The Angel Who’d Passed the Bliss Along

Giving all she could, to the community, despite how she had very little to begin with, translated…

Every year, I’d found a day to have a luncheon with Ying, she was a close friend from Cambodia. Two years ago, she’d earned her high school equivalent degree from Taiwan two years ago, said she would wait until her son entered into high school, then she will, go for her college entrance exams.

On this day, she took her son along, and, the child was in his teenage years, and she’d needed to persuade him a lot for him to follow her out, he’d sped through the lunch, and rushed to his afternoon gathering with his peers. Although he’d only stayed for a short half-an-hour, but, this tall big boy, was so different compared to how when he was younger, he’d, stayed close to Ying shyly. I’d felt blessed for Ying, that her son is finally, grown.

I’d started conversing with Ying about the goings on of life and work these past couple of years, her coworker had other plans for her life, and the company didn’t hire anybody else after her coworker quit, and thus, her workload increased. For a very long time, Ying worked with this diligent manner and attitude, she is very able in learning new things, never fearing the trials, she’d, practiced until she’d gotten it perfect, in the field she’s least familiar with, sales. Her motto is, “Life is about getting beaten down, and getting back up again.”

There was, however, a bad marriage that Ying had weathered through, she became a single mother at my age, and I’d felt more closely connected to her. Being here on her own, without the support from her own next of kin, using everything she has, in the hardest time, using the shortest time, she’d, found her son a kindergarten to attend, then, found a job that can help her make ends meet. But she’d never complained about how hard her life was, and, her actions showed, that trials of life, are the best lessons offered in life. She’d learned to be tolerant, learned to give and take, and, became, more mature through the trials of her own life.

Being humble, Ying always loved teaching, and because the policies by the government had pushed forth the programs, there are more and more who’d wanted to learn the languages of Southeast Asia, and so, she’d trained to become a Cambodian instructor. Learning to teach a class, she’d told me, it’s, another level of learning for her, this was, amazing to me. She said, a lot who’d learned her mother tongue wanted to volunteer in Cambodia, and as she’d heard that, she’d, taken the job. There’s, that look of gratitude in her eyes, she certainly is, an angel who’d, passed the bliss along.

She’d always encouraged herself, “Making someone else’s knowledge into our own; learning what others are good at, and make it up for our own shortcomings”. Now, Ying is, the richest woman I ever know. I hope that she will have a smooth sailing rest of her life.

So, this woman had, weathered through some trials in her life, but, she’d turned the trials into something that motivated her to keep going, and, she’d become, this person who’d, passed along the blessings she received in life, even though she wasn’t, given that much, but she’d still, given back to the community, using what she had, and that, is amazing!

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So, I Can Write

It’d taken you, a bit longer, to tap into your talents in writing, after you’d, wrote out of the boundaries, and gone off the “grids”, so to speak, translated…

In the third grade, our teacher gave us an essay topic: Our Class. Before this, my essay writing is ordinary, not worth anybody’s time, and, as I’d lacked that inspiration, and interest too, with the teachers pressing me on, I’d, squeezed out those squiggly, barely legible, words that don’t make any sense.

That day, I’d, written in the manners as I had taken to writing the essays, “There are, forty students in our class, a teacher………”, then suddenly, “There are so many fun characters in class, why not write about them?”, and so, I’d started using that lively, exaggerated techniques, to describe the assortment of classmates I had.

And, this essay that’s well-written, peaked my teacher’s interests, not only did she read it aloud to the class, she’d given it great commends too, like, there’s, a bright and shiny new star, coming up the horizon in the writing industries. The grade of A++, it’d, awaken my self-confidence that’s been, dormant for a long time, and, the writing classes became the ones I’d looked forward to the most.

Turns out, I CAN write! And, my road to writing took a turn, because of this.

Sometimes it only takes a shift of your state of mind, to do things not as you’d done them, to have this more interesting outcome, and, you’d learned, that you CAN be a good writer, you just, didn’t know it yet!

A Unique Collection

A unique way you mark the passages of your life, that’s, different from everybody else’s, translated…

Strolling down those streets with shops on the sides, there are, assortments of clothing, with the various materials too, and, they are made everywhere, here, China, Japan, Korea and U.S., etc., etc. Of them all, what’d attracted me wasn’t the prices, nor was it the selections of the various shops, but, the tags that showed where the clothes were made from.

a collection of cloth tags like this???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片

And, all of these tags seemed unimportant, but, looking at them more closely, there are not just the names of the company or brand printed, the type fonts used were also, quite unique as well, everything from the cutesy cartoon styles, the ladies collections, the rock-n-roll trends, or the black and white simplified styles, I’d loved each and every one, they’d, made my eyes alit.

And, after awhile, although I’d buy the clothes that would fit me right, but, if the tags had, attracted me to them, then, I’d, started, itching again, and, my desire to buy would hike up too high, and sometimes, without even thinking, suddenly, I’d been drawn to buy the item, because of the designs of the tags, like I’m, made of money.

And, as I’d gone home with my “winnings”, I’d not change into the new clothes immediately, instead, I’d, snipped off the tags, and started looking at them front and back, I’d even sketched them onto my notebook, then, placed them like treasures, inside that beloved iron tin box. After a few years, I’d, accumulated a lot of the tags, and, the tags stacked up, into this, mobile catalogue, and, as I saw the tag, I’d immediately gotten reminded of what the item looked like, and how I’d felt at the moment of buying it. As I looked, that sense of joys came, and I’d found, that from when I was little, I’d, collected stickers, then, bookmarks, and now, the clothes tags, even though it’s nothing to others, but to me, it’s, a sort of an emotional outlet for me, that satisfaction that comes with owning, and, it’s absolutely correct, that I have, a obsession for collecting these items.

Every time I’d tidied up my room, and started flipping through the tags I’d collected, and, I’d, also taken a walk into my own past, and, I’m grateful, that this collection of the unique had helped healed what I’d lost, and, kept track of the memories over the years. In the future, I shall, collect more of what’s unique to me, and, reminisce through them all one by one.

So, this, is how you make your scrapbook, not by photos, but by the tags of the clothes you’d bought, and, it’s a unique way that you’d found, to keep track of what mattered to you in life.

The Cobbler, Wen

A dying industry, and he is, the LAST of that dying breed! Translated…

“The sign maker wrote it wrong, I’d told him that it was ‘Wen’s shop’, but he’d written it into ‘Wen Ho’, but it didn’t matter.”, he’d thought a bit, then, told, “There was a banner that’s posted by the sidewalks, but every time the technical high school students passed it, they’d hollered out, ‘Wen Ho’, ‘Wen Ho’, so I’d, put it up.” I’d told the cobbler, that Wen Ho is great, felt very Hong Kong style, it’d, made me remembered.

sketch from the papers online…今日登場/阮光民

He’d mentioned how people often mistaken that the cobblers are a profession where the skills were passed down, actually, those who’d fixed up the shoes, were the shoemakers themselves, if you don’t know how to make shoes, how can you fix them? In the early fifties, when he was only thirteen years old, he’d started apprenticing, normally, it takes three years, but, for most, they would take another four more months, to “make up”. Because in the process of apprenticing, there are still days off, and so, as they’d become the professional cobblers, they’d needed to make up for the time that’s lost, and because they already had the skills, so they were called, “fixers”

“In the past, we’d worked a day, and made the same as a month’s salary compared to the factory workers.” He said that don’t mind that he’d talked about the older times, because it’s no big deal, making the shoes, fixing up the shoes became more stable compared to shoemaking, the shoemakers only work for the summer and winter seasons, from before, they get to work for four months out of the year, and now, there’s only two months, so he’d started fixing up the shoes.

He’d used “going down to”, I’m sure, that being old as he, he really was like he said, living in the clouds now.

And so, this, is a dying industry, because now, when your shoes get worn out, you’d normally just, throw them away, and buy yourselves new ones, and, this puts the cobblers out of business, and, this man is the LAST of the dying breed, but he still works, because there’s still a big enough market for the services he’s providing right now.

Things Amiss

查看來源圖片the plum trees in full bloom, photo from online…

Reminders of how time had, passed by us too quickly, translated…

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

I’d HATED how it’d always played the smiles or the flashy photos of my friends, and I’d loved, how it’d always reminded us of the selves we were a year, two years………many years ago, everything you’d posted out today, all of the articles I’d, posted on it thus far.

One morning, in my office. Didn’t have a class, I’d, sat alone. Staring into space, not wanted to grade the assignments. Just wanted to do something else, this or that, anything.

At this time, the alert from FB came—this day of me.

The God of FB stated it to me:

Ming-Rong Chung we care very much about everything you’d shared on here with your friends, all the memories you’d made. You may want to review over what you’d already posted a year ago, this.

A year ago today, February 26th. Yup, last year, today, what was I doing? Where was I, hanging out?

Focusing on the post on my FB, wow, these beautiful plum blossoms, the white petals, leaning slanted on the branches. That day I’d bumped into the janitor at school, and he’d told me, that the plum trees were in full-bloom, I’d, immediately rushed over to the front of the office, and, I’d bumped into her grins.

I’d immediate taken a shot, then, sent it online.

A day worth, remembering, because of the aromas of the flower, because it’s, spring.

Then what of today in 2018? Are the flowers still, smiling on the branches? I’d immediately, gotten up, left the office, and, walked over there to that same spot I’d stood last year quickly.

now, bearing the fruits…photo also found online…查看來源圖片

“Wow! There’s, nothing but the freshly budding leaves now……”, then, suddenly, I’d felt, that bitter taste, that scent of loss, surfacing to my chest. “Where did the flowers go? Where, are they?”, I’d wondered. The janitor and I crossed path, “the fruits had already started to grow now! The blooming season was, long gone already!”, he’d called out to me, with that joy, to reply to my minute disappointments.

Spring surely came early this year. The flowers bloomed beautifully, but, they’d, withered too quickly away too. Seeing the backside of the janitor, I’d known, that he would be, more happy, about the harvest of the plums this year.

and the fruits, ripening…photo from online…李樹成熟 的圖片結果

Yeah, sure, the flowers that bloomed in the spring breezes, isn’t it for the purpose of producing a tree’s worth of fruits? I’m grateful for Facebook, for constantly reminding me, the flowers I’d missed out on this year, I shall come early to see next year.

And so, you’d realized, that everything is never going to be the same again, like that flower-filled plum tree you stood before to take a selfie with, and, it’s all due to FB’s reminder, and it shows you how important, to live in the moment, to enjoy life in the now!

I Don’t NEED to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

Why? Do you know just how god DAMN difficult, to uphold that perfect TEN all the time? And, what IF, I want to “slip up” every now and then, and, that would, certainly, put that HUGE DAMPER on my perfectly, spotless, RECORD, wouldn’t it???

So, I’d decided, I don’t NEED to be perfect, I’d, gotten RID of that demand for perfection for myself already, and, slowly, come to the acceptance, that I’m, allowed, one or two, fine, it’s more like three to FIVE “slip-ups”…

查看來源圖片like this???  Image from online…

Been keeping up with perfection way too long, since I was too young to recall, I’d, MADE sure I don’t FAULT up, in fear, of losing my parents’ love for me, and, in the end, I’d realized, that they don’t love themselves, or each other, so, how on this FUCKING earth, can they possibly, love me? And that was when, that burdensome COAT of perfection, got lifted off my shoulders, and I’d, stopped carrying that SHIT already!

I don’t NEED to be PERFECT! But, there’s, still that part of me, that’s, so used to striving for that perfect ten, and sometimes, that gets the best of me, and, I’d become, that annoying perfectionist, who can’t stand the SLIGHTEST detail OUT of place in her life again, then, I’d, remind myself: hey, it’s okay, you are, already, perfect, remember??? And, I’d, let it all go…

查看來源圖片what the self is…sign found online…

And, this, is where that all led: I don’t NEED to be perfect, I don’t HAVE to be perfect, I do NOT strive for perfection in life, I am, already, PERFECT, the way I am, and yes, the Queen still loves herself very much.

And yeah, in THAT sense, I may be, what some of you call, a NARCISSISTIC personality, and, that would still be, a MORE male-prone personality disorder, learn THAT in my abnormal Psych course from 2004, 2005-ish???

 

The First of My Priorities

The shifting of this woman’s priority as she’d become, a mother, translated…

As the sleepy bugs attacked, Mimi who’s not yet two became very clingy and easily agitated. After I’d carried her to bed, we’d experienced rolling around on the sheets, a game of chasing, making friends with the big Teddy bear, went off bed to get some milk, playing with toys, reading books, until after a whole hour, she’d finally, fallen to sleep. And, in order to get this face that’s, so sound asleep, I’d needed to have the twice a day, three minutes, to two hours’ drama of putting her to bed.

Hanging up the laundry will only take me ten minutes, sweeping, mopping the floors, no more than fifteen, but, don’t know if the next time my daughter flipped over if she will have those shiny bright eyes, looking at me? And, in order to have a set schedule for her, I can only, keep my patience, and stay by her side, to soothe her, and tried not to think about how much time has already passed, and, I’d accompanied her into dreams, then, awaken in a panic in the late nights, then, started, sorting through the messes in the house, and my work.

Recalling how as I started teaching first grade, in order to get the kids to understand the trials that their mothers had weathered, carrying them inside, I’d prepared the big balloons, to get those six-year-olds to stuff into their shirts, to try walking with a protruding belly. I’d heard the kids who were sweating like crazy, smiling and telling me, “It’s so hot!”, “I keep on bumping into my belly!”, back then, I wasn’t a mother yet, and couldn’t tell them exactly, why it was that motherhood is so difficult? And, as I’d heard my coworkers told, that only in the depth of the nights, did they get the chance to catch a reflection of themselves in the mirrors, to put on the makeup, then, they’d recalled, that there are other roles that they’d taken, other than a mother. Back then being single, I didn’t get it, does being a mother meaning losing the self? Or, does being a mother mean, that we are, our last priorities?

And snow, I’d become, a mother like that. At 7:30 in the morning, I’d, run into class, and, get my baby back at five from the nanny, and engaged in that race between being a mother and working as a school teacher. And the identity of me being “Ms. Lee” became, miniscule, because I’d needed, to fight for the freedoms to catch a matinee or to go for a thirty-minute jog. And, the freedoms those revolutionaries fought so hard for, I’d, easily, turned in my own life of independence, for a child.

The twelve-year-olds are already, very opinionated, looking at the girls, complaining on how their mothers don’t know them one bit, and that they’d often gave their mothers the silent treatments. I’d recalled how when Mimi was nine-months old, and had a very high fever, how I’d waited with her in the E.R., waiting for the urine test results and the blood test results.

I want to tell my Mimi, I know, that in your world, there will be many more beautiful things that are going to be ahead of us, your parents, we understand it, and we will, let go so you can pursue whatever makes you happy, but, the moment you’d become our baby, you’d become, and will always be, our top most priority.

And so, this, is how the mindset changes from when you were single, to when you’d become a mother, because, as we became mothers, time is no longer ours, it’d belonged to our children’s, and a lot of women lose their identities, taking up the multiple roles that we take up in our lives, and this woman apparently, found the balance of being a mother and being a school teacher, and her top priority is her daughter’s wellbeing, and that makes her a good mother!