Brain Mountain Hiking Expedition

I feel like I went back in time to the beginning of Secondary 3.

Secretly wishing something cool would happen to me, like suddenly being bestowed crazy cool powers.

I used to imagine stuff like that before I slept. Come up with some cool story of me being some demon hunter or something like that. And I’d have a really cool coat and a sword that I’d sling around my back at all times. Riding a black motorcycle around the city. I would have to find some way to slip out of class during recess to go on a mission, and meet my partner at the balcony of the Level 4 Hall. 

Now that I think about it, a lot of story plots are rushing back to my mind now. But they never really ended. I kinda just fell asleep in the middle. The next night I’d start all over again.

I don’t know why I’m suddenly thinking about stories again.

Maybe it’s just a way my brain is trying to keep its focus on something else.

 

It’s like letting my brain go on a mountain hiking expedition retreat every once in a while. Get my mind off things. Off anything below 600m above sea level.

I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHY my brain has to imagine something before I go to sleep. Whether it’s trying to relive a memory, or imagining the future, or imagining something impossible, or imagining something horrible and sad and tragic. Or something comforting and happy. Just something.Unless I was really tired that day and immediately blanked out upon hitting the sack.

I guess it’s a ‘since-young’ thing. That was how I made myself fall asleep. Imagining stories or scenarios.

Well I guess thinking of demon hunting and sword fighting is better than thinking of the worst possible scenarios that could happen.

 

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Take Control

Today would be what I’d like to think of as a success day!!

But then the quiet voice inside of me reminded me that it wasn’t of my own strength but His.

I’m glad I prayed. I really am.

I was in the shower when I was reminded of that.

*me in shower*

“I think I did pretty okay today!”
*does some cheery dance*
*Nudge nudge*
“Oh right, sorry sorry, it’s not me sorry ah.”

Yeah it’s good to be reminded that it’s all not by my own strength and I should give all the glory to Him. Even if it was a small thing. Still His.

And to be thankful.

I really am.

I could have screwed up so badly.

I think part of giving God all the controls and the strings is just forgetting yourself and letting God take over. What would He do? Not what I want to do.

Yup.

I’m really quite happy. That He helped me. Now that I think about it more, I really couldn’t have done it without Him.

And He has set me free.

*dances cheery dance again*

Who He Is

I think I really forget who God is sometimes.

He becomes this formless being somewhere up there, just hovering, and I forget who He is to me and who I am to Him.

Today in cell, I doodled a picture of me and Him on my worksheet, and He had nice, kind gentle eyes and a big bushy beard and He wore this comfy robe. I was standing right beside Him, and I’m really really short, and He had His arm around me.

It made me feel very warm inside. And loved.

I really do take for granted His love. I forget it. It’s really quite sad. I mean, I would feel so depressed if someone slowly forgot about my love. I’d want my love to always be on their minds. What more would God feel? 

I feel so safe and peaceful remembering that God loves me like that. God. 

God used to be this abstract idea in my head. Like some invisible person before I really got to know Him. Not even a person maybe. Just something. 

But I can’t imagine God without a beard. And bushy eyebrows. And He’s always in cartoon form in my head for some reason. Either that or Aslan. I think imagining what God looks like makes it a lot easier to talk to Him. Close my eyes really tight and imagine God in heaven looking down from His throne and leaning over to one side on an arm to listen to me below. Or maybe imagining talking to God who looks like Aslan by the seaside, because in the Movie Aslan’s always walking by the seaside.

It makes me want to shut down my computer and go to bed so I can imagine walking by the seaside with God. 

 

The Fault In Our Stars

I think it’s the absoluteness of death that makes it so sad.

How there’s nothing left to hope for in it. At least while you’re still alive.

There’s hope in sickness, there’s hope in distance, there’s hope in time but in death there’s really just…nothing.

How you’d never hear their voices again, their laugh. Make any more new memories. Never feel their warmth. It’s an absolute never.

😥

I cried. Haha. Ha.

Jairia didn’t.

=___=

Visit To Child At Street 11 #2

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Reflection time!

Well really I was pretty worried today would be an absolute failure and I’d forget this and that and the kids will get bored and…well, just end up disastrous. But I think we did OKAY. Except for their teacher constantly screaming at them to follow instructions.

“MARCUS NEVER FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAN YOU JUST LISTEN!”

Real screams. Bellowing screams that remind me of the principal in Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Kinda brings me back to my own days at my child care centre where no day will pass without Mdm Xiao Screaming her lungs out at us.

Children warm up to strangers pretty fast though. And they were really fun to teach. If I ever not end up being a social worker I think being a teacher would be quite nice.

There were two girls who didn’t want this other girl to be in their group.

I said gently, “Share okay? Be nice laaaah” persuading them to accept them.

“Noooooooo Don’t want!” The two girls said in unison.

I felt sad for the girl. I mean I knew she wanted to do everything and not share but, it kind of reminded me of how childcare was like in the past. There were always social outcasts.

I wonder what kind of mother I’ll be if I ever am one in the future.

I think I’d be pretty strict. My friends also say that too. I think I’d be the embarrassing kind too, I’m already an embarrassing friend. Who needs auto correct to help spell embarrassing which I spelt with an ‘e’. I can’t really imagine myself as a motherly figure. It’s so weird! Aunty Rachel. Aunty Rachel goes to the fish market to buy soup ingredients. There are some people that just emit motherly waves out of them, like Anna and Clarie. I think I emit the waves of either a lazy cat or a hyper-active dog.

I saw this GIF of giving birth. It was quite horrible. The whole baby’s head squeezing through a space a 100 times smaller. Ahhhhh.  But giving birth shouldn’t be too bad if for every human you see on Earth was a woman who went through childbirth. Can you imagine like another life inside of you?! Kicking and squirming. The belly actually moves when a baby kicks and you can see it, it’s cool and freaky at the same time. Very freaky.

I wonder if a child’s personality is inside of him/her or if it comes from nurture. Quiet kids and crazy kids. I think both have their charms.

I kinda was always jealous of families that were really noisy. It’s like how every time I call Wei Qian’s house, there’d always be noise in the background, or her sisters would try to disturb us. I’ve always wished I had brothers or sisters to quarrel with. I guess I just want a sibling. But I don’t know how much of a different person I’d be if I did. Maybe less melancholic all the time. I’d probably think less. It’s kind of cool to think of how different I’d be. Alternate realities. What if this and what if that. Not just siblings, I mean, alternate other things in life.

Okay I think I went pretty off the beaten trail here.

Kids are fun. There’s just something about talking to kids that’s different from talking to friends or adults. I guess I just never feel judged. And it’s like going back to a time when things were much less complicated. They don’t really hide what they feel or what’s on their mind.

They cry as hell when they feel sad. They scream when they’re angry. They laugh and roll all over the floor.

Mead’s  3 stages of development. Developing an awareness and response to other individuals instead of just the self. Haha okay.

It was really tiring though. But fulfilling.

I really hope they had fun. This boy told me that he’d miss us. And there was an ‘awwwwww’ moment in my heart and now I feel so warm and fluffy like a unicorn.

Sigh. The good kind of sigh. With a smile:D

 

It’s deep inside

Sometimes there’s just this feeling inside and I know it’s not quite alright.

It looks fine on the outside, and I think I’m trying to convince myself that too.

But I know it’s not really.

I’m not trying hard enough. I’m just being really cautious now and it’s like threading around a volcano that I know exists somewhere deep underground. If I step on the wrong rocks it’s going to crack the surface and erupt.

I think I cracked the last one. The next one’s (if and hopefully not) going to be a deadly one.

I’m trying my best to mind where I go.

Reminds me how flawed I am. I’m just a kid not knowing what I’m doing. Not thinking about where I was stepping on.

I hope I’ve made enough mistakes to learn not to repeat them again and again:/

Visit to Child at Street 11 #1

Children are really great.

So noisy and full of energy and dancing and prancing around everywhere.

There was this kid who was probably around 3-4 years old who just randomly grabbed my hand while I was discussing stuff with my group mates, even though I never met him before, and pulled me away and I played a mini game of tug-of-war with my arm. He didn’t say anything at all and just kept smiling and then I let him win (Obviously) but he returned me back to the spot I stood and then just ran off, just like that.

AHHHHHHHH

It really made my day:D

 

 

Gender Socialisation

It’s really hard to shop for stuff when you’re me.

I go into a shop, and 90% of the clothes I would say wouldn’t fit me at all even though I can actually fit into them perfectly fine.

As I’m working on an essay now about gender socialisation, I wonder if what I think of as me is really me, or what i perceive of other people’s expectations and opinions of me.

I wouldn’t dare wear a dress to church because I feel weird doing so. But why do I feel weird? Is it really because I don’t like the dress or is it because I know people are going to comment on it?

“Oh my gosh Rachel are you wearing a dress?!”

“Whoa why suddenly wear so nice today?”

“Wah Rachel you actually look like a girl now!!”

I don’t like attention. This kind of attention at least. It’s not like they are bad comments, it’s just that these comments further emphasize how out of place me wearing something girly is.

Here’s something I would definitely not wear.

Lacey, frilly stuff with sparkly jewelry and high heels. Short skirts. Makeup. Those petite handbags that dangle delicately off people’s wrists. (Okay honestly I really hate those bags, just a personal preference I’m not saying they’re bad)

Just thinking of it makes me feel weird. Brrrrr.

I’m mainly like this because of the environment I was brought up in as a kid. Hehehe, let me put in some chim sociological terms here to sound cool. Agents of socialisation, I mean.

Like how my parents never really imposed informal negative sanctions on whether I should dress a certain way. I could pick a blue shirt because I like it and they never said anything like, “Aiyoh, choose pink lah!” Or say anything bad when I browse the boys section in kiddy palace for clothes. In fact, almost all of my clothes were boy clothes when I was young. I even looked like a boy. My hair was still wispy and fine when other girls could already tie theirs into pig tails and plaits. I looked pretty weird.

And my grandfather would always get me toys like remote control helicopters, dinosaurs, a book about dinosaurs, buses and cars. Science kits like a mini microscope to let me see cool closeups of insects and cells. Telescopes, spy kits. Stuff like that.

I didn’t really find barbie dolls particularly interesting to play with. I only liked playing with the little miniature stuff so the barbie dolls given to me on christmas by relatives who know nothing about me usually ended up abandoned in this box deep in my cupboard (I’m sorry but I really didn’t know what to do with them). The only thing about barbies I really liked were the movies. They were quite good.

Of course I did do the usual stuff when I was really really young like dress up as a princess and things like that. But that was before the age of when I could decide for myself and form my own self-identity.

I was at the peak of my boy-ish-ness in my late childhood. That was when people had already formed their expectations of me to stick to being boyish. The boy’s section was the first place I’d run to in a clothes store. Really, sometimes I never even bothered to look at the girl stuff because at that age, they were all pink and frilly. And I didn’t like short sleeves. (Which explains my horrible arm tan line since my shoulders never got to see the sunlight at all)

Looking back at all my photos, I realise how horrible I looked. I never bothered to do anything with my hair, was skinny and scrawny like a little boy, super tan from all that running outside. Scruffy clothes. HAHAHA I just realised these things could still somewhat apply to me at the present moment.

The last thing people would know me for would be pretty cute and girly. I’m the epitome of all things NOT pretty cute and girly.

I remember a long time ago, I was talking to Gin Fang, and she told me she asked Sean whether he liked me (This was when we were primary 5) . And she told me Sean said, “No lah! She so tomboy, who would like her.”

._____.

It never really bothered me much though at that point of time, because a) I didn’t like boys at that point of time and b) I liked being a Tomboy, I thought it was cool and unique.

(I am so going to put this experience in my essay)

But I guess it did influence the way I thought other people perceived Tomboys to be. No guy likes tomboys (Okay I’m making a sweeping statement here, obviously there are exceptions). Which I think is quite true. I mean, if I were a guy I’d like a cute, sweet, girly girl too.

Anyway, let’s talk about the present. I think I’m sort of in the middle now. I can hold a decent conversation on fashion and makeup and girly things (Not for long though I’d get really bored), I have a healthy appreciation for girly clothes even though I don’t wear them. I do care much more then before about taking care of my appearance. But I’m not quite there yet, as in being girlish.

It’s not that I don’t like girlish things now unlike when I was young! I actually do like some girlish things! Like I watch makeup videos on Youtube (I don’t even know why I do this) and I do like wearing certain girly things too. It’s just that…it’s a little hard to break free from that perception of me that other people have and feel totally comfortable changing certain things.

My primary school friends always encourage me to try out new things when I go out with them (Every outing usually ends up in shopping anyways). And when I do try out some other clothes and they see me and say I should get them and I look nice and girly, but I never do because I’m just not used to that image. I’d rather wear something I’m comfortable in then look nice in something I’m not.

See, if I wear a dress, I can’t sit like a man or run about or jump from high places and do weird things like climb hills or explore drains. (Wow do I sound like a monkey on drugs here)  I’d walk differently. My gestures will be a little gentler and delicate.

Okay so dresses aren’t exactly the only girly things out there. But most other girly things nowadays are all clothes that are sort of revealing. Backless shirts, really short shorts, clothes with holes everywhere. Low-cut stuff. Tight fitting stuff. Most people say these clothes embrace a women’s sexuality. Okay okay, but errr…. nah.

See this is why the only things I wear are T-shirts and jackets. And collared button-downs and sweaters. I know there are girly clothes out there that aren’t, how you say, EMBRACING FEMININE SEXUALITY, but they’re really hard to find. At least, I find them hard to find but I’ll probably try finding some. At least the ones I feel comfortable in.

I’m afraid of the day when almost all the clothes in a store are something like that. Now it’s at about half.

This is a whole other topic worthy of another blog post so I shall not continue.

Am I happy at where I am now? Well, I do wish I could try out new things without feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious. Maybe one day.

And honestly I think I look enough like a girl to pull off wearing guy clothes every once in a while. As long as I don’t butcher off my hair (Which I feel like doing).

I’m not a lesbian.

I think if I told people I like wearing guy clothes people would instantly think that.

I like guys. Very Much. Okay. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Not all guys.

Funny how when I was in primary school, all my friends thought it was absurd that I would like a guy. Ever. If I ever told them, they’d say, “OH MY GOSH RACHEL YOU ACTUALLY LIKE A GUY?!” -.- Even Jairia would be completely shocked. I’d be the last person she’d think would ever want any romantic relations.

I wonder what my sociology lecturer will think after he reads my sociological autobiography on gender.

 

 

 

 

 

Dream Log #13

I think I was with some of the people from my retreat group, though there were others who weren’t. And we were in this hotel, just hanging around as a group. 

They were all a little different. Just not themselves in their character. I only felt how different they are after I woke up though. I remember feeling extremely left out. There was a point of time when I couldn’t take it and left for a while in the midst of everything, and went to sit in a corner.

I think I went back to them when I was okay again, but there was something wrong with my mouth. I could’t move it at all no matter how hard I tried, and my teeth were really tightly grinding against each other. It hurt and I was really scared. I think the thought that I was possessed came through my mind.

I tried telling some of the people but couldn’t say anything, and they just looked at me weirdly and were quite disgusted with the sound that my teeth were making. I felt so frustrated and desperate, but I couldn’t do anything.

And then I woke up in the darkness, lying on my bed, and there was this horrible looking creature standing right next to me. It had dark brown, wrinkled skin, looked somewhat like a short, disfigured human, and its ribs were poking out from its thin skin. It didn’t have a face but it had a huge head. Its spine was bent down and its arms hung in the air as if they were dead.

I tried to scream for my parents but I couldn’t move or make a sound. I tried raising my left arm but I had totally no control over my body. It was so scary, the creature was just right next to me and I couldn’t do anything to help myself.

And it spoke, saying, “Come girl, Come” In a horrible deep voice that echoed in my head, and in my head I was screaming “NO!” and tried to turn my head away from it with all my strength but I couldn’t. I could only open and close my eyes. 

Then I cried out in my head for God to help me, and then I really woke up.

It was so scary because I was still in the exact same position as I was in my dream, facing the exact spot where the creature was, but I could move my arms again. That line between the dream and reality was so thin, it felt so real. 

I think I just experienced waking up but still in a dream state, so weird things could still happen but my whole body being paralysed completely. 

I remember feeling so relieved that I could turn around. And it was a pretty humid night but I felt so cold waking up. 

It feels crazy that I actually believed it happened now. But at that point of time it was so real! 

Dreams are cool.

Not Going Back!!

I really don’t want to end up going backwards.

Preparing for devotions every morning for the group has really let me see how much truth there is in the word of God all over again. I think overtime, I kinda just forgot and didn’t see a need to that much. 

I became satisfied with where I was in my walk with God, and that just meant I wasn’t thirsty for more of Him. I don’t quite know what else I was satisfied with. Maybe the excitement of school, new friends, new things to learn. 

This retreat wasn’t really an emotional one, but there was so much I learned throughout these past few days about God, myself, and other people and I’m really thankful for that. Less of experience, more of conviction. Talking to my group mates I realise a lot of them have insecurities about not feeling as much as the people around them. So I tell them that it’s what you act on after retreat that really matters.

 

1) Setting myself apart from the World.

I’ve really been trying to fit in more than standing up for what God says is wrong and right. Trying to not stand out, just agreeing with things, not saying anything. A quiet Christian in class. I want to change that so that people will notice God through me (Wah that’s a really heavy responsibility but I want to try). Be different Rachel!

 

2) Quiet Time

I was reminded again of how important it really really really really is to constantly read the Word of God and take it in me. Like water, or food. I’ve been full with other kinds of food that don’t give me nutrients at all. Like Cup Noodles. Many of the things I want to grow in, praying for others, serving, wisdom, sensitivity to God’s voice, all these things can only be achieved by knowing His word! And yet I don’t actively seek it. I’m really quite stupid. I must always remember that if I’m not growing, I’m just going backwards. No in-betweens.

3) Peace from Trust

I always need to be constantly reminded that I’m not alone when I step into tomorrow. The future. God is there in my tomorrows too. I thought the analogy of being on a cloud with God above all the scary mountains was pretty cool. Why am I always so afraid? Always so worried? I spend even more time worrying than time spent with God. It’s easy to say that I trust God with my life, but I hardly ever show it. 

So from now on whenever my worrying symptoms kick in again, I’ll just start talking to God instead of myself.

Talking to myself just makes things worse with a brain like mine.-.

 

I really need to keep track of what I want to do, not just say these things and forget them. Like my Resolutions for this year, I’ve only really been working on the encouragement part more and forgetting the other two. I need to put them in my heart again. Constantly.

Tomorrow I’ll most likely be alone for the entire day. I mean today, since it’s 12am. 

I feel kind of sad that I’m not surrounded by bruhs and sistars (This is my gangsta lingo which sounds completely weird in this context but never mind) and church people anymore. It’s a nice feeling. Being taken care of, and taking care of others at the same time.

I like to think of heaven as an eternal church camp though.

Instead you could probably hold a cup noodle party with Moses too. But I don’t think Moses fancies cup noodles much.