All posts by livingwellbestrevenge

I'm a woman who's been given a second shot at this thing called life. I used to be a wife until I found out the love of my life cheated on me. Now I'm a single mother living the dream in NYC. Life is not easy but the spirit gets better everyday. And I would like to use my story to encourage people to get out of whatever funk they're in and start living and loving life according to their terms.

Quirks about me

I just turned 37 and thought I’d share some of my thoughts on stuff:

20 Quirks about me:

1) I’m 37, single, husband-less and boyfriend-less.

2) I never thought I’d be 37, single, husband-less and boyfriend-less… and actually love it!

3) I moved to New York City in 2005 and loved it.

4) I moved to New Jersey in 2009 and always wanted to move back to NYC.

5) I moved back to NYC last year and am loving it again.

6) I walk 3 miles to and from my daughter’s school and work everyday. I love it. It’s also my gym time since I have no time to go to the gym.

7) I hold two full time jobs – working in finance and working as a single mom. It’s exhausting but I’m proud to be able to pull it off. For now. 

8) I really suck in the kitchen. But I have a handful of dishes I cook for my daughter. Why cook when you have so many restaurants at your doorstep? And delivery!!

9) I get stressed whenever there’s a bake sale or anything involving the use of my hands (e.g. crafts). My daughter is always pleading for me to bake cookies. I’ve tried with Betty Crocker brownies – they came out hard as rock and she had to force herself to eat them (sorry Genevieve!). So yea I would rather buy. I mean that’s why we live in NYC after all – so we could buy the world’s best anything (except Singapore food) anytime!

10) I hate doing chores but do them daily anyways because I’m scared of cockroaches and mice. 

11) If I ever meet a man, I’m never ever going to fake it again. I can’t cook and I suck at housekeeping. But I do make comfortable money and am pretty good at math! 

12) I love to travel but I have a fear of flying. Yes I know there are more road accidents etc etc but at least I’m in control when I drive. I get especially stressed whenever there’s turbulence. I have a ritual where I make sure to go to church to pray 9 consecutive days before a vacation. 

13) That said – I haven’t been to mass in a while. I have a relationship with God – I just don’t believe in man made rituals. 

14) I’m visiting Lourdes, France in the summer and a friend has commented that I’ll pollute the holiness of the place. I’m secretly worried he’s right. 

15) I think I’m strong. But please please please do not let a cockroach or mouse appear in my apartment! I will freak the fuck out!! 

16) I’ve pretty much come to terms with my body. I recognize that I have nice legs. But I don’t have a six pack and will never have a six pack. It runs in the family. We are an apple shaped family. 

17) I read Facebook posts about people wishing their kids will stay kids forever. I’m secretly wishing mine will grow up faster so that it would be less tiring for me. I know I will regret thinking that when she’s a teenager. Ok at least grow up to a point where she can act more human like put on her own clothes, feed herself without me having to nag at her and help with the dishes. 

18) Will I ever get married again? I don’t know. As of now, I know I’m not looking for a husband. And no replacement dad please. My daughter already has a dad. 

19) Do I believe in marriage? I don’t know. I think it’s difficult. I always thought I was happy in my marriage. It’s only when I’m out of my marriage that I realize I was never really happy. I had to suppress a lot of my own desires and compromised a lot. Now I’m free to do as I please. I see picture perfect marriages on social media and I hope they are truly as happy as they look. But I look at my parents and I think there’s hope for marriage. They are still totally in love with each other and they’ve been married since 1978.

20) I’m getting good at being alone. I dine alone, watch movies alone, went to an opera alone. The only thing I haven’t dared to do is to go to a bar alone. Something about being a solo woman in a room full of guys who are sizing you up makes me nervous. Although that’s how it is when I’m in meetings. I would love to go on a trip alone though. To Amsterdam! (Don’t tell my mom what’s in Amsterdam)

Murphy’s Law Day

Dear friends,

Well it’s past midnight here now. I’d wanted to get this post in before midnight but life (and binge-watching Girls) got in the way.

12 years ago yesterday, I arrived in New York City for the very first time. I came here alone. It was a long journey from home in Singapore. I was full of hope and insanely scared at the same time. 

I would love to say that today was a great 12th year anniversary. But nah it was a Murphy’s Law day instead. The first indicator that it was going to be a shitty day was when I was walking along 5th Avenue on my way to work, checking my phone while trying to balance an umbrella in the pouring snow, not looking where I was going and crashing right into some road barrier thingy in front of all these people. And the day culminated in my super cracked iPhone finally giving up for good. 

When my phone died, I was livid. I was trying frantically to revive it for a bit just so I could back it up to iCloud – because God knows why but I haven’t backed it up to iCloud in like a year and my entire life is on that phone. I didn’t want to lose all of 2016 – it made me even sadder when I remembered that the only pictures that I had of my Italian Non Relationship were in there and the fond memories of our day in Fire Island. 

But of course the phone refused to cooperate. After my initial frustration, I felt strangely liberated. Like I could quit obsessively checking my phone now. And take a break from social media stalking. 

Yesterday one of my Instagram friends posted pictures of her daughters doing cartwheels in her impeccably neat, spacious and trendy living room. While my teeny tiny living room perpetually looks like Toysrus exploded in there. But I know she tells me in person that her life is not perfect.

Heck my life is far from perfect. In the 12 years since I’ve been in this country, I’ve broken an engagement, had some fun, got married, had a baby and got divorced. It’s fucking awesome. The only difference is – I keep it real. I don’t sell people the ideal image.

Life is short, friends. Let’s keep it real. Happy (belated) 12 years to me!

A Letter To My Daughter On International Women’s Day

Dear Daughter,

You are entering a very exciting phase in your life. You and I – we moved to New York City about six months ago. You started kindergarten and you’ve made many new friends – heck you have more of a social life than I do with all your play dates. And yesterday you went for your first audition – your first audition was for a Broadway musical in Times Square – isn’t that awesome?

Yesterday your dad came out to support you for your audition. So we did spend some time together as a family. And your dad took you out to dinner last night while I went to the gym. When I came to pick you up, you invited your dad up to our apartment but we both told you that’s not a good idea and your dad left. When you came back to our apartment, you told me you were sad and you were missing daddy already. At bed time, you cried because you said you missed your daddy.

I let you have a good cry. I do empathize with you my dear – I really do. But I am over feeling guilty about you having to live with divorced parents. Because it wasn’t me who tore our family apart. In the beginning, your dad and his parents would blame me for wanting the divorce. However if he did not cheat on me, would I have wanted a divorce? No – in fact I was working really hard on our marriage but a marriage takes two hands to clap – I can’t fix a marriage alone. And cheating is a deal breaker. 

And the thing is – my honeybun – the man who I loved with all my heart never once apologized to me what he did to me. And he never begged me to forgive him. He moved on really quickly. So why should I be with someone who clearly never wanted to be with me?

And my darling when you grow up and if you ever do find yourself in this situation – be it in a romantic relationship or in a friendship or at work – if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are no longer valued and respected, you hold your head up high and you walk too. You don’t beg. However painful it may be. However scared you may feel. You pull yourself together and you walk away with your dignity intact. Because trust me – everything will be alright.

So today on International Women’s Day, my hope is that you will grow up to be a strong woman who is not afraid to pursue her dreams. Whether it’s to sing onstage in a Broadway musical, or to be the President or to be a mom, your possibilities are endless and you never give up until you’ve tried your hardest. And you are responsible for your own happiness. If you choose to be alone, that’s perfectly fine. If you choose to be in a relationship, I pray that it will be a relationship filled with mutual respect and love for each other. Do not ever let your fears take over you. Live a life with integrity.

I love you baby. Happy International Women’s Day!

To My Non Relationship

I have so many things to say to you. But I’ll never have the courage to say them to you. For I fear rejection. I fear that you may not reply to my messages. I fear the one worded answers. I don’t want my feelings to get dismissed like they didn’t matter at all. So I’ll spill it here and tell it to the rest of the world. The rest of the world but you.

You see – I did develop feelings for you. Even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t. And I’m too strong to admit this weakness. But spending time with you for almost a year meant a lot to me. And I hope that it meant something to you too. I think it might have. But I think you’re just way more experienced at stopping yourself before you got carried away. 

And me? Even though I haven’t seen you in almost four months (yes I’m counting), because I’m trying to detach, you still pop up in my head everyday. Even though the memories are now fuzzy and less vivid, I still remember the special moments. And they still bring a smile.

But I fear that I’m starting to forget. I fear I’m starting to forget how you look like in person. Or that you won’t remember how I look like. And that someday we may pass each other on the streets like strangers – even though we shared hot and precious moments together. 

I’m starting to forget how your skin feels like. How your touches feel like on my skin. How your kisses taste like. How your nakedness looks like upclose. 

The memories of our evenings together … the way you kissed me so passionately … the naughty stuff… the way you would hold me after… until I fell asleep… those thoughts still electrify me. 

Those places… those moments… they’ll always have a special place in my heart. Fire Island at the end of summer… spending summer afternoons by the poolside… the Lower East Side…classical music…perfectly al dente pasta…

I don’t know when those memories will stop making me feel these pangs. I don’t know if this inner torment will ever stop.

Because the truth is – I miss you. I really do. But the sad part is – I can’t tell you.

Because I need to get over you. 

Detoxify

Dear friends,

When you are on your healing journey, you will find a need to detoxify. You’ll feel like you need to detox in the physical aspect of your life as well as emotional. You’ll find the need to build boundaries with certain people in your life because they no longer fit with the new you. 

This post is not about walking away from a romantic relationship. It’s about walking away from a so-called friendship. So I guess it might also apply to romantic relationships. 

I’d been thinking hard about writing this post. Because I had promised a friend – or soon-to-be ex friend not to say anything. So I need to be careful.

As part of my recovery from being cheated on, I’ve been learning to build boundaries and listening to my gut instincts. This includes investing less in friends and people who do not care about investing as much or who do not seem to share the same values. In other words, disengage and detach from any relationship or friendship which is not reciprocal. 

Recently I spent time with a close friend who I’ve known for more than a decade. She confided in me that she’s cheating on her husband with a married man. 

I felt so betrayed. I feel a lot more strongly about this because I was on the other side – the side that got cheated on. But more than that I felt angry and disappointed at failing to see this person for who she really is. And I’m scared that once again I’m a bad judge of character. 

I remember when I first met my friend I was really charmed by her. I thought she was this really cool girl. She always dresses well and looks good even though she is not conventionally pretty. And she always has a way of convincing everyone that whatever she uses is the best and her way is the best way. She was involved with a married man when I first met her but she made me see their relationship with rose colored lenses and convinced me that he was in a loveless marriage and that she was really the one for him. Needless to say, he never divorced his wife and she left him after about two years. 

Slowly I began to peel back the layers of her personality. She has the all the trademarks of a textbook narcissist. In her eyes, I’m convinced she really thinks she is the best. She is excellent at setting boundaries in an almost selfish way. It’s like you always know your relationship with her will never be reciprocated and she will never go out of her way to make any effort for you. She will make a show out of making an effort but you know it’s a shallow attempt. But somehow you will still be so charmed that you will never want to displease this person. 

It was interesting listening to her talk about the affair from the perspective of the Other Woman / Cheater. It’s the same old bs of how she hasn’t been happy in her marriage and how this other guy really gets her. But at the same time, she doesn’t want to divorce her husband because she needs him to continue supporting her financially. 

I won’t tell on her to her husband. I pray that he will not be taken advantaged of by her and that her conscience will kick in and she’ll do the right thing. But in the meantime, I will detach and set my boundary with her. 

Maybe it is great that I am finally beginning to see the real person that she is. Maybe it is a sign that my recovery process is working and that I really am starting to heal and love myself. Because I’m starting to respect and have confidence in my own values and am ready to walk away from others who don’t share my values or who will destroy my peace. 

So friends – as you begin your healing process, it may be time for some housekeeping. Set your boundaries and walk away from people and situations which disrupt your peace. Detox and find your peace.

You Got Game

Dear friends,

Do you have game? Do you even know what the game is?

To succeed in life, to recover from a bad situation, to thrive, you need to have game. Game gives you confidence. Game allows you to walk with that little swagger. Game tells others that you are a player and that they better have their game on too if they want to mess with you. 

You need game to climb up that ladder in your career. You need game to navigate the complexities of your personal life. You need game in your dating life. The list goes on…

So what is game and how do you play?

  • Understand the lay of the land 

In order to develop your game, you need to first understand what you’re dealing with. For example, if it’s a promotion you’re gunning after at work, you need to know what’s needed. Is it a special skill set? Do you need more visibility to senior management? Is it exposure within the industry that you need?

  • Identify the players

Next you need to know who you’re dealing with. Are they friends or opponents? Will they help you or are they in the way? Observe their game and see if you can identify any flaws or loopholes in their behavior. What can you do to turn enemies into friends? Who can help you achieve your goals?

  • Experiment

Soft approach or hard approach? Is it beneficial for you to come on strong or to be subtle? Experiment with your behavior until you find the one that feels most natural to you and that others respond positively to.

  • Broadcast

Now is the time for you to walk with that swagger. Name drop. Be seen. Let others know you are also a player. 

So… wanna play?

Making Happiness Happen

Dear friends,

I hope you had a good weekend. I certainly did.

On Saturday evening, I organized my first Meetup dinner with complete strangers. The premise of my Meetup group is basically a social mixer for divorced singles who don’t have plans on weekends and would like to do something fun. 

At dinner, one of the ladies who’s been divorced 15 years commented on how it’s been difficult and lonely and how she’s dated here and there but never found anyone. After dinner, she pulled me aside and told me to organize a night out. 

” Divorced people need to go out as well you know,” she said. 

I am a firm believer that you are responsible for your own happiness. You can’t control if bad stuff will happen to you. You can’t foresee when bad stuff is going to happen to you. The only thing you can control is your reaction to it. And only you can choose whether you want to reclaim your life and be happy after the grieving period. Or if you want to stay victimized and depressed forever. 

To create your own happiness, you have to be deliberate about it. You can’t rely on another person to make you happy. In the above example of the lady who’s been finding it difficult post divorce for  15 years, she should have found ways to make herself feel happy and feel good about herself. 

  • Identify what you need. For example if getting compliments on your looks makes you happy, see if there are any changes you can make to your lifestyle – perhaps healthy eating or buying a few new pieces for your wardrobe that will help make you feel happy. 

If you are scared of feeling lonely, spend some time with your friends. If your friends have no time for you, research your community to see if there are any social gatherings. Get out there and meet new people. 

  • Fill your time with meaningful activities. For example on Sunday, I had an ice skating lesson and a pole dancing lesson. In between those two lessons, I walked 2 miles along the Hudson River to enjoy the beautiful weather and sights and I just felt so happy. 

You really don’t need much to be happy. It’s really the little things that count. But you have to be deliberate and make happiness happen for yourself.

And yes – I am definitely organizing a ‘going out’ Meetup soon.