Rolling Shutter

Oh my Lord, it just hit me that I’ve got two more weeks left of my life here as a student, typing away on my laptop, working on my dissertation. I always knew that after this week, I’ve got two more weeks to polish up my dissertation, but it never occurred that after that, that’s it. I suddenly find it difficult to breathe.

This semester has been nothing short of fulfilling, or rather, potentially so. I danced, gymmed, worked, travelled, on top of working on my paper. It was a constant battle with time, but somehow little blessings occur every now and then and it all managed to fall into place nicely up till now, so I have been pretty lucky.

I’ve been asked one too many times how I feel about the impending graduation. I’m not quite sure how I feel, because I’m not certain of what’s ahead, and it throws me off. So, of late, I’ve been going about, with low visibility, not quite sure where I should be headed, but carrying on anyway. I have always had the shelter and protection of academia to affirm my identity and my place. But now it’s like cutting the safety net and I could go anywhere or everywhere or nowhere at all.  I think that’s what frightens me, of under-achieving, not pushing myself to the fullest, not knowing what’s the fullest and not sure where to start looking. Such melodrama. It’s probably the consciousness of knowing that official education of 20 odd years coming to a probable finale that’s talking.

But omg, two more weeks, after I get back from Amsterdam this Friday. It’s too much to take in!!!

2013 in a nutshell

January

Returned to London from my family’s Christmas & New Year Holiday in LA, majorly majorly homesick, because of the intense 2 weeks worth of fun; the lowest I ever felt in London, yet.

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IMG_1717IMG_1693(Courtesy of my brother)

Bought a treadmill to catalyse my weight loss plan for a bet up against my brother (-10 kg in 6 months). Also I vowed that I’ld get a solid 6-pac to rock the mermaid bra I knew I’ld be receiving the following month, hahaha

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Work experience at Paul Smith, I remember my feet aching madly at the end of each day from managing the showrooms.

Chonny’s 21st!! Went all out! 😀

February

Tim Sum Crew 4 day slumber at our place… then a blackout happened. Cooked in the dark, ate in the dark for many many hours until the lights came back on. Or did it? I can’t remember, maybe we just went to sleep, haha

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My 22nd mermaid-themed birthday! Mermaid cake and mermaid gifts! Best birthday ever- hands down!

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Started work experience with Urban Outfitters- dream company to work for, major milestone!

Treadmill plan failed terribly terribly. 😦 Treadmill #1 never worked, so after prolonged emails back and forth, I finally got my refund and purchased another one. But… manual treadmills just doesn’t make the cut. Plus the plan to watch shows while running failed because I couldn’t hear any dialogue on top of the loud whirring sound when I was running. Plus running barefoot hurt, and neither did I want to wear shoes. Sold it off in a jiffy via Ebay.

Zenn persuaded me to join the overpriced gym near my house, Virgin Active, and after much consideration I did. We went everyday!!!! Nuts enough to wake up at 6ish to make it for the morning spin/yoga class before heading to the office. That period was internship month, we didn’t have school. And after work, we’ld rush straight to the gym for an evening class, sometimes 2 because we were so hardcore,.. then. I remember my colleagues thinking I was nuts for carrying my shoebag to work everyday. And I was on a strict no-carbs (after breakfast) diet, packing my lunch to work and eating minimally for dinner (usually a spoonful of whatever I was preparing for lunch the next day). See how determined I was… All thanks to Zenny Chew!

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Then came March

Brighton and Eastbourne adventure weekend with Zenn and Lester! Lots of mud, trekking and battling the bitter winter winds!

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All efforts went down the drain, Zenn left for Singapore for Easter break, and the snacks slowly came dripping in…. As I had no roomie to guilt-trip me on a daily basis.

Sasa’s Birthday!!!

I met Joceffi in Hungary for our Eastern Europe tour! We trailed from Budapest to Vienna to Prague, fell madly in love with Vienna, it was snowing and everywhere was pure and white. Edelweiss, Edelweissss… It was an enchanting and beautiful experience with my best friend! Thing was, we, being gluttons since 15, ate non-stop the entire journey. If we were not chewing something, we were on a hunt for something else. Very, very, very poor discipline…

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Returned to London, took even more leave from work so I could accompany Joceffi around London and did some repentance in the gym. But! The Chimney Cake Bakery opened right beneath our flat and… dot dot dot. IMG_4734_2

April

Travelled up North to Scotland where we spent a day in Edinburgh, spent the night in Saint Andrews with Jana, and it was half the Princesses reunited!!!

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The three of us took a bus back to Edinburgh the following day, and we hiked up Arthur’s Seat! While waiting for our bus back to London, we chilled in the Elephant House where I fully submerged myself where JK Rowling wrote her earlier novels of the series, being the Harry Potter nerd that I am.

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Back to London, parted with Jana and parted with Joce the next day. 😥 Back to being alone. Zenn wasn’t back from Singapore. Resumed work at Urban Outfitters.

School commenced- Individual Major Project for the the last semester!

May

This month was pure stress about the individual major project. I remember watching loads of The Voice, US & Australia concurrently, wholeheartedly rooting for Harrison Craig since the blinds.

Was very inspired by Celia Pavey so my only soundtrack for the month were 3 hour long playlists of Celtic music.

Had school (consultation) once a week for 20 minutes, after which I would feel frenzied and jumbled, like my mind had multiple tangled and knotted wires and I was feeling very helpless. Weekly remedy with Tim Sum at China Garden below our flat, thank God for it!

Nike We Own the Night run with Zenny, after much persuasion for her to accompany me, first commercial run in London! Overestimated the temperature and  had to take off half the amount of thermal clothes I layered at the event site, just before the race.

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Chime for Change concert with Shermy- so many artistes in one night!! It was crazily overwhelming. Beyonce, J Lo, Rita Ora, Jessie J, Iggy Azalea, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Madonna, John Legend etcetc OMGAHHH

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June

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Submission, Hallelujah!!!

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Mostly bummed around, watching shows non-stop and going to the gym for classes everyday.

Also ate Chimney Cakes almost everyday. 1-1=0.

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Went to South of France!!! It was quite an experience.

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Nice

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Monte Carlo, Monaco

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St. Tropez!

July

Lavender Fields & Richmond Park

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Three weeks bridging programme to prep us for the top-up year, finished the report in 2 days and more of bumming around + gymming.

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Oh, and lots of house viewings for the next academic year.

Last minute shopping (summer sales!!) before heading home for summer!

Spammed the last of Chimney Cakes before being deprived of them for 2 months.

Met Dana baby on the first night I was back, I was so touched she came all the way down to meet me. Sentosa with Theree on Day 2 back home.

It was an extremely yoga-centric break, with my mum’s new job (then) at Lululemon, so I tagged along for all the yoga events. We had such a good bonding time. ❤

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Vacation in Bang Kok, guess who I bumped into there!!
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Met the Pink Club the most when I was back! Thank the fates which allowed it possible.

Come September,

I had to leave again. I remember being not ready to, and I was sad about leaving.

Our housing plan fell through with the landlord (sort of), so Zenn and I bunked at Sasa’s for a few days while our new accomodation was being sorted. Becuase she went back earlier than me, she had to go through the entire ordeal of house hunting by herself…

But oh my God, I LOVE the place she found!!! With a view of the river, a city farm just a stone’s throw away, Greenwich (which is beautiful!!) super close by, and the city a mere 15 minutes walk away. Plus our favourite timsum restaurant on a river 5 minutes walk away, everything fell into place so perfectly, I was incredulously thankful for everything. It was my dream to have a countryside home and this is probably to closest it can get while still being a decent travelling distance to school.

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October

I remember running, a lot! Signed up for 2 runs, one of which we didn’t partake because it was raining. All hail the British weather…

Busied myself with school, from morning til night I’ld be facing my laptop gathering research, with the exception of exercising and cooking. Zzz.

Shermy’s 24th! Popiah and floral themed partyyyyy with loads and loads of Chimney Cakes!

BASTILLE IN REAL LIFE. Dan Smith. Dancing hearts in eyes.

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Felt extremely hyped after the gig I couldn’t sleep, signed up for dance classes. After 2 years of procratination. No looking back since my first class the following week. I was back in my element!

A few days later, BLUE’s reunion concert, jumped up and down like I was thirteen again. Was a very intense fangirl as compared to the lady beside me who was calmly video recording them, turned out she is a friend of the band. I reckon I more or less destroyed the hope of any decent audio playback…

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One week later, John Mayer!!! We were so far back though, it was held at the giant O2 in Greenwich and completely full-house!!! I could only see a tiny John. Nevertheless, the enjoyment factor was at an all-time high.

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November

Intense job search in the hopes of a more fulfilling final year in London. Landed a position at Orlebar Brown! Fifteen minutes walk away from home, that’s the swell part of the job! Started work soon after, and it was tough balancing 2 reports, 6 dance classes and 20 working hours weekly.

Run In the Dark with Zenny! First run without walking, a milestone in life!

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Ice-skating, another first!!! It took a very very thorough ordeal for me to be persuaded to even put the skates on. Solid 5 minutes out of an hour that I didn’t touch the handrails!

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Thankfully, I managed to get both reports done on time with a tiny window before submission to fit in a weekend trip to the Scottish Highlands! First solo trip in Europe, it was both wonderful and nerve-wrecking, an intrinsically-fulfilling experience.

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December

Sumitted my report, flew back to Singapore!

Bed-ridden the first week, except for meals, which is terrible cos all i did was wake up to eat before falling back into a slumber and awaking again for dinner, then back to bed til morning.

Made up for the week’s worth of sinning with Bikram yoga practice with mummy and daddy everyday for the next couple of weeks.

Been trying hard to balance gathering research for the dissertation while resisting afternoon naps and meeting friends and spending time with my family.

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It occurred to me that it’s my very last holiday as a student.

And that I have too little time left in Europe to explore the other places I long to visit.

And that I have to face the unsheltered real-life very, very soon, and I’m not a hundred percent sure where to start looking.

But we shall see, come 2014!