Sunday, August 30, 2015

I'm so glad I went for this.
SHORT+SWEET Theatre Malaysia 2015 in Penang: Winner List

1. Best Overall Production :
Words to Say at the End of the World
Director / Playwright : Mark Sasse

2. Audience Choice Award :
Nasi Kandaq Gulai Tempoyak
Director / Playwright : Matthew Koh / Fa Abdul

3. Best Director:
Mark Sasse (Words to Say at the End of the World)
Director / Playwright : Mark Sasse

4.Best Script :
Mark Sasse (Words to Say at the End of the World)
Director / Playwright : Mark Sasse

5. Best Actor (Female):
Lexi (Words to Say at the End of the World)
Director / Playwright : Mark Sasse

6. Best Actor (Male):
Shakif (Are you, you?)
Director / Playwright : Tera / Charis

7. Best Supporting Actor (Female):
Yzzy (Words to Say at the End of the World)
Director / Playwright : Mark Sasse

8. Best Supporting Actor (Male):
Ashraf Zainul (Nasi Kandaq Gulai Tempoyak)
Director / Playwright : Matthew Koh / Fa Abdul

9. Best Newcomer:
Tako Yuet
Director, Playwright & Actor of Versus

10. Festival Director’s Award :
Yusof Bakar
Director of Songs of the Dragon
Playwright of Fault Sapa

11. Best Glitz & Glamour:
Director / Playwright : Tako Yuet
Actor : Max & Tako Yuet


Friday, August 28, 2015

“You are really one of a kind. I never imagined you to be like this," said my colleague who had once hated me very much.

"And you should really write."
"Huh? When have you ever seen my writing?" I was caught offguard.
"Your emails... and I've sorta heard."
"Yes, I do want to write. I have a lot of ideas."
"That I'm certain you do."
The universe is amazing.
Just when I was feeling upset about the doctor disclosing personal info about me, I actually bumped into the nurse.
She greeted me enthusiastically.
She eagerly told me all the reasons why she can't stand that doctor and had to leave.

And I bumped into a lady whom I met in church.
She is also suffering from mental illness.
She invited me to lunch.
I obliged.
When she began to talk about her troubles, I can't help but feel horrified.
"OMG. Is this how I sound to others?"

The magnitude of our troubles are different.
But the resemblance of how we are reacting towards the hiccups in our lives is enough to make me sit up.
She has OCD and her negativity of matters around her has caused her to be very dysfunctional.

I am usually the receiving end of this remark, but
"You really think too much."
On Monday, when OPK handed me the notice about my last day, she made a remark about my previous work in KL which annoyed me very much.
On Wednesday, I went into her office to seek clarification.
As usual, she spun and spun and I was lost in her words.
Again, I was in her control, and I had to listen to her warped opinions.
When I left her room, I felt very very defeated.
More upset with myself for letting this witch play me like a doll.

I found out not only did she contact my previous HR staff (also another bitch) and my sister, she contacted my doctor.
OPK managed to find 3 people in my life who would spill details of my personal life.
On surface, it's debatable that OPK did it within her HR boundaries.
When I saw the snubbed look on her face when she said, "I contacted your doctor,"
I am certain this woman is a sociopath.
I was feeling really upset.

I told Tz about it.
She doesn't see anything wrong with what OPK did.
"It's not like you have 2.6 million to hide."
M didn't either.
I felt like I was losing my mind.
I am disturbed by something that is of the norm?
I couldn't contain it.
I need to know it's NOT ok.
I told my colleagues, those who are still here and those who have left.
They know OPK and understood why I'm upset.
"No, it is NOT ok. It is crazy."
"You need to act smarter and tougher. Let's just celebrate that you are leaving. We all know anywhere is better than this toxic place. Don't lose heart, there are many kind people out there.
Continue to be the sincere and kind person as you are.
Life is full of ups and downs, and God has an arrangement for you."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My colleague asked me to proof-read her Press Release and report.
I'm good.
I can write.

I maybe exaggerating my talent but I need to right now.
I felt so 'strong' when I was rewriting the sentences.

It's ok if she doesn't accept my ideas.
I already feel very good about myself.

Thanks NXY.
I got a job in a bookstore !
Yeah !
Ok, the reason I'm this happy is because it's not easy to get a bookstore job with a pay that is actually enough to pay rent and have proper meals.
But this one does !
So, yippee !
I am able to survive with the pay and I will be surrounded by books and book people ...

During the interview, the boss, a very prominent historian and author was asking if I mind the pay.
Knowing I'm from KL, she asked, "You ok with the pay? It's very much lower than what you previously got."
"I'm ok. I didn't come to Penang for financial gains."
*Omg, Couldn't I have come up with better words?

She continued to ask me questions.
I would myself too.

"I want to write something.
Fiction. I dare not even dream of it getting published.
But I need to write.
For myself."

She nodded.
Oh, I forgot to mention.
She's also an artist.
Of course she understands.
I almost didn't come to work today.
Tut.. tut..
My phone beeped.
I looked at the message received in the group chat.
"I've bought breakfast. Famous Chee Cheong Fun"
A phone call came.
"I'm around your area. Want a ride to work?"

This morning has been great.
I will and must survive the next one.

Monday, August 24, 2015

This morning, I received the official letter informing me of my last day.
Although it was long anticipated, I felt a bit disheartened as the most hated superior had the upper hand of my situation.
She used the opportunity to stroke her own ego while stepping on my pride.
What a hateful character.

NXY came down to check on me.
I smiled, "I'm ok."
She gave a thumbs up.
I have always liked her.

LJ is absolutely certain that writing will set me free.
"You need to let go of the fear of failing!"
"When you write, you'd find your own voice and everything else will fall into place. By then, you won't be thinking about all these trivial things!
Who said what, why this and that..."
LJ also commented that I over-magnify on the good things that happened to other people than on my own blessings.
"It's nothing serious. But it is a habit that is robbing you of your own joy. I know this because I had this troubling me too."
"Someone wrote in today, said she did not like my work. She said that I was attention seeking when I write about heartbreak or love lost. She asked me to write something different or she would read someone else who's more worthwhile.
I apologized to her. Told her that I am sorry that my words no longer resonate or move her. But I am afraid that I must disappoint her again - I am a selfish artist.
 The world may read my pieces but I still write for me. I write because I'd rather carve words on paper than on skin. I write because the world is cruel and I find solace in sentences and poorly written rhymes.I write because there are monsters in my head and these words are my only weapon.
  So I am sorry, but an artist does not change her brushstroke to please her audience. I think you're better off reading something more worthwhile."
Taken from iaremunyee

Friday, August 21, 2015

'When Yo Yo Ma visited an ailing Steve Jobs and played Bach on his Stradivarius cello, Jobs teared up and said, 
"Your playing is the best argument I've ever heard for the existence of God, because I don't believe a human alone can do this."'
Reading over lunch Philip Yancey's essay on how artists make a difference to society. 
Thought this anecdote would speak to someone out there.
Carry on with your art. 
Do it well with heart and with conviction.
It speaks to someone. 
It matters.

Taken from Shiao-yin Kuik

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Saw this pic on Facebook.
The medication part hit me.
I'm really bored.
Not the English word bored, but the Chinese word "men''  闷, which loosely translates as
"closed ; smothering ; stifling "
As the Chinese character suggests, my heart 心 in behind doors 门.
I can't feel properly.
I guess you could say I'm still numb?

My contract with the current employment is ending within 3 weeks.
People around me are very anxious.
They care for me very much.
More than I care for myself.

M - who has been keeping in close touch with me. Despite her busy high-flying life, she laboriously ask about the details in my life and help as much as she can.
Gosh, not even my family does that !
Mn + Moon - they constantly message-d me motivational stuff, aside from all the other entertaining stuff.
Nti - Keeps tabs on me. She's the one who came knocking at my door and drove me to work when I 'refused' to face the day.
Boss - She employed me till this day. It is amazing.
LJ - spent so much time trying to convince me to SEE myself better. And to write !Not later but Now !
Colleagues - TKK,TZL,NXY,LSS,CWL - took me out for supper, karaoke, recommended jobs .

I've been experiencing a number of déjà vu-s lately.
Good premonitions.
E.g, when I moved into my new place.
It had a smell.
It smell of new beginning.
Of hope.
Of possibilities.
I know it's going to be ok.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

9 out of 10 people will tell me to go back to KL.
There's just no logic that I should remain here.
I surprised myself by answering,

"I know I'm not doing well at the moment.
 I know I will not do well in KL either.
But if I stay here, I still have a chance.
It is that chance that I'm counting on."

I absolutely lurve..... this cursive handwriting.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Co-worker bought it for me. How nice.
Must remember this bliss.
I can relate to this advice.

Taken from dear-thelma

Alas, there is no other choice for you but to escape from her abuse if you want to live the kind of life you are seeking. And you have to make this decision fairly quickly as it is affecting your emotional health.

It will not be easy. Her hold on you is strong because she uses the most powerful of tools – love. She withholds it to keep you in line.

Do not think that moving out means you love her any less. You love her, but you need to look after yourself first. 
Your sanity comes first.

No one has any power over you, except yourself. Do not give up this power to someone else. It is never too late to take that power back by acting in a way that is positive for you.
– Thelma

We just love when he comes in here

“We just love when he comes in here,” she said. Her words were genuine and so was her smile.

I couldn’t believe it.

We just love when he comes in here.

“That’s so nice of you to say,” I stammered, struck silent for a bit. “We’re here a lot. He loves coming in here.”

She nodded. “Is it the bright colors he likes?”

“Oh, it’s the whole experience – the people coming and going, the automatic doors, the loudspeaker, the conveyor belts, the elevator by the bathrooms, the sound when an item is scanned at the registers. It would be his dream to work here, I think,” I said.

She nodded and continued scanning my receipts.

“He has autism,” I added. His diagnosis is something I don’t disclose in public unless someone really needs to know. Because she was so friendly and interested, I wanted to tell her.

She didn’t say anything. She looked at me compassionately, as though she’d known her entire life that a little boy named Isaac had been diagnosed with autism 11 years earlier.

“He’s even looked me in the eye before,” she said proudly. Her statement made me wonder if she, too, knew and loved someone with autism.

She counted the money and placed it in my hand. As I opened my purse, she said, “Thank you. You two have a good day.”

Then she paused and really looked at me. She saw me. She saw Isaac. This is what I saw in her kind eyes and heard in the tone of her voice:

I’ve seen you in this store a million times.

I’ve seen your son walk with you, hand in hand.

I’ve seen him give you a kiss on your cheek.

I bet you’re tired.

I bet you’re frustrated at times.

I bet some days you feel like the luckiest mama in the world.

I’ve seen your son’s love for the automatic doors.

I’ve seen your son’s love for the elevator by the bathrooms.

I’ve seen the love you have for your son.

I’ve seen the love your son has for you.

Your son is incredible.

We just love when he comes in here.

Isaac was still standing in the same location, gazing out into the sea of people and carts and conveyor belts.

“It’s time to go, Isaac,” I said. “Push the cart out.”

As usual, we exited through the wine and spirits department. Even though there’s a checkout there, we’ve never used it. It’s Isaac’s favorite store entrance, though, so we enter and exit there every time. I reminded Isaac to slow down as he put away the cart and bounded through the automatic doors.

The moment I stepped outside, my eyes filled with tears. It caught me off guard. Isaac had taken the van keys and was leading me towards our vehicle. He always remembers exactly where I parked the van. And as we were walking in the parking lot, I wiped away tears.

For a few minutes we sat in the van and listened to his favorite country music station, 98.5 FM. I replayed the scene over and over in my mind.

Isaac’s been to Hy-Vee a few thousand times in his short life. Although employees have been friendly enough, nobody had spoken up until today. We just love when he comes in here.

I heard:

You matter.

Your son matters.

We appreciate differences.

We just love when he comes in here.

On the drive home I fought back tears, bit my lip and dabbed my eyes with a tissue. Like usual, I drove the long way home – past the library and coffee shop and McDonald’s and up the hill to the car wash  — because the routine makes Isaac happy.

I was happy, too, because a stranger — who didn’t have to say anything — was considerate enough to share her encouraging words with me.

It only took one kind heart and eight words.

We just love when he comes in here.
--------------written by Tyann Sheldon Rouw

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

George Bernard Shaw —
 'You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.'
My struggle with mental illness is out in the open.
The whole office knows.
I think it should matter, but it's the issue that least bother me right now.

Some better colleagues seem more caring and sensitive.
Two, even opened up and shared with me their own personal struggles.

Tzl teared up when she was narrating her story.
She is among the most capable staff in the office and I was in disbelief how little she viewed herself.
I tried to assure her.
"你已经做的够好. 很好.超好. 真的."
"You have done so well. Exquisitely well. Really."

I can't help but feel ashamed.
Tzl is fighting all these and yet she could achieve what she has achieved.

Then, I realised something.
I have heard similar praises about myself too.
But I always brush them off too fast, not even letting these validation to gravitate for a moment.

I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves. 
We need to look in the mirror and acknowledge that we have done 'OKAY'.

I like this photo of myself at work. My colleague wanted an artistic pic of the cake, but I somehow got into the shot in one of her failed attempts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I don't know if it's due to the medication or my pre-existing condition, I'm always very sleepy in the morning.
Absolutely Soulless.
Like I left my soul on my bed.
Many people attest to this syndrome but I worry because I had to take 3 cups of coffee this morning.
My heart was pumping.
But my head wasn't alert as I had hoped.

Something happened at workplace.
The predicted problem finally occured
The problem which I had warned again and again.
But no one listened because it wasn't my decision to make.
However, it is my responsibility to solve that problem which occur due to the decision that wasn't mine to make.
It's just one of the many common classic management problems.
Any wage earner would understand.

I could blame the 3 cups of coffee but I won't.
I wasn't classy.
I wasn't professional.
I exploded.

Good thing I had the calmest colleague with me to bring me back to my senses.
Another, even came down to check on me.
When I cooled down, I admit my unprofessionalism and apologised.
She may doubt my sincerity and sanity.
That I can't control.

But at least I know that I AM sincere and sane. (still?) 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chat with Max

Today is one of the better days.
I am thankful.

Last Friday was not.
A friend from church told me to call her every morning- she wanted to make sure that I do GET to work.
I did call her.
But something was very very dark in me.
Like nothing matters .
Nothing matters anymore.
Not my job, not my life, where I'm heading.
So basically after my usual morning bath, I just sat on my bed.
It was not self pity.
It was just numbness.
I silent my phone and went back to sleep.
An hour later, I was awaken by the sound of the door bell, which I didn't even know existed.
The church friend actually CAME to my place, and drove me to work.
She had never been to my place and had to make several calls to find me.

With all that numbness, I wasn't capable of much emotion.
But if any, it was all shame and gratitude.
What an odd mixture.

As I had already missed 2 days of work, many people came to my seat place to show their concern.
Some genuine, some not so genuine.
A colleague - one whom I don't get along with asked me
"How's things? Are you feeling better?"

Well..I've lied to her so many times about  having stomachaches.. fever.. all the usual suspects, but this time, I just handed her my MC which states..
(Severe depression with insomnia)
She walked away.
I didn't even care if she's the biggest office gossip monger.
That was the extend of the numbness.

My boss told the admin staff to make sure I went to work that day.
She knows that I NEED to be at work to feel better.
When she saw me, she came over, and in her kindest tone a disciplinary mentor could muster,
"You're here, you feel better, right?"
I nodded.

I related all these to my good friend M.

"Your friend went out of her way to make sure you got up and left the house. Surely it must meant you're worth the effort. 
And she wasn't the only one.
Surely you must be worthy.
Don't doubt.
Accept the love"

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I promised the GP that I will see her again for a chat.
She wanted to know what's bothering me.
What caused the rock of depression and tornado of anxiety in me.

Whenever I show reluctance to talk about a certain type of subjects, she pushed me.
Although the whole session was hardly at professional therapy level, I did left with something to think about.

She said, 
"Whenever all these negative history or feelings creep up to you, ask yourself this question.
Do you want to end up in a psych ward or you would rather be living a normal life? The answer to this will help you select your thoughts more carefully."
I befriended an ex-colleague.
She wrote this on her FB page.
When I lost my 2 years old son, it's indeed very difficult to "Let It Go" even I know it is much better for him in Heaven than to suffer here.
 Pastor Joseph Prince encouraged me through his sermon:
"If a child got a knife, he thought it's shining, sharp, fun to play, keep on holding the knife, and don't want to "Let It Go".
Unless someone tell him, he won't know that it's dangerous.
His father bought a beautiful toy for him, but the child won't be able to play the new toy until he LET GO the knife!"
It's a very simple but practical analogy.
Unless I LET GO of Zhen Kan, I won't be able to receive the '"new toys'' - abundant blessing from God. If the child's hands are holding the knife, not only he won't have another hand to play the new toy, he may cut himself!......
If I keep on thinking and missing my son, I would deteriorate myself, and I won't have space to receive something even better from God!
The more I let go, the more blessing is on my way.

Proverbs 43:18-19
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell in the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
I'm grateful I added her on FB.
I like this from written by k-pluto

"I've never swam in the ocean before. I've never jumped off of a boat before. I've never not worried before.
It made me feel like there was hope.
I'll be able to get of of this depression.
I will be able to go a day without an anxiety attack.
I'll be able to do fun things I've never felt before. I'll be able to live. "

This is so encouraging.
Reminds me very much of how I felt after reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time