To the Woman I Will Someday Become

I crafted you in my head decades ago.

You’ve evolved; your name has changed, your career oscillates between a few things, your family changes, your appearance changes, your fashion and hair altered when new styles come in.

But lately I haven’t been thinking about you. And when I say lately I mean in the past five years. I’m not sure if it was more so a childhood endeavour to aspire for this different, amazing life, to wonder what it would have been like to be on top the world, be successful, and reach a peak where there seemed to be nothing else to strive for. But I think I need so start thinking about you again because I’m at the cusp of trying to fulfil that vision, and frankly, there are some things I’ve realized that I need to say to you.

I’m building you little by little. You’re supposed to be intelligent, well-read, highly educated; people both admire and fear you. I’ve been trying to read everything that’s been on your to-do list: I’m reading War & Peace right now, and desperately trying to finish it. I think you’re smart, but I don’t know how people perceive you. I don’t think they fear you… is that something I should still vie for? You’re also supposed to be trilingual in English, French, and Italian. I’ve got two down (ish) and I had completely forgotten about the remaining language so I’ll add that to my to-do list. You always wore the latest clothes and had great style, and this is largely due to my childhood admiration for the witty, wealthy, and well-dressed Massie Block. Fulfilling this part of you has been difficult but not without investing lots of effort: I buy all these things but nothing seems quite right. I’m slowly learning about getting things tailored, what to splurge on and what to skimp on, how to spend my money. It’s been a wild ride let me tell you.

I’ve failed you in certain ways. I didn’t end up being Ivy League-educated, but I must admit that I didn’t try as hard as I should have. I think if I were to do more school, it would be Ivy League or bust. I will work harder next time. I’ll do it for you. You’re no longer friends with C and most likely never will be, and I’m really sorry that I screwed that up so badly for you. You were supposed to be very skinny and beautiful, and I’ve reversed everything that That Eating Disorder gave us. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it… about all the things that I can do to redeem myself, so please forgive me as I try to fix everything. And as a side note, I still see what L, MT, MN, B, and C are up to. They’re healthy and leading lives so starkly different from what they thought they’d be doing ten years ago, and I hope you’ll begin to understand that not all stories have happy endings but that doesn’t mean that the story’s no longer good.

You were supposed to be the CEO of a luxury goods empire. You were an actress slash fashion designer slash CEO of fashion houses, hotels, and schools. You could really do it all. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve certainly realized how unrealistic that is.  You were also supposed to live in Paris or the outskirts of it, and I’ve now realized that I don’t want to permanently live there. Ever.

You fall in love so easily, like you don’t have to work for it. Like you just end up with this family of five kids… and I want to ask you, “How?”. And you’re not very in love with your husband, at least that’s what I recall in my 11-year-old rendering of The Woman I will Someday Become. I want to fall in love; I want to fall in love like AB.

There are many things from which I’ve deviated in terms of hobbies, academic interests, and personality.  I guess time has helped me figure things out and tweak my aspirations, and I guess there are also qualities and values that I hold that have never wavered.  I’m not sure where the next decade will bring me; not to scare you or anything, but that’s the period of my life when I become You.  I hope I get closer to my goal.

I wanted to say hello, that I haven’t forgotten about you.  That I’m building you up in my own way, and I hope that The Woman I will Someday Become will make both of us proud.  I think I’ve let other things distract me… but no more!  I’m glad I wrote to you. And I hope you’ll smile when you read this someday.

My book list 2016

    1. Fire with Fire (part of a trilogy.. the first two were very good)
    2. Ashes to Ashes (the trilogy went for a weird turn at the final book and it actually creeped me out a lot)
    3. The List (about a high school where a mysterious annual list of the hottest and ugliest students are posted, and how everyone who makes the top lists are affected by the rankings. There’s a twist at the end.)
    4. Finding Audrey (so hilarious!)
    5. War & Peace (very complicated thoughts about this book, which makes sense since it’s an epic and is quite complex. Made me reflect a lot on my life, the meaning that I want out of my life, my pursuit for happiness, what love means, what happiness means, how I can lead a fulfilling life)
    6. Everything I Never Told You (very sad and has a great twist at the end)
    7. Programming in Python for Dummies
    8. The City of Mirrors
    9. The Nest (didn’t really like it…)
    10. The Widow (I love thrillers)
    11. When Breath Becomes Air (this made me cry and also made me reflect on the legacy that I want to leave.  It reminded me that I don’t want to be remembered for my accomplishments but for the person that I am towards the people I love and how I treat people).
    12. Spinster (one of my favorite books this year, surprisingly!  It made me do so much reluctant self-reflection on where I see myself in life, what I want, whether or not I’m happy, how do I make myself happier, how do I lead a fulfilling life, where do I want to move now that I’m an “adult”.  It made me start to write again.)
    13. Bone Gap (This book won several awards and I thought it was alright.  The writing in the book was pleasing and the plot was very compelling since you don’t know who took Rosa. But I found some aspects of the magical realism difficult to stomach, in terms of how this magical villain happens to conveniently work in a school, etc.  I found the character of Rosa endearing but not fully developed so she came off as the ultimate manic-pixie-dream-girl.  There were parts that made me cry.)
    14. The Good Girls by Sara Shepard (I never read the first book, The Perfectionists, in this two-part series but I had no trouble getting caught up through the story.  The ending is hard to believe, but later, I realized that all the clues were there but I just missed them.  It was hard to put down. I wished she would describe the girls and their outfits more… that was what I loved about The Clique series although I know she didn’t write it… but it gave me so much inspiration for fashion!)
    15. If You Could Turn Back Time (I hated the writing style so much… The protagonist is a banker but the pace and her narration is so slow and so unbanker-like that it didn’t seem realistic at all.  Would not recommend at all.)
    16. If I Stay by Ashley Norton Prentice… I really liked this.  I ended up researching Ashley and discovered that the book is quite autobiographical.  It’s clear that the electric shock therapy was working and I kind of like how the book ended… that there is no true closure and that life just goes on… that things are messy, that we carve endings and new chapters out of what we have, and we learn to be okay with ourselves, we learn to be okay that our lives aren’t perfect and that what we should focus on is that it is fulfilling in whatever manner we define it
    17. Unrivaled: a Beautiful Idols Book – it was mildly entertaining but it reminds me so much of The One by Ed Decter, which is one of my favorite books of all time so I wonder if it might be too similar and then I’m going to roll my eyes as the plot and characters (especially Madison) unfold in this series.  It’s clear that Madison Brooks just left her family behind or something in the Midwest to become a star, and nobody knows who took her (although I have a good feeling that Ira is involved).  But I keep thinking back to The One… which is AMAZING and centres around a girl named Chloe who is from the Midwest and finds a way to become a star and. climb up the social ranks… and I don’t think the Beautiful Idols series could ever compare to the Ed Decter one.
    18. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here (teen lit, it was interesting to see the world of Tumblr and fan fiction, and it confirmed the fact that I am definitely in a different generation. Some of Scarlett’s sentiments when it came to her love interest were so relatable to my experiences and I really liked that.)
    19. Do Cool Sh*t (I put down this book and later finished this book, feeling so bothered by who I was, the person I wanted to be, my behaviour, my outlook on life.  I felt like I’ve been complacent… I read about all the amazing things Miki had done like go to presidential birthdays, get invited to speak at the UN, get to work with celebrities… all because she had wanted to and put her will to get her way.  One thing that did bother me was that she has come from so much privilege.  Yes, she grew up in a middle-class family, but she made so many connections as an investment banker and as a Cornell grad that have catapulted her to where she is, so where does that leave me, someone who doesn’t have access to those connections?  But the part that really got me was when she spoke about her time abroad and just how enriching of an experience that sounded, and I realized that I should reach out to others more, I should be less closed off.  It was a hard book for me to read, because it showed me everything that I wanted to be yet I knew I wasn’t.)
    20. How to Love (Reminds me so much of the book Dedication. I swear every love story reminds me of Dedication, which has mixed reviews but has withstood the test of time and has continued to impact my life 8 years later.  I think I saw a lot of myself in Reena, in that she is closed off and secretive because she’s afraid of being vulnerable.  She just can’t stand losing arguments, fights, her pride.  And in the end, it has driven people away, it makes her the ice queen.  And I see that so much in myself and I’m not proud of that. I think a lot of the books I’ve read this year have forced me to do a lot of self-reflection about who I am and who I want to be.  And what I need to do better.  I liked the ending.  I want to travel too)
    21. The Thousandth Floor (super innovative concept… really liked the analogy of the floor number to the areas of New York that are considered exclusive, like the Upper East Side. Really messed up ending though)
    22. Rules of Summer (I respected the classism and snobbery in the books, because I think it is very realistic of the Hamptons, and something that many people tend to forget when they romanticize the Hamptons: that you don’t belong and no matter how nice people are, they won’t accept you.  I also liked reading about the Georgica Club)
    23. This is where it ends (about a high school mass shooting. Makes me wonder what i would do in a time of crisis)
    24. 13 Ways to Look at a Fat Girl (I think every woman can relate to this in some way… for me, it evoked memories of when I had all the signs of an eating disorder, obsessively counting calories and being consumed in my fear of gaining weight. I think the main character’s gradual isolation from her friends, her husband, her happiness is something I recognize in myself… this… this slow, passive but willing move away from people.  It was such a sad book.  And I saw a review on Amazon about how someone though the main character became unlikeable and I think that was why it was such a brilliant book. Because you aren’t supposed to like her in the end.  She doesn’t even like herself and she doesn’t know how to fix that.  Because everything has fallen apart and there was no going back.)
    25. Those Girls (About three high school friends and their weird twisted friendship; neat to see everyone’s perspective because I think it shows how unreliable narration should be, and how everyone is oblivious to each other and that they don’t mean to hurt each other.  However, I think they sounded too much like college students rather than high school students. I found it difficult to see Alex as an “it girl” at her school, since I can’t really see why people would envy her…)
    26. Atmosphere of Hope by Tim Flannery (it gave me less hope about the world than the title suggested… I learned a lot about ocean acidification, that the trajectory of energy storage is probably our best hope at making solar energy cost-effective, and the cool concept of geo-engineering)

CURRENTLY READING

 

i`ve given myself exaclty 10 minutes to write. this will be ten minute thoughts. only because i`m procrastinating right now and i have to get something done.

It`s been bothering me again. I don`t know why. I think part of it is my impatient personality, and the other part is because I`ve been going on instagram a lot lately. Looking at people`s glamorous lives and how I can’t measure up. That I don’t go on these amazing adventures across the world, I don’t have these amazing clothes, the amazing bodies of these models of instagram, that I will never be good enough. And it’s almost petty that this is bothering me, and I wish I could say I’m better than that, but I can’t at this moment. And I don’t know why. I know I shouldn’t.

I have these big dreams for myself and I guess it’s a way to gauge progress? Like where I am compared to everyone else, whether or not I’m on the right track, and everyone seems to be so much happier, so much busier, and I guess it’s supposed to be a facade since they keep saying that “social media only shows you the highlights” and I guess that’s true… but I want to be different.

I was always insanely smart when I was younger. And I know that’s true because there are things that I did when I was 13 that people only do now, that I knew a lot of things when I was very young, and I don’t know why I slowed down. I think I got sad, I got depressed. That there was a lot happening in my life and I just shut down and I haven’t fully picked myself up. Actually, I want to pinpoint what it was. Oh. Facebook.

Facebook is the reason. Not going to expand too much on this, but I used to write a lot and it was when social media (namely Facebook) picked up in popularity that I felt like I was constricted to writing stupid facebook updates and seeing how stupid people were and this really stunted my intellectual growth.

So I need to get off Facebook. But at this moment, I can’t. I just…. keep going on to compare myself to other people. It’s like this vicious cycle.

Okay. Okay. Things will have to change. I’ll go on Facebook once a week. That will be my goal. Indefinitely. It has to happen.  These Facebook adventures, these Instagram musings have really hurt my self-esteem, my productivity, my outlook on life, my behaviour, maybe slowly even my personality.

I want to have this great wardrobe without needing inspiration from pinterest or instagram. i know what i want to pursue and i’m going to work at it. here’s to hoping. i’ll give you an update when I have something noteworthy to say. even if it’s that I failed (but I really really hope that I won’t be saying that).

I wish I had someone to look up to. But everybody seems so flawed or they don’t mesh with my personality. I don’t want to BECOME that person, but it would be nice to have someone to inspire me without making me feel like I am behind or that I’m not worthy or good enough.

Also looking for committees. That has been harder than I thought. Like I’ve looked and looked, but everything is so exclusive, so I’m going to have to get my foot in the right door. And I will always ask. I’m not afraid to ask, and I know that I can’t afford not to. So I have less than a minute left now. Talk to you all soon. I want this to become a blog in 2016 about my progress to become a better person. Keep ya posted! Out. xx 🙂

DONE.