Tv sitcoms were never really my kinda thing, not until I started devouring episodes after episodes of himym racing to catch up to the finale.
Not many shows can be that relatable to one’s life. But this show, despite of all it’s nonsense, spoke so deeply into what a person truly experiences about life’s ups and downs, how life may not be how as one has planned but still have so many more lessons in store for you.


Till more next time.


Apple or passionfruit? Make your mistake.


Guan dropped by today and though he didn’t stay for long, it’s really nice reading what he wrote. Sometimes it may not seem that guys write cards that frequently, but through the two years somehow you can tell if that particular guy is a card person haha and yeah both of us pretty much are. (I’m straight just in case you’re wondering I’m gay over him, no please keep those thoughts outta your head.)
He adapted many quotes which meant a lot and reading them does bless one’s soul.
Using the street directory as a metaphor for life is indeed so relevant. We see the big picture of life, as though everything has been planned out on a map. But sometimes when we take a twist or turn, we may encounter crossroads or deadends and we are at a lost of how to carry on. It’s a journey, things happen unexpectedly and even if it seems like it’s a wrong turn, good things will come along that path and that’s how new discoveries are made in this special gift we are given- the gift of life.
Such lessons, reflections are invaluable. No matter how hard one studies for a test, life lessons will never be picked up, if we don’t experience life for itself.
So why all the emotional, reflective posts of late? It’s not because I’m mentally vulnerable and can’t help turning into this emotional wreck every night. As you know, I’m currently nursing this injury I had sustained two weeks ago and thus I’m having all the free time in the world to sit back and really think about life a little bit more and recently, much to my surprise the number of readers of my little online refuge has gone up a fair bit haha.
To be honest I really do not know who these people are but whoever you guys really are, I do hope after reading, you can get inspired and pick yourselves up if you do find yourselves in valley lows or if you’re just the average casual page glancer who also has too much free time. Why not sit back and think more of what you want to get out from your life in the near future or so, what new stories do you want to pen down for yourself? In anycase it’s great knowing there are people out there who enjoy reading stuff here. 🙂
For today, it’s more about undercovering one’s passion, that inner desire in you that burns so strongly you just have to learn more and more about as days pass. What drives you? That insatiable hunger you have for something that never ceases to end. If you haven’t quite figured, then you’re pretty much stuck in this rut with me.
I’ve told people, “I have passion for the outdoors, I have passion for the media.” But have I shown it? Maybe a teeny weeny bit for the outdoors part, but other than that, academically, no. I can’t find any passion in the books. I always remember the talks I had with odac.

Yeah this bunch of people, okay maybe not every single one of them. But whenever the opportunity came and you just start asking each other what they truly love doing. Some love to teach kids so much, they volunteered to give free tuition, another loved the military he was so sure he’ll sign on haha and always trying to pull me in (but nah I’ll never sell my soul to the armed forces), another good pal found joy after hearing a doctor share about serving others and he has done us proud by hoping to pursue medicine. We too had a couple of dudes who really loved numbers, math and things financial and there is also this girl who love animals so much that she always dreamed of being a vet and even though she ran into some difficulties, still joined paws to help those little critters.
So yes, I was pretty much surrounded by people who know their passions yet everytime such talks left hanging on my end. Everytime the question was thrown back at me, “so Darren, what’s yours?” I had nothing much to say.
To face the truth, I have not found what I can honestly and sincerely say I will love doing for life.
Since young, life in generally was along the path called “mainstream”. I conformed to things around me, did what seemed to be the right thing, never really stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new. (okay partially cause I was bullied for a while so I tried keeping to myself at times, but I’ll save that story for the future if we do run into that topic again.)
But yeah, I didn’t go for any particular classes, special lessons or stuff like that to find out whether I truly had a knack or liking for something. While some found their true love for a particular sport or musical instrument or a form of art, I was just being the kid most kids grow up to be-dumb, dull and destined average adults, who go on to lead mainstream lives. (Mum and dad, if you were to read this, don’t kill me. I’m not saying you guys didn’t give me the chance to explore, I’m saying how foolish I was to not ask you guys for the chance to let me explore.)
I was into soccer as a kid, always loved playing the game, but never took it further than mere leisure kicking around at the park near my house in those younger years.
Then as I grew up, singing and music caught up with me. I started making videos of covers, but was always shy to sing in front of people.
Looking back, I wondered why, why I didn’t take these interests to the next level. To find out more about them and see where I could go from there.
I was too afraid, too afraid to make a mistake. My parents were afraid, afraid of making a mistake.
Put those together and we are a bunch of people fearing to make mistakes. But without ever risking to make a mistake, how will we ever know it is a mistake, how will we learn from the mistake to not make future mistakes. If we do not give ourselves a chance, just one shot at things, life will forever be on it’s auto repeat as to how our ancestors have led their lives, cause we are so scared to make the mistake we just follow and lead lives similar to theirs.
We need mistakes in our lives, that’s the truth it is through mistakes we realise how important particular matters, people or issues mean to us. Without it, life will be boring and by not making mistakes we cannot find adventure.
It’s time to cut out following the mainstream. Being a professional- a doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer. I ain’t saying they are not good, but even though some people find their passion in those, that’s not me. As much security as those stuff bring and with the knowing that things won’t go wrong choosing those paths, in the long run things will work out. But life will be lacking something, that something starting with a P and that’s passion. Without it, things will not pick up once it hits a plateau.
But then again, how to find the passion?
We can only find out by following one’s gut. It may be a mistake, but we will sort it out then. However, it’ll definitely be better than not daring to suffer a mistake wouldn’t it? For who knows, if it was the right roll of the dice, it’s just the beginning of something great.

I need strength.

It’s amazing how a simple text message can be so taunting. To get a text from my sergeant saying maybe I need not do bmt again by just going for my live firing really hit me hard. Cause the fact that I still can’t walk is really What’s driving me up the wall. So many things I can’t do, so many doubts and worries.
Every night I sleep hoping to be able to ditch the crutches and stand once again on my own two legs, literally. Having been to two open houses on crutches and using the wheelchair while meeting so many people was a whole different experience. Knowing that so many people out there cares and at the same time realizing how badly you had screwed up really tears one to pieces.
Gonna see the sports doctor in three days and to get my diagnosis of whether my army life can be salvaged and steered back on path. I fear the worst, and I know I can manage this alone. I pray for strength from anywhere, that additional push to get me through this nightmare and ordeal.
Praying for some good news this coming Wednesday and praying that I can at least walk soon.

I want my life back.


Thanks for coming bros, means a lot to take time off precious book out to come and see how I’m getting along. Especially since your field camp is next week! All the best guys, know y’all will do odac proud.
Been a week now since the nightmare, been settling at home pretty well I would say apart from the increasing muscle aches I get at my calves and lap which has gone blue-black because of adding too much pressure on. But life home now is quite dull and mundane since I can’t do anything I want or hope to do.
Still in the early stage of this comeback, not knowing of the diagnosis plagues me with fear sometimes. I really hope to face it real soon and learn that my condition will be Alright. There will be more physio sessions in the midst of recovery, before I can finally walk normally, with ease or even run again.
Really learnt how to treasure what I used to have, what I would say I have taken for granted.
Oh God bless me please, bless me with a speedy recovery.
I wanna do my extreme sports again, I want my route marches, I want my field camp, I want my btp, my bic, I want to POP.
so help me.

Be grateful for the smallest of things.


Been several days since the horror occurred, but through this all I’m beginning to pick up several lessons which I figured would not have matter to me if I were back in camp now.
Thankful for friends who care and show concern when you’re down, many platoon mates all wishing me well and asking me to stay strong, will really miss them with the fact we can’t pop together. But also glad to have met some close friends there even though it’s just a month.
Even more thankful for these few who came over (plus melv but he left early) and just sit around sharing about life, Lol counting melv’s pay and just hearing my story of how it all happened.
Life is that fragile and unexpected and when things turn for the worse, look not at what tragedy may unfold before your eyes but what may be presented to you as a gift through the tumultuous period.


Thanks for the spiritual encouragement ming and for the faith you have in me to rise back up from this fall. This is just a new challenge set out for me in 2014 and I’m just living it and ready to say: “Yes. I have overcame it!”

Never expected this to happen.

Still can’t believe something like this will happen. Who would have thought so, definitely not I. 4 weeks everything seemed to be going smoothly, even I am starting to have much fun in camp seeing my friends and as I get to know them better help each other while we look forward to POP.
But life isn’t a wish granting machine and freak accidents happen. The last thing you probably want is one to happen to you. And guess what, looks like I ain’t that lucky and am in for a ride. I just can’t believe my luck, like honestly this could happen to so many but me and it has to be me.
Just days after collecting results and as the week was about to come to an end, I thought it was going to be another normal week, another normal book out, another normal book in before field camp week. Already looking forward to finally going outfield and getting all dirty and muddy as I return to my odac roots and a matter of such gravity has to occur. Tough luck. They say you can’t change the cards you’re dealt in life, only the way you can play them.
It was only another round of going through soc (my sixth time in fact). But one thing was different- it was going to be a time trial and me being me wanted to give my all, my best my utmost effort. The adrenaline rush was not unfamiliar, the same rush and desire to excel just like in school. As I made my way up to the starting line, I was already raring to go. Before the whistle went off, I already made a dash.
Oi! Who say you can go. At that point something struck me. It was this feeling that I was going to do it and do it well either that or I was going to screw up somewhere. Low wall cleared, stepping stones cleared, in super quick time some more. Then as I approached the even lower wall and got ready to do a c grip to get over it, the coming down part was tricky, I got stuck, I worried, time was ticking away, I had to hurry. Throwing myself forward, the left leg was supposed to land first, but who knows what I was trying to do, my right went down and everything happened so fast, like a flash, I couldn’t even see it coming. But the leg went down and I couldn’t get a firm stand in went the foot and I heard a sound. Something unpleasant and my knee wobbled. I tried standing, I could. Forcing myself I walked towards the medic point I thought I was okay, I thought I was going to be fine, I thought wrong. The worse was about to happen.
Resting at the medic spot as it was time to return, I started to walk and suddenly my whole right knee gave way inwards. I fell down and as I crumbled so helplessly the inner bone of my right knee jutted out and that gave me a horrifying scare. Expletives were the first reactions I could give while my eyes just shut out in excruciating pain. I could still see the dislocation in my right knee.
I was at a loss I tried bending my leg but it wouldn’t budge, only to some greater force and a sudden pull did the knee get back in shape, first signs of thanking my stars. In a flash it was just like scenes you watch in medical shows, swarmed by medics I was soon loaded up and ready to be sent away. Lying down in the vehicle was probably the start where my mind started to wander. Thoughts crept into my head like a demon trying to inflict every single negativity it could. Looking forlornly at my sirs standing outside I felt their sense of disappointment as they shook their heads and I myself feared the worst. The drive to the medical centre seemed like ages, lying helplessly all I could do was close my eyes and hope for the best. I still thought the injury will not be fatal.
They wheeled me in and within minutes I was stripped down to my undies. They cut open my pants and bootlaces, I was horrified, what will happen to my boots and pants now??? (But honestly that should be the least of my worries right?) The doctors who came in did several checks raising my right leg up and down, pressing here and there and were shocked the bending revealed no pain. I myself was surprised I felt nothing. Could it be, that I had lost my limb? Nah can’t be I thought to myself. The doctors look to each other and muttered a few terms I couldn’t quite comprehend all I hope for was a diagnosis that wouldn’t be too serious after what I seen had happened at the soc ground.
The assessment was over in a jiffy faster than I thought it would take but I still felt like I couldn’t walk, they continue to let my lie down, pants stripped and covered with a blanket. Slowly, one by one the doctors left and so did the medics. They went into the other room apparently there was another recruit there, only that I didn’t know. But as time passed the medical centre grew quieter, gradually it became empty and I was left alone in that cold room lying on the stretcher upon a stainless steel frame. My hands shivered as I stared at the whitewashed ceiling, it was literally like lying on the bed in a hospital waiting for your time to be up (touchwood!) Close to an hour I laid there like a specimen ready for examination, like a lab rat ready to be tested on. The lights remained on so sleeping was out of the question. All I did was close my eyes and think of what was going to happen next. Soon many thoughts floated into my mind.
Was I going to be able to finish bmt? The idea of having to recourse strongly surfaced amongst my thoughts. Would I still be able to go to OCS? What if I have to down pes, that would mean no more command school. At that point in time I knew I had screwed up big time. Of all people it had to be me. I felt so stupid so ignorant, to have want to rush the course. One stupid action and probably coupled with some bad luck landed me in the state I am now.
Initial thoughts was largely on my foolishness but most of it was filled with fear of not finishing what I had set myself out to do since the very first day of bmt. In front of all the sirs and doctors I tried to be brave, and take it like how an officer would take it. But deep down the sadness at the realization of making this mistake was engulfing me. Only after an hour plus did the doctor return to check on me and said what he suspected happened to my knee.
“We suspect you tore your acl.”
“That doesn’t sound good at all.” I thought to myself.
“What would that mean sir?” I asked the doctor.
“Well for sure you will have to oot” I cringed once I heard it but kinda expected it coming, but the next part threw me into a frenzy.
“And if it’s an acl you have to down pes.” He looked sorry, but nothing more than that, heartless and straight to the point.
At that moment I wanted to get up and react, but I was hopeless. I took a deep breath as he left the room and tried holding back my emotions. I closed my eyes and thought hard the words “down pes” echoed within my head.
And for real now.
The fear was immense.
The fear was so real. For the first time since enlistment day.
I was fearful.
I pictured myself being a Clark while my friends all go through their commissioning parade. How I felt I let down my parents, how I felt I have let down you after the pact. I didn’t want to down pes, all I questioned was Why this happened to me. But I couldn’t do anything, but pray for the best, pray that it wasn’t an acl.
I had to remain positive. That was the only way I will be able to pass this test.
Having lain there for a while now finally they got me crutches and I finally tried to get up. It was difficult and I feared touching my knee after seeing how weak it has become. They speed ferry me out of the island and I went past my company line. Seeing the platoon that I was in charge of just two days ago preparing for their field camp next week the disappointment to not complete this bmt with these buddies I had started out with pained me. Unwillingly we left tekong and arrived at changi general hospital. The impatience in me grew as I hope to find out what exactly went wrong with my knee but alas the diagnosis wasn’t known and I had to wait till two weeks later. Today just wasn’t my day.
I called back home to let them know of my status and thank God they didn’t rage nor got overly worried. But for the first time in weeks I was sad I was home or rather I came home feeling down and depressed.
I just couldn’t believe it. I tried settling down and doing things on my own but was helpless like a baby most of the time. I couldn’t stand seeing myself have to be so reliant on my parents. But this is how life is going to be for now. I steadied myself and got ready to go to bed in the hall with the ceiling fan vibrating ever so loudly. I couldn’t sleep no matter how hard I tried. Thoughts of not being able to have a normal national service kept me awake. I slept and woke up at hourly intervals. To scratch the incessant mosquito bites and think about what was to come. Above all thoughts I had since the start of this nightmare till the time I woke up at 5 in the morning.
I still wondered: of all people, why me?

Results day



The chapter of this monster A levels has finally come to a close with us receiving our results yesterday. Been so long since I last blogged about What’s going on in this pretty much aimless and mediocre life of mine.
The weekend was probably the longest I will get in bmt and I’m glad to have spent it with people who I cherish a lot. From the first intentions of going to Ms Ng’s house to end up returning to VJ to talk about life before ending with a dinner at simpang with jov, ming, gene and chin.
Results day finally came and I must say going to amped was a good way to keep our minds of what results we were going to get pretty well cause we literally jumped our worries away for that one hour, everyone was going nuts doing stunts and just falling around everywhere. An hour of pure laughter and smiles brought much peace to the heart for this light hearted atmosphere was traded with an extremely tense one in the hall as we sat down and awaited the principal’s address. The knowledge of hearing how well the school did raised my hopes of really pulling off a miracle just like in one of my dreams but when the time really came and I saw the results. I wouldn’t say my heart sank but rather I just stared at it and hesitated before taking a seat in front of my teacher. I zoned out and was kinda in a blank state of mind. 
Walking back with the result slip I didn’t know what to say for the initial 15 minutes it was a weird moment as we all counted our rank points and as I heard of how well others have fared. And you always will feel inadequate when you get results short of others and may never seem satisfied. But that emptiness in me was in fact me going through the process of facing reality.
First is realization. I realized the results I got wasn’t as good as expected.
Second is acceptance. I kept silent to myself, stared at the alphabets and look up to see the world, internalized whatever I saw, breathe a sigh of relief and accept it.
Third is recollection. Gather your thoughts of the past, were your actions the cause of an unfavourable outcome now? If it doesn’t seem so then think about the whole process in general were there times that made this process worthwhile? If there were then understand, will you want to trade the process something experienced through a few years for a mere better result that gives satisfaction for a few hours? For me I wouldn’t trade my JC life for anything else.
Lastly, move on. Taking that slip I slot it into the bag and happily forgot about what the day was actually meant for.
The range of emotions in the hall widely varied from shouts and screams on one side of the hall you can see a handful of others in tears while some just leave the hall quietly. And that’s the sad part of being in a top institution where majority of the cohort performs outstandingly but not forgetting the smaller groups of friends who may not have done sufficiently well. We live in a world that is never fair, people who may have worked their ass off may not have got What’s desired and those who couldn’t care less may receive a miracle. How do we explain that? Our merit based society will only look at that final grade and conclude about your two years spent in this school. Without that decent alphabet it will be tough to explain yourselves to future employers and interviewers. Not unless you do have real valid points to bring up.


The collecting of results happened all so quickly soon enough everyone was walking around and asking of their friends and how they have fared. The odac peeps met up to get a photo with our teachers too after getting our results and to talk to them about it. Many happy faces but also some disappointed. I, probably in the neutral side. Honestly when I saw my friends in that state of worry and not knowing of what to do I did one to go up and cheer them up but I didn’t know how to exactly approach them.
One friend cried pretty badly. In the past when this friend did badly I always sought ways to cheer friend up but this time round it was the real deal and I was unsure. Will my words affect friend more and what words will exactly be suitable? Felt cowardly and really need to be more confident of myself. 4 weeks into the army and this aspect of me has not exactly improved. When will I learn? But friend I know you’re going through a really rough patch especially with the inability to make much of a decision now. But stay strong for you have overcome such tough periods before. It’s not the end of the road now but a chance to explore what you really wanna do. So I hope you will find your way soon and cheer up (:
A levels are filled with stereotypes, stereotypes that people from good schools will definitely do well and vice versa. But that’s not true at all, we still can falter, we are not invincible, we are not gods. But one thing remains we are people who don’t fall without picking ourselves up.
Definitely will miss VJ a lot and the friends all around.  
And by the way, in case you wondered Why I say you can’t stereotype students is because even in the best of schools, students may end up with only 2As, 2Bs and even 1C but we accept it, look forward and move on as a stronger person. That’s what I got in case you were wondering. But all else still stays the same.
Once a Victorian, always a Victorian.
Nile Sine Labore 🙂