An Essay of a Different Kind (Part 1) – ‘Floater Syndrome’

After a semester of legal writing and overall legal concepts overload (we had Admin Law this semester – enough said), I finally have time to exercise another part of my brain. I’ve worked a lot harder this past 6 months on focusing on my studies (hopefully its paid off!) so it was almost like, once I started writing some observations, the thoughts just wouldn’t stop flowing! A healthy bit of self-analysis never hurt anyone so hence, ‘An Essay of a Different Kind’.

I refuse to go there so stop haunting my mind. These mental conversations need to stop. Right. Now.

It’s a wonder what a run-in with your past mistakes can do to your head. Just when you thought life had finally settled, it likes to throw you curve balls, doesn’t it?

I was honoured to be able to witness the coming of age of a ‘little sister’ of ours recently. Hearing of her childhood antics was both entertaining and brought to the surface the fact that so much growing up seems to have happened in just a short space of time. The word ‘best friend’ was thrown around a lot at the 21st birthday which only made me wonder if there was a connection or significance to running into someone I once called my ‘bestie’ and the fact that I spent the night (as in the party, people! No dirty thoughts!) with some of the ripple effects of our interactions. Maybe there was no connection and as per usual, I read too much into things… but then, on the other hand, God has a purpose behind everything, right? So what were you trying to show me then, God?

I know the consequences of past mistakes means that the friendship at its highest capacity cannot and SHOULD not exist anymore so let me mourn in peace. Why do you torture me, oh memories?

Another thought that conjured itself post-21-party was, ‘Who were my besties growing up?’ When I think back to primary school, I can pick out 3-4 girls whom I would go on playdates with and would do everything with. High school, however, seems to have been the time where I developed a bit of what I have termed, ‘Floater Syndrome’. I was friends with many different social groups during high school (and by ‘friends’ I mean more than just ‘hi-bye’ depth of relationship), ‘floating’ between church friends, music friends, people I shared certain interests with etc. I had the core group that I sat with every lunch time and did the whole high school thing together, but during that time and even now, I would rarely pick up the phone and call any of them just for a ‘chat’ (my dislike for phone conversations* – you can’t gauge people’s reactions! – may have also been a contributing factor that was in play). It wasn’t that I disliked them or anything, still friends with most of them right now in fact, I just never felt compelled to.

Perhaps Floater Syndrome (seriously, they should make it official and name it after me hehe!) developed as a result of my easy-going nature. I’ve never renounced a friendship once it started (well, only once and there was a good reason behind it) and not wanting to show any particular loyalties or favourisms to any one group, I ended up having many connections from a diverse pool of people but not a ‘bestie’ in the traditional use of the word (ha!). Or, an alternative approach could be (the legal mind just can’t help but jump in!) that my parents, unbeknownst to yours truly, were my best friends all those years… our communication lines have always been really open, my parentals being really conscious and deliberate about it, so maybe there was just no void that I felt I needed to fill and pursue in the form of outside friendships for emotional support and ease in conversation… *shrugs*

That changed a little bit once uni started though. My friendship with my parents stayed constant but I actually prayed specifically for someone, a fellow Christ-follower, I could just do life with and share this next leg of the journey with. And lo’ and behold, He gave me two :). Now that I think about it, He always has a way of exceeding our expectations, doesn’t He?

One friend is someone I like to affectionately call my ‘Sis’, a title she also bestows on me as well :). It’s amazing how the Lord had already paved the way for this friendship since we had done two years of high school together, yet hardly knew each other until the unfamiliar world of tertiary education brought us closer :P. She helped keep me grounded while we studied subjects that constantly challenged our faith and belief systems and we supported each other when we were going through some tough times over the years. She has been such a blessing in my life and still continues to be to this day :).

The way the other friendship started was one of those situations that I look back on and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it was one of those ‘divine appointments’. She has told me before that on the day I initiated a conversation with her, she had not been in the mood to be sociable at all. Being a bit oblivious to the social cues (or perhaps continuing in spite of them), I proceeded to draw out some facts from her as we waited in line at some uni orientation thing, until we found out that I had a mutual friend in one of her cousins! Somehow, things just seem to flow on from there and our friendship just keeps getting deeper and awesome-er :P. Perhaps, it’s like what is said about wine: ‘it gets better with age’ ;).

The dynamics of both those friendships were very different but they were of equal value to me because, perhaps in a way, there were some topics I covered more in detail with one than I did the other and vica versa (still happens a bit to an extent). However, as much as I loved them both and still do, we never used the ‘B’ word to describe each other… maybe because, in spite of how close we were and how we could talk the ears off each other (coz that’s what girls do haha!), we still lived separate lives and moved in different social circles on a day-to-day basis. It wasn’t a bad thing, it was just the way it happened and so I was content with spreading the times that I had without them with the other friendship circles I was a member of – further developing my Floater Syndrome :P.

Whoa, 1120 words already? Evidently, this needs to be broken up into at least 2 parts… still a lot to ponder and muse about, so stay tuned!

By the way, I should add a disclaimer that this post (and the ones to follow) are not really the kind to get all worked up over. Take it really as just my way of making sense of the thoughts that run through my head… I find that I get really agitated if I don’t get it written down/typed out and would appreciate that whoever reads this, please don’t feel like there are subliminal messages in here or it’s a cry for help or attention… this is purely an outlet for my self-analytical tendencies, which is characteristic of my INFJ nature :P. Cheers!

♥ Ames

*CAVEAT: If you do call me, I will pick up… generally :P. It’s just not my preferred form of communication :).

word quota

I’ve realised that my blogging habits are definitely quite sporadic-I really like the look and sound of that word (‘sp -r d k’)- and most likely emotion driven… there are days when I feel I should blog (Why? For what reasons? I don’t know…) but when I open a new post, no words come out… and then there are days when I really shouldn’t blog (especially on days like today where I’ve already blogged once already) but there’s almost an urgency that if I don’t write it down somewhere the thoughts will just evaporate and I won’t remember them…

Actually I think I remember hearing somewhere that, in general, women have a quota of 50,000 words to use up per day (whereas men only have about 25,000 words) so maybe it is only on those days that I haven’t quite used up my full quota that I blog and when I have spoken my fill, that’s when I’m left wordless, poised in front of the laptop screen.  I think I have a few thousand words left in me but I’m likely to use them in a few moments when we go and wander over to a Careers Fair so I’ll leave it for now lols.

Thank you for indirectly participating in this bit of self-analysis.

♥ Ames

the drop of a stitch

Gahhhh. I should not have had that coffee… my refusal to conform to the uni-coffee-drinking-culture has made me extra susceptible to the effects of caffeine whenever I absent-mindedly down a cappo in the arvo… there are readings that should be done but I think completing that assignment has put me in holiday mood already haha

I must admit, I’ve had it pretty good this semester… I don’t think the stress levels have risen much at all in these last 8 weeks… When I see the bags under my friends’ eyes and hear the strain in their voices, I silently thank God for His provisions of mercy and grace for me, sufficient for each day :).  Lately, I seem to also have a lot more time to spend in the company of people I feel I had not really done my part in caring for in the past year… but that has been changing and I’m so thankful that our friendships haven’t suffered because my attention had been diverted elsewhere last year :).

Recently, I was asked if I had ‘moved on’ and honestly, I don’t know what constitutes moving on… I told the friend that I was definitely more optimistic about the future and didn’t really suffer from any repercussions of the past anymore… he said that probably means I have ‘moved on’ and had merely been reminiscing when I mentioned some drama from last year… that’s a good sign I guess :).  I think as more time passes, that period in my life will become less significant to me and eventually it’ll just be like the drop of a stitch in the weaving of my life story… as you get older, the toys that used to fascinate you are of no value anymore… perhaps an analogy could be drawn with the relationships you have with others?  There’s no desire to be in that situation again and I think that’s why I’ve resisted in having anything to do with anything or anyone that might resurface old emotions that I’ve buried away.

I think that’s why I would describe this particular time that I’m experiencing right now as ‘bliss’.  I have so much peace with those I care about and with the God that loves me, that it has exceeded any emotions that I’ve ever encountered before… I know we shouldn’t live by emotions and in a way I’m not, I’m just simply enjoying life the way it was meant to be… uncomplicated and beautiful when walking in the will of God and with Him.  It’s uncomplicated, not because we aren’t going through trials (we have been) but because it is clear which direction God has led us in… and it is beautiful, not because we aren’t having painful experiences (we have) but because we know that with each step we take, we’re being stripped of our old self and transformed more into the likeness of Christ… lols, sorry to get all preach-y on those who really have no idea what I’m talking about… I guess this blog is also a place where I’m working out my faith and how things fit together… a faith journey is a life journey… there’s really no end point, you just keep learning and growing until the day you leave this earth… and now I’m just rambling hahaha zzzzzz….

♥ Ames


It was worth it.  I wouldn’t trade this mountaintop experience for anything… and hence, if I was to have a do-over, I’d go through the valleys again… just to be where I am now.  As I mentioned over lunch today, I’m a ‘better version’ of myself because of that valley experience.  The fact that I can even say ‘it was worth it’ proves that.  He led me through because He knew that there was a higher mountain ahead for me to climb… a better ‘me’ to extract… and I am so very grateful to be finally make it here.  The view is quite spectacular.

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

The old song had fresh meaning and connection as I belted out my lungs on Sunday:

“I know He rescued my soul, His blood covered my sins I believe, I believe

My shame He’s taken away, My pain is healed in His Name, I believe, I believe

I’ll raise a banner (whoa), coz My Lord has conquered the grave…

My Redeemer lives, My Redeemer lives, My Redeemer lives, My Redeemer lives.

You lift my burdens and I’ll rise with You, I’m dancing on this mountaintop to see Your Kingdom come…”

– My Redeemer Lives, Hillsong

lols to the first-years in the library with their huge binder folders… surely they tell you that you can just remove the relevant readings for that week and bring them to class… noobs :D.

♥ Ames

My Other Niche

I’ve found my second niche, the first one being here.  I love teaching!  It has been over 3 years since I started teaching piano and swimming and I have loved every moment of it but today, as I stood in front of the kiddies in our Kids’ Church to share the message, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in my element.  Back track a few years and you would find a very nervous and shy girl who detested public speaking, avoiding it at all costs.  I’m amazed at how God has paved the way for me all these years, getting me to a place where I actually get pleasure, enjoyment and a definitely-helpful adrenaline rush from standing up and speaking to a bunch of kids :).  I told my mum this and she commented that teaching must be in my blood since she was a teacher back in Vietnam, two of my cousins tutor and my uncle runs a piano school. Maybe…?

From as early as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher.  I attribute it to the fact that I had some really amazing primary school teachers and I wanted to be just like them :).  But when I hit high school and we started having a different teacher for each subject, I didn’t develop the same rapport I had with my earlier teachers who’d played such a large part in shaping the person I am today.  And as the story goes, I went on a school excursion to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in Year 10 which opened my eyes to the legal system and all that it represented.  I was fascinated by the concept of justice and found my way into doing work experience at a law firm and subsequently at a local magistrate court before being sold to the idea of studying law.

It’s taken me a few years to get to where I am now, but I’m lovin’ it.  How I get to do both of the things I love on a regular basis is beyond me… actually no, I’m just so extremely blessed :).  Now if we can perhaps combine my love for law, my love for teaching and my love for writing we may have a winner :D.

BTW, I ended up baking the cookies ;).  Will post about it tomorrow, or the next day, or maybe never lols.  We’ll see…

♥ Ames

how the dice rolls…

I’m backkkk! In more ways than one ;).

It’s so amazing what can happen in the space of a few days :).  Met some awesome people, some through prearranged meetings, some through unexpected encounters, but all because they were ‘divine appointments’.  It’s funny how you may plan out your days but nothing actually goes to plan…instead, the happenings actually exceed your expectations.  It kinda reminds me of that verse in the Bible:

‘We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.’ – Proverbs 16:33

I truly believe that God has been guiding me this week to make some life-changing connections… I didn’t know it at first but this past week will be etched into my memory as a time where God showed up and… well, I’m forever changed.

Sorry to be so cryptic but I’m still working out how to best express it all.

I’ll never forget that day…. to be continued :).

Now I’m left with the choice to either stay and bake cookies for U-Nite or go to the gym… clearly one hard decision :).

Have a blessed day!

♥ Ames

Happy Australia Day :)

Ahhhh… I remember this feeling!  It’s the feeling of having submitted an essay! Woohoooooo! lols, I’m actually, like seriously, a bit hypo right now XD.  Spent my ENTIRE Australia Day indoors, in front of my laptop, determined to pump out the remaining 800 words before the sun went down and THANK GOD, it’s done!

I did my little happy dance and grinned from ear to ear (I’m still grinning as I type right now) as I, of course, updated my Facebook status (ahehe) and finished organising the movie day I’d promised to take my cousins on before they head back to school… I’m actually looking forward to it which probably mean I’m still too much a kid at heart since the oldest is at least 4 years younger than me :P.  Oh well, I don’t mind.  I’ll just get to practise being the mother of teenagers for a day lols.  A few of my friends have told me how I ‘mother’ them a lot… it is a habit that I try to suppress but sometimes, it just happens.  I think it’s due to having a sibling with special needs… from the day he was diagnosed, I’ve always had to make sure he stays out of trouble, doesn’t hurt himself or others etc.  I used to hate it.  Especially the stares we’d get from strangers if the Bro was having a temper tantrum in the middle of a shopping centre… I guess that’s probably contributed to my party-pooper tendencies when my friends act out in public just for the fun of it…

Whoa, where’d that come from?  That’s mellowed me a bit.  Well, I’ve finished my dinner so I should probably do some stretches and neck rolls before I start planning for the next essay… *sigh*

Note to self: Don’t take a summer subject, no matter how enticing it is to do only have 3 subjects during the main semesters… you will regret it and feel deprived of your holidays!

Oh, I got a bit snap-happy when this arrived yesterday… (could have potentially been a ‘Like This’ moment)

My first KeepCup (hopefully this one will last… or I won’t lose it- they aren’t cheap)!  I don’t drink coffee or other hot drinks often but I do like the whole ‘being environmentally friendly’ concept and getting to design my own cup was kinda cool :D.

happiness in the form of a cup :)


happy chappy :D

I felt I was letting down my country (well, not really) by not going out and doing something ‘Australian’ today so I got my Dad to go out and buy me a pie for lunch…since meat pies are synonymous with being Australian…right?


Steak and Mushroom Pie from the local bakehouse


And my Australia Day was capped off with some pasta soup my Mummy made for me ^^:


pretty much just an excuse to post another photo ;)

What did everyone else eat on their Australia Day?  Hope all the Aussies reading this had a great day being patriotic and what not :).  This Aussie is going to go and start another essay… joy.


♥ April

Just A Number.

5 treaties. 5 days. And it’s over.  Well, kinda. 2 essays still to write :P.  We covered so much materials, I’m not sure how much I absorbed.  But it was good.  It opened my eyes to so many issues that have existed for years in human rights discourse but I’d never been exposed to or been interested enough to look into.

As a (mega) side note, I realised that age is really just a number.  I knew this in theory but to see it play out before me has been a really interesting observation I’ve made since become part of the JD.  I’m definitely on the younger end of the scale in my year level, with most having worked or travelled a bit before coming in to do post-grad, and there is often a feeling of intimidation that keeps me from giving my opinions in class since everyone seems so knowledgeable in whatever the topic of discussion may be.  But then I find myself engaging in truly mentally stimulating conversations outside of the classroom with these same people and discover that I can actually hold my own and give some equally valid points myself.  We were walking back from our class break-up lunch today, and I commented about how there is still the concern about what would happen to female lawyers when they wanted to start having children and how that made me think about planning out my life (e.g. when I wanted to get married etc.), then one of the girls mentioned her age and how that was one of the reasons why she was accelerating the degree.  Her age left me flabbergasted!  She did not look it (even though she may never read this, I feel like I’m invading privacy or something if I said the actual number…well, she’s more than 10 years my senior)!  What shocked me even more was that we’d been having a perfectly good conversation beforehand and the age gap had not been a barrier at all… I guess when you grow up in a Chinese family background, you get taught that there is a certain way that you should speak to people of your generation, people older than you and those who are younger than you.  Coming to law school has made me realise that people of different ages can meet on a level playing field… what matter is not how many years you’ve lived, but how much you are willing to learn and perhaps how mature you want to be…?

I had to end that with a question mark because I’m not sure if I’m getting my point across articulately… but being in the JD has kind of got my head around why it’s possible for there to be such big age gaps in marriages too… that used to be something I couldn’t really make sense of.  I couldn’t understand how someone who was soooo much older/younger, would be able to converse at the same level, or be interested in someone who was soooo much younger/older… I guess the more important thing is that you are on the same page on the issues that really matter and that you are moving in the same direction, at the same velocity, towards the same goals.  Perhaps one of the lessons I did learn about myself last year was that I’m sooooo not ready to get married yet! lols, I didn’t think I was going to be anytime soon but 2010 was a big epiphany to me that He still has a lot to work on/out in me before I’d be able to partner up with another individual to do life with.  I think it takes a certain level of maturity to not only put a ring on another’s finger, pledging to marry them but to also be able to live in a way that will preserve the sanctity of marriage up until you say ‘I do’ and then for the rest of your life….hmmmm, how did I get here? lols, who knows.  I’ve been having weird dreams as well lately which I won’t get into…I attribute it all to spending 7hrs + per day in the law school!

Anyway, enough of my random musings, research time! :D

♥ April