Moving Forward: My resolutions for 2014

There’s a reason I haven’t really posted since mid December. My last two weeks in Singapore were some sort of an emotional roller coaster. There were high highs and low lows. I was deeply hurt. I won’t repeat the events because a) I do not wish to remember what happened, and b) I do not want to implicate the people involved as they showed remorse and did not set out to intentionally break me. To be honest, I am still hurting. Every time I think about what happened, it’s like I’m finding out for the first time all over again.

Due to what has occurred, I have had to do A LOT of thinking. And seeing as it is New Year’s Eve Eve, I thought (see, I think a lot) that it would be an appropriate time to make resolutions. Fingers crossed I actually stick to them. As my “theme” for next year, I’m borrowing Julia Gillard’s favourite phrase “Moving forward”. I want to challenge myself to do things that I’ve had trouble with in 2013. I want to leave all of this year’s crap behind and well…move on.

In 2014, I want to…

Let things go.
That song from Frozen comes to mind. In 2014, I want to be better at forgiving and forgetting. I don’t want to hold grudges, I don’t want be mad at people for long periods and I don’t want to keep bringing up to past. I’ve always been terrible at forgiveness. Which is pretty silly because God has already forgiven me for the many sins I have committed. The events that have occurred recently have revealed to me that I should learn not to hold grudges because who am I to be unforgiving to those who have wronged me when I myself have wronged God? What kind of testament am I if I cannot do what God did for me? 

Get healthy.
Just because I’m skinny, doesn’t mean I’m healthy. I eat so much crap, especially when I’m studying. I don’t really exercise except for walking around uni for classes. This year, I went to a Zumba class semi-regularly. In 2014, I want to go to Zumba every week (if it fits with my timetable) and go on regular runs/walks. I also want to watch what I eat. I want to eat more fruit and veg and less chocolate and chips.

Do what I love again.
In high school, I was in the choir for four years. I love to sing. I’m not great at it, but I love it. Singing made me happy. Which is why this year, I’m going to look into joining the choir at uni. I’ll go into a number of practices and see how I feel. If it isn’t right, I’ll try community choirs as there are plenty around. I just want to sing again.

Draw near to Jesus.
I was born into a Christian family and my parents have done a great job in encouraging me to form my own beliefs and my own relationship with God. This year, though, my priorities kinda went out of whack. In 2014, I want to really study the Word. I want Jesus to be my top priority and I want to live my life as worship to Him.

So, those are my resolutions for 2014. Let’s see how they go!

 

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How I Came To Love My Skin Colour

I didn’t realise I was different until people started pointing it out. My skin is visibly darker than the majority of people in Singapore. It was never an issue for me until I started school and became aware of the comments teachers were making. “Why is your skin so dark?” Even at the age of 7, I could read the judgemental tones behind the question. I hated being asked, and I would always reply with “Oh, I swim a lot.” I didn’t want to say that that was just the way I was created. As people got to know me, they stopped asking and I didn’t have to deal with it for a while. I was okay, until my mum told me we were moving to Melbourne.

I was heartbroken. I didn’t want to leave Singapore because I was just starting to feel comfortable in school. I told Mum one day that I was afraid that if I moved to a new school, people would start pointing out my different skin tone once more and I would feel like crap all over again. A few days later, Mum showed me an article about a woman who was very successful. “Look, she has dark skin.” Thank God for Mum. Little did I know that what awaited me in Melbourne was a lot different to what I expected. To my surprise, no one mentioned the colour of my skin. It didn’t seem like an issue at all. I was elated.

It got even better when I started high school and realised that people actually envied my skin tone. “I love your skin! I wish I wasn’t so pale.” My friends and I even joked about how brown I was (without being racist, of course). They made me feel comfortable in my skin and for that, I thank them. I’m not sure they realise what an impact they had on me. If they happen to read this, they know who they are. 🙂 It is because of them that I learnt to love the skin I’m in.

Gone are the days where I had to justify the colour of my skin with excuses. There are little things that happen every now and then that make me feel crap. Like my auntie giving me whitening body wash (which I refused to use) or overhearing my grandmother telling my relatives that my skin is lighter now and how that’s a good thing. The worst experience was getting mistaken for my grandma’s domestic helper whilst going marketing with her in Singapore. People can be so racist sometimes. Still, I don’t let these things get me down any more.

I know there’s nothing wrong with my skin. I love my skin colour. I love that I can still tan when I’m in the sun. I love the way God made me. I don’t want to be lighter. I want to be just the way I am.

5 Things I Believed As A Kid.

1. All twins have to have rhyming names.
I have no idea where this stemmed from, but for some reason, I thought that it was a universal rule. I had an imaginary friend who was my identical twin and I spent so long trying to come up with a name that rhymed with ‘Esther’. At the end of the day, I ended up calling her Esther.

2. Children with long, curly eyelashes are naughty.
I clearly remember overhearing a conversation between my mum and her friend and they (jokingly) said that you could tell which child was naughty because naughty children have long, curly eyelashes. Upon hearing this, I panicked because my eyelashes are fairly long and curled. I ran to my room, got a comb and tried to comb my eyelashes straight because I didn’t want to be naughty. I almost took my eye out in the process.

3. Apples were the reason I pooped.
Not sure how scientific this really is, but I grew up with a grandmother who would parade around the house after dinner proclaiming that if we didn’t eat our apples we wouldn’t be able to poop. She still does it to this day, but two nights ago she changed her tune and told me if I didn’t eat my bananas, I’d get constipation…

4. By the age of 16, I’d have a job and a boyfriend.
This is what happens when you read books like The Babysitters Club or any of the Mary Kate & Ashley series. I actually thought that I’d have a part-time job (most likely babysitting) and a gorgeous hunk of a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the closest thing I got to either of those was volunteering at my church’s Sunday school and an unrequited crush on a cute boy (who now happens to be my boyfriend so I guess some things work out :P)

5. Santa doesn’t go to Singapore because it’s inconvenient.
Growing up, Santa Claus wasn’t something that my parents placed emphasis on during the holiday season. I found out about him through books, cartoons and generally because he was EVERYWHERE during Christmastime. Anyway, for a short period of time, I believed he existed but he kinda skipped over Singapore. I reasoned that this was because no one really had chimneys and most of the windows were either closed or had grills on them, so it was too hard for Santa to get into the houses to deliver the presents.

5 Fictional Places I Wish Were Real

1. Central Perk
Yes, I’m talking about the coffee house from Friends. Oh how I’ve always wished to have a coffee in an unusually large mug whilst sitting on that comfy couch listening to Ross’ latest “dinosaur story”. And don’t even get me started on how awesomely awkward Gunter is. What I would give to be the 7th Friend…sigh. The closest thing would probably be to visit the set in L.A. And apparently, some guy in Beijing, China has opened a cafe that is an exact replica of Central Perk. Take me there, please!

2. Hogwarts
Ok, forget about the whole Dark Lord trying to kill everyone thing. Hogwarts is pretty awesome. I’d want to be there for the portraits, the moving stairs, the Room of Requirement and that gorgeous dining hall. Oh, and Dumbledore. How cool would it be to be a student there? To bear witness to what hijinks the Weasley twins get up to? To grow up with Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Draco and the lot? Oh wait…we did that with the movies…never mind.

3. The Hundred-Acre Wood
I would love to spend a day frolicking with all the characters, especially Piglet who was my favourite growing up. It’d be so nice to join in with the adventures. Also, the honey looks delicious. And another thing, I kinda sorta had a crush on Christopher Robin when I was little…hehe.

4. Narnia
You have to be crazy not to wish that Narnia was real! It’s the perfect escape from our dreary, dull world. They have centaurs! And Mr Tumnus! And Aslan! Of course, I’m referring to the era after the White Witch was defeated. I love all the Narnia books, and the movies created the world so closely to how I imagined it. I soooooo badly wish I could walk into my wardrobe and end up in Narnia, spend a week or two there and come back. And no time would’ve passed at all!

5. Sesame Street
As a child, my dream was to appear on Sesame Street. I wanted to be singing and dancing with Big Bird! If only there were such a street where everyone was always happy and singing, and where they taught me big words and how to count. Life would be fun, but also educational. I’d get to play with Elmo and Mr Noodle and all the other characters. If only…

Shopping spree #1: Bugis Street.

One of my favourite things to do in Singapore, apart from hanging out with loved ones, is shopping. I love to shop. I probably have a bit of a problem…oh well! Mum and I decided to go to Bugis Street today. It is the largest street shopping precinct in Singapore and is easily accessible by public transport. It is all indoors and air-conditioned, which is a massive plus if you’re familiar with Singapore’s weather. Mum and I spent close to 3 hours wandering around all 3 floors. I started getting claustrophobic after a while, so we left.

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I didn’t get a chance to take good photos because I was too busy shopping hehehe. But, as you can see, you have to be prepared for crowds. You must also be prepared to navigate through small corridors. And, if you’re little like me, you might get jostled around a bit. Chances are, you will probably get lost. It’s okay, finding your way out is easy. What’s difficult is finding your way back to that one store where you found that one pair of shoes you couldn’t decide whether you wanted. My advice? If you can’t bear the thought of walking away without it, buy it.

Bugis Street has a wide range of clothes, shoes, jewellery, bags and phone accessories. Prices range from as cheap as SGD$6 for a T-shirt to SGD$39 for a pair of shoes. Negotiating (or bargaining, as Mum calls it) is permitted. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price. The majority of stores have a “no trying” policy for their clothes, which is inconvenient at times. Then again, a lot of the garments are “free-size”, meaning that one size fits…well, most. Be very careful in checking the quality of the products. I have come across some that are below par, but you can definitely find some good quality stuff.

Afraid you might get hungry while shopping? Don’t worry, there’s street food on the first floor. Personally, I’ve never actually tried the food there, but there are constant queues so I’m guessing it must be ok. That or everyone is just really hungry all the time.

I don’t think I’ve ever visited Singapore without going to Bugis Street. It’s definitely worth a look. And now, I leave you with a photo of my haul 🙂

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My Bugis Street haul. All for under SGD$70! Happy chappy 🙂