Thursday, December 17, 2015

In a bind.

My mind is filled with so many thoughts and things to do I just needed to pop by to write and dump all this out so that I can get on with my day.

I feel incapacitated.
As if everything has caught me in a bind and I can no longer move....nor do I have any motivation to.

My life feels like some sort of lie of some sort. :(
I feel like I'm letting a lot of people down...and like I'm just falling into this pit that I can't crawl out of or stop myself from falling.

It's a pretty terrible feeling.
What brought me here?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I took a walk today...

It's probably been a year or two since I took a proper "let's go out and exercise" walk.
And I guess it felt good.

There has been a lot of things on my mind lately - from worries about personal issues, to finances, to family finances, work finances, career development, staff, my parents' health, my own health - it seems like these past three years have been non-stop torture. Okay, so there have been some nice rests in between, but yes...I needed that walk.

I guess part of me still feels like I'm stuck.
As if I'm stuck in some moment in time, or in some memory, or in a bad place which I can't get out of... and all this whilst the world is just chugging all ahead around me. It's that dreaded feeling as if you know your body is in terrible shape and completing that 2.4km run is going to take you forever... but you HAVE to do it because at some point it was a requirement in life. So you start running anyway, you give it all you've got for the first 400 metres or so, but at some point you realize the rest of the class is pulling away so far ahead of you with so much more ease and the imminent danger (and fear) of being tired, wrecked and alone is about to hit you... and you physically just can't do anything about it except to just drag your pathetic body along and hope you'll be alive at the end of it.

It's not a nice feeling.

(Comically, at this point of my writing, I feel like I should put on a Katy Perry song about plastic bags and fireworks. But honestly, what use is that going to be? Also, am I the only one thinking that the firework-shooting bralet she wore in her MTV was really unnecessary and inappropriate?)

Perhaps it's typically INFP, but I often feel like I'm living a life where I'm not quite playing the main character in. It's like that sinking feeling when you meant to choose the awesome dashing Ryu, but you just pushed the joystick a little too far and punched the OK button a little too fast, and suddenly you're Ken - with a disgusting unkempt mop of bleached-out hair and you hate the fake tan and gross red outfit you're in. You were supposed to be mysterious, not angry dammit! (Yes, I always chose the guys in Street Fighter. It needed to be either Ryu or Vega. Chunli's voice and hair buns annoyed the heck out of me. Okay, she gets some stars for that upside down helicopter kick, but that's all she was good for.)

I miss gaming.
And I'm rambling.

But yes, I feel like I'm not the person I want to be...or the person that I should be... or the person that I am.

I've had so many thoughts recently that I've pretty much come to a point where I'm almost afraid to sleep. It's an irrational fear. Well, I suppose part of it is rational - I've been having a couple of nightmares of losing my dad (after a heart attack episode that happened a few months ago) and other weird dreams... and also because I know that once I get to sleep, I will have to wake up, and when I wake up, it'll be another day of SO much to do.

It's rational and irrational.
It'd be so much wiser if I just sleep early because I will have to get up anyway, but at least I would be a lot more rested. But no... here I am pretty much fighting sleep.

On other notes, here's an awesome Tedtalk about the effects of sleep deprivation:

Okay, I'm just going to lie in bed now and try to think about nothing in particular so that I'll hopefully get bored and fall asleep... and get my 4 hours of sleep. Hurrah.

Well, at least I took the effort to write today. I think writing somewhat helps to heal me.
And I'm probably going to take another walk tomorrow. That's probably going to turn out to be a great idea.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Random update.

I need to start making it a point to write more often....especially that life seems to be moving so fast nowadays.

For the past couple of months, I've been to China and back, shook hands with astoundingly influential business people, as well as found myself immersed in key strategic projects for the company. It has been exciting and exhausting all at once.

Today was the day I spoke on the topic of food waste at an industry insights conference. It was wonderful being able to share, but I've found myself so much more tense at this sharing than the ones I do for family business. I suppose talking about family business is really more my forte.

Somehow I'm finding myself in a place where I would like to be very selective where I invest my time and money now. I'm starting to think it's an age thing....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back and moving into new phases.

So I'm finally back.

It has been about 14 months since the surgery. My left bottom lip and chin are still numb and so is my right cheek (which the doctor says is possibly because of scar-tissue :(). I've pretty much resigned to the possibility that I may never gain full feeling and comfort in these areas again... and that my ex (and only) boyfriend will now possibly forever be the best perceived kisser in my life... *cue tragic music* Unless, of course, my next (and hopefully final) boyfriend can catch my heart on a much deeper level. Haha.

Why am I sharing these things again?

Oh right, the lack of feelings.

Tbh, it's annoying. It's annoying on the days that I'd appreciate full-feeling at corporate events when they have these little breaks for networking and I'm starving and I need to eat something. It's irritating because I need all my energies to try to overcome my introverted-self and navigate small talk and would appreciate not having to budget some part of my consciousness worrying about whether a crumb from the cake or the little springroll I ate is still on my chin or some random part of my face. It's irritating on the days where I wake up and I think the world is bright and beautiful and I think I look like a million bucks, but there's actually stuff on my face I can't feel. It's depressing on those days.

But then again, it's not that big a deal compared to why I needed to do it. I can't imagine having to deal with pain and other more annoying things. So I shall choose to be thankful. But still pray that the feelings come back some time - hopefully before I get married. That will be useful. Please, God?

These days, life is back to normal, I've put back on ALL the weight (and then some) that I lost post-surgery on the liquid syringe diet phase... though I'm working on getting them back off.

From here on, I'm going to be writing more about life in general. I may have a few days where I complain about my annoying retainers (which are still tight and irritating...though I have been very disciplined with them), and maybe a smattering of posts about the tightness in my cheek, but the whole jaw surgery was just one small part of my journey in life.

Hope everyone's well.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Minimalism & Liberation

It's been a while since I've written...guess life happened.
But I'm back to writing.

The jaw is doing fine I suppose. About a month ago, I visited Surgeonman and had some x-rays done. Seemed that my left jaw bone healed up alright, but the right one was still a little unstable. My right cheek is still really tight, but I think part of me is getting used to it...which may not be a good thing in the long run. Wearing my retainers initiates a little bit of a gag-reflex sometimes, but I think it's just a matter of getting acquainted with them... and that's pretty much all the updates I have about the post-jaw surgery progress so far. I honestly can't believe it's been almost a year since the surgery.

Something clicked in me these past months though and I've been on a mission for a full life-makeover. I've started with decluttering my belongings - of which I've thrown out a massive amount of things including (but not limited to) books, clothing, memorabilia, soft toys, and old notes. I've been doing them in parts as a lot of the process can be a lot more emotionally draining than that of physical strain... not to mention there's only so much dust I can take in a day.  I've shredded SO much paper... I don't even know how I accumulated SO much paperwork.

These past two weekends, I've been doing a digital declutter. And tonight I FINALLY got one of my email boxes in order with only ONE email floating in my Inbox (of which I will be taking action on later today so that I can delete it forever). I don't know how to express it, but there's this amazing calm and joy that comes with unsubscribing from something like 20 sources, and deleting 15,423 emails. :)

I do have another mailbox with another 3000 mails to deal with, but I'm on a mission and will get there one step at a time.

I've joined the minimalism movement and have found it increasingly liberating.

I've just come to a point where I just want to...Zen-out. If that makes any sense. Part of me is just sick and tired of being under this huge load of things to do. Life is just not meant to be spent crawling around with so much weight!

I have a plan and that plan is to live.
To live a happy, fulfilling, and gracious life.

I'm headed to a friend's wedding Hawaii in a month, and then I'm off to the States for a week or so to breathe in the summer and just...plan life. I'm quite done with living a pre-planned life to fulfill the expectations of others. It's going to be a process, but I will get there. #liberation

Monday, March 16, 2015

The day before debracing... well, sort of.

Are they straight? Kinda? I suppose?
Tomorrow is supposed to be THE Debracing Day!

I missed out just one little detail though... that I was supposed to see Surgeonman before I get it all removed! As it turns out, I unknowingly missed my last appointment with Surgeonman and now I have to schedule a meeting before I claim my freedom from all this metal! >_<

Bad news is that Surgeonman is out of town till Weds.
Good news is that there's another Co-surgeon who will be able to see me tomorrow.
Bad news is that I have to push the debracing by a day.
Good news is that I have to push the debracing by only a day.
Bad news is that if I want to be really really picky about waiting for Surgeonman, his next open slot is in April.
Good news is that I don't think I shall be that picky.... unless I can steal him for a little tomorrow. ;)

To be honest, time has gone so fast I really can't believe it's already been almost nine months since the surgery! I can't believe this journey is almost done with.

I guess sometimes, I miss my old face...

I always had to tilt my face left a little...cause I was so used to it.

Couldn't quite hide that underbite here...
And even though a lot of people tell me I look "better" now, I guess somewhere in me I still miss how I used to look like. Perhaps it's force of habit. On somedays, I even feel a little fake... and perhaps, on the days that I'm fully aware that parts of my face are still numb and may probably not have any feeling ever again, it gets pretty depressing. But on other days, I guess I don't quite think about it and focus on the more important things in life beyond how I look now. I suppose it helps that I kinda had no choice but to get it done... I think if my reason for getting through the jaw surgery was aesthetic, instead of functional, my mindset would be completely different. I still wonder why they still allow forcep deliveries if they change the face structure so much.

But I guess it doesn't help to brood on it, because this is me now...

7months post-op with the sister at CNY. :)

With my little bunny Explorer who's growing up SO fast!
I sometimes still freak out post-surgery and debate with myself that perhaps I now have some overbite that needs correcting, but honestly, I think that's when I need a good scolding. I should be thankful now that my jaw hinges are not wearing out. I should be thankful that I don't have to face arthritis. I should be thankful that there weren't any complications during and post-surgery. I should be thankful for the simple fact that I am alive.

So here's to start of the "closure" process of the jaw surgery.
There's still a tightness in my right cheek that might need fixing (hopefully not with surgery!), but that's another story for another day.

First, debracing!
(AND WHITENING! I can't wait to get my teeth nice and sparkly clean again without all these metal barriers!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Good News!

Good news! Debracing is scheduled for 17th MARCH!!! :D

Bad news is that my alignment is off! As so:

Look at my midline (marked in red)! They're not aligned! :(
Come on jaw, work with me!
The blue lines are the bands I'm currently wearing to try to fix it.

So it's back to Cranberry bands for me...I think they're supposed to tease my jaws into place. Other than that, I think Orthoman has put on some locking bands along my top and bottom teeth to keep the rest of my teeth in place.

Hopefully it'd all be aligned in a couple of weeks. CAN'T WAIT TO DEBRACE THOUGH! I've been waiting so long! I shall go ahead and book a cleaning and whitening that same week! :D

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 247: Gosh! 8 months!

Days since op: 247. 0_o"
Pain Level: 0 Nothing much. Sometimes the braces get caught in my cheek, but that's about it.
Swelling: I'm definitely still swollen on one cheek because of how the bone fits now. Maybe it'd get better when the braces are off.
Sleep last night: I need discipline! And I need to love my bed and sleep more!
Other weirdness: Still numb in my left lower lip and chin. Great. I wonder if it'd ever go away. I also still can't chew properly! Grrr.
Mood: It's Sunday! I'm going to buy a labeller and label everything I can get my hands on!

So this coming week is possibly my last (or second last visit) to Orthoman's and I'm a little nervous because my braces might be coming off too. I have been waiting for this for a while... but have recently been a little OCD about my profile and how my chin looks now. I'm guessing that this is just part of the process - where you know you're coming to the end of the journey (well, almost), and you just start freaking out a bit - kinda like a runner's wall. I know I did this surgery purely out of functional reasons, but I've been recently concerned about how it has affected the aesthetics... which apparently has been in a good way. But I guess I'm still human and have been freaking out about my profile and whether we made a mistake not having done the genio at the surgery.

I wasn't sure how quite to deal with the questions in my head so I decided to post some pics on the Jaw Surgery FB group (which has been amazing throughout this season of my life), to get some "professional" feedback (simply because a lot of people in the group have or have been freaked out about such stuff and many of them are very well read in this field of JS. It's a safe place and HIGHLY recommended for anyone thinking of, or are about to, or have had, jaw surgery.

Do I look like I need the genio done to even out my face?

I got some comments saying that I should consider it, and most saying that I look fine. Somehow I just can't help but wonder if I now look like I have a slight overbite (instead of my previous underbite). I think I'll just wait for the braces to come off, and the right swell to go down a bit before I decide.

This past few weeks have mainly been about celebrating CNY and all the other crazies that happen in this season. I've hardly been getting sleep and have had a lot of my mind. I'm thinking of taking a trip down to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a conference this coming weekend to try to clear my mind a little. Let's call it a "thinking trip". I think it'd help some.

Monday, February 09, 2015


I am unwell.

I woke up today with the chills, aches, a bad runny nose, and a terrible fever. The fever was so high that washing my hands gave me the chills, and putting on my jeans in the morning felt as if I had retrieved them from having been left outside on a cold winter's day. And mind you, that this is tropical Singapore where our temperatures probably average at about 28 degrees Celcius throughout the year.

I have never been unwell so often in my life.

Today, possibly for the first time in my life, I popped two Panadols. It was a shocking experience for me because I usually avoid self-medicating like the plague. I hate meds and hate the thought that I cannot have full control over my body and have to rely on a pellet of crushed compacted concocted powders from goodness knows where, to heal my body. Maybe it's OCD, but I hate meds.

But today, I had to pop them because of all the work I have to accomplish today. And surprisingly, after huddling up in my down-feather comforter for an hour and shivering whilst I slept, I woke up without the chills by the end of the hour. THANK GOD. I still have a mild fever, aches, and a runny nose, but I CAN WORK. Yay!

Being unwell has really gotten me thinking about my life though and how my health has gone to the dogs - what with this high stress, sedentary life. Even with having gone back to fencing, it's not enough to get me back in shape. I've been putting on weight in fact! :(

The last thing I want to be is a Debbie Downer when it comes to life!
There's is so much in life to live for. And so much that life has to offer!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Quick update.

I haven't been in the mood to write for a while. But I should update.

Life in short:

  • Has been really busy at work
  • Braces come off in two months
  • I missed my therapy because it was going to be at $300 an hour. I couldn't contact them and a nasty lady from the clinic who probably should lose her job, or sign herself up for a therapy session, called me up to vent her anger on me. Yay, depression.
  • Too much has been happening
  • I think I care too much about my staff, and I really should just not care so much about people anymore. It takes too much time and energy.
  • I haven't been sleeping well. I think it's all the million and one things I've been thinking about.


These hurt like CRAP.
I wake up feeling like my jaws have been pushed together all night and feel like they've been wired shut in the morning. It's not fun.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Setting the pace for 2015

Days since op: 220! Gosh, time really flies!
Pain Level: 1.  My chin hurts when I rub it. I think things are still not quite fused up.   
Swelling: I like to believe I'm still swollen.
Sleep last night: Okay, I've been trying to "get a life" nowadays so I do stay out late and sleep late...but now it's more for social reasons than due to discomfort from the surgery.
Other weirdness: Right cheek feels permanently tight. Surgeonman says it's due to some bone thing and that if I wanted to get rid of it, I might need to go back to surgery to shave some of the bone off. :( 
Mood: Lazy Sunday. It's a nice feeling to be able to laze a day away.

It's interesting how time works...that as one walks through life, you make decisions at certain junctures to build on the plot of one's life. Right now, my life has been about work, my pets, getting back to German, as well as fencing. Yes! I'm back to fencing! And here's proof!

It is such a joy to have a blade again. 
Feels like I got a part of me back! :)

It wasn't easy getting back on the piste. This past Wednesday was the first time I was back to fencing others (after a long 8 year break) and gosh did I get trashed. I did score a few points... but pretty much lost every bout - including to a left hander who decided to fence me with his right hand. Thanks.

Warrior has grown so much now. This was a picture of him just a few weeks ago. 

Isn't he the sweetest little thing? :)
And this is a more recent picture of him...except with a little surprise!

Warrior has siblings!

It was just two weeks ago that when I was checking Mummyrabbit whether her milk was sufficient for Warrior that I realized something weird was going on in her tummy. There was something more than just milk in there which left me puzzled because we had seperated Daddyrabbit from her since the delivery of Warrior. Then it clicked! The day Warrior was born, we thought we had lost the whole litter and decided to leave Mummyrabbit with Daddyrabbit... you know, for emotional support. And yeah, this was apparently what happened in those 5 minutes. On the day she gave birth! (That bastard! Haha) But yes, there is so much truth to the term "breeding like rabbits". Initially, I had thought she only had two because they felt so small in her, but when the time came, five little kits appeared.... bringing the total number of rabbits I now own to NINE (the parents, Marshmallow, Warrior, and five new little kits). 

I thought I had a handful with four at first, but now with nine I totally know what it feels like to be a working mother. :D

Mummyrabbit with her five new little kits.

This was them at a few days old. They looked like little pigs.
They were much smaller than when I remembered how Warrior was.

My five little loves. 
All getting white with fur.
The one with a little cut on his nose is Explorer.
I'm not sure how he got that cut, but it might have been from an accident with Mummyrabbit, Warrior, or from a one time I almost lost him when he crawled out and under the cage. I still don't know how that happened, but thank God I went to check on them and found him or he may not have survived!

But yep, life seems to be on to a rolling start this year. I'm back to fencing, checking in to Duolingo everyday for my German, Pilates on Saturdays.... somehow life seems to be getting back on track. There's a quote that I have on my bathroom wall that says "It does not matter how many times you fall. What matters is that you get back up." Take as much time as you need, but get back up. :)

The process is irritating though, and sometimes I get really impatient with my progress. Be it with my fitness (or current lack of), with work, with heart issues, with healing from the jaw surgery (go away numbness!), but some things just take time.

This week, I'm going to try to get my electronic life, financials, and paperwork in order.

To a wonderful 2015!

Saturday, January 03, 2015


Days since op: 198
Pain Level: 0.5 - Orthoman put a band in. I thought it wasn't much, but gosh it hurt over time!
Swelling: Gonna ask Surgeonman about my right cheek next week.
Sleep last night: Stayed out late with friends just talking till 5 in the morning. Wasn't very wise considering it brought back the high fever today. X_X
Other weirdness: I now have a "button" on one of my teeth.
Mood: Meh~ I've been sick - as in, that I'm still ill with the flu...high fever, stuffy nose, bad cough...the full works.

So I went to see Orthoman yesterday (I practically flew there because of a really packed day!), I was so glad to finally grt there because I had missed two weeks of appointments. It wasn't anything too exciting...seemed like the usual changing of the bands... except this time he pasted this little metal button on one of my teeth to pull it outwards. 

As so:

Doesn't look like much, but that little band pulling at my teeth hurt like crap last night.
I'm just glad it was just a matter of affixing the little fella (no drilling or other scary stuff). I got Cranberries (the rubber bands) and though I initially thought I'd call Orthoman back and tell him to give me something tighter so things will move faster, I was really surprised how much they hurt at dinner time! #neverunderestimateOrthomanagain

I asked Orthoman about the little clump of nerves in my right cheek I was pretty worried about, and it turns out that they are salivary glands and is purely, and I quote, "anatomical". Okay, sure, Mr. Orthoman. I've also recently been feeling a little weird about my jaws - as in, a physical weird - because it sometimes feels as if I can tell exactly where the cut in the bone across my top jaw is and that my jaws are "floating" and aren't really connected to the rest of my skull. Does that make sense? Orthoman attributed it to the possibility that my nerves are still waking up which makes me more attuned to sensations. Crap, I don't know what it's going to feel like in another half a year! The last thing I want is to feel like an old lady with dentures!

Did I also mention how I had a slightly envious episode watching a friend chomp down on a candy cane? She literally just used her teeth and broke parts of the candy cane off and just chomped at it! It's totally sacrilegious (because we all know that candy canes are meant to be properly licked/sucked on, which is the appropriate method in which all candies should be rightfully consumed), but I was amazed how she could just chomp down on a hard candy cane!! I think it's going to be a few years before I attain that sort of functionality.

I was really hoping that I'd be able to get these silly braces off by Chinese New Year in February, but Dr. Wee insists that it'd be another 4-5 months of braces. :(((( NOOOooooOOOooo... When will this ever end? I really expected them to be off a lot earlier! :( Part of me would like to think he's just this uber perfectionist, but at the same time it feels like he's dragging this out. I've been in braces for 2 years! And I guess it kinda sucks that a lot of other JS patients have already been "freed" from the metal. Patience, Claire Ariela! Patience!

Also, after a long chat and some reflecting over the events of the past few years, I have decided that this year, I WILL BE HAPPY.
Awesome New Year Resolution. Everyone should include it on their list.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Recalibrate 2015

Day since the surgery: 196
Pain Level: 0 - No pain, right cheek just feels numb and weird - as usual.
Swelling: Because of the tightness, I'm pretty sure my right cheek is still swollen. Gonna see Surgeonman next week...maybe he'll have some answers.
Sleep last night: Very late (It was NYE) and very disrupted (the flu is back with a vengeance and has gone to my lungs or something...ended up coughing all night).
Other weirdness: Even though I'm past 6 months post-op, I randomly found myself drooling again today. I think it's from a combination of a (still) numb lip and chin, the sickies, and a general heightened inability to feel things whilst I'm sick. It was weird. I thought I was supposed to be past that.
Mood: Sick.

It's the 1st of the New Year and whilst I've friends who went suntanning, shopping, biking, and all sorts of ways to "start the year with a bang", I spent the whole day huddled on my couch trying to sleep the flu off. It's pretty much the end of the day now and I am determined to make plans for the new year.

Looking back at the past year, I guess I've achieved some and missed most:


  • 01. Jaw surgery 2014
  • 02. Take my next German exam (Nope)
  • 03. Read the whole Bible through (Still got about half to go)
  • 04. Travel out at least onceJapan, HK
  • 05. Receive at least one award this yearSPA
  • 06. Keep on top of my springcleaning plans - clear one area a month (Nope)
  • 07. Finish a half marathon (Nope)
  • 08. Get to the next business achievement bracket (Goal:3GAV) (Nope)
  • 09. Get involved in food sustainability efforts Got connected with SDO.
  • 10. Be more open to people. Meet new people. Make new friends. New church, new cell group.
  • 11. Get back to 48kg and stay there. No more excuses (Nope)
  • 12. Make a list of intl friends and keep in touch (Nope)
  • 13. Read 12 books (Maybe, I'm not sure)
  • 14. Take the GREs - even if not for grad sch, then at least for some closure (Nope)

  • And this was what I thought the years ahead would plan out to be:


  • Oct14: Gym, 52Kg, Tioman Birthday (Nope. Nope. Nope.)
  • Nov14: 16Nov Run for Hope 10K, Hunger Games 20Nov! Watched the hunger games, but couldn't run.)
  • Dec14: 7 Dec 21K Half Marathon (Postponed to 2015)
  • Jan15: Hiking Trip (Doesn't look like it now unless I can find friends to go with.)
  • Apr15: Fencing (I'm starting earlier.)
  • Jun15: Portfolio Shoot (Not ready)
  • Oct15: Germany (Yes. I shall.)
  • Summer16: England & Agape/YWAM (Maybe earlier) 
  • Jul16: Graduation (Nope, not anymore now that I've deregistered from grad school)
  • I guess the craziness at work stole more away from me than I expected. I also gave up graduate school because I was too overwhelmed by work (again).

    There used to be a saying that Singaporeans focused a lot on the 5Cs in life (Cash, Car, Condo, Country Club Membership, Credit Card) mainly as a rhetoric to how materialistic we can be. In 2012, the main newspaper in Singapore reported a shift in the definition of the 5Cs to Control, Confidence, Community, Career, and a Can-do Attitude...propaganda if you ask me. I guess I have my own set of "C"s this year too - Community, Companionship, and Career, being three of them.

    The new goals for the year ahead are in the side bar...including the new milestones. I have fewer goals this year... some of which I have to work quite hard at. Here's to an awesome 2015 - a better year, with many beautiful memories.