You always have a secret admirer. Sometimes, this secret lives in the mind of the admirer and is never expressed to anyone at all. Ever. Other times, it is the worst-kept secret in the history of secrets (apparently, like the intern we had last summer totally had a thing for me and I was oblivious). Either way, odds are that someone in your life, whether you are friends or whether it is just someone that you see on your daily commute, admires you.
Contrary to popular belief, the word “intimacy” is not solely used in the context of relationships; the dictionary defines intimacy as “close familiarity or friendship”, meaning that we can also use the term in the context of relationships, friendships, or a familial relationship.
With this said, do we have enough intimacy in our life? What is intimacy outside of the dictionary definition?
Forget everything you have heard about humans only using 10% of their brains. Nonsense. Drivel. Rubbish. Bullocks. Several other impolite words I would like to use but probably should not. Many, many studies have shown that music and language activate almost the entire brain, and because of this activation, many magical things can occur. Today, instead of a long-form post, I am going to share several short stories about how music is love, and love is music.
(I have source links in every title, so if you want to read more in-depth about what I have written about, go ahead and click)
Annette was the most perfect person I had ever met.
She was a student, but she was also a ballerina. By conventional definitions, she was not the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, but when she smiled, it felt like the world smiled with her. When she danced, it felt like time slowed down and the world revolved around her as her arms and legs seemed to trace lines on an invisible canvas that stretched all around her. When she looked at me with her crystal-blue eyes, it was like nothing else in the world mattered and that all she saw was me.
Not too long ago, a very wise person told me one of the greatest things I’ve heard in my life. While standing in front of the London Eye (pictured above), talking about transitioning between countries, friendships, relationships, family, and just about everything else under the sun. She said to me: Guang Yi, what you have to learn is this – there are three types of people you will meet in your life. There are:
- People you meet for a reason
- People you meet for a season
- People you meet and will know forever
If you stop and think about it, this is absolutely true. Family, though you technically don’t “meet” them per se, fits neatly into category 3.
A relationship with a man/woman that doesn’t work out? You met them for a reason – they were what you thought was best for you at the time and you learn and grow as a person while with them. Thus, category 1. You could also make a case that failed relationships also fit into category 2.
That little girl that ran up to you and gave you a dandelion? She was there just to make you smile.
I just thought that this was too awesome not to share with everyone!
A year ago, I posted my first entry on this blog. Forty-two entries and a new domain name later, here we are celebrating my blog’s first birthday.
Thank you for all your support and kind words over this past year, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them!
Here’s a sneak preview for what to look forward to in the next few weeks (not necessarily in this order):
- A piece about my best friend – who she is, how we met, and why she’s so special to me.
- My nicknames through the past 26 years and how they came about.
- An article about the three types of people you will ever meet in your life, courtesy of a very wise person that I met last week.
- Some musings on what the sum total of our experiences mean (this last one might take a while, and might get nixxed depending on whether I feel I can present something vaguely intelligent about it)
Have a wonderful week ahead, and here’s to another great year! Thanks again!
Image courtesy of Strawberry Sue
I used to live right on the beach. Our southward facing windows looked over the boardwalk, the sand, the ocean, and the horizon; as the days grew longer and shorter, I used to think about tracing, in white pen on the windows, the growing and shrinking arcs the sun followed as the days went by a la John Nash. There is nothing quite as naturally beautiful as the rising sun, and one of the mornings before I had to leave this home forever, I went out to sit on the sand to watch this marvel just before dawn.
There was a clear and cloudless sky with the stars silently twinkling at me. There wasn’t much wind that night, but once in a while, a gentle breeze would blow from behind me. It was strong enough to shift the sand dunes around me, but it wasn’t strong enough to cause it to kick up into my eyes as I sat there. The salty smell of the ocean was there, as always; a few times, I closed my eyes and tried to permanently capture this reassuring and consistent smell, along with the feel of the sand, mixed with small seashells and tiny pebbles scattered throughout, and the sound of the breeze, in my mind – this wonderful memory of my first real home outside Singapore. This nest that I had spent seven years living in. The place where I learned about a new culture and that I had finally felt like I had begun to belong to.
It’s been almost 10 years since it happened. For me, it was my first foray into this world of expressing my feelings of any kind. Being raised in a traditionally Asian household (well, that’s until we became pretty westernized…but more on that some other time), it was unusual to typically express emotions of any kind, such as “I miss you”, “I would like to see you later”, even much less “I love you.” Yes, I had had my “first kiss” while in camp when I was 13 years old, but that didn’t count because it was a dare. Callie, which is, of course, not her real name , was my first girlfriend, my first kiss, and my first love.
Why am I writing about this? Because this was the first time I ever really expressed such sincere feelings to someone else. Because you don’t ever really forget your first love, and I figured some people want to know a bit more about me. Because I rediscovered an old backup of my (god-awful) Xanga from that time-frame, and I thought it would make a good story.
“But, Guang Yi, you were 17/18 years old. How did you know you loved her?”
Trust me, I’ve wondered about this a great deal, and the answer is that at some point between high school Guang Yi and current Guang Yi, my definition of “being in love” with someone has changed drastically, yet it retains a few of the principles from back then. That being said, 17/18 year old Guang Yi definitely felt like he loved her.
I’ve been having a pretty shitty day, so instead of doing the things I usually do when I have a shitty day, I’m trying something new. Here’s a list of some of the things that make me happy in life.
- The sound and aroma of grinding coffee beans
- Smiling/laughing babies and children
- Playing my violin by myself or with other people
- Watching some bad (or good?) comedy or rom-com TV show or movie
- A friend who surprises me by doing something unexpected for me
- Talking about Rochester
- Singing loudly and obnoxiously with someone, sometimes in public
- A perfectly made latte with even microfoam and espresso shots that haven’t sat longer than 6 seconds
- The smile of someone (a patient, an old lady, etc.) that I’ve helped, even just a little bit
- My mother’s cooking
- People’s satisfaction from something I cooked for them
- Hugs. Not just any hugs, though – good hugs
- Waking up and finding notifications on my Facebook with hilarious links or comments
- Learning something new and useless
- Clear sunsets
- How my skin feels right after I shave
- An unexpected but welcome phone call
Photo from Maniera
I find that there is something wonderfully peaceful and magical about watching someone prepare to do something, whether it is before a soccer player takes the field, a ballerina takes to the floor, a musician begins to practice, or a painter puts his or her brush to the canvas. There is almost a palpable anticipation for what comes after the warm-ups or preparations are complete because just from watching them, you know that you are in for a treat; they have had years to refine and hone not only their skill or art, but to practice their preparatory rituals as well.
Before I unpack, I put my case down and stretch – right shoulder, then left, flex and hold my right wrist for a forearm stretch, then the left. Bend and hold fingers on the right hand, do the same for the left. Shake it out, then open the case. Violin out, attach shoulder rest, remove bow from case and tighten before applying rosin. G major scale, 3 octaves, 2 notes per bow. Then 3, then 4, then 6, then 8. Then arpeggios. What comes after depends on my mood, but these parts are always the same.