Britney Spears isn't the only one allowed to have a hiatus... however, I will draw the line somewhere between shaving my head bald, marrying a loser and making a complete fool out of myself in front of the whole world.Unfortunately, the reasons for my absence is thoroughly uncreative and uninteresting -- I still have yet to move flats (I've been taking it slow to avoid trauma as to how much junk I managed to accumulate over the past two years), my internet in my current flat will probably die in the next couple of days as I transfer over my services to my other place, my load at work has been increasingly shitty and the clincher -- my parents are coming to visit for a week!!!Oh lordy be.I don't mind the first two as much as the third one. I love them to death, but they just stress me out so much. I will be needing all the energy that I can get for this one. A week will be like eternity and I will age about a hundred years.I apologize for the lack of posts and comments -- but I promise that I'll be back in gear once I've sorted out my life (AGAIN!). Sorry, it has been a rather busy month :(I cannot wait for everything to be over... a new start is definitely what I need.Thanks many for the patience and consideration. I hope you all don't forget me.I will be back sometime during the first week of November, I swear!
In my native tongue, the phrase "bahala na" is very much overused in instances that we have very little control over. In other words, it happens most in times where we have no sodding idea on what to do. It is derived from the phrase "Bathala na" which quite literally means "Leave it to the hands of the gods." One who is new to the concept would think that it's an endearingly spiritual way of thinking but someone like me who has grown accustomed to it thinks of it as a glorified way of saying "Whatever!" It never kept me from using it though *grin* Over and over at that.I probably join the millions who believe that there are no accidents, just incidents. And that, yes, everything happens for a reason. It's not so much that believing such things easily gives meaning to situations that we cannot make sense of, but it's more of -- I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps it partly stems from my background as a Catholic. You know, believing in a God who has our lives mapped out given the twists, turns, options and choices that we make. Then again, when we think about it, is it really possible to have that many coincidences in our lives? When everything seems to just fall into place without ample reason or logic? Accepting the idea of fate or destiny is, at the same token, also accepting the idea that there is someone or something out there that is guiding our life. Though it isn't utter surrender to a superior power, it is acknowledging the presence of something else having a hand in what happens in our lives. Happenstance, destiny, fate, serendipity, kismet -- all these beautiful and meaningful words all mean one thing. We often allude incidents to these and resigning to the fact that it's just meant to be. It makes it difficult for one to deny that sometimes, it really is just meant to be.Though I promote and approve of this paradigm, I do not indulge in the idea of completely resigning one's self to the hands of predestination. Just like anything taken in excess, it can be abused and be rather unhealthy. I know of some people who have a little too much faith in the stars that they presume that everything will just fall on their laps. They reason that if something is truly meant to be, then it shall happen. They miss one detail in the scenario -- that they need to help themselves to achieve it. If only life were that easy to maneuver, then wouldn't we be all happy... in a dull unfulfilled way? We arrange our lives in a way that makes it easier for destiny to shoot for the target. We engineer it, we arrange it, we reinforce it. Tempting fate, if you will. If it doesn't happen the way we want it to, then maybe, destiny has got something bigger and better in store for us around the corner. Admittedly though, the distance to the corner can be a very long one sometimes. I learned that the gods smile kindly on those people who pull their weight. Eighty percent along the way, we are awarded the rest of the twenty percent. Or maybe more if we're lucky. Very rare are we given the whole hundred percent for simply swinging our legs under the table whilst tapping our fingers impatiently (or patiently). Those who have experienced such miracles must have done something right in their past life.Even God has bestowed on us the free will and intelligence to make our own decisions. We cannot expect Him to answer all our prayers -- may they be devoted or whimsical -- without working for it. God supposedly has our lives mapped out on the palm of His hands and it's entirely up to us to find our ways to our end. However, the question on whether we choose the right path or not can only be answered at the end of time.Believing in destiny is a beautiful thing, I at least like to believe. It gives life a mysterious flavor and it gives me something to look forward to. It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together and only seeing the picture after it has been worked on for a while. It is when secrets are unfolded before us, and when everything finally starts making sense. Going with the flow and rolling with the waves are not exactly bad things to do as long as it is done with care. After all, how else are we expected to explore life's essence if we don't get lost in it? From here to eternity... bahala na!
I have never been married and I have never been a mother. And I have never loved to the point of surrender. I have yet to understand and experience how it is to love unconditionally -- to love still yet be not loved in return, to love forever even when death intervenes, and to love no matter what even when plagued with liabilities. I do know enough though that unconditional love does exist as I have been a recipient of it. I never felt worthy of it though. It is a kind of love that is bigger than me and larger than life itself. Obstacles such as pride, ego and dignity often get in my way as I find that I have an overabundance of it. Love in itself is a big word. It's a mixed bag of emotions too many to be counted and too complicated to be identified. And yet, there is something beyond simple love that exists in this universe. To fathom the concept is nearly attaining nirvana as I can imagine, it ought to take a certain level of intellect and maturity to take it all in. Or perhaps, it's the complete opposite. Maybe love -- unconditional love -- is simpler than we all think it to be. To give and not expect any exchange, and to smile in the midst of jabs directed straight at the heart. And to not let anything get in the way of feeling so strongly for someone even if one would have to sacrifice a lifetime. And to give up everything that one possesses without once thinking about it. Blind submission to the point of fatuity.Simple yet magnanimous.To love unconditionally is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to all piths of pain -- and to test the human's tolerance for anguish. The left side of my brain prays hard that I may not have to go through that. However, a big part of me yearns to feel the euphoria in having to love someone that much. To love simply is to theoretically love with no boundaries. We only get acquainted with those boundaries though once we encounter the real pain involved. And to be able to break through that is love unconditional. "The only love worthy of a name is unconditional" - John Powell
Ruling the Roost
I felt like I signed away my life -- again -- last night. Two years of it, at least. I have entered into the umpteenth flat lease in my life, thereby digging my soles deeper into the ground and giving it instructions to stay put for another couple of years. The erratic property market here in Singapore has finally caught up to me and threatened to render me homeless by the start of the new year. My landlord hopped on the selling spree bandwagon and decided to rake in at least a hundred percent profit by putting my current flat in the market. Like honey is to bees, my little Chinatown abode within arm's length of Singapore's celebrated business district was clinched just like that. Doesn't money matter to people anymore these days?Getting the call from my landlord was like receiving a sentence of death. His usually side-splitting funny jokes sounded like metal on asphalt as he attempted to keep the conversation light. Serves me right for entering a non-binding agreement with him in the first place. Two years ago, my gentleman's arrangement with him was the dog's bollocks -- no deposit, no contract, and dirt cheap rent considering the location with all utilities thrown in. Now, the tables have turned and I'm the one with the tail in between my legs. And legitimately homeless at that.Though I had a quarter to get my act together, I knew that with every single day that passes, rental rates go up a few hundred dollars. What I would have paid for a good two-bedroom apartment in a decent location a couple of years ago would get me a bathroom in the border of Malaysia. So either I suck it up or buy a lottery ticket and pray hard that I hit all the right numbers. The likelihood of the latter depresses me so I opted for the former. Over the weekend, I drowned myself in phone calls to various property agents and sheepishly informed them of my budget and my choice of area. If it weren't for the phone lines between us, I would have gotten spit on vehemently a hundred times. Thank goodness I couldn't see the sneers. The funny part is, the amount I'm willing to shell out for a new place is actually double the amount of money I'm paying right now. I'll clue you in -- it's not small. It's enough live on for a month sans all unnecessary luxuries. And I've allowed myself to veer more than five train stops away from the city proper in terms of location.It was a surprisingly short process though, me snagging a new place. The end came unexpectedly after a long tiring work day followed by back to back viewings of what seemed like dirty giant boxes dubbed as apartments. It was the last one on my schedule and it was pushing nine o'clock at night. I was cranky, extremely hungry and running out of patience -- the agent was late! I walked towards the apartment complex with a heavy heart as I was sure the place looked crappy inside (despite the grand exterior) or that they made a mistake on the pricing as it looked suspiciously "cheap" (at this point, the word has become entirely relative). I'm not sure what kind of fortune surrounded me last night but everything just fell into place. It was an affordable rate (no need to sell my left kidney), located in my preferred area, and the flat didn't look like a war broke out inside it. I must've made the quickest decision in my life as I found myself saying "I'll take it" before I could even blink. In this market, people looked for flats and houses with checkbooks in tow. I didn't think I would find something so quickly that I didn't dare to bring mine -- but I do know how to beg profusely. I managed to convince the agent and the owner to settle the paperwork with me today instead. So as I write this, I am now a few thousand dollars poorer, bound in this country for at least another two years, a certified suburban (in my books, at least) and a future commuter fighting her way through the rush hour throng. Despite all of the above, I at least know that I will have a roof over my head.So, yes, the next two weeks will be filled by the familiar glow of the moonlight as I pack up boxes once again and ready myself to shift. I've had more than enough practice stuffing in the devil. Though I will only move some fifteen minutes away, it seems to be a whole new world to me. No more skyscrapers, no more brightly lit fireworks during Chinese holidays, no more noisy cars and buses all throughout the night, and no more going home for a kip during lunch time. And the next two years will be filled with new experiences that will surely be missed when it's time for me to move again.I once told a friend that even though two years sounds like infinitude sometimes, we don't realize just how short it really is. I cannot fathom that I've been living here for three years already (I only counted the months recently and cannot get over the shock) as it only feels like it was yesterday when I dragged my luggage out of the famous Singapore international airport for the first time. In two years' time, I will be slightly younger than twenty eight years old and the number just fries my brain. Two years ago, I was barely twenty four and still trying not to get lost. Somewhere in the middle I apparently grew up and hopefully matured, and adopted this city which I call my own for as long as it's willing to have me. I have nothing to my name but a clumsy collection of experiences -- and perhaps a few dollars just enough to buy noodles for supper. That should be enough for now, no?
My experience with death is not an unfamiliar one though it has always been pretty confined and limited. I know of the sadness, the anger, the torment, and that divided decision of not knowing whether to laugh out the anguish tearing up one's internal being or to cry until tears itself go out of vogue. The gnawing sense of loss and guilt pepper the mind -- particularly when we realize that we could have spent more time with the person whilst the time and company still mattered. It has always been like that, no? That regret always comes through last. And neither can any of us say that we never saw it coming.Being the youngest one in my family, I am painfully aware that the likelihood of me having to witness the deaths of all my family members is paramount -- unless, of course, a simple twist of fate dictates otherwise. Truly, it is something that I dread and it is a thought that I always try to push to the back burner. As a child, I never had a pet. I never had the chance to form any sorts of attachment with a life form that I have raised and been responsible for and then suddenly losing him or her. I've always counted myself lucky. The only real time that I've had to deal with death's cold blow was during my grandfather's sudden passing away some fifteen years ago. It caught all of us off guard and just like that... he was gone. I wasn't young then, but neither was I old enough to really fathom the situation and to take it all in. I remember seeing my grandmother absolutely shattered and I also remember fervently wishing I would never have to know how it is to be in her shoes. Yesterday, I felt the world move under my feet. I received a gruesome text message from my mother who conveyed that she had just brought my grandmother to the hospital -- to the ICU ward. She apparently was suffering from chest pains and is dangerously close to having a heart attack. She has to be monitored for a few nights and only God knows what will happen. Within a millisecond, I called on every saint that I know and begged the high heavens for pity and to bide my grandmother more time. That was when I realized how badly I will deal with losing her.Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that death is required in the natural order of life. I never had any problems with the concept of death -- as long as it didn't happen to anyone close to me. I read and hear about loads of people dying everyday with terrorist attacks, wars, bird flu, AIDS, name it. But the thing is, all these people are faceless and nameless to me. I may have contracted the arrogance and overconfidence that none of these will happen to my loved ones, therefore saving me from grief and agony. And then one day, life creeps up unexpectedly and gives me the most sobering wake-up call known to man. It can happen to anyone and it will. And guess what? There is absolutely nothing that I can do about it but to stand back, watch and accept it. Just like that. To accept the permanence of loss. Of death.There really is no way to prepare for death and losing a loved one, is there? Given that, is it better to know that one only has so much time left in this world... or not? Really, how superficial are we all to only spend time with our loved ones only when we know we won't be able to anymore in the near future? Again, guilt or regret? Our fabulous friends that we only see at the end of the line.It is indeed a very humbling experience having to deal with death. No matter how much we have achieved and garnered in our lives, and no matter how well we've done, it will all be stripped off from us and we start from where we began. Nothing. What matters is how we'll be remembered and how clean our conscience is that we may be allowed to take on the next step -- whatever it may be. We get so caught up with having to live life and we often forget that it all ends one day. Sure, live life to the fullest and consider everyday as our last because you know what? One day, it will indeed be our last. But more importantly, treat your loved ones as if it were the last time you will see them. You can never know... it just might be.
A jumbo-sized thank you to Lemonade for the spectacular banner that she created for my blog :) Much love and kisses to you, darling. I shall get it uploaded as soon as I get settled.
It's good to be back :)
Hello my lovelies...This little princess is having a mean streak of bad luck in her world. For one thing, my five-year old laptop has finally decided to die out on me last night -- in the middle of walking down Memory Lane of late 90s bubblegum pop/Eurotrash music videos, courtesy of YouTube (my guilty pleasure, thank you). If I decide to resuscitate the poor git of a laptop back to life, it would have already been on its third reincarnation so I've decided to let it go in peace. Though I may have to temporarily revive it to pull out all my precious MP3s, movies and TV shows (as it took me ages downloading those bootlegs). Afterwhich, I shall give it a well-deserved funeral which includes me wistfully scratching off those darling Svarowski crystals on the cover which I spent a hundred dollars on that could have well paid for some utilities in my flat.Normally, I wouldn't worry about disrupting my blog updates as I am guilty of regularly composing my thoughts whilst at work in the midst of economic updates and financial whatsits. Unfortunately, an alarming amount of work continues to plague me and my teammates that it makes nipping to the loo and scarfing down a coronation chicken sandwich for lunch become almost impossible feats during the work day. Not to mention taking a trip to the water cooler about ten yards away from me. Grossly overworked and underpaid, that I am. I tell you, being a responsible grown up is vastly overrated. Why can't money simply grow on trees? Then perhaps I will make greater effort to appreciate nature. I will have to go and get myself another laptop and find a way to make it last more than five years this time. My old one has just volunteered to become a very fancy and expensive doorstop. Not to worry as I will be back in a couple of days. I wish I were to spend this small fortune on another trip involving an airplane ride and exotic sights, but alas, it is for a necessary evil. Is it so sad that I have fallen victim to being unable to live without such contraptions for a length of time? I pray that some of you will at least miss me *wink* as I will very much miss all of you in my short absence. In the meantime, I shall take advantage of this time to finish Anna Karenina, my latest ambitious project. Lately, I have not been able to find time to sit still for half an hour and read more than three pages of the damn thing.Be seeing you. And be good.Eternally,Your Princess