mum

2 nights ago, i rang home to thank mum for a bag she got for me for birthday. It was pink with a picture of a lady walking a poodle with a mini city in the background (imagine lady going shopping with the poodle).

For those who know the ups and downs of my relationship with my mum, read this.

Anyway, my conversation with mum:

me: thanks mum, i recieved the present today.
mum: Oh! You like it?!?!
me: I like the colour.
mum: It’s cute isnt it? It is so in fashion in Singapore now.
me: Is it? I’m really not sure about what’s in trend now.
mum: YA…It’s the trend! Your classmates will say how cute the bag is.
me: Well… it does look a little cute, although a little young for me. Maybe it is better if i am 18 or something.
mum: It’s in trend now mah…
me: the material is nice..
mum: YA!!!
me: Erm, ma, i thought you bought the bag in china?
mum: no lah, bought in singapore.

At this time, i began to feel a little guilty.

me: oh, dont tell me you went to the shops saw the bag and said “this is soo daphne.”
mum: YA! I saw it and thought i HAVE to buy it for you. So you like it?
me (feeling guilty): yes….

No, the bag isnt something that i would buy for myself. Knowing that my mum took the effort and bought the bag (even when she has been so busy with opera and work committments-travelling to china earlier in the month) somehow just erm.. i just cant say no! Not to mention the nice wrapping paper that she used (not the $1 kind that she usually keep at home.It actually looks nice!) . She took the effort to wrap the whole thing up-using her pattern wrapping skills.

As a young girl, I was caught up with the whole pleasing mum thing. I still want to please my mum. It was so hard to spend time with her that i literally drop everything to go out with her (when she wants).

This time is different though. She wanted to make me happy as well. She was even unhappy because dad let the cat out of the bag by telling me she sent me something! She said “your dad nothing to say to you is it…”- in a unhappy tone. Towards the end of the conversation, she said that as long as i am happy, she thinks applying for the dpsych is a good idea. This is the first time she has ever told me that she will support me in applying for a postgrad degree. No arguements, no nothing, just a plain “As long as you are happy.” Not in an unhappy tone, not in a “i give up tone”, but actually in a soft gentle way that i missed about mum.

Maybe the illness changed her. Maybe she decided that her family is more important now. I dont know. For the first time, i actually feel that we are closer now. It doesnt matter if the bag is pink with a lady walking with a poodle but hey, it’s from her. I can use it to put library books or something. I feel that she opened up and even told me about the up coming vietnam trip with the hospital- telling me not to worry as the hospital will cancel the trip if the bird flu thing comes up. She initiate that, most of the time.. i dont even know she went on a trip until she was ON the trip.

Took me nearly 22 years to get here with my mum. Regardless, I still love her. I really do.

my wishlist

I am taking this idea from v- to remind myself of what i want. Little pleasures in life makes the journey slightly easier. Not to say I am not content with what i have, a little extra is always good although that doesnt define my life. With or without them, I am still alive (with the exception of “time” perhaps).

1) BOOKS – Yalom came out with a new book “lying on the couch”, OCD by Foa will be good as well, Attachment psychotherapy stuff, child therapy stuff, how to teach parents parenting skills stuff, Amy tan’s new book……….

2) Filing cabinet and a hunk to assist me with the filing- anything to make the papers go away (no burning).

3) TIME- to sleep, shower, cook, read, knit (i sound like a granny), cross stitch, travel, listen to fav music and chill, walks in the park/river/lake/estates, talk/spend time with my closest friends………

4) MP3 player with voice recording device- If only… if only… life in the clinic/travel will be good. Music to drown everyone.

5) New quilt + bed sheets

6) Travel tickets- to Japan, Malaysia, EUROPE, korea, thailand, Singapore…………………………..the list goes on.

7) Better writing skills-so that i dont have to edit my stuff a few million times to make it grammar errors free.

8) Clothes + shoes + bags- Cooper street black dress, i am so eyeing on that one, Witchery’ sweater and tops. CARDIGAN! -why is it so hard to get a decent cardigan in perth? I just cleared my wardrobe, got rid of all the clothes i can no longer wear….. it looks bare now.

9) the chance to go have a decent haircut- This can be tied in with “TIME”

10) Prayers- for courage, strength, perserverance, patience, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, love, goodness, joy, self-control and peace.

Growing up

A recent conversation with a close friend made me realised how things have changed since the year 1999.

Friendships
Remember those care-free days where we can just meet friends up after school, holidays or even during the weekends? It’s strange, but life seems to revolve more around friends when i was younger. I enjoyed the getaways, the night chats, the whole of sunday spent in church doing activities, camps… ah, how i miss them. It has somehow shifted (for me anyway) now.

Growing up means more responsibilities and a change in priorities. No doubt friendships are still important but work comes first sometimes. I suppose being in the health care profession means my clients come first in many aspects as well. While in secondary school days, we were establishing and building friendships, the 20s seems to be a time where friendships are maintained. No more small talk- no time for them. Instead, it is a time where caring words and updates are exchanged. The 20s is a busy time, for most of us are establishng our careers. Understanding between friends exists and there are times where we dont have to be in contact for weeks and the bond will still remain. It was different in our teens, where the friends circle seemed to change more often than the 20s.

I dont see myself calling my friends up for coffee or drinks every week. I dont even have enough time to sleep or shower! However, i appreciate my friends who sent me smses, emails and even posting on this blog to keep in contact. I admit i am not the greatest friend of all times-afterall, when my friends are going through tough periods in their life, all i can offer is words of comfort over the phone or the net. One thing i do offer though is prayer. I do try to do my best in updating people around me (and of course to show that i am still alive). Yes, I might not keep in contact with all my closest friends every single week, but they do exists in my heart, prayers and msn messages. It is not because i dont want to spend time with my friends- of course i do. Do i not miss the coffees and the chit chats? It is just because my priorities means I have to sacrifice other things (including some of my hobbies, love life and friendships). I maintained that if God gave me this chance to be a psychologist trainee, I will do the best that i can.

My friends provided me with support and understanding throughout the past 5 years. This is my 6th year in Perth and my ever best friends stood by me through these times. Ruth, Peggy, Ben, Haz and Ting never once failed to provide me with comforting words and loving hugs even though sometimes, the only help i can offer is to cry on the phone with them. Distance matters, but it is bridged by the heart. Yes, we cannot talk to each other every other day, but that doesnt meant I have forgotten them or that they have pushed me aside. I’m sorry I cannot ring you or stay on the msn everyday with you as our journey as an young adult begins but that doesnt meant I dont love you.

With Velda- even though u are in Brisbane, I appreciate the smses, phone calls and the candid emails. They say friendships are seldom established in our undergraduate years, but I think we went against the odds.

Jon, Terence, jacq, Lingjia, Wanyi, Irene, Ivy..etc etc would constantly remind me to meet up with them when i do get back to Singapore. Trust me, I appreciate how little time we have for each other.

Relationships
I’m not being biased when I say friendships are hard to maintain in our 20s. What about the other side of our lives? I think my man will tell you that when it comes to time, I would often ask him to wait while i do my assignments, write my reports or even when i write update emails to my friends occasionally.

And when my closest of all friends visited me in Perth, my time was spent on my work. Not that i do not want to be a good hostress, but my responsibilities means I have to be there for my clients. As for my man, he wasnt even allowed to talk to me as i sat in a corner in his room trying desperately to write my take home exam so that I can go over to the living room and have dinner with my closest mates who came all the way to visit. How did we communicate? He would send me an msn msg reminding me that dinner was ready.

I managed to finish most of my work on time and went on a fab trip to Rottnest Island with my friends who visited.

Even now, if we were to go on dates, it would consist of us walking in Woolworths grabbing some veges for dinner. We communicate through emails. I wouldnt say it is the lovey dating relationship that people might have when they first started a relationship but we do have respect, care, prayer and love. He entered the relationship with me knowing that he would have to would have to “wait” as I finish my work. My point being that regardless with friendships or relationships, i try my best to spend time with both. I’m not lying that this course/career has taken a toll in all my relationships, but it has also shown me how precious time is.

Choices
M priorities means I have chosen work many times over other activities. I try my best although at times, best isnt enough. I’m not finding excuses, but simply asking for my friends to have grace and love in their hearts to accept me for who I am. To support me as I continue on this journey for the next few years. What i can promise is that no one can take my friends away from my prayers and support-and it remains true that I am there for them as much as I can even though what i can offer for most times are moral and mental support.

I’m blessed-with a group of close and trusted friends, with a man who loves me for who I am and a job and career which i enjoy. That doesnt mean i dont try to maintain my friendships and relationships, instead, i’m trying to say that true friends understand and communicate. We dont need to have dozens of emails, phone calls and meetings to understand and love one another but to have a strange bond and appreciation of time when we do meet and catch up.