Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For future reference: MBTI profile

According to my 2007 post, I was actually an INFJ.

but for future reference, sometime in the intervening years I became ENFJ:

Strength of the preferences %
Extraverted 22
Intuitive 88
Feeling 75
Judging 22

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A trip into Rowland Heights

This morning I went to dim sum with three other Asian American Sponsor Program sponsors. I'm a sponsor, even though I'm not AA. It doesn't matter really. There are new students who come from Asia, and our perspective is way different. I think being in a country for four years doesn't make you American, your home and roots lie elsewhere. Thus it's fine that things aren't perfect here, that you're not really represented in white mainstream America. A very different story if you're born here and have to come to terms with your racial identity.

That's all fine, not really the point of my story. We went to Rowland Heights for dim sum. It was good but not amazing. The general experience was great though, because while we're friends, we're not best best friends so there's no assumption of deep meaningful conversation, just a lot of mutual affirmation which is nice. Sometimes one is too brutal with people one knows well.

Bought green tea with honey at the milk tea store, it's very clean and pretty and even had a few good-looking men. (They had good skin and hair and regular bodies. That's probably all there is to it, really. One gets tired of the scruffy, skinny, college look.)

I get strange sensations whenever I enter an Asian enclave so far from home. It's almost like time travel, really. I am here, but am I, really? Familiar things are not where I expect them, not in California, not in English, not in such a large parking lot meant for big SUVs and not small Toyotas and Protons. The odd December heat adds to the sense of a mismatch, I'm used to it being much colder here.

Being there brings back reptilian memories, more recent memories of my last teen years in Hong Kong, feeling awash in the moving sea of Chinese faces. Further back, inhabiting the world and eyes of my girlhood in Malaysia. I may have gone to more places since then, but my world has not grown any larger. And it's times like these, here, when there is a crack in the day-to-day living in the outside world, a mini earthquake that cracks open and exposes the layers and layers of years of experience and sights and sounds underneath, that I remember who I am. It connects my past to my future in a way only I can understand, in a way only each of us can see authentically for ourselves.

On the way back, in the car, I reminisce about the past. Disjointedly, the way you don't organize a room that no one but yourself has to see. Or perhaps you have your own disorganized way of sorting things out, and you take pleasure in the private space. I realized how important it was for me to think, to be alone in my head - which also meant getting away from the foreign voices I hear within it. The voices of duty, and what others would think, and how so-and-so would see it. It is fine if my thoughts are untranslatable, it is good to have one's private space. I don't give that to myself enough. Even now, I share my most private thoughts to this blog, because even in my mind I speak to an audience.

But when I thought, in that car while we sped back to campus, I was far, far away, and I did not feel alone. Words cannot do it justice. Words will wreck it, somehow, aggrandize or injure that mindful silence. For while words must describe, feelings are just happy to be. Thoughts are just happy to be thought, in whatever language the heart speaks.

I am so glad I went for dim sum this morning.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Nights Like These

When I have taunted the dreary day of obligations and made it to the inviting, timeless, changeless hours of the night, I feel invincible. My mind is sharp, my body is ready, my feet are itching for an adventure. Bring it on, bring on the heedless mad calls, the topsy-turvy, the strangers turned friends, the mundane turned beautiful and mysterious when enveloped in dark shadows.

Join my ranks, join my army - I am a general of the night. I will lead you on fun, fun trips into the back of time and the back of your head. And you will not believe what we can do before morning.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Rainy Californian Day Haiku

It is rainy and cold
and dark outside.
My room is cold.
Darn air-conditioning.

Hot tea is so boring.
I want to swallow a lighted candle
feel its yellow warmth travel inside me
and look down at the glow in my belly.