Wednesday, 30 December 2015

I Have Three Friends :: Part 1

I have three friends.

They’re pretty interesting, to me, at least…

There’s Hope. She’s much like her name - always dreaming and unafraid. Her eyes are always facing forward; she never looks back. She’s optimistic, fun, and somewhat of a risk-taker; “you never know unless you try,” that’s her motto. I mean, I don’t mind when she finds someplace cool or something new and wants to try it out but she doesn’t have to drag me along every single time, does she? And, it gets tiring. Like seriously tiring. For example, after finding out that they’re setting up a carnival fair thing in town, she immediately rings me and informs me we’re going tomorrow. We leave nice and early [too early, half of the booths weren’t even open yet] and stay there till evening. Then she wants to check out the fancy Chinese restaurant that just opened up a few days ago. Along the way, she sees a billboard that proudly proclaims a new “hot and trendy” store is opening up in a month and casually asks me, “when are you free next month? Like the first week of next month…” When we [finally] get to the Chinese restaurant, she orders literally everything on the menu. I ask her “why” while she frantically waves for the waiter’s attention for the seventh time. She says the same thing she always says, “Cos you don’t know if it’s good if you don’t try it.” She ordered three fish dishes and she doesn’t even like fish… On our way back in the subway, she links her arm with mine and says, “You know, you’re a good friend. You’re always there for me and stuff. I want to thank you, like seriously. How about we go on a road trip this weekend or the next if you like? Just the two of us. It’ll be amazing and we’ll get to try lotsa cool new stuff. Like we can go hiking maybe? Oh wait, what about jet skiing? Can we stop by the beach? I want to swim in the sea…”

She has three planners for one year. And she has many plans: plan A and if plan A doesn’t work, there’s plan B. And if that doesn’t work, plan C. Her life is so crazy and spontaneous. I wonder if she ever is quiet and pensive… There’s always this light, this burning fire behind her eyes. She doesn’t walk;  she leaps, she skips, she twirls, she dances. I can’t explain it but whenever you’re around her, you feel the air alive with excitement. You wonder how every breath buzzes in your lungs, how her electric smile sparks your own, how her random chatter loosens your stiff front and how you both end up laughing, singing, and falling into a messy pile on the ground.

I actually envy her, just a little. She’s crazy, but not overboard. Her plans, wild and unrestrained as they sound, are thought out and doable. It’s like she knows just how far out she can go without falling over the edge. Adults look at her and mumble, “someday, she’s gonna go too far and lose herself.”

But no, I think not. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants. She doesn’t mind a few extra 360 degree loops and hairpin turns along the way and she isn’t afraid to throw her arms up and have fun in front of others. To have controlled and organized, yet crazy and wild fun.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

12 Days of Thanksgiving :: a tag

I really really love tags – I learn so much more about the taggers and taggees [I hereby declare this an unofficially official, legit word], I get to know many more bloggers, and the topics are so intriguing. <3 So, mega thanks, Sarah, for tagging me.

*Lays a cream-colored, lace napkin before Sarah and serves her fried cookies-and-cream ice cream drizzled with caramel and dusted with cocoa powder of the finest quality*

While Sarah enjoys her desert, let’s start with the tag!

Don’t you just love how I disappeared for forever

Then suddenly appeared and acted as if

Nothing has happened?

Here are the rules:

- List 12 things you are thankful for
- Tag as many bloggers as you want, making sure to tell them of their nomination

I am thankful for:

1. a best friend who I can share my nonsensical logic with, who threatens to break into my house and eat all my chocolates, and who sends me the most terrifying selfies. (all at the same time, mind you)

2. a family that nags me because they love me, annoys me because they care, and loves me because of me

3. a church that is willing to accept and embrace me as I am even though I’m the awkward new kid

4. music that makes me happy when I’m sad, helps me focus when I am distracted, and inspires me to sing, dance, and laugh

5. pens, pencils, paper, markers, crayons, paint,  paper – for art, both digital and traditional

6. movies that make me cry so hard I go crazy and watch the last 5 mins over and over and over again

7. chocolate cakes, ice cream, sweets, chocolate-chip cookies, rose-flavoured macaroons, caramel popcorn, jelly, etc

8. books that make me stay up through the night, forget to shower, and eat way to many bags of chips (cos I like to have a “little” nibble while I read)

9. sleepovers and hangouts that make me wish time would stop forever and we could just tell each other scary stories, binge watch random youtube videos, and take silly we-fies until the phone runs out of memory

10. salted caramel ~ ‘NUFF SAID

11. teachers and mentors who love me like I’m family and truly want me to succeed

12. Christ who died for me, God who treasures me, and the Spirit who guides me

(13. CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS *inserts sparkle emoticon*) 

Okayy, that’s my ‘thankful for’ list; now, let me see yours!

I tag everyone who reads this. Be sure to leave a comment if you did this so that I can trot over to have a little looksee.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Random Scribblings #9 :: On Inspiration [or the lack thereof]

i see it

there, there!!

quick, reach, grab

it floats away,

a shapeless cloud of midnight blue, neon pink, and autumn-leaf orange,

and comes to rest on the edge of nothingness

come on, let’s try once more

jump, higher

my fingers brush against the formless blob…

lightning pain zaps through my bones

a gentle breeze caresses my face

a pleasant warmness floods my hand

pin-prickles dance across my skin.

in a distance, wind chimes tinkled and

the scent of brownies and french fries wafts through the shimmering air

and then

it disappeared


i breathe


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Random Scribblings #8

Change, yes, that’s it; I need change…

A girl wearing a black, leather jacket hurried across a busy street in chilly London. Strands of her silky auburn hair had come loose from her side braid and she absentmindedly brushed them away from her eyes. She stopped at the curb, scanning the roads for an available taxi. In her right hand, she clutched a steaming hot cup of her favourite Starbucks order: White Chocolate Mocha. Leaning out to the road, she waved her free hand at an approaching cab. It zoomed passed her. She let her hand fall to her side with a huff and scuffed the pavement with the pointed toes of her black boots.

I’m sick and tired of my life; I want change. I can’t live like this anymore. My life is so plain and boring; it’s just wake up, work, sleep, repeat. Every single day! I want something exciting, something cool, and different. I want to turn heads and be amazing. I want to be the girl everyone loves and admires, not just some random, normal person people walk right past. And I’m gonna make this change is happen right now!

Finally, a taxi slowed to a stop in front of her. She stepped off the curb and pulled open the shiny black door. Sitting herself comfortably in the back seat, she reached out and slammed the door shut. Soon after, the taxi calmly rolled off.

Across the street, in a cosy café, two pairs of eyes followed the retreating figure of the taxi.

“What do you think about her?”

“She seems exciting; strong, confident, definitely a head turner.”
Hope you enjoyed that. :)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Six Word Stories // Contest


I came across an interesting contest called a “6 Word Story Contest” on another blog, Just Joy.

It sounds fun and the pictures are so intriguing so I think I’ll give it a shot. :)

Here’s how it works:

For each picture, write 6 words that you think best describes the story behind the picture. That’s all there is to it!

Picture 1:

Is this who I've unknowingly become?
Picture 2:
Love should not hurt like this
Picture 3:
Am I truly happy here? Yes...


There, all done…

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A String of Unrelated Thoughts // Random Scribblings #7

I hope you’re having a splendid week. I’m feeling pretty great this week – I’ve woken up nice and early since Monday and everyday feels like it's so much longer. I can do what I need to do and still have time to read your blogs, play the piano, and do other fun stuff.
I have a SAT I exam coming up and, thankfully, I’m not feeling the stress <yet>. I have a good feeling about this and hopefully, the happy feels will stick with me while I study, during the exam, and forever after that~
I have an Instagram account: ashyy_lim
Be sure to check it out as I’m pretty active over there. :)
Here’s just a little scribble for your reading pleasure:
“do you believe in love at first sight?” he asked, hair flying and eyes sparkling.
“no, not really…” i replied. “why?”
“well, me neither,” he turned to look at me,
“until I met you”
i gazed back at him, loving how the wind tousled his hair
how he teases with that loveable lopsided grin
how he throws back his head and laughs at the sky
how he annoys me by imitating my every word and action
how he looks right into my eyes and says
“love you”
I smiled.
“me too.”
I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The 777 Challenge // Random Scribblings #6

Hello world!!

The lovely elisabeth from A-flyleaf tagged me for this majorly interesting challenge. The super sweet and epic friend award goes to her. :)


Here are the rules:

  • share 7 lines from the 7th page of one of your manuscripts
  • tag 7 bloggers


So here’s what I have for the 777 challenge

We stood about ten feet from each other. The sky rumbled and in the distance, the rain had already begun to fall. The wind whipped pieces of my hair out of my braid and around my face. My nose and fingers were numb with cold. I inched towards her.

“I’ll jump. Take one step closer and I’ll jump.” She spoke over her shoulder, her voice sharp and cold as stone.

I panicked. How did it get down to this? What went wrong? When? Where? Why? A million thoughts and questions buzzed in my mind. The sky rumbled again as rain began to patter all around us.

I tag the following bloggers:
Nicole Rose :: Self Known

Rachelle :: Beloved Bluebird

Anna :: Hero

Anna Sophia:: Rubberboot Girl

If you have already done this challenge (or you’ve been tagged before), feel free to ignore this tag. :)

If that’s not the case, let me know when your 777 Challenge post is up cos I would love to read it. <3 But of course, no pressure to do it.

Stay lovely, lovelies.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Random Scribblings #5

Dream come true’s… What are they? Who deserves them?

Am I entitled to this place in life? I’ve went through so much to get to where I am yet… yet standing here, I feel so lost, so insecure.

Have I fought hard enough?

I don’t know…

I tried, I guess. But is trying good enough? Have I put in my absolute best? Is my best good enough?

What if, by standing where I am, I am destroying someone’s dream?

What if, by standing where I am, I am piercing someone’s heart?

What if, because of me, someone is sitting alone in the broken remains of their world…?

What if, what if, what if…


“What’s wrong?”


I often come across as a confident individual, which, I must admit, is not always a bad thing… But, hey, I have my doubts too. Some people are surprised when I openly and seriously “slam [berate]” and doubt myself in front of them.

I love high ranks and leadership positions, but sometimes, I wonder ‘ does someone else want this position? Do they want it more than me? Am I hogging it? Do I even deserve this?? ’

Terrifies me to bits but that’s what friends and family are for ~ loving-supporting-guiding~ I love my friends and family <3

Till next time!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Friday, 10 July 2015

Random Scribblings #3

Fuuny, another post out so soon. Well, I guess the summer break is doing wonders for the imagining and writing part of my brain. I have yet to proofread this little piece, so please kindly ignore any grammar and punctuation mistakes.

Once again, I present you yet another nameless piece...

Nervously, she waited outside the classroom. She could hear her teacher speaking over the noise of her rowdy soon-to-be classmates. Running ahand through her auburn hair, she took a deep breath and closed her grey eyes. When she opened them again, her homeroom teacher was standing in front of her, holding the door open and smiling an exasperated smile.

She searched his face, his smile and saw what she expected: a man approximately forty years of age who had once fooled himself into thinking teaching was a simple, yet fulfilling job. It probably was fulfilling at times but she was certain right now wasn’t one of those moments. Why else would anyone have to crack such a forced smile…?

She smiled back and stepped past him.

“Her name is…” the teacher’s voice trailed off as he flipped through the attendance list in his hands. “I can’t… where… Why don't you tell us your name, girl?” he finally asked, ignoring the sniggers that rippled through the room.

“My name is Ashlynn Suanne Summer. I’m pleased to meet all of you and I hope we will be able to get along for the rest of the school year.”

“Thank you. Please take a seat. Uhhh, the one beside Jonathan will-”

“Taken!” a fierce-looking boy with fiery red hair shouted and plonked his leg onto the empty chair.

Ashlynn started at his voice and made a mental note to steer clear of him.

“Ashlynn can sit here,” a clear, crisp voice said after a couple seconds of silence. Ashlynn looked up from the front of the room and saw that the voice belonged to a girl with dark hair and pale skin. Her large, friendly eyes twinkled behind a pair of thick, black-framed glasses. She smiled and pulled out the chair next to her. “Come Ashlynn, have a seat.”

“Yes, thank you, er, Leah or was it-”

“Sir, it’s Li-Ann.”

As Ashlynn walked towards the back of the classroom, she wondered if she was even going to make past the first week in this classroom, much less the entire rest of the school year.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Random Scribblings #2

In one of the rare pockets of silence during today, I managed to sit down and write this. It was very much a one-shot. I have absolutely no idea where this little snippet came from and where it will lead. It's a nice story, I feel. Something interesting and different. Something new.
Also, I have no title for this little excerpt... Leave your ideas in the comments below.
Now please, enjoy.
I looked up, only to find that he was looking at me.

We both looked away, flustered, blushing, and yet somewhat happy…

Then, with a rush of flowing skirts and drum beats, the festival began. The women gathered in the open space, spinning and twirling, their skirts rippling this way and that. I watched mesmerized by the simple beauty of everything - the brilliantly dyed clothing in stark contrast against the dull red-brown earth; the joyous shouts and merry voices rising into the endless, cloudless sky.

After a while, the music began to swell and increase in tempo. Couples standing at the edge of the circle were caught up in the flurry of thumping feet and clapping hands and soon, almost every couple had joined in the dance. They smiled and laughed as they tightly held each other’s hands and bopped to the beat of the music.

Unconsciously, I looked in his direction and realized he was gone. I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. I kinda did want to dance with him but then again, we’ve never met. We’re not a couple… yet…

I was still lost in thoughts when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. My eyes lit up and I spun around, a hint of a smile playing on the corner of my lips.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Random Scribblings #1

I write. I love to write. However, to me, it's terribly difficult for me to pen down my thoughts. Forgetting is my enemy, but my arch nemesis is... laziness. So, successfully completing a short story makes me really happy...

I wrote this short story a while back and I even sent it in for a short story competition. I'm surprised at how it has turned out as the actual ending of the story was far from the original. The funny thing is that no matter how much I drafted and planned, the story always shape-shifts when I come back to revise it. Now, I think it's tired, so it's resting for a bit. But who knows, this story may change again; it may even birth a sequel... :)

Without further ado, I present to you,

A Pebble’s Journey – My Story
I sat along the side of the gravel road in front of my house, waiting and thinking. Excitement and fear fought for a place in my heart. I blinked hard, and struggled to control my emotions. Scuffing the ground with my ankle-high boots, I saw something sparkle. Curious, I leaned over and picked up a strangely shiny pebble. Picking the pebble from the ground, I turned the smooth, cool stone over in my hands. This pebble has probably been here for a long time, like me, I’ve been here… Forever. I sighed. Then again, this pebble may have been all over the world before landing here. If adventure calls it, it’ll go. I stared at the stone, wondering what to do with it. Finally, I decided to keep the pebble and slipped it into my skirt pocket.
Pulling my cream-colored coat tightly around me, I bowed my head, closed my eyes and breathed in the Canadian afternoon air. Opening my eyes, I watched the leaves scuttle and chased each other around my feet. Crisp bronze leaves swirled in the autumn wind. Mesmerized by the rich color of the leaves, I failed to hear the sound of a car until it rolled into view. I sucked my breath in sharply as the car slowed to a stop. Gingerly, I stepped in and pulled my suitcase onto my lap. I looked up the driveway and at my small and simple house, the house that I had lived in since I was born. It used to be cheery, bright, and noisy, but now, everyone has embarked on their own separate journeys and left me behind. Both my parents had passed away, and my three older brothers each live in a different part of the globe.
Slamming the door, I bit my lip. Gently, the car rolled forward. I closed my eyes and rested my head on the window, letting it cool my skin. I was on my way to Paris. I, Ashlynn Greye, the most insecure, timid, and lonely person on the face of the earth, was going to Paris on my own.
An hour later, I stood in front of the check-in counter, worriedly fiddling with my bracelet. Smiling as she looked at me, the lady at the counter took my passport. She had shiny white teeth and bright red lips. I watched them the entire time she spoke.
“Paris is a beautiful place.” She said, her red lips shaping the words perfectly.
I nodded dumbly, mesmerized.
“Are you going with anyone?”
I shook my head, wishing she would stop talking to me and just hand my passport back.
“Here’s your passport and enjoy your trip.”
I turned and barely took a step when she called to me, “Try the macarons there, they are delicious.”
Turning back, I smiled and nodded my head awkwardly. I have only eaten a macaron once before. Recalling the taste of the buttery and light confectionery, I missed its characteristic subtle hint of almond flavor as well as its crisp outer shell and moist chewy innards. Slowly, I made my way to the departure hall. Noise and voices and lights and smells encompassed me. For years, I lived alone, only making contact with the world for a couple of hours every day to work as a cashier at the nearby gas station. Airports and noisy places constituted part of my distant memory. Sounds from the cafés and check-in counters swirled around me and filled me, rising and falling like music from an orchestra. Drowning in all these sounds, I nearly bumped into someone. I missed the person, but tripped over his luggage. My suitcase hit the floor, and a loud crack resonated throughout the room. Heads turned and eyes explored my face. Flustered, I sped off, clutching my suitcase to my chest, face burning with embarrassment.
Panting, I arrived at the departure hall. Still hugging my suitcase, I handed my passport to the immigration officer. He had thick eyebrows, really thick eyebrows. Before I realized it, my eyes were glued to them. He smiled, his eyebrows softening.
“You’re early, there’s no need to rush.” Looking from me to my passport, he asked, “Ashlynn Greye?” His eyebrows went up. I nodded.
“Have you ever been to Paris?”
I shook my head.
“You’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, I presume?” He raised one eyebrow.
I tore my eyes away from his brows and nodded.
He returned my passport, and I took one last look at his eyebrows before scurrying into the waiting room.
In the waiting room, I examined my suitcase. Interestingly, it held together despite the crack. Laying my suitcase on my lap, I scanned my surroundings. Unconsciously, I twisted my hands. Then I gasped and panic gripped me. My bracelet, the one my mother gave me before she left, had disappeared! Look what you’ve done! I scolded myself, If you have not decided to come on this stupid trip, you would not have lost Mom’s bracelet. Fool! I scanned at the floor and checked the sleeves of my coat to ensure it did not catch onto anything. While I searched, I repeatedly chided myself. My panic grew, until I felt the pebble in my pocket. I pulled it out and turned it over in my trembling hands, remembering the resolution I made earlier that day. At the same time, someone announced that passengers could begin to board the plane. People slowly flowed towards the doors that led to the plane. As I looked gathering crowd of people, I bit my lip. Slowly, I put one foot in front of the other and started toward the doors.
Ten minutes later, I sat in the plane. Under me, the seat felt sleek and silky. Running my hand over the black leather, I enjoyed its velvety smoothness. As I held on to the pebble, a sense peacefulness washed over me like a warm, soothing wave. Sleep claimed me minutes after the takeoff. I awoke halfway through the journey, and throughout the rest of it I observed people and dreamed about Paris. Before she died, my mother confessed to me she had always wanted to go to Paris but never got to. Feeling an obligation to fulfill her desire, I vowed to visit Paris. Miles up in the air, it comforted me to think Mother would approve of this.
Seven hours later, the plane jerked, lurched, and slowed. I had landed safely in Paris. Looking out my window, I realized it was late and raining. As I neared the doors of the plane, a cool blast of damp air hit me in the face, tugging at strands of my chestnut brown hair. As I stepped off the plane, my body tingled with excitement. Confidently, I strolled through immigration and toward the taxi stand. Minutes later, I walked into a huge hotel. Its grandeur and splendor completely stole my breath. All the excitement and tension had completely sapped me of all my energy and when I got to my room, I fell into bed and slept, dreaming of wonderful times I would spend in Paris.
Days passed in a blur. For all 22 years of my life, I have never felt so alive. I ate, toured, slept with a smile on my face. Pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Notre Dame de Paris, and other Paris attractions filled my camera. Every one of those pictures had a little pebble in it.
Finally, the last day of my holiday arrived. I toyed with the pebble as I walked down one of Paris’s most beautiful streets. Suddenly, it slipped and clattered to the ground. It began to roll away. Running behind it, I heaved a sigh of relief as it stopped rolling. As I picked the pebble up, I realized I stood in front of a café. Pastel pink, lime green, and bold purple macarons filled the display. My mouth watered as the smell of freshly baked macarons filled my nostrils; it’s delicately sweet and fruity floral fragrance beckoning me to buy them.
“Welcome!” A voice broke the silence. A young man with dark brown hair stood behind the counter. I found myself looking at the deepest, most beautiful pair of hazel brown eyes.
“Um, hi. I want to buy some macarons.” I said awkwardly.
“Wait, aren’t you… that girl …?” He asked squinting at me.
“What?” I managed before he rushed off into the back of the shop.
“Is this yours?” Something dangled from his fingers.
“My bracelet! Where’d you find it?” I grabbed it. As I held it in my hands, relief and joy bubbled from within me.
“You trip over my luggage in Montreal.” He explained. “Wow! I didn’t expect to see you here.” he added as he ran a hand through his hair.
I realized something different about the bracelet’s chain. Originally thick and old-fashioned, the chain had transformed into something delicate and pretty.
He saw my expression and quickly said, “Oh yeah, I changed the chain. It snapped. I hope you like. Nothing missing, I hope.”
I counted the beads, “No, nothing.” I replied. “Thanks.”
 “So, are you buying anything?”
“Of course!” I smiled.
After spending a couple minutes deciding, I picked out a boxful of macarons. I handed him the money and skipped off. As the door closed, I heard him say something but I ignored it. You see, I left him a present; a special, small, smooth, round present.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Stress and bleh...

Stress does crazy things to people.

Some people suffer physically, you know, with insomnia or acne. Others suffer emotionally, experiencing frequent panic attacks and in some extreme cases, depression.

I am a strong person… Or I like to believe I am both emotionally and physically resistant to stress.

However, over the years and recently, I have come to realize that I am neither.

Try as I might, I will never be able to win the war against stress physically. In this area of life, I fight a losing battle.

Being under duress for extended periods of time throws my body clock way off schedule. Often, for many nights in a row, I would lie WIDE AWAKE in bed, listening to the steady hum of the fan.  “What-if’s” and other pointless questions would plague my mind, chasing every bit of sleep from my body. Many times, it would be past three in the morning and I could still be wondering what life would be like if I scored a five on the APs or if I should learn how to play the accordion. Of course, the next day, I would suffer from headaches and restlessness because of the lack of sleep. I would feel sick and lethargic for the entire day.

This, sadly, isn’t the only physical stress-related problem. Stress gives me eczema, crazy, violent bouts of eczema everywhere – my face, fingers, toes, elbows, ankles, arms, legs. E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. Dealing with this is a pain, literally. But I’ve learnt to control and rise above it. Regular ointment application helps to relief the discomfort somewhat. And, most of the time, it you don’t think about it, it wouldn’t bother you. Most of the time…

So yeah, stress does that to me… and more…

I like to believe I’m emotionally strong. I am relatively resistant to other’s feelings and I make a huge effort not to be easily swayed by emotion. However, something happened, and now, I just think I am a silly, immature little goose… Gah, it pains me to admit that...

My major exams are in May. As with most people, I begin feeling the stress about a month to the exams. But, as I mentioned before, I (wish I was) am an emotionally strong person and I (wish I had) have great control over my feelings.

But, for a while, I was doing fine. I hadn’t snapped at anyone or had a temper tantrum. I was fun and jovial towards most people. I could smile and laugh as if I had nary a care in the world. All this was before a month to the exam; I hadn’t begun feeling the pressure. Gradually, as the exam dates drew nearer, the pressure began to increase and I became more and more emotionally stretched. But, being the goose I was, I assured myself I was fine… until a simple, harmless game of reversi…

*flashback to my family having breakfast in McDonald’s earlier today*

If there’s one thing you need to know about me is I strongly dislike losing, especially to family members, especially my mom. Initially, I didn’t want to play because I KNEW I WOULD LOSE BIG TIME. My mom enjoyed reversi and she was admittedly pretty good at it. I, on the other hand, disliked such board games and had hardly any experience in playing reversi. It was plain to see who had the upper hand. But, after some persuasion, I STUPIDLY accepted her challenge.

I began the game marvellously. My mom was impressed, I was impressed. But, you see, that was the problem. Now, I saw that I had a chance of winning. Instead of just playing for fun, I began playing for LIFE. Whenever it was my turn, I took forever. I planned and calculated. I tried multiple different ways to trick her and trap her. What I didn’t know was that every move shaved more off the patience and control I had over the exam stress. Midway through the game, I began experiencing heart palpitation and even felt faint. I was that bent on winning and that close to snapping.

I’m sure you all know how this story would continue. I was one move to winning. I had to make the decision between two moves, both of which seemed to offer the same advantages. My father and brothers peeped over my shoulder and began “backseat playing.”

“I would move that,” my dad said. My brothers agreed.

I stared hard at the board. Which move should I make???? I resisted the temptation to throw the board out the window. Just make the silly goose move already!!! Swayed by my father and brothers’ advice (and my desire to end the game as I was DYING from the pressure), I placed my piece. AND INSTANTLY REGRETTED IT. You have no idea what I felt. The world became silent and everything happened in slow motion. My stomach dropped and my heart squeezed. I had lost, not because of me, but because I listened and took someone else’s advice.

**note: I am actually tearing up from annoyance right now as the memory is still fresh in my mind...**

Just like that, the little walls of happy feelings and “all’s right with the world” thoughts began to crumble and fall away. I could feel the stress seeping out through the little cracks. I put my head in my hands and actually cried. For the first time since I was three, I cried in public because of a game. But that didn’t relief any of the stress. Oh my, there was more to come, way, way more, tons, tons more to come.

I was stony silent on the ride home. When we arrived home, I stormed up the stairs and locked myself in my room… and exploded.

I literally just fell to the ground and cried my heart out. The walls of happy rainbows my heart busted right open, unleashing all the stress and pressure I was feeling. After about 5 minutes, I calmed down. Then began freaking out again. I threw stuff across the room, I kicked the trash bin, I shoved books of the shelf, I even flipped the study chair upside down. After about 20 minutes (not kidding, I nearly lost both my eyeballs from crying so much), I calmed down and spent the next 10 minutes surveying the mess I created with a tearful eye.

During that ten minutes, I wondered what caused such a reaction. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have reacted this way if I played the game in normal circumstances.

Well, I guess I just have to admit that I am yet but a child. Such a reaction is actually quite unforgivable by my standards and I actually would love to be rid of this dreadful memory. But I wanted to remember this lesson by typing it out and since I took the trouble to type this out, I might as well share this entertaining little tale of mine.

In conclusion, stress is dangerous. Do your best to control and stay away from it, please. But the most important lesson to learn from this post is to never EVER EVER challenge a person whose exams are in less than a month in a one on one game that they don’t care about.

Please, just don’t.