Wednesday, August 03, 2016


some days i'm so tired from what life throws at me. sometimes i can struggle on and i work late into the night, even after a full day of running around and pleasing everybody, because the pile of work will still be there waiting for me come what may. i have to care for my for the one that was thrusted into my life, i have to care for the one who is on summer holiday, i have to deal with a string of things going wrong in the house, i have to care for my mother in pain, and then my ailing father, i have to cook for a household of 12, i have to make sure others have their meals, i have to deliver my end of the work for the office, i have more on my plate than anyone can sanely juggle.

other days i'm so exhausted that i can barely hold my eyelids open. i thought i could do no more, that i am on the brink of collapse. i thought that i could take in no more, i have done all that i could with my two hands and super-woman capability. i thought that i will go berserk if i have to juggle more. but life throws a fast ball and i am left with little choice but to struggle on and do more.

i'm tired to the bones. i'm exhausted. i''m stressed to the max. but i'm grateful that i can be there for her. i am thankful i am given the chance to love her and care for her, to show her that she means the world to me. sometimes i am frustrated, because she is frustrated, and she in turn takes out her frustration on me. but i know i'm just tired.

i'm tired because those around me are falling down one by one and i only have one pair of hands to catch. i feel like the energizer rabbit who is running low on power. i'm babbling. i'm drifting. i'm too tired to think.

Friday, July 15, 2016

a fleck of dust

they think that i must be nurturing and loving; that to take care and to provide is in the innermost core of my being, my basic instinct; because i am a woman. they do not see how much of a struggle it is for me every day. i struggle to be what i am expected to be, to go against the wilful carefree soul that is dreaming at an open podium or park, savouring the cool windy breeze that is caressing my face and tugging at my hair, enjoying the company of my own thoughts. answering to no one, answering for no one. i remember when i was 12, doing exactly that. alone by myself, with no one to keep me company and no one to talk to. i don't know if i have always been that way or if it started then. no one to take care of me and no one for me to take care of. nature or nurture. i became me.

the years creep by and responsibilities silently piled on, without warning or reason, not taking no for an answer. i am now an adult. people see me as an adult. and they expect me to behave as an adult. to some extent i guess motherly instinct does kick in when you have younger ones. you do think about the how, when, what, where of their well being. even then, it is a struggle sometimes. you do not nag, you do not remind, you do not lecture, you do not profess to have wisdom to impart on the next generation. it is not you. you believe that people should make their own choices and live with their mistakes. you think to each his own. yet you live the live as a mother. you strain your throat to articulate reminders and annoying communication, because it is your duty. because it is expected of you.

however, it is not an all-encompassing love. you do not have a sudden desire to feed all the children in the world or educate the next generation. you do not suddenly become a saint overnight. yet, without so much as a word of warning, or a question whether it is alright, i am suddenly thrusted with not one, not two but three pieces of baggages. the scream is stuck in my throat so hard that it makes me gag sometimes. that others have the right to trespass into your life, your lifestyle and you have no say in the matter. that your feelings have an even smaller play in the situation. that another did not want to spend their time educating, nurturing, accompanying and providing for their own, and so i now must, and my own will is irrelevant. the injustice, the infringement, the inconsideration.

i have no one standing beside me. no one that speaks for me. no one that considered about me. it makes me feel more insignificant than a fleck of dust in the massive cosmic space. perhaps even worse are the flimsy excuses and justifications; you don't have to do this for them or you don't have to do that for them. i cringe and i bite my tongue. i wouldn't if i don't have the baggages in the first place. but i do because you thought it was alright to pass them on to me. justifications, who doesn't have them.

thus is life. we don't ever live our lives the way we want to.

Friday, May 27, 2016

missing a page that was

i'm feeling very nostalgic today. took a very long walk down memory lane, until my calves are tired and my emotions whimsical. a book written so wonderfully, the words jump out of the pages and fondle your senses; it was what started me on this reminiscence. i remember someone who wrote so beautifully, someone who said that he wanted to use words to accurately capture and portray what a picture could, someone who could use the evolved symbols of our language system to paint emotions, situations, descriptions, location; just like an artist with his brush. i miss that so much. i miss reading the beautiful words of a writer, so vividly expressed that it touches. i miss the old blogger group too. i don't quite miss the scrutinising eyes of random strangers or the judgemental views of people who doesn't know or care on the pages of my life, but i miss the interaction, the lively banter, the laughter and the camaraderie. i miss the introspection.

i logged into facebook with my blogger profile and peeked into what everybody was doing. there are little changes in everybody's life; change is the only constant in the universe. even though we do not interact anymore in the blogosphere, as that world is so passe, but it makes my day to see everybody happy and healthy. she has moved on to other careers, he did not get the little patter of small feet that he was so looking forward to :(, the old one is still learning, still keeping up with trends, they wished my cobwebbed page happy birthday, she has deleted her account, he is still talking cock, her two kids are so big now, he has unfriended me (for goodness knows what reason!!!) and some i can no longer remember their blog or their avatar. the only congruity it will seem is that none of them blog anymore. i guess it is a given, after 10 years, that everybody has moved on, to try newer things, to go on with their lives, to do something different. only i remain, solitary, in this infinite colossal impalpable world, with my own thoughts, as it should be, introspective. i am reminded of why i have continued writing, for whom i am writing, and my love for the written language. i am reminded that i am an introvert.

i scrolled through my blogs, re-reading old posts and publishing old drafts. with the passage of time, many posts that were once 'sensitive' lost the power to hurt and i am now comfortable with posting it for all to see. things that i have forgotten, stories and settings that have been dismissed from my mind, i read them again. the only witness to the flipping of the pages of my life and my journey.

Friday, May 20, 2016

the meaning is what you make of it

i hear it a lot: what is the meaning of life? many of us come to a crossroad in life where we ask ourselves, and others, the point of our existence. what is the reason we are put on this earth? i guess to ask that, to some degree one has to be a theist, to believe that there is a higher power that controls our very existence and that we did not just appear as a result of the right ingredients, the right condition, at the right time. or perhaps we are just very lost individuals, seeking for things to make sense in our very short time on earth, hoping that we are able to make a difference, no matter how small and hoping that the world will remember us in its infiniteness.

at 45, i have realised that there isn't any all-encompassing 'meaning' to life. what your life means is what you want it to mean, what you need it to mean; or in another word; how you want to live your life. if you are breathing and moving, you are probably already living your life and have part 1 of life101 down. i always hold the ideology that we make decisions base on what we are, who we are, so even given another life, without hindsight, we will make the same decisions in the same circumstances. so no point fretting. no point regretting. no more what ifs.

most, when pondering on this question, are looking for motivation to achieve greatness, or simply just something more than mediocrity and duldrum. they want to know if they are wasting their lives or whether they should be putting a little more effort. but by what yardstick can you measure one individual's life that is only uniquely theirs? for some, saving lives and finding the cure to cancer are things that they are destined to do, others touching the lives of others through their sincerity and love make a world of difference to those around them. to each his own. thus i do not believe that there is a general maxim by which to live your life. we discover what we want, what we are capable of, what we seek and we live it to the fullest, or not, depending on what brings meaning to you.

i do not believe that the motivation to fully live our lives come from analysing the meaning of life, or seeking for an external enlightenment. we are motivated by seeing, by listening, by empathising, by caring and loving, by living. with empathy, we choose to make a difference in the ways we can. and hence is the meaning of your life; to live it, to see, to hear, to empathise, to care and to love. consider yourself enlightened. go live your life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

this human is out of service

the doc said my emotions are affecting my kidneys ,which in turn affects the rest of my body, amongst some other tcm mumbo jumbo. sigh. what can i do? it's not like i have control over my feelings. i'm sad, and the rest of my body is feeling it too. can i shake the sadness out of my system like a little etch-a-sketch? can i erase and forget about it with an imaginary heart-board duster? do i continue to sulk and mope until my blue pity bag is full, then i chuck it into the nearest dumpster? i am aware that i have mood swings; days when it is a struggle to even maintain a smile, and days when i go about as normal. sometimes i walk around in a daze waiting for the frown to turn upside down. is it actually more physiological, rather than psychological? the body affects the mind? or the mind affects the body? maybe it is just hormonal imbalances. maybe it is just metabolism out of whack. nobody's life is perfect. nobody is exactly where they want to be, doing what they want to do. but life still goes on.

Monday, May 16, 2016


how are you doing, some asked. she has left - i wanted to say. it was at the very tip of my mouth. but who would care? would they care that i am sad she has left. or would they care that she is no longer around. sadly, neither. no one in this world cares about either. and so i swallowed those words down my throat again.

one day, perchance, i told the man who asked after me many many moons ago. the one who extended a friendly touch when none bothered. i don't know why i did. maybe i thought he could understand now because he understood then how painful it was for me. i wanted to tell someone, needed to tell someone, to share the grief i had been carrying around like a lost puppy, with no direction, no destination. i told him that she has left.

who is she, he asked. my instinctive reaction was to drop the detestable phone, scamper to my bed and pull the covers over me, to hide from the shame and repulsion. that one last person in the world who had an inkling of what i went through then had totally erased the memories from his cranium. or maybe he never did know. maybe i never did open up, even though his kind text messages were enough to assuage the pain in my heart. i understood now that it was me he was enquiring after so long ago, not her. i wasn't angry with him, but i didn't want to desecrate the memories by having to explain it. and so i said never mind, it's not important. even though it was. it was a very important part of my story, of my pages. and i continue to hold it inside of me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

the mythical creature

two doctors. one clinic. a whole world of difference.

an idol in modern times is akin to a mythical creature, like the unicorn and elves. i've idolised actors and actresses when i was young, based on nothing more than their looks and the personality that they portrayed in the selected few movies and dramas. as i grew older, faced with the ugly facets of reality, nothing much impresses me. wealth, power, fame, looks, i've seen giants top giants. i have observed them boasting, yet trying to appear modest at the same time. i have seen arrogance and fake humility. can i honestly say i am not also guilty of a certain degree of haughtiness? conceit or impatience, sometimes the lines blur a little.

i met him perhaps twenty years ago. i forget. when i was an still an impressionable individual. i thought that he was the best doctor ever. him and another, who has since passed away. out of all the doctors, and for some strange reason i seem to be seeing quite a few, he stood high amongst them, and i am not referring to his stature.

yesterday i am reminded why i idolise this doctor. he is the very embodiment of what a doctor should be, at least in the perfect imaginary world. he arrives for work at 6 a.m., when most of us are burrowing our sleepy heads deeper into our pillows, denying the existence of the new day. he never hurries during the requisite q & a, listening patiently to your problems and questions and explaining every single thing in depth. his memory is comparable to an elephant. as i have not been back to his clinic for dinosaur years, they have completely vaporised my old records. i sat down with a clean empty file in front of him, expecting to go into detail about my past to refresh him. he took one look at me, a second look, and exclaim ,"haven't i seen you before?". he could go into detail about everything; that hubs is hongki, what problems she had, how hubs' mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, the position of the cancer, my grandmother's cancer even and all these took place a decade ago, at the very least. he will probably serve well as my bibliographer, if i had any story to remember and tell. the next visit, he was there and waiting for us, eventhough we were suppose to be the first early bird patient. he was enthusiastic, he was passionate, he was efficient yet careful about his diagnostic, he was thorough, he was full of energy and he was not young, he was personable. when he referred us to his partner for further consultation, he came in personally to brief him and hear his opinion on the case, eventhough he has an endless flow of patients lined up to see him. he was not only passionate about looking for abnormalities within his field of medicine but the patient's overall health. he was the one who identified mil's lung cancer eventhough his area of expertise was neither pulmonology nor oncology.

how many doctors have you met that are already jaded? too tired to explain because they have met too many ignorant and stubborn patients. too careless with their analysis because they are tired. one more, one less, no difference. too egoistic to think it is their prerogative to keep the patients waiting. too long immersed to be passionate about saving the world anymore. too specialised to even consider that the illness is most probably something else. i had a doctor diagnose my mother as possible parkinson's simply because she was referred from a routine body check for a perceived rigidity in her hand and put on medication to confirm it. the doctor did not for a second wonder if it could have been caused by trauma to the hand muscles. i had another told me my grandfather was fine following his admission into hospital, only to have him pass away in the middle of the night.

befitting this iniquitous world, it is the comparatively lacking one that is conferred with a title. then again, this lack of superficial conferment agrees with his noble image of a doctor. perhaps the other was more qualified, i wouldn't know, but he didn't note an earlier observation on the file in his very hand before providing an inconsistent preliminary diagnosis.

perhaps he is a horrible person in other aspects of his life, i wouldn't know as i do not not interact with him

to all good doctors out there i wish them a very long and healthy life. to all good doctors out there i want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart on behalf of humanity.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

some days aren't so good

sometimes it hits me that i will never ever be able to see her again in this life time. i may be just watching tv, or just taking a shower. i suddenly remember that no matter how hard i wish or how badly i want, i will never be able to finish our last conversation. never ever hear her voice again. I will never ever be able to hear her theatrically bitchy replies, smell her perfume, touch her cold smooth skin. not even one more time for the rest of my days. and the tears can't help gather at the corner of my eyes. when will i stop crying, my heart stop choking in my throat, everytime i think about her? some days i am not quite alright yet.

Friday, March 04, 2016

with the passing days

i am alright now.

i am enjoying the quiet humming of the air-cond as the keyboard clicks under my fingers.

i am enjoying the introspective conversation inside my head.

i am enjoying the slow jazzy music in the hot humid tropical afternoon.

i am enjoying the slow ticking of the clock as i go about attacking my endless pile of work.

i am enjoying the little roller-coaster butterflies i get as i floor the pedal and drive the valley roads.

i am enjoying my own company, doing what i want to, when i want to.

time has made it alright.

but i am not alright that we have grown distant.

unnecessary angst

some call me picky. some call me critical. some say i complain a lot. some say i am being difficult. some don't understand.

it is easy to just close my eyes and move away. to not patronise a shop with poor service or to ignore something that is not right. everybody does it all the time. isn't it easier to ignore the whining child then to spend a little time to talk to him, understand why he is acting that way? isn't it safer to ignore the cries and shouts in the middle of the night then to face up to the potential wife-killer? isn't it less complicated to avoid the source of the problem?

but where will we be? where will we end up? comfortable in our mediocrity, excelling in elusion. in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king. perhaps that is the very core to the problems in our country, in our society; people are indifferent, people are apathetic.

i want an improvement in the way things work. i want the society to move forward. i want mankind to always strive to be better, not give excuses to stay in the present. facing the problem head on involves a lot of aggression, a lot of time wasted, a lot of effort, and at the end of the day one questions if it is even worth it. but how many people can you find that actually cares? that will actually spend a part of their valuable and very limited time to care enough to do something about improving, be it an organisation, a person, a family, a system or an idea.

everywhere i go i have ideas and suggestions on ways to improve their services, their merchandise, their system. so much so that i jokingly said i should print my own comment cards and just leave it wherever i go, since some organisations do not provide it. i want to highlight to them what they are lacking, what they cannot see with their own eyes, what they are not aware of, perhaps because they are too involved in the matter or merely too busy. or maybe they have just lost touched with the grass root.

burger king did not serve pepsi light until i drew their attention to the fact that they have forgotten diabetes is one of the number one killers for our nation and that a big proportion of their customers are actually diabetic. i like to think that it was my comment card that made them opened their eyes as the diet version of soft drinks was available soon after, or perhaps it was just a sign of the times. :p yoshinoya took note of my complaint and hopefully patrons whose family members are already waiting in queue to buy food don't have to give up their hard earned table in favour of those with food in hand. i wouldn't know of course, as i am still offended and refused to return to patronise their outlet. i am no holy mother teresa, i can be altruistic and petty at the same time. it is something i juggle best.

i don't complain out of spite. i don't throw tantrums and trash around on the floor like the citizens of china. i don't shout and scream when i let them know something is not right. but i do have a very high level of expectation. they are called the service industry for a reason.

am i wrong? am i being troublesome? am i helping the society? or am i justifying my actions with a benevolent excuse. perhaps it is just a matter of perspective. i am who i am. it is not a life that is easy to live, or a road that is easy to walk. i don't know why i make things so difficult for myself sometimes, i can just walk away with a smile and never return. but where will we be? where will we end up?

Thursday, March 03, 2016

the signs of times

last year excel's standard font size was set at 10. this year i have to increase to 11 so as to not strain my eyes. sigh. will it be 72 one day?

caresses by the wind

she grumbles when there is no one to pay a little kind attention to her. she grumbles when someone does enquire after her. she is a tough lady to please. that's what people will say. usually the easy version, the one that judges a person in an instant is the one that people can't wait to leap at.

growing up, people seldom pay attention to me. being the youngest and the girl in the family, which was not the most desired sexual preference for a child in that era,  i was left to my own devices a lot. too busy. no time. i hear that a lot, but i know that they were just not really interested. then again, there is no hard and fast rule that family members must hold a genuine interest in each other's lives. perhaps they don't need that from me and thus, will never understand the need to bestow that. and so i learnt to amuse myself and talk to myself a lot in my head. i'm not crazy, just introvertish. i still do that all the time, talk to myself in my head, as i am doing now and typing down that wonderful monologue. with the invention of blogging, suddenly i don't sound so crazy. i'm just preparing mentally for my blogging material. :p

anyway, the same has pretty much applied to the rest of my life. nobody has been really interested to hear, to listen to my story. perhaps that is why i never had someone i called a best friend. close perhaps, but not a best friend. someone who knows everything about me. someone who knows what i am going to say before i even finish my sentence. someone who knows how i will think, say or do because they have heard all those stories about me, because they know me. maybe that is why i appear standoffish. because i realise very long ago that people are not genuinely interested to listen. people like to talk, usually about themselves. few really listen. and so i started to build walls, one brick a day.

i thought that it would be different when i find my soul mate, maybe i hoped that it would be different, like some kind of fairy tale happily ever after, but then i realise that it isn't necessarily so. is it because we have been together for too long? is it because we are not in the courtship phase anymore? actually, i don't think that he ever listened. i think nobody listens. people who read blogs want to be entertained. they do not want to listen. it doesn't mean that they do not love you, so don't go jumping off the highest building in the neighbourhood. does it equate to them not being interested? or that they find other things more interesting and of a higher priority? for now, i don't know the answer to that. i will like to think that it is not so, that their listening is not equitable to their interest or priorities, but i will leave that topic for my next session of introspection and deliberation.

well, after this extremely long monologue, i should probably provide some data to relate to. today, she asked if i had booked a doctor to look into my gastrointestinal problems. she had heard it from the grapevines. i am actually quite shocked about the number of grapevines around me; i am beginning to think that i am actually a grape, but that is a grievance for another day. it caught me by surprise, in a nice sort of way, because we do not chat on a regular basis and she has never shown any interest in my personal well-being. and it touched me enough that i wanted to write about it. once again i will proclaim my geeky and all-assuming quote; we are the lives that we touch. a sentence, a memory, a moment, a warm feeling; that is who we are when dust returns to dust. i remember when she was lying comatose in the hospital, he texted me several times and enquired how i was coping. not my family. not the close friends that i met with weekly. not those who knew me best. not those who knew me the longest. not those who professed they love me. not those who professed they love her. not those that i wish will want to know a little bit more about me. but someone who is a little more distant. almost 10 years down the road, and i still remember.

life is a very lonely road. thank you for your gentle caresses.