Brane

Just another space for my lingering thoughts

Different societies view adulthood in various ways. It could be when you hit the legal age of 18 or 21, when you finish high school or any further studies or even when you start working more frequently and constantly. At the end of all, we grow up and enter the phrase of our lives called adulthood.

As a child, but I most especially felt this way when I was a teenager, I wanted to “grow up”. I wanted to do “adult things” without having my parents nagging at me. When I was younger I felt constrained because I wasn’t as “free” as to how I perceived adults were.

It was tough.

Or so, that’s what I thought. As a naïve child, I thought to be an adult meant you can live your own life, which still holds true, however, there is more to it than being free from your parents’ constant nagging and of course, adults treating you like a kid.

I am guilty of this.

Like how adults talked to me like I barely knew anything, that is how I communicate with a family friend who is 8 year my junior. The thing is, most teenagers think they know better. They think that their level of maturity is nearly on par as adults, which isn’t the case. As you add on to your years of living, you realise and regret some of the decisions you make when you were younger. I, too, am going through that stage and still am. I am not claiming to be this all-knowing adult, I’m just saying that when you think you can handle yourself and know it all, think again.

So, why does adulthood suck, in my opinion?

You. are. not. as. free. as. you. think.

Yes, drive yourself, stay out late, order alcohol and do whatever legal age stuff there is to do BUT you also have to cope with adult responsibilities. Who knew calling up banks, doctor or dental clinics or telco companies, to fix your plan, can be so scary. I always had my parents do it for me and for that, I am quite privileged. However, menial tasks such as those, scared me to death when I first started doing it, till now my heart thumps when I call for assistance. It does come with experience.

Additionally, as an adult, society is less forgiving when you dumb things. When you’re young, you can get away with anything stupid because “adults” would always just dismiss it as a “dumb teenager” thing to do. But as an adult, you are held accountable sometimes for your actions. There is less of the mentality of you changing hence a lesser probability of being given a “second” chance – when you do something publicly inappropriate or unaccepted.

As adults get older, the less dependent you are on your parents or carers, except for some rare cases wherein the son or daughter is in need of assistance, i.e. severe disability. But for most adults, you start becoming independent. Transitioning is not easy, some are pushed to transition earlier than others due to financial need or just wanting to be independent earlier.

At the end of the day, I wish I was able to enjoy having fewer responsibilities, as a child, rather than wishing back then that I grow up already so I can be independent. Nothing bad about it, I suppose, but it’s not as easy as it seems.

 

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Hello friends, happy 2018. I know I’m a month late but nonetheless happy new year to you! 🙂

It has been a while since I’ve written on this blog. I know I mentioned about writing about my adventures in Vietnam, particularly HCMC but I just haven’t. It wasn’t particularly a holiday too so I rarely had time to write. I’ve been back for more than a week now and I do have time to write, I just can’t. I envy the people who are articulate and can manipulate their words to express themselves, I can’t. Maybe because I’ve lost the extreme urge to put my feelings down into writing or I just don’t have those extreme emotions anymore. They say you need to find your inspiration so you can write, I haven’t had that driving force in a while. Bought my own domain but I haven’t used it to the fullness of its capacity… sadly.

I’ll write soon, when I’m in the right headspace. I want to share my experiences in HCMC and perhaps other areas we visited on the weekends.

Till next time,
B.

I am having so many feels atm, I’m scared for the most part. ‘I never thought travelling with my parents can be so nerve-wracking’ – says an overprotected child. But I reckon it’s not just because I’m travelling by myself but because I am also going there to teach. Teaching placements to me are always scary especially if I’ve never taught the students before. There’s the issue of will I be able to deliver quality education and also, having to deal with the new environment, adjusting to the new mentor and being firm towards your students while building rapport with them. It is not easy, it never got easy. I always never know what to expect and after each placement, I feel accomplished but at the same time, I feel like a failure. I added new techniques and strategies – know hows – but also the feeling of being nowhere this ideal teacher I picture in my mind.

Those are just some of my worries as a pre-service teacher in here. Imagine going overseas, to a country unknown to you and having these worries double up. So why did I even do it? To challenge myself. I like the idea of travelling but more than, I love the idea of travelling while being able to do something that could benefit less privileged kids. While growing up, I always heard the phrase, “The children are the future”. I believe it. They will one day affect the future of present-day adults with decisions they will be making, whether that be in a minor-scale or a larger one. As an adult who was given the opportunity to study and live a life where my daily needs are met, I want to be able to bring back to the community. Growing up, I would hear or see stories of children travelling miles, way and beyond just to be able to learn. Thus, young me has always wanted to give something to children who are not able to do so due to financial matters. This idea has been stuck in my head for the longest time but I haven’t been able to fulfil it because of personal reasons.

Although I’m not particularly going to the slums, I want to try and teach in a country that does not specifically speak the same language as me. That, in itself, is a challenge. It will be a new environment for me as this will be my first time in Vietnam.

Apart from all my teacher worries, I have two more personal worries. I am not your typical Asian, body-wise. I’m quite overweight and I know that Vietnamese people can be quite blunt when saying someone’s fat, or from my experience here, that’s what I have observed. I will try and take it in with an open mind but I can get a bit sensitive HAHAHA. But I’ll live. Tbh, I’ve been searching up different experiences from tourists who’ve gone to Vietnam who are more on the heavier side and I have found some but all from people who are of a Caucasian background. I haven’t seen a blog post or forum thread that came from an Asian person. So I’ll try and post about my experience and hopefully, if someone out there will be in the same boat then it might help them or at least know what to expect.

But that’s it from me for now, I will try to vlog and blog my experience this month. Hope all goes well and I get past the airport security because what’s the point of worrying when I can’t even enter the country, haha!

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Here’s an obligatory plane shot from my flight 4 years ago. I won’t be having it this time around because I will be taking the red-eye flight. Dreading it already.

Tạm biệt (for now) 🙂

Time flies! I’m sure by now every country in the world has started another year. But I really just want to highlight what my 2017 was and how grateful I am for everything that has happened, both ups and downs. It truly has been a year of letting go and rebuilding myself, a year of realisations and self-reflections and a year of different experiences.

I started my year not knowing what the future had in store for me. I had no goals coming into the year 2017. It felt to me as if it was just another year – I really did not think much of it. Although I did look forward to travelling earlier that year and boy, am I glad that I experienced that trip with my family.

Let’s get sidetracked for a moment here, hahaha! Ever since moving to Australia, my family rare went on long trips. The longest would be at least 3 days but it’s not really even a family trip because we’re usually with others. My parents don’t work your regular 9-5 due to the nature of their jobs. Anyway, at the beginning of the year I travelled to the Philippines with my family and had a day and a half stop over at Singapore.

 

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Love, love, love this shot of my parents while we were waiting to board our flight. Silhouettes really make moments look intimate. When I took this shot, it made me admire my parents and their relationship. Not even us, their kids, could break the bond they have.

 

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Here’s an awkward photo of my family. Although my mom will kill me if she finds out that I posted a photo of her. Hehe!

The following photos are taken by my brother because my files got corrupted midway the trip and I lost the files I got from Singapore *CRYING LOUDLY*. </3

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Here’s me nature modelling. Low quality coz downloaded from fb.

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When my people crowd the streets to watch local performers but not when celebrities are in town. Classic Baguio!

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Excuse the face and my growing side shave

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Bomod-ok Falls in Sagada

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The massive Merloin in Sentosa

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Sentosa shot from a far, man it looked magical in real life

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So glad my brother took this shot of me taking a shot of my mom in SG’s botanic garden

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Singapore streets

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I have a shot in front of Marina Bay but had to squarify it, so I’ll use this instead

Around April this month, my auntie came to visit us and we toured her around as well. From Phillip Island to some touristy spots in the city to Melbourne’s Marina Bay, like I didn’t even know we had one. I just classified that area as Docklands, haha. I made a video when we went to Phillip Island and areas of Melbourne. Streets took most of the cuts in the vid because I wanted to dismiss the idea that we are surrounded by kangaroos and desert land. Yes, parts of Australia are but we are a civilised nation too. You also get to see me when I still had blue hair HAHA.

I wish had more travel stories to share through videos but sadly I don’t. My travels lasted only in the first quarter of the year. Afterwards, my days were just filled with uni, work and church stuff. Although, I did enjoy it because this year was filled with food hangouts with friends. Work also has been abundantly providing this year. Survived most of my shenanigans coz I had work. I enjoyed going out coz I had money to spend haha. Waldas kaya walang savings! I also enjoyed stay-ins coz it felt satisfying, like I earned being a couch potato once in a while since I’ve been working non-stop.

I had so much I had to say when I was planning to write this blog but now that I am writing again (it was left as a draft), I’m stuck on what to write. The gist of it all is that although 2017 wasn’t the best (since when were the previous years the best anyway? HAHA), I am grateful for the lessons it has given me. The biggest revelation 2017 gave me is something I have been struggling to come into terms with for the longest time and that is my faith. It still bugs me at times but after acknowledging it, I don’t feel as burdened anymore. I shouldn’t leave it as is because I know the consequences. So my 2018 goal is to understand and study the Word, like a toddler starting kindergarten.

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

1 Corinthians 3:2-3

This speaks so much of where I am at in life. I am not ready, because my heart chose to be of this world and I am having a hard time to let go of that, so dedicating this year to let God work in my life again; for Him to change my selfish and sinful ways.

Anyway, that got too personal. But I spent and welcomed 2018 away from my parents. I had the privilege to watch live fireworks when the clock striked 12. Although we were a bit far from the fireworks, it still looked gobsmacking majestic. Hope you enjoyed the fireworks too, live or on TV.

I wish you all the best this year. May you be able to fulfill your heart’s desire and do things you’ve been itching to do this year!

Much love,

B x

 

So many times, we often hear this phrase. People use it differently, for different occasions or events in their life to encourage or reiterate that we shouldn’t live our lives stagnantly; just repeating the same cycle.

Death is inevitable. Just this week, I’ve heard two already and it’s only Wednesday. One person is a friend of a friend that he wanted prayer for when the guy went missing from his recent bushwalking trip and the other hit closer to home – an old university friend.

Before changing degrees to Education, I was doing a different course located at a different uni. There I met people from different parts of Australia, who became my lifesavers when it came to online quizzes in Chem and Bio and also the ones who made the transition from highschool better and smoother. Just today, I congratulated a friend who recently graduated from my previous university. Just today as well, I found out about the death of one of my friends when I was there. Although I didn’t spend much time with them, as I only stayed there for a year, it still is unsettling to know that he has passed away. When, how or why, I have no idea yet but memories of him just came flashing back. My heart is heavy but I can’t cry.

C.Y. May you rest in peace.

I started watching Save Me while I’m waiting for the last few episodes of Black, another K-drama. I do not also feel compelled to write about the K-dramas I am currently watching because it takes time to jot down my thoughts on it and much rather not disrupt the bubble I’m in when watching these shows.

I came across ‘Save Me’ when what was showing was only up to episode 2. I’m the type of person who’d rather be late with watching shows than waiting each week for a new episode. Hence, I waited it out and forgot about the show. It was only recently that I remembered it because I have no shows that I delt like watching. ‘Save Me’ also is more towards the psycholigical thriller genre, which I liked but I favoured the mystery/crime genre more. However, the one of main protagonist in ‘Save Me’ is Ok Taecyeon, so it’s a must watch, hehehehe!


Update: I left this post as draft 2 days ago but I finally finished watching Save Me today. Like what most people who have watched this series concluded, the ending was a satisfying one, especially with how the story panned out. It’s not your typical happy ending where everything was resolved and everyone returned to their normal lives after being affected by a cult but the ending was ‘perfect’. As Ok Taecyeon is entering the military this year, I liked that the ending of his character somewhat connected to his current life situation.

“Save Me” is categorised as a horror-thriller TV series revolving heavily on a religious cult. This series also tackles how dark and inhumane human beings can be just to obtain what they want. In a way, it explores different ways people deal with tragedy or circumstances that would have an ultimatum.

I felt so bad for Seo Ye Ji’s character. It’s sickening and heart-breaking what she had to get through because of the decisions of people around her. Although her character build up was a bit rushed for me, I applaud her for the excellent portrayal of Im Sang Mi. Her flawless delivery of lines while in the midst of a heavy drama scene and bucket loads of tears was really impressive.

The main antagonist, Baek Jung Ki or also known as ‘Spiritual Father’, tops all the otehr antagonists I’ve ever watched before. It makes your blood boil how someone can be such a smooth-talker but also sinister, at the same time. I must say though that his acting is probably one of the reasons the audience get hooked because they wonder how he gets taken down in the end, or will he? *No spoilers*

Apart from the dark theme throughout the whole series, I love the element of friendship that was added here. It shows the extreme bond of 4 young men amidst the trial and adversity they face as they try and save Sang Mi from the religious cult she can’t truly escape from.

I’m not good at writing reviews but here are some of my thoughts when and after I watched the show. If you’re looking for romance though, this does not have it. Maybe a bit of tension between some characters but I won’t classify it even as ‘slight romance’. Comedy is also not seen here. You somewhat have to be mentally prepared to watch it if it’s not your typical genre to watch because of what the show tackles. I think most of it is exposed during the first 5 episodes because the episodes following the first 5 are less ‘blood boiling’ and more of the original story point, which is saving Sang Mi.

Lastly, I just want to say that although they tackled about religion, we should not assume that religious organisations are all cults. Some are and some aren’t. Further research is needed for one to classify a church or religious organisation as a cult. Apart from that, I hope that you may also come to enjoy the series like how I did. 🙂

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You can find the series here.

B x

Here we are, alone, just my thoughts and I. I haven’t felt like this for a while. I don’t even have a term for it. It’s the feeling of wanting to cry, shout and wanting happiness. But I can’t have any. I just feel lousy and unmotivated to do anything. It’s as if I wake up, go to work, come back home and stay in my room then the same cycle repeats itself. Weekends have become my enemy because I don’t have any long-term distraction from all the built up sadness inside me. I often think of how I can get out of this, how I can just get back up because I don’t like this version of me. I don’t want to hit rock bottom again. Although, I’m not denying that I have those recurring thoughts of wanting to vanish. But at the same time, I’m scared. I want to live but die at the same time. It’s suffocating that I don’t even understand what’s going on inside. 

Well, I do have an idea why I’ve hit this slump again. Growing up, I was exposed to God. Don’t get me wrong, I do know that He is real. But the problem is, I have come to terms recently that I am not saved. It’s saddening and scary putting it into writing. Salvation is not earned but accepted and then lived by. When I was doing one of my self-reflection moments, I came to realise that possibly, maybe, I never accepted. I just started kidding myself because I feel the pressure of needing to be called “saved”. My parents would often question me when I was younger so to avoid the questioning, I would just take part of the communion. I know they meant well when they asked but maybe it’s the ego inside me of not wanting to ask for help or guidance from my parents. I often wondered why the people I know who have been saved can keep their faith even when they fall because when I was the one who fell, it takes ages for me to want to commit again. I thought I just backslid often because I was weak in the flesh but really, it was all my self-denial of not wanting to accept that I am not saved. 

A defective “Christian”. A hypocrite. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. A pretender.

I feel so suffocated because I can’t even tell this to anyone who can actually help me. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to be questioned. I don’t want to be criticised. I told one person, but in all honesty, I feel like we both are in the same boat. We both cannot fully commit to the Christian lifestyle. It’s difficult. 

I often ask myself why I can’t accept. I feel no burning urge to be saved. But at the same time, I want to. They say we do not work for our salvation, then why can’t I have that moment too – the moment of full acceptance that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Why can’t I have that too, wherein my emotions do not cloud my judgement, making me think that I am saved?

I’ve done too many proclamations of salvation and I hope that my “false” salvation confession do not taint someone’s view of Christianity. I do not want to tarnish how non-believers see Christ-believers because of how my life has been during the past 22 years.

This is the root of all the indescribable emotions I am currently feeling. I seriously do not know what to do anymore. I want to detach myself from serving in the church because I have come to terms with my current standpoint. I want to tell someone but I’m scared. 

I’m lost.