So what’s going on?

A lot. And I haven’t update this blog in a long time. I promised to write my entire Iceland adventure here but I stopped half way. I promised to update this blog regularly. But I didn’t. Broken promises, so many of them. So why didn’t I live up to my promises? I can give you a thousand excuses, but none would be a valid one. So here goes:

I just don’t feel like writing. That’s it. That’s my excuse. To elaborate, my life is in a doldrums. A  lot of things happened that just snowballs from there. After my recent trip to Iceland, I felt happy. Really happy. Travelling was the highlight of my life. Now that I have nothing planned ahead, there is really nothing for me to look forward to. Not that I don’t want to travel anymore, but my priorities have changed somewhat. I feel like it’s time for me to take a breather and save whatever money I have for my future. Not that I am broke. I have savings. A comfortable one, after starting work two and a half years ago. But I feel I can do better. And thus, I have made achieving my savings go and then exceeding it a main priority. That means less travelling, more saving. It’s not something I force myself to do it out of the whim, but rather after careful consideration, I feel that I should invest more in my future instead.

And speaking of my future, I am seriously considering taking a Master’s programme at NUS, Master’s in Science Communication. Most likely I would take it part time, which would span two years. If I do get it, that means even less travelling, more time studying and working. Essentially if all goes well, I am doubling down in staying put and working hard, both at my workplace, and at school. Working and studying. Ain’t gonna be easy. I would have to bite the bullet for two years. Will I be able to cope? Most certainly I will. And maybe on a sidelines, I could really accelerate my savings rate and reach my lofty goal. That is, if I don’t go crazy along the way.

So yeah, work wise, it’s not going well. I feel constricted all over a sudden. I am enjoying my work less and less as the days go by. I don’t know if that is normal, for someone who works at a place longer, over time, but I feel that if I don’t find happiness, a purpose in life in the next couple of years, I’ll go crazy. To say that I might go depressed? A possibility. So I need an outlet, and I have not found one. Finding an outlet, without spending money, thats a bad combination. I still love reading. I still find happiness in reading. But I need something else. When was the last time I truly felt alive? When I was in Iceland. When was the last time I laughed till my stomach hurts? When I was in Iceland. That was months ago. Laughter is the best medicine, but it’s hard for me to prescribe one.

So now to blogging. After months not blogging, I have returned. You might have guessed. I am getting desperate. I doing whatever I can do lift my spirits. To share this burden I am carrying. And I am trying blogging to see if it helps. Is this my last resort? No. I still have other outlets to keep unhappiness at bay. This is more of a stop gap measure. I hate my blog layout. It feels old. But none of the free offerings are appealing to me. So I guess I have to make do with it. I have thought of starting a new one. A more anonymous one. But what is the point of creating a blog, if not a living soul reads it, even if we are strangers?

So yeah, no vacations planned, no money to spend (it’s not as bad as it seem, but having more cash to spend would be great) and no way  out to find true happiness.

2013 in a nutshell

I know its still 2 months before we can officially end 2013. But looking back, 2013 has brought about tremendous change in my life. So many milestones were achieved during the first 10 months of 2013 alone. The changes, drastic, the transformation never-ending. Full of ups and downs, but remarkably, I’ve still kept most of my sanity in check.

The first half of the year through May was the final lap in my tertiary education. Final Year Project at A*STAR. I love the place and the lab that I worked in. The people there were incredible and I enjoyed every second of it. Then comes the poster presentation that would officially mark the end of your school life in NTU. I was so happy when it ended. It was incredibly festive in school, when the presentation concluded in the late afternoon. Along with my friends, we celebrated the occasion. Taking lots of photos congratulating each other on going through 4 years of education, challenging and rough sometimes. But we all made it through and there is always that sense of satisfaction and closure on that day. It was a magical feeling.

Then came the dreaded National Service. I disrupted my NS so that I could continue my studies in NTU 4 years back. I did not go back and serve during the holidays. And now, I had to serve my remaining 6 weeks in the army. But life is full of surprises. Before I could completely wrap my head around as to what was happening, I was posted to another camp. And before long, I was introduced to so many people, whom I got the privilege and honour to work with. And that is not all. I was thrust in the middle of commanding an entire section of recruits sometimes the entire platoon. It was extremely challenging. I had my worries and doubts on whether I could handle it. But I did well because of the incredible support and help I get from my other fellow platoon sergeants and section commanders. They were just like me when I enlisted, 20, 21 years old. The youth and energy that they bring to the dynamics of the team, reminded me of my old days in the army. Sometimes I feel old around them.

Then came the chalet, to celebrate as friends who went through so much together during our time in NTU. We bought and prepared food, booked the chalet and some of us stayed behind overnight, getting drunk, playing silly games, walking down to the beach doing some nifty long exposure shots with fireworks. We created lots of words in the air using fireworks, and smartphones flashlights to make incredible pieces of art that is captured through long exposure photography. Those photos are golden and precious, and I will never forget them.

Then came the job hunting phase. I am still in the job hunting phase after nearly 4 months. It has been tough. The calls for interviews were too few and far in between. I am still trying. I am not giving up. In fact, I have an interview next week, and I am going to do my all to clinch that job. You never know, just like my days in NS, life is full of surprises and I always believe that at the end of it all, it it always the good and wondrous surprises that life gives you. You only have to be positive about it and look at things from a different perspective.

But with all the job hunting and the rejections that I have received so far. I feel truly blessed this year. My friends, without them, life would be dreary. It is exactly because of them, that my life has been made much more interesting. Take my birthday as an example. I had an incredible day out with them, going to Sentosa, playing frisbee and volleyball under the scorching sun, and then heading to Fish n Co for a wondrous dinner that came at a cost. I had to dress up as a red lobster in a lobster costume, in front of all the diners while my friends sang happy birthday song to me. But it was fun. I was like.. what the hell, just go along with it! They were happy, and entertained, I was happy with how the day turned out so far and so that was all that mattered.

And they gave me a gift. It was extremely unexpected. I was shocked and surprised that they actually bought me something. A million tons of gratitude to all of them.

Then came RWS USS Halloween Horror Night. I felt like a 10 year old kid when I entered the theme park. And it was a special halloween themed themepark, full of haunted houses, scare zones and outdoors areas revamped to look spooky with vampires, witches and monster lurking at every corner. The fact that it was my first time in USS, it made it the best day of my life. Period.

And there are still lots of things to come. Paintball event is coming up. I have never played paintball before. So I expect it to be fun, and painful. Another chalet is coming during the christmas holiday season, and this time we will be exchanging gifts. Everyone is looking forward to that.

So there you have it. Incredible 2013. Precious memories created and shared, friendships forged and strengthened and I experienced so many new things along the way. The journey is tough, but along the way, the respite is worth traveling to.

Travel plans

travel_page_picture

So  I haven’t got a job yet. It is going to take a while till I land a job, but I am optimistic that it will come soon. I just have to keep on searching. I was chilling with my friends when one of them broached the subject of travelling plans in the coming months and into the following year.  I love travelling, and I don’t mind going for a good vacation for about a week or two to just about anywhere with my friends. But organising one can be quite difficult, especially when everyone is working and each of them have their own respective commitments. But a few a ideas were being brought up on that day.

Continue reading Travel plans

To be content and not compare

Sometimes I need a reminder. And that is to be content and not compare. To live and enjoy the moment, rather than be blinded how I reached my destination in the first place. To live life as if every day is a special day, a gift given to us, to cherish it, to laugh and smile at it and be happy. The experience of living a good life is to start living in the now, rather than living somewhere in the future. A future where it is uncertain and in constant flux, leading to constant anxieties about life. I mean, how do you live such a life like that, in constant worry about the future, that you forgot to be grateful that you are given the present?

Happy 11th Anniversary blog!

FRAME-4

I don’t usually do this, but today happens to mark the 11th anniversary of my blog!!  Actually, that is not accurate. The entries on this blog is a culmination of all other blog websites I have accumulated over the years. It is only recently that I managed to export all my entries from the other smaller blogs, and import it to wordpress here. And it has been imported in a chronological fashion, making it look like I have been blogging from one single site address for the past 11 years.

But what is true though, is that I have been blogging for a whopping 11 years! That is almost half my lifetime! And I will continue to do so, in my own little ways, on my own terms. I will definitely continue blogging till I grow old. Who knows, 40 years down the road, I might print every single entry and make into a book. My very own biography. A chronicle of my life. It would be interesting if I were to read my life again. And maybe cringe at how bad my writing can be. Reminisce the good old times, track my progress as a person. Relive and recelebrate the good days. Cry over the bad ones. It will be interesting where my life will go and I will definitely write it down here so that I will not forget the good and bad times of my life.

Officially ORD

I collected my pink IC on Friday. I have officially ORDed. Although the exact date falls on a Sunday (14 July), I got the chance to do the necessary paperwork to declare the end of my National Service, a total of two years. The collection of my pink IC signified that I am no longer an NSF, but an NSman. It has been more than 5 years in the making, after having to disrupt my NS to continue my studies and going back to service to serve my remaining 41 or so days.

The past five weeks have been one of the most memorable moments of my life. The experience I have gained is tremendous. The friends I have made, priceless. Just when you thought there is nothing much left to learn in NS, it was a whole new ballgame when I was thrust into becoming a Section Commander for a bunch of recruits fresh out from Tekong. The recruits are now my one and only group of recruits under my wing, and they have become part of something special to me. My other fellow section commanders, I am now part of a brotherhood, forging friendships so strong that I never believed it to be possible within just five weeks.

Now, just barely a day after saying goodbye to them, I sorely missed them. If I had to serve a longer period after completing my studies and going back to NS, I would definitely would have stayed on and continue working with them. I feel honoured to have known them, as I have learn a lot from them that you can never get from books, or from school. They have allowed me to pause and reflect on life , made me understand what it is like to be a better person. To rise up to the challenge, to push yourself against the boundaries of your comfort zone, with help along the way. These are the things I experienced daily while I was there.

I hope to see all of them some time in the future, wherever it may be. These group of guys are truly special and one that I will never forget in my life.

There is nothing to look forward to

Now that I have gotten the news that I won’t be going to Imperial because of my scholarship application, I feel like I have nothing to look forward to in life. For the past couple of months, my mind has been nothing but the prospects of going to London, of studying in one of the greatest cities on Earth. The exposure, the experience is invaluable and as I have mentioned, the signs were all there for me to embark on this wonderful trip and onto my next phase in life.

Continue reading There is nothing to look forward to