“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
I have dreamed of being a writer ever since I was 7.
Lack of resources and (real) creativity, my sister and I used to publish our own “newsletter” when we were small, little kids.
What do 7 year old kids know about newsletter, and what could we possibly write about that was worthy enough to call it a ‘newsletter’, I have no idea.
We typed away in Notepad, or maybe it was an older program I couldn’t even remember and wrote stuffs about things that were happening around the house. I vividly remembered writing about how my driver farted.
Whoa. Real investigative journalism right there. Christiane Amanpour in the making!
We forced kindly asked our maids and driver to read it and it was very exciting. We published a new issue every week with stories as equally lame as the next.
I was quite an artsy kid; I’ve always loved language and arts growing up. English course never felt like an obligation to me, I loved learning new words, composing essays and talking in some language other than my mother tongue, and English was the first foreign language I studied. I wonder if I would share the same passion had my mom enrolled me in Chinese class instead. In my free time, I loved drawing and making stories too; I used to have this erasable drawing pad where my sister and I would draw on while creating storyline on the spot.
I loved drawing class at school, and I enjoyed designing letters and decorating pages. During my elementary years, my mom enrolled me in drawing course and I remembered being so excited, we learned things like how to combine colors and create more natural, flawless color transformation. It may sound silly, but I actually think even that drawing class has helped transform me into the kind of person I am today. In a way that I can’t really describe.
I started writing short stories for children’s magazines too. I remember writing so many stories (sometimes printed, sometimes handwritten) and putting them in envelopes, intending to send them to the magazine, but I don’t remember ever actually sending them. Maybe because I never really thought my stories would get featured, and I got embarrassed by the idea that someone else might actually read them.
As time went on, my passion of writing had both its ups and downs. There were periods when I intensely wrote in my diary every day. It was almost like an itch, as if I couldn’t feel contented if I haven’t come up with a post in a day. On the other hand, I had some hibernating moments too, vacuums in my life where I stopped writing altogether.
Especially when I started working and being caught up in this thing called ‘life’.
But thinking about it, even though I had my moments of intense productivity when it comes to writing, I always come back to it. After more than 20 years of writing on and off, I could still say that I loved writing so much and that I could express myself so much better in words.
At the end of the day, maybe having a passion about something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to feel so strongly about it all the time.
For the past years, I thought to myself that sure, it would be so sweet if I could write for a living. In fact, I’ve been to both spectrum: from being ‘I’ll be the next Carrie Bradshaw’ to ‘Who am I kidding? I’ve no real writing experience, who would hire me? And even if they would, who cares about what I think of guys in skinny jeans’?
However, I’ve come to realise that the act of writing itself is therapeutic enough that I would merely be content with doing it when I feel like it. Somehow it feels more liberating and comforting to me.
But at the end of the day, I’m still the same person who loves writing and talking nonsense about everything under the sun. And sure, the things that I write wouldn’t change the state of living in Africa, or cure Cancer, but I believe that I do have a voice and an opinion that at least could entertain a person or two.
Myself is one. If you are reading this – then thank you, you are the second and last person and I want to give you a big hug.
Now, I’m just going to enjoy the process of writing when I can – whether it’s here, or at work where I luckily have a lot of opportunities to write as a PR person. I’ve gotten to do some awesome freelance gigs in the past as well, and I just recently wrote a chapter for a book project and heck, I don’t know if I’m going to ever finish writing a book but I’m helluva going to try and it’s going to be a lot of fun attempting to do so!
Anyway, I think I’m babbling and it sounds like I’m ready to propose to writing seeing how much I’ve been gushing about it in the past 15 minutes.
But I’m just going to end this with… happiness is a choice. I can choose to be grateful for the things I’ve accomplished and what I’m still able to do, or feeling like a total failure because I’m not a writer and I don’t have my own column and I’m not even in the media industry and I’m not where I thought I would be…
Whichever you feel, it’s a decision that is entirely yours.
In the days that I doubted my own capabilities, when I wondered whether I’m doing what I’m supposed to, God lent me a hand through helpful advice from people around me.
The truth is, only a handful of people can be truly certain of their dreams. Sometimes, we don’t even know our own aspirations, or our life’s greatest purpose aside from the generic need “to be happy”. I’m definitely one of those people. I’m one of the people who sometimes find myself in a meaningless job with no motivation or satisfaction. I’m one of those people who sometimes lay awake at night wondering if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life feeling like this.
I envy people who have extraordinary skills, like my good friend Elsa who is a piano maestro, or those who can confidently say, “ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved singing, so this is what I want to do for the rest of my llife.” Or even those folks who can fix computers, talk gadgets, play video games and become really, really good at it. Wouldn’t it be easy if each one of us is blessed with one extraordinary skill?
My problem is that I dabble on every little things all over the place, and I end up not getting really good at anything. I took organ class, art and drawing class, cooking lessons, did scouts throughout my school years; tried diving and rock climbing, learned Chinese, and other nonsense but always stopped halfway because… I didn’t think they were for me. I stopped doing things before I even got the chance to see if I were gonna be any good at them.
I’ve always known I have a short attention span, but this is just ridiculous. I think out of everything that I have tried doing, the only few things that stuck with me ’til now is how much I like writing, traveling and sharing my experience. But even those things I can’t do consistently and something always seems to get in the way.
In short, I think I’m someone who likes to always keep moving. Maybe not forward, more like sideways until I end up getting lost. And in those times, when I questioned myself whether ‘marketing’ is my forte (being in this line of work for 7 years now – which seems short in a span of a lifetime, but long when you come to think of those years spent of almost half your 20s), my sister said to me that it’s really okay to feel this way, But don’t just stop and admit defeat. Instead, continue dabble and figure out your true passion, While at it, try to do your best in marketing, or in whatever your line of work is. Because until you find something else that you can be really good at, who knows what you are capable of now?
Suddenly the song from Pocahontas crossed my mind:
How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you’ll never know.
I think, eventually only a few people in the world were born with an extraordinary skill. I think most of them achieve them through hard work and dedication.
And another quote I would like to share with you is something from my new boss:
Never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.
So, dabble away and find your true talent.
Or at least, don’t ever stop trying.
Another year has passed. Isn’t it crazy how time flies? I have barely blinked an eye, and here we are, at the brink of 2016.
This year has been a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s the year of being challenged – having to believe in myself and pushing myself more than ever. I have been tough on myself, beating myself up and feeling not good enough at times. Yet, it’s also the year of realisation that things are never as bad as it seems. It’s about having the circle of people you can rely on entirely, and love you when you are not at your best self. It’s about their encouragement, support, friendship and invaluable perspective that I needed more than ever in those challenging times.
I got engaged this year. When I think about my younger days, I’ve always known that I would find my special someone who could make me go weak in the knees and would fight for me (simply because I’ve watched too many drama at that point and my romantic expectation is at level high because of Pacey Witter – of course, a fiction character), but now that I am in that relationship that feels safe.. I know that loving someone is an action we have to choose every day, and it may not be all fireworks and full of passion like how I used to think.. but it doesn’t make it any less real. I’m so very grateful for you, and for all our adventures and moments together, and I know we can only have more memories in the future.
In other aspects, I had many challenges this year that made me question my own capabilities and it taught me to be tougher, to be bolder, don’t ever be afraid to speak up. People, and circumstances were often disappointing – I knew that. And it really messes me up. Shouldn’t everyone be fair and treat others respectfully? Shouldn’t appreciation come naturally instead of being demanded?
Life’s never fair, people tell me time and time again. What to do? We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control what we can do about it. This year, even more than ever, I am reminded, that nobody will look after you, but yourself. You are your own biggest asset. Do what you can to make yourself happy. Because if you are not, then what is the point of it all?
I learnt to rely on my friends and people around me who have always shown their love for me through their actions; not just through words. That is what we all need to remember.
It’s the year of gratitude for people who have gone out of the way to lend me their advice and wisdom through their mentorship.
2017, I hope you will be nicer to me. I can’t wait to see what you will bring and I am excited, ecstatic of the possibilities and opportunities I may face next year. The sky’s the limit, if you just try your hardest!
Happy New Year!