I attempted many things, and most of them ended in … failures. Yea I can say I learned from them, but to me, the best way to salvage those lost time is to muse about them.
Gosh I tried so many times- morning journals, dusk journals, bullet journals, 5 minute journals, 5 year journals, gratefulness journals, stoic journals. I tried to use pencils, paper, notebooks, writing apps. Nothing worked. I could never stick to the habit for more than 4 weeks. All the internet gurus swore by this habit. Yet, I felt more pain than enjoyment, could not feel the fulfilment that’s supposed to come after the dread, witnessed no awe of interconnectedness with the universe from … thanking the sun for rising for the 45th time.
2. Write in Chinese
I only wrote in Chinese 7 times. 😪The issue was a classic and boring one- –
- The less I wrote in Chinese, the harder it got.
- The harder it got, I struggled more.
- I could not find fun in the struggle and as a result I wrote less.
I did write in Chinese more using real pens and paper. But still, all in all, I did not meet expectations.
Even though I know I should move on, focus on pushing myself to do better in 2021, set some goals, do something different …
3. Battle with food
I had no idea why it started. It could be COVID, the pressure from the school, the lack of progress in my work. But it happened without warning. What’s more confusing was I never had the issue. I began to binge eat.
Those hours were tough. Some days I could manage and consumed just 2 – 3 pieces of bread. Some days I would devour 10+ pieces of bread in less than 2 hours. I would scour every single bakery near me for food. Then other weeks I would get stuck on chips. Then ice cream. Then chocolate. It was terrible. Not only the guilt was debilitating, the struggle and back and forth with myself to try not to binge eat was demoralising, because I lost the battle most of the time. I would try to compensate by skipping meals, which turned into another problem because my kids were confused why I would only cook and not eat.
I am not entirely out of it. It is the thing I fear the most, every day, because I still cannot be certain when I might fall into yet another spiral of torture. There are temptations everywhere. It is very difficult.
4. Blue Biden and Yellow Trump
Similar to the rest of the world, Hong Kong has become more polarised in 2020. The “yellow” faction took the streets to rebel against the government, while the “blue” team stood behind the police and the CCP.
Meanwhile in the US, there was Trump and there was Biden. There was the woke-left and the alt-right.
The most dispiriting thing was how these two poles in two different places converged: If you are yellow, you are pro-Trump; If you are pro-Biden, you are blue. Because Biden is pro-China, and Trump is anti-China.
As a result, we got very stuck and confused. How could one be supporting and fighting tyranny at the same time? How can one be pro-democracy and pro-authoritarian?
I could not find a way to make it work. I pissed off those who were on “my side” in Hong Kong because I celebrated their nemesis in the US. I didn’t please those whom I shared the same US political viewpoints with because I stood by the wrong color in Hong Kong. As a result, I failed miserably trying to bridge gaps. I think I burned more bridges than building them.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned, or was reminded of, was to never settle. I must try and remain open by reading more broadly. I must work on my will and wit to debate productively. I must strive to engage.
Strong opinions, weakly held.