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I’m not saying I hate you

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In fact, I’d even get the best seat in the house to watch you BURN. You get the drift…

My friend said I should just ditch idiots who make me unhappy, because life is too short to spend so much time being angry and miserable. Utter truth!

I had three conversations with three different people today and they all said the same things. The gist of our highly intelligent, wise and mature debate (well, it was more of me ranting non-stop while they listened and gave me advice) is that we don’t need unnecessary drama in our lives.

If people choose to be selfish and childish, then there is absolutely no reason why we should indulge them further. We should let them go and cut them loose forever to allow ourselves to grow and be better than them. We shouldn’t even stoop to their level because we are way above them and they are simply basic bitches that deserve the worse things in life.

Plus, I had been stewing in anger for the past six hours, while those idiots were probably enjoying their lives and ignoring my existence. See, how unfair this is? Because of my foolish anger, I let my productivity slide when I could have done so many things during those lost hours. This is why harbouring anger never pays off.

Today’s event also teaches me a lesson. It is that I can be very vindictive and behave very rashly whenever I get angry. I let my emotions take over and become very unreasonable. This is extremely unhealthy and I’ll most likely get a brain aneurism if I continue to let unhappy thoughts flood my mind. So I need to chill the fuck out and let things go already!

Conclusion: I need to change my mindset and behaviour towards people who do not deserve my respect, because my health deserves my utmost attention and I, more than anyone else, deserve to be happy!

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Silly Lardee

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Silly Lardee’s sad face was SHO cute that I thought how could anyone, especially ickle, bear to have alone time away from chubby Lardee?! If I were ickle, I’d spend all my time with Lardee. We’d play, read books, eat snacks and have fun together all the time!

Agree? For some reason, this story made me miss the times when we’d read about Lardee and ickle and laugh at how adorable they are and how you were like the prim and proper ickle who keeps rolling eyes at naughty, silly Lardee who is as duh as me.

In unrelated news, Lunar New Year is next week and I haven’t actually spring-cleaned and finished decluttering my room. So far, I’ve only thrown old bills and organised my insurance and income tax statements and changed my bedsheets.

Here are the remaining chores I have to do over the next six days:

Wash the curtains;
Clean the fan and windows;
Pack my wardrobe and clear out old /unused clothes;
Clear (or hide) the books, magazines and notes scattered on the floor and in the shelf;
Throw out the bags I no longer use;
Pack the stuff under the bed.

Doesn’t sound unmanageable, right? Wish me luck!

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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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Best I ever had

Nine days ago, we were scrolling through each other’s playlists on our phones and trying to decipher the type of hidden personality each of us try so hard to subdue in public. We had more than 1,200 songs each, so there were plenty to decode as we looked intently at each other’s phones.

After a while, the verdict was out. I was told that I am a secret pop-song lover who’s also a techno lian who secretly enjoys 90s ballads. I said she is an old fogey who is trapped in the new millennium and who should get out of the 60s–90s era. ‘Come to the future. It’s more fun here.’

I couldn’t stop ‘tsk-ing’ and shaking my head in disappointment at her, while she kept hitting my arm in (embarrassed?) delirium.

But we couldn’t stop laughing. Turns out, we have quite a few of the same songs on our playlists. It’s kinda embarrassing and gratifying at the same time, because there are just some songs that should remain hidden from public viewing. Hahaha!

Later, we shared a cab home and the radio was playing some tunes. We were chatting and I wasn’t paying attention to the music when she pointed out abruptly that: ‘This is your kind of song.’

So we paused to listen. ‘Why is this song my kind?!’

‘It just is! Listen to it carefully!’

So we listened and there were acoustics and some melancholy, pensive singing. ‘How is this my song?! Why?!’

‘You don’t like meh? Got acoustics and sounds a bit emo… This is definitely your kind of song. You look like the kind who likes this type of song.’

So we listened carefully again and I finally said: ‘Ok, you may be right. I do like this type of song. Who sang this? But why?! I still don’t understand why must this be my song!

‘I’ll ask Siri. [Held the phone up.] Siri, why is this my kind of song?’

Hahaha! And we couldn’t stop laughing until she nearly choked. Yes, I can’t help being so humorous. It’s a natural talent. 😀

So I went home to YouTube the video and you know what, I do love the song. Guess my friend, whom I have known only for a short while, was right in this. Ha!

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Love life your way

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The headline “Love life your way” is a quote printed on this T-shirt I bought ages ago and Sunday was the second time I wore it. I truly believe in the message. How else can you be yourself and behave as who you truly are, without compromising your values and your personal happiness? Hard, right?

Do the things that make you happy, be spontaneous, stay calm, enjoy the little things, and you’d be naturally be full of joy. It’s as easy as that.

I love my life so much that I feel a need to brag share my joy with you. Ha! Last weekend was one of the most enjoyable ones I had this year, and I can’t wait for the upcoming one!

Last Friday, I went to this fancy club with my friends and we blew $3,000 on six bottles of Jaegermeister and whiskey, martinis, beers, cocktails and mixers. We danced on the platform in full sight of everyone in the very crowded club, and took silly pictures at the photo booth. It was so fun, but tiring. My legs were aching when I finally made my way home at 3am.

Five hours later, I was up and about, rushing to pack for our exciting day at the theme park. Planned at the last minute, it was amazing how spontaneous my friends and I are. We even had time for a leisure breakfast, before strolling to the theme park as though we had all the time in the world. And fact of the matter is, we always have time as it’s how we perceive urgency.

We had such a wonderful Saturday that I am so glad I decided to go. The weather was perfect. The forecast had said there would be showers, but the skies were clear the entire time (a bit too clear for our liking because the sun was scorching). Everywhere we went, it was always the right timing or there was a short queue so we never had to wait long for a ride. We took the scary rollercoaster rides, the 3D rides, plus the many kiddie rides, and we absolutely love every single moment.

We were so relaxed that we could stay till 9pm, with no hints of fatigue. We then saw a wonderful display of fireworks, took more silly photos at the souvenir shops, and had a delicious meal of ramen (I had such a fun time that I almost didn’t want it to end). Yet, there is so much to look forward too!

Then I met another group of friends for drinks at a cozy bar. With our favourite chilled ciders on ice in our hands, we were laughing, and chatting non-stop until it was time for the bar to shut. What a great way to spend Saturday!

The next day, the supporters of the arts, aka my friends and I, had a lovely time at the theatre. We were dressed hip and funky, and we were bowled over by the quality of the musical presented. The cabaret dancers were so stunningly decked out, the sets were elaborate and the actors were in such top form that I am so glad we decided to buy tickets for this! It was really worth every penny!

Then it was dinner at an old school themed food court. We ordered a feast and proceeded to eat like kings. Wish you were there with me? Haha!

After the sumptuous dinner, I headed off to meet another friend for the allegedly legendary The Stone Roses! I think I’m a psychedelic rock fan now.

So that’s it, my weekends are full and packed to the brim with arts, culture, food and loads of fun! I really can’t wait for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I have big plans ahead.

What about you? What did you do and what are you planning for? 🙂

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The meaning of true love

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My heart melted when I saw this photo. And that made me realise I’m such an idealist at times. I genuinely believe in true love, in having a significant other, in finding The One, in committing to a partner for life, in making plans together for our future, in staying with each other through thick and thin until the end of time.

It’s also hard not to believe in true love when I see examples of it in my friends IRL. I know two happy friends who can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives with their other halves. One of whom has even made a commitment in the form of a diamond ring (no less).

When I see the twinkle in their eyes and how they look at each other and how their hands would intertwine when one of them speaks, I can’t help but feel happy for the couple and yet a slight twinge of sadness (maybe even a little envy). Because I want what they have—knowing that someone would always be there for me, having someone to come home to, and most of all, loving and being loved by someone.

It sounds so darn simple, isn’t it?

My friends—the recently engaged happy couple (I’ve seen the ring and it’s gorgeous)—are prepared and excited to spend the rest of their lives together. They are gay, by the way, but they don’t believe in having a paper certificate to prove their love for one another or to anyone.

One said: “Is the paper really important when straight people are still divorcing? If someone wants to leave or break up with you, a cert won’t stop them.

“If we really wanted a certificate, we can always fly overseas and get one. It’s not that difficult.

“The ring is a symbol of our long-term commitment to each other. It makes a difference to how we see each other from now.”

Now they can consider themselves married without an actual marriage. “We don’t need a ceremony, a certificate or the government (or even the church) to tell us ‘we are married’ … As long as I consider her my partner and she considers me hers.”

Both of them never expect to see each other three years ago in a different light after being friends for close to a decade. And they never thought they’d be together in a relationship within a few months after meeting each other for coffee one night. And they never thought they’d settle down and be excited to start a life together. They never thought they’d find the one but they did.

And in doing so, they have inspired the people, including me, around them. Aren’t you?

It’s true, you know. There is true love out there for everyone and the universe knows how to send you The One when you’re mentally and emotionally ready.

And when the right one for you comes along, it doesn’t matter what you do or how you look and behave, this person will still think you are awesome and they are so lucky to have found you and you’d mean the world to them. Because this person will love you for exactly who you are. And the strangest part is you’d feel exactly the same way about them. That’s when you’d know it’s true love. 🙂

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How to be always lucky

I came across this article two weeks ago and I thought it was meaningful and something I want to apply in my life like today. Ok maybe tomorrow, since it’s going to be night soon. There were many things that the author said that accurately reflected my personal values and how I feel about certain things in life. He had articulated it so well that I only need to summarise the main points in a succinct way that allows me to memorise and then practise them diligently.

My ONLY Three Goals in Life

A) I want to be happy.

B) I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life.

C) I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.

That’s it. I’m not asking for much.

There were times in my life when I would feel lost, aimless and without a hope in the world. I haven’t figured out how I bounced back or if there were some common things that I did to set me on the right path. Until now.

According to Altucher, there are four daily steps one can take to be incredibly lucky all the time. And I have read enough self-help books in my lifetime to know exactly where he is coming from. Many successful entrepreneurs, top chief executives and wealthy people have said similar things. So I agree.

Altucher’s daily practice

A) Physical – being in shape and get at least eight hours of sleep every night. All you need to do is exercise enough to break a sweat for 10 minutes every day so that’s about 20-30 minutes worth of exercise a day. You can run, you can do hot yoga, pilates, kickboxing or any other form of exercise.

“This is not to get ‘ripped’ or ‘shredded’. Just enough to be healthy,” Altucher says. “You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy.”

Spending 15 minutes exercising also helps your mind deal with its daily anxieties better.

“If you can breathe easy when your body is in pain, then it’s easier to breathe during difficult situations,” Altucher says.

Other tips include sleeping by 9pm and waking up at 5am every day and no eating after 5:30pm to stave off indigestion. I will try the “no eating” rule first before I attempt to wake up at 5am.

B) Emotional – Remove people who saps your emotional strength away. Very important. You can’t be happy if people around you makes you miserable.

“If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Nobody is sacred here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first. Family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This rule can’t be broken. Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining.”

Another rule that Altucher advocates is to always be honest without being hurtful and never do anything you do not want or like.

C) Mental – Write a list of as many ideas as you can every day. It can be 100 alternatives you can do without being trapped in a full-time job, 30 ways to write your autobiography, 10 realistic home business ideas, 10 great ideas for a New York Times bestseller book or 10 ways to be a popular blogger.

Other suggestions from Altucher are “memorise all the legal two-letter words for Scrabble. Translate the Tao Te Ching into Spanish. List every productive thing you did yesterday (this improves memory also and gives you ideas for today)”.

The “idea muscle” atrophies within days if you don’t use it. You need to exercise the idea muscle. It takes about 3-6 months to build up once it atrophies. Trust me on this.

D) Spiritual – It doesn’t mean praying to a certain god or being involved in a religion. It’s cultivating strong belief in something. Like how I asked my friend that night during dinner if she is a devotee of any religion and she said: “I pray to the Universe. That’s the biggest and most powerful force out there.”

I agree. So does Altucher and many others out there, I believe.

Pray – doesn’t matter if I’m praying to a god or to dead people or to the sun or to a chair in front of me – it just means being thankful for just a few seconds of the day.

Meditate – This is something new that I am trying out. It’s hard. And the thought of sitting motionlessly for even five minutes bores me out. But the same friend told me that I can search for Reiki music on YouTube and start from there.

All I have to do is sit in a quiet corner of my room and learn to watch my breathing for a few minutes a day. She said as I inhale, try to mentally dissect that one breath into 100 little breathes in my mind and let it flow. There should not be any thoughts of “Ok that’s one breath, two, three breaths” in my head during the process. There is also no need to visualise a white canvas and putting my thoughts on it. Once I can calm my body down long enough to remove any internal dialogue, I will realise how easy and natural meditating is.

I asked her: “But how would I know if I have achieved meditation?”

She immediately shot back (rather agitatedly): “You will know!”

I remember reading somewhere that meditation is essentially blanking your mind out for a few seconds to a few minutes without any distractions. For example, if a beautiful scenery took your breath away for two minutes and all you could do is stare at it without thinking anything else, that’s meditation in a way because you had nothing on your mind for those two minutes.

I asked my friend if meditating will make me a calmer person and stop me from thinking thoughts that I shouldn’t waste my time on or be affected by. She said I can’t stop thoughts from entering my head, all I can do is watch the thought, acknowledge it, desensitise myself from it and send it away.

Be grateful and forgiving – Think of everyone in your life you’re grateful for and visualise forgiveness (not pity) for everyone who has done you wrong.

Study – If I read a spiritual text (doesn’t matter what it is: Bible, Tao Te Ching, anything Zen-related, even inspirational self-help stuff), I tend to feel good.

While it does not train your mind to cut out the bullshit, Altucher says reading them will still make you feel good. I personally enjoy reading self-help books and articles on creativity, productivity and career success. I agree about the feel-good factor. Reading always fills me up with positivity and optimism that I can change my life.

The results

A) Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.

B) Within three months, the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.

C) Within six months, good ideas would start flowing. I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.

D) Within a year, my life was always completely different – 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc.

It’s definitely going to be hard following all the steps in the daily practice every day. I know I would get lazy after the third day. But I know if I do it faithfully, I would be even luckier than I am now.