daily walks

There’s this one line I love from one of T.S Eliot’s poems, and it goes, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” Now that the summer is coming to an end, I realize that I have been measuring out this season and the passing of the past 5 months not with coffee spoons, but instead with my daily neighbourhood walks. In my neighbourhood, there’s a circular path you can follow, which has been the route for my daily walks. Walking one lap is a little over 1.5km. I remember on the second day I got back from my exchange at the end of March, I was so eager to be outside, breathing in the cold fresh air, that I walked 4 laps, which is the equivalent of almost 7 km. After that day, the habit of going on my walk hasn’t left and for 5 months, I’ve been…

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togetherness

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much this coronavirus pandemic has changed day-to-day life. News about lockdowns, unemployment claims, and state of emergencies is constantly inundating our newspaper headlines, our devices, our lives. I see presidents, prime ministers, and Ministers of Health on the TV every day, answering the same questions. I’ve also seen pictures and videos of cities — Rome, Paris, New York City — once bustling but now barren. I’ve seen an empty Champs-Élysées during mid-day, a Times Square that broadcasts bright advertisements for maybe three pedestrians below, cathedrals in Rome that sit empty, collecting dust. That change has been startling to witness but what has been even more dramatic for me to see has been the change when it comes to interacting with another human being. Everything that was once so normal and standard — a hug, a handshake, a quick kiss on the cheek…

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beginnings and ends

So much has changed around the world over the past couple weeks: cities and entire nations have gone under lockdown, university spring convocations have been canceled, the Summer Olympics has been postponed an entire year, and of course, everybody who was on exchange got called back to come home in the midst of flights getting canceled and countries closing borders. Everybody coming back from their exchange is now somewhere in the middle of their 2 week self-isolation period and I think we’re all in, or trying to get into, the same mindset: This is terrible and nobody wanted it to turn out this way, but we need to be grateful, so grateful, of the time that we had abroad. Everybody around me was trying their best to repeat that to themselves during the last few days we had in Singapore. I’m so grateful, we’re already so lucky to have had…

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you can’t regret the life you didn’t lead

My friend and I love following those types of accounts on Instagram that feature beautiful prose paired with visually pleasing photos (@latenightsinthecity is a great example). It’s the type of stuff that’s easy to read and digest, yet makes you stop in the middle of mindlessly scrolling on Instagram and really think about life, love, friendship, or fate (they all usually revolve around one of these topics). The other day, she sent me a post that had this as the caption, and it’s something that I haven’t stopped thinking about since: “There’s an alternate reality where today would be your wedding day if you didn’t break up with your ex or you went to your second choice school. There’s a life out there that you could’ve had where you live in a beach town or you married your high school sweetheart or you’re a professional horse rider. The point is,…

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people want to help, so let them

Throughout high school and the early years of my undergraduate career, in particular with the recent launch of my book’s pre-sale campaign, I have realized one thing: People are willing to help you, oftentimes expecting nothing more than a smile and a grateful “thank you”. A lot of the experiences that I’ve had has taught me this, and I decided that it was time to sit down and put them all into words, as I felt that it was the least I could do. From grades 10 to 12, I was actively involved in a lot of clubs, both inside and outside of school. For a few of the clubs, I took on a big sponsorship role, which essentially involved having to “beg” local mom-and-pop stores and local company chain stores for monetary donations or in-kind donations, and in return, we would promote their business within our ecosystem and basically…

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