Thursday, December 30, 2010

37. the future

2010 is coming to a close, this year has been incredible. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that made me grow into a better person and also to help me realize this is my calling, this is what I am meant to do in life.

This December has been a month of rest and solitude. I have taken time to reflect and simply enjoy the routines of life. It's been great, but I can't wait to get back into the gist of things and I am going to be so run down and tired, but at least I know I would have a smile on my face at the end of the exhausting week.

I've so far written my 'resolutions', I call it a to do list because resolutions are things I usually forget to keep but a to-do list seems more urgent, thus so far, this is my list. It's simple, efficient and achievable. 2011 is such an exciting time for me, i look forward to it greatly.

2011 to do list (pending)
  • Submit to the annual National Geographic Photography Contest
  • submit to World Nomads Photography Travel Scholarship.
  • submit to Doug Moran Contemporary Photographic Contest
  • submit to CCP Kodak Salon
  • Volunteer/get a job at CCP to set up galleries/admin work
  • Dabble in Film Photography, hopefully to buy a medium format camera (Mamiya 645 AF is what I am aiming for)
  • Establish a relationship with a printing lab
  • Travel to least 3 countries, and least 3 different states of Australia
  • Get my website up & running and create business cards (anyone know of a graphic designer?)
  • Be published in a newspaper
  • Seriously do a 365 days photo a day and finish it. (I am such a slacker)
  • Get up at least 3 times a week before sunrise.
  • Keep going to Carrical & start going to Canterbury Housing.
  • Work as a Photographer with the Community Newspaper.
  • Join a Photography Community online to gain feedback from peers all around the world.

long term goals
  • to do an internship at Associated Press, NYC, which I hope would gain me a permanent position at AP Press.
  • be content & happy with where I'm headed and who I am.

36. Rewind 2010

these are the things I've achieved/done in 2010.

  • I am finally happy and content with where I am headed.
  • I found my calling, my reason, my inspiration.
  • I have loved and lost and love again.
  • My relationship with my mother & family has never been closer.
  • I have taken the time to listen and enjoy my grandmother's presence and her wonderful stories.
  • I have met, established trust and photographed strangers I never knew would change my life forever.
  • I have gain friendships in Melbourne that I can call to be true friends.
  • I learned more about wine & food in my new job.
  • I know now how to pitch a tent up.
  • I learned how to make a cappuccino and bake brownies.
  • The Little Prince
career related
  • I have quit a job that was making me unhappy.
  • I have worked with professional organizations such as Lighthouse Foundation & Servants in Hawthorn.
  • I will be having a book published with my name on it in 2012.
  • I photographed the Festival of Indonesia in Melbourne and made really great contacts for future references.
  • I've learnt how to use 5x4 format (film camera)
  • I regard myself as a photographer above all else - and thus, others will see me as a photographer first.
  • I learn how to be given a deadline & work towards it.
  • I gain another job and I have another job lined up for 2011 that is photography related.
  • I have talked and shown my pictures at a professional Annual Meeting.
  • Volunteered for the Australian Professional Photography Awards
  • I've travelled from Victoria through South Australia to the Northern Territory(Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin) for a month in a bus
  • I have seen the way a cattle station works.
  • I have seen Uluru :)!
  • Travelled around Victoria (Dookie - Nagambie - Yea - Eildon - Marysville)
  • I woke up at 5.30am for 10 days straight!
  • I slept in a tent while it was cold and raining, and I have also slept in a swag while it was hot, humid and letting my body get feasted by mozzies
  • I've acquired the taste of chai lattes (with honey!)
  • I had an early death scare regarding my dad in January.
  • My best friend & I have never been closer since I moved from Brunei.
  • I have loved and lost 3 cell phones!
  • We moved house and mum moved in with us.
  • I have fallen sick so many times this year and I'm still recovering.
  • 4 weeks without a cellphone.
  • Facebook helped me find my cousin in the UK and my long lost childhood friend.
  • Hard drive failure twice in a row - lost all my images.
  • Harry Potter Midnight screening
  • Catching up over coffee @ Auction Rooms with Jason
  • I discover my grandmother has old family photographs! :)
  • New camera, new lens, new flashes.
  • I have earned over 10 grand and spent pretty much 10 grand.
I think... that's it so far. I can't remember anymore. I hope your 2010 has been amazing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

35. Christmas

I usually have no emotion for Christmas traditions. I've been reflecting a lot on my family and its dysfunctional ways. In terms of holidays and vacations, I avoid it. For as long as I can remember, it never works out well in the end. It ends up being tiresome, exhausting and just plain uncomfortable. I spent my Christmas Eve eating dinner with my brother alone. It sounds pretty pathetic but it was actually rather enjoyable.

We talked and reflect on our past lives - we found common ground in our childhood, we laughed and we discuss future trips. It was like talking to an old friend. It felt rather strange because family is something we all take for granted, or we are too close to let ourselves feel. It's relatively easy making friends, sharing common experiences etc but when it comes to family, we get ourselves too comfortable with our daily living rather than focusing on what really matters.

I've always been close to him but we kinda drifted through life. It's always nice to know that there's at least one person in your family that you can count on. He's my shoulder to cry on when I need him.

Before I start to get all teary eyed and drifting into a different topic, my point of this was to say despite my lack of Christmas spirit, this year felt a little different. It felt nearly normal. I did the late night 24 hour Christmas shopping on the 23rd from 1am-5am. All that walking and long hours was worth it. I finally kinda understand the importance of Christmas presents - it's a gesture of affection, care, love - everything we don't say to each other packed into this one gift that I so painstakingly searched for and carefully wrapped.

Today is a good day, and i hope your Christmas is lovely too. If you're spending it alone, go out in the world and do something for yourself and for others, strangers. Make someone smile, that could be a gift to yourself. If you're spending it with family, and you all have already started arguing over nothing, appreciate that despite their flaws, they are still family - appreciate it and love. Stop to take a breath and just be grateful for living. Merry Christmas, everyone.

as always,

Monday, December 20, 2010

34. memories in words

I spent my monday afternoon sorting through my photographs. You see, my hard drive died on me so I lost everything. I had it partially recovered - a lot of my images are damaged and I've lost the originals. My folders were gone so about 14000 photographs were put in one single folder. Sorting it out, I came across pictures I took in June. This was when I decided to go with J and his family to the Northern Territory. It was possibly the worse trip of my adulthood life. It was also, however, a learning experience. I felt (i apologise for lack of better words...) shit 70% of the time.

During that 30 days, I photographed some bits, and others I did not. I learnt how to distance myself with photography. I learnt how to escape from my situation with my camera. As a photographer, your life is in your photographs. It is little moments of your life, of your world, of how you feel. The people you are closest to become your subjects. They are a recurring face in your little projects.

I remember a few moments during that trip. I was standing on the top of this magnificent rocks, I could see the entire land, it was filled with green bushy trees, red sands. The skies were a cloudy blue. It was an amazing view. Despite what was in front of me, I had the heaviest feeling in me. I felt alone, unloved, empty. I knew that I wouldn't ever be here in this exact place so I decide to photograph despite my feelings. It is not surprising that my pictures were lacking inspiration. They were instead filled with mundane emptiness.

As much as I want to forget these moments, I can't. I've photographed them, they are forever etched into my life, into my memories. I could delete them and they will be gone forever, but I know the feeling of regret. and it is the biggest bitch you will ever meet. I will always remember that day that I did not photographed, the day that completely ruined us. I don't need a photograph to remember it, it will always hurt. It's so ironic because that evening was possibly the most beautiful end. We camped by the sea We've been travelling through desert, on roads built with red sand for a while. I remember walking down towards the sea. It was breathtaking. There were these little salt fragments you could pick up and lick. It was a clear day, the skies were so blue. You could see the horizon line, those little clouds heading to the line where the water meets land. This nightmare started as the sun went down. The sky turned purple, and the softest pink with the bluest blue. The tide started to come in, the wind cut into you. It became cold but it was beautiful.

My memory of this end is clear but blurry because I lost my glasses, you took them with you and put in your pocket. We got into an argument and I remember you walking away, no. It was you running away. I couldn't find my way back to the camp. I panicked because the sun was going down, it was nearly nightfall. I couldn't see where you went, I couldn't find my way back. I sat down the cold sand and cried. Through my tears, the rock salts appear to be like broken glass, mixed with blood. You see, we were in the centre of Australia. It was red. I remember when I picked up a heap and hold them tightly, I was disappointed that it was not glass, it did not hurt, and I was not bleeding.

I remember that feeling because at that moment, death seemed like a better option than being here on this earth. This was only the beginning of that dreaded night.


33. behind the lens

.. of being a photographer.

Now, I write more often than I post photographs, considering I am a photographer. The reasons being is I don't often have pictures that say what I want to say. Photography is a lot more complicated than simply snapping a picture. The thought process behind composing a photograph is what separates a photographer from a person with a camera. There are a bazillion genres of photography, not to mention styles. It is easy to capture 'pretty pictures', trust me - all you need is light, a good model and clothing. These pretty pictures are pictures we all want to look at, it is easy and pleasant to the eye but it is also forgettable. In our environment, there is so many photographic material we glance at, consciously and subconsciously. We live in a media world. With words, comes pictures.

I've been put in a situation where I had to create an image that speaks of love, happiness and joy when there was absolutely none of that to photograph. You succumb to playing a few card tricks to get that, because it is what the client asked for. They did not ask for the truth.

It always surprises me that people don't question a photograph. We assume it speaks truth, of course, now we are more aware of it because programs like Adobe Photoshop exists. However, back in the day of film, photographers do manipulate their images - we just didn't realized because it's a secret process in the darkroom, accessed to only the photographer and perhaps his assistant.

My aim in photography is to be as true as I can be. This has always posed a challenge for me because what I photograph now, as it stands before me is real, it's the truth. But, I know it will change. The moment I'm capturing in front of me is fleeting. As I take the time to watch my subjects, I decide when to push the shutter. It is this thought and decision that creates a photograph, a photograph that subjects my viewers to a certain view point.

As a future (and hopeful) documentary photographer, I can't help but input my knowledge into my photographs. I can't help but capture what I feel from my subjects. We all do this on a subconscious level. Being a photographer, you have to realize this and use it to your opportunity. It's all based on instincts. It is your instincts that lets you know when to step back and not photograph but rather immerse yourself in it. A camera can sometimes be an obstruction. You must know the people you're photographing, and gain their trust. It is this trust and bond they have with you that makes a photograph, more than a snapshot.



I'm tired of feeling inadequate.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

31. i'm spending all my money to get to where you are

i would tell you
but it looks like you left for good
and you didn't say goodbye
imagine it next time i would see your smile
and oh i know it so well.
- The Little Stevies, Ticket To Where You Are.

i can't sleep. 3.38am & I'm wide awake. Something is bothering me, I'm not sure what.I wish 2012 would be here rather than 2011. Another thousand dollars and i can book my ticket.

Everything is always okay.If it isn't, it will be.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

30. watch the waves roll

© EL

29. festive seasons and being alone

tonight, i feel a little alone. It's a different time of lonely, it's a quiet night. Silence fills this house. It surprises me how much a person contributes to its space, the environment around them. This house feels a little lost without my grandmother. There's no light here - the living room sits empty. She wasn't the loudest person, in fact, she was so quiet at times you did not realize she is around. But with her gone, there's no light, no joy, no feeling of 'home'.

if i had someone to enjoy it with, tonight would be the night i would say come, let's go for a run. let's go to the park and lay down on the grass and watch the world go by. let's sit by the bridge and watch the river flow. let's ride the trains till it hits the end of their depot.

i'm falling a bit out of my busy cycle - I'm trying to be patient and not do anything and give myself a little break. I'm itching to do things, always. Christmas is coming up, I have to say I hate these festive seasons... it's always about being together with people you loved. That's hard to do when the people you love are not around/don't exist.

I never really had a connection with my own family - sure I know they will be there to welcome me with open arms. But they are definitely not the people I would go to for help. They do not know who I am, my dreams, my wishes, my struggles. They do not understand. I think its my way of coping with being the person I am. I distance myself from them because my way of thinking and living will not be right in their eyes. I don't know how to explain it, but I just can't. It's a lot better now than it was before but there still no connection.

I will say this now, sometimes I wish my life was a bit simpler. It's always been complicated, and I don't mind a bit of complexity but sometimes I would just like a break from it all, I want to feel content (even if that means I be boring for a while) I want to have friends I can go have coffee with weekly, I want to be in a town I grew up in, to recognise all the streets and be able to attach a memory to them. A long term memory - a memory that means something.

I hate this. This feeling of fleeting, running, the need to change. It's because I hate being in one place for too long, I've been in Australia for coming 4 years on 26th Dec. I need to move, to travel, to be seeing new things everyday. It's so hard to do this when you're stuck in a routine.. I haven't been out of Australia for 3 years and I'm itching...

I wish my little legs could take me to the ends of the earth and back. I would walk just to escape. I want the bohemian living - the carefree. My family, my mother especially ties me down here. I get frustrated with closed minds, and it so happens that my mother won't ever see past 'her view', it's saddens me because there's so much to life that she's missing out.

I won't ever let myself fall into that. As much as I love her, I hope I be a better version of her.

i hope i will someday, find the contentment I seek.

as always,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

28. on saying goodbye

i understand now why it is best not to see each other for a while after you break up. It hit me a lot harder than I thought it would be. To be honest, I'm still hurting now. It's more of, mourning the loss of a loved one. The kind of tears that you cry when you know there's nothing you can do but say goodbye.

This is the first time I've let myself feel this, now. Being vulnerable. It's so easy to not feel when you're busy with life - the routine, the mundane. We had a sort of final date goodbye. Strange feelings, it's so easy to fall into what you have known for the past 2 years. The way his hand feels in yours, or the smell of his deodorant. His hugs and cuddles. Knowing what he is thinking just by looking at his face. His kisses. his arms around your waist. I see things a tad different too, you learn to appreciate the little things, the way he tells me to bring a jacket because it gets cold, or his way of holding me back because there might be cars ahead. It's been too long. It could have been so easy to pretend, but there was a difference between us: this lingering feeling in our hearts of what could have been but now, wasn't. We knew it couldn't have worked.


i keep this blog for my own unbiased thoughts. This has always been helpful in sorting out how i feel - I'm sorry to say that i know this blog isn't for my readers, it's for me. Thing is, when you talk to people(friends, family etc) about your life, the moments you're going through - you choose to leave some things in, or to exaggerate on others. You choose to pretend that you are feeling other ways, rather than this feeling. You choose to smile than to cry. It is impossible to be entirely truthful to another person. It is only natural for us to mask some things over others. It is only you, i mean only you, that knows everything you've been through, and every tiny little feelings you might be feeling right now.

Work's been good to me, provided me a way out of feeling useless and aimless. It gives me a good reason to pretend, to smile because it is part of my job. It's been a good distraction. I wonder how many customers could see past my pretentious smile.
However, it's always a good feeling to know that you've brought a (real) smile to their lives, even if it only lasts a macro second. Even if it is unappreciated, it is good to know I did my job right, as simple as it may be, it feels good that I provided them with no hassles, no grumpiness, no anger. I feel it is important to take these things seriously - not in terms of money (tips) but as a person, i should strive to be the best I can be, now, despite everything I'm working through. In the end, It makes me happy too for a macro-second knowing I made them smile. (each macro second adds up overtime)

p.s I still hate working long hours late into the night but this pulls me through. I guess I'm trying to see the little things in life, the more important issues that is, others before I.

But for now, I shall mourn. and it will be okay.

Friday, December 10, 2010

27. clogged up

i have once again fallen sick. Life is a bit weary, exhausting and still. My grandmother is leaving soon and I'm sad to see her go - i hope she comes back soon. Time is going too fast for my liking, i feel i should have enjoyed her a bit more but now she's going back home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

25. traded my friends for experiences

i was thinking today, because of my sudden departure from brunei - i left a lot of friendships behind - i basically went M.I.A literally packed up and left, without realizing how damaging this would be to myself and my friendships. I struggled with the idea of letting go, hanging on, and the inbetweens. I decided to just let it be, the friendships that are worth it will always be there - all other friends are people you come across the way and their only purpose is to provide you with something for a short amount of time and leave, they are not meant to stay, they are the kinds of people that walk in, and walk out.

And I struggled with that a lot. But now, looking back, I think I've come a long way. These things don't hurt me anymore, i don't care if people think about me, or if people miss me or if they miss my friendship with them. It doesn't matter to me because if I cared enough for them or them for me, it would happen - if it doesn't then, well, it was never right to begin with.

i don't want to be a people pleaser. i don't want to be the most popular kid in school - that takes a lot of effort not to step on people's toes.

I'm not saying that i don't appreciate the friendships I had, i have just come to terms with letting it die away. we move on and we go our separate ways. we experience different things, it's alright. i don't feel the guilt and the disappointment anymore.

I've also come to understand and appreciate because of this, my situation, i gain an undeniable amount of life experience. The things I've gone through in the ages of 16 to now has been incredible. Mentally, I think I've found my identity, my self, who I want to be and how to get there. I'm not lost anymore, I have a purpose in life and I honestly wouldn't be here if I had not gone through the things I did. Its all part of life and its lessons. It's so important to embrace it and learn from it. I guess, a lot of people can't come to terms with it. It's important to dwell on your life, and to see what aspect of your life you can change for the better. It is important to question, but as well - it is also important to be able to embrace changes, and to actually take action instead of just thinking and questioning.

We have brains to think but we also have hands to do things with.

today i had an excellent interview - I hope i get this job, it would be really interesting and challenging but highly rewarding. tonight, i will let myself feel proud of the achievements I've made in my life, and I will enjoy it, and take praise from it. Tonight is a night of appreciation - it is not a night of questioning what i can do better ( i do that every other day) or the things I should have done better (again, practically every hour), it is a night where I take time to sit back and be proud of who I am and everything I've come to be.

I'm only 19. I'm only 19.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

24. we are illogical,

i have no sense of why I'm writing a blog tonight - i guess i feel like I needed to say something, but the things that i have to say i wish not to share, or rather i don't feel the need to anymore. everything seems kinda futile in the end - sometimes i guess it's a good thing, that at the end of the day, everything bad that happened on this day doesn't really mean a thing in the long run. The only things that ever matter are you, your perspective, and what you choose to do with your actions and the reasons behind it.

i guess i'll add, I'm disappointed a little bit. i'm not sure in what, but i feel disappointed - actually I do know. I've been slacking off with Carrical a bit. Its been 3 weeks since I went - i should have gone today but I wasn't feeling too well. I feel guilty. I need to go back because I feel like I'm losing my purpose a little - Carrical is always a reminder of why I'm doing this, it's an amazing feeling each time but so apprehensive before hand. I hate this feeling: I've let some people down but most especially myself.

I know, technically, 2 weeks out of the three was because I had university/folio stuff due. I still feel so incredibly guilt-ridden, i guess it's because i know I can do better, I'm expected to be better, at least I feel I should be.

Some people may say I'm too harsh on myself, a week off isn't too bad, you need it to rest up etc. rest is for the weak i say.

sorry, this particular post is a ranting post. I haven't done these in a while. feel free to skip it.

I also feel a bit disappointed in others - i sometime wonder why I still ,after all this time, expected more. I really should just let you run free.

I'm working slowly towards my goals - these days feel so long sometimes. i feel the need to be needed regarding my photography stuff i guess.

I have to get my act together.
i wonder if someday I'll accept that the things I've achieved are enough. i don't think it would be so easy.

goodnight melbourne

Monday, November 22, 2010

23. the greatest

i realise something the other day, my greatest and most important trait is compassion. it is also my weakness, depending on the way you see the world. i am who i am because of my compassion for people. i've come to embrace it rather than reject it for being too emotional, for trying to put up a wall of what I thought was 'being strong'

but i, now see i rather cry and feel too much than be cold and unresponsive. to feel is to live. if you don't let yourself feel, be it pain, hurt, happiness, joy, or anger, then you are not alive.


Friday, November 19, 2010

22. days like these

are always lurking around the corner, waiting to grab you unexpectedly and drag you off with you clawing trying to get away. but in the end, you let go and accept the fact that you can't do anything about days like these.

i never understood how humans can be so viciously cruel to another human being. I never understood why it is some people are just plain mean and out to get you - when there is no need to. What is the harm with speaking nicely? I wish people would understand that at the end of the day, we're all just human beings, made out of the same stuff - we should treat each other equally, nice, not rude, and hurtful. Why would you hurt another person, when you know yourself you would hate to be in that position. This is in context of a stranger to another stranger.

i have a lot of emotions - sometimes i let it get to me, i cry when it's plainly inappropriate to do so. but I do, in fact, it's rare that I don't cry at least once every few days - by cry i mean fully cry.

I'm not sure how to look at this sometimes.. It's positive, it means I can feel - emotions is important. my every being is due to this over-emotions I feel. Empathy, passion, hurt, happiness, disappointments, compassion. It's an overload. There's never really a feeling of inbetweens for me. It's either the extreme versus the other extreme.

I used to hate being this way - but I know no other way, I accept this, and I embrace it now, i rather feel too much than to not feel at all.

depression is a funny thing, it helps me to write my thoughts, it helps to evaluate life, but it brings me so down before i come to this. i seriously cried while I was on shift (work)

that's a story for another day though.

i'll get through this, it's just another day. Tomorrow is a new day - new experiences, new beginnings. I'm just going to breathe all of this in, embrace this, and let go.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

21. yesterday

was the first day i actually missed you.

and today is the same.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

20. I

i know I am meant for greater things, i can feel it the future. I'm going to do some absolutely incredible, life changing, these are just days of paving stone. a transitional progress, a steep learning curve. Everyday is an opportunity to learn, there's so much knowledge that we don't know about, why not learn while we're still here. Someday, you'll see me on the front page. I can feel it. watch out world, here i come. :)


Sunday, October 31, 2010

19. and the nights are cold

it has been one of those days, it feels empty. but a bittersweet empty. It started out being frustrating, moved on swiftly to nothing, today has been a very unproductive day. I took photographs because i needed to feel like what i do is enough for me, enough to be contented. It's something I cherish, this feeling that today might have been an empty day, but days like these will always come and it will always go. At least today, i created a photograph, one that I shall never be able to capture again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

18. all things in life are...

absolutely beautiful.

life is incredible, at this moment.i want to take this feeling and run.

day 4
I can't help but feel a little bit guilty, because I feel so much relief and content, after a break from us. I wonder about you, about whether you're coping well. Sometimes I think about you, and I still cry a little, but thinking about life and it's wondrous things helps me look past this. I feel content,happy, the reasons are based on my self, not on us, or other relationships that I rely on. I think this is what I needed though, the time to focus on me. I'm headed the right way, career-wise. I can see the opportunities ahead, and I'm taking them, wherever it will take me. I do thank you everyday for everything you've done. I wished you realized that I wouldn't have made it here, without you. So if you're thinking, she has moved on so quickly without me, I haven't forgotten about you. I've simply chose to focus on me, rather than us. And I think you need to do that too. I wasn't able to give you the things you needed/wanted, and this was only wearing us down, as a person.

No matter what happens in the future regarding us, or you or me, just note, I will always forever be in debt to you for the things you've done for me. and vice-versa, i hope. But you know what? things happen for a reason.

perhaps, this was all I had to do for you, to allow you to see the world differently, and open your eyes to love instead of judgment. And all you were meant to do for me is hold my hand and teach me to walk.

we've done our deeds, and it's time for us to move on. this is my truest gut feeling. as harsh as I may sound.

I'm not to say I'm not grieving, I am, but I'm choosing to look at this in a more positive light... I hope you're doing okay, i sometimes get these urges to text you, but I know this is for the best that we both let it be. I miss you.

as always,


Monday, October 25, 2010

17. this

25th October 2010, at 9.37pm

as an artist, when you go through pain, hurt, any sort of extreme emotion, you use it, you put it into art. into good use. so here it is. words, that i will one day look back on, i never realized how important this is. to record, till i photographed. words are exactly like that, a record of the things happening now.

so make this be an official record of how i feel, my thoughts and my emotions at this exact moment.

it's been 2 years, two very hard years, i don't believe anyone knows how much we've been through but us. I'm not trying to dictate whose to blame, when everything seems to come to an end, there's always a sense of sadness, especially when those are good times, things that are hard to let go. so these are my tears, sadness, and afraid that it might not be for best because nothing in life is guaranteed. not us, not any other relationship. it's all about making the right decision for you and him, and sacrifices.

the mistakes we made, we put to rest, today. we chose to say our goodbyes, at least for now. till we work out what to do with the rest of our lives. i think loving young, is hard. it's hard when you're both so young that you yourself don't know what to do you with your own life. And if you don't even know what your future will hold, or what you want it to hold, then how can you expect someone to be in that future, that you're so uncertain of.

I'm not being cynical, just realistic. i don't think people realize how important and life changing it is when you enter into a relationship, most people go in it because they're lonely, companionship is all we crave. but think, are you willing to let yourself fall, are you willing to reveal all your flaws, and hope (and trust) they will still love you back. Are you willing to sacrifice things, to give up time(and money) for a slight chance that this would work?

I suppose, I'm trying to let myself believe that if it's meant to be, it will come back. I think this is a good thing to stick to, if it's really really love, it doesn't matter if you go separate ways now, because they'll be back. sometimes for a relationship to grow, you both need to spend time apart.

and this is what we chose to do, for now.

in my blogs, i wear my heart on my sleeve, or rather, my heart on my blog. i open this to whoever reads it, for hope they'll understand.

dearest esther,

don't be afraid to love, but also don't be afraid to let go. You know when it's time to leave, and when it is time to stay. everything happens for a reason, and it is for this reason you have to find out why. Just let it be known in time, even though it may end, you'll always come out with something new you've learnt, something positive, and to look back in the past and be able to smile instead of cry, to smile because those things happen.

as a photographer, i will have millions of pictures, that represent memories, and heartaches. it would take me a while to be able to look at those and not be sad, but i know it will stop in time.

these are just things that everyone has to go through. I think i've come a long way from breaking up, in terms of looking at it from a more positive manner, a more realistic manner.

i thank you, for everything you've done. for all the help you've given me, and for all the encouragement, and courage you've tried to put in me. I can honestly say, all the work up to now, I would have not been able to complete without you. my folios, my pictures, i can only say, i am very lucky to have you been in my life, no matter how short or how long. I'm sorry for all the hardships we've caused to each other, and that it has come to this. but i do hope you'll be happy doing all the adventures you'd hope to achieve. i do hope after all this, after everything, you'll find yourself to be happier than i could ever make you. thank you for letting me find my own way. i hope you find yours too. everything here reminds me of you. thank you for holding my hand when i couldn't walk. and for picking me up when i fall. I can find my own way now. I wouldn't have been able to be who i am today, without any of that.

as always,
with love

Thursday, October 21, 2010

15. every man for himself.

fight or flight?

it is in our mind, embedded in us, our natural instincts. When it comes to facing your fear, or facing things that simply has to be done, what do you do? Do you stay and ride it out, or do you run and hope it never surfaces? i come from a family that shoves everything under the carpet, till it grows into this gigantic mess then it all snaps. Unfortunately it doesn't take very long for it to snap. I believed that it's good to talk through your anger, your emotions, as upset as you may be, it's good to talk it through (and perhaps hurl a few insults). It's healthy to release emotions, rather than to bottle it all up inside and never let it expose. In relationships especially, it is not good to run, or to hang up the phone simply because you're angry. What good does that do? Absolutely nothing, sure it may calm you down for that moment but it will built anger in the other person. I've fallen into this disgusting trap of running away, hanging up the phone because I simply just cannot stand talking it through anymore. It doesn't work.

I've hit an absolute massive brick wall, and I don't have the energy to climb or drill through it anymore. I'm starting to reach the point where I feel that I have to be there for myself, not for anyone else, not to depend on anyone else to be there for me. I need to fall on my own, to graze my knees and not wait for someone to put out their hand to help me up. I feel like I need independence. It is absolutely lucky that i don't drive (for others sake) because if i do, my bags would be packed, i would be gone. Someday, this is going to happen if this keeps going. I just want to leave this place, the people I know, family, so called friends, everything I have ever known, the whole familiarity, and just go.

I don't even care where I will be heading, I just need to leave.

I need to find my 'home'

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

13. where do we fit in

i suppose it's more of a question of do we have to 'fit in', it isn't saying that you have to conform to be place in a group, but it's more saying that, in a society that you're placed in, there is a feeling of awkward, perhaps unsure of who you really are, an identity crisis if you like.

even goths, with their displacement in society have their own group where they feel like it's normal.

i suppose, with physical appearance: its easy for us to outcast them, but when it is inside, emotional and mentally: where do you go? As a society, we don't wear our hearts on our sleeve (normally), and if someone, a stranger, has a breakdown in public: what do we do? we avoid, and watch from afar.

curious but yet we don't break that barrier of something. That emotion that we don't let others see, because it is a fear of being vulnerable, fear.

suppose it is also because, we simply do not know how to react appropriately.

photographs tell a lot, not just about the subject you shot, or about the context behind it. It also tells of the photographer behind it, whether they are confident, their thoughts when they took the photograph, (if you're a proper photographer, not one that shoots but plans... but i won't get into that)

for me, its a record of who i am, journey even.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

12. mistakes are there to teach us

i find myself incredibly burden by my thoughts, i think way too much for my own mental health, it's about friendships. when i first came over to Australia, i was going through a major time of my life: where i was so self-involved with trying to cope with this new world that i chose to avoid and ignore everyone back in brunei(unconsciously or consciously, who knows?) But i think i was going through this state of mind, where i believed that no one really truly care about the matter of my whereabouts, or the state I'm in.

which explains my disappearance for two years and a bit.

i guess i figured that if i wanted to disappear and be gone forever this would be the time. No one would care, no one would find out where i was...

the reason why i was so self involved, was because i was trying to adjust to this new world,i remember feeling so incredibly lost with nothing strong to hold grasp of. there was no clear identity of who i am, but rather the decision on who you should be.

i learn to cope by changing myself, the way i speak, the way i dress, my terminology.

but somewhere along the line, it fell apart; and this identity i set up for me wasn't really me.

this makes me so incredibly aware of being a misfit.

I don't think anyone i personally know really understands this feeling, i try not to dwell on it too much but it's one of those things that you have to deal with everyday because it is right in front of you.

i suppose i should stop thinking too much, like i said too much for my own mental health.

goodnight people,

as always,

11. these days

it's been a while since i wrote, assignments seem to be piling up. The latest news so far, is that I've handed in my two weeks notice into work. My final day is October the 7th. A day before a two year anniversary. Life has sorta been up and down. It's been good days.. trying to find my feet, to find the right people to be friends with. sort of.

there's still a bit of adjustment period, i suppose. But all i know is that i have to keep trying. it's too hard sometimes. At the moment I'm struggling to complete my assignments; i've reverted back to polaroids. 

Home, life at home has been good. My grandmother is here, i enjoy having her around. It feels like home. tis is a good feeling. 

I feel like I haven't been to Carrical in two weeks. It's really weird but i feel so at home, when talking to Alan, or to James, especially to Conrad. Misfits in society, perhaps I'm just like them. A misfit, one that will never fit into what we deem as normal society. There's always 'something wrong' like an aura being emitted from you. 

I was introduced to this guy's work, 'Kip Fulbeck: The Hapa Project'
incredibly inspiring. Anyone, who suffers from a hybrid/split identity, should have a look at this. He photographs people, against a white background, simple honest portraits. Then he asks him to answer a question 'What are you?' Their responses are written and placed under the photograph. 

I feel a bit lost in this western society, Australia and it's educational values are so based around western ideals and themes. I get so tired of being different sometimes. Especially at uni, I'm so exhausted, I hate being here sometimes. The only thing that keeps me going is the things I'm learning, but at the same time, some lecturers are so completely closed minded (just like most of the students) 

i suppose the only way I can get over this, is to find a misfit society that i can fit into or embrace it and simply let it go....

somehow i don't see any way. 
gotta run, class has started.
as always,

Saturday, September 11, 2010


In an apartment above Fifth Avenue, some thirty young people live in a vortex of drug addiction and despair. In The Ninth Floor, Jessica Dimmock enters this world, exploring, in human terms, what has been lost and what may be recovered. See the project at

i was introduced to last year through a lecture, i fell in love with the incredible imagery, and bravery of the photographers/videographers there. They are so incredibly passionate about the work that they do, not for themselves, but for the people they are photographing, for raising awareness to the public. They invest a significant amount of time, immersing themselves into the issue they are addressing, even living within the conditions. Above is a video called the Ninth Floor, it is rated R for drug usage/nudity. In the 1970's, New York artist Joe Smith rented an apartment overlooking Fifth Avenue. In the years that followed, it became a black hole of drug addiction, hopelessness and squandered dreams.
It is a perspective we as normal beings of this society, will not see.

I feel so incredibly inspired by people that have no fear. I believe this is what I am meant to do, to photograph with the intention to bring awareness and the ability to change society(even if we begin with just one person) Too many people in this world go about their own ways and get so self-involved that they forget about the world that surrounds them, the other kinds of people that have it worse than them. They refuse to see, or rather they can't see because there aren't that many people in the world that would give up their lives, and sacrifice themselves and put themselves in such dangerous position to bring back a message to millions of people.

It's incredible.

As a photographer, I've learnt to be open to anything and everything, but it is suffice to say, you must tread with wisdom and safety. I feel like I have an important role to play in this world, i don't meant to sound arrogant

watch it, be sure to check out the other videos at (Love in the first Person is breathtaking)

i'll write more another time (p.s i have been currently stuck in bed and at home for 2 days, urgh)

as always,

Sunday, September 5, 2010


love is simply love, when you fall too deep, and your vision is blurred, when you cannot see any future ahead, what you should do is let go.

i suppose it is like what they say, if its meant to be, he'll be back, if not, just take the lessons you learn under your wing and keep loving, keep falling...

why do we bother complicating things, it is love. it is meant to be enjoyable, meant to be shared, you are meant to have FUN sometimes, but instead you get all caught up with the dramas, with the blame, with the what nots and whose fault it is, you get so twisted up inside, so filled with confusion that you aren't able to simply enjoy love.

perhaps it is time to let go.. at least for now..

it's only love, afterall.. ? right?

we're so afraid of being alone.. we're so afraid of making a mistake, but how else are we meant to know that it was a mistake..? it's time to say goodbye.

friday, i had a really weird but amazing day. I'm trying to figure out why I am incapable of getting along with my peers (i.e youth my age...) I spent the afternoon, with a 49 year old man who suffers from schizophrenia. We talked for hours over coffee, about everything and anything. It was incredibly enlightening. We communicated on the same level of maturity, and we connected, through our similar experiences. I'm only 19, i suppose it really isn't normal to be feel so incredibly connected to someone who is 30 years older than you..


we have become friends, i hope this continues. I need a little intellectuality in my life, sometimes, at least to talk about the deeper and more meaningful things without being too emotionally attached. It is incredible, i wonder if it is just me, and my constant questioning, or is it just that the past few years has made me so aware of cultural differences, of.. society, i appreciate how much it has changed me and made me.. grow.

I wish everyone would stop judging and just learn to love, and not be afraid of the unknown, that some strangers could be your best friend, that all we need to do in the world is to make time to listen, and love. Stop your daily routine for once, and stop rushing. Take time to breathe, to smile at a stranger, to make conversation, to actually perhaps ask that beggar on the street what is his story. All anyone ever wants is for someone to show that they care....



p.s: i do apologise for lack of photographs, I'm trying to keep Carrical images away from here... it will be shown when i can :) Also, i'm running really behind my assignments.. bare with me.