Amortentia and Pumpkins

Human's have approximately 12,000-50,000 thoughts a day. I'm just trying to get as much of mine out as possible.

Month: May, 2013

A Narcissist’s Love Letter

by Thought Catalog

Really got me thinking…

Thought Catalog

When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the way I feel when I’m with you. I love myself through you. I love seeing myself through your eyes. I love seeing myself through my eyes imagining how I look through your eyes. I love having someone new to tell my stories to, to express my opinions, and to share my profound theories and beliefs about the important things in life. I love hearing myself say these things as I imagine how they sound to you, and how enthralled with me I imagine you are.

When I say I’m in love with you, I love having someone beautiful to wear, like a new outfit. I love the way you feel on me. I love the way I feel about me when you are with me.

When I say I’m in love with you, I love not being…

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The Oxygen Mask Dilemma

by amortentiaandpumpkins

Imagine you’re on a plane, and there’s one of those emergencies where the oxygen masks pop out from the ceiling, and you need to put one on. According to the flight safety cards and videos, as well as the demonstrations conducted by the air hostesses, you are supposed to put on your oxygen masks before you assist anyone, even if you’re sitting next to a child.

I used to think that was ridiculous: what parent or, just in general, what human being would think about their own safety and well-being before thinking about a child’s safety or well-being? But then I got thinking: if the plane really was in a serious crisis, it wouldn’t exactly help the child if you pass out due to lack of oxygen whilst putting an oxygen mask over their mouth. Better to quickly and efficiently put the oxygen mask on your mouth, so that you are at least in a comfortable state to put one over a child’s mouth.

This got me thinking of another principle: helping others in any other way. No, I am not saying you need to literally provide yourself with oxygen to help someone else. Rather, let’s replace oxygen with something a little more abstract: happiness. Think about it: how on earth are you supposed to help someone in a way that will result in them being happy with some aspect of their life (whether it be love, making amends with someone or even something like getting a job) when you are not in a good place yourself? I’m not saying you can’t help them if you’re not happy; rather I am saying that you can’t truly feel happy about helping someone if you’re not feeling good about yourself. 

What I guess I am trying to convey here is the fact that in order to help anyone else in your life, you need to first make sure that your own needs are satisfied. You need to feel sure about yourself to some extent before you can help someone else.

I am aware that, on the other hand, you tend to make more rational and realistic judgements about situations when you are not feeling so good and happy about yourself and life in general. But remember, this is about YOU. This is about how YOU’RE feeling, not anyone else. And let’s face it, unless the person you are trying to help, for some bizarre reason, is someone you resent deeply and they aren’t so fond of you either, no one that you are trying to help will want to see you upset or struggling to help them. They would want you to be happy too, while you help  them out with their predicament. 

Back to the plane: what kid wants their parent to pass out while they try to help them out?

Two Homes

by amortentiaandpumpkins

A really dear friend of mine returned from university in California last night back to Hong Kong. Naturally, we spoke for ages on the phone about how our last few days have been, and how our semester has been overall. So many stories…

But one thing she said really struck me. She told me while she was in California, she really really missed everything and everyone here. She said she was counting the days until she came back home, especially since there was much drama ensuing in her university between her group of friends. But then, she said that once she landed here, she realized that she already missed her university and all her friends in California very much, and that she was really excited to see them again next semester.

She then went on to point out that that’s one of the strangely amazing things about studying/working/living somewhere not close to home: the fact that once you’re settled, you realize that there will always be a place you’ll miss. Even though you’re enjoying your present surroundings, you can’t wait to get back to that other place, that other home. It really means that you’ve always got something, somewhere or someone to look forward to, wherever you are.

Whoever said missing someone or something is a heartbreaking experience should really reevaluate their life: missing is not always a bad thing! To some extent, it really is a wonderful experience, especially if you’re enjoying your present.

Hope

by amortentiaandpumpkins

I once heard in a film that there is one thing bigger than fear: that is hope. 

According to this, anything of large implications or consequences that you embark on, hope is the one thing that will stop you from backing down. Hope will always conquer fear, in the sense that even though you are scared of what the outcome may be, hope will keep you going. Hope that you will succeed, no matter how slim the chances of that is. 

But honestly, there have been too many events where I should have thought more about my fears than my hopes. Because it seems that what should’ve prospered and become something turned out to be nothing. Turned out to be another dead end in my life. Turned out to be my worst fears coming true, and the worst bit is that I don’t have the power or authority to change it, no matter how much I try.

But I guess that no matter what, we always have hope no matter what. Even if your worst fears come true, let’s face it, we all feel that somewhere, somehow, something will come out of it. The funny thing is, sometimes we do, in fact, lose all hope. But the universe works in mysterious ways: things DO turn around. Maybe not the way you expect it to, but something happens which makes you realize that everything will be better. 

(Apologies in advance for any grammatical errors. I will admit, I was a little drunk when I wrote this.)

 

CORPorate Image

by amortentiaandpumpkins

At work the other day, someone came up to me asking for an Extra Large size in the jacket they were looking for. I went looking for one, only to find that their were none. I just assumed that we were out of stock. What I didn’t realize was that the store that I work for do not, in fact, store any clothes for women in Extra Large. After further research, I found out the reason: apparently the CEO of the company that I work for does not like fat people. According to him, the company that I work for is all about conveying an image of “perfection” when it comes to body shape and appearance, and body fat most certainly does not make the cut. 

My first thought was shame. Shame at the fact that I represent a place that sells such an idea by working for them. I wonder if anyone else that works with me feels that way. That shame was (and I hate even admitting it) was shortly repressed by the thought that in the city I live in, it is hard to find a part-time job, especially if you’re a student and cannot speak the local language, thus I should feel grateful that I even have a job, no matter what it represents. After all, there are worse places to work.

But then I got thinking. I was not thinking about how I fit into all of this, but rather how everyone else I know, and I suppose society in general, fit into all of this. They’re always saying society is shifting towards being more open-minded about the way people look. The fact that people should be more accepting of how others look, and the fact that  the perception of beauty is distorted. The Dove Evolution, plus-sized models and “Real Women Have Curves” just to name a few examples about how society is trying to make us believe that beauty is diverse. That you can be fat or skinny, tall or short, dark or light-skinned, curvy or flat… you can be anything and still be beautiful. It’s the inside that counts, not the outside. 

But let’s face it, it’s never going to completely change. There will always be those superficial individuals who will have a concrete mind-set about what the definition of beauty is. It’s just unfortunate that some of these people have the resources and power to influence others to believe what they believe, like the CEO of the company I work for. 

I think Tina Fey expresses by skepticism about society’s relationship with beauty and body image best:

But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

Amortentia And Pumpkins

by amortentiaandpumpkins

You may be curious as to what my blog name means. My friend told me that it sounds like “one of these teenager blogs with random names to sounds cool or something.” So I went on to explain why exactly my blog is called “Amortentia and Pumpkins.”

Let’s start of with “Amortentia.” For those of you who don’t already know, “Amortentia” is the name of the love potion in the Harry Potter series (of which, I am and will always be a die hard fan of). What really strikes me about the love potion is this: Voldemort was conceived when his father was under the influence of the love potion. I was explaining to my friend that his mother, who was a witch, was madly in love with a Muggle man, so she spiked his drink with love potion to get him to feel attracted to her. After she ran away with him and conceived Tom Riddle Jr. (Voldemort), she stopped giving Tom Riddle Sr. the love potion, believing that he may be in love with her without the influence of the love potion since she is carrying his child (while I was saying this, my friend and I walk into the lift where a stranger was there. My friend as a joke tells the stranger that I was pregnant. It was an awkward lift ride). However, Tom Riddle Sr. leaves her. Since the love potion merely creates infatuation and not true love, it explains the reason why Voldemort never had any love for anything. I found this extremely fascinating, and since I think “Amortentia” has a nice ring to it and due to my obsession with Harry Potter, the name stuck and thus is part of my blog name. 

“Pumpkins,” if you haven’t already guessed, comes from one of my favourite fairy tales of all time, Cinderella. I believe that the whole carriage/pumpkin thing is the epitomy of nothing is what it really seems to be. And I feel that is what I am about, and to some extent, what everybody is about. People seem to have either harsh judgements or expectations that are far too high of me. That’s why I chose “Pumpkin.”

Oh, and I like pumpkin risotto. 

Perspective

by amortentiaandpumpkins

Last week, a friend of mine organized this event called “Candles of Hope,” where we basically lights up candles in the middle of my university entrance and sit around them in a circle. It was in commemoration of all the tragedies that have occurred in the world.

Of course, one will immediately assume Boston. And although I’m not saying it wasn’t a dreadful thing that happened there, people fail to realize that bombs and tragedies aren’t exactly uncommon in many parts of the world. I come from a country where hearing about bombings only a few minutes away from your house is almost a norm. People die as a result every single day. It’s not that I know anyone personally, but my relatives there, like my grandparents have lost friends not once, not twice but numerous times in these awful occurrences. I have heard them talk about these victims, these people who were kind and generous, being obliterated for no good reason whatsoever. And their families… the amount of times I’ve heard of children, much younger than me, losing their fathers… I can’t even begin to imagine a life without mine. 

It really starts putting your life into perspective, hearing these stories. At times, I start to realize how absolutely trivial my problems sound in comparison to others. There are so many times I feel like this. I sometimes catch myself ranting on about something in front of someone, only to realize they have been through a lot worse than me, and that puts me to shame, and especially when that person offers me comfort and support. Because I feel like, when put into perspective, their problems are like mountains, whereas mine is like a small bush growing on that mountain. 

But I remember, a long time ago, and I can’t exactly remember who or when, someone told me something that has stuck. “No problem is too small, because they’re your problems. Only you can understand them fully, and no one can experience what you feel, because you’re you!” Apart from this, all I can remember is this cheered me up a little. Because it reminds me that not only no one can perceive the world exactly the way I do, but also that I can never perceive the world in exactly the way someone else does. So really, I can’t help if I have a problem that seems little to someone else, because to me, it’s big. And likewise; if a friend comes to me with a problem that at first glance seems extremely minor, I try to realize that to them, this problem is the only thing that is occupying them right now, that it’s taking them over, and they need some sort of resolution or closure.

I really feel that this keeps me going, understanding a little bit that everybody has one thing or another going on, whether we can help it or not, and sometimes it’s okay to forget about perspective. Just realize that problems are problems at the end of the day. 

Obligations

by amortentiaandpumpkins

I realized that if there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is obligation. I detest being forced to do something and, on top of that, someone trying to convince me that what I did was for my own benefit. I definitely don’t feel happy doing it, so how the hell am I benefitting? And also, I hate being obligated to do something I really love, simply because I am no longer doing it for my own happiness or satisfaction, but to fulfill something for someone else.

Take for example this stupid Health course in my university that is compulsory for everybody in their first year. Everyone is forced to chose a sport to do for the rest of the semester. Since I love dancing, I picked a course called “Social Dance,” thinking that I might actually enjoy it. I found that I hated the class, and skipped quite a few before realizing I would have to retake it if I didn’t attend enough sessions. So I basically dragged myself out of bed on Tuesday mornings to go to this class. I realized the root of the problem and the reason I disliked this class so much was because I was obligated to do it. I was obliged to each and every step I took, each turn I made, each movement to the music that played. It just didn’t feel right.

Another thing is when you can’t help how you feel about something or someone, but everyone around is trying to make you, almost force you to get rid of those feelings. The fact that people are trying to oblige you to feel differently about something is the very thing that makes you feel even strongly about what you were thinking about in the first place. Let’s simplify things: let’s say you are a big fan of gummy candies. You absolutely love eating them, and you can’t resist having some anytime you see some. But everyone around you tells you that they’re bad for you, for your health. But the very fact that people are stopping you from eating gummy candies makes you crave them even more. You try and get some every chance you get, and the more people try to prevent you, the more you look for ways to get what you want.

Because let’s face it, obliging to others sucks. You want free will. You realize how precious free will is when someone tries to stop you from doing something you love, or making you do something you love for something than your own satisfaction.