I was on the phone to Momma Lin last night. Crazy as she is, I am often reminded of how smart she is at times.
Here is some advice my ma has given me through the years which really have helped in my life:
Don’t look in other people’s windows
What does this mean exactly? No, it doesn’t mean that you should stop stalking people through their windows (I find a telescope of binoculars are best for this). She means stop comparing yourself to other people. This used to come into play for me often when I was younger, and whenever my friends had a better lifestyle than myself, for example, a better car, a newer handbag, or a nicer apartment, I’d always whine about it to my ma and mope around the house crying about how terrible my life is. My ma would always say to me “Meimei, stop looking into other people’s windows, because you may not like what you see.” It’s basically saying that although things may seem all glossy and beautiful on the surface, these people may be extremely unhappy in their lives.
I always think of it like that line from Clueless:
Tai: Do you think she’s pretty?
Cher: No, she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a Monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. Let’s ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?
Oh Clueless. Is there anything you can’t do?
Life is too short
Momma Lin has thrown out this gem at me many times, mostly when I’m stuck in a dead-end job which I hate. I’d drag my ass home after working 12 hours day at something that sucked hard, and then spend the entire night complaining about how I hate my job.
One night, my Ma sat me down and said “Meimei, life is too short to be doing something that makes you so unhappy. Quit your job, find another job, or don’t find another job. We have money – you work it out.”
Little did she know that I took her advice too literally, and was unemployed for the next 2 years, living off my parent’s money. Whatever – my Ma loved the fact that we could hang out and shop all the time.
Don’t be afraid to be alone
My parents have a very interesting relationship: My entire family moved to Sydney in 1987 from Taiwan – me, my bro, ma and pa. My father moved back to Taiwan a few years after to start his own company, so we only saw dad a handful of times a year.
Currently, my mother lives in Sydney, and my dad lives in Taiwan. They commute to each other a few times a year, but the majority of the time they are alone in their respective countries. They’re still married.
My mother, much like me, has a handful of close friends who may or may not be back in Sydney at the same time as she is. She has no tolerance for people she does not like, and is quite happy to tell them to their face that she does not want to share her time with them. So – my mother spends a lot of her time by herself.
A lot of people always ask my mother if she’s lonely – it’s the absolute opposite! My mother LOVES being by herself. She relishes in the fact that there is no one telling her what to do, having to be somewhere at a certain time, having to do something with people she does not like. Even though my ma misses me since we see each other so rarely, the times when I do go back home to visit her, we spend a lot of our time apart doing separate things. My mother is very independent.
I guess I get that quality from her – I feel suffocated when I spend more than a 4 day long weekend with Husband, or anyone for that matter. This was super confusing to Husband when we first started dating because he had come out of a 5 year relationship where the girl just wanted to be with him ALL THE TIME. So, he was always trying to make time for me out of his busy work schedule.
Argh – it’s like my worst nightmare. Now, he’s like “Babe – traveling all week. See you on the weekend.”
And I’m like “Word.”
Anyways – to recap, don’t be afraid to be alone. If you’re really awesome, you should be stoked about spending time with yourself.
Always invest in classic Chanel bags.
They appreciate in value every year.
Never marry a man for his looks. Looks fade. Money doesn’t.
One day, I hope to be as wise as Momma Lin – she has never worked a day in her life, has traveled the world, and has more designer jewelry, handbags, shoes than you can imagine.
Love you ma!Read More »