” Things get broken and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.” – Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life
One year ago, this was a very difficult time for me. There were moments when I could not see beyond my circumstances. There were also moments when I felt that there was little joy and meaning in what I was doing. One year later, I will not say that things are all good and rosy but with Mervin as a constant in my life, I feel like I could ride out any storm that comes my way. In the last three months, we did a lot of things together. We have both met the families, we have shown up as a couple at “official” events and we have travelled together. He was also there when I needed a listening ear and he have been supportive of my job, decisions that I make and my priorities in life. He is attentive, easy-going and indulging. I am so glad to have found him and I look forward to many more adventures ahead!
On the work front, many things have happened. I have also learnt a lot about teaching practical lessons and carrying out the various non-teaching duties that are essential for the smooth operations in a school. I have learnt to remind myself to do what is required of me and to be less bothered about what people may think of me. I hope that despite the circumstances, I can remain true to myself, be confident of who I am and stay passionate about my job. It does not have to be a big fire of passion but as long as there is something burning, I am cool with it. My job does not entirely define me; my job is simply a part of my identity. Believe in yourself kid, you got this.
I went to Timbre+ with Mervin on a Friday night and that was one of the best nights out that I had in Singapore. I love the vibes of the place, it was casual and relaxing. That was also the night when we celebrated Mervin’s birthday in advance. We had fried food with Norwegian cider and local beer while watching the live performance by a band. I remember the calamansi beer tasted rather funny and we had a good laugh about it. It was also the first time I heard Despacito and I quickly became addicted to the song. We tried to request for “Something Just Like This” by Coldplay but the band did not pick our song. Oh well, there will be a next time!
July 2017 was an important milestone for me because that was when I became a full-fledged teacher. On the day of the convocation, Mervin met my family for the first time. That day marks the start of new beginnings and adventures. As I have said to a friend on that day, I am now stepping into the territory of unknowns – I have no idea what lies ahead and I have no idea what is the standard operating protocol (SOP) in many things. But I hope that with a determination to stay true to myself and ample support from the amazing people in my life, I will grow up to become a responsible, reasonable, thinking and loving adult who is able to sincerely teach, nurture and mentor young minds. I also hope that when things get challenging in the days to come and I feel like giving up, I will look back on this day when everything seems possible and regain my strength. In theory, I want to do this and that but in practice, I am very far from what I want to do and where I want to be. What exactly is stopping me from doing what I want to be and believe in what I am doing? Is it the environment or is it just me?
On this day, Mervin and I visited the National Gallery to see the Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition. It was his first time in the National Gallery. I am really happy that he is willing to do things that he usually won’t do for me. 🙂 We attempted to study her art pieces and take some nice photos while we were there. We went on a Sunday so there were too many people and the lines were horribly long. In comparison to her exhibition that I saw in Helsinki in Dec 16, the exhibition in Singapore lacks information about the artist. That was rather disappointing because people come to take Instagram-worthy photos but they don’t know who the artist is, why she does what she does and what makes her special. The exhibition in Helsinki was comparatively a lot better and more informative and I gained some understanding of Yayoi Kusama through that exhibition. Through the information provided in National Gallery, we could only gather that she is an artist who likes polka dots and is rather eccentric. However, it was not clearly articulated that she was suffering from mental illnesses and painting was her way of running away from her hallucinations, or in her words, obliterating herself.
Mervin and I quite enjoy the outdoors so we have been hanging out in the nature reserves and parks on some weekends. Together, we have been to the Treetop Walk, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Kranji Countryside and I look forward to exploring more places together. I have not been to the Treetop Walk since I was in Secondary School and it was nice to see that a lot has changed. It was also nice to see that there are many Singaporeans who also enjoy spending the weekends closer to nature.
My aunt managed to get NDP tickets for us so Mervin and I went to watch NDP 2017 with two of my aunts and my uncle. It was quite a nice hangout before and after NDP and it was nice to see that they got along very well with him and they even invited him to my nephew’s baby shower for the coming weekend. This is an unknown territory for both of us but I hope that with enough love for each other and sufficient communication, we can have an adventure together. NDP 2017 was quite nice, I especially enjoyed the performance put up by the drones and, of course, the fireworks. Here is a happy picture of all 5 of us.
We went to celebrate Mervin’s sister’s birthday one Saturday at Sushi Tei at West Coast Plaza. It is interesting to think that they have become familiar faces over the course of 2 months. Things are moving quite fast for the both of us. The food was good, we had plenty of sashimi and sushi. We bought cakes to surprise Anger and she seemed to have a good time that evening. 🙂
Over the long weekend in September, Mervin and I flew to Surabaya. We spent very little time in Surabaya and we spent most of our time in the countryside. Marman and Ahmad came all the way from Yogyakarta to guide us for 3 days. It was an intense but fulfilling trip with plenty of adventures. On the first night, we woke up at 11 pm and we went to climb the Ijen Crater at 1.30 am. It was my first night hike and it was quite an interesting experience climbing alongside so many more people. The blue fire was quite a sight and the overpowering smell of sulfur was real. On that day, we also visited the Madakaripura Waterfall and it was quite an adventure to get there. Our driver got a bit lost, then when we were there, we had to take a motorcycle ride, cross the river in slippers, walk under waterfalls and climb on slippery rocks before we got to the waterfall. The sight was simply majestic and gorgeous and it reminded me about how small humans are through the lens of Mother Nature.
On the next day, we woke up at 230 am and went to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo. Here is a happy picture of us at the sunrise spot. After that, we took a jeep, then rode a horse and climbed the steps to see the crater of Mount Bromo. I never knew that the crater was so loud and it sounded as though a fighter jet was right over our heads. After visiting Mount Bromo, we went to Prigen Safari which was an interesting experience as our car just drove into the safari and the wildlife, including the lions, were free to roam around in the safari. I wonder how they stop the lions from eating the zebras. The zebras were among the most aggressive and they came very close to the cars in an attempt to be fed carrots. After that, we went for a nice Javanese massage and it was also interesting to experience a communication barrier with the masseur. But I am glad it all worked out fine.
He is a spontaneous, easy-going and caring travel companion. Can’t wait for our next trip together. ❤
My brother left for his Masters programme on a Monday evening. We went to send him off at the airport and I remember I was so tired that day. Even though sometimes he says/ does things that sort of annoys me, he is still my precious kid brother. I hope he will have a fruitful and enjoyable postgraduate experience in London. Till we meet again in December. 🙂
I attended two Chemistry-related courses in September. It is always nice to catch up with the fellow Beginning Teachers and hear about their eventful school experiences. It is hard for me to comment on the sharing. On one hand, I find the sharing very interesting and I will very much like to have such interesting and thought-provoking lessons. But there are time constraints and other considerations (e.g. priorities in a classroom). I also sometimes wonder if such projects are contrived. Nonetheless, I think that it is important as a fraternity to continue to experiment with teaching methods and strive to diversify the learning experience for our students. In doing so, we also become better and more skillful educators ourselves. Hopefully in the near future, one of us will be sharing our innovative teaching practices within the teaching community.