July 18, 2017 § Leave a comment
Today marks the first day of second year semester 1 for me, which also means that I’ve done a year of university. Just a few reflections I gathered during the winter break about the season that passed:
I really like what I’m doing and studying, and the times of stress I caused to myself was definitely not study-related but I’m glad studying was always a way of escaping and relieving, because it wasn’t that packed to being with.
School load here is nowhere near compared to back home during poly where I was taking up to 6 units and had 9-5 classes everyday. The teaching style here is more concept based rather than memory-based, and you find yourself from there. Though concepts were easy to grasp, applying them was a challenge, and I learnt ways of better understanding instead of pure memorizing which cannot retain information for long.
I ended up switching majors to Marine conservation after being taught the introductory units, I just loved the social aspect about it, or maybe because Sarah is social scientist which rubbed off on me. Aquatic biology was truly addictive as James teaches with so much zeal and passion, I feel like anyone would be drawn to the marine life if James were to share with them, he just sells aquatic biology like a pro. From no brain sponges to brilliant cetaceans, the evolutionary journey of marine organisms is so dynamic yet inter-connected, and ingenious. I am extremely lucky and honoured to be the last class taking this unit, though I feel really sad for the future batches who have no idea how great it used to be. Oceanography is more than just blue waves, and I respect Chris who is patient with concepts, knowing the difficulty of understanding the science of the ocean.
I did really well for this semester, but I can’t promise that for the next one, though I will give my very best. Besides academics, I have also learnt much from the school of God this season, and have grown multi fold in spirituality and emotional well-being. A lot was dealt with, a good amount of ugly was revealed, but I saw myself for the first time in a long long time, being present at where I am, and embracing myself for who I am, for what I’ve done, and for what I’m going to do. What’s more than anything is that I felt the love of God in me, and that was so much more than I bargained for. I only asked for forgiveness, but He love us even before we were born. I was blind towards the ones that cared, and I struggled to love and be loved. Every waking moment I had to be conscious about my actions, that made me a little overwhelmed and confused at times. God took me out from those places, and sat me down, and mended me. I was broken, and only God could see it and fix it.
It has been a season of mental and physical pain, internal battles, confusion, uncertainty, unworthiness, ungratefulness, selfishness, and guilt. But in the end it was okay.
Psalms 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, but His favour is for a lifetime. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
So I shall conclude that the past year has been surreal, and totally real, and I can’t wait for what’s in store for me tomorrow.
February 28, 2017 § Leave a comment
Second day of school has passed, and it was definitely better than the first. Went for a run with Shaun under the blazing 27 C Tassie sun at 4pm (sun sets at 8pm now), which could explain why my brain is pretty fried now from all that heat. But I just wanna take this moment to appreciate the end of this day because it was a good one.
February 7, 2017 § Leave a comment
I think I grew up with constant fear instilled in me. When I was still on fours or even after learning to walk on twos, I cried my way to primary school. I cried on birthdays, on school excursions, on Friday night outs with Dad. I wouldn’t say that I cry because I’m sad, but I cry because of this perpetual fear residing around and within me, like an imaginary friend I grew too comfortable with. Fear of what you ask? Anything literally. Fear for me comes in a few forms— doubt, hopelessness, cynicism, disbelief, reluctance, and lack of faith.
I think this is it, but I can’t be certain because I’ve only come to this realization recently after Sunday’s service, and I have yet to clarify my thoughts with anyone, and I don’t think I can until I figure out how and when to, or whether there’s even a need to. Fear is probably a constant struggle I face, a stigma that lies just beneath my conscious being, silently controlling my every outcome of thoughts and actions. It’s like a blind practice running in my mind until it gains involuntary control, where I fear as I breathe. I get so comfortable feeling fearful every time, until it becomes an innate part of me. The one thing that I should be doubting and questioning, instead of everything else, is you my fear.
I wish it was that easy to not be afraid, sometimes I don’t even realize that I am. And needless to say, when I came to know God, I feared Him too. Did I say yes to God out of fear? And not because I was touched by His love through Jesus Christ? If I can’t figure out why I believe in God—because of fear or love—my faith in Him would cease to exist. And same goes for every other belief that I hold on to in my life. And I won’t be ale to love fully and wholly, because I can’t differentiate fear from love, and vice versa. I fear that because of this, I will harm the people whom I thought I was loving, but end up causing them the grief and pain that they don’t deserve.
I really like this person now, and I have so much to share with him, but I keep holding back, for I fear what’s to come if one day fear decides to disguise as love and I am no Sherlock to solve the mystery before its too late. I try not to think, as fear is a form of thought, but then I end up losing myself, and regretting so much afterwards.
But I guess they say the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one yeah? It’s all in the head, already diseased all over the sanity of my mind. Its making me dysfunctional, I feel so impeded by myself. Turning fear into faith, I know I can’t do it alone, it not I would have long ago. I’m sorry, to God, to myself, and to many more.
January 31, 2017 § Leave a comment
Today is 初三 of Chinese new year, and probably the last day of visitation I’ll be doing. It’s been a fruitful harvest of blessings and greetings from my circle of family and friends, old and new. I’m glad that I’m home today, and not in Tassie where I thought it would be. A video was played during the festive service which ended with a quote
Traditions don’t form family, family forms traditions.
It spoke to me as irregardless of backgrounds or differences, people united by love and kinship can produce their own unique traditions to adhere to, to honour the family forever.
Family is my resolution this year, the year after, and years following after. I love you my family.
January 26, 2017 § Leave a comment
Within a month’s time I’ll be heading back to school in Tassie for the second semester, and the upcoming units pretty much constitutes the jizz of my course — Oceanography, Aquatic Biology A, Introduction to Conservation and Fisheries Management— pretty eggciting stuff!
The past few days at work on St John’s, I’ve been surprisingly attentive towards world news as I tuned in to the BBC World Service radio station while visually glued to the stereoscope as I sort the deep sea meiofauna specimens. News about the Trump administration, trade policies, civil wars, stock exchange, business models, and some personal accounts were aired. Amid the news there was one of Barack Obama giving a speech at Morehouse college and he called out of one the graduates named Frederick Anderson, who was tirelessly coping with studies and making ends meet with the coming of his new family.
Amongst the failures and struggles, he said: “I never really allowed myself to be sad. It was just another opportunity to find another course of action.’
Mr Obama was using him as an exemplary model of a man, excelling in all aspects of life. And I thought to myself, wow. Every time I fall, I seem to make a big deal out of it. Yes I want to learn from my mistakes, but from this it made me realise that crying over spilled milk is useless and redundant. I could have use the time to move on, instead of stressing out on the what ifs and how it would change the unchangeable.
When I noted this quote down on my phone pad a few days ago, I missed out the origin of it and when I passed by it again this morning as I was penning down another quote, I was trying so hard to recall where I got it from. It could have been from anywhere, but my half-demented brain gave up and decided to deal with it when I’m more awake. Then, out of all news BBC replayed Obama’s speech including the account of Frederick and I immediately retrieve the recent file I almost tossed out from my mind.
Was it meant to be or it just happened to be? To believe that it just happened to be would give me a really inaccurate estimation of luck I’m gonna be getting this year. The probability of them replaying any news (I’ve never heard any same news twice on different days) was zero for me, let alone replaying D news I needed to hear. To believe that it was meant to be would be much easier, as I would hand it all to fate and simply be thankful. But why? Okay I’m just gonna leave it at that.
I’ve been reading a book called Enemies of Science and this,I feel is total fate to have crossed paths and pay RM 10 for this book of debate between the author and the fictions of Science. I can relate so much to it and he has the same puzzling questions about beliefs as I do. It was comforting to know that I was not alone, all in my mind. But the book isn’t an answer, or so I feel it isn’t despite not anywhere nearing the end of the book. Because if there is, it would have been replaced with the bible. I’ll try to write review the book as much using my own words, which would be a good practice to abstain from plagiarism.
Oh and I had a wonderful date on Sunday, with Shaun. We had the (paid) privilege to listen to Thomas P Peschak on his personal account of his journey, from his childhood to being a underwater photojournalist for Nat Geo, renowned for his impactful media of the oceans and its inhabitants, alongside with the culprits of their dwindling numbers. He described himself as a hopeless optimist, as part what he does, he has to shoot tons of ugly shots to get a slight above average one, and he has to be playing with death (head bumping hungry sharks, getting thrown under a whale, being in pitch black waters) to get a Nat Geo worthy shot. Shaun really enjoyed it and if Shaun had a chance at it, I bet he’d be good at being hopelessly optimistic too, for the things he love.
And whenever he holds my hand, I stop thinking. I need to work on that error 404.
January 25, 2017 § Leave a comment
Even till this day, I still struggle figuring out which correct spelling of diary or dairy is the vegan illustration of your penny full of thoughts. This shows that I haven’t been writing. I used to do it everyday when I was 7, about anything and everything. Mom said it was important to have a diary, to remember before its forgotten.
In this era of too little time, I seldom reflect on a day’s affair properly. And even if I do, it’s in my head and my head can only house that much thoughts. And 5 days later I get frustrated with myself for not penning down my thoughts. My inertia of diarying has taken its toll on me as I fail to remember the moments I wish to remember.
Now that I’m studying abroad, and I’ll be alone, I should have no excuses. No excuses! I hope I don’t let myself down again, just as how I did by not logging my past adventures. I’ve been considerably many places and done loads of things I’d never thought I do. I guess it’s never too late since I still remember. Bits and pieces of it.
However there are just some things that I’m not ready to share on this platform, even though no one knows of pliablelia’s existence. That’s my dilemma. The fact that I’ll be penning down my inner most thoughts still scares me, to the core. What should I do?
January 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
This moment was meant to be pondered over somewhere between the school break and before the end of the year 2016, but I guess it took more than a moment.. but here goes:
To be honest, so much has happened in so little time, and I’d never allowed myself to truly settle, pause and reflect on a day’s affair. Looking back now, I find it oddly harsh and insincere towards myself. I tend to resonate with myself, and I associate reflection as a form of overthinking, which I was cautiously avoiding at all costs as I was away from home, and overthinking would only trigger more insecurities and uncertainties that I would have to face alone. But when I occasionally get caught up in the rip tide, all I could do was pray and hope that it ends before reality greets me at the front door.
Here’s a few moments in 2016 where I found it defining, and some has revealed a few pieces of me that I, either didn’t know was part of me, or took a long time to accept that it was a defining part of me.
- I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m extremely untenable. My mom was right, I’m gullible and gets easily influenced. I use to think that I was being “adaptive”, to not want to be obstinate or 100% certain about one thing, just in case it doesn’t suit my beliefs or core values. However the irony in this deceptive trait of mine—what are my true beliefs and principles if I’m constantly changing them? It has come to my realisation as I spoke to more people about the important things in life (or what I deemed important)—family, religion, career, and relationships. I dare not use the L word. I question about a certain topic with my preconception notion about it, or what seemed to have been a rain bucket full of droplets of opinions that I’ve heard, but none of my own. After listening to what others have to say about it, I would ask in my head: What made them so sure about what they are sure of?
- I really do overthink. Looking back at the decisions I’ve struggled to make and the outcome of the whole situation, it wasn’t as bad as how I played it out to be in my head. Take going to Uni for example, I applied and withdrew and applied again. Who has time for that! Apparently I did. When I had 3 days to decide on my major, the world literally stopped for me as I was at war inside my head to weigh out the pros and cons of each major, and deciding on whats best for me. As if I know whats best for me now. All I had to do was to choose the one I like, but I had to like everything. I ended up choosing fisheries management after speaking to James, which brings me back to point a. did I choose this major because of James’ great conviction about fishery biology or was it just me? Anyway, one semester is down and I did enjoy all my modules, especially and surprisingly: Economics and Quantitative Methods, which were the 2 modules that I was panicking about before it began. What can I say… I surprise myself a lot!
- I’m not good at commitment. I needed to experience a lot and stumble a lot more to accept this part of me, that I’m not proud of one bit. I mean, so far none of the things I’ve discovered about myself have given me a sense of gratitude. Especially when it comes to relationships, I have hurt more than I have loved. I always mentally shrug at the thought of commitment, how my freedom would be withheld, how accountability was going to affect me. Basically I’m immature, period. And yet I thought he was always the less sensible one. But I realise I can’t fight love with logic, because it doesn’t reason with common sense. The more I question about the way it works, the way it consumes, the way it provides, I would never get experience the greatness of it. I guess this is also a result of being untenable and not fully trusting in him. What I thought love should be or will be, is never what it’s going to be. Que sera sera.
- I could be the reason why my family is not as close knitted as they should be. Being the overthinker, I had to stop every trivial bickering that was going on, even when it didn’t involve me. I would question my mom and dad why, and though I now know they knew why, they couldn’t express it in the best way they could at that time. And I guess I always took it the wrong way. I was definitely over-sensitive when I was desperately trying not to be. As I’ve starred in the mirror and looked at my flaws for a long while, I saw it in my brother just this morning and I realise that it’s the biggest mistake I’ve made to every go against my parents. I disgustingly remember the times I swore that I never want to be like my parents when I grow up, but I could not be more wrong. My parents made so many mistakes in their life time, and they are the only ones who care enough to tell me how to avoid if possible, and how to overcome it if going through was the only way. The kind teachings I learnt from them is not one you can find in a parenting book, but it has been a arduous journey of struggles and success to preach what they preach today.
So I guess the resolutions for 2017 would be to just embrace and work on ‘newly’ discovered parts of myself. As of now, they look more like flaws to me but I think they are like wildflowers, and they are not up to my control to eradicate or change it, and I’ll let them bloom without impediment, on the ground of my soul and on the face of my character. You made me in Your image, and would stay that way till the end of my time. Hopefully this year I learn to trust more, in the Lord, in my family, and the ones who care. More faith, less doubt. To not be afraid and love with the risk of loss. To stumble, pick myself up and stumble again. Your work in my life is truly amazing, and I wish for more in 2017.