Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It is 13th July today and in about 20 mins, I will be 25. I confess that I have never been a big fan of birthdays. Well.. The chance to meet up with friends who care, is probably one of the only reasons I look forward to my birthday every year. As for the gifts, well... to keep it simple, it is not their worth that matter but rather the thought behind them.
It was interesting to see how much some friends have changed after 10 years. The playful boys before is now an amazing tuition teacher who knocks sense into his student. The career woman is having her first child. And so many more.... I guess I have changed quite a fair bit over the last ten years too. From an overtly shy introvert with self-esteem issues, I have changed to a slightly more confident person who is slightly more confortable with being an extrovert or rather taking up the ways of an extrovert. In terms of studies or careers, I think I always have the belief that with enough effort, one should do well. I would say that I am afterall pretty laid-back in the studies/career department. Laid-back not in the sense that I am lazy but rather I do not make the effort to venture or do more. I guess that is something I have to work on when I start working.
In terms of emotional maturity, I wonder if I have changed much. I would like to think that I have matured a great deal over the years. But you never know.. One of the greatest uncertainties maybe right now is probably in the love-life department. I guess I have always been looking for that one thing but it has always eluded me. I thought I found it on at least 2 occasions but it is obviously not the case, and I am alone here on Henderson Wave, typing a blog entry.
In any case, this is life...
The Origin. 7/13/2010 11:33:00 pm
Friday, June 11, 2010
"I don't want to make it easier for you, I hope your heart breaks; but I do understand". This line is from Brideshead Revisited. I remember feeling the pain within this line when I first watched the movie. After reading the book, it was as if the whole story, all his experiences ended with this line. What made me feel for this line is that it is the curse of somebody who steps into the other person's shoes and saw things from his/her perspective. Thus leading to the tragedy of him understanding and empathising with the decision made but as his personal values differ largely from those of the person he is empathising with, he could not accept the decision being made.
The Origin. 6/11/2010 01:08:00 am
Sunday, February 14, 2010
As an engineer, I can say this with a great degree of confidence - the geatest lessons in life are not learnt in class. For example, while engineering teaches you about physics, pressure and stuff, what they don't teach you is that it is much easier to poke the a straw into a bubble tea seal when you cover the top end of the straw. I learnt this from an economics major, at a tender age of 23 or so. :P
Jokes aside, I guess my point of typing this blog entry, which I also put onto Fb as a note, is to put into words some of the lessons that I have learnt or some of the values which I hold true as a result of my close-to-25-years of living. It is an important issue which would be nice to to be reviewed maybe after another 25 yrs of living.
To be frank, I can trace everything back to 2 periods of time when these issues/things were ideas spelt out to become affixed in me. Do not get me wrong - I do not mean that I only learn from these two occasssions but rather these two occassions made everything I learn everyday matter. They are the events in my life that in a way give meaning to the tremendous amount of information we all have to process each day. Think of them as points of reflections. Points in time.
The first event or period of time was my study of English Literature in secondary school. Our teacher then, Mr. Jason Lim, was and is still great. He gave us space to be the young, positive (yes, there was a time when I was more positive and cheerful than I am now) and idealistic individuals that people of our age should be. At the same time, he provided us, here and there, with insights of reality is to be. However, all these cannot outshine the most fundamental good that he had done for me. With his choice of the texts to be studied for our 'O' Levels, he provided me with a role-model in our society where role-models are so difficult to come by. I used to think that my role-model was simply Harper Lee's Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird. Today, during my moment of insight, I figured that the role-model was an ideal that came from 4 areas - To Kill a Mockingbird (TKMB), Romeo & Juliet (R&J), Royal Hunt of the Sun (RHS) and Mr. Jason Lim himself. TKMB showed me the "perfect" man - Atticus who learnt from his mistakes, lived by his values and rationality, and through his actions earning the admiration of not everybody but people who mattered. R&J showed me passion that even today, I so hope to feel. RHS showed me Pizarro - the "imperfect" man hardened by the world but despite all, still hopes to believe. Finally, Mr. Jason Lim, who facilitated us in our interpretation of the texts and thus give meaning to what is otherwise just a text. Here, I have to say that I have simply narrowed down the texts to one thing that mattered but the truth is that it is often the case that what matters is a result of the whole text. They have taught me more than the one line that I have attributed to them here.
The second period of time was, much as I hate to admit it, my time in NS. It was there where I had the opportunity to work with both ends of the spectrum. We already know what the lousier end of the spectrum is like. So let's skip them and move on to the other end - it was at this end that I met, worked with and learnt from a man, Francis Ng, who decided to take go the extra mile to provide me with a learning experience which he could otherwise not provide at all. Just to be clear, I do believe that he did not provide me with that because of favouritism or anything but rather he would do that for anybody who comes into his life. This is what makes me respect him all the more. He adds value to "information" which I have to process each day by putting into words the lessons to be learnt. The lessons I learnt came from everywhere possible - interpersonal skills, tact, leadership, the simple steps to take to move closer to a goal, and so many more. So much that I could say that English Literature provided me an ideal, Francis Ng provided reality. It is here that I wish to highlight some of the lessons I have learnt from this life-mentor of mine. At this point, I also wish to highlight that I am not capable of elaborating on the ideals that I have gained from English Literature any further because I am not confident of putting all those thoughts into words, and i also believe that there are some level of ideals that are meant only for each individual, no two individuals can have the same ideals. I think what I get from English Literature is just that.
- "Walk your talk" is probably a fundamental idea that most of us have learnt from anywhere else. Leadership by example may probably be seen as a subset of this. I was not introduced to this concept by Francis Ng but rather he was the example of it.
- Ownership. The one thing that made me a pretty decent worker for him was that he gave me "ownership" of what is not mine. This sense of ownership made me feel responsible for the mundane work that I had to do and to some extent, some sense of pride was attached to it. Heck.. I even went back to camp when I was on leave as a result of that. The btm line is to give ownership to others whenever possible and try not to take them away from others. Not everything has to be under your control for progress to happen. And not everything has to be as you hope, for them to improve.
- Give praises where and to whom they should be accorded to. It shouldn't take much to admit that somebody is doing something way better than you if that is the truth. What is a simple line to you may matter much to the people who hears it.
- Protect your committee. Even though your committee members may have friction amongst themselves, it does not make any particular sense to complain about them to anybody outside of your committee. On the one hand, you do not wish for others to think that your committee is falling apart but on a more important note, don't you just think that it adds value to the working r/s if you talk things out amongst yourselves. At the same time, do not take credits for yourself, credits should be given to all in the group. This was what he taught me, in as close to his words as possible. In my own words, think - family.
- Differentiate between an honest mistake and one that is intentional. Forgive the honest ones and deal with the intentional ones. In either case, protecting your committee should be of utmost importance. It is not about finding somebody to blame but progress together.
With this being said, it is always a disappointment to hope to live like an ideal but not living up to it. I guess this is what makes you and I human but that is just an excuse....
The Origin. 2/14/2010 11:53:00 am
Saturday, February 06, 2010
I love people watching. I love people watching when I am listening to nice songs from my mp3 player. It is kind of nice to hear "dancing in the moonlight" playing when people are carrying on with their lives.
In any case, I was sitting in Starbucks reading some notes (The cashier was friendly and actually asked me what I was doing in Marina Sq. To which, I said that I was hanging out with a friend but I neglect to mention that after my friend leaves, I would be studying... I have a sad life)
Of course, I day-dreamed a little here and there. During one of which, I recalled some old but sweet memories. Reminded myself of how idealistic I once was. I still hold an idealistic pt of view that when people say that their romance faded away, I think that they just did not put in any effort to recall the past.
Furthermore, I have identified two categories of people who want to get married. The people who wants to have a happy family and the idealistics. Not to say that the first category is not idealistic but idealistic not in the sense that I wish to speak of. The first category are those who would not mind going to SDUs and stuff. Maybe because whether they know it or not, they see the big picture of having a wonderful family life. Then there are the idelistics who are hopeless romantics too. They somehow believe not so much in the happy family part but are more focus on the moment of falling in love. They probably can find love anywhere and anytime as long as fate somehow comes into play. But they just cannotaccept the SDU kind of workings.
Doesn't take much to guess which one I fall into.
The Origin. 2/06/2010 11:02:00 pm
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It is one of those moments again.... It walked into the room, expecting and drawing every bit of attention to it... I guess over time, one just learns to block it out, deny it of the attention. Something which I think I have done with considerable success. Well.. Today, I just feel like giving it the attention that it so seeks. I'm not down. I am just pondering.
I have always thought that I do not mind living the life of a Singaporean. The life that our system, our none-too-mature culture, has dictated for us. Somehow that changed somewhere along the line. To pinpoint this to a particular cause is overestimating the effect of that singular event. It is the result of a number of separate events, happening over a great length of time, and yet coming together at the one point to give meaning or interpretation to the world around. Or as I have learnt from Human Relations, a change in schema, one about life in future.
"Away" is the word that holds meaning at all right now. It is the result of many things, thoughts, experiences, interactions and more. I wouldn't call it an end-result becaause of the plain fact that I am only at about a quarter of my whole lifespan. The thing is that today, I am somewhat tired of the repetitions over and over again. With the understanding that everybody else face the same repetitions of interactions, events and such in life. What true meaning do you or anybody hold to anybody else? With the understanding that, nothing lasts.
I guess I do sound a little jaded with that last statement but I am not complaining so. If you are looking for the guilty, you only have to look into the mirror. C'est la vie.
The opposite of being away is to be here. Yet, here is not the place that I want to be. Here is no longer the place that gives me any meaning or anchorage at all. I guess life is a journey to seek answers to questions. And to everybody, there is at least that one question that is of upmost importance. The answer to which, gives life itself meaning or purpose. I think I know the type of answer I am looking for without having a clear idea of what the question actually is.
The Origin. 1/19/2010 10:53:00 am
Thursday, January 07, 2010
I guess I have always only looked for one thing up to this point in time. For a time, I was confused. I thought that I was looking for something else and many probably think that I was looking for that too. The truth is that the one and only thing was something else altogether. Something that I do not know how to nor dare demand. Something that eluded me all these years. Yet, something that I so whole heartedly hope for to exist.
The Origin. 1/07/2010 10:20:00 pm
Friday, January 01, 2010
With the great number of notes on FB about the transition from 2009 to 2010, I can't help but be tempted to type an entry here. Seriously though, 2009 was just another year for me and 2010 is another year to come. Heck.. It is just a number. I feel like I am simply getting by each day. "Getting by" is just a nicer phrase for surviving, not living. Today, I wonder what living means. Come to think about it, I have been here, getting by for so long. I wonder if anyone of us have ever truly lived. Here I am thinking about the experience of living, which could simply just a concept thought up by somebody along the way. Probably somebody emo who felt that there should be more to life than simply breathing, drinking, eating and shitting. Oh.. And of course, working. With much sacarsm intended, what a beautiful thing that gives people purpose, $, an avenue to attach their ego and identity to, and so much more. Wonderful work!
In any case, I know I am not the first to have this thought process (this is base on experience that tells me that I am just another little human in the great big world. "Everyone is different" is a lie.) and I do believe that I am simply one of those who feel that they have been through enough to know what to expect in the years to come. Thus with this way of thinking, comes the inner desire for something more than whatever our expectations of life have to offer, an the differntiation between getting by and living. I thus wonder if this way of thinking will change for me and if it does, when it will be.
In any case, in the spirit of the new year, here are some of my thoughts for the past 365 days or more (since this is one of the few times I have actually typed such a thing. There were the good times and there were the bad times of course but this is life. I hated the times when I was down but they were just little hurdles, lessons, turning points or whatever in life, depending on their impacts. Being human or probably as a result of my upbringing, I do think that people tend to only look at what was bad as they look back at something or anything. The key is to look for the good things too.
One of the many things that life has taught me is that there is no way of saying anything has ended. Things that happened and thought to have an conclusion to, may come back to haunt or cheer you up years later.
Another lesson is that with action is more important than words. You cannot think of change and hope for it unless you take the step to initiate the change. Sometimes, "shoot first, ask questions later" is the way to go, especially when there are things to be changed but nothing is moving.
Of course, there was the lesson that while consistency is the thing that was sought after, uncertainty, change and chaoes were all that came. I do admit that little fairytales were destroyed with the chaos but that is life again. To say that fairytales are destroyed may be wrong for they are forever there. Part of us grows up but part of us wants to believe in them still. It is just which part is more dominant at any time. Fairytales, fantasies, ideals, whatsoever.
There are so many more things to mention but what is the point of listing them all when the chapter has not been closed. The chapter of a life, whether getting by or living....
The Origin. 1/01/2010 12:46:00 pm
i AM myself
Name: Kenneth aka Ah_Ken
DOB: 14 Jul 85
Current Status: Mugging my life away in NUS. Life is a BIG deception!
Residence: Bt Panjang
Likes: Chocolate, Soft Shell Crab (Cuz I'm LAZY), Shopping, Slacking, Reading Manga..
Dislikes: None I can think of at the moment..
Short Term Dream: Get my ass to France for SEP at least.
Long Term Dream: A nice condominium at Marina Bay or in Orchard cuz... very atas la!!
Description: Just ur average guy...
"You know how when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales, that fantasy of what your life would be, white dress, prince charming who would carry you away to a castle on a hill. You would lie in bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Prince Charming, they were so close you could taste them, but eventually you grow up, one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is its hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely cause almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope, of faith, that one day they will open their eyes and it will come true." - Dr. Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy
'How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn't care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears-
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity-' - How happy is the little Stone by Emily Dickinson
'This is your last chance.
After this, there is no turning back.
You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.' - Morpheus, The Matrix
'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Not because you'll get it, but because you're doomed not to want it if you do.' - Unknown
'There are plenty of people with good intentions who take the wrong actions in the end' - Gundam Seed Destiny
'Life is no straight and easy corridor along
which we must seek our way,
lost and confused, now and again
checked in a blind alley.
But always, if we have faith,
a door will open for us,
not perhaps one that we ourselves
would ever have thought of,
but one that will ultimately
prove good for us.' - A.J.Cronin
"Every life has one true-love snapshot
Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know
No life is a waste.
The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone"
"A man can endure alot if he still has hope." - Clyde T. Ellis
" 'Appreciate It.' 2 simple words. A life span of gratitude." - Cinderella Man
"A boxer enters the ring alone. If knocked down, he alone could pick himself up and keep the fight going." - Cinderella Man
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Jame J. Braddock: I know this isn't what you wanted. But I can't win if you're not behind me.
Mae: I'm always behind you."
"People die in fairy tales all the time." - Max Baer, Cinderella Man
"Maybe sometimes people need to see someone do it so they can do it." - Father Rorick, Cinderella Man
"You always got ot figure you're not the best man in the world, there might be somebody better. That's the way it was. That's the way boxing is. The champion don't always stand up. There's always somebody coming up to take him. That's a part of life." - Jame J. Braddock
"If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted" - The Queensbury Rules, No. 4
"All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory" - Motto of the King's Guard in Ancient Greece
"With each passing day in a good marriage, the love for your spouse grow stronger than the day before" - Cinderella Man
"I take responsibility" - President George W. Bush
"Sow a Thought, and you reap an Act; Sow an Act, and you reap a Habit; Sow a Habit, and you sow a Character; Sow a Character, and you reap a Destiny." - Samuel Smiles
"Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt - Shakespeare in Measure of Measure
"What does your heart tell you?" - Aragorn, LOTR
"To an outstretched hand we shall respond with an olive branch, but we shall fight fire with the harshest fire ever." - Israeli PM Ariel Sharon
"To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human. " - The Matrix
"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath." - Balian of Ibelin, Kingdom of Heaven
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." - Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird
"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are... it is our choices." - Dumbledore, Harry Potter
"Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, LOTR
"Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten." - Lilo & Stitch
"Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it." - Malcolm Wallace, Braveheart
"Every man dies, not every man really lives." - William Wallace, Braveheart