today i sponsored a kid from the united states of america, her name is francis perry and she will turn 11 years old this november. her card was the first that i saw as char and i walked to the child sponsorship table. as cliche as it sounds i remember thinking “this is the child” and i made a quick decision there to set aside $35 every month to hopefully make her life a little better.
it’s really interesting how things have panned out. i remember close to 6-7 years ago, char showed me the card of the philipino girl she was sponsoring. i didn’t know how to feel and there was that skeptic side in me that thought “does this $35 really make a difference?”
and now here we are. i guess i will never ever truly know whether my small contribution makes a difference, but i want to give without expecting. i feel privileged to be in this position where i can give, without having to worry about whether i have enough. i have enough. and i find myself once again feeling so grateful and getting a timely reminder of how God provided and over provided in 2016.
and i don’t want to come off as parading this as a humble brag or to receive compliments that what i’m doing is noble or whatever synonym that comes along.
it’s just a blessing to be able to give, and i hope that i never forget this.
i am on my 7th day of work and my body is already showing obvious signs of fatigue; dry eyes in the morning, strange pimples on my chin and pronounced eye bags by 5pm.
today my parents sent me to work which approximated to be $10 “still cheaper than a cab” and just wanted to write about how thankful and grateful i am to be so utterly spoilt and loved. i shared with char and wini on saturday that i really want to stay grounded in a spirit of gratitude even when things start getting hectic. i was briefly reminded of how a sermon at NCC talked about how we tend to forget how thankful we were for a particular situation in the past. eg. was thankful and felt fortunate to be able to enter a local university course after A’s but months into university, i would forget that lens of thankfulness and instead my thoughts would revolve around “can’t wait to graduate”
and similarly, i realized that the same could happen so easily at work.
i just wanted to remind myself to
– focus on the little nuggets of positivity even when work overwhelms me
– never to sacrifice or diminish my capacity to work on personal growth and development
– continue to seek God in all that i do, even when it seems frivolous
witnessed for myself and have received feedback from two friends – char and sherrie – that they can see an obvious change in me. “you’re not weighted down by earthly situations” and i’m just so amazed at how my walk with God has accelerated so much over the past month.
it’s gonna be a great 6 months left of 2017 🙂
i am having my $3.50 cai fan lunch while typing this, feel the need to write this even though i’m not done with my food because i’m afraid i might forget this: i remember crying until my eyes were sore and swollen on Friday morning till night, thinking that i had a perfect week until i finally ruined the good streak with dismal results for the second semester. then i had to go for trial camp at 0645hrs at sentosa and i had to force myself to leave my personal issues aside because someone close to me taught me in 2007 the importance of keeping my lives separate and it’s an advice that i continue to follow since then. through the camp i saw many things and learnt a lot: how competitiveness has its tremendously ugly side if it’s overdone, times of inefficiency, as well as times of efficiency, how friendships can be formed just by a simple ‘what’s your name?’ and remembering the other person’s name but most importantly i found out how truly blessed i was to have been placed in vega when i was a clueless freshman entering into university. i was never the best when it came to attendance and i only really talked properly to a few people. this trial camp i was able to forge deeper relationships particularly with the proggies; i remember how the shuttle bus was quiet but we all just kept talking and finding out more about each other. it was never tiring and it was very comfortable – unlike some of the vibes that other groups gave. i am extremely thankful to be placed inside vega, i think i always felt this way but i never really knew it until trial camp. i think now of why it took me a year to finally realize this and i realize that it was because i didn’t really make an effort on my part too to maintain relationships beyond the surface closeness. and that’s exactly why i am so thankful for this opportunity of being a programmer. really thankful to have kaikai, BBA and TK for the past few days. (can’t wait to have weiyun back with us for the next two camps) throughout the camp i remember questions along the lines of ‘do you regret signing up to be a proggie?’ and my answer has still been (and i think will continue to be) a firm ‘no’. i think my council experience has helped a lot with this and in contrast to my council experience whereby i didn’t know what i was getting myself into, i went into the responsibility of being a programmer with full expectation and knowledge of what’s to come – and still i am not disenchanted or regretful, in fact i think i’m just even more thankful for this experience because just from the trial camp alone i feel like I have learnt a lot about how to deal with situations better etc, learning more about myself etc etc and it is true that being a programmer isn’t as glamorous as being a GL but since i have been a GL before i thought and i still believe that being a programmer would develop me more as a person, and i was right. also i have never been severely introverted (even though my personality test says that I’m a INFP much to many of my close friend’s surprise) and yet i have never been fully at ease at being overly loud or in overly loud situations. there were times where i did feel that i was being a little too proactive and too ‘onz’ for a proggie but i know that it is just my nature and principle to be this way; i am never contented with just a sub-par effort. i always feel that regardless of whether the role i am in is easy or difficult, i still feel that since i am already being tasked to do something, i should always give my best and get the job done properly.
today when i woke up it was the first time my phone was buzzing with many conversations – I am making myself sound like a loser with no friends – woke up to reading m’s text about the tree top walk and really appreciated how he remembered what I mentioned briefly, talked a lot to sherrie in the morning and again was reminded of how God has blessed me with this friendship, talked to BBA and kaikai, tswift chat, trust chat and suddenly all my feelings of lost hope and uncertainty are really gone. I see how I have been so blessed by the relationships and friendships in my life. (also on a vague and side note, last night i personally resolved to show more love to a particular person instead of resigning myself to giving up)
the funniest thing today is i was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and i chanced upon a political conversation and read through over 80 messages of endless rebuttals and then i finally understood why i was never meant to do law. I still hold a law degree in high regards because I still strongly believe that the rigor and training required is highly essential and will be highly useful in many everyday situations. I think what really fascinates me is the ability to think critically and it is an ability I want to develop in myself. but when i was reading through the endless rebuttals (that felt like two petulant children bickering at certain instances) , i was reminded of how i hate conflicts and arguments. I’m not saying that law students are always argumentative – it’s just that maybe if i were to be in that environment i might lose myself more often since doing law doesn’t seem to be in line with my character or beliefs.
i think of how my eyes were swollen and i remember talking to my best friend that night and telling her how i always felt 2011 was one of my darkest moments but now i think that Friday has surpassed that. i concluded that the heartache and heartbreak i felt is nowhere near the devastation caused when a person stops believing in his or herself. i remember questioning my very own being, questioning my relationship and feeling an absolute lack of self-love or self-pride. but now i think of how in just three days i am assured and i am reminded yet again of how God has a plan for me. i was never meant to do law and i was meant to go NTU. i always think of how i put in the least effort to enter NTU – settling my first choice and submitting it 5 minutes before the deadline and thinking ‘it’ll be a joke if i got into this course’ considering how i put in such a shoddy effort. and yet in the end that was where i found myself, i cannot even begin on how many times i questioned if i was in the right course because it was the very first time i questioned my abilities time and time again. but it is only through this course that i am able to see how i was never inclined towards finances even though for years i always believed i was a finance person since i have always enjoyed maths. i may not be the happiest with my grades – but i think now that i wouldn’t have it any other way. i remember m and i were walking back from hall one day and as always we were sharing our experiences and we both realized how somebody successful always has a tough experience when they were younger and usually it was due to this experience that shaped them to become a resilient person. and now i am reminded of this: of how if i had taken an easy way out and done something else, i would not have discovered more things about myself – for example how i am really not meant to do finances – and although i really do feel disenchanted (re. dismal results) i think if it weren’t for this, i won’t be the person i am now either. i would be having an easy time and i wouldn’t be learning as much about myself as i am now. (I think i repeated myself there) i remember clearly how i was so close to giving up on friday but now that i am past being over emotional i feel this sense of clarity. i won’t deny that in the situation if i get dismal grades next year again i will be completely at ease and remain as positive as i am now in this blogpost: and this is precisely why i still have half of my $3.50 cai fan left and why i wanted to type this out. i want to read this post again every time i feel dejected because i know now of the plans in store for me and how every single friendship i have made, experiences and opportunities given have carried me to this stage. i feel rejuvenated, lucid and ready to keep fighting.
last night we laid on the floor talking even though there wasn’t much time to spare on long talks. i shared with you about how i didn’t enjoy my junior college days and you were surprised because it was something i’ve never told you before. then i shared with you the anxiety i used to have in examinations and how i realised a belief – or a lack of belief – was actually the crux of the whole spiral down. thereafter i told you more things, snippets of my life years ago and now and i realised that it’s not that i chose to keep these stories a secret; it’s that generally i don’t like sharing negative snippets because i think i’m past the why-must-life-be-like-this typical adolescent mindset and i’m mostly accepting and even sometimes nonchalant. my secondary school english teacher mrs haffidz would not be pleased at that incredibly long sentence.
towards the end you asked me if i would mind if you stayed agnostic in the future and never a Christian. and i said – and meant it – that i didn’t know but as of the present i couldn’t decide between a ‘yes i mind’ and ‘no i don’t mind’ and my reasons which i told you were simple: how can i possibly expect you to be a Christian if I myself don’t strongly embody what a Christian should be like (re: so what should a strong believer in Christ be like?) and i mentioned how i do want to. then you told me something you’ve said to me before. something along the lines of you have to find compelling reasons on why you wish to do an act instead of just simply stating you want to because anybody can say it. and it’s true and these lines always strike me hard. i have always proclaimed that i am not the strongest of all Christians and in retrospect now I think this proclamation is a way to reaffirm my non-effort and passive Christianity. i shared with you how i really do believe in God and that God has really blessed me especially when i entered university. and in between those moments i felt myself overwhelmed with this inexplicable sadness and regret and this is the time where i have really decided to do something. because i genuinely want to know more about God who has blessed me so much instead of having such a superficial level of understanding and relationship.
this morning we watched the city harvest live telecast of their Easter Sunday service. and i was surprised that you even went to watch it and also secretly happy. in between i questioned myself – why must it be an almost pre-requisite for you to be a Christian? why do i place such importance on it when i myself am not putting in effort to know more? – and this shame is something i am going to attempt to get rid off by changing my stance of ‘not a strong believer’ to actually doing something about it.