Reminiscence

Yesterday, a old but distant friend posted an old class photo taken during our primary school days. I think it was when we were primary 6. It featured everyone in our class including our form teacher whom we all loved and it brought back wonderful memories. For many years now I have been trying to reconnect my primary school classmates. It took a while to reconnect even some of them, and to reconnect every single one of them seems an impossible task. For many of them whom I have yet to reconnect, I have already forgotten their names. Where did they study after primary school? Where are they working now? Are they married? Do they have kids? Are they rich? Are they still living in Singapore? How is life treating them?

The picture was posted on instagram as part of #throwback Thursday. A flurry of conversations immediately began from that photo. The conversations started mostly from friends whom I have successfully reconnected years ago, and they were reminiscing about the good old days. Some of my friends even tagged others who were in the photo that I totally lost touch till today! The most incredible thing is that through that photo alone, it suddenly became a nexus for all of us (those who use instagram) to reconnect. And through that conversation, I started to gleam additional information about some of them. 

I now know that one of them had lots of tattoos on his forearms. They look really good. In terms of looks, he didn’t really change much and I can still largely recognise him despite his longish hair. But for him to spot several tattoos, it came as a surprise coming from him. A female classmate is about to get married at the end of the year. One, is a professional musician who, I think is involved in several local bands. Another classmate, passed away in a traffic accident 2 to 3 years back. That was shocking, because he was never in my collective memory until someone mentioned his name. It felt as if, he existed, yet did not, and then he isn’t, anymore, permanently. One, whom I doubt is in the picture is now a millionaire, judging from the jet-set lifestyle he now lives (in which he had no qualms about, sharing through his Facebook feeds, having worked (I think) as a wealth manager in an insurance company. I am happy for him. He is that sort of person who will succeed in life. I remember him as a very driven person back then, not academically, but in the pursuit of life successes in accumulating personal wealth, I knew he could go far in life with his laser-intense focus. Another classmate did very well academically, having graduated from NUS with a degree in psychology. She got married and now has an adorable child. It’s a stark contrast now compared to what I imagined her to be back then. For me to imagine her to be a mother and a wife, took a while to get used to. Another girl, I remembered her infectious laughter with white teeth showing prominently. She got married recently to a handsome young man. Both met while they were in NUS. Another boy whom I was a pretty close friend for a short while back then is now pursuing a degree (in sports science if I’m not mistaken) in NTU, and is now a gym freak. Like me, he was such a small boy with glasses, very nerdy with a timid demeanour  And boy has he been completed transformed!  There was a female classmate who is a Thai citizen, has now gone back to live in Bangkok, Thailand. But for some reason, I never thought of her to abandon and forget her childhood roots in Singapore. And I was surprised that she was having a good time (through the messages she posted on instagram about that photo) remembering those days while she was studying in Singapore. I guess our time in primary school was memorable for her, one that she will never forget. 

As for the rest, phantoms whose names have been forgotten. Any interactions I’ve had with them back then, are now just mere mirages set upon a distant memory in the furthest reaches of my mind. I may never get to reconnect them ever again. I may never know their life story, ever. Oh they are out there somewhere, but you know that any chance of a random encounter is incredibly rare. Given how we lead our own lives, we may never cross each other’s paths. But life can be funny sometimes. You never know that the person sitting next to you on your next train ride could be your long lost classmate. Your future colleague, could be one too. Your future friend of a friend could just be that classmate standing behind you in that picture on instagram. Your future lover, could a relative to a classmate long forgotten. So radically transformed, their resemblance barely recognisable. Any hint of their childhood life, stripped and forgotten…

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Am I going to South Korea?

Looks like it! My friends just asked me if you would like to go to Korea for a short one week vacation sometime in October. Of course I’d say yes, so long as it’s within budget. And anyways, I am going to New Zealand for another vacation with my parents in November. And it’s gonna be 14 days. considering that I have 4 days of leave left, it would be just nice to apply them all for my Korea and New Zealand trip! Two overseas trip in one! Happy!

 

 

Dreams

Lately I have been having dreams almost every single night. At times, very vivid dreams. I know that if you dream, you are in a deep state of sleep. But somehow these dreams are so vivid that it felt as if I had not slept at all. It’s as if, I am leading a double life, my life during the day, while I work, and the fantastical life that dwells in my head. I can no longer specifically remember what those dreams are. It is always a totally different one that the night before. But often, my dreams are often filled with people whom I have known for years. Mostly they are my friends. Why they are inside my dreams, I don’t know. I have never encountered having dreams on an almost daily basis before. Maybe I should start taking note of my dreams down using my iphone the moment i wake up so that I can “collect” those dreams and recall them whenever I want to.

“Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep.
Dreaming about the things that we could be.”
I do sleep late from time to time. But not a the expense of compromising my performance at work. I do feel tired sometimes during work due to lack of sleep, but it is something that it can be compensated with a cup of coffee. I still make an effort to get just about enough rest to get through the day.
I have trying to make a habit to really maximise my time during the day. Other than work during day, I still make time during my free time in the evenings to read a book, watch my favourite tv dramas, exercise, play video games,  blog, do a little online shopping and plan for the coming weekends. My time just aimless surfing the web has been reduced significantly, and my spare time is used more productively.
I am starting to believe that you should really maximise the use of your rest time, in doing something you like. This will help you recharge for the next day. It also helps you to destress so that you will not feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the week. From time to time, you should break the routine and do something different, so that each week would feel special and memorable. This will break the cycle of seeing your time whiz by like a blur. Your life spent at the end of the year would really feel more significant, more meaningful.
Sometime in the future, I would want to do something bold, and that is to just book a plane ticket. Any ticket of my choosing and just go for a vacation. It doesn’t matter how long, so long as I am sati sfied in the length of stay based on the location I chose to go for a vacation. I should just go alone, and be out there.
This year though, I have an upcoming thailand trip with my friends. I hope that turns out well. I should take around 4 days. I will have 14 days of leave left. That should be enough for a trip somewhere further away. Maybe going to a couple of countries, or maybe 3 different cities. A good getaway. Oh I am looking forward to it.

Time to move on, but how?

The second half of 2013 was rough. Rough in the sense that I just graduated and finding a job wasn’t easy. Now that I have one, things are looking up. I am fully committed to me job now. I am learning the ropes as fast as I can, communicating openly with my supervisor on what needs to be done. Analysing his intentions so that we can work effectively as a team. All that I am willing to do. But now and then, there is this lingering thought, a bruise in the apple that you can barely see that just dampens my mood every time I think about it.

Like I said, other than the fact that finding the job was depressing, I feel that there is something else that I am unsatisfied with. Something within me that I am not happy. And the truth is, I am simply struggling to move on with life. I had so much fun (whilst in the midst of finding a job) with my friends. I did so many things with them, most of them for the very first time. I get to enjoy life and enjoy the moments big and small with them, sharing the joys that I had with them, and they, with me. Life was blissful as a matter of fact. But something happened that totally rocked the boat. I don’t blame anyone. It was inevitable. It was bound to happen. I have been through this scenario before in reality and in my head. I have thought about this happening eventually. The only thing that caught me unprepared was the fact that it happened too fast.

Now I am beginning to realize why they mean the world to me, to the point that whatever happens to them, I can never move on. I believe that my friends happened to be my anchor in my life during that period. They are my roots that kept me upright. They are my anchor when I slowly drifted away. They are a calm spot I could seek refuge when I’m overwhelmed with a torrent of emotions.

But now I am beginning to feel that I’m losing them slowly but surely. I hate to see this happening. It is bound to happen. And I need to move on and find a new anchor at a new stage of my life. And I need to do it quickly. They are my friends, but friends can only do so much. They are not going to wait for me. I need to make this happen myself. I need to find a way on my own to move on with my life. I need to find a way to make peace with them, when the time comes. I need to prepare for a time when we have established a relationship as friends, but not yet to the point where we can truly say we are true friends, and then simply tell them, that I have moved on with my life. Should that happen, I would be very sad, but it seems that the chances of that occurring is only going to increase everyday. However it would be a great blessing where the friendship is maintained to the point where there is no need to be in contact with each other often, and yet feel special towards one another. In other words, having them in a special place in your heart as true friends. And that takes time. Time that I do not have.

I have to move on.

NTU photo album

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I recently selected 40 photos to be developed that best represented my time in NTU. It has been a wonderful 4 years in NTU and I felt that it would be good to search for photos, either from my own collection or through my Facebook photo gallery that would reflect my wonderful time there. As I searched, it came down to 40 photos spanning a period of 4 years.

I bought a photo album, those sticky kinds where you lift up the plastic flap, and then you place the photo and place that flap over it, making it look like it has been laminated into the album. I bought the album that would just fit 40 photos nicely.

I chose those photos, often group shots of my classmates and friends. People who matter a lot to me. People who made a difference in my life in so many different ways, big and small. They are all there, in that photo album. To be remembered always in the years to come. Never forgotten. For they are the ones that mean a lot to me.

I arranged those photos loosely on chronological order, starting with the earliest photos taken while in NTU on the first page, and right up to the graduation photos towards the end. The end result; a story told from my perspective. A story of my life told through pictures with my friends and the events that highlighted the best moments of my life. 40 photos is not enough to tell a comprehensive story, but it is enough to highlight the good moments I experienced in life while in school.  I have tons of pictures, but I had to distil it to just 40. And I think it was a great project to do, now that I have graduated. My friends won’t know that I created such an album. But it doesn’t matter if they know it or not. What matters is that they matter a lot to me. And remembering them is one way to pay tribute to the friendships I have forged with them.

Some of the events covered were my friends’ birthdays, my birthday, sending my friends off at the airport while they went on exchange, freshman orientation camps, various school events my committee organised and participated, graduation, outings and more.

The picture you see above is a snapshot of the final page in the album, commemorating the graduation event.

This is truly a precious piece of treasure that I have created.

Post graduation BBQ chalet

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It was a success, even though we planned a little late and did not manage to reserve the ideal chalet, we still had a lot of fun and the turn-out was good. Slightly more than 20 people came for the chalet and it was a good turnout, since we predicted and bought food for 20 people. In the end, the amount of food ordered for everyone was just right and the crowd was perfect that everyone had a great time. We initially invited more than 40 people to the event, but it is understandable that not everyone could come down for the BBQ and Chalet stay over, since we organised and plan the event a mere 2 weeks before.

I stayed overnight for the chalet and when most of my friends  have left, we were left about 11 of us staying over. It was a great and fun night. We played lots of stuff and did stupid things. Things like long exposure light art, writing the words “graduation” and “grad loh” and “SBS 2013” using the flashlight from our smartphones and sparklers that we bought and lit up. I bought a number of board games as well and we played till we were crazy. It was one of the most fun nights I ever had. And I get to enjoy it with the company of some of the great friends in NTU. I truly regard them who were there that night to be my great friends. Friends I will never forget and I hope we remain as good friends no matter what.

That night, was the night that clearly sealed the fact we felt almost inseparable and infinite. Just like the movie, “Perks of being a Wallflower”, there were moments that day where I couldn’t care less what happens next after we leave the chalet the following morning. I just feel like I want to enjoy and treasure the moment, that particular moment with them. The moment where nothing matters. Just me and them. The feeling of being infinite. That night was truly magical for me. For the first time, I get to spend it with the one I admire most…

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Convocation

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31st of July was the day of my convocation. After 4 years of study in NTU, I finally get to graduate. And graduate with a second class upper division. I am truly happy right now. I not only achieved my goals I set out at the beginning of school when I first started out in NTU, but also managed to have a meaningful and fulfilling experience as well. Truly, tertiary experience is one of the most exciting and memorable life experiences I could ever have in my life. I am truly grateful for all the good things that have  happened to me. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to live out the life full of wonder, satisfaction and amazement. The friends I have made are some of the most interesting and truly inspiring groups of people I have ever met. I am truly honoured and humbled to be friends with them. I will never forget them. Ever.

I posted this on Facebook on the day of my convocation and have since gotten a resounding round of approval from my peers;

This is it. Today is the day. Today is the day I officially graduate with a degree. The closing of another chapter. Tomorrow, a new chapter begins. A blank slate. How I write this chapter is completely up to me.

It has been a long road to reach where I am right now. It began with a single step. But the journey doesn’t end here. I will have to take that first step again to reach my goals. A new road. The road to happiness and success is a long one. I will be lost. I will encounter roadblocks. I will need to make u-turns along the way. If there is one thing I have learnt about making such journeys, is that it is never a straight path. One thing is for certain; never stop walking. No matter how long I take, so long as I don’t stop, I will reach my destination, eventually.

The people that I have known, my family, my friends, and the people that I will meet in the future, they are there to show me the way. But it is I who will have to make the effort to walk the road to happiness and success. And I will never stop walking till I find my own.

As for this journey today? I have reached my destination. I have found my own happiness and success.