Category Archives: Journal

dear august

dear august,

it seems i have found some bearings, and time, to start writing again after a five-month lull. i have put up new things at the fig tree.

i have also changed. in the way i view the world, the way i view things (like money, fame, beauty), and the way i view myself. i’ve slowed down in my life, and in my stride. i’m trying to put 1 John 3:16 into practice.

this is what they call a new season? or just growing old. or am i spiritually maturing.

strangely what often comes to mind are the people i’ve hurt.  i think about what i could have not done. and about my younger, conceited self with the focal point always on me. it was all about how i felt, what i thought, what i wanted to do. i am sorry. really. and by sorry i mean i won’t do it again.

not that (any of) you would want to come into my life again, i understand. it’s ok, i don’t expect it.

i have also been thinking about love. not sexual, romantic love. but spiritual, agape love – the look outwards, not in. the focus on others and not self. without expecting anything in return.

i am blessed to be living in a country with no civil conflicts, economic strife, war, disease outbreak or natural disasters. i have a home, a family, a job. most of the time, what i fret over are first-world problems: what to have for lunch, what should i do with the weekend, should i spend a few thousands on a new watch, where to go for the next holiday.

and while most of us feel sad and disturbed when reading about people dying and suffering in distant lands (especially of the conflict in iraq/syria/israel/gaza), five minutes later we are thinking: what’s for lunch, or laughing at a cat video online.

we’re back to the loop of self-focus.

humans are ironic. many of us seek happiness, and yet we seek it through a constant assessment and revision of our circumstances. if contentment leads to happiness, then our behaviour is all backwards.


the question though, really is: how can i put this all into practice. i hope that my next post will be an update on some actionable steps.




A Story A Day

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 12.23.54 PM

For those of you wondering what’s this all about – no it’s not a new project I have.

Stories will all be kept confidential (unless you specifically say you would like for me to share it), and I would just like to know the people around me more.

Because even though I may not be able to help you, I can at least listen to you.

That’s all there is to it. The email is – and meanwhile I’m working on a story, long due. I hope to be able to share it with you soon.

Hey Stupid!

I’m sure we’ve all felt like that at some point of our lives – Stupid. And the face of senior somebody will float into view, and go “I told you so”.



I’ve always been falling. Off things. Into things. With things. Out of things.

My gallery of bruises and scars – visible and invisible, old and new – profile my countless forays in the art of falling.

So when I was clambering onto the camel (Rita I’m told), tumbling off was also in equal opportunity.

I had one foot on, left arm clinging onto the harness, trying to loop my other leg over in the most graceful way possible. And Rita was grunting very insistently the whole time.


My Kindle Paperwhite

Sunday. I was late for church. It was five to eleven and my mum was at the door asking me to hurry up.

I rummaged through my bag, looking for my wallet and keys. It was a mess of shopping packages, big and small. A red lipstick. A random something that caught my eye. Some movie tickets. And then there was a black box. A black box.

I didn’t remember buying anything in a black box. So I took it out to have a closer look. On the top, in gloss was “Amazon”. Did I buy a book from Amazon lately? Since when did they come in such fancy packaging? I turned it to one side: Kindle Paperwhite. And then it hit me.

Oh my god. I sat on my bed, stunned. Holding the box. Eyes wide open. Mouth open. And then I started laughing. Mad happy laughing. Surprised amazed laughing.

My mum looked round the door and saw me sitting there, frozen with a ecstatic grin, holding something black in my hand. She raised her brows, like: what? What’s there to be so happy about?

And I just kept saying “It’s a Kindle! A Kindle!”, waving the box around. Like a kid with candy.

And because I was so dazed and happy, I totally gave up the notion of repacking my bag and just took everything along. In case I missed something I’d need.

My mum didn’t quite get why I was so happy even after I explained to her what it was. But of course it wasn’t just about what it was, but more about who gave it to me, and how it was done.

Seriously. I love being surprised.

So I smiled through Sunday, like I struck the lottery. Bought my first book on Monday, finished it on Tuesday. And I’m on to the next one. Already.

Goodness knows how long it has been since I read so much. It helps of course that I am currently fascinated with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, who is (to me) like a current day Sherlock Holmes. With an attractive package. And available to women. Sigh.

I digress. Hahahaha.

Well anyway… if you come across a good book, and feel the great need to share, feel free to send it to me as a gift. 😛 My birthday happens to be round the corner too, #justsaying.

Right now I’m keenly waiting for Neil Gaiman’s Ocean At The End Of The Lane. It will only be out in summer.

The price of happiness

The conversation started with the car in front. About how slow it was going. And in the 10 seconds we took to drive pass it, we came up with 10 different reasons.

“Singaporeans ah, we all break the traffic rules one, I tell you,” uncle gesticulated with one hand, “even me la,” he admitted, “I also talk on the phone when I drive sometimes.” He went on to share with me an idea he had – one that had traffic police taking taxis to nab traffic offenders.

“They’ll never see it coming, and taxis are everywhere,” he told me conspiratorially. I agreed. It is a pretty good idea. I told him he should submit it for consideration.

I told him I was just back from Australia, and he asked if I was thinking of migrating. “Hmm, probably not,” I said, “my family is here so I would rather stay here.”

“Why?” he said, “if you have a chance, I say just go. Things are less stressful, life is better.” I then told him that my family is important to me, family life is something central to me. He replied, “if my children can be 20% like you, that will be enough.” He shook his head.

Then uncle started sharing with me some life lessons. “Miss, when you find a guy, find a good one who 顾家 (takes care of the family). They’re very rare, you can hardly find any already. Most people nowadays ah, always go out and party. Buy bags la, food la, club la. But I tell you, real happiness cannot be bought. It is something that comes from the heart.”

I thought he made a lot of sense. At least to me.

We arrived then at my destination. I said goodbye and thank you.