Musing with Ning
Hey there! I'm Ning, a fitness addict who loves to train every day just to maintain my sanity. A perpetual learner, pondering life's philosophical questions without ever reaching any solid resolutions. A tech geek obsessing over all the latest gadgets and apps, clueless about how they actually work. And a movie buff who watches one too many mediocre films, that the mere glimpse of creativity will get my praises non-stop.

You can also find me on Ning's Notes, or My Main Blog. And if you're curious about my life you can read My Life Updates.
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My Newfound Appreciation for the Song "Oblivion" by Bastille

The song "Oblivion" by Bastille has always held a special place in my heart since its release. 

When you fall asleep with your head upon my shoulder  
When you're in my arms but you've gone somewhere deeper  
Are you going to age with grace?  
Are you going to age without mistakes?  
Are you going to age with grace?  
Or only to wake and hide your face?  
When oblivion is calling out your name  
You always take it further than I ever can  
When you play it hard and I try to follow you there  
It's not about control, but I turn back when I see where you go  
Are you going to age with grace?  
Are you going to leave a path to trace?  
When oblivion is calling out your name  
You always take it further than I ever can  
When oblivion is calling out your name  
You always take it further than I ever can

When the song was first released, I was just a teenager who wasn't proficient in English, as it wasn't my native language.

Initially, I was captivated by its haunting melody and emotional depth. Still, it wasn't until I recently witnessed my grandma’s battle for her life that I grasped its lyrics' profound meaning.

Watching my grandma's memories fade in and out due to dementia, and seeing her ability to speak slowly deteriorate all at once, I finally understood that the song is not about a romantic relationship coming to an end, but about the profound pain of watching someone fade away before your eyes.

The song is not just about someone leaving; it's also about the inability to help that person. You thought that person was not only going down the wrong path but that they were going to leave this world if they kept going like this.

Viewing the song through the lens of dementia added layers of complexity and emotion to it. You're sensing the dread from knowing they are going to forget everything from our shared world, a world filled with memories of us.

You try so hard to make them remember, but they only slip away further.

You hope to see them live with some grace, even though you know their deterioration is inevitable.

You try to pull them back into the present moment, but they are on the other side of oblivion, a place where you cannot reach no matter how hard you try to keep up.

The haunting lyrics of the song encapsulate the desperation to hold onto memories, to keep a connection alive, and the crushing realization that some things are beyond our control.

The song took on a different and deeper meaning when viewed this way. And I couldn't help but be in tears.

Being a Bilingual Is Like Having a Double Identity

When people think about being bilingual, they often assume it involves simply translating between two languages.


Being bilingual is about adopting a new mode of communication, adding a whole new dimension to the relationship between yourself and the world.

Each language embodies unique natures and cultures, allowing you to consume diverse content and understand the world in a different light. Through this, you craft a new persona for yourself.

Of course, your domains of knowledge overlap from time to time. I mean, you’re still one person after all. You may integrate aspects of both languages into your life, but you can never completely replace them with one another.

Well, if you think about it. Adopting a new language can feel like assuming a new identity for a spy mission you see in a movie. It involves inventing a new backstory and fully immersing yourself in it while striving to keep your original identity intact. It’s almost as if two versions of yourself from another universe somehow coexist.

The reality is far more complex than swapping between identities, though. Since you do not have a double life you can switch all the context of who you are altogether. You have to somehow blend these two versions of yourself into one cohesive whole.


In my case, Thai is my native language, and English is my second language. Depending on the topic, I can switch between languages or use them interchangeably and simultaneously. For some topics I prefer to use Thai; for others, I prefer English.

In general, though, my Thai persona is like a boring old man, while my English persona is like an enthusiastic geek. (My Spanish persona would likely be an even more expressive self if I continued studying the language, but I decided I didn’t have time to develop another identity!)

I find that I express abstract concepts better in Thai, while English gives me a wider vocabulary for emotions and feelings. So, I often have inner monologues in English, even though I speak Thai in daily interactions. (You might wonder why I don’t exclusively speak English. I reside in Thailand, where English conversations are primarily reserved for online interactions and assisting tourists with directions. Moreover, my English-speaking skills are terrible! LOL. )

Switching between languages can be challenging, especially when your inner voice speaks a different language. As a result, I typically default to my boring persona in most interactions.

Being bilingual is a constant negotiation of how badly I can embody each persona (lol). At times, I articulate myself eloquently in Thai, while other times I get choked up in my native tongue. I may have profound thoughts in English, only to struggle with basic grammar at other times.

So, to expand the same analogy, I sometimes feel like an inept spy in my own life, grappling with a new identity while also faltering in my original one.

What a confusing combination!!


But despite the complexities, embracing a double identity as a bilingual opens up new possibilities and enriches your existence in ways you couldn’t have imagined. It allows you to grasp nuances you never thought possible and engage in conversations with people and yourself in more dynamic relationships. 

When you’re bilingual, your horizon expands, while your inner self also deepens.


So, even though there are times when I feel frustrated with my shortcomings as a bilingual, I wouldn’t trade it for anything (maybe a polyglot? LOL).  

Why settle for less when your life experiences are doubled twofold, or even more, right?  


It's Okay to Not Write

Sometimes you don’t have anything to write, and your mind falls into silence. There's nothing to rant about, nothing to evaluate, nothing to think.

Rather than putting words on paper, you want to listen to the sounds of your surroundings. Instead of trying to understand yourself, you want to get absorbed into the environment.

There's no need to come up with anything; you simply remain in the present moment.

In a world where people create a constant sandstorm of noise as the norm, solitude feels like an oasis. Today, I have found my oasis. I will cherish the solitude like my life depends on it because, truly, life does depend on it.

Without solitude, we would never fully experience the nature of life, of ourselves, and of the world.

Without silence, we would never hear the messages that the world is trying to communicate.

Without peace of mind, we would never reach a state of equilibrium where we feel content with not needing to change anything, where we can simply exist.

I may need to start moving forward soon, but for now, I will take my time immersing myself in the present moment, embracing the nothingness, and enjoying the wonder of living.