Goodbye, August 2013

Here I am, at the Lakeside of Barbican, seated under the sun and thinking, it’s 31 August 2013, the last day of August, the last day of Hack The Barbican – the one event that took over my life in the past month in a few ways.

It started out as a fascination; then the pure joy of doing things and meeting inspiring people; growing friendships; taking ownership; overturning and reinforcing beliefs. My August had been of living and breathing HTB, where after work, I would go to the Barbican to hang out. For the first time, I squeezed two full days into one. Heaven knows how I managed to fit in all the other things around HTB – completing a project that bore significant meaning to me at work, quitting a gig, attending celebrations, insisting on exercising 30 minutes a day etc.

It made me happy, frustrated, fascinated, confused, upset, excited and grateful. It was chaos and exhaustion physically and mentally.

Then I dropped it and escaped to Scotland. The tranquility of waking up to the gentle sounds of the sea, the purest determination to face Mother Nature head to head and ride the waves, and the raw emotion of saying goodbye were altogether something else.

Summer is coming to an end, but every ending is just another beginning. As I stand at the tail of August and look into September, I don’t know what awaits. I have a direction, one that I chose but what will I find on the journey? I tried and tried to find an answer better than “I don’t know” but realised I simply lacked the necessary imagination. I just have to be at peace with the fact that I have to be a wide-eyed wanderer, and find the principles that make me stand strong.

So as I sat here and looked up to the blue, blue sky, I whispered, “Thank you, August 2013. You have brought me amazing friendships – old and new – and my soul to new places. I couldn’t have been more grateful.”

Being Brave

I started doing something new each month since May 2013. Each month, I started going to a new place and doing one thing new. It had been a wonderful experience so far, and more importantly, it felt like doing the right thing or fulfilling a promise (to myself?). Although, I didn’t know what that promise is exactly – it just gave the snug feeling of, “Yes, Jia Xuan, well done!!”

Upon reflection, it could be said that I am trying new things and making conscious decisions to face my fears.

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Signed up to Race For Life!

“Cancer, we’re coming to get you!” Race for Life, fundraising event by Cancer Research

I am doing my first run. First outdoor run and first something for charity.

Screenshot of Race For Life Sponsor Me page

You could say it was an impulsive act of mine (once again, just like skydiving) – I signed up last night i.e. 5 nights before the Race for Life at Hampstead Heath and intend to train for 3-4 days. My fundraising target was a mere £50.

“It’s my first 5k – it’d be fun,” I thought, “And surely I can find, in 4 days, 10 friends to donate £5 each?”

The fun factor was much more significant than the cause, but how life makes funny arrangements.

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Merrily We Roll Along

There was a time when we were young, when we believed that anything could happen, when we knew that we would change the world. And we missed that time so dearly. 

But at the same time, I know and want “that time” to be now. I wanted so much to be by your side, when we could hold each other’s hand and believe, with all our heart, that we would be great together,  and we were here to change the world, to “show’em, tell’em”.

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Contradiction: Technology and Dance

One of the contradictions I live – both personally and professionally – is technology and dance.

Dance is the most raw form of expression. It is an activity that makes you connect with the body/shell/thing that you live in, that gives the most direct shape to your soul. To dance is to be control of this thing, or to deliberately not be in control.

To move is primitive.

Technology, in the most simple terms, is systems or tools that solve human problems. It allows human imagination take shape in the most logical way. Imagination drives “progression” in the most direct way (though, whether it improves or worsen human condition is another debate).

Technology is the future.

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Look at who you are from the outside

I was at the event “Media Meets Money – Creating capital value in the new media age”. I honestly didn’t know what to expect content-wise, though I know for sure I am would be one of the few people who are not involved in a startup or technology, or rather, the only person who is from the theatre industry.

(I was there anyway at 9am on a Monday morning, surrounded by men in suits and women in powersuits. Me? I was in a leather jacket and hobo skirt. Well, at least Ben Southworth was in a wine-red-ish knitted jumper which made me feel a little bit better.)

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