Plenty of Bunnies who are Jerks too

The other day, I was talking to a friend about Zootopia. He didn’t like it. I was like WHAT?!?!? In fact, he said it was a story that has been told time and time again and it was boring. BORING?!?! The proverbial tale that we’re all different yet the same, that there’s always more than meets the eye and change starts with me – the individual.

Ok, I do agree with that. It isn’t a new story and you do have to be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Except in Zootopia it’s the harmless cute sheep you have to keep an eye on. Yet it is a tale as achingly relevant in our 21st century as it was a hundred years, heck a thousand years ago. Kinda like how To Kill a Mockingbird can’t go out of style.

In a Trump Presidency world where fear led by ignorance creeps into every facet of our lives, I take heart that in a seemingly children’s tale like Zootopia we needed the effervescent bunny, Judy Hopps to remind us that someone can be ” a jerk who happened to be a fox. I know plenty of bunnies who are jerks.” In my last 42 years of my life, I’ve learnt that no one race, religion, gender, sexuality or age has dips on being a douche. Everyone can be a douche and if you take the time to have an open dialogue, get to know the person, you or at least I’ve come to realise that they can be as big a douchebag as I can be and in the greater scheme of things, they are capable of being kind, honest and supportive as I try to be everyday.

So I remind myself as much as I don’t like having to share this world with rude self-serving douchebags, the rest of us decent functional beings have to make the best of what we’ve got. The alternative reminds me of a sad tribe in the last season of The Walking Dead – hiding, pretending that we don’t exist as the douchebags try and take over the world. We just can’t have that and with more meaningful words of Judy Hopps,

“Real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us.”

That’s my theme for this week – how can I make it start with me?

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The Art of Being an Adult Child

This weekly post is a day late because I’m sitting in the Bali airport waiting for my flight to go back home to Singapore. It was the first solo weekend getaway with my Mum, it was also her first time to Bali. And it was a success, imho 🙂

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I’ve managed to make my Mum fall in love with Bali as much as I do. Honestly, before I wasn’t sure because there’s certain things my Mum doesn’t like … messy developing states and humid weather, just to name a couple but she does LIKE Bali, its massages and chilling by the villa!! That’s what I like being an adult child, being the one who opens our parents mind to something different, something new, something they would never do on their own. They did it for us while we were growing up and now as they are learning to get use to the next phase of their life -their silver years. They have to get use to us, the adult child being the ones who do the parenting.

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It’s so easy to see the stuff our parents do that drive us crazy, you know the stuff we complain about and eventually become 😉 Yah, those parts. For better or worse, I’m grateful I like my parents and if I’m eventually going to be like them, it isn’t going to be that bad. For me at least, not sure about my husband 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t perfect … far from it but they’ve who I got and they made me. You’ve heard the saying, ” Karma’s a bitch.” I’m my parents karma despite their pretty easy going ways raising me, I’m not an easy going adult child. I’m not quite sure why, I’m just not. I yell, I’m bossy and I’m controlling as hell but I’m learning trying to figure out life, being an adult, being me and when it comes to my parents, being an adult child.

I read a good advice somewhere once about how to be a good parent. It was simple. Just show up, be present and be there. It’s true, it really is quite that simple. You can’t always be there, can’t always be present and other times you simply can’t show up. Things happen, they do but you try your darn-est. Kids will get it. Me and my sister do.

So that’s what I’m learning about being an adult child, just try my best to show up, be present and be there. Next, to show up and be present while trying to open my parents’ mind to Google Drive and Dropbox 🙂

The Little Mermaid

I remember being 14 and loving this movie.  Little did I know, I’d actually build a career around animation.

My slightly more than 2 and a half year old godson, Christian recently saw it for the first time and Under the Sea is what he’s got the beat for nowadays.  So during our date yesterday, he and I watched it together.  Despite being 27 years old, The Little Mermaid doesn’t feel dated at all.  Still made me do a little jig, root for Ariel and wish I could be a mermaid.

In 2037, I hope when people watch the reruns of Insectibles, they’ll feel the same way 🙂

 

Feeding My Soul

By most standards, I’m really really blessed.  Sure, I don’t get everything I want and that I believe keeps me humble and grateful.  For the most part, I’ve been given gifts that I don’t even realise I need.  One such gift is having 2 others places to call home in Perth and Vancouver.  2 beautiful cities in the world where I get to soak up all the nature I never knew I needed … even craved.

Our annual jaunt back to Vancouver saw me jump in a lake for the first time in my life and LOVING it.  It was like I could swim forever and not come up.

Evans Lake where my brother-in-law had a lovely forest wedding was also where I became a lake swimming virgin no more 🙂  The cold of the lake surprised me more than I expected but much more than that was how I felt like I could just go on swimming and swimming and swimming.  The water felt crystal clean.  I could never touch the bottom of the lake no matter how long I tried to hold my breath.  If not, for the wedding happening in the afternoon, I don’t think I would have left.  Yes, it did cross my mind to ask them to move the wedding party to the dock by the lake.  That was early in my trip and I hadn’t really thought much about how much stronger I felt leaving the lake than jumping into it.

Whyte Lake was the second lake I went swimming in.  My brother-in-law couldn’t believe that I’ve never swam in a lake before his wedding, he kinda made it his mission to expand my lake swimming repertoire.  So we did the Whtye Lake trail which leads you to the lake where you’re rewarded with a swim 🙂  This little hike and swim made me realised how much my body sucks up the energy from nature.  I felt winded doing the trail to the lake but after being among the amazing Douglas Fir trees and the swim, I had an unusual second wind.  It was like my body was fed and ready to go.  I started being aware of my surroundings and how it affected me.  Particularly how light I feel after being out in nature.

Growing up in Singapore, we aren’t naturally inclined to the outdoors.  It’s hot and humid most days and nature isn’t quite like it is in these other countries.  So we actually don’t know how much we get from nature, we simply never had the opportunity to find out.

And here’s the point of this post, growing up the concept of soul was a religious one.  On the way to the mid point of my life, I’ve learnt to read my soul better, to know it’s the source of why I can do good and be better.  When my soul is weak, temptations are easier to fall into, vices appear normal and I don’t yearn to try as hard to be the best version of me.  When my soul is fed, I am lighter even when things don’t go my way, when I don’t get what I want and the most negative of energies comes across like an annoying mosquito.  The question now is how do I keep feeding my soul in this concrete jungle of a home?

My Niece Turns 8

Today my first niece in my life turns 8 years old.  While I’m in Vancouver and she’s in Singapore but I’ll never let her forget how important she is in my life.  In her I see bits of her Mum, her Godma, her aunts and definitely bits of me.  I’m always so grateful for her life and how she lets me into it.  So this year on her 8th birthday, here’s my wish for her.

Dearest Mabel,

I say this every year, I can’t quite believe you’re 8 already.  You were just about 20months old at my wedding.  You’re such a tween already and in your ways I remember the growing pains of getting comfortable in your own skin.  Something I only learnt when I was in my 30s.  I’m hoping that lesson doesn’t elude you quite as long.  In the meantime, here’s Meryl Streep’s take on beauty:-

He would never imagine a blonde person could speak Italian – Meryl Streep

It’s always nice and a lot of fun to look pretty and yes, the world will always judge you by how you look.  Just remember though, it isn’t what the world thinks of you that is important.  It’s what you think of yourself and who you want to become.  Always stay true to the very best version of you.  It may take you a while to figure out who that is and when it gets tough, just remember you will figure it out one day.  Meanwhile, enjoy the ride and know we love you HEAPS!!!

XOXOXOXO

Coco Carlene

 

My Swiss Goddaughter

5 is a sweet number and if I started earlier, I would love to have had 5 children so as of today, it’s official, I’ve got 5 godkids 🙂  God works in mysterious ways and even though it’s not how you exactly pictured it, He’ll give you what you wish for.

That’s me and Caitlin as she officially becomes Catholic.  With Pope Francis and this nun:-

I couldn’t think of a better time to be part of the Catholic family. Especially since I’m no longer a Godma virgin, I actually have a better idea of what Godparenting entails now.

So to my dearest Caitlin,

You’re in much better hands than your Godcheachea who was my very first Goddaughter.  I’ve learnt a lot through her and so will you.

I love watching how she fusses over you, can’t wait for you guys to grow up together and have as much fun as we did growing up.  Meanwhile, little one, I couldn’t be more proud to be your Godma.  The world will get a little crazy and sometimes it seems hard to understand why God lets things happen the way they do but I’ll let you in on what I found out. His will is the best for us.  It may not always feel like it and that’s where we’ll learn what faith means.  I have a hunch you’ll get there a lot sooner than I will.  Yes, like your Godsiblings, I’m pretty sure you’ll be teaching me more than I will you.

I love you to bits and though a continent and then some keeps us physically apart most of the time, you’re always in my prayers and thought.

With lots of love, hugs and kisses,

Godma

P/S: With a 4 year old, 1 year old and a 1 month old, I say this is a pretty good picture 🙂

39 and One Quarter Years Old

25% of my 39th year is over and if I had to take stock, the last quarter has been quite revealing about how I’m still very much a work-in-progress.  There’s a clear picture in my head of the  84 year-old lady I hope to become and at close to 40, I don’t know if I’m halfway there but hey, we just keep trying 🙂

While I keep trying, here’s the two monkeys that make my ride so much more fun.  My little sister and my crazy cousin who is more a brother.  Growing up, these two have driven me crazy but at the same time, I know they always have my back like I do them.  Both of them have showed me unwavering support and when I make a mistake, they will be there to pick me up without asking questions.

As I get older, I’ve learnt to be grateful and in my last year of my 30s, I’m so thankful for the childhood memories these two monkeys gave me and I can’t wait to make more so that when we’re all silver and wrinkled we can look back at our mid life with the same fondness.