Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010, the year that was

Dear brother,

Another year has passed us by. You are in your last year of Secondary. I have just finished my bond and contract with Singapore. A year full of events has gone by.

If you remembered (which you might, since you will read all these notes at one go), 2009 was the year that I struggled to stand still. I wanted so much to move forward, but I ended up at the same place that I was. Well, 2010 was a moving year, moving forward. I am still taking baby steps, and as frustrated I am, 2010 was a year that I am thankful for.

I completed 6 out of 10 resolutions for the year (which, with my history of failing resolutions, I definitely got a B+ for this. So cheers for me).

I got that promotion I wanted. It came as I thought (and some might say as I deserved). It was a year struggling with work (as you already know), with career aspiration and with moving forward. It is definitely not ideal, but it is nevertheless great!

I got attached (for a while). I forgot how it was to be with someone. But it was kind, and warm, and amazing. Somehow the people I am in love with always ended up my best friends – soul mates. But well, better love and hurt than none. “We have faced our own time of darkness. We have been afraid. Yet we trust that we will find light in our darkness, and risk to love again with courage and faith”

I realized I didn’t want to take an MBA. I wanted it for all the wrong reasons. And so, I have to find a new path, a new resolution, for myself, for my future.

I miss my friends. Although year-end saw our struggles to re-connect, I realized we have grown up, and incredibly grown apart too. Kelly, my best friend, my soul mate, left for Brunei, after cleaning the plate clean in Singapore. CJ got married and got a family of his own, leaving the kids of KE family behind. Fushan got attached too, and is working really hard. James, dear old James, is still being his kind and busy soul himself. And Liu Ting, of course, remains socially single (although a conversation reminiscing her old relationship in Uni made me feel she is lonely, too).

I went soul searching, again. As I’m typing this note to you in an L.A. Starbucks (with a bunch of incredibly high fashioned cute people ), I realized, life is a journey. Every year is just an occasion to look back, but life never stops. No mile stone, no pause, no fast forward, no slow down, and definitely no turning back.

I finally made another 5-year-plan. To take up a monkhood in Tibet/Burma. I know it’s not a kind of plan everyone wants (especially mom). But I found that spiritual place where I wanted to be. And the logistic involved for that would take lots of saving, putting you in college, and settling my life’s messes.

That said, 2010 was fast flying by. It seems like I was in a coma and life has moved without me knowing, for the better, of course.

2011 came knocking. I’m not quite ready for it, but I’ll welcome it anyway. I might set some more resolutions for the new year. I might not. We will see. Life is moving by me fast.

With love

Friday, December 10, 2010

Being alive

Friday 10/12/2010

Dear brother

Im writing to you from Zion Canyon,one of nature most spectaculr scene. We drove 280 mils yesterday to reach here and the drive was breathe tain. It made me wonder,where have I been and what i have been missing out all these years.


today is all we got. Today is all that could be. Being alive,that what i have missed out. Someone wise (my boss)once told me «You cant put your life on hold for anything»and that is true.

I have decided,in the nex 5years,Ill settle all these worldly worries,get you into a good college,and go on a spiritual journey through India,Japan,Tibet,Thailand, Myanma  for a year or so. Maybe follow a monkhood for a few months. Its something I have been wanting to do. APromise of a life time.

To be alive.

Suddenly it seems. The shadows I have been chasing all these while are cleared up. And all is but the gorgeous blue skye on top of a winderful gate to heaven.

OK. Time for some hikes down those rocky trails. Ill upload pictures later


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The end of an era

Wednesday 11:15pm, Changi Airport, Singapore

Dear brother,

I am at the airport, waiting to go to Los Angeles for my 6 weeks trip.

I got released from my project. It was so sudden. They handed me the form, asked me to sign, and then that was it. What I fought for for more than a year, I simply got it. I am free. Released. Off.

I'm supposed I should have been more emo about it, if I have more time to process. It was all just so crazy. I worked till 7pm on the last day, and rushed to the airport. It is not sinking in yet.

2 years. 2 whole years of striving so hard for some thing, of being together with people, co-workers, friends. 2 years. Over.

It's the end of an era. And I'm so ready for change. 6 weeks of travelling across the west coast of US, mountains and beaches, snows and sunshine. I'm grateful to be alive.

It is me, being 25, young, restless, fighting to feel alive. I know spending your hard earned bonus of a crazy trip doesn't seem like a good idea. But, it is NOW. It is now that matters. All that matters. I'm single (i.e. alone), and I need to do this for myself before life gets me.

So well, brother, off I go for another journey of my life :)

I know you are probably jealous. But you'll have your chance. THe good side is, I'd probably pay for your future trips, too. LOL.



Friday, November 26, 2010

Being Thankful

Friday 26th Nov 2010,

Dear brother,

I was so busy working I missed Thanks Giving (I also missed like 3 episode of Dexter and a few of Fringe and Glee). I've been working till 11pm daily again.

Anyhow, I made the point every year to celebrate this day, to celebrate life and be thankful for the people who have made impact in my life this year. I know it is a US (Canada) holiday, but I guess in life, it doesn't hurt to stop being a whining bitch for a day, and be thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family. Mom, Dad, God Dad, you (of course). I know there are so many times I have felt so alone. But life takes distance for one person to realize how precious family is, and how wonderful it is to no longer be on your own.

I also want to thank the people at my work, the amazing Billing guys at BSS project (I know none of them read this page, but that doesn't stop me from being thankful). It was a rough years with many 14-hour-work-day and nights, but being next to them have helped me grow, and learn, a lot.

I am thankful for love. It's been bumpy. And I am very much close to the beginning as I am. But I guess it's the very part of the process. Falling in love. Falling apart. Getting back into love. I was glad I got to feel, to live, to be alive. To love is simply amazing.

Lastly, I am thankful to myself (How narcissistic! I know.). I guess regardless of how old, cynical, and exhausted I feel, at the core of me, I'm still that young idealistic guy that is unafraid of change, and unafraid of living my life the way I want to. I still have the courage to quit my job, fly half way around the world, and search for something that I know that is close to impossible. It maybe naive, but if I had not been naive, I wouldn't have been here today.

So well, brother, it's the season to be thankful. And I am. It's been another year with ups and (a lot of) downs, but I have grown and moved forward a little. Therefore I am thankful.

Sleep tight little one. The world's thankful for your precious presence, too.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freedom and Chains

Tuesday 23rd Nov 2010,

Dear brother,

Yesterday marked the end of my 3 years study bond with Singapore. It's the end of the chain. I'm no longer bounded here. I'm free.

Well, almost.

While I am free physically and legally, I cant forget that there are other obligations. I have my family. I have rent. I have my responsibilities. I have limitations in term of where I can go and what I can do. I am, well, ALMOST, free.

I wish to pursue a job that I like, in a country I can breathe, doing the things that I love, with the people that I care about. I know. I know it's too much to ask when you are 25, but one's gotta dream.

It's so far out. Few years back I just thought it'd be different. When the bond is over I can just go. Fly free.

I'm here, working 12 hours day as usual, not improving my knowledge or my conditions. Worse yet, I am losing my confidence as I keep getting rejection or people not interested in hiring me. Sometimes I wonder if my skill, my experience, and my wish to drive to excellence have all gone to waste...

That sad. 3 years have closed, in a blink. I am glad and proud of where I have been and the road I have walked so far. It's a matter of time, and as impatient as I get, I'll try to stay with it and just BE.

I hope I can be home this June, so I can hold your hands and walk you through one of the most challenging time of your life. You'll do fine, but I just want to be there.

Because sometimes, a decision you made that young can end you up in freedom, or chains.


Sunday, November 7, 2010


Monday Nov 8, 2010

Dear brother,

Somebody called it Mid-life crisis. I call it a crossroad. There are many times in life you need to make decisions, big decision. And I just had a feeling, this year, by the end of this month, it's my turn for that.

I know quitting your job, ending your relationship, running away half way around the world for 6 weeks seem insane, but it's me trying to get by. Sometimes when you get your head so deep into something, you just need to freak out, step back, and look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

I know what I want to do now. Or I think I do. The sense of calm and sensibility have returned.

I don't want to do an MBA. Funny how much time I spent studying and working on the perfect application. But no, that is not what I need. I don't want to put myself through another 2 years of stress, competition, not to mention the insane amount of school fee. I needed a way out of here after my bond is over, an easy way, and I thought what's best to go to an overseas country, do an MBA for 2 years, and stay there. That's me escaping. So no, brother, that is not a right choice to make.

I want to work on my relationship. I do. I guess the time apart makes me realize, I had to work for it. I'm done running. I'm not sure where it will go, and whether it will be worth it, but I want to try, to work it out, to do everything that I can. And when it's over, it's over. But if it's not, then I'm taking this chance.

I want a change of work, but I want to stick with my career. Sure it is not that architect dreams when I was 10. Sure it is not that designer/photographer dream when I was 20. But this is what I do best, what i kick ass at, and what I do like to do. Of course I'm not asking you brother to give up your dreams to be a Scientist, or an Engineer, because you can do it. I'm just saying, sometimes, dreams are dreams. I am not playing a fool anymore. I need to take charge of my life, my career, the way I want to.

I want help. Well, I need help. I guess the years alone have hardened me to the stage where I reject help (paradoxically when I need them the most). But there are people out there who care (sadly not many of them). But I'm done being a tough smart-ass good-for-nothing porcupine. I need help, and I'll get it whenever it is offered. It's still a little uncomfortable to ask, but I'm learning.

So there it is, the result of my overanalytical thinking over the past few weeks. I'm gonna just take this time off, this 6 weeks, to rest my mind and my tiring heart, to move on, and to move forward. I'll still get out of this hurting place where no one cares, but I'm doing it my way, with the help from the people that I love (and love me).

I am glad you are excited over the gifts I have for you guys from Korea and from here. I know you had been through some tough time with school. This is an important year for you, a crossroad for you. I'll take another 2-3 weeks off to be there and take you through this. I promise. Because I love you.

So be strong, little brother. Well, I know you are not so little anymore, but whenever we are at crossroads like we are, we just need a hand to hold, when the world is so large and we have to make decisions larger than ourselves. And I'm making mine...


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Evening

Sunday 31st Oct, 2010

Dear brother,

Everyone hates Sunday evenings. The weekend, and the week is over, and we are faced with the new week, unprepared. It's unfinished.

Lately, I couldn't shake the feeling that I have lost everything that is important to me. Ok, that's a dramatic exaggeration. I might have risked a lot of things that matter to me. A good job. A good relationship. A good (best) friend. I've been tormenting myself quite a bit about that too.

But I guess, the fact is, I'm 25. I am allowed, sometimes, to be selfish and making mistakes. It's my life and I'm done waiting for things to just happen. I'm done apologizing for trying for what I want. I'm just, done.

Bravery? Stupidity? A little bit of both. But to be frank I don't regret it...

What I regret, really, is to leave things unfinished. My job is undone, as the negotiations haven't settled and I have already given up. My relationship is undone, because I feel I gave up way too easily and I didn't give myself a chance to try at it. My friendship with the best friend/mentor you can find in the world is undone, as I feel mis-understood and he has given up on me. I know I'm self-centered. I hurt people in the process. And I'd do everything to take that back, to return things to the way they were 2 months ago. I just wish I could tell these people how sorry I am.

But then I'll forever be incomplete. I screwed up, I know. But I feel the decision to screw up is something that I needed, for myself. I so much so many times want to please. To travel across the globe, to work 14 hours a day, to apologize for who I am and what I want. I guess I was done.

I'm sad. Maybe. Frustrated. A little. Lost. Constantly since July. But I guess I'm young and I need to get this shit together, on my own again.

I just wish someone could have been there to tell me what's right from what's wrong, to tell me I'll have a place to go back to no matter how much I fucked up.

Well, brother, at least I hope I'd be that place for you...

With love

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All we are

Tuesday, 26th Oct 2010,

Dear brother,

Do we grow up, really? Or do we just grow old, weary, withering like a flower every rainy morning.

The reason I asked, is, I guess, I'm having a sort of mid-life crisis. I know, if that means I'm gonna live till 50 with this emoness, I'd actually be grateful. I just have absolutely no energy and no morale in everything that I do. It's just... sad...

Days go by. I didn't wanted to leave at first, the more negotiation, the more waiting, the more I'm determined to leave this behind. My work. Singapore. The life that is not for me. I wake up each day wondering, will it be better, elsewhere?

Hours go by so slowly. I know I did the right thing. For me. For everyone. Somehow, it's just sort of painfully lonely when I thought about it. Doing the right thing and doing the things your heart desires.

I'm not myself lately, tired, grumpy, delivering lousy work quality. I'm just... giving up.

Do I grow up? Or I just grow old, weary, falling like rain...

December. US trip in December... Never has a month seemed so long...

With love

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Wednesday, 20th October 2010


I'm single again.

Unlike any decisions that I've made recently (and I made a lot of bad ones), this seems like a logical, sensible, and I have pondered it in a long time.

To love someone so much is to set them free and think for them, even when that breaks you. I guess it is not fair to ask for someone to go the distance, to wait for you to get your life together, and to still love you for who you are, even when you don't feel like loving yourself so much anymore.

I realized I want something so much in life. Something else. Something out of here. Escapism at work? Maybe. Maybe not. I just know being in love is comfortable, and warm, but I need to be out there somewhere else, and I cant be selfish to ask for someone to wait for me to finish that and come back.

Love is like a bird, you set it free. If it was meant to be, it'll come back.

LOL. I am so hoping you are not such a mess as I am when you are 25. I'm gonna be ok. I'm gonna be without a job and without anyone to care for me, but I tend to do better when I burn all my bridges and force myself out of my comfy procrastination zone. We'll see.

Have faith


Monday, October 18, 2010

The day off

Monday, 18th Oct 2010


The best way to beat Monday blues: Not going to work.

I woke up tired, with migraines from bad dreams and uncomfortable bed. I just feel so... Urgh. My doctor friend said I have acute stress. My Arts friends said I have "emotional constipation". Even my horoscope said I need more rest. So I decided to go see a doctor, quote my long term migraine defect, and take an MC.

I have been hiding here in the library studying GMAT all day. It kinda feels good to be in a quiet place, studying to classical music and feeling like I'm away from the choices I have to made. I was about to resign, but I decided to take a break first and not think about it for ONE day.

The phone didn't stop ringing. Well, it's the nature of my work. I guess.

Tomorrow, the choices will still be there. Decisions will have to be made. Steps have to be taken. Work has to be done.

But for today. I'd like ONE off day.

Sometimes in life, all we need is a day off.

With Love

Friday, October 15, 2010

Losing my sanity

Saturday 16th Oct 2010,


I think I'm gonna do it. The craziest thing I'll do (so far) in my life. I'll quit my job without a new job offer.It is crazy. And I know I have rent to pay, I have your school fee to pay, I have many responsibilities on my back. But I'm gonna do it.

I'm just so lost my way. I carried my heavy head and heart to work everyday. And I lost my will to be excellent. I exist in the firm. I no longer aspire to be great. I'm just tired.

I missed my work. I loved my job, still, and always will. It's just, the daily work has reached a state of complete nonsense. From team lead I become an Excel generator, questions answering machines, and a ghost of my former enthusiastic and idealistic self. I lost that drive. It just seems they promoted me for doing something less than I am.

I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of yelling and screaming and trying to be heard. Maybe when I stand up and walk away, they will get my point.

So well, I'm doing it. I know it's stupid and selfish and insane. But this time, I do it for me. Not for anyone else, not for my responsibilities. It's for me.

Please don't learn from me about this. But well, at 25, when you are still young enough to make insane crazy mistakes like that, you just need to take a chance, and a leap of faith.

Have faith in me, too, brother.

Well, I don't know how I'm gonna survive Singapore after I quit without a job, but we will see :)


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Work. Love. Pray

Saturday 9th Oct, 2010

Dear brother,

I've been resisting the temptation to go watch "Eat. Love. Pray" this week, as I know, given my state of mind right now, watching something like that will trigger me to quit my work, and go travel around for a year. But then since I'm not Julia Roberts I'm probably gonna starved to death, and never meet a perfect stranger to find love. LOL.

Anyway, work has been better. I'm still doing non-sense and collating spreadsheets, but well, what else can I do. At least I made my points clear about what I want, and we will wait (in our given timeline) how it turned out. The doors are always open. At least the work hours improved. I work 2pm - 11pm now, with both weekends off. Well, that's good news :) at least. I've already started to study again (to classical music nevertheless).  

Love. Oh well. Love is great. LOL. I know. Coming from me, trust that it sounds even ridiculous to me. But it is. I might have not met the perfect stranger, but I met someone close, kind, and has such a beautiful compassionate soul. I love it. Love and the quiet calm feeling of an afternoon next to someone you love, by the window staring at the light rain. Well, I cant ask for anything more.

I'm going back to temple and searching for Dharma classes. I've realized a lot of time I took my faith for granted. In life sometimes you need to believe in something beyond you to keep moving on. I miss Buddha dearly. :p I need to get back in touch with him (my inner Buddha) inside me, even in the midst of chaos. I went to a big Burmese temple today. And while I was so happy and found a little of peace, I was a little sad by the way it was presented. The notice board and blessing are filled with 1 word "Donation". I know in Singapore it's all about money and it's hard to maintain here, but it didn't have to get like that. In any case, I prayed. And unlike recently I don't pray for escape routes, I prayed for peace, for strength to overcome chaos and keep a calm mind. I pray for you guys too.

So well, brother. Work. Love. and Pray. My life is pretty much getting back to a routine, or at least I try to.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sometimes a Fantasy

Thursday 07 Oct 2010

Dear brother,

I woke up today. Literally and figuratively.

The past few days have been filled with negative talks, escape fantasy and future possibilities. At one point I was thinking of quitting, cancelling my PR, taking my CPF money, and going back to Vietnam and going fishing for a living. At another I thought of going to Canada, breaking up, changing my English name, getting a job as a street artist. At some point I just wanted to stone.

I realized it now. That it is HERE. My problems are here. My life, at least for now, is here. And as tempting as it is, packing up and running away somewhere half way around the world was cool for a 21 year-old kid. 25 years old man, no so much. I emailed my senior executive yet again stating clearly what I want. I'm taking the 'head-on' approach, Pacey's style.

Something else is here. Love. Whenever I needed that little extra boost, that little bit of warmth, it is here. Home is where love is. And I guess I'm not that teenage kid who jumped up and down when a girl said she liked him anymore. Love settles to a much quieter, calmer place, like a moment sitting by a bus window staring blankly at the PIE highway thinking how blessed I am. Love and be loved. It's an amazing feeling.

I realized I wanted things for all the wrong reason. It was very not-Buddhist of me to pray all week, so hard, to find a job elsewhere. Running away from the here and now, the suffering, that is not Buddhist... There were and there always will be harder, more challenging time in my life, and I need to deal with that head on. I'm going back to temples and Dharma this week, not to pray, to beg for things anymore. I'm going back to find peace, and to learn once more to let go.

I'm done. I'm done running. And I will do what I advised a young analyst to do. Think long and hard about it, about life, about what I want, and as human as it is, I'll make a decision. If I have to leave I have to leave. If I have to go to Canada or Vietnam, or US, or wherever I will. I just need to make sure it's the right thing to do.

And that's what you do, brother, at 25. You make life choices.

I hope yours will be less challenging.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The escapist

Tuesday, 5th Oct 2010

Dear brother,

Sometimes in life, when it gets so much you can't breathe, you just want to run away. Like today, when promises are continuously broken, all I could think of is my escape route.

So what did I do? I sent job applications to...Canada. I know the chance is technically 0, and I guess that's why I did it. I love my job. I didn't want to leave. But sometimes it's a fantasy to just escape, run somewhere so far away that it's impossible to turn back.

I'm still that guy, huh? Keep on running from place to place, keep on pressing through walls and mirrors that are so hard and so sharp.

And then there's my relationship...

What's a man to do, brother?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Being Thankful

Thursday 30-09-2010, 3AM

Dear brother,

Sometimes, when you have a stretch of bad days, and a good day came to surprised you with a breath of fresh air. It feels amazing.

I spent the morning with the people I love. Chatting a little with my God dad. Be there for my love in crisis :p And be there for Mom. I got a lot of work done. We went celebrating a senior manager promotion and I got to drink a lot of good white wine (which I love). And I got my work done at 1am and got home.

So instead of being my usual unappreciative, cynical, suicidal self, I just want to say how thankful I am to be alive. I am.

I'm thankful for I can be there for the people that I love. For I can still touch their lives. But foremost, I am thankful that I am courageous enough to let them in, to let them BE. I was scared of being hurt and scared of being alone, so much so that I sealed myself off, being a lone cynical porcupine. I'm learning to be loved, and learning to ask for help, learning to take control of my life. I am learning.

The fact is, brother, at 25, you think you are the toughest guy in the world, where you were just a scared little kid who cant afford to show his vulnerabilities. And I'm thankful, for today at least, I was true to myself.

I kick ass at my work. I can help and I can do amazing output work. Sure I screwed up on something, but I knew it was fine. I'm thankful for my job, my colleagues, and my work environment.

I am funny. I brought laughters to the room, even to strangers. We were drinking and laughing so much. So I'm thankful too, for laughters, for the ability to easily laugh, and to entertain. Life feels better when you are not overthinking stuffs all the time.

So that was it. I'm heading for bed. I just wanted to share with you a good day, and I hope you, too, can appreciate everyday as they come


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hello and Goodbye

Tuesday, 29th September 2010, 12:30 am

There is Hello, and soon there is Goodbye.

Kok Wah's last day at project is Thursday. He was an amazing colleague, senior, friend, to work with.

It's his choice to leave, so he can be home with his family. He made a choice a lot of us could not make. To leave a better place, higher pay, freedom behind for that is important. Family.

In life you meet people, they made positive (or negative) impacts in your life. And you part ways. That's inevitable. As emo as I sound about it, I came to be used to it. Hellos and Goodbyes. They are just words. They are not meant as much any more.

It's been a rough few days at work, so I decided to pretend to be not dealing with it right now. I'm procrastinating so many things. Facing issues is of low priority right now. I'm still alive but I barely am breathing.

Funny thing is, I don't miss home. I don't know, if like him, I would give up what I have to be home. Perhaps I do have a let go issue.

So, say goodbye. Say it again. And once more. November is coming...

I wonder when you are old enough to read this, would you be angry with me? Would you think I'm irresponsible brother who ran away so far for his freedom? Or would you have chosen the same choice.

To keep saying goodbyes and keep moving on, rather than keep looking back and holding back. I've been both. But I'd prefer the cynical, always running forward Pace.

So goodbye.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The question of Love is

Sunday 26th Sept 2010

Can love and friendship co-exist?

Last week we were supposed to have a gathering. It did not happen. Among the reasons there are Work, there are Army, and there is "My girlfriend wants me to spend more time with her during the weekend". And I couldn't help but wonder the above.

The fact is, your brother himself is in a bit of a struggle here. Working 12 hours a day. Having a new-born relationship. Spending time with family/friends/ and the people that matter. And struggling with his own sanity. I slept on average 5 hours a day.

When I was younger (and hence more naive), I used to hate these "girlfriends" or "boyfriends", because it seems they come in between and take a way the awesome brotherhood and friendship. Then I got cynical and thought if they are that way they are not closed friends. Now, when I'm old enough, I realized, the questions is, "Is it me and my friendship that come in between and is taking their own sweet precious couple time".

At the end of the day, friends changed. Love remained. Or did it?

I'm in a relationship. I'm happy with it. I am. But I have never felt so alone. Maybe work and fatigue is taking a toll on me. Maybe I miss my time with you, with our family, with god Dad, with my friends (who no longer care to be with me).

Sometimes in life you just cant have it all can it? I just wish I had 48 hours a day for work, for study, for sports, for family, for you. I feel like such a lousy human being.

But then again, when I have all that time, I'll realize people wouldn't want to spend so much time with me anymore.

So I guess I should just be contented with what I have, and treasure each moment in life as it is


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Korea Korea

Dear brother,

I just came back from Korea last week, and I immediately got thrown back into the whole work-move house-relationship drama again. No rest for the wicked.

It was a good trip. There were threadful news of Typhoon and all that, but everything went pretty well. I took around 1200 photographs. It was restful and fun. I still don't fall in love with the country yet, but it is nevertheless a beautiful place to travel to

I bought some gifts for mom, dad and you.

It was a trip of peace too. I got to get in touch with my Buddhist side, and also a very relaxed, non-workaholic Pace. I guess I needed that. I was going crazy with work before that.

So brother, I know you are busy with schoolwork right now, but know that you'd have many many wonderful journeys in the future, thanks to the hard work and the effort you put in today


Friday, August 27, 2010

Change (Cont)

Sat 28th Aug 2010

And so it happened. As we thought it would... well, sometimes I had doubts, but I thought it would finally happen.

I got promoted :) My first promotion (Although this is my third job, given I didn't get to reach this stage in previous jobs...) If I weren't so exhausted I'd probably jump up and down in joy. Now i'm just kinda let it sip in slowly, and enjoy it for what it is.

I'm tired. Been working 14-16 hours day for 3 weeks now. Today I worked 20 hours... I guess it's about time to re-prioritize my life's activities.

It's funny. I worked till the point that mom thought I had an accident. I worked until I forgot who I was and who my friends were. I had to admit I felt isolated and alone at times... I guess this is not the life I wanted, although I thought I wanted to.

I love my job, and I'm proud of the quality of my work. I'm proud of myself. I'm happy to learn from so many brilliant individuals. But, the project has gone live. I have gotten my promotion. My senior and my junior are leaving. What's left here for me?

Change. I feel I'm so ready for change, if I weren't so exhausted right now I'd probably tear someone part just so I can move forward with my life, like my name implies.

Somehow I thought I'd be happier :p I'm indeed grateful now, but everything is in a bit of a "Blah" state... And they wanted someone to replace me, just when I showed sign of weariness and frustrations...

It's hard to make it in life, esp in Singapore, little brother.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Post Apocalyptic Vision

Saturday 7th Aug 2010,

Dear Brother,

I stepped into office, and I see death. People screaming, running around in complete chaos. Phones ringing, machine crashing. There were tears. There were yelling. The wall rumbles at the the sound of mixed chattering and fear. The project has been in Operation for 5 days...

I slept collectively about 24 hours in the past 5 days, while having flu and cough. I was just going on on the shear power of determination, and prayers alone.

It's a war zone. One with over hopeful commander and terrible lieutenant.

I tried to ask for help. Again and again. And in the end I was left alone at the front line.

It's tiring. I just feel like giving up.

Or I already have?

I guess I have made the right choice to tell you not to pick IT. I don't want this life for you. I will not let you come here too. I wish that life could be easy for either of us, and I wish I could have enough money to make sure you won't go through such hardship. But in the end you will, because it's life, and what constantly coming at us doesn't kill us, it will make us stronger somehow.

I don't know how long I can last in this pressure, but I'm dealing with it... I just feel like giving it up all together.



Monday, August 2, 2010

A new chapter

Singapore, 5:45am 3rd Aug 2010

Dear brother

My first (multi million) project has gone LIVE. And although I'm down with flu with a terrible sore throat, and I have slept collectively about 12 hours in the past 3 days, I am so glad we made it.

It's been a tough 2 years, and it's gonna be another tough 3 months before we can say something for more certain. But it is a milestone in my career, and my life, nonetheless.

You asked me last week what career path should you choose. As your (always pretending to be [know it all]) brother, I advised based on what I thought your strength and weakness are. You said you felt better and you didn't have to think so much anymore.

The truth is. I don't know (I know, by the time you read this it'd probably be too late and you have picked for your own a path. But trust me, you will never regret the one you picked). I feel jealous with you :p I was 14 and I was clueless once. But I had no one there to tell me what to choose. So I picked a path, at 14. I still haven't regretted it, but sometimes I do wonder if it would be easier somewhere else, and not here.

The truth about career and work is that, you have to love what you do. Cliche as it is, because money is more important these days than it used to be, especially with our family. But you have to "stay hungry, stay foolish".

I know you will pick a path, and you will make the right choice.

Just like today, a project which seemed not for my interest, which was so hard and so difficult, which costs me months of working weekend and throughout the night. That project has gone LIVE. And it's being used to service 3 million people from tomorrow on...

It's a new chapter, and as scary as it is, I am ready for it.

I hope you are proud of me, as much as I am proud of you for being that young 14 year old boy figuring his life out :)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First steps

Wednesday 21st July 2010, 11:00pm

Dear brother,

It's been a while, and the last thing I sent you were how sad and despair (I know, drama queen) I am over how stagnate my life is. Since then, I have taken (strong) steps to change things. Of course I'm doing things differently. I'm taking small (but fierce) baby steps. One thing at a time.

I attended my first volleyball training today. It's been 5 years since I last touched the yellow blue white ball. And I still suck (Actually I thought I played a lot better than I expected myself to be playing). Of course this being Singapore it's never good enough. And the fact that my Accenture team desperately needs a win to win overall champion didn't help. I'm kinda hoping that the key main players will all turn up on Saturday tournament so I don't have to play myself. But I'm not gonna get my spirit beaten up again. I'm actually more looking forward to the amateur group training on Sunday (a rare group that is none competitive which I spent 3 days Googling for). I'll go for every training on Sunday and eventually get better at it. Not to win. Not for anyone. Just for me, and my love for that bouncing ball.

I sent a request to change project. I know it's futile. But every achievement starts with the decision to try. So I tried. The chance is pretty close to 0, but in my life, 0 chances happened many times. NUS. NOC. ACN. I just need to continue to strive and to move forward. I'm tired of whining and playing the victim of Fate.

I'm working on my relationship. I guess it's been long since I was last with someone. But I want it to work out this time. I need to work on not being afraid of being happy, being vulnerable, letting someone in. I needed that.

On top of that I've been studying GMAT hard core, and did a lot of photography. So well, brother, I'm moving forward. Fiercely but slowly. I'm so ready for change I feel I can rip anyone apart if they stand on my way.

Just you wait. I'll proudly tell you how many asses I kicked soon



Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Thursday 15th Jul 2010, 3:15am

Dear brother,

I just got home from work. It was a bizarrely bad day.

I stopped loving the work that I do. They tossed me around job scopes like a ball. No one helped. They pointed fingers at each other and at me. No one cared. I'm just so completely helpless and alone.

Being a relationship is hard. I guess I've been alone so long I forgot how to be with people. Everything is going in circles, back and forth, so much drama and turmoils. I'm exhausted.

I don't know how long I will last, with a heart that is disheartened and a mind that is exhausted.

I'm just hanging on to the nothingness I imagine myself to be the happiness I never had.

What is a man to do?

Brother, how I wish you were here, and you can read this...


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Killing Silence

Thursday 1st Jul 2010

Dear brother

Miserable. That's the first word that came to my mind when I woke up this morning. I'm feeling miserable.

I stopped loving my job. I dragged my feet to work, threadful of the feeling. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I used to love my job so much, even the long hours didn't stop me. My heart is long disheartened. I no longer want to do it. I feel like giving up on everything.

He will not talk to me. No one will talk to me. I feel completely blocked out.

My colleague grew quiet. He who used to be so cheery and so helpful. He withdrew in a corner.He no longer talks to us. I just feel so helpless and isolated. I gotta handle all the work with very minimal help, and every time something goes wrong it's all on me to take the blame and clean the shit. I'm exhausted.

My God Dad has no word left to talk to me. I cant reach him. I tried to reach him, but I cant. It hurts me to hurt someone I care about. It seems every time I try for something that I truly want in my life, I hurt someone. Every time I open my heart for the possibility of being loved unconditionally, being free to make my own choice, I just hurt someone. In the end, I walk alone.

My relationship is reaching a complete halt. Actually, it's going backwards. I didn't know why I thought it was possible in the first place. The physical distance between 2 person can really make the distance from the heart grow wider. And to think I would have made a choice of choosing the path of happiness over the lonely one that I'm so used to. It's laughable. I'm too self centered to understand anyone else. I'm too independent to lean on someone. I feel so alone even in a committed relationship.

Read the news about a Korean actor who just suicided recently. Although I didn't think of anyone who would kill himself (I would never do such thing now, although I used to think about it in the past), I think I know how it feels. I know what it is like to be a bad man, to be a sad man. I know how it feels to be left all alone and problems just pile up instead of calming down.

I feel all alone. I have no one to talk to. No one to take my hands through this anymore.

Only noise, harassment, and disappointment remain...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Monday 28th June 2009

Dear brother,

It's been some time since I last sent you a letter. Lots have happened. Things have changed.

I've won a photography contest (and by now I hope you still remember how happy you were when you know I'd give it to you). It'd be the first contest I won for myself. It'd be the first game console you (and I) own.

I've been struggling with my work, and the feeling of being left behind. People have moved on. Marriage. First child. PhD. I'm here. The same old stuck me.

I wanted to make a decision, I wanted to do something for me. You know, be selfish for once.

Life's hard. As sometimes you have to make a choice between things, and people that you love. I would always wish to be loved unconditionally, regardless of who I am and what I chose. But life doesn't seem that simple.

I can't choose. Not yet. I don't want to choose. Not now. But I just needed to know I have the ability to choose without getting anyone hurt. I want to live my life, for me. It's lonely. And there are so many times I feel so helpless and I just wanted to cry for help. I'm all alone. Here. Now. I'm on my own to fight for my life, my purpose. And getting anyone's involvement will just end up hurting them.

Your brother has become one of those indecisive people that he himself so hate.

Life's full of crossroads when you are 20s. Be strong, and choose wisely. Be ready to make mistakes. Be ready to deal with your guilt of hurting the people you so so love. Because it is life. I hope you'd be wiser than me. I hope I can be there for you.

But if I cant, be strong. The choice you make, will make you. There's no right or wrong, good or bad, it's just YOUR choice and your ability to live with it.

I'm a bit at the lost of direction right now. And I hope my heart can guide the way to what I truly want in life.

I'm tired, and hurting. Just like the people that loved me. They are tired, and hurt, by me. I'm Lost.

With love

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No one cares

Sunday 23th May 2010,

Dear brother,

What I'm afraid of has happened. The inevitable. My heart is broken.

I had a rough week. I went for training 3 days and already many things at work went wrong. I had to come back at night for one. Funny thing was, when I did things right no one cares, when one thing go wrong they all scrutinize of how it could be wrong.

Family is driving me crazy. Coming here with 2 families, and hotels and flights. I love to be with you guys, but in this period of time I'm just not sure if I can be together and be cheerful with you guys.

I spent the rest of the week working 12-14 hours day, going home after midnight. On Saturday, After working 11am - 2pm, I went for class and yet the phone kept ringing. I came back at 10pm and worked till 2:30am. Amidst all that, I was hanging on, and fighting hard. I was hanging on the possibility of hope, and a future out of here, and a future together with the one I love.

Reality slaps me with a bucket of cold water.

It turns out, that no one wants to save or rescue me. They, wanting me to be there and together, and not wanting to deal with my problem...

At the end of the day, I'm all alone...

You'd be here next week. I hope we will have some good time and I can get some rest

With love

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Euro Dream

Friday 07-05-2010

I'm dreaming of Europe...

Been a rough few days at work with arrows flying all over the place. Tiring hearts. I just wished to go into hiding somewhere far.

I'm dreaming of Europe. The sun shines on the Lourve. I speak perfect, though choppy, French. Lovers hand in hand, I walk under the sun. To breathe. To laugh. To photograph. To sit on a boat floating on Venice. To steal a kiss. To run in an endless field. To take a cross country train. To sleep in the arms of love. To be.

Of course I cant do that. I have a job, I have my guys whom I had to take care of and fix their mistakes. I have my rent to pay, my study loan. I have you guys to take care of. I have chains from Singapore. Responsibilities. Bounded.

I know life is not easy for everyone (except for maybe Paris Hilton), but I just wish it didn't have to be so damn hard all the time. I just wish I can be selfish, and simple, and childish, as the child that I am. And I wish for you the same.

They say dreams are limitless. But mine has always been limited by who I am, where I cam from, and who I care for. I don't blame you guys for the lack of choices in my life (I'm thankful), but sometimes I just wish to be selfish, for once, for maybe a few, and run away and just...be.

I'm dreaming of Europe...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy is a Yuppie word

Thursday 29-Apr-2010

Dear brother,

I am happy.

I guess you guessed it somehow by the lack of my complaints letters. But life is full of ups and downs, and I think it is important to share with you the good times just as the bad.

Work has been improving. Well, it's still as taxing as ever, but I'm good at what I do. The performance review period has just started, and I have good feedback about my work. I guess in life, it's very much depends on your luck, and also how well you can present yourself. Your work is only as good as how you present it. Take this from me, do not ever think that hard work will automatically be recognized. It takes time, patience, and firmness and willingness to fight to be recognized.

God Dad is wonderful. He's everything that a Dad is to me. I still love our Dad, our simple, non-verbal and not always understanding Dad. He's kind and loving in his own ways. But God dad is wonderful. He just gets me. He wants to protect me and take care of me in good and in bad, and he gets the struggle internally I went through. I'm so blessed. It just brought tears of joy to me when he said he would protect me from harm. I know Dad would do the same, but it's just so rare for any one in my life to ever say that. I was so used to being invincible and protecting people, when someone says they would protect me, it just touches my heart so deeply.

I'm in love. LOL. That's probably the strangest thing that ever came out of my mouth in the past 5 years. After so much drama and struggle, I thought I'd given up on it. And then comes love. As cliche as it is, it caught you by surprise every time. But I guess my determination to let go and to be happy plays a big part of it. You have to be ready to let go of pain, because each day brings amazing possibility of new happiness. Sometimes, even in the darkest place of loneliness, you just have to be patient and not turned neurotic and give up hope like your silly brother did.

A saying "Good morning sunshine" or "How was your day,son" can make my day these days. I have become a simple man. Simple minimalistic life. Simple happiness. Simply love.

Of course me being your brother, it has never been drama free. A friend from highschool whom I hurt (as unintentionally as I was) came back. An old relationship went sour. I struggled. But I don't want to be these people. I let go of the past. I let go of the pain. I wanted to move on. I wanted to be happy.

And here I am, happy.

At the end of the day, what I can say is, be brave. Love is new and love is terrifying. Happiness is wonderful and happiness is terrifying. But in the end it will all worth it.


Friday, April 9, 2010

The conversation about Love

Dear brother,

Had this nice long conversation with one of my favorite gal friends about ...Love. It is funny, and ironic. Last time when we had similar conversation, I was this moonstruck teenage dork who is absolutely clueless, and yet hopeful about love. She was the cynic, the one who says she would stay single forever and never to love any man (including me, so it's not personal). 8 years down the road, she's recently married to a soon to be PhD. I'm still single, alone, and just a Product Config guy (nothing to do with love, I'm just bitter with my social status).

We debate as usual, but there are insightful things she said that I agree. So I decided to share (in my words, so sometimes I quote movies and censored the swear words she used)

"People who say [you don't find love, love will find you] are either really pretty people, or lazy ass like you who just want things to happen. Life takes more than waiting. Even when I am not desperately looking for a guy, I look at the people around me, I find the ones I like to hang out with, then eventually I find those I like to go out and be with all the time. You don't know the moment you fell in love, but you HAVE TO WORK for love."

"Love don't complete you. Even marriage doesn't. To say one complete another means you yourself is a pathetic incomplete being. Love should be between 2 complete people who can embrace each other and be 2gether. Not one entity with 2 bodies, that's costly to maintain and easy to break."

"You have to let go to Love. You hang on too much to the past as if it means something. To let an old relationship die is to let a new one be born. She will never look back and see how a pathetic person you are for still wondering what would happen between you two. You will miss the next perfect soul for you sitting in the bus staring at your perky butt because you are too busy hanging on to the past" (She didn't exactly say "your perky butt", but well, I had to "product placement" a little)

"Ultimately, marriages are about legalizing sex, children, and tax rebates." (Sorry Henry, this is what your wife said).

I wanted to talk some more but she has excused herself to go to bed early as she works early (which is a nice subtle way of saying she needs to consummate her marriage with her freshly wedded husband)

Hope you have enjoyed my nonsense and my good friends' nonsense. Sometimes I do think Media students like us are completely nuts.

I hope you do find love, brother

With love

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Love me

Sunday 4th April 2010, 1:50am

Dear brother,

I know I have typed countless cynical things about love. Perhaps I grew weary of love. Perhaps I lost Faith. But sometimes, deep down, I still hope Love happens.

Someone touched my heart recently. I don't know where we are going. I don't know if we've gone too far in. But I'm contented. And it's a strange familiar feeling. I fear it. Yet I hope it will last.

To have someone you can laugh with, and share your days of ups and downs with. To have someone who said "I appreciate you for exactly who you are."

I'm a contented person now. At least for the past weeks. I know I have people who loves me. Mom and Dad. And you. I know no matter who I am, and no matter who you'd turn out to be, you'll love me the same. I have God Dad, who cares and shares with me. And I have this person, whom I cant define the relationship now, but it made me feel all cozy and warm.

I know, your brother can be such a complicated moonstruck teenager at time. :) 

I'm still lonely, but at least, I know I'm not alone.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lonely Planet

Tuesday 30th March 2010,

Dear brother,

I just came back from my overseas trip in Malacca, and yet I'm already overloaded with work, and down with a fever. I guess I'm just overworking myself, mind and body.

The trip was fine. It has many high points. Beautiful and charming people. Beautiful places. It was very peaceful, and quiet. The hotel was great, I enjoyed lots of complimentary stuffs.  I was swimming lazily in the pool, watching the magnificent dying sunset on the town.

That was when I realized, I have never been so alone.

Well, maybe it's an exaggeration, since it was way worse years back. Now I have family, god dad, and someone who cares for me. Still, I feel this sense of isolation, far away from all those loved ones. I feel like a middle age man, running away from his mid-life crisis just to see the sun set. It's unsettling.

I enjoyed traveling alone. The flexibility is great. But when I go around alone, no one to take pictures, no one to share meals with, no one to share the beds with, etc. It just hits me, I cant always be alone like this. I'll get old. I'll get sick. Who, then, will be there?

If one know they can't be together now, would we still hope to be together in the future? Sometimes it's even scarier to hang on to hope, then to be in despair. I'm caring  for someone and I'm scared of that feeling, because of the distance, and the time that we are apart.

I'm sorry I'm so whinny these days. I missed that happy, cheery child. But that person told me to be the child, to be vulnerable, and to fear. I smiled for that, because I have been strong and invincible for so long it's tiring.

Change. I just need something to change...

I'm lonely.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bonds and Fears

To love is to fear.

I almost forgot how nice it is to meet someone new in your life, a friend. I guess it's been so long since I open up to someone outside my very closed circle of friends. It's exciting, and scary, all at the same time.

It's great to have someone you can talk absolutely everything to, someone who just gets you (like my new Dad). It's great to have someone who says "I get it. I'm with you. I will protect you". For once it is not so scary to be vulnerable...

I'm scared. But I'm not scared to show it.

I don't know where this is going. But I'm taking it slow and going with it. I may fall. My heart may break again. I know this risk (just like I know when I told my best friend I'd like to be his god son, not knowing how he'd react to it).

But then I maybe whole, and happy.

In the end, that is what I want. It is worth all the risk in the world to get that.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

God Father

Friday March 5th 2010, 12:35AM

Dear brother

I made a commitment today with a man that I don't think I'll ever break. (LOL, gotcha. No I'm not getting married). I got a new GOD dad.

By the time you read this letter you would have the chance to know him and meet him, because you are family and he is family. I would like for you 2 to get along.

I must be an incredibly lucky guy. I love Dad, very much (I'll tell you stories about me and Dad in another entry), and I told him he will not replace Dad. He is just another Dad. Because he just, you know, gets me and trusts in me, the way fathers do.

Made me miss God Mom too (will write another entry about her). Now I have 2 moms and 2 dads, and not all of them are married to each other. :p Funny huh

You see sometimes in life you come across great people. Sometimes they can be so far away from you it's funny to think how they could be such an important part of your life. The way you, mom, and Dad are important to me, so far yet so dear to my heart. So I don't want to let that feeling go to waste. He loves me like a brother and a son. So I'd like to return that, the way sons do.

He was here for me when I just need someone to be there. He trusted me when I lost faith in my friends and myself. And he's real and down to earth (unlike some religious idol). For him I'd like to try to be happy, to be the best man I can be. Just like the way I've tried to live my life for Mom, Dad, and you.

I hope he gets that, too.

Can't wait to have a beer with you and him :p He's a great dude, trust me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My would have been progress in 2010

Thursday, 11:41 PM, 25-02-10

I didn't get it.

I didn't expect it, but I did want it. I did wish, for once, that it wouldn't be so hard to get what I want. I just wish, for once, I could have what I want without fighting, screaming, sweating, and shedding blood for it. And I thought last year I already worked hard enough for it.

When you work towards something too hard, you become wanting it so much it fucks you up.

I feel a sense of lost.

People my age have moved on. Marriage. Study. Career. I'm stagnated here, where I am.

I miss myself 20. So young, so naive, so ready to take on the world.

Now I just feel so tired, jaded, and all alone.

Will tomorrow ever be a better, easier day?

Will I ever get it?

They say I'm trying too hard. If I didn't try, where would I be?

In the end, I'm just here. Stuck. Lost. Losing my sanity and even the ability to feel sad or to cry.

What would you do, brother?

With regards,

Monday, February 22, 2010

What do I want?

1pm, 23-02-2010

Dear brother,

It's lunch break in office so I type a note for you. Coming back to work has been hectic, but I think I kinda kick ass at what I do, so I will gladly do it.

I spent about 3 hours yesterday designing a poster titled "What do I want?". I guess for a very long time I was just trying so hard to barge forward without a plan in mind. I guess you can lie around all day wanting for things to change. But if you want something badly enough, you have to be brave and face it.

Last year I was kinda just try to please people, to make mom and dad happy, to please my bosses, to keep my friends around, etc. I'm tired of that. I forgot what I want to do. Time to get back in focus.

First will be career. By the end of this year my bond with Singapore is over. Endless possibilities. I guess I'd try to have my promotion by then. After which I'd apply a job in some other countries, maybe, just to explore more.

Next will be a good MBA program. I'm studying hard for GMAT, and it's really good. I hope I can score well by the end of this year and then apply for some good schools. Will need to get off my ass to write a kick ass cover letter and motivational speech. What a pain!

I want to work a bit on health and fitness too. Getting fat :p

I'm aiming to win an Arts/Photography contest. So I'll hone my skills and keep taking and sending my works to competitions everywhere. Wish me luck.

I want to travel. I want to also speak my French, Jap and Chinese fluently too. Study study study!!!

I guess at last I want to be happy with someone. I don't know who. I don't know when. But I guess I need to work on being with others and not being afraid to be happy. I tend to always scare of togetherness and happiness and pushing people away.

So well, that's what I want in a nutshell. Quite a lot to be achieved in 1-2 years, but I'm all ready to fight.

I guess I'm superhuman after all :p

Cheer me on!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where we belong

Sunday 21st Feb 2010

Dear brother,

I'm back in Singapore, after what could be the last long vacation in Vietnam. It's been wonderful to spend this important time of the year with the family, and with you. The moments when I cut ur finger nails, or when I taught you about integrity, or when I taught you photography, etc. will forever go down in my book of life's best moments. I hope when you do read this you would remember them still. I also hope you have found the lessons I taught you when you were 14 have been helping you. I'm gonna really miss you for the next few months till we meet.

It broke my heart, but I just realized that I no longer belong to Vietnam anymore. I mean I still love it as much as I possibly can, but it's not the same anymore. I love Vietnam for its charm and its love, but these days I feel like a foreigner. The way people look at me, the way they treat me, and even the way I treat them. I even said weird unfamiliar things like "Can I speak to your manager?" or "I wanna made a complaints about your restaurant". They charged me or talked to me as if I'm some foreign tourists. It broke my heart.

It's sad when you see the place you grew up in have changed so much. For the better I supposed. However, it's so strange and unfamiliar. I'm such a stranger.

I found love at home. Covered. Protected. Cared for. Mom and Dad and you. And for some that would be enough. But I have bigger plans in life. I want to grow and it feels like Vietnam (or Singapore for that matter) are holding me back. I hope one day you'd understand.

I guess we belong to the place we feel familiar, loved, and complete. It's that tiny little place in this chaotic world where you feel safe, even for just a second.

She hates me. I gave up on my closest friends. Mom and Dad don't know me the way they think. I feel so all alone, even when I was so loved.

I just wish I found that place where I belong soon.

So I can just lay down my head, and cry, like the child I once was.

With love,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cung chuc Tan Xuan

Sunday 14th Feb 2010 - Canh Dan 1st

It's a new lunar year. It's a new spring, a new dawn.

Doing a lot of old school traditions things sure brought back nostalgia. Bursting balloons to replace fire-crackers. Lighting incense sticks. Having the whole flowers and fruits offerings. I'm not a big fan of fancy traditions and religious worship, but I guess I'll hang on to this and make sure my children will follow them. We are Vietnamese after all. Please be sure you and your children do the same.

Talking to our relatives overseas made me realize one thing. They have so much to hang on to. Image. Grieve. Angst. Even sadness. Uncle said "In my darkest hour my family wasn't there, you guys weren't there to support me". It made me realize, I don't want to be that guy. The angst is such a heavy thing. I want to see life like water, the past can't be changed. We live and die alone. So I'm gonna stop blaming my friends for not being there, because, somehow, by chance or by will, I wasn't there when a lot of people need me.

I'm making amends. To love. To loved ones. To myself. I guess I deserve better than being a sad bitter lonely guy who can never let go of the past.

So it's spring. And it's Valentines. So well, time to let sadness go and make sure tomorrow is another brand new sunshine day.

May love come in this beautiful year of the Tiger.

With love,

Friday, February 12, 2010

About Valentine's Day

13th Feb 2010

Dear Brother

Happy valentine's Day

It's the one single day I used to hate the most every year. Oddly enough, it used to be the date I loved the most during my younger days. I guess, for years, I have been oscillating between extreme cynicism and hopeless romantic teenage moron when it comes to love and romance. I guess it's time to let both of that go.

I have plan to go around town with my 2 ex-girlfriends (yes, I used to be that desirable, and no, I don't know what happened to me) doing weird anti-Valentine pranks  to couples. Sound Exciting isn't it!

I guess I need to let the past go. People I hurt. People that used to heart me. I need to let that go to be able to look forward and be in love again.

2010 is the year I'm over all my heartbreaks and ready for a new fresh start.

So well, hope that stupid Cupid will finally starts doing his job right :p

You too, don't let 14 pass by without some memorable puppy love. And as a 24 dude, good luck with chicks, they are like the hardest creatures to understand :)

Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 5, 2010

My 25th Birthday

Sat 6th Feb 2010

I knew it was stupid, but I made a birthday wish.


Cant believe I have occupied the crowded surface of this earth for 25 years. Not exactly a flat and easy road, but definitely a memorable ones. I guess I am thankful to be alive, to still have the second half to go, with many lessons learned and many wonderful surprises and moments to be lived.

For most of the first half I wanted to be someone special, extraordinary, superior and standing out. Now, I just want to be happy.

I just hope I can find someone whose hands fit mine. Mom and friends were making jokes at me and my good friend at the table. And while I was thinking to myself "Why not", I knew for a fact that she's too good for me. Well, I guess I don't deserve someone that whole, because I cant make the person happy. I wish I could be happy. I wish, for once, I could be the whole one, the weak one, the vulnerable one, the selfish one. I wish, for once, someone will stay.

And that's an harder goal to reach...

I wish you'd be there at the finishing line of my life, and yell at me "Brother, you DID it!"

Cheer me on, will ya?

Happy 14th birthday

Fri 5th Feb 2010,

Happy Birthday Little Bro

It feels kinda weird to type you a letter when you are just like sleeping a few feet away. But I guess 10 years is good enough a distance when you read this.

Just want to say Happy birthday, and how I am tremendously proud of you for growing up so fast and doing so well in your life. I'm truly glad, and a little sad, as I realized soon you'll no longer be so "little"  anymore.

14. It's a good year. The last year of Secondary. I hope you enjoy your time, and study well. It seems like years ago when I was last there, and I already spoke to you about the things you can do now, so I won't repeat 10 years later for you.

Yesterday when I cut your nail and gel your hair for the birthday party, that was the ONE brothers moment for me. From previous letters you know your brother lives by the moment, and yesterday was one of those special ones. You will grow. You have done so many things yourself now, even helping mom. But that was a little bit of precious bonding that I will never forget.

I'm glad you like the phone I gave you, and the camera. You are truly a smart kid. A strong one you. You do not let others in class or in life intimidate you. You stick to your own gun and even made others stay away. I guess I have never had such coolness when I was in sec or highschool. So, I want you to know, now, or 10 years, or 20 years later, that I'm tremendously proud of you, no matter what you do, no matter who you have or will become.

Happy 14th Birthday. I hope I'll be there to say so when you turn 24.

Because I love you.

With love, always

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Sunday 31st Jan 2010

Dear brother.

This is what a typical Sat should be like: Wake up late. Game. Go to Jap class prepared. Actually understand what is being taught. Swim 1.2 km. Window shopping. Proper dinner at a cozy restaurant. Complete with (pirated) movie marathon. I almost forgot how a Sat like this felt like.

The truth is, I'm a lucky guy. Not quite happy, but is quite a lucky guy.

I'm healthy. I have a family who loves me. I have a job. And I have choices.

There are time I feel like a complete moron. But well, I guess we do feel like it once in a while.

Suddenly just feel very contented today. Don't know how long this feeling will last, but I'll try to enjoy it as much as I can.

I can't wait to see you and mom and dad back home

With love,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Wednesday 27th January 2010, 10:30am

Dear brother

Yesterday was the decisive turning point for my project. We were working almost 72 hours straight with little sleep to try to push it through, to make it "Go live" (be used by users nationwide). It did not make it.

When our program director (to whom I look up to with utmost respect) announced the decision, his voice almost trembling, that moment, I saw efforts crashed and burned, and many more months of this nightmare prolonged. It's almost like hearing a friend just passed away.

So they shut down the project for 2 days for re-planning and restore. Suddenly I have all the time in the world. So I decided to do something typically Pacey, I packed my camera, took a LONG bus ride, and went to Singapore coastal park. I haven't much such impulsive decisions for a while.

While riding a rented bicycle around the long coast, snapping picture, it occurred to me what I would do in the next 5 years. I want to go around Europe and take pictures. No baggage. Just my eyes and my Cyclop.

When riding down the remote tree-covered path of ECP, screaming aloud the completely flat version of "I'm alive" (Next to Normal Musical), I realized I was happy, as if I haven't been so alive in a looong time.

After the park I went to dinner, alone of course. I guess this is how my life gonna be for a while. One person dinners (with the portion of 2). I saw a family having dinner. The 2 little girls were playing rock paper scissor in the noisy restaurant. Their mom looked at them and smiled. She was just a typical young Asian mother you can find almost anywhere, but I swear to god her smile is the greatest smile I have ever seen. In that blink, I realized what happiness, whole, and contentment looks like. In 10 years time, I want to have that smile. Maybe when I get old enough and rich enough I'll just adopt. Bypass the whole courtship, dating, and heartache thing. Maybe in 20 years I'll build an orphanage, or a school (not me teaching of course).

I thought letting go would be a gradual process, but it's not. It's in the instance you realized it's over, and you have no other option but to move on. I guess I'm ready to move on. In a blink, I could see the people that hurt me happy, in another, I can see myself happy too.

I just need to wait in this statics for those moments to happen.

I guess, unlike others who think life is a progress, I think Life is made up with moments. Perhaps got to do with me being into photography. However, everyday life won't change or make you grow, it's the sudden (sometimes tragic) moments. There are planned moments, like a wedding photoshoot, a gathering. There are unplanned ones, like when you realized you are in love. Or when you realized your heart is forever broken because she would never feel the same way.

You just need to take a mental picture of it, keep it in a shoebox somewhere, and move on. So you will never have to miss the next important moments of your life to come.

In a blink of an eye, I'll be home.

With love

Friday, January 22, 2010


Saturday 24th Jan 2010, 3:15am.

Dear brother,

I just finished a 14 hours day work, a jog at mid night, and writing about 3000 Chinese simple for Japanese class.

Tomorrow is THE DAY. The project is going live, and it's gonna be used by people all around Singapore to service about 2 million customers. It's the 14 months of late nights, and weekends, and endless frustration. It's the beginning of months of 24/7 shifts support, day and night. I feel nothing.

By this time, I have lost my ability to feel. Although for a brief 2 seconds today, I had a feeling I wanted to just break down and cry.

10 years later, I'd tell you that this is one of the most challenging challenge of my life. And it's not about the fucked up work hours, the job scopes, the struggles, the 2 cigarettes I smoke a day. It's about the people I have by me to go through it.

My friends are pissed off with me because I got pissed off at them for not being there, for ditching me for their partner, for not answering my call for help. My closest friends gave up on me, because I gave up on them. The only friend I can always come to for whining is going through an even more incredibly hard time himself, and as selfish as I am I cant bring myself to bother him. Mom and Dad are clueless, as usual.

Sis is pissed at me because I wouldn't use my credit card to buy something fancy for her husband. I trust that she would return me and I told her I didn't mind, but I really have NO TIME to take care of all that logistic (That, and I hate her husband and I WOULDN'T even consider buying the item for myself, and I earn twice as much as their salary combine, which is technically hers as he's a lame lazy jobless asshole). I'm sick and tired of apologizing to her for being Mom's favorite kid. She chose what she wanted in life and her passion and the guy she wanted despite what everyone said. I sacrifice for that relationship with mom and I worked hard for what I had. It just seems like ever since she got married I lost her completely. The person whom I used to laugh with, cry with, who used to make nice things for me to give my girlfriends, who used to lie to mom and take all the blame if I did something wrong. It just seems like she abandoned the boy for another man (who happen to be an ass). And she made me apologize for it.

I got so tired and lonely I reached out for someone impossible, someone who has chosen not to be a part of my life anymore.

Pathetic, isn't it? I guess I am forever this perfectly flawed human needing just a minimal bit of attention to be overly hopeful (i.e. denial).

For just once I wish to be the selfish one, the terrible one, the crying one, the childish one; I don't even have the chance to do it.

I'm a good man. Might not look it. Might not act it. But I'm a good man. I deserve to be happy. I deserve someone who stayed. I deserve someone who sees me for who I am, and will fight the challenges of life with me.

So oh well, fuck the world.

Time to sleep. Long nights ahead...

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Friday 22nd Jan 2010

Dear brother,

3 days until my first big project go live, and the earth is already shattering.

I can see everyone's starting to panic, fingers starting to point, harsh words starting to fly, and even hidden yet powerful tidal wave of agendas are being pushed. It's horrifying.

Been leaving office at 2am for the past few days. And somehow I have a feeling that it won't change for a LONG while. I hope I have enough strength (and wisdom) to hang in there.

I can feel myself affected by the waves, too. I get irritated easily, I went off the handle and scold people really easily, and I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. I am but (a very old and tired) mortal human.

Scolded little boy a few times today. Poor guy, he's just a fresh grad who is trying so hard to do well in his job (sometimes too hard), and like most fresh grads, occasionally do something wrong and kena scolded by assholes like me. I guess he's learning it the hard way, the way I did. I just hope I did not put him and his spirit down...

Been reading this forum bitching about how horrid and terrible my job and my work conditions are (written by internal staffs and clients alike). Well, personally I feel it's not that bad, but I can feel sympathized and understood through those bitching. I guess nothing in this world is perfect, and whether or not you want to make sacrifices.

Well, 3 more days to apocalyptic Go Live, after which will be endless nights of 24/7 tech support and problem fixing.

Sometimes I just wish I wake up, and for ONE short day, people stops acting like a cliche that they are. Bosses and clients will be kind and understanding to staffs and each other. Friends will keep their words. There will be no hate, no hidden agenda, no distance, no loneliness. It will be a beautiful days for just ONCE.

Of course I am wishful thinking. Today everything proved otherwise. And I have given up the last strand of hope I have left for mankind.

How will I hold on?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Tuesday 19th Jan 2010, 10:40pm

Dear brother

One should never be afraid of death

One should never be afraid of losing one's loved one to death.

It is so easy to say, but so hard to do. When one is losing someone to death, it's pain, fear, and sadness so sudden it takes your breath away. I've been there. And although I've lost so many people in my life, I have yet to learn how to deal with grief. I was glad I could be there for my friend. I guess after all, that's who I am, the one who wish to always be there for the people he cares about, regardless of what others might or might not respond to that. In time of loss, it's the feeling of having someone there that mattered.

Went to a friend farewell today. She will migrate somewhere, got married, settle down and never see us again. It's the end of an era, I guess. Somehow I got so used to farewell that I felt nothing. It's just like water passing right through me. Nothing. At least she'll be happy. Nothing changed for me. One's happiness have no effect on others. Life's but a series of unrelated events on unrelated people. Death's but a salvation for one individual and others will go on.

Just realized one of my friend's loved one passed away on 5th Feb (my birthday, in case you forget). She was young too. I was stunned for a moment. Life's so fragile sometimes. Death comes knocking when you don't even know it.

I realized I'm incredibly lucky to be alive. Well, not as alive as I want to be, but at least 'm still breathing. I want to make use of that. I want to live.

I guess I have no other choice but to pick up myself again. I allow myself to fall as far as I can. But as my friend has said "No one knows how to save you". I guess my life time wish for someone who would take care of me, who would fight, protect and cover me is just wishful thinking. As always I only have myself to rely on.

So today is the first day of the rest of my life, how will I live?

That, brother, is for us to reminisce 10 years later over a beer.

With love