Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Office Politics



Since I was an intern, I was being warned of the existence of office politics. One of my mentors gave me the advice that no matter how open the the culture of a company is, there is likely to be bureaucracy and I will have to learn to live with it, or even better, to make good use of it. Last Friday, I walked into the office of the CEO and was trying to return some of the really useful management books; while once again, we touched on the topic of office politics.

He told me that he was once being told that to be outstanding in a company; you have to be the greatest politician. He despised that. But then as time goes on, he discovered that this is very true and to say this in a business way, it would have a new name -- "governance". What does that exactly mean? I would sum that up as the balancing of power with logic as well as human factors. You have to think of balancing each person's power in the most logical and efficient way with people's feeling in mind, as well as whether you will get the support you need.

Honestly, I cannot agree more with this theory and I did not understand the essence of this concept until recently when I stated working as a full-time employee. As a fresh graduate and a new employee of the company, I was assigned to be trained by a colleague at the very early stage, and the to a senior manager to give me guidance at work. Who is my direct boss? Who should I please and focus on more? Whose decision should I follow and whose comment should I pay my attention on? Tons of these questions come into my mind whenever there are contradictions between the expectation of different parties and I have to balance the two. I guess I haven't been doing so well as an "office politician" and there are definitely a lot more to learn.

My friends who are still at school asked me whether I like school more or work more. I once thought that the following answer is lame, but after experiencing it, it is really how I feel. I think the two things are very different in nature and I simple can't compare them. I enjoy work, because it is exciting with unlimited challenges and whenever I am off work, I have my own leisure time to focus on other things and I won't have assignments to take home. On the other hand, I love school, because it is a comparatively fair system. If you study hard enough, you go to the examination hall, and you are very likely to get the grade you deserve. You don't have to worry about how everybody thinks about you and you won't be assessed y people every single minute.

Not more than once that after a couple failures of getting the agreement I want or receiving some criticisms from a third party saying it's from my direct boss, that I discovered how office politics come into place and I successfully use similar tactics to cope with it. It is unavoidable that a big office has rumors and unnecessart comments going around affecting people's self-perception. No matter how good a company is, there are people who like using power and authorty to manipulate people instead of creating synergy. Figuring out how to live wisely in the middle of all these is not an easy task and it definitely takes time, but then everyone who works in an office should learn these techniques and my thought is that everyone would eventually find their own way to live with all these, so there is no general principles that can be provided.

Ladies and gentlemen, office politics can help or ruin you. Be aware and hope you can become one of the star politician in the office one day! Good luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Does Marriage Have a Price Tag?




During the morning chat today, my boyfriend (BF) and I discussed a topic which we have been discussing a couple times before -- does marriage have a price tag?
The two of us have been thinking of each other as a potential life long partner, so we have been exchanging our views on how we want our wedding to be in the future and how we want to allocate our financial resources on that.
I have friends who have alread started saving with their lover for the start of their marriage. I have no objection towards such plan. In fact if they are 100% sure they will spend the rest of their lives together, I think it is good for them to plan a bit earlier and see if the dynamic of the relationship changes once the concept of money gets in.

On the other hand, BF raised a fair point as to whether we should put a price tag on a wedding and work hard toward it, or we should put a price tag on our wedding based on what we can afford?

In the Asian culture, there is an invisible norm that most women would only marry a man when he is able to provide a place for them to live together once they are husband and wife. It is like a condition of marriage in that particular community. However, the economic structure of the society has changed and getting a property at the age range when people normally get married seems quite impracticale. How would this affect people's plan on marriage then?

For me, when it comes to marriage, I don't need it to be perfect or just like "The Wedding of the Century". However, I do want it to be a nice one. Therefore, I think I am starting to come to a point that I would want my wedding to have a price tag around a few years beforehand with regard to how much financial resources my fiancee and I have at that moment, then we can start saving more till the time when the wedding comes, so that we can still pay the bills if there is any discrepancies with what we expect and the reality.

Oh well ... it sounds way too early to think of such thing ... or is it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Much do Promises Weigh?



As a couple, my boyfriend (BF) and I give promises to each other from time to time. Though I have been very satisfied with our relationship, I wonder how much our promises weigh, or to be more specific, how much all promises in life weigh.

If we think carefully, we make promises way before we understand the weight of our promises. When we were little kids, we promised our parents that we would be a very good kid after an hour of scolding by them; we promised our teachers we would study hard after having a detention; we will promise our good friends that they will be our best friend FOREVER no matter what; and we promise our lovers that we will love them till the world ends. If you think back carefully, how many of these promises are you still keeping? If you think of similar promises that people made for you, how many of them are still kept by them?

As life goes on, I am starting to have less expectation on other people's promises as well as trying to avoid giving promises when I know that with the uncertainties involved, I may not be able to keep them. I guess it is like a preventive measure, that I am trying to mitigate the effect of people breaking their promises by adjusting my expectation and to minimize my chance of breaking a promise.

I have learned to understand that for most people, promises are more like an expression of their emotion at a particular moment. What I have learned to appreciate is a promise being made genuinely. A genuine "I will love you forever" means that the person loves you a lot right now and it is so much love that they think it can last forever. Such affection touches me and I am glad that a guy once wanted to commit into our relationship. However, I also learned to realize that when hurdles of life come by and temptations try to get its way into a relationship, there's no point to look back and blame the person who made such a promise.

Don't get me wrong, I am not losing hope on love and promises. I just started to understand life, people as well as myself better. I still hope that one day, I will find the man who lives up the vow of a marriage with me and be my partner for the rest of our lives. However, before that actually happens, I will never know who that man is. And when that actually happens, it is not because of the promise this man made in the wedding ceremony that he decided to stay with me, it is more because of the love we have for each other.

Do promises really matter?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What Do I want to Do Today?


This morning, I sat down at my desk, organized the documents next to my desktop, checked my schedule for the day and made a cup of English Toffee to clear my mind, then a question came to my mind: what do I want to do today?
It is not that I don't have work on my desk. Instead, I have a couple projects that I have to deal with in due course. There are a lot of things on my plate which I would have to handle without too much delay. Howeer, I would like to think about what I actually want to do today if I don't have all these obligations. Do I genuinely want to work on these documents on my desk? What are the differenes between what I want to and what I am supposed to do?

Therefore, I wrote a "Want-To-Do List":

(1) Spa / Massage: my shoulders and legs have been hurting for quite a while

(2) Skype: I always wish I can spend more time talking to my boyfriend (BF)

(3) Sleep: I woke up at around 5 am this morning without any reasons

(4) Read: I have been reading a book called "Outrage" and really want to finish it

(5) Meeting with Mr. Boss: I want to convince him in letting me go on a business trip

(6) Shopping: there is a present that I have been wanting to get for BF

(7) Exercising: I ate chocolate truffle cake for breakfast, pasta for lunch and sushi for dinner last night

(8) Be a pillow: Just lay in bed and pretend that I actually belong to the bed


Here's my "Supposed-To-Do List":

(1) Finish project #1

(2) Finish project #2

(3) Finish project #3

(4) Finish project #4

(5) Ok ... this list will never end if I keep doing this, so let this item be "finish other projects in hand"

(6) Bring part of my salary home for my mom as omestic expenditure

(7) Contact my insurance agent

(8) Iron my clothes for tomorrow

All these make me think of this song:

"When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is to extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do"

Disney lies ... as usual ... I have been dreaming to work on my "Want-To-Do List", but now I have to start crossing out items of the "Supposed-To-Do List" instead!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Toffee Nut Latte


Every year, when Halloween has passed, I would start looking forward to Christmas. This year is even more so because I will be having my Christmas with my boyfriend (BF) and this is going to be our very first Christmas together! Other than that, there is also an all-time reason for loving Christmas - Toffee Nut Latte from Starbucks!

This cup of magical beverage has been my favourite Starbucks drink since I entered University. It is a seasonal drink of Starbucks and it only appears after Halloween and before New Year, which is the time when Starbucks uses its Christmas design cups.

Strictly speaking, Toffee Nut Latte is not a coffee drink. It has caffeine in there, but the whole point of this drink is the very rich cream that can allow you to skip lunch if you have it in the morning, the sweetness in taste and fragrant of toffee that gives you some indescribable satisfaction, the graphics on the cup that reminds you of the arrival of Christmas and numerous celebration with your loved ones and the warmth from "extra hot" request that makes you feel so lucky when you walk around the chilly open air holding the cup in your hands.

When I first had that drink, I fell in love with it, and I wondered how great it would be if I can walk on the street with my lover's arms aroud my shoulder and we would talk, laugh and share a large up of Toffee Nut Latte on a perfect Christmas Day. However, since BF doesn't really drink coffee unless it becomes the last resort, I think I will still have a perfect Christmas with him - just about Toffee Nut Latte. I guess I will drink enough before I fly there that I won't even want this cup of perfection anymore.

It is also a part of my university memory. I remember that during winter term, I would also grab a cup of Toffee Nut Latte before class and it gives me the energy to survive through lectures even in the cold winter mornings.
After all the waiting since October, I finally had my first cup of Toffee Nut Latte this year and it is so satisfying!! Let's welcome our lovely Christmas!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Guy who is Willing to Hold Your Hair when you Throw Up


Yesterday is a tough day for my digestive system. I was having a stomachache since I wokr up and had been having diarrhea since then. I underestimated the situation and thought that I will get better as time goes by. However, that wasn't true. After half day of work, I felt so bad that I couldn't even sit properly at my desk, so I went home and took a half day sick leave.


As soon as I got home, I had some lunch and a couple pills, then went straight to bed after leaving a message to my boyfriend (BF) telling him how bad I was feeling and that I might not be able to go on skype th next morning.


When I woke up 4 hours later, BF's message appeared in my inbox full of love and care. Here's part of the message: There is nothing much I can do that is romantic. If you have been throwing up, I can at least hold your hair, but now you are having diarrhea, maybe I can get you some fancy toilet paper?

That makes me wonder how much it means when a man is willing to be there for you when you are sick and willing to hold your hair when you throw up. I believe that it happens when a man feels that he has the responsibility to take good care of you. It is a sign of commitment.

Most of the times, when you are sick, you want to stay home alone or be taken care of by someone who is very close to you. I used to have a very problematic digestive system when I was little and my mom used to be there sitting at my bedside the whole night just to make sure I am alright. She would remind me to take the medicine, hole my hair when I throw up and cook nutritious meals for me. When you are sick, you would feel like you are in your worst condition ever and you would only want someone who will love you no matter how you look to be there for you.

When you are willing to let your man to be there for you and your man is willing to be there for you, that mean your relationship has passed another stage, because you two no long are no longer just attracted to each other's appearance. There is something more than pure physical attraction, but there is trust and care as well. When a man is willing to hold your hair when you are throwing up, that means he no longer cares about the mess you are making and how bad it smells, he only cares about how you feel and he wants to make you feel better. This is not the way to define love, but this is one of the ways a guy would show his love. I still remember there was this once when I was drunk and BF took care of me, holding my hair when I threw up and staying up until he was certain that I fell asleep.

I hope that one day, all of you will be able to find a partnre who will still think you look amazing even when you are wearing your worn out clothes, throwing up, being sick or getting old.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Girl who Gets Flowers in the Office




It is always a scene whenever the messenger delivers flowers to a girl's desk in our office. Today something similer happened and though I was not the lucky recipient of those lovely flowers this time, it reminds me of ther very last time I received a delivery of flowers from my boyfriend (BF).



It was our half-year anniversary and through a lot of challenges due to our separation geographically, BF finally overcame time differences and language barriers, and ordered a very nice bouquet that was delivered to my place in the afternoon.



When the delivery man pressed the doorbell, I opened the door and a lovely package was put into my hand. It was a little teddy bear pushing a cart of pink roses. I was so excited that I can't even recall my reaction except that I kept saying the package looks astonishing. I kept saying that until my mom got really fed up and told me to stop.



I always wonder why most girls, including me, have such strong feelings towards receiving flowers from men. When I was visiting BF a couple months ago, I used to receive a rose from him whenever the previous one wilted. Therefore, there's always a rose in our apartment that is dedicated to me. It is so sweet to receive flowers from BF and I always love looking at them at my free time. It is a reminder of love and romance that I obtained from this relationship.



I guess one of the reasons I can think of for girls' obsession towards flowers is that flowers have been a cultural symbol of love and affection since the very old days. There are scenes in movies of how men try to please women by bring flowers and people have come up with different meanings for different number of roses, as well as for different colours. Such a concept can possibly be implanted into ladies' mind from everything around. That's why whenever we receive a bouquet of flowers, we feel loved and special in the eyes of the sender.



On the other hand, there can also be a traceable reason as to women's love for beauty in general. Ladies are born with the inclination to care about their appearance in order to attact men, and because of this, they are also trained through experience to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. We want to be pretty as well as being in a spectacular environment. That's why some people say that females have better eyes for furniture and in decorating a place. That's also why most ladies tend to always have their eyes on beautiful decorative items such as jewels, purses and shoes. Flowers are somehow on a similar track that they are the beauty of nature and women simply want to own them.



Here I wish the girl who received flowers today have a relationship as beautiful and romantic as the flowers she received!



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dolce Far Niente


After watching "Eat Pray Love", I learned this Italian phrase - dolce far niente, meaning "the sweetness of doing nothing". This phrase captures the spirit of Italians in enjoying the passion of life without too much care and this has beenpart of my life which I try to stike a balance.

I am a person who likes to work hard to make my life better. However, I am also the kind of person who cannot work too hard and loses my own direction. I still remember when I went job-hunting earlier this year, the senior managers always ask me what my career inspirations are and how I see my life in the future. I tend to lie a bit by trying to demonstrate how passionate I am towards work and how much I want work to be an important part of my fulfilling life.

What I actually think is that I love my job, but my job is just a small part of my life which provide me with satisfaction in various achievement and sufficient financial resources that let me go for different enjoyment of life, such as traveling and pursuing further studying in areas that are not related to work. I always want a balanced life no matter how difficult it is to maintain. Outside work, I always want to have time for myself and people I love. I need to be able to spend time with all these people and to think through what I have been doing in order to be able to feel the purpose of my life. I want to be a woman who has things that interest her and keeps her mind occupied, as well as being able to put a lot of her attention into her family that she builds with her husband. For me, work and career cannot last forever, but then relationship with people can. When you walk through the path of life, it is love for people that allows you to leave footprints.

I enjoy my "dolce far niente". I regard that as a time when I can think through different parts of life and feel what my heart is telling me to do. The voice of your heart is always so soft that any kind of disturbance can cover up that little voice and lead you to the way where your heart doesn't belong. "Dolce far niente" doesn't have to be a time when I just lie down and do nothing, instead it is the time when I do things simply because I want to do them, but not that I am obliged to do them. It is such sweet moments of life that makes me understand what I really want in life and what has been giving me most pleasure. My mind loosen up when I just let my conscious and structured mind slow down and let creative ideas to flood all over my mind, telling me how much more wonderful my life can be. THe time when you enjoy the pleasure of idleness, you start to notice and appreciate the world and how much people hae worked around you to make you the person you are now.

If you ask me the word that represents me, I woul say "amor", which means "love" in Italian. I hope everyone can take some time off every day or even just every week, to enjoy your "dolce far niente" in your own way. I am sure this will make you find your life more colorful.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Perfect Proposal



Every girl has a bit of fantasy as to how her man is going to propose to her one day. There are a couple components (sort of like a marking scheme) that girls would generally have in mind. If you get all those right, you would have given the girl her dream proposal. Here are some of my thoughts:

The Ring

Most guys are very aware of this. Though the general principal is that the bigger and of better quality the diamond is, the easier it is to please the girl, but it is also important to know the girl's style and this requires a bit of intelligence. It might not be wise to go to the best friend of the girl, as I think since you can't blame on her friend if she gets it wonr, why not trust yourself.

I personally think platinum and diamond is always a safe choice, since it goes with all skin colour. However, the arrangement of the diamond is the tricky part. My favourite is the one which there are little diamonds on the band next to the major one and the little diamonds should not be held in a way which makes the diamonds look like being in a tunney, they should be held individually next to one another.

One of the other elements which is seldom shown in those romantic proposal scenes in movies is the ring being too loose or too tight. Since my fingers are ridiculously small, sometimes I think maybe I should just marry the guy who proposes with a ring of the right size. Therefore, make sure you either steal your girl's ring for a match in the store, or you know her hand very well.

The Place

A lot of people like taking their girl to the place they first met for a proposal. I won't say this is a bad idea, but it actually all depends on where the two of you met. For example, my boyfriend (BF) and I met at a Chinese New Year dinner, so the venue is a Chinese restaurant. However, I guess I won't really want to go back becasue the place wasn't romantic at all and the food wasn't that good either. I think what girls care about the venue is how romantic the atmosphere is. If the atmosphere is right, even a proposal at home would be very memorable.

One of the most interesting proposal venues I have ever heard of is the cable car. I found it so intersting because the success rate has to be fairly high or at least the guy has to be very confident that the girl will say yes. The thing is that, first of all, you cannot escape in a cable car. As a girl, I find a guy using this strategy quite smart. Even if the girl hesitates in saying yes, the guy can use all sort of ways to convince the girl and tell her much he loves her.

The Time

The major reminder for this section is: never try to make a girl stay with you by proposing. Getting married or engaged is never a way to solve the problem in a relationship. If there is a problem in a relationship, proposing would force the girl to make a decision and would only make her more certain that she doesn't actually want the relationship. When there is a problem exists in a relationship, the only thing that should be done is to try and solve the problem with your partner. Marriage is a promise that can only be made when you genuinely want to make. If you don't, such will only bring you a lot of regrets.

I personally think the right moment to propose is when you think the relationship is healthy enough to take a further step and commit for life. When two people are deeply in love with each other, know that they are taking the same pace in life and ready to build a family together, then it might be time for the guy to propose.

Creatvity:

If you think about it, a proposal is actually a way of saying "I really love you and I am willing to be there for you for the rest of my life". It is a dedication for life and a creative and romantic proposal can definitely make the whole thing more memorable for the girl.

I once heard of a girl telling me the story of the proposal from her man. She was complaining before that the guy was no longer as romantic as when they just started dating. Then 2 weeks later, the guy started being very romantic and leaving little presents all over the apartment to make this girl feel so loved. After a week of such romance, it stopped. The girl thought that the guy has stopped being romantic again, but since he has tried, she was still very happy. 2 days later, the couple was looking at their photo album together, and at the end of the album was a written line "will you marry me?" When the girl looked up, the guy was already on his knees, holding a ring.

Isn't that creative and romantic? Every love story is unique and it always melts girls' heart when guys are willing to use different ways to tell girls how much they want then for the rest of their lives.

At the end, you might say that people get married when they really love each other and it doesn't matter if any of the above factors go wrong. I agree with this totally. I was talking about a perfect proposal, right? And life can never be perfect. Therefore, what I have been saying is what a guy can consider when they want to propose, but if they have enough sincerity, a girl can overlook all of these, because love can make everything perfect.

I wonder how my guy is going to propose one day! =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond




Is there a relationship that can go infinity and beyond? What does "I can see a future in you" mean? How far in time does "future" mean in that context? Does that imply "to infinity and beyond"?


Recently, my boyfriend (BF) and I are planning my trip to fly over to see him and the question "how far in the future I can see myself being with this guy?" pops up in my head with a very high frequency. I am the kind of girl who always wants to marry the guy I am dating when I enter into a relationship. If I don't think that way, I know I don't love that guy that much and I won't even want to enter in a relationship. It is like an investment of love that I would for someone I can see a future (long term prospect) in. However, I am starting to question myself on why I ask such a question.


I wonder why I need to know how long I can see myself being with a guy if I am seriously in love with him right now and how I come up with the conclusion that I think I can at least stay with him for a year or so.


One of the reasons that I ask these questions so frequently is possibly because we are a long distance couple. By being a long distance couple, BF and I always take very concrete steps to carry our relationship forward. These steps include making travelling plans together, having Skype dates and finding ways to give each other surprises. It is very certain that if we stop doing those things, our relationship can hardly work and we will never see each other again. The effort of ours is so apparent that it makes me think of where all these efforts will go at the very end. Am I calculating? I would defend myself and say no. The reason is that I don't care how much efforts I have put in if I know we will end up bein together. I don't care who puts in more effort and I don't even know who puts in more effort.


However, a question comes up recently as to how much in the future I have to be able to see in order to feel secure and comfortable. I can't think of an answer for his question and I also don't know when I will no longer need that kind of security. Is it when I am married? Or is it when we have spent 10 years together? I cannot tell.


My conclusion is that the "seeing a future" or not is just one of those abstract ways to see if I love the guy enough. Since I can never see the future, it's then all about gut feeling. It's all about a judgement of how much I think the two of us are for each other, how much security I feel from the relationship and how much more effort I am willing to put into the relationship regardless of the uncertainties.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When I Cried Over the Value of an XBOX, I found LOVE!


Today is a stressful day. It is stressful not because of work, but because of the unpredictable increase of air fare.

My boyfriend (BF) and I were planning a trip for me to see him in January and we would be spending time together on my birthday. We have been trying to get holidays at work, thinking through ways to minimize costs and what to do on my birthday. Today is the day to book the ticket and get everything done.

However, as we were clicking into the site with my passport and frequent flyer ID number ready, BF discovered that the price actually goes double because of the direction of the flight. Therefore, if he flies over, the price would drop half. We were shocked by such a difference in pric and we immediately enetered into a conversation about how to plan the trip all over again; whether I should still fly over, or he should fly over, or we should meet another time. We came up with the solution that I should actually fly over for Christmas instead of for my birthdy, because this solution would require us to pay more but give us more time together. BF therefore started a lot of research on discount vouchers as well just to see if we have any luck in saving some money.

After seeing BF working on it for quite a while, I started crying. I didn't even know why I cried, I just knew that I felt bad and wish everything can just go back to what I expected. BF was quite right in guessing that money is a factor for the outburst of my tears, but I would say it is not as direct a correlation as it seems. What I felt bad is more about our long term relationship. I felt like there will be way more bumps on the road we are going to walk together, we might end up spending more money on things normal couples don't have to. I don't know how long BF and I can maintain our very positive spirit among all these problems. I worry that one day either one of us just don't want to be bothered anymore and give it all up. We had such a beautiful relationship and those thoughts make me sad.

Thanks to BF who tried his best to understand me though I had trouble even expressing myself in the middle of all those tears. He told me how much he loves me; he told me that it is not a big sum and I shouldn't worry; he said that the sum of money we have to pay in extra would be the same as the amount he would have to pay for if Microsoft was not willing to fix his XBOX two months ago; he even said that if I feel that the additional amount is givin me extra burden, he is willing to share a larger portion of the cost. Yes, he is a caring boyfriend. He promised me that all of these are not annoyances to him and he feels way more annoyed when he got stuck in the traffic, while I said I wasn't annoyed at all about the traffice as I wasn't the driver. I was originally crying really hard and he made me feel a lot better. I can feel that he loves me; I know he has our future n mind; and I know he cares about our relationship so much that everything would be worth it to him as long as we can stay together.

I love BF and I am lucky to have him! Wish us good luck with this coming trip! =)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How Much Does Friendship Worth?


There are so many different kinds and levels of friendships. I have given a little bit of thoughts on how I feel towards friendship and I am trying to identify some of them on this post.

#1: Super Best Friends

Obviously enough, super best friends are the ones who are the VIPs of your friendship club. Super best friends don't necessarily have to have the same interests, but they somehow get along just perfectly. You may not think the exact same way as your super best friends, but you care about them and you are willing to be there for them when they need your support. Super best friends understand each other's thoughts, never judge and try to give their very honest advice when it's needed. Those are people who you treat as the angels of your life.

#2: Long-time-no-see good friends

I have to say I am not a very nice friend as I have never been investing a lot of time in friendship. I am not very good at catching up and I don't meet up with my friends very often. As a result I have a lot of these "long-time-no-see good friends". Don't get me wrong, I love these friends. They are wonderful people. It is just that I have never put enough effort as to meet them very often.

However, whenever I meet up with these people, I enjoy every single moment of it. I feel like nothing has changed. Yes, some catch has to be done, but it never feels like either of us has stepped out of each other's life for any time.

#3: Mentee-mentor friends

This is a very interesting kind of friendship. I have a couple little girls who were once my private tutoring students, but we are now more like friends. Seeing little girls grow is a rewarding experience, it is like going through my own youth all over again. There were moments when they were rebellious, moments when they need the advice on how to feel comfortable in their own shell and how to build up life that they want.

One of them actually said I am more like her sister, and I feel the same way too. We hang out, have nice dinners together, while at the same time, I would give them advice on school or life. It is enjoyable as well as fulfilling because I know I can help her in some ways. At the same time, they all remind me that I should try my best to live an upright life, as I have somehow become the role model of theirs.

#4: Post-love friends

There are always ex-boyfriends or admirers that you once have feelings on but you know things just won't work out between the two of you. THis is what I think post-love friends would come into play. Some people go against the idea of it because they can't face the fact that the romantic feelings are over and they worry about the triggering of more negative feelings.

I worry about that too, but I always find it a pity when I had such good feeling on a person before and now we can't even be friends. It is fate that puts people together and I wish I can treasure that enough. If both of the parties agree that it will only be pure friends without any lingering romantic feelings, then I think it is the way to go. However, if one of the parties is suffering from the residual romantic feelings, I think the smarter way is to let go.

#5: Group acquaintance

At work or in school, people form groups and somehow get to know the people within the group who are more like the friends of your friends. One of my experiences is that I don't really like one of the people in the group and I treat her more like an acquaintance than anything. However, since we are in the same group, we respect each other's existence, treat each other as obligatory friends and celebrate our birthday together.

As time goes on, the whole thing did not go well, I started getting a lot of malicious criticism from her and we ended up avoiding each other in later gatherings. From then on, I have been careful about group acquaintance. I prefer one-on-one friendship, because if we get along well, then we remain as friends; if we don't, then it's the end of everything.

#6: Fake Friends

This is a weird category to be put in a blog, but I have to admit that this does exist in life. I am not living in a fairy tale world, and there are times when I just need to be a friend of someone to maintain the harmony or to be a better player in the office politically ... However, these people are usually more like acquaintance. I like these people, but things haven't gone that far as I can open up as much as to a real friend.

For me friends are people I am willing to do a lot for and they are people I care a lot. When I am with my friends, I never have to worry about them getting mad at me, because we are friends and we forgive each other of unintentional offends. Friends never try to please one another, as we are already very pleased by being able to spnd time with each other.

Have you found your "real friends"? If you do, treasure them!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Born to be Pretty



When I was a teenager, I had pimples all over my face while I was supposed to be building my self-image and confidence. I had some issues in confidence until I got into university and had some makeover. I started to wear contact lens, had some facial treatment to get rid of those pimples and had a better style through picking the right clothes. However, my skin was ruined by the intensive pimple outbreak. Even after the crisis, I don't have the nice skin most young ladies have. Therefore, it is one of my dreams that I would have really fair sin one day in my life as I can see how big a difference it can make to the overall appearance. It would be such a mircle if I can get the shiny, tender and flawless skin that you always see on magazines.


You might criticize me by saying that I am too concerned about my appearance, or comfort me by saying it doesn't really matter how good I look as long as I look reasonably nice. I have to sy this is who I am and I do care about how I look.


Recently, I read a Facebook note listing out things that young ladies should think about, so that they fully utilized their youth. One of the hints is that girls should have more skin care products than cosmetics. This is a fantastic reminder. I have to admit that I am a bit lazy when it comes to skin care. It always takes up so much time in order to see the effect and it costs way more than cosmetics. I usually use cosmetics as more like a once and for all kind of solution for personal grooming.


However, it has recently come to my attention that this is just not the rigt way. The important point is that skin quality is the foundation of every single bit of cosmetics you put on your face before you step out of your apartment door. It is like the long-term investment that you will be benefited from once time goes by. If you work on skincare, a lot of the makeup steps cn be skipped or that the effect will always be twice as good. I guess it's time for me to work a little harder in building a stronger foundation for my skin by living healthy and investing more on skincare products.


Wouldn't it be lovely if I was born to be pretty and neverhave worries about maintaining my appearance? I am seriously looking forward to the era of robot body! Anyways, before the invention of robot body, I will invest more time and care on my skin care for now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Should People Iron Their Shirts?




Yesterday, I got into an argument or a heated debate on the phone with a male friend who is a salesman for ads on buses. We were talking about his work life and somehow touch on his clothes. As he has to meet clients all the time, of course the dress code would be a suit. So I asked, "You need a lot of time to iron your shirt then?" and he said no, and that's how the argument started.


His argument is that there is no necessity to iron a shirt. He usually washes his shirts, hangs them up under the sun and let it dry. He also mentioned that the shirt has creases very soon anyways after he leaves home. He insists that it looks reasonably nice. He said he has met so many people who won't iron their shirt when they go to work and that no clients have ever complain about his clothes. He stressed on the fact that he thinks all that matters between a salesman and a client is communication. If he has managed presentation and catching up with clients well enough, the client would place their orders no matter what. However, he ironed his shirts when he goes to interviews and he thinks that is a totally different occasion compared to a client meeting.


My argument is that it is a matter of respect. It is a respect to yourself, your profession and your client. Since this is the dress code expected by the industry and the profession, when you are a member of it, you have to respect it. If you decide that you are going to wear a suit, you have to iron it. If you wear a suit the way you wear your casual wear, then why do you wear your suit? Go back to jeans and t-shirt. Ironing your shirt is kind of a way to tell people that you take good care of yourself. If you are not even willing to take care of yourself, how can people trust you that you will take care of their business? Customers of course won't tell you that they have problems with your shirts, they may not even notice the exact reason why they find you not as trust-worthy as they would love to. It is matter of implication and non-verbal implication that you send to the world.


I understand it is my friend's choice on whether he should iron his shirt or not. However, I would wish that he can change his habit, because I think it would have good impact on not just his job, but also his view on his job and his life at the end. Most of the times, little things change a person's attitude to life and have a long term impact.


What would be your verdict on this?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The End of the World




I always wonder how it would be like when the world finally ends. Most of the times, my conclusion is that I probably would have died when this occurs. However, after conversatons with friends and some thinking on my own, I think I do have a plan of what to do if I know the world is ending.


The only thing I would want to do is to stay with my loved ones, find a nice place, enjoy ourselves then die. If the world is not too chaotic, I wish I can use all the money I have to take my family to a place which looks like heaven on earth and spend the rest of our time there. If the world is too chaotic for that, I might just check into a local resort with my family, have nice meals, play around the resort and hold my loved ones when I die.


People I love are very important to me. I have once participated in a test on how I actually prioritize things. I was given 50 cards with different things I can have in my life, such as wealth, intelligence, friends and many others. The facilitators started to collect our cards one at a time. Throughout the process, they said different things to lead us to the minset of "once I have given up one thing, I can never get it back". I still remember at the last round I have two things left - health and family. At the very last round, I cried and gave up the health card.


People always talk about core value. I am glad I have found mine. I love my family, they may not be the best people on earth, but I know no matter what they do, they love me.


Try to find your core value, then you will know the purpose and centre of your life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pay Off My Debt





What is the debt with undefined and very high interest rate? -- SLEEP DEBT!



I have seen friends starting their full time job and seem to have disappeared from the world all of a sudden. I don't know where they are until they just reappear somehow. I was not able to understand what was going on in their lives. I thought it might be that their company is being too demanding, or they are just not very good at their work so that they have to work overtime.



However, after I started my first full time job on a week or so ago, I recognize how different work life is compare to school life. Since the first day of work, I wake up at 06:00 every morning so that I can get to work a bit earlier before everyone else does and arrange my day without any distraction. Some of the times, I woke up early because I want to have a skype date with my boyfriend (BF) as that is the only time when our time zone matches. It is usually 18:30 when I get off work and get home one hour later. Whenever I get home, put down my briefcase and sit on the couch, I can feel that the energy source in need of recharging!



The interesting thing is that since it was the orientation period, though I have been kept busy all day, I haven't been given a lot of work. I guess it is the fact that I am not used to a work environment which you have to be alert at all times that make me feel my days as so tiring. It is never like school life in which you can sleep through classes and get distracted at times if you so incline. People around me are very friendly and nice, it is the kind of working environment that you can ask for nothing more. However, I need time to get comfortable around the place, so ti won't be as much self-created stress as it used to be.



Anyway, I have been sleeping most of the time on Saturday just to get the stress out of m. I wish I can get a back rub now! (Honey, I miss your very good oil message!)



Have you finished paying off your debt?

Friday, September 10, 2010

All Things Bright and Beautiful





From String of Precious Jewels,


I'll tell you briefly the fine qualities


Of those on the path of compassion:


Giving, and ethics, patience, and effort,


Concentration, wisdom, compassion and sch.



Giving is giving away what you have,


And ethics is doing good to others.


Patience is giving up feelings of anger,


And effort is joy that increases all good.



Concentration's one-pointed, free of bad thoughts,


And wisdom decides what truth really is.


Compassion's a kind of high intelligence


Mixed deep with a love for all living kind.



Giving brings wealth, a good world comes from ethics;


Patience brings beauty, eminence comes from effort.


Concentration brings peace, and from wisdome comes freedom;


Compassion achieves everything we all wish for.



A person who takes all seven of these


and perfect them together will reach


That place of inconceivable knowledge,


No less than the world's protector.



I always think that I shouldn't quote somebody's work extensively in my own blog, as my blog should purely be my own thoughts and productions. However, when I read this quote from the book The Diamond Cutter, it struck me as something that I should remember my whole life and that I should share with everyone.


This quote reminds me how much is yet to be done by me in order to be someone good. If I am a Catholic, I can imagine myself confessin about my little sins all day long. There were times when I get annoyed and show my dissatisfaction to those who intended to give me good advice. There were times I am jealous though my lover has been showing me how much he loves me and has been loyal. There are times I was being selfish and see my things as more important than others, or simply just rank them accordingly without serious thoughts. There are just countless of these that I am not happy with after the moment of recognition. I know a person can never be perfect, but I still want to be better to people around me because they deserve my love.

I wish by sharing this, it would leave a better imprint in my mind and leads me to be a better person. I would love to build my own perfect world by being one of the sources of goodness.





Monday, September 6, 2010

I Dreamed a Dream





I dreamed a dream that I have perfect vision.

Since I was 3, I have been wearing glasses and contact lenses. My eyesight is so bad that one of my all-time worries is becoming blind one day. When I was little, I even blindfolded myself a coupl times in order to have a tasye of being blind, a psychological preparation of how life might become when I turn blind one day and a physical understanding of my daily life environment through touching.

As I grow older, I start to take more constructive actions to prevent this from happening. One of the major steps is getting my eyes checked every year. However, it is always a stressful experience because I worry that the optician would give me some bad news after the check up. My optician and I both know that I get paranoid whenever there is any sign of eyesight deterioration, so he always know how to notify me of how minor it is.

One of the magical moments in my life is the first time I put on my contact lens. I was so amazed by the ability of a pair of little lens in fixing the eyesight problem I had for more than 18 years. I felt like a fairy has come upon me and made my dream come true. As a girl, a life without glasses is simply great. It's a turning point for what kind of styles you can look nice in now and it's a door for all the crazy eye makeup!! My optician and I actually became friends as he is more like an eyesight angel to me.

Today is another checkup day for my eyes, I was praying when I ws on my way to the optician. Luckily, there's nothing really wrong with my eyes. I even had the inside of my eyeball checked. I had quite a lot of fun seeing the photographs and learning all these different parts. I was very nervous when I saw little bits of blurry stuff in the photograph, but then my optician said it's a sign of youth as the tissue was so perfect that it reflects the light from the camera! I kept the photos at the end as a souvenir of my youth!

Anyways, I wish my eyes all the good health in the future!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Can there be more Revolution other than Food Revolution?




Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is a program I just finished watching and it gives me such a strong feeling that I want to express my thoughts here.


Jamie Oliver has been a celebrity chef for some time. I remember when he first started, he was a chef on TV shows who seems to love his family, looks quite cute and always has interest in very fresh ingredients. I haven't been a big fan of his show not because I don't like them, just because I don't actively search for them. However, Food Revolution is not just a cooking show, it is more about the change that Jamie Oliver tried to bring to the unhealthiest town in America -- Huntington. It's more about the eating environment of America which causes a large number of deaths due to weight problem.


What caused me to watch this is through the recommendations of friends when I was visiting my boyfriend (BF). One of the examples a girl told me about the show is that Jamie actually poured out the fat in solid form in front of the kids and parents of an elementary school, trying to tell them how much fat a class consumes for breakfast and lunch each week. At that time, I was thinking, "I would be very interested in seeing that!" That's how I started to search for it.


However, the lesson I have learned from the show is way more than I expected. Honestly, there were a couple touching moments as to how unaware people are towards weight problems and health issues, but what caught my attention throughout the show are the passion, persistence and creativity of Jamie Oliver's. There was this cooking dance flash mob in a university, the bet with a local DJ, a kitchen with free cooking lessons and the demonstration of a XL coffin. There are problems all the time, but he never gives up. He knows what his goal is and he simply finds ways to get there.


This just leads me to think how beautiful the world would be if there are more people like him who gets touched by something he knows and insisted on doing something good for the world. Can there be any other kind of revolution so that everyone can live a better life? I have seen people who are trying to make a change, they are inspiring and wonderful. I wish more can be inspired by these people, so that more positive changes can appear. If love, creativity and passion come together, I know the world would be a better place.


We need more revolution.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

From "Fly me to the Moon" To "Telephone"






When I was visiting my boyfriend (BF), I used his cell phone as my personal cell while he used his blackberry. Hie cell phone has Fly me to the Moon as the ringtone. When I came back to my hometown, I turned my cell on again after 3 months and my ringtone switched back to Telephone.


This change has symbolizes a couple other changes in my life which are significant and interesting to think about.


The first change comes from the frequency of the ringing of the phone. There were not a lot of calls when I was using BF's cell, but it goes to zero calls when I first came back. That was actually what I wanted. I deliberately avoid telling people I am back as I don't want people to all come to me saying welcome back and have get together all planned out. I also don't want to listen to the caring words from people around me asking me whether BF or I were sad about the separation. I appreciate the fact that people care and may even worry about me, but for me it's more like stabbing at an existing wound. The fact is that I am sad about the separation and it will always be the case, the only difference is how easily the emotion can be triggred by external factors. Therefore, it is actually nicer not to have anyone asking about it, let the event fades in other people's eyes and life would go on.


The second change is not seeing my own picture as the wallpaper anymore. This is actually a very sweet thing to think about. My BF uses my photo as the wallpaper of his cell all the time while I tend to use our photos togehter. I like opening his cell and see myself in there. It s like opening his heartasking the question who your lover is and the picture just shows up. I enjoy how much he genuinely wants my picture to be there. Ok, I have to admit that the first time it was me who put my picture on his cell, but when he has his blackberry for the first day, he came to me, took a pictureand set it as the wallpaper. I feel so loved by such a sweet act.


The third change is no caller would ask for anyone else but me. Since I was a 3-month temporary visitor, most of the times people called BF's cell to find BF, but ended up hearing a girly voice saying "Ibie's speaking". Though it actually causes inconvenience for th caller, I actually enjoyed that a lot. Whenever the caled responded with a sign of knowing who I am, I know BF has been teling them about me and that he has been talking about me as a part of his life. By telling BF who called, I also feel a bit more involved in his life and I know more about who surrounds his daily life most of the times (the fact that I haven't received a call from a sexy girl's voice is definitely something I am happy about).


I am not sure I want to have Fly Me to the Moon as my ring tone again, but I am pretty sure I want to listen to that ring tone in proximity again.


Fly me to the moon

Let me sing among those stars

Let me see what spring is like

On Jupiter and Mars

In other words, hold my hand

In other words, baby kiss me


Fill my hear with song

Let me sing for ever more

You are all long for

All I worship and adore

In other words, please be true

In other words, I love you

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The End of My Last Summer Holiday


It is now the morning of my very last day of my very last official summer holiday, signifying the end of school life and the beginning of being a member of the society's work force and a tax payer. I wonder how I want this day to be and how I am feeling towards this particular moment.

This summer holiday has been an ideal one, one that can actually be regarded as a holiday. I used to cram all sorts of activities in my summers, such as exchange tours, internships, part-time jobs and competitions. I have never had a summer that is so care-free and so full of romance. Spending my whole summer living with my boyfriend (BF) leads me to figure out what a relationship actually means and how moving in and spending our lives together can possibly be like. I know there is not much chance I can have such a test run ever agan if I didn't do it nd that makes me glad. It is through this summer that I know I love BF more than I thought and I would love to gradually try and merge our lives together. This is a summer about love and the emotional needs in me. It is one that made me understand myself more and know that I can never ignore my need to love and be loved.

Today, I am going to start off my day by having a nice Skype date with BF. We will be planning the next two trips for seeing each other and it would give me something to look forward to when I have to be under the pressure from work in the near future. It will not be easy to balance different kinds of costs such as holidays comsumed, air fare and the time we can spend together, but I know as long as we can meet again, I am willing to do a lot more than this. In the afternoon, I will spend my day with friends, hanging around shopping and chatting. I will be hunting for a nice bag for work and a schedule book that starts in September. I want a brand new start for everything after tomorrow, forget about the past and just focus on the possibilities in the future. The day will end by a Korean BBA all-you-can-eat dinner, then come home in the evening, pick my outfit, get documents ready and go to bed early. I guess as a city girl, this would get me to the appropriate fast pace and active mode before I start work.

I am ready to have a lot of fun today and start a new chapter of life tomorrow! Wish me good luck!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Money, Money, Money




I am looking forward to my first paycheck. I start working in September, and I am already looking forward to being able to stop counting pennies. I am pretty sure that I will still count, but not needing to count is a totally different matter.


I have always tried to be independent with my finance. I don't go so far as to pay part of the rent while I live with my parents, but I basically handled my daily expenses while I was in university. The past 3 months without work has put me into an uncomfortable situation. However, as soon as I start my job, everything will be fine!

Today, my family somehow got into a discussion of finances over breakfast. My father was saying that I don't have to worry about him when he is retired as he will be able to take good care of himself, bu I should be ready to take care of my mother as she has been take care of throughout her life. I feel a bit of pressure from this as I haven't even started my job and I have been worried about myself; but I said nothing as I think it was just a reminder, not an immediate request.

After the breakfast, my father went to work and I walked home with my mother. On our way home, my mother started nagging me about how much I should spend every month, how much to save and how much I should give her as "family money". I don't mind contributing to the family, I know this is my responsibility, but I get annoyed by the fact that she tries to comment on my saving habits. Yes, it was a decision to not work for 3 months to see my boyfriend (BF), but I had saved up for it. Yes, I was sort of broke when I came back, but it's not like I have nothing in my bank account. Yes, I am going to handle way more income than I used to, but I am sure I won't get overwhelmed and just spend everything. I have been disciplined with money for so long that I believe I can be trusted.

I don't know whether I overracted, but I want to be trusted and left alone with my own financial matters.

"Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man's world"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jet Lag, Go Away, Come Again Another Day!


I can't believe jet lag can be that bad. I know I am at a place where there is a 12-hour time difference from where I flew from, but still I didn't expect myself not to be able to control my own sleeping pattern. One would think by watching 5 movies, staying awake most of the time on an 18-hour flight and ending up with two blood-shot eyes would have cured the jet lag as I felt so exhausted by the time I got home in the evening.

However, here is how I slept during the last two days. I basically slept a couple hours here and there all day long. I would wake up at around 7 o'clock in the morning and start my day. Then I would feel drowsy at around 4 o'clock and have to take a 4 hour nap in order to function normally again. So by the time I wake up, it's already dinner time, so I have dinner with my family and start the family TV time. After the last interesting show which ends at 10:30, I would go to my bedroom and start my studying time which would include some reading and blogging. Half an hour later, I would feel tired again and urgently have to go to sleep. At around 2, I would wake up again feeling totally energized, so more self-studying for around 2 hours. Then finding myself ridiculous and would go to bed again till 7.

If I try to calculate how many hours I have slept, it would be as follows: 4+3+3 = 10 (hours)

Therefore, the problem comes from the fact that I sleep more than enough, but the sleeping hours are spreaded out througout the day and this won't work once I start working. I just hope that my cycle will be back to normal soon. Otherwise, I would have to make friends with coffee which I would prefer not to.

I wish life won't be as chaotic as my sleeping pattern; as for the latter, I can probably use coffee to cure, but for the first, something way more complicated has to be done. I have been trying to organize my life since I came back and put my life back on track, I don't know how well I have done, but at least I feel I can handle what is going to come up.

Sweet dreams!

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Darling is a Foreigner


I am currently in a long distance relationship and my boyfriend (BF) is a foreigner. We were brought up in a totally different cultural environment; the only similarity between us is that we are both open to our differences because of our love.

Throughout the summer, I have been through a cultural education program organized by BF. I have watched movies that I wasn't interested in but are his favorites. I have experienced more of who BF actually is and why he thinks in a particular way. Out of all the stuff he has shown me, I wouldn't say I like all of them, but there are really some that are very fascinating an which I have never thought I would love. Other than understanding BF better, I guess such have always benefited me as I now at least know more about what I like and what I don't like among the stuff which I didn't even want to expose myself to.

On the other hand, while BF was visiting my home town, I have exposed him to things that are very different from what he is used to. Because we are basically at the opposite end of the world, we have countless things to introduce to one another about our own culture. There can be big things as what a particular holiday means, or small things such as the traditional sncks of the country. It can sometimes be a challenge of how open-minded we are, but most of the times, it's more about excitement of knowing new things than anything.

However, also because of our cultural difference and the fact that most of the times we are away from each other, my parents are never very optimistic with our relationship. They have a bitof bias about some particular races which is not easy to get rid of. Sometimes, they even go so far as saying I should keep my options open and just enjoy my moments as a young woman. Well ... I do feel pressure from these comments, because there are worries and uncertainies about our future already; what I want to do is just focusing on what I treasure and get the best out of it. On the other hand, I kind of want to prove that I have found that right guy who deserves all my love though we are apart and very different. I don't know whether this is the right mentality, but I do want to prove my parents wrong. I know I love BF an I know he has all the wonderful qualities that my parents may not see.

I am pretty sure I don't have the concept that I am in love with a foreigner in my conscious or even subconscious thinking. I am never very aware that our skin colour and facial features carries the characteristics of different race and that our mother tongue is so different. I remember there are more than once that I looked at him and spoke my mother tongue, and I would repeat that a couple times thinking he can understand until he asked me with a puzzled look whether I was speaking in my mother tongue. I guess this might be something interesting about love, that it helps you to forget the differences that are not so important and that we just focus on making our partner the luckiest person in the whole world.

If you ask me, I don't think loving a foreigner is anything special. We are all human beings anyways. It's just that we may look a bit more different from each other, and there may be creative compromises that we would have to work on. At the end, which couple is totally the same, right?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Officially Missing You

I am experiencing loneliness tonight.

I can no longer wake up in the middle of the night and kiss you on your lips. The bed is not familiar; I cannot sleep well. Now, a bed is a bed, I can only sleep there, no more sweet memories of pillow fights and cuddling.

When you come home from work, I can no longer run to you with a big hug. I start to appreciate how many plates and glasses you use; I would rather wash them all for you than being all alone and not having to wash a thing.

I miss tying your tie before you go to work, the kisses in between and the compliments you gave me after it gives me the greatest start of the morning. I wish I had tied all the ties for you before I left, so that you can just tighten the knot around your neck every day like my love always hold around your neck.

My father is snoring in another bedroom righ now. It reminds me of how I used to squeeze you nose a little and then you would stop. Your snoring has never been too loud or intolerable, and it satisfies my desire to just laugh at you a little bit the next morning. The guilty look you have when you say sorry is always cute.

I love it when you look at me with amazement and say I look stunning. When I first arrived home and met my mom, I had some well-intentioned comments and advice that I had put on some weight and better get rid of that as soon as possible. I was even urged to step on a scale to face the reality. Yes, I have put on 4 pounds and I have lost the eyes which say "You are the Queen of my Heart."

I no longer make scrambled eggs, because you are not there to appreciate and have our very romantic breakfast before you go to work. It's you who turned me into liking well done scrambled eggs instead of the runny ones. It's us who discovered that perfect scrambled eggs should have hot dogs, mozzarella cheese and chicken broth. I miss our little daily routine, because that is how we lived together.

I miss you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Believe It or Not


Dear Darling,

Back home. After crying my heart out at the airport and listenin to the sound of your heart breaking, we said goodbye and the temporary physical separation begins.

Yes, I was sad, but I have learned a lot. I have learned how much you actually love me, how much you wan me to just stay with you, how much you have tried to be the stronger one to face all these and most of all, how much faith you have in our relationship.

When I was unwilling to let you walk away, you assured me that this is not the end, you will come back for me, I will not lose you because of being physically apart and we will find a way out of his so that we don't have to worry about saying goodbye like that again. Thanks for holding me in your arms when I feel so weak and incapable of leaving.

It's you who kept asking me to look into your eyes and tell me that I should have faih in our relationship. Those eyes carried the emotion I have never seen; your pomises and love become the only thing I can hold onto. Whenever we have to be apart, I always worry that this would be the end and that one day you would just call and put an end to everything we once had. There were so many good memories that I can't afford letting go. Yesterday, you tol me you love me a lot, I am the most wonderful woman you have ever met and you cannot afford losing me. You said we will keep on loving each other. It never strikes me that you treasure our relationship so badly until I heard your really firm tone, decisively look and the pinkie swear.

After a summer full of love and care, it's so difficult to leave. I know at the moment this is what we have to do, but it is like a part being torn from me. It is actually like a miracle that there was not even a fight between us when we lived together. Maybe this really is just another milestone of our relationship and things will just get better in the future. Your faith strengthened me. I know you will be there for me.

I have decided and I will believe in us. See you at Christmas.

Love,

Jasmine

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Limit for Nicety


How nice should I be in order to be a nice daughter, a nice friend, a nice lover or a nice colleague? Is there an official limit that people would expect? Or is it a limit that I should set for myself which I feel comfortable with?

Recently, there was something which made me reconsider how nice I should be to people who treat me under the reasonable nicety.


The story happened when I was trying to find another part-time job that can allow me to support myself during my university studying. I ended up in a new education center for little kids teaching English. I was paid around CAD $14 per hour, which is a bit less than what I normally receive, but since it's close by and the lady ensured me a pay rise as soon as the business is getting better, I accepted the offer and started teaching.

Throughout the employment, things seemed to go well. I enjoyed my time with the kids and started to build a nice relationship with them. At the same time, parents were giving compliments on my teaching and some even asked for me specifically to give their children daily tutoring classes. I obtained a sense of satisfaction from all these encouragement and I even introduced my mother to join the center as a part-time assistant, as I was positive that she will have a good time there.

However, after I left the center for my last summer holiday, my mother notified me that I was actually underpaid. The difference between me and another English tutor with the same experience is as much as CAD $10 per hour. I wonder what that means and I feel humilitated by the fact that I was being treated as a fool the whole time.

Due to the strong opposition by my mother, no hatred was expressed to the young lady who did this to me. Since then, I have been trying to maintain a distance from her, but she has been asking for little favors from time to time, and those are the only times that she tries to "stay in touch". After a couple times of doing these favors out of courtesy, I have decided that this has to be the end of it. Otherwise, I would be humiliating myself.

What is your limit for nicety?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am not a Girl, Maybe a Fluffy Pillow


"Pillow" is a new nickname for me used by my boyfriend (BF). He tole me the reasons, which will be elaborated below, and I think it makes good sense. Therefore, I decided to share with you all about it so that you can have a better picture of who I am.

Reason #1: Bed-Lover

You might not believe in this, but I literally have a record of sleeping 14 hours a day for around a month. Even if I don't want to sleep, I enjoy rolling around, daydreaming or reading in bed. I once told BF that if there's one day he wants to just stay in bed all day and have breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed, I will definitely agree. Disappointly, BF said that the only problem is he can never stay in bed all day.

On the other hand, due to my devoted love towards the bed, I am always a deep sleeper. One of the incidences is that when I was a little girl, my mom used to let me sit alone at the back seat of my father's car. One day, when I was napping in the car, my father got into his only car accident in life. My mom's immediate reaction was to come over to the back seat and see if I was ok. When she came to the back seat of the car, she saw me lying under the front seat motionless. She thought I was dead, so she held me close and started to have tears in her eyes. Then I woke up, looked into my mom's eyes and uttered, "Mommy, why are you crying?" It was a nice surprise for her, but it still makes she feel cheated, so she just put me back on the back seat and walked away.

Reason #2: No exercise

I think I have mentioned this before. I don't like exercising. Lucky enough, I don't have the need to go through a diet campaign which would definitely include exercising. I hate sweating basically because it makes me feel all gross, wet and stinky. Therefore, the only sport that I am willing to work on is water sports. However, it always seems to be a lot of work before a person can go swimming, especially you when you need all the time and effort to watch everything once you come home. So obviously, I don't swim frequently. And because of that, I have the exact muscle texture as a pillow -- fluffy.

Reason #3: Sleeping Posture

Another "pillow habit" of mine is that I love sleeping on my back. Sometimes, I try to cuddle with BF by sleeping on the side, but then after not too long, I would assume my position. I can't really understand why people like sleeping on their side, because I feel like my arm is being smashed by my body, pressure unevenly distributed on my body and it's simply uncomfortable.

So when I was tellilng BF this one day, he held a pillow, try to make it stand on its side, but it just doesn't work, then he said, "see? This is how similar you and pillows are!" Luckily, he has never compared the shape of a pillow and my body shape.

Do you have an interesting nickname?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shhhhhhhhh..... It's a Secret Wedding!

I always want to have two weddings in my life; I don't mean that I want to get a divorce or remarry, instead a secret one and a formal one.

Marriage is a promise for the one you love. People who are actually involved in a marriage should just be the couple. Though some people say that in family-oriented societies, marriage is the union of two families, I still think it is the commitment entered by the couple only. At the end, strictly speaking, it is the couple who are forming a new family unit but not anyone else.

Therefore, I think it is a good idea for a couple to be away from their social circles and enjoy the moment of officially united to his partner. I would love to go on a trip with my fiancee and get maried at somewhere exotic. It can be Greece, with the most romantic sunset in the world; Paris, with the Eiffel Tower; or Japan, with the shade of peach blossoms. The procedure would be simple, no extravegant decoration, just my fiancee, the priest, the witnesses required and I. I will wear a simple white dress, holding the hand of my life-long partner and say "I do!" As it is already a trip, it provides the function as a honeymoon too. No one will know that we are married when we come back, even among the closest friends, it will be a life-long secret between the two of us. It would be romantic and satisfy the want to be a little irresponsible towards people around me. On the other hand, I would be able to adjust to a married life without the opinions or advices from anyone.

Though I have all these romantic ideas in my head, I am still concerned about the validity of the marriage. There is a legitimate doubt as to whether the marriage in that particular foreign country is recognized in my home town. At the end, the purpose of a wedding is not just a celebration for union, but also a social recognition which would bring upon rights and duties. Therefore, after a period of time enjoying a secret marriage, I would officially announce to people around me that my "fiancee" and I are going to get married, and do the whole legal procedure and ceremony as if no marriage is there. The period of time between the secret wedding and the official wedding depends on how much time I want for our marriage to be just my husband and I. I have seen people getting married and how stressful they are. There is the venue of the banquet, dresses, bridal party, bachelorette party, flowers, catering and all the other stuff. I think I would want all these only when I am fully prepared psychologically.

What is the perfect wedding in your mind?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear My Love ...



In the old days, there were no iPhones, laptops or cell phones. When people fall in love, they send each other letters to express their admiration and love; it is a big part of courtship. When lovers are separated, they rely on letters to hear from their lover and that's the only way.

After watching "Dear John" this morning, I started to think that if John and Savannah didn't exchange letters intensively at the beginning of their separation, not only that they wouldn't feel the existence of each other, they wouldn't have even made it the first first year or so. It is due to the constrain of means of communication that they wrote letters to each other, but I wonder how many people would actually write letters for the reason of enjoying how much emotion can be put on a piece of paper.

I love writing on paper; I write letters, cards, postcards and diary. I even enjoy arranging my days using a schedule book instead of any computerized schedule. I think drops of life can be shown in handwriting but not typing. It is the style of writing, the kind of pens they use and they paper they shoose that represents the writer as a whole. Due to my love towards writing on pieces of paper, I enjoy using a real pen and write to my boyfriend (BF). There are love letters, love notes and love cards. Of course, I still send out emails and presents, but I always make sure that I enclose something handwritten with anything I send. Recently, I wrote a little love note and stuck it in the wallet of BF. It has stayed there for a month already and BF insisted on keeping it though it causes embarrassment at times when other people notice it.

People always want to avoid trouble of using a nice piece of paper to write down their love, and that makes handwritten letters more precious and emotional. It is the effort that makes it more meaningful. How easy it is to type a message like "Dear Love, I am thinking about you right now and I want to let you know about it! Can't wait to see you tonight!" I don't even need a minute to type this. You can even eliminate the thought of sparing time, because when you have a blackberry, you can just send out a love text while you are waiting for your lunch. However, when it comes to letters, it actually requires time to sit down, think about what exactly you want to say, think about the person you have always love and use the right word to tell the person your feelings.

I don't know how much handwriting can actually enhance the quality of a relationship with your lover, but I am sure it carried a bit more love and makes you lover feel more special.

When was the last time you actually picked up a pen and wrote something sweet to your lover?