Tag Archives: Thoughts

Nostalgia

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Nostalgia

We can’t rewind time
But we can look back at the past memories, fondly
We can’t go back to the past
But we can appreciate what we have now in the present
We can’t teleport into the future
But we can imagine what it will be like and be hopeful

//

Certain things, events, memories & conversations with and about different people are making me feel nostalgic. I’m missing people whom I’ve spent a large part of my life with. I will miss the friendship that I’m choosing to let go at the current moment even if it’s painful. I’m currently feeling neither here, nor there. The feeling of being in transit. Thinking of the past and uncertain about the future, believing that the present experiences are lessons that I have to learn.

Affirmation.

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Affirmation

Everyone lives for an affirmation of some sort. As a new born baby, we whined and cried to gain the affection of our mothers and we grew to seek the affirmation of our parents. We learn to walk and talk in the applause and cheers of our first cheerleaders in life; our parents and family.

As we grow older, some of us begin to seek the affirmation of our teachers in school. Through the “well done” compliments and “You’re a Star!” stamps and stickers, we reveled and collected these symbols and proudly showed them off to whoever would be keen to see.

Some of us sought and perhaps still seek affirmation from our peers – maybe from the prettiest girl or most handsome boy in class. Or the coolest kid with the latest converse shoe model and/or the world’s first coloured screen Nokia phone(those were the days). Or even perhaps the kid who plays the violin on stage during every major event in school or the head prefect that pulls the flag up very morning assembly. Well, now perhaps it’s seeking affirmation from the friend with the most number of Instagram followers, the dude with the coolest party tickets or the girl with the most branded bags (such is life).

Then we progress to the work place and we’re often forced by circumstances whether good or bad, to seek affirmation from our bosses, managers, superiors. So that we can have that bonus, promotion or pay increment.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or business owner and you don’t have a boss above you. Then you’ll be seeking affirmation from your clients, buyers or customers.

Maybe you’re in love. And you seek affirmation from your partner. To hear that you’re pretty, beautiful, gorgeous are the sweetest words to your ear. Or perhaps to have cooked a meal and to know your partner found it delicious is the biggest reward in life.

Or maybe you’re a believer. And your life is about seeking affirmation from God. To know your life’s true calling, purpose and meaning is to be able to do the will of God.

What I want to say is, all of us seeks affirmation in life.

What happens when we do not gain the affirmation we seek? That’s sometime I would like to consider personally.

I believe that humans are like sunflowers and the affirmation we seek is like the sunlight.

When we don’t get the affirmation we need, in order to grow. We turn away to that which gives us the affirmation we seek.

When young girls don’t get the affirmation they seek from their parents and family, they turn to friends and lover(s) who will affirm their beauty and existence in life.

Whereas for the young boys, they will clique with other older boys whether through gang related activities, clubbing or sports.

The thing is, unlike the sunflower who’s rooted to the soil/pot and only response is to tilt towards the sunlight, we as humans have far more choices. The various affirmations one can seek in life are not limited to the ones I listed above.

Therefore, you can decide whose affirmation you seek in life.

So, whose affirmation do you seek in life?

Thank you for reading <3

x
Ena

3 things no one told you before graduation

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I’ve penned several notes about work post graduation but just have not gotten down to compiling them into a sensible post on the blog until now. I’m wary about posting things too personal on the internet in general, lest I look back in the future and cringe at my past self. A bigger reason is of course I worry, tho I’d like to think them as unfounded, about people reading what I write and judging me for it. Which leads me to digress – why am I, or I believe why are we humans so fearful for others’ judgement on us? It isn’t to say that others’ opinions of us will make us more or less of whom we already are, if that makes sense to you.

So anyway, lengthy introduction aside, if I have not already bored you away, here goes my list of 3 things no one told you before graduation:

1. Be certain of uncertainty.

You know how in school we always have that next thing to look forward to? The next semester, the next exam, the next academic year, the next grade, etc.

But when you come to the working world you’ll find that things aren’t as clear cut. There isn’t (for most people or for me at least) a certain bar that you need to meet and pass before you rise up and go on to the next stage or level. Sure, some routes are tried and tested, perhaps you have a manager above you and you have an idea of how long you’ve got to work before you’ll rise to his level. But in the world of business (yes, so if you belong to the public sector this might not be that relevant to you), there is no guarantee. In worse case scenarios the company might go down but in the best case scenarios you might be promoted and be placed in higher position/s that comes with responsibilities perhaps more than you can manage.

2.  If you have a choice with whom you can work with, then pick people you’re comfortable with. 

Some of you reading this might go, “Jia En/Ena, isn’t that a “duh/ needless to state opinion” ? Yes, to many it’s common sense, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle and the thick of working life, we forget things. We think that just cause we have goals to meet and benefits to gain from another party, we simply have to suck it up and work with people are simply plain bad. That’s not true.

To elaborate, I’d like to humbly suggest for you to choose to work with accountable and responsible people. If you’re the person in charge, then you’d better be accountable and responsible. Choose to work with people you like and likes you back. I can’t emphasize enough how this mutual good feeling of the other party contributes to the success of a project.

3. Chances are, you’re the only one who feels for your dreams and ambitions and the only one responsible to make them come true.

Yes, keeping in line with the idealistic self in me, and thankfully still am at the young but not so tender age of 23, I still believe in having dreams and ambitions and making them come true.

It’s true. When you’re working for someone else, you’re working and helping them make their dreams come true. Unless your dream is to see the team and company succeed, then it becomes your dream as well.

But what about your dreams and ambitions? The truth is, no one else but you will be responsible for making them come true. If you don’t work on making your dreams come true, chances are, no one else will.

I’ve had a wake up call just recently, on one of the past day this week. I love what I’m doing now but being realistic and wanting to get on faster in the professional life is pointing me to another direction in life that I’ve previously turned down. Anthony Robbins once said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve gotten.” And thus, to get what you don’t have, you’ll have to do what you’ve never done. And that my friends, is my wake up call. I want so many things in life, and I know that I have the capability to do so, but I need to take that big step and do it.

Cheers, to life, to knowledge and taking action!

xo

Some really great quotes here. Been thinking and emoting a lot lately. One of the decisions I’ve made is that I’m probably gonna be too busy to be writing fashion posts & reviewing beauty products here now that I’ve got a full time job. But thoughts, I’ve got abundant of them and writing, even if for 5 minutes a day, is surely something I can afford.
To add my quotes to the ones above:

We’ve only one life, if we don’t live it how we will, when will we ever do?

I’ve decided I’ll choose to live life the way I want to because it’s impossible to please everyone.

 

And with that, my dear readers, welcome to a new era on Enabalista – my life, my thoughts.

xo

No longer a Student, Not yet an Employee (???)

HI

So, I am having A LOT of difficulties to focus on finishing my FYP project.

I’m in a state of INERTIA. As my title says, I’m no longer a student but I’m not yet an employee, with ??? –  question marks. Let me explain. So my classes have officially ended last Wednesday but my final presentation is on this Friday (some of my classmates have their slot on Thursday) and our documents can be submitted the following Thursday.

BUT unfortunately this entire journey feels exceedingly drawn out that’s why I feel like I have not more stamina and I sincerely just want to finish up but somehow there’s this inertia that’s getting to me and I have been trying to fight it continuously since… like for the whole of April. T^T

On a slightly different note, being in this stage of my life feels awkward. VERY awkward. People are CONSTANTLY asking me, so are you done with school/have you graduated/are you working – depending on how young/old they perceive me to be. Unfortunately, the impression I let on is a lot older than I really am. I’m only 22 going on 23 but it seems like people think I have been working for.. a while. Sadly. Though arguable that’s true because I did work / intern during my hols and before my degree started. Heh.

AND I feel that I need to document this awkward stage of my life down. It’s not like I’m going to experience many times of graduating from university and worrying (but not really) where I’m headed to after.

I think being in this state of flux… the between, unsettles me. Not knowing how to move forward wanting to move forward perhaps out of a subconscious fear of losing the past. I hold dear to my life in school, I do, I don’t deny it. I love it. I feel protected, challenged but sheltered. It’s not that I feel I’m not ready to begin work. But work life is tiring, I know it, I’ve been through it and I think being thrown out of a student’s life and into work life, it’s daunting, its sad. This stage of my life can be summed up in one word – bittersweet. Sick-sweet, like dried up roses in the window pane.

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Sorry guys, this isn’t me and I stole this off tumblr, I think.

I have gone for job interviews, but I have no confirmed offers. I’m genuinely not worried because I think at worse  optimistically thinking, I can be a full time home tutor that earns a lot money and besides I like teaching! HAHA. Ok, I’m half joking and digressing. The truth is, I just rest assure that God has it all worked out and my fretting ain’t gonna do any good to me. ^^v

OH yes and the ??? in the title is also regards to I don’t know yet if I am going to be an employee or enjoy being called that. I don’t want to be an employee. I don’t like that term. Contributor yes maybe. HAHA. Anyhoos. Moving on…

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Easier said than done. BUT DO IT ANYWAYS! (image cr: RemedyQuarterly)

OK so I’m just gonna crawl back to finishing up my work. AND I promise myself (kekeke) I will upload work I’ve done in the 3 years of my life in LASALLE, from business reports to trendboards and project proposals, AFTER I’ve graduated, which is SOON!

THAT plus photos from HK and JPN.

AND I am heading to UK, London this Sunday, how exciting is that? Anyone from UK reading this? Please contact me for a meet up! 😉

After UK, I’ll make it back for my own graduation show preparations before leaving to Philippines for my THIRD mission trip there! CAN’T WAIT.

xx
Ena

p.s. addicted to this song atm:

Beyond Boston Bombings, Love Will Keep Us Alive

By now you should have read about the Boston marathon bombings that happened on Monday, 2.50pm in US time.

It saddens me to read of such news.

I remember I awoke on Tuesday morning in Singapore with thanksgiving in my heart, grateful for a loving God. I remember feeling very heavy hearted when I read of the news, on my way to school and wondered about how the victims and their families of the bombings would feel. I wondered why a loving God would allow such atrocity to happen to innocent people. I wondered how victims would struggle with God for allowing such tragedy to happen to them. The irony of my meditation of God’s love for man / me that morning was not lost on my train ride to school.

Then in class, for a presentation skills workshop, we were given 15 minutes to prepare for a 1 minute speech on any topic. Instinctively I wanted to talk about God’s love from the biblical passage 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. But in a tertiary education class of mixed religion classmates, I couldn’t just quote from the bible out of nowhere. So I decided to present on Love, namely Eros, Philos and Agape, a summarized version of information I took from  The Seeker of Truth’s blog post here.

— My 1 minute speech —

Eros is known to be erotic love between man and woman. It is physical attraction where one finds the other attractive and is in love. Its disadvantage is said to be self-centered, because one party loves the other because it makes him or her feel good or happy.

Philos is known to be friendship, where two people meet and connect mentally. It is better for a man and woman relationship to begin as friends and get to know each other before developing the relationship further.

Lastly Agape love refers to love that is unconditional. It is likened to a Mother’s love for a child which is oft unconditional. However the true depiction of Agape love is divine and found in God’s love for us.

As a Christian, I believe that it is out of God’s Agape love for us that he sent his sinless, only son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross so that we may be saved and reconciled with Him. He died on the the cross and he resurrected three days later.

To give a deeper insight into Agape love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes God’s perfect love as such:

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8 Love never fails.”

Eros describes physical love, Philos mental and Agape, spiritual and these are the fundamental make up of a man’s body, soul and spirit ways of loving.

— end of 1 minute speech —

It is by no coincidence that I meditated, shared and decided to write about love. I did so because I’ve been sad about a few things and I wondered why. And the more I meditated about Love, the more I realize, experience and believe the lyrics of Eagle’s hit song “Love will keep us alive” to be true. Although the song speaks and refers to mostly physical and emotional love, of physical shelter, nourishment, protection and companionship, I believe it rings true for Love in all forms.

As humans we are wired for love. We seek love, we crave love. Often a lot that we do, we do it to earn love. Whether it’s a baby’s cry for a mother’s hug, a toddler’s cry for a toy, no doubt selfish but the toy to the toddler means a parent’s material love for him/her. We work hard in school to score good grades to earn our parent’s approval, another form of love. Men work hard at work, to bring home the money for their families, as a testament of their love for them and also to earn their love.

And when we are in love, we can’t sleep because we want to spend time talking to the other party, no matter how late it may be. YET we can wake up early the next day just to hear from our loved one again. It doesn’t have to be a romantic lover. It works for close friends and loved ones. When you have love to look forward to the next day, no matter how late you’ve slept and how early it is you need to get up, you do. It works for love for work and school as well, to gain the approval/love of your tutor/boss/colleague/classmate/friends.

And that is why as I pondered about the significance and power of Love in my life, coming across the atrocity of the sudden onslaught of Boston bombing saddens me.

While I gave a speech on love, some of my classmates shared their thoughts on the Boston bombings. My classmate and friend, Malika shared that such bombings happen almost daily in Pakistan and Iraq in the Middle East region and it is just sad that one such case in US creates such huge media waves globally but we probably don’t know and care about those happening in the Middle East.

I read further about the Boston bombings, mainly from Daily Maill here and an extremely informative post from Mother Jones here. I cried a few times. I cried when I read about how hero Carlos Arredondo went down to help victims, seconds after the bombings went off. Despite the death of his son at the age of 20 when he served in forces in Iraq 2004. And his second son died in 2011, because he never recovered from his brother’s death. A man who has lost two sons and grieved, but he didn’t choose to live in despair, he went to help those who suffered and were in need.

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Carlos Arredondo helping a victim from the Boston bombings. (Credits to SMH.com.au)

 

I cried when I read about the death of Martin who was only 8 and such a wonderful cute boy. His mother had to undergo brain surgery and his sister who is 6, lost 1 leg. His elder brother who is 12 managed to remain unscathed. And they suffered because they were waiting for their dad to pass the finishing line at the marathon. I cried imagining the grief that Martin’s dad has to go through, his younger son dead, his baby girl who lost one leg and his wife who had to go through a brain surgery.

 

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Martin Richard holding up a message of peace which saddens us further considering how he died. (Credits CBSnews.com)

I don’t think I’ve ever posted on my blog about this before but the aftermath of war and related tragedy impacts me. Fortunately for me, I have always experienced peace in my life in Singapore, so the first time I remember feeling second-hand grief over war was during Venice Biennale 2007. I saw many artists’ works on the aftermath of war from the Middle Eastern point of view and the American point of view. The former artists painted and photographed the aftermath of war on their land. Buildings in ruins, after bombings and raids. Kids playing with humans skulls because that’s the few form of entertainment they have. Women in the typical muslim head covering, hijabs, photographed/drawn listless, fearful and lonely in bare hospitals. From the American artists, we see the entire gallery wall filled with tiny passport sized photos, each with the image of a soldier lost to war, dead. And that was only a portion from the actual dead count during a span of time which I can’t remember how long but it was relatively quite short and shocking to clock so many deaths. It is hard to describe and adequately convey the impact of these artworks individually and collectively, but I was deeply affected.

 

So I am decidedly anti-war and terrorism. I simply cannot understand why innocent lives must be sacrificed. I cannot help but feel emotional and tear when I see women and children  helpless, suffering in the face of war, experience trauma and having to pick themselves up in the aftermath of lost loved ones, ruined lives, bodies and buildings. Let’s also not forget the war veterans, who return from war fields bearing physical and mental trauma as well.

I don’t have the answers to the questions I pose. It pains me to know of people suffering, whether they are middle eastern or american, eastern or western, victims or aggressors(knowing these roles are debatable depending on the POV). Above these labels, I remember them as man and women, boys and girls, sons and daughters, family and friends. Each, precious and filled with beautiful potential. If war and terrorism can be avoided, if pain and suffering can be diminished at the hands of those who control it, I can only pray that it be so.

 

I don’t have the solution to obtaining world peace. Or a convincing reason why a loving God allows such suffering to happen. But to all those who are suffering in war and tragedies or the aftermath of it, I wish you Christ because He embodies Love to me and Love will keep us alive.

 

Love,

Ena

An Announcement

I’ve been wanting to write this for quite some time now but I didn’t quite feel I needed to publish it, or let people know about it until really today.

The rather important announcement I have to make, which I began to feel the impetus, an unshakable obligation, is that *drum rolls please*……

I have changed.

Ena Teo, more commonly known as Teo Jia En in real life, offline, has irrevocably changed.

I wrote a pretty long personal reflection at the end of last year, now shelved somewhere in a folder on my desktop that the people I’ve met last year has changed me more than I’ve changed them. I’ve been changed more than what I think we collectively can imagine.

Like it or not, people have an insidious influence on others.

So how have I changed? You may ask.

I have changed from bring a naive, trusting, innocent, un-beguiling girl to an aware, skeptical, doubtful, assuming person.

I’ve become more like those who made me this way.

I’ve become less of who I was – that purity and innocence that I embodied were taken for granted, mocked, despised, spat on, ripped out and apart.

And people will look at the change in me and wonder. Not that they have actually done so, but I imagine. “What has happened to the Jia En of the past? What has happened to you? You were never quite so mean or bitchy. Why are you like that now?”

You want to know what happened?

Life happened.

I find it even more ironic that a close friend, whom I trust very much, told me not to lose that purity and innocence. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her heart. But coming from another like the who I am now, where is the validity of that statement?

Essentially, how can you expect another to be pure and innocent when you also are no longer, in this dark and tainted world?

In case you are wondering at this point about purity and innocence, I refer to mental and spiritual, not physical or sexual.

I debated within myself for months. I was evasive. I evaded having to face, how to reconcile the fact of others mocking my “nice-ness” to them by lying quite blatantly and repeatedly in my face. The saying in mandarin “Good people have no good returns” still ring quite soundly in my ears. To say I’m used to being taken for granted, or my kind actions to be taken for granted is an understatement.

So I did make a decision, not quite decisively, but rather naturally, logically. That I was never going to be the stupid fool giving out free love and care to the “un-deserving”. Not especially if I’ve come to see that she doesn’t appreciate it.

Yes everyone deserves a chance. Yes I still choose to see the world as a half full cup and people I meet at the first time as a 10/10 before negative experiences with them diminish the invisible count.

But I’ve become harsher, stricter with the people around me. If you use me, and I know it, for the second time after, I’ve said good bye to you in my heart. I’m just not going to initiate communication with you.

If you are giving me excuse, and expecting me to be the Jia En of the past, the nice one, the giving in one, the weak, the pushover.

This is the announcement I’m here to make. She’s gone.

This week made me grow up.

Made me really realize this change is here to stay.

Made me realize I’m no longer around to serve everyone, make their day and earn their smiles.

I still will, as a Christian, it is my pleasure to be of service to others.

But I’ve begun to draw a difference from those who are sincere. And those who are not.

People who are not sincere and out to exploit my niceness, please get out. You are not welcomed. You can say your good bye.

And now where I am, I have realized I’ve grown guts to say. No wait, I haven’t actually grown guts per se, they were always there, just hidden. Now I acknowledge I have the guts to say, if you are doing something wrong, to me, to the world, whatever, just something wrong, I’ll just state it as it is.

This rationale is flawed. I acknowledge that I am flawed. So yes you might have recognized by now that I’ve become like one of those defensive, oversensitive types. Perhaps over thinking and thinking the worse of others in order not to be taken advantage of. I doth agree.

Yes, I’ve become more self aware, selfish. Whatever happened to the biblical saying that if someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn over the left to him? What about the, forgive your brother up to 7×7 (meaning forever) times?

Id like to bring up that the bible also teaches one to be as gentle as doves but as cunning as snakes. You certainly have to lose some battles to win some battles but you certainly DON’T consistently let another play you like a fool when you know you are played.

Christianity is about love, receiving God’s love and showing God’s love to others. It is not about allowing others to take advantage of your pure and kind nature for their own agenda. It is not. Christians are not pushovers. In fact we are anything but that. I do humbly think if you have offended a Christian you should be thankful he or she is one and able to forgive and let go, simple because we recognize that God has forgiven our sins and remember them no more.

I digress.

I am not going to harp on this topic any longer than I should. I am going end with a few thoughts.

Firstly, I speak up for all who can relate to how I feel. For those who can’t, stop assuming your nice friends will always forever be nice to you and you gawk and wonder whatever in heavens happened to them when they are nice no more one day.

Secondly if you know one of these nice people, stop exploiting them and I mean it. Start appreciating them and asking them how you can offer them any help back in return. Stop mocking them behind their backs and say “omg why is he or she so dumb by being so nice?” You are the dumber one who is receiving help from this supposedly dumb person. And if you hear such talk, don’t participate in it, say you think otherwise, thank and compliment the nice person instead! We have to learn to stand up against negative talk and stand up for what’s right!

Lastly, if you are reading this and you can totally relate, please comment and tell me about what you’ve been through, how you are coping or you’ve coped and if you think you’re still nice to all or nice with a differentiation (like me).

I’ve not stopped being nice. I don’t think you should either. I just think people should stop exploiting nice people. Nice people should stop letting others exploit them. Stand up for what’s right.

Lessons from Rice Biscuit Selling Stint

Back in early May, V and I were selling Taiwanese Rice Biscuits in Singapore Expo. From it, I gleaned some lessons about life and work. Before I commence on them, some pictures from our working days!

I am not promoting the brand or the rice biscuits on my blog, but the above picture shows how the biscuit machine looks like, the various flavours and how a regular biscuit looks like. It’s an interesting soft yet crunchy texture. For more information, visit the brand’s Facebook page here.

I never knew $1 coins came in $40 rolls…  (:

Some pictures we took on the job… Most of my friends have a trigger happy habit, lol.

Lessons from  Rice Biscuit Selling Stint:

Life is like a biscuit making machine, just as no two biscuits comes out alike, each individual is created differently, each one is unique.

This photo shows how the biscuit come in irregular sizes! The smaller ones are rejected, thrown away.

The process we take in life is also different. Even though I try my best to pack equal sizes of 7-8 (7 is the standard number) biscuits into each pack, to make a regular pack but sometimes the pack will inevitable contain smaller sized biscuits and some thicker or bigger biscuits. This is due to my point above, no two biscuits are created equal. Therefore, sometimes life gives you a better pack than others and sometimes life gives you the lesser pack.

Use good ingredients and customers will come back for more.

There were a handful of customers that came to buy 3 packs and one lady even bought 15 packs at one shot to keep and give away. If you provide products of quality, customers will no doubt come back for more.

Friendly neighbors make work more enjoyable and rewarding.

Almost everyday, V and I will get free food from our friendly neighboring aunty promoters. This is because we make friends with them, sometimes we give away those odd sizes biscuits (rejected sizes but still edible) and they will give us their food in return. Friendly neighbors make our working environment more enjoyable and rewarding. Most of them will also buy a pack or two to bring home.

A friendly and encouraging boss spurs and motivates productivity.

We were very blessed to meet with a good boss. He made work enjoyable despite the long hours. After the job, I recommended my friends to work for him and after our job stints, we even met up with him for a meal. (:

This was on of the slower – moving days so we were happy to hit $300 from selling the biscuits. (:

It’s interesting how a 10 day biscuit selling stint can teach / remind me of life lessons isn’t it?

On love

Feels like I haven blogged in ages!
Been wanting to update about my “secret” to good skin and Korean trip but been very busy the last two weeks! My schedule won’t be letting up any time soon but I will have to make time to update my blog consistently (:
Was going to sleep but had the impetus to blog about my take on love.
I’ve been single so far in my life and it isn’t to say that I’m particular picky but perhaps that I just have not met the right guy… That I am also the right girl for.
Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions on love, though I suspect many don’t actually have one. Mostly just going with the flow, following their hearts.
Perhaps if I were younger and had been in a relationship that’s exactly what I’d done but now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, it’s harder to just follow my emotions. – I’m not sad about it, in fact it’s quite the contrary.
I am glad I do not feel the pressure to be attached because all my friends are or have already been attached. There are several reasons, I am emotionally assured from the love I have from God and my family and I am kept very busy with school, church and school related activities.
It’s not to say that I’m different from the others, as I do desire for love. But perhaps unlike others, I seek not for a grand love that moves mountains or blaze forests. Rather I seek for a love that is like a quiet stream, like in Psalms 23. Confident in its steady flowing, it doesn’t flood nor dries, but it ebbs on with time. It quenches, nurtures, restores and grants rest. I’d like a love like that.
Maybe more in the future. For now, go love and be loved my dear friends! Haha. (;

Black is becoming Boring

Hi! I don’t usually post about fashion related topics on my blog, ironically since I am studying fashion. Talking about studying fashion, I find it rather contrived when people use the word “reading” fashion/law/whatever course instead of using “studying”. Just saying. So going back to the point, I was checking the blog contest comments sections to check out the recent posts and I was quite disappointed to see a new post that is vying for the Balenciaga bag. Haha. However I am glad to have read the post on monoxious.com because it’s a fashion-centred blog managed by two pretty girls who have an obsession with black.

Let the pictures do the talking. 😉

Dawn, the younger of the duo. She’s like a pretty Japanese doll!

Arissa. Channels a more edgy vibe.

Dawn in an enviable black dress and obi belt.

Arissa in a stylish ensemble.

Oddly enough it’s the first time I chanced upon them although they’ve been writing since 2009. I think it is probably because they seldom attend local fashion events. Or maybe I am not as up-to-date with the local fashion blogging scene. Maybe both.

I enjoy reading their blog and I like seeing their outfit posts, their choice of clothing, bags, shoes and accessorizes. Even the choice of brands or place of purchase are relatable, like m)phosis, far east plaza, bugis street. They feature Ann Demeulemeester (had to google for the surname) knock-off shoe, mulberry knock-off bag and Alexander McQueen knock-off bag. Maybe knock-off isn’t the right word. Although it’s what they use on their blog, I like to think “inspired” is a better word. I adore the photos they took with lovely graffiti/city skyline/flower fields/forest-y/pyramid/busy street backgrounds. It’s a very cosmopolitan, global village feel.

They even featured quite a fair bit on black edgy fashion items like chain necklace, leather pants and the like which I personally adore and if given the budget, I would probably by now own a rock-star worthy wardrobe. That’s why my bio on twitter reads closet punk rockstar. Hurhur. 😛

But somehow seeing them in my personal fashion style – edgy, rocker/biker chic – I feel a sense of loss. I don’t know how to put it across or explain it. Maybe I am just tired of wearing black all the time. Maybe I have outgrown metal/rocker/biker chic style. Maybe I have a growing fondness for spring colours and motifs. A growing fondness for nude/neutral palette.

So I guess the whole point of today’s post is an increasing realization of how the black rocker chic style cool factor is waning for me. In fact black now channels a pretty everyman worker feel to me. No offense but black is a professional office executive colour.

I only started to be more selective with what I wear when I was 18 going 19. My FM4A classmates actually commented that they notice a rocker-chic girl image from how I dress and I was very surprised and pleased to hear that. Although I really think it’s more like muted/stripped down/simpler rocker chic style. HAHA.

So now I am left wondering and redefining what is my preferred fashion style. As of now I think it’s simple/modern/classic and I have an increasing desire to include more nude, neutral, pastel colours into my wardrobe, one piece at a time.

Ah… the love, the life, the woes of a fashion student.

Sometimes I think being in fashion is a contradiction for a christian. In an industry where looks, appearances are everything and where people are seen as superficial. God tells us beauty is not seen on golden braids but in the heart (my paraphrase, will dig up the verse another time) and that man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart. Many times I think fashion is a very self-centred concept and an industry that breeds selfishness where people care more for the next fad and the next IT bag. What about God’s love for the poor, the needy, the widowed? They are almost completely over-shadowed, forgotten in this glitzy glamour world of fashion.

But the fact is that I know for sure Fashion is the industry that I want devote myself to work in this world. I love it and I enjoy it. Many times I feel that it is superficial and I am conflicted within. Can any christian tell me how not to be, in face of seeing provocative, sexy, sensual nude images flashing in fashion magazines, in lecture and better yet as a key image for a semester long project? The subject of nude images are mostly female so perhaps the temptation is lesser but nonetheless we/I am going to be increasingly desensitized by sex and whatever it sells. Can that be acceptable? The answer is no. What am I to do about it is the question that follows. One that I am still discovering.

I guess God’s purpose for me in the world of fashion is something I am still discovering and while I unravel the mystery I am continually reminding myself to keep my eyes on the cross. Okay I totally didn’t mean to end this post as a holy-moly one but I did. ^^V

Of Insomnia, Single-hood and Orchard Central

Hmm I had insomnia last night. I think because I had a pretty long and exciting day. And I was up awake thinking what to do. Should I watch drama? No, that would cause me to stay up longer because one korean drama episode typically lasts an hour. So I thought aloud, “I can’t sleep, should I read? But just thinking about the books I have to read just makes me want to sleep.” HAHAHA.

I was thinking about the books on fashion I borrowed from the library. Various titles about textiles, designers and fashion culture. I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll say it again, haha. That they aren’t boring books in fact they are very interesting it’s just that once it becomes reading material it generally becomes boring. Oops. I have to admit I’m not a very studious or motivated student. :* But this semester I really want to excel, so I really need to put in a lot more effort in my studies than I am right now.

So basically I stayed up reading “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris. I remembered it being and good book and wanted to read it again before I pass it to a friend. I’ve actually gotten the gist of the book so I could vaguely remember the concepts within the book. I’m the kind of reader that reads for the gist of the book, digest it and makes it my own knowledge. So my knowledge is a sum of many digested knowledge and very often I can pull stories and tell you the gist of things and what about in my own words and cannot remember exactly where it’s from.

It’s a good book. Reading it again reminded me that it’s not what I need to do about singlehood but what I can do with singlehood. It’s one of the books that I’ve read that made me certain that I don’t need to date and to a large extent have little or no desire to date. There are many convincing reasons for me, a few being that I am better able to seek God and serve God in my youth because I am single, the freedom of singleness allows me more time to develop skills and knowledge, I do not have to suffer the pains of heartache from breakups/unsuccessful loves, I am guarding and preserving my heart for my partner/husband to be and perhaps most importantly I think is that I am not mature enough for a relationship. There are of course other reasons like I am not tied down to one person and accountable to the one person and hence I have the freedom to meet and make as many friends and develop many meaningful and fruitful friendships.

I believe that the time will come when I am older God will provide a bf so I am not worried or anxious to find one.

So far this week has been a pretty fruitful week. Met up with an old friend for lunch ytd before a bible study session with Xue and then it was class before heading home for dinner. Ok I wasn’t very productive last night. 🙁  I need to plan my time at night and be more productive!

Bini, Desmond and I went for Blackmarket No.2 opening at Orchard Central tonight and it was pretty crowded. Saw our fashion tutors and popular fashion people. Urban writer Rohai was there covering the event on video. It’s nice to see a growing interest in local design although I must say they are priced pretty high and some designs are not worth the price. It’s really difficult to sustain a local (read Singapore) brand. It requires a lot of passion, effort, successful business strategies! I am impressed with Blackmarket and I really wish them well and hope they go from height to height. 🙂

After checking out the event for a short while, Bini introduced us to a wonderful place for dinner, Sarang at the highest floor. It has wonderful ambience, serves delicious food and is not crowded! 😀 Desmond introduced us to a hidden gem of the Orchard Central basement that is an interesting mish-mash of Aegean Sea mural in one area, red-bricked country walls with ivy growing in another and lightning resembling those from a hotel lobby. Very queer but beautiful nonetheless.

The Aegean Sea Mural.. Will upload the other queer sights on fb as well as pictures of celebrating not-so-surprise-but-sweet Jing Wei’s birthday from tuesday night!

Toodles~!

Bye Bye 2010


Hello! It’s 31 Dec, last day of 2010. And I’m feeling emo. Not because it’s the last day of the year but because of various accumulated reasons… 🙁 Too complex to be discussed in the scope of this blog.

I guess it’s terrible to write emo gloom doom stuff on my blog and negatively influence you all… but I do feel this way. I think its a lot harder to stop/quit feeling this way that I thought… :'(

So… hope you all have a wonderful end to 2010! 🙂

When Love Came Down

This was meant to be blogged last night/early morning but something cropped up with WordPress so I decided to type on Word and am only posting it now. 🙂

Here are some over-due photos from YPM Camp, YA Gathering & Outreach Prep !

With Evan, Felily & Joyce!

With Brian Tan my 13 year old camp angel.

With YA1!

A group of church boys sewing Christmas outreach gifts is really quite a sight!

God has been faithful and Christmas outreach went well, we believe many have been blessed by it. Heard a few wonderful testimonies of how newcomers have been touched and even how a friend felt so touched she wanted too accept Christ again. Aww! 🙂 There are many areas we can improve upon, publicity and follow-up so hopefully come next year, Christmas outreach will be better and bless even more people!

I thank God for everyone who came and helped out for Daniel & Benjamin Christmas gathering. Especially to Siew Ho, Amy, Yee Ning, Russ and Jon. It was a good time of hanging around and sharing thanksgiving for the year. 🙂

I had a wonderful Christmas evening with Dione, watching 500 Days of Summer, chilling (literally in the cold) all the way back home. Hahaha. And the next day, spent a whole day with her, church, after church shopping first at the new Bedok Point then Orchard. It was so good and fruitful to share and also listen to her share. It was also a fruitful shopping day for me. Hehe. 🙂

The most important lesson I’ve learnt this year is that I cannot take my eyes away from Christ, especially when troubles come and don’t go, when my patience and love is gone. That’s when I need to focus on Him even more. The spiritual discipline I’ve once cultivated (actually not too long ago) is now gone and I need to get it back. My new year resolution is to hunger and thirst for God’s word and be disciplined in my spiritual life.

This passage of the bible spoke to me today:

1 Peter 1:3-9 (New International Version, ©2010)

Praise to God for a Living Hope

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Looking back, I feel a tinge of horrible-ness for my actions/in-actions. But there is little regret and I thank God for showing me that I am going through a period of refinement. Even now, I find myself very critical and almost always catching myself to not think critically and judgmentally of others. I need strength and love from God to find that balance of love and truth! So very hard indeed!

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

I am still at lost with many things and I shall desire to seek God for wisdom to know what to do, for help that He will send me down on earth.

To end off, Thank God for keeping my family safe and healthy and for loving and caring friends!!! 😀

Filled with the Joy of the Lord :)

Lion of Judah was a refreshing camp for me. It was my first time being a game-master and being in a group with older campers, mostly ypm leaders. It felt like I was watching the other younger campers going through the camp rather than actually being a camper.

It was a good camp for me, a time where I was refreshed with the word of the Lord through very engaging sermons by Pastor James who spoke and exhorted on the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ our King.

I was reminded of my first love for Jesus when I saw the younger ones dedicate their lives to God and I also rededicated my life to God and recommitted to be faithful and disciplined for His glory. God also reminded me that He has called me to serve in YPM, to serve and be an example for the younger ones.

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

On the last night of camp Aunty Mei Yoke and I also had the opportunity to hear Ryan, Xue Li and Michael’s camp experiences and prayed for them.

I also got to know Joyce and Ee Ling a lot better through the camp and Yun Hui also heard me share some of the struggles I’ve been facing and prayed for me. I am really very thankful for them and the blessings they pour forth in YPM. 🙂

Camp Comm. this year is a very humble and serving group consisting of  Zhi Rong, Jerome, Becky, Glenn, Yee Ning and Joshua, thank God for their service that has blessed the campers so much!

YA Christmas gathering on Sunday was a very touching, cosy and heartwarming affair. I really thank God for Justin and the core group consisting of Felicia, Cooper, Joyce, Barry and Jovian. (Not sure if I missed out anyone else) I really love the group and everyone in it, their lives and love and care for others and the word of God has been a great source of encouragement to me through this year.

New Beginning Youth Outreach service is busy underway. What’s left are the actual day preparations and making of gifts. Thank God for all who are helping, from the music team, mime cast, lightings, ushers to gift-making team, everyone has been so willing and joyfully serving, giving me great joy to be serving alongside them. I am so thankful for this opportunity to get to know all of them better! Please please keep us in your prayers that we will be kept healthy and in the best form to serve God on Dec 23, this Thursday and that most importantly that the lives of those who come will be touched by God.

On a last note, the camp reminded me of a friend whom I face a certain awkward past with. On hindsight I think I probably over-reacted and was immature in how I handled the friendship and I feel that I have unknowingly hurt the friend more than I know. I have prayed that God will mend and reconcile the friendship and take away the awkwardness because I really do treasure the friend.

Come for New Beginning ! Dec 23, Thursday, 7.15pm! First 200 has very beautiful hand made door gifts! 145 Marine Parade, Chapel on 2nd level! 😀

The Elusive Balance

I think this post will be a deep one.. I feel it… So this is a cute picture of me and my toys to belie the cheamness of this post.  HAHAHA as if I need a reason to post a cute picture of myself on my blog… ^^ – more cute emoticons /( ‘ . ‘) i’m quite good at this huh!

So when I was reflecting I initially thought that what I learnt was to be less in control. That all along I’ve been too in control and when things don’t go according to plan I get crushed. But that’s not the case. The case in point (tee hee so lawyerly must be influenced from reading Jie jie’s notes) is that I don’t know how to strike that elusive balance in a christian life. Being in love with God and yet also loving the world. Mission imPOSSIBLE. yeah right. (Sorry can’t help but be sarcastic at this pt in time)

So i’ve been meaning to write a poem on how my coping mechanism’s been. It’s more like reblog, I think I wrote that poem some time back and it’s shelved in the annals in one of my now defunct blogs.  But I will spare you the cheesy poem (alright I know you guys do love my poems right? right? :P) The poem talks about a clam. Need no explanation. HAHAHA. Ya so natural mechanism, people. When hurt, I just clam up and keep things to myself… Avoid people… Don’t let people in so I don’t get hurt, simple!

I’ve been literally crying every week for 2 months (maybe even longer now) and I avoid talking about it so I don’t cry. It’s getting to a point I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And sick of being so damn weak. But it’s ironic, I don’t want to be strong.

So yes I’ve kinda drifted away from topic but you’ll see it all links up. The thing is, it’s so difficult to strike that balance. When I think I got it, but I didnt, and since I didn’t, why did I bother? GOSH I know it’s stupid, but I gave up trying. But you know what, God never lets his stupid kids go. Teehee. Thank you God for loving me. ^^

So the song, the song, old song, I heard today. “Heart of Worship” rings true.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus

At the end of the day, I need to realise and accept that it’s not going to be about me. Typed some really super cheesy lines but decided to delete them instead, I’m shy. Hahahaha.

So yes. I am still learning. Being 20 is amazing, no longer a teen, not yet an adult. Lost in between. The world of teenage lust and desires being held back (maybe not sometimes) by a growing rationalism. I disapprove of how I’ve been. It was me totally trying (LOL) to be rebellious and kick my shoes in the air and shout “I don’t care, eh eh eh eh eh” to the tune of korean pop girl-band 2NE1’s hit.

I’m still trying to complete Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”. Yes, he’s an atheist and his work is supposedly anti-christ but I read for leisure like I did with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Gosh, there’s obviously an appeal with the occult huh? Hahaha. I really do recommend Pullman’s work. It’s really a literary work of art. The worlds, the characters, the words are beautifully crafted. What I love most is in a particular more medieval like world which the heroine, a young girl Lyra comes from, his creation of “daemon” a little spirit animal that follows the people upon birth. Before the child matures to an adult, the daemon constantly evolves and changes, it could be as timid as a mouse, or loyal as a dog or bold as an eagle. But when the child reaches maturity then his daemon no longer changes but is fixed at the child’s most defining character so to speak. So a guardman’s daemon is a dog and a crafty woman’s daemon’s a monkey.

And often while reading I feel so much admiration for Pullman’s keen observation of mankind and due to how much I relate to it. It’s exactly frustrating for me cause right now, I’m experiencing so much changes, if humans had daemon, mine would be distorted, contorted right now. And I know, this is a phase, one day which again, I think will be soon, 1-3 years time, my character and personality will (I hope, fingers crossed) be more stable and I won’t feel so vexed like I am and at lost. And while I am at it, I really really want to make sure I give in my best effort to be the best I can be, before I get stuck into the personality/character for my adulthood.

Hahaha it’s really been a long post huh! Alright time to sleep, ciaos!  😉 Hope you enjoyed the long read. Heehee.

Everyone knows who they are

Marquez looked troubled. “I’m not always sure. Yeah, I know who I am, like you said, but everyone knows who they are.”

“No, they don’t.” Summer said. “Lots of times I don’t. Lots of times I’m like a cloud changing shapes with the wind. It’s like people look at me and some think I look like a rabbit or a squirrel. and others think, no, that cloud looks like a map of Australia.”

– Extract from Beach Blonds by Katherine Applegate.