its so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself against others–isn’t it human nature from the time we lived in caves? what’s more insidious is how your mind/consciousness seizes on your doubts to twist it into horrible stuff.

i have seen far too many travel posts for comfort and i’m constantly reminded of how circumstances have not availed me of this chance to take a break during the holidays, either through lack of lucre or companions. i have seen far too many friendships and i wonder why they have so much more connections than i do. i see the fun they had and i also wonder. i see musicians and wonder how are they able to memorise songs and their chords. why do they have so much more fun than i do? the ideal, politically correct ans is not to think so much and to be grateful for what you have. easy to say, difficult to do though. many a times i have visualised myself going overseas to take street life [shopfront with ppl/cars in the foreground]. i could say i’ve become self-conscious abt this and it keeps grating at my mind. to sum up this sad state of affairs, i started to read next sem’s stuff alr ha.ha.ha.

i’m also reminded of the unspoken privileges that we have as chinese and christians as well. we can talk to each other in mandarin even though other races feel left out of the joke or commentary. even during christmas, how we celebrate differs wildly from gatherings, dinners to just reflecting on what a birth 2000 years ago signify. ‘xmas’ has become an ubiquitous greeting, but then christians would argue why is christ removed from christmas all because of a social/economic/linguistic need to  simplify/abbreviate everything? see, with the added knowledge of our races and religions, we view the world through many lenses that may or may not cloud our perceptions. will we see the world as it plainly is one day? maybe not in this lifetime, not ever, unless the human condition undergoes a drastic change.

also i find it quite interesting to see what others think of you. this has been evident in the many detailed birthday wishes. being a welfie who plays the harmonica and ‘steady’/onz abt the og/funny when drunk etc is alr v common for me. there is this social condition where the well-wisher would try to think of sth they share in common or have seen in their wishes, and the birthday boy/girl would show appreciation in like manner. so one could see how much you thought/regarded the person and in reverse, what the birthday person felt abt you as well. of course there is a difference in length of the wishes. on one hand you could be heartened by what the person thought of you during normal-time interactions, or you may feel that the person may not be sincere enough. ppl would comment if it were exceptionally good but how often can that be? it can be interesting to think of what to say to each well-wisher but you would have a tougher time for those whom you’re not close to. somehow or another someone would remember its your birthday and everyone follows suit–idk why i’m caring so much and somewhere deep inside it would be better off to not forcibly remember birthdays–if you’re close enough a private message can mean the whole world to the person. well fk this superficial shit.

how fast is 2016?

have things turned out the way I hoped for at the start of this year? after finishing army and getting a job, have i really fulfilled what i set out to do?

from the start of 2016 to the middle, i unwittingly found employment in iras. first real-time working experience–what more could i expect? it was scary at first, listening to real people talking about their taxes–sensitive topic! most were quite reasonable and there were a few memorably kind/nasty ones. tbh, very soon i would be like them calling in abt my taxes, but hopefully there won’t be any need to be nasty as well.

i still wonder what it could have been for us–so many firsts for me and yet it was neither here nor there. and that trip incident is still there: like a mole that reminds you of its existence. it hurts to see things turn out that way but so far things are ok for all of you i believe? it was a first for me and i believe it isn’t the last.

learning driving was a whole new ball game. of course men are expected to operate w 3 pedals, but there lies difficulties too. varying instructors left impressions on me and i’m grateful to have experienced friendly ones who were more tolerant of mistakes. driving the 2014 toyota vios was a blast despite failing the practical test once. i guess i got lucky on the 2nd try as i still made mistakes but scraped through fortunately–thank you mr TP! now i haven’t touched a vehicle in 4 mths and i’ll probably shit bricks if anyone asked me to drive now.

i didn’t know how i ended up on the apsn project, but though it wasn’t as successful as we hoped, i was impressed at yl’s dedication to see the project through. i wasn’t on the actual exco, but i was privy to many intricacies of the prject which culminated in a carnival. interacting w mentally challenged clients was nerve-wracking as i didn’t know how they would be like. life lesson: people are nt what they appear to be! however, their actions sometimes felt too familiar and hit home repeatedly to the point where i felt displeased. after all was over, i also found that it was my emotional detachment that prevented me from doing more. but could i have done thing differently? i felt overwhelmed by the various tasks but it was an important lesson in project planning. being exposed to a hidden side of society was a humbling experience.

now on to ntu…

first contact was actually cru. it felt comfortable to learn each other’s struggle and encourage each other onwards. also my first experience staying up late to play resistance [another first]. going for pre-camp right after cru was a sigh moment and being absent for the first part, the revelation of fake freshies was lost on me. i genuinely felt uncomfortable and didn’t stay [cos also need to submit hall camp video bleh]. i had felt better during hall camp–first experience communicating w others intensively and exposure to orientation games/traditions/cheers etc. sp date was tense–i may have committed certain faux pas but was v surprised that i had guessed who she was at the first try. yup and throughout hall camp the nbs chat was noisy af–i couldn’t be bothered to care about what they said.

it was only during 2nd pre camp that i felt better? they turned out to be a great bunch of ppl to be with, from mud games, pool games, esp beach day [telematch was shag af]. we also had to rehearse the dance and be initiated up to 4am the next morning–> had to be up at 5 freaking 30am?! i remembered we were zonked out for the rest of the day, performed our item and managed to win 3 awards but no best og why?!!

credits to D who ensured the og’s continued survival w a series of activities. how we were tighter than the rest i have no answer but the crucial difference was that everyone played a part. of course the cracks started to appear a month later but hey, who ever said that such a thing won’t happen? it’s not like everyone would gather in a circle and sing kumbaya lol. personality differences are certainly the main cause. i won’t say 2016 was a perfect year, but i made myself interact w the quieter ones. things didn’t really work out with A as much as i hoped. but, using snapchat was somewhat effective in striking up convos which i would find trouble to initiate.

schoolwork? heh. i guess its true that group A suffers first and chills later and vice versa. the few of us were in the same group so we naturally got closer and stuff. it also helped that we were in the main comm so we knew about foc and shit. tbh, being somehow admitted into the main comm was a serious stroke of luck–i fear to imagine how peripheral i would become if that had not happened [and this is alr happening to some others]. seeing how others managed their workload was quite interesting. being in nbs, it is v natural to be a small fish in a  big ocean. yet, the most stressful part of sch was actually the avalanche of assignments that threatened to wipe you out of your miserable existence. you learn how to finish essays/projects that usually take a much longer time to complete back in jc within record time haha. coupled w teachers who are not v helpful to you, i guess why uni is called the wilderness at times. friends do play a part in keeping you sane, but have i remained so myself? i also took up quite a few commitments which i seriously wonder whether i could pull it off especially w one hell of a semester coming.

one qn which a friend asked me was my persona. who do i want to portray myself as? shockingly, i wonder who i am. an nbs student? immature? fking strange? i do despise my identity but changing it is another issue altogether. how do i reconcile my inner self w what i display to others? i do realise that being in the main comm only helped to push my prominence up slightly and many times i fantasise being a deputy to govt ppl coupled with remarkable entrances and departures. so who tf am i? i wanted to see the number of wishes i could get without sharing any info but that would be hard with well-known J right after me 😐

i hope the finals treat me well and i’m so fking envious of those who can travel overseas. background is so different huh. you never know what its like to be less off than your peers.

can i say 2016 is a good year? in some aspects maybe. do i hope for a better 2017? i just want to survive and build relationships one by one on solid ground let’s hope it’ll be better.