The One With Three Thoughts As I Turn 33


It has been a month since I wrote anything on this blog. Life has its way of creeping up on you, demanding your attention and energy, distracting you from noticing how fast time flies.

I sounded like a broken record. Seconds tick forwrd as earth turned. So why did this month feel any different? For the past three weeks, I was embroiled by commitment, promises and desires. It was just one thing after another; before I know it, the day is here.

I am turning 33.

Research says turning 33 is probably the best thing could happen to someone. That we are at our happiest at this particular age; when we are just matured enough to know what is best (or bad) for us, and to know where our inner compass lies, pointing us to our true north.

Does it?

Just between you and I, I’ll be honest – I don’t know. Who can tell what will happen when the clock ticks past twelve? Would I suddenly blossom into a man full of wisdom, ready to take on the world, making its treasure mine?

The future is yet to be written, but instead of looking forward, I dwell back to the past three weekends, when I was so busy and occupied with life, my reality felt like a dream on crack.

Maureen & Billy from Levilla studio on Vimeo.

Two weekends ago, I was a bridesmaid (yes, you did not read that wrongly) for a dear friend of mine. Maureen and Billy tied the knot. The preparation for the wedding and the wedding itself were a tornado of activities and roller coaster of emotions which got me more lost and panicky than I dare to admit. I couldn’t imagine how it felt to be the newlyweds.

But as I watched over all that happened on wedding day – when Maureen was handed over to Billy by her father, as Billy kissed his her amidst the applause of dearest friends, and as Maureen thanked her family for what has come to past – my eyes welled up and I realised… this is what love is about.

Love is not something you hunt or search for. Love is something you are fated to stumble across, making your heart skipped a beat, yet felt so familiar and close.

Love is not something you demand nor conquer in. Love is something you choose to be something worth fighting for, to compromise in, and to learn to enjoy.

Love is not something only you can understand. Love is something beautiful to be shared with those dearest to you, that you can stand proud to the world with, and be courageous to declare that, yes, this is mine to love.

When love finds me, I will know.

Universal Studio Singapore

One weekend ago, amidst a flurry of work deadlines and mounting projects, I made a trip back to Singapore. It has been a good two years since I visited my (second) home, so I did not know what to expect.

There were doubts in my mind. Will Singapore remember who I was, and accept the person I have become?

To say that I was astounded by what Singapore is today would have been an understatement. I stood still, jaw agape, at what this city state has become. For all its imperfections, I was truly proud for what it has achieved.

But what mattered even more was that, despite all its new shininess, Singapore still felt like home. My friends, some of whom I have not seen for years, welcomed me back with open arms. As I spent night after night filling the gaps in our friendships with tales of laughter and sorrow, I felt my love for them strengthen anew.

Yes, we have aged, wrinkled and become embattled. Yet it was with wisdom that we aged, with laughter that we wrinkled, with victory that we embattled.

In my heart, I know with deep set confidence that Singapore will still be a home should I return one day.

A Summery Birthday at Shek O Beach

This weekend heralds a new beginning for me in Hong Kong. For the first time since I moved here three years ago, I threw caution to the wind and buried the doubts in my heart to organise a celebration for my birthday. I did it many times in Singapore, but those in the know will tell you that folks in Hong Kong are of a different breed.

In the past I had too much fear in me on how people will think of me and of my choices. I worry how the politics of friendships and stratas of social circles may pose more troubles that it is worth. I drew lines between what others think is right or wrong, and in parts I lived a life pale in comparison with my Singapore self.

But no longer.

As throngs of friends old and new descended to Shek O in celebration for yours truly, a deep sense of well being (albeit partly champagne-fueled) resonated in my heart. Perhaps my earlier fear was not entirely unfounded, but on them I shall not define my future.

I may be different, but I am very good at it.

So as the I turned thirty-three in mere minutes, here’s my resolution: regardless what those reports say, I will damn well make my 33rd year on earth the best time of my life. As Carrie put it aptly:

“You gotta take tradition, and dress it your way”

Happy birthday, me.

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