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Cause I’m a train wreck
Waiting to happen
Waiting for someone to come pick me up off the tracks
A wild fire born of frustration
Born of the one love that gets me so high
(Train Wreck, Sarah Mclachlan)

I must admit that the past few weeks have been absolutely taxing and I can blame neither work nor family. Being someone so in control of my emotions and always wanting an answer for everything, not knowing what’s causing this unrest was enough to almost send me back to a mental institution! But as with everything in life, it was transient. I let it run its course and now, it becomes clear that I had to go through those unexplainable dark moments to appreciate the sunshine.

I deal with grief and loneliness in varied ways. I’ve locked myself inside my house for days – even weeks – and only communicate with friends online and make excuses as to why I can’t meet them for coffee or dinner. Other times, I can’t bear to go home to my own apartment that I couch surf at friends’ apartments on weekends. Then, the most expensive coping mechanism is the spending spree. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well because I end up buying so many things that I don’t need whilst at the time of purchase it genuinely made me happy…but only briefly. But making“shock” purchases don’t always turn out so bad. Take for example two Saturdays ago. The day started out ordinarily as I had brunch with friends.

Lunch with a friend visiting from Manila. Check out my boots!

I was already feeling quite anti-social and so instead of hanging out with them the rest of the day, I decided I was going to go shopping for clothes (for my UK trip). I was already breaking in my new boots so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see what other clothes would look good with them.

Very rarely can friends or family talk me out of doing anything when I’ve already put my mind to it because I am obstinate like that. So I went shopping and spent way more money on clothes than I had originally planned. I watched The Hunger Games but not after I had bought a new DSLR. I am now the proud owner of a Canon 7D.

What have I done?

I was on a fire! I need only look at my credit card bill to see the huge dent I made just on that one day.

Not really wanting to spend the evening home alone – my flat mates would be out on their usual Saturday activities – I texted some friends and asked if could stay over because I was still feeling sad. Truth be told, watching THG and thinking about Peeta made me a little bit depressed. Thank God for friends like Erin and John – bless them – they were most accommodating and stayed up with me until way past midnight just talking about anything we could think of. At the end of the day, I didn’t really need to “throw away” all that money to make myself feel better. All I had to do was hang out with them and cheer me up a little. Okay, I digress a little.

All my life, I’ve always had a burning desire to be different. While others were aspiring to be doctors or lawyers or engineers at the age of seven, I wanted to be a nun or possibly an astronaut or both. The call to be different wasn’t out of any need to be admired or worshipped. Vainglory is not one of my sins. I don’t set out to make myself stand out and most of the time, I fade into the background anyway. But still, the fire still burns and I want to make a difference any way I can. I’ve long ago given up on making a difference in the world. All I can do is touch the lives of those around me. If I can inspire others as others have inspired me, then my work here is done.

See that stanza up there at the top? That’s exactly how I feel right now. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something big. I can either fall in willingly or get pushed in. It’s an exciting feeling. And that one love, you ask? It’s called living. I.FEEL.ALIVE.

Last Saturday, I joined the biggest photo walk in the world (#thewalkdownunder) and met up with new and old friends from Google+. I feel so honoured to be amongst the best photographers in Sydney and they continue to inspire me to be a better photographer. I got a bit star-struck too, meeting Brian Rose and seeing James Tobin and Lexy Saavides. (Lexy included my photo in her post over at CNET Australia!)

This is my city, my new home.

The burning flame which was almost completely extinguished a week before is starting to rekindle. Even my hair is on fire! While it’s flattering that someone mentioned “girl on fire” the other day, I’ve always associated myself with the Weasleys. In some strange way, they keep me sane – most of the time. Apart from picking up my camera again, I’ve also started vocalising and maybe after I get back from the UK, I’m going to get proper singing lessons. I’m even planning on taking out the keyboard so I can re-learn playing the piano.

Red it is.

That's exactly the effect I want when I braid my hair.

In less than two weeks, I’ll be off to the UK. I haven’t packed a single thing but I’ll do that at the last minute. Yep, I’ve ditched my obsessive-compulsive organising and planning ahead behaviour for a more chilled approach. But that doesn’t mean I’ve thrown away my lists. I still have them but I just won’t be pouring over them as much as I normally would.

I’m thinking aloud here so humour me. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I actually met someone while I was on holidays in the UK? I’d be lying if said that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. I mean, why not? I’m on a roll here so let’s just go all out. My warm adopted Aussie personality might just light up someone’s fancy over there in overcast and cold London. Tee-hee.

And just because I find this photo very funny, I’m including it in this entry:

A stolen kiss (Photo credit: Luis del Rosario)

And the cycle begins again. My world is on fire and I’m the flame that’s going to set it ablaze.