After much preparation, the young self-proclaimed Emperor of The Han Dynastory is now serving a full-time mission to the UK with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He will return in 2014.


Welcome to the Han Dynastory!

As I am now serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have left this blog under the stewardship of a family member, who may post updates on how I'm doing as he/she sees fit.

Enjoy your stay!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Letting Go

Here goes.

It's been a long time since I stopped to pen down (or in this case, type out) my thoughts on things that I'm struggling with. Or things I'd like to whine about. But as I prepare myself to serve a 2 year mission for God, I really need to ensure that I am not only spiritually prepared, but also emotionally prepared. And I clearly have an outstanding emotional issue that needs resolution. I write this with a hope that putting my thoughts and feelings into words will somehow help me resolve it.

Within less than two months' time, it will be exactly a year since I ended my relationship with Feli. The fact that I'm keeping track, willingly or not, is an obvious indication that I have not fully gotten over it.

I often tell those who ask that our decision to end the relationship was mutual, that it was primarily based on our realisation that we had irreconcilable religious differences that would inevitably plague our relationship in the future. Although this was rarely a problem during our official 11-month relationship, we felt, or at least I felt that it would surely present difficulties if our relationship developed into something more in future years, and hence the long-term prospects of our relationship did not seem particularly optimistic. Furthermore, we had both chosen very different paths after graduating from Junior College - she had gained admission into an excellent university in Hong Kong, whereas I was planning to serve a mission and at the same time was gunning for a place in Yale College, all the way in New Haven, USA, after my mission. Knowing that we were both planning to head to different parts of the globe, and given the not-too-promising prospects of a long-term relationship, it was clear to us that it was best forgo a long-distance relationship and simply end it.

Things turned out slightly differently; she did go to Hong Kong, but I took a while to get my act together and submit my mission papers, which took roughly an additional years' time in Singapore, and I did not get a place in Yale College. Few people may have realised it, but the months following the end of our relationship were exceptionally emotionally turbulent for me.

During that period, I was genuinely unsure if I would be able to serve a mission or not, and I was also rather distressed about not getting a place in Yale College. Amidst such uncertainty, I had to cope with the termination of a relationship that had become a focus of my life. To put it simply, I was in pieces. I'm not sure how much of it showed outwardly, but in my quiet moments I would frequently descend into a dread feeling of emptiness no matter how many meaningful activities I involved myself in.

Today, much of that uncertainty has been resolved; I will be serving a mission in the UK starting in June this year, and after my mission I have a place in Yale-NUS College back here in Singapore. Both are truly blessings I am grateful for, and now that those concerns have been put to rest, I can now, with a clearer mind, focus on dealing with this demon of a  past that haunts me almost every day.

She has already moved on, while on the other hand, I'm still here wallowing in loss and self-pity. Worse still, by remaining in Singapore for the time being, I have to pass the place where we used to eat and study together, the places where we had our evening walks, the place where we would look at the stars and the clouds together, the place where we first held hands, the place where we first talked about ending our relationship... It's almost as if having too many good memories can actually be a bad thing.

Sometimes I feel scarred, such that I will never be able to pass these places in Singapore without feeling a massive, empty pit in my stomach, such that I will never be able to look at another girl without unfairly comparing her with an idealised memory, such that I will never be able to see day go by without thinking "what if".

And I can still feel her influence in my life. She has influenced me in so many ways - from the music I write (I still use motifs and chord progressions from that one time we improvised on the piano together), to the comics I draw, to the emoticons I flood my text messages with, to the things I find "cute".

She became everything to me, and perhaps that is the problem.

Call me a religious zealot, but I think I made the mistake of making her the centre of my life instead of God. See, if God had been the centre of my life from the start, the loss of her companionship would not equate to the loss of the focus of my life. Because I had lived each day for her, I felt as if I had nothing else to live for once the relationship ended. On the other hand, if I had put God first right from the start, I would have continued to have a firm foundation for every day of my life once the relationship ended. Everything I think I have lost from the termination of the relationship is nothing when compared to what God has given me - a life to live. Perhaps that's the perspective I need to constantly remind myself of. And as unromantic as it may sound, I believe that the ideal relationship is one where both partners put God first and each other as the immediate second.

I can write a whole other post on what it means to put God first in a relationship, but for now it shall suffice for me to say that as I'm prepare for my mission, I'm learning what it really means to put God first in all aspects of life.  Doing so has helped me move on somewhat, but I reckon that it's gonna take some time to fully let go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hello 2012

It feels weird being back here.

It's pretty obvious that I've been neglecting this blog since 2009 when I stepped into Junior College and really focused on my studies. Actually, I think the cause for this neglect was not so much of my focus on my school work and activities as it was my shift to micro-blogging in the form of Facebook and Twitter. Much easier to broadcast my stream of consciousness on the internet heh.

Writing does help me sort out my thoughts, though (around as much as having a conversation with a close friend does), and I've been grappling with some issues recently that I may or may not ramble on over here. We'll see.

Anyway, since this is my blog I should probably mention that I've (finally) received my Mission call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to further the Lord's work in the England Manchester Mission. As a Mandarin Chinese-speaking missionary. Yeah. I'm to report at the Missionary Training Centre over at Preston on the 28th of June this year, so this blog will descend into absolute neglect for 2 years. (I will be following a strict code of Mission rules in order to stay focused on the Lord's work, and hence blogging will definitely be out of the question)

Speaking of Mission rules, I still can't believe Elder Huang tried to contact me by commenting on my last post hahaha. You joke! I can't believe I'm going to serve in the UK just like you :) Just too bad we'll be serving at different ends of England! (We'd probably have too much fun if we ended up serving as companions in the same Mission haha)

Any, I'm just grateful for the way things have been going. 2010-2011 was an emotionally rough ride, and to finally be able to confirm my long-anticipated Mission is a huge relief.

The preparation isn't over, though.