the past 1.5 months at work have been great

i had a really good time working today. it was my first sf shift alone and although i was very stressed out by the fact that i was going to work alone (even though i screwed up at scoop a few times)… because i felt i wasn’t going to be able to cope. i didn’t fall asleep easily last night; was still up at 4am trying to convince myself i wouldn’t make unforgivable mistakes. i finally fell into a restless sleep and woke up at 8am so that i could reach sf early to do opening at my own time. clyde made me coffee without me asking… when i strolled into group therapy at 10am looking exhausted even though it was just the start of the day. i’m really thankful for this kind gesture! sometimes i think he can read people’s feelings so well it awes me… because it means he actually pays close attention to the people around him, and this is rare of humans in general.

anyway, i walked up to sf to do opening (gave myself an extra 30 minutes just in case i forgot anything). to my surprise, deborah texted me all the things to do for opening! just as a reminder because she was going to be at duxton the entire day. this was a major lifesaver — it calmed me down because i had a checklist instead of having to depend on my memory of what deborah verbally briefed me on saturday. SO THANKFUL for that; where else will i ever meet such a nice boss?

i think both amos and weilin could sense that i was nervous as heck from inside the kitchen. amos was so nice, he kept reassuring me i was doing fine on my own… and it really helped to calm my nerves because honestly, i kept thinking i would trip over my own legs while serving the dishes (you know when you keep getting those scenarios of ALL the things that could go wrong, going wrong). weilin was so gracious too! she would tell me the orders and table numbers without rushing me and even talked to me when it wasn’t busy.

i don’t know how to express my gratitude in words, but from the bottom of my heart, i really am so grateful for nice bosses and full-timers who take their time to reassure me that i am doing okay, that i can actually cope on my own. it’s so heartwarming to have been able to meet a bunch of kind souls at work.

sigh, i am just so, so thankful.

anyway, when we were trying to fix the stand (which we couldn’t in the end), weilin was being her usual self — she made me walk around holding the signboard for the deals (to advertise SINCE THE STAND was spoilt) and she took a video of it to send to the entire gtc team?!!! all that time i thought she meant it when she told me to hold the sign for people to see so i was really pacing around the area until after she took the video, she laughed and said “oi i was just kidding la i’m not so mean. put the sign down and help me (fix the stand).” she also got a little annoyed by this man who was looking down on two females trying to fix this stand, because he said something along the lines of “are you sure you don’t need me or amos to help?” bearing in mind he was amos’ friend and that was the first thing that came out of his mouth instead of a simple “hi“. weilin just rolled her eyes and mumbled at me.

after we did our best with the stand, she was doing dinner preparations and we started talking about church and stuff. i think the more i get to talk to her, the more i see her as an individual with a mind filled with intriguing thoughts that i never pictured her to have. i am also starting to see how humble she truly is… someone not boastful of her talents and intelligence. i was told that people get close to weilin faster than deborah, even though they are both the bosses, and i guess she is someone you find yourself wanting to talk to. oh, weilin even asked me to design her a tattoo based on her french bulldogs that she loves so, so much.

today was a really good day and i just had to type it all out before i got too lazy to type any of it (like all the other things i want to talk about but just cannot find the time to post them). i’m so thankful for the kind and generous people i have come across the past 1.5 months i have been working here. it makes my heart so happy.

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you can’t force someone to just eat

i think i have a backlog of entries i have been meaning to post but haven’t because they aren’t coherent. in any case, i love wordpress because i get to adjust the post timings accordingly (to whatever-initially-desired-date-that-i-didn’t-post timing).

anyway, i came across this netflix movie that is scheduled to be released in july, and i am so, So, SO excited! *cues internal screaming and cheering* i love movies like this, you know they end up having happy endings usually (and i’m actually not a fan of happy endings)… nevertheless, it’s movies about self-help or like, struggling and almost dying then finally surviving that REALLY get to me. basically the lead has to (almost) die in the movie to spark my interest; somewhat sadistic but i strongly believe movies are meant to be representative of real life, not some fantasy life that we all know we can never live. to be honest, watching the trailer was somewhat triggering… but i guess if it’s triggering it means they did something right, right?

so bottomline is that to the bone is going to be released in july and i can’t wait!

getting to know a friend

tonight, i met up with howard for dinner and drinks. it was supposed to be huangliang, victor, howard and i but victor had cell group and huangliang was working. we both decided it would be a shame if we cancelled our plans just like that so we met up at kovan instead since it was nearer for the both of us.

so much for dinner, we got a tower of 1664 with 2 small sides just so that we wouldn’t end up puking. i was worried it would be awkward because i have never really talked to howard without the rest of the group, but it turned out fine. with an increasing amount of alcohol in our systems, there was no filtering of words and questions and answers. and i like that. this is something i really love about drinking.

anyway, he was asking why i would trust stefan so much (etc), and the truth is, i have been asked this question so many times by different people. everyone who knows the both of us and don’t know that he has a girlfriend, always assumes i’m his girlfriend. which is weird, because i treat him as a friend and we have friendly-sometimes-lowblow banters and we do just-friends stuff together. so i said that it was because i know he is someone i can trust since he follows my extra private account and i know he cares enough to read to see what is going on… and he will only ask about those things when we meet up after god knows how long. i find our friendship really low maintenance and if you know me… i have changed so much over the past few years, so much so i appreciate having such friendships instead of the kind where i have to text the person every single day. call it being lazy or growing up… or a defense mechanism.

it was finally time to head home and let me just say that motion sickness plus alcohol should never, ever meet. i ended up puking after i alighted from the bus.

spoken word

there was a point in time when i was drawn to spoken word and slam poetry, and i would watch always the videos posted by button poetry. i didn’t write any of my poems with the thought of ever performing them, because the social anxiety (performance) has always been… there. i remember i used to wish i could get over this “fear of public speaking” as defined by people related to me, because they all said practice makes all the fear go away. it never did, though. it only made me sound more like a robot, with words coming out from my mouth at a crazy speed, all because i wanted to be done, to get over with talking, with hearing my own voice… with the immense fear gripping me. i never knew how bad my “fear of public speaking” was, until the first time we were had to practice our presentation for pw with our classmates as our audience. when it was my turn to speak, i did, as practiced. i tried to speak more slowly, as corrected. my mind was so focused on completing these two things as perfectly i could, that i unconsciously started scratching my left forearm. it wasn’t noticeable at first, but the more i spoke, the faster i scratched and my skin turned red and raw. i wasn’t aware of it, until i was finally done with my part and my left forearm accidentally brushed against the rough fabric of my skirt. every single inch of my newly exposed skin screamed, shrieked, and that was when it caught my attention. i was in shock, my classmates were in shock, and my teacher was in shock.

everything happened so quickly then. my teacher said “huitong i need to speak to you outside now” and out i went, while my group tried to continue with the rest of the presentation. we talked about getting help (it was when everything was happening and i was crumbling under the weight of being painfully alive), but i couldn’t be diagnosed because this was only a single episode, not episodes lasting for more than 6 months. also, there were no signs of this “fear” disrupting my daily functioning. i think the hardest part was accepting the fact that i could never get a proper diagnosis, because we just don’t do presentations every day in jc and when we finally had to present, our futures actually depended on it.

that was then, and fast forward to uni, i got myself stuck in smu, which is infamous for presentations and group projects. it was during the first week of sem 1 when it truly struck me that i might have made the worst decision of my life. how can i ever survive if my grades were always going to depend on presentations? i cannot even think fast enough when holding normal conversations every day. i think it’s obvious that i hate any method to make myself known or for my voice to be heard. i haven’t stopped regretting my choice, and i still experience a full week of panicking before every presentation. it’s… really tough and i wish i could just quit.

anyway, i side-tracked a lot. i began this entry because last night, i found myself a part of this amazing spoken word performance held by destination: ink at blu jaz cafe. my heart felt so, so happy and full and i was in awe of all the performers. it takes so much bravery and courage to step up and share your original works — all your innermost thoughts  with a room full of strangers.

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all their works tugged at my heart so strongly, especially jean’s pieces which were filled with raw emotion and pain and it was just so heart-wrenching. i teared up both times she cried performing her poems; i just wish i could hear them again. it was like her bruised heart being served on a platter, her voiced laced with layers of emotions… my heart just broke for her. a huge part of me wanted to hug the sadness out of her. i find her ability to love so bravely, so courageously, and so selflessly, admirable. i wish i was like that.

it’s so hard to be a Christian and gay in Singapore.

i would love to talk about her set more, but she said, “whatever that’s said here, stays here, okay?” and i would really hate to break this silent promise. so i’ll just leave whoever’s reading this with part of a poem she has uploaded before:

falling isn’t always fun
but if we don’t fall we’ll never learn how to run.
so why be surprised when we fall
in love?
falling is supposed to hurt.

but it is in the pain of falling that we learn
how much
our dreams are worth.

POP

i have been working every single day this week and it has been a little draining. i did closing last night at midnight, which also meant that by the time i reached home, bathed, slacked around (to dry my hair), it was past 2am, almost 3am. having to set an alarm at 530am made me die a little inside, but at the beginning of the year i promised i would be there for both your pop, so i had to turn up.

i woke up feeling like death, with a headache but i didn’t want to be late at all so i got out of bed, bathed and headed out of the house. i managed to reach the floating platform at 645am, found a seat (alone) and waited for the ceremony to start.

IT TOOK FOREVER.

it was funny to see parents, grandparents and just family members getting so excited when their sons or grandsons or brothers march past them. it’s just so singaporean for them to act like “my son is the only important one in this parade so i’m going to stand up and take awesome pictures of him not caring that i’m going to block people from the row behind.” and this is a chain reaction because once someone’s view is blocked, the person stands and everyone ends up standing. this really irked me because HELLO, we each have a seat for a reason and we can all see perfectly fine if you (i.e. first person who caused this chain reaction) sat your ass down.

bad mood ht did not last very long because the parade ended and it was time to find the boys. i felt like a proud mama when it was announced that markus was gryphon’s best recruit! after about an hour of trying to locate them (jieyi had zero idea where he was and told us to walk to the left — because he was facing a different direction, while markus was stuck at a long reception after receiving his award).

we finally found jieyi and by then we were all asked to clear the area, but markus was still stuck at the reception. what warms my heart was that when jieyi’s parents wanted to leave already, jieyi said “i promised markus i would wait for him no matter what” and after he said that, we all stayed to wait! i really am a sucker for people who keep their promises… i really felt so happy knowing i have friends like that.

markus finally got out and we all talked for a while before he had to go and visit ivan. i followed jieyi’s family for breakfast, before heading to get coffee and go to work.

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just look at them!!! i love the both of you so, so much i’m so glad we are friends.

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this was supposed to be a really nice picture…

markus: eh tong! let’s take a picture leh.
me: sure!
*posing for picture*
samuel: oh i should join the picture too!
*snap*

i love swings

this evening after work, i found myself finally meeting up with stefan, because yknow, someone is always so busy with filming (i don’t know if he rejected that mini role or not) and work. we changed our meet up location so many times i wasn’t even sure we were going to meet, but we did! we went to 5 square for $5/pint of 1664… only to rush our orders because it was only from 5pm to 8pm and we were both late and only reached around 730pm.

a little after 5 pints with a lot of catching up to do, it was almost 10pm and i had this genius idea to find the swings (that charlene brought qi, sera and i to when we were all tipsy). i have zero sense of direction even without alcohol in me… and well i couldn’t really remember how to get to the swings. which ended up with stefan and i google mapping our way to “jubilee walk” because it was the only thing i remembered.

it did not cross our minds that jubilee walk would be SO long. i mean it felt very far since we were both a little tipsy… but he really tried to find the place because i made him promise earlier. needless to say, after about 30 minutes of walking, we couldn’t find the place and we stumbled upon a pretty quiet and chill area with seats made for lying down, so we crashed there, trying to fit the both of us on that curved (?) seat.

but it was then van texted me all of a sudden telling me about ivan and that i should be there for markus. even when i was tipsy, it was a little painful. i think i see both markus and jieyi as my brothers and it hurt when i thought about how he was feeling, especially being stuck in army 5 days till his pop.

so thank you, for being there for me, like you always have been. i know you usually just knock sense into me because i act like i am a wooden block but… thank you for tonight.

halsey

for the longest time, i’ve been complaining about how i don’t have friends who appreciate the same genre of music as me or friends who actually share the same favourite bands or artistes as me. i still complain about that a lot, but there are some days i’m really glad there i don’t have such friends because (as selfish as it sounds), it feels as though i have the bands or artistes all to myself… like i will always have this bubble of comfort in knowing that i am the only one who has the knowledge of amazing, soul-calming songs. even if everyone has different inclinations toward the various genres of music, the fact that the songs i listen to will never be considered “mainstream” in the eyes of my friends really makes me happy. it’s like these songs will never ever be over commercialized or, just degraded, yknow? it’s such a nice feeling when both your favourite artiste and favourite band release new albums shortly after one another — new songs are heart-hugs! just what i needed, really.

i run when things are good,
and never really understood,
the way you laid your eyes on me,
in ways that no one ever could.
and so it seems i broke your heart;
my ignorance has struck again.
i failed to see it from the start,
and tore you open ’til the end.

truly therapy

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i just reached home after my 2nd shift at scoop therapy! even after merely 2 shifts, i feel so comfortable here. these 2 shifts have been nothing short of fulfilling and therapeutic. i think i learnt so much more here, with managers and bosses so friendly and like coaches. i even got to do closing! which i think is rare for a newbie part-timer.

so i was asked to scoop and take pictures of some flavours… hopefully my pictures are used for the update! also feeling very happy because they don’t mind letting me (i.e. 0 experience with coffee) make coffee when i’m paired with part-timers who don’t know how to do coffee… so i got to make 3 cups today! it’s such a nice feelings, being able to scoop icecream (this has always been therapeutic for me) and make coffee (what i have gradually come to appreciate and take an interest in).

when your part-time job is truly therapy… what more can i ask for, right?

on a side note, the apex project is opening pinkdot 2017!!! how do i put this euphoria into words; i’m so excited for love, love and more love.

3am conversations

i was talking to a friend on sunday night (and the wee hours of monday). a conversation that began with sneakers escalated so, so quickly, to become a huge snowball of secrets. it’s funny how i don’t regret any parts of it, perhaps i really needed such a release. i’m glad it happened, i’m grateful it was you at the receiving end. thank you, for never interrupting, for always listening, for unfiltered “sorry“s and “it’s not your fault“s. i think… a part of me really needed those words to calm my mind. it has been a while, me trusting almost wholeheartedly and not feeling scared at all.

thank you, thank you, thank you.

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aaand, when the conversation shifted from heavy, to oh-so light and happy and i could feel my heart doing a tiny dance.