In Between

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150 articles in category In Between / Subscribe

I feel like my short attention span is killing me slowly.

I was doing my research paper when I decided I’d take a break and read something good. I wasn’t sure how, but I ended up at Mitch Albom’s website and I began to read some of this writings. Then I came across this: Mitch Albom’s advice for journalists and writers on writing.

If you’re like most people, you’d give up after skimming the article. If you’re an aspiring writer or journalist, you might try to actually read the article. After you reach the first subheading, you’ll get the urge to flick through Facebook first before going back to read it again, as there’s a …(1) notification.

I was tempted. So tempted. But I forced myself to stay with the article and read it at my good read pace, not at my skimming’s pace, until the end.

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I think I have known this for a long time: I am a highly sensitive person.

The other day I was browsing Facebook as per usual and I came across this article by Wall Street Journal. It’s titled, Do You Cry Easily? You May be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’. Seriously, I feel like this article is written for me.

I cry when watching almost every movie. I cried during the first five minutes of Up. I’m pretty sure I cried when watching the latest Avengers movie, although I don’t really remember which part. I cry when reading stories, and every time my sister came home from her palliative care job, telling me about how that patient died and how the patient’s husband had, lovingly, created a pair necklace with ‘forever loving you’ engraved just before she passed away, I cried a river.

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Before anyone gets any fancy idea, I just want to state that no, I’m not doing a PhD. That said, I’m contemplating whether to do a minor thesis for the second half of my Master’s degree.

The reason is simple: I’ve run out of good subjects to do. And between doing a subject that I know I will hate and being in my pyjamas while researching all day long, I think the latter does sound better.

Oh, I’m also attributing this insane idea to my job. Working in a research department where almost all my colleagues are doing PhD does something funny to my poor brain.

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I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a ‘fear of missing out’. We don’t like to miss one social gathering because we are afraid that we’ll be excluded in the future. We stay up late – doing a bunch of irrelevant things just to stay up to date.

We browse Facebook relentlessly. We don’t want to miss a gossip, or a not-so-important news update from an acquaintance we haven’t seen for ten years.

I have a fear of missing out too, and I recently realised that it’s also applicable to my studies.

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They said terrarium plants (you know, air plants) are extremely easy to take care of. Even if you don’t have green thumbs, you have to be a very awful gardener to let it die.

Mine’s dead.

On Valentine’s day this year, my boyfriend so sweetly, thoughtfully gave me a terrarium, saying, ‘Roses are too mainstream. Besides, they would die soon. Terrarium will live on.’ Sorry, Hunny, I suck at taking care of living plants.

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As a university student who works from home, I don’t think I know how many hours I spend on work vs life every day.

The general rule is to work eight hours daily from nine to five. Well, my classes start late and finish at seven, so I’d still be doing work/uni stuff way after five.

Plus, I keep on alternating between having ‘pleasure’ and doing ‘work’ – sometimes even doing both at the same time (think of watching TV while editing a video interview).

Everything has shifted. I can’t do ‘pens down’ by five because most of the time, my day has just begun. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love the flexibility of my life, it’s just that I wonder what life would be like if I don’t have to think of anything when the clock strikes five.

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‘I wonder why the older you are, the lonelier you get,’ my boyfriend said to me the other day. Yes, sadly, sometimes this is true.

My good friend (who’s currently doing the same Master’s degree) and I have said this over and over again as well. We are, currently, friendless. Most of our friends have gone back home for good and we – the ones that are left – find it difficult to forge new friendship.

Although having a partner helps a lot. There’s always something to do on the weekends.

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Stories, half-written. Ideas, half-baked. Blog posts, half-finished.

Halves. For the past few weeks, I can only do halves.

Some mornings I sit down in front of my computer with either a glass of milk or a cup of tea and I click on ‘Add New Post’ button. Three paragraphs later, I abandon the draft. The feelings are not there. The words are wrong. The voice is different.
I wake up each morning, not eager to get out of bed. I want my weekends badly. I want my days to just be filled with cooking and baking and reading books and having coffees and organising the apartment, but that’s not what the days have in store for me.

I wonder what’s wrong.

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Such hatred.

Thing is, I don’t understand the internet anymore. And the social media. People post comments as if no one would get offended by what they write. As if what they write isn’t going to have any repercussion whatsoever. When a photo is posted on Facebook, there would be people leaning on the other side of hell and unleash mean commentaries.

As if they don’t know any better.

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