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Insomnia Jan. 25th, 2012 @ 10:32 am
Sneaking into the night,
you arrived uninvited.
Complete with your minions,
attacking from every direction.

I tossed and turned all night,
willing patience, peace and a blank... empty... mind.
But no sooner than I finally found some respite,
that the dreaded alarm clock mockingly rang.

Oh how I wish I could mash you up to a pulp,
and feed you to the roaches!
Or mate you with the thumping headache,
that faithfully graces my temple on this oh-so-beautiful day.

A battle of will it is,
stronger and long lasting than most I had been in.
But never will I give in to your dictating hours,
nor give up living within normal waking hours.

So just you wait,
for I know one night victory will be mine.

And when the time comes,
you’ll realize far too late that you picked the wrong target.
For I shall be delighted to see you roam the dark in solitude,
eternally divorced of the strangling hold you once had upon me.

And this is how you shall be:
deserted, destitute and very, very alone....
Aimlessly looking for your next victim,
while my blissful sleep renders me oblivious to your whim.

For I DESERVE a good night’s rest.


Tracing the family history... Aug. 17th, 2011 @ 05:54 pm

I’ve been collecting fragmented pieces of history from family members about my ancestors and Chinese Indonesian heritage in the past couple of years. I don’t know if it has something to do with my upcoming wedding, but my curiosity suddenly grew and I just need to find out more about my family history.

Because the Chinese had been migrating to Indonesia (among many other places) in several waves from as early as 15-16th century to the 20th century, there is such a great diversity in terms of degree of cultural assimilation and heritage among Chinese Indonesians. There are those who still very much keep the Chinese traditions and can still speak Mandarin / dialect, and others who pretty much have fully assimilated into the Indonesian culture, don’t have Chinese names and can’t speak a word of Mandarin. The rest (including me) falls somewhere in between the spectrum.

I have always had a thing about family trees – I love them, love tracing the family lineage several generations back to see where we all came from. Unfortunately because both of my parents come from large families already, I grew up not knowing much about relatives more distant than my immediate aunts, uncles and cousins. So recently I ‘interviewed’ my maternal grandmother about her and my grandfather’s sibilings, as well as their children. I got their names and birth dates down as much as possible though I still have no idea what most of them look like. That was great fun.

The truth is even now I still don’t know which generation Chinese Indonesian am I. I’ve had friends who told me they’re 8th generation Chinese Indonesians and still have complete records of the family lineage traced all the way back to China. Whoa… how cool is that??

I can only go back as far as my paternal great grandparents (that they were definitely local-born) and speculate that probably my great great grandparents were also in Bangka/Belitung, Indonesia during their time. Whether they’re local born or immigrants, I have no idea. I haven’t heard as many stories about my paternal grandparents’ side unfortunately, because I did not see them much in my younger days. Also I guess it’s common for fathers to not talk as much about the family history compared to mothers. Hahah…

On the other side, I can trace back my maternal grandfather’s lineage to as far back as his grandparents (my great great grandparents) who had been living in Jakarta since then. My grandpa’s family was very ‘Chinese’ in their way of living even though he speaks with a typical Betawi (native Jakarta) accent and addresses his mom and relatives using the (Jakarta) peranakan terms: his mom is the ‘none’. Heheh… Unfortunately I’ve no idea where they came from prior to settling in Jakarta because according to recorded history, there isn’t a specific wave of international migration to Jakarta from China. So I’m sure my grandpa’s ancestors came from somewhere else within Indonesia before finally settling in Jakarta.

One story my mom told me about my grandpa was how my great grandma was widowed at a young age (well I guess not that young since she managed to have a lot of children) and had to brought them all up herself with money from their property rental (my great grandpa was a landlord). When the time came to marry her children off, she sold the family properties one by one to raise the money.

As for my maternal grandmother, she has a peranakan mother and Chinese father who came from a place called Cuan Ciu in China – where that is I have no idea. I tried to google it but didn’t manage to find a map or information on where it is located in China. Anyway… my great grandpa was a Hokkien (while my maternal grandpa and paternal grandparents are all Hakka-nese) and a calligraphy artist. He was also a merchant / trader by profession. I don’t have much information about my grandma’s peranakan mum yet though, except that she was from Cirebon. My grandma’s family initially lived in Garut but later moved to Jakarta.

Interestingly for some reason my grandma’s family decided that she should attend a Dutch school while the rest of her sibilings attended Chinese schools. As a result my grandma can speak Sundanese, Indonesian and Dutch (probably very rusty now) but hardly any Mandarin or Hokkien. And because my grandpa does not know Mandarin, my mum grew up not being able to speak a word of it either. However they still kept some Chinese customs.

On the other hand, my dad grew up speaking some Mandarin and the (localized) Hakka dialect. He even attended a Chinese school for three years in primary school before the Government closed all Chinese schools in Indonesia in the 1960s due to the threat of communism.

With the closure of Chinese schools and ban on speaking Mandarin / any dialect in public, as well as the compulsory changing of names from Chinese to Indonesian-sounding names, my parents’ generation very quickly assimilated even more with the local culture. So much so that unless your family really upholds the tradition, most customs can be lost in a single generation.

For example, my maternal grandpa was a Buddhist but all his children attended Catholic or Protestant schools and were all baptised as Christians since young. Later he too chose to convert. My mom doesn’t know much about Buddhism, can’t speak Mandarin and don’t know much about Chinese customs.

Even my dad who had relatively more ‘Chinese’ upbringing, quickly forgot how to read and write Mandarin once he started attending Indonesian schools. Later on after we moved to Singapore and as he traveled to China for work several years ago, he quickly refreshed his memory, but not before my brother and I grew up not knowing much about anything Chinese other than the food and Chinese New Year. Haha!

See how quickly everything changed within just one generation?


Self-administered psychoanalysis Dec. 29th, 2010 @ 12:41 pm
I'm feeling a little down these days and thought of posting here again. But before that I was re-reading my previous entry and this thought came to mind:

If you take the pragmatic approach, at the end of it the suggestions given by that writing by Dr. James T. Webb are merely ways to help the person cope and ultimately accept that it is ok to lead a relatively brief, finite, meaningless (unless otherwise defined by yourself) and highly limited life so long as you remain delusional (i.e. have dreams) about it. It's just that: managing perceptions.

So do you choose the delusional path (If I were to change my perception I can also say do you choose the path to happy, meaningful life)? And if you do, why. Or do you choose to recognize that miserable, depression-causing fact, and if you do, then how do you live the rest of your life? 

How do you strike a balance between accepting that life is finite and relatively brief (and that you're but a speck of insignificance among billions of others) and yet still feel like you're actually living a meaningful life?

The thing is, regardless of how many great acts you do to ensure that everyone remembers you, if every single one of us exist only at this brief time and space, then essentially all those people who remember you are equally insignificant as they cease to exist upon death. And therefore any attempt to "make your mark" in this world is simply futile.

Personally I do want to be completely free of these nagging thoughts - it's been twelve years! However all arguments eventually come back to this point: I have been taught to believe, to have faith. But the rational mind says if it is a belief, it is not yet a fact. If it is a fact, there is no need to believe. It will be as it is.

Choosing to believe in this or that, just like "managing" your perceptions, will never change what is. And that's my ultimate quest: to find out the truth. But how am I to do that, short of taking a morbid plunge into the depths of the unknown, figuratively speaking (yes I love the word play, please pardon me if that concerned you a little). And yet even if I do take that plunge, I'd hate it if I were to simply found a great, infinite nothingness (or maybe not, since in that case I wouldn't even have any kind of awareness or conscious thought). Why? Because as a person with feelings, I can also find enjoyment in the simple day to day life - indulging in other peoples' warmth & care, sharing the love, traveling and witnessing other forms of life, music and the arts, etc... And if I knew there's nothing else out there, then I'd rather at least have a long, long life on this Earth and enjoy as much of it as possible, thank you very much.

However it does then make me question the point of / need for working hard for something / achieving things / making your mark on the world / however else you wish to express it.

If I know for a fact there's nothing else out there, I'd rather live life purely for enjoyment's sake.

If I know for a fact there's more to life on Earth, there's a form of "everlasting-ness", and everything flows in a continuous, everlasting stream, then I'd so love to somehow have a role in shaping the path through which this stream of life flows.

And please, isn't there anyone out there with an answer??

I've been standing at this juncture, wondering which way to go, for the past 12 years. And in the meantime I feel that I've pretty much been living a mediocre, insignificant life.

At the same time if I were never able to find out the exact truth while I'm alive, should I just then take the high road, and pretend / hope that my existence isn't just a random blip in in space and time, which then gives me cause to do more and lead a "meaningful" life? And regardless of whether or not my beliefs turn out to be true, I'll at least not feel like I've put my life on hold all those years.

P.S.: I still need to know. But strangely, this writing now feels like an exercise for me to work through my thoughts, and I'm already feeling much better. I can even see myself saying yes to that last question. At the same time, this conclusion is scarily similar to the advice I was given 12 years ago, and the very thing that helped me pull out of depression. Obviously I've only used it as some sort of supportive crutches to help me hobble through so far, instead of wear it like a pair of wings with which I can simply soar (you can tell I'm in a melancholic mood). But it just goes to make me appreciate that special person even more, for the well thought-out and kindly advice.

So I guess now that I can come to this conclusion of my own, it is now time to move on.

However I wonder how quickly my long-dormant willpower and determination to achieve things can be revived.
Feeling: calmcalm

Existential depression? Sep. 29th, 2010 @ 11:25 pm
Never have I felt so hesitant to post a note on Facebook before: I don't want to set privacy restrictions and yet at the same time I don't wish for so many people who know me personally to read and form a judgement on this. So after such a long while, I actually come back here to do this one post, just for this blog. Wow.... haha..

Anyways... I read a note a friend shared on Facebook and it's basically an excerpt from someone else's writing (or maybe it's a full but short writing on its own, I don't know). This is about gifted children. I don't want to seem so arrogant by categorizing myself a gifted person, yet there's no point in false modesty is there? And I want so very much to share this writing because I can identify with it so much: it exactly described what I went through when I was 13-14 years old, in my very first year living in Singapore. Even the title of the writing was exactly the central issue I was so fixated with: existence

One reason why I hesitated writing this on Facebook: the friend who shared this note actually wrote a comment saying that "but i think these "gifted individuals" are either spoiled brats or have not known God yet. =p"

Well I don't think I was ever a spoiled brat. And it was my faith that pulled me through that period.

Regardless of whether you have a religion or not, human free-will basically means that you are not pre-programmed to 100% and unquestioningly obey a certain faith or way of thinking or a set of beliefs. And if you realize that on a biological level, your true emotional responses are mostly involuntary and result from a myriad of chemical responses and reactions to all sorts of feedback from your surroundings (extrinsic & intrinsic), then you'll also know that it can alter your thinking and perceptions involuntarily as well.

Being depressed at a certain point of time (regardless of how "good" your situation may seem to others) to me definitely doesn't negate my faith at all. It is how I subsequently respond to the situation that shows the strength of my beliefs (and this is where free-will comes in).

Just before I post the writing below, I'll just say that during those times, the only things stopping me from actually doing anything fatal (i.e. suicide perhaps?) was:
  • I know it is a capital sin to do so - the point being not that I was afraid of whatever might happen to me untoward, but as I do know that I'm blessed with so much regardless of how I felt then, it'd simply show how ungrateful I was if I were to do that.
  • I love my family and will never cause them such a great distress.
  • The Serenity Prayer (later on I found another inspiring poem by Robert Frost titled "The Road Less Traveled".
So that's it from me. Enjoy the reading below... :)

p.s. I've colored parts of the writing below in blue, for the points which I specially can identify with, and occasionally inserted some personal notes in brackets, also in blue..


*******************************


"Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals" by James T. Webb, Ph.D.

Dr. Webb is co-author of the book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders

It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).

Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or "ultimate concerns")--death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create. Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone. Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?

Why should such existential concerns occur disproportionately among gifted persons? Partially, it is because substantial thought and reflection must occur to even consider such notions, rather than simply focusing on superficial day-to-day aspects of life. Other more specific characteristics of gifted children are important predisposers as well.

Because gifted children are able to consider the possibilities of how things might be, they tend to be idealists. However, they are simultaneously able to see that the world is falling short of how it might be. Because they are intense, gifted children feel keenly the disappointment and frustration which occurs when ideals are not reached. Similarly, these youngsters quickly spot the inconsistencies, arbitrariness and absurdities in society and in the behaviors of those around them. Traditions are questioned or challenged. For example, why do we put such tight sex-role or age-role restrictions on people? Why do people engage in hypocritical behaviors (note: I can never stand any form of pretense or manipulative acts) in which they say one thing and then do another? Why do people say things they really do not mean at all? Why are so many people so unthinking and uncaring in their dealings with others? How much difference in the world can one person's life make?

When gifted children try to share these concerns with others, they are usually met with reactions ranging from puzzlement to hostility. They discover that others, particularly of their age, clearly do not share these concerns, but instead are focused on more concrete issues and on fitting in with others' expectations. Often by even first grade, these youngsters, particularly the more highly gifted ones, feel isolated from their peers and perhaps from their families as they find that others are not prepared to discuss such weighty concerns.

When their intensity is combined with multi-potentiality, these youngsters become particularly frustrated with the existential limitations of space and time. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to develop all of the talents that many of these children have. Making choices among the possibilities is indeed arbitrary; there is no "ultimately right" choice. Even choosing a vocation can be difficult if one is trying to make a career decision between essentially equal passion, talents and potential in violin, neurology, theoretical mathematics and international relations. (note: how bizarre it is that I've considered EVERY single one of them as a potential career path at some point in my life.)

The reaction of gifted youngsters (again with intensity) to these frustrations is often one of anger. But they quickly discover that their anger is futile, for it is really directed at "fate" or at other matters which they are not able to control. (note: oh how I repeatedly said: "even if I want to blame someone / something for all these things, who / what should I blame??? Was it my parents for moving all of us so suddenly / the schools here for being so prejudiced against Indonesian schools / my lousy English / George Soros for supposedly causing the Asian Financial Crisis??) Anger that is powerless evolves quickly into depression.

In such depression, gifted children typically try to find some sense of meaning, some anchor point which they can grasp to pull themselves out of the mire of "unfairness." Often, though, the more they try to pull themselves out, the more they become acutely aware that their life is finite and brief, that they are alone and are only one very small organism in a quite large world, and that there is a frightening freedom regarding how one chooses to live one's life. It is at this point that they question life's meaning and ask, "Is this all there is to life? Is there not ultimate meaning? Does life only have meaning if I give it meaning? I am a small, insignificant organism who is alone in an absurd, arbitrary and capricious world where my life can have little impact, and then I die. Is this all there is?"

Such concerns are not too surprising in thoughtful adults who are going through mid-life crises. However, it is a matter of great concern when these existential questions are foremost in the mind of a twelve or fifteen year old (note: thirteen to be exact). Such existential depressions deserve careful attention, since they can be precursors to suicide.

How can we help our bright youngsters cope with these questions? We cannot do much about the finiteness of our existence. However, we can help youngsters learn to feel that they are understood and not so alone and that there are ways to manage their freedom and their sense of isolation. (note: thank you to one very special person for essentially showing me how I can use my faith to change my perceptions, and that I wasn't the only one who questions existentiality.)

The isolation is helped to a degree by simply communicating to the youngster that someone else understands the issues that he/she is grappling with. Even though your experience is not exactly the same as mine, I feel far less alone if I know that you have had experiences that are reasonably similar. This is why relationships are so extremely important in the long-term adjustment of gifted children (Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982).

A particular way of breaking through the sense of isolation is through touch. In the same way that infants need to be held and touched, so do persons who are experiencing existential aloneness. Touch seems to be a fundamental and instinctual aspect of existence, as evidenced by mother-infant bonding or "failure to thrive" syndrome. Often, I have "prescribed" daily hugs for a youngster suffering existential depression and have advised parents of reluctant teenagers to say, "I know that you may not want a hug, but I need a hug." A hug, a touch on the arm, playful jostling, or even a "high five" can be very important to such a youngster, because it establishes at least some physical connection.

The issues and choices involved in managing one's freedom are more intellectual, as opposed to the reassuring aspects of touch as a sensory solution to an emotional crisis. Gifted children who feel overwhelmed by the myriad choices of an unstructured world can find a great deal of comfort in studying and exploring alternate ways in which other people have structured their lives. Through reading about people who have chosen specific paths to greatness and fulfillment, these youngsters can begin to use bibliotherapy as a method of understanding that choices are merely forks in the road of life, each of which can lead them to their own sense of fulfillment and accomplishment (Halsted, 1994). We all need to build our own personal philosophy of beliefs and values which will form meaningful frameworks for our lives.

It is such existential issues that lead many of our gifted individuals to bury themselves so intensively in "causes" (whether these causes are academics, political or social causes, or cults). Unfortunately, these existential issues can also prompt periods of depression, often mixed with desperate, thrashing attempts to "belong." Helping these individuals to recognize the basic existential issues may help, but only if done in a kind and accepting way. In addition, these youngsters will need to understand that existential issues are not ones that can be dealt with only once, but rather ones that will need frequent revisiting and reconsideration.

In essence, then, we can help many persons with existential depressions if we can get them to realize that they are not so alone and if we can encourage them to adopt the message of hope written by the African-American poet, Langston Hughes:


Dreams

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly..

Hold fast to dreams.
For if dreams go,
Life is a barren field
Covered with snow

- Langston Hughes
 
 
Feeling: contemplativecontemplative

I'm still alive.. Aug. 10th, 2010 @ 11:39 pm
 I was just re-reading my earliest entries and I thought.. my goodness.. how childish was I!! so embarrassing. lol.

And to have all those read by my friends - even my math teacher in JC read & commented on some of them!!!

Reading those entries, I have also managed to re-discover several things that I knew then, with the utmost conviction (what's new?), I will want to do:
  • I was going to do an MBA program overseas
  • I was going to be a technical investor
Then there were those entries about matters of the heart. Oh and there's this anonymous commenter who, on hindsight, actually provided such mature insight, I really wonder who that is. I have a suspicion he (the person identify himself as a guy) is one of the guys I wrote about. But I don't know for sure, and I can't remember if I found out about his identity back then. See how much of this stuff that seemed oh so important in the past, are now barely even remembered? Geez...

Part of me wanted to delete the most embarrassing ones, but then again that's just who I was / am (even will be still?) so I guess I'll just let them be and move on with life.

However with this recent review of past entries, I therefore conclude that at the grand old age of 19, I was not that much more mature than my brother when he was 19... why my brother? I don't know. I always feel I'm that much more mature than he is. Hahahaha...

And erm yea I even sound heartless in many of the entries.

I think I will be annoyed with my old self.

and I wonder how people remained friends with me. =.=
Feeling: embarrassedembarrassed

test Mar. 26th, 2010 @ 06:38 pm
testing to post an entry here using my other LJ account.

about taking up that dream singapore citizenship... Mar. 14th, 2010 @ 11:35 pm
there's been so much talk & complaints from plenty of singaporeans on the issue of public housing ownership by permanent residents here. many feel that these PRs should take up singapore citizenships rather than continue being PRs forever and yet are still allowed to buy HDB flats, which many claim have inflated prices & deprived singaporeans of a place to stay.

just recently there was even a short interview of an indonesian PR in the news, who stated that she will not give up her indonesian citizenship as indonesia does not allow foreigners to own property & land there.

well, if you're interested in what one other indonesian PR has in mind (i.e. me) about taking up citizenship here, read on:

===================================================

both singapore and indonesia should just allow double citizenship. i'll then definitely take up singapore citizenship right away. i've been a PR here for the last 11 years out of my 24 years of life, but there's no way i will convert my citizenship anytime soon because i already own a property in indonesia, and i will not give that up. in fact i have plans to invest a lot more in properties there as the market is better (obviously because it's not as developed & stable as here, so with that higher inherent risk, there's also an opportunity for much higher returns).

people claim that by allowing PRs to own HDB flats, they will make a windfall when they sell their flats and return to their homeland, where they can then buy a nice place for their retirement.

regarding that windfall thing: i've been living in my current flat for the past 9 years. even if we were to sell the hdb flat we're living in now at optimal price, the profit earned will only be enough to buy a VERY modest property in jakarta. so please don't kid yourself about us earning a "windfall". do you really think we came from some impoverished place in timbuktu?

except for those who have been here since they're very young and have no other reason to go back to indonesia, i'd say the following describes our sentiments pretty well: the most ideal situation will be for both country to allow dual citizenship. the next best situation is for indonesia to allow foreigners to own properties & land without any "minimum-value" cap.

while the indonesian government is currently studying the feasibility of allowing foreigners to own properties there, there's no telling how long the process is going to take. there's even mention that (and of course it makes a lot of sense) if this were to happen, there'll be a minimum cap in the values of properties which can be owned by foreigners. this is to prevent very sharp increases in land & housing prices for the low & middle income indonesians (which of course will happen if there were to be no cap).

unfortunately both situations (dual citizenships & foreign ownership in indonesia) are pretty unlikely to happen any time soon. so you're stuck with us. but don't worry, in the meantime plenty of us will still help singapore developers by absorbing many of the new luxurious residential properties, on top of going on shopping sprees here, and regularly having expensive medical check-ups & procedures done here. think of all the good it brings singapore.

and just for the record: my brother took up singapore citizenship as he was much younger when we moved here, feel completely at home here and see no reason to go back to jakarta. he also went through NS and no he did not slack there, going to OCS and thoroughly making the best out of the situation. so please people, don't let your prejudice & stereotyping ways cloud your judgement, making you fixate on just one small part and forgetting the whole big picture.

in the meantime, i'll continue to enjoy living here as a PR and have fun with my singaporean friends, unless i've managed to offend them with this entry :p

p.s. in case people think i'm too high-minded here, i think the singapore government is being pretty realistic when they say that eventually PRs who settle down here to start a family will have their children or grandchildren become true-blue singaporeans. it's interesting how some singaporeans can't see the similarity with their own immigrant ancestors. surely the first-generation immigrants still looked towards their origin countries as their homelands? which generation do you belong to now? third? fourth? even more than that?

expecting first-generation PRs to enthusiastically renounce their citizenships for singapore within just a few years is really unrealistic and high-minded on the part of singapore (or the people who have such expectations anyway).


p.p.s. i have decided to post something here again after abandoning my LJ site. ever since i started using facebook notes, it just seems so much more convenient (and targeted if need be) than having a separate blog, considering the amount of time i spend there....

oh all that anger... Jan. 22nd, 2009 @ 06:58 pm
I really really think I should try to post entries on happier things... not so much anger here... It's like.. what would people think when they come across my blog?? oh here's a perpetually pms-ing girl.. ha!

thing is.. when happy things are happening, I'd much rather enjoy it & soak it in rather than write about it.. you know?
Feeling: calmcalm

I'm still alive and well! =) Nov. 24th, 2008 @ 11:51 pm
..... just so you know...

And once I got a new camera I'll start blogging again I suppose. I feel so crippled without a digicam. What's the world coming to??? geez...

=)=)=)=)
Feeling: blahblah

Should you marry someone with 'bad' genes? - Does love really conquer ALL? Jul. 31st, 2008 @ 04:47 pm
The topic is initiated by Paul Levine, a facebook friend, where he posted some thoughts based on this article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25934828/

In short, the msnbc article was about how a lady can't make up her mind about marrying her boyfriend as she's worried that his genetic conditions (which she didn't elaborate on) will be passed on to their offspring. She had experienced the trauma of losing a child through SID and so understandably she didn't want to possibly go through the same painful experience again.

Now let me quote a little from Paul's entry:
"I assume some number of people will go with "love is blind" and "love concurs all" - but for those of us that are mere mortals (particularly single mere mortals!)

We've got our personals wish list - height, weight, age, hair color(?), eye color, gender, skin, skin color, ethnicity, religion, intelligence, political leanings...
...................


have you thought about where YOU draw the line?"


I have. And in response to his entry I commented:
"I've got to be extremely honest and say no I guess love does not conquer all for me... well at least.. if in the first place what allows me to develop feelings for a guy is a fulfillment of certain criteria.

Does that make me a superficial person? I dunno...

I know which kinds of guy I can never fall for, be it character-wise or based on physical traits."


And seriously I DO know this.

The discussion now has moved slightly to the more general topic of whether love does conquer all, rather than be restricted to the field of genetics only. But then again who's to say that genetics won't turn out to play a factor in EVERYTHING that makes a person.. not only physical, but also character traits. More and more research seems to be pointing in this direction... =)

The thing is, when people say love conquers ALL... what do we mean by ALL? And how often do you actually see it happening in real life?

I really find it interesting when people still say yes love does conquer all, and yet we (naturally) have all these opposition against domestic abuse, cheating partners, etc.... I'm not advocating abuse & cheating, BUT doesn't it just show that there are limits! People do draw a boundary! As to where YOU draw the line, it depends on your own personal preferences, upbringing, experiences, etc.

And so I hereby proudly declare that NO I do not think love conquers ALL.

A second observation I made is that... how do you know if you fall for someone because he/she meets a certain criteria (which you may or may not consciously have) or you fall in love DESPITE all these?

Does the feeling of love come from within you or from without (observation & feedback obtained of the other person)?

In the past I asked my boyfriend and a rather close friend on why they love their boy/girlfriends? And both of them have the same answer, that is, there is NO REASON for love, that it just appears and stays ------> a version of 'love conquers all' to me....

Although I accepted their answer at that point of time... I personally disagree with that statement. Why do I love my boyfriend? Because he's kind, patient, understanding, funny, honest, observant, open-minded, etc etc.... I can definitely list out the reasons why I fell for him.....

And SUPPOSE.... he turns out to be say... ummmm.... intolerant, abusive, selfish, aggressive, etc... several years down the road.. will I still be with him? HELL NO I don't think so.

Now so far I have been discussing mainly about character traits. However physical TRAITS (not solely based on current appearance) are as influential for me.

Honestly, and call me superficial if you like, but I do not prefer a guy who is short, obese (or extremely thin), unhygienic and has a weak constitution (falls sick easily, whine & groan about illness no matter how light.. lol).

Now let me just explain....

Height - I am SHORT (154cm). And I do consciously prefer taller guys simply because I hope my children will be taller than I am. Vanity's sake you say? Maybe. Maybe it's more than that..

Weight - I understand there are people who can't help being thin/fat because of their genes. But only a small percentage of people belongs to this category. The rest? Well let's just say if you're extremely thin or fat, it's almost guaranteed that you are UNHEALTHY.

This is not about maligning or discriminating against fat people. If you're grossly overweight, short of breath and sweat profusely after just a SHORT walk, and emit body odor. Then no you are NOT healthy. Who the hell are you kidding??

And as for anorexics? Urm... I'm too scared to even be near them... sorry..

So if you can't or won't even take care of your own health, you don't seem to love yourself very much do you? And if you don't even love yourself, how can you love others? Would I want to be in a relationship with such a person? No thank you.

I can go on and on ranting about others, but I don't think it's a very nice thing to do. So instead, I shall just list down MY own list of criteria for the kind of guys I can possibly develop feelings for...

Character traits:
Honest
Humorous
Observant
Understanding
Patient
Emotionally stable & mature
Open-minded
Generous & kind
Good balance of practical & realistic vs idealistic & a dreamer
Good hygiene
Socially adept... LOL

Intellectual traits:
MUST be intelligent (as deemed by me), though he doesn't have to be a Mensa member.. haha..
Curious & highly analytical mind
Willingness to learn
Fast learner
Musically inclined

Physical traits:
Taller than my younger bro.. who's currently at around 173cm.. haha..
Medium built
I love wide shoulders =p

Others:
Roman Catholic, otherwise willing to convert to it
Be adventurous with food =)
Has similar mindset to me regarding money matters

That's all I can think of for now.... and yes he fulfills all these and more... hehee...

Now theoretically if a guy fulfills this list, then I should be able to develop feelings for him. But then again at the current moment I can't think if anyone else I'd rather be with, other than him. So maybe this is just the rudimentary or qualifying factor, but for love to blossom, we still need the ummm.... X factor?

Let me just conclude that while I personally think that love does not conquer all, the why or how we come to love another person romantically still remains a mystery to me... =)

But it's now almost time for dinner and I'm hungry!! Till next time!!

p.s. I'm starting to think that this entry is rather out of point.. cos the original MSNBC topic seems to be at a point where two people have fallen in love.. whereas my discussion is mainly about the initial stage of falling in love with someone... hmmm.... but then the topic did change a bit afterwards.. or maybe I'm just thinking too much... as usual... =p
Feeling: curiouscurious
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