Archive for the ‘Serious Suet’ Category

Memories of 2010

Monday, January 10th, 2011

With legs all tangled up in comfort, with one hand tracing the smooth contour of the hot mug of the detox tea I’m supposed to drink as part of my “Ultimate and Super Serious No Joke Diet Plan”, with sore muscles aching from the sudden stress as part of the said plan, with indecisive heart bursting alternatively between joy and sorrow and love and pain, here I begin writing an entry filled with promises and hope for a better year ahead.

2010 was by far the most turbulent year I’ve had in my life. A year that felt so fleeting and yet so eventful I cannot begin to recount the events that had transpired. In a nutshell, it was a year that I had lost love, found love, lost love, found love, and repeat cycle too many times that my heart got all confused from the complexity and intricacies of my life. The earlier part of the year was only six short months ago, and yet whatever memories I have of it are either extremely hazy or completely nonexistent. Memories from the later part of the year, however, are so strong and prominent that I wish I could chuck them further away so I don’t have to be reminded of the confusing phase I was in.

I think that is it, if there was one word to describe my 2010, it’ll be confusing. An utterly convoluted and confusing mess, but nevertheless a mess that I don’t regret because of the lessons derived from it. I wish so much that I can write down exactly what happened so this entry doesn’t have to sound this vague and ambiguous, but I can’t because I don’t even know where to begin.

Although this entry is titled Memories of 2010, I think I’m not going to recap how my 2010 had been. Not that it was an awful year because it DEFINITELY wasn’t, but 2010 was the past, and now I’m looking forward to building new memories of 2011 instead.

——

I started playing basketball for the first time in many many years this week. I did so mainly because I want to lose weight, not because I miss the game. Once I stepped on the court, however, I realized how much I’ve missed the sight of it all. How I’ve missed the texture of the ball in my hand and the feeling I get when I’m in control over the movement of the ball. How I’ve missed the victorious leapt in my heart whenever the ball slips effortlessly into the basket, the swift “woosh” and the sight of the net flipping up when the ball enters.

After a game with my long-time basketball coach and nemesis, we walked to the nearby sundry shop to get our usual 100 plus. The bells on the door chimed gently and the familiar smell of incense immediately escaped through the crack of the door. The same Indian shop owner I’ve known for nine years now greeted me with his usual lazy He~llo, before continuing whatever Bollywood show he was watching on TV. I grabbed a bottle of the best sports drink in the world, paid, and sat on the stoop outside gulping everything to the very last drop.

Everything reminded me so much of something that was such a routine for me for years and years when I was in high school. I realized then that no matter how long I’ve been out of sync with this once familiar part of my life, I will always return to it one day only to realize that everything is still going to be the same. From the sound of the bouncing ball, to the joy of entering an accurate shot, to the incensed-filled sundry shop, to the taste of 100 plus.

It was then that I knew, that however much I’ve changed in 2010, whatever crazy adventures I’ve been through, however much my circumstances have changed, there will always be small inconsequential parts of my life that will remain the same. And that’s why I will always, without a doubt, opt to come back home.

——

My mom has been trying to understand why I want to come back home after I graduate. Everyday, our daily conversations will be peppered with a sudden “By the way, this aunty says you should stay in the states when you graduate. Remember Aunty Mary? Her husband’s sister’s son’s teacher’s daughter’s friend used to be in the same school as you. She looks very wise. I think you should listen to her. Don’t understand why you want to come back and help this country”.

At this point, I’ve given up trying to tell her why I want to come back home. Truth is, I’d rather be a second-class citizen here in my own country (although I still don’t think I am), than to be a foreigner in another country. I know this country like the back of my hand, what makes the people tick, how things work, the temperaments and quirks only obtained after a lifetime spent here.

There are a million and one reasons why I want to come home and although I’ve talked to many people about staying on and I’ve given it a thought myself, the pros of coming back still outweigh the cons. I know I should work a few years overseas for the experience, and for the money, and then import the knowledge gained back if I want to help my country, blabla yeah that’s the ideal situation but what if I get suckered in later and can’t leave.

Pokoknya, I’m coming home whether everyone likes it or not.

(also, it’s impossible to get a job in the states now) (maybe I’m just too lazy to get one and trying to find the easy way out by coming home).

I’ve been writing bits and pieces of this entry for the past four days. Sorry if those bits don’t sound coherent at all!

If

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

——–

To be honest, I’m probably one of the very few who enjoyed and appreciated my high school education. Despite the many many flaws in our education system, I hope we can all agree that it has its merits as well. I entered college extremely well-prepared in subjects like Math and Sciences (despite me not majoring in either), and I was actually thankful that I was made to memorize those damn formulas. True, we weren’t made to think enough but I also can’t deny that those rote memorizations have given me an edge compared to them Americans who surprised me with their inadequate mathematical and numerical knowledge.

I’ve had this conversation with many people, usually people deemed to be at the further end of the intellect spectrum. Each time, the conversations disappoint me again and again. Talks about frustrations with our education system, talks about how we’re headed towards doomsday if nothing is changed etc etc. I’m always left at the corner where I came from, battered with anger and injustice, drained with my own thoughts and conviction.

I hear them talk about our poor education standard, and I think about the increasingly wide education gap between the urban and rural in our country, the alarming illiteracy rate, the low preschool enrollment. We (the elitist, privileged urban folks) do not make the entire country, and just because we speak louder than the rest does not make everything we say right.

I think it’s time we take a step back and realize what can be done, instead of whinging about what should be done without lifting a finger. I’m a beneficiary of our “poor” education system, and I think I’ve gotten pretty far ahead despite its “flaws”. Education is how you make of it, and I think it’s time people take individual responsibility for their education.

p.s: don’t get me wrong, I’m all for thinking that we DO need to reform our education system but i’m just saying it’s not really all that rotten and bad. If you think something needs to be done, then let’s all do something about it. Not blindly criticizing it is one thing you can start with.

1Sabah

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I went to Kota Kinabalu two weeks ago on a personal mission to discover what it means being Malaysians in East Malaysia. I don’t know how successful the project was because I didn’t talk to as many strangers as I’d like given that I was only there for a week. I also realized it wasn’t easy to just suddenly ask someone about how they feel about being Malaysians without them thinking that I was some crazy girl..

Despite all that, I think this trip did open my eyes to a multitude of things and although this might potentially sound cliched and corny, it also made me feel somewhat more connected to people from east malaysia whom I formerly knew nothing about. I’ll elaborate more on that later in this post!

First day and I already love this place!

After spending some time in KK, we went to Tenom to visit Dom’s sister who owns a farm! This is the view of the farm 😀

It’s actually a cow farm, moooo

Dom and his super cute nephew 🙂

Tenom is actually famous for its coffee so we went to a coffee factory to try it out! We also had a very enjoyable talk with the owner’s mother where I exhausted my entire library of Mandarin words wtf

We spent the rest of our time in Tenom talking to Dom’s uncle in law who was once involved in politics. That thirty-minute talk taught me so much about the plights of Sabahans and Sabah, but I’ll refrain from touching on that so as to not appear more ignorant than I already am.

Stopped by the seaside on the way back

On the way to Kundasang! I love this view ♥

Amazing view from our hotel.

A very pretty Dusun girl. I absolutely love this picture!

We walked to the nearest town which was about 1.5km away and didn’t have the energy to walk back (which is uphill) so I tried to stop a car….but to no avail. Drivers saw me with my thumb, gave me a big friendly smile and drove away ;___;

I finally tried the more Asian way of hitch hiking – I stood in the middle and waved frantically like a monkey wtf. The first car stopped for me and told us to jump in!

So we jumped into the back with the kids! Highlight of my day 😀

Hahah so cute!!

Rainbow after the rain. Am I the best photographer in the world or what???! WORD. wtf

The view in the morning. EXACTLY like the movie The Fog whoaaa

Androo took a picture of my butt cause he’s very fascinated by how the design sort of spells SHUANG in chinese hahaha which is very apt (shuang means double? in chinese)

We went to the Kinabalu reserve forest next!

Where I met my new friend Spiky. OHAI IZ ME, he says

Last day in KK, went island hopping!

Dom and I on the boat

KK from afar

Wunmin, Androo, Yangli, Andrew and Yung Terd!

Amazing beach! Just like Perhentian/Redang

Chilling at the beach, too lazy to snorkel!

Last picture: le sandman chillin’ at the beach too

All in all, Sabah was an amazing place for me. I’m a very nature-loving kinda tourist so I really enjoyed it especially when I had the best host ever! Thanks Dom for showing us a piece of Malaysia which I’ve never seen before!

Lessons from Sabah:

1. People there are WAYYYY friendlier than people in KL that’s for sure. Extremely easy-going most of the time and very nice to strangers 😀

2. I was very interested in the general way of life there since i always feel east malaysia seems so separate and different from west malaysia. So I got to see how it’s like there and to be honest, it’s pretty similar in certain ways (language, food (not exactly),  lifestyle) but also very distinct in other ways (culture, perceptions towards issues like politics).

3. I think like many others, I’ve never really thought about east malaysians before. I mean yeah I study about them in sejarah, vaguely remember them whenever I see the different price tags for east/west msia in magazines, but I’ve never really sat down and thought, “hmm, how are they really like there? do they feel excluded/alienated by us? do they care/ not care?”

From talking to some people, the sense of frustration seems so prevalent. Frustrated at the lack of opportunity, the lack of better leaders, the lack of attention. But of course, different people feel differently towards the same issues. The kak I talked to in a small town said she’s happy and contented, and that she feels ambivalent (bordering on almost no resentment at all) towards her peninsular counterparts. The more educated youth I talked to in the city said he’s getting increasingly disheartened and appears to harbor some minor animosity to us who get a bigger slice of the cake.

But who wouldn’t when all this talk on 1malaysia and equality centers so much on west malaysia. The people of Sabah (and maybe Sarawak?) are already united but the disparity in resources alone hinders so much of their development. Basic needs like education opportunities and infrastructure etc are not even fulfilled yet, what more anything remotely close to what we’re fighting for. Sabah used to be richest state and was abundant in resources but they’re now sucked dry and is left as the poorest state in Msia.

I’m not saying that we should not fight for equality when east msia has it worse, I’m saying we should not be ignorant to their plight too. But then again, I was only there for a week and only talked to a handful of people. I’m not from there nor have I lived there, so perhaps I should be enlightened further?

I had a great time there and I’d love to go back again next time! I have a secret dream of joining Andrew and PACOS to perhaps build schools in the rural areas (wah like so noble wtf but it’s actually a selfish dream of wanting to help others so I can feel better about myself for being so ignorant before).

Sorry if I addressed the wrong issues/totally got everything about east malaysians wrong but this is solely based on my own perceptions so feel free to correct me!

p.s: i realized there are no food pictures at all. that’s a whole different story for another day cause the food there is so awesome i have a separate album for it!

MF: Journey of Hope

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I have one amazing news to share. I’m going to Sabah in June!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo so freaking excited cause it’s a long-awaited trip and I’ve never been to East Malaysia before. I know right, how un-Malaysian can I be? I’m seriously very ashamed of myself. This trip is not meant to be a touristy kinda trip so I’m excited to see how it’ll turn out!

Also, we’ll be holding a US Application workshop in Kota Kinabalu too this year so make sure you come if you want to know all about American education! Date time venue not set yet but I’m most probably gonna be there..I hope.

Anyway, I attended the Malaysia Forum this year and it was such a good experience so I thought I’d share what it means to me. I’ve been to the past two MFs and always left very hopeful about Malaysia and what being a Malaysian means to me (I wrote a long post about it, waiting to be posted someday..)

So I was really excited to be involved in organizing this year’s MF cause I wanted poor Malaysian-food deprived students in the states to have that same sense of hope and optimism for our country too. It was truly the best decision I’ve ever made.

Truth is, I was crazy intimidated at first. These people who have been running it are extremely intelligent people, very eloquent, very opinionated, Ivy-leaguers. I’m nothing like that seriously. Just from a small women’s liberal arts college, hardly ever have an opinion, can’t speak in public for the life of me, and I just wanted to help but all I can do is make fun of myself wtf. But I guess at the end of the day, the spirit of MF prevails.

The spirit of MF deserves an entire post but in a nutshell, it emphasizes gotong-royong and the no leadership concept. Everyone has something to contribute, there’s no hierarchy (president, secretary etc) and we each do whatever we can do. It’s beautiful in theory but not that easy to put in practice but at least the idea is there.

The forum, in my opinion, was an amazing success. How MF works is this: we encourage civil discussions on any issue related to Malaysia, that’s all. People were confused at first. Wait, you mean all we do is talk and not do something about it? Yes, that is all. But it goes far deeper than that. A weekend is hardly enough time to come up with concrete plans on how to change our country, but it’s definitely enough time to spark discussions to get people going.

Historically, so many people (including myself) have been inspired by all these talks and venture out to do something to change Malaysia on their own. I worked with an NGO last year because of this and some have gone on to start small projects on their own (writing books, encouraging other Malaysians to participate in such discussions etc).

It just proves that it doesn’t have to be all talk and no action if YOU as an individual don’t want it to be. As before, we’re all leaders in our own rights, all responsible for the changes we make. The spirit of MF is truly one of the biggest inspirations in my life.

Anyway, the above picture is of Lali, John, Nick and P’ng who were talking on what being an active citizen is. You don’t have to be in the country to make a change and I truly thought their panel was the best part of MF 🙂 So many inspiring people all around us, you just have to start talking to more people!

Hehe such a cute picture of Dom giving Lali the “sure bo???” look!

Going out for lunch! This is the ‘el cheapo’ group wtf. I yelled out “who wants cheap food come with me!” and we went for some $5 wraps and ate on the grass! El cheapo indeed wtf

We had two pilots there! Haha I think they were a little reluctant to be associated with me and didn’t really wanna be in the picture wtf

Best night out ever! Super spicy chicken wings and lots of alcohol on 5 hours of sleep! We were seriously zombies that night, having been awake for the past 24 hours or so.

WASSUP BRO!!! inside joke wtf

That’s all the pictures I have of MF, was too busy/tired to take more pictures. sadness.

If you’re interested in Malaysia Forum (also, it’s a global thing, we have MF London, Sydney, NYC, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. That’s the other beauty of MF), visit the official website!

Got a package from Giang the other day who is always so thoughtful! She got me some makeup from Korea this time, seriously how to not love this girl!

Random camwhore picture when my hair was still awesome. Now it’s just too long and floppy.

Shanshan holding Justin’s Ipad. Still not convinced how is this so amazing that he bought two for himself wtf.

Random picture of when it was warm outside! My legs look short but that’s just because they are wtf.

Okay that’s all, time to do more work then sleep then wake up then do more work then sleep then wake up then do more work then LO AND BEHOLD BALIK UMAH! PEGI SABAH! MAKAN CHAR KUEY TEOW!

This is where the heart is

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I have so many topics I want to talk about that are very very dear to my heart, but I don’t have time how!! In fact, I have TWO papers due on Monday but I have this incredibly strong urge to talk about this today. So, let’s talk about my education. Perhaps many of you who just finished SPM may find this relevant and useful?

So I’ve always been a straight As student. Straight As UPSR, PMR, SPM, and I was in all the clubs in school. I was a super athlete as well so I basically did EVERYthing in high school. So I’m blowing my horn, but you’ll see why this is a necessary part of the story.

After SPM, fully equipped with my excellent results and co-curricular activities, I thought my future was set. The headmistress and teachers in my school told me that I would definitely get a scholarship for sure. I too, was so sure. Then, I applied for every single scholarship out there. JPA, Petronas, Bank Negara, UWC, SC, Sime Darby, you name it, my application was there.

I got called back for most of them, which made me even more confident. I went to all the interviews, and did fairly mediocre I would say. I wasn’t amazing, but I wasn’t bad either that’s for sure. If I have one advice for all you scholarship applicants out there, it’s to JUST TALK. Say whatever seriously, don’t ever stay quiet. There are lots of group discussion and it’s easy to get swallowed by all the other aggressive applicants so remember to just talk although you may not sound as good as them!!

Anyway, then the rejection letters came. JPA, sorry no. Petronas, sorry record number of applicants, no. Bank Negara, sorry not good enough. And they just kept coming.

Never in my life had I ever thought my life would end up that way. I strived so hard in high school with JUST one goal: to get a scholarship. All those memorizing, all those running around being president of this and that, all those hours practicing for my 400m, 800m, basketball, all boiled down to those rejection letters.

It shattered my world. I had no backup plans cause I thought I would be good enough to get ONE scholarship for sure. But alas, I wasn’t. For a while, I was so angry, so full of hatred for the system. I know I was more deserving than a lot others who got it and I was so consumed by my indignation that it took me a while to get back on my feet.

But hopefully if you ever had the misfortune to be in the same place I was, you would learn to not waste so much time being angry. But maybe being angry did fuel me to try harder for other things. Then, I took a few months to find out about studying in America, took my SAT, spent months applying and now I’m here.

True, I have to work so much harder now so I can pay back my parents and pay all the loan I owe this school. True, I don’t have a job waiting for me back home. But hey, I’m in a place that is teaching me much more than just how to excel in exams (some day I HAVE to tell you the beauty of the liberal arts education). I can’t complain much can I?

There is a lesson of the day here, and it’s to not put too much hopes into just one plan. (Bak kata pepatah, don’t put all your eggs into one basket wtf). If they say you’re not good enough, say fuck you and move on to prove them why you are. If I had a chance to redo everything again, I would go down this very same depressing path because it really made me who I am today. Without falling once in a while, I would never feel the need to buck up and to show how strong I can be.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not condemning the system (maybe a little..) nor am I saying that people who got it were undeserving. Heck, I know so many people who are scholars who are the most inspiring and intelligent people ever. I’m just saying if you don’t get anything and you know you’re good enough, it’s not the end of the road.

P.S: I applied for an internship with PEMANDU, a unit directly under the Prime Minister’s Department working with the Government Transformation Programme. AND I GOT IT! hooray 😀 Basically, I will be working with the government and I really can’t wait to do so because :

1. I’m sick and tired of cynics thinking that our country is hopeless and is going to fail. Someone has to be proactive and make a change. I’ll tell you later if working with the government will change my views later. For now, i’m as optimistic and naive as ever.

2. I applied for the education sector, mainly because I want to take my frustrations and anger with the system for not letting me be part of it to another level. I don’t want another great candidate (che wah so perasan) to be turned down by the country anymore. But I can’t deny that making a change will take a long time, not to mention extremely difficult. We’ll see.

Well, it’s been a long entry but this is such an important issue to me and I hope it’s been enlightening somewhat. Now, I shall bid farewell to civilization as I retreat into a 48-hour NO SLEEP REDBULL KAO KAO routine cause I have two papers to finish this weekend FML.

I have a dream

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to achieve much more than this, much more than just doing well in college and hoping that I will get a good job in the future. I feel like my purpose in this world is bigger than just getting a good job that will guarantee me a stable income and let me have a nice little family in a nice little city. Sometimes I know I’m meant to do bigger things, that I have what it takes to change a lot of things. Sometimes I feel so dissatisfied and constricted in my current environment, and that I can’t wait to pop this bubble I’m in and venture to do more meaningful things in my life.

But that sometimes is so rare these days. I feel that as the second ticks by, those rare moments are like those poppable bubbles in a bubble wrap being popped one by one as time goes by. Those passionate moments of changing the world and saving mankind are being replaced with more realistic thoughts of fulfilling my own selfish needs as I grow up.

This has to stop. Whichever god you believe in, I don’t think he or she is very pleased with the fact that the world has turned into an every man for himself kinda world. This is not the world I believe in and it’s saddening how increasingly true this is as I see more and more of it each day.

I’m not a very strong and ambitious person. I’m not the Hilary Clinton type nor am I the Mother Theresa type. I can never be a politician nor will I ever be a successful and powerful businesswoman. But I know that I’m not meant to sit behind a cubicle in a 9-5 job looking forward to my paycheck every month so I can pay off my mortgage and my car loan. I know I’m not the type who will slave my soul for a private firm looking to extort money from poor unsuspecting middle-class families just so I can afford a Louis Vuitton bag to parade down the street.

I know what I’m not meant to be, but I really don’t know what I’m meant to be. I know what I don’t want, but I’m finding it so hard to know what I really want. What is my true life calling? I feel like a ping pong ball being smacked from one side to the other. I don’t want to work for a private firm, but I have to if I want to earn enough money to pay back my loans and to support my siblings. I know I want to do bigger things, but I feel like I am not capable enough to do so.

Maybe I need to do some serious rethinking about my life goals. Or maybe, I should just stop thinking so much. I cannot imagine though, living a life where you just go with the flow. If you’re just going with the flow, aren’t you just wasting all the wonderful things you are capable of? Won’t you wake up each day feeling more and more disappointed and that you can achieve much more than just what you have now?

You know what will be funny? If I read this ten years later only to realize that this is all just bullshit. Funny if I’ll finally be working in an unfulfilling 9-5 job because that is the only option I have. But I guess it’s good to know that I once have a vision for myself, a vision that is a lot bigger than what I will ever be.

What a feeling

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I’m kind of upset today. I think I’m just upset in general that my lifestyle changed so drastically from being on the move constantly to staying in my room/library all day doing work. I’m actually happy that I’m back to being constantly challenged intellectually and to doing real work but I’m sad that it’s all just work and no play. I want to work hard and play hard you know, but that’s easier said than done.

I haven’t really found anyone who wants that as much as I do. Most of the people I know are just either this or that and I’m finding it increasingly hard to connect with anyone. I’m graduating in 1 year after this semester and I don’t want my reminiscence of my college years be of the memories I spent doing work/watching drama in my room.

I had a talk with my close friend in college today about this and to my chagrin, I found that we’re drifting further apart in ideologies. This saddens me so much, because I had appreciated the friendship very much and I don’t want anything to change just because I have changed. But there’s just so much to compromise now and what tops the list is my happiness.

I’m determined to show myself, and to people that you can play as hard as you study. I’m not having fun at college right now, to be honest. This is not what I had imagined my college life to be. This is not me, and I cannot see myself being repressed further in this stifling environment. It’s not my college, it’s not the people. I can’t pinpoint what is it exactly, everything just seems like it’s in the wrong place right now, especially me.

So, I got an award recently for being in the top 10% in my graduating class and yet I don’t feel anything remotely close to being an accomplished person. I’d rather trade my award for a decent GPA and a social life 🙁

I just want happy memories to remember my college by, happy memories hanging out with friends and happy conversations about everything and nothing. It doesn’t even have to include partying, alcohol and scandalous things like that.

I need to find my niche, and this is not it.

I will wake up happy tomorrow and try harder. I don’t believe that my environment will decisively mold the person that I am. I will not let history repeat itself again and if it even tries to repeat itself, I’ll catch it by its knees and jam them hard into its ass. Let’s see who’s the boss now wtf

When I grow up

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

When I was younger, I had an ambition. I wanted to be a policewoman. This cleverly-crafted ambition was born after weeks of watching a TVB police show, after days of thinking it over while I was on the throne doing my business, while I was trying to fall asleep, while teachers were talking in class. It was my first ambition ever and I had spent most of my waking moments thinking and thinking about it.

I had everything perfectly sorted out and for the 8 year old me, that was a HUGE deal. I had envisioned it all in my head. Me in a uniform, me catching the bad wolves, me marrying another policeman, me settling down in a nice 2 bedroom apartment with him where we plot our next big catch together. We would be the most respected police couple in the office and we would both lead our own departments and solve big cases together. We were going to be so perfect.

I had been thinking about my ambition because my teacher told us to think about it so we could all present it in class. She was going to ask each of us to stand up and ask what we wanted to be when we grow up. Needless to say, I was so proud of my whole story of being a tough policewoman and marrying a policeman and catching thugs together. I was in an all-girls school and I knew all the other girls, in perfect meek voices would say,

“I want to be a doctor and save dying people!” “I want to be a lawyer and defend the weak!” “I want to be a nun like Mother Theresa!” (I was in a Convent school, so that’s perfectly possible)

A policewoman, wow, no one would ever think of that! Everyone would look up at me with admiring eyes and give me a standing ovation for sure! Breaking the societal norm, doing a job nobody wants, being a hero.

And then came the moment of glory. It was the night before my big presentation and I was talking to my parents about it. I had never told anyone about this before so I was excited and could barely catch my breath when I saw them coming through the door. I lived with my grandparents at the time and my parents only visited once every few weeks and I had been waiting all 2 weeks to tell them this!

“GUESS WHAT?? I know my ambition! I want to be a policewoman and catch bad people and marry a policeman and–”

My parents looked at me with admiring eyes and I knew they were impressed! Then they stifled a laughter and looked at my other relatives who all gathered around me. After some time, an outspoken aunt looked at me apologetically and said, “but dear, I think you are a little too fat to run after the thieves!”

a little too fat to run after the thieves

Those words broke my obese heart into a million pieces. Sure, I was a leeetle fat.

But surely, there are fat policewomen out there! I don’t have to run, I could shoot them down with my amazingly accurate shots!

That night I laid in bed tossing and turning and thinking this carefully over and over again. If even my own blood-related relatives laughed at me, what about my friends in school? Standing ovation, or a big HAHA with fingers pointing at me and hands over stomachs laughing their heads off?

The next day when I was called in class, I stood up and said “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor!” The teacher gave an approving smile and nodded in optimism, despite already having heard the same thing from 20 other students.

I sat back down with hardly an ovation, and continued doing my homework. I hated the thought of having ambitions ever since.

The moral of the story is not that you shouldn’t shoot down dreams of young kids and shatter their hopes for the future because that was my first realization that I was fat and was in need of a serious rethinking about my meal intakes (the fact that I only started doing that only 4 years later  from that day is a different matter altogether wtf).

The moral of the story is..after 13 years, maybe it’s time to rethink this whole ambition thing. It’s not just about having a profession I want to cater my life goals around, but more of knowing what kind of person I want to be. Who do I want to serve in my life, what will make my 30 years of work life most happy, what will enrich my learning experience, money and comfort or self-actualization and personal fulfillment?

Maybe it’s way too early to think about the next 30 years, but too early is better than not realizing that these are important issues I want to tackle first before looking for an internship/job/grad school. Long story short, this is probably just an excuse for me to not start looking for an internship yet hehehhohohhaha wtf

Serious business

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Great, now it’s back to the old me. Back to those dark gloomy days of having too much time to blog but NOTHING to blog about. Back to the super lazy me who sleep 10 hours a day and drag my feet around indoors cause it’s way too cold to go out. I miss Hong Kong 🙁 not only cause it’s a great place to be but also cause it brings out the best in me. By best I mean the hardworking me who’s always on the go and not the current me who just wants to sleep all day..Arghhghgr@%@!#

Actually, I’m looking forward to going back to college again. I’m somewhat optimistic about my next 1.5 years of college life because after last semester, I’m pretty determined to start afresh and anew again. No more antisocial Suet who sits in the room waiting for someone to call her out!

Before this, I’ve always had this picture in my head of who I can be friends with or who I can get along with. If I thought someone wasn’t really my type, I hardly make the effort to keep the friendship going. How stupid, how immature, how close-minded. Those girls who drink too much? Nah not my type. Those who are too loud? Eww. Those who smoke weed and have too much fun? Too cool for me.

You know what, fuck that. Fuck putting people into categories. Fuck trying to mold my friends into who I want them to be. Fuck deciding who I can be best friends with based on my first impressions of them. If I keep doing this, I doubt I can have fun in college, much less have fun in my life at all. Yeap this is my first mission this semester, to be more open-minded and to make more friends!

Second mission is to try to make sense of what I want to do in my life, which is the hardest thing to do..I’m in my third-year now I should be able to figure simple things like this out but I have no clue. I’m majoring in Psychology (which I really love) and Economics (which is a love-hate relationship for me) and I don’t even know if I can manage doing two majors T__T

I’m not motivated enough to get into the rat race of looking for a stellar internship this summer to put into my resume but I HAVE to cause this is the most important year if I want a decent job after I graduate. But I don’t know what I want to do!!! I would love to work in a non-governmental organization again, maybe something bigger like UNICEF but is that what I want to do when I graduate? Do I really care about the society enough to make that my career?

I would die if I have to work in a bank or something finance-related. I cannot do that as much as I like money. But seriously, aren’t most people doing things they don’t quite enjoy doing anyway? Man, I need to talk to people and find out what direction I want to go from here. If anyone has anything to share, feel free to email me/comment. Better still if you have any idea on what kind of internship I should do!

This is such a serious post, but what to do, I’m a serious grown up now T_T No more frolicking around in the snow and watching dramas all day. It’s all serious business from now on le sigh.

2009: The Year That Was

Friday, January 1st, 2010

I spent the last few minutes of 2009 in front of the balcony in my dad’s house in Abu Dhabi. My hands were tightly gripped around the book I was currently engrossed in, my eyes fixated on the city skyline ahead of me. 10 more minutes. I went back to reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, savoring every bit of this moving tale of the struggles of women in Afghanistan.

I like this feeling of being in two worlds; the reality in which you can feel yourself breathe, feel the air on your skin and the voices looming ahead of you, and the fictional world of strong-willed women trying to survive in a war-torn world, of exciting forbidden love and the unfolding of endless drama. I like the feeling of being so engrossed that it seems more and more difficult to discern which is real and which is not anymore.

I looked at my watch again and realized that it was already 12.01 am. I ran outside to the balcony where my family was, climbed the ladder up the rooftop and sat with my siblings. The fireworks erupted, the screaming started, so did the clickings of cameras and the new year wishes. Happy 2010.

I went back to my book even before the fireworks ended and continued reading away. It seemed hard to believe that I was in year 2010 and not 1987. I was in Abu Dhabi holidaying with my family, and not in Kabul with an enraged husband beating the shit out of me.

The first thought that came upon me this year was how blessed I am. How blessed I am to be born into a loving family, in a peaceful country and to be able to do so many things many in the world could only dream of doing. I have the most amazing people in my life and I’m constantly showered with love. With my own money, I’ve traveled to 8 countries this year. And most important of all I’m alive and well and happy.

2009 had been a turbulent year for a lot of people I’m sure, especially for me. I started the year feeling a strong sense of longingness, only to feel neglected and disappointed in the end. I changed from the bubbly girl that I was to a skeptical and moody person, only to realize that I wasn’t happy at all. The last part of 2009 was life-changing in both good and bad ways. My perspectives changed and I went back to my former cheerful self, forever etched with memories I will never forget. 2009 brought about both extremes of me and although I’m still finding it hard to reconcile both ends, I’m trying my very best.

I started my 2010 feeling blessed, loved and happy. I have no new year resolutions this time because I don’t think anything will ever be more important than all of the above. I wish everyone a very happy new year and may this year be as good as your last, if not better! For those who did not have a good 2009, try looking at things differently this year and perhaps that will help.

To all my dear readers, thank you for going through this journey of constant soul-searching and self-improving with me. Thank you for being loyal audience to my life adventures and my inner thoughts of self-doubts and aspirations. Thank you for not bailing out on me when I was lost and confused, and for the constant encouragement to hold on and to stand back up when I fall. Having amazing readers like all of you is another thing I’m truly blessed and thankful for 🙂

Happy 2010 everyone! How strange that word sounds when it rolls off my tongue..Strange, but comforting. Daunting, but exciting. It will be a good year, that I’m sure of. It just keeps getting better every year 🙂