Impossible…Really?

I don’t remember exactly when I started to believe that dreams do, and can come true. I think when I was around 20 I thought that there would be more to life than just growing into adulthood, finishing school, getting a decent job, gaining financial independence, getting married, having children, slogging to put them through school, watching them grow up and repeat what I did, and in the end…grow old and die.

Then, in my final year in university, I became the editor for the Students’ Council Women’s Affairs Committee magazine. My friends and I somehow decided to interview our Media Studies lecturer, and that interview confirmed that what I had thought about life actually made sense. I guess when you were young and about to start out, it helped to discover that someone more experienced and successful shared the same beliefs. And what more, this was someone who at the age of 20 left her home country for Paris with just USD 7 in her pocket – so that she could pursue her dream of becoming a writer! Joanna is still writing now, with more books getting published. (You may check out her website here). I hope she knows how many young people she has inspired, and how many dreams are being realized because she set an amazing example.

So I guess that was one key encounter that fueled the idealism in me. And the romance, too. Dreams do come true. Indeed. But we must know what choices to make, and there will certainly be some things to give up along the way. So, armed with that belief, and DESPITE self-doubt and fears, I forged ahead and sought for the thing that would make my heart sing. It took me five years, and after some fine tuning, trials and errors, I found my path, and I have been walking it till today.

And I have discovered that the more things I try, the more hits and misses I experience, the bolder I become! There’s nothing personal in failures and rejections, they are just lessons and experiences to embrace! Like how I submitted a story on women’s rights and it did not get published, and how I took part in the Miss Malaysia/World beauty pageant one year and got so disappointed when I only made it to the Top 9. And then how I was cheered up when my agent called and told me they wanted to send me to Germany for another beauty contest – not as prestigious as Miss World but still an international pageant with 35 countries participating! And then…only to have my leave application rejected by my then employer, and realize that I wouldn’t give up my teaching job for that chance which some people told me was a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing.

And how I got a call for interview with the President of a renowned local institution, and then turned it down because I had, at that time, just resigned from another job to become a freelance copywriter, having decided that I would pursue what I really liked to do, instead of forcing myself to build a career the conventional way – no matter how glamorous the opportunity sounded.

So here I am today, doing the things that make my heart sing. I have just kick started another adventure …so I will be posting updates on that one. Can’t wait!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-6/

Trick or Trick?

This prompt is quite difficult for me to write on because I don’t celebrate Halloween. But I remember having fun trying on funny Halloween hats at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park with my friend Sarah when we traveled to that country during Halloween season 6 years ago. Too bad the photos are on my old laptop. I thought I looked  pretty good and interesting with a tall, green coloured witch hat with green-colored snakes hanging all over it.

Back to the prompt–so I can pretend I have run out of candy, but for the kids to scare me, I can’t imagine  what they can possibly do. Unless they are wunderkinder who can come up with some realistic sound effects of some supernatural beings, or impersonate my dead relatives really really well.

But I have a feeling they could easily succeed at annoying me, especially if they are not that cute, and if they ring my doorbell at my down time.

And wait, is Halloween a day where children have a legitimate excuse to be rude and annoying? Hmm. Anyway, to those of you who are celebrating, Happy Halloween!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trick-or-trick/

As Fleeting as Illumination from the Fridge

Tears shed in the dark of night

But that’s alright

As fleeting as the illumination that you get

When the door of the fridge is opened by the tempted

And the emotionally challenged

Are the trials and tribulations

Embrace the darkest nights

For light comes without fail

God has made it such

That it is dawn that breaks

Not your spirit.

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trio-no-three/

The Trouble with the Intangible

If I were to compare my bedroom and laptop’s desktop, which is messier?

My pale pink bedroom walls provide the perfect backdrop for my white furniture, and plain curtains in dark purplish pink, the colour of healing bruises, sway gently in the pleasant breeze created by my ceiling fan. Pillows (yes, in different shades of pink and peach) are strewn over my bed while one book sits quietly next to one of them. On the small wooden bedside table are three more books and a magazine. My hairdryer lies on top of the pile which is a bit of an eyesore, but that will be fixed at the snap of a finger because I just need to unplug it from the power source, roll the wire neatly and tuck it inside the drawer.

Everything morning I get ready for work with the efficiency of a factory line assembly because I know just where everything is–which is right where they are supposed to be. Cosmetics and skincare on the vanity table, clothing in the wardrobe, full-length mirror smartly attached to a closet door. Cotton pads used to swipe my face with astringent are deftly thrown into the waste paper basket which is right next to my vanity stool.

So if my bedroom gets messy it is still at least organized mess because rearranging things and restoring order is so easy with the structure in place.

My laptop, in comparison, is a different challenge altogether. Organizing information seems trickier than organizing tangible physical things because I find it easier to categorize and separate things I can see and feel. The best I can do with the information on my laptop is to just organize them according to their topics and purpose, and that’s not as easy as it sounds because overlaps of categories happen often.

This is the very reason I find it much easier to describe the organization of my bedroom than that of my laptop–and this also answers the question as to which is messier. My laptop wins hands down.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/sweeping-motions/

Up Close and Uncommon: Engineer Turned Origami Florist Unfolds His Journey

Thanks to Jerry and his origami florist start up, roses are now forever.

I’ve always wanted to write about the inspiring people I am blessed to have in my life — specifically the ones who defy the ordinariness of being human to chase after dreams that make life extraordinary. So when my friend Jerry gave me one of his origami roses as a birthday present recently, the idea of featuring his experience starting his own origami florist, Epicure Online, on my blog dawned on me. I am especially amazed that Jerry is now even using his origami skills to teach Math to some autistic children. Talk about making money and making a difference with our hobbies!

Me: So, tell us how it happened, this shift from semiconductor engineering at one of the world’s largest companies, to paper art start up.

J: When I first left  engineering I wasn’t planning to start a paper art start up. It was more like I was tired and felt that I was going through the mundane. I felt that there had to be more to life than going through the typical routine. So I decided I wasn’t getting any younger and decide to take a plunge and try something on my own.

How did I start an origami florist? Well that was by chance. I was always a fan of origami. Always loved folding. It’s something I believe everyone can do. It’s an art that is systematical. If I follow the crease lines correctly I will get the desired pattern. The hard part is to decipher the crease lines.

So one Christmas I decided to give a loved one something special. A handmade bouquet of 24 roses. She was quite impressed with it and that started the whole idea of an origami florist. We believe that there would be many people out there that would like to have something special and personal to make important occasions more memorable.

One of Epicure Online's latest bouquet designs.

One of Epicure Online’s latest bouquet designs.

Me: What’s the best thing about leaving your steady job for something as different and uncertain as origami?

 J: I gradually develop a sense of tolerance for uncertainty. To a certain extent I am a control freak. I don’t really handle unforeseen circumstances well. Coming out on my own in more ways than one has humbled me to accept my limitations. I learned that while disappointments are part of life, you can not let that be the defining moment of your life. I learned to redefine my core believes and strengthen my faith. For me that is the most important learning so far.

Origami roses with inscriptions for special occasions.

Origami roses with inscriptions for special occasions.

Me: What’s the worst, or most difficult thing?

J: Ironically the hardest thing for me right now to deal with is also the uncertainty. While it gives me a new perspective in life. There is always the lingering question of “What if ?”.Peer pressure compounds this effect. While I understand that I am taking a minor step back to launch myself further it’s always test of will when people close to you ask if you are sane. That’s where your belief system comes in.

Me: What drives you to do what you do?

J: Time really goes by quickly if we don’t number our days. When I look at it there is only a limited time frame in life where we get to do the things we want in life. I believe there is a season for everything. For example, for me to take the risk to come out on my own to pursue  my passion would not have been possible if I was younger as personally I would have not been confident enough, and if I was older I might not be able to tolerate the risk.  Knowing that there is a season for everything I remind myself that this season too will pass and I must make the most out of it. Muhammad Ali said it best: “Don’t count your days, make your days count.”

 

The 24-rose bouquet that started it all.

The 24-rose bouquet that started it all.

Me: If you could pick one, which piece of origami are you the proudest of? Why?

J: Easy – the first rose bouquet I made. It started all of this!

Me: Describe your journey in three words.
J: Unbelievable, Spiritual, and Exciting.

This interview is conducted as part of the Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/interview/
and also because of my interest in delving into the thoughts of inspiring people who are living and chasing their dreams.