Wednesday, September 30, 2009


That strange, out-of-sorts feeling is back again. I haven’t felt like this in quite a while, so it’s a bit awkward to get re-acquainted with the feeling. Like a kind of restlessness, knowing something is wrong yet not being able to put my finger on it. And it frustrates me.

I want to scream and shout and stomp. But I don’t. I don’t want to sit and stay and stew. But I do.

I smile on the outside but not the inside.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PaiN reVIsiTeD

I’ve been obsessing about pain again these few days, since I started another series of treatment for the viral infection on my feet. Pain, in both the physical and emotional sense, is very sobering. It makes you sit up, forces you to pay attention to what is happening.

I often wonder though, whether there is redemptive value in pain. When pain consumes you, leaving nothing in its trail but the pain itself.

They say pain is a path to humility.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


"Even if an absolute truth exists, we can’t recognize all of it."

Saturday, September 26, 2009


It is getting better, these days.
Time doesn’t heal, love does, they say.

I no longer clench my fists and sigh.
I no longer see the world through troubled eyes.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I guess I’ve been pretty blessed in my life. Growing up, there wasn’t anything I really lacked – I had my fair share of toys and friends, my sticker albums and stamp collection. In school, I did well enough to progress from one class to the next, from one school to the next. After graduation, I was lucky to find a job, even luckier that I could excel in my work. Then I got married to the man of my dreams, and I couldn’t believe life could be this good to me.

But it was not to be. The marriage derailed. I was unable to work. Life as I knew it changed forever. I was left helpless, and hapless. And for someone who had never experienced failure before, those were dark days. In the midst, I even took it in my head to apply for a speech therapy course and was rejected, adding insult to injury.

Failure is like buying lottery and getting all the numbers wrong.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I think one of the reasons I like solitary sports is because it allows me time to be with my own mind. Like when I’m jogging or swimming, my body can go into an auto-pilot mode, leaving my mind free to wander. And in its wanderings, I hold conversations with people, I sort through problems, I ponder life.

Today, while I was running, I thought about forgiveness. I thought about the magnitude of forgiveness, and how difficult it is for me to embrace that. I thought about the gravity of forgiveness, and the lightness of being it brings. And I remember how I still clutch the hatred so desperately inside.

She said the ball is in my court now.

LosT OpPoRTuniTiES

A boy and a girl were insanely in love with each other. They decided to become engaged. And that’s when presents are always exchanged. The boy was poor – his only worthwhile possession was a watch he’d inherited from his grandfather. Thinking about his sweetheart’s lovely hair, he decided to sell the watch in order to buy her a silver barrette. The girl had no money herself to buy him a present. She went to the shop of the most successful merchant in the town and sold him her hair. With the money, she bought a gold watchband for her lover. When they met on the day of the engagement party, she gave him the wristband for a watch he had sold, and he gave her the barrette for the hair she no longer had.

(from “By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept” by Paulo Coelho)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul."

(Henry Van Dyke)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

i HavE a dREaM

I have always been a big believer in dreams, real or abstract. I remember being very moved by Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, and spent hours trying to memorise it.

I love it when I dream (when I’m sleeping). It gives me a sense of fulfillment, like it has been a sleep well slept. I dream of being with my favourite people. I dream of pirouettes and jetes across the stage. I dream of magic and mystery, stars and rainbows.

I love dreams (when I’m not sleeping). They give me a goal to work towards, an end for me to reach. I dream of getting my degree, helping the world, writing a book.

Dreaming while awake is a frightening contradiction.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The other day, my friend spoke of reaching a new level of enlightenment about her life.

And it set me thinking. Thinking about my life. About my life and what I want to do with it.

I want… I want… I want to be a better person.

Suddenly, I feel a great sense of urgency.

We get to live life only once.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Nine and a half years ago, I entered the world of market research with wide-eyed wonder. It was my first job, and I was ready to impress. I worked very hard, and was surprisingly good at what I was doing. I loved the work, loved the money, loved the sense of self-importance that came along with it.

Nine and a half years later, I am re-evaluating my options. I’ve worked for two companies, started my own, and I am tired. I’m no longer sure if this is something I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

Now it’s just a job. The fairytale ended a long time ago.

Monday, September 14, 2009

cLOse sHavE

Recently, I lost a relative to cancer. A young relative. My peer. And it brought home to me again the fragility of life. While I grieve for her passing, I am reminded particularly of the fragility of my own life.

See, I used to take my life very much for granted. I never gave it the respect that it deserved. Never paid attention to the role my life played in relation to the bigger world out there. So much so that there came a time when I was this close to losing my life.

And when you’ve had such a close shave with death, you never look at life the same way again.

You don’t say, “It’s just cancer. Get over it."


Sometimes, it is a matter of luck.
Sometimes, it is a genuine mistake.
Sometimes, it is an error of judgment.

Sometimes, it is a colossal failure of common sense.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

sECretS reVisiTeD

Much as secrets intrigue me, I don’t particularly like to keep them. So it was with reluctance that I listened to a friend the other day, and found myself charged with a secret. On the magnitude of secrets, it wasn’t a grave one, definitely not an issue of life and death. Yet it was serious enough to make me sit up, only to find myself alone with the secret, sworn to silence.

And I said, “Your secret is safe with me.”

Saturday, September 12, 2009


One of the things I really enjoy about the Broadway shows in New York is the active participation of the audience. They cheer for every actor that comes on stage, clap at the end of every song, hoot at every exciting moment. I love being amidst the interaction between actor and audience. I love the electricity that fills the theatre. Like being caught in a cross-fire.

Audiences are not quite as spontaneous here at home. I have never witnessed a standing ovation, and I do go for quite a lot of performances. There is never that exchange of energy between actor and audience. There is never that level of adrenalin pumping.

Decency is a relative thing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i AM bACk

Travelling alone is a very intense experience. The moments of absolute aloneness taught me many things. Being with me, myself and I can sometimes be trying. Being with me, myself and I can sometimes be comforting.

When I first decided to take this long vacation to the US, I didn’t really know what to expect. I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel so far for so long. I never thought I would travel so far for so long alone. I never thought I would be alone for the reasons that I am alone now. So this trip was in part a process of my healing as much as it was a journey of self-discovery.

For example, I discovered that:

1) Weather-wise, I can deal with heat better than I can deal with cold, so long as there is little or no humidity to tackle as well.

2) I can go for about 4 days without speaking to a single human being before I start feeling that I am going mad with the constant chatter in my head.

3) However much I complain about this constant chatter in my head, I actually quite enjoy the company of my own random thoughts.

4) One cup of coffee and one banana every morning ensures a very good flow for my digestive system.

Am I healed? Enough to move on to the next chapter of my life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

aLMosT TheRe

It is the end of my 7-week holiday in the US. How time flies.

From LA to San Diego to Phoenix to Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to Rocky Mountain to San Francisco to New Jersey to New York City to Boston to Niagara Falls to Philadephia to Washington D.C. ... each place unique in their own right, injecting me with different sensations, giving me different experiences.

Of note on this trip for me are the national parks. I love the rawness of nature that surrounds me. (As I am writing this, I see a deer feeding outside my window.) Perhaps what touched me most is being baptised by the waters of Niagara Falls (thanks to my friend for coining this description.)

The friendships formed and strengthened on this trip are also important to me. They each inspire me in unique ways, giving me new perspective on how I look at the world around me. I look forward to our continued friendship.

What a whirlwind of a trip.

I will miss this place. A lot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

iN mEMoRY Of

Washington D.C. is filled with museums galore. From the family-friendly Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum, to the artsy National Gallery of Art and the Sculpture Garden (all under the auspices of The Smithsonian Institution), to the sombre Holocaust Museum. By the fourth museum and Washington Monument and Capitol Building and two memorials (the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial), my mind overloaded.

Museums have a way of assaulting my senses.