It's been a long long long time since I last posted an entry.
I've been busy with work. (I hate being a working adult) And I've been addicted to computer games. But mostly....

I've been going through depression.

The most of last year has been a constant struggle. Tears, anger, disappointments, lots of wishing that things would change; that it would get better, frustrations, more disappointments, plenty of doubts, even more tears, isolation, avoidance, loss, grief....

Oddly enough, with that myriad of overwhelming emotions everyday, I could hardly blog anymore. Could hardly express myself, my thoughts, my grief, my loss. I have had several times attempted to write something, but always, I have been held back by memories of insensitive words - words that do not understand, words that slice through the heart rather than heal it.

"Oh, you just need to move on."
"You'll meet new people, and soon you'll have new friends"
"Pray.... pray... pray...."
"All you need is God"

Good intentions I hope. True to a certain extent too. But insensitive all the same. Or maybe I just couldn't accept it just like that. It took me so long, so many 'I think I'm crazy', far too many tears and heart aches to finally approach professional help, an independent counsellor, to whom I can just talk without feeling condemned or judged or reprimanded. After 6 sessions, I was on my own again. So I seeked out the NHS (medical health service) which unfortunately has a long waiting list.

A few more months of trying to hang in there without professional help, I finally thought I'm starting to cope just alright on my own. I'm not doing great, but at least I'm no longer crying all the time on my way to work, on my way back from work. At least I'm no longer crying myself to sleep, wishing that sleep would take me away.

But here I find myself again, going through the same destructive cycle... wishing that life would end somehow to take away my head aches. Ah. But I have a problem. I am terrified of death. Irony.

Then again, I never really got out of the cycle. I was just suppressing it.

I don't really know if I'll ever write again about my depression publicly. Well I doubt any of my old friends ever read here anyway. But having worn my heart on my sleeve for most of my life, I find it almost too painful to trust people again with inner and fragile me. For now, I'm keeping everything under Friends Only.

Maybe one day.... writing publicly won't bring me so much pain again....
When that day comes, I'll write.

ever after

I was on the train, coming back from the careers fair in London when they stepped onto the train and sat across me. His hair was completely white and she no longer had her youthful skin. His hands were rough and tanned with all those years of labour. Hers were tiny and frail. Still, she wrapped her arms around her husband's arms.

It was so sweet just to look at them.

Of course, I dared not stare – after all it was rude to stare at people who are 'in love'.

It had been a long day today, and my journey will take another 40 minutes. So to kill the time and sleepiness I decided to take a nap.

Later, I woke up and realised she tapped my knee. She asked if I had missed my stop. It was so nice of her to wake me up out of concern that I may have missed my stop. I said no, that my stop was further away. I smiled and thanked her. And she smiled back.

We made light conversation when the train stopped at the station. She said the gap between the platform and the train was quite high, and old knees like theirs struggle with it.

As the train approached the next station, he got up from his seat slowly; after all old knees don’t move as fluid as they once did. And she stood up too.

He offered his hand to her, and she took it. Together they walked towards the door. She walked in front and held on to the support rail, and he stood behind her doing the same, protecting her as he always had.

When the train stopped, they both stepped down slowly onto the platform. She wrapped her arms around her husband’s and they walked off together.

I was glad the gap between the train and this platform station wasn't too high. I know what it feels like to have old knees and having to struggle to climb up or step down the train. Old knees are more trouble than blessing in disguise.

I was even more touched to see the husband and wife still happily in love with each other despite all the grey hairs and wrinkled skin. You don’t see something like that very often in this day and age; where people still stay together until death do them part. It is sad to see broken relationships, broken marriages, broken families, but all these are very real. So I am truly touched by these two love birds. Because today they taught me an important lesson -

That there is a ever after...

It may not be forever happy ever after, because we all know marriage is never easy. Two people in a marriage go through ups and downs, joy and sorrow, success and failures. But what matters at the end of the day is that through all that, they should emerge out from the valleys stronger with a much better understanding, respect and love for one another.

Yes, there may not be a forever happy ever after... But there is a happy ever after.

His head may be full of white hairs, and her hands may be wrinkled from all the labours of love. But their eyes still twinkle for each other...


getting sick part 2

So yes. Last week I was sick. And Last week I was depressed.

Missed my family loads especially when I'm sick, because there was no one to look after mua. =( Wanted to talk to a human, but got depressed when I scrolled through my MSN contact list & phone book and realise I couldn't talk to anyone about my problems and struggles with this relocation and being ill.

The realisation that you're all alone and no one cares hurt. And as always I try to hang on and keep going. But everyone has a limit. And sometimes I wish I didn't have to be strong.

It seems to me as if everyone expects me to be strong, just because I was once a Christian leader - and leaders are supposed to be strong no matter what. And if I fall and stumble and complain and get afraid and emotional, I am accused of having no faith. And it scares me, because having no faith means I have no hope in God. And God is my only strength.

Yet, the heart feels pregnant with an overwhelming myriad of emotions that need release. So I'm stuck in the middle - trying to be strong and have faith, but yet feeling so much pain and hurts and disappointments and wanting to crash to the ground.

I wish that I don't have to be strong.
I wish that people don't expect me to be strong.
Because then I can sit down and properly cry the heaviness away and find comfort and assurance from people who care and understand that sometimes I'm not strong enough to always be strong.

I don't think any of my friends will ever understand how difficult it is for me to relocate down from Liverpool. How much I struggle with the feelings of loneliness and abandonment and even rejection. How much I grieve over the loss of a friendship I really treasured. How much effort I put into trying to move on, adjust to a new life and build new relationships again (but sometimes fail).

I know my friend meant well when he asked me to pray with an open mind - that God may want to move me out of my comfort zone (due to the possibillity of the short assignment in another office at Aldershot). But that well-meant comment stabbed deep into the core, because this place where I am now is not a comfort zone for me. And I felt that somehow life was being unfair to me, that I was getting the short end of the lousy stick.

Isn't having to relocate here with no friends to turn to, and still struggling to find a church and to start a new life all over again more than enough burdens for a person as tiny as me? Does God HAVE to send me to a further office and make me travel 2 hours for a return trip from work daily for the next 5 months? Do people have to be so insensitive to make that kind of remarks? Are people really that busy to care for a friend?

I realise I expect a lot from my old church. I suppose this was the first church I felt like I belong to, and I gave the church my all. And when I left and moved away, I expected people to care enough to still call and find out if I'm coping just fine. Some who called, call because they needed my help for church business. Many didn't. And that's very sad. Superficial comes to mind. And expectations from one's church does exist.

It makes me wonder, what is the point of investing in people and sharing lives with them. Is is worth anything to invest so much? I hate it when Christians can be such hypocrites to preach about sharing and investing in another person's life but don't actually do it. It defies my logic.

I ought to learn to be more forgiving of others, because I should fully know no one is ever perfect (including me) and people (even Christians) fail others.


mild bronchitis

Had the worse week last week, because I was down and sick. After my sis and I came back from Southampton, we both fell ill. And my cough and throat got worse; and my nose thought it was a good idea to follow suit and got itself congested.

So I was off from work on Tuesday, because I thought I'd best stay in and get well for the interview with G&I at Aldershot on Wednesday. Went for the interview, sniffling all over and went back to the office for Russian class. Unfortunately for me, I came down with the fever too and felt quite ill at class. So I left work early and took Thursday off too.

Went back to work on Friday morning, thinking I was recovering - and being the smart arse I was, took chilled milk with my cereals for breakfast. 15 minutes and a phone call to my mentor after, I was doubled over in pain and couldn't stand up. Colleague got an appointment with the doctors for me, and sent me to the clinic.

I THOUGHT I had reached the worst - but apparently not. Doctor said I had gastritis, and the mild bronchitis to boot! *GAH* And to top things off, my 'aunt' came for a visit and brought me more 'gifts'. Which thankfully lasts for 2 days and disappears.

So I've been on medication and antibiotics since then. Was prescribed amoxicillin by the GP. And I self-precribed Actifed and Nirolex Linctus for the congested nose and cough to me. Now, the label on Actifed says it causes drowsiness - but unfortunately for me, it kept me awake at nights. So instead of sleeping restful sleeps and getting better, I was restless and woke up several times during the night.

The congestion has since cleared up, yet I'm still not getting enough sleep.... (been playing on YPP)

I'm still coughing.

And so are two of my colleagues.... who are down with it and out on leave today. =( Sigh.

Maybe I should have stayed on medical leave for a bit more longer. Mmmm....


the VIP in the lift

I bumped into the Director of Operations (the big boss) of my company P.Hobden today as I was coming out from the lecture theatre after lunch. Lazy to climb the stairs I decided to take the lift back up to my seat on the 2nd floor. And the man was right there behind me as I walked towards the lift.

I've only met this man once. But the impression of him and his life and what he has achieved thus far stays fresh in my mind. You see, being a new staff in the company, the graduates were all given a two-day induction course; giving us insights into the different departments in our company and meeting the people who are in charge. And these people are those who call the shots in what we do; from deciding to pursue a project, to securing the project and accounting for costs and budget, to getting the job done and to the client.

But I think the high point of the induction was spending two and half hours with the most important man in the company (at least for UK headquarters) and was each given a chance to ask one question – any question; regarding his job and position, his life, his motivation and drive, his achievements, the future of the company, the present position of our company, the direction of which we’re going into, the work in the foreseeable future... Anything.

There were 18 of us that day; and questions on politics and everything mentioned above were asked. One of the questions was to describe his daily routine in a week. Oh! There were too many meetings in a day, with clients, with managers, with the safety people, with lawyers. Far too many emails and conference calls. And working hours of 16 hours each day; from 6 in the morning when he wakes up till before he sleeps at 10 at night. WOW. *crazy la*

He sure is a busy man, yet he still takes the time to come down and welcome us to the company. It’s not a big gesture, but it’s a meaningful one.

One of the graduates asked him how he got to where he is now (so we can follow in his steps and be successful like him la... what else?). And he began by saying he was a bad example to follow - simply because unlike the 18 of us who got Masters and PhDs from respectable universities, he did not get a degree but did an apprenticeship instead. But what he did, he did with a lot of dedication and a lot of commitment. He did mention his motivation was money, and that’s what drove him to give his 100% to his job. Regardless of who he worked for, he worked for the company with complete loyalty and dedication and did his job to the highest standard.

And that was how he climbed the corporate ladder. People recognized and respected his commitment, dedication and achievement. "You are only as good as your last project" is one of his phrases in life. He was also confident enough to say that no one in this present day in the company whom he feels threatened by for his job. He complained about the lack of young people 'rising up' and threatening his position in the company. Quite ego la for him to say that...

It made an impression on me though. Loyalty and dedication to one’s work, principles and values are at the top of my list of good values to possess.

This man lived the talk. And is successful because of it.

So, There I was - standing beside, waiting for the lift. The lift arrived and we both stepped in. And I gave him a smile (cause he’s my boss and I mega-respected him). He returned it. Then asked if I was settling in to the company alright, just before a whole bunch of people stepped into the lift with us. =)

You see, you wouldn’t expect the big boss to remember a young graduate who just started 3 months ago and saw for a little over two hours at the induction. Neither would you expect such an important man to ask the young graduate such a simple question which although doesn’t really signify he cares very much about the answer; it does imply he cares enough even just to ask.


random things that happen unfortunately

You know your nails are too long when you dig into your thumb with your last finger and cut yourself!

-- Time for a manicure session.

And Indulgence is so much easier when you have the cash to splurge on....

.... resisting the temptationS to shop for clothes, jewellery, books, shoes, furniture, electronic appliances and cute fluffy teddy bears.

-- Being a working adult sure is difficult.

Oh boy.


happy belated birthday sapphire_pearl@LJ

I have yet again forgot to acknowledge my poor blog's 3rd anniversary (14 January 2004). GAH. Poor blog... Happy Belated Birthday, again. It indeed has been a journey these past 4 years. Looking back and reading what I wrote - it's amazing to see how much I've achieved since then, how much have perspectives altered and how life has changed. Bitter sweet.

Thanks to those on my friends list for sticking by to (still) read. =) Nothing interesting here I know, and lots of rants. But thanks all the same for the hugs you've given me when I needed them most.

I still love this layout of mine (many many thanks still to ioogleguys), even though it's about 2 years old now. I think butterflies sort of personify my whole journey anyway - the journey of self-discovery, of bitter loss and of the sweet joy of new 'birth'.... wouldn't change it for the world.


happy new year 2007!


I hope all of you had a great awesome start to 2007! Belatedly the first post of 2007 is a little late la. But can't help it, because I have actually been doing loads of travelling around the UK and to Paris.

Briefly, my sis and I were at Liverpool for Christmas eve and Christmas, Manchester on Boxing day, London on 28th Dec, 1st, 4th and 5th Jan, Paris from 29-31, Southampton on 2-3 Jan. I travelled to more places in 2 weeks than I have in one year! *absurd* But it's awesome to be spending the end of the old year in one country and the start of the new year in another. Will try to post pics up.... I have promised pics on so many occassions but failed. So will try and post a photo diary of the past year I suppose.

I'm pretty pooped from all that travelling. And it's not helping my dark circles and complexion. (neither is sleeping at this hour =P) My sis left for home this evening at 18:15 hour. I wasn't too sad seeing her leave as I was with my dad, but I was sad all the same - wishing I could go home too to where my family is. And leaving the cold, bitter winter weather. Yucks.

Gotta go back to work on Monday morning, and I'll have to see my manager when I get in about the new assignment he has for me. So not looking forward to a workload piling. But it's gotta be done - need to earn an honest living. =(

Anyhow, I usually don't make resolutions, because I am simply extremely bad at keeping them. But there is one deep desire that I want to see achieved this year. (And apparently, if you write it down officially, you are more likely to achieve the goals/objectives.)

So my desire is to get back into fellowship with God and cultivate a lifestyle of worship, bible and prayer.

It sounds very general, but I know I have messed up my walk with God again and fallen off that path. And I want to be able to seek God again with my heart and learn how to love more, and forgive more. I want to learn what it means to live by His grace daily (since I'm such a messy sinner *sigh*).

Of course, I have other resolutions too la.... go to gym and lose some weight and get rid of the flabs, eat more healthy, learn how to cook/bake properly (or rather cultivate a like for cooking), better time management and be responsible for my own work and meet deadlines, save money for mom and brother, read the unread books on my shelf.

Wow... that's a lot of resolutions also la. But wellz.... we'll see. (And I'll try.) Happy New Year again one and all!


please remember

Please Remember

Time, sometimes the time just slips away
And you're left with yesterday
Left with the memories
I, I'll always think of you and smile
And be happy for the time
I had you with me
Though we go our seperate ways
I won't forget so don't forget
The memories we made

Please remember, please remember
I was there for you
And you were there for me
Please remember, our time together
The time was yours and mine
And we were wild and free
Please remember, please remember me

Goodbye, there's just no sadder word to say
And it's sad to walk away
With just the memories
Who's to know what might have been
We'll leave behind a life and time
We'll never know again

Please remember, please remember
I was there for you
And you were there for me
And remember, please remember me

Please remember, please remember
I was there for you
And you were there for me
Please remember, our time together
The time was yours and mine
And we were wild and free
And remember, please remember me

And how we laugh and how we smile
And how this world was yours and mine
And how no dream was out of reach
I stood by you, you stood by me
We took each day and made it shine
We wrote our names across the sky
We ride so fast, we ride so free
And I had you and you had me

Please remember, Please remember

Courtesy of azlyrics.com

Song came up as I was posting the last (locked) entry.... and it speaks volumes to me. I suppose the memories are still treasures enough to be treasured.