Well Hello 2019.

Ten thousand steps,
Dreams in her hand,
A winter’s tale.

We moved through time, the intensity of 365 days passed, in which I quit my job on 2 January 2018, moved to Paris in March, found another job in June, rented an apartment of my own in December, and broke free from influence. There is something about endings and saying goodbyes. The ache is real and strangely addictive. But that just makes new encounters all the more breathtaking. It makes you wonder, again and again, is life a giant ferris wheel? You go round and round, you go up and down, it all begins again. We move through time after time, wondering if we will see the ones we love again, when one ceases to exist. In the end, we remember moments of love, intense love. And how we fought to live on. 

Life is such.

It has been a year where I was under no pressure to be the greatest showman, or charming, or relatable. I decided I prefer myself this way, walking, encountering and writing away. Language is truly a powerful tool. I strongly recommend that you make learning a 3rd or 4th language one of your 2019 to-do-priorities.

Here are 5 things I would like to be able to execute in this new year.

  1. When they go low you go high. Says Michelle Obama. I say when people go low you don’t have to shake their hands, smile and say thank you, allowing the abuse to prevail. You are allowed to show your hurt, disengage and delete them from your life. 
  2. Speak up, speak out, speak proud.
  3. Brace up and be a woman. Don’t allow myself to be bullied by service staff. Or anyone, really.
  4. Make every fall I’ve ever taken be worth the pain. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” This is for anyone who is waiting for a time to shine in your life, the time is #NOW
  5. Lastly, don’t look back, you are not going that way. 

“When the time comes, take all your glory, and stand aside”– so aptly put by Erich Kastner. So here I go, I am going to show you how I gladiate. And then out and up I return when death beckons, which could be anytime, soon. We’ll never know when. I wish for you courage and the capacity to embrace the potential of each ephemeral lifetime. And while chasing your next big goal, don’t forget about the million little moments that make the chase worthwhile. 

Après avoir vu la descente, contemple l’ascension.
You have seen me fall, now watch me fly.

I Feel Pretty Perfect.

From as young as when I was 7, all the way to the days when I was an actress, about 23 years, almost half of my life, I had been told to change many things about myself. And here are the top 7 on the To-Do-Something-About-It-list:

1. My eyes were too small (I discovered the magic of fake eyelashes)

2. My boobs were too flat (Nothing I could do about it, still flat)

3. My hair was wiry (Rebonding yay!)

4. I had no waist (I starved)

5. I was not tall enough (Nothing I could do, still 162cm)

6. I was not thin enough (I starved)

7. I had pig trotters for legs (I starved)

You see, I tried to do something about these problems, to the best of my abilities, without going under the knife or needles, not because I am against enhancements, but because I have an inexplicable paranoia of surgeries, big and small. And starving myself really did not work, on the contrary, it made me feel even lousier than ever.

I just watched the film #IFeelPretty (starring Amy Schumer), which even though exploited clichés of what it means to be beautiful, hits me with the undeniable self/society-imposed demand of the importance of being attractive. Attractive to who, to achieve what, as plain Sharons we were not told, but simply that we were not good enough looking like this. In hindsight, I wasted too much resources on trying to be something else I was not. When what we should have done is to allow each girl to shine just the way you are, supported by grace, elegance and heart, which have nothing to do with how flawless your face and body is.

I urge all of us to find worthier role models to emulate.

Be Nobody-But-Yourself.

I have been reading all your private messages to me and I want to thank you for your sincere and heartfelt sharing of your journeys and insecurities. I did not know that a small part of my life would resonate with so many of you. I was merely doing what I knew best at each crossroad of my life. During the earlier more tumultuous times of my growing up pains, social media did not exist. I felt for the most part alone. Hence, the talking-to-myself-phase you heard in the interview. Now, it should be much easier to reach out for help, since we are supposed to be more connected on several platforms, such as this one. Kudos to Andie, and Jasmin, Joyce and Jermaine, his team of young and talented crusaders, for not settling on creating easy content just to gain likes, but content that people need. It is the tougher path, but oh so worth it.
The interview above was conducted two days before I left Singapore for Paris. It has been almost 3 months now, and I have gained so much—3 Kg and a whole library of memories.
You don’t need the whole world to approve. You just need one or two very important people. But the most critical approval comes from yourself. Good luck and and may we continue to seek solace in one another. This is one reason why I embrace this virtual environment. It brings hearts together. As one.
The world is big, and filled with brilliant minds. Find them.
I wish you well.

An Ordinary Woman In Paris.

It’s been a little more than two weeks since I moved to Paris. When flight SQ334 landed on the morning of 19th March, I marvelled at the snow that greeted me, even when Spring was just round the corner. I thought to myself as the plane touched down the runway, that the world was ending, there was no time to waste.

Savour life, I say, and make things happen for yourself. The watchword being: self-imagination. Or else your story will end up like one of those indie films, where pretty much nothing really happens, and the characters grow old and die. Not sad, but not exciting either. I realized we’ve got to foster our dreams, the way we nurture relationships with the people we care for. And this balance between life’s practicalities and hopes constantly kept me on my toes. I am in Paris, because I do not want to surrender to the limitations of where I came from. I expected more out of a lifetime, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with harbouring a desire for a bigger, better, brighter you. No matter what they say.

And so here I am, dancing and drowning in spontaneity.

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For now, before my next adventure begins. I am in no hurry. Can we stay this way for a lifetime? I believe, that when a woman sheds her armour of self-importance, she becomes stronger. You can no longer hurt her with your cynicism. “Today’s news is tomorrow’s history”. I no longer take what is said about me, about anything or anyone seriously. Being Sharon Au suddenly seems pretty fun and distinctive again without all these self-image baggages. You will not hurt me with your words. Not for too long anyway.

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If an ordinary girl from Singapore who grew up from a broken, poor and unprivileged family background could receive a good education, be awarded Best Trainee of Singapore Airlines Batch 364, win 11 Star Awards trophies as a TV host and actress, study abroad in Japan and France in my 30s, contribute to the media and fashion industry after graduation and arrive in Paris, I believe nothing should ever stop you from stepping out and stepping up. Live with vigour!

This is not the end. I want to see you fly.

(Photos by Yujia)

Leave. Live.

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The first thing I did in the year 2018, was to quit my job. On the second day of the new year. I left a company I had been a part of for 22 long years. It was the second best thing I have done in my life thus far. The first was in 2005 when I left a 10-year showbiz career to pursue a university degree in Waseda University, Tokyo. That was without a doubt, the scariest, bravest thing I have done in my life. And, yes, it changed my life. After all, huge risks, are the only ones worth taking.

To anyone who is pondering on whether to stay, or leave…if you are wondering where does this courage come from…this is how I found mine. Twice.

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Block out the noise, and listen intently to your own voice. Your body (and soul) has a natural defence mechanism to self-heal. We could not hear them because we are drowned by social construct. I say, purge all the layers of externalities, and for once, have a conversation with just yourself.

I can’t tell you what and how the dialogue will go. We all have different stories. Let your body tell you hers. But I say, don’t wait for a tragedy to strike, before it shakes you to want to live better. A mentor of mine recently bravely fought nose cancer. He was so positive throughout his 33 sessions of chemotherapy he brought laughter to the other patients in therapy. A close friend of mine just suffered a stroke. He goes to the gym every day in the week, eats mostly boiled vegetables and fish, doesn’t smoke. We all have constant reminders like this. We see and hear enough. No one needs to tell us any more, that life is short, vulnerable and unpredictable.

Don’t wait too long to be happy. We might not have the time.

And then, go forth. and never look back. 27540229_10155164539017483_4091932118399882556_n.jpg

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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