I’m not a shopaholic, but I am lucky to have some spare cash for luxury.
Apart from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day Sale, the other times I normally lost control completely is at airport duty-free. My credit card bill for the few hours before departure in Heathrow T5 generally involved shops I never normally go to.
Seriously, why did I buy that Louis Vuitton Speedy? I have no idea.
But this year, I managed to transform from an emotional shopper to a minimalist. I decluttered and survived all sale seasons, including Boxing Day yesterday.
Here’s what happened.
As I am writing this article, my Louis Vuitton is in a box, among all my other ‘pricey things’ on a cargo ship. I am shipping them to my mum’s home. …
I watched a documentary many years ago where the boss of a telecommunication company in Hong Kong tries to get through a day without a phone and live like a grassroots, unemployed person.
The CEO realised that he couldn’t leave his phone number to the potential employer after an interview. This frustrated both the employer and him, an employment opportunity slipped away. At the end of the show, he decided to do something within his abilities to help poorer people.
The society operated on the basis that a person can do anything with resources and help. We often laughed at rich kids who started a company “from stretch” when their family’s connections give them a competitive edge from the beginning. …
The mental health crisis has already arrived as and when political leaders are dealing with Covid-19.
And we can’t rely on our leaders to cure the mental health crisis. Here’s why and what we can do about it.
One, people with little imagination find it hard to understand mental health issues. They try to understand it like a physical disease, and quick to dismiss any mental disorders because symptoms are not as obvious as a biological illness. Where’s the malignant cell? Where’s the cough and the temperature?
We should know by now that mental health presents itself differently to physical health. But what more complicated is that a mental health issue touches on two aspects of a human — physical and psychological. If we think about it like that, we should all agree that mental health is a much harder issue to treat than physical illness given its complexity. …
I don’t know if it’s a compliment when someone says that we know so much like an encyclopedia.
It’s nice, but it could be a risk to any learner.
When we read widely and remember facts well, there’s a risk that we haven’t developed an emotional attachment to our knowledge. We might even be proud to be so knowledgeable.
That’s our ego being knowledgeable, not us.
This type of knowing is great for going on game shows like Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. However, to really understand knowledge and wisdom about mental health, living and spirituality, to know something intellectually is not enough, in fact, it can hinder our journey to better ourselves. …
A few years ago my friend suddenly passed away and I had no clothes for his memorial service. I sat on the floor, devastated. Before I arrived at the age of wedding season, my friend jumped a few steps ahead to the funeral season.
It was a powerful moment of “adulting”. Business, weddings, funerals, I now need clothes to celebrate the different life stages of people around me.
This is how I started building my all-encompassing capsule wardrobe, a little black dress, worn for the first time at my best friend’s funeral.
I’m sorry to start our journey to minimalist fashion with such a grim tale. …
Believe it or not, when I published my first book (here), people called me the Asian Carrie Bradshaw.
Hahaha, yeah right.
Unfortunately, they are right. Apart from writing, smoking, and drinking, I was probably most similar to Carrie when it comes to toxic dating and being a rubbish friend. It took me a long time to fight off that bad Carrie influence.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s character is not the point of Sex and the City. She’s merely the messenger that changes powerful stories of her friends to wonderful words. Just like Kristen Bell in Gossip Girl.
To everyone else, she’s the ‘what-not-to-be’, this includes, how not to get debt-ridden from addiction to expensive shoes. …
One of the most useful pieces of advice we’ve heard before is we shouldn’t expect a spouse to “complete” ourselves.
What does that mean? Why are we incomplete?
We are incomplete because we’re wounded. We carry many childhood issues and a big feeling of inadequacy. Even for the most confident person, they can still think they are not enough.
The reason for that is highly dependent on the person’s background, family, attachments, toxic cultures, etc.
Today I want to talk only about how we look for someone to fill our void, and how it doesn’t really work.
But a good, healthy, secure relationship does do something for us, and I think that’s “enhancement”. The word doesn’t matter, it’s just a different word to “complete”, so we don’t get confused. …
Someone during an argumentative conversation asked me to deal with it because their energy is constantly high and I’m supposed to match my energy with theirs and join in the fight.
I refuse to do that.
If there’s one thing I have learned after 30 years of living, is that we can never get our voices across to the other person by constantly speaking and definitely not by shouting.
And the second reason, the world is better if more people listen and fewer people trying to talk over their insecurities and ignorance.
People I respect a lot don’t talk all the time. If we cut out talks that have no meaning or implications whatsoever, it’s actually a much quieter world. …
When I was 15 years old and a super history geek, I watched a documentary about the Holocaust and it shocked me so much I couldn’t speak for hours at school.
People thought I was weird (maybe I am), but I was so fundamentally taken aback by it and I had no words.
My innocent days of teenagehood was destroyed and since then there is always something on the news, in a documentary, that triggers me. Nuclear wars, trade wars, climate change…negative news, negative moods.
Guess what happened in 2020, Trump, Brexit, Hong Kong, oh and the pandemic! …
This was a real conversation I had with a friend ten years ago. His name is Rav.
Me: “Hey, Rav. What have you done today?”
Rav: “I posted a letter.”
Me: “That’s all you did? It’s 6 p.m. on a school day!”
Rav: “Yes, and then now I’m going to fellowship with you.”
On that same day, I think I had class, a Tinder coffee date, rushed through my readings, did my part-time job, cycled along with the London traffic, and was late to fellowship. …