Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Looking Back On Today

I started this post last saturday but I never really got down to completing it because somehow I'm starting to lose my attention whenever I start to blog.


A reason why I've never given my life a stock-take is probably because I spend a substantial part of my time thinking about it and that, in all it's consistency, renders a summation of events pretty much redundant; almost like how you'd compare someone who tidies up his room everyday versus someone who tidies up his room once a week. The result is essentially the same.

But a 'look back' post always makes good blogging fodder, somewhere along the lines of those neverending 'The Best of (insert boyband name here)' music albums and the unceasing 'closing down sale'. These endless conclusions always have some degree of short-term juiciness.

So I went through Junior College, disillusioned as the mechanics of education went from bad to worse in terms of my personal preferences and expectations, and I grudgingly toiled through two years of distasteful science that didn't really mean much to me. I mean I really do appreciate the importance of good science but all that physics and chemistry mumbo jumbo wasn't for me.

I was still quite naive and impressionable, so life breezed by as I enjoyed school without the examinations, doing silly things here and there that I'm not really proud of now on hindsight. Don't even mention the secondary school days... What was I thinking back then? Come to think of it, not much probably.

Then came the 3rd quarter of JC life. The 'A' levels came and went like a crashing train - hard but fast - and I met Yingqi. I definitely wouldn't be shaped into the person I am now without her. The post-exam years were just like a fleeting drug; quick events like the prom came and we were high for a moment and then the sun rises the next day and you wonder what just happened, sobered by reality.

And as everyone would love to have it put, NS came too soon and before you knew what the hell just hit you, you'd be digging in the mud with a rifle slung around your back. Sometimes it really happens because I do wonder how on earth I got there into the shit-hole. Like, huh? You mean I marched 16km here? And it seemed like it was just moments ago I was still slumped in a sofa seat with iced mocha on the table, and feeling irritated that my browned hair was getting into my eyes. Is this all just a dream? Then you learn to space out and detach yourself from yourself (kinda) and just go along like a zombie, and before you know it you're throwing your SBO onto the floor back in bunk and feeling like a relieved wreck as you subconsciously slump into a chair and unbutton your soiled no. 4.

Days go by and while some choose to be sentimental and remember 'the good ol' days' of CDS, everything that was said and done is now kept locked away in an abstract part of my memory. Sometimes someone tells me about something we used to do, or some sticky situation I'd gotten myself into, and I genuinely go, "did that really happen?"

But while, in terms of joy, there's a lot left to be desired in the period of CDS unit life, I'd personally learnt more than I could ever learn anywhere else in a little over a year there. BMT was frivolous, SISPEC was totally fucked up, but all my dear experiences and lessons came from CDS. Putting these experiences and lessons into text would be pretty shortchanging but I'll try.

I found that the quickest way to learn anything would be to be thrown into the fray, because cliched as it sounds, experience is a hard but effective teacher. People bitch way more than they have to, and when things come full circle it's like they're bitching about themselves. Unity is strength. And when you empower your people with freedom and dignity in the right way and gain their trust, you will get the same amount of support back from each and everyone of them.
I don't really know if I'm making sense but it doesn't really matter. Soon enough, after playing my cards right, I had an unofficial 3-month break as a precursor to my ORD. Foresight and anonymity is good when times get tight, and as it seemed, every other day felt more laced with tension than the ones before.

I emerged, pretty much more aware of myself and things around and possibly a whole lot more cynical, while also becoming much more disciplined in terms of personal responsibilities and money. I can't make myself spend when I don't have to. I'm a fireball of pensive energy, rational and calculated by the belief that you are only as upset as you will allow yourself to be. Out went the baggy shirts and jeans ten times too large for me, and in came the fitting, collared clothes and neat shoes.

Then the realisation of bigger things ahead strikes, and every now and then old boys will meet again to muse about broken relationships, parenthood, career paths and anything and everything. You then begin to wonder about all the financial possibilities and burdens and the 'adult-stuff' you could happily put off when you were a swinging sixteen, like life-savings plans and insurance policies and maybe Yun Nam for some.

So, looking forward to university is like longing for the the final chance in life to do something objectively without the burdens of responsibility attached to it; because studying can be an excuse to get by. Four years of studying before plunging into a world where everything you do and everything you pull has an impact like ropes attached to every other consequential part of your life.

And in hopes of doing something different, I chose SMU.

Ok lah this post wasn't supposed to sound so unfunny but I just got more and more bored typing towards the end. And besides, talking about CDS can be depressing at worst.

Anyway, Singapore 2-1 Thailand. What a lousy decision, what a gay reaction. I'm not proud of the victory in the manner it's won, but that was really sissy stuff from the Thais. But I don't know... Two wrongs don't make one right.

Any Singaporean travelling to Thailand for the return leg is a very brave soul, and he/she shall have my respects. Haha.

"...the temerity to believe that people, pawns in the ultimate chess game, are smart enough to figure out the rules." - George Johnson

Today's Listenables:
Chris Daughtry - What About Now

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