existential crisis(es)

I haven’t really been active here despite my promise to be, and I think that I can find a few thousand reasons for this, such as how school is busier than anticipated and SAT has successfully brought me down for quite a while, all of which are true but which would really not have affected this if I was really into it.

The biggest problem, I found, is that I have nothing much to really write about – I write for the 100 word challenge, and recently, the blog I follow for that has stopped posting them, possibly because people rarely participate, and I can understand the lack of motivation. Sometimes, writing here feels like writing into the void; I have a record of what I have written, but about as many people read it as if I had just written it in a journal.

The feeling, then, is ambivalent – I’m glad that no one reads it, but at the same time, I wish that people would read it. At least then, I’d know if I’d done something wrong, yes?

I have heard many online writers complain about readers who do not appreciate their works, critiquing them, but sometimes I feel that writing without feedback is worse. At least, with the critiques, there are things you know possibly needs improvements, and there is a reassurance that, even if they hated your work, they read it; it’s vain, but personally, authors write and publish to put it out into the world for people to read. Of course, they would prefer favorable reviews, but reviews are better than none.

I do write, and as of now, I only put up my fanworks online under another name, mainly because original works I have feels… stunted? Stilted? They feel kind of unnatural, and even I have problems when rereading my own works – they can barely capture my interests, I would not inflict them upon the world. At least, with fanfiction, I feel connected to my characters and, for me, that is quite important.

The other big problem I feel is that, while on one hand, I do want feedback, on the other, I’m a little wary of being judged, which is a big part of why I don’t let my family read my work. Or my friends, for that matter. Somehow, writing online under a pseudonym for strangers I’ve never met and probably never will meet feels safer. It’s something I’m trying to get over that isn’t really helped by being told consistently that getting a good grade to go to a good university is the only important thing I should do, that I should stop doing useless things and start putting in more effort and more focus into my schoolwork, into my homework, into preparing for exams like SAT and A-levels and AP, into getting more CIP hours and getting more leadership positions and experiences, into doing more exercise.

Which, well, yeah, I know that I don’t put in enough effort. I spend too much time avoiding school-related stuff, either by reading online works or by doing my own work or hanging out with my friends. And I’ve given up quite a bit on the CIP thing, ever since last year. To top that off, I have a bad leadership track – I’ve never been a class monitress or mentor rep or subject rep, I’m not in student council or executive community of any co-curriculum activity or interest group. The most leadership I can boast of is one month as the chinese subject rep in primary 4, before being told that there’s no such position.

Then there’s the fact that I don’t even have a goal, I don’t know what I want to do with my life, other than the fact that I want to be able to write. Writing doesn’t feed me, though, and it would not allow me to survive, so I need to get a job, and that’s the problem. There’s nothing much else that interests me that I can earn with.

It really doesn’t help to grow up in a country where it feels like being a doctor or a lawyer is the only good thing you can do with your life – everything else is useless, so those are the absolute goals you must reach. Everyone, when you grows up, tells you that you should become a doctor because you’re smart, and that if you don’t want to do that, there’s always being a lawyer.

It’s as if there’s no other jobs in this world, and for the longest time, that’s how I felt, too, which is why I’ve spent at least ten years telling my parents that, when I grow up, I want to be a doctor. Because saying so makes them happy, and I want them to be happy, even if, the older I get, the less I want to actually be a doctor. I can’t stand blood, and dissecting rats and sheep’s heart in my school has only further cemented my distaste for taking a scalpel and forceps close to any sort of organism or organ, even if they’re already dead.

The worse part came when I told them that I don’t want to be a doctor anymore – it’s not that they want to force me to become either that or a lawyer, but there’s always the faint sense of ‘why are you not going to do that?’ They’d tell me, too, that they’re proud of me no matter what I do, but then there’s the constant stream of ‘You’d be better off than us’ and ‘You’d do better in life’ and ‘It’s really hard to help you when you don’t know what you want to go’ and ‘Your brother has more specific goals and actual plans than you do and he’s younger than you’, with the unspoken why can’t you be like him. The judgement’s also there when I go over to other people’s house, and they ask, what do you want to be when you grow up, and I reply, I don’t know. There’s always someone who says, but didn’t you want to be a doctor when you grow up? Or, what about becoming a lawyer, then? If not, doctor? Or accountant? Biochemical sounds good too, right?

The only thing I really know right now is what I don’t want to do, but even that’s not unshakable. I don’t want to be a researcher – but I don’t mind working on research for making plants that can survive on Mars. I don’t want to be a scientist, but then again, I don’t really know what scientists do. I don’t want anything to do with physics or math or coding, but everything nowadays seems to be concerned with that – no matter what you do, you cannot really escape these three fields. Really, at the end of the day, I’m fine with pretty much everything under the sun, heck, I’d even give being a janitor a go, which says a lot about me, doesn’t it?

Okay I just scrolled back up and realised how far off track I’ve disappeared to and I shall leave off with my existential crisis – I’m pretty sure people only start having them at 30 or 40 why am I having it before I even turn 18 – and go back to what I started out with.

I’ll start writing more, really, and I’d start trying with poems and the likes. Maybe even shape poems! It’s time to move on from 100 words, yes?

And wow I just wrote about 1200 words in one sitting in front of the laptop with all my other homework just lying around waiting for me to get to them, so I shall leave off the editing and publish this and go do my homework.





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