Sometimes, I write for my kids

I’m still in the process of writing #TheBridge and it has proven to be a very daunting task because of all the memories that I’m forced to revisit. 

So as I was scrolling through my newsfeed, I stumbled upon this post: Exes Ask Each Other Questions They Never Had A Chance To While Dating (Video), which I thought would be helpful but I was wrong. Half-way through the first video when she asked him why he cheated on her so many times, I had to end it. “I can’t watch this,” I told myself. His final answer to her was, “Yeah, I don’t have the answer to that.”

The reason I started #TheBridge (aside from the fact that some friends have been ‘encouraging’ me to write it for many years now) was because of my children. My 12-year-old is already interested in some girl from the opposite school. My 10-year-old, although she doesn’t seem to care about stuff like that, is also reaching that age. And we all know they grow up so damn fast. I have seven kids who will have to deal with I-don’t-know how many relationship problems each. I’m getting nervous just thinking about it. 

I’d like them to know what being in a relationship with the opposite sex is about. How they will cry their heart out at the most confusing time of their life and it’s all never like what they read in romance novels or what they see in rom-coms. How both parties can be too proud to admit their mistakes. About how they WILL make mistakes and hurt each other when they are trying to guard their own feelings. And how some broken pieces just remain unfixable. 

Sometimes I think the things we experienced when we were younger were just so petty and the ways we chose to handle them were just so silly. We were all so gullible back then. But, returning to those moments with our younger selves is still as painful. 

And this is when I wish I could just keep my kids in a monastery for the rest of their lives. Or stuff them back into my womb.

*** This was originally posted on my Facebook page on 6 June 2016.


The truth will set you free

Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet than to speak up in defence of ourselves when people misunderstand us or have been fed lies about us. Eventually, the God of truth will come to our defence and set us free. These thoughts have been on my mind for quite a while now. 

Incidentally, I stumbled upon a relatively new manga called Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (The Rise of the Shield Hero) yesterday. The story tells of an appointed warrior who was framed by the princess, accused by the people of something he did not commit, and outcast by the king of the land he was commissioned to save.

Despite being ostracised from being a part of a group of appointed warriors, he put his all into saving and protecting the villagers who thought ill of him. However, even after protecting and fighting the kingdom from an attack, there were people who still labeled him as a criminal and wanted to claim his most priceless possession. 

Of course, things worked out for him when the truth was revealed, when people realised his heart had always been in the right place and all those trash people were talking about him were false.

He never did try to prove that he was right because no one would believe him, anyway. Who was he compared to the daughter of the king? But he persevered in his mission and came out a victor.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, know that someday, the truth will be revealed and the Lord will set you free. For now, trusting in his protection is all you need.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 23 May 2017.

The lucky one

This article My Husband Thinks He’s The Lucky One. He’s Clearly Oblivious, And I’m Grateful For That. had me almost sobbing silly because of how close to home it hit. 

Hubs and I recently had an impromptu heart-to-heart talk which helped me out of my doubts and reassured me of so many things I feared was slowly disappearing from our marriage. 

My recent depression has diminished almost all of my self-esteem and confidence. With these missing parts of my life, I have been doubtful, distrusting, and horribly terrified of the ‘things’ around us that could rob us off our blissful married life. 

Going through this article, I discovered all the similarities I have with this woman whose husband also cherishes her like mine does me. I’m going to use her paragraphs as my guide as I don’t think I can write this right off my head, given how emotional I can be about this. Read at your time and pace. Or don’t read at all. I usually write more for myself than anyone else. 

I cursed under my breath, not for tripping over his shoes but the strap of his humungous bag placed at the end of our bed. I am kept awake by his snoring, not because I find it annoying but I am scared to hell that he has sleep apnea. He hardly calls me when he is travelling, causing me to worry so much I can’t sleep with the lights off. Most of the time, he doesn’t hear it when the baby cries at night. 

At dinner, I watch him eat and recall that when we were dating, he never pretended to be prim and proper to impress me. He was very transparent with me even when he was supposed to be charming.

Sometimes, when a bickering match turns into an actual arguing, and I know I’m right, when I know he’s the one being unreasonable, not me, I imagine what it would be like to be alone. And I shudder… because I cannot imagine what life would be like without him. Like this Kirsten Mae, I cannot imagine a life in which I would not have to consider my husband or have him as a partner to come to any decisions, even if it has nothing to do with him. 

Have I wondered if I might have been better suited for a different type of man – an ex-boyfriend, maybe, or some guy I just met? Yes. I have wondered. But when I did, I was more convinced that despite the tough and rough times my husband and I have with each other, I’d rather have them with him than any other man. I think we suit each other ridiculously well. 

Just like Kirsten, I would also catch my husband staring at me at times. And when I ask him (in irritation) why he is looking at me, he too, would say, “You’re beautiful.” I too, would shrug and pretend it doesn’t feel good to hear him say it. 

I would glower at my reflection in the mirror and curse at how horrible I look, especially with the ruffles on the skin of my overused tummy and everything else that isn’t adequate… And he would kiss those areas and tell me he loves them because they are perfect. 

My Whatsapp profile pic says, “I’m basically a girl with the personality of a dude.” It’s true. I can’t stand shopping. I dig my teeth after a meal. I wear t-shirts, shorts, and my trusty Converse everywhere I go. I don’t put on make-up. I don’t carry a girly handbag. I fart and belch whenever I feel like it. I hate bouquets. I do my own plumbing and fixing around the house. I sit like an Ah Pek at the kopitiam (Asian old man at a coffee shop). 

Still, my husband comments on my body a lot and tells me it’s perfect. He would ask the kids if they had a gorgeous mummy and flash a smug smile when they reply ‘Yes’ in a chorus. He loves my cooking (even though I rarely cook these days). He supports me in everything I do and today, he told me he liked the latest article I wrote and that it’s going to speak powerfully [to the people who read it].

“There are husbands who pick at their wives, who suggest they could stand to lose a few pounds or put on a little makeup or keep the house picked up better. Not mine. Wholly and unconditionally accepting of my entire being, everything about me, everything I do, he can’t stay mad for more than a few minutes. I don’t think he even knows how to hold a grudge.” This entire paragraph written by Kirsten, word for word, is as true for me as it is for her. 

I could find someone who doesn’t leave his things all over the place or his half-drank coffee cup on the breakfast table. I could find someone who would call every night when he is away travelling and not make me worry myself about his safety. I could probably find someone who doesn’t snore or sleep like the dead when the baby is crying her lungs out.

But I could search all over the world till the end of my life and never find someone as capable of loving me so unconditionally as my husband does. Or maybe I could, but it wouldn’t be me they would love. I am not an easy person to love. I am very particular in so many ways and get irritated over the slightest things that do not go my way. But he loves me anyway. 

My husband told me during that talk that there are things he doesn’t like about me and there are things I don’t like about him which we both would tolerate to keep our relationship going. But he had imagined that if it were somebody else, he would probably have to go through so much more to tolerate the things he wouldn’t like about that person 20 – 30 times. With me, it’s all very minor. He tells me he is lucky to have me. 

However, he’s got it the other way around. He could have loved anyone this much – someone more worthy, more appreciative, more graceful, smarter, and does not have the personality of a dude. But for some reason, he chose me, and continues to choose me every day. As if, to him, loving me comes as naturally as breathing. 

He is not the lucky one. I am.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 8 May 2017.