Love: briefly seen through my growing up

Love is such a strange thing. It’s easy and complex at the same time.

When I was younger love was simple. I loved those who were nice to me. Those who wanted to play with me. I didn’t care whether they lived in a hut or a mansion, I just cared how they were like and if they were nice, I loved them and if they weren’t; well, I wouldn’t love them. It was easy.

Love at home was a little strange for me but I learned to associate love with being disciplined. Whenever I was scolded, I’d tell myself it was because they love me. Whenever I got caned, it was love too I told myself. It was love I didn’t understand but it’s still love all the same because adults are always right and I often heard that “young people don’t know what love is”.

Then I became a teenager and I thought love was the feeling of butterflies in my stomach when the boy I liked looked at me. Love was my friends getting into relationships with the flimsy promise of forever. Looking back, I didn’t know what love was but in that moment, I was convinced that I knew.

Then I transitioned into that strange 18-20 years old part of my life which was altogether enchanting and confusing because I was no longer a teenager nor felt like an adult and I was convinced that the only love I knew was the one I could not explain. The one that found me being defensive and protective over my family. The one that found me jealously guarding my friendships. I knew that kind of love but romantic love was strange to me. Maybe it was because I had been promised this sort of love just to watch it being poured out on someone else. Whatever the reason, I didn’t know that love nor was I eager to.

Now I’m a little older. I’ve had enough birthdays celebrated to know that love is not found in the exaggerated promise of forever but love is a quiet force that grips the entirety of my being. Love is not necessarily said in words or spelled out with alphabets; but said through the quiet thoughtful actions that go unseen and spelled out throughout my life in many different forms and interactions. So though I might not ever really know what love is in all its complex, enchanting and mysterious ways, I know that love is limitless and that there will always be a place for me and everyone else.


Would you?

If this is a place to catalog my thought then I just want to say this: it overwhelms me that I feel like I cannot save the earth. That for one good thing I’m doing, there’s a million ignorant or uneducated people doing the exact opposite. I fear that my life would just be a whole series of Newton’s third law of motion which says that “for every action, there is an equal (and opposite) reaction”. It is a crippling thought and I find myself bringing it with me to every aspect of my life. While some of it may be good and keeping me from sinning but sometimes, like I’ve mentioned earlier, it is so bad and I have moments where I cry because I see the destruction of this planet and I am helpless to do anything about it.

I’m not in love with nature. Well not all of it at least. I hate frogs. I hate butterflies. They irk me but they’re part of the ecosystem and the ecosystem is a beautiful thing. I’m quite selective in my love. I love trees. I love plants. I hate insects. You get the gist of it. I wouldn’t hesitate to kill a mosquito but I don’t go and wipe them out of the face of the earth either because I know it would disrupt the ecosystem. Coming back to my point, it frustrates me that the rate of destruction is at a million kilometres or miles per second but the efforts to nurture our planet back to somewhat good health is just crawling along.

We can all play our part. I don’t understand why we don’t. There is power in numbers. There is power in unity. I don’t understand why we still litter. Why do you throw your rubbish around? – It makes me want to pick up your trash and throw it into your house. See how you would feel living in all this filth. You complain about it feeling so hot yet we cut down so many trees it becomes uncountable. It’s not difficult to use less plastic, to recycle, to turn off electricity when we don’t need it and so on and so forth. I’m not asking you to fly out to replant trees or give your life savings to save the earth. Little actions do matter and they make a difference when we’re doing it together.

So would you come alongside me regardless of where we are on the face of this planet and do our part? We can achieve so much more together than we can ever hope or dream of.

2018: a year of discipline.

First of all, I have incredibly talented friends. Photos above aren’t mine (credits to Geof). New year but not so new me it seems.

With last year ending, it honestly became a little bit annoying to scroll through my Instagram feed because everyone was summing up their 2017 in more or less the same way but if it annoyed me so much, I should have just closed the app right? Yes.

As we were on the threshold of crossing over into 2018, I honestly did not feel the excitement that people seem to be feeling. In fact I was mostly overwhelmed by the “obligation” that I had to commemorate the 31st of December 2017 in some mega special way and to usher in the new year with a bang. I understand that for some people it is a thing that they like to do; to come together and to celebrate the 2017/2018 time period. But I didn’t like it when I found myself feeling like I had to do that.

I am thankful for all that 2017 have brought and regretful of all that I’ve missed in 2017 and naturally, I do look forward to 2018 being a clean slate and being a year of untold possibilities; but of course everyday should be that way shouldn’t it? I have this page in my diary (the planner kind, not the dear diary kind) where I had a brain dump of goals I wanted to achieve in 2018 (and of course to carry them into my life as the years go on) and some of them sounded pretty trivial like “get a new toothbrush” (because it’s really been more than 3 months) and “don’t overdo it with the masking” (I have a tendency to use face masks more than what’s good for my skin – even if it’s within the recommended frequency – which actually irritates my skin) and then there’s the pretty much “duh” kind like “don’t be lazy” and “don’t Netflix so much” and then there’s the more serious-I-don’t-know-how-I’m-going-to-accomplish-them kind like “be more forgiving” and “be healthy”. Of course in theory, I know how to accomplish them, but translating that into action is another story is it not?

I know it’s not recommended or smart to have so many things I want to do but I think that it’s quite manageable. I feel like these are things that I definitely can put into practice daily. Like limiting Netflix time and such but I think it just really boils down to discipline. So I believe my 2018 is a year where I learn to be more disciplined. *cue confetti. I think that’s what all my brain dump essentially boils down to. I need discipline to be less lazy. Discipline to exercise. Discipline to not be late for classes. Discipline to read 52 books this year. Discipline for this and that; even for the trivial things like getting a new toothbrush (it’s the 2nd day of the year and my toothbrush is still the one from the last quarter of last year).

Here’s onwards and upwards guys not just for 2018 but for all the years ahead of us.



It’s me again. I thought that it was time to come back here again. I mean after all, I love writing right? Might as well continue doing it because consistency is key (?)

I’ve been doing what I do best on social media: avoiding people or rather ignoring them. I’m in the midst of my exams and it’s not been easy. I keep thinking “how did I get here?” but not in a dramatic way. More of a ??? way. I’ve stopped doing things to take care of myself. I’m just either doing things expected of me or are my responsibilities but I’m not saying this in a sad or dark way. I’m just merely saying.

I used to tell myself that “okay, after my exams, I’m going to do this or that” and that’s fine but I also put self-care into that category and we shouldn’t do that. I shouldn’t do that. Neglecting myself has just been overall bad for me. I’ve been such a problem to everything I encounter because my mindset has gone bad. I think people are annoying but it’s actually me that’s just pissy because I’ve got a lot of unresolved feelings and that’s not good. But with that said, I find that living in denial of these about to erupt feelings is sort of blissful. Ignorance really is bliss at times. Mostly because as much as I’d like to be brave, I’m not. I’m not brave nor courageous and I don’t want to deal with the feelings because they’re unpleasant and I’m not about that but I have to be. See the struggle? Yeah. So I’m finding out that I’m not actually brave but that’s okay too because now I can try to be brave. Just one foot in front of the other right?

Till then I suppose.

Being a model is difficult.

Let me just say from the get go that I am not a model. However I’ve always thought I could be one; you know with some help. I have amazingly talented photographer friends but none of them has ever offered to take my photos. For good reason because once a camera is pointed at me, I just know how to do one kind of facial expression – which is to smile.

Anyway, the other day my friend Geoffrey and I hung out and I got to live my model dream for a bit. Though I had no idea how to pose but he did his best anyway with me and though a lot of photos were taken, he only managed to edit (just the lighting) only a few as he got busy and this ain’t a paid job.


As you can see, I just keep smiling. I don’t understand why I look quite tan because in real life I’m not. I also don’t understand why I look quite oily from early on. I believe I wasn’t oily at all then. My face I mean. It got oily later on because we were around saltwater. So yay! That really makes for a good photo. Oily face.

Then I somehow managed to pull this off:


But that was a one time thing I think. Sort of like a one hit wonder. Of course throughout the whole thing, I was always talking and commenting on something (trivial) and laughing (mostly because I felt unsure).


And of course, I HAD to have my R&B album photo taken as well.


In conclusion, being a model is difficult especially if you have no idea how to pose or the theme that the photographer is going for. Giving me free rein results in this really. And me making derpy faces:


Okay I admit that last one is creepy if you stare at it long enough. Also this is photo taking as is – i.e. you can see my body rolls which is great because then you wouldn’t be too shocked if you see me in real life and realise I have a muffin top.

At the end of it all, I was ready to give up and I applaud Geoffrey’s patience with me. He’s wonderful. Everyone hire him please. I think for now I’ll stick to academics until someday some magical being imparts modeling abilities to me or I sign up for modeling class/school.

With that I bid you goodbye and a goodnight.


DUR: Boat Noodle Brunei.

(DUR = Dal’s Unprofessional Review; a very unprofessional take on it)

One of Brunei’s relatively new “kid” in town is the Boat Noodle franchise. I first heard about it when my brother told us that he and a few of his friends were going to support his friend in the opening of his store. My brother came home and I asked him how it went and the conversation went something like this:

“So how was it?”

“It was really small; portion wise.”


“And I really went in with the expectation that the noodles would be served in a boat. So that’s on me I guess.”

So I really had little to no expectations going in. I don’t know much about the mechanics of boat noodles but I just know that it’s small portion of noodles with some sort of sauce. When I saw the photo(s), I honestly thought “oooo. kolo mee!“. Anyway, to make ordering easier, I had one of each.

The choices were 2 different kinds of noodles. 2 different kinds of sauces and 2 different kinds of meat (beef or chicken). So one of each would = 8 bowls. Trust me. One small bowl only has about one tablespoon+ of noodles in there. The stack of bowls you see below is not entirely made from the bowls of noodles I have eaten. My friend decided to stack onto mine too.

Anyway when the food came, there was no space and the problem was that there were more bowls coming. My friend also ordered 8 for himself so we had a total of 16 bowls.


Then when we finished the batch that first came (the beef batch), the waitress came and took away the bowls and then replaced them with the chicken ones. Except, the second batch had more bowls than the first one (my friend ordered more chicken ones than beef) until two of the bowls had to be stacked. Our neighbour suddenly spoke up and said “wah! How many bowls did the two of you order? I just saw the waitress clearing your table and then now there’s more bowls!“. My friend promptly replied “it’s all hers!“.

NOT TRUE! CONFESS TO THE LIES! (my sister says I’ve been watching too much Elementary)


All in all, it was an experience to remember because I don’t think I’ve ever interacted so much with anyone sitting at the table beside me. The boyfriend of the lady who commented on our numerous bowls failed to shazam the song that was playing so my friend helped him out. But as my friend and I were at the cashier and a waitress came to clear up our table, the lady and the waitress had another conversation about the number of bowls we ordered. I hope she remembers me and tells of my story to her friends and family.

Conversely, I am not a food critic. I don’t know how to critique food. To me it’s just always been “nice” or “not nice”. Pretty simple. If I want to take it a step further it would be “Is this craving food?”. That’s all really. So on that night, the taste of the noodles (and the temperature which it was served) was a miss for me. Maybe another time when I’m craving, my decision would not be the same. For now, it was a miss. But service was prompt and good and even their pencils for writing down your orders were nice and sharp. I just didn’t like being yelled at when we were welcomed and when we were leaving.

That’s all.

Help me be productive.

may have bitten off more than I can chew. Or rather, I bit off just the right amount but my mouth was forced opened and more food shoved into it and I could be choking. Metaphorically. So what happens now? I cannot drop everything that has been put upon me. May is an intense month for me and everything I’m committed to feels a lot and so the temptation to lie down and do nothing is strong.

I believe having a strong will and definitely discipline is helpful. It is also important to condition myself into thinking about each small step at a time; to prevent myself from being overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I’m not saying I’ve unlocked some great secret but some things I have found to work for me.

  1. Make a weekly schedule

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 3.06.34 PM

Here’s a sample of mine. It’s quite jam packed I know but with several papers coming up, piano and my other obligations, it’s really not an option. But with the schedule made, I know I’m not going to be able to follow it to the second so I use it as a guide as to what I should be doing or rather what I should have accomplished in my awake state. For example I know in a day, I expect myself to practice my piano for 2 hours and study for 6 hours a day (or something like that) and so I make sure to time myself (hello Pomodoro timer app). Allow yourself to be slightly fluid with your schedule so that when something comes up, it’s easier to not feel frustrated or consumed with bad feels.

Moving on from this weekly schedule, it is helpful to input the events for the next day into your calendar app (whichever it is that you use) and to set timers for 5-15 minutes before the next event is due to start. Giving you a heads-up and adequate time to prepare yourself. I do this every night as a way to wind down and so as to not feel overwhelmed by the enormity of my week.

2. Caffeinate yourself

with care. Don’t overdo it on the caffeine and this I have come to learn the hard way. I’m a light sleeper and it’s also very difficult for me to fall asleep no matter how tired I am. So it’s an endless cycle of wanting to consume more caffeine. But I keep reading articles about not taking in caffeine past 3pm and for as much as I can, I keep to it. It has helped me fall asleep easier at nights.

It’s also easy to want to drink caffeine, especially coffee because everyone’s doing it and it seems to be a trendy thing to do. (This is me but I try not to. TRY.) But lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea because I feel my teeth is stained from the coffee. But look at all the options:

(photo credits to my friend. My phone’s camera hasn’t been repaired)

Furthermore, tea has been my go to caffeine choice because it’s not as strong as coffee so I’m not as buzzed. Also there’s the lovely chamomile to end the day (if I’m feeling like it).

Point being, when caffeinating yourself, be careful and take in adequate amounts and stay hydrated! I have found myself feeling sleepy/lethargic if I consume (too much) caffeine and not enough water. So do stay hydrated! (Get an app that reminds you if you need to!)

3. Bite sized days

Just like all things marketed as “bite sized”, they’re small and well, cute. Think of your day in terms of bite sized bits. You’ve got your week planned. You’ve got your day planned. Now just think of the section that you’re in. Like for example, I’m writing now so I just focus on this until my phone gives an alert that the next section starts in 15 minutes – therefore giving me time to wrap up and get ready for the next event. I have come to realise that taking it one section/step at a time really helps in keeping me focused and in good spirits.

That’s all from me. I have realised that by following these three main “steps”, I am able to not drown in the ocean of things that needs to be done.

Till then!

beaten down

with no intention of getting back up.

Kidding. My parents invested too much into me and my education for me to stay down. So I gotta get my ass back up and fight and fight some more. When I started this semester, I thought “oh great! Only 3 modules have exam!” What a fool I was in January.

This semester has me almost drowning in assignments and projects. Not to mention last minute tests. I just want the record to show right now that I dislike working in group projects. It sucks big time and the fate of your grades are in their hands.

That’s it. I just wanted a safe space to moan before I continue with my revising and assignments.

romanticising procrastination.


I’ve always been one of those who daydreams of productivity and maybe working/studying latimg_4414e into the night and still managing to wake up the next day – all bright eyed and cheerful after that cup of coffee. But alas, that’s not me in real life. Not at the moment actually.

So there I was, trying to do my assignment due the next day (or rather the same day; it was 2:08am) and just basically reaping the fruits of my procrastination, all my “tomorrow, I’ll figure it out tomorrow”s. It’s quite shit actually and then I started thinking why in the world do we romanticise procrastination.Well, I don’t think it’s actually romanticising per se but if there are so many posts about “have loads of work to do so I’m going to nap” and a lot of other sadly relatable posts on the internet then isn’t it in a way romanticising it? We’re relating to it and making it okay. Gladly retweeting and reblogging but never really doing anything about it. Holding it up to an acceptable standard.

Just my two-cents.