I’m done being present. Perhaps absence is the ultimate display of love.

A few days ago, I read an account from a healthcare provider about a daughter who infected her mother with the Coronavirus. The girl had been hanging out with friends despite a ban on social gatherings and broke more rules to head home and see her parents because she missed them. The elderly mother ended up dying from the infection.

Another healthcare professional recounted a case where an elderly man turned up at a medical centre needing urgent care. He told medical workers his son had recently visited him. The son was positive for the virus and infected the father.

Image by Julián Amé from Pixabay


You never know until you do.

I was standing at the supermarket’s snack aisle when the answer hit me. For a moment, I was embraced with the unwavering certainty that tethering my life to the man who was trying to persuade me not to buy Oreos was the right decision.

To understand how I can love a man who tries to keep me from Oreos, we need to talk about my anxiety and abandonment issues.

I’m not proud to say that I carried a lot of baggage with me when I met my husband. Our time started after I survived a failed engagement. …


Applies to adults, kids and cats.

I’m not speaking to my cat today.

He left bite welts on my leg after I tried to stop him from chewing up my poor watch. So, I’m giving him the cold shoulder.

My husband finds that hilarious. “Oh, that will teach him”, he said, because he does not believe cats understand the silent treatment. I disagree. Research has shown that cats have the intelligence of toddlers. If a toddler understands that mommy isn’t talking to him, I believe my Odin does as well.

Since we adopted him, we’ve tried several ways of disciplining him (as much as you can…


Prolonged social isolation is robbing me of the ability to speak coherently and it’s taking a mental and professional toll

It has been almost a year since my country went into lockdown in one form or another and months since I quit my job. As most stories go, the isolation was alright at first. I motivated myself to exercise at home, I was taking on parttime remote work here and there, it was going alright. But as the social isolation dragged on, I realised I was losing a critical aspect of my personality that I took immense pride in; I was losing my ability to speak eloquently.

Image by Taras Mulko from Pixabay

I’m multi-lingual. Being born in a country where most people are so (thanks…


Love is a tricky and temperamental beast. Sometimes I even think Cupid tipped his arrows of love with a slow-acting poison! That doesn’t sound so far fetched when you look at how many passionate love affairs end in tears, screaming matches, lawsuits and the occasional murder.

Fortunately, you’re not a hapless damsel in distress starring in a soap. You are fully capable of nurturing your relationships and of avoiding ticking time bombs that could see you becoming single again.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 habits and behaviours you should avoid if you want a reasonably Happily…


I have not written a single creative word in over a month.

My fear of failure holds me back. It has held me back from so many experiences, the biggest being relinquishing the chance to emigrate a few years ago. I still wonder what would have happened if I had just packed my bags and left. I don’t regret that decision, I just wonder at the lost experience.

The fear of failure is not something to be scoffed at. We’ve all experienced it and it has held us back in some way, no matter how small. You turn down a…


Being the youngest child and only daughter in my family is truly a privilege. Growing up, I was spoiled by my parents and older brother, and that helped me develop a confidence I grew to find is usually more prevalent in the baby of the family. Needless to say, my family is tight knit, but there is one test to the glue of a family’s bonds that most people would not like to acknowledge: marriage.

As the baby of the family, I was mostly carried around by my mom and dad

I’ve heard couples say “Nothing will change after we get married”, but I don’t believe that. Everything changes after a marriage.

Marriage brings 2 families…


We live in an era where when we hear a sad story, we want to be able to top it and say “I’ve had it worse”.

Have you ever read a compelling story? So compelling that you feel breathless when you finish. You can’t believe you read all 8,000 words of it, but there you go. You stayed till the end. I just read a personal essay from a woman who lost her mother to cancer and fell into a spiral of depression and affairs. I was captivated but honestly, also felt strangely envious. Why isn’t my life that interesting? My parents are still alive and well. No one close to me has crossed the rainbow bridge. I’ve never cheated on anyone. I’m in a loving…


Your choices are not limited to either being a doormat or a manipulative schmuck.

Doesn’t that title sound selfish? In fact, it goes against everything we’ve been taught since we were children. All our lives we have been told to put others first and most of us do!

But the danger of being overzealous with the “Live to Serve” motto is you become a doormat. People walk all over you because they know you will give way and serve their selfish demands and whims. You risk being exploited, unappreciated and put upon, even abused.

On the other side of the spectrum, you’ve got people who live to serve themselves. Their wishes come first and…


I would be the first to raise my hand if someone asked “Who always needs to be productive?”. It might sound great, I do get a lot of things done. But on the flip-side, always needing to be productive is mentally and physically draining; it could even hurt your relationships!

One of the several loaves of banana bread I have baked over this pandemic

So many of us always need to be on the go. We need to be doing something, creating something or learning something. The pressure was always there, but it got worse when the COVID-19 crisis hit. …

Irene Chooi

Aspiring writer who is trying to type/write/scratch through all the fuzz in my brain. Loves learning about self-development and reading books.

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