Only six weeks left in China, and I’m starting to stress about all that comes with reaching the end of term, with the addition of figuring out how to get a year’s worth of things in one suitcase that must weight less than 35kg… It will be a great feat to say the least! Especially after visiting the Disney Store in Shanghai, I’m quite concerned about how much I will actually be able to fit into it. I’m also trying to fit more adventuring in before I leave. Since I last posted I’ve been to Shanghai and Tianjin. Both cities were amazing, though I have to say Shanghai was far more snazzy (snazzy? I don’t think I’ve used that word in a long time) as it had so many tall and beautiful buildings, and who doesn’t get wowed by seeing The Bund for the first time!?
This coming Thursday the temperature is supposed to go up to 38°C in Beijing, and as a Scotswoman I am not built for this kind of heat. As we edge into summer I have resorted to bringing a “ice cushion” (it’s basically a giant ice pack, but it has cute penguins on it) to class to keep me cool, and recently purchased a fan attachment that plugs into my phone. Yes, I am that weak. Thankfully I have plenty going on to keep my mind off the scorching heat.
One year away from graduating, and a couple months away from completing my year abroad, and to be honest, I’m rather stressed. My thoughts keep drifting to the future, and the ever looming fear that my life’s achievements peaked in high school doesn’t help. I have always dreamt big, and I don’t think that will ever change, but the worry that I’m not advancing and progressing as quickly as I need to to achieve all that I want to achieve, makes everything feel that much harder. I think about my plan, my next steps; do a masters, work on a production crew, gain experience, write my own films, make my own films, work my way up the ladder… It all just feels like if one part crumbles away, if I don’t quite hit the mark, it’ll all fall apart, and it’s terrifying. Of course, I’ve never been one to give up, and if one plan fails, you make another. Yet the whole idea that I turn 21 this year, and my childhood is now behind me, just leaves me without words. My life is flashing past, and I don’t want to look back in old age and have wasted it.
I’ve almost forgotten what it sounds like, silence. In the hustle and bustle of Beijing, there quietness is hard to find. From the beeps, peeps, and hums of cars outside my window, to the whirl of my fan, there isn’t much quiet to be found around here. Purely the population size should have clued me in to the fact ambient noise was going to be constant, but there is a complete lack of lull at any time, day or night. Whereas in my room at home, it gets to about 8pm and the most noise I’ll ever get is a rain storm outside, and I find those soothing, so I’m kinda missing the peace and quiet at this point.
It’s been a few months since I’ve written a blog post, mostly because every few weeks when I start writing something, I end up deciding it isn’t good enough or just isn’t right. I may return to a couple of them and see if I can make anything from them, but for the moment I think I’ll just reflect on the past seven weeks back in China.
One question I don’t think gets asked enough when discussing film is “how did it make you feel?” Along with, “was it effective in delivering its message? And did it inspire as it meant to?” After all, these are the reasons I got into film studies in the first place, because film is inspiring. I watch the critically acclaimed La La Land yesterday. A spontaneous meet up with a very good friend led to heading to the cinema to see the 9:45pm showing, and dear God was it amazing. I had been dying to see it since I watched the trailer, and even with an overly noisy (and dare I say drunk) group of people a row across from us, it was the most inspiring film I’ve seen this year. Being that we’re only seventeen days into 2017, I’m not sure how much that says, but it really is a beautiful film, and it reminded me of why I do what I do. It reminded me of why I study and strive to build myself up to do something (hopefully) world-changing. Films feed the soul, or at least they feed mine. Showing heartbreak and loss, defeat and destruction, love and hope, success and creation… Films show us the worlds outside the ones we live in, perspectives we’ve never even thought of, and we can even watch from the comfort of our very own homes.
So I got a little inspiration from one of my lecturers recently to set myself a reading goal. I’m quite bad about books as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve gotten into the habit of staring a book, getting about a quarter of the way into it or more, and then stopping and starting a different book… No idea why, but it keeps happening. I also keep buying more books even when I haven’t finished reading the pile of ones I already have. Therefore I decided taking a leaf out of their book (pardon the pun), and maybe setting some reading goals myself would be a good idea.