Friends and Getting Older

Friends and Getting Older

During the transition from primary school to secondary school, I clung hard to the idea – to the hope – that my group of friends would stay intact, that we would be a family forever (corny words for corny thoughts at a corny period of time). Being an insecure pre-teen, I left the security that I should have given myself in the hands of the social situation I was in at the time, trusting that it would remain a stable factor as I made my way into secondary school and the new experiences it would bring. I had grand expectations of the lasting bonds our friendships would become: teenage years together, adulthood together.

Of course, reality being what it is (thank God), things didn’t turn out that way. As the different people, schedules, and schools acted as the building bricks to the silence in our conversations and the gaps in our meetings, we drifted apart as naturally as the leaves fall from branches in autumn when the winter frost sets in. We found new friends, and for me, I found new ways to feel like I belonged.

Secondary school landed me with the widest and largest number of circles yet. Throughout the five years in secondary school, the circles only grew in size and number and by the end of my last year, it was difficult to renew the sense of being outcast, a role I had experienced playing (in my own head, in hindsight) numerous times during those formative years (as any pretentious emo teen would). Friends came and went, and I learned to tell the difference between those who meant to stick to their promises and those who didn’t; between those who were good for you as a person, and those who were too busy talking up castles in the air to improve you.

More sure of who I was, the idea of yet another change became more palatable as graduation from the government school system rolled around. I was “experienced” now, after all. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but feel a little doomed as the chapter on secondary school closed. In my head, sitcom-like montages were playing on repeat, the familiar feeling of wanting to cling onto something, to feel like I was finally a part of something meaningful, returning. Could I be certain? Of course not. Did I want to be? Of course.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”

It surprises me now who I still talk to, who still talks to me, who I still wish to talk to, and whose conversations are long overdue. I think the biggest lie about friendships is that those who have been with you the longest, are also those who you will want to stay. I’m proud to boast of the old friends I have today (most of them friendships reaching their 8th or 12th anniversary), but I’m also glad of the friendships I have left to shine in the memory of the past rather than wither in the dissonance between us in the present.

The thought of letting go is hard, but when you realise that you are only holding on to ideals and fears rather than something real, you can loosen your grip and smile at the fleeting thoughts that come by every once in a while.

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It Doesn’t Have To Be Big

It Doesn’t Have To Be Big

My whole life, I had set myself up for something big (brace yourselves, this is a long one).

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Looking for the great wide somewhere

“I’m going to be a writer.”

When I was 12, I decided I wanted to be a novelist (still do, frankly). I turned 12 in 2009, so you have to remember this was the time where the shining, sparkling dawn of Stephenie Meyer and her army of equally shining, sparkling vampires blew up on all the bookshelves and movie posters so writing a novel didn’t seem like too big of a task for the me who had yet to figure out the difference between you’re, your, it’s and its. I mean, how hard could it be to write a cheesy story about beautiful, supernatural creatures? I’m not even trying to be sarcastic, I was genuinely obsessed (House of Night, anybody?).

I had it all planned out. I had the fancy title, the main character’s name – the works. It was going to be about beautiful bloodsuckers training together in an epic elite school and falling into forbidden love (sound familiar?). I could already see its acclaim – New York Times, Washington Post – it was going to hit #1 on all the bestseller lists!

Then my mom discovered my drafts and laughed – and I stopped.

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God bless satire

“I’m going to be a star.”

Right after the writer phase, I somehow got it into my head (for quite some time) that I was an extremely talented singer and songwriter. I had no stomach to do it all on my own so over the course of several years, I got together with and disbanded several of my friends and I. The only productive thing we got out of it was a YouTube channel that one of us currently uses as a personal method of perusal.

When my band/duet dreams died in the plenty of afternoons we spent starting a cover and not finishing it, I got a new idea into my head. Why couldn’t I go solo? I could sing and play the piano and I had a phone with decent recording quality – what else do you need to get big on YouTube? Furthermore, the K-Pop craze was peaking. What could be a more perfect musical assemble/marketing strategy than emailing all the contacts of recording companies I could find online about my brilliant idea of a “fusion” group and getting picked up for it (I got no replies, obviously)?

I had all the concepts for our albums ready, including how many we would release. I posted a total of TWO videos on YouTube, waiting for them to explode.

But when I got only 40 views in a couple of weeks – I stopped.

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How could you not want to be part of this ensemble? 

Conclusively

At 18, I looked back and felt just a little bitter, and not to mention disappointed at how I hadn’t been given the things I promised myself in my stage mom frenzy. Now at 19, I look back and I laugh, but I also learn.

It goes without saying that nothing comes without hard work and dedication, but there are also things you should continue to pursue whether or not you have the validation.

Just like this blog – WordPress just congratulated me on hitting 10 likes. A few years ago I would have deleted this entire blog out of the shame, “I’m not viral enough!”, or consoled myself blogging wasn’t what I was meant to do. But I’m not about to do that right now. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be a big thing. Sometimes, it’s just for you.

Resolutions Aren’t For January Only

Resolutions Aren’t For January Only

So far, I have already lost track of four of my 2017 resolutions: jogging (lasted the first two weeks and was actually doing pretty well), meditating (didn’t even get a chance to start), and the two blog posts that I was supposed to have written and posted for the last two weeks (I would blame Chinese New Year but really I have no excuse).

Here I am, the first of the three blog posts that I will be (hopefully) posting in the next few days to make up for my absence because if there’s anything I’ve learned from January 2017: resolutions are extremely difficult.

It’s no wonder that so many posts on social media every December consist of poking fun at and mocking the unswerving tradition of New Year resolutions that only go into effect either for a very brief period of time or as a guilty conscience at the back of your mind when you put off dieting or put off starting an exciting new project that you thought of one insomnia-like night and had waited until New Year’s to begin because, you know, it’s not like we’re capable of changing any of the other 364/363 days in a year.

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(via Google Images)

 

“New Year New Me”

Any somewhat adult would know that the above heading is a complete deception. To go through with your New Year’s resolutions requires more resolve than the resolve required to come up with them or to daydream about how magically and fantastically they will work out in order to initiate a more magical and fantastic you.

I once read a quote by Aristotle that has stuck with me until today: “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”. And that’s the point of New Year’s Resolutions aren’t they ?  To become a better person. To eat healthier and live healthier. To lead a life that we’re proud of. To live an existence that is fulfilling. To become a more excellent version of ourselves. To achieve excellence. The fact is, excellence is the best possible destination in our education of self improvement and, just as a beautiful destination has a difficult path, a worthwhile state is achieved only through a worthy journey.

A simple search on Google will define  “resolution” as “a firm decision to do or not do something.”. So what if January’s over? That doesn’t mean you’ve failed. One of the biggest lies of our generation is that resolutions cease to be tried and cease to be trying when the first month, or the “trial month”, is up.

You can peruse through a hundred websites titled “Why Your Resolutions Aren’t Working” and you will find the same conclusion laced between the different graphics and stitched using the various voices: persistence. If you really, truly, sincerely, deeply want to increase your #gainz, improve your relationships, pick up the harp, get involved more, do more, learn more, live more; then you will absolutely find a way to do it because you are the most absolute factor in the success equation of a New Year’s resolution.

Here’s to a more productive February!

(If anyone is looking for a second chance/excuse to overlook your resolution failures by the Western calendar: Chinese New Year isn’t officially over just yet.)

 

Why the blog?

Why the blog?

The concept of a blog always seemed strange to me, something I associated with those bored and privileged enough to be able to write pages upon pages about themselves, their experiences, and opinions. It confounded me how such a seemingly self-centred project could be attractive to the strangers of the Internet, yet it was. The same went for vlogging and all the other kinds of logging that could possibly exist through this virtual dimension. Perhaps I was a little bitter on the inside, too, that a person could “make it” simply by being themselves. After all, you had to be a pretty interesting person to be able to hold the attention of all the unknown identities behind the hits on a blog.

However, here I am.

Having found my dusty diaries, filled with eight years’ (12-last year) worth of journal entries, buried in the bottom of my “memory” drawer during the annual New Year purge at my house, I spent a good few hours going through them. I laughed, I cringed (a lot), and, most importantly, I regret.

I regret not having been more regular in my writing. By starting a blog, I hope that the pressure of social media (I will be sharing this on all my platforms) and my resolution of blogging once a week will be able to get me going. Considering that it’s the end of January, I consider it a pass in starting my 2017 resolution. Crossed fingers this continues!

I regret not having gone more into detail when it came to a few topics, especially ones I felt strongly about. This regret is exemplified by my active Facebook account that regularly goes through various opinion blogs and websites that made me go “YES! YES! SOMEONE ELSE THINKS EXACTLY LIKE ME!”. I want to be able to put my thoughts out there in the open so that I may create that connection with someone else on any side of the world.

I regret not having documented my progress more. From the awkward days of whining and ranting as a 13-year-old with low self-esteem, I’ve definitely grown from the days of my angsty, graphic t-shirts, slightly emo phase. As I begin my new decade in life (I end my teenage years on Halloween this year), I hope to be able to track my growth more and more and be able to look back on what I’ve accomplished (if I ever accomplish anything, that is). If anything, writing this post means a lot to me already.

Thank you for actually reading this far!