Birthday and Friends

Another year had passed and things had remained almost stagnant. There was neither surprise nor excitement. More friends had gone quieter or probably found their fun in other places.

This was the first time my mum was absent in Singapore on my birthday. There was nothing sad about it but merely a new experience to be noted.

The usual trend in this era when social media was dominating was to receive birthday greeting in Facebook. People did find comfort when they received overwhelming wishes from their contacts. As unpractical as it could be, I did not turn off comments by friends because there were reasons to continue receiving the well-wishes.

The greatest advantage of enabling comments from friends on birth date itself was to communicate. We made new friends over the years and strayed away from the old ones, including those we used to chat with daily. It was the best excuse to regain some momentum with friends when they started posting “happy birthday”.

Another reason to be vain was to be able to judge people. Sometimes we had acquaintances who added us into their friend list and we did the same to others whom we found interesting or pretty. Over time, we had too many strangers on the friend list. Besides, we were also uncertain over which old friends would bother about us. Receiving a short text could greatly assure that we did worth something in our friends’ hearts; at least they bothered to sacrifice a few seconds of their time and some energy to move their hands in order to make our days better.

This was the main reason why I had bothered to spend time sending greetings to my friends on their birthdays. It was one of the easiest ways to do my part as a friend to make their lives happier. I doubted everyone would appreciate but I knew I had done my best as a friend or net friend.

The biggest problem with social media network was that not everyone would log in daily even though most young people should have owned an account at least. With the emerging of more platforms such as Twitter, the concentration of users had been diverted or split. As life got more hectic, we began to find friends missing in action from social media.

Social media was kind of an imaginary third dimension. This was the reason why popular school debates had included whether social media was bringing people closer or distancing them away. There was no definite answer.

On my birthday, I had my elder brother and his girlfriend treating me to lunch while Gilbert and Titus showering me with food for dinner. It was far from what my greedy heart had expected. I had the same wishful thinking as most people on their birthdays but I was not lucky enough.

I do not need to own the whole world but just one… just be free for me.

Live Happily for Your Loved Ones

I almost missed the news that Huiting’s dad had passed away. It happened that I went out for photoshoot and did not scroll through my Facebook news feed. On the second day, Ahpa texted me and I felt very guilty for not been there to show prompt concern for the kindest girl I ever knew. Both of us went down but we did not get to talk to her much. After that, I showed Ahpa to the beautiful Henderson Waves. We planned to go over during the last night of the wake with Yonghao to do night photoshoot and then accompany Huiting throughout the night.

On the actual day, Jade went down early. I joined her straight from Tiong Bahru after meet-up with my gang. I had fun shooting Huiting’s cute niece and nephew with my camera. Huiting asked me to take photos of the entire event and I was totally lost as it was weird. Another relative of hers did the job. Ahpa changed her mind of staying overnight since she had to work on the next day but she still came down
at late hour with Yonghao as to wait for the lorry. We had the usual fun of crapping around and I enjoyed the companionship of the innocent people. Yonghao was the kind man who sent bimbo, Ahpa and I home.

Huiting was totally fine in her usual strong self. She did no self pity and faced life bravely.

What I have learnt during the few days are:

1. We should not trust social media to deliver all important news as not everyone log in daily. With the flooding of non-essential information, it is easy to miss out important news as well. If you need any help or listening ears urgently, call me directly.

2. If you want to do something good, just do it. Ever since Huiting’s dad was sick, I wanted to get her family and friends out for a small gathering, probably at Henderson Waves, and help them to take some family photos. It was a long dragged idea that did not surface out until the funeral, I confessed to Ahpa about my regret. Partly, it was due to my lack of photography skill that I had remained conserve about the idea.

3. I need to organise my time better. Before the first night that I went over, Ahpa had told me that Shengyang was not feeling well and had stayed awake the night before. I wanted to get some herbal tea for him but my timing was too packed since I had to meet my relatives for dinner. The idea was to treat Huiting’s boyfriend good so that he could take better care of her.

We should try to live our lives without regret…