Goodbye, Term Three

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hello there :-)

Term three, probably one of the busiest terms of the year, has come and gone and truth be told, it hasn't been all that kind to me. In school, it has been stressful, tiring and pressurizing to be in class and I haven't really been following up that consistently with my academic work; at home, it hasn't been the most supportive of environments but I don't blame anyone considering I haven't been the best daughter or sister either; and the lack of control I have on my own emotions hasn't been proving too well on my own well-being. 

This entire year, I haven't been making the best decisions and it pains me a little. While I have indeed gotten over certain things, recently I've been acting pretty haphazardly, trying to salvage all the mistakes I've made with even more bad decisions that are quite lethal - they appear to be a blessing at first but when the time is right, ends up turning around and stabbing me from the back, adding to my stress levels and just making me an all around grumpy and sad person who is no fun to be with. 

My favourite artiste in the whole wide world, George Watsky, released a relatively new album "All You Can Do" and from a song that goes by the same name as the album, he raps this: "Happy's not a faucet that'll flow when a handle is turned" and I agree wholeheartedly, and ever since I heard it, this quote's been sitting on my twitter profile. Happiness isn't something that we can just summon as and when we like, if we could, that'd be great but I believe that we are all given the basic right of feeling unhappy and that's totally fine, no one should be forced to wear a smile everywhere they go. 

However, I do believe that we have the capacity to change our moods and recently I haven't been doing very well at that. I've been radiating a lot of negative vibes and as much as they affect the people around me, they end up making a U-turn and punching me straight in the face as well, so it's just been a horrible, horrible cycle of negativity. Even my blog posts have been full of rants and complaints and sadness - as much as I don't want to put on a false front, I feel like being pessimistic about bad things in life will just aggravate the situation. I figured that it could be because I'm a lot less thankful than I used to be - and today I have decided to count my blessings from the past term because in the midst of all the terrible things, there has been some great things that I think are worth mentioning and hopefully this will lend a more positive vibe to my blog and above all, my own self and well-being :-) If I'm lucky, hopefully such a mindset can impact someone else, and that'll make me truly joyful.

Here are my blessings for the past term, in no particular order; 

My PW group, or more "famously" known as BWPW, has been such a blessing. Project Work is such a pain and it's definitely one of the most time-consuming and tedious subjects we have to take in school and I honestly can't imagine having to do everything I did with this three yellow people with another bunch of people whom I don't even like. Unfortunately, that happens to some groups and it's a real concern but I'm just so thankful that we somehow ended up together and that we can actually work together well and productively without putting our friendships at risk - in fact, I think PW even served to strengthen our bonds and the laughter and weirdness that you guys share with me is really something valuable so thank you guys, it's only a few more months - we can do it :-) 

Baking is next - baking makes me very happy even though the cleaning up afterwards isn't anything to look forward to. But I'm thankful that I get to bake and that I actually own an oven because I didn't use to in the past and I couldn't really fulfill my culinary desires, as strange as that sounds. The cupcakes pictured above are chocolate with salted caramel cream cheese frosting and you can even see the jar of salted caramel that I made from scratch at the back - it's heaven in a jar. I love anything salted caramel (!!!) But anyway, baking for me, relieves stress because when I bake, I cut myself off from most forms of social interaction - even the virtual kind - so stepping into the kitchen is really a temporary escape from everything else. The results are also instant and you can even see the gradual transformation - such as when you peek into the oven and see those little cakes rise as a result of baking powder and it's really gratifying. It makes me happy when I give these treats to people - I brought these to school the next day and gave them to people as I saw them and it felt good to make someone's day just a bit sweeter. 

Of course, there's family. My family is pretty camera-shy - apart from myself - and they hate making silly faces, as if we were still in the 80s when photos couldn't be deleted and people go to professional studios to get theirs taken. Mama Yap will actually scold me for not smiling demurely (and it is hell on days when she decides to stalk my Facebook photos because I am never glam) and so here is a way-too-formal rare photo of my family. I can't stand the structure of this photo but it's the only good one we actually have - no family selfies ever yet, we really need to up our photo taking game. Although I mentioned earlier that I haven't been the best daughter, I'm glad that my brother is a pretty good son. By the likes of "good", I really just mean "smart" because he's able to fulfill all of their expectations which makes me happy for them and it gives me a little bit of leeway to do less well because they've already come to terms that I'll never be as brilliant as my brother - of course, they treat us equally but we are valued differently. I've come to accept that as well and it kind of releases me from pressure and stress, so that's something to be thankful about. That being said, my family is still pretty wonderful and I'm lucky to have them provide for me so adequately. 

One of the highlights of Term 3 would be Fizz: The Concert, which was organized by Project Super Marrow and the Humanities Initiative, and it was definitely one of the most unique events I've been to, probably because of the location. The organizers made the right decision to use the Theatre Studies Black Box instead of the Performing Arts Centre because the vibe was lovely and the setting was really cozy especially because everyone had to sit on the floor (and sometimes stand up to mosh, which was crazy). The energy was so infectious and I'm glad that I went, despite it being held in the midst of a pretty busy period. Being in the company of Yijing, Amanda, Caitlin, Chan Wai, Min Xin and Juin Jie was wonderful too, plus Juin Jie is actually a new friend which I made that night! :-) Thank you guys and thank you Chan Wai for asking me to go for this, and also for being so supportive throughout the whole of Term Three as well. I'm really thankful for the encouragement you give me all the time, in both tangible and non-tangible forms. 

Of course, my Habitat for Humanity buddies have also made my term! Sometimes, we deal with a lot of nasty people but you guys give me so much hope and so do our volunteers. It heartens me so much to see that we actually have a regular pool of really passionate people who are always so willing to give up their precious Saturday mornings for our cause and seeing homes transform before our very eyes with our efforts is also something that keeps me going. While I may not have been the most dedicated member, thank you so much you guys for constantly still being so supportive towards me - I owe you guys so much! Also, you guys have brought me a lot of laughter (as well as tears) and I'm just so blessed to have you guys to count on. On this note, I'd like to give a shout out to Ben - as much as he is an idiot - I don't think I've met someone so similar to myself. To think we didn't even realize this during Dwen An times, but I'm really quite thankful that someone can know me this well even though we don't even talk that often. I think we communicate through telepathy or that invisible connection tube thing (HAHA) but really, it's probably because of our similar circumstances so thank you for counselling me when I need it though you are always surrounded by people. I do hope our pact does not come true though. 

Raffles Interact is also one of my blessings. Weekly service at Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home makes me feel instantly rejuvenated even though I don't consider myself a kid-person still and working with the Board of Directors has been pretty fun so far. I'm especially thankful for the heart-to-heart session I had with Daniel and Judy a while back - it was definitely one of the best talks I've had of this term. Also, I absolutely love the senior-junior relationships that the Community Service Directors have forged with one another, and it's definitely something I hope will last even after they leave this school. Our energy is also amazing and infectious - we managed to get ourselves in a couple's wedding photo, probably because we kept cheering and being all high and energetic when they walked past us. This couple was also very lovely, I presume they met when they were students here at our school which made them return to have their wedding photos taken here, symbolic of their relationship and it's so cute. This is probably what my friends in JC relationships should aim to be like in a few years time :') It would be so amazing, and definitely a story to tell. 

Next, Sarah-barah-parah! :-) Term 3 definitely hasn't been the smoothest term for us, but we both know that we've been through a lot worse and we've managed (well, we barely scraped through, but we did it nonetheless) so we can always do it again, and we can definitely do better! Keep in mind the goals that we set for each other, and I have so much faith in you. Even though this year we're battling a few other things we've never encountered before, and our emotions and feelings take a greater toll on us (well, at least for me), I believe in you :-) I'm so thankful for you and our weekly pig out sessions - those are the times that we truly get to be ourselves, away from all the pressure and the structured walls of the school. Your humour is something very unique and I love how we get the weirdest jokes. And hello where is my cake pan, my dear Sarah the maker? 

Of course, the Bellyboings! While we're now permanently one member short, I'm still so thankful for the little pockets of time we squeeze for each other, and I'm really excited to be embarking on some projects with a few of you in the upcoming months, namely Shermaine who's in my Interact Camp main comm and also Wang You, of which both of us are part of the Decor subcomm of Orientation 2015 :-) Speaking of Orientation, I'm also so blessed that I was shortlisted in the preliminary list of OGLs and what happens from here really depends on my Promo results - it gives me new motivation to study really hard. Also, I guess: once a Waddle CAD, always a Waddle CAD - it's quite funny that I'm placed in an art related comm even though I'm not all that good but I find myself lucky because during Orientation itself, I'll get to spend more time with my OGLings because ours isn't a comm that we'll need to rush off to do things like being a station mistress etc. Of course, none of these will happen unless I do well for Promos, so study hard Li Yin :-) 

And I shall end off my post with a photo of one of the most joyful and bubbly people I know, Phionna! :-) This was taken on the last day of the term (i.e. yesterday) where the two of us headed off for a little pig out session (of which we ended up in a food coma and got a bit scared of chicken because we ate too much of it). Shermaine and Wang You joined us for the start and end of our session respectively, but for the most part, we spent quality time together, which I've really missed. There are some people who just radiate positive vibes and Phionna's one of them - even though she goes through so much and faces so much, she always still has a smile on her face and is ever so genuine; truly an inspiration to me. You are amazing and I loved yesterday. 

Oh wow, it's crazy. In the course of writing this blog post, my mood has risen exponentially and I feel quite amazing now, I'm not even kidding. Really, as I recounted the lovely things that have happened throughout the course of this term, I realized that I am indeed very blessed. With that, I conclude that Term Three has been pretty great, which is the exact opposite of what I wrote earlier in my introduction. This makes for a terrible academic writing piece because of the contradictions prevalent but this isn't an essay I'll be submitting for a grade and I actually feel like this has reflected the little development of my thoughts and emotions in such a real manner and it proves that this counting-my-blessings thing really works wonders on one's happiness levels. I really need to do this more often, and here's to a great September holidays ahead! 

No comments

Post a Comment