Love to a person who had only lived a decade or so was like swimming without the instructions. Humans had been born to conquer the oceans, but I was a baby who yearned for a heart and didn't mind the drowning process, as if the 70% of water inside of me was crying out its final, last suicide song.
He swam in the pool waters like a siren tricking seafarers to their eventual death. He pulled me in with pale, tired hands, black hair glinting, sunlight shining in the murky depths. He was not a human: rather a liquid, a substance I couldn't keep except to drink in like an alchoholic when the clock struck 12am and there was nothing in my head except the sounds of his name, which grew, an endless flicker beat...
Slowly that sound began to fade.
Slowly, I began to forget.
I learned that to be painfully sober was better to be drunk on the same destructive bliss over, and over again. The process of throwing away his bottle was hard and long and difficult, but over time, his name did not hurt my lips anymore.
I resurfaced the silver waters a stronger human, and the first time I opened my mouth to sing it was so beautiful it should have been put into history books and stopped world war 3 in its tracks.
They say they moment humans discovered fire was the moment the human race was destined to survive.
She could have very well been named Sun, for the way she mimicked that bright blazing star. During the first few days of fine discovery, you reveled in adventure, basked in the warm glow of a precious element. But what the gods didn't tell you was that fire had its limits, and one day the sun would come back to burn you.
Good things come in small packages, but you swallowed fire to spite your own throat. You got too close- and after the initial goodness of warmth, the hear became too much for your fragile bones, and you were left with nothing but a pile of ashes.
You did not realize that you were a shining, luminiscent being with a hazardous label which advised not to be near hot things. She was a first rate arsonist with a Midas touch of flames- and the first thing she touched with her bare hands....was you.
When she left you for good, the destruction was great enough to be named after a hurricane. Because that was the only way you could remember "us", through the wreckage; the burns. Touch isn't something you can keep, and you should have known from the moment she said you'd changed, even when you told her otherwise, and begged for her to stay, to love you again.
But change was just another excuse for you to blaze the path away after you pleaded not guilty to the homicide of me.
We used to be something. But now all we have is ashes to remind us of all the things that happened here, and what would never happen again.
This is a topic that when said arouses a lot of feelings. It must be said that I still don't know, exactly, what is going on; except for the broad concept, and above all, the very real and sad knowledge that people have been killed, tortured....exterminated.
I felt extremely guilty reading up on Aleppo 2 days ago simply because I could have, and should have, done that much sooner. I had known about it. I was vaguely but perfectly aware that there were gross acts of human indecency being committed in a country far, far away, but in the face of that conciousness, tucked it neatly away into some dusty corner of my mind- just since I can.
Because I am not the one in a broken Syrian country. I am not the one- the many- who have had entire families wiped out by bomb raids, at the feet of their crumbling homes. And because, by pure sheer chance, or the design of the Father above, I was not born as a Syrian girl, destined to live in a country which demands her life as compensate. Neither are you. For all intents and purposes, we don't have to care.
That is our privilege.
What we do with that privilege is what makes a difference.
As far as the latest news reports are concerned, evacuations for the civilians caught in the fighting have resumed, but the problem obviously doesn't stop there. The evacuees still need help; in basics such as food, clothes, medical attention, and later on, help to heal trauma scars, the psychological damage that cuts deeper than any wound can.
The world is full of our human pitfalls, and to that I only have one verse: The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Yes, this is a broken people- all sorts of broken people, with their hard hearts and unkind thoughts that make this fragile planet a darker place. But we have the power to shineth in darkness, and what's more, the darkness comprehended it not- we can make the world a better place, because love will always, always defeat hate. That is what I truly believe.
The question is, will we?
It is a simple question with huge implications. If you think you will: spread the word, don't let their suffering turn into silence that stains the streets crimson. Even if you can't donate, bring awareness, in the hopes that the news will reach someone who can. Keep them in your prayers. Show them that your love is bigger than the hate that stains these people, our friends...our brothers, and sisters.
her message starts at 3:47
International Red Cross: www.icrc.org/en/donate/syria-crisis-appeal
Save the Children: secure.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.7998763/k.FEA/Donate_to_the_Syria_Children_in_Crisis_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp
Docors without Borders: www.msf-me.org/syria/
not WHAT I GOT.... BUT WHAT I BOUGHT.
Hej! I am pretty pleased doing up this post because it is, essentially, my very own Christmas present haul. This is a what I bought for Xmas post because surely (hopefully. Secret Santa if you are reading this, DO NOT DISAPPOINT. No pressure or anything.) I will have another post detailing what I got for Xmas that can come out early January.
Of course the first thing a girl must treat herself to is a dinky new edition of Frankie Magazine Issue 75. if you're wondering why it's so bloody expensive, don't worry, I'm wondering myself too. I guess it's just the con of living in a country where everything has to be imported in cos our local talents are suffering under social stigma and / or less than robust funding. Toucy politics aside, the year end issue of Frankie is always costlier than the usual because it comes with more stuff, such as a giant 2017 wall calendar and other such tear-outs.
PLUS IT IS FREAKING PRETTY. Like, I thought this issue was a little less gorgeous than last years' one, but the autumn leaves design really popped on camera. As it does in real life.
Not sure if I've impressed upon everyone enough how much I love Frankie, but this post should do it. It felt unspeakably nice to buy myself not just an issue, but the latest issue, fresh off the press (or the plane?) because most of the time I get myself a copy of old ones as they're much cheaper on Carousell.
Frankie's basically the only magazine I bother to keep up with, for its beautiful graphics, interesting articles and impeccable quality.
One thing I actually needed was a new wallet- I'd been using Em's thoroughly broken in pink Coach wristlet that was going off colour with age in some areas.
This new Black Wallet is entirely different from the Coach in several respects.
Firstly it's from Rubi, pracically the antithesis of Coach, for all its mass produced cheapness and probably lack of quality. On the same note, it only cost $5. And the glaringly obvious, it's just plain black pebbled pleather, more of a pouch really (that's what I prefer), as opposed to the Barbie pink of my old one.
However, that's what attracted me to it in the first place. It is a refreshing change to have a wallet that's simply very functional, no frills no drills. I like that it's got a pebbled texture, which gives it a slightly more high fashion feel consdering Rubi produced it. The biggest difference is that it is way more roomy than my previous wallet. I never have to squash all my cards in it, or struggle to fit in my Lucas Pawpaw. In fact, it houses my phone comfortably too, and that's why it's such a great item to use.
The Muji Clear Case was also purchased on a similar tone. I wanted a more spacious pouch to fit in all my skincare products for travel, because the one I'm currently using is less wide and it doesn't fit those bulky bottles and tubes very nicely, especially if there's tiny bottles of shampoo and body soap thrown in. I'm always scared the closure for it will break, thus it was time for a new one to meet those needs.
At $9.90, it's a steep price, but I'm willing to make an investment for something that can last me for a few years at least. My favourite thing about it is that it's transparent- not translucent, not opaque. I like knowing, at a glance, exactly where the product I want is. The accessibility of this pouch beats no other in Muji.
Finally, moving on to skincare. The most exciting part! There's really nothing like a little somethin-somethin to perk up your face, and this is not something I can often afford.
The June Jacobs Mandarin Moisture Mask is probably the most luxurious item out of my haul. I picked this up at Sephora, intending to gift it to M, but I ended up buying other products for her, and rather obnoxiously kept it for myself. Heheheh.
$17 is a hefty price tag for a pot that small, but like I said- luxurious. It's meant to be 15ml of hydrating, moisturizing goodness. I tried it once yesterday, and to give it due credit my face did feel rather refreshed afterwards, a bit tight but not dry. My complexion is going through a slightly rouch patch with itchy skin plus dry patches, but I woke up this morning with no irritations at all. Result of the 'masque'? We'll see.
OK, you have no idea how long I spent in Innisfree this week. Over the past few days I have been to Orchard constantly, and every single trip included me pacing and pacing, poring over their stock, before making very careful calculated shopping decisions. The shop assistants must have thought I was mad, having picked up the same items about 1000 times.
Apart from a few things for my family, I bought some Capsule Recipe Packs in trial sizes. These are all sleeping masks, but there are also wash-off versions available. I went with capsules instead of full size mainly as I didn't know which kind I wanted. With these I can have a variety; try out several to decide which one is worth the buck. Moreover, they are a very nice size to stow away for travel.
I have 3 which were at $4 each, one biji & aloe, one green tea, and one bamboo. These will definitely having a spot in the travel pouch, and I'll let yall know if they find a spot in my heart too.
So, that concludes this merry Christmas haul! I hope everyone has been treating themselves to something too this season...and don't forget the spirit of giving in the midst of it all.
P.S. Special thanks to Darrell for helping out w/ the photography. Also shoutout to Em because her hands are featured.
One of the more cultural places in Shanghai that reminds you of the olden times is 豫园. The yuyuan garden is, essentially, a Chinese Garden. To give you a little history lesson, it was first built in 1559 during the Ming Dynasty by a guy called Pan Yudan...and eventually the expanse of the garden led to their ruin. Guess some things don't really turn out your way, do they?
Don't expect a museum outpouring of knowledge, though: this place is a clump of shops all gathered together with a sprinkling of pavillions and viewing gardens up for grabs. If you're so inclined, pop a snack, take a nice long stroll, and buy a souvenir or two.
The second must-visit place is none other than 田子坊, Tian Zi Fang, a really posh and pretty area in the heart of the French Concession.
This place, just like most other places, is another shopping joint, however it's well worth it to come simply to admire the brick walls and beautiful architechture too. Since it's my 3rd time visiting it, I didn't pick up anything, but there are many shops selling little trinkets that you can gift to friends or family back home. Apart from souvenirs there are a lot of clothes shops, tea shops, and general bric-a-brac that's sure to come in useful for a present, if you're anything like me and prefer an extra gift lying around.
Also look out for small art shops and art galleries. Though they exist to sell rather than exhibit, there's nothing stopping you from taking a tour of the pieces inside. It's a nice way to get in touch with the local art scene and maybe get inspired yourself.
I also spotted a tiny museum on this guy- but for the life of me I can't remember his name or what exactly he contributed to history. Sorry, folks. It was closed when M and I were there, but if you ever get to see it, tell me what he's all about! (There's a relatively grand statue of him right outside the entrance.)
If you only step into one shop in Tian Zi Fang though, let it be Des Stories @ Here, an unobtrusive cafe tucked away into one of the more quiet walkways.
Weary from the walking and a little chilly, M and I stumbled across this obscure cafe and decided to take a brief respite.
It was stepping into a fairytale. One where you go traipsing down streets filled with exposed brick facades and lush plants and there is a cafe run by a grandma with her two little dogs, walls covered with Ghibli stills, as if they might step out of the walls at any moment, and whirl you up, up, into the great unknown....
If you are magic, you might see the grandma, but if you are smart, you'll know to walk inside before the cafe disappears when the sun sets.
And if you are lucky, the grandma will talk to you, make you superb coffee, and will let you rest in her lair while her dogs sniffle about for an hour before the real world calls you away.
Just thought I would type a little update because it seems high time to chat about what's been going on in my life recently.
If you hadn't already guessed, life has been BUSY, which is actually a really nice feeling. There's a certain appeal of being out and about, like you've suddenly transformed into a mover and shaker from your true inner self, which is an introverted couch potato. (By 'you' I just mean 'me'.) Although, I'm not alone in this: everyone is also out and about, be it hanging with friends or jet setting around the globe. I've lost count of the number of friends who are going to / been to Japan this year, and I'm about to add one more to that even because I WILL BE TOO.
Who cares. Japan is great. Everybody go visit Japan more!!! Appreciate it!! Bring in more gross domestic product in its tourism sector!!!
So far, my trips have been good. You guys already know about Shanghai, and Malaysia was basically a huge chill out session watching endless episodes of White Collar- a chick flick hidden in mystery crime, I do not recommend it unless you are, of course, a chick flick lover- then most recently there was Youth Camp, and that provoked a lot of different emotions.
It was my first youth camp, and not only that, my first time being an assistant leader to my group, so you can imagine my nervousness about the whole thing. Heck, I still dread coming into The Well every single week before service when everyone else is already inside yabbering away. Let alone a CAMP. These things someitmes freak me out a lot.
On the whole, though, it was an epic experience. I don't think yall need to know the details, but I had a lot of fun, and I also learned a lot from it.
I've also gone out with Cait and Vic, and it was lovely to catch up with them over our lunches. On another note, I adore Orchard during Christmas-time because there's nothing quite like stepping out into all the festive decorations after a good bout of Christmas shopping. It's kind of...cathartic.
Most recently, something significant has happened. You could call it a milestone I guess. That is, for the first time in my life, someone asked me out.
Before you ask, I'm not going to say anything on WHO? what? when? how? , or his identity, but I will say that I turned him down, with advice from Dorcas, who has heaps more experience than I do.
I'm cringing as I type this because it's extremely personal, but this is something I just felt like sharing with you guys, and some of my my thoughts about it.
If you know me at all you'll KNOW that I'm really dumb when it comes to boys. I'm not the kind of girl who has a thousand boy-pals and is one of the bros. I didn't start talking to any boys at all until this year. And then it's just one liners, like "pass the salt, please?"
Coupled with this boy naivety is also my tendency to conceal a lot of things. I do not like to reveal my crushes to anyone. I do not want people to walk around knowing that I think XXX is attactive, or so-and-so has been texting me, or anything of that sort. I don't even feel comfortable ranting on Instagram most of the time. I like my privacy. I am a private person.
Which is why this is the only place I can tell these kinds of things, because only a select few are privvy, ones that I can trust so it won't spread like a wildfire. So I'll say why I said no.
Firstly, most importantly, is because I'm not ready for it. ANY of it. Not the chasing, the dating, or God forbid, the actual relationship. I know some 16 year old girls are- some of them probably want it, and maybe I should be ready, seeing as its JC next year. But the simple hard truth is that I'm not. Like I said, boys are a foreign bacteria to me. I've reconciled them to be friends, and not anything more than that, and what's more I don't know when I will ever be ready to commit.
It could be 1 year from now. It could be as short as 3 months. It could be in 10 years time. I can't give a definite answer. And until I can, I'm never going to say yes to a date because that's not right- one of my most basic principles for romance is that I will only date when I'm ready to give the other person happiness, to see a relationship right through to the end.
So why am I not ready?
I have so many more things I'd rather focus on than boys. The dating game isn't something you do on the side and chuck away when you decide to. It involves more than just you, and what's more, it becomes a huge aspect of your life.
I want to focus on my studies. I want to make new friends in JC. I want to be be involved in dance. I want to serve God with all my heart, body, mind, soul. Where in the world can a date exist in this universe?
Lastly, bottom line is, he doesn't really know me. Not a single boy does. Only my friends and especially family. He doesn't see me dressed in a ratty shirt and chicken bun, deep in concentration for a blog post. He does not have a clue how serious or complicated or sensitive I can get; my fears and insecurities; my dreams. The most probable situation is he thought I was cute and easy to get along with, and so just popped the question, not knowing what the heck he got himself into. (Just look at this post for evidence.)
Well, perhaps that's what romance is about. Getting to know the other person. But I'm iffy-and as far as right now, supremely not prepared to show him this is how messy I can be. Nor am I ready to see past the boundaries of friendship on his way.
As for the million dollar question: do I like him?
The answer: Yes, I do. I think he's cute and funny. But I want us to be friends. For the forseaable future, friends is where we toe the line.
Hey yo. I'm more than a year late with this post because time and procrastination really caught up with me, but now I can finally crash out all the photos I've been saving since so many months ago.
This isn't as curated as my other photodiary (I can't say photodiaries cos to be fair, I've only done one) because obiously it was from a trip very long ago, so the pictures are mostly a mixture of beautiful things and random moments. Think of it this way, when someone asks you to recollect a jounrey you took on a while ago, you think of these fleeting moments, the striking visuals. You don't go through it day by day.
So this is what this photodiary is about. A trip back.....to memory lane.
Until next time, in true Korean style, anneyong xx
L / 18 / SG / ACJC
see here to find out more.
If you get everything you want the minute you want it, what's the point of living?
last updated: 5 september