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February 04, 2016

2015: Transitory


I've grown so much this past year.

Looking at my past entries, I feel like my passive tone has always been the same. Calm, reflective, melancholic. It's strange to think how underneath all these years and years of accumulated experiences I am still the same me. A girl taking on the world with wide-eye wonder.

In the past year, I fought for the things I thought would be for the better. I made difficult decisions. I listened to myself. I did things that I'm not proud of. I took a chance. I kept fighting for that chance.

At a point in time I felt like I could not be any more lost in my life.

Twelve months ago, I was a very different person in a very different place. Two academic school terms, one graduation trip, a few months of figuring life out and halfway through a contract gig-- life has changed, and I want to think that I'm a happier person. As much as its a cliché and regardless of how shallow it sounds.

I started my year wanting to hone myself artistically- I'm glad to think that my lettering (and calligraphy) works have improved significantly from what they were a year ago, through doodling with my trusty pentel touch in my notes and sketchbook. I've also been hugely blessed with being able to fulfil my dream of pursuing design work, in its various forms.

The last two months of school gave me the space and freedom to enjoy the rest of my undergrad life, of which I'm thankful for. The new campus which we started to call home, the inaugural events that studded its various corners and the memories that started to fill up a blank slate which was once foreign and intimidating. Night fest, valentines', first month celebrations, 4th july, alice in wonderland tea party, open mic, halloween celebrations (although by then I've already graduated).

I remember the first few days of moving in, crashing the hostel orientation and just deciding to head to an open corner of school to stare at the night sky, tiny humans in a circle playing whacko and cars driving along. The numerous sunsets at the crossroads while walking home from school, and thereafter, the starless night skies.

Stepping out of school into the big working world was intimidating at first. I missed the familiarity of having a community to fall back to, a family of like-minded peers and common quirks. Slowly I began to appreciate diversity- meeting new people from all walks of life, who I have so much to learn from.

Hoping this new year will bring greater independence, professional growth and maturity.

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June 07, 2015

Blur;



It's been a while.

Days have passed like a whirlwind, and as the leaves settle I think it's time to find myself again. Think about my future and what I really want out of life.

I feel like everything I say here can never be without a hidden connotation anymore, yet there is always something on my mind- unresolved words and thoughts which are waiting to be penned out. Writing is like trying to unravel the many knots that have been hurting, letting go of some level of pride and admitting to my own vulnerabilities.

Things that keep me up at 3am in the morning, other than my r exam next week.

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April 14, 2015

Mirror on the wall



Not very sure who I am anymore.

I remember in the past, I was this uptight, prim and proper, quiet, perfectionist girl. I wanted everything to be perfect. I gave all that I can to make sure my image was spotless, my work was iterated countless times and the result of nightless nights.

Over the years I found myself building up defences of 'I don't really care' and 'whatever' in place of the mental drain that it takes to keep up with the expectations of myself and the expectation of what people have of me. Then again, does it mean that I have truly reformed, or does that tiny part of me hide in the deep abyss of my brain, wishing that it didn't exist?

Sometimes I think the malleable personality that I have also means that I'm never really true to myself. Am I the sensitive soul that holds on tightly to memories and sentimentalities, or someone who is able to brutally let things go without batting an eyelid? I don't know.

As much as I try to do and convince myself of the latter, I can't help but that I'm betraying who I have been all this time (or think of myself to be). Truly some sort of a cognitive dissonance.

Life is simple. I want to be happy and be carefree without all these difficult thoughts that can never be resolved.

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February 19, 2015

A Comforting Constant











Taking a three hour ride across the causeway has been a ritual every Chinese New Year. This year a thought struck me on how every ten years present an era of change- ten years ago I was still in primary school, and my brothers would be still toddlers and babies. Chinese New Year meant plaited hair, setting off firecrackers, kong ming deng and watching fireworks right at our doorsteps. Ten years onwards and it's almost as if the festive mood has gone with childlike wonder, and bai nian has simply become more of a formality.

Well, watching the firecrackers and fireworks at midnight still remain a constant.

What I really meant to say was, every cny reminds me of the passing of age. What is going to happen in ten years time? Will I have a new ritual? Will my concept of family change? We spend all our lives jumping through day-to-day hurdles that most often we forget that as we grow up, our elders grow old. This one constant for the past twenty years of my life will become a memory one day, and its a thought that I'm not quite ready to accept yet.

Pensive thoughts on the start of the new lunar year, not sure if that's inauspicious heh.

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January 24, 2015

2014; a memory

Photo credit: E H Chua

2014 passed by in a blur, and I thought I just do a little reflection post to sum up my feels for the year before the new school term starts.

2014 was the year I was part of a group of extraordinary people who had such deep passion for the things that they do. I made many sacrifices, I found a home in campus, and with every successful execution of an event, the immense sense of accomplishment drowns out all the hard work and late nights behind it. It's hard to put into words the bittersweet feelings I have for these group of people, where I have at times been brutally honest with, and honesty makes one incredibly vulnerable. There were times that I felt betrayed with secret trust circles and hidden agendas that were outright yet unspoken. Yet, it was a belonging that I was truly proud to be associated with, and one that I had to let go too soon.

2014 was the year I started being serious with my career options and looking into the future. I did my internship, I chose my focus track and began to attend conferences and workshops that could help to propel me forward in life. Passion is a strange thing, one minute it provides you with chances and opportunities and the next minute it leaves you at a loss, uncertain and ambivalent. But it still leaves you with fuel and hope, regardless of what happens.

2014 was the year made the most out of my university experience. I did an overseas service learning project, led a volunteer enrichment programme for children and organised a full scale event for the school community. Having to juggle all of these commitments and academics proved to be a challenge which I became increasingly weary of, with occasional breakdowns and heartaches.

2014 was the year I became more comfortable in my own company. I used to be someone who would always tag along someone else, living in someone else's shadow. But now it doesn't matter if I attend a concert, or check out an exhibition alone. Independence can be a liberating thing, when you know that there are people who have your back.

2014 was the year I began to have a better understanding of love, of its sacrifices, of its struggles and of its selflessness. I found friends who truly care, I started to devote more time to family and I learnt how it feels like to be always thinking about someone at the back of my mind.

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January 19, 2015

4D3N in Krabi, Thailand


Managed a 4D3N mini getaway to Krabi, Thailand last week (13 January - 16 January)! I've been dreaming of a beach holiday for the entire school term (my wallpaper is a photograph of.. sand) and I'm so glad we took a leap of faith and made this trip happen!

The itinerary for this trip was simple - night shopping at Ao Nang, a day trip out to sea, hiking (?) the tiger temple, watching sunsets and enjoying thai food!




Red Ginger Chic Resort
168 Moo 3, Amphur Muang, Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand 81000
Stayed at Red Ginger Chic Resort, with a red ginger drink served on arrival, great buffet breakfast every morning, swimming pool, spacious room and even a connecting door between two rooms. It's also in a great location, between the crossroads of two streets of food and markets, and within walking distance to Ao Nang beach. (180 SGD each for two nights)


Sala Bua & Lo Spuntino Restaurant
120 Moo 2, Ao Nang, Krabi Town 81000, Thailand
Our first meal of the trip was dinner overlooking the sunset at Sala Bua, with lacklustre flavours but the view somehow made up for it. We had spiced sotong, seafood tomyum, stir fried kangkong and beef with mixed vegetables, which all kind of tasted like zichar back in Singapore.

Krabi Castaway Tours
http://www.krabicastawaytours.com/
The next day, we set off early for our boat tour! We booked a private longtail tour with Big, who was the correspondant, tour guide, cook and (occasional) sailor all at once. It was cool how his whole family still stays in the US (he used to work as a chef there) but he chose to return to krabi to start this tour service for tourists! (7000 THB for 4)


We embarked on the 4 island trip instead of the Phi Phi island as planned originally because the tides were too strong. Koh Gai was an island shaped like a chicken (hence named chicken island) and we snorkelled there for a while. Koh Tup and Koh Mur were two small and close islands/ beaches, linked by a shallow sandbar, where we spent some time just frolicking in the sun (mostly in the waters though, to avoid getting burnt).

Koh Poda was my favourite stop, with clear waters, shallow waters, corals and minimal crowd. At one point I fell asleep just laying down on the sand, and it was such a good sleep listening to the lullaby of the waves.








We had a good lunch at Koh Poda, cooked personally, on the spot, by Big, and it was awesome considering everyone else on the island were having packed lunch! Seafood tomyum, basil with sotong, mixed vegetables. Yumyumyum!











After a tiring day under the sun, the next day was declared sleep-in day. We finally embarked to a trip to the tiger temple in the late afternoon, which turned out to be great timing as the sun wasn't shining down on us. 1237 steps was certainly no easy feat (especially when we all skipped lunch from all the nuaing in the morning). Step by step, we made our way up, taking breaks every few hundred steps.

I'm so thankful to have my beloved by my side, encouraging me and providing me with strength - even as I puked out my breakfast and two glasses of orange juice at the 900th-ish step, and saw speckles of light when I was on the verge of passing out. But alas, we made it!






All in all, I think it was a very smooth-sailing trip, the food, tour and accommodation we chose were all not too bad. It's refreshing to be able to start the year with a relaxing holiday, before school starts for the next eight months!

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Lettering


I picked up a hobby this holiday- lettering. It felt liberating to stop staring at the computer screen for a while and concentrate on something more primitive. Felt a bit more like being human once again instead of a typing robot, or social media addict.

Wanted to keep this as a #dailylettering thing, but it's the 19th day of the year and I'm only at... number 9 *hides* Don't know when I will ever catch up given that the holidays are ending so soon.

It's nice to witness some rewarding progress after some practice, especially for a left handed letterer (when writing m's and n's are such a pain). Mostly using the Pentel water brush and Unida Yoko drawing brush, which is basically the only two tools I have so far. (note to self, buy more pens). Hopefully it's a practice I can keep up and there will be more of such photos again soon!

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January 06, 2015

The last of Dover


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