Changing winds

I’m thinking about writing.  I think about writing a lot.  I pick up potential cues from my surroundings, from purple trees to children’s playgrounds, to mundane things like being stuck in traffic.  I think about ideas for novels, for non-fiction books, about successful people I would love to get to know so I can write a captivating biography.

But I don’t write enough to call myself a professional writer.  The confidence in my craft is not there yet.

I want to be a writer.  I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was at the age of 11 but it was drilled into my head that writing, music, even marketing were not viable choices for a stable and well-respected career.  Like many people, I want to publish a book – a novel to be specific – perhaps for young adults, as I fondly recall my nose being buried in book after book, after book after book, in my younger years.  I want to make someone fall in love with books the way my favourite authors did.  Books are food for the soul, and they will continue to be throughout your lifetime.  Books can give you inspiration, books can tickle your heart, books can make your insides clench up as you watch the protagonist’s heart break – over aspirations, over a boy or a girl, over betrayal.  You become an omnipotent being hovering from above, perhaps into a rippling lake from your realm, to watch the story within unfold. You see everything, you hear everything, even the deepest thoughts of each character.  But ultimately it is the author who holds the control of the ripples.  It’s up to the author what he or she is willing to show you: which character, what thoughts, where it all happened and in what order of events.  Just how will they take you through the narrative, to keep you interested, to keep your heart pounding, or weeping, or tickled?

It’s a fine art, fiction writing, and it was the first thing on my Bucket List as a child.  Well, I didn’t call it the “Bucket List”; it was one of the “Things I Would Love to Do as a Grown-up”.

But somewhere along the way a new vision – a distraction – prevailed. The prospects of money, glamour and fame that comes with being a stunning, brilliant and formidable businesswoman, especially during a time where although Feminism is a term that is thrown around a lot, still less than 20% of our 500 Fortune Companies C-Suite executives are female.  I wanted to be one of the powerful women to push this statistic, to show that gender equality really works for the good of the world and thus female empowerment is not something to discourage, to shut down, or to fear. With female empowerment there should be no questions asked about whether or not a girl should get an education; no questions asked about whether or not rape is a horrific and cruel crime at any time – by anyone (and needless to say the perpetrator should be severely punished, not the victim shamed); no questions asked whether a girl can make sound decisions when given the same information as a boy.

This new ‘vision’ was too attractive to not at least give it a shot – especially when the ‘world was my oyster’ to the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young adult. Money, fame and a worthy social mission.  “It’ll be awesome.”

But I had no idea – nor had any interest to find out – what the journey to the very top of the corporate ladder would entail, what the kind of environment the corporate world could be, and just how unfathomably huge this tiny world in our universe is.  I banked on my personality doing a complete flip, and trusted this flip to generate the charisma and confidence needed to lead thousands of people.  I had faith I had the brilliance needed to learn quickly and conquer the realm.  To say the least, I was incredibly ambitious, if not arrogant and naive.

So here I am, grounding myself, turning away from the distraction and re-aligning myself.

I will tell my story in detail.  It’s time to keep writing.

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Secret Admirers: Red tulips

It was one of those days. Gloomy, wet, miserable… I was walking home from the bus stop, side-stepping puddles as it continued to drizzle. As I walked up to my front door, the colours red and yellow jumped out at me, stunning as they sat vibrantly against the dull, grey hues of the day.

I realised it was a bouquet of tulips, delicately placed in a tall, sleek glass vase, and was now sitting patiently on my doorstep.  Tasteful.  I love tulips.  Mysterious though… No note, no from address, no confirmation that this bouquet was indeed intended for me. I quickly racked my brain for clues. Recent dates? Ended in disasters. Work? Nothing stood out.  Old flames?  I made sure those chapters were closed.

The question was eating at my insides now.

I decided I wouldn’t get anywhere on my front porch, especially considering the rain had escalated from a pitta-patta drizzle to a steady downpour.  Key to door, I picked up the vase and its contents and made my way into my house.

Deep in thought by this stage, I placed the flowers on the kitchen bench and took a step back to admire them.  Who do I know knows I liked tulips, I wondered… or was it just a coincidence and this was all a silly misunderstanding with the neighbours?

I reached for my phone for my contact list, in hope that with my amazing powers of deduction, I could work out just who my mysterious admirer was.  Phone in hand, you can understand my surprise when it started to ring.  Private number, great.

I took the call.  The line connected.

“Hello?  Jane speaking.”

“Hi there, Jane.  Did you receive the flowers I sent you?”

I could not recognise the caller’s voice.  It was unfamiliar, male, a little older.  It was soothing in a way – deep and melodic, but somewhat distant, like he was calling from a very far away place.

“Yes, thank you.  The tulips are beautiful.  I’m terribly sorry but there was no card-”

“No, there wouldn’t be, Jane, as I didn’t send one.  I’m surprised you’ve forgotten me so quickly.”

Before I could respond, the man went on, “But my name is not important right now.  You’ll remember when the time comes.  The important thing to note here, Jane, is…”

“I’m coming for you next.”

 

 

Written for today’s Daily Prompt: Secret Admirers.

favourite times of day

When the city stirs in the first rays of light, when birdlings chirp themselves awake to receive their first meal of the day, when the sweeping sound of automobiles brush the tarmac roads, building itself a symphony as its frequency rises.  When the streetlights dim as the sunshine seeps in, when night fauna arrive home to escape the heat to come.

When the city is still, when its inhabitants are sleeping, exhausted from its day of bustling busying of busy things.  When the silence echoes off building blocks, trees blanketed in a lasting shadow of the night.  When the occasional squeaking of misunderstood creatures is heard, when the deafening chorus of cars eventually dies down, and those who remain strike passing curiosity of plausible stories tied to their night journey.

It is during these times that one is most inspired.  Thoughts no longer drowned out by the day’s worry and the need to fix things that don’t really need fixing.  It is during these times when one can be at peace with oneself – still, content, tranquil – without a care in the world.  When the world seems to stand still, and thus giving one the gift, the same illusion which so many constantly chase after all their lives.

A gift of Time.

Poem by Jenny Ing

Rough Day Today
Information flows in constantly, digitally, verbally
Bombardment of advice, remedies, know-hows, somehow.
Overload to the point of spillage
The psyche can no longer contain

Don’t cry, don’t cry
Don’t cry

He said, she said, they said
I say. Who said?

Should dos, must dos, have tos

Voice unheard, words lost
To some lonely abyss
The soul dragged through the murky waters of society
Stunned by the fear of an impending
Checkmate

No, fuck you.

There is no should
There is no spoon

There is only the truest of true.

Strip away the wants, the should haves
Strip away the charadic Bullshit,
The suffocating facades.

For when you are on your deathbed
What questions will you ask

Did I work enough, did I slave enough,
Did I fight enough, did I bleed enough

Or did I love enough?

Do what you love, love what you do.

The choice is ours.
And I am thankful for that.

Just write

I was woken up by my bladder and now I don’t want to sleep; the night too peaceful to waste, the sound of the ticking clock too soothing to ignore. For the darkest hour of the night is almost past, so I eagerly await the dawn.

Black wall

So there I sat, gazing vapidly at the artificial wall of brick, located conveniently in the middle of a bustling cafe lined with pseudo earthy decor. Flimsy, painted black, its dimples and divots so subtle, only visible if you allowed the necessary focus. Zoom in to witness the designer’s eye for detail. Its tenant, a doe’s head — also artificial — is cool, hard, vacant, tarnished by the dog-eared poster of a personalisable coffee cup stationed right to its left, like one needs another reminder of how anything can be sold if marketed ‘properly’. Who really needs their face on a takeaway coffee mug, anyway? Who needs two? Are we really that self-obsessed with our own image? Self-promotion is the new religion it seems. #Selfies the latest trending ridiculousness. It is the latest necessary evil it seems — “oh how brilliant I am – look at me, look at me, look at fucking me.”

It does not quite inspire, nor does it sit well with me, this lip service.

The rhubarb, rhubarb of the cafe’s patrons reminds that the world keeps spinning, regardless of one’s disillusion of what the world was meant to be. The world does not seem to care it is losing yet another gentle, caring soul, like many thousands of others before it. Their only wish was to make the world a better place, they all had so much to offer, so much potential to unleash. Once eager, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, now carefully protecting their once free-flowing spring of greatness for fear it will be sucked dry, unable to sustain the next 40 years. The owners now jaded by the selfishness and duplicity of humanity. How dark one’s inner world has become from the rude awakening of a naive dream. The pastel hues that grew to neon brights have diminished to confused greys to consolidate into a midnight black. Does it have to be this way?

No. I refuse.

The new year is here, a sign of yet another new beginning.

They say it takes time to adjust to ‘the real world’, so why do we teach children to be so pure in the first place when we know it won’t prepare them for ‘the real world’ 20 years on? And what a despicable phrase — ‘the real world’, when so much of it is built on false pretenses of confidence and distracting charades of showmanship. What’s ‘real’ in that?

We teach children to be pure, to be kind and compassionate, to value character than riches because fundamentally we know, so many of us know, somehow we have fucked it up royally, with concepts of artificial fame and wasted wealth and short-lived popularity. Superficiality is toxic. It breeds insecurity. There’s that question again — what is real?

It is time to change.

It’s time to take off that mask, the mask we put on for fear of judgement and defensiveness, and we especially need to help those who have sewn it onto their flesh. We can unstitch, we can unhinge, and we can be set free.

Because for every hundred shitty things the world throws at you, being authentic will give you TWO hundred things to smile about. For one there’s less bullshit coming from at least one of us in this bullshit driven world.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t buy in to the bullshit.

點燈,let’s dance

開始明了,做人不需要那麽執著,那麼急躁,人生的路很長,不愉快的事會過去,開心的事要知足。凡事不是絕對的,也不會是死路一條。 人的適應能力其實很強,只要發揮自己的長處, 識隨機改變就ok。 對自己要有信心, 知自己的value! 人就是這樣,社會就是這樣的,不可能由一個人的力量完全改變。 知道自己的角色, 做好自己的本分就夠了,不需要做救世主,亦不可能做救世主。但是如果有人想佔你的好心,樂於助人的性格的便宜, 就偏不讓他佔便宜!

Be the change you want to see in the world but don’t let anyone take advantage of your kindness, consideration and generosity. Speak up for what you think is right or you will let the world destroy you.

It takes two to tango.