Hello December, Goodbye Little People.

What you risk reveals what you value.”
– Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

It has been a long, hard year. A year of struggles with the constant reminder that Forgiveness is important not for the perpetrator, but really, for my own sanity and peace of mind.

Pulau Ketam

In a warped sense of Logic, the person who hurts my family the most gets to eat the largest piece of the cake(s) AND gets to start all over again when I am left with the burden and responsibilities of all the mess he has created out of his greed and selfishness. I must be blessed with the most forgiving parents and siblings in the world. They sleep well every night despite what they had to go through.  I was the only one who refused to let go of the possibilities of legalities and governance. But still, my parents told me to let it go.

On hindsight, there is no need for forgiveness because the perpetrator never thought he did any wrong to anyone anyway. The ability to purge toxic relations is most important for my peace of mind because when I delete memories off my mind, the heart gets to heal a little bit by bit.

My life is always better once I come to terms with the demons that grew bigger whenever I have to face people who repulse me for all sort of reasons. In my own little ways, I get back. Trust me, I am that good that these people don’t even know what i have done to them.

I hurt you a little to get back at you.That, is how I forgive. But because I possibly have too much of a conscience, I hurt you without your knowledge.

I am thankful for 2014, regardless. Of the pain and struggles, good things still came to me because the Universe did conspire to bring what my heart desires nearer to my sphere of awareness. I am always thankful for the possibilities my employer gave me in pursuing my master programme. Through this programme, i met a bunch of really endearing mates. These folks gave me a chance to serve them and little did i know, I was able to do whatever little i could, as best i could. Maybe I just really need to be tasked, to feel useful.

Thank you, Universe, for always giving me a second chance to be a better person. I will always remember to not let the Little People rob me of my joy.

 

Little Woman

You think everyone is after the same things as your little mind and empty soul desires.

You plot and scheme against others you find as threats to glorifying yourself.

Your insecurities are as obvious as those zirconia earrings you claimed as diamonds.

You are sad, pretentious and a false believer of Christ.

I reject your brand of “leadership” for as long as I share the same space with you.

Now, get lost and stay lost.

Loss & Love

I tend to lose things easily. Strangely enough, it is not because I am careless. Rather, on the contrary, I treasure every little thing too much, so much so that I hide them.

And I forget where I hid them.

Then I grieve for the loss of these little things. And i procure more things to fill the void.

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People. They are the same to me too except I can’t hide or file them away in a special corner. (Or maybe I could?)

Sometimes, one can love another too much. Say for example, my baby niece, M1. She is my everything…this must be the purest form of love and adoration. And my nephew, Cj. Oh how I love to smell his head ALL the time. His smile never fails to light up the room for me. There is another niece, M2. We’re still working on our relationship…we’re not quite there yet. (But I still love M2 very much except that we get angry at each other really easily. [She is 2 and very immature, really]).

This must be love. There is no in-between, no grey area. With so much love comes pure pain…when loss is amplified. How do you fill up the gap of someone in your heart? Someone whom you love with all that sinewy muscles within that chest cavity?

That’s right. A cavity is what loss is. A hole. A space that can never be replaced.

I promise myself to love fiercely because when a cavity forms, at least I would have enjoyed all the lovely bits.

A Promise to Myself

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.
— W. H. Auden

Have you ever want to do your best for a cause but people are simply the biggest barrier and obstacle in your way?
I learnt a lesson on sticking to my beliefs. But yes, I will make an effort to be a better listener. But of course, when the other party doesn’t deserve my time, I will not hesitate to decline any participation.

In any case, I promise myself that:

I will say what I mean and mean what I say.
I will not pander to the egos of people.
I will not sugarcoat my thoughts and truth.
I will not be afraid to point out the insecurities, inadequacies and inefficiencies of the system and people.
I refuse to be a messenger (since the messenger will get shot anyway); i rather be shot defending my beliefs, values and truth than be someone else’s mouthpiece.
I will not mix with pseudo-leaders who only care about protecting their own interests because i honestly have zero patience for bullshit.

Most importantly, I will not be indifferent in every aspect of my career because I am paid to make a difference. Indifference is the worst form of human trait I have ever known.

Remember, if you ever want to turn a blind eye to any situation, think of the endless possibilities and opportunities you may lose in helping the world be a better place.

Hello from San Francisco

Hello World. Thank you for being kind to me so far.

I have finally managed to kick Jetlag’s butt today. I am extremely excited to be in San Francisco; I feel as if the Universe had come together to bring me here.

Having been selected to present a white paper I have put up on Brand and Corporate Governance, representing the Singapore Management University along with 26 other members universities, I sometimes wonder what else I should be doing to expand my knowledge and interests.I want to write a book! I want to run a cafe! I want to travel some more!

My entire heart is filled with gratitude and joy, being able to take time away from work and school to take in a new city. I worry about the upcoming presentation deck, exams and assignments from school and work; but a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do. Life only happens once.


It is funny how I always wanted to live, work and study in the United States when I was younger. But being here today, in San Francisco, truly cemented the notion (for me, at least) that not all that shines is good.

I love the accessibility to fresh and healthy food options that San Francisco offers. I love the cold, foggy air. I love the cable cars, the old world charm, the architectures of buildings risen before my time. Maybe it is because I am an Asian. My mind picks up Asian fellows. I watch them getting by. I watch them falter. I sense the struggles in their eyes.

Living on Nob Hill, every morning I would see the elderly Asian folks struggling up the hills. They are always alone, wearing an empty look on their faces. Then there are the homeless Asian people. That Asian garbage collector crossing O’Farrell street with me; the man who left his country for a better life but struggles daily to make ends meet in his adopted city. The North Asian homeless man who stood on Market Street asking for spare change. Is it worth it?

Would these individuals be happier being with their families even if their pockets were empty? It is anybody’s guess.

I renew my sense of gratitude at having everything I have today.

My constant source of gratitude stems from:

  • Having my grandma (the only surviving grandparent I have!) and parents (their health and wellbeing),
  • my nieces and nephew (such joy they bring me!),
  • the graciousness of my managers to foot the bill for my upcoming exchange programmes AND supporting my Master programme,
  • the peace I’ve acquired from being alone. I love this solitude. The ability to connect with my thoughts, the space to just be.

Do you have a list of what you’re thankful for today? Don’t wait to take stock of what’s awesome in your life.

Now, let me get back to what’s burning on my mind. 1 presentation deck, 1 exam to prepare for and another Application paper all due at the same time.

An Open Letter to That Sad Little Asian Man

Date: 23 Apr 2014
Time: 1030ishpm

I met with my friends at Plonk, a food & wine outlet at Serangoon Gardens. We sat along the bar counter overlooking the road. As there were 5 of us, we pulled the bar stools into a semi-circle since the dinner crowd had thinned out and all the surrounding shops had closed for the day. Except for the other wine bar beside Plonk.

You came walking from our back, shuffling your heavy feet and shouted very rudely, “‘Cuse me!”.

I got off from the stool to let u pass even though there was sufficient space for u to turn sideways. But you refused to be flexible and while walking through, shouted,  “This is a walkway, you know!!”.

Dear Little Angry Asian man, of course I know it is a walkway. I had stepped down to let you pass. There was an alternative path 3 steps away along the pathway but you insisted on squeezing through with your large bag and plastic carrier. You must have had a tough day at work. Or you may have an unhappy life working to pay a mortgage to live in one of the landed properties within the area. But your anger at not being able to pass through was uncalled for.

I just want to tell you that whoever you are, you must be one of the most unlovable person to be with. Or to work with. Or to have as a parent, manager or  a partner.

You have blinders on that prevent you from seeing other better solutions. Imagine that such a small thing could rile you that way!

I wish you had turned back when I retorted: “You didnt have to walk here!”. I would glare so hard at you to show you that your passive agressiveness is not welcomed here! Your small mindedness speaks to the little space and generosity you have for others…and yourself.

Yes, I was annoyed at your behaviour but I wish you happiness and peace after my death stare had served its purpose.

Your whole face and disposition speak of languish, self-hatred and dispassion towards life. I wish you had awesome friends like I have to spend the evening with. Maybe you won’t hate life that much if you actually have friends who accept you as you are.

I wish your children and wife do not have to put up with your negativity and misery.

I wish you could let go of things and situations that you cannot control and seek better alternatives. Especially when it involves a big Asian girl like me because I will not back down if you rub me the wrong way.

Happiness is truly in the Now

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The Giving Tree

Have you read The Giving Tree?

My favourite teacher in primary school first read it to the class and I was the special one who got to turn the pages of the big book version. I remember looking at Shel Silverstein’s face from the back of the book and feeling sad after the story. I told myself, “I won’t want to be that tree! How silly to give everything to an ungrateful kid!”

I read The Giving Tree to my elder niece when she was barely 2. She loves the story. At 4 yrs old and turning 5 at the end of 2014, I suppose being with her tells me how annoying I can be to the people around me. The niece corrects her grandparents’ grammar, reminds them on the redundancy in their speech and asks for organic snacks and sweets. But I finally realise why the tree could keep on giving despite the unreciprocative Boy. Because the love for the Boy preceeds every and anything.

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The younger niece turns 2 this April. We don’t really get along because my death stare freaks her out. She is pretty strongheaded and very short-fused.  Yesterday, I brought her to the playground. She climbed up a faux rock stairs all by herself; i never knew she had such awesome motor skills. I was focused on her bad behaviour and inability to articulate herself.  My heart swelled with pride yesterday.

We were playing hide-and-go-seek for a while. Instead of seeking out for me,  whenever I was out of her line-of-sight, she screamed for me, with a tinge of fear in her voice. I realise she will only need me for a very short period; I need to be there for her no matter how bad I think her behaviour is. And because I also love her very much. That was why,  I learnt, that the tree would still continuously give to the Boy no matter how little she had left.

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Junior — he has an abundance of energy. Stick thin but is always looking to eat something. I don’t get to spend as much time with him as I would love to but whenever I am with him, I feel that we are so tightly bonded. He climbs onto me and sticks his hand under my blouse. Boys! His sweaty head always smells good. So much love for this little fella. His antics are neverending and the joy he brings me is boundless.

So, I have become that tree even without knowing it. But I am willing to be that tree to these three little ones.

They have taught me so much about life and myself.

They have guided me to be more forgiving and humane. More importantly,  they have defined what happiness is for me.

Happiness, to me, is time spent with them. No matter what we do, as long as we are together, we will always be happy doing even the most mundane things.
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My little ones, may you always be healthy and well. 

May good friends and mentors surround you as you learn to navigate the world. I know the importance and difference good friends and sound mentors can make to your life choices. The world may not always be kind but you can choose to be kind to those who don’t have the privilege you have had in your lifetime.

May you always make the right decision even if it is the tougher choice.

May you always choose to love yourself above anyone; because when you love yourself first, you will never feel the need to be someone’s fiddle. Independence will be your pillar.

May you always know that I carry you in my heart and mind, always.