relief.

This morning he went to the shops and met a friend there, and came back home with said friend. I was surprised because the friend was a girl. Of course I instantly felt a pang of jealousy. I can’t help it. And just when I went outside a few minutes ago to take a photo of all his friends he had his arm wrapped around that girl’s shoulder and they were looking into each other’s eyes and I almost thought they were gonna kiss.
But I realised that jealousy is just a reaction to feeling insecure. So moral of the story is that I am a terribly insecure person. I am insecure because I want people to love me. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes I have trouble believing anyone would 😦 And it’s worse when the people I love seem to love somebody else …………………….
YAY so ever since I realised that this afternoon I have been feeling depressed af.
And then the thought of Cutie Pie leaving breaks my heart.
I seriously don’t know why I get myself in these painful situations…