it's been a while since i drove on a road with practically no cars in singapore. maybe i don't hang out too late too often to realise that enjoyment. but today, for the practical purpose when i most needed it, i had the opportunity. top down with the past midnight breeze at a comfortable pace of my own is just a perfect spin in my perspective. a perfect ending to an otherwise tremulous day, physically and psychologically.
i reached my limit today. i could take it no longer. i exploded. and hopefully i found peace for a while again. sometimes i hate myself for my stubborness and for being so unreasonable. i am guilty, but i can't bring myself to say i'm sorry. i realised that i want to continue to protect myself. i don't need more time because time will not change anything. i finally concede to that fact. what i want is space. but no matter how hard i try, it will never be the same again. this is how it is going to be, and it has become very clear. i have to accept it, or escape it. i fight no more. speak no more. but i can never stop myself to think no more.
the spin to run away.
the meaning of christmas has moved beyond a christian celebration. it seems to me that it is celebrated by almost all whom i noe, in some way or another. perhaps it is the influence of the western culture. perhaps it is just another excuse to celebrate the last week of the year. or perhaps it is the commercial impact of christmas lightings and sales that fuels the festive atmosphere and the need to give. whatever the reason, christmas eve feasts, parties, count downs, gifts, people filled shopping centres just seem in line...
even for me, this christmas seems like something special. and then i realised that the reason lies in the fact that its been the 1st time in 3 years that i spent xmas in singapore. 2006, i spent it in cambodia. 2007, in venice. 2008, it's high time that it's singapore. and while i don't admit to celebrating xmas delibrately, there seems to be a xmas spirit lingering around me.. perhaps it's just the shopping.. or the happy conclusions to this year.
very soon, end of 2008 is approaching. and i always like to reflect on what happened in the past year. there were a lot of deperession in 2008. falling into and out of them throughout my personal life. they are not gone. i know that. i just learnt how to bury them somewhere in my subconscious and hope they will never resurface ever again. but i know they will. they always do. but i guess the efforts on my part is to work on them and keep them down as much as i can. but then again. efforts does not always equate to results. and sometimes, maybe i just don't want to try to deal with them because I give up.
there were a lot of experiences in 2008. the first half of the year was a semester of moving beyond new york. and going back of course. my first international case competition in london, one which i only got to enjoy on hind sight. the trip to egypt. eventful and thoughtful, and definitely exciting. consulting practicum. perhaps something i never want to go through again. forge some frenships, unfortunately it strained some too. i'm just glad it's over now, with many lessons learnt. gym. picked up a membership which i was frequented constantly throughout the year because i didn't want to waste the money i paid. ubs summer internship. fantastic 3 months in this year, which gave me a boost in my job hunt. proved to be an underappreciated experience this second half of the year. ubs program. made many fantastic frens who are now all over the world. research methods in finance. the most challenging course ever, with the nicest prof ever. an interesting combination.
there were many realisations as well. i don't really want to be a forensic scientist anymore, after taking a course on forensic science. i enjoyed the course, but it was opened my eyes to what they really do behind the glamour potrayed by csi. i can compose music! i have one masterpiece from my science of music course which i dreaded during the process. i am a perfectionist. confirmed with a stamp after my business policy class. i have an uncanning similarity with my dad in terms of temperament. i love criminal minds.
there were many achievements in the 2nd half of 2008. getting a job at pwc advisory, something i believe that i really want and have expectations on. it's a burden off my shoulders, truly. this leaves 2nd semester of 2008 to thesis and modules alone. organising internal case competition to the best of my ability, serving my obligations and the expectations by others and by myself. scoring my first cap 5. getting myself a trip to copenhagen on what i think is the most iconic case competition for the school. and managing all of that in the last 4 months.
things to look forward to in 2009. japan trip in end jan. copenhagen and scandinavia in end feb. europe in may. australia in june. work in july.
finally i have begun blogging again.. the unfamiliar act for over 3 months.. well there can be several excuses for neglecting my blog once again.. the first being that my life was pretty much the same.. nothing major happened.. nothing of major depression, nothing of major happiness.. therefore it is not reported on my blog.. the other is that i was busy for the months i was doing my internship.. very interesting work and challenging towards the end.. and to an extent i was more comfortable there than i was in school.. i found out things about myself i never knew.. i found out things that i liked and disliked.. in people and in my future career.. and of course i made a lot of connections with people.. and i saw a pretty different side of the world.. well the 3rd reason is actually something out of the ordinary.. i went for lasik surgery!! haha for those we didn't know yea i went for lasik so i'm technically eliminating the years of contact lenses and specs.. i should be more excited about it then i am.. but despite my lack of amazement when i mention about it.. it is indeed a very very revolutionary technology.. i'm going at 6/6 on my left and i think 6/12 on my right.. maybe i should do an enhancement surgery on my right.... we'll see..
today a fren told me i looked much better after my lasik surgery.. actually i think its coz i looked really bad before my surgery.. that's coz i suffer from severe confidence problem when i wear my specs.. so yea basically if i didn't appear too happy or normal for that matter.. but yea all is back to normal now.. thankfully.. i never have to go through that stage in life again i hope... the surgery seemed to have broken down some sort of momentum for me.. i was enjoying life quite a bit during my internship.. maybe coz of the new friends i met.. but i learnt to understand and accept the temporal nature of friendships..
back to school as a year 4 required some sort of adapting.. and then i realised i grew up quite a bit.. stepping into one of the sessions with regard to the bizad club elections that seemed a great big deal to me 3 years ago when i was the one doing the presentation, i remember how stressed i was over it.. and then 3 years later i pop into one of those rooms after i made a presentation to a full LT of people.. that was quite some achievement for myself i suppose.. of course i have to admit that the slides boosted my confidence 500%.. thanks to him really.. but i was one true time that i felt that i yielded some sort of power in the school.. and thinking about that makes me think that this is a significant post because this blog started out from case....
i heard a statement from a friend after complaining over being severely overworked.. that everyone seems to want us to put them in first priority.. that is perhaps the feeling i had over the past week.. being torn between responsibilities, obligations, plain work and interest.. interest seems to always lose out in the battle.. since i haven't turned on the tv since the week began.. and i haven't slept quite enough.. i haven't even the time to think about my love life.. which everyone else seems to be more worried about then myself.. which technically i would have put in my effort when i'm more free.. but yea thesis and cp on top of my 4 mods plus the burden of organising case.. i keep telling people it's an obligation.. but i think it will turn out to be a sense of achievement and a legacy to be passed on.. to whom i do not actually know.. but it's good to be put in comparison to the legends in school.. of course i pale in comparison actually.. but it's an honour always :)
as for my job hunt.. i haven't really began doing it.. but i've been dutifully attending all the career talks and events.. i'm quite happy i found out what area of work i wanna do instead of being in the whirlpool of herd mentality and grabbing all the industries in all the major investment banks just for the sake of proving something.. it's good to be asked whether i'm going for this career talk and say "sorry i'm not interested" when that company is like a global mnc.. i think being focussed is really impt.. else you might just tire yourself out in the process of doing other things that is beside your own focus.. and then you learn to take what other people say with a pinch of salt sometimes.. don't always agree with someone because you think they are in higher authority.. they are not always right or may not always have the answer that is customised to you..
on a side note.. i reject both agression and affection.. and i think it's quite true.. hmm
its funny how the feeling of being free is so precious, even after you realise that actually you were not that constrained before the end of exams.. indeed i was doing all the wrong things in the midst of exams.. and i couldn't care less.. but the taste of freedom.. so priceless still..
listening to elton john and getting excited over his concert tonight.. coz of what i heard abt his AMAZING piano techniques.. it's been a while since i went a live concert.. actually i haven't been to many to begin with.. but it's the feeling abt being excited about something.. looking forward to it.. its been so long since i had that feeling.. that feeling of being alive.. ok maybe it's just post NY syndrome again i dunno.. but this whole week is something to look forward to :) got a series of events lined up till i decide to dedicate myself to internship, thesis lookout, internal case organising and cp.. yet i'm feeling ALIVE.. maybe i just need things to do.. many things to do..
was listening to avenue q and msning at the same time watching house.. it was a fabulous feeling.. having to feel no guilt abt enjoying my favourite show and laughing so much listening to avenue q singing along the outrageous lyrics.. plus catching up with frens.. wonderful! thinking about what might soon unfold.. even better.. hopeful.. sounds like i'm in super good spirits..
it's funny how i seem "prim and proper" as most people think i am, but i like drinking shots in a club.. enough to make me lose my balance.. but still totally in control.. mind you.. it doesn't take many to get me in that state.. but it's really amusing even to myself.. it's like having fun but not beyond my limits.. of course the crowd and company is super important.. plus of course my state of mind when i'm there.. once in a while it's a way to vent the boredom or the anger or the exhuastion.. haha but hardly so to be honest.. maybe i should club more.. drink more.. play more..
some people say.. do or think something everyday which scares urself.. adrenaline makes you younger :)
in the midst
i'm in the midst of my exams.. i don't think many can tell when they see me though haha.. i sleep more than 8 hrs every night.. go out for lunches, stay home to watch lost..
yea i was a super addict for a while on lost.. always didn't want to watch it because i was really scared of the monsters that might jump out in the jungle.. to be honest the first season really did freak me out a little but not enough to stop me from continuing on.. there were too many mysteries unsolved that i just couldn't let it go.. and it amazes me how people actually think of such imaginative stories.. well i finished the first season in 4 days.. and realised that i should stop watching it so intensively.. so after the 6th day of averaging 6 episodes per day, i slowed down my pace and decided that i should start studying.. forcing myself in the national library was really really helpful.. because i deceive myself by bringing my laptop to tell myself that i have access to the show, but i know that the connection is bad enough to make me unable to watch it.. so i am proud of myself now that i'm averaging only 2 episodes or less per day :) well it's also coz season 2 is not as interesting.. because the mysteries stay mysteries and lesser new ones come up.. so techincally i'm off the hook :)
had a good lunch with friends today at chatterbox.. suddenly i feel atas haha.. but i think this is the feeling i'm going to get more and more as friends start working and earning their own money.. haha well i do like that feeling very much :) didn't know that they moved chatterbox upstairs to 38th level of mandarin hotel.. chicken rice tasted the same.. still as good.. the view was not bad but the company was better haha.. just that i have never felt so single before.. really.. well i was sort of an extended lunch so we ended it later than i scheduled.. yea i did schedule timing for it coz i was supposedly running an exam schedule (haha sounds like NYU shuttle buses)..
and my afternoon schedule consisted of....... underwater world! haha a totally out of the world thing to do.. but it was because my free ticket expires today! and i decided that i have not gone there for decades and why not make a trip there to spend my afternoon with fishes and sharks.. not forgetting that i'm there "studying" for my module.. haha.. so take natural heritage of singapore if u want a free ticket to underwater world.. well it did entertain me for a while.. for maybe i am easily entertained.. but yea i enjoyed my time there.. there are touch pools where u can touch the fishes, there are exhibits of very interesting marine life in little acrylic containers.. there was of course the long tunnel with all the underwater animals swimming around.. my favourite place was the rays of fun place where there was a pool full of stingrays and you can feed them.. and they are not small animals.. but i love the way they look and swim, with the other yellow fishes with them.. of course the very cute dugong.. and the most amazing animals are the leafy seadragon and the velcro crab.. they are the epitome of mimicry..
what was more interesting was the feeling of going to a singapore tourist attraction.. i was immersed in many groups of interested tourists from all over the world.. minus the fact that they might be thinking i was a weird person taking notes in this place haha.. honestly i did feel out of place but if i didn't do it i would think i had wasted my time coz i would learn more than be entertained more there.. haha.. but yea after traveling so many places over the world going to so many tourist attractions, i realised i haven't really the inkling abt singapore's own attractions.. i haven't been to the bird park or the zoo since i was in primary school.. walking through the souvenier shop was sooo weird really.. but i couldn't help but look at the types of things that they sold as a representative of singapore.. and laugh.. maybe locals in other countries laugh at us when we buy things as tourist over there too.. who knows?
i hate hypocrites.
but i am turning into one.
i will start hating myself very soon.
east and west
i would say that i grew up in a traditional asian family, but have been constantly exposed to western ways which singapore had been adopting over the years.. a question suddenly occured to me -- is my culture and ideology more east or west?
it arose when i went out on a family dinner with an uncle whom i knew since childhood.. i give him a lot of respect because of his seniority in age over me, as we are taught in asian cultures.. this includes speaking with courtesy, standing up when you meet the person, addressing him immediately when he is present, accepting a toast with both hands, offering the toast first, showing face when bidding farewell, offering to help in anything if necessary, walking behind like a younger generation should.. it is almost second nature to me because i was brought up this way.. and i never really questioned it..
however, there were 3 instances that night which made me uncomfortable and kept me thinking.. once was when we first arrived and he opened the lift door and signaled for me to walk first, meaning that i was walking in front of him the whole way to the restaurant.. i had no idea why i felt weird, but i slowed my footsteps to make sure that i at least walked in parallel to him at the same pace.. it seemed like a given for guys of our age to do that to pass off as what we call "gentlemen", but for someone a generation older doing that just didn't feel right to me.. the second encounter was when my parent's friends came along during dinner and came around shaking hands.. i sat in my seat for a while, contemplating if i was supposed to stand up.. i remember a social ettiquete course teaching that if it is a guy shaking hands and you are a lady, you do not need up stand up to shake hands with him no matter his age.. but i didn't hesitate for long and decided to stand up to address him because i felt so disrespectful sitting in my seat.. the last incident was when we were at the car in which my uncle opened the car door for me first, closed the door for me when i went into the car before opening his own door.. at that point i was a little frantic and hesistant but the best thing to do was to get in and minimise the time he was holding the door for me..
gender or seniority.. i really don't know what it is now at this age and time and environment.. to me its always seniority which comes first so i made a conclusion for myself.. that was the reason why i felt out of place in certain circumstances which reigns gender over seniority.. but i respect him more for his priority on gender, and that is not to say that asians are not gentlemenly.. in fact it never struck me before that day but i think that the older generation of men have more under their sleeves in the terms of the book of gentlemenly acts.. and of course the virtues that have been lost with time.. this uncle of mine is known for always being early, not only on time, and never ever being late for anything.. i self admit that i could never acheive that level of zen though i have serious thought about reflecting and changing on my non existant sense of timing.. it is a virtue truly to be admired indeed..