Woohoo I’m so motivated to study for the first time in these two years of JC. I think my body just kinda feels the time of national exams looming near and it’s like GO GO GO WE GOTTA GET 4 As YOU GOTTA DO WELL GO GO GO
FarahEdz (aka The Girl With Coffe) did this incredibly creative tag on her blog, and I was really excited to try it out, especially since it’s one of the most unique and original tags I’d seen in a while. Added bonus was the super sweet reply she gave me when I commented:
Sometimes the only bright spot in my day is the idea that there’s enough good in the world for strangers across the globe to be so chill and friendly with people they don’t even know. Gives me a little faith in humanity as a whole 🌱
Anyway, on to the tag!
It was created by Trisha Malone, and has the following rules:
- Tag me as the creater
- Tag 5 other people (i’m being nice ok). This means you can’t just say ‘i’m tired anyone do this’ (i’m looking at you leo)
- Be a unicorn today because optimist yo
- Give a method that you feel is the ‘recipe of you’.
There isn’t actually a banner but I just did one really quickly because I like to believe I have a flair for graphic design (I don’t).
*Side note: I based this recipe on one of my favourite dishes, which is fried rice, so it’s kinda very Asian-y.*
How to make a Kai
1) Heat up 1 tablespoon of pespiration from excessive exercise into your wok. Allow to simmer.
2) Dice up some cheerfulness. Add into wok.
3) Add in equal parts of awkwardness, optimism, and a tendency to jump to conclusions.
4) Stir-fry all of this for at least two minutes.
5) Pour in two cups of an easy temper. Season with a dash of insecurity, and toss everything together.
6) Add a pinch of stress.
7) Take a bunch of good ideas. Make sure they’re not ripe. Dice them up and sprinkle them in.
8) Garnish with a little stubbornness.
9) Serve with a side of laughter.
And there you have it! A simplified recipe to make your very own Kai.
- Waves of Awesomeness
- That Willow Girl
- Anyone reading this right now. Go do the tag! Do it!
If anyone decides to do this post, do let me know! I find it super interesting and I’d love to read your posts ✨
Just wanted to talk about a small project my friend and I decided to work on, which we named Project Shanah.
If anyone remembers this post, I blogged about how my friend and I decided to change the world on 19 Jan. That was prompted by a class we attended during which we discussed the murder of a small child by two other children, and my friend was really affected by it. Afterwards, we were discussing how awful the world was and how life seemed so dark and horrible, then the talk turned to social issues. We talked about how privileged we were, to be living a relatively privileged life in Singapore while there were so many people out there for whom it was hard to even get their basic necessities day-to-day.
We were talking about it, as so many people do, and felt all the injustice of life, also as many people do. But we didn’t want to be the people who just talked and talked and never did anything to actively help the situation- I still remember what my friend said (I quote verbatim, so excuse the very local sentence construction): “Can this not be just talk? Can we, like, do something?”
So, we came up with this! It’s currently an instagram-based project, but we might look into other social media in the future.
Shanah (שָׁנָא) in Hebrew is a verb meaning “to change”, so the name of the project is basically “Project Change”.
What we’ll be doing is basically posting little “kindness challenges” every week!
The idea was basically that since we can’t change the whole entire world, we wanted to at least do something to change the bit of the world that we could- i.e., our school (we’re classmates) in the ways that we could- i.e. through encouraging acts of kindness, service, and raising awareness.
We also hope to be able to use Project Shanah to organise some school-based fundraisers, but we are literally in stage 1/100 of implementing the project so who knows what’s gonna happen in the future? Looking forward with optimism though!
Although our initial target was our school, I thought I would write about it here to invite anyone who wants to participate to join us!
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama
And a final quote:
“So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one’s own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?”
– Alexander McCall Smith, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
That was a reminder to:
Cynicism, that youthful exuberance and optimism are not always misguided, and that change is possible and necessary.
Ourselves, that every little thing we do for the good of others matters.
The world, that everything has a beginning, no matter how small that beginning may be.
So yeah! If anyone is interested in this project, we’re posting the first post tomorrow. It’s really just little, five-minute kindnesses- nothing too grand and nothing we couldn’t do on the bus on our way to school or work. Click here for our instagram.
Have an amazing day!
Today was a half-and-half day.
- Disappointing performance during canoe training.
- When I went back for afternoon training after lunch, there were no boats and I had to leave.
- Woke up so early and I hate waking up early for training.
- Exhausting sprint sets during training.
- Father and son at the reservoir watching rainwater water pour out of a drain. The little kid was so excited to see it. A simple sight which made me happy that this kid was still finding pleasure in the small things.
- Cold Milo after training!
- Learnt some SgSL.
- Made slides for church.
- Am in a good mood.
New personal project- learn sign language!
I’m Singaporean so I’ll be learning SgSL, which is Singaporean Sign Language. I’m pretty glad I went to research about sign language, because I really didn’t know that there were different types of sign languages, just like there are different languages.
I want to learn this because one of my childhood friends is learning signing in Poly, and i found it really interesting and it also made me realise how much I take being able to hear for granted. I don’t know if I’ll ever use SgSL in real life, but if I do meet someone who is deaf or has a hearing impairment, at least I can communicate with them in a way that they can easily respond to and understand, just like everyone else should be able to in their daily lives.
Excited about this, hopefully I can keep it up!
Although the title of this post sounds really solemn, that isn’t my intention at all.
I was just reflecting about how I’ve come such a long way over the past few years in terms of my self-esteem and confidence. I find it such a pity that so many beautiful people in the world feel so insecure about themselves, just because they have or don’t have certain body parts/skills/other things that society tells us that we “need” to have in order to be “pretty” or “accepted”.
I think one thing that really affects the way we see ourselves is really social media/the media in general. For me, a lot of my self-image issues stemmed from instagram and how a lot of users chose to present themselves.
There’s really nothing wrong with wanting to look your best or anything like that, because you are beautiful/good-looking/handsome/cute/all-round amazing and we all should learn to celebrate that fact about ourselves more! It’s just that one problem with such social media is that we often don’t remember that we’re literally only seeing what others want us to see.
We’re not seeing how these people normally look in their daily life- we’re seeing them from behind filters, makeup, really good lighting, specific angles, and all of that stuff. I think a lot of us don’t remember that and we look at the photo and think, “I’ll never be as perfect as he/she is”. That’s true. Often, it’s really impossible to achieve that flawless look in real life, because the people in the pictures themselves don’t even look like the people in the pictures! That’s why I really love the #5secondtransformation hashtag on instagram, where users show side-by-side comparisons of what they normally look like and how they look like when they pose for instagram/other social media sites.
Kudos to all these women! There were men as well, but sadly theirs were mostly videos and I couldn’t exactly screenshot the videos.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with posting pictures of yourself that you feel look good and show yourself in the best light. If I take a good selfie, I’m sure as heck posting it because hey, everyone loves to feel good about themselves!
Just remember that the pictures we see online should not be the standard we set for our own appearances, because we are all already beautiful in our own way, both with and without that filter, with and without that editing, with and without that perfect angle.
I thought it would be a nice idea to do a sort of “body-positive” post where I posted some things that society would say should make me insecure about myself, but with which I am slowly learning to accept and love as part of my ongoing growth! Hopefully this can also help others realise that:
- They aren’t the only ones struggling with these self-esteem issues.
- They can still feel confident and beautiful, even with these so-called “flaws”.
Soo… let’s get started!
So, as you can tell from the above picture, I have nowhere near perfect skin. And yes, neither do I have very bad acne, but my skin has still been a constant source of worry and anxiety to me for a really long time. Recently, it really started to clear up. However, I just kind of kept finding more and more things to find fault with. I no longer have really bad pimples/large whiteheads on my face, but it’s very rough and has big pores and a lot of blackheads, as well as being really oily. Then I realised- even though my skin was really much better, I was so down about it I could only see the negative points in it, preventing me from allowing myself to feel pretty/as happy as I could have been. If you don’t learn to love yourself as a person first, no matter how much your physical appearance improves you’re always going to find something negative about it to pull down your self-esteem. So don’t fret if you don’t always look like you have baby-soft skin- just try and accept that most humans on the planet never have and never will have it, and that’s the plain truth.
Hairy legs. It’s a forest down there. I’ve never shaved nor do I plan to (so much work), and honestly most people… do not seem to care. Other than myself.
Scars, cuts, bruises. We all have them. This is one that has been on my thumb for really long (I am a competitive sprint kayaker and I tend to get these abrasions) and I get teased about it sometimes. My friends like to laugh at me about how my hypothetical boyfriend won’t want to hold my hand (I have the same type of scars on my palms and fingers as well). This isn’t something that’s a really big issue for me, although I know it can be big for some so I thought I would share.
I kind of see scars as permanent reminders of things that I’ve been through, rather than unwelcome additions to my body. Every time I see the one on my thumb I think, “wow, look at how resilient I am to train so much to the point where I have that thing on my finger.” When I see the scars all over my legs, it reminds me of the camp I went to when I was fifteen and how I spent five days with my schoolmates literally in the tropical jungles- and survived. I guess you could say I see them as a “badge of honour” in a way?
My skin colour. I’m extremely tan, and I come from a pretty pale family on the female side. Plus, my culture tends to see “fair” the “ideal” female skin colouring. That’s my sister through and through. She has skin like a porcelain doll. This was not really a problem for me until I started comparing myself to her and realised how incredibly dark I was- which honestly is really stupid because I am a kayaker. I spend literally three hours in the sun twice a week, with four and a half hours on Saturday. I’m gonna be tan.
Let’s end off with this:
1) Things I’m insecure about and how they make me feel:
- Skin – imperfect, ugly
- Scars – gross
- Skin colour – “undesirable”
- Hairy legs – “non-feminine”, lazy
2) Things other people have told me that they like about me:
- I’m a nice person.
- They care about me.
- I’m fun to be around.
3) Things I value in other people:
- Whether or not they’re nice.
- When they’re kind.
- When they’re patient.
4) Amount physical appearance seems to matter to me and to other people:
- Apparently, not at all.
Final message: we’re all beautiful people, and our outside appearance can’t change that. Outward appearances are just embellishments to who we are as a a person.
So yeah! Those are the things I’m a little insecure about. Hopefully I helped someone feel less alone/better about themselves, and if anyone’s up for doing this as well please let me know! I’d love to read it.
I turned eighteen on the 27th. Didn’t do much on the day, but was surprised with a wonderful party by my friends at my house which was so touching.
Today, though, I decided to take myself on a little date and kinda just enjoy my own company for a bit. Also I wanted to get out of the house because I could slowly feel my skin grafting onto my bedsheets.
So my mum kindly drove me to this place in town with one of my favourite bookstores, Kinokuniya, armed with my Kanken bag and $100 in angpow money kindly given to me by my grandmother.
It was in a really upscale part of the city, and I didn’t really realise how underdressed I was until I stepped through the doors in slippers, a school shirt and shorts.
I decided to ignore this and headed straight to the bookstore and spent a solid two hours there, just reading and enjoying the books and the atmosphere in general.
Of course, I spent most of my $100 getting some books.
3/5 of them are by authors whose books I’ve never read before (with the exception of Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe), so quite happy with my little “haul”.
I’ll do a little run-through of the books now.
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers- I mean, she’s up there with Dickens for me. In my opinion, she was a female writer ahead of her time- in a period of history where her sister authors were writing what were deprecatingly referred to as “novels”- a word that had very negative connotations because it referred to books that were considered “flighty” (basically, probably every romance novel today) and unworthy of being read by those who knew better, she wrote realistic and believable prose that managed to both separate itself from the over-romanticised and dramaticised love stories that saturated the market (think: The Monk) through its matter-of-fact portrayals of love and romance, while simultaneously supporting the rising genre of the “novel” which was not held in high esteem by the highly-educated and stiff-upper-lipped in English society. This is especially apparent in Northanger Abbey, which I am not ashamed to say I have read over twenty times.
Edgar Allen Poe, Tales of Horror
I believe there was another anthology of his called Tales of Something Else but I really can’t remember the name at the moment. It’s basically a collection of Poe’s short stories. I read some in comic version years ago in the children’s section of my library and I loved it, so I decided I would give it a try again in straight prose.
I’m someone who isn’t too fond of change, so I re-read the same books over and over again until they are literally in tatters. I just find it comforting to have the familiar plot play out, in the words that I’ve long memorised. Gives me a sense of security, I suppose, because in that few hours of reading I am absolutely sure of the future.
W. Somerset Maugham, The Merry-Go-Round
No idea who Maugham is, read the blurb, read the first paragraph, and decided I rather liked it and it was coming home with me.
N.B.: I was looking it up and I nearly got a heart attack when I read a review of the exact edition that I have which says that it’s not complete and the actual book is 400 pages long. Did I just get an abridged version? Quelle horreur!
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
It sounded like a very interesting premise, with a highly intelligent child and the murder of a dog involved. Although I am and can relate to neither of those elements in the novel, I found them very interesting and unique while still being realistic. I’m not usually one for high-fantasy or Sci-Fi or things like that, I like books that are based on and in real life on earth. Just personal preference, but I’m really trying to get into more fantasy novels lately like Lord of the Rings and the Song of Ice and Fire series. Plus I really liked Ready Player One which Booktube recommended to me. So I’m making progress!
Anthony Mara, The Tsar of Love and Techno
I’m actually super interested in both Russian culture and history so if I see the word “Tsar” on the cover of a book I’m definitely going to check it out.
Now, after enjoying one of my favourite meals (Vegetarian Aglio Olio from this pasta place called Once Upon a Thyme, $6), I read a bit of Mansfield Park and am now studying.
Some might call it a boring way to spend an eighteenth, but I’ve never been one for huge birthday bashes. I do appreciate them, but mostly for the time I get to hang out with friends. Personally, the idea of having a “Sweet Sixteenth” or a really crazy, alcohol-filled “legal” birthday celebration isn’t very necessary, if you’re having one just because the movies and pop culture told you to and not because you genuinely want to. But if you want to go ahead and make your birthday special, by all means! It’s just not really for me. Everyone has their own ways of celebrating.
Also, as I type, the sun is shining like crazy outside but it’s also raining. The person who came up with the idea to dub dark, cloudy, gloomy days “bad weather” has obviously never been in a sunshine-y thunderstorm, because those are the worst. In a normal thunderstorm you’re at least able to snuggle in your blanket and drink hot chocolate and be all poetic about the weather. But there’s nothing poetic about a sunshine-y thunderstorm. It’s just hot and wet and you can feel the humidity on your skin- the most accurate description I can come up of what being in a sunshine-y thunderstorm is like is, that it’s kinda like being doused by a bucket of lukewarm water while stepping into equally lukewarm puddles while wearing dry socks. Plus you’re inhaling steam with every breath. And you’re sweaty.
Basically, it really, really sucks.
Overall, though, it’s been an amazing day. I’m home now and I feel really happy and satisfied with what I did, and even if other people may not have chosen to spend their birthday/money on the same things that’s fine because spending some time alone made my birthday special to me.
I guess something I wanna say in this post is, don’t be afraid to hang out with yourself once in a while. If you don’t feel like you need to have an extravagant birthday party every year, if you don’t feel like you have to go out with 90278298 friends every time you leave the house, don’t do it just because it’s the “socially acceptable” thing to do.
And yes, there is a sort of- well, I won’t say stigma, but it’s more of an unwritten societal rule that it’s weird to hang out by yourself. It’s weird to walk into a restaurant and get a table and a fancy dinner for one. Passer-bys unconsciously give people who are sitting alone pitying looks. I felt weird the first time I decided to walk into a restaurant and get a table for one as well, but after a while I realised: if I’m so dependent on other people to have fun and be happy, can I really call myself a confident person?
Part of learning to love yourself is learning to be alone. Sure, some thrive on company and friends and I, being a more extroverted person, certainly do. I just think that we should be able to say, “I love my friends and am blessed and thankful to have them, but I don’t need the presence of others to find myself interesting, smart, clever, or to feel appreciated or wanted, because I as a person am inherently all of those things.”
So yeah! Some thoughts on my birthday date with myself. I hope this kind of inspires someone to take themselves out as well! Let me know if you do end up trying it 🌸