All posts by songko

searching for that special kind of freedom

To me, you need freedom to be truly happy.
Free from the worries and woes of everyday life, be it school, work, relationships or even
financially.

I’ve always been one to say that my ambition is simply to earn a lot of money.
Sounds rather tasteless. However, it is something very very important to me.
Face it, money makes the world go round. To do things or buy stuff I like without ever worrying about cost, is something I’ve always dreamed of. But let’s be clear, my definition of being financially free is not synonymous to materialism. I won’t spend for the sake of spending, I just want to have the option to spend if it can make me or my loved ones happy.

Picture a kid playing with at the playground and she hears her friends all have went to USS. Look, she’s still happy playing at the playground, but I hope to be a parent that
has the option to bring her there if she really wants to go to USS.

A frugal life can be fulfilling as well, but I want the option, which only comes with having more money in this real world, I guess.

I’m probably in the lower rungs of the income level ladder in Singapore, and despite all the inequality that exists, I have never spited rich people. If I were them, I would spend too. Although I must maintain that some levels of decadence is way overboard.

But anyway, I want to be the son that breaks out of my family’s current financial position. Period.

That’s it for this cold and money-centric dialogue.

 

Moving on,
the greatest happiness I could ask for is the freedom to just be myself, with all my flaws, imperfections and not-so-niceness. The catch is, in the presence of someone else.
Yes, went one round to say that happiness is finding the special someone who accepts  you for everything you are, even if your core is slightly rotten here and there!

This person won’t be easy to find, and definitely won’t be easy to keep.

But one thing’s for sure, don’t settle, guys.

sk-7_edited

Let’s continue searching and hopefully enjoying our pockets of true freedom amidst our sometimes disorienting lives.

p.s. missing the SMUCO Taiwan trip, best trip of my life.

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The Second Time You Fall In Love With Someone

hm.

Thought Catalog

The second time you fall in love with someone, you’re going to feel so relieved. When you get your heart broken for the first time, you can’t imagine loving someone else again or having someone else love you. You worry about your ex finding love before you do, you worry about being damaged goods. And then it happens. Someone else loves you and you can sleep well at night.

The second time you fall in love with someone, it’s going to feel different. The first time felt like a dream almost. You were untouched, untainted by anyone. You accepted love with wide open arms and desperation. “Love me, love me, love me!” So you did. And then it fell apart and left you shocked to the core. You realized that people could be cruel and break your heart. You realized that people could stop meaning…

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Alone

“Alone but not lonely”

Something good to remember.
But when does a period long enough being alone tip the scale and transforms solitude into loneliness?

Other than the plentiful Facebook and Instagram likes and waving of hands to passing acquaintances in school, it seems I am alone, for far too long than I have been.
Perhaps it is the time of the year where everyone hit the books? Despite my demeanour,
I lust for human interaction, and it feels like it’s been too long without. Perhaps it’s cause just at this moment, the people I can talk to all coincidentally departed or are unavailable at this same time. Oh wells, writing my thoughts down is just a substitute for talking to someone, I guess? Things will get better after the exams end, right?
So I should stop whining about how I have no friends and maybe reflect on why that is the case in the first place.

Amidst my procrastination on Facebook, I realized I was never really a good keeper of friends. From another perspective, you can also put it that I am not a good friend to keep. Maybe I am?
As I browse through the photos of my friends who I held close at different junctures in life, I cannot help but wonder why am I not in the photos as well? Am I not being a good enough friend? Am I just boring as a person? This sucks. As I scroll through my contacts list in my phone, I realize that there is not many people I can talk to simply without creeping them out because I want to, you know, just chat.

The world doesn’t revolve around me, I know.
But if anything, I would like to know how to be a better friend, a friend where people will actually turn to.
You know, I’m really fine with eating alone, studying alone, doing stuff alone.
I don’t need friends to appear like I have a social life.
I just enjoy the feeling of learning and knowing more about each unique person.
Of course, these kind of things cannot be forced.
Maybe I should stop being a stoner and talk more, smile more, sound more excited?
That being said, my monotonous voice does no justice to my actual enthusiasm haha.

Ah, I’m alone, and I’m getting lonely.

I don’t feel like doing anything, I just want to chat.

Things will get better after this busy period, right?

“人生的际遇千百种,
但有知心長相重”

Sometimes in life you meet people, who you can talk to about anything, and when the silence shared is comfortable. Then, after a period of absence, it’s still the same.
They are the ones who will be there for you and its amazing that your paths crossed in the grand scheme of things so don’t disappoint them like I did.

Resilience.

So much has happened in the past 3 months, both good and bad.
As much as I appear unfazed and nonchalant in front of others, the hardest times are when I am lying in my bed, this bed in redhill. Only when I look at the uncles and aunties around my neighbourhood, then do I realize, who am I to wallow in self-pity when there are
people out there living hand-to-mouth everyday, being resilient. I would like to believe that I am resilient compared to my peers, I’ve gone through stuff throughout my short life, problems many don’t have to face. Having said that, only now then did I realise that my
resilience had to be fuelled by someone else, and I have no one now.

Question: Is resilience really resilience if it is not internally motivated?
Then maybe I am weak all along because I relied on external support to get me through.
Or maybe I was once resilient, but I guess dependence eroded resilience, to the point that I am disoriented now that I have no one to depend on. The most laughable thing is that
everything was my own doing, or undoing, aptly put.

My feelings are brimming, but I can’t pour it out. I sometimes feel that its toxicity is
building up inside me, causing self-induced unhappiness. Thus, I try to cleanse through
creating “happiness” through social media, consumerism, entertainment. These things
feed the body, fool the brain, but cannot deceive the heart.
Behind the happy-go-lucky façade, I forgot the feeling of happiness. I once read something
along the lines of “stop looking for others for happiness”, that is, you should be happy by
yourself. Thing is, I can be. I just need time to relearn and get used to being alone again.
I would even say its analogous to taking away an old man’s walking stick.

Learn to continue walking forward.
Stop turning around, trying to smell the flowers you once saw because they have long
wilted or trying to admire the beauty of that magnificent butterfly because it has long flown away.
As I look ahead, it is a dull and empty road.
But I am hoping around the corner, is that familiar face I can share with, those flowers which brings colour to life, or even a beautiful stranger who might teach me how to love again.

Meh, its so easy to write motivational stuff, but to enact it is another thing altogether.
I might not be able to, in the end.
To be honest, I can’t really let go. Is that resilience as well?
This episode made me feel such disorienting and incommunicable emotions and feelings that it is carved in my bone now.

The next few weeks will be especially arduous for me as grit my teeth and accept a
distasteful concoction of finals, heartbreak, solitude, and caregiving.
All while maintaining that “everything’s fine” façade because that’s just who I am.

Songko

P.S. I apologize for the things I have done,
which  caused hurt and unhappiness to the ones I care for.

Emptying the bottle inside.

21 years old, no biggie. Just another day. What difference does it make?
Imagine a world without social media. How many people will actually remember your birthday? Is it important enough to shove this piece of information into a safe and secure place in your mind?

I, for one, only remember a handful of birthdays but i always felt that if that has occurred, these people must have been really awesome people in my lives at one point in time or another. Or, their birthdates are easy to remember, ha. I don’t expect anything but i would like to convey my sincere thanks to people who actually remember my birthday, by heart. I choose to believe we added colour to each other’s lives before.

Pondering recently, i realised i am quite inadequate at moulding meaningful, long-lasting friendships.
It might be a self-fulling prophecy whereby i think i won’t be able to build these kinds of friendships, hence i don’t even bother. Well, to be honest, people should know i’m quite reserved at the onset, before i warm up and kong jiao wei. (What’s worst is that in university, the people you spend time with are always rotating) I have certainly proved that jiao wei doesn’t really help in forging close friendships, ha. I’m just lacking a certain solution to propel my friend”ships” and i accept that. Guess my theory personal view about “phases” still hold true to me at least, whereby in different phases in my life, i would always have different people accompanying me through them.
I’m thankful that at least i have those people i meet who i can go “EHHHHH!” even after a long absence.

I just want to say that the gift i want to receive is the acceptance of my appreciation towards the people who made life great, past or present. And hey, if you feel that i’m talking about you, chances are that i am.
Kinda gay, but “不在乎天长地久,只在乎曾经拥有” or simply put “thanks for the memories”?

Disclaimer : Things i’m gonna say might make things awkward if we meet in real life again… but you all can pretend I didn’t mention all these.

Finally, i accept the fact of life that perhaps we might not even be close anymore, you might not even read this, you think i’m creepy or a scumbag friend, or worst, you never even treated me as a friend (LOL) but that’s alright.

RVPS
==============
So in primary school, i would i really enjoyed hanging out with Felix, Zheng Hao, York Quan. Can’t remember what nonsense we always talk about as kids, but it sounds fun even now.
I remember the P5(?) Malacca Trip where the two scumbags Zheng Hao and York Quan poured ice into my shirt in the hotel room.
I remember that one time when it was pouring and someone said “1,2,3 run for the bus stop” and in the end only Felix and I ran, fun innocence.

NAN HUA
===============
Secondary school was crazy fun. Soccer, DotA, CS, Lanshops, just chilling at the mama shop. Fun times with Aloha bros, will always stay as a highlight, will always shadow as a sad loss. Sleepovers at Leon’s, Uther Party at 3am through Skype, Avenue 2 street soccer versus Mats, the Subway meetups after we went to different JCs.

There was that time when MSN was ravenous, and i would always enjoy chatting with the 210 girls when i got home after school. I’m such a cheehong (likes interaction with girls) even then when i had no balls to talk to girls in real life. Pathetic. But hey there’s this one girl that somehow i was really comfortable talking to and we would talk really often, yup Charlene Chan. How she’s such a noob to have to talk to someone over the phone while taking the lift.

Then there’s CO. Don’t look down on CO, guys. It’s really awesome being part of one. Practices leading up to SYF and walking out of school together. Not to mention i like the epicness of dazu. I even remember together we went to watch the Ju Hua Tai show where Gong Li exposed half her breasts. I also remember vividly remember travelling to Chung Cheng all the way from Clementi… with Madeline for the SYF showcase.

Also, bus buddies are great : Allen, Andy, Yijun

NJ
==============
I think i opened up alot in JC, i surprised myself. Maybe it’s cause i lost weight and gained self-confidence. OG24 can probably claim title of longest-lasting OG already, having outings even when the OG i was OGL for already died. I think my classmates were nice, perhaps its just i’m a misfit, but i really LOL’ed at those philosophical nonsense like “do chickens have sex?” and random predictions about LCC’s life and enjoyed Xavier’s company and his “brownian motion”. Also had an awesome class bus buddy who i can talk nonsense with : Cheryl. Alot of people take 961 also, 961 for the win.

I think the girls tried their best to make the class cohesive already, great job! Remember going to Aihua’s house at night after school to surprise her birthday and also the awesome benefits of having a birthday close to Victoria, cause when people celebrate her birthday they’ll side-celebrate mine HAHA. I remember got this period where they link me and Vic as husband and wife? Epic lame.

I joined Student Council, don’t know why, didn’t regret. 同甘共苦 at its best, although i was rather laxing at times…Glad that the council clique still so tight! Open Day people, really thank you guys for putting up with my inadequacy at that point, I always felt i let Mr Tan down :/

Hockeys cocksters, miss George? Nope, I don’t miss KB’s aroma after training also. Not bad though, i was amazed i stuck through it, must be the company.

And to the people that stayed in the boarding school, i know that feel… respect to us all. I remember this series of taupok footage…

In JC, i finally grew balls to confess, first time failed (HAHAHA, but you were really a great friend) but it turns out that having Monica is probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

JC is where i really met alot of nice people, people who would smile and say “hi” every time even though we haven’t talked much. I’m thankful for those random moments : Chemistry tuition with Emily, OGLing and wthecking with Elizabeth, KFC with Vanessa, playing squash in between break with Xavier, going commando vocational test with Hsiangwei, Titanic scene with Zikai, crashing Joshua’s and Lionel’s class for P.E or to hang around like a nomad with and more. I also apologize for that whoever had to bear with my uncanny addiction of 新不了情 and also when i had to sing ‘Inilah’ at the podium mic with my astounding voice.

ARMY
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Army people, previously already dedicated to you bros Mohawk Platoon 2 Section 3, SCS Delta Platoon 2, AI (Gunnery), AI Permstaff and all the best to the trainees and cadets i taught(smoked) : https://www.facebook.com/notes/goh-song-ko/enlisted-and-1-year-and-10-months-later/10151411720169888

I think the bond between the instructors is really up there, having slept with each other for like a year. Faggot Deon still remains uncontactable. Glad to still be hanging out with Brandon most of my solitary life and hanging out with Marcus and Winston every now and then in university.

On a side note, i think what Warrant Bernie said was true, I really will never forget the birthday where he specially bought a cake for me and Darren in camp. Warrant Bernie, all the best to you!

WORK
==============
Haha, Yizhang and Kevin made work so much more enjoyable despite the “hidden” dangers lurking around.
Plus all the controversial debates we had. Zai.

SMU
==============
SMU has been alright for me, luckily i am immune to solitude, cause fate hasn’t crossed me with many friends. Maybe it’s me, ha. Quite a lot of familiar faces here, but c’mon, everyone has their own stuffs to be busy with. Met cool people through FTB and Bondue, though we might not really have hit it off. I’m thankful for how i somehow registered for Uni-Y and how Bullseye bonded so well, could it be the amazing facis? HAHA, anyhow, i really hope we can continure to hang out together and catch up after this stressful period or something. Also fun times with the Strategica. Hopefully fun times with CO and Floorball in the future too. Right, and i’m thankful for Brandon for being alone-buddies

Looking forward to the rest of SMU!

Of course i won’t forget Monica, who’s always there for me.

“alone but not lonely”
cheers
songko

tryfox

Life as i try to comprehend it.

What is life anyway?

Here are the humble perspectives of a 21 (almost) year old me with comparatively underwhelming experience of life trying to fathom life (and the end of it, death) and its enveloping abstractness.

Imagine you are on your deathbed in the hospital, your life is hanging on a thread. You see nurses and doctors whizzing around performing their duties, you smell the pleasant yet overbearing stench of sanitizer in the air, you hear the monotonous beeping of the life support machine just next to your bed, you feel the softness and smoothness of the overwashed bed sheets beneath your wrinkly fingers, and you can feel your heart beating ever so slowly.

What will you be thinking in your mind?

Would you be regretting not having some things struck off your bucket list? Would you be doubting some of the decisions you made in life? Would you be hoping to live another day to spend with your loved ones, watch your favourite movie, eat your favourite food?
Most importantly, will you find closure? Will your life end with inner peace and contentment?
Of course, there are infinitely many factors that affect the answers but generally,
I don’t believe anyone will be able to materialize these thoughts and provide definite answers because it’s simply impossible to feel such emotions unless you are really in those shoes.

How do you find closure in life then? I am unable to comprehend this concept.

You only live once, indeed. So when your one and only life is being taken away from you, it is unmistakable that you would have some regrets and doubts regarding the decisions you’ve made in your one and only life. But, it’s too late to do anything about them now. How can you possibly find closure with that in mind?

Monica was telling me about ‘grief work’, which is the process of learning to deal grief which includes that of imminent death. This can be in the form of spirituality, religion and simply acceptance. This whole concept still does not convince me that it is possible to have a “happy ending” to death but who am I to say that when I am a healthy young adult with so much more in life in store for me?

 Image

Source : http://zenpencils.com/comic/60-robert-frost-the-road-not-taken/#.UkW-dIYRiXw.facebook

This illustrated poem really struck me in the feels.

Even at this point in our tender lives, we sometimes already reminisce and wonder if the options we chose were the optimal ones, the ‘correct’ ones?
Truth is, there are no ‘correct’ options in life. There is no way for you to do a cost-benefit analysis between the path you decided to take and the others because simply put, you would never know how your life would have turned out otherwise.

There’s this thing called the ‘Butterfly Effect’ which in its namesake and laymen’s terms states that the flap of a butterfly’s wings could have caused the formation of a hurricance in the future.
I feel that this is apt to relate to the volatility and unpredictability in life. Every single action we make would seriously change our lives, and even the lives of others we interact with, forever.
YOLO indeed.

The comic epitomizes this very nicely.

It also prompted me to ask “does it really matter at the end?”
When death is staring you in the face, will your whole life lived mean anything?
I am still trying to find my own answer.

What life stories will I want to tell my grandchildren? (provided I have the chance to)
Will I want to tell them about being how I got onto the dean’s list or about how I played for the school’s floorball team or even about my university exchange trip to China?
I will never know until when I am really in that situation.

[Side-tracking, If you tried asking yourself the same question,
“What life stories will you want to tell your grandchildren?”
Chances are, you kind of just listed some things you currently aim to achieve in life.
Well, I just did, at least.]

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

My inconclusive conclusion for now would be that we should all live our lives to the fullest: explore, experience, learn, interact, love, as much as we can so that we minimize our regrets when we are really in the situation I’ve described at the start.
As for making decisions, we just have to follow our hearts. As long as you yourself believe wholeheartedly in the path you’ve chosen, no matter how things turn out eventually, you would be comforted by the fact that you steered your own life and remember that no matter how unintended that path you chose plays out, there would always have been some gain along the way.

All in all, as cliché as it sounds, trying to avoid remorse will be what I’ll do for now.

An Education.

Image

School, a familiar yet fresh experience. 12 years of moving up the education system to reach where i am now : University.
After all the Freshmen Experience activities, school has settled down. I can feel my life flowing into the mould of SMU, where i will be spending the next 4 years of my life at.

My Mondays to Fridays (Saturday mornings in fact) will be largely following the same structure for the remaining of the semester, and i like it. I like structure, knowing things going to happen according to plan. Structure does not mean inflexibility, life is not going to be mundane and dreary because i know everyday is a different day where i learn new things, meet new people, interacting with friends or even being alone but lonely.

And for the first time in my life, i see true meaning in education. From primary school to secondary school to JC and even in Army, i’ve studied solely for examinations, to get good grades to proceed to a desirable subsequent phase in life.
And for the first time in my life, i feel like i am studying to improve my knowledge and skills. No doubt grades are important, but now grades to me is a bonus that plays its part in recognizing my education’s progress.
And for the first time in my life, my insides feel all fuzzy and delighted when i learn something new, something that improves my knowledge or my skills.
And again, for the first time in my life, someone feels my education is important enough to grant me a scholarship and i am utterly surprised yet thankful. Me? A ‘scholar’?

To be honest, when i was heading to the interview for the scholarship, i felt good.
I felt that with my capability, i am going to be the one recipient.
My afterthought then told me to be humble, that i am not as great a person as i thought i was, that i wouldn’t be a winner in life. In fact, i haven’t achieved much in life.
What does achievement taste like? What does it even smell like?

Primary school i was in the table-tennis team. Didn’t excel. Now i play table-tennis for recreational at best.
Secondary school when i was in Chinese Orchestra. Didn’t excel. Now i play the double bass still having to translate my scores to alphabets.
Junior College when i was in hockey. Didn’t excel. Now my hockey stick is just lying at the corner of my room untouched.
Junior College when i was in student council. Didn’t excel. Thinking back, my term as a councillor hadn’t developed me to become a better leader much either.

In University when i see people joining CCAs they excelled in. I am still wondering should i have focused on one thing to excel in rather than touch and go so many different things.

I’m better than most at floorball but still not as good as i should be since i was a hockey player.
I can play the double bass but still not as good as i should be since i spent 4 years plus playing it.
I’m better than most at frisbee but still not as good as those who went for frisbee trainings.
I play Dota but i’m not owning as much as i should since i played for 7 years already.
I think i’m good in strategy games but still many people are better than me.
I think i have a great sense of rhythm since i have music background but i was frequently lost at Samba Masala workshop.
I thought i had a perfectly smart answer in class to say since i think i’m smart but my professor totally disagrees with me.

Seems like what i think i’m good at is actually mostly self-recognition after going through humbling experiences.
Even when i believed i’m good, i’m not as good as i think i am.

But you know what? I think i’ve found the underlying problems to all those things.
I’ve gotten things i really wanted when i feel that i probably can’t do it. And because i have the preconception that i probably can’t do it, i tend to humble myself as i worked towards those things i wanted. Somehow, things were better than i expect.

For PSLE, i was hoping i could get into a neighbourhood school with 200 points or something. Got 245 and went to Nan Hua.
For Chinese Orchestra, i was hoping to become the Section Leader but thought i was incompetent. Appointed Section Leader.
For O Levels, i was hoping to go to non-NJC because its impossible to get 6 points. Got 6 points and went to NJC, my dream school by the way.
For Student Council, i thought such a lousy candidate like me probably can’t get in. Got in (it’s quite easy to, actually)
For A Levels, i was panicky because i thought my grades will bring me nowhere. Got AAB/B
For Army, i wanted to become instructor but i thought i did too badly to be one.
Became instructor.
For my BMW telemarketer job interview, i thought i screwed up big time. Got the job, apparently they liked my voice.
Went for Ian Ferguson Scholarship Interview, thought that chances are so slim that it’s not going to be me. I got it.

Reflecting on my life, i have devised new approaches to achieving my goals.
Thinking i’m good is not enough, i have to prepare, concentrate, revise, execute, devote all my attention to the task at hand. Then i’m sure i will actually be better. I have the potential to be good! Just that i’m too complacent and serendipitous. I need to be humble not only on the outside, but internally as well.

Strike the perfect balance of being humble and being confident in yourself.
I’m sure i can steer myself towards the path i desire.
Hard work is a constant in all things, of course. I am often having too much fun than i should be. I have to become more disciplined.

I guess i have found my new impetus on how to excel at things now.
Time will tell if i’m right.

p.s. To Mon : Circumstances are different now, but we’ve gone through storms together.