I rarely celebrate my birthdays and don’t expectantly look forward nor really revel to it, except for my best celebrated day ever when Iris whisked me in a whirlwind back in the memorable and lovable Jan 2012! Of Orchard road! Of Sentosa! & Of Songs of the Sea! But times have lapsed, and though I never imagined it to be like this, I respect her decisions. I desperately needed us to stay as we were, but if it’s God’s will, then it’s God’s will. Your happiness is all that matters to me.
Even if the price was mine.
I suppose I’ve always been that bigger man, in a lot of situations — but not in the grandiose kind, but the generally speaking kind. The kind that a daily situation usually demands of, such as the calling for a leadership figure to rise to the occasion. Whether it’s at the office, at home, or in a neutral event, I’ve always been looked upon to be that level-headed and thinking fella that will always provide the listening ear, the shoulder to cry on and magically come up with the decisions and everyone will feel better. And that happens usually, that everyone feels better.
Even if the price was mine.
These burdens took its toll eventually where I realised that at most times I’ve not been taking care of the right things in a relationship — as I tend to see bigger pictures and root solutions instead of the critical tiny details and the most important thing: the heartbeat. I don’t know what God has in his plans for me, for you, or for us, but I’ll gladly gulp down these bitterest of bitterest pills just so that everyone around us can live and breathe again.
What’s in store in the future of us? Only time will tell..
So I really enjoyed my birthday session this year! Something to truly cherish, as I found out what was in store in ‘The Future of Us’ – that exhibition at Gardens By The Bay (aka ‘GBTB’)! So it was spent there instead with my doting and affable lil Sis! Well, she’s not lil anymore, but in my eyes, she still is! Can’t be too overprotective, can I?
I booked tickets (FREE!) from home for the exhibition, because firstly, I have no idea what this exhibition is all about and would like to find out, secondly, it’s free, and thirdly, I finally get to bring Sis out!
But it rained. Whilst on our journey, I had to detour by making a ‘pit-stop’ at Tiong Bahru estate, shortly after entering CTE from AYE.
We were slightly drenched, but our spirits were high flying (or maybe just me? lol), as we waited patiently at a nearby kopitiam, drinking a can of coke, for the rain to subside. In our search for a good place to wait, we passed by a number of really interesting shops, which drew our imaginations. From antiquated floral boutiques to a quaint little printing shop, the passageway made you turn your head more than once as you walked on by.
As soon as the weather sobered up, we made a mad dash through town for GBTB, and thankfully it was nearly empty, save for a few classes of secondary school students and the staff onsite. We arrived much earlier than the exhibition’s designated timeslot, so we explored the garden’s Dragonfly lake, and couldn’t help but feel it’s stagnancy and weariness. It may look like a garden, but the overall ambience felt fabricated and strangely contriteful for a ‘world-class tourist attraction’. We didn’t enter the air-conditioned dome nor climbed the ‘supertrees’ so maybe that’s why our experience of the garden was muted, at best. Sure, the flowers were pretty and the canopies were aplenty, but overall the experience fell short and je ne sais qois~
Thankfully, the Future Of Us exhibition kicked off shortly to end our much dreary afternoon, but as much as we were left delighted by the immersive dome silver-screen and fancy laser displays, the show felt like it wasn’t really meant for us working adult Singaporeans. Maybe for students and children more. The only good thing that I could take home with me out of this experience was this lengthy playground of swings, located just outside the exhibition hall as you exit it. Without needing any invitations, our inner child took over and we were soon swinging ourselves!
But of course, the best part of the day was at VivoCity when Sis insisted that she got me a little present from Typo, even though I know that she’d have to dig deep, like really really really deep into her pockets to pay for the gift that I chose, because financially it hasn’t been kind lately. And it’s so touching, and lovely, and sweet, and beautiful of her to do that for me. She’d call me the annoying and irritating brother of hers, but I know that she cares and tries to take care of me too!
So yeah, a wrench-pen! The most beautiful wrench/pen that one will ever receive.
So indeed, my birthdays have never been one that I look forward to as it’s a date that coincides with some of my greatest losses. Instead it’s a day that I reflect and chew upon as I ponder on what God has in store for me, my loved ones, my work and my friends.
Thankfully, despite the dampening rain, the dreary GBTB, and the increasingly notion that my birthday will be one not to be remembered, Sis threw a wrench into the works and reversed the day into a wonderful occasion, one that I will cherish for a very long time, because it’s up there with my best celebrated day ever!
Thank you, my dear Sis, and love ya much for spending time with this overly-pensive brother of yours. Oh, and I pray that you find your jodoh soon, because a beautiful person like you deserves a beautiful leader of the home, and also just so that you’ll stop entertaining me with these annoying requests of mine. InsyaAllah.
And what could one up my day thus far? My night of course! Especially when I returned to a pleasant surprise, seeing my baby cousin Irfan greeting me (totally unexpectedly!) and seeing the whole family dim the lights so that the burning candle on my cupcake could lit the darkened room. Like a lighthouse that guides the lost ship, this gesture reminded me that no matter what happens to you in life, there’s only one thing that matters: family.
It mattered to me that they took the trouble to get the candle burning, getting the cupcake itself, fetching my lovely cousin irfan, and most of all, to wait till I came home at just before midnight to enjoy a mini celebration with me. Loving everyone to pieces already, and I pray that our future will continue to be told with stories like tonight!
A timely reminder to me: family comes first. Their happiness is utmost.
Chandelier wasn’t a flash in the pan, and she’s certainly no one-trick pony.
Maddie Ziegler, that little girl you see performing along to her songs in MVs, is another talent too.
Then there is the consistent and inextinguishable Shia LaBeouf, whom together with these two girls, gave birth to this delectable monster:
“I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” Sia croons, as the emptiness in you slowly dissipates and you feel yourself coming back gradually, gathering courage and what-nots from the depths of your inner-most fears.
“But your blade it might’ve been too sharp.” And as the strength creeps in, you feel vulnerable. Your knees weak, arms heavy, yet you shrug off the exhaustion, and dive head-first. You stubbornly try again.
“I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard.” You keep thinking why? You keep wondering when? You never doubt your nerves of steel, but you realise you’re only human.
“Yeah I may snap and I move fast. But you won’t see me fall apart. Cause I’ve got an elastic heart.”Life won’t be easy, but it goes on.
I’m a pretty good listener — I’m sure some of my friends and colleagues will attest to that claim, but the ‘listen’ here is really more in relation to actions than words, because as the cliche goes, action speaks louder than words.
Wha, wait, how does one even ‘listen’ to an action?
Well, if you think of it as interpreting an amalgamation of gestures, words, intonations, body postures and of course, the all telling signs of a pair of eyes that are the surest giveaway of emotions whenever you’re in a conversation, then yes you can certainly listen to actions.
Yep, I read into actions a lot.
And so I got good at masking emotions too — a skill that I’ve honed for the past 33 years, and especially ever since late mum passed on — and maybe that’s why sometimes I behave like a noble gas of the periodic table, unreactive at room temperature.
It’s not that I’m guarded, introverted, or braindead or anything, but it’s more of a tendency to be calm and collected when emotions run high — so that I am able to think, and let my mouth spout calculated, calm words while my brain is desperately trying to digest chunks of data, where if it was a country, a state of emergency would’ve been voted for unconditionally.
Um, so it got voted for sooner than I’d like it to be.
This afternoon when big Boss HQ mentioned of leaving Stalwart to ourselves, due to the team’s inactions, a state of emergency was called for, but fortunately I had spent the full week working on our ‘secret’ project and incidentally knew what was needed to be said diplomatically, and curfew was averted.
That cruise missile was on my radar for a while but didn’t expect it to hit today.
And then tonight, when Iris finally ‘let loose’, it was the ballistic missile that you could see creeping in and out of the atmosphere, heading towards you while you stand in stupor, unsure of taking cover or running away.
After days of trying to communicate her thoughts to me, where me being me was frequently ‘out of office’, if you knew what I mean so… a state of emergency was probably what woul’ve been called for tonight, but not of the bad kind, but more of the ‘hmmm this seriously needs some deep thinking and rendez-vous’ kind.
So I’m really happy that we talked of things past and things future and a little bit of things present, and while there’s still a lot more to talk of, I’m determined that this year, 2016, is the year where I’m going to give that little bit more focus into everything little and big things that I do, so I’m very prepared to listen.
I’ve been ‘listening’ for a long while now and I’m glad we had the little private talk, although I’m still a little unsure where we’re heading towards, ‘cos things are still a little blurry as they’re falling into place.
I can’t even remember the last occurrence of intermittent intimacies or late nights of endless giggles, but one thing for sure, I know that if Iris needs me, I will always be there for her.
Even in a curfew.
2016 has just arrived, but I’m hoping that my emotional quotient stays sane a little bit longer.