I’ve never understood suffering. After listened to the woman I met this morning, I asked myself ‘Will I ever understand at all?’ The pain and hardships…
Sometimes, I do feel like I am the worst person in the world, or rather the worst daughter that any parents can have. Not that I do not want to do anything in the house, well, maybe I don’t. It is the trait that is hard for me to break. A trait that I wish I have never have. I am not sure if I am even trying to change, maybe I don’t. But if I am not trying to change, why do I feel bad?
Every parent deserves to have daughters that are helpful in the house. Daughters like my sisters maybe. They are proud of my sisters, because they help around. My mother said that. Me? Well, I am always busy with lots of meetings and other stuff. And that annoys my parents really. I feel bad for them sometimes, I didn’t want to burden them but I have to admit that I am young and there are many opportunities for me out there and I feel that it is my responsibility.
I have a commitment that maybe my parents will never understand, even if you try to make them understand. I can’t blame them, because when they were in their 30s, they already had a family. That was their commitment. I am in my 30s and I do not have my own family yet. I am still living with my parents because I cannot afford to live outside on my own. So basically, I am still depending on my parents. Which I think is sucks.
I have resolved to make some changes once in a while. For example, I won’t tell them that I will have meeting at night. Just help whatever I can, once the time comes I just leave home. It doesn’t matter if I have dinner or not. I don’t really care about that. Milo and crackers are good enough for me once I am back from the meeting.
However, I am not sure if that would hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anybody, especially my dad. He is a very sensitive guy. He loves to cook and it annoys him if we refused to eat the dish he cooked. I have to clean the dishes before I leave though. So which means I cannot leave until we finish the dinner. The problem is, Dad always cook late and if I don’t tell him, I will always be late for the meeting. And if I do tell him, he is always rushing and everybody will be unhappy.
I wanted to clean the house before going to work, and that is always a problem because I cannot wake up early.
It is because if these problems I am facing, I decided that I should stop trying at all. Trying is nothing. Doing is everything.
I woke up today with a annoying sound of my dogs barking. It was the usual thing every morning as Mum let them out to play. Usually it is annoying, but I did not particularly mind it. Today, my body was stiff and tired. Had been like this for few days. The dogs barked at 630am. I should not be getting up for another one hour, are you kidding me! But the tiredness made it easier to go back to bed and I did.
Forty five minutes later, I woke up. Check my Whatsapp and Facebook. About 20 messages on Whatsapp and two notifications on Facebook. Alright. Nothing important. I didn’t want to get up until 740am. I had to get up, it was 740am! Took a shower and got change.
I browsed through YouTube and I saw Britain Got Talent ‘wow, first ever magician to show real magic trick’. I tap on it and right in the middle of the video, I was crying. Once I finished, I wiped my tears away, waited till my eyes colour back to normal then I went to the dining room and had my breakfast, pretending that nothing has happened. But something had just happened in my heart. In my soul. Are you kidding me? A magic trick that brought me to tears. That is real magic. But the real lesson was, that life is so unpredictable. But we can make it beautiful. So beautiful that one day we can wow ourselves and other people.
All those mundane lives, those annoying little things, who doesn’t have it? But are we able to see it in a different way?
Okay, before I proceed, just to let you know, I accidentally deleted the things I wrote here. I didn’t know how it happened, but it happened very fast. So, I had to retype it. It was not a good day for me, particularly tonight. You will know it later.
So, today marks the 15th day of Chinese New Year, also a final day of New Year. 15 days gone, just like that. People got off work early today, just for the celebration; good food, firecrackers, fireworks, and maybe listening to Chinese New Year song for the last time this year. For me, I posted the video of pupils dancing to ‘Everyday is a good day’ song on Instagram.
Tua Pek Kong temple was once again filled with worshippers causing traffic congestion. It wasn’t their fault though, they had to fulfil their duties; give thanks for the things that happened for the past 15 days and to ask for blessings throughout this year.
I planned to celebrate it with my family tonight, but it didn’t go as planned because I had a dinner at a restaurant tonight. I wasn’t looking forward to go, not because I wished to be with my family at home and celebrate with them, but because I was fighting flu. I wasn’t feeling so well.
Nevertheless, I had to go there with an open heart and positivity. I went there with such great spirit, but met with disappointment. You see, there were three of us in the initial plan. Three of us agreed to attend because nobody else wanted to attend. None of them showed up. I was disappointed because I felt like I’ve been left alone. Now, I was trying to be a baby or to give in to self pity, but I wasn’t particularly comfortable sitting at a table full of strangers. I wasn’t good in meeting new people.
So, I need my teammates with me! I just could not enjoy my meals and yes, I left after the second dish because I felt stupid and because I was feeling very tired and quite sick. I think, if one of them was there, I would feel better. But yes, I was quite sick, so I decided to go home and it was already 9pm! We had just finished our second dish!
I left with disappointment but at the same time relieve that I had left. I could breathe the air again! I went for a slice of pizza and went home. There went the last day of CNY celebration. Slowly my disappointment slipped away and I listened to ‘Everyday Is A Good Day’ many times. I tried to sing along too. It didn’t matter what happened tonight, I am still living.
When I was in secondary school, English was one of my weakest subjects. It was so terrible that I could never pass ‘C’ grade. That was the time, I decided to take up reading. Then, I had another set of problem, there was no comprehension. But, I kept on reading anyways, but the improvement was so slow. In University, I took up English Studies as my minor and my English was so bad that had to attend extra classes to improve.
Thankfully, because I’ve been reading quite a lot, I grew up loving reading and after almost 20 years of reading, I found something much more valuable that gripped my heart. I found its magic!
What I needed the most was the language skills, and reading helped. My grammar improved, so was my comprehension and vocabulary. Soon, discovered something much more interesting and exciting; I discovered the power of words; Words that inspire and words that build. Big word such as ‘unflinching will’ – a will so strong and unmoved that no matter how big the storm may come your way, you keep moving forward.
It was so exciting that I was in this state call ‘book-hunger’.
I couldn’t get enough of reading because it was so nourishing. Just like your body needs nutrients to function well, your mind needs books to think better. Watching television or movies or YouTube videos definitely had an impact on your mind, but it is not the same as getting your brain to process process and keeps your brain a little sharper. I always read at the table and when I found the passage that struck me, I highlight those passages and put a sticky note on that page. Once I finished that book, I’ll go back to the highlighted passage and write them down in my notebook. So, when I want to refer to some of the ideas, I’ll go back to the notebook.
Reading also shaped my character. People said that we learned from our surroundings and the people we met. We learn each other habits and adopt each other’s mindset. The same things with books, because books are basically ideas or mindset of another people. As I read them, I did not just read a book, I journeyed with the characters and the authors and learned from their mindset and ideas and even their experiences. When I read the life of Liesel Meminger in ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusak, I discovered a new meaning in reading because there are other people who worked harder than me to learn how to read especially in times of war. As I read Bilbo’s adventure in ‘The Hobbit’, I realised I can’t cling on to what is familiar and to step into the inconveniences and uncomfortable if I want to lead meaningful life.
I read many genres and one of my favourite genres is biography. One of the people that I’ve read was Abraham Lincoln. I love Abraham Lincoln for many reasons, but one particular reason that I really love him is that he loved his books very much. Lincoln carried his book with him everywhere he went. You see, because he loved books so much that he possessed a vivid sensibility for the beauty of English language. The power of words and boy, he really knew how to use them. Books nourished him it became his academy, a place that united his mind to the greatest mind of the generation past. It shaped his character that despite the lack of formal education, books inspired him to pursue the American dreams, and one day, he became the president of the United States.
All of us are at great advantage because of our ability to read and write. If you have been reading, keep it up; but if you haven’t, maybe it is time for you to read. It might be difficult at first. But whether it is 15 mins or 20 mins or 30 minutes, it does not matter. What matters is that you read every day. I didn’t let my difficulties to stop me from reading, and because I persevered, I gained something which is much more valuable that I could ever hope for, which is the magic of reading!
I am always in the quest for stories. That is what I do actually, everyday. I make a living meeting people, talking to them, asking them questions and construct their stories. I love stories and love writing them. Though not all stories gave me pleasure, in fact most of them gave me a lot of pressure.
But I love stories; especially stories of ordinary people because every one of them has a lesson for others to learn. The lives of people who could make people stop and ponder, reflect, remember, and are inspired. I do not write just for the sake of writing, though sometimes I do that, because it is my job to write. Sometimes I got frustrated with the job I have now, but continue to go on; motivated by the possibility of finding great stories.
I write not because I hunt for stories, I write because it makes me grow as person. I learn as I write and I write as I learn. I need to feel and touch the reality from the deepest of my life through the stories I heard. Then as I empty my cup, I construct that story front the tip of my pen. As one writer said (forgot which writer) in every story you read, there must be a writer’s DNA registered in it.
People who know me will know that I love books very much. I read various kinds of genres. I do not read romance often, but my favourite genres are historical fiction and autobiography. The more I read those stories, the more I became passionate about the heroes, and the more I wanted to meet them in real life. Therefore, I wanted to write about them.
Growing up, I neither was the one shine in class nor was I selected to compete in essay writing. However, my love for books started when I was in primary school. I love books very much that I became a librarian but I did not pick up the habit of reading until I was 14 years old. I finally picked up reading because I found out that I was terrible in English. How bad? Either I flunked or the highest I could get was ‘C’. That is how bad I was, but as soon as pick up reading, I made a commitment to read every day. My comprehension was so bad at first that I needed to read few times for a page to understand. Then I started to read aloud and listen to English speakers especially those in the movies. I picked up and tried to mimic until it stuck with me. Some people said I have a spoken English of a native (though I doubt that sometimes).
I remember I entered a confessional room one day and as I started to confess my sins, the priest opened that little door and asked where I came from. That caught me by surprise.
There was one person who believed that I could write and that is my former headmistress. She was the first person to do that. She told me one day that I could pick up my pen and write. I was down one day because I could not get into science class in Form 4. Those times, people had a perspective that science class are for good students and Arts are for those who do not do well in studies. However, my former headmistress told me that being in Arts class means wider field. She told me that God put me in Arts class because He has a plan for me. Therefore, she asked me to pick up my pen and write. I did not do that until about 10 years later; I pick up my pen and write.
Do you believe that you could actually know me better by reading the book I read? Or rather..books I chose to read. Especially the ones that I hold dear in my heart. I do not know that for sure. Nobody ever told me. I’m just wondering that would it be possible that even though that you guys out there had never met me personally, but could actually get a glimpse of what kind of person I am through the book I read. There are books that I read for entertainment and some for encouragements and maybe to learn some life perspectives. I do make some reflections on my life as I meditate on some of the books I’ve read. Life after all, are full of uncertainties, but books…boy…some really took me on a journey.
My love for reading did not start at a very young age. I know there are people out there who had a passion for reading…since they started recognising words. Mine was not the case. I started to seriously…sit down and read books at the age of 14, because I used to flunk my English (I am still trying to make sense how I turned from a girl who flunk her English at school to writing for a living today..hmmm). It was a period that I inculcated a passion for language. However, even before that, I knew that I’ve always love reading. I just never get hold of it..that’s all. So, at aged 14, I read any books I could find at the library; in which I became a school librarian for few years. As I grew older, I started to pick up more books. I read all kinds of genre, but of course, the genre I love is historical fiction.
Here is the list of some of the books I’ve read for the past years: (Just to name a few)
I Know This Much Is True – Wally Lamb
Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
Where The Heart Is – Billy Letts
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind – Bryan Miller and William Kamkwamba
127 Hours – Aron Ralston
Born To Run – Christopher McDougall
The Life of Faustina Kowalska – Sister Sophia Michalenko
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The Help – Kathryn Stokett
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
The Lord of Rings Trilogy – JRR Tolkien
Team of Rivals – The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Even Silence Has An End – Ingrid Betancourt
Ken Follett’s books
John Grisham’s books
David Baldacci’s books