I took on the #BlackandWhitePhotoChallenge recently and for seven days I looked through my huge collection of photos I had taken over the years. As I selected photos from both my past and present, it struck me how much time was passing by. I didn’t realise just how much I loved each of those moments in time captured through the lens of my camera. Without those photos, I wouldn’t so easily recall the various things that happened in the last few years. With them as visual aids, memories came rushing back into my minds eye as I scrolled through each frame.
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong – September 2015
Remember when we went to the rooftop of that mall in Causeway Bay, hunting for a spot to take #OOTDs, when we came across these dingy, dirty flats that were so full of character?
Kanazawa, Japan – May 2016
We didn’t plan to spend time her, but things didn’t go as planned. With no buses to Shirakawa-go, we took a stroll to Kanazawa Castle.
Duxton, Singapore – July 2016
I was so driven to spend time with my close long-time friends. Belle and I ended up exploring the alleys of Duxton on one of our photo walks when we came across a wall with these air-conditioner condenser units.
Koh Yao Yai, Thailand – August 2016
We left the homestay we were having lunch at in Koh Yao Yai in Thailand when I spotted this feline waking from its nap.
Rochor Centre, Singapore – October 2016
Bidding Rochor Centre goodbye ahead of its demolishment in early 2017. The sun sets on yet another old estate filled with memories. All in the name of progress.
Davao, Philippines – October 2017
Admiring the traditional crafts and homes of the Muslim tribes that live harmoniously with the local tribes in Davao.
Home, Singapore – October 2017
A first look at my home after a year of negotiating, waiting, renovating, and finally cleaning. It was the first few days we had the brand new Akemiuchi bedsheets on and I just wanted to record that mini milestone!
For almost a year between late October 2016 and September this year, my saved photos were sporadic and I found that I had taken much lesser photos compared to previous years. Without realising, I had let the busyness and hectic bustle of juggling my wedding, home owner journey, and work, just sweep me away.
Wearing my Solvil et Titus timepiece to keep time
When I was gifted a beautiful timepiece from Solvil et Titus by City Chain two months ago, I felt overwhelmed by a strange sort of wistfulness. I admit, mixed in there was a little twinge of regret when I thought of the “gap year” I took from activities I really loved: travel, photography and writing. I de-prioritised them and put my responsibilities first during that period.
It took a bit of reflection, but I have come to terms with my choices by reminding myself that while I took a different route, I shouldn’t feel like I “lost a part of myself” to time. I spent the last year thrown into my work and taking the next step in my relationship with the F Man; Both of those things are important to me and they are things that I love. All that time, was spent meaningfully on what I cherish, albeit in a whirlwind.
It may be an aesthetically pleasing timepiece with classy brown leather straps, minimal face and delicate rose gold hardware, but it also serves as a reminder of how I should spend my time on what I love.
In these crazy times in my last few years in my twenties, it’s nice to carve some time out to reflect and recalibrate.
To remind myself to go full speed, to breathe, to stop, to rest and to continue again.
To allow my heart and feelings to emerge now and again to influence my decisions.
To take risks and break away from thoughtless routines onto new paths and adventures.
I was definitely inspired to do things differently after this realisation, which as silly as it sounds, originated from me mulling over the iconic Solvil et Titus tagline, “Time is Love”. Believe it or not, I go down a rabbit hole a little too fast and furious. The good news is, all that thinking bore fruit.
It’s time for me to take stock of every hour, every minute and every second.
I decided to hold on to what I loved. I committed to take more photographs, bring my camera out more often and make sure I would do a trip – no matter how stretched I may be – once the opportunity presented itself, but still have time to balance all that, plus work and spending time with the F Man.
What do you know, in less than a few weeks of following my heart, I found a way to do all of that:
- I said yes to a trip to the Philippines that would happen within three weeks even though it would coincide with the final week of my moving. The F Man knew I really needed it and took charge.
- I shot photos for two company events (one official family day and one unofficial farewell party) for no particular reason other than because I was inspired to take more photos and got a few shots that I was really proud of taking.
- I pro-actively offered to shoot my best friend’s pre-wedding photos instead of fearing that I would screw things up and not meet their expectations and they loved it. I loved it too.
- I spent time writing more and publishing more blog posts whenever I had pockets of time instead of just scrolling through Facebook because I felt “too tired” from work. I have managed to write a number of pieces I’m satisfied with (here, here and here). No more writer’s block!
- Made an effort to cook something for the F Man and my dad and it wasn’t bad.
Just a little switch in my perspective and mindset and everything changed.
Looking forward to new adventures with my Solvil et Titus timepiece
While before I seemed to be suffering my yearly breakdown and was stuck in constant busyness, I managed to shift and bounce back by changing the way I viewed my situation and took steps to love my time more. I did this through squeezing in time to do things that brought me joy and fulfilment no matter how tired I was.
Just awhile ago I would convince myself that I was too exhausted to do what I loved or to practice self-care. And yet, here I am with an adventurous spirit and renewed optimism. This approach made me feel like I was once again in the driver’s seat of my own life instead of a bystander. It definitely made me realise there is never too little time and every second spent doing what I love or being with people I cherish is absolutely worthwhile. The more I worked in pockets of time to do what made me happy, or spent time with those that I loved, the more time I found to do just that over and over… and over again.
Time is Love, indeed.