On her 21st…

Dearest Boo,

I just wanted to take this time to wish you a happy 21st birthday. It’s hard to believe that you are 21 years old! I would like to congratulate you for making your life so complete, and I’m proud of your accomplishments – you’ve come a long way from the quiet little girl that use to stare at the world passing by from behind my skirts. All of your life, I’ve made a conscious effort to teach you the difference between right and wrong, as that is the measure of a complete person. I’ve also tried to diligently teach you how to think on your feet, and how to think on your own terms. You’ve embraced my high standards, then decided to exceed my wildest dreams and expectations.

One of my greatest joys with you has been your affability, and genuine interest in making and keeping friends. You are one of the nicest, friendliest young women I have ever known, and have more friends than I can count. You are obviously doing something right. Still, it would serve you well in the future to only associate with people of the highest integrity. After all, the old cliche, “You are known by the friends you keep,” certainly holds true. So far, you have done a reasonably good job in making and keeping friends. However, you need to not always think that every one of your friends will do the right thing. If you choose your friends wisely, life will be so much easier. One strong characteristic that you have that causes me admiration is your loyalty. Loyalty, combined with your word being your bond will get you far in life.

In two years, or ten, depending on how long you study, someday the real world of mundane things like getting a job, paying bills, and buying a house will be a priority. Remember to always think everything through and not do things on a whim. That sharp salesman is not your friend, despite his affable nature. People will try to look for an advantage, and some might take you for being an easy mark. The easiest word to say is No.

Finally, please realize that I will always be there for you. If I’m down to my last three cents, I will gladly give you two of them. Never be afraid to ask anything of me, and never be afraid to challenge me….but do realize that you better have all your ducks in a row if you challenge me. I know it’s cliche, but a good way to look at life is to always do the right thing, even if someone isn’t looking.

I’ve never told you this before, but your greatest characteristic that I admire is your strong desire to do things on your own and not ask for assistance. Boo, as you become an adult, I just want to reiterate on just how proud of you I am. The main thing I want for you to do is be happy. Despite all my [mis]fortunes over the past years, I still have remained relatively happy. I might have my moments, but you know what I mean. Life has its ups and downs and you just have to roll with the punches, no matter what they throw at you. Our family is a resilient breed, and you, clearly are the best of breed.

I know I promised that I actually ‘write’ a 21st letter for you, but  I hope that you will forgive me for settling for an ‘electronic’ version instead 🙂

Love always,




On finding the ‘right’ partner…

Been spending a few hours going through the old emails from my Giraffe, and I suddenly realized what a romantic man I married. I used to take all that romance for granted, but now as time has gotten the best of us, we’ve been left bickering and certainly less than blissful newlyweds. It hasn’t been that long, but I now know that it takes real hard work to make a partnership/marriage work… And that got me thinking on the subject of love.

How do you know when you’ve found ‘the one’? Love is so elusive… It comes and goes, and even the most passionate or romantic of couples eventually fall into the rut of familiarity and sameness… At the end of the day, I personally would like to think that when you find someone who makes you happy, don’t let go.  And the person who is ‘the right one’ for you might not be rich or good looking… But hey, we all got to learn to be happy, right? How did I know that my Giraffe was the right one for me? When I can describe him as the man who truly does make me happy… And he definitely falls into the following categories –

  • Someone who knows what you need before you say it.
  • Someone who knows when to laugh and when to cry.
  • Someone who truly listens when you have something to say.
  • Someone that’s there for you during the good and bad times.
  • Someone who is caring .
  • Someone who loves you with all their heart and soul.
  • Someone who is interested in reality and not as a fashion display.
  • Someone who is honest.
  • Someone you can trust them like a sibling, confide in like a friend but most of all, love as the great lover they are.
  • Someone who is open and responsive.
  • Someone who is never critical and ill-tempered in respect to your needs.
  • Someone who knows when things have to be compromised in the relationship.
  • Someone who understands listening is a key, but using what is heard is even more important.
  • Someone who’s there for you no matter what.
  • Someone who is trustful.
  • Someone who is a friend.
  • Someone who gives a shoulder to cry on.
  • Someone with a great sense of humor.
  • Someone who has things in common with you.
  • Someone who takes time to listen and enjoy you for who you are and tries not to make you something else.
  • Someone with a constant open ear, open heart, and open mind to accept and love people for who the really are.
  • Someone who will always be there to support your ideas without argument and love you for everything that you are.
  • Someone that can get a point across without yelling.
  • Someone that remembers all the cute stupid stuff you love.
  • Someone that has a personality with qualities you don’t have yourself, but admire greatly in them.
  • Someone who realizes you’re two separate people, and appreciates the differences.
  • Someone who can sense a mood problem, and not take it personally.
  • Someone who understands the difference between PMS, and a real problem.
  • Someone who can make you happy when your sad.
  • Someone who tells you the truth even if you don’t want to hear it.
  • Someone who will not hurt you intentionally.
  • Someone who is a sweet, romantic person who cherishes you no matter what.
  • Someone that you can laugh with.
  • Someone who you can feel comfortable with and that you don’t care what kind of weird stuff they see you do because you know they will still love you no matter what.
  • Someone who will love you in spite of your little idiosyncrasies.
  • Someone that would do anything to show how much they care.
  • Someone who is a great pal, a great kisser, and a great lover!
  • Someone who allows you to be yourself around them.
  • Someone who will respect you.
  • Someone who cherishes your hopes and is kind to your dreams.
  • Someone who knows you’re not perfect, but treats you as though you are.
  • Someone who listens with their heart and is your source of inspiration.

Thank you my darling Giraffe, for being with me all these 11 years. Loving me without compromise and with full honesty and trust. I love you. Don’t ever forget that.

Dreaming of your arms around me – Jasmine.

ps – Sorry for the soppy-ness of it all… Just realized suddenly that I too, have been neglecting my beloved Giraffe.

On life…

I last looked in to this blog over six months ago… My last post was in July of 2009, and its already February of 2010. Plenty of happenings since then, but somehow or rather, they got lost in the train of thoughts that are clamoring for attention in the limited real estate of my head.

So, let’s get straight to it, and dive into a quick list of happenings :

– Left the job that was making me miserable, took a short break then went back to work for another short stint, and now back to working from home. Seems to be the most suitable solution for me right now 🙂

– Working on a bunch of potential projects, and they are all looking good… God has been kind to me…

– Turned 30 this year, into my third decade on God’s green Earth, and looking forward to more good times ahead.

– Been actively trying to conceive since June or July last year… But no luck, or rather ‘rezeki’ yet…

And there we are, a super short overview of what’s been happening. With that out of the way, I can start on why I’ve decided to return to blogging – my catharsis for my worries and fears, even achievements and proud moments, and more often than not, a place where I lay out the jumbled thoughts in my head for all the world to see.

Anywho, we’ve been trying to conceive, my hubby and I, before I get too old… Or at least, that seems to be my main excuse. In all honesty, I do want to have children with the love of my life, and let’s face it, I ain’t getting any younger. We’ve been able to conceive twice, and both times, I miscarried in the first trimester.

That on its own, coupled with my hypertension problem, is not something unusual. From the start, I have been expecting that it would be a difficult journey for me, to be a mother. Many reasons abound – our extended family dynamics, odd working hours of my beloved, my physical and mental condition, financial stability and what nots.

The last miscarriage happened just over three weeks ago, and it saddened me deeply. To know that I carried a life within me for the short time that he or she was with us, and to know that we would never know his or her potential, breaks my heart. People say God moves in mysterious ways, and it took time for me to accept that it is probably for the best.

My mum told me, that God is supremely kind and that He will not test you with an unbearable burden… Reflecting on her thoughts, I feel that God may have overestimated me, or perhaps the right way to look at it would be – I am indeed tougher than I think I am. *sigh*

How does one express love and affection to something that is not tangible, not known and not quantified? And yet, I felt a strong connection to the ball of cells reposing and growing inside me. It is even harder for me to accept, and move on from the loss, as I feel that the same applies – it is hard to accept a loss that is not tangible to eye and mind, as my love for an unborn child that I have lost without ever having the chance to touch and feel and know… this soul that was nothing more than a blue line on a test strip on a Monday morning… *sigh*

I feel a pang of anger, and envy at those people who effortlessly breathe life into this world. I often ask myself, are my sins to numerous and unforgivable, that that there is a possibility I will not have children of my own? I iterate over and over again, that God has been kind and loving to me, and I suppose I must put faith where it is due, and let the Fates have their way. Perhaps it is not yet my time to experience the miracle of life.

For the time being, I suppose I will continue to amuse myself by dreaming about the things I would like to do when I do have a child to call my own. And continue to inwardly think that my children, when they have been born of course, will be better behaved than those brats sitting at the next table. And they will be beautiful people, and smart too,  and well mannered to boot. And that my soulmate will be loving and patient and understanding and devoted to me when I am carrying his child. And continue to look in on all those sales – on prams and cribs and cots and what nots…

And then of course, there is the story on the eerie happenings that have been taking place right in our very homes… Till the next rant, au revoir!

Thinking of the endless possibilities on their names tonight – Jasmine.

On ‘cangkulan’…

The radio boys have a unique term for work – they call it ‘cangkulan’ – which when transalated into English, literally means to dig or till the soil. In this day and age, very rarely does one till the soil literally for a living, do they?

‘Cangkulan’ brings to mind a vision of a sweaty, tired peasant working the fields – backbreaking and a thankless job for peanut returns. Its true that even the peasants these days use modern machines and powertools – its hardly possible to see anyone literally till, even out in the boondocks…

So why is it yours truly, thinking of work in these terms? I suppose because I feel I’m not being paid enough for the work I do, and should be paid a lot more. It is unfortunate then, my current employment status – especially with regard to the official job title and descriptions, limit the pecuniary rewards that come my way.

What I do, is quite different from the official job description given to me. In all honestly, completing just the requirements of the job description would have left me braindead, and without any mental stimulation. I have taken it upon myself to be doing a whole lot more beyond that description, and in the process made my employers realize that they’re really getting a good bang for their proverbial buck.

Initially, I thought that this was a good strategy to ensure my move up the ladder – as there is ample opportunity here for growth and acknowledgement. It is now a matter of settling in to the grind, and swallowing the bitter pill that I picked for myself… I’ve been told that by working hard and bringing in results, I would be duly rewarded. No hard work, no reward then. So better work hard, ehh?

So, I suppose its really my own fault for making an effort beyond my job description, kan? Padan muka! Back to the tills, then – Jasmine.

On leering…

Working in a predominantly male environment, it cannot be helped that I inevitably interact with people who talk to my boobs. Its been done since time immemorial, and unless its particularly disturbing, I’ve pretty much learned to live with it. It only gets nasty when one stares too long or too openly, or makes an effort to come over to my spot of the world to ogle at my boobs.

Typically, my choice of clothes in the morning will dictate how much booby-real estate I will be exposing, and depending on the day, I usually show a small amount of cleavage, if only to emphasis on my better ‘features’ and catch their attention in the first place. However, in no circumstance, regardless of the quantum of cleavage displayed, is anyone invited to openly stare. And more than definitely, it is not an open advertisement of my charms or their availability. That purview is already signed, sealed and delivered to my dearest Giraffe.

Protocol dictates that they can look once, and that is it. Manners dictate that I forgive them for looking once, because its hard to ignore in the first place. Looking any more often than once, or ogling for an extended period of time, or even worse, talking to my boobs while I’m talking to their forehead is an absolute no-no.  

It then comes as a surprise to me, that at my current workplace (which, by the way, is the same space occupied by my dearest hubby, the Giraffe) there are people, or at least one perverted old fella who would actually walk up from his desk to talk to one of the fellas who sits opposite me, from where a very good vista of my cleavage can be seen. It gets pretty obvious when he pops over, because his eyes are on my  boobs while he’s talking, and he doesn’t even notice that I am staring at him. That is how oblivious he is…

It doesn’t help the fella is old, balding and downright fugly. I don’t mind if Giraffe looks at me, after all I do love attention from my Giraffe. Oh looky, baldy is here again, for the fourth time since I came in this morning, and its only been an hour plus… Oh boy, today is going to be long day indeed!

I wonder if they notice that we notice you are looking. As  I said before, one look is all you get before the ‘PERVERT’ label is slapped on. I wonder if they know what they are doing can be considered as sexual harrasment. And I’ll be darned if I have to dress like a nun because there are people in my workplace who do not know how to behave when a woman is around.

For the fugly baldy, here’s a cleavage you can stare at till kingdom come, and no one will be pissed off…



Women are especially perceptive when men are staring at them. And they don’t forgive or forget. Especially of the ‘wife’ kind… Keep that in mind, baldy – Jasmine.

On debris…

Actually wrote this last week, but thought twice about posting… I guess thinking too much about posting or not makes the point of blogging moot, no?

I have been coming to work for the same employer, more or less, five days a week for over 4 years now. Today is my last day in employment here, and as pack and clean up my space for the last time, I feel a pang of sadness…

Although I was unceremoniously let go, just as the other employees were as our finances were hit hard, I feel that I’ve contributed all that I had to make whatever project I was part of, to be a success – always exceeding expectations and according to deadlines.

Yes, I have always complained that I am underpaid and unappreciated here, and did not make good impressions. Perhaps I’m not an easygoing person as I thought, but I did work my butt off…

Clearing out my files and whatnots, I came across the debris and hubris that filled my little room, and each little scrap of paper – filled with scribbles, random notes, receipts of purchases long past – held their own mini stories, and I’m actually reminiscing… As much as I won’t admit it, this place holds many memories for me, even if not all of them pleasant and worth remembering…

Just three weeks ago, I spent sleepless nights from the fear of uncertainty, of being without an income and perhaps of my own insecurities – Who would want to hire me? I have since discovered that my skill sets are fairly unique in combination, and the experience of working here all these years has made me more valuable to potential employers than I previously thought. I thank the heavens above for opening doors and opportunities just when I need it the most…

Next week, I’ll be turning over a new leaf – new job, new friends and a new environment. This time, without the prejudices and stereotyping of one who works for someone who’s known me all my life. This time, without someone perpetually scheming to make me look lazy, incompetent or otherwise plain irresponsible. This time, I hope to be appreciated and acknowledged for the hard work that I will do, and be rewarded accordingly. This time, I hope that my intelligence and experience is fully utilized, and not left to rot in the furthest reaches of the mind…

Funny how everything that surrounds my working space fits into a smallish box – Jasmine.

On priorities…

These past two weeks, I encountered two people who could not be more different than each other, than the earth is different from the sky… As my thoughts lately have been swaying to the progression of my currently non-existent career and the options and/or priorities that arise from it, I have been giving the current subject matter much thought.

The first person put his (they’re both men) career or job above everything else – family, loved ones, friends… Nothing would ever get in his way of work – may it be meeting a deadline or ensuring that a client downs another pint tonight at the pub. Nevermind the home is just a place to shower and change and sleep. Nevermind if his girlfriend has to wait three weeks for a glimpse of the dude. Nevermind anything else, work work work first. (Or at least, it seems to be a convenient excuse to go gallivanting, but that is for another musing, no?)

The other fella, on the other hand, isn’t willing to change jobs so that he can stay close to his young son and wife. Nevermind he’s grossly underpaid. Nevermind he’s treated badly and work environment isn’t the most conducive. Nevermind the drive to work is over 40km from his current residence. Nevermind the menial jobs that he does, certainly not fitting one that comes from a prestigious university, and he’s a degree-holder to boot… Nevermind the zero career progression. (Or at least, it seems to be a convenient excuse to explain laziness or fear to change, but that is for another musing too…)

Now, coming to the point of this post, I’ve decided that growing grapes aren’t exactly my cup of tea, and have started the tedious process of looking for another employment. The good news is, I have secured an employment at a company that was high on my list, and will start work in a fortnight…

A gamut of thoughts are running amok in my mind – they range from worrying about my job scope and whether I am able to cope with them, to worrying about what to wear and if I’ll be able to fit it… Among the many thoughts are interspersed with my worries on finding the balance of priorities…

To be able to move up in any establishment requires hard work and dedication. This might or might not mean – endless hours at the office, and not having as much time on my hands to spread for the home and family.

On the other hand, I am a woman fast approaching my biological sell-by date (according to some people). This means that the clock is fast running out for me if I ever want to have children. Yes, I do want to have children. And yes, I want to have a career and progress up towards bigger and better things, and would like to manage my family well. I wouldn’t wish to be back in the rut that I grew up in… I would want my children to be comfortable and loved, and not left to grow like wild weeds on the roadside.

The question that begs answering is – Is there a middle ground between these two people I encountered this past weeks? There must be a way to do it without burning myself out, and not straining my marriage to breaking point. I suppose God works in mysterious ways, and He would show me the way. Otherwise, why have I only crossed paths with these two specimens at this point in time? Sometimes all we need to do is open our eyes and the answers are there for us to see, no?

Balancing priorities isn’t an exact science, and it certainly isn’t easy… Hoping I’d bump into the manual sometime soon – Jasmine.

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