jenny xia : blog

part 2.

A couple of today’s sketchbook pages. I average 6-10 pages a day (except for dry spells)

On turning 18

When birthdays approach I always feel a weird sort of pressure… as if I’m anticipating something major will happen, or simply nothing at all. I think this feeling is borne of the idea that gets hammered into our minds by tv shows and movies, that a birthday is some monumental event that requires pomp and circumstance, gifts, cake, dinner, something! that will seperate it from all the other days in the year in which you age and otherwise continue living.

I’ve always dreaded when people ask “so what did you get for your birthday?”, etc., without really thinking about why. Maybe I’m afraid of being too selfish, or that if I don’t get something as great as what other people get, it’ll show people that I’m not loved as much as they are. So stupid, I know. The past couple birthdays I’ve had, I became really withdrawn and irritated. When my parents asked me what I wanted, I would defiantly say “nothing!” and retreat into my room. If I think about it, I was probably trying to make myself some poor martyr so I would be able to tell people I didn’t get anything for my birthday and defy their expectations when they asked. My therapist would probably say it’s because I don’t think I deserve gifts so I become anxious and closed off when the topic is brought up.

This year, I’ve been much better about it… I got a zhonghu earlier this month, which I love. So I haven’t felt the same anxiety around my birthday and gifts that I’ve felt for the past couple of years. I think the major difference between this year and the last has been me going to see a therapist. I have a pretty bad complex around money, deserving things, and self worth, that we’ve been working through. Obviously I still have issues with it, but I feel like I’m getting better and actually addressing it instead of ignoring it.

But back to turning 18…

It’s funny how as a kid, thinking about things like going to high-school, becoming an adult, etc. seem like such huge events that will suddenly change everything. In reality, every experience you have slowly builds you up and by the time you’re about to enter high-school, you are no longer the scared kid you were in grade 2 and you’re ready. There’s no real difference in how I feel today in comparison to yesterday, because growing up has been a gradual thing. But looking back I can really see the things I have learned and how I’ve grown. I know now that trust is a delicate thing, and to be careful with it. I know that only you really know what is best for yourself, and to be aware of the motivations of others. I know that though there are a lot of things that can potentially hurt me in life, I must try for what I want or else I’ll never really be living.

Obviously there’s still much I need to learn, and things I need to work through, but:

18 years of life have taught me to try and love myself unapologetically, after spending much of those years hating myself and everything I do.

To adulthood, and to being there for yourself.

The fastest way to never see me again is to tell me you’re interested in me romantically

I tried doing an erhu cover of “To Love’s End”, from Inuyasha today. After recording myself play, I find that I still have a long way to go in terms of playing skill.

Again… (Dropping classes, resin sculptures, etc)

If this blog was my child, it would have died of starvation/loneliness/consumption or something by now. But since neglecting this blog has no foreseeable negative consequences for me, neglecting it I remain. Also, my parents found/read (past tense) it, which is a huge blogging mood killer?! But what can you do when you have your name plastered over stuff.

School is pretty great right now, I dropped my drawing & painting class (*gasp*), so now I have a spare, and man is it nice having a spare. You may be wondering why I dropped drawing & painting when it seems like all I do is draw/paint, but…

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Hmmm (what’s the big deal?)

*Before I start:

No, I’m not angry.

No, I’m not afraid.

No, you will not convince me otherwise, so don’t try. Unless you want to frustrate yourself.

Also, I’m not trying to convince anyone that their beliefs are wrong. Believe what you want to believe.*


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Anonymous asked: what water colours do you use to paint?

For the pieces that I posted recently, I used Yarka’s 8-pan set. They cost $3.95 at Curry’s (x). I’m not sure if I should recommend them… I like using them, but it’s mostly because I’ve gotten used to handling them (and they’re dirt cheap.) If you use them too thickly, they dry shiny. They’re also student-quality, so they may fade.

Tzu Chi performance, buffet, hair, etc

February is a really busy month performance-wise. There are so many Chinese New Years events that we go to (there’ll be 5 this month…). Last Sunday the ensemble missioned to Missisauga to perform for a buddhist charity organization event. I think we performed for them last year as well, except in Oakville. It was honestly so tiring… I really need to get more sleep.

I didn’t take my DSLR with me to this performance, but I did take some pictures with my cellphone!


The place we performed at. I didn’t take pictures of the outside of the centre because we parked underground, and I wasn’t about to go outside (do you see a pattern?) just to take one when we had stuff to do. It reminded me of a larger, better funded Harbourfront Centre hahaha.


Those red double doors led to the stage. The building had a bunch of theaters of varying sizes. I guess in addition to community stuff, they also have commercial shows?


This time we had an actual dressing room. We had the option of getting a bigger one that was in the basement, but we ended up in this small one because it was closest to the stage (so it would be easier to move the zithers around.) As you can see, the first thing I did was plop all of my stuff down and claim a chair.

imageBlindingly bright lights…

imageHere’s a picture of me and Emily in our cutie performance clothes LOL. I prefer this gold shirt over the pink one from the last performance. I never really got into pink, I think it’s such a hideous colour (baby pink is okay sometimes though.)image

 Usually we have a makeup artist and hair stylist for performances, but this time the girls had to sort it out themselves. Getting my hair done is probably the most painful thing I have ever experienced.. When we went to Taiwan to perform, when the lady did my hair, tears involuntarily came out of my eyes because of how much it hurt. It probably hurt more because my hair was pretty short, and we had to maneuver it into an updo somehow. Thus I was really happy to do my hair/makeup myself. I tried just leaving my hair without doing anything but I ended up having to pin it back because I looked like the grudge while performing LOL.

imageWe performed once at around 12 and again at 4, so we were treated to some vegetarian food for lunch. I’ve had variations of this kind of food so many times now on performance days because I think buddhists aren’t supposed to eat meat? I get a really nostalgic feeling when I eat it because I am reminded of the Taiwan trip we went on. A lot of the food we ate in Taiwan had a similar flavour palette. I think I associate scents/taste with memories often, so things like this are like a punch to the gut.

imageKudos to you if you can tell what this picture is of haha. I tried taking a picture of the stage from the side but it was so dark… See if you can make out our sheet music/seats and the theatre seats LOL.

imageAs expected, things get messy very quickly in the dressing room. I think at every performance someone forgets something. So far I haven’t lost anything, but apparently last year someone actually left their boots at a performance?! I wonder how that even happened, how does one forget their own shoes? It seems like you’d notice what was on/off of your feet if you had to walk anywhere.

imageAfter the performance I fell asleep on the car ride back. I swear I’m like a little baby, the motion of the car + exhaustion puts me to sleep instantly. That evening I also went to eat at a buffet with a family friend. Eating at buffets makes me sad, because I want to eat *everything*  but it doesn’t physically fit in my stomach. I have to ration myself and only eat a bit of everything in order to fit most things in. The above plate probably looks like the saddest thing ever, but don’t worry, it was the 3rd plate in after 2 completely full ones (that were piled on). I always end up feeling like crap because I ate too much and then resign myself to looking longingly at the buffet tables LOL.


??? Seems like an okay idea to end off with a selfie LOL.

Since I cut my hair to chin-length last September, whenever I think about my hair I still think it’s “short hair”. But if I actually look at it, it has long since passed medium and is basically long hair again… It’s so strange, my brain hasn’t gotten used to it yet. 

School is okay, I really miss having more science courses though. I only have calculus really to worry about, and for the rest of the day I quietly mourn as my brain rots from not having enough stimulation. I miss physics the most I think, and chemistry (but I did gr12 chem in grade 11 so it’s really been a while.) I’m just chugging along for now.