Appearances can be "deceiving"...

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Well... the whole "age" thing. It's a curious thing, some people make a huge issue out of it, and some don't. It also depends on the context - people think 23 (my current age) is young, and some think it's old. I don't find it a huge issue that I'm a bit older than Mark (by like a measly 7 months) but my parents made a huge issue once when I had one boyfriend who was one month younger than me.

I had some students - twins, actually, who asked me how old I was. They're going through a phase where they want to know everything about someone. They thought that I looked fairly young, and thought I was still a teenager, which I thought was cute. Then I had a mother of a student yesterday ask me whether I had my own children - and I'm like hell no! I'm not even married yet! Her reasoning was because I seem to be really good with kids, and thought I would have some of my own to be experienced in such a way.

And there have been other numerous times where people thought I'm younger, or much older, either because I act the same age as them, or if I'm "older" it's because I seem experienced, wise and worldly. In a way I guess they're both flattering, so yah, I just find it very intriguing that people perceive you differently in different situations and contexts. When I'm vocal directing a University Revue, people assume that I'm a lot older than I am (I'm still relatively older anyhow, I should've graduated 2-3 years ago) because of the whole authoritative figure. Oh vell, both are compliments in a way, so I should just take them as they are.

Since we're on this road of "self-discovery", I also concluded that I'm too nice sometimes. I seem to care about people who don't even give a damn about me sometimes, or are self-absorbed or something... Friends that I whinge to tell me to let go of them. But it's hard, I don't know why but I must have something that I identify with them, and hence the friendship. I sometimes also get involved when I shouldn't, and the energy invested in 'solving' people's problems by listening to them and offering them advice usually amounts to nothing. I am becoming a bit more selfish lately, and keeping to myself more so in light of this, but there are a few things that make me curious and always go back to ask that one last question or to keep them company and what not. I've been known to be generous, and it's basically me thinking "if I were them, what would I like?", such as offering a lift to the station to make things a little easier. If I have such a luxury (a car) I should share it, and hopefully they'll do something in return. I don't do things expecting a return, but I do like appreciation. And I also find it hard to say no sometimes, and that's one thing I need to do. More me time, less everyone else time.

Sigh - a bit of a wah, but that's what blogs are for, right?

It's October already?

And basically I feel like nothing much has improved. My money situation, my health, my bad habits, procrastination.... Sigh. My attempts to "change" have failed miserably yet again.

So what do I wanna do? TRY AGAIN! WOOOT!

One thing I have realised is that I have definitely put on weight (as opposed to lose weight, which was what I was aiming to do since God knows when). I'm the heaviest that I've ever been, and I'm not growing any taller (unfortunately... the height gods spite me).

I realise that an expensive Gym membership does not motivate me any more to go exercise, so I thought before I get another Gym membership (because the last one has lapsed) I have to prove myself worthy of one - I'm going to go for jogs/walks every single day for at least 15 minutes and develop my fitness and to just do some physical activity for when I'm in bed the whole entire day (like today - stayed on my bed doing NOTHING!). So starting today, I am running around the block each day and if my time gets better, I'll do extra rounds or change the route so I run a longer distance.

Another thing I realised is that I don't fit nicely into half the clothes I used to fit in. I have awesome skirts, pin-striped pants, jeans, flattering tops, evening/cocktail dresses that I can fit in, but my fat deposits are like bulging out everywhere. Or they just don't fit. Sigh - I think I may have technically put on like 12 kg since first year (which is quite a while ago) and so I think I better work on losing it again. I liked the clothes I had before, and I really don't want to throw them out - therefore, we all know what the obvious solution is.

And the last thing that has prompted me to wanna diet is my family. My mother comments every single time I visit her about how fat I am, my dad is always telling me to "get fit" - it's his nice way of telling me that I've put on weight, and the whole recent thing of my granddad dying and the prospect of going back to Vietnam - the thought of my extended family telling me off for how fat I am made me cringe. When I was a couple of kilos lighter, my extended family was telling me off about how fat I was back then, so imagine the insults and comments now??? I don't want to... it depresses me.

Talking about depression, I have a feeling that my mother may have it. She is physically sore and is definitely not happy, and I guess me not visiting her today didn't quite help. Dad wanted me to take her to the GP today, but Mum said that her GP is on holiday for the next two weeks. Dad, however, is still in Vietnam for my Granddad's funeral. And I know I should be a good daughter and take care of her, but (even though todays attempt was an epic fail) I'm fairly behind with my uni work, and wanted to use today to do it. I've been listening to Dad's side of things, and Mum's side of things, and it appears to me that my mother is paranoid about my dad leaving her, or that all his investments will fail somehow and Dad will send the family bankrupt, or some other disaster like that. She's always thinking the worst, being the pessimist she is. My Vietnamese vocabulary ain't that grand, so I can't explain to her what I want to tell her. She refuses to listen to my dad, and in turn Dad has started to not tell her everything, but not hiding it that well so when Mum finds out, all hell breaks loose. To be honest, I reckon that some couple counseling between Mum and Dad would help, and I know Dad has tried it before (but with our Parish Priest), but I feel that someone who has no connection to either Mum or Dad would help the situation much more than someone who is on Dad's side, or who knows both parties and so therefore have to be more careful in terms of things to say or do.

But in light of all this, I've also realised a couple of other things - communication is important in a relationship. Refusing to listen is disrespectful, and I have a feeling that my mother is refusing to listen to Dad, but now Dad in turn has refused to listen to Mum and she is slowly feeling isolated. Dad says my mother has everything, and blames the Vietnamese community for stirring shit about our family and about Dad especially. But once you start listening to gossip and trusting gossip more so than your own husband who you apparently know, wouldn't that mean you're no longer in a relationship that is equal and respectful? I get really frustrated with my mother when she talks crap about Dad, and she starts telling me off for believing in him, but until she shows me hard copy evidence that Dad is doing all the things that he's apparently doing, I have no reason to believe her.

I also think that because she doesn't have work to do, and basically is a stay at home mum who gets an allowance and just goes shopping and all that, she starts worrying about Dad's agendas too much, and once he starts not doing what she thinks is right, she takes offense and thinks that it's a plot against her somehow. She doesn't really exercise (she walks everywhere though, which is a plus) and she doesn't eat extremely healthily (she's always watching her weight, and on a diet despite the fact that she weighs 45kg... can you see where I get the self-conscious thing from?). Even though I do want to lose weight, I also want to get back my healthy lifestyle of being active again (I used to walk everywhere and do a run each day, now I just drive everywhere and I'm fairly stationary for quite some time). I believe having a healthy physical being equates to a healthy mentality and emotional stability. Because she stresses, I feel it translates to her body and puts her in pain where even a specialist says there is nothing wrong with her. If, say, she was exercising and eating the right foods (instead of relying on Chinese herbal medicines and practices and no protein and stuff) maybe she wouldn't be entirely paranoid about everything. But I should say maybe with caution, as we do have a family history of mental illness, and it just so happens that my mother may be in the initial stages of this illness.

So what have I learnt? Quite a bit. What am I doing? Not quite a lot... So I'm going to attempt to write an essay once more, then cook some dinner, then keep you updated with my jogging attempts and what not. There's also another thing I don't wanna be, and to me it's kinda sad but true, and that is I don't want to be like my mum. I love her, and I care for her, but she is not quite the role model I would be going for. Sorry Mum...