Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Has anyone experienced poverty at any point in your life?

The above question was posed by big boss the day before, requesting for people who have undergone similar experience to share their stories.

There was a full day meeting at work yesterday with almost half the time devoted to reflections and sharing sessions with regards to the team building a week ago.

During the team building, there was some financial cash flow game and ranking of values in life, thus the topic of money and relationships with important people in one’s life.

Some colleagues broke into tears while relating their stories. Some colleagues teared while listening to their stories.

I was surprised I did not for I’m one who tears easily. Have I become an empty shell devoid of compassion?

I’ve been feeling very unhappy recently. Unhappy for reasons I don’t know why. It’s just a mix of everything happening around me.

As I listened, I had lots of thoughts going through my head.

I wondered what my top five values in life are and how I would slowly cancel them away one by one, leaving with the most important one.

Being the me I would like to be?







Being able to attain whatever I dream of?

Till now, I can’t come to a decision.

Many colleagues included their parents and shared touching stories of their dad or their mum. I really wished I could have done that too. My dad is fine but I’ve got this love-hate relationship with my mum. My mum is often the one who makes me feel very lousy about myself. Yet there would be times when she’s such a great mother.

I don’t know how I would rank my parents. It’s true that they did what they could as parents but I’m pretty much independent when it comes to providing for myself since I’ve stopped receiving pocket money during secondry school days.

Maybe I should thank them for shaping me into what I am today.

Some colleagues shared about their poverty too and I thought it was fortunate that I missed that activity out when I was sick last week. I wouldn’t wanna share my sob money story with my company people for fear of breaking down in front of everyone.

I know I’m not the most unfortunate soul around and my story is nothing compared to many people out there. However, I’m very proud of the fact that I have managed to come this far.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Even though we were not poor, we managed to survive due to my dad’s constant tapping of his savings to raise a family of 3 children.

Dad used to be a property agent and there were the good times. From a 3-room flat in Tiong Bahru, we managed to move into an executive flat in Yishun, leading my primary school friends to have a misconception that my family was considered above average as most of them lived in 4-room flats near my school.

Dad only dealt with private properties and with HDB flats springing up like mushrooms during the 70s and 80s, he soon found that he could no longer hold on in this field. He was having deficit income and had to draw on savings to survive. He started working in my uncle’s company.

Mum went to work when I was in Primary 1 to supplement the family’s income.

It wasn’t till I was in Primary 2 that I learnt how to be a latch key kid.

My dad trained me to take the public bus home when I was in P2., following the exact path of my 2nd sister who is 2 years older than me. I learnt how to fry an egg, cook noodles and do simple cooking that same year.

I didn’t think being able to cook at that age was anything to be proud of. Hence, I was appalled when in Sec 1, none of the NYGH gals dared to light the stove during Home Economics lesson. Some of them screamed and shrieked and cowered in fear while using the “gun lighter”. I ended up going to all the tables and lighting the stoves for the whole class.

Come to think of it, that was probably one of the many reasons why I transferred to SNGS other than the more affordable school fees.

I must say that as a young child, I was quite sensible. I never asked for more than what my parents could give. My sisters and I never asked for toys, gadgets, holidays and accepted whatever our parents gave us. We didn’t compare ourselves with our much fortunate friends.

In terms of toys, I don’t know of any girls who didn’t have a Barbie Doll except me. My first and only Barbie doll was given to me when I was 10 or 11 by my favourite cousin who is 3 years younger than me. She had a quite a number of Barbie dolls and so 1 less Barbie doll didn’t quite matter to her but it meant a lot to me.

I could vividly remember when I was 5 or 6 years old, I fell in love with My Little Pony. I absolutely adored the twin baby ponies with twin prams which I saw on the tv ad and was yearning for it. My parents brought me out to buy a toy as a reward for something I’ve done which I’ve since forgotten what it was.

They told me I could choose 1 toy I liked. I was elated coz I knew exactly what I wanted.

I looked at the twin ponies for ages and quietly told them I wanted that. They looked at the price and then at each other. My dad put the box back and told me to look at a rainbow-haired baby pony in a box that was a sixth the size of the twin ponies. That came with a comb, a pillow and a diaper whereas the twin ponies came with not only the pram but an array of other baby stuff to pamper the ponies with.

My parents convinced me that the rainbow hair was very colourful and beautiful and that the pony was very cute. I convinced myself that it was nice and nodded my head. I was sad but I didn’t show it to them. I went home and played with my pony with my heart still on the twin ponies as tears rolled down my cheeks.

My parents really did their best. I still had my care bears while my sisters, being more tomboy, had their mask toys. We had our fair share of toys and my parents didn’t spoil us by giving more.

So you see, we were still quite fortunate.

It was only when I started staying over at my aunt’s place that I realised my cousins had so many toys. My sisters and I never complained. I think it was good that we were all very sensible children.

The most insensible thing I’ve ever done was to smoke when I was a mere P2 kid. That was like 8 years old? I had ready access to cigarettes from somebody whom I wouldn’t name drop here. The said person would sell cigarettes by the stick and I was puffing a minimum of 2 sticks a day.

It was fun and I never regretted trying out smoking. The only bad thing was it gave me bad sore throat for a while.

I forgot when I stopped.

Only my very good friends know about this. Now, I’m not ashamed to let people know. Afterall, I’ve always been labeled as a “pai kia” or “ah lian” by so many people (even though I’m obviously not).

My parents never found out about this. I would confess to them one day, I swear I will.

My everyday life in Primary school…

I would eat my lunch which either dad or mum had prepared before they went to work, bathe and take out my homework to do. After that I would read or take out my assessment books to do as I love to show my mum what I had done for the day when she came home from work.

Every day, my 2nd sis and I would switch on the tv after we had finished our work. There used to be those repeat SBC shows at 3pm back then. We were supposed to switch off the tv at 4pm. Sometimes, we cheated by carrying on watching till the 6.00 cartoons come on. Mum would sometimes call at timings when we were not supposed to be watching tv and all we did was to lower the volume before answering the call.

In the evening, it would be doing of more assessment books, learning of spelling and so on. I do not know whether was it that my mum valued education a lot or she simply was too irritated with me. Whenever I didn’t know how to do anything, she would scold and pinch me till I cried. When I cried, she shouted and pinched me more. They way she pinched involved pulling, shaking and twisting.

At times I did my homework and assessment books sobbing. My books were sometimes soaked with tears. A few times, my cheeks had faint bruises on them.

I didn’t understand why she had to do this as I was really a very good student in school.

Probably those scolding and pinching were beneficial as I would always uphold my 1st and 2nd class position from P1 to P3. My studies deteriorated in P5 and P6. Being in the top class, I was always beyond the 30th position in a class of 45. There was once I slipped to 42nd or 43rd position and saw hell in my life. I don’t wish to mention what happened.


Even though I was in top schools all my life, my grades were nowhere near good. I only managed to get into NYGH and SNGS thereafter coz of my PSLE grades.

Before that, I saw hell remember?

I started my first job in P6, distributing leaflets and slotting them into mailboxes throughout my neighbourhood for 2 days. My first pay of $50 in cash was gone together with my wallet which got stolen on the bus.

During secondary school days, I became rebellious like what most kid would become at some point of their teenaged life. My relationship with my mum was really strained at that time. She was always saying degrading things to hurt me and telling me that I was a good for nothing. She hated the friends I hung out with even though we weren’t even delinquents. I hated it whenever she insulted my friends.

I bought a pager with my own money and that pager became my life. It was my way of communicating with my friends and all the friends I knew from out of school. I could type alphanumeric like a pro.

My mother hated me using my pager for this purpose and wondered how I managed to make friends with people out of school.

I stopped receiving pocket money when I was in sec 3 due to the economic crisis back then. I used the money from my POSB savings and whatever ang pow money stashed in my savings box at home to finance my everyday spending.

Most of our ang pow money were given back to our parents anyway.

To make sure I don’t use too much of my reserves, I starved myself during recess. Whenever some insensitive classmates saw that I was not eating, they would say things like I’m skinny, malnourished, underweight etc in a very condescending tone.

Those words really hurt a lot and many a times I felt like crying coz they would never understand how it felt to restrict myself from eating when I was actually very hungry.

Sometimes I would bring bread to eat and once in a blue moon, I would treat myself to canteen food. However, I would usually save the money for lunch at the canteen later on. I also had to save money to join my friends at fast food joints occasionally.

Whenever I reached home, I would gorge myself with instant noodles and other food I could find at home. There wasn’t any home-cooked food then coz my parents were busy working. I was old enough to settle my own lunch.

Slowly our OCBC young savers accounts were closed as my parents needed the money. There were a few occasions when my dad had to borrow money from us and returned us when he got his pay. There was once, my entire savings was being withdrawn out. I knew this could not continue and that I had to work for money. However, nobody wanted to employ a secondary school kid except fast food joints and I didn’t wanna work at fast food joints as they paid peanuts.

Mum used to warn me not to disgrace the family by letting people know how poor we were that they could not even afford to give us pocket money. She warned me not to let people know of our financial situation. She is one who likes to save face. Hence, I didn't bother telling anyone about my financial problems back then.

Having failed almost all subjects with an L1R5 of 30+ points, my mother was quite worried that I would not even make it to poly. I didn’t care much for I thought I could go out to work with no reservation. When I informed her of my decision, she almost went berserk. When I retorted that they could not even give me pocket money, my mum slapped me and almost threw me outta the house.

Then, kh came into my life when I was 15 and him 16.

We knew each other from a band workshop and I don’t think we started on a very positive impression of each other. I won’t go into details on that at this moment. Those belong to another chapter which may or may not be told some day.

We started talking on the phone as friends a year later when he was doing some random calling up of sec 4s to psycho them into joining the band should we get into his JC. We hit off quite well and had lots to talk about. He encouraged me to study and even said he could teach me A Maths if I needed help.

His encouragement helped me a lot. I felt like he was the only one who believed in me. Everyone else thought I would never make it to poly. He made me believe in myself.

I worked hard enough to get 20 points and went to NYJC during first 3 months and subsequently did well enough for my O levels to get into RJC.

Once I got into RJC, my mum stopped bothering me. She finally saw that I could always manage to make it during all major exminations. She even bought me a nike windbreaker as a belated reward for my results after I told her that most of the lecture theatres were very cold and that most of my schoolmates wore cool sporty windbreakers.

The only jacket I had back then was an ill-fitting one which was last worn in primary 6. I’ve never worn a jacket in my whole secondary life and so hadn’t seen the need for one till then. This probably explains my affinity for jackets now.

I soon found out that I required a lot more money to sustain my everyday spending in JC. My savings was fast depleting.

My oldest sis started working at a fast food joint when she was in sec school and put herself through poly. She did quite well and was offered a place in NTU but she could not really manage work and studies back then.

Following the footsteps of my sis, I knew I had to work very soon or my savings would be depleted. Hence, I started giving tuition.

My tuition pay became my pocket money.

I enjoyed jc life a lot. Even though there were the really rich friends, nobody in particular looked down on anybody coz of financial status. I tried to hang out with friends whenever they went to hip cafes and restaurants and managed to hide my lack of money quite well by ordering cheaper meals.

I ate the same thing at the canteen almost everyday – nasi lemak with a cup of soya bean milk. That was the most filling combination at the most affordable price.

Only 1 or 2 friends somewhat knew about my situation but did not know the details. They just called me “frugal girl” and tried to treat me once a while which I politely declined.

When I really could not manage anymore, I requested for my dad to pay for my pager bills. I shamefacedly asked him if he could give me some money for the monthly class funds as my tuition salary wasn’t enough at all. Fortunately my dad was understanding.

I worked as a temp staff in the accounts department of my uncle’s company after my A levels. I was only paid $40 a day but I tallied accounts like siao. However, transport to and fro, as well as lunch was provided by my dad since that’s where he works too.

Kh and I got together during this time and my financial burden was lessened as he would pay for everything whenever we went out. However, due to the nature of his job, he was constantly posted overseas and we went through a few years of LDR.

When I was in NUS, I had 5 tutees for I had since grown accustomed to getting my money from tuition assignments. I taught at the expense of my studies. I’ve often felt that I could have done a lot better if I did not take up so many tuition assignments.

During the mid and end of year school holidays, I would hurriedly search for temp jobs. I worked in offices and bank in the day and tuition at night. I also worked as a waitress in café and pub as well as a handphone promoter. Sometimes when luck had it, I would get to work in those few days’ kinda exhibition and expo events. For standing pretty and doing a little bit of promotion, the hourly rate is a lot higher than normal office jobs.

Why didn’t I think of being a model or a showgirl? Money would have been a lot easier. If I were to turn back the time, I would definitely take on more of such jobs. Hooter girl, pub waitress, bimbotic showgirl… I could have done it all given the chance. Who cares about the bitchy people in there when I could be richer by a few hundreds or even thousands by putting up with them?

With the few thousands earned per school holiday, I had enough money to pay for my own uni education. I did not touch my dad’s CPF. Neither did I take up any loans from the bank. I was determined to work and pay for my own education after seeing that my oldest sis could do it. I got a little help for 1 semester from kh and from my dad.

I filed for graduation instead of continuing to honours coz of the lack of money. Moreover, if I continued giving tuition while studying, I may wind up with a 3rd class honour and nobdy wants to graduate with a 3rd class honour right?

Up till this very date, I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve managed to put myself through university.

I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve managed to be so frugal despite being surrounded by so many temptations and well-to-do friends or at least friends who get pocket money. Pocket money was a luxury to me. I have never owned a walkman, discman, md player, mp3 player and ipod. These are luxuries to me. I’ve not known anyone from my era who doesn’t own any of these at one point in time. The only gadgets I bought for myself were my pagers and handphones.

There is something which I’m always upset about at the back of my mind -- My parents taking the money which I’ve painstakingly saved up to learn driving and the constant borrowing of money without returning just to finance my 2nd sis’s overseas education and expenses. I always feel a sense of injustice whenever I think if this.

Fortunately, kh has been my pillar of support throughout the years. He had helped me a lot emotionally and financially. He was the one who stood by me throughout the times I was struggling. Even though he is not even rich, he managed to earn his own keep and support me financially whenever required.

He hand-made presents for me, brought me to restaurants I’ve never been to and paid for most of our holiday trips. He seldom buys me gifts even up till now and I never complained coz I feel he has already been a wonderful boyfriend and best friend to me.

Now that I’ve been working and giving tuition for years, I managed to save up quite a bit and give my parents a substantial anount every month. My sisters and I helped to pay for the bills too. There would be the occasional chalking up of few thousands due to something which I won’t say it over here. Each time these sums were needed, I would have no choice but to trf the $$ to them.

I’m one who can save really well but once I spend, I spend a lot too.

Having undergone the experience of lack of money, I decided it was good to pamper myself every now and then seeing that I’m earning my own keep.

I’ve since splurged on hair treatment packages, facial packages and designer labels. I got major scoldings which involved lots of crying each time I spent such money. I’ve always felt that it was really unfair for my mum to scold me and make hurtful remarks when I’m actually using my own money. I felt that such scolding and harsh words were simply unwarranted especially since I’ve always been very thrifty.

In the words of a very good friend:

“We sometimes need to remember to live life and satisfy our wants without regrets. Moderation is the key.”

Note on this entry:

Author knows that there is no key point in this post… just verbal vomit of hidden sentiment.

Author has spent much time deciding if she should publish this extremely long post which may not only bore her readers but also paint certain people in a negative light.

Author may remove this post according to her whim and fancy… just like how a friend she knows always publishes and removes posts like changing underwear.

Author knows that said friend knows who she’s referring to but wonders if said friend treats her as a friend since said friend is a misanthrope.

[Edited to add disclaimer on 13th May]


My parents tried their best to provide the very best for their 3 daughters. So actually we were quite fortunate.

When we were young, we did have our fair share of stuff. They bought necessary stuff for us and sometimes reward us when we deserved it. They brought us out on outings too. Oh yes... even though my mum may be harsh in punishing us, she loved to hug and kiss us when we were good.

Despite some hardships endured during my youth, there were also times of happiness.

Overall, I've got a positive relationship with my parents. I guess the bond among family members is hard to explain and understand sometimes.


  1. What a thought provoking post.
    As much as i like reading your witty and funny post and looking at your fun photos and reccommendation of eateries, videos and songs, this must be one of your best post ever.
    I mean it when i say i'm having tears in my eyes when reading it.
    Man, you are evil. You make me cry when reading your sad labels and now you are making me cry at work.
    Don't remove this post. Removing it means removing a part of you.
    I hope your parents don't read your blog.

  2. I never know so much about you till this.

    It's true that you may not be the most unfortunate person around but havin no pocket money part and putting yourself through nus without borrowing from the bank is worth admiring. It makes me realise what a spoilt brat I am actually.

  3. You are an iron lady. KH is lucky to have you!

  4. Hey Anonymouses,

    Do leave a pseudonym if you ever come back here the next time. I'm pretty confused but I guess you are 3 different individuals.


    To anon#1,

    Best post ever? You are not the said friend mentioned at the end of this post right?

    I hadn't meant to prick the tear ducts of anyone. After I read what you said about my sad labels, I went to click and read and MAN you are evil coz I teared as I read the past sad memories.

    I sure hope my parents don't read my blog!!! They're aware of its existence ever since they knew of Charmaine's blog.


    To anon #2,

    I hope you will not continue to be a spoilt brat then. =)


    To anon #3,

    You sound like how said friend would talk too. Are you said friend? =D

    If not, my apologies. I'm not an iron lady. I'm not that strong at all. I'm LUCKY to have kh. But thanx... I'll make sure he sees this. Haha...


  5. i wanted to leave anon too. but i didnt wana confuse you.
    i've been reading your blog for awhile since ages ago whilst posting on LD.

    to me each have their own ups and downs. no ones better of/worse of than each other.

    you're one brave lady who storm though your growing up with bravery.

    perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that you've found someone who sticked by you no matter after all these years. :)

    i always tell others this which i strongly believe "gaining through losing"

    it's ok to reflect and break down once in awhile :)

    stay strong dear girl.
    but please remember to rest lots and drink plenty of water.

  6. Hi mika,

    Great that you left your nickname down. Some LD members left comments before w/o including their LD nick and I really wanted to know who they are.

    Are you any of the above anon? No rite? I'm trying to recall who you are by your avatar. Are you the one not staying in sg? I haven't been logging into LD frequently due to some settings in my laptop.

    Yes, I do believe in "gaining through losing"... not all the time but most of the time. =)

    Haha... I would break down every once in a while. It's good to cry sometimes.

    Drinking plenty of water... checked.

    Rest lots... will try.

    Thanx for your encouraging comment.

    Take care!


  7. Neighbour from behind & belowSaturday, May 09, 2009 11:12:00 am

    Miss Loh.

    Sometimes, one has no friends because she has too many friends.

    It's just like I'm a cynic because I'm a naive optimist.

    Who I am will never reconcile.

    I am not sure if your Said Friend has left a comment yet, but I'm sure she has her reasons for changing underwear so often.

    I'm also sure that she is trying her best to treat u as a friend despite being a damaged misanthrope.

  8. Don't ever remove this post- it really was so thought provoking.

    You are my idol!

    We met once when you were lurking in flowerpod as rainedew because I wanted to buy something off you.

    Your post made me reflect on my own life because I have had some unhappy family background like you. To the sense that I lost my father and I never really had a father to begin with (he was always absent). My mom doesn't pinch me but she says very degrading stuff, even up to now.

    But it's nothing compared to yours.

  9. Hi Jo,

    Do not know you personally. Just want to let you that you are a strong gal. Those which do not kill us make us stronger!

    Wish you all the best in your marriage! You will be able to set up the "perfect" family which your parents never gave you.

    Perhaps years later, you will be able to better understand why things were the way they were. Guess we are all humans, even our parents. They do make mistakes too. Perhaps they are already living in guilt and appreciative of your sensibility and understanding.

    Take care!

  10. hey babe, wow this is like one of the saddest yet most thought-provoking blog entries that you've posted. I was aware of your situation in JC but didn't know the full extent of it. I guess every family has its own set of problems, but there's a silver lining on every cloud, like finding KH in your case! :)

    Let's meet up soon when you're free??

  11. Whoa... Haven't quite expected a flurry of responses to this post.

    I'll be back to reply.

    Gonna choose kh's baby photos to put into our photo montage now.

    Take care everyone!

  12. It is v true about the saying:
    "Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger"

    Wat happened in the past~
    Mould u to become a person now!!!
    Next time watever issues u meet in life,
    u will be sure to overcome them all with strength, ease and confidence!!! :D

    Now, all is HAPPY and over!!!
    So glad tat your BF is there for u all these years!!!
    And the 2 of u are tying knot v soon! *CONGRATS* dearest Jolene!!!

    My Dad always said:

    Be HaPPY is most important in life!!! :D :D :D
    So, remember to Be HaPPY forever!!!

    LoVe, VIVIEN~!!! :D

  13. Hey Jolene, don't delete this post ok =) Like what some said, it's really a thought provoking post that you have written.

    Anyway no matter what has happened, i'm glad you got KH with you! Even though i don't know the two of you well but somehow i can sense the strong bond & love between the 2 of you.

    And i believe the 2 of you will have a bright future & you will eventually have your own happy family =)

    I sincerely wish you all the best! Hugz!!

  14. You people are really too sweet... I'm back from a morning till evening tuition feeling bushed and all you nice peeps put a smile on my face with your sweet words.

    Gotta run along now for my mother's day dinner!

    Disclaimer: My parents tried their best to provide the best for their 3 daughters. So actually we're quite fortunate.

    K gotta scoot!


  15. hi girl.
    gosh, i feel really bad + guilty reading abt ur SN days when i never lifted a finger to help u get thru those tough times.. *_* sorry for not being there. thanks for sharing all that.
    praying for cyn + family
    take care ok

  16. I’m typing this with half my eyes closed so forgive my typo, spelling and grammatical error.


    To Neighbour from behind & below,

    Sometimes, there is sense in nonsense.

    Sometimes, there is sanity in insanity.

    Sometimes, you are an antithesis of yourself.

    And that’s why, my friend, you can never reconcile with yourself.

    Oh yes indeed… said friend has left HIS comment. But dunno whether said friend is pretending not to know who I’m referring to or just playing with the game. ;P


    To hui,

    Idol? Bu4 gan3 dang1.

    Haha… “lurking”? Hey I openly trawled FP, I no lurk. So we met up before? If you don’t mind revealing, what’s your name or nick or where did we meet? I might just be able to recall who you are. =)

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Well, I hope whatever paternal love you didn’t receive would shape you into a stronger person. Also, hope that you could manage to build a bridge with your mum.


    To Bumblebee,

    Thanx… Since I started thinking about my future family, I’ve always told myself not to repeat some of my parents’ actions to my future kids. However, maybe when I really become a mum, I may just forget about what I’ve envisioned.

    My parents tried their best to provide the best for their 3 daughters. When we were young, we did have our fair share of stuff. They bought necessary stuff for us and sometimes reward us when we deserved it. They brought us out on outings. So actually we were quite fortunate too.

    Thanx for penning a note to me.


    To Reg,

    Actually I wasn’t feeling very sad when I wrote this entry. I did tear a bit here and there when I recalled certain stuff. However, these are all in the past and it has certainly shaped me to what I am today.

    Kh would be damn hao lian when he read what you have written. Haha…

    Every year, May is a bz month what with all the different groups of frenz wanting to mit me for my bday. I also dunno how to plan my days leh… Coz 3 tutees exam. Hence a lot of free time burnt. Their exams would end mid to end May but that’s like quite late liao.

    I think I’ll wind up with no friends.


    To Vivien,

    Thanx gal… and thanx for your sms too.

    Your dad’s words make me recall something.

    I once set my eyes on an evercare watch in sec school. Every day, I would walk past the Christian bookshop outside my school, peer through the glass window and admire the purple watch with 3 little piggies on the watch face. On the strap are the words:

    “Be positive. Be happy.”

    Very simple but I like it a lot. Hence instead of looking at the watch every day through the glass window, I decided to make it mine. I parted with my $29.90 or was it $39.90 after contemplating for a long time. I starved for quite a few days but I was very happy.


    To June,

    After all the comments and suggestions on why not to delete this post, I think it’s quite impossible for me to take it down

    Thank you. Now kh will sure say, “Ah… this June so smart to notice. This comment from June must approve.”



    To sy,

    Sy mummy… it’s not your fault. You wouldn’t have known since I kept it so well. I probably only told 2 people as I’ve to explain to them why I was not able to do certain things back then.

    Thanx… Pls continue to keep cyn and char in your thoughts. Read my latest update on the blog and on FB. Started a discussion thread in the group just now.


  17. Thankfully, God is fair. You lose some, you gain some. I must say, KH appeared in your life to balance your ill-fated youth. Marry him and start a new life afresh. Leave your unhappiness behind. It is not fair to carry your prior baggage into your marriage life. Just speaking from experience. Take care...

  18. 你所做的一切是很直得骄傲的。这样的人怎能不令人敬佩呢!你简直是我的偶像。

  19. lol yes yes the one who doesnt stay in sg.. nope im not one of the anons. :)

    it must be real tough for you to juggle between wedding, teaching, working as well as lil charmaine.

    i'd love to help. but i dont have an sg account. nor paypal.

    i'll try to set up a paypal account. if not, email me or msg me on ld ur address and i'll post a cheque over.

    i hope every little bit helps.

  20. Hi!
    I came across this blog by accident and I think this post is one of the best I'd read. It is a full expression from the heart, open, unguarded, vulnerable. It's like having you right in front of me telling me your very touching life experiences.

    I guess one relates more when one had similar experiences him/herself. I cannot bear to read this post again now. Certain parts reminds me of my past that were full of regrets till today. Perhaps I am still unable to release...

    Anyway, all the best to your search for what you want in life. I'm also doing this myself =)


  21. To anon at Monday, May 11, 2009 9:52:00 AM,

    I have lots of happy times in my youth as well and I do have a relatively positive relationship with my parents. Not to worry and do take care yourself too. =)


    To 小璇,

    xie4 xie4. ke3 shi4 wo3 mei3 you3 na4 me4 da4 de4 mei4 li4 dang1 ren2 jia1 de4 ou3 xiang4.


    To mika,

    I don't know if it's very troublesome on your part to send a cheque since you are in aus? US?

    I'm unable to log in LD from my laptop. I can only do so if I'm using my sis's or kh's comp. We'll discuss further via email. If it's not convenient to leave your email @ here, you can drop me an email at to reach me more quickly.

    Thanx so much, babe.


    To anon at Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:27:00 AM

    Just in case you come back here to read...

    I hope everything could be resolved on your side. Don't live your life with regrets. Don't look back into the sad past. Live for the present and future.

    If only I knew what I'm really searching for... Thanx anyway and all the best to you too.


  22. Dear Jolene,

    You are really very strong. Your thoughts always make me wonder about things. Now I know more about you and I admire you more than before.

    I'm glad that kh is there for everything. I told you before right you two are my fav couple. kh will make a good husband.

    All the best for your wedding preparation. Have the dream wedding ever. ^_^

  23. Hi anon,

    But You didn't leave a name. I dunno who you are.

    Thanx nonetheless. =)

  24. Happy Belated Birthday Jolene. :-)

    I am ashamed to say that I have never known this bit of you. Sorry, feels like a lousy friend here. (Your post just made me cry a pail)

    I have so much to say but I have no idea what to type. I just want to let you know that its Jase and Charmaine's great fortune to have you as their Godma in their lives. No matter what lies ahead for you, we will always be part of your life, just like you are a part of our lives now.

    You will have a blessed life because you have one of the biggest heart and I would say its KH's fortune to have you. :D

    Indeed, its the bitter sweet past that makes us what we are today. You did great and is still doing wonderful! Be proud of yourself and give yourself a pat on your shoulders! Be sure to relate the story to your god-grandkids next time ah. ;-)

    I am so looking forward to your wedding. Am going to try my very best to attend. I wouldnt want to miss it for the world... seriously...

    Jase, Char and Cyn mummy.

    PS: You know we love you always!

  25. Dear dear cyn,

    I'm tearing while reading your comment. Sorry for making you cry a pail. Well, I hope your pail has been emptied. =P

    I also dunno what to say...

    You're not a lousy friend at all. I've always told you it was great fortune that our paths crossed 8.. 9 years ago and being able to click with just phone calls, a flight and a night's stay in the same apartment and to have the friendship going strong till now. We'll always be part of each other's lives. =)

    It's my pleasure to have your kids as my godkids. They're such wonderful kids. So endearing to all who see them.

    The wedding thing is something which I really really really hope you can attend. However, things are so uncertain now and we don't even know if you all would be here in sg. I know you wun wanna miss it for the world. I know... Let's pray that everything would fall into place smoothly.

    And I love all of you too!

    Hugz and kisses,

  26. Copied & pasted from tagbox for remembrance:

    8 May 09, 09:34
    Justina: Hey Pretty! Very touching post eh... made me went through a series of thinking too~~~

    8 May 09, 23:54
    Jo to Justina: I hope your series of thinking had helped to to gain better insight of yourself.


    8 May 09, 13:45
    passer-by: yr latest entry is so REAL.i realised im so fortunate AGAIN..wish u all the best!!!

    8 May 09, 23:55
    Jo to passer-by: Thank you. Treasure what you have.


    10 May 09, 19:06
    Evan: Big hugs babe! Hope to meet up soon

    11 May 09, 02:59
    Jo to Evan: Hugz back! I'm hoping to arrange 1 with the jie meis this mth but q diff to arrange.


    13 May 09, 11:11
    Chocho: thanks for removing the midi!!! hehe, finally can read your blog...

    15 May 09, 01:27
    Jo to chocho: No prob! My blog loads a lot faster now. *wanna insert smiley but dunno why cannot*


  27. i like this post, it's inspiring (:
    you're truly a fighter.
    and you are also very lucky to meet the people who led you to the right paths early.
    i know of people who saw things too late.

    congratulations on your wedding (:

  28. Hi enrainz (LD)

    Din expect people to still be commenting on this post since it's already outta the main page.

    Thanx gal... =) Have a great weekend ahead!

  29. love it jolene...almost made me cry at work. i'm so glad you didn't grow up to be a rebellious teenager who smokes cigs and didnt go to glad you finished and worked so hard and lived a hard life..but you made it. i'm proud of you :)

  30. Hi Amy,

    Oops.. I hope you didnt cry out at work or I would feel bad. What are you doing reading blogs during work? *wags a finger at you*

    Thank you for your kind words and for leaving a comment here.



I love reading sincere comments and hearing your voice. While blatant self promotion of blogs and follow for follow requests are not advisable, I would love if you leave a mark here with a trackback link so that I could connect with you. I reply to comments here or on your blog so don't forget to check back on replies! =)


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