0177 – Fate

Is there such a thing?

My organic chemistry lecturer, with a funny and quirky personality, told this story. In this experiment, each student was given a solid unknown and was supposed to walk around to find another person with the same compound. She said, "In all my fifteen years teaching this class, I can guarantee you that this experiment has resulted in one marriage. It’s true. They met during this experiment. It’s on their website for the longest time."

You see, this is how to make learning fun.

Regardless of its truthfulness, it was a lighthearted story that brightens up my day. I love this teacher.

Anyway, so is this merely a coincidence, or is it fate? Unanswerable, perhaps. Yet, what else can I attribute my being here in America, my getting a scholarship, my being in this tumultuous journey to?

I believe in fate.

A question that is asked very often in personality quizzes is "Do you believe you have total control over your life?"

I often say no. Sometimes I say yes. It depends on the moment. I am not quite sure of myself.

If one think fate controls one’s life, it’s easy to just blame fate for everything that has gone wrong. I’ve experienced this. However, sometimes, we just have unrealistic expectations that only good things should happen to us. One bad break, we moan and groan.

We also sometimes don’t try hard enough. When things fail, we have fate to blame those failures on. I’m a Buddhist but I’ve heard this Christian phrase, "God helps those who helps themselves."

I blame things on fate too. I ask "Why must this happen to me?" I ask "Why am I feeling this way?" I ask "Why can’t I do this?" I ask "Why am I suffering so bad?"

Little quip: Nobody dies a virgin. Life screws us all.

But you know what, I’m going to try to fight harder. I’m fighting hard already, but maybe hard is not enough.

So don’t give up. Don’t quit. Because this is your one life, one love, one lifetime.


0176 – A new dawn, a new day, a new life

Every moment in life is but a path we walk through. Every moment is a new day, a new life. Stepping out of my comfort zone of Singapore into the land of the free, I sense endless possibilities, and endless ramifications. Unless you are God, your future, like mine, is a cloud of mist. I don’t know if I’m walking in the right direction. I don’t know where I’m gonna end up.

Every life decision is a major one. I have to make countless of them. Actually, I get obsessed with them. I never stop thinking about them. Now I’m thinking.. you know.. I might just have to find a way to stop thinking about them, because every step leads to a new dawn , a new day and a new life.

Surviving college is more challenging that I expected. I have to struggle with understanding the American culture, trying to make friends, trying to beat the crap out of others and get the research project that I really want, trying to make time for everything that I want to do, AND trying to excel academically. Should I do a double degree? I don’t know.

It’s really a crucial period, I feel. It’s like.. the bridge between childhood and adulthood. It is during this period that I have to make the tough decisions, learn things on my own, be fully fully independent. Sometimes Often, we as humans make the wrong choice. But that’s okay. We’re humans. It’s a cloud of mist we’re looking at. We never know what we’re going to get.

Right now, I’m trying to make a really really important decision. I’m seeing a gloomy, ominous dense cloud of mist before me. I don’t know what to do. Once I step in, I can’t back out.

What do I really want? I ask myself.

If you’re the select few who are convinced of the answer you have to that question, good for you. I’m not one of them. Even people who think they know they have the answer to that question change their minds later on. We never know. We never know.

So… I guess the only thing left in life is trail and error (albeit a calculated one)?


"But…," you might argue, "the fear!"

Ah the fear… I do feel the fear. It’s almost overwhelming. It consumes you alive.

Still, what is life, if not a series of choices strung together?

Make your own choice. Live your own life.

Because I know the reward of self-fulfillment is divine.

One day, I would like to be able to sing this portion of My Hallelujah Song (by Julianne Hough – one of my favorites) with all of my heart and conviction,

Look at me, can’t believe
I finally made it here
Feeling like I’m where I belong
Singing my hallelujah song

Hard to find, took some time
But I think that I might be hittin’
On what’s been missing all along

And lastly, to quote Melanie Oudin’s shoes, I believe.

0175 – Uncalled-for changes

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. It feels deserted.

Just as I started to see some real beauty wonder of the world, reality hit me again. I went to University of Michigan. I miss my best friend. I miss all my friends and I find it very hard to make new ones. I didn’t want these changes.

I didn’t expect to become so attached to the Thai scholars either, but it just happened. You know, I had fun. I didn’t think about Buddhist ideals much. I didn’t think about my academic future.

Maybe it’s time to just.. let life be. I’m starting to feel like maybe I shouldn’t care too much about academics – it’s okay to get Cs and it’s okay not to get that double degree that I wanted. I still want that, but maybe sometimes we all just force life too hard. Life needs some freedom too.

Maybe I can do crazy and wild things. Maybe I don’t have to feel guilty when I am not in touch with the Buddhist way of life. Man, I gotta chill. Believe in what I wanna believe. I barely understand myself most of the time. Why make life more complicated?

I really don’t like these uncalled-for changes, but I guess I gotta learn to get over it.

But do I really wanna try to forget the past that I so dearly cling on to right now? I don’t know. Some things are worth clinging on to, but these things inevitably pull us back. Gotta decide which and when to keep, and when to let go.