The past year: Introspection on a heartbreak experience

Thursday, 5 September 2019

The past year: Introspection on a heartbreak experience
"What am I doing?", I asked myself. I don't mean it literally, well, I'm not stupid. I mean, like, in life.

Well, I'll tell you what I'm doing. Chugging some beer, sitting in front of the computer, trying to relax with music only to find that the auto-playlist thought it was appropriate to flash out tunes that brought me back to this time last year. When my heart was broken. That's right, this post already sounds like it was written by an emotional drunk.

Yes, my beer mug has a cute face on it. Is this the reason why I keep meeting the wrong guys?

Ah, I'm not going to lie. 5 years ago, I thought I'd probably lose a ton of weight by now, meet the perfect guy, get married and probably have a kid along the way.

Well, I did lose a significant amount of weight (shed more than 16kg), started getting a wee bit more attention than I did before. Though not that much to make a difference.

Honestly, I don't know how to navigate my romantic path - past relationships were always not smooth sailing, and each dating experience proved crappier than the last. But somehow, I managed to get through it all. Mostly by sweeping emotions under the carpet. But not last year's. It was a huge wake-up call.

Heck - I relate to Ted in the popular US TV drama series: How I met your mother. Ted's constantly struggling to find the perfect other partner, always thinking that the person he dates will end up being 'the one'. Ted's constantly searching for his 'destiny'.


The only difference is - I don't believe in destiny. This is real life, Ted, not a drama series. Kids, don't be like Ted. Fairytales don't exist, falling in love is easy initially, but keeping the love alive is hard work.

Love is also a choice - we chose to care for them, we choose to let them into our lives. We choose to offer them our hearts, give them the authority to break it or hold it dear.

After revealing the vulnerable (emotional) side of me, this person let me down, some time last year. As some of you know from my previous post, I shared how I decided to confess to him anyway. One year later today, I still think about that time. Thing is, I never shared this with my friends on the way I truly felt about it. Some days, I will still walk down the same memory path and wonder, 'what if'?

That's the thing about us as humans, isn't it? It's always wondering how life will turn out if it went down a certain path instead. So weak, yet something about the unknown seems so attractive at times, even if you know it will likely end in failure. Seems like a good time to throw in a cliched line - such as, sometimes, things need to fall apart to make way for better things.

I remember the day I felt so despondent, feeling like I missed my final boat to a life of 'normalcy' branded by society. All because I thought I made a 'wrong choice', which led to this season of rejection.

A familiar tune plays into my ears.

"You've got to lie down for a while, this will pass, its only mild. You've got to ease your mind for a while~" - Toploader's Only for a While

Timely.

"Will it? Really?", I asked, as I searched for an answer in my heart. It wasn't there - the answer I was looking for.

A not-so-secret-but-not-widely-used-place where I contemplated my feelings, alot. A place where I spent many lunch times to brood over things. A place down memory lane I will never forget, the emotions I felt as I sat and wept on these couches.


And sometimes I wonder - what was it really, for me? Was it hard for me to let go because I felt that I was letting go of someone I cared about, or was it hard for me to let go because I could not get over the fact that I felt that he betrayed my trust? That one, though, was really my fault - I let him into my heart too easily. And we have to be wary, because some people really don't deserve it.

Until today, I still don't have a clue which is which. But don't get me wrong - I'm over them. Alright, yes, maybe it took 2 guys to drive me up the wall. Did quite alot of mental and emotional wondering and wandering to figure out if I did actually like 2 of them, if I had feelings for either of them or was it their attention that I liked more instead. I only confessed to one of them after I thought he could be the one - as though it were as easy as playing a pokemon game.

"Well, I choose you!" 

But he ended up not choosing me. I ended up deciding to give up on both. Like I said, loving someone is ultimately a decision, a choice we have the power to make.

In retrospect I guess - if it weren't for them, I would not have this chance to look into my heart and ask myself some difficult questions which I've buried away, tucked deep into the emotional crevices and locked away in a secure safe deposit I thought I'd never open in this life.

Imagine that - I was willing to bury along my true self away and ready to be someone I was not, just to try and paint a perfect picture of what it was like to be 'normal' in this society - married, or already dating, ready to settle down, get hitched soon. Or be at least somewhere in life.

I just have to say this now because I truly believe in it - that God loves me too much to let me give up on myself like that.

Tonight, as I tread the same steps along the same path home while listening to the same melancholic tune of Winter Aid's 'The Wisp Sings', humming the same lovelorn melody, I realise that the past year has shaped me to be someone totally different.

Listening to the song now still brings me back, showing me flashbacks of where it all went wrong, the words I said which I could have taken back if I were to attempt to make things work. But I do not feel the same anymore, as I did a year ago.

And what do you know, I'm still single at 31, going on 32 this October. But now, certainly a more emotionally stable, and happier person. Heck, I don't think I would have even thought it possible to achieve this level of revelation about relationships and about myself.

At 20 years old, I thought by 30, I would have gotten my life on track, figured out all that I needed to. But life never ends up where you thought you wanted to be. Even more so, I didn't think I would still be trying to figure all these out at 32.

But hey, better late than never, right?

If it's something I've learnt this past year, I have learned how to introspect, and finding it easier to try and understand and love myself more. I'll tell you - it takes courage and alot of work. Lessons were prepaid in cold hard tears and heartache. It involves tearing down of pride to admit to ourselves of the type of person we truly are inside. The person you don't really think people will love if they were to see it. Yes, that side of all of us we try to hide away.


Because many of us are always running after something we're not - tending to overcompensate in the partner we choose, thinking that simply by being with someone else, they will somehow complete us, fill up the emotional crevices and heal our broken souls. It becomes twisted and ugly, as we force them to become someone they weren't, and them to also force us to become someone we aren't.

We condition our minds to think we love them, that it's noble for us to accept and sacrifice ourselves to be in a relationship we know we will come to loathe in years to come. We settle for people out of convenience, out of loneliness, out of 'normalcy', among a myriad of other reasons.

It's perfectly normal to want a relationship, because having the ability to share your life with someone is something not only amazing, but a brave thing to do. Though too, sadly, we have to admit that not everyone will find what they are looking for in their lifetime.

But chances are, if we can't already be happy in our singlehood - we can't stand being with ourselves, knowing who we are, being able to face ourselves in the mirror and being brave enough to bare and admit to our flaws, we're always going to end up unhappy even if we do find someone.

Just think about it this way. In a relationship, 1 whole person + 1 whole person makes a perfect 1 relationship. But when 2 broken pieces add up? They are still broken. 2 very sad, broken pieces who decided to stick together because they decided it was too lonely to be broken alone.

That's why the other person will never, oh, they can never... be our missing piece. Only we, can fill up ourselves, be our ultimate own 'missing piece' so that we, can present ourselves, whole and complete for another person.

Overall, the past year have proven to be a good lesson for me. I wonder, how would life be next year? Or 5 years from now?

I dare not even imagine what the future holds. But one thing's for sure - I know I will date again. I will probably love again. And I know I will be brave enough to let another person into my heart, but this time, he has to work harder, you know, to earn it first.

I don't know when it'll happen, but I know it will. Someday.

Chalerm Thai brings flavours of Thailand to Capitol Piazza!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Chalerm Thai brings flavours of Thailand to Capitol Piazza!

Visited Chalerm Thai's new branch at the Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, the decoration of the restaurant is simple and classic, with a bright yellow canopy, wooden dividers and rattan furniture, a lovely airy terrace to enjoy authentic Thai food awaits!


The restaurant is named after the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in Bangkok, first opened in 1933. The name was chosen as the Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski is also home to a cinema icon of Singapore - the Capitol Theatre - drawing parallels between the city nation and the regal kingdom of Thailand.


Flavours of Chalerm Thai is presented by Chef Roy Ng, who has spent over 13 years training in the kitchens of Singapore's best Thai restaurants. His dedication has won him the Thai Select award by the Royal Thai Embassy (Singapore).



What Thai meal will be complete without milk teas? :)



For starters, we had the Tom Yum Goong (Thai seafood tom yum soup, $15), a steaming bowl of hot, sour and spicy soup which whips up the appetite. The Yum Pan Boong Krob (deep-fried crispy morning glory with chilli sauce dip, $8), also earned many 'oohs' and 'ahhs' at the table. It reminded me of oven baked kale, light and airy texture with a cripsy bite.



We loved the meaty side dishes as well, such as the Kor Moo Yang (grilled marinated pork neck with spicy lime sauce), Peek Gai Tord Ta Kra (deep fried lemongrass chicken wings), so be sure to order that, especially if you're going there in a group as it's good for sharing!




Carb lovers can go for Thai classics such as the Phad Thai Kung (phad thai stir-fried rice noodles, $14) or the Khao Phad Sapoarod (pineapple fried rice, $15)



Finally, after all that food, we still found some space to enjoy the Khao Neow Muang (mango sticky rice), which we all loved!


Chalerm Thai
Location: Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski (Capitol Piazza), 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906
Tel: +65-6715-6875
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm

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Fashionable heritage: Guo Pei at ACM Singapore

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Fashionable heritage: Guo Pei at ACM Singapore

So when I heard that Guo Pei's dresses were going to be exhibited in Singapore, I was so excited that I knew despite my crazy recent schedule, I had to carve out time to view her designs. So I called a friend and together, we head over to the Asian Civilisation Museum (ACM), a quick 5 minute walk from Raffles Place MRT station (exit H) on a sunny Saturday afternoon.


Guo Pei is great - but first - lunch.

Also notable that I had my first taste of the impossible meat (in spaghetti) at the Prive Cafe in ACM and I thought it was quite impressive that it really could pretty much as off as real meat.




And now for the main character of the day: Guo Pei's Chinese Art & Couture exhibition.


This exhibition explores 29 of her creations from the angle of Chinese historical and contemporary design. A little bit about Guo Pei - she's a high fashion designer and dressmaker, whose designs reflect her Beijing childhood, overseas experieces and ideas about art. Her team has over 500 artisans, who spends thousands (yes, thousands!) of house on the intricate handwork required for each new creation.

One of her most famous and well-photographed dresses was the Yellow Queen (黄皇后), which was donned by Rihanna on the red carpet for the 2015 MET Gala in New York. This 25kg dress, which consists of luxurious materials such as silk, metal thread, gold-spun thread and fur, took a whopping 6000 hours to create!

The Yellow Queen dress would greet visitors just before they proceed into the doors that lead them toward the hallway into Guo Pei's world.



Check out those incredible shoes! Every minute detail had the utmost attention and care of its maker.


I'm not going to show every dress in this post, but I will feature some dresses that really excited me through the showcase.


This dress, is called the Magnificent Gold Gown (大金). Silk, wire, gold thread, silver-spun thread, Swarovski-sequin accessories - 50,000 hours of work. The lotus decoration corresponds to the theme of her first couture collection - Samsara. The dress looks so heavy, it almost seems like the mannequin is at risk of some serious nip-slip. But I digress. Back to the gowns.




If you're following me on my instagram (click here to follow), you would have seen my IG stories where I would have shown you a video of it. But to be fair - photos and videos don't do these dresses any actual justice. So there. Presenting the Snow Queen (冰雪皇后). Silk, mesh, gold-spun thread, silver thread, crystals, gems, beads, sequins, pearls, fox fur, brass, Swarovski crystals, diamantes - a 6,000 hour piece of gorgeous we're seeing here.

By far her heaviest gown - 50kg! Being the queen, you know, many responsibilities to carry, so there - the weight of the world on your - i mean - a true blue regal woman's shoulders.



The Palace Flower (宫花). Made with silk, jacquard, silver-spun thread, gold-spun thread, bead, Swarovski crystals, fur, silk peonies - taking 10,000 hours to complete. Also the time spent to earn the key to success in any field; popularly known from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.

Just check out how lovely this romantic blue mermaid gown looks. So flowy, phoenix-y and wavy. Just, stunning.



Part of her 'Legend of the Dragon Collection', this dress is being held together with metal wire, metal thread, sequinned silk fabric, Swarovski rhinestones and crystals. What's notable here is the dragon representation on her sleeve as well as her train, which was created from thick layers of metal wire and metal thread embroidery over stiffened stuffing.



I'm not showing the full dress here, but I want to say how much I think I loved that she included the Chinese 'double happiness' and 'good fortune' characters with such class and beauty into her design. But if you wanted to know, this dress - which took 3000 hours to make - is an informal and fun mini dress. This dress is absolutely gorgeous and is one of my favourites. And let's not forget the elaborately made shoes too which is specifically made to form a set.

 

She even made a jumpsuit! With wings! Whaaaat~!


As part of her admiration of Peranakan beadwork, she also did up this beautiful Peranakan inspired dress, so colourful and vibrant. So lovely. 



 
Finally, I've been saving this one for the last to present to you guys.

The Blue-and-White porcelain dress inspired literally by the Chinese blue-and-white porcelain in both design and technique. The blue decoration, including lotus blooms, crests, cloud and thunder patterns, waves, lingzhi fungus and flowers, was first hand-drawn and hand-painted. Then embroidery magic took place with 10,780 crystals added on as embellishments.

Worthy of the 8000 hours it took to complete (and then awed), this dress is made with silk, Swarovski crystals and pigments. Also, the headdress is beau-wait for it-tiful.

BEAUTIFUL!



After touring Guo pei, be sure to also check out the interactive workshop that is stationed near the Yellow Dress (Rihanna dress, whatever you wanna call it). haha!






Ticket prices for Guo Pei goes at:
Singaporeans & Permanent Residents $12 Foreign
Residents & Tourists $20

Her exhibition runs from 16 June 2019 to 16 September 2019.

If you haven't checked it out already, go. You won't regret it.

Website: https://www.acm.org.sg/whats-on/exhibitions/guo-pei

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