Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Apprentice

Day 4 of Training

This week has been a flurry of activities, a blur, a brush of colours on an empty canvas made swiftly by a paintbrush dipped in all seven semi circles of the rainbow. My coarse hands shook many different hands from all over the world, my little feet stepped into intimidating high rise buildings - I met so many inspiring young people who made me want to gasp in admiration at their caliber and maturity. This week has been a very humbling experience in a way that it has taught me just how little I know, how much more I can improve. I've taken a few minutes out from my incessant emailing of local businesses located around East London to raise funds for tomorrow. I know just how inefficient emails are but it is still worth a try. Our employer set a task for us interns to raise funds for a charity via selling of lunch items tomorrow, The Apprentice style- only difference is, no one gets fired. It's such an amazing opportunity to be in the middle of something like this, where everyone is so motivated to be the best. I've met so many AMAZING young people this week! I know, I know, I'm reiterating, but they really do inspire me. As part of the sales team, I'm one of the people in charge of roping in orders tomorrow, of which to be entirely honest, we didn't have much time to do. Training hours took a lot of valuable time away and we are really pressed for time but the outlook is positive! Two girls from my team have contacts in high-end offices around London and they've managed to get 25 orders in already for our charity.

As a parting note, one of the best things I've heard so far this week from one of our facilitators is: "You're allowed to wear jeans and sensible shoes on Friday". My feet are smiling now despite the obligation to wake up at 5.00am tomorrow to help my colleague carry beautifully decorated unwanted Hummingbird cupcakes to our venue first thing in the morning.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


There has always been a part of me that never grew up. That part of me that is a little girl, has always remained timid, shy and dependent, forever afraid of change. Today, as I moved my belongings to my friend's flat, the weight amassed over three years of being a student here in the UK burdened me. There were very kind people who helped, of which I am very grateful, but the fact that I received help frightens me. I've always had help, be it from kind housemates, thoughtful friends or a caring boyfriend. What would I do when I'm by myself? I suddenly realized that I'm by myself. Out of the three categories of help I often receive, I'm now down to two, and even from those two, who really are my friends? Do friends really have the capacity to care sincerely for you? These thoughts depress me. I am really alone after all, with only God to cling on for real.

The flight of stairs I took today while shifting my stuff up to the topmost floor continued winding up in an everlasting spiral in my pessimistic imagination. My ankle was sprained today and it's starting to swell. A Legoland of boxes at my friend's flat caused me to feel slightly claustrophobic. The dirty microwave in their kitchen made me sad. The thought of shifting my belongings in September to my new flat by myself initiated a bubble of despair in my stomach. See how trivial these thoughts are but yet how negatively I'm affected by them?

I blame it all on the unfamiliarity of the situation, the new life I'll be living in the next 10 weeks. Hard work, little sleep, new people, daily tube or bus rides, independence. I'm just me now, not defined by anyone else. Just me. And although that's liberating, it scares me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


3.30pm yesterday marked the end of the third year of my undergraduate degree. The moment the invigilator commanded for everyone to cease writing and to put our pens down, a wave of liberation traversed throughout the entire examination hall. How many smiles were there I wonder? 120 smiles perhaps? Some with teeth, some with dimples, some cheeky, some excited. That's artificial optimism. I forget how it is also possible to feel indifferent, tired, plain swamped. 

Smiles everywhere, soon translated into unacceptable chatter. Bubbles of excitement surfaced, spread like wildfire. Beloved lecturer (who never once raised his voice to the class) yelled for some quiet. Peace restored, only to the ear. Jumpy buttocks on the seats. Heels bobbed up and down. Papers collected, counted, boxed away. Glances made between comrades. Impatient effort to keep still. Invigilators raised the green flag for leave. A scraping of chairs. A stampede for the bags. A hoard of happy faces out of the door. Out Out! Freedom awaits! Friends tickle each other. Hands shaken. Hugs exchanged.

"Congratulations!". "Happy holidays!" "How did you find the paper?". "It's finally over!"

For some, the end meant no more waking up at 4am in a frenzy to squeeze more information into their cramped brains. For others, it signaled an end to their hermit lives in the library. Proper food afterwards, no more takeaways. 8 hours of sleep or more, finally. A haircut perhaps? A shave right after? 

Wonderful it was, the great sense of achievement that comes after 2 months of mugging. All the stress and bitter frustration, washed away in a sea of excitement. Life is so much more, and it was regained again, a few moments after 3.30 pm yesterday.  

Monday, June 13, 2011


My last paper is tomorrow. I'm another one down today and wasn't feeling like myself. I woke up slightly dreary and uninspired, eyes all saggy and swollen. I need to catch up on some beauty sleep, I'm getting old. How will I feel like tomorrow when it's all over and I have nothing urgent to fight for? I feel as if there is a finish line to cross tomorrow, but I'm not on a racing track, so my inertia can't even carry me further on into the fields, beyond the line. Rather, I meet a dead end to an alley. More on this  peculiarity later. It's back to work for now. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost Sunday

It is Pentecost Sunday today and Mass at More House was really beautiful. It is indeed a privilege to be able to receive Holy Communion again this week, but in addition to that sacred gift, the homily was enriching and the hymns today, especially the hymns, made me so happy. "Spirit of God" was sung today, my absolute favourite. I used to sing this all the time in college whenever I was too swamped with stress. The habit carried on during my holiday breaks even, that mom would have to bear with my horrible vocals at home. I can never do justice to this hymn. Nevertheless, I love it so much, and sing it so often, that mom mentioned to me recently how she'd think of me straightaway whenever it is sung at St. Michael's. I was glad to hear that and when I heard the hymn today, I was reminded of her and everyone at home. 

The lyrics to the hymn brings me way back into time, when strong winds used to sweep through the palm trees just behind my room. I could feel the Holy Spirit breathing, literally upon me and my friends. I would run upstairs in the night, to the balcony and watch how the trees shook wildly about. It would have been scary, or gruesome for most people, in that tiny shadowy corner, lit only by an orange worn out lamp - but it was my little peaceful space, that tiny spot. 

As called for by tradition, Sister Gabriel got the little children to hand out the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. 7 different gifts, and we get to pick just one from the baskets, in the form of cute bookmarks. If I remember rightly, for the past two years, I've amassed the gifts of "Counsel" and "Fortitude", so imagine my joy today at obtaining "Wisdom"! Praise God for His wonders!

After Mass, a little chat with Alexis revealed to me that she uses a film camera. How amazing and cool is that?! She's this really charming young lady who makes me wonder why I'm living such a selfish life sometimes. She completed a 10K marathon for CAFOD, a charity, in just under an hour! And what have I ever done for God?

P/S: I need a sanity check for blogging ever so frequently during the exams. 

Addendum: Someone just has to knock me in the head! I only just realized that today's Prayer of the Faithful was done in multiple languages, to honour our first reading in which the Apostles spoke in many different languages! How could I have been so ignorant? :) It's a beautiful day. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Greatest Girl Crush

I have always had a crush on Alexis Bledel, ever since I saw her in an episode of Gilmore Girls. For those of you who don't know her, you're missing out BIG time!  She's also starred alongside Blake Lively of Gossip Girl fame and America Ferrera, who is known to most people as the actress who plays Ugly Betty. And before you start to wonder, no, I do not have any form of sexual affinity towards my own gender. Just take it that I am one who can appreciate beauty, in an innocent manner at that. 

She's more than 30 years old now but she still looks like a child. I was shocked to discover her age after watching an interview of hers with David Letterman. Just like Audrey Hepburn, Alexis never seems to grow old. I have so many reasons to be crazy over her. Besides a set of the most mesmerizing, haunting blue eyes a girl can have, she is effortlessly charming and sweet. Oh, and did I mention humble too?! 

She looks very much like an angel, don't you think? Even when she's expressionless or indifferent, one cannot help but stare. I've got to put it down to her natural beauty, it attracts attention, without being called for. From an aesthetic point of view, I'd say her most outstanding features are the shape of her face, her fair skin and the aforementioned pair of almost transparent dreamy eyes. What's not to love about how she looks? The photo above is of her in Tuck Everlasting, a fairy tale I watched last summer after my exams. I especially adore the way she looks when she frowns because I think she could make hearts melt with it. It's insane that a negative facial expression can still be so adorable. 

As Rory in Gilmore Girls, she played a smart, witty teenager with an ENORMOUS love for books and literature. The series lasted for several seasons in which she grew up, left home, went to Yale instead of Harvard (which was her original dream), fell in and out of love, learned more about life, was proposed to and in the end, got a fantastic chance to work on a political campaign. I spent every Sunday afternoon at home watching the series and was so inspired to become a journalist myself, it was insane! I should have known I never had talent in that department. Darn, I don’t even know if I have a single talent!

She's the one I can only dream of being like. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

So true

So true isn't it? Most of us can be strong and resilient, and suppress whatever negative emotions we hide inside of us- that oftentimes, we even amaze ourselves with our capabilities in putting up a brave frontier to the rest of the world. But the moment THE magical probing question is asked, volumes of saline come pouring out, naturally, unstoppable, from those two miniature windows to our souls.

And for some of us who know this, the question is to ask or not to. When someone is clearly hiding a terrible pain, should we just leave them be and save ourselves the embarrassment of forcing a friend into making a hearty confession when he or she clearly prefers keeping things inside? Would it be too cruel to ask?

Yes, it is cruel. It definitely is, when you're just asking out of pleasure to satisfy your curiosity.

Dear friend, I've been going through what you were going through so I never asked you what was wrong when I heard you cry. I am sorry but I thought it was better that way. I would have wanted the same if I were you, for the time being at least. I knew it would have caused you discomfort to speak about what was bothering you, but when you're ready to share, I'm here, right here, I'm not going anywhere. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


At times when I find it hard to concentrate, I wander around the blogosphere, peering at the thoughts and souls of other bloggers. Some of these people are my friends in real life. Smiley faces everyday, 5-min chat partner, Oreo cookie provider in lectures, lab partner etc. Reading their thoughts, I realize just how much more depth there is to them than what I perceive of them from the outside. It is not like I judge anyone- it's just the feeling you get when you're quite conversational with someone else for a long period of time, and never realized just how much more there is to them. So, it's a good thing that I'm reading what they have to say. Every person you meet has a million stories to tell, perhaps an equal number of hidden sorrows as well. Every person you meet is not just what he/she portrays themselves to be like on the outside. It brightens me up to have just learned about this side of my friend which I never knew of before, we share quite a number of things in common.

I think I am attracted to pain and suffering. Since my college days, I seemed to notice a longing inside of me to reach out to someone who is going through a hard time. It could be a bad thing, since I even find myself attracted to guys with a brooding nature. The worn-out hero, the tired sentinel or simply, the humble dejected guitarist. The afflicted soul, if I may say so, spells out a deeper character. But it works like poison against me. For example, I once tolerated and tried to be the most understanding person to someone special, hoping to ease him back into the light, bring joy again into his life. I allowed him to be lukewarm towards me, just because I understood how he's been deeply hurt in the past, how scared he was then. Oddly, thinking back now, it was a bitter-sweet experience for me, hoping and loving at the same time. Everytime I was treated coldly, I took it with a pinch of salt, with the hope that things will improve, that he'll finally see that I was just trying to be his angel. I had wings to fly, and I wanted to fly with him to the end of the tunnel. The dark side of him always made me love him even more. But it also ate me up, thrust me upon the sidelines, left me wondering if I had deserved better. But it was love, no doubt.

Okay, enough of that. I had better get back to my books now. I am feeling slightly uncomfortable right now, having eaten two whole bags of crips today and 6 fruit sorbets yet again. But it's just my form of self-loving. :) Laters! 

Another Tag

I found this while I was doing what I do best, time-wasting on the Internet! Since I'm pretty bored now, I guess I'll just complete this.

1. If it was the last night on earth, what would you do? Bring my mum and sister out and splurge all my money on great food and desserts, no restrictions, no diet considerations.
2. If you can have a dream come true, what would it be?
People say if you say your dream out loud, it may never come true ever, so..
3. Do you have a malicious mind?
Once in awhile, when someone makes me cross, or hurt my feelings. 
4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Bring my mum around the world. 
5. Pretty but fat/Ugly but slim, which one would you prefer?
Pretty but fat, then I can work on losing the weight.
6. Which is more of a blessing, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Being loved. I don't think I am very capable of loving someone else genuinely. 
7. Is there anyone that you've waited for? How long did it last?
I've never waited for anyone.
8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
I secretly liked someone for a long time and I watched him get together with another girl and they're going strong now. I think I can live with suppressing my feelings and letting the impossible go. 
9. If you could act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
I'd love to act alongside Alexis Bledel, perhaps some of her glorious aura would shine on me too! 
10. Would you invite your  ex to your wedding dinner?
Yes to one, and no to the other. 
11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
A grown up, mature lady, involved in philanthropic activities hopefully!
12. What's your fear?Being left alone.
13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
No one tagged me. I just found this tag somewhere else. 
14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
I'd like to be single and rich and FREE to do anything I want to. 
15. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Drink some water. They say germs that are good for digestion stick around your teeth after you sleep so it's inadvisable to just brush them off the first thing in the morning.
16. What kinda girlfriend/boyfriend do you think you are?
The bad type, unless I really love my other half. 
17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
I don't think I would even be investing much effort in developing my feelings towards one person in the first place. 
18. Would you forgive and forget no matter what someone has done?
I wished I could. Maybe someday. 
19.Do you prefer being single or being in a relationship?
Single for now! 
20.List 6 people to tag
I can't think of anyone. Please feel free to copy this if you want to do the tag. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


As a student, there are times when I sincerely enjoy what I'm trying to study because I understand (or am under the impression that I do anyways) the material. At other times, I look almost like this little girl here:

Frustrated-lah! Mr. C, I can't seem to understand your notes and all my hair is going to fall out from the endless scratching of my head!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

LRRH:1 Mr. Mouse:0

It was 3am, the morning of my TP II paper, and I was awakened by a very screechy sound somewhere around the corner of my room. Usually, these kinds of sounds do little to bother me, but I was especially nervous due to the exam and I was not exactly sleeping well to begin with. I could feel the rain outside, its smell must have seeped through the cracks in the walls of our old flat, tickled my nose awake, such that I felt compelled to get up and draw open the curtains. I wanted to see the rain in the emptiness of the night.

The roads below were empty. The lamp posts shone brightly. I was reminded of home, of the little road just outside. Wet wet wet. Quiet. But really, wet wet wet. Calm settled in me, perhaps because I felt so familiar with what I saw. With a sigh, I decided to carry on reading more of my notes. Another round now. Maybe I'll remember better.

One, two, three pages. Then, that sound again. I thought it was merely the wind, thrashing against my window. I ran to the curtains again, tearing them apart, and as I did just that, the sound stopped. Wow, it was as if I could will it to stop! Not bad! Alas, I got back to my notes, and within a few seconds, I heard the sound again. Ughhh...

Oh! Realization hit me. It's Mr. Mouse isn't it, scratching against the wall by the corner?!!

I quietly moved to the corner of my room, squatted down, peeked at the little hole just there. Lo and behold, guess what I saw?! Mr. Mouse, just looking back at me! In fact, it was giving me that challenging glare!

"Come and get me will you, woman?!"

I felt so helpless, there it was, just a few feet away from me, at the corner of my room and I could do nothing about it. The sheer annoyance! How dare you torment me, you little prat, give me another stare like that and I promise you, you'll wish you had never dared to even lay a finger on my walls, you little prat! (Does a rodent have fingers by the way? I am unsure myself but you get what I mean). In a really really bad way, Mr. Mouse reminded me of him. The shape of it's face, it's parasite like nature, reminded me of him. Manipulative, dirty, opportunistic, weak, timid, alone, scared. Eww... I was disgusted to say the least. But then, yes, indeed, that person was weak, timid, alone and scared in the past and I stupidly catered to those needs because he needed me. Simply because he needed me.

But I shouldn't distract myself from the source of discontent right under my nose. I don't know how I managed to sleep that night finally. After all the noise and frustration. I took my exam in the day, came back home and set up the trap, almost immediately, with relish. Using peanuts as a worthy weapon upon a gluey mouse trap, I smirked in delight while preparing Mr.Mouse's ambush. Sadistic, cruel, revengeful? Or perhaps was I trying to vent out my anger towards the image of a certain someone that the mouse had formed in my mind?

Last night, I stayed up late again with another set of notes. (Gosh, exams are never ending, I'm avalanched under work!) It was almost 2am and I heard a struggling noise where Mr. Mouse used to scratch.

Yesssss, I knew I had caught it!!

I dashed out of my room to check the spot where I laid the trap and indeed, the mouse was there. Quickly, I took a plastic bag to dispose of the pest, but when I tried to lift the trap, Mr.Mouse bit so hardly on a piece of wire nearby, literally clinging on for its dear life- that I had to tug so hard just to get it into the bag, feeling super grossed out all the while! I could feel it struggling about in the bag as I ran downstairs to dump it away into the bigger rubbish bins outside.

Upon returning to my room, I thought I could then continue on with my notes in the peace and quiet of the night. But, for the longest time, my thoughts lingered upon the patch of blood on the trap resulting from Mr. Mouse's efforts to disengage itself from the trap, and how it reminded me about him. Manipulative, dirty, opportunistic, weak, timid, alone, scared.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Give You my Heart


Dear God, I was playing with mummy’s cupboard door just awhile ago, swinging it open and shutting it tightly over and over again. Suddenly, it won’t open anymore. Please God, please help me. Otherwise, mummy would find out and she’ll be really angry with me.


God, please help me to get better. Please let my swollen ears recover and help no one to laugh at me in school. I miss my friends and I want to go back after spending two weeks in the hospital. I don’t even get ice-cream here unless I am having my throat operated. I miss mummy. Please God, help my ears get better.


Help Granpa to be in Heaven dear Father. I miss him. Please help Uncle Raymond not to cry anymore. I thank you that the members of my extended family are all reunited again at this time.


Please help me to do well in my exams dear God so that I can make it to the Convent!


I felt humiliated in school today, yet again. I’m playing truant yet again for another two times this week. Dear God, help the teacher to believe that my asthma is really affecting me. I feel so alone, no real friends and Mr.K is always just around the corner to taunt me in front of my peers whenever he can. What have I done to him? Why can’t I stop tearing up everytime he makes fun of me? Please help me to bear with this.


Dear Jesus, where will you lead me now? Thank you for the graces You’ve bestowed upon me. Please help M to get what You’ve given me as well. I’d hate to spread my wings and leave him behind.


Dear Lord, I’m dying here, I don’t understand a thing and I miss home so much. I can’t give up. Please come stand beside me, guide me through this path.


Dear Jesus, I kneel to you and shout out at the top of my lungs, “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!”. I’ve never been happier ever, thank you for bringing him into my life and bless us both!


Dear Mama Mary, why must we learn how to forgive? I cannot forgive this person. It’s a shame that I have decided to hate him forever. One day, I hope to stop hating him. Help me and my friend through this rough patch.


Dear God, I’ve ventured so far from You these past few years that You seem so foreign to me now. Rope me back to You. I need You.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Get Up and Go!

Have you ever experienced that moment when you're driven so hard by an itchy feeling inside of you, to complete an action although you know for certain that no benefit would come out of it? You get an adrenaline rush, your excitement is heightened, such that you can no longer remain on the safe and easy side, resting on your laurels.

It could be a warm, humid night when you're wrapped up in your blanket despite the heat, just because you feel insecure without a piece of linen over you. Several thoughts run through your head, preventing you from resting your head against that little spot on Slumber's arm. Your heart beats thump harder against your chest, your palms sweat and when you look at the time, you realize what an ungodly hour it is. That little persistent spark of imperativeness finally leads to an explosion inside of you and you shoot up, sitting like a straight "L" on your bed, with determination all over your face. Moments later you're out there, doing the very thing you know you'll live to regret if you didn't. It's truly a blessing if you've gone through such an episode. Everyday, we live life being too cautious and calculative. We weigh the outcomes of the different possible actions and options we have, discarding those that won't add much value to our lives. By doing so, we may have saved on effort and time, but one day into the future, we would be lamenting to ourselves in the "I-should-have.." fashion.

For me, moments such as those come from rare 'attacks' of inspiration. Pardon the use of such a negative word but it well befits my introverted and passive nature. I always choose to stand away from a crowd, or behind a curtain on the top floor of a building, where I could see without being seen. I always play safe, I sleep my life away and let it pass me by. So when my Muse comes, it is an attack, it always is. With a tight tug at my heartstrings, she bids me to break free from my reservations, and I find it hard, almost impossible to ignore her call.

So yes, there were times when I did things although I knew nothing would come out of them. I slaved towards completion, because I wanted the calm that would most certainly come afterwards. I may have produced something mediocre as a result, but what did I care? I could proudly hold my head up high and smile, almost smirk at my recklessness; and I tell you dear reader, the satisfaction that settles in your heart at the end makes the little adventure worth your while after all.


I am afraid of being too tiny, too small that no one even notices me. There were stages in my life whence I felt too insignificant. For the longest time, I had no confidence in myself, until a few special people helped nurture it. Please God, help me do justice to my existence.

Today is a special day. I pray that the person who makes this day special is happy always. I never felt so honestly genuine towards anyone else, apart from you. A year ago, I would tear up at the sight of someone playing the guitar, in remembrance of you. Now, I would still tear up, but it doesn't matter because it adds meaning to my life and for that, I thank you. Whatever you're up to now, be at peace and be happy- because you've suffered real hard and I now know, I may just know now how painful it was for you then.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Myself. It is as if a long evaporated shadow from the past has now reappeared with the sun and pinned itself to my feet, trailing me, calling out my name, day and night. The shadow has a voice, but it comes from inside of me. No one else can hear save my little inner ears. How can this be Little Shadow? You are on the outside but you resonate from within?

My physical voice could never, in all eternity portray the complexity of my being. Oftentimes, my thoughts run deep, they roller-coaster upon sunny and rainy terrains, jump from cliffs, step upon hot coal, dance upon a thousand needles. Alas, however strange the things they do, they end up lost - not even a cold, grey gravestone as a reminder. I want to remember these little idiosyncrasies, worthless as they may be, and I think I have found a way.

Is it really you? 10 years ago you inspired me. And now, I come upon someone like you again, beautiful as ever, talented, inspirational! I would have liked to be you, I dreamt of being like you. But is it really you? Even if you're a different person, you make me feel exactly like how I felt all those years ago, when my mind was young and malleable and my palette filled with unimaginative colours. I wanted to soar like a dove back then, I wanted to glow like a little candle in the darkness. It is a different me now, I know better than to wish to be like you. I shall not be ungrateful and wish that God made me any different. You're still great, but I am who I am, and with the realization that both of us share the same love, you and me, we can still do what we love, but I'll do it my way.

P/S: A string of recent thoughts led me to wonder where my dear mentor of old, Pn.Jeyamala is now. She lit a fire in me all those years back. She picked me out from the crowd and made me feel special, just for a day. I really looked up to her, she gave me a purpose.