being alive.

Thank the Lord Saturday has rolled around.

For most part of the week in a second year radiography course thats working us all unnecessarily hard, the weekend appears as an oasis in a desert.

And also the weekend means work, and I do enjoy some casual interaction with customers (okay maybe I enjoy the pay packet a little more) as a good break from x rays of clogged up lungs and atherosclerosed vessels.

But today, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. It’s been yet another rough week, and not even the sight and smell of sweet, juicy Clingstone peaches could cheer me up.(in case you have’t read previous posts, i’ve recently started working at a green grocer, and i’ve found a new favourite specie of peach.)

I guess the lethargy I so carefully tried to conceal must have eventually seeped out a little onto my face, because a young customer, a cheery girl of probably no older than 17 stood to ask me how I was.

“Yeah.. i’m doin’ alright, how about you?”

“Well, i’m Alive!” 

And her reply was accompanied with a 100,000,000 kilowatt smile that just radiated optimism and energy and exuberance and all that positive vibes.

Heck, her smile was pretty much enough to blind away a spirit of discontentment and tiredness, which was what I probably hauled around with me.

…And it probably was no coincidence that she was decked out in a yellow ‘little miss sunshine’ tee as well.

Just being alive…

This made me pause to reconsider.

Such a simple, yet powerful reason generated her happiness today- 

by just being able to healthily ventilate clean, unpolluted air with her lungs, 

by being ambulant, 

by being able to biologically metabolise glucose, proteins and fats, plus all sorts of complex physiological compounds required for maintaining life- 

by being able to emotionally and intellectually connect with stimuli all around us, to understand and form relationships with other beings of the same species.

By just being alive, is a good reason in itself for not just the young customer, but for ALL of us to smile.

(And for that young girl, being able to purchase about 3 kilos worth of sugar bananas with her mum probably also contributed to part of that happiness. Because banaynays)

You are alive! Healthy and kicking.(which is what I hope for all of you). 

Take a look outside, wherever you are. Perhaps you’re faced with a hot, sunny summer’s day, or a cool, dark night sky flecked with stars. 

Maybe you’re looking at an autumn foliage, coated with moisture falling from the sky, or a front yard caked with inches of pure, white frost.

Aren’t we fortunate to be able to see these things, to hear the voices of our loved ones, to enjoy edible delicacies and the things we love to do.

Regardless of where you are at life right now, be it battling illness, struggling emotionally or feeling overwhelmed, stressed and fatigued- 

take a moment (and a deep breath) to just appreciate the fact that life in itself is a real miracle, and for you to be reading this right about now was no simple accident or feat.

You are a valuable and purposeful human being. We have much to smile about, even at the lowest of the valleys we may find ourselves trapped in.

And most of all, you are alive.

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a fresh start 

its been a while since i’ve just blindly written (or ranted) like I am about to do so now, 

So its somewhat disturbing that university is restarting again in just less than 12 hours after about 3 months, and I still am wired on holiday mode, living in denial that I will probably regret all my life decisions when I am forced to arise at 6am tomorrow morning. 

Aside from that disturbing fact, I also started a new job, which leaves me feeling a little bit uncertain, like a lone wanderer treading on uncharted premises. 

Okay its not some strange occupation or anything illegal.

So it’s pretty much the same retail deal, but instead of mindlessly scanning barcodes and tags for clothes, shoes and miscellaneous household items that one probably doesn’t really need (Target, you’ve treated me well but let’s be real honest here, our cupboards are already stuffed with enough ice cube trays enough is enough) , I’ve swapped it for checking out kilograms of peaches, apples, pears and vegetables.

Also not to mention i’ve swapped an office for a backroom with a HUGE commercial fridge, styrofoam boxes full of nature’s candy, and trolleys of vegetables.

Also hairy melon. Never forget hairy melons.

I mean, I didnt know tomatoes could be black and coming from Russia.

I’ve never noticed the segregation between orange and purple sweet potatoes…Or the fact that purple garlic, really isnt purple.

What is a lebanese cucumber? Why does it look exactly like a zucchini? 

White nectarines, or yellow peaches?

Oh look it’s me, a giant sweet purple potato.

Beetroot loose. Yellow squash. Leek.

WHY ARE THESE PINEAPPLES TOPLESS?!

what else ran across my mind in my first 4 hours of training? 

HUNGRY 

it probably didnt help that I was constantly surrounded by fruit, as I was ready as ever to eat the entire green grocer.

Nevertheless, it hasnt been too traumatic so far. I must say it was a pleasant surprise catching a whiff of the fragrant pandan leaves that I did not know this green grocer sold. So I guess it is one step closer to home (my heart aches for many things from back home in Singapore, and it includes pandan cake).

I was also one of the older ones of the young workers. I’d never thought i’d say this but it is strange and somewhat disconcerting when I do reveal that I am turning the big 20 this year to a 15 year old just starting her first job.

THIS IS CRAZY, ARENT I STILL 15? (sabrina living in more denial, refusing to live an adult life)

Nevertheless, I’m glad they hired this old fart anyway.

I have been blessed with not too bad a start, and hopefully smooth sailing employment ahead. Thank you Jesus who’s always got my back. 

I’m also looking forward to finishing off training, and eventually leveling up to the fruit ninja.

Hahaha only kidding, my goal is to one day seamlessly distinguish between nectarines and peaches. Or become the Apple queen. Who knows.

Anyway, over and out. Stay tuned for more juicy- 

Well the only real juicy things in my life right now are the watermelons that sell for 50 cents a kilo back at work, sorry to disappoint, but there really isnt much juicy gossip or news.

And if you’ve stayed reading this up until now, thank you so much and sending muchos love (and tasmanian cherries) your way.

Valentines’ 

February 14th.
The day for:

over glorification of red petal-y roses, 

over production of teddy bears, 

over use of pink, shiny plastic wrapping, 

over abuse of wallets, 

And over consumption of whatever couples choose to binge on together. 😂

Hokay don’t get me wrong, it sounds like i’m just an old fart blaming the world and the stars yet again for another valentine’s day spent single, but rest assured I am as single as one of those shiny, ‘Single roses’ being sold at $30 each in town today 😀

In all seriousness however, has valentines day become commodity day? 

I mean, roses- of all colours, not just the reds, are always beautiful, but are only very much appreciated on V- day.

Chocolate tastes great all day, everyday, especially 70% dark with a tinge of orange (hint hint), but are only really unselfishly gifted, savoured and appreciated on V-day.

Hand written cards, idyl picnics, letters, tokens, bracelets, rings, dinners, all these gestures are meaningful anytime, but are only really expressed and performed on V-day…and not without a 15 second snapchat or instagram video to show it off these days.

Happy valentines day,

but don’t forget to let your various loved ones (yes im going to say it includes friends and family) know they are loved and thought of everyday. 

Thank them for being part of your life, for tolerating you with patience, for choosing you and seeing the special in you when you didnt see so yourself.

and suddenly, being single on valentines’ day isn’t all that bad.

 I’m blessed with many great people in my life, and before the Big man up there brings Mr. Right into mine one day, i’m going to keep thanking Him for all the people He’s already crossed my path with, for all the people whom I can share great times,conversations and thoughts with.

To all you reading this, thank you for staying with me, 

Sending much love your way this Valentines Day.

missing someone.

Have you missed someone so?

Have you missed someone so much that it physically aches?

Skin longing for a touch, a stroke, a prod, to feel their shallow breath, a soft snore of sleep on your neck, to open your eyes to their peaceful face just milimetres shy from yours.

Have you missed someone so much that it warps the mind?

Your idle thoughts wandering around them, their day, their safety. Imaginations straying to what could be, images of what should have been. 

Have you missed someone so much that you long to connect? 

Just to stay well in their company, to see straight into their eyes and talk about nothing, to hear a little satisfied chuckle, to gaze upon their smile in silence, to watch them watch you.

Have you missed someone so much that wailing sirens have fallen upon deaf ears?

Enduring the sting of their words or lack of words, brushing off your own discomfort for their self serving sake, and foolishly returning back, hoping they’ll one day wake up and realise.

Have you missed someone so much you know its not right? 

Someone who shouldnt be missed, someone who mightn’t be there at and until the very end, someone who doesnt see you for who you are inside, someone who doesnt care?

Hanging onto one word replies and overthinking ‘last active’ times, 

hiding behind the trysts that jolly don’t carry on in reality, 

staying put even when they selfishly hurt you,

Tears streaming quietly down your cheeks.

Have you missed someone so?

People and peak periods.

The clock was ticking. 

As the long arm struck 6pm, Serangoon train station (MRT as we know it here in Singapore) was flooded.

FLOODED WITH A SEA OF PEOPLE.

I descended down the escalator into a blur of limbs and mostly black haired heads, moving quickly in all different directions. 

Some were coming, most were going. Some were students, uniforms messily untucked, eagerly setting off for a Friday night feast and shopping. Majority were adults wrapped in tight, restrictive A-line work skirts and dress pants with takeaway plastics swinging in hand, relieved to finally meet the restful end of yet another mundane work week.

I walked- no, weaved, slid and dodged as I made my way down the long corridor to access the North East line. 

The station, which is usually quiet during the day time, now pulsated with a type of rush- sort of like when you take a hose that’s calmly flowing water and squeeze a part of the small opening, suddenly increasing pressure and force. 

I scuttled along, somewhat overwhelmed and frazzled. Everyone seemed to move in sync with each other, filling what little space there was left efficiently. People moved at quick speeds, but their trajectories never crossed; no one crashed clumsily into each other, tripped, or found themselves in those awkward moments when the paths of two strangers intersect and they both wrongly anticipate each other’s movements. 

Everyone seemed to already have their train cards ready in hand or easily accessed, and people entered and exited the barriered train gates in an undisrupted flow- all until I arrived, clumsily fumbling and tossing in an effort to find my train ticket. People behind me sighed, showing slight annoyance at the disturbance of their journey (i’m sorry).

The trains were no better. People were stuffed and squeezed into every carriage, desperately trying to take up as little space as possible.  

“Bags on the floor makes space for more” read a colorful decal that I was just barely able to catch a glimpse of above the heads of the people I found myself stuffed in between.

The train carriage became an overfilled sardine can, and it certainly wasnt the best feeling being one out of what felt like a million fish in it.

And this is how to truly experience how populated this tiny little red dot has really become (and also how to discover that you suffer from low key claustrophobia after all).

 I don’t remember it being like that when I was a smol kiddo living here back in 2007.

 It was so spacious back then that I could still dangle from the little handles suspended along the metal bars of the carriage, allowing the momentum of the ride to swing me back and forth.

It really amazes me how such a tiny little island with its compact infrastructure can house such a large (and veeery slowly growing) population without already breaking down into dysfunction and chaos. 

(I have no pictures here due to spatial and social constraints whilst being on the train- while it might be a little creepy pointing a phone camera at so many random people, it was also virtually physically impossible to do so being squished into a corner).