ugh, feelings

It’s almost the end of the quarter. Winter turned out to be a lot more fulfilling and meaningful than I hoped.

Aside from the weather, which has become a lot more of a metaphor than anything else to be honest, the quarter was packed with friendships strengthened, experiences encountered and ambitions fulfilled.

Let’s start with the beginning. I walked into the quarter having completed #77breaths and coming back from Europe with two of my best friends. I was looking for something when I went to Europe ; I was looking for the person I thought I was before I came to college. College broke me slightly – I was shocked by how much I underestimated the age gap and at the same time I was disappointed by the bubble that people seemed to be trapped in. I had campaigned against the bubble when I was in Singapore, and here I was slowly seeing myself being trapped in it. I had decided to be a slightly different person coming into college, but after Europe I realised I was comfortable with the person I always was.

With #77breaths under my belt, I knew again the value of grit. I came back, ready to make some big moves. I continued in the same spirit – not a single weekend was left unscathed by some event or another. I was enjoying the process of meeting my newly made brothers in Lambda Chi Alpha and eventually ran for the position of Vice-President (External) with the value of my experience and my earnestness to help the house. When I was elected , the affirmation of who I was continued to manifest in the reception I got. Aside from rapidly expanding my social circles and experiences, the house has definitely given me an important platform from which I wish to do more in my life.

I struggled initially with taking five courses to meet EDB’s requirement for me to graduate in 3 years but I got on track again once I started figuring out the tricks of the trade. With the help of my friends and faculty I was able to quickly navigate the school and make use of its resources while again expanding my social depth in the school.

Probably the most significant thing of the quarter has to be the pure variety of experiences. From going to Dayton, Ohio for a triathlon to planning one of the country’s largest student run festivals to purely hanging out with friends from all kinds of backgrounds ; I never had a week without the feeling of exhilaration. #77breaths had spoiled me – I wasn’t going to settle for the mediocre.

And that taught me to shave off the mediocre from my life. Anything or anyone that did not seem to add to the person I wanted to become or to the world as a whole, were quickly reconciled and kept away. Be nice, do what needs to be done, but do not subject yourself to unnecessary mediocrity.

I discovered love in all its forms – from family, friends, and the weirdos who care about me more than it makes sense.

The quarter isn’t nearly done – there’s Dance Marathon , a few other Fraternity events, elections for NUSAF (the Singapore Association) , and so many more meetups. Of course Finals as well, but we’ll get through that. I’m already planning for Spring Quarter and I’ve filled up half my weekends already.

Do I miss home? Yes, dearly. My family especially. But I’m learning to live, and I’m glad my family and friends are able to be a part of that through social media. I’ll come back, I say. Till my last breath, I won’t forget you all; the ones who made my life magnificent.

I’m eating giants for breakfast.



i eat giants for breakfast

be absolutely ludicrous.

Somewhere in my life, a fire erupted …. no, an explosion occurred inside of me causing me to be always craving adventure. Nothing was ever going to be enough but I was not going to sit down and eat brunch every Sunday. I was not going to waste my breath on a life mediocre.

So I wrote, I built my adventures in my head. I explored made up worlds, with lives of characters that represented  ideals of mine. I was a mercenary, and then a old sage on the brink of death. I was death, and then I was life. I built the Last Saloon and recreated the Moment of Revelation.

And then I couldn’t just write. I had to see, I had to touch, I had to be. No one was going to tell me what I could or could  not do. I had enough of that in school, especially in an education system designed to “assign” people to the lives they are supposedly fulfilled to live. So I began eating giants for breakfast.

I began by saying yes to more things. I was kayaking on the Saturday, and training for a marathon on the Sunday. Is that for me? Yes? I’ll do it. No? Who says so? I’m still doing it.

And then I started dreaming. I started seeing friends explore lands I had only seen on the television. I saw friends championing causes; making the world better. I also saw people complaining about their lives, how they wonder how they got stuck where they were.

So I ate another giant and asked What If? I asked What If I made this a priority. What would I need to do? I put it on a piece of paper, stuck it behind my door and saw it every morning I woke up. I’d do push-ups while looking at it – I was getting mentally synced to achieve my goals. This was happening – this was not a wish, this was a desire and that’s something that’s derived deeper. A desire lives in the depths of your soul, it claws at you from the inside till it can be realised.

I broke away from the  people that said “Let’s stick to what we know” and started hanging out with the dreamers and believers. These were the people who said “We can build something”. I valued the people who kept me grounded, but I was not going to around the people who kept me floundered.

And one day, I started “winning” the game. Fruits of the seeds were starting to show. I was able to open doors to meetings with people of influence and convince them to support me. I was able to learn how to play the game of life; how to navigate some of the pitfalls that open themselves up to the wayfarers. I was able to build teams, share my vision and bring them on the journey with me. I was building on past successes to achieve more.

I failed many times too, but every fail was a fail forward. I stood up, dusted my knees and ran on (I imagine my marathon taught me a lot about that) .

My lifestyle changed. I was high-octane. Testosterone and adrenaline are concentrated in my blood stream. From the music I listen to, to the sports I participate in, I’m living a life of energy.

I stand here, a veteran of stories. I’m only 21. Let me say that again. I’m 21. In the past 3-4 years I’ve probably seen more than some people can afford.

I’m more privileged than most, and I recognise that privilege. But the money I spent was all money I earned. I used my stories to make money by adapting them. I made my life a story – a manuscript of a journey tirelessly threaded.

Having said that,  I have a lot of people to thank , my family especially, but I also want to recognise that a lot of this process was started from that explosion. That was something internal. One morning, I woke up and just decided to eat a giant.

Giants still roam this earth. Giants still intimidate people. But I want others to start waging battles against these giants. I want to ignite that explosion in others. I want people to travel, to start organisations and companies, to go on YouTube , to convince world leaders to take on a policy stance, to live extraordinarily.

Find your giant, look it straight in the eye and then begin to chew at it. It’ll wriggle, it’ll try to run away from you, but you know you’re stronger than it. Why?

Because now you’re larger than life.