The Customer Assistance Lady

I met a customer assistance lady at the supermarket the other day.


I needed help and approached her.


She was deaf.


Of course she didn’t hear me.


But she still signed that she wanted to help.


She couldn’t understand what I wanted; and I, couldn’t find the right ways to show it.


And so I walked away, smiling apologetically.


It wasn’t her fault.
It was me.


She tried.
I didn’t.




Who’s the one with the disability again?


Love. Hate. Love

Why do we hate?


I may be na├»ve… a dreamer… But is it too much to wish for peace and wonder why we love to hate?



I know we’re all different.


Some of us academically inclined; while others, athletically.
Some of us taller than most; while some, shorter than most.
Some of us quiet; while some simply love to talk.

Some craving nothing but a hot coffee and a book in a cozy bed; while some outdoorsy others prefer nothing but to backpack or go on a nice long hike.


Some of us dreamers, fantasising a utopian world and happier people; while some others simply love to hate.

Why do we love to hate?


Why do we love to hate so much?!


Why can’t we simply just BE?


So your neighbour, a former Catholic, is now in a happy relationship with his gay partner, planning a wedding and parenthood, wears hipster clothing, listens to the blues, drives an old pick up truck, and is African-Asian.

So what?

So what?!




Why do we hate?




Why do we love to hate?

Sometimes, I quit trying.

Sometimes, you can feel the onset on a down-phase.

Not a full blown depression, but a sort of sadness that lingers on for a while…

Maybe a day… Maybe two…


It’s hard to call it out for what it is, but it feels like a lethargy you can’t shake off…

A tiredness of your eyes, your body, your mind.

A dull, hazy ache in your heart.


“This can be controlled”, you think.

“I don’t have to let this bring me down so long as I take corrective steps and pick myself up.”

But maybe sometimes you can’t.

Maybe sometimes you’re not really in a position to.


Maybe, sometimes it’s okay to let yourself feel this huge impending wave of negative, sorrowful emotion hit you;

because it’s okay not to have the energy to fight it.


Maybe, sometimes, it’s okay to take a hit, fall down, and stay down till you’re sure you want to rise again.

Good people, Bad people.

Sometimes I wonder, “Am I good people or not?”

I know I’ve done and said some things that are not good. But do they define me? Do they make me a bad person?

…And then I find my answer in the overwhelming guilt that I feel any time I make the littlest blunders.

I am Good People.

I want to talk to you about my period.

I want to talk to you about my period.

I’m writing this because at least for a while, as I write, my mind will be a little distracted. There’s also things I want you to know; but more importantly, there’s emotions I want you to feel.
Everything I’m feeling right now is real to me. And it shatters me.
And I think the world needs to know.

It’s now 05:42 in the morning, and for the past 90 minutes, I’ve been writhing around in pain, sobbing hysterically, and hating my body for doing this to me every month.
And this is me on the first day of my period every month.

Sometimes, this is me for the first two days.

This pain will last a while. A good while. I usually succumb and swallow a painkiller, but without one, this pain can last a good 5-6 hours. Or sometimes the entire day. Or sometimes for the first 5-6 hours in the day, some brief respite for about 4 hours in between, before it resumes for another 5-6 hours and into the night.

“Menstrual cramps” is a very generic way of terming something every woman will describe to you differently. For me, it’s a crippling back ache, abdominal ache, sore hips, very sore thighs, aching calf muscles, and a headache from all the crying.
That’s just the external, physical pain.

There’s also an indescribable amount of discomfort to deal with since I can’t lay on my back because I may “leak”, I can’t lay on my sides because my hips are very sore, I can’t lay on my belly because again, I may “leak”, I can’t stand much because my legs are weak, I can’t sit long enough to rest because, again, I’m crippled with fear of leaking blood no matter how careful I’m being.
Also, I’m cold and shivering because that always happens on Day 1; but I’m also feeling hot and sweaty in between my thighs.
I’ve got on a pad that doesn’t help the hot, wet, sweaty feeling; and in about three days, I’ll have rashes on either side of my crotch because that always happens after about 4 days of non-stop feminine hygiene product usage.

Oh I haven’t told you about the emotional wrecking yet.

I’m sure it’s a lot of fun to say a woman is “PMSing” when she’s being a bitch, but you have no right. The emotional rollercoaster that JUST ONE month’s period is, is scary to describe.
I can’t speak for other women, but me? I go from stupid self-pity, to absolute hatred for my body, to a strong desire to stab into my abdomen with a kitchen knife several times, to insuppressible rage against everything and everyone, to fits of uncontrollable sobbing, to suicidal depression.

It’s easy to write all those things off. Even I do, a few days after my period is over… But I wish you knew how real all those feelings are at the time.
How real all those feelings are RIGHT NOW.

I’ve been dealing with this for the past 14 years.

That’s 168 periods. Or the way I see it, 168 times, over 14 years, where I’ve come close to yanking my hair off my scalp and crying myself into nothingness.

I appreciate all the help, support, and space I get from friends, family and colleagues during this ordeal, but I wish it helped. I really wish all their efforts helped.
I think I just wish for anything that could help.

Or anything that could take it away.

It’s now 06:23, I’m crying, but now I think it’s because of the self-pity I’m feeling as I proof read while writing, in addition to the pain, discomfort and emotional meltdown.

In other news, I might have to do nothing today, just like I do every first day of my period each month.
So that means calling in sick to work. Cancelling my lessons. Cancelling my home lessons. Cancelling my practice sessions.
Cancelling my workout plans for the next 4 days.
Cancelling any social plans for the next 3 days.
Avoiding people as much as I can for the next 2 days so I’ll have less apologising to do for being rude and snappy.
Going AWOL on my IM because, again, I might snap.

And even after I’ve taken all this trouble to type this out on my phone, I’m reconsidering sharing it.

I know it’s personal, and probably should not be out circulating on the internet.
And maybe not everyone needs to know.

But again, everyone needs to know.

I think people really deserve to know why most women are so messed up every monthly cycle.

I know no matter how much I try, I’m never going to be able to put into words the full magnitude of what transpires in my body and mind, but I think I tried my best.

It’s now 06:44. I think I’ll watch videos of animals being adorable and cry thinking about how innocent and pure they are, because I don’t think I can cry myself to sleep.

Of passions and misunderstood self-interests…

A little over two months ago, I changed jobs, again, and I know I harmed my career track record quite a bit. Who hires someone who can’t hold down a corporate job for more than 3 months twice, right?

You know what? Changing jobs for the third time has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself!

It wasn’t at all easy. I had to really weigh the opportunity cost involved with “walking away from Corporate”. But in my case, this was more in terms of time and monetary investments made in pursuit of suitable academic degrees, etc.

And then of course there was the fact that this couldn’t have been considered a mistake anymore. I was changing to a third job in a span of less than a year. I’d managed to hold down both past corporate jobs for an average of 2.5 months only.

But it is what it is. And I’d like to share my story now because: a) I want to clarify and reassure all skeptics that I am doing better than ever; and b) I’m sure I’m not the only one who went through (or goes through) the confusion and inability to stay happy with a regular job.


It’s funny really. All my life I’ve spent knowing that I’m ambitious but unsure what I want to do in life. Music was always there, but somehow I failed to see it as my Plan A.
And so I did everything to pursue a fickle, changeable Plan A; right from my not-so-brief tryst with CA, to the PGDM.

It’s been a journey. And yes, seeing where I am now, I do wonder whether all that study in the wrong fields, all those degrees… Were they even worth it?

In some way, they are.

If nothing else, I learnt who I was not, just by making these bad choices. I learnt where to draw the line to my infinite, probably childish ambitions. I learnt that I was only human.
And to add a cherry on top, along this mistake of a journey, I fell in love.

So it can’t all be considered a waste.

And so, two odd months ago, I decided to stop fooling myself.
So I made bad certification and career mistakes. Big deal!

I hadn’t lost all. In fact, I had never lost anything but money.
I’ve always been good at being a musician and at tutoring music and I thank the stars that I never ever stopped doing it along the way.


By the end of my PGDM course, I had zero corporate experience but 8 years of music teaching experience and a Grade 8 solo pianist’s degree.
But I ended up capitalizing on the former.

It took me two failed attempts at the corporate world to realise I was better than that.


See, maybe I could’ve still held down those jobs had I really tried… Had I really wanted to try…

But I didn’t.

I knew that passion for it would never come. Not while there was something else I was so good at and so passionate about.

So here I am now, narrating to you a tale that spans roughly a year. A year that saw me relocate houses at least five times, change jobs three times, change cities two times, and alter my resume at least six times.

Finally where I want to be, I’ve decided to teach music for the rest of my life, alongside being a musician and doing all things music!

Someone from my last job told me this while I was planning to leave. He said, “… passions are okay to have, but will you be happy making a career of it? You will regret the decision you’re making. If it were me, I’d buckle down and work harder where I am.”
He might have been right… In somebody else’s context. Or even his own.
He was wrong about me.
I haven’t been this happy about life in general, in a long time.
Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about anyway?


That’s all I’ve got to say.