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The thumb drive left me as soon as I found it a year ago. The one thing that had altered my life quite dramatically and sank me in the dee...

A year on...

The thumb drive left me as soon as I found it a year ago. The one thing that had altered my life quite dramatically and sank me in the deepest abyss - one that took me a year to claw right out.

I've been wanting to write this post, but... where to begin? At a lost for words and I still find it hard to write this post actually. I don't wish to go back to a tiring and trying time.

Yet, I want to write this from a place of strength. Because here I am exactly one year on since I found out about the dreadful news and standing tall and strong - re-energised and enthusiastic about life. I want to remember where I was and what I've learnt.

One thing I experienced, which I hadn't experienced before, was sitting in the darkness of my very being. To feel the deepest, darkest range of emotions. It was a time when I felt sadness gnawing at me day in, day out. I had never felt that sort of sadness in my life before... when living was almost as good as nothing. I had forgotten how to laugh heartily and had thoughts that ate at the very core of my soul. I think... I had even lost a bit of me.

By losing myself though, I was on a search to find and build on whatever that was still left of me. I began to see and notice things that I had never seen or felt before. Despite my very tortured soul, I started to see another side of the world - a beautiful one. Darkness shone bits of light in places that I never knew existed. Melancholy had in a way, afforded me a sense of sight.

And I read this off a senior's webpage (he shoots wedding photography and is pursuing film as a career). It's a passage that I think encapsulates a lot of what I'm trying to say:

"Photography is a bit like my public life while filmmaking is a bit like my private life. My photographs tend to be of happy things and my films tend to be about not so happy things. My literature teacher used to say that if you were never sad for a day in your life, you will never understand poetry nor find real happiness." - Ivan Tan.

He went on to make a point - One cannot exist without the other.

That was something I came to understand. Without negative emotions, you can never truly feel the most positive of emotions. I've learnt how to sit in my sadness and embrace it for all that it is. An emotion. A feeling, just like happiness and joy.

Even... anger.

I often struggle with my darkness. You know when people say you've gotta embrace your imperfections? I used to interpret that as things like smarts, talents and looks. So I never quite understood the meaning of embracing your self, your whole-hearted self. I've come to realise it's also about your darkness... To be able to sit in your darkness of jealousy, rage and hate. To know that you have those things in you, and that it is perfectly, completely normal.

I remember watching a couple of documentaries where they try to uncover what makes a human bad. Like when I watched a docu about Nazi Germans committing crimes against humanity. Why did they do what they did even though they knew it was evil? I can't remember the name of the documentary but I remember what scared researchers most was the fact that those "other" human beings.... they were not in any way extraordinarily different. They were not evil or psychotic. They were actually very much normal human beings like you and I... Who had loved ones, who liked to have a good hearty time and a barbecue...

Which says a lot about us. That as human beings, we all have a monster within us. That we have the capacity to hate, to lie, cheat, steal, be corrupt, you name it. A bad person isn't bad because he was born evil. No one is born evil. And guess what? Scary as it may seem - You and I, we also have the capacity to act on our darkness.

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.” - A Monster Calls, 2016

Us - you, me, we are all very complicated creatures, with thoughts that can be very wild and very dark. I no longer chide myself for having dark thoughts, because I've come to realise that they're alright. That I'm alright.

And not all is lost because... what you think is not important. It's what you do that's important.... You may have the deepest, darkest, most horrendous thoughts in the world, but believe me, they do not matter. What matters is how you choose to act on them. Some people choose to lean in on them, while others choose not to.

The fact of the matter is, it is your choice. And your life is dictated by your choices. Never beat yourself for what you think, for they do not matter. I repeat: What matters are your actions.

Once I came to accept that, accept all of my complexity, I realised what it means to really truly accept my self.. For all of my weaknesses, strengths, scars and darkness. They make me whole and I only need to embrace them.

I'm not gonna lie. I still struggle because there are times when I think that I'm going against my principles and morals. I try my best, and I try my best every god damn day. And to do your best... shouldn't that be the only thing that matters?

I still wonder why my friend took his own life. And... though I will never truly know, I believe that he did what he did because he struggled with his own thoughts. Thoughts that gnawed at him every day. That reminded him of how much less of a human he was, when in fact, all that he already was made him a very whole, wonderful and beautiful human being.

While I wish he'd never left, in a way, his death has given me something, made me bolder and stronger. I confronted my greatest fears and questioned the very reason to my existence. His death also reminds me of the values I hold true to my heart, and the beliefs I choose to pursue. That I remember what's worth fighting for.

But mostly, to enjoy the ride while it lasts~

That was something he'd taught me when he was alive.

Found this two months back
Little snippets and nuggets I find of him, would be like treasure to me. I'm glad we took this polaroid. He had one of us, and I have one of us :-)

It was the last picture I ever took with him, before I left his apartment and returned home from New Zealand...

This time, he left me. But he also left me with lessons. Lessons that I will take with me. And a part of me thinks that his cheekiness plotted it all out haha.

Kindness still lingers in his eyes from photos that I see and sometimes I feel like he's still here. And you know what Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did... but people will never forget how you made them feel".

And I still, have not forgotten.

Heard my phone vibrating this morning so I woke up and was asked to be recalled early in the morning for a shift, but I couldn't cos I&#...

end of an era, beginning of another

Heard my phone vibrating this morning so I woke up and was asked to be recalled early in the morning for a shift, but I couldn't cos I've plans in the afternoon. And now I can't go back to sleep so.. whatddya do? Blog!! Hahaha.

But mainly it's because... TODAY IS THE DAY that I move to the New Campus at Mediacorp. Officially!! *cries* I've been waiting for this day for so long and I'm super excited + happy cos the old campus at caldecott is just miserable as hell. Then again... whist lying in my bed, I was thinking about all the good times at caldecott as well lah. After all, I was there when I was an intern three years back and then I came back as a full-time staff... a significant amount of memories. 

I thought it was quite amazing as well that I got to close the last News 5 show at Caldecott. I mean.. it does feel a bit surreal since I've been watching the damn bulletin since I was a kid and who knew I'd be doing the very last show as an adult. It is bittersweet indeed. Very.

So the past few days, my colleagues and I have been going round taking photos around the campus. And now, this post will help document some of what I'd like to remember :)

Good times, bitter sweettt.

A picture with this big ass sign outside our office
Hangin' off from the top
Btw here's Ria, a wkwsci intern!!! Ahh I love her lah, she's crazy
This was another day - my colleagues said everyone else was taking photos in the day so we had to take one at night as well ahaha competitive
Current affairs department!!
Where my heart has always been because of its people~
I swear we look like sisters here leh
She's going on a sabbatical for a year to YOLO!!! She said it herself hahah so cool ah?? 
But mainly it's cos she wants to spend time with her daughter Adyna... 
I've always admired her. When I was working with her as an intern, she was so so so driven and I always admire people who hustle. Then when she had her baby, things got a bit tough and she found it hard to balance work and mommying her baby. And I can imagine the pain she had to go through and is still going through... Sometimes, I find that scary as well because I'm someone who's so career-driven, yet I want to be a momma and a good one too, it's just tough having to juggle both and still be good at both. 

BUT what am i sayinnnn, I'm still young, ambitious and hungry. I can worry bout those things lata~

Hottest librarian you'll ever find,
Who's looking after....
Jeeees these tapes are prehistoric. I don't know how old you guys are but I remember as a kid, my family had to use these chunky DVR tapes to record stuff and watch recorded shows on TV. THESE are things still around in the library at Mediacorp

It was crazy when I first saw and used them three years ago. I couldn't believe we were still using them to archive stuff. Like, that's the dinosaur age man, time to move on bruhhhhs.

Still cool though. I remember one time as an intern, I had to search for old footage for a producer and I trawled through tape after tape after tape and it was amusing yet intriguing for I saw some old footage of Singapore so rarely seen or forgotten...

Good lighting ;-)
Then came the final day of work yesterday
Being just absolute idiots
Makin full use of whatever we could find
Now ain't Mediacorp a kampong??
Photo with presenter Jill
(secret: I still find presenters intimidating even though I work with them so closely LOL)
Dead office
I'm glad I was part of this caldecott era... Not many young people would be able to say that. Maybe it's not something to be proud of to begin with la hahah but I'm still so glad I got to experience this :)

From here onwards.... to new beginnings!

Us at Pulauuu Ubinnnn, after going up many gravelly slopes with tired faces A spontaneous decision to head to Pulau Ubin today because...

And you wish you could speak Malay

Us at Pulauuu Ubinnnn, after going up many gravelly slopes with tired faces
A spontaneous decision to head to Pulau Ubin today because my dearest Huiquan and Suxin had never been to Ubin before (despite having studied at a Pulau university bahahh)

I'd been there maybe 3-4 times, and this time... Pulau Ubin seems to have shrunk to me?? Like when I was a kid, I thought those slopes were treacherous, but now I think they're pretty easyyyy. After all that biking in Laos, this was a lot less challenging cos I now know how to meddle with bicycle gears. So thank you Laos for training me up - I think I've a thing for mountain biking now... Hiking, Biking, what or who's the next king??? *wink to the wink* alright, that was a pretty shabby one.

Coastal walk at Chek Jawa

Me besties~*
Think you'll be seeing these faces a lot. Since we're at an age where all our friends, including ourselves, are at work, and everyone seems to be getting busy and caught up with their lives, us three... we'd always make time for outings and get-togethers. And they're always fun and exciting - one of us would suggest doing something and the other two would pick up from there and we'd actually execute it. We'd say GO. All you need is a simple majority to be enthused about something and the rest will follow. "Rest" meaning that one other person, who's more or less psyched as well.

No dilydallying, no ah- "I've got this to do, I've got that to do." We just freakin make time for each other and I'm soooo thankful for that.

I watched a recent interview of Sir Patrick Stewart, for the movie Logan, who was interviewed by radio dj Joshua Simon.

The question was, "When was the last time you felt so happy, you almost felt like you didn't deserve it?"

His answer, after a moment of contemplation...

"I feel that (happiness)... at different times... every single day."

and you could see it in his eyes when he said that. he meant it. and I could fully understand what he meant by that.

I see that too in snippets of my interactions with friends, family and a lot of the time, I'm so aware that I'm so bloody blessed that I'd take a mental snapshot in my head to remember the moment I had with someone. A few days ago, I was cycling with my dad at bedok reservoir and the light was streaming in through the trees and I looked at him and he was talking, but everything drowned out... it was a beautiful moment and I wished I could tell him in that moment how much I loved him and it's moments like this I'll miss when he's gone. I do that mental snapshot thing a lot and it's a way for me to remember.

Soaked in absolute g r a t i t u d e .

In his reply, Sir Patrick Stewart continued... "I'm a very lucky man. I've a wonderful wife, 2 children, 4 grandchildren, my career has been quite successful...... If only the world could become a better place to live in, I can't think of anything that I would improve."

Pretty house owned by a Malay family at Ubin
Preets seashells just outside
Once, while we were cycling, we heard loud music blasting from speakers. Indonesian music. And Huiquan being the crazy lil nutter she was, walked towards the villager's home and approached the family. We all started dancing outside their houses lol.

The Malay family went, "Japanese?" We looked at each other. One of them continued, "Korean?".

And we said... Singaporean!!!!!! And you could see a wave of relief wash over their faces. At the same time, I caught a look of maybe... embarrassment? Like oops, I didn't know you were my countryman.

Then we tried to converse with them and talk a little. We splattered a bit of Malay here and there like "joget-joget" and "bagus" and "cantik", and one of them went "ahhh, bercakap melayu ah!" and I went "sikit-sikit".

Honestly, I felt quite terrible inside. For the fact that we could hardly converse with our own countrymen, more so after being mistaken for another. I know we could've spoken English, but speaking the language of the nation seemed to have been more appropriate in that occasion, but we simply couldn't. And the connection was lost. And I thought it was weird because aren't we all supposed to be Singaporean?

Huiquan said it was the first time she thought knowing Malay would be useful.

But ok la, maybe I'm thinking too deep into this. It's Pulau Ubin. We're city dwellers living in the mainland, why am I making such a big fuss eh? Plus, it's natural for them to assume we were tourists since the majority of visitors were foreigners.

Hmm, I still can't put a finger to why I thought the way I thought. Ah well, I think you sorta understand where I'm coming from anyways.

Question we must.

And I'm only happy to have this bunch of kiddos :-)

navigating and making sense of this crazy world together.

Whilst running today, I passed an old man on an empty street, facing the sun setting in the red sky, practising the Waltz.  When times get ...

the Waltz

Whilst running today, I passed an old man on an empty street, facing the sun setting in the red sky, practising the Waltz. When times get rough, I shall be reminded of this moment.

This was a friend's status on facebook. I could imagine the scene...... it was beautiful, and I smiled just at the thought of it. And it was a smile accompanied with a tinge of wistfulness.

Somehow the picture in my mind leapt to a time when that same friend taught me the waltz back when I was in New Zealand four years ago. I was awkward and embarrassed by my two left feet. And it was a memory I had forgotten until the post showed up.

It was here in this gazebo where I learnt to do the waltz
It was incredibly peaceful and there was no one around to make me feel self-conscious. I was tripping myself most of the time though bahah and me being me, I was hard on myself, "why can't I get this damn sequence right?!?!" My friend didn't seem to care though, he'd take my hand and yank me in the right directions.

And we'd dance,

till dusk. 

I took all these pictures knowing that I'll forget..., and if I can have just so much as this little bit of feeling and memory as I'm whisked back in time, I'm satisfied. And happy.

Then sometimes regret would follow suit, because I'd wonder if I was ever present enough in that moment.

Because a moment in time, is time lost forever.

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