Friday, February 26, 2010

Terrific Two

On Monday, February 22nd, my princess Kaela celebrated her 2nd birthday. It's so cliche when people say time flies, but OMG, it so totally does.

We woke her up in the morning and wished her a happy birthday, prayed for her and sent her off to school, and I spent the first half of the day reminiscing how easy pregnancy was with her, and how much I was just so full of love and joy the second I kissed her when she was born.

I have a framed prayer that I wrote when she was born, that is now stuck on to a baby picture of her and hung up on my wall, it says:

A Prayer for Our Little Girl
Lord, thank you for your beautiful gift,
The gift or a precious baby girl
We put her in Your hands to mold
Give her strength, passion and love
Allow her grace, serenity and wisdom
And everything else she needs
To make a difference in the world

I was in tears when I wrote it, because I was just so overwhelmed by the love I was feeling. It's amazing what joy children bring to your life. It was the same when my son Matthew was born too, but because of his condition, my feelings were sort of overshadowed by worry and fear.

She's now two years old, and in that stage where she's starting to question everything and comments on just about anything she sees. She's shy (so unlike me as a kid!) and doesn't feel comfortable being the center of attention, but she's so sweet, well-mannered and likable in general. I don't want to speak to soon, but I think this phase is called Terrific Twos not Terrible Twos. :)

More than anything, I want to be a good parent to her and her brother. All I want, is to be the kind of parent my children deserve. I hope I'm on the right track.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Assuming the worst...

Before I start my ranting for the day, let me just give a huge shout out to my brother Lance who is celebrating his 27th birthday today. Wishing him success, health and wealth...!

Today's topic is about assuming the worst, about being negative.

Here's what triggered this topic: a friend of mine recently told another friend that she was too fat for her height, and "humbly" suggested that the friend go on a diet and try to loose 20-25 pounds, otherwise no guy would want her. I've spoken about weight before, and this has nothing to do with the actual weight problem. The issue is more to the fact that my friends and I who were sitting at the same table listening in on the conversation were confused. Did my friend (let's call her Kate)actually say that because she was genuinely concerned about my other friend's (let's call her Ann) weight and guy problems or was she just trying to be mean? Can't deny the fact that Kate can be a b***h when she needs to (pardon the language!). My friends and I looked at each other around the table, then one by one started criticizing Kate for her weight comment, and she got upset because she said she was just really concerned that Ann was a bit on the heavy side.

Honestly, I look back at that conversation and how we reacted as friends, and I am embarrased. Why did I think the worst of Kate? Why did I immediately assume that Kate was just being mean or hurtful, instead of thinking she was genuinely concerned that Ann was a bit too heavy for her own good (and by this I mean for health reasons). For the record, I personally don't think Ann needs to lose 25 pounds! But that's not the point, the point is why was it easier to assume Kate was just being cruel instead of being genuine?

As human beings, it's often so much easier to just assume the worst about everything: about people, about situations, about just about anything. Like when your boss suddenly calls your extension and asks you to go up and see him, and the entire way there, you are thinking "Oh my God, he's going to fire me." Or when you try and call your boyfriend ten times and he doesn't answer, and you automatically think he's dodging your calls because he's bored with you. Another one that is most familiar to me is when I walk into a room and people stop talking, and I automatically think they were talking about me. They probably were, but again, that's not the point.

So why is it so difficult to think of the best instead of the worst? Why is being positive so challenging, and negativity seems to just be woven in our brain cells?

I'd like to think that I am a person who can objectively see things from different perspectives, thus leave no room for negativity. But evidently, I'm not, even though I try really hard to be. Being positive is supposed to make life so much easier, but it's so difficult to even try to be positive. What's that all about?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The View From Outside

At the risk of sounding cliche, people really do judge a book by its cover; they make assumptions and comment on things they only see on the outside, without even bothering to know what goes on on the inside.

Case in point: when I recently posted on my twitter that I'd be leaving for Paris again, I got more than a few remarks, all along the lines of: 'You're so lucky to be traveling all the time!' and 'What a fancy jet-setter!' These were comments made by friends, family members, and people I don't even know but have been following my twitter updates. (Btw, I appreciate my followers' comments!)

I always find it quite hilarious how people always think that I have the best job in the world. They think that because I travel and work in fashion, that I live this glamorous life filled with shopping, partying, mingling with A-list crowds and just basically having the time of my life. This is what they think they see from the outside: I go to Paris, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and a few other places for work all the time. I host a series of events (cocktails, dinners, exhibitions) locally, I get featured in some local magazines sometimes, and I get to meet some important and interesting people (e.g. Ronan Keating, F1 drivers Mark Webber and David Coulthard, Jay Kay of Jamiroquai, Louis Koo/Hong Kong film star, and the list continues).

And while all of those facts are true, they're missing some things too. Here's what they don't see: I sit in economy for long haul flights and have neck pain every time I travel. I skip a lot of meals because my meetings run so long and everyone in the industry doesn't seem to need to eat. When I travel, I mostly see the inside of a hotel conference room, meeting room or showroom - and that's about it. Even at this very moment, I am in my hotel room trying to catch up on 317 emails that I missed while I was on the 13 hours flight from Singapore to Paris. I stand on my feel in super high heels during all the events/cocktails/dinners/exhibitions and can't feel my toes by the time I go home (which is most likely past midnight). I have to work twice as hard as everyone because of all the traveling because the day-to-day work back home keeps on going even when I'm not around. And, the last thing that seems to be invisible even though it's the whole point my existence: I travel so much I miss important milestones in my children's lives. And friends, that really really sucks.

I find it so hilarious that I can't contain my laughter every single time someone tells me they think I have the best job in the world, simply because I get to travel the globe. What was even more funny was the fact that someone thought I earned a mega-huge salary in Euros. Hah! I wish!

Look, don't get me wrong. I don't hate my job. Not at all - I would have stayed 10 years if I hated it. It's just not the all fun and fancy like people think it is. A lot of hard work goes into everything we do, and not forgetting that a lot of sacrifices are made to do these things too. So it's not just all fun and games. Trust me, it's not all wine-and-dine, partying and jet-setting around the world. It's exhausting, tyring, just like any other job. Sure, there are perks... But don't let the perks fool ya. It's still a tough job to do...

So once in awhile, instead of always focusing on talking about the glamour part of my job, I wish people would talk a bit about just how hard I work, how much effort I put in in trying to be the very best at my job, and every now and then discuss how crappy I feel everytime I have to leave my kids behind. Can't hurt to at least try it out.