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Personal, Stories

How I Ended Up With my BFF 6 Years Later (& Happy Anniversary!)

11.9.2016

On this day, 1 year ago, Singapore had its general election and the world commemorated the 9/11 bombing. 360000 babies were born and 151600 people took their last breaths, while an infant started to mumble papa (or Ipad I don’t know). Among the hustle of an ordinary day, there was also a man named Steph (in short) who climbed out of the “friendzone” 6 years later.

Well here’s my story about love.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a guy, J, and we roughed out the happiest and saddest moments for over 5 years. He was the memory of counting all our coins just to catch the last train home (because we spent it on catching sweets) till he got his driver’s license at 18, and when I got my first ‘proper’ job. I remember our first snowfall in Beijing and when he called me to celebrate his results as he studied just to enter the same school as me. We practically shared a life even as a family on overseas trips. But people grow up, grow out, and unfortunately grow apart sometimes.

Being in love and being in a relationship are two separate things. Love is a language to be learnt: the feeling alone doesn’t guarantee a happy relationship if you don’t know how to love the way your partner needs.  Though J and I were childhood sweethearts, it became an unhealthy obsession I had to leave behind. Maybe because we loved each other more than ourselves that it drove us mad, or perhaps we were too young to settle our incompatibility. As I grew older, I got to know myself better and who I wanted to be that it rippled through every aspect of my life including my choice in men.

Steph on the other side of the galaxy was never “my type”.

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Stories

LASIK in Singapore: Truths & Misconceptions To Know About Vision Correction

Photo model: bibi my pet bear (no animals were harmed in the making)

Few months ago, I finally decided to zap away my 500-degree vision with the latest iDesign iLASIK technology that’s pain-free and bladeless. I did it with Dr. Natasha Lim Eye Center at Mount Elizabeth Novena as she’s 1 of only 2 clinics offering iDesign iLASIK in Singapore, and her results are published worldwide on the iDesign iLasik Registry to provide guidance to iLASIK surgeons.

The main reason why I did it was because spectacles tend to give me a headache and having a digital-centric life, I need my contacts for an unhealthy span of 12-15 hours a day. I also hate to spend money on eyesight checks and changing lens degrees.

There were a lot of misconceptions about LASIK which held me back, particularly the cost and whether I would be able to wear colored contacts again (because I’m vain like that). But after finding out more through friends who underwent various LASIK surgeries, as well as Dr Natasha, I hope this post will benefit those who might be considering LASIK.

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Stories

How To Live Happily: Advice by an Indian Yogi

While addressing a group of students in Chennai, India, Sadhguru answered a question on how to maintain joy and happiness regardless of the external circumstances. 

Questioner: Good evening, sir. I listened to a lecture of yours that talked about joy and happiness. You said joy depends on oneself, whereas happiness depends on others. I tried a little while to practice it but what I found was that I was not able to sustain those small moments of joy. I could experience joy when I was completely into it, very passionate about what to do, but somehow when an external person or entity recognizes what I do, the joy is just out of my life. So how do you sustain those moments of joy and not succumb to pleasures of happiness? If you could…it would be nice if you can share the difference between joy and happiness to this crowd too.

Sadhguru: Let’s say your Dean tells you, from tomorrow, what kind of clothes you should wear, immediately there’ll be protests in the college. If your Dean goes further and tells you, ‘everybody should get up at five o’clock in the morning.’ Let’s say he put ten different rules like this, physical things to do, you will think he’s trying to convert you into slaves and you will shout and scream for your freedom, isn’t it? But look at yourself and see.

If someone else determines what should happen around you, you feel like a slave, but right now somebody else is determining what should happen within you. Is this not slavery? Somebody can decide whether you’re happy or unhappy, is this not slavery?  Just because everybody is like that it seems to be normal; it is not. It is not normal. As a human being, life will never happen hundred percent the way you want it, and it should not happen; because if everything happens the way you want it, where do I go? I’m very happy it’s not happening your way.

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Stories

This is Why We Grew Up & Got Bored

I stumbled across this writing by Samsaran titled, “boredom” and it went, “why is it that small children and babies are rarely if ever bored? It is because they live in a state of full mindfulness, or living in the now.”

As Samsaran put it, mindfulness is our natural state of being when we are young. It is only later that we start filtering everything through our conscious minds. When we do this, we translate and reduce our direct sensory input to abstractions and symbols.

Thus, that lovely rose becomes not the thing in itself but an abstraction. A kind of amalgamation of “roses I have experienced before” and an abstract concept known as “flowers”. So we don’t see that particular flower with its own individual beauty, color, shape, scent, and imperfections. When we are in this state we are bored easily unless our experience is either very new, very intense or very unique.

One of the things that happen to people when they experience their awakening is that they get caught staring at a flower or a stone intensely for a long period of time. Friends may ask “what the heck is wrong with you it’s just a rock”. But to the newly awakened it is not just “a rock or a flower” it is “THIS rock and THIS flower.”

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Personal, Stories, Travel

A Stranger’s Kindness…When I Lost My Phone in Kyoto

Few weeks ago, I landed in Osaka airport and hopped on a train bound for Kyoto before transiting to Karasuma Oike station.

Along the way, we bought some bento sets at the nearby convenience store before checking into our practical Airbnb apartment.

While we were ready to pacify our post-jetlag hunger, I decided to document our first meal in Kyoto with my beloved iPhone (Lesson 1: It’s Actually Good To Take Photos Despite Disapproving Boyfriends). To my horror, I realized I had failed technology…for once. My phone was lost in transit when it fell out of my bag I had placed on top of my luggage while rolling through the terrain.

Me being me, I embraced the “die lah” with full acceptance of my unfortunate fate (of losing my phone for the first time, on the first day in a foreign land) like a wave of zen flowing through my veins. Well, at least I did not curve into a fetus position and cry my #firstworldproblems away.

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Stories

Relationships Don’t Last Based on Feelings, But Choices

Credit tumblr source: x

“A lot of people ask me what my biggest fear is, or what scares me most. And I know they expect an answer like heights, or closed spaces, or people dressed like animals, but how do I tell them that when I was 17 I took a class called Relationships For Life and I learned that most people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in it.

That their lover’s once endearing stubbornness has now become refusal to compromise and their one track mind is now immaturity and their bad habits that you once adored is now money down the drain. Their spontaneity becomes reckless and irresponsible and their feet up on your dash is no longer sexy, just another distraction in your busy life. Nothing saddens and scares me like the thought that I can become ugly to someone who once thought all the stars were in my eyes.

After my teacher introduced us to this theory, she asked us, “is love a feeling? Or is it a choice?” We were all a bunch of teenagers. Naturally we said it was a feeling. She said that if we clung to that belief, we’d never have a lasting relationship of any sort.

She made us interview a dozen adults who were or had been married and we asked them about their marriages and why it lasted or why it failed. At the end, I asked every single person if love was an emotion or a choice.

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Stories

Why You Can Never Please Everyone And That’s Okay

They say,

Why should I be girly? You’re a gender stereotype. But oh why can’t men be gentlemanly like those of the past?

What, you’re a female plumber? It isn’t cool or ladylike, but believe me when I say no woman should be reduced in a male dominated field.

We are primary victims of abuse by men: she cheated on him? He must have done something to deserve it.

It’s an ad featuring a skinny white girl in lingerie? What a way of dehumanising and objectifying real women with real curves. It’s an ad of a pot-bellied asian man? Gross, I’m never going to buy it. Let me go hit the gym for a better body.

But you know, people can wear whatever they want – although I mean girls in crochet halter bikinis not men in floral skirts. And if you’re a girl, why do you have so many tattoos?

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Personal, Stories

24 Little Things My Boyfriend Does (That Actually Matter)

Here’s a list of things that actually matter to me, as a girlfriend, far more than what “10 Types of Guys Women Love” articles can ever assume.

Because most of us don’t stay in love just because he’s “nice/kind/handsome/smart/financially stable/cooks well”, unless the girl is leeching onto superficial means.

I wrote this to remember that the most impactful memories in life are usually the nameless moments on ordinary days, when there’s no commercialised #Vday obligation to do something special – moments born from the choice of daily effort to express one’s love in a million other ways than saying “I Love You.”

That we, as females, do appreciate the simple albeit extraordinary little things (and it doesn’t take Mr. Grey to sweep a girl off her feet).

1. WILLINGLY ABLE TO TRAVEL FOR ME

My bf wakes up at 5am almost everyday to gym before work starts. If he sleeps at my place, he’ll leave earlier to drive home. One day, I woke up for work surprised to see him again. He drove all the way back just to send me to the station so I could save me those few minutes taking the bus.

I’ve been on first dates where the guy would make plans to his convenience or go on about how “far he had to drive”. Once, when I needed a lift home from work (I usually take the train), I had an ex who said he didn’t want to pay $4 for ERP charge but spent $20k gambling instead. My bf has been doing it for >6 years since we were just friends without saying a word.

2. KNOWING MY FOOD CRAVINGS

We all know the repetitive “what shall we eat” question despite the endless options in Singapore. But for a guy to make thoughtful decisions, that’s a plus.

Yesterday I ended work and was too tired to think of a place for dinner so I left it to him to decide. Instead of just going to a place he liked, he remembered that I casually mentioned a craving for Popiah the day before and Googled for the “best place for Popiah” (yes, I lurrrve Popiah).

3. REMEMBERING WARM DRINKS HELP MENSTRUAL CRAMPS

I was eating dinner at home when he asked if I wanted a drink. When he came back from the kitchen, he silently placed a warm cup of milk on the table (I usually have it cold).

He knew I was on my period and the day before, he spied at me adding hot water to my milk because I had cramps.

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Stories

Why Van Gogh Drew: Daily Inspiration

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence & Spirit

When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. He sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much.

He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lamppost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” And then on his cheap ruled notepaper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it.

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Inspiration, osho, Stories

Immature VS Mature Love

“In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love.

Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone.

They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.

A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives.

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