Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hello

I'm alive.

Just for your info.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

For another week

I'll be gone for yet another week. Will book out on Sunday morning.

Yay now Amos is a sergeant too. That makes 2 of us.

I had a really restful week. Thank God for that. Friday booked out and went straight for High Praise. Think the J1 batch did a most excellent job, for the skit. Really liked the crucifixion scene too. The event after that was equally good. Had quite a bit of fun. Built the "dunking" machine with Eugene Tan.

Then went over to Caleb's house. Originally intended to go Bedok jetty to fish. In the end just went near Wayne's house at East Coast to spend the night. Got a few nasty sandfly bites. Evacuated the area at 0330 hours for lack of hammocks. Went back to Caleb's house to continue SLEEPING. Woke up at 1030 or so.

Spent the time before YPM reading Calvin and Hobbes, while Aaron watched Chinese drama on his laptop and Jesh played PSP.

So yeah, my week was rather restful.

Hopefully, the road ahead shall be more restful and filled with greater godly joy than the path behind. Prayerfully, it shall be fulfilling and meaningful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life as it is

Woke up on Tuesday morning at 8a.m., feeling quite well rested. Wondered for a moment why I felt so good. Then relished the fact that waking up at 8a.m. means that I've slept for about 3 more hours than usual. Before I became a soldier, waking up at 10 plus a.m. was kinda late. Now waking up at 8a.m. is very late.

Spent much of these last 2 days at home. Was my birthday yesterday and OC was kind enough to give me off. My men. The recruits who've just made private, they're on block leave see, so I'm having a break after say 3-4 months working non-stop in camp. Much needed break. A little bit of breathing space.

Yes I'm 20 now. Man that's old. That's kinda fast, too. Army... where boys become men. So is it because of the training process, or the fact that people naturally grow out of teenage shoes to fill adult ones? A bit of both I suppose. I'm proud to be a soldier. I'm not an elite one. Neither in rank or skills. Just somewhere in the middle I suppose. I learn a lot where I am. In soldiering and people skills.

Need to book in tonight. When I'm out on Friday, will be going High Praise in church. Then going fishing at overnight.

My bunkmate in camp, Chris, he gave me his analysis on my character. Said that I like to walk away from the crowd. And that in some ways, I've grown too used to doing so. It's kinda like an instinct in me. I thought that was pretty accurate. Walking away from crowds and being different is so me. It has benefits and yet it can contain some pain.

Thank God for my bunkmates. They are Alex, Rahman, Chris. We have a lot of fun together. We have great working relationships as fellow sergeants. We trust and rely on each other. I recall all the tension in my sispec bunk, and the lack of close friends in my BMT bunk, with the exception of Julian Tay. And I really thank God that I have good bunkmates. SISPEC taught me to understand the fragility of human relationships, though. And in this respect I must be careful and not shocked when bad things happen.

Have walked so many klicks in full battle order as an infantryman that walking without load is simply enjoyable these days. Having spent many nights in the tropical jungle, I am fully able to sleep anywhere. I think one of the greatest strengths of the infantry is that adaptability is reliant on personal ability. And so once we are trained to do something or survive somewhere, little can hinder us.

In the days to come, as training intensifies, I will become even more of an infantryman.

Also been thinking bout what exactly to do after ord. Backpacking is an option that floats somewhere at the back of my mind. But I'd need to find enough rugged, reliant, willing parties. And secure parental consent (so much for the age). Then also would like to pass my driving. And perhaps try out a few different jobs. After working as a sergeant in the SAF, I feel that I could probably survive any workingplace. The pressure and lifestyle would probably be a piece of cake.

And then before I know it, I'll become a uni student. Must remember to keep my fitness up and not grow fat.

And then I'll start working life... long time from now. Tang ku ku.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What has been happening

Can a man be so immersed in his job and place of work that it comprises his whole life? That is the sort of issue that I am facing. I've been doing my national service for a whole 11 months and 4 days now. Right now, as you know, I'm in a operational battalion. That means that one day, I'll be on standby to defend this land if a threat to our sovereignity ever arises. I am serious about that.

There are reasons for a lack of description of my life in army right now. Security reasons. Not that I'm in some highly classified military unit, but simply because some things are restricted. It's also unprofessional to rant in detail on a blog bout my workplace. I won't hide it that I have many gripes as to how much respect as a human being I am being accorded here. I also won't conceal the fact that I feel like a statistic, like dirt, like a dog (... not quite, at least dogs get incentives) and that many here are not at all treasured.

But I won't go into specifics. So I cannot be charged with wrongdoing.

Spiritually, I have not been in the strong presence of God for quite a while. My mom was sharing John 15:2 with me. And I do believe that God is pruning me, for the branch which bears fruit He prunes, so that it will bear even more fruit.

I sincerely miss times with certain people in church. Certain friendships seem kinda lost these days. Don't really have much time to spend with people around. And I am aware that when I come and start to speak army (so to say), there is a kind of civilian-soldier barrier that is created. But what to do?

I am glad for where I am, even though it's painful many a time and I am very tired and humanly unrewarded. For it trains me to be more like God. It trains me to be more calm and patient. I am not afraid to say that I have failed many tests that have been presented to me. And some I believe I have passed quite well.

Also in this period of time, I realise that there are not many people in church who go out of their way to keep in contact with others. And we wonder why there is little growth.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

-

Not much to say.

Life has settled pretty much into the routine of short sleep (5 hours or less) each day, long work hours (the other 19 hours), good lessons learnt, scoldings, hardships, good laughs amidst camaraderie and the constant running on adrenaline.

Then there's rest and recovery on what is left of the weekend. And I dive into the week once again.

Can't go VBS this year. Have some stuff on in camp. Wish I could go.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

-

Hmmm.

Very long weeks followed by extremely long weekends.

That's my lifestyle these days.

Read Pearl Izumi's (a sports shoe brand) latest marketing campaign. Something which goes "runners are wild, joggers are runners who have been domesticated". Find it quite hilarious. You can find it at the sports shop (not sure what it's called) on the same floor as Giant's in Parkway Parade.