Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Icebreaker Speech

Not so long ago, I was convinced that I would live MY "Happily Ever After" by the time I celebrate my 29th birthday. My "Happily Ever After" does not end by me marrying prince charming, but it also include beautiful & intelligent children, priceless earthly possessions, vacations around the world, successful and rewarding career and me winning Wife & Mother of the year award for the second time. Of course when I finally celebrated my 29th birthday, I only had one reason to celebrate.

I am the eldest child. I have four younger sisters and three younger brothers. My dad, now retired, used to work with the government while my mom is a full time housewife. I guess with that many children, and only one source of income, money was limited. Family outing, vacations and toys were considered as luxury and unnecessary. To avoid the children from practically killing each other, my parents encouraged us, to read. Every weekend as a treat, my dad would send us, the older ones, to the public library in town thought I suspect my parents only wanted some peace and quiet time at home.

It wasn’t easy being the eldest child. My parents are always occupied with chores and the younger siblings so I had to fight really hard for their attention. Obviously I never won because when I throw tantrums, they will give me the whole speech about me being the eldest, I need to grow up and set good example to others. If I do something bad, I will only get scoldings or a date with Mr Belt or Ms Cloth Hanger depending the seriousness of my offense.

Enid Blyton taught me how to use what I think is the greatest toy ever which is my imagination. She introduced me to the world of fairy tales and made believe. She helped me to build my own little world where nothing matters except me.

Books became my secret and safe hiding place. When I am unhappy I would open a book and immediately I am in a different world living a different life. With all the fairy tales stories and "they lived happily ever after", it’s only natural for a girl like me to dream my own "happily ever after".

Then in my adolescent years I found my second inspiration in life. The venue St Francis Convent Secondary School. The group responsible was The New Kids On The Block. After they beg me not to go, promise to love me forever, taught me bout hangin tough and to always have the right stuff; music has become a great influence in my life. My friends and I would exchange lyrics we painfully transcribe ourselves. Play cassette. Listen. Write. Rewind. Repeat Process. In fact, I was so into music, I had to perform in every school function. There was that period when I wanted to be a popstar but that version of happily ever after gave up and retired to the Land of What Ifs.

You must be wondering how did music shaped my presentiment. It’s the lyrics. The promises of true love and happily ever after. Songs about dreams coming true. It made me believe even more.

Personally, music to me is a souvenir of significant occasions and clips of people who are special to me. It also helps me to escape reality by shutting the outside world with Linkin Park singing my feelings that I cannot express. Sometimes I will also pretend I am J’Lo although I know I am more like jelly. When my esteem is down, I will sing my theme song and I would feel a lot better. I recommend everyone to get a theme song of their own. It is very therapeutic.

I walked into adulthood across the sea. The South China Sea. It was an entirely different world for me. I also learned that life isn’t always what it seems to be and is it definitely not what you want it to be. When I had to quit college, I only allowed myself a week of self-pity. The world would not stop just because my dream had to take a short break. Other people had bigger obstacles and yet they all manage to do just fine. So I counted my blessing and got my first job in advertising.

I was fortunate to have a job that opened a whole new world to me. I have met a lot of people and got involved with many projects that I never even imagine doing. It was then when I learn about people and their characters. I learned what hypocrisy is but I also learn the meaning of true friends. I accepted what had happened and decide to use only the good experiences as my inspirations in life. It was at this stage in life I learn to listen not only with my head but also with my heart.

One day, I realized my life had changed again. I sat down. I read a particular book. I thought about those people who have done it. I think of their strength and courage. I listened to my theme song over and over. I made up my mind. With little planning, I crossed two fingers and hope things will work out fine and it did. I redefined my priorities. I eventually packed all my earthly possessions and moved in with my parents here in KK. It was tough. I was out of job for five months. People told me I was over qualified. It was funny because I thought with only my SPM I would be under qualified. One day I saw an ad for a vacancy in XXX. Without thinking much about it, I applied and I was offered a different position, but I accepted it because I needed the money. Now almost a year later, I am here doing my Ice Breaker speech. Advertising and Hotel are different but along the way I begin to love my job and I have been learning so many things.

Though life is not what I wish it would be, I am happy. There are countless real life Cinderella and rags to riches story. Nothing is impossible. My presentiment helped me to look forward to the future and to enjoy the simplest things in life. We all need motivations in life and this is why I will hold on to them for another 29 years.

By the way, if you wondering what is that one thing I have out of the list, he is my almost 2 year old son.

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