ankysim

Archive for 2014|Yearly archive page

A Fan Blowing Your Way aka My Biggest Fan

In Relationships on September 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

As usual, whilst I was wandering along, doing my own dastardly thing, what should hit, but the arrow of that little cherub.  I must be one sitting duck, for all the arrows that have pierced my heart.  And it must have been a disturbingly long and convoluted arrow that would find its mark again.  Does Cupid use me for target practice for his most unconventional arrows?  Perhaps the holes in my chest are so broad, and the skin over my heart so stretched, as to enable the easy access for another of his arrows that would have bounced off another, or that would have not had a smooth glide into the heart.  Ah well.

In any case, this is a religious year for me.  Perhaps it is time to reconsider religion in my life and the purpose it plays. But somehow, for all that I’ve experienced and seen, I find religion yet another form of living (or life theme!) to choose from.  We’re sporty, or we’re not, we’re foodies or we’re not … we’re religious or we’re not.  Yes? And upon deciding on a lifestyle, we stick to it, and abide by it in making all decisions, and that further entrenches us in the lifestyle we choose.

I say this because of what I’ve learnt from two years back – that there is not such thing as strange, it’s whether I have seen it before or not.  Out of 6 billion people in the world, there are 6 billion individual lives to lead, and a bulk of them are coerced along the same directions, by society – to make them easier to manage, to herd the flock in a predetermined direction.  We are human because we are given the ability to think beyond the herd, and break out on our own. But for every individual who wants to break out beyond the norm, there are also others who want to fit in within the norm. And this norm is determined by the culture we grow up in.  In any case, whatever exists in the world, no matter how individualistic, humans are herd creatures, and we often look for people who are in the same boat as us – from a similar lifestyle, to a similar preference.  It is indeed hard to find a truly individualistic person who needs not seek companionship and a meeting of minds, body and soul to make their journey on earth a little more pleasant.

And who am I to judge – given a short span of time on earth.  Who am I to judge my predecessors, and the future generations, what they may think and what they may do with their lives? We are each free to choose.  If you think about it, even murderers have a kinship with fellow murderers – there are so many of them, that we have jails for them  – a fraternity of like-minded individuals, as scary as it may sound.   Though few, who are the rest of us to judge against them?  Is the majority always right?  As witnessed in the burning of so-called witches who were gifted in healing arts back in the middle ages, the majority was often misled.

In any case, my biggest fan is turning into one whirlwind of a lifetime.  Time flies literally when we meet and talk and talking honestly is what I have to give to this person (and myself) now.  And at the same time discover (uncover) my pain, my forgiveness, my experiences, my happiness and my sorrows – all over again – from a new light – that of a wiser (I hope) person, 18 years later.  In sharing things I’ve never shared with another soul before, it cleanses me in a way.  It is really really nice (no better word for it) to be listened to and understood and un-judged, and simply loved.  In his arms I feel cherished, protected, and needed.  I feel that I can do no wrong, and I feel empowered and emboldened to be who I truly am.  Life’s tough as it is, and here is another individual who is mature enough to understand that, and to see the end of life for what it is, and our journey together as simply that – a journey.  From him I understand that love can grow, and that love can also wither, but all the more, how precious love is.

But as with every silver lining, there is a cloud, and within this cloud lies a storm brewing of murky proportions.  It’s sad when it hangs over our heads, and sadder when it rains.  But perhaps it will be better for it to rain and then blow away.  In the meantime, we huddle under its shadow and savour each precious second that we can before it pours.  It’s intense, it’s exciting, and it’s uncertain – which just serve to heighten its preciousness, and make us cherish it more.

I so wish that my biggest fan could also blow away this cloud, and that sunny days may surface. But it looks like we’re in for long gloomy days ahead.  Stay tuned for the weather report 🙂

 

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Peter Pan of the Whales

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I call this friend Peter Pan because he truly doesn’t grow up.  He still maintains his fondness for the youthful things in life, and his verve and overall gaiety with life and his interactions with the people around him are refreshing indeed.

This friend of mine has always been special to me.  He is a simple, contented person, and yet intelligent, inquisitive and inspirational.  He does so many things for others in his life, and he is not interested to fight a war for glory, or politics, preferring to give of himself where he can, and he will always do so.

I am glad that after all these years, he has still not changed. Despite my changing philosophies and outlook in life, we could still share common ground and we had fun.  We happened to meet this year because of a long forgotten email that I had sent him 3 years ago. He replied to the email, and lo and behold, I had not changed my email address.  I replied and shortly after we met for dinner.

At dinner, we caught up on 7 years worth of happenings (at least!), as the last time I saw him was in my previous office at Telok Ayer and that was in 2007-08. Incidentally when I parked the car to meet him, an ex-colleague of the said Telok Ayer office honked at me in the carpark. Fate does have a way to play with us!

Peter Pan shared with me his recent creepy encounter, and how he discovered the Laws of Attraction.

What happened was this:

About 3 years ago, Peter Pan had started a company with a friend. They rented a black and white bungalow as office which also became Peter Pan’s residence during that period. The partnership did not end amicably and Peter Pan subsequently found himself without a home.   He quickly searched for one and found a home that was asking for a relatively low rent, which he could move into the next day (that was how urgent his lodging situation had become).  He had gone to see the flat at night, and agreed to rent it.  He also forget that it was the seventh month (ghost month) period, where one is not supposed to move into any new locale.

Peter Pan stayed in his new place with his wife and found themselves in the course of a week, arguing over small and petty items which they had never done so before.  He was disturbed and shared his plight with a friend of his, who happened to be a medium.  She reminded him that he had moved in during the ghost month, and asked him to fork out what he could (even though cash was really tight) to buy some crystals, which they did.

That night, the medium went to their flat and laid out some tea light candles in a row, in the living room.  The balcony door was shut close and there was no wind in the apartment.  The medium asked his wife to light the candles. Peter Pan went off to the kitchen to pack the groceries they had bought.  When the wife lit the first candle, and moved on to the second, the flame of the first candle went out.  When she tried to light the third candle, the same thing happened to the second candle. After a few more tries, the medium said they should get Peter Pan.  Peter Pan was wondering why the two ladies needed his help to light some simple candles, but he did it anyway, without incident.  After the candles were lit, the medium asked Peter Pan to go into the balcony and put two crystals on each end of the balcony on a small ledge each.  He did.  When he reentered the living room and started to shut the balcony door, the minute the two sliding doors clicked into each other, the two crystals simultaneously dropped of their respective ledges.

The medium asked Peter Pan to pick up the crystals and describe what he saw in them. He said he saw unhappy faces in the crystals.  The medium said they were the faces of the ghosts that were now trapped in the crystals, and that Peter Pan was to throw the crystals away into the bin, and that after a month, the ghosts would disappear from the crystals.

After this, Peter Pan and his wife lived in relative peace.

Another reason why I admire Peter Pan is for his determination and his ability to accept things as they are.  In this respect he is similar to my “Chew What” friend i blogged about last year.  Peter Pan married a single mother and he accepted her child of 7 years despite numerous exhortations from his parents.  Kudos to him for standing by the side of the woman he loves and making a marriage that counts.  

Life is indeed too short to worry about the what ifs and the should nots.  And I am glad that he followed his heart and made this decision the right one for him.

An-other 4 Things About You

In Relationships on February 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm

it’s been a while since I last posted – the usual – busy, lazy, tired stuff…haha.  But meeting my giant of a friend has spurred me to say all right. I’ll resume.  Coupled with the fact that this friend just admitted he was inspired to start meeting friends and learning more about them in the same manner I did two years ago. how does one not support this?  And so today my dear friends, our humble one friend a day blog will now have a grand total of TWO contributors!  haha!  

I convinced contributor 2 to blog about his experiences here – why not make this blog more robust and more dynamic, with more stories and inspirations? 

Contributor 2 is excited about learning 4 things about his old friends – things he never knew. So, if you get called up one day to answer 4 thing about yourself, check out this blog to see if your story’s here!

Indeed, the lives we lead are amazing and too often we fail to connect with each other to learn about each other’s stories.  I’ve realised in the last year that I do have plenty of stories to share and it is these stories that connect me with people. Stories for love, stories for business, stories for sobbing, stories for celebrating.  After all, if we live a life without any stories, would that be called life?

I always enjoy a good chat with this old buddy and he’s one of those that have stuck by me all these years – through the growing pains, the working stress, to me buying my first property even – he was there. Someone who has always been around for me to call on for a late night supper and an energising chat.  And it is this energy that we so crave for that gives us added energy to face the next day.

So over supper in the neighbourhood suburbs, and on a cold windy night out on a spanking new bike with chilly legs, i made a committed to start writing again and here I am.  I look forward to the 4 stories my old friend has to share.  and he has to share them before he forgets them (getting old, haha)!

Mr Contributor 2, over to you!

Life’s Good

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

It is interesting what stories we hear from one and other stories we hear from others.  This long time friend of mine, fell in love very deeply once with a girl and shunned the world.  When I had the chance to meet up with him, I was shocked at his appearance – he was gaunt (her is normally beefy) and downcast.  The shock that gripped my heart, I still remember strongly.  The first thing I said was that this girl was not good for him!  Whomever gives us such grief to change our physical appearance and  emotional well-being by such an extent is surely not meant to be?  In any case, from what I heard this girl that he liked was seeing someone else, and therefore he was upset and it sounded like she was two-timing him.

Honestly, I had just seen the girl in question in a recent overseas trip and I was not too impressed with her, having had the unpleasant encounter before of trying to send her back after a group event and finding her making out with another guy in the back seat of my car!  What thoughtlessness and indiscretion!  In any case, she had gone for the trip with the other guy.  It was when I returned, that I realised that Life’s Good was in love with this same girl.  So of course, I thought she was two-timing him and had an even nastier impression of her.

However, just about 2 weeks ago, I happened to catch up with a friend at an event and this friend for some reason started to mention this girl.  I had not known they were acquainted and so I chanced to hear another side of the story.  From this girlfriend, I heard that this girl had bad fates with guys.  In her relationship history, she was divorced once, and reattached subsequently. She was supposed to remarry. Unfortunately, the boyfriend succumbed to cancer and  she was there throughout the ordeal.  My friend mother had predicted that this girl had very bad luck with guys and that the only way she could find happiness was to be with someone totally unconventional, and who could detract the “evil” spirits from her.  True to form, she was going out with this non-Singaporean, who was younger than her and totally unconventional and till today they have a happy relationship.  It was also fortunate for Life’s Good that they did not end up together (perhaps this is the reason why he was looking so gaunt! Shudder!).

Then comes the reason why she did not choose to stay with Life’s Good.  Apparently, she told my girlfriend, Life’s Good did not want to marry her.  So she did not feel secure with him, and therefore it made better sense for her to be with someone else.

Now this was news! I always figured Life’s Good, if he was so crazy over her, that  he would have wanted to get married with her at least.

Which brings to mind another question – is Life’s Good simply commitment-phobic?  He does have a four-year relationship going and he is pushing 40.  We have been asking him to bring his girlfriend out so that we can meet her and get to know her, and he has refused all these while. Hmm hmmm.  This sheds a different light on my friend’s character which I was previously not privy to!

 

Doll Up and Man Up

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm

My heart goes out to this doll of a friend of mine.  Over the years, we have kept in touch, fitting each other into our busy schedules with dinners once every quarter or so.  And each time we meet, I learn a little more about this friend who has gone through so much, and with whom I’ve shared a lot with.

We only recently got connected when a few years back she sent me a Happy Easter text and declared that she had moved and I should visit. Sensing a dint in the otherwise happy family I thought she had, I replied and sussed out what was wrong.  Shortly thereafter I found myself in her company once again, and providing a listening year for all the trials she had been through.

She is one example of the saying that we never know whether what happens to us is for the better or for the worse. Only time will tell.

I am pretty sure that when this friend met and married the guy of her dreams (technically, in her own words, their families were well-matched, the both had similar values, had been brought up in the same manner, lived in the same area) there were many jealous hearts out there.  Here she was walking down the aisle with a guy as evenly matched as her financially and socially.  They looked like they were made as a pair too as the cute couple walked down the aisle.

Who knows, a few years later, that she would be alone with her children, after going through many soul-searching nights on what wrong she might have done. She was the brunt of the husband’s blame and thankfully she was level-headed enough to see his childishness for what it was.  There she was being successful and bringing her business to greater heights and there he was, being presented the same opportunity but being unable to do the same – and he ended up blaming her for being more successful than him.

I asked this friend what split them up – her answer was straightforward “All the vices”.  From gambling to smoking, to drinking and womanising – the ultimate was the drug taking.  And here we are scratching our heads on why a man of his stature and his lifestyle would resort to such heinous habits?  What satisfaction was there in ignoring reality when his reality was really, rather good.  His family was wealthy, he had loving parents, a beautiful wife and lovely children and he was willing to throw it all away for a moment’s pleasure, and to mix around with riffraffs.  It boggles the mind, what the human mind can conceive to create unhappiness and excuses for itself, doesn’t it?

Through her stories and her pain, I try to understand what it means to live her life and she put it succinctly in another sentence,”You marry a guy whom you think you will love for the rest of your life and he ends up hating you.  That is the most hurtful.”  I know that while this friend holds her chin up and makes life as meaningful for herself and for her children as much as possible, she misses their father, and all the opportunities they would have shared.  For herself, and for her children.

I can only be around for her should she need me and I am glad she did open up to me.  It must have been the downest period of her life when she first moved out to live on her own, and I hope I helped provide some comfort.

Do the Charleston

In Relationships on January 5, 2014 at 2:48 pm

This post should be posted post Feb as I dithered about restarting my postings on this blog, but I’m gonna post it as my first post for the year as I contribute another 52 articles on 52 people for this year.  This will be the first post because it is also about the most significant person I have met over the new year, and also fitting because he may be the overarching story that may rule over the rest.

This new friend was not exactly new, saying that he had noticed me about 8 months back at another gathering, but never approached me.  Well, the universe has its way of putting people together when the time is ripe I guess. Back then I would have been caught up with other people and possibly wouldn’t have noticed Charleston doing his dance, but towards the end of the year, things had changed yet again and we could start a fresh dance, with gusto 🙂

And gusto we did start it with!  Not from the very beginning as we soft footed around each other, not sure of where to tread, and as all dances begin – a little tentatively, and a little wary of the other.  But once the rehearsals were over, bam!  on the floor we went, and waltzed through the night we did.  Time stood still and the music played for just two.

From clandestine meetings in the dark to late night/early mornings jaunts and visits to a strange tree, the universe sang its cheerful melody and buzzed with unleashed energy.  Here was the Charleston being performed frenetically and in perfect sync.  Each night when the music ended, it was two souls that parted refreshed, soothed, and emboldened to face the challenges of the following day.  The experience … always amazing, amazingly so.

As with all parades and balls, the music slows and the dancers need a break.  We caught ours a week later, after hours of being drawn towards each other, no matter how long the day had been.  The gravity was intimidating, and the company intoxicating.  The reality of the world began to set in – the ballroom started to light up, signalling the end of a magical ball.  The choice was ours to keep the dances alive, and yet be practical to know that the masquerade had ended its short stint.  Do we now uncover what goes under the masks and can we continue the dances like before?  Can we exit this ball gracefully with no incidents?

We spent a week apart and through that week, the music kept chiming – an underlying hum that refused to stagnate.  The messages were fast and furious and the questions patiently and truthfully addressed…all this while the humming continued. The underlying buzz of unfulfilled energy.

When the Charleston returned, the beat had changed, but the notes were still there, hanging unsung, waiting to be played and danced to.  And dance we did.  What could we do?  Our hearts kept to the beat, our feet kept moving.  The songs were slower, but they were the same notes tinged with an overture of reality, and an undertone of uncertainty.  They were sadder now, but no less enervating.  The music had found an outlet that was more manageable.

As we hurtle through the rest of the dances, we are not sure when the ball will end.  Or will it ever.  In the ballroom, alone with each other, the dances are all we live for.  Outside, away from the warmth of the chandeliers, and the soft glow of the candles, is the cold truth of the lives we lead.

In the meantime, we can only dance…