Waiting for My Bright Orange Mazda

When I was in primary school, my mom drove a bright orange Mazda hatchback. Everyday, after school had ended, my brother and I would hang around in the canteen waiting for her to come and take us home.

My brother, with his uniform shirt untucked and maybe one shoelace undone, would be up and about playing with friends or just doing, exploring something. Me, the more introverted one, would tend to sit on one of the long wooden benches, facing the school’s main gate so that I could take note of every car that came through. And because my mom was a high school teacher, we often ended up being the only ones left waiting in the canteen, because her school ended later than ours.

I remember sighing, even if only on the inside, when yet another car had come into the school compound but it was still not the one I had been waiting for: mom’s bright orange Mazda. But of course, she always turned up, without fail. Or on some other days, it would be dad who would be taking us home, depending on their work schedules.

I sure did a lot of waiting as a child – waiting for my parents to fetch me home from music lessons (dad was usually late!), tuition classes, the library, school activities. Waiting for meals to be ready. Waiting for grandpa and grandma to arrive.

But little did it cross my mind that time, that even as I grew up, waiting was one thing that I would not be exempt from.

 I still wait for many things and many dreams now. In many instances, I even make conscious decisions to wait. 

It is not always fun to wait – but at least I have learnt to be like my smart little brother in his messy uniform – and take waiting seasons as opportunities to explore, have fun and do nice things that do not require waiting.

Till my bright orange Mazda arrives.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/waiting/

 

I Don’t Know Them, Yet I Trust Them

I want to bury myself amongst the musty and motionless occupants of my wooden shelves. Dust them off and watch them come to life again, finally able to fulfill their calling of transporting me into another world and another’s consciousness. I will give each of them the attention they deserve, getting acquainted with them from their facade, their first few words to me, maybe what others have said about them, and the brief attempts on their backs to summarize and lure me into all that they are. 

I will pick the one that gets me wondering the most and tuck it safely amongst all my essentials, so that I can feel its weight and sense its company as I head out yet again to yet another unknown place.

I will leaf through its pages as the plane bides its time, let it rest open on my chest as I fall asleep under the sun lulled by the sound of waves – and then curl up with it again as night begins to fall and I have retreated into my paid cocoon, the warm lighting promising yet another illuminating and illuminated night. Me in a strange place, getting transported into yet another strange place – by the sheer force of another person’s words and imagination.

I don’t know them, but I am trusting them to take me to unknown places from where I will be able to find my way back. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/trust/

Careful…at the Expense of Creative

I just came back from a 2-day creative writing workshop. The piece I wrote during the final exercise came out flat, unimaginative and forgettable. 

I’d never seen myself as a creative writer to begin with, but now I suspect that years being in the corporate world, where the things I write have to be carefully thought through and conform to what is deemed professional, diplomatic and acceptable within the kind of image and messages that the company wants to portray – have dulled my creativity as a writer even more. 

I have forgotten how to show and not tell. How to be sensorial and lead my readers to see,hear, touch, taste and smell the story that I want to tell. Until this afternoon I was not aware that a story has to begin with a conflict, followed by the process dealing with the conflict, and end with the resolution of the conflict. 

I don’t even remember what the stories I want to tell are – having conditioned myself to focus on writing things to influence perceptions in specific ways. I have random ideas in my head – things I want to write mingling with the things I do not want but have to write, and they are screaming to find their places in the story where they belong. 

So I have carved out the time and space for me to just read all the books I want to read; and to pen down the thoughts floating in my consciousness. To explore and play with words, phrases, sentences that will add dimension to my writings. 

I want to reconnect with my creative voice, and discover myself all over again as a writer. 
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/careful/

When Passion Isn’t Practical

Reblogging this post to respond to today’s prompt, “Passionate” 

People, Places, and Perspectives.

It’s great to have passion. Fiery ideas that change the world often start burning in someone’s belly. Passion turns hard work into fun and challenges into adrenaline-fueled adventures. When you have passion it suddenly becomes easy to do the right thing and to fight. Character becomes effortless.

But what do you do when the thing that makes you tick and the thing that gives you your paycheck are no longer one and the same?

It takes uncomfortable effort and difficulty to force fit a square peg into a round hole and then keep it there. But when the right fit is still elusive life as it is goes on, so that has to be done.

You’re square. Your heart does not beat for the round hole. Your angular match has yet to be found.

This is when you summon your character in order to deliver in the midst of…

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When Passion Isn’t Practical

It’s great to have passion. Fiery ideas that change the world often start burning in someone’s belly. Passion turns hard work into fun and challenges into adrenaline-fueled adventures. When you have passion it suddenly becomes easy to do the right thing and to fight. Character becomes effortless.

But what do you do when the thing that makes you tick and the thing that gives you your paycheck are no longer one and the same?

It takes uncomfortable effort and difficulty to force fit a square peg into a round hole and then keep it there. But when the right fit is still elusive life as it is goes on, so that has to be done.

You’re square. Your heart does not beat for the round hole. Your angular match has yet to be found.

This is when you summon your character in order to deliver in the midst of drudgery. You have responsibilities to discharge and you need to restrain your free spirit no matter how it squirms and struggles.

You may not do any life changing things for now. Everything is grey and mundane. You endure by the moment so everything is dealt with in bite-sized bearables.

Be still, oh heart. When the right time comes, the fuel lying dormant inside you will be free to catch fire and burn forevermore.

For now, it is you and what you are made of, against the cold sleepy winter and rain.

Senses Alert: Life Lived to the Full

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions


Are you hearing the unsaid
Are you seeing the flower by the sidewalk
Does the smell of coffee still brighten your day
Or has it become as unnoticed
As the old sofa in that corner?

Do you take time to chew
And savour the juices oozing in your mouth
Or have you been eating
Merely to survive?

Do you take time to hug
Give pats on the back
Feel the softness of velvet
Or be grateful for the carpet
And heat on cold winter nights?

Perky senses could lead to a life well lived!

This post is part of SoCS:
http://lindaghill.com/2014/11/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-november-2914/

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You, My American Readers

StatsFor you still make up the majority of my blog visitors, as shown by my WordPress stats. Views from my own country trail behind on a far second at 699, compared to 1506 views from the USA – since the birth of this blog middle of May this year.

It’s been a wonderful journey and I am pleasantly surprised that I have been posting consistently till now. Having the WordPress community really helps, like participating in Linda’s blogging events, and also Daily Post’s.

Thank you to all of you who have dropped by to write your comments, or to click the Like button (no matter where you are from. I even have views from countries I had never heard of, like Liechtenstein and Jersey!) That keeps me going, and reading your writing keeps me learning. I try to read and comment on other people’s blogs as much as I can too, though I often blog on the go.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US of A. I can’t wait to come face to face with the Statue of Liberty in November next year! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where I come from, but giving thanks can still be a way of life. So in the spirit of the occasion, I am thankful for WordPress and the wonderful blogging community here. Blog (and write) on, everybody!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/never-too-late/

Sounds of My Life

If my life were a movie, it would have an eclectic soundtrack.

1. Classical piano music, Mozart sonatas especially – for the scenes from those early years. Endless music classes and practicing for examinations and performances. I know many Asians would identify. But one thing that set me apart from my friends in this respect is that I asked to be sent for piano lessons instead of having them forced on me, which was the common case with my friends.

2. A brief medley of boyband music – for those awkward teenage years. I outgrew those pretty fast.

3. Christian music, rock, Thai pop and rock music, jazz, Taiwanese rock, Malaysian and Indonesian — these seem to be my all-time favourites.

But I do wonder, once I get into my later years — when I get to my seventies, would I still be listening to what I listen a lot to now? I have a penchant for fast rock songs especially when I run or work… will seventy year old me still find these appealing?

4. Sounds of nature — the fading sizzle of lapping waves, chirping of birds during the day and crickets at night, or the sound of nothingness. The soundtrack for the introvert.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cue-the-violins/

The Wonder of Water: A True Story

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Here’s a simple story of how water changed a young woman’s life:

“I used to suffer from a bad case of pimples and acne. I had such a pizza face that it affected my self-confidence, to the extent that when I talked to people I would not look at them in the eye. And imagine I was a bank teller!

I went from doctor to doctor and tried all sorts of creams and medication. But nothing worked. One day I went to see a new dermatologist, and he told me to forget about everything else, and just drink a lot of water! So I started guzzling water, a few liters a day, and I would just drink and drink. True enough, my skin started clearing up as the water flushed out all the toxins in my body that were causing the breakouts.

My life started to change as I started gaining confidence in myself. I love wearing make up and I tried different jobs, gaining more experience to grow my career. And I have no qualms talking to people and making eye contact with them. All it took was just to listen to that doctor and drink lots of water.”

This was narrated to me by a colleague I had during one of my earliest jobs. As I look back, I realized one takeaway from her story is that…sometimes the very solution to a persistent problem that has been bugging us for no end can just turn out to be the simplest one!

This post is part of SoCS:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/11/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-november-1514/

Brickbats Do Hurt…But…

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

This is life. If I can get accustomed to the fact that brickbats will always be part of the deal, I bet my skin will grow at least a bit thicker, and I will be a bit more fearless, come what may.

But…(getting a little sleepy now)…this is always easier said than done. If brickbats do not hurt at all, then it probably means I have lost my humanity, because being human means, among other things, being vulnerable.

And that is perfectly fine, I think. Perfectly fine to care what others think, what others say, perfectly fine to feel unnerved by criticism, opposition, objections, rejection, and all things negative and disapproving. Because I do not believe anyone can not care, or feel the slightest bit affected when all these happen.

Because if we don’t…we will probably…

1. Be running around naked like  Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (when the world was still perfect and the first man and woman knew no concept of shame)

2. Have no ‘like’ buttons on Facebook, WordPress and other social media

3. Not enjoy social media so much…because who cares, anyway?

4. Not coined the “Dutch courage” concept

So, well, speaking for myself, I care, I do get affected, I do have my vulnerabilities, I do my share of work to fit in the best I can. And again, I really think that’s ok…as long as I don’t allow the concerns of what others think stand in the way of what my heart wants to do. As long as it doesn’t harm and hurt anyone…and is not at anyone else’s expense.

Bring on the brickbats. I care, but I will forge ahead anyway.

 

This post is part of SoCS:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/11/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-november-814/