Pen pal

5.06pm

Ahhh…spring. The weather is getting warmer. Actually, I think I did talk about the weather in my last post too. People in Australia can’t seem to stop talking about the changing weather, especially my lifegroup. hahaha. It’s the same as people in Britain.

I walked to school today with my housemate again. The three of us stayed up late till the night yesterday for a Harry Potter movie Marathon. Completed only the first 2 movies…but it was so much fun! We’re doing it later again. After school as I was returning home, it was getting hotter but I decided to walk home instead of catching the bus. I’m really growing fond of this ritual—walking I mean. It’s funny considering how when I first moved to Australia I hated walking, but the roads were made in such way that people have to walk quite a distance before they get to their homes. I moved from my previous place in Epping just because I didn’t want to walk. And now, I can’t believe I’m falling in love with it.

In the afternooon the weather got quite hot, that by the time I reached home, I was literally sweating. It’s the first time I’ve sweated in months actually. Except for the time I was in Europe over the summer, it has been winter and really cold here in Aussie so I never really made the effort to move about. It’s quite unhealthy hahaa.

Now, I could not only save money but also exercise by walking to school. I have to walk through a creek each time, and my housemate told me she saw a snake and when I came back I saw a monitor lizard. Really fascinating hahaha. At night, we could see possums outside our house jumping against our windows, making a loud noise. It happened last night during the movie marathon and we freaked out a bit.

I had a revelation when I was walking back home from school, is that I am really thankful for my housemate. I am so so grateful about our newfound friendship. She moved in about July and in the past, even though we lived under the same roof, we hardly talked, just retire into our rooms each time we got home. Now we’re using the common area and all! I’m thankful because the 6 of us (my clique of friends) don’t meet up that often now, and I don’t really hangout with the rest of my friends—not that we have drifted apart,  just maybe everyone’s really busy right now and no one made a move to go out—so could you imagine what I would do without a social life, if I didn’t have my housemate to provide me with some form of interaction day in day out? And I think it’s really convenient cos we live in the same house. This morning I walked to school with her, and idk, it’s just nice having someone go to school with you together instead of catching the bus alone.

—–

Something strange also happened this week. So there’s this pen pal of mine from Malaysia, I never spoke about her here because I never actually met her in real life. She’s around my age, Malaysian but living in the United States. I got to know her in about 2016 through stumbling upon her blog. I found her to be quite nice, hence I reached out in comments and slowly, we corresponded through email this year. I think our first messages through email was in May. I found her inspiring, talking to her was an absolute pleasure. She seemed eager to be friends too, telling me she’ll show me around Penang if I ever go to Malaysia/KL one day and promised to send pictures on her upcoming vacation. We talked for quite some time, and it continued for quite some time even after I came back from Europe. Nothing was particularly wrong, until I had an inkling that the conversation have started to feel forced, and from her side, that she’s having some personal troubles of her own. I didn’t want to intrude, so I never asked. So I replied her emails as per normal, not knowing that it might be the last email I send to her and that I would never hear from her again.

I learnt from her blog that she thinks “Christianity is one of the most damaging things ever” (somewhere along those lines) and I went, “Thank God, she didn’t know I’m a Christian.” As a Christian, I am fully aware of how people might view and judge me based on my religion. I am always afraid, to come off too strongly, or fear that anti-Christ people would unfriend or stay away from me just because I’m one.

She did not reply me for weeks, so I sensed that something was wrong but didn’t think too much about it as well. I thought she had merely forgot, so I sent a second email to her sharing about some of my experiences (wasn’t rushing her or anything) but to my horror, I checked back on her blog out of curiosity that day and alas, all the content was gone. It had become a protected blog. She had locked it, my guess is probably that the things she blogged about are started to get too personal and she didn’t feel comfortable about me reading it. The thing that baffles me is why she stopped replying the emails. Is it because she had discovered something about my religion? Or is it just because she’s going through a tough time? Or maybe she didn’t know how to tell me that she didn’t want me reading her blog anymore. I mean, she could have told me if this was the case, and obviously she had the rights to lock her blog. But I thought it was a bit rude to leave me hanging and not reply, I just felt a little confused that she didn’t. After all, I thought she was really inspiring and seemed like a very nice person to be friends with, maybe not after all. Disappointing.


 

Spring

IMG_4356

Spring is here!

Just came back from grocery shopping at the shopping mall near my house. Today was a bit special, my housemate offered to walk with me from our house to the mall. I have never walked before, have always taken a bus, and it was very nice of her to show me the way by accompanying me. She had just moved in and I have never actually hung out with her before. The walk was 30 minutes, and to walk together means I would have to sustain a conversation with her for 30 minutes.

To my surprise, it was such great ease. We talked non-stop, there was no awkwardness at all, in fact, so much laughter and the conversation felt so natural. She was very talkative, very bubbly; there was hardly a gap of silence, and she gushed about the benefits of walking, “Yeah you should walk! I always walk and listen to my music and the walk is not long at all! In fact, it’s part of my daily routine now. And it is spring, the weather is so nice and the flowers are in full bloom…look!” as we walked she pointed, and we stopped occasionally to admire the flowers. The walk from our house to the mall was a bushwalk and we had to pass through a creek, where we see flora and fauna of species which I have never seen before (and certainly not thriving in Singapore).

“I’m definitely missing out!” I said in response and meant it. As she talked with such gusto and introducing me to the skatepark nearby, the mini supermart nearby, I felt a pang of embarrassment. I have lived here since May and have never walked to school or to the mall before. She has only just moved in and yet already knows so much about the neighbourhood. Ever since I came back from Europe and was curing my jet lag, I was usually late, and rushing for the bus and stuff. I never got to make the extra effort to wake up early, breathe in some fresh air and admire nature as I walked to school.

All I can say is I have made the decision to walk to school from now on. I am so so excited to listen to music and think about life while walking, or to just get a bit of exercise amidst my busy schedule. I have recently planned to meet up with a friend and she suggested instead of the usual hanging out at a cafe, why not go to a park and get a bit of running done? I loved the idea.

I got to the supermarket and have realised that I have never bought foods that I really wanted to try before. Mainly because I don’t know how to cook them, and I was too unmotivated to experiment. Then I got home and made some strawberry milkshake for myself for the first time since I’ve moved in. I realised have not used the blender even once, I seldom used the rice cooker, and I always use the microwave. I have not noticed how the flowers in my backyard have started to bloom.

I paused because I was trying to get some sort of insight here. Perhaps I was too absorbed in my own life and what I’m doing in school, or what’s online at the moment; that I’ve never stopped to appreciate beauty unless I’m travelling. I have not ventured outside my comfort zone to try new recipes or to even use the blender, instead of buying packet drinks and milkshakes all the time. I think…I lived like this not because I was lazy, but because it is too easy to fall back into a routine. We always think there are more important things occupying us, when in fact maybe…it is these little things that keep life fresh.

I love spring. The flowers are a sign that the weather is getting warmer, and should be a sign for me to stop being so absorbed in my own world, and to walk to school, too.

Passion and Fire

“Hear this, young men and women everywhere, and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind, but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change. For this is your time.”
—Sir Winston Churchill

Speaks to me a lot, because I know I have a vision, perhaps even a global revival for the youths of today. I can be kind and fierce… the question is, is this my time?

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 1.32.09 am

When we are young, we are filled with all energy and hope and passion and fire.

I was watching this documentary on American rappers in the music industry and they say we creators, us, we have to keep feeling and keep owning this fire; and implement our passion with discipline and consistency, because if we don’t it’s going to fizzle.

I hope mine never runs out.

I know in the creative industry, in the business of blogging, youtube and content creation, we have to market ourselves. This female rapper, Awkwafina, was talking about how she thinks she probably couldn’t be marketed without her music (her niche). I think so, for me, too. I have to have something that complements me…a kind of craft, a skill I can hone. Asian female, I am short, petite, normal looking, nobody would notice me. Some people (like celebrities and fashion models) can be marketed as themselves, as it is, as their personalities; but I don’t think I can be marketed like that. The thing is I am still not sure about my niche: is it art? Is it design? Is it in my writing? Or my video editing? Or photography? On top of all these, I still have so many things I’m interested in like acting, modelling, singing. Even though I have 0 experience in those. I have to find and market my niche.

My friends and I were talking about YouTube (the Asian Hollywood lol) yesterday and how it’s so oversaturated, that in order to really stand out, we have to be smashing original. Thinking about this repulses me, but it does not quench my drive for innovation. It just quenches my interest in YouTube. I DO NOT wish to be a social media influencer or a YouTuber, but I just enjoy creating videos. How does it make sense?? HAHHA. I have to be original and innovative.

Growing up, I am taught by my mother that Asians have no place in Hollywood, or in any creative industry for that matter. When I wanted to venture into the international market, my mum and others would tell me that as an Asian, I would always be treated with inferiority. It only has been in the recent year that I studied more on race, gender and culture in University; and I think the world is changing to become more inclusive, so I refuse to be defined by race or gender. I am still working on my insecurities though: my Singaporean accent. Not so much because I’m not proud of my culture, but because people have such a hard time understanding me when I speak Singlish. I feel embarrassed, and even though I have successfully shaken off most of my Singlish accent, learning how to speak in standard English; there is still this nagging doubt: If I wanted an acting career, would they accept the way I speak? If I wanted to have my own talk show or go into public speaking, would people recognise the way I speak? Would international employers want me to go into news reporting, for example? Race and gender is a barrier that the world is slowly overcoming, but what about accents? I want my face to get out there and I want to represent the weak, to give a voice to the silent, to inspire. I have to be comfortable in my own skin.

 

Marvel

Here’s my favorite quote from Captain America:

“A strong man who has known power all his life lose respect for that power, but a weak man knows the value of strength, and knows compassion.”

And Spiderman Homecoming:

Peter Parker: I’m nothing without the suit.
Tony Stark: The more you shouldn’t have it.

How true. The things we hold onto most tightly are the exact things we should let go. Because if not, it becomes an unhealthy idol, the more we can’t live without it, the more danger we put ourselves to, let ourselves and our worth be defined by it.

I realize I can learn so much from Marvel. Thor used to think he’s nothing without his hammer. The more he shouldn’t have it, because it actually hurts him. After it has been taken away from him, how much true potential within him was uncovered?

And Doctor Strange:

Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.
Strange: Which is?
Ancient One: It is not about you.

but really at heart, Doctor Strange is about losing one of the things that define you (in this case, his work) and this sense of salvation when you embark on a journey to rediscover yourself.

Forget self-pity and panic and pride. What will be your mission now?

Something that I always ask myself whenever I fall.

Ends of the earth

This morning I awoke having had the best sleep of my life. That’s great because before I slept I prayed to God for a good sleep. I think I am immune to jet lag. My jet lag, if of any existence at all, is cured now. However, I have chapped, dry lips, lips that are unable to adapt to the dry weather after a humid British summer.

This morning, I did what needs to be done, and ordinary life begins again. Opened my fridge, and apart from some bad food, there was nothing in it at all. Threw out the expired foodstuffs. Drew up a grocery list. Did my laundry. Scrubbed my shoes. Glad to see my Nikes back again, my Nikes which I missed for one month. Swapped my Oyster card for an Opal card.