The day I finished reading Quiet by Susan Cain

I am so glad to have found this book. Actually I came across the author’s speech at TED sometimes back but only had a chance to check out her book “Quiet” recently. A lot of things she wrote in this book are so relatable, I hope I could’ve read it sooner. But as the saying goes, there is time for everything under the sun, let’s just be at peace with it for now.

Given this is a loan copy from the local library, I thought of noting these gems for keepsake:

“People aren’t mind readers. As much as we want someone to understand us implicitly, sometimes we have to provide more information. We have to do the talking. Speaking out is sometimes scary, but saying what it is that you want or need is also very empowering, and more often than not you’ll be pleased by the response you’ll get. When you’re comfortable or even if you need to stretch a bit, USE YOUR WORDS. Share your ideas, thoughts and feelings. It’s not conceited or boastful to claim attention for yourself. It’s also not a betrayal of your introverted self to want to be heard. Friendship is about give and take, about making the time to listen patiently and attentively, and about trusting your friend enough to express yourself honestly in return.”
>Susan Cain | Quiet Pp 89-90.

The Ilustrator Grant Snider is of course worth a mention 🙂

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill

The End.

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吵架的时候…

前天去和嫂嫂还有孩子们约在牛车水见。在等候他们的期中决定去吃点点心。听到隔壁桌有人在吵架。女的虽然很生气,可是还是很冷静的把想说的话表达出来。男的就有时会回一两句让后很快就被那女的打断。就让我想起自己在生气吵架的模样; 气到爆根本没办法把自己所要说的话清楚的表达出来。跟这女的没得比。我想了一想,其实我就应该学她那样冷静。冷静不代表脆弱,冷静是一种武器,也可以算是一名学问,须要某些讲究程度的学问。

Excerpts from Susan Cain’s Quiet which I found very relevant to this encounter:

You’re becoming more and more like your father

“You’re becoming more and more like your father”, said a mom to her daughter in a “non-complimentary” tone as they walked pass the Beverage section in Plaza Song’s Kopitiam. I was there queuing to get myself a cup of Hot Milo (the locals have a unique name for it *”thut que”) after a deli Pepper Lunch Beef meal. I throw my eyes to the direction of this 母女, kaypoh is indeed my special gift especially in the matters not pertaining to mine. 

I wonder how did she find herself so surprised about the fact that her daughter is becoming more and more like her husband or herself even. 
*Thut que: another name for Milo, it means kick ball. Go ahead and type “Milo into your favourite search engine, you will know why it was given that very name

seandainya beliau masih ada…

Have had this heavy feeling in my heart for some time, wanted to write something in Indonesian but later reckoned that I express better in English, so I decided to keep the title  remains as it is, in Indonesian; in English it means “if she is still around…”

“If mom is still around…”, this sentence comes whenever I am faced with challenges as well as when I achieve certain success, when I see something beautiful, when I go certain places and when I see stage performances, I will always wish that mom is still around…

I am not a good sister in many ways, I could easily pass as the worst eldest sibling among my circles. If mom is around, I bet she’d be so disappointed in me; at how I failed to lead by example (education, career, relationship and life in general), at how I failed to exemplify what she had always believe in (siblings unity), at how I failed to live out her legacy “kitak adek-berodek harus kompak”, at how I failed to “help” path the way for my younger siblings after she left us.

I use to think we are not close because we didn’t grow up together, we didn’t have that bond like what normal siblings have, our family is dysfunctional, and the list goes on. I could use a thousand and one excuses to save myself from this responsibility. Nevertheless, responsibility somehow found its way back to haunt me; when something bad happened to any of my siblings, when they make bad decisions, when they choose to do the wrong thing, because it’s easier that way.

I dislike to be told what to do, so I try not to enforce the same on others. I fought with my siblings a lot, over big and small things, but never over something that is life-related, never something advice-like, because I do not do that, if I tell you once and you don’t listen, I will not say it for the second time. If mom is still around, I wonder if she would blame me for NOT carrying out my responsibility in saving my sisters,  for NOT saying the right thing even if it hurts knowing that it will save them their life instead of being silent and afraid of being called the control-freak, for NOT being the one to give advice at the expense of being hated, shun and rejected, for NOT saying it twice, thrice when they do not choose to do the right thing.

My life is way way far from perfect. In fact, when I look back at my life, it’s amazing how I get to where I am today in one piece (and of course, because there is God; things did not just happened by themselves, I did not get here by myself); being in the company of gamblers (paternal families and relatives) since 5 years old, went on to live with my parents’ boss with their fair share of family issues (complete strangers) for a year, went to Malaysia and stayed at homestay, moved out of homestay after the legal age, stayed with friends, failed one subject, finished college, went to Australia where relationships are loose, alcohols and free sex is normal, finished uni, went to Singapore and work, where identity is measured on material possessions and social status, have my dad worries about my single status at age 30 and not attached. At certain junctures of my life, there were a lot of chances I could have did bad, and I did do bad actually at some point but I turned back, because I do not want to see my mom sad, because I have a dad that is not like other dad, because life is already hard for her and I don’t want her to regret having me. I dare not say I had make her proud in any way, but at the very least, if I can, I will try NOT to do things that she disapproves.

I remember she countlessly reminded us a statement like this “kalau kitak sampai bunting luar nikah, aku nak gontong direk”, to abstain us from getting into easy relationship, to protect our reputation because women are always on the losing side, no matter whether you “do it” or not. I believe what she cares about is whether or not her children will listen to her. Even if none of us get pregnant outside of the wedlock, she will still be sad if we did NOT listen, whether or not you regarded her as your mother and take her word to heart.

  • If she is still around, would you still do what you do now?
  • If she is still around, what would you do differently?
  • If she is still around, would you choose to make her proud?
  • If I tell you that even though she is not around anymore, but she knows and sees what you do, would you at least choose to do the right thing?

 

1 Korintus 10:23 (BIS)
Kata orang, “Kita boleh berbuat apa saja yang kita mau.” Benar! Tetapi tidak semua yang kita mau itu berguna. “Kita boleh berbuat apa saja yang kita mau” –tetapi tidak semua yang kita mau itu membangun kehidupan kita.

 

Gratitute List

2015 Jan – 2016 June

  1. Affordable Air tix for SIN-SYD for 4pax (Flying SQ woohoo…)
  2. Able to get one month leaves for Dev’s Wedding in Dec 2015
  3. Have enough, more than enough to spend to during one month in Sydney
  4. Able to meet my high school buddy in Melbourne for a few days, good catch up after 9years
  5. Met Wongfu Productions in Sydney
  6. Pay raise
  7. Completed Cisco course although has not yet taken the certification
  8. Enrolled in a Japanese course, taught by a dedicated せんせい & nice classmates
  9. Was offered a job internally before it was posted on internal job board
  10. Got the job with a relatively good package
  11. New colleagues are nice, helpful and knowledgeable
  12. New Manager is manageable so far
  13. The capacity to help Melan’s sponsorship to study in Sydney
  14. BBTC & Agape
  15. Given a house near MRT, amenities, at affordable rate, with reasonable housemates, easy going and manageable roommate
  16. Direct Bus from Sengkang Interchange to Office
  17. Sengkang Park within 15mins walk, conveniently available for walk/jog after work
  18. Reasonable bus journey from house-BBTC (SBS 109 + 168 takes about 45mins – 1hr)
  19. Got a Macbook Pro at a discounted price (thank you Brendan)
  20. Dad and siblings in good health

Andy

Meredith and Andy have been together for two years, they have a lot in common and they are each other’s best friend. Until one day, Meredith saw the unexpected…

 

P.S. I just have this sudden random idea of collaborating with others, on my first short story. I write leisurely and have no formal training on writing, literature whatsoever, I think it will be cool to have others continue/complete your work. Feel free to edit/continue this story on this link, I will be able to see your edits. Can’t wait to see the continuation of Andy and Meredith…