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And all it took was a run.

 

Had a giant wake-up call while doing my essay today. And truth is: I kinda dislike my new life. I didn’t like the person I was becoming, so easily irritable, a pale shadow of what I used to be at SOT. And I was fast becoming reclusive.

 

Felt the desire to restart my running and it was the rudest slap: I can’t even last 6km. How laughable!! A veteran of 3 marathons with enough experience and fighting spirit to last the distance can’t take one seventh the distance. And the marathon is barely a month away…..

 

So, what to do?

 

Desperate situations call for desperate measures? Not quite

 

In fact: it’s back to basics.

 

Gonna restart my life once over:

Inculcate back the healthy lifestyle I once had in the army: 5BX, a daily 5km run around the reservoir. A healthy diet(junk food once a week max).

Control my spending and set aside a weekly budget. Find back my prayer life. At least 2 hours a day studying

Above all: I need a companion to pour out my angst and s*it within. That’s my weakness, emotional stability (that’s why I suspected I had AvPD)

Summary: I’m gonna need discipline.

Restart once over……

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Fascinating creatures, aren’t they?

 

Wolves in general. They are silent, yet deadly. Fiercely loyal and territorial. What strikes me the most is their monogamous nature: One partner until death does them part.

 

Especially the lone wolf: he doesn’t conform to the pack. He leaves rather than challenge the alpha male. And he spends the remainder of his days alone. Doing everything from hunting its’  food to making his shelter. However, as wolves work best in pairs to hunt their prey, the lone wolf can only hunt smaller prey instead of the larger ungulates (such as deer).

 

But this trains the lone wolf to be independent. They are stronger, more aggressive and far deadlier than any wolf part of a single pack. And by nature wolves are cunning, this is especially heightened in the lone wolf.

 

Why am I suddenly writing about wolves? Or specifically the lone wolf?

 

Because that is what I’m going through now: the lonely phase.

 

Having no constant companion is difficult, exhausting, limiting to what I can do. Often times I’ve been spending so much, too much time alone. Solitude is good, but excessive periods of it can inhibit you. There’ve been times I’ve even forgot how it feels like to socialize, let alone share my thoughts with anybody. And this has been going on for two months now.

On the other hand: it has trained me to be stronger, even more independent (if that’s even possible) and colder (don’t like it but useful in making tough decisions) at the cost of having shut-down emotions. When things are quieter you can discern things better.

Especially in university, much of my time is spent alone, and alone doing economics. An analytic, quantitative, calculating and cold subject. Yet it requires a combination of intuition and logic.

There are times I wonder if anybody understands, but then again, probably not. Which leads me to suspect if I’m suffering from AvPD (Avoidant personality disorder).

 

But then, there’s light at the end of the tunnel: The lone wolf occasionally finds a lone wolf of the opposite sex and they start a new pack together.

 

Well, I’m looking for the other wolf, to share all that’s within me.

 

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

Thanks to our neighbour:

 

Now life’s changed, for the past few days.

 

S’been ages since seeing the haze blanket SG like it did for the past 3 days.

 

No running, trying not to go out as often, trying to breathe in less..

 

Woah-ho, pray the air clears up asap. Lotsa marathon runners need to train and clock miles u know?

 

Terimah Kasih Sumatra 😉

Just finished a 3km power run: 14:17

 

Can do better, Stanchart’s coming in 6+ weeks.

 

Break your record hector: under 4h 45mins.

 

Better yet, <4h 30mins.

 

Time to switch on the afterburners

Has anybody ever wandered what’s it like to be in one?

Cause I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ll walk through them.

Thing is: how long does it take for one to get out of the crisis, or even escape it at all?

In the course of my own over the past month. There’re a number of events: or to be specific. A sequence in which it follows

Usually the first reaction would be: How and why would this happen? Why me? Why so unfair??

The list goes on

Initially the person will adopt a victim mindset, and wonder the thoughts that are listed above. And he/she will stubbornly stick to his/her usual way of life to weather the storm.

After a certain period (depending on the situation and when he/she realises exactly what’s going on), they’d realise that the situation isn’t getting any better, and so they’ll try to change the situation around on their own.

And if that doesn’t work (which usually won’t). That is the time when the person will either: A – Start falling into depression, B – look for other sources to pin the blame for whatever’s going on, C – Look for inspirations to pull themselves out of trouble, D – Look into themselves, evaluate themselves constructively and objectively(without pining self-blame or emotional criticism) and see how they can benefit and change themselves from the better.

How do people react? Usually A or B is the tendency. C tends to happen after a set time. Not many will reach D immediately (or may never reach there at all). And besides, how many people in this world can instantly realize their flaws, evaluate their situation and plot a way out? And having full knowledge of what went wrong in them and the courage and conviction to correct their flaws?

Nobody, at least not on their own. We need friends around us. We need wise counsel, we need wisdom and experience.

No man is an island, in fact things only started to look up when friends began coming by my side to help me calm down, look at my situation objectively and work plans to put into action. So in fact – I’ve gone from A to D.

Curiously, this is in fact one of those times in life where somebody can truly see exactly what he/she is made of. Habits, traits, reaction to stress/pressure, the number of real friends they have, strengths and flaws in their character/personality and ultimately: knowing the most about themselves.

Let me relate this study to my experience:

This has happened to me in three general areas, almost every aspect of my life has been hit

My church: City Harvest

We all know what has happened, the CAD investigations. Allegations, accusations, controversies and so on so forth. Indeed I’ll take an objective stand with whatever’s happened. Because it is so easy for people to become emotional(First response, quote A & B), what I will not object is that whatever’s the case that is being heard is what is the issue at the moment. But I can’t say whatever’s going to happen next for I do not have the full story.

However, sadly. This isn’t the case for many people out there. The ugly sides of people surface. Critical and judgemental comments, swipes, rumours, backstabbing and hate and the like comes out like a can of worms being opened. And while common sense dictates innocent until proven guilty, hidden prejudices, fears, insecurity, discomfort, the self-righteous ‘ah ha!! I’m trying to ‘siam’ any wrong doing and heng somebody kena first, serves them right and let’s pile on the blame even though I don’t know the full facts, media should know everything right? (I’ve noticed this mindset in common Singaporeans – not all, and this is controversial, especially true in the SAF. Guys reading this and you’re NSF and ORDED, you know what I mean)

And even though nobody knows what’s going to happen next. This episode is useful in teaching one to be balanced, to be calm under pressure and being gracious to your enemies. However it is no easy matter especially seeing your spiritual family under constant, savage attack.

And I completely empathize with Pastor Kong. Probably no one in the world bar Job has went through what he is going through. Especially the part of having enemies surrounding you at all corners with no respite in sight and even having your faith being tested and stretched to their limits. Cause I’m going through similar stuff in my life. Oddly enough, whatever pride that remains has been squashed and replaced by humility (Cause you know whatever happens from this point isn’t your own doing anymore –  it’s by the grace of God)

My Passion: Liverpool FC

Enough said, we know what’s been happening. The fall from grace in the space of 18 months is spectacular and fitting for a horror movie. From EPL challengers to relegation fodder (not yet, though if this isn’t checked, it’s still a possibility), from having the strongest and stablest midfield of Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano & Steven Gerrard to having inferior jokers playing in their places – losing Xabi is akin to losing your ship’s rudder, your GPS. His calming influence, his passing range(from playing precision passes to knowing the exact pass to play at the exact time), losing Mascherano’s similar to losing your guard dog- now your defence is wide open, the midfield has lost it’s bite, it’s aggression (and Poulsen is probably the biggest joke I’ve ever seen as a defensive mid – too slow!!!), Stevie G is still Stevie G, but how much longer can Captain Fantastic rescue us? He’s 30 now.

And off the pitch, Gillett and Hicks are the nightmare owners (or shall I say tyrants). Their true nature being exposed as money-hungry cowboys. Especially Hicks. Even trying to block a perfectly legitimate offer from NESV on the basis having undervalued LFC(yeah right, not enough to line your pockets). Bringing the team down to its knees, lying to and mistreating the most important aspect of a sporting team (not the players, the fans).

Because not only LFC, any other entity in the world, be it a show/series, movie, media superstar/singer, a sporting team or anything else for that matter. Are sources of inspiration, hope and heroism for people in the world. They are symbols of what could be when it couldn’t in people’s everyday lives. The story of comebacks, the underdog beating the favourite. Heroes standing up in times of peril, the list goes on. And when that’s taken away, there will be revolt.
There is a silver lining: seeing everyone rallying together to repel the jokers. This is a modern-day revolution. A revolution of the modern age using modern weapons – social media!! If it were used under any other scenario it’d have been cyber-terrorism though in this case it’s acceptable(chasing away financial terrorists).

And besides LFC, one of my sources of comfort is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The many heroes struggling and battling against tremendous odds. Personal favourites like Aragorn, Faramir, Gandalf, Theoden, Eomer etc.

Aragorn and Faramir because I can identify with them the most. Dysfunctional fathers or lack of: Aragorn’s was killed when he was a child. Faramir having a dad whom hates him and favors his older brother.

Both of them facing their own demons and fears, having dreams which looked impossible to realize

But both were strong, heroes in their own right. Aragorn reclaiming the throne of men, Faramir through his love obeyed his father until the end even when his orders were madness.

Above all: it was their humility and courage in adverse situations that moved me the most. Faramir riding to his doom at his father’s command (he survived btw), Aragorn bringing the remaining men to challenge Sauron and give Frodo one last chance to destroy the ring. (surrounded on all sides and outnumbered at least 600-1).

Gandalf for his wisdom in every situation.

Theoden for his nobility.

Eomer for his intense loyalty.

Boromir for his repentance despite his weakness of pride.

The list goes on, but you see: It is in times of our own need we need examples, heroes, inspirations of those who are able to do what we can’t. To show us what we can do , what we can accomplish. Be it in fiction or in fact.

Finally, my life: namely family, my own finances, my studies, spiritual life, time (or lack of), managing expectations.

Well, enough said about my dad.  There are many things I don’t understand, and probably never will. But as time went on I realized no amount of hate, victimization would help the situation or anyone. The only way out is love, to love in ways that I can show. And it is a big, painful sacrifice on my part which only God’s able to help and probably only he understands.

Finances wise, it is hard, so hard, having to survive on myself and juggling studies together with my work. Coping with expectations and such. The key to a better life is like it or not: financial freedom. And to do that would mean committing time and effort. Which means sacrificing your rest and probably your studies (vicious cycle)

Studies, well no hiding the fact that university is my last chance to come good. To progress to the next level, and to realise and fulfil my dreams and calling. That Economics degree will unlock all that. But placing too much hope, weighing unrealistic expectations of myself suffocated and eventually wore myself out. Numbers began swimming about in my head, graphs looking impossible to comprehend and distribution charts and god-knows how many formulas are waiting for me to digest(or digest me).

And finally, my spiritual life. You know why I empathize with Pastor Kong? Especially this, sometimes when too many things happen at one go. Your faith WILL be affected, you’ll see for yourself what you are really like. How many can really stand up and claim the promises of God when your world is collapsing? Would you believe in the messages you preach when everything goes wrong? Will you have the strength to pray for even 15 minutes when there are depressing and suicidal thoughts swirling around your head?

I’ll be honest and say it’s a flat-out no. I’ve not been praying regularly, I find it a struggle to read the bible. And the scary part of this?

I was a bible school graduate two months ago.

Everything came together IMMEDIATELY after SOT. Straight after learning how to run, came the big, big fall.

All this has taught me: never to allow pride from overtaking you. For you never know when the fall comes, and will you pick yourself up after you fall? That is a question only you can answer.

And thankfully, things are slowly and surely on the mend. I thank God for my friends, for W375, for my SOT mates, for my mum and sis. For everyone who knew about my crisis and prayed for me.

From feeling totally hopeless in my studies, now I have a study plan, thanks to Janice, Jesh, Alvin & Jo, I have the courage to love my dad and try to let go of everything.

Now, I truly appreciate this verse I’ve received three weeks ago:

Luke 7:46-47

You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.  Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.


And a curious result of all these happenings are those points I’ve highlighted earlier: Especially how people react when Murphy’s law comes into play (everything that can go wrong goes wrong). Because I’ve passed through phases A through D within the past month.

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P.S: This study isn’t complete as of this moment. Until I’ve stepped out of my valley, then can I truly complete this study. There are bound to be more twists, turns, surprises to come. Even I don’t know if this whole saga has climaxed.

Then again, my hope is that you the reader can relate with whatever’s been written. Only then can this post can truly help you answer some questions being asked of you in your struggle, or at the very least identify and empathize with yours.

Whoever you are Mr/Ms Anonymous, that was my word and prayer for you.

And remember that through valleys and storms, you’ll never walk alone. For I have walked through mine, am walking my biggest challenge as of now, and will walk bigger ones to come. =)

In every transaction you must attempt to lower your risk and increase your potential to succeed. Every deal, every decision at this level has risk. You cannot shield yourself from risk. You cannot win with a long-term, conservative tone.” -John W Henry

Man of the hour

 

Words can’t express how relieved, happy I am.

 

And the last time I felt like that was way back in 2008. Finally: against all odds our prayers were answered.

 

We’re sold!!!

Not sure if he’s the right guy, but we’re sure as hell rid of the wrong ones.

 

Can’t stop grinning today,  this is a new dawn for LFC. Any other time I’d have cried but right now I’m just happy and plain relieved that the whole fracas is over.


Thank you God, thank you John Henry, thank you Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow, Ian Ayre and every single red in the world for standing firm in this time of crisis

 

From a very relieved, long-suffering red

His love is never too far away

He always had me in his sights.

After one month in the wilderness……..and the complications of life.

Having negative thoughts, even to the point of suicidal ones had me suspecting if I was falling into depression.

Turned out to be just condemning voices, from the one and only nemesis.

And the turning point: voila, The second sermon I preached to Awie’s CG at Medan.

Entering into God’s Rest. It turned out so true, even for the preacher who needs his own sermon to be comforted =)

And his comfort beats everything else in this world.

Isaiah 45:15

I am the LORD, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”

I’m not gonna focus on what I can/cannot do, I’m gonna learn to look at him. How he does it

v18-19, 21

Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

I will get the first class honours, and that masters scholarship to LSE

When life gets too complicated, it pays to keep things simple: Just You and Him

Today’s a better day already,

2011 will be better than 2010

He is gonna do the things he’s been putting off for ages.

He is gonna risk embarassment and ridicule in some of the stuff he’s doing but who cares, he’d rather live his life to the fullest and say: ‘I’ve done it, I’ve tried, and I’ve no regrets’.

Even if he can’t go to Nepal this year, he will go the next.

Even if he doesn’t gets what he wants this year, there’s always the next.

Even if he’s going through the roughest time of his life, he appreciates the fact that it is making him stronger, wiser and more patient.

Even if he never sees Liverpool FC win the EPL, he appreciates the team and the miracle of Istanbul.

Even if he never gets the chance to go to Anfield and touch the ‘this is anfield’ sign, he has seen his heroes in the flesh from 24-26 July 2009 and he has an autographed jersey from Fernando Torres.

He’s gonna go after the things he loves, whether or not it happens. For that he is willing to suffer temporarily for an everlasting prize.

‘smiles on his face’

This week’s been hell on earth: I’ve never felt this weak in my body for like: how long??

One week of constant rest and my body’s still sluggish. I’ve never felt this exhausted for a long, long time…….

Family situation’s somewhat better, just that my body’s really, really weak.

And let’s not venture on liverpool, watching the team’s starting to make my blood boil.

And i missed service for the first time in months cos of migraine and fatigue….I really miss the presence of God. Miss those days in SOT where everyday we can all pray regardless of whatever’s going on. And now my body’s too weak to even sustain for long in doing anything.

Surely this week’s gonna be better. No way out besides pushing forward.