Friday, December 30, 2011

Be happy now

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now.
Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.
Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family.
Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

- Earl Nightingale

ps. Thank you!


So it looks like I have to work today. I have to finish some work that I have started a few weeks ago. This work needs to be done today - at least my part is. So after writing this, I am going to do some spreadsheet work. It should not take long, hopefully - but if there are issues, then I am going to go nuts.

I don't have a problem with working during the holidays per se - I have a problem with people who bluntly ask me: why do you have to work. Obviously because there is work to do. Then they ask why can't you just wait until the holidays is over. Because I don't want to? Because I want to do it today? Because I want to finish this quickly?

It is incredibly annoying when someone tells me not to work. I guess it is fine when that person is paying me not to work. But chance is that that person is not paying me not to work and that person wants to hang out with me - which means I have to put in the time and money for that. I don't mind spending time and money with people I deem worthy, but chance is that if that person is telling me not to work, then that person is not worthy.

When I get pissed off, they try to lighten it up by saying they are joking - instead of apologising. Oh please. That is the worst insult in the planet ever. Own up to your mistakes. Don't tell me that I am the one who is uptight, when you are clearly the one who is disrespectful of my choices.

I am off to do some work now. Until then.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Money and me

Sometimes I think instead of doing a WIDT post, I should do a WITAT (What I Think About Today) post.

For a few days now, I have been thinking about how I spend my money. I told you guys previously that I spend it all. A couple of days ago I did some number crunching of my own financial position. I have a rough idea as to where it is now, and seeing the numbers on the screen means I either confirm my guesstimates or clarify my views on where I went wrong. I always have a rough idea as to where I stand from a financial view point. I guess this means I think about it often - and it is true, I do think about it often because I'd like to know that I am heading in the right direction.

My money allocation throughout the years change with my preferences. Travelling used to be a high priority on my list and I travelled like there was no tomorrow. At the time I thought if I were to die then, I would die happy because of the destinations that I have ticked off my list. I travelled a lot as a child - courtesy of my father, so most of the destinations have been ticked off that way. The ones that linger on my mind I visit again as an adult, and in some of those destinations, I travelled solo. It was one of the best things I have done and I would recommend that to anyone who is looking to gain new experience/skill.

These days, I don't travel as much - the travel bug has left me for a while now. My focus has been establishing myself professionally. My current job does not involve any travel at all. The upside of this job is that I learn to like this city. I learn to appreciate it and its quirks. I discover the things that I like to do here, and I intent to do them while I can. Right now, my travelling desires (whatever is left of it) is fed by reading the travel section of various newspapers/magazines. Sounds lame, I know, but it is what it is.

I think for someone my age, I am doing ok. I think I am still far from brilliant (I personally know some people who are doing way better than me right now). I manage my money fine. What I have a problem with is actually spending it on the things that I want - and when I say things, I mean physical things like clothes and the like. I have been decluttering on a regular basis and I am sick and tired of seeing things that I don't even like after a few months. So I promise myself that I am not spending my money on junk. This is actually good because I am more conscious on how I spend my money.

The downside is that sometimes I get bored of the things I do own - granted they are mostly classics, and I like variety. I browse fashion blogs and I think to myself, hey, that's a nice look, I'd like to get that jacket/shoes/bag. Of course most of the time I don't get those things - because if I have an item that I haven't worn in a few months, I much prefer to just let it go so that other people can use it and I have less clutter in my apartment.

So I used to spend any amount between $0-50 on these things that I end up donating. And as some of you have guessed it, I am sick and tired of wasting my money on temporary thrills, so I deliberately stop shopping. If in any given month I donate 20 items, then that is like any amount between $20-$1000 down the drain. Don't know about you, but I think that is a lot of money - money that I can spend doing something else, like eating (hehe).

Sometimes I get the itch to spend money. Most of the time, I feel somewhat guilty spending money if I know that I am not going to treasure whatever it is I am buying. I get that this whole thing is about balance, I just have not quite found where that point is for me.

Because I feel this way, I really feel out of touch with most people my age - because they prefer to just spend and think about the consequences later. I often hear things like, why would I want to wait and save for it, when I can have it right now and pay for it later. Yeah true. Who doesn't want instant gratification, right? Well, me! I don't want instant gratification. I prefer when there is some sort of pain involved in the beginning so that I can treasure what it is that I am working hard towards. I think hard work makes a lot of things in life more worthwhile - at the very minimal, it enhances its value.

I bet these sort of things are very funny to be coming out of the mouth of someone who grew up (and still lives) in abundance. I have thought about this long and hard, and if I have the option to have something that I want right now with minimal effort (like a gift), versus working hard for it one way or the other, then I think I prefer to have it the latter way. It is not that I don't appreciate gifts, I do (and I love them) - it is more that I prefer to work for it so that I know that I truly deserve it, I obtain it myself, and I gain immense satisfaction from it.

I guess what I am saying is this: I get satisfaction from the process, in addition to the end result. In fact, I think people should be encouraged to work hard for the things they have in their lives. If you want to look good, great body, great skin, then work hard for them. If you want a nice swanky place, then work hard for it. After all, nothing in this life comes free.

It is going to be interesting if one day I have children. I would provide them with the basic necessities, but I swear I would try my hardest not to spoil them. I have a nephew and his parents spoil him to bits. I would concentrate my efforts on instilling self-discipline on my children, because I personally benefit from self-discipline a lot. Yes, drive and motivation matter too, so I guess I would try to instil some of these in my children too - if I am blessed enough to have children one day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIDT - Shopping at Birkinhead Point

I finally caved in to the post xmas sale and went shopping. I love getting good bargains. I just hate the crowd. I have done boxing day shopping a couple of times and I think that would be all that I would ever have in this life time. So coming in today, which is like a few days post boxing day, I fully expect the stores to be full of bargains with nothing in my size.

Which is totally what happened today. I came prepared with a mental list with the things that I am hunting:

1. a fedora - I have been wanting this for the longest time - since like 2009. That is like two YEARS ago. I have been looking for one that is not so boring. I want something that is black/white/gray-ish, but I can never take the plunge of getting a plain black or plain anything fedora. I saw a red one with pink flower a few weeks back that retailed for $30 before the sale. When I came back to the stores a couple of weeks since spotting it, they were all gone! Ok, so it was not a meant to be.

2. sexy lingerie - this item (or I should say, these items) are perpetually on my list. Because I have been losing weight or maybe my current lingerie is just disintegrating on me. Or both. Doesn't matter. Point is that I need lingerie that fits.

3. leather belt - I am somewhat obsessed with anything leather these days. Because I am sick and tired of pvc belts dying on me. I just did not realise that these things are so badly made. I am donating all of my pvc belts to charity.

4. leather bag - same story as the leather belts - see above. I don't mind the canvas bags, I suppose, because they are water proof. The downside with leather goods is that they are not water proof, and they are kind of high maintenance that way. Sydney weather has been unpredictably wet, so I am hesitant with using my leather bag.

5. leather shoes - same story as the leather items above. I prefer real leather shoes rather than faux leather. Because my feet are wide and most faux leather shoes just kill them. If I could, I would wear sport shoes everywhere. But I can't wear them to work, so I don't think I have much choice but to do leather shoes. I prefer rubber soles, but I realise this combination is difficult to come by. I have bought shoes from asos, and they are mostly misses (rather than hits). I prefer to buy shoes in a physical store because I need to try them on. So please, shoe stores out there - don't go totally online.

6. skinny jeans - I own one pair of skinny jeans. When I bought them they were tight but now they are sliding down. Thus I'd like a new pair that does not slide down, and it has to be in dark denim.

7. blazer - I have a specific style in mind that I am coveting right now. Can't describe it here, but once I find it, I will post a picture of some sort.

8. work clothes - these are investments for me, because I go to work and I need to find clothes that are professional looking and are comfortable and most importantly, stylish and reflects my personality. I love dressing up in the morning, applying make up and doing my hair. Yeah, shoot me - I am one of those annoying people who like going to work.

So what happened today?

Birkinhead Point does not disappoint, although I prefer driving there rather than catching public transport (snob alert). I make it a habit to eat lunch before shopping so that I can concentrate on what I want to buy rather than thinking about food. If you know me, my stomach usually takes precedent over anything else, including sleep.

What I bought: fedora, lingerie, leather belt. Fedora was from Mimco and it was not plain - it was in fact, chequered - a combo of black/grey with a white/blue leopard-ish collar. I just read that sentence again and the fedora sounded hideous. In all likelihood, it probably is, but I like it, so I bought it and I have every intention to wear it. One item off the list.

Lingerie was Elle McPherson. Some of her stuff are really really nice, and others really really bad. I tried on at least 10 things today and walked away with 1. I could have tried more, but I was giving up after the 10th item. The item stays on the list because I obviously need more than 1.

Leather belt was Marc. I used to love everything Marc - back in the days when they used to be so preppy. And then, Marc became boho, and recently it sort of returns to its preppy origins (thank god), just as I am losing interest in shopping (in general). Another item off the list.

Mimco has some of the most coveted leather bags that do not cost 4 digits. This is kind of important if like me, you don't earn that much money. I like this particular style from Mimco and nearly purchased it so many times. But lately, I am giving up on it. Because the people that I see with the bag are so daggy - the kind that walks around in sweat pants and ugg boots. The bag, in contrast, is sophisticated looking - and would make an awesome work attire investment. So whenever I think of this bag, I have this mental image of some daggy person carrying the bag. I refuse to be associated with that image, so I pass.

Another brand that I love is Allannah Hill. Granted given my body type I cannot wear 90% of her clothes, but I do love her coats. And her cardigans, skirts, tops and dresses. I like her accessories too. That is like everything in the store. Because I know that I cannot wear most of her designs (seriously, she designs for women with curves, the guitar/hour glass types, and meanwhile, I am like a cone), I just spent like a good 15 minutes in that store admiring the things that I knew I would never wear.

And that was when I noticed a group of extremely daggy people in the store - and then I walked out of the store. I get that most people were shopping, so they were dressing for comfort - heck, even I was dressing for comfort, and I am pretty sure I was more daggy than stylish. However, there is just something about seeing daggy people that completely turns me off a brand.

I am such a snob. There I said it.

It is really true that we should dress up - if only out of politeness.

"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny." - Coco Chanel

Side note: I am trying to write more these days - and in the past, I schedule certain posts to come in at certain days to ensure that I am sticking to a schedule. With this blog, what I find is that I am writing more about my thoughts than what I did - which is understandable because I often spend my days working (I derive enjoyment that way) and I don't really want to write about working given that I have already spent most of day working, and I don't want to spend all of my waking hours doing and thinking about work. So in an attempt to enjoy life a bit more, I make a point to do things other than working, which I can then write about in the blog. WIDT stands for What I Did Today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Part 1

I admit that every so now and then, I still think about you. I think about you usually because of something horrible that I suddenly remember. Like blogging for an instance - I used to blog because I wanted a relief from all the shit on my head. I am fine with writing, I enjoy it enough to be able to blog. But writing was not the primary reason for me to blog, just like you were never a reason for me to blog. My primary reason was that I needed an outlet to release all the shit on my head, and quite unfortunately, a major proportion of those shit was thoughts of you.

I admit that it was my fault. I did contribute to my miserable life. I stayed with you even when my instinct was to run in the other direction. I enjoyed your company while it lasted. There was some good moments. There was also some bad moments. When the proportion of those two things started tipping against me, that was when I knew that I had no choice but to leave.

For someone who made four times of what I made during those years, you were certainly very stingy. There, I said it out loud. I remember quite vividly the moment that you said you wanted me to pay for dinner because you had just gone over your finances and you did not like what you saw. I said, just send me the amount for half the bill and I would pay you. You said that would not be necessary, just pay for the next time we go out - which I did. To be quite honest, I don't see why I should foot all the bill when all I had was a beverage (mostly coffee). Moreover, most of the time, you were the one who wanted to go out, you picked the restaurant and you consumed most of what were ordered. Plus, you were a male. Shoot me from coming from a culture where males foot the bill.

In retrospect, I did not realise how much of a massive deal money was to you. I grew up in abundance thanks to my father's generosity. I always have more than enough. I enjoyed (and still enjoy) a good life whereby I can get everything I need (and to a certain extent, want). From your stories, you did not share the same upbringing. I remember you telling me a story about your mother going shopping and returning home with no toys and you got angry with her. You have always been smart - I give you that. I am pretty sure you must have been aware of your family circumstances. I don't quite know how to say this the right way (if there is ever one) - but I knew what it was like when we had very little money. Dad told us outright that we had to slim down our budgets. He was kind enough to still give me enough allowance. I saved every single penny so that I could afford to go to the prom with a new dress, shoes, etc - and paid for two tickets. I got a job on friday nights so that I could have extra money to go to the prom. I knew what it felt like. I occurred to me if that was going to be permanent, so I made an effort to save and to work more hours. I never took anything for granted.

I also grew up with a lot of friends who were males and automatically footed all the bills. There was never a fight for the bill because they said such thing embarrassed them. So I learnt to say thank you for their generosity. They regarded their gesture as a given because that was what males were supposed to do. We grew up this way. The way my brother put it - you girls don't eat much anyway, so it is natural for boys to pay.

I later learnt that you were seeing a lot of girls behind my back and you paid for your "dates" with them. So much about fidelity, so much about paying for girls. So much about wanting females to foot their share of the bill.

It is no secret that my friends did not (and still do not) understand why I was with you. They thought (and still think) that you were a gold digger - which I countered by saying that I did not have a lot of money, so that couldn't be true. I give kudos to my friends for being friends, despite not wanting to socialise with you, they still support me when I eventually break up with you.

The really good friends told me quite bluntly to leave you. They said that there was something that was weighing me down and they thought that thing was you. While I agreed, it took me a while to take action. Thankfully, they had enough patience in them to put up with my indecisiveness. They were wonderful and I was grateful.

Your friends, with whom I socialise with, were on your side when we broke up. Heck, they were even on your side even before we break up. I didn't blame them (and still don't). That was what friends were supposed to do. I would do the same thing for my friends in a heartbeat. What I would not do, is stroke their egos. I would sit down with them and reflect, if they want to, and we would acknowledge privately that there were a lot of things we could have done differently. I would not say that they did not do anything wrong, because they must have contributed to the problem even when they did not realise it. They would not like listening to that, but these things are necessary for personal growth. I have friends in my life with whom I can do this with, and I am grateful for them. I am grateful for those who really have my best interest at heart, and still stand by me even when I was angry with them because I do not like what they said. The latter makes a whole lot of difference because then I know who my friends are. I don't have that many friends these days, but the ones I call friends are certainly are my friends, in the true sense of the world. I guess I have lifted my standards on what friends are these days; I go for quality over quantity any day.

I realise that this definition is a bit too deep for most people's liking. I realise that it is too deep for your liking. I am not sure that I can spend the rest of my life with someone who cannot even respect that I have a different view when it comes to these sort of things in life.

You talked a lot. You always dominated conversations and you always wanted to be the centre of attention, even when other people listened to you out of politeness. Whenever I was with you, I learnt what not to do in a social setting. Because I often cringed when I listened to you. Sometimes being associated with you is like social suicide, it embarrassed me to no end. So I tried not to socialise with you in the same circle if I could help it. And I did so in professional settings where I had to do this thing called networking.

You told me that you felt left out so you tried to assert yourself into the circles that I introduced myself to. When I was invited to dinners, you wanted to be invited as well - and you said you would have gladly paid for yourself, and you accused me for not caring about you because as you said, "you knew I wanted these things too". Well, just to clarify again, being a guest, I was not sure that I was in a position to invite you along. In fact, I knew that I was not in a position to invite you along - that was the decision of the host, who were people that I met for the first time in my life at that point in time. And besides, it was for my professional development and we were on different fields. For once, it was nice to have people who were interested in me and with whom I could have discussed things with. For once, it was nice for me to just hold my own ground, and enjoy some sort of discussion about things that are directly relevant to my field that I would otherwise not have been aware of. For once, it was nice to just have those hours for me - and not share it with you. Until this day, you have never apologised for your behaviour - and I don't quite expect you too because you just felt so entitled to the opportunities that I had.

I cringe whenever I think about this one because in retrospect, I should have run as soon as this happened. For someone who was claiming to be my significant other, you sure were not supportive at all. You did not listen to me and you much prefer to listen to what other people said, and do what they thought you should do. When you did that, you got angry because I did not appreciate them. Why would I appreciate something that I had specifically asked you not to do? Your actions became a nuisance and you became a nuisance at the same time, especially when I had to deal with your feelings instead.

You were angry for the longest time because there were things I could not talk to you about. It was not I did not want to talk to you about it, it was more I was forbidden from talking to you about it by the court of law. I took these things seriously, so yeah, shoot me for being a law-abiding resident. You said some of the nastiest things that you've said during those times and I had to ignore you deliberately because of that. And then you wondered why I ignored you.

In retrospect, I should not have supported you at all - but there were bits in me that were still in favour of humanity, so I caved in. I can't quite say that I regretted taking this path because I will never know what I would feel if I had chosen the opposite path. But death in the family was (and forever will be) a major event in anyone's life, so I tried to be supportive. It backfired in the end. No regrets from me - it was just one of the possible consequences which eventuated to reality, and I just had to deal with it. Part of exercising humanity.

Ok, this topic is becoming emotionally very tiring so I am going to stop here. There might be a Part 2 if I think about this again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Irrational fears

Most of the time, when I think about getting older, I get excited. I think life gets better as I get older, and this is from personal experience.

Then there are other times during which I feel irrationally scared. I think about how potentially complicated life can become and I am not so sure that I have the ability to handle all of that.

Two things that come to my mind - one is love and the other is money.

A trend that I have slowly noticed is this: dating becomes more difficult as you get older. A lot of people say that in your twenties, you get a lot of attention. In your thirties, you get less attention. Because most of the attention is focused on those who are in their twenties. Because they look more youthful. Because in your thirties, you start showing signs of aging. Your body starts deteriorating and showing signs of years of abuse that you've done to it - excessive alcohol assumption, excessive fried food consumption, lack of exercise etc etc etc.

Oh, this lack of attention thing, by the way, applies to women only. So a lot of people say, when you are in your twenties, take advantage of the attention. Pick your potential partner - the best from the pack - and then aggressively pursue him, love him and marry him, and hopefully live happily ever after.

Of course, when I think about this rationally, this is all a whole lot of bull shit. No one can decide when to fall in love and with whom to fall in love. Maybe you can sort of influence the latter, but the former is often totally unexpected. You can be as aggressive as you want to be in your twenties, but if Cupid still keeps his arrows to himself, then well, too bad. There is an element of serendipity in life that one just cannot quite control. Does that sound irrational to anyone? Maybe it is, but I am not sure there is another way of explaining it.

In any case, no matter what age you find love, be happy that love has found you. Because you are one of the lucky ones. Be happy with what you have, and enjoy love while it sticks around. Enjoy it for what it is today regardless of what sort of promises it brings tomorrow, or what you think will happen tomorrow.

Second thing is about money. I swear I don't think about money that often - well, not in this context anyway - but one thing that scares the shit out of me is bankruptcy. I don't know what one does to get into such a situation, but I sure know that I am going to do whatever it takes so that I am not in that position. I think this is because I have been reading personal finance blogs - for some reason, the ones that I come across are those individuals who have successfully paid their debts. I hardly ever see any blogs who advised people not to get into debt in the first place.

My relationship with money is simple - I earn it, I spend it. And I spend all of it. I spend most of it on myself (aka saving). Then I spend it on my lifestyle (living expenses - bills and the like). Then I spend it on the people I love. There goes all of my paycheck. I do think about it in terms of earning and spending, and not so much about earning, spending and saving. Because I think it is simpler to think about it in terms of earning and spending only. What you earn, you spend. What you don't earn, don't spend. This is why I prefer not to borrow money - because (1) I have not earned it, and therefore (2) I can't spend it without guilt. If you want to spend more, then earn more first. Ask me in 10 years time if this frame of thinking still works.

Maybe bankruptcy is not the only thing that scares me - it is more like not having enough money. I budget for almost every category imaginable (and the rest goes to "miscellaneous"), so I make sure that everything is accounted for. What I dislike is when other people spend my money on my behalf, without asking for my permission. I am talking about acquaintances who want to eat at a certain restaurant for their birthdays, and then invite everyone they know so that they can pay for their meals (to the tune of $100++). Call me cheap, but I only spend money like that on people I love most. Otherwise I will go broke, and I prefer spending that money on myself.

Money is quite a major thing in my family - especially since the divorce (my parents'). I got to see glimpses of the ugly fight and I vow to myself that I will do anything in my power so that that would not happen to me. So I guess there goes another aspect of the fear.

What I can't quite stand is people who are very stingy when it comes to their money, yet spend other people's money quite freely. You know, those are the ones who eat anything and everything they can when they know that someone else is footing the bill. Or the ones who eat the most when they know that everyone is going to split the bill - so they just have to order drinks, entrée and dessert, even when they are full. And then they don't tip. I pay for my share when it comes to gatherings like that, really, I don't eat that much and I prefer not to drink, especially in day light. I would love to hang out with you over coffee more than wine, over fried chicken rather than fancy brunch. If you are currently on holidays in Sydney, please entertain yourself or get a number of people to entertain you, because I much prefer to keep my finances and waistline intact, thank you very much. And vice versa when I am on holidays.

After writing all of the above, I really do feel much better about these things - read: I don't fear them as much. This is one of the reasons why I write, it is the best tension reliever ever. It gets things out of my system and allow me to sleep better.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

This Christmas

I thank God for the good people in my life - the people whom I love and who love me, the people whom I love to spend time with, whom I share my life with, who make me laugh, who share my deepest thoughts, my tears, and who bring sunshine into my life. The people who stand by me no matter what happens. The people who understand me, or who try really hard to understand me, and most importantly, accept me for who I am. They are indeed one of the few greatest blessings in my life. I cannot have come this far without their help.

I thank God for the things that I have and the things that I share. I thank God that I am no longer a shopping addict and I can divorce myself from the obsession of material things, although I am still a sucker for beautiful things. I thank God that I am happy with what I have. I thank God that while I have a desire to be better, I realise that it is not about material possession.

I thank God that I have the ability to manage my life well. I thank God that He gives me the strength to overcome the challenges and He blesses me with everything that I have been given today. I thank God that I work with good people and a good company. I thank God that I can do my job well. I thank God that I have roof over my head, that my home is tidy, my finances are in order, my clothes are stylish, I have enough shoes and handbags and everything else that a girl can ever want.

I thank God for the unexpected kindness I encounter in life, especially during the times that I need it most. I pray that I can be of assistance to those in need, especially when they need it most. I thank God for the people who stick around, who believe in me, especially during the times I doubt myself. I thank God that I can stand tall today and I pray that I can stand taller in the days and years to come.

I thank God that I have so much good memories and I can continue creating good memories.

I thank God that I am healthy and those I love are also healthy. I thank God that I am happy and those I love are also happy.

Merry Christmas to everyone who is reading this. God bless you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Be loved

Be loved. Be known. Love people and know people.
Be so brave as to raise a hand for help when you need it.
Make friends and make sure they know they matter.
Be loyal to them and fight for them.
Remind them what’s true and invite them to do the same when you forget.
If you do some losing or you walk with someone else in their defeat, live with dignity and grace.
It is a middle finger to the darkness.”

- Jaimie Tworkowski To Write Love On Her Arms

ps. thank you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There is something attractive about pursuing your passion. I got home after a long day at work and was winding down to this blog, the blog that I find attractive because it is all about pursuing passions. I like my job right now and I think I do it well. I am passionate about most of it. There is something else that I'd like to pursue - and that is about living life passionately.

Is it just me or is it like me - whenever I hear the words "this is my passion", I always swallow really hard because if those words are not followed by action, then I am not quite too sure that those words are true. In fact, at times, I find it so cliche - maybe this is because I watch too much reality TV. I am not skeptical though, this is why I like reading blogs - because some blogs scream passion without using the word itself. There is hardly any other effective way of delivering a message.

One of the years that I had a lot of time to think about random things was the year 2008. One of the many things that I thought about was this question: what was it that I was passionate about. Because I suddenly had all this time that I didn't know what to do with. If I had a long steady boyfriend at the time, we would probably have gotten married. Quite thankfully I didn't, so I stayed unmarried. (It is way worse being married to the wrong person rather than waiting to be married to the right person.) Boredom is such a dangerous thing. It makes you do weird things.

But there was the one thing that I passed on - and thinking back, now I can't stop what life would've been like. How different life would have been. I do think about you every so now and then and I wonder what life would have been like for us. I still don't quite understand what was it that you saw in me, but I do treasure our little adventure while it lasted. Maybe in a different life I would have said yes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thought for the weekend (part deux)

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well.
Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly.
Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature.
Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you.
Take the power to make your life happy.

- Susan Polis

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thought for the weekend

Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air,
and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be.

- Gossip Girl

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An overwhelming sense of entitlement

Started the day with some lovely girls - I thought to myself that we are our own version of lipstick jungle. Well, sort of. We are not high powered yet, although it would be nice when one we make it. I miss talking to my girls because I can just feel like they understand me a lot. And they don't judge me. And most importantly, they are honest with me. I don't think I can ask for anything better in life.

After all, what is life when you can't share it with those you love. Our friends are the people we choose to love. Our family are the ones we often have to learn to love. In both, there are bonds, but these bonds are different. Family tends to take you for granted and vice versa. Friends you tend to appreciate more and vice versa. When one day we manage to treat our family like our friends, then maybe we can just love them instead of learning to love them.

As you can pick up, I am having issues with my family. To be fair, I have always had issues with my family. So I can understand those who have issues with their families - and I promise I won't judge. I can understand those who want to break free. I can understand those who feel restricted. I can understand those who just want to be themselves - and that is it.

At times, families do impose expectations on you - like you have be a certain way, you have to do certain things - particularly when it comes to helping them. Family expects you to help them, while friends ask nicely. I help people whenever I can, insofar as I can - and when they ask nicely. I don't help everybody, I judge whom I am going to help. This judgement is affected by how nicely they ask for the favour. When they ask nicely, when they don't come across as so entitled, then yes, I do help them. When I can sense an overwhelming sense of entitlement coming through, that is when I prefer not to help. No one in this planet is obliged to help you. Nobody has to help you. People choose to help you, they almost never have to do it.

There are some family members that I like more than others - what can I say, I am judgemental. I prefer not to go out of my way to help those I don't really like, just because I don't feel like it. These are the people whom I feel will not pull through in the moments that I need them most. These are the ones with an overwhelming sense of entitlement - who demands help, who always pose themselves as needing everything. Yes, I do work hard for all those digits in my bank account - and guess what? I am working hard for me and only me. I don't work hard for you and I certainly don't work hard for your children. They are your children, they are your responsibility. Nobody should take care of them but you. If you don't want to take care of them, then don't have any children. I know that I don't want to spend my time looking after children that is why I don't have them right now. If you don't want to spend your time looking after them, then don't have children. If you didn't expect it to be this way, then too bad, because you are stuck with them for life. Get over it and move on.

The extent to which they demand astounds me a lot. I have never come across human beings with no sense of guilt, or at least some form of uncomfortable feeling asking for something that other people have worked so hard for. How can one feel so entitled to something that they did not work for? How can one feel so entitled for other's time that they ask for favours without consideration of other people's time? They may not have children, but they still have a life. A life that does not centre around you. A life that they live in and they make plans and they have people to see and things to do.

I know that in the past, my family has not always pulled through. Does this disappoint me? I would be lying if I say it does not. Consequently, I consciously say no when those family members ask for my help. I admit that they are really good in telling their stories and in saying things to make me say yes, but I have learnt to be more cautious, especially when they are pulling favours.

I guess, I am just pissed off. When I am pissed off, I stay away. Heck, at times, even when I am not pissed off, I stay away. I can understand those who need space because heck, I need space. Right now, I am angry and I don't want to see my family. Actually, it is only one person that I don't want to see. But because I don't want to see this one person, I end up not wanting to see everyone else. Yeah, it is somewhat complicated. I can't just avoid one person, I end up avoiding the whole clan.

The remedy to this is actually rather simple - do the things that you want to do, and don't waste your time doing the things you don't want to do. And I am going to do exactly just that.

On being selfish

In the past few days, I have been thinking about selfishness.

I admit that I am selfish. I do think about myself all the time and I have a tendency to put myself first. If I want something, I ask for it. If I need something, I find ways to get it. I do things to keep myself happy most of the time. I don't really do things for other people - well, let's put it this way, I do spend time with my friends because it keeps me happy. The fact that it keeps them happy - well, that is a bonus.

I think most people in this planet are selfish - just because they don't admit it does not mean they are not. It is fine being selfish, just be honest about it. Don't pretend to be something you are not. We are all driven, to a certain extent, by this thing called reason. My reasons for living mostly center around myself - thus my selfishness.

This is also why I find it annoying when other people try to tell me how to live, how to spend my time or how to spend my money. Most of these things are disguised in this thing called advice, that they have good intentions, bla bla bla. An unsolicited advice is exactly that - unsolicited. It is my life and I choose to live it the way I want to. Is it that hard to understand?

I have decided a long time ago that I don't care as to how other people live their lives. I don't care how they spend their time or their money. And if they come around asking for help for things that they could have helped themselves to begin with, they get a no from me. Quite frankly, one needs to suffer the consequences from one's action. While I know that I should not be the one who teaches this lesson, I also know that I am too selfish to be inconvenient this way.

I am busy. I say this over and over again. This is not about enforcing the new status symbol (since when is busy a status symbol anyway?). This is about a statement of fact and at the same time, a statement of choice. I pack enough activities in my day because I want to spend my time this way. I don't want to reschedule them for reasons that I deem unimportant - and at times, these unimportant reasons include you.

Let's face it - there are not that many important people in my life. Last I count, there is only one, two, three. The rest, well, they are somewhat important, but not that important. By the way, the three people excludes myself. If they assert that they are important to me, then they are deluding themselves. If I say you are important to me, then that stands. If I don't say it, then it does not stand. I can make you feel that you are important to me at that point in time, and it does not mean that you are important to me all the time.

Why am I writing this? Because this is what it boils down to at the end of the day - I don't have time for everything and everybody. If the people that I spend time with cannot appreciate that I am spending time with them, then I prefer not to spend time with them. If they cannot appreciate that I am busy, that I am an individual with my own life, then they are more selfish than the average selfish person. If they guilt trip me into doing things for them (or if they guilt trip people I love into doing things for them) - then they are emotionally twisted themselves, and definitely rank higher than the rest in the selfishness scale.

I have always maintained that being selfish, to a certain extent, is necessary. It is definitely necessary to me. It keeps me happy. No one else keeps me happy on a regular basis in this life, so I have to take on that responsibility myself. I prefer not to attach my happiness on other people - that is a sure way of permanent disappointment and depression.

Expect a lot from yourself when it comes to your own life, your happiness, your success. Other people are in your life by choice, so never take them for granted. And be nice to them while you can - because you will never know when you are going to need them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I woke up at 4.30am today. I could never go back to sleep once I am up, so I have learnt from past experience that I should just wake up and start the day. Waking up so early does have its advantages - there is time to chill, time for myself, and time to write.

One thing I have been thinking about lately can be summarised into one sentence: the more you get, the more you want. Take for example, clothes. The more clothes you have/get/own/shop for, the more you want to get more clothes. It is like a vicious cycle and the next thing you know you have this overflowing wardrobe/closet. I know because I used to fall into this category. Maybe I still do, but I know that I have stopped shopping for a while now. Not because I cease liking shopping, more because I don't have time to indulge in shopping. Or perhaps, it is better put as me being too lazy to browse the stores. The physical, real-life stores that is. I do browse a lot of online stores. And as some of you may know from online browsing, you have to scrutinise every little bit of detail. I said no to a lot of things more than I say yes. I have become a lot more pedantic when it comes to my clothes as I get older. The fit has to be perfect. I am obsessed with fit a lot more these days. I have no hesitation tossing/donating my clothes that do not fit perfectly.

I can just feel that I am going to make a trip down to the tailor so that he/she can perform alterations to my blazers. I think for the longest time I wear blazers that are too baggy around the torso. What can I say - I have wide shoulders. Yes I love them, and I also want to wear clothes that fit well, thank you very much. And yes, it is difficult to accommodate both the shoulders and the waist. Yes, I know that I can wear a belt, and not everything can be belted.

I have to be extremely ruthless when it comes to culling my wardrobe. In fact, I feel like doing it right now, if not for someone who is currently snoring in the bedroom. Come to think of it, the more I cull, the more I want to let go.

This is such a first world problem, isn't it. The problem of excess. Why is it so difficult to say no to things that only marginally add value to our lives? Why is it so difficult to say no to things that often end up draining value of our lives? The more clothes one has, the harder it is to dress in the morning - well, at least, this is what I found to be true. I can dress better when I have a more streamlined wardrobe with clothes that fit properly. I receive a lot of compliments wearing this dress - so why don't I wear it again since I know that I look good. Do people notice that I am wearing the same thing? Maybe. I hope they also notice that I look good. Tee hee.

I don't have any tips or whatever when it comes to doing this (having a streamlined wardrobe) - I am still largely struggling myself. The only 'rule' I go by is this: only wear the things you love. Life is too short for things that do not meet your standards. I am not a minimalist, I am waaayyy off from being a minimalist. I am not sure I want to become a minimalist either. I just think that is not what I want. Yes, I do love to travel the world, I am just not sure I want to do with with 10 pieces of clothing that can fit into a small bag pack.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Short skirts

No writing today. Just a link to a really good article I found the other day: here.

I LOVE wearing short skirts and short dresses, although I don't do that very often these days as I don't wear short skirts and short dresses to work (and I spend most of my time working). So I indulge in short skirts and short dresses whenever I can.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, December 9, 2011


People who work hard themselves would have a clue as to how hard you work for your life. I find it annoying that I have to justify how I deserve my life. I find it heart-breaking when someone successful has to justify their success. We may not always see it, but those people work hard for their lives. They may give the impression that they don't work hard - they handle stress extremely well, they seem to be put together all the time - but those things are skills and they are hard work to project in real life.

I don't brag about how stressed I get in my day to day life. It is like - really? Seriously? I am stressed on a daily basis - this helps me to get through the day in a way that I like it. I am more organised, more switched on, more focused when I am stressed. At the end of the day, I can relax better because I feel like I have given it my best today, everyday. When I am not stressed, I feel like I am less efficient. All of these may sound weird, but I do like a bit of stress in my life, in small manageable doses. It helps me become a better person - or at least, I feel that way.

I hate telling people how busy I am. I am busy by default. At any given time, I have a job or two, or sometimes three or four. I have a family that I see at least once a week. I have friends that I want to see at least once a month. I need to recharge and I need to organise my life. I need to spend time to connect with families back home and I need to check in on families in other parts of the globe. I don't need to tell people I am busy. In fact, I hate being busy to a certain extent because I cannot have the time to see the people that I want to see (and this is annoying). I love the people in my life and they contribute to me being who I am. They help me to put things in perspective and they help me stay grounded.

I am someone who is kind of like an open book - and not everyone understands me because not everybody speaks my lingo. Yet those who do read me like a novel. Over the years, I realise that I am perhaps less blunt in my approach to living. However, one thing I find useful is to just ask for what you want - and those who love you would give it to you most of the time. The rest of the time, I get something better. Does this sound too good to be true? Then I guess I am a very lucky person.

I am very thankful for everything that I have in my life (mostly the love I share with various people) and for everything that I don't have in my life (life-threatening diseases for example). I am happy that I have this life and I am happy that I can work towards a better life. I am grateful that I have supportive people in my life. I have no problem walking away from those people who suck energy out of me. My time and capacity are limited and so I want to utilise them the best I can.

I am different. I have known this for the longest time. My friends know that I am different - they said that this is why they are attracted to be my friends in the first place. I am a nice person. I am smart, I am beautiful, I look into people's eyes when I am talking to them. I enjoy a deep personal connection with people I love. I take enough chances to grow in life. I get up reasonably quickly after I fall (yes, I do fall despite taking precautions not to fall). I make mistakes and I admit them and I learn from them. I share my life and my knowledge, I am generous with information.

I find life to be satisfying when I am consciously working hard for a better life. I learn to work with my own rhythm and I am marching to the sound of my own drums. I am dancing to the sound of my tunes and I would love to do it in daylight in addition to doing it in dim lights. I have my own standards and I live my life according to those.

In short, I am comfortable with my choices in life. I work bloody hard for this life. I see the good in people and I focus on those more than the bad. I treat my friends better than my non-friends and this is what friendship is all about. I am respectful to everyone, and I am extra nice to those I love. Does this mean I have double standards? Then so be it. I personally think I don't - then again, this is just what I am comfortable with. I know that I cannot be equally nice to everybody. I know that some people matter more than others.

So please, don't take it personally.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Currently obsessin' about: Dulce Candy

A few months ago, I noticed this girl. She has been blogging since forever. I am a bit annoyed that I did not discover her earlier, but now that I do, I find her to be such an inspiration.

First and foremost, she is 24, and she is a mother, and she looks so gorgeous! I did not look as gorgeous as she is when I was 24, and I was not even a mother (still am not, by the way). How does she do all of that - I don't know. And did I mention that she is in school (fashion college) and she used to be in the army? All of these by the age of 24 - those are some major achievements in life.

Second, she is not afraid to dress - I browsed through her older entries when she was pregnant, and she looked so stylish. She is definitely the most stylish mum I know. Ok, maybe I don't know a lot of mothers, yet she looks so put together all the time. I love how she does her hair - she seems to have this way of keeping all the baby hair off her face. Everything looks so proper. She admits that she is not that tall, yet she manages to wear everything she wants - fashion rules out the window! She is the living example that you can wear anything you want if you style it correctly.

Third, has anyone seen her closet? TOTAL LOVE. Another glimpse here. Her closet looks like a store and it does look like she is shopping there whenever she is getting ready. Some may say "is it really necessary" or "that's hoarding" or whatever - having a closet that size takes a lot of skills. How many of you can maintain a closet like that and still go shopping on a regular basis and post videos on youtube about what you buy? How many of you have the funds to do that?

Fourth - awesome make up skills! Yes, I know there are other make up gurus on youtube. Dulce's make up seems to compliment her outfit every single time. Plus it is not over the top - which is a skill in its own right. Her make up makes her skin glows and accentuates her features. Plus she has a gorgeous smile. That's the smile that you look at and you think that everything is going to be alright.

Next - she's got some killer heels! I have not found any girl who does not love shoes. Not to mention that her shoes collection is to die for. OMG.

I can go on forever listing all the things that I love about her. I am running short on time (unfortunately), so I am going abruptly end this post here. I find Dulce such an inspiration - she makes me not only want to dress better but also to live better. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I want to go shopping

Speaking about money, I found an unexpected, pleasant money in my bank account today. No, it is not a present from someone. It is more like a pay correction from a mistake that I did not even spot.

It is nice when things like this happen - because now, I have this 'extra' funds I can play around with. And as expected, I browsed through one shop (I usually find the cutest, unexpected things from this shop) and a few online shops. I have not found anything I love just yet - although lots of things I like.

As I get older, I find that I am more aware of the fashion-related choices that I make. I look back through my archives folder and I am mortified as to the kinds of things I used to wear. It really is true - we are always cringing when we look at the things that we used to wear.

I am hoping that in 10 years time, I can look at my photos and not cringe when I see myself. Not sure how realistic this is, but hey - one can always hope right.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Money is not funny

Money is such a sensitive subject.

I am fine with money - I can earn it, I can manage it, I can save it. And all of these, stop with myself. I am not quite too sure I can extend these lessons to others - especially those I love.

They have their own thoughts and priorities and bla bla bla, so really, I am sick and tired of being faced with excuses as to why they have not done this and why they have not done that. If it is not that important to them, then fine, so be it.

Subsequently, I hate discussing money with those people. I do love them and I'd like them to make financial leaps, yet I am not a financial advisor and I can't be fucked wasting time listening to their excuses. I'd love to solve their 'problems', and I don't think this is possible if they don't want to solve them.

As they say, you can't help those who don't want to help themselves.

I also abstain from lending money to those I love. Love and money are a bad mix. This is because of the different attitudes we all have with money. If I were to borrow someone's money, I feel really shitte and so I want to pay it back as soon as I can. Especially if that person is my family. Or my partner. Or my friends. I can never look at them as if they are my personal ATM.

But I realise that there are plenty of people who would never pay their loans unless you ask for it multiple times. So really, the best way is to just not lend them any money.

I guess I am embarrassed if I have to borrow money from others - especially if the loan is interest free. I would find ways so that I can delay the purchase or finance the purchase myself. I prefer not to be caught dead borrowing money from anyone ever. Maybe except for the mortgage.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A privileged life

In the past few days I have been waking up at odd hours - 4 in the morning or earlier. Past experience told me that I should just wake up and not try to get back to sleep and wake up a couple of hours later usually feeling absolutely shitty. So I woke up and did some cleaning. A few hours later, I left the house for work and other things and not return until about 12 hours later.

For some this sounds like a crazy life - for me, this is just normal. I agree that I can do with more sleep. I also think I can do with more shopping - but this is limited by the living space that I have currently. In line with family tradition, I am going to donate a big bag of clothes etc to charity for Christmas. I better do that this weekend so that the donation makes it in time for Christmas.

I grew up privileged. My parents provided me with everything I needed and put me through college. Somewhere along the line, they instilled the value of hard work, diligence and perseverance. I cannot think of better lessons to give to your children. I watched my dad working long hours on most days - typical Asian family sort of thing. We enjoyed a good share of family vacations and I got to travel since an early age. The upside is that I am so used to travelling. I got to see most of the things that I did not know I wanted to see. Travelling becomes a natural extension to living which I am excited about.

I live a privileged life. I have a job that pays a decent income, I can pay my taxes, I can afford good food, warm living space, nice clothes and I can treat my loved ones every now and then. I have good people whom I love and who love me. I am thankful with all of these plus so many other blessings in my life. All of these take hard work, and it is ok because I can work for these things and the rewards are sweeter than I imagined.

This is my definition of a good life - something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. This is what others say too, so I don't score any points of originality here. Whilst I have been aware of this for a long time, I admit that as I get older, I realise its meaning more and more. I appreciate life lot more today than I did ten years ago - which is one of the perks of getting older.