Typing in Bed

This sounds absolutely ludicrous, but after years, I am finally typing in bed again.

It’s a thing because when I was much younger, say about 17, 18 years old, I used to love typing in bed, and just spilling my thoughts out. I would write an email newsletter to a range of friends and acquaintances. I would write on LiveJournal, this old blogsite that a lot of us had used back in the day. All these written on my white MacBook, and just rattling away on the built in keyboard.

It was that where I really enjoyed the idea of typing, and soon after I purchased my Apple Magic Keyboard, so that I could type more and more. I would type from a distance, because I could. And this kept up through my army days as well. I would write on the weekends, and every now and then, just type away on my bed as I thought through things before I slept. It was a really relaxing way to end the day.

There’s an imagery and scene in my head: view of the street below, with the orange yellow street lights that glowed through the rain trees. The flashes of the zebra crossing, and the cars driving past in sporadic intervals. And then of course, the white glow of the Apple Logo, mirrored against the window glass. Because I would be sitting there typing away, and hoping to make sense of my brain as I put it on an email. Or a post.

I’m back writing in bed again, after over 10 years.

Ok, that’s a dramatic statement.

I’m back writing in bed again, after some time, because I’ve got a keyboard that fits nicely on my lap, and I’m writing on my iPad, as part of WordPress apps that allow it. I couldn’t do this for the past few years, because my white MacBook from my teens, became way too slow. My MacBook Pro from 2014 has also slowed down dramatically, but more because of a faulty battery that I cant deal with so much. And the iMacs that I have cant be carried to bed to type.

But now, those technical difficulties are put away. More than that, I have a keyboard that is really of such an enjoyable quality, that I am encouraged to type more and more. Thus, this very long post about how I have a new keyboard. The night owl Joel, who loves to write and talk, has been reawakened!

Stay tuned for a lot more consistent posts… I hope.

Just to post something up

Been really busy thinking and planning many things, and even my rest time that I had planned for ended up becoming busy. That really just troubled me in some ways. The irony…

I can’t decide what’s my main focus of attention creatively, so I just thought to post this here, as a presence of my existence, for this very moment in time.

I exist.

Categorized as trisected

A Post Written in a Blur

Today, I cleared my IPPT.

It is the Individual Physical Proficiency Test, which all Singaporean Males, or those serving our National Service need to take annually. This test’s window is within birthday to birthday, and man, I am so tired out from it.

Today, I also did my work, needing to speak at a session.

As part of my tasks in my job, I need to speak, and moderate a session, in a sense. For those who know what I actually do, I’m making it as objective as possible because I think that this makes more sense in my monologue here.

Today, I attended a training the trainers session.

Also within my job scope, I have to attend some meetings that involve training, and today’s session was a training the trainers session. Which means, it was a lot more in depth than I would have preferred, but I still learnt a lot.

Today, I had cooked my meals, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And my wife cooked some for me too.

Cooking is a lot of management, and simultaneous management at that. Everything might boil over if you don’t watch it right. Or burn. Or both.

Today, I thought to make a keyboard to try and stay awake too.

Just some simple cleaning, wiping things down, swapping out some switches, that I’m typing on now. It’s a sweet typing experience. Can’t hear anything though, because they’re silent tactile switches (Boba U4).

and now, I decided to write a short post, just to remind myself never to pack my day so heavily ever again. Just say no to some things. It’ll help.

After Some Time…

After some time, we get used to things. We become familiar, and we understand how or why something goes a certain way. After some time, emotions and excitement fades. We take things for granted, and we take that as the norm, how things should be.

After some time, it’s good to take a moment to reflect. Is my life today something special? What’s special about today, and how have I gotten to this point? It’s a moment to be grateful, and to take stock of how we are so far.

But in through all this, time is key.

Instead of waiting for today to remember to be grateful, or for us to realise that certain ideas or thoughts have faded, what if we could control the when? What I mean is, if we do check ins periodically, would we ever lose that excitement, or would we ever forget to be grateful? Perhaps gratefulness would just be part of who we are, and every moment is cherished.

Or maybe it would become another system that we take for granted again, and this idea of when is just one that the human mind cannot fathom in the best way. Maybe having this up and down of remembering and forgetting is something that we just can’t really deal with, if its constant all the time. Something would just need to give way around this circle of life’s priorities.

When? After some time, that’s when.

Decompressing Time

I’ve been picking up running again, and it’s really been some time since I’ve done any long runs. I’ve been doing runs every now and then, but nothing consistently, and the past two weeks have been me trying my best to get these runs in.

Because of that, my heels are just dead. I’ve got blisters on blisters and they’re just so sore at times, that its hard to move my feet.

But I still run, and it gets me into a very interesting place mentally. I’m running and keeping a good stride, and it feels like every step I take pushes the ground beneath my feet. My breath is full in my chest, and I push on, and see either the sun set, or the sun rising.

And then, some cyclist with no lights rides by really close, with no ringing, and I get this shock of sorts, bringing me down immediately to the earth.

I hope I either find the best time to run without newbie cyclists, or I get a new route, that I can avoid these people with.

I need the run to decompress. There are many things that are stored in my head, and especially through a long day, I find myself not letting them out. I need my head for other things, like how to be nice to people, and how to manage things as a whole. But if I don’t decompress, it just stays there.

There’s probably a deeper scientific reason behind why this is so, and I would like to direct you there one day, but maybe for just today, run longer than you would imagine was possible for you. Maybe you’ve only run 2.4km because it was needed of you to run in school. Go longer than that. Not because you need to hit the distance, but run because you need to decompress too. It’s not about how well you run either, because sometimes when you put so much pressure on that, you run with more stress. Instead, think of moving one foot in front of each other in the simplest way possible.

Soon, you might be 10km in, and you’ll be enjoying your run a lot more than you had imagined. That’s where I found myself at, at least.

Constantly Communicating

I feel it, deep inside. This constant communication that we are linked to in the modern day.

Can you imagine years ago, when the Telephone was first being invented? At that time, the ability to call into your friend’s home must have seemed like a huge invention. And over time, it became a hassle when someone would call you, and you would need to answer, if not the ringing wouldn’t stop.

And then the emails came along, where we could send a letter, without the need to actually post mail. There would be no post man, and everything would be immediate. What an age! You could share your thoughts, and someone could reply you after that, without you having to wait. But then came along the need to reply, and work emails that we try to hide from as much as we can. Or view receipts, that you turn to to see if your friend or colleague had viewed your mail.

Two words: Instant Message. That was the end of it. No longer just an email, where there would be some what of a title, and a template to fill. Instead, just straight up what a phone call would be. Your friends live in your pocket. Good or bad? No one really knows, and the self help side of the bookstores lean more on the No than Yes.

That’s where we are today, with our instant messaging, with our constant communication. I feel it, deep inside me.

It’s not the pings from my friends that I feel. It’s a mix bag of emotions. I feel as if time runs out whenever I take too long to reply someone. I feel as if I did not think hard enough if I pressed enter too quickly. I feel as if the world needs to know and doesn’t really want to know all at once. But I need to share, to make sure they know, right? I need to use my Mechanical Keyboard, to type a message quickly enough, so that they are aware, and that they Do know.

Also because typing messages with a mechanical keyboard is Oh So Satisfying. What could go wrong?

But this constant communication that I feel inside me, makes me feel exposed, dried out. I feel too much, because I keep on going and going.

And I’m typing this post, so that I’m not offloading this to just one person, or a group of friends, but at least to somewhere constructive, where my verbal rants would matter somehow. Somehow placed into a series of paragraphs that would egg on my constant communication.

And I guess now, I’m about ready to stop communicating. I hope you would communicate with me, whoever you are, reading this. Just say hi, just because you can. 😀

My 2nd Anniversary

In case you did not know, I am married. Married for two years at that. It’s something that I am extremely proud about, because I think making a marriage work for two years is a lot of effort. There were many times when I feel like just throwing everything away and just calling it quits. There were fierce fights, and real debates about how things ought to be done. And it feels silly, especially when you look back at it. Worse still, it feels silly if you hear someone telling you, “Oh when you’re getting ready for marriage, remember to be chill about dish washing.” I will honestly say that dish washing has caused a lot more pain than I expected. It’s so strange, because I think the love that we see from our parents, or some old couple walking along the street, it’s just not that easy. It’s a lot of friction, and it can really hurt.

But I’m proud because I think Clarice and I have really had that friction and grown past that in huge ways. We’re really not the same people that we had fell in love with. Some parts have remained, but others have grown. I have grown. I am really a different person. I don’t dislike it in any way, I just know that I am really in a good place now, and it took a lot of effort to get here. I am proud, really proud, of our partnership.

I hope one day I’ll read this post again, and be reminded of how happy and proud I am of my marriage. It is truly a beautiful thing.

What and Where

When thinking about what to do, I’m always stuck with this issue: What should I do, and where should it go?

“What to do” is always an easy one to start with: Paint a picture, write a blog post, cut a video together. But then when you pair it with “Where should this piece go?” then you get into this huge question of what’s the best approach, how do we get as many eyes on this as possible, and the list of it goes on.

But today, like the past few days, I’ll just make these things for myself. On places that I’ll see, and where I’ll appreciate. Hopefully, that helps me to get back to making things easier. Simple. I hope.

The Haunting Past

Every now and then, I sit down and look through the things that I have done before. I don’t usually plan these sessions. I don’t think anyone intentionally goes through a heart wrenching time to reflect on the things that are totally shameful internally. I might be cleaning my room, and I stumble on a box of letters, or a random picture reminding me of a time before, or worse still, chancing on an old picture of a person or myself even.

If your memory is bad, you might just look at it and even wonder how that photo was taken. But if your memory is pretty solid, you get this huge roller-coaster of anxiety, emotion, nostalgia. Regret becomes one of the biggest things you end up with in your hands. Looking back at the person you were, and really regretting being that guy.

I don’t think I was ever proud of who I was. I might be really quite happy with who I am today, but it was shaped from a lot of frustration, and a lot of failed attempts at trying to be someone I’m not. On Reddit, the relevant thread is “r/blunderyears“. I was indeed a huge blunder, and it’s really hard to come to terms with what I did as a teenager navigating social spaces. I used to text girls randomly, trying to just go out on dates, and failing horribly. I had emails and letters from ex-girlfriends, who I cheated on, because I had no idea how to deal with relationships and time apart. There were notes where I had tried to be cool in front of other guys, only to find out that I had not been cool at all.

There were really so many things that I was struggling with in my own head, that I took out on the people around me. They watched me make a mess of so many things, and some of them still stuck around. Some of them became my best men at my wedding. My family also watched me struggle through these things, and they were there, loving me still, and encouraging me to do the right things.

All this really changes the way that I care for people now. It’s silly, if I were shown so much love and grace, for me not to pay it forward. Then I really wouldn’t have learnt much. It would be just a sad older person, doing the same silly things, and not changing. I learnt how to care, how to stick around, even if someone was not doing the best or ideal thing in their lives. I learnt how to listen, the same way friends had listened to me. That’s definitely shaped who I am today, and who I hope to grow to become more and more. I can be better, because I’ve been shown how to be a better person. It’s the regret in my hands, that restrains me from behaving badly again.

So when you stumble across items from the past, remember who you were, and embrace it. Remember that that was you, and not who you are today. But at the same time, remember the people that were around you then, and thank them. They stuck around when they really didn’t need to, when you didn’t deserve it. They helped you out when you really didn’t help yourself. That’s grace, and that’s love. Remember to be better today.