Goodbye, 2016: A Reflection

Well, there goes another year. How did that happen?

As I sit here typing up this blog post (as I haven’t done in quite some time, despite repeated resolutions to “blog more”), I am struck with the fierce passing of time. I used to hear people say that life just speeds up faster and faster: from high school, then university, where four years can just pass by in the blink of an eye. And now that I’ve entered this uncertain, ambiguous, shifting stage of “career”-dom, time just slips by and no small part of this uncertainty comes from having to figure out what I’m to do with this time that I’ve got. (Side note: should we refer to time as a possession, or an outside context? I exist in this time, but I also have the time… a query for Doctor Strange, perhaps.)

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the start of something (else) new

Unless you’ve been reading my blog since the very beginning, you might not know that the “I.E.” in my blog name actually stands for something. (Or you might know this already if you’ve read my about page, haha.) These two letters in my blog name, besides making the last two letters in my name (a nice bit of symmetry there, eh), or being some obscure Latin abbreviation, stand for “inspired” and “experimental”. That’s basically the spirit of what I want to achieve with this blog and how I want to approach life.

Inspired, as in being driven to create something beautiful or valuable–for me this is almost kind of existential. Experimental, as in the courage to be willing to try new things or simply to just do it, whatever “it” may be.

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the ocean is calling and I must go // PLAYLIST

Summer is nearly here! I’m not one for scorching temperatures, or even really the sun, for the matter–I’d rather be sitting in the shade with plenty of SPF on–and while the beach isn’t my favourite place to be in the world, I do really love the ocean. Maybe it has something to do with all its poetic connotations, of how intrinsically wild it is but how it brings an unmistakable feeling of tranquility.

Like as in this excerpt from one of my favourite novels, All the Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr)…

“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads.
It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.

I’ve always found the ocean to be really calming in a way. When you’re standing on the shore watching the waves come in and out, it really creates a nice feeling. You become very given to contemplating life, haha. The playlist I’m sharing today kind of encapsulates that feeling, but more than anything it’s for a chilled-out kind of vibe. I really do like that kind of laid-back vibe that comes with summer.

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Is it love?

“Someone tells me: this kind of love is not viable. But how can you evaluate viability? Why is the viable a Good Thing? Why is it better to last than to burn?”
― Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

It seems I’ve been a bit caught up with the concept of ‘love’ lately–love of another person (be it platonic, romantic, or somewhere in between), love of self, love of a situation or environment, love for what I’m doing, career- or life-wise. This is in part thanks to the usual reflections that waver between the lines of hopeless romantic and unrelenting pragmatic, and also in part thanks to 3LAU’s new song, linked at the end of this post, which I’ve been semi-obsessed with. Also Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, which in some sense reaffirms my love for literary criticism and the written word in general.

About these photos–they were taken on a day trip with a friend to Lamma Island, one of the outlying islands around Hong Kong. I’ve always really liked the notion of wearing white dresses in summer, despite my nearly-all-black wardrobe. This particular one is from Hollister, in a very pretty eyelet pattern with a strappy back and slim-to-flared silhouette. I love it because it’s the kind of item that you can dress up or down depending on what you wear with it.

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I’m still here


This is a blog post. Wait, what?

I’m back (again)! It borders on ridiculous that over half of the posts on my blog preface themselves with blah-blah-I-haven’t-blogged-in-so-long-blah-blah, so let’s just get over it. As of late, I’ve been finding myself rather uninspired and even worse, at a loss for words. That’s probably problematic for someone who brands herself as a “writer”, but to be honest, my very simple motive for blogging is just really to put myself out there again.

I first started this blog as an experiment (all the way back in 2012, can you believe it), and saw it evolve into my own platform of self-expression. The past four years have come with numerous ups and downs and really, I’m still somewhat in awe that I’ve managed to keep “I.E. Jessie” up for so long. Consistency doesn’t rank itself within my topmost strengths, but I guess for me, having this space validates itself enough for me to want to sustain it.

Recently, I’ve had some time to reflect about my current state of mind. To be honest, I’ve been frustrated about a lot of things–about where I am in life, about my present situation, the people around me, or simply just about myself. Part of it, I believe, is the natural frustration that comes with ambition; it results from dissatisfaction of not being or having “enough”. (Obviously there is a fine line between wanting to improve to fulfill one’s own potential and improving for the sake of improving or temporarily relieving an unrelenting self-doubt, but I digress.)

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