The trouble with being self-aware

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Cloudy Melbourne, 2017

Dear Seafarer,

I believe that some of the hardest people to help in the world, are the ones who are the most self-aware. Self-aware people, as the name suggests, have great insight into themselves — lot more than we might ever notice, as outsiders.

They’re the ones who have taken a problem they’ve identified within themselves, and analysed it through and through, multiple times inside their heads. That perspective you so cleverly thought you’re giving them for the first time— they’ve thought of it ages ago. They know everything that’s broken within them, and they probably know how to fix it.

When talking to people, I reflect consciously on their levels of self-awareness. I recognise that there is something presumptuous about parroting a problem or issue that might seem obvious to them. There is nothing much I can say, that might be helpful at all. It’s like telling a blind man that he can’t see. Perhaps this is why I put in effort into offering the most genuine, and novel insight I can think of, whenever someone confides in me. Bland, generic advice or feedback doesn’t do much at best, and demotivates at worst.

Perhaps deep down, I too, wish that when I’m troubled, that someone would say something that I’ve yet to realise. I feel like some of the most powerful moments in life are when I’m shown that there could be a different perspective to things. I want to feel alive, I want to experience paradigm shifts! I want someone to say something that will move me. Perhaps it will be akin to getting a sign from the Heavens. I’ve always been drawn to eloquent, deeply reflective people for this very reason. When they speak, more often than not, I am learning something new.

However, the truth is, very rarely can someone say something perfect, in the immediate moment. So much can happen, merely within an iota of vulnerability. I am often at a loss for words. It is both a humbling and confusing moment, to watch someone else in pain.

Words do not solve problems. I have to remind myself, that for a self-aware person, this might not be the first time they’ve grieved over a vexing problem. They’ve probably tried every solution in their book, and nothing seems to have worked out.

It is a painful situation for anyone to be in.

And so, sometimes, the best thing I can do, is to hold my tongue, and wait with them, within the discomfort of their emotions. There is a time and place for silence, just as there is a time and place for offering solutions.

Truly hearing someone out is a difficult art. I have yet to master it myself.

All said and done, I’ve always believed that transformation requires two main steps. The first step is awareness of the problem. The second step is internalisation, and is what I believe to be the game-changer.

Knowing something, and internalising it, are two different processes. If knowing something was enough to change our behaviours, many of us would have stopped procrastinating, a long time ago. I myself am terrible at internalisation, which is why most of my problems start, and stagnate at self-awareness. Internalisation is also the reason why I recognise that some people need to come to terms with things within their own pace, even if it seems obvious to me.

Ultimately, everyone helps themselves, just as I need to help myself. All this self-awareness is for naught, otherwise. I have a boatload of problems and perhaps, within me, I’ve already come across the solutions.

I’m working on internalising that.

To those who already know their demons, I sincerely wish that you’ll find the courage, wisdom, and discipline, to let your self-enlightenment guide your path.

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I am a fairy (and maybe a cat)

Dear Seafarer,

I promise I have something more substantial to say after such a long time, BUT it’s Halloween, a time where I enjoy being simultaneously vain and creative. So, today, I became a fairy. I saw a make-up tutorial by Alienmoe and I was really compelled after to stick things on my face. I had bought a bunch of flowers but they ended up being tricky to paste on my face, PLUS they were too big. I ended up just layering them over me.

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Some outtakes!

 

And a VSCO-CAM edit from my phone.

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and here are some cat ones:

Make-up is all the work of my fairygodmother housemate Alynna Wong. How talented is this woman? Amazing stuff.

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Alright. meowing out for now. Happy halloween!

Cumulonimbus

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A girl’s sacred space is where she feels safe. 

I decided to do an impromptu photoshoot for myself because I liked how my bedroom wall looked like, plus I have an incredibly cute “cloud pillow” that I totally don’t mind spending 7 AUD for. Maybe I’ll do a theme one day featuring “Girls and Bedrooms.”

Life is still going slow.

Bloom

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I like wearing wigs because I get to see immediate physical transformations of myself. If I put on a short wig with a boy-cut, I start posing with a swagger, I become more tomboyish. If I put on a long, feminine wig, my body language softens, my movements become more coy. Sometimes, putting on a wig feels like shutting one version of myself, and briefly activating another.

Today, I was penduluming between wanting to be a fairy, and a trashy blonde girl. I decided I could be both. I got this cheap blonde wig from Daiso, and decided to straighten out the curls with a hot iron.

 

Drown

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I debated not posting this, but then I thought, screw the world. There are spaces in this world you need to claim for your own, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. 

The deepest thoughts happen in the shower.

more experiments for my photo series.

Parade Parade

I went to see a lantern parade, done in the name of diversity, equality, and justice for marginalized groups. There were various assortments of funny looking lanterns, ranging from festively garish to artfully done (my favourite were the fishes). They streamed down South Bank, and for a fragment of the night, I felt as if I was in the presence of ghosts and monsters from the otherworld.

Stuck at the jetty due to the streaming parade, I stayed and tried to take photos. My camera was overexposed, and I couldn’t fix it.

After a while, I gave up, and took in the scene with my eyes.

It was cold, and I found myself thinking about the past, and how I would have done things differently.

It’s funny what the night does to you.

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