Still Trying

I revised my 2017 resolutions after posting them on this blog, so in short, they were:

– Run an 18K

– Shave my head

– Keep my grades above a CAP of 4.0

Okay, so first things first. I shaved my head in March, and it was at once the scariest and most exhilarating things I’ve done, and I’m glad I did it, even though I almost didn’t.

This was about a week – 5 days? after I shaved my head, and the henna was a huge reason why I finally went for it. I did get a lot of stares on the train. When I went to Vietnam for an overseas volunteer trip at an orphanage, all the kids ran away from me. I ran into my dad’s cousin at my usual running spot, and he called my dad up afterwards to say that I should be careful in case I get recruited into a gang 🤦🏻‍♀️ Friends and family said – I think you look prettier with long hair – which made me mad, because pretty was never on the table to begin with.

And then for me there was the new feeling of a cold, smooth scalp. My head was the first thing to get cold right after I got out of the shower. For the first few weeks, I couldn’t run a towel across my head without it sticking like velcro, and I barely even needed to wash my hair with soap. I was afraid I’d look odd, but I got used to my botak head almost straightaway, and I thought I looked cool. For the next few months, I watched in the mirror every day as the henna faded, I grew a buzzcut, the awkward “long, floppy buzzcut” stage, the guy haircut, the defying gravity stage, the terrible bowl haircut that looked better the more it grew out, the “sort of short bob” stage, and, if you look closely, you can kind of see everything backwards in your head, to that first shave. Every week, my hair would look different, and then it would start to look the same, and somewhere down the line, I stopped counting. I never did get the cool pixie I desperately wanted.

Will I do it again? Not in a heartbeat, but yes. Would I do some things differently? Yes! I still want my cool pixie. And with experience, I think I could navigate the awkward hair stages a little bit better.

That was long, so I’ll try and keep the rest of it short.

I wanted to be a morning runner last year, but the weeks leading up to my 18K run were mostly evening runs, because I can get up and run 10 kilometres, but I can’t go to bed a few hours early and I suck.

It wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because the hours after a run make you blissfully amnesiac. Regretfully, you persuade yourself that, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” All my long runs were also “Just go slow” kind of runs where I distracted myself by looking at the scenery, or running in the dark and panicking. I decided to utilise the time-honoured carrot-and-stick method by dangling the promise of an easier half-marathon this year.

I’m beginning half-marathon training in the next two weeks, and here’s my carrot:

I considered making it my mobile homescreen to serve as extra motivation, but my brother rolled his eyes and commented on the machine’s ugliness.

I would like to politely refute his point.

School is starting next week, so I don’t really feel like launching into another long spiel about maintaining my grades – honestly, my only motivation for keeping them up was to be able to go on exchange.

I’m not sure I have another carrot to dangle in front of me this semester, but I’ll think about it.

This year, I’m running a half-marathon and reading 20 books. My carrot for finishing those books is being able to buy more books – and until then, I’m on a self-imposed book ban.

Will I make it? Honestly, I don’t know. I feel much less willing to move and do things than I’ve done for the past two years, but I’ll try.

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6 years 

Six years ago, I skipped my school play so I could be wheeled into the operating theatre to cut my head open and stick a metal octopus in it. It sounds gorier than it actually is, I promise!

Six years on, and my cochlear processor is none the worse for wear – except for the fact that it’s starting to lag when I start it up. I don’t feel particularly emotional today, because I still don’t hear much out of it compared to my left ear. But I do remember the bewildering cacaphony of noise I heard as I very excitedly (and a little anxiously) switched it on for the very first time, and my delight as my ear started to pick out high and low tones and later, voices. Sometimes the battery goes out and I don’t notice, but when I switch it on, everything always sounds fuller. 

Six years. Happy anniversary, and I’m glad you’re here. 

New Year’s Resolutions 2017 – aka things that get me supER dUPER EXCITED!!

Because obviously, it’s that time of year again.

  1. Shave my head. I’m still deliberating on whether or not I should buzz it short or just shave it all in one go. Should I have a go during Hair for Hope, or just do it alone? Or with friends? Document the process? How do I grow it out? Should I get contacts so my face looks less distracting? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!
  2. Knit a fish hat. To go with the botak head, of course. I giggle every time I think of it.
  3. Run a 18.45km race! I completed this year’s resolution of a 10K, so I don’t want to run another 10K next year. I’m still deliberating between 15km, 18.45km, or a half-marathon. My heart says GO BIG OR GO HOME but my rational self says I’m really scared. I haven’t decided the exact distance yet. There are too many possibilities – will I stay in hall next semester? Do an internship or go on exchange? I’ll have to figure out new running routes because I don’t fancy running around in more circles. And do a ton more cross-training. But why do I feel weirdly excited?

I really hope I manage to keep on knitting and sewing next year, too – my impatience at regular shopping will probably take care of that. And next year I’ll join a club or stay in hall, so hopefully that’ll take care of the loneliness.

xxx