2015, Au Revoir

SAMSUNG CSC
With an amazing conclusion of 2015, here’s hoping that wishes do come true x

This marks the beginning of the end, and yet the closing of this chapter will lead to an amazing 2016 ahead. This post, while being unable to encapsulate all the moments of 2015, will hopefully be able to document the significant happenings through the year; memories unmentioned will still be etched deeply in my heart 🙂

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The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.

Do it. Throw yourself.

School.

2015 took me through a hell of a rollercoaster ride in terms of my studies. I started the year as a Psychology undergraduate, and as I’m typing this post, I conclude the year as a Social Work undergraduate. People may think that I’m crazy for changing my course of study when I’m already in my third year of university life – but this is a decision that I wouldn’t regret. I’ll admit that there have been (many) instances where I think about the what ifs, and reminisce about the times in Psychology.

Yet, this first semester as a Social Work major marked the happiest sem I’ve ever been through. Stepping out of the Psychology sphere, I realised how … depressed I have been, trudging through lectures/tutorials, even studying for finals back then was such a torturous journey that I dread every sem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting Psychology down – I truly respect all Psych majors, for they are able to achieve & excel in a course of study that I’ll never be able to excel in, I get drowned in the competition. Pretty glad that I managed to complete all the core modules in Psych though 🙂

Looking back, my university life has been playing so many tricks on me – so many twists & turns, from pre-uni decisions till now. But like I said, no regrets 🙂 This sem’s Social Work modules have been interesting, looking forward to the subsequent modules in the coming semesters. Gonna attempt to be more studious than I have been this year (lol), and diligently attend all my lectures/tutorials from now on. Going to start my first placement in Social Work next summer, looking forward to a meaningful time, and a meaningful career ahead.

Because after all these, I think I’ve truly found where I belong.

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As you start and end your day, be thankful for every little thing in your life. You will come to realise how blessed you truly are.

CSC.

Life in CSC has been, pretty amazing & completely insane this year. From being the Vice-Chairperson of YR, to taking up the Sec-Treas role in C.A.N. XII, and currently the Vice-President (Regular Programmes) in CSC’s 14th Management Committee.

Rebranding from Youth Rangers to Youth Beacons was a bittersweet thing for me – PRVP Youth Rangers accompanied me through tough times, we battled against all odds and when we thought that things just kept getting worse, a miracle happened. Youth Rangers taught me so many things, it really isn’t easy heading a new programme – no past references to fall back on, everything was experimental & such. RVP Youth Beacons holds the hopes & wishes I have for this programme that has so much potential to continue growing, to continue impacting the lives of a really special group of youths whom I hold dearly & closely to my heart 🙂 Tuesdays were made tremendously better because I get to spend time with ’em youths, never thought that I’d feel so attached to them, but I am. Witnessing their smiles & happiness as they fooled around with each other, really warms my heart.

I must have been insane to sign up for C.A.N. XII in Jan/Feb. But this insane choice gifted me with a summer that was, although busy & stressful as hell, a meaningful one. C.A.N. XII broadened my perspective in many ways, allowing me to really appreciate how diverse and how disparate the lives of Singaporeans can be. No regrets joining C.A.N. XII though it burned all the weekends in June/July haha, looking forward to joining C.A.N. XIII …. as a volunteer hee. C.A.N. XII also reunited me with a senior from NYGG; it also gave me so many friendships that I’ll treasure dearly 🙂 C.A.N. XII taught me to think from different perspectives, to always consider one step ahead, and developed me to be a better volunteer. So glad that my friends came down to volunteer during C.A.N. Distribute, fulfilled my wish of volunteering alongside my friends (and also for them to witness/understand what I’ve been busy with my entire summer haha).

And finally, VPRP. When I first started volunteering in CSC, the thought of eventually ending up as the VPRP was a ridiculous one – a thought that I wouldn’t even have bothered entertaining. How ironic though, considering that I ultimately ran for this position, survived a gruelling elections that drained the hell out of me haha. The journey in 14MC has been quite an … interesting one so far? Interesting is probably an understatement. 14MC gifted me with friendships that I know I’ll treasure for life as well 🙂 And it allowed me to grow & mature as a leader, and pushing me out of my comfort zone constantly. I’m not someone who particularly enjoys, or is even comfortable with chairing meetings, but no matter how much it distresses me, I’ve got to do it. Which is why I’m thankful for all the moral support/encouragement from those who know the stress I have while assuming this position, even if I don’t show it often.

Comparing to the past when I was the YR VC, I’m proud to say that I’ve definitely broken down waaaaaaay less times. Because I realised, that if volunteering is supposed to make me happy, why am I letting the stress get to me? I’m still learning, there are times when I still doubt myself, and the past month has been hell of a journey of soul-searching & reflecting. I need to learn to be less hard on myself, and accept the fact that there are circumstances which are simply beyond my control. It’s tough, I might still make mistakes & wrong decisions along the way, but I’ll learn. To take things in stride & hopefully make the best of my remaining term not only as the VPRP of CSC, but also as a volunteer with the heart to serve.

For these little things, affirm my passion & interest in volunteering.

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Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Life.

I’ve had less time for myself this year despite being out & about doing things that are meaningful to me. Nevertheless, I’m still glad that I had some opportunities to indulge in hobbies that calms me down 🙂

After practicing Chinese Calligraphy for 12 years, I’ve finally gotten down to appreciating English Calligraphy. ‘am amazed & utterly in love with the pretty typography/calligraphy seen online (especially Tumblr), and for someone who’s a sucker for quotes, practicing English Calligraphy makes me really, really happy. Nowhere near perfection, but as with Chinese Calli, I’m sure there’ll be improvements along the way with constant practice hee.

Friendships wise, I’ve reconnected with some old friends & its pretty amazing. Just this past Christmas, a youth from my volunteering days back in JC whom I’ve lost contact with sent me well wishes 🙂 It’s amazing & an incredible heartwarming moment, & so glad to know how much he has progressed in these years.

& because of my busy commitments this year, it has indirectly opened up my eyes to see which friendships are the true ones that are worth keeping. Friends who don’t get upset/angry with my (super) lag replies that are mostly about me complaining how tired/burnt out I was. Friends who were there to give me advice & provide a listening ear regardless of how late it was, friends who went the extra mile to stay up just to make sure I was okay. Friends who made plans with me & trusted me enough to share about their issues. Friends who just wanted to hang out, because we can. & friends who remember the little things, thank you.

For friendships that fell through the cracks this year, all I can say is that it was a huge pity that they ended. For those with or without closure, I remember all the special moments shared. There are friendships that I’m reluctant to let go of, but life works in ways that I’ll never comprehend. Because once the trust is broken, no matter how hard you try to piece the broken pieces, you end up as the one who gets hurt. Maybe this time, I’m done trying. Perhaps, it’s time to let go.

Turned 21 this year, just 5 days ago. Turning 21 means more responsibilities, turning 21 officiates me into adulthood. Turning 21 & celebrating the moment with my loved ones & friends made me so, so happy 🙂 Special thanks to the two chinggus who went the extra mile to help me with the planning, pre-prep, and for everything during the party itself. Thank you for all the heartfelt wishes, be it through handwritten letters or text messages; I’ve read all of them well 🙂 Thank you for the repeated affirmations of the life decisions I’ve had to make this year, thank you for appreciating the friendships we share as much as I do.

There have been too many what-ifs & could-have-beens this year. Leaving things as status quo at the moment, shall see how it plays out in the coming year. No time nor room for regrets, every step I take is a direction that I’ve been destined to head towards to, and while I’m in control of my destiny, I believe that I’m meant to be where I am.

Setting my NYR soon, but I’ll take that offline instead since it’s a tad too personal. Hope that everyone has had a fulfilling 2015, and took the time to just think through the happenings of the year 🙂 Congratulations, no matter how good or how shitty 2015 has been for you, we have all survived the year.

Thank you endlessparadigm for journeying with me through this year, documenting the little events in my life. Wouldn’t have traded for a different 2015, but here’s hoping that 2016 will be a year filled with more smiles & laughter 🙂

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365 new days ahead, 365 new chances. I hope what you’re finding for in 2016.

2016, bring it on. I’m ready for you.

Shiaowei x
31 Dec 2015.

Tangled

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The whole world is not supposed to love you. And that is not something you need to strive for either. If you try too hard to be something that everyone loves, you will forget your essence, the very part of you that makes you yourself. Please stop breaking yourself into thousands of pieces to fit others all the time. Instead, let yourself be loved by those who love you despite your flaws. Instead, appreciate the love of those who know you best of all.

x

Empire

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And isn’t the point of things – beautiful things – that they connect you to some larger beauty? Those first images that crack your heart wide open & you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to recapture, in one way or another?

*clears cobwebs away* Hellooooo endlessparadigm we meet again after a relatively long hiatus.

It has been an interesting & fulfilling (though hectic) December holidays so far. Midway through the month already, mixed feelings about having to head back to school when January creeps closer till it arrives. Many events have happened in this hiatus, and (regrettably) undocumented on endlessparadigm, but definitely etched in my memories 🙂

It has been (and will continue to be) a month of giving, totally embracing the spirit of giving haha. Each volunteering session has concluded with positive takeaways, and the recent volunteering experiences in YB & GAW was no different. The immediate gratification received upon witnessing the happiness & enjoyment of ’em beneficiaries really warms the heart, and continues to affirm how volunteering is not just us giving, but we are on the receiving end as well. I’ve been reminded to enjoy/appreciate the little things in life, the happiness derived from accompaniment of friends, and not take them for granted. More often than not, it’s how you perceive a situation that ultimately determines if you end up happy or otherwise.

I truly believe that everything that we do & everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts & not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.

Today didn’t exactly start off on a good note, honestly don’t remember when was the previous time I cried this badly till I hyperventilated haha. But I’m thankful it became much better along the way, had so much fun exploring an area that I’d rarely venture into. Finally tried watermelon soju, but it wasn’t as nice as I hoped it’d be – might be because of my high expectations prior to trying it though!

Alright time to wrap up this post, hopefully my frequency of posting will be higher from now on whoops. So glad for December holidays, because I finally get to play the piano & read more books, two things that I really, really enjoy. Perhaps it’s my form of escapism, perhaps it provides an alternative reality.

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And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.

x