Things In Between

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Hi folks(: It has been a while.

Internships made me dread working life a little bit more than I already did. I think it really is something to be able to head to work from 9am-6pm like a clockwork without fail for years and years of your life. And it is amazing to be someone who is able to remain faithful to even the smallest things while at work.

So many a times, I felt like handing in a sub-par piece of work, thinking to myself – ah, this should be enough. I’ve spent enough time and I don’t want to have to look at it once more.

Of course, I don’t. But that’s because there’s quite a bit of things at stake for us. Our internship evaluations, the possibility (or lack thereof) of a T.C, and the impressions we wish to leave together with the connections we’ve established. But amazing are those who keep this faithfulness even when they have little at stake.

I’m really glad I had a wonderful mentor at the first firm I interned at though. Although he was really busy, he’d make the effort to squeeze out some time to explain to me what was going on so that I could gain some good exposure while at the firm. The current firm I’m working at stresses me out at times – not because the partners are unfriendly or unreasonable, but purely because they are so capable. I’m always amazed at the speed, efficiency, practicality and complexity they handle their transactions at. It stresses me out because I know that the very best of what I can do is merely what is expected by them.

I’m glad I did find time to meet up with friends though. The irony of working life is that, even though you technically do get your weeknights and weekends completely to yourself (as compared to having to hide in the library to read/mug during school terms), you don’t quite have the energy to enjoy it completely. I used to plan meet-ups after work, but I realized it was just so unsustainable because it made me so tired – too tired for the next day. The same goes for weekends. I’ve been meeting friends over brunch on Saturday mornings. But the inertia experienced, when having to drag myself out of bed over the weekends to meet friends/ head for church service, is incredible.

The first picture above was taken at Wild Honey, a brunch spot I visited with an AC girlfriend. The thing about Wild Honey is this – it is very much overpriced, but the draw is in its reliable quality which brings about comfort. Cafe-hopping used to be the thing. It still is I guess, but as I grew older I just couldn’t find the energy in me to explore various new cafes. That’s where Wild Honey comes in – when my friends and I simply want reliably good food to catch up over.

While we’re on the topic of brunch, do visit W39 if you stay in the west!(: it is behind Clementi Stadium and it really isn’t as inaccessible as it seems! They replace the typical bacon/salmon under your poached eggs with lamb shank, when you order an eggs ben. And mannnnnnnn, it was good(: I really love lamb (and pretty much any red meat) but my friend didn’t, and she didn’t love the dish any less than I did.

Oh yes. Do try their salted caramel cake too! I personally thought that it was really good(: From the chocolate layers to the salted caramel cream to the chocolate ganache which covers the slice, everything was almost perfect(:

I’ve also managed to catch up a little with the local art scene.

A friend of mine won complimentary tickets to A Triple Bill, which is a production by House of Riot comprising of acts by Charlie Lim, iNCH, and The Great Spy Experiment – all of them are local bands. She very kindly invited me to it and it turned out to be a wonderful night. I particularly liked Charlie Lim’s music and I can fully understand why he has managed to garner for himself a strong fanbase in Australia and the UK.

We headed to Orgo after that, on a friend’s recommendation. It is a bar on the top of the Esplanade which is known for their home made cocktails. The passion fruit vanilla cocktail that I was really eager to try wasn’t available, but I settled for a lychee concoction which was really really delectable. Prices are a little steep so it probably wouldn’t make an ideal regular hang out place, but it definitely is a place I’d go back to for special nights 😉 Oh yes, the food was pretty decent too!

I also caught the Dimsum Dollies over one of the weekends.

IMG-20150612-WA0000 A kind friend of mine was working as an intern at the production company so he got is Cat 1 tickets at a huge discount 😉

I personally really loved the show. It was intricately staged, wonderfully planned, amazingly cohesive, while not losing the local flavour and a tad of boldness in engaging the audience with political and dirty jokes.

The thing was, despite these jokes, the level of class and professionalism of the whole theatrical group was not compromised. It must have been hard getting into character, and I think they did a wonderful job of it.

I’ve been able to meet up with a couple of friends over lunch hours as well, and while things have been challenging at times, I’m glad to be able to do what I do.

Back to the Grind

It has been a very long while, but I’ll post a proper update/ trip summary soon(:

I had a wonderful time in Indonesia. Of the three weeks spent there, I stayed on lombok (the gili islands) for two weeks, and headed to ubud for the remaining 5-6 days.

I dived, into both the oceans and the novels which I’ve sorely missed, I spent hours studying his word and writing, I went on long walks of half an hour or more each time, and I went for runs around the island, discovering wonderful local food and peaceful spots at which I could catch the beautiful sunset.

The irony of it all is that immediately after spending 3 weeks in indonesia, I’m spending 3 weeks at an office desk. This internship calls for another post on its own – but I must say that I am very grateful for it and I’ve gained valuable exposure.

Also, I know that I’m barely 21 but I feel like I really am ageing. Planning things on weeknights after work evolved from being enjoyable to purely tiring. Weekends, though no longer spent at the library, are spent trying to battle the urge to sleep in an bum around, in order to have a fulfilling time with friends.

Will be back soon(: And I sure miss my days on the hammock.

And ofcourse, the picture-perfect beach.

Me Time – A Journey Inwards 

     
Hello from bali!(: 

I’ll be away for quite a bit as I decided to take a 3 week trip to Bali for some time alone. I’ll be spending slightly more than 2 weeks in Gili air (the quieter of the three gili islands) and about 4-5 days in Ubud. Ubud’s the cultural hub of Bali and also where the padi fields lie. I chose it mainly for safety reasons, but also because I realise I don’t really like the bustling cities; they tire me out. 

Here’s a picture of my little home for the next two weeks or so. I’ve been here for a couple of days now and I’ve got a nice little cottage to myself which is surrounded by pretty hibiscus plants with a nice verenda and a hammock. Just about all I need for a peaceful getaway don’t you think ? The chickens here are really noisy though, they start at around four in the morning and they don’t seem to stop till it is dark. But they taste great, and so do their eggs. 

I managed to rent this little cottage at a relatively affordable rate due to the duration of my stay, as well as the location of this place – it isn’t along the beach like most of the hotels and villas, but in the middle of the village instead. It is a little challenging getting back at night but I think it is a worthy trade off for the peace I get in exchange(: I’m glad I chose this place to go on a personal retreat. It’s a relatively safe place and the locals have been really helpful. It has been a really conducive place to study God’s word and enjoy some novels too ! Only downside is that it gets dark before 7 and I’m quite afraid of the dark, so getting dinner becomes a bit of a chore at times :/

I’ve been diving a bit and there are plenty of turtles here. Hoping to see a shark or manta before I leave! Wifi is pretty bad here. I get a little of it at my host’s over breakfast (which is served with fruits, pancakes or toast with scrambled eggs and pretty great Lombok coffee), and when I visit some fancy beach cafes – which I hardly do because they’re pricey and the food isn’t half as great as the local warungs. 

But not having wifi is good as well. It gives me a lot more time to read and write, which is what I intended to do anyway. The past few days have been great and I hope it stays that way. 

I’m so glad I mustered the guts to travel because everytime I travel, I learn a little more about myself. 

For a journey outwards, is always one that leads inwards. 

To Self, From Self

imageDear Mag,

Never forget how much you love the beauty of words, the beauty of the oceans and the beauty of dance.

Never forget how much you love the strength in your legs as you stride across the bay.

Never forget how much you love the flavours of this world.

Always remember to love and to cherish, to live and to laugh, and to have a life you can call your own.

Love,

Mag.

[Picture was obtained off Facebook; it was a beautiful reminder by an acquaintance (Samantha) I’d met during my first dive trip]

It takes a village to raise a child

I was in school slightly before 10am this morning – yes, I know it is incredibly rare for me to be in school anytime before 1pm.

A short explanation would be that, in as much as I’ve found myself a lot happier with a 3am-11am sleep cycle as opposed to forcing myself to be a morning person, I’ve a couple of morning papers next week and I figured it was about time I whacked my body clock back into reality. It was a struggle to get out of bed and I gulped down quite a bit of coffee – speaking of which, I’m really glad that the coffee machine at SOB serves pretty decent coffee at a fraction of the cost from the cafes around school.

But that aside, this post came about because there were heaps of people in school today for admission interviews. It reminded me of a novel I did in IB for my exams – Siddhartha. The cycle repeats itself. I was one of those nervous, excited and very jittery kids fresh out of JC two years back. It’s been two years now, and it is the time for yet another fresh batch of JC kids to attend the interviews.

All these seem trivial now – but not when I thoroughly recount the hopes I had and the dreams my heart contained as I sat through the written papers and interviews for law school.

I’m largely considered successful by society – I don’t have fantastic grades but I got into the oh-so-prestigious local law school, I’m on my way to getting a degree, I stayed out of drugs, booze, and crime, and I pretty much have my future set for me (which I largely disagree, but that’s the POV of most people out there).

The thing is, no one is self-made.

They say, it takes a village to raise a child. That statement still holds weight today. But of course, village has to be interpreted with a contemporary perspective.

I’d say that village means everyone in our community – the wonderful (and not so wonderful) teachers I’ve had, the music lessons, the tuition teachers, my coaches, my dance instructors, parents who drove me around for classes and crazy dance rehearsals that ended near mid-night, a of course, mum who cooks for me and stays up for me.

Let’s not forget the societal factors that made us who we are – the safe streets of Singapore which taught me that as a girl I need not fear unduly because no one has rights to my body, the privileged education systems we grew up in [Crescent and AC were fantastic schools that I’ve never regretted stepping foot into], and the financial abilities of our families coupled with subsidies granted by the government.

What am I getting at?

The importance of reminding ourselves that so many people contributed to allowing us to be who we are; the importance of being humbled knowing that we are not self-made by our own efforts.

What’s the big deal?

It simply means that we are not our own.

As Christians, we hold this perspective because God created us, freed us from the law of sin & death, and gave us all that we have.

But even if you are a non-christian, it is the recognition that so many people sacrificed their time and effort into cultivating you. While it’d be overly dramatic to say you owe them your life, it would be terribly irresponsible to live your life wastefully. Yes- we are responsible, to those who have loved and groomed us, for ourselves. We are responsible to society.

To the teachers who poured their care freely onto us, even though they didn’t have to drain their emotions on students who come and go every year.

Teachers, not just the ones in school, but people who have guided us at various stages of our lives.

I am not my own.

Live life to the fullest, if not for yourself, then for those who have poured so much into you.

“You look tired…. but happy”

” you look tired…. but happy” – was a what a friend told me tonight before I left the school library. Kristos was dancing for easter today, and we were there around 730 to do tech runs/ pre-service prayer. I was pretty exhausted after the first service, and happily slept in one of the back rooms till the next service was about to start.

At times like this, I’m once again reminded of the amount of dedication the worship team must have, in order to come so early every Sunday morning just to usher us into the presence of God.

[photo credits – Jotham]

So here are some of my favourite moments of easter this morning(: It was a pretty good way to kick start the study week.

Hope you had a blessed easter sunday!

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Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetOh yes, not forgetting the lovely ushers who made yummy chocolate munchies with easter eggs on each of these treats. They made 400 of these! I got my share from an easter eeyore 😉

Halfway Through

28.03.15 – Shen’s Birthday Party

[Photo credits: Shen]

I can’t believe I’m finally halfway done with law school. We all started out with the high hopes and dreams of getting that 3.4 minimally when we graduate, but it’s painfully funny how we begin to lose hope as the semester stretches and our GPA just never shows any sign of crawling up the ladder. As the frenzy over internship applications begin, we realize the hard truth of how we are so often determined by just a number. Aren’t we more than that?

School has been gruelling at the very minimum. Church commitments [or rather, the experiences that came with it] caused me to be a little disillusioned at times.  I had my eyes opened to quite a few things. I mentioned earlier that I had to get rid of some toxic friendships. What I didn’t mention is that I had the opportunity to embrace new ones too(:

On another note, I’m glad I decided to give more of my time to aquathlon this sem. I couldn’t join them for trainings as I had night classes, but I made it a point to join them on Saturday mornings whenever I could, and to follow their training sets at my own time.

Ironically, I’d once told myself I’d never race. But then again, it is exactly like how I’d tell myself that I’d never go for a full marathon – the fulfilment of irony in this may very well be approaching soon.

So here’s to week 14, or rather, study week.

I’m honestly rather excited at finally having time to sit down and study – instead of rushing reports, presentations, and research papers.

A huge part of me doesn’t dare to wish for great grades this sem, but I guess it always is worth a try(:

Also, blessed Good Friday!