Thursday, January 29, 2009


Was talking to my friend A last night, and he remarked that I hadn't blogged for a long while. The reason I gave him was that when you're doing a job that requires you to write articles, you kind of lose interest in blogging, mainly because you are forced to use your literary energy to write those, so there's less for blogging.

But since I had a long break over CNY, and I don't want to miss out another month like I did last year, I shall now write an article so that I won't miss Jan 2009. And it shall be a reflection on 2008, which had several major happenings which I shall try to recall.

Let us start with going to Phuket for a trip in March (I think). What makes this trip so special, is that this is one of the few times I really cut class to go for it. I mean, I have skipped some lessons before, but it was always like one lecture, and my parents don't know about it. This time, I went for a week, and my parents knew about it, but they did not kick up a fuss. I mean, they would have (trust me, even though I am 24, they would kick up a fuss if they know I cut class), but I was going to do a job. Sort of. So it was all cool.

Next big thing that happened was that I went to Japan, and led a team. You can read about the trip here, and here, and here, and here, and here. Personally, I am not really a 'leader' person. I would definitely have preferred playing a supporting role, and let some proper 'leader' persons lead. But the trip went pretty well. I'm guessing if a proper 'leader' person led, it would have been a lot better, but well. Made some new friends, got to know other friends even better, and met up with several old friends again. Plus, it was the first time I really lived by myself. Which didn't turn out too well, since I recall eating Pocky and Pringles one night for dinner (and promptly getting scolded by almost everyone who heard about it).

I also graduated. I remember meeting up with H (since she was the only history major from VCF who attended) and going up to receive my certificate, and also remember Prof L giving me a slight smile (he's a really cool guy. He taught me in HY 1001E and also for History of Christianity. Plus, he speaks like 15 different languages or something). I also realize I didn't post up anything on that.

H and me. Sole VCF history representatives.

While it was nice to graduate from uni and all that, somehow, the graduation ceremony didn't feel quite as good as commissioning parade at OCS. Even though it was a rain out then. I guess there are different values in a way. While the degree will be my ticket to jobs and all that, I felt like I really had to earn my commission, so maybe that's why I felt a greater sense of accomplishment on the parade square at OCS. Plus, my mortar board was a bit too small. Bummer.

Next big thing was that I found a job, working at Singapore Press Holdings. It's quite an interesting job, and I quite like it. Plus, it has forced me to become a bit more active and outgoing, since the nature of the job requires me to be like that. Still need to work on that though. I always feel so paiseh to talk to people. Still, it has been quite fun. Started on the 1st of Sept, and have met quite a few friends there, both inside and outside office. The colleagues are also really good people. A couple of church people also found jobs at SPH recently, and once, the two of them robbed me of my candy. Even though they asked politely.

Guess the biggest event that happened was that my Gramps passed away. He had been deteriorating for a while now, and in early November, he was admitted to hospital. After a few days, he was discharged, but less than a month later, he was re-admitted, and he went to be with God on the 4th of Dec. There are quite a few things I shall remember about him, but the three that stuck most with me (which I told myself I had to post) during his last few days, are here.
  1. He kinda got dementia, so his mind started to become simpler, but he would always remember the sound of our voices. And everytime he heard us greet him when we were at home, he would have this really big smile come on his face, and he would return the greeting.
  2. The first time he was admitted in early November, he was surprisingly sentinent, and once, when I visited him, he said three words to me: "Take a seat." It was surprising, because of the dementia, but those few words, even though it seemed like nothing to make a fuss about, stuck with me. Fyi, this was during an orange time.
  3. The last was a lesson I received from him, which I have mentioned before in passing. Strange thing was, he wasn't even conscious. Anyway, what happened was that when he was admitted a second time, he was not breathing properly, and was really weak. Now, for background, my grandfather is the kind who can panic if things happen that are not within his control, so being in such a weak state, struggling to draw in air and all, I could feel that he was scared. Can't really describe it, it was just a sort of instinctive understanding, that he did not know what was going on, and he was definitely frightened. And if he was at home and was awake and frightened, we could easily calm him down, since we could talk to him, but since he was unconscious, there was really nothing we could do. Then I remembered this verse: Psalm 139: 7-12. It's not like I remembered the exact words of the verse, but I remembered there was such a verse around. And it reminded me that when God is everywhere, it's not just in the physical world, but even within the mind of Gramps, God was there comforting him, and that made me feel much better.
I have one last point regarding the past year. I only cut my hair once in 2008. First time such a thing has happened. It was in July I think, just before I started applying for a job, as I don't think I would have made a good impression with long hair in an interview. Plus J told me I look better with short hair anyway.

So now, this year, I have got several other things to look forward to, to plan for and to prepare. I already have one big move that I hope to be able to make, but guess I'll just have to see how things work out from here. And trust God to guide me and do the rest.