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  • Writer's pictureFaith Zheng

The Art of Noticing — 2023

2 months left of 2023. Another semester gone, another year finished. Time seems to drive by faster and faster with age, doesn’t it? The rush to always keep up, to strive for more, to do better, to be better. It gets overwhelming, and it gets tiring. Personally, I tend to find myself zoning out at my screen on late nights, wondering how the sun passed me by through the six panes of glass in my room. How the days so easily skip by, while my essays or assignments pile up high.

It does get tiring, always chasing the possibility of success. This article is not meant to deter you from your girl-boss dreams, but rather to remind you that at the end of the day, you will only be this version of you at this particular time. Yes, that essay is really important has a deadline and is 30% of your grade. But sunsets are never the same. The clouds are always changing. You might never get to see the next rainy day. It is important to slow down and notice the life we choose to pass by for the possibility of a better tomorrow.

TikTok-plagiarism aside, I hope to share a few quiet moments throughout the semester, to maybe inspire you or whoever else that may read this, to slow down and appreciate the art of noticing.

Week 5

One of the first pictures I took for this article. Kinda lame, in hindsight, but what caught my eye were the students calmly rushing out of the library at 1150. Caught a brief glimpse of an empty floor in CLB.

In transit. Found it amusing that there was a line of white shoes sitting right across from me. Reminded me of the small coincidences that happen in life.

9am. I had classes that day, but the sun woke me up before my alarm could. Turns out I didn’t set my alarm for that day. So I guess it was blessing in disguise.

Week 6

Sunday. Made a promise to myself that I would hang out with my sister every weekend for a meal. It is an expensive promise, but children don’t stay young forever </3

I came home after school to this on the table. My brother told me it was his favourite thing to make. It was a warm reminder that he’s grown up, and can recreate his favourite foods.

Recess Week

Post-run bird sighting. I remember being fairly happy that day (not only because I ran…even though it was only a 5-minute run 😭) to be able to spot hornbills. I’m glad to live alongside them.

Tufting in JB. It was in the middle of our trip. Realised that there are a lot more crafts to explore out there in the world. (The rugs came out really cute; hit up @tuftingnuts if you’re interested in a workshop!)

Week 7

The plushies that my boyfriend and I co-parent. It looks like they’re gossiping.

Comfort meal. It was a long Thursday that deserved a meal at Hong Kong Kitchen (Supper Stretch). Luckily enough, we found a friend to share the meal with, which meant the opportunity to order more dishes!

Week 8

Monday. Boyfriend was power-walking towards the toilet. No other comments.

8th October. My first attempt at a full fresh-cream cake. It was a milestone in my hobby pocket.

Week 9

Another Sunday. The Hi-Noodle outlet was finally open, and it was disappointing. But what mattered were the memories.

Late birthday celebration. Everything went smoothly (except for the thunderstorm), which again was another small win added into my book.

Another Thursday. The last few deck mala meals I might be having with friends.

Week 10

It rained quite heavily on this day. Watching the workers brace the weather made me reflect on the privilege that I have. That, and the structures they’ve built for us.

Early dinner. My meal choice on that day was a blast from the past. Wondered to myself why I stopped ordering udon from the food court, my go-to meal every Saturday throughout my childhood.

That’s all I have. Stopping to capture these moments has helped me to notice the world around me, and to reflect and appreciate the smaller aspects of living. Admittedly, I still am rushing about life each day, to the point where having to do nothing is inherently unsettling (did I forget something?). Nonetheless, change doesn’t happen overnight. I hope to continue documenting these small moments, as a reminder that I am alive and living, not a machine that chases. Hope you enjoyed reading!

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