I was seventeen in these photos, taken by Tien Bui. Seventeen is different from eighteen, and nineteen and even sixteen and a half. I knew people who deserve to be around, to forget, to ignore and to love. Nineteen, I realised what I have been doing then decided to stop or to continue, or, just started a new track. I didn't have to look gracious in what mum bought, I knew how to make myself look gracious in my own way. Seventeen, I was still a nerd finding 'x' in a math class, looking terrifying in glasses and writing shitty poems on rainy days in high school. Eighteen, all of a sudden, more people called me pretty, something I had only heard from my mum, my sister or besties. Did my eyes get deeper, my mouth get wider and my teeth suddenly get brighter, than when I was seventeen? All of a sudden, people listened to me, paid attention to what I said and asked me for my opinions. Mum would go home and tell me about her friends, her day at work or anything she just gossiped, which she used to only tell my sister and dad. Dad would talk to me about politics that he hardly knows that I don't agree with most of his opinions. Did my words become either sweeter or sassier? I am still wondering why people wouldn't do this to me earlier. Like, is it really true that our minds work maturely or our believes become valuable once we hit our eighteenth birthday? Nineteen, I had to listen to what it is like to be in the adulthood - scary as fuck. 

I still enjoy doing weird shit when I'm home although I look like a 5 year old kid trying to tease a monkey at the zoo. I guess I haven't changed much. Nonetheless, I started caring about social movements and human rights. I pay attention to how I look in public. Am I old enough to tolerate socialisation alone? (thanks mum and other adults for helping me out previously!).  Socialising is still a nightmare but I guess I have to do it sometimes. I'm still unsure if people like me or not. Or if they are genuinely nice to me. So I think I'm old enough to take a deep look about things that I'm interested, for example, fast fashion. So I have done a project called Fast Fashion & Identities as an exploration of Asian popular culture. If you're interested enough feel free to read it :).

I'm moving to the 20s and not so ready to take my life seriously. I just want to tease the monkey at the zoo. It's weird when I have to take these responsibilities all of a sudden. How did you manage to suffer all of this?


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