Discovery, fast forward.

These few weeks have been, challenging.
Actually, these few months.
It’s like graduation from university = growing up, fast forward x 10. One day, you’re in school, planning what courses to take, which co-curricular activity to join, where to hang out with friends for lunch/dinner/supper, and the next, you’re looking for jobs, pressed for time, making life-changing decisions.

It’s really, exhausting.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking, “Heck this. I’m young, I’ve got time, let’s do things now. Or never.”
Unfortunately, I’ve got too stable & steady a head on my shoulders to do that. I worry about my parents, I worry about myself, I worry about my animals. I worry about Life. I don’t want to have no plans, I don’t want to have haphazard ones. I’m actually a happier person when I know the general direction I’m headed in.

For a while, I thought, “I’ll give this a try. I’ll take a year off, or two, and just explore what might be. What could be. Live a little, be adventurous, do what your heart fancies, whenever it fancies.” That idea was truly alluring, for a very long while. For a while, albeit a short while, I put myself out there and tried. That while also turned out to be one of the more torturous (if I can even call it torturous, considering how fortunate & blessed I am) times I’ve ever experienced. Conflict, contradiction, confusion, angst, general frustration.

This year was exceptionally life-changing. Actually, the life-change began some time round Christmas 2010. I’ve really “changed” and “grown”, is what I hear from some. After learning more about myself, finding out more about what I like & don’t, what I can tolerate and what I can’t stand, I let go. And it felt rather, invigorating.
I cleaned out the people I didn’t need/want, I looked over the things that didn’t really matter. I chose stability. And I loved it.

Then this June happened. The whirlwind, the flexibility, the freedom to do what I fancy while still on a safe trial period.
I didn’t like it. I still don’t. And I’m grateful for that.

Because now, I’ve learnt a little more about myself. What I like, what I don’t, what I can tolerate, and what I absolutely abhor (that’s a strong word, isn’t it).

I have the chance to extend this discovery, flexibility and entertainment. But I don’t need/want it. I choose stability, not because I’m not adventurous or risk-averse. I choose it because I know myself well.

Adventure and novelty may thrill the senses quite a bit, but in the end, what we really need, what really keeps us going, I dare say, is knowing that there’s something/someone waiting for us.
While new things/people/events/activities excite me, they tire me at the same time, having to constantly maintain fronts and keep up appearances. How many of these things that we pride ourselves on having/experiencing actually add to our lives, beyond that fleeting moment when we feel better about ourselves?
Adventures are great, but not all the time, please. I want stability, security and the confidence that I know where I’m headed.

Call me boring, but at least I’m not muddling my way through each day,  not knowing what the next is going to be like.

And I’m a happier person because.


Reason why I’m probably not going to vote for you this GE

“Dear Residents of West Coast, the time for change is now!”

I’ve been hearing your loudhailer chants for days. I’ve read countless posts and blogs about how the opposition parties have stirred the ruling party into action (though I personally feel the credit should really go to the people of Singapore, not the parties). I’ve never doubted that the current ruling party needs to change a few (heck, quite a bit of) things. I don’t need the chant for “Change” slammed in my face and rammed down my throat.  I know it’s time for it. You’ve repeated it to death.

You talk about change. You make pledges that, if they could work without major repercussions, would really make Singapore a better place to live in. Idealistic and motivated, you definitely are.

Your statements are so vague, no one could possibly find fault in them. How do I argue with cheaper and better lower-income housing for those who need it? Why would I be against a guaranteed minimum income since it promises more stability? I’d never disagree with increased investment in improving quality of education. But my question is, how are you going to do all that, exactly?

Anyone can promise a Swiss standard of living. But if that were all it took, to make bombastic statements and promises, I could run for the elections too.

I wish I could  believe your promises, but I don’t. You haven’t convinced me.

And it doesn’t help that most (I don’t mean all) who support you are mindlessly chanting your “Change” rhetoric, and making statements such as “We need an alternative voice in parliament!” without focusing too much on the quality of alternative voices available.

Yes, change is vital. True, alternative voices need to be in parliament to keep the ruling party in check. But I want effective change. I want intellectual alternative voices.

I’m ready for change. I don’t think you are.

Oh just shut up already.

Yes, I get it. You love the opposition and hate PAP. I already got that message after your first few posts. I don’t need another 10.

Yes, there are many valid reasons for you to hate PAP. Many, indeed. I can’t even argue with a lot of them, because they’re really valid ones.

There are, however, also many reasons why there are people who don’t think highly of the current calibre we have in the opposition. And those reasons are valid as well, as much as you hate to admit it. You really don’t have to preach your beliefs and shame those who don’t agree.

The way I (and a lot of other people I’ve been talking to about this) see it, we’re just whiners. Big, grown adults who’re behaving like infants. Couldn’t get the perfect dollhouse/lego building you’ve been dreaming of? Cry about it. Your cousin got a bigger red-packet than you did at Chinese New Year? Bemoan favoritism.

Life didn’t go the way you want it to. You want someone to make it all better.

I foresee many who’ll read this labeling me as “apathetic”, “unintelligent” or “ignorant”. I wouldn’t expect it any other way. Because that’s how illogical and unreasonable we’ve gotten, not just during this GE.

But we’re all entitled to our point of view. And what I see now is a big group of crying babies complaining about how unfair life has been for them. And who will probably continue to complain about all sorts of new things for many years to come, whatever party turns out to be the victorious one. I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

But don’t worry, I will cast my vote come 7 May. And it won’t be a blank one. But it wouldn’t matter which party I vote for, because honestly, regardless of whoever wins, it’s not going to really change our lives overnight. We’re still going to be lazy, complaining whiners who’ll find fault in just about anything we can.

Stop trying to peddle your point of view. Because all I hear is whining and complaining. We’re not babies anymore, but you sound like one to me. I’d prefer not to start looking at you in another light, so stop.

Want something? Get it yourself. Don’t expect a party to come along and grant your every wish. Don’t expect it to be handed out to you easy. Because reality check, life isn’t easy. It isn’t fair either. Suck it up.

Dasher’s Day Out




I choose you, childhood dream.

I remember wishing with all my might, at the age of 5, for a public library near home. Just so I could: 1. borrow 8 books without having to lug my bag too far, and 2. go look for my favorite books, anytime I liked, between the hours of 10am to 9pm. Mom would take me to the library, leave me there for an hour, and come back looking for me at the kids’ section. I’d have spent the hour at non-fiction, looking through the animal collection. She’d have to wait another hour or two before we’d leave.

I remember being one of the first kids, maybe even the only kid, at the age of 8, who knew that a killer whale was a dolphin, not a whale. And that dolphins were mammals, not fish. And how everybody called me bluff. This was before Science was taught in school.

I remember most of my friends calling me a ‘tree-hugger’. We were 11. They literally thought I loved nature so much, I went around hugging trees.

I remember promising myself, at the age of 13, that I’d work hard so I could become a marine biologist. And how devastated I was when I found out that there wasn’t much of a marine biology industry in Singapore, that I’d have to take biology in school, and that biology in school involved dissecting animals. Then making another promise that whatever it would be, I wouldn’t stray too far away.

For a long time, I lost that dream. I stopped going to the library to learn about them. I grew older and life took over.

Now, on the cusp of whatever-kind-of-self-discovery-this-is-turning-out-to-be, I remember.

If it’s what you truly want, it shouldn’t cause so much pain. If you’re that crazy about it, you’d be willing to give up everything. If the path is the one you sincerely wish to take, you don’t constantly look back and think, “What if?”

If it’s for ever, the thought wouldn’t tire you so.

I remember now. I’d always wanted something that was not just for myself.

I choose you, childhood dream.

Thank you, rainy days.

I miss you already.

I didn’t get a chance to really know you. You weren’t supposed to leave so soon.

But at least I think you weren’t in pain.

I don’t even know what happened. You were your usual self just yesterday.

Don’t take things for granted. Indeed.

I miss you already.

Eating Animals – out of the book, into the visuals.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls.

Not because you shouldn’t eat meat. But because you shouldn’t be eating meat that’s mass-prepared in inhumane ways.

You wouldn’t want to, either. If you knew how factory farms coincidentally pose as breeding grounds for the viruses that plague us.

This is the reason why I’m aiming for the day I don’t eat meat. I’m getting there.

Will you join me?