A Singaporean, I am.

For years I’ve wondered if I would eventually choose the blue over the pink.

For years I’ve wondered if I would continue holding that passport of red.

That red of power.

That pink of pride.

For years I’ve wondered if our grievances are justified,

now for days I’ve realized that he can’t be denied.

Loathed yet loved,

the mark on history is clear.

As clear as day,

as sorrowful as night.

For years I’ve felt that tingling within,

every August on the ninth.

But I have never felt it burn so bright.

I know for sure,

that oath of allegiance I shall take,

come October this year,

I shall take with pride,

and certainty,

knowing that this is home

that I shall protect.

Week 12

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Done with week 12 of school. One more presentation to go, followed by study week, and finals.

Very very excited about summer(: Current plans are to visit bali for two and a half weeks before internships begin. Can’t wait to have a little peace to myself, to dive into the oceans, and to do some reading once again(: I often feel a little bad at causing my parents to worry about me, especially whenever I make such decisions to travel on my own to explore new places or to dive. But the need to travel, the need to meet new people and the need to dive is such an integral part of me such that without fulfilling these desires, it’d seem as though a part of me isn’t there anymore.

One thing I promised myself was that I’d make the most out of my youth – to travel, to dance, to dive, and to run as much as I can, for as long as I can.

On a separate note,

I had a random thought on the drive back home from church earlier tonight –

I’ve been driving for a year and a half and I haven’t gotten into any accidents, even though I’d been expecting myself to.
It isn’t because I’m a great driver; I’m barely decent. But, I’ve somehow been encountering drivers who didn’t insist on their right of way, who looked out for me even though I wasn’t exercising due diligence at times, who were super alert – which more than made up for my lack of situational awareness.
I really hope to be like them some day(:

For some reason, I’ve just been feeling very very blessed. With the friends I have, the privileges I’ve received, and the grace of God that I’ve experienced.

Week 12

The week before has been trying. I fell rather sick the previous week, didn’t manage to run or swim – which made me feel a lot worse, got back a mid term test which I didn’t do well for – which made me even more stressed out over my GPA, and the multitude of project submissions & presentations came flooding in.

I definitely do miss the carefree days I used to have in AC, even though those two years had  their own set of challenges.

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(Picture credits for all the  AC photos here would belong to steph)

Every time I pass by AC, I can’t help but miss that little comfortable bubble I used to reside in. I sorely miss the food there too, especially that good old mee pok. I had never appreciated this humble bowl of noodles more. It was a much needed soothe for a stressed me.

I was just so glad that despite the stressful week, I had the chance to pop by AC for a quick lunch. It didn’t occur to us that it was the March holidays – but the peacefulness at AC was very much welcomed too.

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I’m still very worried about grades, about projects and assignments. I don’t feel like I’m in a state to handle finals, and I feel so ill-equipped to serve in various church ministries at times, given the far-from-ideal state of my spiritual life.

I’ve also recently found out that a particular girl whom I used to call a friend was saying things that were nasty and untrue. I felt extremely compromised, because I could honestly say that my conscience was clear, and that she was the last person I could owe an apology of any sort to.

I felt so much better after talking to a sister in Christ over lunch though. It also made me realize how blessed I am to always have a circle of friends whom I can readily turn to for support. And these are people who’ve supported me both academically and non- academically. Finance this semester has been quite an agony, but I’ve had friends from the faculty of business & accountancy  who sacrificed their precious study time to help me with the subject – a process that was definitely no less agonizing for them.

On that note, I’m so relieved that we were finally done with our Finance presentation today. I’d have hated every minute spent on this project if not for the friendships that have kept me sane.

Yes, eye bags and shag faces. I hope that this is the last of 3am skype calls for now. Just did a report submission as well. One more report, and two more presentations to go for this sem!(:

This Sem came with its own set of trials. I had to learn how to be more emotionally independent, to settle my heart, to let go of toxic friendships, and to be the friend I’d like to have.

It hasn’t been easy and I’m never going to be perfect. My grades aren’t picking up and I feel constantly stressed and worried. But I pray for a stronger back to carry this load, a stronger character to remain true to myself, and greater discernment in knowing the right way to respond to various situations.

Going on to Week 11

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Waikiki – the annual SMU beach games took place last Saturday, and I was [for reasons I can’t figure] racing in the inter school aquathlon category. Was embarrassingly slow but I achieved a new personal best which honestly made me extremely happy. I guess one thing aquathlon taught me is the importance of racing with yourself. I could never match up to those competitive athletes who put in a respectable number of hours each week to train for the sport – I couldn’t afford those hours given that I had such heavy school and non-school commitments.

But somehow, this is a sport that gives you joy even if you can’t get a podium spot. It pushes you further than you’ve ever gone, and aiming for a new personal best becomes more important than beating the rest. [or perhaps it is because I know I can never match up to competitive standards so I’m pretty happy competing with myself hahaha]

Caught up with a friend over lunch and headed home for a sorely missed home cooked dinner(:

Three more weeks to the end of this sophomore year. I don’t know what to feel about these things at times – decisions that I wouldn’t have made, friends I should have dumped, and friends I should have cherished more.

But I guess, mistakes, especially the most painful ones, help you to grow the most. And like everyone else, I have my own version of the SMU story to tell. Two more years to make this story good(:

On a side note, I’ve been tinkling with the idea of spending a good three weeks in Bali [more of the islands rather than the mainland] during summer to unwind before internships start. A little nervous, but very excited. Three weeks of diving, a little yoga, lots of reading and enjoying the peace by my own.

Time to start a summer fund hahaha 😉 Should have done so earlier, but better late than never!

I do realize how financially blessed I am though. The generosity of others allowed me to collect a fair bit from CNY, I give tuition so I do have a little bit of spare cash, and I try to save every now and then. It does add up to a substantial amount that I unreservedly spend on holidays.

The amount of information on the web also allows me to budget my trips accordingly, from the cheapest flights to the most affordable accommodation options. It isn’t sufficient to settle every concern of mine, but hey, a little bit of an adventure is always good 😉

Hoping that it all works out!(:

Ponders

IMG_2015-03-06 00:09:42 IMG_2015-03-06 00:09:55Happiness is getting my favourite yuang yang c beng from koufu on a hot day, with an old friend who came down to SMU to study with me.

Happiness can also be as simple as trying out a new salad shop, and ending off the night on a sweet note with cookies.

I heard someone say something nasty this week. And I’ve never felt more sure of my view of a someone as being a person who is incredibly selfish and inconsiderate. But through it all I’ve been reminded of how my response to things is independent of the actions of the other person. To respond is not to be equated with reacting.

I saw someone I wished to never ever see again. For some reason, I just kept on bumping into him in school – even more so than before. I don’t detest him. I just don’t understand how you can expect to pick a friendship up when you consciously chose to throw it away in the process of “getting over” things. I just didn’t feel like I deserved to have to deal with his immaturity. I don’t regret my decisions and I still think that he is a great guy. But things didn’t work out and I couldn’t accept the way he responded to it. He is a great guy, but is unfortunately someone I don’t wish to have to deal with ever again. Maybe I’m just not understanding enough towards him. But I’ve come to understand that I’m not obliged to be sacrificially understanding towards every single person I call a friend.

I got back my finance mid terms this week – I thought I did terribly. But I managed an average score. Not fantastic, but it does bring me a little comfort in knowing that I have a chance at this subject. Speaking of which, I must say I have been incredibly blessed with (different) friends who have always been so willing to help a clueless nut like me, with both accounting and finance. It must have been pretty exasperating, trying to explain those seemingly simple concepts to someone like me. But I’m glad to have the help from my accounting/ business friends that I’ve had the pleasure of befriending.

We talked about article 12 of the constitution in class today (or rather, yesterday), in relation to 377A (the criminalization of homosexual activities) and the death penalty.

I’ve plenty to say about both, but I do not intend to make this an academic piece.

To sum it up:

  1. I think homosexuality is inherently wrong, and that it is a “nurture” rather than “nature” issue. But I have to admit that such views of mine stem from my christian faith, of which I have no right to impose on others. And that is the only reason why I support the decriminalization of homosexual acts. It isn’t because I think that it is right – but because I understand that I don’t have the rights to enforce a value judgement on the whole of society through the implementation of laws.

    Homosexuality is a sin just like any other sin. All sins are equally wrong in the eyes of God. Fundamentalists seeking to criminalize homosexuality should be rallying for the criminalization of EVERY single sin listed in the bible then. The same disgust ought to be paid to every other sin in existence.

  2.  I don’t and can’t agree with how prosecutorial discretion can allow two people involve in the same drug trafficking act to be charged differently. One with a capital offence and one with a non-capital offence. I do not agree with how this discretion is equated with not having to give reasons for decisions based on the power of discretion, especially when it involves the life ( or rather, the death) of a person.

    Context: two persons(accomplices) were charged with drug trafficking. One person was charged with carrying a larger mass of drugs which warranted the death penalty. The other was charged with a smaller mass of drugs because he testified against his accomplice. The second person was charged with a non-capital offence.

    The practical outcome of “fairness” in this cause would be that both persons would be hung. I do not agree with the death penalty but that is for another rant. Do I wish for both of them to be hung instead of just the first person? No. But I don’t see how it is possible to judicially reason a way out of the unfairness an average human being would feel in repulse to the situation above. I believe in this little thing called the human conscience. When you instinctively feel that it is unfair, chances are that something is wrong somewhere, regardless of whether you can reason it out or not. Perhaps I’m too hot headed, and too emotional.

Or perhaps, I’m just not mature enough to understand the complexity of this society. 

If that is the case, I hope I never will. 

Happy Birthday AC!

For the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet, the ups and the downs, the two years spent in AC were some of the most carefree times of my life.

I’ve been writing a lot lately, diary entries, little cards, and that silly research paper.

I saw someone I didn’t wish to see and I didn’t expect it to hit me so hard in the face. I thought I was already alright. I thought wrong.

I received the message that someone very close to me was going to enter the next phase of her life – one she didn’t wish to enter just yet if not for the pressure given from one side, a phase which would take her away from me into the arms of another.

Things change so rapidly, and they change permanently.

All the more important it is,

to love and to cherish.

A Mid Week Breather

It always is the case isn’t it? That recess week always goes nice and smooth till Wednesday hits and you realize that time really is running out.

I’ve learnt over the past two academic years, to make sure that I clear as much work as possible before Thursday hits, because someone once told me (pardon the crude analogy) that time is like a toilet roll. It never seems to run out at the start; in fact, it always seems as though it was an infinite roll of paper….. until you’re nearing the end. That’s when you always run out. Hahaha.

But this thing called the research paper claws at me like a vengeful spirit. I think this would be the fifth one I’m doing since I started school two years back, but it doesn’t seem to get much easier.

So yes, it’s Thursday already, and I haven’t been able to get a draft out yet. It is stressing me out.

But I went for a swim yesterday morning, had a great lunch with an old friend at standing sushi bar, and happily headed back to work on my paper.

Never underestimate the power of some decent exercise, good food, and great company(:

On food, I love chirashi don – cuts of sashimi and egg on Japanese rice. The best I’ve had was this one at Aoki, which (a very generous) friend of mine brought me to on my birthday last year. Aoki’s rather pricey though, and as much as I think the chirashi don there is worth every single cent, we uni kids do need to be on the look out for more affordable options. hahaha.

The bara chirashi from SSB wasn’t too shabby. It was pretty decent, although not quite as magnificent as the one from Aoki (uni, roe, tuna, salmon, and literally an almost 2:1 ratio of sashimi to rice). By the way, the one at Aoki will leave you stuffed, really really stuffed.

This one at SSB gets you satisfied, without feeling overly sated, and allows you to leave with a happy belly and a light heart.

The service crew there also very kindly reminded me to show my student card for a 30% discount during lunch hours.

As if the $5 sashimi promotions on Monday nights aren’t strong enough of a pull eh? 😉

So yes, someone also once told me this: Readings are long, but life is short.

Work hard so that you’ll do justice to yourself, but always remember to stop and smell the roses, for roses will wilt and journeys will end.