Seizing the opportunity and GO.

After months of studying something which I use to distract myself from the aftermath in March, things are coming to a standstill!
My writing has been infrequent, I hardly have time to pause and think about things around me. Instead I spend most or in fact all of my time reading financial statements and what nots. (Well you could say I had a choice, and it’s not that I hate all these studying, it’s just something I do not truly enjoy)
So just this morning I chanced upon #passionpassport ‘s very own bucketlist challenge and it just hit me all that instantly that this is a chance not to be missed.
For months along the way, I lost that little hope that I would be able to travel and document my adventures for those who love travelling cause so many people been telling me it’s hard, you won’t survive and all things practical.
Yet when something like this comes by, you simply can’t sit back and take in what others tell you. I have no experience in travel writing and only recently started to learn some amateurish stuff about filming but I’m so stoked and hyped to give this bucketlist thing a go.
such windows hardly come by and it’s a sign to ditch the books and chase after the thing I truly desire- learning more about the world and its people one foot at a time.

image

A step closer to my Turkey dream maybe?

Photo credits: @ahmet.erdem

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Why I enjoy self-exploration

Inspired after exchanging ideas with my cousin, a topic I hold close to my heart.

finding-yourself

The year I turned 18, was a year full of questions about myself. I never looked back ever since. The more I asked, the more I wanted to learn about myself- who exactly am I? What purpose do I have on this planet? What am I made to do? Don’t these questions bug from time to time?

Self-exploration can be a very painful thing to do. Especially when you start to realise that there isn’t something you’re terribly great at. Not only will this affect one’s self-esteem, it may reach a point where one may question his own self-worth. You become more vulnerable and overly-emotional too. This is one of the downsides there is to self-exploration- to be hurled into a crater of self-doubt and disbelief.

Sometimes, it can be such a laborious odyssey that many may opt to run away from the hardships in the quest to find themselves. There are numerous twists and turns throughout the journey and it’s a necessary part of self-exploration, to go on this seemingly long fruitless chase of what actually matters to you. If everything was presented to you on a plate, how much of it will you truly cherish?

Then, we have people claiming how self-exploration is a waste of time in our current accelerated modern day life. For practical reasons many will choose to go about their daily money-making routine without seriously considering the goodness self-exploration yields. That’s how we get middle-aged adults complaining of the mid-life crisis they’re susceptible to. See what happens when you don’t self-explore?

Seems intimidating huh? This whole self-exploration thing which can turn one into an emotional wreck with the insane amount of time one has to spend on amidst the hullaballoo of our contemporary world. However, I have grown to love it over the past two years.

Our world, no matter how perfect you perceive it to be, will always be imperfect. Everyone, everywhere are forever chasing to reach the next level. It is a choice to follow that endless race or to pull yourself out amongst everybody to find your path- to run your own race. It takes tremendous courage to head down this alternative route especially with the horrors you may encounter, but believe me, it’ll be worth it. The lesser we have of the latter kind of people, the more our world is at risk of becoming a factory house, churning out impassive, mechanical robots.

The thing we need to get right is that self-exploration is never a one day or one week, sometimes not even a one year thing. It takes years of patience to genuinely find yourself.

We all have our individual interests, an activity we take much comfort in. One amazingly fun part of self-exploration is the discovery of new pursuits. The average person will get by with matters that allows him to survive. He is willing to dwell in the heart of endless routines without the need of novelty, this is a sad pattern in our growing capitalistic society. Before it becomes our modern day culture, let’s buck the trend and ask yourself whether you have any burning desires within. Have you taken any action to placate that rampant wildebeest inside you? What are you waiting for? Even if you’re devoid of any specific interest, there’s got to be a thing or two which you have craved to try. Now is the time to drop all your uncertainties and spend time to find out more about that particular potential escapade. The fear to take these strides forward has left many in their shells, unaware of the vast opportunities available in the world.

The human mind is the most powerful one amongst all species to have graced this Earth. In every one of us lies something locked deep within our mind. Will. Don’t underestimate this little fella especially if you haven’t completely understand the prowess of the human mind. And guess which agent holds the key to enlightening us about it, I’m sure it’s pretty obvious by now. Self-exploration is the tool to realising the true capacity of our mind. Whenever a task seems too overwhelming, be slow to assume that it’s beyond your means but quick to confide in yourself. When your mind tries to convince you that there’s no way around it, be firm to say “no”. Move on to ask yourself, where exactly is causing you problems and don’t panic if there’s no instant solution.

Instead, continue asking yourself for the first step. The first step is critical. If you haven’t noticed, these questions are part of self-exploration. We are unearthing our inner competencies we never imagine to have possessed. It’s these small questions that picks the lock of the door for access to the human will. Never surrender no matter how dire the circumstance. Rather, embrace the practice of self-exploration and work your way, little by little to exercise the will we all have to heave you out of the quandary.

I’ve said so much but you might not necessarily buy whatever that have been uttered. What if somewhere, somehow, my self-exploration goes wrong, what should I then do? For sure there’s that apprehension when you’re just starting out. But one thing you have to understand is that in anything we do, risks are always involved in one way or another. The day you re-discover what you’re truly passionate for and decide to pursue it, the next thing you know you might be struggling to make ends meet. Or when you’re trying to find a resolution to a matter but only to fall into a bigger mess that leads to even more trauma. It’s all part of our natural survival instincts to harbour such thoughts, which is why I don’t insist you to take up self-exploration. It may not be for everyone but think of it this way. Without attempting to self-explore, will your predicament get any better? Absolutely not.

How then, should you go about it?

The question you should be asking is “What do you want to do with your life?” and you’ll probably be able to decide whether or not to hop on this voyage. Yes, ask yourself that. That might be of help.

“What do I want to do with my life?”

Hold on, I see what you just did there.psspas

Why I can’t sit in an office.

Hi guys, I’m back!

This week has gone by RIDICULOUSLY slowly, unlike past weeks when I would get out of bed at 11 and poof! the next thing you know it, it’s dinner time. After a six and a half month lay-off, I’m no longer on MC and yes, back in camp. Tekong- to be exact.

So my daily routine is something like this:

Wake up at 6.45am

Board bus 9 towards SAF ferry terminal

Change my 11B for a military pass

Board the ferry

Report at the office at 8am

Sit down and down absolutely nothing till lunch

Have lunch

Return to office

Sit down and down absolutely nothing till 5pm

Pack up

Leave the office

Scan my pass

Board the ferry

Return to SAF ferry terminal and change my pass for my 11B

Exit the terminal

Cross the road

Board bus 9 Back home

So for five days consecutively, I was doing this (except for like MPS, physio and my night class on friday) the rest of the time I was stuck in the cycle, unable to break free.

and that sucked…

Me all day errday.

Sitting in the office while waiting for time to pass, second by second was one of the most torturous things I have ever done. Okay, actually I had things to do la (studying, reading a book) BUT STILL. Being confined to an area to do your own thing isn’t doing your own thing haha, unlike doing them in your house where you can roam to anywhere you wanted whenever you felt like it. But we have to accept it, since it’s the military anyway.

These five days though did make me pause to think what office jobs would be like in the future and you know what, it will most likely (though not entirely but it’ll largely be similar :O minus the being confined to one area part) but seriously, think about it.

You drag yourself out of your bed (A little different here, you turn to your partner and see her smile which lightens your mood a bit, recalling the crazy time you had in bed the night before)

But then it’s back to boarding that bus (or maybe your car to work)

You sit in your chair at your desk, read your emails, organize some files, review some presentations, check to ensure you have what you need, gather for the meeting and phew, it’s lunchtime.

So you run out of office to the nearby hawker centre (working still must save money right) grab a packet of chicken rice and maybe a teh peng (iced tea) and chow down as fast as you can before your boss grumbles to you about taking too much time off for lunch.

Thus you race back to office, back in your desk, redo whatever that needs redoing, help out with your colleagues, probably meet your boss again to discuss corporate strategy and wait at your desk for the clock to strike five before you pack up and leave (that, probably applies to your lucky days where you need not stay till ten and clock in overtime. Which probably happens more than 50% of the time.)

Then you head out of that chilly air-conditioned room breathing in the fresh air after a long day’s of work, only to freeze in the bus or in your car, impatiently honking away while you get caught in the evening jam (face it, whether it’s the bus or car, you can never run away from jams at such a timing.)

You finally reached home and see the smile of your love (which i didn’t have for my 5 days, okay la my Mum counts right) and sink into your sofa, remove your tie while you douse in her aroma as she massages you and ask about your day (I only doused myself in greasy sweat of army guys) and that’s probably the end of the nightmare.

So apart from having your other half to come home to, I for one can’t imagine going to office from 8-5, 5 days a week. IT”S JUST INSANE (currently using this word a lot, so pardon me) but yes I shouldn’t be complaining especially having the privilege to go home everyday to see my loved ones but it does increase my desire to find work in a non-office environment in future.

To see something new every alternative day would be a dream and of course meeting different people every now and then would be a huge blessing 🙂 and although these “fantasies” are just all in my head, there’s this serious drive to turn them into reality.

Well, on a more serious note, I’m glad to be officially moving on to my next phase of my army life having not been doing much the last few months, as I saw my other buddies accomplishing so many new feats. Although I’m not entirely looking forward to this administrative role, who knows what’s to come and what new things can be learnt 🙂

For now, I’ll have to find a way to make the hands of the wall clock move faster, just by staring at them.

Till the next time!
Darren

Time Lapse!

So recently, I decided to jump on the time-lapse photography bandwagon and to  just see how difficult it is to actually capture slow-moving moments eg. flowers blooming at the break of dawn, cloud movements, sunrises and sunsets, even fireworks and play them back at a faster speed.

So incase you’re wondering what time-lapse photography is, it is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence.

Huh, what is that supposed to mean?!?!

Haha, it’s not the most straightforward concept, many would agree. But to make things simpler, do you remember watching clips of city cars zooming across the streets like in a Formula One race or how people walk at breakneck speed in the hullabaloo of a bustling city?

Well, if that still doesn’t help, you can watch this!

The art of capturing a process that spans a good long 4 hours and squeezing it into a matter of 40 seconds seems like a simple task when I first learnt of time-lapse photography. Especially when I realised I could just film the entire process and play it back, 20 times faster! (now that’s easy… BUT THAT’S ALSO CHEATING HAHA)

Well, everyone has their own starting point so if you’re not comfortable doing a time-lapse by taking pictures, you can try the video method first. Anyways, coming back to my time-lapse experience, I decided to head for Sunset Walk, a secluded, hardly known of boardwalk along Changi Beach. It is actually just behind Changi Beach Club. (2 Andover Rd, Singapore 509984) You can hop onto buses 2,9 and talk a stroll past The Coastal Settlement Restaurant or you can take 29 and alight just outside the Commando camp and walk in. It’s about a 20, 15 minute walk respectively.

Changi Beach Club |Photo Credits: Flikr

Photo Cradits: Today Online

Sunset Walk Boardwalk |Photo Credits: Today Online

Doesn’t this place look ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. On first impression, I would have never guess of such a quaint part of Singapore to be such an amazing location to view sunsets. That being said, I was rearing to go. So I packed my supplies, which included (2 tripods, 2 cameras, my Mac which I regretted bringing HAHA and a book to keep me company for the trip)

Try emulating Herschel on Insta but fail HAHA

Tried emulating Herschel on Instagram but failed HAHA

The walk there was TIRING. Especially since my leg was still recovering. But eventually, all was worth the toil as I got my cameras set up and filming began.

So I waited, waited and waited for time to go by as the sun mercilessly chided me with its rays. (Silently, I begged for the sun to stop raining me with its golden arrows but how could I when I needed it to shine its brightest) unfortunately or fortunately for my face (before it got burnt) thick pillows of clouds whisked into the path between my camera lenses and the sun.

The sudden release from the heat sprang me from my seat to check on the cameras and see how I could alter the settings. But you can never beat Mother Nature at her game and all I could do was sit back and wait. Dampened, and deflated my worse fears turned into reality as the clouds thickened and darkened. Persistent to get as many shots as I could I didn’t heed the warning signs of what seemed to be imminent.

And then drop of raindrops became waterfalls.

In a frenzy I dismantled my cameras from the tripods, and BECAUSE I COULDN’T RUN, I walked pitifully to the pavilion nearby. Just like that my plans were ruined unfortunately, but I guess it’s all in the name of adventure to expect the unexpected.

As I waited for the sky’s pee to die off, in the far distance, obscured by the clouds was the sun setting gradually, turning the sky into a subtle but pretty pinkish hue. My heart wrenched further as the sky became saturated in pink. The soaked wooden planks creaked under my weight as I made my way out, clothes drenched from the madness a couple of minutes ago.

“Here to catch fish or watch sunset ah boy?” A Malay Uncle in a raincoat asked when his eyes finally landed on my tripod,” Aiya, so saiyang (wasted), today rain big big, cannot take photo.”

“Ya Uncle very sad, of all days, today rain, but nevermind Uncle, I will come back.” I replied the old man who was getting ready to throw his rod out.

It wasn’t the best of road trips (not that I’ve been on many to begin with) but it’s a beginning to more solo adventures with my camera and my tripod and me.

Excited to get my gopro in future cause there’s really much more one can do with it. For now, I shall just leave you with the video I made from whatever I had, it isn’t much but decent for a first attempt I presume. Till then, Darren 🙂

P.s if you do time-lapse photography, do help me out and leave me some tips on it as well as nice locations for the capturing of future works, much appreciated!

Frame Interval (time between each picture taken): 3 Seconds

Frame Rate: 30 frames per second

Filming Duration: ~45 minutes