Nov 29, 2013

mrrrp mrrrrp procrastination

i finished half your box of merci chocolates yesterday and according to the nutritional info at the back that means i’ve taken in more than 20g of saturated fat, and about 40g of fat altogether


and i mean, this won’t make me stop, it’ll just make me feel more guilty LOL

but i still refuse to share them with anyone because you gave them to me as a token of your gratitude and i will ingest every gram and my body will absorb every calorie and i will be fat on the gratitude of my older brother

remember the time we were sitting on your bed reading the odyssey, and you made mention of that really pessimistic worldview that you have, and it just made me really so sad that that was how you fundamentally saw the world. i mean, it made a lot of sense and i most likely would have adopted it too if i hadn’t been touched by God five years ago. but it just made me so sad. and i was like, no, kevin, no!! don’t think like that. and i was obviously very upset. and you didn’t understand why. you were laughing, “what? why?” and i just didn’t want to say anything and i could feel tears coming to my eyes so i lay down curled up facing away from you. and you were laughing, puzzled, “eh! what’s this?!” and i just didn’t speak. and then you continued reading the odyssey for like two seconds and then you started laughing and shoved the book into my face to show me a passage that was supposedly funny. and i was like, mmh. and two seconds later you did the same thing again, shove the book into my face and show me some other not-really-funny passage. and the sadness went away by the time you did it the second time, only because it was so adorable how you were trying to cheer me up this way

(i'm not sure why i decide to repost some of my tumblr posts here. it's like that's my word vomit space and this is the filtered bowl. since starting that tumblr i've had, in 3.5 weeks, 133 posts, and the number of reblogged stuff from elsewhere can probably be counted on one hand. i think with a space to word vomit so comfortably i just totally can't be bothered with poetically phrasing things and spending time making posts sound nice and being creative anymore. mm that's not very good.)

attempted rhyme and run-on-line

(hastily scribbled a day ago, and therefore hopefully irrelevant now)

december '12: a reflection, a repetition

oh how we all go down the same damn road
all tried with its lies and its traps and its holes
and we know where they go; we’ve all been down below
but the road commands that we trod again slow
so breathe every minute of ache and despair
and seconds of sparks that make cigarette burn marks
and set fire to your hands and your lips and your hair
as you give yourself away until you are bare
and left only with deeper scratch marks and a stone
in your stomach that tells you again you’re alone
(this is the road of further regrets and you know
it will never work out this way but there’s no
stopping yourself and the aches will never let go
so i won’t hold you back and i’ll let it all flow)

keeping track

the past few weeks have been a little more introspective and difficult in ways, and this week has been a hell of a strange emotional kaboom. like a baby kicking me in all directions in the womb. but in my heart. or whatever. but right now i am reminded of a couple of people i haven't caught up with in some time like i should have. so, a few shoutouts here:

SUMAY HOW IS LIFE must update me before i go to nepal or kl please (i mean, i might not even make it back from nepal alive)

DENISE heard you're sick :(((( ackkk please get better soon and when we're better we'll talk love you loads i'm sorry for neglecting you :(

CHARLOTTE i am sorry i didn't get to praise+worship with you that time. muacks muacks we shall find time to chat

YIXUAN+BAOYUN we shall convene in all love and trust and faith and beauty soon, lots of love

personal note:
- Kei wants to meet up and chat (yayz i really do want to get to know her better)
- Tara has a story for me
- Weiliang & Derrick when y'all are back from the US and I'm back in SG
- Rachel and Teressa - possible to meet before I go to Nepal?? If not, New year's for sure!! 

Nov 27, 2013

day 3

I am getting my typhoid and flu jabs today. After this I will rush back for my lit presentation exam. I will be speaking about how the themes of marital and spiritual union in Yusuf and Zulaikha shed light on the temporality and imperfection of the physical world as opposed to the realm of heaven.

At the clinic they ask me three times “are you well?” and I say yes without hesitating. I am made to sign a declaration that I am well. Well actually my heart is in a state of small panicky anxiety and I feel like throwing up but it has nothing to do with the jabs and it is entirely emotional.

It does not hurt. But feel the volume of things they are putting into you. They are foreign, external, but they are supposed to protect me better than my own body can.

Look at the tiny holes they have punctured into my skin. I can be strong too. Later I shall go up to your room and see if you are awake and ask if you’re really sure about giving things a miss, and maybe give you a hug because I need one, because of you.

Nov 26, 2013

i guess i do thrive only on pain

I was looking through my blog post tags and I realised I have more under the tag "love is not good" than "love"


brings back memories, these

search: "love is not good"

tip #3

it's okay to not feel okay once in a while.

i have a song for this, and it's my favourite acapella song of all time. my dad was in a local group called Vocaluptous, and he left before they released their first album. this song was released ten years ago and it's still clear as water in my mind. favourite acapella song ever. not biased. i can't find a way to put it on my blog and the only way is to put the link to the post on my tumblr because it can be uploaded there. so here: quando (someday)
(the second half's in english, listen it through, it's worth it)

hold fast

years ago in sec 4, perhaps about a month or two after the breakup, i was in the car with my mum on the way home. probably after school. we were driving in silence and we were already in our neighbourhood approaching our street when she asked me if i was over the relationship yet. and i said yes i was. and she probed further, asked questions about the relationship. and i got very annoyed and said YES I AM OVER IT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT and tears were streaming down my face. and my mum said if you were truly over it you wouldn't be crying. and i thought, that's ridiculous. it'd be impossible to ever think about it without crying.

Nov 25, 2013

i will follow you into the dark

there are people in this world who are beautiful. but we never really see our true value. and sometimes we do not see ourselves for everything we are. often we subject ourselves to unnecessary pain, and think that it means we are strong. sometimes we think we are not worth certain things; they are for other people, they can pass us by.

but maybe, maybe, sometimes we do get a glimpse of our true worth. we know how precious we are and how He is ours, all ours, and we shine with His sacred glory. and we will wait for something we deserve.

i am a firm believer in living life and making the best of things, but it has resulted in regrets. perhaps it is not the best way of thinking. but sometimes things are beautiful and they subject themselves to darkness when all they need to do is shine. but i am not one to judge, never one to judge. and as long as the decisions you made were for yourself and yourself only, as long as you know you will not regret, i support and love you with all my heart. (if they were not entirely for yourself, or if you are not sure about whether you will not regret, then please, please think about it again.) you have all the time in the world, and i really really should stop talking because i don't know if my words have already done more than they ever should have. but i just want to say that i love you either way, as long as you feel it was best for yourself and yourself alone.


so jevon plays 'across the universe' on the piano.

and yes, he is a musical genius, an absolute genius, but beyond his amazing skill he is so able to emote through his music, and that is what makes it so precious. as he plays i find my mind wandering and my heart becoming heavy. and i realise it is his music doing the magic; it's got my heart on a string. he takes you on a journey with each cadence, each rise and fall, and he reconciles it all again with a pensive sort of beauty.

and i want to be able to write like that someday. that is my goal. to write such that i get people to feel. to understand and share in what i have to offer.

neither death nor life

so recently carissa had talked about how she had given people a particular something and happened to get back the same thing in return, and it reminded her of how God provides; as we give, we receive His favour, too, and we have no need to worry.

after the Haiyan donation drive i wrote carmen a letter. and i had very little space on my note and i didn't write down the full verse, but i quoted romans 8:38-39.

on 21 nov, after that minor but distressing episode, carissa wrote me a note.

today, janel wrote me a note.

i can't really remember when else i have been quoted this verse before - perhaps people have given it to me, but it never really left an impact, although i do quote this verse to people sometimes. i don't know. i've never really understood God's love. it's something i went to bible school to find out. and i remember the last day i was there, sneaking out of yale-nus's orientation program to attend the last day of mike connell's session, still trying to find God's love. wanting things done my way. i left crying, confused, angry. but i guess i forgot about it after things got running in school.

guess it's time to start thinking about it again, time to spend time with Him again, the promise i keep making and breaking.

Nov 24, 2013


I was looking through my blog posts searching for something that might be good enough to share with my schoolmates and realised how lousy all my writings are. It makes me want to laugh at myself for how writing's all I like to do and all of it has amounted to talent the size of a molehill, but then it makes me scared, because I don't know what I want. I know I like to write and I seek to brings hearts together through my writing - to find a broken person and help her realise I know how she feels, too. But I don't really work at developing it. It's only cathartic. I don't like looking at my writing as a piece of work to be scrutinised and stuff because it feels too personal and I try to create a very specific voice and feel. I don't know. And I don't like knowing that everything I love to do is just...just so not up to any standard at all. Maybe I'm also not that keen on sharing it, especially when there are people so extremely freaking talented around and I am tiny, but then am I veering away from my goal, then?

as i spend 12 hours working on 1 essay (9pm-5am, 12.30pm-4.30pm)

can you take a look at my essay to see if it works?
Yeah, now?
eyyy don't come to my room now lol
i just woke up
If you say unglam I will punch you in the face
so i haven't brushed my teeth or bathed and my mind's not functioning that well la
Yeeeeah close enough

*walks into my room* "How's your essay going"
*puts a kitkat on my table* 
"My essay's going well! Oh thanks! Actually I have the same kitkat too. Except mine is red, not orange."
*picks it up for a closer look*
"yes, it's orange la."
"oh yeah."
"well i can give you one back, except it won't be orange." *takes out my red one*
"In that case can you pretend I gave you the red one so that I can keep my orange one?"

and despite all the frustration of working on this bloody essay i am in a good mood

(also, thank you so much for coming to my room at 4.30am to take a look at my essay and magically fix everything just like that; i am grateful like you cannot imagine. thank you also for being colour-blind so that you probably didn't notice my eyes were red from my tears of frustration and exhaustion, because i really didn't want you to)

the self

(by the way, here was my answer to the fill-in-the-sentence exercise about the self)

In my view, the self is composed of a unique consciousness, one’s thoughts and emotions, and the entirety of his/her experience.

Nov 23, 2013


"you don’t have to go, you know."
"no, i cannot be so irresponsible. it’s just a small problem after all."
"no, it’s big. to you."

(trust is also when you put a matter into someone else’s hands and you know that they will see it in the way that you see it, treat it with respect and hold it with the same amount of weight)

Nov 22, 2013

Carissa & Janel

stand beside it; we can't help the way it makes us glow

so at acapella today, it was apparently quite obvious that i was sad - i had been crying in kevin's room and his colour-blindness meant that he couldn't tell that my eyes were red (lol thanks). later that night when i was in kevin's room again, these two beautiful girls knocked on the door and said that they had noticed that i seemed rather down at acapella practice, so they were going to sing me a song.

hugs all around and i told them what was going on and it all sounded very trivial and dumb but they are beautiful people and they shared my hurt. and i told them how they could take care of me by chilling in my room tomorrow evening, 'cos i didn't really feel like being alone then.

a short while later, carissa messaged me to announce a sleepover at the 9th floor lounge. they had rearranged the armchairs and sofas so we had a row of three cozy cots. i only got there at about 3am but they were still awake and talking. it turned out that we all had a strange night in bad ways. they had seen ugly things. and so we were just talking about it. talking about ugly things and ugly sides of people and how on earth does God love us when he sees all the filth? they said they had prayed for me when they were singing sad songs at the ledge, thinking about the ugly stuff they'd witnessed. janel is a very protective friend in an extremely sweet and cute way and after a while things got very desperate and sombre. like we were really struggling to find a way to see this world in the same light that we used to. everything just seemed black and ugly. at one point in time we decided that we hated everything.

but then carissa said some beautiful things. she's such an encouraging person. and i feel lousy and weak a lot but she reassures me that i have good things within me. and good things around me. and i felt so incredibly thankful for the friends i've made at ync, for God's favour, for people's trust, for all the conversations, for how all the friendships are very stable and secure. stability and security can be very hard to find, but i know my friendships are true and sincere, because i am so. and i felt so incredibly thankful that i had people like carissa and janel who'd sing me a song and have a sleepover just because i felt lousy, over an issue that wasn't big, either. (it wasn't big, but trust is a big thing, also a naive thing)

and so after the happier words and the reassurance of the existence of love and goodness, we fell asleep at about 5. at 10am jevon knocked on the door of the lounge; he had brought us breakfast because janel had left earlier for class but she told jevon to get us breakfast. omg the sweetest thing. so carissa and i ate, and then i went back to sleep until 11.30 (omg, on a schoolday too, felt like heaven) while carissa stayed in her cot with her computer. when i got up to take a shower carissa gave me a hug and i knew, i knew again, that i had her love. when janel was done with her morning class she came back to the lounge and she brought us some pretty awesome snacks. and so we stayed there until the third period probably, since we all had class then.

and, you know, my college life probably isn't the most exciting. i thought i'd be a lot more adventurous than this in college (it also made me afraid of the person i might turn into). i mean, the average night is spent wasting time in my room on facebook or on the guitar, or doing my readings in kevin's room. sometimes i blame my unexciting college life on my friend choices. but then i think, is it really unexciting in this sense? every time i think that, i know that the friends i have made are the most amazing, and i wouldn't have it any other way. and my college life is definitely beautiful in its own way. in all the love there is. i think about my friendship with kevin and how we're completely comfortable and free in sharing and showing all of ourselves. and how people like charlotte and denise feel comfortable with sharing about themselves with me and getting me to pray with them, and look at carissa and janel. there are also many others who show me love and trust and i am very satisfied with where i am right now. i'm probably in the best place now. if things get any better, it'll just go to show how there's really no limit to amazingness and beauty here at yale-nus lol.

sometimes people can be so full of goodness and love and it just leaves me in awe.

right now i'm at philosophy class and we're supposed to complete the sentence "in my view, the self is..." and the only word that comes to mind is "beautiful".

Stand beside it, we can't hide the way it makes us glow
It's no good unless it grows, feel this burning love of mine
Deep inside the ever-spinning, tell me does it feel
It's no good unless it's real, hill sides burning
Wild-eyed turning til we're running from it

I'd take care of you if you'd ask me to
In a year or two

Nov 20, 2013

if my heart was a house you'd be home

cheer up and dry your damp eyes and tell me when it rains
and I'll blend up that rainbow
above you and shoot it through your veins


so i just told 20+ people my most personal story. not every detail of course, but enough. i decided to tell it because it is what probably shaped me the most, probably contributed the most to who i am today. how i am needy, emotionally-driven, sympathetic. how i found a love for writing.

it might change people’s impressions of me in their minds. or to think i am not really who i profess to be. but i wanted to tell it because i wanted people to realise there’s more depth to who i am and the things i choose to believe in.

i cried a little as i was about to start the story. i said that i really wasn’t sure if i should share it, but i was the last person left and it was only fair that i did, and i wanted people to know that bit more about myself. and that i trusted them to keep it all confidential and for them not to let their opinions about me change.

(i forgot to say that trust is more than that. trust also means that when you let your story be told, they treat it with respect and empathy. using a personal story as a fuel for scrutinization, judgement and opinion is a subversion. i don’t want pity either. just take my story as it is, and understand that i am who i am today because of it.)

i’m still not sure about how i feel about it. i’m still talking softly, my heart’s still heavy. i’m not sure how i feel about telling something extremely personal about myself to a bunch of people i don’t know all that well. i kinda just want to curl up and play easy music on spotify or maybe curl up at the foot of kevin’s bed and take in the smell of his room.

i mean, i wouldn’t mind if these people were those i’m closer to, those whom i know love and care for me, and who wouldn’t let a story form their perceptions of me. i wouldn’t mind telling them at all.

yeah. but i’m glad i had josh as a sharing partner before we shared the story to the entire group. i knew i could cry in front of him. and that he would feel for me. that he is a loving person and like, my story didn’t matter to him in the sense that he’d go “oh, I know a bit more about karen now”, but rather that he’d just feel my pain and share my emotions or with me. or that’s the vibe i get anyway. i’m also glad val was there because she’s a lovely girl that i want to get to know better, and who is also full of simple love and compassion, who doesn’t look at my story and go “oh, interesting side of karen” but would first say “is she okay?”

i’m also glad that i ended with a resolution i hadn’t planned. that this has taught me that love is always love, and love is universal. and that as a Christian i should never judge or condemn. it never does anything good and it never makes anyone a better person.

there are other people i wish were there, but i’m sure i will share the stories with them anyway. i’m not sure if a while from now i will feel like i have just given a precious piece of myself out to the void, prostituted myself so easily.

many denominations one faith

Denise came to my room and told me about stuff, and I decided that it was time for a prayer of power. Now, I come from a charismatic church and we believe in the charisma gifts of tongues, prophecy, etc., and not all Christians do. But I felt that this was the time for a prayer of power. One that would call upon Heaven's armies in the name of the Lord. If He was willing to give me words of knowledge, prophecy, visions or anything right now, I wanted them for the sake of the situation. Prayer is useless if all it does is make you feel better. Prayer activates, especially when you have reached the end of your own efforts. And this was time for something tangible to take place. I told her I was prepared for something to take place. I asked her if she minded if I started the prayer by praying in Tongues, and she was cool with it. So she made the Catholic sign of the cross and I prayed in Tongues.

I just like how our CF is interdenominational. Catholic or Christian, we all come together to worship. We bring elements of our own churches and their practices, but the same God works through it all.

Nov 19, 2013

How To Be A Knight

0: Get insane.
In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading...his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind.
when his mind was completely gone, he had the strangest thought any lunatic in the world ever had, which was that it seemed reasonable and necessary to him, both for the sake of his honour and as a service to the nation, to become a knight errant and travel the world with his armour and his horse to seek adventures and engage in everything he had read that knights errant engaged in...

1: Get your armour.
And the first thing he did was to attempt to clean some armour that had belonged to his great-grandfathers...out of the pastebaord he fashioned a kind of half-helmet that, when attached to the headpiece, took on the appearance of a full sallet. It is true that in order to test that if it was strong and could withstand a blow, he took out his sword and struck it twice, and with the first blow he undid in a moment what had taken him a week to create...
he made another one, placing strips of iron on the inside so that he was satisfied with its strength; and not wanting to put it to the test again, he designated and accepted it as an extremely fine sallet.

2: Get a good name.
he spent another eight days pondering this, and at last he called himself Don Quixote...
In any event, recalling that the valiant Amadis had not been content with simply calling himself Amadis but had added the name of his kingdom and realm in order to bring it game, and was known as Amadis of Gaul, he too, like a good knight, wanted to add the name of his birthplace to his own, and he called himself Don Quixote of La Mancha, thereby, to his mind, clearly stating his lineage and country and honouring it by making it part of his title.

3: Get a lady.
Having cleaned his armour and made a full helmet out of a simple headpiece, and having given a name to his horse and decided on one for himself, he realised that the only thing left for him to do was to find a lady to love...
He said to himself: "If with a giant somewhere...and defeat him, would it not be good to have someone to whom I could send him so that he might enter and fall to his knees before my sweet lady, and say in the humble voice of surrender: "I, lady, am the giant Caraculiambro, lord of the island Malindrania, defeated in single combat by the never sufficiently praised knight Don Quixote of La Mancha, who commanded me to appear before your ladyship, so that your highness might dispose of me as you chose"?"
It is believed that in a nearby village there was a very attractive peassant girl with whom he had once been in love, although she, apparently, never knew or noticed. Her name was Aldonza Lorenzo, and he thought it a good idea to call her the lady of his thoughts...

4: Get going.
he did not wish to wait any longer to put his thought into effect, impelled by the great need in the world that he believed was caused by his delay, for there were evils to undo, wrongs to right, injustices to correct...
Then he resumed speaking as if he truly were in love: 
"O Princess Dulcinea, mistress of this captive heart! Thou hast done me grievous harm in bidding me farewell and reproving me with the harsh affliction of commanding that I not appear before thy sublime beauty. May it please thee, Señora, to recall this thy subject heart, which suffers countless trials for the sake of thy love."

HAHA Don Quixote is such a hilarious read

song on loop

You, you're my home
If you leave, I follow
And I overflow
But without you I'm hollow

Seven hours till I get to see you

Seven hours of this paperwork
Seven hours till I get to come back home
Seven hours of this walking daydream
Seven hours don't know what it's worth
Seven hours till I get to come back home


Wings move faster than the human eye
And if you could see my heart
Well if you could see my heart
Kept from flying outwards
Somehow I don't know
Wonder I don't come apart
Wonder I don't come apart

Always been like a hummingbird
And I can't keep still
Listen up, lover, listen up, I never will

Nov 17, 2013

arise and build

how could i hope to find myself in Jesus’s tent when my heart was harbouring such bitterness and filth?

there is nothing undesirable and ugly in His presence. his permeating saturated atmosphere only allows for goodness and love.

look, God, look at the buckets of devotion, the pouring out of the faith of individuals in a steady stream. we pour ourselves out to you, whether in little or in large. as you watch the stream of devotion, God, won't you pour out your blessings upon us in the same flow. a river, a river of blessings in our empty troughs.

as i commit to small steps of faithfulness, may you grow the mustard seed in my heart. as i build your house, may you build your house in me.

Nov 14, 2013

little sister

(reposted from my tumblr after much consideration) 

What's this about lending out my stuff to random people who ask for it?!

12.15pm: [in the shower]

Mistakes. I made a mistake today. I made an error of presumption: of assuming that people were as chill and easy with their stuff as I. I assumed that because you and I were chill, our possessions were also shared in a sense, like how I could sneak into your room and take your laundry coins from your kitty coinbox while you were asleep, or how you're okay with me napping on your bed / sleeping on your floor. (still, this is a weird assumption to make since we don't borrow each other's stuff often. Guess I assumed a chillness across the different aspects of a friendship.) You gave me a special kind of trust, and I loaned it out.

I make mistakes a lot, and you witness all of them: from taking an hour-long journey for nothing because I forgot they relocated, to oversleeping, to skipping work and leaving you with my load of crap to handle when you're already extremely stressed. I often like to think I'm more sensible or mature than you think, but the fact that I bare everything to you pretty much shows that this is the real me, a lot dumber than I'd like to be.

(side: Also, I know that when I get in an anxious mood with people that turns into frustration at everything else, it is very annoying. I know because I've argued with Jackie before, and we are very much alike, especially in this aspect. And the way the arguments tangent into everything else is ANNOYING. But I'm going to launch into a toned-down version of this anyway: not angry, just a musing about the broader things that don't really have to do with this, but do, too.)

I make mistakes a lot and disappoint you at times. (I also just misspelt 'disappoint'.) You sigh at me a lot, tolerate it, and accept the fact that I am young and stupid. I mean, that comes with being a little sister, right? Immature, dependent, dumb, full of the weirdest behaviours and mistakes, very much in need of guidance. People like me and sau, I guess, you see as little sisters; and you are the mature one who sees our youngness. Sometimes I don't like being a little sister, because it connotes that I am always the stumbling one who needs your guiding hand, and that you've nothing to gain from me because I'm the one who's a burden, with my dumb concerns and irrational fears (like, of capital letters). But that's true anyway, and I have to accept that you are very much more sensible and experienced. You're brilliant and I always mess up. And I know you see sau and me as kids, but not all younger people. You finally called someone an 'equal' one day: someone who doesn't just have it all in the fullest (looks, compassion, talent etc.), but who also has your approval. And it's true: while the cute colourful bits of her character exist, she is also strong, independent, very careful and mature-minded about things. I can only accept that I'm a klutz, and there is no use in trying to justify myself to you because you probably know me better than I know myself and your impression of me as a person is already so lousy but you still love me as a friend anyway.

When Sau and I talk, I feel like we hold each other's hearts in our hands. She and I acknowledge that we are the "little sisters" who are still falling and trying to learn, and who accept that we are this way: young and navigating through this maze that people like to think they're out of. We talk about stupid but real issues, accept that we do not know, and conclude that while we continue to stumble, we have each other. (look sau you're featured on my blog HAHA)

I don't like being an immature person who falls and makes mistakes, but it's probably better to accept it and let you see all the weaknesses of me than to try and cover it up to myself and justify my actually intelligent side to you. I mean, you're probably wondering why we're in the same college. I do think I give good insights in PPT and CSI seminars, but it's okay that you don't see them. The time I asked how she and I were different, you replied at night saying that you gave it some thought, and realised that I wasn't naive like you'd assumed. Life had given me some shit, and I wasn't an innocent thing who didn't know depth. Well, it's nice that you acknowledge it, but my lack of response to the shit means that this doesn't say anything about me. I don't have a resolution. I continue being weak and emotionally-driven, letting these things affect me. But I think it is a choice: I'm glad to allow myself to continue falling, feeling, participating in the human condition and sharing these broken bits of myself with others.

Sorry, I don't think there was a point in this rant. I just wanted to say that I am always the immature one making mistakes, and sometimes I wished you could feel like you gain from me too, that I'm not always the one learning. (Actually, sometimes I think you're a bit dumb too, like your whole 'moment of weakness' thing and regarding the last post-it I gave you, but that's a different matter.) And as you continue to accept my failings and I continue to surprise myself with how stupid I actually am, this is how we operate: the big brother accepting my immaturity and being with me as I stumble along, and me wishing i could also be an equal, but knowing that i still have a big portion of learning to do before the gap is filled. And I'm okay with it as long as you continue to let me hang around.

HAHAHA joking lah
It's totally fine
Aiyah you think I'd be troubled by this kind of thing meh

Nov 11, 2013

my life philosophy: to feel

"Beautiful things can sometimes make us a little sad and it's because what they hint at is the exception..a temporary one.
That is why love simultaneously fills us with melancholy. That's why sometimes I feel nostalgic over something I haven't lost yet: I see its transience. 

And so how does one respond to this? Do we love harder? Do we squeeze tighter? Or do we embrace the Buddhist creed of no attachment?

We defy entropy and impermanence with our films and our poems. We hold on to each other a little harder and say 'I will not let go. I do not accept the ephemeral nature of this moment. I am going to extend it, forever.'"

At least, this was my life's philosophy. I lived by feeling to the extreme, to a damaging extent. Often, the knowledge that beauty will pass is hanging right over our heads, and I always repsonded with a passionate fire to burn in all it had to offer while it lasted.

The only thing that got me through the A levels was the confident hope that after that, my relationship would be restored. He would be free from the crazy stress of exam preparation and things would go back to their beautiful state. He'd start talking to me again. We'd have nine months of school-free carefreeness, absolutely free to love and do whatever we wanted, before university started. And that vision of nine months of a perfectly happy relationship kept me going.

The day after the A's he told me that he was going back home and would probably never return to Singapore. He was leaving at the end of the month. And I was distraught but was like, that's fine, we have a month left together, let's make the best of it. Let's love the hardest, dive the deepest, so that when we have to part we know we made the best of the moment.

But he was not like that, and I couldn't understand it. He couldn't dive into the moment of beauty with the knowledge that it was going to end soon - he wouldn't be able to part. And so he said that we should try to slow things down now, just be normal friends, so that when things had to come to a halt it wouldn't be a sudden jerk that killed us.

And so we continued to meet up and text, but there were never any i-love-yous, never any hand-holding or affection. At the end of the twenty days we parted with the first hug in three months.

I am a firm believer in making the most of the moment. Love the hardest, because you don't know when a chance like this will come next.

Well, I'm not sure now. Right now I do try very hard to retreat into non-attachment, an ignorant aloofness, because when you're not attached to something it won't hurt you. The moment I fell for someone early this year, the wave of love's pain hit me again, and I was so afraid. I remembered how much love hurt, and I didn't want any of it anymore. Right now, I anticipate the end of moments of beauty and try very hard to fight my attachment.

Up till very recently this was the way I tried to deal with my friendships. Like, with kev, I knew I was getting too attached to him as a friend; one day I'd have to retreat, and it would crush me. So I started making myself talk less to him and stay in my room and build other friendships to distance myself. This way, when it was time to retreat, I had a mattress to fall back on. There is benefit in good but not crucial friendships. And my philosophy with friendships was that if someone you deem close seems to be losing interest in you, quickly back off first, so that you're not at the losing end. You don't want to be the one left hanging, waiting, alone, while the other has moved on. (Happened in JC; I learnt from it.)

(A lot of the time, the sense of attachment continues to grow anyway despite my efforts at emotional distance, and this just results in both a lot of pain plus an unhealthy amount of self-condemnation.)

But he keeps reassuring me that it's okay. He says I'm his little sister and I can always come round and hang out in his room anytime and he knows that I feel very strongly about him and it doesn't chase him away; it's okay. And now, again, I'm crawling out of the hole I tried to push myself into. I'm trying to allow myself to feel. When the time comes, it comes, and I might have to retreat from this bridge for a while and build bridges elsewhere. It'll hurt. But I'm trying to let myself be okay with that.

I'm not sure what will happen when I fall in love again, though. I'll probably plunge back into pain and self-condemnation and the frenzied retreat to the safe zone of indifference, facilitated by a close analysis of my feelings and convincing myself that I'm not really feeling anything real, it's just a passing infatuation and that allowing myself to let it grow will cause nothing but unnecessary hurt either way. (Not necessarily a bad strategy. It's very helpful.)

throwback: suddenly reminded of one of those late-night chats about memories and whatever again. and i wanted to ask "would you rather love unrequitedly, or not love at all?" but i didn't ask it because i thought the obvious answer was the latter, since unrequited love only brought pain. but when i did decide to ask it he said the first one, because at least in any form of love, there's hope. i was surprised at that moment, but now that i look back, i'm amused at myself instead. i used to strongly advocate the former, because even unrequited love brings in a whole new dimension of colour. it carries its own sheer beauty. (in fact, i DID talk about it before! in 2010, during the year of unrequited love. and then I looked back at it again in 2011, when the relationship did happen but everything was going so badly. lol. [link]) maybe now i'm too tired and scared. it's like you've burned a spot on your skin again and again and even if pink new skin has formed over it, just the thought of setting fire to that area one more time makes you sick.

Nov 10, 2013

Yixuan & Baoyun

The house of my soul is too small for You to come to it. May it be enlarged by You.
- St. Augustine, Confessions

here you have two beautiful people. the week passes and the others see them differently. oh, yixuan really likes running and is really concerned about calories. her phrase is "ee don't want, fat" when offered food at night / unhealthy food / when someone suggests she try on a piece of clothing that she feels might not look good on her. (and hello look at her what's up with this yo i was initially intimidated by her tall-and-slim figure)
and oh baoyun is so cute and sometimes she says really funny things or maybe in class she makes remarks that just don't come out right and people misinterpret them. she probably comes across as simple-minded, naive, happy.

and then one of us goes "let's meet tonight, i've got something to share"

and at midnight we meet in the close comfort of a room, the comfort of company that you can trust never to judge and only to love. and you see them in all their beauty. we play the guitar and we sing and pray, and we talk. and we spill forth in all honesty. open. unpretentious. careless; we don't need to bother.

and they are always so beautiful, always so loving, encouraging. I am reminded of Baoyun's intimate and beautiful relationship with God. The beautiful images she gets from Him, so vivid, so telling of a God who loves just like a caring daddy who wants nothing more than to protect his little girl. Her words always ooze love, a love for God, a longing just to be in His quiet embrace.

I am reminded of Yixuan's fervour. Bible verse after bible verse she pours over her prayers. Also her profound love for God, understood in the moments of prayer and devotion. The profoundness of her understanding of God's loving ways - she might not articulate them comfortably in a public setting, but just listen to her pray.

And when we come together we remember that we are so fallen, and we cannot do this on our own. He brings us back to Him; it's always Him that draws us back, we are weak, we fall away easily but He still catches us. And I see Him in the lives of these friends. I see Him when Baoyun makes mention of the book of encounters and words from God, and when she talks about the vivid visual messages He gives her. I see Him when Yixuan prays with such quiet fire. That she wants nothing more than to grow into a mature woman in Him, to develop a strong rock that remains unshaken when the currents push at it from either side.

(and then we talk and talk and talk and talk oh shucks it's 3)


This is for you who thinks I am devout out of naiveté. Who thinks I am who I am because I don't know any better; that I am ignorant, unexposed. That I will break away from the ignorant confines of religion once I have been enlightened by life.

I thought you'd know better.

You do not speak with any greater level of knowledge of authority than I. I have been places. I have been to the depths, and I know. This does not mean I don't have to stop myself now. This doesn't mean I do not yearn, and that I am completely indifferent to the possibilities of being tempted and swayed. But I know what it does to me. My decisions are not born of blissful, pure ignorance. Purity isn't only an initial state of being, a level zero before you climb the steps of experience.

Purity is a decision. It's something you can decide to come back to.


“You have looked at the world enhanced by spring: now look at it in autumn, and mark the lesson it teaches.”

Yusuf and Zulaikha

Nov 7, 2013

define the i-love-you

"When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a heck of a person." 

- Joss Whedon

Nov 5, 2013

the reason for my blog url

So, in secondary school, I was a major fan of JJ Lin. My blog url was No kidding. I was, like, INSANE, screaming over him and always in the first row at his events and stuff. I really liked Chinese songs then too, so I've pretty much heard every popular Chinese song from 2006-2008. I loved the expressiveness of the Chinese language. I wasn't good at Chinese, but I loved how emotive the language was. So much beauty and meaning in every phrase.

When my one-year-nine-month long relationship ended in 2009, I could no longer take listening to any of the songs I had heard before. No more JJ, no more emotive lyrics, no more Chinese, no more slow songs; I couldn't take anything that allowed me to think, or worse, emote. I took to the overpowering beats of Lady Gaga and fast K-pop songs. Lyrics I didn't understand or that didn't mean anything; songs so noisy they drowned out my own thoughts and filled me with numbness. numbness was better than the waves and waves of pain that overwhelmed me as soon as a beautiful melodic phrase or lyric floated by.

So I had to change my blog title. I couldn't be reminded of my old music anymore. I didn't know what I could change my blog title to. I couldn't really think about what I loved anymore, because the only thing I loved that mattered enough for consideration was a person I didn't have anymore. The only other equally strong feeling I could think of was hate. And I thought about how I had such an aversion to any sort of meaningful music. Especially love songs. I couldn't stand those love songs. And that became my URL: born of hate, typed with spite; the ashes of love.

Another reason I love Yale-NUS

So halfway through our 1.5h-long Philosophy lesson, Neil comments that we all seem tired, so he dismisses the class for the day. But we all still stay on to continue our discussion for almost the entire remainder of our class time anyway. Later on we agree that we'd stay for class even if we were tired, because we all feel like we gain so much from the class. The thirst and fascination for knowledge: another reason I love Yale-NUS.

Also, the Bhagavad-Gita is beautiful.

re: cruel world

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

C.S. Lewis

Understanding cruelness requires you first knowing beauty. Maybe this is not the most cruel the world is capable of being. We just can't visualise a spectrum or know where its true ends are if we have never seen them.

And there is definitely so, so, so much beauty in the world. So much beauty hidden in a single person it's crazy. Delve into a person's life. Dig as deep as you can. The amount of beauty there overwhelms you. And that's just one individual.


“There is a face beneath this mask, but it isn't me. I'm no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it, or the bones beneath that.”

(also, there is something wrong with my blogger feed and networkedblogs isn't automatically putting my posts on fb i am not pleased)

Nov 4, 2013

new tumblr

Decided to delete my old useless tumblr and start a new one. Here it is:

I'm not sure how public it should be - was considering not telling anyone the link at all - but putting the link on my blog is probably as announced as it'll get anyhow. I thought I was just going to use it to reblog stuff, but it's so friggin' user-friendly, they make reblogging and quoting and especially picture-posting so freaking convenient that I found myself looking through my albums and doing throwbacks or just posting pictures with little commentaries because there are always whole backstories and ponderings that makes each picture meaningful and important to me. So maybe the tumblr will be a little more personal and less poetic / creative than this blog, although this one will still always be a refuge for my emotions, my outlet and comfort, the paper on which my fingers bleed to help it take flight.


"Creating one Horcrux gives one the ability to anchor one's own soul to earth if the body is destroyed; the more horcruxes one creates, the closer one is to true immortality. Creating multiple Horcruxes is suggested to be costly to the creator, by both diminishing their humanity and even physically disfiguring them."

sometimes we wonder "do i really matter?"
"who really knows me?"

and we fear the death of ourselves. that if no one knows who we really are, we could be alive but our past and the many sides of our present that no one else sees have perished. disappeared off the face of the earth. and our past and present is what our soul is. and if we are not known to the world we are dead.

maybe this is what fame is about. fame is about preserving yourself by putting pieces of you into the lives of many others.

the rest of us unfamous people, we preserve ourselves in writing, in pictures, in souls of vessels. these preservations only count if they are held in jars of human clay. and so we tell people about our lives; construct an identity; want to be remembered.

despite lessons from the past, we decide to take a leap of trust. we entrust somebody with our secrets and our effort and time. we voluntarily cut open a bit of ourselves to share with them. here is a bit of my flesh. i offer it to you, because that ensures i live on here, by putting a little piece of my life in your clay vessel.

creating a horcrux is painful. preserving yourself includes ripping your own soul apart and putting it in a separate vessel so that even if you die physically, you are immortal in the memories carved into the minds of others. what is the price of trust?

Nov 3, 2013

One of the Reasons I Love Yale-NUS

We don't have a basketball coach but we organise inter-school matches. We don't have a vocal coach but we arrange our own scores and stage and conduct our own performances. We don't even have any officially-recognised CCAs yet, but we have debate teams at the Hong Kong Debate Open quarter finanls (no debate coach either). We have a student who's a certified Tchoukball instructor, students who are giving improv comedy workshops, students who've founded social organisations, one who's working as a financial advisor. A couple of students come up with the idea of a performance event, and we all come together to organise and execute it ourselves. What are barriers? What barriers? When we don't have a way we make our own. I love you guys.

Nov 2, 2013


"When a thirsty man reaches for a jug, it is because he knows for certain that it contains liquid; but when he drowns in the limpid waves of the ocean, he no longer thinks of that weeping unglazed jar." 
- Yusuf and Zulaikha 

I love this book. Beautiful quotes just keep jumping at you. This one has to do with outward appearances. They're talking about how handsome Yusuf is, and how beautiful Zulaikha is, and one day she meets Yusuf in a dream and is captivated by his beauty; we are all attracted to the exterior first, hoping that it's a glimpse of what's within. But the exterior - the jug - is only useful for what it holds. No matter what the jug looks like on the outside, once we take in what's within, the exterior that holds this inner self doesn't matter anymore.

"The heart which is free of lovesickness is not a heart at all; the body bereft of the pangs of love is nothing but clay and water...
If you would be free, be a captive to love. 
If you wish for joy, open your breast to the suffering of love."

lessons learnt

1) always remember your deodorant (probably killed whoever i helped with eye-makeup with my BO)
2) potentially awkward but necessary moves can be done first, explained later
3) always ask yourself: will you regret not doing this?


side note: there are clouds that hang in the air but whoever can see them must not talk about them because if they do the clouds will explode into rain and make everyone uncomfortable
if only all that's known could simply be said

another side note:
you know how sometimes you feel like because you actually care about things, you're put at a disadvantage? or because you're honest, or polite, or sympathetic, you become "the loser"?
since i cannot not care, i shall take it to the other extreme: try my very best to be perfect, faultless

Nov 1, 2013

love lost

Too often in the times I have lost
It has been because of loving too little
Or too much
(author unknown)

(credits: Anshuman)

this day goes down in history


i am very proud of my younger brother today (you heard that right)