When I Grow Up…

I’m pretty sure that when most of us were children, we would have various ambitions and ideas about what we would be when we grew up. Apparently some of the lucky ones had solid careers in mind. Some people inherently knew that they wanted to be a doctor and to save lives when they grew up. Others knew that they wanted to be a housewife just like Mummy. The rest of us…Well, the rest of us changed our minds about what we wanted to be as we grew up. From being a chef when we played with our plastic cookery set as children, to being a pop star while singing along to Britney Spears songs as a teenager to being an attorney and battling it out in court after watching episodes of Ally McBeal.

I’ve had my share of ‘When I grow up…’ moments as well. I went through quite a few career options in my mind. Continue reading

3 a.m. Friends

There are friends and then there are 3 a.m. friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to have met some of these 3 a.m. friends along the journey we call life. These are the friends who you can rely on to bail you out from an unsavoury situation in the middle of the night. Not that I’ve ever been in one of these situations, thank goodness. Yet I know they would do that for me and I would do the same for them. I have however made a 3 a.m. call to a medical doctor friend of mine to seek her advice when I was ill in the wee hours of the morning and had just moved into a new apartment back in Sydney. Continue reading

An Ode to my Wonderful Parents

We’ve all heard about the ‘generation gap’ that exists between parents and their children. As teenagers and young adults, we most probably went through a bit of a rebellious stage whereby we disagreed over nearly everything our parents had to say.

I think as I grow older, I have learnt to appreciate them a bit more. I’m aware of the sacrifices they have made for me and the unconditional love that they’ve showered on me throughout my lifetime. It isn’t easy for me to express my love for them as I’m not one for blatant displays of emotion. Continue reading

Malaysian Street Food

One thing I missed about Malaysia when I was in Sydney was the little road side stalls selling an assortment of food and drinks. These stalls usually open during the mornings to catch the morning rush where people would purchase some of these foods to bring along to work for a simple meal or during the afternoons where people would pick out some tea time treats to get them through the late afternoon slump.

These stalls vary in size, ranging from just a couple of plastic tables to an entire row of such tables set up with the food neatly arranged side by side, packets of nasi lemak (coconut milk rice with chilli paste, anchovies, egg and cucumbers), fried flat rice noodles, fried vermicelli, fried yellow noodles, the kuih-muih (assortment of cakes) in oblong plastic containers ready to be picked up by tongs and slipped into plastic bags. Continue reading

Rise of the Superwoman : Can We Have it All?

As a child, I had plastic cookery sets complete with miniature frying pans, spatulas, sausages, eggs and the like. I enjoyed playing ‘masak-masak’ or cookery either by myself or with my female peers. In kindergarten I was known to have the best Polly Pocket sets. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the nineties, these were hand sized clam shell like homes that housed even tinier humans and pets about the size of a fingernail. I couldn’t quite fathom how they fit into pockets and came to the conclusion that perhaps American or European pockets were bigger than Asian ones. I favoured the colour pink and was told that it was Cinderella’s favourite colour. Till today Ariel from The Little Mermaid remains my favourite Disney Princess.


Polly Pocket

I used to be a little bit of a tomboy in primary school, dashing straight from the drop off point to play basketball with the boys despite being dressed in the school uniform of a blouse and a pinafore. Continue reading

Tough Times Don’t Last, Only Tough People Do

During a particularly low point in my life last year while I was still living by myself in Sydney, Australia, I had a chat with a childhood friend online. He’s a successful businessman and investor back here in Malaysia and Singapore and has been an inspiration for the past few years. He is also truthful about his own struggles in his personal and professional life and is quick to admit that the road to success is paved with setbacks and disappointments. There was a time in his life when he had to subsist on instant noodles and even cracking an egg into the noodles was deemed a luxury which could not be afforded all the time.

Pasta is the equivalent to instant noodles in Australia. Supermarket items in Australia regularly go on sale and I would scour the supermarket pamphlets weekly to see what was on sale. Continue reading

My Heart Wants What It Wants: Back To Working With Children With Disabilities

Some months ago, I told my close family and friends that I had brought my Master of Occupational Therapy certificate back from Sydney to Johor Bahru, Malaysia to be made into a plaque and hung up on the wall because I had had enough of working in that field. That I was moving on to something a little more glamorous, onwards to the world of high fashion, beauty and travel. And so towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I worked on my personal brand, set up a blog and did a photoshoot for it.

Yet there was a still voice in the back of my mind, emanating from the depths of my heart that I needed to continue working with children, especially those with disabilities. Continue reading

The Fame Monster

In this day and age of social media influence, the race to be ‘discovered’ and be famous still persists. With every ‘like’ that a Facebook or Instagram post generates, one feels a sense of glee that someone out there has acknowledged a status update or post. With every added Facebook friend and follower on Instagram, one is hopeful that they are on their way to becoming socially accepted by the masses.

I am not exempt from such emotions. It is deeply ingrained in us a need to be loved and accepted. Facebook and Instagram allow us to reconnect with long lost friends and keep in touch no matter where we are. But at times we take it way too seriously. Continue reading

Swim, girl, swim!

As a child, I had always wanted to learn how to swim. For years I had to be contented with frolicking around the children’s wading pool, or be confined to the shallow end of the adult pool, watching longingly as others swam freely within it. Finally when I was in primary school, at the age of 10, I enrolled in swimming lessons and learnt how to do the front crawl and the breast stroke otherwise known as the frog style. Finally, I was free to swim around the adult pool and swim laps like the others who had learnt the skill!

Fast forward to today and I am still an avid swimmer. The last apartment that I lived in in Sydney had a little indoor pool where I gladly did laps in after work. It was deliciously warm as it was heated during those dreary winter months. Continue reading

Zen : The Stillness Project with Tom Cronin

Whilst I was in Sydney, I had the absolute pleasure of being in the company of Pauline Nguyen, owner of the award winning Vietnamese restaurant, Red Lantern, mother, sister, best selling author and self proclaimed spiritual entrepreneur. She stated that a Harvard University study showed that every successful entrepreneur regularly meditated. My ears perked up at the mention of ‘Harvard’ and ‘successful entrepreneur’ and I asked Pauline who she studied meditation under. Her reply was, “Tom Cronin.” Continue reading