The walls of the tiny coffee shop are muted and worn. Paintings hang from the walls with big golden frames. They’re all of people; laughing, talking, being, existing. Imagine that you sit down at a table by the window. A bunch of yellow daisies lie in a vase placed in the middle of the table. I sit down next to you and we both order something warm to soothe the winter chill. A record crackles into life as music begins to play through the still air and I begin to speak…
My mother is Chinese but New Zealand born and my father is British.
I used to hate being Chinese. Okay, maybe hate is a really strong word. There was never a moment when I was like, you know, I hate this and I want to change this. But I can just remember there being a distinct ignorance of my Chinese culture, like I was sort of just leaving it in a corner and not thinking about it much. I think it’s strange that looking back I can see that, that I should even think that way about my cultural heritage, about who I am as a person. You know, I’ve come to the realisation that my words have an impact on people or more so that I can choose for them to have an impact over people. I want to change the world with my words. But in order to do this I need to lead by example in my own life. I am Eurasian and I am proud. And I think that I’m trying really hard at the moment to focus on me. I think it’s really important that I learn about myself, get to know myself and take care of myself. It’s funny how much I can find myself – usually subconsciously – putting myself down, whether it be aloud or internally. I don’t like that it’s so easy for me to do this, to be able to slip into this uncompassionate mind set towards myself. Do you think that it’s possible to reverse a way of thinking that has been thrust upon you literally since birth? I’m hoping so. And if not, I’m trying anyway.
I watched a video by a YouTuber called ‘TheThirdPew’ which kind of made me think about this. He talked about the recent police brutality in the news with the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and also the death of the 5 policemen in Dallas. I don’t know much about it and I’m hoping to educate myself on this movement more but he makes some really scarily honest points. He talks about how he is scared for his own life being Ethiopian, that death has been constantly around him recently and he feels like giving up hope. It really shocked me, especially when he said so bluntly, “Usually I think about death and I’m like you know, I’m going to die…one day, I guess. But now it’s like I could really be out here and someone could just run up on me and clap me and I’d be out of here. That would be a rap.” That’s really terrifying to think about and I can’t even fathom that fear. I am only an ally. I don’t know what it feels like to fear for your life. I don’t know what it’s like to be abused and prejudiced against because of the colour of my skin. It scares me that reading about these deaths and then the revolt against those five police in Dallas seems like something out of history. It feels like time hasn’t even passed, that what was being said 50 years ago is still relevant today and that is a really scary reality. I don’t like that. I really don’t like that. This needs to change. If you want to watch the video, you can click here.
I’ve been thinking about age a lot lately as well. Again, I watched another video called ‘Tales of Childhood’ and it interviews a few different kids ranging from the age of 8-11. Something about it was so extremely fascinating. These kids are smarter than I am. They genuinely had some incredible things to say and it hit me that age should not be as limiting as we make it. Why don’t we value someone’s ideas just because they’re so called “too young to know what they’re talking about”? If anything the older you are the more limited your thinking becomes. Children don’t have a care in the world or at least most of them don’t. They have this natural energy and confidence and imagination that can take them to outer space if it really wanted to. They say what they want and they do what they want and I think we can learn a lot from them. I was looking at old photos of me as a child the other day and I was so carefree, so confident. It made me think that although I have to grow up and leave behind childhood there is always something little Brecon can teach me about letting go and being completely and utterly true to myself. I thank little Brecon for that because sometimes I need that little reminder. If little me could do it then surely bigger me can too.
That reminds me of how much I used to read when I was younger…which was a lot. I sort of stopped that for a while for some unknown reason, but this year I’ve really started to get into it again. I’ve always been reading of course but this year I’ve just been doing it more consistently. I think I can blame that on Good Reads. They have a yearly reading challenge where you can put in how many books you want to read this year and then as you finish off a book you add it to the list. My goal is 50 but I’m currently on 20 which is pretty good. But we’re past half way in the year and I’m not to the half way mark yet so…fingers crossed. But not only have I been reading more, I’ve been really getting into the books. It feels like lately I’ve been leaving parts of myself behind in them (not like a horcrux, I promise), because these stories have really been affecting me. These past books have meant a lot to me. I feel like it’s real people and my heart beats and breaks for them constantly – even now after finishing reading them. I figure that sounds silly but it’s like I’ve left my soul between those pages and this part of me will stay there for a long time. I’ll write you down some recommendations!
Speaking of recommendations, I cannot get ‘Magnestised’ by Tom Odell out of my head. But not the original, the acoustic. Seriously, you must listen to it. It is incredible. The chorus makes me want to cry. It’s funny because the other day I was reading back old blog posts and I found myself really enjoying the one where I made a list of the songs I loved and told you why. It made me realise that I love writing blog posts. I love doing this whole thing. And I love music. I love talking about it, love doing it, love finding it and listening to gems on repeat, and I love sharing it. I’m thinking about doing a winter playlist post so let me know if that would interest you.
I’m happy. I’m a little sick with a cold, but I’m happy. I didn’t realise how much I needed these holidays to come. Term two of school for me was hard. It drained me. I think that was because it started immediately. Day one back and I was already stressed and moving and working. I can’t wait to relax a little bit; I know I need it. I’m hoping to write more posts and maybe make this ‘Lets Chat’ a monthly thing where I talk to you about whatever it is on my mind that month. But I must be going, I hope that your holidays are lovely and relaxing.
Our cups are empty, the bottom of the cup visible through the last sip of bliss. We watch as the rest of the people finish their drinks and get up to leave. The sun is slipping from the sky – have we really been talking this long? The clouds are tinged with pink as the record crackles to a stop. I get up, hugging you goodbye and head out the door, the little bell above it jingling as I go. Until next time…
Love Brecon Xxx