Thursday, February 4, 2016 | By: VenWizard

That One Book That Impacted Me So Much

Let me get this straight: I am not the self-help-book person! I do not go to a bookstore, hurry to the "Self-Help" Section, glimpse through the covers of the new arrivals on the shelf, and buy one home! At least … not before I read "Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success". 

It was one of those days when I was off the hook from work, and as part of my routine, before watching a movie, I would walk into The Monument Bookstore, just one floor below the cinema. I had no particular book in mind then, but even if I did, I would not be willing to spend money on any when I could get access to plenty of free pirated ebooks (thanks for not judging me). The widely-beaming bald man with super white teeth and in a suit-and-tie fashion was staring straight at me from the cover of a book as I took a few steps closer to the shelf. I had known Steve Harvey ever since I started watching those talk shows, and who wouldn't have when his name was always associated with The Family Feud? Just to kill the time, I decided to flip through a few pages, and began reading. I finished one page after another. And before I knew it, I was standing there for almost an hour, and I was already somewhere halfway through the book. There were moments of adrenaline rushing down my spine as I processed some of the things he wrote. It was no doubt I felt empowered. Motivated. Ready. By far, this had been the ONLY self-help book which impressed me to the point where I knew I had to get it from the shelf! So I bought the book. I even went as far as downloading the audio files so that I could listen to him in the car, and during my bicycle ride. 

Okay! Since I have limited experience reading self-help books, I do not know whether other books of the same genre could possibly have that kind of impact that this book has had on me. I would really love to recommend this book to anyone who is at this point in life who feels you are tired with your own routines and you sort of feel you are going in circles. If you are that person, then you might wanna give it a try. But then if you are not at that stage yet, maybe just give it a pass!
Thursday, January 21, 2016 | By: VenWizard

WHY I AM STILL SINGLE

I am turning 28 in three weeks, and I am still single. I am sure you can probably imagine the growing frustration at every dinner table during my catch-up reunion dinners. When a lot of your friends are either married or--at the very least, dating, and you are neither, they probe you like you are some sort of an interesting subject of a life science experiment. They start putting you on the spot and scrutinising you as if there was something quite dangerously wrong about you. At first, I attempt to open up and walk them through the reasons why I am not dating, not that I do not have a chance. But the funny thing is no matter how truthful you are willing to be with them, they still refuse to digest the reasons, and prefer to stick to their own skepticisms. After a while, I just give up on the explanations.

I am dedicating this post to those friends and acquaintances of mine who genuinely want to find out why I am still single. Should this discussion pop up at any dinner tables in the near future, I will just refer them to this blog post. It is important that you TRUST me, or else, do not even bother reading the rest of the entry.

WHY I AM STILL SINGLE:

1. Multiple dates, similar cycles. Let me get one thing straight! I have tons of dates! Because I have so much experience dating around, I realise there is a similar pattern to every dating process. While the process is fun and exciting at first, after a while, I get to the point where I go, "Ahhhhh! She isn't right for me!" Don't judge me just yet! I am not a player! I always start every date with a serious intention! There has got to be some sort of chemistry before I start, but as much as I love it to blossom into something beautiful, it does not end that way. With a lot of those girls, I still remain friends with them, though.

2. Heart breaks. If I have to name one thing that has changed me into the person I am today, it has to be that last relationship. I liked this girl. I chased after her for two years. I finally confessed, but I got rejected. I kept a good distance from her. After a while, we got to hang out again along with other friends. I confessed again because I was not ready to let go. I got rejected again. We lost touch for a while. One day, a friend of hers told me she liked me. I was confused. Mad confused. But again, I was not ready to let go. I asked her again. This time she said she was not sure. So somehow we got into this so-called "three-month-trial" relationship. Things were pretty at first. After a while, even before the deadline, I was sure she was not into me. So we broke up. I spent roughly three years with this girl. Now we are not in touch anymore. I do not see the reasons why we need to be. It is best for us. It is best for me. It was a living hell for me, at first. But because of this relationship, I learnt so much. 

3. Different person. A lot of people raise their eyebrows in scepticism when I give them relationship advice because I am single. What they do not know is I am probably one of the few people they know who has dated so much, reflected so much about dating, tried so much, and given up so much too. So if anything, I am definitely qualified enough. Thanks to all of the experiences, I have become a better person. I do not see the relationship the same way, with so much heart invested. I am more logical. 

4. Different focus. I am at this point in my life where I focus so much on building myself: my career and my business. I have never been so full of myself before. Because every decision I make, and every effort I put in involves leading up towards my goals, anything else such as a relationship is a distraction. I have witnessed how much commitment and effort some of my friends put into maintaining their relationship, and it exhausts me!

5. Miss Right not found. Even my definition of "Miss Right" has changed over the years. I can only date someone who understands me. Yup. It might sound like a cliche but it is very fundamental to my relationship if i am going to be engaged in one. She has to understand I am no longer that man who chases after her, who pleases her, and who cares so much about what she is up to. I need my space, and my time for working towards my goals. That is to say, if she seeks too much of my attention, I gotta say goodbye to her. She has to be mature in the sense that she gotta have goals of her own, and knows how to get there. That way, she is busy pursuing hers too, and that way she does not feel I am the only one doing something about my life. Also, I find that kind of girl very attractive. 

Okay, now you know why! I would be lying if I told you I had never had second thoughts about the whole relationship thing. But I am glad my senses win me over. Besides, I have never been so happy being single in my life like right now. I feel the drive to pursue what I want to do with my future, and the last thing I want to have is a bad relationship that sucks me back into that sink hole!
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | By: VenWizard

Gaara Sand


I am here today because i just finished reading Gaara's latest post, and as ALWAYS, the sadness and nostalgia are splashed all over. But if there is one thing I can take away from the entry, it has to be the fact that he has always been around here, on the other side of the fence of the writing world. The lengthy, more detailed, but less popular side. Without his dedication and commitment for blogging, I might have given up on blogging too. Yup! You heard me right--though I hate to give him credits for that! Anyways, every time before I blog, I always read his posts. Now imagine having nothing to read EVER from him--no matter how lame he can sometimes get! So yeah, I owe a great deal to him for being that source of blogging inspiration he has always been since Day 1. Because of this, I would like to WASTE this particular entry on him: The Gaara Sand!

Flashing back to 2004, I met this guy! He was a nerd from head to toe. Everything about him screamed "NERD". His glasses. His hairstyle. His shoes. His backpack. Even his way of carrying himself around. You see, I was, too, but cooler! We happened to be in the same class at IFL--not that I could have a choice, and as much as my memory could serve me right, we were not close. Not then. Not now. But we were both huge fans of Harry Potter, and that was probably why I gave him a chance and talked to him in the first place. But let me get one thing straight: between the two of us, I was the smarter one. I OUTPERFORMED him in the class. After one particular grammar practice test, he approached me, to my surprise, but instead of being all nice and friendly, he challenged me to see who would get a better score from the test. The winner would get treated to a bottle of Coke at the school canteen. Well, as you could have, by now, guessed, it was NONE other than me and myself who scored higher than he did! While I took great pleasure in witnessing his sour face as a result of his defeats, this academic rivalry between us did not last long, though, since he left for Malaysia after his freshman year.

Facebook was not a thing back then. Even if it had been, he would not have been the Facebook type either. The only little string of connection we had was this platform: blogging. Given my passion for writing, blogging served my purpose. Also, it was that period of time when a lot of my close friends were active bloggers. I remembered having so much fun reading and commenting and posting entries. But then Facebook came along … one by one, my friends started giving up on blogging EXCEPT Gaara Sand. I got to admit that I, too, became less active as life and Facebook got in the way. So did Skype and other social network sites. However, the problem with Facebook was the limited number of words it allowed and therefore, it was in no way sufficient for all the lengthy and intricate thoughts that winded up their way in my head. So blogging was my last resort I turned to when I felt the need to pour down my thoughts.

Because Gaara was such a dedicated blogger, I got to know him on a deep and personal level. I learnt about his hobbies, his friends, his days, his dreams, and his insecurities. I guess he did learn about me too. I think we have had this level of understanding about each other even some of my close friends and I don't! It is probably because we are very open about our feelings in written forms, and not so much when it comes to speaking. As bookworms and movie geeks, we had the kind of conversations that I did not get to have with my close friends, and because he managed to fill up that space in my life, I always felt great talking to him in that regard. And if there was one thing I would never forget about him, it had to be the fact that he always gave me that little push in the whole authorship direction. In fact, he was the only person, out of my friends, who believed i could actually write a book and get it published! So for that, I thank him!

We both were emotional humans! On a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least emotional and 10 being the most, I was 9 and he was 7. But then I went through a lot of things. So did he. Now, if you ask me to rate ourselves on the scale again, I would say I am 5 and he is 8. Yup! Or maybe he has always been 8, but it is just that quite recently he has been very vocal about his emotions. Do I feel happy about it? Nope! I know exactly how it feels like to be fighting for your way through that dark tunnel alone. I was lost. I was confused. I was broken. So if anything, I want happier posts from him, Genuine, happy posts. If I had any rights to say anything about his choices, I would say: he needs to get out of his comfort zone. This is where every dark thought is born and grows.

Good luck, Gaara Sand!
Friday, September 25, 2015 | By: VenWizard

Youta--The Great Sun

People say life is a miracle, and yes, this little young man is a living miracle. His name is KONG Youta. "Youta" is a Japanese word meaning "great sunlight/sun", and I can proudly say I am the uncle who came up with this name for him. Uncle, yes. I am officially an uncle. Anyway, he was born on the 13th of September, 2015 at Bumrungrad Hospital when the clock struck 10:28AM. He has brought so much joy to both families though we might handle his birth differently.

Never a day has passed without my parents constantly demanding to see their grandchild. Even though they don't sometimes get to see him in person, they still constantly ask for his pictures from my brother, the father of the child, through LINE since we have a LINE family group. For the time-being, every decision made in the family concerns Youta since we all want to make sure he gets the best upbringing. Watching how my parents have been handling the whole we-are-the-grandparents-now situation melts my heart. It opens my eyes more to the inexhaustible amount of love they have showered us with. 

My brother and sis-in-law are apparently worn out now from the lack of sleep after two weeks of welcoming the young Youta to the world. But from observation, there is so much joy and love hanging in the air between the tiny little family consisting of my brother, sis-in-law, and Youta. Now they are complete! Dreams, goals, jobs and a lot of other important aspects of their lives are on hold. It is amazing how huge an impact a child as little as Youta can bring out in their lives. I can't be more happy for them.

Me? I love my nephew! I have to admit before his birth I never thought i would be able to love a baby as much as I do love my nephew now. I mean, babies are cute and all, but to have the feeling of wanting to see the baby smile, or to experience the pain when seeing the baby cries the way Youta is alien to me, and I love feeling it that way. I like to watch him sleep. In fact, I can watch him sleep for hours. It is just indeed a miracle of life, and maybe I love him loads because I love my brother very much too? I love how he looks at me when i call his name. His eyes are beautiful. I can't help but wonder what kind of thoughts he could possibly be having at two-week-old. 

Hopefully, when Youta grows up and knows better English than his uncle, he will be able to read his post some time.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 | By: VenWizard

Ambivert

Yup, I am going down with flu again for the hundredth time--or more, all thanks to biking in the rain for two days in a row. I don't regret one bit, though. I enjoyed every minute of the ride! Anyways, because I am sick, a close friend of mine called me up to steam it all off and probably get some massage, but I turned him down. Okay, this is the thing about me: I am an ambivert!

I have come across quite a number of articles about ambiverts and have even taken some online personality quizzes to see if I really fit into that category. And yes, I do! You see, there aren't just two ends of a continuum: black and white, good and bad, happy and sad, introvert and extrovert. Life would be so much easier with just two categories. So I fall into the third category: the ambivert. I am an introvert and an extrovert on different occasions. I am super sociable when I know I need to build up networks with people in the same career field, but I also enjoy the luxury that doing things solo has to offer. I sometimes like being in a group discussion, sharing and listening. But sometimes I just don't wanna talk at all, not even to the closest people I know. It feels like I can be so socially active at one moment, and the next when my battery runs out, I lock myself up in solitude and just … recharge. The research shows that there is a high likelihood for ambiverts people to succeed because they really know how to communicate well, not too much and apparently not too little, making their interpersonal skills very admirable. 

To be honest, I always go around, babbling about how much of an introvert I am on the inside, but surprisingly, a lot of my friends think I am an extrovert. But now it all makes sense! I am the gray version of the black and white. And going back to my friend's case! I can tell he sometimes doesn't understand the hot-and-cold switch inside me. I could be loud and chatty when I'm all charged up. But during a moment like this when I'm sick and tired, I just wanna be on my own, doing my things, without having to talk. Given his chatty nature, he can't be still for five minutes. If we don't talk for five minutes, he thinks something is not right, and therefore, he comes up with all sorts of topics to get me involved. My usual self with lots of energy wouldn't mind, but on a day like this, the idea of it all already exhausts me. I remember telling him how i want some quality time by myself, and that whole concept of watching movies alone doesn't make any sense to him in his world. 

So yeah, you guys know me! I am in between, and being in between is awesome! It's like getting the best from both worlds!
Monday, August 17, 2015 | By: VenWizard
Thursday, August 6, 2015 | By: VenWizard

That Other Part of Me

Well, in case you haven't noticed, I am actually a government official. Yes, a government official who dreams of owning a pub! Forget about the pub for the time being, though, since this post revolves around my life as a civil servant!

I guess this is probably the first time I open up about that part of my life here. As much as I love the creative side of me that running a pub will feed on, I am deeply rooted in the government background, having the bloodlines working as important people in the government. At one point in my life, I thought being a university lecturer with easy money and less pressure would be able to compensate for the career path down the government-ish lane. It took me about five years of dragging myself to classes every morning and sleeping past midnight because of the papers i had to grade before i was struck with the realisation that I couldn't take the easy way out. I just wasn't meant for that. I was born to be more. I guess people just at one point in their life have that so-called "calling", and yes, that was it! 

So here I am, working in the General Department of Immigration. Anyone in the right mind would be able to tell it is not easy for me to adapt to the politics of the system. The ass-wiping culture. The corruption. The stinky teamwork spirit. And the list goes on. The sensitive Vendy from three years ago wouldn't have lasted a month in the system, but with this inexhaustible positivity I have been having, I have managed to gain my momentum pretty quickly, and before I knew it, I have become almost everyone's favourite boss. Yes, boss! Technically, I am a Deputy, and it's a "shame" to admit I have powers over my subordinates. What sets me apart from the Head (the biggest boss) is my attitude at work. I don't just sit at the desk, ordering people to do works that they already know too well, pretending I know more than they do. I pretty much do almost everything I can without judging whether the tasks would be more fitting for this subordinate or that. I could proudly say I amount to the combined work force of three people. This culminates in some mental comparison between the biggest boss and me that they do, and obviously, they like someone who does the actual quality works and helps them out with their own tasks--me. 

You see, I am the youngest at work, the only single guy, and the most polite (I know it sounds so much like I'm sugarcoating everything). They, on the other hand, are in their 40s with children and diseases. They are lazy. They are sleepy. They are not motivated. And they mostly enjoy small talks, which center around sex. This could possibly sound like anybody's nightmare! But again, the positivity in my head shields me from being infected in this environment, and obviously reminds me of the sole reason why I am here in the first place. I WANT TO BE THE HEAD. 

Say hello to the ambitious Vendy! Yes, I have to admit that I am an ambitious person. Remember the story between the two foxes living inside the body of a human? The question is: which of the two wins, the bad or the good? The answer is: whichever fox you feed more will win. I guess what I am trying to say is over the past 5 years as a lecturer, that ambitious fox inside me is skinny and starved, while the  two foxes--one chasing after love and the other clinging onto friends--take over. I cared TOO much about love and friendship, and neglected the pursuit of my ambition. Now that I neither have love or friendship (I still have a few true, super awesome friends), I feed the ambitious fox. This explains the idea behind the pub, and this desire to be the head. 

Admittedly and shamefully, I have strong and great networks at work. I know some of you might cringe at this knowledge, but in my defence, i'm pretty sure people would do the same or worse if they were in my my shoes. Between the position that I desire and me stand two people who decide my fate, both of whom are related to me. Are you appalled right now? I know it sounds ridiculous, but here is the plot twist: I have no idea whether they would be willing to promote me despite my hard work and everything, for fear rumours about nepotism and about my age would spread around like wild fire. Now you probably understand why I have to win the hearts of those subordinates! I want them to feel that I deserve it, and I indeed have what it takes to be a greater leader despite my age!

I feel compelled to let everything out here because I wanna get rid of that fear of rejection in my head. I am planning to take the plunge after the 8th of August. And for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know I am such a believer of Fenghui, and according to the Fengshui, August is my lucky charm. I am going to pluck up my courage, lay it all out, and get it done. Whatever happens after that is totally out of my control. I am hoping for the very best, but also preparing for the worst. Wish me luck, peeps!