#218: We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

How awkward, I haven’t written anything in months. I’m still very much alive and kicking, sometimes wishing I wasn’t. But thankfully, according to the recent lectures on pharmacotherapy of depression, such episodes are within the normal range of human emotions so I’m all good mental health wise.

I initially wanted to write about how March is the hell-month to end all hell-months of schooling, but the more I thought about it the more…trivial it seemed. I’m not trying to be gungho or dismissive about my own problems or by extension dismissive of people who complain about things like deadlines/exams, but everything just seems so trivial now. Everything I can think bad about my situation can be tagged with a “So what?” behind them and I have absolutely nothing to say. Life is going to throw some curveballs at you, so just put on your big girl panties and get the damn thing done.

It’s like I want to complain, but I think its stupid and unnecessary to do so since it doesn’t make any practical sense, and while some people find it a relief I don’t see how whining about my life is going to give me that kind of psychological relief / validation of my experiences. What is there to validate even? I’m a student, I experience student things. Exams and deadlines are just part of being a student, why try to relief yourself of an integral part of your phase in life? If I were to no longer have exams and deadlines, would I still feel like a student at all? But at the same time I find a slightly overwhelming feeling to complain about the situation, despite knowing how ridiculous it is to do so…?? And since I perceive no relief in fulfilling this compulsion, why does this happen and how does this work?

I finished studying for my test coming up in 8h! I am entitled to shitpost nonsense in my own personal blog! Marie stop psychoanalyzing and leave yourself alone!

#217: Another chance for us to get it right.

hapynewyr

2016 has been a terrible year for this blog, because of the abysmal lack of updates. Since I tend to only update when I’m sad (besides the anniversary posts), I’ll call it a win this year. Or perhaps I’ve just found different outlets to vent! But anyway, below are a few of the highlights of my year, and what I’m looking forward to in 2017:

In 2016, I had my PECT II attachment. I went to NUH and experienced the hospital pharmacist life, and realised that I’m not that great at it, even if I do like the work. The in-patient pharmacist life was pretty stressful, especially with all the concoction of drugs the patients are on and you have to be familiar with everything and all the counselling points. I’m sure it comes with practice! Out-patient was closer to my kind of thing, it felt pretty similar to my time in PECT I and you get the recurring patients, their quirks and the hilarity that ensues (Patients coming to stalk their favorite pharmacist and give her chocolates). You get the annoying and stressful buzzing when you make a patient wait more than 15 minutes for their basket of medication, you pack Metformin 500 instead of 850 and get chided by the in-charge…Fun times. When pre-reg rolls around in 2017 I’d get to experience this all over again, but with added responsibilities and workload and stress. Yet I’m so inexplicably excited for it! I’m such a masochist.

In 2016, I joined my first Bodybuilding (Bikini division) Competition. Possibly the best decision of my 2016 life – I love the process, I love the training, the diet, seeing my body change day by day; it just made my love for this lifestyle grow more and more. Though gymming started out years ago on a bad note for me, I’m slowly refining my relationship with it and its only going to get better and better. Can’t wait to see how I’d look and how strong I’d be in 2017 (Hopefully with a distractingly large ass and PRs all around)

In 2016, I had a crazy number of photoshoots, and accepted ad-hoc, paid-for modelling gigs. The money is the least of my concern, I am blessed to live comfortably without requiring additional income, but the whole experience is huge fun, with or without the money! I do not feel ‘natural’ in front of the camera despite what photographers have described, but that’s always something to work towards. It’s pretty amazing to have people appreciate the style I have or the kind of pictures that comes from photographing me. As a fat kid since 2013 (And the additional mess after 2013) I’ve not been used to feeling good about myself. I’d love to see how I can expand on this in 2017.

In 2017, I’d like to pass driving. I’ve been putting off this for a long time, not only because I’m lazy but because I find it extremely useless in my near future. I know there are benefits to having the license earlier and all, but aside from that, I get by most wonderfully without the car using Singapore’s pretty reliable (for me) public transport and Uber in a pinch. But it’s still something I ought to get over and done with (and if that gets Kang off my back about it, why not y’know) Also despite all the dangers of solo-tripping the US, it’s still a lifelong dream of mine and I can’t go anywhere without a car (so I’ve been told)

In 2017, I want to learn how to love. Over five years of a sweet but mellow relationship has honestly made me (us?) quite complacent and taking each other for granted. It seemed like a given that we’d just be together forever and live in a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids, and when you start the relationship out barely 18 years old and full of dreams and not much real idea about the future it is a romantic thought. Real life, of course, doesn’t give two hoots about your dreams and very real problems crop up all the time – there’s only so long one can ignore them. I want to learn how to love truly, the good, the bad, the unexpected; to balance the hopefulness of my 18 year old self with the realities of the world.

#216: I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.

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A very eventful summer passed and then some, and suddenly you’re gone again.

Every year I’ll be grateful that you took this path you’ve chosen – you’ve learnt so much and I’m so proud of you and excited for your next years to come! Your absence recedes to the back of my mind, but like always I slide into the routine of scheduling a Skype call instead of popping over to your house, of asking how your beautiful UK weather is instead of circle-jerking over the blistering Singapore sun, of chiding you to eat less nasty British sausages of questionable fillings instead of less greasy pratas. Routine is good to ease the longing. I think I may miss this kind of faraway yearning when this chapter of our relationship ends: it just seems so tragically romantic. And you know we are really unromantic after 5 long years (but you know I love you more and more)

#214: The Choice of the Anti-choice

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(This post is in response to this article I stumbled upon very recently)

Being a Catholic, I do find my pro-life point of view influenced by my religion. I hold pro-life beliefs, definitely, but I definitely do not feel like I have the right to tell anyone else what to believe or what to choose, and neither do I have the right to denigrate those who have come up with their decisions based on their personal circumstances. In that sense, I guess I’d be considered a pro-choice. It feels weird as I’ve always told people that I am ‘pro-life’, when asked.

Can one be both ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time? If my personal choice against abortion is a morally driven one, and that the right to life is a moral standard I personally defend, doesn’t that mean that I am sitting by and allowing what I feel is immoral to happen? Shouldn’t I feel the moral obligation to stop it? Furthermore, my personal pro-life point of view, however, has always been (and hopefully will forever stay) hypothetical. If I were to experience a problem pregnancy, either out of unfortunate circumstances or life-threatening complications, I wouldn’t truly know what my reaction would be. I suspect with my lack of feelings of moral obligation to defend what I think is right, when faced with difficult circumstances, it could be easily abandoned as well…That makes me feel oddly vulnerable and embarrassed at my lack in resolute.

This article really highlighted the cognitive dissonance experienced when militant pro-life believers are faced with the personal experience of an unwanted pregnancy. It’s so obviously hypocritical when one justifies their own act of abortion to be the exception, and turn right around to picket abortion clinics and accuse other people of being murderers – it astounds me that they are able to do that with a straight face!

At the same time, I feel sorry for these individuals. For the fact that they had to contemplate their situation with the psychological stress of their initial beliefs; that they had to twist their psyche so arduously to disavow their actions. Perhaps it was the fear of judgement from their peers, or the pressures they know they would face should they carry the child to term…I don’t agree with their hypocrisy, but I feel compassion for their circumstances.

So what do you think? What is your personal view on abortion and what is your thought process behind it? Do you struggle similarly, or am I the only one?

 

 

This is a repost from an actual homework submission for a USP class, but I felt like the material was personally interesting enough to warrant more contemplation outside of class.

#213: “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.

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“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
“Certainly,” said man.
“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.
And He went away.

It’s not easy to find things I’m passionate about. For as long as I can remember I’ve been fickle-minded. When I was young, I changed my future job three times a week. I’ve wanted to do graphic design, translation, veterinary work. I’ve wanted to work in a zoo, or be an astronaut, or even be just a generic office lady doing paperwork. I’ve been interested in many many things, but never really determined or passionate enough about something to pursue it. It was a struggle to choose a course of study for university when I wanted to learn absolutely everything and commit to absolutely nothing. I’m glad that so far I haven’t started regretting my choice to seriously consider changing courses…yet.

So I consider myself really blessed when I find meaning and passion in something, something I can see myself in the foreseeable future always eager to hustle over, to improve and to grow. For someone who is usually pretty ambivalent about everything, I think it’s a very valuable feeling, and I choose to persue that fulfillment. I don’t always make the best choices – scratch that, I sure as hell don’t – but I can honestly say that I’m grateful for the lessons each choice had brought me. Some lessons more painful than others, but each of them my own unique experience all the same.

I’m sorry, but I’m not apologizing for my interest and passion…I’m just sorry to see that it has to be this way. I don’t mind walking down this path with the little support I can get. It’s a useful reminder that at the end of the day you’re the only one whose got your own back. I choose to stay true to myself this time, and all times.

#212: There’s nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation.

winebun
“What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?”

I’ve taken to recreational drinking recently, on the weekends when my friends and I finally have a chance to meet up, commiserate our horrible work weeks and drink to our next week of our sad little lives with only the tinkling of glasses and the miserable company of each other, which really is good enough now I think of it. It’s not always that bad, we do meet up for more joyous / neutral reasons. Drinking is fun when it takes a backseat to a larger purpose of the gathering of people.

Its a bit of a problem when you have one too many drinks and end up vegetative for the whole of the next day, though. When I used to drink in abundance and without care, I was always chastised by my mother for not moderating my intake. I tend to drink it – whatever it is available – like water, especially when water is not available. (Bringing a glass to my lips helps to make awkward silences less awkward.). I’m slowly learning to appreciate moderation in drinking. I am however, regressing in my moderation of staying up to ungodly hours, as exemplified by the time now (2+ AM).

#211: Yeah, they’re invincible, and she’s just in the background.

rabbitpray

“Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”

Happy Lent everyone! Lent started this Wednesday! What a good timing, right after all the Chinese New Year festivities. Despite all the miserable fasting, Lent is a time of renewal and celebration to turn back to God.

For Lent this year, I’ve decided to give up my daily cup (or two, or three, or four…) of trusty kopi-o-kosong that had fueled me through sleepy lectures and lethargic training sessions. I’m not completely dependent on it – its more mental than anything, really – but its a crutch that I’m looking forward to get rid of. So far I’ve survived three days without, not feeling any worse for wear. I didn’t swear off caffeine though, so I’ve replaced it with copious amounts of tea (which is not that potent) and – if I do end up splurging at the Nutrifirst warehouse sale tomorrow – potentially pre-workout (which is…very potent).

Hope I don’t die by the end of 40 days. Not from lack of coffee, but from a paradoxical caffeine overdose from all the pre-workout. With a side-effect of an empty wallet.

I’m missing the spirit of my Lenten abstinence, right…

#210: No one understands that you have given everything. You must give more.

To put it kindly, I am more predisposed to being ‘driven’ and ‘motivated’, but I think a more accurate term would probably be something along the lines of ‘obsessive-compulsive’. There is some strange tendency in me to take things a little excessively if I had my way with it, and when you are bright-eyed and wet-behind-the-ears the world feels like your oyster! You can do anything and everything! Activities not contributing to this overall personal growth just seems so pointless. I remember distinctly a night some years back, when it was 2 am and I was fighting the lethargy, thinking to myself that you know what, sleep is such a goddamn waste of time. I can do so much more if I had all the time I wasted sleeping.

It was a very intense urge, a compulsion to be a robot.

Rest is a concept that makes complete sense factually and logically, but one I can’t really comprehend…emotionally? Mentally? Work done almost always correlates with results to me, which is counter-intuitive in cases such as 1) overtraining or 2) trying to study but eyeballs falling out from exhaustion. Something about the time spent on something, even if ineffective (or counter-productive) just…means something to me.

Of course, such extreme drive doesn’t just continue indefinitely. Losing steam sucks, especially when against your own will. Isn’t it odd how you can wish to not want to feel a certain way? If you want to not want it, can’t you just…not want it? If you want it, why would you not want it? It ‘would be nice’ if I wasn’t so hard on myself all the time – but would it really be nice? Would I really be happy, settling for not-so-good or dropping things I’d like to do due to lame reasons like time constraints (there is always time, it depends on how much you want it), the need for rest (what is rest??)?

(Well, NO, because one of my greatest fears is mediocrity.)

Is there really a way to accept personal limitations while still maintaining a sense of drive and motivation? I think this is my greatest hang-up – if I ever put my foot down and acknowledge with my heart that there are some things that cannot be achieved regardless of the time and effort outpoured – then why does it matter? Why would all things matter at all? I do go through such personal crises on a regular basis, just wondering why I bother to do anything when decades down the road I’m just going to be ashes and dust in this big world that revolves perfectly fine without me (or humans…or living creatures) and the universe eventually converges to a black hole singularity and implodes. (When I was younger this sort of scenarios scared the ever-living shit out of me. I recall a family trip to Bintan in the early 2000s where I stargazed with my brother and he enthusiastically informed me about black holes and other astronomical phenomenon (his main interest then) and I was so terrified of being swallowed up by a black hole and being spaghettified and what would happen to me or my life or my memories?!) The same scenario now gives me a calm, soothing sense of existential nihilism. Calm and soothing is good though, right?

Luckily (?) such crises don’t last long, even if they occur often. Maybe in some sense it counter-balances my extremism with a dose of another extremism of the other end. Maybe that’s why I’m still fairly functional, which would suffice quite well for now. I’m still in the process of sorting my own big mess out, and maybe logic will one day prevail and allow me to understand and embrace that I can’t be everything I want to be. And then further down the road, maybe this realization wouldn’t hurt as much to lose faith in the whole damn universe.