A thousand times over

Before I came to Korea, I had so many things I wanted to see and do. I wanted to hike every mountain to experience the magnificent views and feel on top of the world. Two mountains later and I felt that I wasn’t cut out for it. I did not have to search far though, because I found my way along the river.

Coming towards the end of my exchange programme, and here I mark my lucky 8th spot along the Hangang. I’ve scattered pieces of my heart in each of the different spots I’ve strolled along as I watched the city light up. I’d enjoy the quietness of Hangang just enough, until I came back up to rejoin the bustle of the peak drive time on the highways. I am reminded that there will always be a place to retreat to wherever I may be; and that while it may be good to make plans, something better could be waiting further along the river

if I just surrender and let go.

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Before I sleep

Sleeping with soft music playing has become a habit of mine. It just dawned on me last night how the melodies become louder when I’m in total darkness. Suddenly every word and lyric ring clearer. It made me think of whenever I had been alone before and how my conscience would speak to me.

Perhaps it is God’s way to bring me true clarity and sense; a promise that I will never walk alone

Drowning shadows

I remembered we were sitting at the coffeeshop when I broke into tears in front of my dearest friend. I tried so hard to convince myself that my anger and disappointment will soon fade, so I turned my heart to stone. A line from a drama I watched struck me: “I lived like a fool believing that to cry or show emotions were not characteristic of a man”.

But it was in that moment of vulnerability that I realised how much I cared for certain things and people. I wanted everything to be okay but I had forgotten about myself. In that river of tears, I realised that I could stay afloat and live again.

When was the last time you cried your heart out?

Setting fires

2259; I write this as I rest in darkness /

I used to be afraid of not meeting the expectations of others and myself. So I just stopped considering or setting them. But I realise that people having zero expectations of me is just as scary. Where should I set the balance between the two? It was when I opened my eyes and looked at the sunset, that’s when I understood; that perhaps the sun sets and disappears, so that it can rise and shine to show a new dawn, new day and new life. It’s the only expectation worth setting because it doesn’t disappoint.

I used to feel as though there was always something holding me back; I’d gnaw the inside of my cheek before making decisions or any actions. But now I’ve learnt that its okay to be a bit selfish and in Jane Austen’s words, “to act in that manner, which will in my own opinion, constitute my happiness”. Just do you.

Today, I am happy.

Time after time

Many times, I grow tired and think of just leaving all my responsibilities behind. I’d think that I have everything all figured out but then I remember that if I can’t even be responsible managing my priorities, how can I claim responsibility for my own happiness? The heart in my chest burns and tells me to have respect for myself.

Time and people will follow.

Places I go

I’m easily triggered by sights, sounds, smells and of course the people around me. Sometimes I would wait for these triggers to happen and either exclaim something along the lines of: This is the best thing ever! or Ugh my life sucks [All in my head].

However, waiting for these triggers can be draining and disappointing at times. The times spent waiting for external triggers could have been used more productively. Just like how in that same time, I’ve realised that you can trigger beautiful things on your own, even in the darkest, emptiest and most unexpected places.