I’m not sure if you think it’s educational for your kid to watch you blatantly categorise people that you’ve never had proper conversations with. Because if I were you, I would want my kid to learn how to respect and understand people who are different.
I don’t know how you think it’s enough of a justification to shun someone because of how they dress or who they like. It’s an incredibly foolish thing to do. I’m perplexed by how you seem to think that it’s perfectly fine to teach your kid to be an asshole.
I pray that your kid never listens to you. Because you’re like that selfish uncle in Train to Busan who killed a bunch of good people because he chose ignorance and made use of fear to manipulate people who don’t know any better. There are too many people like that in this world.
But we know that your kid is so much more than that.
I hope you take a good look and see beyond the surface for once.
Hey… So um. It’s been ages since I wrote anything here. I’ve been receiving notifications of follows and likes since a couple weeks ago and thought that I could come back here tonight. Well, to be honest I haven’t been writing because I’ve been having a writer’s block. What’s new? I’m happy that I wrote a poem today and did some sketches; I haven’t done that in a long while.
Anyway, I’ll just talk about my day :) Blogging feels so foreign to me now. I can’t believe I used to blog everyday, complete with photos when I was still a xiao mei mei in Secondary School. I’m relieved that I deleted that blog.
I woke up at 7am today to prepare myself for this Chinese talk show called 头脑风暴. So they’re filming their Singaporean edition and I had the honour of appearing as a guest for one of their episodes – 一夜成名 (overnight fame)
Honestly I felt really undeserved because I don’t think that I’m famous at all. But it’s okay, it’s always pleasant to be able to listen and learn and look at things from different perspectives. So basically we talked about things like… What is the list of criteria for online fame/what causes one to become famous and things like that.
As if it isn’t already perplexing enough for me personally to talk about fame that I don’t think I have, we had to voice our opinions in mandarin. I think if you know me you’d know that though I speak decent mandarin I’m still a lot stronger in conveying my thoughts in English. One thing that left me thinking all day was this one question that I feel like I didn’t manage to tackle properly – Is fame a good or a bad thing?
So what happened during the live streaming was that while a majority of people were clear on whether they thought it was a good or a bad thing, I was caught in the middle, along with Peishi. I didn’t get to hear her thoughts as they didn’t ask her, but I felt like I could have conveyed my thoughts clearer.
My answer, when asked why I was caught in the middle, was that it is a combination of good and bad and it’s difficult for me to pick a side. When you have fame, your words have power. You now have leverage to make a difference. I didn’t elaborate much on the good because everyone knows what’s good about being famous – which is why so many people want to be famous. However I felt like it’s bad because in exchange you lose your privacy and freedom – something that’s important to me. I’m not the proper social definition of famous but the thought of having my personal choices compromised or dictated scares me very much. And if you knew my story a little better you would know that I have ever gotten into trouble for simply doing what I wanted with my life with that tiny bit of fame that I had.
With fame, you have to be careful of your actions and words as they carry a lot more weight. It’s also sometimes pretty easy to place your identity and self-worth on your level of fame/the things that you do/how people think of you. And if one is unable to adjust their mindset accordingly, fame can be detrimental to their well-being as well as the people around them. So I really just wanted to say that whether fame is a good or a bad thing, it really depends on who it chooses. For me, I’m still trying to figure if it’s good or me or not. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with careful consideration. Different people place importance on different things. But somehow I guess I gave the impression that I was unsure of whether I wanted to be famous or not and it somehow… translated to me being unambitious. I’m not sure if that really was the case but I was quite bothered by the possibility of it being so. I know it’s stupid to harp over something so trivial but since blogging is about speaking your mind and being real, I thought I could do that tonight.
Actually, I don’t want to be famous; In the sense that it’s not something that I actively set out to pursue. Fame isn’t my agenda. You know what I’m saying? I know that I really want to impact people’s lives through the stories that I have to tell. And that is my ambition. Someone once told me, fame is not a goal; it’s an effect. Fame comes naturally when you’re good at what you do.
I know it could go both ways. You could want to be famous because it makes it easier for you to make a difference. Which is fine. You could also want to make a difference without thinking about wanting to be famous. Fame could be a sign of success, but success also comes in many different forms; not just in dollars or numbers. Success could be happiness. Success could be saving lives. Success could be finding the love of your life. And my life is so much more than whether I’m famous or not. Honestly, there are two things that I’m occupied with doing with my life. One is to impact lives. The other is to earn more than enough for me not to throw around but to build a family. These are the fuel to my actions. Not fame.
I just came back from another funeral. This time it’s the funeral of a long-time friend; Someone who’s watched me grow from a noisy, bratty kid to quiet, awkward oversized kidult. I used to hang out with her youngest daughter; we were childhood friends. And I remember always hearing aunty jokingly boast about how handsome and pretty her children were. She took pride in her family, her work, her love for God and the good looks and beautiful hair that God blessed her with. She was always friendly, bubbly, loud, and she was one of the few (if not, only) aunties that I was able to joke around with.
Then I grew older and more out of sync with formalities and hence I avoided conversation with people much older than me because it’s just way out of my comfort zone.
The last time I spoke to her properly was… the end of last year – more than ten years later – over a period of time when we were involved in a Charity concert. I spoke to her over the phone. She wasn’t feeling too well at the hospital and couldn’t make it for rehearsal so they called her and passed the phone around in a circle so each of us could say something to her. I told her that Jesus is her strength – but not after an awkward silent pause, followed by a laugh when she said my name. She sounded happy, as usual, and endearing, and she said that I’ve become really shy. I apologised and then said whatever I thought was appropriate. Just a line or two.
During the concert I saw her again and we smiled. She’s grown smaller and was less active because she wasn’t feeling too well. But she still had joy in her spirit. And though I was a lot more comfortable not saying a thing a part of me wished that I could joke around with her again. Couple of days ago I heard that her cancer got worse and she had to be hospitalised.
She lived her life to the fullest, even in the midst of pain; she ate and spent time with her friends no matter how tired she felt because she didn’t want to live a lesser life for the sake of getting better. She went overseas more times than people would prefer her to just so she could spend time clinging onto her husband’s arm the way she always did whenever we saw them together.
So yeah. I just came back from her funeral and I still feel heartbroken. I felt so heartbroken for her family, especially her husband. I kept tearing up at the sight of her picture, a really pretty one, because I wanted so badly to say, “actually you’ve always been my favourite aunty.” But I couldn’t. And I can’t imagine how much more grieved her family feels having experienced her love and joy firsthand throughout their lives.
It sucks to feel a sliver of regret from not doing something for someone when I could have and I have a feeling I will spend pockets of the next few days thinking about that and how fragile human life actually is and in turn cherishing the people that I care more by not taking them for granted but at the same time I’ll also be wondering if I actually matter.
I just realised that social media’s been a majority of my life. Like, it was Friendster then Blogger then Facebook then Path then Instagram and Twitter and like- Not sharing something almost seems strange. It isn’t that it’s bad to share but I realised that eventually I started to share just for the sake of sharing. It came to a point I can’t not share everything because I don’t realise that actually, I don’t need to share everything that happens to me.
Today was a good day. I cut myself off mid-sentence but got a wink in return. I feel really thankful.
“On some nights, I feel like giving up. On some nights, it feels that maybe the absence of love with solve it all. In those moments, I remember the memories. I remember every time exactly how holding her made me feel. I remember how every single time, somehow, my laugh is truer with her. I remember how she makes me feel about being myself. I remember how every time she flawlessly accepts all my flaws with nothing but love in her eyes.
So maybe it is not easy to love people. Maybe life will be much less messy if we were always detached. But where will we find the magic then? If love is not the point, what’s the point anyway?”
I remember buying a particular species of succulent plant because the saleswoman told me that she had one of those and its leaves were dying off and everyone told her to throw the plant away because it was dying but she kept taking care of it until a flower grew and it turned out that it was alive all along though it didn’t look like it from the outside.
Quite a while back I remember we tried to save a plant because it got crushed by its surroundings. It’s growing well now thanks to its meticulous owner. A week ago mine dropped out of its pot because I got careless and it almost died. I thought I could save it but then the maid threw it away because she saw that it was dying. She didn’t ask if she could throw it away; she just did. Somehow it happens to me a lot. Now my plant is gone and I feel like I got thrown away along with it too.
I’ve been sleeping really late recently. I should probably sleep earlier. But I’m no longer a fan of waking early even though I still can’t sleep past 10am regardless of how late I fall asleep because I spend a few hours trying to breathe when I wake up.
Anyway, I watched someone quarrel over the phone today. She tried to talk to him throughout the entire conversation but it was far from one; he was just screaming at the other end of the line. There was no dialogue; Just a man screaming out of defensiveness over the things that he thinks he’s done and failing to see, instead, the reality of how much he hasn’t. I wondered if they’d ever reach a conclusion. Actually, I knew they wouldn’t. He simply wasn’t listening; he was pointing fingers neck deep in the blame game debating over things that’s already happened trying to twist it around so it would seem like he didn’t make choices that brought everything that’s happened upon himself. I wondered if he was aware of that in the first place. It’s scary to hear someone stubbornly believe that they did everything right when it’s as clear as day to other people that they haven’t; as if all the hurt he’s ever inflicted never happened. It’s a big deal, at least to me. Many people were hurt in the process. We grew up with scars from it.
I’m a little relieved that Jesus is bigger than our past. We’re constantly a new creation and I like to believe that we are better versions of ourselves with each second that passes and that means we don’t need to be held back by what we’ve grown used to. It’s still unnerving, though. Because me quietly sitting there felt strangely familiar. It was like sitting with an old friend that I haven’t met in a very long time and it made me think about why I fear what I fear today.
For some reason I’m suddenly reminded of that time when my mum told me stories of all the romances that she’s ever had in her life and that time when my dad told me about his biggest regret and everything kinda makes a little more sense all of a sudden. I know text cannot convey the full extent of how I’m feeling right now but… wow.
Crap. I should sleep. I’m craving for acai bowls.