2017

It is natural that it should be this way—i.e., that our lives are not satisfied by obtaining our goals, but rather by striving for them—because of the law of diminishing returns.

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Ray Dalio couldn’t have explained it any better when it comes to my ultimate personal goal (or should I say what I believe is everyone’s inherent goal, whether they realize it or not).
If there’s one thing that I’m feeling right into my bones at this very moment, it’s this: determination.

Happy new year, everyone.

THERE’S NO LOOKING BACK

Remember that things have to happen in order for something else to occur.

Warning: this entry contains sensitive issue that may or may not be of interest to you, may or may not be in line with your values or beliefs. All views are accepted, judgements are welcome.

What goes around comes around. It’s a part of learning about saying “meh” and shrugging it off, about acceptance, about moving on. There’s always a reason behind everything that happens to you. All the adversities or fortunate encounters, they’re the many ways God presents Himself upon you. Now it’s up to you how you’d act or react. Remember that things have to happen in order for something else to occur. Keep your ears and eyes open. Your mind. Your heart. And one thing for sure, have faith. “For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”

I particularly love this one from prophet Jeremiah:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

My time is in His hands. That one I believe for sure. He knows what is best. He knows when is best. I can only do my best, and my best I shall do.

Cheers.

THANK YOU, MR. UBER DRIVER

I held my cup of long black in front of me, its warmth added a sense of comfort. “I need to go home”, I said; the words came out of my lips undeliberately, lightly, naturally.

“You should be proud of yourself.”

I stared blankly at the passing traffic, observing nothing to be exact.

“Not everyone has the guts to go all the way back home after spending a long nine years in another country. You’re really brave. I wish I could be like you”, he said while passing me some tissue.

“I’m sorry, I’m just getting a bit emotional”, I smiled at my Uber driver, wiping my tears.

He chuckled, said it was all A-OK.

Dramatic? Yes. But that was literally what happened on my very last day in Melbourne.*

A lot of people asked me how I felt weeks coming to my one-way flight. Honestly, I felt excited and relieved. It’s been too long since I had that nudging voice inside my head. I wasn’t sure if going home was what I wanted – or, more importantly, needed. The epiphany finally came after four years of indecisiveness. It was a cold morning in June last year and I was having an impromptu breakfast with my closest friend in one of the inner suburbs of Melbourne. We were talking about what possibility lies ahead for us, what we craved for, what were missing in our lives and what we wanted to do for our future.

I held my cup of long black in front of me, its warmth added a sense of comfort. “I need to go home“, I said; the words came out of my lips undeliberately, lightly, naturally. My dear friend (bless her) was shocked to hear that apparently, her jaw dropped and eyes widened (yes you know who you are, my dear). Even I, myself, was surprised. This person, this woman, who used to despise her home country so much for all the obvious reasons, wanted to go home. We started laughing; she joked about recording our conversation for a future reminder just in case I changed my mind (yet again). My friend smiled understandingly. I guess deep down we were both relieved about the fact that I finally decided to go back for good. If the words were uttered ever so naturally, that could only mean one thing, eh? ;)

And one thing it meant. That I finally came to terms with my life. I’ve finally found my purpose. It felt so liberating, re-assuring. Contentment, that elusive word that I’ve been searching for these past five or so years, finally fits in the sentence. I am now ready to do what I was borne to do. Some of the seniors that I talked to said that I have a heavy task ahead of me. My plough needs to be as sharp and sturdy as it could be, my being as strong as it could be, my faith as solid as it could be. And one important thing, I must share my burden, “because you won’t be able to do everything by yourself”, they’d said.

I have faith in kindness. I believe that everyone is born with goodness in them and we have all the freedom to choose which seeds we sow to eventually reap in the future.

“So why didn’t you go and do it?”, I asked my Uber driver, after he told me how he wanted to go back home and do something about India, for India.

“I can’t. My wife doesn’t want to. We just finished building our home and bought a Pizza Hut franchise in Footscray recently. A lot are happening at the moment”, he answered. I could see him smiling through the rearview mirror.

I guess each and everyone has their own paths and purposes in life. How they cross or intertwine with ours is a mystery unbeknownst throughout the universe. You just have to try to look closer to get a sense of it, by genuinely caring more about others, about your surroundings. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, simple gestures like words of encouragement will do, like what my Uber driver did that evening.

The comfortable Ford Fortuner made its turn and arrived in front of the black-fenced property.

“I wish you all the best. You’ll be fine and you’ll do great”, he offered his hand.

“Thanks”, I said shaking his hand, “I’ll visit your Pizza Hut joint next time I come down to Melbourne”.

*P.S. Dramatic is my middle name.

Buon appetito

It’s been a quiet Easter for me this year. My 4-day weekend was spent mostly at home, doing some chores, watching Friends and going to church. One thing that I found interesting was how similar the weather was to a particular Easter Sunday last year. Why I remembered it precisely is a story for another day.
Amidst my chillax, sweatpants & jumper-wearing days, I managed to arrange a mini catch up with a few old friends from my earlier Melbourne days.
We originally wanted to go to DOC Pizza in Carlton, but unfortunately they were closed (silly billy us didn’t bother to check their Easter trading hours at all). So we decided to make a quick detour and went to Kaprica instead. It turned out to be a really great alternative for our mini reunion. One friend actually said that he liked the pizza more than DOC’s (#winning). We stuffed ourselves with Queensland prawns with garlic and chilli, clam fetuccine, pizzas (smoked salmon with fish roe, prosciutto and shrooms), tiramisu and mini tarts tonight. (Plus a short mandatory Yo-Chi sesh afterwards. Yaasss!)
I’ve been missing home so badly these past few months. I’m grateful that I still have people in this city that somewhat help me overcome those quiet moments. These bunch are one of ‘em.