May 10, 2010

Chilli in my Rojak...Part 5

Its been a few days since my last post. I was really busy with several little projects on the side. Which I cannot talk about until it finalizes in due time.

I once saw a beautiful art piece printed on a post card. I bought the card, scanned the art into the computer and use it to create a mini picture frame with it.

I made this and kept several copies of it. Then I would pick to give to the people whom I think would need it the most. People who are friends of mine. People who, at one point in their lives needed some assuring words. Words that cheer them on. That the things they do for others are meaningful and well thought of. Even though it was never seem to be appreciated by the receiver.

Because your heart is the happiest when it beats for others.

One of the people I gave this to was Su-Chzeng..yes, her again. The person who was my boss, my friend in need and also indeed.

Soon after I wrote the last entry about her, I email Su to tell her I dedicated one post to her. She had to go online just to read what I have written. Without wasting time, she immediately rang me..just to say "Thank you" and also to tell me I was like an angel to her. Giving her the assurance she needed to affirm that what she is going through now is all worth it.

Its not easy to be be away from family and close friends and to spend all your time working. This is what Su-Chzeng is doing now. Working, travelling, giving talks and coaching corporate companies.

It can really take a toll on you. Physically, mentally and even spiritually. Su-Chzeng says :

"Gina, thank you for this. I really REALLY needed this. As a reminder that there is Life outside all these. Sometimes I am just so tired. And wondered if this is what I should do for the rest of my life."

In return I said :

"Su, yes it is. It always is. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be what I am today. I didn't know what to do, how to do it. I will still be in my comfort zone. Doing the same boring things I did when I left school. You create a NEW me. You taught me to re-discover myself. To find my inner fears, to search my soul. And you showed me how. You gave me a chance to try new things. To make mistakes all the time. And you gave me time to improve, to make better of things gone wrong.

If you stop what you are doing now, the world would come to a standstill. So please, don't stop what you are doing."

And soon after, I was reminded of this card I did for her:

And it was also with her I found the things I loved doing but stopped doing because I followed the norm of things. Making money, feeding families, raising our girls. I stopped doing many many things that makes me happy.

I have always enjoyed ART..drawing it, painting it. With the new age of computers, I use it to re-create Art. When I was working with Su, I get to re do all these again. And became an 'ICON' in our regional office due to the work I do. During one of the projects I needed to do for the department, I was stressed by the multitude of art work I needed to do. To de-stress, I took an photo from chinese opera and use one of the photos of Su Chzeng and merged them together.

I did this out of fun. When I show it to Su, she told me she always had this dream of being a Chinese opera singer.

In the years of working with her, I found that both of us have similar interests. We read the same books, and watch the same Musicals. And both of us loved poems by William Wordworth. I remember a time when Su needed to employ Editors to work with us. I was ask to vet thru tons of application letters for her. And I told her I won't know who to shortlist as I am not an Editor. My English is half-past six..!

And she said:

"That's easy, Gina. Just read the opening letter by the applicant. If it appeals to you, it appeals to me. If it is boring, then just throw it out"

So Su made this easy for me, and fun too. I just read the first 3 lines/sentences of each letter. If it appeals to me, I continue reading. If it doesn't I really threw it away.

And it seems that my pile of "throw aways" are getting higher. While my stack of "Let's meet" didn't get anymore than 5 letters.
But Su assured me and said that finding a good Editor is like finding the ideal mate. A person with whom you can work. Because the world of editing English and text for the work we do can be extremely boring. And words said or written must be seen through the 'seams' of life. If you cannot agree on simple things, you cannot work together.

It is through this simple task, I realised how Su picked me over the many she could have ask the HR Department to get for her to work with her. She had to sure. That this someone she picked was someone she could relate to. Someone she can tell silly things to, someone who can understand.

It is this skill she imparted to me through my work with her that helped me all these while.

One particular applicant that stands out among the rest was a gentleman who was working as a freelance editor with a lifestyle magazine. In his opening letter to Su, he wrote this:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...."

Immediately, I just took this letter and placed it on the "Let's Meet" stack. And wrote a tag to Su "This is really interesting".

Well, Su did meet him. And she came out from the interview room and said to me

"He was Good..You knew what I wanted to find. But I cannot take him. Because he is too young..had too many ideals. And have much 'world' to conquer. He will be bored down with the work we do here. And it will kill his spirit. But I will help him to find an editing job to fulfil his dreams"

You know, you don't get to choose the people you meet each day. With Su, I always believe that she was a God-send.

So how can a person like Su, stopped what she was doing? Her heart was the Happiest when she Beats for OTHERS!! Even though she couldn't offer him the job, she wanted him to grow and be inspired.

Hey, Su, I may not be working for you anymore. But always, in my heart, I am your Forever Staff, and you are my Forever Boss.

ps..Why did I pick his letter..what does that sentence mean?
If you read the classic novel "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier, you will understand what I mean.

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