Graduation!

19942835_10154932746799891_2913945571848977679_o

Warning: This post is long. Longer than it should be, just like my uni education.

Part 1: Graduation day

I graduated on Monday (10/7/2017) and it still feels quite surreal that I’ve finally graduated from both my masters and my bachelors. Whenever people ask me when I’m graduating and I say 2017, everyone will be like, “Wah, so long way to go”. It does feel like I’ve been in Uni FOREVER. It’s finally 2017 and I’ve finally graduated from Uni.

The best part about graduating is perhaps having people around you that love you watch you walk the stage. Sometimes life is too short to focus on the people who can’t celebrate you. It’s also too unfair to focus on them because it means giving less attention to those, who put in effort to do so.

I was very proud of myself on Monday, not only because I graduated, but also because I protected myself from people I know probably can’t be happy for me or can’t resist the chance to one-up everybody/make everything about themselves. I was thankful for friends, who come down to celebrate with me even though it was a very inconvenient timing.

After commencement, someone did something quite selfish/irritating to me and I was feeling rather bleah. The wonderful husband-elect then asked me to think what I would tell my future kid about commencement. What would I remember and tell her about my commencement and what would I want her to know on hers.

I thought about it and I told him that I’ll tell her about the friend, Sophia (or maybe aunt sophia by then), who came down on her 21st birthday just to tell me she was proud of me and tell me how much she loved seeing me and Jet together. I’ll tell her about Brenda, who spent the entire day running around with us, buying us huge ass balloons, and carrying all our heavy stuff. How she stood in as “mother” for both Pishi and I.

I’ll tell her about Aunty Wenhui, who cabbed down from work and ran to me excitedly with open arms. Even though I had asked her to turn left instead of right, making her walk a long way through crazy crowds, she was gentle-hearted to laugh it off like how she laughs off every one of my stupid mistakes. Maybe at this point I’ll side-track and tell her about how Wenhui used to joke every time we had a crisis on exchange that I’ll include that in my valedictorian speech when I graduate.

I’ll tell her about how my secondary school teacher had called to congratulate me. If she haven’t already heard the story for the 100th time, I’ll tell her how he saved my life. I’ll tell her it was him, who had gotten me out of the gutter and kickstarted the whole process that got me to graduate Uni. I’ll tell her how I had written the life and academic advices he gave me on post-its before I embarked on my JC journey. And how I take them out once in a while when I’m discouraged to remember that at some point, someone believed so much in me that I started to believe in myself too.

I’ll tell her about her father. I’ll tell her that he brought me my favourite sunflowers (and the non-sunflowers), picked out my favourite colours to wrap them in, and walked around with them trying to take the best pictures of my soft toys at UCC. I’ll tell her how he learnt how to use my DSLR for my graduation and constantly snapped pictures of me. I’ll tell her that he smiled when he saw my friends happy for me. I’ll tell her how he was the strongest support during my university days and how my CAP soared after I got together with him. I’ll tell her how he thinks the world of me and how he always reminded me of what truly matters at the end of the day. Very few people know how much I struggle to graduate from uni, but he is one of the few witnesses who knows my struggles.

I’ll tell her that God carried me through my uni days (and the rest of my life) and fulfilled all His promises to me. How my degree was not mine, but His as well. I’ll tell her that because I remember how faithful He is to me everyday, I remember my promises to Him.

I’ll tell her I graduated not so much because I was extremely brilliant, extremely hardworking, or extremely lucky. I graduated because God had put me in circumstances, where I got to meet these amazing people. They carried me through, believed in me, loved me, stood for me when I couldn’t, and let me know that I was never alone. The degree is great, but not as great as the meaning and the people behind it.

I’ll tell her I love her and I’m proud of her that she made it, but I’ll tell her to remember to look pass the degree. To remember all those who got her to that point. I’ll tell her that when her mother walked the stage, she thought of all those who carried her and remembered that she was walking the stage for them too.

Above all, I’ll ask her to remember to always be that friend to others too. The one that believes in them and loves them, that makes time for what others think is important to them, and the one that supports and carries them when they are too tired to stand on their own. I’ll tell her to take the advice that Aunty Yuning gave me – to forget about the hater(s) because there are so many, who love you. Because in life there are always going to people that will want to bring you down to elevate themselves, people that can’t be happy for others, and people who might make you feel less loved and worthy. But we never let those people overshadow those who love us.

Because at the end of the day, like what our valedictorian, Elvis, quoted: ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.’

Part 2: Graduation thoughts

I’m glad I’ve graduated, but at the same time, I’m scared. I’m scared because it’s time to face the world. It’s time to go into a new phase I’ve totally not experienced before. I spent a quarter of a century preparing and learning for what’s to come for the rest of my life.

Graduation comes with a sense of freedom and autonomy. I’m self-sufficient to a certain extent now and that’s always liberating and exciting. I think I’m blessed to be one of the few (or many idk) that has secured a job before formal graduation. What’s even better is that I got the job I really wanted.

After 20 years of going to school, I’m finally done for schooling (for now). My academic life have never always been as smooth sailing as it was in my later years. Somehow when I was younger, I was convinced that I was stupid and couldn’t do well academically no matter how hard I tried. Various things reinforced that mentality too. At some point in my academic life, I was also doing so badly that teachers would tell my parents that objectively with my score, I can’t even proceed to ITE. I guess that has taught me to never despise small beginnings because all it took was for one teacher and one sermon to turn it all around.

But I found my way and eventually found my place. It was a little late, but it’s not too late. I’ve not arrived, but at least I’m on track and am where I think I should be right now.

I’ve got a lot of take-aways from my time here at NUS. I guess it’s mainly because it was so damn long (5 years!) that coincided with my coming of age years and also because I’ve experienced many things during my time here at NUS. There were many life-changing moments and highlights in this 5 years.

So in chronological order:

  1. Choosing my major:
    I read my old posts that I had written when I was choosing my major and I remember feeling so scared and anxious. When I entered Uni, I couldn’t adapt to uni life. I took only 5 exposure modules, but was struggling to cope. There was this day when I stepped out my room (in hall), Rach looked at me and asked if I were okay, and then I started crying. Hahaha, cue lying on her bed and thinking whether I should drop one module (History). In the end, I dropped the module (despite everyone saying don’t).

    Although I was interested in other majors as well, I’ve always wanted to major in Psychology since secondary school, but when I had the choice, I was afraid. All my friends, seniors, mentors all well meaningly told me not to take Psych because I was not strong with numbers and Psych had a lot of stats. I was afraid of choosing Psych because I was afraid I would fail 2131 (a requirement to major) and afraid that I’ll die in the competitiveness in Psych. In the end, I decided it was stupid to give up my dreams for fear. So onward I went and majored in Psych

    At graduation, on hindsight, I was silly. I have taken every Psych module the department has offered (because all requirement for CDP) and I’ve not gotten below A- for any of them. In fact, stats mods are the things that pull my grades up. I grew so much more confident in myself because to me, if I can conquer stats, I can conquer anything else. The issue wasn’t with stats, but it was just the idea that I could overcome anything, even things everyone else (including myself) say I can’t, if I put my mind to it.

    There was always something else I learnt too. Throughout the whole thing, I never compared my grades with others. I never got caught up in the competitiveness. I shared my notes and helped friends whenever I could. For me, I found it easier to do better when I wasn’t busy guarding against others.

    I’m thankful 19 year-old Pee made the choice to study Psych. I truly love my major and the people in it. I get excited studying my modules. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I get things. I love relating it to real life and to the bible. I love talking and discussing about theories, in particular more of social psych theories. I find psych (and to a certain extent, stats) fascinating. It’s not easy finding something that I like studying and so I’m grateful that I trusted God and myself and took that leap of faith.

  2. Losing a friend:
    During my 2nd year, I lost a secondary school friend. It wasn’t the first time I had lost someone, but it was the first time I had lost someone who was my friend and was my age. I remember the moment when his mum called me. I remember being so frustrated with the then horrible reception in UTown because I had picked up the phone too late. I exclaimed a vulgar word in the middle of lecture. The whole room silenced. I hated the reception, hated the universe, and hated that it happened. I go back to the posts I had written about this and I remember being so sad. It happened in the midst of horrible many things going on then, but this really was like… rock bottom.

    Losing him kind of changed how I lived my life. I lost about 13kg that year. I had gained a lot during JC and first year of uni. I lost it all in that year. I started being more serious about my life because I felt like living was a privilege. My friend never got to see 21 years old, but I do. It wasn’t because I did anything better than him, it was just because I was more privileged. I remember running on the tracks with Nick after I got the news and looking up at the crest on university hall. I thought to myself that I was going to do my best to live my life right. I get to go to uni, I get to go on to graduate, get a job and live my life. I get to do things he never will and I must always remember to never take all of that for granted.

  3. Temporary impairment
    During my 2nd year, I experienced temporary impairment. I don’t know what else to call this. I couldn’t concentrate or remember the shit I read. It was shit life. I don’t know what caused it, but some Chinese doctor fixed it. The whole semester, I was constantly frustrated with myself. I could read the entire page 5 times and still not remember anything. I wish I told you I learnt how to be patient with myself, but I did not. But I learnt to leave everything in God’s hands and do what I could do. 

  4. Exchange
    I always tell people that my uni life is split into pre-exchange and post-exchange. The life before pre-exchange was horrible. I was stressed out and never ever went out during the semester. Those 4 semesters before exchange, I worked hard to get my CAP to a place, where I could cruise for the next 6 semesters.

    I experienced so much love on exchange. The friends who sent me off, the friends who constantly sent me mail even when it was not cheap, and the friends who would skype in no matter the hour where they were. I finally understood what it meant by, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”.

    Exchange was more than just seeing the world (that part was fun), it was life-changing for me in two other ways. The first was because I met my exchange mate, Wen Hui. Before exchange, I prayed that I would meet someone similar to me. I didn’t particularly mean on exchange, but just in life. I met this huizel bedizzle on exchange and people always commented that she felt like a smaller version of me. We even looked very similar back then. It was easy to talk to her. We set out as strangers, but over the 5 months there, she became someone who will forever be a life-giving voice to me. I learnt so much self-forgiveness, patience, kindness through her. She will forever remain one of my dearest friends.

    The other part that was life-changing about exchange was that I learnt autonomy. 5 months away from Singapore and away from toxicity of certain situations taught me so much about myself. I finally felt free. I was happy and I felt true quiet joy. I felt like I could finally escape the demons that haunted me all these years. I became more confident in myself. I learnt to hear my own voice. There was so much more clarity. I grew so much closer to God. It was peaceful rest after so many years.

    I wasn’t the same after I came back. I got a new perspective of what’s important in life and what I wanted. I went out during the semester, was more willing to make new friends, and was more chill about life.

  5. Healing
    When I came back from exchange, I saw how life could be. I started on a journey of healing. I took steps to heal. I don’t want to go into more details about this, but I just wanted to record this down for me to remember because this was a large part of my uni life too.
  6. Wei the blur
    Wei the blur went viral when I came back from exchange and I was a mini mini nus celebrity for a while. People came up to me to ask if I were Wei the blur. People asked me to advertise their stuff on my page. The dean even wrote me a commendation letter. It got too overwhelming that I shut down Wei the blur for a while haha, but if you’re reading this, you’ll know it was back up.

    I learnt to enjoy the things I liked that came with it. I liked responding to juniors. I liked making use of the experiences I had to help them out. I liked linking them to people who could help. So I focused on that and Wei the blur became a little bit more meaningful to me. It was particularly interesting because wei the blur started when I was a sec 1 kid. It was used as an outlet for me to vent, to bully, to scold, to emo. But then it suddenly became a very different thing to others. It became help to navigate the complicated system that is FASS. I like that.

  7. Internship
    Internship was another turning point for me because I realise I could be useful in life. I also found what I wanted to do after I graduated. I met awesome people and mentors there. I got many opportunities through my internship that I appreciate. I met friends I’ll keep for a lifetime there and I also found my boyfriend there 😉
  8. CDP
    I felt like people’s perception of me changed after I entered CDP. I was still me, but people treated me differently. I think entering CDP helped me meet the nus psych community. I learnt so much from the other grad students. It also put me on the path to get my masters – something that I never thought I would. I also got two good friends out of this – Elvis and Peishi. They are truly the best classmates one could ever ask for.

    I remember making the decision to apply for CDP on exchange. I was undecided because it meant I had to take more modules than required. It meant I had to approach people to write letters for me. It was troublesome. It also meant that I was out of my comfort zone. I was scared I couldn’t enter the program and I was scared I couldn’t stay in it if I did. All along in life, even when I qualified for the better program/stream, I’ll always choose the slackest route. I never dared to try to be anything more than minimal. This was going against everything I knew haha.

    But I’m glad that I chose this route even though every fibre of my being was very resistant to working harder than I needed to. I’m glad because I learnt so much and got so much out of this program.

  9. Finding love
    During my university life, I got attached to my first boyfriend and got engaged to him. I never thought I would find a boyfriend during my uni years, but I did. He made me feel like I finally belonged on this Earth. He made me feel like I belonged somewhere. I could finally talk to someone, who understood me. He is my soulmate. I found someone I could run alongside with in life. He celebrated my small victories and stood by me in my temporary defeats. He wiped my tears and hugged me when that stupid uncle from my thesis participant scolded me unreasonably.

    He joined me by getting his masters in the same school, under the same prof, in the same specialisation. People meet their boyfriend in school before going to work. I meet my boyfriend at work and then go to school together. There’s too much to say about how having him in my life made me a much more joyful and happy person, but I guess this is a good summary.

  10. Trusting God
    My first semester started out with me not trusting God. However, at a certain point, I hit rock bottom. I was at a place, where I was forced to move, to not stick to the status quo. I was forced to put my trust in God.

    Many times in my life, I think back to that moment. It was shitty then, but I’m always glad I moved when I had to. There was so much uncertainty, but there was also so much peace. I learnt how to feel God’s peace. Learnt how to listen to his directions. There were so many times during my uni life, where I could definitively say, yes, this is God’s plan. Uni became a platform for me to learn how to recognise God’s voice.

    In my second semester, I told God that I surrendered my degree to Him. I told Him that this degree was His and He could do whatever He wanted with it. And so, He stood by his promises to me. Every semester I learnt how to wait on His provision. I hope I never forget my promise to Him too, that whatever He wants me to do with my degree, I’ll do.

I guess in summary, my life in university was definitely an enriching one. It was here, where I learnt how to trust God and be more confident in myself. It was also during this period of time, when I found people who I could click with. I found that I could belong. I learnt that I could learn. I learnt that I could be joyful. People always say that you go to uni to find a better job. While that is true, it’s so much more than that. You what your experience what you want.

So I’m now armed with two certs, I hope I’ll always make the right choice to use them in the right way. Here’s to trying to be a productive and fruitful member of society!

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

– Albus Dumblerdore

 

Start of the break

My break has started.

I finally get a break after idk how long. The loveliest thing in my life decided to start it with a bang by bringing me to USS. Even though USS probably opened like… 6 years ago? I haven’t gone to it once yet. Imma sua gu.

I never really wanted to spend the money to visit USS because I felt like it’ll be a waste of money on me since I’m always so queue-resistant. But since NS50 was having its 1-for 1 deal, I decided it was time! Really lucky to manage to be the first 1000 people. I imagined people to be much more kiasu about it, but I guess I’m the only sua gu that hasnt visited the park yet.

It was really sweet because the Jet took leave just to take me to USS because he wanted my break to start off well. I’m touched because he takes all my little things seriously. He’s also the kind that would ask me if I want to get minion tattoos with him because he knows me that well haha. I’m just glad I’m dating someone I don’t have to drag to do silly things with me.

19601460_10154908136469891_7251131638112506450_n

Matching tats with my minion.

The thing about Jet is that he’s not a fan of thrill rides. Actually, he hates it. But he always takes them with me because I want to. This is why I love him so much haha because he always puts me before himself.

He celebrates with me all the little things like agreeing to buy a Shrek ice-cream waffle. I catch him smiling when he sees me happy (esp when eating crab). Maybe that’s what love is – being happiest when you see the one you love happy.

After USS, we caught wonder woman (finally, told u I’m slow on everything). I REALLY LIKED THE MOVIE. It was good and I enjoyed it!!

Then we came home and watched parliament. The perks of dating a nerd is that he gets it. He really does hahaha. He gets excited over the same stupid geekish shit.

So my month of slack has started and I’m enjoying every moment of it.

A season of endings

The month is ending and many things are coming to an end. It seems like Airlee (my lappy) knows and she has decided to die without warning. I’m currently typing this on the bf’s laptop that he has decided to give me instead. It’s the new macbook and I’m not used to the keys and the feeling of the entire machine. I feel like I was forcefully ripped away from my airlee and thrust into this newness – a very apt analogy of my life right now.

So end of last month, I got my final results and I’m on my way to graduating! My thesis did wayyy better than I had expected and I’m satisfied with my results overall. (Yaye, more about graduation some other time).

End of last month, I also got the news that I had gotten my “dream job”. After 4-5 long months, it is finally final. I gave my one month’s notice and this Friday (end of this month) will be my last day at my current job. It was a surreal feeling finally getting the letter of offer in the mail. I was talking to Xiao Tian and he was suggested that this was my calling. I never really thought of it like that, but yes, at this point of time it feels right and it feels like it is really my calling.

My job search journey has been nothing short of exciting and nerve-wrecking and I’m glad it has come to an end.

In Feb, I had gotten an offer to work at… let’s just call it ‘A’ at the same time I was through to the next round for place ‘B’ and for place ‘C’. All these three places were places that I really wanted to try. To have an openings for the specific project/job scope at the places I wanted to work at was already a miracle, to be called back by all three was a bigger miracle.

When ‘A’ offered me, I thought of letting go of ‘B’ and ‘C’. But after some thought, I felt like I really wanted ‘B’. It had been my dream job for the past 1-2 years and I really wanted to give it a shot. At the same time, if I didn’t get it, I’ll be losing a really good job that I was also interested in at ‘A’.

I prayed about it and the feeling was very odd. I was at peace for both A and B, less so for C. I felt God was telling me not to fear and go for B because He promised me I’ll get it, but at the same time I felt God telling me to go for ‘A’ as well. I didn’t really get it, what did He want me to do. B told me that the process to confirm me would take up to 6 months to a year, so I couldn’t ask A to hold.

I remember being so torn. My idea was to take up A first and if B fell through, at least I had a back-up. But it also meant I had to quit if I had gotten B and decided to take it up. It didn’t feel right. Everyone told me to just take A up first and then quit later. They told me not to tell A I was looking for another job because they’ll not take me/they won’t develop me if they do take me in. But it honestly didn’t feel right.

I prayed again and called ‘A’ up. I wanted to be honest, so I told them I was keen to take up this job, but at the same time I had a job that if I didn’t try, I will regret for the rest of my life. I asked them if they were comfortable taking me in and if they weren’t then I would politely decline their offer. God really came through for me because after some discussion, they decided to take me in, even though I had such a weird request.

It was a risk I took and I remember shivering when talking on the phone to the boss. It was a very good job and the fear of being jobless if they didn’t take me up on my offer was very real too. However, I remember thinking I didn’t want to start my career on a lie and I wanted to do what I felt was right.

So I started work. They made concessions for me for my first 2 months since I was still studying. They let me work part time for my first two months until I finished school. The people there were nice and I learnt a lot. I also decided I wanted to Foster in the future. I learnt about trauma-informed care. I learnt the pains of internet separation. I’ve learnt how good leadership looked like.

During my time there, I went for the different rounds of interview at ‘B’ and ‘C’ too. ‘C’ is somewhat similar to ‘B’ and people have told me that ‘C’ was more prestigious than ‘B’. At my second interview at ‘C’, I was immediately given an ‘offer’, subjected to normal proceedings, for the position I wanted. Two days later, B called and offered me a position too.

I prayed and decided that B was where I felt most at peace. I told my superiors at work and they were supportive. It was then when I was so glad that I had told them the truth right from the start. If I hadn’t, it would’ve been horrible. The work at ‘A’ is okay, colleagues are great and the culture is good (pay is also good haha), but it just don’t feel like where I am supposed to be at right now.

I still don’t know clearly the reason why God had asked me to work at ‘A’ either, but feel like this isn’t going to be in vain. These 3 months although short has its meaning, even if I do not see it yet. I can, with good conscience, say that I had given my best in this 3months and contributed in my own way to the organisation and now am ready to leave.

I will finally be getting my break since… 2014. Everyone is going on grad trips and whatnot, but I’m going to take this break to really recharge, regroup and re-everything to get ready for the next phase of life.

I am excited and nervous at the same time for my next job. I heard it’s stressful and demanding, but I’m so ready to learn. I’m thankful for getting this job. I am thankful for the small events that added up to make getting this job possible. It was really many small coincidences and things. I am thankful for the people that helped me. Thankful for the supportive friends (esp Gary and Rachel). Thankful for the boyfriend for dealing with my crazy paranoia and constantly reassuring me throughout this journey. I also am very thankful for this life partner for supporting me to do what I think (and he thinks) is right and honest.

I think I’ve learnt to trust God in one other part of my life (work) and He has been with me throughout this job search process. Excited for what is to come (:

SBF

It’s been less than a month since I last blogged, but it feels like such a long time. So much have happened in between. Actually, so much have happened within the past week too. Time passes quite slowly when I’m working. There’s so much I want to log down, but so little time. I guess this blogpost, I’ll focus more on my relationship with Jet.

Jet and I decided to try for another balloting for a HDB. This time, if we get it, we’ll be able to move in straight away. This also means we’ll get married right away. Last year in November, we tried for a BTO flat in Bedok, but the number was huge. Now I think the huge number was sort of a blessing in disguise (more on that later).

Well, we’re trying for SBF kallang and our plan is to actually to keep trying to ballot a flat until we get one or until 2019, whichever comes first. This time feels different because this time I feel so much more at ease compared to previously. I feel so much more at peace balloting for this even though our chances are very small this time. I don’t know, it feels right. Maybe it’s because we walked around the entire night around the kallang neighbourhood (omg my legs died) or because this time it feels more concrete and tangible (the flats are built already).

So we have two applications running concurrently (the bedok one and the kallang one) and I hope the Bedok one doesn’t call us soon because if they call us and we reject, we’re considered 2nd timers with lesser chance. However, if the kallang one ballots before the bedok one calls us down to select a flat, we are still considered 1st timers. So I really am thankful the bedok number was huge enough and I’m hoping that they don’t call us to select the flat too soon! Whatever it is, I’m leaving this in God’s hands. I think He has good plans for us and I’ll just trust Him.

2 days ago, I proposed to Jet. Haha, I realize I haven’t recorded it on this blog about his proposal at Disneyland to me yet (I’ll do it soon). I have been planning this proposal wayyy long ago and wasn’t planning to do it so soon, but because I wanted to get him something, I had to bring it forward. Haha. He was surprised and touched hehe. I regret not recording it even though he asked me if I wanted to (when he realized it was a proposal). I decided that I wanted to just be in the moment and remember it for the rest of my life.

I think our relationship has progressed very quickly in a short span of time. I hesitate to use the word “progress” because I don’t really see it as such. Maybe I would say, our relationship has added layers. I think it’s the best feeling in the world to feel like you’re in this together with your favourite teammate. There’s a sense of safety. It’s exciting to be working together to build a future together, be it saving together for our future (we started a savings plan), or planning for our house or planning how many kids we want etc etc. It’s a great feeling when you use the word “we” instead of just “I”. some people might say, don’t get a savings plan together because what if you break-up/divorce. But isn’t that what love is? Taking chances, having your lives intertwined?

How do you tell someone you want them in your life forever when you don’t include them in the planning of your future?

Recently, I feel this tangible deeper understanding of each other and our relationship. I feel like I can just look at him and he’ll just know. I’m not sure what it is that makes me feel this way.

 

It’s also in the little things that make me confident in our relationship. The small things he does just to show me he loves me. Like trying to prepare a spoon that contains the perfect combination of noodles, soup, meat and then blowing it to make sure it isn’t too hot before he gives it to me to try whatever he’s having. It’s peeling prawns before I even ask him to or ordering all my favourite food even for himself so I can “pinch” some of his. It’s messaging me every morning and randomly telling me he loves me during the day.

 

It’s a nice feeling. Feeling safe in someone else’s arms, knowing there’s a future you both want and will work hard together for.

 

2.5 more months before the results are out and I really hope we get it. *cross fingers*

End of Uni part 1: Thank you 

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and I’ve been busy with work and whatever remaining of school there is. This week, I finished marking my pl1101 papers, handed over my data to my prof, handed in my final essay and today I attended my last brown bag.

This is a new era I Guess, for me. Haha the end of half study half work. School related activities have officially ended. 

5 years. 5 years in nus. I wish I had taken a mandatory last exam shot or something haha. But this will have to do for now 

Psych or psycho?

We took this last last week when we stayed over in the grad room. It was my last week of part time work and I guess it was kind of my last time to do something stupid in school. It was also because the next day we were invited by the deans office for some luncheon so we decided to stay over. 

I enjoyed staying over with them in school and as we stood on the rooftop and stargazed, I felt this sudden “omg this is it.”. This is the end of my formal education. 17 years and this is the end. 

I feel privileged to be standing there that day. I’m privileged in many ways. I come from an upper-middle class family and that has helped me in my studies in many ways: I don’t need to worry about money, I can engage tutors if I ever feel the need to, i never had to work and study if I didn’t want to. I have the privilege to choose if I want to take up an opportunity or not. All these privileges played a part in getting me here today. Some people like to pretend that it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, but let’s not discount how much more people who have less have to overcome. I’m not saying it was easy for me, I’m saying it was easier for me in certain aspects and I don’t want to take that for granted or ignore that. 

Standing there, I also feel privileged in another way. At various stages of my life, I always try and remember to be grateful to be able to somewhat choose where I want to be. Grateful to be able to go JC, study in nus and go on and find a job and do life. Sometimes I get so caught up and I forget. I forget that there are some friends that never got to live pass 21 and never get to experience what I experience. But I hope i never take being alive and having some autonomy to choose how I want life to be for me. 

But anyway, I’m even more grateful to all the people who has invested in me from kindergarten all the way till my masters. I don’t think I had the easiest time, academic-wise. There were certain points in my life, where I was so convinced I was stupid and I’ll never do well in any exam. Whenever I look back and identify a “turning point”, I always know that my turning point came in the form of a teacher who really believed in me. For that, I’ll always be grateful to him. 

My life so far has so many life-giving people who, at various points in my life, carried me through when I couldn’t do so myself. This is especially so during my more formative years. Getting me here was a collective effort. I am grateful because I know not everyone has that and I’m especially thankful. 

I think it was in Uni (prob y1s2) that I started getting a bit more confident. I started to find my place, started to understand myself more and started to learn to trust in God more. It was in uni, where I realise that one day I would be free. 

I found amazing people. I found amazing friends. I found amazing profs. I started to be passionate in what I was studying. I finally saw the point. 

I did my exchange while in uni and it was another turning point in my life. I did CDP and that was one other key milestone. I found an amazing Prof that believed in his students, was encouraging and took time to invest in them. I did my internship and found a great supervisors that believed in me too, in ways I still am not able to comprehend. I found my Husband-elect too. I got the opportunity to TA, something I always secretly wanted to try. I learnt so much in my 5 years. Took all the modules I was dying to take (there are more, but there’s no time) 

There has been so many ups and downs in uni. Private sorrows and celebrations, but I grew so much in the last 5 years. Made mistakes, made good decisions, made mistakes that turned out to be good decisions. It’s time to leave this season behind me (till graduation). I want to write more in detail to help me document what the main takeaway from Uni was for me, but I think that’ll take a Long time and I want to mark this day (the end of all official duties) first. 

Adulting

Today, I went to open a new bank account so that I can start crediting my salary in. I also learnt about endowment plans and saving plans and comparing and planning. Yesterday, Jet and I were surfing the net for a resale flat and we stumbled across this one that we were pretty impressed by and we’re going to be looking at it this Sunday.

Calculating savings, projected expenses, and calculating which plan suits us the best makes me feel too adult. Planning for the future feels so adult. It’s scary in some sense and there’s this sense of dread. At the same time, I feel excited. Like Jet says, it’s exciting to look at houses together because it’s with each other. Planning for OUR future together. Like we’re going on an adventure together. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else other than the best partner in the world. ❤

New chapter

I’ve privatised all my blog posts from 2006-2013. That’s half of my bloglife actually. I did it because I realised I’ll be starting work soon and there are some parts of me I’m not quite comfortable putting it out there. Those cringe-worthy years. So, I set up another private blog to house all my old posts for me to read whenever I want to and also because I’m aware some of my friends sometimes use my blog as a time machine.

I’m supposed to start work tomorrow, but it’s been pushed back to next week. That’s good I think because it gives me some “down” time before I start work. Of course I wish for longer “down time”, but beggers can’t be choosers. I haven’t graduated so I expect the next couple of months to be a little hectic – juggling work, school and TA duties.

I think I’m incredibly lucky to have found work so soon and at a place, where the boss is so flexible. The pay is decent and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to try too. It’s funny how it all falls into place. Plus, it’s so freaking near my house. I’m considering investing in a kick scooter. On top of that, I’m still trying for my “dream job”, and it’s something that the current employer is okay with me doing. I’m extremely grateful that they allow this.

I’ve learnt something through this whole job search process. My job search process was a little nerve-wracking and it contained much uncertainty. I was rather stressed for a period of time, but I’ve learnt how to trust God in a new way. I’ve learnt that nothing in this world is worth it if it demands your peace. I hope I take this lesson with me as I start to work. I hope that I’ll never do anything against my conscience and that I always keep my integrity.

A few times I was faced with the decision to either do the “smart” thing or the “right” thing. I chose to do the “right” thing – right in my books at least. Of course, there was my wonderful fiance and friends there to support my decision. Some said it was a stupid move and maybe, in the long run, I would think it was too, but everything worked out better than I expected for now. I have to remember to always give more weight to the voices who know me and love me and I trust. I’m proud of myself too because I never imagined myself being so brave. I surprise myself. hahaha.

It’s daunting. Starting work. I’m finally trying to be a productive member of the society. It also means that now my actions have a little bit more real world consequences. I hope I never grow weary giving my best. I hope I never grow jaded (for too long). I hope I always try to be excellent, even for things that don’t seemingly matter.

I’m worried that I’ll lose myself. That I’ll become competitive, scheming, or political. I hope I never be and that I’ll always have people to keep me in check. As I start work, I hope I’ll never forget God and to spend time with God. I hope that I’ll always remember what’s most important – relationships with God, friends, family and Jethro.

I haven’t forgotten and will never forget that everything I have today is God’s. At the start of my degree, I told God that my degree is His and I’ll do whatever He wants me to do with this degree. I don’t know where this whole thing will take me. I’m not sure whether I’ll stay here for the long haul or I’ll be transferred to my “dream job”, but either way, I’m willing to let God guide me to where he wants me to go. There have been so many times in my life where He has put me in places I didn’t intend or necessarily enjoy being in, but out of those places, better things came. Wherever I end up, I hope I never forget that I’m right where I need and am intended to be.

(1 Timothy 6:1-2)

5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart, just as you would show to Christ. 6And do this not only to please them while they are watching, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve with good will, as to the Lord and not to men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

9And masters, do the same for your slaves. Give up your use of threats, because you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

 

Locked

It feels kinda good to be honest, to lock my blog for the time being. I feel like I can blog more uninhibitedly.

I’m on the cusp of a new season in my life once again. So many things are so uncertain and here I am, having to learn to trust God in a whole new way. It’s exciting yet nerve-wrecking at the same time. Just when I thought I’ve mastered trusting God, life throws a curveball at me once again.

So many things have happened since I’ve been back from USA. Job offers, decisions, job interviews… well, that all surrounds job search and that alone is enough to drive me crazy. But I don’t think that’s something I want to blog about yet.

A week or so ago, I got my first “Pee, I need you to bail me out call”. We used to joke about this when we were younger and I never really thought it would happen one day. I knew most of my friends were crazy and mischievous, at the most, but I never thought any would actually commit a crime. What was most disappointing was that the call was from someone I felt was the most unlikely.

I went down to the station, but couldn’t bail him out. I made a few calls and finally, I called someone who had once been (and still kinda is) a sort of a mentor-figure to us. I missed call him twice and figured he had to be busy. He messaged me back and told me he was attending to something important. I knew it probably was serious because knowing him, he would rarely reject calls. He asked me what had happened and I told him and he got someone else to help me. He sounded so disappointed. After the whole incident, I went home and just felt this uncomfortable feeling that something bad had happened.

A few days later, I found out his wife, with just two more weeks to go, had a miscarriage during that period of time. I never thought I would ever sadness like that for something someone else is going through. It’s hard not to feel sad when they’re probably one of the most genuine people ever. They’re the kind of parents that you know will love their kid like crazy and be super fun parents. They were so excited. Just a few months ago, he was just joking with me that he has second thoughts about letting us play with his daughter. The most painful part is knowing that it was so close. Just a couple more weeks.

It’s times like these when you start questioning God and His plans and His goodness. But looking at them, holding on to God more firmly than before, I think it’s during these times when need to believe God’s goodness and His plans more than ever. You need to believe that it’ll all be alright in the end, even if you don’t see it now.

Partaye in the USA

Well I should be asleep right now considering I should be up in another 3ish hours to catch my plane. My villager life has gone down the drain. 

It’ll be my first time flying to USA and I’m pretty excited. The last two days I’ve been chionging my thesis because my prof gave me back my thesis draft just yesterday and I wanted to complete it before I leave for USA since it’s due a couple of days after I’m back. Looks like I’m gonna be doing my thesis on the plane instead hahaha. 

We’ll be landing just in time for trump’s first day of presidency. It’s pretty apt since I’m going there for a conference to present on xenophobia – something trump has a lot of. 

The real purpose of going to USA is for a conference presentation + vacation. Confercation? Idk. The rest of the crew is already there and jet and I will be arriving one day after them. Haha im blessed with a Boyfriend who willingly drops work and school just to accompany me. Haha it’ll be our first trip together and it’s exciting cos it’s the first time being in USA for the both of us. So it’s kinda like an adventure for us. I mean we even got matching travel. What’s there not to love about this trip haha. 

Hope we get through the 24 hr flight journey just fine without too much back aches and whatnots. 

I’m already thinking of puns to annoy him for the next 12 days together. Jetair jetplane jetlag. Kay I should sleep soon. 

Oceans

Well, it’s 2017. I had intended to write a post about my 1st year anniversary with the #silentshoutout who is now #loudloudshoutout, but then again, I also intended to finish my thesis by 31 Dec 2016 and look how not close to finishing I am.

2016 was a very different year, mostly because it’s the first year I’m in a relationship. Being in a relationship feels different and I’ve learnt so much over last year. As I said at the beginning of the year, I don’t expect much wow things to happen in 2016, just more of maintaining and pruning. I think that in itself is hard. It’s easy to start things, but it’s not easy maintaining.

I can’t really remember any big things that happened in 2016, except that my friend of 10 years got engaged, I ditched the bb for an iphone (finally), my boyfriend joined me for masters, I got my home team research award, I changed CG, I got baptised…okay, sounds like a lot actually now that I think of it.

I think this was a whole year of learning. Learning how to cut and untie some relationships, learning how to grow and start others. Last year, I got my iphone moment too (this changes everything moment). I’ve learnt so much about myself over the past year.

So 2017, what’s new? I think 2017 is going to be a transition year for me again. I’m going to be graduating this coming semester (finally) and I’m going to be forcefully ejected out of the education system into the real world. 5 years of university. It felt long, it was long and I thought graduation was far away. I guess not. I spent much of today panicking over job search and putting my thesis on hold, as a result (Also because I downloaded roller coaster tycoon). The fear of not getting a job is real, the fear of not getting a job that I will not dread and actually enjoy is also real.

After panicking for a day, I realised this is probably going to be a whole new season of trusting God. When I’ve finally learnt to trust God and get a hang of this whole “God is control of my education” thing in my final semester, God sends me to level 2. It’s time to trust God in my career too.He’s never failed and he won’t start now.So that’s something to look forward to in 2017 I guess – learning to trust God all over again.

So that’s one – graduation and job search. Actually, that should be 2 separate things because graduation in itself is already a challenge. I really think people who have completed their thesis are heroes. “Great spirit of those who lived before, take our hands and lead us” (Brother Bear, all you no childhood people). But I’m finishing up my thesis for the first review that hopefully will be in by the time I go US.

And that’s the next thing to look forward to for 2017 – USA! Jet and I will be going to USA in January for a conference and then heading to Orlando (disneyworld and Harry potter world, anybody?!) and then New York (CONCRETE JUNGLE WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE OF~). It’s been a long time since I’ve travelled to non-asian countries since exchange, which was a good 2-3 years ago, so I’m a little nervous. But, I’m also excited because this will be our first trip together and because DISNEYWORLD. Not land. WORLD. Okay, I think I have to, technically, be excited about my conference presentation since that’s what NUS is sponsoring me to go to the US for (I should start doing my presentation up). But still, a nerd can be excited about other things, right? right?

The third thing is BTO results. Okay, the chances of getting a queue number is rather slim, but then, it’s still quite exciting to be able to receive the results for our application. Gah gah gah. 0009 please.

I guess the 4th thing is kind frivolous. It’s the year of the CHEEEKEN. Yea, finally the year of the cheeken. The next time would be when I’m 36 pfft.

Dear’s one year of being smoke-free!!! WHOO! He’s gonna be smoke-free for a year in about 26 days! He’s really my inspiration. Promotion, good results, appearing on newspaper like a celeb, best boyfie in the world and now smoke-free for 1 year?! wow, what did I do to get such an amazing creature hahaha.

Oh yes, one more is being TA for PL1101E. Haha, I’m going to be a TA this semester for the freshies. I’m sort of excited for this. I like teaching so this should be interesting for me. Also, I’m taking thai painting this sem! AFTER 10 SEMESTERS. I finally get to take the module I’ve always wanted to take since I even entered NUS.

Okay, I realise these are all happening at the start of 2017. I’m not sure what’s going to happen after that hahaha. Whatever it is, woohoo! 2017 is here! yaye. Designated survivor season 1b! Yea!

Some things I want to accomplish for 2017:

  1. Finish the Udemy courses.

Actually, that’s all I can think of right now. hahaha. Okay errbuddy, have a great 2017!

 

 

Results

I got back my results for the sem that just passed today. I think this is probably the first semester that I didn’t wake up before my sms came in. This is also the first semester that my dearest is getting his results. My last and his first haha.

I woke up and saw my sms and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. Just the night before, the dearest told me he had a good feeling I’ll be getting an A and an A-. Well, it came true. My CAP was the other thing that was quite amazing.

My studies is something that I’ve always say I leave entirely in God’s hands. I can’t say the same for other aspects of my life, but my studies is something I felt was important enough, but can be risked to try this whole “having faith in God” thing. It was also the only thing in my life then (I was 16) that outcomes could be measured objectively. My first venture was in secondary school, where I prayed and believed God for 9 (my favourite and jersey number then). I got it on the dot, after subtracting CCA points. I saw it as a coincidence and did it again for my A levels, which was on the dot again.

At university, I was rather convinced it was all God because of various reasons. In my first year, I prayed and wrote down this CAP , down to the second decimal, on a post it. I pinned it to my dorm board and prayed over it every now and then. People often gathered at my room and they would ask me what that number was. I always made up some story because I was embarrassed to say that I thought was deserving to aim for that CAP. It was a CAP well over first-class and I was… well, me.

My first semester ended rather disastrously. I thought I could do a million things on my own strength. I dissed God, quite literally, that semester. I dropped a mod, I was feeling drained and my CAP was more than 1 whole point off. I was discouraged because, not only did I do badly, my friends did so much better. Faith leaked, I threw that post-it away when I shifted out of my dorm and I was convinced I was too ambitious and cocky.

I regrouped, repented, prayed and decided to trust God all over again. I was more experienced this time too. The second semester onwards, my grades improved by leaps and bounds, but my first semester constantly pulled my CAP down beyond salvage.

By the third semester, I had well forgotten all about that post-it. Other things got my attention and I was working towards other things – exchange, internship, research. And then came CDP – a new program and I was invited to apply to be the first batch. I applied for it and got a second CAP (one bachelor’s and one masters) upon getting in.

A few weeks back, I heard a sermon on “one more time”. It was about how God had delivered the children of Israel by parting the red sea once. He performed the miracle again later in their journey by parting the Jordan river. I remember the preacher saying that sometimes the fulfilment of a promise will be delayed, but it’s not dead. It could be delayed for various reasons, but in the case of the children of Israel, God had let them take the longer route (40 years longer) because He knew that they weren’t strong enough for the shorter route yet. That a shortcut to their blessing will kill them if they haven’t learnt how to trust in God to overcome the obstacles that lay within the shortcut. I thought about this and remembered God had done a miracle for me before at A levels. I felt something telling me that God will do a miracle again for me before the year ended, just to show me He’s still in control of everything.

When I got my results, I stared at my second CAP because that’s the exact CAP I had written down 5 years ago when I was still a freshie. It’s a long route. It’s a long route and the promise had turned out better than I had expected. I didn’t see myself being part of CDP. If I had it my way, it’ll just be my bachelor’s cap being awesome and end of story. There was no masters in my plans, no internships in my plan and definitely, no boyfriend getting results same day as me in my plan. In my heart, as much as I would like to say I would remain faithful, I know getting that CAP in the first sem would make me proud and pull me away from God. Getting that CAP in my first sem would also mean not learning to trust God on that level that circumstances forced me to.

Another thing that I had learnt is that I’m where I ought to be. I often say that I’m the lowest life form in CDP. It’s true because the other two are better than me in terms of grades. I’m not bitter or salty, but I’ve often felt like I stumbled into CDP. Very much like how I’ve always felt like I’ve stumbled into JC and then Uni. I feel like I don’t really deserve my spot. It’s by sheer luck. But I felt like that CAP was also God’s way of telling me that it’s all part of the plan. That He had planned for me to be where I am all along and that I’m where I ought to be. That even if it isn’t the best CAP, it was for me. Planned for me. Funny thing to only understand on my last semester, but it’s good to know also.

I’m assured that God has been faithful to me and now to Jethro too. Working and studying masters at the same time is crazy and I’m always so amazed at how Jet does it. God knows how much we struggled during this semester. There were many times when we felt like giving up. There were many times when we dreaded the next day. But God came through for us every time. It’s through these tough times when we learn more about God and His heart for us. It’s coming out on the other side, against all odds, that we learn to trust in God. And so, Jet came out more than wonderful. Amazing results and a promotion at work to go along with it.

At the end of my first semester, I promised God that my degree was for Him. That whatever happens, it was for Him. I promised that my degree will be used for His glory and whatever He wanted me to do with it, I will. And so, it’s apt because I’m embarking on my next phase of life soon – work. That means it’s time to use my education and choose the job He wants me to do. I’m not sure what it is, but I will do my best to find out. The children of Israel had a song to remember God’s fulfilment of His promises to them, so here’s me penning all these down to remind me of the times God has been faithful to me for me to look back in the future when I’m a little more doubtful.

Baptism

I got baptised on 18 December 2016! Whee! Missing: Gary who had to rush home because of cutie Pudding (Thanks for coming down!).

My feels warm today, not only because I got baptised, but because of the people who love me. I’m thankful for friends who come down to support me and for church friends who help me arrange and take care of my friends when I’m busy running around. Thank you for all the gifts and flowers too! ❤

A church friend of mine commented that my friends are really a bunch of genuine people. I really think so too. Today, I had invited friends from most stages of my life and I think I’m blessed in that I find very genuine and amazing friends at every stage of my life that are always happy for me (and happy to see me get dunked). Be it birthdays, send-offs for overseas trips, mails on exchange or baptism, they’ve always supported me through and through. They are people I know I can count on. Thanks guys ❤ wo ai ni men. Never taking y’all for granted.

Then there’s my best boyfriend who really organised the fetching of my friends and everything. He sent lunch down because he was afraid I didn’t have time to eat, went to fetch my friends, carried my stuff everywhere. My PA, jet plane, and flower holder all rolled into one. I know he was dead tired, but he still pushed on because he knew it was an important day for me. I don’t know where I found such an amazing thing.

I had intended to get baptised after exchange after I turned 21. But then it got postponed and so, 18 December it was. Baptism, I gathered, is a rather huge thing for every Christian. I didn’t think it was such a big deal until everyone started making it so haha, so I caught on to it too. I think the best part is of course having my friends to witness it. They say it’s like your wedding with God and I guess that analogy is true. Nothing changes when your baptised, the same way nothing changes when you’re married. You’re gonna continue being with the same guy no matter whether you’re married or not, but marrying does make it kind of official and stuff. So, even if I weren’t baptised, I’ll still be a Christian, but this feels like the right time to make it official.

I first decided to get baptised on exchange. I think it was during exchange my relationship with God grew to a whole new level and I was ready. I was sure this is the God I want to follow for the rest of my life. God has been a huge constant in my life and this is one relationship I dont think I can ever turn my back on.

I’m not the best Christian by any standards and many people have told me they never thought I was one until I mention I am. I’m not proud of this, neither am I ashamed of it. It’s just how my Christian walk is. I try my best to grow and I think that’s all that counts. After all has been said and done, it’s my relationship with God that matters in the end.

I came to church 8 years ago as a 15 year old ah lian. I always thought that I’ve not changed much, but the fact is that I have. A large part of who I am today, what I believe in and what motivates me have got to do with church. Whether I admit it or not, church and God have definitely shaped me and made me who I am today. Much of what I know and do in my everyday life, I learn from church/bible/God.

It has been a long Christian walk, but I think the road ahead is longer. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying everyday. I look back on these 8 years and I can remember desperate times when I clung on to faith. There have been times when I doubted God, His goodness or His existence. There have been times I’ve rebelled against God and deliberately attempt to spite Him. But there’s never been any one time when He let go of me. He has remained faithful all these while. He’s the severus snape in this relationship (“Always”).

It feels fitting to be baptised on the same day as leowjia who I came to church with for the first time 8 years ago. Our christian walk was intertwined in the beginning. We’ve grown a little apart, but I still know that I can always count on him. It also feels fitting that my first CGL played a part in baptising me too (he’s the one that helps to lift the person up when they go into the water). He played a huge part at the start of my Christian walk, as did my many leaders, and I owe all those who have loved me, nurtured me and tolerated me along the way much gratitude.

And so, this marks another milestone in my Christian journey.

December is here!

December is here and my favourite holiday is approaching (Christmas!). I’ve not idea why I like Christmas so much, but it always feels magical to me 😀 Two years ago, I got a white Christmas in Iceland. Although I was pretty bummed to be away for the holiday, snow totally made up for it.

Even though it’s the end of the year, there’s still lotsa things to do and be excited about.

  1. Start and complete my thesis… all in one month (yaye?)
  2. Getting baptised. Woohoo! I’m finally getting baptised and I’m more excited than I imagined myself to be.
  3. 1st year anniversary with the most amazing thing in the world
  4. Re-reading harry potter. the fantastic beast movie was fantastic and I’m like, I wanna revisit the magical world again.
  5. CHRISTMAS ❤

It’s the end of the year, but then at the same time, I feel like I’ve just stepped into something new. It feels like it’s the start of something new (cue high school musical song).

I cleared my room recently and it feels like a totally new room. I feel like I’ve just shifted in. Somehow it feels like I’m in primary school again and it’s the end of the year so you pass down all your old textbooks and get new ones. The lovely thing just got me yankee scenterpiece warmer yesterday with three scents for an early christmas present and the room is smelling divine. I really love it. More about that later.

I told the boyfriend that my room feels like a reflection of my current life. It’s like how I decluttered my life recently too. There are some long standing feelings that I’ve recently resolved and I’ve found hope again in certain areas of my life. A part of me also feels like my relationship with God has gone to another level as well.

Life feels good. A friend recently asked me if I’m happy to be alive. I thought about it for a while. In the past, I’ll probably say no in a heartbeat. But this time, I was more hesitant to say no. There’s still down days and frustration, but overall, I think I do feel good to be alive. I think there are exciting times ahead, much to look forward to and an awesome partner to ride this rollercoaster ride with me.

Recently, my church invited a guest speaker, who is a clinical psychologist to speak about relationships and growth. I think I really learnt quite a bit. Both about the topic and about myself more. I think there are somethings I want to remember through the course of my relationship with Jet. But I think the takeaway was that, I was more sure than ever that Jet is, what people would call, the one. I’m a little bit more confident that this man is the one I want to share and spend my whole life with. He’s the one I want to suffer and enjoy with.

When I cleared out my room and looked at the stacks of notes and all the memorabilia from yesteryears, there was this feeling of *sigh*. Not *sigh* in a bad way, but more of being very glad that I persisted all these years. Glad that I persisted through many things. Glad that I held on and kept going even when things didn’t make sense just yet.

Next year is coming and I’m still thinking what I want that year to be all about, but until 2017, there’s still so much to look forward to.

Of letting go.

I ended my exams yesterday. It’s my last exam ever in NUS and it’s my last exam for my masters course as well. I still have modules next sem, but they aint exam-based (s/u ftw).

Today, I woke up and decided to clean my room. I didn’t intend it to be a big spring cleaning, but it ended up being one. Possibly the largest spring cleaning that I’ve ever done in my whole 23 years of my life.

I threw away many things. My secondary school – JC notes (omg so many). I even started giving away my Jerry Yan and Fei lun hai albums/pictorial books that I had collected over the years (yes, shit got real). But I think the hardest of all was that I gave away some of my soft toys.

Those soft toys were the same ones that have kept me safe during the stormiest nights throughout my entire life. They’ve witnessed everything in my life, good and bad. I talk to them and tell them my secrets. Some have been there since I was 4 years old. They all have names and they’re all loved. A few of them were given by important friends.

I grow attach to my things very easily. Pens, paper, notebooks. So you can imagine how attached I am to my soft toys. I felt like I was ready to give them away today. 1) The boyfriend is sensitive to dust and my soft toys are dust magnets, 2) I dont feel like I need them to feel safe anymore, and 3) the recent bto thing got me thinking about what I will bring to my future home. So my criteria today was pretty much, if you’re not bringing it when you shift, get rid of it because the longer you keep, the more attached you get.

My soft toys are the first thing I see when I enter my room, so now my room feels a little bare. I was okay when I put them into the plastic bags to be donated. The boyfriend told me he’ll hold my hand when I gave them away, but I didnt think I will be all that sad. After all, I’m 23 years old now, not 6 anymore.

But then it turns out that he knows me better than I do. About 10 hrs later (yes tidying took 11 freaking hours), I was clearing my smaller soft toys (yes, two kinds) and deciding which I wanted to give away. I picked up this pink flamingo beanie baby and initially I had wanted to put it in, but then I ended up taking it back. Suddenly, I felt like I was going to get emotional giving them away. I used to kiss the stuff and tell them thank you (even pens and whatnots). So, I regretted not hugging them and telling them thank you before putting them into the plastic bags.

I texted the boyfriend because I was feeling a little sobbles and I’m glad he’s understanding that way. I told him I was worried the soft toys will be sad. I’m grateful that he didn’t think I was being silly or childish. Instead, he told me he’ll talk to them with me and say bye before we donated them. I went back to the plastic bags that were already in the living room and I sat next to them. I whispered to the bags (lest anyone in my family thinks…or realises… I’m crazy). I told them thanks for keeping me safe all these years and comforting me when I needed it most. I told them that they brought me a lot of joy.I told them sorry for all the times I kicked them out of bed or mistreated them. I told them not to worry because Jet will take care of me now. I told them that they’ll be going to people who love them and will play with them more.

I think it wasnt my soft toys that were sad, I think it was me being emotional because I felt like I was bidding this part of me goodbye. It felt like I was moving on to the scary world of adulthood and that these soft toys will no longer watch over me and protect me because I can do it myself now.

Now that I’m thinking about this, I cannot imagine the day when I have to say bye to neoneo and carpet. The things I love that I know are actually alive. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready. But that’s a worry for another day. I wish I were less sentimental and attached to things.

Today, I’m just feeling a little disorientated because I’m starting to realise that there are many things that aren’t there anymore (not just my soft toys). But it’s time to create new memories, accumulate new things and look forward to the future.