Last Month

Saturday, March 26, 2016

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February is usually my favourite month of the year together with December but last month was an incredibly trying time for me. So much has happened. We celebrated my dad's birthday, which coincidentally fell on Chinese New Year, but on the second day of the celebrations, my paternal grandma got warded in the hospital. Following that, I spent several days at work before heading to the hospital immediately after work. To add to that, it was a pretty busy period in the office, one where I was constantly out for shoots. It was stressful for everything was still all so new to me and rather challenging to handle. Not only was rushing to and fro from places physically tiring, it was even more so emotionally draining - not just for myself, but for my parents and family. Witnessing the deterioration of my grandma day by day was difficult and her eventual passing came as a relief, to see her go peacefully rather than struggling to fight for her life. 

The next couple of days were spent helping out at the funeral, where I was touched by the presence of love and support within my family, something that is usually very rare. It was amazing, and I wished that it would last beyond the mourning period.

After all that, I emerged stronger than I ever was, and I made sure to continue being my cheerful self when I returned to work immediately after. It wasn't about putting up a front, but about dealing with it bravely. So many people have asked me how I appear so happy all the time (not just within this context, but in other situations) and while I acknowledge that I am insanely blessed, I do have difficult periods too, moments when I feel absolutely vulnerable, insecure and upset. But truly, few things can knock me down because I have a deep and unshaken understanding and belief that there's really so much more to life than its downs - things happen for a reason, and people leave our lives when their time is up. Coincidentally, I felt this same way almost exactly a year ago when I wrote about celebrating deaths

Soon after, I turned nineteen. Turning nineteen isn't a big deal - the number's a little weird and it's just one step closer to hitting the big twenties. Still, the twenty-first of February remains a day where I feel incredibly thankful for all I have, and count my blessings. While I couldn't out-rightly celebrate it  this year as a show of respect to my grandma, I was able to spend quality time with some of the people I love so much. They never fail to make me feel loved and knowing that I have them by my side is more than enough. 

On the day before my birthday, I spent time with Sarah at Pacamara. She made me a beautiful card, complete with one of my favourite photographs of us having dim sum along Upper Thomson after school. Thank you for this very precious friendship. We've seen each other at some of our lowest points and while you remind and thank me for how I helped you in secondary school, I can safely say that you've been incredibly courageous all this while. You made it out on your own and I'm am so proud to have you as my friend. 

This was actually our first time at Pacamara despite it being so conveniently located in Upper Thomson which we frequent :-) Thank you for the treat as well! 


On the day of my birthday, I was all set to spend a cosy time at home with my family (well, mostly because the moment I got home from hanging out with Sarah the previous day, I ended up falling sick with a fever, flu and sore throat). Shermaine suddenly showed up at my door and made my day so much better. Thank you so much for the extremely pleasant surprise (and it sure was a successful surprise, I never ever expected anyone to be calling me and telling me "I'm at your house") - you're an inspiration to so many and I'm so fortunate to have you as a personal friend I can count on. You've always been such a strong pillar of support in my life. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and imparting much of your wisdom to me. We spent a few hours sitting in my bedroom talking, and it's always so comfortable in her presence. 

Do excuse me for looking so terrible - no one told me I had to turn nineteen looking glamorous. I was legitimately all set to spend my actual birthday in bed nursing my sickness. And I'd actually be pretty contended doing that but Shermaine's appearance brightened everything up so much more. 

My third day as a nineteen-year-old was spent with my best friend of ten years, Emily! We had a great time having dinner at Montana Brew Bar where her friend working there gave us the staff discount - which was a wonderful deal. I've said this before but I'll say this again: sometimes I have moments where I wonder if we'd even be friends if we met each other while in secondary school or junior college because of our starkly differing personalities and lifestyles right now but whenever we meet each other this doubt disappears. We aren't merely "friends of convenience" - there's a reason why primary three us decided to swim together during PE lessons despite coming from different classes. We actually have so much in common and I'm just so thankful to have found a lifelong friend in you - we'll definitely be each other's bridesmaids, but before that let's find boy boys first. 

Red Velvet waffle stack - instagram worthy but not particularly impressive in terms of taste. 

The mac and cheese waffles (background), ordered on the recommendation of Emily's friend, blew me away. If it weren't for her, I definitely wouldn't have ordered it if I saw it on the menu. Somehow, mac and cheese embedded within the waffles works perfectly. The accompanying sauce was lovely too. 


And the next day, I had dinner with this very lovely lady I'm so fortunate to have met in secondary school. We have so much in common -  from our passion in House, to being in Guides, to taking 132 home together in the past, and also all the shared academic struggles that have been plaguing us since secondary school. It brought us closer and I'm so glad. We have similar interests and right now as I write this, I'm feeling so relieved and happy that everything worked out ultimately for the both of us. Much of the worry and stress we had experienced together was quite unnecessary, but it brought us closer. Thank you for sticking by, and for always being a great listening ear and amazing friend even though you'll probably roll your eyes at my declaration of love. 

We had great Thai food at Wisma Atria - thank you so much for the treat! :-) 10/10 would recommend, really. The iced tea was pretty legit. 


Blessed beyond my imagination. Thank you friends for showering me with your love and all the handmade cards, gifts, presence, everything. I really don't know what I ever did to deserve all this, probably nothing - but to have others appreciate you for who you are is a lovely feeling. 

This February has been nothing short of a crazy roller-coaster ride, but it taught me more than I ever will learn for a long time.
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