Make Three Wishes

Hi all,

It’s that time of the year again. Time to write a post to reflect on my journey so far.

Obviously, a lot of things have happened since I celebrated my birthday last year. It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote this “my 10220th day on earth is coming”.

Birthday is a time to celebrate, relax and reminisce. For this post, I’m going to put milestone markings in each month that has passed, the five elements that I always hold dear to my heart;

health, home, love, dreams, friendships

so here we go,

Sep 2014 [dreams]

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Blew these candles on the day itself. It’s a yummy durian cake from my dear sister and her boyfriend. It’s also the beginning of a year-long work and play, building up a hectic but enjoyable schedule of working, teaching, volleyball games, date nights, movie nights and everything else in between. It was the start of a slow transformation and meaningful baby steps towards a better work & life balance.

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Oct – Nov 2014 [health  & dreams]

These 2 months were filled with teaching schedule and volleyball games. Beside the classroom teaching job for Indonesian language, I started accepting some private tuition jobs teaching English to Primary school kids living near my place.

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Dec 2014 [home & friendships]

Organized and attended several gatherings with friends and colleagues every week. They were fun and dine activities. At the end of the month, I flew back home and celebrated the new year surrounded by my beloved parents and siblings.

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Jan 2015 [home & health]

Time to face the  real deal together as a family, we burnt a hole in our pockets but it was for the greater good. Health is always number 1 in my book. Every year, I’d wish for the health of all my family members and loved ones (friends and romantic partner), and for them to be protected from any harm, be safe and  sound wherever they are.

Feb 2015 [home & love & friendships]

It was the peak of uncertain moment in my love life. We were not together yet, I’ve almost given up any hope of ever being together.  It’s been almost a year of dating with no next-level commitment. The situation inspired me to write this post and also made the decision to join my friend on her trip this September.

After an additional confusion on Valentine’s day, I went home for the annual CNY celebration, had fun, met old friends and forgot about it for a while. Several girls’ talks & heart-to-heart later, I returned to SG and determined to (somehow) solve this uncertainty. I was afraid of rejection but still hopeful.

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Mar – Apr 2015 [love]

One fateful night after a usual movie date night, I decided to throw a “bait” at him and he caught it *and subsequently ate ‘it’. Hooray!*. We started talking about us, instead of some other random things. Several questions and phone calls in the next few days, we were finally together as a couple. I still remember that awkward conversation while slurping our noodles. It was one of my fondest memories from our date nights.

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May 2015 [home & love]

We were going steady and got better at discussing the relationship whenever it’s needed. Treating each other with respect, showing our love in various ways (we have the same love language *yay*), being honest to each other and committed to this relationship despite our busy schedules. It’s that kind of relationship that I described in “Respect, Love, Loyalty, Commitment”.

Two months on, inspiration came and I wrote this post,

In between those dates and my busy schedule, you were always around. Hike or bike on Sunday afternoons, little gifts every time we met or after your trips abroad, movie nights spent watching animations, had fun and laugh together on dates, just you and me. There were a lot of those small things that were impossible to ignore. I obviously noticed how you treated me differently. There were “something” more than we care to admit. We were probably afraid of being “friend-zoned” by each other. In those months, we’d talk about anything under the sky, except about love and relationship, EXCEPT about us. Anyway, long story short, you and I have finally overcome that barrier. (l5t, 15 May 2015, Connecting the Dots)

In between all that new-love-fluttering-heart syndrome, I got the notification to move out from my then-room. I searched for new rooms on the web, arranged some viewings and signed a tenancy agreement within 3 days. I was super-efficient. My parents were also in town at the end of May, so I was rushing to close a deal immediately. It was a fun and busy month.

Jun 2015 [home & love & health]

Moved to new place with the help of my sister and the boyfriends. Luckily, my new place was just a few blocks away. Moving my stuff and re-arranging them were a lot easier than expected. Watched some volleyball matches during SEA Games and cycled together with friends.

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Jul – Aug 2015 [home, love, dreams, friendships]

Working and teaching during weekdays; singing, dining and relaxing during weekends. Life went back to its normal pace, no hustle and bustle of finding new place or the crazy jitters of new love *though I believe in giving some surprises once in a while to spice things up* There were plenty of holidays in these two months and I spent my time dipping in and out of holiday and/or working mood; preparing for the long-awaited trip in September versus. re-arranging my teaching schedule for the rest of the year.

Anyway, as I typed this I looked back at what I wrote before and found the same wisdom as before, so I quote,

Life is too short to be spent on worries and regrets and forever going with the flow with no specific purpose in life. I believe in finding my purpose, making plans, executing them and then I’ll go with the flow after I’ve done my part. We should always strive to be a better person and choose what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. For me, I want to live healthily and happily doing whatever I want in life with integrity. (l5t, 13 Aug 2014)

Now the difference is, I get to share my life with that special someone.

Most importantly, I know that I want to have this kind of relationship one day, with respect, love, loyalty, commitment; and put my heart on the sleeve more frequently, instead of hiding behind a huge wall. When I’ve chosen to be in a committed relationship, I’ll do the same as the 3 points above: be curious about my life (and his life too), re-arrange my priority and be a good person. Hopefully, we could also grow better as a person, walk towards a better future together, hand-in-hand (l5t, 11 Feb 2015, Is what I want the same as what I need?)

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As cliché as it might sound, I just have these simple wishes on my coming birthday:

Birthday wishes (H-5)

1. Stay healthy and away from danger/harm (also applicable to my family, lover & friends)

2. Be happy (refer here: connect the dots and here: prevent boredom)

3. Live life to the fullest (refer here: do what you love)

 

Cheers,

Sien

*Babe, the first time posting our ‘wefie’ publicly. It looks awesome:)
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Where is home?

Unlike a concrete house that you live in, it’s a lot harder to define a “home”.

This post is my first attempt to define it, but I was still very confused then.

Now, after the long wait and reflection, here’s my second take.

When I was just a little girl…

Home is where my parents live, where I spent my wonderful childhood filled with comic books, video games, language lessons and lots of books. The good old days.

When I was in my high school years…

Home is (still) where my parents live, with all those years of awkward teenager’s crushes, overwhelming hormonal imbalance filled with zits, self-esteem issues and weird fashion sense. The not-so-good nerdy days.

When I was in my university years, in a new country, all by myself…

Home is a whole new world in this clean and orderly city with new friends from different cities and backgrounds. It’s filled with activities: sports, organizations, lectures, tutorials, industrial attachment, summer study in France, endless assignments and projects, failed one-sided crushes. It’s a journey of self-discovery. Nevertheless, home is still inside this pretty safe bubble, University Life. The great old days.

When I was out of the education system and into the jungle working world….

Home is where I earn my income. It’s also where my exhausted body and mind were recharged every single night. No matter where it is *I’ve moved to 3 different houses in the past 7 years*, home is where I’m surrounded by the books I love and having the unlimited access to my laptop and internet. The awesome years.

When I’m single, unmarried or not in a relationship with anyone yet…

Home is when I’m in a volleyball court or the gym or the park; sweating my ass off playing volleyball with my buddies or running on treadmill or cycling non-stop for 3 hours. Home is when I’m in other countries for vacation with friends; climbing mountains, tasting some local food, taking thousands of pictures. Home is when I’m abroad, in yet another foreign country, all by myself, just to complete a course that I’ve always wanted to do.  The wonderful years.

When I’m attached or married and maybe have my own family one day…

Probably, home will have a very simple definition.

I think HOME is gonna be just…WHEREVER I’M WITH YOU :):)

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Cheers,

Sien

*I don’t know what got into me, I keep on writing these cheesy lines…oh my…

Where do you “settle down”?

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

Some people say that “HOME is where the HEART is”. I don’t really know how to relate to this. I’m not sure where my heart lies. Do you mean where my future imaginary life partner lives? *which I have no control over how, when and where I’ll meet him* or where my parents and siblings live? or a place I’m familiar with? It’s true that my parents are both back at hometown, my siblings and relatives are all scattered in different islands, cities and countries. However, this first HOME, that I only visit for at most 10-14 days every year, during the holidays, can I still call it HOME? is my heart still there?

I’ve been spending all of my adult life in Singapore and honestly, I can’t think of anything that I can do back at ‘home’ if I ever have to go back there one day. From practicality point of view, “Home is where my income is” sounds more realistic to me. Despite all the comfort and stability living in this city, now and then, I’ll have this nagging feeling that somehow I’m supposed to belong in some other place, doing some other work. Is it just me being restless? I’ve been living here for 9 years, isn’t it time to move on for my next adventure: work and live in another city or country?  I know that our neighbor’s grass is always greener and there are many pros and cons in any place you choose to live in. Here…I’m lucky that I don’t have a very stressful job with long working hours like some of my friends have. I’ve always been a loyal and stable person who doesn’t run around in life with no purpose. I feel contented most of the days. But is it wrong if I just can’t shake off this nagging feeling? Is it because of my job? my lifestyle?  How about this solution then: stay and earn my income here, then travel around 3-4 times a year just like this part-time traveler? I stumbled upon her website yesterday. Check it out, here!

Well, I guess there are so many options out there! I’ll carefully weigh everything one by one and take my own sweet time. But for now (and probably the next 1-2 years), I will need to stay in the little red dot for a little while. A lot of unfinished businesses here! Being happy and grateful is a choice. I choose to be happy now:).

Anyway, I also love how this other author described his situation and wrote this article on finding the right place to live. I’d recommend reading the whole article for any of you who has ever considered moving to another city or country for a change of environment or just because you’re bored. Some of us need to enter the state of being restless and then gradually having the desire to “settle down” at one place and call it home.  

We fear that with all the choices out there we’re spending our lives in the wrong town, or the wrong state, the wrong climate, or country. If you’ve ever lived in the correctly suited place for you at the right time in your life then you know the feeling you’re after. You know its resonance, the feeling of being perfectly fit for your environment. The place you’re in has everything you need. The place, as Philip Larkin says, “mashed you.” Like all good things, it will eventually end, either the place changes or you do, and then you spend the ensuing days, months, years chasing that feeling.

For awhile I swore by the mantra “we’re all exactly where we’re supposed to be.” It’s a comforting idea, and if you repeat it until you believe it you can use it to quiet down your restlessness. But it only really works when you’re actually satisfied. I don’t believe it consistently. We don’t always make the best choices for ourselves.

If you can find the right place for you it can make you whole in ways that nothing else can. People like to say a place is what you make of it.That has a lot of truth to it, and the people in whatever place you’re in matter as much as anything. It’s just that no matter how much you love the openness of Nebraska it will never have an ocean. No matter how easy life is in Korea it will always be crowded. No matter how much fun New York is it will always feel indifferent.

You have to know what you want, who you are before you can choose to build a life. I’m still looking for the right place to stay for a while. I’ve had plenty of trouble, done my share of living, and I’ve seen a few things. Now I’m looking for some peace. Does anyone know where I can find it? Is it even out there?

Cheers,

Sien

*struggled to connect her words, too complicated to share everything in one post. Hence, a short one, a little peek into my wired thought:p