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Month: September, 2011

Facebook’s timeline & me

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll know that Facebook is releasing Timeline. I activated mine a few days ago as a developer.

I scrolled through it and I fell in love. 

I’m extremely sentimental, so scrolling through the last few years of my life was particularly nostalgic. For once, I am very grateful that I had updated my statuses and photos quite regularly. I feel like a third-party observer looking back at my life.

And what surprised me the most, was that despite me thinking that I had a tough two years before I stepped into SF, I actually had a pretty rich timeline even for those tough years.

In fact, my life has been pretty much colorful ever since I’ve joined Facebook in 2007. Especially nostalgic pictures of my travels popping up very regularly – Tokyo, Thailand (tons), Hongkong, Philippines, etc. I had flashbacks of trips that marked important milestones in my life, I had also remembered some wonderful people I had met through these travels, as well as my personal transformation with each trip.

You can tell by now, travelling is such a core part of my life. I wished I had more courage to do even more travelling in my 20s, but it is okay. I have my 30s to look very forward to.

Apart from travel, there are tons of food pictures of what I’ve eaten. I am not sure why but looking back at things I’ve eaten makes me very happy too. I still take pictures of what I eat every single day, I may not upload them but I keep a casual food log. 

Then, of course there are pictures with my partner and dog. Plus our friends and other dogs. I see how we’ve evolved through the years and how far we’ve come. My brain automatically relates to certain events in that time span each time I scroll through a photo in that period.

By now, I am very glad that my timeline has tons of stuff. Of course there is the entire period of the historic elections in Singapore this year. I am still very proud to know that the elections had covered a huge portion of my timeline.

The takeaway I had from this is, I could have had a crappy life according to my mind, but no matter how crappy it was, it was never – nothing. There were ups and downs, but there was never silence.

I do feel that if I were to die tomorrow, I would die without regrets. Of course there are tons of things I could accomplish in the future, but I feel that I have tried really hard at this game called life.

Facebook’s Timeline gave me the opportunity to be proud of my life, and inspired me to feel like I should even work harder to make sure 10 years from now, when I look back, it should be even more colorful than what it was for the past 10 years.

And you know what. I think the awesomeness of my life for the next 10 years is going to be exponentially awesome. 

I think this is the first time of my life, that I feel truly enthusiastic about living my life.

My life. Purely mine and no one else’s. I wished I could have discovered this sooner, but starting at age 30 still gives me plenty of time to live it the way I want it to be. I have lived the last 3 decades trying to tone down my self, trying to be more conformist so that the people around me can feel more comfortable while feeling like I was better off dead – now is the time for me to be as loud as possible. 

Because when I look back at my timeline, no one else is going to feel remotely as sorry as me if it sucks. Just like nobody else would know how much joy is radiating through every single cell of my body now when I look back and I know I had lived a life I could be proud of.

p.s. I am going to document as much as my life as possible – hopefully when I grow up there will be tons of data to look at and play with.


2 months and counting

Time flies and I have been in the US for more than 2 months. I’ll be back in Singapore in less than 3 weeks. The magic has not gone away. I am still happier than ever.

My sleep quality has been consistently good as well, which till today still surprises me pleasantly, because half of me is thinking that my chronic insomnia will surface again once I settle into some routine or regular pattern.

I believe that my insomnia was a result of me not expelling my energy in the right channels. Now that I’ve experienced how it feels like to be at peace and yet enthusiastic at the same time, I cannot imagine myself living life any other way.

I never forget, not even for a single moment, how blessed I am. Sleep in itself is already a huge blessing, I can’t re-iterate enough how much difference has good sleep made to my overall happiness level. The general mind-fog I have been having for the past few years has lifted.

I am not taking my feet off the pedal though. I still take my chinese herbs + some western supplements regularly. After being through a period when I could never feel well enough to do anything, I do not ever want to take my health for granted again.

Every single time I feel myself having a good, clear mind with no on-coming migraine signs in my head, I give a silent prayer of gratitude to the Universe.

That being said, I cannot stop feeling grateful to my sensitivity to unhappiness, for if not my extreme physical reaction to it, I would not have taken the step out to be here.

I really believe the Universe rewards people when they follow their hearts in spite of all that fear. I remain very, very thankful for the people I am currently surrounded with. It was a stroke of serendipity which I totally believe that occured only because the Universe extended her hand to me and I took the chance to grab it with all my hands and feet.

So I feel that happens all the time in life. The Universe never fails to extend her hand to you, but most of us are too scared or blind to believe we could be worthy being part of this magical flow of life.

I never thought I’ll say this, but I love my life. I have never loved it before. And I cannot wait for more of it to unfold.

the irony of surfing

I haven’t been feeling well since yesterday. I’ve been getting chills even though it is hot in Hawaii and also my chest feels heavy. I hope it is not all that sea water I’ve been drinking through my nose because of surfing. It could probably just be my body’s tired.

Things have been so crazy in Hawaii that I’ve been on an adrenaline rush. Apart from work, I’ve also been doing a lot of movement of my arms and legs paddling in the sea, which gets worse because I think I am not doing it the wrong way. There’s also a lot of frantic flailing of my arms when I get knocked off my board and get sucked into a wave, a lot of carrying that I’ve never done in my life because I have to carry my own longboard. I’ve also accumulated tons of bruises because I don’t know why I keep attracting people’s boards to run over my legs.

Basically, I swear I’ve never done so much physical movement in my entire life. Maybe the exception was when I had to do those compulsory 2.4km runs in school.

It has been somewhat so hectic that I don’t have a chance to feel tired. Every day it is just go, go, go. I’ve been enjoying the sea so much that I forget to feel tired.

Perhaps that’s all catching up with me since I’ve almost been doing a month of that. 

I think I am going to miss all of these when I am back to no-surfing land. All those surfboards running over me, the impact of the cold sea water and the relentless energy of the waves knocking me over and over again.

sleep, gratitude & discipline

I have a routine now. I wake up at 6ish, leave for the beach at 7, get back around 9, do lots of work, have lunch, return and do lots of work, have dinner, then chill out a bit, feel sleepy and sleep till the next morning.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal like most people, in fact that probably sounds like the routine for a lot of people (except for the beach part).

But it is a big deal for me.

For someone who had chronic issues with sleep and an inability to stick to any sort of routine for most of my life, it is a really big deal.

It makes me think a bit about discipline. You know all those gtd blogs go on and on about focus and discipline? I am starting to believe that when you truly want something, you don’t require discipline to do it. You simply just want to do it. It is about desire. 

It is like how I used to hate eating salads and I had to force myself to eat greens, now I actually enjoy greens and I even crave for it. You have to want something. You have to be happy doing it. 

I don’t ever want to forget how it feels like to be unable to sleep. I want to be permanently grateful for my sleep now. Just having good sleep hygiene alone is making a huge difference to my overall well being.

The cynical part of me is still waiting for the magic to end. It seems like it is just getting better everyday.

I am not sure how I can adjust to life in Singapore again.

 I wish I could write a lot more about what I’m doing, but for now I guess you guys just have to be satisfied with these:


Yup, I actually love these onions dispensers.