Often We Thought… We Assumed.

All along I know that communication plays vital part in life, regardless with family, at work or in relationships. But recently, I learn that consequences of good communication are indeed loud and impactful. Communication allows us to share feelings, connect and build trust, most importantly able to deliver messages we want to convey, not assumptions. Assumptions can be unfavorable at times as it is a willingness to accept something as true without question or proof. It can lead to unpleasant experience, with the thinking: “I thought…” “Maybe…” when another party have no intention on the messages he convey.

Hmm where do I start…

I was once very bad in communications. I assumed what another party is thinking and I don’t clarify, mainly I couldn’t take rejections. I will feel hurtful based on my assumptions. Eventually I became defensive. Also, I had poor listening skills, I tend to shut people off when I hear things I don’t want to hear. I never compromised, used to… Guess working in corporate world for plenty of years has really molded me to become a better person where I need to force myself to liaise with counterparties regardless making calls or blasting emails. There should be zero misunderstanding as it might affect relevant stakeholders especially working on projects. I am thankful for those opportunities given where I need to deal with management, external parties and fellow colleagues for the past few years.

Now I can better tweak my words though I might be quite assertive at times, but at least another party wouldn’t feel so pressurized. I will initiate talks so that both parties can speak up our minds to work for better outcome. I trust good process helps as much as best outcome matters. I believe in creating values, not only for clients, but also stakeholders. I am able to take rejections nowadays, and I wouldn’t take it personally like how I used to… I believe things happened for a reason and they will better improve me as a person in future. I am doing it for myself!

Recently, I learnt more about love language too. All along I know mine has been act of service and quality time. To me, for a person who works relentlessly with the bank (also due to my job scope), I value my time a lot, especially nowadays I end work late, I barely go out during weekdays. Occasionally, I would rather spend time at home than going out during weekends. Guess I just need some space to work on myself before another new week strikes again.

I was being asked if quality time means spending a lot of time together or going out a lot. To be honest, not really actually. I treasure meaningful meetings or intellectual conversation over high quantities of outings. A person who craves quality time actually has very little to do with the amount of time you are together. It’s also not based on activities. Quality time is about how you spend the time that you have together.

For people whose primary love language is quality time, we never lose sight of the fact that time is limited and tomorrow is not promised. Hence, we view time together as a priceless gift that we want to give and receive in relationships. To us, life is about being in the moment. When we are feeling insecure or going through a tough time, just show your care by simply being there and spending quality time together. Even though not all the discomfort will be taken away- nor should you be expected to- being able to demonstrate that you are present and available means a lot to us.

Guess communication would always be a lifelong learning lesson to us. Like my dad, he is a very reserved person, typical Asian dad I would say. He often makes decisions he thought would be beneficial to us (me and my bro), and he never shared reasons why. I mean as a parent, he doesn’t need to explain every single thing to us. Over the years, I learnt how to get him to talk more as we sometimes misunderstand his intentions, and he never bothered to explain.

I remember when Covid just started last year, I requested using public chopsticks when we were having dinner. He got so furious as if we are not close bonded, as if he will spread us the virus… Sooner, my mom got furious too, thinking he is being too sensitive. Knowing his concern, I spoke to him calmly: I work overseas where I travel a lot. To be honest, I would think I have more virus exposure than you spreading gems to me. I requested public chopsticks as I am concerned your wellbeing as much as myself. Hope you understand. Onwards, there will always be public chopsticks on dining table.

Even with family, a group of people living together for so many years, communication still plays important part.

Some tips for effective communications:

  1. Active listening- involves hearing and understanding what a person is saying to you.
  2. Be personable. Everyone is different, hence way of dealing might be different at times.
  3. Empathy- understand and share the feelings of another person.
  4. Always have an open mind. Don’t take things personally.
  5. Process your feelings. Avoid blurting hurtful words when you are angry.

Hope this helps as I find it very important! 🙂

Love Yourself First before Falling in Love

Not falling in love yet… I am a total different person now, I feel. I am not afraid to voice out, take rejections and have more self awareness. I guess it was my damn ego last time. I now don’t put anything else before myself. I don’t want my relationship seem like a mission to complete due to reaching “age of marriage” already.

I am not looking for someone to accompany me cause I am single; some of my friends did. No comments, but I would rather stay alone. I would love to have someone that can have fun with as well as thrive for future together. Earlier, I met up with a friend, and found out he broke up with his girlfriend few months ago. From what I knew, they don’t fight, or argue. They kept feelings and never voiced out, maybe they thought it may affect their relationship, or they feel obliged to adjust to their partner. Later, the girl asked for a break up.

Communication is very important in a relationship, so that your partner knows your expectations and vice versa, even better if it is being communicated since beginning. Often, we wanted to build that ‘perfect image’ in front of our partner, being very accommodating even though at some point we might not feel comfortable about it. But, it is also important not to take things personally and always keep an open mind. We all have things we like and do not like. It would be good if we respect each others’ likings or hatred.

I think I am quite matured, so I really need someone who is on par or more mature than me. I ever doubted myself, thinking whether I am good enough. I was very unhappy, and I feel I am no longer myself anymore. Maybe I was too young, and not good in handling my emotions. But slowly, I learned that I am the one who takes charge of my emotions. Not anyone else.

I love how I am being appreciated and respected, for being able to voice out what I want or not want. I feel like everyone should have another part of his life instead of fully vested in relationship. I am not saying to have an affair. The 100% of us should comprise more than just being in relationship. Modern days now, even for women, it is important to have career to thrive, hobbies to enjoy, keeping up friendships and family matters to prioritize.

Side track a little. Tiny milestone to celebrate: I quit doing eyelashes extension, like finally! It was a thing where you don’t want to stop once you start doing it. I once thought I was not attractive enough, in need of that ABG look to boost confidence when I don’t put on make up. Slowly, I accepted who I am, and obviously I am happier now. I no longer worry that I am not able to meet my friends when I don’t have 13mm eyelashes on me.

Darn insecurities, bye!

Nothing Lasts

A star has fallen.

He left few days ago.

She is leaving in 2 weeks’ time.

I am leaving in less than a month.

“Cause in my mind, nothing lasts…” From a song I have been listening recently…

A high school junior of mine just passed away few weeks ago due to cancer. He used to represent our school, district, state for Chinese Martial Arts competitions. I came across his posts in Facebook one day, knowing he was suffering and finally not anymore. He has been surrounded by his loving family, friends and devoted girlfriend till his last breath. Let’s send prayers to him and his family. May he rest in peace and free from all the pain. God will comfort his family during this sad and difficult time.

Few colleagues of mine are leaving and soon would be mine too. I have finally decided on farewell gifts and messages. Something I find meaningful and permanent. One month ago, I started prepping myself before all the crying, bidding goodbyes, leaving a place with many familiar faces. Adulting huh… I am a person who is emotionally invested. It might take me awhile to adjust from missing them even more everyday. So yeah…

I called my parents early in the morning today. I will be missing father’s day this year again, so I bought them some tonic and supplements. I love how my parents occupy themselves experimenting new dishes, pastries at home. We learn to make new dishes during lockdown, so that we can cook for you when you are back someday, they said. Actually, I am doing the same thing in Singapore, exploring new recipes, so that I can return the favor when I am back home someday.

My little brother finally graduated from university. A burden off my parents’ shoulders. One of the greatest gifts for Father’s Day, my dad said. Upon calling my dad, I noticed he got older, for a moment, my heart ached a little. I sometimes question myself for being able to work overseas, but leaving my parents behind. Am I doing the right thing now? Will I regret in future that I did not spend enough time with them? It makes me ponder sometimes to quit everything and go back to my parents’ arms…

The other day, my friend asked me have I ever wonder a day without them (my parents) in future… My eyes were already filling with tears before I can speak a word. A deadlock I had no courage to think of, that this day may come. I am not sure I can “survive” without them one day especially if I am still single. I would be all alone by myself, nobody else to call when I have bad days, no one to share when I have good news. I might lose the purpose to live, I feel. Idk. I guess it’s the time of month.

How I wish I can ask my parents to join me staying overseas or just frequent visits, so that I am able to see them, timely update them all the events I have. I am still working hard for it. A main goal I would want to achieve, even if I am married one day. So that, they can see me often, feed us with good food and shower their grandchildren with love.

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.

W. Somerset Maugham

The Second Child

Many people might not know this, I am actually the middle child in my family. Growing up with a special needs elder brother (Gor), I don’t really get to enjoy the perks being a younger sibling. Being held with “big sister” duty to my little brother, parents used to have very high expectations… I kinda hate my life back then.

Why should I? Why do I need to do this? Often the questions I asked myself. 

Doctors told us he can never talk, walk or take care of himself for the rest of his life. But silly me used to think what if there is a fairy godmother that can heal Gor, like how Cinderella turning into a Princess… What if one day he can walk and talk to me, telling me how much he adores me as his little sister too. 

We never had any conversation, but we are very close. I hug him whenever I am back home, feed him so that he can have a taste of what we eating too, tell him I will be back soon whenever I leave for school or work. He smiles, he listens. 

When I was little, I always told my friends I am the eldest in my family, with only one little brother, it’s because I didn’t know how to share Gor is actually a special needs child. What if they bash him, what if they ask a lot of questions. Kids. 

My family hardly travels together especially overseas. Gor will be cranky seeing strangers, and he can’t travel far. We seldom eat in restaurants too or even weddings. Someone needs to stay home, mom said, as we can’t bare to leave him alone with the maid. He will be upset or worse, cry. He feels insecure whenever we leave home as if we gonna abandon him. I can never understand how scared he was, being not able to move around but seeing your family to leave you at home alone. 

Getting older, I slowly understand how difficult as parents to be able to take care of such child. As a bedridden child, he has never gotten any infections, even doctors and nurses in hospital were impressed. Mum actually found out when she was pregnant. Being able to make the decision to deliver instead of baby abortion, God knows how fucking huge courage is needed. 

Mum once told me, doctors actually encouraged her to deliver more babies so that in future younger siblings are able to take care of Gor and old folks (my parents). Here comes me! And of course my younger brother…  

Recent years, my parents actually shared the reason why they had high expectations on me, not because I am being elder to my little brother… they see hope in me and hope I am independent and tough enough in future, able to take care of Gor when they are gone. 

I cried inside of me. 

It has been year and a half since Gor’s passing. My parents told me they feel relieved actually, knowing that Gor’s passed before them, knowing that he will be no longer in pain, knowing that he will not be a burden to us (me and my little brother) in future when they are gone. It has always been their concern that me and my little brother might not be able to take care of Gor like how my parents do. Feed him, bath him, take him to hospital, follow up with medical appointments, physiotherapy and many more. Especially when someday me and my little bro have our own family…

I am glad that my parents are picking up stuff they have missed during the days they took care of Gor. Dad retired last year, mum is enthusiastic over her Fengshui lessons and all. I am happy that they are happy, but I wish sometimes they have some attention on me too lol. They are busier than me sometimes, with all sorts of activities, hmm.  

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling extremely proud of my parents to be able to overcome so much for many years. Kudos to my pillars of strength, quay to my boat! See you all soon folks (if you are reading this) I love you both more than you know !

Writing this specially dedicated to my old folks and Gor.