The Story of me
I was contemplating how to begin my story. Should I write it in a report style with analysis and theories or should I just write it from my heart. The first draft was more of a report writing style and a friend of mine told me to use my heart to relate. Thus, I had to change everything and come up with the present structure.
It was a warm late November afternoon that I decided to see the world. Since I was scheduled for arrival two months later, I was born premature. I gave a hard time for my mom and many didn’t give me a chance for my survival. But survive I did. That’s how my life had been, challenging.
Growing up from a broken family, it was like watching my life in the movie ‘Kramer verses Kramer’. The only thing different was my mom had to fight and work hard to keep me and my sis. As a boy I was the prize. It was a difficult time for my mom. She had to work 12 hours shift in a factory and came home to cook for me. She did everything right except that I wasn't doing my part.
I joined gangs, wasted time loitering around and getting myself in trouble. Tried everything and did a lot of things, most of them cannot be defined in writing.
Dropped out of school with only Primary Six education and having to repeat the Secondary One two times, I was transferred to a vocational institute. I went back to school after serving the National Service for the purpose of progression.
I used to work in the factory or construction sites as a labourer and ran to school for my night classes. I did not have much money so I usually ran to class from my work place. I was always dirty and smelling like cement that no one would sit beside me. I then met my friend David Loo who would be my closest friend during my transition. It was a hard journey making a U-Turn and going back to school.
However, during the journey, I realised that I have learned more than I initially expected. It enlightened the perspective for me to complete my “N” and “O” levels as a private candidate. I found education, especially in the Asian and Singapore cultural context, where respect is given to individuals with an academic qualification, necessary and important.
Passion for Arts
I love to draw. My aunty who was working in the National Library, used to bring me and my sis over to the children section where I used to read and draw. Competed in art and craft, sometimes I even got my work put up in the library walls. I joined the library carolling during Christmas and enjoyed a passion for creative thinking. My mind was an intricate design fascinated by creating things and designs.
But, my environment didn’t cater for these ideas. With that and with a social stigma of coming from a broken family, circumstances changed.
I began to use my creative energy and art into football (Soccer). I love the game. We used to watch ‘Giants of Brazil’ and played the South American style. We studied the body movements and the way the players touch the ball with the side of the boots, or controlled the motion of the ball. It was majestic. It was pure artistic and creative.
I represented my school in football and athletics. I represented in VITB, Schools and Farrer Park United in the age groups. For some reason, I was always selected to play in the seniors.
In the field, I felt that the world is at my feet. On the field it was like a canvas waiting for the players to create art. It was like an arena where you perform a ballet with a symphony orchestra churning out beautiful music.
However, due to my attitude and the lack of coaches with exceptional abilities to handle players like me, I was in their bad books even if I could score many goals. I guess you can never control talent.
I have also done modelling and fashion shows on stage. Love dancing and singing too. I love to dance because it builds up muscles. Break dancing, waltz, Disco the list goes on. I have been in the entertainment industry as a DJ, spinning the music and hosted functions and shows.
Experience in life / Reflection
In the event I have seen racism, felt them and even fought them. I have seen racism and racism within race in itself. It’s funny in a way as I strongly believe that we learn and progress further if our sights are not blocked and dammed by interest driven by race or status or religion.
These experiences have been encountered with experiments done by me and my friend David Loo. We used to sit around in Burger King at Peninsula Plaza after our O levels and looked for jobs. There was once, after David had finished his interview at Raffles Place, I had mine scheduled thirty minutes after his. Upon reaching the office, the receptionist told me the position was taken. It was an interesting experiment and we used to sit and laugh at how things were done and how interviews were conducted. There were more than twenty eight interviews conducted by various organisations in our experiment with interesting results.
Born again Christian yet never understood how people misunderstood everything for their own interest. I got myself involve in missionary work and volunteered in hospitals and old folks home. I hope to get back to those things as I have completed my degree course.
Over time, I have manage to focus on an equation for my life. The equation that I have constructed is :
It has been the mantra for my path. So far it has proven to be successful.
I have done business in the food industry, Music industry, clothing and so on. The first business I had was a Super Market down in Jurong West Extension. It was called Enterprise de Lounge Vie. I have done business in the music industry called Intrographics. There was a short spell in starting a business that would be a service for SMEs. It was called ChristoVenture.
Experience gained in working in many companies with different organizations and organisation cultures. These experiences have been from the ground level, working as a cleaner, odd job labourer to higher position such as clerical and management.
The reason for my movements (or Job hop as most people would interpret it), from one organisation to another, was due to the very reason of my progression in education . As I progress in my education, I need to progress in my goals and my target to improve, self develop and fulfill my aspirations.
I used to work in Ben Foods. I worked as a delivery boy carrying bulky stuff up to hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. I was then promoted to storekeeper in the store in a store which was so cold.
I had to wake up at four in the morning, to prepare for the deliveries. Usually, the storekeepers worked till two in the afternoon. Most of the time, I would be called upon to work in the deliveries which required me to prepare the store and deliver them to the sites. Thus I would only be able to go home later than five in the evening.
Anyway, I have seen many things and done it all equipped with a lot of experience and no regrets. At one time I didn’t even have money to take a bus home after work. I have been in the worst of times and seen the worst scenarios. I guess there are a lot of things in life that make you stronger.
Presently moving up the ladder and still progressing I am an accountant cum administrative Executive. Over the years, life has been a learning process. When one thinks learning is over after school, that’s when one realises progress is either slow or never fulfilled at all.
I have just received my BSc in business studies with HRM, 2nd Class Honours from Loughborough University (UK).
It was a long walk but as Confucius would say, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop..”
"If the purpose of learning is to score well on a test, we have lost sight of the real reason for learning.
- Jeanie Fulbright
“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
― W.B. Yeats
“The education of a man is never completed until he dies.”
― Robert E. Lee
“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.”
― Brian Tracy
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
Clay P. Bedford
“The act of reading will enrich your life.Become a lifelong learner and a reader.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
-Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate