Heart-breaking truths that resonate through to the depth of your soul. There are a lot of things that are unjust with the world… As a teacher, to advocate for the children, to let their voices be heard; that, is something that drives me, gives me purpose, and the meaning of life.
Empathy is a crazy thing. As a child, I was naive and unaware of how precious life was. I didn’t understand hardship, I couldn’t empathise with struggles; I guess I had lived a privileged life.
But as I grew to understand more of the world and how much of it couldn’t be under one’s control, I started to change. To even try to put myself in other’s shoes had devastating effects on my emotions. Pain, sickness, suffering… It is understandable that so many of us close ourselves off so we don’t feel it.
Yet it is precisely the depth of pain that moves me. Humans have such capacity to withstand deep, violent emotions; it is incredible, marvellous and so humbling to witness such resilience. And it is precisely the sad greatness that awes me with how much more we must be capable of carrying joy, of spreading love…
So I carry on, let the sadness wash over me, and I keep on sitting with the pain of this world. It is what little I can do.
I’m not a sentimental person. Certainly after the great move of 2015, my attachment for material things have reached a new low. Yet when it came to Chinese New Years, I had a strong desire to fly home and spend it with family – not really what people expect of me, apparently.
It’s not like our family REALLY gets into it. We gather, we feast, there’s a few red pockets exchanged, and we feast some more… But apart from that we don’t follow too many traditions. We drive to the temple and pray to our ancestors, that’s about it.
The time we spend together is mostly for discussing what we’re going to eat; eating and exclaiming how delicious this food is; complaining how very over-stuffed we are; and of course, excitedly brainstorming what we’re eating next. We’re not the deep and meaningful type to discuss very heavy things. Not exactly conservative, yet quite reserved in a very Asian way. We have mutual understandings as to how far conversations go – when someone goes silent, it’s time to change topics.
I’ve always wondered how much my parents understood who I am as a person. They know I’m stubborn. They think I’m ‘witty’. Mum thinks I’m too clever for my own good and dad would rather not know too much. Yet being so far away and having been apart for so long, what they know, is only from what I tell them. So I guess it’s up to me to decide – and sometimes I question, is it enough? Should I lead them deeper into the labyrinth of Emi?
Three more days till I leave again. Someone wise reminded me to treasure each moment with them and spend it like it may be the last time. Somehow, being here, sharing the food, feeling their energy and giving them mine… I realise these, are the precious moments I came back for. Ordinary, plain days spent in each other’s company. Not for any other purpose but to spend time together.
Turns out, I’m deeply attached to my family. It surprised me how tough it is to admit that to myself. I guess I’ve always distanced myself emotionally because I knew they’re not physically close. Yet I can admit it now, they are very important to me.
I’m so very grateful to be back with them for New Years. I am now recharged and grounded to start a wonderful new year with strength, confidence, and an abundance of love for all that surround me. May there be beauty in our eyes, kindness in our actions and peace in our hearts. May there be luck, success, prosperity and happiness all round.
So much love for you all.
Sitting in front of the TV in a semi-food-coma after dinner, suddenly at the flick of the channel, Madrid was on TV. “Look it’s Madrid.” Said grandpa, not knowing how much the city meant to me.
It’s been four months since I was there last. In dreamlike fondness, I watched the camera pan through the streets… The pure simplicity of what I felt while I was there, I will always remember. Yes, there was a boy. Although brief, our encounter was an abundance of joy, happiness, and love. And I will carry that purity with me, because till this day, the beauty of it gives me strength to pursue the very best in life.
Isn’t it funny how chance encounters change you in such profound ways… Life is full of such moments, if you open your heart to it.
Push aside all that occupy your mind and focus on the present.
Appreciate from within.
Travel to your cells and find gratitude for the fuels we burn.
Back to the centre.
Slow down the swings and remember…
Each moment is a brand new choice.
Be present, be grateful, be full of light, warmth and love.
My emotions had been running wild… I can psycho-analyse myself to death, dragging in influences from my past, from my childhood, from the ego, the weakness, the loneliness… I can ride the moral high horse and judge myself left right and centre then come up with a million shoulds and shouldn’ts… I can find excuses and rid myself of responsibilities for my actions…
But none of these are me, not any more. I don’t see the point. What I need, is to prescribe myself another dose of my own meditative-self-hypnosis. I’ve grown so skilled and adept that a simple breathing exercise is enough to bring me back to centre.
We are the sum of our choices. Each second, we have the opportunity to redefine ourselves. So let that be now. Choose love. Choose the unselfish-love that radiate and glow wherever it touches.
This, is who I choose to be. How about you?
A great sense of loss and grief took me over as quick as the storm clouds that darkened the skies this afternoon. I always knew it would come one day. I understood it conceptually, empathised logically; but my heart was never ready for this eventuality.
Goodbyes were said in lots of loving cuddles yesterday. Yet it wasn’t until today, when I saw her friends wondering the playground without her, that it really hit. Amelie has graduated from us. For personal reasons it was her last day yesterday, after 5 years being in the centre. I was only there for the last one and a half… But she was there 5 days a week. Always with bright smiles and her wonderfully warm, kind, beautiful personality.
Oh Amelie… How it was a pleasure to have watched you mature and grow. I still remember you were so shy to greet me in front of your mums at first… Yet we bonded straight away – naturally, because we practically had the same name!
Amelie, I was there to sooth your cries. I was there to clean you up when you’ve made a mess. I was there to facilitate your social interactions – a little nudge here and there gave you confidence to flourish. I was there to observe and celebrate your achievements – and how proud I am of all that you’ve become!
Yet you know what? It was your openness and acceptance that helped ME when I was down. The love you were used to getting, the love you drew from me, saved me from being helpless and lost. Your genuine kindness and the care you have for your peers, remind me to be more gentle. And the way you strive to search for exploration and learning – it inspires me to try harder to be a better teacher for you.
I guess I never held back. I gave as much love as I could, and in return, received much more. Hence the sense of loss… I’m happy that she’s all grown up and ready for school – I know she’ll do very well. Yet I know I will always remember her smile and miss her cuddles.
To pick myself up from this and to continue giving these children love. To know that they would not remember me, yet strive to shape and facilitate their growth… Perhaps this is the hardest struggle for preschool teachers. Yet how fortunate I am, to be in this amazing position to influence so many young minds and souls…..
Thank you for the privilege. You are all my angels.
(And to think I haven’t even been teaching Amelie this year! I was her teacher last year and stayed in the 3-4 year old room in 2014. Next year though, I’m moving up to the preschool room with this lot… Oh 2015 is definitely going to be an emotional one!)
(Not really sure why I made myself watch “What Maisie Knew” as well as “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” today… Had me balling my eyes out.)
It must be true that people turn stupid when they’re in love. I just can’t seem to find the right words to describe these feelings that I can’t contain. These intense emotions that ooze out of every pore of my glowing skin. These pulsating vibrations that shake up my insides and rearrange them in songs I can’t stop singing. All I can do is keep on using the closest approximations in my very limited vocabulary.
Amazing perfection, beyond what I ever dared to dream of. The most incredible, positive, happy, talented, creative, intuitive, ingenious, beautiful, understanding, expressive, thoughtful soul I have ever met.
That’s how I describe what I perceive.
Gratitude. Thank the universe, thank the angels, thank god, thank all the powers that allowed this to happen. And thank you, for taking a chance. For making an effort. For being open to possibilities. Oh for simply existing as the amazing person you are.
That’s how I feel inside.
It’s what I never knew I was waiting for.
What I was always too scared to hope for.
What I didn’t realise I was looking for……
And now that I’ve found you, the rest of my life, begins.
Nothing better than being extremely febrile (above 39°C) to keep you bed-bound, floating in and out of consciousness for days on end. Well, with the help of paracetamol and even stronger drugs that mummy gave me, I was only really feverish for about three days. Unfortunately the dehydration and exhaustion added a couple more days to what seemed like perpetual horizontal constraint.
Normally I’d probably be really bummed out that I’ve wasted so many days of my holiday, but this time, I used this opportunity to internally explore, experiment and examine the changes that had been quietly happening within. I have been wanting to do good in this world for quite some time, perhaps ever since my not-so-realistic dream of finding a cure for cancer back in my teenage years. Slowly through a winding path I’ve made my way to teaching the very young. Early childhood education not only fulfils me, sparks my passion, but also gives me unlimited scope to learn and grow. Yet, there is more that I want to do.
Starting with people around me, I’ve committed to taking my own advice as much as I could and leading by example. I’ve reprogrammed my brain to not only always see the silver lining, but actually believe in the positive. And with these thoughts, I was able to visualise my optimism spreading to people. I hope to reach people with warmth and brightness, and I hope to inspire them to find their own light, then make it shine for a brighter world.
Am I sounding delirious? Perhaps. But I don’t care. I’m gonna let my little light shine.