Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 相信美好。
2015 Believe In The Good.

Another year of gradual transformation.
That's how I would describe my 2014.
我的2014,又一个逐渐蜕变的一年。

My proudest achievement? Discovering that triumph over ego is possible.
I have a very big ego, anyone who knows me well enough from way back would be very much aware of this. After all these years living with that monster in me, I've begun to learn to swallow my pride and listen rather than making a huge case out of defending myself.
Because most of the time, when people say something bad, they are actually pleading for someone to listen to what's not being said and yet they themselves don't realize it.
本人最大的成就感,是发现原来自尊心是可以征服的。
本人的自尊心其实满强的,跟本人够熟的人都挺了解本人的这个特点。 跟那心灵的怪兽共生存了多年,本人终于开始比较懂得如何不被太强的自尊心控制反而学习更深一层的聆听。
因为通常当一个人说出不好听的话,他其实非常盼望有人能听得出他真正想说的话,这连他自己都不晓得。

It's not easy lor!
真的很不简单咯!

Facing my fears by doing what I think I have to do and saying what I think I have to say in spite of my reluctance had also earned me my levelled up confidence in myself.
I've learnt to listen to my instincts too.
Most importantly, I've learnt that it's really OK to fail as long as I pick myself up, realize what really went wrong (as well as what went right) and keep on moving forward.
还有,即时我有多不愿意,我尽量让自己做些自己觉得该做的事,说些自己觉得该说的话。 面对这种种的恐惧真的有让我的自信心提升。
我也更相信我的自觉了。
最重要的是,我终于了解失败真的是噢给的,只要我跌倒了过后再次站起来,看清楚到底做错了什么(同时也看清楚做对了什么)继续往前。。走。

Moving forward, step by step.
是的,一步一步地往前走。

2015, I continue to seek out my true self.
The person that I'm meant to be, rather than who I want to be.
Something that only God knows.
Something for me to find out and eventually live up to.
2015, 我继续寻找真正的自己。
那命中注定的我而不是我理想中的我。
惟有天主知道。
我必须努力的寻找而终究符合。

I continue to believe in the good.
我继续相信生命中的美好。

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Interstellar: Dazed.

I was in a daze when I stepped out of the cinema.
The effect persisted for at least 10 minutes or so.
It was as if I just got jolted by a dull, 3-hour long electric shock.

I remember the cinema floors with closed shops, almost void of life.
I remember seeing people in the distance as I went down the elevator.
I remember seeing more people and wondering to myself, what is this person's life like, what about that person's, as I sometimes do as I went down the floors.

I remember asking myself, how are we connected.

I saw a kid holding her parent's hand. And then another.
Twice I heard people talking about time as they passed me by.
One was saying on the phone, it's almost 10 already now.
Another was saying to her friend, maybe 7 or 8 tomorrow.

I came to the park and decided to take a different route to clear my head a little.

It so happened that a dinner had just ended in a hall beside the lake in the park.
People were coming out, but my attention was on those who were taking pictures on a wide bridge instead after I took pictures of the two towers.
Families. Friends. I secretly snapped a picture of them and smiled to myself.
By this time, the dazed effect had begun to wear off.

I went on my way to the train station and stopped to watch the musical fountain in the lake from afar. Snapped a picture of it and took a video. With a strange feeling of satisfaction, I smiled to myself again.

During the final stretch before I finally reached the tunnel leading up to the train station, I saw dozens and dozens of staffs of a deparmental store inside the mall beside the lake queueing up to punch out of work. Cars, also dozens and dozens of them, were also in a queue to leave the mall.

I snapped 2 pictures of the scene with my faithful (albeit slow) phone.

More people in the train.

I've never felt so overwhelmed by all the people around me before, all the way from the cinema to the train station.
We are complete strangers, yet we are connected in so many ways that I do not have words to describe yet.
I was at a total, complete loss of words to describe how I really felt there and then.

Which begets the question, how does a film manage to stir such whirlwind of emotions in a person?
Unbeknownst to that person even.

I knew Interstellar would be a good movie with Christopher Nolan at the helm and also as one of its screenwriters, but what JJ Lin shared sparked a deep curiosity in me as to what the movie actually held.

What he wrote was not a movie review.
It was as if he himself got teleported to another world and back.

I tried to recall both his writeups (another one here) for Interstellar at the beginning of my dazed walk that night but it was almost futile.
Because enticing as they were, they were his, not mine.

What is time?

What is love?

And why do we have to let go before we can actually fulfil our souls' innermost desires?

I am still looking for answers.
My answers.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

刺人的玫瑰。。生日快乐。

玫瑰是善良的
玫瑰是体贴的
玫瑰是谨慎的
玫瑰是认真的

玫瑰试着去寻找爱
遇到的人都不懂爱
不是不懂怎么去爱
而是不懂她要的爱

因为不懂爱 无意伤害
逞强的玫瑰 在意伤害
微小的不满 展刺伤害
结果自己也 无意伤害

伤害别人 伤害自己

脆弱的心灵 伤痕累累
累积的伤痛 怎么不累
尽情的逃避 肯定很累
勇敢的面对 才无牵累

爱她的人其实很多
只是可惜她看不多
在乎的人聚少离多
有时候还理由多多

刺人的玫瑰 自尊心太强
刺人的玫瑰 学习着收敛
刺人的玫瑰 盼妳的成长
刺人的玫瑰 祝生日快乐

Friday, December 26, 2014

Gone Without Goodbye.

A friend's youngest brother passed away in his sleep on the 22nd. He was only 24.

I was shocked when I first saw the news in her sister's Facebook timeline. She posted a beautiful picture of her and her brother in a church, both smiling happily.
Comments were all condolences over her loss.

Shocked is an understatement.
My tears were thisclose to free-flowing down my cheeks (and at one point they did, when I went through their brother's Facebook timeline which were full of heartfelt messages).
I still have this image in my mind of him as this short and cute kid in his home talking to his sister (his sister and I used to hang out at each other's home in the beginning years of secondary school).

Heartbreaking. I really can't fathom how the family's coping with this.
Truth to be told, I'm not that close to my sibilings as much as they are, yet I already can't bear the thought of losing any one of my siblings no matter how dysfunctional our relationships may be now.

It's morbid how it seems to take deaths, especially of those I know, to again and again pull my focus to what's really important.
Yet it's morbid also how I tend to take these morbid reminders for granted again and again when I'm once again caught adrift in life's river of little worries and petty misunderstandings..

But there are times too when I've had enough of nonsense from some people, that I begin to back out from relationships that are causing me anxieties that are too much for me to handle.
Even from people that I actually do care about, "cold-blooded" as I think I may be.

Start with the consistent, insignificant little things, I tell myself now again and again, and let them compound their effects over time instead.
Gotta go for new ways if it's been proven again and again that the old ways are not effective at all.

After all, they say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results, something that I totally root for.

This time, the young brother's untimely death has also awakened that little awareness in me of how I want to live my life meaningfully and leave my own legacy in this world.
He was someone who delved into his passion and getting good results for it, winning his teammates' love, support and confidence too.
He was also a kind, happy and caring soul.

His Facebook profile picture was one of him and both his elder sisters.
He was well loved.

Death almost always come knocking on our doors shockingly unexpectedly, be it for ourselves or for any of our loved ones..
Are we ready to face and accept it when it does?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"You Are On The Right Path."

"OK, you are on the right path."
This is what my Amway coach had always said to me when I was under his wings in his Amway group previously (from the second half of last year into the beginning of this year).

Part of it was referring to Amway.
Part of it, a huge part of it, was indicative of my own personal growth.
He worked tirelessly with me in efforts to bring up my self-esteem, one of the most instrumental people in my life to date.

Truth to be told, being the doubtful me, 72.9% of me didn't quite buy into what he said that time (sorry coach!). But the phrase got stuck in my head.

If you've read through what I've written in this blog so far, you'll have no problem discovering the plain fact that I'm not a cheerful person by nature. In almost all the things that I write or come up with, there are a few touches of grey (or blue, if you'd prefer) in them.

Why?
Not time to answer that question yet, haha.

The more renowned Chinese recording artistes (sorry yours truly is drawn to Chinese pop music for unknown reasons) who are of roughly the same age as mine has been in the business for around 10 years. The more influential bloggers that I started reading 10 years back are still blogging now and have branched out to do other things too while starting families of their own. Looking back at their hard work and what they've been through to get to where they are today, their achievements, I can't help feeling tinges of remorse and envy.

I honestly asked myself again and again, what have I done for my past 10 years?
I did not have a good answer, not a single answer that would satisfy my expectations.

My previous expectations, that is.

The past 30 decades of my life.. Not much of a roller coaster on the outside yet on the inside, I was practically screaming for help and I didn't even realize it myself. I was so trapped in my own thoughts, so lost and so confused yet at the same time so stubborn and so defensive.. I'd always thought of myself as a walking zombie, going through life on autopilot most of the time, thisclose to being in a rapid downward spiral to personal damnation, both on the inside and outside.

Hope was the only thing that I was clinging on to.
When I couldn't be convinced by anyone around me, I instinctively turned to inspirational stories or sharings in any forms. Articles, online and on paper, videos, audios, movies, dramas, music.. I devoured them all. This started way before self-help was common here and also around the time I started reading blogs.

Yes, 10 years ago.
All these years, neverending inputs of stories, both fiction and especially non-fiction, how-tos, the whys, touches of psychology here and there.. I didn't quite understand most of them but I was very curious so I read them all anyway.

Few weeks ago, I had a good hearty chat with an ex-colleague at my place (an unexpected 缘分, and she turned out to be one of my 同類 too!). A lot of the things she shared virtually knocked me on the head and most importantly, she shared with me a book..

The book that I'm currently reading.
The book that is having me going yes, yes, that's it again and again everytime I pick it up and read it!

I am on the right path. My path, to be exact.

I've. always. had. !!!

What I lacked was action, of putting out my own stuff out there.
Which I very rarely did simply because I was too afraid.
Of imperfections, of responses, of responsibilities.
Like this blog post that I'm writing out now, I'm not very happy with how it's turning out actually, so much so I really feel like shredding the whole thing =.=

Also the lack of patience, I was so frustrated by how I was slow to pick up on my piano and guitar skills, I was very quick to give up on them (on myself actually) again and again, thinking that I don't really have that much of a musical talent after all.
Yes, I had inadvertently subscribed myself to the modern society's school of instant-noodles-thought, shame on me =.=

And that fatal tendency to compare myself with others.

All of a sudden, my whole world brightened up. Just like that.

Everything makes so much sense now!

I have a clearer picture now of what my future looks like, and I firmly believe that the little, insignificant actions that I take now will lead me there, provided that I really work on them every single day.

I've learnt to trust that faint little voice in my heart too, the voice that is getting a little stronger each day.

The voice that is telling me very confidently that I'm on the right path.
The voice that is also telling me very unbelievable, amazing things.

May God's will be done. =)

Friday, December 19, 2014

最真诚的告白。

最真诚的告白莫过于内心最想说的那一份感想,感动,喜悦或悲伤。

没有伪装,不必包装,一切就顺其自然的说了出来。

带点感慨,有点无奈,同时也听得出来那心声微小的渴望。

对爱的渴望。
这份爱深过,也胜过那男女之间的爱情。

其实我们都不复杂。
我们只是需要一个懂我们的人。

有一个就很好了。

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fragile Hearts.
脆弱的心灵。

I think it was more than just fate.
I think He wanted me to see things more clearly for myself.

I went to church as usual on Sunday and after somehow deliberately bypassing an empty pew, came to one behind this family with two very young sons. The young mother was very beautiful and dressed up herself well. I didn't catch a good glimpse of the father, who sat on the other side of the pew.

I knelt down to say my prayers and suddenly felt that some eyes were on me. The parents were looking at me, smiling, and then at their youngest son who was sitting right in front of me that time, gesturing towards him, and then back at me, and then back at their son again. Only when I looked at the son did I realize that he was turned around to my direction and literally staring at me.

Slightly abashed, I smiled at him, and then at his parents, and then looked at the altar, and then smiled at them again. I seriously did not know how to respond so much so at one point, I even turned around to my other side to see if I was actually missing something.. Coz they kept looking at me!

Nothing there.

I have no idea what did the little guy see.
I was the usual T-shirt-and-jeans-long-hair-tied-up-in-a-bun me, nothing that would normally attract the attention of anyone at all, much less a kid's.

Anyway, the mass started and I thought that was it.
Attend the mass, try my best to focus and get it done with.

Not a very devoted Catholic, I know. But I do try. *shrug*

Towards the end of the opening song, the kid got up on the pew, walked a few steps and suddenly stomped twice right there on the pew with both feet! His mom got annoyed and immediately pinched him on the arm. And he got annoyed and pinched her back!

I think at this point I widened my eyes a little.
Spoilt kid, I thought to myself.

The little guy went down the pew and stood on the kneeler for a while before moving to the side of the pew in front of him (I managed to give him a stare while he was standing on the kneeler and turned around to my direction when his big eyes met mine but he didn't get it at all). He then put his mouth right on the side of the pew and blessed it with his saliva.. Again and again and again..

Yeah, I know. And I got the VIP seat.

This went on throughout the Introductory Rites of the mass and well into the two Readings with the Responsorial Psalm in between. His mom tried to pull him over to her side several times but he refused to budge from the side of the pew each time. She even tried to recruit the help of his brother to bring him over but no such luck either (as I shall see why later). I think she did motioned or said something to her husband. He remained seated as we all were for the readings.

At some points during his solitary sojourn by the pew when he wasn't 'blessing' it (or once, putting his saliva-covered thumb into his mouth), he leaned against it, as if pondering about something. At one time he even had his hands shoved into the pants of his pockets!
And he was wearing diapers =.=
这个小大人, I thought to myself again.

After a while, I actually felt for him.
For he reminded me of myself.
That stubborn girl who would sulk all by herself when things do not go her way, disregarding all efforts of persuasion even when the rest of the party had moved on without her.

Yes, that bad.

His dad was actually watching him from afar from the other side of the pew. I only realized that after he got up and immediately went to get his young son when we were getting up for the Gospel Acclamation. He got back to his side of the pew with the little guy perched on his strong arms.
Again, I thought that was that.

Halfway through the Gospel Acclamation, the kid cried. He buried his face into his dad's chest and literally cried his heart out, his cries drowned out by the song.
My heart straightaway melted.

That's me. That's so, so me.
I think my heart was crying together with him that moment in time.
Just like how it is now as I recalled what happened.

He calmed down after a short while. We then sat down for the homily after the Gospel Reading, him sitting on his father's lap. I thought I saw his dad talking to him for a brief moment.

No, not the end yet.
Yeah I know I sound very distracted from the mass here, but what happened right in front of me that time felt very, very important to my very inner being..
There is this inner need to share it out right here.

All this while, his older brother was very busy with first, his mom's smartphone, and then, his mom's iPad mini or something. Sometimes leaning against his mom, sometimes sitting there on his own, sometimes lying down on the pew with, annoyingly, his legs seemingly everywhere.

Busier than an octopus'.

When we were standing up again for the Apostle's Creed, his dad sent his little brother to his side, obviously so that the two can keep each other company while the parents concentrate on the mass. At this point the older brother was sitting in a distance from his mother, so the little one came to sit in between his older brother and his mom, who was standing up by now, a little squeezed but he didn't seem to mind, and watched as his brother sat there and play on the mini tablet.

At first it was a warm sight even, the younger one watching quietly while the older one played. Then, just seconds later, the older brother started to shift uneasily, got up and squeezed himself between his younger brother and his mom instead! And he tried to hide whatever he was playing from his brother's sight too!

He tried his best to get away from his little brother (by moving back and forth the pew they were on) when he found that he couldn't possibly escape his brother's prying eyes with him by his side. The little one instead continued to follow him around whenever he could, seemingly satisfied with even a short glimpse of whatever his brother was playing on the mini. Never making a sound, to my surprise. I was so worried and actually expected that he would at one point explode in a ruckus, but he didn't. At all. He was that patient.

The two's antics reminded me so much of me and my younger sister.
With me as the mean one.
I felt so guilty, my heart very sore at the nostalgic reminiscence.

The parents tried to coax the older one to share with his younger brother but he shook his head and wanting to keep playing on the mini to himself, he went away from his brother again, leaving the little one on his own. My heart really went out for the little one, as it did at the same time, for my younger sister who had always let me had my way when we were young.

I'm so, so sorry.. So, so sorry..

After all the failed attempts to get close to his brother, the little one went to get his milk bottle from the double insulated bottle carrier on his own (with some help from his father) and quietly drank his milk while lying on the pew between his mom and his dad at his dad's gestures. His legs, though, was seemingly everywhere too.

Yes, busier than an octopus'.

As I knelt down during the Eucharistic Prayer (yes, I was very, very distracted), the older kid was lying on the pew again right in front of me playing on the mini, his legs placed aimlessly on the pew. I looked at him hoping to catch his eyes with mine and when I did, I gave him a stare (like the one I gave his brother earlier). Not an angry stare or anything, just a stare that I hoped, on hindsight, would tell him that he should appreciate every chance he has to bond with his little brother. Seemingly unaffected, he shifted his eyes back to his car game on the mini. But no, he was affected because he tried to use the mini to block me out of his sight.

Mission accomplished.

Almost near the end, but not yet.

As the congregation geared up to sing the Our Father, both brothers sat up too, one after the other, the older one still on the mini, the younger one finishing off his milk. We have this non-standardized custom whereby we hold hands as we sing or recite the Our Father, especially during masses. The older one, although heavily absorbed in his game, managed to grab hold of his mom's left hand with his right hand halfway through the song, while he tried to touch one of the buttons of his game with his right thumb towards the end of the song, much to my amusement. The younger one, after finishing his milk, quickly put it back into the carrier and went to his father's right side, grabbing hold of his dad's right hand with his left hand.

One's mommy's boy, one's daddy's boy.
Which made me thought of my own relationship with my mom and dad..

As we stood for the Prayer After Communion, the little one came to his older brother's side of the pew (which was right in front of me), who was lying on the pew still very much on the mini, sat on the kneeler, placed his right cheek on his right hand which was on the edge of the pew and watch whatever it was his brother was playing on the mini while muttering something to his brother, completely oblivious to this one avid audience (I wanted so badly to whip out my phone that instant, load the camera and catch this very shot of the two of them but I was too scared of being labelled a stalker =.=). His brother unfortunately tried to hide the screen from the little one's view again.. Yet the little one just accepted it as it is.

Then the Concluding Rite came, we all stood up and something miraculous happened. The older brother passed the mini to the younger one, just like that!

And stole a few glances at me.

I pretended that I didn't see anything.
I do not particularly know why I did that, but I instinctively did what I did.
I would have much preferred he played the game together with his little brother, but this would suffice too.

I don't quite know what to make of all this actually. I've been feeling like I'm at crossroads again lately, a terrible feeling, like I'm back to square one again. Like what I've been trying to do for the past few weeks or even months are going down the drain.. Like I need to start all over again. *groan*

But no, I know I've changed.
I know I'm so much more different than who I was years ago, or even months ago.
And I also know that all these changes I'm gradually making for the better me are ongoing and continuous.

Until the day I take my last breath in this world.

Perseverance is my silent forte, I do NOT give up.

Update 16 Dec 2014, 12.33 pm:
Moments before we got up for the Concluding Rite, as we sat there for the church announcements, a sudden rush of mixed emotions swept over me and I really felt like weeping tears of gratitude right there and then. I was really, really touched, there was this indescribable feeling of warmth and joy inside me as I held back my tears and smiled to myself.
也许这就是那被释放的感觉。

Friday, December 12, 2014

祂真的很爱我。

祂真的很爱我。
天主真的真的很爱我。

祂没放弃过我。
一直在等我守候着我。

祂深深的相信我会回头。

祂终于等到了。
我终于回来了。

祂耐心聆听我的祈祷。
祂为了我安排好一切。

我真的真的很感动。

我的任务不简单也不难。
只是需要那大大的勇气。
努力的克服心中的恐惧。
坚持的相信那伟大的爱。

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beautiful People.

People who truly live out their passions are very, very beautiful.
Those who truly live out themselves.
There's something about them that I can't quite put a finger on yet, something more than just confidence. More than just strength and perseverance and courage in facing and defying and overcoming the odds.

Something ethereal.
Something that can only be seen through their eyes.
Something that is felt deep within us, so much so it wakes up our souls that have been asleep for far too long. And they continue to do so until they manage to stir more souls fully awake, who in turn will eventually do the same for other sleeping souls..

They don't even know it themselves, but they do very clearly feel the joy and exhilaration of going after what means most to their hearts.
Sometimes it feels selfish, devoting all those time and attention and effort to their chosen art (or perhaps, the art that chose them), but no, they (or the world) have no idea how big an impact their work (or they themselves) can be to the world.
Or even, to just one single person.

These people are everywhere, right in our midst in our everyday lives even.
We just need to learn how to recognize them.
And be inspired, constantly, until we too are transformed.

Until we too become one of those beautiful people.
Or perhaps, you already are.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

同類。

The first time I heard of this term, 同類 (pronounce: tong2 lei4), was when Stefanie Sun's song of the exact same name first came out in 2004, ten years ago.

同類。
Directly translated as "same kind". Sama jenis.

All these years I had associated this term with romantic love, to finding that Mr. Right who would be my 同類 as well. Maybe because of the song and also my slight mental (read: no action) obsession with the act itself.

No luck in that area yet and almost next to the least of all my current priorities too. The focus is on things that are of far more importance to me right now, things that I shouldn't have but have had pitifully neglected.

But I digress.

As I come to embrace my own quirkiness and learn to follow the gentle tuggings of my heart despite the usual hesitations that tend to side with the comfort zone, roads opened. Especially roads that allow others that ride the same thought wavelengths as I do to reach out and connect with me.

In other words, my 同類。

It's an odd feeling altogether. Those times in the past when I would actually have rejected their presence in my life were the times when I didn't accept those parts of mine that were similar with theirs. And yet at the same time back then, I kept thinking to myself why was I so different from the people around me.

The paradoxical nature of life. Or should I say, of being human.

Now I find uttermost delight and comfort as I share with them my innermost thoughts and feelings, because they are the only ones who can really get me! Talking to them also brings out bit by bit of who I really am inside..

You have no idea how joyful and liberating all of that are, especially for someone as eccentric as I am. Admitting even that alone would have been a great challenge for who I was in the past, that insecure girl who constantly doubted herself.

I am happy to be who I've found myself to be now so far, thankfully and finally. It's an ongoing thing, probably neverending but I ain't complainin'.
As I come to acknowledge myself more and more, I know I'll find more of you guys.

Yes, including you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

IT IS PERFECTLY OKAY, OKAY?!

The second half of 2014 is in the middle of its third month now. For me, nothing much has happened really. As with most of anybody else, work occupied a large portion of my time.

Oh I also made time to catch up on chunks of episodes of One Piece, as well as my current favorite reality show from China, "Dad, Where Are We Going?" hehe.

Life has become pretty routinized actually, with some adjustments here and there that included making it a point to do a little housekeeping every weekend, plus taking the effort to learn and make some very, very simple salads.

Yes, I didn't even know how to make salads before =.=

Even though nothing much has happened, I feel vastly different. It's as if I've just been through this growth spurt and suddenly I can see much more clearly now the meaning behind most of the things, especially the people, in my life. My level of awareness has increased it seems; I'm so much more aware of my own thought processes and feelings now than previously.

It's like getting to know myself all over again. For real.

In all actualities, it was not a growth spurt and I didn't reach this level of awareness overnight. There were a lot of factors at play and it took MUCH of my own willingness to sidestep my own ego and eventually (and a lot of times, reluctantly) give in to what's more important instead. Which was in the end amazingly liberating and felt far, far more victorious than winning any petty arguments at all (please do not underestimate the far-reaching effects of petty arguments).

There's still a long way to go, but this time.. I'm not in a hurry.
The pressures will still be there and I'm preparing myself to face the music but no, I'm going at my own speed this time.

Not that I've been rushing myself all this while anyway, I just haven't been taking things easy at all for the past three decades. It SEEMED like I did, but honestly I didn't. I constantly misplaced my priorities, putting my focus on things that don't really matter to me for all the wrong reasons. To make things worse, I too often took things far too seriously and personally for anyone's or anything's good.

I'm pulling everything back and put things right where they belong one by one in my life and in my own time. It was rather slow at first as I began to sort things out for myself, but I believe the speed is gradually picking up bit by bit as I see things that I should've seen much earlier before more clearly now.

My tight financial situation and also my work actually gave me good excuses to keep to myself and do a lot of reflecting mainly on my responsibilities. I had always been a serious person but unfortunately I was not a responsible one.

If I previously found temporary solace in running away from my responsibilities and life's challenges, I now find self-affirming sense of achievement in facing them.
If I previously very much insisted on my sense of entitlement and expectation, I now MAKE myself emphasize on gratitude and service.

Yes, I have to MAKE myself do it because after 30+ years living with the roughly same kind of ideals, the old mentality is kinda stuck in the head.

Sorry if you find me lengthy, this is just how I am and I believe there are people out there who are just like me.
This is my way of shouting out to them: "IT IS PERFECTLY OKAY, OKAY?!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

一步一脚印。
One Step At A Time。

2014年的7月走了,现在迈入8月。
2014年的下半年正式进入第二个月。
还有五个月就是2015年。
2014's July went away, now August's here.
The second half of 2014's officially into its second month.
Five more months and it'll be 2015.

外面有只猫头鹰在咕咕的叫。。
There's an owl hooting outside..

7月过的稍微有点压力。
这点儿压力也是因为本人终于肯认真踏实的学习面对本人知道本人该有的责任。
没有什么很复杂的东西,只有一颗不太愿意改变的心却同时很清楚知道改变是必然的。
My July was a little stressful.
I was finally willing to seriously, earnestly learn to face the responsibilities that I know I should have.
Nothing complicated, just a heart that is reluctant to change yet at the same time this heart very clearly knows that change is eventual.

这一次的改变过程是刻意缓慢的,边学边思考边说服自己。
绝对不是100%成功的,但成功的那几次有令本人对自己另眼相看。
这种对自己温柔既坦诚的肯定惟有自己给得了自己。
This time, the change is of deliberate gradualness, part learning, part contemplation, part self-persuasion.
Definitely not 100% successful, but for all the times that it did, I gained respect for myself.
This kind of gentle and frank acknowledgement can only come from my own very self.

我现在才真正确认我一直以来确实非常在意他人眼中里的我。
每每达不到他人的要求的时候,我其实非常自责,难过,痛苦。。
每一次都搞到连最后一股最微小的自信心都没了。
Only now I truly acknowledge that all this while I honestly do mind how others perceive me.
Very often when I failed to meet expectations, I actually blamed myself a lot, gave myself a whole lot of a hard time, sinking deeper into misery each time..
Losing that last tiny bit of confidence every. single. time.

从头到尾都在逃避。
Avoiding and running away from everything all the time.

现在的我渐渐看到没被自己发觉到的自己。
这件事也只有我才能为我自己做。
这,对我未来的成长,涵盖重大的意义。
Now I gradually see the me that I never did see before.
This is also something that only me can do for myself.
It has huge, significant meaning for my future personal growth.

我也发现,我在文字里更加认识自己,接受自己。
这一半也是亏自己多年来参与不同的场合,接触不同的人事物,不断的阅读自己非常感兴趣有关人性的文章。
没有很一致,所以才花了这么长的时间。
I also realize that I've gotten to know and accept myself more through writing.
I am partly thankful to myself for my own initiative to join different kinds of events all these years, getting to know different kinds of people and things, tirelessly reading up articles on my favourite subject, human nature.
Not very consistent though, that's why it took me so long.

当然,要感恩的人事物有很多,很多。
我并没有忘记,也没觉得不重要。
我的重点是,内心深处真正的自己是长长被忽略的那一个。
Of course, there are many, many people and things that I'm thankful for.
I have not forgotten, nor do I feel that it is of any less importance.
My emphasis is, the real, most inner self is often the most neglected one.

一步一脚印的走我生命的这一个阶段让我觉得很踏实,很充实。
我仍然不完美,仍然会犯错,会生气,会孤僻 =.=
但现在我看到自己的美,接受自己的不完美。。
也因为这样我开始看到你的美,渐渐学习接受你的不完美。
Living the current chapter of my life one step at a time gives me more satisfaction and sense of achievement than ever before.
I'm still not perfect, making mistakes here and there every now and then, getting angry over the littlest thing, staying true to my eccentric self =.=
But now I see my strengths and accept my imperfections..
And because of that, I begin to see your strengths and gradually learn to accept your imperfections too.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hoon's 2014 Birthday.
凤的2014生日。

17 July 2014 marks the XXth birthday of my sister Hoon. I'm the eldest and she's No. 3.
We had a good, meaningful dinner together on the eve of her birthday =)
2014年7月17日是我妹,凤,的XX岁生日。本人是老大,她是老三。
我们在她生日前夕共度了一顿美好,有意义的晚餐 =)

It's been awhile since the last time I celebrated my siblings' birthdays. For my first few years in the city, back when my cashflow felt more abundant, I would gather my siblings up for a good meal whenever there was a birthday. Then the unofficial tradition died off as things happened and I resorted to giving simple presents or a slice of cake instead. Sometimes a call, or just a message even..
真得很久没提妹妹们庆祝生日了。记得我刚来到这大城市的前几年,那时我的财务状况还算可以,每逢妹妹们的生日我都会主动请妹妹们吃一餐好的。几年过后,大伙儿无意间渐渐疏远,这聚餐也渐渐消失,剩下的只是简单的礼物或一块蛋糕。有时可能只拨电聊一下,甚至只是一封祝贺的信息也不奇怪。。

"So sad."
"伤心的故事。"

The above 2 phrases are actually Hoon's catchphrases, everytime she utters any of them especially the Chinese one, I would feel slightly tickled. Only she can say it with such natural flair coupled with a little hint of helplessness.
Definitely her trademark, no doubt about it.
以上这两句话其实是凤的口头禅,每次听到她讲的时候本人其实都会偷笑。因为唯有她可以说得即理所当然又无奈。
绝对是她的标志没错。

Tutti Frutti

Our Tutti Frutti treats, courtesy of Hoon, who managed to get a deal for 2 from Groupon just hours before our dinner because she wanted to try and see what Tutti Frutti's all about. The huge, almost overflowing one is mine hehe (it was accidental owhkayyy), I must say the TF Tart flavour is quite yogurt-y nice!
我们的Tutti Frutti冷冻酸乳酪,运用凤在我们晚餐前几个小时透过Groupon网购的特价,因为她想跟她大姐我尝尝这个Tutti Frutti到底是什么东东。超大的那杯是本人的(不好意思,真的[纯属意外]啦!),TF Tart口味好吃!

The sister of mine has a heart of gold that not many people can see.
I was one of them previously =.=
本人的这个妹妹拥有一颗很多人没看懂的善良的心。
本人之前也是其中一个 =.=

Umai-Ya

Umai-Ya was an impromptu decision because she originally wanted to go for the Taiwanese restaurant next to it, but I should have known; she's more into Japanese as well as Korean drama and music. When we were ordering, she was actually silently (helping me watch my budget) and efficiently (she's an accountant cough) calculating away the prices while I browsed through the menu from the front to the back, and from the back to the front again, looking for food that's special, nice and at the same time, filling.
这日式餐厅是个即兴的选择,她原本打算去隔壁的台湾餐厅。但路途中就那么刚好经过这一家,停下来描一描餐单过后就决定在这里用餐了。也不奇怪因为毕竟她比较向往日剧韩剧,听的音乐也是。点菜的时候凤边点边悄悄(提本人注意预算)很有效(她是个会计师)的计算开销。本人呢把餐单从头翻到尾,又从尾翻到头,寻找又特别又好吃又吃得饱的。

I need more practice in ordering good food =.=
点菜这方面本人还得多练习 =.=

The decision to buy Hoon a birthday meal after so many years was quite spontaneous in itself too. The thought hit just few days before; learning to go with my instincts despite feeling fear as usual, I asked her anyway.
And there we were =D
相隔了这么多年,今年决定要请凤吃顿生日餐其实也是即兴的,是前几天突然想到的。尽管觉得不习惯也怕尴尬,以本人对自己的直觉逐渐建立的信心,本人就干脆问了她再说。
所以就这样啦 =D

We had the best sisterly chat ever between us throughout the night, even when we were in the car heading home, sharing and listening to each other on life and about what we are going through now, especially the good ones. I'm very happy and glad to see the good changes in her; happier, more relaxed and finding more friends that see and accept the wonderful things in her while she retains the idiosyncrasies that are so characteristic of her.
我们两生平第一次聊得如此衷心愉快,彼此分享及聆听各自对生活的想法还有近来的状况,特别是好的那些。本人很兴奋看到她的好转变,变得比较开朗,轻松。也欣慰她找到了更多懂得欣赏她的好的朋友,同时也让她保留那些属于她的特质。

Hoon, wishing you a very happy birthday, I don't have anything big to give you but I wish you from the bottom of my heart, true happiness, peace and health, that no matter what comes your way, you'll live through them all with gladness, peace and strength in your heart. I'm proud of you! =)
凤,深深的祝妳有个愉快的生日。大姐虽然给不了妳什么很重大的礼物,但衷心的祝福妳幸福安康,不管遇到任何顺或不顺仍然可以快乐,平静,坚强的度过。我以妳为荣!=)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Yes And No: The No.

Click here for the first part of this post.

The No.

No

One would think that for someone who loves to keep to herself so much, I probably don't have qualms when it comes to uttering a no.

This is actually true to a certain extent =.=

As much spunk I have when it comes to protecting my personal time, I too realize that dedicating all of my free time all to myself for an indefinite period of time will ultimately lead to off-the-scale imbalance and therefore a very, very depressed and unhappy me.

This is where the challenge comes in, saying no when I feel the urge of saying yes again and again after saying no far too many times before saying the first yes =.=

Doesn't quite make the standard for logical common sense, but that's me.

In general, self-centred as I am, I too fall victim to situations where I feel obliged to say yes even though saying no is actually perfectly fine. The humanist in me just won't let me off the hook sometimes. Come to think of it, the hardest time for me to say no would be the time when I think I have to say yes even if I don't really have to.

There was one time I was chatting with a friend over dinner when 2 girls came to our table with a guitar and sang We Are The World right away much to my amusement. One of them extended a donation drive's brochure to us and asked us to contribute. I seriously didn't know how to react and I was thisclose to pulling out my wallet to fish for cash =.= My friend, on the other hand, said no, thank you (or was it sorry, no..), repeating the words several times as the girls repeated their request again and again.

When the girls left, I asked him out of curiosity why did he say no, somehow expecting a common degrading answer like what most would give in the very same situation. My young, wise friend instead replied, "I'm learning to say no.. I'm saying no to them, at the same time I'm also saying yes to myself."

Now that is what I call wisdom in practice. It was truly a eureka moment for me, I tell you.

Saying no to others in order to say yes to myself, liberating myself from what I think I have to do, allowing myself to focus on things that actually matter more to me and bring me more satisfaction, fulfilling my own expectations rather than the expectations of others. I'm slowly getting used to this approach having tried it several times so far and I must say it's rather therapeutic; I'm now much happier and contented. Furthermore, I am more willing to say yes to others when it really does matter, far more willing than I thought I would be.

There's another wise example of a mom calmly rejecting her young son here, from where I grabbed the above No image hehe.

Also, Jim Carrey's character in Yes Man began to experience repercussions too when the scale was off-balance after he said yes once or twice too many times. When you have too much of a something, be it good or bad, you can almost always expect things to get a wee bit out of control if you're not watching the scale from time to time. And I do not exactly mean the weighing scale, although that may also apply in certain circumstances.

Afterthoughts:

Very, very sanative. Although it takes me quite a bit of time and effort to write out posts like these, I find it extremely helpful in getting to know more of myself, my thought processes and especially the life principles and values that I've always wanted hold on to but more often than not hesitated to.

Faith. Hope. Love. Patience. Honesty. Integrity. Balance.

Just to name.. a few.

I still believe that everything happens for reasons that may not be apparent at first, regardless of a yes or a no. Faith that things will eventually turn out well is key here; constant heartfelt prayers are the essentials. I also believe in timing, God's timing, to be exact. He has everything figured out no matter what decisions I make, and that's actually kind of freaky yet at the same time, comforting.

So why then the need to distinguish when to say yes or when to say no?

For character.

I believe in building up a person's character rather than personality. To me, character is the foundation on which personality is built on; character defines a person from the inside, personality is what others see on the surface. Just like a building without a solid foundation, personality is not something that will last long without a solid character. By clearly stating yes or no and knowing very well why I'm sticking to it, I am essentially building up fundamental confidence and courage to just be.. me.

It takes a lot of focus and guts, I tell you.
There will always be distractions all along the way and whether or not I succumb to them largely depends on how strong is my hold on my personal values.

Yes And No: The Yes.

This post has been constantly floating on my mind for quite some time now, begging to be written out. Yet somehow I've been inadvertently avoiding just that, brushing it off as a classic case of writer's block.

Perhaps I'm scared of being held accountable over what I'm planning to write.
Or maybe it's just too boring a topic for me, too practical in a sense, as I more often than not choose to remain in the comfortable realm of my thoughts =.=

Comfort zone. Can't live without it, can't live with it either.
In other words, balance is still key.

Suffice to say, as someone who has pretty much lived her life in her mind most of the time (I'd say at least 60-70%), when it comes to practical decision making or giving firm answers to invitations or queries, I'd almost always go for ambiguity just to remain on the safe side.

Lame, I know.
I'm a dreamer and for a dreamer, the possibilities are seriously endless.
Unfortunately, temperamental and fearful as I am, that also means I more often than not choose to remain with what I'm inherently comfortable with.

So here I am, blogging this out in an attempt to help myself see things more clearly and hence learn to be at peace with myself over any decision that I make from now on.
Especially the results of any of those decisions.

The Yes.

Yes Man (2008)

Jim Carrey's character in Yes Man initially said no to everything, having himself settled into a disillusioned state after his divorce. That is until one day, he attended a motivational talk and unwittingly kind of swore that he'd say yes to everything from then on. Which he eventually did after he coincidentally experienced some minor repercussions during a short period of disbelief, and his life began to take off on a different trajectory with each yes.

The first time I watched the movie was almost 5 years ago, at a time when changes were seemingly everywhere, in my life and at work. Changed job about half a year before that, followed by sisters moving out of the place while I stayed back, and then there was the end of a long-distance relationship.. They were coming at me one after another as if paying heed to my heart's desperate outcry to push me out of my comfort zone (read: comfortable but not happy) back then.

It was actually just the start of a whole series of gradual adjustments to my life in general. There were more to come after that, many of which I didn't know how to handle and caused quite a bit of stress on my entire being. I was like a little girl stuck in an adult's body, somewhat overstimulated yet terrorized and numbed by all the things that I was consciously or subconsciously saying yes to. Nothing illegal or unethical, just too many things for me to absorb and learn at a time, something that I had trouble accepting then.

There were times when I said yes just because I felt like saying yes.
There were times when I said yes just because I felt like I had to.
Now when I decide to say yes to something, I make sure that it's because I really want to.

This is important not just for me, but also for that something that I'm saying yes to. I've far too often said yes just because I thought I had to, and I am far too often left with bitter aftertastes to come up with the conclusion that that is not how it should be..

Had I really wanted to say yes, I would've accepted full responsibility for everything that might've happened, both the process and the results. Which means putting real, meaningful effort into it, taking part in coordination whenever necessary however minor my role would be, and finally embracing the results, be it good or bad, which really doesn't matter had I contributed my part wholeheartedly in the first place.

This is also why some people is able to let go and straightaway move on to another endeavour after everything is done without needing to know what the final results are.
Because they already know in their hearts what the real results are based on what they went through throughout the whole process.

There are also times when I know I have to say yes even if I don't really feel like it, usually due to a sharp reluctance to get out of my comfort zone. At times like these I try not to let especially my preference to keep to myself get in the way and to just go with the yes. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.

Click here for the second part of this post.

Friday, July 11, 2014

When I'm Stressed..

When I'm stressed, I have this sleeping problem.

It's not insomnia.. My eyelids are practically drooping as I type out this post..

Trust me, I'll fall asleep within seconds after I hit the pillow.
It's way past my bedtime, honestly speaking.

I have this age-old habit of not allowing myself to sleep early whenever I have too much in my head, of which I did not even realize until recently. I've had always thought of it as a procrastination problem, along with dozens of other less-efficient habits of mine. I must have subconsciously thought that grouping all those problems into one major category can help me make more sense of what's wrong with me.

Plus it's convenient, solve one and voilà, I have the solutions template for each and every problem. Genius, I tell you.

Or so I thought.

I digress, yet this is something worth contemplating on though.
Mental note to blog it out in another post.

And so I would stay up late into the night, feeling as though there's a lot to be done only to end up reading or watching other people's work online.

I don't think I've ever come up with even one single solid solution for my problems on those sleepy nights. How can I, with a brain so subconsciously (I automatically go on auto-pilot mode when I don't know what to do with the worries that I have.. In other words, 逃避, my area of expertise =.=) worn out from anxieties? Duh.

To give myself credit, I managed to make myself go to bed by 11 p.m. few months back for at least 2-3 weeks. I still felt tired though, because I made myself wake up by 5 a.m. the next morning.

Yeah, very bright of me, I know.
I just so happen to like the wee hours of the morning, that's all.

The habit went away as another round of frustrations hit me, which lasted 2-3 months. When I finally had it solved through the advice and selfless acts of a friend (I am very, very touched by this friend of mine..), I once again made myself sleep early while observing the patterns of my sleeping hours, which is worthy of a post itself too.

That was last week. Yesterday I received something that I didn't manage to begin to take care of until today. It's not something big, but it's something that I really have no idea how to manage properly, something that I'm honestly scared to lose puff by puff just like that.

Just like how I did in the past, sigh.

And so here I am blogging this out hoping that it would serve as a reminder for me that sleeping early and getting enough sleep are also vital elements of living a wiser life.

It would at least keep me sane. *fingers crossed*

(I fell asleep just moments before I hit the Publish button just now =.=)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wistful.

Sunset in the rearview mirror..

You know that feeling where you admire another person for the life he or she has been leading so far and wonder what on earth have you yourself achieved up until now?

That empty, sore feeling where you know you could've done more but didn't?

I've had that kind of feeling for as long as I can remember.

I did a brief take on my more than 3 decades of brief life here on earth so far just now, listing out one by one important people, places, events, activities.. Just anything that I can recall.

Consumed by a heavy sense of wistfulness, a sudden wave of nostalgia washed over me, faded memories of the past falling into place once again in my seemingly rusted brain, worn out from overthinking and lack of sleep.

I know it sounds largely sad and emotional, which it actually is and somehow has always been whenever the past is remembered, yet this time there's a touch of gratitude, of thankfulness.. Grateful, and thankful, that I too, have stories to tell, stories to give life to, be it real or imagined.

If there's just one thing I wish I didn't do over and over again, it would be comparing myself with others. My life with their lives.

I wish I was brave enough to seek and live out who I was deep inside.

All that stubbornness and sullen exterior that were so characteristic of me for so long was just a facade for the little child inside who so craved attention from others, she did not realize that if only she herself would pay attention to her heart's silent outcry and did something about it, she would have been far more content and perhaps happier.

Wouldn't she?

I would sometimes imagine a future me peeking from a corner somewhere, observing my every step, taking in my every action with a gentle smile on her face, silently encouraging me when I'm stressed or feeling bad, telling me that it's okay to fall..

She's beautiful, she's someone that I know I would admire.

I am perfectly sane btw, just in case anyone's wondering ahem.

Wistful as it is to me, I don't regret the past for it is part of who I am now. I am not without weaknesses, suffice to say, but I truly cherish the parts of me that I've found so far which I believe have been more or less refined by what I've been through in the past.

Praise the Lord.. =)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Self-Talk #921.
自语 #921。

P/S: Afterthoughts in English continues after the following Chinese (cough) work of art.

123 深呼吸
开始

人 是自私的
我是人
所以 我也是自私的

人 是可望爱的
我是人
所以 我也是可望爱的

人 是矛盾的
我是人
所以 我也是矛盾的

人 是软弱的
我是人
所以 我也是软弱的

人 是会假装的
我是人
所以 我也是会假装的

人 是渴望被理解的
我是人
所以 我也是渴望被理解的

任何人 可以不信任我
唯有我 坚持相信我自己
任何人 可以不顾一切的批评讽刺否定我
唯有我 坚持肯定我自己
任何人 可以不接受我
唯有我 坚持接受我自己

任何人 可以不爱我
唯有我 坚持爱我自己

只要我还活着
什么都有可能

因此

人 可以是慷慨的
我是人
因此 我也可以是慷慨的

人 可以是有爱心的
我是人
因此 我也可以是有爱心的

人 可以是明确的
我是人
因此 我也可以是明确的

人 可以是坚强的
我是人
因此 我也可以是坚强的

人 可以是真诚的
我是人
因此 我也可以是真诚的

人 可以是善解人意的
我是人
因此 我也可以是善解人意的

我 是最了解我自己的人

感恩 所有了解我的人
感恩 所有接受我的人
感恩 所有爱我的人

赞美主!!

123 深呼吸
完毕

Afterthoughts:

To a certain extent, we are all actually quite similar to each other, us humans, without us realizing it most of the time, if not all the time.

We are a selfish bunch with deep longings for love, we are contradictory with what we think or say or do. We are weak when it comes to a whole host of things but we are good at pretending to be the opposite, fooling others and at the same time trying our best to fool ourselves as well. We say we are OK when we are not and yet, we longingly hope that someone would eventually understand.

There are a lot of things about myself that I've had always denied, telling myself that this and that are not acceptable, you better change or you'll never have a better life. I listened to others more than I listened to myself, contrary to what I would prefer to believe, taking advice here and there, expecting myself to behave differently after that and disappointing myself everytime I don't.. I seriously made my own life miserable for myself.

In short, I wasn't there for myself when I needed my own love and support the most.
I think I was busy floating somewhere in the sky.

But I believe, as long as we are still alive, possibilities abound.
Hey come on, we ARE the most intelligent beings on earth! And we have yet to utilize the full potential of our brains!
(aliens do not count yet because it is uncertain whether the real reason they have yet to show themselves is due to fear or strategic planning or both, or maybe they have yet to discover earth)

As weak as I may have made the human race sound to be, I believe in love and hope.

And in having faith, even just a little would be more than good enough.

I believe we can find it in ourselves to be generous and loving instead, when we know for certain that we do make the world a better place, step by step, bit by bit, by our little unselfish acts of love. Patience is key. Results will not be evident in an instant, but it will eventually get there. Real inner strength comes from having both focus and patience to bear the tough times out.

Everything begins with one person.. Me. If I don't know how to sincerely love, understand and be patient with myself first, how will I be capable of sincerely loving, understanding and being patient with another being?

I will forever be craving for love, understanding and patience from another being instead.
I definitely know what I am talking about, no kidding.

That said, I'm honestly thankful for all those who still love and understand me, accepting me for who I am despite having to put up with all my nonsense all this while. I'm not that bad, but being no angel, I can be pretty tough to bear with (cough) sometimes.

Praise the Lord!! =)

Friday, May 2, 2014

有些原諒是不需要道歉的。
Forgiveness Without Apologies.

You know how you'd get all these strange stares or hand-covered whispers, outright impatient outbursts even, right in front of your face when you've just done something deemed unacceptable by the rest of the world at large?

That very amusing and perhaps embarrassing yet irritating and frustrating kind of feeling that you are, once again, at odds with the world?

I am not the provocative type, but perhaps due to my eccentric and idiosyncratic nature, submissively passive as I used to be, I often find myself under siege.

It's all harmless really, reactions vary from being the subject of jokes to point-blank questionings. Not the kind of attention that one would crave for, but it's still b-e-a-r-a-b-l-e.

Sometimes it does get out of hand though.

As I gradually transition myself from the submissively passive me to the initiatively affable me (cough), somewhere in between, there are these awkward phases where I utter or do things that do not necessarily convey what I actually want to express.

Hence misunderstandings arise.
People get offended and utter or do things that they themselves would regret.
Provided that they realize that some of things they utter or do don't really make sense and are pretty offensive as well as defensive themselves.

Most of the time they don't realize. Seriously.

I believe I am not exempted from such errors as well if the tables are turned.
So who am I to judge?

I eventually chose to forgive and let go.

With or without apologies.

It's actually a big blow to my ego, I'd say, but in retrospect it's the best gift I'd ever given myself. That kind of happiness and freedom is remarkable.. And priceless.

I am definitely no saint. Frankly speaking, I was very hurt and disappointed yet I couldn't bring myself to voice anything out further because I knew it would only make matters worse. Fortunately I had a strong support system in the form of people who are patient enough to hear me out and understand me, whether or not they supported what I did or said.

And I thank myself for continuously striving to educate and train myself in the realms of personal development and self-realization. That I never gave up on myself.

I choose to focus on the larger picture, in creating a better world for myself, especially for future generations. Mindset is key.

And everything, everything begins with me, from little things like these.
I may be clumsy and make loads of mistakes along the way but deep down in my heart, I know I'm on the right path.

Praise the Lord! =)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gratefulness.
感恩。

I am deeply touched by the much little blessings in my life that I often take for granted, everytime I listen to or watch the following video.
每当我听或看以下的影片,我深深的被生命中许多常常被忽略的小祝福感动。

Hope it opens up your heart too. =)
希望它也能让你的心打开。 =)

Little Girl:
小女孩:
When I watch TV..
当我看电视的时候..
It's just some shows that you just, that are pretend..
那只是一些节目,一些不真实的节目..
And, and when you explore..
当你去探索的时候..
You get more imagination than you already had..
你会拥有比你原有更多的想像力..
And, um, when you get more imagination..
还有,嗯,当你拥有更多想像力..
It makes you wanna go deeper in..
让你想要更深入的想像力..
So you can get more and see beautifuller things..
使你得到更多看到更美的东西..
Like it could, the path..
就好像它可以,那路径..
If it's a path, it could lead you, uh, could lead you to a beach or something..
若它是个路径,它可以引领你,嗯,可以引领你到个海边或者什么的..
And it could be beautiful..
可以是很美的..

Man:
大人:
You think this is just another day in your life..
你认为这只是你生命中的另一天..
It's not just another day..
其实它并不只是另一天..
It's the one day that is given to you..
它是被赐给你的一天..
Today.
今天。

It's given to you..
它是被赐给你..
It's a gift..
它是个礼物..
It's the only gift that you have right now..
它是你现在唯一拥有的礼物..
And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.
适当的回应也只有感恩。

If you do nothing else and but to cultivate that response..
若你其他什么都没做,只培植那回应..
To the great gift that this unique day is..
回应这独一无二的一天,这伟大的礼物..
If you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life..
若你学习回应有如它是你生命的第一天..
And the very last day..
还有最后一天..
Then you will have spent this day very well.
你会把这一天活得很好。

Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open..
首先睁开你的眼睛,让自己感到惊讶自己拥有一双看得见的眼睛..
That incredible array of colours that is constantly offered to us for our pure enjoyment..
那不可思议的色彩阵列持续的给我们提供,让我们纯粹的享受..
Look at the sky..
看那天空..
So really look at the sky..
好好的看那天空..
So really note how different it is from moment to moment the clouds come and gone.
好好的体会一刻刻来来去去的云朵是有多不一样的。

We just think of the weather..
我们只想到天气..
And even of the weather, we don't think of all the many nuances of weather..
即使天气,我们也没想到天气许多细微的差异..
We just think of good weather and bad weather..
我们只想到好天气跟坏天气..
This day, right now, has unique weather..
今天,现在,拥有独特的天气..
Maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again..
那天气的形式有可能永远都不会再出现..
The formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same that is right now..
天空里那云朵的形成永远都不会跟现在的一样..
Open your eyes..
睁开你的眼睛..
Look at that.
看看那云朵。

Look at the faces of people whom you meet..
看看你遇到的人的面容..
Each one has a incredible story behind their face..
每一个人的面容背后拥有一个了不起的故事..
A story that you could never fully fathom..
一个你永远没办法完全捉摸的故事..
Not only their own story but the story of their ancestors..
不仅仅他们自己的故事,还有他们祖先的故事..
We all go back so far.
我们的历史很久以前就开始了。

And in this present moment, on this day..
还有在这一刻,在这一天..
All the people you meet..
你所遇到的所有的人..
All that life from generations and from so many places all over the world..
那从不同时代来之世界各地的生命..
Flows together and meets you here..
漂流在一起,在这里与你相遇..
Like a life-giving water if you only open your heart and drink.
好比生命之水,只要你打开你的心好好品尝。

Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us..
将你的心打开,文明带给了我们许多不可思议的礼物..
You flip a switch and there is electric light..
你按个开关就有电灯光..
You turn a faucet and there's warm water and cold water..
你转个水龙头就有热水和冷水..
And drinkable water..
还有可以喝的水..
It's a gift that millions and millions in the world are, will never experience..
世上有千百万人永远不会有机会享受甚至体验这一切..
Now these are just a few of an enormous number of gifts to which you can open your heart.
打开你的心,这些也只是在众多的礼物中的一小部分。

And so I wish you that you will open your heart to all these blessings..
所以我祝你,愿你对所有这些祝福将你的心打开..
And let them flow through you..
让它们通过你流动..
That everyone whom you will meet on the street will be blessed by you.
让你在街上遇到的每一个人都会被你祝福..
Just by your eyes..
只透过你的眼神..
By your smile..
透过你的笑容..
By your touch..
透过你的触摸..
Just by your presence.
只透过你的存在。

Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you.
让那感恩溢出成你四周围的祝福。

Then it will really be a good day.
那今天就会是真的很美好的一天。

Spread the blessings. =)
把那祝福传出去吧。 =)

Monday, April 14, 2014

给我再去相信的勇气。
Give Me The Courage To Believe Again.

我祈祷拥有一颗透明的心灵 和会流泪的眼睛
I pray for a clear heart, and eyes that cry
给我再去相信的勇气 越过谎言去拥抱你
Give me the courage to believe again, to embrace you beyond lies

每当我找不到存在的意义
Whenever I can't find the meaning of my existence
每当我迷失在黑夜里
Whenever I lose myself in the darkness
夜空中最亮的星 请指引我靠近你
The brightest star in the night sky, please lead me closer to you

Fearlessness is a nonexistent state.

Fear is constant. Like change, ironically.

It takes a courageous one to defy the fear in the mind, heart and soul, knowing very well in the heart why it has to be done, how it is to be done, what needs to be done..
And then take the plunge into the unknown.

That said, my point is.. I'm scared.

To be exact.. I'm seriously terrified out of my wits.

There are these perpetual battles within me, to flee or to stay, to stay or to move.. One moment, oh hey it's the new me, I'm all up and ready to go!! The next moment, oh hi it's the depressed me again, I need time with myself so just leave me alone..

But I know, these are all just part of the process.
Steps that I must take in order to advance to the next checkpoint.
Regardless of all that I may encounter on the way, within or without.

And I also know, real courage comes from within.
For every imaginable or unimaginable fear, there is an equally powerful force, the imaginable or unimaginable courage to act and deliver in spite of the fear.

The question is, which one do I choose to stick with, fear or courage?

The world is changing, so am I.

I give myself, the gift of courage, to believe in myself, again and again.
And again.

May the Lord's will be done.

原唱: 逃跑计划
作曲、填词、编曲: 逃跑计划

夜空中最亮的星 能否听清
The brightest star in the night sky, can you hear
那仰望的人 心底的孤独和叹息
That longing soul's heart's loneliness and sighs

夜空中最亮的星 能否记起
The brightest star in the night sky, can you remember
曾与我同行 消失在风里的身影
The one who once traveled with me, now gone with the wind

我祈祷拥有一颗透明的心灵 和会流泪的眼睛
I pray for a clear heart, and eyes that cry
给我再去相信的勇气 越过谎言去拥抱你
Give me the courage to believe again, to embrace you beyond lies

每当我找不到存在的意义
Whenever I can't find the meaning of my existence
每当我迷失在黑夜里
Whenever I lose myself in the darkness
夜空中最亮的星 请指引我靠近你
The brightest star in the night sky, please lead me closer to you

夜空中最亮的星 是否知道
The brightest star in the night sky, do you know
曾与我同行 的身影如今在哪里
Where is the one who once traveled with me now

夜空中最亮的星 是否在意
The brightest star in the night sky, do you care
是等太阳升起 还是意外先来临
Whether to wait for the sun to rise, or the unexpected would come first

我宁愿所有痛苦都留在心里 也不愿忘记你的眼睛
I'd rather keep all pain in my heart, than to forget your eyes
给我再去相信的勇气 越过谎言去拥抱你
Give me the courage to believe again, to embrace you beyond lies

每当我找不到存在的意义
Whenever I can't find the meaning of my existence
每当我迷失在黑夜里
Whenever I lose myself in the darkness
夜空中最亮的星 请照亮我前行
The brightest star in the night sky, please shine my path ahead

我祈祷拥有一颗透明的心灵 和会流泪的眼睛
I pray for a clear heart, and eyes that cry
给我再去相信的勇气 越过谎言去拥抱你
Give me the courage to believe again, to embrace you beyond lies.

每当我找不到存在的意义
Whenever I can't find the meaning of my existence
每当我迷失在黑夜里
Whenever I lose myself in the darkness
夜空中最亮的星 请照亮我前行
The brightest star in the night sky, please shine my path ahead

夜空中最亮的星 能否听清
The brightest star in the night sky, can you hear
那仰望的人 心底的孤独和叹息
That longing soul's heart's loneliness and sighs

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just Around The Riverbend.

Just around the riverbend..

The final chorus in Disney's Pocahontas song, Just Around The Riverbend, goes like this:

Just around the river bend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don't know what for
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the river bend?
Just around the river bend...

I have dreams, things that I want to do. Loads of them in fact, and in all sizes.

Ask me why I want to do all those stuff, I'd probably say oh, I've always liked music, it's a form of expression for me.. I like listening to what people have to say and asking them questions to get to know them more.. I want to have a better life, one with quality.. The list goes on.

I'm yet to find one that truly resonates with what I'm feeling inside. It feels thisclose, seemingly within an arm's reach. Yet it feels like I'm barely touching it.

At the same time, it also feels like something that cannot be understood right away just by touching its surface, something that I would have to grasp with my whole being, mind, body, and soul.. Ah, frustrating!

And paralyzing. I want to have a purpose strong enough to drive me through challenges in any endeavour, but I don't seem to have any, so I give up at the onset of a major one.

I'm quite sure that I'd find most of the things that I'm still seeking now, including that vital purpose, just around that riverbend. After all, pretty much all of my big dreams, the more meaningful ones, extend far beyond that riverbend, some of it past several seas even.

But why, why.. WHY ALL THE WISHY-WASHINESS??

It's like the nervousness cum excitement that I feel before the start of an utterly terrifying yet wittingly exciting ride at a theme park. Part of me badly wants to flee immediately, part of me can't wait to enjoy the whole ride.

And so I'm stuck. I procrastinate until I'm forced to make a decision, which you can guess is, more often than not, an undesirable one because I'm basically tossing coins, following my mood at that instant instead of reasoning out which one would be a better decision, a decision that I fully own and would be responsible for for all results it may produce, good and bad.

It's fear. All sorts of fear, ranging from the unknown to the known (I do not know how my mind came up with this particular sentence, but it makes sense to me.. Man, I love writing!).

I've been listening to Seth Godin's audiobooks, 2 to be exact, Linchpin and Poke The Box. I've been following his blog as well as his interviews and TED/TEDx talks on YouTube (just found out that there are some I missed, bookmarked!). Notwithstanding the irony that he's arguing for people to be artists of their own, to be people of initiative rather than followers waiting for instructions, and me feeling the urge to follow what he is saying.. I feel like I've just been given HUGE knocks on the head.

Ouch.

But the feeling is largely liberating. As if I've been given the OK sign to be me regardless where I go, and to proceed with whatever I have in mind, carry it through and see which works and which does not. Observe and learn from all that, and continue to ruffle feathers and create ruckuses.

Always moving, continuously learning, constantly changing.
Which is totally not who I am now (save for the learning bit), then again who I am now has not always been who I really am inside.

I am a Linchpin. (chewahhh~)

To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing

I wonder what's around the riverbend for me.
Well, I won't ever know until I go around it, will I?

What I love most about rivers is
You can't step in the same river twice
The water's always changing, always flowing
But people, I guess, can't live like that
We all must pay a price
To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing

What's around the river bend
Waiting just around the river bend
I look once more

Just around the river bend
Beyond the shore
Where the gulls fly free
Don't know what for
What I dream the day might send
Just around the river bend
For me, coming for me

I feel it there beyond those trees
Or right behind these waterfalls
Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming
For a handsome sturdy husband
Who builds handsome sturdy walls
And never dream that something might be coming?

Just around the river bend
Just around the river bend
I look once more

Just around the river bend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don't know what for
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the river bend?
Just around the river bend...

Should I choose the smoothest course
Steady as the beating drum?
Should I marry Kocoum?
Is all my dreaming at an end?
Or do you still wait for me, Dream Giver
Just around the river bend?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

我的二姑。My Aunt May.

二姑: "二姑老了。。妳知道二姑幾歲了嗎??"
Aunt May: "Aunt May old oredi.. U know Aunt May how old onot??"

娜: (二姑應該有八十多歲了) "二姑,你永遠都是四十多歲的!!" (失敗,真不會逗人開心 =.=)
Na: (Aunt May should be in her 80s) "Aunt May, you are forever 40++ years old only!!" (epic failure in attempting to make her feel better =.=)

二姑: "二姑真的老了。。眼睛看東西濛濛的,時常忘記東西,要講的東西一下子又忘了要講什麼,太小聲耳朵聽不到。。"
Aunt May: "Aunt May is really old oredi.. Eyes kenot see clear clear, owes forget things, things that I wanna say I oso forget in the blink of an eye, too soft ears kenot hear.."

娜: "二姑,我也時常忘記自己要講的東西啊,不要緊啦,記得才講咯。太小聲我的耳朵也聽不到啊。。" (失敗,本人才三十出頭 =.=)
Na: "Aunt May, I oso owes forget the things that I wanna say, nvm lah, only say when remember lor. Too soft my ears oso kenot hear one.." (super failure, I'm barely 40 =.=)

Aunt May is dad's second eldest sister. My siblings and I call her 'Ni Gu', which is Foochow for 二姑, literally 'Second Aunt'. May is not her real name, let's just say it's an alpha-wordplay on her real name, thought up by the beautiful and creative yours truly hehehehe.

She called up mom two mornings ago to get hold of someone who can fix fridges as her fridge had been rather noisy for about 5 days then, quiet only when the power is off which totally defeats the purpose of having a fridge in the first place. Mom somehow misplaced Mr Sia's number, thus she had only one person to look up.. Me. =D

The efficient me (almost) immediately contacted her. Hehehe.

She did call up several people before she thought of mom. Her younger sister, Aunt Yun (not real name), also my 'San Gu' or 三姑 or 'Third Aunt', recommended one repairman whom Aunt May called on Saturday. Said he could come on Sunday but Aunt May told him she wasn't available, then come Monday, he no longer does repairs. Funny dude.

Nevertheless, she called Mr Sia after I passed her the number and was amused at the slight fact that he didn't answer her calls, yet he answered my mom's calls LOL! (mom helped her call Mr Sia after she told mom of her little dilemma) I believe it's pure coincidence haha =P

After a few more dingdongs between Aunt May, mom and Mr Sia, at long last, Mr Sia finally came to Aunt May's place with his young assistants and helped her out with her fridge. Cost Aunt May only 30 for labor charge, and Mr Sia didn't force Aunt May to replace a broken part but let her call the shot herself instead (she decided to wait and see). A really good repairman with high integrity that one, Mr Sia.

Aunt May has always been a capable and independent woman, from what I've heard from my mom and my mom's mom (my maternal grandma lah). Whenever they mention Aunt May, they always say how capable Aunt May is, such that I can literally hear the notes of admiration in their voices. I've never really asked why, but I do have very vague memories of her little workshop on the ground floor of her house where there were these sewing machines and cloths and threads and sewing pins.. If I'm not mistaken, she was seamstress, a good one it seems, and her family's livelihood depended on this.

I do not really remember what did Ah Dio (Hokkien for uncle), her husband, do for a living. Ah Dio was a very gentle and soft-spoken man, shorter than Aunt May, with a kind, smiley face (a tiny resemblance to 老夫子) =) He passed away one or two years ago, had Aunt May not inadvertently mentioned that halfway through our phone conversation, the insensitive me would've totally forgotten =.= I was in fact a little shocked when she mentioned it, and wondered with a sore heart how did she cope with him not being around anymore..

But she's no homebody, nope. In her 80s, she's still very active, whether it's running her own errands or attending church, she does it all on her own. Including finding a repairman to fix her noisy fridge haha, which she thanked me profusely for a good recommendation. *beam*

Here are some advice she gave me over the phone:

"Oh.. Walking is good! I oso got walk around the house every evening for half an hour one. Must exercise! The older you are, the more important it is for you to do exercise. Only then people will remain young and fit and healthy, right or not?"

"Must go to church, eh no, must believe in God. Anything we need, must pray to God and believe. No believe, no use. I have come across many, many situations where I prayed to God and believed He will help. And He did. God listens and He will do what has to be done."

I remember going to her house with my siblings to play when we were very young. We were fascinated by the toys that she had at her place haha, probably my cousin's or their kids' (dad married late, cousins from dad's side are much older than us, their kids are almost our age), and she had these nice and creative decors which captivated us very much.

Had a total of 3 phone chats with Aunt May these 3 days, for the first 2, I actually interrupted her several times when I wanted to know more about something. She would stop in her tracks and every time she stopped, she would somehow remain quiet, and I thought maybe she was annoyed at my interruptions or something, or maybe she wanted to let me have a say or something. Turned out she was not able to continue what she wanted to say anymore because she has forgotten what she wanted to say. Phone call #3 was a success because I've got the hang of it, I would only interrupt when she's almost done with what she was saying and quickly respond when there was a pause.. Man, I'm good. =P

Perhaps there's more to this than just a case of Aunt May seeking a repairman for a noisy fridge. God is cooking up something here.. aren't You? ;)

And I am to find out what it is. Yoshi!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Good Morning, Radzi! ^^

We yearn for simplicity, yet simplicity seems to elude the smartest of minds.

The same goes for happiness. The smarter you are, the harder it is for you to just be happy regardless of what happens. Because smart people tend to think too much into the tiniest of things, why this person should not do this, why that person should be doing that.. It's neverending.

Nevertheless, being smart is not the same as having good common sense. Which is entirely debatable and is a good topic for another day's discussion.
(chewah, sound so brainy liddat)

I consider myself somehow smart. I think a lot, and I know for sure that people who think as much as I do or perhaps even more, are not really that happy. Because we overcomplicate things. However, people change and so do people like me. We learn to let go, to be grateful and to appreciate the beauty that is already all around us, if we know what to look for and if we look hard enough, until these actions become unconscious habits.

Which brings me to my little dose of simple happiness almost every weekday morning. =)

Radzi

This is Radzi, a street sweeper that I meet on my way to work almost every working day morning.

He doesn't know my name, he doesn't know what I do for a living, he doesn't know where I work, he doesn't know where I'm from.. All he knows about me is probably the fact that I pass by him almost every morning, and that I may be a student, judging from the way I dress and how I constantly carry a book in my hand (often just for fun, yet to cultivate the read-everywhere habit) as I walk by.

I at least know his name haha.

I don't remember when did it started, what I do recall is that he's the kind of street sweeper that would pause his sweeping and patiently let people pass before continuing his work diligently, something not every street sweeper would do. One day, I decided to greet him with a chirpy "Morning!", to which he readily responded with his own simple and humble "Morning~", coupled with an equally simple and sincere smile. =)

From then onwards, as long as I see him and he's within earshot, I would greet him with the same chirpy "Morning!" and he would respond with his trademark "Morning~" too haha. He almost always has his back facing me, but when he does sometimes catch sight of me from a little distance away, he would stop his sweeping when he senses that I'm near and give me a hearty "Morning~" first haha.

I asked for his name one day out of the blue, and have added it into the routine every now and then hehe.

Maybe in that brief tiny exchange with a simple person like Radzi, I find literally no stress at all and can be at complete ease with myself. I actually look forward to seeing him when I pass by that particular stretch on my way to work, so much so that if I don't see him or he's too far away to hear me, I'm actually slighhhtly disappointed.

Perhaps it's not so much the person himself, perhaps it's just me minding too much about how I would be perceived if I choose to do something out of the ordinary with people who have more on their minds. Then again, I'm probably stuck in my own definition of myself and not that very willing to let go of who I've been all these years.

Habit, my dear, habit.

Maybe I'll cultivate the habit of greeting everyone I meet on my way to work every morning including my colleagues when I'm in the office a chirpy "Morning!" too, regardless of how each of them may react. After all, it matters not what others do to me, but what I do to others. A simple "Morning~" can do wonders, especially from an eccentric person like me. =D

Maybe, just maybe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Sun And The Clouds!

Funny how something you thought you would never, ever come to like, suddenly becomes something that you would forever be grateful for, never mind the inconveniences that it may bring.

The dark clouds.

'Twas a Saturday some weekends ago..

Drought had been plaguing the city for weeks, not only there was no rain but on certain awesome hazy days, the sun was almost this huge salted egg's egg yolk in the sky. Honestly.

No problem looking at the sun with naked eyes at all, nope. Quite a sight even.

The mighty sun.

But on that Saturday, the sun shone ever so brightly amidst dark cloudy skies! The clouds were furiously closing in on the sun, as if the skies were finally at one shot heeding the prayers and calls and wails and laments of the people in the city (especially those who have been deprived of normal water supply on a 2-day alternate basis, namely yours truly) for the normal sun and of course, RAINNNNNNN!

The mighty sun versus the dark clouds.

Usually one to cringe at the sight of dark skies, either out of a weird feeling that something bad is going to happen or just for the mere i-dun-wanna-get-my-shoes-wet excuse, I was SO happy to see the sun and the clouds, I was thisclose to dancing and jumping for joy (possibly in the middle of the road, if only I was not so self-conscious)!

Cloudy skies alert!

Every cloud has a silver lining, so they say. What if it's the clouds that give our lives the most meaning, with the silver linings golden remnants of what we've been through, which make us who we are in the end?

Would you rather embrace the rain and its life-giving waters whilst passing cars shower you with rainwater from the ground, mercifully sousing your jeans and shoes as you trudge your way to your destination, or shun the rain at all costs, cursing it for choosing to come down when you're not indoors, safe and sound?

The cloudy evening sky..

The choice is pretty much ours, good or bad, we'll have to bear the consequences anyway, consciously or subconsciously. Why not then bear them with some smiles in the midst of anger or angst or tears, and advance forward anyway? =)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

JJ Lin's Stories Untold.
Of Deaths And Memories.

Beautifully crafted, the mini movie for 修炼爱情 Practice Love, one of the love ballads in JJ Lin's 2013 因你而在 Stories Untold album, features an imaginative Flash animation with a sad story on loss and love that surrounds the theme of reliving memories, backed by heart-tugging background music.

One can pretty much guess that yours truly truly heart this one.

It's been a long time since I last watched mini movies (dramas, to be exact) made using Flash animations, used to be a fan of these back in my college days after I stumbled upon a Taiwanese website featuring a number of them. I had thought that they were pretty neat at first but the novelty eventually wore out on me, along with weak storylines.

The background music maintains a steady sad, regretful yet hopeful, beat all throughout the movie, strongly supporting the story's intended theme. Which very much appealed to the melancholic yet anticipative side of me, making me fall even more for this laborious piece of love, the whole movie itself.

The story.

Towards the end, the movie depicts several scenes..

An old woman in her rocking chair, stroking her lost cat lying on her lap, patting the hand of her lost husband sitting in the rocking chair next to hers..

A man playing with his lost child, lifting her up and holding her on his shoulders, going up an escalator that seems to stretch on forever..

A woman in a cafe, making a pinky promise with her lost lover..

The protagonist on a rooftop, hugging his lost fiancée ever so tightly..

The heart feels very, very sore everytime I come across these scenes, the same way I feel whenever I attend funerals or hear that someone I once knew had moved on to another world.. Especially if that someone was still very young, or if it's someone that I knew of more than just the name..

什麼是記憶?
What are memories made of?

An old friend of mine lost her dad to lung cancer earlier this month having fought the disease for around half a year, he was only in his 60s. Called her to check up on her, it was good to hear her usual calm and cheery voice greeting me as she answered. His funeral mass (he was once baptized as a Catholic when he was much younger) at the mortuary had just finished then. She told me that the family knew he wasn't going to make it and were prepared for the worst.. They even had a priest come to give him final blessings before he eventually peacefully passed away.

I asked her if she misses him. She said of course, this is something that only time can heal.

I vaguely remember his face and his fatherly voice and demeanour. The number of times I've seen him or heard his voice does not even exceed 20 perhaps, but it's enough to allow me feel at least a little of my friend's loss and the memories she's had with him.

If memories can be brought to life.. Would I want to live in them instead, given that I may have lost at least one who'd meant a lot to me by then?

I do not have a definite answer.

I actually thought my answer would be an outright no, but now I'm not so sure anymore as I put myself in the context rather than a general pronoun like what I would usually do.

For one, I'm one of the fortunate ones whereby my parents are still very much alive and they really take quite good care of themselves despite being well into their 60s and 70s. Much better than me taking care of myself in fact, shame on me. So much so that it is so easy to take it for granted that they'll always be there whenever I want to see them or hear their voice.

The same goes for my maternal grandmother, who's in her 80s now.

But it's not like that.. They won't always be there..
*tears forming in the eyes, nose starts running..*

Maybe it's because I'm horribly slow when it comes to discerning what are the important things in my life.. Or maybe I'm just plain spoilt.

My siblings.. My relatives.. My dear friends, some as close as family, some of whom I've known for more than 10 years.. My colleagues, some of whom I've known for more than 5 years and had seen them evolve from single ladies to wives and now mothers.. My Amway friends, whom I've learnt so much from.. All of them, some who really cared and looked out for me, they are all still here.

什麼是記憶?
What are memories made of?

Due to physical (mainly from lack of sleep) and psychological (mainly from lack of focus) reasons, I do not consciously remember a lot of things. But images, sounds and feelings from the past astonishingly make their way to my consciousness somehow, some of which I never even knew I had any memory of.

Like now.

Just because I don't recall a memory, doesn't mean it's not inside me, although under certain circumstances even memories can be manipulated. I believe there are many out there like me who only recall certain memories when it seems too late to do anything about it anymore.. When something terrible happens.. Especially when something important is forever gone..

失去才懂得珍惜。
We do not know what we have until we've lost it.

Meaningful memories are made when we connect with each other or when we do things for each other, particularly if the person whom we are in touch with or are doing things for is someone whom we treasure in our hearts. Which includes our very own selves.

Meaningful memories are also made when someone reaches out to us and do something that touches our hearts so much, that piece of memory is immediately etched onto the conscious mind. Unfortunately for many, some of those memories are eventually overwritten by new, exciting ones. Or maybe heartbreaking, depressing ones..

But the heart never forgets.

Memories are not meant to be real.. They come and go, in bits and pieces, a little like the dreams that we have when we nap or sleep. But they serve to remind us of what's important and what's not, to give us hope and strength to move forward with love and courage amidst challenges, trials and tribulations, knowing that we do have what it takes to make things work, that there ARE people who believe in us even when we ourselves do not.

Live in the moment, in the present, where everything is real. Make the most out of it, with the kind of spirit that deep in our hearts we know will continue to push us forward regardless of the outcome, constantly creating live memories.. *eyes shining*