Monday, November 14, 2011

Jade vs. Hope

I like to think everybody has some form of split or multiple personality thing going on that they keep hidden (sometimes not so well hidden) from the rest of the world. Not to the point of switching between different personalities without warning or control, coz' that's just freaky. More like having two different parts of yourself that are sometimes or even regularly at loggerheads with each other... or sometimes being so engrossed in your own thoughts that you imagine your two selves having a conversation with each other...of course this is usually only interesting when you're undergoing some kind of internal conflict or weighing the pros and cons of a decision, or something like that. Well, I don't know if everyone has such a thing going on, but like I said, I like to think everyone does (and doesn't admit it) coz' then that makes me less weird. 

I don't talk to myself, but I find more and more that I like to have mental conversations with myself. I picture two different personas, both of whom I have actually given names, i.e. as per the title of this post. The names should be telling in itself. Jade is jaded with life and the 'wilder' persona, and Hope never stops hoping that things will turn out just the way she...well... hopes. The usual topics that lead to discord between the two are relationships with people and faith in God.  Sometimes Jade and Hope are just having a rather amicable conversation, albeit with disagreements. Sometimes, I envision them getting into total girl fights with each other. Depending on my mood and sense of adventure, I might imagine some warrior princess battle-like thing going on, complete with broadswords and the armour with boobs (of course I also imagine my two personas looking way hotter than I actually do in real life. I prefer to imagine them as Manga characters), or a ninja showdown, or we're mutants with power to blast fire balls from our hands and try to fry each other. I've stopped at the mental image of half naked female mud fights, although I suspect now that thought will be in your head for this post. My personas even have favourite colours, Jade's being green and Hope's is pink. Don't ask me why. 

I've been playing around with the idea of starting another blog, just so I can allow these two to take it out on the new blog, and the conversations I would have with myself would be ...I'm not quite sure how I would manage another blog though, since I already have two and even then I have lack of time or inspiration to update either. So for the moment, I think the new blog idea isn't going to happen. But just in case you see some posts in future here about conversations between some girls named Jade and Hope and you're wondering what the heck is going on... well, now you know. 

And that is my eyebrow raising post for today. Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Many (Meaningless?) Things I Wanna Do in My Life

Since my previous post about having no overall plan for my life, I was thinking to neutralize the 'sad'-ness of that thought (if you're one those who think it's sad that I have no plan) I wanted to write about some of my aspirations, i.e. things I wanna do sometime in my life just for the experience. Just because I don't have a overall direction for my life doesn't mean there aren't things I want to do along the way why figuring out where I'm going. :P It's just the actual long-term planning of how and when I'm going to do these things that I haven't done.... and maybe will never get round to doing for reasons I will explain later.

So I actually sat down and made a list of stuff I want to do at some point in my life, most of which are related to experiencing nature and wildlife, some involves a bit of adventure, some about performing, and some are just plain silly romantic. And after doing a raincheck of my life so far, I'm happy to say that I actually have done quite a few things that I have had wanted to do at some point before.  Most of things I have 'accomplished' in my life came not out of long-term planning but from an opportunity that came about that made it much more convenient to do what I want to do.... like a lot of stuff I did in Australia would not have happened if I didn't get a scholarship which allowed my dad to afford to send me to Aus for a year (during which I spent quite a bit of his money during fun stuff....but I still had some left to give back to him when I got home. Heh). And my swim with dolphins would never have happened if I didn't get send to Papua New Guinea for a work trip.

For example, some of the stuff I have wanted to do sometime in my life, and I have already done it:
1) Try sky diving (Brisbane, Australia, year 2004)
2) Learn how to scuba dive
3) Swim with dolphins (Papua New Guinea, late 2009)
4) Learn how to play guitar (not the best player, but I at least I can make some music come out of the dang thing)
5) Visit a roller coaster theme park and ride all the extremest rides (Cedar Point, Cleveland, this year)
6) Visit a Hillsong conference (Sydney, Australia, 2004)
7) Travel in Australia (travelled all 5 major Aussie cities in less than a year) and see real kangaroos and other native Aussia wildlife (almost got into a boxing match with a roo after my bag of food and that was painful and fun at the same time. :p)
8) Work in an area related to environmental conservation (not exactly in the field that I was thinking of, but it's somewhat related)
9) Perform (sing, act, whatever) on stage (done this many times in college and church)
10) Slow danced with a guy I really like, among other romantic things (^_^)

And then here are the things I have wanted to do sometime in my life, but have not done yet:
1) Try bungee jumping
2) Visit Galapagos Island
3) Visit the African Safari
4) Make tonnes of money through blogging, or at least enough money to live a comfy life
5) Buy an underwater camera and become an awesome underwater photographer
6) Get married and live in a small house with a big garden so we can have many dogs and less area of house to clean
7) Make a wedding portrait of hubby and I made such that we look 60-70 years old as a reminder of our goal to stay together always no matter how old and wrinkly and cranky we get
8) Start a church dance class/ ministry (after I learn to dance a lot better than I do now)
9) Write a fantasy novel with a female protagonist named Naeem, or Naima or something like that coz' I always though the name is cool
10) Record at least one song in studio that is good enough to be played on radio even if it never is
11) Fit back into the jeans I wore when I was 16.
12) Have a romantic stroll on a beach with special guy under a starry and windless night (don't want too much sand blowing around in case things get extra romantic)
13) Learn CPR
14) Be a manager/ researcher for a zoo (preferably Singapore Zoo)
15) Be part of a flash mob (this is a relatively new aspiration)
16) Volunteer regularly at an animal shelter

Looking at this 2nd list, there are things that would be really difficult to do just because it would be really expensive (particularly those involving travelling), some will remain an unattainable dream unless I give up my current job (like full time blogging or working at the zoo!) , others I don't dare to start on due to lack of motivation or belief in my own capability to do a good job (write a book? How screwed up would that end up? Don't even talk about the dance ministry idea, that might just be hilarious)... and then there are those which are relatively simple things I could start doing tomorrow, if not for pure laziness  or lack of time.

What's missing from that list is a desire to do something that will make a difference in people's lives, the closest thing being starting a dance ministry which I have my own inhibitions about since I'm not a great dancer anyway and it's probably more to feed my own interest in performing than anything else, really. I feel a bit bad that I honestly can't put in anything in there about wanting to make a difference because to be perfectly honest with myself, I'm jaded enough that a part of me doesn't really care to get too close to people. On the other hand, there is the part of me that wants to get over that and just learn to open up and learn to care for people. Coz' at the end of the day, even if I do accomplish every single one of those things on my dream to-do list, most of it was for my own experience and pleasure, which really makes no difference to anyone else.  After all, no one's going to write on my tombstone that "Here lies Carol, who jumped out of a airplace one, swam with dolphins and was part of a really funny flash mob". I get this annoying sentiment that Solomon had in the book of Ecclesiastes (which I just read through today for the fun of it while writing this). The feeling that everything is meaningless. Like you work and toil through your life and have a good time every now and then, but in the end, everything is meaningless, like chasing the wind.

Nevertheless, even though I doubt my ability to make a difference in people's lives as well as get round to doing all the things I want to try and do at least once in my life, I still have the hope that  it will happen... that someone I can change and motivate myself to get out there and just do it because whatever the thing is that fuels my hopes and ambitions run dry.

Lol, I didn't mean for this post to turn into such deep stuff. Perhaps I really need to just stop over-analyzing my life then I will have more time to do the things I wanna do. :P

Monday, September 26, 2011

No Plan

It's time for the annual raincheck on my life. Not that I've been doing this annually, just that it sounds better than occasional raincheck on my life.

I'm 28 years old, and will be 29 years old in half a year, and then I will be 30 years old in another year, by which time I can no longer pass as a 'young adult' just starting out in the working world and trying to to figure out what to do with my life but I should already more or less have some sort of plan. Plans that any normal young adult usually has....stuff like aiming for a better work position and getting a higher salary, getting married and starting a family, saving up for my own home, starting a business, maybe even deciding to become a pastor.... stuff like that. At least that's the kind of plan I guess people pass their 30s should have. Although in reality, I'm sure there are many 30-somethings who still don't have a plan. And I've heard a quote by someone who said that at 40 years old he still hasn't figured what he wants to do when he grows up.

Well, right now, I don't really have a plan. And by not having a plan, I mean I don't have  have a clue what to do other than continue doing what I have been doing for my whole working life, which I guess so far has been work, go to the gym, go to church on Sunday, serve on Sundays, hang out with friends occasionally, waste time on Facebook, do some fun things every now and then, like travelling, paintballing, scuba diving, and that's pretty much it. It's been working out pretty well so far. But in terms of planning for my long-term future, I haven't been doing much in that respect. I have asked my this question recently... the famous question that potential employers use on employees... where do I see myself in 5 years? And my answer is... probably pretty much the same thing I'm doing right now.

I have been thinking of making a big change, which is moving overseas. My brother who's in the US is encouraging me to go there, or Canada, or Australia. And on surface, given all the complaints people have about this country that is Malaysia, it seems like great idea. The politics suck, the cost of living is skyrocketing, the education system is going to the shits, etc, etc. Why not just get out of here while I still can.

Well, unfortunately to say, I've realized that even though I do have some spark of adventure in me which is the reason why I can jump out of airplanes and go looking for sharks when diving/snorkelling, I still like my comfort zone here in Malaysia. Doing what I've been doing. Yeah, the politics suck, but as long as I can still live my life and the PM isn't trying to blow ME up with dynamite or accuse me of sodomy, I'm ok with the occasionaly drama in the news. Cost of living? Biggest costs are house and car and raising kids. I already have a fully paid, car and I stay with my parents in a cushy condo and not planning to move out unless I get married, and I'm not married which means I have no expensive kids to raise. Otherwise, cost of living is not that bad. Bad education system? Again, no kids, so well, doesn't really affect me.

Yes, I am still thinking that getting out of the country would be worth it. But only if I get married and plan to raise a family, which also means my future imaginery and elusive hubby would have to want to make the move too. As long as I'm single, Malaysia is a pretty cool place to stay in. I have friends and family here, I can watch my nieces grow up, we have great food, shops open way past 5pm, and also it would be a terrible waste to do my diving course this year and then move out of Malaysia (which is next to pretty much all the cool dive spots in the world).

So since I plan to be stuck here for a while, it still means I have no real concrete plan, whether it comes to work, finances, personal life or anything else. How many ways can I possibly have no plan?

Work-wise, I enjoy where I'm at but have been pretty happily plodding along doing my work and hoping for a raise every year. I'm far from the ambitious type where I tell myself I must become manager is x no. of years and at least double my salary or whatever... I just hope for the best and take whatever good I get, whether it be a raise or bonus or whatever. Only recently have I have been feeling stagnant in my area of work (as in I don't think it's getting me anywhere, position-wise) and itching for a change in the main work I do so I get different experience and better future prospects. This is only after almost 3 years in the same job. That change actually could have happened sooner in the almost 3 years since I've been with my current company, but a combination of being already busy with my now stagnating work and my own lack of drive to 'succeed', i.e. work myself up the corporate ladder, lead to the slow progress. But since I've been pretty happy at my job now, I see no reason to leave (part of the reason why I don't want to migrate yet... coz' I need more experience at my work!).

Financially, it's always at the back of my mind that I need to learn how to invest in something reliable. I am currently investing in something through the help of my dad who did all the research on the investment and I'm just along for the ride. But I know I can't rely on him forever and I need to learn how to do my own investments in the future. And since I hate anything to do with finance, except of course, the money itself, learning the tricks of investing in something is scary. Coz' investing is risky and putting my moolah in the wrong place might end up in me losing it. But it's still important, otherwise my moolah will just sit in the bank without growing and that might be difficult when I get to an age when I can't work anymore. Or I actually do start a family and have to raise those money sucking kids. :P My best plan in this area? Marry a guy who is good at financial planning and can help me with investments. Or even better. Marry a damn rich guy who doesn't squander his fortune away. Set for life, baby. >:)

Well, that leads to the next aspect where I have no plan... marriage and family. Kinda hard to plan for that I'm single. Though anything can happen of course, and in five years time I could very well and have met someone and start having little buns baking in the oven. Are there potential guys? Well, yes, there are always potential guys. Whether I will end up with any of them or not is another question. So right now, no plan whatsoever.

And then there's spiritual life. Well, I certainly have no plans to become a pastor, full-time church worker or anything of the sort. Once upon a time I wouldn't mind being married to a pastor if the opportunity came, but now I'm quite sure that will never happen coz' I'm pretty sure I'd make a terrible pastor's wife. On the other hand, I have been having... spiritual issues and was thinking that maybe it's time to go to another church and see what happens. And so was thinking of pulling out of ministries I'm serving in and leaving my current church. But still haven't done it. Mainly coz' I have no plan which church to go to AFTER that. Am kind of occasionally visiting other churchs when I can, to survey the field. It's funny coz' once in the church I went to in Australia, the pastor there, while praying for me, made a prediction that I would become some great woman for God. And everytime I think of that now, I'm just like...hmm... right....

So those are some of the ways where I have no plan in my life. But then I also asked myself... is it really so bad to not have a plan (other than financial planning, which I still consider important no matter what)? I mean, we can plan for stuff but it may not work out the way we want and turn out to be a waste of time (maybe money). Like I usually prefer not to plan for vacations too far ahead of the date, coz' there's another more important event that may come up later at the same time and screw up my plans (happened to me before and I wasted a flight ticket to Thailand!). On the other hand, if I'm content taking each day at a time and hoping for the best, whether it be in my work, personal life or spiritual life, then I may end with things better than I planned or hoped for. And actually I feel like this has what has been happening to me....for example, in my work I have been quite blessed with benefits and favour from my management with I'm not sure I deserve. And in my personal life, I have been blessed with some good friends, and.... I have met a guy whom I really like have great relationship with. But I'm still not sure what will happen between us in the long term, and until I figure it out, he's going to remain a secret. In the meantime, even with having no plan, I still greatly enjoy his company.

Perhaps it sounds bad, but I actually quite enjoy having no plan and enjoying the spontaneity of life. It's been working out for me so far and hopefully it'll continue doing so for a long time. :P

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Listen with expectations

I just spent about 3 and a half hours since 10.15pm chatting with a friend at a cafe. I have questions about my Christian faith which I have to believe he has the answer to. He refuses to tell me because he has no idea how I will react to what he has to say, and he thinks that I will not react well at all, based on his past experiences with other friends. From what I gather, he is 100% sure that God is real. However, he does not believe God is how Christians depict him to be. But he does not what to be the one to break a person's faith. And of course I'm just all the more curious to find out what he knows.

The most I could get out of him however, was a way to get answer to my burning questions.... direct from the source, i.e. the big G Himself.

Listen without expectations.

Now whether I can actually do that is another story. Stopping and listening, I have tried and got nothing. Listening without expectations....that is ... a challenge. I do believe I've talked about how I have this fear about God telling me something I don't wanna hear. And I guess hoping that I won't hear something I don't wanna hear is a form of expectation.

But the burning questions will continue to burn until I get my answers. So I will try.

And we'll see what happens. ;-)

My friend also did say something about how I should stop thinking too much and being afraid of things going wrong. I don't know how the heck he figures this stuff out about me. I thought I did a pretty good job of making people think I'm the carefree, always happy-go-lucky type. Well, that's why I quite enjoy talking to this guy. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Of an old song and an old book

There are two parts to this post (yet another long one. Nyarr!). The first part is about a song I've been thinking about. And the second part is about a book I've been reading, or rather, an excerpt from that book.

I've been thinking about this song.

It's an old song that came out one year before I was even born. I don't particularly like the song. In fact, I'm contemplating whether or not to hate this song. The reason why I'm thinking about it is because the singer, Charlene, is singing about her situation (whether it was real or not, I'm not sure), which is something that could very well be my situation in the future. In a nutshell, the lyrics are sang from a woman who is probably way past her prime and has enjoyed a good life travelling around the world, messing around with guys, living the life. But in the song, this women is giving advice to a married woman with children, telling her that even though she feels unhappy with her marriage and a discontented mother and dreams about doing the things she will never be able to do because she's married with kids, the woman singing advises her that all the 'fantastic things' she's done in her life is nothing compared to having what the other woman has, which is a family. At one part of the song, she sings (or more like, speaks) "Hey, you know what paradise is? It's a lie...but you know what truth is? It's that little baby you're holding, and it's that man you fought with tonight. The same one you're going to make love with tonight. That's truth, that's love." And then she goes on to sing about how she cries for unborn children that might have her complete.

I have many reasons to hate this song. Coz' it makes single women like me worried that if we don't get hitched to someone and have kids, we'll end up old and alone and regretting it. It makes women like me think that finding a guy, settling down and starting a family is more important than anything else. It makes women like me wonder if getting out there and living our single lives, doing what we want, how we want it, is not going to be worth anything later in life. And I hate it mostly because this could actually turn out to be true.

Just recently, I got into another round of conversation with the same guy I had a slightly drunken conversation that I talked about in my previous long waffling post. At one point we started talking about 'true love' again (that question he was dogging me on in our last drunken conversation), and then he commented on my recent Facebook status about this article.

Some of the girls who commented on my FB status are more skinny than curvy, so I'm wondering why THEY would be so happy. Bygones. Anyhow, the guy I'm talking too saw my status update and asked me this question: Do I really NEED a boyfriend? After all, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, going on vacation to US, learning how to scuba dive, getting involved in many activities, etc, etc.

Getting technicalities out of way, I'm sure no girl ever actually NEEDS a boyfriend. The question is more whether I actually really want one or not. And it's quite funny now that after a long history of lamenting my lack of love life (most of that lamenting done on this blog itself), I'm now so used to being single and independant that I'm seriously considering if it's best just to stay that way for the rest of my life. But, as I told my friend, I'm also wondering if I'll end up regretting that choice later on in life when I'm old and frail and alone. On the other hand, I may also end up regretting getting hitched to someone. To me, I'm considering 3 possible scenarios:

1) I meet my 'Mr. Right', get married and live mostly happily ever after (every relationship will have its up and downs, but the important thing is that we learn to deal with it and still love each other). That would actually be my ideal situation. And it would be a great plus if we made beautiful babies who grew up to be fantastic people that actually took the time to take care of their folks. In such a case, I would certainly have little or no regrets in my old age because I know I'd have family around and people who love me.

2) I meet a guy, get married, have kids, and then life just spirals downwards from there. Could be either we reach a point where we cannot even sleep in the same room and can't talk to each other without getting in to a fight. Or worst still, we decide to get a divorce. And to top it all off, the kids could turn out to be an irresponsible bunch that fly off the Australia after we spend RM20k a semester trying to get them through uni, only to find out they've failed the course, decided to run off with some guy/girl and never call home again. In such as case, I still end up being alone and regretful in my old age, and I would not have gottent the chance to do all the things I would get to do if I had remained single. So what's the point?

3) I remain single, do whatever I wanna do for the rest of my life, make good friends, visit the world, experience new things, without having to endure all the emotional hoohah of marriage and potentially bratty kids. And then spend my old age withering away in an old folks home, where the news of the week is that another friend of mine passed away, and I would be planning the best way to commit suicide without leaving a bloody mess for the old folks home helpers to clean up.

Scenario 1 would be greatest. Scenario 3 would be great as long as long as I have energy to run around and enjoy my life. Scenario 2 would be just about the suckiest situation to be in. And while I would certainly love being in Scenario 1, if I had to choose between living a life in scenario 2 or 3, I would choose Scenario 3 and be alone for the rest of my life. However, in order to get a shot of living out Scenario 1, I have to run the very real risk of it spiralling downwards to becoming Scenario 2. Which is what I am damn shit scared of happening. My fears are not unfounded. I've grown up in a home where my mum constantly finds a way to be annoyed with my dad, my dad is completely exasperated with my mum's impatience, they currently both stay in separate rooms, and their kids, including myself, hardly ever take the time to actually sit down and spend time with them except if it's someone's birthday or some festival. We kids are not close to our parents (there are reasons for this, of course, and if you know what it's like, you'll know it's not an easy situation to change) although we still carry out our filial duties in terms of providing for mum and dad. Somewhat.

Suffice to say, I don't want to live the type of family life that my mum and dad are living right now. And hence, I'd love to hate the song "I've Never Been To Me" because it sends the message that being married with kids is the best thing you could ever do with your life. Which could be true, or it could go completely the other way and make your life absolutely miserable.

And I'm 28 years old, which makes me at the prime of my life and I'm running out of time to decide whether or not to go the way of marriage and family or the way of singledom. If at some point, my maternal instrincts activate and I decide that I REALLY want to have kids, it may very soon come to the point where that ship has left the dock and there's no way I can jump on it anymore. And I'm not just talking about my biological clock ticking away here, there is another reason for it (which is kind of explained in the 2nd part of my long-winded post). But even if I do decide I want to go the way of marriage, I don't have any potential partners at the moment. And finding the right guy is not easy. My friend was is a bit bewildered on why it is so difficult for me, as he seems to have the opinion that there are many guys out there who would want a girl like me.

Interestingly enough, in one earlier conversation (we've had a few other meet-ups since our first drunken conversation, just so you know), he voiced his suspicion that the reason I'm hesitant to get into a relationship is because I think that I don't deserve to be loved.

And just like the song, I'd love to hate what he said. Because the fact is that I don't consider myself a person with low self-esteem. Therefore the notion that I'm afraid of a relationship because I don't deserve to be loved, which implies that I am a person with low self-esteem, should by all means piss me off.

But unfortunately I hate to say it, but he could be right as well.

Which leads me to my thoughts about the book excerpt. This same guy that I've been having these fascinating conversations with recently lent me a book. It's a really old book as well (like the song) which came out in 1989. I would have been 6 years old and in kindergarten at the time, and funnily enough, the book is called "All I Really Need to Know", I Learned in Kindergarten - Uncommon Thoughts on Uncommon Things" by Robert Fulghum. It's basically a collection of the writer's thought on various topics, each of which are short write-up of only 3 to 4 pages each.

In one story, he talks about his thoughts on children playing hide and seek. And then talk about how adults like to play hide and seek, in their own way. The excerpt is as follows:

A man I know found out last year that he had terminal cancer. He was a doctor. And knew about dying, and he didn't want to make his family and friends suffer through that with him. So he kept his secret. And died. Everybody said how brace he was to bear his suffering in silence and not tell everybody, and so on and so forth. But privately his family and friends said how angry they were that he didn't need them, didn't trust their strength. And it hurt that he didn't say goodbye.
He hid too well. Getting found would have kept him in the game. Hide-and-seek, grown-up style. Wanting to hide. Needing to be sought. Confused about being found. "I don't want anyone to know." "What will people think?""I don't want to bother anyone."

This hit a bit too close to home for me. I've said before on my blog that I don't like people feeling sorry for me, which is why I keep many thing to myself. So while this may sound like I'm going off tangent from the earlier topic, it does relate. Please bear with me. :)

At the end of 2010, I paid a visit to a doctor for a medical check-up. To be specific, it was a gynae and it was the first time I'd visited a gynae. He did some tests, and told me to call back in a week and see how were the results. When I did, it turns out they had found some mild 'abnormal formations' on my cervix. They had to do a biopsy to remove the abnormal cells and check what it was about. So I took a day off, hopped into a cab to the hospital, and went in for the biopsy, which was done in about an hour or so while I was out like a light, after which I took the cab back. Didn't tell anyone about this, by the way. After another week, the doctor explains to me that I have a virus. Not anything that will kill me, and there a chance that the virus goes dormant, in which case I won't have anymore problems. However, there is a higher chance of the buggers recurring and causing more abnormal formations in my cervix. To cut long story short, I am at high risk of cervical cancer. Which again, will not kill me as long as it's monitored. But there is a risk that the buggers may cause enough mayhem in me that I will one day have to have my cervix removed. This could happen within the next few years, or next decade or more.

And once that happens, I can never have kids.

So while that's not too much of a concern for me right NOW, it comes back to the point where I know my time to make a decision is running out. If I do decide to go the way of marriage and children, then I don't have much time left to make that choice. But then there's always the problem of finding the right guy. Plus now there's the additional problem of getting a man who's willing to invest in damaged goods.

On the bright side, it's the weekend and you should watch this vid and smile coz' it has dancing monkeys!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Conversations are more interesting when drunk

...Or at least somewhat intoxicated. So sometime last week I was at a friend's birthday party. The friend is question invited a whole bunch of friends from everywhere and it was a pretty big party involving BBQ, loud music and of course, plenty of alcohol. I had a few drinks myself, not enough to make me see double of everything and I could still drive home safety after that, but certainly enough to make me a little light-headed and ditzier than I already am.

So at one point I'm minding my own business, walking past a couple of chit chatting guy friends when one of them, whom I shall call Kenny (coz' that is actually his name. Duh.) stops me in my tracks to ask me a question. Apparently the two guys were in a debate over something and Kenny seemed to want to prove his point, whatever it may be, by getting my opinion on the topic and he was hoping that I would agree with him and therefore prove his point (although soon after he ropes me into the conversation, the other guy he was talking to just kind of moseyed away and left me to deal with Kenny. Which I guess kinda defeats the purpose of roping me in in the first place).

His question was this: Would I rather remain content with my life the way it is, even if I'm not really happy... OR would I give up EVERYTHING for a shot at TRUE HAPPINESS? (Everything in this case, meaning my job, family, house, belongings, whatever...)

First thought that came into my head was.... this is one of those hypothetical scenarios that really has little or no chance of happening in real life, and even if it did, I wouldn't know what I would actually do in such a scenario until I was in it. It's along the line of asking "Would you run into a burning building to save someone you didn't know?"? I consider such questions unanswerable coz' you could give any answer you want but when it comes to the real thing, you could end up doing something completely different. Like how the heck would I know until I am actually IN that situation? I mean, I can say yes I would do so, but there's no credibility to my bold claim since I can't prove it. And if I said no, who knows? I may be overcome with heroism if such a thing actually happened.

So naturally I tried make it such that I didn't have to answer the question directly.

First thing I did was challenge his assumption that being content with life the way it is means I'm not happy. Who's to say that a person who is content is not happy? IMHO, happiness to each person is relative, and a person who is content with a simple life can also be much happier than a person who is continually striving to achieve more. So why give up everything I have if I already AM happy with what I have? Agreeing to my point, my friend then makes it a bit more clear what the question is REALLY about.

The revised question is this: Would I give up everything I have in exchange for TRUE LOVE? (true love, by his definition, meaning someone who totally understands me and no matter what other crappy things may happen, I will be the most important person in his life)

Ah, I should have known. We're not talking any ol' type of true happiness here, we're talking about the 'true love' type of true happiness. Yokay....

To this I just decided to skip the roundabout answer. I just simply said I don't know coz' I've never been in the situation. Of course, that's not enough for Kenny, he just keeps right on probing me to give a definite answer, at which I guess I kinda disappointed and maybe surprised him when I said no, I wouldn't.

As you can guess, I'm not much of a hopeless romantic. But trust me when I say I have reasons for my answer (and I consider these perfectly good reasons, dunno about you). The only situation I can think of where I could possibly ever have to give up EVERYTHING for "true love" would be if some guy with no money, house, car or any of the comforts of life I am used somehow or another totally swept me off my feet and I was adamant on marrying him, but my parents completely disapproved of him and swore to disown me if I married such a guy, in which case we ended up eloping. In such a case, I would have lost my family, house, car, and pretty everything except this poor guy who supposedly truly loves me and can't give me a similar comfortable life. But apparently that's ok, because he loves me and love conquers everything!!! Including a grumbling stomach, and having to deal with the roaches crawling on me coz' we have to live on the street. In which case, I would seriously have to question the level of this guy's love for me, coz' if I were madly in love with someone, and I knew that that person would have a worst-off life with me than where he is now, than I would want that person to stay right where he is rather than live a crummy life with me.

Which leads me to the next would I ever know whether or not a guy TRULY loves me enough that he would be worth giving up everything I have for? After all, a guy can bullshit me with as much romantic mumbo jumbo as he wants, that doesn't necessarily make it all true. If a guy is like Bruno Mars and says he would catch a grenade for me, stand in front of a train for me, in other words, DIE for me, there's really no way I would know he's telling the truth unless it actually happened.... until then it could just all be romantic bullshit he's spouting in an effort to get into my pants.

But THEN, Kenny replies, does that mean the only way a guy can prove his TRUE LOVE for me is by showing that he's actually willing to give up his life for me? Once the poor guy is dead (perhaps trying to catch a grenade for me, heavens know where it came from), wouldn't it be too late??

I wasn't quite sure how to explain it to him at the time, but it was totally not my intention to insinuate that a guy has to get run over by a train to prove his undying love for me. The point was simply that a guy can tell me that he would die for me, or tell me that he'll love me forever, or tell me just about any kind of sweet talk that usually causes a girl to swoon...BUT it would be very difficult for me to believe it. Simply because I HAVE been sweet talked by an ex before who told me that he would love me forever. However, he failed to insert the clause that 'forever' no longer applies if I were decide to break up with him. Even though I did it as amicably as possible, he responded by posting anonymous crude comments on blog and starting a fake Friendster account with my number on it encouraging guys to call or sms me for a 'fun time'. That immature behaviour stopped long ago, of course, and now I think he's with another girl whom I feel very sorry for. But anyhow, my idea of 'true love' is to never stop loving a person, even if that person rejects you. My ex said that he would love me forever (and even at that time, I didn't quite believe him), then I rejected him, and he ended up demonstrating how much he actually did NOT love me by behaving like an arse.

So I think it's quite understandable that I would be very doubtful of any guy who gives me such sweet talk. In fact, I've come to realize that the kind of guys I admire now are the ones I know would never sweet talk me with romantic mumbo jumbo. It doesn't mean that I don't like romance. I just don't like romance when a guy makes claims about the extent of his love for me which he would never be able to positively prove (i.e. claims like I would go to the moon and back for you....corrnyyyy), and more likely than not he'd end up contradicting himself like in the case of my ex.

The debate isn't over yet. Then Kenny throws the next question at me: Does this mean that I don't believe in true love?? Or that I think that I can never find MY true love?

Simple answer from me: No, I do believe in true love. I just think that it's extremely difficult to find it. For me, well, I guess if I find such a guy, then great. If I don't, then I'll get a dog (a nicer one than the bratty mutt I have now).

At one point, I throw a question back at Kenny: What exactly is YOUR definition of true love?

He goes the way of saying that true love is someone who understand you completely, always supports you and puts you as number one, no matter what the circumstance.

I wasn't quite sure if I totally agreed with his answer at the time. But now that I think about it, I would take it one step further. True love is about supporting the other person and putting that person as number one in your life (or 2nd to God, if you're a Christian ;-)) even if you DON'T completely understand that person. Coz' really, I don't think there is any couple that PERFECTLY understands each other. Every person is different and has their point of view, and will disagree with each other at some point. But disagreeing doesn't mean you stop supporting or loving each other. And that kind of love doesn't come in the same package of Cloud 9 lovey dovey feeling. It's the kind of love that develops over time, after getting to know a person really well, including all their bad habits, traits that you can't stand, and knowing which issues they would never agree with you on ...and even after all that, if you can say that you'll support and love this person no matter what, then THAT is TRUE LOVE. And that kind of true love is difficult to find, although not impossible. But the ONLY way to find it, is through getting to know the person you're committed to, over time and having to live with this person... all the time. That's why even though I can be having a crush on the same guy for years and think I can accept behaviours of his which most people would not be able to tolerate, I wouldn't dare to say that I'm in love with such a guy. Coz' I don't have to put up with this person ALL THE TIME, so I can't say for sure that eventually he will end up just driving me insane.

And coming back to the revised version of the original question, about whether or not I would give up everything for true love, I think I may have to revise my answer a bit (although Kenny himself may not read this, but it's just for me and whoever cares to read my long-winded dribble on this blog).

If based on the scenario that some guy comes along claiming to be my 'one true love' with all his romantic sweet talk, then definitely NO, I wouldn't give up everything for such a guy until he can put his money where his mouth is.

But if I've been with a man for years, and he has already done enough to show that he would support and love me no matter what, even through all my shortcomings and our disagreements and my nagging him about throwing his socks on the floor, then probably yes, I would give up everything that that kind of love. So yeah, I guess I still do have a bit of romanticism in me. :)

Sorry again for the long rambling post, but I like questions like these. It really makes you think about what you believe in life, and it's very important to know what you believe in. ^_^

Nevertheless, I still think the Bruno Mars song is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'No Strings Attached' and the head banging dilemma

In this post, I'm gonna talk about sex and how much I would like it. So I'm betting this post will raise a few eyebrows. But c'mon people, I'm 28 years old and anyone my age who wasn't accidentally abandoned in the forest and living in isolation for the past 20 years would know what it's all about. And even in the forest, you'd eventually see animal humping each other sometime.

I watched this romantic comedy (i.e. romcom) called 'No Strings Attached' online recently.

I normally don't watch rom-coms coz' they all give a highly fluffed up idea of what love is all about. Guy and girl goes through a series of unfortunate events, culminating in guy and girl getting together in the end and living happy ever after. The movie almost always fails to show what happens after they're married, the headaches and heartaches of learning to cope with the other person's annoying behaviours and the REAL process of love, which would be learning to accept and appreciate the other person even through all their annoying behaviours. Plus romcoms make single people feel lonely and miserable. I personally find more fun watching any one of the 'Final Destination' or 'Saw' movies.

But for this movie, I thought the premise was little more interesting. The story goes like this. Girl and guy are old friends. Girl and guy one day decide to 'get it on'. But girl doesn't want a relationship. She freaks at the thought of a relationship. But she likes sex. Therefore girl insists that she and guy only romp and do none of the other romantic stuff, i.e. spooning, cuddling, staring each others eyes. So they become sex friends, otherwise known as f*ck buddies. Guy should be totally ecstatic since most guys enjoy sex and hate the emotional aspect of a relationship coz' they need to be all macho-like and all. But of course, this is a rom-com, and it wouldn't be romantic if guy decided to leave it at that. Nope, he has to fall for the girl and try to convince her to be with him, although she continues to resist. After the rom-com typical series of unfortunate events, girl realizes she loves guy, they get together and live happily ever after. The end. So now you don't need to watch the movie (there aren't any actual sex scenes in it anyway, so especially nothing to see for you guys).

So how would such a movie apply to my life. After all I'm a Christian girl and shouldn't even be thinking of sex until I marry my Mr. Right coz' premarital sex is SINFUL and God will send me the right man eventually as long as I remain patient and continue to serve him faithfully.

Sorry I need a moment.

So here's a slightly different take on my usual griping on my lack of love life. Yes, I would like to meet my so-called 'Mr. Right', enjoy a bit of fluffy romance and wind up married, which will hopefully be happily ever after. I'm a female, this desire is genetically written in my DNA. But these days I'm starting to question the reason why I want a guy.

Do I need a guy for emotional support? Not really. I already mentioned in my previous post that I hate inconveniencing people or making people feel sorry for me, and griping to my man about whatever crap is going on in my life doesn't really help the situatuon. In fact, a man is more likely to be the cause of why I need emotional support. I haven't been in a relationship in years, and I know for a fact that I have spent much less time crying like a baby OUT of a relationship than in one. Of course, I enjoy the time spent with that special someone. But I really hated the times he drove me nearly insane. Being single can be lonely, yes, but I sure as heck am more emotional stable.

Do I need a guy to support me? Not really. I have a job, I don't have a great pay, but it's enough for me to live a pretty comfy life.

Do I need a guy to have kids? Well, obviously I would (unless I go the way of in-vitro fertilization, in which case if I don't do proper research on the history of that sperm, I could end up with the spawn of a retard). But the problem is, I don't even really want kids. Not to say that I totally don't want them or wouldn't consider having them, and I can't say that 5 or 10 years down the line I'd start wishing for the pitter patter of little feet around the house. But right now, I have no desire to go through the 9 months of carrying a growing watermelon in my stomach, suffering the next few months of sleepless nights to feed the kid every few hours, dealing with a potential screamer/ super active kid, then having to put up with their wise cracks when he/ she becomes a teenager. If I do ever decide to have kids, it would be only under two conditions:

1) I am 100% sure that my husband will be actively loving and helping to take care of the kids. Or so help me God if I suffer from post natal depression and start having murderous thoughts.

2) I will not be working until the kid is at least 5 years old, so I can take care of the kid. Unless his or my parents are willing to take care of the kid, and even then, I have to stake out the parents-in-law first and see how many screws they have loose in their heads. I don't even trust me parents completely either... my mum no longer has the energy or patience for it, and my dad taking care of babies? Errrr.... ain't gonna happen. The first 5 years of a child's life are the most crucial, and I sure as heck am not letting some foreign maid take care of my kids for more than one third of his or her young life. So how many guys can afford to support a family on his salary alone these days with costs of everything shooting through the roof?


Concluding question. Do I really need a man?

Noooot really.

Having said that, I still really enjoy being with a guy. And as a certain song by Ms. Britney Spears goes, I'm not that innocent. I have 'messed around' with my previous bfs, although to what extent I'll leave that to your wildest imagination. And I enjoyed it. A lot . Really I did. Stop blushing, you know you do too.

So with all that in mind, the concept of romping with a guy while remaining purely friends, with no deep emotional connection as would be expected in an attached relationship, well, doesn't sound too bad. But of course, some of you reading this might be having your jaw dropped right now and ready to call my pastor to sit me down for a good long talk. Being a church-serving Christian girl, something like would more likely than not result in me being kicked out of whatever ministry I'm in. Maybe even kicked from the church.

I'm not about to defend that it's perfectly ok, but since I've been thinking about it here a some other potentially jaw dropping insides from the brain of Carol. Premarital sex is a sin, no doubt it says that in the Bible. I can perfectly understand why, since there are so many risks associated with it (STDs, unwanted babies, emotional distress, yadda yadda yadda). But why is there so much stigma attached to girls (or guys) who do it, as opposed to say.... working on a Sunday? Or a Saturday, which some say is technically the Sabbath Day. Coz' one of the 10 Commandments was not to work on the Sabbath Day but leave it as a day of rest. But no one prays for your repentance if you work on a Sunday or Saturday. It's perfectly fine. Pre-marital sex is not listed anywhere on the 10 Commandments, by the way. Adultery is, but that's not the same thing, although some wise guys would argue that premarital sex is akin to cheating on your future partner. Right. So what if I don't ever get married or I can't find my mysterious Mr. Right then, eh, wise guys?

And then there's this verse in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 which says "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Which really blows my mind when I think about coz' it kinda saying if you really want intimacy and sex, then just go and get married to someone so you can bonk 'em silly. O_O

Obviously isn't as simple as that. I mean, if you're gonna be stuck with a person for the rest of your life, you'd at least wanna make pretty sure you know what you're getting into instead of being guided by the amount of blood that pumps into your southern regions. And I'm finding the older I get, the more picky I'm getting with my potential life partners. And I have a very strange dilemma when in comes to choosing men.

I still consider being with a Christian guy very important, hence I am very likely to reject a non-Christian guy (Unless he's really hot, has awesome character and lots of money. In which case there would be tons of other girls lining up for him and I wouldn't have a chance anyway) However, I'm not a very gung-ho, full steam ahead, totally-trust-in-God kind of Christian. I have a bit of a flailing faith, but not one I will give up on anytime soon. So when I do meet a Christian guy I like, but I think he's every bit as pathetic in his walk with God as I am, I feel a bit hesitant in going for him since I know we'll just be flailing around in our faith together and neither will grow spiritually. I kinda want a Christian who can and will challenge me spiritually and give me that push in the right direction, make me see and learn things about my faith I never knew before. BUT THEN, when I do find such a guy I admire.... I STILL am hesitant to make a move. Coz' then I think.... what the heck would I have to offer this guy? If my faith is pathetic and he is full steam ahead, wouldn't I just drag him down and discourage him? I knew the previous guy who had a thing for me had a REALLY 'lalang' character...he went along with everyone I said or did, and I knew I could push him around to my liking easily.... I couldn't stand him coz' I know I'm not highly dominating, but I can take on a dominating role around submissive people. But I DO NOT WANT to be in a relationship with a submissive man!

So that taught me that one of the things I'd really want in a guy is someone who is a leader and opinionated. And with such a guy I wouldn't mind taking on the role of 'supporting gf/ wife'. But again, with the flailing faith... I do question that if I ever did snag myself such a guy... would I really be the kind of support to that guy that I should be? So I'm also afraid of being with a man of strong Christian faith... simply because I'm afraid I'll bring him down.

So I probably won't take a Christian guy, I don't really like Christian guys of average faith and I'm afraid of bringing down a guy of strong Christian faith even though that's the guy I want. That just about eliminates all men in the world as the right partner for me. Plus, even if I do find someone 'perfect' for me, it's no use if he doesn't reciprocate the feelings. And yet even if I never get married for all these reasons, because the Bible says so and the church disapproves of it, I still can't enjoy intimacy or sex with a guy even though God also created humans with hormones.

Allow me to take another moment.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From emo to self-analysis to OK

For those who thought that girls only know how to drown their sorrows with girly bitching sessions, chocolate and shopping, here's the all new Facebook approved method:

I wanted to write this post yesterday coz' yesterday was an emo day and I wanted to bitch about it, but it got late and I didn't manage to finish it on time. So the emo post got postponed to today... but it ends a little more positively than I originally intended it to.

Anyway, the reason for my emo-ness was the thought that I am severely lacking in close friends. Not that the thought just occured to me, I of course have been aware of this for a long time and understand that the reason for is mostly my own doing. But what happened yesterday is that I was really excited about something and so I emailed a whole bunch of friends about the news, at least 40 of them, thinking that this would be such a cool thing that that I'd be swamped with responses from my friends wanting to join in the fun.

After 24 hours, I got 3 responses from the first group of about 10 friends I emailed, which was ok.... but from the other group of 30, there was not ONE response. Which I found quite strange, since I'm sure not at least some of them would have checked their emails. I did get one person from that group who responded to me through of the few people I consider a pretty good friend. But not one direct reply to the email. Then I was logged into Facebook and saw one of my friends had posted the same news on her profile, and she was practically swamped with responses.

So the lack of enthusiasm to my email could be due to a great deal of factors (they could have been too busy to reply, haven't seen the email, etc, etc), I just got the feeling that one of the more likely reasons was that the many people I shared this with just isn't close enough to me to give a damn about responding.

Hence I sad. Sad because it's like I meet all these people on a regular basis and it was like not even ONE person could bother to reply to me (even until today, which is 2 days later... zero responses from group 2). And I figured that the main reason for the lack of response was because I am not close to any of these people.

I usually hang out with my big group of friends in a group... and in a group, all talk is small talk. In other words, I never get down to talking with these people about personal things, sharing our 'heart', knowing the crap that is going on in each others lives, it's usually frivolous topics of discussion. I would define a 'close' friend as someone I sit down with one to one every now and then and chat about anything with, including personal topics, without feeling weird about it. There are very few people whom I actually do this with, and even with these few people, I rarely ever take the time to time to meet up with with them for one to one chats. And even with these few people, I don't actually talk about my personal life unless someone asks me something related to it, or somehow the discussion leads to it and I have an excuse to bitch about the crappy things going on in my life. I've been asked before if I had a BEST friend...which I would define a 'best friend' as someone I can call up any hour of the day, say I have a problem and I wanna talk about it and that person will listen to me as long as it takes without thinking it's weird, and vice versa. But to that question, I just kinda blinked for a while and said I don't have a best friend.

I've done a lot of self-analyzing to figure out why I've come to this state. I figure one reason is because a long time ago I did know people I considered my 'best friend'.... until I realized they didn't think the same of me, and I was left being ignored by them. This was one of those experiences that made me learn from an early age that trusting too much in people can result in them disappointing me, and I've said it before that I hate the feeling of being disappointed.

Another 2 reasons is that I hate inconveniencing people and I don't like people feeling sorry for me. I calling up a friend just because I want to talk about something crappy going on in my life is only going to result in one or the other. Either the person doesn't give a hoot about my problem and feels inconvenienced by my whining which is taking up his or her previous time. OR they will feel sorry for me but most likely they can't do anything about the problem anyway, so I would have just made them feel a bit crappy too without getting the problem solved and that really doesn't help anyone. I fail to see the point in either. Even in that FB thread, when I was asked to explain why I was emo, I gave one silly response which didn't answer the question. My typical deflective mechanism which means people won't feel inconvenienced or sorry for me, but they have no idea still what ticking in my brain.

So for the most part, I've been pretty ok being this way. But on occasion I do feel crappy about the way it is, and yesterday was one of those days. As much as I want to protect myself from being disappointed by people, the fact of the matter is I think everyone needs to be able to talk to someone about the tough, personal, emotionally inconveniencing topics every now and then. Even people I know who claim they are not a 'people person' enjoy the occasional long conversation with people they are very close to. Far as I'm concerned there's no such thing as a non-people person... just people who want to protect themselves from getting hurt by misplacing trust in the wrong people.

Anyway, I spent almost the whole day feeling kinda miserable about the depressing thought of having so few close friends, thinking about everything I was blabbering about above and thinking I should just forget about that 'cool' thing I wanted to do since the response was close to dead.

Fortunately, the good thing about me is that I've somehow or another mastered the art of picking myself up when I feel like crap. And after the whole self-analysis session, I figure that since my current state of lack of close friends is due to my own behaviour, why on earth can't I stop being miserable about it and just change my behaviour? If I want to talk to people, instead on waiting around and hoping someone would be ma 'friend' I oughtta get out there and talk to them first.

However, the first matter at hand was to deal with the lack of response to my email. So today I upped and called a whole bunch of people I emailed one by one to ask if they wanted to join this thing or not. And it turns out quite a few of them were interested, and just as I initially suspected (if my emo-ness hadn't taken over), some were just too busy to reply. So I now have a group of people to join this cool thing which I'm sure will be the bomb, and I was glad to report this on my earlier Facebook thread ....

By the way, if you're someone I know who actually took the time to read through my incessantly long waffling and suffer the same emo issues as me, just gimme a holler anytime so we can go out for coffee and bitch about life. ^_^

Monday, February 28, 2011

Not wanting to want

Yay, I finally got a working blog page navigation thingy on my revamped blog. Woohoo! On the downside, it somehow or another has resulted in my entire list of buddies blogs to disappear. Ugh. I'm too lazy to work on filling up that list right now. I just wanna blog.

Last Friday I went to a cell group (which is now officially called LifeNet Groups in my church, but that always reminds me of LNG, i.e. liquid natural gas, and that kinda cracks me up) for the 1st time in a few weeks. Some things going on in my cell group, resulting in it being disbanded so I am now in another cell group, although these days I don't really feel like going anymore for reasons that I will explain somewhere along the way here.

But I went to cell on Friday anyhow, and the topic of discussion was the famous Psalm 23. And so the leader tells us that we're supposed to read the whole psalm, then think about which line of the psalm taught us something, explain why and also share how we could apply whatever it is we 'learned' to our lives. We were given about 5 minutes to read through and think about what we wanted to say. So for 5 whole minutes the group was pin-drop silent while we read through but I'm sure our brains were all frantically thinking of something reasonably intelligent to say if we were asked. Fortunately I actually did think of something to say, although it wasn't so much on how that verse could be made applicable to my life. I kinda misunderstood what we were supposed to do as I was thinking we were just supposed to share about our thoughts on that verse that 'hit' us, and I was the first one to share my thoughts, so I didn't have a chance to correct myself.

The line that struck me most was the first line of Psalm 23:

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want"

I just found out that other versions of the Bible translate the 2nd part as "I lack nothing" or "I have all that I need", which wouldn't have invoked similar thoughts in me, coz' the part that kinda boggled me was the whole idea of not wanting anything. Coz' I don't think it's really humanly possible to not want anything. People always want something, whether it's new stuff, a relationship, good exam results, a promotion, a feeling of gratification... heck, even a suicidal person with no hope wants to die. How the heck does someone not ever want anything?

Then I was reminded of a conversation I had before with a Buddhist friend. This was not the type of Buddhist who worshipped little statues or gave altar offerings... he never bothers with any of that. The only reason why he calls himself a Buddhist is coz' he accepts the teachings of Buddhism, one of which he explained to me and I found quite interesting, was that in order to attain true happiness/bliss, we have to learn to not want. The reason for this is because our desire for something is usually the same thing that causes us grief or unhappiness.

He gave an example of a guy he knows... a rich guy who earns a comfy five-figure salary every month...more than what most people earn in a year. You'd think this guy would be very happy... but far from it. He's always unhappy and complaining that he doesn't earn enough money...but the thing is this guy doesn't even spend the money. He just earns a hoopla of dough every month and keeps it away, spending most of his time making more money rather than enjoying what he has made. For him, he only wants to make the money. That's where he gets his kick, and he has a goal of how much he wants to make. But for someone like him, even if he does reach his 'target' salary, he STILL won't be happy... because then he'll just continue wanting more. And he'll never be happy because of it.

But letting go of our 'wants' doesn't apply only material things, my friend explained. He also gave the example of his mother, whose favourite son is my friend's eldest brother. Unfortunately the eldest brother has never shown much appreciation for his mother, although she has helped take care of his children, cook food for his family, etc, etc. And because she wants to receive some form of appreciation from him but never gets it, she always complains about it and feel dejected. My friend simply advises her that if she wants to continue to dot on her son and his children, she should do so without expecting anything in return, since it only causes her grief.

So I shared this little conversation with my Buddhist friend with the cell group... and at the end of it I said that it was an interesting teaching, but Psalm 23 goes further. Coz' it not only tells us that by having God in our lives, we will no longer want (or need) anything... but at the end of the psalm, it also says "Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life". And so Psalm 23 tells us that God not only provides us with what we need and make us not 'want', but goes even further by providing us with love. And that's one up on Buddhism (with full respect to my Buddhist friends).

The truth is, I said all that coz' it was a nice comfy text-book answer... but honestly I would have had so much more to say on the topic of 'wanting' that would have been much less fine and dandy, but I would have been opening a can of worms, most likely giving my cell leader a headache and potentially raising doubts in the others about their faith, which would have been BAD. This is part of the reason why I kinda lost my steam for cell group. I find it unconducive for asking difficult questions coz' either no one can really answer (or at least give some good opinions as food for thought), or I worry how the difficult questions will affect the faith of others. But I like opening up cans of worms. >:)

DISCLAIMERRRR: If you are a new Christian / Christian who doesn't like hearing difficult questions about your faith and just think all Christians should just have blind and not ask such silly things, please stop reading now. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Listening to my Buddhist friend, I thought that the concept of being happy by learning not to want really made a lot of sense to me. I don't consider myself a person of high ambition and wanting a lot of new stuff... but nevertheless, there are some things, as in inmaterial things, that I do want. I wanted something so much that I have prayed for God to provide it (and I don't plan on sharing what it is here, coz' a girl needs her secrets. ;)). But after such a long time of not getting what I prayed for, I ended up being disappointed. I know that I'm not supposed to treat God like a Santa Claus, asking Him for stuff and kicking up a rebellious fuss if I don't get what I want. But I do think that want I asked for was a good thing... you know... in line with his will or whatever, coz' in a way it would hopefully have helped me grow in my faith as well.

The unfortunate result has been that now I try not to ask for anything when I pray now. I still pray in other ways... thanking God for a blessings, talking to Him when I need to bitch about something but I don't want to tell people, etc, etc. But asking Him for anything now is difficult for me... just coz' I don't want to be disappointed if I don't get what I prayed for. I absolutely abhore that feeling of disappointment, whether it's due to people or God. I would almost say I have a fear of disappointment, which has led to me developing a 'fear' of having too close relationships. It's not a good thing, I know, but shit happens.

Even then, I still do pray every now and then for something, with some sort of miniscule hope that it will happen, even though Christians always say that when we pray, we should believe in complete faith that it will happen, but I really can't do that coz' I also believe that God can up and decide that what we asked for is not the best for us and just not give us what we asked for. And voila, my complete faith would be completely crushed coz' on the surface level, it seems God decided to take my prayer request and shove it in the backburner.

Now my prayer is more along the lines of "Please God, provide for me what I ask for, but if You don't plan to do so, then please God, take away my desire for this thing I'm asking for so at least I don't feel so crappy". Even then, my prayer for request no. 2 is still not answered and I still feel like crap for not getting what I'm asking for.

That in turn has brought up the question in my mind... did God decide not to take away my desire for this thing I really want, but am not getting, because:
A) He insists on not doing everything for me so I have to figure out how to deal with it myself which helps me develop 'character'
B) He doesn't have the power to take away my desire ~(:O)
C) He wouldn't take away my desire because He created humans to have free will and removing my desire is akin to removing part of my free will
D) He derives some for of entertainment in watching me pine away for something I can't get

Ok, I'm not that serious about the last one, but the thought does pop into mind after a while.

Nevertheless, if there's one thing I believe I have never lacked in, it's hope. I still hope for the thing that I want, and even though I do get disappointed and have a beef with God sometimes, that hope keeps my desire, and my faith in God, somewhat afloat.

Well hey, I ended with a somewhat feel-good note. That wasn't too bad eh. :P Here some lolcats to make u smile.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Today in church, Pastor Mal talked about making u-turns in life. In other words, when you know you're not doing something right in your life (going the wrong direction), with Jesus, there is always a chance to repent and 'u-turn' back to the right path. And he shared the story of a murderer on death row who gave his life to Jesus and became a totally changed person who ministered to many others prison inmates before being executed.

I just wonder... what about the people who are not so driven to change. Those who say they repent and actually have tried to change, but eventually go back to their old 'sinful' ways because they lack the willpower to change? Or those who have been taught these Christian values from a young age were never really so 'sinful' in the first place but then later on go tired of being so 'good' that they became 'sinful' just for the fun of it. They always say God can provide the strength to live according to His ways if you ask for it... but when people 'u-turn' back to the wrong direction even after they have have pledged to make a change and prayed for help to become a more Godly person, does this mean God didn't really give the strength to that person, and instead such strength (or desire to change) has to come from the person itself?

I've changed my way of thinking on the purpose in asking God to change me for the better. But anyway, there have been many times that I have asked God to help change me for the better, but eventually after the spiritual euphoria wears off, I end up going back to being the same person doing things I know I shouldn't be doing. The atheists would throw their hands up in glee, saying that this goes to show that God doesn't really exist after all, coz' He didn't answer my prayer even though it was to change to be better. But I have thought about it, and have the feeling now that if God is really there, and He really wants us to make a 'u-turn', then it should be something that comes out of our own desire, and not because He voodoo-ed us into becoming someone else. In other words, if I really appreciate what God has done for me, I shouldn't need to ask Him to help me change to be more like what he wants, I would do it automatically out of love and appreciation.

The next question is, would God still forgive such a person who continues to live going in the 'wrong direction' because they have just kept trying and trying to change themselves for the better, but always ends up failing to the point where they just can't be bothered anymore? Some people might say, yes, God is always ready to forgive if you really want it, some might say that the lack of ability to change one's sinful ways to God's way is already a sign that the 'repentance' in not sincere. But there is a difference between sinning on purpose and taking God's forgiveness for granted, and sinning because you can't really help yourself and sometimes if you don't do what you've been taught is 'wrong', you end up feeling like crap anyway. I don't wanna give an example of what I'm talking about, coz' it's something you either understand if you're going through it, or you don't, in which case, you don't need to know.

Just some tough questions that swam into my mind today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The blog got a makeover!

I finally got sick of the old look and did a total revamp of my blog, with a little help from where I got my current template from. Since now I have another blog ( for me to write about more frivolous stuff (it was intended to be money-spinning blog with ads and all, but I don't post much anyway and my grand earnings from my ads now are probably less than a 50 cents), I've decided to change this to a place for more personal ramblings, and I thought a the diary look would be pretty cool. The idea is that now only my good friends will know about this blog and everyone else I'm acquainted with but not so close to can read my other blog, but of course, I don't do a great job of keeping this blog private either, so anyone on the web can find it if they looked hard enough. lol. So well, I just like segregating my personal thoughts from my frivolous posts now. Sorry if you're confused.

One problem now is that the right 'page' is mostly empty now coz' it's the sidebar. And for the moment the page navigation buttons are missing and the 'Subcribe to Posts' link at the bottom doesn't work properly. I don't have the time to fix it now though, so I'll crack my brains on this later (of course, any html geniuses who can help me out would be much appreciated!).

I also got rid of the music player, which I know was annoying to some people, but I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it for a while since it's also being used by my friend Carol Rasiah on her blog, Just Being Autonomous. The other Carol was a friend of mine with a bone disorder that made her extremely stunted and she died in a car accident at the end of 2009, as I blogged about earlier here. Yeah, it was sad.

And yes, also changed the blog title. Just coz' my previous blog title (Crimson Shadow) didn't really match my blog url. 'Nuanced' is "possessed of multiple layers of detail, pattern, or meaning", which kinda reflects the intention of my blog. But if that confuses you too, just accept that I changed the name and smile. ^_^

Anyway, more posts coming soon, maybe I hope. :P