again, a stream of consciousness

i really should be doing more preparatory work for my next class right now, but i feel a sudden urge to let it go and let my words flow from the innermost crevices of my mind and being.

i write this post with an outward sense of calm, confident in my abilities to grapple with most things that get tossed into my path without forewarning or caution. how people still believe in me during times i doubt myself the most. the happy surprise when i manage to get the things i don’t deserve.

the things i don’t deserve.

i feel, for the most part, i have always gotten the things i never quite deserved. things include: the friends i make, my college decision, the things i give my heart to. of course, the more devout of my friends would attribute it to the grace of God and nudge at me gently, prodding me to give praise and thanks when it’s due, and i guess it is through this omnipotent being from which i draw strength when i am lacking. however, why is it that it is only when i get them only then i realise… it really isn’t what i need, at all?

what can i say to that? i don’t even know what i need. i do know what i want — at least at this singular point in time — but how do we quantify what we need when we are frankly infinitely minute in the grander scheme of the universe? i feel that this is my greatest conundrum with my faith. we always have to attribute something — good or bad — to God’s plan. when things don’t go well — oh, we’re meant for better things, and He knows best. when things go well — oh, thank God. is it possible (and i ask this without moral judgement or a heavy heart) to let things just be?

this quandary truly frustrates me, and makes me ache with every fibre of my being, top down and bottom up. how do we know? i know, faith is putting (un)suspended belief in places you’re unsure of, in the things you don’t see. but to what extent, and to what end?

once someone told me i was stronger than i thought i was. how do you know? frankly, i think it’s amazing people can see the goodness in the self that we so sadly miss. how do i know i’m missing the things i’m missing?

the pragmatic side of myself would tell me to chill, and go with the flow. what does that even mean – do i let the good things pass me by, and just take where the tide takes me? i find that difficult to do. i want to grasp at the things i know will make me happy and make my life better. i want to do the best i can and be bold at knowing what’s good for me, and running for that relentlessly.

speaking of running, i should do it more often. i always run alone now, and i like it that way. my happiest tuesday & wednesday night combination would be the immense sense of relief after ending classes, having dinner, light reading / class prep, then going for a long run, and supper with a friend afterwards.

i feel like i’ve finally reached a new state in my college life where i do feel better with being alone and… independent, i guess. previously someone was always looking out for me, and i found that i depended a lot of that goodness. of course, as circumstances are always in a Herculean flux, i have to adapt myself along to the best of my abilities. funnily enough, i feel happier and more secure in this new freedom, the flexible schedule, the freed-up emotional well i found myself trapped in all too often initially, and i found myself better at being there for others. i find that i like being alone. this is quite strange, because throughout my schooling / brief interning life i was perpetually surrounded by my closest friends, and i guess that is a subtle dependency is a way… hm. i’ll get round to thinking about this.

which is one of the reasons why i’m slightly scared of being in Beijing. the loneliness. the knowledge that everyone precious to me is back here in Singapore. but ah, we’ll cross the bridge when we get there. working out accommodations is already quite troublesome, hahaha. but i look forward to it. :-)

end

Update: March-May 2015

I feel quite bad that this blog has been left in a temporary lurch, so here’s a short update for my own benefit. My life has been oscillating around my internship + nightly conversations + much-needed meet-ups with my friends, rinse and repeat. And of course major things have happened – things I’m so excited for, things that was unprecedentedly unexpected, things that are definitely going to change what I intend to be in the future and how I’m perceiving the world right now. March and April were fruitful months and I hope May would be great as well! :-)

So things that I remember most vividly within these defunct months:

1. I got into my dream university… and even so, I’m doubting myself and my abilities – in addition to the hefty tuition fees that come along with it. To be incredibly honest, I’m second guessing my choice and I feel like choosing another university over it with a course I don’t really mind studying just because it’s way, way more inexpensive. I just hope everything works out!

2. I have 3 more weeks of internship left – until the end of May and from there, I’ve two whole months to myself! I can’t wait, and it’s so bittersweet because I’ve really learned loads where I currently am. And I’ve definitely met people who have irrevocably changed the way I see the world, as dramatic as it that sounds.

3. On Labour Day I went over to Rachel’s place in an emotional daze and her solution was to hear me grumble + give me a makeover… it actually worked out really well.

Obviously my daily face looks more like the picture on the top.

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4.  This happened:

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5. ThreeLittlePiglets – a collaborative blog with two of my colleagues was born due to a combination of pressure from our supervisor and imbued resentment for other similar blogs in Singapore. HAHAHA no, we’re not kidding. Currently it’s still a work in progress, but I hope it’s going to take off…. I hope.

6. I learned that talk can be extremely cheap.

7. We had a gander at nightlife. It didn’t work out too well… but it made me love my friends even more.

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8. My mushroom lasagne is ready so I’m going to stop writing and eat it now. I’m just incredibly excited for the future. :-)

9. But before I go, a short piece from my Dayre:

Last night’s three hour long conversation encompassing life, our future plans and successes was such a great motivating one and really made me realise what I’m focusing on now isn’t consequential.

It’s really so great to meet someone who shares the same ideas and dreams as you do and is willing to learn and sacrifice everything to achieve it. I haven’t quite figured out what I’m willing to sacrifice entirely, but I know what matters to me now and what is simply a huge waste of time.

I’ve a goal and I want to embark fearlessly into it.

10. A last motivational piece from Mavis:

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(By the way, I really adore Telegram Desktop. THANK YOU TELEGRAM.)

11. Uncovered this gem of a conversation from last year:

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(Thank you Joce.)

Here’s to the end of the most unproductive day ever + hair things.

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I felt like I had to add something pictorial (ahhh, narcissism!) to this post because it’s really gonna just be me narrating my incredibly boring day. Evidence of boredom: me going so far to narrate it. This is not really good. Honestly I get really pent up with so much restless energy on days like these that I do irrational things as you will see soon enough.

What I did today

1. Woke up, checked my phone and started reading the newest Wait But Why articles on American presidents I don’t really care about, I just wanted something to do.

2. Rolled a popiah for breakfast. It contained a lot of crumbled hard-boiled eggs.

3. Read some Harry Potter fan fiction. Sigh, I’m back in the game again.

4. Realised the post I wrote for work got an unprecedented amount of shares, which made me incredibly happy!!

5. Read the post again and realised that THERE WERE MANY GRAMMATICAL AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE ERRORS and that made me very ashamed.

6. Took a nap.

7. Watched Friends.

8. Ate lasagne.

9. Took a selfie.

10. Noticed my hair development over the past 2 years! Case in point:

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(sorry Tammy. By the way Tammy has a blog which is really gorgeous and lovely I wish I could take pictures like that.) This was J1 (I was 17) with my short shoulder length hair and bangs that were recently outgrown… ugh it’s terrible. Note to self – never cut my hair like that again. The story behind the hair was that I saw it in my dream and in a fit of impulsiveness, decided to go for it. No… dream hair does not correspond well in real life.

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I don’t know why Tammy and I have a Photoboothin’ habit. Anyway this was the middle of J1 where I permed my hair… to very disastrous effect. At this juncture it was slightly grown out so it didn’t look too bad… I had to look like an antiquated grandma for awhile though.

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I remember I took this at some cafe at Tanjong Pagar drinking English Breakfast Tea that I DID NOT ACTUALLY ORDER. I ordered chai instead, and the barista got it wrong :-( I didn’t question that though, I just wished I was more assertive in that point in time. Anyway, hair grew out well and was nice n wavy!! I kind of miss it.

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AFTER A’s! I decided to bleach the ends – but this was before I used purple shampoo liberally so it was still weirdly ochre. I kind of liked it at first but this sentiment quickly dissipated because I headed to town one day and saw seven other girls with the same kind of hair. HAHAHAHA. Anyway I had to bleach it because I wanted to colour it..

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Blue & turquoise! Okay but it has since faded to green again… I redyed it once but looks like green is here to stay. By the way, if you’re thinking of colouring your hair too, DO IT YOURSELF! It’s so much cheaper and you can always top up the hair dye (I got mine at 2 for $18) if it ever fades. HAHA

Okay end of hair revolution, which wasn’t even very drastic anyway.

11. Went out – bought 2 pairs of sandals, 1 lip balm (NEED TO STOP BUYING LIP BALMS!), rose hip oil, primer, some ham, some milo, wraps. I’m going to start taking packed lunches to work because the hawker centre we normally go to is closing, and many stores have shown their shutters anyway. :-(

Anyway, here’s what I have to say about work! I’m interning at ShopBack and it’s really, really fun. I get to write fun things, not so fun things, serious things. The people really make me look forward to work every single day – really, who EVEN looks forward to work? Me ME me!! And I am so pleased. – and I spent my first paycheque on a Kindle Paperwhite! I’ve wanted it for so long and I’m very very happy with it.

12. My colleague Sheryl and I have started our blog and WE WILL BE FAMOUS… not really I’m not sure. But I spent today thinking of what the blog could be used for, because I seriously have too many blogs lurking around the depths of the internet. (But yes, this is an example of a fun thing we do at work.)

13. I also put on my running tights and general sporty things and even draped a towel over my neck intending to run off my CNY intake but I ended up slouching on the sofa and watched the finale of Friends.

14. Also thought about impending A level results.

It’s time to watch Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part DEUX. I can’t believe I’ve never watched it. BYE.

on the premise of faith.

i can never write more than half a sentence before deleting it, re-editing it, crossing it out line by line, paraphrasing, soaking it in curious ambiguity — for fear of being offensive, too open-minded, too liberal, and it goes on & on.

saw this bit in a post from Humans of New York,  —

“What’s the biggest crime you’ve ever committed?”
“I’ve never been a constant in anyone’s life.”

i just hope that this will never happen to me in this trajectory. what we need in life are hugely cyclical human constants (and i am truly lucky to have them) and for me.. i have to work on my constancy in faith. but it can be really hard with all the white noise trumpeting over the quiet whisper of this sacred cardinal relationship. it’s so easy to quote choice bits from the book of poetry and write it off as being (sorry, kurt vonnegut, your axiomatic line has been abused) everything was beautiful and nothing hurt but i don’t believe we can discount instances where certain things just have to be called into question.

if anything, i believe it is always truly possible to work around it, work for it, and be your own light so it shines so inexorably, so mellow yet undeniable — and project your faith through your this light. i don’t like forcefulness, i don’t appreciate powerful rhetoric — no matter how intricately poetic it is — when it comes to personal matters of the mind, heart, soul. it’s gentleness. it’s selfless action. it’s being grateful, being happy with what you do have.. that draws people into your light.

for me, it’s weird because i’ve always been spiralling in dichotomous oscillations with regard to issues like that. i realised even though i have been callously keeping it far apart and only calling to it when i need it for a long time, the constancy staunchly stays quietly by my side — in the form of my wonderful family, both nuclear & extended, my friends who put up with so much, the niceness & goodness i see in so many people. that’s just.. to say the least, heartwarming. it just fuels me, and fills me with so much hope & love.

i know many people say the world’s getting worse, and honestly i don’t know how i feel about that. but i do know we, for ourselves and for everyone else, have to try to be better for it. yeah.

[just thoughts on a chilly saturday evening, when i should be prepping for economics instead. fun times.]

of damien rice and ben howard’s music

since i don’t have twitter now my singular, very often disparate thoughts tend to linger about in a state of hapless disarray and i kinda need someplace to write it down… somewhat. so often i turn to my notebook where i scribble down random reminders and daily to-do lists, but since it’s more than an arm’s breadth away i decided to type it out on my wordpress instead. yay, blog! i will be tagging seemingly out of place posts like these with something along the lines of rambles or stream of consciousness or something like that…

okay anyway i wanted to come here to rave about how much i loooove damien rice! i’ve heard his song “cannonball” a few years back when it was part of a track list i downloaded, but never really ventured further into his music. but circumstances called for a new kind of music that was.. more mellow, more soulful and something that wouldn’t sound too out of place in an ornately lit coffeehouse of sorts.. and i ended up replaying “o” again and again and again. oh my. it’s so so amazing.

i really really love “delicate” — it’s not that we’re scared / it’s just that it’s delicate. 

so alyssa had a go with my iPod and after listening to some of the songs she recommended ben howard, who i’m listening to now — and ahhhhhhh i feel so calm and at peace and just so centred with the world?

yay it was a good weekend!

Blaine of my existence

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‘…well, this side of Paradise! / there’s little comfort in the wise’ – Rupert Brooke

i’m frantically trying to read my books (1 down, 2 to go. Am waiting for The Bell Jar to arrive from thebookdepository so I can annotate it haha) and do up the first visages of my H3 now before I forget I’m actually taking the paper. So This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the three books I’m analysing and I find that Amory Blaine — the protagonist of said semi-autobiographical novel — is kind of an ‘egotist’, a self-centred asshole. And on that note, I was rather dismayed to find that the character of Amory Blaine is in many ways an embodiment of many of us right here, right now, most poignantly me, haha. It’s quite amazing how he is utterly transcendental. Born to the era of the flappers as popularised by Fitzgerald’s later book The Great Gatsby, the very fundamental values remain in a Herculean flux more than 90 years later. And I’m really dismayed how much I can relate to Amory Blaine — from the need to define yourself from the ordinary & the conventional, the constancy for failure under the guise of wanting to ‘find yourself’ and explore the limitations of the human condition. In summation, we are all twats, really. Man.

this led me to think though, what is the point of being so ruthlessly self-reflective and trapped in your personal world of literature and never-to-be-realised ideals? I am told constantly that I always, always seem to have my head in the clouds as I go about life. this explains why I zone out so easily.. I always feel as though my thoughts are in a different place altogether — a more faded, subtle universe better put together and categorised by mellow pastels and good retro/indie music. But no. I miss out on a lot here. It takes quite a lot for me to ‘live in the moment’, so to say, and this feeling of being truly centred & alive only emerges on a few occasions: when i see the sunset all fleeting but burning in its light, doing economics (where i feel the pain and frustration of being a student hah), running long distances in order to achieve that void (but ironically the void makes me feel very.. poignant), and getting waaay too emotionally attached to things. on the last point, perhaps it is the desire to breakthrough in the form of feeling vivid that lends itself to the miscalculation of expectations… i’m really just choosing my downfall, i realise in retrospect. it is really time to pick myself up again haha.

anyway, a very relatable quote from the book: ‘The very qualities I love you for are the ones that will always make you a failure.‘ Sigh. Poor Amory. my heart ached for him.

On another note, it is finally the end of midyears (yay!) which I hesitate to think about. as per usual, after a bout of exams my room would always get a bit haphazard, so I decided to clean it a little and I’m reallllly happy now!

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I realised, after looking at these pictures… my room looks the same as before HAHAHA but I decided to be a bit fancy and bought glass mason jars and cheap $2 vanilla candles from Daiso that are so sickly sweet that it cloaked my bedroom in a mellow scent before I actually lit it. Also colour-coordinated my books according to the colour of their spines so that always makes me happy. I realised a few things though

1. a clothesline of the most arbitrary photos will always look okay; 2. tape is very damaging to a delicately wallpapered surface; 3. don’t buy your glass jars from Typo, get it from Daiso for a price 2.5 times less; 4. my room is basically an unhealthy amalgamation of Ikea and Typo and Daiso; 5. i’m insanely lucky.

Sigh, in half an hour I wrote more for this post then I did for the H3.

also, a very very happy birthday to my love Mavis <3 I think one of the factors that led to such an enduring friendship was that we blogged since pretty long ago and hence the basis of this friendship is to laugh at each other’s blog posts.