When I was younger, I believed in fairies. I adored and devoured Enid Blyton stories, and when I read about The Cottingley Fairies, I believed they were real.
Then in primary school, when my friend told me she had fairies in her bag, blue, green and pink, I believed her too. But as much as we begged and cajoled, she told us that we couldn’t see them – not yet, she said.
We never saw those fairies, but I imagined them hiding in her school bag, glowing in blue and green and pink like a lightsaber would.
Two years is not a long time – not in the grand scheme of things. But when I first started work at We Are Social, that felt like a reasonable amount of time to stay. So you can imagine how surprised I was when two good years passed by and I realised I had no pressing need to leave. Still, as the months went by I realised I needed a change of pace. Things had changed, or maybe it was because some things hadn’t changed for me and I really needed to get out and start again. Afresh, anew, again.
Someone once told me that if you want to find joy, do what you love. And it was precisely this that I joined the company, it was this that made me stay for a good two and a half years, and it was also because of this that I eventually decided to leave the best first job anyone can ask for. I’m not exaggerating.
I met people I love here; the best kind of people. The ones who’d keep pushing you to be better, the ones who’d be there when you’d trip, then tell you how much they believed in you so they’d fall right alongside, then lift you up and dust the dirt off your jeans. The ones who you’d call family.
And of course, it’s time to move out of the family home for a new adventure.
The gym gets really crowded in January like how Christmas masses are always fully packed with once-a-year Catholics. I went for Christmas mass this year and I judged. I judged so badly I almost felt like a bad Christian.
But this brings me to my point on resolutions. We’re two weeks into the new year so everyone’s probably feeling fresh and optimistic. But let’s be real – resolutions aren’t just ‘made’. Resolutions have to be planned, scheduled and executed. I mean, let’s take a look at the Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lose weight
3. Quit smoking
4. Save money
5. Get fit
6. Eat healthy
If you know marketing, you’d know that these goals are not in any way Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant or Time-bound. Which makes them pretty much useless because it just feels like you’re proposing marriage when we just met. Dude. Where’s your ring? Which HDB will we be getting?
I achieved so much in 2014 and that’s in part due to the number of things I signed up for at the beginning of the year. Planned, scheduled and executed.
Clif and I had made our weekends super productive. When we weren’t at work, we were at the gym, at pilates, at bowling lessons or salsa class every single week. It was a mad routine, but it was insanely productive.
Let’s try to be creatures of good habit this year. 2015 is going to be awesome!!
I’ve always wondered how people who call themselves bloggers maintain their ability to write and get excited about their daily lives at such a constant rate. It seems such a chore to talk about your life as if you were dressed by little bluebirds every day or as if you always had an opinion on everything.
Taking endless streams of photos of your own life that you’ll have to upload everyday? I admire the discipline, but I’d never be comfortable with that.
Especially if the thought was to present myself a certain way to quench someone else’s curiosity with a pretty picture of my life. Too tiring.
But then I remember that it is considered a job for those people, and if that were my job, I think I’d probably kick ass at it with my own endless stream of photos and chirpiness and opinions. What a way to live.
It’s a romantic thought to read the diaries that were never really meant for anyone else to read though. I started reading Sylvia Plath’s unabridged journal a few years ago and it made me dive right down into a deep depression that I had to pull myself out of by stopping. An ‘irresistable fascination’ is what Maria Popova calls it and I can relate.
Let’s try to write for ourselves this year. And maybe about the regular day-to-day things instead of just the ones that make me feel introspective and reflective!
Every few months or so, I tell myself that I’m young and healthy and happy and I should live like a youngish person and do something crazy like get a pixie cut or dye my hair crazy colours to experience what it’s like to #YOLO. After all, as much as I may avoid thinking about it, I’m not going to be young forever.
Every single time then, I sieve through tonnes of images on Tumblr and Pinterest and wherever you can think of, looking at images of gorgeous hairstyles and beautiful dyes that I’m never confident I can pull off, that I’m never confident I can live with.
So when I went to get a (very normal, very sensible) haircut in Taipei and the girl complimented how healthy my hair was, I took it and I bathed in the glory of never having done anything crazy.
Maybe next time.
I don’t think my mother understands the gravity of the word ‘fuck’. And it’s weird, you know? Hearing your Asian parent use the profanity with such lightness. It’s kinda ugly.
Like hearing an ah lian being vulgar with so much ease and simplicity that it becomes really unpleasant? Like seeing teenager holding a cigarette like it’s just super cool?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some people that look good holding a cigarette. But those people belong in classic magazines and Mad Men, where the word ‘fuck’ is beautiful, and the idea of a cigarette seem to hold some complexity.
Profanity can be sophisticated. Just look at the diamond industry, make your vulgarity worth more. Although..in an era of wrecking balls, I’m not so sure. Am I crazy?
You, who can read my mind, the situation at hand and somehow get us both to paddle our way ashore. You, who I’ve learnt so much from and who I’ve learnt so much with. I don’t think any other person’s departure would make this much of an impact on my life. Just you.
That is, of all the people who could be leaving, I think you leaving is the worst. THE WORST. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you. Thinking about it makes me all kinds of emotional.
Our adventures at work, the battles we’ve chosen and the things we’ve stood up for.. all for the sake of doing the right thing. Everything we’ve done together because there was no one else..so we held on to each other to keep ourselves afloat.
But that’s why I know we’ll survive. Because even though we’re not working on the same projects at work and we’re not in the same timezone…we’re still looking to achieve the same things and we’ve got our own little pet project. And I know we’ll always be a click or a dial away.
There’s a mandarin saying that goes “有福同享，有难同当” that kinda means to share our happiness and difficulties together. I guess it helps to lighten the load and keep our heads in check.
Thanks for being that for me.
I’ll miss you.
I received a call from the Society of St Vincent De Paul. They asked if the uncle had any family or children (No, he doesn’t), and if he can walk (Yes) and take care of himself (Yes).
Uncle Lok fits the requirements perfectly for a candidate who can apply for a home at Queen Street. There, they provide lodging and free meals. He is free to do as he likes in the day but there’s a 7pm curfew.
There’s a tissue paper uncle at the hawker centre nearby who I regularly buy tissue from. He used to sell them in bunches of four with a rubber band tied around them, and he used to write four numbers on each bunch – if you were interested in getting lucky with them. At the time I thought this was a clever idea – you can see some effort being put into the ‘work’ he was doing.
He doesn’t do this anymore. It’s now the regular tissue packets, no quirky details.
Last night, as I bent down to get tissue from him there was a man telling him, “Uncle, don’t do stupid things, uncle. Cannot.” I passed him the $2 and took one packet for myself and walked away slowly. Clif and I looked back and saw that he motioned slitting his wrists and realised what the guy meant.
I like smiling to myself when I read your messages, knowing that you’re smiling to yourself too.