Of Underrated Solitude and Rainbow Sparkles***

I spent Friday night in alone cos i only managed to eat dinner i made at 10pm, and by the time i’d slowly finished chewing (which is tiring when you’re exhausted!) i decided not to go out for a group celebration and stayed in instead. My body and mind were fighting each other. My body said no, my mind felt guilty. In the end i pushed the guilt away and decided to put myself first.

The reason i’m always out is because i have a problem saying “No” to people. I’m such a people pleaser sometimes. I just want everyone to be happy! But i really needed some time for myself to just THINK and be QUIET and do things at HOME.

I ended up doing so many things! I allowed myself to just flow from whatever i felt like to the next.

That night’s dinner dishes in the sink caught my eye and i sighed, “Might as well get to it now before i’m too tired to do it.” So i did the dishes. Then i folded the laundry that had dried. And while i was keeping the folded clothes in the bedroom, i caught sight of my half past six job of colour coordinating my wardrobe, and decided to continue it.

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The folded stuff are tops, shorts and leggings that don’t wrinkle. Next to this wardrobe is another one with all my hanging stuff in black, blue, green, yellow, and brown.

I took almost 3 hours to sort a quarter of my wardrobe out. 2 more sessions to go.

Then i organised my lingerie drawer, and picked out all these bras that don’t fit me anymore to send for the Neubodi event.

I’m just gonna copy paste what was in the email i got here cos i’m too lazy to word it out for you:

“This charity campaign titled “OLD BRAS FOR CASH” is a charity bra drive, where we will be collecting gently laundered bras/used bras, which will then be donated to the women in Kathmandu, Nepal. Second hand bras are considered very much a luxury item in Nepal, and with these second hand bras, it can help them to start up a business in the second hand clothing market, which allows them to earn up to 5x of their minimum wage.

We will be officially working with UPLIFTBRAS.ORG, and for every purchase made at a Neubodi specialty store, RM1 will be donated to BCWA, Breast Cancer Welfare Association.”

I mean, that’s pretty cool right? And i always felt terrible about throwing out bras. They’re such expensive items and it’s not like you wear them till they die. Some of the ones that didn’t fit anymore (cos i lost a fair bit of weight after my allergy fiasco) are still fairly decent.

When i was done it was 2am and i figured it was time to reward my efforts with a glass of cab sav. I’d have preferred a Malbec but i can’t find any in the house. (Have to buy some. < Mental note!!) I ended up thinking about all i’d gone thru that week – rushing a presentation for a government funding opportunity, the shop KinkyBlueFairy is gonna open at Seek & Keep @ BSC this coming weekend, the work for other projects i still hadn’t completed, small ideas i have here and there that i needed to get on. Through all that pondering, a very clear idea on how i needed to shift things around came to me.

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The MAGIC that happens

Oh man, it’s not like i want this blog to die, but there’s JUST SO MUCH going on
and i honestly don’t know how much i want or can put out here in public.
Work stuff, personal stuff, spiritual stuff, every day stuff.

I just feel that… i can’t just SAY everything that actually goes on in my life cos
1) people will think i’m mad
2) i’m not ready to share things that are up in the air lest i jinx it

There are all these surprises that happen to me without my ever thinking they could happen… and i think it’s because i manifested them.

I’ve been going through some major changes in the past two years of my life,
and the motions were so difficult to swim through in the beginning.
It was like going against the tide and wondering if my intentions were for nil.
But something in me kept spurring me on and on… whether i wanted it to or not.

I didn’t like where i was in my career two years ago so i changed it.
I quit my very cushy advertising job that was throwing buckets of money at me to become a starving artist/struggling entrepreneur of sorts. It wasn’t easy cos i had to take a major pay cut. From an enviable position of thoughtlessly throwing money on endless holidays and impulsive shopping sprees, i suddenly had to cut back and flow all my earnings into my meagre company account i just started.

I didn’t like being tied down to a single agent who controlled my advertising, so i cut my contract.
As most in the industry know, i was working with one company exclusively for about five years to manage all the advertising that took place via my blog. There is no doubt we both aided each other in growing leaps and bounds, but i felt that it was time for me to fly solo. I didn’t want to obstruct myself from new opportunities i could envision myself revelling in, and long-term wise, i wanted to be able to handle my affairs independently.

I didn’t like how i felt so i changed myself, and the things around me.
Only my close friends know this, cos i would have never admitted it publicly before, but i was a very disturbed, stressed, angry and frustrated person last year. I didn’t know WHY i felt that way, and went through so many processes figuring it out. At first i thought it was a case of getting old (!!), then i thought it was my food, then my exercise, then the space i lived in, the people around me, then i went into MYSELF to figure what the HECK was going on. That was not a great phase in life but something i had to go through.

I found myself picking up books i was interested in to change myself… and realised i was lingering in the self-help section, and felt slightly despaired i’d ended up in THAT section that should not be named.

But you know what.

Everyone goes through different motions on how they handle their challenges in life.
I just knew that i didn’t want to wither and ACCEPT the way things were.
My life was already great, but for some stupid (i take that back, it’s not stupid, it’s just the way i am) reason, i wasn’t happy.

Happiness is my main goal. It’s my core value. I know it.
I listed down all the things that made me happy and worked towards it.
Relationships with my family and friends, movement and dance, prayer and meditation, self improvement and growth, career advancement, exploration and travel, health and exercise… and then the more physical stuff – toys, colour, books, fashion, money. A butler. I keep on thinking how i want a butler lately but i digress. But yes, all these things make me happy. In the end, we’re all spiritual beings having a physical experience. So why not make the most of my human experience man. Go all the way. A yacht, a ship with staff, an island, dream it big. Sometimes i daydream about all the things i will have.

The more i opened myself to the thought of change, small windows and gradually, bigger doors started opening. Mastering the flow of life is like mastering any new skill or art. It feels like pushing through quicksand in the beginning, then as you get the hang of it, you move a bit faster, then faster, then you’re trotting, then you’re doing a sprint now and then, and suddenly you feel like you’re running. You feel the wind on your face, the magic of movement on your cheeks. You feel like you can fly.

I am inspired by the fragility of life through the books i’ve read, the loss of lives i love, or the sheer brush with death that comes with the horrible C that some of my friends have been, or are, bravely battling.

There will always be darkness with light, ups with downs. I accept that, and i pray that i will be strong enough to take whatever comes my way.

This is just the start of my journey. I feel excited about LIFE. It’s been a long time since i felt this way, and i’m SO GRATEFUL that i feel this intense… JOY and POWER and LOVE and MAGIC in me. It just took me time to realise and harness it.

I just want you to know that you have the magic in you too.
You just need to realise it yourself, make the changes that need be, and watch carefully.

At the end of the day, the solution is LOVE.
Love yourself truly, and the Universe will love you so much more back.

 

Bvlgari x Bazaar @ Pavilion

*Text by Joe Kwan & pics by SweetEe*

I hope you’ve noticed Bulgari’s latest ad campaigns, with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s face plastered on every medium imaginable, from magazine ads to multi-storey billboards. This iconic Italian brand has famously cinched screen legends such as Sofia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor, whom we all know as the pinnacle of classic glamour.

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SweetEe and I were fortunate enough to experience the Bulgari Glamour Gallery event at Pavilion, in conjunction with Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia, to celebrate the new Lucea watch by Bulgari.

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The Lucea watches were designed as a throwback to the Sun, man’s first time-telling tool. Presented with a rounded case, it is anchored by the iconic Serpentine bracelet in steel or pink gold, or a combination of both. The dials that complement this watch come in silver, guilloché black or mother-of-pearl.

For a full fairytale princess experience, there is a version of the 33mm Lucea in 18-karat pink gold adorned with a diamond bezel, diamond-set bracelet, and diamond hour markers. Oh my!

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There are two floors in Bulgari Pavilion. The top floor offers various accessories such as sunglasses, scarves, bags, etc, whereas the bottom floor serves jewellery, the soul of Bulgari. Different ranges of jewelry in various colours, cuts, and sizes prove you’ll never fail to find one you love.

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These were spotted in the private room of Bulgari, which I’m guessing is either for VIP, or is more refined and expensive than the other collection. I gotta admit, the ring looks fine, and captivating. I love the colour of the blue gemstone, it feels so pure.

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Everyone dressed to the nines matching the dress code – Modern Italian.

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Model Shir Chong with her manager. She’s wearing necklaces from the Diva collection.

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Moschino @ Pavilion

*written by SweetEe and pics by Jane Lee*

I have fond memories of Moschino, as it was the first designer item I bought for myself. A rebel in that era, Moschino attracted attention for its designs which were lively, fun, colourful, witty and provocative. It challenged the fashion establishment i.e. a mockery of the classic Chanel Jacket. ‘Stop The Fashion System’ was definitely one of the brand’s more memorable campaigns.

Its ingenious founder, Franco Moschino, began his fashion journey by being a fashion illustrator for Gianni Versace. Many years later, Moschino the label was born. Today, Moschino’s creative director is Jeremy Scott. The LA-based designer was once an intern for the brand and is known for his wild imagination and daring adventure with fashion.

Moschino is now in Pavilion with a bigger, bolder, and crazier stand alone store that is easy to spot. The store is bright with plenty of mirrors (great for selfies) and mannequins in giant bird cages!

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We attended their event that was to introduce us to their legendary biker bag and the FW 2014 collection. A portion of the famous collection “Fast Fashion – Next Day After the Runway” was also available in the store. Yes peeps, the quirky Ronald McDonald series, and SpongeBob pieces inspired by the catch phrases ‘fast food’ and ‘fast fashion’ are there!

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Pumps at RM 3100.

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The Spongebob collection! Jane and I tried on the cuff which is heavier than it looks.

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Colours, patterns, more colours! I felt like a kid in a candy store,
with expensive sweets all around me and I just wanted to have em’ all.

Click more to dwell in the wonderland of Moschino!

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Live In Levi’s Malaysia @ KLCC till this Sunday!

For this entire week, there’s a massive set up for the Live In Levi’s® Premiere at the Main Concourse in KLCC!

Celebrating over 140 years of sharing denim with the world, Levi’s® has created a showcase to share with everyone how the denim label has marked history and shaped style and culture in Malaysia!

I’m so chuffed to announce that i’m one of the personalities Levi’s® has picked to be a part of this campaign.
Check out my profile they’ve set up on their website *here*! YAYNESS

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There’s even a little KinkyBlueFairy corner they set up there *beams*

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You won’t miss a huge customization area where you can get any Levi’s® apparel you purchase there done up for free. Get embroidery designs done, or iron-on patches exclusively created by two prominent artists in KL.

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The above are designed by quirky tattoo artist Lynda Chean (who inked my Peter Rabbit on me!)

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Above is illustrator / motion graphic designer / artist Art:tech with his iron-on designs.

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The place was packed and people had their shopping mode ON!

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Levi’s® also collaborated with renowned fashion designer Hatta Dolmat to create three specially-customised ladies’ Trucker Jackets. They’re all being featured at the showcase, and proceeds of their sales will go towards the National Autism Society of Malaysia.

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On two giant screens looming above the space, rotate visuals showing off the #LIVEinLEVIS project photographer Vincent Paul Yong and i have been working on the past month. We tracked down 20 Malaysians who inspire us, spoke to them about how Levi’s® have been present in their lives, and shot them in their various work or living environments.

I must say that i was completely touched by so many of their stories, some of them even made me shed a tear or two! I will be sharing some of the full interviews i did, on my blog in the coming weeks :)

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On the right is rapper Kayda Aziz, also one of Levi’s® personalities.
Her mum is none other than Sheila Majid, which would explain her stunning features.

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Rock band Oh Chentaku. I wish i met them all properly! There was so much going on..!

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My girls – Didi, me, Sarah, Sueann, Myra.

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Veteran model and actress Bernie Chan emceed the event.
Check out her outfit. Her ensemble and all that of the models for the show were styled by Sheryl Oon!

Seriously, that girl has major skill.
Sheryl will be giving styling tips at the Live In Levi’s®Premiere at these times!
» 9-12 September > 6:00 – 8:00pm
» 13-14 September > 1:00 – 3:00pm; 4:00 – 6:00pm

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The stage is impressive… i just discovered it was constructed by The Biji Biji Initiative, and is fully eco-sustainable and made from repurposed materials.

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And then guess who performed live!? Sheila Majid!!!

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Sheila told us that the skirt she was wearing was specially customized for her from a few pairs of Levi’s® jeans by Raja Malek AKA Chelek (standing next to her) years and years ago! Fascinating!

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The legendary singer entertained us with Warna, Fly Me To The Moon, Lagenda,
Antara Anyer dan Jakarta, Aku Cinta Padamu, and ended with Sinaran!

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Check out the crowd

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All the Levi’s® Personalities on stage together, check out all the pictures and profiles under the Personalities tab *here*!

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Make sure you check out everything at the concourse area cos it’s only up till this Sunday 14th September!

There’s also a MAJOR CONTEST Levi’s® is having where the Grand Prize is…
a trip to San Francisco for 2!

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Read more details about the Grand Prize and all the experiences you could win *HERE*!

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Even if you don’t get the Grand Prize, you can still aim for the Monthly or Weekly Prizes which include:
- a trip for 4 to Japan with RM10,000 spending allowance
- customized Levi’s® jeans from the Levi’s® Tailor Shop in San Fran
- 7x RM200 Levi’s® vouchers
- 3x Bonus Prizes EVERY week till 30th September 2014! i.e. Dr Dre headphones

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All this is on at the Main Concourse area of Suria KLCC until 14th September 2014 so you better get yourself there ASAP.

Check out liveinlevis.levi.com.my for a LOT more info.

More pictures of people at the launch after the jump!

CLICK TO READ MORE

Why we have to stop. For real.

I had a most unexpected conversation with Baby over lunch today (that’s her nickname).
She’s a fairly new friend, whom i feel a lot of love for, and she suddenly shared with me how her dad passed away from cancer at age 66.

I just stared at her in the eyes and said, “I’m so sorry…”

Her: Yeah. He was in the hospital for three months before he passed away.
Me: What cancer was it?
Her: Lung cancer.
Me: Shit.
Her: Yeah…

Then we were quiet for awhile.

Me: That’s like, my worst fear.
Her: I know right. It’s the worst worst…

Baby’s eyes went slightly glassy and i started choking up from the emotion that filled the air.

She told me how they only found out at stage 4 cos it’s such a silent killer.
How he felt tired for weeks and didn’t want to go to work.
How he lost his appetite.
How his back hurt and he would want to lie on the floor to sleep cos it felt better.
How he refused to go to the doctor.
How the family forced him to go in the end.

She said that he gradually became immobile, and couldn’t talk for 2 months leading up to his death.
He vomited blood cos his lungs were failing and somewhat cracking inside.

Me: Oh my god… it must have been so painful… To have your organs fail in you while you’re still alive…
Her: Yeah la. He was on morphine all the time. He couldn’t even drink water.
Me: Then how?
Her: We had to drip it into his mouth…
Me: Oh man…

Her: On the day he died, he couldn’t move or talk. He moved his finger a little bit like this *gestured her pointer finger moving up and down slightly* to show that he wanted to sit up, so we would all prop him up la. Then he moved his finger like this *moved her own finger slightly from side to side* and we knew he wanted to look out of the window. So we carried him with his morphine and everything to the window so he could look outside. He smiled a bit… then we carried him back to his bed. After that he just… got worse and passed away at 7:30pm.

Oh i couldn’t take it. I was totally crying openly by then in the cafe.
Luckily we were sitting in a corner but i don’t think i cared very much.

The reason this came up is because Baby and Vince convinced me to get a vape recently. I’ve been trying to stop smoking, and it’s so hard. I figured this could be a stepping stone for me to wean myself off cigarettes till i get disgusted by its smell and taste, and then wean myself off the vape. (We got ours from Vapebrothers.) Baby said that her dad had been smoking since he was a teenager.

Me: Do you regret not telling him something to stop him from smoking..?
Her: ALL THE TIME. I would never wish what we went through on any of my friends… to watch someone you love suffer like that… If i know that my friend’s parents are smoking, i have to tell them.

Me: Do you think about him?
Her: Every day. We still talk about him, like memories we have, “do you remember..?”

Then she told me happy memories of how her dad and her would have a lunch date every Friday since she was in primary school, and how her mum and him made a pact that they would only be separated by death. I was quite amazed by how she could tell me all this without crying. I guess she must have cried everything out.

Me: 2011… it’s quite recent…
Her: YEAH. I knew i had to stop smoking after that happened but i didn’t know how. Then Vince intro-ed the vape to me la.

Me: Have you told many people this story?
Her: Just close friends…
Me: You should write about it and tell people. It’s not that we DON’T know all this… we somehow delude ourselves into thinking we won’t get it, or it’s a small percentage.
Her: No man. Lung cancer is real. It’s REAL!

Then i thought about how i’m the one with the blog.
So maybe i’m the one who should be writing about it.
I asked Baby for permission to blog about what she told me today,
and she said yes, hence this post you just read.

Thanks for letting me share your painful experience with everyone today.
I already have a desire to quit smoking, and this further cements my resolution to stop.

If this post affects even one person enough to make them rethink their addiction to cigarettes, or even to talk to someone they love about their addiction, then it is not for nothing.

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I posted the link to this on my Facebook and decided to share some comments on similar stories:

“Sad. And unfortunately it could have been worse. I saw my Dad going through the same aged 67. My memory is normally rubbish, but what I saw 25 years ago was truly horrific and permanent. Fuck me – if (for whatever reason) your lungs end up in that state, please make sure you have your Geneva clinic booked in advance. No family should have to go through that kind of ending.”
- Lui Zurawski

:( My granddad smoked from when he was 18. He finally quit when he turned 59/60, but by then the damage was done and a couple of years later, lung cancer struck. He was gone in 4 months or so when I was 12. My cousins and I don’t smoke because we remember his last months where breathing was difficult, and chemo was harsh on his body, and how tough it was on the family. Today, we still miss him dearly and wish he were here to see us grow up :( It’s really not worth it, Joyce!”
- Xin-Ci

 

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