Puffy Eyes

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“My face is so puffy it seriously hurts to cry”

I found myself saying that to my friends while clutching my cheeks and jawline to compress the puffiness that was developed from my multiple cry sessions over the weekend.

I don’t how to feel about that. Crying. I mean if you know me, you’ve seen me cry before… from laughing. It’s no secret that I’m that infamous laugh-cry emoji in my friendship groups, sometimes I feel like it’s my only God-given talent in the past 23 years.

But the crying I’m talking about is the sincere fat tears secreted by the tear-ducts from the induced heavy emotions from I-don’t-know-where (and you will tell me – It’s God).  I cry all the time. But let me tell you this, I hate seeing people cry (though it’s changed over the past few years). I don’t know how to react to an emotional person, despite being emotional myself. I don’t know how to comfort them… do I hug you? Do you want me to hug you? What if you don’t want me here? Should I disappear? As a youth leader now, I have essentially improved in this area, or else I will be sincerely fired over being the least empathetic leader ever.

To prevent the same emotions and feelings back to me, I made a point to myself to never public cry, ever. My closest and dearest friends, those I’ve lived with in boarding school, despite wailing myself to sleep some nights, have never seen me cry. Yet I cried like the biggest whack over the weekend at my Young Adults (1830) Camp. Gosh… the amount of times I had to run to the bathroom and people questioning my bladder issues. I mean I do pee a lot, but my visits were abnormally frequent… if you get my drift.

Is it the Internship
Is it God
Is it life
What is it
Do you need to talk

Do I?

Can I honestly tell you… I don’t know why I cried. I’m as confused as ever. Yes, I left a Christian Camp with less clarity and more confusion, how scandalously unholy.

I think half my crying was crying that I can’t stop myself from crying in public and it’s annoying to cry that it made me cry even more because I’m crying.

Yea I may have left camp confused. But I’m not confused with God. No, not ever. I think I left the camp with more curiosity, of what God has in store for me. I mean, yes I’m confused, but tell me and give me a millennial who isn’t confused with their life. They may have it all together but are you seriously that planned out… seriously.

It’s been a couple of days since camp. I’ve received “are you ok?” texts from multiple people who knew of my crying. Here it goes, I’m okay guys. I am. I’m not gonna be the suicidal 19-year-old again. God has sacrificed a life of a family member to teach me the value of life, so no. I will not die. I love life, as challenging and confusing it may be. But that’s the whole excitement of the journey, isn’t it?

I’m 23 now. It really hit me only a few days back despite 19 days into my new age. I’m not young, but I’m not old. I’m not all put together, but I’m strong enough to pick myself up if need be. I’m growing, I have Jesus. I am on the right track. Emotions are part of life, I have to deal with it, regardless how much I hate crying emotionally. It happens.

Cheers to my new age, more infrequent blogging and rants of my life. The blessings, the downfalls, the anger, the love and most of all… the endurance that comes out from the hecticness of it all.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

Hebrews 12:1

p/s: If you’re an Athiest and wondering why an idiot like me would still believe in God despite the awful emotions and puffiness I have to endure and making my face 10x uglier than it already is… read this.

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Rabbit Milk

Does this have rabbit??”

It probably didn’t mean ‘rabbit’ but from my minimal Chinese vocab, I assumed it was rabbit because it sounded like ‘rabbit’, but given the context… it probably wasn’t it.

I was in the supermarket looking at teabags when an old Chinese lady and her husband came up to me holding a bag of Devondale Full Cream milk powder, I was the only Asian in the aisle at the time.

Do you speak Chinese?” – in Mandarin
“a bit”
“can you help us read this?”
“yeah sure…”
“Does this have 兔子?” (tu zi aka rabbit)

Huh?

In Mandarin, the same sounding words can mean a million other things due to the vast number of chinese characters… tu zi could mean anything, but to me I only knew rabbit.

Clearly Devondale Milk isn’t from rabbits so I told her no… She thanked me profusely and walked away with her husband, insisting she was right the first time. My heart sank…

  • I did not know what on earth she was on about
  • I answered her
  • She was happy with my answer
  • I messed up so much but I didn’t know how to say that in Mandarin

I’m of Chinese descent. Born in Melbourne raised in Malaysia and speaking only English at home. My parents don’t know Mandarin themselves. I went to a Chinese school in Malaysia as my parents didn’t want me to repeat their mistakes of not knowing Mandarin, but ever since moving back to Melbourne… the need for me conversing in Mandarin has reduced and eventually I’ve lost it altogether.

It hit me with a realization walking back from the supermarket

Seeking advice from people who seemingly look like they know it… isn’t right. Representation isn’t everything.

She came to me because of my looks. I’m Asian. I’m meant to know and understand what she is on about. I even thought I did. I clearly did not.

It made me realize that in real life, when I’m seeking people for answers in terms of my spriritual walk or just life in general, they can perceive to know it all, did all the right things… but do they know it. Is it even right.

The importance of picking the right mentor is so important. We could end up in very different paths with the choices we make, either we ended up feeling inspired or driven, or completely confused and down the hill from where we started.

 

Just making my rabbit milk experience applicable to real life. It just made me realize how much I need to pray and seek God during this process of finding a mentor in my life. I do need one and I want one. As much as seeking God for advice is nice, my peers advising me on things that I find it relatable, it would be nice if someone older than me who has that actual wisdom I can learn from is present. Someone other than my parent, someone I know that she/he will be right and be on my side. My peers are lovely and I love them to bits, but as much as our experiences are relatable and we can share it with each other, we are of the same generation and we can only know so much.

Praying I won’t get Rabbit Milk.

Of course I won’t… I have Jesus.

 

Unfollowing a Following

I have an assignment due tomorrow, just the conclusion and proofreading to go… but like the true form of a procrastinator, I decided to go on Instagram.

I went beyond just the natural scrolling of the normal feed (thanks Instagram for the Stories, what a tool for a procrastinator like me… many precious minutes/hour wasted).

The thing with InstaStories, unlike Snapchat, is that it can link you to another account, which links you to another and the next thing you know… you are 50 links in deep and you forgot how you ended up there or which account got you started with the chain of stalking links.

(I am a professional stalker and I know it)

After spending a good almost hour just going through linked links of links from the stories and still bored (more like trying to avoid my assignment), I decided to stalk myself… I had reached the mad point where everyone became boring and I found myself interesting.

Then I got myself into the links of my followers and followings (you know the ones you have on the top of your profile). Ever since I owned Instagram, there’s been a preconceived ‘ideal’ profile on instagram where it’s ‘better’ to have more Followers and Follow less people. There’s like apparently… an ‘ideal ratio’ to make you seem ‘popular’. I know this because I come from a girls school where the “Instafamous” status is highly favoured and everyone’s goal. I know people who take at least 2 days editing a single photo before posting…101 filter options later.

Clearly, I’m not that popular because my ‘Following’ is greater than ‘Followers’. Plus I don’t put that much effort into editing. Instafamous status takes hard work. I decided to filter my ‘Followings’, half of them were celebrities and half of them I had already fell out of love with since high school. I managed to get my following count down but it was still a great deal larger.ere’s where I’m really getting at.

Here’s where I’m really getting at.

I stumbled upon one of my “Instafamous” classmates from highschool during my filters. She has a solid following of almost 5000 followers and probably follows around 300. She wasn’t just a high school mate, we ended up in the same course, same university and even shared a couple of classes and lectures together. She’s currently a jet-setter after graduating and living in some exotic place in Europe. Naturally, her Instagram reflects it (as all instafamous people like to portray #jetsetter).

I was pretty sure she followed me and had followed more back in the day (she used to like my stuff), but somehow I decided to search the people she followed.

I wasn’t there.

She unfollowed me.

Okay, I’m not going to start a bitchfight, she’s halfway across the world now and clearly, as someone we have drifted apart so much that she even doesn’t see me worth being followed. But the thing is, we were friends. We actually hung out before in high school and university. I’m not talking about acquaintances here, people who had only met me a couple of times still followed me. Am I really that unworthy of a follow??
(People who say Instagram starts friendships… well they do the opposite too)

I know it sounds petty to make this an issue but it really got me thinking with the word ‘filter’.

Clearly, Jess has unfollowed me for unknown (or for the instafamous ratio) reasons. But truthfully, is there a reason to follow everybody?

Instafamous ratio issue aside, maybe filtering who we follow actually matters. The people we follow actually do make a difference in the way we feel, act and perceive. I’m lying if I said I’ve never copied some styles off the pictures I followed on Instagram, reacted to them, laughed at them or even be angered by them (case of FOMO when a friend goes to a party you weren’t invited to). Maybe some people are not worth following.

I follow people who I look up to, people who had been a part of my life, people who are in my life and people who (despite apart) I know I will meet again, people worth keeping.

Those who don’t fall in those lists, who don’t view you the same as you do to them. I don’t know why you should give them the “Follow” button. Sometimes it’s not just things, but people too, who need to be discerned.

Don’t waste your emotional space, time space and follow space.

A man with many friends can still be ruined, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

A few hours of procrastination later, I will officially now complete my assignment.

The Pork Belly Challenge

I’ve always been aware of my indecisive character, in fact, the struggles of making decisions just frustrates me itself. But when you’re confronted and told off about your character, you know it’s pretty much a hardcore problem. I’m talking about being told off by a non-family member, I get told off by family so much but others, not really.

As a Christian, I’ve always loved the fact that I could escape this problem by “Letting God decide”, “give my problems to God”, “It’s in God’s hands”, “Jesus take the wheel”, I-don’t-need-to-do-this attitude. I feel like I got it all handled, when people ask me of my decisions, I’ll respond (to their annoyance), God is still handling it.

I know you hate those type of people.

You’ll hate me.

I was told by my friend while discussing my problem, that God has given us the abilities to make our own decisions too. It kind of struck me in 2 ways:

  1. God blessed me with a brain to use
  2. God also dumped the problem back to me

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to be pushed about and have people make decisions for me. But when I’m stuck with situations where I seriously have no idea what to do, I struggle big time. Sometimes I’ll narrow it down, but sometimes choosing between the best of 2 favourite options kills me even harder.

For example, today’s given situation:

To eat Potato Rosti for lunch or a Pork Belly Burger.

I love Pork Belly, I don’t eat it often. It will also cost me more money and it’ll make me take a step back in weight-loss goals. But it’s not offered everywhere.

I also like potato rosti, but I love pork belly more. Potato rosti was cheaper and available in more places, also a healthier option.

After much internal debate, I went for the pork belly. It was delicious, no regrets… in the first 3 hours after.

Currently, I can feel my tummy fats has increased in thickness. Definitely post-feed guilt. The meal turned out to be paid for.

Right now, the wise thing to do, with the brain God blessed me, is to hit the gym tomorrow and burn off that pork belly.

I view this as a challenge, not a complaint (I know it sounded like one in the start). God has given each one of us our own individual and unique weaknesses, to challenge us to grow into better people. This is mine, and it will be my 2017 challenge to work on.

Bottle opener revelation

So just this morning I got tagged in this photo on Facebook by my cell leader based on one of our inside jokes.

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We had a girls night thing at my cell leader’s house just last friday while her husband went on a ski trip. I had my brother in the car just before as I was dropping him off at church for an event before I went to my own. He was going on about my singleness for 22 years.. just the usual banter among the siblings and I responded with “I’m a strong independant woman and I need no man..” , including all the sass and stuff. He shuts me down with the fact I can’t open a bottle by myself… true fact.

At girls night, we were having issues opening a bottle. Being GIRLS night, no boys were around and we didn’t have the muscles. But my cell leader had acquired this fantastic tool of a BOTTLE OPENER.

I was so excited I even took pictures of it.

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I CAN BE THE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN AND NEED NO MAN.

Who says God does not provide for us single women?? HE DOES! Philippians 4:19 for proof.

Okay. Excitement over and we opened the bottle. Then we suddenly went around the room and of all topics (after establishing the FACT THAT WE CAN BE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN WHO NEED NO MAN TO OPEN THE BOTTLE)… we talked about boys. gotta be kidding.

If you know me, I tend to love to avoid this topic like wildfire. I’ve been single my whole life, I’m talking no flings, no boy attention kinda single. Not the “I’ve never been in relationships but have had flings and 100 boys confessing to me but I’m just very picky” single.

Just a couple days before girls night I was listening to a podcast by Pastor Chad Veach from ZOE church LA, his wife said this bomb of a quote –

For you single people out there, just keep pursuing God as your number one, keep pursuing and focusing on Him that he has to run after God so hard to find you.

Talk about making the guy work for it. Damn right he better.

But come Sunday after the girls night, I got a text from one of my longest friends while at church. She wasn’t just any friend but the friend who invited me to my first church camp ever where I accepted Christ.

She wanted to do brunch, but I was at church. Something was up for sure. As suspected, she had just broken up with her boyfriend who’d came over from America, he had been a tad bit abusive. Despite feeling tired from the day, I met her up for a coffee date after church.

My friend grew up in a Christian home but as we grew older and life took us on our different paths, I could see her distance growing not just from church but from me as well. It hurt me to see her go through that, live through ways that God had wanted us to avoid. How did the friend who helped in my deliverance from all this, to get into all this??

There was a period in my life where every single one of my friends were hooking up with guys, if not getting boyfriends, they were getting pursued by 101 boys they were not even interested in. I was the friend they turned to to help draft up those “turn down” texts. (which apparently am good at it but never got the chance to use that skill in my own life LOL). Through all of that though, I developed a sense of insecurity within myself on what was it that I didn’t have which made me not have all that? It’s stupid, writing all of these now and thinking how foolish I was before to be thinking of those things. (THOSE ARE PROBLEMS GURL)

Seeing my friend in her struggles showed me the reasons why I didn’t have to feel that way.

God knew me best. He knew that inner part of me was not ready and I have so much more to work on. Regardless of what people say about readiness in a person to pursue these things, only God knows best and that is the only truth. It is not our position to question His plans but trust them.

I would’ve been a mess by now if I didn’t have God. I’d be influenced by my friends and not God because I wouldn’t have been able to handle those things properly. My studies would’ve been from failure to drop-out and I’ll be just R-E-K-T.

God provides, He thinks of us and we don’t have to worry at all. He has created innovative geniuses that helped revolutionize the way I can open a bottle, I can be that strong independent woman that need no man (for the mean time) and pursue Him so hard and fulfill the plans He has before me.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6

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just that little jig you do when you love a piece of writing

Seek help, offer help, Be the help

I did not start my morning great today. It started off with a late start, a discussion turned mini-argument with the parents on the July trip back to Malaysia, which I have unfortunately still am having trouble to wrap my head around it despite the previous blog post.

I knew staying at home wouldn’t get my assignment and work done, I had to get out of the house because of the moody environment I had created among myself and my parents. Library was the only option but the drive there made part of my “ceebs” attitude resurface. To top things off, my current spot in the Doncaster library is in between 2 separate tutoring sessions and I can hear this tutor talking about how “SACs in schools are very unfair…”.

I needed to clear my head, this frustration. The effort of coming all the way to the library can’t and shouldn’t be wasted so I decided to open emails in search of a devotion to clear my head.. “God please speak to me pleaseeeeeee…”

The story that God gave me was completely unrelated to what I was going through but nonetheless a hit in the head, which is what I needed.

Story of the crippled man lowered through the roof by others for Jesus to heal him – Mark 2

How is that related?

One can’t go to Jesus alone, we need help. We need guidance. The more hurt or injured we are, the more we need to accept the help offered to us to reach Jesus.. to reach for healing. Vice versa, the more injured the other person is, the more help you have to offer to them.

We can’t do this alone.

I loved doing things alone. Still do sometimes…in fact my whole solo trip to the library was to escape everything to be alone.. guilty.

Crippled man couldn’t do it alone if it wasn’t for the 4 men who made the effort to lower him through the roof… all that effort. If he had so much pride and the men had less compassion, none of it would have happened and no healing can take place.

Too much of today’s mentality of I can do what I want. My own way. Myself has been taken too seriously. I’m not saying it’s bad, I think it’s inspirational but only to a certain extent. If we are hurting to a certain point till we can’t help ourselves anymore, it’s okay to reach out for that help, for that love that others are willing to offer you.

We need to know when to draw the line and honestly see beyond what we can do. There is a reason we humans have been built with the emotional conscience that can throw us out of whack. It needs the feed of help when we can’t do it ourselves.

Please do yourself a favour. Whatever it is,  wherever you are, whoever you maybe… get help or offer the help needed.

I certainly need help myself. Always have, had and do. There were times I left it too late but Thank God for constant reminders and merciful rescues even at the last minute.

p/s: I sent an apology text to my parents before this post in case you were wondering. I tend to wanna mend the tension I have straight after I’ve reached sanity. Reduced that mountain of potential anger and hurt.

Reference: Proverbs31 Ministries

 

Asians in Media

This video.

A friend of mine in the UK who’s incredibly passionate about film shared it on Facebook a couple of days ago and I’m so glad she did. Everything in this video speaks volumes of the culture we live in cough cough Hollywood.

It’s no doubt that Hollywood shapes the culture we live in, it’s a global thing, everything that stems from there can be viewed in almost everypart of the world (maybe China can be an exception). The message it sends with this whole culture replacement thing is just plain degrading to one of the largest demographic and market to its industry in the world – Asians.

Since a young age growing watching all the mainstream pop culture shows, I always knew there was a lack of Asian representation on TV. Brenda Song was like my idol growing up and pretty much the only Asian in the whole of Disney at the time. In fact right now, I don’t know if there even is one? When Wendy Wu came out  I freaking flipped out.

Because we were so scarce on TV, I always had a thought at the back of my mind on wanting to join the media world, represent my culture with pride (just that my personality doesn’t match… I’m too shy). I did give it a go in school by joining drama but failed because I’m such a major introvert and having an audience scares me.

Some of the best acting in my highschool were done by Asians, but they didn’t carve the Hollywood career for themselves, they became doctors and lawyers.

There’s still a stigmatism and tradition in many Asian families that is hard to break. However, there are some out there whom are willing to let their children break out of that Asian mould of choosing just a steady stable career. That’s been steadily growing (my bestfriend’s cousin is doing well).

We’re out there now, there’s more of us. Pick us and give us roles. Give us a space to share.

Shout out to my bestfriend’s cousin who is a lead on the Nickolodean Show Make It Pop. You rock it Erika (girl in long hair) and do us proud!

Here’s a shamelss promo of that show. (All 3 Asian leads!) Disney… It’s time to step up your game.