Monday, February 28, 2011

Fighting For The Love

We first came into contact when I was going down the escalator. It was a brief gaze and I felt a strong sense to give it a try.

It's a bit cliche to make a move especially in February - the month of love. I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day, I thought it's too commercial and a tad bit overrated. I decided to show what I've got because the outcome is very attractive. I mean VERY attractive. Who knows I might get what people call as girl's best friend? *wink*

So I planned the necessary and took my first step. I've done it so many times over, but this was different. It felt different because I wanted so badly to win this love. After several rounds of preparation, I send my heart out on the journey to win my love.

I was flabbergasted when I received the call on 20 Feb that my heartfelt note was received and accepted. And we would be meeting on 27 Feb!

I was like OMG! What am I going to wear? Should I do up my hair? Should I lose some weight? What do I say? How do I act? How do I make a lasting impression?

After all the commotion in my thoughts... I knew that if I wanted to fight for such gorgeous love, I was bound to go to war, and in this case - mighty 9 adversaries. So, I decided to keep it simple - love me or hate me. If you want me, you want me for who I am... not the mask I had to wear all the time.

Although I was getting cold feet, I needed to do something different to see different results. This step would be my first step in exhibiting my love in the public. If I wanted to be noticed for what I do best, I had to take the path less travelled - that's the path most successful people had taken. So, I made up my mind to stick through till the end, even if I would be knocked out flat. It just meant, I had the courage to fight in the first place.

The meet was cutthroat. All of them had hearts almost as pure and true, while a few were skimpily dressed, capturing the limelight. I knew I wasn't that special after all, although what I had to offer was truly from my heart... I couldn't have combat a fight with those who had put in much more effort.

I gladly accepted my bronze crown, knowing at least I was his 3rd pick among the ten. But most importantly, it was a great experience.

This experience was the Valentine's Day Love Poem Writing Competition @ Gurney Plaza. This was a fight for the love of diamond because the First Prize includes a 0.3 carat GIA certified diamond from Wah Chan, among a few other prizes by Cortina Watch, Davidoff Perfume, g Hotel, OTO Body Care and Ferrero Rocher.

The Third Prize was almost the same, excluding the diamond. But the experience was priceless.

While the others expressed a lovey dovey poem, mine was entitled "Emptiness".
In the cruelty of the cold winter days,
My mind wanders around your grace,
So full of colours and beaut yet menace,
Dreams of hugs and kisses by the furnace,
Warming the icy body with your embrace.

Yet winter passed without a gaze
of your presence in this lonely place,
Of mere words, no power to amaze,
The zeal for you in my heart just sets ablaze,
I could only explain it when I see your face.

Yet spring has gone, no sign of you,
Flowers flourish, memories renew,
I remember the chill when the cold wind blew,
Wishing you were here to ease the blue
And oh, I hope you feel the same way too.

Will I ever see you again, my love?
I ask, when I pray to the One above,
How much more until it is enough?
How can I be spirited like a dove?
I know – till the return of my other half.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding Is One Day, Marriage Is A Lifetime

I've received this from an email some time ago, today someone posted it on FB. I believe it's meant to do something special to relationships, especially husbands and wives as we come to a close in February - the month of love! Remember love everyday, and show it everyday. Love like there's no tomorrow! When all else failed, at least you have loved and given your best!

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. 

She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. 

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!

That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage.

But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.

The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain.

From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind... I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce.

My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.

At least, in the eyes of our son... I'm a loving husband.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you just might save a marriage.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Nailing Assignment

Some of you might have already known, but I believe many still don't. I wasn't looking, but I was sought for. So, I thought... why not? There's no harm trying, right?

Anyway, he gave me a piece of blank A4 paper and I was asked to write an introduction at that moment, right there and then, with these 5 keywords:

InDesign     Freehand     Illustrator     Photoshop     Adobe Premier

I will re-write it here, as near as the copy I came up with in that mere 5 minutes. 2 minutes to think and strategise and 3 minutes to write it out.
I was once asked, if I had the free-hand to do anything crazy, what would it be?
So I answered, I'd want to be a businesswoman and run a photo shop, maybe.
I can help in design, but I'll need to hire an Illustrator because I can't draw any.
My shop will be named Adobe Premier, when everything's set up and ready!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Do You Write?

Many people asked me, many times.

Well, I love writing because writing changes my life.
I have not come across a writer (who has written long enough) whose life hasn't influenced his/her writing. We draw and express heavily from the angst and joy in our past journey and present moments. That's just the way it is, I truly believe, with every writer. You cut snippets of your own life story and memories, recreate them, breathe into the lifeless form and hope the imaginary creature lives.

That itself - life influencing writing - isn't the miracle of writing, though. That isn't the key to the door that keeps so many of us in it.

The secret is this. If you put your whole heart into writing, it will surely change your life and influence the way your lenses visualise the world more than your life experiences will ever influence your writing.

I'm sure, you're aching to know how writing has influenced my life.

Honestly, in a zillion little ways, and some super big-time ones. I would never have survived some of the turbulent years, if not for writing. Because through writing, I have discovered faith and strength to accept the reality and move on.

There was once, I had forgotten that there's a reason for everything to happen; that there's both purpose and meaning in life; that there's always a choice to turn incidences for our advantage; that smooth-sailings do not mill us to be stronger but perfect storms do. I was reminded of these things because I was writing them, and finally I felt the truth from relating to them.

Writing is a fiery passion that burns inside of you, and consumes you from inside out. Every word and every effort put into your writing, you'll get back a hundred-fold of self-development as it refines you the way fire refines gold. It teaches you how to live, how to love and sometimes how to let go.

For me personally... when I write, I'm giving a gift to myself that, in some ways, change my life for the better.

That's the reason I write and that's the reason I love to write!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yes? No?

At the mention of the word s.e.x., many people would run and hide, trying to avoid the topic altogether. Well, it struck my mind this morning while I was driving. And I realise that the topic is in every family conversations. So why is it a taboo when we talk about it?

Why do you shun the topic when it was brought up?
Why do you blush in red when your friends talk about it?
Why do you flash that disapproving look?

Now, don’t your aunts or great grand aunts ask, “When are you getting married?”
Don’t they mean ‘When will your first time be’?

Don’t parents frequently ask their married children, “When’s my grandchild coming?”
And, don’t they mean ‘Are you having enough sex?’

Even your conservative friends would ask, “Are you expecting soon?”
Don’t they mean ‘How’s your s.e.x. life?'

When you fill up survey forms and tick the marital status column for 'married', it is followed by the question “number of children”.
Isn’t it just another way of getting to know how active both you and your spouse are?

So, why do we consider it a taboo when we indirectly and implicitly talk about it? But we do embrace and accept the topic when it is crafted in another way. It may seem that we are just hypocrites, trying to avoid the hush-hush topic but we talk about it openly in a polished manner. In fact, the main issue here is… not what we say, but how we say it.

Yes? No?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Questioning My Marriage

Last night in bed, my husband asked me why do I love him.

I answered:
I love you... for you. Love is a funny thing. We love without reason. If we love something or some part of a person, then our love is temporary. We are temporary, our appearance age and our character change. So when that something or some part is no longer there, we'll fall out of love. So I love you because I love you.

I remember writing a post in 2009 for CupidBlogger regarding my marriage. I hope the edited version below warms your heart, as it did mine. Read the original post here.

In response to the previous post on the self-pondering questions before marriage, I can’t help myself but to re-think about my decision.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying I’m regretting the decision I made five years ago. But this re-thinking process justified this lifetime decision and commitment I made to him… as well as myself.

So, here you go…

1. Why did I get married?


Mind you, it is NONE OF THE ABOVE.

At that tender age, five years ago… all I wanted was to spend the rest of my life with him. It’s simply and purely because of…


I always say, marriage is a lifelong commitment. Yes, it’s true. Because till today (as I’m writing rewriting this piece), I still cannot live without him and I want to spend the rest of my life loving this one man.

2. Why did I agree to the proposal?

Our proposal was mutual. We kind of agreed to get married, but he surprised me with a proposal ring down the escalator, saying:

Will you marry me and walk down the roads of life together, like this escalator?

My first reaction was, of course…


The ‘escalator’ road is a metaphor of a lifetime journey of ups and downs - the two sides of the escalator that go round and round, up and down. Until and unless someone pushes the stop button… so it simply means “till death do us part”.

With the idea and the thought that was put into it, (awww) who wouldn’t love this man?

So… I fell in love with him all over again.

3. What makes him Mr Right?

I'd honestly say, I don't know. It just feels RIGHT in my heart.

Well, he is the kind of man who put family first. By saying family, me included (though we were just dating at that time). He was and is always there to defend me. In a way, he was like a ‘daddy’ to me. And I saw and knew that I wanted this ‘daddy’ for my children in the future.

Cupid Blogger once wrote “Do not be pressured by those around you, telling you that your time’s up, you need to get married NOW!”

I was pressured the other way round. Many people asked:

You’re still young. Why not wait a little longer?
Are you sure about this… like NOW?
Do you think it’s the right time?
Why in such haste?
Are you pregnant?

But I knew in my heart, mind and soul that my decision was RIGHT.

This is  us – designed specially to represent us.

Sometimes, we know it in our hearts.

Sometimes, we just have to trust our gut feeling.

Sometimes, you just can’t explain the course of action.

In any way and in all the ways, I thank God for bringing love into my life. I wouldn't have done it alone, it is all by God's gracious love.

One thing you may want to take into consideration…

Are you marrying someone you want to live with?

Or are you marrying someone you cannot live without?

April this year, it's our 10th year companionship and in July, our 5th Anniversary!
Happy 5th & 10th Anniversary, Honey!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sun, Where Art Thou?

Why oh why has the sun refused to shine?
Am I being punished, but for which crime?
Wishing for courage to turn back and rewind
but how strong am I to replay and relive time?

Not or whether your actions meant something
Done is the damage, and hurt is this little thing
Nasty darts are yet, no where near to stopping
Boisterous is the storm that silent the bitter howling

How long will the cruel winter days be?
That had kidnapped the smiles and jolly
I beg for the sun to shine again for me
for a ray of hope and bright days will be

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do You Really Know Her?

She's tougher than you know.

When she was three
She and her sis shared a small one-bed room in their uncle's house

When she was five
She missed her parents so much she counted pails to go to bed

When she was seven
She felt a bottomless loneliness when her sis got married, leaving her alone with the uncle's family

When she was nine
She picked herself up when she fell from her first bicycle ride... without crying

When she was eleven
She weathered through nasty bullying from cousins

When she was twelve
She ate paper and glue to de-stress, there were even thoughts of running away and attempts of suicide

When she was fourteen
She came face-to-face with her best friend's betrayal

When she was seventeen
Yet another betrayal, from her boyfriend of 2 years

When she was eighteen
She left her family for the sake of freedom and love

When she was twenty 
She juggled between studies and work to go through college with merit scholarships every semester, and graduated as the Valedictorian

When she was twenty-one
Back to the dead end of betrayal from her new boyfriend of 3 years

When she was twenty-two
She climbed her way in the rat race from zero to almost taking over the division

When she was twenty-five
She faced her worst nightmare in leaving all the fame, glory and success

All her life, she'd always been alone to pull herself together...
... where parents gambled and argued (but somehow learnt to love and prioritise family);
... where there's no shoulder to cry on (but managed to learn to shoulder others' burdens);
... where no one could care less (but able to care and put others' needs before hers).

Before you even say she is weak and defenseless, think again... 
Do you really know her?
Do you really know what she went through?

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