You always have a secret admirer. Sometimes, this secret lives in the mind of the admirer and is never expressed to anyone at all. Ever. Other times, it is the worst-kept secret in the history of secrets (apparently, like the intern we had last summer totally had a thing for me and I was oblivious). Either way, odds are that someone in your life, whether you are friends or whether it is just someone that you see on your daily commute, admires you.
Contrary to popular belief, the word “intimacy” is not solely used in the context of relationships; the dictionary defines intimacy as “close familiarity or friendship”, meaning that we can also use the term in the context of relationships, friendships, or a familial relationship.
With this said, do we have enough intimacy in our life? What is intimacy outside of the dictionary definition?
I had not realized that it has been a little over three months since I last posted here until WordPress notified me that my blog was now two years old. Life has kept me busy, and my apologies for having neglected you, my loyal readers.
So, what have I been up to? On June 10th, I started my first full-time job. The long hours have me concussed every night by about 11 or 12 (yes, I know that is shocking), and not wanting to even look at my blog, let alone my laptop. As you can guess from the title of this post, I work as a salesman of sorts (for those of you that don’t get the reference, go read Death of a Salesman). My official job title is “recruitment consultant” in the oil and gas industry. So, what exactly do I do?
I have already told you the story of the first time I said “I love you” to somebody. Here is something that is slightly cuter in nature: the story of my very first crush (that I remember).
Before I launch into the story proper, I just want to explain why I decided to write about this. My cousin, Jessica, happened to be involved in a small school bus love triangle when she was in Kindergarten. I don’t know all the details, but these two boys definitely fought for her attention, and one of them gave her a ring and promised to marry her in the future. At any rate, almost twenty years later, she ran into this same boy again – completely by chance! – and they have been dating since.
If water is life, experiencing rain after weeks and weeks of humidity and awful heat is like experiencing reincarnation. Perhaps there is a good reason why religion associates water with purification: baptism, the great flood, amrita, etc. The list goes on.
While most of the northern hemisphere has seen some of the harshest winters in years, Singapore was not without its share of bad weather. From the new year up until today, March 16th, there was absolutely no rain whatsoever on the east coast, and a small sprinkles that don’t really count as rain on the rest of the island. I won’t pretend that a drought in Singapore is anything like a drought in a third world country (we never got to the point of rationing water); yet, when I woke up this morning, I woke to the sound of the land being cleansed, and despite my struggles these past few weeks, I could not help but smile. I quelled the (child-like) urge to run aside and frolic in the rain, so instead, I am sitting on my porch for the first time in a long time, and writing here instead.
Imagine this: you were in a hurry this morning, and on your way out of your apartment building, you didn’t hold the door for the lady who was following closely behind you. Because she was not expecting to have to catch the large and heavy door, the door slams on her fingers and a few of them are broken. You, of course, have not noticed because you are already across the street and in the subway station before the woman even yells in pain. This woman, a doctor who lives in your building, was supposed to perform urgent surgery on a very important person at work that day. Another surgeon had to do the surgery, but because this surgeon was just a little less experienced, the patient died.
As it turns out, the patient was a key player in mediating peace talks between nations in a conflict zone – that was part of why the operation had to be done so urgently. Nonetheless, his death meant that negotiations ended, and war broke out, ending millions of lives on both sides.
Is it harder being the leaver or the one being left?
The human heart is a strong and resilient organ. In our life, it never rests until our dying day. We can push it up to 250% of its resting rate, and it often does it without skipping a beat (pun very intended). Even if it does stop, a very strong jolt of electricity or a hand squeezing and massaging it can start it right back up and keep you going for many more years. Yet, sometimes strong emotions feel like they are enough to stop our hearts right in our chests, shatter it to pieces, or ache so badly we wish that we never had one or that we could just tear it right out of our chest. I can think of no event that elicits such a strong response as saying goodbye to someone.
Of course, there are many different kinds of goodbye. All of them elicit these same feelings in varying degrees. There is the pain of the permanent(?) farewell, where people pass away; there are the feelings that occur when you break up with a significant other or are forcefully separated from people you love because of estrangement, divorce, etc.; there is also the type of farewell where you know that it’s “bye for now, see you later”, though you may or may not know when “later” is.
Not too long ago, a very wise person told me one of the greatest things I’ve heard in my life. While standing in front of the London Eye (pictured above), talking about transitioning between countries, friendships, relationships, family, and just about everything else under the sun. She said to me: Guang Yi, what you have to learn is this – there are three types of people you will meet in your life. There are:
- People you meet for a reason
- People you meet for a season
- People you meet and will know forever
If you stop and think about it, this is absolutely true. Family, though you technically don’t “meet” them per se, fits neatly into category 3.
A relationship with a man/woman that doesn’t work out? You met them for a reason – they were what you thought was best for you at the time and you learn and grow as a person while with them. Thus, category 1. You could also make a case that failed relationships also fit into category 2.
That little girl that ran up to you and gave you a dandelion? She was there just to make you smile.
I just thought that this was too awesome not to share with everyone!
Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely planned. With that said, I changed names and will not mention any geographic information or time-frames to preserve the characters’ identities. With that said, Leah and Michael, if either or both of you read this, I hope you don’t mind that I’m writing about this.
With all the violence and death that has been going on of late (note: I started writing this in late April and am just finishing this now), I thought I would write a little story about love. Not my own love, (unfortunately,) but of a rare and beautiful kind that I felt privileged to witness firsthand during my travels.
Movies, television, and magazines have created notoriously unrealistic outlooks for romantic relationships. They create the expectation that there will be a great story when you meet the love of your life, that, despite any obstacles you may encounter, you and your significant other will have a fairy tale ending and live happily ever after. In some cases, this may actually happen, but realistically, it does not. I probably do not have to tell you that relationships are built on a combination of love, trust, struggle, and compromise; any of you who have ever been in a relationship or are presently in one know exactly what I’m talking about.
This is a story that, as far as I know, still has no ending, but I still want to share what I’ve already seen with you. I first met Leah and Michael during one of my many travels. Living the poor student’s life, I booked myself a hostel. As it wasn’t my first time living in a hostel, I was actually sort of keen to meet my roommates, hoping that they would be cool and that we could be friends. When I first got into the room, I saw that two of the beds were already occupied and I heard the shower running…and two voices. People traveling and staying in hostels in pairs is nothing out of the ordinary, but when you walk into this sort of situation, you can’t help but think and worry for a brief moment that perhaps you should have taken that extra five or ten minutes in the lobby to ask about the sights in the surrounding area. Fortunately, my worries were laid to rest when Michael walked out of the bathroom shortly after I walked in.