A few days ago, I had a game of badminton with 2 of my friends whom I met during my summer school in Tianjin 4 years ago. We had a nice chat over some drinks of iced milo outside Macdonalds after that. Among the things that we talked about, they commented about my calm personality. I guess it was from the way I normally speak, I sounded rather calm to them. One of them even asked, “Celeste, why are you so calm?!!” I answered, “I don’t know! I guess I was born like that!”
This reminds me of a story that my parents used to share with me about an incident that happened when I was a small kid. I was only 2-3 years old then. My brother was still in my mother’s tummy and my sister not born yet. My parents brought me to a market with some shophouses in Bukit Panjang for breakfast and shopping one morning. I was still dressed in my pyjamas. It was really crowded so it was easy to lose my parents. They were probably too engrossed with shopping for their household goods that it took them quite some time before they noticed that I had gone missing. Frantically, they quickly went back to the original place where they had lost me to look for me. And there I was, they found me sitting calmly on a slightly elevated platform in front of a fruit stall, not crying or anything, but just patiently waiting for them to return and find me. My father said I was a smart child because I was obedient and remembered what my parents told me: if I were to get lost in a crowded place, don’t run around to try and look for them by myself, but just stay where I am and wait for them to come back and find me. So I did exactly what I was told. I guess my calm personality already prevailed at such a young age.
But growing up, rather than saying I am a calm person, I should say that I am simply not very expressive with my emotions. Sometimes if my friends ask me, “Are you happy?” and I said, “Yeah I am happy!”, they would be like “But you sound very calm.” It happens. I think it is just a problem of expressing my emotions when I speak. Maybe I just don’t sound happy enough when I AM happy. Maybe sounding calm is just a nicer way of saying that I sound monotonous. LOL. Maybe all depressed people have the same problem like me.
When I was in secondary school, my friends used to say I was emotionless or expressionless. I guess I had a tendency of not letting my emotions show easily on my face, whether I was happy or sad. I didn’t like to show my vulnerable sides in front of people, even my friends and family, so I ended up having a poker face most of the time. LOL.
But I am much better than before now – at least you can see some expressions on my face in my current photos. 😆 Is it funny that I, who used to be called an expressionless person, am now someone who likes to observe and study facial expressions of artistes when they perform on stage?
But I have a lot to thank my calm personality for doing a great part in helping me deal with my first schizophrenia outbreak in 2013. It was the most insane and horrifying period of time that I had gone through, and without staying calm, I would have gone crazy, lost my senses, lost my entire self and probably would never find my way back from that terrifying unknown ‘world’ again.
And I find it very interesting that now at this stage of my life, I have come to meet Taenggu whose name “Taeyeon” literally means “calm” in korean. Her father even once said that Taeyeon, ever since, has always been taeyeon (calm).
Hello my girlfriend, my fellow equally calm other half of my life! 👋
– Edited on 9th August 2018 –
A couple of nights ago, my mum shared with me another piece of story about myself in my childhood days. She recounted the days when she sent me and my siblings to a kindergarten to attend nursery for the very first time when we were 3 years old. On the first several days of nursery, like many other kids in school, because of the fear of separation from our mother and being with strangers for the very first time, my brother and sister would cry non-stop from the start of the lessons till the end for our mother to come back to their side. But I was different. On the first day when my mum sent me to New Life Kindergarten where I attended my nursery at, I was unusually calm, unlike the rest of the kids. Not only was I comfortable with my mum leaving my side and not shedding a tear, I would look at all the crying kids around me with a confused look (probably similar to my expression in the top cover photo of this post), wondering why they were all crying profusely. Hahaha. Another instance when my strong quality of being calm was showing at such a young age of three. 😌
Here, I’m sharing a couple of my graduation photos from New Life Kindergarten after spending 3 years there. This was me when I was 5 years old already. ☺️
Hehe just thought my mum’s story was so suitable for this post about my calm personality so I am including it here! 💜