Goodbye October, Hello November

These sweet words “Goodbye October, Hello November”.. I didn’t think I’ll be able tide through October but I did. Thank you God for looking out for me =)

I visited a fortune teller at the beginning of the year. Using tarot cards, he  calmly informed me that that I picked out the 2nd worst card in the whole deck. I could literally feel my heart sink into my stomach (The sheer weight of my worry probably dragged my heart down to the ground). Throughout the year, I kept anticipating how bad the month would be and kept bracing myself for what was to come. My rantings on October probably irritated my friends a wee bit.

Looking back, September was probably worst than October, given the unpleasant peer pressure at work.

Nonetheless, I’m glad it’s over.

So, here’s a toast. A toast to November.

(P.S Be warned: Tarot reading is only for the strong-hearted)

From the back seat to the front

Today, I was presented with a choice- a choice I didn’t think I had.

It feels like I’ve been yanked from the passenger seat and asked to lead the way. If there’s one thing I learnt about myself, that is, I always make the wrong decisions. Then again, not making a decision is a decision in itself.

Thoughts of quitting my job and bumming around seems very attractive right now. It’ll be nice to travel and live in solitude for just a little while. I would love to visit Japan and Ireland, though I highly doubt that I’ll be any closer to making a decision after the trip than before.

It’s all about me in the Internet age

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 9:42 AM Updated: Oct 23, 2012 9:42 AM
rchang@sph.com.sg

When that NUS undergraduate’s sex blog made the rounds earlier this week, it confirmed to me one of the most distasteful qualities of my generation.

Not the tendency to apply Instagram filters to make any picture – including extreme close-up shots of genitalia – look “artsy”, although that’s also appalling.

It is that we have no idea what is actually worthy of notice, remark and attention, because we have the ability to publish every inane thought.

Every non-event and trivial action is to us deserving of mention to a mass audience on social media, whose receptiveness – measured in “likes” – in turn deepens our self-regard.

An older colleague once diagnosed my generation in one damning sentence: “Everything you do is for the story.”

In his time, he recalled, when anything happened, you actually had to pick up the phone and call someone to tell them.

The sheer effort of transmitting information made people more discerning of what they chose to communicate. Only really big news and out-of-the-ordinary encounters were worth it.

As modern communications technology has improved, our standards of newsworthiness have deteriorated in tandem. We do everything for the story because all we do is tell stories – but so few of them are any good.

In the days of letter-writing and telegrams, when people posed for pictures twice in their lifetimes, I can’t imagine anyone wasting a frame on a picture of their lunch or sending off an inarticulate description of their mood, punctuated with an emoticon.

But, of course, it’s not the topic but the way it’s executed. Like Warholian soup cans and Proustian madeleines, there’s always been art in mundanity.

But Gen-Y and younger – and in fact I fear worse for the kids who’ve never known a world without Facebook – don’t need to rise to the top to be validated with an audience. They no longer need talent or drive to receive attention.

Plain-looking girls can look beautiful with careful angling and detailed colour treatment of their pictures. From a thousand self-portraits will emerge one that gives you the bone structure that Nature withheld.

Mediocre thinkers can post their amateur philosophising on Facebook notes and bask in the delusion of their originality – helped along by praise from their even-dumber social circle.

Two young, moronic exhibitionists can get into the national newspapers just for misplacing their sense of shame.

It’s enough to make one despair, especially if one sometimes feels, as I do, at high risk of catching this Spanish flu of undiscerning self-importance.

My Facebook page is, in places, as filled with frivolity and narcissism as any average 20something. I was in university when the site really took off with undergraduates everywhere. My sister and her husband, who at three years older are later-comers to social media, once marvelled at the fact that I had more than a thousand pictures tagged.

But my count was already substantially under that of my schoolmates.

The whole vicious circle works in reverse too. Since what is published and garners an audience must be remarkable; ergo, nothing that is remarkable can go unpublished.

One of my friends had a friend who caught her boyfriend having cybersex – which she announced through the world by posting screenshots of his lurid chat transcripts. Another had a friend who proposed, only to have his girlfriend squeal, whip out her phone, take a picture of him on his knees, a picture of the ring, and then upload it all on Facebook – before she finally said Yes.

I feel like this is a phenomenon that older generations must truly puzzle over. It used to be that the more significant and intimate the moment between two people, the more private. Now, it’s the other way around. If a tree falls in the forest and somebody saw it and posted about it on Facebook but nobody “liked” the news or commented – did it happen?

So to me, it was not Alvin and Vivian’s lack of propriety that was the most objectionable about their whole blog undertaking nor their “immoral” behaviour.

What dismayed me was the way the couple not just felt their exploits worth documenting, but also distributing and publicising.

This despite the fact that the only thing special about it all was that they thought they were.

The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
―    Robert Frost

If I had one wish

I thought I’ll like to wish for a house overlooking the sea…

But I realise there isn’t a point in having a beautiful house if the occupants in the house aren’t happy.

So… if i had one wish, i’ll wish for the elimination of sins or unwholesome thoughts.

That way, everyone will be happy. The world would be a peaceful place with contented people giving their money to help the poor, eliminating poverty…

I hope you’ll have a good day today.

Staying true

At work today, I had the first hand experience of…. politics. Then again, I might have been through it before, except that I was too clueless to be aware of it.  The world is a messy place.

I’m just glad I am able to identify it now and see them for who they are. It doesn’t matter to me really… I’m past that stage.

At the end of the day though, I know that I stayed true to myself and that makes me happy =) It doesn’t matter who wins the fight, because I’m already a winner. Simply because I refuse to partake in this fanfare.

Operation Qing

It doesn’t take a genius to find out that I could be happier at work. I recently shared it with my mum and she has since been rallying behind, supporting me in every way that she can. I sincerely appreciate it and feel closer to her than I have before. The way she cares for me is amazing and selfless… it feels as if she has set up an army exercise called “Operation Qing”, to save me from the depths of the jungle.

Thank you, Mummy.

Chilled out with my gfs by the beach the other day. It was nice just talking about the things in our lives as we listened to the soothing sounds of waves. That’s when I realise.. maybe it isn’t as bad as I think it is. Well, work isn’t ideal, but at least I still have my family and friends to lean on. Some of the stories told then could really be part of a korean drama show… except this time I know the characters, and I wish the best for them….. that they can find the happiness they are seeking, the happiness they deserve.

Because, after all, we just want to be happy.

Maybe I will…. learn to dance in the downpour

I guess I haven’t been the best of moods recently. Drama at work and all. The lady boss and the big guy has been nitpicking on me over unjustifiable reasons. I was running a fever on thursday evening but had to stay till 12am because I have to rush both her work and the client’s. All she said was: “ok.”

I’m feeling overwhelmed, as if I’m sinking in a quicksand. Any moment now, i’ll be covered. There’s no point really to earn that little bit of money and have someone step all over you.

Met my ex-boss recently who is based in Shanghai. She comes over to Singapore twice a year. I’ve met her 3 times since joining this company. Without fail, she asked me the same question again… “What are you still doing there for?” While she’s glowing about how wonderful her work is, i’m recounting what a lousy environment my work place is.

I asked my ex colleague for help to see if she has any contacts to share… turns out.. she didn’t want to tell me. That’s when i realise…. this is the moment, the moment for me to realise who my friends are.

While I patiently (or not..) wait for this specific outcome (pls come faster than slower) ……. i will learn to dance in the downpour.

Will you dance with me?