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2018 // February

Yesterday I looked up why February was the shortest month.

I thought maybe there was something the Romans hated about February, that made them want it to go faster. After all, since other months rotate on a 30/31 day trade-off, surely they could have sacrificed some 31s for a few more 30s to even out February. There should be a good reason February has been smighted!

But as it turns out, no one knows why February was left at 28.

In the long history that led up to our current calendar, days and even months were added ad-hoc to better represent Earth’s orbit around the sun – but February has remained 28 days since its inception. Just like many things that are unfair in this world, there’s no good reason for this injustice. It just is.

This and many others were my thoughts in February.

On The Year of the Dog 

I was born in 1994 during the Year of the Dog. Growing up, I learned the story of the 12 zodiacs from my parents, and the certain fortunes and personality traits associated with being a Dog. So more than my star sign, my zodiac sign became what helped me govern and make sense of who I was by nature: loyal and social, but anxious on the inside.

In 2006, the Year of the Dog came around again and my parents gifted me an anklet braided out of red string. This was to keep the evil spirits away during my zodiac year. This was to keep me safe and lucky. I wore it for the whole Lunar year and 2006 became, whether projected or not, a transformative year of my life.

It’s strange isn’t it? Superstition. Particularly when you’re younger, the superstitions that are told to you as truth aren’t easy to shake even as you grow up and develop your own beliefs. So even though at 23, I believe in making my own luck and capitalising on given privilege, I braided red string around my ankle on New Years Day and giddily daydreamed of the life-changing luck that would come to me in 2018, the Year of the Dog.

Numbers have always been important to me. I have believed in my lucky number 3 since I was 7 years old, and that faith hasn’t waived to this day. I always had a feeling that 23 was going to be the best year of my life – and that was before I did the math and realised it was also going to be the Year of the Dog. What I’m saying is – despite all I understand about logic and reason, I believe in this year. I believe this year is going to be transformative and important and spectacular. And because I believe it, it will. That’s how the world works.

On remembering

My 1 Second of the Day project is going well. Really well, in fact.

The app has had some unexpected effects on my life. First, I find myself agreeing to experience things I ordinarily would be too afraid or anxious about participating in – all because I think it’ll make for an interesting second. What’s interesting is that, on one hand it seems sad – I’m making decisions so I can have a single second of interesting content for my project. But on other other hand – isn’t that the point of living? Of saying yes to things just for the tiny chance that you might bring even a single second of life-confirming good times.

The second unexpected effect is that I find myself remembering days in their entirety because I have a one second stimulus. Looking back on February though 1 second daily snapshots, I can more accurately remember how I spent the other 2.5 million seconds. When I see Gabby waving Milo’s paw on the Sorrento house driveway, I remember the too-cold wind, the dirty-dancing golf course across the road, the crowded cafe for breakfast and The Greatest Showman soundtrack in the car. One second recorded can bring back the essence of the day and the mood of the moment. I really love that.

On playlists

Maybe it was because I was stuck on bed rest for 4 days of this already short month after spraining my ankle in a netball match – but music was of a more-than-usual significance in my life in February.

I discovered that a few friends have been enjoying my playlists on Spotify – which gave me a kind of unjustified pride, as though I myself had created the songs. My friend Emma told me that my playlist ‘Some kind of way’ captured a mood she can’t explain, and that is precisely what I was trying to do when I made that playlist. It’s the most satisfying feeling when you try to communicate a feeling you can’t describe – whether through art or metaphor or, in my case, a collection of music – and someone else points at you and says “me too”.

Since then I have created Emma her own playlist (called Harmonica Geller – she requested songs that feature the Harmonica, naturally) and my friend Lynley (an ongoing collection of songs I find that I believe she would enjoy).

On music

Nothing will make me want to boogie more than the saxophone drop in MØ’s When I Was Young.

M83’s Sunday Night 1987 sounds like what I imagine The Little Prince felt sitting on his home planet alone, looking at the millions of stars and missing his rose.

Camila Cambello’s Never Be The Same should have received the fame that Havana got instead.

The old sounds of Imagine Dragons that I initially fell in love with back in 2012 was found again in their newest single Next To Me.

California by The Lagoons makes me want to rollerskate along the coast.

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