Saturday, November 28, 2009

On Love and Marriage, again

I wanted to write about one of the key, if not imperative ingredients for a marriage to last - the main thing is that... the man you marry, has to be of a good character. 

Almost everyone has this topic of love or relationships on their mind. I met up with a lady friend, she shared with me her ups and downs of relationships for 8 years. Another friend, a guy, who knows The Boyfriend and me, separately, wanted to know our story - how we met, started to like each other, and went out. And I mentioned to him that almost all girls do feel insecure at the beginning of the relationship. Perhaps of emotional issues like past hurts, or seeing some relationships go awry after a short time, girls, myself, we do hold back a little, at the start. But I mentioned to my close guy friend that The Boyfriend showed a strong decision by telling his leaders immediately about me and met up with his parent and extended family too. In fact, he met with my parents too in the first month we were seeing each other. It's this confidence that leads me to trust him more and also feel secure in our love. 

Speaking about love, I also feel that one of the ways a marriage will break up is that one party does not feel as strongly about the other party. May I be so bold to say that that party does not really love the intended, who, sadly, loves them with his whole heart. You may well wonder, as well as I, in this case, then why marry? But for some women, they feel secure in a man's love and being in a relationship. When they see all their friends getting hitched, they feel the pressure or the desire and thus settle down with the man. Sad but true, it happens both ways as well... I've heard the news about impending nuptials for one such sad case. Through the lady's actions in the past, she has shown she is not capable of loving the man, nor having a good character. In short, she has left the man and the relationship on two occasions when the man was in need, the last, when he was in financial distress, and caused him to fall into a deep state of depression as well. I'm not saying I make a good girlfriend, but in this instance, I would stand by my man and even lend him money knowing he will not be able to return. But for this sad story, the girl not only left him, but got attached quickly to another. I also wondered how this could be, as for me, it would be impossible to fall in love again in such a short time. I felt it would be shortchanging the next fellow. Some simplistic explanation would be, that the lady 'opened the door', gave the next chap some chances while she already had in mind to end the relationship. In fact, they broke up during this time 2 years ago, christmas time, and he was on course for 3 weeks, after that when he wanted to patch up with her, to his utter shock and horror, she was with another chap. Although I am not personally acquainted with the lady, I have to say all the facts are true, and hearing this story I can only say that his only fault is that he fell in love with the wrong girl. Even his family is against the marriage, and some people who know, also feel the same way as me. In this case, I have no hopes that it will be a happy marriage, and I am sad. We had talked before, about us hanging out as marrieds, taking care of each other's children, he and my husband chatting while his wife and myself go out shopping together, it seems like a wonderful dream of a happy life, but in reality, my guess is that he will be happy only for a little while. Given her nature, I don't think it's long before he will end up miserable again. And even sadder, he might kill himself. If she does leave him alone again, I think we have to accept that he might jump, or just decide to end it all. The Bible states the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. In fact, his peace of mind has already been stolen. So the next time, it might be a really sad and unhappy ending. 

This might be a controversial statement to make, but Pastor said that he believed strongly, any relationship can be reconciled. Any issues, can be worked upon and resolved. 

But for some cases there might not be such a simple resolution. If, in the first place, one party does not or cannot love the other, how? Or, if the other's character is really not good, what sort of quality of life can you expect to have together? In these cases, being alone might be better. If you have ever been close friends with people who are about to divorce and hearing them throughout, you know that they really suffer. Whether they have been unfaithful or not, or in any case, both sides really suffer, the pain of seeing their marriage fall apart. In my book, it's better to remain single than to marry the wrong guy. Seeing my friend make such a mistake, it's difficult for me, too.

I heard of a high-profile couple whom most of us know, they are getting a divorce. Apparently, although the reason was not widely publicized, and we do not care to speculate, because, as all of us know, there is not just one main reason alone, IE ' he has been unfaithful' to cause that to happen. It's sad but I am glad to hear that, many people have come up and said testimonies about his character. That whether he is a 'divorcee', a taboo in our christian circle, they still respect him for who he is and what he has done for them. I think my friends are brave in saying so. I was once entangled in a situation which left many people thinking it was a 'love affair gone wrong'. No matter how much I protested my innocence, those who are high-profile all disappointed me by trying to be 'neutral' and not supporting either party. 

Only those true friends stood by me when I was down: KK (and FL) took me out for suppers on Sunday nights where the feelings would overwhelm, DZ sang songs to me was there every public holiday to accompany; RS shared some life lessons of her own via email - when we were only 'hi-bye' friends and she did not even know me well, I was really touched. It takes guts to share some things you don't want others to know, and also guts to trust me that it remains safe with me...

YH made sure I came for service by smsing me every Saturday and even though busy with the youth, he made sure there was always an empty seat beside him for me in case I wanted some company, JC was there and went the extra mile by finding out things I couldn't have and helping me so much, others smsed me and met me from time to time. Truly in such crisis, you know which friends are there for you, who has the strength of character that even though you are in some scrape, they bother. I think it shows how good a person they are, and also because of maybe similar experiences, they are in the position to help me. 

I was saying that in this day and age, you can't find 'lifetime friends' anymore.
But I think now, I know where to look!   

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Love and Marriage

Penpal sent me this excerpt from CS Lewis' writings on Love that was the chicken soup for my soul this week.

'Knowledge can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.
And in fact, whatever people say, the state called 'being in love'
usually does not last. If the old fairy tale ending 'They lived
happily ever after' is taken to mean 'They felt for the next fifty
years exactly as the day before they were married', then it says what
probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly
undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for
even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your
sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be 'in love' need
not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense - love as distinct
from 'being in love' - is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity,
maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit;
reinforced by (in Christian marriage) the grace which both partners
ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other
even at those moments when they do not like each other, as you love
yourself even when you do not like yourself. Then can retain this love
even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be 'in love'
with someone else. 'Being in love' first moved them to promise
fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on
this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the
explosion that started it.'

We all have expectations in life, me being me, I think my expectations are quite high. But then again, I've realised that in developing my thinking to a certain extent, I've sort of neglected the 'active' parts of learning, like learning how to cook, how to swim, how to drive, even, some of the most basic life skills one would say you would need to survive today. Instead, I do take a certain pride in learning how to listen, how to communicate effectively and make good friendships, how to be kind, how to appreciate what we have so easily. In the face of building my character, I am often unimpressed, disgusted as well, at some of the what we would say 'ugly Singaporean' character in some of my friends. If we do not take the love of God into the equation, I do feel that some of the ones not in The Church have show a much better disposition. I've been brought up to expect a certain way of how women are treated by men, as friends, at the very least, should be concerned enough in certain measures. Yet I guess most Singaporean guys are self-centred in the way that they put themselves first in this area. I can't help but to be quite offended and disgusted by some of their moves, I do feel ashamed to be their friends.

The Boyfriend cooked a nice dinner for me today, I had chicken wings, veggie dish and a lovely chicken soup which I couldn't stop drinking from. Being sick, I'm thankful for the TLC in this way. It's not an easy task to cook a delicious meal.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

all about you

One sunday evening we brought TheBoyfriend's second cousin and her boyfriend out to Dempsey, they were in Singapore for the weekend. Second cousins means they're not really related, one of their parent is the other parent's cousin. But I found they looked quite similar though, which is surprising because none of my siblings bear the littlest resemblance to each other! And it was fun to go on a couple-outing, for once! We've only been out with his other cousin, a guy and his girlfriend whom we meet pretty often for family dinners, and another friend and her boyfriend, just once. It's always nice to have couple friends we can go out with - I've never had that before, so I'm excited to have that!

Making new friends: I'm actually not that proactive in making new friends, primarily because I already find it hard to catch up with the current ones; but lately because of participating in activities, I find myself getting to know new friends and catching up with the ones once known a little better. I met a guy who seems to be a mix of 2 of my guy friends whom I once hung out with and throughout the time I couldn't help but be fascinated at the similarities I detected. He has a nice side to him that he keeps well-covered up, but I spotted it, teehee. Perhaps like me, he is wary of new people. I also got to know the wacky and fun side of some people, I'm glad for that. If only we could hang out more often, I think I'd really grow fond of them. For another guy, I've always dimissed him as someone who is, you know, a bit 'cannot make it' in terms of being a partner (not for my other friends.) But having seen another side of him, I've changed my mind...yes he is not a good dresser in my books and seems miserly as well. But I think he'd make a good boyfriend to any of my friends, yes, I believe they will be happy with him! I've seen the nicer side of him - the sincere concern he shows when he asks about someone, he is truly concerned and not just paying lip service. The easy going way he views life, it's truly a blessing in this area, that he is so easy going and not worried about the small stuff, TheBoyfriend is like this too! And his enthusiasm for things motivates and encourages others... wow.

Seeing so many nice sides of people recently, I can't help but take a look at my own partner and count the ways I love him. I always wish that I could spend more time with him, and this hopeful wish often goes unfulfilled, this leads me to a melancholy state at times, because I've always imagined us trotting happily down parks and long walks by the beach, just holding hands. But I've also realised that working so much lately does leave him too tired for this couple sort of things, so I do need to tune down my expectations. Having spent so much time with other guys instead of him recently, it's sort of a weird feeling for me getting closer to other people than my intended... I wish I could have more shared moments with him, that even though we seem far apart at times, we can always share with each other about the moments that make up our lives. Or at least try to make some effort in it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

some things are better left unsaid

Around this time of the year, the christmas lights are up, the trees are lighted brightly and we are reminded to go and shop. For many of us though, it's a reminiscing time, once more. After all, the things on our mind are not the latest must-haves but the people we have once shared a connection with. Some people also think about God and how far they've been. That's why so many people 'reappear' at this season, and also, many get re-attached or newly attached. Haha.

I've had many around me who are in this 'mode', lately, so it strikes me a little too. How some names are not on my to-gift list this year. Or how some names, being mentioned, still brings out mixed feelings in me. It's mixed feelings because I can't come to a conclusion...not a conclusion about my feelings but a conclusion about the character of the person. If the person was really, not a worthy person of my friendship, then I wouldn't be anguished about it fading away and almost being unremembered. I'm someone who highly values the company I keep, maybe deep down I'm hoping a hopeless hope, not just for the friendship to be restored but for the person's life and years ahead to be a happy one, like the way I'm happy now.

A friend was sharing that he once knew someone closely who never lied... some people do have flaws like lying, smoking, exaggerating... but this person just keeps quiet thus preventing herself from lying. I thought and said that this is not a bad trait, she can truthfully say she doesn't lie! As he puts it, some things are better left unsaid, and he too won't tell those who are close to him about all he has experienced or his thoughts... if we all were truthful, I wonder how many of us would be left standing? This guy is a blessed guy in the areas of...girls liking him. He has never been single for a long period of time and since the last we met, 3 girls professed their liking for him and one even cried! They said their i love yous and i want nobody nobody but you to be my boyfriend. In fact, one of them even said 'JUST FOR ONE NIGHT' !!!! Fainted, man. I can't believe that there are these kind of people... been watching too many korean/taiwanese dramas??? I think this kind of wish 'just for one night' is quite self-destructive because even if you had a good good night, what good will this memory of that one night bring you and what does it say about your morals?

Lucky for them though, he is also a decent guy and won't just accept a girl because she has professed her head over heels. And of course, not a one-night-stand also! I approved and said that it's better for the girls this way, because it'even if they get their wish of a relationship with him... they know it's not a sincere one... so in a sense, he is letting them off lightly. It's a hard balance and a hard thing to do when someone close to you likes you, LOVES you but honestly you don't feel a thing, what are you to do? Then again, most people wish for such a thing to happen to them, that someone would love them heedlessly... obsessively... isn't it so?

I know many people want to be happy, but choosing and living their own self-destructive paths is not the right way. And when things are THAT OBVIOUS to so many, it's time to do some reflecting and seriously changing of your course of action. After all, some things are left unsaid and it's better to live a moment in misery than a lifetime of regret. Some wrong choices (or passive choices) brings about circumstances that can't be changed easily, but in the end... who suffers? It's you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

a Flash mob, found this touching and the audience's responses are amazing.

Engrish Test

I pronounce 'lingerie' the American way. How do the French say it though?

...and I got all correct though 'sixth' was a hard one!

that's why they call it corporate culture.

A photo concept of mine taken last year, that was not doable without the help of friends - we took a LONG time arranging this, a camera that had a tripod and a auto-mode, and the beautiful thailand beach of course. We won a best photo award! I'm looking forward to a short break early next month, it's always good to take an exciting holiday from time to time. And I shared a testimony in cell that I had just changed my baht - in faith - a major sum for my trip. And it happened to be at its lowest point then. Of course, it might slide down a little lower, etc, and the difference is a few baht anyways, but I felt a sense of joy that I didn't waste money and time. (The ringgit's low these days too!)

Those money gurus always tell you not to invest yourself into a business/industry that requires your 'man-hours' for profit, as this kind of business will never make it big, big in the global sense. But since not all of us aim for the stars, should we take this into consideration? For instance if you are a... masseur, you can earn... $20 - $200 /hour, depending on the type of establishment you are in. Similar for hawkers and people who do sales. It's really how many chicken wings or how many medical devices you can push within one hour and multiply that, you have got your job and income!

Hear of people saying they left their job or hate their job because of the corporate culture they are in? It's because their skills-set do not have inherent value... or are easily picked up.

Say, you are good in... videography. And you have worked for a few years, 3-5 years maybe. So now your income is double that or close to double, of a fresh grad's monthly salary. You think you have got it made! But as a boss (I'm not referring to my situation, just in general), a small-company boss would think, am I paying you too much? Because a fresh grad can do, in about 6 months' of learning, a fresh grad can do what you do and probably with a better attitude and a less slacker mindset. are not very marketable, isn't it? What sets you apart from the fresh grad in terms of output and revenue? Are you able to do double or triple of what they do in a day, thus ensuring your iron rice bowl? Of course not, because one hour of work is the same amount! And it's not only in the media industry but I believe, many other companies as well. Those 'bottom-feeder'/low-level 'marketing managers'? Trust me, they will stay in that position but maybe hop from company to company, always underperforming. That's the situation.

While it may look bad for companies to hire and fire, bottom line for most small companies is revenue. I'm not saying that I affirm their move, in fact, it is bad for the corporate culture to do so, deploying staff as and when reduces work productivity also, but when the going gets rough, many will lose their jobs, within or without reason. So I'm asking myself, how can I make sure that I have a skill that will enable me to ride the tide?

Some skills are highly valued, more so than others, especially in our little island state. I may aspire to be an 'OL' - office lady in the future, but I think those OLs have very little place to learn and be 'indispensable' to any company, as well. A lot of older folk always told me that a good skill to learn is ...SALES. Then not only will you be indispensable, you also master the art of selling which is not easy, I've been there done that and reaped the rewards, perhaps even reaping it now! Also, having a variable income might be very cool to most people. And a sense of accomplishment, knowing you have worked hard for your money, you will treasure the things you buy with it more, I feel.

I have a penchant for coach bags - the more classic designs, and I can always remember when/how I bought them and under what kind of financial situation. Somehow the lovely dresses and bags remind me of what I once worked hard for. The way good sales engineers are hard to find: It's a specialized field, plus most engineer types suck at sales/explaining themselves so that everyone can understand, thus, highly paid and highly sought after...

For those who are highly-paid in a job that even fresh grads can do, it's time to take a hard look at your career advancements, because soon, there won't be any, and that's corporate culture for you.
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

christmas is coming and this is one reminder to keep it in spirit! a must watch!

Kurt Carr - We Lift Our Hands In The Sanctuary

our hip-hop dance song... I hope I can remember all the steps

MIley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A. - Official Music Video (HD)

her catchiest song thus far... and an eyeful of cleavage and shaking!!!

Friday, November 06, 2009

serendipitously sagacious

Such lovely, canvas-style like, dreamy photos... and guess what? I know the man.
Hmmm... when my big day comes I will find it hard to decide on which photographer eh.

It was an amazing coincidence, I was having a meal with my ex-colleague and duno-why, she talked about this photographer's photos which she loved. Having a bit of skepticism on the quality of photos, since I had perused many, MANY wedding photographers' work ( , they are lovely!) I went to check it out on Facebook. The shots were amazing and his name rings a bell.

I remember that during my sales days about 2-3 years back, I had met the guy.
He shared that he hadn't any money to invest mainly because he wanted to do his own thing, ie become a photographer. Knowing of many wannabe photographers, I took it with a pinch of salt. I remember being skeptical about pursuing one's dreams in the creative field in Singapore, especially since I've known many who have just done that, but the income cannot keep one for long... So seeing how far he's come now, I feel so happy for him! Whether he has 'made it' or not, this would definitely be one happy bride!

"I guess Singapore is so materialistic, that it's hard not to get sucked into it. I do struggle with my own intentions when it comes to money and possessions. I sometimes wonder where to draw the line between being ambitious and having godly contentment. Do I euphemise my striving for more wealth as ambitious, or water down my lack of drive as being contented?"
-said my pen-pal from across the continents.

Yes, this is exactly what I've been feeling these few days. a sort of quarter-life reflection or because the end of the year is coming, I am in the 'take stock of the year' kind of mood. I'm thinking about my future. While right now I thank God for my blessings and I seem to be in a place better than most, with regards to connections, expertise and etc, I'm thinking about the 5-year plan. The Boyfriend is in the 'counting money' line, and while some might say the work sucks, the pay is low for the kind of work and etc, 5 years later, he can find an established position in almost any company with a pay bracket which is, well, standardized amongst the profession and, a very comfortable income for that matter. Whereas I, looking at my 'prospects' 5 years from now, it doesn't seem very good, if I hone myself in my current capacity. The market is small and likewise, career opportunities are not as good. It's not all about the money, a woman's career is short too - if we have kids we have to stop work for a couple of years at least. So if I do return to the workforce, I'm not too keen to start from the bottom, or in a dead-end job(=administrative in nature). Help! That is why probably at this time and age, it's best to consider my options before I have not many GOOD options. Isn't that so?

I'm sure for many people, starting out doing their own creative thing is not easy at all. Having to juggle being self-employed with their artistry and having a higher EQ to deal with all sorts of clients at the beginning and all sorts of expectations... they have made sacrifices like sleepless nights, maybe putting a relationship potential on hold. But end of the day, the satisfaction that they've made it their own truly belongs to them.

But for me, I like to be non-self-employed. Yes, for my future too, at least the next 5 years'.
Earn more to take nice photos!

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

bending over backwards

Oh, I miss those decadent breakfasts...

New word of the day: shenanigans. And I've actually used this word in a sentence after being prompted to remember its meaning. Hee. Perhaps in a bid to stop my English from going down the drain talking to 'low-level people'. I've sadly realised that if you're going to make it professionally, you have to have a more than adequate command of English, something which I've naturally excelled in, loving to read and converse with others who are also articulate and passionate about the spoken and written word.

So I'm appalled/uncomprehending to the ways of 'low-level people' (Or 'bottom-feeders' as Dad puts it) pronounciation can be forgiven. Mispelling one or two words is fine, still forgiven, and even wrong usage of past and present tense, though that should have been learned in preschool... and even wrong placing of " 's " and " s' " can also be overlooked. But some English errors once made, becomes the joke of the day, and too bad for you people will just remember you for this gross mistake. Case in point, a bottom feeder spelt one of my productions under 'martial arts', as 'marshall arts'. Not realizing it was wrong, sent it to the client (along with more spelling mistakes I must add), this was related to me by another colleague... a week later (today), they again remembered the 'marshall arts' when the said clips were shown to them.

It just goes to show that double-checking, or spell-checking (but in this case... grammar check perhaps?) is crucial in presentation to clients! Man... ... it is too painfully funny. Worse case is that the said person brushed off his boo-boo, stating that 'it's a common mistake most people would make and not notice.' What a big ego! It may be a funny story related as a light-hearted humor but when you face such happenings, again and yet again, you really have to reconsider some options. I'm not saying you have to bend over backwards to please a client, but at the very least, don't show your flaws THAT obviously. I'm wondering what will happen when I'm gone?

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

pet peeves

I read two great articles about cold/flu and H1N1 vaccine questions. I'm really thinking of getting a normal flu jab so this might be something worth reading, it might change your mind or just point you to some relevant questions from an established doctor's point of view!

Also, a great site for reading about how to update resumes, job advice etc... really relevant and useful information.

Well, I've recently found out my pet peeves, regarding co-workers (whomever I work with, in office or in my job or in...elsewhere). Almost ALL the time, we cannot choose who we have to contact, liase with or who's overseeing us... most of the time, it does not get to me. Or I choose not to think about it or not to complain. But now... I shall, I must!

1. 'Skivers'
Yes there is such a word. Some people who shirk off their duties, giving ELABORATED excuses on why they can't do it. They actually have the skill and time to do, they just don't want to and so give countless reasons why, some reasons are really creative and convincing, up till a certain point. Well usually it doesn't bother me until I have to give their lame, shoddy excuses on THEIR behalf. And usually, putting off work means you have to do it later and at a more urgent deadline too. So just do it, I say. I'm not a workaholic, I also surf my personal email, FB, and other interesting sites during my work hours as I'm allowed to. But I set myself work targets and at the end of the day, complete my tasks. Being the first to reach office too, I am the first to leave, it's fair this way. The Skivers may try to make you feel bad about it but unless they are groping for OT pay, then ask them to leave office with you too, if they can arrive as early as you do.

2. 'Uncles'
A branch-off from 'Skivers', they have too much time on their hands, are often found gathered at water-coolers, and chatting about the meeting they have just attended or the schedule or anything under the sun which is not really related to work, but they make it the all-important topic of the day. Not your nice kindly uncles, they are the ones that will grow into kopi-shop complainants, but for now are content to talk for hours about their opinion to whoever seems sympathetic or just happens to be at the water-cooler too. They usually entice the listener by a hesitant tone and 'Hey, I think ah... this and that... how about you?' and draws the hapless listener into a long, seemingly well-meaning but hopeless dialogue. Listening to them annoys the hard-working bunch who are 'less talk, more action' beings.

3. 'Interferers'
Their "advice" is highly annoying especially when you feel you have to explain to them your course of action (you don't have to, really, they will not understand it anyways) and they will just 'shoot' you, when you least expect it, with a KEY suggestion from their valued expertise and experience, and expect you to follow their instructions like a headless corpse. Sometimes bossy, sometimes they seem to really want to help you along the way, but you have to suck up your guts and bravely say 'no', after which they will slink away. Don't worry about hurting feelings, stick to what you know is right.They will manipulate you to feel you've done something wrong by ignoring their "advice". Work is work and end of the day, you have more positivity doing something not based on others' interfering. When advice is uncalled for, it's best to ignore.

4. 'Big Egos'
Usually men. When mistakes are made by them, they do not accept correction after countless times of others pointing it out, and even so, brushing it aside with 'oh, most people make the same mistake anyways'. May be skilled in some things, but the lack of positive learning spirit ensures he does not have the requisite skills in the others. Some make it big, and others wonder why. Of course, it's due to his smooth-talking slick efforts. (Yes life is unfair.) But time will tell if he lasts at the top. Just pray he isn't my boss. These types do take the credit for work done (others, not their own.)

Having met such creatures, I'd been of a emo-mood of late. But I shall use this positively to tackle the shark-infested waters... Also, after about 2 weeks of wallowing in the water, I realised, as all of do, at times, who's there to keep and who (in your life) you can throw away. I noticed one chinese girl who does work as hard as I do, and I have a pleasant working experience with her. In fact, I am kinder in my working terms with her too, and we had a nice sharing time, one which I will cherish.

Like me, she also chooses who to share with and who to learn from.