Re-imagining Happiness | Our 10th Year Anniversary

Hello everyone! Long time no hear from me! 😅

I know that many of us are mostly at home now, due to the current restriction of movements following the pandemic declaration. More time at home does mean, more time spent with the family, especially in the dining area. I have to say, I enjoyed seeing your culinary journey and funny memories that you guys shared on this platform to inspire the hashtag #stayhomestaysafe. I know that I don’t necessarily ‘picit sayang’ (press ‘like’) on all of your pictorial events out there, but trust me; I saw your Gawai dance moves, your annoyingly beautiful fluffy buns, your well thought-out home activities with the little ones and even your tastefully decorated homes before it was demolished by fingerprints made of chocolates😆😍

Meanwhile life for me, here in London is not much different than any other part of the world. We are still on the lockdown with a slight ease where no more than a total of 6 people from different households could gather together, through meticulous measures of social distancing. I am unsure how they came up with number SIX but, if I could ask PM Boris anything at this point, I would rather ask him to comb his hair, honestly. Anyways, we were supposed to fly home (to Malaysia) two weeks ago. It will be Maya’s first flight in effort to meet her whole extended family but understandably that has to be postponed. Hopefully we will be able to make up for it once the restrictions are eased a lot more. 

Okay enough of me rumbling about Covid, as today, I am here to tell you that it is our 10th year wedding anniversary! Yayyy!❤️❤️❤️ I am not here to brag to you about my OMG-perfect-marriage (because it isn’t) but instead, I wanted to share my story of how ‘happiness’ looks so much different to me now, as compared to, let’s say when I just hit puberty😆. It is going to be a light-hearted one, so pause this reading right now, get your tea ☕️and cake🍰 (I know you all have cakes in your kitchen somewhere), and then hide in your cupboard or garage so that your kids/ husband/ fur babies won’t find you. Read my lips; YOU DESERVE THIS.

So as most of you probably know, I was raised in a multilingual and biracial family. My father is an Iban and my mother is a Chinese. I was mostly raised by my mom, who was a teacher infamously known for her deadly footsteps, however I was mainly surrounded by those of the Bumiputra community. Despite the many dividing differences (which I am not going to dwell into), we all perceive ‘success’ rather similarly. Henceforth, I always aspire to be someone of commendable wealth and to me, this translates into a big mansion, branded high-end cars, a private yacht and a dedicated chauffeur. I am pleased to inform you that none of this came true, although I do now have a chauffeur whom I domestically called ‘sayang’ but in the government files, he is adoringly termed ‘emergency contact’ 😆

Perhaps due to lack of transparent conversations regarding sex, money and politics (or more desirably known as reproductive behaviours, financial and leadership), there is always a huge burden and obscurity associated with adulthood in children of Asian origin. As we manoeuvre into life of more maturity, despite all the lonely choices we had to make due to fear of damnation from our loved ones, we still impose the same taboo on our precious next generation as we do not know any better. The point that I am trying to make is that knowledge is power. It is merely through observation and innocent assumption that I concluded my worth. And that I thought my happiness can only exist if I am all that -materialistically equipped and equally reputable; like Bill Gates. Unlike Bill Gates though, I was not born into a family of white supremacy or given any prestigious head start. I slowly came to learn, very little of that actually made him a millionaire at the age of 26. Rather, it was his relentless pursuit of wisdom. He reads on average 20 books per week and therefore understands very well that his worth is within his legacy (Gates and Melinda foundation), beyond his estimated Forbes wealth of 111 billion to date. 

Today, in the audacity of chasing my ‘American dreams’, it did bring me here; to a place where I can comfortably trade my success with worldly possession. Does it make me happy? Yes. Does it dictate my happiness? No. Am I thankful? Indefinitely. 

‘Remember when you wanted what you currently have’.

With time (and wisdom), I started seeing happiness very differently. It comes in the form of a hot tea without milk in the morning, a well-loved book, a stroll in an empty museum, a warm bowl of instant noodles and acne-free month. After I got married, my happiness constituted a closed toilet bowl, a freshly replaced toothpaste, an empty cleaned kitchen counter, fresh bed linen and warm feet. But boy, marriage is hard. It comes with a hefty responsibility and is the hardest job description I ever had. It is a marriage that we fought tooth and nail for, an inter-racial marriage with countless differences, which survived many disagreements, dividing opinions and three miscarriages. On those nights, happiness appears in a form of reflection.

In 2019, happiness comes unexpectedly. I saw a small shadow on the screen with a palpable sound of heart beats. As my tummy grew, so did my happiness. It caused me to vomit every evening for the first 3 months, made me gain a total of 15kg, lost my sleep for the last two months (of pregnancy) and increased my bra size by two cups. The latter, undoubtedly, is the peak of my happiness 🤣🤣🤣 When I first held Maya on my arms, however, it was not happiness which swept me away in an instant. Instead, my curiosity got the best of me as I was awestruck by my own uterus; mostly at how it was beautifully made to nurture this vulnerable creature for a whole 9 months. My happiness came a tad bit later, when I realised that at least, she got my hair 😅

Maya is 4.5months now (or almost 22 weeks). I really think we need to stop counting their age by ‘weeks’ once they are no longer a newborn. Otherwise, it is just like me addressing my acne scar🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ And truthfully, nobody cares how many weeks your baby is because they are only interested in three things: (1) is the baby cute? (2) is the baby fair? (3) does the baby have double eye-lids? I have therefore succumbed to these curiosity of yours and delightedly obliged to feast your eyes with the many pictures that I have taken myself at home, during MCO times to commemorate our 10th year anniversary. 

But before your frantic screen-scrolling begins, I would like to leave notes on several life lessons (on marriage) that my other half (Victor) has kindly dedicatedly written for this blog post:

  1. Life is fragile
  2. Agree to disagree
  3. Explore and travel more
  4. Be less judgmental 
  5. Do not soak your dishes for more than 24 hours 😆😆😆

With this, please help yourself with the pictures below. The pleasure is truly ours. Thank you for taking your time to read this blog post and for being a part of our journey❤️❤️❤️

 

‘Happiness comes in waves. It will find you again’.

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