17 | Closing Serenade: 2012.

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” -Paul Coelho

Yes, it’s over! 2012 is over. This year has been truly monumental. In retrospect, it truly was very spectacular and I enjoyed every moment of it. Yeah even suffering in the clutches of O’s. But let’s take a quick trip to review what happened!

January: CAMP HORIZON

I think this camp was rather special because prior to this 410 was just a huge mess. In 310 we weren’t bonded, when we stepped into Sec 4 all this mayhem was amplified by the teachers coming in on the first day telling us, “We haven’t got much time.” Everyone’s blur in the first few days of Sec Four, it’s natural. Camp Horizon really kept things in focus and in a way bonded 410.

My birthday in January wasn’t very notable but that’s alright because I like it low-key. I do remember Weetiong giving a fur-covered Rilakkuma case which I still have and which cost him a bomb. 🙂

February: VALENTINE’S DAY

This was a particularly piped down month because I was busy with school and camp. In fact the only major thing that happened was the mass gift exchange that happens within Nanhua. I remember receiving so many chocolates (my dad finished ALL of them) and Weetiong giving me a folded heart with my name written everywhere. Must have taken the poor guy a few hours to do it. I was seriously impressed.

March: SOUTH VIEW CAMPS

My alma-mater continues to be a place I am thankful for. Because of the opportunities I was given there I learnt so much and that’s pretty much affected the rest of my life. Especially the personal touch of the teachers on my life. Every year, I’ll go back for the camps, except in 2010 where I was sick for a solid span of 6 weeks. Every year I see new kids, new leaders, new teachers but the familiar feel of home never changes. Despite some drama this time and a couple of hiccups here and there, I realized the extent of how much I lacked in confidence and since then I’ve resolved to build it back up. I haven’t forgotten it! I’ve improved tremendously by my own measures. We’ll have to see what the besties say about my improvements for an unbiased view though. 🙂

April: SPEECH DAY

All the highlights of April concentrate themselves around Speech Day. Why? It was my last endeavour in NCC which is by any means a very bittersweet journey for me. I seriously fought for Speech Day and that makes it memorable because I don’t like fighting for things that badly. But yes I did it and I left with close to no regrets. 🙂 Makes all the pain that much more worthwhile.

May: NCC ORD

As I said, NCC was a bittersweet journey but nevertheless I know I came away with at least one true friend (ya that’s you crazy Toon) and I’m so, so thankful for her. Even till now we’ve met every week to do meaningful stuff and some of her easygoing self is rubbing off on me, thank God. She kind of smoothens out my harsh edges and makes me a more well-rounded and balanced person. What would I do without you? 🙂

June: SPORTS LEADERS ORD

Wow, this one was difficult. All my blood, sweat and tears was gonna be passed on to the next batch that I didn’t really invest a whole load of time in. And I had no idea how they’d fare. But thank goodness my worries are now put to rest and they’re really doing much better than I did. 后浪推前浪 right? I had such a hard time leaving the Sec Twos cos they are the most lovely batch ever, and it was even harder with the Sec Threes that I was close to. I still feel that in the end although it’s not really recognized, I did my best and gave all I could to what I did. In the process of leading and serving these monkeys I also learnt a lot, for example, how to approximate metres using steps and where to get teachers when they are always running away. More substantially, how to react quickly to situations, find an efficient solution and just go with it instead of waxing indecisive.

July – September: SEMI-HIATUS

I’m tracing my path back on Facebook and it turns out I became rather inactive for this period because, well yes, shitty stuff like O’s happens. I remember I watched Lord of the Flies and it gave me a lot to think about, the nature of man and all that. I am not kidding. Nothing more notable happened simply because I had result slips that could be used to wipe the floor. Tough time accepting failure after failure as payback for work not done earlier, even if I was putting in a lot of effort. In any case, I’m alive and that’s over. I learnt my lesson, and life goes on.

October: LEAVING NANHUA

This can secularly be labeled one of my most depressing yet most sunshine-y months. Simply because at this time everybody was so used to the stress and all that we became able to function more normally despite the few hours of sleep, crazy cramming and all. Hell, the whole of 410 slacked for 2-3 days during the last days of school. I did a humongous post on leaving Nanhua so I’m not going to repeat it (over here: My Morale is Nan Hua HIGH) but despite the depression of that period and the dread of leaving home, there was a thirst for something bigger, something new, something unpredictable. And it was heartwarming sitting by the benches in open air, feeling sunshine on your back and feeling so excited to study. Teachers would walk past and encourage us, juniors would cheer us on.. It’s family. I loved this time and I think it was the first time I was truly at peace with myself and my crowd since January. 🙂

November – December: PARTY ANIMALS

O’s ended. YES IT DID. I went completely crazy, partying, shopping and basically getting my life back. Yet at the same time I knew I hadn’t done all that well for O’s. Nevertheless it was something that I wasn’t really keen on brooding on so I just let it go for the time being and went kboxing, shopping, exploring.. all the stuff that I didn’t get to do. And on a more secretive note, I went back to my roots, the place where I grew up when I was a child, and all I could think of when I reached there was, “Wow, I’m home.” Got reacquainted with old friends I hadn’t seen in a few years, and made new ones as well. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my holidays.

.

.

.

Reflections Of The Year Gone By:

Personal

I think I grew a lot this year. Mainly changes I see are that I became much more confident, self-assured and assertive, definitely more independent, and a lot more.. how shall I put it, regulated in my behavior? I am no longer so extreme in my thinking, although that’s moving along a little slowly. Yet at the same time, I became much more stubborn, prone to brushing people off and maybe even bitchier. There’s always good and bad and some of these are the good qualities taken to unwanted extremes. It’ll take some time to work on those but I will do it and do it well.

Family

More than anything else, this year, it really hit me that hey, I’m not the child any more. Although my parents still continue to see me as the little girl who toddles around, I think it’s time for me to contribute back to my own home. Like Mom always says, it’s a home, not a house. Also I need to start behaving more maturely in terms of spending because, well, it’s not easy for me to support both my parents on my own. And all this planning and growing up really starts from now. Increasingly, I’m beginning to realize that my family is really truly important to me, come disasters or peaceful weather, they are important to me. Then again, the word family to me best suits the definition of “a group of people united by certain convictions or an affiliation” so I’m not sure everyone exactly qualifies. The key point would be that I treasure my family a lot more now and I think it’s for the better this way.

Friends

This year has both added and taken away some friends. Of course, people come and go. It’s inevitable. But for those who are still here, thank you very much. Shoutouts especially to Jean, Rachel, Weetiong, Tina, Eunice, who’re even closer to me than ever before. There are some not mentioned because I’d like to keep them my secrets (hehe) but you know who you are! All of these people made me a better person because they’re constantly unafraid to give me a good kick when I’m stagnating, or a good slap to help me get over myself. Or getting me into some form of new obsession (I’m looking riiiiight at you Jean). In any case, with them around, it’s all good in the hood.

School + Academics 

I’m leaving this right to the last because it’s the most major part of my year and no matter what, there are still some lingering attachments. I’m upset about not beginning earlier and not doing better, not having a spirit of excellence and being more fired up about my studies. But you know what? I don’t regret any part of it. The lessons I learnt while I could have been studying, although outside of the curriculum, gave me many new life skills. And that, I believe, is more important that any single text could be. Then again it’s not an excuse for the very poor performance this year and I believe there’s more of such emotions of bitterness and resentment to come when I collect my results next year but I shall say it again – I may resent it, but I do not regret it at all. I’ll just take it as a lesson well learnt and move on. Life goes on.

I already see myself changing in the sense that I’m putting in consistent effort for Korean so I’m pretty happy ’bout that. But let’s just say if you see me go into an emotional ditch after Jan 14, please just leave me alone until Jan 21 (how sad, that’s my birthday included. You can leave me alone, but your gifts will accompany me. Thanks in advance.) and I will be getting over myself really quickly. You see, life goes on. 🙂

In conclusion, whatever 2013 brings, I hope to be able to embrace it with an open heart. Open to listen, to love and to learn. Only then will I be truly able to enjoy and make the best of 2013. And also, I need to bloom where I’m planted without forgetting my roots (pun completely unintended). To all my friends who’ve stood by me thus far – I know some of you will leave to seek your own paths. But let’s not forget the love and the complete abandonment we’ve shared with each other. 🙂 It’s true, people come, people go, but it isn’t a given that we have to forget what we had, yes?

As we usher the new year in, I promised myself that I won’t let this year go like I let 2012 unravel itself. Surely there will be mistakes made, but there will be better mistakes made. And as tacky resolutions go, this one is gonna top the list.

  1. To put my health above all else – diet, sleep and exercise.
  2. To be more confident, self-assured, independent, determined, strong, brave, self-sufficient…
  3. To give family more importance and be a contributing member, not just someone who waits to be served. It’s also about coexisting in peace with people you don’t necessarily like.
  4. To be a good friend to my friends, and to place other’s needs above my own.
  5. To be excellent in what I do, and bloom where I’m planted.
  6. To broaden my horizons, go meet new people, be exposed to new situations and receptive to criticism.
  7. To do more charity work for organizations and causes I’m passionate about.
  8. To be more rational, have more self-restraint and logic.
  9. To be as stated in (8) but at the same time, with compassion, love and arbitrary kindnesses.
  10. To enjoy the sunshine and bask in the love that’s in my life. 🙂

Cheers to a great 2013, y’all. It’s gonna be a fantabulous year.

Advertisements

16 | Weddings & Love Everlasting.

Porcia jie & Kim kor were finally married today at MBS!

I’ve known them as a couple for the longest time ever and I’m really happy that they’re getting married 🙂 Congratulations, you two lovebirds!

This brought me back to a certain train of thought I had while on the cruise.

Is true love not being able to live without someone? Or being completely unafraid with that person? Or an “us-versus-world” kinda thing?

What do you think?

15 | 追

After two sessions of Kbox in one week and countless new songs being introduced to me, I just began to clear out my iPod and noticed that one song had been in my favourites list for an extraordinarily long period of time. It’s been in my iPod so long that it could probably be considered sacred already. Yep, it’s so sacred that I wouldn’t like anyone to even sing it to me for fear of it destroying the sanctity of this song.. and I’m not joking.

Yep, it’s a Canto oldie, Chase by Leslie Cheung.

这一生也在进取
这分钟却挂念谁
我会说是唯独你不可失去
好风光似幻似虚
说明人生乐趣
我会说为情为爱仍然是对
谁比你重要
成功了败了也完全无重要
谁比你重要
狂风与暴雨都因你燃烧
一追再追
只想追赶生命里一分一秒
原来多么可笑
你是真正目标
一追再追
追踪一些生活最基本需要
原来早不缺少啊
有了你即使平凡却最重要
好光阴纵没太多
一分钟那又如何
会与你共同渡过都不枉过
疯恋多错误更多
如能从新做过
我会说愿能为你提前做错
谁比你重要
成功了败了也完全无重要
谁比你重要
狂风与暴雨都因你燃烧
一追再追
只想追赶生命里一分一秒
原来多么可笑你是真正目标
一追再追
追踪一些生活最基本需要
原来早不缺少啊
有了你即使平凡却最重要
一追再追
只想追赶生命里一分一秒
原来多么可笑你是真正目标
一追再追
追踪一些生活最基本需要
原来早不缺少啊
只得你会叫我仿佛
人群里最重要
有了你即使沉睡了
也在笑

This song just strikes me as really, really special.

It’s hard to articulate just why or when I fell in love with this, but one thing I know for sure: this song keeps me grounded.

No matter how tough the going is, whether I succeed or fail, whether I’m in love, or I’m grappling with sudden bouts of loneliness, whether I’m dealing with changes within myself, or struggling to adapt, this song is transcendent. It serves to remind me that people are most important. That nothing should replace the relationships I have in my life, be it my friends, my family, or even acquaintances. All these people came into my life and left a part of themselves behind, regardless of whether it’s their name or a piece of their heart, it’s all imprinted on my journey thus far. Every speck of another person changes my path a little, and bit by bit they push me gradually onto the right path. 🙂

No amount of love is too big to give, no amount of time is too long or too hefty, no amount of money is too pricey to spend on the people you love. The relationship itself is worth so much more than what even all of materialism could encompass. There is really just no comparison.

I had good reason to ponder this song today while writing my Christmas cards. It suddenly dawned on me how close the end of 2012 is and how much I’ve given, I’ve taken, I’ve learnt, I’ve grown, I’ve left behind. And also how much my friends have given me. My parents as well. I actually cried while writing the most heartfelt cards, the ones to my closest friends. Not to say the rest are less sincere, but theirs evoked many many emotions in me. The heartaches that we went through, the stress of exams, and the joy of love all hitting us at once, sometimes felt like too much for us to bear but we gritted our teeth and bore it out together. Even if we ended up battered and bruised, we’re still alive. And that alone, my friends, is a legend, knowing that in whatever journey we walked we left a piece of ourselves behind as well.

.

.

.

This Christmas, let’s think about who we really hold close to our hearts, and show them love. What’s the point of keeping it hidden all in and assuming that the other party knows you care? Show them, and tell them yes you do for sure. It takes a bit of courage, but there’s really no better present than seeing your loved ones happy.

有了你即使沉睡了 也在.. 笑 ❤

TAG: Get Your Freak On.

Hey guys! 🙂

I was tagged by a youtube friend, and this tag is called Get Your Freak On and I first saw it on frmheadtotoe (Jen’s) channel. I thought it was kinda fun so I transcripted it and here it is!

GET YOUR FREAK ON TAG

1. Nicknames your family calls you?
Mun mun (canto for Min min) and Chels! Occasionally, sotong.

2. Weird habits?
I cannot live without baby wipes in my rooms. And also I cannot stand when the fan and aircon are on at the same time, so I’ll switch them off. When the aircon is on, the windows MUST be closed. My curtains are never ever drawn, unless a visitor complains, because I like sunlight. There’s also something about people putting wet things on my wooden table, eg wet tissues, bottles with ice cold water and its condensation, etc cos wood is easily destroyed like that (or so I believe).
3. Odd phobias?
I have this super intense fear of ants. I HATE to feel ants crawling on me/see it on my table. I also hate loose strands of hair on me especially when it’s wet and it clings to your fingers, makes me feel like I’m being tied.

4. Song you secretly love to blast/belt out when you are alone?
Songs that I cannot sing in public because I’ll be burnt at a stake, eg Someone Like You.

5. A biggest pet peeve?
When people keep whining to me about problems but don’t do anything to remedy the situation. It’s either you whine, then fix it, or live with it and don’t whine at all.

6. One of your nervous habits?
I will fidget and shake my legs A LOT, bite/tear at my nails. So typical, IKR.

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
They say the men sleep closest to the door (is this true or not huh? For what? For easy escape? :O) so I sleep furthest from the door! In fact I huddle in a corner of a queen size bed.

8. Your first stuffed animal and its name?
Roger, he was a patchy camel/white dog! He had a brother called Dodger (found him somewhere after like three thousand years) and they look like complete opposites, Dodger is white with brown spots. But they look so similar too!! I’ve always regarded the pair as somewhat of a miracle cos I had Roger first but then I found Dodger in a box.. Okay this is getting draggy.

9. Drink you always order at Starbucks?
I used to like Caramel Frappe with Java Chip and then my obssesion with Mochie (Mocha Cookie Crumble) began, and since Starbucks betrayed me and decided to take it off the menu I’ve sworn onto something evergreen, the Java Chip Frappe. Yes, I am a Java chip addict.

10. Beauty rule you preach but don’t practise?
I always tell people to drink water, but unless I’m at home I’m usually too lazy to bring my bottle out or simply don’t fancy the idea of patronizing the public toilets, but in any case, it seriously clears out toxin and makes you glow so PLEASE DRINK WATER. 😀

11. Which way do you face in the shower?
The mirror because I am narcissistic like that.

12. Weird body skills?
My pinky on my left hand has 4 segments while the rest have 3.

13. What’s your favourite bad “comfort food”?
Popcorn. Because I always want to eat it but I psycho myself into thinking I’m already had enough food for one day and ought to lay off especially since i’m not exercising but it is my guilty pleasure and when I’m sad I’ll binge like MAD on popcorn. Oh and I love salty popcorn.

14. Phrase or exclamation you always say?
I find it so hilarious when people aren’t actively thinking about what they say and they state the obvious, so I just shoot them down with, “You don’t say” or “Captain Obvious”. Of course that makes it doubly funny when I’m the one doing it lah, so I’m not being vicious or anything. Oh and those who say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, I’ll have you repeat that when you watch stupid gag comedy shows.

15. Time to sleep, what are you actually wearing?
I HAVE A PJ ADDICTION. I will wear those cheap pasar malam dresses that you can find everywhere, with stupid prints like teddy bears, Barbie, etc. I LOVE THEM. Haha. Some of these have been in my wardrobe since I was 7 when it was a maxi, now it fits like a proper dress. Oh and I wear the most fugly leggings to sleep, I have fuzzy ones even. I also wear fluffy collared socks to sleep. And when I’m coughing, a scarf and if I’m in the mood, gloves. You see, I’m scared of the cold, and I like feeling cuddled. ^_^

14 | Proud to Be an Only Child.

Since I’ll be heading off for a cruise in a few days I thought I’d share something closer to my heart today 🙂

Many people know that I’m an only child, but that’s only after I told them. A lot of them associate being an only child with being spoilt, bossy and maladjusted. So maybe I should be glad I’m not the stereotypical only child? I’d say there are pros and cons of being an only child but this is only my own two-cents, so if you disagree, well, each to his own eh?

Firstly, the cons. Admittedly being an only child can be rather lonely at times. And if you don’t socialize outside it’s easy to end up talking to the computer/books at home alone. Also I realized that close to the end of P4 I realized that there was something very very different about me than my peers, being that I lacked social skills. I was being bossy, demanding, manipulating people, lying, and admittedly although it looked successful on the outside it really wasn’t pretty on the inside. These skills I probably might have learnt from interacting with other kids from a younger age, and I had to learn some other lessons the hard way as well. Being an only child means that I’m a little more accustomed to getting what I want since, well, there’s no competition at home right?

On the other hand there are pros as well. I’m very independent, and if I want something done I do it myself because there’s no one else I can ask if I need help with my parent’s presents or anything like that. So you learn to be self-sufficient. Also I’m used to being alone, eating, shopping or running errands on my own isn’t a problem any more. I’m also more outgoing and I gather this is because I conserve energy at home so I can blow it all away when I’m out socializing.

Also, when you’re an only child, you can get away with blasting music and belting out songs, having a messy room cos you don’t share, and having all the goodies in the house to yourself!

Then again, the loneliness is also yours to keep.

It’s a double-edged sword. 🙂

13 | Mixing Work And Pleasure.

Since young I’ve realized that I’m a misfit.

I’ve gradually accepted that I will never be as academically-inclined as Rachel.

Neither will I be as fashionable as Jean.

Nor as sociable as Tina.

Not the fine lady that Eunice is.

Sometimes I feel like I’m feeling around in the dark, and occasionally I feel a bit like a deer caught in the headlights by life.

There’s still a long way more to go.. many other areas that I haven’t discovered. Meanwhile I’ll try to stave off the cynical and the jaded thoughts that keep threatening me.. because wonder is the start of gratitude! 🙂

————————–

I’ve also been bouncing around this thought in my head, that there are two blurred echelons to happiness, bliss, joy.

The first level will be a materialistic or very surface kind of happiness. You feel happy and you laugh. That kind of happiness can only reach the extent of bliss. And it’s not very sustainable, i.e. it’s not joy. So yes.

The second kind of happiness is deeper and it reaches the level of fulfillment. Perhaps it’s the realization that you are blessed enough to be able to give something up, but it requires sacrifice.

I think mostly I’m at level One, but through doing things, even small things, small tasks, like grocery, making a conscious effort to do what I can to ease the load of friends and family even if it’s inconvenient for me.. I’ve come to see that it’s when all my friends and family are happy that I am happy.

Maybe this is love?

But I’m still waiting for the day it finally occurs to me that my friends and family are beyond priceless and no amount of money is too much to spend on them! Because money still plays a very pivotal role.. as a teenage girl you covet many things you see. Maybe this covetousness never ends? Haha!

——————-

You guys. Do any of you have any idea what it’s like to mix work and pleasure?

It’s wonderful.

It’s really absolutely liberating. For once I don’t have to drag myself to do something I’m obliged to do and it pleases me even more that I generally naturally excel in the things I do.

For example, Korean.

I think I’m learning pretty fast for a beginner and absorbing more and more each week because I’ve been watching variety shows and listening to songs, so I can expose myself to more of the language. Although I’ve learnt it elsewhere before, I practically gleaned nothing much except that I know how to read it. Mm.

Yet this is much more challenging (and thus fulfilling in a way) because I barely know the content that’s taught. At first go I start on the same slate as everyone else. Maybe I can read faster but so what, I work equally hard to stay at the top!

But I digress.

I was just thinking of how much joy it would bring me to be able to be in a field of work where I can both stay free (i.e. no nine to five hours because that’s just so mainstream), being able to do what I love best (translating, writing) and doing it for enough money to sustain me. Everyone dreams of this stuff right?

I never really thought my love of the Korean language would blossom into something that reaches far further than my love for the music, the culture. Never in my life. From just being a fangirl (still am) to being someone who would love the language just as much even if I had no K-pop, I guess I’ve grown.

And also it scares me that I bash myself up for every small mistake I make. For every word I get wrong in class, it’s back to repetitive writing until it’s impossible for me to forget that word ever again. And also, bashing myself up for the 98/100 that I got on my test today. Sometimes I think the pain of being “too close” is worse than the pain of being “too far”.

The key point here would be that despite doing so much and cramming all my bonding time with the babes (shopping, music, and more shopping) and exploring Singapore with the guys, I don’t regret anything because I’m happy doing what I do.

Even if it means I face the computer writing articles late into the night, or, whether I like it or not, force myself to go through the most boring grammar exercises and Korean news, or being so tired because I get less than 8 hours of sleep a night, I am happy.

Perhaps in a distant utopia this is what life is all about? About learning, about improving yourself, about being passionate for what you do?

12 | GARDENS BY THE BAY

Right, so the boys have been planning this since the week before O’s.. and on that day, all the girls flew our kites! So I was left with the two of them on a mandate (seriously at one point I thought they were gonna sing love songs to each other) but I enjoyed myself. 🙂

1. FLOWER DOME

Like a princess.

In the Flower Dome I didn’t expect it to be quite so.. cold. Yeah given how I hate tropical weather with its humidity. Even though Liow Boon Boon already told me it’s a greenhouse I was skeptical! Like how can plants be housed in such air-con environments? So quite clearly I don’t have green fingers.. But I was pleasantly surprised that I could enjoy the beauty of the flowers in such a chillaxed environment. Then again I am not a flowers person so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

2. CLOUD FOREST

The moment I stepped into Cloud Forest I was buffeted with a strong gust of mist and I immediately retreated behind the glass doors to finish my call. Good gracious. If I didn’t expect aircon temperatures I wouldn’t have expected it to be quite so cold. I was freezing! In the end my cardigan stayed on all the way through Cloud Forest because it was so, so cold. And Jon was talking about how Cloud Forest was 7 storeys tall and to be honest I was quite worried because I have a rather frigid fear of heights but turns out it was unfounded because I happily tromped all the way without getting the shakies!!

It was misty all the way through Cloud Forest.. 🙂

Again, I was rather enjoying the walk down and not so much of the plants.

3. OCBC SKYWAY

This was added to our itinerary because we finished Flower Dome and Cloud Forest faster than expected and because I was all gung-ho after doing the seven storey and I thought I can conquer the Skyway as well. It was great! Because it was so high and I got such a picturesque view of Marina Bay I enjoyed this the most. It was quite shaky and much scarier than Cloud Forest but nonetheless I loved it (because I conquered it muahahaha).

All in all although I am not a plants person I must say that we really know how to make use of our limited land space and thus limited landmarks to create a skyline to be proud of! I can imagine foreigners in Chinooks flying above our sunny island wondering what those odd structures are.. I’m proud of Gardens by the Bay because it combines the idea of Singapore being a ‘garden city’ and Singaporean’s love for convenience and comfort (escalators and air-con) in one for a truly unique experience. Overall I really enjoyed myself!

On a sidenote, my Christmas wishlist is out and I don’t dare to post it here because nothing is below $60! And also because most of it is branded and I’m sure I’ll evoke some revolutionary feelings of dissent in my anti-fans (oh hello, I have fans!!) so I shall not cause them harm 🙂

Christmas is coming and I’m thinking of what to feature.. Maybe a 12 posts of Christmas? 🙂