Describe yourself.

Apparently, the standard descriptors for your online dating profile should include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Love to travel / looking for a travel buddy / travel junkie / passionate traveller / did I say I love to travel?
  • Sapiosexual. If you don’t know what that means, swipe left.
  • Taller than you in heels.
  • Looking for friends only. No hook ups.
  • Looking for some discreet fun, don’t judge.
  • Looking for real love only. No hookers please.
  • Looking for someone to make me delete this app.
  • Kids and pets in photos are not mine.
  • Swipe right to know more.


The kid and I hopped onto a ferry for a quick getaway to Bintan, Indonesia, this week. It is the school holidays, she picked the resort, and I laid down my caveat: we were going to do nothing. I did not want a crazy, activity-packed break, and was desperate to catch up on reading, lounging and my legs needed some vitamin D (else they look like something death had washed over).

We were blessed with great weather and an uneventful journey (one-hour ferry ride, 1.5hr van ride to the resort). We headed to the pool after lunch, and kid, hardly able to contain her excitement was asking if we could go kayaking (which I promised we would the next day), then repeatedly asked me to join her in the pool. I wanted to finish the book I was reading (a hilarious, somewhat relatable account by Pamela Druckerman about heading into mid-life) but also soon fell asleep in the hot afternoon sun, book on my chest.

I was woken up shortly after when the kid hoisted herself out of the pool and flopped her wet, dripping body next to mine on the lounge chair, asking me, again, to join her in the pool. Given I was already soaked halfway through at the point, I jumped in.

As I was floating on my back, head mostly submerged in the water, all I could hear was my breathing. And I realised, the gentle, steady rhythm of my breathing that was reverberating through my body was very much unlike the previous sounds of breathing I had before. It used to be ragged, my heart pounding in my ears from anxiety.

If I was not travelling for work, usually under highly stressful situations, I was travelling to run away from something, from sadness, anger, a broken heart; or to chase something, a promise of a future, acceptance, or approval. I am oft mistaken into thinking that by leaving the country, I would somehow acquire a bandaid big enough to make everything better

Although, one time, my best friend dragged me along on a company retreat. Her graduating interns babysat the kids, while I slept under the shade of a tree. I left that trip (coincidentally, also at Bintan), with a strong resolve knowing that I could beat that sadness that was clouding my heart. And I did.

But this trip was different. I arrived whole. In one piece and at peace. I did not need the magical bandaid. I did not need to search for any form of healing. I was there simply to enjoy the serenity, the water, the sun, the food, the written word, the company of my child. I have arrived.

This revelation made my heart skip a beat. I felt like an excited child, bestowed with something new. A shiny new toy. A reward for working so hard towards something; working towards bettering myself, mentally, physically and emotionally in the past year and a half.

My days are simple now. I send the kid to school, hop into a yoga class, go to work, come home and do revision with the kid or chill. Weekends are when I am most content to be in the company of people I love, fitness and/or drinks by the river, a dancing night on the occasion, or curled up on my couch binge-watching something. I used to live on rules and expectations, as I had a certain fixed mind-set about how things should be. I have come to realise that those rules made me very unhappy, and I have learnt to let that all go, and just be.

This feeling of wholeness, peace and a much deeper understanding of myself, is simply amazing.

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Cry, Heart, but do not Break

It has been such a heavy year. We opened the year mourning the loss of some of our entertainment greats, who all mostly died at the young age of 60-something. Then I had a fall that turned into a freak accident in which my left hand smashed a nearby vase and sliced my nerve and artery which required microsurgery to fix.

Soon after I got my heart broken by my partner who was crumbling from the stress of the other parts of his life. I was left questioning the value of our relationship and whether staying or going would be the right thing.

Then I had a personal crisis of my own which had me questioning: my identity, my self-worth, my work, my very existence.

In between all that, my ex-mother-in-law passed away suddenly. That shook the entire family, and while I wasn’t close to her, I’ve always had the deepest respect for her for the woman she was – she loved my child, her granddaughter, with all her heart and more; she loved her family and protected them and looked after them fiercely; she was a really good woman. Two weeks after her passing, her older brother passed away from a long-standing illness.

My dog collapsed, wasn’t eating and looked like he was going through his final hour. We realised after all the blood tests, that he was depressed. My ex-mother-in-law’s lack of presence was clearly felt through the household.

When I was 21, I attempted suicide. I was going through a lot of emotional pain, that my heart literally, physically ached. I questioned the value of life if we had to go so much pain, and I didn’t want anymore of it if that was what life was about. This year, feels like the very reason why I wanted to sleep forever – the pain.

I sometimes feel like a coward for wanting to escape heartbreak and the associated pain. I don’t know why, it’s particularly unbearable.

I miss spending quiet moments with myself, deep in my thoughts, without having to worry about time, appointments and responsibilities.

I miss reading, crafting, writing, designing, coding, in my own time, without having to worry about deadlines that require budgets, presentations, schedules, contracts and client management.

I miss me.

The Cry for Help

My sister’s friend’s friend committed suicide yesterday. Prior to his death, the young man in his very early 20s, was sharing in the group chat his farewell messages, what to say to his mum after he is gone, and talked about ways to die. The other chaps thought he was joking and responded by offering other methods to kill himself. The young man hung himself.

Needless to say, the other chaps are shocked and traumatised at the turn of events.

All too often, people miss the signs of depression. Because it is an ‘invisible’ illness/ailment/condition, we cannot see when someone is hurting.

As a rule of thumb, never take it lightly when someone talks about wanting to kill themselves. It is never a joke. A happy person who is not depressed will not talk about such dark and morbid stuff because it will not be on his mind.

I have a history of depression. I have not been depressed all my life. There have been periods of basking in a warm glow, happy thoughts, a spring in my step, and just a general feeling of being on top of the world. But there also have been times when I struggle to get out of bed because I’d wake up feeling like a truck has run me over, or my heart pounding in my chest, or the confusion and fear of not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

So I can tell you: when I was happy, there was nothing in the world that could stop me and it felt that I could do anything. Nothing was impossible. But when the dark clouds take over my heart and mind, I go to bed wishing that I never have to wake up the next day.

When someone is hurting, when someone talks about life being worthless, it is NEVER a joke.

It is a cry for help.