“It was the Magic night that did this, wasn’t it?” – Becca
I’m not surprised. I’m really not surprised. It’s odd — but probably for the better — as Becca and Eza have pointed out, that I don’t seem perturbed by it at all. Give it a week and I might start to throw things, but for now it really does feel all right. I’m not sure if it’s because (a) I was given a very persistent wake-up call that has somehow either distorted my view of things, or forced the reality of the situation to the front of my mind, or (b) I’m burnt out from everything I’ve made myself do for the sake of making things better, or (c) on a very rare turn, I have enough sense not to disillusion myself into thinking things will be better from now on, or (d) whatever faith I had before this was stamped out long before I realized it, or (e) contrary to (d), I have enough faith to think that if I let nature take its course it really could get better in time (which seems very silly when said out loud or put down in black and white).
Whatever it is, I really am quite zen about it, and I don’t even need to be drawing lines in the sand to keep myself zen. Granted I’m a little bothered by the fact that I am zen, but given the way things have been for so long, I don’t think I can afford to be anything but zen. The question is: when the zen phase is over, how much more damage will I do for myself?
Upon further reflection, I think (b) and (d) are the least likely possibilities.
a.k.a. the by-product of an overactive imagination
For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from stage-fright, which is strange as I’ve been onstage since I was about five years old, whether it was to sing, act or dance. When I was a child, it used to be so bad that I would actually cry backstage before it was time to go on, which must have looked silly to the other kids in Operafest. As I grew older, it became less severe: the crying ceased, but I would still pace the dressing room until it was showtime, especially when I was in Sri Inai and it was musical season. By the time I joined the UB Choir and Royal Pitches, the pacing had become less frequent, occurring only when I had to sing alone, and I was reduced to clenching and unclenching my jaw because it always felt as thought it were vibrating, and taking deep breaths to slow down my heartrate.
The one thing that has remained constant throughout my life, though, is that the stage-fright would disappear within five seconds of going onstage. I don’t know if the stage-fright was brought on by the fear of having to perform for people, of forgetting my part midway through the show, or of not knowing what the reaction to my performance would be. But it was the fear itself that gave me the drive to do my best, to give everything I had, and if the response was negative, to know where I went wrong and learn from it.
It still hasn’t gone away. It’s been two weeks.
Boys, pretend I’m not here.
One of the issues that has plagued me since I turned 16 was the absence of really well-fitting undergarments. There was always something wrong with them: they were either too small or too low-cut or so well-padded that I could probably have survived a gunshot to the chest. And the prices of the ones that actually fit were so high for someone my age at that time that I felt like I should have them dry-cleaned so that they would last longer and not fray or fade or pop their wires before their time.
And then I moved to Buffalo and my problems were over, all thanks to Gap Body and Victoria’s Secret. I had never in my life been so spoilt for choice as far as undergarments were concerned.
So no one could judge me for stocking up in that department when it was time to pack up and ship my life home, especially with the discounts I was entitled to. I was not going to go on a wild-goose-chase for underwear when the time came, and be saddled with old, daggy ones until I finally have the financial means to go back to the U.S. And yet, I came back here hoping that somehow, over the course of the past four-odd years, my luck would have changed. And as I’ve learned over the last few weeks, it hasn’t.
If desperate times call for desperate measures, I will thank God fervently that my brother now has a U.S. mailing address, because I refuse to risk anything falling out onto the dinner table or being strapped in until they look almost bound. And I’m not sure if it’s because whatever’s available here is made funny, or I’m made funny. Either way, I look like I’m baking bread on my chest.