City of stars, are you shining just for me? 

 

I watched La La Land recently; the boyfriend was very keen since he heard raving reviews about it.

*May include spoilers, should you proceed to read.

A love story, of fragmented dreams. It’s about what it takes to make dreams come true. It’s about how much you want something, and how much you are willing to lose to gain that one thing that you have always wanted. It’s about how your dreams can change – or rather, how you alter your dreams to your situation thinking it is what you want, when in fact, you know it is probably not. Fragmented dreams.

It was a film like no other – it’s not quite Mamma Mia, but here we also established that Ryan Gosling’s singing voice is very strange. In most musical-like films, everything tends to be perfect: the singing, the plot, the choreography. Usually a lot of singing. But in La La Land, there is some singing, some random dancing, & a lot of instrumentals which I did enjoy. I’d recommend y’all to watch it.

A few surprises:

  1. We liked how there was a smooth plot/story line amidst the dancing & singing. That is saying a lot for the boyfriend because he admits the usual cotton candy dancing in the clouds does not appeal to him. He quite enjoyed the film, so that’s the first surprise for me lol. Throughout the movie, I kept looking at him to see if he had fallen asleep/bored enough to throw his popcorn at the screen, but his attention was rapt.
  2. We thought the ending was quite clever – here’s a spoiler!- the leads did not end up together, happily ever after; but apart, happy enough with their own accomplished lives. There were a succession of flashback scenes, alternate realities to show the audience what could’ve been. And sadly, I believe they would’ve lived much happier lives, however ways their individual dreams would have turned out. I must say the “what could have been” bits got to me. Because they happen in real lives, because once too many times I have walked into the woods of what could have been, because once too many times I have been trapped in those realities. That said, I did not cry like a baby, and both the boyfriend & myself are very proud. I would also have rolled my eyes so hard if they did end up together because Hollywood.
  3. Ryan Gosling’s singing voice is really strange, have I already mentioned that? Although I am starting to get hooked into “City of Stars”, sung by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone. It’s definitely not his voice I am listening to, there is a hopeful but melancholic pull in the tunes. I blame the minor keys. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” is actually another neat song.

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

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More often than not, I have thought of myself as the world’s biggest fool. Chasing dreams so sublime. Making such messes of myself at this age, it was almost embarrassing.

But here, here’s to us fools who dream; because no matter how crazy they seem, they are your dreams. You shouldn’t be embarrassed, you shouldn’t be discouraged. In fact, you should be afraid.

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

So they say.

Trust me, I was scared plenty. All day, everyday. Freaking out in my head all the time. Thinking, what on earth are you doing with yourself, Alex? Not once did this fear cease. It scared me enough to keep me going. I would rather be scared right now, than to look back at this moment 10 years later & ask myself: “What if?” What if I had been braver? What if I had fought for my dreams/my love/my life? 

And if any chance my answers begin with, “I wished I had…”, they would then be regrets too big for me to carry.

 

So what if I am the world’s biggest fool?

Dreams do come true. And I would do it all over again.

Have you watched the film yet? What do you think about it? Let me know x.

Toodles. ♥

This week, we commemorated the 3rd year of CAMIE’s existence, as well as achieving our milestone of 1000 days of restraint-free interventions.

It was such joy to be present in the celebration, it was an amazing pride to be part of it. Let me tell you why.

As you may already know, CAMIE means Care of the Acute Mentally Infirmed Elderly. A project started 3 years ago with a selected bunch of nurses to pioneer the unit. At that point in time, I was sure a number of us felt very uncertain about the whole thing. Was it doable? Were we fit for the job? What were we in for? But we’d never know unless we actually try, so we took a leap of faith and soldier on. Hand in hand, we took up the job of caring for people with dementia, at the same time nursing their acute medical issues. Being a fairly new nurse back then, I wasn’t decided if that was what I wanted to do for a long time. I wasn’t even sure of my life, heck. What more having the confidence in taking care of a whole lot of confused, delirious elderly.

But three years on, standing there in the midst of the festivity, I realised I have never been so sure in my life. That I have taken this calling to heart, and I know there’s nothing I’d rather do, or associate myself with. I am a proud geriatric nurse, and a very proud dementia nurse. We don’t always get the recognition we deserve & we certainly don’t always get remembered by our patients. The lessons I get from nursing every single person with dementia were more than enough to balance out the lack of acknowledgement. And the bliss that balloons up my heart when I get glimpses of the persons behind the disease, is indescribable. No words can define that great satisfaction.

CAMIE

It has been a crazy 3 years, like roller coaster rides, we won’t deny this. Nurses came and left, patients lived and died. Ironically, what I am really sadly happy about is how (only) a handful of us pioneer nurses are still around to savour the fruits of our labour. And what I am proud of is how we managed to convince a few more nurses of the pleasure of caring for people with dementia. It is from this ability to care for PWD, that we become even more capable & patient in caring for elderly in general.

CAMIE   Cake

And who would have believed it, we achieved what most people thought (or still think) we could not achieve. 1000 days (and counting) of restraint-free. We did it, we painstakingly did it. All it took was for us to be human, to empathise, and to willingly spend that time to resolve the problems. It also required creativity & patience. But most of all, it necessitates love. Can you see the love in our eyes in the photo above, lol.

 

Of course, there are the non-believers, the sceptics, the cynics. Until today, despite the 1000 days milestone, they still scoff at the possibility. They mock and they jeer at our attempts, and it is extremely disappointing that some of them were supposed to be our role models. It is also discouraging that I had to learn the hard way –  that in this profession, not everyone celebrate our successes, our trials & tribulations. All we really want to do is to show you that impossible can be possible, that people with dementia can live well. All we ask is for you to respect that, the same way we respect your own set of skills and knowledge in your area of expertise.

These CAMIE angels are the most knowledgeable, understanding, loving nurses I have ever worked with in my entire life. I cannot be prouder to call them my comrades, my happy pills; and with them I am certain we can take on any challenges together. Our team’s support is something I treasure, we laugh & cry over cups of coffee to keep us going. And we mustn’t forget our lovely team doctors, all the other healthcare professionals & volunteers who have never fail to support us throughout. It is incredibly soothing to be able to share our thoughts and opinions with the team, knowing they won’t brush us off or take us lightly. Team work is essential, I learnt that from working with all these wonderful people.

Group photo

Group dinner 2

 

So, thank you all. We wouldn’t have done it without one another. ♥

I hope our work inspires someone out there, the same way it had inspired me once upon a time.

Happy CAMIE-versary!

 

Toodles. ♥

D i s t a n c e.

How does something this difficult,

becomes easier?

With every repetitive moments –

Like the endless hugs & kisses

at departure gates

or,

the holding of tears, threatening to spill

at every goodbye;

Do we lose the pull of gravity

little by little, each time?

A vicious cycle.

But the cracks in the ring,

they are showing.

It is only a matter of time;

until the circle breaks.

& my heart will finally be free to come home,

with you.

 

I will wait for you, my darling;

            and I will wait for you.  

 

 

 

Taking a (very bad) stab at writing turned poetry. & swirly thoughts.

 

Toodles. ♥

Last half hour of 2015.

Another year coming to a close. I’m starting to get flashbacks of myself around this time of every year, sprawled in some corner typing out the epilogue of my year and end up being overwhelmed with everything.

It happens every single year.

Instead of going out there, partying, & getting drunk in the real world, I snuggle into my spot, accompanied by my favourite mug of steaming hot tea (or coffee), and attempt to summarise my year.

And I get terrible writers’ block.

And I get clouded by all the emotions and events that took place over the entire year.

And I start over.

Only to realise that I am left with a minute to midnight, or completely gone past midnight.

Not always successful, but at least I tried. And this year, I am trying again.

 

Just like every year, I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations. This year has indeed been a wild roller coaster ride, & I’m not entirely sure how best to word it. While most friends I know went through their quarter life crises, I was just so busy with life that I basically didn’t have time for a personal crisis. In fact, I found clarity in such uncertainty, it basically opened up my heart, mind & soul to so many possibilities.

Let’s list it:

  • I’ve graduated (beautifully).
  • I fell in love. ♥
  • I’ve gotten myself into a long distance relationship. It’s crazy and I love it.
  • I realised I actually do love my job, I love what I am doing every day, I love my old people. I love being their nurse.
  • I experienced the whole “moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye”, again.
  • I have to accept that you can never make other people understand everything you do, neither do you need to justify for it.
  • I may have burnt/scarred some bridges, but only because I know I cannot keep up. I’ve been completely let down by people whom I’ve held so dear, and if I may be completely honest, it has been so absolutely tiring to hold on. What else can I do, but to let go.
  • I made peace with myself – I wrote an entire dissertation on myself, as if I was trying to get to know me all over. It was kinda fun. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the end yet.
  • I allowed myself to cry buckets when I needed to.
  • I pampered myself, love myself loads & never let myself justify the nice things I do for me. Basically bought a lot of nice things for myself.
  • I’ve made big girl’s decisions that I never thought I’d have to make, just yet.
  • I am still queen of procrastination, sadly.
  • I also allowed myself to be a complete antisocial hermit, and spend all the time I needed, to be alone, to bask in the loneliness, to accept that some things you just got to do alone & to learn happiness in that solitude. Before you can brace yourself to face the world again.
  • I have to live with the fact that my LDR is like a constant countdown – always counting down to when we’ll meet; and when we finally do, the back of our minds counting down the days we have left together.
  • I got to travel a fair bit, thanks to the LDR.
  • But I also found home. 🙂
  • I am halfway there, a work in progress to make my dreams come true.

 

A bittersweet, amazing year overall. I have been waiting for this moment to pass for so long, only too excited to rush into 2016. I wouldn’t have made it through without all the wonderful people in my life (near or far) who chose to stay by my side despite my flaws and shortcomings. You know who you are.

& of course, to my amazing best friend & boyfriend half the world away – it is ridiculous because I cannot express just how much joy you have brought into my life, especially even when we are constantly apart. Truly, distance means so little when you mean so much. Here’s to all the adventures we will have together. ♥ I honestly can’t wait.

 

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Happiness comes in the form of a dog.

 

So there you go, 55 minutes past midnight. Never on time.

 

Hello, 2016. I’ve been waiting for ya.

No regrets.

 

Toodles. ♥

I woke up early this morning as usual to Skype the boyfriend – only to be greeted by an exclamation of “This is madness!”. Groggy & half awake, I attempted to process his live updates on the Paris attacks, got onto my news feed, read in horror & felt chills in my bones.

We were there exactly 2 weeks ago. When beauty and love were all I knew.

It is really madness, what with everything that is going on right now. It has turned ugly.

And to think that I was just going to write about how I had an amazing time in Paris, now that I’ve walked through the streets as a different person. I guess this is a completely bad time now.

 

My thoughts and love are with you, Paris.

 

 

Toodles. ♥