The Real Present

The Real Present

Birthday after birthday, my perception of what exactly I’m celebrating somewhat changes, and it has evolved into something I don’t quite want to make a big deal out of because the more you expect, the more you’ll be disappointed. From the time I can remember, my birthdays have been extravagantly celebrated by the ones who love me the most- my parents. My mom would cook up an entire lie (a new one every year) to convince me we aren’t going to do something big, but end up inviting all my closest friends and putting on a party, each time it’s perfect. Every year without fail, my family would remind all my closest friends around me about my birthday and make sure that it’s the best day of my life. And every year without fail, there’d be this cake we gather around, sing the song, blow the candles and celebrate. There’s also always a family dinner.

And I am the luckiest girl in the world to have parents and family members who’d do all these for me.

But this year and the last were different– no cake, no expensive presents, no elaborate parties nor surprises.

Last year, I took it in my hands to bring the people in the OM family I cared about and loved most together, to have an afternoon out together and played board games while eating and laughing and talking. And this year, I also only celebrated with the people closest to heart (my ex-OM team, my godmother and of course, the family). It seems I’m trying to take things more minimalistic and bring more depth than breadth to this special day. It’s not that I think extravagant are bad or evil or narcissistic or anything negative of that sort, I just feel like I’d like for them to be optional. After having these planned out for you for years, it subconsciously becomes a necessity, when it really isn’t. And you forget to appreciate the more intangible and precious things that are reflected on this day– the appreciation, admiration, respect, gratitude and love all expressed because on this one day, people think and express how they feel about you.

Birthdays are just one of the many ‘special’ days or periods that we go through annually, and when we repeatedly celebrate or commemorate them in the same way, we tend to forget the significance or meaning of what we’re celebrating on this day, bringing the focus to how different or alike this day could be from the previous or how much better or worse it could possibly get.

Don’t get me wrong, this birthday was still celebrated, still spent basking in the happiness and feeling blessed admist the wishes and heartfelt messages of appreciate and love. The only difference, I suppose, is that I feel all these a few times deeper when I take the material expressions of these feelings out of the picture.

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I Heart NLB

I Heart NLB

This afternoon I spent a good six hours in the National Library, and it’s the fourth Sunday in a row I’ve been here- browsing through the endless collection of history books leaving with information overload each time.

It occurs to me that I’d never be able to read all these books and remember all that information even if I spent my entire lifetime staying in this library, just this level alone. Needless to say, the entire library’s worth of books would be impossible to finish. And that just goes to say how much we have preserved within the compounds of every public library that we have such easy access to.

I remember how I used to be in Library Service CCA in my first two years of secondary school; that was 2 hours a week just chilling in the school library, shelving the endless rows of books, pushing in the chairs that keep coming back out. It was only when I went through those two years that I actually realised how much resources we had kept within our library.

So, anyway, today I celebrate libraries. We are so lucky to have them.

Life Principle

Life Principle

The photo is completely unrelated to my post. Tonight I suffer from a sore throat and brain drain, so I’m not posting anything I think up on the spot, instead I’ll share something I’ve see and written earlier.

A whilst back I wrote something down on my 2014 planner and it goes a little something like this-
“Today we have higher buildings and wider highways, but shorter temperaments and narrower points of view; We have reached the Moon and come back but we find it troublesome to cross our own street and meet our neighbours; We have conquered our outer space, but not our inner space.

Do not keep anything for a special occasion because everyday that you live is a special occasion. Search for knowledge, read more, sit on your porch and admire the view without paying attention to your needs.

Life is a chain of moments of enjoyment, not only about survival; Do not deny anything that adds laughter and joy to your life.”

This shall be a kind of mantra for me as I enter JC and stride along 2014 and welcome whatever awaits me there, let’s go 2014!

This One’s For Ash

This One's For Ash

This is Ashlynna.

I don’t have enough words to describe the kind of support and motivation she’s been to me for me to have come this far, but I’ll try.

We met through some student leader buddy system thing when I was in Year One and I can only vaguely remember it because I barely remember things so far back, it gets fuzzy after a while especially when I make little record of them. And from the first times I stood alongside her doing daily duties to the spontaneous meetings we managed occasionally afterwards, she never fails to embrace me with more love, encouragement and courage than anyone else.

It is, to me, a privilege like no other to have her company each time because every memory we share together fills me with a kind of drive that speaks to me whenever I feel exhausted or in some kind of despair- it says, ‘You can.’

Other times, it says, ‘This is possible.’ So thanks buddy, for the kind of inspiration and support you have been to me and the company you constantly give me even when you’re not physically with me (considering I’m entering JC as you leave); but I just wanted to say that your energy is beyond magical and I am so thankful for it.

Naughty or Nice

Naughty or Nice

I found out recently the story of Santa Claus: apparently Santa Claus is one of the pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the English character Father Christmas.

Isn’t it fascinating how the way figures and customes involved in our celebration of seasons as such actually come from very simple ideas from the past that persevered through evolutions of festivities?

So this year, have you been Naughty or Nice?

This gift-giver has also become a useful tool for parents to remind their children to ‘be good’ throughout the year. As we grow older we often forget the simple principle of being nice instead of naughty. Does it become less important? Today it seems we all necessarily feel we deserve the presents and gifts already whether or not we have been ‘naughty or nice’.

Anyway enough with the preaching, I actually just wanted to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and whether or not you’ve been ‘naughty or nice’ you deserve the presents for just getting through this year and I believe, striving to make decisions that don’t hurt people (including yourself). And if maybe, you’ve been a little more naughty than nice, then start to think before actually doing things and maybe that’ll make you deserve your presents a little more.

The Capacity to Do

The Capacity to Do

The capacity of every one of us is limited; and on days like this I find myself exhausted from outdoing myself, from putting myself against challenge after challenge to find out that all these things I thought were impossible just seemed so because they were undone.

And though now the cumulative walking and travelling and running (marathons) or writing thinking planning, oh yes and filing organising typing in the office this holidays- has finally boiled down to this one night as I bid farewell to November in a very very tired state. I don’t regret any bit of it. I don’t mean to sound like a workaholic on the verge of madness because I love feeling like a dead man walking, but what I mean to say is, it’s OK to do all the things you love and be tired, because we have a capacity.

Some people say that when you do what you love, there is a very intangible satisfaction that makes up for all the exhaustion and effort you may be put through. For example, the smiles on the faces of people you serve or say if gaming is your thing, breaking the latest high score, personal best. There is an adrenaline that drives us on.

But that’s a pretty rosy picture, we aren’t robots driving on batteries and we need rest too.

And speaking of capacities of us all, I guess it differs for every person. At the Purple Parade, I celebrated that of those with special abilities. I have been involved with these people ever since some of my friends got me volunteering for their CmPS team and I used to be pretty uncomfortable because I didn’t know how to relate, or communicate, I thought of them as so different. But at the parade I was reminded that they really are just like us, trying so hard to outdo themselves and make the most of what they have. And it’s people like them that should inspire and constantly remind us to work hard for ourselves and let nobody prove you’re worth less than you deserve.

Today at the standard chartered marathon, there were people with physical disabilities working hard in the 10km race and the amount of respect the sight of their perseverance overwhelmed me so much, and encouraged me to run harder. With that kind of willpower, they are truly capable of so much, even more than we, the physically abled, are.

If I met me

If I met me

I wonder what it would be like if I met me.

Over the course of this week, I have spent at least 2 days completely alone just chilling out at libraries, enjoying exhibits, eating food I like and doing things I love; but that’s alright because It’s OK to be Alone (recap:https://frizzyhairedmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/its-ok-to-be-alone/)

And I was just thinking, if I met someone like me, would I love me, or hate me? I don’t have the answer to that yet because I’m not sure what it’ll be like exactly, it’s unimaginable, but I think the closest possible scenario is EITHER

We are extremely good friends and we care for each other genuinely, read each other’s minds like books and say things to each other for assurance because we know exactly what to do and what to say. And be best friends forever.

OR

Maybe it’ll be different, maybe because we’re too alike I would feel unspecial and I would keep wanting to be better, and I would want her to stop doing so many things all the time and take a break for once. And we would be enemies for life.

Yeah, I was just thinking.