My Godma never fails to amaze me

I hope I never stop chasing everything I have hoped and envisioned myself to be as a person. It is easier said than done to always want to be the better person in times of anger, distrust and sadness. Some people achieve great things, they get a great career, but what is the point of achieving all of this when you disregard relationships at such a cost?

My Godma told me today, “Some people are afraid to leave a relationship, because they are afraid of starting over again. It’s too tiring, to start from scratch.

“I hope you don’t think I’m that sort of person.” I said.

I know, you aren’t that kind of person.” She replied, leaving me smiling from ear to ear. “Headstrong”.

Priorities may change along the way but I hope I never lose sight of what is really important. May I never cease putting my relationships to the people I love above my success in a career.

Thank you for your never ending words of wisdom.

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One of the best weekends of 2017

Friday afternoon: my office and little mini Zhang intruders! Bribed them with weather originals sweets and the small one didn’t know that he couldn’t bite it- but still bit it anyway.

Friday evening: Coldplay’s concert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Verdict: Amazing. Need I say more?

Teared up when oldies like the scientist, fix you, yellow and paradise came on. Though we only managed to get the cheapest seats ($78+4 Booking fee) it was well worth the view. Leon brought Binoculars so we could see Chris Martin up close. The whole concert was like a dream. After the concert, we ended up at brotzeit with beer and wedges- the perfect post concert combination ever.

Saturday morning/afternoon- slept, slept and slept

Woke up in the evening for a massage session with Auntie Helena and Leon, who then brought us out for dinner at Uncle Leong’s @ Punggol for crab bee hoon. BEST BEE HOON EVER. Made a joke of Leon @ Leongs. It’s been a long standing joke at work from my colleagues that Leon is the owner at Leongs because of the similarity of his name. Lol lame, I know. But still made him pose behind the signboard anyway.

Sunday morning: Day didn’t start out as planned. Leon got a ticket parking. We drove to balestier only to realize we forgot our bibs- and ended up driving back to the east to get them. Arrived at the starting point >35 minutes into the race but long story cut short- we did it!!!!!!!!

Yay to 10K at #2xucompressionrun2017 *pops confetti*

This was by far the best week of 2017.

I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed with the care, concern and love from the people around me. This was a reminder for me to be grateful in times of doubt and adversity, and also to always, always- choose happiness.

 

 

The cny weekend 2017

It’s a little late but, Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

I promised myself a 10pm bedtime tonight but I figured the longer I drag this post the more things I’d forget. Chinese New Year is always a time for me to remember my roots and spend time with my maternal relatives and family. I spent most of the time answering questions whilst eating bak kwa, pineapple tarts and love letters (one stick in one finger with 4 fingers of love letters, thank you very much lol) and all other snacks and goodies.

The rest of the time, I spent listening to stories and conversations between my mother and her siblings. It kind of made me wonder whether I’d ever sound like that 50 years down the road with my own siblings. The cutest thing that happened was my eldest aunt who decided to take out a BINGO set during dinner and play it as a gambling game. Eventually as the night died down at reunion dinner, I tried to stay awake to follow the custom of living out for my mom’s longevity.

“You catholic what! Why must you believe this sort of thing?”

Why? Because I am chinese. This is a chinese custom of tradition.

Come to think of it, the act itself is not that we truly believe that staying up late will definitely increase the longevity of our parents. But it is because we as chinese know of such a custom, and we know how much our parents appreciate this custom. As such, we do it out of showing our respect and love to our parents. My mom actually popped her head in my doorway at 1+ am after cleaning up and went, “wah. Still awake ah? Staying up for my longevity is it? Don’t worry lah I’ll survive” and chuckled as she closed the door. That’s right, we chinese people are incapable saying “I love you” to our parents but we show it in getting A’s for our examinations (clearly I haven’t shown my mom I love her much ha-ha-ha).

But in retrospect that was how my mother showed me she appreciated me following my chinese customs and traditions. She is weird, and I am no better than a chip off the old block of her.

I was also reminded of my lovely Aunt Ros who is my mom’s younger sister. I was 14 and had just entered secondary school and my mother was busy with moving house and settling down that Aunt Ros took me to buy my school uniforms and books.

My uncle Huat who is my mom’s younger brother also then offered to send me to school in the early mornings as he said it was on the way to work. He dropped me off quite often in secondary 1 and 2 and then stopped when I was older and more settled into school. It wasn’t until much later that I found out he only started work at 9am….

When I was 15 they had guitar lessons for class and there was a special rate for guitars. I really wanted a new one for the classes instead of using the lousy ones that the class had. Aunt Ros upon hearing that, gave me over $100 to let me buy that guitar. I was over the moon but 15 year old me didn’t appreciate it as much as how 25 year old me does now, learning the importance of working hard for your money.

One thing about my mom’s side that strangely resonates so well with me are their never ending acts of kindness for family.  This Chinese New Year, I am reminded that despite growing wings and learning how to fly better as an adult now (metaphorically, of course).

May we stay humble in humility, never forget our roots of who were the ones who were there to guide us and give us confidence to grow in them and ultimately, be the person we thankfully are today.

 

 

Not here to tell a sob story 

Rule of thumb: no one understands the pain of losing a parent- until they have gone through it themselves.

A very painful lesson, I’d like to admit. Not something I’d like to wish on anyone. The realistic fact of life shows that when life can’t knock you down any lower, life takes someone away from you. That’s simplistically fair, of course- because no one can live forever. But there’s a part of me that wondered that it would make logical sense that him leaving would be less painful considerably because there was a very large part of my life that I grew up without my dad and I grew up well without him.

And then you realize that he was probably the first man on earth that ever loved you. The one who picked you up from school when you were six. Who drove you to the clinic and chided you as you got 6 stitches on your shin for climbing on the bus seats like a monkey. “There are worse fathers out there, you know.” A friend said to me once. And as I boarded that 6am airplane with Charles and Sarah I thought to myself, “How could it be- that my dad, aged 68 could die of a heart attack?” while listening to Charles going on and on about how he probably faked his own death and got a new identity to evade the CPF system (lol) yes following Kubler Ross’s model of coping with grief, we were very much in denial. It is difficult to close such a wound, no matter how much time has passed.

Today, Auntie Pat spoke to me about how Ethan (Brian’s 4 year old) says he will see her dog (macho) at the rainbow bridge where Mr Lee Kuan Yew waits. I couldn’t help but interject- “I’m not sure if I want to see my dad at the rainbow bridge. I don’t want two all knowing souls being angry and quarrelling with one another when they meet”. We had a good laugh. She then joked that I would probably be stuck in purgatory so there’s still some time for me.

Fast forward, it’s been two years since you’re gone. And I think I’ve grown a lot and learnt a lot from the work that I do. Sometimes I wish you were here but my ego reminds me that i contain 50% of your genetic material so  I probably wouldn’t have made the first move either.

On days that I remember you, I think of all the good memories you have left me with. With that reminder, I take to my heart that I must learn to grow into a better person.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace

Drawing the lines

Growing up, she always said to me that I made it out to be that I was always the victim. I was the one who knew how to manipulate people into doing the things I wanted. I was a spoilt child who cried the most and was a terrible monster. I grew up being fully and well aware of her comments, thinking to myself that I was the monster she had made me out to be. I grew inclined to learn to be kinder to other people, because her words moulded me to imagine that I could become a person I was afraid to see.

I then became older and my eyes widened to the world. I remember how she supported my studies and encouraged me to apply for academic routes, only to stab me in the back as soon as it reached a discussion point. That was just the tip off the iceberg, but yet each time I tried to be civil, she would rip the rug underneath my feet.

I hear stories of the many chances she was given. I often questioned why she never gave me those chances. After all, I tried harder than she could have imagined or saw when it came to our relationship in the beginning. It was then that I noticed that she had habitually commented harshly on others. She would be nice and warm on days where it suited her, but on her bad days-she was brutally mean, selfish and difficult. She never stopped criticizing every single bump in the road that she chose to walk down towards. She hurt all the people around her, adopting a “it’s you not me” approach when dealing with arguments. She stood on a pedestal, high and above everyone else.It eventually grew too difficult to love her, and words shared became less to none.

The truth is once you take off those rose tinted glasses, you realize the severity of how the people closest to you are the ones that hurt you the most. I guess that’s why people find every opportunity to suss out relationships, determining who was worth investing emotionally more into than the other. After years of thought, I’ve come to learn one thing: the people who you love, can well knowingly tear you apart. They will disappoint you.

Some things are worth being disappointed for. But some things at the expense at your own emotional  well being are not.

I swept it under the carpet for years, till I decided enough was enough. One thing’s for sure-I will draw the lines as clear as night and day from now on.