Love and ashes

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Ash Wednesday! Not since 1945 have both occasions fallen on the same day. And not since ever have I cared much for either. Guess I’m just a little jaded. Today, couples make very visible shows of their affection for each other. And florists and restaurants make a killing. Today, the faithful step out of Mass with a dusty cross brushed onto their … Continue reading Love and ashes

Dressember reflections

After Movember came Dressember, and suddenly it’s January 2018 and I’m in a pair of shorts. I won’t pretend that I have any new appreciation for pants, that it was somehow difficult to wear only dresses – all day, every day – for 31 days. It isn’t like the 40-Hour Famine, where you get a taste of what it means to go without. It isn’t … Continue reading Dressember reflections

The deepest dreams

I was never much of a dreamer as a kid. Forget being a princess, pilot, pop star or police officer. All I ever aspired to was to be an accountant – a short degree with strong job prospects.*

I’m not even kidding. To tell you the truth, I was an unambitious and cynical child.

The funny thing is that somewhere along the way into adulthood, I did start dreaming.

I dreamed of changing the world. Perhaps it was born of a desire to prove that my unambitious and cynical younger self was so, so wrong.

Changing the world hardly seemed a dream to me, though. In my early-to-mid-twenties, I started to appreciate that changing the world is within reach of each of us, that the smallest gesture can be a part of a bigger picture. That it doesn’t have to be dramatic or headline-worthy to be, well, worthy. To count as real change.

And since it was something I was already in the process of doing, it never seemed a far off reality. It never seemed far away enough to be called a dream.

So whaddya know – it seems I’ve been living the dream.

But there are also dreams I’m yet to live. These are not things I hope I manage to do before I die, nor will I feel unfulfilled if they don’t happen. Far from being a bucket list, this is a set of six longings that speak to the core of who I am.

I’m sharing them with you here, to encourage you to discover (if you haven’t already) and reflect on your own dreams. Continue reading The deepest dreams

Going for glocal

The other day my dad kindly informed me that if I ever stood for politics I’d need to renounce my Malaysian citizenship. This, of course, occurred in the context of the dual citizenship debacle that has kept Australia entertained for the last few months. Now I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that my father thinks a political career is a real possibility … Continue reading Going for glocal

A Big Deal? Melbourne Cup memories, millennials and Michelle Payne

I first discovered that the Melbourne Cup was a Big Deal when my kindergarten class ran our own sweepstakes. There was no money involved, of course, and I don’t recall watching the race, but every 5 and 6 year old in the class drew a small piece of paper from a Danish cookie tin. Thus were we each assigned a horse. Being a very rational … Continue reading A Big Deal? Melbourne Cup memories, millennials and Michelle Payne

So there’s this giant thank you card you should sign

I wasn’t always an optimist – quite the contrary. When I was 14, I wrote this poem about climate change: The earth heats up The sea rises And so we sink Deeper into ignorance It’s good, right? Yeah, well, as much as there was something satisfying about writing emo poetry and listening to Linkin Park – and I still do both occasionally, though never at … Continue reading So there’s this giant thank you card you should sign

Paradise

Paradise, he declares while I proceed to speak of chains. I am Con-Tiki in reverse, a raft that’s weathered wind and wave. But I’ve tethered me to this here shore, I’m jealous of the roaming tide; these feet that wander rarely now, this heart traversing cloud. Freedom, his desire’s for while forty-five million slaves cry out. Deaf to their lament, their groans, blind to his own … Continue reading Paradise