Archive for February, 2013

An encounter, after what seems like the longest time

February 22, 2013

I still can’t quite believe it.

How did I spend at least a whole 45 minutes in your company and not feel all emotional?

To have a pleasant civil conversation without me going to pieces?

I guess this is another marker in moving on?

I’m happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I got to spend that little time with you, to actually, finally, after wanting, hoping for it for the longest time, to have an extended conversation with you, even if it was all about you and you never really had me on your mind.

Sad that I could actually deal with this without going to pieces. Sad that this means I don’t seem emotionally held hostage by you anymore. Sad that I’m actually ok enough to have plastic conversations with people who pretty much never gave a real damn about me.

I’m happy you seem to have things figured out, with a clear focus of what you want of life, in your life. But I still wish, I still hope, you will one day be ready for me to say the things I really want to say.

Maybe the beauty of moving on is being able to hope for what could be without it being blind hope.

Or as Andy Puddicombe, former monk and author of ‘Get Some Headspace’ and website, puts it:

“It’s letting go of what we want it to be, and moving closer to acceptance of what is happening right now.”



February 21, 2013

Well, what do you know.

Ed’s coming back. Well, not Ed’s exactly, but a new, as-yet-unnamed revival, targeted to start operations next month.

The more things change, the more they stay the same? All things will turn out well if you let them?

Probably feeling a bit of both, right now.

All in all, had a good first week. A shaky start at first as usual, and reframing one’s mindset isn’t at all easy; it’s a lot of hard work and sometimes you don’t know if it’s all going to work out but in the end you surprise yourself, they surprise you. Am very surprised how hard it is to just listen and withhold the initial rush to judgement, how gratifying when patience is rewarded with something simple yet profound. Real trust isn’t easy to build, least to say a whole new different culture, but the promise of potential is intoxicating. And we haven’t even come to PT yet.

Let hiccups be just that – hiccups.

Turning Forty

February 17, 2013


Actually with everything that has been said over the past eight months, I feel all talked out. Hence there is a reluctance to pen something to mark today, especially if it’s meant to be profoundly meaningful.

Four Oh is a big thing in a lot of places. It’s a big thing for me too. So my wish is that everything goes well tomorrow, and every day forward reaffirms why I’ve been here for the past forty years, and reminds me of what’s really important, and what is it I’m here to do.

Last weekend of the intermission

February 16, 2013

“They also serve who stand and wait.”

Well, the wait is over. The schedules are out. The parents were met. Lots of food for thought presented earlier yesterday at the annual conference. The shiny, bright-eyed excitement of early January has given way to a serious, determined feeling that ultimately, “this is what we do.”

I’m proud of what we do. Looking out at those expectant older faces last night reminded me of their offspring whom we’ll face so many times this year from next Monday onwards. And how we’re tied by the shared bonds of care for the next generation.

I will not let you down. I will not let myself down.


February 12, 2013

Is there such a thing as affecting being emo?

Maybe when part of you yearns for the nostalgia of angst?

When maybe deep down you’ve actually moved on, come to terms with things, but the mind desperately wants to keep on to…what? And why?

Maybe it’s fear of the future. Or just maybe, it’s fear of letting go of fear. That, after so long, fear’s become family, a part of you inseparable, a necessary evil. That letting go is some twisted form of betrayal.

V says I overthink things. Maybe I do. But maybe it’s my way of work of working things out.

Why are there so many maybes? Why am I so uncomfortable with all the maybes?

The more I question, the more I only get – more questions.

The spring festival holiday ends tonight, and then it’s back to work. I should pour myself into preparations, but here I am, apparently stuck in this emotional or mental merry-go-round. Ed’s has a three-day reprieve.  I should cherish the next three days, but here I am, apparently trying to grapple with all these thoughts within me.

ES approached me to write a reference for The Job. Hopes to be third time lucky. I can barely believe it’s been ten years since she was one of my charges. I hope my words do my feelings justice.

That’s what we do, you know. Help people. Which makes it hurt so bad when you have to make the decision not to do so, for some people, even though at some level you really really want to, but at another level you know you did the right thing, and moving on means leaving some things behind, sometimes forever. And yet somehow wanting to be haunted by memory, visited always by good feelings, even though they were merely self-manufactured.

Is there such a thing as a good delusion? Apparently, there is. Or maybe true growth is to be able to look back at the delusion for what it really is, and say, well, okay, whatever, and then what? As in, I know our friendship was just a delusion, but for some strange reason I can juggle two conflicting thoughts at the same time, that on the one hand, I really really want us to be true friends, but on the other hand it doesn’t really matter cos life goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. I am sick of being on this merry-go-round too.  I want to be off it, because there are really more important things to be done and this is just a distraction from them. But then I start to wonder, maybe I haven’t really come to terms with it, but if that’s the case, why am I not emotionally in turmoil? Typing this, I’m calm. I’m not ’emotionally screwed up’, like I told her eight months ago. I’m quite a different person. Okay, maybe different only in some key ways, but I’ve definitely changed and grown.

Right now,  a part of me is pretty disgusted with myself, for going on and on like some whiny teenager. Oh would you please give it a rest? You know exactly what you need to do to move on – indeed, you have moved on – but for some silly reason you think it’s cool to dwell in this pseudo-angsty mood or whatever. It isn’t cute anymore, because you’re not seventeen anymore. And what’s worse is that you know it. So you’re afraid of what’s to come, of really growing  beyond getting stuck. Who isn’t? Isn’t this precisely what it’s been all about, to find out what lies in store in the unknown? Why go through all the effort and the trouble to break through the stagnation and then, what, stop? Because you’re afraid? If so, of what?

Maybe I’m afraid I can, will, definitely, someday, be happy.

Maybe my faith scares me.

Maybe I’m scared that beneath all this I’m just a goddamn hypocrite, spouting mere words, worth nothing.

Maybe I’m scared my faith is just blind faith, a child’s naivete made flesh.

Life’s too short to quibble about small things. One should turn his heart and mind to the essentials. Trouble is, different people have different ideas of what’s essential. I’m afraid I’m held hostage by what other people deem essential, not consciously of course, but social pressure is a formidable force precisely because it exerts itself so invisibly.

Maybe it’s normal from time to time, to have your faith questioned, to question your faith. Because it clarifies and purifies? Makes you stronger, clears things up? I don’t know.

Farewell, Fat Ed’s

February 7, 2013


And so, tomorrow, a good friend will leave the scene.

Thank you for everything. I came first for the food, but you leave after having taught me how and why relationships matter. For what is good food but its experience that is shared: the joys and the sorrows. Many blog entries were written here; countless scripts marked under your watchful shade. You bore witness to those defining moments when I had to confront the delusions and face the truth. The magic of Hope Heart Idea. The conversations that mattered, and the heartbreaks of relationships ended.

I couldn’t have gotten through 2012 without you. You’ve made the worst moments that much more bearable. I still don’t know how I’ll cope without you this year, but you’ve taught me that faith endures and faith will find a way. Like how to bear the hurt of a painful decision that needed to be made. Relationships are so damn painful sometimes precisely because they are so damn valuable.

So today, the day when my new charges bond around a campfire, and tomorrow, when dawn breaks upon a new lunar spring, I write this to you before you take your leave.

Creme brûlée start

February 6, 2013

So, the moment I had been looking forward to finally arrived. 25 persons to inspire and share the year with. It was a bit touch and go with getting the creme brûlée at first and also soliciting responses, but overall, it was a good, promising opening, revealing gems of insight and so much potential. Better than last year’s I feel.

The weight loss story has really become a powerful metaphor for me about choice, discipline, growth, change you control, trial and faith. I’m happy to share it, and everytime I do so I can see how it lights up my charges’ faces for that brief moment when they can see the potential in their lives. We wrote letters to our future selves eight months from now. I look forward to seeing how things work out, for me as well as them, during the last session.

Sixone, I wish us a meaningful year ahead:)