Tower

She had lost control.
Feeling desolate,
she remembered the Tigress’ words.
To never let herself be distracted from her practice.
And certainly,
never for a man.

Alive

She entered the used bookstore during the night.
Carrying with her,
a curious black book.
It was given to her by her life’s greatest adversary.
She had loved the artist.
But never wanted to read it.
For some reason.

The bookseller refused to buy it.
He said they already had plenty of copies.
Feeling frantic,
she told him to just take it for free.

The bookseller was amused.
Why?
Do you think you’re going to die?

No.

Unbeknownst to her at the time,
she would be forced to take a leap of faith later that night.
And survive.

She was 26.

Priorities

Warren Buffett has a 25-5 rule.
Where you make a list of the 25 things you want to do most.
Take the top 5 from that list.
And discard the rest.

I think my top 5 would be:
Write.
Paint.
Dance.
Play Guzheng.
Read/Learn.

I won’t discard the rest.
But I’ll focus on these for now.

Not looking to become a master.
Just proficient.
And happy.

My father had wanted me to study law but it bored me to death in high school.
He was a business owner.
And I had spent a lot of time chasing after his shadow.
I decided to study Economics during university because it was the branch of business education which was the most intuitive for me.
But I hated it so much.
What I wanted to do was study Anthropology, Philosophy and Psychology.
I was afraid that the first two wouldn’t make me any money.
I took all the anthro courses I could.
Plus PHIL101 and Business Ethics.
Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in a psych minor.
I loved those research studies.

I was on the verge of a breakdown at the beginning of 2015.
At the time, I was working at a large financial institution.
It was absolute soul sucking work.
And although I was promoted quickly and regarded highly,
I wanted nothing more than to stay home and do nothing.

I remember my birthday that year.
I visited the lake alone and sat there for an hour.
Wondering what was the point of all this.
The lack of meaning.
The mundane existence.

My next stop was the museum.
I love artifacts.
And the seemingly simpler life people had lived back then.
I often lament the fact that I was not born in an earlier time.

A statue of Ananda caught my attention.
He was a disciple of Buddha.
I’m not religious,
but I stared at him and cried.
People probably thought I was crazy.

I called up my favourite friend afterwards for coffee and dinner.
He met me at our usual coffee shop.
And I told him.
That all I thought about was driving off the highway ramp every morning.
He told me to just quit.
It sounded impossible at the time.
But a tiny seed of possibility was planted in me.

It was two weeks after that day.
I still remember it was during the morning.
Feeling the urge to pretend to be sick and go home again,
I took out my Chinese dollar coin.
Heads, quit.
Tails, stay.

My work friend was there as a witness.
I flipped.
Then cried.
And wrote my resignation right after.

Two and a half years later,
I’m still very much alive.
And kickin’ 😉

Powder

And every time she found herself falling,
she would call upon the ghosts of her past selves.
For strength to carry on another day.

When what is real is too painful,
fact becomes fiction.

Peony

I went to see a play with a friend last week.
Old Love by Norm Foster.
We were five minutes late so we missed the beginning monologue.
Reading it last night made me want to write about it.

Bud: This is the story of my pursuit of a good woman. And I don’t mean just any good woman, because I know there are millions of good women out there. I’m sure there are some here right now. But, I have a particular woman in mind. Her name is Molly.

I first met Molly twenty-five years ago. We met only three times, very briefly, over the course of the next three years. We were both married back then. Me to my wife Kitty, and Molly to Arthur Graham, the owner of the company I worked for. Eventually Arthur Graham sold the company and I didn’t see Molly again, but, she would always come back to me. Sometimes in a dream. Sometimes while I was just sitting at home going over the monthly bills. Or sometimes when I was driving over a long distance. Her face would suddenly pop into my mind at these times and I would wonder how she was doing.

*cue waterworks*

A man can love a woman forever from afar.
A man can lay next to you every night and never know who you are.

I learned a lot from that play.
As I do with much of what I consume.

The main character Bud is, in my opinion, a real man.
And though he started from the bottom,
he believed in the persistence of hard, honest work.
Unfortunately, he married a woman who did not respect him.
She wanted him to be more and do more.
To be someone he was not.
She didn’t believe in him.
And because she did not respect him, she ended up cheating and leaving him with the child.
He loved the boy anyways.
And came to be a wealthy man on his own merit.

Molly is a kind, devoted woman.
Who recounted that she had messed up her life at her husband’s funeral.
She had let him take the lead much of the time.
And when he asked her to sacrifice her dreams for him,
she did.
It seemed to me that she was never able to voice her true feelings and thoughts to him.
Because he never wanted to listen.
Being hopelessly devoted and catering to her man,
she knew he did not love her but she stuck by him anyways.
Despite knowing he’d often cheat on her.
She was finally free after he died.

I told myself that night that I would not end up like Molly.
That I’ll only be with a man who truly loves me.
A man who I respect, admire and truly believe in.

Sail

She took all her belongings.
And left the orphanage overnight.
There was no point in staying where she didn’t belong.
Where she was never wanted.

She left her fate up to the Gods.
With the budding belief she now had in herself.
She will go where the wind goes.
The path of least resistance.

Please Sir, I want some more.