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Some of you may be wondering about my absence from the web. You know, no updates for products since last June and very little personal writings as well. For those of you who haven’t (been wondering, I mean)…well, obviously you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

The truth is less dramatic than you may think. I’m just being a rookie. In lots of things, but specifically, in living. Perhaps I should be worrying about livelihood instead of living life, but I’ve done that and I’m done doing just that. So, after the Great Involuntary Purge of 2013, I’ve learnt to slow down and re-evaluate myself and the things that I need and want in my life. I’m taking small steps and moving slowly, but I feel great because they’re my choices, hopefully for better instead of worse.

At work, I make to-do lists all the time. So that I don’t forget the tasks I have to complete. So that I can cross them out when they’re done and feel a sense of accomplishment as the list gets shorter. It stands to reason that I’d put the things I’ve been doing for the past year in a list so that…oh well, I have no idea why I have to do that except that I may have an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Help!

1. Spring-cleaning started in the second half of 2014 for me. That’s way before the Lunar New Year of 2015, and nope, I’m still not done. Just how much trash have I been keeping in my house? It’s amazing how many things you let accumulate around you when you’re focused on school, family drama, work, work, and work for the past two decades. I’m not a hoarder, but I was more sentimental before. Now, anything that I’m not using and will probably not even remember I have in a week’s time, out of the house they go! Think it’s just thrashing stuff? Think again. For those that I want, I’m re-organising them for future easy accessibility. My books – and DBS and I have mountains of them – were lovingly wiped down and stored with their siblings in the same/similar genre. Most books in prose have already been downloaded to DBS‘s Kindle; it’s just our manga that needed to be packed into big, plastic boxes on wheels.

2. Technically, this point is linked to Point 1. above, but who’s keeping track, right? The furniture in my room date back to my teenage days. They’re not particularly childish, but it’s a fact that DBS and I have outgrown them. I’m just thankful that neither of us were big fans of the colour pink and fluffy soft toys on beds. I’m not sure how long we’ll take to re-make our room; we’re thinking new paint, new furniture…basically, everything in the room has to go except our precious boxes of manga. We’re not attaching a timeline to our progress, and there are days when nothing is cleaned or re-arranged. Nonetheless, this is bound to occupy a huge amount of my time this year.

3. I’ve been dipping my toes into the world of housework. It’s all pretty much basic stuff that I’m doing now, but I’m not ruling out culinary and other challenges in future. And you know what? I’m good at housework. That said, only people who don’t know me well would be astounded by that.

4. I’ve been catching up on my reading. Romance novels, fantasy series, sad stories that make me cry but think deeply, and even the Japanese manga that I’ve not touched for a long time mainly because they were kept in such an inaccessible place. I finished this manga not too long ago, and the mangaka (the illustrator/author) included a strip of drawings based on his daily life at the end. I can’t draw to save anybody’s life, so I’ll just narrate the pictures.

Picture 1: I don’t own a mobile phone, so when I needed to contact my agent while with a friend outside, I asked to borrow her phone. I had no idea what buttons to press at all, and had to keep asking her in the midst of my cursing.

Picture 2: I love to watch some of the programmes on television, but since I need complete silence while drawing, I can’t watch them while working. I had a video tape recorder in the past, but it has broken down and I’ve not sent it for repair for years. So now, I don’t even watch tv at all.

Picture 3: Same situation as 2 with the radio.

Picture 4: I do own a desktop computer, but the cursor? It NEVER goes where it’s supposed to, so I just use it to check my e-mails.

Picture 5: I’m more or less isolated from the rest of society, but as long as I have books in my life, I’m supremely satisfied and I consider life as beautiful.

I’m not as isolated as this mangaka was (you should know that this is an old manga since we don’t use video tape recorders these days), but I totally get what he meant in the last picture.

5. I’m meeting new people. DBS introduced me to her colleague and a long-time friend last December and we had a blast exploring the aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa and talking late into the night after. Initial plans are already in place for our next meeting. Prawning, playing a real room escape game together, and having a staycation for a slumber party complete with beauty makeovers and heart-to-heart talks are some of the ideas floating around so far. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to see those girls again.

6. After thirty-nine months of sporting a short ‘do, I deemed myself officially and thoroughly bored with my look, and so from last March, my hair has once again been allowed to grow past my ears. It’s now slightly above my shoulders, and I have stopped looking into mirrors because a bob is so NOT a good look for me. Once it gets past my shoulders, it should be fine. Meanwhile, no looking into mirrors and other reflective surfaces!

7. I can’t decide whether I feel more joyous about this point or the next…With no further ado, I declare, ladies and gentlemen, that I’m finally free from a family financial debt that I started paying for since 2006. It was a huge sum that took its toll on both DBS and me, and it often seemed as though we spent the best years of our youth making choices that we didn’t want to because of this debt. With a change in government regulations, we were at long last, able to clear the outstanding balance of our debt in December 2014. If not, we would have to spend at least another eight years paying it off.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a simple girl. I’m healthy and I have zero debt in my life. What more do I need to be happy, except…

8. God. I’m trying to talk to God more, and remember His Word better. I don’t always succeed; in fact, I’ve been reading so much of other books that I’m not reading His Verses as much recently. However, knowing that He loves me for everything that I’ve been, all that I am and all that I’ll become, and knowing Him and letting Him work His Will within me and in my life…that gives me a kind of quiet joy that springs from the heart.

Events that make me unhappy will still happen in my life, but I hope that I’ll always remember to keep my eyes on the Lord, and when I follow Him, He will surely lead me to the things that are good in His Eyes.