Aug 30, 2013

threw my hands in the air said show me something

I didn't tell you this, but I had a bit of a disturbing dream a couple of nights back, and I woke up borderline-terrified, and it was reassuring in the sense that I knew very well then what I've known all along: what I didn't want.

In a funny way, you have become my comfort zone. Go knocking at your door at 1am because I don't mind watching half an hour of anime or because I have to rant about what happened two minutes ago or I'm falling asleep reading Chinese philosophy because it's 1am. Thank you for being my comfort zone, for letting me barge in and take up all your time. Thanks for your trust, for telling me stuff, and for letting me tell you my hour-long stories that don't even really have a point. Thank you for the way you curl up with your pillow and explode in laughter over how Xun Zi sounds like he's writing a self-help book. I'm bored when you're not around, you chillax bro you, because I have to wait all of five minutes to tell you that I stepped on a beetle or that someone said something funny in class. By the way, there's bird shit on my window and some sort of insect shit on the ledge. i don't know what to do about it.

Thank you for letting me laugh at you. You're my big brother but I look at you and I see that lanky geeky brilliant hilarious kid. Thanks for showing me your insecurities, which I still cannot fathom, because everything I see in you is amazing. Thank you for letting me bare my own insecurities that I find so stupid and childish but that are safe with you.

Thanks for letting me be your little sister - giving me the right to be immature and say irrelevant things and be dumb and bug you every minute. For allowing me to laugh and squeal over you and say anything and tell you you're too cute and come into your room to sing you a michael jackson song.

I hope I creep you out less. B)

i was your willing victim

I let you see the parts of me
That weren't all that pretty
And with every touch you fixed them

We're just broken, not bent
And we can learn to love again

Aug 28, 2013

On Love

“It’s a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them – and they simply don’t need you. That’s all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they’ll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on – this desperate need – and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.”
— Madeleine L’Engle

When I like someone, I'm usually overcome with a huge feeling of hopelessness (even if it isn't a hopeless situation), which results in a lot of self-bashing and bitterness. It brings far more pain than joy or any ounce of hope. I haven't had feelings for anyone in some time and I'm so thankful for it. I was on a no-liking-anybody streak when someone came by quite a while back, and I was suddenly overcome by this familiar feeling of hopeless sadness, and then I knew what it was, and I hated it. I realised how much I had taken the freedom of not liking anyone for granted. I felt like I was betraying a friendship.

We're only single for less than half our lives (hopefully). I have learnt to appreciate and make the most of it, and I shall learn to really treasure it. Treasure the freedom of not liking anyone, of not being restricted or chained or made any less free to do whatever you want, to have to consider anyone else's schedule / preferences when you're making a decision. I've realised that if I ever have the misfortune (haha) of liking anyone in college, it'll really hinder me from doing what I want at Yale-NUS. Exchange trips, packed schedules... I don't know how people manage to be away from the one they love for weeks at a go (LDR kids and NS-boyfriend-couples y'all are amazing). I wouldn't be able to concentrate in class - or do anything, really. I've been devoured by love before. Whether it's a relationship or a one-way infatuation, love takes over me entirely, and I can't do or think about anything else. It's terrible, the way it overcomes me, the emo waves that spill out onto my blog, and I'm so lucky to be free from that right now.

I also haven't cared so little about my appearance since...forever. I mean, I never used to wear glasses. I used to wear contact lenses twelve hours a day seven days a week. Now I hardly wear them anymore. I look pretty terrible in Yale-NUS and I'm always underdressed but I'm like whatever la.

I wonder if this is related.

Aug 23, 2013

but if you flash your heart

“You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but let’s be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul, but fractures to put their love into is the most calming thing in this world.”
— Emery Allen 

Aug 22, 2013

First Two Weeks #yalenus

(pre-school: primary schoolmates Rachel and Teressa slept over at my dorm on National Day! We went out to catch the fireworks. I love meeting up with them. Talented, humble, extremely loving people. And I tried my hand at some really amateur nail art again! Woohoo)

Monday, 12 Aug: Comparative Social Institutions began their Inequality week with a cute video of themselves,  OMGIGOTBRIANMCADOOFORSCIENCE (but sometimes classmates make the best teachers), and Happy First Class, First Class cake and ice cream party!

Tuesday: Yale-NUS Christian Fellowship dedication ceremony & dessert picnic UNDER THE STARS! (& lots and lots of Garrett's thanks to Sumay!)

Wednesday: our free day of the week - an enjoyable lecture by President of NUS, Prof Tan Chor Chuan, about travelling and art. (He has travelled. So. Much. And his paintings are wow.) A bit bummed about missing both SOT and OM/MM meeting on that day though. And Andrew, Huiting and Yan Ee came over to UTown! Poor Andrew's a bald BMT boy now.

Thursday: Our second Scientific Inquiry lecture - YAY SPECTROSCOPES!! Really steep learning curve, though. Week 1 of Scientific Inquiry was about the Atomic Structure - from different philosophers' ideas of the building blocks of nature (Platonic solids, Aristotle's elements and qualities) to Thompson's experiment and the Rutherford model. STEEP LEARNING CURVE for someone who hasn't done any Science since 2009. But it's all really interesting once I understand it (especially with the help of schoolmates).
Also took Sumay out to dinner for her birthday (and drove Pei Yun to Orchard). OverEasy at Fullerton has a great view and awesome food. Kinda ruined the birthday, though, because I thought it'd be nice to drive Sumay around but navigating the CBD is impossible without a GPS, especially when you're a directions idiot (it was also my first time driving anywhere near town) and we spent a lot of time making wrong turns on the road. Felt quite pissed off at myself after that so I banged on Kevin kor kor's (HAHA) door and made him accompany me at the UTown green with my picnic mat and another generous bag of Sumay's popcorn. It's a lovely place to chill, especially with the cool night breeze.

Friday: Got started on our series of Literature classes on the Ramayana - in comic, prose and poetry - and our series of Philosophy and Political Thought classes on Classical Chinese Philosophy (Kong Zi and Mo Zi when pronounced by an angmoh prof = Cozy + Mozy). And Pei Yun made chalkboard paint!
Also (successfully and seamlessly) drove some of us to Raffles to support Evan at his piano recital!

Saturday: visited the National Museum with Sam and my brother (who had just come back from Mongolia - fantastic stories, breathtaking views) to visit the Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein collection. My favourite art piece was of David and Goliath by Girolamo Forabosco - the description read: "While the story is often regarded as a tale of victory over evil, the artist portrays David as a rather melancholic-looking youth with a heavy burden on his shoulders."


Monday: Yingyan came over!!! + my last tuition session at City College. And for Science, since Week Two was about the Periodic Table, we got cards with the descriptions of 'alien elements' from an 'alien planet' and had to piece together a periodic table. And Kevin posted on the FB group about losing his Old Spice shampoo - in no time, both Sau and I had run up to his floor laughing and kevinfanclubfangirling, unplanned and uncoordinated - we just totally live up to our reputation as his biggest fans!

Tuesday: Christian Fellowship was led by Jared! + First official acapella session - Seasons of Love!

Wednesday: SOT Graduation photo-taking thingy + DRAGONBOATING with Yale-NUS! No pictures of it yet, unfortunately, but it was really fun.
Also, the Social Institutions department gave us homework: go somewhere public and break a social norm. I said hi, complimented and smiled at random people at Suntec, and asked to shake two people's hands at UTown. No, I was too shy to go up to someone with reflective shades and do my makeup.
Also, in half an hour, I felt like I had learnt more from Dylan than I had in my entire two weeks of school. We had a worksheet about electromagnetic waves and emission/absorption spectra and the atomic structure and Dylan was like "this is J2 stuff" and I haven't done Physics since Sec 2 and how did professors expect us to be able to explain quantum physics after 1.5 hours of looking at pretty colours through a spectroscope? Maybe they're just trying to encourage learning from one another. Lol. But it works - I've learnt so much from Dylan and Sau and Pei Yun!

Thursday: During our Literature lecture, as the prof was talking about the Ramayana, Graham came in riding a bicycle with Anshuman as Rama, his body painted blue, waving like royalty.
Because breaking the social norm for homework is awesome.

I hope this wave of weirdness and social-norm-breaking grows into a culture. It's too cute! My friends did other really cute things too - went to the shops at Clementi Mall and queued up just to say Good Morning to the cashier; went around UTown in our dorm's roller chairs; sat on the floor at a foodcourt; burst out in song and dance at Starbucks; curtseyed instead of saying 'hi'...

Okay, on a serious note, there are A LOT OF READINGS and I've been consistently sleeping at about 3am. It's a big problem. And I have the Ramayana poetry book 3 and Meng Zi to finish reading by tomorrow. What am I doing blogging?!

Let's see what Friday brings!

Aug 14, 2013

You look at people.

You look at the groups hanging out in rooms, going out together, sharing stories and hugs. And then you ask, who?

Who's going to hold cute parties in your room? Who's going to celebrate your birthday with you? Who will lie with you on the grass the whole night?

Who do you feel comfortable with? Who would you reject, and who would you like to see hanging out in your room?

You look at people you used to know and people you wished you knew and those you thought you knew. You look at the old faces and you know you just can't click like before anymore. You look at the ones you wish you could start a conversation with. How now? What can be done? This is an inhibition, a plug to the communicative part of my brain, and is it going to close me off forever?

Aug 10, 2013


“Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid. Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.” 

- Jennifer Lawrence (link: 61 Hilariously Honest Jennifer Lawrence Quotes That Will Make Your Day)

Aug 7, 2013

Values and religion

1. Values

So, most committed Christians are of good character and have good values. Most Christians I know don't bitch, don't swear, don't smoke, don't condone pre-marital sex, don't get into flings, study hard, etc. But I think it's very important to question how many of these values we put on because of God, and how many were simply passed down to us from our parents. I have some non-Christian friends who have extremely strict values too, things like no smoking and drinking and cursing. And many Christians who grew up in Christian families have these values simply because it's what their family taught them.

I don't respect them for having these values any more than I respect a non-Christian.

I mean, of course it's fantastic; it's just that it doesn't deserve any more admiration and recognition because you are sticking to these values simply because you were brought up that way. It takes as much effort to stick to these values as it takes a non-Christian to stick to their own family values, or a Christian to not stick to those values. The Christians I really admire are those who adopt certain values or choose to turn away from a previous lifestyle because of God.

Is our walk with God comfortable? Is any aspect of our life being challenged by God continually, or are we simply leading the same lifestyle we would've led if we weren't Christians, whether or not the values we'd continue to hold are great ones? Like, I admire Christians who choose not to smoke or swear etc. because it doesn't glorify God. If a Christian made these decisions for God, it's admirable. It's like a boyfriend deciding to stop smoking for his girlfriend. That's admirable. Some of the people in my church / zone used to be gangsters (or gangster-like) and changing their values for God was (or still is) a struggle, but they try, and they change, and it's amazing. In that sense, when people ask "How much has your life really changed since you became a Christian?", it's easier for people who used to lead not-so-ideal lifestyles to see the contrast than people who've grown up in Christian families. But what matters in the end are the inner motives of why you keep certain values or do things, and these might not be outward, and it's perfectly fine.

2. Religion

I guess my main concern with Roman Catholicism (please, please don't beat me up here) is the focus on traditions, rituals, practices and things you have to do as a part of your faith, how 'works' are part of what determines your salvation. Like, my friends who have to go for Mass (and only Mass and not any other Christian / Protestant service) every week, because they have to. I guess it gets dangerous when it becomes something you must do, not because you really want to commune with God again but because it's like your salvation's on the line if you don't go. It ends up placing an emphasis on what you do, and has the danger of becoming about you and not God. It ends up placing an emphasis on the things you do and not on the relationship with God born out of love itself.

Like, with values and things that I feel I should or shouldn't do, I don't want to adopt them because I feel like I have to in order to keep my salvation. That is an oppressive fear, not born out of love. I want to keep certain values and try to stop doing certain things because I want to please God, not hurt him even more, and show Him that I'm committed to making my relationship with Him work, too. A relationship is two-way, and while God tries to show me who He is, I want to show God that I'm committed to being closer to Him, too. It shouldn't be a 'I cannot do this because God might let go of my salvation' thing. He's a Father. Fathers don't cut off our kinship when we do things that displease them. But it ought to be about wanting to keep that relationship close.

For Christians who do things like go to church or pray or read the Bible simply out of personal rituals, or out of fear that not doing it will lead to God cutting off their salvation, I see it simply as a blind following of religion no different from other religions. It's important to keep these practices to remain in close communion with God, but it's the purpose behind why you do it that matters. It's not a motion you have to go through. It's not a dry religion. It's a relationship. It's wanting to love and talk to God, because of who He is. Sometimes I have to drag myself to church or to read the Bible, but I don't drag myself saying "I have to do this, if not God might cut me off from my salvation". It's more like "God, I'll do this for God. God, I'm doing this for You, won't You speak to me today." I don't fear that my salvation will be cut off. I fear that my relationship with God will run dry.

Okay, I'm typing this in bible school, things I've been thinking about for a few weeks now, but just felt like typing now because we're talking about different Christian beliefs and stuff and I was reminded of all this. But I'm probably being incoherent or phrasing things weirdly with the possibility of being misunderstood and stuff so I'll check back later.

Aug 6, 2013


"The rest of them are boring and dumb, but you're different. You're not like them. You're cool."
"No, I'm just the only one you really bothered listening to."

Aug 5, 2013


Romans 2:25 - the circumcision of the Jews is like our baptism. Sometimes people treat baptism like a guarantee to heaven - but it means nothing unless your heart is baptised and renewed permanently, just like how 'if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcised...he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart...not in the letter'.

God you are more than pretty words at a sermon, more than moments of motivation, more than beautiful theologies - man's best attempts at understanding you - you are more than good music and the atmosphere of love that penetrates. You are more.

 Hosanna, hosanna, save me God, save me again, I need to know you, breathe you again