Tag Archives: expectations

When I Meet Trump.

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We face our own male and female Donald Trumps everyday everywhere.

Question is, how to do a Hillary Shimmy when you meet one.

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Peace and War.

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This picture was snapped 9 years ago summer school in Salamanca. The importance of education, Spanish, making friends from all over the globe and annoying authorities (see Professor’s face). Te echo de menos mis amigas. Even more so now when the adult working world I am in is rather disappointing. Nothing in school prepared me for the. type. of. people. I. face. in. the. course. of. work. Maybe on top of Maths and Science, we should make Philosophy a mandatory course of study. And everyone should learn 2 or more foreign languages. People should have a chance to study or live or work overseas for a considerable period of time in our life. It should be drilled into our brain that being kind is more important than being wealthy. And extending an olive branch is more gracious than screaming at each other. Everyone should read War and Peace. I am not any better. I don’t like myself either when I am in Singapore. That is the truth. I should not blame the city. I should ask myself why instead. My team looks up to me. They watch my every step and so I have to do the right thing. A good leader has to be a bigger person and look at the forest instead of focusing on a tree. So I can’t get mad. I can’t get even either. I just have to pray that each email I read will not break my morale further. Sometimes a good bottle of red wine help. Sometimes looking up from my laptop at the seaview in front of me helps. Sometimes taking a long hot shower helps. Whatever works. 

I hope WordPress auto deletes post like this after 24hrs like Snapchat. Everyone always feels much better after 24hrs.

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I Am No Boss.

 

By virtue of International Women’s Day, we have celebrated our fair share of female bosses and the empowerment of women in the month of March. I was approached by several marketing managers to front their campaigns as a woman in power, or #GirlBoss, as they called it. I was flattered, but turned them all down, politely and humbly. The reason is simple: I am not a boss. I work for an organization. I work for my boss. My boss (Ms Jessie Sng, Head of Women, Men, and Parenting) is the boss you should look out for instead. And she works for her boss. And her boss is the CEO of Mediacorp. You get the gist.

In a sea of inspiring women, some of whom I am in absolute awe of, I am a nobody. Rather, I’ve been working towards my goal of becoming someone respectable like them one day. But I am nowhere near yet, and it is too premature to pat myself on the back over a few minor successes.

However, as with all constructive online publications, I would like to share three things I do care about as the Head of styleXstyle. And if there is anything here that resonates with you, I will be heartened.

1. PROFITABILITY

It sounds romantic to pursue one’s passion and to become the “masters of our own destiny”. However, a business cannot lose money for too long. It is as simple as ABC. How else can I pay my  staff who slog day and night with me? How do I pay myself? How do I pay for office rental, electricity, overheads, and all other running costs and burn-rate? I am not a well-to-do #girlboss working from the comfort of my balcony, writing about the things I love, with or without a viable business plan. That’s an ideal lifestyle even I dream about from time to time. Alas, it takes good contribution margined- P&Ls to realize all the fabulous plans you have for yourselves, and your society. You want to be able to give back. Not indulge.

2. EMPOWERMENT AND GROWTH

The watchword: succession planning. I want to build a business that will last even after I am gone. And the only way to achieve that is to groom and nurture right-hand men who will and who must eventually take over the reign. However, it is easier said than done. Like most mediocre leaders, I tend to micro-manage and breathe down my staff’s neck. Nothing seems to be good enough for me. I am tough and have often made unpopular decisions. In recent months, however, I have learnt to “hire well, manage little”. Empowerment is a win-win. And watching your colleagues grow and flourish is a beautiful experience.

3. PLAY

There were times when I have dreaded going to work. It was so bad, I would lay in bed depressed on Sunday nights, wallowing in self-pity and praying for strength to persevere. The office environment was hostile then, and there was a lack of effective communication. There was just too much gossiping, and colleagues did not see eye-to-eye. It does not take rocket science to gather it must have been awful for everyone. As a leader, I bear full responsibility for such outcomes. And I have come to realize that work will always have its rough times. However, it does not need to be miserable.  It can be challenging AND flexible. It can be serious, with sudden bursts of infectious laughter. A fun, free and constructive atmosphere, where work and play comes hand-in-hand will yield better results, or any results, for that matter. And now, I jump out of bed to start each day, because I know I am on my way to play.

 

There you go. Pursue your passion and live your life. And do it with kindness, generosity, and good vibes. You will be fine.

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Before I Die 

Hello 2016. Sorry I am late. I am barely catching my breath everything is zooming by too fast. I don’t want to die yet. There is so much more of the world I’ve yet to explore. I am just beginning to embrace being happy in my own skin. What a waste if we have to say goodbye so soon, no?

I am not being morbid God forbid. Just wanna be realistic for once. We are but merely mortals.

Fill every page of the year with joy, that’s my new year resolution. Take nothing for granted, not even the most frustrating moments, for those are exactly the moments that are character-building. What doesn’t kill you makes you gayer.


  
  

Eat everything, travel the world, start a family, go to South Africa, be sober sky-diving…what do you want to do before you die?

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Thank You, But No.

Life, is not just about what you stand for, but also what you are against.
I am for courage to pursue one’s own dream. I am for kindness and generosity in helping others achieve their goals.
I am against smearing, lampooning and hurting others. Period. It doesn’t end does it? This cycle of hate and irresponsible gossip. Let’s not pretend to be objective when there is no objectivity. We are real people, when you hurt us we actually do bleed. There is no reason good enough to justify such human behaviour.

For public figures some argue that there is no such thing as privacy, and I have no rebuttal for that, whether that hypothesis is fair or not. In fact I am inclined to agree. But I am not asking for privacy here, I am merely asking for decency.

Well, reaction is easy, understanding is hard. It’s all about the optics anyway. Who looks better, richer, happier. It’s gotten so easy to flaunt, that our empty lives could get away looking well-travelled and fulfilled.

I have fought a few battles in my short 40 years of life, and I must admit, sometimes losing was a relief. Sometimes taking a sabbatical break from the race turned out to be the best decision. And yes, sometimes, saying “thank you, but no” is as cathartic as crying.

It’s never over.

But life is too short to get mad.

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(photo credit http://www.styleXstyle.com styled by Daniel Goh)

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Filed under Life, love, Thots

Hard To Explain

  

We will be performing in front of an audience in four days time. Full house I heard. Over the past few weeks I have been giving several interviews regarding how I feel to play an iconic role, that of the late Mdm Kwa Geok Choo.

It’s hard to explain.

To make a comeback to stage after 12 years, with a high profile and much anticipated production, is possibly one of the bravest thing I have committed to in my life. Needless to say, I am subjecting myself to being one of the many topics you will be chatting about over dinner. You might or might not hurt me with your words. In all sincerity, I have tried my very best. There is no time for regrets.

I just close my eyes, and I leap.

I have had the privilege of working alongside a group of young and talented (and caring) actors whose love for theatre reminded me of how I used to be back in my school days, where I lived and died for my drama club. They rekindled my passion for performing. It was nothing about being famous. It was all about giving and receiving, under the magical lights and sounds, it was about living in the present, till curtain falls.

Intense. Love. and so much heart. I want to give all the boys and the beautiful Jo Tan a huge hug to convey the respect and admiration I have for you.

To be treated as equal, in the company of good men. #LuckyMe. #VoteYesForCarrotsandBroccoli.

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To Adrian, my Mr Lee, why you did not protest when you knew I was your Mrs Lee is just one of the many reasons why you are an amazing and generous human being. You could have partnered a much more credible leading lady, instead you anchor the show and nudge, jostle, push me to be better. Under stress, yet with a huge sense of humour. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for keeping me sane in this ride of a life time. You are awesome and I am certain the company of The LKY Musical shares the same sentiment.

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(Mr Clark, I miss you already.)

Dex, Stephen, Tony, Dick, Alvin, Michelle, Bailey, Bianca, Choon Hiong, Gaurav, Elaine, Wendy, Professor Haymon, Joanne, Matthew, cast and crew, thank you. It’s been a real privilege. I just want to say this before the madness begins.

This is how I truly feel. I don’t care anymore about saying things that make me look weak or unworthy. Life is too short to hide behind a mask.

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It’s all temporary.

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My last entry was a good half a year ago. Told myself i need to discipline myself to pen down my thoughts more often. It’s healthier. Pent up emotions are too dramatic for my own good now.

So.

I spent my 39th birthday thinking about the way I have been living each day. How “expectations” have been one of the source of my troubles. I have come to accept that we all come from such diverse backgrounds with different capabilities, it is stupid, really, if you expect to have your expectations met. Ha even that last line sounds silly.

Oh well, we learn.

Been watching Orange Is The New Black lately, and in the episode “I Am Not Ready”, Yoga Jones said this to Piper, and it really hits me.

“Do you know what a mandala is? The Tibetan monks make them out of dyed sand laid out into big, beautiful designs. And when they’re done – after days or weeks of work – they wipe it all away.
Try to look at your experience here as a mandala. Work hard to make something as meaningful and beautiful as you can and when you’re done, pack it in and know it was all temporary.
You have to remember that. It’s all temporary.”

This is why I love to indulge myself in a good story. It sets me right back on track.

Make the best out of all situations. While I am at it, make it spectacular. And then be ready to part with all of it when the time comes. Move on and not look back.

It is all indeed, temporary.

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Filed under Life, Thots, UPDATEZZZ