Tag Archives: birthday

Birthday Note of a Boring Pacifist

Birthday Note of a Boring Pacifist

All my life, I strive to be the two words above: boring and pacifist.

I hardly indulge on exciting worldly satisfaction, despite the temptation often comes with profession.
I try my hardest to oppose what I feel as unnecessary acts violence, or even hardship put unto others.
Alright, I even force myself to be neutral all the time, not siding to any definite position in any situation.

Whenever possible, however much I can, whatever circumstances.

The cost of doing so?
You are robbed the joy of life.

Because to be boring and pacifist at the same time require tremendous perfection that not only tiptoeing making mistakes, but not making mistakes at all.
In the famous words of 1960s crime caper TV series: Mission Impossible.

But I make mistakes all the time.
I make mistakes without knowing I make one all the time.
I make people hurt from the mistakes, that hurt me in return.
I often disagree with other people in many circumstances.
I have to come with unpopular decision in numerous occasions, just to get things going.

In short, you cannot be boring pacifist.

You can only be yourself, because in the end, you are the one who is only able to save yourself.

I’ve lost people in great emotional distance in the past year. I’ve discovered unpleasant sides that have been covered and clouded over years.

But in return, I find myself again.

That it’s okay to lose a few, because you will gain many.
That it’s okay to be hurt, because over time you will be strong.
That it’s okay to not have, because you actually already have.
That it’s okay to live, because that’s the one thing that matters.

I love boring things, that’s what Andy Warhol said once. I agree.
I just don’t have to be one.
Because we are never one.

This is my birthday note this year.


Posted by on 04/11/2018 in English, Personal



Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Our Investment, Our Statement, Our Everything

Let’s talk about investment, shall we?

Ah, yes. I can see you groaning, your yawn and disinterested look you are trying so hard to conceal right now.

What puts you off? The word ‘investment’ itself? Count me in. I did not even fake interest when I heard the word for the first time being shoved on to me. Really. I just left the word immediately, and never wanted to return. Until now.

Now when I feel at least half of my life has passed. Come to think of it. We have lived in the world more than half of our possible lifetime in the world, right? Or maybe not half yet. But we are definitely inching closer to that half-point mark.

And at times like these, I could not help wondering, what have I invested?

If you ask if I questioned ourselves about financial-related investment, the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

“Yes”, because what and how much we save is always more important than what and how much we earn in life.

“No”, because investment also applies to how we live our life.

Do we invest our time in doing the work that makes us happy?
Do we invest our expenses in what we need, rather than what we want?
Do we invest our brain to knowledge, instead of aimless pleasure?
Do we invest our tastebud to culinary, and not snacking?
Do we invest our love to the right people?
Do we invest our life to the right causes?

Do we invest our time well?

Well, who knows?

I cannot answer that for you. And that sucks. It does. You don’t feel pleasant whenever you are forced to look back at the past, only to realize so much, or too much has gone to waste, leaving you at whatever state you are in right now.

I have gained. I have lost. I have earned. I have lost. I have loved. I have lost. I have lived. And will do so until the luxury is taken away from me.

It does not hurt to spare so you can make investment. I cannot say it in a more subdued or subtle manner. Put aside extra time, money, effort, attention, what have you, to invest. See how your investments grow over time.

Or maybe by the time they grow, you won’t be able to see. That’s okay. Others will see, leaving memory of your presence intact. See, investment is preserving yourself. To be immortal. To be lived and remembered forever.

Be afraid not of making bad investments. For you can always do over.

And that’s my birthday note this year to you, dear.

Let’s put some imagination in our investment, shall we?


Posted by on 04/11/2017 in Blog, English, Personal


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Another Birthday Note Again

Another Birthday Note Again

If only we knew all along that getting older is fun. Especially if we realized many benefits that come with ageing. And until now, I still find it hard to believe.

One of those many benefits lies in forgiving. Or could it be ignorance?

Things that seem to bother us in the past, they do not seem to matter anymore at present time. Certainly not in the future.

Things that bug us so much until we lose sleep over them, they do not bug us anymore right now. Hopefully not in the future.

Things that disturb our peace in the past, we already make peace with them.


As we grow older, we only grow kinder with time. We accept the fact that time has been kind to us. 

Time finally allows us to look back with smile, that whatever happened in the past, they only make us able to live well in the moment, at the present time. And that is the greatest gift our advancing age has ever taught us.

Heartbreaks will be forgotten, heartbreakers will be forgiven.

Love will be rekindled, repeated, or revealed in any ways to keep us alive.

On each birthday, we may not realize that we keep adding the list of things and people that we secretly forgive and forget, because the issues they used to bring, those do not matter anymore.

Thus, I look forward to birthdays.

Because you get to celebrate yourself in overcoming the odds.

Have a happy one.




Posted by on 04/11/2016 in English, Personal


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Another Birthday Note

I don’t think I have ever been comfortable with myself. Has anyone ever?

Years ago, that actually seems like centuries ago, I was bullied by many as I was obese. Gradually I lost weight, and I lost more weight to the point of being accused of anorexic. I loved food, and still do, too much to throw away, let alone after eating. Then I gained a few kilos, people started saying that I looked fine, not fat nor thin, and it made me feel good. Gotta be honest about this.

Then I worked hard to maintain the seemingly proper weight. It was not easy. My weight kept fluctuating. I could go from looking plump to looking thin within a relatively short period of time. I tried applying a particular mantra “the thinner, the better”, but where did it get me? Nowhere. The body kept moving across like average stock index at any given month. I began losing track when I actually felt good about myself.

And how we concern about our physical attributes always affects how we think and perceive ourselves.

On top of that, a certain past relationship kept me wondering why I bothered to stay while the other party often made inappropriate comments about how I looked like. Of course, at that time, the comments passed of as jokes, albeit unfunny ones if I look back at it now.

Taking comments from other people about our physical appearances can take a toll on our mentality. We’re afraid to try new clothes. We keep getting obsessed with being perceived as “good” by others. We’re scared to eat. We think ourselves as unworthy.

All those sad notes, while we still have to make a living. We are stressed out. We are often feeling guilty over nothing.

Then suddenly, it all stops.

At least for me, the worrying stops.

It takes a while before I could just smile when someone greeted me with, “Do you gain weight?”, and still silently judge the other’s communication skill as other kind of greeting can easily be used. It is not easy at first. I take it personally, very personally, and you should, too. It is easy being superior over others albeit for a few minutes. But the effect on the other party? We always have no idea.

We have no idea, too, when we already lose weight, we still want more. We are still not satisfied. Once the flabby tummy’s gone, the wrinkles are still there. More people call us “sir” now than two years ago. Grey hairs are impossible to hide.

We are never satisfied.

I am never satisfied.

But I can accept.

Gone is the time of submitting photos 10 years ago in dating sites or for official purpose. Gone is the habit of reducing age as we press buttons on treadmill.

Time has never been kind to anyone. But if we are kind enough to ourselves, we get through time in a much more relaxing manner.

I still take way less selfie than anyone. Probably I only take selfie, and still not alone, once every 4 months. I still cringe when I see myself in work photos or videos.

But do I spend or waste my time dwelling on that? Hardly. Not anymore. For there are books to read, films
to watch, places to go, and sports as simple as running to do, we shall turn our utmost attention to those kinds of activities. They make us feel good. They make us feel smart. They make us feel that no time is wasted.

They enrich our lives.

And after some 600 words we read together, I still don’t think I have ever been comfortable with myself.

But I can accept, and live.

Have you?

Feel good (from

Feel good (from


Posted by on 04/11/2015 in English, Personal


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Eleven Things to Be Grateful This Year

Eleven Things to Be Grateful This Year

Another year, another forced moment to do self-reflection. Try with your darndest effort to ignore your birthday, but chances are, we cannot help but acknowledging OMG-I-am-older-but-am-I-wiser glimpse likely occuring throughout one particular day.

I am having one right now.

Whereas ideally this is supposed to be the right time to come up with inspirational notes, I’d like to step back a bit instead, and list down eleven things I should be grateful this year. Either way, I still come across as a bit of showing off, don’t I?
Well, that is undeniable. It may be true, it may not be. But listed down below are simply reminders that I should be grateful to see another year where some are denied this opportunity. Also, these shall motivate me to come up with a better list in the following years, right?

Right. Nothing left.

So, in no particular order, in the past 12 months, I have been grateful enough to have a home I can call my own the first time. After years of waiting, finally this yet-to-be-financially-wealthy being has a crib of his own, no matter how small it is. Hey, everything starts small, doesn’t it? Even if this home remains as it is, it still is a home, and not just a house.

Speaking of small, a little bundle of joy coming in the form of my niece makes me the first time uncle this year. A biological uncle, to be precise, which fuels excitement of receiving baby pics from my sister and showing them off with pride to colleagues. Oh God. I am one of those annoying parents on Facebook, aren’t I?

Being unable to give birth to children then, I decide to pass that to my sister, and I give birth to another thing: a short film festival. It’s not new, but I’ve never been with a film festival from its inception all this time. Sure, I spent years in one, but the baby we made attracts newnkinds of audiences unlike anything we’ve ever seen in other similar events. Those wide eyed new filmmakers, audiences who flock and support their friends … Truly an enthusiasm I could not ask for more.

Speaking of enthusiasm, or more like it, I have decided to visit this country, my first time visiting this country, on my birthday. In fact, I am writing this while waiting for the plane to bring me there. Ecstatic? You bet. Finally I can tick off one point on my wish list items.
But more excited is to have this trip with company, which is the first time in years, after repeated solo travelings.
Sure, I enjoy doing those me-time in unknown land, but at one point, you could not help feeling alone.
Sometimes we want to have a familiar person to take our pictures, instead of keep asking, “excuse me, could you do me a favor of …” to strangers.
Sometimes we want to have pictures of us and someone else, instead of still objects which we already collect gigabytes of them.
Sometimes we want to share with one person during traveling, not more.

Once a friend tells me, every relationship always feels new. It cannot be more true. Indeed, for the first time (in years) to feel like the first time is something I am thankful for.

Pretty much the same gratitude also goes to the time I traveled across the country late last year. From the furthest point in the West to the capital of the furthest province in the East in a month? Three cities in a week? Apart from making airport a familiar shelter, tired bones felt home as well. But when you get to see this image below, why bother complaining?

I shall not complain that from now on, I am on my own, work-wise, with all exciting projects lining up. And definitely I shall be grateful to be free from physical illness that crippled me with walking sticks last year, and eternally blessed to be constantly surrounded by two favorite F words: friends and family.

But you know what makes me grateful the most here?
That this is the first time I am writing this kind of note.

Have a good day, you.



Posted by on 04/11/2013 in Personal


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If today is your birthday …

… then perhaps it is best to set aside the fact that time is ticking faster to the end, and start counting often-unforeseen blessings that usually include:

1. our ability to immediately forget wrongdoings once we decide to forgive them;

2. our employment, be it on our own or being employed, as long as we keep working;

3. our health, which we only realize its importance when we fall sick, but hey, we make it back from the gloom, don’t we?!;

4. our ability to open up our hearts again for relationship even though it has been bruised many times, because excitement overrules pain;

5. our friends, who slap with harsh words in front of us, laugh with and laugh at together, and say “Let’s” more often than “I think”;

6. our sense of accomplishment in getting impossible deals, solving unresolved work problems in long emails, and looking fresh for presentation despite lack of sleep;

7. our ability to laugh at ourselves;

8. our competitors and nemesis to make us compete;

9. our family of any kind, long gone or still present, who have shaped us to what we are now;

10. our sufficient material possession that allows us to sleep at night, eat decent meal and wear proper clothes to define what we are; and lastly,

11. our ability to read this note and realize that from the title up to this point, this is basically one very long sentence.

If you ask why there are 11 points while it could be less or more, that’s because today is my birthday. But who am I to occupy the date solely? There are at least six people I call them friends who share the same birth date, and millions others out there whom we have not met yet.

This note is for you all to read in your own birthday.

Have a happy one.

Courtesy of

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Posted by on 04/11/2012 in English, Personal


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