Monthly Archives: March 2015

wedding bells

planning out our wedding celebration has been a real experience for me. if you asked me at any other point in my life how i’d imagine this event would go, i bet you the ideas forming in my mind would have been anything but this. choosing to be with and marry someone whose family is not (and has never been) supportive of our choices is a real challenge. the chinese culture is extremely heavy on respect and being dutiful to one’s family. anything short of obediently fulfilling one’s responsibility and meeting parent’s expectations is a crime punishable by shaming and an endless array of disappointment.

i’m sure not all chinese families are that way. my mother is chinese and i was not raised to believe i have no choice or say in any matter. but then again, she’s not culturally very chinese at all and neither are/were my grandparents. so i really can’t speak for what the norm is. it could be a belief system that is still a building block of the culture. or it could be a dying practice. in all honesty, i’ve never had too many chinese friends – being mix and culturally more westernized meant i hardly fit in with either race.

i have however for the past 3 years – had the pleasure (or lack thereof) of having chinese in-laws. i always imagined my wedding to be an occasion to celebrate. isn’t the idea that this would be my one day to be queen? i thought i’d have my mum here and in best case scenarios my mother-in-law, fussing over the planning and what everyone would wear. i thought i’d be really happy, seeing two families get to know each other and become one.

the truth is, it’s been an extremely dreadful and draggy union. if i didn’t choose at all times to keep my head focused on love and clear from negativity, i wouldn’t make it to the finish line.

i believe my parents-in-law would like us to wait to be stable before having a wedding. or get married for that matter. i believe their son being 30 is more appropriate and acceptable. it is unfathomable, why he would want to be married at 26. although being 30 wouldn’t even make a difference because first they’d have to accept that he is marrying me. which they don’t. they think he’s crazy. they say we’re disrespectful. they act like having to invite people to the dinner is such a shameful thing. where on earth would they hide their face?

this upsets me. as much as i hold on strong to our love and know that the only people who have a say in this relationship are the actual people in the relationship, it really pokes at my emotions and sanity. i understand us living life differently is hard for them to accept. but to be almost completely ashamed at something as simple and pure as a wedding?

it turns our beautiful occasion into a messy negotiation and takes away my one day.
it’s a good thing i’ve grown to accept what i cannot change in life so at least i’m not under any delusion thinking they would show up smiling and make me feel loved. we will do this and get it over with and enjoy what we can.

love is far from a fairy tale fantasy. or maybe that’s exactly what fairy tales are about – a challenge to fight for the love that really matters. this relationship is and always will be hard work. but i have never doubted my choice and my partner has never made me feel like he doubts his. in this moment, i do fully believe that us is worth all the effort we’re putting in.

it is times like this that i really stop to appreciate how loving and beautiful a family i have. immediate and extended. things may not be perfect, but i have grown up with an incredible amount of love in my life. in the darkest of days, love always shines through. because of that, i am now able to give my partner the one thing he has been lacking in his life. to share all the warmth and happiness i have in my space and fill his life with purpose, gratitude and love.


right now, i really wish all of life would just cooperate and be nice to us. a day ago i thought everything was finally fuss free. but i was proven wrong again. we’ve decided out of respect to family and to remove all questions and complications – to have a wedding reception dinner in may. yes, that’s not too long to go. but we’re not looking to have something grand. just a simple dinner with good music and better company. may marks exactly a year since we’ve been registered. it feels like there’s no point in waiting any longer.

also, i REALLY like the date 1.5.15 :)
and it was available at the location we wanted!

(my) dad’s been really helpful and happy to plan with us so we might have a tiny little church ceremony as well (for his sake) if the date is available. seemed like everything was falling into place really nicely. until my husband’s parents decided yesterday that for god knows what reason, us having this reception dinner was an act of disrespect, and he (yoong) is being very disrespectful and not saying sorry blablablablablablablablablablablablabla……………….i mean, come on! i am really tired of my in-laws need to disapprove and dislike everything their son has chosen to do. we are 27 this year. not 18 year olds wanting to get married. we have already created a life together which we plan to live together for the rest of our lives. i’d say we’re pretty committed to each other and our goals. us being together is old news and they are no longer making any sense at this point.

i am at a complete loss with what to do as we have tried our best to do all we can to try and find a good middle ground. i’ve even hugged my MIL. three times! and planned to do it anytime we see them from now on. but there is simply no middle ground with them. it is fact that they will forever have some issue or another to pick on. no matter what we do or don’t do.

i believe, what they want is for him to live the life they want him to live. step by step. and then still, they won’t be happy. i was there for my brother in law’s wedding. he’s lived life the expected way and there was no love to be seen or felt at their wedding. so i’m under no impression that things will be any better at ours.

i just want it to be done and over with so we can move forward with the next phase of life. if they are so completely upset at us deciding to do this now, how are they going to feel when we begin trying to start a family? is that something they expect us to wait for their approval for? do they want us to wait so long that i’ll be pregnant before we announce our marriage and then things look even messier? jesus.

i’m so sick of the word “respect” or “disrespect” being thrown around like we’re society’s garbage. as if we’re uneducated, rowdy teenagers making a fool out of ourselves. we are asian children. respect for elders and just generally giving a damn what our families think has been ingrained into our very being. we are never actually trying to disappoint parents so why do they have to make such a fuss over things not going their way?

i don’t think they did a bad job in raising their son. they raised the man i have come to love so dearly. for some reason it seems as though they have no faith in how they raised him because all they do is express how much they think he is a failure. that as a man, he has no financial stability and bad health (what his dad said to him in the hospital). i feel so protective over our space and am disgusted at how toxic they can be at times. it makes me feel like closing that chapter and not letting it be a part of our lives at all.

if you asked me, we are pretty decent people living a fair, purpose-full life trying to make our world a better place. how is that something for any parent to be ashamed of? we are not looked down on by our peers. they fail to pick up on what others have no problem seeing – that we’re only trying to chase our dream. we’re willing to work really hard and don’t ask for much at all. we love that we have had to struggle and will continue to struggle for a while before getting to a well deserved stable place.

i am incredibly proud of ourselves. it does not matter anymore what they think. it no longer matters to yoong one bit either. at this point, reception dinner or no reception dinner doesn’t make a difference to us. it was supposed to be for them. we are already married – wedding or not. i just thought it’d be nice to remove all mess so we could just focus on enjoying this incredible life we have created.

some people are beyond help and almost impossible to cooperate with. i always wanted loving in-laws who would welcome me into their lives like a daughter of their own. i am beyond grateful to have a family that has chosen to love my husband like their own son. but i do also wholeheartedly accept my in-laws for who they are and do not wish to change a thing. if only (for everyone’s sake) they could find a way to begin accepting us for who we are too.

because at this point, it’s either they stop being destructive to our peace of mind or they stop being in our lives period.

this new normal

it’s become incredibly easy, having people live with us. the silence after the first batch of volunteers left was almost deafening. i didn’t think feeling calm with so much going on was possible. but i suppose it works the same way as psy(chedelic)trance music – and that leaves me feeling so at peace but completely alive at the same time.

this is the new normal. waking up to prepare breakfast. enjoying breakfast and the morning with people. thinking of projects to work on. working on projects. communal lunch. working on the land. enjoying the hard work. having good dinner and conversation after. the ocassional picnic or day out around taiping.

i love having people in our home! i’m filled with this incredible joy every time i see that there’s a new email from a volunteer wanting to come over. too excited to meet new people and learn about different cultures and experiences. until we can travel (if we do eventually decide to), this is a great way for us to experience the world – by inviting it into our home.

it really does feel like a beautiful way to live. i can genuinely say that for the first time in a really long time, i am truly enjoying life. not because we are going out to look for fun. it’s just the average ordinary days that’s worth living for now. not a day goes by that we find ourselves bored or have nothing to do. it’s quite fast paced, even though for some reason, we feel like not enough is getting done all the time!

currently working on setting up the land for it to be ready for us to move to in 2-3 months. that means having shower & toilet facilities, building in a kitchen & dining area as well as 2 cabins (one for volunteers, one to be our tiny home). once it’s good to live on, we’ll start planting all sorts of vegetables as well as rear chickens for eggs. plants at home have been growing pretty steadily. also discussing some ideas for produce or products to sell on a small scale.

lots to do and even more to look forward to!

full house

today marks one week of having our home open to volunteers for the house and farm. to say that i had reservations going into this would be understating my actual emotions a week ago. we’ve lived with people before and opened up our home to friends who needed some help. it had its pros and cons but i can’t actually say it’s been better than the time we spent living alone.

somehow, having volunteers over has been a completely different experience. i think there is a mutual respect of one another that previous situations have lacked. we love the small community of friends we’ve gotten to know over the past few years for very much the same reason. the understanding that as individuals, we all have a responsibility to contribute to the group – whether in the form of doing the hard work, chores, cooking or very simply caring for someone else’s well being. in my honest opinion, that’s what i feel the world is missing and needs so badly. we know we are responsible to work, commitments and rules where failure to comply comes at a high cost. but how about to one another just as individuals?

so there was good reason for me to be concerned. especially because i do like and need a good amount of time to myself. but taking that leap and opening our home up to the right people has given me reason to wholeheartedly trust again. i think people who reach out to us through our profiles on wwoofindependants and helpx read something they relate to on a personal level and getting along once they’re here happens beautifully. there’s a certain magic in strangers gathering to share knowledge and experiences, working together freely on projects while living together communally.

so maybe this works perfectly – where we can genuinely care about setting up the place so volunteers are comfortable, work out schedules based on everyone’s availability and interests, help feed and shuttle them around – and at the end of the day, know that what we’re doing makes a difference. that whether or not i’m thanked personally doesn’t matter because seeing people happy in our space is enough happiness for me. although so far, everyone we’ve encountered on this path has been gracious, kind and generous with their words.

i didn’t think living communally would set me free in a way i’ve never experienced before. showing me a side of myself that i’ve been searching for and welcome with joy. i’ve always struggled with control and being a perfectionist. and even though i’ve known for a good amount of time now, it’s never felt like the time was right for the issue to be worked out. the past week has been complete magic! instead of being more hyper-alert and bothered by the lack of privacy, i’ve felt really chilled out (which i hardly am) without being bored out of my mind. in fact, we’ve gotten so much done together over the past week that it feels like a month has gone by.

i am so thankful for the people who have stopped by to contribute to our journey. it has been healing to my soul and now i’m truly looking forward to a lifetime of living communally and having our home (and land) open to anyone who hears arture’s call.