23 ; A Year Older.

I followed an artist on Instagram and when he posted this, I suddenly felt what he was going through when he turned 23 as well. Over the weekend, I turned 23 and I couldn’t help but to reflect on how far I’ve come. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly blessed to have been surrounded with amazing people who showered me with so much love. My heart is filled with so much blessings and love ; no words could describe how overwhelmed I felt.

I have to admit that if you were ask 21-year-old me, I would have told you that I’ll never be able to make it this far. When I was 21, my heart was somewhat hollow. It was pumping blood, but it wasn’t really capable of loving. I would also have told you that my soul was terrible damaged where I didn’t know how to fix myself. I flew to different places where I would have little breakdowns at empty train stations/beaches/airports or would sit in a cathedral/church silently saying “God, I don’t know what to do anymore.” Long story short, my close friends and family could see how much I was going through and in my own ways, I managed to mend myself back together. Unskillfully, of course. I’m still not fully put together but I’m still learning. I still have yet to master the art of forgiveness and love. I must say, along the way I’ve mustered enough courage and strength to mentally tell myself :

“It’s okay, Win. At the count of 3, time to hoist yourself back up, sew the wounds and be a soldier. It’s you and I, baby girl. You got this.”

I admit that half of the time, it was (still is) tough believing in myself due to the level of insecurity and uncertainty. This year turning 23, I patted the left side of my chest where my heart is underneath and celebrated a little victory for pulling through. I’ve been reminded how blessed and loved I am. In the past 12 months, I’ve let go of people & things that don’t matter to me anymore, met great people and surrounded myself with people that mean the world to me. It’s been a rollercoaster ride and I’m still learning. So I guess, it’s not too bad, huh? 🙂

PS : Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who took the time to wish me (be it in person, over the phone, text etc.) Thank you for all the singing, cake, laughter, fun, hugs & gift. Thank you for showering me so much love and I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve you. You mean the world to me. Thank you 

 

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Enough

Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts (27 April 2017)


‘e·nough’

One word that not many of us tell ourselves. I know I haven’t been updating this space much and some of you might think I’ve gotten too busy with my life that I no longer write. That’s not the case. The real reason is that I’ve been having difficulties penning down my cluttered thoughts and I haven’t been getting much sleep to begin with. It doesn’t even help that my body crashed multiple of times which explains the sore throat, pounding fevers etc. So it brings me back to typing this very post right now as I sit here hoping this cup of camomile tea will aid with my sleep tonight.

I have people telling me that my words have inspired them but honestly, I’m not perfect. One of the hardest thing I struggle with is telling myself that I am enough. Not the kind of ‘enough’ that people expect me to be but more so of the kind of ‘enough’ that I know I am. They say that you are your harshest judge and I really am very harsh with myself.

People can tell you that you’re beautiful 100 times a day and if you still don’t believe it, that is the worst. So every day, I do something called “My Little Daily Enoughs” which is something I tell myself at the end of the day. Here are some of my few :

  1. You’ve done enough for today. You did your best in these 24 hours and the next 24 hours are for you to do more
  2. To someone, you’re beautiful enough.
  3. You are enough.

Everyone has their own definitions and versions of ‘being enough’. What I learned is that your flaws are stitched with good intentions. What I also learned is that you should look at the person that loves you the most and try putting yourself in that person’s shoes to see what you look like in their eyes. I do that sometimes with my mum. I do wonder what it is like for her to love such a difficult emotionally wrecked up daughter like me and not a day in my entire life where she complains and dreads about loving me. Bit by bit, I learn to love myself because of how my mother loves me.

If your partner is having a tough time loving himself/herself, do me a favour but love that person more because everyone deserves to end the day knowing that he/she is more than enough. Take it from a person who went to different countries & states just to slowly mend herself with whatever ability and skills she bears. It wasn’t a pretty sight because I was scared to the point where I would cry, waiting in the train to arrive, for I couldn’t hold myself together any longer. Here’s something to remember, if there comes a split second of the day where your insecurities got the better side of you, take a deep breath and feel your heart beating for a bit.

The heart that pumps life to your soul and every part of your living being ; it is doing more than enough for you. I know it’s easier said than done because the brain does have the loudest voice when it comes to things. What is important is that at the end of every day you know that you’re still breathing, that itself is a victory of its own. Small victories which are better than nothing at all. Remember, you really are enough ❤️

 

The Tincture of Ameliorating.

This message was sent by another university classmate of mine last Tuesday. We’re just acquaintances so you could imagine how touched I was when I read this message she sent me through Instagram. Our conversation then proceeded to where I found out that her heart is currently in pain. Within the next few seconds, I said a silent prayer with a hope that at least she’ll fell less hurt.  Sofia, I’m glad my words cheered you up 🙂

They say pain changes you but they never say how it changes you. When I fell apart, my legs gave way as I collapsed on the floor breaking down. One time, I cried so hard that all my mother could do was just rub my back as she held me with all the might while I stained her shirt with my tears. You know what’s the most terrifying thing ever? Being scared of yourself. To me, there’s nothing scarier than to be afraid of yourself when you look at your own reflection asking yourself what happened to you. To hit that far below rock bottom was beyond hell. My heart ran out of love and my soul was torn apart in ways I didn’t know how to mend it back. The hurt my heart was going through was so painful that I could physically feel the pain.

I loaded my car and I went for a solo getaway. On that Saturday morning of the getaway, I sat on a long board (the one for surfing, not for skateboarding) and I watched the sunrise as I was floating in sea with my legs knee-deep in the cold sea water. I closed my eyes and I started telling myself quietly :

‘You will learn to love again. You are capable of love.’

It was then I realized that it will actually be alright. Yes, not now but in time, it will. Truthfully, I wish I had a manual that would tell me how to mend a broken soul because it’ll be so much easier. The only thing I know is that there’s a certain type of beauty in our souls and within our hearts. With given time, whatever that once caused the pain will no longer hurt. All you just have to do are 3 things :

  1. Don’t rush things. Let the heart and soul do heal by their own.
  2. Don’t suppress the feeling because numbing the pain will only make it worse afterwards.
  3. Believe in yourself.

I began trusting myself a little bit more after everything. As I laid on that long board and floating at sea, I placed my hands on my chest and felt my heart beating. The beating that told me I would make it out alive through this pain. I’m not going to lie and hide the fact that there are days where I lose my composure and cry. But you know what’s the most courageous thing? It’s when on those dark days, you still accept yourself for who you are. People look at me and they wonder how do I do it. Well, love is the key. I still continued to give love. I became more kind and gentle especially with myself.

Cry, if you must ; and smile when you’re happy. You’re entitled to feel whatever you feel and no one should ever make you feel that whatever you’re feeling is wrong.  3.5 years of teaching kids how to swim have taught me the essence of forgiveness and the joy of being kind. We grew up in a society where people think love is cruel but hey, that heart that you walk around with? It not only pumps life to your entire body but it feeds your soul with love. It heals your physical and emotional wounds. It’s not evil and it’s definitely not cruel. Sure, your previous relationship didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of loving again.

You got to do you. You want to hike up the Himalayas? Do it. You want to just stay in bed and read for the entire day? Do it. Do things that you love and bring bliss to your heart and soul. Yes you’re scarred but I truly believe that everything you go through in life is stitched together with really good intentions. Let yourself heal and then when you’re ready, you’ll love again. Above all else, believe in yourself. You really have to. Do it for you. Trust that heart of yours for eventually it will mend and your soul will be okay again. 

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

 

Vegetarian Soba Bowl with Spiced Honey Yoghurt Sauce

I know I haven’t been updating much about recipes because I’ve been too excited about work, worrying about finals and catching up with people. So this is very simple recipe that I did it in less than half an hour using simple and affordable ingredients. Previously, I’ve uploaded my clean soba noodles bowl recipe teaching you how to cook soba noodles ; giving you tips on it. But for convenience, I’ll post up the trick again. This time it’s a little different as this recipe don’t use so much of ingredients. It was more like a little salad-like dish as I treated the yoghurt sauce to be like mayonnaise.

SO HERE’S MY vegetarian SOBa BOWL with spiced honey yoghurt sauce.

Trick to cooking soba and udon noodles : Once you’ve cooked it, quickly rinse it with cold water or place it in a bowl of iced-water for 30 seconds in order for it to be chewy and not soft. Also you don’t want to overcook your noodles and be very sure to even the noodles out when you’re cooking it. Soba noodles are clump up together easily and they cook faster than udon. So you have to be quick cooking your soba noodles!

INGREDIENTS :

Dried soba noodles (Up to your appetite! I held the dried soba noodles like how you would for spaghetti, about the size of a 50 cent coin.)
100 grams of edamame
100 grams of steamed corn
1/2 a table spoon of sesame oil
Toasted sesame seed

For sauce [this depends on only 1 person’s serving] :
1 – 2 table spoons of plain yoghurt (You can use low fat or greek yoghurt if you wish)
1 table spoon of raw honey
A dash of paprika
A dash of cumin

INSTRUCTIONS :
  1. In a saucepan, lightly salt the water and bring it to a boil. Cook the noodles and refresh it under cold water. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan, cook the edamame until bright green in the lightly salted boiling water ; about 2 – 4 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine the yoghurt, honey, cumin and paprika.
  4. Toss in the steamed corn, edamame and soba noodles with sesame oil.
  5. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. AND YOU’RE DONE!

PS : You can add whatever vegetables you like or some stir fried tofu or even nuts if you prefer! This is a very versatile dish. It is such a delicious clean eat!

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise. 

To Pick Yourself Back Up

You’ve probably read books to tell you to look on the positive side and soul mending etc. Well, reading it and actually doing it is completely different. Truthfully, no one actually told you that picking yourself back up is going to be your most terrifying and tiring thing you’ve ever had to do in your life. Instead, they tell you it’s going to be okay. There are people who go to a psychiatrist and therapy sessions for help. Then there are the people who have to do it all by themselves. Dust off the gravel from your knees, polish your worn out armour, sew your wounds back and hoist your fragile soul back up.

I’m writing not to crush your hopes but to tell you to hang in there ; whoever you are, dear reader. Coming from a person whose life is from perfect and still in the midst of picking herself up, I know. If you need to seek for professional help, do it. Your friends are going to look at you like you’ve gotten the plague because you’re going for therapy. They don’t really understand what it is like. What’s the struggle that you’re having within your skin, bones, organs, mind and soul. I’m no expert into picking myself up because honestly, there are days where you just don’t want to go on anymore.

All I’m just saying that you have to have a little faith in yourself. You have to. Not for anyone else but for that fighter that lives in you. If your defense mechanism isn’t working anymore, let it be for a little while. It will find its way into patching itself back together. Though I must admit, it’s not the most perfect way of patching your broken self but it is better than nothing. Every one of us needs someone to remind us that we’re loved. Your argument to my statement would be “What if I can’t?”

Then it doesn’t matter. Allow me to make a little room in my heart to place you there. My heart is a beyond broken but please do bare with the renovations that it’s doing and I plead for you not to disturb the fixing. One thing I’ve learned from my heart is that a heart is more than just an organ that gives the body life. It was made to love and to mend whatever that is broken in you. Of course it will take it’s time to get to the destination but like my mom always told me, “Patience is the key.”

I don’t know how all hearts work because some have different ways of mending and healing. Picking yourself up is a process where your heart works side by side with your mind to tell you that it is time to stand back up. And man…it is one hell of a struggle. This year, I fell into a deeper hell hole and I watched my friends figuring out ways to help me out of it. Even if it meant for them to bring a crane to help, they’ll still do it.

All I’m saying, you’re never truly alone. You have your little heart, two butterfly-wing shaped lungs, and a mind that is so beautifully smart. If you don’t have anyone to be there for you, you have me. I must admit that I don’t know much but all I know that I won’t give up on you. I know it’s not much because how could someone as broken as I am gives so much? Well, if I can’t give you love, I’ll offer you chocolates and homemade chia seed pudding to help.

So stop pretending. It’s okay if crying makes you look weak. Your are human after all. You got this. If you don’t think you do, at least I know your heart knows that you got it. Inhale confidence and exhale doubt.

Travel to live ; not just to have a holiday.

I understood what some people meant when they say ‘Travelling heals you. It’s like…you come back and you’re cured.’

Reflecting on my travels, upon my arrival, I always tell myself that it’s time to live and not treat this like a holiday. In my perspective, if I was lost, it shows that I was living. Of course, I had friends checking up on me with their ‘Do you know how to go home?!’ or ‘Are you safe at home?!’ texts. My mother somehow worries less when I’m travelling because somehow she knows that I’ll find my way back to my room even if it means me walking for 2 hours back for I’ve missed the last bus or train. And honestly, I will actually do it.

Travelling is more than tourist attractions. It’s the bug bites, the food, the smile on locals and you getting lost and scared. It’s actually funny thinking back of how many times I find myself hopelessly lost during my travels and sometimes I pray hard that the petrol in my car is sufficient enough for me to drive back home. By the end of each travel, I learned something about myself that I don’t know about. I also learned how other people saw things that I can’t and I understood their ways rather than just stick to mine. In other words, my mind and views broaden up.

So if I have an advice for someone who is planning their next holiday, do yourself a huge favour : Live during your holiday. Experience the little things and not just be hooked on the main attractions. Notice things. Learn about yourself through someone else. I learned something about myself from a stranger who told me that it’s okay to be alone because when you’re alone, you’ll learn so much about yourself. It is completely fine if you pay for an expensive meal during your holiday. I’m not asking you to splurge but just buy an extra scoop of ice cream or go all out to line up in a store to buy bath and beauty products home. Go do it. Live. Not just visit. Do it like you’re living there.