Category Archives: love

Let’s Misbehave.

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The march towards liberation started three months ago. And the universe brought me back to the place where I first knew what passion was. Awakening, it is all about timing.

I went back in time, to Paris. Spirit soared. Love the vibes of the city, light and yet soulful. I took many walks, I hungered for her scent and her lumière.

There I found the inspiration to communicate and to connect. In a deeper way that is. Neither through captions on Instagram, nor via emoji-ranting on Facebook. I am motivated to write, for those of you who are reading this right now.

Some friends told me that my last post “The Art of (Not) Giving Up” was painfully moving. I am glad my words did something for you. The thing is, what one takes away from a piece of confession actually depends on your perspective in approaching the piece. The objective of said blog entry was to motivate people, who like me, found themselves involuntarily stuck in a moment. However it received some unfavourable feedback from certain quarters of my life, who felt I should be more discerning of what I air on my blog, even if it was a personal one.

I guess that was why I have not able to pen my thoughts since, for I was unsure of what might or might not be acceptable, anymore.

We all have our own battles to fight.

But today I’ll say, let us end the inner-struggle. For once in your life, let us go where the heart leads us. We face enough external conflicts everyday. Why then do we still want to fight with ourselves. It is simply not natural.

Don’t tell me what to do. I am tired of following rules. This is my blog. Hear me roar.


She sent me a poem she saw engraved on a park bench, an extrait from Gaston Miron’s La Marche À L’amour:
je marche à toi, je titube à toi, je meurs de toi
lentement je m’affale de tout mon long dans l’âme
je marche à toi, je titube à toi, je bois
à la gourde vide du sens de la vie
je n’attends pas à demain je t’attends
je n’attends pas la fin du monde je t’attends

Love, it is a grand experiment. One that lights up your heart in delight. One that aches your soul with longing. This is the art of waiting.

Choose pleasure, not hurt.

Make love, not hate.

Do not wait for tomorrow, wait for me.

Wait, and hope.

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The Art of Being A Woman.

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I am not a feminist. I don’t even know what it truly means to be one. I grew up in an environment where I could be as formidable as the boy next to me, sometimes even more powerful.

In my primary school, the girls outperformed the boys. The top three in standard were always girls. I was one of them.

In secondary school, I immersed myself in an all-girls convent. St Nicholas Girls was one of the nine SAP schools who offered both English and Chinese as first languages. The elite special top 7% of students. And I thought to myself, I had to be in the best company. I had to learn from the best. That was the only way I could break out of my poverty. Yes I was already reaching for the stars at the age of 12.

Then I went to Hwa Chong Junior College and to my horror, my classmates were way smarter than I was. In particular, the boys. It was true what they said: men, they blossom at their own pace. and more often than not, later than women. I was in awe of all those intelligent boys I met who seemed to excel in everything they do, effortlessly, sans drama.

I also fell in love for the first time in my life. The once-in-a lifetime-LALA LAND-kind of love. We shared the same locker. He gave me a bunny on Easter 1992. I fell ill. He went to the doctor with me. I moved. We shopped for a bed together. We held hands. I almost fainted. We never kissed. We did not know how. He left me for another girl. I snipped off my long hair to show my pain. He did not notice. I cried.

But we are equal. Always. We bear the same rights to love. We fight on the same battlefields. We suffer the same fall. We celebrate victories the same drunken way.

And so this is what I learned from the men in my life.

Don’t bitch, just work. Don’t talk, just do.

Don’t think. Live.

Don’t think. Love.

I am a much more competent and confident woman, because of the men who left and the people who stayed in my life.

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Flower Power

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3 (Non-Touristy) Things You Have To Do In Vienna

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Remember how Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy taught us about chance encounters and kismet love inBefore Sunrise, the movie? When he recited Dylan Thomas’ poem, As I walked Out One Evening, Vienna was forever changed for me.

Alas, I did not jump off the train with a stranger, and I have no love stories to share. But I do have three things you can do, if you’d like to fall in love with the real Vienna – all before sunrise.

#1 Breakfast at Café Tirolerhof

Forget about the typical buffet breakfast at your hotel, no matter how sumptuous the spread. Eat at one of their local coffee houses (the equivalent of our kopitiams) where you’ll meet locals before they speed off to work, or aged retirees scrutinising the headlines on the dailies in disdain, or the occasional student-philosophers penning down their thoughts over a cup of Viennese Emperor. Order the Tirolerhof toast (toasted brown bread with ham, cheese and onions), with a side order of spicy sausages and top it all off with a cup of café Viennese Emperor. There is no better way to start off your day in Vienna than feeling like a King.

#2 Leopold Museum

Vienna isn’t just about Gustav Klimt. Maybe it was the Egon Schiele exhibition at the time I visited. But spending an afternoon at Leopold Museum immersed in Schiele’s work would inspire anyone to love the expression of art, no matter your major. He died at the tender age of 29 (three days after losing his wife to the Spanish Flu), but the pain and suffering he went through compelled him to express his forbidden thoughts onto his paintings. From him, one is able to see we are all human, and we have the same needs. Why forbid love, when love is and should be free for all?

#3 Have a drink, or five, at Banes Bar

It’s a tiny dark little black hole of a bar, much like le 10 Bar in Paris, where one walks right into the years gone by, where love happens easily and nights are long. You will be enchanted by an enigmatic boss lady, her eyes so deep you could drown in them, whose hands are as graceful as Odette in Swan Lake as she fixes your drink. When she looks at you, one could almost see the thousand hearts she has broken, including perhaps her own. She is a beauty, there is no doubt about it. She looks 50, but to me, I sense a soul that has gone through a thousand years old of solitude. I always see the same few regular customers – one with a dog so cute, I fed him a bone and shared my wine too. And as I stumbled out into the street at 4am in the morning, I felt my heart soar into the early morning wind. Life is too transient to be taken seriously.

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Summer LOVIN’ 

I fly therefore I am. Escapism has always been my philosophy. And no matter what you say, it has kept me sane (or insane). Whatever works.

Spread my wings and flew to Zurich. It has been 21 years since I last visited this garden city. I remember celebrating my 20th birthday there with my Singapore Airlines Team 2A colleagues. They gave me a green Swatch watch. It is still kept dearly in my box of memories. People come and go. That’s the promise of magic. It is also the reason why I embrace each new encounter.

Your face makes me smile. I feel like we have met before? Otherwise why would our paths cross again?

You have to earn it. Even memories. Don’t ever feel entitled to anything. That will one day be your first downfall my friend.

The world is big enough. Leave the bullies behind. You will be surprised how quickly you would forget the hurt. Our hearts are meant to beat for love, not anger.

This is why I travel.

 

 

 

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Mabuhay, Cebu!

#1 Smile. It Is Free Therapy.

I was greeted with warm smiles and kind eyes the moment our Silkair plane landed in Mactan Cebu International Airport. And this continued on for the rest of our trip – from the ground staff at the airport, to the driver who came to pick us, to the welcoming entourage waiting for us at the hotel entrance. It was a different sort of smile – a refreshing change from the tired ones I see daily at work, nor the pained versions from stressed-out friends in their 40s who are juggling their work, babies and spouses. What a difference a short 4-hour flight has made. I left a city that complained too much about what it did not have, to an island that celebrates even the little things. Singaporeans do not need therapy. We need to change our perspectives.

 

#2 Give Hope. Give Now.

During my trip, I got to know Mr. Manny Osmena, the owner of hotel Mövenpick Hotel, Mactan Island, Cebu (where I stayed. Mr. Osmena is not only an established hotelier and exporter – he is also an acute mobiliser of disaster and social response for social good. I was moved to discover a foundation he had set up, Hope Now Foundation, which has been funding medical responses such as Hospitals On Wheels (HOW) to reach affected rural areas in calamities, as well as lobbying for sustainable development and the end of poverty. Mr Osmena had set Hope Now up after witnessing the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda. Since then, he has been regularly involved in disaster relief and is truly my big friend with an even bigger heart. #EndPoverty

#3 Mabuhay (a Filipino phrase that means “Live life.”)

You only have one life. Live it.

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5 Things Snorkeling In Maldives Taught Me

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#1 Desire and live life according to your own appetites

Stop mourning and start living. Your bad situation is never going to get better unless you get over yourself, move on and do something about it.

#2 We aren’t saints

You do not have to love everyone. Homophobes and racists are horrible people. There you go, I said it.

#3 Love the world, not your agenda of the world

Take each day as it comes and live it through. Do not problematise emptiness. Things are never going to go as planned. So stop planning, and keep swimming. Just do not be so stupid as to swim against the current mindlessly.

#4 Choose your battles wisely

Say this more often: “I prefer not to”. Take your individuation and run.  Fear not. If we all lose in life anyway, (so laments Unamuno), then what else is one afraid of losing?

#5 Find your Dory

Never lose yourself. Ever. Again.

 

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