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Month: June 2012 (page 1 of 2)

It’s Okay to Cut Ties

Maybe five years ago, losing a friend (especially a close one) is almost end of the world for me. So I tried to keep everyone close by shuffling between different groups organising meetups blah blah and it was really draining.

Now, I’ve come to terms with myself and I don’t mind losing friends. Not to the extend of becoming enemies, but just letting them fade away slowly.

I see no point to meet up once I find it a chore to do so. After rejecting them more than three times, most friends get the hint. But the most 不要脸 of all is what I term as ‘leechers.’ They only look for you when they need you, and come acting close to you (when you both are aware that you’re not) just because they want to leech on your benefits. Fuck off seriously.

I’ve encountered so many friendship hurdles over the years till I’ve become immune. Recently, I stumbled across an old magazine article while doing random browsing at a hair salon and it totally second my thoughts. Imma share it here.

Why I Don’t Feel Bad About Breaking Up with Friends

Several years ago, a former schoolmate invited me to her wedding. I was surprised because we had barely exchanged text messages for eons. I politely declined via SMS without revealing why but a mutual friend let the cat out of the bag unintentionally.

When the bride-to-be found out, she was furious. She sent me a nasty SMS telling me how upset she was and vowed never to speak to me again. Since then, she has ignored me whenever we run into each other. Honestly, I can’t say I care – that’s how distant we’ve become.

That incident showed me how people use different benchmarks to measure the quality of friendship. My ex-schoolmate considered me to be a good friend because we’d known each other since we were 13. But how long I’ve known someone isn’t a good gauge of closeness for me.

What matters most to me is being able to let my guard down and be myself with someone I call a friend. Yes, a fair number of my closest friends are from school but I have also forged friendship with people I’ve met in more recent years.

I firmly believe in being discerning when it comes to who I spend my time with. Why should I bother if I have to rack my brains to carry on a conversation with you? That’s my litmus test to determine whether you’re a “stay” or a “nay.” And if you’ve been tagged the latter you’re an acquaintance – that means meeting up once in a blue moon.

Mean? Perhaps. But if our once lively chats have degenerated into small talk, then I ‘m doing us both a favour.

Breaking up is hard to do.

I admit I wasn’t always this resolute about saying goodbye to friends, even when I realised we had grown apart. It is undoubtedly comforting to relive “the good ol’ days” with familiar faces. Public relations consultant Melissa Thomas, 30, shares similar sentiments. She treasures her friends from school because they were there for her throughout herkgrowing-up years. “We’ve shared many happy moments and also seen each other through tough times. They will naturally have a special place in my heart,” she says.

Katherine Ho, 24, a private tutor, agrees, adding that she fondly remembers sharing significant moments, like her first kiss, with friends from her teenage years.

These emotional bonds can be difficult to sever because people like familiarity and security, says Dr. Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at Gleneagles Medical Centre. “Furthermore, by the time you reach your 20s and 30s, these friends would have supported you through experiences like examination failures, break-ups with boyfriends and job problems. They will always be linked to these memorable life events.”

Clinging on to friendships is all well and good if you still are genuinely in sync with someone but it should never feel like an obligation to keep in touch. More often than not, friendships change, says Dr. Wang. “Friendships that met your needs then may not meet your needs now. If you’re a single woman, you may find that a friend who is now a stay-at-home mother can’t understand what you’re going through at work, and vice versa.”

I have accepted that this is a fact of life. I can’t (and don’t want to) talk about where to shop for the best diapers or baby formula. I value engaging conversations and gravitate towards people who are opinionated or share my love for yoga or outdoor sports.

Feeling bad no more.

So why have I become choosier about who I spend my time with? Because of a hefty dose of reality mixed with sheer social exhaustion. I often feel overstretched because of my packed-to-the-brim calendar.

Here’s the rundown of one of my recent weekends: Rock concert with friends, dialogue session with women entrepreneurs, cousin’s baby’s baptism, tea with my grandparents, volunteer work, yoga class and dinner with friends – all in the span of 48 hours! I think I managed to squeeze some sleep somewhere in there, too.

As you can see, I run the risk of spreading myself too thin. I wouldn’t have it any other way because weekends are the best time to catch up on personal pursuits and family time (and to go on dates). So I have no choice but to compromise on the friends I meet because there are a finite number of hour in a day.

Even research has shown that we can’t handle too many close friends at one go. UK-based evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar says that we can only have five friends in our inner circle, while Mark Vernon, author of The Philosophy of Friendship, says the magic number is probably between six and twelve. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, if I want to get close to someone new, I have to get rid of someone first.

The tricky part is breaking up with someone within a group. Case in point: Recently, some friends and I agreed that we’d had enough of a particular friend’s antics, like how she’s perpetually very late when she meets us.

But when I suggested ousting her from the group, everyone else protested. “She has a good heart,” they insisted. I rolled my eyes. Many people out there have “good hearts” (unless you’re a sociopath).

Eventually, we decided we’d include her in our monthly meet-ups but nothing more.

Being decisive and realistic.

Ironically, my best friend is someone I’ve known since I was in primary one. Our friendship has stood the test of time because we unconditionally accept each other for who we are. We also can be (and have been) brutally honest with each other whenever we need to be.

Premila knows I’m a hypochondriac and I am tolerant of her flaws (which I shan’t reveal here because I still want to be friends with her). We text and call each other several times a week and usually meet up once fortnightly. I appreciate her for being there for me through the toughest times in my life like break-ups, my paternal grandma’s passing and car accidents.

Still, I know I appear unsentimental (and ruthless) about friendships but I see my approach as being decisive – and realistic. It simply means I have more time for the people and activities that matter most.

Question how meaningful your existing friendships are, decide if they’re worth keeping and stick to your guns. I say Facebook is a good place to start culling your list of friends.

Written by Zarelda Marie Goh (I think!) in Her World, July 2011.

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My Glory, Shattered

Both of them crumbled under my butter fingers, what a shame what a shame.

I could still vividly remember the state of shock I was in when I clinched first place in an art competition during primary one, competiting against children two years my senior. I didn’t even know what I was in for, I only know, “go there and draw lor.” And my mum FORCED me to draw the police post (where the competition was held) when I wanted to draw a rocket so badly 🙁 In the end, bootlicking worked.

The dinosaur was a night lamp D&T project which is supposed to ease the fear of darkness in kids but I guess I might scare the crap out of them instead. Hahaha I’m such a boy since young.

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Wah! First Time Got People Make Bowl for Me!

Thanks Loti! 😀 Dunno why every time I look at it I immediately picture him doing the pottery thingy to the music of “Ohhhhh my loveeeeee, my daaaarrrling~” LOLOL.

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Weekends are Made of These

The Slimmest Has Yet to Come

Photo taken two weeks ago when I finally managed to fit in a mini denim shorts I bought in Bangkok last year. That’s the diet benchmark I set for myself because I tried so hard to force my way in last time that the button broke WTF.

Lost about 2kg (sounds so easy but it’s damn difficult!) since I started swimming on a regular basis for a month. Must thank Loti for leaving me bored and lonely and near to a swimming pool for two weeks, but thankfully I saw some results and found the motivation to continue.

But exercising alone is not enough, it must go with diet. I didn’t starve, I just choose to eat healthy on usual meals and only indulge when I meet friends for good food. Calories are like money – must be spent wisely. It’s tough though, especially for a food lover like me. I’ll go through the “angel and devil fight” in my head for every sinful temptaion I see. The devil used to win, but recently the angel has the upper hand most of the times.

Alright, gotta go! Heading for another swim soon. Have a good weekend. I’ll catch up on more updates!

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No Longer a Triangle

‘Cos I’m a square! Lol. Sorry for the lack of updates. I’m so overwhelmed with work and meeting people that I’m only left with four hours of sleep for four consecutively nights T_T

One year has unknowingly passed and my P-plate retired. It’s been a ride.

Owning a scooter was what I’ve always wanted. Initially, it was for transportation’s sake. Now, I’ve grown to love riding so much I wouldn’t mind doing it for the rest of my life. It gives me a sense of freedom I can’t put in words. I know I know, they all say motorbikes are dangerous. But the convenience and advantages it brings weigh more than the lil’ risks. Lemme tell you why.

The Pros and Cons of Riding in Singapore

1. Motorbike is cheap.

I guess in Singapore where COE is ridiculously prized (pun intended), majority of us cannot bear to afford the luxury of owning a brand new car piece of paper. A Chery QQ now costs up to $75K these days (SIAO ONE!), while a motorbike on average cost around $5K.

2. Petrol cheap, parking cheap, ERP cheap.

My scooter’s tank is only 4 litres big and each full fill-up costs $5 and can last me about 120km (3 – 5 days). One bike parking coupon costs 65 cents and is valid either for a day (7am – 10.30pm) or a whole night (10.30pm – 7am). ERP ranges from 25 cents – $2. There are methods I know of to cao geng for free parking or ERP but cannot anyhow share here later gahmen fine me.

3. Squeezability.

I can’t beat you in speed, but I can beat you in traffic. Having the ability to weave between cars is extremely useful especially during peak hours. It feels pretty troll and it’s even more troll when those ah beng cars rev their engines so hard but end up stopping at the same traffic light as me while I happily throttle my way to the front.

4. Excuse to not drink.

Ever since I started riding, I can siam all the alcohol when I’m out with friends, ‘cos I don’t enjoy drinking to begin with. Too bad for you if you’re a drinker.

5. Alertness.

I have a class 3 license and I’ve driven a car (about five times?) before, but I don’t like the fact that I can’t really see the edges of the car and it’s difficult to check blind spots. I just feel so cooped up yet comfortable in a car (with air-con leather seats and all) that it tends to make me blur and sleepy. I dunno, maybe it’s a girl thing, or a 156cm thing lol. On the other hand, I feel much more confident on a bike due to a wider field of vision and better gauge in traffic. And I cannot NOT be alert because I am exposed all the time, which brings me to my next point.

6. Exposed.

Scorching sun, pelting rain – you gotta take it all. Sometimes there are random flying insects or sand from lorries so be sure to have your visor on.

7. Many cheebai drivers out there.

I hate it when those irritating cars tailgate me or force their way into my lane causing me to change lane abruptly. They bully you just ‘cos they can and motorbikes are always on the losing end. We can’t stop nasty drivers from being nasty, so we can only try to stay on the ball and not speed.

8. Meat cover metal.

The direct translation of 肉包铁. When shit happens, the first thing that kena is your skin and flesh, then your bike. No airbags or metal to protect you unlike a car.

9. But still, riding can be safe if you’re safe.

I know I’ve repeated many times, but maintaining alertness and not doing stupid things like speeding shouldn’t land yourself in an accident too major. They say even if you be careful also no use, other people not careful you die. Ya lor, then you suay lor. When a crazy Ferrari comes ramming by, taxi car motorbike also die. If you’re meant to die, walk also will die. Then what, don’t leave your house? Maybe your roof crash you also die.

10. Don’t need style hair!

You use wax / clay / gel / hairspray put one helmet on end up only got one style – helmet style HAHAHAHA! Don’t style better la, save time save money.

Riding is not for the faint-hearted. If you scared, go save up for a car or get a boyfriend / girlfriend with a car or take your parents’ car or just take BMW – Bus MRT Walk.

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Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 8

Usually the last days of trips are reserved for emoness because of the need to return to reality, but I’ve never felt more emo on that particular last day because I wanted to go home so badly! Our flight was delayed for ten hours FOL. Continue reading

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Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 7

Woke up to the sianest morning ever. Continue reading

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Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 6

This was how the sky looked like at 4.55am. Yeah, we dragged ourselves out of bed darn early to camp for the sunrise from our room’s loft window. Continue reading

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Wo Ai Tai Mei: Day 5

Caught an early train from Taipei to Hualien. Tze-Chiang 206 is the fastest with the best timing I suppose – a two-hour ride to reach Hualien at about 9.30am. (Railway timings here.) Continue reading

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