Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One life

Came across this blogger recently. I have a habit of reading blogs from beginning to end just to get a feel of where the blogger comes from. Most bloggers who write well must like writing - and some are writers. Like the kind with books that are sold on the shelves, both physical and virtual.

I like this entry of hers very much - so much so that I am going to copy and paste it in this space. It is nice to be reminded that our time is limited when we are so accustomed to taking time for granted.


If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow.
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I am gone
And then have it chiseled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.
If you wait until I am sleeping,
Never to awaken,
There will be death between us
And I won’t hear you then.
So, if you love me, even a little bit,
Let me know it while I am living
So I can treasure it.

- Author Unknown

You only have one life. Don’t flinch from it. Don’t be afraid to live the life you want – need – can have. It’s not easy – nothing worthwhile is. The fight to get there will make the arrival that much more meaningful.

Thanks Jess! For more of Jessica Corra, click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I was reading this post on acceptance. A lot of things resonated with me.

"People typically know what they want. We come across indecisive because we can’t have what we want and the choices we can have we don’t like. (My definition of boredom.) This isn’t always true – often in major decisions we really have no idea because the scope is too large. We can’t project outcomes accurately and that inability makes it harder to choose."

I can be indecisive at times. Most of the time I am pretty decisive, and I like myself that way. There are little things that I can be decisive about, and there are bigger things that take a while to figure out. This is where research comes in. One of the good things about college is that it honed my research skills - pre-college, I used to dislike it, now I am comfortable with it and use it like it is meant to be used.

Remember how I mentioned that I was not going to write about history? Well, apparently my brain sorts of disagree because it keeps reminiscing about this particular point in time. And for the love of rum and raisin, I just have to write something so that I can not think about this any more.

Truth is this: I did not like myself when I was with you. I did not like the person that I have become. I was not happy. There were happy moments and I am thankful for that. Yet deep down, I was not happy. This was why I was shopping so much. To fill this empty void. This void is still present in my life today, but it is a lot smaller than what it used to be. Or maybe, I just notice it less. Either way, my life without you is so much better than my life with you. This is not a reflection of you, it is a reflection of me. I just don't like being with you because being with you brought the worst in me.

Where I went wrong, amongst many things, was that I stayed for far too long being indecisive. In retrospect, I can understand why so many of my friends asked me to make a decision - either to stay permanently or to go permanently. Temporarily was not an option. This was difficult to me because I saw a lot of things in life as temporary (still do, actually). I was not in a position to make a commitment of a permanent nature - so that left one course of action, which I took.

I do not wish to speculate about what other factors contributed to that decision - and I quite frankly do not care. I do not care whether it was your fault or whether it was my fault - in all likelihood, we both must have somehow contributed to the outcome, even when we did not feel so. I prefer to be an adult and be responsible for my actions, especially when it comes to things that are within my control - so these are the things that I focus on.

Starting over yet again was hard - it just gets harder each time. Even when you've done it before and you sort of know what is involved, it remains at least just as hard. This pain is real - and as with other real things in life, you can't escape it, no matter what it is you do. All you can do is manage it. There are things that you can do to alleviate it temporarily, but its presence is the real thing that you must deal with at the end of the day - right at that moment before you fall asleep. When you are able to survive the day and fall asleep with it, that is when you know that you are in the right path towards recovery.

Right now, I am in this path without you and I prefer to keep it this way. I do not wish to be friends with you, or to be acquaintances even. I do not wish to hear from you and I do not want to know how you are coping, or what is happening in your life, or anything else. I do not wish to discuss you with anyone else and I do not wish to tell anyone my opinions of you for I have seen things that they have not seen and probably would never see ever. I do not wish to talk about you either - although at some point I am bound to talk about you and what happened. I am done talking, for now.

From this experience - I have a scar. The wound healed and the scar took its place. All scars fade with time. While it is there, it serves as a reminder of the bad consequences of being indecisive.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Money Talks

Just so you know, I wanted to post this really nasty post that I drafted last night and then decided against it. I am done being negative. I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things and I have decided to be a lot more selective with the ones that I share. I am happy to share if I am asked. I just don't want to share if I don't think it is appropriate to share.

Is this a sign of growing up? I don't know. I know that I am judgemental and I judge a lot of things all day every day - but most of these things are private. There are some that I share with my closest friends. I don't see why I should share to everyone all the time. I mean, there are things that are appropriate to share and there are things that are not appropriate to share.

Now onto business.

Yesterday I met a financial planner. Yes, I know, I am financially literate, I understand all things financial - except for derivatives - but for some reason I feel absolutely inadequate when it comes to investing. I can manage my money - budgeting, mostly - but when it comes to investing, I am so clueless it is actually not funny. I lost a lot of money in the GFC - and it was a very expensive lesson. I lost a lot of money through mindless shopping and I am pretty sure it is a pretty expensive lesson too - I just never quite tally up all the numbers.

Back to the financial planner. These breed make so much money out of people - the figures that she quoted are no joke. And just like everything else that involves money going out of your pocket - it becomes serious. It is like a job - it involves money exchange, so it becomes serious. If money is out of the equation, I am pretty sure it is not going to be treated with the same degree of seriousness. Or at least, you would not make time for it as you would do had money exchange been involved.

I don't know how much research she has done about me, but let me say that she was impressive. She impressed me - and I am not easily impressed. I guess when you want to make that much money with people, you would have to be that impressive. Yes, she is passionate, I get that. I like that she is passionate. But what I would like to know is how good she is when it comes to meeting my financial objectives. And I think my issue is not so much about how much I have for investment - but rather how I am going to invest and how to maximise the returns with what I have right now. And this return is never guaranteed.

So essentially - what is it that am I paying for?

For that amount of money, I could go for a financial planning course and become a financial planner myself? I am not thinking of a change in career because quite frankly I don't want to start from the bottom yet again, and I prefer to advance in my current career rather than being over-qualified to do something else. In this case, I don't think I will be, but I can never predict market sentiment when it comes to these things.

More importantly - what do I stand to benefit from this spending? I don't mind paying for the advice insofar as it is a good advice. I don't mind paying for something that is going to generate me a lot more money. The only problem is this - it is a well documented phenomena that financial advisers do not always beat the market, only 3% of them do. The chance of the planner that I saw being this 3% - I am not too sure.

To what extent should I believe the academic literature that basically said that 97% of financial advisers are useless? I don't know. But the odds are against me in this case, so I am inclining towards believing it just to err on the safe side.

So all of these consideration, plus talking to a couple of people I trust, so far leads to a conclusion that is leaning more towards the negative rather than affirmative. It is a lot of money to produce a 60 pages or so documents that I may or may not even read in detail, and then the execution of the plans may not even yeild the highest rate of return, because this is not guaranteed. I am more than happy to share the return with you once it passes above a certain stage, taking into account my risk-free rate. Quite unfortunately, the arrangement does not work this way.

In an ideal world, the ROI would be guaranteed and the commission would be paid as a percentage once a certain threshold has been reached, and the principal would be protected. This world we are living in right now is not ideal so we are left with whatever it is we have right now. A certain someone thought of this investment strategy which she claimed would earn her lots of money and then asked me if I would like to put my money there. I said sure. And then she asked for commission straight away. Are you fucking kidding me? How about you perform first and then ask for your bloody commission.

The lesson from all of these - when it comes to your money, the only person you should trust is yourself. No one cares about your money the way you so. Sort of like no one cares about your life like you do.

Now off you go and have a better life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh hi!

Hiiiiiiii.... yeah so it happens - three days of not writing. I wanted to write, trust me, so many things to write about, so many things I have been thinking about.


Work happens - and it is loaded with so many things to do. There are so many skills to polish at work. Things are always happening, evolving and we are keeping up, getting ahead and changing.

I think one of the most humbling things in this life is the realisation that we have so much to learn. I have so much to learn. I was fortunate enough to be one of the audience in the Alan Joyce Q and A last night and what a remarkable man he is. He truly is a leader and I am confident that he is able to lead Qantas to a higher glory after navigating this murky water. And one day I hope to be someone like that. It must be quite something for other people to look at you and believe that you, somehow, would be able to make things better. I look at my boss with the same sentiment. It is a good feeling. It helps make my job enjoyable. I guess I am driven by people.


Friends came and visit from the other side of the ocean. I forgot how much I missed her and I am happy at the chance of a more intimate dinner. I have a tendency to forget how much I miss my friends because I obviously don't spend enough time with them. The friends I caught up with last night were my uni-friends, we slaved back in uni back in the days. Now, one of them is pregnant, and I am so excited for her. And no, didn't think that she would be the first to be a parent, and I cannot think of a better person to lead the pack.

I forget how much my friends know me - and it is such a pleasant surprise that they still remember. It is really true that you can just be yourself and not worry about projecting a certain kind of image or pretending to be someone that you are not.


This morning I thought about happiness. In particular, I thought about how my concept of happiness has changed over the year. Seven years ago, I would never have thought that the life that I have today would constitute a happy life. I would never have considered my life right now is a happy life. I was searching for different things - different things that I thought would make me happy. I am pleasantly surprised that the things that I never thought would bring me happiness actually work together to bring me happiness.

I am thankful for what I have and what I can share in this life. I am thankful for the people who love me, of the people who stand by me - especially during the times that I do not deserve so, because that is the time that I need them most. I am thankful for the people who forgive me even before I ask. I am thankful for the people who openly criticise me and suggest ways of improvement for me. I am thankful for the people who challenge me and force me to think of other point of views - and in doing so, they help me maintain an open mind.

I read in the paper the other day that most people would choose a $90k boring job over an $80k interesting job - because most people are not trained to compare qualitative concepts. Comparing numbers are so easy because it is so clear cut. Yet the things that we cannot attach a dollar value to are often the ones that comprise the most vital input in the decision making process. We don't realise how important these things are because we cannot even begin to start comparing them.

My decisions are my decisions and at the end of the day, I am the one who has to live with them. I am the one who has to fall asleep with them and I am the one who would wake up with them the next morning. I know these - we all know these - yet why is it so difficult to make decisions that we are truly comfortable with instead of following some unwritten standard of what is acceptable. Acceptable to whom? If not to yourself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Living your best life

I wanted to write about some history - and then I thought about what the point would be since it had all happened and now, there is nothing we can do about it. I can't exactly change that, so I stop myself from writing about it. The whole point of starting this blog is to have another story. As such, why dwell on the past? Let it go, and move on. Focus on the choices you are going to make today and tomorrow and the days after. If you make the best choices everyday, then somehow, everything would work out.

The thing about being younger is that I was a lot more eager to do things. These days I admit that I am more sceptical than I used to be. I don't trust the world as easily, I don't trust people as easily. I write in a different tone. I write on different topics. I have different thoughts. I converse about different topics. There are some people I love more and more everyday, and there are those I did not know I would love. It is so true that you really don't know where life would take you.

I think all of these is just a natural progression of experiencing life - your experiences do shape you into the person that you are today - being more cautious and more restrained are, for example, the end product of the impact of your experiences on you. These are fine, so long as they are positive. One of the hardest things is to spin the negatives into positives - like not remaining bitter by some shit that happens years ago, or maintaining an open mind even when you are more judgemental by the second. It is like being negative is easier - and being positive takes a lot of hard work. But life is hard work. Living your best life is a series of endless hard work. Nothing good in life comes easy. Be prepared to give this life more than your best shot.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I went shopping today. It was a successful expedition thanks to Supre. I have been shopping in that store since the year 1998 - more than a decade ago! I guess some parts of me just never grow up like that.

Supre today is a lot cheaper than Supre back then. Granted it was already one of the cheapest chain stores at that time and retains its reputation as one of the cheapest ones today. That said, if I were a teen today, I think my wardrobe would have been a lot bigger than my wardrobe then. My wardrobe was not that big - I had more than enough clothes to sustain me. I was into the sporty look more than the feminine look. Then something happened and I started becoming a lot more feminine. As I was on the larger side, I learnt that wearing fitted clothes made me look slimmer, so most of my clothes were fitted.

Today, I realise that I am slim enough to wear clothes that were cut loosely. So the last three tops that I bought were loose cuts. That sort of satisfied my yearnings for longer, looser tops. I bought 2 today - beige and fuschia, the other one I bought a couple of weeks ago on an impromptu trip with a girl friend after a super long day at work, and it was grey. If the fuschia were available in a different colour - like gray or white or black or nude, I think I would have gone for the neutral colours. But it seemed like it was the last one available and I like fuschia so I thought why not.

Now I am looking at my wardrobe and scratching my head as to which tops/clothes I am going to donate. I like everything in my wardrobe, I just don't wear them often enough. I used to wear them often, and then I start working and all and what I wear often these days are mostly work stuff (5 out of 7 days - that makes 72% or so); so it seems like a waste if they are sitting in my wardrobe mostly unused.

I think I am somewhat attached to my clothes - there are things in there that I keep because of their sentimental values. I know that this is totally irrational, but I guess, there will always be things that I prefer to keep even when I don't wear them often.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Unconventional career path

Been reading this.

It is good to know that I am not the only one with an unconventional career path. It certainly is different, especially if you hang out with those whose careers begin like this:

summer internship at a big-4 firm
graduate position at a big-4 firm
senior position at a big-4 firm
partnership at a big-4 firm (or something equivalent)

The past is not the best predictor of the future - we know that logically and instinctively. Yet we could not help but guesstimate what someone would be based on the things that they have done in the past:

their academic achievements (or lack thereof)
their work history/career history
how much moolah they have been making

At a recent conversation with my best friend, she talked about face reading. For those who don't know (like me), it is basically this theoretical stance on people's characteristics based on their facial features. For example, if the space between your eyebrows are wide, that means something. If your forehead is wide, it means something else. I told her that it is a dangerous thing to be aware of because it makes us judge others even more. She disagreed initially and eventually agreeing as I told her that as human beings, we are built to judge - it is always our natural reaction. It takes more effort not to judge rather than judge.

The same goes when anyone looks at my CV. I get judged on it. I get judged on the things that I do and on the things that I have not done. What CVs don't tell you is how much moolah was made during each of the jobs that you've had. Some of the jobs I have had, for example, I did because I needed money (and I made decent money out of them). Granted they do not last years, but they were nice while they lasted and more importantly, they saved my bank account (and my credit card).

I think people just forget that the reason that you work - or anyone for that matter - is to earn money. And as soon as they start realising that, the easier it would be for them to understand why you did certain jobs. Maybe I am just too liberal than the rest of the population, but I much prefer interviewing someone who has worked as a stripper to support herself through school rather than someone who claimed to work as an administrative officer but actually did nothing of the such (and was in fact stealing to support herself, for example). Lying and stealing are wrong - no matter whichever angle you use to view it.

The next time you get judged unfavourably based on your CV - remember this: you much rather not work with someone like that anyway. Do yourself a favour and walk away in the other director. Your time is limited and you much prefer to work with someone who can appreciate who you truly are and how far you've become.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting older

My birthday is coming up and like always, I wanted to celebrate it. I think it is time that I do (it has been YEARS since my last 'proper' celebration) and it would be nice to finally do something I have been talking about for the longest time. This morning I woke up and lost that desire to celebrate for no apparent reason. I am beginning to think that I am more excited about the idea of celebrating rather than the actual celebration itself.

I have no problem with birthdays and telling people my age if they ask. Getting older is something I am coming around to accepting slowly, and I hope that it is accompanied by my growth in maturity. In some areas, I am doing fine. In others, I know I am lacking and I am working my ass off to make sure that I improve in those. I hope I can overcome life's challenges and emerge as a winner in most situations and learn from all of those so that I can really be a better person.

There are bits I like about getting older - I feel better, I work better and my bank account is better. The bits that I don't really like - I am watching my wrinkles like a hawk. In fact, now I can understand how those skin care companies make money. And also hair care companies. It is like seriously - they project the image of perfection that is so enticing that it is hard to turn away from them. I can't even begin to count how much money I spent on hair care and skin care this year.

One thing that I am watching out for is the level of my material possession - I really do not want to be one of those people who hoard everything. In fact, I would like to downsize some more. I walked around the mall last night and instead of finding things I'd like to bring home, I was thinking of how good it would feel to donate some things for Christmas. I don't really need that much clothes, do I? Or that much bags and shoes?

What is important to me is that I am healthy, I am happy and I am comfortable. Oh, and that I look good. Looking good is a bigger challenge these days - because I do not want to shop as much as I used to. I used to look forward to every shopping trip and had lots of impromptu trips - but these are rare and more likely to unsuccessful, that is, coming home empty handed.

Is this a function of getting older, I don't know. Meanwhile, I am letting go of the idea of celebration because as much as I like being the centre of attention, I feel like I am already the centre of attention of my own life, and I really don't need to bother other people to make me feel better about myself. I know that my friends and family love me to bits and that feels so good there is no word that can properly describe that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What do you do

This post is inspired by this post here.

This coming Friday, I will be meeting some friends from back in college days. I said friends, but we are mostly acquaintances. Friendly acquaintances. The fact that we were stuck in college together somehow bonds us for the many years to come. We are the typical high achieving individuals who are overly competitive about anything and everything, especially when it comes to our careers.

I am lucky that I have a lot of successful friends. I think our successes enforce each other's - in a way that we work harder in order to keep up with each other. We all work hard to get where we are now. We each have various different paths - and I hope we are all happy with our options.

I have said before that I am happy with mine. I must say that I don't really talk about this in real life because conversations around jobs are usually about whining about anything you are not happy with - so it is really difficult to gauge whether someone is happy with their jobs or not. Too many are settling - for the pay check mostly. I don't blame those people - we need money to live. Personal happiness and satisfaction can become of secondary importance when you need to feed hungry mouths.

It is easy to define who we are by what we spend most of our waking time doing. My office hour is approximately 8-9 hours (sometimes more) per day and I am okay with that. My friends work longer hours - and yes, we are one of those weird people who actually take pride in working longer hours. I was this way until I realise that my time is limited and I want to spend my time doing other things. My office hour is still long, but I am making time to do the things that I want to do - like blogging.

I can't really call myself a blogger - can I? Although my friends have no problem calling me that. They also call me a writer. I'd like to be called a photographer, an artist, an interior designer, an investor, a negotiator and a stylist - in due time. There are so many things I'd like to do, so little time.

Most importantly, I hope my family call me a good child and a good sister, my nephew calls me a good aunty and looks forward to spending time with me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spending a lot of your time blogging

I was reading this and this.

The former I read on a regular basis - regular as in once a week, not everyday. The latter I read from time to time when it gets linked from the former mostly.

I don't spend a lot of time blogging. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't have the time. Quite literally. I work multiple jobs, long hours. My downtime is spent with friends and family. If I get a time for myself these days, I am usually exhausted. I blog when I have something to say, or something I want to remember without a camera.

Why I really blog

Put simply - to exercise writing. I really need to write more often and I really need to polish this style of communication.

I also need to develop picture-taking skills. The camera is lonely without much use, and it is nice to be creative once in a while.

My time is limited though - everyone's time is limited. If I want something badly enough, I have to insist on it. Like I insist on writing. And taking pictures - and editing them. Things that I enjoy doing and don't have the time to do.

Balanced life

Don't you just love it when they ask you this question during job interviews? I know that I have interviewed a few people and asked this question before. There is no right or wrong answer - because the concept of balance is different for different people - at least in my opinion.

I appreciate honest answers - others may appreciate a textbook answer. If you are the sort of person who like textbook answers, then you will be fine working for people who like textbook answers. I am not like that. I think that is pretentious and indecisive.

You either have a balanced life - or you don't. How do you know this? Here is the question - are you happy most of the time? If your answer is yes, then it is very likely that you have a balanced life, no matter what it is that you do. So be honest when you answer that question.

Blogging to make moolah

I maintain my position that it is possible. And just like any other avenues to make money - it is difficult and it takes a lot of effort. So if you want to blog to make money, be prepared to work your asses off.

Nothing in this life is easy. It is meant to be difficult. We are meant to stretch so that we become better persons - because we grow that way.

If you are not growing, or if you don't want to grow - then ask yourself why. If you are tired, take a rest, recharge and continue the journey. If you are not happy about something, change it. You don't have to know what you want all the time, but you do have to know it in the crucial moments.

And it is fine to take a rest and figure out your next move. Patience is a virtue.

This is going to abruptly end here because I have to run. Until then.

Monday, November 14, 2011

something to remember

I stayed until about 7pm at the office.

Truth be told, the disruptions in the form of crazy computer problems are largely the cause of it. It is doubly difficult when things do not happen smoothly. I keep thinking that nothing is perfect in this world, so I really should not stress with things like that. Things beyond my control.

I like my job. I don't love it, I like it enough to rock up to work happy. Working enables me to afford the lifestyle I currently have - including the size of my bank account. It enables me to buy good food and stylish clothing. Plus it gives me something to do so that I don't die of boredom.

I am happy I have this job.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Impulsive. Passionate. Irrational.

Lately I’ve been settling.

Buying things I like — but don’t love — because I need them to fill gaps in my wardrobe and I just can’t find something that I love to fill the gaps. How long can you wait for your true love to come along, before eventually you just have to fill that gap out of necessity?

Selena told me once that she sold almost all her shoes and literally only had three or four pairs of shoes left. What an incredible concept! To purge everything (I love a good purge) and then only replace what you’ve disposed of with things you truly love.

But thinking about it now, it sure has been a long time since I fell in love with something.

I fell in love with my Wang bag and just had to have it despite it’s extraordinary cost. I fell in love with my Rick Owens wedges years ago and when Selena found them for me at a price I could afford I bought them without a moment’s hesitation. The decision was so spontaneous it even shocked her.

But that’s love.

Impulsive, passionate, irrational love.

From here

Decluttering is a life long project

Have been reading this.

Feeling the urge to declutter.


Twisted as this may sound: for a while, I was preparing for a life I did not have, in an attempt to have the life that I thought I wanted. I think it is part of the quarter-life crisis. I thought I wanted a certain job, a certain kind of prestige, a certain kind of success. I tried to attain them. I was not successful. In an attempt to make me feel better, I purchased clothes and shoes to make me feel like I was living that life.

My wardrobe grew. Space became a luxury, yet somehow I managed to fit everything in. I declutter every so now and then, but the rate of the clothes coming in was faster than coming out.

I started decluttering back in 2009 when I was co-habitating to save on rent, bills, etc. I began scrutinising my style at around about the same time. The clothes I used to wear back in college are mostly donated. I must say, it feels so good. You have to experience it to believe how good it actually is. I feel good when my wardrobe is organised, and I look better because of that.

I used to wear a lot of colours - and I have a drawer full of tops as the remaining evidence of that era. I still love wearing colours, but for some reason, am drawn towards mostly neutrals - especially gray. I think it was Armani who said that his favourite colour for a man's suit is gray, because it is the colour of the stone, and symbolises strength and stability; I feel strong and stable wearing gray.

While I was busy decluttering, life goes on, and today, the life that I have takes me by surprise because I love it. This was not the life that I imagined then, and in ways that are difficult to comprehend, it is actually better than what I have ever dared to imagine.

My wardrobe today is the most streamlined it has ever been in years, and I am planning to get it even more streamlined in time for Christmas. I'd like to update my tops and my dresses - I am getting older afterall and I'd like to dress my age. [Did I just say that?] Online shopping has been a blessing with the variety and price, but it requires tremendous self-discipline to be a value-adding activity. And it starts with decluttering.

Friday, November 11, 2011

prestigious conventional success and quarter-life crisis

a little history.

first time i blogged was because i needed a writing outlet about my mumblings of life - mostly about relationships, and how fucked up most of the relationships that i witnessed at that point in time. mine was included in this category. and relationships are defined widely - it comprised all sorts of relationships: familial, romantic, friendship, collegial, etc.

then i ventured off into various other blogs that i abandoned mostly. i did write extensively in one blog and the provider decided to stop providing services altogether. so i went back to blogger, but never quite maintained the rigor and persistence of writing in that blog.

fast forward to a lot of promises of regular writing later, and an extended hiatus, and then a realisation that my time in this planet is limited, there comes this blog.


the title of the blog.

it was coined during a conversation with a high school friend - we sat together during chemistry lessons. i was hopeless at chemistry, she was the top student. we have not seen each other for a long time, and rarely hung out unless there is an event like a birthday or a wedding that we were both invited to. then we would talk like it was the old times. i am surprised as to how well she knows me. like her remark about the apartment: "oh, that plan has you written all over it."

we talked about the flower arrangements and we both liked it. she said "your style is understated elegance" and she asked if she could plan my wedding (note: he has not proposed yet). i said i will take her up on that one.

the word understated sticks with me. because if i could use a word to describe myself these days, then that would be understated. my chosen word of description used to be quirky. it is not that i cease being quirky. quirky is still me. and understated is also me. quirky would be the impression most people get. understated would be the impression that they would get if they know me well enough.


the quarter-life crisis.

my version of the quarter-life crisis hit exactly at 25 yo. talk about perfect timing. maybe it is a function of getting older (and hopefully more mature), but i suspect it is the realisation that i.could.die.anytime.

i don't think i need to venture off describing all the questions and thoughts i had and how helpless i subsequently feel about this phenomenon. i don't think i have successfully dealt with it, but here is the deal: i got used to having it around. this never-ending fear of lack of complacency. or in other words, the feeling that i was not good enough. the origins of the fear is probably my brain, so i am learning to control my thoughts.


writing to save my life.

writing has always been the one avenue that saves my life - literally. it definitely saves my sanity. it forces me to be more structured in my thoughts. it forces me to reason more logically. it keeps me grounded with what is important (or not).

having blogged before, i realise that no matter what i write, there will always be someone who is offended for whatever reason. it is not that i don't care about not offending people, i prefer not to offend people; most of the time, i would not intentionally offend people. yet at the same time, if i were to write honestly, i think it would be difficult not to offend anyone. plus i don't think i can be held responsible every time someone out there decides to deliberately twist my meanings.


prestigious conventional success and the items on your cv.

there are some individuals that you know would embody the term success like no other. like this friend who works for the UN doing this thing he is endlessly passionate about. and this other friend who is a budding entrepreneur and makes decisions that most people just cannot comprehend. i have met some remarkable people along the way who are truly inspirational, and i would consider myself a success if i were at their age and have achieved as much as they have.

back in school (and college) we have report cards and academic statements. these documents are somewhat objective assessment as to how well we have performed in the academic life. then we venture off to the real world and has to start from scratch - and record what we consider as our achievement in our cv. (others seem to regard cv as a list of your responsibilities - let's not go there at the moment.)

ideally your cv would demonstrate that you have started from the bottom and are currently working your way to the top. then your next move would need to be in the vertical direction - that is until the state of the economy decides to interfere.

i think we tend to forget how difficult times can be, and how difficult making a living can be. once upon a time we were desperate to do anything and everything just to earn a living - just to pay the rent, and have some money left over for food and bills. i have been there, i have done that. i have downgraded my standard of living so that i could stretch my savings and ensure my survival. it was not ideal, but hey, something's gotta give.

i am happy that i survived. i could have asked my dad for some moolah, and i did not. he offered some moolah and that was very nice indeed; i prefer not to use it. and yes, it is nice to have a safety net like that. i had thought about this for the longest time while i was in college and my boyfriend at the time just could not understand why i prefer to stand on my own two feet.

that said, there is nothing wrong with accepting help from your parents. they are your parents after all. there is a point in which you should just accept the help and then make sure that you are wildly successful after that, and then return the favour. because really, at the end of the day, what we want is for those we love to have good lives. we want to make their lives easier while we can. because our time in this planet is limited.


ok, this post is going to abruptly end here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

just a quick one

always the thing about blogging is that it is difficult to write everyday. i do want to write everyday. because a lot of things happen everyday and i would like to document them here. that is the whole point of this project. yes, i have started similar projects before and somewhat failed quite miserably. yet this is a new project and i'm determined to make it work this time.

the issue is that i am busy. there is no other explanation around it. i have a lot of things to do, too little time. i also realise that i hardly try new things these days - or actually in the past few years? i was told by a much older individual that the remedy to feeling old is to try new things - to consciously do so, to insist on it, at least every weekend. because when you were a child everything seemed new.

i don't feel old yet - and i know i am getting older by the second. i also think it is obvious by now that i am having an existential crisis yet again. (i've had a few since i turned a quarter of century.) what stories am i going to tell? what if i don't have a story to tell? what legacy am i going to leave behind? i am pretty sure i have not done remarkable things with my life.

since Steve Job's death, i am more aware of the fact that our time is limited. we can leave this life at any time, somewhat unexpectedly. our mortality has a finite life span. do i live my life as if i'm going to live forever? i am not sure as to what the answer to that would be. and i do know that i take things for granted. like i take it for granted that i am going to be alive tomorrow.

i make a point every single morning to be happy for the rest of the day. happiness - just like love - is a choice. i make a point to be grateful for what i have, and i have a lot of good stuff.

Monday, November 7, 2011


we discussed relationships.

my take has always been: it is hard and it is meant to be hard. but a lot of people are uncomfortable with this idea. is it still difficult with me? yes it is. and you don't make it difficult, it is the nature of relationships themselves. to make it work, we have to work very hard. i don't mind working hard for it because of you. i hope you feel the same way.

so no, you don't make it difficult, you don't make it more difficult. at times you make it easier - and this is a relative term. once you have experienced something worse, you get to appreciate the good stuff more. get out there and experience life. talk to people, listen to them and get to know them. allow yourself to feel the things that you are scared about. that is one of the many ways you can grow.

i think love is largely a choice - a choice to keep loving these people no matter what happens. a conscious decision to keep on working on and growing the relationship, and to keep on growing as an individual. you choose to put the other person first, and conversely, the other person chooses to put you first. it is a rather strange combination because then who is put first? at times you give, and you must also allow yourself to take. you are not only responsible for your personal growth, you are also working towards assisting the person you love in his/her personal growth.

and by default, growing is painful. there is no painkiller that can take away the pain. and it is ok, because by going through with it, we become better people.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

the gift of time

i spent most of yesterday with you. i loved organising you. your messy surroundings drove me insane (as always). i did not tell you this before, but i admired how you managed to find everything eventually. so no dear, you never lost anything, you just misplaced them temporarily. i guess i did not say this enough to you, but i really do love you. you are the only person in this planet that i would want to organise like that. it gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that i have done everything possible to make your life easier. that is the least that i could do for you.

i wished that i brought my camera with me. some shots here and there would make pleasant memories of the things that we did. the mediocrity of life, things that we hardly find time to do unless of course we are preparing for some event. like a trip somewhere. a trip of not-so-ideal-timing, if i can say so myself. sort of reminded me of my own trip a couple of years back.

i am going to start with the conclusion - being this: let's not get married in November. November weddings, so far, the statistics are two out two, have a tendency to be cancelled a few days after the tickets have been purchased. so either we wait till a week before the wedding and then purchasing the tickets (exorbitant price) or not attend (usually can't escape this one). so for the sake of everyone's well being, lets not plan weddings in November. October is good and so is December.

i think what most people fail to recognise is this: attending weddings are expensive, especially if it involves travelling to another country. partly why i prefer not to attend weddings overseas. right now, i am definitely wedding-ed out. and i definitely had enough of cancelled weddings.

am i missing something here? i am always of view that the decision to be married is a massive decision - life changing sort of thing. as such, conversely, the decision to cancel should be an equally massive decision - if not bigger. and surely, this decision would have been pondered over and over again, and surely you would have known this more than a few weeks before the wedding.

i give all of my sympathy to those who are in the situation of having to cancel their weddings. yet it also sucks when they become so self absorbed that they fail to appreciate the things that others tried to do to cheer them up. the best gift in this life - in my opinion - is the gift of time. and when someone is in the position to offer such gift, then it is only fitting that the gift is accepted by giving back your time in return. this is not rocket science - it is called being thoughtful. it is not about reciprocating the gift, it is about accepting graciously by giving your time in return. because if you don't accept, then the gift is wasted. if you don't accept, you failed to recognise that it was there to begin with.

and for once, i understand why people say "more than you ever know".

Friday, November 4, 2011

i need another story

the hardest lessons in life are the ones that you learn when the person who taught them has gone. and as always, one of my regrets is that i didn't get to know these people when i had the chance to. it is like they are going away, therefore we want to spend as much time as possible with them. what was it that we were doing with our time before we decide that we are going to spend time with those we love. in life, we really do take a lot of things for granted.

i always said that i am permanently enrolled in the school of life. i never quite seem to grasp what it is that life decides to teach me. i am grateful for my life and how everything turns out so far. with every step that i take, i learn new things about myself. the issues that i thought were resolved rear their faces at the most unexpected moments. i guess this is what i get after spending more time trying to run away from them rather than facing them head on. that i did not cry when i should have and when i had the chance to.

i think about you and the brief moments that we shared together and how you have touched my life in the most beautiful way a stranger can. it is ironically when you decide to leave that i realise how much you mean to me. you have a way of understanding me the way other people cannot even begin to comprehend. i am touched by your sincere care and understanding - and i promise to care more about others in the way you care about me. i miss you. so so much. in the short time that our paths crossed each other, i feel most fortunate to be a part of your life. i do hope that one day we get the chance to be a part of each other's lives again.

the world is your playground baby. venture out and shine - spread your wings and fly away.