Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Brother And I

My Brother
My brother is a funny character. He lived in my shadows as a kid trying to be like his sister, but I used to toss him aside like a rag doll because to me, he was a pain in my butt. I thought my parents doted on him more than they did me. He was like the quintessential hallmark of an Asian home - the much needed boy in the family to carry on the family name.
We Are So Different
So we grew up pretty much apart not just because we were 11 years apart in age but because I felt he was loved more than I was, I grew up as an over-achiever, attempting to prove my worth through my grades at school and at piano exams, and through each successful milestone in my career.   My brother's grades at school was less than stellar.  His earlier career stints were lack-lustre. I brought home trophies and certificates of achievements. He would be lucky if he remembered to bring home his pencil case.  I was notorious for being the school bully. He brought home complaints about being bullied in school.  When I signed up to be in the pioneer batch of the  non-uniform military officers program at the army more than 25 years ago, I went head-on into a life of discipline, camaraderie with my mates in the army and plenty of physical activity.  Apart from failing topography, I did enjoy that short stint in the army.  When my brother got enlisted into national service, the first thing he asked was, "Will there be an umbrella provided in the full pack?"
My Brother’s Love For Life
I realised through time that my parents never loved me any more or less. As parents, they just strove to provide my brother and I with whatever was needed so that we could live life with a purpose.  As time passed and eased that age gap a little more, I also noticed that my brother was just happy being himself, living life not with the intent of proving anything. He just wanted to enjoy every moment that life had to offer. 
Appreciating Our Differences
We weren't brought up any differently. We were just different.  Our perspectives on life were different.  My brother never took life too seriously, but to me, every minute wasted in useless banter, was a minute wasted in what I could do, earn or gain. 
My brother was happy just being himself. He walked through life enjoying every minute of it through food and travel. In fact, he actually ate the world.  Every city he travelled to outside of Singapore, and every neighbourhood he visited in Singapore were all driven by his love for food.  Food and travel were a nuisance to me. I agonised about the hassles of travel.  I worried incessantly about the amount of calories, fat content, and nutritional value of everything I ate. I used to think traveling was a waste of time and I wouldn't do so unless there was a purpose, be it work, writing assignments, workshops that I had to conduct, or for boxing or Muay Thai training.  When friends asked if I had gone on a vacation. I did not understand what that word meant.  While I lived to work, my brother on the other hand worked to live. 
I haven't quite lived and I haven't quite embraced the love for life till very recently when I grew up enough to let go of that ego that had shaped me since I was young. Through new glasses of maturity, I had come to accept that it was okay for my brother and I to view the world with different perspectives and celebrate life in our different ways.
Our New Blog
So I started a new blog, with the help of my brother. It is a blog that represents the different ways we both enjoy a common obsession - Food. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we celebrate our passion for life with our common love for food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.
Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat. 
It took me 35 years, to finally learn how to live life with genuine passion from my brother who does it better than I do.
About The Writer

The writer of this blog post is a Marketing and PR professional for over 20 years.  Due to her love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), she is also a freelance sports writer on the side, contributing MMA-related articles to several sports media.  She works in partnership with her husband, David Ash, who is an avid sports photographer from 
www.singaporemaven.com.  She is passionate about Boxing and nurtures a dream to fight competitively one day when her coach stops making fun of her.  She is also a psychic intuitive by birth and runs a consultancy that does tarot and numerology readings under her brand, Sun Goddess Tarot.  This blog is affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" as she is married to one, although she has not yet explained to THE Ang Mo that when translated, he has been labeled  “the bloke with ginger hair”.