The Impossible Dream

“You are afraid to die, and you’re afraid to live. What a way to exist.”

– Neale Donald Walsch

I would say that chasing your dreams is the true meaning of life. Everyone has dreams. Everyone does dream. A noble dream is one where you serve the greater good of humanity and other life forms on Earth, while making great changes. An unrealistic dreamer is someone that dreams of doing things that are nigh on impossible. But a dream is a very normal thing to have, even though most people choose to dismiss them and think that they will never come true.

I understand when you have to put your dreams on hold. That is fine. Sometimes life gets in the way and there is nothing much you can do to fight it. What you don’t want to do though, is fall into the trap of leaving your dream on the shelf. When you let go of your dream, it is gone. There is no going back.

To have a true appreciation of the fragility of life, I believe one must witness someone close to them dying or have a near death experience. Then you will realize that the things that you once thought were important, are no longer. Things like having a nice car, a nice house and a high roller’s credit card become secondary. Now I’m not saying those things aren’t important, they are very nice to have but it doesn’t really make sense when you don’t actually have the time or health to enjoy them.

Taking an anecdote from an economics lecturer I had in university: he had friend who was a top surgeon in India. He owned a large mansion and had even had the taps and toilet seat plated in gold.

He asked, “Why do you do this? What’s with all this gold?”   

“Well when I retire, I can use and enjoy it,” he replied.

With his hectic schedule as a surgeon, he wasn’t home very often. And when he was, it was never for long.

“And one week later, he had a heart attack and died.”

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist here, but you’re going to die. I’m going to die. We’re all going to die.  

A lot of time, people keep telling themselves that they’ll do it later. I’m no rocket scientist, but I am pretty sure that when you’re dead, you cannot do some things later. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, there is a limit to how long your soul can stay inside your physical body.

Hope is the only thing that you, yourself can extinguish:

“Here’s the truth; the plausibility of impossibility only becomes a probability with the disappearance of faith. The world can take many things from you, but your faith is not one of them. Only you can surrender your faith. Never lose hope.”

-Mike Myatt

When you have no money, you wish for it. You pray for it. If you had just come to the conclusion that you would never have any money, then what exactly is the point of living? You give up.

J.K. Rowling was rejected at least 12 times for Harry Potter before someone actually said yes. She knew she was onto something good, and was determined to make it happen. At that point, she felt that she had nothing more to lose as a single, unemployed mother. She was right. Nothing more could be taken from her and she  had everything to gain. At least she was brave enough to try.

Dreams pass us by because we are scared. We are afraid to be dreamers. We want to achieve, yet we don’t want to lose. We procrastinate what is really important to us and trade them for things that don’t really matter. Our greatest obstacles to our own dreams are ourselves.


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Poetry Jam: Beware of wife

You don’t want to mess with my aunt Mary.
When her temper flares up, she’s rather scary.
Her old husband, Duke, she hit with a spoon,
Now his vision’s gotten quite blurry.

I heard she tried to cook him once.
Hit him on the head, so he was cold and knocked out.
He told me he woke up in a shock.
“There she was, seasoning me in a pot!”

My aunt said she had forgotten their anniversary.
She wanted to make sure he was sorry.
When he came to, he smelled of beef stew.
And she laughed ever so hysterically.

Now if there’s one thing in your mind to carry,
Is that you should never mess with my aunt Mary.

Why I Never Like Your Comments

I just can’t find myself to like them. I am sorry. And no, my ‘Like’ button isn’t broken, unlike this guy we all follow. Your comments mean more to me than just a click of a little star and the word ‘Like’.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like your likes. I just feel that you, as my readers deserve more than a simple ‘Yeah, I like that.’ The truth is I’m delighted when anyone has something insightful to say about my posts, whether it be my stories, my life lessons or rants. I’m happy that you ‘liked’ my posts and found them worth reading.

But sadly, I can’t bring myself to like, like your comments, you know? It’s like, I’d be doing you short. But I read them all. Your opinions always stir something up inside of me- so much that I  have to respond. I can’t just leave them unanswered. Perhaps, I am old-fashioned. I always respond to a handwritten letter or note, even if it takes a much longer time.

What I learnt from my teenaged youth was the word ‘like’ is an overly-used crutch word (so-called because we lean on it like we have a broken leg) but it doesn’t serve any real purpose. I actually remember a short, skinny, nerdy kid with short brown hair who was justifying the use of the crutch word ‘like’. Um, like no. He was as annoying as they come. Freckled, bespectacled and with a high whiny voice. He used to tag along with a couple of my friends whenever we walked to the train station after school.

“Because the word ‘like’ wouldn’t make sense if we replaced it. Okay, let’s replace it with ‘as’.

Needless to say, it was a very annoying trek to the train station that afternoon. He just wouldn’t stop. It also didn’t make sense to replace the word ‘like’ with ‘as’; maybe ‘as if’ but not ‘as’. Pfft. As if he knew what he was talking about. You see? It works, but only in certain situations.

But my dear readers, it goes without saying: I like you all. Just without the little blue star.

The Face of Unemployment

Kate Stewart recently wrote an article about how the unwillinglyunemployed struggle with coming to grips about job inequality, companies you don’t hear from and job opportunities that could be created. I can definitely attest to what she’s gone through.

Getting absolutely no response is worst than rejection. That, I can tell you. Apathy is one of the worst reactions you can get. Imagine a scenario where you’re asking out s   omeone if they want to go to dinner with you. They could either 1) say yes, 2) say no, or 3) say nothing and walk away. I don’t know about you, but closure is good. Rejection may hurt, but shows you where you currently stand and allows you to pick up the pieces and move on.

It’s not just me that’s had to deal with this kind of behavior from employers. A friend of mine, who is currently studying for her postgraduate degree told me  she called human resources once to check up on her job application, after hearing nothing for two weeks. She was met with an irate woman’s voice, who claimed “Why did you call me? We’re still reviewing the applications.”

If you think that’s sloppy, you should have read this stock e-mail that was supposed to thank me for my application:

(insert subject here)

(insert content here)

Best Regards
Lazy HR Woman

Big Multinational

That was the actual email I received, minus the change in names. Obviously, I didn’t get the job at the big multinational where the lazy HR woman worked, but you get the idea. I understand that people can make mistakes and that mistakes are loci for learning, but people actually get paid to make mistakes like these? At least I’m not getting paid to send blank emails.

When I was younger, I was naive and I didn’t think I would ever be unemployed. Even during high school and chugging through college, I didn’t think I’d be unemployed for this long. But it’s given me a vantage point that I would have otherwise never seen. It’s a little bit like George Orwell and his experiences living with the working poor in France and becoming a much better writer and person because of it.

Now I get the frustration of job inequality that Kate is talking about. Some people are overpaid, some people are underpaid. It’s as simple as that. But why is no one challenging the system? Why is it okay for some guy in a suit like Paul Henry who is clearly 1) racist, 2) misogynistic and 3) homophobic to have so much paid airtime on TV and radio? I’m just going to take a punt here and guess that some people really thrive on controversy.

And for those of you who don’t know who Paul Henry is, he’s this guy. Basically, a man who couldn’t contain his laughter over minister Sheila Dikshit and her surname, while his female co-anchor sat next to him, embarrassed by his uncontrollable fit of insanity. Also, note the nervous look from the male host.

Now I know the general consensus among stereotypes for Americans is stupidity, but that incident made me think, ‘Now who’s the stupid one?’ No wonder everybody thinks that there are only cows and sheep in New Zealand. And kiwis – let’s not forget the kiwis.

The trouble is that resource allocation – especially that of money, not usually put to good use in the corporate world. Most of it is horribly unnecessary. You see non-profits blowing their budgets on advertising when it could be better spent on training and work development programs for the poor. Same goes for the non-non-profits: so McDonalds can afford to dish out $9 million dollars to some guy, while sales have been falling and no one’s been getting an increase. Where is the logic in that? Well, there is I suppose. Just fire a few people. Or maybe a few thousand. That’ll be enough.

The problem with facts and figures  is statistics. Statistics lie. People lie. They don’t link numbers to a certain face or person. They don’t tell you about how someone like Kate has to take care of three kids, three cats and a dog while looking for a coveted job and living on welfare.

But that doesn’t mean I’m exactly hateful towards those that have accumulated a lot of wealth. Nope. If you’ve worked hard for your money, share some with others and don’t do anything stupid (like squandering it all on drugs or the casino) while enjoying some of it, then go crazy. I mean it’s YOUR money. I can’t dictate what you can or can’t do with it. All I can do is hope that you put it to good use.

It’s the same with feeling happy for someone else. When I say that I am really happy to hear that The Honking Goose got a new job, I really am. Unemployment is a rough boat to ride. Her success doesn’t take anything away from me. I’d even wish to hear about other people finally landing their jobs and/or living their dreams, even if that person isn’t me.

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This is why ‘sexual preference’ is a misnomer. It signifies a choice. I didn’t specifically choose to be Asian. I just am.

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Poetry Jam: Sir Riddley

Good morning Sir Riddley, how do you do?

Just hang on a minute, I’ll get you some stew.

So how do you find it? Too thick or too salty?

It’s perfectly fine— are you sure Sir Riddley?

Yes— yes but— no buts, my dear man!

Please have some more, we made a whole pan!

It’s absolutely lovely to have you here,

I have so much excitement; it’s so much to bear!

Now let me get you something to drink!

Will it be whisky, brandy— I’ll make it quick!

A cup of tea would be nice but— no.

Now worry not my good man, we have it prepared

Along with some cakes, bread and jam.

Look, here comes the maid with the tray in her hands.

But honestly, we’re happy to run these errands!

Sir Riddley, do try this biscuit.

It’s so scrumptious; you don’t want to miss it!

Now what is the matter on your mind, dear old Riddley?

I’ve spoken too much, now it’s your time to please me!

My dear old chap, thanks for this supper.

But there is something I’ve been meaning to cover,

And that is to say, I am not Sir Riddley,

I am but his butler, Mister Spiffy.


Let’s face it, even though I put on a brave front and shout out something like “Bring it on, you idiot!”, I’m just as vulnerable as a hermit crab without a shell at times. If you haven’t seen me down, then count yourself lucky. You didn’t have to be the recruiter who I unintentionally broke down in front of, my elementary school teacher who told me “Don’t cry,” when I wrote in the wrong book or my tearstained pillow this year.

I’m talking about that dreaded C-word: change.

We’re all afraid of change. My mother described to me a back-up plan that went something like this, “We’ll sell the house if your father’s job goes.” I replied, “I’m not scared.”

The truth is, I’m not scared of selling the house or if my father’s current job is no longer. The thing I’m afraid of is change.

Most of us are scared of little, puny rounded small pieces of metal. We don’t want to carry it around. We don’t want to accept the change. We keep deluding ourselves that this shiny piece of plastic is going to solve all our problems.

On the way back from another job interview the other day, I sat in a taxi with my mother. Our conversation was a simple exchange of laughter and words, yet extremely memorable.

“You don’t need a lot of money to be happy. Money does not make you happy.”

We talked a lot more about the recent tax hikes, the high prices of gas (and everything else) and returning to our hometowns (well, his hometown. My hometown is still this land I stand on). Then came time to pay, so my mother took out her wallet. The meter read $6.40.

He said, “Just give me $6. You’re happy, I’m happy.”

“I’ll give you $7. Then we’re all happy.”

“Ah, you’re good. You’re good.”

Poetry Jam: Questions of the Night

Is that a monster beneath my bed?

The one with red eyes and a green ugly head?

Is that a boogieman behind my brown door?

No, it’s just my stuffed friend, Kenny the boar.


Is that a mannequin talking out there?

Nope, that’s just an old man with wind in his hair.

How about that thing underneath?

Is it a monster with glowing white teeth?


Now comes a knock and a twist of the door.

Who could it be?

Does it know how to roar?


The blankets are high, right over my head.

Heart beating fast, I might soon be dead.


The door swings open, I scream out in fright,

“Why do you come in the dead of the night?”

“It’s me, dear boy. There is no monster, all right?”

And that is your cue to tuck me in tight.