My heart is bruised. It is swollen. If you take it carefully in your hands, you’d see it also has dents. As if it has taken many beatings and with each depressing force, some parts chose to return to surface, some just remained hollowed and defeated. Together with the bruises, swells, and depressions, my heart is a bumpy surface to thread on.
Ed Sheeran’s Photograph has lovely lyrics. There’s just this one line I don’t agree on: that when things get hard—”it’s the only thing that makes us feel alive”. Why should hard things be the only things that evoke feelings of feeling alive? I bet you if you take a roller coaster, all that exhilaration and stomach-dropping sensations when its just you, the sky, and the adrenaline in your beating heart—you’d feel very much alive. But obviously Ed and Johnny didn’t mean for the lyrics to mean that way. This song is about looking forward to a reunion, to a continuation of of what’s paused and shouldered by hope. But there’s no hope in my story, as much as I can identify with and like this song. There is a protest in me that fights with the bitter-sweetness I get from this song.
Some time two years back, my heart underwent a long trial of beatings. But even during then, I’d felt the joy of feeling pain as it made me feel alive. I’d thought that my heart needed to be tempered for a reason. Now, I’m done with that bullshit because I’m sick of it. Being pain is being in pain. There is no beauty. There is no upside to it and I won’t allow and can’t even feel the upside to it this time. I just want it to stop. Times I murmur a soft prayer, I ask for this ache to be taken away because I don’t want to be in it anymore. It’s ridiculous the number of times I’ve been subjected to heartbreaks.
I want this dull ache to be doused. I want my heart whole again. But each time I love, a piece is taken away from me and I am never quite whole. Do ENFJs feel the most happy in a healthy, loving relationship? I suppose, until the right one comes along this bruised heart will remain fragile and unhealed with all its blemishes—scars, scabs, dents and all.
I am still in the bus, but I’ve have entered Paraíba. There is a great amount of greenery here, but not like the lush greenery in England; it is a dry, crispier kind of green on the wide expanse of lands that stretch into the distant hills and mountains. At one point I just…stared, quite transfixed at the hues of orange in the horizons that’s so beautiful in the blue sky.
And so I travelled along such greenery. At one part of my journey, I saw lots of white horses grazing the field through the curtain. So I parted it excitedly, thinking, UNICORNS!! That smile promptly faded when I realised they’re just cows.
And then the bus moved on. Brief moments the bus passed through the villages, I saw boys playing football on a small piece of light, camel-ish coloured ground with self-constructed small, netless goal posts. A few moments later, boys playing football at a wider space at the edge of the woods. I thought how different these sights were compared to the boys playing on concrete back in my home. Roofed houses after houses, scattered across Brazil land, or built in clusters on sloping lands – such inconsistencies in design and unlike the carefully designed flats back home.
More undulating lands. Rolling hills. I thought, so much land, so much potential. What if this area were to be made into a golf course? There’s a random small lake in the middle of the greens too. It sure looks like a golf course with such unevenness. Just as this thought crossed my mind, I saw a meandering river in between two plains, of about six to seven metres in width. Its path turned and reached gently towards the road I was travelling on. It twinkled under the setting sun in such a quiet, beautiful way. I was startled out of my reverie and blinked in surprise; I hadn’t expected its sudden appearance. Then I smiled as the scene passed me by.
December 20, 2015
Many people I’ve spoken to about my plans to go to England to study translating ask me a very normal question–“Why England and not Japan?”
And just these two days I actually felt doubts about my own decision. My Japanese isn’t mind-blowing nor is it at native level but I am fluent in it if I am not trying to be modest. Many times I’ve tried to play down my own capability due to my own doubts about my own capability and modesty but whenever I read up on what being “fluent” is, I fulfil what’s written there. I am just not a native speaker and having not lived there before, I am not ashamed to admit that I have YEARS to go to reach that level. But I am at peace with that fact for now =D
And those people who ask me the normal question up there, they don’t understand that being fluent in a language does not equate to the capability to express a sentence in a natural manner. The Japanese think my English is good enough, therefore I should go to Japan; the English speakers think my English is good enough, therefore I should go to Japan.
Wrong. Being natively fluent does not equate to the capability to communicate your translation smoothly and naturally into your native tongue. I am speaking this because I am from Singapore, where almost everyone is bilingual and almost everyone has flawed language capabilities due to their bilingualism. Over here, we are bilingual to know enough to communicate and survive but not knowing enough to deliver a fine translation. The Mandarin I speak is tainted and littered with English words here and there and personally, I dislike it (IT IS SUCH A BAD HABIT!!). My friend who has lived about a year in Japan agreed that living in Japan has messed with his English. And I will tell you, being bilingual here already messes with our English.
And because I am unwilling to sacrifice my native tongue, because I truly want to be excellent at translating into my target language, I have chosen England. Japan, my second home, can wait for me a little longer 🙂
P.S: Reading this gave me some courage.