Counting my blessings

Friday, 31 July 2015
ootd roses


Lately, I've been getting a lot of love from various individuals. They came rather unexpectedly and took me by surprise. I dithered....hummed and hawed for ages trying to find the right words to express my heartfelt gratitude but felt somewhat inadequate to properly thank thank all these lovely ladies.

The thing was I've been in a funk and feeling somewhat despondent for the past few months. I'd let harsh words from a few individuals to affect me. They took root and festered within me which was a pointless exercise. It seemed rather silly when I think about it now. I concentrated needlessly on the negatives when I have many blessings to be grateful for. A prayer and a nice kick in the arse were all it took to knock some sense into myself again.

A friend, Hong Yi whom I've never ever met face to face though we've Skyped (yes, we have an interesting but wonderful friendship) contacted me out of the blue to say that she was thinking of me. She sent me a link to a TedTalk video with a message I needed to hear. A former classmate of mine, Sheela found me on the internet two years ago.  We discarded our childhood angst and rebuilt a friendship, one that we never had before. Forgiveness is a wondrous thing. Sheela interviewed me recently for her blog but I was touched by her heartwarming post (read the interview here).

My Instagram account is far from popular nor do I have tens of thousands of followers. I guess you could say I did a few celebratory dance around my coffee table and whoops loud enough to wake up the living dead when it was featured in a few publications and recognized by some of my favorite Instagrammers. I was on the list of Brit + Co's 20 Amazing Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram.  Kelly, a fellow Kiwi who resides in the U.K and writes the popular travel blog, Around the world in 80 pairs of shoes had me down on her 10 of the Best Travel Instagram Accounts to follow in 2015. Next was Localgrapher's Top 10 Inspiring Female Travel Instagrammers to Follow. This was soon followed by Huffington Post via Oyster Hotels' 7 Unknown Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow.   Polina of Polabur who has an Instagram feed to die for recently included me on her Favorite Instagrams from London. I couldn't thank them enough for the recognition.

My friends and family can tell you that I'm not very sentimental. Hell, my own kid often reminds me to show more enthusiasm when she announces good news. BUT....this one from Sue of Susie So So teared me up. I must've read her post a dozen times while trying to hold back my tears. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket project was emotionally grueling. It took me more than half a year to recover. Dealing with sensitive and controversial subject matters is never easy. I've asked myself a million times over the past year whether it'd helped anyone, if it was a worthwhile project. It wasn't just my story but six others who trusted me to shared their deepest secrets in the hope that they'd help those who are dealing with similar issues. Sue, thank you for choosing me as your "Someone Inspirational."



29 comments:

  1. I'm glad to read you gave the negatives the boot! I am thankful for having encountered your blog -- the photos, the honesty, the stories. I look forward to reading your posts and gazing at your amazing photos! :]
    Excuse my language, but as my favorite drag queen says, "unless they paying your bills, don't pay them ******* any mind" to those naysayers/negative people. You are fabulous!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy for the encouraging words. Your favorite drag queen is wise!

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  2. I've been down a lot myself over the last five years - looking after two ninety somethings and a husband with early Parkinson's didn't help - and also went through the menopause. I find your blog a great distraction and really look forward to seeing your views on how someone who isn't a twenty something can dress. And I love your comments on food and sometimes recipes and travel photos ( I too especially love Paris). Thanks!

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    1. I think you've made me stop feeling sorry for myself. I can't begin to imagine what it's like to be in your shoes. It's a long and arduous journey you're on and yet you're soldiering on. It's people like you that are the real heroes. Sometimes I want to smack those magazines who kept choosing celebrities as Woman of the Year when someone like you are true heroes and inspirations to others.

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  3. Bless you and your special blog. You have a unique voice and are cherished. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Xx

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    1. Thank you, thank you and thank you for the kindest words.

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  4. I can't speak, I shouldn't even really comment as I am clearly still processing.. I've just been back and had a read through 'The sisterhood of the traveling jacket'.. yes I have tears in my eyes, but mostly at this point I am thinking courageous, inspiring, strong, (and other positive words) the project will undoubtedly have helped (and will continue to help) many many women.. (myself included)...I knew you dressed well, I knew you could take a great picture of a pastry but my goodness you are *amazing*... put simply 'thank you' xxxx

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    1. Aw...I had to pause and re-read your words again. I'm truly touched. Thank you ever so much, Claire.

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  5. Congratulations, CCC! You deserve it all and more!

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  6. Looking back, so happy to received a comment from my post before and can't imagine that you followed back. Honestly it gives joy to someone like me who love to see fashion and high end fashion to that extent to someone but quite intimidating too to make an outside connection. But from then on love to look on the snippets of your photos on instagram and how you share your thoughts through your blog. The sincerity and empathy towards others touch me most. Congrats and would love to meet you in person sometime, anybody who don't travel far can dream big, right? :)

    Best regards and God bless you and your fam.

    Love,
    Angie

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    1. Angie, I hope to meet you someday. Who knows that day may come sooner than later. You've been such a supportive all these years. Thank you for always saying the kindest words every time.

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  7. Congratulations on being featured in so many Instagram accounts to watch, I can see why your photos are so popular - have a great weekend

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  8. The travelling jacket was inspirational, you are inspirational, Sue's post was spot on wonderful lady.

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    1. Fiona, so are you. So pleased to have you as my friend though seriously, we need to catch up more often!

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  9. Congrats! All the attention to your Instagram photostream is well deserved!:)

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  10. It's all deserved Marlene. It's all deserved.

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    1. Can't thank you enough for the heartwarming post. It's one of the best things I've ever read about myself and you don't know how much it's helped me. Thank you, my friend.

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  11. You are a very talented strong woman and the sisterhood project was incredibly worthwhile and inspiring....you will have touched many more lives through those stories than you can ever know!

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    1. Thank you for listening to me for the past year.

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  12. I'm so sorry you have been struggling, Marlene <3 I can only imagine how tough it must have been to share something so personal and emotionally vulnerable--you are brave, brave, brave--and an inspiration. Glad you are getting some well-deserved kudos for your work and your gorgeous photography.

    Alissa

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    1. Alissa, you're always so thoughtful and voice of reason. Thank you for all your lovely comments.

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  13. Your blog has been somewhat of a guilty pleasure and I've been following it for some time. Your post on Sheela stroke a chord and reminded me uncomfortably of my petty unresolved grievances of my own school day friendships and inspired me to reach out. Thank you.

    It's been lovely to read your posts, and it's not just because you're a fellow Malaysian, but it's just extra special because, while being still entrenched in your roots, you have established a whole new wonderous life outside this world and I am inspired everyday by your daily life, your fashiony stuff (please excuse my grammar but it does seem SO appropriately termed) and travels. Do keep them coming because I am so enamoured.....

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    1. Hi Siow Wei

      I'm so pleased you've enjoyed my blog. Thank you for the wonderful feedback because it has re-affirmed my original desire not to go mainstream with this blog and to always keep it real - good, bad or otherwise (flaws and all). I want to thank you for taking the time to write. Not an easy thing to do but your kind words mean a lot to me. Do keep in touch and thank you ever so much for sharing.

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