Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dreams are free...

but realising your dreams always comes with a price.

A friend recently got what she really, really wanted. She had set her sights on getting it, did all she could to get it, and she got it in the end. I was at a graduation ceremony a few months back, and the speaker at the ceremony said that sometimes, acting like you really, really wanted something, may actually help you get it... well, it's such a nice feeling you have inside when people close to you, or anyone actually, achieve what they aim for. It's not easy, to have these feelings of happiness for others, especially when things are not going well for you, but it's something which I nowadays look forward too. Feeling happy for friends and family when they are happy too.

My friends are most happy when they find that special someone. For whatever reason, somehow the other details in their lifes fall into place once this personal aspect is ... in order? :-) Try talking to people about how they met him or her. What attracted them to each other. What they saw in each other. How they knew that was the one for them. Fascinating stories will emerge. I was on a long-haul flight recently and sat beside an elderly couple from Essex. The had been married for over 30 years, and it all started at a Young Farmers Party in a bar that many years ago when Steve went up to Catherine and asked, "Can I buy you a drink?" Hah! I've heard so much about that immortal line but this was the first couple I met that got married after that!

It's great to be living out a dream. The past three years, I was living out a dream. Absolutely fantastic. I could make it what I wanted it to be, and I did. It was beyond my expectations. I already have stories to tell my granchildren (...why do we always share stories with granchildren? Why not friends and family?).

I paid a heavy price to live out this dream. But I don't regret the decisions I made. I don't regret a single day. What's important is that I decided to move on, from living out my dream, to... something else, and I'm not too sure what this monster will turn out to be.

Whatever it is, I'm looking out for my free ride now!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life is like an onion...

you peel it layer by layer and sometimes you cry.

Every new chapter in our life can be likened to an onion, maybe a big red one. Which will have many layers of course.

Which reminds me...

When I was a young boy, my mum asked me to go buy some onions. I got on my bicycle, and got to the shop. I spent about a quarter of an hour picking those onions, which I knew were going to be used for dinner. I got home soon after.

About the time when I figure my mum was going to chop the onions, she screamed for me. I'm sure she asked for onions only... so what could be the problem? I went into the kitchen, and my mum showed me the onions that I painstakingly picked.

"What's this??"

I could swear they were onions (what else could they be?), but at moments like that, you begin to doubt yourself. You should never get a woman in a kitchen angry. Here was one, a very livid one at that.


Not the answer she was looking for.

"They're all spoilt!"


No way.

"But I made sure I picked the softest ones..."

My mum was very angry.

If I remember correctly, she then burst out laughing. I was very confused. She managed to ask me to go away. I did. Still confused.

Later in the day, after my whole family was told about the 'incident', I found out that onions, at the point of buying, should be firm. They get soft at the point of cooking...

It's been nearly fifteen years since that.

I never imagined that buying (the wrong) onions will teach me so much.

It was the first (and till today, the only) time my mum ever asked me to buy onions, and I had never bought onions before that. So things could go wrong. I secretly still blame her for it.

I was poring over and caressing each bulb of onion, feeling it's texture and gently squeezing it to find the ones with the right level of softness. I can imagine the amazement of the other shoppers, a young boy with such particularity over his onions.

The cashier-lady. What was she thinking of, me bringing the abolute worst ones to the counter?


Always know clearly what people want before helping them with it. People who seem to be very deft and assured doing whatever it is they are doing, may not always know what they are doing... though pretending to be is a good way to impress people! People will not always tell you if you are on the wrong path. They may just encourage you along, due to indifference or ingnorance. And it's always good to allow a laugh at your mistakes, provided you get the joke.

My onions and I :-)

I've got a big fat red onion in front of me now. Let's see how well I peel it. I hope a little better that the last big fat red onion I had not too long ago...