1

You wear smug so well

20140403-220318.jpg

(Here’s an inspirational quote to let you feel like you’ve enriched your life somewhat from reading this blog post.)

Hang on, you mean it’s April already? You mean we just went through three months of the new year as quickly as a flick of wrist? That can’t be right, can it? Geez, what have I done with my life in 2014? So much for saying 2014 would be a year of change. Hahaha! Resolution, FAIL.

So my exams ended on 24 February and I’ve been chilling since then with no care or worry in the world. It was awesome! In the process of letting my brain turn to vegetable after putting it through three years of mental hardship, I discovered quite a few things about myself that surprised me. So the “proverb” (not an exact idiom so to speak but the general feeling people talk about as they mature) is true; the older you get, the better you know yourself and the things you like or want.

Disclaimer: The truth is many people may not think I am mature because someone recently said I have the mental age of a teenager. That made me laugh out loud because it was so true. I’m extremely childish… If you get to know me in real life. So I think it’s better that you and I remain online buddies. Ha!

Anyway, here are three things I’ve realised about myself:

1. I have an obsessive personality. Once I get hooked to something or someone, I go all out and immerse myself with everything about them. I become so intense and focused that I devote all my free hours and thinking time to finding out more of a particular thing or person I’m into during this obsessive period. I can’t stop (and won’t stop) until all my energy is spent or I finally get sick of it. My obsession can last for as short as two weeks or as long as a few months. And I let nothing get into my way, which is pretty unhealthy if you think about it, because that can scare normal people off (if they knew). So far, only a few close friends know of my addict-like behaviour. Thank god they still love me! Oops.

2. The thing is I don’t really care who knows or what others may think about me. Yes, they can assume I’m childish or selfish or insane and be totally judgemental about me (even though they do not know me well at all). I don’t give a fuck! Honestly, I just want to be happy and laugh a lot all the time. I want to do the things I like or enjoy every day. And if I’m obsessed with someone or something, so be it! My heart feels fluffy and I’m always on a natural high; that’s all that matters to me. Remember, what clever Dr Seuss once said?

Those who mind won’t matter and those who matter won’t mind.

3. I definitely do not like pop or country music. In fact, I’ve deleted many pop songs from my iPhone playlist because I have never listened to them. I enjoy certain indie music and jazz tunes at times. I love house, trance and dance tracks when I’m on the go because of the energy! But my topmost favourites are electronic and chill-out lounge tracks (nearly all the songs that I’ve featured on this blog over the years can attest to that). Like hello, sexy times and soothing feels! How can anyone resist?

Case in point: The latest song on repeat in my playlist this week

You’re pushing me away and then you’re pulling. You wear smug so very well. If you were in love with me, I could never tell. You ask me, you ask me just to leave you, but then the bow breaks and it’s all through.

So hot, right? Go on, enjoy it. You’re welcome.

Find out more of the band and lyrics here.

0

How I made peace with 2013

20140101-211434.jpg

Happy New Year! Have you been nursing a hangover for the past few hours or has the first day of a brand new year been subdued? I’ve been feeling sluggish since I woke up, after having a late night out that had no alcohol involved. How amazing is that? Well, maybe just a few sips of muscato to match the festivity. But I don’t regret it at all, because I had one of the best and most memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations ever and my body is still paying for it. Unlike last year when 2012 was refusing to go away quietly without a fight (it was pouring heavily that day), today has been peaceful. I am so psyched that I can tell you confidently that the smell of optimism and change is in the air.

For this year’s round-up, I am going to do something a bit different. I am not going to write about the things I regret doing (or not doing) in the past 12 months, or whine about my losses and sadness, or grumble about not meeting my goals or career progress, because those are in the past and they should remain there. Why should I bring them back again? So I can make myself depressed again? IT would be far healthier if I just focus on what I can do from now on instead. Agree?

So to sum up my life in 2013, it’s that I’ve learned to be grateful for the things I have, the people I have by my side, my good health, my good looks, my job, my intelligence, my earning power (that has kindly allowed me to splurge on ridiculously expensive branded shoes), my growing maturity and ability to trust my instincts better. I can also let you in on another secret: I have never loved myself more than this moment and I love me more every day. 😀

Showing gratitude and learning to love yourself more may sound simple, but it is not easy to do when you have discontent in your life or when you feel lost or if you keep harping on the past or worrying about the future. The one new useful skill I learned this year was meditation. And it has helped me greatly in being at ease with myself. Here’s a quote that I came across recently and I hope it gives you the encouragement to find peace within yourself:

‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.’

Anyway, in other exciting news, I have compiled — without the help of WordPress — a decent round-up of my top five most popular posts on this blog from 1 Jan to today. I have even made little comments next to their links to encourage you to view them (hint!) again to see why they were so popular.

Top posts from 1 Jan 2013 – 31 Dec 2013

  1. Care for each other even when you’re angry (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/care-for-each-other-even-when-youre-angry/)
    — Recalling an argument I had with someone and how I realised I needed to grow up.
  2. I woke up wanting to kiss you (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/i-woke-up-wanting-to-kiss-you/) — I was missing the same person I fought with and looking at some artwork by Emin inspired me to blog about how much I wanted to kiss her again.
  3. It’s my 30th birthday (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/its-my-30th-birthday/) — Narrating about the major events before I hit a big milestone in my life in one of my longest blog posts ever.
  4. Lorax made me LOL (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/lorax-made-me-lol/) — This was one of the top posts of 2012 and I had never expected me gushing over how adorable the bears in the movie to be so popular.
  5. When you really matter to someone (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/when-you-really-matter-to-someone/) — One of my saddest entries of the year after I was frustrated and had my heart broken by the same person. Again.

The number of views in 2023 was nearly double from the previous year’s views. Amazingly, huh?! Hahaha!

And since you’ve been such loyal readers, here are two BONUS posts that would keep you coming back for more. What can I say? I’m like Santa Claus, only better-looking. Haha!

  1. Tom Ford and Richard Buckley Forever (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/tom-ford-and-richard-buckley-forever/) — A touching love story of how two stylish good-looking men met, fell in love, changed each others’ lives and adopted a baby together. What’s not to like?
  2. Talking to you makes my day (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/you-totally-make-my-day/) — Another top post from 2012 and it was about how some of the happiest days in my life was texting with the same person.

Right, so I have no New Year resolutions to make, because stats in general have shown that most people tend to give up on their lists after three months. So, I am going to start on my work now. Yes, yes, my line between holidays and work has always been this blurry. I believe in being productive whenever I can, and not having my life being dictated by the calendar. You, on the other hand, have my blessing to remain horizontal in bed and enjoy the rest of your day. Have fun!

0

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!

0

Top five regrets of the dying

20121206-005253.jpg

What would your biggest regret be if this were to be your last day of life?

With the very popular Mayan legend that has been spreading like wildfire that 21 December 2012 might very well be the day that the world ends, you have to admit that wondering how you’ve lived your life so far is an intriguing (but rather fruitless) thought.

In exactly 15 days, you may (probably not true, but let’s speculate for fun) be living your very last day on this planet. So if you will never live to see 22 December or beyond the year, would you be happy with the way you have lived your life? Are there absolutely no regrets? And how would you be spending the last day of your life? Who would be the one to hold your hand and pull you close in a loving embrace when the world ends? What would be your last thought?

Interestingly, earlier this year an article was published on The Guardian UK and drew widespread attention, largely because it speaks to our circumstances in life and illustrate how we are trapped to our jobs and why we no longer cherish the things that should be top on our list.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which was turned into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Here are three of the top five regrets that I can relate to:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Thought-provoking, isn’t it?

What’s your greatest regret so far and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die? Or, more appropriately, before the world ends.

P/S: If the world did not end on 21 December, it might just be the kick-up-the-arse you need to begin a new era for the rest of your life. A brand new beginning.

2

Five life lessons from Dr Seuss

20121122-223454.jpg

I’m blogging this pic because the quotes are mostly taken from my favourite Dr Seuss book (ever since we read it for someone’s birthday) and there are five of them, which is my favourite number. Ha!

And reading the list of simple truths made me grin a silly happy grin, so I want to share my joy with you. Yes, you.

It’s amazing how Dr Seuss can write stories that appear to be made up of gibberish and yet they are so enlightening. Agree?

I am totally gonna live my life like how Dr Seuss thinks everyone should! Join me!

P/S: This is also one of the fastest blog posts I have ever written.

0

Together forever

It’s that time of the month again when I take out my monthly tarot card reading and see what my future would be like for the new month. Apt, since it’s 1 October (well, 1:08am to be specific on a Sunday night) and I have the next 31 days to contemplate, plan and lead the best life I can for myself.

Distance yourself somewhat from the affairs and troubles of other people. During the course of this year, you have been asked to help, counsel, and advise others many times. Now, give yourself a break. Spend time alone for contemplation and meditation. Studying and reading are also favourable.

Your workload does not decrease but much of it is routine and allows you to mentally drift. Still, your mind is sharp and you can easily concentrate when you want to.

Inner healing takes place. Old wounds may be reopened. There is some sadness and nostalgia, but the healing is real and needed. This is a time of spiritual growth. Postpone decisions regarding financial affairs, if possible, until
next month.

Matters of the heart are also a low priority. You are not very clear this month and would rather not be bothered with it. Emphasize your personal well-being. Diet, exercise, and go for walks. Don’t distract yourself from soul-searching by watching television or other mind-numbing practices.

In many ways, your experience of this month will set the tone and direction for next year.

I like the part which says I get to ‘mentally drift’ during work this month. Hahaha! But I have to remember not to watch too much TV. 😦 I wonder what other mind-numbing practices I should stay away from… Napping? Stoning? Eating till I go into food coma?

I’m already taking care of my well-being by exercising four times a week. I’m still 1kg away from my ideal weight, so I’m not planning to diet, although I’d love to go on a fruit juice detox plan one day, just to cleanse my system.

And I definitely have to study and read a lot more than usual this month, since my exams are approaching and I am scared to bits. I’m at the stage where I’m consoling myself that I should be happy with a pass (even though my silly mind is burning with ambition to score distinctions without putting in effort). Roll eyes, right?

Do you think things will feel different if we ever meet up after months of not seeing each other? I keep chasing this ‘connection’ I think I have with you, but I lose more of myself each time because I don’t know if you feel the same for me at all.

How do we know it’s love between us? It can be quite hard to explain, because love is a feeling that’s too intangible to express, although I have tried blogging about my love for you here many times.So here’s another list of why I think it’s true everlasting meant-to-be love between us. Hahaha!

I know I’m in love because all I want to do is take care of you for the rest of my life.

I know I’m in love because when I think of you smiling, I smile too.

I know I’m in love when you make me laugh a lot and when I feel very pleased with myself when I make you laugh.

I know I’m in love because you get me to do things I’ve never thought of doing before and I do things willingly for you.

I know I’m in love because every time I see something new or funny or interesting or if I have something amazing, you’re the first person I want to share it with.

I know I’m in love because I’d daydream about what life would be like if we live together.

I know I’m in love because the thought of living life without you makes me sad.

I know I’m in love because whether it is today or tomorrow, whenever I ask myself if I love you, I’d always say “yes” without hesitation. And how much do I love you?

Well, when I think about 30 years from now, and if you’re ever sick in bed, I know I’d be doing all I can to make sure you feel better like putting facial masks on you, cooking food for you and sayang-ing you to sleep, just like how you took care of me when I was sick on the day before New Year’s Eve in 2011. That’s how much I can love you. Gan dong hor!

0

Start loving yourself today

Because no one will love you more than you yourself.

I read this blog post a few months ago and I was blown away by the simplicity of being happy through loving yourself and living your life the way you want. I might have been was going through a bad patch with relationship woes during that period, so I needed any self-help or inspirational quotes to get me through. I can’t remember if I had written or tweeted about it previously, but months later and seeing the web page still opened on my FireFox browser, I decided to re-read the post again. And guess what? The inspirational tips still make sense.

‘Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place or thing.’ — Wayne Dyer

We all deserve to be happy and it’s really up to us to make ourselves happy mentally, emotionally and physically because no one else will love us more, not even our parents. And why wait to make yourself and your life fabulous when you can start today, from this moment? Yes, life’s too short to wait for the day after tomorrow to take care of yourself when you’re the most important person in your world. Do what you want to do now because you’re worth it and you deserve the best in life.

‘We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment; sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake…’ — Francis Bacon

1. Start breathing properly

Take deep breaths throughout the day. Slow deep breathing improves your health and calms you down, according to my yoga instructor and many self-help books. When you’re more conscious of your breathing, you will also become more engaged with the present moment. You won’t think of silly things that trap you in the past or take you too far forward into the future where you might worry about things that have yet happened. When you are aware of being in the present, you live in the moment. And sometimes that’s all you need.

2. Let go of your past and enjoy the present moment

You can still plan ahead, without overthinking it.

Purpose Fairy says: ‘Have a clear image of where you want to go and know how you want your future to look like, but live in the present moment, for the present moment is all you ever had, all that you have and all you’ll ever have. Know that every time you identify with your past, you deny yourself the right to grow and evolve; the right to advance in life.’

3. Let go everything that no longer serves you

Find the inner strength and courage to let go of the things and people that no longer bring joy and happiness into your life. Decluttering and spring-cleaning is not just for your room or before a festive season. You need to declutter the emotional junk that weighs down on you regularly . Be brave to clear out the ‘trash’ and negative people who obstruct your journey to happiness. You’re too awesome for them.

‘There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.’ — Unknown

4. Forgive yourself and the people who have hurt you (even though you rather take revenge on them)

It’s okay to make mistakes. If we don’t make mistakes, we won’t learn and we can’t grow and be even more awesome. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and know that while you can’t turn back time, you will never make the same mistakes again. So there’s no point in harping over it and letting the negativity eat your mind up. It’s time to move on.

Same goes for people who have hurt you or have upset you. Forgive them, because you are the bigger-hearted person. Like what my yoga instructor said this morning, ‘You can’t control what others do, but you can control your actions and how you feel.’

So forgive them and let them go. You don’t have to contact them ever again. Just know that you’ve learnt your lesson and will be better at avoiding such people from now.

‘When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.’ — Catherine Ponder

5. Expect the best from life

This is based on the Law of Attraction theory; when you set your mind to it and ask the Universe for the things you want in life, you will receive the best of the things you ask for at the right time. Ask and you shall receive. All it takes is self-belief and faith that when you want something, the universe conspires to help you to achieve your desires. It works.

6. Treat yourself as how you want others to treat you

When you’re kind and loving toward yourself, you tend to treat yourself better in every way possible because you want the best for yourself. When you are pampered and respected by yourself, you’d naturally be in a good mood all the time (because there’s no reason to not be, right?!). When you’re in a good mood, you’re naturally nice to others and you tend to smile a lot. And kindness begets kindness, while smiling is contagious. Trust me, I’ve seen the cycle and it’s infectious. And others will start treating you the same way as you would to yourself.

7. Be grateful

Ask yourself at the start of every day and every night: ‘What am I grateful for?’

It could be for that day or in general. When you start listing down the little stuff to the bigger things and your list gets longer and longer as the days go by, you become happier and easily contented because you start to realise you have so much good things going for you. You start to see yourself as truly blessed by the universe and you feel lucky all the time because you’re always in such a good mood. See where I am going with this? Yes, it’s a cycle. When you appreciate the little things in life, bigger things arrive to make your life even more awesome.

So yes, here are the seven inspirational tips that are largely based on the blog post and the numerous self-help books and articles on happiness I’ve read throughout my life. Now, go forth and love yourself and live your life the way you want. Just be happy.

[Image via I CAN READ]