Spontaneity: the start to all adventures

Sometimes I think to myself, if my life would be more interesting, more exciting if I planned just a little less. My MBTI personality type is ENFJ which suggests with the “J” that I am super organised and any bit of my day unplanned feels either like wasted time or gives me an insecure feeling that I don’t enjoy at all. So it’s really really hard for me to not plan for a single day.

But when I actually think about it, maybe I do have the most fun when I just spontaneously plan my next steps as I go, visit cafes along the sidewalk as we pass by or pop into the DnT unexpectedly in school; maybe it’s easier to just ‘go with the flow’ sometimes and spontaneously follow a stranger to his/her destination just because he/she needs your help directing him/her there.

I read somewhere that we love patterns and as humans we love knowing what to expect and doing things we have done before because they’re ‘safer’, they’re known to us, and the results are more ‘reliable’. But really sometimes when we give ourselves the little excitement of doing something unexpected, something different from you usually do, you will realise that it does amazing things to your energy level and that in itself, is an adventure. The difficulty lies in convincing yourself that it’s OKAY to do something which consequences are unknown to you just once.

Above is a video I chanced upon a while after I got home, and it made me think about how we never give others or ourselves the platform to be spontaneous. Whenever I make plans with others, it’s always ‘let’s meet here and at this time and do all this’; but maybe once in a while I should try ‘Hey, let’s meet here at this time, and we’ll see how it goes from there’.

50 CANS: Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled over and over again.

I hope these pictures make you smile

As mentioned before, today I spent today with my sister and here are a series of photos of us in our adventure, mostly taken in the National Museum because the architecture was absolutely beautiful. One day I will blog about her under people featured, but for now, just enjoy these pictures and I hope the ‘joy of company’ which really is something every one of us is capable of- of giving someone else happiness with our company, simply just by being there, shines through these photos.  Thank that special person who has given you the joy of THEIR company today. Thanks sis (: 

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50 CANS: Aluminium doesn’t occur naturally in the earth’s crust, it has to be extracted from its ore – bauxite – which is mined and then smelted in a very energy-intensive process.

Places Featured: My Sunday Adventure

Sundays, to me, are the start of the week; and I make it a point to spend it doing something that would energize me for the rest of the week. And today was spent with the all time favourite companion- my sister. At this point i’d like to show you two places that we visited today and if you’d like to follow our footsteps on a splendid weekend, you’re welcome to visit these places next week (on the condition that you tell me about it)

Places Featured 1: Public Garden Flea

I’m not going to lie to you, just like Haji Lane, this fortnightly flea market doesn’t exactly offer the cheapest, most affordable buys, but I dare say for first-timers, this flea market is an absolute eye-opener. The curators are carefully selected to make sure each and every one of them present a whole new spectrum of ideas and creativity to the flea market. For the best experience, go there equipped with money, an open mind and be ready to pick up their namecards, take lots of pictures and ask them about their handmade goods or their experience with creations.

Whilst enjoying the shopping experience also, don’t forget to grab your cup of coffee from Oriole Cafe (who has become one of their regular vendors) or try some of the cupcakes or pastries by the present vendors.

Find out more at http://public-garden.com/ and don’t forget to tell me about your experience! It’s my sister and my favourite hang out when we run out of places to go but disclaimer here: too many visits may makes it boring if you can recognise all the regular vendors ):

Dotting Hill sells very special tattoos for any special occasion!

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Places Featured 2: Sidewalk Gallery Cafe

Just round the corner from Dhoby Ghaut Prinsep St/Beside YMCA, there’s a little hidden cafe opened by an NUS initiative for the mentally disabled. They serve ice cream 1-for-1 on some days if you’re lucky and they’ve got molten lava cake for 6.50$ as well. The service is kind and affectionate though it can be sunny due to the lack of shelter 😥 however do support their cause anyhow and like them on https://www.facebook.com/SidewalkGalleryCafe

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50 CANS: Although great care is taken to rebuild the land after mining, changes do occur as a result of mining that are detrimental to the surrounding environment.

Throwback: Dress Making Class

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Here’s where I intend to spend my Saturday afternoons. 

It’s been a month since my last lesson because my sister and I couldn’t find a Saturday we were both free and all, but finally today to accomplish the promises I made to myself (one of which, to return to dress making class by the end of last week), I went alone. 

There’s a kind of peaceful atmosphere immersing myself in the project for the lesson while listening to like minded aunties (haha this sounds weird but really the rest of the people there are a generation away) chat and laugh and reminisce. Yesterday my sister couldn’t go for class with me because of reasons and I was really lonely at first because I practically talk to no one but my sister in class. But I guess that made me listen so much more, and try to understand these aunties a generation away that bit more.

It really puzzles me how they think sometimes- do youngsters seem like a nuisance to them because they remind them of their lost youth? Or is it because they can’t understand the things we do or why we do them? Does our age really decide how much we know and understand about the things around us? 

I guess age is but a number and the real difference lies in the whole set of experience that we get over the years we live, I mean it’s very different being in the 21st century as a teen and in the 21st century as one in the 40s or 70s to say the least. And though I’d never completely live it and breathe it the way they do, I think I’ll understand how they think and what they’ve been through bit by bit just through listening, and maybe one day I’ll get it all figured out. 

50 CANS: Recycling aluminium cans help us to make the best use of limited natural resources.

People Feature 2: My Dad

People Feature 2: My Dad

Tonight I went to watch Watoto Choir for the second time and it was still as magical, still as touching to see the kind of genuine happiness in their faces and eyes as they performed. But this time round it was exceptional thanks to the company of my dad.

I think no one would ever be able to give me the kind of strength my dad gives me, and sometimes I don’t give him enough credit for the sacrifices he makes for me, the countless things I believe in that were really all taught to me by him, the times he listens to me and the commitment he puts into our relationship. There are times when I feel like he doesn’t understand me enough, but he makes up for all that just by the amount of effort he puts in to try. For the lack of words he has to express his love for me, I see it through his actions. Whenever there’s something I want to share with him, I see him paying double the amount of attention once I begin the speak and there’s a kind of responsibility in the promises he makes with every agreement with me to be somewhere at sometime.

And tonight I guess I just want to say, there’s nothing like a father’s love and thanks Dad for being here for me tonight.

(One day, I will find the courage to read this post to him aloud and tell him how much I love him)

50 CANS: Recycling is an important part of a sustainable lifestyle. (If you don’t know why I’m doing this, refer to prev post)

10 highlights of the week

To me the start of the week is Sunday, the end of the week is Friday and Saturday is a transition day where I find myself taking a break from anything school related, unless absolutely necessary. Friday nights are also the days when I check back the promises I made to myself about things I wanted to accomplish in a certain week and find out if this has been a week worth celebrating or have been the slave of procrastination. So here I proudly present to you the 10 highlights of the week!

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1 Sunday: Haji Lane with Nicole

I had a short post about this but I failed to elaborate on how much I love the company of this girl, the times we share together are indescribable- we can practically read each other’s minds and our emotions can effortlessly go in sync. We share an amusing love-hate relationship so sometimes we can’t share each other’s company for too long, but the Sunday adventure was a great start to the week and I look forward to whatever other time we will continue to spend together now that end of years are out of the way!

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2 The Company of Bellyboing

Photocredits to juju, this week we celebrated Sarah’s birthday, there on the table you see the wonderfully baked cake by the talented Li Yin and this is us early in the morning all gathered for a mini surprise for the birthday girl! I just wanted to say that Sarah is an amazing amazing girl who never fails to encourage your heart and say the words you need to hear when you most need them. And the company of this bunch is irreplaceable! I think there are the friends that you can have fun with and laugh together, and there are those you can share every detail of your life with without doubting if they really care. They are a combination of the two and every moment spent with them is filled with laughter and joy, for that I am beyond thankful. 

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3 Exercise: Pain is weakness leaving the body

I make it a point to run at least once a week thanks to the influence of my exceptionally sporty family, and now that we’ve gotten end of years out of the way, I have made exercising regularly part of the plan! This week I jogged a couple of times in the school gym, at a canal near my house and this miniature park with a track around it (which you can catch a glimpse of in the photo above). Thanks to this week’s pilates buddies who did it with me twice this week too! (mostly bellyboing thanks so so much it was loads of fun) 

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4 Glimpse of Chemistry and Art Option

Here’s presenting to you my two favourite options- one of which, Chemistry and Art. I am enjoying it so much more than I expected, it’s only been two lessons and we’ve spent them learning about the chemistry behind pigments and colours and the history of how these cavemen found out about all these chemical magic. It’s like a mixture of all of my favourite things (history and art) in the most unexpected medium (chemistry). And I’ve got great lab partners that I may show you in time! We managed to mix pigments and make them into various kinds of paints and this seriously intrigues me I can’t wait for more! 

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5 Glimpse of Chinese Opera Option

HAHA contrary to popular belief, Chinese Opera option is super fun. Allow me to justify that- the teacher, first of all, although I don’t know her name, the one thing I can be sure of is that she is SUPER INTO chinese opera, it is really encouraging the way her face lights up when she teaches us about everything she knows about Chiense Opera and everything is about getting the ‘feel’. I have great company in this options and I think it’s super relaxing and fun to just watch the teacher try to teach us how to sing these weird dialects in chinese, so yes it has become one of my two favourite options as of now. 

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6 The Most Important Meal of the Day: Breakfast

I think many would agree that the luxury of having a flexible timetable has allowed us to actually enjoy sleeping in in the mornings and having lovely breakfast dates with other batchmates. I’ve had my share at the start of the week at KFC A.M. which has great porridge that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. There are many memories attached to this porridge because on Thursdays when we have the extra 1 hour before school starts, I’d enjoy a bowl of porridge here either by myself or with lovely company of people I want to catch up with before the school day begins, so I’m glad I’ve found myself back here within this week. 

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7 Mondays: Self Defence Course

Every monday I spent 1h in this amazing organisation’s premises learning self defense with my godsister and sister. This is already our 5th lesson or so and every session never fails to give me that bit more confidence and courage- it really is empowering me. I feel like I can stand up for myself in times of danger and I am constantly reminded that even as a girl I have the power to fight back and defend myself. It’s not easy but it’s a start and if you’re interested AWARE provides KAPAP classes every Monday and the instructor is the most friendly! The premises are situated in Dover Crescent and you can find out more about what they do here: http://www.aware.org.sg/

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8 Book of Promises

Say hi to this notebook from Typo that my sister got me! It has become home to the things I’ve learned from options and lists of Promises that I make to myself. One thing that I strongly believe in is keeping promises to myself, because if I can’t even trust myself that how do I expect others to deem me reliable, and I can let others doubt me but I can never ever allow myself to have any reason to doubt me. So I make it a point to set realistic promises with myself and achieve them. Since this week I have come up with promises to myself weekly about things that I want to accomplish with every week of options since we have so much time in between and they really are about catching up with things that I love. (I’ll probably dedicated a blogpost to these promises sometime)

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9 Rogers Katerega

A lot of time has been spent on this 15 year old boy over the course of this week as I try to bring some sort of closure to my class’ commitment to him- we have promised ourselves to sustain, as a class sponsorship for him for at least a year and as this year comes to an end, I hope that as a class we will make informed decisions together about how we would like to continue with this project and how we would like to sustain this project. I have also given the class the option of dropping out because really this is in no way an obligation to anyone in the class. As I’ve spent time creating a prezi about our journey: http://prezi.com/_zxixxqggmlp/406s-sponsor-a-child-journey/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy, I also thought a lot about why I’ve done this and how I see us continuing it in the future. I honestly honestly look forward to continue welcoming interested people on embarking on this amazing sponsorship journey with me, and learn about the power of influence that we have in rebuilding someone else’s life. 

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10 50 Cans

Last night in the midst of surfing the web and researching, I accidentally pledged to RECYCLE 50 ALUMINIUM CANS haha and looking at the happy faces of all these people who’ve accomplished this challenge and upon reading about the importance of recycling aluminium cans I have decided that I shall embark on this mini journey to complete this challenge for myself too and do something for the environment!! HAHA so to the day I collect 50 cans and complete the challenge, I will end my post with one reason why we should recycle aluminium cans and urge you to drink a can drink and pass the empty can to me if you see me around (I would really appreciate that); or you could do your part and pledge to complete the challenge on dosomething.org! 

 

Thanks for reading my ramble about what went on for me this week!

50 CANS CHALLENGE: Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely, as reprocessing does not damage its structure. It is hence the most cost effective material to recycle. 

 

 

To: Myself

Dear me,

Today I’d like to dedicate this blogpost to you because today I am reminded of a lesson that I’ve learned, and one that I hope I will never forget- and that is, to always always, forgive yourself.

The amount of pressure one can get at any point of time is overwhelming, because pressure comes from expectations and expectations come from many places- your parents, your family, your teachers, your peers and most of all, yourself. Sometimes, they come alone, but more often than not they’re interconnected and tend to love coming all at once. And I have come to see them do scary things- they force us beyond our will to do crazy things to meet that expectation because it matters so much to us that we don’t let these people (including ourselves) down. And many a time these crazy things are not worth it because they destroy that bit of us everytime we do them.

And I hope that this post will remain to remind you, that no matter what it is, if these expectations are not aligned with things you believe in- they do not matter.

We often think that the challenges we face in school or at home are caused by these people found in these places. But most often, I think that one villain in our life constantly hurling impossible obstacles in our way, is ourselves. We expect the most from ourselves and we ask of so much more from ourselves than anyone else asks of us. The thing is even when people offer to add on to these stressful expectations, we make that choice (as our own villain) and willingly welcome these expectations with both arms (whether we realise it or not), and work our butts off to meet them. Worst of all, we convince ourselves that expectations unmet would result in the loss of love.

Someone once taught me that no matter whether you meet the expectations of others who love you (your family and your friends) or not, they will love you all the same. They really will. And what you have to always remember is to love yourself even when you don’t meet the expectations of yourself.

In your entire life, no one’s going to know what you think, feel or want more than you. No one understands the amount of rest you need, the kind of encouragement you need to hear, the amount of assurance you’ve got to have to feel confident and carefree- no one but yourself. So if there’s anyone that you can take care of your best, it’s yourself.

When I say take care of yourself, I’m not just talking about feeding yourself when you’re hungry or taking a break when you’re tired. It’s so much more- it’s also encouraging yourself when something external discourages you (like a heartbreak or a conflict, or an insult, or a grade point average on a piece of paper), it’s reminding yourself that you’re important and you’re beautiful and not allowing these things on the outside to convince you you’re otherwise. Because with the potential and with the things you’re capable of (if you wrote a list of 10 things that you could do, I can promise you can’t find a person who can do everything in that combination of the 10 things that you wrote), you deserve everything that you work for. And you deserve to give yourself an unlimited number of chances over and over again.

Always forgive yourself for the results that you achieve (whether good or bad) and the things that you do every day. Forgive yourself for the mistakes that you think you’ve made because there’s no life without mistakes, and there are no real mistakes because every mistake contributes to who you are today. Learn to love who you are. It’s hard, but if anyone ever discourages you or tells you otherwise, I’d like for you to know that I love you through and through no matter what you are or what you become.

Love,

Me.