Category Archives: About Me & Stuff

Working My Brain Inside-out

It has been so long since I stepped into my journal world … too long in fact, the last post was in April … now it seems I have to get used to the wordpress format all over again. 

This post is spontaneous, I just typed my blog name … not really knew the purpose, and I got in and I clicked on “new post”.  So what’s up?

Do you work?  Where are you working?  …  I got asked so many times in the last 6 months, I lost count, and now few asked again.  And I like it this way.  I knew some are genuine concerns and I will surely update these people personally without being asked.  The others?  Probers, perhaps … some friends just had time to dig information and I am not longer sure if they really care how I am doing, and I gave them answers that probably bored them that they realised I was not going to share anything in depth with them that would be newsworthy.  Many no longer contact me coz we are not in the same grapevine, perhaps.

Tai-Tai? …  Some friends used terms on me which irritated me a little, because they are my friends.  Just because I don’t work for a salary or employed, I was referred to as “Tai-Tai” or “woman of leisure”.  Few can accept I let go a good package in the pharmaceutical industry to pursue something they never thought I would, and in most cases we became friends in the same industry.  I could not provide them with any concrete ideas they could imagine and expect me to be, so some effectively thought I do nothing.  Ha.  These words from them were not malicious, just ignorance of truly what I am pursuing, despite me sharing my personal goals and dreams.  Different wavelength just because I choose not to be a salaried corporate employee, and we are not on the same corporate path.  But I know some of these friends do care for me.

My family life?  …  I am also working on starting a family.  It is no simple task, partly because the reproductive system is not at its peak.  But we believe it is in God’s will and plan that he will provide for me, for us, for our family.

My business?  …  literally, ha, it is my business indeed.  I am indeed working on a plan to start something , however small the steps are, but just start.  Recently BK said to me a phrase he read somewhere, do not remember the exact words, something to the effect – as long as we don’t stop dreaming and working on it, continue to move no matter how small the steps.  He spoke to me at a time when my mind was filled with hesitance, fear, self-doubt, and yet roaring to create our dream.  I finalised on the name and registered my business, met up and confirmed the vendor to create my website, pressured and adrenalised (I don’t think there is this word but the meaning is exactly what I need) into working the business plan and the “products”.  I enjoy every moment from the dream to the search, research and continuously researching … to the plan, and I aim towards realising it.

Perserverance?   …   I must continuous despite of fear.  Or I will never do anything great.  I believe.  I do.  I be.

When my business is realised, this will be where I shall first update.

This note felt so much like a psychological assurance to myself, but really it put down my full commitment to getting It done, getting  It right!

Keep in touch  …  with the people who care for me, with myself who got to just do it, do it.

ps:  Recently on radio, I overheard the DJ sharing some words on Life – we do not hope to win, or think we can win, but Expect To!  Cheers

A Blessed 2009 to Everyone …

Yes, my wish for the New Year  is that everyone will live a blessed and fulfilling life!

As always, things happen for great reasons … so a blessed life to me does not mean that only good things happen and everything goes smoothly – it means to me that we learn and grow from small hiccups and face greater tasks with confidence & gusto and lead a progressive life mentally & emotionally … spiritually, I have to work at  it (I will give “physically” a definite miss).

I did not and will not make any new year resolution.  Since beginning of 2008, I have set my mission and vision in my life.  Every steps along the way, I remind mindful that my actions contributed to my life vision.  I became happier … that said, I have always been easy go lucky, I have always been pretty happy.  Think my name helps, my Dad gave me the name and he forgot about my Chinese name.

In 2008, a major breakthrough was that I learnt to let go of negative energies – things and persons that bogged me down, however infrequent.  Some things really bothered me but I didn’t know then how to release, they just popped up along the way in my lives.  I still remembered it just happened when I was in the bus on the way to the culinary institute in August, … as usual I was day dreaming, and I just felt ready to move on and live my life.  That was when I shared my journal entries and my life moves on.  When things happen and bothered me, I learnt to “whoosh” it off – somehow it helped and it worked.  Simply that.

For the new year, I am just going to live life … continuously learn and grow as an individual, as a partner in my blessed marriage, as a family with my loving parents, sis & David, bro & Pei San and the 6 beautiful children … as a worthy friend to worthy friends.

Laugh, Love & Live Life.

“… To All Singaporeans … A Warm Welcome Home…”

“… to all Singaporeans and residents of Singapore, a warm welcome home… ”  my flight just touched down at Singapore Changi International Airport.  It was 5.50am on 13 December 2008, Singapore time.

It just hit me that I had really left Houston, I was finally home in Singapore.  About 24 hours earlier, I had left Houston.  Was feeling exhausted from packing my apartment for handover and my luggages before I left for the airport, really tired. 

~

My last morning in Houston – I had gone for breakfast at my fav cafe, French Riviera Bakery Cafe for french bread with 2 sunny-side up and a cup of regular coffee, with Sandra.  I realized this shall be the last time we met for a chat for a long time to come, but I believe we will meet again.  On the way there, we passed one of my fav roads in Houston – tree-lined Chimney Rocks between I-10 to Westheimer.  The other being tree-lined Rice Boulevard.

At the entrance to the check-in terminal, my luggages had fallen flat with the cart when I was pushing up the ramp towards the automoatic door – yes, 2 luggages and 3 boxes fell in all directions.  I still managed to laugh, and 2 guys who had just got down from the taxi helped me to pick up the pieces before helping their own luggages.  Ok, that is my last memories of Houston, I managed to laugh at my own boo-boos as I live.

When I got on the flight, I saw a familiar face – I smiled to myself.  He did not see me. …  Hours into my flight after dinner service, and half goggy, I saw the same familiar face coming towards me, smiling.  We had a chat.  And soon, I was served a special privilege – a cappucino with 3 chocolates.  And soon after, I was given additional privileges – bottled water, biscotti, assorted fruits and 2 packets of tortillas chips … I passed a bottle to the Spanish guy seated at the window seat, we were separated by an empty seat between us.  “Do you know him?“, Jorge said to me, he must be surprised by the extras I received as an economy class passenger.  “Yah, he is my uncle!  He is my mum’s youngest brother.”  Yes, my uncle has been working with the same airline for the last 20 years(?), and despite being a frequent traveller on my job in the last couple of years, I have never chanced upon him on the same flight.  On this flight, he was the leading steward serving the business class section.  He had said to me, if he had known I was in Houston, we could have met up the last 2 days he was there.  That was his first trip to Houston with the airline.  But I was happy to see him on the flight.  My uncle wanted to make sure I was comfortable on the flight before he stopped over in Moscow while I continued the flight back to Singapore.  Nice!

5 movies and many songs later … Yes, of the 21.5 hours of actual flight time, and 1.5 hour transit time over in Moscow, I slept only for 2-3 hours.  I wasn’t sure if I was too exhausted to sleep … or I was feeling strange or excited, I was actually going home.  I watched 2 American, 2 Japanese and 1 Korean movies  – my fav was 10 Promises Made to My Dog – heart-touching … about promises made and forgotten as the relationship grew apart, even though this movie was a human-dog relationship.  Despite the random criticism made on the actor (about him being 34 and playing a 19 year old?), on the actress (about the limited emotion expressed by her dried tears at the dog’s deathbed?) etc, I enjoyed the movie – sometimes we should learn to enjoy the plot, and appreciate the meaning behind it all, without tearing the plot and characters apart and judging the flaws from every angle.  Interestingly though, BK was watching the same movie and loved it, on his flight home from Hong Kong to Singapore, he touched down into Singapore a few hours before me.  Oh I also concluded, I am not into Western R&B, more Western pop and sentimental pop as well as select Mandarin R&B and pop, I like some Cantonese songs but I don’t understand the words.

At the arrival hall at Singapore Changi International Airport, I wasn’t sure if BK would be receiving me as he arrived home only a couple of hours earlier.  We planned such that he would be around when I arrived home, I told him I did not want to return to an empty home.  I only realized during the transit in Moscow that my pre-paid SIM card from US did not work outside US.  At the arrival hall, I was surprised to be received by my family – my Dad & Mum, my bro & my sis, and BK of course.  “You had just washed your face?” as BK gave me a hug.  Huh?  No… I perspired profusely the moment I came out into the arrival hall.  It was the high humidity that hit me the first thing.  A big adjustment from snowing Chicago and snowing Houston.

~

The first thing we did when I got home – changed and went for a local breakfast – plain fried bee hoon (akarice vermicelli) with fried chicken wing and fried egg, and a local kopi (aka coffee with condensed milk).  Next thing was to wait for my appointment with a chef while BK went for his music lesson.  Then back home for a nap before dinner at my parents’ cum bro’s place.  Wow all my family were there for dinner – mum cooked curry chicken while my bro bought a variety of local food.  Not sure if it was the travel and jet-lagged, was feeling bloated and sluggish.

Sunday noon.  I had woken up after a good sleep.  Meeting Dad for brunch with BK.  It was our routine before I left for Houston.  Oh, brunch for Dad was at 1pm ;p  … 

BK will be leaving for Beijing late night.  I will be home alone… and kept busy.

(to post pix later … firstly, can’t remember where I put my camera cable… secondly, I need to sleep, woke up to say bye to BK before he left for airport to go Beijing, and going back to sleep soon for The Appt tmr!)

Bringing My Little “Precious”(s) Back to Singapore

My last night in Houston ~ a place I called home for the last 22 weeks.

Sitting in my apartment, knowing I have a couple of hours more to pack my luggage before dawn breaks.  And tonight, Houston is snowing, the temperature outside is 1 deg celcius.  Am I not blessed… Houston snows approximately every 4 years and tonight it is snowing… my last evening in Houston.

I just got back … from sipping warm coffee near a cozy fire place, with nice company on a snowing winter night … hmm when I wrote this, I thought it was so beautiful, yes it was indeed, and I know I am indeed so blessed.  No more words needed. 

I have been staring at my apartment for a while now.  I put the valuables to one side so I remember to pack them, and my precious to another coz I will never leave them behind or trash them.

Leaving with me tomorrow are 7 little rats or mice I have received in Houston – 3 of them are of the same breed but have different shades, and a cartoon book.

rats-bkThis mousey was from BK when he visited me in Houston on 30 Oct.  It was his birthday the following day but I received the present instead.  This mousey flew in with him from Singapore…  Before this, we were apart for 17 weeks since the day he left for Singapore on 5 July 2008 after settling me in Houston.  

rats-psrThis mousey was from a special couple … interestingly I wondered why someone would make a cheese knife in the form of a mouse and gave it 2 ears and a long tail??!!  Isn’t it such a wonder…  a symbol of my friendship with the special couple which began less than 10 weeks ago.  And this mousey will certainly reside comfortably in my precious collection and will go nowhere near my car boot sales. 

rats-jennie-lThese mouseys were from Jennie.  She gave me 3 as the 3 symbolized the friendship between 3 friends who met in Houston – Jennie is Indonesian Chinese who has adopted Houston as her home, Rafaella from Brazil and I from Singapore … guess who the fair one represents, who loves to show her left profile?  The amazing thing was we were not even from the same batch but we graduated together and we shared many a moments together in the last 20 weeks. 

rats-liz

This mousey was from Elizabeth.  On the second last day of school – 26 Nov, she gave it to me before class started, and she said she found it over the weekend and she hoped I would like it.  Of course, and no doubt about it!  Liz was my first partner on my Day 1 at CIAML on 7 July 2008 … and knowing I am double her age and I would usually give in to her, she knew she could try many things on me 😉  Then she helped me matter of factly on many occasions.

rats-misshu

This mousey was from Missshu, who shipped it to me from Sydney.  It was the first mousey that accompanied me through a couple of weeks in Houston while I worked on the laptop.  What made it so special was she got this for me during a time when beautiful things were happening to her.  And she now knew what I meant, when I told her last year – when it happened, you would know it … with your heart!  

joys-book1

This mousey cartoon book was bought over amazon.com, when I was researching on sugar flower books for my wedding cake.  It detailed the traits of persons born in the year of Rat through the journey of Ralph the rat who rescued his friend using traits others frowned upon.

The conclusion of the book ~ People born in the Year of the Rat are ambitious, clever, and thrifty.  They are nimble, optimistic, and sensitive.  But sometimes they can be competitive and possessive.  Though they may be nosey and a little thin-skinned, rats are truly resourceful and trusty pals.

Traits can’t be generalized based on birth year alone, it takes a character to become who he really is.  Be.

Along the way … I met and made friends who shared significant moments of my life at this point or another and friends who continued to hold me dear even tho’ I decided to relocate to Houston and now I am relocating back to Singapore… and I truly believe this friendship will continue to hold us dear through the distance, wherever we are.

You know what, I am ready to go home.

Reading Life’s Journeys … (completed)

I spent most of my time reading ~ even when I am shopping, munching pastries and sipping coffee, lazing about in my apartment, waiting for BK to finish his wind-surfing during weekends while in Singapore, in between actions …

This is a simple book that caught my eyes yesterday, found it in a half price book store at Rice Village:  Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers… by Fred Rogers 

Selective phrases resonate in me –  which I strongly believe in in living my life , and some which set me thinking ~ which I will hold them dear to live my life.  These 2 I did not separate…

Foreword by Joanne Roger

1.   …  always allowed each other to have own space … but even when we were apart, we were connected ~ pp4.

2.  …  had a heart that had room for everyone, and … fascinated by other people’s journeys ~ pp5.

3.  …  “we” and “our” – … so much a part of my ongoing journey ~ pp6.

As late Fred Rogers shared:

Who You Are Right Now

1.  … that I’m more able to accept myself as I happen to be, rather than as somebody thought I should be ~ pp 13.

2.  … the discovery of “who I am” in each of us – the “who I am” in relation to all those whom I meet ~ pp 14.

3.  … we all need to feel that we can bring the whole of ourselves to the people who care about us ~ pp 16.

4.  … if we can allow ourselves to be gentle with ourselves no matter what our feeling may be, we have the chance of discovering the very deep roots of who we are ~ pp 25.

5.  … “~ (need to refer again, can’t understand what I wrote too)” Quoting Dalai Lama ~ pp 26.

6.  … “I can do almost anything, but I’m still myself, I’m still myself, I am still myself inside…” Quoting song I’m Still Myself Inside  ~  pp 28.

7.  … people can like you exactly as you are  ~ pp 29.

8.  … nobody else can live the life you live… we always have the chance to bring what’s unique about us to life  ~  pp 31.

9.  … we were never made to feel that we had to be somebody that we were not, yet we were always encouraged to choose to be the best of who we were at the moment ~ pp 35.

10. …  there’s a part of all of us that longs to know that even what’s weakest about us is still redeemable and can ultimately count for something good ~ pp 36.

11.  …  And one reason we feel shy is that we’re not sure people will like us just the way we are ~ pp 37.

12  …  It’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more important than what we are.  Of course, it’s the opposite that’s true:  What we are determines what we do! ~  pp 44.

13.  …  people of all ages have deep feelings, and if we have the patience to wait through the silence, it’s often astounding what people will tell us  ~  pp 45.

14.  …  some of us must have forgotten how nourishing silence can be … whatever it’s called, it’s time away form outside stimulation, during which inner turbulence can settle, and we have a chance to become familiar with ourselves  ~ pp 47.

15.  …  “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” ~ The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery  ~ pp 54.

Loving and Being Loved

1.  …  anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person – and often many – who have believed in him or her.  We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others  ~  pp 65.

How true.  With my persistence held strong, I made one attempt after another … I ventured new grounds ~ all ‘coz someone believed that I am better than the self I judged, all ‘coz I heard “you can do it”… Joy

2.  …  as relationship matures, you start to see that just being there for each other is the most important thing you can do …  ~ pp 68.

3.  …  the best gifts are often wrapped in the most unspectacular way … isn’t it the “heartsurprise” that lingers in your memory and serves to nourish you from year to year?  ~  pp 69.

4.  …  there is something so comforting to realize that life goes on one way or another – even when those we love are way beyond our sight  ~  pp 71.

(con’t from my break…)

5.  …  coz deep down we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves.  What really matters is helping others win, too, even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then  ~  pp 73.

I hold this close to my heart ~ I smiled when I saw the smile from her eyes from the small wins in class, I smiled wider when I knew how the wins made her day – I was happy and I scored a bigger win too.  It is definitely more satisfying than the solitude of winning all alone.  Joy

6.  …  every human being has value … through living each day as it is given to me, I’ve learned that.  It cannot be “taught”, but it can be “caught” from those who live their lives right along with us.  What a privilege to be able to look for the good in our neighbour!  ~  pp 76.

7.  …  we speak with more than our mouths.  We listen with more than our ears  ~  pp 79.

8.  …  feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others  ~  pp 86.

9.  …  it’s so great that people can be in a relationship with each other for the now and not a whole lot of baggage from their past and a whole lot of anxiety about the future to the present moment  ~  pp 90.

10.  …  there is a close relationship between truth and trust  ~  pp 93.

11.  …  where would any of  us be without teachers – without people who have passion for their art or their science or their craft and love it right in front of us?  What would any of us do without teachers passing on to us what they know is essential about life  ~  pp 94.

12.  …  the receiving in life to me is one of the greatest gifts that we give another person.  And it’s very hard.  Because when you give, you’re in much greater control.  But when you receive something – you’re vulnerable  ~  pp 97.

This is one area I need to continuously work on.  I love to give, and it is more natural to me …  By being a poor receiver, I made things awkward for the giver sometimes.  I have improved, I learnt to smile and say “thank you” for each compliment, each gift, each blessing… I learnt to let the giver know I truly appreciate the gift.  Joy

13.  …  all of us – were created by LOVE.  Love with a capital L.  And we spend our lives trying to recognize that we truly are lovable and capable of loving  ~  pp 100.

BK and I believe in living our lives with Love.  Love drives us crazy sometimes, or do we call it passion?  Love resonates in us like a rhythm, it moves up and down  … it gives the heart beat to every friendship we value, every action we took.  Joy 

14.  …  if you’re trusted, then people will allow you to share their inner garden – what greater gift!  ~  pp 101

Guided Drift

1.  …  there’s often a tendency for us to hurry through transitions.  We may feel that these transitons are "nowhere at all" compared to what’s gone before or what we anticipate is next to come.  But you are somewhere … you’re “between”  ~  pp 106.

2.  …  isn’t it mysterious how so many wonderful things in life come to us seemingly without our planning?  We start travelling down one street, and we find ourselves interested in something we never expected on a side street; and as we explore it, the side street becomes the main road for us  ~  pp 107.

I came to understand, from each present position I set my future, I only continue in my present position.  But if I start moving along and explore beyond, I find new inspirations, meet new people who share my journey, break the rules and savour the present moments.  Joy 

3.  …  “what do you think that means, ‘ the past is prologue’?” … I think it means, “Man, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”  ~  pp 110.

4.  …  when you can actually integrate what you’ve learned with your own personality – when you can actually use your education to be who you want to be, to choose out of that mixed bag of explorations what you want to call yourself.  That’s when your education adds an extra measure of excitement!  ~  pp 115.

5.  …  there is much more to independence than learning to master new skills.  One fo the most important parts of independence is learning to form new relationships with other people  ~  pp 120.

6.  …  there are time when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don’t seem to help  ~  pp 122.

7.  …  it may be that the most important mastery we achieve early on is not the mastery of a particualr skill or particular piece of knowledge, but rather the mastery of the patience and persistence that learning requires, along with the ability to expect and accept mistakes and the feelings of disappointment they may bring  ~  pp 123.

8.  …  try your best to make goodness attractive.  That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given  ~  pp 136.

9.  …  we don’t always succeed in what we try – certainly not by the world’s standards – but i think you’ll find it’s the willingness to keep trying that matters most  ~  pp 139.

10.  …  in fact, no one gets to be a graduate without the investment of other people:  people who have loved you all along the way  ~  pp 147.

I believe in living my life journey and in sharing this journey with all who trust me – I have been inspired by great individuals and in turn I seek to continuously inspire & give.  Joy