:: the bucket list ::

These are just non-exhaustive list of things i would like to do as part of my bucket list. One experience and adventure at a time. 

EXPERIENCE

  1. Visit every Disneyland in the world. (Hong Kong, France, Tokyo, Shanghai, California, Florida, Hawaii)
  2. Travel Africa and do the safaris.
  3. Climb Mount Kinabalu and see the sunrise.
  4. Travel from the South to North of India.
  5. Skydive.
  6. Get a PADI diving license. (Pulau Redang-2013)
  7. Get my advance water diving license. (Pulau Tioman-2014)
  8. Be a rescue diver!
  9. Learn how to ski.
  10. Learn how to roller-blade/ice-skate.
  11. Eat a sago worm.
  12. Watch a musical in London. (Phantom Of The Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre-2013)
  13. Watch a musical in Broadway.
  14. Travel around Japan during sakura season.
  15. Watch Dashboard Confessionals live in concert.
  16. Watch Lea Salonga live in concert. (Kuala Lumpur, 2010)
  17. Watch Jason Mraz live in concert. (Kuala Lumpur, 2012)
  18. Eat ice cream outdoors in snow.
  19. I would like to see snow. For real. And throw a snowball at someone or make snow angels.
  20. Pet/sit on an elephant. (Pattaya, Thailand-2007)
  21. Island-hop in Greece. Santorini would be nice.
  22. Sit in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey.
  23. Visit The Louvre in Paris.
  24. Eat a real watermelon cake from Black Star Pastry, Sydney.
  25. Do a roadtrip on Route 101 from Los Angeles to San Francisco, USA.
  26. Stand on the top of the Empire State Building in New York.
  27. See the aurora borealis/ northern lights.
  28. Visit Israel.
  29. See the Burj Khalifa.
  30. Visit Auschwitz, Poland.
  31. Sail out to Milfort Sound, New Zealand.
  32. Stand on top of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.
  33. Go on a ridiculously luxurious trip in Bora-Bora islands.
  34. Or a 60-day Eastern Europe cruise would be nice.
  35. Sit on the Eurostar. (From London to Rotterdam, September 2016)
  36. Walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland. (September 2016)
  37. Learn how to surf.

SEVEN (AND MORE) MUST-SEE WONDERS OF THE WORLD

  1. The Grand Canyon, USA
  2. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
  3. Niagara Falls, Canada
  4. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  5. Great Wall of China, China
  6. Taj Mahal, India
  7. Stonehenge, England
  8. The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia
  9. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (before its completely destroyed)
  10. Machu Picchu, Peru
  11. Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland (September 2016)
  12. The Roman Colosseum, Italy
  13. Angkor Wat, Cambodia (June 2017)
  14. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

THE MERMAID’S DREAM

  1. Dive in Sipadan. (Stayed on Seaventures Dive Rig in June 2017)
  2. Dive with manta rays.
  3. Dive with dolphins.
  4. Dive with seals.
  5. I really, really want to see whale sharks.
  6. Dive with thresher sharks. (Malapascua, Philippines- Jan 2017)
  7. Own my own gear. (June 2017)
  8. Get an underwater camera.

GROWTH

  1. Sing on a random, public open mic.
  2. Learn how to play the acoustic guitar.
  3. Write a book. (A novella counts right? NaNoWriMo 2007)
  4. Lead worship in church. (2014)

YOLO

  1. Skinny-dipping.
  2. Sing for a musical or advertisement.
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:: breathe ::

Things can only get better. 

Drink water and pay the bills and love people. Paint, make art, make love, make lists, make whatever the hell you want. Travel on the weekends and dress for the weather. See movies and go out to eat and stay in touch with friends and wear clothes just because you like them. Know that there is a time to work, a time to rest, a time to be sure and a time to choose: all of which will arrive and pass as you are ready. Become a proponent of peace. Love those who don’t love you. You don’t have to agree, but you must tolerate and respect, even if such courtesies are not given to you. Most of all, never let anybody shame you for living your truth. Let your soul out. Experience and immerse yourself in the only thing you really have– right now.

Repost from : http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/life-insights-you-need-to-know-in-your-20s-and-beyond/#xbEmX05wckquegBF.01

:: speak to the dry bones ::

I’m struggling. I really am. To hold everything together. And i’m not even being emo about it. It’s just a fact. Truth: I can do all things through Christ. 

I’m tired. There’s so many things to do that its hard NOT to compartmentalise. Fact: I’m usually thrilled ticking things off my checklist. These days, most boxes are left unchecked and i feel a sense of insane disgusting amusement with my own incompetence. Truth: His grace is sufficient for me. 

I’m lonely. I can’t even deny it. I’m with a crowd and there’s just this sense of emptiness. Fact: I can’t tell who’s really gonna be my side scraping knees when the rubber hits the road. Truth: He says He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. 

I feel discontented. Fact: Pressures of wanting my own place and being able to afford multiple dive trips is…embarassing. Truth: He promised to give me every desire of my heart. 

I miss you. Whether its the ‘idea’ of you or the fact that you’re just not there, you still linger in familiar places. Fact: I see things i don’t wanna see when you’re with other people. Truth: His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. 

I’m tempted. To leave. Fact: You’re the reason i’m staying. 

Truth: He makes all things work together for my good.

:: be all there ::

How foolish i was.

“Your ‘sense of loss’ at our not being able to share things these past few months is not new to me. I know it, and often tell Him about it.  And such thoughts as ‘If they dear home be fuller, Lord…’ are a consolation.  And then the realistic facing of non-accomplishment comes to me and crushes to silence all telling.  For if, really, we have denied ourselves to and from each other for His sake, then should we not expect to see about us the profit of such denial?  And this I look vainly for.  It comes to this: I am a single man for the kingdom’s sake, its more rapid advance, its more potent realization in my own life. But where is that advance and that realization? I am willing that ‘my house on earth be emptier,’ but not unless ‘His house be fuller.’  And I think it right that we hold God to his bargain.  I, of course, in making visible results of our separation the final test, and, in truth, rejoice in seeing beyond results which are obvious.  But I reason thus that I should be more importunate in prayer, more dogged in devotion, and should not get, as you say, to a ‘weary acceptance of things as they are.’

Besides this, there is the somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing.  We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone.  But let us not forget-that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual-what might be simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as thought He robbed me-of things that are not. Further, the things that are, belong to us, and they are good, God given, and enriched.  Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living. It is true that our youth is fast fleeting, and I know the rush of wants, the perfect fury of desire which such a thought summons.  All that it involves-this getting on to thirty-brings a push of hurry and  a surge of “possible” regrets over the soul.  And, Betty, this is just exactly what we have bargained for.  Obedience involves for us, not physical suffering, perhaps, nor social ostracism as it has for some, but this warring with worries and regrets, this bringing into captivity our thoughts. We have planted (in our integrity) the banner of our trust in God. The consequences are His responsibility.

I shouldn’t be digging in doubt, what i have planted in faith. There’s this need to preach to myself day after day that it’s becoming a daily decision to CHOOSE You. God, help me believe. In Your sovereignty, that this IS Your plan. That all things work together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose.

Help me not lose focus. To keep the main thing, the main thing. Amen.

:: to be or not to be ::

As i sit in my comfy chair, pondering what the nation thinks about the upcoming elections, i sit feeling…discontented. I am a Gen Y. And it’ll be my first time voting, if #GE13 materialises. I’m praying it will, else i lose my chance to exercise my right.

That’s right. MY right. To vote.

But vote for what? Neither side seems to pose victory as sweet as it is when i’m drinking a hot cup of Milo. It’s not just about voting the Opposition because i don’t like the current government. It’s not just about voting against people who have been in power for so long, they’ve forgotten the real reason why they’re up there for. And i sure as heck am not voting to get freebies.

Why then, should i bother? What can sitting on my chair, feeling disgruntled amount to? Rather, CAN it amount to anything? Should i be the Malaysian that complaints and does nought, or be the Malaysian who at least tries?

Well, here goes.

I’m reminded that i’m in Malaysia for a reason. I’m reminded that when i go OUT of Malaysia, i come home feeling like i’ve been away for too long even though its just been one week. I come HOME.

I’m voicing out because who knows, something might catch on. If ‘Listen-ing’ can do it, surely #VoiceOfGenY has a shot.

I believe that Malaysia is a good land. That she still has promises deep within her. Just ready to be unveiled. To the right people, at the right time. For the right purpose. I remind myself that i’m standing (or sitting) here today…still believing in something that i said every Monday in school as a ‘Perhimpunan’ ritual. (Surely it complies to the ‘Peaceful Assembly Act? Or has that been banned now? Hmm.)

But i remind us to believe in this again:

Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan, (Belief in God)

Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara, (Loyalty to the King and country)

Keluhuran Perlembagaan, (Supremacy of the constitution)

Kedaulatan Undang-undang, (Rule of law)

Kesopanan dan kesusilaan. (Courtesy and morality)

We forget…that belief in God comes right on top. Irregardless of faith, i think if we get the first principle right, the rest will fall into place. Psalm 2:8 says, “Ask of Me and i will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession”.

I am Malaysian and i ask for Malaysia. For her people. To her people.

God bless this land.

:: almost Christmas ::

I’m super duper excited and yet, i wonder where’s my year gone to!

What with Ann Nyee’s wedding tomorrow, family dinner on Sunday, Christmas Eve with the Kawans and an awesome production put up by Acts Church on Christmas day itself, the next few days are gonna fly really fast :) All happy things.

I’m looking forward to 2013 now. So many things to plan for and dream about. Nothing less than God’s best :) 2012 has been amazing, i’ve learnt and grown so much. In faith. In boldness and courage. In wisdom. And i think i’ve made good progress with the managing expectations bit.

But 2013 will be even better. I’m counting on it.

“Those with their feet on the rock can build castles in the air.” – Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

:: day #17 ::

Life is so fleeting. Got news of a friend’s dad passing on…heart attack while jogging. Too close to home :S Nick, my heart goes out to you and your family. Praying for you. 

I don’t usually think much about death. Not unless i have to. But when i think about how inevitable it is, i think of only one thing i’d like to know when it’s time for me to go home…and that is:

I’d like to know that i’ve added value into someone else’s life. 

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? To know that someone is happier because they met you :) Now, THAT’S a happy thought.

*****

On a random note, i’m quite certain in ticking off a bucket list to-do. Who wants to go get a diving license with me? :)

:: i want a tuesday kind of love ::

A Tuesday kind of love, breathing relevance into otherwise monotonous moments. Something to believe God for again :)

A beautiful excerpt from here:

A Tuesday kind of love is this: commuting to work knowing that someone cares about what you’re going to have for lunch; understanding that you do not have to be your dynamic, charming, weekend self this time; this time you can butcher sentences and make bad jokes and trip over thin air and it won’t change anything. A Tuesday kind of love is when weekends and weekdays are one and the same, expanses of time where unpredictable, irreplaceable closeness exists, swells, bursts. Tuesday is directionless conversation about things that happened five hours or five years ago; it’s knowing where he keeps his receipts and when he has a doctor appointment; it’s ordering Chinese food or taking his parents out for dinner because they’re in town or forgetting to eat because you’re full of each other’s words and there’s just no room for anything else.

I don’t want to dream through our lives together, don’t want to sleep in, don’t want to put on my sunglasses and pretend that life’s a vacation. The fantasy is that I want to exist in reality; the fantasy is to be there for someone on a Sunday morning but also on a Tuesday night, when the haze and laze of the weekend has worn thin and seems far away as ever. I want a Tuesday kind of love.

Note to self: Here’s to letting go of my (Is)land, Ishmael & Isaac. I let go of where i am and its familiarity, that God, You may take me where You want me to be. I let go of my way of doing things, my plans, my ideals, my desires…so that God, You can give me something better. God, i let go of what i believed to be was from You, just because You require it of me. I break, again. You know where i am. And You’ll never give me more than what i can handle. So yes, God, if You brought me here, You’ll also help me overcome.

Again and again. Ellie, learn this well. Cause if you don’t, you’re just gonna be in the same rut. With a different person.

:: inspired ::

Song of the Day : Always by Mia Fieldes (Feat. Jad Gillies)

Thought of the Day: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock & my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

I’ve got this thrilling feeling. Like something’s good gonna happen :)

Am abuzzed with ideas. Stories. Music. So many things to do, plan, accomplish. I love.

Life is not stagnant now :) I imagine myself running through fields of gold. Sun-washed, again :)

A brilliant quote from my Senior Pastor:

Pray your dreams to pass. If you want to get somewhere, prayer will get you there. If you want to see what you’ve never seen before, pray like you’ve never prayed before. Pray specifically. Pray continously. Pray confidently. Pray like you really believe…that Father God will answer…and that you will receive what you are asking for. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

I pray. I wait. All things will work together for the good. *crosses fingers*