O Happy Day

I could not sleep last night so I sat on the couch stoning at Survivor on TV way past midnight (I obviously didn’t keep up with watching it or I should remember the season and episode.) thinking about this happy morning and the beautiful memories it would make for SH and YC. :)

I was super excited for a really good friend and dear sister was getting married today. I was also anxious – that something wouldn’t go well – and I’d disappoint the bride! To set the context, this is the first wedding I was invited to be such a close part of, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The action just seems so much more meaningful when you see it up close.

A good friend reminded me that this was her day and all it mattered was that she was happy. I knew that – I just wasn’t sure I could stop myself from feeling emotional when the moment came. (Like a mother heh.) But after today, I realized that all the qualms can disappear when you truly care for someone. The moment things kick-started, seeing the bride beaming, the sisters glowing, the parents full of pride and joy, the groom and brothers in high anticipation… there just wasn’t any reason to think about your own qualms and it became so easy to focus on the blushing bride and her moment.

It was a beautiful service. Remember a few years ago See couldn’t be entirely sure this was the man God intended her to marry. Yet seeing them both exchange vows at the altar this morning, the culmination of their eight-year relationship in marriage, was the most perfect thing anyone could ask for. I am so glad that God has blessed them both with each other, and may He use them to bless many more people in the many years to come.

:)))

Okay, Let’s Be Honest

Thank you Mel for your kind admonishment. There is no basis for anything between Mister X and I, and I should have snuffed out my feelings for him instead of giving it room to grow. There are many more things in my life which I need to sort out, and Mister X is surely not a definite part of it. God needs to take centre-stage, and until He does, no one or nothing else should wreck it.

“Get Busy Living”

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – Andy Dufresne

I have spent 25 years living a very predictable Singaporean life. I grew up in an upper-middle class home with parents who worked pretty regularly high-paying office jobs that paid for our shift from a condominium to a semi-detached private residence. My childhood was made up of taking the kindergarten bus and singing kindergarten songs, buying a huge cake and donning a pretty dress on my birthday to celebrate with the entire kindergarten, weekend breakfasts to A&W (the one that used to be at Ang Mo Kio), the community library, and my constant companion all the way up to Primary school was a domestic helper. In order to make sure their daughter had a secure place in a Secondary school, I was enrolled into a primary school with a secondary school affiliation. I always took the school bus until I discovered I could walk home and found enjoyment in that period of solitude. My secondary school was a girls’ mission school and taught us that it was “always better to the safe than sorry”. It comes as no surprise that we grew up with the mentality that our decisions have high stakes and we should usually just “go with the flow” to avoid incurring costs. So I “worked hard”, even though I did not quite understand Science and managed to clear my O Levels rather decently. I went to a very “safe” junior college because a junior college is where all able students go after their O Levels. In fact, the better the grade I received, the better a school I had to go to. We threshed about helplessly in the first three-quarters of a year or so in junior college, until we discovered our talents (or passions) in some areas. Then having done well enough at A Levels, I secured a scholarship to support my university education, and completed a degree in Singapore. Afterwhich I studied and obtained a post-graduate diploma and am now a teacher – a typical, predictable, “go with the flow”, “better to be safe than sorry” lifestyle. Which I find increasingly problematic.

Now you did not need to read all of the above in order to figure out that I want to create some change in my life and “get busy living”. It is not that I am dissatisfied with the life I am currently living, or even that I have some unspeakable regret which I need to confront. I simply feel that I have lived a life without question for 25 years. That fact alone throws me slightly off-balance.

Today (it is one of the many days I have thought of this) I finally recognized that I do not want to be a teacher for life. Now some people can say that with such confidence I respect them. But I cannot even bring myself to think about that possibility of being a teacher for life (haha). Again, it is not that I am dissatisfied with my present career or working environment. I just don’t think I will be teaching my entire life, and I definitely will not be working under M.OE my entire life – that would be just sad.

But today is also the day I realized I do not know what else I want to / could possible be if not an educator. (gasp.)

Horror of horrors I suddenly realized my identity as a being is tied so much to my job that I cannot imagine doing anything else but that! (It is not mutually exclusive to say that I cannot imagine doing anything else but teaching, and I cannot imagine teaching my entire life.) The very thought that I had no thoughts about how to “get busy living” other than teach, freaked me out. How can someone not have an opinion about such a matter, seriously? 

I tried to recall this: What did I want to do as a kid? One time I told the world (the world being the participants and mentor at this motivational workshop for primary school kids) that I wanted to be either a Mathematics teacher, or a counselor. (Wahh, my fate to work with young people have been sealed since then?) Then I dropped the idea of being a Mathematics teacher and moved towards the idea of a psychologist. In secondary school I found interest in art and visual design, and played with the possibility of pursuing a diploma in a polytechnic. (Of course it did not materialise.) In university I thought of becoming a social worker, a counselor, a tuition teacher with a specific skills set. All these I toyed with, until my scholarship grant from M.OE was offered me.

After that time, I am now a teacher. But is this all I want to try in my life?

What do I want to do with my life? And again, I find myself without a voice to answer. Maybe I should start with a bucket list, and not be afraid to share it.

The Deliciousness of Solitude

I have never been one to complain about solitude. Being alone and being able to spend personal time with no one else but yourself is a luxury and a blessing. It is when I do the most reflecting, thinking and feeling; the time when I do the most growing up. Sometimes I walk in the park enjoying the natural quiet, sometimes I go to a shopping mall and take in the crowds and noise, sometimes I just like to spend time with a book and some good food, sometimes I people watch, sometimes I watch a movie, sometimes I take a longer untraveled route just to see where I would end up. Solitude is my best friend, and even more so when I started teaching and could appreciate the pockets of personal solitude and quiet even more.

But in recent weeks, solitude has become somewhat too familiar. I know what kind of food and drink solitude would find most comfortable, I know what kind of music solitude likes to listen to. Solitude has become predictable and because it has become predictable, it has become boring. What previously excited my palate no longer incites the same burst of flavour and youth as it did.

– 31 October 2012