Category Archives: family

on friendship and goodbyes

everyone leaves. i used to hate how knowing that made me feel. that every good thing has to come to an end. that nothing lasts forever. i used to question why. why all the pain of having to say goodbye? why the separation or loss. why couldn’t things just always remain the way it was at its best?

all through my life, i have felt like i had my family and many friends taken away from me. most of them out of my control. and it’s not that i ever stopped loving any of them. life just had different plans for us and i had to keep moving forward – which unfortunately didn’t leave me with many opportunities to remain close to the people who were in my life at any given point.

because of that, maybe some felt (and still feel) like i had abandoned/forgotten them. or that i am flaky and do not make the effort to spend my time keeping in touch or catching up with them. others continued on in a different direction with their lives which naturally did not involve me as i was simply not around.

i doubt dealing with such situations would come so easily to me if it weren’t for the lessons i had learnt in my late teenage years when the family unit i was used to all my life was suddenly in pieces. it was a lot of pain and confusion at first, not knowing how to fully adapt to such a great loss until i realised that maybe everything happens for a reason. and if i choose to focus on the beauty that comes out of every situation, it all becomes so much easier to get through.

friends who were best friends before, yet barely are present in my current life. ex boyfriends i no longer know but loved greatly in the past. parents, grandparents and a brother who i spent every day of my childhood with, i only see a few times a year now. but none of that is anything to mourn over. people grow together, and then they grow apart. sure, on some level i miss each and every person i was once close to. and sometimes i wonder how they’re doing and who they are today. but i am my own person with current friends who reflect the point i am at in life now and friendships of the past are sometimes best left right there.

what if i chose to maintain friendships with people i once considered best friends? in all honesty, it would have held me back. many do not agree with the choices i make or lifestyle i live. and are stubborn in their own opinions. the same can be said the other way around. instead of going head to head with them and clashing over so many insignificant things, it is lighter to stand back, just watch them grow and be happy that they are happy doing whatever it is they choose to do. it is all i hope the people of my past do for me too. just be happy for me that i am happy and not judge too critically the person i was or am today.

i used to hate the idea of losing people. so much so that i would try too hard – to my own detriment – to keep them in my life. today i understand that letting go does not mean losing a person. sometimes it is the complete opposite. sometimes being apart allows two people to take a step back and appreciate each other for the things that truly matter, and then grow closer. distance does make the heart grow fonder.

those who have come to see that nothing can threaten the place they will always have in my heart – our relationships are deeper and more meaningful than ever before. for those who feel they have lost me or that i have forgotten them, i feel a little sad. sad that they hold a grudge against me for not being the most reliable, ever-present friend. sad that they don’t realise they will always be here with me, no matter the time or distance. as i am there with them.

i guess distance isn’t for everyone. some people need the support and closeness for relationships to exist. i personally learnt a long time ago that it’s not the quantity but the quality of time you spend with each other that matters. and people can come and go as they like, and then come and go again. i will always be right here for those whose life choices lead them on a path of collision with mine.

cycle of life

as children growing up, it is understood that we learn everything about life from our parents (or guardians). how to walk. how to talk. how to see the world. we do it for years without second guessing the lessons they pass down to us. we’re led to believe that parents always know best, and that we should listen to what adults tell us to do.

we gain wisdom from their many years of experience but as we mature, we learn to pick and choose the information we want to hold on to and begin to take control of our own lives. most of us go through a “rebellious” phase, where our actions are faced with objections from the very people who showed us how to think. if you asked me, it’s not rebellion per se. it’s just our way of finding ourselves, which is a necessity. but many of us feel guilty. guilty to have been the cause of such disappointment. guilty that we aren’t giving back to our parents the way they gave to us.

in all my years of being on my own and trying at all costs to hold on to this vision of a life that i have, i never once thought the day would come where my parent would learn something from me for a change. it’s just not an idea i ever entertained, taking for granted that until the day i die, my parents would always be wiser and know better than i do. or that they would think that themselves.

yesterday my mum shared something with me that forever changes the way i see life and the lessons we learn through it.

my mum is probably the reason i ventured into arts and have the talent i have today to make the nonsense that i make. she stayed home and raised my brother and i for quite a number of years before going back to work. in that time, she filled my life with music and colours and taught me to think creatively. she used to draw me things, and decorate our walls. in return, i learnt to make her cards and notes; expressing the creativity she brought out of me. that is something i still do til today.

after ages of taking care of children and having to put up with us (mostly me) throughout our rebellion, i guess life started to take it’s toll and my mum no longer had the desire to pour her heart and soul into mindless little artsy things. but yesterday, after many years of telling me that she had passed the point of wanting to be creative, she shared with me that since i last visited, she has decided to put in the effort and get back in touch with her creative side, and slowly transform her home to looking the way she wants it to.

and then she said, that’s the effect i’ve had on her.

that one line, i will take with me to eternity (‘:

to know that in some small way, i have managed to remind my mum of the things she once really enjoyed, and given her a reason to get back in touch with it. to know i have shown my mum something, anything, that’s something i never imagined i could do. it is life changing in a way where i feel my desire to live my life passionately, doing the things i love doing has been cemented more so now than ever before. i will never doubt my dreams and ambition in chasing them, no matter how futile they may seem at some points because everyone truly, deep down, want to just do what they love.

i try to be the change i want to see in the world. at the most, i can only hope that through doing what i love to do, people see a light that brings them back to who they are, were or wanted to be before “life”, “logic” and “reality” took over.

what my mum said also showed me that no one, at whatever age, is perfect. we are constantly making decisions that we take back or try to change as life goes on. the inevitable choice of not paying attention to what makes us happy appears to be brought on by this thing called “growing up” or “growing old”. we seem to think that there is this point that we get to, when we’ll have everything in life sorted out but we never really get there, do we? instead we lose most of our lives chasing this illusion of a finishing line.

the truth is, we are constantly growing, constantly being exposed to new things and constantly questioning what we once thought we completely understood. over and over and over again. that’s what life is. no heads or tails, just cycles we repeat until we are no longer here.

i think it is crucial that we keep our minds open throughout our lives, and try to learn something from every opportunity we are faced with or person we meet. never stop learning. never stop sharing. and most of all, never stop living (:

memories

heading back home to penang in a bit to sort through, pack and throw away 2 decades worth of random memorabilia that’s sitting in my old family house. over the years, my mum has moved out, followed by my dad. and now my grandparents. rent is being doubled and it’s ridiculous that after 20 years of being there, my grandparents are expected to suddenly start paying so much more.

really upsets me how materialistic people are and how little anyone gives a damn about how their actions affect others’ lives, all for the sake of profit and money. but that’s just the kind of world we live in today, ain’t it?

Untitled-1

being a partial hoarder, knowing i have to throw away a lot of stuff i’ve stored up has affected me emotionally. being away from home for so long, it’s always been somewhat of a comfort to have that house sitting there. a place containing all the memories of my childhood and teenage years. a place that to me symbolized a happy home, a happy family. a place to revisit whenever i felt alone.

i guess i take some things for granted. but things change. things always change. as of next month, i will no longer be able to walk in those front doors the way i have been doing all my life. it feels like a part of me that i have to say goodbye to. but goodbyes can be beautiful if i choose to see it in that way.

my precious home. it will forever have a place in my heart. and as for memories, i will always remember it the way it was at it’s best; alive and full of love.

colour me a rainbow

I knew that I would be looking back on photos someday, missing the heck out of my mum and stepsisters.
But maybe that’s why I make sure I take so many photos in the first place. Photos have this ability to take me right back to the moment and bring back feelings/thoughts that have on occasions been misplaced.
Without them, I fear that memories I collect and people I meet over the decades to come might get swept under the rug and forgotten about. Is everyone that forgetful? Or is it just me?
Plans for our engagement party are in the works now. We’ve got a few months and it shouldn’t actually take that much time, but I’m going into full anal/OCD mode because well, I can. For a theme, I’m thinking colourful. But not in a fruity/gawdy/gay kinda way. And yes, how lucky am I to have an awesome fiancee that completely understand’s my quirky taste and uncontrollable desire to commandeer this “project” of ours?
Trick question. I already know the answer to that one.
And it makes me so unbelievably happy.

Mummy’s girl


No, really. I do. 
Happy Mother’s Day mummy. Even though I know we’ve never really celebrated it. 
I just think you should be reminded of how much I appreciate having you in my life.
I thought I lost you when you left a few years ago. But it’s actually brought us closer to each other and we now have the kind of relationship I’ve always wanted to have with a parent. 

Thank you for loving me mum. 

I know it hasn’t always been easy. Hehe.

And I love you too.