I have four quotes for You.
It’s the end of the second week of Semester 2 as I’m typing at the moment (05.08.2017, 13:54), and I’m still in the midst of watching parts of me and people around me fall into place for this new semester. I could liken this process to a game of Tetris — cautious, hesitant, but progressing nonetheless.
Timestamp of this very moment:
“Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.”
I’ve got a room that I have every reason to be thankful for this semester, and I still pinch myself whenever I wake up to a world where the ceiling is high, the floorspace is generous, and the air is still and tinged with lavender and lemongrass. I’d turn my head to the left and I’d see purple, like an amethyst crystal, only more magnificent and alive as it transitions from lilac to violet, violet to salmon-pink, salmon-pink to yellow, and yellow to the grand finale: a blinding, empyrean white as the sun’s rays fully stretch across the heavens to tell us she has fully risen.
You know, things are great at the moment, but have You heard of ‘nostalgic preferences’? It is a belief or perception that our past experiences are better than the same kinds of experiences we have today.
‘But was the past really better, or is this perception a trick that our minds play on us? New research at Carnegie Mellon University finds that the workings of memory seem to filter our view of the past with rose-colored glasses, biasing what we remember in ways that profoundly impact how we evaluate the past in comparison to the present.’
I have a strong inkling that it’s exactly this ‘nostalgic preferences’ that’s been directing my dreaming patterns — You know, that funny part of the night when our brain shows us what we’ve been yearning for/ worried about, or is simply random (and incomprehensible), depicting a scene of a lush meadow filled with hopping quokkas — towards reliving the recent past back home. It was sweet, simple, and… like pearls slipping off a string.
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
― L. M. Montgomery,
On the very last day in Melbourne, Ormond requested for all of us to move out by 11am, so I dutifully did, at 10.59am (haha), with the help of the ever-kind Taku who helped me lug one of the two large bags I intended to leave in one of Ormond’s trunk rooms (thank You, Taku, You were my hero that morning – I guess Your name ‘TakuHIRO’ is pretty fitting). It wasn’t long before I was en route to the airport, with the sun in my face, my heart beating excitedly in my chest, and my passport loosely held in my hands. I was at peace with the way everything concluded this semester. I was warm and thankful.
All good things come to an end, unfortunately.
All bad things come to an end, fortunately.
< Vlog embedded all the way below! xx >
“All of these together and none of these alone.”
(Credit: Leach and Moon, 1998: 268)
I found that it very much related to what Leonardo da Vinci famously said about how ‘everything connects to everything else’. We are all connected to everything else and everything else is connected to us. Our past, present and future are all merged into one dot we call now. We live in a world of duality but our purpose is to find opposites, connect them and create oneness. Our passion should be using the illusion of separateness to create new wholes.
< Scroll all the way down for the cheeky vlog I put together. >
Home is a smell — Mum’s skin when I hug her, petrichor (the fresh, earthy smell of rain), wafts of Asian stir-fry emanating from my neighbour’s kitchen.
Home is a feeling — the way my slightly worn out part-cotton-part-linen duvet touches my skin, embracing whoever I meet, the familiar — sometimes dreadful — combination of unapologetic heat and humidity on my skin.
Home is a sound — the clapping of thunder, Dad’s soft snoring that does everything but lull me to sleep, the croaking frogs when it rains and the chirping crickets when it doesn’t.
Home is a taste — fresh coconut flesh and coconut water that don’t quite taste the same when it’s cold outside, the truckloads of childhood memories that come flowing back whenever I eat wajik (I used to have these all the time), and hot pink pitaya blended into a coconut vanilla chia pudding.
Home is orientation — knowing which aisles to head to in grocery marts, finding my bed in the dark, unexpectedly (or rather, expectedly — Singapore is that small) bumping into a friend wherever I go.
Just as love is love is love, home is home is home.
< Vlog embedded all the way below! >
I turned 21 on the 26th day of the 1st month of the year 2017.
So this is what it feels like — to be surprised speechless :’) (how did You all keep mum about this for so long?), to be loved for reasons I myself can’t fathom, to know that a ‘family’ is not limited to blood relations. All of You — my favouritest of favouritest humans (some aren’t featured here!) — make my heart feel like it’s Summer — the wafts-of-roses, touches-of-warmth, soft-green-grass kind of Summer. I don’t know who I would be without friends like You. Thank You for letting me be myself and accepting me as I am, for saying the right words when I needed to hear them most, and for making the time to be with me (if not physically, at least in heart and spirit) as I celebrate another completed journey around the sun. It truly is an honour, a privilege to be at the receiving end of a love as special and kind as this.
I turned 21 yesterday on the 26th, and these were the lessons I reflected upon:
< Scroll all the way down for the video version of this post. >
1. If You really love someone, You don’t give up on that person. Likewise, if You really love Yourself, You don’t give up on Yourself.
2. If You want to be able to love the people around You, You need to love Yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
2. Lovely ways to dress Your desk
3. 21 things to stop telling Yourself
4. A little confusion: Nauseous vs. Nauseated
5. This was why I put a Himalayan salt lamp by my bed
6. 8 Latin phrases that mean something different in English
7. 4 problems with activity trackers that can trigger eating disorders
(& how to fix them)
8. Waking up at the same time every night reveals details about our health
9. There is a new zodiac sign, which effectively shifts me from being an Aquarius to a Capricorn, but I refuse to accept it.
10. Spanish explorers initially named coconut coco, which means “goblin” or “monkey face”, because of a coconut’s resemblance to the head and face of a monkey. (Superfoods for life: COCONUT by Megan Roosevelt)