My curtains are dark purple.

They keep the sun away. But they aren’t a boring black. I’m totally NOT a morning person so I don’t think it’s a surprise to any of my friends that I would dedicate a post to my beautiful sun-blocking curtains.

But then again, this is about so much more than my curtains.

You can’t imagine how grateful I am for those curtains. And I am not trying to be a Stevens, going on and on about the silver and the minute part he plays in everything. I am just genuinely grateful for those curtains that shield the fiery ball of fire all the way in space away from my tired eyes. Given, it’s also the reason I oversleep, but I’m not gonna yell at my curtains for doing their job. I’m gonna blame myself for not having enough discipline, then yell at my alarm clock for not ringing.

It’s the shade just between the burgundy, maroon, and navy blue, probably exactly what you would get when you mix those paints together. When the light streams in at 7.23 am, it happens quite fast, and without those curtains, reflect off the silver frame of my window in tints and sparks. I don’t know what the word for this is, but the light is so glaring that when you close your eyes against it, you see spots and strange coloured shapes against the black backdrop of your closed eyes. I like to think that that is light trying to show you all its colour. They look almost like tiny auroras glimmering against your pupils. Which realistically, sounds quite creepy, and despite its prettiness, I actually don’t like it.

Because what strikes me as truly beautiful is how my curtains scrape the line between opaque and translucent and embrace the brightness, wrapping around the light like it’s just a random swath of never-ending fabric, and light is something physical and containable.

It’s one of the only gifts I was ever given that taught me to relax myself and push down the negative feelings I always have, and just calm down the only way I know how- knocking out. My curtains are to me what those dangly music-playing toys are to babies in their cradles. It’s like the glamorous canopy to a princess’ hundred mattresses, the “Mr Wiggles ” or “Beary the Bear Bear” to a seven year old.

I scored a literal 0 for ‘Receiving gifts’ on my love language test. But I will always be grateful for my curtains. As I should be, for it was 4am in the morning when I started this post and I wrote it because I can’t sleep.

I want to be. Say it really fast and it sounds like a Japanese man’s name.

I should probably finish my dedication post to my curtains. God knows they deserve the credit. But to save my almost already dying blog I should do some updating.

Father’s Day
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Much like anyone else, my family makes a big fuss about Mother’s Day. But other than a hug and kissing my Dad on the cheek we rarely give a hoot about Father’s day Haha. When I was young I used to draw cards and pictures for my parents every day. And then primary school came by and I realized that nothing I gave them would ever compare to straight As ever again so I stopped. And when you stop something it really is difficult to pick it back up.

This year I really pushed myself to be more caring towards the people around me. Partly because when working at Ikea made me angsty, it also made me develop a fear of becoming a difficult person. I tried so hard to make people feel comfortable around me. To be an amicable person. I don’t want all that to just go away because of a 3 month job. I have a life to live and I don’t want to grow tired of myself.

Another reason why I upped my daughter game was my sister. She is my Dad’s favourite, because she’s quite clever in all the wrong ways, and charms and aegyos her way through everything. And while she has too many faults to count and she’s not always a softhearted person, she is a damn good gift-giver. It’s strange. The girl isn’t nice enough to wash her own dirty cups or to NOT take money from you, but she’s observant enough to make the link that you just moved into a new office and you have a habit of drinking coffee and so you need a new mug. Oh well, go figure.

I’ve never been very good at giving gifts. I’m good with words and writing cards. But I don’t have enough of an ego to expect people to like my gifts just because it’s from me, and I always worry that they may not like those gifts or maybe they already have that item. I worry too much, maybe. And I feel like that’s what keeps me from being decisive. This year, my sister got lazy and got my Dad a fancy pen. He loves it, but it’s not as thoughtful a gift as she could have found if she’d tried harder. I bought him a Picard leather belt with a sort of ombre sheen that matches his shoes, because his belt was faux leather and a bit worn. Plus, i didn’t like the texture.😋

I don’t know whether he loves it or not. But it looks good and he looked happy. And I do want to be that good daughter that remembers her Parents’ anniversaries, and makes plans for their birthdays and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Because I’m the oldest and I do think that this means I set these traditions going forward. And I want my younger siblings to make plans for these days too.

Moral of the story: If there’s one thing your bratty sister is useful for- to motivate you to be a little more competitive.

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Werk Werk Werk Werk Werk Werk
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Working at Ikea can make you angsty, which I was for a bit and for quite a while. There was a guest speaker at our school once. A good friend of this History Teacher, Mr Ong. He was a hotel manager, and he told us he worked his way up from being a receptionist.

“Your voice sounds different when you smile and when you don’t. Our receptionists at the back office always have a mirror in front of them, so we can make sure that we’re all smiling when we pick up the phone.”

It’s funny how little things can stick to you like that. And I realized I don’t know when this started, but I stopped smiling when serving customers. To be honest, it’s quite difficult not to be irked by them when they say they can’t walk 10 metres to get a bag for themselves because they have a heart condition, and when an NS Man yells at you for asking him to put his items on the conveyor belt because “Don’t you know that my shoulder is injured?! What’s your name, where’s your manager?!” Like dude, what happened? Girlfriend break up with you in NS? Well then I’m sorry but it’s really no wonder to me, why she did.

See?^ Angsty. Bitchy, even. And I don’t like having such unkind thoughts. I really don’t. It feels childish and I feel like I should be a bigger person. I never found myself to have much of an ego, or confidence for that matter. But I guess I just needed a situation like this to force that out. Because 3 things I’ve learnt from Ikea- You have nice supervisors who will take your side if you’re really not in the wrong. You have nice colleagues always willing to step in and help you. And during your time there, you’ll grow thicker skin for sure. Not everyone can do customer service, that’s true. But overall, I really like my job here and though I don’t think I’m great at it, I know I don’t suck.

Plus, Ikea treats their employees very very well. Sometimes I think it’s to make up for all their bitchy customers. Moving on from this experience, I will be a bolder person. More phony maybe, than when I first started this job. Not as sincere. But it’s been a good learning experience for me, and I’ve gotten a taste of reality through this. I’ve grown stronger and I really don’t cry as much now. And I do want that for myself. I want people to look at me and say ‘That’s a tough girl’. Not enough practicality in me not to be a dreamer. But I should at least know myself enough to be a lucid dreamer.

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My Church
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I’m not a Christian. That’s the name of a song that I find really apt here.

Going back to cellgroup, and having time to really genuinely listen to the talks and stuff, I have to admit, is quite boring. I didn’t really have time to take in the new system until now, and I feel like honestly, the sessions that are purely Cellgroup discussions are so much more productive. We learn more about each other, we joke around more, get more familiar, get closer. Though I have to admit that the new structure has helped TGC grow a lot in numbers, it’s not neccessarily in the aspect of younger people. It’s more appealing to the older generation.

I didn’t think I would miss the NS boys as much as I do. I never really thought I knew them very well. What I know from them, most of the time I know not because they trusted me enough that they chose to tell me. But because they are hella easy to read. Turn the tables around, they don’t know much about me. Not even Jem, or maybe he’s too nice to not sugarcoat his thoughts on me. I think most boys are just bad at psycho analysis in general, but really, sometimes I really don’t know myself that well. And you can’t blame anyone for not undestanding when you throw random surprises their way all the time.

I don’t think I like the feeling of people knowing me like the back of their hand. Knowing each other. It’s familiar. It could be nice. But for now, when someone notices I have a habit of clasping my hands to support my chin with my thumb, while resting a finger on my nose, or the bad habit I have of blowing my sweaty palms, it’s awkward for me. To me, that’s like a life-size (Not that cameras aren’t life sized but imagine if this was like “The Truman Show” and your entire life was being captured and recorded.) camera zooming in on that one nervous gesture. Every angle is an unflattering angle. Because the most difficult feeling I’ve ever experienced is that of having eyes on me.

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I’ve always been very into comfort. I’m also very self conscious. My height, my features, my actions, my body- Everything pokes at my pride one way or another. The amazing thing is- and I don’t think they thought much of this- but I felt 100% comfortable wearing sweatpants to town with my cell bros. And I don’t feel at ease very often- I am HYPER self conscious. That, to me is when I know I consider them an important puzzle piece in my life now. And these are friendships I know better than to let go of.

Genuinely innocently nice people, my cellmates are. But while we are a considerably close bunch, building a rapport that feels comfortable and easy is no small feat. And I do think this would have been a lot easier with the way it was back then with Zhi Gang as their mentor. Showing casual concern for each other. Learning at a slow but steady and productive as well as fun pace. Joking around, we learned more about each other than we ever have under the new system.

Oh well, things happen for a reason. People grow. We leave fun behind. We take up responsibilities. I just hope we never become boring. Both as people as well as to each other. No matter where my church mates are, I hope at least they will be tied together with their relationship to God, and that we’ll always have each other.

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Like we do now😊

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I want to be so many things. Most of all, I want to love myself. I just can’t do that now. And all these things, these people, this blog- it’s gonna help me do that.

This is My Truman Show. Just watch me.