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June 21st, 2017

03:16 pm
When I'm alone, I realize I am not just an appendage to somebody else. I have my own preferences, inclinations, a mind of my own. All these are hidden in the process of accommodating to others.

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10:24 am - Static Apnea and Psychology
How do we compartmentalize our lives and not let a previous setback affect our future performance?

How do we not reinforce patterns of fear and failure, and allow our past negative experiences not to skew our future experiences negatively?

These are important questions for life that I am beginning to observe during my freediving training.

I noticed when I have a bad start, it affects all subsequent actions that follow. And I noticed in my friends that this does not neccessarily have to be the case. They can have a bad start and a good thereafter. They seemed to see the now and future as two separate entities, as sufficiently independent from each other.

There were no cognitive distortions like: this is just not my day and I'm just not cut out for this.

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June 5th, 2017

11:45 am - Hello again
Wow... I've not blogged for almost a month. What have I been up to? I have been taking a TESOL class to learn how to teach English to speakers of other languages. The classes and tests have finally been completed and now I'm left with a mock and actual practicum.

A wave of emotions just came over me. I actually don't know how am I going to "survive" another three years in Singapore. Or survive another three years doing the same thing day in day out. I remember what my coach, John, said about making it through. You don't look at the whole three years. It's a mental game. You look at the one year, reach it, look at the second year, reach it, only then, do you look at the third year. And I guess for me, if one year is too much, I'm going to have to break it further down into months and then even weeks and days. We just live one day at a time. We will make it through!

Apart from hormonal fluctuations, it has actually been a very long time since I've cried. Keeping busy is a big distraction. Pulling myself together and to live it one day at a time. Enjoy the little surprises that occur in the day, and just put one foot ahead of another.

Those words, perhaps they were the trigger.... "Even though...., I deeply and completely accept myself."

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May 9th, 2017

01:50 pm - Perceptual abilities
I read an article in the newspaper about how it might be that autistic people have stronger perceptual abilities, which makes them good at some stuff like picking out oddities in situations, and poor at others, like focusing on a conversation when there's a lot of things going on around.

I think I am someone with high perceptual abilities. I think you'll remember the stuff I have mentioned about being extremely observant. I think I didn't tell you about the downside of having so many thoughts going on at one time whenever I have a conversation. And it takes so much effort to focus and concentrate.

I am wondering if this is also linked to extraversion and introversion. I think it is according to Quiet. When I think of activities that I want to do, it's always activities that allow me to switch off like taking a nap or doing sports.

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May 8th, 2017

10:36 pm - Sabbatical
I feel like I have been on a sabbatical. This 2017 has started strangely. Initially, I thought becoming half-time at work was a tragedy, but I have come to realize, it had given me time and space to explore so many other things besides work and my PhD. It had given me time to take up a diploma course in TESOL (which is ongoing) and now... I'm also exploring diving...

It just reminded me -
2015 was the year of MacRitchie runs.
2016 was the year of Kent Ridge Park runs.
2017 is the year of the swimming pool?

I am doing so many unusual and fun things like maybe being a bridesmaid and also going for quite a few overseas trips that it really feels like I'm on a sabbatical.

Except, I am still employed and I am pursuing my PhD.

I am grateful that my PhD experience has been this positive. I mean you usually think of a PhD student as someone struggling quite a bit but I feel that I'm having quite a lot of fun!

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May 5th, 2017

09:36 am - Voice
Finding my voice has been one of the most important lessons that I have been trying to learn. It is linked to trusting my instincts, not always preferring others to yourself, not saying one thing when you mean another. Letting that inner child out to roam freely, rather than suppressed under layers of codes and being filtered through layers of censorship.

It is not thinking so much but being spontaneous. It is natural for many, so difficult for me. I think it is what traps me in a state of tension and anxiety.

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May 3rd, 2017

09:26 am - Role Model
I picked up a lot of things from Jesus, my role-model. I wished I had picked up His charisma and sarcasm as a teacher, or his lack of fear of authority, or even His independence, disappearing frequently into the dark night.

But no, what I picked up was His savior complex, a weight of the world's responsibility and the willingness to make sacrifices for it. I have this strange belief that with every encounter, I have to leave the person I meet better than before we met. And also I feel that I must always put the needs of others before myself, if not, I'm being selfish.

What a journey it has been. I hope to be more patient with myself. It does seem that habits and beliefs that had been drilled in at an early age, an age where I've yet to discern nuances or to think for myself, have wide-ranging and long-lasting consequences.

I still struggle to find that voice within me and to set it free.

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April 25th, 2017

09:24 am
What saddens my heart greatly is when the religion meant to liberate and set people free ends up constraining and trapping them.

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April 24th, 2017

01:50 pm - Respect
I admire the bravery of men and women who work hard against the odds, keeping a positive spirit, and making a difference to their own lives with great boldness.

I don't know. It's so easy to make excuses and to shy away from the things we want out of fear. But those brave enough to take that step out, earn my greatest respect.

It doesn't matter whether you succeed or not in the end, the fact that you are pursuing your dream with the best energy, mind, personality and effort that you've got is a wonderful thing already!

Something to pat yourself on the shoulder about!

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April 20th, 2017

09:50 pm - Write and do more of it
I think he's gone and I feel sad. A sense of lost and longing.

Accept these emotions. They come and they will go. They are not permanent. You feel sad now, but it's only for awhile. Tomorrow, you wake up, you have important work to do, important writing work and thinking and studying work, meeting a friend, getting ready to go for a weekend adventure. Yes, your life will continue with a lot of exciting things coming along, especially that you have decided, this year will be the year, you really do what you love to do, and more of it - write.

This year, I will let the writer in me emerge even more. I am happiest and most energized when I write. And maybe career wise, I shall think how I can do more of that, and hopefully carve a career, some sort of career out of it.

So silly, I tell people that doing the PhD to me, is not a pain, it is a joy, because I get to write so many words, up to even 100,000? What a rare chance, to get a guaranteed audience - your supervisor, two examiners, to read a "book" you've written. I want to do it, and more of it, more writing. :)

*sigh* I am unusual right? Gosh, how many people see the PhD the way I see it?

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