emily-ish exposure

Life moments...
from the unsuccessful blogger.

Wednesday, November 23

my lost art

It seems blogging is a lost art. And I say so for, well...myself.

Moments before actually deciding to put pen, or keyboard in this case, to thought, I had just re-read a few of my entries over the last 4 years. Hmm, okay, so it's not really 4 years cos I've stopped for a whole year and have gone mia for other considerable pockets of time. And if I begin to sound incoherent, it's really because I've not written in a really long time. I should qualify that by adding the adverb 'creatively', since I still do write, you know, emails. But really, office-related email doesn't quite qualify as creative writing.

But back to my original thought (which I've just remembered by looking at the first sentence of my above paragraph --- topic sentence they call it --- but clearly my topic sentence wasn't supported at all by my subsequent sentences. Ya, I've become somewhat scatterbrained this way.)... Reading my past entries has made me realise that I've lost the art of blogging (I'm unabashedly assuming I had it before). I feel I no longer can express my thoughts with the same precision and clarity, or in as abstract a way, as before. I'm not as eloquent or poetic in my use of words, and I use less complex syntactic structures (which, from a reader's standpoint, really isn't a bad thing). 

My editorial training over the last few years has inclined me to prize concision and clarity highly for the sake of successful communication. I mean, who wants to buy a book they can't understand? Since we write to communicate, and thus be understood, then we should make sure people understand what we're writing, no? And so this is making me wonder.. perhaps I used to write abstractly because I didn't really want to be understood..? *puzzles* I think I had many deep thoughts I was trying to express, which at the same time I didn't want to give away too much of. Yes, I am paradoxically, yours. 

As I think back now, I remember I was always trying to package my thoughts carefully (actually, perfectly, but that's subjective), in a way that only the really discerning could understand if they bothered to read between the lines. Linguistic snobbery..? But, much of the time I was 'sharing' about matters of the heart, i.e. being hurt by so-and-so, struggling to surrender such-and-such desire, feeling so lost and confused, all the bitter-sweet blah-blahs of an emo soul ;). So being the more guarded sort, I felt I needed to helm in my raw emotions by clothing them in, erm, more cautious terms, since the very people who'd read my entries might also be the same people I was struggling with. And I'm now grinning wryly at all my orchestrated attempts to be mysterious...

And coming back again... I may feel like I've lost the art of blogging (well, my idea of art) but that's okay. My perceived lack of eloquence and abstraction (is there such a word) may be compensated by other hopefully-distinctive aspects of my writing which I've yet to discover. ;) That, regardless, it doesn't make me less real. I've changed over the years, mellowed by life (wow, that sounds old), and the landscape of my self-expression has also changed. In what ways... that remains to be seen... But if you should stick around long enough, you may discern the changes if you read hard enough. Not between the lines, perhaps.

Thursday, October 28

a random rant.

there used to be a time when words did not fail me. when my thoughts and feelings would find fruitful expression in the right words. there was precision and clarity. there was meaningful rumination. there was also time. time to reflect. time to ponder. time to create. time to think.

time seems to be in such short supply. and so are my words.

how ironic, given my job. i work with words every day. i think them, write them, edit them, speak them. without words, my job would cease to exist. (okay, so we can publish picture books. but that's another thing).

i lament my lack of words. i lament that i can't find the right words to say what i want to say. i lament that i have become too dependent on [shift][f7]. i lament that i did not love reading when i was a child. i lament that my thoughts stop in mid-air, never finding their resting place in a form comprehensible to others.

my vocabulary fails me.

the impetus for expression impels
yet wordlessness stares defiantly
caging it in
suppressing fruitful expose

i shall wait.

Thursday, February 18

of mice and (long)man

i seem to have a knack for attracting pests in/to my food.

today at work, i attempted to have a healthy lunch. yoghurt with sunflower seeds --- in my opinion, a perfect blend of taste and texture. i usually pour some seeds into the yoghurt, give it a little mix and savour each spoonful. so the packet i had eaten from today was actually a half-pack left from last week. i had left it on my desk for a day or two, and before leaving for the CNY break, had tucked it into a drawer, to protect it from nocturnal scavengers. yes, they run free in my office.

i had taken a good 5-7 mouthfuls of what i thought to be a very delectable lunch. until....i saw this.

imagine my horror when i saw the hole gaping in my face! no points for guessing what annoying creature might have done this. you gotta look closely if you don't see the hole. and no, it wasn't the work of a cockroach. i don't get grossed out easily. but, that really did it.

i felt really indignant for not having seen the hole, which as rightly pointed out by evan, my colleague with whom i shared the horror, was well-hidden from sight if the packet wasn't lying flat. we reckoned, since the pack had been in my drawer for the past few days, the rat/mouse thing must have bitten the hole before that, while it was still on my desk! EEEEEwwwwwwWWWW! to think i ate some seeds from the packet!

I shudder at the thought.

now, to provide some context to this, and hence to make myself look even stupider, i must add this. the rodent problem is not new. at my previous workstation on the 1st floor, my room had been some mouse's playground and bathroom. it bit into my brand new cornflakes chocolate block and peed and poop all over our desks. but we got the pestman to come and he trapped the little culprit. so all has been silent for 8 or so months till a few weeks back, when we noticed poop on our desks upstairs. (i've since moved back up.) and you ask, why the heck then did i leave my poor pack of sunflower seeds on the desk as an innocent offering to the roaming rodents?


as i mentioned, i seem to attract pests in my food. here's why i think so:

housefly in my shui-jiao noodles. 2 weeks ago.
(after i had practically devoured the entire plate!)

the noodle aunty gave me a full refund, which to be honest, i wasn't too thrilled about. and perhaps i just might find $1.46 (cost of yoghurt + seeds) on my desk tomorrow morning, with a note of apology signed off with 'the longman mouse'.

oh, save me.

Saturday, February 13

of blogs and thoughts

i was just 'springcleaning' this blog and noticed that most of my linked friends who kept blogs no longer do so. what's left are those who made their last entries a year or less ago. yes, a year. i'm hopeful. if i can resurface after 9 months of silence, anyone else can too. (:

it's no wonder though, why people stop blogging. it takes considerable effort. for me, at least it does --- measuring the weight of each word, and questioning continually if what i write actually makes for good reading. i have often typed an entry, only to save it as a draft (and never revisit it) because i wasn't satisfied with it. not a bad thing, perhaps. some things are just better left...unsaid.

to me, blogging is an exercise in self-reflection and often, self-censorship. it forces me to think about what has happened in my life lately, what thoughts and emotions i've carried with me and why i want (or do not want) to share some of those things online. on many occasions in the past, i had wanted to blog, but decided against it after moments of mulling --- too much to say? too little to say? too stupid to say? too bo-liao to say? too complicated to say? too private to say? too tired to say... So, nothing to say.

i suspect my introspection gets the better of me.
or perhaps, it's just my self-consciousness.

i think i've a very heightened sense of self-consciousness. which is why i don't like to post unless i'm convinced my posts are actually meaningful and well... well-crafted. it's gotta look 'perfect' so people think the best of me! there, i've said it.

and i wonder now where this blogging exercise has taken me... :] well, my current conclusion is this: i gotta let myself go a little, breathe a little easier, and just enjoy the blogging act itself. if it allows people, such as you, to get a glimpse into who i really am, it may be well worth it.

so, if i may try to put this a little more poetically...

every post is a journey.
every word will take me from one thought to the next.
i would have travelled, and hopefully, glimpsed a clear-enough path into the road ahead.

Friday, February 12

starting & stopping

It's terribly hard to start again at something... once you've stopped.

My exact sentiments about blogging, really.

But I'll start with something simple, perhaps trivial.

So, 10 things I'm happy about:
1. CNY
2. The looong weekend, thanks to CNY
3. The ang-baos I'll still receive despite the fact that I'm past toddler-hood and adolescence
4. Work is manageable. For now.
5. Just looking at Am & Meg's store of photos on my computer. Such cutie nieces I have!
6. Baby Drew -- my new nephew
7. I baked today.
8. I've resumed knitting a fuchsia scarf that was neglected for 6 months.
9. I get to sleep in air-con.
10. I'm blogging.

I should sleep now. Goodnight world (:

Tuesday, August 11

a little time to stop and say

i suppose it would take a while before anyone notices i've resumed blogging again. ;) but no matter, cos by the time anyone notices, i might've stopped....again!

but, i suppose there's always a little time to stop and say...

* i'm thankful for family, for the ones who never cease to care, to give their affirmation in different special ways, to eat with, to laugh with, to grow with, even to grow frustrated with, and most of all, simply to be there.

* i'm thankful for justin, for the way he shows grace to me when i grow impatient, for how he takes time to spend with me and listen, for his appreciation for all good food, for his candid and contented spirit, for his thoughtfulness and kind acts of love, and for how he chooses to honour God in the big as well as little things.

* i'm thankful for brothers and sisters, for those who stop from time to time to ask how i'm doing and say they're praying, for the way they allow me to share in their joys and struggles, and for the way they keep walking despite the storms they face.

* i'm thankful for God and to God, for His unfailing love, for His constant kindness, for His only Son, for His perfect provision and timing, for His beautiful design in creation, for His fellowship, for those He has brought into my life, and for His loving purposes at work in the lives i know.

Thursday, August 6

life and a lump-on-a-leg

this might be a potentially depressing entry.

sigh. what a way to begin an entry after.....8 months of silence.

what would possess me to even post an entry at this hour, i don't know.

i was just back from work less than an hour ago.
and yes, this appears to be the pattern of my life now:
wake up - sit at loo and think - shower - dress myself and dress the lump on my leg* - sit on floor and pray - travel to work - work - work - work - work - travel home - shower - put cream on lump on leg

* the lump on my leg is a wound from an abscess that has taken too long to heal. it started off as an insect bite, which grew and grew till it was a lump of a 50cent coin. i got it lanced and drained (yes, very painful. and no, no anaesthetic), and that was in april. the long and short of it is that the wound hasn't healed well. i shall not delve into details here, but suffice to say, to the specialist i shall be going. please pray i find a good lump-on-the-leg specialist.

work is just...work. and more work.

this is just about the most challenging season of my work life ever since i started work. the sheer volume of work and 'complexity' of the current project i'm on, no thanks to the ministry of e, is really revving up the heat. and well, deadlines are dead...so there's no moving them. it has felt like a walk in the valley. i've woken up with my mind preoccupied with thoughts of work (sit at the loo and think part) and the seeming impossibilities of completion.

yet, and this is a big yet, the downside of things has only helped me experience the upside of being in God's company. i've had many reminders from Him that i'm not alone, and that the battles, while raging, are not mine to fight but His. is it easy to trust in Him when things look bleak? no, not really. not if i only choose to focus on the impending dates, yet-to-be manuscripts and countless other get-you-down things. but trust was never meant to be a circumstantial response, as i've learnt. rather, it has meant placing my entire weight on the One who created the universe and who is perfect in every way, and who certainly is the most ingenious Author, Editor, Designer and Publisher ever. just look at the Bible we hold today. and beyond the printed word we know, He is the One who is the Word, and who can be trusted to fulfil the promises of yesterday, today and tomorrow with perfect precision and grace.

and, a walk in the valley is always a reminder that God is not quite done with me yet. He is in the business of refining, and He certainly isn't about to close shop on me. this is truly a season of character development and discipline. if i may say this, His allowance for difficult times in our lives will always be matched by His lavish outpouring of grace and loving-kindness.

and so, there is reason still to smile (and blog) in the storm, with a lump-on-the-leg.

this isn't so depressing after all :)

Wednesday, November 5

pursued by grace

am back for an update (:

didn't want to put this off any longer cos i'm sure if i did, i'd never get down to it. ironically, i don't actually terribly enjoy blogging. (hmm, as is obvious from how often i blog.) well, at least not in the way i'd enjoy eating or baking. yet i deem it a periodic necessity. for me, its one way of recalling His goodness in my life, and i'm unashamedly assuming that sharing all that will encourage someone somehow. so here i go...


the past 3 weeks have been rather intense at work. given a choice, i wouldn't want to start by talking about work, but... here's where most of the action has taken place. i shall refrain from being too explicit, lest i infringe on work confidentiality. but, suffice to say, it's been a ride i would care not to take again if i possibly can avoid it.

the short story goes something like this: i majorly screwed up on something i ought to have acted on a rather long time ago. i didn't. that, coupled with other developments totally out of my control, spiralled into something much bigger than i'd ever have imagined. i was very very scared. stupid as it may sound, it felt like being back in school, knowing that you haven't completed your homework and yet not having a valid reason for it. the only thing is, i'm not in school.

i could only pray, and steel myself to face the music. to my utter surprise, the responses from superiors were far from what i'd expected. there was neither outburst of anger nor tongue-lashing, only firm yet kind words of correction. this was shocking, considering that the consequences of my inaction wouldn't affect just me, but many others as well. apart from other things, many man hours of labour were exacted from fellow colleagues kind enough to help.

many logistical arrangements also had to be made to correct the matter. i would have been utterly clueless (as this involved cross-departmental communication) if not for a most gracious and understanding colleague who took it upon herself to ensure that things were in place.

the whole situation was compounded with other impending deadlines i was trying to meet. yet, somehow, the quiet assurance of His presence came at every turn of the road. God had long foreseen my boo-boo, yet He didn't leave me in the mud. every prayer i made in utter desperation was answered---right down to the smallest logistical detail. fear gave way to peace and joy, despite the circumstances. i still regret my mistake, it could have been avoided. yet, God knew and He chose to redeem the situation for His name's sake.

i've been deeply humbled by God's grace, as well as the grace of those who've sacrificially given their time and effort. it's a bitter-sweet reminder of the deep chasm of my fallibility and self-centredness contrasted to the depth of His unfailing kindness and pursuing grace. it's been an awe-ful ride... (:


on the lighter side of things...
oven therapy has proven to be very effective on me, especially in recent days. my oven's name is Healsio and she's red in colour. she's a water oven, which means she has the steamy function of cooking through water yet browning like a normal oven does. it's really cool. or hot.

i really enjoy baking and been looking into trying different treats (but so far, not all the end products have tasted like treats). because i'm somewhat of a baby in this baking journey, i've decided to start with 'safe' dummy-proof recipes before venturing into the great unknown. and to me, there is a lot of unknown. i've learnt that well, after adulterating a couple of recipes ('adulterate' means to take from here & there, hoping that the 'general' idea will evolve into a successful cookie/muffin) only to get alien muffins that look like holey kueh but taste nothing like it.

but thanks be to martha, who is now my best friend in baking. i'm even a member of her pretty website filled with a gazillion yummy recipes.

to date, my successful start-from-scratch attempts in the oven include:
* orange yoghurt cake
* chocolate-chip & nut & oatmeal cookies
* chunky apple muffin
* spiced carrot cake
* apple yoghurt cake

soon, i'll like to try an assortment of breads, more muffins (want to do savoury ones) and an oven-baked cheesecake. God is so good. a good friend of my parents has just handed down his breadmaker to us! he's even gonna come over to teach my mom how to use the breadmaker. i'm truly looking forward to baking my own bread.

will hopefully post on some life-lessons i'm learning through baking soon... (:

Thursday, September 25


hello all (:


my knees are recovering well. thank you for those who've asked about it and prayed for me! i had to hobble around a little initially, cos the dressing tape was quite restrictive. so i was a limp-er for a week or so. one of my colleagues thought i fell cos i was distracted by a handsome guy. (can't be...cos justin wasn't around then...:p) another thought i was being chased by a guy. if i were, then the poor guy would've tripped over the same log too. :\

the wound is still scabbing and getting smaller each day. thankfully, it hasn't cracked at all due to dryness (nothing like what the nurse who cleaned my wound had said "wah, this kind ah, scabbing that time ah, when you bend your knee, sure crack one!" scare me.)

knees aside.

my parents just left for japan a couple of hours ago. and they'll be away for more than 2 weeks. that's longer than even my longest trip! ok la, i've not been away for more than 16 days before. sounding a bit suaku liao. :]

never thought i would find myself saying this, but i do miss mommy and daddy already. i even sounded like my own mom when i was saying my good-byes to them.

"don't kan cheong ah!"
(cos they didn't manage to leave home on time due to a faulty luggage lock, which my dad had to hack apart.)

"call home ah!!"

i'm like my mom! (:

really, i'm praying they have a great time in japan touring and visiting old friends. more than that, i'm praying God will show up in amazing ways to show them that He is truly interested in them and is looking out for them constantly, no matter where they are at.

it's time for bed.

but before i go, i wanna say:
if i were given the chance to choose any job i want in the world right now, i'll choose either of the following:
* astronaut
* astrophysicist
* astronomer

ya, i'm weird that way.

if you want to be astro-sized, do visit:

Wednesday, September 10

taking a trip

the title is literal.

yes, i did take a trip on sunday...and it wasn't to church or the bahamas. i made contact with the ground.

and i thought i'd better blog about my trip before the poignancy of the incident began to fade, which in my case often does because i take too long to get down to blogging.

but before i get on to sunday, i just wanna say that some things happening in the past 2-3 weeks have also filled my heart with poignant, bitter-sweet moments. to simply put it and for the lack of deeper words, it was an emo time. but amidst the sting of uncertainty, disappointment, fear, hurt and doubt, God became very real. His call to trust in Him--His love, His goodness, His purposes, His timing--rang clearly in my heart. yet, should that have been a surprise? (: God has always been about the work of pursuing us, calling us unto Himself.

trusting can be hard. (anyone say amen to that?) and especially so when it involves the affects of the heart and the fulfilling of some preeeetty long-sought-after desires. but i think what is harder is staying trust-ful. what it takes for us not to crawl off the altar after we've placed our sacrifices there... ;)

to summarise the lessons, before i forget about my trip:
* God is the God of impossibilities. with Him, im-possibilities turn into Him-possibilities.
* God can be trusted. He will fulfil His promises and deliver.
* God is patient and kind. He chooses to work in the most ordinary people, the cowards and faithless.
* Love is hard work.

and now. sunday.

the events of the evening had been rather traumatic. physically and emotionally.
a difference of opinion (somewhat minor, but still troubling at first) between justin and i had left me feeling rather sour as i made my way home. and so, i was longing for some think-time as i took my walk home, but not before i bought my dinner. so i got my food, then took the 10 min walk back.

upon nearing my estate gate, i found to my horror that my pouch holding my keys and handphone weren't with me..! it was a VERY bummer moment, considering that i was already very tired and drained. but no choice, so i turned back and took the long walk back to the coffeeshop, but not without feeling dumb and pathetic. my thoughts about the issue-at-hand thus took a halt as my mind turned to the possibility of lost phone, keys and ez-link card. at the zebra-crossing near JE central, i had to stop for a speeding car which, when i stopped, had been at least 10m away. the fella didn't even care a hoot that i was waiting to cross. oh, the irony. after crossing safely, i shuddered at the thought that i could have been banged to pieces had i not first stopped to look out for wayward motorists. God's hand, surely.

so, what could be worse, i thought.
thankfully, i did retrieve my pouch from the stall where i'd bought my food. i took the same way back, and by this time, i noticed that the sky had turned a deeper hue of blue. beautiful, but not enough to soothe the bleahness of my soul. i wondered, what could possibly be the reason for all this happening?

when i finally made it into my estate, most light had gone and it was a serene quiet. i was relieved i was once again in safe terrain. in the clamour of my mind, i did notice a couple sitting on a bench a distance ahead, and that was about the last thing i saw. in a split second, my ankle felt a thud and i was on my hands and knees. the brutally rude shock had jolted me to life.

a few thoughts ran through my mind in the first second:
1. stupid. i had carefully stepped over this log in the morning!!! (obviously, i had clearly forgotten.)
2. how more pathetic can this evening get?
3. God, why is this happening to me...?
4. I love you still. (no, this wasn't from me to God. i think it was the other way round actually.)

the pain set in the next second. so i picked myself up and tried to make out the damage. the right knee was ringing with pain and there was a blood-red spot. the left knee was badly scratched. the twenty or so metres walk was painful and my tears began to fall. i mean, the evening couldn't have gotten any worse. plus, it was darker so i didn't really care.

i felt like a kid all over again. the falling down and picking myself up, then the tears falling.

i didn't have to say too much to my mom when i got in the house. she understood when she saw the blood flowing down my legs (ya, i never seen so much blood come outta my knee before.) i was visibly traumatised. the time spent in the shower was pretty much sobs and suds.

by the time i came out, my mom had already prepared the first-aid stuff--hydrogen peroxide and all. she made sure i was cleaned up and did not rub salt to injury by asking me how i could have been so careless. i thank God for Mommy, my human help in time of need.

and so, my knees were pretty banged up. now i've got an interesting purplish design on my left knee, but the right is not as pretty a sight, raw skin and all. but the upside is, i got a day's mc and got to spend time at home with mom on monday ;)

there were lessons to glean from my 'rude' trip.
* it's possible to get stumbled by our own thoughts. i mean, it was literal for me. i was so engrossed in thought i had completely missed the log, resulting in my fall (it was rather big actually. my mom had thought it was a 'twig' until she surveyed the stumbling log the next morning during her walk) but figuratively, it happens too. sometimes, we get so caught up in the muck of our own thoughts we fail to see what's happening around.

* falling down isn't such a bad thing. the pain of the fall had softened my hardened heart and broken my resistance to God's truth and change. i was more ready to come to Him that evening.

* we need to stay in the light of His truth to see the depth of brokenness and sin within us. after i had gotten up, i couldn't clearly see the damage done to my knees as it had gotten too dark. it was only after i'd entered the light of my home that i was able to see the damage for what it was. in the same way, i realised that i cannot clearly recognise the problems within my heart until i allow the light of His Word to shine through.

gosh, i've blogged enough to last me 6 months! but i'll be back sooner...

if you've made it this far, you deserve a packet of teh. let me know, i'll buy you one (: