Sick

When I get stressed, I get sick. But not sick as in a cold or anything like that. Sick as in my gastric issue flares up.

I’ve always had really bad gastric. It’s kind of genetic I suppose. I’ve always been unable to go hungry for very long. I deal with hunger extremely badly.

Two years ago, it was found that I had about 15 ulcers in my stomach and intestines. I went through hell after that was found out. I was hospitalised twice, made to take a crap load of medication and I even was forced to be on a solely milk diet for 4 weeks when they found out that my intestines had narrowed (That quite possibly was the worst 4 weeks of my entire life). I was in the hospital pretty much every week. I was getting my blood drawn every week. I had countless numbers of tests done on me.

I was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Gastritis and Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is an IBD and it is incurable.

It took me nearly a year to go into remission and ever since then, I have thankfully not relapsed.
In fact, just this year, for the first time in two years, my doctor told me that my blood levels were back to normal. It was quite the achievement in my opinion.

In fact, I often forget that I carry this on my hospital records. I remember once last year I had to go to the hospital because for a long time, my spine was hurting when I sat down (It turned out to be nothing but sore tissues or something). The doctor told me that Chron’s gives people joint aches and I felt strange hearing that. I never really felt like “Oh. I have a disease’. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve not relapsed. I feel like a person with a disease usually is suffering so I guess I’ve always felt like I didn’t belong in that category.

Ever since I got better, I’ve found that I have to be very careful. I needed to make sure that I ate regularly. I had to manage my stress levels. I had to watch what I ate (after that whole ordeal, I found that my body suddenly could not handle Char Siew).

I could manage the food thing. No problem. But stress is inevitable. I’m the kind of person who likes to take control of situations. Which is why I insist on being group leader as far as possible. I always feel the need to be in charge and I put a lot of pressure on myself because of that. As such, especially during times like this (hell week), I find that I’m in constant pain. And usually this gastric pain goes unnoticed by everyone but my mom who can take one look at me and know if I’m in pain or not.

I react to stress as well as I do to hunger. My body goes haywire. Currently I feel like I’m running on the last bit of fuel I have left. I find myself retreating more and more because I’m exhausted and I need all this to be over.

I guess I’m posting this not to gain sympathy but to simply say that it’s hard being in pain and sometimes we ignore what we can’t see but it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Till then, I’ll just keep taking painkillers and try to survive the last 3 (super tough) weeks of semester.

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Sleep

When I think of sleep, I think of a large body of water. Well, for me, I think mainly of the sea.

I imagine that when we lay down to sleep, we are floating on the surface. As we slowly fall asleep, we sink lower and lower into the water.
Finally, when we are in our deepest sleep, we find that we are underwater. 

As we wake up, we slowly rise to the surface and we finally break through and find that we are awake.

I had a nightmare last night and for the past few days, I have not been sleeping well. That’s made me a little sick and I’ve been kind of out of it. I hate this feeling. It’s like I can never sink deep enough even though I’m so tired. Somehow, I keep floating near the surface. Stuck in the middle.

Lately, my dreams and nightmares have been so vivid. I can actually remember small details from them. I don’t know why. 
Last night especially was pretty bad. My nightmare started out good. It actually started very good. I could remember feeling so safe and happy. Then things started to go south. 
Next thing I knew, I was barefoot and running through the woods. I was being chased by a wolf and I was running alongside a train. I was trying to get on the train but it was too fast. There was someone else with me. She was screaming at me to run faster. 
One of the things I’m most afraid of is being chased. Well, that and loud noises. I don’t know why. It’s just that feeling of fear and panic I guess. Anyway, that was my dream. It was vivid and it scared me a lot. That may be why I’m feeling so tired but I don’t know. 
I guess that’s what made me feel the need to put everything into words. I love dreaming. Dreaming is a way to escape reality. But when that turns against you, sometimes, your peaceful descent can turn into you struggling in the water. Half in, half out. When you can’t breathe or do anything but thrash around forming soundless screams. 
Or maybe I’m just being too dramatic. Oh well.

Words

 I don’t want to hold my words in if I don’t have to. Often I make excuses as to why I don’t put my thoughts into words. I write full blog posts in my head but I never take them out because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of my words. 
In this day and age, words, even the most carefully crafted ones, can get you into a lot of trouble. Because if you don’t agree with the majority, you are labelled. You are judged. People no longer care about your opinion if it is not in sync with the majority. How is that fair? I have opinions. They are  just not what the majority think. But if I write down what I really feel, just like the many people that have gone before me, I will be put down and people will viciously come after me.
How do we expect to grow? How are we expected to understand the views of others if the minority is afraid to write what they really feel? I’m not talking about racism or anything that any moral human being would know as being wrong and unacceptable. I’m talking about controversial issues. Things like LGBT, abortion rights, feminism. 
If people are so quick to violently cut down opinions, soon everyone will become part of the silent bunch. Now that  I’ve gotten that out and thought about it, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be that person. I want to be able to write what I want in the kindest way possible. I want to be able to write intelligently, my opinions and such. Because if the majority can air their views without getting flack, then so should the minority.

How To : Create A Successful Instagram Fan Page {Part 2}

Welcome back to to part 2 of my ongoing series, How To: Create a Successful Fan Page. If you haven’t seen part 1 then I’m sorry but 



Go check out part 1 if you haven’t basically. The link is here {http://twentythreeowls.blogspot.sg/2014/07/how-to-create-successful-instagram-fan.html}

In this edition, I will be talking about the popular (basic) acronyms that are used on Instagram and KIK. 

So let’s get to it and I’ll explain why it’s important to know these things later.

SFS: 
Shoutout For Shoutout. This is exactly the same as a PFP (Post For Post). It’s when someone KIKs you a shoutout picture and caption and you send yours and both people post it and leave it up for 10 minutes unless otherwise discussed.

Screenies:
This is similar to an SFS but it is not done on KIK. It is done on Instagram directly. You simply take a screenshot of the person’s account or edits and post it saying ‘Follow @obsessedwithvamps’, for example. Again, you leave it up for 10 minutes.

Group Shoutouts/Shares (GS):
This is where your nice people skills come in. This is also the place where you meet friends and network with people. Basically in a GS, someone will say ‘Drop names’. You then post something like this:
Cam 1 
Someone will then gather the names and put them in a list. Then, by the order of the names, you send your SFS picture and caption and everyone will post. Then the next person will go and likewise till everyone is done. This can be fun but sometimes, when you have people who are not active, it can take a long time and be very annoying. So make sure you have time to remain active in the GS before agreeing to be in it.

TIP: Try to be first or second. Sometimes GS’s breakdown after one or two people go because of inactiveness. Try not to get last because sometimes people don’t post. That said, don’t go bat crazy if you do end up last. Just deal with it. Not everybody doesn’t post. Also don’t leave if you do end up last because it is 



Megas:
This is similar to a GS except when someone says ‘Drop’, you type your username like this:
@obsesedwithvamps 
Then someone will gather the names to put in a list. REMEMBER. If you are the one gathering, you have to send your username as well. Then you gather according to who dropped first. Don’t shove your name on top simply because you gathered or because you are hosting. It’s very rude. Then, someone will make a caption and someone else will post a mega picture. Then everyone posts and leaves it there for 10 minutes. Pretty simple.

TIP: Try to get your name on top as much as you can without being rude or cheating. People sometimes like to follow the top person only. If you can’t get on the top, try to put your name last because it’s just as good as getting a top place.

Ultras:
This is pretty fun as long as you have active people and good coordination. These things don’t happen often though because it takes 20 people and some people just don’t want to deal with that ‘ish. ANYWAY. An ultra is basically when you have two full KIK groups (so 20 people) and you have one person who is in both groups. Then, you drop your usernames, someone will gather it and the person that is in both groups will combine the names from both groups and then it will be like a mega but with 20 people. I’ve been in good and bad ones so be careful. If it looks like its falling apart, leave. Don’t waste your time.

CWD:
This means ‘Comment When Done’. Pretty self-explanatory. 



So that’s it for part 2. It is super important to know these things because it is very annoying when you have someone asking you to explain it. You most likely think I’m being bitchy here. Let me explain. Majority of established fan pages have what they call SFS time. This is an allocated time when accounts will do a lot of SFS to gain followers. That means that it is highly likely that a person will be in 3-4 megas, one GS and a couple of SFSs all at once. It’s hectic obviously and the last thing you need is someone asking questions. So don’t be that someone. 

I hope you guys liked this post. Stay tuned for part 3 which will have more tips!

(P.S. Just a note, just like part 1, when this post hits 100 views, I will post part 3)

How Poly Saved Me

Ever since last Friday, I’ve been constantly thinking about how amazing my Poly life has been and how much it has changed me.

For the last 11 years, I was always the weird kid that sat by herself and had basically next to no friends. I had one or two but usually they were not very nice to me and they often walked all over me. In fact, for two years, I skipped recess everyday because I couldn’t face the canteen by myself. I would sit in my empty classroom , starving, and I would read or write in my diary.
I was bullied for a very long time as well. It started all the way in kindergarten in fact. I don’t know which years were the worst in my life actually. Was in in primary 1 when I was threatened to give money to a girl who claimed to be my friend but would still bully me mercilessly? Was it in primary 2 when the same girl and another who was in primary 1 opened the school bus windows and screamed out that I was a camel all while I sat right there in tears? Might I add that as this girl was screaming that I was a camel out the window, she was also whispering in my ear that she was still my friend? Or maybe it was the time when they teamed up to put glue in my hair.
Or maybe it was the time when for no reason except jealousy, I was tormented by a bunch of Indian girls. They said they wanted me dead. They hated me. They would call me names and talk bad about me in Tamil all while I sat there right in front of them, not comprehending anything. All while my ‘best friend’ (who understood Tamil) would tell me that they were saying nice things to me without standing up for me in the slightest. And why were they jealous? I learned later that it was solely because I excelled in English and Literature and I was constantly being praised for my work.
All that changed when I finally was done with school and I came to Poly. I was blessed with a class of amazing, inclusive people as well as 5 wonderful, amazing, awesome friends who for the first time in my life, understood me.
I thought I was the  only one who read nerdy books and fangirled a whole lot. Turns out that wasn’t true. I met two friends who I can talk books with. Just yesterday I sat next to one of my friends and we both had e books open on our laptops and for a few hours, we just sat there in companionable silence, both of us utterly absorbed in our books.
I never thought that I would meet people who cared so much about getting things done well before the deadline and who were punctual and who always brought 100% to our group meetings until I came to Poly. (That behaviour was simply deemed annoying when I was in secondary school). My 5 friends, who are also my group mates, are so on fire and we are always ahead because each of us understands how the other works and we work super well together.
So yes. Basically I’ve run out of words for now. There was a lot on my mind today and I needed to get it all out. You know that feeling when you say everything and then even if what you’ve written is incomplete, it’s all the words you have and nothing you do can make more words appear? Yeah.
 I’m exhausted from all my projects and I’m stressed about my radio assignments. I don’t have anymore words tonight. 

How To : Create A Successful Instagram Fan Page {Part 1}

I’ve decided to write this post as a thank you to my beloved followers for getting me to 6k.

So to commemorate this milestone, I decided to come up with a few blog posts, a series if you will, on how to create a successful Instagram fan page  account from the ground up. In each post, I shall have 3 points. I’m not yet sure how many posts there will be by the end of this. I can be long winded. 

So, let’s get to it then.
1) JUST DO IT
Creating an Instagram fan page account can be pretty daunting. Well, it was for me. I had to think about things like if I would have time to manage an account (I created this account last year when I had to sit for my major Cambridge exams). I also wanted everything to be perfect. Little did I realise that with a fan page account, you can never reach perfection. You will always be improving in some way or the other. 
BUT I’m going out of point. The point is, don’t think too hard. Just go for it. Having a fan page account is unpredictable and that’s what makes it so damn fun.
2) YOUR USERNAME
There actually is a story behind my username. When I created my account, I was just out of the Twilight fandom and I was really into the Vampire Diaries and vampires in general. I had (and still have) this really cool book about all the different types of vampires and they had cool stuff about the evolution of vampires in fiction and stuff. So I was really into vampires. Hence I decided on the username Obsessedwithvamps. 
Again pretty irrelevant to what I really want to say about this point (sorry). When coming up with a username, follow these tips:
1) Do not copy. Be original.
2) Avoid numbers. It makes you look like a noob and it also makes it harder for people to remember your username
3) Avoid underscores though if you really want an underscore, just use one. Not 5 or 6. 
4) Try to use something that is catchy and that has a ring to it.

3) CREATE A KIK
This is super important when you have a fan page because it will be what you use to communicate with majority of your friends and occasionally, followers. You NEED a KIK. This is what you will use when you are communicating with people for SFSs, GSs, Megas and more (I’ll make a post soon about the acronyms). You have to remember however, that this will be your professional KIK. 
What does that mean? Well firstly, it means that your particulars have to be on point. Your username, as far as possible, should be the same one you have for your Instagram. This will make it easier for people to find you on KIK. Again, don’t have some crazy name.
Secondly, the format for your display name should be like this:
As you can see, it should have your name or nickname, followed by the number of followers you have (BE HONEST) and then you can put ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’ depending on when you are online so people know that they can contact you. 
Well, that’s it for the first part of the series. I don’t know why anyone would listen to my advice but I’ve been wanting to do this for  while so I don’t really care. Part 2 will be out soon. 
Once again, thank you so much for 6K. Instagram has really become this big part of my life and I’m so grateful for all my 6000 friends. I honestly don’t know why you guys follow me. I’m not the best editor out there. I’m not the most hardcore fan out there. So I’m really grateful that you guys don’t care about that. Every follower, every like, its all special to me and I hope you guys know that.

**SIDE NOTE: I have included links to both my personal and fan page Instagram accounts by the side.

Service

Sundays are always family days for me. I go to church with my whole family and then we later go for breakfast together. It’s something we have done pretty much since I was a kid.

Today was particularly fun for me because I was serving in Church. Recently, I became a scripture reader. As of today, I’ve read 3 times in church.

Ever since my first reading, I’ve found that I truly enjoy reading the scripture to the church. It’s one of my favourite things to do now.

Today was special because it was Youth Sunday. So Pastor Daniel was there. In addition to him, there were our 3 other pastors and our new pastor all sitting there. To make things more stressful, my cousin, who was the reason I wanted to go into scripture reading in the first place was finally back from Sydney after about 6 months. This was the first time she was going to hear me read.

I was very very nervous. I needed to be perfect up there. I could not afford to screw up. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a problem when I get nervous. I tend to move around a bit and I will read really fast.

When I went up today to read, I had so many things on my mind. ‘Don’t move around’. ‘Read slowly’. ‘Pronounce your end consonants’. ‘Be clear’. ‘Look up’. ‘Don’t lose your place’. ‘Don’t screw up’. It was nerve-racking.

After my reading, I was told by my family that I was moving a little and I read pretty fast. Though apparently I was very clear so it didn’t matter that I was a bit fast.

After that  had to immediately go up to the projection room to do the slides for Pastor Daniel’s sermon.

We went to Han’s after that for a simple breakfast.

Overall It was a good morning I think.

Plot Twist: TFIOS Edition

Plot twist: The real reason why Gus was at that gas station to buy a new pack of cigarettes was not because he had misplaced them but rather because he had finished smoking them. Saying that it was a metaphor was just so that he could keep cigarettes on him whenever he wanted. His cancer came back because he had started to smoke.

(I’m sorry. I know you must think I have a real issue with TFIOS. I don’t. Really.)

*Read my full review of The Fault In Our Stars here: http://twentythreeowls.blogspot.sg/2014/06/the-faut-in-our-stars-honest-review.html