a homecooked meal

and your mom sitting at the sofa, greeting you with a huge smile when you’re back home from work


i am honestly confused if i just read my fifteenth book for the year or not.

about 2 months ago i cleared my room and decided to get rid of my smattering jodi picoult and twilight collection that reminded me of my poor adolescent taste. my mom found a christian community that took in old books and clothes, so i spent a good deal of my last 2 weeks before i started working just clearing my room. i saw nineteen minutes by jodi and had zero recollection of reading it before – because i still have about 10-15 unread books on my shelf after all – so i kept it aside.

then my mom told me that on monday shems planning to reach out to the christian community again for a second donation and i thought ok time to finish reading the book. i have a habit of flipping right to the end of every book to see how many pages i have to read before it ends and i saw that the font was big and it was just 500 odd pages – so, alright, i thought this shouldn’t take too long to read.

there have been a few times over the past 2 years that i’ve felt “wow i’m getting old” and reading that jodi picoult book made me realise how my appetite for books has evolved, without really realising so. i think it didn’t help that i had recently read we need to talk about kevin, which also revolved around the same theme of suicide shooters, and that was definitely more enthralling and made jodi’s 500 pages look like honest childplay. wow how did i make that sound like i’m some condescending book critic? 

where was i. 

so i read about 260 pages and all was good and then the book started becoming familiar. it is/was odd that i don’t remember reading the first half before but clearly remembered the second half. which also meant that i wasted 3 hours of my time… in a way, i guess. 

..the long weekend is two-thirds over and i’ve never realised how completely liberating it is to just rest at home, even if it was with a pretty shitty book. 

fifteen books down, fifteen more to go before the year ends! 

also, i think i really may say goodbye to waiflike soon because there really are too many people and too many ghosts who know this space and it no longer feels quiet. 

today i sponsored a kid from the united states of america, her name is francis perry and she will turn 11 years old this november. her card was the first that i saw as char and i walked to the child sponsorship table. as cliche as it sounds i remember thinking “this is the child” and i made a quick decision there to set aside $35 every month to hopefully make her life a little better. 

it’s really interesting how things have panned out. i remember close to 6-7 years ago, char showed me the card of the philipino girl she was sponsoring. i didn’t know how to feel and there was that skeptic side in me that thought “does this $35 really make a difference?” 

and now here we are. i guess i will never ever truly know whether my small contribution makes a difference, but i want to give without expecting. i feel privileged to be in this position where i can give, without having to worry about whether i have enough. i have enough. and i find myself once again feeling so grateful and getting a timely reminder of how God provided and over provided in 2016.

and i don’t want to come off as parading this as a humble brag or to receive compliments that what i’m doing is noble or whatever synonym that comes along. 

it’s just a blessing to be able to give, and i hope that i never forget this.

i am on a cab. everything honestly feels like a blur. i have forgotten what it’s like to feel the alcohol run through my veins, to feel it gingerly on my fingertips. i am in control and not entirely. i think of the blotches on my face due to the omnipresent asian flush and i do feel slightly self-conscious. did they see the flaws in my make-up application? did they notice how widely i smiled compared to my usual subdued and overly serious persona? i am still on the cab. i did not realize how quickly we have travelled from point A to point B. i called shotgun and everything is wide in perspective. he, the driver, is driving extremely slow and i find myself drumming my fingers on my laptop. hurry up, i think. but “is it possible for you to drive faster” i ask. 

then in my head i visualize him speeding. finally. we are moving faster. but then we hit a car. and there i see myself in the bird’s eye view that i had when i read the bell jar many years ago. lying on some pavement, my body is contorted but i can’t make out my facial features. maybe the skin has been torn off or maybe i actually didn’t look at all.

it flashes in my mind for a second and then it’s gone. 

it was real, wasn’t it?

my friend syl asked me. 

“reading and drawing”

“wow yes it’s as anti-social as it sounds”

have been making reading a habit, particularly when i’m commuting. it’s been at least 2 years since my social media notifications have been disabled and now that i’ve started working, i really don’t want to become a social media slave or a working adult drone. really going to make self-improvement and self-awareness a daily occurence in my life. 

2017 feels like it has just begun. excited for this new season of challenges, learning more about myself through these challenges, growing as a strong Christian and always seeking to be a better person!!!!! 

i am on my 7th day of work and my body is already showing obvious signs of fatigue; dry eyes in the morning, strange pimples on my chin and pronounced eye bags by 5pm. 

today my parents sent me to work which approximated to be $10 “still cheaper than a cab” and just wanted to write about how thankful and grateful i am to be so utterly spoilt and loved. i shared with char and wini on saturday that i really want to stay grounded in a spirit of gratitude even when things start getting hectic. i was briefly reminded of how a sermon at NCC talked about how we tend to forget how thankful we were for a particular situation in the past. eg. was thankful and felt fortunate to be able to enter a local university course after A’s but months into university, i would forget that lens of thankfulness and instead my thoughts would revolve around “can’t wait to graduate” 

and similarly, i realized that the same could happen so easily at work. 

i just wanted to remind myself to

– focus on the little nuggets of positivity even when work overwhelms me

– never to sacrifice or diminish my capacity to work on personal growth and development 

– continue to seek God in all that i do, even when it seems frivolous

witnessed for myself and have received feedback from two friends – char and sherrie – that they can see an obvious change in me. “you’re not weighted down by earthly situations” and i’m just so amazed at how my walk with God has accelerated so much over the past month. 
it’s gonna be a great 6 months left of 2017 🙂