NEW YEAR NEW ME – Looking Out

Photo by KE ATLAS on Unsplash

Another year, another me. It’s a bit strange – I started this blog as a legitimate blog with some poems from time to time but over time it quickly became a place for me to publish pieces which I could not find homes for, or pieces I just wanted to let loose onto the world instead of being tethered to my notebook.

I can’t say that I’ve changed too much in the past 4 years – I feel like I’m still, at my core, the same kind of person I was, albeit somewhat happier. I do have my demons from time to time, but I’ve learned to invite them in for tea. I’ve learned to find a support network, to be able to rely on others, to be vulnerable and be soft. I’ve learned to relax (somewhat) although the stress of knowing the end to this path weighs heavy.

New Year’s Resolutions – I made some actual ones for once this year! We made resolutions while passing (and downing) a bottle of red wine – so we had to think of resolutions on the spot. I think I made 3 (but I can only remember 2):

  1. To see more, do more, experience more. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone really soon and I want to expand it even further. I want to be comfortable as who I am – I want to grow and grow.
  2. To be comfortable with showing affection to others. I keep thinking of myself as some kind of observer, lone wolf / background character kind of guy and I can’t help but make fun of people and generally avoid my feelings (if any) but this year I’m going to work on that. Last year I had some breakthroughs, even if short-lived, but I’m confident that I can make it this year. I want to be able to tell people I love them without having to go in such a roundabout fashion, I want to be close to people, I want to connect, I want to cross their paths once in a while on purpose, etc.

Writing wise – I’ve been in a slump for some time. I keep reverting back to familiar topics of writing and I have little inspiration to write beyond that. Everything I’ve thought of feels very contrived – especially when I’ve been trying to actively submit my work to journals and competitions. Granted, winning the Arts House competition was great (as it forced me to write 10 ekphrastic poems! wow!) but I feel like my peers were so much better. All of these make me want to write even more – my end-goal is still the manuscript, but can I get it done by April?

As such, here are my writing goals:

  1. To develop something I can comfortably call my ‘writing style’;
  2. To broaden my topics and themes;
  3. To finalise a satisfactory manuscript halfway through April.

One might wonder – who the fuck cares what your resolutions are? You might be a friend, or a random stranger who stumbled upon this blog. In either case, I hope that in the act of posting these publicly, that I can find the courage in my heart not to run away from these goals. I want fulfillment, I want success, I want so much and I know I have to work hard to get those.




this year has been one of the most life-changing ones for me. the old milestone which every singaporean son must conquer: the ever-dreaded national service, something that to me, seemed milder than the days spent in NPCC back in HCI. I thought this way even when my head was still bald, and my rank holder, empty: now, here I am with my chevrons, facing what I must have once been – absolutely terrible.

deadpan aside, the oppressed is now the oppressor: but now, I guess I can truly see the frustrations my commanders must have had – you really do end up caring a whole lot for them, to the point where you feel responsible for them to do well, and to this end, you feel the need to scold and punish them, as though they were your younger brothers. i knew i was younger than most of my men, but in my eyes, they’re all 16. with this mindset, I guess it helped me to do my job better – i had to counsel them, talk to them, motivate them, scold them, bond with them. I don’t think I will ever forget the time I’ve spent at 9SIR.

I’ve also managed to get into law school, or, to be specific, law and business school, much to the surprise of some of my friends who believed that I would go for something like the arts and social sciences. to be frank, i’m pretty surprised at my own choice, and being able to get in at all. i’m still in shock myself. it’s like I thought all about getting in, but not really much about what would happen afterwards. but that’s a thought for another afternoon.

this year I’ve also seen so many different people, from all walks of life: in bmt i saw more jc kids than I ever wanted to, and I saw that not all of them were just stereotypical bookworms ( although there were the token few..) . in scs I saw different teammates pass me by, some useful, some lazy, some hardworking, some girlfriend-obsessed-to-the-point-of-uselessness, some slackers, and of course, some great people – great people who would eventually end up following me to my unit and therefore being forced to put up with my crap, for at least another 12 years. and last, but not least, I saw several different recruits, from all sorts of backgrounds and all walks of life. sometimes you reach a point where you think you’d seen it all, but I find that NS constantly changes this mindset, for better or for worse.

this year i’ve also come to terms with several deaths: the death of a website that used to be more or less integral to my identity, the death of its attempt at revival and the death of what motivated me to write for so long. websites aside, on a more serious note, I’ve also seen several people come close to death this year. thankfully, none of those lines were ever crossed, but my fingers remained crossed nonetheless. on a more melodramatic note, I’ve come to terms, finally, with the horrors of junior college, and those hazy, hellish days. I used to keep thinking about the whole incident, but now I’ve stopped losing sleep over it. I’ve also almost completely forgotten about the details. safe to say, I’ve moved on from what used to tie me down.

I’ve also felt the effects of time passing this year, much more violently than ever before – I can see and feel the change come. I witnessed changes in my body, personality, and mentality. I can almost physically feel it.

the only thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the fact that my writing is still trash.

which is, I suppose, comforting to know that I’m not the only piece of trash around here.

happy new year to whoever is reading this. may you always be surrounded by good vibrations.