To yourself: be kind, be fair

The language we use yields much power. Especially when we use it to describe events in our lives.

I’m not talking about affirmation here. It won’t help you if you tell yourself repeatedly again and again the things with your mouth, but in your head you deny it, because for you it’s just not true?

What I mean is this: be aware of the role of yourself in your own story. Are you putting yourself in a hero’s position? Are you an active doer or a passive receiver? With what intention were you making decisions? Because intention and outcome aren’t always hand-in-hand. They should be judged separately. Too often people are judged by the outcome of their actions only. And no one’s interested in the backstory involving their intention.

What’s your backstory? What roles do you see yourself took on?

People are subjective. We all are. But at least we can try to be fair with ourselves.

For most of us, it’s easy to be kind to others, but not to ourselves.

Prophecy

The tricky thing about prophecy is, if you want to prevent the thing in the prophecy from happening, your actions will lead everything to exactly where the prophecy says it would go. Your actions will be the cause of that.

Like a curse.

You might be becoming like the people you dislike and promised to go up and against.

You might have already.

So do we just give up trying?

Or we just keep self-reflecting, and adjust our course?

The only thing I know is this: I don’t want to end up living where I don’t want to be living, especially now. And I don’t worry about where I will be living in the future. Because I might change my mind then.

That might be the way to break the prophecy — considering it doesn’t matter anymore.

I will be your home

Today I learnt that newborn babies can have “womb-sick” (homesick for womb) for a period of time after they were born.

And I do have homesick. The real one.

Thanks to the pandemic, I can’t fly home. Being away from my family for two years hasn’t been easy.

Home is never just a place. It’s a combination of everything in an experience.

It’s your closest family. It’s the smell of your newly washed clothes. It’s the taste of your breakfast and dinner.

For me, that home is not where I’m living right now. It’s on the other side of this world, literally.

It’s where I grew up, where I learnt what is love, where my dream started.

It’s where I always go back. It’s where my roots are.

It’s where my mother was. It was, and still is, my mother.

Then I realised, I will be home for my daughter.

She will grow up with me, learn what is love, build up her dream.

I want to be her home so she can always come back, where she can sleep well, regain her energy when she’s tired.

I love my home. But I will be hers. I’m building the space, and being the essence of that home, for her.

Because I’m strong enough to be hers, even if I’m not at mine.

A mother’s jealousy

My mother was a jealous one.

She was jealous of my father, of my grandfather. Because when I was little, I loved spending time with them, having my arms around their necks, sitting on their laps all day.

So when my mother expressed her jealousy to me, I was feeling annoyed. “She’s like this because she cares about you, and she loves you very much.” My aunt told me.

“This is so pointless,” I used to think, “why is she so insecure? I won’t be like that when I grow up.”

Before my baby was born, my friends who had babies before me told me something surprising to me. They said that after birth, they were very protective and possessive of their babies, “on some very animalistic level”.

I didn’t feel possessive of my baby girl. I love it when my husband takes care of her.

But it hurts me a little bit when she smiles at my husband more than at me. To my luck, she’s too little to be away from me. I’m her food, her home — on an animalistic level.

I love being loved by her, even though she had no choice but love me.

We are the closest in this world right now. The most intimate. The most connected.

Or to say, not to exaggerate: we are one.

I can imagine, if one day she expresses more affection to others than to me, I will feel jealous. And that jealousy is more than justified.

But to use its power for “good”, we can see it as a form of the eternal bond. It’s not just “out of love”. It has ancient code hidden in our genes.

Being there, invisible

Being there. The thing that mothers do.

Last night, my baby daughter was crying, because she didn’t want to go to sleep while being extremely tired.

I was there, standing while holding her. I let her look at the kitchen lights the way she likes.

Watching lights always calms her down.

I rocked my body gently left and right, up and down.

I stood there for I don’t know how long.

Then I thought about my own mother.

She must just have been there for me when I needed her. Just like I’m here for my baby, when she needs me.

Through thick and thin. Awake and asleep. All the time. Non-stop.

Maybe that’s why, motherhood can seem to be unspectacular at times.

Because it is essential, sometimes it’s so invisible.

We can’t escape who we are

We cannot escape who we are.

We spend most of our time as creatives to observe. To observe others, how they are, what they are doing, and how they have become who they are today.

We observe to be inspired.

But that’s when we fail to observe or to know who we are.

Our characters.

Our passion, not for others, but for ourselves.

Observing and learning about others, fascinated by others, by the experience of watching.

But the downside is, it’s easy to get lost in the observing. It’s easy to forget ourselves in the process.


Like the ability to love, we can love others better if we love ourselves.

We can tell stories better if we know our own stories.

Find who we are, so that we can then improve ourselves, our craft, in many ways.

Just mind that there is no point to wanting to be someone else.

There’s no point even to trying to escape. Think about Don Draper.

Stop playing a role.

Accept and make the best out of how we really are.

Because that’s who we are. That’s how we can truly be happy as human beings.

A strategy might be unnecessary

Some things you can get by drawing out a plan and work for it. Like to finish running a marathon.

The goal is clear. And what you need to do to reach that goal is clear: systematic training, nutrition, and rest — strategy and execution. Simple but hard.

But there are goals that are much harder to reach.

I’m not saying running a marathon is easy. Gosh no. The longest I’ve ever run was 10k and it was five years ago before I got myself a cozy home. You need great discipline to train yourself and you need strong mind power for it, too.

I’m talking about those goals that are too ambiguous to plan for it.

Like being a creative, a storyteller, or an artist.

What does it mean to be all these things above?

It’s not about what you want to do. It has something to do with what you have done.

But it has the most to do with what you are doing.

Being a creative, a storyteller, or an artist, is not about strategy. There is no concrete plan.

What you need is to keep producing, keep creating, keep shipping.

The process is all that matters to call yourself a creative, a storyteller, or an artist.

Other things are just hypes and distractions.

The belated understanding

We are destined NOT to understand each other. At least not at the right time.

We can try to do that. And we should.

But the only way to fully understand another person is to stand exactly where they are, wearing the same shoes as they are, having the same experience that informs today’s emotion and decision…

Or to put it simply: being them.

So that’s hopeless. Because it’s impossible.

Now I’m a mother myself. Suddenly I can understand my own mother to an extent that I didn’t think was possible.

I used to think my mother might have hated me when I was growing up. Because she forbade me to do so many things that were allowed by my friends’ parents.

“It’s for your own sake,” She used to say, “you will understand me in the future when you become a mother yourself.”

I didn’t believe her. And I didn’t even consider it could be true.

I thought, adults just say the most random things to get me to do whatever they want me to do.

Today I do understand my mother from 20 years ago. She was worried. She had fear. She had fear because of the unknown.

Unknown for her was the scariest thing. She didn’t want something for me that was unknown to her.


Yet understanding my mother doesn’t mean that I would do the same to my own child.

I would try to understand my own fear, and not let my fear dictate the freedom of experience for my own child. I might not do a better job. But I will try.

It was hard for a child to believe the rejections of requests she got from her own mother was out of love.

The truth of that love is what I can fully understand today, standing at where my mother was standing, living as a mother myself.


There is a gap between each of us with others in this world. A gap that makes complete understanding impossible.

Even if we go around mountains, following another person’s footsteps, and eventually getting to stand where they are, they might have left a while ago.

You can still see what they have seen, feel they have felt. Then you can really understand them.

But what to do with that view, those feelings and emotions becomes your own decision.

That’s what understanding each other really means — not to close the gap, because it’s impossible; but to see from where they’ve made their decisions, so that you can better make yours.

A bird and a dandelion

“Let the wind take me wherever”.

It is a kind of life philosophy. Free-spirited. Chilled. No root. Flexible. “Go with the flow”.

The only commitment you will take is “No commitment, thanks”.

But there are still two types of people who own this motto.

A bird. Or a dandelion.

They can both fly with the wind. But the difference is vast:

A dandelion has to fly. But she doesn’t get to decide where she’s going, or where she’s landing. The wind decides her fate. She can’t stop, can’t choose to change the route.

She needs to get away from where she was to survive, to have a chance of growing into something herself. The wind is her only chance. So she lets the wind take her, knowing the risk ahead that she might not land at an ideal place to grow.

A bird also uses the wind. Yet she doesn’t depend on it completely.

The wind helps her fly higher, faster, better.

She’s her own captain; she can fly against the wind if she must.

But she can stop when she’s tired.

So before jumping into the wind and let it take you “wherever”, think about whether you are a bird or a dandelion.

Journaling was not good self-therapy

Not for me.

It worked for a while. I’d get up early in the morning or staying up late at night. That was my time alone. And when I’m alone, the voices in my head get stronger.

So I journaled.

I wrote down what I dreamt of last night, what I thought about today, how the things were not going my way, and how I blamed myself for everything that happened and didn’t happen.

I wrote down the solution, the resolution, how I’m going to improve myself, building up a system and sticking to it. And I also wrote that I should stop being lazy and a disappointment.

Because EVERYONE can do it. Whatever that “it” means.

If I CAN’T do it, it’s my fault and my fault alone.

That was what I journaled, every day, for a year.

Then I got depressed. Who wouldn’t?

Journaling serves as a way of looking internally, of saying the truth, of self-reflection.

But when things — those negative things — started to repeat, I should have stopped writing and notice that pattern.

I was so busy with self-reflecting, I didn’t see that I was trapped in that negative, self-blaming circle.

Journaling not only let you express yourself, it also helps you discover the truth that’s hidden behind your consciousness.

But there’s a vital step to do beside only writing, writing, and writing — you have to actually read what you wrote, in order to see much about yourself that you didn’t know.

And this if step is missing, journaling is not helping you as the way it should be.