Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Haze Is My Biggest Problem

So far it's been very hazy in Singapore and Malaysia due to our good friend Indonesia who smokes up annually to the dismay of all its neighbours.
The haze this year is really bad - I feel ill when I walk outside for a short while. It gets in your throat, gives you headaches and even makes you a bit nauseous.

Then it rained yesterday, and as I was walking from the train station to work, I sniffed the clean air and felt very lucky and thankful to have clean air.

This got me thinking : my biggest problem right now is not having clean air, but this is going to clear up in a few months. We complain and gripe from our ivory towers but we are so incredibly lucky in every other aspect. I follow Humans of New York on Facebook, and I love (and hate) at the same time reading the refugee series. I love it because it's thought provoking and opens up your mind to what other people are facing, and I hate it because there is too much unnecessary cruelty in the world. I read about people who are fleeing war-torn countries, who are beaten by the police when they enter a new country, who are chased away like animals and have nowhere to go. These people are looking every day for food, water and a place to sleep - pure, basic survival.

Then you think about all the people in the world who don't have access to clean water or even electricity. It's hard to imagine, especially being in Singapore, where everything is perfect and in great working condition, where we frown when trains are a few minutes late or breakdowns happen. I'm not saying that we shouldn't complain - because efficiency is what Singapore is known for - but thinking about how blessed I am in my life puts things in perspective. The problems I have are not problems. I have a nice bed to sleep in every night. I have never worried for when my next meal will come. I have clean water. I long for nothing.

There was some bad news at work the other day, but two things cheered me up. The first was a colleague (but a better word is friend) who left a little cake for me at my desk to perk me up.

The second, which got me thinking was another colleague who told me "Sometimes, unluckiness is luckiness."
Perhaps this is another way of saying 'There's a reason for everything,' but I found great comfort in this statement. Also, the news I received was not terrible news in any way - I was not fired or yelled at in any way, and nobody was hurt from this. In fact, work is going great. I am heading to my dream job next month in my dream country!

I think perspective is very important in every situation. You really can choose to be positive or negative about any situation, and most of the time, there are more positives to it (even if it may really not feel that way at that point of time).

Earlier this year, I felt really down and low about things. It's a really great feeling knowing that the year is ending so much better than it has started. There are so many new things to look forward to and so many adventures to go on!

All in all, I am incredibly thankful and feel very blessed with everything I have right now. My life is perfect. (See, I was almost going to say nothing is perfect, but I feel that's a very pessimistic way of looking at things.) There will be quirks and irritations in everything we do in life, but the sum of it is a rich tapestry of life that teaches you some painful life lessons, but also gives you so much growth.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get Rid of Toxic Friends

I'm pretty sure I've written about toxic friends one time too many, but I haven't had to think about in since moving to Singapore. It's not so much that there are nicer people here, but I've made a specific effort to only be with friends that I genuinely love and care for and who are uplifting for me.

I went back to KL last weekend and decided it would be a good idea to meet up with some old friends before I do my biggity move. This turned out to be a huge mistake - or maybe not, because it taught me an important lesson, because I spent my time with an incredibly negative person who was hell-bent on taking me down at every possible moment. I initially intended to re-hash every nasty, petty little comment she had made - ranging from how my bosses must be moving me because they wanted to get rid to me, to insulting the company I worked for and how 'EWw' the culture must be, but I've decided not to. (That, and I've also complained about her to my other girlfriends, heh heh).

This got me thinking though - when someone is so blatantly rude to you to your face, what do you do? She made plenty of outright nasty remarks but I was so shellshocked that I was rendered speechless most of the time. First I tried to laugh it off as a joke, then I stopped smiling, and by the third comment I was glaring at her and rolling my eyes. In hindsight, I think from now on if people are so unnecessarily rude (and small) to me, I've decided that they just don't warrant a response.

Of course, some of my friends said 'You should have given it back to her!'. In all honesty, I think the reason I didn't 'give it back to her' was also due to the fact that I'm not at all in envy of her life. She's not somebody I respect or look up to. I guess it's also because she no longer mattered in my life. She's unimportant and irrelevant, but at the same time irritating enough for me to write a post on her.

If I were to look back and think, would I have made any nasty remarks to her - the answer would still be no. And really, it's because she seems to consumed by hate and negativity and cattiness that it looks sad. I think I would have wanted to 'give it back to her' if she was someone who was really smug about herself, but the sad thing is I think she is wanting for so much in her life and for whatever reason she's not getting it, she takes it out on people.

By the way, she has a nice life. Good job, personal life going great - so I don't really understand her need to be so nasty and put other people down - but I don't have to.

Waving goodbye to her, I knew that this would be the last time I ever see or speak to her again.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't Be A Judgmental Hypocrite, Will You?

I'm sure you have people on your Facebook who are constantly posting up religious quotes and sayings. 

Before I go on any further, I would like to express my views on religion. I think religion is important. I think it guides us and gives us kind of a moral compass in life. I used to be quite religious - oh, you won't catch me quoting religious spiel to random strangers, but I would pray every night, read my religious books and try my best to be a good person.

After my dad passed away, I stopped though, because I was so angry and so upset that God had taken away my father. I was furious - despite all my prayers and best efforts to be good, to do good so that he could live longer, it hadn't worked. So I went on a religious boycott.

Anyway, that's a little side story, and there's more to it but it's not really relevant to what I want to say today. My point is, I like religion and I like their teachings. No matter what religion you are, all religion will tell you to do good, be kind, help others and not judge. Extremism is something else that should not be considered religion.

Of course, it's very easy to talk about all these things. And I am going to sit on my Judgment Throne right now, and dispense a few thoughts I have of people.

I'll give you an example of a lady I know on Facebook - let's call her Figgy (just because it's a fun name). Figgy is quite the activist and religious person. She constantly posts things about the bad state of our country, how we need to help improve it, pictures of her children and their weddings, and also of course, a few quotes on religion. If you were friends with her on Facebook, you would think Figgy is great and has her heart in the right place. You'd see Figgy as a caring, motherly figure that wants a better country for her children.

So the part which really annoys me is - I know Figgy in person. Figgy is extremely judgmental. She eyeballs girls who wear short skirts and high heels and likes to humiliate them (she calls it joking, I call it pathetic) by yelling loudly at them across the room at how short their skirts are. When girls come with their branded handbags, she doesn't say anything to them but behind them says things like "Eeyer, look at her, bought a new Prada handbag, who does she think she is? Thinks she's a big shot now!"

This is where it gets hypocritical - if you want to make the world a better place, you need to start with the small things. It's great that you have your heart championing all the right causes, but every day life is important too. Small things can bind (or break) a community. I don't think Figgy is a bad person per se, but she unfortunately falls in that typical stereotype of an irritating, judgmental aunty who is always gossiping about other people.

(It's also a bit ironic because I'm doing the exact same thing here, hah)

The point is : if you want to yell out on Facebook religious teachings or whatever, then maybe you should learn to be a nicer person. A person who doesn't judge so much. A person who doesn't get so bothered by what other people wear or what handbags they carry. Sure, some people like flaunting their branded stuff - and I know an EXTREMELY annoying human being who only seems to be able to operate if she can brag on and on about how much branded stuff she has, but a lot of people get stuff because they like the style of a product or just think it's cute. Not everyone out there is out to be a big, showy idiot. 

Let people do what they want to do, so long they're not hurting you. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Minimize Again

I am preparing to move again!

I look around my 450 square feet apartment and I'm pretty amazed at how much stuff I've accumulated again, despite having pared down almost half my posessions when I moved from KL to Singapore.

As time passed I found myself hoarding again - namely loads of beauty products, a huge habit of mine. And shoes. Shoes too. Too many shoes.

I think my next apartment is going to be even smaller than the one now, so I have about two months to get my game together.

I started small today, but I managed to declutter about 30 items of makeup. My dresser is looking a lot cleaner. It's amazing how much calmer and more peaceful you feel when there are clean spaces.

This is cheating, but I'm heading home tomorrow so I'm bringing a bunch of clothing with me that I don't wear anymore here but don't have the heart to give away (yet!). Since I hardly have clothes back home, I'm going to dump my clothes there for a bit, and the next time I come back and if I don't miss any of it, I'm going to throw it out.

I'm looking forward to minimizing again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I HATE Generalizations

"All women want a rich husband."
"All Asian women want to date a white guy." (AHEM, this is for you!)
"All men are weak."
"Men can't help themselves."

You know what, guys?
I am SO sick of generalisations.
First of all, generalisations are stupid. They're these big, sweeping statements that are just designed to excuse bad behaviour, which is pathetic in my opinion. And honestly, who the hell, in this day and age, is still dumb enough to make sweeping statements that encompass 'all'?

The beauty about today's world is that never before has individualism been so fiercely embraced. Sure, we're still collective as a society and we still seek approval and a percentage of us still find the need to conform to the standards society sets. In all honesty, I think there's nothing wrong with that. Don't get me started on 'hipsters' who are trying so hard to be cool (HELLO MAINSTREAM) that they've completely made a joke of themselves. I have real hipster friends who are really into the whole indie music scene and doing their own thing, and I have complete respect for them. But sorry, I don't have any respect for people who just dress like what they think is 'hipster' and act like they're the genuine thing. Maybe this is hypocritical - if I'm so OK with everyone conforming to society's standards, and if being hipster is now in, it should be OK - but I feel that the whole point of being a hipster is being different because you really are, or you really do have those preferences a hipster has, and not just because you want to be labelled a goddamn hipster.

FYI I'm not a hipster. I'm very mainstream.

I digress, as usual. Now, the reason why I don't agree to generalisations is that because it's just not true anymore. A friend of mine brought up a point today, the reason why people make these generalisations is because it is their reality. For example, if you grow up and are constantly being cheated on, I think it makes sense you'd think 'All men cheat'. While that isn't the worldwide truth, it's YOUR truth. 

I've had a lot of shit experiences that have really turned me off people, and I used to think 'All people are huge, major disappointments.' Well you know what? If I keep saying that, it becomes true. It's also a self fulfilling prophecy. And it's not true. People are not major disappointments. I've met so many people in life who have taught me so much about growth. I've had people inspire me to really become a nicer person, like this guy in my university days named Kit. He was the NICEST guy ever, he would always go out of his way to help, he always had a smile on his face, and dammit, he was just one of the most genuine people I knew. He's someone that actually made me think - hmm. Maybe I should stop being so negative and be a nicer person, because he seems plenty happy about it. 

I shouldn't waste so much time about this, but I have to say it feels so good to rant and pound away on my keyboard!

So yeah, people. Stop generalising. Stop making sweeping statements. Stop acting like it's OK to justify bad behaviour, or there's an excuse to be not so nice. If you want to continue making sweeping statements, make some nice ones, damn it. Like, all girls are peaches. Or, all men are huggybuns. Whatever, man! 

We need a bit more positivity in this world. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Met Rachel Yamagata!

Last Friday, I went for a Rachel Yamagata concert in Esplanade.

The first song I heard and loved of hers was 'Worn Me Down' when I was still in university. Then I'd gotten introduced to her Happenstance album, which is just this haunting, beautiful album. I listened to it after a breakup, and every word she said seemed to be everything I felt. I felt like, Goddamit woman, why do you know how much pain I feel!

Anyway, back to Esplanade - she's just ridiculously talented. I think my favourite part of the whole show was when she sang a cappella. The whole theatre was just silent and all you could hear was her throaty, husky voice filling the place. Her voice is SO, SO, SO BEAUTIFUL.

She's really funny and personable and incredibly likeable. She switched up from being funny and entertaining to singing these heart wrenching songs. At the end, she came out for the Encore and I was one of the people yelling 'Reason Why' when she asked what we would like her to sing. That's one of my most favourite songs in the world, and it's just a crazy feeling to watch her sing it.

There was an autograph session after so we waited in line to see her. It took 2 hours, and there weren't that many people ahead of us, maybe 60 or so, but the reason why it took so long was because she really took the time out to talk to everyone. I don't think it helps that everyone (including me) starts pouring out their life story to he. She's just incredibly sympathetic and warm, and damn it, she's just incredible.

Here's proof we met!!!

Can't wait for her to come back!

Jimmy Choo's On 40%

Hi blog,

I went to Siam Paragon two days ago and discovered Jimmy Choo was on sale.

40%, to be exact, for every shoe that had a blessed green sticker on it.

I tried a pair on that I really liked, a gold, shimmery pair of wedges that made my feet look immediately expensive.

I also got an immediate blister, but that's besides the point.

It cost about 500SGD after the discount, which in my head I was yelling 'BARGAIN!'

I've never had a pair of Jimmy Choos before. Wouldn't it be nice to say I owned one? It would be like a mark of saying I've made it in the world!

Then I thought of all the hardship people have in the world. People not even far from me, for example the Rohingyas who are crammed like cattle in wooden pens as they fight to survive.

And I thought, how much better I could spend that money instead of a damned pair of shoes.

How I've really lost a lot of sense of what's important in life and have a completely misplaced idea of the value of money.

And so I left.