27 September 2015 (Part 1)

Dear reader,

It has been almost a year (well, ten months) since we last met. I am deeply sorry for my absence. I hope you have been leading pleasant lives, full of pleasant encounters and pleasanty things.

A lot, and nothing, has been happening on my end. Let me give you a summary:

  • First real job ended two months after it began. For a variety of reasons. You could say we were incompatible. I did not find meaning in the ups and downs of marketing, and the company did not find a suitable employee in me. I simply could not make myself passionate about the work I was doing, and this proved fatal to our match. In any case, I retain pleasant memories from my short tenure; and valuable lessons in sociology and psychology were learnt.
  • I went crazy. Literally. I don’t remember if I ever told you about my depressive episodes, which occurred recurrently in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. (2012 was an entirely happy year, thanks to the wonderful offerings of Paris where I was spending my Erasmus exchange.) Anyways, I swung to the other end in late 2014, around the time I was leaving my job as Internet Marketing Analyst. By mid-January I was entirely out of it. I was deluded and I believe at one point hallucinating. My brain had gone haywire.
  • So, I was hospitalised. This was late January. To say ‘hospitalised’ is a bit misleading; I was forced to enter a mental hospital, where I was confined to the company of other crazy people for a month and a half. It was entirely traumatising, though the food was excellent. I gained weight and a disease: officially becoming a sufferer of bipolar disorder.
  • Reeling from the myriad effects of my medication (drugs that made my brain not go crazy), I was released from hospital in mid-March, from which time I have been home (hence the ‘nothing happening’ on my end). The drugs’ side effects wore off one by one. Apparently, for weeks after leaving the hospital I walked like C-3PO. Then the neck ache (never understood what that was about; my head was fine, it was the neck that hurt) disappeared. Gradually, the morning naps became shorter until, very recently, I was finally able to go the whole day without feeling sleep deprived. So yes, many months went by without nothing much happening. I watched Korean TV, Korean series (this one was my favourite), and Korean singers. I became something of an afficionado. (Like my mom, I must add. One of these days I shall surpass her knowledge of South Korea’s entertainment industry!) Apart from that I ate and walked. My father had kindly bought me a treadmill which I used daily to hill-walk in the (ever desperate yet futile) attempt to lose my hospital weight (the stress of being confined behind locked doors having been thoroughly relieved through overeating).

Recently, however, I have been writing. And that is why I am now here updating my precious baby. For many months I had planned on picking up a novel I had begun to write when I was seventeen. And finally, at the gentle yet firm urging of my doctor (whom I like very much) to find something more substantial than Korean entertainment to occupy my time, I opened the eight-year-old file and started writing. It’s a fantasy novel, a cross between Star Wars and Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire (ah yes, I forgot to tell you I have also been spending my time digging up old novels to read), with just a hint of Pop Economics and International Relations. It’s tentatively named The Gems of Azora and takes place on, you guessed it, the planet of Azora.

I’ve been writing everyday, but the book is advancing at a snail’s pace; I swear time disapparates (random reference) when I’m writing. I had left the book at 114 pages when I stopped writing eight years ago, and now I’m at 14. Wait… what? Yes. Sadly, I’m having to rewrite most, if not all, of what I’ve written. It turns out one’s command of English and general writing skills do improve over time. I shudder thinking back to my first reading of the sloppy, grammatically-inaccurate, and overly-complicated 114 pages I had produced as a teenager. Anyways, I’m rewriting it, and if I may I have to say the book is looking much better than it did before. I read and put the finishing touches on the first chapter yesterday, and I must say it is good fun. Fingers crossed, when the time comes, publishers will agree. I won’t tell you anymore just now, but I’ll surely be back to report on my progress.

That’s it for now. I hope you found this entry entertaining.

Much love,

Val

p.s. I’m thinking of taking up a part-time job as a waitress. There’s this trendy little restaurant near my house. I really like the atmosphere and the waiting staff is polite and efficient. I think I could have a good time working there while I finish my novel. Yes, maybe I should. We shall see…

 

 

 

23 March 2014

I. Am. So. Hungry right now.

Today is Sunday. Like most of my Sundays, it is spent at home. For two main reasons: (1) it is my dad’s day off (so, like a good daughter, I stay home to spend some quality Sunday time with him), and (2) I’m too lazy to leave the house.

I mean. Why would they call it ‘lazy Sunday’ if you’re not meant to be lazy on the day? (Actually, come to think of it, I wonder whence the expression came… A religious reference, most likely?)

Getting back to my Sunday, it was much like any other Sunday, except that I annoyingly woke up really early (tends to happen when I’ve had something to drink the night before). Waking up early in itself I am fine with, though not when I haven’t actually had enough sleep nor when the first thing I feel, eyes open, is the after-effects of that pint of beer.

Not enough to call a hangover, just enough to annoy and irritate.

So, I proceeded to do as best I could to have a productive Sunday. (See, I’m not actually that lazy. I just pretend to be. Or so I claim.)

I might have mentioned to you before that I’m a morning person. If not, “I am a morning person”. So, naturally, I expected that getting up early today meant that I could take advantage of my morning-person-ness and get some revision under the belt by noon.

Oh no. No no no. Doesn’t work when you haven’t had enough sleep. And yesterday’s pint didn’t make things any easier either.

After trying for a few hours to plough through a reading, I decided that my time would be better spent on other things. So I went to the post. Washed the car (for the second time this week, thanks to it conveniently raining the day after I gave my car a thorough wash).

Having done all that, it was still only 2pm. That’s how awesome waking up at 6am is – despite the almost-hangover and the not-getting-enough-sleep. See why I’m a morning person?

So I decided to go help my dad with the gardening. And the following two and a half hours, maybe three, were happily spent cutting, trimming, and pulling various species of trees and herbs. I can still feel it on my finger. No blister this time though (unlike two weeks ago when I ended up with a hideous blister the size of a really small pebble on my middle finger – damn oversized tree trunk).

Have you tried using physical activity to stimulate your brain’s capacity for mental activity? It usually works for me. After the gardening, I came back to the reading, and it’s like I’m another person.

Everything suddenly seems interesting. And I’m no longer just typing my notes up so I can finish the damned article and move on. I actually feel like I’m learning things.

The wonderful effects of physical exertion shall never cease to amaze me.

But now I’m hungry. Like, really hungry.

They say the brain consumes the most calories of all your body parts (well, it’s actually a scientifically-backed fact, but “Scientists say” just reads weird).

So me being hungrier now than before I started this post can only mean one thing: it’s a brilliant post.

Since, you know, my brain used up so much energy writing it.

Don’t we love logic. *wink*

Seriously now, though, let me go eat something before my stomach eats itself up. I’ve been told that’s no good.

Until tomorrow,

Hungry Val