Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Staying True to Friendships/Relationships

For those who have known me for a period of time, whether long or short... I guess many of you might have come to realise that I am always genuine about and stay true to all the friendship/relationships I have established with other people. By the way, relationship here doesn't only mean the lovey-dovey one-item kind of relationship.... it encompasses all kinds relationship like family, professional, business, patient-doctor, employee-employer, etc... and of course friendship also comes into this context as well.

For as long as I can remember, even when I was very young, establishing genuine friendship/relationship with other people and staying true to it has always been of utmost importance to me. I can't really explain why but I think this has a lot to do with my personality. My family, friends and other people who know me well enough would be able to see that I'm the kind of person who is not pretentious about my feelings. I tend to get emotional at times but that's how I express about my reactions towards most things happening around and to me.

I'm only human like everyone else. I'm different in a lot of ways compared to most people (my family included) but there are reasons as to why I react in a very different way than other people to the things happening around and to me. To me the most important thing in a friendship/relationship I have established is that I need unconditional understanding from the person to accept the REAL me. Yeah, that's all I ask of from people whom I have established friendship/relationship with.

Is this request difficult to fulfill? I don't think so, I guess it's because I have always been treating all the people Í have established friemdship/relationship this way. Accepting people as the individual person they are; for their good and not so good points to me, in my high opinion is extremely important in maintaining an excellent friendship/relationship.

Life is already miserable in this dog-eat-dog of a world. We should not make life worse than it already is. Thus, the least we could do is be genuine to the people we have established friendship/relationship with. To all the people out there who have been true to the friendship/relationship I have established with you over the years, this is all I have to say - thank you for being able to make a positive presence and impact in my life and I greatly appreciate all of your effort in keeping the frienship/relationship alive and last through the test of time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For the Love of Reading

I love reading A LOT! I don't remember when was the very first time I was smitten by the reading bug, I think I was about four or five years old. I could recall picking up newspapers and magazines lying around the house and browsing through the pretty pictures, however, reading them came much later. During this time, my parents were struggling hard to make ends meet. Buying story books was a luxury then. I had to be contented reading mostly newspapers and magazines Dad bought on a daily and weekly basis.

I only managed to get Dad to buy me story books when I was about ten. Back then, books by Enid Blyton, Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon were a rage among my friends and me. We often exchange these story books with each other and also borrowed them from the school and public libraries. I would even read during meal times! Mom often got exasperated with me because I was reading like there was no tomorrow. As I was approaching my teens, I moved on to reading more "serious" stuff, Reader's Digest was one of the first "serious" reads I'd picked up. I was about 12 at that time.

I credit Reader's Digest for helping me improve my command of English Language by leaps and bounds. My command of English wasn't good at all when I was in primary school despite the fact I'd started reading at a very young age. Starting to read Reader's Digest for the first time meant I'd to carry Little Oxford Dictionary to accompany the magazine where ever I was.... at school, tuition classes, practically anywhere and everywhere! The persistent effort paid off. I was able to comprehend adult reads within two years after I'd picked up my first copy of Reader's Digest.

I even started reading adult romance novels at the age of 15. Those romance novels were very explicit, however, I wasn't influenced by them at all. I just read these romance novels for the fun of it because I love reading. I didn't restrict myself to reading a particular genré, I allowed myself to explore as many genrés as possible, so that I'm able to widen my general knowledge. I'd read anything and everything that captures my interest.... books, newspapers, magazines and even product labels! Over time, I realised that reading actually helped me to become the very open-minded person I am today.

Now, I read mostly fictions, non-fictions, biographies/autobiographies, comics and newspapers. Some of my all time favourite reads include:
  1.  Steve and Me by Terri Irwin
  2. Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
  3. Marley and Me by John Grogan
  4. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  5. Gifts of Time by Fred J. Eipstein M.D. and Elaine Fantle Shimberg
  6. Golden Mountain Chronicles by Laurence Yep
  7. Ballerina by Edward Stewart
  8. Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
  9. Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott 
  10. Fox Trot by Bill Amend
These reads may not necessarily be in the bestseller's list but they are nevertheless, great reads. I can read them over and over without getting bored. I guess the authors have a very unique and individualistic style to reach out to their readers, that's why I'm fascinated by their books. However, I still do keep an eye out for any good reads being published in the market.

I can go on and on about my love for reading but one has to experience it for himself or herself to discover the love and joys of reading. I would say that the knowledge gained from reading is invaluable and beyond any description I can put in this blog. People who can relate what I have written here would most likely agree to what I have expressed about my love for reading. And a big 'thank you' goes to Dad and Mom for allowing me to discover the love and joys for reading, despite of them struggling very hard to provide me with the best possible opportunity to access some of the most excellent reads I could ever imagine and find...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Pain of Losing a Loved One

Losing a loved one to death because of a preventable disease is ultimately a very harsh reality anyone has to face in life. That happened to me of the first day of last Chinese New Year, I lost my aunt to lung cancer. I could never forget the fateful day, 26 January 2009, waking up to a text message on my mobile phone informing that my aunt had passed away early in the morning. The next thing I knew I was bawling my eyes out in front of my parents as I informed them of the sad news.

My late aunt was the wife to Mom's youngest brother. We were very close from the day she got married to my uncle. I remembered talking to her about many issues pertaining to my life and personal matters, she was a very open-minded and positive person and we shared a lot of things in common. She often encouraged me to enjoy and make the most out of my youth, in fact she often reminded me that "we are only young once in a lifetime" and I should seize the opportunities that come my way for my own benefit. In fact, she was the one of the very few people in my life to tell me to work hard and play hard and at the same time enjoy life to the fullest.

My late aunt was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer in April 2008. However, she kept the bad news from almost all family members, both her family and Mum's family until she could no longer hide the truth. I only found out about the truth four months after she was diagnosed of this dreaded disease. The shock of receiving the bad news was beyond belief. I was too stunned to say anything upon hearing it. Not to mention, I could not even shed the tears of sadness and grief. I was in a daze for weeks on end.

I tried my best to spend more time with my late aunt as I knew the days of her trying to just be alive is severely cut short by this ravaging disease. As there was no way I can show my indescribable sadness and grief, I compensated it by being strong emotionally for my late aunt as well as my uncle and their two young sons. The sadness and grief I was experiencing was beyond what I had experienced and could comprehend from past experience. I was finding it very difficult to channel my emotions in an appropriate manner. It felt as though the sadness and grief was consuming my physical and psychological well-being.

The magnitude of the sadness and grief were only felt the week following the funeral service. The reality of my late aunt's demise hit me really hard to the extreme I have never experienced before. I was crying my eyes out; trying my best to cope with the pain from the sadness and grief I have been keeping inside me for that five months. There were no words that can describe the emotional and psychological turmoil during this difficult period of bereavement.

Unknowingly, I have fallen into the vicious cycle of complicated bereavement. This is where one experiences the bereavement process beyond its normal duration of one year. It is really difficult to describe the actual experience of complicated bereavement but if one often find himself or herself to be unable to pick himself or herself out of the normal duration of bereavement within one year, then chances are he or she has fallen into the vicious cycle of complicated bereavement. However, I know I am able to rise above the challenge of picking myself out of this complicated bereavement, as I have been tested in similar situations in the past.

Life can be very unfair especially when we have been repeatedly "bashed up" by undesirable events throughout our lives; however, the survival instincts would usually kick into high gear to ensure we would be able to rise to challenging times in our lives. It is very much dependent on how we are able to cope with and handle them in an appropriate manner. As for me, dealing with pain of losing a loved one like my late aunt will be an extremely challenging experience but with the help of the guardian angels (you all know who you are - I don't have to mention any names) in my life, it would help make it less painful for me to cope with the challenging times in the future throughout my life.

I have my all my guardian angels to thank for making this often miserable life bearable. In return, I will try to reciprocate the kindness I have received from them all this time. I guess, in order for me to survive the harsh realities of this world is to "just keep swimming.... just keep swimming" like Dory from Finding Nemo often said, without any care in the world.... to keep searching for better things that I'm really meant for in life.