Eurus’ Song

I that am lost, oh who will find me?

Deep down below the old beech tree

Help succour me now the east winds blow

sixteen by six, brother, and under we go!

Without your love, he’ll be gone before

Save pity for strangers, show love the door.

My soul seek the shade of my Willow’s bloom

Inside, brother mine – 

Let death make a room

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Another Straight Line

“Once you realise you have the power to choose who to let in, then you know what it means to be yourself.”

After spending two weeks ‘staring at the ceiling’, I finally decided to get up and do something. Anything would be fine so long as it did not involve people, I thought.

So today I cleaned up my desk. Wiped down everything. Threw away stacks of receipts I accumulated over the school semester. Someone still owes me $7.20. I barely started putting everything back when I began to feel drowsy again.

Why would I be tired? I stayed in bed until my family finished eating breakfast (8.30am) before I ate so that I wouldn’t have to talk like I always did. And it only took ten steps to get to the kitchen where I retrieved my cleaning rag.

I had to sort out the messy wires of my numerous electrical appliances. I stared at it for the longest time. If this was an arthouse film, I would dedicate five minutes to a shot of these tangled wires with the curtain flapping in the background because it accurately depicts what my brain looks like.

I solved this by cutting holes in a box for the wire tips to stick out and covered the whole mess. No wonder God gave us skulls or I would be dragging around a tangled mess of thoughts. The bits of cardboard fluttered out of the way as I languidly sawed at it with my penknife. And I thought to myself that I should keep moving.

An INTJ is supposed to have a plan for everything, a motivation for every task I carried out and up until last year, I had that. But when I tripped over a starry-eyed dream I was never meant to fulfil, suddenly the plans combusted and the motivation I had to keep going just vanished in smoke. I went through my days troubleshooting, locked in a loading screen that never reached 100%, searching and searching for the reason, the solution, the answer.

When I already had it.

I held on to it because I grew addicted to feeling when I was never meant to feel. It is somewhat of a paradox. That feeling turns all my plans to dust, it blinds me and I end up swinging my knife at every shadow. But every explosion has warmth and I don’t want to admit I cannot light a fire.

I have the answer. But it’s hard to admit failure.

I hoped the penknife would swerve off and unwittingly hurt me but I’m good at protecting myself. No more crying. No more mourning. No more waiting. I finished the box with quiet satisfaction. It is therapeutic to dig up the past and cut it into something for the future.

The future exists again. I can see it in front of me. The detailed plans and structures to build in order to get out of this dark, foul cistern imprint onto my brain where mould had begun to grow. It is true that I failed but now I can draw another straight line through the events of the past and build a wall and a security system that no one can break down.

I don’t believe in new beginnings but I do believe in regeneration and micro-evolution. The person who emerges from this pupa will not be the caterpillar that entered it. I will have learnt bank transfer and taken the words of the One Who Is Always There with me:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

 

INTJ

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This is my personality type. It is intriguing.

And dangerous.

Known as the Architect personality or the Mastermind, INTJs are one of the rarest personality types, making up 0.8% of the world’s population and 4.3% of Singapore’s population. We are described briefly as imaginative and strategic thinkers with a plan for everything but are known in fiction for being villains and cold-blooded strategists.

It is no fun for me to paraphrase everything you can read at http://www.16personalities.com so instead, I will list some interesting facts about INTJs that I relate to.

  1. Likes studying (especially grammar, physics and psychology)
  2. Likes strategy games, puzzles or detective stories
  3. Dislikes small talk, icebreakers and orientation camps
  4. Needs a lot of alone time
  5. I am always right
  6. Hates feelings, prefers logic
  7. Dislikes hugs
  8. Finds people/relationship talk boring
  9. Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency
  10. I may look like I’m not doing anything but I’m actually busy analysing, creating or observing something so please leave me alone
  11. If you order me to do something I was already going to do, I will not do it
  12. Admires hard work, competence and dedication
  13. Dislikes phone calls and long project meetings
  14. I am an open book, I am just hard to read
  15. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
  16. Extremely loyal and will help you in a pinch but if you manipulate my loyalty, I will not give you my trust back
  17. To insult me, I need to value your opinion first and I only value logical opinions
  18. You are not entitled to your ignorant opinion
  19. I have a long fuse attached to a really large bomb
  20. My brain is my favourite part of myself
  21. I end friendships by cutting that person out of my life entirely
  22. Don’t rant to me about problems you don’t want to solve
  23. Will not tolerate insults to my intelligence, competence or integrity
  24. If you tell me ‘I feel you should do this…’ rather than ‘I think… because…’ I will ignore you
  25. My emotions are an undeveloped tool that cause me to feel very intensely because I cannot control them
  26. Rarely has feelings, spends too much time thinking
  27. Dislikes salesmen
  28. Do not interrupt me when I’m reading, writing or thinking
  29. Sees obvious patterns and connections where others cannot but not having the ability to explain them
  30. Would prefer not to lead but always ends up leading

 

It is very rare to get 100% for introversion because most people are a mix. My mother is convinced there is a trauma somewhere that affected this most recent result of my MBTI test but it is taking a while to figure out what that trauma is…

 

 

To Be Healthy…

My motto in life has been:

“If I don’t have to do it, I won’t. If I have to do it, I’ll make it quick.”

The truth is, I have been telling myself that because I’m afraid of failure. It is funny how things translate themselves in life. I was holding on to a relationship that was not working out for about six months now, constantly trying to make it work. And recently, I made a big mess of it (again).

But it made me realise something. I have to accept the things I cannot change and not grieve so long over something that God refuses to give me. I am more than any single friendship with another human being. I need to take care of my mind and most of all, my body.

It is the holidays now and this is my chance to look inwards and ask myself what do I want to accomplish in this life and how I will do it. Here are some tips that I found during my research:

A healthy body is made up of: a good diet, 2 litres of water and a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each day

I still suffer from terrible cases of acne consistently and there are various causes for it. Stress is one of them but since that cannot be helped, I must tackle the rest. My unhealthy diet of instant noodles and preservatives, dehydration and weird sleeping schedules.

The best kind of diet is the organic kind. I might be allergic to gluten or dairy so for the next month, I am cutting those out of my diet to see if they are the cause of my mountainous pimples.

Activity can be a form of exercise.

Doing chores, walking to the supermarket with my mum, doing stretches while watching a show all counts as exercise. Carrying heavy objects across the room, washing socks, strapping weights to your hairdryer are modern variations of carrying a stone water jar from the well. No wonder no one had to exercise in the ancient days. Walking for miles just to get to town or cooking with pots heavier than a sack of rice were the old ways off working out.

Staying healthy is a lifestyle after all, not an hour long ritual of running on the spot and then being lazy for the rest of the day. This is probably the hardest change to make but that is why they say the ocean is made of many water droplets.

Listen to audio books while running.

My least favourite form of exercise is running. The moment I begin, I want to stop because there is just no logical reason for me to run if there is no bus to chase or no enemy on my heels. However, running is a lung-expanding exercise and a good way of increasing your stamina (and patience). One way to make this exercise easier to swallow is to learn something while you run. Listening to audio books is a good way of losing yourself in your thoughts while your feet are doing something mindlessly boring like running.

Create a vision board.

Many times, we get distracted from our goals by what is pleasurable at the moment or by what we feel at that point of time. Having a clear vision that you look at every single day is a good way to motivate yourself to keep fighting for what you want instead of succumbing to temptation. A lot of people accept that procrastination happens and allow distractions to run their lives but I know that I do not want to be that person.

Record your progress.

Nothing motivates more than results and nothing shows results more than hard work. It is tedious to sit down at the end of each day to reflect on how everything is going but if you want to improve than do it.

Meditate or colour.

For me, reading God’s Word and thinking about it makes me calmer and less anxious about life because it reminds me that God has it all under control. But sometimes my brain just will not cooperate and I end up indulging in unwanted bad habits like watching YouTube videos for hours or scrolling morosely through social media (and becoming more messed up).

That is where colouring comes in. Colouring trains your brain to focus on what you are doing and releases mental tension slowly over the course of the activity. It also fosters creativity and translates your anguish onto the page.

At the end of the day, advice only helps if you are willing to take it. Willpower and inner strength comes from the individual and not from circumstance.

“Motivation is something that has to come from within. Someone can help you light the fire but you’ve got to be the one that keeps it burning. Just remember though that you’ve got to cherish that flame – do not let anyone blow it out. They can’t. You’re in control of how bright you shine and how hot you want to be.”

Crossroads

Leaves from the vine

Falling so slow

Like fragile, tiny shells

Drifting in the foam

Little soldier boy

Comes marching home

Brave soldier boy

Comes marching home.

The show that never fails to inspire me every time I rewatch it: Avatar – The Legend of Aang. I remember now my love for fantasy writing and the series I started writing back when I was twelve. But unlike then, I have not written a story in over a year.

A very sad fate for a writer. I have fallen so far.

There is a girl in my class whom others disapprove of for not putting effort into her school work. I admire her for her consistency  and hard work in her writing. Put me next to her in a writing competition and I will become someone you will also disapprove of.

I used to write four hours a day, sometimes for the entire day. I did nothing but write and read back then (and maybe half an hour of watching Avatar on TV each night). There was PSLE but I would still write. I wrote incessantly until I was sixteen and writing stopped becoming my escape from reality. I used reality to escape the pain of fantasy.

The pain is still here. I do not know if I am ready to face it yet. But today, reality is more painful than fantasy so maybe fantasy will become my solace again.

Avatar has taught me many things about the world and about myself. Most of all, it is a reminder of what I wanted to achieve coming to DTVM. The characters in the show embody the values that I want for myself: contemplation (wisdom), kindness and discipline.

I remember when destiny was my favourite word.

These days I am missing the will to fulfil my dreams and I am torn between my natural self and the person I worked hard to become.