3.44am Musings

Friday, August 29, 2014

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It has been a horrible, horrible week. The vibes I get from everyone, everywhere has just been of fatigue and stress and emotional pain. In school, the number of people studying has significantly risen but it still does appear like everyone's alright and there's no shortage of smiles and laughter going around but beneath those masks, is pressure, from so many external factors - the pressure to do well, to fulfill expectations. Even on the MRT on the way home, I see unkindness, of people not giving way, people pushing just to get on, to head home as fast as possible, to just get a little bit more rest, only to wake up the next morning to go through the same cycle all over again.

All over again.

And sometimes it's just so incredibly difficult to repel all the negative vibes given off by everyone. It affects me so much and I hate it.

Truth be told, this week hasn't been all that bad - thinking back I've actually had little pockets of happiness and that's something I'm incredibly thankful about - but my perception of things has been warped recently. I've been irrational, I haven't been able to think in a logical way and I find it harder to concentrate because my mind keeps floating to that - that very thing.

I've never felt this way before, and I am stunned at the extent by which how this very emotion can take over one's mind. Maybe it's not even my mind anymore - I don't feel like I'm using my brain nowadays, it's all to do with my emotions and feelings and I'm not experienced in this aspect at all. I'm so used to contain whatever, anything I felt by laughing, to laugh everything negative or embarrassing or painful that I was experiencing off but it's getting increasingly more difficult to do that.

I think myself an intelligent person at times, but now I'm just so, so, so stupid. I told myself that I should never, ever allow myself to feel like that but it just came and engulfed me without giving me time to react to it. It makes me so dependent on something I could possibly never get and I don't even know how long it could take for me to recover from this. And I don't think anyone can help me except myself.


I am so angry. And sad. And some other feeling I've never felt before, and it doesn't feel good at all. And I have no idea what to do with all these emotions.

It is 3.44am now, I can't sleep; my thoughts are illogical and irrational and perhaps I shouldn't be taken seriously. No one should be allowed to think after a certain time - it just creates confusion and excessive overthinking. I feel like crying so badly but I can't seem to let anything go - I'm just staring straight into my computer screen and my fingers are the only parts of my body in motion.


Ugh, I hate this nonsense. Li Yin, stop being dumb and foolish. Go to sleep, it's a temporary escape from having to deal with all these.
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Hi friends :-)

In my phone's memopad, I basically have this one note where I'd give myself reminders to blog about certain events or topics that I want to write about and I've had "Fabulous Baker Boy" and "Swan's Farewell Dinner" left hanging there for a long time now. Somehow, I never got the urge or motivation to write about either of them though. Perhaps it's because these "outings" were uneventful and uninteresting (well, in hindsight, they weren't at all - just that it'd probably would not be very entertaining to read), perhaps it's because I just merely wanted to post the photos taken from the trips rather than write about them, perhaps it's because it's been way too long since it happened (Fabulous Baker Boy in the June holidays and Swan's farewell dinner a month ago). But then I realized exactly why I didn't want to write about it. 

These topics which I typed into my phone "Fabulous Baker Boy" and "Swan's Farewell Dinner" sounded far too technical. They were focused on what we did or the place we visited, rather than the people. Thus, I've decided to merge these two events into one - and name this post 'Bellyboings' - this one's for you guys. And I'm writing this not because I have an obligation to tick off these two topics on my phone but rather, because I miss you guys so, so, so much and I wanted to let you guys know how much y'all still mean to me. Unfortunately, Priya couldn't make it for either outing so here's a sad face :-( 

They were one of the best things that happened to me in upper secondary (other than House and Waddle), and honestly, I cannot imagine going through Year Three and Four without them, they are a group of the most inspiring and passionate people, in the entire school I believe. I personally feel extremely honoured when I hang around with them. 

Bellyboings derived our "name" by accident by me but Bellyboing is essentially a character from a Japanese cartoon called Deko Boko Friends which (coincidentally - I didn't know this when I gave us this name) promotes acceptance of people of different personalities and appearances, which is pretty fitting considering most of us (actually - them) are the fluffy kind who go around hugging and encouraging others and doing all those lovely acts of kindness. They have inspired me to be a better person time and time again, though I still am rarely comfortable to show physical forms of affection.

In addition, this Bellyboing character is supposedly the fat kid of the show, and is constantly thinking of food, which is exactly who we are. I remember, back in RG, we'd sit at one of those round tables and the entire surface will be covered with food especially on "Fried Food Fridays" where we all would eat many portions during recess without fear of being judged because we were all the same. Nowadays, we rarely get to do that anymore in school - I wish I could spend all my breaks with you guys. 

You guys brought me out of my shell, to see Singapore in a very different perspective. You guys taught me how to nurture and improve myself, you guys allowed me to learn new things and gave me room to appreciate the aesthetics. And you guys showed me how to give earnestly without hoping for anything in return. I wouldn't have gone to the Singapore Writers' Festival, I wouldn't have gone for Picnic: 1345, I wouldn't have gotten a feel of Pilates, I wouldn't have gone for as many art exhibitions as I did, I wouldn't have visited that many museums. You guys even showed me how to be alone and that it was totally alright - my philosophy is that some people who are alone feel lonely because they are insecure, but I always knew that if I wanted company, at least one of you would be there for me and so that made me okay to spend time outside with myself and in fact, it was an experience I fell in love with. 

And here, we move on to Swan's farewell dinner. Yes, while Swan is already far, far, away from us and I've finally come to terms with that fact, contented with only seeing her fabulous food posts on Instagram recently and always being the first one to like them (not sure if that's a good thing), I sometimes wish she never had to leave. We haven't had full attendance for a long time now, and even her farewell dinner had to be split into two parts to accommodate everyone's schedules and that makes me kind of upset. From now on, I'd be using less words and letting the photos speak for themselves. 

Beautiful - let's play spot the difference with this Shermaine and the one from Fabulous Baker Boy - yes I told you my friends are all inspirations :') 

I miss having real conversations with you Wang, we rarely get that nowadays :-( 

Told ya we like to eat! :-) 

Typical Swan (when she's with Juju) and typical Juju 

From here, Shermaine and Wang You had to leave and that left me with Swan to go find the next two people - Sarah and Phionna! :-) We traveled from Holland Village to Serangoon for more food (of course). 

Hungry girls 

Don't worry - I didn't eat again - just posing with Phion's portion! 

One of the Boings' favourite pastimes would probably be laughing - just look at us. We are these bunch of crazy girls who happened to find one another and actually share the same sense of weird humour. While I still laugh a lot in school nowadays, I've grown to realize that the people around me don't laugh/ laugh only because I am laughing and my laugh is funny (apparently). With you guys, we all know what the joke is all about and we all laugh at the same time and it's an amazing feeling which I miss, so so so much. 


Of course, more food (and before one of us actually bought a cone, the rest of us just kept asking for samples) 

And the Boings' favourite food - the shared love of fried chicken. 

With the Boings, there's also no need for any pretense. All of us show our true selves to each other and I don't think there's any other group of people whom I can be as comfortable with. If you're tired, just go ahead and sleep. If you're sad, we'll be able to tell from each other's faces and the encouragement will pour in. I've never had a circle of friends as supportive as they are and I honestly don't want to lose them for the world. 

Thank you Bellyboings, you guys are lovely and wonderful people. 
I love you all to the moon and back. 

All the best for promos - afterwards, we can finally catch up proper instead of just impromptu and very short sessions in the canteen if we happen to run into each other. 
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Fragmented Stanzas

Friday, August 15, 2014

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Hi there, I am confused today. 
When I'm confused, my thoughts tend to be a lot more fragmented than usual. 
Sometimes, I write my own incoherence down and occasionally I call it poetry. 
These two, I wrote on a 45 minute journey home just now, and thus, are unpolished - please do pardon them. 

Newland Archer

We talked in class today
About the vast blue seas, the moving ships. 
Against stagnation, inaction. 

I laughed when someone said "he's silly"
Silly, oh that silly, little thing. 
Waiting for the ship to pass, 
Yet hoping for the shadow - 
To turn. 

Warm hues, shades of yellow, 
Glowing, emitting. 
The sun can be felt
But it cannot be reached. 

The shadow will not turn, 
But the ship will cross the line. 

I will walk away.
Silly, oh, that silly little thing. 

A Haiku

An empty stomach
But I am full, consumed by 
 What could never be

That's it. I'm really hoping for a good weekend ahead. 
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DIY Polaroid Frame

Sunday, August 10, 2014

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Hello there :-) 

So this is the second post on several of the DIY projects I've been embarking on since last year, the first of which was the Acrylic Painting Clock, which you can find under the "DIYs" tab of this blog. I haven't really had time to start on a major project with school and academic work and all so from now onwards, the intensity of my DIYs won't be like that of the clock's, which took me months but they will be comparable to the one I'll writing about now, which took me only two days (a school weekend) and will be fun ways to spice up your room a little in no time at all. 

I think the thing about Polaroid walls is that people always stick to the typical kinds with twine and wooden pegs as seen on tumblr but to be honest, I don't think that's practical at all because the twine usually sags down and it's difficult to maintain. Plus it makes cleaning a pain because it's not a permanent structure and to me, there's just a lot of cons to something like that. In my previous room, I used to hang up a fence-like structure that Louisa gave me and when I was redecorating everything, I decided to take it down because after two years up, a lot of the things that she stuck on the fence was peeling. Thus, I had an idea to give it a new lease of life, by converting it into a Polaroid Frame - but of course I kept all the lovely notes and quotes that came with it :-) 

Here's how you can make your own Polaroid Frame! 

What You Need: 

1. A wooden fence like structure  (while I don't know exactly where Louisa got this exact one, I've seen similar ones in craft shops and Daiso actually sells wooden fences in their gardening section as well. Just make sure that the one that you get isn't very thick) 

2. Polaroid instant photos 

3. Mini wooden pegs - I had wanted to stay true to the wooden peg vibe of traditional polaroid walls (I got a packet from Daiso for only $2) 

4. Acrylic paint of your choice (I chose gold for mine, but if your wood is pretty dark like mine, you'll need to have a white basecoat for your actual colour to stand out) 

Yup that's really all and here's how to make it! :-)

1. Paint a white base coat if necessary - usually it's better if you do, so don't be lazy! 

2. Let the white dry thoroughly and give it a few more coats if necessary - be patient my friend. 

3. Once the white has dried, paint it with your desired colour - you can even go crazy with it by using different colours but for me I just wanted to keep it simple, especially since many of my Polaroids have colourful designs on them already and the people in my Polaroids are really the main attraction. 

4. Let the gold dry and add at least two more coats so it that the colours really pop. 

5. And here comes the fun part - position your Polaroid photos and attach them with the wooden pegs! I positioned mine in chronological order but also making sure I spaced out the Polaroids with designs so that it'll look even. 

To be honest, my pegs were a little too small for the thickness of my wooden frame so I had to force them a little bit and several of them broke (partly because I got them from Daiso as well, probably). I don't suggest getting the pegs in a larger size though - they have those too - because it wouldn't look that dainty and intricate so my suggestion is to get a thinner wooden frame or just force them open like I did. 

6. The last step - to hang the frame onto the wall! I got my dad to drill two holes on the top of my bed and attach a nail to each one and I basically hooked my frame onto it and concealed the nails with the Polaroid photos.

And I hung mine on top of my bed and my fairy lantern lights because I want to have sweet dreams about the people featured in the photos, who mean so much to me. This was really quite fun to make and while I don't think it's the most aesthetically pleasing things I've made in my life, it's pretty decent and I'm satisfied with it overall. 
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To Be Happy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

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My obsession to be happy has made me blind to so many things around me.
For the sole purpose of staying happy, I refuse to acknowledge the fact that sometimes I'm not and I fail to face the demons within myself. 

Someone once asked me "Li Yin, do you know that many people envy you for being so happy?"
As humbling as it may sound, there isn't much to be envied anyway. 
It's quite simple really, all you need is to convince yourself that apart from happiness, you are not allowed to feel any other pangs of emotion.

I've grown to become a master of doing that. 

"No one can be happy all the time", a teacher recently said in class, or something along those lines. 
A classmate turned around to look at me for a brief moment and while nothing was said, I knew what he was thinking, "well, she certainly appears to refute that statement". 

Go ahead, think that way. 
I mean, that's exactly what I want people to think, because there's too much negative energy in this world. 
Why add on to it if I can appear otherwise? 

And as I end my little less-than-happy series of thoughts right here, 
it is time to go back to being obsessed with being happy. 
Because that's what everyone expects me to be, and I suppose that's the way it should be. 

To be happy. 
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SLI 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

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Yesterday, I headed back to my alma mater RGS to attend SLI 2014 (Student Leaders' Investiture) as the previous leadboard heads get invited to it and it was a bittersweet experience. SLI marks the induction of the new leaders of the school and the handing over of responsibilities from the Year Four senior stepping down to the Year Three junior stepping up into the position. Just exactly a year ago, I handed over my responsibilities of being Waddle Captain to Karyn (which you can read about here) and a year later - it didn't feel like a year at all though, time truly passes way too fast - Karyn was passing the "captain" badge on to Esther. 

Three generations of Waddle Captains :") 

From an observers' point of view, SLI feels entirely different. While I was quite proud to see some of the little juniors I had grow up so quickly to take on various roles, I had much less of a stake in the ceremonies that were going on on stage and as a result, I was unable to feel that strongly for the points made in the various speeches, while they were logical and wise. I felt a little detached from everything that was happening, even though RGS still felt like home - the national anthem sounded strangely melodic and high pitched, something I never realized I missed until I heard it again. 

I have developed a really strong sense of belonging towards RGS and I constantly feel like I belong in Waddle, in House. It's really what ties me back to this school and it is what I remember most of my time in this institution. I was talking to someone (I don't wish to reveal the person's identity, for privacy reasons) during the reception after the ceremony though, and she gestured to all the student leaders who were around us then. She said, for which I paraphrase: "These are the twenty per cent that are identified by the school, and these are the ones that work their butts off but at the same time these are usually the only ones who develop a sense of belonging towards this school. The other 80% float around without doing much and as a result they don't  really feel like they are a part of this school."

I've never seen things from that perspective before, but what I heard really impacted me. The reasons why I love RGS so much is because I've been through so much in this campus, slogging tirelessly, doing proposals, going the extra mile, mostly because of my responsibility as a supposed "leader" of the school. It is through these roles that I spend so much time with people who have become such dear friends to me and I don't think I would have formed such strong friendships without going through so much with them, through our shared roles. 

It's not rare to hear students from this school complain that they don't get opportunities for many things once they aren't deemed a "leader" by the school and I never really saw how significant an impact that could make to one's experience but honestly, thinking back, if I didn't get chosen for many of the things I did get, there'd be a huge hole in my life I'd never would have known could be filled. And as crude as it may sound, that would suck big time. I think that there's so much that the school management/ leaders can do to reach out to those who don't really feel like they belong in a way that isn't forced and right now I do wish I could have came to this realization much earlier because I might have been able to do something for the school community. 

Perhaps, now in JC, the tables have turned for me. But now that I have sort of identified the problem in how I've been feeling quite recently, I think I'd be able to take active steps to rectify it and help those around me as well :-) 

Alright, and back to SLI - I'm so thankful that I got to catch up with many juniors who mean a lot to me and in the above picture we have Tricia on the left, who is the outgoing Guides Company Leader and Misha on my right, who is the incoming Guides Company Leader, both of which are from my Guides patrol 02 Ixora and I'm so proud of them, honestly. Good job Tricia, you've lead the CCA well and do continue the legacy Misha, I have so much faith that you'll do fantastic! 

And of course, in last year's blog post when I was handing over my yellow baby to Karyn and Jiaying, I said that I know both of them will do "bloody amazingly" and that Waddle would be "very well taken care of" and I was right. Yingfinite, you guys are brilliant and I honestly can't express how proud I am of you guys - I feel like such a happy mama; and all the best Esther for the year ahead! Being the House Captain of the best house ever is an experience you'll love and grow to enjoy so, so, so much. Trust us on that :-) 

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Of Goodbyes

Saturday, August 2, 2014

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Somehow, right now I find it incredibly difficult to put my thought processes into proper, coherent sentences. My mind feels unusually heavy and there's a strange sinking feeling in my stomach. It doesn't feel like sadness though, it feels a bit like nothingness but that nothingness somehow doesn't feel like a void - it isn't empty - I am feeling something, and it's of nothingness. Nothing feels real, but I'll do my best to write what'd come after this because it is awfully important to me.

Today, we sent Swan off to California at the airport. About an hour before sending her off, Wang You and I met at Terminal 3 and had breakfast of toast, soft boiled eggs and tea, served in little quaint old school coffee shop cups. Wang You mistook the saucer of the tea cup for another plate and stacked the plate of soft boiled eggs on top of the tea cup saucer. We laughed, or at least I laughed at her, and at that point in time it was evident that none of us have taken in the fact that one of our closest friends was about to leave and lead an entire new life far, far away from us. Perhaps, it's because we don't see each other in school that often nowadays anyway and we don't spend as much time together - and this applies to all of them: Wang herself, Priya, Phionna, Sarah and Shermaine - if this happened last year, Swan's absence would most likely have been felt on a greater extent. While I trust that we'll still keep in contact with Swan, it'll never be the same anymore; it's already so difficult for all seven of us to come together, in fact I don't think we've had a gathering with full attendance since my birthday, much less with one who is eight thousand, six hundred and ten miles away from the rest of us.

At the beginning, we took photos, we laughed, it seemed all too normal, it seemed like a normal gathering and deep down I was quite concerned if I will ever feel anything, whether it'd ever hit me. Swan then said "guys, I really need to go now" and then it did. I started tearing up, and was the first one to do so, followed by Wang You. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure if I forced myself to cry, rather than something natural from within me. I know it sounds really horrible and fake - because I wasn't really thinking about the future without Swan's company but rather I just kept thinking about the past memories I've shared with Swan and I felt like I was thinking about those times to subject myself to sadness, to convince myself to think that I'd never be able to experience most of those things again. I will miss Swan, and there's no doubt about that but I don't think that fact has sunk in fully yet still at this point of time and I don't think I deserved to cry just now for whatever feelings I was feeling, which wasn't a lot. At least, I don't think it was necessary for me to brawl and that sounds a little strange but it's true.

While waiting for the MRT at Changi Airport, to take us back to lead our own lives again, I saw a plush toy duck sitting behind the glass of the control station and I started crying again because I felt like the duck didn't receive the love and hugs and kisses as a stuffed duck should be getting. I must have scared the company I was with a little bit - because a few hours later I received a message from someone who witnessed my insanity over the inanimate object. He sent me a photo of a duck to cheer me up. I feel like this all just proved that I was definitely confused, and emotionally very unstable at that point in time. For what reason? For Swan I'd like to think, but I don't really know myself.

And then, on the way home when I was alone, I started thinking. Planned goodbyes are those that makes one truly reflect about one's friendship/ relationship with a particular person and planned goodbyes make everything dramatic.  It makes one feel obliged to show a certain form of sadness and to be honest, to me that's not very natural. On the other hand, I don't think it's wrong to not display sadness or feel anything on occasions like these because it's really simply physical manifestation of the friendship that could eventually/ possibly fade away but at that point of time when "goodbye" was said, the friendship has yet to fade and no sadness is really needed, which is exactly why I am doubting my motivations for shedding a tear.

Perhaps, the only goodbyes that should be sad are those that are not acknowledged. I should be feeling immense despair for friendships that have faded away slowly because of my inaction, I should be weeping for the people that have walked out of my life through the years because neither of us did anything to stop it, I should be crying when I think of great friends that have become merely acquaintances, or even strangers. As for Swan, I will miss you terribly, definitely. But maybe just not at this point of time. Good luck, my favourite bird friend, you'll do amazing over there.

I love you so much, and my love for you, unlike my tears, isn't something that should be doubted. 
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