I had the opportunties to attend numerous award shows and gala events since I joined the media industry after graduation. Actress. My first job.
To many, people knew me by the name "Xiao Mei", the name for my character in my first show, Singapore's first sitcom "Don't Worry, Be Happy". Who would have thought the sitcom would be so well received and the entire cast would be doing this sitcom for six years continuously. We were all blessed and after the first year, going to work is like going home: The filming studio a place where we spend many hours rehearsing and acting as a family soon became a "real" on set home to all.
Moving forward, over the years I was given opportunties to be involved in long eposide dramas locally and overseas. I was also a reality host for variety shows that brought me to many parts of the world. I was having lots of fun and the excitement of given new projects were both exciting and rewarding! But there was always a tugging feeling of lost and defeat "Am I am not good enough?" at the annual Star Awards Presentation (where the best production crew, directors, Executive Producers, Actors and Actresses were awarded for their outstanding works.) as I sat there year after year among the stars, not named. And in year 2007 after 11years, I won the Best Supporting Actress in the Mediacorp Star Awards. Finally I thought, an attestment that my efforts have not been in vain. There was happiness of course but when the excitment settled, weridly the insecurities slowly creep back in.
But what I really want to say is beyond all the chatters, the glaring lights, loads of smiles and sashaying of designer wears on the red carpet, for many years I was always insecure with myself. There were times when I often ask myself, Am I good enough? Am I suitable for this job? Should I do this or maybe I should not? Times when I doubt myself and ask if the applause and encouragement of smiles and words were genuine. I believe it is part of the media industry, very dynamic, lots of energy but definitely a place where one needs to be sure of her direction and good with people relations.
Come motherhood, I think this is God's answer to all my insecurities. The direct response to every action, displeasure or happinessness is clearly evident in the cries and restfulness of the child. There are no time for doubts, cries and needs that needed to be attended to and solutions to counter previous solutions that failed. I learnt to handle defeat and move on. The close connection between mother and child is inseparable from birth. With my first born, I had one of the hardest times of my life.
The nine months of pregnancy were great, no morning sickness, no hormonal changes. I had great appetite and skin was glowing. All was well, I had natural birth with epidural and hubby was there through the entire process. I tried breastfeeding during the hospital stay and the nurses were commenting how fast my milk is coming in. It was the day when we brought the baby home when all that crying starts.
I breast fed my son fully for six months with no milk powder substitute. From the day we brought the baby home, he would cry on the dot, at the two hour mark and feeding would start. Each time for half hour or more. As the baby wasn't able to latch on well, he would pull at my nipples and struggle for the milk supply. Then I would be trying to re-position myself while carrying the baby from seating to standing then to lying. But it wasn't easy, each feeding time is always a battle between my son and I. He would be wailing and I would be trying my best to appease him but am actually feeling desperate inside out. Until week 2 when my nipples started to crack and bleed from all the tugging and pulling, I had no choice but to start easing off the latching at night. But it's not easy as he finds comfort in latching but I really couldn't bear the pain from all that pulling and tugging. I have had my constant struggles of milk supply going up and down in the first three months, I was latching him on every 2 hours in the day and expressing every 2 hours in the night. In between that I had to adhere to the rules of confinement, no showers and no outings!
So I could only wipe myself every morning and evening with a piece of hot towel. Throughout the day, loads of hot longan drink, all parts of a pig with ginger and night time rushing to drink the Dome immediately after my last struggle with the baby. My first born wasn't an easy baby to look after, When I started to feed him with formula when he was 6 months old, he would vomit after each feed. So we had to try the different brands of milk powder till we finally found one. Looking back the first year of being a first time mother was a very tiring and a roller coaster experience. Every night for the first year, I would be asking myself why do I have to go through this? Is there anything I have not done or overlooked? Times when I would be so depressed looking at my crying baby.
Admist all that whys and crying, my boy grew up healthy and in fact, at the age of 2, I started bringing him for photoshoots and he was such a joy to work with. He would be smiling and gleeing to the cameras until he would fall asleep smiling in the middle of a shoot.
So my elder grew up to be a big chubby boy and God seems to have heard my prayers, he blessed me with another baby. This time my baby slept through the night. In fact, he sleeps 20 hours a day and only wakes up to be fed routinely for the first few months. Latching was easy and milk supply was constant. No struggles, no screams and no cries:)
So looking back what have I learn? To embrace all that comes your way. For all the bad will pass and so is all the good. Not to be too hard on oneself and others and I guess, to become a happier person:) These days I try not to question and seek for an answer so much, I am beginning to learn to embrace and am trying to see things from different perspectives. Recently, I have also started writing as all of you could see from the recent updates:). Actually this is something I have always been doing when I was a teenager. I had a diary and I would write each time I needed to share my joy or sadness. Somehow, once I started working I guess I' was just overwhelmed:)
But no, I don't call myself a blogger because I don't think I am an excellent writer nor do I blog as a profession. I write simply because I find peace and joy in expressing my thoughts and loves through words. So for like minded people, do share with me your experiences and through the interaction, may we all grow stronger and happier:)