Bruises, Stitches, Words, and Pizza

First of all:


Why do I need to succeed?

This question suddenly popped into my mind while I received some heavy blows from reality. I have just begun my first semester at the University of Sydney and although I already had 2 and half years of uni experience from overseas, things weren’t going so well for me. I had issues with the University’s administration, who lost my transcript and blamed it on me (I sent it to their address upon their request). Therefore, they couldn’t transfer my credits from my previous uni. Then I was “randomly selected” to provide documentation to prove I am a legitimate student. They requested original documents (digital copies were denied) or else they would suppress my semester (my marks won’t show on the transcript). Specifically they requested a  document, which  they have lost. I had to spend 55$ in order to get a new transcript to come ASAP.

Although I have been working really hard, my marks are not reflecting that at all. I have discussed some of the more shocking results with my boyfriend (a university graduate), who prompted me to contest them. And so I am.

At this point, I struggled with finding motivation to keep doing my assignments. After all, having done my best, how can I satisfy the professor’s demands? “What do they want from me? This is a first year course!” was what I kept repeating over and over to myself. I was so stressed out, I swear everything just ticked me off. I needed to calm down and rethink the situation. The important question was: why am I so stressed and beaten down? The answer was: because I need to succeed.

A couple of weeks earlier my days where filled with new and exciting things. I had fun putting my commander deck together for Magic, having a great time with my new friends. I went paintballing for the first time, returning with numerous battle scars and the great fulfillment of being part of real-life Call of Duty.


Besides that, I found out I am a passionate cosplayer (first time doing Elizabeth from Bioshock: Burial at Sea) and want to one day sew my own costumes:

Photo credit: Aaron Pace

Photo credit: Aaron Pace

Coming back to the time of my small crisis, writing was also on the line. Since I have taken English class and I ended up hating it, I’ve had a hard time reconciling that fact with my dream of becoming a writer. How can I succeed as a writer, if I do poorly in English class? That question became a thorn in my mind, hurting each time I thought of writing.

The issue was that I equated happiness with success and success with my grades. I needed to reevaluate myself and realize that the grades I receive do not define me or my life. In the end what is most important for me is to enjoy simple things in life, like cosplaying, sewing, writing or pizza. The pressure of succeeding that society puts on me is not going to affect me as long as my priorities are set outside of what is demanded of me. As long as I work hard, I will never have regrets; as long as I remember who I am, I will never lose sight of my dreams; as long as I treasure myself, I will never let anything harm me. In the end, I am the one who defines what it means for me to succeed.


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13 thoughts on “Bruises, Stitches, Words, and Pizza

  1. Welcome back. Haven’t seen you in a while. I find that the definition of success changes from person to person. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say. If writing, cosplay and Magic make you happy, then you have succeeded. Whatever else our plans may involve, the main reason for all of it is to be happy. Just keep being you and don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything wrong with that.
    Just out of interest, what commander did you go with for your deck?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went with Jenara 😀 I will be hopefully slowly replacing cards with better ones. Also need to get some Battle of Zendikar fat packs haha
      You’re completely right! Thanks for welcoming me back and your response 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been tinkering with an Athreos deck for a little while. It still needs some work, but it’s going fairly well. Hard to find time to fit cards in with working and writing though, so I make little changes here and there. You gonna be around more often for a while?


      • Yeah, I’m hoping to write more regularly 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. wisdom does not come in a box – it comes from dealing with he foolish (what you gonna do, can’t shoot them or use them as a source for protein. . . .)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Life will throw many punches at you. You will get hurt. You will get knocked down. And there will be those that want to see you stay down in the dirt.

    The important thing is to get back up. To keep trying. To keep fighting for the good things in your life… and to live them.

    Being good at English classes isn’t a requirement to be a writer. I’ve found that people who are hung-up about the structures and rules of language and literature might do well in academia, but are usually terribly bland writers… Even if their stuff is technically perfect. They do sometimes make good editors, however.

    Good writers WRITE. They write what they love, and they love what they write. They get messy and make mistakes while they are making discoveries. They’re brave enough to try and then fail, then keep working at it until their art matches their vision.

    If your passion and love is to craft stories with words, and you follow through with that… You are a writer. Plain and simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your response! You’re certainly right- life tends to use you as a punching bag whenever it schedules a boxing class for you. Sometimes you have no choice but to take it, other times you can fight back, but no matter what you always need to get up and stand tall.
      To be honest, your response on English class and being a writer, touched me really deeply. I feel like sometimes I forget what art is and that it does not have to be institutionalized to be “proper”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The first time I read Don Quijote in Spanish, as an undergraduate in the mid 70s, yes, nineteen seventies, I came across this line: ‘cada uno es hijo de sus obras,’ roughly, ‘each of us is the offspring of our works.’ This viewpoint helped flip around a lot. It was like getting turned around by living in a foreign land in many ways, especially the part about what doesn’t happen in your own enculturation while you’re away from the familiarity of your native cultures more so than what you may or may not learn while you’re plugged into the newness of your foreign cultural experiences. As I see it, we’re becoming who we are as by-products or offshoots of what we craft, or as Cervantes might put it, children of our works. The conventional way of looking at this typically leads us to believe that we are the parents rather than the children of our efforts; but that view suffers from “etic-“itis, an inflammation of the etic perspective to the detriment of the emic perspective. Getting turned around helps to reduce the swelling caused by eticitis, which is also linked to learning disabilities. Ok, enough of the double talk. After all, it was your post that prompted my comment, and in particular, your illustration that reminded me of another quote, “We have two lives – the one we learn with and the life we live after that.” Bernard Malamud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your response! I’m so glad you could relate at least to parts of my post. “you’re plugged into the newness of your foreign experience”- that resonated with me so much!
      I do feel like the work I do shapes who I am. It feels like it doesn’t stop at that though. My work affects me, while I affect my work. After all, my background, personality and, experience will always somehow affect my work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, being a genius in Canada, was what prompted you to try new avenues, but sometimes when we’re out of our element, we get discouraged by the tough anti-foreigner attitudes. Can you imagine what it’s like to be against mainstream everything? Yeah, I do. And it’s hairy, especially when it’s a whole gang of … Well how to express myself, unsympathetic types on all levels of bureaucracy, from secretary to director. As for writing, English is a basic language to be mastered, read more tested classics. This opens your horizons for style and vocabulary. Cheers


  6. Just did a very un-cool peruse of your blog- but this post resonates with me! I’m actually applying to university of sydney for next semester for social work as I’ve just finished my social science degree at a different uni. I think the university environment puts pressure on us without us realising and we become so wrapped up in it, and need to take a step back into reality and think “what does the opinion of a tutor or professor mean in the grand scheme of things?” If I write a kick-ass essay and my writing style doesn’t fit their standards, it will fit with someone else’s. We need to treat uni work like our art or craft- not everyone will like everyone’s art or writing- that’s what makes it fun 😉
    Keep trying, keep writing! It’s all we can do! Enjoy 🙂


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