The One Thing That Holds Most People Back From Getting What They Want

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

When people talk about their dreams they talk about them as something they are going to start working towards “as soon as.”

As soon as I pay my dues in this entry level job I will able to work towards my dream career.

As soon as someone gives me a chance my music/writing will become popular.

As soon as I find a boss who understands me, I’ll be able to make my job what I want it to be.

As soon as my partner stops stressing me out I will be nicer to them.

The truth is that no one hands you your dreams on a silver platter. People will agree with this consciously but make excuses about it subconsciously. It’s easier to blame others or external circumstances when the truth is always internal. It’s not about who is going to let you live your dreams or…

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this damn thing called feelings


Someone I know recently instagrammed this quote ” Invest in people who invest in you”. It sounds like a poignant yet practical reminder, telling yourself to turn you back against people who chose to walk out of your life. It seems to me that it beholds a tinge of selfishness and pride for the supposed me should only devote to those who have already been devoted in my life.

But again, isn’t friendship all about initiative?

Whether it is a simple question of ” hey let’s go out, when are you free?” or the making up after a foolish argument, one of the two has to concede or at the very least take the initiative to speak up instead of mulling in silence.

If neither side is willing to invest in each other, will relationships even exist? And what happens if both ends decided to stand around probing if each other is worth the investment yet not even taking a step forward? It’s as if surrendering without a fight and it is truly a waste.

Someone once told me ” a friendship between a passive and active person soars”. While there often lies a grey area between the two and that the roles might switch as the friendship progresses, it is still better than contemplating over the worth of such devotion.

Anyone can speak of such realistic self reminder but our feelings often stand in the way. Whatever the relationship is, both letting go and moving forward are roads paved with holes and thorns. With both paths requiring courage and will, I thought the path to take ought to be the one that is less regretful.

Over the years after losing people and having some sticking around my life, I have come to realize that not everyone I lose is a loss. Similarly not everyone I choose to devote to is worth the devotion.

Some said I have no pride but at the very least, I stay true to my feelings.

What’s going on in that beautiful mind


There are countless ways to understand oneself; and while I saw changes in me through conversations with old friends, I found myself inching towards the type of person I envisioned to be through interaction with strangers.

Thinking back, I was glad for the courage I attained during impulsive moments while I was working in Daiso. If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone then, I would probably have missed the core purpose as to why people chose to work in the service line.

Working in the service line meant being on the losing end, where even the most eloquent speakers were forced to bow their heads and walk away. Numerous customers visited this store with all items worth $2 often arrived at the cashier counters with the “yayapapaya” face. Sickening.

With disgust, I learn tolerance ( at the expense of my blood pressure) and grew more appreciative towards others. Occasionally Rarely when friendly customers came to my cashier, hallelujah. A sad society we live in, but well let’s face it- society isn’t a fairytale, nor is it a wish granting factory, it is the brutal reality in life.

I went for a typical job interview just yesterday and while it is of innate nature to feel uncomfortable revealing oneself to strangers, I found myself unexpectedly at ease throughout the 30mins. A leap of faith had changed a part of me unknowingly and so I guess this is probably it meant by the quote “change is constant”.







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15 things I learnt from University

Originally posted on tourist in my own land:

I was in school last Saturday to help out for a University Tea Session (where they show students why they should accept the university offer) and I saw a flashback of myself four years ago. University is a privilege not a right, and these few years will change your life. I learnt many lessons and I’m listing fifteen (I started with ten, then my fingers couldn’t stop haha) specifically crafted for university students.

1. A degree does not guarantee you employment. Graduating with a degree is not sufficient to have a job. It might have been in the past, when the average education level was up to Secondary school. Today however, you are but one of thousands if not millions of University graduates with a degree from all over the world. A degree from NTU or any of the other local universities is helpful because it says this: this person…

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Brace up, back down


When dreams became reality, it is as good as a fantasy come true. But when it doesn’t it sucks like hell because every cell in the body are seemingly filled with doubts and second thoughts; if such devotion is unrealistic, if I should turn back around and follow the path which is deemed correct and acknowledged.

I lost count in the number of times I turned to frustration and escapism because of how this topic haunted me for the past few months. I could have turned a blind eye to whatever shit society refused to recognize but exasperation and bitterness soared when I failed to have the support of people closest to me. I could not understand their disapproval, let to the absence of support.

Then I realized they can never understand no matter how hard they try, because they are who they are, and not who I am. But when I finally understood their intentions, the roads still remain rough as ever.

Circumstances left me with 2 options.

1. To eat humble pie and take upon the fucking boring path which was claimed to be the best path available.

2. To keep going, alone.

I honestly, genuinely hate both options and this when I tried convincing myself with cliche quotes like ” when life gets tough the tough get going”and “when life give you lemons you make lemonade.”

Screw it, why the hell am I preaching to myself with such lame quotes.

Imagery works the best during vexing situations like this and so I tried picturing myself embarking on the journey deemed “correct” and “safe” in the societal context.

And then I realized I hated myself for being such a weakling.

Giving up is a form of arrogance and a luxury of the well-off.

As I chanced upon this quote today, it had further reinforced my choice. The upcoming road is bound to be tougher but at least I’m able to face myself, for now.

Good old days

Just as backpackers head back when they miss home, circumstances led me down the memory lane, back to where I first started music. I found myself rummaging for my old guzheng scores, be it solo or ensemble. While I took a long time in arranging the huge pile of scores, the post-its I used to stick on my files caught my eye.

Sticky notes were filled with reminders which once held one of the keys to the prestigious Gold with Honors award. This was probably the time where I genuinely enjoyed the guzheng the most, because music was all it matters. It was difficult but not frustrating. It was tiring but not tedious. It was basically a journey which was made less arduous because it was enjoyable.

After 1 year, the sound of guzheng finally filled my home. It was thrilling, exhilarating but mostly nostalgic.

I’m home. :>



Of course, there are people who did all of the above. Located just a few units from Penny University, Mad Nest had never caught my eye until its EatDrinkArt Exhibition which my cousin took part in.

But wait, food first.

MAD_NEST-Branding-Design_Stationery-Menus-Namecards-Plating-Utensils-Placemats-Coasters-UNIFORM-July2012photo credits:
MAD_NEST-Interior_Shoot-Back_Left_to_Front_Dining_Tables-Landscape-UNIFORM-July2012photo credits:

Serving an eclectic array of cuisine, it was either a break or make for this place. While some dishes turned out better than the rest, the ambiance was crowned as the wow factor at the end of the day.

Mad Nest was previously known as Mad Thai and as the name suggested, it served mainly Thai food before fusion took its spot. Coincidentally, all our main dishes that day happened to be Thai.

img_5547copyThe Tom Yum Chicken Soup felt a little too choppy for me. Though the broth was thick, the richness in spices did not quite hit the mark. For someone who preferred strong-flavored food, Nakhon Kitchen definitely did better with their much cheaper Tom Yum soup. 赞啦!

img_5548copyTom Yum Seafood Rice on the other hand was a tad too salty for me despite its generous portion. However, it made an awesome combination to the taste buds with the Tom Yum chicken soup. If only it was spicier…

img_5497copyI was in the mood for some sliced fish that day hence my order- Rice set with Ginger Sliced Fish. While the portion of the sauce could barely suffice me, the thickness of it was cooked to the right degree. The downside was that it was a little too cold and too bland to eat with rice. Yes, picky eater is me. The sliced fish was nothing out of the ordinary but the egg totally made my day. The entire yolk was runny, just like how I like my eggs to be! Awesome possum ^^. Personally, I still preferred the Sliced Fish rice set I had at the zi char stall in Bedok Hawker Centre. Tastier sauce, fresher fish, generous portion, and most importantly CHEAP.


Despite a table full of Thai dishes, none could be compared to the Jap side dish, Oishii Maki. From the grilled eel to the homemade mayo, it was an addictive dish which left every one of us scraping the plate for more. With only 8 pieces for total of $16, pricey is the word but this had got to be one of the best sushi I ever had. Even an avocado anti-fan like me love it, what more can you say?

img_5493copySimilar to Artistry, Mad Nest provided an avenue for local artists in showcasing their talents. It created an ambiance similar to art galleries, if only one could ignore  whiff of food from the table beside yours. With the large space dedicated to the patrons, it never got too noisy or uncomfortable to catch up with friends.

If I will make a 2nd visit? Maybe, if I’m feeling rich enough to indulge in the Oishii Maki but I’ll probably spend as much time as the first in choosing my mains. Secluded location but if you’re down at Penny for a cup of coffee, why not?


Mon — Fri: 4pm to 1am
Sat, Sun & Public Holiday: 11am to 1am