Things Changed

Hey there!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY ALMOST NEW YEAR <3! 

My favorite season becausseee 1. Christmas cookies 2. hot/iced chocolate 3. presents 4. Christmas songs 5. time to meet up with friends and family 😍

I know I usually write about what happens in my everyday life but seeing as how it's almost the end of 2016, I've been reminiscing a lot and I want to write about how things changed over the past few years. I'm not going to be 19 for much longer and it kinda freaks me out.

I saw an old friend on the train the other day that I haven't seen for almost 5 years, and we said hi to each other very awkwardly. Relevant: Okay, I dunno why but for some reason, I always assume that people won't recognize or remember me and I don't expect them to, so it's always a surprise when they usually, almost always recognize me after squinting at me from a distance from a while before saying hi. πŸ˜‚

I mention my high school blog a lot. Honestly it always baffles me that the person who wrote those blog posts was me because it feels like a completely different person wrote them. High school wasn't the easiest time (laziest, definitely) for me but my blog was annoyingly  optimistic and I'm starting to figure out what people meant when they said that I didn't care about anything. 

It's like whenever something bad happened or when things didn't happen the way I wanted them to, I'd say "screw it" and find something to be happy about anyway. Not every time, but more often than not. I think I just struggled with dealing with negative emotions and ignored them because I was trying to feel normal ._. Or maybe I'm being overly analytical and I was just always absurdly drunk or high (not on any illegal substances). 

I like to analyse how people change over the years. And since it'll be kinda creepy to stalk other people (I do it..but I just don't mention it to anyone), I decided to 'review' myself instead.

Anyway...here are things about me:

→ That haven't changed from the time I was in high school till now: 
  1. I'm still socially awkward. I just got better at hiding it and playing it cool (like half of the time). 
  2. I still love wearing combat boots (but I now also love Nike sneakers with a passion and sometimes I wear not-so-high heels while desperately praying that I don't trip and fall flat on my face before dying from embarrassment).
  3. I still love outdoor activities (camping, hiking, cycling, running) even though I don't get to do it as often anymore.
  4. I still love piercings and dyeing my hair.
  5. I'm still blogging...just not as frequently as I used to. 
  6. I'm still very inactive on social media,
  7. I still don't share selfies I take with people (but I take selfies more often now - just for personal observation on how my look changes)
  8. I'm still very much a cat lady.
  9. I still enjoy playing musical instruments - mostly piano, cause my guitar broke a year ago and I still haven't replaced it because I don't know what to buy and I need the money for other expenditures πŸ˜”
  10. I still wear black framed glasses.

→ That have changed:
  1. I wear shorter and more body fitting clothes these days - I'm more comfortable with how my body is and who I am; so this is my way of expressing myself. From the photos shown below, you can tell that I used to wear long sleeved clothes and jeans a lot. Basically clothes that covered everything.
  2. I wear makeup most of the time (as compared to when I was 17 and only used it for special occasions) - except when I'm at home or doing outdoor activities/working out.
  3. I call people out on their behavior when they're being buttholes, instead of ignoring it ← But the funny thing is I like most of the people who say rude/ignorant things. Not because they say it, but because they're willing to admit that they're being assholes when they say it πŸ˜‚
  4. I'm more comfortable being myself and I don't care about what people think about me as much anymore.
  5. I'm not as lazy as I used to be - My studies, work and extracurricular activities are my priorities in that order.
  6. I don't do craft stuff anymore - I kinda lost my passion for it and I devote my free time to music and writing. 
  7. I read more non-fiction (self-help, history and life stories) than fiction.
  8. I prefer to have my hair at shoulder-length instead of waist-length, and it's healthier than it used to be. I don't use box dyes anymore. I use bleach with coconut oil before dyeing my hair weird colors with vegan dye. Plus, for the first time in almost 7 years, I'm growing my bangs out to get rid of them. 
  9.  <I hope I'm not jinxing myself but> my phone has survived for more than a year. A first for me, since my phones usually meet some tragic fate (not at my hands) months after buying them. Probably because I don't use it as often as I used my old phones πŸ˜… 
  10. I care more about people and the environment. (I used to have the "We're all gonna die anyway, so why even bother?" mindset. In my defense, at least I've always recycled and never litteredπŸ˜…. Gradually started donating clothes, signed up to become an organ donor and I plan to donate blood someday... when I stop chickening out at the sight of needles)

These changes aren't exactly drastic, but it's a reminder of how no one is ever really completely the same person they were years ago. It feels weird to see photos of people I knew from high school and see how different they are now. Everyone's in the process of discovering who they are and expressing themselves through style changes and life choices. 


To illustrate my points.. here are some photo comparisons ↓

Facial changes:
2014

When I still had long hair, didn't know how to groom my eyebrows and hardly wore makeup. My skin was tanner back then, cause I was into outdoor activities and walked home in the sun a lot. I did look my age, but I could have looked better πŸ˜…

Early 2015

Still look more or less the same as I did in high school. This was before I started working and got tired of having to maintain long hair. Wasn't into wearing much makeup too. Still have lightly tanned skin.

Late 2015

1. Snipped my hair off in April/May before I started this new blog.
2. After university orientation in July, when I dyed my hair light brown.
3. After trimming my hair shorter a month later.
4. In October, when the lighter hair grew out and I had ombre-ish hair with my natural brown color at the top.

My hair changes the way I look a lot. I look younger with shorter hair. My skin also got much lighter after working in an office for a few months. While working, I started to notice how ridiculously thick my bangs were and grew out half a section of it. Also learned how to do my eyebrows πŸ˜‚

2016

1. January - When my burgundy hair color faded into a weird orange-red
2. February - When I dyed my hair brown and changed my specs.
3. March - When I got bored and dye the bottom half of my hair pink
4. December - With pink hair and two turquoise streaks in it. Really like half-up-half-down hairstyles too.

Comparing the first and last photos, I look more or less the same. Currently growing out my bangs and I just got another haircut, so I don't look exactly like how I do in the last photo. I skipped a couple of months because my hair color and length changed too many times and there's just too many photos to go through ._.

Side by side photo for comparison.
Same face. Just different hair and makeup.

 I kinda wish I took more proper selfies in 2014 for a more accurate comparison. I don't take many selfies now either but I tryyyyy. Sometimes I wish I didn't have a baby face, but I think sharper cheekbones wouldn't look as good as I want them to be either. And having a baby face makes me look younger... I have no idea if that's what I want or not ._.

Hair changes:
2014

Back when my hair was the longest it's ever been, when my bangs were absurdly thick and when I was known for always braiding my hair to school (that is, when the discipline teachers didn't make me tie it into a ponytail instead - still added a mini braid into it tho). I love how it looked when it was curled, but the curls never lasted and it took hours to do it.It was so heavy, but I liked how it look in a ponytail. It was quite dry and unhealthy from dyeing/chlorine and not caring for it properly though.

Good hair day. Planning to grow my hair back to this length sans bangs and maintain a natural hair color.. in the distant future. After I leave university, most likely.

2015

Streaky blonde, pink and brown hair. It looks so chunky and weird, but I liked it then and I still like the look of it now. This was when I was still into braiding my own hair. These days, I usually end up braiding my friends' hair when they ask πŸ˜„

2016

When my hair color changed almost every other month. It alternates between orange, pink, red, turquoise, green, purple and brown. I don't remember what having normal hair color feels like anymore.

My hair color now: Dark pinkish purple with two turquoise streaks. 

Style changes:
Left: March 2015
Right: November 2016

  • [Left] Long-sleeved top + skirt + leggings. It looks like I was trying to create some kind of bodysuit but I was too embarrassed to show my butt so I wore a skirt over it. Also - combat boots <3
  • [Right] Crop top + skater skirt + sneakers. (The straps are my bagpack) You can tell that I'm very into the Tumblr style 😁 and I'm not sure if this is too young for someone who's 19 going on 20 next month.

→ I show more skin then I used to and I'm comfortable with it. I don't think that I'll ever wear extremely revealing clothes like ones that show cleavage and butt crack cause it feels extremely uncomfortable. Some might argue that my clothes are revealing enough as it is but I think I'm maintaining some sense of modesty and not being trashy in any sense 😢 But ya know, you're entitled to your own opinion. 
  • I'm trying to wear heels/wedges/flats and more feminine footwear but I just don't feel comfortable with wearing them for long periods of time and when I'm commuting. Also, in the event that I have to run away from people, I'd like to be able to run without being distracted by how inconvenient my shoes are for running.
  • Annndddd I realized I still have the habit of cutting my face off in photos...Whoops.
Left: May 2014 - IR Night
Right: August 2015 - Not clubbing but something else

One thing that hasn't changed is my love for bodycon dresses. I still wear the dress on the left if there's any occasions that are appropriate for it. The dress on the right is like a long comfy shirt with cutouts. Learned over the years that it gets really cold when you're in a very cold room and your sleeves are practically non-existent. 

[Left] 2014 - Long-sleeved grey top with blue jean shorts.
[Right] 2016 - Black crop top with blue jean shorts.

I can't wear the shorts from 2014 anymore cause it's way too big for me. I didn't realize I lost weight until I wondered why I kept having to pull my shorts up when I went out with my friends -.- It makes me really sad cause I actually love them shorts a lot - the design, the comfort and pockets were amazing.

When I was 17, I never would have wore a tank top, much less a crop top with shorts. I always wore tees or long-sleeved shirts because  I was self-conscious and wanted to conceal everything. Now, I'm starting not to care if people think that I dress indecently (still worried about tummy showing tho, HAHA) and just wearing whatever I feel comfortable with. 

[Left] 2014: Long-sleeved purple dress
[Middle] 2016: Black skater dress - front
[Right] 2016: Black skater dress - back

I wore that purple dress to my high school graduation ceremony and still got complaints that it was too tight and short. Do you see what I'm wearing now πŸ˜‚. The black dress is comparatively more revealing (especially in the back). I wear black a lot more often now too. 

One thing about that purple dress is it's so comfortable, I could sleep in it 😍 It's soft and silky, and feels like being wrapped in a bundle of blankets during winter. I don't wear it anymore cause it doesn't fit my current style, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of it either. 

Same lace detailed crop top with a white lace skirt and a black skater skirt.

I love outfits like these, and I always have. I guess my parents' more conservative outlook + religion + growing up with boys made it hard for me to get used to wearing them. Every time I see friends from primary school or tuition that I haven't seen in a long time, I get comments like "Omg, you're wearing a dress/skirt? or "Wah, when did you become so girly?" πŸ˜…

Something that drastically changed my life:
Royal Rangers' Gold Medal of Achievement

(Reminded of this because Aijean just got her GMA; CONGRATULATIONS <3 I so proud of you. *wipes tears from eyes*) 

I haven't really talked about Rangers on this blog..or mentioned it at all to people, despite it having played a huge role in me becoming the person I am today.

The GMA comes after the bronze and silver. And you get a Gold Buffalo for every six additional merits you complete (I got 2). It's essentially the accumulation of merits you complete (24) + community service project + essay on what the RR means to you + holding a leadership position for 6-12 months + interview with the national board of the programme. In other words, a lot of work. 

The merits ranged from things like CPR (never forget that dummy), physical fitness, hiking, cycling, camping, photography, art, music, science, things related to home skills, camping skills and (cause it's a Christian programme) bible stuff.  

My dad has always been proud of the fact I got my GMA at 15 - three years earlier than most GMA holders (with the exception of people like Commander Reuben who got his at 14). 18 was sort-of the "official" age to get your GMA because it's when you (as a Ranger) officially 'graduate' from the programme. 

I wasn't planning on getting it at all because I knew it would be extremely time-consuming and I was notoriously lazy. But when I was 13, I managed to complete a lot of merits that year. The funny part was the MCs running out of breath and having to take turns reading out what merits I got during the end-of-the-year-graduating-ceremony-thing πŸ˜‚ 

That's when leaders started to encourage me to get the GMA. And I thought that I might as well do it. Got sponsored for my first training camp by the chairman (who asked me to repay him by getting my GMA..and he later became my boss when I started working after high school HAHA) Went for more training camps, almost cried during my interview because I was so stressed out and nervous and got my GMA in a Camporama ceremony where I threw my uniform shirt and almost lost the GMA pin that I just pinned on said uniform shirt. That's when my friends all face-palmed themselves and shook their heads. GMA holder or not; I'll always be scatterbrained πŸ˜…  

It wasn't until I was standing on the stage, and having the medal pinned on my uniform by my parents, that I realized that it wasn't about the medal or recognition. It was about finally having to work hard for something and achieve it on my own. I definitely had a lot of help and support from my leaders and friends, which I am grateful for. 

So many people (like 6 per batch) have gotten their GMA lately.. which is shocking because years ago, the most you'd have at one time is 4. And usually it's 1-2 person (..people?) per year or none at all. Kids these days are on fire ._.

Getting my GMA definitely made me a more responsible and disciplined person. (The maturity didn't come till years later, and I'm still not as mature as I'd like to be) I also have a ton of skills that I wouldn't have otherwise. Like if I ever need to tie someone up, cook in the woods with a Dutch oven or build my own latrine, I could πŸ˜† .. or at least try and not fail spectacularly.  

I was still lazy about my studies till I graduated and went to work. When I started university, I was determined to get good results, so I really tried to put as much effort into it as I could, and it paid off. By luck, prayer and hard work, I've stayed on the Dean's list for the past four semesters and didn't fail any courses I took πŸ˜„ It's easier for me to want to do my best, since I'm studying something which I actually have a passion for. 

This reads like a promotional ad for RR/GMA πŸ˜‚ but I'm kinda sad to say that for me, this is all in the past and has been for years. I'll always be grateful for the experience, and look back on those days fondly, but it won't ever be a part of my life again.

[Left] Esther, me, Meg, Aijean, Joy

This was taken during Royal Rangers Pow Wow camp of 2014. 

The five of us (plus Cheryl, who isn't in this photo) have known each other for years. We went to different schools (sometimes same tuition classes) and we're constantly at different stages of our lives now. Plus, none of us are alike in terms of personalities or interests. 

We bonded through Rangers, sleepovers, late-night confession sessions, being involved in the worship team, outdoor activities (cycling, hiking) and especially through camping when we sneaked into each other's tents and dorms, stayed up all night eating snacks and playing Uno or poker while quietly yelling at each other to be quiet (also while laughing too much) so we didn't get caught staying up at 3 am when we had to wake up at 7 am.

I don't think that my life would have been the same without you. 

Love you guys, even if we hardly get to see each other these days.

Anyway, Merry Christmas once again, and I hope that these last few days of the year will be great for everyone!



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maine Lyn. Chinese Malaysian. Aspiring writer, photographer and videographer.