“I hear my battle symphony
All the world in front of me
If my armor breaks
I’ll fuse it back together”
My Weird Little World in 2016 can only be wrapped up in one sentence: I did live my life in full blossom and my soul, I did keep, totally, free 🙂
In 12 months:
January – One of the most amazing serendipity I have ever had with a stranger.
Thank you for giving me one of the most memorable New Year’s Eve and the after taste. It’s been wild and exciting, filled with thrill and passion and addiction. The attraction was merely intensive. Thank you for the movies and the music. Your vocal is really cute, and warm when you sing me every night before bedtime.
Me: This event is unforgettable. We did have fun and I, I lived in the notion of “I was simply living and experiencing without knowing we were building up memories at the same time.” The artsy part in me was awaken and I know myself a little more. I know that I love arts and that does not mean I can’t survive in the business world. In the corporate culture full of competition, being artistic and living with a style is my competitive advantage. It’s never easy to rise above everything in this world, but if I am lucky enough to be different and to have my own personality, I dare to stand out.
The work visa to Hong Kong.
Corporate is corporate; work is work, leadership is leadership and colleagues are colleagues. There should be a clear border for the classification of relationships. I guess now that I grasp the meaning of “Love all, trust a few.” Global citizens are meant to live in a global village. If I am lucky and good enough to have cultural competencies, I should be proud of it and seize every single opportunity and interactions.
February – The trip to Danang/Hue/Hoi An Ancient Town
I love Hoi An Ancient Town during January (Lunar Calendar). It really looks like a fairy tale filled with love and light. The lantern festival there is simply amazing. 03 new year wishes I made during this suspicious time simply came true. I can clearly envision how the cosmic was moving around these three wishes and “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The first step, which is not easy as well, is to know what you want.
The Creative Communications training. I think I’m gradually figuring out what I want to do for the rest of my life. Maybe yes? Maybe no? Definitely, maybe. I think it’s a yes. But no. But yes.
March – The news of promotion and the transfer to Kuala Lumpur
I love Vietnam office a lot, a lot and a lot. There are people and people, of course, but this office can be considered as my very first job. I am truly thankful for all the great people I have met here, who play a big role in shaping me the way I am today. Without the days in Vietnam office, I would never be able to be where I am now.
I will hold all those late-night talks, those crazy performances and rehearsals, those sleepless nights in the office and all the love and advises tightly to my heart.
April – Oh! I have been here for 2 weeks only!, the night drive and all by myself
Training in SG! Thank you for the decent dinner!
New project area, new city, new lifestyle, I felt like I was a baby again in the body of an adult (or maybe can I call myself an adolescence at the age of late twenties? Well, I don’t see any point that I shouldn’t). A lot of first times (it’s actually first time for every single thing. I can still remember how frustrated I was when I felt like I’m useless and helpless.) However, like the rose that rises from concrete, I feel proud of myself that I bloom where I am planted. At the same time, I’m also very surprised that I’ve been this far.
I used to think we would never be able to spend time together; but thanks to some twists and turns, we ended up driving around and talking till 4a.m. on my very first day in KL. I have no idea what our conversations were about – all I can remember is that I feel a bit closer to you. Thank you for being a great helper and for being patient whenever I throw tantrums as things do not go my way.
May – Here begins the chapter of “How to live alone in a city”
I was “fast and furious” searching for friends, companions, and whatever it was to fill up my own loneliness without learning to have a good relationships with myself. A lot of uncontrollable emotional outbursts during this time. H, thanks for always being a good friend that slaps me in the face and tell me “Social gatherings are supposed to make you feel fulfilled, not drain the energy out of you. If it wears you out without any thing good, screw it. Just chill at home and sing La La Land.” But I guess there are several connections just happen out of nowhere. Thank you for being the most wonderful “sister” in the world. I really do feel blessed that you are a part of my life. Amidst all craps, at least there is something worthy. You teach me about who really cares and who doesn’t , not just by telling me all this but by living it up to the bar. Your actions are always the strongest proof telling me you really care. Cheers to our sisterhood!
June – Numbness overdose
What? I am feeling something? Oh please put it on mute. Oh no, I need to do house hunting again?! Er sorry, I need some help, I’m moving tomorrow ^.^ I know I’m hard to please (and why should I be easy to please when I have my own standards and values and interests? Why can’t I just live truly to my own self right? It’s complicated, yes, so what? This is my life and I have full ownership of it. I treasure every single piece of it; and if it’s not right, it’s not right. I can’t fake feelings.) I guess this numb episode was the transition time so that I can reach just another level.
July – I found a place I would love to stay
Mom! I’m moving into a new house! And I like it here. My housemates are really nice and friendly. Okie, I think I’m settling down at this place.
August – Oh crap…! Such a cosmic joke. I guess I just started something. No! It’s not a relationship.
September – Happy Birthday and please, can you stop hitting on me? I have no time for your entertainment.
October – Oh wow, here I am, in Singapore for quite a sufficient amount of time…Grey’s Anatomy
November – All too well, bye!
December – What? It’s been a year already? Oh, it’s not a year babe, it’s just a blink.
Some would say it’s such a waste to spend your holiday in another country just to be alone, aimless walks, talks, reading, food, companion, explore bookstores and well, journaling. There is an art in everything – it’s not the things you name that give you the feelings but the process of doing it that actually gives you the enjoyment – and I really am enjoying my 3 day-vacation during this Christmas time in another city. It’s like a sweet escape from my daily routines that actually gives me a kick in the ass. I feel more energized and fulfilled when I finally find some time to be back to these activities that really comfort me.
A year went by; it just simply went by in a blink. I can hardly remember when was the last time I stayed faithful to my journal. In this one year, there was no reflection (there actually was severals, but I was thinking mmm, I’d rather capture all these in my mind and live in the moment so I just let it slip by) no time to pause or looked back or even just some sketches or words to describe the state of mind. I was caught up in the middle of everything, trying to be present in all activities, showing up in all meetups (sometimes even without any willingness to do so), busy myself with all the work and never learn to say no to things that can disturb my own peace of mind. I have been too busy with the process of trying everything yet forgetting the most important thing is to reflect after all those try-outs to see what is me and what is not. I have been busy showing and expressing myself to the world, responding to all the messages I receive the moment it pops up, allowing myself to be distracted by all of the materialistic values out there and letting them define me in terms of style and values. I forgot to pause and think. I forgot to look at myself in the mirror, see the reflection and ask “Is this person the one I want to present to the world?, Am I my parents’ daughter, my brother’s sister, my family members’ relatives, your friends, your lover, your colleagues and all the roles I’ve got to play in this world?” Now here I am, at this point, in this country, I lost and found myself again. I am still not sure about many other unexplored parts but this I know for sure, I always need a journal – a shelter for my thoughts – and that simply proves reading, writing and watching meaningful stuffs is inspirational and the simplest form of comfort I can always afford. I’m simply me when doing these activities.
In the midst of wrapping up 2016, I’ve been thinking about 03 wishes that I have made since the very beginning of the year.
- Please make my move to Malaysia come true . I have been living in this country for 8 months up to now. I’m tripping, I’m sliding around, I know and don’t know where I’m going. That’s okay cos at least I’m excited, living and breathing. It wasn’t how I planned it – it definitely wasn’t how I planned it – it’s much more than that. Serendipity happens. Miracles happen at the least expected moments in life. I learn that I can do impossible things, that I can stretch myself much more than I think I could and that there’s no limit to the things that I can do. Feet are where I landed, at least I understand it now. At least I have the whole time in the world for myself, and it’s my decision and responsibility to fill it up and let people come into my weird little world. I also learn that hardworking pays off. That is the only thing that really pays off – hard working and smart working. De-cluttering is another key word for this year, which actually reminds me of a friend who keeps telling me “If you wanna go far, you need to get rid of unnecessary things” and I am doing it. Q, can we get back in touch? Where are you now? How are you doing? How are things? I miss our walks in the city. I miss our talks. I miss you telling me how crazy and insane I am. I miss you driving around, going for our spontaneous lunches and dinners. I miss you talking philosophy to me. All hell, I don’t know why I am missing you terribly now. I have changed a lot since last day we conversed. I know the reason why you got mad with me – I understand that. Can we re-connect? Can we just come across like serendipity? Like all the scenes in movies we always talk about? Like two old friends meeting each other after years of separating all of a sudden? I am very surprised that I miss you, not anyone, now, not any sooner…
- Please grant my parents health and happiness. Sometimes, as a daughter, I do feel a bit guilty that I don’t know when I am away, my parents are happy and well or not. But I can tell the sparkle in their eyes when I am back home. I can see the merriness of their behaviors when I am around, telling them how I am doing in another country. I can feel their cheerful voice and happy faces when I call home. I can read their contentment through emails and messages they send me. This is one of my sources of strengths, my constant support system – family values. Thanks to them, I know I have to live happily and well because seeing me happy and well is their happiness.
- Please teach me a bit about romance and the value of a partner. There is not so many people moving away from their home country, renting a room in an apartment and having some sorta so-called vague connection with their housemate. This event did teach me a lot about romance (not just a bit like I wish) and the value of a partner, or maybe I should call it companionship. I learn to be independent and stand on my own two feet no matter what the circumstance is and not to expect any sort of protection from anyone. If they are truly yours, if they genuinely care, they show up when you need them, no matter what, no matter how and no matter when. They will never ever say “It’s your problem.” They are always there, lending you a shoulder to lean on so that you can cry, wipe your tears and then go back to fight your own battle. They also teach you never to lose yourself in any kind of relationships. At the end of the day, if you’re not happy, how can you maintain a healthy relationship? So I learn to say no, communicate and solve the problem rather than hide away, bottle them up and try to please people. I also learn about what I really want in a relationship, the values of it and have the guts to say no to things that is only almost or in disguise, things that are half-cooked and half-baked. I enjoyed it already, so maybe it’s time to make it clear – there should be light after cloudy days. And yes, affection comes before any form of intimacy.
“One year ago today, where were you? What were you thinking, desiring, or asking for? How were you hurting? Rejoicing? Or just living? Very rarely do I think about these insightful questions. Whether it’s a time of pure joy or a time of deep sorrow, I am more apt to sit in my current situation rather than reflect. Yet, it’s looking back and seeing where I have come from or how I got to a current condition that contains the real value.
In recent years, I’ve discovered the great joy that is journaling. The gift a journal offers is a glimpse into the heart of the beholder, an open window to an experience at a time when the emotions were still fresh, real and pure. Journaling allows one to put on paper the feelings that sometimes cloud the brain, affording an ability to work through life’s toughest moments by releasing those deep thoughts that aren’t quite ready to be introduced to the world. A journal is a safe place.
Most of all, journaling offers a larger picture of growth and healing, to recognize the journey of what your life has become. Specifically in lonelier moments, a journal allows you to look back and remember the true friendships that were present or the family times that brought such joy. It’s through those joys that you see how far you’ve come from dark places, how you’ve since been carried to the lights.”
I’ve been running relentlessly from one thing to another, busy experiencing whatever comes my way, learn them all and embrace them all. It’s good, it’s always good – just that I should have spent a bit more time to reflect on what has happened, not to be rigid and kill all the joy of serendipity but to know myself a bit more and ready to take the opportunities when it comes. And I have learned (or at least I think and hope I have learned):
- How to live alone in another city in another country
- How to feel good and take care of myself like I should
- How to treasure all family moments after all my exploring and conquering the world kind of trips
- How to prioritize people and things in my life cos after all, I only have a limited amount of time and this life is mine, I need to take ownership of it rather than trying to manage people’s expectations and anticipations
- How to be an entrepreneur, an artist and a lady at the same time. We are multi-talented, multi-faceted and we do have multi personas, so why do we have to stick to all the conventions and perceptions and let them define us? I surely can be a princess and a bitch at the same time. I can have Greek yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast yet pizza for dinner.
- Independent, independent and independent
Maybe it’s the sanest thing…I guess lessons I learned from my 03 wishes for last year and 03 wishes for new year is the presents I got from the Christmas Shop 🙂
“Oh throw that off the window. Be a liberal woman! Why man attached? You are living in the future, you’d better tell me something interesting.” Well, I am ending this entry (and probably this year) with that high note from my bestie!
December – it’s the most wonderful time (or it’s supposed to be) of the year (again) – the time to de-clutter, to make amends and tie loose ends, finish off what we have started and hope our wishes come true, to make new year resolution and believe in the power of the new year, simply a time to remember (Oops! I might miss the part of Christmas shopping, but hell yeah, everybody knows it’s the best time of the year to…just shop as all the shops are magically splendid!)
December comes with lights – that’s the very first thought in my mind when it comes to December.
- The light of food and festive table decoration from family gatherings.
- The light of Christmas tree filled with ornaments in the living room (which is now in my room)
- The light of lights in all the shops and the streets
- The light of gifts and Christmas cards exchanged
- The light of the Church on Christmas Eve
- The light of the hearts and random actions out of kindness
- The light of Christmas songs
- The light of serendipity – “It’s such a nice sounding word for what it means – a fortunate accident” said Sara
- The light of passion (or maybe, in my case, the light of my journey looking for passion. And yes, please don’t be cynical!) “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?”” Ah yes! Do I have passion?
- The light of “You don’t have to understand. You only have to have faith”
- The light of life during this most magical time of the year
- The light of Christmas wishlist
- The light of the words “jolly, merry and bright” – are the words itself simply cheerful?
Isn’t December all about being kind to each other? Or simply do whatever it takes to get yourself ready for the Christmas spirit and ready to end the year with a smile and move on to the next? Or to be ready to say bye and pop the champagne to celebrate the next juicy story?
When we pause and think (and not allow ourselves to be distracted by external forces that really disturb our sense of happiness and peace of mind), I usually have a weird feeling of a helicopter view in which the whole world is like a minuscule universe and I see myself living in that world, interacting with other human beings, not knowing what is waiting ahead, and I wonder if this is the minuscule world that I see, is there any other different versions out there? Is my rabbit hole theory true?
I guess yes – that’s how the universe is.
“They say that things just cannot grow beneath the winter snow, or so I have been told. They say were buried far, just like a distant star I simply cannot hold. Is love alive?”
Is love alive? through December…? or maybe the absence of signs is a sign – all twisted around
Whenever I traveled to Singapore, catching up with my good wise aged friend, having deep and long conversations, super good food, awesomely good laugh and midnight walks, I always learn something new, something interesting and know myself a bit more. To some ways, I feel like I am truly blessed to have such a great friend like him and I really appreciate and treasure all the goodies I’ve had along the way. Spending time with a good companionship makes me feel fulfilled, recharged and rejuvenated, which is like the tank filled up with petrol to continue the long road again. My Project Serendipity really starts with these pretty little things that I whole-heartedly cherish. Sometimes the simplest things take up the most space in your heart and I am so happy to have such a great friend like that. God, I just want to take this moment not to ask for anything but to simply thank you for everything and everyone in my life – those who stay and those who fade away.
“Just do whatever in your heart and you shall be fine”, so he said, which is now my motto, always have been and always will be. I was wondering and kept questioning myself if love should come before any other types of intimacy or it should be the other way around. Now that I found my answer and it ties back to the values I always believe in. Thank you for giving me back the long lost faith and showing me that angels are still around us.
And so I flew back, with a lightened soul and a peaceful heart, having faith that affection should bond people together before any other things come into play. I will miss the good food, the long walks and midnight conversations and above all, the feelings of being understood and being able to share my thoughts and being myself without any fear of being judged. Do everything and people will judge you. Do nothing and people will also judge you. So I’d rather do whatever makes me happy.
Project Serendipity starts with this pleasantly lovely surprise. Father, please pour kindness into my heart, fill my mind with wise thoughts and flood my soul with purity so that I can live my life to the fullest and let live, make mistakes and keep breathing, fall and get back up again on my own two feet.
Travelling – even if it’s the business form of travelling – throws a bunch of experiences at you. It simply widens your world and make you feel more like a human being.
April 09, 2016 – Oct 09, 2016
It’s been precisely half a year since I moved to Malaysia. I believe there is some sorta cosmic harmony going on way too well here as I had no intention of blogging again on this exact day, but, yeah, somewhere, somehow, God is making His own almighty plan and things just fall into order, gradually, just like all those invisible links connecting souls for no reason (oh there must be a reason for it; we just don’t realize it at the time it happens) or those lost letters somehow magically find their way back.
6 months passed in just a blink. I still have the new-soul feelings in this country (or maybe it’s not about the country but about living away from home and being on my own for the first time?) It’s pretty funny that when I pick up blog-writing again, happiness somehow creeps into my soul. The best part is maybe happiness loves company so it brings along serendipity and tranquility as well. So, I am not sure whether they all are another form of happiness or it’s a one-stop shop offers streamlined experience and full-packaged service 🙂
Too many things happened in the past 06 months. I learned a little, failed a lot and grew up a bit (?) yet I bet the current me is a much stronger person than any other previous versions of me. I just got upgraded (epic level is still a long way to go)! I know myself a bit more or less, discovered myself a bit more or less (and surely I am still on the way to get to know myself more to become a better me. That sounds so cliche I know).
6 months – a birthday and I am now 28 days into my new age. 2016, approximately 02 more months to go till the end of 2016, it’s been such a great year for me. Now when looking back, I realize that I’ve been this far with so many interesting events and experiences (starting from that mysteriously miracle in January). I love my life in the now, not through the rosy and naive lens of a child or the cheery yet unrealistic lens of an idealist. “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” That’s how Stephen Chbosky put it in Perks of Being a Wallflower and that’s also how I want to view my life as of now. I treasure it – cherish every single part of it, all the happiness, the sadness, the incidents, the surprises, the pressure, the commitments, the responsibilities, the failures, the mistakes, the silver lining of things, the highs and the lows, the loss and the gain, everything. There’s a lake in my heart. And it’s tranquil. And it reflects life exactly as it is.
There are so many first things for me in this 2016 and I embrace all the changes. It’s like the sandstorm, the whirlpool, the hurricane, once you’re through it, you’re never ever the same again.
I’ve learned a great deal about myself, learned to accept my own failures and mistakes, made fun of it, paid for the lessons and moved on, to keep my heels and my standards always high. Simply put, I learn to just live and let live, to strongly believe that “just do whatever in your heart and you shall be fine” cos in the end, only kindness matters.
I picked up Grey’s Anatomy for a fresh air in the mood and it definitely doesn’t fail me. I picked up The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and here I am, starting my own Project Serendipity and trying to live and experiment what happiness means for me and how to boost my own happiness. This should be the first question I ask myself. What is happiness to me? What makes me happy? Then I start to categorize and label little tiny things that make me happy. I don’t think I will have the answer right at the end of October. Even though I know the answer to the riddle only comes after completing the Project, I am much more than happy to enjoy the “entire project life cycle till Go Live” (that sounds so much like a consultant!)
It’s always good to hold the vision in mind – the vision of my happiness around “Project Serendipity” and trust the process. I feel much happier when I am back to blog writing. I should have realized it earlier!
To sum up my life in 6 months in Malaysia? “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Another door to peek in through 🙂 and this post marks the aurora of my Project Serendipity.