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A 2012 review of The Imaginarator’s blog

Happy New Year… ‘ssss Eve! In a few exciting hours’ time, it’d be the start of a brand new year. Maybe that is why it has been pouring chubby dogs and fat cats the entire day. Year 2012 is refusing to go away quietly, without a long-drawn-out fight for its right to stay.

Anyway, in other exciting news, WordPress.com has kindly helped compile a very pretty 2012 annual report (lovely pic included) for this five-year-old blog. Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

The number of views is nearly a five-fold increase from last year. Amazingly, huh?! And these are the top five posts that got the most views in 2012 and they all have got one thing in common. It was about the love I had for someone. Impressive, huh?! My writing has staying power. Hahaha!

Okay, I have to start on my other year-end lists now. See you in 2013!

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Love actually

The beginning of two great days

I first wrote this post shortly after we came back and I updated subsequently several times on 2 and 17 January, 21 February, 4 April, 24 and 31 Dec last year as well as a few times this year. But finally on the fourth anniversary of starting this blog, I thought publishing this post would be rather apt. So here goes.

This pic was taken moments before the ferry set off to our next destination and 15 Dec 2010 was the beginning of two fucking great days.

I couldn’t sleep the night before excited and fearful of what was to come because the past few days had been a torment in more than one way. But really, we didn’t have to worry so much. Things picked up where we left off.

It started with home-made heart shaped pasta for breakfast. We were sitting there waiting for the ferry when she whipped out a tupperware box and said: “Breakfast!”

Now I love surprises a lot because it’s rare that I would be surprised since I would have figured it out beforehand or forced the information out of someone. And trust me, I was trying really hard, almost persistent, to get the info out from her the night before so this was a literally real treat.

The pasta had crab meat in slightly spicy tomato sauce and a little hard-boiled egg at the side. It was 8.55am and I can rave on and on about how delicious the pasta was and how I was grinning non-stop but I really hate to brag, Internet, because there is so much more to come.

We got up the ferry and started snapping photos of ourselves in our sunglasses. I tried to look suave and failed. If you ever saw me, you’d know I belong to the goofy genre, or as what she would always say, I have this general sheepish look all the time.

She was portraying a 60s look, although it could be the camera filter I was using that gave her that classic retro look. I thought she looked amazing. Then again, she always does and she knows how beautiful she is to me even if I would only say it silently in my heart.

Sleep was slightly hard to come by as we were distracted by Ice Age 3, playing on the big television screen. I couldn’t tell you much about the movie now, except it had mammoths and an irritating sloth which was trying to raise three T-Rexes. What I remember is it was nice holding hands, enjoying the cozy moments of her lying on my shoulder with my arm wrapped around her as the ferry gently churns its way across the sea.

When we arrived, we were almost immediately chauffeured to BYT where friendly staff, cold towels and a rather disgusting drink that was touted to be full of health benefits awaited us. After checking in, we were ushered to the spa room where we would be pampered, oiled, scrubbed and massaged for the next two hours. It was paradise on earth and if the world had ended then, I would have died the happiest person in the whole universe because I was with her.

We then retreated to our villa, where we chilled, rested, tumbled around, dined and napped in luxury. When we finally woke up, it was close to last order for dinner and we hurriedly got changed and headed down to a restaurant within BYT. The dinner was okay, because nothing could beat what happened back at our villa. We had champagne in a bucket, the jacuzzi turned on, some entertainment show playing on TV and a cheesecake that she made herself and had my initial on it. She also gave me what was probably a whole year’s supply of presents. I was so dumbfounded and touched and delighted that I couldn’t speak. Maybe she really loved me after all, in spite of what had happened in the past, I remember thinking. And I have never loved her more since then. The next few hours of our night were some of the best sleepless fun we ever had, and also censored from public viewing. Haha.

We woke up the next day to a splendid ocean view. In a half-awake stupor, I turned to look at her. And she looked at me and we smiled. I said: “I can wake up to this view every day. I can live like this forever.”

Because baby, you’re amazing just the way you are.

There’s this kind of love that sneaks up on you and softly taps you on your shoulder when you least expect it and hits you really hard. Every moment seems a little crazy and impossible at first — from the person you are with and how they make you feel to the new things you find yourself doing for them. You’re almost freaked out by the depth of love you feel growing within you and there are times you find your breath taken away or reach new levels of frustration. You might shrug your shoulders and say: ‘Maybe this won’t last at all, let’s just enjoy this for now and see where this takes us.’ But then one day, you realise you want this person more than anything else you have ever wanted in your entire life, because what both of you have is more than love. It’s proof that you fit together perfectly and that you are soulmates and how incredible lucky you are to have found each other out of seven billion people in the whole world. So yes, in spite of everything and even though how the passing of time is supposed to dilute our memories and feelings, I love you still.

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” — Nicholas Sparks

Merry Christmas, everyone! 😀

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Care for each other even when you’re angry

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‘What is love?’ some of you might ask now and then. To me, love is caring for the person you love, even when you’re mad at them. And this pic sums it for me really.

There was one day few months ago when we were supposed to meet really early in the morning for an all-day out-of-town excursion. But things screwed up and we got into a huge fight, when I should have let whatever issue go but was too furious to do so. I continued to bicker, insisting on things that really shouldn’t matter. Well, it doesn’t matter now, because I can’t even explain clearly what we were arguing about.

It went on for ages and the conversation was going nowhere. I finally gave up and walked away to clear my head. Then I realised she was hungry and experiencing gastric pain, so I silently walked further away to look for food for her. She probably thought I was going to disappear. I crossed two streets before I finally found a stall selling hot snacks and water.

When I headed back, she was walking towards my direction. Maybe she was looking for me? So I walked up to her and somehow she was sitting at the bus-stop looking tired, sleepy and lost. Me? I probably looked grouchy and up for another argument. When I passed her the food and water, she gazed at me with a puzzled expression. Thankfully, she started eating.

At that moment when I looked at her silently chewing her food, I realised I have a weird way of showing someone how much I love and care for them. Getting into fights and not wanting to let the anger go is not the cleverest thing to do if I really value someone. I should enjoy each moment we have and fill our time together with happiness, not regret. This has been a painful lesson learnt.

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Little flower petals

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I grinned inwardly when I saw this pic. It reminds me of the ‘xiao cui hua’ bedsheets we used to sleep on, the headstands we tried to do on the bed and the not-so-complete cartwheels in the kitchen and laughing so hard that our tummies ached and we had to pause so we could catch our breath. And then we’d laze on the couch to watch reality TV shows all day, eat our home delivery meals, play games and take naps. Super fun times.

“I more than love you, I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone, I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.” — Former US President Ronald Reagan to his beloved wife Nancy Reagan

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It’s my 30th birthday

Happy 30th BirthdayBe nice.

Today’s the day I turn 30. And I am a little nonchalant about the 30 years I have taken to get here. It should be an impressive milestone celebrated with the family, close friends and perhaps a life partner, but all I feel is ‘meh’. While in my teens, I’ve always thought I’d die young.You know, because I’d be living the fast and dangerous rebel’s life.

But the minute I hit 25, my perspective changed to ‘I want to live for as long as possible and to do great things in my life’. So far, I have accomplished the ‘live as long as possible’ bit, but sadly I’m still far away from the ‘do great things’ part and was getting depressed over it.

So what did I do? I Googled about ‘turning 30’. And my best friend did not let me down. In 0.43 seconds, it showed me 234,000,000 results on why turning 30 may not be that bad after all.

Julie Tilsner, who wrote about the subject in her book 29 and Counting, said:

‘Thirty is nothing to be afraid of. You’ve got a whole new decade to work with, and this time you’re prepared! You’re educated, you have years in the workplace, you finally know what your hair will and won’t do. You can still dance on tables, but you have some life experience. Turning 30 is actually a really awesome thing.’

All sounds very positive. So there’s absolutely nothing to feel gloomy or to freak out about.

30 Is Different for Everyone

When I was younger, I’d dream about being an astronaut, or a pilot (much like Tom Cruise from Top Gun. Still a brilliant film and a handsome guy, no matter what anyone says!) or Indiana Jones. Whether I become a lawyer or a doctor, I’d be cool, charismatic and carefree like the heroes I aspire to be.

Then I hit the teenage years and things started going downhill from there. I got mixed up in the wrong crowds, I played truant from school, I ran away from home, I gave up a promising sports career in the national team and I dropped out of school. All before I turned 16. In short, I got distracted from obtaining a good education that would supposedly set me on my path to greatness.

Two years later, I woke up metaphorically from my ‘going-nowhere-in-life’ slumber. I also had my first major heartbreak from a relationship I thought would last forever. I nearly killed myself because of one person, until my mum came home just in time to stop me. How silly, right? I felt stuck working in a restaurant. There is nothing with earning a decent living as a service staff, but it just didn’t feel like I was in the right job, doing the right thing I like. That got me thinking about my life, my future and myself.

I picked up the pieces, bit by bit. I changed to a permanent part-time job at a pub and I signed up for part-time classes to get the necessary certifications to get to the art school I wanted. I even went back to my former secondary school to seek help from my art teacher to improve my portfolio. That was how determined I was.

At age 20, I finally got into the art school I was aiming for. I was taking my car and motorbike licences. I had a relatively cushy part-time job. I met someone new to get over the heartbreak I had been nursing for the past two years. I was popular in school, just like in secondary school. So I was still cool, charismatic and carefree. I was delighted with life.

In the year that I was due to turn 21, I met someone who would prove to be a great love of my life. We spent all our waking hours together and we were inseparable and everyone was envious of us and what we had. There were rough moments. I had the nastiest temper and I was immature. And yet we were together for the next five years, most of which were good and we stuck together through the ups and all obstacles that objected to our relationship. We had a fiery relationship and sparks flew all the time. But it was tough to keep the spark between us alive, and ultimately, it was to burn out like a flame. I had to let go.

In my 25th year on earth, I found a job I enjoyed and something I can proudly proclaim to be relatively good at and skills that have enabled me to earn a decent living. I was a journalist. I’ve always wanted to write for a living and I did. I also met someone I thought I could fall in love with and start afresh in my love life. Well, it started afresh alright, but it wasn’t meant to last because I was still in love with the great love of my life. I couldn’t let go and it took a toll on me. I had volatile mood swings and my behaviour was dodgy. I would have dumped my sorry ass too, now that I am looking back. We spent close to a year together, but the relationship ended and gave me the second major heartbreak of my relatively young life. It took me a year to get over it and dust the debris away. One of the reasons I created this blog was to write about the pain I had inside me. I was broken for a long time, but while learning to deal with the pain, I learned many things about myself and I made some new lasting friendships that helped me through the turmoil I was in.

Soon the year I was turning 28 arrived. And I met someone whom I wanted to give my whole life to make her happy all the time. More than half of the posts published (and set as private) on this blog have been dedicated to her. I have never filled up so much virtual space about someone before. I have no idea if I would ever do (or feel) the same for anyone else again.

Now That I Am Finally 30
Now that I am turning 30, the past no longer seems like a chink on my armour. I get that I may not be as talented, as popular, as good-looking, as famous, as wealthy as other people my age, but it’s okay. I am still special in my own way; I am a little unique snowflake that will just be doing adult-like things in my own time. I may not be a best-selling author or a successful CEO yet, but I am still a success in my own way.

Should I have spent my teens studying hard and get Bs so I could have gotten into a good college? Should I have not spent all my hours on going to dance clubs and drink myself silly? On hindsight, maybe I should have. Should I have done better in art school instead of watching TV and playing Warcraft with my friends and indulging in Football Manager on most of my days? Maybe. But I didn’t, because I have not touched Warcraft or Football Manager since 2005 and I do not regret getting the most joy out of those games, even though I know I was wasting my time.

Yes, there are people who have made millions before they are 25, earn $10,000 a month by 27 or be famous and successful entrepreneurs before turning 30. Maybe I am an exception. Maybe I am on a different timeline from the rest and there is no happiness to be gained if I keep comparing myself with others. Life is not a race. Life is what you make of it and how happy and satisfied you deem yourself to be, not to spend your hours being envious of others.

Our whole idea about life before or after 30 should not be defined by the progress we are supposed to make or terms dictated by society. It doesn’t mean if we don’t realise our potential by 30, we are never going to succeed; there may be pieces of us that take years to gel and make us the successful person we will become.

According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, we should live our whole life as if we’re in our twenties. ‘It’s that keep-inching-forward mentality that will allow you to be happy with your choices.’

Yes, I admit I am a little sad at the things I have not accomplished or the stuff I thought I would have achieved by now like being an extremely successful high-flyer, having my own apartment, being with the love of my life and travelling around the world. Maybe I am too old to be an astronaut now. Maybe this is the wrong era to be Indiana Jones. Maybe there were many decisions I could have made to get to a different place from where I am now.

But, have I failed at life? I went from a school dropout to studying part-time for a business degree now (very much like Larry Crowne but without the hot lecturer. Nice movie anyway. Go watch it!). I went from a junior service staff to having a relatively okay-paying mid-level media job I enjoy. I have my health (until the results confirm otherwise) and my parents who love me more than I can ever imagine. I am much more confident now and wiser than in my 20s. I am also more than okay to spend time alone and to enjoy my own companionship. I also value myself more. I imagine life can only go up from here.

I am not sure if I will like the idea of turning 30 at all, but now that I am already here, I might as well enjoy it while it last. After all, there’s still the looming 31 to dread over.

So, I will enjoy the year ahead with as much vigour as a unique little snowflake should, because I am 30 and to hell with the rest of you, I’m gonna celebrate by pampering myself the whole of today.

Because today is my day, and no one can be Me-er than Me. 🙂

And stay tuned for the 30 life lessons I’ve learned from my 30 years.

[Image via Sommecards]

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You’ve got the sweetest ass in the world

When I first heard this line on the comedy ‘Wedding Band’, it made me laugh out loud and I immediately thought of an ass whom I’ve missed greatly. Maybe she will never know, but this is a cheeky tribute to her extremely fair, perky buttocks whose tender round cheeks I missed aiming a bite at.

Cheesy lyrics trying to rhyme, a catchy tune and pumping dance beats that you can shake your butt twice at… What’s not to love about this song?!

I hear your voice when none was around

I’m still here and I’m losing ground

Feel like the earth move under my feet

I feel you in every single heartbeat

You are a lovely, lovely refrain

You spin around and round in my brain

But today, mostly, I am feeling pensive and the weather has been reflecting my mood — dark clouds, heavy downpour, chilly winds — and watching romantic films like ‘Notting Hill’ (even though it’s also listed as a comedy) with quotes like below only makes it worse.

There’s this girl … She’s someone I just can’t — someone who … self-evidently can’t be mine — and it’s as if I’ve taken love-heroin — and now I can’t even have it again. I’ve opened Pandora’s box. And there’s trouble inside.

The truth is … with you, I’m in real danger. It’d look like a perfect situation, apart from that foul temper of yours — but my relatively inexperienced heart would, I fear, not recover if I was once again … cast aside, which I would absolutely expect to be … You’d go and I’d be … well, buggered, basically.

[Lyrics via http://www.lyricsforsong.net/]

[Script via Awesomefilm.com]

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Why I love December

December picOther than the fact that it’s the month of my birthday and Christmas, I like December mainly because it feels like such a slack time. Even the weather appears to be taking a long vacation, with the unpredictability of horrible heavy rain, unbearably humid temperatures and limited sunshine. Hours at the office trickle by very slowly and the mood is sluggish because everyone is either away for their year-end holidays or have set their minds on a mental vacation. No one is really concentrating at work and is just fulfilling their minimal quota. Haha, at least that’s what I am doing. Does it apply to you too?

Everything feels so gloomy that there’s even a term for this month. It’s called ‘Decemberish’. But! I like spending December on WordPress, because I get to see snowflakes gently falling across my computer screen and it feels rather Zen and calming. And then I’d smile at how Christmas-sy pictures look on the blog posts.

I guess I like the date today too… 12 / 12 / 12. Repetitively seductive. Maybe I will publish this post or tweet at 12:12pm just because.

Anyway, the world will not be ending on 21 December, according to NASA, and the space organisation has kindly answered (in detailed explanations) many doomsday queries on its website. How nice of them!

But a more interesting outlook would be my tarot card reading for this month.

It is the second time this year that some letting go has to be done. A relationship is going to end. This can cause some distress, but there are also feelings of gratitude. Your feelings run deep, but you have difficulty expressing them. You feel vulnerable and emotional.

You are attracted to giving your time and energy to something outside of yourself. Clean out the garage or attic and donate the excess to charity.

There are changes in the work situation, such as a shift in personnel. In a strange turn of events, you may find yourself having to defend your actions and motivations. Your honesty may be questioned.

If you are single, you may meet someone later this month. If you are committed, you may feel you are involved in a roller-coaster kind of relationship. Not to worry, things calm down by the end of the month.

Obviously, I don’t know how true this prediction will be, but I feel poignant on the first point, sceptical on the second portion, puzzled at the third and intrigued with the fourth. Haha!

I sure hope things will calm down, because I feel very restless and unsure about so many things in my life right now. My mind is all over the place and I can’t seem to be at peace with myself. Not sure how long I can keep my ‘calm persona’ in public for… without breaking down. By the way, four more days to the big one!