Fireflies

"If ten million fireflies, lit up the world as I fell asleep"

“If ten million fireflies, lit up the world as I fell asleep”

My posts have been too long and delayed so this is my attempt in doing a short 1 day post! Maybe I’ll start having a new category name for my short doodles as well.

Quick update time! End of Sem 1 Week 12. Life has been too like a routine for the past few weeks. Study, eat, go back home all tired, sleep. wake up, travel again, study. Rinse and repeat. It’s really feeling like deja vu all over again, where I burned myself out before A levels even started. Okay I’m definitely not mugging as hard as before, but the motivation is nowhere to be find. Finals are approaching and I haven’t even started on my revisions, having to spend time on other projects and I can’t even keep up with the current workload already. DIE DIE DIE ME bleh. After lessons today, I hid myself in a secluded seminar room and just let my mind drift: the daunting past which forever comes back to haunt you; and the future which you have no idea what to expect. I was never really in the mood to do work, even though work has been piling up. What was supposed to be a comparing of answers with JQ ended up totally different.. yeah it sort of become a mini HTHT (yes how random). It wasn’t the longest HTHT session, and somehow it ended up me emo-ing more instead LOL. Normally I don’t reveal so much of myself, even to people close to me, and the feel wasn’t really there either. My perception of HTHT always involves it being past midnight and some form of alcohol is involved. It felt better to talk to someone instead of always ranting it here though :P. And now I’m at some Starbucks doing more thinking: this time only about the present. Don’t let the past grab hold of you and why worry over things that haven’t happen?

This brings me to the title of post, Fireflies! Why fireflies? Well, they are a symbol of hope, energy, patience, aspiration and inspiration: All things which I desperately need. I will do a reflection of the whole semester probably on December so this will do for now. Again, I really hate that I think so much grrrr. Let go, let loose and let’s do this shit! Till then, stay strong Nick the end is near, the fucking holidays await me! Oh yeah before I forget, last month I hit 20,000 views on this WordPress. Okay actually there’s nothing much to celebrate about LOL, but to commemorate I decided to do an extra 10 facts about myself, so here goes!

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over 800 visitors for October!!

10 EXTRA FACTS ABOUT ME

1) I have a WordPress! Quite a number of people I know in real life don’t even know of its existence. It’s sort of both a private and public place for me to rant and share any random thoughts and stories.

2) Reading this blog made me realize how much I have changed, and mostly for the better. ^_^ and also how much more insecure and naggy I have been LOL #foreverrantingmodeon

3) Still, one bad change is that I became really vulgar both online here and real life LOL. I’m trying my best to cut down on the profanities but not much progress have been made.

4) I used to be an INFP before recently I did the test again and it came out ISFJ. Not sure what it implies, still as introverted as ever.

5) I’m too socially awkward. Many times I feel suffocated in large groups and I can go hours sitting there not uttering a single word. (and this is why I REALLY REALLY appreciate people that talk to me first hehe)

6) but in front of my friends I can be a total chatterbox! If I can converse with you without any awkwardness, it means I’m comfortable with you! (which is kinda rare tbh HAHA) 😀

7) I really like to HTHT and it’s always interesting to hear stories from other people. Everyone has gone through their own ups and downs, and each of these are unique in its own way. It sorts of bond people closer as well since you are sharing secret stories which you don’t normally share on a normal basis. (so freaking coincidence haha please..)

8) I wished I worked harder during my first 4 years in Dunman High, and conversely not work so hard during my last 2 years in Dunman High. But I’m totally cool with my journey in DHS because I met really awesome people here (whom some sadly have drifted)

9) My sister is really a carbon copy of me when it comes to traits and personality. We are both introverted ttm; we both suck at languages but excel in math and sciences. And we both have our own secret WordPress that we constantly rant/emo on HAHA. The list goes on and on, trust me.

10) And we have come to an agreement that some of my sister’s female hormones ended up in me WHOOPS. I’n forever getting judged having a selfie stick and a polaroid, and me decorating my room walls with photos and polaroids… MUST YOU BE A GIRL TO DO SUCH THINGS TSK!

And a bonus fact, because I wanted an 11th fact because Seohyun’s jersey number is 11 HAHA (fanboy side expose once again)

11) I’m missing someone…

OKAY CUT! 

 

Cause everything is never as it seems, when I fall asleep

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Exercise ORD: A Second Trip to New Zealand!

DISCLAIMER: This post has been so freaking late that when it is out, I already ORD-ed LOL! Nonetheless, I’m still completing it as this is quite a unique experience that I would like to pen down and leave as memories. Starting this new post took much longer than expected, and this would most likely be the 2nd last time I talk about things army-related. (with the last one probably a round up of everything from BMT to ORD) I think I have exhausted all possible talking points regarding army, but since this one is an overseas exercise (in beautiful New Zealand!) I would just do my usual post, and in chronological order.

For most of us, we didn’t see this exercise as Ex Thunder Warrior, we saw it as Ex ORD; as we move closer to the day we get back that coveted pink IC. (which I got back, omg its been a while you beautiful!) [I’ll try to post more pictures to make this post less boring haha! ^_^]

Flashback to the day we flew off, nothing special happened. It was just the beginning of the new year 2014, and we were already going to spend the most of our January on a army exercise. Not the most exciting thing, but hey it’s a free trip sponsored by SAF to New Zealand! Bid my mom farewell and I took a short MRT ride from home to the airport (I’m so lucky to be living near to the airport). We had a chartered flight to Auckland on Singapore Airlines. SQ!!!! Omgosh first time sitting on SQ so exciting hahaha. The seat was quite spacious and service was not bad, maybe I felt it was so good because I have been sitting on budget airlines to Taipei too often. Do you know how nice it is to actually be able to ask for water to drink LOL? I was playing with the in-flight entertainment throughout the whole flight, watching shows and movies along with playing some games. There were also some songs in the system and they had the I Got A Boy album in it! Wanted to catch a short nap before landing but poof they turned on the lights on the plane so no sleep. Landing in Auckland Airport, all of what I saw 3 years back came back to me and seemed familiar to me, from the immigration counter to the waiting area outside the airport. In the end, I just caught up all the sleep needed en route on the 5 hour-long bus ride to the training camp situated at Waiouru.

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Some music for the fanboy haha!

The whole programme was similar to what I experienced in Thailand: Preparation, outfield part 1, break, outfield part 2, packing up and rest, R&R. Had some briefings, did some setting up of radio sets, nothing significant as the first few days were more of me just getting used to the place. The weather was really very good, a comfortable 10-15 degrees which made it feel like there was permanent air-con outside. The only downside was that there was a lot of wind so sometimes even 2 layers would not be sufficient. I took a while to get acclimatized to the weather there, having to wear my neck gaiter and gloves everywhere and also constantly applying lip balm to prevent my lips from cracking. The meals we eat inside… really as good as hotel since it was a buffet style and there was desert, a salad bar, coffee machine… this is supposed to be a military camp! The bunk was spacious and we each had two pillows and a thick blanket, perfect to just huddle in and enjoy! There was night snacks everyday as well and the toilets are so clean, with heaters equipped as well so that I could enjoy a nice hot shower everyday. The New Zealanders were very friendly people and it was a whole different culture unlike back in Singapore. In short, the New Zealand camp wins our own camp back in Singapore hands down, but of course there was this slight feeling of being homesick which always sucks but with my army friends all here with me, we spend day by day here and await the day we go back to Singapore (and of course, prepare to ORD!).

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Breakfast @ base camp, ohnomnom~

Onto the actual outfield, the whole training area is huge and provided many places for deployment, so everyday we see ourselves at different places. The scenery here is just really daebak! From the not so green but clean grass, the blue sky to the fluffy white clouds, everything here is very beautiful. It is here when I confirm my view of Singapore being a concrete jungle, and highlights the importance of traveling to other countries if given the chance to do so, you see a lot of different things, A LOT. I got to see Mt. Ruapehu as well as the supposedly Mt. Doom, which were all magnificent and I can go on forever about the praises I have for the scenery here in New Zealand: the sunrise and the sunset, the starry sky at night. The altitude of the actual live firing area is even higher (supposedly 800m above sea level), so the wind here are even less forgiving. I had to wear a total of 5 layers: my long-john. my admin shirt, my jacket, my I could barely use my phone for a few minutes, and it was outside where you will cherish the warmth back in our bunk. I should have brought along some of my own heat packs, because the ones issued to us were close to useless. Other than battling against the warmth, there was also the battle against the hunger. I haven’t had combat rations since BMT and I was not going to eat them, so I just ate tidbits instead. During the first phase of outfield, there was fresh rations but they were delivered so late to us that our lunch became an early dinner instead. Needless to say we were all just counting the days to the end of the whole exercise so we could enjoy ourselves around the camp as well as during our R&R. We only had a day for our technical break (which ws too short), but as if we had any say so we just go with the flow and did all what we were told to. And onward we went to Phase 2, also known as ATEC where we would be evaluated.

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Mt Ruapehu!

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Just one of the many beautiful sights in NZ!

No one was happy, and tensions were high. What seemed to be a 4D3N ATEC got extended by 1 day, and morale dropped drastically as well. At that point of time, close to no one cared about whatever score we had and just wanted the whole thing to end. Everyone had their own set of problems, from mechanical failures to just superiors venting on us, I think we were fortunate to be able to achieve a reccon 2A (2nd possible best grade) for this whole exercise. Luck was also not with us, with temperatures dropping and the mist getting worse, affecting the visibility of the area which made firing unsafe so we had even more delay in the schedule. It was also raining for one or two of the days, which feels absolutely horrible when it’s already very cold and your whole uniform is wet. I for one wasn’t too happy at all, especially with the guy who I was working with. He didn’t have a working phone with him so relaying information to him was just burdensome. He even woke me in the middle of the night to ask me something, and already with minimal sleep you could imagine the vulgarities I wanted to spew in front of him. To make things even worst, another egoistic guy who chaokeng joined us and was ranting about stuff when his poor mates at battery side are getting evaluated outfield. I hate stuck-up people who thinks the world revolves around themselves, so I was sort of a loner the whole exercise. Seeing any familiar faces lifts up the dull mood, and I just passed the remaining time by reading books and watching drama in the phone while trying to preserve my phone battery life as long as possible. To all those whining about how much of a ‘slack’ role I got as compared to the others, well it was not like I was given a choice. During the times when you had your outfields months before New Zealand, I was stuck in Thailand for 3 weeks, and after a month I was off to my month-long driving course, all of which I wasn’t given a choice and got forced into it. I was also paired with one of the most egoistic guys in the platoon and unfortunately I exploded at him and he still doesn’t realize what’s wrong so I’m just happy I do not need to face him again. (shall keep this as rant-free as possible hahaha). Maybe I shouldn’t rant so much given the role I was given, so always count on your lucky stars haha!

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The silver sky (When rain was coming T_T)

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rainbowwwwww

The aftermath of outfield was nothing much, we just dismantled the signal sets from the vehicles and returned the relevant stores. The post- exercise wasn’t anything significant as well, just go some beer to drink and interacted with some of the New Zealand soldiers there. Some people got high and drunk as beers and shots keep coming and coming. It was a real pity that we didn’t have time to explore the whole camp since we were stuck outfield most of the time, but in all I could say I had a positive experience here (of course excluding the outfield haha). We packed up our duffel bags, slept our last night here and into the next morning, we boarded the bus and bid the camp goodbye. We stopped by some tourist attractions as well, such as the mud pools, hot springs and waterfall. I actually visited some of the places here before with Tinjun during our Geography trip but had no memory LOL. So perhaps I wasn’t really of a good student. We were all disappointed when we learnt that we wouldn’t be staying at a hotel and would be staying at a university hall instead. After arriving to our accommodation, we went to our individual rooms and ventured out to Auckland again! Yet another dejavu feeling again as I began to remember all the places in Auckland again, remembering most of the gift shops LOL. Bought tons of honey, as well as honey-related beauty products for the mom. Got my dad a mug (since I couldn’t think of anything), soft toys for my sisters and a bunch of other stuff for friends. I resisted buying a shirt for myself as I already had too many shirts at home. I felt really bad to my bmt buddy as although the day I landed back in Singapore, I was going to his 21st birthday BBQ, but I totally didn’t get him anything >.<“. Arrived back to the hall and played around in the games room! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to witness any of the hall culture here, but I bet it would have been awesome!

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room in uni hall! It’s actually around 1.5x bigger compared to the nus halls i saw during open house haha

At our last morning in New Zealand, we ventured around the landmarks around Auckland. Beautiful flowers, green grass, with a view of the harbor and the glittering blue sea, I’m just glad that I was given the chance to be back here again in New Zealand. It was free and easy from the afternoon, and the group of us ventured to the Auckland Seafood Festival which Lihwei found out about online! At first glance, it wasn’t much and I was a bit fussy regarding the 20 NZ dollars entrance fee. Once we tasted the seafood, we knew we had to try all of the available cuisines. We had oysters, fish, prawns, lobsters, mussels, scallops, there was a group of us so we just tested everything and once the food was on the table, out comes the phones to take pictures before we savaged on the food. I think we were the only 21SA people to have found such a place, so yays to ourselves haha! The group kind of dispersed when one group of people were focused on shopping for clothes while the others weren’t *points at myself*. The other group took like 2 hours to shop which was way too long considering the small amount of time we have remaining here so I decided to split from the rest. We just tried to spend all of our remaining New Zealand money through the gift shops. Boonhao and Conghui bough sheepskin mats (or whatever you call it), which were of course comfortable but really not the way you want to spend your money on. I just bought more souvenirs and on the way back, we bought Dominos pizza since it was like $5 for one here. Boonhao bought too much and on the way back we gave it to a group of students chilling at the park. The cool thing was that they just readily accepted it and I loved their reaction, where they thought it was too good to be true haha. And on to the bus we went, and it was goodbye Auckland, hello Singapore!

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Pretty awesome right!

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just one of the many seafood we ate, SEAFOOD SPAMMMMM!!!

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And the aftermath…

We flew back on Air New Zealand (which was equally awesome!) and landed at around 3am, which was actually a good timing for me since my mom could pick me up only during that timing as the car was available. Bought some duty-free but the queue was epic long. Sorry to James, Conghui and Boonhao whom I used your boarding passes to buy all the alcohol to myself. The first thing I felt (as always to those who travel and come back to Singapore) was: “Why is it so freaking hot?!”. In spite of the hot weather and being back from NZ, it feels so great to be lying on my bed with my laptop, along with being able to shit in my own toilet LOL. Of course, it was great to see my family again, and they all liked what I bought for them, as well as my friends who also liked what I got for them. Double win haha I am such a good buyer LOL! And with that Ex. Thunder Warrior is officially over, and most of us would wait till we get back our pink ICs as this time, we can finally countdown to the day we have been looking forward to… O-R-D!

 

Today is my ORD day and we are so happy ah~! (and the obligatory TTS gif haha :P)

 

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Everything Has Changed

1 post for the month of August before I fly off to Thailand for an army exercise. There are many things that I could have written for this post, but as per normal I like to focus on one topic for one post. For this one, I decided to go with this specific topic; the one which has been sensitive to me and have been avoiding endlessly. Now it may finally be the right timing to talk about it here. (yes WP seems to be the only place where I can be honest and type out whatever I want haha). And yes, no beating about the bush again rawr!! (I just decided to go for the name of the song as the title of this post, running out of creative titles whoops)

…and all i feel in my stomach is butterflies, the beautiful kind
makin’ up for lost time, takin’ flight making me feel like…

Never thought that I would have this feeling again after all that have happened. I can’t even remember how we started talking again. Although it has only been a year, it feels like so much have happened, all the highs and lows, the memorable moments and the ones that you want to forget. All I remembered was that somehow we slowly started to talk to each other again,  and our relationship started to improve, if not even better than before. After so long, we decided to go out and went out together, and the butterflies in the stomach wasn’t there. Maybe I was slightly nervous since I haven’t seen you in person for some time, but I felt much less inclined to see the need to keep impressing you like what I used to do in the past. The awkwardness between us was suddenly gone, as compared to months ago where we couldn’t even look each other in the eye, maybe because we have been in contact for a while. (nothing much to write about what happened) So poof, the day ended and we parted ways.  At the end of that day, I thought I could finally close this chapter of my life and move on forward without looking back anymore. I never liked looking back, it distracts me from the present. I was on my bed ready to get a good sleep, but that happened. I had no idea what that was all about: What were you trying to tell me? Were you trying to hint something to me, or was it just wishful thinking on my part? That led to several sleepless nights in camp, and the insomnia strikes yet again…

…let me know that it’s not all in my mind…

Fast forward to a fews day ago, we had a talk which I didn’t expect us to have at all (at least that early). Sure I had stuff that were bottled inside, but sometimes things are better left untouched. So everything between us got slowly unwind, and I received a response which was totally unexpected from you. For a person like you to have suddenly so much courage and say something like that, imagine how heartbroken you would have felt if what I said was the opposite of what you were wishing for. It was only right for me I suppose to take that leap of faith again and yes, in the end this decision may come haunt me again but since things turned out that way, only time will tell. Telling the truth may hurts, but I think we understood each other much better since that day. You gave me sort of a 50-50 answer, which wasn’t exactly ideal but I guess you need time as well. Yes this 50-50 may drift to something I don’t want, but because of this possibility I shouldn’t go all desperate again and just let karma do its thing. In the end, I revealed that I somewhat still had feelings for you, but it was something that I didn’t want to do because when you do that, you leave yourself so vulnerable. It could have been another case of deja-vu, me revealing everything but still having to play the guessing game. But something is different now, it was the first time I’ve seen you being so honest with your feelings and revealing so much (after a little probing from me hahas). I realize how dangerous it is when you make assumptions, because you start to believe that the assumptions you make are true without knowing the truth. You thought that I gave up on you as I thought you weren’t worth it. I believed that you were happy that I was out of your life, but the exact opposite was true: that you were hurting the same as well. And I was here thinking, the faster I forget about you, the better it would be better for both of us: I would be able to start off afresh again, and at the same time be less of a burden to you.  Ultimately, we are all selfish humans, that we care about ourselves first above others. Although by word it seemed like we care for each other, the reality is that we prioritize ourselves as number one. I never thought how it was from your point-of-view and was only scared about myself being hurt again. Now that I knew how you felt all these while, I feel so underserving and obnoxiously selfish. Perhaps when the time comes where we put each other ahead of others, then that may be the right time…

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Since we had that talk all of a sudden, I might not have been able to say everything that I have wanted, but I think we ended on a good note.  So don’t worry about me not liking you, I should be worried for the other way round hahas. The last thing that we did before bidding farewell, I suppose I just wanted to show you that everything is alright and now, all your worries are hopefully eliminated. As time passes, maybe the answer for both of us will slowly appear and until that happens, I’ll save those words that I want to tell you.

Has everything changed between us? At first, I thought it was, until the point that there was no chance that things would ever be the same again, but all the misconceptions have been cleared, all seems clear to me now. Perhaps everything has really changed, maybe nothing has changed right from the start, but that doesn’t matter now since all I know is I am happy with what it is now…

and ending it off with a few words from seohyun! 🙂 [im so glad im done with this extremely cheesy post LOL]

seol1seol2seol3seol4seol5seol6


 

The D-Days of 2012

I never did my yearly review and reflections in a specific way. The 1st 2 years I did it by listing my new year’s resolutions, while for last year, I just recapped on what made my year happy. This WordPress has really come a long way, and at this generation who can proudly say that they have kept to 1 blogging platform for such a long period of time! I was always thinking how I wrapped out my year in a post, and so I decided to end it this way, inspired by a K-drama which I recently watched and loved, Reply 1997! During 1 episode (if I recall it was Episode 7 or 8 where all the main took their final exams), there was this mention about D-Days, which gave me the idea for this post.

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Hands down my top K-drama for 2012!

Kim Yuna lived on the ice rink 12 years for four minutes and 10 seconds at the Olympics. For this test, we waited, ran, and prepared for 12 years. August 18, 1998. Our D-Day was passing by like that.

You could say that the ultimate D-Day of my life have already past in 2011 when I took my A Level examinations, 12 years of studying down to those few hours worth of papers (but I don’t want to touch on that subject anymore). But other than the major exams, everyone of us had our own D-Days in our own lives, big or small. 2012 was quite a mixed year for me, many good and bad things have happened to me. It didn’t felt as fast as 2011, as the days at Tekong passed really slowly. This year has been an emotional roller coaster, but although it may sound bad, it has thought me to appreciate the small moments in my life and the life lessons which i can learn from them. (Again, they may sound repetitive, so I’ll try my best to make it sound nicer.)

March 2 2012… The day all 18-year old JC students were waiting for, getting back their A-level results. Although the constant thought about it wouldn’t change the results, the small possibility of flunking was still up there. I knew that I was going to do alright since I mugged like crazy for the past year, but how well? I didn’t really expect such good results, but it was a testament of how hard I worked for. Like I said, there wasn’t much to worry. My first choice course was going to be Maths, which doesn’t require that excellent grades. It was more about the worry that if the grade were lousy, my future would be jeopardized as I could not get a good job and would lead to a snowball effect. Of course, having scored so well felt great, but even if I was to do badly, the me today and the me before would still be the same. Life waits for no one, life goes on. Does that piece of paper means that I would be made for life in the future? No, it merely opened up many paths for me, but in every path I still would have to work hard to reach the end-point. Okay I already talked about regarding this on my previous posts and  I hate harping on the topic of studies, so moving on…

March 6 2012… The day which I knew was coming sooner or later but never wished would happened. After receiving my results just a few days ago, in an early Tuesday morning I took the bus and boat to Tekong and only to come back 3 weeks after going through confinement. In a flash, I was now in the army, wearing green for the next 2 years. I never knew how it was going to be like in there, so I was expecting many cultural shocks going there. Turns out army wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but nonetheless the transition to military life was hard. I never really treasured my civillian life until then, and now I just want my pink IC back and want to have nothing to do with the army (14 months to go c’mon rawr!). No one likes any changes in their lives, but every Singaporean guy got forced into this shithole. I made many friendships on that island as well, and although we only spent 4 months together, imagine 5 days a week where we go through shit together, and slack together in our small bunk, along with the nightly HTHT. And during that period of time, book outs felt the best as you really appreciate the things around you. Now, every book in and book out feels like a vicious cycle, and every weekend burned is a super burden to our more and more uneventful time outside in civilization. During our recruit times, it was like a must to do something eventful during every book out before going back in but now, it’s like a part of life and you just get used to it. Life as a recruit went on for 4 months, with training week after week and finally, we were ready to march the hellish 24km down to the Marina Platform.

July 9 2012… The day where we turned into “men”. I don’t really believe in any of the army shit where we defend the country etc, but at last we’re getting out of the shitty island. There was this sense of pride marching into the Marina Platform, but now I think of it, it’s like “Meh, whatever… it was just the start of a shitty 2 years in NS”. If they really wanted to help us “celebrate”, they wouldn’t make us suffer and let us march 24km carrying a shitload of stuff. Hell just call some buses for us to the platform and let us do our parade. Putting aside the pain we suffered, overall the parade was okay, but after which I was just tired and smelly. The block leave after that for me was a little waste as compared to the leave I was enjoying last week, as half of the time I was lying on my bed resting my poor feet and legs. So what have I learnt about the army? Yeap it’s stupid LOL (sorry for being so anti-SAF, but I think most Singaporean guys think this way). There are some life lessons learnt through my journey as a recruit and my time serving in the army which I will take back, and I think by the time I got back my pink IC, I would have matured much more and become a better person. I could have gone through another period of being a cadet if I had gone to OCS/SCS, but I don’t think I would make it through another 6/9 months of just suck thumb and do blindly things as instructed. But I shall just take life as it goes, I could have been in much worse places so I shall be contented with what I have!

July 14 2012… Okay this may sound like a random date but to me, it’s something significant. No one except for one would have an idea on what happened during this day, but it was a start of yet another lesson of self-discovery. On this day, I did something which I never, ever would have thought of doing, and just thinking about it makes me feel oh so freaking embarrassed *hides under blanket*. It was a big step forward in my life, and with all the dust finally setting down, with a composed mindset I can finally talked about this topic more comfortably. Of course there are many questions I ask myself when I look back into this: Should I have done it differently? Should I have even done it at all in the first place? How would it have been if I done it at a later date? But what’s done is done, you cannot change the past. Now after going through all of that, I feel like a big rock was lifted off of me. It just wasn’t meant to be and I was too simple-minded to think that all would work out smoothly. Okay I shall elaborate on this topic in another post, but overall, since it turned out to be like this, just take it as a lesson in life and move on. I’m too young to let this thing put me down, and there are still many chances out there and perhaps the one who would be the right one for me would come at the correct time.

October 21 2012… The day I tested my physical limits. You never know how capable you are if you don’t try, so I decided to try out a 10km run to see if I could achieve finishing that distance. Although the run was a total killer to the legs, it felt extremely good to finish it, especially to finish it under an hour during your first try. Seeing my age group, there were many younger guys who ran faster than me, but to me it’s a personal thing which I wanted to try and see for myself if I could really do it, so the position didn’t matter. At this age, it seems like you need to be good at something if you enjoy it; for example if you enjoy soccer you would naturally be good at it. However, running to me isn’t something where I must be the best, it’s more of a personal challenge which I set to myself. After the last dash, I myself realize there’s a bit more in myself than I think, and that comes when you really push yourself. Of course timing is important as an indication to whether you’re improving, but I have really enjoyed the process of myself running. Now I feel much fitter, and it has indirectly monstrously helped my 2.4 timing as well even though I have been running much longer distance. The decision to start running has benefitted myself immensely and now with regular runs, it has keep my body in good shape since some of the long-distance runs which I do cancels out the pigging out of buffets and high-calorie snacks during the weekends.

There are some things that I would have loved to touched on for this year-in review, but I would just cover the more important ones which have made an considerable impact on my 2012. So I realized I never did a new year’s resolution list last year, so I’ll end this post with a few simple things in mind which I hope to achieve in 2013.

1) Maintain SILVER for IPPT

2) Run more to achieve the following targets – 52:00 for 10km, 1:55 for 21km, and lastly complete in any way a full marathon (even if I have to crawl my way to the finish line LOL)

3) Focus and study more of my Korean (no more procrastinating)

4) Post more in this WordPress, and revamp the whole thing if I am able to find the time.

5) Go out more often and waddle less at home on my bed with my laptop  (I need to have a better social life .__.”)

6) Get my driver’s license and drive my family out (so that my mom does not need to drive me all the time .__.””)

7) Improve myself as a person overall throughout the year 2013

Okay 7 things for this year. Kept it much more simple as compared to my previous resolutions and many things can fall under number 7. So that’s a wrap for 2012. Thanks for the memories and roller-coaster ride, and 2013 is going to move like a coal-powered train from the 70s, slowly given the miserable status that I’m under now (le NSF), but shall not wallow in pity because every other guy has gone through this stage at 1 point of his life, so in a flash I would have 2 months left to ORD and I can start to countdown from there. Until March 5 2014 aka ORD date comes, just take life simply as it goes and may I fill 2013 with many happy and memorable moments! :))

OFF-TOPIC: SNSD’s I Got A Boy comeback stage is absolutely awesome DAEBAK!!! Everything from the singing to the dance is super polished and during the live performances the girls are just brilliant. *fanboy mode back on* (rapes replay button~)

snsdigob1

Right now, it’s Girl’s Generation!!!

Conquering As, and more

I realised that I blogged A LOT regarding me studying for the stupid A-level exams, but never really consolidated my thoughts into 1 post. So this would be my final post regarding this and I can finally put a close into this chapter of life. For those who are taking their A-levels soon or in a few years, this is just a recount of my experience taking the exams and what went right/wrong for me, which you might want to read if you want a perspective of how your 2 years will be. (sorry again for the repetitiveness of this topic ><)


Just a piece of paper with random alphabets on it LOL

AAAAD, with PW that’s 5As. It’s not straight As, but with that score I can go to any course that I wanted to go in. At first, this score didn’t seem really much relatively in school, with many scoring 6,7, and 8As. But when I went to BMT and SI, I found out many would die for my grades. Some didn’t even got a single A, or worse not even a B. I was proud to said that I did my best, no regrets, even the stupid D in GP will make me need to do English modules. Many others probably have many regrets, such as not studying hard enough etc, so I’m definitely contended with what I achieved, not simply because my results were good, it’s because I knew that I did my best and gave it my all, so there was little that I could have changed regarding the outcome. The main reason that I was happy with my results wasn’t because that they were As, but throughout my 2 years in JC, achieving these grades has thought me much more. Especially in the Singaporean society where results are expected from you and looked upon a lot, many cracked under the pressure and didn’t manage to do their best. Both of my parents, especially my mother, are no exception. My dad considered me as one who was “academically challenged”, and didn’t really expect much from me, while my mom just wanted me to be able to go into a university, so I was fortunate to not have been pressured so much as compared to some of my schoolmates. Getting such results really made them happy, and for the first time in a long time, I was glad I didn’t let them down and actually made them feel proud of me. If there are people who you don’t want to disappoint, the top of the list would be your parents, since you owe them so much. *stares at my sister* Ok you beat my PSLE score, try scoring better than me in the As HAHA! 😛

I was also pessimistic whether studying hard will equate to results. But after the exams, I’m a believer total believer. If you think you can’t do it, then you will never be able to do it. Nothing is free in the world, if you want something, you got to work hard for it. There is no shortcut to success, but since people expect so much from us, many try to find these shortcuts. “There are no such things as dumb people, only people who are lazy.” I remembered this quote from Ban Ki-moon while watching YongSeo. People who don’t do well naturally give up and pushing the blame to lousy teachers/notes/ themselves not being “smart” enough. Keep this in mind, you are not born dumb. Sure, you may take more time to learn and understand things, but don’t use it as an excuse and give up easily. I’m a slow learner myself, as exhibited during BMT where I had a 1 hour personal session with Sgt Wenbo in rifle assembling and my constant SOC screw-ups. During my Signals course, I didn’t study at all and got below average scores (but good enough to pass), which shows what could have possibly happened for As if I didn’t get that wake-up call (which I’m seriously forever grateful for). Many like to tease me about being a smarty-pants due to my results. I never, ever considered myself a smart guy. I see myself as simply someone whose hard work paid off. The first thing you need to realise is that only you can help yourself, and if you have given up, you lost the battle already. Believe in yourself that you can do it, and half the battle is won already. Drill that new mentality into your head, and do what you have to do to achieve your goals. For myself, I always used the brick wall analogy and apply it to anything I face in life. If you want something, show it how badly you want it.

Regarding the studying part, I didn’t exactly mug my ass off for those grades (as many thought I did), it was more of studying smart and consistency. I was watching K-videos and poker videos during the exams period, not to mention the K-dramas and variety shows I watched. You can’t study all the time, so do reward yourself with breaks. Most importantly, as hard as it may seem, studying can be an enjoyable thing. Head to your favorite mugging place along with a friend or two, plug in your earphones with some awesome music, equipped with pens and highlighters and you are all set to go! I talked with many teachers since a group of people I know didn’t do well and I had to point out their problems. Most force themselves to study, which shows the importance of finding your area of passion in university so that you won’t find studying a chore. Some lack focus, so if you are going to do something, might as well do it properly. Do it once, do it well. There isn’t really a fool-proof method on acing exams, as everyone has their own way/style of studying. Your 2 years in JC is going to fly fast, and remember that your results come in first priority. Don’t compromise it, or it will haunt you forever. I learnt a lot a hell lot about myself and the virtues of life that simply was there, just that I didn’t follow. How “enriching” your life is not determined by your social circle/your results/the things you have. Life is all about improving yourself, and finding joy and happiness along the way. (But of course unless you’re a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, I suggest sticking to studying no matter how much you may hate it)

When you think like you can’t do it and just give up (this applies to anything in life), sometimes you just have to ignore all these negative thoughts which only make things worse, be more positive and put this optimism into your actions, and say: “I can do it, watch me!”

Training to be soldier! How the life of a recruit has been so far

Never knew I would have made it this far, 5 more weeks to POP as we are so happy YAH!! 😀

So how should I start this post? I wanted to write about something army for a while, but my mind is currently at a blank of what to write now. There is really a lot of stuff to talk about army, all the drills, PT, outfield experiences etc, but I shall touch on those more relevant stuff and those which made a bigger impact. (I’m sure no one wants to read a 500 word post regarding strength training, AGR and foot drills ._.)

Image

on the uniform it goes, which would remain for the next 2 years

In the end, I ended up in Scorpion company, which is seriously a welfare coy due to our commanders being old army regulars instead of the usual NSF officers. Sometimes in Scorpion, it is so slack that it doesn’t even feel like being in the army! We are given much welfare as compared to others: we get punished much less, we get to have more admin time, discipline is less strict etc. In a way, my BMT experience may be less memorable since I got it much easier than my fellow peers, but definitely much happier and I am totally enjoying my stay in Scorpion coy. The sergeants here are really nice as well, they aren’t reasonable and we can tell that they enjoy being in Scorpion coy, which gives a quite family bond since we are put under much less stress as compared to other coys, where even falling in and standing in a file can be a chore. Like what 1 of the sergeant said, although other can brag how much shit they have been through in other coys, it would be without a doubt that we would have the largest smile during POP, because we had the most enjoyable BMT experience out of the rest. Every recruit will have their own unique BMT experience, all would enjoy it nonetheless. So right here, an advance thanks to Scorpion company for taking care me for the first 17 weeks of my 2 years as a soldier!

Army for this recruit here is quite an experience as well. Confinement period was the worst for me so far, the home that you were so used to seeing everyday is gone for 3 weeks. Once your pink IC was taken away, you said good-bye to many things: your family, your friends, your freedom and most importantly, your civilian life. (That’s why people say the highest rank of all is called Civilian, not some brigade general trololol) Perhaps I wasn’t prepared for such a drastic change in my life, which kind of explains my crying for the 1st few days. Didn’t really know what got into me, but yeap I cried quite a bit trololol. Although I have been in the army for only a short period, it has already thought me much about treasuring the people around me, especially during the mail run in field camp. After enlisting, it made me realize how much I take for granted the family and friends who have been with me. Ok I admit I have probably one of the smallest circles of friends, but truth to be told, I do not ask for anymore and am very satisfied already. Now even a meet-up between the guys is a tough task due to our different schedules, and although we have been through the same shit in Tekong, there is always something to talk about between us. This is why I enjoy an outing between guys rather than a class outing (not saying that girls are horrible or anything…), it’s because I talk much more between guys but awkwardly find myself just nodding around during class outings, because others are talking and I would like: “Yeap yeap”.

Now about the army-related stuff, army is actually much better than expected (especially after all the shit I heard the other guys). Of course the physical training under the hot sun is tiring and you end up feeling shagged, but after which you usually have a sense of accomplishment since in the middle, you always feel like giving up. Foot and arm drills are stressful as well, but also fun since I have not been in a uniform group as well. Army has really thought me a lot of new stuff, which although are not really relevant once I’m no more in the army, but it’s cool to experience it. Although at times I would be jealous of the PES C and below people who do not have to go through as much as us and some even get to book out every day, but just take it. It isn’t everyday that you can say you shot a real gun before, marched 24km with a 20kg field pack, or survived outfield in a basha tent for 5 nights, and this is only life as a recruit! So to all those enlisting soon and thinking it’s the end of the world, don’t and just come with an open mind, don’t be too negative as it would spoil your army experience. Although at times you think that army is a waste of time (I do all the time), when you look back it would be something nice and memorable that you went through, kind of like your schooling days. When you were in school, you just couldn’t wait to leave the place, but now you would miss school and the schooling times (ok but I definitely won’t miss studying HAHA).

They say that army is the killer of relationships, since you are stuck inside camp most of the time. I have seen breakups just due to the fact that the guy is in the army, which shows how fragile relationships are these days. Otherwise, this is my personal POV which may not be true, but I think actually army strengthens these relationships rather than breaking apart. This applies to both your family and friends, since now you treasure the outside time you get to spend with each other. I’m not saying that army is all that good, but it clears my stereotypical view of the impact of army on relationships. You would see the support from your fellow friends outside, which although repetitive, but their small words of encouragement can really help when you are down and feel like you can’t make it. Even talking to your fellow army mates can help, because although army can make you feel pissed and unreasonable at times, all in all we are going through this shit together. It has been a standard habit for me to use my phone whenever I have the time to and just text people regarding any random stuff, since facing army can get really boring at times (maybe because here in Scorpion we are given excessive admin time LOL).

Hopefully I can get over the fears of SOC, clear hand grenade without any hiccups (curse you sweaty palms), survive the longer route marches to come and finally pass the freaking IPPT. After which in no time I would be marching 24km down the road to the Marina Platform and throw my jockey cap in the air!

(I know this post is lacking a direction because I just talked about any random stuff regarding army, but oh well this is how it turned out hehe!)

seriously can’t wait for this day to come ^^

To the future we go

It has been roughly 2 months since results day, this post should have been out way earlier, but I haven’t really had the time to sit down and write/type it out. This is just going to be my thoughts regarding my A Level journeys and everything else, what went right for me and the future installed for me.

me with my class 🙂

Got to school, got my results, the end. That’s is basically a summary of what happened that day. Everyone in the school (as expected) did well, we had 90+ people getting 6As and above, which gives them a passport whatever course their heart desires. What I was more worried about are the rest of the 300 of us, can we get into the course of our choice? Or even worse, can we even get into any local university? Flashing back to what Mr Yap said to us a year ago, would we be crying tears of joy or tears of sorrow and regret? The wait to receive our results was so fucking bad, totally feel like shit during that moment. How would my 2 years of studying come out? All of these questions would be answered once I see those letters on that piece of paper…

So what was the end results? 3 words: Totally worth it. Of course, it could have been better, but I’m satisfied and happy, that is all that matters. Those mugging sessions in the school library, Starbucks, NLB, Subway, have not gone to waste! It also felt great to see all your effort paid off in the end. I supposed all the things I previously told myself really helped: the positive mindset, the constant hard work, the never-say-die attitude. Being “academically-challenged” for 4 years doesn’t mean that you have to be the same for the next 2 years. I still recall an assembly talk which showed statistics correlating GPA and A level results, well sorry but I didn’t see myself getting bad results since I had a lousy GPA. To those who think they aren’t “meant for studies”, don’t believe in those bullshit. People are “smart” for a reason, they study and put in the work, it’s just that simple. If you claim you study but still can’t get results, review your methods. Studying while talking to someone won’t help you absorb much, so there is always something out there where you can improve in. The most important thing is not to give up, never give up. Although you may feel down at times, just think how badly you want it, cause if you do, you will definitely work for it.

Here, I really have to thank the teachers who have helped me immensely throughout those 2 years: Mr Ng Hao Jin, whom I give full credit for saving my maths when I was at my worst and re-instilling my long lost passion in maths. My chemistry tuition teacher Chris, who although may not be the most knowledgeable, but always puts in the effort in preparing questions despite having another job. My economics tuition teachers Mr “Sean Pang” and Mr Gilbert Lee, one which gave me the foundation and another who probably vomitted marking my essays :x. And Mdm Koh Li Keng, who helped me at the final stretch of the As, even though I wasn’t her student which made me twice as grateful. I feel awfully sorry to Mr Augustine Chan for my below-par GP grade, who always comes up with interesting acronyms to help his students in GP.

And that’s for me, but what about the others? Some of them did well, got close to the 6As needed to stand on stage. Some did worse than expected, but good enough for most universities. And there are the others, whom I’m really worried about: those who may not even be able to go to a university, or go to courses not even close to their preference. It’s really frustrating to see people whom you know studied hard, but the results did not show on that goddamn freaking piece of paper. Some of them are your close friends, but you can’t do anything but say: “It’s going to be alright”, which doesn’t really help, which leads me to the post A-level days… The most surprising thing that happened the day after results day is that a teacher, whom I didn’t expect at all, called me. She congratulated me for my results, and lead to the discussion of my class, where some did not do well. She told me to do something for them to comfort them etc, which at that point of time I didn’t really care, but I don’t know why, but in the end I decided to write something for them, kinda like what I write here. I even wrote a draft first before typing it out and posted on Facebook, and what the heck, might as well tag along the 4F guys as well. To be honest, that post doesn’t sound like me at all, because I never really open up in front of my class unlike I do here. But thankfully, I got a positive response from it, even some teachers texted/Fb-message me and told me that they liked the note. What I wanted to say is all in the note, so those who are interested can read the note at the link below

http://www.facebook.com/notes/nick-lim/to-my-dearest-friends-classmates-and-anyone-else-that-i-might-know/10150604239626888

So what is installed for me in the future? Well I got accepted into NUS Faculty of Science :). In the end, I chose interest over “utility”. With my grades, I could have gone into other courses which promised a better future, such as Business or Accountancy, but as I told myself, since I am going to study something for the next 4 years, might as well make it as enjoyable as possible. It always gets tempting to go to a course which seems more “sought-after”, but I think I made the correct decision and went with my heart, rather than just future practicability. I would probably have an average salary, but at least I would be doing something I enjoy. Just a little conflicted between Applied Mathematics and Statistics, both have its pros and cons. This leads to another big question mark in my life, what am I going to be in the future? I seriously don’t want to be a maths teacher LOL, but that seems like what most people do with a maths degree. Teaching do seems fun, but not as a profession. Imagine students come find me for consultations and I don’t know how to solve the question.. And how interesting could teaching Maths be? There’s only 1 way to solve it. Let’s just hope that I made the right decision!

So university life let’s go! But that would have to wait till 5 March 2014… Can’t wait to say the word ORD LO!