Monday, September 11, 2006

Two-year-old writing

This is part of a journal entry that I wrote exactly two years ago, to the day. I was referring to one evening in 2003 when I was lying down on a friend's balcony in Australia, watching shooting stars.

I don't know who you are, but I had the feeling when I reread my old journal that I should put this entry here so that someone who's facing a "night" of his or her own would gain some hope. I don't have much I can give my friends, but I hope this page from my life will help you.


"In the cold that night... I remember feeling a sense of impernanence, and that I was just a tiny, tiny part of a great big world. I was so hypnotised by the shooting stars, I couldn't get up to go home. Even when there was a long gap in between one star and the next, I would whisper, 'Just one more, please, God,' and wait. And I would wonder: 'If he can bring me another star, won't he also make sure all the more that my life will be fine?' And somehow, though there was a lot more pain to come*, I knew things would be all right.

I would feel it, too, when I went up to Red Hill Lookout** at sunset and watched the blue sky go purple, red, orange, black. Sometimes there would be ribbons of vibrant orange across a velvety blue, almost edible background, and when I turned to face the other way there would be an entirely different picture there. I usually went about 15 minutes before sunset, and the sky would still be blue then; yet, the change from daylight to night was so gradual that I never saw it happen.

Guess my life is like that. Things are constantly changing, forming, reshaping, disappearing, but it's only when each stage is over that I realise how different things are from before. Between last year and now, my life is as different as day is from night. With each fading colour, I cried, sometimes even fought against its dying, got angry and made sure to tell God so. When night finally fell, I wept and stumbled in the ensuing darkness for some time.

Yet I believe that now, I've come to understand that in order for daylight to come once more, I must be willing to accept the darkness of tonight, do what is appropriate for that time, and simply wait for the sunrise. And it will come."

Whoever you are, if it seems that all the light seems to have gone from your life, I hope you have faith that it will come back.

*Just a few months after that night with the shooting stars, I faced the end of a four-year relationship; had to give up my full-time dance studies because of an inexplicable back injury; and left the scenery I loved in Australia to come home.
**A pretty spot 5 minutes away from where I lived in Sydney, where I'd go whenever I needed to be alone.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A plan so fine

I’m glad to know there are more than two people who read this blog. Thanks for the encouragement, you know who you are.

In the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of reason to contemplate life in general. How things that we flippantly said years before can suddenly come true now, making us go “Whoa… now hang on a sec. How?” Or things that were once all that we lived, breathed and dreamed… and now, looking back, there’s nothing else to do but thank God they never came close to happening.

Years ago, I said to my mum one random day, “Wouldn’t it be fun if when I grow up, I work for [her favourite exclusive Japanese cosmetics house] so that you can get free cosmetics?”

I have no idea why I said that. I’ve never had an interest in dermatology or anything remotely connected to the beauty industry. I think I was just being my practical, Hokkien self: considering how much my mum spent on cosmetics, I probably figured that if I could get her sold on the idea of free cosmetics by the time I was 25, she might go easy on them for now and save enough money by the time I was 18 to… buy me a car? Who knows.

Anyway, a few weeks ago as I organised a bunch of cosmetics and skincare I’d taken home to test for work, I suddenly remembered that statement I’d made to my mum.

And realised that the things we speak of, however lightly, always have some chance of coming true. Not necessarily in the way we imagine, but in such a way that even through the fog of intervening years, we can still recognise them. Maybe it’s these small, seemingly unimportant things that serve to remind us that our past and future are never separate from each other, even when all we can see of the present seems to tell us otherwise.

There are times in life when I just can’t imagine what’s ahead and sometimes I forget that whatever it is, it’s good. I’m so thankful for all the people, animals and things around me that constantly help me to remember that while some of the things I say are random, life never is.

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