strangers on a plane

Saturday, October 27, 2012 ♥ 2


My journey back to Malaysia from Australia was not an easy one. There were too many goodbyes to be cried, too many beautiful memories to leave behind. But, at the same time, it felt good to be going home to my oldest friends. How does one choose, I wondered, between friends whom you've called your overseas family, and best friends with whom you grew up with? The answer is, you don't. You just go wherever God leads you, because His plans are greater and more wonderful than you could ever imagine for yourself. One great adventure ends, so another can begin.

♥ ♥ 

There was only an hour left before my plane was set to land in Kuala Lumpur. I had stirred from my sleep only to reposition my head to try and doze off again. But I couldn't. Instead, I heard faint music coming from my left. The Australian guy next to me was listening to music on his iPhone turned up loud enough for me to hear through his ear phones. I listened for a while, because the song intrigued me, and I liked what I heard. After a minute or so, I plucked up enough courage to lean in.

"Excuse me, who's this song by?" I asked.
"The Cinnamon Club."
"The what?"
"The Cinnamon Club."
"Cinnamon.... Club?"

At this point, he grinned and showed me the album artwork in his iPhone. What You Know -- Two Door Cinema Club, it read.

"Thank you," I said. He returned my smile, and we both sank back into our seats, back into our own worlds. For we were on the same journey, but on different adventures.

Julia

get cape. wear cape. fly.

Thursday, May 24, 2012 ♥ 4


Things have been rather quiet around here lately. It's my final semester in university and with just one more week of classes left, I have been busy finishing up my last few major assignments (all of which are due at the same time!) and just trying to take it all in-- the stress and the joys of being a student. I can't quite believe I have come this far. Sometimes it feels like it has been ages since I first started college, but most of the time it just feels like everything happened so quickly and suddenly I am just a few steps away from crossing the finishing line. Although I am happy and proud of my achievements, my heart cannot help but sink a little when I think of receiving my scroll in my graduation robes come July, because this means I will have to close yet another chapter in my life. A chapter that I have enjoyed through and through, right from my very first day at HELP University College to my very last at The University of Queensland. My heart sinks because I know I will miss it. I already do. 

I've been thinking a lot about the friends I made and the crazy misadventures we had during our HELP days back in '08 until mid '10. Eka, Ernie, Riz, Christine, Leconte, Aaron, Elaine, Phil, Shannon, Rushdi... There was never a dull moment whenever they were around, or when we were together. Our weekly trips to IKEA for lunch (mmm, meatballs) after Monday classes, hanging out in the corridors of Block E, trying to fit three people into a hole in the wall, movie nights, random house visits (especially to pay out those who skipped class that day), trying to sneak into cinemas only to end up in a dodgy stairway and getting lost, staying up together until 4am trying to study for our Anthropology exam, our road trip to Penang... Oh man, Penang. I'm chuckling to myself just thinking about it-- about how the boys got food poisoning and we had to deal with sharing one bathroom. Let's just say I have enough poo jokes (and blackmailing ammo) to last me a lifetime.

Then, of course, there's my Australian journey thus far. I am so blessed to have made such incredible friends here as well. Ones who believe in me and encourage me during challenging times, ones I am able to laugh loudly with, celebrate momentous events with, and eat yummy food with. I look back on all my sixteen years of education since primary school, and am reminded of God's incredible faithfulness and goodness. I am so very blessed indeed. 

I haven't been able to write much here lately, but at this moment, I'm writing because I want to remember how much I've enjoyed every aspect of my education. And I will miss it. All of it. All kinds of "it". Youth, life as an undergrad, lecturers who have impacted my life, lessons learned, friends and family who are scattered across the globe.

These are the memories and people I will always cherish, and I am heavy and light. But that's a good thing, because their love has taught me to fly.


Julia

true love

Monday, April 9, 2012 ♥ 1


"Love sought is good, but given unsought is better." 
-William Shakespeare

We can search the world for love for as long as we live--and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that--but when we can receive genuine and true love without us having to look for it or even earn it... that's more than we could ever ask for. 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3:16-17)

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice on the cross. There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends. (John 14:13) Truly blessed to have a God who loves us unconditionally and who has victory over death. He is risen!

Happy and blessed Easter, everybuddy!

Julia
wooden heart bird rings by thebeauboutique

goodnight, one tree hill.

Friday, April 6, 2012 ♥ 1


"It's the oldest story in the world. One day you're seventeen and planning for someday, and then quietly, and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” -Nathan Scott, 9x13

We had been dreading this day for years, and, as time is sometimes cruel, this day finally arrived. The One Tree Hill series finale. After nine years, nine seasons, and 187 episodes, my best friend Krys and I just weren't ready to say goodbye. 

A lot of people don't understand why One Tree Hill fans are the way we are. We are fiercely loyal, emotionally invested, and wonderfully in love with the show and its characters. The characters who taught us the meaning of strength, of friendship, of love. Against all odds, One Tree Hill outlasted most teen drama series--including the once crazy-popular The O.C.. No, we didn't have flashy gimmicks, numerous magazine covers, or short-lived marriages to the prince of Monaco. No, there was never a need for those things. We were the quiet survivors, the quiet dreamers. 

If there was one thing that made One Tree Hill so special, it was that the show about two half-brothers was full of heart; both inside and outside of the show. Nathan, Lucas, Brooke, Haley, Peyton--the jocks, the cheerleaders, the girl-next-door--each of these characters could've been your stereotypical high school kids television loves to portray, but they weren't. They had depth.

Nathan, the once selfish bad boy basketball star, became someone who never failed to put his family first. Over the course of nine seasons, we watched him become a man, a husband, a father. He taught me that I have a choice. No matter the circumstance, no matter how hard the world pushes, you can always push back. You can be who you want to be. You can choose to be good. 

Brooke, captain cheerleader, proved that she was more than just a pretty face. Despite her many insecurities, heartbreaks, and absentee parents, she became class president, the creator of two successful clothing lines, and a loving mother. All this without forgetting (or being ashamed of) who she was and who she used to be. She taught me how to be confident; that there is always love and strength behind those walls we put up around us in hopes of feeling less vulnerable. That we never have to conform to labels. That friendship is of utmost importance. She was brave, but more importantly, she was an incredible friend. 

Haley, the wise best friend, the girl-next-door, had a heart for others. She never needed approval from the popular kids and was never afraid to try something different. She brought Nathan and Lucas's worlds together because she always saw and believed the good in people. Haley taught me that all we have is our values, our faith, and our integrity. She taught me to forgive, and that everyone deserves a second chance.

Each episode helped develop their characters, and it was a real delight to have been able to watch them grow, and to grow with them throughout the years. One Tree Hill gives me hope--that even though the world tells you that it's normal to have marriages that last a month, that being manipulative is the only way to success, that you're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough... it's not true. Love can go the distance. Nathan and Haley made it through hell and back when she left him to go on tour with Chris Keller. Lucas and Peyton, after years of obstacles, found their way together in the end. Long-term relationships don't have to grow stale or boring. Nathan and Haley were together throughout the entire nine season run. And we never got bored. They were so in love, and we were in love them. Their relationship was not without trials, wrongdoings, and heartache, but they were each other's forever and always. Everyone wants something steady in their lives, and it's okay to want steady. It's possible to weather the storms. You are more than good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. You matter. Despite the setbacks and lack of confidence, Peyton founded Tric and Red Bedroom Records. Lucas had to give up basketball, but became a best-selling author. Nathan became paralysed, but managed to walk, and even play basketball, again. Brooke lost her company, but founded another. Even Dan, who was hated and shunned by his family, found redemption. There is always hope. You matter.

Despite all this, though, One Tree Hill reminds us that success does not define us; it is secondary. The relationship we have with God, with our partners, with our best friends... those are the most important things to have. 

"Human beings are ambitious. We spend so much time wanting, pursuing, wishing. For the most part, that's okay. Ambition is good. Chasing things with integrity is good. Dreaming. As long as the chase doesn't diminish what we already have. The goodness we take for granted, the people we take for granted, the lives we take for granted. My life... is good." -Haley James Scott, 9x13

So, thank you, One Tree Hill, for daring to be different. For being so real and so relatable. For the characters we could laugh with, cry with, fall in love with, and get furious at. For the Cracker Jack bracelets, kisses in the rain, true love, cat fights, psycho stalkers, concerts, benefits, Karen's Cafe, the River Court, Tree Hill High School, Tric, Clothes Over Bros, the Ravens, the inspirational stories, the sometimes awful and cracked-up story lines, and the precious memories you've given me and my best friends. For the real life music tours and charity events held for the fans and, more importantly, to help people in need. For inspiring me to fall deeper in love with literature, cheerleading, and music. The music, oh gosh, the music. Thank you for introducing me to so many bands; for Jimmy Eat World, Jack's Mannequin, Gavin DeGraw; for every song that captured each emotion and moment in the series and in my life magically.

And finally, thank you, Mark Schwan, for your creation and dedication. No other show has ever been so kind and dearly appreciative of its fans as One Tree Hill has been. We took care of each other, and, as Joy (Haley) once said, we also raised each other.

"In you're life you're going to go to some great places and you're going to do some wonderful things. But no matter where you go, or who you become, this place will always be with you. There is only one Tree Hill. And it's your home." -Karen Roe, 1x22

Good night, One Tree Hill.

Julia

mermaids and fishtail braids

Saturday, November 5, 2011 ♥ 12


Product of my poem portfolio procrastination: 
fishtail braids. 

Just having a bit of fun with my straight hair before I get it curled again next month. Have a lovely weekend, sweets!

Julia