Sure as Autumn Flame


5 weeks to words

ImageA hot air balloon emerging from the mist,
Perhaps this is what reality looks like under all that morphine.

For months I’ve buried the stirrings of an emotional connect beneath the daily grind,
Only for a fatal incident to open my eyes to the love from friends and others close to my heart  I nearly left behind,
Through morphine and painkillers those memories are fleeting, but real,
As they etched themselves into my heart to remember, to heal.

My friends, you came and chatted, how I hung on to those conversations,
They remind me of our shared laughter and enjoyable moments,
How we’ve grown and paved our path to future destinations;
These I’ve neglected, all in the name of blinded pursuits for success and accomplishments,
And to close a chapter on love and all other emotions.

The days at home can be long and empty,
Filled with images and thoughts but alas they are so damn flighty;
You came by and spent the hours with me when I’m stuck at home and my brain so laggy,
Not my best state, with the world through my eyes turning topsy-turvy.

Touched – I was, a quiet peace that accompanied your presence,
You saw my before and aftermath, never again;
Eight lives I’ve gambled, granted with one – to love, to cherish, to put a smile on others’ faces,
To tell the stories the world ought to hear, and know somewhere, somehow I’ve made a tiny difference.

Stay if you plan to stay, don’t come and go,
The body’s battered, there leaves only the soul.
The former I can play, the latter I keep within,
Bit by bit revealed, through encounters thick and thin.

The recovery path might have seemed easy and nice;
Masked through optimism, character and moments I fantasize;
There have been minutes of frustration, worry and agony,
The fear of losing myself – intelligence, pace and musicality,
The tremble in my veins, not seeing my past wordsmith and ideas surface…

The mind could draw a blank just like that,
I find myself searching my memory banks as though I’ve misplaced the catalogue for them,
Like a confused librarian who has nothing on her hand,
I leave my search to prayers and hope,
While I re-teach myself to think the way I did again.

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To be Alive, not Dead.
May 25, 2013, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Life's fragile recollections, Two Cents' Worth | Tags: , , , , ,

To begin a new post with such a dramatic headline, I suppose it is uncalled for, but I am incredibly blessed to be sitting at home without any broken limbs now despite surviving a cycling accident. Many cyclists I know have suffered fractures, near-deaths, unfortunate deaths, terrible injuries from being on the road. I too, have joined the community whose members have been burned by the road – most of the time due to an unexpected turn of events that we can’t really say we could have prevented.

So, a downslope journey and an attempt at slowing down caused me to fly over the bicycle, land on my head and break my fall by rolling. I remember none of these, for they were told to me by those who were with me that night. A blood clot formed between my brain and my skull, hence the surgeon at Changi General Hospital that midnight called for a neurosurgery – one to cut open my skull and drain the blood clot – a successful operation that left my head half-shaven, stitched and staples closing a C-shaped scar.

One night in the Intensive Care Unit, another in High Dependency Care, and six nights in a hospital ward to monitor the effects of a post brain-surgery, muscle trauma and zero broken limbs. I thanked God how incredibly lucky I am to be alive, recovering well (save for the damn headaches), and dealing only with two open wounds, a temporary-deaf right ear and a healing head injury.

There were moments that got me frustrated for a second. Having no hair, a deaf ear, and not being able to deal with an overload of questions and problems were some of them.

But walking into my ward and life were the best friends and companions who reminded me that my life I hold so dearly was greatly based on the relationships I have with them. Colleagues, clients, friends from the cycling + outdoor + wakeboard + gym community, primary and secondary schools, some I knew through work but turned great friends came by. Truth be told I never expected so much care and concern from them, but they reminded me how fragile life is, and how much they matter to me.

Traumatic an incident it was, it also created a closer bond between my mum and I. It was a time she fully showed her love for me, and came to accept how much of an adrenaline junkie her only daughter is. It was a good break, for I’ve spent too little time with my mum when I placed work and past-relationships above her.

So here’s a month (or more) of a much-needed break. A time when my head actually tells me, “No, I can’t deal with this. You stop it.”

And every minute’s worth of thanking God, I am still alive. 🙂



“25 Life Lessons For My Daughter”
November 1, 2012, 2:14 am
Filed under: L.ove, Two Cents' Worth | Tags: , , , , ,

I came across a blog post I archived years back, in hopes of living my life by them. As titled, these were advice from a modern-day Dad, and I find it tragically funny that I had to take advice from a digital piece of writing, because I never had the opportunity to get my dose of life’s advice from my dad.

So as humorous as they are at times, they make alot of sense. I have lifted from MetroDad’s post, his 25-liners for his daughter:

(1) When posing for any photos, assume that the only people who will see them are me, your mother, your boss, and the dean of admissions.

(2) Lennon, not McCartney. Keith, not Mick. Page, not Plant.

(3) Life is too short not to order the fries.

(4) Never date a man who is rude to waiters, doesn’t say “bless you” when you sneeze, or won’t offer you his jacket when you’re cold.

(5) Never order drinks that are pink or come with an umbrella in them. Don’t be fancy.

(6) Don’t worry about being popular. The “weird” kids are much more fun and will end up being your most interesting friends. Also, when it comes to friends, you can’t trump quality with quantity. Choose wisely. Who would you call to drive your white Bronco?

(7) Give charitably, generously, and anonymously.

(8) Crocs are for people who have given up on life.

(9) Never cheat. Not on exams, the crossword puzzle, or your boyfriend.

(10) If you love someone, tell them. Don’t hold back.

(11) It may be a small world but it’s a huge planet. Grab every opportunity to see as much of it as you possibly can. Most people don’t.

(12) Keep your eye on the ball and follow through, both in sports and in life.

(13) Speaking of sports, pick a team and stick with them. There are few things more important in life than loyalty. It’s a dying trait currently in short supply. Trust me. I’m a Mets fan.

(14) Never regret staying home alone with a good book.

(15) If you feel the need to reinvent yourself, at least be original. No tattoos unless you’re in the armed forces. No body piercings unless you become a pre-Columbian tribal Aztec. No orange hair unless you join the circus.

(16) Learn from the bad as well as the good. Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And always remember that the story is never over.

(17) Don’t make a scene.

(18) Learn how to entertain yourself. Close the door, crank up the stereo, and dork out. Invent new dance moves. Play the air guitar. Practice your touchdown moves. Too many people are self conscious even when they’re alone. Don’t be one of those people.

(19) While you’re at it, learn how to laugh at yourself.

(20) When you realize that everyone comes from a dysfunctional family, life gets a little easier and you feel a little less crazy.  The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.

(21) Thank you notes are to be written promptly by hand on personal stationery. E-mails, phone calls and text messages don’t count.

(22) Remember that nice guys do finish first. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know where the finish line is.

(23) Learn to cook one thing really well.

(24) Happiness is not fame, money or power. The key to life is finding your sweet spot.

(25) Take every piece of advice anyone ever gives you with a grain of salt.

———–

Truth be told, a huge part of me feels angry that I was given another sort of advice as life’s lessons – points that I do not agree with because they aren’t in my character to stick to. Another part of me feels sad that I had to discover such common sense advice through my own idle reading, and never having the wonderful privilege to know a role model to live life by.

So on the contrary, below are the life lessons given to me:

(1) A woman’s goal in life is finding a rich man who will love you, care for you so that you never have to work a day in your life.

(2) Happiness is having so much money that you never have to work a day in your life and you can do whatever you please.

(3) Always study hard no matter what, because that’s going to get you a good salary, and a good life.

(4) Always lift the toilet seat up; you don’t want the next person to have her butt wet while taking a piss or dump.

(5) Cook only in the kitchen if it doesn’t make the counter and floor oily, because it is stressful having to clean up.

(6) Always eat from a disposable container with disposable cutlery when you can, to save on washing up after that.

(7) Never work harder than what your scope of work requires you to. People never appreciate what you do anyway.

(8) Bliss is finding the man who is able to provide you and your family with a comfortable life (read: big house, maid, car and holidays)

(9) Don’t play too much sports because men are never gonna love scars on women.

(10) Skincare regime begins from 21 years old, because the Chinese saying: “When you do not burn a joss-stick as offering to the gods regularly, they would not come to your rescue at the last-minute even when you hug them at their legs.”

———

And perhaps, for good measure, here are my personal anecdotes to start with:

(1) Spend time finding out who you are, because once you have discovered and love that, it becomes for others to love you.

(2) Travel whenever you can. Nothing beats chalking a life full of stories to share over a round of beers.

(3) Decide if you will work for passion or for money. The best you can achieve is a balance of both but never more of your preferred choice. The grass is always greener than the other side.

(4) If you realise you are decent-looking enough, use your good looks to your advantage – get people to remember you, make an impression, and most of all, be NICE.

(5) Honesty is the best policy. The more you lie, the more you have to remember to make your stories consistent.

There are a great many more…but these are enough to start off with, for now.



Stop being envious, get cracking start planning!
June 20, 2011, 12:54 am
Filed under: Lifestyle, Two Cents' Worth | Tags: , , , , ,

I get this too often: “Hey you are quite happening huh, always looking like you have a fabulous time every weekend” or “Just how many times do you travel??”

It does get frustrating, especially when people think all you do is to play all day long…as if you do not deserve it. It is amazing how quickly people judge – come into office with a sunkissed look and people immediately think you are a beach bum who spends her days under the sun without doing any work.

I digressed. Instead of sitting back and being envious of all of us who “enjoy life, leh”, it is also time to consider the following:

1. You have reached the age where you cannot party hard on Fridays and Saturdays and expect to bounce outdoors the next morning. Your body will probably want to hide under the covers till 3pm on a brilliant weekend instead.

2. You feel that your weekends should be plans-free and hence decide to plan your day around your mood instead. Being the night owls most of us are, chances are you will probably wake up at 11am earliest and spend the next 4 hours planning brunch/lunch, getting there and sitting through a lovely lazy day. Before you know it, it’s 5 in the evening, time for beers!

3. Weekends in Singapore can get really boring after a while. How much can you eat, drink and shop…and keep this routine up every week?

Weekend getaways include local hotel stays (well you can bounce and frolic on the hotel bed, opt for cocktail lounges and buffet breakfasts to keep yourselves occupied); Batam (hotel stays, beach resorts, seafood and cable-ski park); Malaysia (food trips to Malacca, Penang, city roams in Kuala Lumpur); Phuket (sun, sand, sea, massage); Indonesia’s private islands and more. What’s there NOT TO DO?

4. Barbecues.

There is nothing more satisfying than organising a barbecue. Raid the supermarkets, wash, chop, cut, marinate, skewer the food and do not forget the Wii and beers. Gone are the days of eating sand in between your East Coast sausages and cheap-looking crabsticks. Say hello to home barbecues with wagyu beef, garlic buttered king prawns, home-made beef patties and endless satays. Start playing “99 bottles, standing on the wall” when you think you have accumulated too many Heinekens – have fun.

Long hours are going to be here to stay during the work week anyway, so make full use of the weekends for your dose of fun – planned, of course.