Five-Minute Anxiety Attack

Just now, when I was busy decorating my bullet journal with washi tapes and calligraphy, I received the news of one of my old friends from junior middle school.

She said she got into University of Essex in Britain.

Be it pride or whatnot, the first thought that went through my mind after congratulations was, “I was better at my English back in junior high school than she was.” After that thought, though, the next thing that came was, “oh crap (this is a civilized version of what I actually thought), what am I doing with my life???”

And this sent me into a spiral of anxiety.

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As of right now, it feels like a lot of my friends, whether better or worse than I was during middle school, are doing so much better with their life than I am with mine. They have all kinds of work experiences that they got from their mentors or student groups; they have internships during summer; they are steadily approaching their goals. Whereas me, I am still sitting in my little dorm room, struggling to get through an essay for my English literature course.

And it’s not like I don’t have a goal for my future; I do. I want to find a career in the media — newspapers, magazines, or even radios. But right now, I feel like I’m on the wrong track because I’m not studying journalism. In fact, ironically, my university doesn’t even have a journalism major. What’s worse, it isn’t easy to even find a summer part-time job in a different country than the one I grew up in, let alone an internship.

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Which is why I’m panicking. I realize that uncertainty and instability frightens me. I cannot do anything substantial without any kind of planning because in my dictionary, no plans = insecurities. One quick example is that right now, I’m waiting for an email from school residence, telling me to move to my summer accommodation. Said email was supposed to arrive last week, but due to the workload the coordinator is having and the tight schedule of the residence office, the move-in is delayed; as of now, I still haven’t received anything, thus affecting all my prior plans: they either get delayed as well, or cancelled. While everyone in my life are scurrying on the right path towards their dream schools and ideal careers, I’m facepalming over my lack of schedules and directions.

And it doesn’t help when I have really talented idols as well. Sure they do encourage me to chase my dreams and fulfill my life the way I want to, and they are indeed inspiring; but on the flip side, somehow, during the five minutes of my panic attack, they also make me realize just how talentless I am.

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Which is why a couple months ago, I started telling myself to learn from the best.

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I still have panic attacks, of course, but I try not to let my anxiety seeps through the five-minute boundary. Ten minutes, at most. And then after that, I’ll put some really cheerful and really upbeat music on and jump-dance around in my room singing at the top of my lungs (I’m so sorry to whoever lives neighbouring me…). THEN I’ll sit myself down, take a deep breath, and sort out whatever I need to finish at hand, one after another.

Anxiety still gets to me, time and again, like just now when I saw the update from my friend. But the five-minute rule kind of works. Now I’m singing again, and ready to start the first essay for my English course.

Running Man 5th Anniversary (10)

A little about accents.

I’m confused.

Something about me is that I’m not a native English speaker, but somehow by watching loads of TV dramas and listening to audio books have given me both major accents of the English language, the British accent and the American one. And now that I’m studying in Canada, I’m starting to grasp a bit of the Canadian accent as well.

And here’s what confuses me.

I switch accents when I’m talking to different people. Here in Canada, as I’m not that familiar with the Canadian accent (mainly the “about”), I talk to my friends with the American accent. But then back home where I once met a British guy, I used the British accent with him. And when I’m reading, I have my British accent on full blast that now I sometimes have to explain to people beforehand so they don’t get startled because seconds before reading I was talking to them with my “r”s rolled and my “a”s and “an”s pronounced more…how do I put it…more flatly and widely.

And then I read this article on Quora.

https://www.quora.com/I-speak-both-American-and-British-English-quite-smoothly-Would-it-be-a-good-idea-to-switch-between-accents-when-I-speak-to-different-English-speakers

And I’m astounded to find that some people actually think that switching accents makes the person sound fake and deceitful.

Well…Hello? It’s not like the person with the ability to switch accents is doing this deliberately just to annoy other people or mock them. Sometimes they just can’t help it.

And now I’m actually really curious. What do people think of those who change accents when speaking to different people?

What an Election.

I don’t care if I’m going to talk bulls**t here for the rest of the post, I have to write something down because my head is so full of thoughts and emotions I feel like it’s going to explode.

I followed the whole coverage of the US election last night. Now I’m not a political person, but everyone, political or not, has a candidate in his or her mind; but even though I had a candidate in mind I wasn’t strongly pro either side because to be honest both of them were not strong candidates. The phrase that showed up on social networks so many times throughout the course of the election– “choose the lesser of the two devils”– adequately summed up the situation. I surfed between news channels to follow the progress of the election night and it was pretty much the most brutal and tiresome election I’ve ever seen (In 2000 I wasn’t old enough to pay attention to politics).

Even before the results officially came out the world knew Donald Trump has become the president-elect. It was disheartening on so many levels. Supporters of Hilary Clinton cried and left the HQ early; half the country was — and pretty much still is — in grief. And fear.

At the beginning of the  campaign Trump said things that sounded like what a madman would say. He said about building a wall between America and Mexico; he said about deporting millions of illegal immigrants and banning refugees from entering the country; he said about dismissing Obamacare. He’s a racist and a loudmouth.He yells “Make America Great Again”.

Meanwhile Hilary Clinton was the favourite of all major media. She had the support of pretty much every celebrity, including Oprah, BeyoncĂ©, George Clooney, and Lady Gaga; she also had Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and even Bernie Sanders behind her back. Wall Street endorsed her, major networks supported her. She talked about a fairer tax system and “an economy that works for everyone”; she supported the rights of the minorities; she was an idol for young girls.

But the result was jaw-dropping. Trump won with 276 electoral votes while Hilary got 218 on the night of the election.

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Breaking down the exit polls, we can see that while most minorities voted for Hilary, 58% of white people voted for Trump; the former won the heart and vote of big cities, but the latter got small cities and rural areas in his hands; and the majority of Hilary Clinton’s supporters have higher education than Trump’s supporters.

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(source: Huang, P. J., Jacoby, S., & Rebecca, K. K. (2016). Election 2016: Exit Polls. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/08/us/politics/election-exit-polls.html)

But apart from these, there are also several points that are fairly important. According to CNN news live on the election night, 38% of the Americans wanted the candidate to “bring about needed change”, namely Donald Trump, while approximately 44% of the country wanted a candidate who is “experienced and able to make good judgments”, namely Hilary Clinton.

Then why on earth did Trump won?

From the poll via Morning Consult (https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/796087638985949184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw), a shockingly (well not so much in retrospect) 85% of Americans “just want it [the election] to be over”; and when asked by Fox News who they would vote for if neither of the candidate is favourable to them, nearly half of them said they’d vote for Trump.

The fact is, the people are angry and anxious and are not satisfied with the way their country is and going to be. Trump’s boast about making America great again actually resonated with what most people want — change. I’m not saying that, after all that Trump’s said and done, this change is going to be beneficial to the country and its people, but at least it’s something. And then there’s this quality of the candidates. Neither candidate of this election is deemed as competent enough for presidency, Trump more so than Hilary. But what people tend to forget, and ignore, is that while their compatriots hate Trump, some of them hate Hilary more, for reasons known to the world.

Over half of the voters voted for “a fascist and a bigot” as it was said on some social networks, but maybe it won’t be that bad? Consider it this way, Trump was not a politician, and if he wanted to win, he had to do whatever he could to gain public interests; and indeed he said some really appalling shit, but keep in mind that there are a lot of restrictions from the government for the president that even if Trump really wants to, say, build a fricking wall between America and Mexico, it is doubtful that he’ll actually be able to do so. And maybe this is a bit of a stretch but perhaps he can be a decent president? The world certainly hope he will be.

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(Right after Trump became president-elect, Twitter exploded with furious and sad people)

As I was scrolling through tweets and news today I saw a lot of wails along the lines of “she lost because she is female” and “females might never win”. IMHO, uh, first of all, no, she didn’t lost because of her gender, as a matter of fact this opinion is rather shallow. People do not elect their president based solely on their gender. What’s more, the United States, and many other countries in the world, are more than ready for their first or second female leader. Hilary lost partially because of her own careless (or whatever else) conduct, and partially because the country wants change more than staying the way they were, and Hilary advocated latter. Secondly, your female president is out there somewhere and it will happen because it’s the 21st century. And females will win. There are so many people that are supportive of organizations and campaigns that advocate female strength and gender equality. Just you wait.


And for the record, I’m not white nor American.