A self-reflection

So the other day, I went to Pulau Ubin with Marilyn – I had not seen her or caught up with her for awhile so it was really good to just go on a little adventure within the compounds of Singapore. I constantly find myself drawn to nature, adventures of those sort. I like the idea of a campfire out in the woods and camping out there with the ones I love, like those pictures you see a lot on tumblr. I love the silence and the simplicity of life. While cycling at Ubin, although I had company, I was very much with my own thoughts too. A lot of it was just a great appreciation for the one day I had no lessons this week, and for that little adventure. The reflection bit of my thoughts came only after – on the bus journey back.

I know loving ourselves is essential, and I do love myself but I don’t like who I’ve been. In the past, although less mature than I am now, I used to be more selfless in a sense. I would constantly find the need to be there for others even though I wasn’t okay myself. Maybe I did it because I was lonely and that made me feel good – to be giving, I don’t know; or maybe I did it because I genuinely cared. In actuality, I really do not know what was the real reason for me being a little more selfless than I am now. But growing up, I had also experienced a lot of heartaches, like most teenagers do. Though the pattern of broken friendships became so recurring that a lot of my deepest wounds stemmed from the loss of friends I thought would be there forever. Of course, the loss of those friendships was not entirely their fault. People change, and they somehow drift apart. Through the loss of these friendships and wounds that became harder to heal, I became more selfish when it came to being there for people because I was finally happy to have that one person who gave me not just love, but true friendship; Marion. I no longer felt the need to bend over and compromise a lot of myself, which was good, but then it went to the other extreme where I had also lacked in some compassion for those who really needed me there. Grey areas hardly existed in my life, they’re mostly composed of black and whites, and thus, extremes.

Going back to the adventure I had in Ubin, I realised that this was not the person I wanted to be. I don’t want to be selfish, I want to have a selfless heart, but I also want to know the difference of when I am just being too naive and when I’m not. I don’t want people to take advantage of me but I don’t want that to be the reason why I should stop giving or being there for people who need my presence more strongly in their lives. I used to crave for so much beauty – insane vanity, that I might be one of those prettiest girls out there, or a life so perfect that everyone would be envious of me. I don’t want that anymore. If it’s any recognition I wish I could have, it would be to be known for a beautiful heart. I wish my heart could be so pure, so magnified in my actions that it would affect people positively like that. 

I don’t want to let wordly needs define my existence in a sense. I crave for something higher, something more, something this world cannot give. But I am so weak in spirit that it’s hard not to really dislike the people I really dislike. It’s so hard to refrain from judging someone, especially when they make it so hard for me to like them. It’s so hard to want to bitch about someone when I can’t stand them. Sometimes these things make me feel like I shouldn’t even try to have a pure and beautiful heart because the obstacles are much too great and people will believe what they want to believe. If you’re trying to do good, they’ll just think your attempts are futile and that you’re just being pretentious. If you don’t do anything about it, people will think you’re just a bitch and that’s it. As much as I should not care what the world thinks, I won’t lie that hearing these things really tears me up inside and makes me wonder how pure my heart really is. But I know what my intentions are – to be happy and this is what it really means to be happy, it’s to be pure on the inside where these things will no longer affect you, and I don’t want to be affected by the opinions of the world.

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Times have changed

Do you remember doing those quizzes in the form of notes that were once trending on Facebook? Well, I was looking through all of mine yesterday, man, I was really addicted to those in the past. I guess I pretty much needed that much time killers, that’s kinda sad. Well, anyway, I came across this one quiz which you had to go to a website for, to copy and paste those answers. I wanted to see if much has changed about myself so I attempted it again. I don’t truly believe in those quizzes as much anymore but it was interesting to see how I have chosen my answers differently that led to different responses.

The answers in black were done on March 31 2009, and the ones in red, are the results I got today -July 26 2014.

5 years have gone by.

 

Your view on yourself:

You are down-to-earth and people like you because you are so straightforward. You are an efficient problem solver because you will listen to both sides of an argument before making a decision that usually appeals to both parties.

Other people find you very interesting, but you are really hiding your true self. Your friends love you because you are a good listener. They’ll probably still love you if you learn to be yourself with them.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:

You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:

You prefer to get to know a person very well before deciding whether you will commit to the relationship.

You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you meet that person.

The seriousness of your love:

You like to flirt and behave seductively. The opposite sex finds this very attractive, and that’s why you’ll always have admirers hanging off your arms. But how serious are you about choosing someone to be in a relationship with?

You are very serious about relationships and aren’t interested in wasting time with people you don’t really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.

Your views on education

You may not like to study but you have many practical ideas. You listen to your own instincts and tend to follow your heart, so you will probably end up with an unusual job.

You may not like to study but you have many practical ideas. You listen to your own instincts and tend to follow your heart, so you will probably end up with an unusual job.

The right job for you:

You’re a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you’ll be set for life.

You’re a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you’ll be set for life.

How do you view success:

You are afraid of failure and scared to have a go at the career you would like to have in case you don’t succeed. Don’t give up when you haven’t yet even started! Be courageous.

You are afraid of failure and scared to have a go at the career you would like to have in case you don’t succeed. Don’t give up when you haven’t yet even started! Be courageous.

What are you most afraid of:

You are afraid of things that you cannot control. Sometimes you show your anger to cover up how you feel.

You are concerned about your image and the way others see you. This means that you try very hard to be accepted by other people. It’s time for you to believe in who you are, not what you wear.

Who is your true self:

You are full of energy and confidence. You are unpredictable, with moods changing as quickly as an ocean. You might occasionally be calm and still, but never for long.

You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.

Well, most of the answers are pretty much the same. Reading these two answers side by side makes me feel somewhat weird. Like the past me sounded so much more wiser, more down-to-earth. I mean, you would think that as you grow older, you’d grow wiser right? But somehow, I don’t really like the responses this time. I know it’s not a 100% true and definitive of my personality, but there is some truth there. I won’t lie, in the past, I wasn’t too concerned about my image and now I am because it gets pretty hard being real when this world gets crazier. A lot of these emotional wounds have somehow shaped my life – sometimes with wisdom in understanding situations, other times, in fear and feeling forced to make decisions based on fear.

I think when it come to love, it is no surprise that the way I see commitment and relationships now are very different because I have been in a long term relationship for 5 years now and things are different. The one that surprised me the most were the questions about fear, and self-image. I would have loved to retain some of that wisdom and maturity of my 17 year old self but fear holds me back. I used to be quick to defend people – I was pretty righteous when it came to things like that, I didn’t care what people thought of me, I didn’t care if I was hated or liked for what I did. Now, I consciously find myself very afraid that if I stood up for something I believe in, like religion for example, I would be made fun of or doubted. I guess with the loss of many dear friendships in the past 5 years, a lot has shaped my decisions to be made out of fear. Did my tough love go too far? Did my “righteousness” go too far? Where is this grey area? Why is mine only of black and whites.

I guess I no longer speak out passionately for what I stand up for because I dislike awkward, tensed conversations of conflicting points of view. I just feel like I would do away with drama, but isn’t there a balance of such? No drama, but realness?

If 5 years have made me this fearful of people, of the world, of life, what more another 5 more years? Will I just keep hiding my true self?

I wish I could watch my life in chronological timeline like a video. I wish I could observe me own change that way. I keep making films like that in film school and I struggle with “my story” because I no longer know what I keep buried deep down. Am I suppose to acknowledge that anyway? I mean, it sounds so depressing doesn’t it? But it makes me question, have I buried it so deep that my lies have become truths to me?

I find myself constantly questioning, but never getting those answers. I don’t really want to dig so deep into the surface of my heart because life seems pretty good right now but yet, I want to because I am curious. How can anyone forget their own story?

He has quite the humour

I blogged about the cafe Marion and I went to yesterday but yesterday’s events were not fully told in detail. We had much more fun than just sitting around in a cafe eating good food. We watched The Fault in Our Stars too in the late noon and then had some Starbucks together because it’s been awhile. Yesterday was a pretty sinful day for us actually. We consumed a lot of good stuff. Before I talk about the movie, let’s rewind.

As we had so much time to kill before the movie, we decided to go over to his place where he showed me his comic book collections from long ago, when he was just a kid. It was pretty fascinating. Prior to this, I never really understood the whole idea of comics, or rather I never actually had one in particular that I wanted to know more about. Marion loves Batman, he is such a huge fan that most of his presents consists of Batman comics I bought for him. I have always loved X-Men since I watched the X-Men Animated Series when I was a kid, but I never got into the habit of reading the X-Men comics. Actually, I never had the idea of starting them in the first place. Recently, after watching X-Men Days of the Future Past, I got really excited all over again and decided to rewatch the X-Men Animated Series – all three of them – the first, X-Men Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men. But I found that it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to know more about the lives of the X-Men. I wanted to know how Rouge and Gambit’s love went on, and what happened to Jean Grey after she died for the last time and her relationship with Scott Summers. So I decided to pick up on the habit of reading the X-Men comics, much to Marion’s delight. Hence, he decided to show me his old collection of comics. But it was so badly kept that some of its pages were tearing and guess what I decided to do? Yeap, the habit of keeping things in order kicked in, I decided I will tape it back for him and arrange them by category. We spent the whole afternoon doing that and I was so entertained. Before we knew it, it was time to walk over to the theatres to catch our movie. I knew what I was in for, I knew I was going to start crying like a baby because I read the book before that.

And let me just tell you this, it’s so rare to hear of this but the movie was a very good adaptation of the book. First of all, kuddos to the acting. The acting was so natural on Shailene Woodley’s and Ansel Ergot’s roles as Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. When I read the book, I had imagined the characters would look that way and they really did a good job there. God, I love Shailene Woodley. If you think I jumped onto the Shailene Woodley fangirl ship recently from the movie, Divergent, and this most recent movie, you are mistaken! I first knew of Shailene Woodley when I watched The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Although the series sucked, I was drawn to her for some reason. I found her very pretty and something about her acting that I really liked. She really blossomed in this one. The chemistry between both characters were undeniably felt in the audience. To compliment this adaptation further, they chose the right scenes to put on screen. What I learnt from film school was that adaptations are very tricky. When you really enjoy the written word, it’s rare that the movie would do it justice as films are tailored in other ways. Alot of film relies on what we can see, and when it comes down to first person narrative and the feelings they show in books, it’s very hard to capture that emotion so strongly expressed in the writing because how do you show something like that? And there’s always the case of authenticity and faithfulness to the book that so many people love to argue about. But like I said, films are tailored in other ways. As much as films try to stick to the authenticity of the book, it is also highly impossible to show every single thing that is written in the book as that can lead the movie to be very slow-moving which makes the audience want to get to the point already. Hence, I re-emphasise that adaptations are always tricky. I wrote my academic essay on adaptations from literary word to screen so believe me, I have done a lot of research when I state my points and arguments.

With that being said, I am simply blown away with how The Fault in Our Stars pulled it off. Though not every single thing that was written in the book was shown in the film, the right moments were sifted out to be shown on screen. It was very faithful to the story despite the loss on a few details but it was necessary because it worked. It tightened the whole story, really placed the audience right in the middle of the story to feel the emotions that the actors portrayed. The funny moments were funny, the sweet moments gave the warm, fuzzy feeling, and the heartbreaking moments pulled on heartstrings. It was perfect.

So after much crying like a baby, we headed to Starbucks to give the two new flavours a try – Strawberry Cheescake and Tiramisu. Let me just say this, I have not had Starbucks in awhile because, well, fitness reasons of course. But after such a crappy week, my sweetheart of a boyfriend treated me to the wonderful brunch and the movie in an attempt to cheer me up and take my mind of things. So in exchange, I treated him to Starbucks. Though now I am feeling really guilty for what I just put into my body, after working hard to keep fit but well, I am torn into deciding how I really feel about it. Because in truth, I did enjoy it very much with the best, and it was really good food. 😛 While drinking our frappes, we discussed the movie because we like discussing the movies we’ve watched together. And I told him that I actually quite like John Green’s writing. I have only read one book, but I keep seeing this one quote from Looking for Alaska that I find so beautiful. It goes “if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” And guess what this boy says after that? He tells me “Overtime these brilliant writers will write all these brilliant stuff and then all the future writers will have less stuff to write about. Like I can’t write “If I were a corn, she was popcorn.” I can’t say that! That’ll be plagiarism!” I was already giggling when he said that, then he proceeds to tell me, “I can actually still have intellectual conversation.” I burst out laughing here because it was just too funny. Then he says, still clueless, “really! You know since army, it really went down.” (talking about his ability to hold intellectual conversations). Then he says “I love you, now I’m just being cheesy.” Prior to this, he told me he liked how Augustus Waters proclaimed his love for Hazel Grace and when you have watched this movie to form the link, you’ll know why I laughed.

I couldn’t get over this whole conversation. I can’t actually. It’s too funny for me. Then on the way back to my place when he was sending me home, he was holding on to the pole bars and was using it to swing back to his seat, then he tells me “Everytime I swing on these pole bars, I feel like I’m a stripper.” Oh dear Lord, this boy is probably the funniest person I’ve ever dated. He’s so adorably funny, I can’t take it! Makes me wanna squeeze his face and kiss it! He never fails to amuse me with his thoughts. He seriously has the most unique and strangest thoughts and I can’t get enough of him. He is definitely a keeper. God, I love this boy! Makes me look forward to the day he and I get married (hopefully), because my daily conversations will never be boring and it will never fail to put a smile on my face. Life is already so hard as it is, having a partner who takes great care of you, grow spiritually with you, adores you, loves you, and makes you laugh just makes life’s obstacles that much bearable. Not that I could never survive on my own, because I can since I enjoy solitude so much, but having him is a completed solitude, not company – like how a beautiful quote nicely puts it.

I will never stop thanking God for blessing me with Marion in my life. We’ve grown so much together, gone through so much and we’re looking forward to going through everything and anything together for the rest of our lives. ❤

Hike

Yesterday, I woke up early on a weekend to go for a hike at MacRitchie Reservoir with Marion. You see, we’ve been spending a lot of money on food and as a result, we’re getting broke, and not as fit as we would like (more of me). I want to maintain a healthy lifestyle without putting a lot of junk in my body and since I’ve been working hard to keep at it for my body, my Saturday plans with him should have less food involved. So we’re trying this new thing out now and hopefully it becomes a habit.

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Anyway, I wanted to blog about the hike because it was a very good day for the both of us. It was really good to be so deep in the forest, away from technology, from busy roads and busy crowds, distractions, noise. It allowed us to have so many conversations along the way, conversations that were meaningful and altogether funny. Even though we talk everyday, yesterday was different. It was without distractions. Our focus was just on each other. Though we had our phones with us, we only took them out when we wanted to snap a picture. Other than that, it was placed back in the bag. I enjoy nature a lot, but I admit, I do get really paranoid when it comes to snakes, any snake – even if it’s a small garden snake. I thought it was a worm for some reason, but nope what we came across was a snake, and it makes me shy to say this because I’m such a girl, but Marion pulled me away from almost every thing that I saw as a threat. Hahahaha okay permission to make fun of me, granted. I knew our shoes would get really dirty but I didn’t want it to get so dirty to the point that I can’t use them for my static workouts at home, so whenever we came across a deep layer of mud, Marion would pull me away as well, cause you know, I’m such a girl. I guess his time in army made him more aware of his surroundings. Still, I think he enjoyed “saving” me.

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Well, after about 7km of hiking, we headed to Casuarina’s Curry for lunch but we took the wrong bus there and came across a playground while trying to find our way back. I couldn’t help it, I got really excited and Marion tagged along. We played like kids and laughed so hard knowing people were judging us. Hahaha we even documented the whole thing.

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After entertaining ourselves, we headed to Casuarina’s for real for lunch then back to our own homes for a shower before we met again for evening mass. He came over too for dinner and we planned to watch another episode of Fargo but we were already too exhausted to concentrate on the show. Yes, films and some TV series need a whole lot of concentration as they’re deep and not light. Anyway, we ended up having conversations in my room instead, mostly about things that are on our minds. I like the fact that we behave and talk like bestfriends but because we’re partners, we are also entitled to be affectionate with one another. So when conversations get sad because one of us is affected, the lover part of us automatically knows how to comfort. What I like to do for Marion when he gets sad is to massage his head because he falls asleep too easily and a little massage helps him to relax and releases all the tension he feels.

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I guess the reason why yesterday was so extraordinary to me, even though it was so ordinary is because of the spontaneity of it all. Of discovering new things and rediscovering old things about each other, or learning about these things in depth. Of only focusing on each other with nothing else to think about. Of laughing and feeling good at the end of that day with the knowledge that we’ve been, or we are so blessed. That our company makes each other happy. That we will always have a forever friend in each other. That life is so much better and so much more comforting to have each other by our side, even though it can really suck sometimes. That no matter what decisions we make that could be huge or little successes or mistakes in life, this person will always stand by your side to help you up. And sometimes, they give you a reality check.

I have a sister who does a lot of these things for me too. But a siblings bond and a lovers bond is very different by nature yet there’s a familiar sense of love in each. To compare love between siblings and love between lovers is like comparing apple to orange. I’m glad I have both of them in my life. To top it off, they’re also glad to have each other in their lives because they become siblings too. So imagine my happiness when my sister comes in the room and decides to play with Marion because she wants someone to manja her. It’s a very heart-warming sight for me because these two people are the strongest bonds of life I have ever shared with anyone. My Saturday was a very lovely one and it went by too quickly.

22 & Contented.

All my life, I’ve always admired those who were born with so many talents, or those who could pass or do well even in exams without studying, or those who have physical appearances that are to die for – whether it’s the face or the body, those who were wealthy and could afford to shop weekly and the list goes on. You wanna know what I think I have?

Well, let’s go down the list. I think I do have talents, though they are not talents I can outrightly showcase. I can bake and I think that is a talent, but ask me how good are my cake decoration skills and I will tell you that they aren’t that fantastic. Maybe if I tried hard enough, it could be better. I believe that I bake well enough, but compared to the people I know of that bakes, I’m no where near that. I think I can edit films well enough, but then again, not nearly as good as my fellow course mates.

I think I am smart enough, book smart, but I’ve always fared in exams through pure memory work. I memorise the chunk of information needed to get me through and I try really hard to understand what I am memorising. But without memorising, according to the education system in Singapore, I am not smart enough because I cannot do well in exams. I believe I have a very good ability to analyse things – be it books, films, TV series, information etc. This makes me do well in essays that requires me to analyse, but I do not know how to make use of whatever I have analysed and to adapt it into the work I do. So I guess, I am smart enough but I am not smart enough for people to envy it.

I think I am pretty enough. I do believe that my parents gave me good genes and I will not pretend I do not think that about myself. I do like dressing up and getting dolled up, but put me next to someone like my sister who is beyond gorgeous in my opinion, and so photogenic by nature, I don’t think I am that pretty even if we look so similar. I am not naturally skinny or small like how this society deems as beautiful, I was born relatively curvy and for the longest time, I believed I was fat. I do not have a flat tummy or that thigh gap that girls are dying for. I do not have obvious collar bones, and I am not slender. I guess I am pretty athletic in form. I will never be one of those girls who could model or make in magazines.

I think my family is well-to-do in terms of money but we aren’t rich. I still live on allowances that my parents give me and I do not need to work part time or freelance to fund my education and I am fortunate in that way. I do not have a killer job that pays well, I’m still a student. I cannot afford to shop weekly, or monthly. I cannot afford to go to expensive food places frequently. I could probably ask my dad for spare money when I want to invest in sports equipment or more clothes or my Herbalife facial products and he probably would give me some cash for them, but I don’t. I live solely on that monthly allowance and I hold the money tightly because I need to.

Sometimes I do envy the people that have all that or at least one of it, because I do wonder what it feels like to possess one if not all of it. There are days I still feel like crap because I compare. People have often reminded me to never compare myself to others, I tell myself that too. Because our lives are uniquely custom-made by God and to compare would not be a fair one. But you know, I do envy these people in a good way. They’ve got something going on for them. So do I, maybe not in the way I wanted it to be, and maybe I should also be careful of what I wish for. The one good thing I have going on in my life are relationships – family relationships, romantic relationships, friendships, etc. I am blessed that way.

Everybody knows how tight my family and I are and I have often been told by my friends that they envy that about me. In addition to the strong family relationship I have, I have also a strong romantic relationship. Everybody knows too of how wonderful my boyfriend treats me and how early in my life did we find each other. And despite all the friendship fallouts I have had, I’ve always been blessed with good friends who care so much about me that they would never want to see me upset. And because I thrive on relationships and I am made a happier being from this, I guess if I really think about it, I have all I need. I know they will be taken away one day because people do perish, but God has always been so gracious as to constantly provide me with people to continue on in this journey with me. And when I really think about my life, I guess my life is so full and complete because I am talented enough, pretty enough, smart enough and wealthy enough.

I try not to to focus my energy on the negative things. That’s a struggle. There are days I stumble and fall but I try. As I grow older, I realise I do not want to remain a teenage girl stuck in a woman’s body – constantly envying others, wishing for more, talking about others or letting what others say affect me. The kind of person I would like to be is entirely different. I have cut off ties with people who only do more harm than good in my life because such energy is not to mix with the flow of good energy I am giving out. Some of you might find that I no longer have you in my contact list or any platform of social media, that is because I am done living in the past. I appreciate all the good memories and I still smile about them, but unless they are ready or want to talk things out and make peace about the past, or to just catch up, I’ll be here waiting, because I have opened the doors for them a long time ago. And even if they do not want to, it does not bother me anymore because I will keep walking. I would like to do good and work on things that drives me, that fuels my passion. And if I want something, I will work for it and not stand there and grumble about why am I born unfortunate because my life is a gift. And it never matters where people came from, but where do they go from here. And if people bitch about me for whatever reason, maybe from the way I was in the past, or what they do not like about me or even what they envy about me, they may continue doing so, though I recommend that they stop investing their energy on those kind of things because it gets them nowhere. I would like to learn to remain unaffected and to not stoop to that level because I would like to always be the bigger person.

I don’t have much, but I have all I need; and that is enough for me.

On a personal note, I would like to thank a few people for making an impact in my life.

The ones who are no longer part of my life but used to be close to me, thank you for being a part of my life and for journeying with me for that amount of time. Even if our lives have changed, I would like you guys to know that I do appreciate all the good you have done in my life. I don’t know if our paths would ever cross again, and even if they do, I don’t know if I would like to resume from where we left out. Nonetheless, the fraction of my life that you guys were part of contributed to who I am today and the decision to choose who I want to be. So thank you.

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My pride and joy; My family. I believe my parents raised me right, also with the help of my aunt who has been with me before I was born. I was taught to always know the value of relationships, not the value of money. To be kind and thoughtful, to learn to deal with difficult situations with grace, and difficult people with humility and firmness. I guess that is why I often found Singapore a hard society to put all that into practice when most of them are rude and unappreciative. Unlike most families in this society, they never placed the pressure on me to succeed (defined by what society calls it). When I feel lousy about myself, the women in my household would be the first to pick out all the good qualities I possess, while my dad would reassure me that whatever I do is good enough. As such, whatever I do in life, I place my family in highest priority, I make sure that whatever I do, I do it for them. I do not need to give back financially when it comes to them because they will not ask such of me, but I want to because I am grateful for having them raised me all these years.

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My loyal companion; Suzie Rodrigues. She’s not just a pet, she’s a furry adopted member of this family. I had her since I was 13, a very tough phase of my life growing up. I was going through much hurt in friendships in particular, and loneliness despite having had so many people in my life. More than I have now. Suzie came along, and that was the beginning of this love I developed for animals because she became the reason why I favoured them over humans. She showed me what friendship really meant, and would sit by my side quietly when I cried. She could not talk to me, but her love was felt and it was genuine. She and I, we have had almost 10 years of friendship now and I believe that no matter what happens, she will always be in my heart because she opened the way of love for me. I was never lonely again.

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My first community; Peaceful Warriors. This is what’s left of Project Jesus, the community I joined and journeyed with when I was 14, all the way until I was about 19 or so. As mentioned, the teenage years of my life did not bear the most pleasant memories. I almost hated it. I was not only going through a time of figuring out who my true friends were, I was also trying to figure out who I was. I was angsty because I hated everything and broken by the people I thought would be there for me forever. Project Jesus provided me a solution to discover who I am because the people who were the original leaders would not stop inviting me over and over again. It was to the point that they became my second family. I would like to especially thank my sister and Daffy here. My sister encouraged me to jump onboard every single time because she was in it first. And being the younger, shyer sister, I would follow and listen to my older sister. She met Daffy, and then I met Daffy and Daffy became another older sister to me. We journeyed very closely and through this, I was able to overcome the struggles I faced in my teenhood and began understanding more of who I wanted to be and the purpose of my life. Project Jesus disbanded and they are all that’s left of it. Nick, who’s like my brother to me, always taking care to baby me when I needed it and to me, that is a big thing because Nick is not a touchy-feely guy by nature.  My boyfriend, Marion joined us for two years before it disbanded and our relationship started there. We began understanding the importance of journeying together spiritually as a couple as well.

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The love of my life; Marion Frayna. This guy is special. You see, back when I was young, naive and foolish, I had my heart broken by two guys who I thought I would be married too despite only having been in a relationship with them (of course in different time frames) for a month. I was so convinced that it had to be them. I really did not learn from the first one did I? I wasn’t so heart-broken to the point that I cried all day, all night and moped around. I was strong enough to go about my day but I did feel quite lonely and I would have non-sexual flings. I had to mention that because if I said flings alone, God knows what those non-innocent minds might think. I often jumped from one guy to another until the first guy who broke my heart asked for me to come back. That first guy and I had an on and off relationship for two years, when I say that, I mean many months of he and I seeing other people. It was only slightly before I met Marion that the first guy had his heart set on a particular girl and I decided that I was done being toyed like a yoyo. Then I met Marion, and we became immediate friends. Our daily conversations made me laugh and things got more serious when we started having feelings for each other but I didn’t want the same mistake repeated and he was shy to ask me to be his girlfriend so we dated for three months then we became a couple, for five years now. I have a lot of thanking to do for this guy because he is my first true love, and I hope he will be the only true love I have in my life. Despite him being a year younger, the obstacles we have faced together as a couple has made us so much stronger and enabled him to be so much more of a man – making sure to look after me no matter what. Before we even got to that point, he was always a gentleman to me. His constant love and support saw me through so many things in my life. Because of the role he has played in my life, I am also a different person now, for the better.

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The gems that I found in a garden of weeds; My Dessert Buddies. I met Preet when I was 13, but we hardly talked and we were definitely not like how we are today. I began to really know these girls halfway through my MI life. You see, to begin, I was never happy in MI. Infact, compared to my teenage years, I hated this phase of my education life the most. I would come to school just aiming to succeed but with no intention of being friends with anyone. As a result, when my friendship with the only friend that mattered to me in that rotten school dissolved, I was left to fend for myself. I went about a week feeling very miserable and wanting for this to end immediately. Then something in me pushed me to talk to Nadia who was my classmate but the Business side of A2 (my class). She invited me along with the rest of her friends which consisted of Preet as well. They were so understanding of my situation and really became true friends to me through the rest of my MI days. I thought our friendship would ultimately dissolve once we graduated, but it didn’t. We’re actually closer now even if we do not talk or see each other everyday but every catch up we have is always a very treasured time for us. These girls were a part of my growing process and that is why I call them the gems that I found in a garden of weeds. I am forever grateful for their friendship because they have stood by my side after all this time for approximately 3 and a half years now.

The other people I would like to thank are Marilyn, Lucas and Aloysius – the friends I met in Lasalle. Though I do not know how close we will be once we graduate, with the exception of Marilyn, I would like you guys to know that you guys do matter to me and even if we are close for those few years, those few years have been and will be amazing. Aloy, thank you for always providing me with a listening ear and for the advice you give me in things that trouble me. Lucas, thank you for the affection and all the love and for always being crazy with me. You both are like older brothers to me and I thank you both so much for being a part of my life even if it will be only for that much of it. Marilyn, thank you for always being there and for your care and concern. Though we do not meet up as much or talk as much, I do care even if it’s silent at times. I appreciate your friendship and all that you have helped me with.

With that, I end this post. I am contented and very grateful about much in life.

Passenger

There’s something beautiful about being the only passenger in a relatively long bus journey back. So much silence that I appreciate. Sometimes life gets too noisy and the silence in a room just creates more noise in your head than it helps. But to take a journey, to sit at the window seat and look out – it relaxes the mind. I do not think, I appreciate whatever is there for me to see. Then it starts to rain, and that beauty is magnified. The water trickling down the windows begins to paint this scene more beautifully. And that’s when I really start to stare. I tried to take a photo of this beauty. But a picture does not do this moment enough justice.

Time

Recently, we brought Suzie to the Vet Clinic for her annual check up. The last check up she had, we found out that she has a heart murmur so we were hoping this time around that things would be better considering we changed her diet and tried all sorts of ways to improve the condition. As Suzie is turning 10 this November, we know too well that our beloved, darling girl’s health would not be as good as when she was a puppy. We were right because the Vet informed us that her heart murmur is a Stage 4. There are 6 stages, 1 being the lowest risk and 6 being the highest. Just to share a little insight on what a heart murmur is – It is the heart valves closing as blood moves through the heart and since there is a hole in the valves (I hope I am explaning this right), the blood that the heart pumps goes two directions. So instead of flowing through to the rest of the body, it goes back to the heart as well and therefore, the heart has to pump extra hard to ensure the body is getting the blood it needs. As such, the murmur is an an unusual sound of the heart during the heartbeat – like a woosh. Due to the heart having to do extra work, Suzie may experience breathlessness even when she isn’t doing much or slight coughs in the night when she sleeps. So far, we’ve heard some wheezing and the coughs which sound like she choked on saliva or water, but the coughs aren’t regular.

Anyway, the Vet told us that we could get an X-ray done to check the extend of the abnormality of the shape of her heart, instead of waiting until Suzie starts getting a cardiac arrest and stuff to find out that she needs to be on lifetime medication. So we had an X-ray done, thank God that the shape wasn’t too round (too round is bad as it means swelling). The doctor advised for Suzie to be on lifetime medication – to reduce blood pressure, and to have Suzie come in for check ups every 3-4 months to monitor her condition. Interestingly, she mentioned that there are a team of experts who are currently working on replacing the heart valves. It is a trial thing, it may extend Suzie’s lifespan to longer than 15 Years of doggy age, and it costs S$30,000. Money that we do not have, and even if we do, we’re not sure if we would like to take the risk as everything does come at a risk. The vet herself told us that even she wouldn’t know if she would consider having her dogs go through that. She advised that since Suzie has 3-4 more years of her life left, make it a good one for her. One without much or any suffering, instead of going through with the operation and if it doesn’t work out, we might have shortened it a whole lot more. It’s like gambling and I’m not up for that. Neither are my family members.

“Suzie has 3-4 more years, very rare to see dogs live more than 15 years.” I choked. I felt a lump in my throat, it was the worst thing I heard in that week. I wanted to cry very badly but I held back because Suzie cannot know that we are upset. She must never know. I am typing this now as she lies on my bed, she’s looking at me while enjoying the aircon. I didn’t want to type this out before because I had to compose myself first. I do not know how to begin. I didn’t know how to accept that I may lose Suzie in a couple of years and that I would have to bid farewell to the friendship I shared with her for almost 10 years now. I still can’t quite wrap my head around it. I have lost loved ones to death before, but I was too young to understand the gravity of it fully. I am older now, much older, and I understand it fully, and just the thought of it really saddens me. For the first couple of nights since I heard the news, I would cry myself to sleep because I don’t want to lose her, I really don’t. But I knew that when we got her, death was inevitable and as a teenager at 13, I counted the estimate age I would be when Suzie would no longer be around. I did not do that sadistically or because I enjoyed doing so but because I was already time-conscious and I wanted to always understand the importance of time I had with loved ones and the importance of valuing that time. I have no regrets having her to be part of this family. She belongs with us. She is and will always be my truest friend and the one who comforted me when I was hurt by the dissolves in my friendships with people.

But I cannot stop time. And death is inevitable. And life goes on.

In the next year, I would be graduating from LASALLE.  Two years of my time here in LASALLE  have gone by so quickly, what more another year? What more 3 years, or 4 years even? Marion will ORD this December, Christmas will come then it’s a new year again. That’s one year gone. When I graduate, that makes another half year gone. And before I know it, time’s up and I will have to say goodbye. But I know the dangers too of living in the future. And I know too well that I shouldn’t. People tell me to prepare my heart for it, but I can’t. This is not something anyone can prepare for. If you ask me, I will tell you this – I have accepted. I have accepted she will leave. I have accepted that I have to say goodbye. I have accepted that I will mourn and I would have to grief. I have accepted that death will knock on our doors. I have accepted the time is passing by too quickly. I have accepted that I cannot stop anything from happening. I have accepted that all I can do now is treasure Suzie’s presence as much as I can, now that she is still alive and relatively well.

I used to say things like “I can’t wait for Christmas to come”, or “I can’t wait for Marion to be done with army”, things like that. But now, I find that it is so hard to say that, because I can wait. Infact, I want time to pass by so much slower. I mean, I would like Marion to be done with army ASAP but that’s the thing, I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

The reality of the situation is that I can only treasure this time I have with her now, I cannot stop time. She means very dearly to me, no one would ever understand the full impact Suzie has on my life because we share that friendship. They may relate, but no one would ever fully know. It doesn’t upset me though that no one would ever fully understand that impact, because that bond we had would always be uniquely ours, likewise the bond she shared with others would be uniquely theirs. I have loved, and will always love Suzie through all the years and all the days that I am alive. I am fortunate to have at least lived close to 10 years and counting of this friendship with Suzie. I was given, am given, the privilege of knowing Suzie.

She isn’t just the family’s pet, she is family. She is my bestest friend.