An unexpectedly long reply to an email

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I got an email from a reader called Yueh on Friday, which prompted me to reply her here.


I’ve been your reader for quite some time and i’m not sure how I started it, but I seriously love your life! You have been traveling to so many places, and I love the way how you see everything, everything is just beautiful in your eyes.

And after some time I wondered, do you ever groan in your life? Because you never blog about your emotional moments, or any sad or angry ones. I understand that maybe you are someone that likes to keep it to yourself, but I’m still very curious, how you manage to enjoy your life so much despite all the problems or stress or things that annoy you in some way? Don’t you have moments you hate/dislike something/someone that could make your mood shifted whole day long?

I get distracted pretty easily, I always keep myself positive but sometimes when my mood gets affected, it’s hard to get back to normal mode after.

Honestly, you are a person that I look up to even though I do not really know you. But reading your blog makes me feel that I can always be as bubbly and happy-go-lucky as you too. =)


Thanks for saying everything is beautiful in my eyes, haha. I have to say that i LEARN how to do it more from my friends as well… especially the really happy ones.

I’m always in awe of some people like say, Jess, whom i’ve never seen angry or complain. Even if she does complain, she makes it sound like a joke she’s telling after one minute. She’s always super happy and smiley and enthusiastic and all “Let’s goooo!”. Teamed with pumping fist in air.

People like her make me feel bad i can’t be like that all the time in person. I do have my moody days, i do have angry ones too.ย I have stupidly horrible days just like everyone. I can bitch all day in my head just like everyone. 2-hour traffic jam. Idiot cutting me on the right without signaling, why are you even allowed to drive? I wish there was an online police system where i could report license plates instantly for a complaint. Oh, now look at that. I lost my parking ticket. Why why whyyyy and i’m rushing and i have no change to feed into the parking machine even after finding it. Tripped and scraped my favourite shoe. Caught in storm in my favourite leather flats and was forced to walk in 20cm of disgusting rainwater that comes from this massive longkang that runs through the whole of KL, OH i don’t even want to THINK of what these water molecules have touched.

See, i’m really good at complaining. I can go on and on if i wish. When something/someone makes me mad, I CAN CHOOSE to dwell on the subject that caused me irritation to hell and back, or I CAN CHOOSE to wave it away as fast as i consciously can and get on with my day. Traveling has made me appreciate my life a lot more. Seeing how poor yet happy people are in other countries makes me rethink what i have to complain about. Nothing. I should have NOTHING to complain about. I’m safe. My family is safe. I have Clem. I have my job(s). I have my super happy friends who are generous and inspiring. I have enough money to buy myself whatever i want to eat.

I really think being happy is practice. Clem and his family have taught me that as well… i barely see them complain. His mum is like, the most satisfied happy-go-lucky woman i’ve met. You can’t say it’s because they’re French, cos i’ve seen hell lotta French people bitch openly on public transport before. Clem and his family’s habits got me thinking that i could do that as well. I could be like that if i stopped complaining and being negative in any way in my head.

And the more i did it consciously, the swifter i got at mentally slapping myself every time i had a bad thought about something or someone. Just the other day i had a bad thought about someone in the office and my hand physically hit my own leg before i realized what i was going to do. Then i started laughing at myself for it.

I don’t blog about my worries or complaints because it’d just magnify them. Not only am i swirling all that negative energy around in myself, but spreading it on my blog for people to read as well?! I’m not into reading people whine and complain on blogs, so why should i do it too? Same goes for Twitter (tho i think i’ve been slacking). I’ve been trying not to tweet angry and emo stuff all the time cos that sentence will affect people. Reading an angry tweet will make you feel like you have a right to be angry too, cos someone else out there is already angry, then we can all be angry together. One big angry twitter group woohoo. (Admittedly i slip sometimes. But i try.)

Every time you feel superdamnannoyed at someone, think about WHY that person is being such a prick. Maybe he had a fight with his girlfriend in the morning, maybe he HAS no girlfriend, maybe this is karma for you, maybe his parents abused him as a child. I’m not saying to make excuses for the person. Just that every emotion someone brings up in you is because you have some connection of it in yourself which is why you RECOGNISE that emotion so passionately.

Urm yeah wow i went way off over there. Anyway, i’m just like you. I get annoyed. Last weekend i got so annoyed at Clem i felt bad and had to apologize for being a bitch after. I realise that annoyance comes from dwelling on something that happened in the past. And there’re all these books now that keep on saying concentrate on the PRESENT and not on the PAST nor the FUTURE. So er i’ve been trying to remember that. Like when i’m moody i think: What am i doing NOW? Okay i’m driving. Enjoy the drive. Look outside and see what EXCITING things i might MISS if i’m too busy overthinking life.

So the answer to happiness is… practice! ย I’m still practicing myself.

17 Responses to An unexpectedly long reply to an email

  1. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful…. =)

  2. Joyce Tan says:


    That’s my first thought after reading this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. exactly! sometimes is hard for not tweeting emo stuff. Ok, i must learn how to control myself.:D

  4. LooLoo says:

    Very inspiring~

  5. Fel C says:

    Love this post alot. You inspired me in alot of ways (especially through this post). I admit I am VULGAR in the web, twitter, blog.. but after reading your post, I realise that I shouldn’t magnify them and shouldnt go affect others as well. Might as well see the good side of it. Anyway, that’s all I have to say:) LOVE UR BLOG BTW. (peace sign)

  6. farah says:

    youre like, my inspiration! :))

  7. sweetee says:

    i’ve been following ur blog for a long time, and this post has gotta be one of my fav ones. you’re right.. i think im gonna start practice to and stop whining day and night.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. nickee says:

    i refrain myself from posting angry tweets or fb updates too (with slips sometimes) because i dn wanna spread negativity too and i avoid reading ranty blogs/tweets too especially those with lots of fml for tiny issue. i support sunshiney attitude like urs =D

  9. melmonica says:

    Hi Joyce,

    I’m a loyal reader of yours for a very long time and this is indeed one of my favourite post. Very inspiring. I shall keep this in mind and practice!


  10. Amy says:

    You’re absolutely right. I’m going to keep this in mind too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. LiYing says:

    i love this. i am going to frame it up and remind myself every time i forget.

  12. ShaolinTiger says:

    Awesome reply Joyce and yes, we all have to strive to be positive.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff, learn to forgive quickly and completely and life is good ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. JoyceTheFairy says:

    wow thanks for the comments! i didn’t think it’d have this kinda impact when i wrote it 0_o XD

  14. vino says:

    hey joyce! firstly awesome post – must be one of my favs i must say (really not fair to you la though, i’ve been reading your blog for long long long long time now). secondly… you’re pretty blinking awesome. finally i think i’m gonna bookmark this post, done!


  15. Joanna says:

    I dont follow blogs like i follow yours and i must say this piece is beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Diana Tan says:

    That’s an inspiring post. You are a positive person and it impacts your readers. Thank you and continue writing.

  17. Sarah says:

    hi joyce! ๐Ÿ™‚
    hear hear! this is such a great post! it’s true…more of us need to ‘practice’ being happy and to stop complaining! ๐Ÿ™‚
    have a happy chinese new year!

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