Homebound’ 22

The day has finally arrived… after 2 years. From booking vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flight, applying leaves, scheduling appointment for PCR test etc., I am finally home! Did I cry for a moment? Let’s not state the obvious. My tears were rolling at the corner of my eye when plane took off.

Have been waiting this moment for the longest time since March 2020. It all started from Alpha, Beta and then Delta, and now Omicron… Multiple country lockdowns, case fluctuations, being anxious etc. . The past 2 years were tough for all of us, regardless physically & mentally. Though it was a short 15-day trip, it was very fruitful.

Got to spend precious moment with my family and friends. Being not able to see my paternal grandma and maternal grandpa for 2 years, they have more wrinkles, they walk slower than how they used to, they now only react to louder voices… I am glad I am still able to catch up what I have missed.

Surprised my grandma when she was watching television the other day, she couldn’t react when I called her, prolly it didn’t strike her mind that I will show up like that in one fine afternoon. She still asked if I am dating, prolly she wants to see me settle down when she is still around. She teased my dad for being old school, for not able to accept interracial relationship. She reassured me, so long I am happy, she is happy.

We also stayed overnight at my uncle’s place, we gathered around to listen how grandpa travelled to China when he was only 3 years old. He shared how lucky we are as third generation, not require to do labor intensive work when we were kids. My cousins are now grown up children who can drive their older sister (me) around exploring city for late supper. We are close as we mostly spent our childhood together.

Got to sing karaoke after 2 years, catch up with le secondary school friends, manage to eat food that I have been longing. Not to mention, my dad’s cooking skill has improved a lot indeed. He is like my genie as he never failed my food quest. So proud of him that he has leveled up during country lockdown. Now he can cook, bake, grill etc.

I am glad after 2 years not able to return home, nothing has changed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, I got to drive with my dad sitting beside me. I have not touched steering wheel since late 2019, it has been awhile. I am lucky to have my family and friends to fetch me around whenever I need. Definitely, one of the best days I had in these 2 years. Time to back to work, not to mention, I have 2 exams next month, but I have yet to start reading any materials.

I changed my return flight from VTL to non-VTL to extend my stay, hence I am serving a 7-day stay home quarantine at the moment. I managed to stay longer with family and friends, so I am not complaining at all. Plus, recent cases in Singapore has spiked in double, hence I am happy to stay home, avoiding meet ups and crowds with a legitimate reason for the time being.

Again, I am really thankful for having considerate colleagues, sufficient annual leaves, VTL arrangement, caring landlady, last but not least, my parents for this sweet homebound. Looking forward to meet them again, hopefully soon!

The 5-Minute Journal #3

Today I am grateful for:

  • Getting new work laptop โœจ
  • Receiving Christmas gift from Lina โœจ ย 
  • Retrieving my lost spectacles โœจ
  • Fixing my I-thought-it-spoilt shoes โœจ
  • Having lunch with colleagues at Sanook Kitchen โœจ
  • Be punctual at work โœจ
  • Getting popular at work HAHA โœจ

Today’s affirmation:

  • I am thankful for what I have, for what I receiveย ๐Ÿ’–
  • Feeling so good to receive good energy. Law of attraction indeed ๐Ÿ’–
  • I always do my best, for myself, for others ๐Ÿ’–

Here are few amazing things that happened today:

  • As I will be flying overseas soon, my colleague actually prioritized my queue in getting new laptop so that I can fly at peace ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Gotten a sling bag as Christmas gift, something I have been wanting to buy for my phone ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Lost my spectacles 2 weeks ago. So lucky that someone actually helped to keep and return me! Not to mention, I just changed them this year! ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Wore one of my favorite heels to work today. I thought it spoil, but I managed to fix ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • It has been awhile since I had lunch with bunch of colleagues at work. The food was good ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • More and more people knew me at work, not sure why. Maybe I have more authority since I am working in office. But sure, since I love helping people ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • Managed to call for Grab early and reached office on time today, was difficult to call for Grab for the past few weeks ๐Ÿ˜Š

Birthday Diary

Waking up to plenty birthday wishes in the morning. I still woke up as if I am going to work since I am heading temple for prayers in the morning. I think I have been through a lot these days, especially in November. It was indeed rocky. Finally, able to get some well-deserved rest after hectic work weeks. Though I might occasionally on my laptop to check emails, but still… Yay!

I received a lot of personal messages, some even texted me in the middle of night when I already knocked off in bed. One of my toxic traits is I know how to love but I don’t know how to believe I am loved… Or rather I forgot I am loved by so many people sometimes.

I replied texts by texts while prepping myself. These days, I started a new habit by meditating, praying before sleeping and after waking up. For well-being of my family, friends and myself etc. (let’s keep it as secret hehe)

Did simple make up, wore birthday dress pairing with le favorite pink little bag. I always go to the same temple whenever I am lost, I need a listener. I hate worrying people but desperately need someone to talk to, that’s the place I always go to. For many years. Somewhere I can find peace. As usual, I cried while talking to God. Saying how thankful I am, to be able to hold on and surviving strong.

To be honest, I wish I am not strong or over independent sometimes. Wrong impression on me mostly as I think I am quite soft hearted that easily cried lol. If you know, you know. But then again, who can I rely on when I am not mentally strong. Career change, completed advanced certificate, met really nice people at work, few good months of dating (though we did not proceed further). I believe everything happened for a reason.

Went for Japanese buffet fully sponsored by dad. My brother was complaining he didn’t get anything from le dad on his birthday. Oh wells, he should know I am dad’s little princess. Whoops. I don’t really eat a lot nowadays, so I am doing just fine, but my brother was complaining (again) that he barely eat any staple food. It’s surprising to see so many people on weekdays. We went for movie later on. Spiderman, like finally! No spoiler alert, just saying, despite not being a Marvel fan, it is a great movie!

We had western cuisine together. I am really thankful for him that he actually took leave to keep me accompany the whole day, especially when he has limited paid leaves. Though he still judge me for not able to remember some Marvel scenes, I am glad I am able to stick with him whenever I need.

Also, I have been receiving gifts like food and beverages, spa treat, skincare, cosmetics etc. Oh, I bought myself a bouquet of flowers too! I rarely receive flowers, prolly people think I might not like it idk. But actually, I really love sensual gifts which are visually nice or smell lovely. Like flowers, scented candles, nice hand cream, aromatherapy etc.

Guess my birthday has really come to an end. Officially, 26+1 now. I never liked the idea where my age is an odd number. This year was indeed rough like what I expected but somehow it turned out better than I thought. I don’t wish everything is smooth in life as I know that’s not possible.

Instead, I pray for strength to conquer challenges when times are bad. Always reminding myself to be thankful- appreciate for what I receive, for what I have. I really love how people wish me to stay safe, pretty, healthy and happy. Guess that’s all I need.

Last but not least, I thank everyone for their well wishes! Wishing them good luck, and keeping them in my prayers. Happy Birthday Alison! ๐ŸŽ‚

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!

Wearing Lesser Makeup But I’m Lovin’ It

Prolly due to Covid-19 with lesser social activities, I rarely wear make up nowadays, but I am lovin’ it. Though I occasionally miss those events where I can dress up, meet new people, have fun drinking with friends etc., but well, I wouldn’t mind being barefaced at times, in fact most of the time now. I realized the more I grow, the higher the self acceptance I have.

Have been busy catching up with family, friends and even ex/ current colleagues. Some updates like: my brother got a job offer, but he still has few more interviews next week. So, he gonna attend them before deciding which to accept. Hopefully everything got settled down sooner, so that my parents have lesser things to worry for.

Went for dinner with my ex-intern, my very first intern whom I trained at work, still one of my favorite interns till date. She even picked me up from work to have dinner together, and drove me home thereafter. Such a big girl right now! I am glad she is doing well in life while juggling work and study at the same time. She is a very thoughtful girl, hope she has all the good luck in life, embarking on the journey towards her goals.

Video called le best friends in both Australia and Malaysia past few days. Had a few good laugh, and miss those moment we had during our annual trip together… Definitely looking forward for the day we meet each other, not to mention, we gonna have video call altogether later tonight. Can’t wait!

My farewell gifts for colleagues have arrived after my draft on “farewell speeches”. Counting down less than 2 weeks, and hopefully I will not shamefully cry in the office on my last day. Just settled my best friend’s birthday gift, to be delivered in few days. She is a lazy ass in cooking, so yeah, I hope the kitchen appliance that I bought will cut down her microwave meals.

Last week of June, last moment to enjoy before term 2 is approaching. Hence, the multiple game nights with friend. Just completed a game yesterday which we spent almost 12-13 hours playing (so proud of myself)! My plan is to start studying from July onwards before my first video conference lecture, so that I am able to somehow understand when lecturer shares information on presentation slides. I have pretty prepped myself that between July to September gonna be tough as f***, especially juggling studies while adapting new environment at work. Let’s not worry so much but hope for the best!

Alright, rushing off to have my favorite ramen in town and Cha Cha Dance lesson (yes, just resumed this week WOOHOO!) I am totally feeling excited about it even though I have forgotten much routine.

Ps. Despite no longer having parties over weekends, no more being a vain pot, I am really happy to be me. I am not perfect, I made mistakes, but I am being true to people and myself. I don’t try to be what I am not, and I don’t try to impress anyone. I see it from how people congratulate and wish me all the best about my internal transfer. I am definitely one lucky girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 weโ€™re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely weโ€™re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.

W. Somerset Maugham

Busier Than Ever

Finally back to work after a short break. And yes, I am done and dusted with 1st module assignment. Self declared semester break, woohoo!! I am secretly planning for another staycation to reward myself already. ๐Ÿ™‚

Apparently, quite a number of people know I will be transferring to new team in less than 2 months. I was not ready to share the news, not this fast. I didnโ€™t expect it as I initially wanted to share the news maybe like less than 2 weeks before I leave. But oh well…

Nevertheless I have been receiving encouraging words from fellow colleagues and supervisors. Many of them are sad that I am leaving, but happy for my career prospect. Some offers to meet up for lunch (I will be stationing at new office); some even says keep in touch, stay safe and wish me all the best. I am touched to be honest, despite we might have disagreement at times due to different job functions, I am glad that all ends well. I make friends, and learn a lot.

Nowadays, I am busy conducting training whilst clearing few projects on hand. Doing some handovers, and prepping myself before joining new team! I have been staying overtime but I am thankful that my company allows us to take cab to and fro from office. I am able to rest in the car, power nap sometimes. No need to rush for work, worry about missing trains. I was rushing assignment after work hours earlier this week. Basically, my routine was just work, study and sleep this entire week. Nothing much but definitely energy draining.

Wanted to take few days leaves before stepping into new phase. But there are 3 more people leaving my current team soon, high turnover heh. I try to stay helpful by guiding my cover as much as possible. I once survived by myself before the person I took over left in 8 days. Learnt nothing much but those ignorant attitude from her. I don’t want her (my cover) to encounter the same event I had. It was so rough that I used to cried so much at home or work. To the extent, I wanted to quit my job so badly, even within probation. She has been struggling but I am glad that she asks a lot of questions, so that I am able to clarify or give comments if need.

Singapore Phase 2 lockdown is ending next week, and I seriously can’t wait for it! I miss dining in in those fancy restaurants, eating hot cooked food unlike takeaway food now, unless I cook at home. Cooking is fun but washing dishes is meh for me. I always hate doing dishes, that’s why I usually cook simple food. I don’t mind cooking crรจme de la crรจme dishes if someone offers to do the dishes, kidding!

Next week will be war again, but as usual, always hope for the best. Maybe I can read some books, get some meditation and have jujube tea break. And now, where should I stay for coming weekends heh….

Mama

Never stop believing, she said

Never settle for less, she said

Never chase after guys, she said

Strive for financial independence instead

Work hard for your passion instead

Love yourself more instead

She taught me girls are no less than boys. We can chase dreams, drive success and feel strong. To be a warrior instead of delicate princess. I am who I am today.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the world, and of course my Mama!

Unexpected Conversations with Gorgeous Souls

I was in kinda bad shape earlier despite trying hard to be okay, so He decided to send people to me. Few friends of mine were checking in on me at the same time. God knows why. I knew I was struggling but I thought well, time heals everything right. And I lied by telling my parents I am doing fine at work, in life, with studies. White lies huh. I never wanted my parents to worry about me. I was trying to cope, finding balance.


FRIEND ONE- JEREMY

J texted me another day when I was heading for Cha Cha class. It has been a while since we last chatted, so he asked me how have I been lately. I am working hard in the day, catching up with assignments during weekends and back to my dance class recently, I said. He shared his new job in Grant Thornton, doing finance advisory consulting right now. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier for him when he told me the news. He was pursuing professional papers after quitting his previous job. I never expected anything from him, especially after so long. I recalled when he told me he start dating a girl out of nowhere. I laughed on the inside. We talked about travelling again etc. I must say he is a pretty good tour guide. Had a pleasant experience when I was in UK. Told him few places that I would wish to go, and he did all the planning when I visited him few years back.

“Thanks for checking in because I would never take initiatives to check in or ask around despite I very much want to hear from you….” I mean it.

“Happy to do so! Really glad to hear you are doing well over there!” he reassured.

I must be someone he matters whom he wanted to share news with, I thought. Well, he doesn’t need to do it if he doesn’t feel like it right. But, I am glad he did. He is one of those friends whom I might not keep in contact often, but someone I really treasure a lot.

FRIEND TWO- VIVIAN

All begins when I knew V was staying up late to study for her actuarial paper the next day. Told her to get some rest after revision. Brain works better if it gets its rest too, I said. She told me it is an open book test. We had couple of calls recently, sharing about our work and concern. She is a smart girl, I never worried about her. Shared my blog with her about long distance friendships, dedicating to our friendships. Pretty much how I felt inside deeply but never be able to put them in words, verbally I mean. It is just physical distance, who cares. You are always in a special place deep down in heart, more precious than W (her boyfriend), she said. I burst out laughing. What I remember the most was when I told her I was in bad struggles earlier, and I felt like a loser.

“Hey, talk to me whenever you need to, okay. Just call me, I will be there for you.” She means it.

I felt so relieved when I knew I can lean on someone at times. Times when I feel vulnerable. Power of love I guess, love of friendships. She is one of those friends who works so hard that motivate you not to fall behind. She never take things for granted even though she is smart. She inspires me to be a better person myself.

She wrote me an e-book during last birthday. A book about me.

“I probably have not told you this, but one thing I want you to always know is you are always truthful to yourself and friends. Keep it up and there it molds the real you!”

To think again, I never asked her how she feels about me being in 13 years of friendships. It really caught me off guard when she told me how precious I am being her friend. Always a special place in her heart.

FRIEND THREE- YU

Let’s meet up, Y texted. I thought he wanna share about his new job or just a quick catch up before he leaves his current job. Sure, why not? Let’s call E (another friend) for dinner too, it has been awhile since we trio met up for dinners. We usually meet for karaoke other than meals. E couldn’t meet that day, so I suggested to postpone for other day.

“Actually I was worried about you. We can still have dinner without E if you are okay…” What did he know?

I stop sharing my blogs in social media ever since I change from using Blogspot to WordPress. I used to share how I feel using words to the world; but now I just want to pen down my deepest thought writing out loud regardless anyone would see it. I used to write positive or neutral stuff. But hey, aren’t we human have both positive and negative moment at times too? So, I decided to start writing journals every week. Anything that happens around me, good or bad. And I am glad I did.

Writing journals reflects my behaviors and thoughts when something happened.

“Hey, you know, I read your blogs. Hmm, I knew something happened, you can share if you want to….” he murmured.

I told him about it. I am quite open if you ask me, but I am definitely not someone who walks to people when I am suffering. Probably crying to sleep at most nights, then recover, that’s about it. We talked a lot, something he might not know or I might not be aware of… I love meaningful conversation.

I always ask people out to have fun, to gather with the condition of I am doing fine and emotionally stable. I never wanted people to see vulnerable side of me.

“You can ask me out if you want to, not necessary to share only happy stuff…”


I smiled.

Never had I thought that I actually mean so much to my friends, of course vice versa. We encourage each other during good times, have each other back during bad times. Despite being miles away, not keeping in touch often, I guess there’s some things never change.

What more could one ask for.

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.