March 20, 2015

Being Comfortable In Your Own Company

A lone time.

I've learned over time that I'm the kind of person who prefers going on adventures on my own. When it comes to watching movies, I have no qualms getting a ticket for one because I get to watch on my own terms and perhaps avoid inconsiderate viewers by going during off-peak hours. That I believe is also one of the perks of being single. But that's another story.

When it comes to taking care of myself I think taking some time of for a mental health day is crucial. I usually go about this by planning a single, simple activity to do and see where that takes me. Most recently I finally made a trip down to Pulau Ubin to put my birthday present to use and snap some photos with my film camera.

The sense of quiet when you are alone with your own thoughts provides clarity that I can't find elsewhere. This goes along with being comfortable eating alone, as I never got my head around why there was stigma attached to eating by yourself in the first place.

These solo adventures can be very rewarding at times. On the boat off the island, I boarded with two ladies who at first glance believed I wasn't a local. With camera slung around my neck and a backpack to match, I looked every part the student working on a project. Halfway through the ride, one of the ladies reached into her handbag for a red packet and leaned over to present it to me. She uttered a Chinese idiom wishing me success in my studies over the roar of the engine and crashing waves. Needless to say I was surprised and filled with gratitude all the same.

So having adventures on my own does come with its perks from time to time. It is something I highly treasure because some of my best ideas come when I get some time with myself.

February 23, 2015

Remember To Smell The Roses

Hardly a day goes by without acknowledging how fast time flies.

One of the biggest realisations I've had this year is that the closest of friends need not be the ones you've known for the longest time. Some of the friends I've made somehow just get me and after striking up a few more conversations it feels as if we've known each other for years.

So conversations like this make me pause and reflect about how fortunate I am to have people who care as well as how quickly everything else continues to go forward:

"I feel like I'm on autopilot"
"At least you're not drowning"

As with each term we get thrown into a endless continuum of projects and deadlines before realising that we've reached the end of the next check point. Thankfully the routine of having to keep preparing for the week after has not gotten to me yet. Careful planning has tremendously helped me keep above the water.

Being consciously present yet aware that everything is pretty much transient is something I've yet to come to terms with. It seems that there isn't much time to be nostalgic before another event pops up on your calendar. So I relish the rare opportunities where I get to lay back with good company and go on about our lives without a care for time passing by. Those moments are always time well spent.

January 13, 2015

You Are Your Own Solution

There's really nothing to it.

I was at the local printer last weekend trying to get some mock ups produced when I had an unfortunate encounter with the grouchy, old man of a shop owner. The file that I had prepared was clearly not in the right format and instead of politely telling me so, the shop owner proceeded to take the draft printed copy and tear it in two right in front of me, not before unplugging my thumb drive telling me to not "waste [his] time".

I was floored beyond words.

As I turned around and shook my head on the way out, I felt seething rage build up inside of me. There were so many other ways this could have gone down nicely without such terse words. Don't even get me started on how the shop owner did not 'Safely Eject' my thumb drive. You could only imagine my anger after having experienced countless problems with external drives that were ejected by force. But that's another story.

On the ride home I was more dumbfounded than anything as the entire scene kept replaying in my mind. I refused to expend energy being all up in arms but I was clearly still bothered and my mind would not go to rest about it.

After a while I quickly concluded that it is so easy to let small problems make you feel like the whole world is conspiring against you. Truth is, each day is bound to pass and roll over into the next. Everything moves on. And I should not let my emotions be tied down to the past, especially for such a minute matter.

January 07, 2015

Scenes From An Empty Park

Browsing through the HortPark.



January 06, 2015

Getting A Glimpse Of The Big Picture

That it takes more than a couple of quick steps.

In "A Most Wanted Man", there is a scene late in the film where Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character explains the modus operandi of his spy network to a filled board room. He says: "It takes a minnow to catch a barracuda. A barracuda to catch a shark."

The quote perfectly summarizes the steady flow of events throughout the film and from that I gleaned a very salient point on how any endgame isn't supposed to be as clear cut as one would like it to be.

I've been tossing up various creative ideas and dabbling in a few pursuits in the past year and though I'm impatient and want things to converge into a cohesive picture I realise that this is the very stuff that the 'hustle' is all about. It's going to be haphazard and maybe confusing, but somewhere along the lines you have to trust that the dots will connect and lead you to a giant X you've been patiently working towards.

So for now I'm stuck catching barracudas. And I've learned to be fine with that.