The Belle Jar

2014-01-02 01.33.43

I won’t deny it, I really have no idea what to feel about 2013 other than the fact that I was posted to a great school, made great, lovely, eccentric and different sorts of people, realised things about myself I never otherwise could. It was a year of news, a year of firsts. And even though I’ve done loads of things this year, I don’t feel particularly fulfilled or… full, you know? The wonderful filled feeling of being full.But that’s not saying I’m not happy, it’s more of like… I didn’t recognise happiness when it hit me like a trainwreck, because I felt I was always focusing on the ideal, the prospect, the possibility.

Ironically, reality felt distant, to the point that I felt I was looking at the world through misty eyes. Admittedly my contacts might have something to do with that, but well, I felt that. Every day somehow felt like a dream, minus the connotations of positivity and irrationality. It was like a palette of pastel colours; pale yellow, bright blue, ochre-red and purples splayed out in wisps across a blank canvas of a year. Definitely many days felt real, real & vibrant and in the time being, but for the most part, as I look back on the year… I find that I absolutely cannot remember many things. I can’t remember, like the wrinkled part of the back of my hand, what I did, what I said, what you said, what the world said.

What did I capture with my camera, what sorts of things & experiences were encapsulated in the form of words? Most of it has drifted on to the trees, some perhaps went to seek a sort of greatness that meant close to naught to me now. And yes, that is my greatest regret of 2013. The inability to remember the little important funny impulsive light heavy handed things, but instead choosing to recollect the seemingly important ‘milestones’ that marked up my academic year, the kind of things that’ll only matter in scholarship & job application forms; work attachment, money, results, track & field finals.

I can’t remember the rest snap on my feet. And that, in essence, is my personal tragedy. I don’t want to live life just knowing the so-called important things i’ve charted out, the things my mother will proudly tell my relatives. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not how I want to remember my years.

So, I guess, I want to make 2014 different in this aspect: remembering & treasuring the little things that made my days glitter lightly with realness. And I’m starting it with what I call (cheesily, cornily, lamefully, hahaha) The Belle Jar. Firstly, the namesake. Obviously a pun/ripoff/inspo from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. A book that kind of made me really irritated & mad but it doesn’t really play a potent role here. It just fits. ‘Belle’ because it’s French for beautiful and yeah, pretty self-explanatory how I want to record the ummm beautiful things that happened that day. So it kinda all goes together!

Secondly, the inspiration. Definitely a post I saw on Upworthy, the 365 Grateful Project – a photography project by someone that entailed the happier things she experienced that day, with great results apparently. Also, Stephanie – who did this in entirety in 2013 & that really made me go wow wow wow because that’s great discipline which I do lack. She’s doing it again in 2014, too!

2014-01-02 00.29.30

You’ll notice it’s not exactly a jar, per se, just a fancy looking tall glass bottle I found on the outskirts of the kitchen cabinet. But let’s not be nitpicky now shall we. What this is is basically writing a short note of what you’re happy/grateful for that particular day, and do it everyday for the year. :-) Don’t know how far I’ll go with this, hopefully all the way. I’ve put it directly in front of me on my desk & it’s started staring sternly at me.

2014-01-02 00.26.16 2014-01-02 00.25.16

I feel so so so happy seeing my rows of books (arranged according to colour scheme, please say that you’ve noticed that?) and going one step further in having a wall-to-wall shelving filled with books of my dreams. Noticeboard-accessory thing is also useful and rather pleasing, I am very pleased too.

2014-01-01 14.31.04

First #selfie of 2014 in response to Joce’s statement that I do not look like a ‘girl from Shibuya’… evidently with filters you can. Nah.

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credits to Gen for the photo, which I think is a lovely one that summed up the wonderful time we had. Deanna and I ventured bravely to wash season and squeeze bloody minced beef (oregano, basil leaves, worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, and other things I cannot recall) and cooked it with the diced garlic onion carrots the rest of them had chopped & poked at, and the potatoes Adele had boiled which Jade mashed with much pressure. To my chagrin the meat was quite dry and I’m quite sad but oh well WE HAD SHEPHERD’S PIE! And very good mushroom stuffed with diced tomatoes mozzarella cheese avocado. We did this standing over Adele’s generous kitchen counter and talked and laughed and it was so nice. Definitely one of the bright & vibrant moments of 2013 I’ll remember. And that is what counts.

I’m also infinitely grateful for my family and friends who supported me and …. *cue Oscar acceptance speech* but I AM honestly so grateful!!!! Words cannot possibly explain.

in 2014 I will try to eat more fruit that I will dutifully bring to school (strawberries and bananas), trail mix that I will attempt to make myself after a hugeass lecture from Joce how I shouldn’t GOD FORBID buy trail mix, study well, hug more people for longer periods of time, accept various things (i.e God) and love all the same, find STC people in school and hug them embarrassingly, tell more things to the 3 person ‘2014’ solemn group, lean, be leaned, run well, train hard, speak well, enjoy Cambridge, be better at replying texts, be kind, enjoy Hong Kong, attempt to revise French during free times, go for a special concert, be less afraid of dust & insects, hug my dogs, listen to jazz & blues, read more things that matter, do more things that matter.

Have a great year, everyone!2014-01-01 01.21.17

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3 thoughts on “The Belle Jar”

  1. […] I’ve never written a reflection about 2014 as I scrolled back to the 2013 archives – this post in particular. The Belle Jar. It was in essence a post serving a the dual purposes of reflection […]

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