16 years // 16 life lessons.

  Most of you would know that I've just had my birthday! Sweet sixteenth, as they call it. I know it's an age milestone likened to obnoxious celebration. A fitting description as my friends/family certainly spoilt me rotten, on the actual day and the school day before. Lauren and Yuxian baked me cakes which I think radically changed the course of the day, accompanied by wicked candles. I'm so thankful for these two, and everyone else who showered me with celebratory love. 

  In commemoration, I wrote up a list of life lessons I've acquired in my existence thus far. Keep in mind, positivity is the ideal way to go. (Leah wrote a similar post, do check hers out too!) If ever you should find yourself in need of a fresh 16-year-old's wisdom, then I sure hope you can take a thing or two into account. 
1. Not everything is like the movies. The media is an absorbing, instilling part of people's lives. I grew up with heartwarming happy endings in almost every visual projection ever viewed. Take it from someone who's been let down a fair few times, thanks to heightened societal expectations. It's okay to not be okay. perfect.

2. You don't have time for unworthy people/situations. If you think about it, trying to please people who don't like you is stupid. So why bother? Save your time and take your attention elsewhere. The right people will listen, respect, admire and help you. Trust me; they're out there waiting for you. And you're going to love them!
3. Be yourself, and do the things you love. Cheesy but it's what will get you the most closure. Stick to your humane morals, keep at your passions and hold your head high. You don't have to pretend - and if you are, don't put on a facade any longer. Free yourself.

4. Don't be afraid to try something new. Different doesn't necessarily mean bad. Whether it be food or actual endeavours, saying 'yes' to new things not typically of your norm could be rewarding. A simple judgement could even define the aftermath of your life on a different scale.
5. Appreciate the little things. You know what I'm talking about. We should be thankful; for the stars we gaze at longingly, the full moon we gape at, the sun rising and setting every day. Think rustic cafés, scented candles, a morning breeze, good music, quirky socks, a mug of piping hot tea, evening walks, knitted sweaters, paisley print, art galleries, swingy dresses, your favourite TV shows. The list goes on and on. They're there for a reason. Note down the foolproof lot of them that make you happy. Add and refer to often, for best results.
6. Things may not be what they seem on the surface. Very often we can misjudge a situation upon first glance. As for people - they're always full of surprises, I'll tell you that. There's more than meets the eye. You'll eventually realise that some people aren't as shallow/deep as they might seem.

7. Treat others how you'd want to be treated. It'll come full circle. That being said, treat yourself too from time to time. You deserve it.

8. Never underestimate girl power, ever. It's lethal stuff, I can guarantee you. Don't even thinking about messing with girls. We're a merged, strong-willed and capable force to be reckoned with.
9. Certain things are better left unsaid. If it's merciless words or mere clothing critique, others may not need to hear it.

10. Expose yourself and simply explore. To the right people, to new experiences and most importantly, to gain awareness. Life is a recurring cycle of nature/surroundings/people influencing and inspiring each other. You can get inspired, or inspire. It's up to you.

11. Feeling aimless is absolutely fine. The future may remain unknown to you, but that just adds to the mystery of the pleasant surprises in store for you. After all, no one really has it figured out. If you're restless about something, take action. Stand up for what you want, for what's right. You can make a difference in your life and in the world - no matter how minor your efforts might seem.
12. Do not let your past define you. Instead, learn from it. I know it may be hard to let go of - at least, that's how it is for me - but time will heal and rebuild you slowly. Remember where you came from, and how far you've progressed since then.

13. Cherish what you currently have. It's important to have a sense of gratitude, especially before it's too late. Good things never usually last unless you nourish them with work/love. Make the most of them. Go on, tell your parents you love them and give your besties an overly-affectionate hug. Also, schedule that long-forsaken lunch date with your girlfriends.

14. Lose yourself in the moment. The present is impossible to retrieve, so what are you waiting for?
15. Stay as level-headed as possible. Detox to rid yourself of calamities. Don't overexert yourself. Take time out for yourself. Assess the problem. It could even be as easy as extracting the problem. Remember where you came from, how far you've made it and what you're truly after. That lucidity will equip you with a cleansing frame of mind. Keep on track.

16. Remember, a dose of spontaneity can be healthy. Throwing caution to the wind can provide some of the most thrilling encounters. Though folks, still be somewhat responsible. Consider the things you may devastatingly regret.
    Even though I had a terrible migraine waking up as 16, I really can't complain. My brother took me to the riverside to have a breather, which certainly cleared my head. (What would I do without him?) I celebrated at dinner on the actual night, with a couple of my favourite girls! (Head over to my best friend, Yuxian's blog, to read all about the good food (and her newfound dislike of kale.) The atmosphere and vegan food was much too tasteful, and these girls granted me another memorable night. I wouldn't have had it any other way.


  I've just had such a fantastic day; it's been way more heartwarming than imagined. It's 1.33am and my head is throbbing - with both elation and appreciation. Birthday songs were sung in person, over calls and even Skype. My brother took me to the riverside to have a breather, which certainly cleared my head. I've had innumerable people send me lovely wishes, all kinds of people I used to be close with, too - even if it was just a festive occasion, I loved the nostalgic affection. I've gotten in touch with friends, both new and old. I'm so blessed, so thank you world for a beautiful birthday. (And all of those who care!) I am honestly so grateful for everything in my life.

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Always open.


  I'm oddly inspired. I'm a nocturnal being; it's no surprise I'm much more vivacious at night, and I like it that way. I've been reflecting a lot in these past few hours of solitude. It's been blissful this time round. I've had to put off accomplish work, fill up a student leadership form for school, get onto emails for an upcoming blog project and also tend to the tens of draft posts in my blog interface. Throughout this process which often goes overtime, I am drawn to previous writings. I never usually look back on posts once I hit 'publish', so this served as a nice reminder. I really have not changed that much in the past few years - and if I have, it's for the better. My writing style has always been open and irrevocably personal, and I noticed it's faltered as of late. There's a lot of documentation but never really proper words of thought. I tend to lean towards abstract expression to keep anonymity of the people who present woes in my life, because I do care about them. Really, I do hate for there to be countless evidence of all the teen angst on here. With the negativity my verbs and adjectives and connotations typed up here bring, I want to clarify one significant thing.

  I am so very thankful for all of you. Consider this my late-night love letter to those I have not met yet feel like I've known for ages. I do care for you all, and to give back to my readers is easier said than done. The internet is a wonderfully versatile thing and it always amazes me how I've found my place on here. Especially with all of you lovely folks visiting me and giving endless praise. You've further helped me grow and work on myself. My Mum thinks it's beautiful, how I've manifested something so unconditionally crafted that I call mine. I agree, and am proud as she is of how far I've come with writing and/or blogging. It's been worth the eyebags and jolts of timely inspiration. I just want to meet you all physically, wrap my arms around you and give the most meaningful hug you'll ever receive. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  I say it a lot - time and time again, especially when I hit a blog goal. But it's past 11pm now and I have another hectic week of school ahead of me - and I am feeling so darn reflective. (Aren't I always?) I usually have a lot to complain about and question the universe about, so I should really openly express my gratitude more often. Some might say that I'm too open and emotional, whilst I see no problem with that. We are humans and emotions are not our weaknesses. They are our strength, when we join together. It's difficult enough to convey emotion from my brain to my fingers gingerly grazing the keyboard to the world-wide web, to you reading this on your screen as we speak. I find it just ridiculously incredible that people in other states and countries, from other walks of life, stop by and dedicate the time to read this seemingly silly word spill. I even know some people who are not active with blogging anymore, yet still come back occasionally to check up on me. You wish me well, and just know that I can only hope the best wishes upon you, too.

  To read what I genuinely express and appreciate it; you as a reader give me reason for even existing. This is an entirely raw, unpolished stream of words. I hope you don't mind. So thank you again, you lovely human being, you

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Fineshrine.


  Ah, the holidays have come to an end. You could say I'm currently in the griefing stage, since I deem them to be the holy days. I can happily say though, the last week had me pleasantly occupied. Monday was a much-needed day at Veronica's. Wednesday saw poolside chills with Lauren, Yuxian and Liz. I also had a wholesome Friday night at Pearl's class party. I've listened to the entire Max Relax album by Millions on repeat. I'm up-to-date with all my favourite TV shows. I sacrificed time to be spend time with my Dad. I've eaten to my tummy's content. (Much to the dismay of my lacking health, may I add.)

  I've had my head in two places at once, too. Plenty of déjà vu on my plate as well. I toss and turn at night; I ache for rest. To put the past behind me and move forward. I'm wistful and wishful. I crave tranquility, assurance and clarity. Three unattainable goals of mine that I haven't quite got under my wing. Recent encounters and talks with (older) strangers, however, have rejuvenated my wilingness for the future. Potentially moving interstate for university, and starting afresh (again) - a huge leap in ambition considering I have no plans. It's unpredicted change I want to embrace, but I'm apprehensive of more mistakes. It's a world away but who's to say it's unreal? After all, it seems I'm never intended to stay for very long. 

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Art reprise.

  Contrary to popular belief, the extent of my artsiness involves dignifying city murals. I'm no artist - and that's no confession, just fact. I've been meaning to be more conscious towards art, and bloggers like Amy and Tara have often pressed that urge. I used to love art and eventually I strayed from it. Luckily for me, my friend Lauren suggested that we visit the state art gallery. I hadn't ever been before, so we were determined to make the trip happen in the holidays. (It's hard to come by like-minded people who will readily embrace art.) So we cut to the chase, and set off on our pursuit.
  After appreciating prolific exhibitions, we decided we were done for the day. The art mission deemed fulfilling for our palates. We proceeded to a tucked-away café, according to Lauren's expertise. I'm an absolute sucker for little cafés, especially with an earthy yet urban twist. This one ceremoniously filed itself under that classification. We stuck around for a bit, chatted some more over fruity drinks and laughed lots. (Lauren pulled out mini M&Ms for the second time that day. Obviously, she knows all about adding flavour to life.) In any case, I'd be willing for a sequel to this new art-bound series.

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LUCID STARS 2011-2014. All content rightfully belongs to me unless stated otherwise.

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