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2013 was a great year. 2014 is going to be even better, and i say that with founded optimism that is almost foreign to me.

my only goal this year is to make a change – but not for myself.

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I read this post yesterday about Privilege, and I thought about my own bubble of privilege that I have been born and raised in.

I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by a dedicated, caring family comprising of two parents who work as general practitioners, two grandparents whose love for me knows no bounds, and an aunt who is always constantly bringing me and my sister food and conversation. That, by any extent, is a privilege that money cannot buy.

But my parents gave me an education, a very expensive education – all the way from kindergarten to the present. They’re still providing me unquestioningly, despite my having worked for two and a half years, with an education even fewer people in this world are afforded the opportunity to have: an Ivy League education. And to what end?

More than ever now, especially during the height of the holidays, I feel an overwhelming need to do work that has heart. By no means am I privileged enough to stop working for money and volunteer my services to do good for others, but when I think about my future career, it needs to have substance, a cause and an end goal that will result in the better health of those who do not have adequate access to healthcare. To think that I’ve spent so long vacillating between a whole smorgasbord of career choices, when I think I have finally found my elusive knight in shining armour at long last: public health is The One.

I am determined now to make full use of my privileged upbringing and education; and if anyone thinks derisively of me for choosing an atypical career path or having lofty goals, then so be it. I cannot afford to let my privilege go to waste.

today i felt the weight of the world on me. i wasn’t sure why, but i felt like i didn’t want to be me anymore. my friend mentioned it was probably anxiety. i felt like hannah horvath from season 2 episode 9 of Girls. so much to do, so little time. i, however, stopped short of counting and abrading my eardrum with a cotton bud.

i felt overwhelmed by the company of people. i left work, and i ran as fast as i could toward the sunset, until my legs felt like jelly and i could take no more. my shoulders became lighter, my posture slightly straighter.

where am i going? what will i do? will i like it? what promises do these new lands hold?

“But he is so wary, wary. Has visions of his life, but in a hiatus as to their implementation—wants to fly, and hasn’t yet started to take off, so resents extra weight.”

i have spent the past few months ensconced in my very own prism of self-reflection, most of which i feel not at liberty to publish. i am private that way, more so than i thought, given the vacillating existence of this blog. i cannot reveal myself until i am sure. i have been keeping a small diary. even then, sometimes i forget to write. my writing is hideous and it pains me to read my own writing.

the best laid plans are oft slowly executed. and i am no stranger to laborious executions; my waking world is filled with daily inexorable cockups, and yet i harbour moderate to little antipathy towards my job. “gathering experience,” i say to myself on a good day. “wasting your bloody life,” i say to myself on a bad day. who knows.

everyday i choose not to go to sleep unhappy with a life that i am not happy with.

so, from here on i choose to lead a life focused solely on my vision. that’s what your twenties are for: digging a grave so deep the only way out is to emerge victorious from the other side.

so, lea and i finally decided to bring our foodie interests onto the internet. our delicious recipes are served oft with a side of weird, but i guess that makes us special and stuff. anyway. taste is never compromised, so off you go

5 years ago i began this obsession with piercing most of my pinna and a couple of facial orifices: rook, double helix, tragus, nose, triple ear lobe. one time i even considered stretching my ear lobe piercing.

a couple months ago i took out my double helix piercing. my cartilage looks disgustingly distorted now, just as my mother predicted all those moons ago.

a few days ago i took out my rook piercing. this one left only a little indentation.

maybe i’ll just keep my right tragus ring for posterity’s sake.

expunging my piercings shouldn’t mean anything but somehow i feel like it does.

no more “does that hurt?!” i suppose

i give people second chances when they fuck up or are especially godawful to me. i choose to look past the error of their ways and i make up excuses for them, assuming “maybe s/he had a bad day, maybe something happened”. up until now, i have never attributed such behaviour to their inherent dickhead personalities. stupid call, i know.

much to my dismay (or relief?), some people don’t want this second chance for some reason or other. they insist on being complete dicks. much to my dismay (or cold amusement?), some people do not have a “best” side.

that’s one less person in the world to be nice to. the glass is half full.

meanwhile, i’m going to give other people second chances because everyone deserves a second chance. not a third, but a second.

that will be my deal from this day on: second chances, not a third.