Night Gardens

“I need a life. I don’t know what to do today.”

“Wanna meet later? I’m free.”

“Well, I don’t have plans either, so sure.”

While the above conversation was not as grammatically accurate as above, we did end up hanging out together. I propped into my SAJC polo tee and berms and took the train to Bayfront, where I would meet Kylie* to chill. I did suggest inviting a few others along so that it wouldn’t be too awkward for her (I’m alright with hanging out with girls one-on-one, just not okay with growing emotionally dependent on them to life), but the rest weren’t available and thus it was just us on a night outing to Gardens by the Bay. I did find it strange that she would be comfortable hanging out with me considering it did feel like a date by normal standards but we didn’t see it that way and thus were at best only mildly awkward (not that I remembered the discomfort lol).

“I’m at Bayfront already,” she texted.

“Haha I’m at Tiong Bahru, will be there in a jiffy.”

I finally reached Bayfront and found Kylie hanging around there somewhat cluelessly as I apologised for arriving slightly later than planned. We walked and talked and, as usual, I expressed my extroverted, don’t-have-a-care-for-the-world demeanor to her, as I would with anyone. As we waited for our tickets, I noticed that her lips were more pinkish than before, or than normal for that matter.

“You put on lipstick?”

“Yep, I was at Sephora just now lol.”

Well, I know something new about Kylie. That’s cool, but I wasn’t really concerned. We got our tickets and went to the Gardens, just as the sky was darkening. We sat by the grass patch in front of a children’s choir singing classic Christmas carols and bringing out the Christmas vibe in the atmosphere. Once that ended we sat around as we chat and chill and just have a relaxing time together. It was definitely a nice break from preparing math questions as I have been so accustomed to doing, and just enjoying the Christmas lights. I definitely would have preferred to going there with April, but I really appreciate Kylie taking time out to pity-party my loneliness during that time of my life.

We went to the area where the fake snow snowed and it was a sight to behold, though hella messy as well. Some people came up to us and asked if we were together and thus take a photo. I quickly responded with a ‘Nope haha we’re just friends’ before fleeing the scene as Kylie took her swagger photos with the Christmas scenery (I wasn’t exactly in a photogenic state of health back then and it was not like we had good cameras or skilled photographers to take nice shots anyway).

We rested by one of the structures there as I lazed around and stargazed. I turned around and saw Kylie touching up on her lips. She promptly said, “Turn away.” So I did. Kylie really cares about her lipstick doesn’t she? We walked back to Bayfront. As we walked, I leaned over and asked Kylie, “Hey Kylie. Are you good at keeping secrets?”

“Haha don’t worry I won’t tell anyone.”

“Is it obvious that I like Steph*?”

“Nope.”

My heart was for Steph and I only saw Kylie as a sister-like figure. Nonetheless, that was the birth of the closeness of a brand new friendship. The quality time was definitely awesome to enjoy, and this broke the bubble that hindered us from growing close.

*Name(s) changed for privacy.

-Joel Kindiak, 28 Nov 17, 1231H

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Timely Respite

On Sunday, I had the privilege of celebrating a friend’s 18th birthday. Having mentioned before how October was a painful month for me, 29 October was a timely respite.

The day began with having bible study with two of my churchmates in town area. It’s always a good time talking about God’s Word, and growing closer to Him through His Word. Then I met a friend to help her with her math, whose birthday we would ironically be celebrating later. After that ended, I travelled to the surprise party venue, to avoid any possible clashes with heavy rains.

Reaching the venue, I saw someone who looked equally clueless as me, dressed somewhat fancifully, almost as though she were celebrating her friend’s birthday. I asked if this was so, and turns out we were both celebrating for the same person. Thereafter we got our hands busy to prepare some of the party decór.

I surprisingly enjoyed this time of the day. My heart was pained at the thought of meeting my friend whom I’ve had many misunderstandings with, and I really dreaded having to meet later (though we still did).

Up till that moment, I got to know my math friend’s other social circles, like her church group, classmates and ex-classmates. Many commented, “Oh, so are you the one helping her out in math?” to which I sheepishly replied, “Haha yep, how’d y’all know?” I got to recycle my many stories accumulated in my experience in school and socialize fairly decently.

And of course, the big event when the birthday girl comes. I remember one comment we exchanged was how I scammed her post-math that I was going to “a nice place to do work”, unbeknownst to both of us I changed my mind at the last moment. What followed was an extensive phototaking session of the birthday girl and her peers. Come around about 15 minutes after the cake served (which followed the phototaking) and I was exhausted. My energy has been drained by the socializing and storytelling.

I went out to rest and reflect for a while. I was saddened by my misunderstanding-friend. When she entered the room the first time, I remembered dodging her at every opportunity, and deliberately acting totally fine as I socialized from group to group. Moreover, she was generally uncomfortable in large settings, so I was even skeptical in her attendance even though it’s only her, me, another friend and the birthday girl in our ‘clique’. I sat by the swimming pool singing Matt Redman’s “Hope is Marching On” and many other songs in his new album.

I went back in and chilled for a while before the three of us left (yes, the same three in the dream mentioned yesterday). The walk from the house to the bus stop was painful. I had zero interest in any small talk the two of them had because of the pain that had gripped me. I’ve prayed everyday for full reconciliation before the party precisely so it won’t be awkward, but that never happened until after.

The party and preparations for it and stuff that led up to it did turn out much, much better than I’ve expected. The awkwardness was kept at bay and did not significantly affect my mood there.

Nevertheless, for some strange reason, she decided to take a different route home, which gave us a lot of time to talk. She decided to be intentional to make the effort to start a conversation. It’s been more than a month since we’ve had these kind of conversations.

Our conversation was long and much needed, but in light of the month that preceded it, painful. It was painful. I felt pain as we talked. The pain of regret, the pain of unfamiliarity, the pain of distrust (by my technical definition). That talk was much-needed pain, since the amazing thing it did for me was give me closure to the pain. God has commanded me to hope and will empower me to do so, though full reconciliation will take some time. Nevertheless I’m thankful that the pain has finally come to a much needed close, before it totally obliterates me from the inside out.

Sunday was much better a day than I initially expected. It was a timely respite from a month of pain.

—Joel Kindiak, 31 Oct 17, 0732H

Bittersweet Tuesday

No, I’m talking about yesterday, but yesterday, 6 years ago. 21 December 2010. Man, it’s been a while, but hey, story time!

The story begins as I left for church camp the Saturday before, when I left for Camp Noise. As an immature 13-year-old, I brought my DS thinking there would be time to play some Mario Kart on the way there and on the way back. There was, so I did just that.

img_1694The camp ended on Tuesday, and on our way back, I knew my day wasn’t over. Right after camp, I had to head over to another church as I was part of their carolling group and we were going to perform somewhere that night. My crush was there, and so I was thrilled to get to see her again after a long time.

As we entered Singapore customs, we were asked to check our belongings. Knowing I had a $270 system in my bag, I ensured it remained where it was, right in my bag. I brought it with me and after entering back into SG took it out to play again. The last stop was back at church where they dropped us off. I gladly left the bus and joyfully celebrated the end of my first ever church camp.

At the church, I got bored and wanted to take out my DS to play. I searched my bag, no DS. Hmm. Weird. I searched again. No DS. Oh crap. I left it on the bus. My leader tried contacting the bus driver but to no avail. Either someone took it (unlikely) or I left it on the bus. There flew $270. My heart sank.

Yet, I took my stuff and walked over to the other church nearby, changed into our carolling T-shirt and met the rest. I was somewhat distraught that my DS was nowhere to be seen but still happy to see her. It’s been a while. The year had been by and large crappy, and we had our fair share of conflict, but I guess at this time we were superficially cool and I cherished every moment of it.

After our set songs, we chilled at the place spamming photos and having a great time. I was awkward as heck and though I wanted a solo photo with her never mustered the guts to ask for one. I didn’t want either of us to face embarassment. But in any case that night really made up for the lost DS.

That was definitely a bittersweet day. Was the DS worth it? Probably not, since it was lost due to carelessness. Did meeting my crush make up for it? Definitely.

An Awesome Day At Home

16 December 2016: Clearing Leave

Started out the day by meeting Chian Yong and catching up with him over breakfast. We both want to be more intentional to love our church and therefore community more.

Slacking at home, I decided to hear a couple of sermons by Pastor Joseph Prince and then indulge in Goblin. Gotta catch up the episodes so that I’m in time for the next one coming next week.

Then I asked God if I could go night cycling tonight. While I know the chances of it coming to pass are like 0.000000001%, I still ask anyway. I thought: what a better way to end off the leave/off week than with night cycling? And yet, believing that God will give me the best, when I do go night cycling, it’ll be much more awesome than if I went tonight. It’s either night cycling tonight or some other time when it’ll be wayyy more awesome. God will always give me the best.

*UPDATE: TURNS OUT I AM GOING NIGHT CYCLING AFTER ALL!!! YAYYYYY!!! HALLELUJAHHH!!!

Skype calls are cool cos’ it’s like meeting up without meeting up. Hopefully Project Logos could be done this way in the future.

It’s freed-up days like these that I do appreciate my work in MINDEF. I enjoy getting many miscellaneous little things done and completing many mini-projects.

A Friend So Faithful

This happened on 24 August 2015, but I feel this story will be told for as long as I live. The two people involved in this probably have forgotten about this a long time ago, but this story will continue being told. It simply goes to show how every small action could make a big difference and impact in someone’s life, for better or for worse.

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Last Monday my friends and I were chilling at the table during recess, and for some topic they were engaged in I didn’t know about it. Thus I was treated invisible hoping to be noticed until I finally gave up and was like “ah dammit la”. Destiny chose me to be alone, lonely and forever alone. For the next few hours, I questioned my self-worth, about how I would never get a companion. The Lord gave me a craving for froyo along with a hymn:

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Realising what I tried finding but failed in getting was all the while found in Jesus, my eyes welled up. Now I know I have a friend more faithful than any other, who knows exactly the crap that I go through. And this was my response in faith:

You’re the joy no one can take away
You’re the joy no one can take away
You’re the peace inside I can’t explain
You’re the strength I need
You will always be my strength!

And the rest of the week fell not short of a blessing.

Thank You, Jesus.