Being Catholic is Awesome

It wasn’t always awesome. Some time in history it was as bad as how my Muslim friends have it now with terrorists hijacking their religion and in even more recent history, maybe it’s still happening in secret, the whole paedophilia priest crisis is still a big issue. One that every Catholic still has to keep a keen eye and ear out for and take every step to make sure it NEVER happens again to another child. Yet the Pope Francis Effect is real. He truly is a beacon for Christ’s love to shine bright for the world right now.

Easter has always been my favourite Christian celebration so when this little message was making the viral rounds on the internet, my heart warmed. Honestly, I don’t know if Pope Francis said this because I tried to look for it online and couldn’t confirm it.

You can have defects, anxious and live irritated sometimes, but do not forget that your life is the biggest company in the world. Only you can prevent her from going into decline. There are many who appreciate you, admire you and love you. I would like you to remember that to be happy, is not to have a sky without storms, road without accidents, works without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.
To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the box of fear, love in disagreements.
Being happy is not only valuing the smile, but also reflecting on sadness. It is not just to commemorate success, but to learn lessons in failures. It is not just to have joy with applause, but to have joy in anonymity. To be happy is to recognize that life is worth living, despite all the challenges, misunderstandings, and periods of crisis.
Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but a conquest for those who know how to travel within their own being.
To be happy is to stop being a victim of problems and become an actor in one’s own history. It is to cross deserts out of itself, but to be able to find an oasis in the recesses of our soul. It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life.
Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It is knowing how to talk about yourself.
It is courage to hear a “no”. It is safe to receive criticism, even if it is unfair. It is to kiss the children, to pamper parents, to have poetic moments with friends, even if they hurt us.
To be happy is to let the free, happy and simple creature live within each one of us.
It is to have maturity to say ‘I was wrong’. It is to have the audacity to say ‘forgive me’. It is to have sensitivity to express ‘I need you’. It is to be able to say ‘I love you’.
May your life become a garden of opportunity to be happy. May you be joyous in your spring. In your winter you are friend of wisdom. And when you get in the way, start all over again. Then you will be more passionate about life. And you will discover that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use tears to water the tolerance. Use the losses to refine the patience. Use flaws to sculpt serenity. Use pain lapping pleasure.
Use obstacles to open the windows of intelligence.
Never give up ….
Never give up on the people you love.
Never give up being happy, because life is a must-see!

This is the Pope Francis Effect though, anything positive, encouraging and radiating with love the world believes it’s him. I’ll take that, we need all the warm and fuzzy we can get in this somewhat dark time we currently love in. So, in celebration with all the Christians around the world today as we rejoice that the Lord has risen, it’s so much easier to believe with Pope Francis making it real for all of us.

That’s my theme for the week, thanks to Pope Francis or of all things positive on the internet #nevergiveupbeinghappy 🙂 Happy Easter everyone!

 

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Meant To Be

Do you believe in fate? That things are meant to be? Couple of weeks ago, I gave up my Coldplay ticket in Singapore to a friend. No fuss, I did want to go but he wanted it more for someone else and asked. I said ok and I was actually ok. Though I do like Coldplay and would have liked to go and see them. Fast forward to April 7, I arrive in Bangkok for a weekend getaway with a couple of friends and guess what I find out? Coldplay is playing in Bangkok on April 7! So I went, if we could find reasonable tickets, we’ll go and we did!

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After a crazy ordeal of collecting our tickets, which we weren’t sure were legit or not till we were seated in the stadium, and navigating to the venue on foot, we got there just in time for them to come on stage and start the show. I’m definitely a fan of the earlier albums, the first one in particular but it was still a very enjoyable show with the band coming across sincere and like they were genuinely having fun. More than that, I got to share the concert with one of my dearest mates who isn’t my typical concert buddy but I think that will change now. So do you believe that some things are just #meanttobe? I’m already sold on the concept … though a very logical part of me fights it a lot. Getting to watch Coldplay in Bangkok with Resh was just meant to be.

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine going through the ordeal of navigating traffic, taking trains when there’s no cabs, walking and walking and walking, waiting an hour for a cab that on the app said was only 9mins away with someone who wouldn’t call it quits and brought out the best in me despite the highly stressful situation. It open a side of each other we already knew but I guess with this experience solidified the fact that we do complement each other in the way lifetime friendships are built. That’s why I had to give up my Singapore ticket and come to Bangkok to watch Coldplay instead.

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In the greater scheme of things, there is a plan, reasons for why things happen or who comes into your life. Even the bad stuff, there is a reason. Someone out there makes it all happen, someone bigger, someone who knows more, someone who has a plan. My role is to surrender and trust. To be grateful. To keep an open mind. I don’t have to understand when it happens but it’ll eventually be made clear. Like with the Coldplay concert, I get why I had to give up my Singapore ticket so easily. I was meant to go, just in a different city with a different friend 🙂 And possibly start a new tradition!

Here’s to things that are meant to be! Just let go and trust is my theme for the week.

 

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 🙂

Fairy Tales and Survivor

Survivor, the reality TV series is in its 34th season. Yes, 34 and among my social circles, I’m one of the very few who still watches it. Most of my dearest and nearest can’t quite understand and wonder why I still do.

Well, it’s because it’s really like real life. Every season I watch it going, “OMG that’s exactly what happens in the office or on the roads to at a sale in a department store.” In the TV series, I get why these contestants can get ruthless, they could possibly get a million dollars at the end. In my real life, I don’t understand why some people can be the worst version of themselves for the most insignificant of rewards. Maybe for them, it may not be a million dollars but enough to throw human decency out of the window.

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But but but every so often there will be a season that makes me realise in Survivor or real life, good guys do and can win. Not often, just enough and that’s all I need. The world IS filled with shitheads and douchebags. I’ve even had the unfortunate opportunity to be acquainted with some of them but I don’t live for them and all the toxicity they bring.

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I live for the fairy tale moments shared between kind, compassionate souls. And truth be told, even shitheads and douchebags are capable of them and those are the moments, the good days that make everything else worth while. Like the last episode of Survivor: Game Changers, the moment when crazily competitive contestants let a Mama goat and her kid go and choosing not to kill them for food. I never thought I’d ever see it on Survivor. When I did, my heart warmed up and knew at the end of the day decent humanity will always triumph.

 

Kong: Skull Island

Alright there will be spoilers so if you haven’t seen Kong – Skull Island and don’t want to know anything except that it is a really fun ride, please stop reading now.

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For the rest of you, it’s Monsters on an Island and Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t win but the creature work is breath taking. It’s a good monster movie with enough eye candy to keep everyone happy. Geeks because there’s so many so many monsters and monsters going full on at it with each other. Well animated monsters with out of this world abilities. Happy happy  happy. Girls too, will be happy, there’s Tom Hiddleston ‘nuff said and the boys have Brie and Jing who managed to keep their hair in place the whole movie. Even when they were running from monsters, out of this world type of monsters.

Story wise, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting so I think that’s why I was sufficiently satiated. Like I said, it’s a monster movie so keeping it real is a good way to go. I was expecting out of this world creature work though and I wasn’t disappointed. My fascination with creatures started when I was about 7 and saw the Kraken come alive in Clash of the Titans. The next time I was 18 and after watching Jurassic Park, I walked out of Lido believing that dinosaurs were well and alive. ILM definitely did not disappoint again and it was extra warm and fuzzy because ILM Singapore had a big hand in this movie too. Kong was awesome as the beast with amazingly believable eyes. The eyes  always give bad computer graphics away and that’s why I wasn’t disappointed. The director Jordan Vogt-Roberts sets up the scenes with the eyes really well too where the close ups of the human’s eyes and Kong’s eyes were shot in the same way. Now I am really excited about Kong vs Godzilla now! Something to look forward to in 2020.

Till then, I did fall in love with Kong and somewhere in my heart, I do long to be the girl in the middle of his palm and then I start to wonder what would he smell like?

Kit Kats and the Afterlife

Today is my Grandfather’s birthday. He would have been 88 so I’ll say a little prayer, have a Kit Kat and remember that all my fiesty-ness comes from him. My Kongkong loved Kit Kat. When he was in his wheelchair and barely had any teeth left, he’d still smack his jaws together and ate Kit Kat. It’s been more than a decade since he called heaven home, I still can’t see a bar of Kit Kat, not think of my Kongkong and wonder what happens in the afterlife.

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I grew up Catholic and for all intent and purpose, I suppose I’m still a practicing Catholic but as I venture into my 40s, I have a more complete understanding of spirituality. No one can actually tell you what happens after you die. Some have tried and whether you believe them or not comes down to faith. My faith was built on Christianity but my unspoken understanding of what happens when we die comes from somewhere much less structurally cognisant.  Not something I can articulate clearly but death always gave me some kind of comfort. Sad for sure, only because I’ve lost the physical form of someone I love. For whatever reason, it wasn’t a fearful concept and when my first grandparent passed away, I was even more certain when it’s my turn, they will be on the other side and I have absolutely nothing to worry about. Just lots of catching up to look forward to 🙂

Does it come from my Catholic faith? I don’t think so. Is it past lives? Catholics don’t believe in past lives and that’s a concept I can’t quite get my head around. That’s a whole other post I can write about. Back to afterlife, I don’t have a logical explanation but I always seem to innately know there is life after death. It was never a question for me. Life just continues, keeps going, I don’t know how but something in me just knows it does. I’m definitely not saying I’m right, I could totally totally be wrong. Who knows? If there’s any way I can come back and let you know, I will.

Meanwhile, this 40 something tries to take in each moment and remember in the scheme of eternity this moment is literally a blink of an eye. With that, in this sliver of time called today, I’ll throw a little caution to the wind and have myself a Kit Kat 🙂

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