12 people, 1 prompt: What do you look forward to every day? What gets you out of bed in the mornings?
I can never know what my day is going to bring when I wake up in Sunway. Randomly being invited for nice meals or catching a movie at the very last second or even sitting on the BRT steps with a friend until we’re chased off by a guard at midnight are all viable options to be braced for – and all of which spark copious amounts of joy.
The real consistent light in my life though? What I look forward to no matter what or where? Coffee. I never go a day without it. The worst coffee can still make me the happiest if I get to drink it while watching a comedic news show on my phone or listening to dope music or sitting with my morning-class friends as they gossip during a quick break. With coffee comes peace. With coffee comes joy.
– Fajar binti Benjamin
Preparing breakfast for myself. Sometimes we don’t realise that the best things in life can be as simple as frying a sunny side-up and making some toast for yourself in the morning. Even when I’m not in the best of moods, the thought of making myself a scrumptious and nutritious breakfast is an instant mood-booster and prepares me for the busy day ahead.
When you have a crush, that person is the one you want to wake up to. Their presence alone can warm you up like a cup of tea in winter; their every action memorised so clearly that they occasionally appear in unrealistic dreams, or when you close your eyes. That constant adoration, enamoured by every little thing they do – I’ve been through that phase once, and here I am again.
At first I was overwhelmed by my feelings, but I’ve learnt to control them and accept that the feelings aren’t mutual. Eventually, my focus shifted. I’d wake up ecstatic about the thought of my friends instead, relationships that will last far longer. These beautiful, uplifting people who make my day far more than a boy could, who surround me with positive energy and bring me along for their adventures.
With a crush, I felt more self-deprecating because I blamed myself for them not liking me. With my friends, I’m more loving instead, because they encourage me to be a better person. They bring happiness instead of disappointment – a kind of whole-hearted excitement in the morning that a crush truly can’t compare to.
What I look forward to every day:
the good morning texts from mum,
the latest articles in my news feed,
the laughter of a shared joke,
the 1.30 p.m. class,
the aroma of coffee swirling from the cup in her hands,
the funny socks she wears to class,
the 3.5-hour break if it’s a Thursday,
the nap in the library,
but mostly: life.
Putting on makeup. It sounds superficial, but hear me out. I enjoy the methodical routine of it; the way primer goes on first, then foundation, then everything else. But above all, I like how I’m able to change up makeup styles and colours to suit my mood and tone every day, so it could be either warpaint or princess-esque. It’s something I always do before leaving the house, and it’s became a soothing habit. Confidence booster as well as fulfilling my need for autonomy over some part of my life? Looking better is just another plus!
I won’t lie and say I wake up excited to start my day – in fact, it’s likelier that I’m feeling the opposite. But when I’m going about my day and the chaos threatens to wear me out, there are some serendipities that sustain me: a good conversation that deepens a new friendship, a compliment from a lecturer, a strong cup of coffee, a new GoT episode, the list goes on. I guess what I look forward to each day is being surprised.
– Samantha Chang
A grocery list of things that get me out of bed in the morning:
- Three (3) eggs, sizzling in the pan, warm and gooey and perfect.
2. A funny anecdote, a sprinkle of a weird news story, shared over breakfast with laughter.
3. Two songs, the perfect duration for a walk to campus, meticulously picked to provide the most YA-movie-protagonist feeling possible.
3. The feeling of solving a math question, and turning over the page to discover: more math!
4. I excitedly point at the math.
5. My friend does not share the sentiment.
6. The precise moment of looking over at a classmate during a particularly bewildering lecture and having them exchange gazes with you with the dead-eyed stare of someone who has looked into the void and came back without a shred of will to continue living. Someone says desperately “sir – ”, but there is only confusion and pain, shared equally among the students inquiring of themselves why they have chosen this path in life.
7. White coffee!
I look forward to a good and productive day – maybe I’ll feel slightly better about myself, be able to do only what I truly wish to. I look forward to a peaceful drive to university with good music, struggling but doing my best to muster up positive thoughts for the day. Most importantly, I look forward to being closer to my dream, to fulfil the potential I know is within me.
Being the best version of myself is all I’ve ever wanted from myself. But what keeps me at ease is the comforting peace at home, a nest where I’m truly at ease and free to pursue my priorities. Family and nature, anchoring me amidst the flighty dreams I look forward to every day.
– Mugilaa Selvaraja
20 years of life… that’s roughly 7300 mornings. It could be said that I’ve lived them in phases, each with something different I’ve looked forward to every day waking up. My earliest memory of waking up in the morning, excited about a new day, is a seven-year-old me ready to watch her neatly lined-up cartoons. The familiar tunes of long loved characters come flooding… sigh, the good old days. As a teenager, it was my friends and our shenanigans together that I most looked forward to. The kind of carefree days when you’d embrace the heaviest of rains with the lightest of hearts. That was till I began working. Rising every morning even after pulling late nights has been beautiful because I’ve been pursuing my dream of writing.
– Yumitra Kannan
There’s the family at home, the one where love is exercised in intricate, exclusive ways. It’s the soft click of a door in the dead of night that means I love you. It’s the lazy dialogue after an arduous weekday that means I care for you, and I want to know the most updated version of you (no matter how cranky and incoherent you may sound). Then there’s also the family you did not grow up with – the one that required a bit more effort to grow into a part of your inner circle. You love them all the same though, you wouldn’t know who you’d be without them.
When it comes to family, no one puts it quite as simply as Dean Winchester, “A wise man once told me family doesn’t end in blood, but it doesn’t start there either. Family cares about you, not what you can do for them. Family’s there through the good, bad, all of it. They’ve got your back even when it hurts. That’s family.”
My alarm rings at 5.30 am sharp on weekdays, I kid you not. I roll over with the same disgruntled look on my face every day but proceed to undertake my 10-step Korean skin-care routine (Don’t judge me, vanity is an important part of branding yourself). As I look myself in the mirror, I’m reminded of the girl who struggles with feeling good enough. She’s braved through multitudes of storms, crippling isolation, haunting inner demons and long-winded journeys, all on her own. Her scars neither dictate her past nor determine her road ahead, but are rather an aide-memoire of how far she has come.
The mirror might be an inanimate object to most, but if you take a closer look, you will see more than just a reflection. No, it isn’t your exterior starring right back at you, it is in fact, a reflection of the real you. No masks, no disguises – just you, yourself and your reflection, and that’s what I see from my myopic point of view.
I mouth a silent positive affirmation to myself, “I am grateful to be alive, I will do my very best, and I am looking forward to a day of productive learning.”
– Jessie Gan
Every day is a new day for me, one that has yet to be written as a page in the long story of my life. I wake up to a whole new set of challenges and goals to achieve, and it motivates me to push myself further, because it means I have plenty to write about in the story I’m penning each day. One day, every page and chapter will be a journey worth reading. Whenever I watch the sun rise, it marks the beginning of a new adventure. It’s hardly ever a boring start to the day, when there’s this much excitement.