Try, Fail, Try, Fail

“You try. You fail. You try. You fail. But the only true failure is when you stop trying.”

- Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion

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I confess. I didn’t watch the whole film. I just caught some of it on TV :mrgreen:

But I really liked this quote.

If you really want something that much, you owe it to yourself to keep trying. The road is not always going to be easy. You’ll stumble and fall a few times. But if reaching the end of the path is what you truly want, you know what you need to do. Pick yourself back up and wipe the dust off your shirt. March forward.

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The Magic of Languages

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in the world spoke the same language?”

That’s what I used to think. It would break down all sorts of barriers. It would unite us all. Every single person sharing one universal language. We could travel wherever we wanted and have no trouble communicating with whoever we wanted.

But that was before. Before I met fascinating people around the world and got involved with events celebrating our multi-cultural world. I eventually realised how infinitely interesting and diverse languages really were.

Today, I share with you five reasons why learning a new language can be magical:

1. It’s a way of instantly connecting.

My first lesson that life taught me about languages. The language barrier that existed there previously? You can well and truly tear that down now.

I’m not entirely sure why it is and it’s only happened a handful of times to me, so I don’t have enough evidence to make a firm conclusion. But I think it’s like when you meet someone and find out you have something in common. Not just a casual interest, but something much deeper. Something connected to your heart, almost. To know you both speak the same language sparks an instant connection.

2. It helps us learn just how intricate wording can be.

I sometimes struggle to say what I want in English, let alone another language!

One of the great things about languages is the phrasing. In each language, the words are strung together in a different way to convey a certain message. Some languages have multiple words for the same thing whereas others are missing entirely, or have their own unique words which can’t neccesarily be translated.

It’s for this very reason that I’m known for watching the same series three times over. I like to know how the dialogue is phrased in another language. (Also useful for picking up new words!)

Because of each language’s intricate phrasing system, this is the exact reason why machine translating doesn’t always work (and can sometimes have hilarious consequences).

3. It can make us appreciate how beautiful a language is.

This is in addition to number 2, each language is beautiful because of how different it is. Personally, I love how they have their own unique sound.

For example, I love that in Cantonese, I can sound like a cartoon and it isn’t weird. (Before this, I’d never really noticed how exaggerated we would sound if we ever spoke English just like English-language cartoons in real life.)

I love the soft purring ‘r’ sound in French that I can never hit and how cute the word ‘pamplemousse’ is.

Something about the Japanese language sounds kind of adorable and the German word ‘Schmetterling’ makes butterflies sound so much cooler. :mrgreen:

4. It opens up new doors.

A positive side-effect caused by point number 1 is that you can make new friends. Other ideas are new job opportunities and travel opportunities.

Travel is a good one. Visiting a country abroad will always be a great experience, but it’s even greater when you can speak a little of the language. Even if it’s only a few phrases. There’s something really heart-warming about being able to buy your own breakfast at a local market, speaking in the local language – you start to feel part of a new world.

To immerse yourself into a language, and by extension the culture, is a truly rewarding experience.

Or if nothing else, it allows you to watch your favourite TV show dubbed in a new language :D

5. It can unite us all.

Sometimes languages hinder us in that we can’t speak comfortably with another person, for fear they won’t understand. So it’s a nice, welcoming feeling when you can both converse together comfortably.

Even if you’re not perfect at that language, it doesn’t take away any of the magic. The effort in trying still counts. It’s really a perfect way for us to come out of our own bubbles and explore what’s out there :)

 

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Restoring Faith In Humanity

It was an ordinary day. I’d just stepped off the bus, making my way to catch a train. Out of nowhere, a lady called for me. “Excuse me!” I turned around and saw she had frantically run after me. “Did you leave these on the bus?” she asked, as she held out a pair of glasses. I told her they weren’t mine, but I thanked her anyway. She smiled the happiest smile and walked away. I smiled the happiest smile over how someone would be kind enough to chase me down for a small thing like that. Such good intentions.

Another standard day. Except this time, I was on the road. I’d only just passed my driving test and it was my first week of going it solo. P plates ready, P for Please be nice to me! (Okay, not really but that’s what I hoped for :mrgreen:). I was having a particularly hard time entering Rush Hour Road, probably at a standstill for at least five minutes, when the car behind me drove along my side. Oh no, I’m taking too long, I thought. But to my surprise, she gestured at me to follow her and she kindly guided me out, her car alongside me. It was an unusual case but she did it in a wonderful, safe way. Times like those I wish I had a huge light-up sign that flashed “Thank You!!!”

And most recently. Yet another everyday kinda day. A car had broken down in the most unfortunate position. In the middle of a road. In front of a junction. At rush hour, in the darkness! At first a lot of cars simply drove round her, but when it became apparent she was stuck, traffic from all sides halted. Several men stepped out of their own cars to check if the driver was okay. They convinced her to walk back to a safe area. Then they all proceeded to push her vehicle to safety too. The fact that everyone had stopped to make sure this lady was safe before continuing their journeys… something about that whole thing was beautiful.

These three stories are things I actually experienced. And I think it’s so wonderful that a seemingly ordinary day can be turned into an extraordinary one, simply from one act of kindness. Even when I wasn’t on the receiving end, my day was made better from simply witnessing it.

With so much bad news in our airwaves, it’s always a welcome change to read some good news once in a while. It’s people like this who inspire us to do what’s right – to look out for one another.

The inspiration bug has hit. Each of these experiences taught me something new. Since then, I’ve also chased after a person when they dropped their coat. I’m always extra nice to other drivers and road-users. I’ve learned that one small positive change that can change a day for the better.

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Everyone needs a source of happiness to feed from. Whether you’re having a bad day, going through something deeper, or in need of a cheer-me-up treat… even the most optimistic of people can need something to make them smile.

For that reason, I’m sharing with you this Tumblr blog called Faith In Humanity Restored: http://faithinhumanityr.tumblr.com/

Serious kudos to whoever runs it! I found it early this week and have spent a lot of time going through it, because it’s just too darn adorable and heartwarming! It’s a great place if you need something to cheer you up :)

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Why Being Childish Isn’t The Same As Shirking Responsibility

“Childish.” A word commonly used to refer to someone who is irresponsible or has a lack of maturity. Often followed by a cry of “grow up!”

But that’s unfair. That’s saying that children don’t know anything about responsibility. Give them more credit than that!

Children are clever. Give a child a curfew and they’ll know what time they’re supposed to return. Send them on an errand and they’ll know what needs doing. Tell them to look after the class pet and they’ll do so, with plenty of enthusiasm to boot! So come on now – of course children know responsibility. They can be responsible if they want to.

“But children don’t have grown-up responsibilities!” You’re right. They don’t. But why does that make a difference? Responsibility is in the actions, not in the duty. Having a responsibility does not equal being responsible. Just because they don’t have those responsibilities, it doesn’t make them any less responsible.

And let’s be real – there are adults with ‘grown-up responsibilities’ who aren’t responsible. We could call them childish, but again, that’s an unfair description. That isn’t what ‘childish’ is about.

Being childish means having a much simpler way of looking at things. It means de-clouding your head and seeing what’s there right in front of you. It means being inquisitive, looking up from the ground and taking a real look at the world. It means not being afraid of a little rain and greeting the outdoors anyway.

Being childish means putting fun into everything you do. Or if you can’t, then make time for it. Fun is the objective. It means falling into your imagination, jumping in the snow making snow angels, climbing trees and not being self-conscious of all those people walking past who see you (though if you dared to look back at them, most of them are smiling at you… err, but I wouldn’t know anything about that :mrgreen: ).

Being childish means focusing on the here and now. Children don’t overthink the future or the past. They glance both ways but remember where they are right now. Do what you can today, make the most of it. Our todays are the building blocks that form our yesterdays and build our tomorrows. Like wise children once said, summer belongs to you.

Begin To Be Today What You Want To Be Tomorrow

Begin To Be Today What You Want To Be Tomorrow

Maybe people don’t call it “childish.” Maybe it’s called “being child-like” or “embracing your inner child”. The terminology isn’t important – it’s the concept.

So here’s a secret. Every one of us has a special ability, one that just needs waking up. The ability to grow up and yet keep our childish heart.

If we all followed the logic of childish = irresponsible, well then, I must have never been a child! (said the goodie goodie, never-break-the-rules-at-school girl) :)

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New Fictional Role Models

I am one of those people who is forever immersed in the fictional world. The world of unreal and imaginary flows through every fibre of my being.

Fiction inspires me to no end. It has impacted my life decisions more than anything real ever could. Even my food and fashion choices were influenced by fiction.

Previously, I’ve written about my role models (of the real and not-real variety!). But you can never have too many inspiration idols, right? Here are three characters I’ve added my my ‘inspirational’ list :)

Misaki Ayuzawa (Kaicho wa Maid-sama!)

First off, I have to say that I’ve only watched three episodes of Maid-sama so far. Although it’s not my usual pick (I’m not entirely sure where the story trying to go), I found it to be both pretty hilarious and romantic – which makes it more of a guilty pleasure series at the moment!

But from what I’ve watched so far, Misaki – the main protagonist – is a tough (perhaps, a little intimidating) and hard-working girl who puts her all into everything she does. Even if the task is something she dislikes. In the story, she reluctantly works a job as a maid in order to help support her family. This is what is particularly inspiring for me. Although she doesn’t exactly like the task, she’s determined to put in 100% anyway. To me, this is like saying “well I’m here to do it anyway, I may as well do the best I can.”

On top of this, she is completely selfless (maybe a little too much!) and works really hard for herself in order to protect others. Her go-get-‘em and ‘do your best, no matter what’ attitude is something I’d like to remind myself to have more of. (Additionally, I’m in the process of figuring out whether her awesome hairstyle would work in real-life :mrgreen: It helps to have a visual reminder, doesn’t it?)

 

Shiharu Nakamura (Love So Life)

Shiharu is the main character of Love So Life, a really cute and adorable manga series. Love So Life has quickly become one of my favourites because of how much it makes me cry, smile and laugh like an idiot (even when re-reading past chapters!) For those reasons, I’m very lucky nobody has ever walked past me while I’m reading this.

In contrast to Misaki’s no-nonsense, to-the-point personality, Shiharu is a forever-cheerful, optimistic type. She has a youthful and child-like quality which, being a baby-sitter, is a useful trait for understanding children. I think this is something everyone needs in the grown-up world. The simplicity of a child’s way of thinking can really help filter out the complex, cloudy thoughts we get as a grown-up.

She holds unconditional love for everyone she knows, even going as far as holding back her own feelings, believing it would be better for others. But she learns that it isn’t healthy to always hide your feelings, despite your good intentions, and sometimes it’s equally as good to share your feelings – yet another life lesson that we should take note of!

Not only that but I’ve taken a few fashion ideas inspired by her outfits in the manga. It’s normal to do that, right?

 

Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)

Actually, it’s a bit unfair to choose just one out of the many companions. Since joining the Doctor Who craze from the Ninth Doctor series, I’ve liked all the companions. My favourites being Idris (a.k.a the TARDIS is human form) and Sarah-Jane Smith (circa. Sarah Jane Adventures… alright she wasn’t exactly a ‘companion’ anymore, but she was her own!)

But out of the long-running companions, I’m not sure why I chose Clara out of everyone. Maybe it’s because of her sarcastic, quick-witted energy which shows she can really hold her own. Perhaps it’s because it’s because of her really funny sense of humour. Or her accessible fashion style. Or maybe because of that one episode where she was an exceptional Doctor.

I don’t know but she makes a great match for our newest Twelfth Doctor (who by the way, I love just as much as previous incarnations!)

I’ve secretly always wanted to be a companion. My favourite piece of fashion advice is: “Dress everyday like you’re going to run away with the Doctor in those clothes.”

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If you like this, maybe you’d like to read my previous ‘role model’ posts:

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Think About Your Biography

“I want to live my life so that I’ll be able to read an in-depth biography about myself in later years and not puke.”

- Paris Geller, Gilmore Girls

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It’s not the most poetic way of putting it but she has a point :)

Life is about constantly growing and learning new things everyday – whether that’s about yourself or about the world! Small things count too :)

It doesn’t have to mean throwing yourself into a wild adventure (but if that’s your scene, that by all means, do it!). It just means taking your average day and making it into something wonderful, even if just through the little things. Something you can truly call a memory. Little by little, those memories come together and form a scrapbook in our mind. A scrapbook that we can look back on and smile at page.

All those opportunities outside your door. Only you will know which opportunity is the right one for you. And when it comes around, don’t be afraid to grab it!

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The Struggles of Writing an Email

A quick post today as I share with you a funny YouTube video created and animated by Domics.

I know this struggle all too well and yet, it’s kind of ridiculous – it’s just an email!

Personally, I find it difficult to write text to someone without adding a smiley face, emoticon/emoji or at least an exclamation mark somewhere. Sometimes I have to resist from adding a little too many…

It’s kind of difficult to convey expression in plain black and white, isn’t it? :mrgreen:

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