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When I find myself next to the
Don’t you forget about me
I won’t, won’t tell nobody
When I find myself next to the
Don’t you, I won’t
Don’t you forget about me

I’m actually still alive despite my lack of updates. Tonight, I am just gonna post a poem which I’ve written after my Bread Run volunteer service on Friday night. Here we go.

bread run

A flight of stairs is all you see,
a makeshift house for 3 in reality.
“Homeless is absent”, you may insist,
Walk around the dark corners, see the myth you have come to believe.
Folded cupboards piled up one by one.
Nothing more than a bed for the night they have become.
Weary faces, they rest on empty streets.
Stop! Disturb them not, let them have a good night sleep.
To sounds of footsteps they wake and jolt,
scars from thieves and bullies, phobia as a result.
Tired spirits they have come to retreat,
a house on the floor made up of mere empty sheets.
Beats and pieces of dirt they can’t dismiss,
all because “I come from Batam” or “Got family to feed”.
Some have chosen this life, we have no say.
But who’s to choose when life decides to head this way.
A dollar or two saved makes a dif.
A comfy mattress, a bed, a thought they can’t conceive.
They struggle to feed, to make ends meet,
Yet get blamed when spaces start to diminish.
A stranger’s smile, in the night it lit,
Just bread and water and they did the trick.
It warms my heart, a deed so small.
Yet hope and dignity they do restore.
Heartbreaks and pains are stories they would tell.
If only you would listen and stay awhile now.

I still distinctively remember on my very first Bread run volunteer experience, someone said to me, “Expect the Unexpected.” And true enough, last night’s food distribution to the homeless was indeed a good reminder. It’s always a pleasant surprise – not only for the receiver, but also for me as a giver. To give is truly the greatest gift.

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Something about Macbook’s photobooth that makes you look good even though you have no makeup on, just woke up from a nap, and the best part? No filter needed. (Loving those permed eyelashes btw) This shall always be a reminder to myself that even on long shitty days when things are going haywire, my eye bags are heavy, my hair is in an oily mess and my eye makeup has smudged, I know I can still look good… on Macbook’s photobooth (hopefully with my eyelash perm still intact)

Anw, I’m currently trying to make out the mess which I’ve scribbled erratically on my notebook during Inno meetings and turn them into legible noteworthy points. As much as digitization has caught up with technology and the way we live, I have to admit that many times, especially during rushed meetings when you’re trying your best to jot down every single important point available, the primitive old school pen and paper works a whole lot better. Far better than pressing some buttons, touching some virtual alphabets and writing on an iPad pro with her pencil.

It’s kinda funny in some way. As much as some of the words I’ve scribbled are humanely illegible, I get pass those words with ease, knowing for sure what I’ve written, never doubting. It’s the way we humans work, I assume. We read what we want to read and we see what we want to see; we use our past experiences and our familiarity of situations to gauge our understanding and shape our perceptions. It’s only when things do not make sense that we take a step back, rewind our thoughts, think through carefully and hope to make clear of the issue on hand #foodforthought

I heard writing helps you remember better so I write your name to pass the hours.
I hope I find my name scribbled in your lonely hours too.

Good grief. I haven’t touch this space in ages and it seems as if so much has happened. We’ve had CNY, Lent has started, Sam and Hele got hitched, my family and I finally went to claim our Party staycation package at Hotel Jen, it’s a leap day tmr, and what’s next? March to be reavealed. Hahaha, get it? Much to be revealed…

CNY didn’t feel like CNY this year. Or at least I got through CNY feeling like it was just another Public holiday without much to talk or be excited about. It kinda lost most of it’s meaning the year after grandma passed on. I still remember all the hype and excitement leading up to CNY at her place with all the relatives gathered around a 3 room flat when ah ma was still alive. But now, the feeling is nothing more than just a memory.

Totally out of point but brings me to my main point, I enjoyed reading  Dr Lee Wei Ling’s article on the Pursuit of Happiness which was published on the ST last week. I found myself agreeing to her article which is pretty much summed up with this- the more you try to pursue Happiness, the more evasive it is. Therefore, seek contentment instead. At the very least, that is within your control. And my thoughts were further acknowledged after watching a documentary called Born Into Brothels this evening. You could watch it on Netflix if you haven’t. The documentary really tugged at my heartstrings seeing how those young kids have accepted filth and poverty into their lives because it was the way they grew up with. And this inspired me to do something interesting… Something which I’m not bold enough to jump onto the idea quite just yet, but I can assure myself that I will share my happiness and contentment with the less privileged.

This week hasn’t been a totally great week for me because of a couple of minor hiccups here and there. But I’ve come to understand the power of the human mind. Never ever underestimate it. How you feel towards a negative situation can be instantly changed by the way you view it and the way you feel towards it. Though I agree that the heart and mind work in separate ways at times, I have to say that the mind does take precedence most of the time. And that is known as the art of concealing. If you can conceal, choose to forget, and sweep it under the rug impermanently, it makes a difference during that moment. While it doesn’t solve the issue, it alters the way you look at things. And having been thrown shit so many times in my 25 years on earth, I have to admit that it helps All the time (and i really mean all the time) when you acknowledge and believe in the existence of a much greater and omnipotent one above. Somehow it makes your trouble seem so small and that one day, this problem will turn to ash, the way you were fashioned into life.

So, instead of blindly chasing Happiness in a world that is every changing – be it people or events, I have decided to seek contentment and be happy with wherever I’m swimming. And contentment (though it should be sheer happiness since everyone suffers from Monday blues) starts from me appreciating my off day tmr where I’m finally able to sit down and have a weekday dinner with my family without them waiting for me nor me having to eat alone. And this struck me today when this happened:

Mom (t0 dad): We shall have dinner earlier tmr so that we can go for coffee at toastbox tgt after that.

Mom (to sis): What time can you leave tmr? Can you come back on time so that we can have dinner tgt as your sister isn’t working

Mom (to me): It’s your off day tmr right? Good. You can finally have dinner with us.

This makes me extremely guilty and to some extent, heartbroken because of all the times I’m “forced” to not be able to sit down and enjoy a weekday dinner together with my family all thanks to my job, where I’m usually only home after 8 (which is actually considered early for me as I’m only home around 8:30 on average). And by the time i’m home, my whole family would have been done with dinner and their daily dinner conversations. As such, I’m usually the last to have dinner… on my own. As much as I’m always the last to eat, mom will always choose to sit at the table with me while I’m rushing to chew those leftover food which she had portioned out and left for me – pieces of fatty meat, an entire fish, my favorite parts of the fish, and the nourishing soups which she takes hours to boil in the pressure cooker, thoughtfully pre-heated whenever i’m at Kovan and I’d text her just so she could heat up the soup for me on time. I’ve never said this before but I can imagine her thoughts while everyone’s picking their favorite part of the chicken and her mind is set on keeping my favorite parts for me. And I really appreciate her gentle subtle ways in accompanying me at the dining table dropping snippets of what was shared over dinner, whether is it a new rumor or an updated one which I had missed out, just so I won’t be having dinner alone all by myself. And for every time that I come home to a solo dinner, I will always question myself this, is it even worth it to be slogging so hard and give up time that can never be replaced especially since my parents are getting old…

Just how should I go about making a change with a situation like this? Think belle, Think. And change. Which is more important?

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With my dearest niece and nephew

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So my cousin had his 21st birthday celebration at our rooftop ystd and I think all his friends were impressed with the entire layout. And the fairy lights twirling around our gazebo just alludes a peaceful, resort-ish feel which is just so calming and relaxing. Gosh, do i love my rooftop!

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I can’t believe we’re now a part of 2016. Thinking back and reflecting, 2015 has truly been an eventful year. I am trying very hard to refrain from using the overrated phrase, it has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, but that was exactly how 2015 mapped out, truly. If I had to plot a graph of my feelings on an emotional scale, an up-down pattern will be illustrated.

From work, to friendships, to personal relationships, to love, to money, and to the more lowly regarded yet important things like my weight and the length of my hair, there have been multiple changes, some more substantial than the others. Some situations left me temporary upset, while some, they allowed me to find joy. But essentially, none of them left me broken.

Contrary to the again overused phrase of, they either break or make you, I find that most times, things don’t always perform in an either-or fashion. Just because one isn’t bad doesn’t mean that he is good, just because you’re not upset doesn’t mean that you are equally happy, and just because a painful ordeal doesn’t make me does not imply that it will definitely break me. The “failures” (which I would like to think as valuable lessons learned) that I have struggled with in the past year – lost, heartaches, detachment, they have allowed me to understand myself better. As I quote Taylor Swift (Yes you know I had to),

“She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything”

And now that we’re on to another 365 days, or 52 weeks to simplify and make the coming year seem less difficult that it already is, I will attempt to make changes- better changes – for a better Me, of course. And this is exactly where my still inexistent New Year resolution fits in. Give me a week and I promise it will be up.

So yes, come what may 2016, I will choose to deal it with Grace, Poise and Tastefulness, and grow from even the most demanding situations. Just like how Ernest Hemingway has put it,

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

xoxo