Today, I was overwhelmed with joy and love. More on this later. Calculus test tomorrow and I am dead meat. But my heart is at peace.


Yesterday's Tomorrow

Today, I felt a new kind of happiness; the kind you get when you are touched beyond words and only almost cry happy tears but not really because your tear ducts are perpetually dry, only I hadn't felt that before until today.

Today, I spent three-quarters of the day with the people I cherish and the other one-quarter of the day thanking God and feeling blessed; too blessed, perhaps.

Today, I came to realize -but not for the first time- that growing up can sometimes be a real pain but it is simply a part of life, and there is nothing I can do about it except forge ahead with faith.

Today, I sat for the TOEFL examination and spoke very incoherently in the Speaking Section. But I didn't fret about it because I came to terms and am at peace with my level of suckitude.

Today, I was reminded that the thought always counts way more than the deed. But the deed is always greatly appreciated, too.

Today, I got bitten by mosquitoes while having dinner with my family at the Japanese restaurant.

Today, I turned eighteen. And ate awesome food.


Happy Bug

Countless good things happened today. I was about halfway done with today's post -which I later deleted and replaced with this succinct one- when I realized that I was never going to get to end it because one good event kept occurring after another. Either that or a happy bug has attacked me just recently.


Good God

Today, I woke up with a stiff neck. Since I had only an hour of class today, my mother drove me to college. We arrived there much earlier than expected since the highway was unusually clear so we decided to have breakfast at McDonald's. It was probably my third time having breakfast all year. When class let out, my mother drove to town to run some errands while I waited in the car and listened to overplayed music on the radio. I even dozed off at one point because my mother was taking a little too long at the shop.

I got home in the afternoon and had the time of my life as I engaged in a major Tweeting rampage with my adult friend. I don't think I can count the number of times I actually laughed out loud. And cringed internally, too. Then I revised for the TOEFL examination. And then here I am. I will be hitting the gym soon with my father after what seems like months. Today is as banal as can possibly be. But I am not kvetching because many mundane things placed a smile on my face today. Life is good.

A reminder from my best friend via an email: If you look at what you don't have in life, you don't have anything. If you look at what you have in life, you have everything.

Life is good...and so is God!

P/S: My neck is still stiff. Oy.


Best Days

Yesterday was a positively superb day. An adult friend who happened to be in the neighborhood with her family texted me before my alarm clock rang and asked if she could drop by. I was as excited as a little kid as I jumped out of bed and showered. She arrived several minutes later with her two little lovelies (as I like to call them); a soon-to-be three-year-old and a just-turned five-year-old. The last few times I had met the both of them, it had taken quite a while for them to warm up to me and shake off their bashfulness. But not this time. The minute they entered the house, they began talking and talking and never stopped. And that alone would've already made my day but their mommy made them wish me happy birthday and then serenade me with the birthday song (individually). Then that absolutely made my day. Before they left, the two-and-three-quarters-year-old shook hands with my father and asked where my mother was. She was sleeping. And so was my brother.

After they left, I drove to pick up my best friend -with my father riding shotgun, of course- and headed to the mall. We had almost two hours to kill before the movie began. We decided to have lunch since the both of us hadn't eaten yet and it was also the perfect way to catch up with each other. When both of us were back home, the friend received incredible news that she had gotten accepted into a top university in Australia -the same university I was supposed to go to if Plan B hadn't been thwarted at the last minute. I am very happy for her. Very. The day started off brilliantly and ended brilliantly as well.

Today was the last day of the Raya holidays. I got up in the afternoon and went for lunch with my mother. When I got back, I revised for the TOEFL examination this Saturday until I stopped, naturally. Night came and there was another surprise visit from my brother's ex-lady friend. It had been too long since I had last spoken to her so it felt really great chatting with her albeit it was for a short while. And now I am going to end the day by sleeping early since it is more than an hour before midnight.


Letter to Self

Just like last year, I am going to write a letter to my future self before I turn a year older. Before I began writing this, I re-read the letter I had written last year and somehow had this warm feeling tingling all over me as I chuckled and smiled whilst reading it. It's a funny feeling, remembering what I used to be and how I have changed. And like last year, I am going to reiterate that this is going to be absolutely tedious to read as well as indigestible unless my future self is reading it so please disregard this post from hereon.

Dear Justine of the Future,

How are you doing in the future? I hope you are doing mighty fine emotionally, physically, mentally and above all, spiritually. I also hope you are sitting down as you read this because trust me, this is going to be one lengthy letter. Now, don’t whine. Just read everything I have to say to you.

College began for you nine months ago. The transition from high school to college hadn’t been very smooth for you. In fact, it had been anything but smooth. In the beginning, you were afraid of practically everything but I came to realize that your biggest fear had been change; change in environment, syllabi and of course, people. Which, come to think of it, translates to ‘everything’. Your first semester in college was probably the roughest but by God’s grace, you survived. I am now in the midst of my third semester in college as I type this and so far, it has been pretty challenging, but I believe that you will survive it, too, like you always do.

College life has been timelessly interesting and immensely educative, non-academically speaking. Your worries, as you found out later, were uncalled for since the beginning because you came to know phenomenal people in college, both the lecturers and students alike, who kept you going each day. And in the past eight and a half months, you have learnt many life lessons, both the grave and the trivial. I hope those lessons are still etched onto your head and heart because you would definitely want to impart your words of wisdom to your daughter once she reaches adolescence.

Your life as a 17-year-old has really been significant and eventful. You missed a scholarship interview. (And laughed about it when you found out. You are one weird human being.) You passed your driving test and got your driving license even though you had sucked big-time at parking. (I hope you don’t suck at it anymore.) You went shopping for the first time without any parental supervision with your cousin sister. You bought slightly feminine blouses -progress, no less- at your own will for the first time. You hit the gym for the first time at your own will and have been going every now and then. (Never thought you’d actually set foot into the gym, huh? So did I.) You attended the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time (and in a dress, too) and had a grand time. You decided to switch your major from Aeronautical Engineering to Petroleum Engineering to Geological Engineering -OK, cutting to the chase here- to Geology. You song-led in CG for the first time. (I knew you could do it. You just never believed that you could.) Your brother turned 21 and your father turned 60. (God is amazing and ever-giving.) You had the most excruciating tooth surgery; unless you had gotten/are going to get your wisdom tooth out. (In which case, pray and surrender it unto God’s Hands because only His peace can bring you comfort.) You had your first real crush, which you successfully killed into nothingness before you actually did something stupid. (I am proud of you for that.) You almost had to leave your course and start back from square one in another country which scared you terribly although you never admitted that. And you met the person you carved a portion of your life out for, as mentioned in the previous letter. (I’m sure you still remember that day as clear as I do now. Still number one in The Best Days of My Life list, yes?)

And through all that, you made the biggest mistake by losing sight of the things that mattered in your life and focused on the things that didn't. Praise God for intervening before you lost yourself completely. And praise God for your family and friends who kept you grounded. And praise God for the little daily reminders, be it through things or people, that life is a spectacular journey filled with 90% ups and 10% downs. Because you made it to be. And because you believed it to be. So never regret any choice you’ve made regardless of it being a good or bad one as all things in life happen for a reason.

Somehow, I have always had this hunch that you are not a geologist now, as you planned to be. Nor are you a pilot or an author, as you wanted to be. I am not too sure if you are living in the country of your dreams or back at your birth-country. Or in another country. But you know what? I love you no less because wherever you are in life now, God has brought you there. And His plan has always been and will continue to be the best. Just mark my words. The future has been painted by the best Painter there ever is. And it’s mind-boggling to think that your life now (in the future) has already been mapped out by God even as I type this now (in the past). You always promised to step back and let God take control, but never really gave your life up completely. I hope you’ve learned to now that you’re an adult. Because I truly think that once you actually do, He just may surprise you. So, no excuses. Step aside, woman.

You can heave a sigh of relief now because I am going to end soon. Forgive me for all the motherly ranting and admonishing. But some things can’t be left unsaid for that long a time. Remember to work on both your patience and temper; find a way to cure your emotional complex disorder because you are really running low on E.Q.; always make the effort to stay in touch with the people who matter in your life, family above all; and finally, don't stop trying to discover the strength to chase your mediocre-sized dreams as it is never too late. (You know what I’m talking about.)

Stay sane, Justine of the Future! You always had trouble with that. Ha-ha. Just kidding. (I’m sure you knew that. And, uh, I'm also sure you knew that I wasn't really kidding. You are insane at times.) God bless you always and take care of yourself and of your family (if there is one).

Lots of love, Justine of the Past.

If you actually read through that (which I hope you didn't, seriously) without dozing off at least thrice, I commend you. And if you feel weirded out now, I sympathize. Ha-ha.


Feeble Attempt

(Note: This is one of my many ridiculous attempts to blog with pictures.)

On Friday night, as mentioned in the post before this, my CG-mates got me a cake very much in advance. I was made to blow the single candle on it eighteen times. It was definitely a first. Thanks guys. For the cake and for not slamming my face into the cake.
1 x 18 = 18

On Saturday morning before I left to meet up with my cousin sister and friend, my mother gave me an unexpected birthday gift -way in advance, too. Thanks mom. For the completely un-girlish and very Justine-ish bag.
Yeah man.

I had a fantastic time at the mall with amazing company. We had laughed so unbelievably much in the theater and at the bookstore that we were exhausted from laughing by the end of the day. Thanks guys. For a blast and simply for just being there.
Riding the train home.

On Sunday, I spent a whole lot of time downloading/updating the programs in my laptop after scanning it and making sure it was virus-free. I also downloaded a few nifty gadgets for the Vista sidebar and am now using Google Chrome; which looks very pretty, in my opinion, thanks to the many themes available. But since every cloud has a silver lining, the converse somehow seems to be true when my laptop froze last night. When I had turned it back on, every single song in my iTunes library was No More. I would mourn if this happened to me for the first time. But it didn't because this happens to be the second time this year. (And I didn't mourn the first time around.) After the shock wore off five seconds later, I immediately saved all recent documents into two separate thumbdrives for fear that something more tragic than losing all the songs in the library may ensue. My desktop looks much neater now compared to the forest of icons it used to be.

Today, my mother and I ate a cake made entirely out of jelly and shaped like an adorable teddy bear. The picture/collage below shows how the Annihilation of the Jellybear went. (P/S: The following is my first time trying my hand at photo-editing. So please pardon the utter hideousness. Just focus on thecuteness of the bear.)
We spare no mercy.



I think this blog despises me now for abandoning it on a weekly-interval. Sorry, blog. As always, I shall narrate about the interesting and the not throughout the week so far. Prepare to be incredibly bored because boring people out of their minds is a skill I have honed and perfected over the years.

The You-don't-need-to-know Weekly News:
a) Walked into Calculus fifteen minutes late on Tuesday since the jam was unexpectedly massive. It was my first time not making it to a class in college on time and I am not proud of it. So hopefully it will be my last time, too.

b) Had a Physics test on Monday, then a Chemistry test on Wednesday. Got back the Chemistry test paper today and sat for a Calculus quiz right after that. College is fun. Though I was never a fan of fun to begin with.

c) Since my brother and I are of the same blood, I conclude that we share the same toothfairy; either that or both of our toothfairies are siblings, too. I say this because my brother went for a tooth surgery today to extract four wisdom teeth; two of which grew parallel to his gum instead of directly perpendicular like how every other normal tooth is. All four of the teeth are at all four ends of his mouth. So it is a wonder how he is able to talk comfortably a few hours after the surgery. It had taken two hours and costed a few hundred more than mine. Like me, he was terrified and didn't even want to go through with it if he had a choice. But alas, he had to walk into the same dental room under the same dim lights to the same chair of doom and have his teeth (and gum) operated by the same dentist. We should high five each other. Someday.

d) I ate dinner at 4.30PM one day. Then I had to scavenge for food in the house when midnight came. Oy.

e) On Wednesday, exactly the middle of the month of September, a birthday post was published at The Site. I am feeling very gratified and blessed. And a bit funny since I've never had people wish me a belated birthday before my birthday even arrived. I had tried my best to plead for the post to not be conceived, let alone published. My attempts were in vain. Double oy.

f) After edification and a whole lot of cracking up at CG tonight, a birthday cake was unleashed. I had wondered why this was being carried out so in advance when I was told that there wasn't going to be CG next Friday. There was only one candle on the cake so I had to blow it exactly eighteen times, with the candle being relighted eighteen times. Triple oy. There had also been about three cameras around -mine excluded- so it was nervewrecking and pleasant at the same time. Quadruple oy. It was meant to be a surprise, but my psychic ability always kicks in at the wrong time. The thought always counts more than the deed. Again, I feel blessed and thankful.

g) Today, my laptop contracted a virus. Brilliant.

h) Tomorrow, I will be catching a movie and just plain chilling out with my cousin sister and good friend at the mall. Perfect way to spend the weekend with the perfect people.

Stay tuned for more You-don't-need-to-know Weekly News: The News You Don't Need To Know, So Why Bother? next week.


To Be Disregarded

The last time I had blogged had been exactly one week ago. I think the blogger in me has resigned from blogging duties...until now, that is. And this is a numbered post because the blogger in me has run out of blogging juices at the moment.

1. Last weekend, I took an insanely long time to complete the Calculus homework given but felt insanely great when I had completed it because the workings were just incredulously tedious.

2. Not for the first time, I wanted to punch a dude in the face. And for the first time ever, I wanted to punch two dudes in the face in the time span of one week. Unfortunately, I could only do it in my head. But I don't want to punch them anymore now because I wouldn't want to be punched in the face either.

3. Thanks to the undying habit of procrastination, my groupmates and I had to have a group discussion via text-messaging by sending bulk messages each time since half of us weren't by the computer the other day. Amazingly, we managed to get the report done before it was due the next day. I am predicting that this is just the beginning of many more last-minute work. This T-shirt says it all for me.
"I wish procrastination was a marketable skill."

4. I had tried using three alarm clocks for the first time to get out of bed on Tuesday morning. I acquired a new skill that day: Snoozing all three alarm clocks simultaneously. I ended up oversleeping anyway. Ever since then, I've been setting three alarm clocks to wake up every morning in the hopes that I would be able to get up on time for once. But lo and behold, I oversleep each day without fail.

5. I got a new SIM card under a different mobile service for the sake of redeeming a concert pass. For a short while, I wondered what had gotten into me when a few other friends also did the same thing. Then I wondered what had gotten into all of us. Then again, the concert is definitely going to be a blast because the band is fantastically awesome at live performances.

6. On September 8th, my awesome cousin sister gloriously turned 18. On that same day, an equally awesome fansite magnificently turned 1. It was a memorable day.
A little something something.

7. On September 9th, I attended a dearly missed high school friend’s 18th birthday party. Like with every other high schoolmate, it has been too long since we've last met and caught up with each other. She looked stunning that night and was hands-down the most beautiful person in the house/under the canopy. Unfortunately, I had to leave early that night since I had to get a lab report (See #3) and the Calculus homework done before the next day.

8. Last night, my mother helped me dial a number in the United States (New York) to rectify a pesky problem I am having with my TOEFL registration. The woman I had spoken to was so professional in speech that I had stuttered 80% of the time. Oy. It is also a bit strange to know that it is AM (yesterday) all the way there while it is PM (today) over here.

9. While I was in Chemistry on Friday, the Chemistry lecturer commented on the fact that I was donning a skirt that day. Paraphrased and compacted, her words had been, "Justine. You know, you are not lady-like at all when you are in a skirt. And I rarely see you wearing skirts...so what's the occasion? Is it someone's birthday?" I had been very tempted to reply, "I ran out of pants," but didn't because I was laughing and cringing at the same time. Double oy.

10. On a random note, it is actually possible to get invited to a grand event like the Video Music Awards in New York by an actual rockstar. I would jump like a mad woman if I wasn't living at this side of the globe. Not that I'm complaining.
Go figure.

11. A few tests which were supposed to be done with this week got postponed to next week. The pressure has already set in. I realized several days ago that the Beast of College has already begun its quest to suck the life out of me, slowly but surely. I am now working on a weapon to unleash on it when the time comes. (P/S: Said weapon is a mental weapon, not a physical one. Sadly.)

12. I don't know when it was that I lost sight of what really matters in life. And I don't know when it was that I got obsessed with perfecting each little thing. And I don't know when it was that I turned out the way I am now. And I don't know when it was that I became so insanely annoying and whiny and ungrateful and pathetic and silly. I have issues now thanks to the Beast of College. But not for long (hopefully) because the weapon is about to be brandished soon enough. Unless the weapon fails to function as it is programmed to. In which case, I can only say, "Oh boy."

13. Lately, there have been many things discouraging me with each passing day. But God is always good. And so, there are also many things encouraging me with each passing day. So I am going to stop fretting right about now.

Completed unrelated to any of the above. Just can't help agreeing with the sentiment.

Everyday of my life was recorded in Your book. -Hillsong Kids



...I witnessed the grandest and most epic surprise birthday party in college ever. It was definitely a treat being behind the scenes to help out for a bit and it was even more of a treat to be able to participate in the surprise. I am very sure the birthday girl appreciates her friend who was the mastermind behind all this beyond words.

...I shopped for the first time with a friend since we arrived at the mall a little too late for the movie we had planned to watch. It was surprisingly fun and not dreary like I thought it would be because the friend had made the perfect company.

...I led Praise and Worship (P&W) session during CG for the first time tonight. I had butterflies in the pit of my stomach all day but was blessed with encouraging friends. When it was actually time for me to lead, I surrendered it into God's Hands and He took over. This will definitely not be the first and last time for me because there is nothing more rewarding than praising God.

...I completely lost my cool thanks to an unfortunate incident foolishly caused by an irresponsible dude. There are definitely more acerbic words out there to describe this particular dude but I will not go there because I am cool/chilled/calm/don't-feel-like-injuring-someone now. Or at least, for now.

...I read. A storybook. It felt really good because I had missed reading and still do.