Sunday, November 12, 2017

Warui Ousama no Ohanashi (悪い王様のお話) Lyrics Translation

So after ages of not having written anything, today's post shall be a translation of Goosehouse's Warui Ousama no Ohanashi (Story of the Evil King). Found this little gem some time ago and I loved the overall rhythm and feel of the song and especially how they turned a story into a song. I catch myself humming the chorus tune a lot and after searching, I realized that no one really translated it into English before, so here goes :)

小さな国の小さな町 小さな家に住む
Chiisana kuni no chīsana machi chīsana ie ni sumu 
Wakai musume wa unmei no koi ni ochita no desu
Living in a small house, in a small town, in a small country,
A young maiden fell in love with her fated love

恋のお相手は王様 めでたく見初められ
貧しかった家と別れ 家族になりました
Koi no o aite wa ōsama medetaku misome rare
Mazushikatta ie to wakare kazoku ni narimashita 
Her partner in love was the king, they fell in love happily at first sight,
She parted from her poor household and they became a family

ところが二人の子供 可愛い王子はやがて
邪智暴虐の王になり 人々 苦しめた
Tokoro ga futari no kodomo kawaii ōji wa yagate 
Jachibougyaku no ou ni nari hitobito kurushimeta 
Nevertheless, the child of theirs, the adorable prince, before long,
A tyrannical and cruel king he became, and the people suffered

「初めて腕に抱いた日 世界に足りないものなど
一つもなく 何もかもが輝きを増した
世界の全て終わる日も 世界の誰もがあなたの
敵になって矢が飛ぶ日も 私が盾になるよ」
"Hajimete ude ni daita hi sekai ni tarinai mono nado Hitotsu mo naku nanimo kamo ga kagayaki o mashita Sekai no subete owaru hi mo sekai no daremo ga anata no 
Teki ni natte ya ga tobu hi mo watashi ga tate ni naru yo 
  "The very first day we embraced you in our arms,
There wasn't a single thing that we lacked in this world, everything was glittering.
Even on the day everything on this world ends, even if everyone in the world
becomes your enemy and send arrows flying at you, I'll become your shield." 

戦争が始まって 王様は戻らぬ人に
Ouji ga jyuroku-sai ni natte sugu no koto desu 
Sensou ga hajimatte ōsama wa modoranu hito ni 
It wasn't long before the prince turned 16,
A war started, and to the people he couldn't return to, the king said

「帰ると言った約束 信じて待つあなたの背を
抱きしめても 振りほどいて 一人で泣いてたね
世界の全てを疑い 世界の誰も要らないと
あなたは言う でもね聞いて 私がここにいるよ」
"Kaeru to itta yakusoku shinjite matsu anata no se o 
Dakishimete mo furihodoite hitori de nai teta ne 
Sekai no subete wo utagai sekai no dare mo iranaito 
Anata wa iu demo nee kiite watashi ga koko ni iru yo"'
" 'I will come back,' the you that believed in that promise and waited,
Even after a hug, once we parted ways, you cried alone, didn't you?
Even if you decide to doubt everything in the world,
'I don't need anyone in this world,' you say that,
but hey, listen, I will be right here."

王様になった王子は 国中涙で染めた
それを止めた男がいた 彼の名前は メロス
Ousama ni natta ōji wa kuni juu namida de someta 
Sore o tometa otoko ga ita kare no namae wa 
The prince that became the king, dyed the entire country in tears,
There was a man who stopped all that, his name was 

「自分を守るためだけに 生きていくには世界は
大きすぎて バラバラで すぐダメになるだろう」

Jibun o mamoru tame dake ni ikiteiku ni wa sekai wa 
Ooki sugite BARABARA de sugu dame ni narudarou' 
"If you only live by protecting just yourself,
this world will seem too huge and fall apart,
and all hope will soon be lost"

「初めて腕に抱いた日 世界に足りないものなど
一つもなく 何もかもが輝きを増した
世界の全て終わる日も 世界の誰もがあなたの
敵になって矢が飛ぶ日も 僕が盾になるよ」
"Hajimete ude ni daita hi sekai ni tarinai mono nado
Hitotsu mo naku nanimokamo ga kagayaki o mashita 
Sekai no subete owaru hi mo sekai no daremo ga anata no 

Teki ni natte ya ga tobu hi mo boku ga tate ni naru yo"
"The very first day we embraced you in our arms,
There wasn't a single thing that we lacked in this world, everything was glittering.
Even on the day everything on this world ends, even if everyone in the world
becomes your enemy and send arrows flying at you, I'll become your shield." 

[End of translation]

I'm not sure if this was the story the artists intended to portray, 
but I interpreted the story as such:

A long time ago, a king fell in love with a girl from a poor family, they had a cute son who they treasured and loved more than anything else. The first chorus is probably what the king and queen said to their son, showing just how much they loved him.

When the prince turned 16, the king left for a war. He left promising to return, but never did. The second chorus is probably what the king said to his loved ones before he left for the war; i.e. the queen and the prince.

Having lost his father who he loved dearly, the prince was extremely hurt, but didn't know how to deal with that pain. He lived doubting everything and distancing himself from everyone,  saying he didn't need anyone, true to the king's words, and grew to be a heartless king. :(

However, this all ended when a man named Meros brought the king back to his senses and the last chorus at the end was the prince remembering what his parents said to him.

This way, it ends well I guess? Hope this translation was helpful to those who really liked how the song sounded, but have no idea what it means.
Will defs be listening to this gem on loop for a while more,
time to revisit more of GooseHouse's older songs/covers. :D

i) Kanji and romaji lyrics are taken from JpopAsia. (edited a tiny bit where I saw fit)
ii) My Japanese is mostly self-taught from anime and at most at JLPT N4 level, so do let me know if I've made any errors in translation; it's always good to learn :) 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

.:: It's now or never. ::.

It's been a little more than a year since my last post (so much for the resolution last year of writing more right? ><).

A short recap of the previous year would be that it was extremely taxing and stressful, especially the start of the year, but it was also one where I learned a lot and started to grow. I've had new experiences, new responsibilities, new encounters, new highs and lows.
I'll be hitting quarter life this year and I figured that there's no better time for change than now, so here's a list of resolutions I put together over the weekend for 2017 (better late than never, as always.)

1. Clear out any regrets.

In the past few months or so, I've watched people come and go and there's really no bigger reminder of how fragile and short our lives are. So this year, I resolve to clear out regrets that I may have had (or even forgotten about) and to not make any decisions from this point on that will leave me with new regrets.

This year, I'll truly embrace the #yolo-ness that has never quite surfaced for me. I'll say what I want to say, do what I want to do and go where my heart takes me.

The one regret that's at the top of my head is having stopped learning piano at the age of twelve. My previous instructor was more centered around perfecting our play of exam pieces and at that point in time, I was really glad to not have to go through those long hours of practice for songs I don't have any attachment to. But as the years passed (and thanks to anime like Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso and Kin Iro No Corda), this tiny little voice inside of me has always questioned my decision to stop. So this year I resolve to find time for casual piano classes / to set aside time to improve my sight reading so I can play more songs that I like.

Also, I've always sort of regretted not really taking the chance to travel much in the whole two and half years I spent in Melbourne. So hopefully, during my upcoming international attachment in Hong Kong, I'll be able to better utilize my weekends.

2. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
This one is inspired by a book I chanced across with the same title by Susan Jeffers. There have been so many times in the past that I've felt afraid of not being up for something / being good enough, but recently I've begun to see that everyone goes through that, even those who you'd think were so overwhelmingly talented and superior that nothing would faze them. Deep down, everyone has their own demons to face, all it takes is a first step to begin defeating them.

This year, I resolve to break through walls and perceptions of myself. This year, I'll be bold, this year, I'll be daring, this year I'll be prepared to do what the past me would have found unthinkable.

Bring on them exams, bring on them red shoes.

3. Remember to take things slow.

Sometimes, the world is so fast-paced that you take for granted that the things that are worth it come slowly. Whether it's that new language you're learning or that new habit you're honing, nothing was built overnight, so expecting changes to immediately bear fruits will only lead to disappointment.

Sometimes speed isn't everything. Sometimes the ability to wait out the storm by carefully thinking through will grant you better returns. In dashing for the finish line, sometimes it's better to conserve some energy for that final sprint.

This year, I resolve to be patient with myself. I resolve to be patient and forgiving of the mistakes I may have made / make due to carelessness or poor judgement and to learn from them so that I'll never repeat the same mistakes again. I was blessed enough to be in an environment where I'm allowed to fail and though I would never let myself be comfortable about making a miss, I need to remember that it's okay to stumble sometimes too.

4. Explore new things and grow.

This year I resolve to be open to new and unfamiliar things. I resolve to try the roads not taken, to challenge my own norms and break out of my comfort zone. This year, I'll be different. This year, I'll find a new me.

Some of the things that I really want to do more of is to have more exercise (it's been on my to-do-list since forever) so last weekend I finally pushed myself to go for zumba class (hopefully I'll be keeping that up for the remainder of the year). I also want to find more time to read and write more, so here's a resolution to write a blog post at least once every quarter.

2017 came sweeping in with the winds of change and I'm more than ready to glide on those winds. Here's to a fulfilling year ahead that I can look back and think fondly of. Blessed it be.

Monday, February 22, 2016

6 for 2016.

Thinking about just how much I've gone through in the past two months makes it seem like I've lived through another year instead of just 50+ days. I've had frightful, disappointing and unpleasant experiences, countless roadblocks and challenges so much so that I can't help but feel my chest tightening and all numb inside at times.  In retrospect, I believe they've helped me grow and open my eyes to the world; both the up-sides and the down-sides. I've had the longest bout of food poisoning ever (no nasi dagang for me for a while), which nearly got me suspected of dengue and eventually caused me to miss out on CNY altogether, but it was swiftly made up for with quality time at home and a great time with cousins. Sure, the year started off with a bumpy ride, but I'm going to enjoy the ride all the same.

So I've been asked a lot about what my New Year's Resolutions were; I've had a rough idea for a while now but never quite had the words to write them down. Seeing as the Lunar New Year is already ending, I suppose this is as late as a New Year's Resolution List is going to get.

The first half of my resolutions are going to be the tougher ones, so I've gotten some help from my usual pillars of support; quotes from anime, manga and anime songs.

1. Be prepared for Murphy's Law, but don't worry so much.

"We've only lived for a little over a decade. What a peaceful life is, I can't even begin to imagine, but I know it definitely wouldn't suit me. So I don't need any of that." 

#KajikaBurnsworth #HanasakeruSeishonen

The year of the Fire Monkey promises to be a challenging one, but I've never been the type to fight fire with fire anyway. So I guess it's a good thing I was born a Water Monkey? :P I resolve to always consider the worst case scenario of every situation I'm in, so that I'll be fully prepared to face it and also because, half the time, worst case scenarios aren't really that bad -- they're something I can live with, so that'll help me decide how to move along quicker. I think recently, I've been thinking too much and letting too many things get to me; whether that's something that's self-inflicted or caused by my surroundings, I'd really like to go back to the simple days where I didn't have to dwell much on things and just live life as it is. Things can always go wrong, but I have it within me to make it right again.

"With that pressure hemming in on you from every other side, we'll smile more daringly and bolder than anyone else. I'm sure no matter who it is, it'll always be the same; I must fight against myself."

#Tightrope #CharcoalFilter #GensomadenSaiyuki #Saiyuki

"Because it's not easy, I can live on."

#Life #YUI #Bleach

2. Enjoy life regardless of all the curve balls it'll throw at me. No regrets, instead, look for that light that's casting those shadows.

"He who can smile; even when he's so sad that he wants to die; when it's so painful he wants to give it all up and run away, is the one who becomes strong. But if you can't smile anymore, it's all over. So I'm going to smile! And I'm never going to give up!"

#AtroSpiker #AdletMayer #RokkaNoYuusha

I think I've started to catch a glimpse of the rumored 'mid-life crisis', but I figured I'm still too young for this to be considered 'mid-life' so I'm going to adopt a #YOLO approach starting this year. Regardless of what happens this year, whatever criticism, hate or challenges that come my way, I'll promise myself to try turning those frowns upside down and always look on the bright side of things, even when it can be a pretty dim one. I will find joy in the smallest of things because life is too short for anything else.

"So hold on tight, even if your heart is shattering. Reach into your soul, even if you can't see tomorrow. Yes, if you have the strength to live, you can take another look from the other side. Until you find all that is love."

#OpenUpYourMind #Mirai #GensomadenSaiyuki #Saiyuki

3. Try something new. Conquer old fears. 

"Run faster than the wind! Aim further than the skies! You'll be able to meet a new you. Destroy that weak self of yours! Break down those walls in your way! Your warm heartbeat will be your weapon. Believe in your heart."

#BraveHeart #MiyazakiAyumi #Digimon

Whether it's picking up a new skill or hobby, or just challenging myself to do something I've never dared/ haven't thought of doing before, this year I just want to try something new. I want to conquer old fears and insecurities. I want to learn more about myself and be a better version of me.

"In a way that's like me, I want to change."

#Change #Miwa #Bleach

And now for the slightly easier(?) second half:

4. Lead a healthier lifestyle.

In light of recent events, I've realized my immune system could use some work, so this year, I want to be a bit more health conscious. So this would include exercising more (was thinking of swimming), drinking more water on a daily basis, sleeping enough and eating enough fruits and vegetables (this last part won't be too hard). Also, I want to learn up healthier recipes that I can cook for my grandma who's been getting pickier from day to day (thus killing two birds with one stone).

5. Read more. Write more.

So sometime last year, I've rediscovered the joys of reading (mostly self-improvement books), so I plan to continue reading more this year, especially when it comes to reading news to build up some severely lacking general knowledge. Lately, I haven't been writing as much; whether it's on my blog or in my journal, I want to start writing more again, because I've realized these time capsules and little pieces of myself that I've been leaving behind have helped me get through the worst of times. And as much as possible, I wan't to keep a daily (or weekly) record of quotes that have inspired me.

6. Plan a holiday with the family.

It's actually been a while since the whole family got to go for an actual holiday, so this year, I want to take my family somewhere unexplored, even if it's just a local tourist destination. Wherever it is, it has to be relaxing and care-free, so everyone can just chill and not think about anything except how to have fun for a few days. I think planning for a tiny reward like this is only fair; it gives a good incentive to actually go through all my resolutions. Looking for gaps in all our schedules will be tough, but I guess that's part of the challenge that will make it worth it. We'll probably be able work things out.

I probably could have come up with a few more resolutions but 6 for 2016 has a nice ring to it, no? 

Looking forward to a great year, *Ritsu :)

"Even if today is painful, someday it'll become a warm memory, if you leave everything up to your heart. I've understood the meaning of our living here, it's to know the joy of having been born. Let's stay together, always."

#ForFruitsBasket #RitsukoOkazaki #FruitsBasket

*Reference to Fruits Basket as always, Ritsu Souma is the one cursed with the zodiac of the Monkey. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Reminisce and Restart

The sound of fireworks blasting off in the background accompanied by notification sounds from the incoming 'Happy New Year' texts caught me a bit off-guard this year. Just like that, another year was ushered in before I was mentally prepared to part with the old one. I guess too many things have happened in 2015 that it all seemed to go by too quickly for it to sink in.

Was 2015 a good year?

As I reminisce the previous year on my mental screen, a plethora of images flash past; new encounters, building precious bonds from both old and new acquaintances, new experiences, a bit of soul searching; I discovered parts of me that I had long forgotten and/or never knew. There were plenty of surprises and countless moments when I'd go to bed thanking God for blessing me with so much, but there were also moments of uncertainty, frustration and weakness that I'd feel numb and empty inside. But even at those times, I was immensely blessed with people who'd console me and convince me that it'd all be okay as well as those who'd be strict with me so I'd realize how silly I was being. 

Some key takeaways from 2015 would be:

1. "Take a leap of faith." If you don't know where you want to go and you're lost without direction, that means you can pretty much go anywhere; anywhere at all would be a step forward. Give yourself a chance, expect nothing but do your best anyway and life will surprise you.

2."Whenever you lose, there's something to gain. Lose the battle if you will, but don't lose the lesson." Yes, you can't always win, but who says losing's a bad thing? If you take the fall, you'll know for sure what to not do the next time. 

3. "Be true to yourself; change only for yourself." There used to be this saying from an anime that is vividly etched in my head even though its origins are a bit fuzzy; "I'd rather be hated for being myself than be loved for being someone I'm not." Of course, you should totally adapt to new environments and work culture, but if you have to down some shots just to 'fit in', well, I'd prefer to have friends who appreciate me when they're sober.

4. "Life is too short to be spent worrying about unchangeable yesterdays and uncertain tomorrows." Nobody can tell what tomorrow brings. You can worry about it all you want, or you could spend all those precious minutes on something else that's more fulfilling, tomorrow will come regardless. It's not going to punish you any less for not worrying about it, similarly there is nothing rewarding about unfounded fears. There is a fine line between mental preparation and exhausting anticipation. Enjoy the 'now' as it is, because our clocks are all mercilessly ticking away.

The flashback ends there, but the road doesn't.

"Today is the first blank page of a 366-paged book. Write a good one."

I absolutely intend to. Time to hit [Restart].

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hey, if it's not too late, I still want to be friends.

"Don't let the fear of getting hurt or suffering a loss stop you from doing what you want to do, because I know you won't want to regret not doing something."

"Problems will come, things will happen in the most unexpected ways. But as long as your heart's still beating, no matter how exhausted you are, you'll be able to deal with it. The Qian Wen I know can do that and much more."

"There will be times when you wish for more and other people's lives will seem more fulfilling and joyful, but that's not your life. You have your own umeboshi* people are envious of so even if you can't see it yet, know and believe that it's there."

Darn did those words hit home. It was as if the 15 and 17-year old me caught me when I was desperately hiding and running away.


I've tried so hard to make myself believe that I've finally picked a path, but in actual fact, I was always still there. The crossroads are never-ending and the path is ever winding. The spot where I stood 6 years ago has an uncanny resemblance with the spot I currently tread on my feet.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure why I picked Actuarial Studies to start. Part of it was because I had convinced myself, like many others, that math was my niche and so it was the right career path. Part of it might have been due to its high-paying prospects. But part of it was also probably to avoid having to keep looking for a different major to dive into, and that I could try to challenge this 'extremely difficult' major to see if it was 'The One'.

And so I lived through what was supposed to be an enlightening three-year degree for two and a half years, at the end of which, I was so exhausted and tired, I convinced myself I needed a break. Whether it was really because I needed a break or whether I was approaching my limits, I don't really know for sure.

Enter the following year when I finally started to work, I told myself that I would give Actuarial a try. And that was where I learnt that I had learnt nothing at all, that three-- two and a half years in uni with 5 professional exemptions, didn't equip me in the slightest for what was to come. There were language barriers, communication difficulties, awkward ensuing silences, unfounded expectations with poor support leading to a very, very insecure me. Imagine going onto a battlefield empty-handed, waging war when you didn't even know whose side you were on and who your comrades were. That was probably how I felt, but I stuck to it anyway, trying my best in whatever little I could do, appreciating the smallest help I got (I really am eternally grateful to those helping hands) but deep inside, I couldn't wait to get it over and done with. 

The freedom I felt when it was all over. I managed to convince myself, with little effort, that it was not for me. That it wasn't meant to be. That maybe, I have a different calling. That there must be something else that I could do better.

"It's okay to rely on people once in a while, there's no shame in asking for guidance when you're lost."

Secretly, deep down inside, I was afraid. Afraid that if I told them what I really felt and went through, they would verify that I wasn't good enough for Actuarial after all. It sounds so stupid thinking about it out loud like this, but it made me realize that what I was really afraid of was being disassociated from Actuarial, that I actually liked it more than I thought. 

"Hold on to that frustration of being the weakest, because that is a sign that you haven't given up on yourself yet."

Today, I finally broke the ice and talked to someone Qualified about it. Granted, it took a bit of a push for me to do it, I didn't really want to at first, but I'm really glad I did. Because everything I heard today slashed away some of my unfounded insecurities and fear, so much so, that I felt silly for letting a little bad experience scare me away so badly. 

So, here I am reconsidering my career choice. Here I am, putting myself at the crossroads once more. This time I'll ask, this time I'll press harder, this time I'll be thick-faced and face it all headfirst. 

Dear God, if it's not too late, grant me the strength to see this through.

Dear Actuarial, if it's not too late, let's make up, I still want to be friends with you. 

The path ahead will be hard, there will be lots of sacrifices to make, but that was true of all the paths before me and look how far its brought me.

"Do not fear the new, embrace it with an open heart and meld it in with what you are without losing yourself."

* Umeboshi is Japanese pickled plum . This is a reference to Natsuki Takaya's manga/anime Fruits Basket where Honda Tohru describes everyone as onigiris (rice-balls) envying everyone else because they are unable to see their own unique umeboshi because they're stuck on their backs.

* Quotes are from time capsules by my 15 and 17-year old selves as well as a quote from Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

10 Things Uni Taught Me.

With the end of exams comes the winter break. One semester to go before I'll be done with this degree I started two years ago. Boy does time fly.

Soon, it'll be that time in life again, where I face crossroads and decisions. I know I've always dreaded decisions; not knowing where each road could lead to is a really scary thing. Am I making the right choices, have I done enough, will I be alright?

But if there's anything these past two years here has taught me, it's that I can stand perfectly on my own two feet. I came here like a scared little fledgling roaming away from her nest for the very first time, with fears that piled up mountain high. I was forced outside my comfort zone and tried to desperately grab a hold of an anchor to mold a new comfort zone because uncertainties and the unknown scared me to no bounds.

But hey, it's been two years. To others, I might have been 'wasting my time' here because I haven't gone out as much and experienced Melbourne. But I've been taking baby steps, small but steady ones outside my 'little world'.
  1. I can go around the city on my own now, without needing someone to come with me. I have tried exploring the different routes I can take to uni and now have a few 'shortcuts' of my own. Public transport is no longer something unsafe, it is convenient and reliable. 
  2. I discovered the joys of cooking, of making so many different things from the same few ingredients, letting my creativity flow coupled with random cravings every now and then. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how my cooking improved, given that all I've been doing is experimenting based on whimsical ideas that pop into my head when I see a certain ingredient on sale while grocery shopping. 
  3. My tolerance for pressure has leveled up. Overloading as well as doing my part in the UMSU Intl has completely rebuilt my tolerance levels. Having to meet so many demands from so many areas of uni life as well as fulfilling my personal expectations often left me with a heavy burden on my shoulder, but just like someone who trains their muscle strength by lifting weights, I guess I've somehow worked myself around it all. Granted, it doesn't always work, I do have times when I panic and break down, but I feel like going through uni has enabled me to take much, much more crap from my surroundings.
  4. Chipped away a little perfectionism. I am more than aware that I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist, but uni has taught me that you can't have it all, because 12 weeks is actually very little time. So it's okay not to put in 110% into everything, rather, judgement of how much effort to put into something is extremely crucial especially when you're maintaining a fragile balance between 5 subjects, student union activities and your personal and social life. It actually feels quite liberating to know that you can hold back and take a break, rather than push onward constantly like a deranged bull.
  5. If you have time to panic, you have time to plan. Whenever I feel super panicky or unsure about what's going on, I sit down with a piece of paper and start planning out all the things that need to be done/ problems that need to be solved and then order them according to priority. Even if I don't do things according to plan in the end (which usually happens thanks to procrastination/over-indulgence of anime, manga and k-drama/no mood/ being lazy), I'll just re delegate my tasks over the time I have left because that's about all I can do. Also, when all else fails, wash away all that uneasiness with a nice, warm shower and a good nap (or play the guitar).
  6. Trust. Honestly, there's so much to say about this given how my naivety of trusting people so much usually ends up throwing me in a state of turmoil. But I've decided that while my heart may be closed off, I'll keep my mind open and let the things that hurt me go because life is way too short to let insignificant, transient things bother me. Regardless of how many people out there may try to bother me, as long as I remember those who stay true to me and love me, that's more than enough.
  7. There is no shame in taking the easy way out. This might prove to be the most important lesson I've learnt in uni, maybe. While we should work hard to achieve our goals, there is nothing wrong with taking paths that require the least effort to get there. We live our whole lives trying to be the best, but more often than not, we miss the real point of things. Being the 'best' doesn't equal to forcing yourself to do something more difficult just because your ego thinks you should be able to handle it; more often it's having the judgement of how to achieve your goals in the simplest way that is crucial. I mean, come on, why else do you think mathematicians invented all those formulae to make calculating things easier than having to go through the same, long, boring basic algorithms all the time. Pssh.
  8. Believe in yourself; everything will be alright. Because a little self confidence goes a long way in keeping your mind calm and open to ideas that will pave the way to an adequate solution to whatever problems you're facing. There is ALWAYS a solution, though some may come at a higher price than others.
  9. Live in the moment and look forward to the future. Looking to the past is fine as long as you remember where you are right now. This moment will only come once, so make the most of it. Even if things are down and depressing, there will be a silver lining on that cloud. So even if times are tough, put on a smile and start looking for that little ray of sun, because things could always have been worse. As long as your heart beats, things are still going great and will get better.
  10. What happiness really is. This is probably the linchpin of what decisions I'll make from here on. True happiness comes in different forms for everyone, be it a simple well-cooked meal, a good anime episode or manga chapter or a lazy Sunday afternoon with loved ones.
I actually started writing this post days before my final exam and left it as a draft till today. Perhaps I wanted to leave something as a reminder to my future self, or perhaps I wanted to pen down something concrete to ascertain that I have changed in some ways. 

Today, I met some friends from college; while some of them already know what they'll be doing years from now, some are still as unsure as I am. So I'll trust my heart and take a leap of faith. From here on out, whatever happens, I'll just keep trying my best. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Halfway there.

So it's been forever since I've last posted anything so I figured I'd drop a post since it is the Easter holidays and I haven't written anything much in English, save for text messages and UMSU Intl's fortnightly newsletter. Time to keep up with my New Year's Resolutions to write more.

This semester started as a really crazy one right off the bat. Summer was really relaxed with only two days of classes (since I skipped all my Intermediate Microeconomics lectures) so going back to the 18 hours per week required a huge gear shift. It didn't really help that I only came back on a Tuesday and missed four lectures on Day 1, nor that I nearly had a heart attack when my luggage went into the oversized baggage department for the first time. I guess I shouldn't really diss my stamina as I managed to get my groceries, go for class, unpack and clean my whole unit the day I landed in Melbourne. That was probably my most productive day ever.

Fast forward into the semester, the tides turned violent and the pressure on my shoulders got heavier. Everything was a lot harder than before, all my subjects have stepped up at least a notch or two. And I learned some important life lessons that I had forgotten. What friendship was and wasn't, who to trust and who to be wary of. I guess being surrounded by really nice people in college really made me let my guard down; I had forgotten to be skeptical and had grown to be really naive. The wake up call was harsh, but at the same time, it was one I was glad for.

The value of foresight also became really apparent to me. Being able to plan ahead for some things really does help reduce the burden. Being able to decide what I was capable of, how much I could really handle was also really important; so many times we overestimate our abilities, thinking we should be able to do more and criticizing ourselves for not being able to achieve those expectations. I guess I'm really lucky because I have people who are there to remind me that it's okay to not be able to do everything. It's okay to be wrong. It's okay to be weak and rely on someone else. It's okay to take a break and fall back. It's okay to go back on certain decisions. It's okay, as long as you remember what's important, why you're where you are and what you really want to achieve.
When things are really bad, it's okay to cry. Cry your heart out as much as you want, but never cry again for the same things. Let it go. You decide what bothers you, so don't let them in your head because they aren't worth it. There are always better things in life more worth your time.

The past two weeks have been dreadful for me, to be honest. Never-ending assignments, deadlines, work, work and more work. It has been a really long time since I last lost my voice or had a fever that dragged out for days or had my patience tested to it's limits. But all's well that ends well. :) Easter break is here and I'm in the best place on Earth recuperating, reflecting on the first half of the semester. 

I'm writing this so that the next time the world decides to crumble on me again, I'll know that I've been there, done that and can do it again. And to remind myself that they weren't all only bad times; where there are shadows, there's also light after all. And the finale to week 7 where I pack my bags to come home was just the very best.
So quickly have 7 weeks gone by, I'm already halfway there. Halfway there, all beat up but standing strong. Halfway there; bring it on.