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

Monday, January 18, 2010


Monday 18th Jan 2010

Dear brother,

Life changes. Every day. In fact, we ourselves change, so much.

Talked to an old friend today, one I used to know well. Told her this "It's strange how life took us to places where we never thought we would be". Here she is, a scientist, marrying a guy that she loves and loves her back, without her parents being there. Here I am, stuck, in my life. Funny how she wished to be a doctor and how much I had wanted to be an architect. Child dreams. I wonder I will ever live long enough to live the dream. At least she got new ones with someone she loves. Me, I have no one.

And there was Q. The one girl I thought I could have loved. These days she have somehow become my own selfish obsession of angst, jealousy, and blame. She might or might not know it, but I'm so sorry. I am very very sorry, for being so unfair to her. For a very long time, I held on to the thought of her as a beautiful tragically cursed jewel that shattered every single time I think about it. Now she's happy. She seems to have found someone whose hands fit her better. Instead of being happy for her, I'm angry. Not with her, with myself. Everyone found a hand that fits. Mine is too ugly to be hold. No wonder she couldn't love it. No wonder no one could.

"The price for love is lost, but we pay for it anyway".

Anyway too much depressing talks these days. I'm sorry. I'm going through a tough time, and the fact is no one's there to help. Got to do with my annual pre-birthday stress, work tensions, and a lot of "Other people are so god damn happy and your life sucks" news.

I'll be fine I guess...

Tomorrow is a new day. I'd have changed by then. But I'm trying to slow it down. I didn't like the person I used to be so much, but I don't like what I am now. So moderation would be nice.

OK, time to go get some work done and study Japanese, I'm way behind in class now...

I just need to get these heavy stuffs out of my chest and get going with my hectic life.

With love,

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I guess maybe there's hope.

After another round of delay, it seems the project is gonna go live. We are still working 12 hours day and Sundays and Saturdays, but at least there's hope for the end, the finishing line. So it's something we are holding on to. Hope.

There's a promise. Well, not really, it's pretty vague. But it's a promise (for the lack of better word) to compensate people on the sacrifices they made, and the contribution they have given in. It's also a promise for change, for progress for me, personally. I don't really buy in to all of that fancy words, but well, there's Hope.

There're new friends, new bonds. I guess human do enjoy the surface acquaintances and friends rather than deep human connections. Good enough I guess. After all we are all but longing for a little connections that keep us human, but not too much it distracts us from what we want in life. It's hope, but not reality.

There's hope for change.

There're mom, dad, and you. Going home next month for New Year, and my (god damn) birthday excites me. It's hope for a break, for no-work policy, for good night sleep, for togetherness, for love.

And then there's me, your self-centered, semi-depressed, self absorb obnoxious cynic who is incapable of holding on to hope for long.

I just hope this time it lasts longer than the last...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm alive

Thursday 14-Jan-2010, 2:00AM

Dear brother

I'm alive. It's so hard to even say that. Been working non-stop since last week. Sat. Sun. Monday 6pm - 9am. Tuesday 6pm - 7:30am. Wednesday 4pm until now. Sometimes I was alternating between the state of zombie and human. Sometimes when I sleep I feel alive, and when I wake and work I feel as if I'm in a surreal dream.

Tired of even being human.

I just realized I didn't learn much, or earn much in the past 1 year. All that time. All that sacrifice. I wish sometimes someone saw it. Tiring. God damn fucking tiring. There are still many things I don't know, and when the time is right, I could not even fix that... Feel overwhelmed by uselessness and fatigue somehow

I wish for once I could be an ass and choose NOT to do something because someone else NEED me to. I'm not even important. They don't even give a damn.

Perhaps the lack of sleep is turning me into a horrible person. Well, it's certainly not very uplifting to my borderline insanity rock bottom state of mind. Vicious cycles of delay and more redundant work, and life time wasted. Never ending. Never gonna mean anything.

Tomorrow new days will come. I keep telling myself when it cant get worse, it'll get better. Day by day it keeps getting worse.

I'm alive, somehow. As much as I can, I want to be alive, I want to LIVE life, to its fullest of meaning. But how long can I still hang on till the word itself lose its meaning... Maybe it's true, I don't need to be happy, to be happier alive.

I'm seriously considering a drastic change.

We'll see, 10 years later, how I will survive this.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A concert of Past Phantoms


Dear brother,

I went to an A Capella concert today.

I don't know if I ever mentioned to you, but when I was in University (ah, those were the days), I used to sing A Capella, in a group. It was a small cozy students thing, and I wasn't any good. I guess when I started working, that part of me died somewhere, buried deep under my untalented voice (and my ugly face). As a tenor, now I cant even sing a proper high key in a Boyband song.

The truth is, I don't miss singing at all. I don't even miss the stage. The light, the audience, the friends. They all died with that part of me, somewhere. Tonight was kinda a phantom of that.

I can't remember when was the last time I went to a concert (I think 2008 before I changed job, it was an NUS thing) or a social event in general. Blazer, cologne, hair gel, all dressed up for the event where I know I would end up smoking alone during intermission. Don't get me wrong, I totally enjoyed the performance, there are great songs and great performers (except for, hmmm, the SMU kids). It's just it's a stupid social notion that it's sad when you go to a concert alone. I met an old friend and the first thing that came out from his mouth was "Who are you going with tonight?" Awkward silence.

It's just, I'm a little jealous. My friend found their passion. They know what they want and they got so good at it. I'm just a senior programmer. Photo snapper. Painter. Not even a good programmer. Not even a photographer. Not even an artist. I just wish I had that courage to pursue what I want. To BE what I wish I could have become.

Work has been challenging. Night shifts after night shifts. Sat and Sun. Also there are underlined tension after the project recommendation for promotion across teams in March. It's like I can feel silent middle fingers. I KNOW for the fact that there are people way better than me, there are people that deserve it more than me. I actually asked to make sure they got nominated as well. But I will NOT apologize for the fact that, just as everyone, I strove hard and made sacrifices; and that was recognized. I had never compromised my integrity to get there.

Life is like a performance. Sometimes you are in the light. Sometimes you are in the dark. Sometimes you have your lines, your emotions, your chords. Sometimes you are lost. Sometimes you are with friends. Sometimes you play a monologue.

Most of the time you are all alone.

Tonight, listen to the voices and the beats of the past, I guess I finally found closure.

I guess this whole 2010 and Feb events are getting to me. 26 days. 25. It's like I'm desperately wanting for something, or someone, to happen. Nothing did.

Time to sleep. Long work days ahead.

Exit, stage left...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Good morning


Waking up. Washing up. Eating rush breakfast. Putting on Office clothes. Pretense. It's another day...

Tired. Too tired to form a full sentence.

It all seemed to come down on me in such a short time. I don't even know where to start, or stop, or just sit, stone, and cry.

I'm tired of apologizing for having things I deserve to have, for the things that i have fought so hard for. People think my life is easy.

I'm tired of doing things I do not want to do, and day in and day out explain and apologize for it.

I'm tired of fighting the war that is not mine.

I'm sick and fucking tired of people.

The days keep getting longer. Work. Work. Work. Strings pulled at all directions. Plans delayed. People demand non-stop 72 hours of System support. People demand Fixes. People demanding more more and more. Sister is driving me crazy. Mom is driving me crazy. Friends are driving me crazy. People demand time. People demand forgiveness. People demand explanations. People demand me to be the person I am not. Endless demands.

They all want more from me. Everyone.

When will it be, just for once, about what I want.

Brother, I just need a friend, I guess...

Give me strength, will ya?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


4th Jan 2010

Dear brother,

I think I'm at a loss. 3rd day into my long leave, and I'm already going insane. Maybe I should go back to work tomorrow, or Tuesday. Somehow it's just easier to work 12 hours a day than spending all this time to myself.

I guess it's the whole new year, new decade, new resolutions thing. 25. Scary number. I'm at a bit of a loss in direction in life. I am exactly where I was last year, career wise or the search of happiness wise. I probably know what I want to do, but I'm so scared and alone. You don't know how much I wish for a brother from the future to tell me it'll all be ok, that whatever choices I made now will make a better tomorrow for me. That I need not be alone.

I guess I'm at a bit of loss of faith. I don't even want to believe in the notion of having faith any more. Not making any sense. I just wish sometimes someone sees me for the person that I am, not what I look like or sound like. I just wish sometimes someone sees it and don't run away screaming. Sometimes I just wish someone is there. Anyone.

I guess I am at a loss of friendship. I gave up on them. And I want to tell them really how much I am sorry for that. I don't give up on people. But I do now. Even my closest friends. And it's not even their fault. They have their own lives, their very own struggles. It's just, I'm tired to reach out. I'm tired to even try to reach out. I'm tired of being angry, of being second rated after a fan, or an elder, or a boyfriend, or a nap, etc. It's selfish and it is unfair. So I guess the most mature thing to do for me is to give up.

I guess I'm at a loss of strength to continue on with the search for happiness on my own. I guess I'll just let it be. It comes when it comes. It might never come. At least I'm not wasting my time fighting or expecting it. Tired of people sometimes.

Don't worry still I'm not suicidal. I want to live (and paint and photograph and watch TV and many things more, without being happy). I just wish I could like vanish to some mountain tops or ulu beaches and rest my tired mind. Singapore just drives me crazy. But then I cant book tickets because it's already too late.

I think I'm losing my mind.