Tuesday, November 05, 2013

It's just me and me, baby

Coming to the realization that I can really only depend on myself when the chips are down.

To dig deep and keep putting that next foot forward.

To shake off the feeling that I'm utterly alone.

To be grateful for what I have, despite what I've lost.

It would be so easy to simply not try.

To sink and enter a graceful free fall, not bothering to surface for air.

To hit rock bottom with a smile on my face.

But I will not, I cannot, and I shall not allow it to come to pass.

If I do not love me, who will?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Rain

Grey skies, storm's a-coming.
Oh sunny days, where you have you gone?
Here comes the rain,
I look and sigh.

Oh sunny days, where have you gone?
Now all I feel, are the lashings of the rain.
It burns, there's nowhere to run.
You consume me,
I feel so cold.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Baby Steps

So I've been a missus officially for almost a month, and the most common question I'm asked is, "how's married life?"

Not very different, honestly.

Sure, the mister has moved in and my space has effectively been cut in half.

I had to say goodbye to a far number of clothes and books, but it's worth it. That's what I tell myself to feel better anyway.

My sleep patterns are a bit off because I'm a 9 - 6 girl, while ZW's schedule is all over the place (something I definitely do not miss about reporting).

So I try to stay up to spend some time with him, or else I'm effectively sleeping next to a person but not interacting much with him.

Other than that, it's simply getting used to another person in the house I suppose.

For him, he feels like an outsider moving into my home (a hopefully temporary solution to a housing crisis). My family has been absolute troopers, trying not to scare off the husband but smothering him with too much attention.

ZW too has been trying his best to fit in. It's difficult, of course. When our tempers clash, he never ceases to remind me that he's the one making the sacrifice, moving into a foreign situation and trying to acclimatize.Sure, I may have offered to do the reverse, but circumstances dictated that him moving in was the best solution.

So I try to hold my tongue when he unleashes his fiery temper, I try to squash my natural instincts to be a dirty, messy person and roll happily in my own filth. Because it's not just about me anymore.

For the most part, I feel like we are making progress, trying to fit into each other's rhythms.

But then we have a fiery blowout and I feel deflated again. I would then sit on my gorgeous new queen size bed (big perk of married life) and wonder what I've gotten myself into. The selfish single in me questions the point of giving up my free-wheeling ways, clamping down on after hours activities, cutting down the drinking, the clubbing, trying to be a cleaner person... and for what? So that he can still find fault with me? Wouldn't it be easier if we just lived apart.

Yup, things do suck royally on occasions.

But on other occasions, when he encourages me to pursue my passion for cooking, when he swallows half my cake to show support, when he smiles after a long day at work because I greet him at the door, when I fall asleep and he kisses me goodnight... these precious memories somehow make it all worth it.

And that's really it, I guess. Having a companion, a witness to your life. To feel like your actions have meaning, that what you do affects another person. That at the end of the day, bad behaviour can hurt someone, that good behaviour delights a person. To feel like you have an anchor to this world and that I'm accountable for, and to another person. To feel like I matter.

So deep breathe, baby steps people, baby steps.

Monday, February 18, 2013

T-minus 5 Hours

I'm getting married.

Just a year ago, Zhaowei popped the question in Prague.

We didn't do anything for the longest time, before something clicked and I was like, "shouldn't we be planning a wedding?"

The process was slow going, as we struggled to complete one task per weekend and yet, not forget to spend time as a couple.

In some sense, I've not really thought about what getting married means. There's still the official wedding ceremony in March. Today is merely the legal proceeding to satisfy the Singapore court.

So I'm married, but not quite.

And even after the March wedding, we won't be starting a life together. Because we have no home. You read that right - we aren't going to stay together.

We're still in queue for a BTO flat, but the situation could change in the near future. Everything is in limbo.

Some people think it's weird, others sympathize and have been in a similar situation.

So how does one grow up and meet the next milestone in life, when things are pretty much status quo?

After all the flowers have wilted and the gorgeous gown returned, I'll still be going home to the home I've known my whole life. I'll still see my husband/other half once a week as there's no space or option of moving into one house.

Will my life have changed in any real sense, aside from wearing a ring and ticking the married box?

Ok, I'm just freaking out a little. It's really here. I need to concentrate on the main thing - which is tying myself in every possible way to the love of my life. (Omg did I just quote Twilight????? I must really be freaking out!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Halfway To Being A Missus

Getting married is serious stuff.

Far from walking into a Vegas chapel past midnight and getting Elvis to marry you, getting married in Singapore is much more bureaucratic.

We turned up at the Registries of Marriage (ROM) bright and early on a Wednesday morning, and hung around outside with several other couples waiting for the doors to open.

It was a mixed bag of couples - locals, locals marrying Ang moh men, locals marrying China women, even a couple who brought along a kid. Second marriage perhaps.

The doors slid open at 8.30am sharp and the nervous horde gravitated towards one terminal to get a queue ticket.

My fast thinking partner saw another lonely terminal just a few steps away and we broke out from the crowd and got a ticket fast. Ladies, get hitched to an observant one.

Today's ceremony was officiously called "statutory declaration and documents verification". This is after we had already filled out a form online and secured a solemnization date 3 months in advance. The other half asked why this procedure couldn't be done online in this day and age. Good question. The best I could come up with was cos getting married is serious stuff and only by making you jump through hoops does it really hit you.

We shuffled into the waiting area and our number was soon called up on the electronic board. A quick presentation of our IDs, and then we had to read out a marriage oath. More serious business.

ZW was unfortunately running a temp and was semi-delirious as he read out the wordy and legalistic oath. He probably wont remember much. I was mildly horrified that it all seemed so..clinical and loudly voiced my thoughts. The marriage officer was slightly amused. Ah, young love.

Then it was my turn. The passage turned out a lot harder than I imagined, and in my haste to get it over and done with, I tripped over several words. I'm pretty sure I said "sodomly" instead of "solemnly".

Before you think that's it, we still have to make another trip down to the ROM in a week's time to say our vows officially in front of a justice of peace.

Like ZW said, inefficient.

I guess I'm in limbo now, neither married nor single. Hmm.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Counting Down...

In less than 10 days' I'll be legally bound to another person for a foreseeable long period.

The last few days have been weird - with me swinging wildly between 2 extremes.

On some level, I can't wait to start a new life with ZW, and I do believe we will have a wonderful life together.

But on another level, I feel like a clock is hanging over me and I can feel my single hood slipping away.

Just the other day, I was talking to a girlfriend and the thought of me being MARRIED caused me to be speechless for a moment, I swears heart starting beating faster.

Will it be a change that I will feel keenly? Or will I continue acting like the baby of the family, expecting to get my way? I know my mum is sad, and growing wistful. I suppose it's only natural, seeing how I'm not only the first to fly the coop, but also the youngest in the family.

I hope my feet warm up as I get closer to the date....

Friday, February 01, 2013

My Ode To 2012

I know this is kinda late, but still a good reminder to myself.
2012 has been a year of surprises and major changes. But one thing I've learnt - there's only so much you can plan in life and rather than put your life on a set course, learn to embrace the unexpected. When you find something or someone you love, go full steam ahead. Here's to 2013!

My top 12 moments of 2012 (in no particular order):

1. It was five years in the making, but I finally made it to Europe again with my SMU ladies, this time with our uncle Shawn and respective partners. Older, but still as giggly and prone to doing silly things. An amazing trip and immersion into the Communist history of Budapest, Vienna and Prague. 

2. It was on the same Europe trip that Lin Zhaowei rendered me speechless by proposing in the fairytale city of Prague, planning the whole thing in secret with my friends. He said he was disappointed that I didn't cry. I think it spoke volumes that a broadcast journalist was at a loss for words. I still break out into a goofy smile thinking about that special day. :)

3. It took us five years, but we finally got the family together for a family vacation of sun, sand, massages in Phuket. It will be my last Chan family vacation as a single.

4. Traveling to Japan twice - and it wasn't to Tokyo. Traveling with the soon-to-be mother-in-law and sister-in-law to Osaka where we witnessed a short but magical snow shower. And making my first trip with my fiancé to Kyushu, where we enjoyed the pleasures of our own in-room onsen.

5. Taking formal Japanese lessons. It was a pain having to keep to a regimen of homework, waking up early and trudging to Orchard daily for nearly 2 months for lessons, but a truly fulfilling experience that has in turn, enhanced my trips to Japan as I'm finally able to communicate with the locals beyond "hello" and "thank you". I'm still taking weekly lessons and hopefully working to greater proficiency. がんばって!

6. No. 5 was only possible because after 4.5 years as a journalist, I decided it was time to move on. Walking away from my first job, and what will probably be the most exciting office I will work in, was a hard decision, but a decision I embraced in exchange for work-life balance.

7. The 8 months of 2012 that I was a journalist still managed to pack plenty of punch - moving beyond my comfort zone of housing, I dabbled briefly with politics. I staked out a disgraced politician's house in high heels and short skirt and had my picture land on Zaobao; I immersed myself in opposition politics and witnessed firsthand the time and sacrifice required. I sat in the rain during a political rally and joined thousands of others who refused to budge, all carried there in the name of idealism and the desire for something better. Oh, and simply to "stick it to the man". 

8. A year of memorable "live" reports - nothing beats the adrenaline rush. Driven out of bed at 7am by panicking editors and rushing down to Dhoby Ghout to file a "live" report on train breakdowns, interviewing a minister "live" on tv, and taking a picture of him in loafers that went viral on the internet; doing my patriotic duty and throwing on my sunniest smile to report on the nation's birthday and meeting a guy who's been to every NDP since 1965; hopping on top of the CNA van with no harness and praying that I will not crash to my death or be struck by lightning for reporting on a disgraced pastor charged with fraud, and rounding it all off by going all white for the pretentious Diner en Blanc, only to be kissed by some smelly drunk ang moh. Oui oui!

9. Reconnecting with special places in Singapore that had languished too long in my mind. Rocking it out at Fort Canning for a David Guetta concert, exploring the spooky tunnels of Fort Siloso on Halloween, watching an Elbow concert at Esplanade. Great experiences made great by great people. 

10. Following the untimely demise of my pink iPod nano, I finally jumped onto the full Apple experience with my first iPod touch, courtesy of the fiancé. Aside from experiencing all the hype first hand (Instagram! iTunes! #hashtag! Hipster!), it was the thoughtful gesture from the fiance that still makes me grin from ear to ear..

11. Finally getting the time to cook a lot more and experiment in the kitchen. From Thai to Japanese to Italian to French to Korean, I've discovered something I truly want to immerse myself in, that I'm proud of and want to share with people. Nothing satisfies as much as knowing that I'm filling bellies with good eats.

12. Above all, it's knowing that I'm surrounded by my lover and best friend, family, friends, colleagues and even strangers who have filled my days with laughter, knowledge, companionship, tears, fears, and a myriad of emotions that make me feel truly alive.

Here's to a great 2013!