Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letting go

So my friend finally dropped by and picked up the goods that I had set aside for her children a couple of months ago. I am so glad to get rid of those things. They were the things that I wore most during my teenage years and hardly ever wore in the past few years. So I let them go before they start weighing me down.

I never thought that this were true, my style does change over the years. I would even go as further as saying that my style changes with the boys that I dated, but I think a more likely explanation is that my taste has become more mature over the years. I am finally ready to let go of what I used to wear, and that particular image of myself, at that particular point in time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I take the internet for granted. Or rather, I should say, I take the availability of the internet for granted in this country. Especially at home. I honestly don't know too many people who do not have internet in their homes. Almost everyone I know owns a smart phone and subsequently are connected all the time. I guess I am lucky because I don't really have to work 24/7, but I do admit that I like cleaning my inbox. It makes me feel organised and besides, I hate virtual clutter (in addition to physical clutter).

So this weekend, I am enjoying having an internet connection. I am replying to all of those emails that I have not replied in a while and I am enjoying having clean inbox. The ones that are left there are the on-going projects and once they are done, I am more than happy to file them and feel an additional sense of accomplishment.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A few people

I guess I forgot what it felt like to have someone believe in me. I was gently and kindly reminded me yesterday that no matter how low I felt, someone out there still loves me. That someone comes in the form of my best friend. I cannot find words to describe how precious it feels to have someone who just listens without judgment. Especially since I am so judgmental.

I suppose this is why you have a few people in your life - because you cannot get everything from one person. It is just impossible - no one is perfect, you are not perfect. Life is imperfect. There is always something that we want to change, we want to fix, we want to eliminate. We dislike sadness, yet without sadness, how can we ever appreciate happiness. We dislike being poor, yet without poverty, how can we appreciate abundance? Everything in life is relative. We must always remember where we come from.

One of the best things my parents ever gave me is humble beginnings. Growing up, I never quite understood the privilege that was given to me just because my parents could give them to me. I never quite understood what it felt like to do without those things. As I get older, I appreciate a lot of things a lot more than I used to. I am not sure if this is a sign of maturity, or growing up, or simply old age - but I do realise that I am indeed very very lucky.

Friday, January 13, 2012

We're all a little weird

“We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” - Robert Fulghum

From here

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I get insecure...

I take the day off today because I felt like having a short working week. I would like my weekend to start early, or so I told myself, but the truth is that I was just feeling tired and I need to just chill. I know that we just had the Christmas break, but truth be told, it was not like a break where I could just do nothing, because I felt obligated to do things. I hate using that description, but it is true. Sometimes, all I want to do is just to stay home and have a quiet celebration with myself and my close friends, which I could not have because I felt obligated to hang out with my family.

I think it is partly the result of being overseas with hardly any family for so long that I don't really factor my family into my life on a daily basis. So when it comes to birthdays and mostly Christmas and new year, then the obligatory feelings kicked in and guilt sets in if I don't see them. I know that I should really be treasuring my family whist I still have them, and I think I am going to miss them much if they are gone, but I am human after all and I am selfish because I know that in order for me to function properly in society, I need to be alone on a regular basis, so that I can re-charge. That is why I need a massive stretch of time (minimum of 2 hours) whereby I am alone, and I am not sleeping so that I can get in touch with myself.

I must say it feels good to take the day off like this. I don't even bother telling anyone apart from my best friend, who had kindly take the day off too, and we are going to practise driving - lots of it. I am hoping that I can conquer this fear once and for all, and besides I have been running away from it for so long that I am sick and tired of being crippled and not putting up a fight. I think a significant portion of this journey is going to be overcoming irrational, psychological hurdles that have been around for like 15 years now. I blame that one time whereby I nearly die because I was in that car with her.

But at some point we must let go and whilst I have tried letting go in the past (obviously unsuccessfully), I did not insist on it enough. In this case, it takes more effort to let go rather than to hang on. In fact, I think hanging on takes no effort at all - because this fear is like latching onto me (or maybe vice versa). Plus I wanted to have an excuse and to blame her for the things that went wrong in my life. Yet for someone is supposedly so fucked up, I have turned out quite ok (I think), so I try to just let go and work hard for the things that I do have right now. I feel better when I think about this and how far I have become, so I try really hard to replace the fears with the positive emotions. It is bloody hard work - because this is what living life is all about.

My fear of being contented in life is that I might turn out being complacent and happy with mediocrity. I spent my teenage life wanting to be different and just being different so it is disappointing that I am in my late twenties now and I am settling for this thing called mediocrity. The thought is so disturbing to me. The question in my head is - why do I feel the need to set myself apart all the time. If everyone is different, surely being oneself is sufficient to set oneself apart from the crowd. Is asserting my individuality that important to my sense of being. What ever happened to the person who just don't care about what other people think and just carry on living life the way she wants to. Where has she gone?

I spent a good part of being in college being clueless as to what I want in life - and being cluelessly aware of the fact that I was aware that I didn't know what I want in life. Then I spent a good chuck of time convincing myself that I was normal, that the most interesting people in this world still don't know the answer to that question when they hit 40 and beyond. Subsequently, I was lacking direction - in fact, the lack of direction in my life became a norm. I would say that even these days, I am still lacking directions because I still largely do not know what I want to do in life. I know that I want to be successful - but really, who doesn't want to be successful in life? And besides, how do you define success anyway.

The cure to all doubts and fears in life is to counter them with this thing called action - because it is louder than words and more powerful than anything else. And if you don't know how to act it out, then you should fake it till you make it. You live your life pretending that you are living the life that you imagine thus far, and you will eventually make it.

Having too much clothes is overwhelming

I toyed with the saved items on my Asos account. I looked at them again. I browsed the sale section again (I never browse the non-sale sections). I can spot a few things that I used to dig. Nothing entices me any more. I wonder why.

Is this a sign that I am getting old? Things that used to excite me no longer carry their appeal. I used to look forward to go shopping every day. In fact I think I used to live to shop. My wardrobe was of course a disaster (although I didn't see it that way). I loved my wardrobe to bits. I looked forward to getting dressed in the morning - even when I did experience the dreaded I-have-nothing-to-wear syndrome. What can I say - I was young, naive and never quite bothered to research on how to build a versatile wardrobe. I admire those who are actively researching and thinking about what they wear (like this blogger, for example).

I find having too much clothes is overwhelming. Having too much of everything is overwhelming. Except for money. If you want to have too much money, then you should buy less (and earn more). So it works out beautifully because one reinforces the other.

This is just some silly rambling because I feel like writing out that these days I have no desire to shop. If I were to start a shopping diet, I think I would do okay. Maybe I should participate in this shopping diet?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shopping diet

In the past few months, or to be precise, approximately 2 years ago, I have become aware of how I dress. Two years ago, when I first got serious about the idea, I seriously consider what is it that I would wear and what I would not wear. Then about a year ago, I wanted to "up-it-a-notch", mostly, believe it or not, out of politeness of the people around me.

Yea, I know that we should do things for ourselves and we should just be ourselves bla bla bla. But really, these days, if it were up to me, I think I would rock up at work every single day wearing a pair of jeans, no make up. BUT we live in a society where grooming up is a necessity as to a certain level, we are expected to be appropriately presentable; it is one of the ways of demonstrating respect to those around us; that we are bothered enough to make the effort to clean up and be presentable.

Ten years ago, I would never have predicted that politeness is the main driver of this change. Quite frankly, I am not sure I have succeeded in this challenge. I am still figuring things out. I have become aware of the fit of my clothes (which is why I enjoy reading extra petite very much). I read Nina Garcia's books (the Look Book and the Little Black Book of Style). I edit my closet. I become a lot pickier of the things that I wear. I have no problem returning gifts to my family if they are simply not wearable (and in the process politely ask them not to buy me clothes/shoes/bags without me being involved in the decision making).

It has been a very relieving experience. I am so relieved that I don't have to look at the things that do not make my heart sing. I am so relieved that I don't have to look at things that I know I would never wear. I am so relieved to claim my space back again. I am so relieved that I can be honest with people about my preferences. I have no problem letting go of things that I know I don't use.

I am much relieved that I don't get enticed to buy things as easily as I used to. I have no problem putting things down and walking away and train myself not to think about those things.

I realise that just like other things in life, this requires discipline, and discipline is hard work. And it is ok, because I can work for it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

WIDT - Driving School

Over the weekend, I had my driving lesson.

I have a theory: most people don't know how to teach. So while most people know how to drive (and some of then are excellent drivers), they can't really teach anyone - thus the subsequent "fights" between couples and parents/kids and whatever.

This is why you hire a driving instructor. Because he knows how to teach and he explains things to you - the things that all the drivers already know instinctively. Your instructor would be able to articulate all of that perfectly. So you would not be fazed as to where you went wrong.

A good teacher/instructor tells you HOW to do things. Like you are meant to indicate first, then put your gear, then release your handbrake and check your mirror (centre first, then the other two) and then your blind spot, and then you can do. All of you drivers reading would go "duh" - but someone who is learning can benefit from this - and that is the whole point of learning.

He is also the one who would tell you, this is how to position your car when you turn. This is what you do - indicate, then 10 m before you start changing lanes, check your blindspot, then make sure you follow the rules (stop sign or whatever), then follow the line.

This is what you do in a roundabout: slowdown, quick check to the right, then move.

This is what you do when you are changing lanes: indicate, check mirrors, blindspot, then change lane.

Man, he is worth every penny. I swear I should be spending my money on practical skills rather than sitting in a classroom for more brain exercise.

Driving is cool man. It is fantastic for a control freak like me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Path to a Dream

The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices
and lined with determination.
And though it has many stumbling blocks
along the way
and may go in more than one direction,
it is marked with faith.
It is traveled by belief and courage,
persistence and hard work.
It is conquered with a willingness
to face challenges and take chances,
to fail and try again and again.
Along the way, you may have to confront
doubts, setbacks, and unfairness.
But when the path comes to an end,
you will find that there is no greater joy
than making your dream come true.
—Barbara Cage

Thank you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Daily Grind

I am so glad that I am back at the office.

I LOVE the holidays. I enjoyed sleeping in when it happened, eating every time I am hungry (my eating pattern is still on holiday mode), going out and enjoying the sun, napping after lunch, etcetera etcetera. The only thing I don't love is the obligation attached to doing things - like rocking up at family's for certain things, certain days, whatever. I much prefer to do things on my own accord.

Thus why I am so glad that I am back at the office. Nothing beats the appeal of a regular schedule that requires me to be somewhere doing something. Hehe.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dream big

Dream big and aim high because you will surprise yourself, and discover that nothing is impossible.
Be inspired to inspire.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
Believe in the best and take everything as a learning experience.

- Author Unknown

ps. Thank you!

2012 and some reflections

So the new year is here. Finally. I am just glad that it is over - like the celebration etc. I don't see the point of anticipating the new year, really. I mean, it's great with all its new beginning and what not. But really, deep down, I think it is just another inconvenience. I know at least one other person who feels this way. Glad that I am not alone.

I think a lot of our so called holidays are overly commercialised. Why do we have to celebrate every single one of them anyway? One holiday I refuse to celebrate until the end of time is Valentine's day. Come to think of it, I don't celebrate Easter either - like seriously, I don't want to eat chocolate eggs and I don't want to give the kids any presents, it is not their birthdays. I give people a great birthday present and then a small present for Christmas. And that's it. They get a present when they get married, but they are not going to get a present for each anniversary. You manage to get married for so long - congratulations.

I wonder if as a society we have come to expect a lot of presents from others. My best friend asks me this question during Christmas when I was talking about weddings and gifting. Personally, I don't expect any present during any occasion. What I would like is the gift of time - my friends to spend sometime with me during my birthday and/or Christmas and we sit down, eat, drink and be merry. That is the most valuable gift ever - to me. No, I don't want any "thing" other than that.

I find that a lot of times, I don't even know what my friends want or need, so choosing a gift for them is a real pain in the neck. Plus I don't want to add clutter to their apartments. Plus I prefer getting them something that would be useful for them (instead of something they will end up tossing or giving to some other person later on). I really appreciate their gifts, and often times, it is the gesture that touches me the most. This gesture is sufficiently expressed with an sms or a quick email or a card - there really is no need for a present.

Moreover, during these times, I am most thankful for my health, for my friends, family and the kindness of friends and strangers. I count my blessings, and each time I find that I have been blessed more and more each year. I know that I don't need material possession to remind me of that fact.


As I get older, I get more and more freaked out by the fact that my parents are getting older. Especially since they are starting to pull the age card. I get freaked out enough by the fact that I am getting older. Now I have to get more freaked out because they are getting older. Sometimes the mere fact that I am living way from them means I don't spend enough time with them, and sometimes I feel guilty of that fact. Sometimes I wish I can just pack my bags and live in the same city as they do so that I can get to see them more often. Somehow I wonder if they would like me to do so. This is going to sound very selfish, but the reason I am not doing that is because I don't see a future for me in that city. Plus I can't stand living there. So really, I prefer to just stay here and build a life here. And I hope that I am not breaking their hearts by choosing this course of action.

I am deeply thankful of what they have done for me - they must have sacrificed a lot for me to get to where I am today. And the question is, what am I going to do for them? Do I make them proud? I used to think the answer is yes, until recently when they express their view that you are nobody until you get married.

To which I am so tempted to reply - there are a lot of people who remain nobodies even after they are married. And what happens when they are divorced? They revert to being nobodies. But of course politeness prevails and I keep my mouth shut.

What I did say though is that I do not wish to wait until I am married before I take my life seriously and become somebody. I am pretty sure they still disagree (thus the above comment being expressed over and over again), but they just have to live with it. Afterall, this is my life and I am the star of the show. I prefer to be able to sleep soundly at night with the choices I have made, thank you very much. Yes, this sounds very stubborn and maybe I am stubborn. Or maybe I have not managed to bridge the cultural gap. Whatever.

Managing this relationship does not get any easier the older I get. In fact, I think it is becoming more and more complex - or maybe because I am more aware of the complexities in the relationship. I admit that I deal with this by focusing the persons that whose hearts I would like to keep intact. And I would be lying if I say that the past does not matter. But I also know that in whatever that I do, there will be some hearts that I break. So while I would like to apologise in advance, I just can't. I have to live with the course of action that is the best for me, and I can not apologise for that.

I wanted to write all of these yesterday, but I did not have the chance to. Obligatory visits to the family and the like, you know. So I am hoping that today is the day I can use to recover before I have to go to the office tomorrow. Good times.