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Of Hell and Pain

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"Hell needs not be constructed against the stereotypical background of raging conflagration and demons with horns."
Indeed it doesn't.

Hell can be literal. It can be metaphoric. It could be a hyperbole.

It does not need to be constructed against the dichotomous notion of heaven: there isn't just Hell at one end and then Heaven at the other end. It is a continuous variable constructed on an imaginary HELL-HEAVEN spectrum. It can possibly look something like this:

Hell with Satan --> Hell without Satan --> Temporary Hell --> Kinda Hell --> Hyperbolic Hell --> Slightly morose life --> Neutral life --> Better than neutral life --> Good life! --> Semblance to Heaven --> Heaven? --> Heaven! --> Heaven with angels and harp

Okay, that was really a whole bunch of nonsense. If you read it and believed it, I feel so sorry for you buying all the nonsense that I have conjured out of nothing.

Oh, and just in case any religious zealots see this as a post condemning or insulting religion or what not, please don't. By Hell and Heaven I am in no way referring to any religion. Instead imagine Hell and Heaven as in those in popular fiction novels and stuff like that. And if this post is going to offend you, please don't read it and then allow yourself to be offended and then offend me back by sending me hate mails. (Although I do like reading hate mails.)

What was I saying?

Oh yes, Hell doesn't have to be underground. (Yeah wonder why must hell be underground and heaven be up in the sky?? I mean, in the skies it is cold and freezing, and underground is warm and toasty. And of course underground you would have much less chance of falling and dying.)

Okay, I can't even remember what I wanted to say. I wanted to tell you all that once I felt like I was in hell. For maybe a month to two? But then I found a coping mechanism which is pain.

It is not what you think. I wasn't self-harming, so please don't freak out.

I have a feeling that you are going to freak out anyway, so here is a disclaimer: I didn't cut myself or anything like that or try to throw myself off stairs to deliberately injure myself. In fact I live a rather safe life watching out for traffic, avoiding cars, avoiding falling objects and treasuring my life.

What I meant is that I developed a higher tolerance for pain. Constructive pain, that is.

Do you remember when I fell off the bus when I was in JC1? My elbow and my knees were horribly mangled from the fall and I cried when I saw how bad it was. I had a lower tolerance for pain and blood then.

I think I am better now.

Which is a triumphant twist for me - it makes picking up new skills like skating and other-potentially-painful activities a lot easier.

Okay I will not digress from the topic.

Basically I discovered that I wasn't as adverse to the whole idea of getting injured as I was before. And in the past couple of months, I have developed more bruises from skating practice than I have had in my entire adolescence life (starting from the point when I stopped tripping over my own feet).
I wasn't particularly affected by the cuts, bruises and abrasions. Some of the injuries are worse, some better.

I am secretly proud of myself for being so emotionless in acquiring these bruises.

Physical bruises heal. It is all a matter of time.

The skills picked up are permanent.

So all in all, it is pretty much worth it.

So yep, I wasn't very careful in trying to avoid falling or injuring myself during practice. I wasn't being very safe. It was fine though, since I was still alive and kicking.

(I can't remember what else to write, so I would end this post here.)

Change

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"If change is the only constant, then there is no real constant." 
It intrigues me that how impressionable and changeable we are - how very so that I, too, am.

I once promised myself I won't change myself (assuming that I subconsciously referred to my strengths rather than weaknesses) even in the face of insurmountable pressure. Unlike those spineless wimps who cave in to the imagined societal pressure, I who possess a backbone crafted out of titanium and carbon fiber will hold true to myself.

Which begs the question: what is the concept of Self in the first place?

It is imagined, perhaps as much as it is precipitated out of other's construction of your identity. I won't belabor this post by delving into extra and unnecessary elucidation about the philosophy of self, but bear this in mind as you read: the self is a changing and fluid identity (yes, SE1101 reference).

So here is the nexus of today's post.

I have changed. I am changing. I am not sure for the better or for the worst, but I would like to see it is a miniature form of evolution that is going on in my own mind and body to allow me to adapt better to my surroundings.

I am changing to protect myself better, but that could also mean that I might hurt others more.

Nah, that's a false dichotomy. My self-protection doesn't necessitate the emotional wounding of another.

That  made me feel marginally better.

I won't hold on as much anymore. It takes two to clap. I might have been exhausted and burnt out from trying, and maybe in time I will try again, but at the moment, I do my part and leave the rest out to a combination of fate and another's effort.

Change is not entirely a bad thing.
It is merely a new thing.

I do ponder why people throw out sentences like "You have changed." with the same level of gravity that a judge convicts a criminal of murder.

It happens all the time. Discretely or outlandishly.

So I have changed. Some days I look back upon myself from just half a year ago and miss her alacrity.

The same night whitening the same trees,
We of that time, are no longer the same.
- Pablo Neruda         

Skating

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Author's note: By the time this is published, it is already one week late. So eeks. Procrastination much. 

I realized that I always blog about things that make me upset but not so much the enjoyable parts of my life. That means that I am severely misrepresenting my life, and of course we wouldn't want to paint an emo image of ourselves.

I am a bright and happy peep.

Skating makes me brighter and happier as a peep.

Let's wind back in time to yesterday (Wednesday, 4th November). It was one of the awesomest skating nights ever (although it is rather hard to define the boundaries of awesome because everything about skating is just awesome).

Foremost, I didn't die. That's something we have to celebrate about because I didn't wear my guards (yes, note the emphasis) skating around in Utown in my bandage skirt and somehow I didn't fall. I didn't trip. I didn't kill anyone else. I didn't kill myself.

I think that means I am a pro at skating already. How many of you guys can actually skate in a tight bandage rather short skirt? Okay I will stop with the narcissism here~ *beams*

I fell asleep whilst trying to study for Singapore Society (GES module) after that, and yes I agree that my finals are going to take a huge hit because of the amount of time I am investing in skating but I believe that I wasn't born with an arguably high IQ for nothing so I can do pretty well. I am relatively certain of that. (I mean take Singapore Soceity midterms for example, I didn't study for it, and I got a pretty good grade for my essay, though 1 mark higher and it would have been perfect.)

Really I need to stop with the overwhelming self praise. (I rock, really)

At around 3.40pm I met QY - our skating sensei and one of the best seniors anyone can ask for - at Food clique where I of course proceeded to boast about my aforementioned skating skills. On the hindsight, I should be terribly ashamed because it is like the Chinese proverb that describes a greenhorn boasting about his skills to a master. Yes, you can imagine how QY must be secretly sniggering at me, but nah we know he is not that evil.

Then we skated around, sans guards, to find Sarah at ERC. I realized then that I love skating with my hair down partly because my head hurts less from the pressure of the rubber band - I usually tie quite firmly to keep the hair up, and I think that is a major cause of balding. For girls at least.

Sarah is absolutely adorable. Even in glasses I would rate her 8/10. Super cute and super sweet.

We went back to Food Clique and Nick is already there and we decided to have an early skating session at 4.30pm because everyone was so happy and enthusiastic. Best part was that Jocelyn came and that means we have more people and it is no longer the usual awesome QY-Nick-Sarah-Me dinner session. It was awesomer. (But also a lot more confusing.)

Jocelyn is really sweet and awesome. I realize that I am abusing the word awesome, but it would be too bombastic to call people "fantastic, amazing, extraordinary", so I am sticking to awesome.

We went to buy Starbucks Christmas one-for-one, which is really not that nice, ESPECIALLY NOT GINGERBREAD.

Readers, you have been forewarned to not buy Gingerbread unless you want to throw away the drink. I had to cajole, coerce and sweettalk people into helping me finish my drink. Jocelyn took one sip, shuddered and refused to drink again. QY did the same thing. So in the end the drink was still half finished when we dumped it. Oh JX drank a huge amount of the unsavory drink. Yikes!

If I were to rate the Christmas drinks it would be like...
1. Chocolate Peppermint mocha
2. Toffee Nut
3. Panettone
100. Gingerbread

It doesn't matter that there are only four drinks - Gingerbread is still going to be last even if there are nothing between 4 and 99.

And then before that we had some cruel fun rating the physical appearance of guys. I was particularly cruel because yes, I can be. We were using someone (shall not be named) as a benchmark of average look (5/10), so what does that make some-two (shall not be named either)? QY says some-two is a 6/10, I said he is a 2.5 to 3 out of a 10.

Of course that made Nick, Sarah and Joyce super confused since 6 is above average and 3 is just miserable.

I did clarify that I am cruel in rating (that day).

So in the confusion, we clarified what are our standards for good looking. Now, you have to bear in mind that QY is a guy and I am a girl, so of course benchmarks are already different. I proffer that my personal standards means that the basis of good looking means one has to be quite tall and not skinny. It is nothing against skinny peeps, just a matter of personal preferences.

To illustrate our points, we put classify QY as slim and Nick as not slim. (I suspected both experienced a momentary existential crisis to be used as benchmarks, so guys, this is exactly why we should not label people. Tsk~!)

QY rates Nick an 8/10 (Nick was right next to him, but we will not question the validity of the rating), and gave himself a horizontal 8.

Geddit?

8 -> 

It means he is infinitely good looking.

I sometimes do wonder how we all manage to skate with our heads the size of genetically-modified giant watermelons. I think mine would be the biggest, but shh, no one knows and I am good at appearing to be humble. :3

Oh I nearly died down the MPSH slope. Yes it officially has a name. It is "The MPSH Slope".

It was all going fine at first and my t-stop was in perfect control UNTIL we hit the road hump in the middle, because it is 1. uneven and 2. accelerates me for some odd reason which meant that my foot that was t-stopping slid out of control and I was going parallel down the slope and hurtling quickly.

Now QY foresaw that I was going to murder myself there (since no matter how I boasted), he insisted on being in front, which turned out to be a very good thing because after we hit the bump, I flew forward and yes my heart stopped and I freaked out and forgot how to bring back my T-stop and I would have probably crashed and got sent to NUH if not for QY.

I think it is a good thing NUH is so nearby. At least it decreases the travelling time to NUH.

I murdered JX later when I was practicing going down the slope. It was a horribly bad fall for the both of us because I tried to go past him once I realized I was losing control and by right I wasn't supposed to go past him because that means he can't stop me. So we both ended up crashing into the floor when he tried to stop me from crashing and I would say that his fall is worse since OUCH NO GUARDS. But guards didn't do much good for me....

(I paused writing here because my fingers hurt, and I regret to inform all that by the time I return to finish this post one week later, I really can't remember much of what happened. So....)

TADAAA!

THE END.

Someday

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Someday, you will find it within you to appreciate the tragic beauty of things broken and torn. Someday, I am saying, perhaps not today.

Someday I will find within me the courage to be the first to let go and last to hold on, the last to break down and the first to heal.

But on another day I will realize that it is not courage that we are talking about but a hardening of the heart.

Your heart will try to harden to protect itself from harm. It might crust over and it might even disappear.

Pray, don't let that happen.

Never let anyone to have the capacity to change the heart that you once had.