To My 21 Year Old Self

I was reading What I know Now: Letters to my Younger Self and it inspired me to think about what I would say if I did write to my younger self. Since I turned 34 yesterday, I thought it apt that I try this exercise out. So given a choice, I’d pick the time I’m about to turn 21, that’s the year I reckon I was going through a quarter life crisis.

Dear Carlene,

I know you’re wishing you could find a crystal ball that’ll tell you exactly what to do and show you that there’s nothing to fear about the future. But what’s the fun in that 🙂

Thanks to our parents, you actually have a good head screwed on pretty tight and here’s me, letting you know everything will actually turn out ok … maybe even better than ok.

Just in case, you do find this letter, here’s my advice. Watch that ego. It’ll be a number of years before you actually understand it but truly there are more important things in life than being right and and and … who’s to say, you ARE right anyway? Truth isn’t black and white and everyone’s version is honest as the next.

Which brings me to this, learn to be honest with yourself. This is probably one of the hardest lesson you’ll have to learn. Expectations from others are always going to be there but if you can’t be honest with yourself, you’ll be one of those deluded people you’re always complaining about.

With that I hope you enjoy turning 21, remember to always make time for the important people in your life and like Daddy and Mummy once advised, “When you deal with yourself, use your head.  When dealing with others, use your heart.”  It’s your family and friends that will make the difference in your life.

And one more thing, be grateful for your problems … it can always be worse 🙂

Still Learning,
Carlene

P/S: You will find the man who inspires you and makes you laugh on a daily basis.  He just isn’t the one you’re dating right now.  I did say it will get better 🙂  Enjoy!

This is me writing before I left for India so I’m actually not sure what I’m thinking the day after I turn 34.  If I have it down in a journal, I’ll post it up when I get back.

Meanwhile, to Steve Jobs, Nigel Hogan, Lim Linli and all you other 24th of Feb babies, hope you had a good one!!!

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Where The Bloody Hell Are You?

When I watched the film Australia, I was reminded of what I missed about living there – the friendliness and relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel quite at home. Then I was reminded about a campaign that Australian Tourism did, which I thought was brilliant but it wasn’t so well received by all, especially the Pomps who banned it in their country.

When I first saw it, I was laughing and thinking to myself how truly Aussie the ad was. I think no one else, other than an Aussie sheila in her cossie, could pull off the line as a welcoming one. Of course, there are people in this world who aren’t quite as chill and thought it was plain rude. I’m just glad they aren’t my friends :p

The year this ad came out, I was working at the Singapore Tourism Board and we came up with this one.

The commercial was actually never seen in its entirety (except on You tube), and we got some flack for it.  Some didn’t think it showed Singapore.  While I can see their point, I actually still stand by it.  I like how it’s a flavour of everything and a tad intriguing at the same time.  Oh well, we try our best and if that isn’t good enough, we try something else 🙂  Explains why I am where I am right this very moment 😉

The Visitor

One of my friends reckons this film to be his Top 10 of 2008. While I enjoyed it and especially loved the ending, I’m not completely sold that it’s top 10.

What would you do if you came back to your own apartment and they were strangers living in it? Especially if you’re a widower who has lost all motivation to live. You open your heart to them and maybe, just maybe they’ll touch your life so you’re forever changed. And I guess that’s why it could be a top 10 type of film. The script was wonderfully written and the actors were good, everything else like direction and cinematography was alright. Not bad but not great.

For me, I loved the idea of hope the film offered. Hope. That’s a big thing for me. That’s why I think the world keeps spinning 🙂 and I love how films like this pushes us to think about the world differently, albeit every so slightly. Here’s one you have to watch on the big screen or when you’re in the mood for a thought provoking stuff, if not you’ll just fall asleep.

Update #2 From India

Here’s another quick update from India 🙂 

Since arriving in Nawan Nagar, I’ve had to hand wash my clothes, there isn’t a washing machine where I am and even if there was one, it wouldn’t be that useful since electricity drops in and out all the time … I don’t think a machine could ever finish its cycle.

Anyway, here’s what I’m realising, my washing machine probably doesn’t clean as well as my own two hands can.  Yep, with your own two hands, you can really get the dirt out and get to spots I can’t imagine my machine would even think off.  I’ve also developed a fondness for washing socks 🙂  They’re soft, small and really a treat to see them get so clean after a wash, as they get quite dirty because of all the dust.

However, despite how much I’m enjoying the my hand washing sessions, when I come home to Singapore, I’m going to give my washing machine a hug :p  Only because, I don’t think after a day at work, I want to spend an hour and a half washing something like 8 articles of clothing :p  Yes, I do take that long to hand wash.  I never said I was an efficient handwasher of clothes, I’m a thorough one though 🙂

Till my next trip to town, hope all is as well as I am in Nawan Nagar, India.

Equality

I was clearing my inbox and came across an email from a friend asking me to sign a petition about repealing 377A. I remember having very strong views and wanted to blog about it then. However, being in my 30s has taught me to be less impetuous, give myself some time so I can write genuinely about the subject.

I remembering signing the petition and having a conversation with a friend who didn’t. I was surprise, very surprise she didn’t since one of her closest friend is gay. Her thoughts were that since no one was going to enforce anyway why make such a fuss?

Why? For me, it’s because not so long ago, a group of people made enough fuss so that I have the freedom to choose whatever I want to be, to be able to got to school, to have a voice, to know I’m not a second class citizen and that being a woman is no different from being a man. Even though today, as I type this, there are some societies that reckon women aren’t the same as men. Those women don’t have rights as I do.  Maybe coz no one thought it was necessary to fuss.

So fuss, yes, I have to fuss because I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to fuss. I am choosing to fuss, and here’s me fussing. I’m not talking about loud judgemental yelling that everyone has every right to choose, that every marginal person should have the same opportunity, that discrimination at any level shouldn’t be what isn’t tolerated.

No, I’m not advocating being rude.  Not at all, I’m talking about being the change I want to see in the world.  I’m talking about how I live my live and how I’m choosing to treat everyone straight, gay or bi with the same love and that’s my way of fussing … I’m still working on treating every fundamentalist, racist, sexiest, hypocrite out there with the same love … I’m no Mother Teresa or Ghandi though … not yet anyway … but if both my Grandmas could have done it in their lifetimes, I have hope yet 🙂