Resolutions are a tricky thing. You don't want to have too few, but you also don't want to have too many. It's all about finding the perfect balance, and also actually having the resolve to conquer them! I mildly remember having made a resolution to drink more water in the year 2014, but I literally had forgotten all about it by February 2014, and have only remembered it now as this year's resolution. But I think I've figured out a theme for my resolutions that will help it to stick a lot better.
This year, my resolutions will revolve around there being infinite possibilities, and a viewpoint of myself as having no restrictions. To be the best person you can be, you have to find your boundaries but I think I've sold myself a little short in the last few years. Time to rediscover myself! So to reiterate, this means less sleeping in (I think I do have more energy than I always think I do), drinking more water (who doesn't have time to drink water?!), and most importantly, to always, always move forward. I once heard someone say that if they improve just 1% everyday, sooner or later they'll get there. And it's true. The greatest achievements come from a series of small steps. Just take it easy, take it slow and always, always believe that you can achieve it (even if you don't exactly know what 'it' is yet.
As for me and Chinese music, definitely as I started out I never thought in a million years that I would be so involved with it like I am today. It was just something I loved, and nurtured. Before I even knew it, I had gotten so deep into it that it just snowballed into something bigger and bigger. I love what I'm doing now, but I'm always striving to better myself as much as possible. To be able to make a difference, and to help people using the gifts that I've nurtured. Maybe in another life, I would've been a doctor, a teacher even. But in this life, I'm so happy to be where I am now. The road ahead is long, but lets hope it leads me to even more spectacular views.
2014 has been the best year of my life so far, but infinite possibilities means that I can possibly use my perseverance and hard work to make 2015 an even better year.
I'll leave you all with a song that's been a subtle favourite of mine in 2014; helping me through the good times and the bad. Tanya Chua's <Keep Breathing> has a pace as steady as a heartbeat, little flutters of elements that when interwoven throughout the song create a slow, steady feeling of moving forward, but yet does so with a sense of calm that is in part to do with Tanya's warm vocals.
What are some of your resolutions for 2015? Feel free to share them with me, and I truly hope that you all have a wonderful 2015 too!
When I went to Taiwan, it was kind of like a free pass for me to do whatever the hell I wanted. I was alone in a foreign country; no friends, no family; nothing to hold you back. So of course as I started to make more friends, late night dinners, karaoke-ing, midnight runs and bike rides (that I always protested at) became a constant in my life. No curfews and living by myself meant that I basically had a free pass to make myself happy; with no obligations to compromise with family members on certain issues, or trying to wrangle a few hours of talking time from friends who seemed to be eternally busy with their own lives.
I thought to myself, you know, why not? You're probably never going experience this kind of freedom ever again in your life, so you might as well make the most of it while you can. And so for the first time in my life, I gave myself permission to put myself first. I've always felt it was my obligation to put others before myself; to me it just seemed like the moral and right thing to do. I always thought, it's not like I can't afford to give in to these people so I might as well. But giving in soon turned into being taken advantage of, and the relaxed attitude that I had towards the situation at hand had turned into a kind of resignation to my fate as the one who always had the short end of the straw. But what I realised somewhere along the way was that in order to extend the greatest kindness and love to others; you must first encourage it within yourself.
And it's not like I hadn't heard this line before, I just thought that it was a whole bunch of bullcrap in the midst of my busy life. But as time wasting as it might sound, making yourself happy is actually the most productive thing you could do both for yourself, and for others around you. When I came back from Taipei, I'm pretty sure I did all my chores for six months without even complaining ONCE. Okay maybe a couple of times… But I consciously put in the effort to make things easier for everyone by pulling my weight AND by not complaining about it. The not-as-happy me would definitely not have enough energy or wisdom to not complain about the chores despite any conflicts that might arise. It might sound like just a small thing, but it's a really big deal to me.
My friends who have come back from taiwan and enjoyed it as much as me have also told me the same thing; their grades have gone up because they're so much happier than they were before! So at any chance you get, I hope you can take some time out of your daily schedule to concentrate on things that you love to do. Because your happiness should be as important to you as everyone else's. Business is addictive; everyone's trying to get somewhere in this big world of opportunities. But what they didn't tell you is that being able to set time apart from others just for yourself is a real skill. It's one that I haven't mastered yet, but I hope that you have, or are on your way to mastering it too! Trust me, it's all for the best.
I'd like to share with you a happy happy song, coincidentally of the same name of this post, <As long as you're happy> by Chen Si Han featuring Penny Dai. Enjoy!
I just wrote a long-ass post which just got deleted, so I'm gonna keep it short and sweet this time around:
7-11 events are held pretty often such as the MP Magic Power one I went to, especially because it's such a big venue in taiwan, especially the one I went to in Gongguan. So do keep an eye out for these kinds of activities. But because of the place where these activities are situated, it could get crowded, and also you might want to anticipate a less music filled event. Basically they usually just set up the tents and the basic amp equipment, and don't really have the capacity to hold a full-staged performance of any kind. So needless to say, I wasn't able to see them perform at all, and was instead waiting for about three hours to see them and get their autographs (which I had to buy three bottles of coke to get).
I'd understand if you were a big fan of someone, but just take this into account before participating in an even of this kind!
celebrity stalking in taiwan-how to get into Entertainment 100%娱乐百分百Filming-yen-J and Hsiao Hung Jen
So during my time in Taiwan, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to participate in the filming of an episode of Entertainment 100%娱乐百分百, featuring Yen-J and Hsiao Hung Jen in a 'celebrity friend' episode of the show! For the content of what they talked about on the show, I'm sure you can just find out by watching the episode itself, but I hope I can share with you guys a few tips if you're ever in Taipei and wanting to catch one of these shows!
Step 1: Plan Ahead
If you have a particular artist in mind, the best way to possibly secure a way to participate in their TV activities would be to make sure you're in the right place at the right time. If you're only coming to Taiwan for a holiday, these activities probably release their schedules about 2 weeks, or sometimes only days in advance of the actual filmings themselves! So if you know that an artist you like is releasing an album soon and will be starting promotional activities for that particular album, or concert, or starring in a tv drama that will be airing soon, that would be the best time to start planning around when you might want to come to Taiwan!
Step 2: Getting into the right circles
You guys are probably most concerned about how exactly you get into these filmings. Well, it's really not as hard as you may think! You don't need any special passes to be able to participate, just like the fanpage of the particular artist on facebook, and keep an eye on all their posts, by clicking 'get notifications' to them on facebook or just basically keeping an eye on their wall or your newsfeed from any posts from them! This doesn't just go for 娱乐百分百filmings, but for all kinds of promotional activities that that artist may be having.
**NOTE: A very important note; I don't just mean liking the official page of the artist you like, but the official fanclub Facebook page. Oftentimes, these fanpages will have intimate interactions with the artist or the artists' management, who will pass to them exclusively information about filmings. They will also share information about the activities of the artists themselves. If you want to go to filmings in particular, YOU MUST LIKE THE RIGHT FANPAGE. Most of the time the artist's official page wouldn't release filming information, so make sure you get it right.
Step 3: Act fast
Once you see the post or notification from the fanclub about a TV filming, be sure to act fast! There are many fans who will want to participate as well, not only from the artist who will be on the show that day, but also from Show, Alien, Lollipop F or Butterfly who will also want a chance to see their favourite celeb, so make sure your availabilities are all clear for that day, and go straightaway to register! If you want to go with friends, check with them their availabilities as soon as possible and register together.
Step 4: How...?
So once you see the post, they'll ask you to register, most probably by filling in your details by clicking on a link to a google survey, or to a google drive of some sort where you have to put in your details, such as name and number. If you can complete the document fully without any problems, that means that you've successfully registered yourself! Since it's just google docs, the page will probably say something like 'Thank you for your participation' but basically it means that you're all done registering!
Some details to take note of:
-Address of the station (GTV or other)
-How to get there: Punctuality is a must depending on which station you go to, at GTV they made me wait over an hour, while for other shows, they were fully on time and ushering us in as soon as we got there. Make sure you get your directions down, or if you're planning to take a taxi, make sure you have the address written down in traditional chinese for the driver.
-Bring a jacket-TV stations are cold!
-Duration: If its entertainment 100%, the filming took about one and a half hours, and you are not allowed to take pictures on set (but I did anyway, sorry!). Other friends who went at different times told me the staff were very strict about cameras and phototaking, but I was able to sneak a few in with staff that were pretty friendly in general.
What was my experience like?
You really do get to interact very closely with your favourite singers and also the hosts, Butterfly and Weilian who were the hosts that day were really kind and friendly, making conversation with the audience during the breaks! As did Yen-J and Hsiao Hung Jen, but they were quite nervous about having to perform and so only really interacted with their fans after the end of the shoot. If you have a present for any of your artists, you can pass it to them after the shooting, and hear them say thank you to you personally! Definitely an experience I treasure and would definitely go back another time! I hope you guys have a wonderful time, and that this little post helps you out too!
These photos were most probably taken by my friend Sinita...Thanks for the pictures!
I've always had a special place in my heart for this Up On The Roof acoustic series that Kimberley's been doing with a bunch of her composers, producers and friends such as Terry, Skot and James to name a few. People are always doing acoustic covers of things, and I've always loved listening to them, so by putting together whole series dedicated to making some good, meaningful and sincere music always makes it big in my book. But it's not only because of that that I love this series. The series started roughly around the time that I found out I was coming to Taipei, and I remember they released the first Up On The Roof for <Good Girl> about two months before I got to Taipei, and have been doing them for all the songs on Kimberley's album during my stay in Taiwan.
This song <我会再想你>(I will think of you again) has always been one of my favourites on the album, and brings back memories of my room in Taipei, being able to look out at the same Taipei 101 every night just as they do in the Up On The Roof sessions. Singing this song at my desk, in the shower, listening to it on my way to school, on the bus ride back from Yilan while doing the review for Kimberley's album...the memories all come flooding back with this song.
No matter who Kimberley wrote this song for, she posted the link with the caption #我真的好想你I really miss you, I really do find the lyrics incredibly relatable, and am truly able to appreciate the atmosphere in the video too, being able to have fun while doing something you love and being thankful for it is one of the best feelings in the world. No matter what it is, I will never forget my experiences in Taipei, and as the song goes; I will definitely think of them again. (and again, and again, and again.) Everyday I am filled with a new sense of passion for what I do, so for that, thank you Taipei. 我会再想你的。
I realise after I've gotten to Taiwan I've become a lot braver. I used to be scared of doing lots of things, and just cooped myself up in my own little world a lot of the time, with life revolving mostly around work, school and family. But after I've gotten here I find that I've become more spontaneous, and more brave in trying new things. Going white water rafting today was a great experience for me. I was initially doubtful about trying it as I don't like adrenaline activities, and on top of this, the paranoia of myself and my mother really made me think twice. But I really enjoyed myself, and because I agreed to go, made some really good friends along the way!
As my time in Taiwan is slowly winding to a close, I began to realise something. At first when I came here, I was tired. I was sick of being the one doing everything at home, holding all the responsibilities, feeling unappreciated for what I do for most family and friends. I felt like I really didn't have anything holding me to Australia, and was more than happy to immerse myself in Taiwanese culture because thats where I felt that I really belonged, and where I really fit in.
After the end of a long,eventful weekend where I encountered many musical firsts; the first time I went to Legacy Taipei, the first time I went to three autograph sessions in a row, the first time a singer recognised me personally at an event, the first time being a part of a musical event, the first time I've been acknowledged for all my work and for doing what I love. My feelings were all over the place as I recounted everything that has happened thus far on my trip. I feel like I've had an amazing journey thus far, and have had the opportunity to be a part of so many things that I'd never have dreamed of achieving in such a short trip of 6 months. I dare to say the things that I've accomplished in these two months are more than I'd have ever guessed.
And so abruptly(that's the way it feels) my journey to Taiwan has ended. But I can safely with 100% certainty that I've enjoyed every single moment of my stay in Taiwan; be it the people, the places, the lifelong friendships I've established and of course, the music of Taiwan which will always have it's place in my heart.
It's been a great chance for me to reflect on what I want in life, and to start moving forward again. Before I left for Taiwan, I was in a rut and I just felt like it was okay to just stay where I was, to go with the flow and to let things stagnate for a while. But my journey to Taiwan has changed my perspective in life entirely, and let's just say it's definitely time to make some changes. Before leaving Taiwan I thought it would be a temporary escape for me from reality before I would have to go back to the same routine and do the same things that I do every day; school, work and such. But after arriving in Taiwan I slowly began to realise that if I were to let that happen, my entire experience in Taiwan would be wasted on me. What I achieved in Taiwan made many of my dreams come true, and I realise now that if I go back to that exhausted, tired, unhappy shell of myself that I was before, I would really be the biggest disappointment not only to myself, but to others around me (although some of them might not know it yet!). So I resolve to start moving forward, taking on a new attitude to life and giving it the best I've got. It's time to make some changes and I know it's got to be for the best.
I hope those of you who follow this blog got something out of it too. My days in Taiwan were filled with the greatest joy that I could ever imagine; I hope your exchange experience or even just your daily experiences can be filled with the same joy too. Thanks for reading and accompanying me on this very special journey!
P.S although I am no longer in Taiwan (for now), I will still continue updating a backlog of my concert and musical experiences during my stay in Taiwan, as well as some extra tidbits that you may find useful for when you visit Taiwan!
Thanks for reading!
As I enter the last leg of my stay here in Taiwan, I've begun to think about how much I'm going to miss all the friends that I've made here. They'll all be returning to their respective homelands, and it's very likely that I won't be seeing them again for years, or even for the rest of my life. It's what really keeps me up at night sometimes, but now I've finally realised what it means when people tell me despite the pain of separation they're glad that it happened. Especially with relationships, I've always asked what's the point of them if you know you're going to break up and suffer in the end. But being here and making friends who have become like my second family, I can honestly say that I regret nothing, and could not imagine my stay in Taiwan without them. They've changed my entire perspective on life, and also my perspective on myself. I was pretty confused before I came to Taiwan, and had resigned to being the quiet, anti-social person that most people back home knew me to be. Since my high school days, that had always been my impression of myself, and I often wondered what happened to the outgoing little girl that I had been in my earlier childhood. When thinking about this question, I merely assumed that she was long gone with no further thought on the matter. But now being here, I've come to realise that she was always there all along, just waiting for the right moment for her to be able to appear again!
When you stick to the sidelines and play it safe, you always get what you expect to get. And usually, that's good enough for me. Until I look at everyone else and start comparing and asking, what if I had done that? or that? Then what I expected suddenly doesn't seem to be enough anymore. From now on, I want to eliminate all regrets, and live life the way it was supposed to be; spontaneously, vivaciously and giving it everything I've got.
But back to the topic of goodbyes: How can I give these people who have given me the best 5 months of my life a proper goodbye? When I think of this, a particular song comes to mind; David Tao and Sharon Kwan's duet <好好说再见>, and hopefully this song speaks more than my words could ever express.
It's been my dream since I started getting to know more about Chinese music to be able to live in Taipei, and now I'm finally going to be able to! Starting from the 11th of February, I will be staying in Taipei for 139 days and hope to share parts of my experiences that may be helpful with readers everywhere! This may include upcoming events in Taipei, concert reviews, and just titbits on life in Taipei in general. (Feb 2014)