Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Best 4 Days In Boarneyo. A long winded brain fart by Sharon Chong.

                                           18 June 2013

Yay! Clair got us really nice notepads! Waiting for the plane to take off. Wow. All the stewards on this flight are not handsome at all. Not at all. Only one stewardess is quite hot. But her foundation is super thick. Her name is Mira.

Now the ugliest steward is demonstrating how to put on the safety belt and nobody ever cares. I wonder if he feels hurt that no one cares. Do they actually have feelings? Haha. But their grey vests are quite nice. I like anything grey actually.

The captain that is announcing over the speakers need to enunciate more. And perhaps learn to swallow his saliva from time to time.

I had a green chocolate Nip. Yum.

The plane is unbelievably warm but I'm so worried that I might freeze so I'm not taking it off yet. THe piped in music on the plane reminds me of Ramadhan. It's almost July anyway. The fiddler sounds awesome though.

I am so sleepy. Can't wait to drool on my monkey neck pillow.


Well. The 'roti putar' was awful. The fruitcake was really delicious. It looked kinda dry and sad but it was actually very moist delish.

I hate the passengers in front of us. The way they sit in their seats are so violent, our drinks almost spilled.

The fruitcake was so good that it made me, Clair and Ming have a very nice and fun, out-of-tangent conversation topics, we talked about coffee, old aunties, durians, awkwards parents etc. My nose is still blocked and that is super annoying. Clair said there's a special 'guasha' technique that will ease my sinus.

Must. Get. Hold. Of. 'Guasha'. Boards.

Uh oh. Mini turbulence.

Ugh. I hate turbulence. And I don't like it when the wings of the aeroplane flap so loudly. 

Oh no.

My ears hurt so much. This is why I hate taking aeroplanes. Grrrr.....

And I can't survive a slow boat ride while in China, let alone one from Macau to HK!

How la this.

Please make the earaches stop...oh dear, did my earwax just popped in my ear??!

And why is it so freezy now??? Hohoho, I managed to steal a purple MAS blankie. Eheheh. Make that TWO blankies.

SUCCESS!!! Hohoho.

Bye bye Mira. You so pretty. I like your hair. But you gotta go easy on the foundation miss. Because you look like a wax figure now, but not as nice as the ones inside Madame Tussaud's.

Wait. Is that how I spell it?? Ugh. Whatever. 

"Bukan dapat menang jackpot pun."    (Bitter  -_____- )



That's what Clair calls them.

I am super tempted to run on the luggage belt-train-thingy. Looks really fun in those Jackie Chan movies. But what it I fell on my face and break this perfectly crafted work of art?? The world would be deprived of such a rare beauty as mine, a unique cross between oriental-eskimo-enuit-kazakhstan-tranny. I must say, I wasn't really grateful for what I was blessed with. Constantly complaining about my extremely prominenet crooked bald eagle-like nose that got people thinking that I was a "pondan" or a monument of some Hawaiian 'ukiran'.

Haiya. Hurry up lah! Why so long have to wait just for a luggage??

Oh. Speak of the devil. There it is! Big and black. Oops. Bag is a little heavy. Gotta bring them old clothes from KL to KK. Can't bring myself to dispose the old clothes, but I don't wear them much. Might as well bring them home so that I don't ever have to pack any extra 'baju' to wear whenever I balik kampung.

Alrighty roo. Ming's bag and Clair's all done. Let's go!!



Thank God all the Sabahan immigration officers are super friendly in a nice 'kampong' way. Ming and Clair got a blue slip each. If they lose them, they would have to pay some form of fine at some headquarters far, far away.

Clair asked, "Eh, where's yours?"

Me : I'm Sabahan. (kuang kuang kuang)


Dad's here. With Ah Ling.

Dad drove the old SA8889J. It's been ages since we sat in that 4 wheel drive. Haa.....

Toyota makes the best 4 wheel drives in the world!

Then again I maybe super biased because dad was selling Toyotas for the longest time. Oh and all the awesome holidays we had while daddy was working for them. I think I liked our free Australian holiday the best....hmm, although it was just Perth, those 2 weeks spent in kangaroo-koala land was bliss. I tasted my first proper Western food - steak. It was not nice at all.

On our first day at the Burswood Casino hotel, we 'nasi lemak' for breakfast and the 'sambal' was super yums! I was so impressed! As an 11 year old, I did not get to taste much 'nasi lemak' at home because Mum cooked loads of yummy Chinese dishes and the occasional (oh no, is it 2 Cs or 2 Ss???) spaghetti bolognaise. Thus, I had not much references for a great tasting steamed coconut rice, topped with salty-sweet deep fried anchovies and laden with a sweet-spicy chilli paste. Along with a side of halved hard-boiled eggs and sliced cucumbers that are oh-so-juicy and crispy! (I can't believe I used 'thus'.)

So, I mustered whatever courage I had as an 11 year old and asked one of the nice waitresses.

"I really like your 'nasi lemak'. It's a Malaysian dish. How come it's served here at this hotel?"

Nice waitress with blonde hair : "Oh. That's because 1/4 of Perth is owned by Malaysians."

Me : "Oh. Really? Wow."


The air conditioning in dad's car is broken!
Uh-oh. Clair is suffering at the back of the car. I'm so embarrased. We are such terrible hosts! How could we let our guests die from heat stroke???

Uh oh.

Do I feel a tiny burst of heat rash breaking out on my neck?? Gahhh...nooo....
Have no fear, I always carry a pack of anti-histamines with me wherever I go.


It's back in KL in the other Marilyn Monroe slingbag because I wanted to use my new Sony backpack. Aiyer......

(This is exactly why I cannot be a writer for children's books or become sensational like my favourite author, Paulo Coelho. I have consistent brain farts and very evil thoughts brewing inside me. Sometimes I read my journal and feel so shocked at myself. This excerpt was from a travel journal written in a holiday notepad that I failed to finish during those 4 days. It was virtually impossible as the activities revolved around eating all the time. And sleeping. All in all, it was a good holiday. And this was written way before the MH370 incident. I am sorry for all the mean thoughts that I have whenever I board a plane. It's just a reflex that I have because I have an irrational phobia towards flying. So, I guess that is how I react when I am terrified. I think now, more than ever, all Malaysians would not take anything for granted anymore whenever they fly. Thank you fellow cabin crews and pilots and everyone that is responsible for ensuring that we are travelling safely inside the aeroplane. You guys are super.)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

My first blog entry for 2014 would be a personal rant, as a reminder for myself not to ever, ever, EVER live my life based on other people's opinions and advice. 

Not many people know this, but I have a condition called Body Dysmorphia. Don't know what that is? Here, Wikipedia can help :

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD, also known as body dysmorphiadysmorphic syndrome; originally dysmorphophobia) is achronic mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the afflicted individual is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical appearance. An individual with BDD has perpetual negative thoughts about their appearance; in the majority of cases, an individual suffering from BDD is obsessed with a minor or imagined flaw.[1] Afflicted individuals think they have a defect in either one or several features of their body, which causes psychological and clinically significant distress or impairs occupational or social functioning. BDD often co-occurs with depression,anxiety, social withdrawal, and social isolation.[2]
The causes of body dysmorphic disorder vary for each person, but are usually a combination of biologicalpsychological, andenvironmental factors. It may occur in children and adults.[3] The symptoms of body dysmorphia include depression, social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder.[citation needed]
BDD is linked to a diminished quality of life, can be co-morbid with major depressive disorder and social phobia (chronic social anxiety) and is associated with suicidal ideation.[1] BDD can be treated with either psychotherapy or psychiatric medication.[4] Although originally a mental-illness diagnosis usually applied to women, body dysmorphic disorder also occurs in men.[5] Approximately one percent of adults meet the diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder.[1]

Did you know that the amazingly talented and gorgeous Shirley Manson of the epic rock band Garbage suffers from this condition as well??

It is a daily struggle for me and I have been in a work-in-progress mode forever and ever. It is not a healthy state of mind to be in, and to be suffering from bipolar and depression is not helping either. Yes. I have those conditions but I made a firm decision to not resort to clinical treatments for many personal reasons.

On the 17th of February 2014, I did something that I only realise that I would regret much later. It was the 2nd step to a dental veneer procedure that I have arranged for about a few years back, but needed some time to save up for it (the first step was laser whitening and I should have JUST.STOPPED.THERE.)The second step was selective shaving where the dentist would shave the teeth to shape them to a desired shape, or create the illusion of straighter teeth. All those years of research and gawking at my teeth daily built up the anticipation to achieving a perfect smile makeover, and to add salt to my existent wounds, my first experience appearing on national television scarred my mental health and self confidence immensely. I was really upset with how my teeth looked and sometimes I would wonder why did my parents not get my smile corrected. Braces were not an option as I refused to suffer 7 years of pain, teeth removal and teeth implants screwed in for my lack of teeth to work with, and according to the professional opinions of the 4 different orthodontists that I have consulted with in Malaysia and Thailand, they insisted that even with braces, I would still need to have some form of maxillofacial surgery performed to my jaw as I had a strange overbite and crossbite. CUT MY JAW?? That sounded insane and too painful for me to bear as I have an extremely low pain threshold. So, I opted for the most effective, fastest and most expensive form of cosmetic dentistry - PORCELAIN VENEERS.

Don't get me wrong, my dentist is excellent, patient and for someone like me who is afraid of needles and suffered terrible phobia of dentists as a result from petrifying childhood dental experiences, he is truly God-sent. The teeth shaving process took an hour and I had to have anaesthesia injected to my gums as it would hurt my sensitive teeth. I almost threw up a few times and hyperventilated as I have a terrible gag reflex whenever there is anything foreign put in my mouth for too long. I couldn't breathe properly and felt feelings of regret seep in throughout the procedure.

At the end of the procedure, my face was swollen and I could not control my excessive drool. I saw the comparisons of the before and after photos of my teeth on the dentist's computer and was super impressed at how straight my teeth looked, even though the position of the teeth could not be corrected. However my teeth hurts so much every time I drink or attempt to eat something, I just cannot brush it and rinsing with mouthwash is just a nightmare. I felt pangs of guilt and sadness and cried to myself endlessly as I studied the photos of my modified teeth. I realised that I hated the new shape and I missed my perfectly imperfect smile. I loved my bunny buck teeth and even when it's so crooked, my smile had character and I looked far more endearing and sweet. My new teeth reeked of false perfection that I loathed. They were too small and made me look like I was wearing dentures. 

I HATE MY NEW TEETH. There I said it. And the veneers are not going to be ready until the end of February. I have no idea how I would feel when those are glued on permanently on my existing teeth and since it is going to be quite white, I worry that I may look like I have Chiclets for teeth. So much for a Hollywood smile makeover. I guess perfection is not for everyone.

Sigh! I love my old smile and my old teeth. And this extremely expensive lesson learnt taught me something valuable about myself, but unfortunately I cannot turn back time (why am I not Michael J. Fox??!) and I cannot grow my teeth longer to it's original size. It's my own fault as I allowed myself to be affected by what people said about me, I let vanity got the better of me and now I have eternal regrets to live with and a smile that I absolutely loathe. I loathe it because that is not who I am. That's not a Sharon Chong smile.

The REAL problem was that I simply did not like myself. There were no terrible issues with how I looked really but I kept telling myself that there must be something really wrong with me all the time. It took me this far to realise that I actually loved and felt comfortable with all my perfect flaws and quirks. I LOVED MYSELF BECAUSE THAT WAS ME, FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. I am disappointed in myself and angry and bitter and sad and everything negative moulded into one. Now I have no choice but to get through the whole process and suffer a broken piggy bank for the cost of being an insecure vain pot.

Why couldn't I just allowed myself to be happy with myself? Why did I not love myself more and see past through this superficial perfection rubbish?

I have only myself to blame.
I can only pray that I will learn to like myself better and treat myself with only love and goodness.

Lesson learnt.I'm sorry mum. You knew best. Now please excuse me as I reminisce on my old teeth and bash myself silly.









Saturday, 30 November 2013

Comeback Answers

Dread the holidays? Still not settled down yet? Kinda broke but rich in other aspects of your life? A struggling artist? Waiting for the big break? Feeling insecure whenever you are at a relative's wedding or at an annual family gathering?

You are not alone.

A few days ago I shared a link on my FB page :

I am pretty sure some of you find it all too familiar. Well, as a struggling muso I have been through those familiar situations one too many times, which resulted in an arsenal of vicious comeback answers. I probably should write a big book of comeback answers but I settled for these instead :
(use them with caution unless you are like me where you just don't give a toss about nothing. If some of you find this offensive, I am so not sorry. okthanxbai.)

1. So, are you still doing that music thing?
YES. (Say this with a big smile, you could insert a nonchalant laugh if you like and a smiley-kinda-shake-of-the-head. I can make a video tutorial on this if you are unsure on the smile and the laugh) No need to get all worked up and defensive to explain “whaddya mean music thing??! IT’S MUSIC FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE!!” No need. They DON’T and WON’T understand the difference so it’s like playing the piano to the cow (Chinese proverb). And we don’t want wrinkles or high blood pressure over something so trivial.
2. When are we going to hear you on the radio?
a) “I AM on the radio!!! So hurtful!!!” (Stomp off and proceed to the nearest jamban and fake sob as loud as you can. If you have wing man/bitch to help you make that idiot feel awfully guilty about that remark, since he/she ‘did not get with the times’, even better. Kikikiki.)
b) “People still listen to radio meh?? You so jiakun ah?? I got Youtube channel and I am on ~insert desired online radio station~ constantly.” (you may tut or cluck your tongue a little bit for added Diva Power)
c) “Here you go! Now you can listen to it everyday on your car stereo. That’ll be RM25 please. Thank you for supporting local artists and the Malaysian music scene!” (I usually shove a few of the CDs to these people and stress on the importance of giving the gift of music to their loved ones. 4 pieces would do the trick because you can save them the hassle of finding small change for that RM100 ~lightbulb~ That’s why I am an excellent merch girl. Got that star salesperson quality from my father who can sell ice back to the person who sold the ice to him in the first place.)
3. Hey my neighbor’s kid plays guitar, I think. Seriously he’s really good. You should have him play with you.
a) “Oh, that’s nice! The guitar is really beautiful. But I play alone usually. That’s what my music is all about. It’s very deep, sometimes I don’t get it myself… I find solace in solitary, you know what I mean? It’s so deep…” (and then you can throw in several ‘deep’ quotes by famous people. Followed by a thoughtful stroke of your imaginary beard/moustache. Ladies. You can flash a super cute video of a kitten. That’ll change the subject altogether. Easy peasy.)
b) “You should speak to my manager.”
c) “Cool. I am actually auditioning 200 other guitarists to play with me next week, I don’t know if there any slots left though.”
d) “Ah, it’s okaylah. Thanks for the kind thought. Could you pass me the kicap please?”
4. Sing something.
a) “You should speak to my manager.”
b) “I am doing a vocal fast for a week to lubricate and protect my larynx. I would love to but I have a big show next week so I want to be ready for my fans.” 
c) “Can. You sponsor Neway or RedBox for tonight la, we go sing K, k?”
d) “Here you go! Now you can listen to me sing everyday whenever and wherever you want. That’ll be RM25 please. Thank you for supporting local artists and the Malaysian music scene!”
5. Did you hear the Nelson’s daughter is getting married this summer? Maybe you could play at her wedding. I think they’re on a tight budget so that could just be your gift. Btw, do you think you’ll ever tie the knot? Are you seeing anyone? (and the list goes on and on)
a) “You should speak to my manager.”
b) “Here is a gift of my music for their wedding.” (this is a good time to present your album as a meaningful gift. You are getting free airplay and you are making a positive impact on the newly weds’ lives.)
6. So, what else do you do for work?  I mean, like, during the day.
a) “I freelance.”
b) “I practice 8-16 hours a day daily.”
c) “I am an artist. I rest during the day.”
7. Have you tried out for The Voice yet?
a) “Malaysia got The Voice meh?? In Thailand and the Philippines got lah.”
b) “You should speak to my manager.”
c) “Cheh. I got album already what. Need to try out for The Voice meh? What for?” (tut and cluck your tongue as you please)
8. Did you hear that cousin Jason is going to be having a baby? When are you gonna get on that?
a) “Oh, good for him!! Can you please pass me the kicap, thanks.”
b) “Did you know that you need ~insert bodacious amount of money~ to raise a child in these times? I am not going to have a child unless I know that I am well prepared to support one.”
c) “My adoption forms are still being processed.” (they don’t have to know that the adoption forms are for the SPCA.)
d) “Oh, have you met mine?” (proceed to whip out your big album collage of your pet kitties/doggies/bunnies/reptiles/amphibians/lobster. Elaborate on their pet peeves, favourite treats and how you handle their droppings effectively at the park during your daily walks. Make sure you have something brown and mushy nearby, like choc fudge cake or mashed potatoes with brown gravy, when you are describing about the droppings. Be enthusiastic and don’t pause for breath. When you do pause, it is to excuse yourself to the jamban.)
9. Well, we should probably put the family reunion on the calendar now because Jessica always has her music stuff on the weekends.
“Can you pass me the kicap please? Thanks.”
10. Have you heard that new Katy Perry song? Why don’t you sing more Katy Perry?
a) In elaborate detail, yammer on non stop about vocal cords and vocal ranges. Yes, you may use terms such as ‘tenor’ and ‘baritone’ and other deeper musical terms. Make sure you do this without a pause. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t answer the question. Then proceed with “Can you pass me the kicap please, thanks!”
b) “Oh. I don’t like Katy Perry.” (even if you do, just say this so they won’t make you sing Roar. Or you could just roar and proceed eating.)
c) “Because I prefer Luke Perry.”
d) “Katy who..? Sorry, I only listen to avant garde Kitaro these days. Sometimes for a treat I might pop in a Clayderman cd but that’s just about it lah. Oh, you don’t know what is avant garde?” (then this is your time to freestyle about avant garde music. OTT is always the best way to go about this. Let your mind run wild and freeeeee)
11. Hey, when you open for someone big you should tell me and I’ll come see ya.
a) “I did. I opened for The Empress last month and you didn’t even know about it. I’ve got to be honest with you, I am utterly hurt by this. I thought you were family.” (You know the drill. Run to the jamban and feign tears. Pardon the shameless plug.)
b) “Ya okay. Can you pass me the kicap please, thanks.”
c) “You should speak to my manager.”
12. Can you put me on the list?
a) “You should speak to my manager.”
b) “Cannnn. Why not? You buy my album lah, for sure I put on the VIP list. You scratch my back, I scratch yours mah. 1 Malaysia mah.” (Wink.)
13. Your life always seems so interesting and fun. I wish I had fewer responsibilities.
a) “Ya hor. What to do. It’s really terribly fabulous and it can get pretty tiring but somebody’s got to do it.”
b) “Aiseymen. No lah, where got. Same same only bah.”
c) “I know right? Sigh. I wish I had a quiet and boring life. Just like you. Then I don’t have to use my brain so much. Everything is the same everyday. Predictable. I am so jelly right now.”

d) “Ya okay. Can you pass me the kicap please?”
May the Force be with you. 

Or you could just have a laugh about it over some fried chicken. And watermelon. 

Peace out y'all.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Next Episode - Part 1

It is 3 am and I should be sleeping. But I have to learn up songs for a wedding this Sunday and find my keys so that I can let the rest of my bandmates know in order for them to be ready for this Saturday's practice. I also have to set a new setlist for my other bandmates for another show next Friday and I was supposed to be done with it hours ago but I was hungry so I fixed myself a little snack of dinner rolls and chocolate and banana spread with some chamomile vanilla tea. And the reason why I should go to bed earlier is because I have to collect Miss Saffron, my yellow M50 from the 'music workshop' and why am I still up is because I am busy typing this.

I couldn't do everything that I am supposed to do because I am a little bit heartbroken.


Not that kind of heartbroken lah but also that kind of heartbroken lah.

Confused much?

Sorry. Let's try this instead :

"I resigned from Artisan earlier yesterday."
Over my favorite kopitiam lunch of dry pork noodles 
and teh C. 
Via whatsapp. 
How grand.

As I was typing the reasons why I had to resign from Artisan to my supervisor, I could feel my heart hurt. There was that big swelling from my chest and I could feel pins and needles poking through my ribs. Somehow I could feel my little heart cried a little. Because this is officially goodbye. Not to coffee but to a place that I call was an escape from being a musician sometimes...a tranquil place where it was my own Shaolin temple...for me to meditate and practice my kungfu skills...for me to practice my people skills...for me to join my barista comrades where we 'battle' together during peak hours of coffee war zone with them irrational, angry customers...and endless dishwashing...and cluelessness of what to have for lunch breaks...

I am moving on with another new chapter in my life and the decision to resign deemed necessary. And at the moment I am finding it hard to cope with the new changes. There is so much to do yet so little time and more often than not, not enough money to do so. I wasted a lot of money unnecessarily on bad decisions and lacked the discipline to fulfill the things that I should be doing. Gahhhhhhh. 
Woe is me. Lesson learnt. So much to learn. Always always.

Okay. So I am very sad about my resignation and I have until the end of September to make coffee at the Artisan BVII. I will miss all of my colleagues and the smell of the awesome coffee and the taste of the freshly baked pecan pie. I will miss walking (actually, running while panicking is more like it) to work and wearing my barista uniform with its witty caption at the back of the faded black polo tee. And since this is slowly coming out of my system, I should be able to resume back to my original task of the day. 

I am now officially a Novice Barista. 
I passed my exams on the 15th of August 2013.
I also like telling stories with pictures. 
Hence my active Instagram account.

My first day of training at the Artisan Roast TTDI, Aug 2012.

My very first latte art attempt on a red latte.
 (Question of the century : What's a red latte?)

I am very good at creating 'different' latte art patterns.
Halloween themed latte art is my specialty.

I think I can safely say that I am still the fastest dishwasher at Artisan BVII (and maybe for all three Artisan outlets) but this title came with a price. After the first 2 weeks of intense dishwashing at the newly opened Artisan BVII, my hands were starting to die.

You can call it what you see it. 

Initial attempt at the rosetta.

I have very kind friends who visit me at the cafe and drink my lousy coffee. That was my first attempt at a tulip latte art.

Who knew dishwashing could lead to this???

I found myself getting foot massages at least once fortnightly because I wasn't used to standing for 8 hours straight on my feet for 6 days a week. And body massages once a month. My back hurts really bad now. 

This was me on the first day that Artisan BVII opened. My boss took a photo of me because he was so impressed with my dishwashing speed and skills.

Monday, 19 November 2012

How To See If A Relationship Is Worth Developing

How does one know if a relationship is based on love and is worth developing?

No one has the final word on love, but consider the following points in deciding if you really love someone :

1. Does he/she bring joy to your heart when 
   you think of him/her?

2. Do you want to make him/her happy?

3. Will you love him/her for what he/she is 
   and not try to change him/her? Will you let
   him/her be as he/she is and not what you 
   want him/her to be?

4. Young people tend to fall in love with 
   their ideal of love. This means that one
   has their ideal of a Prince Charming who
   is really a toad. Not all Prince Charmings
   are toads, and not all toads are Prince

   treat you - like a treasure or someone to 
   be used?

These points should give you a fairly good opportunity to see what kind of relationship you are in.

A relationship without trust won't last. What is the source of this mistrust? Does he look at other women when you are out together in public?
Dreams can prepare you for a relationship that may be coming to an end. They will tell you something is wrong. If your partner is showing less affection toward you, you must decide whether to try to patch up the relationship or let it go.
Think of your dreams as advisers. They may point out problems and offer solutions, but consider all the facts before deciding on any important issue. Especially watch people's daily behavior toward you. Your dreams may suggest what behavior to look out for, but don't break up a relationship without some physical evidence to back up your suspicions. 

No matter what happens with this relationship, try to be a greater channel for divine love. Love will overcome suspicion, which can destroy any relationship. 

Love is blind and probably always will be. The only way to find out anything in life is to go ahead and get the experience. Nothing is ever lost. Each experience can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves, painful though they may be.

~ Spiritual Wisdom on Relationships by Harold 


"Love is hard because we make it so. The uncertainty about being loved shapes the way we act towards others. Some of us are rebellious to the things that our families hold dear. Others of us go to another extreme. We love and nurture others to the neglect of our own well-being. Time often gets us back on track, though.

So what can you do to get back on track as soon as possible and be happy?

One cannot buy love through caring for and nurturing others. Those two qualities can be of the real kind if they come from someone who is a magnet for must consciously open your heart to God's love, which is always and forever flowing out to you like a quiet mountain stream.

You probably came into this lifetime with a particular goal. And that goal was to learn the secret of life. 
The secret?
God is love. 
But you probably knew that already. So what's keeping you from truth? It's the realization, not the knowledge. Knowledge is just a mental thing. But it's the realization that you are Soul. That you are worth something. Because God loved you first.
You exist because of God's love. So does your neighbor. And if your neighbor needs help and you can give it, you are also helping yourself.

We're so busy just with the survival of our human self that we sometimes forget to be grateful for the very dear things in our lives - our loved ones, our mates and our children, our parents, and our brothers and sisters.

Soul yearns to return home to God. Home to God means the area of supreme divine love that has no conditions attached to it : unconditional love.
I think it is very important in this life to learn to love someone more than yourself. Whether it's another person or a pet. And before you can love someone else more than yourself, you begin by first loving yourself. Loving yourself doesn't mean to have a high, egotistical regard for yourself or go strutting around like some dictator. It means to have respect for yourself as Soul, as a child of God, because once you recognize yourself as Soul, as one of these beings of God, you've made an important step in your spiritual unfoldment.

Love is the goal, then, of our spiritual search. The way to God is ever within the heart, within the loving heart. "

~ Spiritual Wisdom on Relationships by Harold Klemp

Friday, 19 October 2012

An Artist's Life

"Artists are some of the most driven and courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day to day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, artists face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get ‘real’ jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day they have to ignore the possibility that the vision to which they have dedicated their lives is a pipe dream. With every passing year, many of them watch as other people their age; achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. But they stay true to their dream, in spite of the sacrifices. Why? Because artists are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Artists are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes." - David Ackert

This was tagged to my name on Facebook earlier today, from a dear friend of mine. He visits me regularly at the coffee bar where I work at when I was still working full time there. Yes, great news! ( a little sidetracking here) I am no longer on full time basis at my workplace. I am now working 3 days a week instead of 6 days, because I felt that I couldn't cope with the work load. And it compromised my practice times for myself, which I am quite used to. A little bit rusty now, so it was a wake up call for me to go part time, and not forsake the musician in me. I am, and always will be, foremost, a musician. 

Back to this post.

I love this. This is so apt. So perfectly written and when I think to myself that there is no way I could explain what an artist's life is all about and why do we go through this difficult path for a misunderstood life.

My friend is going through a hard time this year. He feels like giving up most days, but he numbs it with hard work and an extremely active social life. But now he is ill because his body is too tired, and he is unhappy that he has to take a rest. And he asked, "Is it alright if I just didn't care about everything, and coast through these months since December is drawing near?"

I said 'it's okay'. 

He is one of the finest musicians I have ever known and has a great heart of gold. I understand the things that he is going through as I myself too, go through the same motions. You doubt yourself, you judge yourself, you compare yourself to other who seem 'normal' and have a clue about everything in life (education, property investments, healthy savings, retirement plan, a great family....etc....) and then you look at yourself and you feel small.

This post tagged to my name, made my day and made me even more convinced to why I am a freelance musician, a freelance makeup artist and stylist, and a barista in training. I love art. I love the 'kung-fu' learning skills acquired from everything I do, I love who I am.
And to be honest, I find myself happier than most of my peers, because they thought they had everything well thought out in this rat race of this cookie-cutter world.

I have a gig tonight (in two hours time) with another dear friend that I truly dread, but it pays the bills and when compared to other people, this job is fairly easy. A little painful, but if I try to see the silver lining to the gig tonight, I actually get to hone my skill, I get paid for doing so, I get a free meal and I am doing it with a dear friend. So what more can I ask for? Being a freelance musician is the best thing ever.

Thank you God for always watching over me. Just when I think that I am going to fall and break down, You always save me in Your own ways. And for this I am truly grateful. I hope that You will watch over all my dear musician and artistic friends and keep them sane, happy  and full of hope. Bless them with only great things in life and inspire them to keep doing what they love to do best.