Thoughts at 10.11pm

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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This is a belated upload of a piece of writing I did on 13 May, 2016, 10.11pm. (And the reason why I can remember the exact timing is because I sent a text to my mum prior to starting.)

As I write this, I am onboard bus 151, which I got on from the bus stop near the University Cultural Centre (UCC) at NUS. This was an impulsive decision - I had initially planned to take a bus to the nearby Clementi MRT station before commuting via MRT home. However, when I saw that this bus would bring me directly to Hougang MRT station, greatly reducing the number I'd have to change lines in transit, I decided to choose this route (albeit being a very long one). But hey, I've been needing proper, alone time to myself and buses offer a very private space where I can get completely lost in my own thoughts, despite being physically surrounded by so many people.

It's been a while since I've penned down thoughts on buses. Those of you who have followed this space since my secondary school days will know that this used to be one of my favourite places to write. I would work on blog posts, and even graded Literature assignments on the lengthy 132 bus rides home from school. And inspiration would be at a high whenever it's raining. Raindrops splashing against the windowpane, coupled with freezing bus temperatures - if that isn't the perfect atmosphere to write, I don't know what is. I miss that.

And tonight reminded me of so many things I miss, and have missed in life.

Tonight, I was at UCC to catch Rapture, a biennial concert put up by SAJC's dance society, the CCA my best friend was from during her time there. She's back as an alumni choreographer and dancer. Truth be told, in the decade long friendship that Emily and I share, I've never actually seen her dance. Sure, I got random glimpses of it during primary school Chinese New Year celebrations, but as far as an actual production goes, never. And tonight, seeing her onstage, being so good at what she loves doing made me feel immensely proud, and impressed. I've never seen this side of her but I'm glad I got to tonight. I do think I won't be missing any opportunity to do so from now on. She's already beautiful, but she's an absolute star on stage.

As I told her I was going to the concert alone (since we don't have any mutual friends that we still keep in close contact with), she decided to seat me in between two of her friends - both of whom I was very close to at some point in my life. Jasmine from primary school, and Jiayi from pre-school. (The world is indeed very small.) While I didn't sit next to Jiayi in the end, it felt bittersweet seeing/ having polite exchanges with them. It reminded me that people will always come and go in our lives, but the impact that they've made on the person I've become will always remain. Pre-school and primary school will be very different without either of them, and I miss those times, but I'm thankful for everything that has happened.

Right now, I'm heading home with a fuzzy feeling in my heart, and I would already have been content with that. However, this bus ride is really surprising me. In between penning down sentences on my phone, listening to music, and staring out of the window, I have been greeted by extremely familiar sights. In fact, this bus seems to be taking me on a lookback of my life journey so far, which is so surreal. Before getting on, I didn't even bother looking at the intermediate bus stops - I only saw that the last destination is Hougang MRT, but I've just passed by some of the places that mean so much to me. It's so very strange.

We journeyed past the Hwa Chong area, where I had one of the best leadership experiences ever (which I actually forgot about, or at least don't regularly think about). Then, came Raffles Town Club, the place where I spent a huge chunk of my childhood at - watching movies, swimming, participating in art competitions, celebrating my birthdays. I would say that this place was also a huge part of my RGS journey too, since I'd see this place every day on the way home. We just traveled to the Macpherson/ Tai Seng area, where I'm now working at, and where my passion for writing has been affirmed.

And now we're headed to Hougang, which is where I spent my primary school days at. It's where I used to go for after-school bubble tea, where I spent great times (and a whole load of cash) at the arcade, where I took my first neoprints photograph, and where I fell in love for the first time. Beyond primary school, I spent so much time waiting for Emily at Hougang interchange as well.

All these places have held so many amazing memories for me, all of which I'm so grateful for. I seriously can't believe how tonight has just played out so perfectly for me to reflect about the past nineteen years of my life? I really can't find the proper, accurate words to describe the extent of how mindblown I am of this bus' route, and the opportunity to see my old friends at UCC.

Incredible, incredible, incredible.

Tonight has been insane. I didn't expect this at all, and this is so much more than I could've ever asked for on a Friday night. Goodnight, folks.

In retrospect, I realised that this post will probably only make sense/ mean something to me. Posting it here for archival purposes. 
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Finding Joy

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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How lucky I am, to be able to find so much joy in everything I do, my whole life.

Sometimes, I wonder, if it's just my own ability to think positively and see the good in every experience I get (say, if someone else lived my life, she may not be as satisfied by it as I am), or perhaps I'm really that fortunate to have things somehow magically work out. To be honest, I think it's the former--but that doesn't mean I'm any less blessed than I am, because I feel like having such a mindset is important, and I'm glad I've adopted it.

Sure, it can be upsetting having to experience setbacks and learn about missed opportunities. (Trust me, I find myself in such situations way too often--more so than anyone would expect). But as soon as I hear about such things, they would mostly be swiftly chucked to the back of my mind and I don't brood over them. Instead, I regularly acknowledge and re-visit my own little merits, and count my blessings regularly. Perhaps it's my way of consolation--but hey, if it works, why not? Of course, I have many insecurities, but they are usually transient.

At this present moment, I'm so fortunate to be able to do something I love and in fact, have loved since I was a child. Everything has worked out amazingly in its own mysterious ways. I must admit that the people I am working with are so different from myself, in terms of interest and way of life. Yet, I find myself very comfortable in their company, and am thankful for all that they have taught me so patiently.

Recent weeks have been quite a struggle though. Decisions about my next steps in life have to be made, and I find myself doubting and questioning myself a lot more. What is it that I truly, truly want to achieve in this world? Sure, I have a vague idea but right now, all I see are floating visions and an inability to form actual plans or goals to reach them.

Still, I am grateful for these past few months. Being able to concretize my passion into a real-world context and gaining the understanding that it is actually possible to enjoy and love what you do as a living, has been crucial in my growth as a person. And I foresee this playing a major role when I make my eventual choice.

My only hope is that I continue to find joy in every single thing I do and involve myself in, and meet people who will impact my life and change me for the better. And if it's not too much to ask for--that I influence theirs positively too. I don't know what's to come, but I am excited.
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