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MARK VICTOR HANSEN, a well known motivational speaker and the man responsible for feeding avid book readers with Chicken Soup for the Soul, says this “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you want to be. Put your future in good hands–your own,”.

And so I will. I’m even going to go as far as posting it here on my blog so I can remind myself  and the people around me of the things I want to achieve.

I’m at a crucial phase in my life.

I’m at a point where the things I do, the friends I’m with, the choices I make and the things I say will all culminate in shaping me into the person I am going to become.

It’s really now or never.

No more hiding behind the security of a safe and sheltered life.

No more depending on parents to ascertain life altering decisions.

No more “going with the flow”.

Life is what you choose to make of it and I hope to slowly but surely lift the foggy veil that is hindering me from seeing the things I want in life and work hard at achieving the things I already know I want out of life.

It is especially hard when you’ve led a somewhat comfortable life like I did, where plans are already laid out for you and the people in your life (in my case, it’s my family) has expectations of you.

Having said that, I am glad that my parents are the type to leave important decision makings to me.

They didn’t force me into a particular field of interest or come up with a list of ridiculously impossible achievements for me.

They didn’t even plan which college or Uni for me to enroll in.

There was a time I used to think they were rather complacent in the handling of my future and I was constantly worried about where I am going to go, what is going to happen because there was no plan, no direction. I felt aimless.

But now I see the wisdom in their decision because they didn’t want me to be complacent. They wanted me to worry so I will be the one to dictate where my life will go.

Because at the end of the day, you choose the path you are on and you choose who you are going to be.

And I am thankful for that.

***

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I know, you know
We don’t see
So our truth wait, patiently

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I walk the streets with a song in my head
We ebb and we flow so
Got my toes and my pup at the foot of my bed
My heart always seem to know
Take the glitz back I want the soul instead
Cause I’ve found some kind of fairytale

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I used to hover outside my truth
Always worry about what I’d lose

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Spent the last two years getting to what’s real
Now I can see so clear
I hope you feel just life I feel
Cause I’ve found some kind of fairytale

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NoLiTa flat on rent control
That’s the life I choose
Can’t drag me to the fashion show
The poses that I see through
Rubies in the afternoon
Cause I’ve found some kinda fairytale ; )

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There comes a time in every person’s life when they take a second to evaluate their life. To look back at the yesteryears and bask in the brilliance of their triumphs and wail over their setbacks. A time to sit back and think of the good times, the not-so-good times, the ups and the downs, their accomplishments and the failures in accomplishing their accomplishments.

Today, I did just that.

For no particular reason. Just because I had time to myself today and I couldn’t help but let my mind wander into the abyss of my dark and twisty thoughts.

I thought of my childhood. The glory days of growing up and discovering things for the first time. Going through all of life’s motions. Maturing and learning something new every year. The lessons.

I thought I would be enlightened, proud even for the things that I have done. The person that I have become.

And yet I wasn’t. Enlightened. Or proud. Or glad even.

I thought I’d get sentimental and mushy and turn into a sap. Instead, I find myself feeling heated. Like I popped a nerve or something. I wasn’t sure why but I was feeling something.

Confused, I sat down and gathered myself. Allowed myself to just be still and let the sensation that clouded my mobility fade.

And then, as the obscurity of my sudden predicament ebbed, I managed to identify the emotion.

I was mad. I am mad.

Mad because when I looked back at my life, there were so many things about it that made me angry.

Could it be resentment? Something I kept repressed for all these years that it has become dormant. Why now? Why reveal it’s self now?

I have everything going good for me. My application to uni is making progress. I have found balance and love and a new thirst for life. Why am I pulled back to it now? I thought to myself.

My childhood. Growing up. Primary school. High school.

Talking about those segments in my life never really go down well with me. Because it was a horrible time for me. One I don’t think I’ve ever addressed on my blog before.

You must think I am being self indulgent and trivial, bringing up things like this now when there are so many other tragedies happening across the world. The swine flu. The riots. The genocide in Darfur.

All these events that are probably worth bringing to your attention more than reading about a 22 year-old who is considerably privileged and has things that people in other parts of the world yearn to have.

And yet I can’t stop myself from typing. From unearthing the past that I thought I have kept hidden. Forgotten. Forgiven.

I guess I haven’t.

You see, high school was a terrible time in my development. At a time when teenagers are supposed to start to growing into their own being, I was stuck, lost and uncertain of what I was.

I guess most people feel that way and it isn’t unheard of. This probably won’t even shock you. Or even cause you to raise an eyebrow.

I was teased a lot at school. I was called names. I was labeled. Bullied. Judged. I was put into a box, a category, a mold and people regarded me as nothing. As no one. As a person who was worth nothing and will probably become nothing.

I know I am not nothing. I know that I have become somebody and my objective with this post is not to drag you into my hole of insecurity and self-doubt.

I am not blogging to complain that I am a nobody. I AM a somebody. And I know that. There is no hole of self-doubt and I am not about to become some recluse who shuts off everyone.

No.

The point of this isn’t to tell you that I had a sucky time growing up in school. The point of this isn’t to gain your sympathy.

The point of this post is to finally deal with the things, the people, the situations that made me feel small.

The point of this post is so I can meet face-to-face with the inner demons, the voices in my head that clouded my judgment, shattered my confidence. The ones that told me that I couldn’t do anything.

This is me facing those who have crossed me in my early years. The confrontation I never got to have.

I was never angry or mad at those people who treated my like crap. I never held grudges. And I never had any feelings of resentment towards them then. I never felt the need to retaliate.

But now I do. But now I feel rage. I feel angry. At those who did the things they did. And I don’t know why its coming now but it is.

I hate you.

For making me feel like I was worth nothing. For telling me things that I know aren’t true. For shoving dirt in my face. For literally kicking me around. For laughing at me. For making my life then a living hell. For always being that infuriating voice in my head, telling me I am shit. Calling me names. Calling me a pussy. A fag.

I had so much potential. I could have been the best and yet you took that away from me. Instead of focusing on my strengths you brought out my weaknesses and paralyzed me with it. Until I was so sure then that I couldn’t do anything. That my dreams meant squat. Meant nothing to you.

You said you lost hope in me but you made me lose hope in myself.  You made me think that I was never any good and that I should just give up. Give up on life, like you did.

Well I am not like you. You can only drown in your pain but I rose from that. I have become a better person because of what you did to me.  It took me a long time to get to this point but I have. And I am proud of me. Proud that I took my life into my own hands. With the support from loved ones and spiritual guidance, I managed to piece together parts of me that you shattered. Parts of me that you broke.

I never ever said anything before but I am done keeping this to myself. I hate you. I hate that I allowed you and your manipulative ways get to me. I hate that you somehow got under my skin and made me feel pathetic and I let you.

So fuck you and your life cause you sure fucked up mine,”

***

“If you could travel anywhere, which MAS Stimulus Package will you use and why?”

If you know me, you’d know the answer to this one.

It’s all I ever talk about when it comes to traveling.

And really, I don’t know how to explain what draws me to this place.

Maybe it’s the buildings.

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The unpretentious architecture that holds years of history. Some that are sadly forgotten.

Or maybe it’s the beauty of its urban tenacity: )

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Or the pace. The thrill in knowing that in very turn therein lies a mystery and an adventure just waiting to be experienced.

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Or the feeling of freedom in walking down to the park and feeling like you’re in someone’s backyard–when in reality you’re in the heart of everything that is bustling.

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The aged but fully maintained boathouse, one of the many prides of the city. A place of solace, a place of hope and the meeting point for a lot of great love stories.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about New York City.

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New York City.

NYC.

The Big Apple.

A perimeter of fast-paced humans all running and gunning to finish the rat race.

A melting pot of people from different ethnicity, culture and background.

An ethereal city that has become the dream and ambition of many spirited individuals such as myself.

The capital of commerce, fashion and music.

New York City.

Many may write me off as one of the many naive dreamers who think that city life is so glamorous and awesome when in reality it is only a facade.

I happen to love the city in spite of it.

I’m not there to chase the un-fulfilling dream of climbing the corporate ladder to become the CEO of some big shot company.

Or joining the redundant dog-eat-dog world of the soul sucking music industry.

Or jump at the chance of working at an all renowned fashion magazine, where I lose all brevity of human life in a pointless 9 to 9 job.

I want to just watch and observe and be amongst the chaos.

I want to just be able to look at the city for what it is rather than overlook it like the rest of its citizens.

I want to get lost in the city as opposed to losing my self to the city.

I want to just be there to take it all in.

I want to be there.

And just live.

So to answer the aforementioned question: New York – Newark International with the MH Flex 1+1  MAS Stimulus Package.

A chance to fulfill a dream with someone who is my dream and observe as the city whizzes past us, while we remain still.

“Cos I’ve found some kinda fairytale…”

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I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. Maybe cos it has been a while since I did write a post (and published it)

Not that I’m running out of things to say cos as most of you who know me, I hardly ever run out of things to say. Unless it’s about politics. Or football. Or any other topics I’m NOT interested in.

Now I’m just rambling.

The truth is: I have a LOT to say. And a LOT to blog about. It’s just that everytime I’m finished with what I think is blog worthy, I hesitate to click the “publish” button.

Why you ask? I don’t know.

Maybe it’s cause a lot of what I have to say involves some intimate details of my personal life and now I’m not sure how much of my intimate details of my personal life I want splashed across the webpage for all to see.

Which is why I’m so glad I have friends. Close, real, trusting friends whom I love and cherish more than anything else in the world. Friends whom I can pour my heart out to and say things that may otherwise be deemed inappropriate and face the risk of being judged by others who may deem my inappropriate-ness as inappropriate.

So folks, that will explain why my blog has been so barren lately. Because the platform I usually have to lay my problems onto are now my friends and the I have no use of parlaying every single detail of my life here. Until now.

I guess I’m ready to rejoin the rest of the blogging community again and seek pleasure in knowing that some random person out there can be affected by the things I post on my blog.

So watch out. Josh is back. And hopefully with better posts in future than this one.

It’s better to have some thing to say about anything and everything than to NOT have something to say about anything and everything.

So there. Until the next post. Bye.

A few days ago my dad said something to me during breakfast that appears to be somewhat of a rude awakening for me.

He looked up from reading the papers and said to me “Josh, you’re turning 22 this year. Friends your age are starting work and stressing over  their car installments while you’re still in college,”

I gave him an acknowledging glance and replied in my usual, casual sardonic tone “Ahh, but that’s the beauty of it,”

He just shrugged and resumed reading his paper.

It took me a while to realize it but my dad wasn’t trying to talk down to me by noting my friends’ fast climb up the ladder to adulthood for the benefit of being spiteful.

He was actually, in his own way, trying to remind me that I have a life to get back to. That there’s still so much he knows I want out of life but for some reason, he’d noticed that I had grown complacent.

The truth is, I’ve been resting on my laurels, so content with living life one day at a time and enjoying myself that I have completely forgotten about my goals and how to go about accomplishing them.

His sudden remark brought me back down from cloud 9 and the next thing I knew: I was panicking.

I’m turning 22 and yet, I haven’t even made a dent on my list of things I want in life.

I’m still in college, going through the same mundane routine I’ve been accustomed to for the past 3 years.

That’s when I told myself I have to start pulling up my bootstraps and start building up my life.

Ergo, I started listing down things I want to be made into reality in the following years:

1. A Healthy Body

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This is something I’ve been working hard at and I want to keep at it. It’s not about sporting a six-pack or bulging muscles. It’s about being healthy and having a healthy, toned body allows me to have the longevity and strength to further attain my other goals in life.

2. Graduation

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I love my life in college. Probably more so than any student should but I need to move onto the next chapter of my education and the walk down the hall with “Pomps and Circumstance” playing in the background is long overdue.

3. A Steady Job

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I hope to find a job that I love that not only pays well but teaches me things about the world that any classroom couldn’t.

Then again who doesn’t right?

4. Perform A Gig

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I’ve been writing for sometime now and have recently began recording some of my tracks.

I hope to find an outlet where I can perform some of this songs and have the satisfaction of looking at the audience gratifying to every word and sentiment in my songs.

5. Love

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Yes. I don’t wish to stay single for long and though I enjoy having my options, there will a point in time when I want to settle down and start looking for the one who makes my mornings brighter and my nights unencumbered.

6. Visit New York and San Francisco

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I don’t need to travel anywhere exotic, though I may want to someday, but these two cities have been on my must-see list for a long time now and I know I’ll get there one day to see for myself the beauty of the concrete jungle and bask in the brilliance of its urban tenacity.

7. Travel

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I’d want to expand my knowledge of the world instead of just reading about it.

8. Marriage

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Waking up next to the one I love.

Braving life’s challenges together. The pitfalls, the relentless fights, the thrill of being a Mr and Mrs and the joys of monogamy.

I can’t wait.

9. Kids

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I love kids.

I’d want one of my own someday. Maybe two.

10. Peace

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The peace of knowing that I’ve accomplished my goals and growing old with the one I call love. And then going through the list of things I’ve done in life and marvelling at how I got to this point and thanking God for helping me through it all.

That just caps it all together wonderfully.

In response to someone’s recent post about the pros and cons of being a girl, I thought I’d enlighten you readers on some of my thoughts.

Here are my reasons why I think it rocks to be a girl:

You girls get to enjoy shopping without having people give you labels. To those dear to me, you’d know I have a knack for spending money like crazy on clothes. And for those who witnessed my less than flattering moment during a certain fitting session at a vintage store, you’d know how excited I get when I shop.

So here’s my beef: when a guy admits he loves to shop or shows a keen interest on his looks, he is immediately dubbed a “metro sexual” or “vain pot” or worse, gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay, I just hate it when people use a word meant to describe a person’s sexual preference as a derogatory designation.

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When girls shop or take good care of their skin by applying skincare or go for mani-pedis and facials, people don’t say anything because it is EXPECTED of them to do those things. But when a guy does it (not that I go for facials or  have my manicure done, I’m speaking on behalf of guys who do) people start raising questions over his orientation when he shows up having clearer or smoother skin than some of the other girls. Or when he starts accessorizing by wearing trendy sunglasses or ties a scarf. WHICH brings me to my next point.

Girls can be total fashionistas but when a guy does it, people go “Oh he’s so gay”. (Okay so it’s more like a sub-point but I’d like to stress further on this issue)

I don’t think this is a problem in other countries but in Malaysia or any other Asian country, guys who enjoy dressing up are called “sissies”, “pansies” or again GAY.

Whatever happened to freedom of expressing one’s self?

Is it wrong for a guy to showcase his colourful and artistic side by  the things he chooses to adorn himself with?

Why are people so frightened by a man who ties a shemagh scarf? Or a man who knows what is a shemagh scarf??

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Girls who don’t know how to use power tools are excused but when a guy doesn’t know the difference between a spanner and a plyer, WAL (What A Loser). I confess. When it comes to using power tools, I’m clueless. Okay I can fix things up but I don’t enjoy it. And FYI, I do know the difference between a spanner and a plyer.

The thing is, I’m just not a DIY kinda guy. Why pretend to know what’s wrong with the kitchen sink and spend hours cluelessly trying to loosen a pipe with a wrench when you can call a plumber who can fix the thing up in a jiff?

And why slave outside in the garage, sawing and chopping up wood and hammering stuff so you can have a handmade rectangular box that keeps books. There’s a place where you can get those kinda stuff. It’s called IKEA.

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But I don’t mind assembling the parts and in fact, I’m pretty good at it so, you see, I’m not that bad. Just don’t expect me to put on old jeans and strap a tool belt around my waist while carrying a chainsaw. Unless of course you’re into that sort of thing ; )

I’m not against people who love crafting stuff with their hands as a hobby but why impose it on us other guys who don’t? Does it makes us any less of a man not knowing how to saw stuff off or screw things? (well…)

Girls don’t have to face the humiliation of not being into sports. This has always been a pet peeve of mine. When people discover that I don’t play sports or don’t share the same insane obsession with football, I am by default put into the loser category.

Well granted if a loser means choosing to watch E! over ESPN or booing when Duffy lost the Best New Artist  award to Adele at the Grammy’s instead of booing when a guy, however skilled he is, doesn’t have the kenetic ability to will a ball from across a field of wet grass into a goal post then yes, I’m a loser.

But hey, at least despite Adele winning the award I can still move on with my life instead of PMS-ing around like my dick just passed fluids or acting like the world is about to end just because one unfortunate player missed the goal by three inches.

Girls can cry and mope and whine and complain all they want and people will just ignore them but when guys do it, it’s deemed UNMANLY.

Not that I cry or mope or whine or complain…that much but sometimes we guys need to let of some steam and we don’t need to be hassled or judged for it.

Or have our manhood and masculinity questioned.

It’s easy to put a guy down because NEWS FLASH, he’s got feelings.

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Sometimes, guys just want to show their sensitive side and doing that shouldn’t have to mean waving the retired white flag of Mr. Masculinity. Why can’t guys be emotional once in a while?

After all that’s said, I’m still glad I am guy. Though I may not match up to what society perceives a man to be, at the end of the day I still have a penis. It takes a hell-of-lot of self assurance (and a group of wonderful friends who accepts you for who you are) to be able to face the harsh realities of the world but who cares? It boils down to this: being yourself. Manly or not.

Besides, being a girl means having to bear the pain of childbirth and I’ll be the first to admit, even I am not man enough to put myself through that kind of pain.

I’m back.

I know it’s been a while and quite honestly, I’m thinking twice about hitting the “publish” button.

It’s not that there isn’t anything interesting going on in my life–in fact, there’s so much, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m just not sure if I’m comfortable “talking” about it on my blog hence the silent treatment.

That aside, there are some things I want to get off my chest and they’re basically little revelations I’ve had about myself that I didn’t know.

Now each discovery could have been a blog post on its own but due to my lack of brain cells to match witty and funny lines to deliver my points and articulate it in such a way that would be deemed interesting for you lot to read, you’re gonna have to settle for a quick, brief, list of my recent findings:

RECENT DISCOVERY #1: Girls

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In recent months I have discovered that sometimes girls are not quite as easy to figure out.

While some guys often scratch their heads and even resort to reading self help books to improve their understanding of the female species, I, who’s had the profound advantage of interacting with girls all my life, pride myself in having maintained good, healthy and platonic relationships with girls which often gives me the upper hand when it comes to figuring them out. I just find them easier to understand and easier to talk to compared to guys–which says an awful lot about me, innit?

But lately I’ve come to learn that when it comes to certain things, I can be just as baffled as the next guy.

RECENT DISCOVERY #2: I Don’t Quite Fancy Chocolates

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It took me a long time to realize but yes, I’m no big fan of the cocoa. I may eat it but I don’t salivate or go crazy over them like other people do.

Chocolate fondue. Chocolate muffins. Chocolate bars. Not a big fan.

However, a certain someone’s freshly baked brownies is an exception to this = )

RECENT DISCOVERY #3: I’m Ignorant

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Well not completely, but I’ve realized that for a 22 year-old I sure know squat about the world around me.

Yes, I’ve learned to read the headlines and other solid write ups on world issues and not JUST the entertainment sections in newspapers but I still don’t know enough.

Having Steve Aufrecht and his wife Joan over the past Sunday was a perfect display of me not being able to carry  a decent adult conversation.

Having said that, meeting the Aufrechts are awesome. They are rich in knowledge and inspire me to want better things for myself in life.

RECENT DISCOVERY #4: I Obsess About Having A “HOT BOD”

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I have become something I never thought or dream I’d be: an excercise junkie.

I’m not pumping steroids or downing protein shakes (yet) or anything but I am starting to overexert myself.

I jog almost everyday. I’ve been going to the gym for more than twice a week. I’m doing sit ups in my room for hours at night. I can’t even sit down normally without doing lifts with my legs.

All this to attain an enviable physique: six packs, solid pecs bulging muscles and all its glory.

I think I’m sick.

RECENT DISCOVERY #5: I’m Beginning to Lose Confidence in Myself

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I think the title says it all. I don’t even know how to go on about it.

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I have recently begun to notice something about myself.

Lately I find that I tend to drift off in some melancholic daze despite being in the company of my very, very happening and cool friends. We could be at the lunch table or hanging out in the lounge at college, I’d suddenly grow quiet and refrain from conversing.

Normally–and if you know me you’d know–I don’t slump into this sudden state of solitude unless something is bothering me.

For now, I can’t think of any pending dilemmas that would reduce me to being all moody.

Could it be just that I am turning 22 and I suddenly feel like life is whizzing by too fast?

Or could it be the sudden realization that the thing I’ve been trying so hard to hide is finally catching up with me?

Just a thought. Only a thought.

It’s that time again.

When the year draws to an end and everyone starts reminiscing on all the stuff that went down in the big ’08.

As I plop in front of the computer, forcing myself to update my blog (which I admit–I have been neglecting) I spend a few moments letting the events of this year unfold in my mind.

From what I’ve seen, it has definitely been an eventful year.

Some good, some bad, some I probably shouldn’t mention on this space  ; )

Lots of heartache, sadness, fights, PLENTY of drama and some friendships broken.

On the flip side, there was also lots of love, happiness, passion, harmony, new friendships formed and old friendships mended.

I got to discover new people. Good people. A little crazy, a little random and a little nuts, but good people nonetheless.

I also rediscovered certain friendships. Ones that I may have overlooked in the past but have somehow managed to find hidden treasures in.

Life is funny in that sense.

You may not get what you sought after, but you still get something worth keeping.

I certainly did.

At the end of day, you find that life really is worth living when you have the ones you love by your side.

Snapshots of 2008:

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Rocking out with the college peeps at Sam’s 21st, undoubtedly one of the top social events of the year–after the Year End Bash of course = )

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Goofing off at the Curve the the college circle.

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Glamming it up during the editorial shoot for the 4th issue of the Hailer.

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Seeking solice in the arms of the horny boy.

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Cam-whoring during church camp with the gang. (Did I really just string “cam-whoring” and “church” in the same sentence?)

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Being merry with old childhood buddies…

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…and embracing new ones into the circle. (That would be you Justin!)

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Caroling at Pyramid Tower with the best buds.

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Making the “Su Yin” face with the face herself.

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Being “lala” with the bestie and his BFFs who are now among my BFFs.

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With the drama mama and the bratty bro.

To all whose pictures aren’t here, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you–it just means we need to take more good pictures together!

Happy 2009 ya’ll!

Peace = )

freedom

“OOOOWWWWWW….and FFRREEEDDDOOOMMMMM IS MINE!!!!,”

*singing Feelin’ Good loudly*

I’m FREE from studying.

Until next year at least.

BUT I’M FREE!!!

No more late night cramming and literally burning the midnight oil (my house suffered from power outage last Sunday)

No more refraining from checking Facebook or blogging!

No more insufferable nights of tossing and turning, worried sick about exams.

No more, no more, no more.

I’m FREE!!

Okay I’ll cut it out for the benefit of those who still have papers next week.

Now I can fully focus on:

  • Preparing for the bash. It’s next week guys! LIFE COLLEGE student, have you bought your tickets yet? If not–quickly do so!!! It’s next FRIDAY!!
  • Enjoying camp! Church camp is this Saturday!
  • Choir practice!
  • Rehearsals with Crys and Min. We don’t have much time guys = )
  • Finish recording my song. YOU don’t have much time Min = )
  • Practice for Min’s sister’s wedding. Now I can add wedding singer to my list of accolades = )
  • Hang out with Yin and Gary!! Bestie’s back!
  • Celebrate Christmas = )