Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Rise and shine, it's 2014!



As opposed to at least half the citizens globally (just a wild guess), I'm not big on making New Year resolutions, but I love making a list of things-to-do (don't pretend you don't add take a shower or eat your breakfast in it just so you can have something to cross off later- okay, okay, you don't, it's just me) so on the first day of 2014, I'm making a list of 20 things to start doing in the new year.

1. Get moving (and sweating). Climbing the stairs, helping with the groceries, gardening, just move. It boosts your energy level, and relieves stress. 

 
 


















 












2. Eat anything you like- in moderation. 

 

 

 
3. Laugh. A lot.

4. Make time for more zzz's.

5. Resume (or start) attending yoga classes. I'm afraid I've lost so much flexibility, but I still make it a point to stretch and bend a little whenever I remember.

6. Read more books. You can never read too much. Or can you? ;) 

 

 

7. Admire others, but don't put yourself down. Every individual is unique. We all have traits or talents that people would love to own, as well as flaws and weaknesses we wish to overcome. You sparkle in your own way. 

8. Brush up my English!

9. Maintain close relationships with people who matter and whom I care. A healthy relationship, whether it's romantic, brotherly, or friendly, is when each person is allowed room to grow, and still loved. 



 

 
  






























Some of my favourite classmates in college. Incredibly lovely girls, aren't they?
 































Not forgetting my favourite boys in the whole wide world.

10. Offer help without expectation.

11. Go on heaps of dates with Mother Nature. Absorb the fresh air, play with the green, and soak up the sunshine.

12. Hand in your work on time.

13. Enjoy the little things in life.

14. Live in a tidy space.

15. Relax. Life's too short to over think.



 





























16. Give more. Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.





 




























17. Express gratitude. Gratitude promotes happiness. A roof over your top, a place to call home, parents who work so hard to afford your education and living expenses, clean water, shoes to wear... so many to be thankful for.

18. Be consistent with the things you do.

19. Take responsibility of the role you play in this world.

20.
Live. Just live. Because sometimes even to live is an act of courage.  
"When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody compliments you, then compliment yourself. It's not up to other people to keep you encouraged, it's up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside. ~ J. Osteen."

 Let's make the most out of 2014!

Bittersweet.

We bid goodbye to 2013, and greet 2014 with fireworks (old tradition, though not of our household's), cheers and panda eyes (geddit? Ha ha). Believe it or not, today marks the end of 2013. Truth be told, I still find it extremely mind-boggling. Whether this year has brought you a new job, a new partner, a new house, a new car, a new friend, a new- okay, you get the idea, I sure hope that it has brought you streams of happiness, love and laughter. 



2013 has been such an eye-opening journey to me. I've finally had to step out of my Comfort Zone, learn to survive the long hours in college, the difficult and not to mention tedious syllabus of the subjects I've been studying, and cope with the crazy stress from exams throughout the year. 

If anything, I was forced to grow up this year. My parents cannot and will not forever be there to lift the burden off my shoulder, to clip wings on my back, or to brush tears off my cheeks. At times, I have got to learn to figure things out myself, deal with demanding people myself, wrestle challenging situations myself, and manage my tender emotions myself.

This year hasn't been extremely exciting, or happening as 2013- legitimately because I spent the first 6 months of the year being burdened by misery and battling serious emotional problems. 

A few changes were made, or perhaps I got tired of living the way I used to, towards the end of the year, I learned to let go a little. I learned to live without the glory of going on stage to receive my medals or prizes from the competitions I took part in. I learned to live without knowing at least half the people in my form (after five years, what ya expect?). I learned to live without having my best friends in college (it takes time, at least for me). I learned to live without knowing almost all the teachers where I study (yes, I used to in high school). I learned to live without having plenty of netball, cross country, and speech-delivering practices to attend. I learned to live without the school field I miss dearly. I learned to live without the basketball court in school where I would play basketball with my friends under the fiery hot sun during sports lessons. I learned to live without seeing the boy I used to secretly (not so secret anymore) admire for two years in the class. 

I learned to live without protection, convenience and exhilaration. I learned to live with uncertainty, confusion, oppression, and distrust. It was more of a lax (bad, I tell you), arduous but inconspicuous year for me.

I wouldn't go to the extend of recapping 2013, since really, the whole year has been nothing but an emotional roller coaster ride for me, and the only events worth mentioning were:

  • I've finally finished AS level (big deal once it's over, not so much when A2 awaits you)
  • Dropped out on yoga for almost 3 months (ugh disappointed in myself but I have my reasons, I promise)
  • Gotten dangerously addicted to comparison on social networking sites at one point however, thankfully, one day woke up and realised just how much harm it has been doing me and deduced that my mind and health are both in a better state when not fiercely attached to that gadget Steve Jobs created
  • Engaged myself in a relationship
  • Spent my holidays with Ken who came back from the UK for a summer break
  • Went on a vacation to Melbourne with the family in December (sadly had to exclude Ken).



I may sound bitter, but I'm actually happy. Not the on a cloud nine kind of ecstasy, but at peace.

At least, I know and believe I'm beginning to build stronger and firmer trust and faith with myself, connect with my inner soul, and treat my body with gentler care than before. Change is terrifying, it's madness, but I can take anything, as long as I never give up. And I'm starting to see results, fruits boring, with that I am content, blissful and grateful. To all the wonderful, amazing people who walked into my life, for staying with me throughout my hardships and for celebrating my every joy, you all have made 2013 a more fulfilling and fruitful year for me.

I am aware I will wake up tomorrow feeling physically the same, but what's different is that a brand new year awaits us- welcome 2014! In 2014, I have only one wish: To keep the promises I make to myself, and to others. If I were to promise myself full commitment and perseverance in study, that's the promise I'm going to deliver. If I were to promise myself to respect my parents, I'm going to make it a point to see that I fulfill it. If I were to promise others a second chance, I'd do it with a sincere heart. If I were to promise others to stop pushing them away, I'd slowly but steadily accept and embrace people's love and care with open arms.


















I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you unique and amazing readers. Whether you are a passerby, a recent/ loyal reader, or a friend of mine, thank you for making my time spent in this little corner of the blog world worthwhile. I look forward to getting to know you better in the following year. I am honoured to have shared 2013 with you, and hope you continue to enjoy your stay as we embark on a new journey! 

Last but not least, I wish all of you who are reading this right now, a Happy New Year! May all your dreams and wishes be realised the coming year, and may health and happiness surround you always.

Monday, 16 December 2013

An Oscar-worthy movie.



One of the best movies I've watched in my 18 years. Based on a real story, Captain Phillips is a suspenseful and enthralling movie.


Tom Hanks who starred Captain Philips was amazing in the movie. He played the character brilliantly, you would feel he's going through every scene as though it's in real life. 



I was beyond glad I watched Captain Philips with my family. Thanks Sean for willingly watch it the second time with us. It made the outing more memorable than it already was.




Mum and I had a fantastic, significant talk this morning during our walk. 


I had so much to let off my chest. Mum listened to me pour my worries, and offered me solutions. Best listener and best friend indeed, mums. 



We ended the conversation with both of us feeling more hopeful and optimistic to take on the world.


我最亲的弟弟,我最疼的弟弟,我最引以为傲的弟弟,我最舍不得的弟弟,我最爱的弟弟。

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Unlike any other Saturdays.



This morning I woke up at 4 to take a shower. I let my hair dry so I stayed up till 5.30 till my eyelids threatened to shut. Then I proceeded to collapse on the bed. 


Before I know it, I was awake for a morning walk in the park with my family. The sun showed no mercy and shot its sweltering sun rays at us. Sean got cranky because he was hungry and claimed he lack sleep.



Oh well, it's a Sunday. I am counting my blessings and enjoying the day. Choose happiness! 




My family and I went to Paradigm mall today. We shopped, we dined, but the highlight of the outing was definitely Captain Philips the movie. We wanted to catch the 5 o' clock movie, but there were no seats available, so we settled on 7.45 p.m. instead. 


We tried to minimise boredom while killing time, so we hung around at Popular the book shop, shopped for swimwear and socks, then went to have dinner. 



All of a sudden 7.30p.m. came soon enough and off we went to the cinema.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Exercise + food = happiness.



Back from badminton and cycling. I was on form today! 


Though Sean claimed he didn't give his best hence I got to defeat him this round. I suppose he did. 



But I don't bother minimising the glory so just clap for me, people. 



Currently feeling ecstatic from the adrenaline flowing through my body. Exercising with the family is always my favourite activity. Isn't it wonderful how one's mood can be brightened just by being physically active?


The mango in the picture goes to show how bored I get amidst preparing for the AS exam a few weeks ago. 

Speaking of exams, I sat for IELTS this morning. I must say the test was carried out more formally than expected, and that I forgot to bring along my sweater so I was in half-frozen form while answering the questions. 

In a nutshell (My friend Ji's fav way to recap essays), it went swimmingly and I'm beyond relieved it's over. Now to look forward to the Melbourne trip! 


We decided on Tappers, One City for dinner. Here's Sean's order! He's more than ready to dig in! Everyone, bon appetite!


Breaded chicken with a side of coleslaw and fries. 

Sean's second order(!!). What can I say. He's a growing teenager. And a ravenous athlete after a badminton match.


Mushroom panini. Dad's order. 

I grabbed a bite but skipped the bread. I'd rather a light spread of cheese than a thick slather of mayo or butter on my bread or sandwich. 

Overall tasted good, but it could use more fillings!


The spaghetti dish most of you are familiar with, the Aglio Olio spaghetti. Dad's order as well. 

I wasn't tempted to taste it because I almost always order this dish in the restaurants over the past few years and decided it's nice to steer away from the usual once in a while.









Thursday, 12 December 2013

Exercise-filled morning.



Went for a morning walk with the mum at 6.30, then I shook Sean up for Frisbee, and ended our morning exercise with a walk to the park to find daddy running. 

Great way to jump start the day, if you ask me.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013



Done sitting for LNAT. I didn't think I could read as many as 10 passages in a go. My eyes were desperately in need of a rest and threatening to shut when I was down to 10 questions before I completed all 42. 

As for the essay, I'm just really (by really, I mean reallllyyyy) glad I understood a question therefore was able to write it bcos god knows what the outcome may be if otherwise.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Revenge (and I don't mean in real life!)



Mum hasn't exactly been happy with me these few days. There's a reasonable explanation behind it, I promise. 

My parents have raised my brothers and I to live without the usage of computer, or the Internet. But lately, the hours of Sean and I facing the laptop have increased drastically, and I know it bothers her dreadfully. I meant to read more books instead, but I never actually got to it. 

Good news is, Papa agreed to bring us to the BBW book fair this Wednesday, and I can't wait for it!


AS finals has came to a halt almost two weeks ago, and although I had imagined myself celebrating by watching movies, exercising, hanging out with friends, hitting the mall, reading story books... 

But thanks to the resumption of college, I spent the last week rising early, starting on A2, desperately trying to recall what the lecturers have taught previously (only to find my head sunken in embarrassment) and continue stuffing my brain with knowledge, knowledge and more knowledge. 



Elated that I managed to get Sean hooked onto Revenge. Although the TV series is absolutely captivating so I'm afraid I can't be taking full credit for his recent obsession. 

We're now close to finishing Season 1 and making it to the next season, which I can hardly wait as I've watched the entire season previously but watching it again thankfully doesn't cut too much of the suspense.


The dress looks breathtaking on Emily Vancamp. Definitely my favourite outfit in the entire series.

Friday, 6 December 2013

December

Wow. December. How did we get here. Time flies, that one phrase to recap this year so far.
Setting foot into the last month of 2013 feels surreal. Just 11 months ago, I was enrolled into college, trying to grasp the idea of me being independent, feeling terribly intimidated every single day because unlike most of the pretty girls in my college, I don't wear makeup or dress up fancifully to classes. I may put on that cheery face when I talk to people but all I wanted to do was to keep my head as low as possible. My grades only see to me being in a blue funk. I paid attention during lessons, but much to my greatest dismay, I didn't always understand. And when I failed to understand, I decided to be a coward and run away from the problems. I was ashamed of myself, how everyone else could understand the moment the lecturer explained and I- I just...

I wanted to make friends, but was painfully afraid of what people may think about me- weird, stupid, ugly, fat, lame... I guess my smile masked my fear and downheartedness a bit- but deep down, I was mostly depressed, disconsolate and every single day has been a tearful, brutal battle with the of violent, negative thoughts threatening to tear me apart.

I think I was scared. So, so scared. I didn't know how I was going to cope with all the stress, tension, anxiety attacks- I think if my life in college had been the Hunger Games, I'd be the first one to be taken down by the other tributes and cause the canon to sound, because I've spent most of the time in college worrying, panicking, mentally putting myself down, which wouldn't help with the planning of strategies or at least keeping the faith to survive.

I am lucky to have made friendly, funny friends- friends who would mock me, tease me, laugh with me, but not necessarily friends who would share my sorrow or to ease my pain. I guess a major part is my fault though- I seem to push people away, people who care, people who are kind to me, people who offer their help. I keep to myself most of the time, and am awfully reluctant to open myself. I don't like to appear as a weakling, to admit imperfection (oh the irony, I am mad imperfect). I don't know what I have been trying to prove. That I don't succumb to vulnerability? That nothing could bother me? That even on my own, I can survive? I hadn't been living for a long, long time. I have been merely existing- which let me be honest, cannot be any more tormenting. I don't understand myself either.

My family has been patient, tolerant, helpful in every way possible. And I'm glad to say I've been mending things with my parents, particularly my dad, who I realise, has always been there for me- not all the time, but moments when I need him, he's there to hold, to catch me when I fall, to gently stroke my hair, to hold my hands and offer me his pleasant, handsome, comforting smile. And my brother, oh, has I mentioned how much he has grown? How his companion brings joy to my parents and I? But that's a post for another day.

I guess it's true, that you can only change your life if you take charge of it. That no one can actually help you, if you don't help yourself first. That sometimes life sucks, that the pain that you experience feels like a pack of wolves sinking their razor sharp teeth into your flesh, and you're left with nothing but bones and a wounded soul, that no one is really going to lend their hand because they couldn't care less about you because they've got things to be concerned of, that life is dreadfully unfair, that life goes on, and that you could be bitter about it and sulk your entire way through life, or stand back up, chin up, dress up, and give your best shot in everything you do, and never give up even when you fall a thousand times.

It's easier said than done, but I'm sick of living down in the dumps. I am willing to make peace with myself. I am willing to let go of the burden weighing me down, and I won't start any other day, but today. I will try, I will.