Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bullying

Bullying is a lot more common than we think.
There are no rules, no specific guides that will tell you when bullying will happen, but it happens everywhere, in every society. School, work, play.
I used to be picked on a lot at school. Not bullied, but life was pretty miserable when I was in school. 

But, what I wanted to talk about today, was how we all have a part to play in bullying. A lot of people watch bullying go by, and they think that it's not their problem. They think as long as they're not the one bullying, it's okay, and they haven't contributed to the bullying.

You're wrong.

If you see someone being bullied, you should do something about it. If you don't speak up, you're as bad as the bully. If you want to flock towards the bully, and murmur your assent about how the person deserves it, then you really are a bully-in-accomplice.

You can't sit on the fence on this. Pick your side. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Write

I will be writing more, but not necessarily posting it all in my blog.
I spent some time writing earlier, and I realize how much more honest I am when I write knowing I have no audience, vs knowing that I have one. I am not as candid, as blunt or as truthful as I want to be, because the risk of stepping on people's toes are always going to be.

Sometimes people tell me, don't step on other people's tails. I don't get it. People don't have tails. People have toes. The toe saying makes sense, the tail one does not.

I will spend my weekend filled with quiet - I plan to read and write, but most likely not so much on my blog.

I wish all of you a good weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Excuses

I was going to start this post with 'We all make excuses-' then I realised that statement in itself is an excuse, an excuse for myself making an excuses.

So let me re-start.

I make excuses. I get lazy, I get tired. Take today, for example. I wanted to go swimming, but I was feeling completely zonked from work. I lazed around on my couch, texting and Skyping, and finally at 10pm hauled my butt down to the swimming pool.

Only problem is, swimming pool closes at 10pm. 'Close' is not exactly the right word, because you can still swim if you want to, but all the lights were off and I didn't fancy swimming alone in the pool at night. I mean, have you guys watched those CSI episodes? Come on. I don't want to end up floating in the pool the next morning...

Anyway, that in itself is an excuse too, although one I'm going to consider valid. But this led me to a realization that I also make excuses for writing.

Ever since I was 9, I wanted to write a book. I've started so many half finished manuscripts, and when I was a teenager I was energetically writing to newspapers every week, spouting out my opinion on dozens of subjects. Somewhere along the way, I lost a little of that drive. I was affected by criticism. I didn't understand why people didn't see my point of view. I stopped writing.

And now, I'm practically middle-aged. Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but I don't have a single book to my name! I used to fantasize about being some well known author wearing nice tight jeans and boots (don't ask me why, this was always the vision) but somehow life has passed me by and I'm nowhere near this dream.

So, time to stop making excuses. I'm going to start writing my book.

Oh - in case you're wondering where I was inspired from, go here. This girl wrote her book, and put it up and lets people decide how much they will pay for it! What an awesome idea, I totally want to copy it and do it too.

It's not too late to chase dreams. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Farcebook

Decluttering isn't just about the physical.
Decluttering is mental too.
The principle behind decluttering is to clear away the unnecessary, and to be able to focus on what's important.

This is why I deactivated my Facebook account.

Here's why I decided that Facebook was just unnecessary clutter and had to go.

1. Too many nonsense updates from people.
2. Too many people getting married.
3. Too many people having kids.
4. Too many people partying.
5. Too many people travelling.

- Ok, I'm kidding.

The whole point of Facebook is to share - but I believe that Facebook, or social media, pressures us (whether we know it or not) to put on the best front we have.

We see everyone putting up their happy pictures, travelling all over the world, getting married, etc. People put up their happiest moments to share.

Nobody really tweets about how miserable or depressed they are.

If your life doesn't measure up to how great everyone else's is, you're going to feel like you're missing out. You're a loser. You're not travelling, you're not partying, you're not getting married, you're not popping a bun out of your oven - tadah, you're now a proud carrier of FOMO.

When you see everyone in your timeline having an amazing life or just generally being happy, it pressures you to also have an equally amazing life. It's pressure. If you don't succumb to it, good. But, I think Facebook is a lot of unnecessary gloss - I only want to put up pictures of myself where I'm looking presentable enough, and I sure as heck don't want anyone seeing how I look like when I roll out of bed.

It's unreal. It's like TV. We show the glamorous bits, we take out the ugly.

So, let's take a look at some pictures I might put on my Facebook.


This is me in Milan. See the Prada store behind? 


Me at a work event, with my team.


Me telling you I am a VIP! 


Me on holiday at an island resort!

Me being a bridesmaid to a gorgeous Indian bride.
(The Chinese dude is not the bride btw.) 



Me in varying selfies where I approve of how I look.
God. It's a bit embarrassing how self absorbed all of this is.

The point I'm making, by posting all these photos above is for you to have the impression that :
a) I'm well travelled (look at me traipsing around Europe and off for island resorts).
b) I'm constantly going for 'glamorous' work events. (I have a ton more pictures, but they're all of me with varying backdrops and people, you get the drift. I'm just posting one as an example.)
c) I'm happy with how I look. (hence shoving my face down your Facebook feed, selfie after selfie after selfieeeeee....).

Looking at the pictures above, I feel a bit like I could come off as a princess-type. Hmmn.

No matter!

Here's what I choose not to show you, and what I wouldn't put on my Facebook, hence you think I'm not some well-groomed, outgoing person that's always at events.


This is me sans makeup, when I got pneumonia. Had to be hooked up to it to get more oxygen.


This is the day I got diagnosed in the hospital - terrible hair, no makeup, feeling like shit but trying to smile.


This is me passed out. 


This is what happens when you have those houseman people constantly poking your arm to draw blood and doing it wrong.
One time : "Oops! I put it in the wrong bottle. Can I take your blood again?"



I forgot what happened that made my hand swell up like that because there were so many mistakes made at that hospital, but suffice to say - I wasn't feeling great.


Because the nurses kept drawing blood in a very horrible way out of me, I ended up not having anywhere left for them to poke except for my neck. This is me after the doctor dude sewed up a tube to my neck. Then I got connected to my IV drip which was beside my bed. Went to bed every night frightened to death I would jerk and have my neck ripped apart.




This is me, being the first person to my own farewell party. Guys, come on!! Why are you so late??!



This is me, how I really look like with glasses and no make up.

I think you should be able to see the difference between the two sets of pictures. The second set of pictures I took just for the heck of it, with never an intention to put it on Facebook. After all, I didn't want the world seeing me moaning and groaning and with no makeup! 

We all want to be seen as beautiful globe-trotting people that are living lives designed for envy. I am not saying my life is enviable, I am illustrating a point that we can choose to portray ourselves in whatever angle we want. The second set of pictures would probably have everyone thinking I'm an attention seeking person that wants you to feel sorry for me because I'm trapped in a hospital. Why else take these pictures?

So, I don't want to be stuck in this farce anymore. I don't want to have to think about how to market myself on social media. What my branding is. I do enough of that in my daily job, I don't want to do it on a personal level too. 

I don't advocate everyone quits Facebook. A lot of people genuinely like sharing stuff. A lot of people don't post selfies. God I'm so sick of selfies - including my own. How often can you take of seeing a person's faee? You can use Facebook for lots of good things - sharing news, especially if you live in a country where the government controls media. For keeping in touch especially when you're out of the country. For making new friends or new connections. Or you could be one of those people that just stalk other people but don't post anything of your own. Ok, that I find weird.

I probably will go back to Facebook one day. I've deactivated FB a few times, each time for a few months. But right now, at this moment, I'm happy without it in my life.




Politik


I love Coldplay's 'A Rush of Blood To The Head'.
The entire album, not just the track.

It was over a year ago, when I was driving home from a friend's hotpot dinner, listening to Politik. It was a very strange feeling - the night was dark and cool, the roads were clear, Coldplay blaring through my car's speakers.

I remember driving past the PJ Trade Centre, watching the buildings, and a very strong feeling came over me - I knew I was leaving this.

It was a feeling of absolute certainty, and I was now looking at the city I called home with the eyes of someone who was leaving, someone who was moving away.

I had no idea where I was going.

There were no promises that I would be transferred. I had no idea how I was going to get out of there, but I just knew that without a doubt, I was leaving.

It's a bit of a surreal feeling, when you're suddenly hit with this kind of...premonition? Would you call it a premonition?

Fast forward to today, where I'm here.

Happy as a lark.

I'm listening to The Scientist now, one of my favourite songs - because I used to listen to it over and over again when I was in a very dark place in my life. I like that song - it's sad, melancholic, but there's hope in it. That song made me feel a bit hopeful, and it made me feel like things would be okay. It made me realize things were hard, but it would be okay.

Nobody said it was easy.

Listening to that song now, when I'm in a very different place in life, reminds me of those days. It's nice, knowing myself, that there's been change, there's been progress.

Everyone told me I would never be able to move, that all I had was a bunch of empty promises to hold on to. The naysayers were loud, and after a while, I listened to them.

I'm here now.

The next thing for me now, is to figure out - what's next.

That makes life kind of exciting - the great unknown. I've always been a planner - I have a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan, but now those plans have been abandoned. In fact, I decided 5 years ago I would move, and that's what I focused all my energies on.

It's nice to have a plan, but it feels strangely liberating stepping out to a place where I don't know what the future holds for me. It brings me far out of comfort zone - and that's what I've been craving for. Complacency drives me mad. I thrive on stress.

I'm writing this because I started listening to Coldplay again on Spotify. Seriously, that entire album speaks my soul. Every single song. It's like - did they go through what I went through??

Your guess is as good as mine.

:)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tiny

I've had a pretty tiring week.

Work ended every day at around 8pm to 11pm. Meetings were jammed back to back. As usual, the ton of emails that come storming into my inbox every morning didn't stop. There was a big meeting with the head of my company, which we spent hours and days prepping for.

I was pretty relieved for the weekend to come, despite having brought my laptop home. The plan was to work all weekend on my slides, because next week was going to be an even crazier week - we have a huge upcoming meeting in Hong Kong, so everyone's prepping for that.

Complain, complain, complain.

Then I got home, and lay down on a deck chair by the pool. It was dark, and I watched the clouds roll by lazily - dark, grey tufts against the black sky.

There's something about looking at the sky which makes you realize how small and inconsequential you are. You have all these thoughts rolling in your head, bogging you down, and then you look up into the sky and realize you're only a tiny speck in the universe.

I'm determined to be a tiny speck that makes a difference, nonetheless. 

But in the bigger scheme of things - do these things matter? Will I remember, five years from now, how I fretted and worried about meetings?

I won't, just like how I used to worry and fret about things when I first started working. I don't remember the pain - rather, I have a general idea of the pain, but I don't remember the specificities of it anymore. 

Sometimes we think we had a bad day, or a shit day, and then you realize how good you have it. The whole disappearance of MH370 is terrible. People tell me to stop hoping, but I am still hoping that somehow the passengers are marooned on an island somewhere, safe. I can't imagine the trauma and pain the families and loved ones are going through - the agony of not knowing. What are my little problems compared to these real problems?

I am a little dot in the universe, but I don't want to be trapped in my own little universe of problems. 

I want to live a life worth living. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Handbag

Six months ago, I thought moving to Singapore would make me a more materialistic person. 
After all, it's a shopping city. Everyone you meet on the streets or the train is clutching a designer bag, an expensive phone, or is wearing a giant H on his or her belt. (Honestly, I think this big Hermes buckle belt looks very crass, flashy and tasteless. I thought luxury is supposed to be understated!)
I thought I would cave right back into the hole of consumerism, one I'd spent months burrowing trying to get out of. 

Fast forward six months, I'm not sure but I think moving here has started having an adverse effect on me.

I cannot stand the sight of another designer bag.

Another boring, uninspired bag with some branded logo stamped all over it - just in case you miss out that it's branded.

I'm not against all designer bags - I like bags with interesting shapes, nice designs, etc. But the bag I hate the most in the world, is the bag that is on everyone's shoulder, a bag that is being carried just as a status symbol, just to say, hey, look, I've enough money to buy this.

There is no personality, no character. This is what I detest most. It's just a show, an empty shell. 

It's strange, but I have really lost all urges to buy designer stuff anymore. I went to Milan last year in December. I thought I would die of excitement shopping for designer stuff, but I actually came back empty handed. (Well, empty bag-handed.) I bought a lot of food instead.

I think I'm over this whole idea of bags, which is strange to me. I always couldn't wait till I earned enough money to treat myself to nice bags shoes, but now, I feel like it is a complete waste of money to spend so much cash on a freaking bag. You may argue that an expensive bag lasts longer, etc, but you and I know that's not why we buy the bags. We want the prestige that comes along with the bag. We want to say that we've made it. We're cool. We're in the in crowd, all of us, desperately clutching onto our bags. I confess. I have a Prada, and when I have an important meeting or feel like I'm going to be particularly judged, I drag it out to tote around. Yes, I feel a bit more secure, for some reason. And it's stupid. It's stupid! We don't need these material things to tell us we're good enough.

Or, another possible hypotheses is I've been spending so much money on holidays I now no longer have money for bags. I rather take the same amount of money and spend it on a holiday or visiting Europe. 

On that note...I really want to go back to Japan soon. I think it's the most inspirational country in the world!

And...it seems a little bit sinful. Spending so much when you know there are a lot of needy people in the world. I guess the same logic could be argued with spending on a holiday, but for me it just feels different. I haven't done any volunteer work at all since getting here. There is no excuse - I have been just too lazy, too distracted. I think, I shall attempt to look for a home this weekend. 

Back in KL, when I used to drop by the volunteer home, it made a lot of things in life clearer for me. It gave me perspective. The home i used to go to was a very tidy, well kept home, and kids were generally happy - but it really did make me think twice about the way I was spending and how I never thought twice about having a Starbucks coffee. 

Lately, I have started forgetting the lessons I learnt being in the volunteer home, and I don't think this is too good for my soul. While I don't have an obsession with bags I have plenty of shallow facets in my life - and I am beginning to tire of the lack of depth in my life.

So, two things to do this weekend.
Volunteer, to nourish my soul. (Honestly, I doubt a little I will do this because I am feeling very, very lazy, but I will try and force myself to)
Read, to nourish my mind. I started reading a Murakami book last night, and I think I'll devote Saturday to finishing it. 

I want to move away, from the path of consumerism, to one that is a little bit more fulfilling to me. Living alone here has made me realize a couple of things, about what I want, what I crave, and more importantly, what I thought I wanted

I want meaning in my life. I want passion, purpose, a sense of accomplishment and happiness. I can work all day and all night and buy myself a lot of holidays - but I think there has to be more in between. 

Signing out now. Good night, world!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Useless

The three most useless words in the English dictionary are :

'As mentioned before.'

Especially if you repeat it all the time.

Every day.

And especially when you sometimes really didn't fucking mention it before.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holiday

Let me tell you a story that is designed to make you feel better about your travel planning skills.

I decided a month ago to surprise my boyfriend with a nice island trip in the Philippines. (His birthday...and I also wanted to go see the white sand beaches!)

Me being me, I didn't want to go to Boracay - which is probably the most touristy island (as far as I know) in the Philippines. I've been to Bali and Phuket, and I really hated it. It's just too over-commercialized, way too touristy.

(This is how I ended up on a very obscure island in Malaysia once that even my fellow Malaysians didn't know of, because I was so determined to go somewhere secluded! But that's a story for another day.)

So I decided I wanted to go to Coron. I heard it was pretty and quiet, which are my two favourite things when it comes to a holiday.

Now begins the story of my spectacular fuck up.

First of all, I booked a hotel in Busuanga. Someone told me later than Busuanga and Coron were two separate places, so I decided to cancel the hotel because I really wanted to go to Coron. I was doing it when I was feeling very rushed and stressy, so when a popup came up saying 'You agree to pay a cancellation fee of USD270', I clicked OK.

Actually, it was in pesos, which is why it didn't sink in at first. Then it sank in. Shit. Shit. SHIT! What have I done?

So then I decided I am going to stay here because I sure as heck don't want to pay this stupid cancellation fee. I emailed and called Booking and the hotel, and spent my day fretting and glaring at my credit card. At the end of the day, the hotel called me and said ok, I could book it, no problem.

(Later, I found out that Busuanga is IN Coron. It's not two separate places. This will also teach me to fucking open a map before I decide to be very smart and book a holiday.)

I asked a Filipino guy I know where I should land. He told me Puerto Princessa, so I quickly went and bought tickets to Puerto Princessa.

Then..the hotel emailed me and told me I should land in Coron, and not Puerto Princessa. I was horrified. I was now at the wrong airport. Plus, I had to fly from Singapore to Manila (4 hours), layover for about 2 hours, and then another 1 hour to Puerto Princessa.

I tried to change my flight online, but that change alone would cost me about 1K USD. I nearly died. I'm freaking South East Asian. When the hell did things get so expensive??!!?!?

Called the airline. Spent 40 minutes of my life explaining the mistake. In the end, the operator told me it would be cheaper if I just forfeited the layover flight from Manila to Puerto Princessa, and bought a new ticket.

Which I did.

Ok, money is one thing. It's annoying, but it's okay that I accidentally spent a lot more than I now intended to, because at least t was all settled, right?

Wrong. As my luck would have it, the first flight out to Coron was full.
My new itinerary now looked like this :

SG to Manila - 12am to 4am
Manila to Coron - 12pm to 130pm

Yes. You read it right. I am going to be in the airport for 8 hours. At 4am. For 8 hours. At 4am.

At this point I was very ready to kill myself. I should just visited my boyfriend in Europe with the amount of money and time that is being spent on this trip.

No matter, I thought. It's all settled and done. But while initially I had plan to only tell him one day earlier that 'Surprise!! We're off to the Philippines!" I decided I needed to pre-empt our 8 hour layover.

"So...we have an adventure! But in order for us to get to our adventure, we need to be very uncomfortable for approximately 8 hours," I told him over Skype.

He was a bit perplexed by me.

I started telling him the story - but I thought I was being very clever.
"I intended to go to Place A, but turns out we're going to place B, so we'll be stuck in place C."
(I also learned it's very difficult to explain a situation to a person when you are using alphabets as places and there's no context given. But, I really didn't want to ruin the surprise!)

Because I was still quite pissed at being told to go to the wrong airport (I'm very willing to admit it could be an honest mistake, and I should have researched it myself and not just simply went and believed a local, but that's not the point), I started telling him how annoyed I was with the whole mistake, and what had happened :
"This guy was telling me to go to Place B, but this Filipino girl told me I should actually be in Place C!"
He stared at me.
"Filipino girl? We're going to the Philippines?"

So, there you have it. How to fuck up and botch up every aspect of a surprise possible in the most expensive way.

And really. Google is a friend. I have no idea why I did this in such a haphazard way and was so rushed and didn't do any research at all. It sure as heck is a very expensive lesson to learn, but I'm definitely remembering it (this is how I learnt that one should not take a lot of excess baggage when coming back from Japan). I always seem to get monetary lessons, somehow, sigh.

So, it's not a surprise. There's an 8 hour layover despite us being relatively near and in the same continent. Fuck. I just realized I could go to Australia and reach faster. The good thing is - well, I hope I'm not jinxing it, but everything possible has already gone wrong, so hopefully I've used my quota of shit happening for this trip.

Fingers crossed. Peace out!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Read

I am going back to reading.
When I was younger, I used to be an avid reader.
I have to confess,I wasn't reading particularly intelligent things. I would like to tell you I have a penchant for The Economist and Newsweek (indeed, I used to subscribe to them. But...reading them was a wholly different matter.)
My favourite authors were John Grisham, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling. Hehe. I once attempted to read Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina - but I found it incredibly draggy and I gave up. (Plus, I was reading it on my iPhone, which is really not the best reading tool.)
There is something haunting about Haruki Murakami's writing, it is sweet and beautiful - but I have to be in a certain mood and mindset to read him.

Why read, though?

What I love about books, is the magic in them. Books have an ability to transport you to places far away. What I especially like about reading, though, is that it gives you a glimpse into another person's mind. When you read a person's writing, you're reading his or her thoughts. It doesn't matter if it's fiction or not, how we feel inevitably shapes what we write.

I crave a little depth in my life lately. I want a little more thought in my life. True, the level of depth is also going to be very dependant on what kind of books you're reading. If all you do is read 50 Shades of Grey (I have some friends who don't read at all buying the entire trilogy. I don't consider this reading.) I don't think there's going to be a lot of depth (well, maybe, one of a different kind).

I left my books in Kuala Lumpur when I moved to Singapore. I miss them, a lot more than I thought I would. I'm going to buy a bookshelf, and fill it with books. I'd like to fill my little home here with a little bit more thought, a little bit more depth, and a little more happiness.

Life is a little bit empty when it's all about shopping, manicures, and going out to eat. Sure, it's fun. I love my nails when they're bright pink and as Barbie looking as can be. Shopping and hunting down shoes give me a momentary thrill. Eating's always good. But...after a while, it does seem a little empty and pointless. I don't crave bags anymore. When I was younger, I always looked enviously at girls who had branded bags. Prada. Lulu Guinness (so cute!). Gucci.

Now, I feel absolutely nothing when I see those bags. It's a little strange. I'm at the point where I can actually buy a bag if I want to. But, that feeling has completely disappeared. I mean, really. How much joy can a bag give you?

I have a Prada bag I bought last year. To be honest with you, I bought it just to shut people up. Yes, I caved in to peer pressure, hee hee.

The entire point of this is - bags don't bring me fulfilment. They bring some people a lot of happiness, and that's nice. I don't judge what makes you happy, as long as it makes you happy, it's good.

Now, off to read my March edition of Economist :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Focus

I have decided to focus more on...focusing.

Have you ever gone in to work, feeling determined to be as productive as you could be? You switch on your laptop, you open up the first email, you start to reply - only to realize you need a few other things before you can finish the email. You then proceed to another task - and another - and another - and before you know it, you've started multitasking 10 things at one time, and by the end of the day, you've accomplished none.

One good, well done task is much better than 10 half finished tasks.

I've started having a higher awareness of my wandering attention span lately, and I'm attempting to control it. I make a bigger effort nowadays to finish one thing properly before moving onto another next thing. I'm trying to rush things less, and instead, take a little while more to do it, but with more attention to detail.

I swam today, after a long time of not swimming. The pool is also double the size of the pool I used to swim back at home, so one lap alone tires me out. I found that swimming seems to be a good way to focus. The repetition of the strokes, the breathing pattern, the regularity of it (or in my case, it gets very irregular as I start to tire) allow me to focus and concentrate more on doing one thing at a time.

I'm hoping it calms my rather buzzy head. I'm trying to declutter not only my physical home, but mentally too. Simpler, clearer, with better priorities.

Speaking of clutter, it really is a never ending fight with it. I buy a lot less, but somehow clutter always creeps back in. Whether it's in the form of receipts, flyers, plastic bags, clutter has a way of sneaking into your home. However, I'm very proud of myself because last night I cleared my bathroom countertop, and now it's a nice, empty surface, with all the products hidden behind the glass mirror. You might ask me to declutter my products, but that is not going to happen! One step at a time!

So, focus. In fact, even writing this blogpost has made me realize how my thoughts vary. I talk more focusing, and then I veer off course to tell you about my bathroom countertop. (Highly fascinating, I know).

If you know ways how to focus better, let me know. I sure could do with help.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LDR

Ah, LDRs. Long distance relationships.

I have a lot of friends in LDRs, (*ahem, me too) and I've noticed a couple of typical responses when one says he / she is in an LDR.

"Oh. How do you do it?"
"LDRs don't work."
"Isn't he cheating on you?"
"Out of sight, out of mind."
"Well, he could be cheating on you. But, you could be having your own fun too!"

Some people are well meaning. Some people are plain stupid. Some, moronic. A lot, deluded.

Here's what I want to say though.

People act like being in an LDR is being in something very mutant and alien. But it's a relationship, just like any other. There are no generalizations in relationships. Not all LDRs are the same. Just because you date someone in the same town, doesn't mean your relationship is similar to your neighbour who's also dating someone in the same town.

Sure, there are similar characteristics. But a relationship, is a relationship. It's unique, it's organic, and it's every couple has his or her own dynamics. Your'e never going to find two relationships that are exactly alike.

People like to talk about cheating in LDRs, and how temptation will always be there. I'd like to correct this misconception. Cheating isn't exclusive to LDRs. Cheating happens everywhere. Long distance, short distance, sneaky distance. It's about the people that are in the relationship. Yes, the distance makes a difference. But it's not a defining factor in whether someone cheats or not. I also think people who use that as an excuse are just weak.

Sometimes, people tell me to keep my options open too. In all honesty, I find this very disrespectful to my relationship. I'm very happy in my relationship. If I want to keep my options open, I know how to. I don't need you spouting out unhelpful nonsense. Please, cap that spout. I have friends who are in relationships I think they could do better in - I'm sure you have friends who seem to be in really lopsided relationships - but -  I keep my mouth shut. Because if they're happy, I'm happy. (This doesn't apply if the dude is an alcoholic, a wife-beater - you get my drift.)

There are friends of mine who have been in LDRs and then they break up. Everyone always shakes their heads and say, 'Yeah, the distance did it.'
So simplistic. Distance.
Sure, distance contributes, but people forget there are a lot of other factors involved.
It's not just DISTANCE.
It's easy to blame the distance. We comprehend it. We understand that the further a person is away, the harder it is for a relationship to work. I understand that logic, but really, there are a thousand other factors attached to it.

I once had a neighbour. 50 year old principal. After my fifth form exams, I had about six months of holidays. I discovered then that every Wednesday, while his wife went out to work, he would drive out and bring his mistress home.

He was a very old, not desirable looking uncle in any way. In fact, he always reminded me of a soyabean, because his head was rather large, white, and bald.

Anyway, out of sheer boredom and some misplaced sense of annoyance, every Wednesday when he would bring his mistress home, I would run out of my house and stare very obviously at the mistress.

He then switched his schedule a bit, which made it very difficult for me, because I was constantly at my window, trying to monitor him in hopes of running out and catching him with his mistress again!

You know, if a person cheats, a person cheats. It's not because of distance. It's because that person himself is a cheat, and he would find a way to cheat.

I found Soyabean's affair very disgusting, because he would bring his mistress back home. I mean, if your'e going to have an affair, at least have the decency to have it out of your own home! But the home you share with your wife and two children...well, that's just plain disgusting.

Soyabean moved away not too long after. I later found out that in my town, everyone knew about the affair. I felt very sorry for the wife. Some might ask why I never said anything to her. My neighbours and I were actually not on speaking terms and we weren't close. It's a little strange to sidle up to someone you're not to close with and inform them their husband is cheating. And...I don't know. Some rumors said she knew the affair was going on. Some said she was oblivious.

I digress.

There are no hard and fast rules or generalizations when it comes to relationships. Every single one is different. I think it's up to us to make it what we want.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

MH370

There are a lot of things happening this week. The biggest thing for me that the whole world is talking about, the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines plane. Being Malaysian, this of course strikes me very hard at home, and I feel incredibly scared and sad for the outcome of this. Everyone is speculating - plane crash, terrorism, nobody knows. I know that with every passing day the chance of survival drops a little lower, and all I can do at this point is pray, just like everyone else, for the best possible outcome for this situation.

Of course it is not a Malaysian specific thing - and it's very nice to see all the South East Asian countries coming together sending out search ships. I really, really hope there is a miraculous outcome to this.

When things like this happen, it puts perspective into life. A lot of the gripes that we have, minor annoyances and unhappiness that irk us melt away. What are all these things, compared to the severity of this situation?

I cannot imagine how scary it must be for the friends and relatives of those in the plane. Imagine going to the airport early in the morning to pick up your loved one, only to have the plane status change to delayed, and then not have any updates. I can't imagine how terrible they must be feeling, and with news reporters trying stuff cameras up their faces to catch their moments of grief.

I've seen the pictures of the distraught relatives, as I'm sure you have. And it's just..heartbreaking. There are no words.

I don't know anyone on the plane. A friend of mine showed me a list of the MH crew that has been circulating around the air crew circles. I feel really sad, that for these crew, it's was just supposed to be another day at work.

I hope and pray for the best.

Relapse

Shopping is an addiction, just like alcoholism is.

When I got onto the minimalism bandwagon 9 months ago, I threw out a lot of things in a frenzy. Fast forward 9 months, I'm now living with a quarter of my previous wardrobe and I have a lot less stuff.

BUT.

I totally relapsed the other day.

It was like being a recovering alcoholic, thinking that just one drink wouldn't hurt...and then waking up and discovering you've polished off a bottle by yourself.

That was me this weekend.

My mom came over last weekend, and I thought it would be nice to show her around a lot of flea markets in Singapore. I knew those places but I had never really ventured in properly before, so I thought it would be nice to kill two birds with one stone.

And..I bought a lot of stuff.

On a side note, I'm allowed to wear my contact lenses again. It's difficult to explain and sounds so vain, shallow and silly (it probably is) but I feel ridiculously ugly in my glasses. For the past 6 months, I didn't feel like dressing up or buying anything new because I felt so ugly anyway.

After I went to my eye doctor and he gave me the green light to start wearing contact lenses again, I suddenly perked up and the urge to buy new clothes and feel good about myself again was very strong.

I confess.

I bought five pairs of shoes.
5 dresses.
A T-shirt.
A skirt.
A teapot. (Well, I need one.)
Some..unmentionables.

Then..to top if off, I was very indulgent with myself and went for a mani-pedi. Technically, you could say this is okay because it's not an item I'm buying, but I then felt guilty because I'd spent so much money in a lump sum of totally useless things.

I have to admit, doing my nails made me feel quite good though, so I wouldn't say that was totally useless.

I got home and I felt so guilty. I stared at all my new things - I really bought them all on a whim, there was nothing I needed (except the teapot. And, you could argue I could use my mugs and forget the teapot).

In an attempt to try to ease the guilt, I went and decluttered some stuff in my wardrobe - although I do feel that this is missing the point. The point is not to declutter to make space for new stuff. It's not to throw things out just because I'm feeling guilty. I know it's okay to buy stuff, and it doesn't mean that you have to totally swear off buying stuff - but, in my heart of hearts, I know I caved in and bought all those things out of a sudden mad rush of consumerism that overtook me.

So, I have to start again. Which is okay, because we all make mistakes.

I do realize a pattern though.

When I was being very minimalist, I was very aware of what I was spending and I saved a lot more. I also thought a lot more carefully about how much to spend, and whether something was worth it or not.

However, once I started my buying spree, I became a little bit more careless. The money didn't make such a dent anymore. I didn't think too much. All I could think of was - I WANT IT, IT LOOKS CUTE, AND MY LEGS LOOK GOOD IN IT.

Decluttering is really a never ending process though. It's amazing how stuff always creeps up on you - and how you can declutter every week and it still never seems to finish! Okay, I know it especially won't finish if I keep buying new crap, but it's just amazing how little piles of clutter really add up.

Onto a new week, with less things!