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On self-worth.

Hi guys, just a reflection on the above topic. Recently I hit a dip in self-esteem due to certain… events that have happened. But then I realized that I was again looking for approval from others, and being overly dependent on that for happiness.

Since it’s been a few weeks of uni, I feel like I’ve gotten a good grasp of what it’s ROUGHLY about. I say roughly because I haven’t started on projects yet, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll need to go much faster than this once school really kicks in.

But a word on self-worth. I feel like it’s a self-perpetuating thing that either spirals upwards or horribly downwards.

When you’re on a roll, you feel like everything is going right, and you’re like on top of the world.

But then when you start being conscious of what you’re doing to get others to like you and depend on that, then it becomes like a little competition where you’re just trying to win over everyone with your carefully calculated moves and then failing, then going deeper and deeper into the hole you keep digging.

I honestly feel, we need to be ourselves, and let that attractive self be the one that decides what you should do. People naturally gravitate to those who are happy and those who have nothing to prove. Once you start trying to prove yourself, you just fall short.

 

It’s easier said than done, and I’m pretty sure I’ve addressed this in the past before. But it’s what we should be doing. By reminding ourselves every day, maybe we just might find that self-acceptance and self-esteem we all search for.

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Self reflection on concentration.

Hi guys, I’m using this post as a platform to reflect on what I need to do with regards to my study concentration. I usually re-read blog posts so it’s easy for me to read back on what I found through these reflections. If you don’t wanna read, I can’t blame you but I’m just doing this for myself.

So I had 3 days to catch up with my school work and to be honest, I’m pretty sure it could’ve been much better. Granted, there were some emotional issues on the first day I was facing, but let’s evaluate it more objectively.

I realize there are a few things that happen when I study. Well, I guess you could call all of them distractions really.

First, I always have my phone with me and, depending on what I decide for the day, will use it for background noise i.e. light music or YouTube. This can be distracting for obvious reasons. I find that only if I used it for VERY soft music will I be really comfortable and able to concentrate.

So two solutions present themselves. Either I be really disciplined, and use it only for light music, or I never have my phone with me. I feel that the latter will be a better solution, but sometimes I genuinely need to check my phone for emails or to Google something. Which, well can be done by a laptop, but that comes with a whole load of other problems.

 

The second problem I face is that I am distracted by my laptop. When I’m checking out my course material stuff, it’s really tempting to just hop on a game or two, and that escalates into a few hours of work lost. Or just YouTube.

The solution? Use a lousier laptop, and schedule playtime.

 

Lastly, distractions all around me. Like real life environmental distractions. I need a relatively quiet space, which I can get in my room. But then that means that I’ll be surrounded by my guitars and sometimes my laptop. That doesn’t spell well for my progress for obvious reasons.

SOOOOO either I study outside whenever possible (school is probably the best place anyway), or I study downstairs without my gaming laptop and whatnot, but I must be disciplined not to falter.

 

I think, within the next few days, it’s clear that either I need to be disciplined, or I need to study out of home as much as possible, then allow myself to relax when I get back.

Hmmm… Will weigh my options and evaluate my discipline.

 

Anyway if you’ve read all of this THANK YOU FOR ENTERTAINING MY CRITICAL THOUGHT PROCESS!

As you can see I’m trying to look at my situation more objectively and come to a solution that works, not just float the way I am and get frustrated by the results. Anyway, will catch up with you guys soon.

Saying goodbye.

There’s a few things about life that’s really difficult but I think this is one of the hardest.

I realize there’s a lot of hellos and goodbyes in my life right now that I haven’t took the time to appreciate.

The first goodbye I made was to my band. I said goodbye because I could never work with someone as toxic as the keyboardist. She was really one of the worst. That was a goodbye for the better.

The second goodbye was made this morning, where I sent Yu Hng off to UK. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I feel like there’s a part of me that wished he stayed. I wish him all the best. I think this moment, though small, was a momentous one. It represents the point where our paths diverge. He will go on to live his musical life, while I carve my own out in Business.

I’m jealous but I’m also happy that I’m here, because I met so many talented and fun people in SMU.

The third goodbye that’s coming soon, is probably between me and someone I met recently. To be honest, I was interested in her, but recently, I think I need to give up any hope of having a good or constant relationship with her. She’s just… cold I guess.

You see life is just a series of hellos and goodbyes. You make relationships, and you break them. You love and you let go. You leave and you start anew.

Meditations for the start of a new journey.

Hi guys, honestly, I have been busying myself for the past week, haven’t had much rest nor time to myself. Anyway, I’ve done this before in JC, so I’ll do this now. To be honest, I really need to sit down with myself, and think about the goals I have in life, reaffirming whatever was my initial plans, and prepare my mind for this change, and this difficult journey, that without the proper mindset, could be disastrous.

So I’ll spend a few days this week to let things set in for my mind. Things are changing.

And I’m pretty nervous about it to be honest. I’m excited to meet new people, and also to show the world my new self. And, well, self-doubt and anxiety are all part of this.. I remember thinking about how I wouldn’t make it in the Army, and I did. It took a different type of resilience than what I was used to in JC.

And also it taught me the basics of resilience. How to be strong, how to bite the bullet and do what you need to do. Not to whine about circumstances and to put your mind to solving your problems and forgetting about those you have no control over. To take things one at a time, instead of looking at the wave of shit that’s about to wash over you, and solving it all one by one, as long as it takes, till you are done.

But now it’s back to the good old exam papers, and studying. To be honest, that’s the part I’m the least thrilled about, and I’m the most concerned with. What if I don’t do well? What if I can’t make it? What if all my reflections were just empty thoughts that have no weight to them? What if my dreams all shatter with my inability to keep up and my self-blaming self takes over?

These are all my concerns, all the voices speaking in my head right now. Honestly, the way to go is to embrace it, and dive in. But I’m the type who’s really afraid to do so. But I feel, we should do our best, no matter how hard, to embrace change and think more of the goals you wish to achieve than the failures you’d experience. As one of my favourite Youtubers said, “Failures allow us to analyze and make changes, and improve ourselves, so that we may better achieve success.”

Work hard, work smart. That’s probably gotta be my mantra for the next 4 years. I hope I can cope.

Well, now that the dark side of my thoughts are out of the way, let’s just set some goals for these 4 years.

 

University

Well, honestly I haven’t given much thought to this. But a brief summary would probably be:

  1. Maintain a good GPA (3.3 and above would be nice)
  2. Finish my CIP requirement in, if not the first year, the second
  3. Graduate with honours if possible (since my 4th is a compulsory honours year)
  4. Japanese N2 by my 4th year

The reason why I classified Japanese under Uni, is because it legitimately has a connection to my job as a student now. For me anyway, I want to work in Japan for an extended amount of time. Hence, I decided that I need to take it as seriously as my studies in Uni. In fact, I received a mass email about a job with a certain company, which requires the graduates to have business proficiency Japanese. Which means at least N2.

 

So yeah, the other goals are pretty self-explanatory.

 

Music

  1. Start Gigging
  2. Sight-reading
  3. Rhythm studies
  4. Martin Miller’s Improv Class
  5. Compose songs with Studio One

I don’t wanna get into too technical details, but basically I want to be a better improviser and sight-reader. Its my general goal but I believe these are the things that I need to study and iron out if I am to be a greater musician. Honestly, I hope that I can spend enough time on this, but I’m not sure if I can make the cut. Life in the music world hasn’t been very easy, and I think if I want to survive, I have to devote more time than I possibly dream of in Uni to this. So, I hope that whatever I do now, can help me in future.

 

Personal Development And Health

Honestly, I don’t know where to begin on this one. But keeping in mind the goals I set for myself at the start of the year, I hope that I can continue to reflect and become a better person.

Recently I have let loose on my diet a bit again, so I need to reel that in. Not in what I eat, but HOW MUCH I eat. Because I tend to eat to the point of “feeling full”, I think it’s a bit bad of a judge as to how much I should eat. But the kind of food I’m eating, is pretty balanced I think. I might want to restart tracking my diet.

For the past 3 days I have been sick, so all my exercise regimes had been put on hold. I plan to restart tomorrow, 2 days after my fever. At a light pace of course. But overall, I think I need to improve the variety of exercises I do. And run more. Lazy.

 

 

So yeah, that about wraps things up for my reflections. Honestly, I need to let these sink into my head over the next few days, then move efficiently towards that direction. I feel its important to ground yourself before doing anything major, and that’s what I intend to do. Have a good one guys, and I’ll see you in my next Japan post (hopefully). Cya~

Reflections of a busy man.

Hi guys, just wanted a really apt title. If you’re wondering about why I haven’t blogged (probably aren’t but as the narcissistic man I am I shall tell you XD), it’s because well, things have been popping up left and right recently. Right, I know I promised posts about Japan, and I will get to it, now that I have slightly more time on my hands.

If you’re wondering what’s been tying me down, oh well, then you won’t be surprised by my answer. Music, Japanese and training/health. Oh and listening to this soundtrack really soothes my soul. It was comfort for me two years ago, while I lay awake, not knowing what the future held for me, in my bunk in Pulau Tekong. I sing the first song Ubugoe, on the playlist a lot. It reminds me so much of a mother soothing her child to sleep.

Let’s talk about the milestone I just reached. Just yesterday, I completed my N4 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Which calls for both a celebration and reflection. I prepared painfully for it, spending more than a month doing assessment books and studying ahead of my class. I… Really feel like I’ve achieved something in this short span of time. I feel invigorated by this milestone too. Even though I haven’t got my results back, AND even if I fail this test (highly unlikely), I feel like I’ve progressed so much. And I felt the need to reflect and be happy about this progress. It’s important to celebrate your successes as much as reflect on your failures.

Besides that, my new band has taken off to a rocky rocky start. In my previous post, I believe, the band’s bassist had only been found, but now, the pianist, or keyboardist, has just replaced Yu Hng. Losing my constant musical companion was painful for me. I felt lonely for the first time as I started to face these obstacles alone. But I think I’ve grown too comfortable with his companionship, and leaned on him so much that I became weak myself. It’s time for the cub to hunt on his own (subtle reference to the movie from the OST xD).

So for now, the band is experiencing one of it’s rockier times. The singer is unsatisfactory, so we tried to reel in the drummer’s friend. She’s a great singer, but the more senior members (as in age) in my band (namely the bassist and the keyboardist) feel that she lacks the passion for the band. Along with her passive, introverted personality that also won’t do us any good with audiences.

Ah, being in a band, I had some moments where I felt so afraid. Like I felt so scared people would judge me for my skills and all… But now it’s like, people politics and all. I don’t like that bit, especially when everyone has differing views, and the only way out is to find a tenuous compromise. And me, well, I was always one to go with the flow, stay out of the way. You know, like any introvert would.

I try to be accommodating to everyone, but I feel like it’s a pretty difficult thing to lead just a band of 5 of us. Well, maybe one of them is the most difficult of all, but even she does it for the band. Everyone wants the band to succeed, albeit at varying degrees. And it’s this difference in commitment that I find so small, yet it has such a big impact on all of us, whether or not you’re directly involved in conflict. But I will do my best. As I always have. I want this to succeed too.

Now to get on with more miscellaneous matters (I had to use word correct to find out how to spell misc btw LOL). With matters pertaining to my health, I’ve never been better. I mean I have been stronger and faster back in JC, but I was not happy nor satisfied. Now I am both. Spiritually, I accept myself for where I am at, and am content to work slowly with what I have (not just for health but Japanese. Music… well, I’m still trying to get over my lack of ability at this age LOL). And I am content. I lost quite a bit of fat, and my stomach is pretty flat now. Got some work to do still, so I’m not over with it just yet. I can’t start a tough regime now due to my commitments, but I will work at this. Exercising like every alternate day, and hitting different muscles each time. I like it. Never felt better.

Also I have been more careful with my diet, and am eating within my means, and am avoiding all the sugars and mean stuff. I realized I let things into my mouth too casually, and I paid for it. So I had an app, MyFitnessPal, that recorded all the food I ate (I had to manually log it). Then it became clear to me that my diet wasn’t the best because I ate in excess, and I take in too much sugar when I don’t mean to. So I’ve switched up what I drink (from KOI and Starbucks to tea, milk and coffee with milk only, less sweet), and am more careful with the amount I eat (normally I eat a bit too much, but the foods are more or less pretty okay foods, not particularly healthy all the time but good enough). So with all that in place, no secret, I lost a good amount of fat and am looking much better than I was last year, when I was reflecting on my health.

I am content. If a God exists, he has blessed me for my good work so far. But it isn’t over. I still want to become the best I can be. I will work at it, with all my heart.

It’s time to get cracking =D. Cya guys in my next few Japan blogs~

Japan Trip 2017 Day 1: Tokyo (First Half)

The Flight

The story starts with going to the airport at about 9pm. After packing my luggage and pondering about what else I had missed out, I set out for Changi Airport at about 7.45pm, arriving there at about 8pm. At this moment, I felt reluctant to leave home, and wanted to cancel the trip altogether. You know, that feeling when you kinda don’t want to go somewhere else and just wanna stay at home and rot and curl up into a ball and be lonely.

I have this tendency to resist change, and I feel it isn’t necessary to feel that way most of the time. After all, had I not overcome that initial feeling of reluctance, I would never have had such a wonderful experience in Japan.

Anyway, as soon as I reached the airport and saw the faces of my two friends, Yinqing and Yu Hng, all feelings of loneliness and reluctance faded away. They were their happy, jovial selves and it really made me feel much happier knowing I would embark on the trip with these two wonderful souls.

So after the meeting pleasantries, we settled on Swensens for our dinner. Which kinda made for the first inside joke of the trip, which was the Teriyaki Chicken Pasta which Yinqing chose to order on Yu Hng’s reccomendation. I recall having hamburger instead of what they ordered, and Yinqing was salty at the quantity of food he got. So from that point on we compared everything bad to Teriyaki Chicken Pasta.

Oh well, it’s not much but it was really such a warm gathering.

Isaac came, and we entered the departure hall after walking around and talking to him for about and hour or so.

I remember from that point onwards there wasn’t much to talk about so we sat outside our gate’s waiting room (because we were something like, 1 hour early) and used our phones. Not the most glamourous way of burning some time before a flight, but I think it was pretty late, so we were all tired. We boarded the plane at about 12 plus (AM) and we were greeted by the most polite and pretty stewardesses I have seen so far. I think I’m biased to Japanese women so don’t take my word for it. But the service on ANA was excellent. I felt really comfortable throughout the flight (and the flight back to SG).

I can’t quite remember what the breakfast was for the flight, but I know it tasted good. Especially the Soba they served with some packet sauce thing that was really salty but still tasted pretty good when paired with the noodles.

Anyway, fast forward and we touched down, and there were a few things we had to get settled. Firstly was the checking out process, and then secondly was getting our shit together for our rail passes and our transport to Shinjuku area. It was during this moment that my first Japanese conversation in real life unfolded. I was a bit flustered as I spoke my first few words with them, but after a while I was okay with it. So anyway, we finally were able to get our rail passes, and then we set off on the bus to Shinjuku shortly after. It was really easy and was a pretty smooth transition.

Meiji Shrine

I’m not gonna lie, at this point in time, we were tired as hell. After settling all the rail passes and checking in to our first AirBnB room in Shinjuku Gyoenmae (which was massively underwhelming, with a really small toilet), we were really sleepy and tired. Eager to stick to our schedule, we pressed on. It wasn’t a very good first experience because of the lack of sleep we had from the flight, as well as trying to find our room and stuff. I remember reaching the bridge that led to the shrine, and being extremely fatigued. I couldn’t appreciate the place well enough in that state.

We were greeted with a long route down to the shrine. While tired, I remember feeling the serenity of the place, despite my failing eyelids and all. There were bridges and display of Sake barrels all lined up nicely, and of course a brief description of what (the Sake barrels) they represented.

Honestly throughout the trip, I felt as if we rushed a lot of things, and we didn’t really take time to appreciate the history and descriptions of each location. I think it’s important, next time, to plan a more lax schedule to accommodate for this, and spend more time appreciating the historical significance of places and their culture.

So we went all the way to the shrine, and I took some pictures. Part of it was under renovation, but I went ahead and bought a two charms there, one for myself (I know that sounds so superstitious and kinda selfish) and Spud, my dog. There wasn’t much description as to what the charm was supposed to do, but I figured that it was a generic one to ward off the evils or something. I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll make a mental note to find out. And read up more on the medieval history of Japan.

TIME FOR SOME PHOTOS!

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First, the stunning view from the flight. I remember being captivated just by this view. Sadly, my phone camera doesn’t do these kinda photos justice, so oh well.

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ANNDDD TOUCHDOWN! Love the feeling of landing and taking off. Every time man. Such an exhilarating experience.

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The Sake barrels at the Meiji Shrine.

 

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The entrance to the shrine and the walkway. the leaves were neatly piled up, and I was surprised that I couldn’t find anyone around to clean them up. Maybe they just gather them and then clear them all up when the shrine closes?

 

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anddd the shrine!

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I believe this was the right side of the shrine (upon entering). You can see that there were renovations going on, and the shrine was still open, but I’m not sure if you could enter that wing. I saw some people enter though.20170418_162911.jpg

On the way in I saw this. I was on a bridge, and it was the first time I saw something quite like that. It has that peaceful Asian vibe that I really like. Ah I wish I lived near these kind of sites. So good for finding peace.

I have loads more photos but I feel these illustrate the day pretty well! And I’m kinda lazy xD. So… Deal with it. =P

So yeah, these are some photos of the trip. I’ll come up with another post on day 2 later this afternoon, after I’ve settled all the shit I need to do before lessons tomorrow and my band practice. CYA SOON!

Back From Japan!

Hi guys! I’m back from the land of the rising sun!

It’s been a long time since I posted, but yeah, basically I’ve ORDed and I went to Japan for a good 20 over days. 18 April to 10 May. I touched down yesterday at about 1235am.

ORD happiness aside, I miss Japan a lot right now. Like a tugging feeling of wanting to go back. I guess this is what it feels like to leave something you just fell in love with right? No matter, I can always go back anytime I have holidays, so it shouldn’t be too bad.

That said, I’d like to dedicate the next few days to putting up an elaborate review of my experiences here. That means uploading photos and stuff (although I am pretty lazy I shall force myself!)

I’d like to split the trip into multiple posts, so that I properly record down all the experiences and feelings I had. At first I brought a diary to pen my thoughts down there, but then we got lazy so there’s one slipshod entry right there. I find writing down my thoughts in a book way more awkward than typing them here, though they’re probably much the same thing.

Actually I wanted to blog a post on the trip tonight, but pressing issues have been keeping me busy till now.

Let’s just say they’re family issues, and that they’re probably not good to put up on a public site. You could ask me though. I probably would tell you if you’re able to read my blog already anyway.

OKAY. Enough emo. So how the next few days are going to pan out is that, I will type (within memory) all the experiences I had at each location. So this will mean that I will have a few posts in chronological order of my trip, and I wouldn’t put all of them out at once because I want them to be as elaborate as possible.

I feel like this has been an important milestone in my life, because it’s now that I truly realize my love for Japan. As a tourist anyway, but I really like what I see so far. Maybe I might live there and work there, but I haven’t seen the uglier side of the country yet, and that gives me enough reason to stay in SG for the moment.

That said, I have really beautiful memories of the place, and the photos will really show that.

Honestly, I’m really lazy about uploading photos, because I need to transfer them to the computer before uploading one by one, but I think a detailed record of my first time in Japan is well worth the few days of work I need to put in to make it. Besides, I like blogging anyway, and have been doing so since 6 years ago.

Well, I hope you enjoy the next few posts I will put up here within the next few days. Maybe I’ll wake up early tomorrow to blog! It’s 10 already so I have about an hour before I need to sleep. Since Japan is 1 hour ahead from us, it’s pretty easy for me to sleep early and wake up early now, and I’m not about to break that good habit.

Anyway,

それじゃ!