packing time. and wishing. and goals.

I’ve packed around 75%. I’m almost done with what’s needed to be brought.

I’ve spent the past few days meeting people. My cell, my sec sch friends, my newly made IT Club junior. In a way, I ought to be ‘ready’ to go. But I guess on a personal level, you can never really be ‘ready’ to go. There will always be things on my mind. Things that I will, for a little while at least, leave behind. Many well wishes, many good byes.

But that is okay. I was never an adventurous person to begin with. To some extent I will definitely miss people here, but I know I will eventually come back to them in a matter of months. And moreover I will enjoy my time there. It will be okay.

Here I am. The weird thing about starting 2013 is that for once I didn’t actually write down my goals and plans for the year. I always remembered to do it at the start of the year, but this year I forgot. And procrastinated.

And as time would fly, it did. I promised myself I would at least write them down before I go. At least that will give some perspective and purpose to me being there. And also for this year 2013.

I started off the year with a worry that I brought over from 2012. I hadn’t passed my SBJ, and if I could not pass it before I fly on the 31st Jan, I will technically have to do RT when the whole exchange and trips are over. I was psychologically prepared for it, telling myself that if that had to happen, it had to happen. I will take the RT as a time to ramp my fitness for the next cycle. But it was still not a nice thing I felt like doing. It was 20 session, and it meant a wasted 2.4km (I really don’t like running in Maju, so I vow to do it once and only once a year).

So I prayed and trained. Only that unlike the previous year, I had no 3 months to pass it. I had effectively 6 weeks from my initial IPPT partial failure on the Dec 20. So I had to quickly pass it, even 216cm was good enough. And as I went back on the 10 of Jan, I managed 210cm. But I knew it was too early to give up; God could grant me a miracle anytime, I just needed to give myself the opportunity for God to do His miracle.

And a miracle He did. On the 22nd of January, 8 days before I would be flying, I went to Maju for a third time in this cycle. I jumped a 212cm, and another 212cm. 4 more cm to a pass. I really didn’t want to retake any more. I asked the PTI to reset for me, and then, I jumped.

216cm.

That is *exactly* the 2pt passing that I badly, dearly, needed.

Amazing. Isn’t God amazing? I give Him praise. SBJ has always been a tough one for me. I am confident for pull ups, sit ups, shuttle run, 2.4. it’s only SBJ that really made me worry. But the Lord has taken it away. In the nick of time, I have cleared my cycle 6 solid months before it closes, given me the assurance and the freedom to do what I want in Taiwan without worrying about coming back to do RT. And also, given me a full 9 month before my next cycle, which I will resolve to pass and clear it the week that new cycle opens.

Yup. It’s quite amazing. It is amazing because on my own, I have never managed more than 210cm. Mostly is 206cm. So, yes, it IS a miracle. Thank You.

Now, moving on to the goals for the year. 2013 came like a thief. One month has almost passed.

1. I want to maintain my fitness in Taiwan, constantly running to offset all those calories from the delicacies I will eat like everyday. And most importantly, to build up a good and effective SBJ training plan that I will alternative with my running. The idea is to keep on jumping so I will not be afraid of the SBJ any more. It will no longer hinder me. I hope to get my first 100bucks from SAF. This is my fitness goal for 2013.

2. Studies wise, I hope to, well, pass all the mods in Taiwan, and to enjoy every one of them. To make tonnes of awesome friends, and a few really close ones. When I come back, I hope to maintain the steady improvement in my grades. That’s all. And I have nothing much to motivate myself, so I hope to have some motivation then.

3. Relationally, I hope to end the year with someone I love.

4. Family wise, I hope that this distance will boost the closeness and help me to appreciate my parents more, and this family more. When I come back, things would only get better.

5. Spiritually, I know God is bringing me into a new season of encounter and direct connection with Him. Somehow Taiwan will bring me right into the throne room of God. I want to follow Jesus, to learn from Him, to listen to Him, and follow Him. As for ministry, I know God is leading me into a new area to serve. I’ll leave it to Him to decide. I know He is going to speak soon, and my ears are ready to hear from Him.

Also, I did have plans for what I wanted to achieve out of Taiwan 2013. But I cannot find it. Which is a good thing. So I can think about it now.

1. I want to come back a better designer. Whether or not I continue to serve in church in design is another story. But I know I want to come back inspired with no just layout ideas, but the intangible stuff. Like the mindset, the attitude, the feeling. The sensitivity, the appropriateness, the discernment, the morals and ethics. The awestruck goodness given by an awesome God. And that will happen when I get back to the basics, when I go with no preconception but to receive and process all there is to see. I will go bearing the words of Jony Ive and Phil Schiller in mind.

“In other to create something that’s genuinely new, you have to start again. And with great intent, you disconnect from the past. If you don’t change things, then that you can engineer is really incremental. But if you’re willing to change things, that opens up a whole new level of design.”

This will be my guiding ethos when I journey thru Taiwan, Hongkong, Japan.

2. I want to come back closer to God. I want to experience God in a breathtaking way. I am never a nature person, but who knows Taiwan will bring me to admire the beauty of His creation and lead me to quality time spent with the Lord, being with Him, reading His word, and communicating with Him in the midst of His own creation. And when I’m back, I will continue this journey with a heightened and closer sense of who God is in my life.

3. I want to come back a really better person. That I can get a perspective on things I would never have gotten back here in Singapore. That I can understand, finally, what goes on thru a Taiwanese’s mind and how the people in Taiwan live their lives on a daily basis. There are things I can learn and put to use. To value and appreciate on an intangible but powerful manner. I will come back a better person.

Yup. That is all. Thanksgiving for the first miracle of 2013. Goals and plans for the year. And what I hope to take back from Taiwan 2013.

To God be the Glory.

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