21st bday and other things
this week has been such a busy one. in fact, its been terribly crazy a week since last monday. i cant really talk about the singing competition my girl band is in here because we’ve signed a contract with mediacorp to keep our mouths shut until national day.
but to answer the many questions i’ve been getting, basically, 2 colleagues and i auditioned for Sing A Nation on a whim (for fun, because zab and i have been fiddling around our pianos and guitars for a while) performing It’s Time (Acapella version) by Imagine Dragons. the judges then included Sebastien, John Lee, Selena & some other ppl I don’t rmb.
these same judges then put 3 more girls who auditioned individually and got thru into our group to form a girl band of 6 girls. its been fierce, because i’ve been busy with rehearsing for 2 parts of the show, both the national day prep rehearsals for vocals & choreographies, but also for the competition that will air on Singapore television in the month of July (4 weeks building up to national day).
i hope they upload the episodes on youtube or something so i can share those with you guys (in the US w/o access to Singapore’s channel 5). and i know its ludicrous but no we are not the instrumental performing type of band, but the SNSD girl band singing & dancing type of group :P
if i were to say anth at all about it, it’s that win or lose, i am so grateful to God for this opportunity to see what life in the media is about. you wont believe the amount of fussing about we get, what with vocal & choreo rehearsals, arranging the songs, makeup & hair on the day of, more rehearsals, quite alot of quip about what we wear as a group, etc etc.
the 2nd thing i’ve learnt so far through these performances is just how difficult performing is. when on stage, i have to remember a gazillion things. from the lyrics to the harmonies to the facial expression to the tone of the singing to the choreography of dance moves to the positions to stand on stage to remembering to walk cross-legged to remembering to look at the audience with the right emotion, until your head is just bursting with the gazillion things you have to remember without screwing up the singing.
but zab is right because we love doing this just because we love performing and it makes everything worth it even tho by the time its come for studio recording, we are exhausted, i have a migrane and we still have to be energized.
i really wanna thank the ppl who have been coming to support if i could though. but i’ll prolly blog more properly about this when the whole thing is over. but ilyouguys whoever’s reading and understands :) esp since its only been my closer friends.
on other things, if i didnt believe any birthday could beat my birthday celebration last year, this year’s surely did. people usually forget about my bday or have some small celebration but this year was really really super special and im so grateful for everyone who made it that way.
just to recount last year’s, it was at a time of graduation so the senior send-offs, visiting jeff in LA who made my bday super special and the lunches/dinners friends got me (like leesh, cassie ashley etc) just put me at an all time high-level on the happiness scale. i guess i must’ve forgot about that because by the time it ended, work had started and i was back in singapore living the new surreal life i still havent fully come to terms with.
so i think the way im gonna do this is to thank everyone who made my bday special this year and to post whatever pictures i can find (since i didnt take any for the most part). altho most ppl dont read my tumblr anw. i also rarely blog about such things but i’d like to remember how it was this year so here goes :)
FIRST CELEBRATION: colleagues at EDB
i’d like to thank Kelvin (my director), carol & aris (the 2 managers), roy, jeremy, claire, jia ying, val, dave and whoever else was involved from IO/Log (tho im guessing it was largely prepared between just a few of those from the list—to my ignorance)
they bought me lunch at zaffereno, a small crystal bear with a heart, tons of alcohol/champagne/cocktails, etc. and largely it was the humourous proposals that i can only enjoy when im still single & available that made it heartwarming for me. but then again, i always leave these hangout sessions with my colleagues feeling extremely grateful for everything God has given me through them, my job and just how much love i receive from them even on a daily basis. maybe i’m just overly emotional, but i look up so much to some of them that it’s bizarrely touching when they do anth at all for me.
2ND CELEBRATION: cell group friends
this was really super fun for me actually and i just wanna thank cheryl & chestine & everyone else for organizing everything :) we had dinner at En Dining, followed by drinks & clubbing at Zouk where we also counted down! :) and frankly i may not have had this much to drink before because by midnight (albeit it really wasnt alot) i couldnt stand still without falling/leaning. my sis later described this as being tipsy but maybe im just not v good w alcohol or smt.
either way, my brain was completely normal so i could still enjoy the dancefloor with cheryl renee donaphan shaun taixin & shuzhen. tho the music was rubbish, i still love dancing (tho i really wish steve was around to be my other dancing half because singaporeans are sooo lame). but theres just smt awesome about partying with ur cell group because i feel like i love them so much anw and am so comfortable around them.
i actually spent most of my birthday itself at rehearsals after 8AM tennis… quite depressing and tiring.
3RD CELEBRATION: 21ST BDAY DINNER PARTY
it was kept super small (i only invited like 4 friends? my primary school best friend bella, my secondary school best friend michelle, my edb best friend zabrina and daniel because hes so close to my whole family). its just too bad ppl from my cell group had cg at the same time. the rest were adults, being the godparents of my sisters and i, my godbrother, beatrice’s godbrothers and niki’s friend. so including my family it was a 20 ppl sit-down dinner with 5 ppl from my family, 7 godparents, 3 godbrothers, 1 friend of niki’s and 4 of my own friends.
shall let the pics speak for themselves. but im so grateful for all the presents i got, including all the flowers and angpao i can buy my new workstation with! :) my godmother apparently was really stressed out and came to my house at least 5x just to buy all the decorations, flowers, etc to make the place look really amazing. also special thanks to daniel for performing our fave song of his (could see niki/bea mouthing the words), my godmother for being the best decorator ever and for everyone who came :)
a little bit more about the presents i got. daniel & zab got me a microphone & mic stand that i needed together with my workstation to record wheeee :) so yay to having a recording studio at home? ;) wouldnt be able to get the recording studio stuff without the angpaos from aunty sietho, my grandma, uncle lucas/aunty leechew & aunty georgia/uncle chris. my dad got me a watch (yay cos i told him 21 year olds get watches), bella wrote me a really awesome letter along with the book peter pan which i really smiled at receiving, michelle wrote these instruction manuals as well as a whole adventure-type deal w clues & stuff in the package, shaodan got me flowers and im still waiting on my godmothers present :)
another awesome gift was having willin come to my party to cook (hes this celebrity chef who is also my bible study leader). also thankful for the amazing speeches most of my family gave.
4TH CELEBRATION: PAUL’S BRUNCH AT BISTRO SOORI
food was good, company was good :)
5TH CELEBRATION: surprise cake @ wild rocket bible study
ok tired of writing. sorry for the spam but its really more for personal reference so i dont forget.
but thanks everyone for making it so special and thanks to everyone who wished me too!!
i pray and hope that my wishes will come true eventually :) and my prince will come (LOL kidding)
yesterday i had my 1-1 performance appraisal session with my director. and because it’s so hard for me to share this with anyone without feeling inhibited, i will share on my tumblr because i know or hope my colleagues dont read these things and that way i can be honest about how i feel.
taking out all the riffraff and going to the main points proper, i’ll give a bit of background. the truth is i really like this boss of mine (perhaps more than i should) because i find it really hard to keep a professional relationship with my colleagues & clients. its as if i feel very uncomfortable with the corporate face they put up and their behavior, because i know in reality they are all people with families and friends and struggles to go thru.
i struggle to remove the people from their roles as professionals. thats why when i meet someone like my boss, or his 8 year old daughter, or some of my other colleagues, im just so drawn and respect them so much that i just wish i were friends with them. in a way, it’s consistent because i’ve always been attracted to being friends with amazing people. it begs the question of why they would want to be friends with me—but do we need a reason for friendship? food for thought.
in brevity, he told me that my biggest area to improve on was “Communicating to Influence.” what he meant was that my body language & speaking style or communication style was essentially not very good and that he didn’t want people to think that it’s because im a few years younger than everyone else, because he (like my parents) see the lead time i have over my peers as a strong value.
the truth is i never saw things this way, because i never saw myself as different from people (because of age). then my boss’s solution for it was to think, feel and behave older and soon it will embody.
at that point alot of things came to my mind. i felt he was asking me to grow up, but i remembered how much i hate adults and how i never aspired to be one. how i never respected any of the adults i interacted with as a child and now he was asking me to be like them. it came to the fundamental question of: what is maturity?
to be completely honest, i am stubborn and i may be very wrong but this is how i feel and as much as i am open and willing to change, i need to express how i feel about this.
and so i told my boss that it’s not a matter of age, because if you put me next to all my peers, same age and in school, you’ll probably find that they are more mature than me even. so it’s not about age. its a fundamental character/personality difference that has existed in me since the beginning of time. im sure my teachers saw it in highschool and i can safely say that i’ve never behaved the same way as my classmates.
so then what is it about? i’m upset because of the world and how it views this. to me true maturity is being able to take a step back, looking at yourself and realizing how we dont have to take ourselves so seriously. maturity is about learning how to be like a kid. maturity is not about pretending to be responsible, its about recognizing those responsibilities and being honest about how you deal with them. i just feel sometimes that all the adults around me think a certain way only because society thinks that way and because they feel that thats what maturity is.
it reminded me of my conversation with steveoh, nat & chris yang on the topics of tact and being direct. i think its all cos i felt like my personality (which i find alot of my identity in, which is bad cos it shd be in God) was being threatened and that if i were to change as they said i wouldnt be me.
as usual i’m prolly going to listen to all parties, take his advice, and try to grow up or at least show both my co’s internal stake holders & external clients that i’m a 30-year old credible person.
but then my boss went on to tell me how he was the youngest in his family and how he struggled for his family and siblings to take him seriously. that reminded me of my youngest sister because none of us really take her seriously either. then i realized he was just another youngest sibling and i couldnt help but see my sis in him. and i was about near tears thru out (he prolly thought it was cos of his telling me to improve or whatever but it was really all the emotions evoked by other things).
because i realized where he was coming from. he told me his job was to make sure i progressed and advanced in my career to take advantage of the lead years i have as he didnt want to see the 2-3 years go to waste. which meant that he wasnt trying to change me at all he just wanted to help me prove to everyone else of this. which is why i always feel that he’s such an honest kind and caring person, but then it came to the topic of Christianity.
as i suspected, his wife wasnt a christian and in fact was atheist, which prolly didnt help him as a ‘back slid christian.’ i dunno i just felt so sad. i know it might be weird but i just felt so sad because i just felt it was so tragic for him a child of God to not read the bible or spend time with God anymore just because of a wrong turn of events in his past, especially since hes still a believer. i guess a part of me knew that God was sad too. but all i can do is pray for him and his family.
but he was right. i need to figure out what i want to do with my life. because i’ve kind of fixed the portion where i was too controlling over my life, but i’ve given that to God and have been resting in him. perhaps i’m too caught up in my own incompetence that i’m not seeing the real problem. the thing is i also dont know what i wanna do, and my mum encourages me to just draw near to God and he will take care of me.
in other words, God will make sure my time at EDB doesn’t waste the ‘precious lead time of 2-3 years’ i have from my peers. the easiest way i see envisioning this, is to succeed at my current role & organization & to get promoted. no point thinking about leaving to start anew somewhere else, or thinking about the what has not happened yets.
maybe thats what being a faithful steward of what God has given me means. it means God wants me to succeed at my current role. and success in my organization means overseas posting. so maybe thats something i should work towards. where? definitely Asia. maybe China or Indonesia. and maybe thats something i should work towards in God’s strength. im about at my 9.5 months mark. but perhaps instead of looking at terms like that, i want to make sure that i’m scheduled for the posting at my 2.5 years mark. which means end of next year (2014).
I sort of never realized this before, but I miss leading small group so much. Can someone derive so much joy from preparing for bible study?
Or maybe I just forgot how much I love it. It’s not even about the people anymore (not that they don’t matter), but I just love that eureka moment when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth in the word to you.
I think the AACF leaders really did right when they decided for me to be small group leader, in fact I’m not sure they even put much thought into it. But it’s something so in my element because I wouldn’t mind if bible study was all I did my whole life.
I also hate small groups where everyone takes away something they already knew before. Because God’s word is always fresh and always reveals new insights.
I think what I’m grateful leading at AACF taught me was how to let go and let the members determine their own takeaways and how most people don’t love the bible study part as much as I do necessarily. Like the love and fellowship component.
I guess all I can say is that I cannot wait for Willin’s bible study group to start. :) praise God for his word!
hi its about the end of february in the year 2013, and i am still me, you are still you and God our almighty Father is still God. i dont expect these things to change, but it’s just interesting. perhaps its a slightly selfish outlook on things where i like to think of myself in third-person. a little obnoxious, but if you’re not gonna be interested in things that concern yourself what are you going to be interested in, eh?
its slightly less than 3 months till i can anticipate my 21st birthday. 21, twenty-one, the often un-glamorized celebration because of its implications of adulthood responsibility and in the US, drinking till you drop.
i’ve done about everything you do when you’re 21, except drive (but in Singapore you can drink and drive when you’re 18, exclusively). i’ve also watched R-rated movies (courtesy of leesh and my dear ryan gosling) and plus, its only a minimum age 17 in the US.
which leaves, legal marriage in Singapore when you’re 21. (you can get married at 18 and above, but you will need parental consent) perhaps 21 is the minimum age for the workforce, but we all know that isn’t true. but regardless, working—been there done that. but since i have not encountered any mutually viable suitor, it seems this celebratory theme is rendered void.
which leaves, where do we go from here? what kind of person do we want to be? what kind of Christian do i want to be, or does God want me to be? will i still be the same, as aimless, wandering in the desert trying to grasp God’s love whilst being blinded by my own inadequacy and incompetence? i know God has already caught us in his love, but will i still be as lost, will life be as messy, will i ever grow control over my life?
because i feel so out of control that i can only depend on God. because the only thing sustaining me is my trust that God will make all things right, even in me. that his Holy Spirit who i find so hard to believe exists lives in me despite my lack of encounters/experiences. the faith that God has and will take care of me, even though i repeatedly sin. that my superficial confessions have still gained his merciful forgiveness. and that’s all i can hope in, because without this hope, all is lost.
the other thing on my mind is that shaun asked me to help the camp committee in organizing the program for the young adult church camp at Malacca. to which i chose the workshops role because i would feel terrible if i had a role that wasn’t as closely related to God and his word as possible.
but i want to invite my non-christian friends to the camp as well, and non-church going friends. i asked my best friend to go, offering to pay for everything but i dont know how much she’ll be willing to say yes. i could ask so many others but i guess the real reason i asked her was because last Friday whilst my family and i were having dinner at Wild Rocket, we found out that the chef had brought his restaurant manager to Christ.
after reading narnia, and hearing about this, as well as my mum bringing her non-christian best friend to christ years ago, i realized i couldn’t just leave this hanging. perhaps it was also lunch w one of my mum’s non-christian friends the week before who reminded me that to know the truth and to believe that truth brings happiness and joy to people, we have a burden and responsibility to share this blessing with others.
i dont expect people to understand. i dont understand it myself. perhaps it’s really the work of the holy spirit, and all i can pray is for God’s sovereignty, and all i can do is be faithful in sharing his gospel with my friends.
perhaps these are the exhaustive ways to reach out:
1. sharing the gospel point-blank
2. inviting friends to church/edb christian fellowship/bible studies/events
3. sharing about God’s work in my life in 1-1 situations, giving him the glory
4. intentionally loving my friends thru the 5 love languages
5. encouraging non-christian friends to read the bible
i guess its cos i dont think i’ve ever really brought anyone to Christ, beyond jeff where my role was merely to nudge lechao to invite him to church. i guess i’d like to be more intentional/proactive in all this, so we can be faithful in action and prayer, and God’s holy spirit can touch the hearts of his chosen ones.
i guess i find it stifling when im so consumed by my imperfections. its like when you have a to-do list that is so long, you’re paralyzed and cannot even begin to start on the list. its like this. im so paralyzed by my long list of sins and shows for how little i love God that i dont know where to begin. its easy to rely on the holy spirit, because that brings rest. but somehow i feel like it’s also being lazy. whats the diff between rest and laziness?
but God knows that i need him more than anything. and i know our good and faithful God will provide.
the things we think but never say
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The Ladies’ Man?
L’artiste en Colère
The Innocent Bystander
The Glamorous Socialite