It is okay … That is fine … It doesn’t matter … I realised I say a lot of these words in class and in many situations. My classmates made me aware of this. (edited 31/08: They were trying to guess when I meant it when I said which??? It is very simple, I mean it all the times I said it, no second guess needed.)
My classmates know I don’t curse or swear, at least not in school or in Houston, except for the occasional “oh sxxx”, even then it was an expression to express disgust at myself for making a silly mistake or an expression in jest. Sometimes it was used to replace words like “Oh gosh”, “alamak” etc. Other than that, my English vocabulary in swear words are extremely limited by choice. Elizabeth was amused when she overheard me sprouting words occasionally – maybe 2 times … ha – and she said she found it cute even when I said it??? A school environment is not as brutal as corporate life – maybe brutal is too strong a word but some things happened at my ex-company and affected my ex-boss so this word is apt for now as my friend cum ex-colleague has accurately expressed in her email – daily happenings in the culinary institute do not frustrate me as much, in the shoes of a student, it may be a different perspective altogether when one sees it from the point of a chef-instructor, a staff or even the boss.
Some classmates even knew that they can fool around with me and get away with it – eg taking the cookie cutter away as her own when I reached out for it, pulling away the paper towel while I was waiting for the long strip to clean out my stuff – they know such things don’t bother me. I found such incidents amusing sometimes. I usually see the lightness in such situations – thing that doesn’t hurt doesn’t bother me – oh even it hurts, things that don’t kill me make me stronger as the saying goes. So far the only time my face changed that very instant was when Jillian took a broom to knock against my pant when she was sweeping and was kidding with me – thought then I gave her a shock. Jennie was present and she thought it was some Chinese superstition about a broom bringing bad luck. Nay, none of that, I just don’t like my uniform to be messed with. After that, I would tell anyone “It is okay!”, “It doesn’t matter!”, “No worries” … “… as long as you don’t mess with my uniform”… Hee.
In my past life, I took life very seriously, I couldn’t allow myself to slack – I believed it was developed from years of training, responsibilities and competition in school days – a great 10 year of it! … and again responsibilities and race against time in corporate life. I guess I still have a darn serious outlook but I have since lightened up a lot. This was apparent to my friends who knew me from early years – especially ex-team members, not so for many who just knew me or know me superficially, some would still think I am very uptight. I am conscious of this and still working on it – sometimes certain actions on my part still feel awkward but I guess practice makes perfect. I wasn’t sure then if it was an expectation of myself, an expectation of what I thought others have on me, or a real expectation of what a few have of me. Now I do enjoy a light atmosphere, a lighter load on my heart and my mind. But from how I see it, a lot is still happening … in my mind. The more I read and know, the more I know I don’t know, so I work harder to know more what I should know. In my current life in pastry, there are many things I have to learn from scratch, and I just have to work harder to know, understand and apply – so really my mind didn’t have space for many things else.
When there is so much going on in the mind, I let many things passed especially when they don’t warrant my energy or attention. Sometime I will get involved especially when I can help – to be a listener, a mediator, or recommend a good read, or just contribute my laughter and play. Many times, I would just step away to clear my mind, exit from mindless chatters, become a passive observer when group-ness is warranted, shut up when I can’t be of help to make things better or just act blur.
Sometimes I really just need a break, it is difficult to explain or I don’t bother to. Really I still don’t know why people take time to make comments or say things, especially in my name, to another and even made me look silly and turned around to me in all seriousness they were just kidding. Again I find this “无聊”, but I couldn’t find an English word to express the emotion correctly. Usually I would walk away, take myself out of the conversation or next … before my face shows a change of colour. My face does tell a lot more than I speak, I realise. Not sure if I should do something to that.. ha.
Something happened today – it is trivial or plain “无聊” and I have no better reason than Gimme a Break, Please.
“Just shut up”, I said to Robert at one point during class today. No, I didn’t raise my voice, I hardly raise my voice except when I laugh. It was 1.20pm and I was prepping for lunch. I knew he was just kidding but I guessed it was not the right moment, at least for me. Chef Sebastien turned around and asked “What did you say?”, I repeated I told Robert to shut up. That is not a nice thing to say, Chef said, looking up from the apple strudel he had just placed on the cutting board. I knew too, because it didn’t feel right and doesn’t sound like my intention. Robert tried to lighten the mood by saying “You know, Joycelyn, I am sensitive”, and I said “I am sensitive too”, Chef looked at me a second time and I guess he knew I was just stepped on the wrong foot, or my tail if I have one and I believe he excuse me for this rare expression of my state of mind. Just minutes earlier, I was cutting the bread for lunch as Chef of the Day, and I was using a half size cutting board, then I realised there was the apple strudel and was a little frus with myself I have to transfer to a large size cutting board – yes, really a trivia. Robert helped me to collect the board, and he said to Chef in jest, “Chef, Joycelyn said she prefers to use a small cutting board”. In my heart, I knew he was joking as we usually did, in my mind the trigger went off, from my mouth out shot “Just shut up”. Usually I would laugh it off and say “No, I didn’t say that”. Such trivia would usually escape me, “in one ear, out the other”. Anyway, I apologised to Robert after and told him I didn’t mean to be curt, I just didn’t like things to be said when I am doing stuff and especially words which never came from me. I would usually brush it off as “无聊” and laugh it off, I couldn’t find a word to express the right emotion then, so “Just shut up” came and sounded totally off balance and inappropriate. Anyway, there is still no excuse, and my apology is sincere.
Sometimes, like it or not, admist my smiles and laughters, I just need a break ~ yes, a mental break. At least gimme a break sometimes. Today, I was like a car that needed refuel. It may not be the specific incident or who that I mind, it is just that I am short on energy then to be nice about it. Then over lunch April asked me why I looked so serious when I am always smiling. I didn’t respond to that but later I made an effort to joke that it was her … hee. I guess I just need a break back into my shell, and the weekend came at the right time, a long weekend at that. (I am still clueless why Monday* is a public hol, I didn’t bother to check, I am glad it is a break!)
* 31 Aug and 1 Sept: Got it! Labour Day.