• Time is strange

    I wanted to be 18 so I could go to clubs and bars and pubs. I got over that pretty fast!

    I’d like to be 21, I guess, because 21 sounds older. You’re really IN your twenties, and the older and more responsible you sound, well the better for finding places to live. (Yes, this is important to me. In four years I have lived more places than I did in my first 16 and I can’t tell you how much I hate moving and the process of looking for a new place!)

    It’s nearly June and that will mean 2009 is halfway over! That’s really scary! What have I accomplished?

    I’ve done nothing but work, fight my way through uni, and stress. But it’s my final year, and I really need to make grades my job. Doing well in these papers is way more important than ever before.

    I’ve been waiting for some time or another for so long, financially speaking. End of summer – student loan. February – bed payment. May – BF’s fines. Always looking ahead, to something that can’t come soon enough.

    Yet in real life, everything is whizzing past at the speed of light. What’s really telling is how quickly rubbish day comes along. Every Thursday I start in surprise that a week has passed and we need to wheel out the bins. My final portfolio is due next month. My mum’s birthday is next month, and I haven’t even begun to think about a present. BF will start his course in July. I graduate in December. AHHHHH!

    I need to try to find a place in the here and now, and actually sit down to be in it. Even if I only savour the odd moment, like sitting in the Horse and Trap on Tuesday with my friends, fighting our way to the bottom of the pub quiz ranks.

  • A nice surprise

    I find that the older I get, the more aware I am of race, culture, and ethnicity – not just me, but others around me.

    Recently I’ve realised that a lot of bloggers I follow and look up to are of varying ethnic backgrounds. This has come through in different viewpoints on wedding gifts, attitudes towards money, and attitudes towards supporting family. It’s been really interesting to read all the followup debate, and learn more about customs which mean so much to people of certain cultures.

    I think it’s interesting, though, that my default perception of people is to assume that they’re white. What does that say about me? And society around me? Have I been conditioned to think that white is the “norm”? I really shouldn’t have been surprised; we live in a diverse world, and I went to a school with something like over 30 different nationalities.

    But I’m glad to have realised this. It’s hard to not see people who look like you represented in the media. To not have role models to inspire you. To be considered an “ethnic minority” for the rest of your life. It’s nice to feel a little more at home in the blogosphere.

  • What’s in a name?

    I believe in doing things the ‘traditional’ way – getting hitched, THEN getting the house, kids, dog and picket fence. Nothing against people who don’t, it’s just how I’d like to do things for myself. I want a couple of years being married and child-free, and I want a place of our own to bring them up in.

    But I have NO intentions of changing my name. The few people around my age I know who are married changed their names (surprising? I don’t know. One of them is religious, so maybe that was a factor). But I’ve never wanted to take on a husband’s name…I see no point! Like I told BF, people can refer to us as Mr and Mrs. I’m just not going to officially change my surname because I got married.

    I may legally change my first name, because nobody calls me by my given name – the only reason I haven’t already is the cost/hassle/feeling bad for rejecting the name my parents chose. Names are definitely a part of your identity. I don’t particularly like my first or last name, but it’s mine. I’m used to it. And I’m going to keep living with it. Why should I have to give it up for anyone?

    BF isn’t stoked about that – he sees it as a key part of being married (otherwise what’s the point?) and a sign of love/commitment/partnership. I told him people could call me by his name, I just wouldn’t be bothering to change it with the IRD/banks/work/government, etc. The cost, hassle and paperwork are just prohibitive. And frankly, my name is not the most melodious of names. It doesn’t go with many different last names. It tends to sound better with a single syllable surname (most people who share it do have monosyllablic surnames). BF’s name certainly does not ring with mine.

    Anyway, I guess we’ll have to hash it out further. There’s got to be a compromise…no point discussing marriage if we can’t even get past this!

  • On becoming a better person

    I was thinking the other day about how odd it is that there are some people I
    just can never be jealous of. Whether it’s getting generous gifts from
    parents/family/significant others, getting paid ridiculous amounts, getting
    straight As, whatever. I might sound like a witch saying this, but when I hear
    about great things happening to some (a few – not very many) I can’t help but
    begrudge them a little. Don’t I work hard enough? Don’t I deserve good luck? AM
    I not a good person? But for most of my friends I really am happy for their good
    fortune; I might wish for a second that I was as lucky or blessed, but in no way
    do I want to detract from their achievements.

    What is it that makes the difference? How close we are? How often we see each
    other? How genuinely nice they are as a person? Whether they’ve worked really
    hard to get to where they are?

    The biggest surprise for me was the last time I saw my family. My brother,
    though he doesn’t have everything he wants (I don’t think) gets a hell of a lot
    from my parents. iPod, camera, special edition Strat which cost over a grand (or
    was it two grand? Does it make a difference when the numbers are that high?) My
    guitar and amp cost less than that combined, and I paid for it all myself
    working two jobs in fifth form. I never got given anything like what he gets
    now.

    And yet I really do not care. I’m glad for him, I’m glad my parents are
    loosening up a little and maybe learning to appreciate what they have. I don’t
    even feel a little pang that I missed out on all that stuff. Everything I have
    now I earned myself.

    Maybe I’m not as selfish as I thought I was.

    Being the oldest and the guinea pig for growing up in a new country, and female,
    and the “smart” one who was pushed to excel was kinda hard. It was never good
    enough – didn’t matter how many people I was beating, I was still supposed to
    look up to the freaky top 1%ers and strive to be just like them. Unfortunately
    what my parents wanted was vastly different from what I wanted. And neither of
    us dealt with that in the best possible way, hence the whole leaving home in
    sixth form thing.

    Since then I think I’ve received more from the folks than in my whole life. We
    never really did Christmas. I never believed in Santa. I probably didn’t even
    hear of him till I was about seven. We went shopping for our presents on
    Boxing Day, occasionally. We didn’t get birthday presents (though granted we
    didn’t really give them either). Sometimes I feel like I missed out on a lot
    but I have to remind myself they’re just material things. Now I get birthday
    and Christmas gifts, which although is nice I find it ironic, and a little sad.

    I see in my brother a lot of what I was like at that age. He lives a little bit
    in his own world, like I did, but in a different way. I lost myself in books,
    where he spends his time on the computer/watching Tv and now playing guitar, I
    guess. He’s gawky, awkward and a little socially inept, a bit defensive, a bit
    aggro, and sometimes the way he talks phases me a bit because that’s exactly
    something I would’ve said when I was 13. I’ve come a long way from there, and I
    can only hope that in time he’ll grow into himself too.