Begin Again

Styling, makeup and photography by Selina Tan. Edited by Selina and I.

You be the moon I'll be the earth
And when we burst 
Start over oh darling
Begin again 
Begin again

Happy Lunar New Year, and thank you for sticking around. I say that because I know I'm not the most consistent with my writing. But for those who follow me, I am grateful and you can trust my writings come straight from my heart. It could be with age that I take so much longer to ease into a new year. Frankly, a new year is no different. You don't just move on from your problems no matter how you want to. That is why I am afraid to make new year resolutions. Do we really stick to those? Having said that, I look back at the past two months and realized I've been subconsciously making changes to better myself, and I'd like to give myself credit for that. At the end of the day, I am just like anyone else who wants to feel proud and worthy of my littlest achievements. I'll share with you in this post.

(Instagram @ulimali)

I got featured in the January 2016 issue of NUYOU magazine, under its 30 Under 30 list of up and coming local talents. Among the names were many industry professionals who really excel at what they do. It's a huge honour to even be considered, I cannot help but feel undeserving, and I don't need anyone's empathy nor sugar-coated words. In the interview, I spoke about how music is the backbone of my vision and how I would like to work in the advertising industry. Let this be a solid recognition for my creative work and a reminder to work very hard. Thank you, Louise from NUYOU for making this happen.

It would be a miracle if I ever get onto the treadmill, let alone getting into a new sport — Yoga. Yes, I cannot believe it either. I began going for professional Yoga lessons at my local sports centre under the ActiveSG scheme. I really like Yoga. It occurred to me that perhaps my reluctance to workout could be my poor choice of sports previously. I was pretty much useless during P.E. lessons. My fear of ball games didn't help either. Running was my only option then. Now, I might have found my pursuit in this fascinating, very (fashionably) glamourous world of fitness. I thank my best friend Mandy for introducing me to Hatha Yoga. Since then, my backaches had reduced dramatically and I feel like a new person. 

A colleague's brief advocation of the famous Konmari method, by Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, prompted me to question my material possessions. After watching a few episodes of Rachel Aust's Minimalism Series on YouTube, boy, I was convinced. Partly, it was the mold problem (from Singapore's insane humidity) which left me little choice but to do some spring cleaning. How could I have lived with so much of the excess without realising? The Konmari method urges one to only keep what "sparks joy". The simplicity of the statement blew my mind and made me disgusted with myself. With this new perspective, I culled my entire room — beginning with makeup, then papers, clothing and so on. It was extremely uncomfortable but necessary to make sure my room is well curated, and after endless mental battles, I have never felt more peaceful at home. I highly recommend this life-changing concept to everyone.

Laneway was a hell of a blast! I attended my first ever music festival in Singapore last month with my boyfriend Nigel and Nic. Besides catching some of our favourite bands — Grimes, Chvrches, and Purity Ring — I decided to vlog too! If you're thinking, "is Uli going to be a YouTuber now"? Not really. But I did make a conscious choice to get some footage that day and going to make a video out of it. For now it's just for fun, I'll see how that goes, don't want to expect too much of this new pet project.

Final thoughts
It's time I stop undermining myself and begin to truly live in the moment. To own less and to do more. To live, not regret. To love myself and be selfish if I needed to. To accept criticism but not broken. To see the world without losing myself. Easier said than done, but I am only human.