Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bieber love!

I walked into my cubicle on V day to find Bieber posters and cards all over wishing me a good Valentine's day.
I have been Bieber-pranked. 
My neighbour at work wanted to make my day special. Good ol' Mark. 

V day was never celebrated in Mauritius. We never made cards for our teachers or our classmates. It's only in the last few years that the commercialism has reached the tiny island. Yet, I'm fairly sure kindergartens and schools haven't caught up with the way V day is celebrated in North America. This is borderline insane.

I must admit that I wanted to stay home yesterday but the water was being shut off in the building, so I had to go into work. Mark thought and proved that I stayed and worked from home last V day. Okay fine, I do try to hide on that day, only because I did not want people to ask me if I have a date.

Yesterday was good though. Nobody asked about dates or boyfriends or anything, friends wished me a happy v day and told me I looked hot, I brought in red velvet cupcakes to give away to people who have sent me candy grams and nothing dramatic happened. Just a routine day with some extra candy. Now why can't every day be V day??!?!?!

Monday, February 13, 2012

To be or not to be...

Hello, world.

I have not been myself these last few days. I would think it is PMS, but I have been more depressed than I have ever been for a while. It feels like I am at a crossroads in my life.

I have been questioning the purpose of my life and the purpose of life in general. I hit such a low point that I even thought to myself, this journey is not enjoyable at all and we are all heading in the same direction and that's  the final destination. Depressing, I know!! Did I have suicidal thoughts? Not the least. Why? Probably my Catholic upbringing. Which brings me to a series of conversations I have had with my coworkers this week.

I asked my coworker what he thought was the purpose of life and he told me that life is meant to be lived with all your heart and the purpose of one's life is to love as much as you can, the people around you. He is not a particularly religious person, he believes that people can be good even if they do not follow some religion and that consequently, if one lives one's life without hurting another being, and do not sweat the small stuff, then one's purpose in life has been fulfilled. I asked him, what does he think MY purpose in life is and he said, candidly, 'to make the people around you happy'.

It may be true, I try as much as I can to make the people around me happy. However I do not feel that it is enough. I can make a handful of people happy on a daily basis, but is it all I've been designed to do in my life? How about what would make me happy? How about what would get me out of this misery I've been feeling lately? I have often thought about becoming a nun, partly because I feel like renouncing all my worldly possessions and committing to a life of giving would somehow fulfill me. People always laugh it off though, partly because I am not an angel by any definition of the word and a life of celibacy is unimaginable to most people. 

This brought on a full on discussion on religion and what the Bible says with some other coworkers. The Christians are always the most passionate. I am a very laid back Catholic, I might have a shaky faith, but I am definitely a theist. I have not believed everything written in the Bible since I read 'The DaVinci Code'. Not that I have verified any of the facts in the book, it just got me thinking and I have come out of it, with some reserve on the source of the Holy Book and on religion, but it has in no way convinced me of the inexistence of a deity.

My coworker then asked a Christian coworker what he thinks of polygamy then?
Most of the Bible condones it. Should he be polygamous now, does that condemn him to hell? Is what the Bible says dictate the basis of whether he has lived a good life or not? Whether he is a good person or not? Or do the rules of modern society determine his 'goodness' as a person. 

I guess it comes down to what you think the definition of marriage is. Could you love more than 1 person at the same time and treat them all equally? Could you manage more than 1 set of expectations? Another coworker said that a marriage contract should have an expiry date, so when the expiry date is approaching, you can renew the contract, or decide to go your separate ways. But such a definition of marriage should also come with a bunch of rules and laws about what to do for the kids of these expired marriage contracts.That would make divorce the norm, and assure the success of marriage contracts for their duration! What kind of impact would that have on our society as we know it? Would there be more separated parents? Would the possibility of a marriage contract not being renewed at the next decision point make people more attentive to their partners? More likely to keep the romance alive?

In any case, a large percentage of our society follow some kind of religion. A lot of non-religious people actually prefer religious teachings even if they don't believe in God. They find merit in having had a religious education. A nun with a shaky belief in the Bible would probably not do for the church, but I believe I could fit into the mold for anything else that a nun stands for. Sister Carine. That has a nice ring to it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I vow...

...not to vow about things I do not know.

 I just watched The Vow. (Watch the trailer below and stop reading! Spoiler alert!)


One vow. To one person. Forever.
The thought is scary (for the commitment-phobic). The idea, romantic. The reality quite different.
Nobody knows how another person feels. Words are just that, words. Actions done today to convey a feeling may not reflect our feelings the next day. What then is true and real? Other than the feeling we have at a particular moment in time, when we have the conviction of our feeling?

The movie talks about how we are the sum of all the moments in our lives. That I agree on.
This moment that I am sharing with you, that's a moment in my life that I am choosing to share with you. Lots of editing because I am particular about what I want to share with the world. Our lives though, do not allow for editing. The moments fall upon us, sometimes through the opportunities we give ourselves, sometimes imposed upon us by events, a lot of times through no fault or reason within our control.

I have often wondered how, when two people are in love with each other, do we discern which one has the greater love for the other?
In the movie, it would seem that the guy's love is infallible. Yet, he had to give up on her, let her go. Nothing he could control. No matter how much he loved her, he could not force her to love him back. What do you do when the one you love forgets that they love you? I can imagine it would be terrible. I can imagine how you would try to grasp at the cherished memories you once shared. But what do you do when those memories are lost?  This is not such an extraordinary story after all. People break up all the time because they fall out of love. Why did they fall out of love? One or both of them has forgotten about their common shared moments. Or the cherished moments have been outnumbered by sadder or unhappy ones. Or they are not sharing any 'moments' anymore.

I have been moved by this movie, I must admit.
Partly because I realize that if I lose part of my memory tomorrow, some of the moments in my life would remain secret forever. And partly because at the end of the movie, it says that she never regained her memory. That is 5 years of her life she never regained, erased forever, as if they never happened. If I erased 5 yrs of my life today, where would I be? Who would I be? Would I be a better person then? Would I have turned out worse have I chosen a different path? So many questions that nobody can answer, not even I. How then, could people make vows for the rest of their lives, when they don't even know how they will feel tomorrow?

I shall vow to try my best to be happy tomorrow. But that's up to the weather I guess.

P.S: Friends and family, I have a journal, please make sure to make me read it if I lose my memory.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

With a side of hair, please!

At lunch the other day, my coworkers were talking about how their wives' hair was all over the place at home.

Now if there is carpet in your home, the hair gets stuck wherever it falls and if you walk around with double-sided tape on your socks, you could get a nice impromptu stuffed animal made of hair! Gross...I know. Plus, the vacuum cleaner gets all stuffed with it too.

On the other hand, if you have hardwood floors, or tiles or whatever that is not fluffy and catch hair, then the fallen hair kinda bundles together and you get these balls of hair in every other corner of your house.

I've always had long hair. I only consciously cut my hair shorter than shoulder length twice in my adult life, both times to donate. That being said, I've been well trained to pick up my hair. Early in my teenage years, my mom threatened to have my hair cut because the long strands of black hair on every surface, in the drains, and sometimes in food, were testing her patience daily. So I picked up the habit of...well, picking up my hair when it falls on the floor when drying it and not letting it get to the drain when washing it. I figured it's better to stick them to the wall until after my shower and then get rid of them, than fishing them from the drain after!

So, I did not feel at all concerned about the lunch topic. Future husband, if you are out there and scared of hair, don't worry, you will not be b*tching about MY hair with your buddies!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Where I come from...

I was watching TV the other day and the commercial for came up and I thought to myself  'There's no way I could find my ancestors on there!'.

I know that my grandmother on my mother's side is Mauritian. Her mom comes from China. I know nothing about her husband, he died young and we barely talk about him. I do not know anything about my dad's parents. They both passed away before I was born. My dad's father only lived long enough to make sure that the family name will survive (my brother being that dream fulfilled). My dad's mother died young, reason unknown to me.

So, I cannot even fill out the 3rd row from the bottom of the tree below. How could a website like help me?

Most Mauritians of chinese descent in my generation are 2nd or 3rd generation Mauritians. Maybe it's just me, but all I know is that sometime, somewhere, my ancestors decided that they should take a risk and cross the Indian Ocean on a boat for what they hoped was a brighter future. My dad still has some family in China, I don't know where exactly. I don't even know my grandparents' names. I could probably find out by looking at my parents' birth certificates. That I guess could be a starting point. It is unlikely that much more could be found though.Not by me anyways. Not knowing the language written or spoken is a major disadvantage here. They definitely didn't have computers back then to know who left the country and when (they probably do not track the 1.3 billion of people there now, so why would they do it 70-80 years ago? And how would they have done it? With scrolls? So I almost want to challenge here, but they probably require more than a name and a date of birth to do so.

My sister-in-law is expecting. I was overjoyed when I learned about the pregnancy. This baby will be the first baby of the next generation for my family. Although she is not born yet, I already love her. I cannot wait to see her face and figure out what she gets from our side of the family and what she gets from her mom's side.

What would my brother tell her about where she comes from though? Great-grandparents are from China, grandparents are from Mauritius, dad is from Mauritius, mom is from Singapore and.....aunt is in Canada. Such a long story already, yet only the tip of the iceberg!! What about our forefathers who made the life-changing decision to leave their hometown, braved the months at sea and started a new life in a strange country, ruled by a different ethnic group. I can only imagine what it was like. None of my ancestors was famous, or particularly gifted, or particularly rich, yet they have undeniably paved the way for us. Without them, I probably wouldn't be here in Canada, doing what they did some 70 years ago, establishing roots in a new country, away from the rest of the family.

For that, I am grateful.