Category Archives: recovery

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!


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. 


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. 

The Best Laid Plans

Dear friends,

The best laid plans often go awry.

 I had the worst Valentine’s Day ever. For weeks I had plans to have dinner with my daughter on Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day eve however, my ex mother in law called and insisted on having Valentine’s Day dinner together. I couldn’t shake her off so I got stuck having dinner with my ex in laws sans my ex husband on Valentine’s Day. My ex husband had been on a ‘business trip’ the past three weeks and during dinner, he called to say his flight got cancelled and that he would be back after Valentine’s Day. How very convenient.

At dinner, my daughter was crying and kept pointing to her right ear – a sign that she was coming down with an ear infection. I had an important meeting at work the next day and couldn’t work from home. So I told my ex in laws to take her home with them so they could take her to the doctor the next day. I was awashed with mommy guilt but I had (and am still having) a well deserved break. I had been with my daughter for three weeks straight which included a bout of fever, cold and a snow day. We’ve spiced up our time together with plenty of play dates with our neighbors but it does get exhausting. 

We have a long weekend this weekend on my side of the world. I’ll be alone since I am relationship-less at the moment and my daughter will be with her dad. But I’ve filled my weekend with activities so I don’t feel bored. 

I’ve been divorced for almost 10 months and living apart from my ex husband for more than 2 years now – I’ve forgotten how it was like to be married. Today I was trying to imagine how it would be like on a long weekend when I was married. I would have someone to spend time with. We would probably have no plans. We would probably drive to one of the same old restaurants to have the same old dinner. And then maybe we’d watch a movie at home when our daughter was asleep. I can’t remember if in the later years of our marriage we would be spooning each other on our sectional couch or if we would just be sitting beside each other, each distracted with our own phones while watching the movie. And it would be another sexless weekend or we would go through the ordeal of a planned sex session. But most of all, I remember how we would try so hard to make it a fun weekend but it was in actuality – wait for it – boring. 

Last night I went for a friend’s birthday drinks. Tonight I’ve organized dinner with a bunch of divorced strangers on the Meetup app. On Sunday I just booked myself for an ice skating lesson and a pole dancing lesson. On Monday I will be getting a facial and a wax. I am relationship-less on a long weekend but guess what – it will not be a boring weekend after all. 

So friends – the best laid plans may not happen in life. But sometimes that’s the best thing to ever happen in your life. 

The Haves And The Have Nots

Dear friends,

For the past couple days, I have been struggling internally. You see my ex husband has been on this business trip and has not shown up nor called our daughter for the past three weeks. And I have been stalking our joint bank account.

I know, I know. I haven’t stalked in a while and I really shouldn’t care what he’s up to now that we are divorced. But it’s hard whenever he does something that triggers bad feelings in me – like going on ‘business trips’ and ghosting. Believe me – I do not ever want to get back together with him because cheating on me is the last straw. In fact his affair partner or whoever he’s with right now could have him for all I care since I know this is a man who comes with issues. But what bothers me most is that even though he was the one who caused our breakup, he hasn’t suffered any consequences. I’m the one bearing the brunt of the day-to-day child rearing – and even though I wouldn’t have it any other way, it does get exhausting and it doesn’t leave me much time for myself.

And of course tomorrow being Valentine’s Day, my Facebook is starting to explode with declarations of love from people to their significant other. And here I am, pushing 37 and wondering if I’m attractive enough, if I’ve gained too much weight lately, if I’ll ever find a good guy, if I’ll ever find love again…What if – and it’s a high possibility – my ex husband remarries and I have to deal with his new wife for the rest of my custody duration?!? 

Then today as I was walking my daughter to school on this cold and windy but sunny Monday morning, I looked around at the craziness that is New York City and I said to myself – you know what – right now I have everything that I’ve ever wished for. I’m living in the city that I love, I have a beautiful and healthy child and I have a great career that affords my child a good lifestyle. And when I focused on what I have and not what I don’t have – I started to feel happier. 

I may not be in a relationship again. I may not find love again. My ex may remarry again. These are things in my future that are beyond my control. And if I worry about these things now, I fail to appreciate the good stuff that’s already happened in my life.

So friends, for a lot of you in bad relationships or who are going through break ups, Valentine’s Day tomorrow may suck. But focus on what you have, appreciate the good things you have going in your life right now. And trust that the law of attraction will bring the good stuff back in your life.