Monday, December 24, 2012

redefining the bigger person

so it's Christmas.

i swear that i do not want to write anything about it other than the fact that to me it is like any other day, except that my office is having an annual close down, which means that instead of going to the office, i am "shoulding" myself to do other things.

oh the things that we "should" ourselves to.

when will people realise that there are some people in this planet who do not have the best of relationship with their families AND have fully made peace with that fact AND are tired of pretending that everything is all right. i mean, really, except for this time of the year, everyone doesn't really care about this, but it is like Christmas and suddenly everyone cares. because there is no better time to be the bigger person. right.

i try to remind myself that these people have my best interest at heart. they really do. so i try to be patient and explain it over and over again. the fact that i am having an adrenaline high is also useful because that means for some weird reason, it is easier not to take things too personally at this state. thankfully, they are supportive and all inferred something along the lines of "don't feel guilty about it" - i don't. i have decided that i am first and foremost responsible to and for myself and my own happiness before i can start thinking about other people.

yeah. i love myself that much.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

how to NOT be jaded by life

this thing about getting older. 

fuck. it is like one second we are supposed to fucking have passion so that we can enjoy what we do. no passion equals emptiness. emptiness is shit because there's nothing there. so we want passion. we seek passion. we got passion because we care about something. then we witness so many shit crap happens to the things we care about. 

how to NOT be jaded by life? 

how to keep on fucking care when you are hit with a fucking brick wall?

you don't. actually, it's more that i don't. i have stopped caring. you can do whatever you fucking want and i am not going to care one little bit. 

emptiness is unavoidable. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My ipod died

So. My ipod died.

I got it back in 2003. It was a gift from my sister. It was either 3rd or 4th gen 60G that I thought was going to last me a life time. BUT as it turns out, nothing lasts forever.

And I also lost almost all of the entire collection of my music.

A little bit of history. I used to outsource my backup to this dude who claimed that he was the best at it yadidadida. Long story short, he was so fucking dodgy that I lost quite a lot of files when my computer died. I was devastated for a while and then I thought what the heck. Out with the old, welcome clutter free life.

I become somewhat emotionally detached from any of my files - and my possessions for that matter. I don't care that my music collection over the past 9 years and beyond are gone. Who the fuck cares. There are new music being created everyday and let's give these guys a chance eh? Artists need to be appreciated.

I have not bought another mp3 player, although I miss it quite terribly. I use my boyfriend's currently and I don't really like it because it is not mine, so I feel somewhat rather guilty personalising all the tracks in it, but if I don't then I don't enjoy listening to it as much, so why bother.

I get unnecessarily analytical about incidents like these. I mean, it is like it is bound to happen, isn't it... when your life (or insert any other object here) is full of clutter that is preventing you from getting ahead, then something drastic will happen so that all the branches are pruned and you can continue walking in your journey with more poise and confidence, and less baggage. You get these extra energy and suddenly everything feels lighter.

I call it the power of letting go. I let go of all of the things in my life that is weighing me down on a regular basis - it is called spring cleaning (except that it is not confined to spring). BUT at times, I do not realise that these things are weighing me down, so I kept on going with all the extra baggage only to get extremely exhausted and thus lacking the energy to analyse what the fuck is going on. Then the universe kicks in and sorts it all out and all is back to being good again.

Sometimes, I think it is ok not knowing all the answers. Holly wholly whack, I just said that out loud! Of course I would love to know all the answers to my never-ending questions on life, love and everything else in between. Yet if I keep on searching for all the answers and focus my efforts on ascertaining truth in those answers, then I am going to forget to ask new questions. Asking new questions is important because it is one of the ways that we grow. Sure we can grow via other ways, but without asking new questions we are eliminating an element that requires us to keep an open mind.

That things in this life work in ways that we cannot explain or comprehend - and it is ok. We are only human.

That we are not alone in this life, even sometimes we feel like we are. It is like there is this supreme being watching over us (GOD, are you up there?), and it actually cares about our well being, and yet at the same time, prefer not to be intrusive unless it is absolutely necessary. This is pretty awesome.

That there will always be more questions than answers and out of the answers that exist out there, not all of them are correct answers, so proceed with fucking caution in this journey called life.

(Yes, I am tempted to buy a new ipod, but in light of the recent court case between Apple and Samsung, I have totally, absolutely, completely, certainly lost my desire to support Apple.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Just a quick one

I wasn't kidding when I said I was wedding-ed out.

Really, seriously. It was like I was losing touch to the real me. The real me who is not into wedding whatsoever. In fact, I was approached a while back by a friend/acquaintance who asked me to do some wedding business with him. We went as far as doing the numbers. Fuck, they were good. One heck of a very lucrative business. Because everything has a wedding premium attached to it. People are generally suckers when it comes to their weddings. BUT I remain someone who is (a) not into weddings and (b) not easily swayed by beautiful results, so I passed on it. His business is doing great last I heard, that's to be expected.

So I took the time to recuperate from all the wedding-related stuff. This coincides with an email from my boss telling me that I have to take a holiday. I immersed myself in work for two weeks after I booked a holiday. Right now, I am technically on holidays, which I started by sleeping too much. I tend to repay my sleeping debt during my holidays. I am best friends with my bed and blanket.

When I am in my down time, I usually find I can't be bothered to do anything, including writing anything in this space. Sorry, it is not that I don't have anything to say, I always have something to say about anything out there. It is just that... I don't know. Certain aspects of life gets so bloody overwhelming and I find it difficult to reconcile these things.

For example, for the love of GOD, I don't understand why every jeweller in Chinatown is such rip-offs. In fact, the more fluent they are in speaking English, the more likely they are to rip you off. I hate writing something so racist, but it is also so fucking true. For a while, I was delusional enough thinking that maybe they've changed. They haven't. I swear that I am not stepping foot anywhere in those area ever again. If there is a business that has no integrity whatsoever, well then, you are looking at one. Forget those overseas multinationals that bribe governments to stay in business - this one is right in front of your noses, and chance is that you would know someone who has had dealings with these people.

I know that this is more a stereotype than real life, and ordinarily I would agree - except that this time, it is actually real. So if you come across my blog because you are thinking of visiting a Chinatown jeweller, then think again. Do so at your own risk.

Ok, I guess I am not over certain aspects of wedding, and one of those aspects is rings - engagement and wedding rings. Why are those rings so important anyway? It is just a thing. A material thing. I hate putting so much meaning into one thing that is just a thing. And I think we are making too big a deal of it ... it is just a ring. An overpriced thing, in my opinion. Remember the wedding premium?

Anyhoo. The only reconciliation I have is this - it's their lives, their weddings, their money. I just hope that when it comes to mine, it does not have to be so conflicted with my personal values.

Peace out. Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Heavy topics ahead!!

I survived the wedding, at least one friendship survive thus far, and let's hope the other one does too. It's complicated, and I don't want to go into details here. It turned out to be a pretty big wedding, so all my worries about being at the bottom of the list was pretty much eliminated due to size. That is, the amount of people on the bottom of the list is going to be very likely to be pretty big, so much easier to just blend with the crowd.

Sometimes though I do wonder if it is easier to give a gift that is actually useful, simply because I have witness some people's lack of discipline when it comes to easy money. I know that I have zero discipline when it comes to some unexpected money that comes my way, so this is to be expected of everyone else. I also know that I can exercise some discipline if I want to, especially if I have a big goal that I am currently working towards - like for example, saving enough for the down payment of a property, and later on, paying the mortgage as soon as I can.

Yes, I know that not everyone is like me, so I should just zip it right - especially when it comes to how other people spend their money and live their lives. I should comment less, basically, just because other people are different than me. To this, I agree wholeheartedly. I just hate it when people look at me and complain that I manage to buy an apartment, while doing everything else at the same time. It takes discipline. I complain about a lot of things too, as evidenced by most things in this blog, but for the most part, I try to make decisions that are beneficial for me in the long term.

Money is such a big deal, isn't it. If  you contribute too little towards the pool for your coworker's farewell party, people are going to talk behind your back. If you don't contribute at all, they are going to talk about you too. Very few people would just come out and say, this is the level of contribution that is acceptable - because hello, this whole thing is meant to be voluntary right. Just like the wedding gift - it is meant to be voluntary, but in reality, the bride and groom, keep track of this information and then subsequently use that when it comes to gifting in future. In this case, it is so much easier to be the first one amongst your group of friends to get married. I am rolling my eyes as I write this simply because I still find this information difficult to believe till this date, but it is at the same time true based on my extremely limited personal experience. So I am somewhat rather horrified, but I am not sure what it is that horrifies me more - the fact that people use that info for future conducts, or the fact that people just can't get past the fact that it is meant to be voluntary, or both.

I still maintain that if you don't want to see that person at your event - be it wedding or birthday or whatever (what else do people celebrate these days? PhD graduations??) - then don't send the invite. Easy peasy. Don't send the invite out of obligation because there is this chance that the invitee will attend out of obligation. See how complicated it can get? All just because you were doing things in the name of politeness.

Anyway, on to bigger and brighter, and certainly more important things. I am all wedding-ed out for the rest of the year. I do hope that no one else is getting married this year. There is technically one other wedding that I should attend, but due to extremely complicated circumstances, I am going to skip that one, and just send my wishes. I will ask my Dad to attend if the invite ever arrives at home (highly doubt it). I hope this friendship will survive this one, but I am ok if it doesn't. Don't look at me that way, okay, I change, she changes, and we grow apart. I am just acknowledging that.

I was talking to Dad yesterday and it was something along these lines:
Dad (D): Do you know anyone who's a doctor?
D: Do you know anything about lymphoma?
Me (M): cancer?
D: Yep. Is it dangerous?
M: Depends on the type (note: I was furiously Google searching at the same time)
D: Its Type B
M: Who's got lymphoma?

I swear at the time I asked the question, I was actually contemplating not asking it at all because I was so fucking scared that it was him who's got the disease. Or mum, which is just as bad. Right at that moment in time, I was so scared of the idea of losing the two people that matter a lot in my life, one of which I argue with quite often, but I do love with all of my heart (it is just that my head clashes with his). I am pretty sure that I would feel slightly worse if it's mum because I hardly ever fight with her. I know it doesn't make sense, anyway.

D: Uncle Teddy. Do you remember him?

I was relieved beyond words. So much so that I nearly cried.

Of course I remember uncle Teddy. I remember him quite vividly and I felt (and still feel) a tinge of sadness. Why this is so is another story another time, because it is complicated and today it seems like I am writing about all of these complicated stuff that requires a lot of explanation individually and I have no energy to explain them like they should be explained.

I felt that I am taking my life, my health and most importantly, my parents for granted. I felt so incredibly shit when the realisation hits me: I am selfish, I do love myself a lot and I make choices that are designed to make my life better and easier - or at least, so I thought.

But what is better, and what is easier?

In life we have choices and our decisions often requires weighing the outcomes of a few choices that suit us the best at that moment in time. The danger happens when we focus a little bit too heavily on the "at that moment in time" bit. Because ideally, we make decisions that are better for us in the long run (see above about money stuff). But instead, what we thought are better for us in the long run requires so much short term sacrifice in terms of time lost that we will never be able to recover/make up.

Parents have this guilt all the time - because they somehow think that the best thing for their kids is to be by their side 24/7. I think there is a thing such as spending too much time together - this is probably because I need a lot of me-time. I think people need to grow individually and to do this they need space. Although I do admit that it is nice to have someone that you spend a lot of time with - like back in school, when we get to see our friends everyday, it is nice to go to school because of that.

I have not lived with my parents for the longest time, and sometimes I do miss living with them - as in actual living under one roof, not spending holidays together. I think this is because I have been living away from them since such a young age (try 12), so I never quite feel like being home with them; instead everything felt like one temporary arrangement after another.

I don't regret the way I turn out. But I do miss going home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weddings again (I know)

Sometimes I loathe talking about money, particularly when I have to explain myself over and over again on the same point. I was having a conversation with a friend who is in a similar situation to me - attending weddings weekend after weekend these last few weeks and more to come. It is the wedding season afterall? 

I googled "the rule of giving gifts for destination weddings" and all of its variants. While I receive no information that is remotely helpful to me, it has been quite a blast reading everything else people have written about destination wedding. 

It helps a lot of you are wealthy AND if your friends are wealthy and are willing to spend their funds on you. The rest of us mere mortals who are just making ends meet are not in this position and so subsequently left to ponder these things alone. 

So. Here is my take on the whole thing. 

It takes a lot of effort for you to organise a destination wedding. It takes a lot of effort for me to attend your destination wedding. I have to take time off work, fork out money for travel and accomodation, in addition to the usual hu-ha of hair, dresses, shoes and whatever. Because of these additional expenses, I have absolutely no idea what to give you as a present. I'd like to think that my presence alone is enough, but I am not sure that you would feel the same way. I'd like to test my friendships to see if this holds, just for the sake of finding out. Isn't it nice to see where your friends stand on this? 

I'll tell you where I stand on this one. IF one day I am blessed enough to get married with the love of my life, the celebration will entail my guests sitting in one long table, chatting, laughing and eating good and drinking good wine. And their presence is the most precious thing for me. I don't care about anything else. 

It is logistically challenging for you to organise your overseas-residing family to the wedding destination. This one is totally your fault. Did you not see this when you were planning the whole thing?? I get that you want to save on costs and so you ask me if I can drive them. Here is the deal - you should have told me this before I make my arrangements for the day. Of course I can change my plans, but it is extremely inconvenient for me, not to mention that there is no space in my car. 

I don't mind being the designated driver and doing all of these favours for you, that's not the issue here. The issue is your lack of planning abilities and the fact that you take it for granted that I am going to be able to do anything and everything that you ask for on a very short notice. Bad planning on your part, potential resentment on my part. Attending your wedding is hassle enough - see point (1) above. And now this?? 

My wedding only happens once in a life time, as my friend, you should just suck it up and put me first. Ok, no one has actually put this point this way, but really, deep down at the core, this is what it sounds like. I pray that you would never get a divorce, although when that does happen and you get a second chance at this whole wedding thing, I am so going to pull this point out and flag it down your face and make you feel as guilty as hell. There are two contradictory points here. One: weddings are supposed to be about family and friends, at least in Asian cultures anyway. As I said in my previous entry, you can't cherry pick the culture. If you say that the weddings is about friends and family, then why the hell do you pick a destination that is causing so much hassle to everyone who wants to attend? Two: friends do not cause each other angst and grieve, or even guilt. My enemies may cause these things, but I refuse to believe that my friends would put me at such an inconvenient position for an extended period of time and then play the guilt card on me. 

Or in short, as I have always said, I love you, but I love myself more. 

Of course I will attend your wedding, and I will smile and laugh and say all the right things. Your wedding will be perfect, don't you worry. And let's see if our friendship will survive this.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

More on wedding-related stuff

I had a rather interesting conversation last night with a close friend. I say "close friend" because we are pretty close in my opinion. Our history dates back to like... err...11 years ago or there abouts.

He was in a terrible terrible mood last night. It was a pretty annoying conversation because he was taking it all out on me, and quite frankly I had nothing to do with any of these things that he was annoyed about. He is the best man of an upcoming wedding somewhere in Northern NSW this coming weekend, and he is feeling all the stress... even when he's not the groom.

He was not talking as to why he is stressed - typical man. But I know intuitively why he was in such a terrible mood. Luckily, I was in a pretty good mood last night so I tried to say things to make him feel better - unsuccessfully.

Anyway. This brings me to my real point of writing: how can people ask so much of their friends when it comes to their wedding. These friends not only have to give their time, but also have to foot part of the bill (buck's night anyone?) and is also expected, in the Asian culture, to give extravagant gifts.

I swear, sometimes I hate being Asian. Sometimes I do things because I am Asian - as in it is expected of me to do it given my Asian background. I don't mind giving gifts, I say this over and over again, but I am very selective as to who I give it to. I am very selective as to how I spend my time, so I honestly do not see why I cannot apply the same principle with my money. I get very annoyed whenever someone is wasting my time. I don't see why I cannot get annoyed anytime someone is wasting my money.

Money is such a tricky subject, isn't it. We just don't talk about it, period.

I have seen this over and over again - your friend is getting married. You are asked to be a bridesmaid/groomsman and then suddenly without realising it, all the bills just rack up. In his defence, let's call him G, he probably did not know what he was in for. He did not know how much time he has to spend on the preparation. He did not know how his speech needs to be. He did not know how much the bill ends up to be - and it is still growing as we speak.

I think it is a good idea for the bride and groom to be footing the expenses of the groomsmen and bridesmaids - since this is the ASIAN CULTURE. I think it is such a terrible idea to cherry-pick which bits of the culture you want to adopt. If you expect your friends to act like Asians, then how about you act like Asians yourself.

It is really true how people's dark sides tend to emerge when they are planning their weddings, isn't it? I get that you want a particular wedding that has been your dream for the longest time, yet is it really worth causing so much inconvenience (and also grief) to your friends?

I prefer not to do that to my friends. Weddings are supposed to be fun and loving, why spoil it with the fact that it has to be at this location, it has to be with this colour theme, it has to be bla bla bla.


It is just an excuse to make it all about yourself, and to a certain extent, forcing other people to focus their lives on your wedding. While they may do all of these with a smile, trust me when I say that the resentment is building up pretty quickly, even when you don't get to see it, because you are too engrossed with your own wedding.

I much rather have friends who would not do that to me.

Even when it means I have no friends.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Last night over a bowl of black noodles and fried chicken

Does it bother you that he still loves me?

I am glad you admit that. I knew there was something. Some people prefer to remain in denial.

You know that I don't love him. I used to, but not any more.

You used to? 

Once upon a time. We never got together, which is part of the problem. Some people find it difficult to let go of the love that did not quite happen.


I am not one of those people. I prefer to move on.


I want to be with you. Only you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

And I will answer

Lately for reasons I am yet to comprehend, catch up with my friends tend to be a very intense affair.

I am always the party who ask the personal questions, the difficult to answer questions. The questions that make everyone uncomfortable (including myself at times), and I maintain my view that these questions still need to be asked even when they are not answered.

Because at the very minimal my friends would know what it is that I would like to know, even when I remain ignorant of these things that I'd like to know.

Lately, however, the role has been reversed. I am the one who is asked the personal questions, the difficult to answer questions. And it is funny in a way, because now, all of my friends' questions are always followed up with "you don't have to answer".

So far, I have always answered - I am okay with sharing information, thoughts and most things within reasonable bounds. I hope that this would mean we get closer, and they get to have an insight of the person that is at my core. I am pretty certain I get judged (come on), but it is always nice to find that they still love me anyway.

I reckon we should try this more often.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On what love is

You know, during the rare times that I spend sometime with a real writer, he/she would always go "you should write that in your blog". I am waiting for the day that these people would just use "you should blog that". Kidding.

Amongst the plethora of things that I was talking about, the one topic that people love to discuss is this concept called love. At the most basic level, we have an idea of what love is, that thing you feel, you know. BUT the definition of love is often very subjective. Forget the bible temporarily and think about how you define love.

Now that I think about it, quite a lot of fights that I had with my exes were about their definition of love, which do not overlap with mine. I blame this on the fact that I am a Sagittarius (I don't do horoscopes, really, but I do find the description of Sagittarius almost fits me perfectly, so I go by the label to just make conversations easier). I have this inherent need for this thing called freedom.

This subsequently mean that I do not respond well to the sort of love that requires a high degree of obsession. The kind of people who say "if you love me, then you should not do A,B,C etc". I get that there are boundaries in any relationship, but I don't think these boundaries can be enforced in this way. My parents play this game all the time - well, to be fair, not all three of them. I wonder how I am going to be as a parent, if I am ever blessed enough to be one.

I think love is often confused with possession. I subscribe to the school of thought that to love does not always equal to owning something. I think love is waaayy bigger than that. To limit love to possession is selfish and restricting. Case in point, I love designer handbags. Who can make skulls as cool as McQueen? I do not own a single McQueen clutch, despite loving them so desperately. Just because I don't have it does not mean that I don't love it. The same deal with people. I love a lot of people in this life, and it does not mean that I have to "own" them, as in I have to have them (in the animal, primate sense). I much prefer that we are friends, of course, and for them to be comfortable in the knowledge and the fact that I do love them (because what is love is not shared with the object of love itself). BUT I don't want to own them and I don't want them to own me.

I may be delusional in subscribing to this school of thought. I may be the odd one out. I may be alone in all of this. It is ok. This works for me, for now.

I don't regret every single one of relationship or even friendship that I had that did not last a life time, partly because of fundamental differences in definitions of concepts and boundaries of what love is. In fact, I am thankful that I no longer have to put up with people who cannot even respect my point of view or even worse, dismissing it just because of my age. No more of that.

I believe in the freedom to choose and the freedom to respect. I am happy to respect everyone insofar as they are worth respecting. (Some people do these things that make it really hard for me to respect them - such as, for example, people who promise they will do A, and you count of them on this, and they end up doing Z for no apparent reason aside from the fact that they don't feel like doing A any more as it is more convenient for them, irrespective of the fact that you were counting them do to A).

Respecting people means respecting their subjective opinions on how they view the world and how certain things mean to them. In turn, I'd like to have the same kind of respect - but I get that not everyone is like me, so the fact that I respect others do not always translate to them respecting me back. That is a risk that I have to take to be the person that I am.

So this was the long version of the conversation that I had on Friday night, with too much wine and too much fun. Talking is so much fun when one is drunk.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A reflection on human relationships

I spent yesterday with two of my favourite people in this planet. It is no secret that I play favourites all the time. Simply put, there are people that I love spending time with (which also happen to be the people I love) and there are those who are pretty much a pain to spend time with (which also happen to be the people that I'd rather not spend time with). 

 Why do I do this? My time in this life is limited and I'd like to maximise my pleasure of living. One of the ways that I do this is to maximise the time that I spend with the people I want to spend time with and minimise the time with people that I don't want to spend time with. I get irritated when I plan to spend time with someone I want to spend time with, who brings along a friend or two (complete strangers to me). There are many times that I am tempted to cancel once I find out about the arrangement, but often these things are sprung on me at the very last minute such that I don't have time to cancel. 


What I really want to write is that there are people that I don't like spending time with - and there is nothing I can do about this. I say that because really, liking someone or not is something very subjective. A person can be very popular and loved by everyone else, but if it so happens that I am of view and he/she is phony, then of course I don't have any problem differing from the crowd. It is rather unfortunate that some (or a lot) of charming people in this planet can come off as phony, you know all those people who are all about style and no substance. And it is even more unfortunate that those who've got substance are severely lacking in style, because these people have got a lot more to give (and subsequently teach). 

Out of the two, the former is a lot worse than the latter. With the latter group, spending a little more time would enable you to see their real charm, and or at least, appreciate their substance a lot more than you originally do. Yet at times, given their lack of style, holding a conversation with them can be so incredibly painful. I know because I have tried this too many times with too many people. 

Some of my friends call me talkative and feisty - I always have an opinion about anything and everything, usually very detailed and covering all aspects that anyone can think of. Yet most of the time, I don't really share this during my conversations, unless they are with the people that I like. Because I can't be bothered sharing this part of myself with strangers. It is rather ironic that I am a lot more open here in the blog. I don't have an explanation for this, except for the fact that... I just can't be bothered. 

Actually, it is not that I can't be bothered expressing my opinions. It is more that I can't be bothered justifying them or arguing them especially when all these-strangers-to-me have differing views. I don't see the onus to be on me to be able to reconcile our differences. In fact, I'd rather not reconcile because the reconciliation is often something that says something about the person with the opinions (I am judgmental like that). 

It really is not my issue that there are people out there more open minded than me and vice versa. I also don't think it is worth while to pursue this abstract state of having a more open mind - this often requires tolerance, and I think too much tolerance in one's life is a guaranteed one way ticket to misery. Because there is this thing as tolerating too much - which often comes in the form of suppressed anger. Anger is necessary so that we can grow and we can improve. 

These days I am very selective as to who I spend my time with. The craziest development to date is that I much rather spend time with a friend over online interaction rather than a stranger in a real life situation. I think this is a sign of a change in the way we interact. I would be the first to say that if it is your friends that you are interacting with, the medium of interaction takes secondary importance. It is a pretty good substitute for physical proximity with them. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Read at your own risk

I am drunk. I had too many glasses at wine and boy oh boy, life feels so good.

I swear I don't do this very often - and by "this" I mean writing while I am drunk. I got drunk on a pretty regular basis, I just don't write when that happens you see. Why? Because I am always too busy doing something else with someone else.

BUT as it turns out today, I got drunk and I am now all by myself and I get to sit down and write all of these things, which I am going to write only because I am drunk.

So. The explanation of my previous entry.

The person who wrote to me as having forgiven me was my ex. Ex boyfriend, ex friend, whatever, I don't give a shit about the label any more. He claimed to have loved me, yadidadida bla bla bla, all the hu-ha. Then he claimed that I broke his heart and all the hu-ha.

I am going to say it here: to the extent that I was responsible for the whole thing, yes, I was to blame and I was at fault. HOWEVER. I am not the only person at fault here.

It takes two to tango baby. Don't you remember that? Or has tango always been an activity that you do on   your own all this time long that you actually forget that it needs to be done with a partner? As much as you'd like to blame your heart break on me, sweet heart, remember this: you are the one who fell in love with me. I did not ask you to do that. I certainly did not actively encourage that.

If I write the next few lines, I am pretty sure that a lot of people are going to write to me and tell me that I am arrogant. Then so be it. So here goes. There are a lot of people who are in love with me, and they fall into a few categories. ONE: they just don't tell me that. TWO: they tell me that they do and they list all the reasons why they do and we got to know each other and we become close friends. THREE: they tell me that they do and they want to have a romantic relationship with me and they expect me to feel the same way with them.

As y'all have figured out by now, I am not single. I have a boyfriend who loves me with all his heart and whom I love with all my heart. This does not mean that I do not love anyone else, this just means I am not available for romantic relationship stuff. This does mean that people that fall into the third category are basically dead to me. We have no further business to discuss and I do not wish to know you.

Why? Because I do not want to have a romantic relationship with more than one person. I do not want to have a romantic love with more than one person. This is very important to me because I would like to respect the boundaries of this relationship that I willingly enter in and I'd like to make sure that I have given it all the efforts that it deserves to succeed. I refuse to waste my time on things that I deem as unnecessary in my life. So if you are not this guy - tough luck.

Now, my ex used to be some one who belonged to the second category before for one reason or another he moved to the third category. It is fine for people to move between categories, insofar as they explain the reasons for the move. In this case, as you might have guessed, he did not explain the reason. In fact, it was quite a surprise to me to learn that he has joined the third category. That was when hell begun.

They say that people are often most honest when they are drunk. Well, I am drunk, so read at your own risk.

I did not love you, I have never loved you and I do not love you the way that you wanted to be loved. Our breakup was imminent because our relationship was never a meant-to-be to begin with. I know that this is a lot to swallow, but it is what it is.

Whatever love that I used to feel for you, I do not feel for you any more as a result of the things that you did post our break-up. Remember that time you called me a whore? Remember that time one of your friends said that I was only with you to further my career. Well guess what - I got to where I am today without your help. If anything, all that you did ever since was just to make sure that I could not obtain a stable job. Most reasonable people in this planet could see through you and your desperation. Your obsession was not flattering, it was annoying. The fact that you think you were flattering is just... well, desperate at best.

So you could still access my profile through the messages that we used to send - like I care. I am happy now. I am happy with someone else, who gives me love like I want it and more importantly love me especially when I am at my worst - when I am insecure and irresponsible, lazy and whiny. He loves me through all of that. Does that break your heart to know that I am happy with someone else? Good. Let your heart be broken for the remainder of your life.

You know, I used to consider you as one of my friends. I don't have that many people that I actually call my friends, so this is a pretty big deal to me. It turns out I am wrong - I was wrong. I subsequently find out that you were never my friend to begin with.

My theory in life is that we, as human beings, are only nice to other people when it is convenient for us, when it is easy for us, when it takes no effort on our part. This is because we are all selfish - it is a modern time survival instinct. I admit that I fall into this category a lot of the time. A lot of things in life that takes me very little effort often mean so much to other people because they either lack the understanding or the skill or the time or all of the above.

I don't want to know whether you did in fact love me or not - that knowledge is irrelevant to me now. I know that you were nice to me because it was convenient to you and because you expected a much bigger reward, which you did not get and you became bitter as a consequence of the fact.

Yes, sweetheart, I may be a whole 18 years younger than you, but I am not that dumb. I could see through you. Yes, you may tell yourself that you were sincere. Lie to yourself all you want, because action speaks louder than words.

The litmus test of whether an ex did love me or not (or actually, a decent human being or not) is his conduct post-break up. I have not had a single ex who proved himself to be a decent human being, quite unfortunately, so I am happy that all of those relationships did not work out. Imagine spending the rest of your life with a non-decent human being. My head hurts just thinking about that.

So, all of your harassment towards my boyfriend, my family and myself will all come back to haunt you. Karma can be a bitch, so remember that.

Of course I don't forgive you. Trust me; you are not the only person who remembers.

The lies you continuously tell yourself

So you've forgiven me eh?

Get this through your thick skull: I don't need your forgiveness.

So you won't forget what I did?

Ok, here are a list of things for you to remember.

Remember that time when you called me a whore? Yeah, I bet you conveniently forget that. Or even if you remember, you would just say that you were upset, it was the heat of the moment bla bla bla. Whatever excuses you may have up your arsenal, it doesn't change the fact that you did it.

Remember that time when you said you would always love me - that you would always be there. Where is the love now?

You were never there.

Now stop lying to yourself.

Don't ask for my forgiveness, because I don't want to give it to you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A wedding and a contemplation on quarter life crisis


I went to a wedding today, just thought I would share that. BEFORE that, I came across this piece. I found that to be extremely useful for someone like me. I am currently in a long-term relationship (defined as anything over 12 months) and have been pressured by my parents to get married soon. I chose to listen to myself and told them that I'd like to wait. The last thing I want to do is to be unsure of this particular decision that has the potential of either making me the happiest woman alive or the most miserable woman alive (or at least one of them). Marriage, or the decision to get married, cannot be rushed. I have three parents and out of those three, one of them has the best parenting skill, and we are not even related by blood. But if I can choose who my parents would be, I would definitely choose her.

I am very vocal when it comes to my opinions on weddings. I understand the bit about spending the rest of your lives together with this other person. I loathe the too overly commercialised side of the whole thing. Today's wedding was one of those weddings that I actually like - it was small, it was intimate and it was personal. My kind of wedding. :)

I get that for some people declaring their love in public is important - making an announcement to your close friends that from this point on words, we are going to be stuck together through thick and thin. To be part of this event is a privilege, and I am thankful for being a part of it. The worst part of a wedding is when you are invited out of obligation. Of course that you would never be able to find out whether this is the real case, ever. I have the feeling that sometimes, it happens - you are invited out of obligation. It sucks, yes, because declining an invite is hard - at least for me anyway. Yet I do decline such invitations because I'd rather stay true to the ones that I do attend: being a part of a significantly defining moment in two people's lives.

Those people that got married - they got lucky. A lot of them have been waiting for a long time for the one special person to enter their lives and when this person does, they jump at the chance of happily ever after. At this point in time, I don't think they are thinking about divorce at all. Yet I understand that we all change, just like everything else in life changes and consequently, they might outgrow each other and subsequently becomes unsuitable for each other. It happens, and it is fine. It does mean that those two people now need to decide what the fuck are they going to do now, given this new development. They either spice up the relationship or they separate. You either choose to grow together, or you grow separately. Staying together while being stagnant is not a real option because this will slowly and surely kill you. Or if it doesn't kill you, it will hinder the growth of those around you. Or both.

One of the things that I have been regretting as of late is that there was a period of time whereby I did not write much. Admittedly it was because I did not know how to articulate what I was feeling. I am referring to my version of quarter life crisis. I am very thankful that my life right now is very good, but it has not always been this way. This is my story.

I was 24 when I received the news that my dissertation was been granted the status of "pass without further examination", which is the best news that anyone can ask for. It was exactly what I aimed to achieve, and as such, to receive such news was incredibly satisfying. I have been working hard in the past 3 years of my life for that degree, and it was all for that one moment in time. Dare I say that it was a lot more satisfying than graduation.

At that time I thought it was the conclusion of such a massive goal plus the break down of a relationship plus living back with my family that triggered what I subsequently knew as quarter life crisis. For me, it was more about a lack of goals - a lack of next big things. A lot of my friends were busy with weddings and getting pregnant, so none of them could relate to this. Either that, or because I am friends with people waaayyy older than me, they just thought I was being juvenile and refused to grow up.

Growing up. That is such a big deal in my life because I just have a slower pace compared to everyone else. Schooling for example, I just had to do the extra 3 years for the doctorate before I was satisfied that yep, I don't want to do school for a while. My friends, on the other hand, could not wait to escape as soon as they finish their bachelor degrees. A handful returned to school to do their masters - most did not. Then there is this marriage thing - because most people that I know make this decision at about the 24 months mark (or earlier). We have been together for waaayyy longer than that and are still yet to tie the knot.

I mean, seriously, I am slow. Don't use me as a benchmark because, oh well, I am more like the outlier.

I get that a lot of people told me to grow up because of that. I think they somewhat mean that as "conform with what people your age are doing". I don't mind conforming insofar as it is something I'd like to do. However most of the time, it was just so far away with what I'd like to do that it took more effort for me to convince myself that it was the right thing to do rather than just doing whatever it was I wanted to do.

My QLC materialised in me not knowing what the fuck it was I wanted to do. Or maybe it was because I did not want to admit it to myself. Maybe I knew it all along, and I just didn't realise that. Because I was too busy listening to what everyone else has got to say. I think this is why I get more self-assured as I get older. Self-assured is the wrong word, I was thinking of an Indonesian word with no English equivalent and self-assured was as close as I could fine right now.

I believe in listening to my own voice and to follow that through most of the time. I say most of the time because there are times in which that voice is too emotional - like when I am angry for example. I am human, I do have emotions and one of those emotions is anger. I have a tendency to become irrational when I am angry, just like any other human being who is angry. In the end, following my own voice got me out of the issue, although in a lot of ways, I am still battling similar issues, just better equipped with experience.

Anyone who is going through QLC would say that they are questioning where they are in their lives, why they are doing what they are doing, and why they are not doing what they have always wanted to do all along. In some ways, it was like that for me. I was questioning why I was living at home instead of living in my own apartment (answer: not enough moolah). Why was I doing what I was doing (answer: for moolah - need this to survive, because even when I was staying at home, I still had to pay rent!!). Why was I not doing what I had always wanted to do - hang on, what was it I had always wanted to do? I forgot.

There were a few things that I knew then - I knew, for example, that I did not want to return to my old relationship, especially during the times whereby the desire to return to something familiar was very high. I wished (irrationally) that he would be a supportive friend (because he was once upon a time, the closest person in my life), but he wasn't. That was quite a lot of truth to swallow, but I learned those painful lessons. Just because he said he was going to be there does not mean he is going to be there. In fact, he was partly the reason why I felt so miserable (and this is not about me blaming him for the things that were wrong in my life) because he deliberately wanted me to fail in everything that I did. This is going to be another story another time.

To be honest, I feel that it is somewhat corny when people say I will do X when Y happens. It is like - seriously? If you want to do X, then why don't you just do it right now. Why do you have to wait till Y happens? What if Y never happens, then you would forever not do X? Especially if you have no control over when and how Y is going to happen?

I don't understand people. There we go, I said it. I did not understand people and I still don't understand people. And for guys out there (and girls too, I suppose) - if you can't be friends with your ex, that's fine, just don't say that you are going to remain friends when you know that you can't be fucked to put in any effort in the friendship. I know that I don't wish to remain friends with any of my exes san weak moments where I want to return to the old and familiar, but I still said yes if they ever asked "are we going to remain friends?" all while knowing that I was not friends with any of my exes at the time. It is like, seriously dude, action speaks louder than words. Yes, ok, I lied to you out of convenient, but surely, you could tell that I was lying out of convenient. Unless of course, you chose not to see that.

Career-wise, it is always hard to transition from one path to a different path - because our society does not actively promote such transitions. The only somewhat forgiveable transition is when you take parental leave, and even then, you were expected to pick up where you left off. We frown upon people whom in our eyes suddenly want to do something different. Most of the time these people have to start from the bottom. Very few can start from the middle, but this is not the norm. The success stories of people we know often involve them specialising in one thing since a very young age - Steve Jobs and computers, Bill Gates and computers, etc etc etc.

But what if, just what if, you know instinctively that this is not the path that you are meant to be in? Therefore, in order to stay true to yourself (and in my case, be able to sleep well at night), you have no choice but to take on this tough journey and just toughen it up until you make it. You are going to fall down, bleed, get tired, all the works. Each and every time, you have to get up, toughen up and try again and again and again.

I wish  I can put that in a different way. A lot of times, I run out of courage. That is annoying, but the upside is that I learn to replenish my courage. I also run out of energy and patience. Oh my gawd, patience.

The problem with listening to other people's advice is that they can only say the lessons that worked for them, which may not work for you. This is why back when I was teaching I was reluctant to answer questions that effectively disguises itself as "what should I do with my life". One of those questions was this "out of the investment bankers and auditors, who are the least miserable?". The person who asked me this is a honours student who is about to embark on some job interviews and probably got a few offers. How could you be basing your decision on whether other people are happy or not with their choices? Those were not your choice to make. You have no choice other than choosing the one that is most suitable with who you are and what you want. You owe to yourself because no one else can make this decision for you.

Case in point - every time I speak to an academic, he would always say, do an academic job. Of course he will say this because it is his job and to him it is the best job. It does not mean it is the best for me. A variation of this is when he advised to take a job that is of non-academic nature in a university because it is a stable job. Again, same reasoning - it is his environment, he knows it best and to him it is the best. It does not mean it is the best for me. Change the words "an academic" to other professions within a certain industry and you would get similar answers most of the time. People have their own agendas and motives, you need to be aware of this when you ask your questions. The best of these people would be upfront about their agendas and motives, such as for example, my boss, who openly admitted that his opinion would be biased because he has his own agendas. I admire people like this and I make a mental note to be someone like this when the time comes.

It is very difficult to stay on your journey especially when you are still finding out your destination and you have a million people giving you opinions disguised as advices as to what you should do with your life. This is a part of the journey, you see. There will be people who are truly supportive of your choices, there will be people who say encouraging things and somehow gives you the strength to keep on going. There will also be people who want to bring you down, for whatever reason. You must learn to believe in yourself, especially when the going gets tough.


Okay, this got incredibly long and I am in no mood for editing. Sorry! I am still exercising my writing muscles, and I run out of steam.

Have a great weekend! x



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Some things are not a meant-to-be...

Just in case you don't know, I have a penchant for shopping. Finding something I like for a reduced price gives me at least double satisfaction. Everybody with money to spend has no excuse for looking bad. Those who can look good at a fraction of a price - those people are my best friends.

In the next few hours Shopbop is having extra 20% off their 50% and 70% reduced items. I browsed the 50% and 70% sale items and could not find anything that I'd like to purchase. So I am going to pass on this offer. This is huge because usually I manage to score the craziest deals this way. I always have items on my wish list - jeans, dresses, shoes, bags, books (yes, I am yet to purchase an e-reader). In the case of my Shopbop wishlist, they are all sold out before I could take advantage of the extra 20% discount. Oh well. I guess when it is not a meant to be, it is not a meant to be.

It is a nice problem to have - the problem of not knowing what to buy. My wardrobe currently is at a point whereby I have ticked everything - well, almost everything - that I'd like to wear. In case you are wondering, no, it is not streamlined. In fact, it is borderline of what most people call trendy. My response to that is this: I wear them. I think they suit my age and I can spend the rest of my life being classic and timeless. But right now, I'd like to be trendy while I still can.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

What we were

My mind reverted to the days we used to spend together. Or specifically, the weekends.

Weekends have always been, for me, my sanctuary. I get to spend it with whoever I want to and whatever I want to, with the rare exceptions of doing the things that I don't like doing (i.e. those things I do somewhat out of obligation).

Back in those days, I am pretty sure I wanted to spend it with you. We used to hang out at a random cafe, drank too much coffee, ate too much greasy food and all the hu-ha. Some days, we talked about the thesis. Most of the time, we didn't. We just... chilled.

Right now, I am regretting spending those days with you. I reckon this is partially because right now I am feeling tremendous hatred towards you. This feeling will soon be replaced with indifference and all would resume as per normal. However for now, I am going to dwell on this temporary lapse of indifference and cite all the reasons as to why I hate you.

I hate that you lie to me. I hate everyone who lies to me, and you are no exception. I found out far too late that you lied to me, but I guess it is better late than never.

I hate that you were (and still are) so argumentative. Seriously. I work in an office full of people who have to argue for a living and even these people are not argumentative in their quasi-professional life (i.e. down time at work). Some people are just argumentative by nature and I dislike these people very much. You, I hate, because you were argumentative and you said you were not. You were the worst of them all. Still are.

I hate that you were so controlling. I did not realise this at the time, but right now I do. I couldn't be bothered to argue (see previous point), so I rolled along with it. Now I realise how miserable I really was and I cooked up all these I-should-have moments in my head. I should have spoken up for myself and just said, no, thank you, I don't want to do that. End of story.

I hate that we argued about money. I hate that you made me feel guilty for the fact that I come from a relatively-well-to-do family. This is not my fault, it is my blessing. It is not my problem that you could not come to terms with this. While my family might have been blessed materially, I did not have unlimited spending. In fact, I had to work for a living and given that I was studying at the same time, that simply meant, I hardly had the spare cash to burn on excessive eating out and the like.

The weird thing is this - I had lots of guys who wanted to hang out with me and these guys always paid when we do. You were the only exception to this - because you refused to do this. It is fine, really, had you not insisted that you were my boyfriend. Get this: my boyfriends (now mostly ex) paid for our dates/non-dates/basically-everything. I don't date stingy guys.

I mean, seriously, guys, if you are ever in a relationship, please do yourselves a favour and make the decision to be remembered as the loving, generous boyfriend, instead of the abusive, stingy boyfriend.

Most of all, I hate myself for spending so much time with you. What a wasted effort. We couldn't be lovers and we couldn't be friends.

What were we?

Strangers in passing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

When old age is catching up

Man, I am old. 

I swear I drank like a glass of red wine last night, plus half glass of excessively sugary cocktail that I could not stomach, plus a few sips of a second glass of red that I abandoned, and today I woke up with a hangover. What's up with that? 

I am old. How can anyone possibly wake up with a hangover after like 1 and a half drink?

Don't ask. 

It is definitely a distant memory now, those days in which I used to party till the wee-hours in the morning, even when there was really no 'party' per say. It was just full on clubbing. Getting drunk, getting high, getting absolutely crazy. Woke up the next day and got ready for another round. And then resume life as per normal as if nothing happened. That was how I used to spend every weekend. It's like for a while I didn't even know how else to spend my weekend because I did not know any other way. 

Then I found another way. I started on my doctorate studies in my early twenties and spent a lot of time studying and is usually exhausted by the time it's the weekend. I used to go to church on Sunday - the service started at 12pm and lasted till about... 2pm. Usually post service, there will be a bunch of people who asked me to join them for lunch, which I declined because I wanted to go home and sleep before waking up at 7pm and resumed studying. 

As is always the case with Indonesians living abroad, there is always that one annoying person who just had to lecture me on how I should sleep at night and not spend the day sleeping. I wanted to retort back, then I thought some loser like this could never understand the challenge of my life then that is the phd, so I just ignored him. I never liked him anyway. ha! 

The good thing about doing a phd when you were so young is that you had plenty of energy to sustain you - of course excessive caffeine consumption also assisted. I honestly cannot imagine those people who have to raise children plus doing a phd. Hats off. 

All those days are slowly and surely becoming a distant memory. 

One of the worst things in life, I think, is to have this desire to be with someone, and still find yourself single after all the effort that you put in to find that special someone. I am fast approaching my 30s and I am so glad that I have someone who loves me (more than I love him). My theory is that this has got everything to do with this thing called luck, defined as when preparation meets opportunity. 

So according to another one of my yet-to-proven-theory, in order to get lucky, one should focus on two things: one is to prepare oneself, i.e. getting ready when that time comes that you are going to meet the special someone and two is to create as many opportunities as possible to increase your chances of meeting the said person. 

A lot of people focus on the latter but not so much the former. The former entails learning from your previous relationships, and also from other people's relationships. This admittedly takes a lot of effort, perhaps a lot more than the latter element. Meeting people is easy, getting laid is easy. Making a relationship successful is the hard work that everyone still continuously learn how to do. 

The hardest thing is not so much that it takes continuous effort to please your significant other, this is pretty much a given thing (and you do this because it gives you tremendous pleasure and satisfaction despite all the effort). It is more about the fact that there is no right and wrong to do so. Plus the fact that one thing that used to be right once upon a time can be so wrong all of a sudden because, oh well, people change. People changing is a normal phenomenon, really, how else are they meant to grow? 

Therefore there is no right or wrong, no rules that you can keep on going back to all the time (well, ok, maybe there is such rules, but the majority of the so-called rules keep changing, depending on the relationship itself). The remedy to this - oh this is so cliche - is firstly communicating, followed by compromising. 

The thing that surprises me quite a lot is how someone can be so able in his/her professional capacity and so hopeless at his/her personal relationship. I have somewhat made peace with this by the virtue of "no one is perfect". However, I still believe that there are a lot of similarities between one's professional behaviour and one's behaviour at all other times, and it boils down to this thing called respect. Respect for others and most importantly, respect for yourself. 

This entry is going to abruptly end here because it is getting too long. So, to be continued. 

Have a nice weekend! Meanwhile, I am still trying to overcome this hangover. 


Monday, August 13, 2012

The many sides of people

Some years back. 

My ex crucified me for allegedly having multiple sides of personality. 

He said that I was a liar, not honest with who I really am, and present different sides to different people. I thought long and hard about this.

Just like any other human being, I am complex. We can all say that we are simple, but really, deep down, we are complex. We are complex because there are multiple sides in each and everyone of us that often different people get to witness. 

For example. For the longest time, I cannot comprehend how someone who is so able professionally and intellectually can be such a retard when it comes to personal/romantic relationships. I can understand if someone is a general fuck-up in all areas of his/her life, but if you are so capable in one, how can you not at least be somewhat competent in other areas? 

Answer: because they are like that. Just because they are good in one area does not automatically mean they are good in others. Just because they've got one bit worked out does not mean they can get everything sorted. No one is perfect. We all have weaknesses. 

So. I am complex. I might be really good at one thing, and completely hopeless at others. In the areas that I am completely hopeless, I learn, I take up new skills. Like driving. I would not say that I am a fantastic driver yet, but I am getting there. I practise so that I can perfect this skill, or at least attain something close to perfection. 

Given that I am complex and there is only limited time in the world, it is natural that I only get to show the bits of me that is relevant to the issue at hand. This is why, my boss and my colleagues get to see the office side of me, the professional side that is. My friends, who have never worked with me, have never seen this side. Some even told me that they have difficulties imagining what I am like at the office. Back in PhD days, there were people that I come across in life who have never studied with me or watch me study. They have difficulties imagining me doing a dissertation. They do not understand how I am able to stay still in front of the computer, reading and writing and doing number crunching. 

My family gets to see the family-side of me. I don't show this side unless I am with them. My sister asked if I am as talkative in the office as I am at home. Of course not. In the office, I present a professional side. I am still very much me, just a much toned-down version. I consciously do this of course, not so much to fit in, but more out of respect for everyone else. My family gets the best of me most of the time, because I can just most of the things that I want without having to unnecessarily restrain myself out of fear of unintentionally offending someone. My family gets offended very easily - it is the Asian in them that tends to get out in the most unexpected moments. I am still learning. 

For anyone to be able to confidently say that they know me is complete bullshit. It is not possible unless you've spent 24/7 with me for at least 4 years. I have been with my (current) boyfriend for 4 years and counting now and even he says that he does not know all of me. This is an honest statement. It is not necessary for us to know each other thoroughly and completely. I prefer to keep a bit of mystery. Plus it keeps us away from assuming things. 

Coming back to the alleged multiple personality crucifixion by the ex. It is totally uncalled for. It is a reflection of his insecurities of his inability to control me. He wanted to predict every single thing that I do, and he wanted to be the one who knew me so well. When what he saw was not what he predicted, he got angry and accused me of having a multiple personality disorder. Charming. 

For the longest time, I wonder if the breakdown of our relationship was my fault. Partially, yes. It has nothing to do, however, with my alleged multiple personality disorder. It has everything to do with me and the fact that I did not want to be with him. 

When there is no will, there is no way. 


I miss writing. Incredibly badly. It is not that I want to save the world through the words that I write - fat chance of that happening. I am not that altruistically driven. I am in fact very much materialistic. I never openly admit this because I don't think I am that materialistically different than the average urban professional faced with the pressures of looking good; yet someone just called me materialistic the other day and told me that it was a compliment. Right. I don't see what is so nice about that label.

Is it bad to want something more than what I currently have? It seems to be the recurring theme of my life that I always want something better. I always want a better thing, a shinier thing, it is almost as if I am perpetually working on the next big thing in my life. I don't compare myself to anybody, believe me, I don't play that game because I think it is pointless to me. I compare myself to, well, myself. I know that if I have made it this far, then surely I can do much better today. So when it seems to me that my life is rather slow, I have this itch to get out and do something profoundly breath-taking. I am ambitious that way. I think this is a good trait, so I am ok with it. 

I blog in this blog because I want to write and I have deliberately kept it anonymous because I do not want anyone in my life to read this blog and find out that I have been writing about them. I share my thoughts with these people and I am pretty sure that some of them would have guessed that this is me if they come across the blog. I wonder if they appreciate that this is an outlet for my thoughts and my thoughts do evolve with time. I change them all the time, and I know that it is alright to do that. The world is a place that is constantly evolving, and accordingly, I want my thoughts to dance with it. This is what living is all about to me - to be able to think and put that down in writing, because there is nothing permanent about the thought itself. The next day, I could be thinking about the same subject that have different thoughts altogether. 

But the internet is permanent.And people forget that thoughts are temporary. And that makes writing hard.  

I have never dreamed about being a writer. Kind of the way I have never dreamed of being a doctor, and it happened. It appeared effortless, but there is nothing effortless about it. I guess I must have wanted it badly enough, subconsciously.

Just like I want to be a writer now. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I am thinking about Toby. 

Sometime ago, in 2007, I think, we took about an hour out of our crazy schedules and had lunch somewhere in the university grounds. I kept him waiting for 10 minutes because I could not get out of the PhD centre without having people stopping me and wanting to have a chat with me. 

I did not remember this until I came across a piece of writing about this particular moment in time. I wanted to remember it, obviously, but I cannot remember what was it we talked about in detail. All that I wrote is that we are very lucky people. I honestly do not think he had any other ulterior motive than friendship, I mean, surely, he was not attracted to me that way. 

What I did not write about was that, later that year, we had dinner together. I finished my doctorate, started my foot prints outside academia and made the trip back to see him. It was just a friendly catch up and was also the last time that I saw him. He was always a positive person, and I sort of miss him right now. 

I wonder how he is doing. I wonder where he is and I wonder what is it that he is studying right now. He said that once he finished his doctorate, he wanted to study a new field, because he just could not live without studying anything. Hehe - so typical. I wanted to study law but never pulled the trigger. Laziness, I suppose. Plus I'd like to experience life some other way. 

Anyway, I am thinking of looking him up on Google. Ok, confession time, I just did. 

Something is stopping me from logging into my email and writing him a short email. And that something is the fact that he was/is friends with my ex. 

This is a chapter in my life that I do not wish to revisit or discuss ever. Yet at the same time I find it some what stupid that I am basing my decision on this fact because I am letting it control me that much. 

I shall think about this and take an appropriate course of action. 

Meanwhile, happy weekend! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stand by your opinion, he said


Word got out that Multiply is closing down its platform. I guess Facebook has indirectly (or directly) killed it. Prior to Facebook, I was blogging at Multiply. I am now in the process of making a copy of everything I've written on Multiply. I didn't realise that I have written so much.

Has this ever happen to anyone? Not so much the blogging platform decides to close down (it happened with my other blog at vox), but the bit about not realising how much you've written? This takes me by surprise because I never keep track as to how much I've written. I just wrote and I still write. I just never put my name on any of them.

Because the last thing I want to have is to have my family reading whatever it is that I have written. I am pretty sure that one of them is going to take whatever I have written personally and then all hell breaks loose. My family is a typical Asian family whereby bluntness and honesty are put on the back burner in the name of being polite. Seriously, if I have to pretend to be polite to another person in the family, I think I might just loose it (I did, actually). I get that we need to appreciate the shit that other people have done for us, and I am of the school of thought that says that to fully appreciate, one must be able to give honest feedback.

I don't really care about the rest of other people/acquaintances who want to take what I've written personally. To me, this is an indication of their self-absorbness (yea, just invented that word) and I don't care about self-absorbed people. They are too difficult to be friends witih. This is of course because I am the most self-absorbed person in this planet, so I know what it really feels to deal with someone who is self-absorbed on daily basis. And I only have energy for one person and that is me.


Today I had lunch with one of my friends/mentors who told me to put my name on this blog and on everything else that I have written. Stand by your opinions, he said. I don't have a problem standing by my opinion. The problem (or potential problem) would happen when someone tries to censor me.

Believe it or not, I actually tell my boyfriend that whatever it is that I have written that he may or may not come across one day, he needs to know that whatever that I have written is exactly that - a piece of writing. It is not an indication of my feelings towards him and how much love (or lack thereof) exists between us in our relationship, which I do not really want to share with the world. When I say the world, I literally mean the world. There are a few, privileged people in this planet who get to share this with me, but these people are rare and all of them have been sworn to secrecy.

I have made a decision that I will not allow anyone to censor me. I will not take my freedom of speech for granted. And for now, I prefer to write without my name plastered all over this blog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The power of average

I think one of the most abused statistical metrix since the beginning of time is this thing called the mean, also known as the average. Everybody wants to know what the average performance is, and whether they are above average. If they are above average, everything is surely fine. We are above average afterall. If they are under average, they can be driven to feeling absolutely guilty for being under average. It is interpreted as a sure sign that they are not putting in enough effort. How can you not perform on average?

I don't know what gives average so much power. I get that there is an inherent need in human being to constantly compare itself to the majority and if they are slightly better than the majority, then that's great because it means they are not that much different,thus they fit in; but they are not so ordinary, because they are above average.

I do admit to have succumbed to the opportunity of making a lot of people feel really guilty when they perform below average. So in this respect, as much as I personally do not feel good (and think that it is silly to derive satisfaction) from being above average, I do feel bad (and can make others feel bad) for being below average.

Of course all of these are silly, and irrational at best. Just because everyone else is performing at 75% does not mean that you have to perform that 75% minimum. Afterall, the way the average score is calculated, you would understand that it is just an indication of middle score and nothing else.

But it is so common that it has become acceptable with very little, if any, questions. The average tells us basically almost nothing. Take for example, the performance of a student across his subjects in a given semester. He performs at 90% in one, 80% in another, 70% and 60% in the rest. This gives him an average of 75%, which is interpreted to indicate that he is likely to score 75% in his subsequent subjects, but in no way explain the spread in his performance in the semester just passed. Change the student performance to company performance or personal savings goal and you get the drift.

The point is that deviation from the average is an acceptable, given fact that almost always happens in every context imaginable. It makes predictions more challenging, but also more interesting all the same.

I am currently thinking of a business issue that has got nothing to do with averages computations, but for some reason, I started thinking about averages and how it is often used in modelling and the plethora of people who caution against relying too heavily on it. I just need to get this off my head.

On a totally different note, does anyone know that the multiply platform is going to be closed down permanently on 1 Dec 2012? I used to write in that platform, I guess I must start moving my pieces. I find this exercise rather annoying, but it is also one of the reasons why I use a platform like google, which is highly unlikely to close down permanently.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A character building exercise

I did not pass my driving test on my first go. My sister, the perfect daughter, passed it on her first go and set the standard for the rest of us (only me, actually). I passed it on my third attempt. This is somewhat typical of me – I fail and then I try again. Then I fail, again and then I try, again. And again and again, until I get what I seek out to achieve. It is for this reason that persistence is my middle name.

In my previous life, I was a young teenager who was eager to drive, so much so that I managed to get my parents to send me to a driving school. This is partially because I was desperate to grow up and living in a place with terrible public transport (the kind that is so terrible that my parents forbid me from getting into it). I have always viewed myself as a free spirit. I was born to fly – maybe not so literally – but I want to set my own destinations, my own route and well, you guessed it, my own vehicle.

Ah, to be so young and to be so idealistic. I am pretty sure a lot have changed since then, but deep down, these are the things that I still dream about. These are the elements of life that I seek out to have in everything that I do: my own list of things to do, my own way of achieving them, my own tunes, my own rhythm; my dance of life. I am never one to blend with the crowd, but I never try to stand out either, at least not deliberately anyway. I just like staying true to myself and if there is anything in my life that I do well, then that would need to be one of those things.

I was (and in some days, still am) an impatient driver. I am aware of this and I try so so hard to be patient, not just when driving, but when living life in general. I admit that patience is far away from becoming one of my forte, and I am starting to realize that it is a skill worth acquiring, thus the extra effort to be patient. I know that my definition of patient is no where near the real definition of patient; baby steps, alright. One step at a time.

There is something about failing. It builds character. I know that whenever I fail at something, my first reaction is that I am angry with myself. I am always hard on myself and I set a personal standard that is up to my liking, and this is often higher than the average standard. I do not consider it a success, for example, if I manage to pass a subject back in college. I have to get a minimum of A. I do not consider it a success if I manage to just graduate, I want to graduate summa cum laude. And I only managed to graduate magna cum laude. To me, aiming is comparable to shooting for the stars: the higher, the better. At times I get to where I want to be, the rest of the times, close to it. Before I get there, I hit many brick walls. I have to find ways around them, including learning to jump higher.

When I am desperate enough for something, I end up surprising myself a lot more than I surprise the people around me. Somehow, I got lucky this way – I always have someone who believes in me, in the moments that I have doubts in my own abilities. I always have someone who willingly offers a helping hand so that I can be that much better, so that I can run that much faster, and jump that much higher. I have these teachers in my life who do not even consider themselves as teachers, but are the ones who end up teaching me so much about myself that I do not even know before. When you have someone who brings out the best in you, being your best becomes a natural extension of life. There is nothing else to do other than being your best. It becomes your character.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why I am put off parenting

FOUR years ago I was sitting in a similar space, in fact, the space exactly downstairs from where I am right now, fiercely fighting for a happy life. It was a difficult battle. I was coming out of a rocky relationship, wrapped up a doctorate and was back to living with my family. The last bit turned out to be the hardest one of all.

It was not so much that I was taking a step back by moving back home, it was more like living with their expectations of me. It was (and still is) a lot of expectations. They expected me to dance to their rhythm without exactly telling me how to dance to that rhythm. Prior to that I have been dancing my own dance in my own life and had not involved them in much of it, so you get the idea.

That arrangement, thankfully, did not last very long. I got over the relationship, embraced change, and got back to dancing my own steps, with my own rhythm.

That said, it was a difficult time of my life.

The hardest bit of it was the fact that I had to hide it from my own family - because I tried telling them once and instead of getting a compassionate ear, I got laughter and ridicule. It sucks being the youngest kid in the family. I blame my parents because they think if it works for one kid, it should work for the other. Needless to say, they are not big on the idea of individuality. Then again, we are Asian, so that probably explains the attitude, or at least partially.

My parents would be the first people in this planet who kicked and screamed every time I told them that their parenting style is full-on Asian, although not so much tiger, parenting. They are able to successfully use guilt to get everything that they want. This puts me off having children, which when I told them about, they conveniently blame on the fact that I was a sub-standard human being to start off with, to which the solution is to get over it and get better.

They are so lucky I do not turn out to be drug-addict junkie who is slowly fading away in a dark alley somewhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On happiness

Winter is really getting to me. I don't function very well in the cold. I know that it is unfair to blame my general lack of joie de vivre on the weather (or rather, the temperature). I am feeling flat. There we go, I said it.

My cure to this is being productive - not necessarily busy (as in cramming activities in my schedule), but more like getting the things on my to do list ticked off. Usually, I would feel better because I quite literally say to myself: now I can just laze around and do nothing, without worrying about all of these things that I have to do.
Today I have been productive! I was productive at the office, I was productive at home. I was even willing to do things in the name of experimentation (the result of which is not very successful). And here I am at the end of the day - still feeling flat.

Le sigh.

It is in days like this, isn't it, that the battle of keeping oneself happy has to be won. It is during these times that the battle is harder than usual that the fighter has to persist on the end goal, no matter how temporary the victory can be.

The older I am, the more I realise that being happy is a daily battle. Just because you are happy today does not automatically mean you will be happy tomorrow. Because we can only be happy at this point in time (duh). I wake up everyday choosing to be happy, especially on the days that the choice is harder to make.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Discrimination between various income groups

We live in a society where our government discriminates against various income groups. This discrimination often favours the lower end of this scale - at least that's what it is in Australia right now.

Some days, this fact depresses me more than others, although in general, I try not to "feel" it so much. I think this is because I have not been largely on the receiving end of this discrimination, so it is quite unfortunately annoying to see that I have to support various things that the government thinks I should support.

I don't mind sharing what I've got - but I would like to have a say in how much I share these things and where/to whom I am sharing them with. I am a big proponent for education, especially for young people, so I'd like to see my tax contributions go towards schooling and any other programs that encourage children to go to school. Don't ask me why, deep down, I believe that education is one of the tickets to success. At the very minimal, it gives you something to do so that you stay out of trouble. Yes, I get that most of life lessons are learnt outside the classroom, but it really does not negate the value of the lessons taught within the classrooms.

Another area is the elderlies and the disabled. This is rooted in my belief that in a relatively advanced society that we live in, our level of advancement is judged by how well we treat those who are less fortunate than ourselves. If we go to a third world country, the chance of a disabled person surviving is a lot lower than if he/she wins the geographical lottery of being born in Australia. Sorry, there is no other way of putting this. 

I get that there are other things that is required to make our society the way it is right now, so my tax contribution needs to be spread amongst those things, yet it still annoys me when I can't have a say in terms of where I'd like my contribution to go to. Surely there are other people who feel strongly towards other things, why can't their money goes towards those things.

The answer to that is that it is too hard to manage. In an ideal society, we can just allocate our contribution into the various pools of funds designated for specific purposes. We are a long long way from that.

In every society, there are always those who want to rot the system. This is incredibly unfortunate because these people are denying those who are in genuine need off the assistance that was theirs to begin with. I don't know how these people sleep at night knowing that they have stolen something from those who are in need.

Human nature though is somewhat rather weird. I have not met anyone who wants to pay more taxes, for example. I think deep down we are built to maximise our individual marginal utility.

I guess back in 2007, a lot of people think that voting for Kevin 07 would mean that they would be better off. I'd like to know if they still feel the same way right now.

The wage earners and the those in the top marginal tax bracket contributes the majority of tax revenue in this country. It is just ironic that they are also the ones most discriminated against.

Anyway, I am writing this so that I can stop thinking about this. I need to think about other things, and also think about nothing at all for maybe 10 seconds.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All that hoo haa on weddings

I don’t normally think about these things let alone write about them.
But in the light of so many of my friends getting married, there are a few things that do bug me.
There is nothing wrong with finding love per se – deep down, we all want to love and to be loved in return. Those who are single would know who much we all want this, even when we are only willing to acknowledge it privately. Viewed from this angle, those who found love are lucky. Weddings are a celebration of love (supposedly) and so I get that we celebrate weddings.
What I don’t get are the things surrounding the weddings itself, starting from the hen’s/buck’s night. So far, I have somehow managed to dodge this one and I have every intention do so for as long as I can. If we spend so much time and agony trying to find love, why do we have to mourn the last night of being single and have to resort to things like strippers? I am sorry, I find this particular event simply revolting. If I am getting married to the love of my life, I am going to be so happy that I don’t mind not being single anymore. This is because I know that I can only marry a man who does not restrict my freedom. If I want to go to a strip club, I will just ask him to come along with me and I am pretty sure he will agree to it. That said, I don’t want to go to one and I do not want to see a stripper anyway, really seriously. The real thing, aka making love, is way better than that. So no, I don’t see why I should spend a few hours and ridiculous amount of money to entertain my friend with strippers and penis-shaped balloons and blown condoms.
I get that we want to spend time together with our friends and family as a single person, and I am more than willing to participate in things that actually involve some real bonding activities – like a good meal, or some other event that does not involve degradation of human interaction like strippers.
Now onto the wedding itself. For once, I do not get how people successfully manage to put themselves into high five digits debt in the name of a wedding celebration. I would honestly put that money as a down payment of my house or investment property. What? That’s the logical thing to do. Life, or rather, my life, is challenging enough already, and I do not wish to put myself and my significant other through such kind of financial burden when we have barely started our lives together. How do you move forward when you have to fork out a handsome sum every week to pay for an event that is already in the past?
In the same line of logic, I do not see why a groom-to-be has to put himself through debt to buy the engagement ring. In the chance that my future husband is reading this, honey, please don’t buy me a ring that you cannot afford. I do not view the price as the ring as an indication of your love to me. And please DON’T buy me diamond. I think that stone is so overly overrated I can’t even begin to say why I don’t want it as my engagement ring.
Another thing I don’t get is couples who plan a wedding that requires their guests to travel. As a person who gets invited to events like this, let me just say this out loud: if there are two weddings at the same time that I am invited to, the one that is in Sydney gets higher priority. Why? It is less hassle for me to attend, I obviously receive invites for both weddings, so both sets of couples presumably want me to be there, and as such, I do not need to justify why I pick the one that is less hassle for me. Furthermore, the couple with the off-site wedding should not be offended if I decline to attend. Like really, surely you would know that the chance of people attending is somewhat lower if they are required to take time off and then travel just to attend your wedding. I don’t even want to start talking about those couples who demand so much out of their friends and family when it comes to their weddings. I get that this is a very important event in your lives, but really, it does not give you the pass to be jerks in the months leading up to the big day.
I don't think I need to say that weddings are highly commercialised these days - just like any event in life really. But I also believe that we have a choice in these things, something I'd like to call personal responsibility. And part of growing up is to be able to make decisions which consequences we can bear.
I guess I am just different. I prefer to enjoy my life some other way.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

All about boobs

Amongst all of the issues that women have with their bodies, one of the ones on the top of the list has got to be the size of their breasts (the other being their weight - too skinny, to fat, bla bla bla). I belong to the small-size clan. I like this most of the time. Mostly because I can get away with wearing low cut tops without my boobs spilling out of my top. Or that I can wear backless dresses and tops and not worry about supporting my boobs. 

I admire big boobs. I can understand why men go crazy over them, because I do. I find female wearing low cut tops, revealing their cleavages, attractive - because they quite literally attract me to stare at that point. So I am sorry if I have to remind myself to look into your eyes when I am talking to you. I am sorry if I forget to remind myself to do so, I am attracted to something else. 

Sometimes I think life is unfair, you know. If a man rocks up to the office with his shirt unbuttoned, then it is like impolite. The same does not apply to women - fine, so maybe it is not their shirts that were unbuttoned, it is just that their clothes are designed that way. The end result is the same: it is the revelation of skin (and other things previously mentioned). If we want the whole world to take feminism seriously, maybe we need to address this clothing issue first. Maybe this has been addressed, I don't know. But from what I see by just hanging out in the Sydney business district, the chance spotting of a young female urban professional is pretty high. 

Just some food for thought. 

Friday, June 22, 2012



I was drunk.

Did I say anything inappropriate to you?

I am sorry.

Won't happen again.

Cross my heart.

This is why I would not want to do what I did last night ever again.

I spend more time recovering from it rather than enjoying it. I do not enjoy getting drunk.

Love peace and chicken grease. x

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I am feeling rather melancholic tonight. I want to blame it on the weather (come on, raining for like 5 days straight?), yet I know that it is not just about the weather. I am tired, physically. I feel like I am getting older, physically. Like my body is giving up on me, slowly, but surely. I guess everybody must experience this one way or the other. It is the moment that you realise that you are no longer 18 years old. You no longer can stay up all night cramming for exams, or watch movie marathons till the wee hours in the morning. Or in my case, chatting with random strangers on the internet. At the same time, I feel so juvenile. Trust me, it is not because I have zits on my face. It is because ... I don't know. I don't think this is another bout of mid-life crisis - seriously, how many of those can you have in a life time? And if this is my version of mid-life crisis, then that technically means I would die just short of turning 60. Now, that's a scary thought.

What is it in life that is worth living for? What is it that we are searching for, day in and day out. Why do we insist on being happy all the time? It is not like we are going to die if we are not happy temporarily. Yet even when we are feeling down, we convince ourselves to feel better, instead of just completely feeling the emotion, and then letting it go. Why are we so afraid of being unhappy? Why are we so against feeling down?

And once we are happy - so what?

I cannot believe I am sitting here, asking this question.

One of my professors told me, at the conclusion of my degree, that a lot of people in this life are searching for the wrong things. This is why they keep searching for the next "big" thing that they thought they wanted, that they convinced themselves they wanted. If we spend more time convincing ourselves that we are happy instead of just enjoying the feeling, then are we really happy? Or are we just pretending we are happy. And if it is true, is it so wrong to pretend to be happy?

For as long as I can remember, my (bio) mother was always unhappy. Dare I say that she is unhappy even until today. The sad thing is that she is one of those women who are stunningly beautiful. I have a lot of people telling me that she is beautiful, not because she is my mother, but because she just is. Even until today, she remains beautiful. Yet she is so sad, and I see that, and I feel that it is so wrong, because someone like her should not be sad. She has so much to live for, such that it is painful to see her being trapped in her sadness. I wonder if she wants to get out.

Because right now, for some reason I don't quite comprehend (or more like refuse to confront), I don't feel as happy as I'd like to be, and I want to get out of this feeling. Typical in the Elle-kind-of-way, I ventured off in this analysis of my motivations, my goals and all the things that I have been searching for, some that I have found, some that I am still searching for. I admit that sometimes I am so busy searching for these things that I lose myself in the process, that I forget who I am, and who I'd like to be.

Surely, life cannot be just about searching and searching and searching. Surely life is more than that. Is it not?

I am not so sure any more.