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Archive for the ‘Resolutions’ Category

A Nil Beginning

In Entrepreneurship, Resolutions on April 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

This entrepreneur has not really shared with me all that he has gone through, but I can only guess at the depth of his experience. Having been through jail, this friend is now a changed person and wants to do his best to live a fulfilling life. Having been through life of fast cash and meaninglessness, put through some personal trials, it is people like him that show us that there really is a difference between making money for the sake of and making money by doing good.

Whenever I ask myself whether this life I have chosen could also be a parallel life on the other side (the dark side), it could. But there is something in human nature that refuses to succumb to darkness. So many businesses thrive on promoting vices, yet always, I have heard and seen, if given a chance, these businessmen who have made their millions in vice would always turn to doing good in their later years. Perhaps to erase their past evil or to buy themselves some good karma, but whatever the reason, they will always want to turn back the clock (or try) to walk on the right side of the law.

It begs the question whether we can live a life of evil, or of whether it is worth the conscience for a person to knowingly start a life in vice to get rich. And they try to buy back virtues to erase his past deeds.

Evil and good, I had always thought were two tenets of human construction. What is evil and what is good? Two arbitrary markers of right and wrong? Then why do people then always swing in favour of the light when they have a choice? So there must be a human conscience so universal that transcends our personal choices, that makes us ultimately strive for the common good? Is this what it means to be human?

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Han-ny I Shrunk The Kids!

In Relationships, Resolutions on February 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I gave him a challenge of 12 people to meet by June since he had said he would call up people to talk to them. Let’s see if this comedic, yet serious friend of mine manages it! Serious about peace and spreading fellowship, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Han this Monday evening. A pleasant guy, he shuns politics and twists conversations to fulfill his objectives…however I still cannot figure out what objectives he has in mind. A pleasant dinner, but this cryptic friend did not give me a sense that he had indeed opened up and shared with me his heart. This makes him a pleasant companion, albeit a shallow one for me.

When I first met him, I thought he was a little strange because I was curious about him and asked him several questions. All of a sudden, he asked me if I was looking for a husband because I was asking him all those questions! That shut me up. And urged me to put a distance between us. I was asking generic questions and making conversation, but I think he does not like answering questions about himself, preferring to take the conversation in his hands instead.

Let’s see what stories we will have…perhaps by the end of the year, we will share a few more experiences and I may eventually feel that I know him better.

Vendetta B

In Resolutions on January 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

Oooh a nasty post this will be.  This friend sounds like she has a personal vendetta against everything wrong and right in her life.  Although she starts off relatively cheerful, it takes just an hour too long to hear her start to rant about everything and anything that she is not personally involved in.

I thought that we could restart a relatively decent friendship, seeing that we keep bumping into each other, but hearing her rant about the fates of so and so type of people, the problem with the so and so industry, the issues of the so and so company…I recalled that day on the train station platform where I had a brief conversation with her after a school reunion we had just both attended, and my walking away with mixed feelings. On one hand, I sympathised with her then based on her stories, but on the other, they were so vilely  bitter that I did not want to spend another minute in her company.  I shared the feeling with a close friend who also knew her and this friend, mature and wise in her thoughts always said, “If you think that you cannot be her friend and you cannot give her or take from her what a friendship means to you, then there is no point being her friend.”  How true.  It would be better of for Vendetta B to find friends who could commiserate, sympathise, empathise and advise, while I find friends who I could do the same with.

Too-da loo!

The start of another year

In Resolutions on January 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

There, I’ve done it, 52 in 52 weeks. Although there are a few more I could have written about, It’s best I stick to the original 52 I had planned. This year, I made many new friends, indeed. I am not sure if it was because of my resolution, or of situations around me that made this possible, but when I think back, I believe that it was my mission that drove this whole thing. Because I made the effort to, and I told friends about it, it has become possible. And over the months, it also became easier to meet people,

I am amazed with the stories I have heard, and with the different lives people lead. I will continue this meet up thing for the next 52 weeks to see where it takes me. 52 weeks, 52 friends, 29 new, 23 old, 35 guys, 17 gals, 8 chemistry experiments, 9 strange encounters…all in all, an exciting tally!

Onward to 2013!

As Zen As You Can Be

In Resolutions on October 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

To be youthful and curious is, above all, living.

Life is unpredictable. As much as we try to manage it as best as we can, we never know where it will lead us, and what we will do at the end of it. I find that above all we do, we need to find a meaning we can make sense of and use that meaning to lead us on till the end.

In your childhood, you explore and try to understand the world and learn from each experience. These form the root of your personality. In your teens, you push the boundaries and create firm friendships with people who will shape your final character. You learn about morality, ethics and of different value systems. When you are 20, you further explore how these values work and what you do to work within them and the wider context of the world. It is in this decade that you also enjoy exploring within this system and assimilating all you see and hear in making sense of the world.

When you reach your thirties, you are ready to make a difference. You look for life with more meaning, and how you can play a part in leaving a legacy. You start to live a life beyond the self, and one more for others. You are still young and curious, and still willing to explore and learn, while at the same time impose your thoughts and vision on the world and others around you.

In your 40s, you start to feel the changes of your physical body. You learn empathy, and start to understand the evolution of the world and the frailty of life. Perhaps in this phase, you learn to appreciate the interplay between body and mind. In this phase, you consolidate, you appreciate, and you reciprocate.

At the half a century mark, you encapsulate and rejuvenate for the golden years of life. Now, you understand the mark you have make, and can continue making, and start to put in place a continuity for all the good work you have done.

Beyond, you take life a little easier and enjoy the fruits of half a century of labour. You begin to understand the true beauty of the world and of people around. You learn about the young, and the world they will create based on what your generation has done. You assimilate new technology and convictions and start to have an inkling of what the world will be like when you are gone. You stand in the cusp of evolution as you know it.

Being with Zen, I see youthfulness and curiosity and a desire to figure out what we want as individuals in the wider context of the world. I appreciate her friendship for being able to show me what I must have been like when I was younger. I see how far I have come and how much more I still have to learn….and how I need be curious to continue to learn.

I can see myself the old fuddy duddy with the idiomatic cliches, and I see myself as rebelling against these oldish thoughts when I interact with her. It is these thoughts that will keep me on my toes and with the desire to explore ways of staying relevant to the changing world. It reminds me to stay young, stay curious, so as to appreciate the workings of life and of evolution.

Marina Day Sands?

In Relationships, Resolutions on August 5, 2012 at 8:51 am

A message through LinkedIn, from someone who says the name and the face are familiar, but he just couldn’t place where we had met.  We went through a string of messages to find common ground but ended up with none.  I supposed we might have met briefly in a party or gathering of some friend or cousin.  Singapore after all, is a small country, and birds of a feather do tend to flock together.

We finally arranged to meet face to face after a month, due to Mr MDS’s traveling schedule and my busy event one.  And it was fun!  We did have a good dinner, taking into assumption that we had met in some previous age and we old friends.  We bantered, chatted about inconsequential items (things old friends do?) and spoke about some that mattered.

That said, we really are fresh friends, fundamentally (whoa! alliteration!), and we DO need to meet a few more times to either figure out where we’ve met before, or just get to know each other as friends to see if our friendship can develop. If not, he will be just another contact on my phone.

EgoMARniaC

In Entrepreneurship, Relationships, Resolutions on July 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

An acquaintance who I had met before…this guy smells of EGO from a hundred metres away!

Interesting how we hooked up and he insisted on giving me a call ‘to see if u could hold a conversation’ and whether I was ‘cool’ enough to meet for dinner.

Fair enough.

But I felt the next part was a little strange and he asked me to send a photo of myself to him, I said din my profile already have one. He mentioned that he was very slim and he would like his dates to be on the slim side (no fudging there!). So I said I would go better and send him a video (because I did not have a photo of myself on the phone! Haha). I sent him the link to my website which has me on video.

In return, he sends me two photos of himself with two female friends, which I thought was really strange.

In any case, Mr Ego texts me the next day, saying he saw the video. So I replied that since he replied, he prob thinks we can be friends. He clarifies ‘just friends right?’. What a put off!

Anyway, he was too lazy to text and do we spoke briefly on the phone. He goes on saying they he runs a headhunting firm and that he will be able to tell very quickly about a person. How presumptuous. Anyway, I wasn’t going to change his mind because I already knew he had a big ego, and I wasn’t going to waste my energy on deaf ears.

Then he goes around justifying that he was happy at 42, with a few successful businesses, and that if he could not find someone he thought was good enough, then he would not even bother.

While I agree with him that we judge people from the way they carry themselves, and the way they look, in relationships, these tend to be a little different. In order to appreciate a person, and get to know if they are worth developing a relationship with, as long as the person is someone we like, it would be prudent to continue to develop a friendship with that person, no? Or maybe it’s just me speaking from a girl’s perspective. I guess hunters decide on their prey before they hunt. But in this case, I cant help but think this hunter is not hungry enough, and he can continue to be picky, and hopefully not starve in the end.

The Warrior

In Relationships, Resolutions on June 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The warrior is a new friend I met on a cruise recently.  Big, bold, totally New York, she was happy doing her own thing. She’d gone on the cruise on her own and had then been “adopted” by another family, and hung around with the cruising group.  Most of the time, she would do her own thing, and she didn’t share much about herself except when prompted, and then, she would say the most (to me) amazing revelations of a different type of life, which we do not see back home. Her candidness and her openness about herself, her body and her life was refreshing and I appreciated that about her.  There she was telling us perfect strangers that she’d had her stomach stapled. I wondered whether it was because she was non-Asian, that made her so open about herself. It was just a different upbringing and in the land of freedom, anyone can  really do what they please. It is their life after all.

It got me thinking about what we were like back home in conservative, face saving Asia.  Our lives are not our own. Neither are our thoughts, our demeanours and attitudes. They are all formed from a collective mindset and a cultural education that is so deep that we do not even realise it.

I remember a trip in HK some time back, and my Russian friend was with me.  He asked me to get a boob job. I immediately laughed it off and he said, why not? I said, it was too embarrassing and what would my friends think? He went, “Who cares that they think?” it got me thinking that he does have a point after all, in big bad Moscow where everyman fends for himself, where the world is really so big, that we do have to do our own thing. And I thought about being Singaporean and being so afraid of what others think.

I think it’s an Asian thing, but also very much a Singaporean thing. Here, we can’t go two steps without meeting someone we know. So much for living our own life.  In the bigger countries, I guess it is possible to have several identities across several states in one lifetime. Not so in Singapore, or is it just that we do not dare to try?

The Publisher

In Entrepreneurship, Relationships, Resolutions on May 16, 2012 at 8:25 am

The Publisher happens to be a contact I had met several years before, and worked briefly with before. Back then I had no good impression of this guy, because he kept saying that he would pay for some matter and did not. Further to that, I also thought that he was being a litte nit-picky about a few cents for some items.

Anyway, I find out that the period I had met him was also one of his worst. He’d married this lady who abused him and even hit him. He finally plucked up the courage to divorce her a few years ago, after his children had grown up. It was a sad story he told. But he’s doing a lot better now and he actually looks better too.

It saddens me that love and relationships can turn people into brutal monsters. The fury, the anger, the sadness – all emotions that we face, to the positive ones we hope to embody. With love, there is hate. With happiness there is sadness. With anger there is forgiveness. Why are we such bipolar creatures?

The publisher shared with me his funny encounters of meeting women who offered him BDSM and how he was lured by one to have dinner near her apartment so that they could proceed to her apartment shortly after dinner. It’s amazing the stories you hear when you have dinner with someone new, someone out of your circle of friends, and you wonder whether fiction is truly more entertaining than life.

I’m having so much fun meeting my non-fiction stories that I may just give up reading!

Self confessed Extraordinary

In Relationships, Resolutions on May 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

This was a quick one shot, one meet, one kill kind of meeting. Despite my best efforts to screen the people I would meet through SMSes and prior conversations, this entry piqued my interest by sending confidence-filled messages to me, like “I am an ordinary person living an extraordinary life, Mr Extraordinary”. With a post like that, wouldn’t you be curious to see who it would turn out to be?

My self-confessed extraordinary, however, did fall short of expectations (mine, at least). Apparently he had only worked for a short 6 months in the banking world, decided to leave it, and apparently holed himself up at home. He’s a full time trader now, and pleased with what he does. What I did not quite agree with was the way he kept saying that he was very successful.

Granted that people do have different standards of success to measure themselves and their friends by, if Mr Extraordinary, at the age of 30 plus, claims to be all that extraordinary, I’d really expect him to be more affluent, and perhaps more philanthropic? Instead, I found out his definition of extraordinary to mean that he “admire extraordinary people, and think like them, but doesn’t live like one”. It was eye-opening for me.

I guess, people can be rather clouded by their own thoughts and personalities to fail to see the rest of the world, of themselves objectively? Then again, it’s akin to people who have brain damage or mental disease. If they are happy, and feel happy everyday, who are the other inconsequential human beings around them to deny them that happiness?

So where do we draw the line between self-confidence and delusion?