Sunday, February 25, 2007

I spent yesterday afternoon venturing around town (Raffles Place) accompanying a young secondary school going youth in snapping shots of what inspired him. (picture a 22 year old bounding beside a 15-16 year old)

It wasn't so much a physically demanding day, but it really was quite a mentally taxing day... In trying to make the whole photo taking outing well meaning, in keeping our conversations fruitful and also in trying not to be push my fuddy-duddy-old-conventional-bore-of-a-nerd personality that i am.

I prayed really hard on the bus... Pleading with God to guide me, to lead me in my words and actions, to shake me from my fears, to just be there with me throughout. For those of you who know me, i'm petrified of people. So you can imagine, i was trembling in my shoes when i had to buddy a youth on my own, of whom i do not know that well, and a youth that's "at risk".

And i really thank Him for being so thoughtful... It was really nice that i was paired up with this guy whom i had the opportunity to talk to for a bit during a previous weekend when we got to the meet the youths for the first time. Oh, and better still, he is from my alma mata. :-D Father God's so funny.

I was quite alarmed initially when my buddy decided to venture off away from the other groups to forge our own photo trail, but the good side to that was he was so self-motivated that i didn't have to worry all that much about having to ride on the enthusiasm of the other groups to evade the issue of slacking or taking "nonsensical" shots. He pretty much led the way and took quite a lot of good pictures. Ah, God knows what i can and can't deal with.

Ah, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it was a breeze to keep some things in check though.

But after the day was done... i was left with so many thoughts. (I realize why i'm such an apathic, and numb person. It's because when i DO feel and think of stuff, i shove them aside because i'm too lazy and afraid to process them. So much so that it's become habitual.)

Because of that bad habit, i really cannot remember much of what i was thinking of, but the most salient thing that has stuck with me from yesterday is this thought: "So now that everything (your volunteer work) is over, what are you going to do from here?"

Now I remember feeling emotionally drained and even relieved that i didn't need to try so hard to drive things along anymore. Like, "Oh man, thank goodness it's over", and sanity returns to my bones.

But then my next thought was: "Is this where it's just going to end? Are you going to let your life revert back to the comfortable and self-centred trundle? Was this just a one time thing? Is this where your so-called 'caring for others' ends?"

I've already seen and heard bits and pieces of what these youths have gone through, and the kinds of lives they live. My educational pathway has brought me through the portals of the good and not so good schools, and i've seen some of the polar ends and different facets of society. Not many, but my horizons are broadening slowly.

I feel challenged by something or someone as i look back on my life and think about what i want to do for life. Many people in the past month or so have posed me THE QUESTION: So what are you going to do in future as a career?

Often, i give the same answer: "I don't know and i'm lost and still discovering." Perhaps an excuse to buy more time to think about what i'm going to do with myself, and perhaps even, more time to NOT think about it.

I'm now trying to look at my life from a macro point of view and i'm asking myself: What has God been putting me through all these years? And through what he's done, who's that completed person at the end of the road that He's envisioned me to be? Who is she and how will she eventually use what she has to serve Him?

I have less than half a year to get some solid options out on paper.

PS: I feel a sense of profound happiness, pride and fulfilment whenever i look at the straw star he made me, and the lollipop he placed into my hands (i cannot bear to eat it, and the ants must NOT get it!). I smile inside when i think back on how in little ways, he showed his care and consideration for me. :-) Thanks L, despite the things in life that you have to bear with, i truly hope that you'll allow God to work in you and change you into the man he wants you to be.

2 comments:

manu0liv1 said...

hello!
the idea of volunteering always appeals to me cos i know it's about helping others.

but the actual deed is always tiring, cos i am introverted, cos the volunteers may be hard to relate with, and cos it takes up energy...it isn't exactly entertainment.

when it's done, i'm kinda happy, so i dunno how to have the long-term commitment to volunteering. but i do wanna make my life count.

thus in a way i guess i can identify with how you feel. you were talking about doing a postgrad, and aiming to become a clinical psychologist. i pretty do think it's a good idea, cos u r a deep thinker, and u understand people well too, so u would be good at relating with and helping your patients with your expertise.

joline said...

manu0liv1:

Oh my goodness. We're really similar in this respect because that's exactly the way i feel too. Now... to introspect and pray to see what can be done. :-)

Thanks so much... Well, i would love to do that. But you and i know the whole irony about helping people but fearing people. ;-P I hope that this phase is just a super extended teenage phase of being self conscious. ahahaa, and that in time to come, meeting and talking to people will become second nature.