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As we have swung into August, it comes to mind that we are well over halfway through 2016. I am not sure how that happened, but somehow the math is correct.

Prior to the birth of my daughter, I had little way to mark time, as the seasons do not vary widely enough here in Singapore to provide a proper demarcation.  Husband and I often ask each other questions like “when was it that we bought the motorcycle?” “do you remember when we last had a gardener out?” Cues such as what we were wearing (i.e. winter or summer clothes) or the falling of the leaves for fall are often absent. Christmas is noted not by winter’s snow and ice but by the Christmas music being played at Cold Storage during the daily shop. (Trust me, you can’t miss children singing Deck the Halls in Mandarin on repeat for 3 months.)

But now I seem to have the opposite problem, my time is all too well marked. Each month is a daunting reminder of time passing as she grows at the rate of a weed with a new skill set practically each day to match.

Eight months ago, on New Years Eve, we left the child with the nanny to go for a few adult beverages with friends at a nearby bar restaurant that also had a DJ and a countdown. After a few months in “home mode,” I was surprised at how familiar being out among adults and drinks felt. I had somehow wrongly expected it to seem foreign.

On the way to celebrate, the topic of new years resolutions came up. One friend suggested that instead of resolutions, we come up with a word of the year. This was half in jest, as his cousin had posted her word of the year on Facebook, and he struggled to understand the concept.

So we all picked our word. My husband choosing the word “fatherhood,” as I threw out the word “unapologetic.” Everyone laughed. It didn’t sound very nice, I admit. And of course I’m known at times to be blunt, opinionated and stubborn.

But are these such bad traits? We live in a world that tells us ladies to “be nice” and everywhere we look there are conscious and subconscious cues telling us to behave, to not get out of line. Out of what line? The one that pays us women 75 cents to the dollar and offers them little choice in the workforce once they become mothers? The one that sentences a rapist to a mere 6 months of jail time as not to disrupt his life? The one that walks into a gay club and kills 50 people? This is not the world I want for myself, for my daughter, for your daughters.

My choices may be unconventional, but they are not wrong or ill informed and I will not apologize for them.

Let’s be honest – the metaphorical “they” wouldn’t be happy with our choices, in any form. We are told to “be ourselves” and then given a whole list of reasons on why that’s not good enough. Too fat, too focused on appearance, too driven, too lazy, too assertive, too shy, too materially focused, not financially savvy.

Life is a work in progress and my heart is free. I was reminded of this as I ran across this quote on the internet –

unapologetic

Unapologetic.

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badge_Singapore The wonderful people at Internations got in contact with me a few weeks ago to let me know that they would like to feature Texas On Thames as a Singapore Recommended Expat Blog. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a global organization that hosts tons of great events to help expats connect with one another. I am super honored to be interviewed and listed among such talented Singapore writers. Here’s a link to my interview, go have a look and tell me what you think. 🙂

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This poem was featured at the start of the 2007 movie, Into the Wild  and was published in The Gold Cell ten years prior. This is one of those poems that for me never gets old, despite its melancholy and resignation, or perhaps enhanced by it.

I hope you enjoy it too. xx


 

I Go Back to May 1937

Sharon Olds

 

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the
wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips black in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it–she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty blank face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips like chips of flint as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

 

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Hi. Been busy.

Please enjoy this Charles Bukowski poem I recently discovered and love.

I hope you enjoy the space.

xx

no help for that / Charles Bukowski

there is a place in the heart that

 will never be filled

a space

and even during the

 best moments

 and

 the greatest

 times

we will know it

we will know it

 more than

 ever

there is a place in the heart that

 will never be filled

and

we will wait

 and

 wait

in that

 space.

~ You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense, 1986

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Last month, Petroleum Wife nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

very-inspiring-blogger-award

My thoughts went in this order:

  • OH MY GOSH That is so cool and so sweet!
  • Oh wait, you mean I have to do something? What is this, a chain letter?
  • Oh, OK, this is actually pretty cool.  Petroleum Wife’s list of other nominees is a gold mine of talented authors and a really great way to build online community. Some of these blogs I just can’t stop reading.
  • I like this. Who can I nominate?

There are some rules that go with the award. I’m not good at rules, but I’ll try my best to follow.

The Rules

1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2.Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.State 7 things about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 bloggers for this blog and link to their pages.
5.Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the awards’ requirements.

7 Things about myself

1.) I started blogging in 2007 with an Austin, Texas based food blog. I loved it! I met so many friends and learned so much about food and cuisine.

2.) I have a degree in aerospace engineering but currently work as a freelance writer and yoga teacher. Writing and yoga are two major passions of mine.

3.) I’ve lived in 3 different countries: The U.S., the UK and Singapore. I’m defining living as spending 6 months or more somewhere. I’m still trying to come up with a new blog name after my last move!

4.) A flight “home” to Texas takes 24 hours.

5.) I put the word home in quotes because I struggle with the concept. Where is home? Home is where you hang your hat. Home is whenever I am with you. I try to live by the concept that home is underneath your feet.

6.) I believe in authenticity and vulnerability

7.) When I exhibit such qualities in #6 online, I start to have dreams that I am showering in public naked. Quite a variation of the showing up to school naked dream! For some reason, it doesn’t really stop me.

Whew! I got through all 7. I hope I don’t start having those dreams again. Now for the important part, the nominees! These are in no particular order other than categories. Some of the blogs cross over into multiple categories, but eh, I tried.

15 nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Expat and travel blogs

1.) Petroleum Wife, of course!

2.) Look See London

3.) Continental Drift

4.) Sifting Through… Expat Edition

5.) New Mexico to Italy

6.) Tale of a Trailing Spouse

7.) Sherbert and Sparkles

8.) Running Obsessive

Singapore-based blogs

9.) Simple and Gay Forward

Food-ish blogs

10.) Trans-Planted

11.) The Feminist Kitchen

12.) The Particular Kitchen

13.) Kristen Loves Wine

14.) Boots in the Oven

15.) Zao Body

Music and technology

16.) Martin Cahill

OK, so I listed 16. I told you I wasn’t good at rules. Seriously though, I could have gone on forever.

Anyway, there they are. Go check them out.

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