Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Letter to the World's Greatest Dad

They say the Hand that Rocks the Candle rules the World
While the idiom was meant for the power and grace of motherhood, I would like to use this as well for my Daddy who had been the other hand on my cradle

He was the Man behind everything in my life
He was the Man of the House
He was the Man who brought food to the table
Slaving his days out in the tough world out there
Sweating out each challenge and hardship
Roughing it out for he only has his children on his mind
He was the Man who taught me all there is to know about the world
The good, the bad and the ugly
He was the Man who taught me never to be afraid
He will always be there for me
In the darkness, in loneliness, and in times when I just need someone
This is the Man who told me I could be anyone I want to
He never told me things I could not do
He showed me light in all that I do
He held my hand along the way
Never letting go even when I am all grown up today
Even when he handed me over to another man in marriage
He will always watch over me
Simply because I am that little girl in his eyes
That Daddy's Little Girl that he will always protect
That princess in his heart whom none can hurt

He was the Man every little girl first idolized
He was the Man every little girl benchmarked for their future husband
He was the Man no other man could ever live up to in a girl's life
He was That Man I know as my dearest Daddy

I am proud to be your daughter
Thank you for Always being there for me
Always telling me that I was the Best thing in your life
You are my Best Friend, and my Superhero

The things you could do require more than Superpowers
And for that, you deserve that Halo and Wings
Which I am pretty sure is hidden underneath all that greatness in you

I will never forget that I am never grown up in your eyes
And that you are still always there as my protector
I am always that little girl
And now, your little girl would like to say a very Big Thank You
and to wish you a Happy Father's Day
Not just for today, but for that every single day
Because you are simply the World's Greatest Dad!

I Love You Daddy!~

With Love always,
The little girl who will never grow up in your eyes

Monday, April 28, 2014

In Loving Memory...Always~

I don't know where to start...there is just so much that I have in my heart, yet they felt like memories from a distance, so long ago in the past but at the same time, it also felt like yesterday that we have just met.

It was almost a decade ago when I first met you, and we greeted each other with a smile on the day I moved in.
We started introducing ourselves to each other, among the other housemates; there were just so many of us! I felt a little nervous, as I was the newcomer and everyone had already known each other in the house but it was unnecessary for I was made to feel welcomed immediately as part of the big family living under one roof.
Fortunately, it was indeed a huge roof where we had big rooms and space around the semi-detached house, where we took turns in taking care of the place and pooled the funds for the house maintenance.

We barely saw each other on weekdays; with some rushing for classes, and some of us, for work. I left the house early, and I was touched by the concern shown by everyone who advised me to be extra careful.
It started with smiles, hi's and bye's then to small talks in the hall and kitchen, then to full banter where we would all burst into laughter or fits of giggles, just the way girls behave when they hang out together. It was just so easy, and I felt blessed that we proved those old sayings that large groups of ladies are always headed for trouble; arguments, cat fights and jealousy. There was none in the place I stayed, as everyone was just so friendly and genuine to each other.

I remembered you offering to walk me to my car every morning though my car was parked in the porch and you would watch me get into the car and drive away, helping me to lock the gate behind me. Then when you shared the wonderful news of your posting to a school where you could finally live your dream as a teacher, we talked for hours and laughed about the silly things we did in our lives.
It was then that we bonded, and most of the housemates were out and some went back to their hometowns. Then there were those times when everyone was around and we would chat in front of the television; though I could not remember what we talked about, it all, and always end up in laughter.

You were always the motherly or sisterly figure in the house; or at least that's what you appeared to me. You were the chaperon of us all, always showing your concern and taking care of us in all the little ways.
For instance, getting up early and going to the market, then filling the kitchen and entire house with delights from your hometown. I remembered the Laksa, and then you said that you accidentally cooked dessert and handed each and every one a bowl, and there are still leftovers.
Unintentional? I never really did think so, but we enjoyed hearing your stories and the tastes of your home.
I know how it feels to be away from home for so long; barely getting to go back to the arms of mummy and daddy and the comforts of home, whom you must have dearly missed.
You barely showed us you are homesick, but I know, for you have once told me, and that it is painful sometimes. Yes, I know...nothing beats family, even with all of us around you.

You are always with that smile; and somehow there is always a twinkle in your eye that I see which lights up your face and the hearts of those who see you.
You are never without positive words, and you carried that energy and motivational spirit with you as you embarked on your passion for education; joining that noble and respectable profession of teaching.

I never had a doubt that you would make a great teacher, for I could just see it in your eyes, and felt it as I got to know you better. You were a gift to your students, and though I did not manage to continue the journey with you then, or to hear about your stories after I moved out, I just know.

Yes, when I moved out, it was a tearful decision and I missed all of you dearly. You had no idea how you girls made me felt when all of you threw me that farewell party and treated me to a nice dinner at the bistro cafe nearby and then we talked and laughed just like old times.
It was a heartfelt gesture which may appeared like norm for you girls, but it left a deep and lasting impression in my mind and heart as I went on with my life.

We all parted ways; keeping in touch through the beauty of technology - phone and social network such as Facebook. It was a great way to back in touch and it is amazing how time flew past us and those days in the big house seemed like so far away, yet the memories were still fresh.

Life is like that; we always meet people along our journey of life and there may be those who were unpleasant and also those who were just so awesome that they deserve a world record, but take pride in the fact that it was by the work of fate that we were all brought together.
Our paths cross when we least expect it, and then lifelong friendships and bonds were formed.
We may have offend some along the way, or even make a few enemies too, but think of it again, even the enemies were the ones where we were supposed to meet in our journey so that we will learn from our mistakes or to be reminded of the world out there.

We may cry when some friendships/relationships end; because some just were never meant to be, or each of us just have our own individual paths to pursue and that certain things hold more importance to different people. We may not lose our friends, we are all just busy with our own lives or driven away by the other priorities in life.

We must not cry because things are no longer the same, or that they have ended.
Smile because it at least happened to us, and that we crossed path with these people whom God sent to us for some reason; which we may not realize at that particular point of time.
Everything happens for a reason, and though we may not comprehend it immediately, take it slowly and cherish each moment.

There is never a time when things would always go our way, and we can never expect to be loved by everyone. We love and we hate, but at least, we can feel our emotions for one another and have our heartstrings tugged in different directions and at different points in our life.

You have crossed my path at some point in my life, and you have left deep imprints in my heart which you may not even have realized, and there you will always be.
Though they are not always on the surface or top of the mind, it did not mean that I have lost them or taken no heed of them. They were just shadowed by the other things in my life that were all going on at the same time.
You were not less important either, for I have reserved a space for you because I know you will always understand.

The devastating news of your departure from this world yesterday did much more than just shock me early in the morning. I had to get the confirmation, I had to make sure that this is true.
I cannot comprehend it; it did not sound like it was real...and deep down inside, even with a sinking feeling as I read through the messages on your wall, I still prayed that it was some sort of sick joke which I could be angry with later on.
It has been years since we talked though we were on each other's network, but I remembered us sending a smile to each other once in a while, just like old times.
We were all reconnecting again, having found some of the old housemates whom we have lost for a while.

I stopped when I saw a photo of you lying so sick in bed, and I realized that this is no longer a sick joke. My eyes suddenly felt misty, and I could not stop the drops of tears from falling.
I do not like to cry; I do not cry in front of people and I am always able to hold the tears from falling but when big drops of tears rolled down my cheeks this morning, I could not hold them anymore.

This is not happening, how could this be?
You were so young and so bright, but I know you will not want to see any of us feel sad.
I know this is God's will, and you're in a better place now.
You were a strong person, and I know you definitely put up a strong fight but God loved you too much because you were so good that He wanted you and ended your suffering.

Messages from your students on your wall showed that you have indeed lived your passion, as I have always believed you will.
You were a great teacher and person and I am sure you know that you will be deeply missed by everyone you have taught or crossed path with in your life.

To a wonderful person like you, I am glad we crossed paths and I pray that you will now rest in peace.

You will always, always, always be in loving memory...may your soul rest for eternity, my dearest ex-housemate/friend Wen Shuang~

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Matter of Trust

"Do you think I take too long to trust someone?" 
I turned and shot this question at my partner a few days ago, while we were driving around in the car.
If he seemed surprised at my question, he made no signs of that, as usual.
Unfazed, he just nodded slowly to my statement.

"Do you feel that I don't trust people?"
He hesitated for a while, "Not really"
"What do you mean by 'not really'?"
From his expression, I could tell that he knows I am not going to end this conversation anytime soon, and that he needs to be prepared by more questions coming from me, like an examiner in an English oral examination.

"Well, I guess you do trust people, but you are selective and you need time to really build that trust, compared to other people. Even then, you may still guard your trust to yourself, because it's your character and you just feel that you can never fully trust others. It's not that they are not trustworthy, but you just prefer not to fully trust to avoid getting hurt"
This statement probably spoke my mind, and part of it, I would say is almost true. It almost described the person and my view on trust; then again, partially?

Well, when I asked this question, it was obvious there were thoughts on this running through my mind before and that I know I really cannot expect a right or wrong answer on this; nor can I expect a 100% accurate answer because, frankly, I think even I may not know the real answer to this.
Such are the matters of the heart; the complexity of things from different perspectives.

I admit, I am not a person who trusts easily, and like many out there in the world, trust is just something I regard as precious and important, yet fragile at the same time. Trust, to me, needs to be earned and not simply to be granted to anyone, for there needs to be an observation and evaluation on the person's character before I could begin to trust a little on the surface. Yes, just the basic trust, as I would trust what he/she says about the daily things and their lives, but not to the extent of sharing my own life stories with them. I would probably attribute this to my personality since young where I do not like to talk about my own stories; or things in my life with others, even if they are my closest friends or people around me. It was something which I guarded very carefully, and while I had no problems making friends or building my social circles, I still do not reveal that much about my own personal life. I do not want to wander into the category of over sharing with others.

Don't get me wrong, I have my close circle of friends, those whom I know I could count on and fall back on anytime whenever I need them. They are those who knew me well and through, and in that aspect, they knew this part about me and yet they accepted it as who I really am. There is no qualms from their side to share their lives with me, even if I am not ready to do the same. There is no need to explain if I did not tell them about something which occurred in my life, for they understand that I will talk about it when I am ready to, or if I may never ever want to talk about it. I appreciate the great understanding and patience, and for their support all the while. I never have to worry about being judged by them for not sharing, for they know me well enough to know that it is just my style.
I am also thankful, it is them; and there is more than one whom I could truly call my real friends.

It takes me time, to just delve into my life and with whom I share my stories with. I still believe that people are generally good, but that does not mean that I could trust them with everything that I have, or my life (except for those real friends who won't even bug me for the slightest secret which I did not share with them). I am blessed with wonderful people around me, and I understand sometimes I may frustrate some of them, but it is just something that even I had to deal with. 
Trust, to me, is just so fragile that sometimes I am afraid of it myself. I do not want to get hurt, nobody does anyway, but I just go to my own personal length to protect myself, or safeguard myself a little more than others (perhaps more fiercely so).

I am confined to my own comfort zone; and sometimes I am probably like a bottle; stuffed with so many tiny pieces of paper containing private messages/stories/letters to myself, or about my life that the cork holding it tightly could also burst anytime.
You see, whenever I run into any problem or am unhappy, I don't talk about it. I keep it to myself, and I just keep them all inside. I don't cry in front of others; and even if I am on the verge of tears, I hold it back so fiercely that the tears will only wobble closely at the edge of the eyes. I will not let them fall down the cheeks; no, not in front of people. I could cry to myself, and not let people know about it, because that is the way I handle my own life.
Some say it is not healthy, for I could be doing myself more damage than good when I keep things bottled up. It is better to let it out and let the emotions out so that it could relieve the inner soul of holding so much and yet there is no avenue of relief.
Maybe they are right, maybe they may not be either, for it is really a matter of personal handling when it comes to our own matters.

I am handling things pretty well so far, and I agree, it does not mean that the bubble may never burst, but I am holding well. I tend to move back and forth between trust; where sometimes I have started to trust someone then I may hold back my trust again as though there is an invisible wall between us. I know all about trust; I have read all about them in books (yes, medical and psychology) and I know that the very fact I can even write and share about this, means I am not doing that bad yet.

It is all, again, just a matter of trust....

Friday, February 28, 2014

Waiting for Inspiration?

Inspiration is a word so commonly and widely associated with the notion of waiting for that idea or that lightbulb to just turn on or come flowing that just turns one on to full force to get working. Typically associated with art and writing, inspiration is often said to be the 'air' or the oxygen which goes through the passageway of the artists, writers, authors, craftsmen, etc into creating their work of art. There is often need for inspiration in this field, where the concept of the works are often abstract-based and requires originality and creativity.

Originating from the Latin word, inspirare, which means "to breathe into", the term inspiration is not just so commonly used but also simultaneously, misused at the same time. Many have said that they are waiting for that inspiration to strike before they can truly get on to producing their work, but exactly when can we expect inspiration to strike? I am not sure if anyone can tell you that in definite, but I would say the reason it is called inspiration is because no one knows, exactly, when it would come. It could be a day, a week, or an hour, or sometimes, maybe even months or years of waiting for that inspiration to just strike and knock us on the door. In the end, it seemed to me, that inspiration starts to end up in the wrong way, where they are often the cause when the work cannot be started or completed on time, due to, you guess it, the lack of inspiration.
I don't know, but somehow to me, it starts to feel like it was an excuse we use to conceal the fact that we are unable to just do something.

This is just my personal opinion, like say, myself, when I write posts or updates for my blogs, sometimes it takes time to complete posts in my drafts to be published. I could be waiting for inspiration perhaps, but most of the time, I was just really caught up with other stuffs in life that I just got carried away with the other priorities. So, is it really a matter of inspiration or am I just using the term as an excuse to get away with not completing my post or updating my blog? Is it a mere feeble attempt at getting away with procrastination, the real thief of my time and effort?
I would think that had I just force myself or just set that time to just sit and think seriously, I might be able to come up with something after all. Perhaps, or perhaps not, for the next thing that comes is that the work may not be up to my personal expectations, because of again, you guess it right, the lack of inspiration at the time that it was produced.
It is really funny, how inspiration is overly and almost constantly nailed as the culprit behind the times when we just didn't feel like doing something.

Inspiration is a breath, perhaps, I can say it in that way, but it is a matter of time when you wait for that breath and do we continue waiting? If everyone waits for that right time, that right idea to come along, I would bet you that there would be no monthly issues of magazines, nor are there advertisements in a very very long time. Worse still, you may only be treated to movies once in that blue moon (which is always a myth anyway). So, is inspiration truly the reason behind good works?
I would say while it does plays a certain part in contributing to the originality and perhaps the intriguing reality that appears in the work, most of the time, it really boils down to the effort when we are working on something.
Inspiration is supposed to 'breathe life into' something, and how can there be inspiration when there is nothing in the first place?

Had we been waiting on inspiration, I must say most of us would not be at work half the time....

A Meme I made

I found an old meme which I have created; in an attempt of being funny. It was a time as they say where inspiration strikes and I just went along with it.
I posted this on my Facebook sometime ago, just for laughs and I guessed I forgot to share this on my own blog *slaps forehead*

It was sometime in May last year when I was driving past a neighborhood and happened to pass by a local Chinese cemetery which had a sign standing.
Let me translate that as it was in our local Malay language, which means "No Entry to Cows, this is a private property"

Now, while it makes sense in English, it just didn't mean entirely that when you read it in the Malay language and somehow it just sounded a little weird in the grammar that I just couldn't help but laugh when I thought of this meme.
It helped that I managed to catch glimpse of the following supporting actors too~

I enjoyed making this meme, and it was my first attempt at this...though I do have lots of quirky ideas and comebacks at times.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did in the making.

All copyrights are reserved :-)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yesterday once more

Yesterday felt like a replay of the famous Carpenters' ballad, 'yesterday once more', as I was suddenly filled with the snapshots of the past which just came rushing into the mind. It almost felt like I was traversing through time as I flipped through the photos when snippets of the past first appeared in my mind. (Chronologically, the memories came to my mind before I started locating the photos to revive the past sentiments)

I was overcame with nostalgia, and it brought smiles and giggles as I recalled the remnants from my own past, while tiny tears formed at the side of my eyes too. Most of the memories which came back were the happy ones, though there are bits and pieces which did tug a little at the heartstrings for they held that tiny part of weight deep down inside. Questions of what-ifs do come into my mind once in a while, but they are just there like passing clouds for I do know that the past will always be the past and today is based on the decisions we made back then. It is inevitable regret will creep in once in a while but nothing can change the past, and I can only focus on the present, with the lessons learnt from the past to make the future a better one. The future is the one that I should be focused on and the future depends on what I do today and to avoid regrets, the only way is to truly cherish the present and make decisions for the upcoming future.

Memories are what made us who we are today; our thoughts, our character and our personality are all formed from the events of the past. They should be regarded with amusement and part of our learning curve as we should only look forward to the future. God gave us eyes to look in front; which is why our eyes are located at the front and not at the back, to avoid always being hung up on the past.
We have all been through the good and bad times; which is the main reason we have learnt to smile, to frown, and to silently cry. The good and the bad are there to teach us about emotions, and that the journey of life will always be filled with bends and turns, but there will be rainbows and sunshines, and many other little things which can just turn that curve on our lips upward.

Time really flies as I looked back at some of things which have happened; for instance, even in the past year. I have gotten back to working in the field which I thought I have left and had the busiest year and a half which I am still wondering at the way I survived the time. It was a bittersweet experience and while I have been through the tough times, I realized that there were silver linings as I have found the ones who truly cared and will stand by me in times of good and bad without question. Besides I have also filled in the blanks with more experiences and left footprints in the lives of others; having had theirs in mine too. I have met people whom I may not have known had I not taken that chance, or if I had just given up. I had formed strong friendships alongside the working relationship and even though we may be apart now, we are still very much attached to that bond we had formed in the past year.

Work, life, relationships and friendships and all the events just came like it was being played on the a slideshow. Perhaps I should thank my memory power for being able to recall even the smallest details which some of my friends have even forgotten. I am a very sentimental person, and I hold each of the bits and pieces of my life with so much emotion that sometimes I find it hard to let go of the things in life. It could be that I am too determined in part, and there are times when I just hold strongly to my beliefs. It is just the way it is with my life, I always regard everything with a serious attitude, and sometimes, it is this which could end up bogging me down and hurt myself in the process.
Well, at least it is something which I have learnt to deal with and understand, and am now learning to let go, slowly.

I don't let go of my memories though; no, they are, in my mind, one of the most beautiful part of me for they are truly what formed me today. I love remembering the stories from the past, and the things I have been through with the many people whom I have crossed path with. From childhood, school, university, my first job...nothing can take all these away, nor can they be deleted just with a click. I treasure these memories with all my heart.

I have learnt to laugh so hard that it is hard to breathe; with the funny and ridiculous jokes that I have heard...
I have learnt to hold back my tears and not let them flow down to show weakness. It was difficult, but I am determined not to be weak and I had to hold them back even though they were filling my eyes to the brim that I had to even hold back from blinking or breathing...
I have learnt to take a deep breath and walk away from an argument, even though I know the other party is on the wrong and I am right (and I do not like to back down when I am right, but I did)...
I have learnt to just ignore and block out the messages which are meant to hurt me, and just take a deep breath, telling myself that it is just part and parcel of life...
I have learnt to look straight at the people in my eye and show them I am not afraid of them even if they try to create fear in me
I have learnt to let go of the extra baggage that I do not want carry any longer
I have learnt to just let myself go and cry as hard as I can, to myself, in my car, and somewhere in my secret hiding place
I have learnt to swallow my tears and muster up the courage to smile even though deep down inside it hurts
I have learnt to accept things that cannot be changed and not myself be affected by them
I have learnt that there are just things which are beyond my control and I do not need to even try to control
I have learnt to forget things which have happened, and I am still trying to learn to forgive
I have learnt to let go of the things which didn't matter and to bury the deep scars
I have learnt that feelings are beautiful and they come and go, for we are just human beings
I have learnt that I need to love myself before loving others, and for others to love me
I have learnt to smile at myself each day because I am worth it

There are just so many more things that I have learnt and I am still learning along the way.....and there will be no end to the learning as I am faced with all the different and unpredictable situations which will continue to head my way.
There is no sure way to say that there won't be anymore tears or anger, but I am ready for them for I will just counter them with my own be positive and brave.

Yesterday I was just naive
Yesterday I believed that everyone was good in their own nature and not evil
Yesterday I find it hard to really place trust in someone besides myself
Yesterday I felt hurt by the people who did not care and showed their true nature
Yesterday I saw hope and love in those who showed up in times of need
Yesterday I smiled because it is going to be alright today
Yesterday I looked forward to today because I know that time will always heal
Yesterday I laughed because of all the goofy things I did and believed was cool
Yesterday I smiled because I was filled with hope with what tomorrow would bring
Yesterday I wiped away a tear when people weren't watching
Yesterday I had so much fun with the people who shared the same vision and passion with me
Yesterday I drifted apart from some of the people from the past who judged me
Yesterday I made decisions by asking for His guidance

There are so much more which had taken place yesterday, but they are all in the past and they will always be a part of my past. It will always be a secret part of me, but all there to make me better and to tickle me to see the beauty and ugliness of what I had been through.
Today is what I am going to do and how I want to make myself happier

Tomorrow is something I cannot see just yet, but I am sure it will not be an easy road because that is just life...and the only way to make it easier, is to just be brave, and smile to take on that challenge!
After all, no one ever said life is going to be easy...and the best we can do is to make it the best for ourselves!
So, Smile, laugh, cry, shout, get angry, get goofy, (but don't go killing people), let your hair down once in a while and life will be a cool roller coaster ride~ :-)

Missing all the memories from the past...maybe I should write a letter to my future self, based on the memories I am creating today for tomorrow~

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sleepless night

I lay awake last night; way past my usual bedtime, tossing from the right to the left while trying to shut my eyes to sleep. It wasn't like the ordinary routine where I would just need to close my eyes and then I would slowly drift to sleep. No, somehow I couldn't shut the thoughts in my mind or tell my mind to just wrap it up for the day and let me get to rest. It was like my mind was just not in direct synchronization with my eyes and my heart (literally, not medically) and there were just flashes of images and scenarios which just keep playing themselves like slideshows being put on the Play mode on the remote control when we are watching a movie. The only difference is, the Pause or Stop button does not seem to be working, even as I was trying my hardest to halt the entire stream of thoughts from continuing.
It seemed that the harder I tried, the harder it becomes for me to really shut my eyes and just go to sleep.
I guess, I just didn't expect it to affect me that much, especially since I have recently managed to recover my sleeping pattern.

It was not really good, I have been plagued with sleeping problems for a couple of months; and was periodically occurring since last year. While it was originally caused by the work stress and also the work which led me to staying up to complete my assignments, and then mentally planning and preparing myself for the next day each night before I go to sleep, it soon became embedded in the sleep routine which made it harder for me to go to sleep even after those stressful work periods. I told myself that it was just the momentary effect since I have conditioned my body and mind to that stage and it will only take time for me to re-condition and allow myself to just let things go and unwind and things will go back to normal. It did appear like it was according to what I thought; only that the sleep patterns were irregular and I just find that I was getting restless at the same time.
Many methods were implemented; trust me, I have tried everything and even chamomile tea which initially worked, just turned out to let me down much later, even though I didn't drink it every single day so as not to allow its effects to wear off eventually.

I have gotten back to sleeping better over the past few weeks, and I knew that it is a good thing for my body and mind to really get that rest it deserved, and not think too much before my bedtime, which is what I always do (oh well, I don't just think before my bedtime, I just keep thinking, like, all the time!).

Last night was probably not because of any other issue, but it was more of something which was more of a thinking dilemma, only it did involve a little more than that. Somehow, I could not help thinking about the past, the present and the future and linking them together. There are just so many things which kept plaguing my mind to the extent of a decision that I was stuck in a dilemma. At the same time, there was just a slight feeling of hurt and disappointment which crept into the heart because this time, it involve not only a decision but rather, a perspective and a point of view that made me wonder, whether I have been too silly to believe what I thought was the truth all the while.
I couldn't help it, the sneaky little thoughts from a tiny voice just kept seducing me to question the very root of my trust and faith in the person and the situation in which I had been believing all this while. Have I been too naive and trusting again, to think that things were the way it seem?
The recent incident seem to appear otherwise and try as I can, I can't seem to justify the reason for the thoughts which just crept its way into my mind and into the heart.

I wished I had an answer; and perhaps that was what I was probably doing, keeping myself awake in the process, trying to come up with the answer or the justification to explain what is actually happening, and I am not sure if I am able to even convince myself. It is hard enough trying to understand the situation and worrying about the direction I want in my life, but matters of the heart and relating to trust are just never easy to decipher. I want to brush away the hurt, for I believe it could only be a perception formed on my side.
I want to believe that it not the case; that I have been overly involved in the thoughts of what I perceived and that it was just a misunderstanding. I want to believe so badly, even though I have no way to prove whichever is wrong or right. I know deep down inside, it is not as bad as the worst case scenario I have imagined and that, was indeed a case of just an extra inflated balloon.

It is a wonder I can get any sleep when my mind is filled with so many thoughts pacing back and forth, and with me physically turning over from left to right, right to left and staring at the ceiling.
The thoughts are coupled with that tinge of hurt which I just could not explain, because I did not want to explain and I just want to let it be.
It hurts because I cared; and because I had let my trust and naivety take over, and I am now doubtful if it was truly well-deserved or was I just believing in someone non-deserving?

I don't have all the answers yet, and I may never have all the answers...I may need to wonder my whole entire lifetime, or I could just go up to the person and ask, but will I still be able to believe or again dissect the answer and the way it was answered to my thoughts? I don't know, perhaps what they say is true, Ignorance is Bliss....and maybe I should never need to know, to maintain that original positive image I have formed.
I don't know....I just think, I need to stop thinking about it...and let time and nature takes their course....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spare a thought for the festive season

How was your Lunar New Year, or rather your Chinese New Year 2014 celebrations been?
I am sure it must have been awesome; I was enlightened by the constant and instant updates of new photos throughout the festive celebration on my social media accounts (especially Facebook) of how everyone was enjoying themselves. It was definitely a delightful treat; not to mention refreshing, in the least when I see the vibrant lifestyle of most of the people posting details of their lives and their families and friends all on the blue and white page and to a certain extent, it even seemed like it was some sort of a competition with each sharing about how grand their dinner was, how exciting their activities were and even how beautiful their clothes were. It was not in a negative manner though; in fact, I even find it amusing and entertaining to be able to be kept updated of all my friends' lives at a click to scroll down the page.
I am happy to see the beaming faces and I wish everyone all the happiness as well.

I used to take the Chinese New Year in a rather nonchalant mood; meaning I am not really that excited about the festive mood as it approaches, and it was rather weird for children typically look forward to the season to put on their brand new clothes and shoes, and awaits the collection of red angpows (red packets with money) which brings extra pocket money to be spent or, in my case, to be saved in the little piggy bank (this is just a term referring to the coin box; as mine was a rabbit bank, and it was in my favorite pink color too). Perhaps it was due to the fact that Chinese New Year meant lots of homework to work on, and feasting on lots of takeaways or stored food and cookies which were not to the liking of my taste buds. You see, the Chinese New Year happens to be big deal back then among the Chinese community and it is especially so in a Chinese populated neighborhood where everyone takes a break from work to enjoy the festive season; including the morning/night markets, hawker stalls and even restaurants. The only ones which are left open would charge exorbitant prices for a simple meal; unless you go to a place run by Indians or Malays, or the other option would be the always fixed price fast food outlets.
Today is slightly different, and it is not that the Chinese New Year no longer matters, but the folks in business are now smarter to earn the bucks during the festive season when others are resting and then enjoy their break at the end of the Chinese New Year when things have resumed to normal. These folks are definitely enjoying the good fortune and prosper well during the Chinese New Year season, with a price increase in their food and drinks.

I remembered I was also not that fond of a lot of cookies or the festive goodies which many kids would run to, and squeal in delight as they reach their hands for that tin of Kuih Kapit or Kuih Bangkit, or even the chewy sweets. I, on the other hand, run towards the opposite direction.
Perhaps I was just weird, or I did not want to risk falling sick at all, or another simple reason, I hate how those stuffs stick to the back of my teeth and just makes me so uncomfortable, and for that reason, I've sworn them off. Weird, I know.
Well, I am still a normal kid who loves collecting angpows, although I typically only collect from my close relatives and I don't usually go to my friends' houses as I just don't find it that appropriate to be asking for angpows from their parents, even during the festive season. I just don't feel right about it; and this is just from my personal perspective. Another thing that I used to do during the festive season, is to finish up my homework and revise my chapters on the textbook. Sounds crazy, right? And I know you are just this close to calling me a nerd, or a dumb bookworm.
Maybe I am, I just love books, and I want to prepare myself ahead of class and to understand all the stuffs that I have been taught. Of course, I don't READ textbooks throughout the entire holidays, I still read my favorite novels more than the non-fiction.
Those were the memories of my childhood during the Chinese New year season.

As I grow older, okay, I am old now, I find myself anticipating the festivities and together with my brother, we would work together to decorate the house and help mum to clean up, and even buy the food stuffs for the reunion dinner or to store for the season. Reunion dinners previously probably just passed as a normal dinner as we always had dinner together every night. My dad used to tell us, "A family that eats together, stays together" which remains etched in my mind, and I strongly believe in this. No one dines first, then others dine later in my family. If we want to eat, we sit down at the table together and eat together, that is the rule.
Since I left for university and then later for work where I was based in another state, traveling home for reunion dinner became something which I looked forward to, as it meant I could stay at home and be with the family (which also meant being pampered and spoilt rotten) even if it meant just for a couple of days.
I slowly started to appreciate the theme of the reunion dinner as it was truly meaningful when the whole family gathers again at the table; chatting away happily and enjoying the food.

After I got married, I switched to sitting down for reunion dinner with my in-laws and it was a unique and enlightening experience to me, exchanging our thoughts and banter with my new family members at the table. I did miss my family, but I did know I could return for the reunion dinner on the second day of the Chinese New Year; a custom practiced by the Chinese society where married daughters are to return to their maiden homes to start off the year ("Hoi Nin" in Cantonese, or directly translated as Opening of the New Year). It was also another happy occasion; when I get to return. While it may seem like I was missing from the reunion dinner on Chinese New Year's eve with my family, I compensated by bringing an additional member (my husband) home for the reunion on the 2nd day. It is definitely interesting how the Chinese customs work sometimes.

As I start to revel in the deeper meaning of the Chinese New Year, I am learning more and more things and enjoying my experience as each Chinese New year comes and goes. I am now mingling with my new family members (maybe not so new anymore), and it is an interesting experience learning to interact with them and understanding their family background.
My family is not really a big one; but my in-laws had a slightly bigger family and there are even children running around. Reunion dinner was also really meaningful as my brothers-in-law and their families are based in other countries, and I could see the smiles and joy on my mother-in-law's face when they return for the celebrations. Such was the drops of contentment in a mother's heart.

This year, I was not that much into the mood, perhaps another sign of getting older, but I did some thinking and made resolutions in conjunction with the new beginning of a lunar year.
I have noticed the signs of age on both sets of parents, and it is evident that they are happy to see their children all grown up and independent nowadays. However, are we truly aware of the things they need? Of course money could help them to survive and buy the things they need to get by the day, but the thing that they would need most is the love and attention from their grown up children, and I wonder whether we have been doing enough, or are we just like the contemporary working people, just satisfying their kids' wants with money?

Besides the parents, are we all just merely putting on shows with the beautiful clothes, shoes, bags and hampers we prepare each year? Do we focus our thoughts on being thankful for our blessings; for being able to have new things to put on and place around the house? While we thank God for being able to afford the things we have, do we also think of those who are less fortunate out there?
Yes, it is good to be able to afford the good food on the table, the beautiful clothes on us and the fireworks to set off to enjoy the festive mood, but sometimes, I just wonder are we all just looking at the surface and merely pleased by the materialistic things in life? Or are we turning ourselves into self-obsessed beings; where we are focused on the things WE have, WE want, WE need, and WE must buy. It seems to be all about us, but when it comes to others, we tend to shy away or mumble a few excuses that we have just enough to feed our own.

Are we all being giving enough?
Festive seasons are not about the parading of the finest cloaks nor the most expensive silver on the table, but rather, it should be about a change deep within, and time to renew the relationship with the ones we love. Start to love ourselves, our parents and our families/loved ones and those around us, and slowly make a change. Confucius had also said in one of his literature that if we were to treat everyone around us like our own family, the world would be a much better place to live in. The same concept was practiced in Christianity where we would refer to one another as brothers and sisters.
As kids, we love to collect the red packets filled with money and when we grow up and gotten married, we are the ones filling those red packets with the money to be given to others. I have even heard of those who quarrel over the amount of money to be put into that red packet, and those who complain about the amount they received. Is that the spirit of giving and receiving in a brand new year?

When we put that money into the pocket, we should not be counting only the dollar notes, do fill it with sincere prayers and thoughts. We share and exchange the well wishes with each other during the festive season, and usually the younger ones(or the recipients) would wish the elders all the good blessings before receiving the red packet. Let these be real words from the heart, put some thought into it and wish from the bottom of your heart.
For those giving the angpows, return the wishes with a warm thought and smile, and also wish the recipients the wonderful things you can think of and hope for.

When you do good with a sincere heart and with a genuine intention, it can be felt with the heart and it truly shows on the face. Yes, that eminent glow on the face and a good feeling in the heart is all that matters.
All the beautiful things, food and clothes are just merely cosmetic decorations to enhance the joyous spirit of everyone in wishing for good things at the beginning of the year; hoping to chase away the bad from the previous year and hoping for a change. When the year changes, EVERY one wants changes in their life, and for the better, of course.

For things to change, one must first change....and remember, it always comes from the heart.
When you truly give and receive from the heart, and OPEN up your heart to everyone out there (loved ones and less fortunate ones), you will find that happiness and peace and good things will surely come.

Even the flowers will look especially beautiful when it blooms in full, as it comes from the heart.

May the Horse Year brings you much more joy and good things!~

Be Happy each day, or at least, 100 Happy Days!~

While I have launched my own personal project which is still on its way, I have also decided to take up the #100happydays challenge which is fast spreading like forest fire on the social media world.
There are just so many things we ought to be thankful for, and since life is short, why focus on the sad things in life.

It is also an extremely meaningful project which helps many to discover happiness, and to find that way to just smile each day.
It is a realistic milestone, with the 100 days set as the limit out of the 365 days but why limit happiness? It is even better to be able to outlive the 100 days and make it to being happy for the whole year. What an interesting ode to happiness this is!

There are many things happening out there in the world, and while we cannot predict what will happen next, the only thing that is within our control is our attitude and mindset towards each of the events unfolding in our lives. If we choose to embrace it with a anguish and sorrow, then it will set the mood in ourselves to be moody and grumpy. On the contrary, taking it in a stride, wiping away the tears and smile and tell ourselves, "It will get better" is definitely a better way to handle the situation and to send that cheerful strait down to our hearts.

I am happy, and I must keep it that way!
Will you?


Friday, February 14, 2014

My Project 365

So I have made a resolution at the beginning of the year 2014 that I will be working on multiple things that I am currently focusing on; and will be revealed in time, and one of these key projects is my #Project365.
The name of the project sounds simple and self-explanatory enough, and it was something which came to my mind all of a sudden; and it even became clearer when I caught glimpse of a quotation made by a Buddhist monk. It got me thinking for a while, and I was determined that I wanted to try it out. It sounds like a simple thing, but it requires a true passion and of course sincerity from the bottom of the heart to make it work.
Simple yet complicated?
I must have got you wondering what on earth I was talking about...

Well, the quote was quite simple on which the concept of my personal project was borne.
It goes this way that, 'if we were to do one good deed a day, we could have helped 365 souls in a year'. Sounds good and really noble, right? It was definitely a positive way to kick start the brand new year, and it made perfect sense to do something for a change in this ever evolving world.
So, with that in mind, I took up the challenge and created my #Project365 for my personal trial.
Although I have not been posting on this blog (I will try to do so soon) on a daily basis, that did not mean I did not pay much thought to my project, and that those were just the generic resolutions like many others which would probably end up in the closet.
Nope, I remembered and thought of, or prayed for that one thing I could do each day to help or do something good, or for someone out there.
The concept is to do something good, be it for others or loved ones, or even for ourselves.
It could even be something as simple as just a prayer, yes, it was that simple, but, again, the key is the purity of the thought that goes into the action. That was the beautiful part of this project.

Today is already Day 45 of the year 2014; and I dare not say that I have done much to change the world (that is not the point, though it would be a small part to the ultimate goal), but I have found peace within myself and felt a little refreshed.
The things that I have done, may not be a lot, but they have helped to shape my project, which I reckon would be tuned along the way. After all, this is the first attempt, and being human, we can't guarantee 100% success rate due to the emotions which cloud us each day and also the unforeseen/unpredictable circumstances which take place every day.
However, I have done the following; though not in any particular order:-
1. Smiled at a stranger (the person probably thought I was out of my mind, but it did make a difference as he looked rather sullen and when I smiled, he couldn't help but form a slight smile as though to reciprocate mine. That, to me, was a success, and I felt good) - Multiple times

2. Gave way to a family who was trying to cross the road amidst the crazy traffic in town where cars were dashing all over the places. They waved back, and I felt happy to be a courteous driver =)
Gave way to drivers and pedestrians and thanked people for giving way as well.
It was all part of the journey to create more courtesy in Malaysia - Multiple times

3. Held the door open for a couple pushing a pram and balancing their shopping bags on a few occasions; in a shopping mall and also in a condominium lobby - Multiple times

4. Gave up my seat to an elderly couple while on a swaying bus going down a winding road on one of my trips to the outskirt. The elderly couple thanked me all the way, and even said they do not deserved it. This was probably the best thing I have done for it made me really happy and touched that such a small thing could have created such a big effect on others. - x3

5. Spent some time listening to the grouches and rants of the elderly sales women on duty at the shopping malls, and comforted them. They were oppressed due to their age and also suffered disrespect from the customers due to their jobs and they just needed to air their frustrations. I even offered them advices to just ignore those who disrespect them and not curse others. It was an interesting experience and I have learnt a lot; one of which is the way they think and their expectations - x3

6. Prayed for the people who have hurt me and my family; and prayed for their forgiveness. Learning to let go and also healing myself and the wounds of my loved ones. It is a long journey, but I will continue trying as I have let go of the burden. God will guide them the way, for they know not what they are doing at the moment. - every day

7. Offered things which I would not in the past; as part of my reconciliation process. I am a possessive person at times, but I have learnt the joys of sharing and opening up to the people around me to know and be known better by others. It was a rewarding journey, particularly during the festive season as I could reach to others' souls and make a difference.

8. Helped people with chores others would not do, but was reciprocated with much kindness. This was definitely a highlight as well.

As you can see, I do not detail much of the things I have done for I am still very much a personal and rather private person; and also because there are things which involved the privacy of others which I need to respect. Perhaps I will be more open in time to come, and hopefully I can start to update this blog on a daily basis on the progress of my project 365!

Update for today; Day 45?
I have reconnected with friends whom I have neglected in the past, and even sent a few smiles and warm wishes down their way, making everyone delighted.
It sent a warm feeling to my heart, and stirred inside me the inexplicable feeling of gratitude and joy.

As today is also the double celebration of the Chinese Valentine's Day and the Valentine's Day which coincides on such a rare basis, oh, there's also the Chap Goh Meh, the last day of the 15-day celebration of the Lunar New Year, what is better than spreading more love around?
Love and be loved!~