Leonora. Click. Emergency.
I love Adam Sandler movies. I’m completely mesmerised by his storytelling capabilities. I recently watched his film Click which was a compelling and relatable film. The movies protagonist Michael (played by Adam Sandler), is a father and husband who is consumed by his job and obsessed with getting a promotion. Michael stumbles upon a universal remote at Bed, Bath and Beyond, which ultimately gives him the power to rewind time and press fast forward on his life. This movie is essentially a commentary on his life and is supposed to be a valuable learning lesson for the protagonist to learn to cherish his family above work. The point of the story was to say that we shouldn’t desire to skip to the end of a chapter, but rather, enjoy the everyday moments with friends and family.
I recognise the controversy surrounding Sandler, especially those which claim he’s sexist, misogynistic and racist. Whilst as an individual I don’t necessarily believe he’s the greatest person to have ever lived, I believe his movies are powerful and moving. Take the movie, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. This entire film is focused around the central theme of warfare in present-day Israel and its ability to perpetuate division and violence. The film explores Zohan’s journey to America as he desires to leave his military position for a job in hairdressing. My love for this movie stems from the fact that Zohan ultimately leaves Israel to live a peaceful life, away from violence and hatred. Zohan’s journey is one of acceptance of difference when he begins to work for a Palestinian hairdresser. Not only this, but Zohan breaks traditional molds of masculinity by starting a job in a typically feminine role, as emphasised by both his parents point of view and comments.
So, yeah. Adam Sandler probably isn’t the greatest person in the world. I’m not really fond of his desire to objectify women’s bodies in his movies. However, his films actually contain meaning. I’m not sure how to reconcile these mixed feelings, but I suppose there are varying degrees of ‘badness.’ Some people still watch Woody Allen movies, despite his predatory behaviours. Whilst I know I can never personally watch any of Allen’s movies ever again, I can perhaps understand how viewers would be reluctant to stop. I suppose it is up to informed viewers to decide how they engage with certain films.
I’m considering becoming a vegetarian again. I was a vegetarian for a few years back in high school and I genuinely believe it improved my health. Although you can have processed vegetarian foods, I believe it’ll promote my intake of fresh produce and fruits.
What baffles me about pregnancy is the fact a lot of people don’t realise you can be put on bed rest. Why can so much go wrong when it comes to having babies. Shouldn’t nature have made it easy? If biologically speaking we are just here to procreate, why make it risky, if not almost impossible for some couples.
I was sent to the emergency ward again. I stayed overnight but I’m supposed to monitor my symptoms. I’m so fatigued and tired, my body still hasn’t reset itself. Going to sleep during daylight feels odd, I suppose this is probably how most nurses and doctors feel.
Music playing in the background and it takes me back to my first night in Amsterdam. So jet lagged that when I got to my hostel, I showered and slept. I put on my apple earphones at the time and slept on a bottom bunk bed. I don’t know for how long I slept but when I arrived it was daylight.
I’d always sit in the first two rows in my English and math classes for my final year at high school. Graduating in 2017, when the world was a much simpler place, I look back and reminisce on my last year at high school. I read the books Burial Rites and Ransom at least 2 times each during the course of the year. They weren’t exactly my favourite books since I gravitated much more towards Alistair MacLeod’s Island. I reread most of his short stories at least 3 times each. To this day I think about his short stories, mainly, To Every Thing There is a Season, The Boat & Island.
I genuinely thought you were the smartest person to ever exist. I don’t know how we can quantify ‘smartness.’ Whilst grades can be a good indicator, it doesn’t really allow you to incorporate other aspects which form identity and therefore, allow you to make appropriate judgements on if they will make a good life partner.
Your childhood filled with music by the Beatles and Elton John. Blasting Bennie and the Jets in the Australian countryside where the vastness of green and yellow grass makes you feel whole. This is home.
Journal Entry 33: the adoption, an absent father & the road not taken
We tend to repeat history, the same patterns reoccurring again and again. Relief. I took the first step by reaching out to an organisation about options, choices. I think we all want that. We want to feel like we’ve got a choice in the process, in our lives. We pretend like we have agency and maybe we do, but only to a certain extent. Sometimes life has other plans and it doesn’t give a sh*t about what you want.
We don’t actually live in a new feminist era. The patriarchy is still embedded into all political, social and economic realms. There has never been a female President of the United States, men still make legislative decisions about women’s bodies and our access to contraceptives. There is a near total ban on abortion in countries like Poland and the gender pay gap means there are long-term consequences to structural economic inequalities existing between men and women. When will change occur? 10 years? Yeah right, maybe never.
My father has been absent for the majority of my adult life. He wasn’t there for me during high school, he wasn’t there when I graduated or got acceptance into university. He only cared about the good parts and never gave a f*ck about the bad. Sometimes I feel that’s kind of what dads do. They don’t really understand how to approach or parent their daughters. Since the age of 13, I haven’t lived in a household with him in it. I can’t say I was raised by a single mum, but for the most part, it kind of feels like I was. History repeating itself once again. Being in relationships with men who can’t be present. Men who are too preoccupied with their own lives to care about anyone else but themselves. Men who will be absent fathers, just like my own. Men say they care, but it all feels a bit like a manipulation tactic. At the end of the day, we’ve all got to protect ourselves, no matter the cost.
Generations of women before me have made it work without a man in their life. If men act like sperm donors, don’t we have the right to treat them as such?
The poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is quite fascinating. It’s ultimately about two choices, which I find can be applied to many situations in my own life. I read the poem again and again, hoping to find new meaning.
My body aches. I’m tired. I close my eyes and try to rest but it sounds like the wind is howling. I can hear the rain hit on my window. Music is playing softly in the background but the sound of the rain becomes so violent it drowns out the beautiful melodic notes.
I’ve thought about leaving quite a bit. The only thing stopping me is access to good medical facilities and specialists. I’d eventually love to move back down home. When I do move back, I know I’ll create a home of my own. It is just a waiting game.
THE TRUTH. LOVER.
Back on the farm, I used to collect eggs in odd spots. Since the chickens were all uncaged, free to roam and do as they wish, I’d have to hunt around in the chaos for their little caves with hidden eggs. Sometimes I’d pick up 2 or 3 eggs at a time. I always felt a little bit upset knowing we’d be stealing something quite precious from them. I’d watch the other mother hens and observe their bright yellow chicks follow behind in a uniform line.
I loved my dog Billy. I was a little bit older when we got him and I so distinctly remember he was a chunky puppy, especially because he was a border collie. There’s something unique and special about farm dogs. I loved watching them just exist. Being on the farm, that was their playing field.
It’s been so many years but I can still hear you inside my head. I can hear you put me down or criticise me. You’d pick at my flaws, highlight them, bringing them to the forefront of my mind, reminding me of insecurities already swirling around in my mind. You fetishize the white body, a projection of inadequacy on being a person of colour. Arrogance fed by the fact you’ve gotten into your dream career, without acknowledgement it was handed to you on a silver platter.
Let me tell you the reality, anything you do, anything you become, it was given to you.
2020 was a year of depression. The world was in chaos and in a state of anarchy. The pandemic hit and George Floyd died. Donald Trump was still President of the United States. Extended lockdowns, curfews, restrictions, mask wearing, online studies, isolation. Society divided, splintered further than ever before.
The death of George Floyd was a significant turning point in the 21st century, at least in my own eyes. For me, it was the undeniable fact that racial inequalities still exist, not just in America, but across the globe. Racial profiling is so pervasive that the unjust death of a person of colour could be filmed for the rest of the world to see. It sparked controversy everywhere, it allowed for the revitalisation of a movement in Australia to shed light on Aboriginal deaths in custody.
“I have not the courage to destroy the lie she so wishes to be true.”
I avert my eyes from the screen. I don’t want to see the little blob unformed. It weights more heavily on my conscience now more than it has before. I’ve graduated, time is up. There are no more valid excuses. Time to buckle up.
We always think we have more time than we actually do. We wait and wait until one day we are old and grey. We wish we took that trip when we had the chance, maybe we even wish we said I love you to the ‘the one that got away.’
I put it off. My life was on pause but reality was moving forward. In my mind time had frozen, but that’s not how it works. Weeks turning into months until you are a fully grown human baby. Even then, my mind is still frozen back to the time where I’m staring down looking at two pink lines on a pregnancy test.
I sometimes just question if people are actually smart or if they just say a bunch of words which form a coherent sentence. You can have a wide and diverse vocabulary and yet everything you say can be trash.
Deleting all our old messages was freeing. No more obsessing over the old us. Purging your ugly *ss from my life. Delete. Delete. Delete.
I was searching for something in a book I once read. Even reading highlighted quotes still moves me. I will reread Macleod again soon
“..hoping to find such strength for the living of my life and the meeting of my death.”
Journal Entry 32: floods
I write and rewrite the same things over and over again. I delete paragraphs, lines, sentences, just to try and find the right words to convey my emotions. The tears bubbling up inside. Loneliness. Pain. Fear.
Do all parents love their children simply because they are their children? I think so. I loved someone who was an undefined being. Irrespective, I think parents love their children even if they have been ‘disappointments’ in their eyes. I think it is the potential for change, for growth, or perhaps parents just see reflections of themselves in their children. I am naïve. I can’t yet fathom the thought of wanting to die for someone else like parents so often say they would die for their children. I can’t quite grasp how parents can love their children so unconditionally. I cannot understand that kind of love. A love which is immovable, irreplaceable, undying.
I contemplate starting over. I don’t know how I’d do it but, sometimes, I just want to leave. I don’t want to be here in this city. I could start over and not know a single person. I could go to Argentina, Mexico, maybe Thailand. Starting over isn’t easy but a part of me wants to just leave. Not in a year from now, not in three, but now. No matter how unrealistic it is, I enjoy entertaining these thoughts.
It’s strange to say I now have a piece of paper to my name. I have a degree and saying that is wild to me. I never thought I’d actually be here. So many years of pain, stress, anxiety all culminating to this point. I don’t know how to feel.
It’s been flooding in the state I live in. There’s just so much rain it all feels endless. For every day we have warm weather, the world retaliates by providing us with 3 days of heavy rain. The months are all blurring into one, making the winter feel much longer and much more dreary. Spring has not yet truly arrived.
I can feel the tears bubbling up inside. I frequently cry in short bursts. These bursts happen everywhere. In my bed, on the bus, walking home or whilst at an appointment. My mind, my thoughts, my very being coming undone.
I have morals, values, rules I live by. Or at least I thought I did. I left my previous workplace for a variety of reasons, one of the most prominent reasons was because it challenged my morals and values. I felt like I wasn’t doing something right by working in that role. I was sad. I am still very sad.
I enjoyed staying by the fireplace. I’d sleep on the couch in the farthest room from everyone else in the house. No noise, only silence apart from the occasional crackle of the wood in the fire. I sometimes miss that house. I know if I go back it will slowly erode my fond memories of the farm. I cling onto the images seared into my brain.
It’s hard to see photos of my dad now that he’s older. Every time I see a picture, I almost want to avert my eyes. I try so hard to look away from the screen whilst simultaneously being pulled back in because of curiosity. Pain and love mixed into one until the only emotion left is anger. I guess that’s what he taught me, how to be angry.
I think kids were naturally repelled by me for a lot of reasons when I was younger. Not only did I look alien, but I was alien.
I got a lot of those chinky eye slurs, but I think they all could sense I just had a dark cloud hovering over my head. Everyone else was normal. They looked normal, normal being white that is, and I guess were normal. I struggled in school, was socially awkward and isolated, and I had a lot of family drama unfolding in the background. I guess I should just embrace the alien now I’m older.
My mum was and still is, a rather pessimistic person. Both of my parents, like almost all immigrant parents, just wanted the best for me. However, coming to a new country and starting a family isn’t easy. Along with all the hardship and racism they experienced, they developed hard exteriors, almost impenetrable walls built so high up it removed them from the reality they created for us. One which was unpleasant, an environment that was emotionally and physically hostile. Thinking about all the years we’ve lost makes me want to weep. There is no starting over.
Journal Entry 31: 100 applications & the hospital
Since graduating, I’ve sent over 100 job applications. This means I’ve spent anywhere between 3-6 months sending in over 100 applications to a variety of different companies. I feel really productive looking at the number, despite the numerous rejections. I feel pretty grateful for my laptop and mobile phone. In the absence of these two items, I wouldn’t have gotten my jobs or volunteer opportunities.
It’s been raining heavily today, I suppose it really is reflective of the phrase “when it rains it pours”..
Life isn’t necessarily horrible right now but it isn’t great either. I don’t like contemplating for too long. I don’t like feeling indecisive about choices in my life. Ever since I’ve graduated I’ve waivered between being decisive and indecisive. The indecision mainly stems around my next university degree and what I’d like to do with myself in a Masters program. I’ve spent so much time overthinking or doing certain things just to get validation. I’ve entered into jobs and applied to different university programs just so I can prove to myself that I know I’m good enough for literally anything. In the process, I’ve wasted so much of my time. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out my future which has removed me from my present.
The future feels so distant but the hope that life will magically fall into place seems like a fallacy. It is a fantasy I would like to believe will come to fruition. A fantasy in which I’m married to someone I love and care about, maybe I end up in my dream job, I get a house and travel to whatever place in the world I’d like to visit. All of this sounds too unreal. Something will always be missing. It’s this fantasy, this dream, this hope, which removes me from focusing on the present.
I want to take it easy. Enjoy the time I have right now but I can still feel all my obligations running after me. I’ve got to volunteer tonight and whilst I did love volunteering, I’m starting to become more much fatigued by the work.
I went to the hospital last night. I came back in the early morning and slept a few hours. I’ve been applying for jobs and watching tv in between. I hate that there is always something wrong. Hardly time to rest and take a break.
Journal Entry 30: Expectations & shared responsibilities
I’m not on tiktok as often as I used to be. The app is great, providing short snippets of entertainment, however, it’s quite disturbing seeing people use their children as commodities. We already see it on YouTube but I find it increasingly frustrating. For instance, I saw someone on tiktok say their mixed-race baby was a ‘flex’. It’s disgusting behaviour like this which I find infuriating since babies aren’t commodities.. they are human beings!
I’ve been thinking about how often our high expectations let us down. Before entering into this job, I was so excited. I literally jumped up and down in my sisters room filled with so much hope when I was offered the job. I even cried. It was my first real, full-time job in my sector. Although I don’t regret the experience, I do still feel a little bit disappointed in myself for not remaining more grounded and realistic. I’m ultimately happy with my decision to leave the job since I believe protecting my mental health above everything else is important. Despite the financial predicament it creates, I believe it’s the best decision I could’ve made. Talking to my therapist and having someone else validate that my anxiety and depression levels are much more severe than they were prior to joining this job only reassured me that I made the right choice.
Financially, it’s not sustainable for me to be without a job. So much has occurred just within the past few weeks/months which make me realise I really do need a job. I feel confused about what I want to do with my life since I know I’d love to change sectors however, majority of the time this change can only be made with further studies. I feel so burnt out and exhausted. I’ve made some applications to different universities but the predicament isn’t necessarily about being accepted or rejected, my predicament lies on if I actually have enough time to pursue further studies.
I met up with my ex-colleagues last night. We ate Indian food at a decent restaurant and finally had a nice catch up after not seeing each other for literally over 2 years. It was so nice to see how all my colleagues have grown and matured over the past few years.
My piece of sh*t car broke down in the middle of nowhere and my sister and I had to have our car towed. It’s certainly time for a new car soon..
In relationships, women are still doing much more unpaid labour then men. Shared responsibilities seems like a bit of a joke at this point. My colleague who recently found out she’s pregnant was venting in the lunch room a few weeks ago, essentially expressing her resentment towards her partner for not bearing the responsibility of pregnancy or childbirth. Although she did commend him for at least being their whilst she threw up, it made me realise that men don’t actually have much responsibility during pregnancy. Their only responsibility is to literally show up or maybe financially contribute. Are men in essence always just sperm donors? Maybe they are just temporary therapists? Chauffeurs even? Uber Eats delivery drivers?
Basically, shared responsibilities seems like a bit of a fallacy when you look at the data. If women are doing more unpaid labour in the household and generally bearing the brunt of pregnancy, surely men become essentially useless? That’s not a partnership at all. I believe what my colleague said obviously came from a point of resentment and possibly even fear. However, much of what she said is true. Doing multiple blood tests or having illnesses induced by pregnancy isn’t experienced by men themselves, but rather, men become bystanders watching the process unfold. I do think perhaps I was being a bit reductive by suggesting men are just ‘temporary therapists,’ in saying this, men being supporters is a wonderful thing.. considering so many bail when they find out they got someone knocked up. At the same time, it would be great if science could progress much more quickly to allow men to experience even a tenth of the physical demands of pregnancy.
We make the same mistakes again and again expecting the outcome to be different. Maybe this time we are actually different and things have changed. Maybe not.
Journal Entry 29: TCK, fried chicken & antidepressants
I recently learnt about the term third-culture kid. The concept is pretty interesting and quite confusing to wrap my head around. I’m going to pursue further research into this term since it’s completely changed how I view certain topics. From what I can gauge of the concept, it refers to children of expatriates or more broadly, to children who’ve grown up in a culture that is different to that of their parents. The term is fascinating since I think a lot of adults are third-culture individuals and the term describes a lot of different and diverging identities.
All I want is fried chicken. I want that variety. Like glazed fried chicken and fried chicken without sauce. Don’t we all want fried chicken on a Friday night? Hell, I don’t want it just on a Friday, I want it every night..
I’ve lost my motivation. My determination and confidence is depleted. I’ve lost my drive. I’ve lost so much of myself in this process. I don’t feel like myself anymore. I know this is just a rainy day, maybe even a rainy season for me. I know I’m going to pick myself back up.
There is an internal fight between my old mindset and my new one. I’m struggling to remain positive. I’m struggling because I want to give in. I want to give up. I want to hide from the world. I want to run away.
Checking in with my therapist made me realise how much my mental health eroded as a result of my job. My depression and anxiety levels are higher than they were before I even started this role a few months ago. It’s insane how a hospitality job somehow made me feel less depressed than a so-called ‘good’ job.
I’ve booked in a few appointments for myself next week. I’ve got to attend interviews, go to scans, do blood tests and send in more job applications.
I’m considering getting on antidepressants but since I’ve sent in my resignation surely I won’t be depressed anymore? Right? But I still know deep down something is shattered. I don’t have faith in myself. I want to cry because I’m not me right now. I strive to be the best person I can be, or at least I did. I wanted to give back to the community and now all I want to do is curl up into a ball on my bed and become just as small as they made me feel. I feel the queasiness inside. I just want to sleep.
Journal Entry 28: the doctor
A lot can change in as little as a week. I’ve been feeling tired and nauseous the entire week so I’ve taken some time off. I’ve seen my doctors and i want to nap and cry.
It was pretty gloomy but seeing something other than fluorescent lights made me want to weep. I’m normal. Maybe I’m not normal. My stomach churning, tears starting to form whilst I’m on the bus. Happy tears? Sad tears? I’m not even sure anymore.
I know what I want. I want to be happy. I want to feel happy. I want to do what’s best for me.
I drop into my bed, the sheets enveloping me. I can smell the lavender on my pillows and I just think this is it, I’m at peace. The day is over.
I’m sad. Aren’t we all sad? Maybe I’m just sad but that’s okay. I’m sad and simultaneously happy. Sometimes life gets in the way but you learn to roll with the punches. My choices are my own. I’m in control.
I toss and turn, the panic sets in. I feel breathless, my heart rate increases. I don’t know what to do. But I actually do. I just don’t want to admit it to myself. I’m scared.
I want to be alone. I am alone. No more noise in my choices just my own voice.
The panic fades away and I’m left with nothing but myself. I want to cry, I can feel it all stifled beneath. Failure. This isn’t how life is meant to go. I had a plan. The nausea is overwhelming much like my anxiety. The fatigue sets in and I’m thankful it whisks me away into a dream.