My list of simple pleasures

#1 One of my favourite meals is when Tita cooks Prawn Curry with Brinjal and Salted Egg Tofu to go with my rice. I love simple, homely meals, especially when there’s leftover to bring to work and have it for lunch the next day. It’s the taste of home from far away.

#2 When you’re next in line for the train back home but it’s packed and you can’t get in but then the next train arrives and it’s completely empty, filled with seats. Sometimes what may seem like it’s “just your luck” really becomes a lucky moment.

#3 Having gross conversations with Marion and not judging each other for our weirdness.

#4 Having discussions with Marion after watching a really good film or show, or after reading a good book.

#5 Being introduced to things that Marion likes and finding out that I like them too which is always a pleasant surprise. E.g D&D, Comics, introduction to Anime etc.

#6 Sitting on the couch and just catching up on days we haven’t spoken over the phone.

#7 Watching a really good film or show with Marion. Most recently, it was the movie, ‘Comet’ that was introduced to him by his coursemate. We watched it and got emotional together because we cannot imagine a world where he is not mine and I am not his.

#8 While having lunch with Marion and his mum, and listening to stories of how Marion used to be so naughty as a kid, he turned to me and said “next time when we have kids”. Even though we don’t know what the future holds for us, it’s nice knowing he is serious about us.

#9 Baking (anything) and watching people enjoy your bakes.

#10 Finding out more details about Marion that were not shared before despite being together for many years, and vice versa.

#11 When Daddy makes Prawn Sambal for the family. It’s the best thing to put on bread.

#12 When Marion calls me ‘cupcake’, whenever I call him ‘tiger’. I love that! ☺️

#13 Receiving $100 worth of Supermarket vouchers i.e Cold Storage, Fairprice etc. I love grocery shopping and I love Supermarkets!

#14 Watching cake Frosting tutorials. They’re so mesmerising.

#15 Hearing the song “Eternal Flame”. It’s this song Tita and I always sing jokingly together. It’s our inside joke and we call it our song. Back story: Tita is like a second mother to me. I’m very close to her.

#16 When Max demands for my attention cause he’s King Manja. He throws himself on the ground and throws his head back while making both cow and pig noises.

#17 Watching Max roll on the grass.

#18 Knowing Max is happy.

#19 Realising that 1/3 of my life has been with Marion in it. Who would have thought that at the age of 16/17, I would be meeting the love of my life. #since2009 #8yearsstrong

#20 Hot showers. The kind where it is almost burning your skin. Am I weird?

#21 Holidays with my family.

#22 Cuddle sessions with my cuddling buddy, Marion.

#23 Receiving books from people – especially ones with a lot of thought put into it.

#24 People remembering the little details about me, or my traits/quirks.

#25 Whenever Marion gets me a comic or whenever he lets me read his comics.

#26 Long conversations with Marion.

#27 Warm tea on a cold, rainy day.

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Whenever I eat rock melon, I’m reminded of Suzie. It was her favourite fruit. If she caught a whiff of that, her eyes would light up and she’d ask you for some. We always caved in and gave it to her.

As I’m having a rock melon among other fruits for lunch, I cannot help but remember the good days with my best friend, Suzie. I miss you my little one.

Some memories never leave your bone, like salt in the sea; they become part of you – and you carry them.

I can never forget you, Suzie. I will never, no matter how many dogs there are after you or how old I get. You’re my first dog and you will always have a very special place in my heart. Until we meet again, my little one. ❤️

Another post about this one guy

“The truth is the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind. Love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”

This quote. So relevant to us. I cannot count the number of times we’ve thought of jumping ship because we were both tired and hurt. But we never did it because we refused to. We thought we were crazy for choosing to stay and perhaps we are but I am madly and deeply in love with this guy. 8 years on and I still look at him like he lights up my world. I cannot imagine a life without him. He’s my bestfriend and I love him.

Love is indeed pain and sacrifice, and it is a choice. I’m both a lover and a fighter. I will always fight for him. I’m not a fierce person but my love is fierce – just ask Marion.

I choose you everyday

I guess this is such a cliche saying but how many can actually live by those words? It’s very easy to say it when things are good but when things are bad, that’s the real challenge.

Marion and I were having a conversation yesterday about one of the biggest stains in our relationship. We asked each other why did we both choose to stay despite everything. He asked me why do I love him and I told him I don’t have a specific reason why I do. If I have a specific reason of why I love him, what happens when that reason is no longer the reason? Say for example, I love him because he makes me laugh. What happens when he no longer does? Does that change my love for him? I know humans are not capable of unconditional love but I don’t love Marion with a set of reasons. I acknowledge that in 20 years from now, he could be a different person from the one I fell in love with and when that happens, I don’t want to say “I don’t love you anymore”. If I really had to come up with an answer, I love him because he’s my bestfriend.

We were doing the math yesterday and it occurred to us that we’ve been in 1/3 of each other’s lives. It’s funny because at the age of 16/17, Marion would read my old blog posts and tell me that he wished he was there when all of that happened then he would have really known what it was like for me rather than reading it and understanding it. Now we’re 24/25 and it seems like it’s only a small fraction of our lives that we were missing from each other. If we live to a 100, we would have been in each other’s lives for more than 3/4. That was really mind-blowing for us.

Being in a long-term relationship has taught me a few things –

1) there are days I don’t know how we can ever work it out and then there’s enlightenment and there will be multiple episodes of this.

2) in those days, even though Marion drives you up the wall, I can never imagine a life without him.

3) every episode is necessary evil. It’s what made/makes our relationship stronger. It’s the learning point and the period we discover what we need to change about ourselves and what each of our habits are like.

4) when you’re serious about the person, breaking up is not an option unless the relationship is toxic.

5) it’s okay to ask for your alone time every now and then, especially when either of us are not in a good mood. Marion isn’t there to fix my unhappiness, he is there to support me and love me despite the ways I am a wreck.

6) Doing things alone doesn’t necessarily equate to an unhappy relationship. Always take care of your needs first so that you can give more to another.

7) it’s okay to disagree.

8) it’s okay to be upset or disappointed

9) for point 7-8, always be accepting and forgiving.

10) don’t wish for the person to change and don’t expect them to. More often than not, it will never happen. Marion is not my project. Not happy with something in the relationship? Start with what I can control (how I act and respond to make it better).

11) have a life outside of the relationship but not exclusive from it. Marion isn’t and shouldn’t be my whole world.

12) for point 7, how we view these things are not included: Religion, Marriage, Children, Politics etc. Basically values that matter to us.

13) the little things matter. The little changes matter.

14) focus on our relationship and not on other’s relationships. Comparison is what causes unhappiness.

15) Work commitments < your relationship. Don’t compromise time for Marion because of work reasons. This doesn’t necessarily mean I am a bum at work or that I do not do my best. I do my best, but know where to draw that line. Basically, it’s what matters to you more. Anything you desire for it to be of excellence, requires time and effort. Choose wisely. I have chosen my relationship.

16) don’t air your dirty laundry about your relationship or your partner for the world to see. Have an issue with it, talk to your partner. The world doesn’t need to know and you certainly don’t want the world to think less of your partner.

17) never talk shit about your partner – it doesn’t get you anywhere and it makes you feel guilty when you realise it could have been resolved if you had just talked to them in the first place.

18) don’t be so hard on yourself. Your partner doesn’t like to see you abuse yourself.

19) have fun, laugh a lot together – even if it means anothing to the world, even if it’s not that funny. It’s a conversation only you two would know about and appreciate.

20) secrets are a big no no. They’ll come back to haunt you down the road. Always come clean to your partner. They are the ones who will always have your back and take your secrets to their grave.

I’m sure there are more takeaways from this relationship as we continue to journey together, and I’m also sure that not every one of my takeaways are applicable to all. Everyone relationship is different. If it works with your partner, then it works.

Marion and I made deal – don’t break up with me and I won’t break up with you. It sounds silly right? But here’s what it actually means – if we ever break up, it will be a mutual decision and not one person who will be initiating it. Whatever door we get to, we either open it together or close it together. Who would have thought that after 8 years together, we’d still be keeping that promise to our young selves. It’s amazing to have been part of this roller coaster ride with Marion. I’ve watched him and our relationship grown. I’ve matured in my thoughts and responses to adversities. Although we have a long way more to go, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. To all the couples that have inspired us, thank you. You don’t know us for sure but we’ve read your stories on various platforms and we’re thankful to all of you for letting us know shit happens and that obstacles are not something to dread, they’re something to look straight in the eye and tackle it through with your partner. Most especially, to our parents, for instilling great values in us and for showing us how it’s done.

I can tell you this for sure, there is no fear in real love.

“Whenever I have a stressful day, you’re the only person I want to talk to. Which, I know, sucks for you, but you deal with it like a champ. And I appreciate that.”

Thank you for meeting me for dinner last night. Thank you for insisting on paying for me meal even though you’re not working yet. Thank you for being present whenever I have so much anxiety in life. You may think it’s such a small thing to be super appreciative about but to me it isn’t. I feel the need to always put up a tough front as much as I can despite having a shitty day. By babying me, means allowing me to be vulnerable and soft because to me it means this. – “I have you now, you can collapse into my arms and I will carry your world for you in this moment.” You allow me to be vulnerable and I allow myself to let go because I know you’ll keep me safe.

I’m listening to Yellow now from Coldplay because the song came on, on Spotify, while on shuffle mode, and it brings me back to the concert in Bangkok with you. I am remembering how you lifted my chin to kiss me during this song. I was so shy but it made me fuzzy because in my mind, time stopped for awhile and in that moment it was just you and me. It has always been you and me.

Female toilets

Everytime I want to enter a cubicle of the female toilet, I push the door slowly like it’s a horror story because sometimes it really is a horror story. A lot of men have the impression that girls are typically cleaner or more hygienic but I beg to differ. Some girls are utterly atrocious with their toilet etiquette. The things I see behind that door are too disturbing for me to even list them down.

I notice that most ladies take the same approach as I do when they want to enter a cubicle. I can tell you that a majority of women does the same exact action. Sometimes I am in the cubicle and hear the person in the cubicle next to mine come out and I don’t hear the tap turned on after that so I assume the person did not wash their hands after using the toilet. I get it, to each her own but please stop leaving “gifts” for the rest of the ladies using the toilet after you. I just cannot understand what’s so hard about making sure the cubicle is good to use after they’ve used it.

Very often in the past, when I went for church camps, I would always hope that my group doesn’t kena (get) the female toilet cleanup duty on the last day of camp. Even though the male toilets are smellier, at least they’re so much cleaner to clean!

At work, or at any shopping mall, I would try my best to always go to the toilets on the higher floors unless I’m super urgent and can’t hold it in much longer. Yes, I am a little enthusiastic about clean toilets. I love it when they look so pristine and when the air always smells good. Even though I’m not as bad as other women when it comes to dirty toilets whereby I won’t hold my my pee in if I really got to go, I would do it if I’m not so urgent.