happy birthday

This may be the first time in ten years we are spending your birthday apart from each other as two individuals with their own dreams and pursuits.

I scrolled through Facebook today, and I choose to believe you are doing well, and still living life to the fullest the best way you know how. Maybe you will never ever see this post. But I want you to know and I sure hope you already know, there’s a space in my heart that will always ache and will always root for you no matter what I say or do.

We may be on different paths now, but it doesn’t mean I am not sincere about wishing that you will find your own true joy eventually too.

I think I found mine. It is with no regret and a lot of pride that I know Who I want to follow for the rest of my life. It is my prayer that you will also come to the same realisation and remember the taste of that honey in the rock.

It truly is in the rock because it is not an easy path to take and risk looking like a fool in the eyes of those in the world, but oh, please believe me, the honey, is sweet indeed.

Happy Birthday.

Holding on to that little bit of God

I am kinda confused about a lot of things in general, with myself and with God and with what’s happening around me.

I haven’t been praying much because I don’t know what to say to God. I have so much to tell Him but I can’t find the words to. On top of that, I can’t seem to find the right space and time to pray. I often find my consciousness just holding tightly to that little bit of God my limited mind can grasp. Without words, just a desire to fall into His arms and lay there listening to Him breathe life into the universe. I have been falling asleep this way a lot recently. The physical fatigue from all my different work and service areas are getting to me, but no, I am not experiencing a burnout. I have no strong anger or frustration about my service areas or with the other christian leaders I work with. I mean, there’s always stuff to complain about, and stuff to fix, but I am certain it is not by my own strength that I am still going about this step by step. I am certain it is because of God and the hope He is that I can go on serving, gaining a little taste of heaven each time.

After thinking about it and finally being able to speak (though still very coherently somewhat) to God about everything that is on my mind. I think it’s just me feeling unrest about the uncertainty ahead. If you know me personally, you know how uneasy uncertainties make me feel, and how changes can be very very upsetting to me. Not that I can’t rise up to the occasion and be the best woman I can out of it, but….. Umm, if we can plan beforehand – why not? Why do we have to deal with the unnecessary trouble of making changes….. People always feel that I resist changes, I don’t. I can deal with changes pretty well, but I fail to understand why people who cannot deal with changes, do not choose to plan well. I know some changes are unpredictable, that’s fine. But if they could be anticipated to some extent, then of course I would expect a better response to it. And if they could be totally avoided, then.. Why not?

But I guess God doesn’t see it like that. His timing is perfect, and His humour unbeatable. I have so many dreams, and so many things I want to do for God. But it only remains as my desires and not God’s, that’s what I am praying about. I feel like I am moving in the right direction, but is this really going to honor God?

Maybe you would ask – after saying all this, Vivien, where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing? I can only think of one thing.
I want to worship, with my fingers on the piano, my eyes closed and my heart fixed on God.

Why I dyed my hair purple and this is the only photo I am going to post intentionally on social media

If you are a regular reader of this humble blog, you would have guessed that I already dyed my hair purple/ash grey sometime last week. And if you know me personally, maybe you are wondering how come photos of the “outrageous”/”adventurous”/”rebel” hair isn’t up on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or any other social media platform I use. Well, see, I don’t plan to post it.

I come from a pretty conservative background – be it church, or school, or family. My parents were still “passive-aggressively” against me dyeing my hair even at the age of 22, and I didn’t think it was worth it clashing with them(and maybe also out of pure laziness), so I didn’t. People I hang out with are really nice and pleasant and “good” people by Singapore standards. Elite schools, you know, study hard, not the type to mess around, better school grades and conduct than I had, and they are unfortunate people who have perhaps only one ‘bad’ friend – me. Perhaps thanks to my awesome friends, I have never gotten into much trouble in my life, I do not plan to and I have no temptation to.

But I have always been the rebel – the one complaining in the background when things did not make sense, I would want to go against the ‘System’ and expose how stupid, mindless and brainwashing it really is. I guessed sometimes, I was just being different for the sake of being different. Maybe it was about attention, maybe it was the need to identify myself as unique, maybe it was just fashionable to be different, to be the Weirdo, to earn a label or nickname that had a good ring to it. But I eventually grew out of it – and I hope everyone else does.

It seems all the rage these days – trying to make a drama out of your own life just to garner all those looks of sympathy and words of concern. I am not saying people are not having hardships, but then again, who isn’t? But just ask yourself, are you really going about this the right way? Do you really want to get out of the mess you are in? Is it worth it to stay there? I know how comfortable it feels to be in self-pity when people, out of genuine concern or not, pour love on you – but dude, it’s seriously a waste of everyone’s time because it won’t ever be enough. That’s because you are missing out on Someone bigger, and the eternal joy He gives. I have been guilty of that – and I am still learning. And perhaps for me, purple hair was the first step.

I have accepted that I am different. Rather than ‘wanting to stand out’, I just want to be myself. Maybe it starts to become dangerous when I phrase it like that – the start of selfishness and arrogance. I am not saying I won’t change, but I hope for that decision to be mine alone, motivated by my love for God. I hope for others to see that I am capable of making my own decisions and being responsible for them. I do not want to follow things blindly, I want to be fully convinced of my decisions, and not be coerced into things by others.

Back to the title of the post – it is just me wanting to have some fun in self-expression. If you know me personally, you will find that it is not exactly the most surprising thing. It is in my personality. I just really wanted to do something fun with my hair, and really just, be myself. I originally wanted something even flashier, but decided not to because I thought it wasn’t that nice, and I am not a very flashy person anyway. I wanted something I would like. It was really that simple.

Just because I have purple hair and look all rebel-ish, it doesn’t mean I am a different person. On the contrary, I feel that it just brings out one of my strongest qualities – not being afraid to be myself, even if it meant being dissonant or being rebellious. I think it reminds friends that I am really the Vivien they know. In that respect, I have to thank all my awesome close friends again 🙂 you people are the best, my purple hair now reminds me of why my friends are awesome people who are still my friends.

I am still the same girl who pits herself against bad people because they bully people she loves, the same girl who will not hesitate to give someone a piece of her mind when they ask for it, the same girl who will try her best to be there for you when things get tough, the same girl who loves you in her own awkward way, the same girl who sometimes does downright stupid stuff at times but laughs at herself with everyone, the same girl who loves you enough to tell you the unpleasant truths, the same girl who wants to pursue God even when every other person is watching with their eyes and mouth wide open. I want to do what is right, even if it means being foolish and stupid. When you think about all these – is it really a wonder that I chose to dye my hair purple? Maybe everyone should go find a friend with purple hair.

In fact, for those who think I shouldn’t dye my hair purple..excuse me, I am not obliged to match your misguided mental impression of me – you are just deceiving yourself. Please quit making all those small hurtful passive-aggressive actions and comments. I am not doing it to snatch your limelight, pfft, like it is even of any worth to me. Also, stop sounding like I need your approval for this. I don’t really care for it if you are a nobody to me.

Maybe because I dyed my hair like that, I am not suitable to do this and that – that’s fine and in some cases, very legit. If I want to do it, I won’t ask for concessions – I will follow your rules. But if I am not, then your rules only remain your own. If you think that I am being rebellious and I have bad intentions and I want to overthrow people (just because oh, I have purple hair), I earnestly urge you to go find something else to occupy your thoughts with. Even thinking about jumping pink marshmallows the size of pillows would be great, and perhaps more productive or realistic.

If people feel that dyeing my hair purple suddenly makes me a bad person, sigh – doesn’t it already sound so shallow? Just because my hair is purple, suddenly everything I do looks bad? I can’t be bothered to explain how dumb that suggestion is.

On another note, I am turning 24 in 2 weeks. Just because I look like or you think that I am still attending secondary school, it doesn’t change the fact that I am no longer bound by any school rules regarding hair. I am bound by Singapore law, and I regret to inform that I do not yet know of any laws against dyeing my hair purple. It may sound/look blasphemous to you – but hey, I am totally legal.

Where does God come into the picture? I want to follow Christ, and I know the personality He has given me – and sorry, I wouldn’t trade. And, I seriously think hair colour should not be a criteria for anything at all. If we are judging each other by hair colour rather than deeds and how they live their life – we are pretty much doomed.

And, how many of you will choose to be different when it turns people against you because they think you are being foolish and rash and naive? If you want to be different, be prepared to chase trends all your life. I just want to be myself, and in me, I find that eternal longing for Something bigger and better. Even if it makes me foolish in the eyes of the world, I want to follow. I will try my best to.

For the reasons I stated above, my hair is really not for showing off to say ‘LOOK I AM DIFFERENT AND I AM COOL’ or even do it for ‘likes’. But, I really love it, and eager to immortalise it somewhere I can look at it again. So, for your viewing pleasure (or not, I do not care):

my purple hair!!


***AN EDIT (after speaking to a precious friend about my post): My whole point was really, let me do what I want to my hair, because it’s my form of personal expression. A form brought to an extent where I believe is still moral-neutral, and I shouldn’t have to gain anyone’s approval for it, so don’t start making me feel like I should. It is not going to work, and you are just going to make me feel very angry with you. While I choose ‘personal expression’ as my reason, (and so can you), just remember why exactly you are doing it for. To me, it shouldn’t have to be loud or flashy or intentional or showy, attention should not be taken as a necessary byproduct of personal expression. If being yourself means you may end up loud and flashy and all, then so be it. It shouldn’t matter right… Your true intentions will shine through anyway.