Friday, September 30, 2011

To Remember

The following post is something I wish to remember, written to me by a friend:

its been beautiful while it lasted

its been a beautiful summer. im not too sure if you would agree but i think it has been beautiful for me in so many ways. you have articulate some interesting observations and definitely kept more to yourself. through your reclusive yet bubbly personality, through the uninhibited laughter with your friends, through your love of giving your best (but not always ideal) to others, i think you have given me a lot.

just before i start listing the lessons for my own memory's sake, i like to say that if there is anything i know for sure, it has to be my ability to understand the goodness of people. few people irk me very badly and if they actually manage to do so, i don't hesitate in condemning them to the core. while this sounds extreme, everyone dislikes some others to a limited degree and perhaps i just take it very seriously and harshly. not too sure if you share such sentiments but while you were recounting one of your experiences, i did feel that come through your speech. i think that is where our similarities start and also ends. it is ironic how two vastly different chraracters can speak to each other to such a degree though.


to start this lengthy prose, i'll make a statement: you have great friends, i don't.

that is a statement you deeply abhor and i understand why, i hope to explain it now. where i used to have much doubt for me what to do where a loved one, close friend voiced objection to my actions. i now have no hesistiation in making compromises because i close my heart and minds off to people. 99% of the time im not asking for opinions, im asking for approval and if i am asking for opinions, im demanding agreement or slight tweaks to areas im not confident about. it is fortunate though that over time people make me see the light though and mold me a little more around the edges. what used to be plain hatred and disdain for those whom ive deemed as 'failures' or 'enemies' is a little less after this summer.

however, i think the single biggest discovery that you taught about myself is that i should never have placed a value to friendships. by attaching values, expectations and ideas to each one of them, i fail to see the intrinsic value of a person and instead only realize the extrinsic value of their actions. to this end, i'll make an effort to try to see people differently.


the second statement i wish to make is: i know that i enable many people to live their goals through me. with my ability and determination i have managed to overcome and prove to more than one person that the upper limit of your achievements is really indeed your dreams.

this is the origins of why i cannot fail. i repeat, its really not arrogance but its because when i fall, the dreams of others fall with me. overtime, i have built up an aura of invincibility, where i fall, i simply pick myself up and go onto something even bigger and then make it work. failure is taboo because expectations only grow and whenever i fall, to let people down is not an option. rather the only method to move forward is to stitch myself up and keep on going. there wasn't going to be a rest just because of a fall, a stumble is simply a call for to work harder.

i fear failure for the fear that with me goes the dreams of others. where my sister used to be my inspiration, today i am her strength and its not just her because four other young people whom i taught before have told me that they aspire to be my heights. my parents, my exteneded family, everyone is watching where i am going. no one was going to ask for my feelings and i acknowledge that they have every right to ignore it because my worth is in my achievements.

to this end, i'll make sure that achievements will always be not an end but a means for me. thanks for letting me know that i was inspirational because each time someone tells me that i find a little more courage to go on. with those words, i carry more weight but also gain more strength and conviction that what i am doing is correct.

the last statement i will make is: i know that it matters a lot to some girls that when you're in a relationship its forever. to me though there really isn't a forever because i don't even know where i will be in six months.

unlike most singaporeans who blame others for their failures. i blame myself squarely and myself solely for not being able to commit. like you, i've been very badly hurt by the people i have come to love. no disappointment, no failure has ever dogged my life because i was able to work everything through with determination. not for my lovers though, they have hurt me more than anyone has ever had. disappointed me so thoroughly i occasionally feel that they're my enemies. at the end of the day, i am cut-up by them to say the least.

its amazing how i messed up so many relationships even though i can manage every professional connection so well. often i think that everyone suffers because of my commitments, my dreams and all of that stuff about me, me and me. which is why i find that the message you send across very resounding, you tell me that : i don't have enough space in me for another person.

here and now, i have not learnt enough about myself to fully get over the fact that love is something that is rarely recipocated and is indeed more of fate, luck and faith. to love is to not expect and maybe it also means to be hurt sometimes by those whom you trust so much. i dislike all things that have to do with chance but i will embrace the love still and throw a gambit for one more chance with her.

to this end, i pledge to attempt my best to understand grace (not you) even though she has disappointed me so many times and if she really isn't the one, then i want to make sure i don't let the right person in my mind slip me by because there may not be another love of my life out there again. it certainly sounds mushy but if it works out, then it does and if it doesn't, with a big heartache, many tears and a long night, i'll tell myself that it is really time to move on and bring love to other parts of the world because the special one in my eyes is not worth it.


its been a fruitful summer and the memories will always remain with me. though they may not be mentioned as often as my adventures in ghana. summer has always been a big time for me to grow and become in my own person. thank you for being there and i will always remember the girl who always bore so much on her shoulders she never spoke.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Small Things

There is an experiment which tests whether a person has the tendency to focus on the finer details in life or see the bigger picture instead. In this test, a letter in an enourmous font is displayed to a subject. The catch is, the letter is made up of hundreds of tiny different letters. The subject is then asked what he or she sees. If they are of a meticulous character, they would usually notice the finer letters first. If they don't usually zero in on the details, they would see the bigger letter. I remember the first time I was tested, I noticed both so I guess the test results can be pretty subjective. 

Anyhow, I am happy to believe that I am a person who is highly sensitive to the smaller details in life. I believe I have high emotional intelligence despite being shy. In my silence, the ideas, facial expressions, speech, actions and body language of other people hardly escape my sieve of scrutiny and often contribute towards my perception of them. Truth in itself is such a difficult thing to prove and I can never have the right to say that the way I see other people reflect any sort of absolute fact. However, I can attest to the many times in which the thoughts I form about other people are reinforced by the unfolding of events involving them that I predicted would happen in the future. My lack of surprise at the way they behave or the choices they make after knowing them for sometime has made me pride myself on this ability to form opinions, not judgements on those around me. It can be frustrating at times because I am too sensitive towards the small details in life. The specific type of words or accessory used; change in the way a person speaks; behaviour of a friend amidst a new crowd; choice of new hairstyle or nail polish; trends in actions and what not. Is this a very feminine characteristic? My level of sensitivity has in the past proved detrimental to my own well being in the sense that my emotions behave very elastically in relation to it. The devil is in the details, quite true literally, to me that is.  

Last summer, I complained to Moo's mum that I had the misfortune of working under a very sensitive lady supervisor who took most things to heart and was unable to perform more professionally. In retrospect, I behaved in exactly the same way when she did things to victimize me when I should have just realized that some events are just passing, even the bad ones. These happenings can just stay happenings if I willed them to, merely insignificant little happenings which had to occur to fill in the gaps between the more significant experiences in life. We are free to choose the extent to which we want an event to impact us. I should have known that at the end of the day, I'll still be fine anyways and there are zillions of positive things to look forward to. Optimism is a choice, it has always been. 

Before I detract any further, I would like to remember the wise comments from Moo's mum. She told me that it is natural for a woman to be extra sensitive as opposed to her male counterpart. Even in this modern age, women in general still find it hard to make their presence known in any male dominated industry. Often, they are still viewed as the gentler gender, considered to be lacking in aggression and technicality. Women in positions of power often had to fight their way to the spot which they hold today, making them tougher and more judgmental, sometimes even defensive of their juniors. My reception towards these ideas was good and I had to agree to a large extent. However, I also see it as a matter of survival of the fittest, which applies to both male and female. A tiny voice inside of me whispered that the boss I had could have been threatened by my presence, as well as the other juniors, so she did not do her best in imparting her knowledge to me and tried to exert her superiority over us all. Again, I am not judging her, but I am trying to analyze the way in which she treated me. Understandably, anyone would act in a similar manner if they maintained at the forefront of their interests, their own selves. However, I'd still like to point out my opinion that women are usually more sensitive by nature. It is a good weapon in itself. 

One weekend last year, I was sketching some pictures. I started out with the face of the main subject, her nose, eyes, mouth and ears. I then proceeded to form her dress, buttons, pleats of her skirt and the patterns on her shoes. Next, I shaded the creases and folds. Mr. Superman, one of my hosts that weekend, saw the fashion in which I drew and said to me that it reminded him of his style a long time ago, before he switched to sketching outlines of the bigger and whole picture first, before zeroing in on the details. He draws beautifully by the way. 

A skewed human being I am. I always look at the small things first before taking a step back and getting a fuller view of a sight, situation or perspective. I still do possess a balance, albeit a lopsided one. But who is to say that a perfect symmetry is the optimum, or any end of the spectrum? I can sway my little see saw anyway I deem fit, until I get that just-right feeling. At any rate, I do enjoy being the way I am right now as I am working towards a more relaxed and less intense attitude. I have strong reactions towards the things I perceive, but increasingly so, I am trying to label events as just things that build on my experience and distinguish between those that need more reacting to and those that don't. My discernment and optimism are heading towards the right direction for now, as I sip on my lovely mug of green tea. It is a good day, and many more are coming my way. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kick-ass Attitude

Some parts from the book above caught my attention. The author, in description of athletes, depicted them as individuals who have no self doubt nor hesitation, only a one-view confidence of themselves, which is useful in achieving their goals. The book's protagonist also mentioned how he knew about his ability to choose how he felt in response to any situation. He argued how his choice of reaction reflects how he really felt about something.

I contemplated on these ideas and am drawn towards believing how important attitude is in determining someone's quality of life. The famous saying of the fictional character from How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson comes to mind: "When I feel sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True Story."

Everytime we fall, or when things don't play out according to our plan, it is very hard not to fret and complain and blame everyone else except ourselves. Slightly more rational people might instead focus on their own flaws. It is normal to sit down and launch our rants for sometime, but it should never be prolonged. However bad we feel, we are always lucky and have blessings to count. Optimism goes a long way and it generates energy in our bodies. Similarly, a smile and the courage to fight keeps our bodies healthy and in check.

I want to put a smile on your faces my dear ones. I want you all to hug me under the sunshine in a tightness that would break away all my insecurities of the past. We live in the hope of a happy tomorrow because we have people in our lives to love, the source of our hopes. The ones that I love have always had that number 1 spot in my little heart and no matter how much they dissapoint me, they'll always deserve to be loved because they loved me first and I am what I am today because they unconditionally loved me in the start. :)

Incoherent as I may seem, my thoughts actually stem from a very simple desire which is to experience calm. Sometimes I wonder whether I am still at the bottom of Maslow's triangle, trying hard to resurface to another level. At least I am kicking hard to do that, and that is cause to smile for. Dead people don't kick :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011


This weekend, I met someone whose desperation frightened me so much. This person recently broke off communications with a girl he likes and he seems to be using me as a cushion to that heartbreak. Honestly, I do not have the capacity to be his buffer because I have matters of my own that I would like to attend to. He has been offering me all sorts of assistance and has been hogging up a lot of my time. In all fairness, he at least cheered me up during my down moments but I am so afraid of his deep emotional needs. He comes to look for me ever so often, texts me constantly and has asked me to play sports with him in such a compelling way that I feel like slapping him. 

He admitted to me that he is trying so hard to find a girl companion, who will be there just by his side. He speaks about girls 90% of the time and another 10% of the time, he would be telling me technical geeky stuff which I do not understand in the slightest. He tries so hard to get a girlfriend and in the past, has actually just approached random girls, asking for their numbers. He is a lonely person seeking companionship. I am lonely at times, but the loneliness comforts me and helps me reflect on myself. I am not actively seeking for a life partner and appreciate the solace in my life, preferring it rather than crowds and the pressure of building intelligent conversations with other people. 

Today, he freaked me out to the max. I told him I am not keen on jogging or playing badminton with him because I am just not in the mood, and when he pestered me to, I was so angry that I think it showed. Things immediately became awkward after that. Understandably, he is a lonely person and just wants some company, but I am obviously not the person to remedy that. I have my own wounds to heal, my own ideas in life and dreams to chase. I do not have a good opinion on a guy who spends so much time and thought on the sole purpose of finding a girl. Sorry to say this, but there are more important things in life at the moment. There are battles to fight for, people to fight for, people who mean everything to me in this world. A desperate  guy simply has no space in my life. I am fuming with anger right now. Some people need to get their priorities straight.

For too long, I've been fighting my own personal battles. I've been fighting so hard, so vigorously, with so much to shoulder. The people I fight for don't even care enough about me when I need them the most. Today, as I made the 100th trip to my new flat with my things, I realized that I've been working so hard to prove to myself that I am strong. I've shown a fair amount of strength so far, I didn't realize. I have reason to be proud of myself. I'm weary now, but I am glad that I've shown courage. I don't have it lucky as most people around me who were born with silver spoons in their mouths. I hiked, walked and climbed when others could just sail past. But God is always here with me, He holds my hands tight and wipes away my tears. He sends me companions who support me through the thick times. He wipes my tears away. He lets me rest my head on His shoulder. He covers me with a blanket on a cold night. He takes the tears away. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Restless Night

There are thoughts boiling inside of me, spilling out from my eyes, nostrils, ears and I suspect from the pores of my skin too. They warp around me, squeeze me so hard and suffocate me, but just before they draw away the last beat of my heart, they start to display an incoherent, chaotic dance right in front of my eyes.

I've been struggling for so long to find depth within me. Forevermore, I've been a shallow person and I've always been so sick of that. My simplicity and the limits of my expressiveness have always been a deterrent for me to share a part of myself with other people. Apart from that, I have trust issues and am so easily dissapointed by the people who don't pay enough attention to me. Recently, I've been increasingly dissapointed by a friend I've known for a long time. I've made a mental note to myself not to trust him because his ambition knows no bounds. He has evolved into a very competitive and sly person, much to my surprise.

Do I see a reflection of myself in him and that is why I'm afraid?

Sleep, please come and take me away.