November

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Someday you will be faced with the reality of loss.

And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backward way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn’t fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It’s like breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character.

The people you lose remain a part of you. Remember them and always cherish the good moments spent with them.

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Reminders

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As a Social Worker …

I am here to listen,
not to work miracles

I am here to help people discover what they are feeling,
not to make feelings go away

I am here to help people identify their options,
not to decide for them what they should do

I am here to discuss steps with people,
not to take the steps for them

I am here to help people discover their own strengths,
not to rescue them and leave them vulnerable

I am here to help people discover they can help themselves,
not to take responsibility for them

I am here to help people learn to choose,
not to keep them from making difficult choices

I am here to provide support for change.

Carpe Noctem

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Sometimes we get sad about things and we don’t like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t but we really are.

Discussions & conversations surrounding social work in recent weeks have been … thought provoking, to say the least. Not sure what the future entails, uncertain about choices & decisions, tired of trying to figure things out.

Still not really over whatever happened earlier this month. Thought I was stronger than that but nope, it’s still affecting me just as much, if not more. I just don’t show it anymore. As much as I told myself to get over it & move on, it’s harder than it seems. Maybe regression of thoughts back to when things were pleasant served as a momentary escape, but when reality hits, it strikes a million times worse.

So much for trusting. And I can only laugh at the ridiculousness of the accuracy of a past sweeping statement, a foretelling prophecy. How bitter, how ironic. Unfortunately, closure is something that I need, and yet, closure is something I’ll never get. But all I want to ask is,

What happened?

x

Clandestine

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Ending the hiatus because the need to get this off my chest is overwhelming me. Haven’t felt so awful in a pretty long while, and this feeling is really affecting me waaaaay more than it should.

It’s something I know I should do – and I’m not saying that I’m not gonna do it, but it’s hard. It feels awful, it feels terrible, to have to be put in such a situation.

The thing is, when I confide in people about it, I don’t expect them to understand (though I have this tiny hope that someone actually would). I don’t need people to preach to me about what I should be doing, because I’m objective enough to know what needs to be done, I just need to rant out the emotions.

It has been a crazy month, many things happened, many thoughts resurfaced, many issues recurring.

I can only hope that it’ll get better, but only with time.

Looking back, the summer has been nothing short of insane & crazy, and I don’t know how I survived but I only know through all that, what I’m certain is that I’m utterly burnt out.

Sometimes you need to take a step backward before you move forward again. Let your body rest, and your mind heal. Let the wounds mend, and time pass. Only you know when you are ready to begin again.

It’s week 4 and I haven’t started studying. I’m tired, and I need a breather.

x

Silence

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The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.

More often than not, people engage in self-blaming & I am no less guilty than others of it. But recently after some conversations, I realised that my self-blame has been … impeding/restricting myself to a point where it isn’t healthy. Many things will take a wrong turn in life, there are some instances which we might really have been able to avoid, but what about those where the fault clearly doesn’t lie on our end?

Maybe sometimes we can only see the truth about ourselves if someone shows us where to look.

But it all boils down to the “what-ifs” yet again. And it doesn’t help that something so significant to me met with a screw-up, which resulted in failure. Maybe it’s my refusal to process it, maybe it’s my subconscious trying to deny the fact that it isn’t my fault. Maybe it’s just me trying to convince myself that I could have done more/better, so that I don’t feel as guilty to them. Maybe I didn’t have the right words, maybe I offended them unknowingly, maybe maybe maybe. And what if, I had the chance to do it all over again? How would I have done it differently? I honestly don’t know.

You don’t have to be good all the time. It’s okay to be hurt sometimes.
It’s okay to feel lost like you’re wandering around in the dark.
It’s the bad days that make the good ones so much better.
-Brittainy C. Cherry

Tired. Incredibly tired this time round.

x

Wilderness Explorers

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If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.
Walter Isaacson

Last weekend was spent in ECP for YB Adventure Camp 2016, and I’m finally having the time to document my experience/journey down properly.

I’ll admit that it didn’t go as smoothly as I intended/expected. I’ll attribute it partially to my fatigue … it was difficult for me to get into the camp mode. And because of the significance that YB AC has to me, I’ll admit that I have very high expectations of it. When we first got into our teams & as I facilitated the creation of our group name/identity, it was so so challenging. But I’m glad. Team Fire really grew a lot, from the first moments together as a team, to when I had to leave on the second night 🙂

This camp taught me a lot, it opened my eyes to many different things & perspectives that I never considered before. This camp, I realised I was interacting with my youths from a somewhat social work-ish perspective; don’t get me wrong – I didn’t view them as Clients. But I realised how intentional I was in balancing the group dynamics, & the kind of words that I used. Call this yet another form of experiential learning? 🙂

Stayed up for the entire first night doing sentry duty, must have been insane but genuinely wanted the rest to get more sleep since I was only staying for 2 days only. It’s so therapeutic to lay on the groundsheet out in the open, staring up into the star-filled sky 🙂 And when dawn was nearing, I went to sit at the shore with 2 of my youths, and we just sat there looking at the sky light up. In that moment, everything in life felt like it fell into place, everything felt right, nothing else really mattered or bothered me anymore. There’s something so addictively calming about the sky, be it sunrise or sunset 🙂 Sitting in silence, pondering over my life and thinking through so many things, I would say that I cleared my mind. Not by a lot, but at least it’s something. We even witnessed a rainbow, how lucky are we? 🙂 Haven’t felt such peace & calm in a long while.

On the second morning, there was a crazy thunderstorm. Our pegged down tents started to   fly away (almost), we braved the thunderstorm to save the items in the tents. And this, marked the start of the turning point of the camp for our youths. This, somehow made our youths get their act together, they were not as idle as before, they started to be even more appreciative. I wasn’t hoping for any of such effects – I genuinely wanted everyone (& their belongings) to be safe & sound, because what’s more important than that right? 🙂

At the beach, I stood by the sea alone, while my team was building a sandcastle for one of the activities. I allowed the waves crash into my feet & I just pondered over how the past two days have been in the camp. Could I have done anything differently to make the experience better for my team? Were there any instances where I should have picked something up but failed to notice? Was it my fault that the youths just seemed disinterested at times during the camp? I was honestly upset then. Upset at myself, confused at the entire situation, and I was on the brink of giving up any hope. And in that moment, marked the turning point of the camp for me. Team Fire was supposed to explain & test out their sandcastle, and they called me to listen to their description. Which really touched me a lot, because at the core of their sandcastle stood a castle that represented me, and they expressed their thankfulness & how they so willingly considered me as part of Team Fire. I was really, really touched then. As cliché as it may sound, it was like the light at the end of the tunnel, when I was being so down & all, they gave me the strength to carry on 🙂

Team Fire isn’t one that’s keen for debriefing/reflections. And I found it a struggle throughout, to try to get them to share properly. & this struggle continued till the last debrief I conducted with them on the second night. They took it seriously albeit it being filled with laughter, and in that moment as we laid on the groundsheet in the semi-darkness, everything felt right again for me 🙂

Many things happened in this camp, I wouldn’t deny it. We had youth falling sick, getting injured/hurt till the point of crying, we had youths feeling angry/upset and caused tension to be present in the camp. This camp might not have been perfect, but it’s these little imperfections that made our youths learn & grow together. What’s the point of a camp that’s smooth sailing anyway? I’m so honoured, and more than glad, to have been participating in this camp alongside my youths.

Pretty bittersweet now that it’s over, hoping to be able to attend my 4th YB Camp next year, but who knows? Nothing is certain. Nevertheless … Thank you for such a memorable YB Adventure Camp 2016. And happy 2-year anniversary to me with ’em YR youths hehe 🙂

 

Till the next time x