Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Winner's Report

Funny thing.

Before I started this blogpost, I titled this post as "Loser's Report".

Truth be told, I really was about to go on a whole "let me tell you about my sad sad life" spiel. But I figured you probably have had enough of your own troubles to want to read about mine.

Let's just say that life ain't a bed of roses for me at all right now.

But then who do I know has truly gotten it easy?

Everybody that I talk to has their own set of problems. Some seemingly less significant than mine, but nonetheless equally stressful relative to their owners.

While I am indifferent about people who have drama among their circle of friends (I have none because I hardly hang out with people as it is), they couldn't care less about my woes about living expenses since they don't experience this either.

But the vast difference between little old pessimistic me and sunshiney everybody else has become increasingly obvious.

Just that, I am less willing to do my best in the moment for fear of tomorrow.

Luckily for me, inspiration still manages to seep into my brain every once in a while.

Mostly, counting my blessings has a way of humbling my troubled mind.
It is a great form of exercise which I highly recommend to every tiring soul.

I have food on the table, four limbs and a working head on my shoulders.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Feeling Small

Calendar-wise, we are most definitely still in the throes of spring. But with this 32 degrees Celsius heat, there's no denying that impatient summer is coming up fast on her heels.

As for me, I've decided to stop making decisions and thinking about the future. Not entirely, but much less than what I've been poisoning my brain with. The future has a way of twisting the present into an unrecognisable mulch.

I would know.
My life has been a wastepaper basket for the past few months.

All my thinking and worrying--- and for what? As of today, all my debts are settled and my energy unclogged. So why hold myself back with all the unnecessities?

I feel as if time right now is simply a continuation of last summer.
As if the past twelve months never happened.
In fact, I don't remember being 16, 17, 18 or 19.
And I'm not even 20 yet.

Sometimes when I pass by the diner, I remember how we went there to eat late at night.
Sometimes when I drive over the river, I remember how tired we were after days in the sun.

I remember but I forget.

Acutely, I can recall the faces of my teachers as we walked through the gates of elementary school for the last time, wearing our uniforms.

And because I blinked my eye, I've forgotten the feeling of practising netball with the girls in the sweltering heat of a neverending summer. I can't recall the faces of the men and women and the one person whom I used to see every morning at the bustop on the way to school.

What does agar agar from the mama shop taste like? I used to know.
I knew exactly how much change to give because I used to eat it everyday.

I'm so afraid to blink my eyes again, because I've done it repeatedly for the last four years.

Now I can't remember and I can't forget...
All the little things that shaped me and made me who I am today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


It's the hottest day of the year so far and here I am- again, not doing what I want to do (be at the beach) but doing what I think I should do (study).

And isn't that what life is all about?

Doing what we think we should do...

I want to talk about the word ignorance today, because I was just called "ignorant" by somebody.

You see, he and I were having a debate about math and science- my stance being that it is completely unnecessary to improving our lives because of human ignorance; and his being that math and science has drastically improved our lives.

Then since we couldn't agree, he called me ignorant.

Nowadays, we use the word "ignorant" almost as a replacement for "stupidity". But is it really a good replacement?

"Ignorance" relates to the verb "ignore".

From the free online dictionary,

"IGNORE: Verb [-noring, -nored] to refuse to notice; disregard deliberately [Latin ignorare not to know] "

Now let me put forth my point in as plain sentences as I can.

We all know by now that we are living in the age of information.

According to research done by Scott McLeod and Jeff Brenman, we see the interesting statistic that a weeks worth of the New York Times is estimated to hold more information than a regular person living in the 18th century is likely to come across in his lifetime.

Isn't this an amazing accomplishment for mankind?

In the past 100 years, we've shrunk the world through globalisation, raised overall life expectancy, kept many children out of hunger (we're overfeeding now) and empowered the middle class.

Science has enabled us to examine environmental phenomena and our own bodies in ways never before imagined. With all this new information, it is inevitable that we become more and more ignorant.

In fact, we already see it happening. And this is not something that is happening to someone else walking on the street or that we read about in newspapers. It's happening to you and me.

Let me give you an example.

Thanks to the scientific method, we've identified a huge hole that we dug ourselves and are going to fall into sooner or later.

The wealth in evidence and statistics that expose the destructive nature of plastics is overwhelming.

The logical solution is starkly obvious. Just stop all use of plastics before we end up killing or hurting ourselves and our children both internally and externally.

And here is where I make my point about logic, math and science being irrelevant to our daily decision making.

Just go ahead and read this article. Are you going to give up using plastic products?

My guess is no.

Here. I have some excuses ready for you.

1) It's not my problem.
2) We'll find out some solution in the future.
3) It's not possible.
4) Too inconvenient
5) Too expensive to do so
6) I don't care

If you made one of those excuses or others, do you know what you just did? You have deliberately disregarded the information and solution presented to you.

And the fact that we repeatedly ignore our carefully formulated facts and predictions about the world shows how irrelevant math, science and logic is to our daily decision making.

This whole influx of so-called useful information via technology and the Internet is just going to make us better at coming to a decision. But it will not necessarily make us better decision makers.
I mean, seriously, who would've voted Bush for his second term then?


As for plastics, I am on my way to ridding my life of them. I will talk more about that next time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Goodbyes

The Lord giveth and taketh away...

This has never really taken root deep in my soul until this past year or so.

Today I felt it again- the helplessness and weakness underlying my being as I realise what a fragile line I tread everyday.

After reading this article about the reasons why the numbers of women pursuing academic careers in math and science are declining (main reason being that academic careers aren't very rewarding in terms of pay and return), I feel a little unanchored again.

And it's that very feeling of being unanchored that is so humbling.

It reminds me of how limited I am in every way; how pathetic and how very tiny I am in this vast world.

Just when I start to feel in control, I start to lose things that have once made me feel close to invincible. It's like God is constantly letting me know that I should lean on Him and not on my own capabilities. Mostly because my ability to control circumstances are supremely limited.

And feeling this way when I go to sleep and when I wake up each morning is, as you can imagine, extremely disheartening.

I've been feeling this way for quite some time now. First it was the horrible ending of a relationship, then there was a whole hullaballoo about finding my feet and a new apartment again, then there was having to work to support my new way of living, then there was school and having to balance work and track along with it.

And as the months pass, not only do these "problems" seem to multiply, but I also seem to fall into new ugly situations every now and then.

But yet throughout all these fluctuations, I'm still walking the fine line.

Sometimes I wish I had never gone to a liberal arts college and taken all these random classes like philosophy, psychology, political science, art, etc. Because of all these classes, I've come to many realisations about life in general, and sad to say, most of these realisations aren't pretty.

Most people will never have these feelings because they can simply choose to ignore and shut information out in order to live the way they want to without the burden of guilt.

But how can I continue using plastic if all my research has proven it to be overwhelmingly bad for mine and for other people's health and for the environment? Doing so would make me a blind, selfish and lazy idiot wouldn't it? I mean, how can you in your right mind, understand what science understands now and still continue consuming plastic? Do we think this stuff is going to just disappear miraculously from the face of the earth someday?

And how can I work in a financial company when I believe that the use of debt/credit is utter bollocks? I can't call these so-called "customers" and try to sell them refinancing plans without feeling like a complete and utter hypocrite. How can I continue studying anything when I'm starting to feel like everything we're learning is just a whole bunch of unfounded "truths"?

Why should probabilities be calculable? Aren't they all just 50/50? Something either happens or it doesn't. A coin either lands on its head or tail. You either get rain or no rain. Have you ever experienced a 40% chance of rain? No, because it either rains or it doesn't. But still I sit in my statistics class and I churn out long numbers after generating them through a string of equations which I don't believe in.

And because I cannot belief in something and live according to another philosophy, I am having quite a hard time just living life and going through the motions right now. There are just so many things that I don't belief in doing anymore.

I am in the midst of more drastic changes and I don't even know where to start or if this will ever end.

More and more I feel doors slamming in my face in terms of what I can and cannot do.

It is true--- information is burden. If you have any morals at all.

I'm letting mine take over me and there is no turning back.

I just need to keep my eyes focused on the ultimate goal to get the small things done.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today Is Earth Day

I keep telling myself- just a little bit more... This is it, the last stretch before summer! Just keep going... Finish this essay, then the next one. Study for that quiz, then the other one... It almost seems neverending.

But I know it's ending in approximately three weeks.

And so what if summer's coming?

Spring's got its own set of problems and so will the impending months.

Yes, school and track will be done with, but then I'll have to think about how to effectively accomplish all that I've set out to in the coming short few months that I've been given.

How bleak to think that life gets harder as we grow older.

Our list of responsibilities and expectations just seem to expand infinitely as we make plans to live a certain way for the rest of our time here on earth.

But in Him there is always hope- and it is onto this hope that I cling.

For the next time, I have pictures from my time away from blogging (which includes Easter and other random junk) which will be put up soon.

Meanwhile, back to essay-writing it is...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Start

I'm at work right now and it's really slow since a large chunk of our customers are at work themselves. And although we do get a little lunchtime traffic from the neighbouring businesses, it's not exactly the busiest time of the day.

So here I am... Blogging again.

During this time away, not only have I been busy with studying and whatnot, I've also been doing a lot of evaluation on the way I live life right now.

And I realised that at the rate I'm going, some things have to change.

You see, if people ask, I'll tell them that I'm Christian.

But I read something recently that intrigued me.

If someone wanted to convict you as Jesus' disciple in court, would they have enough evidence? Would you be "guilty as charged"?

I thought hard about this and realised that this may not be so.

Although I've gotten a lot closer to God during the past year or so then I ever have been, I still have a long way to go in becoming a disciple of Christ. There are many things that I still do (or think of doing) that I don't ever see true Christians doing.

For example, I still say "shit" a lot because I don't think it's a bad word. I mean, it really isn't right? But here in America, people think it's a REALLY bad word. Also, I tend to spew nasty Russian words just because it's Russian and it doesn't sound bad to me.

But I realised that even if I am not offended by something, other people will be. And that alone is enough to convince people of my hypocrisy since I call myself a Christian but I still say these things.

Also, I've been feeling a little uncomfortable about the way I used to dress.

Here's why.

A few weeks ago, I went onto Dawn Yang's site. As you all know, Dawn Yang is a self-professed Christian famous Singaporean blogger who still lives the high-flying lifestyle by vacationing, clubbing and just being an overall city girl.

Although I admire Dawn's continued ability to spout bible-inspired phrases and to publicly endorse movements against social ills on her website, something kept lurking in the back of my mind.

I honestly can never see Jesus being ok with the way she dressed when she goes clubbing or the way she takes certain pictures.

And myself? Guilty as charged.

I'll be honest. Like Dawn probably does, I have separate way of dressing when I go to a club, when I go to church and when I go to school. It goes without saying that I tend to expose a lot more when I'm in a club than when I'm in church.

This has been a problem my whole life- that is not dressing appropriately.

And I realise now that you can't dress one way and then another at separate times of the day. When God commands us to be sexually pure, he also means don't dress in a way that will make other people lust after you.

In short, don't make yourself out to be some sex kittenish character because that's not what the kingdom of God is all about.

And clubbing? Would Jesus ever go clubbing just to "enjoy himself"? I think not. And after all these years, I finally see clubbing for what it really is- just a supreme waste of time and money. I'd never take a Christian seriously who goes clubbing because that'll mean he/she is living a double life.

The bible says it plain, loud and clear: you can't serve two masters at once.

I'm not trying to impose my way of living on the rest of the world. I just think that it's important to start living according to what I believe in, rather than just pick and choose and end up looking like a total hypocrite.

I'll admit that all these things have become such a big part of me that it's going to take a lot just to give it all up.

With fashion opting more and more for nudity (WARNING: when I said nudity, I really meant it!) these days, dressing appropriately may seem like an uphill battle- nonsensical and unfashionable.

And I don't need to tell you how media has made sexual images almost inseparable with everything that we interact with these days.

I want to get rid of all of that.

I want to be clean in His eyes and live a life worth living, shine a light worth shining. I want to stop being a hypocrite in every way possible and let people know without telling them that I am a child of God.

I know I have a far way to go but at least I'm getting closer.
I'm already a very different person from who I was last year. I no longer get angry at certain things that used to infuriate me.

Because the only things I can change in this whole world are the things I choose to do, hear, touch, see, taste and surround myself with, here's another goodbye to another old piece of me......

Monday, April 20, 2009


Well I miss blogging so I predict being back very very soon.

Perhaps maybe even within the next few days.

Studying can get mundane- as we all know so well already.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For the first time in my life, I am going to really give school priority in my time.
Which means, no blogging for a while.
Not that anyone reads this anyway. See you in a few weeks when finals are done!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I'm back in Pennsylvania now and it's a little bit dreary outside. Which is just as well since sunny weather will not make me feel any better about having to stay in all day studying.

In the past few days, I've had more realisations about the kind of job I want to have in the future. I guess it's just a normal process of growing up- but I can't help but wish I knew this a long time ago. It would've saved me so much time and effort... Yet as always, I'm sure this process has a rhyme and reason as well.

Slowly slowly... I'm leaving behind the person I was and becoming somebody else.

I can't help but feel nostalgic and miss the old me though.

I've never been this self-motivated in my life. Somebody always had to be there to either threaten or soothe me into movement. My actions and desires were unbridled- moving with the wind and answering to nobody and nothing.

Typical rebellious teenager who thought I was invincible; just that I took it to the extreme.

But again, as I said... It's just a normal process of growing up.

Sitting here and staring out at the grey drizzle, I realised how far I've come in these past few months again. Even in the past few weeks... All it takes is a single spark of revelation to produce a new mental beginning. It's so important to look backwards and watch your progression (or regression) as it helps you to appreciate and trust in life a bit more. It makes me smile to realise so many more before me have been through and learnt the same things.

Nothing is original.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Late Night Rambling

Bloody madness.

I've been trying to finish this paper for the whole day now and I still can't get over my brain block!

I spent a lot of time at work today reading up on my material and I still can't get the ideas into proper sentences and graphs.

Am I just stupid or something?
Maybe it's the salami I've been chewing on.
Meat has a way of slowing me down.
No matter what, spring is here and my spirits are up!

I've been feeling a little bit useless recently. Just thinking about my hopeless future and lame present situation got me very discouraged. In the past six months, I'd lost so many parts of myself that I'd forgotten what it was like to be normal. I've been through so many pains after struggles after barriers that now I'm just feeling stumped and tired.

I keep asking myself- when will it end?

The funny thing is, I already know the answer.

Life is never going to be easy. It'll only get harder and more complicated as my values become more and more defined.

What makes this all worth it?

It's been a month since my injury subsided and I'm currently 25lbs heavier, 20 seconds slower, that much unhealthier and completely unmotivated. What makes me keep on running?

The answer is- I'm not quite sure.

I remember once not too long ago, the amazing feeling I had just knowing that I'd done what I wanted to complete.

I want to feel that again...

And just like I said to XW- when the reward comes, it'll be that much sweeter just because the stakes are so much higher.
No matter what, I should just never stop running.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Driving Therapy

Driving therapy on Saturday and today.
Just when I thought spring had truly outdone herself, she comes with bluer skies and blows me away.
The same horsies were grazing side by side, as always... At least they get green grass to chew on now.
Green... blue... ahhhh heaven!
I love feeling this way.
Going at the speed limit for Jersey cops...

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I am so lucky.