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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 forgot 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.

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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 (he 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’s 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 that for 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 this 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, they 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 with 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.

E is for Embittered

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

This female friend of mine has grown cynical and bitter over the years. It is sad. We were rather close some time ago after we graduated. She was one of those friends whom I would see and greet pleasantly, and after some time, we forgot how we even started saying hi in the first place and we became acquaintances, than more than acquaintances, and then friends and then hang out buddies.

We lost touch some time ago. I do not believe it was due to a busy schedule, but rather a definite reluctance on one party’s part to keep in contact. As fate would have it, we were put together again, and I believe that the key to friendship is to give first rather than expect first. I invited her to an event and thereafter, she returned the favour by inviting me to hers. We have been in relatively close touch since then.

But I find that my friend has changed. The years of gatherings, of events and of singlehood have made her quite bitter and opinionated about the people around her. It has also taken away her curiosity and passion to jump into life and embrace it. I have tried to be a friend and to be around to advise or be a listening ear. But the constant berating and bemoaning about how “I can never afford this” or “I will always be the last to be chosen” is rankling my nerves. There is only so much negativity one can take and when someone limits themselves by not even trying and asking too many questions, or my putting herself down, it makes me shut down, in self defence. I then block out whatever this person tells me and wave it off.

“If oak trees were human, they would only grow to half their height.”

;

The Letter Z

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

The letter Z is for zomeone zweet:) Bright and cheery, with sweet looks to boot, Ms Z is a fav among the guys. I fancy she is still making sense of the world and forming her opinions, making conversation because she feels the need to. She has not yet entered the realm of the cynical (haha) … or the plain getting old, where we do not ask questions for the sake of, and we do not feel the need to drum up a conversation when another human being is near.

Because of this, some of my possibly older and more cynical friends are slightly uncomfortable with her incessant questioning, feeling that he questions have no sincerity or depth. Which is quite a waste, as this lady is rather bright, I figure.

Perhaps she just wants to sate her curiosity, perhaps, she thinks she is being friendly, perhaps she is still young. Well time will tell if she is sincere about her queries and will follow up as a friend. If not, I guess time will just pass and well, life is about passing through anyway, right? Passing through the people we meet, having fun along the way, being as pleasant as we know how to to another fellow living being … it’s enough to keep us busy without us having to ask more or deeper 🙂

Just in Case

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

My unrepentant alky friend.

The Start of a New Year

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

It’s the start of a new year and I was beginning to feel the ennui of going through the whole process of Jan to Dec once again. Everyday is new, but at the same time, it’s not, if you know what I mean.

We strive to fill our days with meaning and hope that at day’s end, we can tally up our scoreboard and say “I did something worthwhile with my day”.

So whilst I was clearing my mailbox in preparation for the new that may come my way, I also had time to scroll through the profiles in my newly set up Linked In account.  I felt a little voyeuristic as I glanced at the CVs of my friends from long ago, and friends whom I’d never really known what exactly they did (well, now I know!), and truth be told, I did wonder what happened to each of them beyond the profiles they put up.  I mean, behind every job change and picture change, there is a story, yes?

I emailed a few of them via Linked In and wished them a Merry Christmas, and at the same time responded to requests to be linked.  I then received an uplifting email from a stranger on Linked In to whom I was now “connected” to.   This stranger said “You look like a cheerful person – did anyone ever tell you you have a beautiful smile?”  To which I replied, that my friends had mentioned that before, and thankfully, I use my smile all the time, being naturally cheerful!  Then this person went on to ask if perhaps, we could meet up in 2012. and I thought, why not? New year, new friend!

This little exchange must have formed the basis of what I would later term as my “New Year Resolution” for 2012 – to meet a friend a week, new or old.

I have no idea how I will do so, but I started by sharing my resolution with my girl friends and asked them to join me on my journey through 52 weeks and 52 friendships!  I received encouraging and enthusiastic responses and I’m glad to say, 2 weeks into the new year, I am on target! (Ha!)

So starting today, I shall begin to chronicle my friendships of the week and  invite you to join me on this journey to reach out beyond the virtual world, to actually meet and greet a fellow human being.  For at day’s end, it’s not the CVs on Linked In or the posts on Facebook that form the strong bonds of friendship and of appreciating life and the people around us, but of the real time we spend with each other, with the subtle nuances of body language, tones, and live responses that really bring us alive in all our animated glory and personify what it means to be alive!

“A thousand people may know me and I may know, but I only need a few to hold.”