Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Depression doesn't just affect your mood, it warps your thoughts and perception of life."
"I get into this state of self-loathing...sorta mentally poaching myself, asking why aren't you better at life, why are you such a terrible person?"
"I don't actually want to kill myself, I just don't want to have to feel this way anymore."

"I started focusing on a routine, making sure I slept enough, recognizing when I'm starting to fall again"
"The more self-aware you become, the more you understand what's going on. It doesn't mean you can stop it, but you can look out for yourself better."
"It's part of me but I'm not going to let it control me."
"I'm so determined to not let it beat me that I try a lot of harder in other aspects in my life."

"Ask for help. You are not alone."
"There are a lot of people battling with depression, mental illness than you realized, they just don't talk about it."
"Find an outlet to express yourself."
"Don't forget what an achievement it is when you do get up, go out, even if it's just a 5-minute walk, meeting those little goals are just as important as the big ones."
"You just have to take it to your own pace, you will get there eventually."
"I was at a really low point last summer. I stopped talking to everyone, and started taking downers."
"How'd you pull out of it?"
"I joined a dance group. I'm heading there right now, in fact."
Today, I learnt that tears during a heartbreak is similar with menstruation flow.
It's terribly private and embarrassing; it leaves stains and worse of all, I can't control it.

I had a great outing with my buddies last night.
My appetite returned - which I only came to realised when my friend pointed it out.

So, I thought ah... I'm back.
It's all good.

But today, after gym, as I was driving to the office, suddenly my heart ached again.
Tears began swelling.
Nevertheless, I'm still very certain I'm ok.

I'm currently rereading some of my old online chats with CLY.
I 'm even smiling at some of his flirtatious comments and posts.
He can deny it all he wants, but in my books, we were dating.
And you know what ?
I think this experience is my biggest achievement so far !
4 years ago, I would never have dared to even hope that I'd have a chance to go on dates.
But now,
I'm reminded of my older post.

10 points for TEASIPS!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I had a really hard time waking up this morning.
Yes, those really dark mornings.
My mind struggled.
"Look at you, so pathetic. He was right to choose not to be with you," said darkness.
Then light spoken too.
"You have two choices. 
Wake up and face the day. 
Or go back to bed and continue to feel horrible."
I got up.

My appetite has been severely affected.
I thought, woo hoo! I can lose weight ! - It's one of my lame,desperate attempts in cheering myself.
I was in a meeting with my colleague seated beside me.
The speaker was monotonously boring.
I wrote on my note for her to read, "Woah, check out the lady's bag - Michael Kors ! We should be working in her organisation !" - the lady holds the same position as us but in a different company.
My colleague flashed a cheeky expression.
I pressed my lips to hide my own.
I find myself being a walking oxymoron.
My heart aches like hell, I can still feel my lunch at my throat, I could puke any moment... and yet, I am still making jokes.

Funny, I never dared to put 'dating' as a blog label, but didn't hesitate for a second to add a new blog label 'pain'.
Perhaps, I subconsciously did know better.

Maya Angelou, the celebrated poet, writer and activist who rose from a childhood of poverty in Arkansas to become an American literary icon, died Wednesday morning at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., at the age of 86.

Born in 1928 as Marguerite Johnson, Ms. Angelou led a multitude of lives. She drove a streetcar in San Francisco, was a newspaper editor in Egypt and worked as a cook and a prostitute when she was a destitute single mother. She wrote television and movie screenplays, performed on the stage as a singer, dancer and actor and released an album of Calypso music.
Helen Brann, Ms. Angelou's agent of close to 35 years, said the poet was in the middle of writing a new book and was in good spirits when they spoke on Tuesday.

"She sounded as she always did. She sounded vital and interested in her new book, which we were talking about," said Ms. Brann. "It's a terrific book, a memoir." The book is unfinished, Ms. Brann said.

Ms. Angelou published 36 books in her lifetime, including seven autobiographies, volumes of poetry, essay collections, cookbooks and children's books. She rose to fame in 1969 with the publication of her landmark book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which explores her childhood and teenage years and delves into her struggles with rape, racial identity and sexism. It became a best seller and was nominated for a National Book Award, and remains a staple on many high-school and college curricula, selling millions of copies.
Ms. Angelou's literary reputation and global stature are all the more remarkable given the deep setbacks she dealt with as a child and teenager. Ms. Angelou spent much of her childhood in Stamps, Ark., grappling with poverty and sexual abuse. In "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," she described being raped by her mother's boyfriend when she was 7, and feeling guilty about the man's death when he was murdered. She was convinced her voice had killed him, because she had told her brother that the man had assaulted her. She stopped speaking for five years.

A teacher introduced her to literature at a formative age, and she fell under the spell of Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. She studied dance and drama in high school, but never went to college. In her 1974 book "Gather Together in My Name," she describes her itinerant, desperate life as a young single mother, when she worked as a prostitute and fry cook to get by.

She managed to turn her life around, and in the 1950s entered a period of remarkable creativity that would continue for decades. Ms. Angelou has said in the past that her passion for performing arts helped her transition. She studied modern dance and performed as part of a dance team with choreographer Alvin Ailey. She sang and danced in night clubs and released an album, and adopted the stage name Maya Angelou.

Ms. Angelou began to focus on writing in the late 1950s, when she moved to New York. She joined the Harlem Writers Guild and became involved in civil-rights activism and the antiapartheid movement. In the early 1960s, she lived in Egypt and Ghana, where she worked as an editor and journalist.

Her writing career took off when a dinner companion, captivated by Ms. Angelou's childhood stories, urged Random House editor Robert Loomis to commission an autobiography from her. The resulting book was "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

Mr. Loomis worked as her editor for more than 40 years. In a statement released by Random House, Mr. Loomis said, "Maya, a dear friend, helped change our hearts and minds about the African-American experience in the United States, bringing it to vivid life, and her spirit and energy crossed all borders and deeply affected readers around the world."

Ms. Angelou stuck to a rigid set of writing rituals. She liked to write in hotel rooms, and would even rent a room in her hometown when she was writing there. She wrote stretched out on a bed, with yellow notepads, an ashtray, a deck of cards, a dictionary, a thesaurus and a Bible next to her. She played solitaire to relax until she was ready to write. Besides Poe and Shakespeare, her literary influences included Frederick Douglass, Thomas Paine and Matthew Arnold.

Some of her poetry and essays bordered on philosophy, but at other times, she wielded blunt, plain language. In her famous poem, "Still I Rise," she wrote: "Does my sassiness upset you? / Why are you beset with gloom? / 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells / Pumping in my living room."
Taken from

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"I tend to be cynical about a lot of things, but Maya Angelou is somebody that no matter how much I pick her apart, she still has integrity. She was a victim of incest and rape, and she worked as a stripper.
And now she’s a literary icon and Nobel Laureate.
It goes to show that life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience."

“Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. ”
- Maya Angelou
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.” 
-Maya Angelou

My friend's little 5-day-old baby boy, Jayrus.

One thing good did come out of this whole CLY heartache.
I got to know that so many people cares for me.
A friend actually called me up 3 hours after our chat, worried of me.
Another friend made sure I have plans throughout the week, but totally understands if I need some time alone too.
"I'm ok. Nothing out of the ordinary. It's just a process that I'm going through."
I went shopping, visited the little precious * as seen above, went for a massage, and then gym.

Now, I'm typing my blog post feeling very desolated.
My mind kept doing post-mortem on this .
Had I played my cards wrong?
"Where did I go wrong? Did I tell him too soon? Did I give him enough time to know me betterWas I silly to even hope there was a possibility? "
I continued, "It's not that I wanted him that bad.The pain derives from the fact that he gave me the impression that he was keen on me... but.. . backed off  because of my illness.. and I can't even blame him for that. I end up blaming myself. "

My friend consoled me
"Blame yourself for being honest? I think not. You cant help the way he responds .
You took a risk . Risk always has consequences...
So chin up.  You've been through a lot worst"

Oh, the pain.
Baby Jayrus, I know that the next time I see you, you'd be a cute little toddler, and my heart would not ache like this anymore.
Time will heal.

Monday, May 26, 2014

I told CLY how I felt, hoping that he will reciprocate.
He didn’t.
"I apologize that my recent frequent outing with you has caused this misunderstanding 
I prefer to remain our current casual friendship status as I’m not ready nor have intention to pursue any relationship for the time being. 
Take care and good night."

"I'm sorry too. 
But thanks. It has been quite an experience ..
You take care too .. And please. if *insert matchmaker name* ask, please tell the truth. 
Please don't say that you were the one rejected*(I was implying that he might have lied about the previous endeavours with the other ladies.)

"Haha...That's why I had told you earlier that I like you very much."

If there was a middle finger emoticon, I would have no doubt clicked on it.
Instead, I typed, "Goodnight, sayang *my love in Malay*"
and added a Snoopy-pecking-on-the-forehead emoticon.

And that's the end of the chapter.

Sadness and Sorrow from Naruto OST is currently playing on my media playlist.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

***  Tell us, in 15 words or less, what happiness means to you.  ***
Smelling sweetness in the air, kind thoughts through my head, 
and faith in my heart that everything will be okay.
Bestselling author Andrew Matthews believes that being happy is a conscious choice people have to make daily until it becomes a way of life.

“The problem solving part of our brain lights up when we are happy and shuts down when we are miserable. So we have to shift the whole emphasis from saying ‘I’m going to work hard and be miserable, and one day that will make me happy’. We have to find joy and contentment in our daily lives, and that is really the fuel that will make us successful,” he explains.

Matthews shares that his books and life philosophies are inspired by Martin Seligman’s positive psychology, in which the American psychologist studied people who are happy and effective and concluded that “happy people were already happy before they found successful careers, relationships and so on”.

“Richard Branson (of Virgin Airlines fame) was already happy before he became a rich man, Usain Bolt was already happy before he became the fastest runner in the world,” says Matthews.

“What is the common factor among the happiest people? It’s gratitude. Happy people look for things to be thankful for. Does that mean you wake up in the morning and think about what are the things to be thankful for? Some do.

Others understand that life is all about what we look for. If you look for faults in your boyfriend – you find them. If you look for faults in your job – you see them.
“But if you wake up and think about the good things that happen (and have happened), that affects you every day of your life. Then you start looking for those qualities in others as well,” says Matthews.

“The essence is – the average people say ‘When I’m happy then I’ll be grateful’, and extraordinary people say, ‘When I’m grateful then I’ll be happy’.”
Nevertheless, Matthews feels that it will eventually become easier for us to just be happy, and that starts with ourselves. He says that many people have forgotten – or simply don’t know – the importance to being kind to themselves.

“Many people think that we’ll get better results if we criticise ourselves, when it is the exact opposite. Be kind to yourself, don’t criticise yourself, and understand that there is no book out there that says you have to be perfect,” he says.

The author adds that we should start “living in the present” and making a conscious effort to do just that, otherwise, we will regret the past and fear the future.

“Just as we cannot carry all the food that we would need on our back for the next 20 years, we can’t carry all the worries on our back that we need to solve in the next 20 years. For the most part our present moments are pretty much OK – unless you’re having a heart attack or being eaten by a bear, you’re pretty much okay.”                                                
The moment I had decided that life goes on despite it all, I knew that I had to live by a set of precautionary rules to make sure that I keep my risk of relapse to the minimal.
It was A Promise I made to myself.
It was the only way to make sure that I'd live a life which I had control of, not one which the illness controls me.
I've been thinking about this post for some time now.
It's important that I remember this thought too.
So, I putting this down.
Many things have happened, hence I think I need to recap.
I have handled a few scenarios quite well.

I got to know a friend in a support group back in 2010.
I had just started working, and began buying a lot of online vouchers to explore new food and new places.
It wasn't much, but it helped me get out of the house and be surrounded by people.
I was fortunate that I had a friend to do these things with.
I believe I had written a great deal about her (anonymously) back then in my blog too.
But then, the friendship only lasted about a year before our fallout.
The reason was too simple.
She was imagining things about me.
She wrote a very nasty email to me, confirming all my suspicions.
I surprised myself when I didn't retaliate nor bother defending those atrocious accusations, knowing well that she too battles with mental illness. *I'm going to respect her privacy and not type her specific condition here
Our friendship died a natural death, without any drama - not from my side at least.

Then, there was another friend from the support group.
I know she might be reading this, hence I shan't describe much.
I had written a lot about her in here too.
But this friendship too, died of a natural death.

A few days ago, a friend over-reacted because of some frivolous things I said over a chat.
I wasn't tactful enough to notice that she was unwell or perhaps overstretched.
But again, I didn't fuel the reaction.
I backed off.

Readers, this is how I know I'm doing alright.
I'm OK.
At least for now, I'm sure I am.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Professor Charles Xavier: You know, I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity. Would you mind if I...
[Charles makes a gesture to request permission to read Erik's mind]
Erik Lehnsherr: [Erik signals approval and while Charles reads Erik minds. We see moments of Erik's childhood with his mother] What did you just do to me?
[Both Erik and Charles cries]
Professor Charles Xavier: I accessed the brightest corner of your memory system. It's a very beautiful memory, Erik. Thank you.
Erik Lehnsherr: I didn't know I still had that.
Professor Charles Xavier: There is so much more to you than you know. Not just pain and anger. There is good, too. I felt it. When you can access all of that, you will possess a power no one can match. Not even me.

from X-Men: First Class (2011)
Steven Claunch, who was born without fingers on his right hand and with one leg shorter than the other and has excelled in basketball nonetheless, explains why obstacles can provide an opportunity to both inspire others and develop character. 

"Everybody has obstacles,a disability,a hurdle.
We face a choice:
Let the obstacle overcome you
or overcome the obstacle.
There's no dishonor in having a disability,
and I won't let anyone diss my ability,
but I don't want anyone's pity either.
I will not use the obstacles I face
as an excuse for having a pity party.
I will practice harder,play harder, and push myself harder
to keep getting better.
It's true, I have a disability,
but so do you.
I also have an ability,
so do you.
Everyone has obstacles to overcome.
Some are visible like mine.
Some are less visible. "
    ----   Steven Claunch

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A nervous breakdown is, it's like being in a nightmare and not being able to wake up. And then every so often you wake up, and you say, ``Oh, wow, everything's normal.'' And then you go right back into that thing, that nightmare. 

I think other people now can say, “Hey if this guy can do it or if this woman can do it then I know I can do it.” I think that's how you start erasing the stigmas, of people just talking about it.

..........Maurice Bernard, Emmy-winning actor
You know that scene in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" where Ben Stiller took a very long time to muster courage to click on the 'send wink' icon to Cheryl Melhoff?
I reenacted that scene.

After our last meeting, I wasn't sure if I should ask CLY out.
I was still guessing his thoughts through his very impressive lecture about taking life easy.
In my mind, "So... does that mean he still wants to see me ?
 Or, he appreciates my honesty and he's wishing me good luck?
So, I was really struggling.
So much that I had to consult a friend via online chat.
She gave me the Green light.
Clicked send.
Then I continued doing my work, *Yes, guilty of doing personal things during work-time.
And pretended that I'm not noticing the 2 long minutes that have passed.
Toot toot!
He replied.
"Sure, DimSum for breakfast this Saturday?"
It was so obvious that my colleague beside me could guess what's going on.
Well, I'm a very transparent person too.
I was grinning from ear to ear at the monitor.
My colleague was amused.
"Dang. I wish I'm dating someone too....," she teased.
He has been in my thoughts.
This isn't right somehow...
Thank goodness, I'm still rational.
I know this yearning isn't for him per se.
The longing in my heart is for something else.
Something much deeper.
And I had just conveniently labelled that yearning with his name.
This I'm sure.
The best things in life are indeed the simplest things.
Nescafe was here at workplace to promote their latest product - Latte Caramel.
They gave free coffee to all.
What a bliss....
The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is a violin that is older than the United States of America — 273 years old, to be exact. It recently became the most expensive violin in the world, selling for an estimated $16 million. Its new owner anonymously donated the historic instrument to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, on loan for the rest of her life.

The violin is named for its most famous owner, the leading 19th-century Belgian virtuoso and composer Henri Vieuxtemps, who loved it so much he wanted to be buried with it. "I think every violin has its own soul, and the soul has been imprinted by a previous performer," Meyers says. "So I definitely feel the soul of Vieuxtemps on this violin."

Luckily, it's still with us. After being played by some of the most pre-eminent violinists — and, for the past five decades, stored under the bed of its previous owner — the violin is making its 21st-century recording debut. Meyers and the violin are part of the new recording The Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Xìngfú bùjǐn jǐn shì chī bǎo chuān nuǎn,
ér shì yǒnggǎn de qù zhànshèng kùnnán.

Happiness is not created by material needs, but by the courage to overcome difficulties.
Girl student was at reference desk tidying up her books and documents.
Guy student just walked in and was obviously pleased to see her.
“Hi! What are you doing here?”
“Studying for the coming exams.”
”What are your plans after that?” 
Colleague and I looked up as we could sense something brewing.
Girl student mentioned something.
“What about lunch?” He seemed undeterred.
Girl student gave some excuse.
Both colleague and I were gripping our desk…
Trying our hardest to keep the *slap-forehead* frustrated expression inwards.
Such a sweet guy !
After watching so many of these scenes only via social media, it’s really refreshing to view something as sweet as Cadbury
Story and photo by photographer Mark M :
"Homeless man asked me what I was doing, I said taking pictures of interesting things. He said, you're not taking pictures of me are you, I said no no... 

"He said, 'I haven't had my picture taken in 40 years.'

"I said, well that's not good, you don't have any history of yourself over that time. All of a sudden, he took off his cap stood in front of me and said, "go ahead, take my picture".

"I said sure... and here it is...."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I have been feeling a bit blue today.
There was a group gathering/meeting with the suppliers today, but I participated like a zombie.
It was very hard for me.
I was in my super blur mode.
The type that could really piss people off.
Thank goodness I didn't get into trouble.
What was the trigger?

Yesterday, L broke down.
REALLY broke down.
My colleague who was with her during an in-house staff development training came back to the office during lunch and told me the news.
"She was walking in and out of the room, behaving quite rudely towards the coordinator /trainer. Then, all of a sudden she started sobbing and stormed out of the room.
She ran to the toilet and locked herself in the cubicle. She started yelling and cursing.
It's scary!"
I rushed to the scene and found that she was still in the cubicle cursing, yelling and crying.
My colleague did not exaggerate.
It was indeed scary.
I felt like I was back in the psychiatric ward years ago.
A few well-meaning colleagues (myself including) waited outside for her.
Her sister was on the way and all of us thought it'd be best if we kept watch.
When her sis arrive, the sis call out to her gently , in Cantonese,
"芳女 (her childhood name).... What's wrong... come out, we'll talk about it..."

More than 24 hours have past since I heard that.
But the feeling remained.
I may not like her. 
We may never be friends.
She may never fully recover from this mental illness.

How could I not empathize?
Her situation could have well been mine.

I will never forget how her sister had endearingly called out to her, that she was once little 芳女.
Bear in mind, she was once a child - worthy of love, adoration and protection,
not unlike how the rest of us were.
Living with cancer means living. Cancer is part of my life now. But that doesn’t mean it is my life.
 It’s sort of like traffic — an unpleasant reality that is usually manageable but can be hugely disruptive. 
Some days I just have to accept that it’s a day for the slow lane. But most days I pull on my big girl pants (mine have black sequins), rev the engine, and hit the gas. Radio cranked to 11. Singing at the top of my lungs.

“I do believe that if you take fear out of the equation, even a little bit,” she says in that talk (below), “it enables you to see more clearly, make better decisions and, in some small degree, feel like you’re controlling something that is uncontrollable.”

I really do appreciate this video below.
We have some good days, some bad days, some better, some really bad, but they all will come to pass.

"My husband Harlan took a picture of my face every day for a year, starting on the day I was diagnosed with lung cancer. This video is comprised of those images. "I Seem to Have Cancer Today," is sung by my brother Lawrence Glass, co-written by Lawrence and me. The video was produced by my brother-in-law Joel Cohen" ......................... Jennifer Glass

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy people practise 3 mantras.

Face the past with serenity.
Face the present with gratitude.
Face the future with optimism.
Taken from Buddhist Life Mission

" 接受、面对、处理、放下”, 
Accept it, Face it, Handle it, Let it go.

This really DOES feel happy.......

Sunday, May 18, 2014

News anchor learns of friend Erich Shih's suicide while reporting it live on-air

CtiTV reporter Erich Shih was found dead in his home in Taipei on Thursday of a suspected suicide, with the newsreader having to report the details surrounding it.

Lee Chingyu, a news anchor for Taiwan's Next TV News, recently learned of her friend's suicide during a live broadcast.
She admirably manages to make it through the item but is clearly fighting back tears.
The captions read:

"Breakings news just in. It is reported that the CtiTVs news anchor Eric Shih has been found today in his house - committed suicide with plastic bag over his head. There was no note. His wife became extremely distraught since she found out the fact. The case is being investigated by the Taipei City police department, we will keep you updated."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

He had to pick the BBQ Korean restaurant where the booths are closely connected.
I was hoping for a quieter environment.
I'm not comfortable having to speak so loud and having unwilling audience around me.
We had small talks.
30 minutes into dinner- I was looking at my plate.
"Why? You're sleepy?", he asked.
"No. I don't know how to start."

He looked at me intently.
I was relieved that he was well aware what is troubling me.
I took a deep breath and started.
It felt the same way how I had fumbled my public speaking during school.
I was stuttering.
I was at lost for words too many times.
But he remained patient and waited for me to finish.
Then, he shared a lot about living in the present and not worrying too much into the future as it's out of our hands.
He even gave several real-life-cases to illustrate his point.
For that, I'm very glad.

CLY, I'm very grateful to you.
I really admire your maturity.
You have taught me a lot.
I'm glad to have met you.

My sis asked me, "So, no more dates after this?"
"I don't know. But thanks to him, I'm really not going to stress about it."
"I'm just going with the flow."
Best part?
 I really meant it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

My philosophy for a happy life: Sam Berns

"What daily challenges of Progeria do you face?"
And I’d like to say that, even though I have Progeria, most of my time is spent thinking about things
that have nothing to do with Progeria at all.
Now this doesn’t mean that I ignore the negative aspects of these obstacles.
When I can’t do something like run a long distance, or go on an intense roller coaster, I know what I’m missing out on.
But instead, I choose to focus on the activities that I can do through things that I’m passionate about,
However, sometimes I need to find a different way to do something by making adjustments,
and I want to put those things in the "can do" category.

The next aspect to my philosophy is that I surround myself with people I want to be with, people of high quality.
Now we’re kind of goofy, a lot of us are band geeks, but we really enjoy each other’s company,
and we help each other out when we need to.
We see each other for who we are on the inside.
What I love about being in a group like the band, is that the music that we make together, is true, is genuine, and it supersedes Progeria.

Here’s a quote by a man you may know, named Walt Disney, and it’s one of my favorite quotes.
"I always try to have something to look forward to.
Something to strive for to make my life richer. "
It doesn’t have to be big. It could be anything from looking forward to the next comic book to come out,
or going on a large family vacation, or hanging out with my friends, to going to the next High School football game. 
However, all of these things keep me focused, and know that there’s a bright future ahead,
and may get me through some difficult times that I may be having.
Keep moving forward.

Now this mentality includes staying in a forward thinking state of mind.
I try hard not to waste energy feeling badly for myself, because when I do, I get stuck in a paradox, where there’s no room for any happiness or any other emotion.
Now, it’s not that I ignore when I’m feeling badly,
I kind of accept it,
I let it in, so that I can acknowledge it, and do what I need to do to move past it.
When I was younger, I wanted to be an engineer.
I wanted to be an inventor, who would catapult the world into a better future.

And sometimes I had to be brave, and it wasn’t always easy.
Sometimes I faltered, I had bad days, but I realized that being brave isn’t supposed to be easy.
And for me, I feel it’s the key way to keep moving forward.
So with this philosophy, I hope that all of you, regardless of your obstacles,
can have a very happy life as well.

Oh, wait, hang on a second,
one more piece of advice –-

Never miss a party if you can help it.
My school’s homecoming dance is tomorrow night, and I will be there.
Thank you very much.
I seriously have trouble parting with my things which had served me well.
I'm too sentimental.

I have been wearing this pair of shoes for almost a year.
A lot of people had given their unsolicited opinion that it's too old fashioned and it's not suitable for me.
"But it's so comfortable !" - my usual retaliation.

As you can see in the pic above, the heel is worn out and I needed to get a new pair.
I bought 'safe' choice -a pair of black loafers.
I told the retail assistant not to bag it as I'm going to wear it immediately.
Just as I was about to throw away my previous pair, I sat at the bench and decided to put it on one last time, as seen above.
Gosh ! It's still so much more comfortable compared to the new one.
We have been together for so long, inevitably it has shaped into my feet.
I couldn't throw it away just yet.
I went back to the store to get a bag for the new pair.
My old shoes is still with me.
I'm just not ready to say goodbye.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Your genes are not your fate " ---

##One way to change our genes is to make new ones,as Craig Venter has so elegantly shown.
Another is to change our lifestyles.
And what we're learning is how powerful and dynamic these changes can be, that you don't have to wait very long to see the benefits.
When you eat healthier, manage stress, exercise and love more,your brain actually gets more blood flow and more oxygen. 
But more than that, your brain gets measurably bigger. 
Now, there's some things that you can do to make your brain grow new brain cells. 
Some of my favorite things, like chocolate and tea, blueberries, alcohol in moderation, stress management and cannabinoids found in marijuana....
Your skin gets more blood flow when you change your lifestyle, so you age less quickly. 
Your skin doesn't wrinkle as much. 
Your heart gets more blood flow.
............Well, our genes are not our fate, and if we make these changes --they're a predisposition -- but if we make bigger changes than we might have made otherwise, we can actually change how our genes are expressed. ##

I really think it's serendipity that I should come across this TedX talk right after I had explained to CYL about my hereditary mental illness genes.
"We may not achieve everything we dream,
but we will not achieve anything unless we dream."
----------Joel Neoh

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Found this on Facebook. It is uncredited. I can't really make out the artist's signature.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I told him.

He replied immediately. - (plus point)
But his messages was rather disappointing. - (minus point)
Ttyl. Am rushing for my report." - (neutral point)

I don't know what I was expecting.
Just not this.
However, now that I have told him,
there is peace within me.

I confided in my sister as I desperately needed to vent my anxiety.
"You took a risk.
Now, let's see if he was worth it."
--says wise sis.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I reread my most recent post about my date with CLY.
Wow. It sounded much better than I remembered it to be.
Dang. I'm a good writer.

Anyway, I've been thinking about the particular childhood incident he shared with me.
It's a piece of scarred history that'd remained vividly in his childhood memory.
It was very sad indeed.
It's one of those tragic incidents that you'd remember for life.
Incidents which you'd inevitably repeat to your therapist.
Or your biographer if you become famous.

It's very admirable seeing how well he's doing today.
Bravo, CLY.
I went out with CLY yesterday.
"So Cinderella, can you make it tomorrow for lunch?"
***Cinderella - he noticed that I get anxious when it's getting late.
"Sure. Prince Charming."

When we met, it was already 3pm.
He was following my lead as I wanted to go to a quieter place.
He asked, "So have you had your lunch?"
All of a sudden he took charge and I was trailing behind.
I had no idea he was familiar with this place. (it's closer to my home)
I squealed in delight when we were at the entrance.
He took me to a DimSum restaurant. (I mentioned my fondness of this food in our previous dates.)
It was very special.

CLY really went into the details of his work.
I think he wanted me to understand his work pressure and that he can't meet up with me as often as he likes
this dude seriously needs a 101 lesson in choosing conversation topics during dates. =)
Luckily, I'm an inquisitive person by nature, so my attentiveness was genuine.

Then, our conversation moved on to our families.
I spoke of my disappointment with my brother at surface level.
Just when I was about the vent into the details, (thank gawd!) I cautioned myself of dating etiquette, and decided to change the topic, and I asked about his relationship with his siblings.
Unexpectedly, he really opened up.
He revealed a lot of the skeletons in his family closets to me.

To be honest, I was impressed with his courage and frankness.
It means something for a guy to be willingly vulnerable in the presence a lady.

Yup, over thinking again...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

8 Things Unhappy People Refuse to Admit

1.  They struggle with self-respect.
Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Trust your inner spirit and follow your instincts.  Accept who you are completely, the good and the bad, and make changes in your life as YOU see fit – not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know it’s the right thing to do, for YOU.

Be the person you will be happy to live with for the duration of your life.  Don’t rely on your significant other, or anyone else, for your happiness and self-worth.  Know that our first and last love is always self-love, and that if you can’t love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to either.

2.  They are self-conscious about what others think of them.
The minute you stop overwhelming your mind with caring about what everyone else thinks, and start doing what you feel in your heart is right, is the minute you will finally feel freedom and peace of mind.  In fact, you can end half your troubles immediately by no longer permitting people to tell you what you want.

You have to put your life in your own hands.  Others may be able hold your happiness hostage temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.  

3.  They are holding on to old grudges.
You will never find peace until you learn to finally let go of the hatred and hurt that lives in your heart.  Life is far too short to be spent in nursing bitterness and registering wrongs.  Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, on the other hand, is for those who are confident enough to stand on their own two legs and move on.

In order to move on, you must know why you felt the way you did, and why you no longer need to feel that way.  It’s about accepting the past, letting it be, and pushing your spirit forward with good intentions.  Nothing empowers your ability to heal and grow as much as your love and forgiveness.

4.  The routines they follow imprison them.
Remember that the way you’ve always done it isn’t the only way.  It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re 70 is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $6 lattes from Starbucks, or not having frequented the same night club for years.  But the regret of missing out on opportunities is a real, toxic feeling.

The bottom line is that you’ve figured out drinking and going out.  You’ve had enough lattes.  It’s time to figure something else out.  Every corner you turn or street you walk down has a new experience waiting for you.  You just have to see the opportunity and be adventurous enough to run with it.  (Read Eat, Pray, Love.)

5.  There’s a lot they can’t control (even though they try).
Life is often unpredictable.  Some of the great moments in your life won’t necessarily be the things you do; they’ll be things that happen to you.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take action to affect the outcome of your life.  You have to take action, and you will.  But don’t forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change in an instant – for better or worse.

To an extent, the universe has a plan that’s always in motion.  A butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain – it’s a scary thought, but it’s part of life’s cycle.  All these little parts of the machine, constantly working – sometimes forcing you to struggle, and sometimes making sure you end up exactly in the right place at the right time.

6.  They let their fears numb them from life’s goodness.
“Numbing” is any activity that you use to desensitize your feelings so that you don’t experience vulnerability or hurt.  But by numbing yourself to vulnerability, you also numb yourself to love, belonging, empathy, creativity, adventure and all of life’s goodness.

Remember, every worthwhile venture in life – intimate love, friendship, a new business, etc. – is scary.  These things are inherently risky.  They are unsafe.  These things aren’t for the faint of heart.  They take courage.  And most importantly, they can’t coexist with fear.  When you open up to life’s greatest opportunities and joys it means you’re also giving life the opportunity to break your heart, but trusting that it won’t… that the risk is well worth the reward.

7.  They are addicted to avoiding themselves in the present moment.
This is something we all struggle with sometimes.  It’s also the root cause of nearly all of our unhappiness.

One of the hardest challenges we face in life is to simply live in our own skin – to just be right here, right now, regardless of where we are.  Too often we needlessly distract ourselves with anything and everything: food, booze, shopping, television, tabloid news, online social networks, video games, cell phones, iPods, etc. – basically anything to keep us from being fully present in the current moment.

We use compulsive work, compulsive exercise, compulsive love affairs, and the like, to escape from ourselves and the realities of living.  In fact, many of us will go to great lengths to avoid the feeling of being alone in an undistracted environment.  So we succumb to hanging-out with just about anybody to avoid the feeling of solitude.  For being alone means dealing with our true feelings: fear, anxiety, happiness, anger, joy, resentment, disappointment, anticipation, sadness, excitement, despair, and so on and so forth.

And it doesn’t really matter if our feelings are positive or negative – they are overwhelming and exhausting, and so we prefer to numb ourselves to them.  The bottom line is that we are all addicted to avoiding ourselves.  Acknowledging this addiction is the first step to healing it.  So begin today by just noticing with curiosity, and without judgment, all of the ways in which you avoid being in your own skin, right here, right now, in this present moment we call life.  (Read The Power of Now.)

8.  The grass isn’t greener anywhere else.
If you feel anxious because you constantly feel like you’re missing out on something happening somewhere else, you’re not alone.  We all feel this way sometimes – like the grass is greener somewhere else at this very moment.  But let me assure you, you could run around trying to do everything, and travel around the world, and always stay connected, and work and party all night long without sleep, but you could never do it all.  You will always be missing something, and thus it will always seem like something wonderful might be happening elsewhere.

So let it go, and realize you have everything right now.  The best in life isn’t somewhere else; it’s right where you are, at this moment.  Celebrate the perhaps not so insignificant fact that you are alive right now.  This moment, and who you are, is absolutely perfect.  Take a deep breath, smile, and notice the green grass under your own two feet.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Taken from Lebanon's refugee schools provide hope for Syria's lost generation by Martin Chulov
Each morning at 8am, Ahmed stirs from his blanket on the soil and walks about a mile to the morning shift. Sometimes his two sisters go with him. More children soon join him from nearby potato fields and tents, on their way to the first of the day's three school sessions. A second wave of small children carrying oversized blue school bags appears at noon, and another in the late afternoon.

Ahmed is usually met with a bear hug from a Lebanese social worker, Maria, who for the past two years has been part social worker, part disciplinarian and, more often than not, mother figure for him and the other Syrian children who attend this makeshift school house in the heart of the Bekaa Valley.
All the children are refugees, most have lost at least one parent, and every one has a story of deprivation and loss. But all seems to be forgotten for a few hours in this school among the crops and tents where the children of war come to learn.

Syria's civil war is trampling on its children as easily as it is killing its adults. The 400,000 child refugees now in Lebanon represent a lost generation; many who have fled here have been denied an education for three years. Poverty is not their only constraint. Until recently, enrolling Syrian refugees in Lebanese schools was close to impossible, and getting any form of education at all was almost as difficult.

Things are slowly changing for some. Since early this year, the Lebanese government has allowed double shifts in state primary schools, meaning refugee children can attend the second shift in some schools. Syrians enrolled in the Lebanese system receive formal qualifications when they graduate. But not all are as fortunate.
Schools such as Ahmed's are considered informal and not recognised by the government.

Syrian teachers are allowed to teach here, but they must stick to a Lebanese curriculum and, at the end of the year, the progress of children is not recognised. That means they cannot advance to secondary schools or be accepted into the state system.
For the eager students in this school though, it clearly doesn't matter. A group aged between five and eight are sitting outside around a table as their teacher, a businessman from Homs who lost his home and livelihood two years ago, teaches them how to paint.

"Life was different before this," he says. "But I have found dignity in the therapy of art. I love these children."
The children watch in silence as he etches small white geese on to a landscape on a wood panel. Then all the children take turns, including Fatima, whose mother died during a winter storm four months ago and who, like Ahmed, receives extra attention from the always-hovering Maria.

So enthusiastic are children to learn that the school sometimes runs triple shifts.

They are often greeted by a traditional storyteller. Dressed in a gown and a red box hat known as a tarboush, his role is to maintain a connection between the children and their lost land just across the border. "He talks about the streets and the castles, the rivers and the marketplaces," said Maria. "The children love it. And we also give them a lot of psycho-social support to help them learn to love their new country."
The storyteller also plays another role, often drifting into the fraught issues of geography and modern history. Even primary school children seem well aware that who did what in the Levant before the war is a touchy subject. Since March 2011, the narrative has been more bitterly contested than ever.

Both the storyteller and the teachers receive $6 (about £3.50) an hour. Most live among their students in the informal refugee camps that dot the area. Ahmed lives in one of them with his five siblings. His older brother Nimr, 15, is acting as head of the family, and takes the lead in caring for Kamel, who has not been the same since he pulled his mother's body from the rubble of their family home in Idblib early last year.

Shortly afterwards, the family's father, Mohammed, drove his five children to the Lebanese border, waved them goodbye, then left.
They have not heard from him since, and have long ago used the small amount of money they had to rent a tent space and buy food.

"We ran away from problems and problems followed us," said Nimr, squatting on the floor of the tent he now shares with his new wife, Fatima, also 15. "It would have been better if we all died with my mother. It would have been easier," he said. Fatima's family, who live in the camp, have helped the young orphans with a concrete path and food.

Kamel nodded, but said nothing, his eyes fixed permanently on the middle distance. "I feel I am not up to this responsibility," said Nimr, pointing at his siblings. "I cannot feed them." He holds up a debt book with a long list of IOUs that he cannot possibly repay.
His youngest sister, Hala, sits restlessly alongside him, a cropped hat covering what hair she has left; the rest has fallen out in recent months. Hala, 11, used to go to school with Ahmed, but was bullied because of her appearance and behaviour. Her distress is not as visible as Kamel's but is never far away. Hala too runs for Maria when she appears in the tent's doorway, clinging to the leg of the surrogate mother who tries to entice her back to school.

"Lots of these children have suffered so much," she said. "The stories they all tell are heart-breaking. All of them."

The scale of suffering faced by Syria's children is a reflection of a society in terminal decline. More than 150,000 people have been killed since the war began, and close to half the country's 22 million population is now on the move; at least 6.5 million are internally displaced, and almost 3 million have made it into neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, where staying alive takes precedence over learning.
Nonetheless, the fear of a lost generation is an increasingly dominant theme among humanitarian bodies which are having more luck reaching vulnerable communities who have made it to exile than in reaching those left behind.
"We need to prevent losing a whole generation of children from Syria. Giving them opportunities to learn, developing their skills and healing the wounds of the conflict is vital for the future of these children and for Syria," a Unicef spokesperson said.
"Children who have fled Syria to Lebanon have witnessed and experienced things no child should. But despite the suffering, children have an amazing ability to recover and heal. They want to learn – they want a better future."

Thursday, May 08, 2014

My cousin lost his battle to cancer two days ago.

**the above is the door gift for guests to ward off bad luck, 
as Chinese believes bad spirits linger in funeral.
1. “We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we are afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

2. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” — Thomas Edison

3. “I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." — Eric Roth

4. "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." — J.K. Rowling

5. “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." — Harriet Beecher Stowe

6. ‎"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." — Steve Jobs

7. “We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.” — C. Joybell C.

8. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Wrong impressions

Case One.
The student walked in a confrontational manner towards the counter.
In my mind, I was bracing myself for yet another 'drama'.
"Oh no, here it comes..."
"Miss, can I donate these books?"
I was utterly taken aback.
I shouldn't have so quickly jumped to conclusions.

Case Two.
As I was chatting happily with my good friends over dinner, the waitress came with my very much anticipated Banana Boat Ice-cream dessert.
I was terribly disappointed that she'd bring it over when I had specifically requested it to be sent only after everyone at the table have finished their main course.
I tried explaining my request again to her, but she wouldn't even look at me.
Instead, she looked at her colleagues at the kitchen, gesturing impatiently.
I really felt she was too quick to push the responsibility away.
Her facial expression and gestures were was very rude.
Later, I saw her smiling to a child at the next table.
I thought she looked more amiable then.
She caught me looking at her and came over my table.
She gestured in her crude sign language, asking if I want my food now.
Only then, it dawned to me that she was hearing-impaired.
My annoyance was immediately extinguished.
My Banana Boat Ice-cream dessert was served to me half-melted, and my Neapolitan was completely strawberry.
But I wasn't angry.

Matter of fact, I felt a bit shameful that I was too quick to react.
“I had forty acres and a new home out in California. 
I was working as a stone mason. I could bring in $6000 cash some weeks.
 Then I was walking home one night and someone tried to kill me. I got brain damage. 
I lost my sense of smell, my sense of taste, most of my hearing, and now I can barely stand without getting dizzy. I must have fallen and cracked my head open thirty times since then. 
Everything I knew has been washed out into the water. I’ve tried to commit suicide several times.”

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of going off anti depression medication. 
The first step back toward what I considered "normalcy" came by embracing the fact that "normal" doesn't exist. 
We are damaged, hurt, ugly and beautiful creatures. 
We are puzzles and riddles... ironies and hypocrites. 
I would urge anyone toward pharmacology if that's what can help them. 
I would beg anyone to come away from it if they feel ready to accept and endure pain. 
I thank everyone who gave me their time to talk me down from the abundance of ledges that this world has to offer. 
I would and will plead that those who have never truly felt the depth of despair to, please, embrace patience when dealing with us.
 We will not change over night. 
Your love is an echo that we will hear... in time. I am here because of love.
I clicked on this
Quiz: What Career Should You Actually Have?
This was my result.

You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories

Monday, May 05, 2014

A random tv programme was on.
Mama Gloria was explaining how she came about this Crisis Care clinic in Bali.
"Well, after I lost my only son to terminal cancer, I had to find something to do. After caring for my son for years, I guess I couldn't stop caring."


Sunday, May 04, 2014

"Of course, there is a sensible balance. I don't think people should endure pain at all costs, there needs to be a cost-benefit analysis. If something means a lot to you, then it then becomes worth the pain because you want the reward at the end of the day. By that same token, if it is not something that you really care for, then you shouldn't really be forced to put up with unnecessary pain. "

*the cappuccino I had while waiting for CLY.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The date with CLY was disasterous
The appointment was at 12.30pm at a shopping complex’s coffee shop.
We live 44km (like a marathon =p) apart and he was thoughtful enough to agree on a place that is more geographically convenient for me.
I was in the complex as early as 10.30am as I wanted to shop a little.
Parking was easy as there weren’t many shoppers this early.
But CLY wasn’t aware of this shopping complex parking’s acute congestion on a public holiday afternoon. (He later told me how rude the other drivers were, had no regard for basic courtesy, and was almost challenged into a fight for a parking spot.)

So,  I was left waiting for him in the coffee shop for two hours as he was stuck in the parking basement, before he called me to request for a change of venue.
When I drove out of the building, I was stuck in the jam as I had no other route option but to take the congested highway.  He reached the reassigned venue place much earlier than me as he could take the smaller roads in the housing area.
Hence, we only managed to meet at 4pm.
Both of us were really drained from all the stressful congestion and were yawning quite a bit throughout the entire chat.

I have met him 4 times prior to this date and I can say that CLY isn’t a hunk at all. (OK, this statement sounds too judgmental hence I need to add that I’m no looker myself.)
But there’s a point to this cruel description.
As I was listening intently to his work and study stories, I caught a different glimpse of him.
For that millisecond, I thought he looked quite nice.
Just for that millisecond.
Then there was another millisecond.
For that TWO whole millisecond, I thought he looked handsome.
OMG. What’s happening?
Was it an imprint? Like in Twilight series?
Ok, I added that part just for laughs. I’m not that silly.

But something did happen.