Monday, August 14, 2006

One

"Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you
Now you got someone to blame

You say
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
It's one love
We get to share it
It leaves you baby
If you dont care for it"


So ends this chapter of my life.

Somewhere through the mess of recent events, I hear a small voice. It is a familiar voice, one I had not heard in years. It is a voice of breathtaking clarity and aching beauty.

That voice is me.

It is happiness only found by following your heart, whatever the consequences. It is hope that drives away despair. It speaks with every tear shed, every moment you never get back. It reminds you that pain, like love, is necessary to grow. The voice is so clear. I travelled 8000 miles to find it. It was always with me.

I hear you now.

"Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it's too late
Tonight
To drag the past out
Into the light
We're one
But we're not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
One"


Unconditional love is impossible because we are not perfect. All we can do is to love, in what way we can. Sometimes it hurts. I understand now that love is not about consequences, a happy ending or a life together forever.

Love is it own reward.

I have no regrets loving my wife in the way I did. I want so much to blame her condition, hate her for making me cry and for cutting me out of her life. I cannot. You never really stop loving someone. You just learn to live without them, and that's okay. I will love until it hurts, because there will always be more, until you decide there is no more.

I will love again.

"Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come tor raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head
Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
We hurt each other
Then we'll do it again"


I have no regrets coming here. I've grown in ways I did not expect, in directions I never thought I'd take. I am grateful for this unexpected detour in this vast journey of life. The pieces of my life finally fit together. With it, I can finally move on.

I go where my feet take me.

In three months, I get my California Bar Exam results. Whatever happens from there, happens from there. I may end up anywhere. I don't know and that's okay.I will always have memories of the one amazing year I spent at the Bay.

My voice is yours.

"You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt"


Who among us has never suffered heartache, disappointment or failure? Somehow, we live. The pain dares us to be better than what we are. The voice tells us we still hope, dream and love. The tears remind us we have been hurt, and it's okay to grieve.

My life is yours.

In our pain and tears, we are connected. In our hopes and dreams we are connected. Our lives speak of many events, some hurtful, some wonderful, but it speaks in only one voice. I hear that voice now.

It is me. It is us.

"One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers

One life
But we're not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other."


- U2, "One"

27 comments:

codfish said...

A lovely song. Have you heard the duet version with U2 and Mary J Blige? I had never been convinced about "One" (not a U2 fan) until I heard her sing it... such force and emotion......

So yes, a meaningful song indeed - of great loss and pain but also of tremendous hope and faith. Things will get better. :-) Have a safe journey home.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi tony,
Yes, no regrets.
All of us have our heartaches and disappointments. Some like you dare to face it, others don't.
It hurts so much, but we move on.
Life sucks but it is also beautiful.
It seems to give up on us,
But we won't give up on it.
Move on,
Cheers
Dr.H

Anonymous said...

Men are always like that.
When the relationship starts to fall apart, they re-evaluate or regret for their past behaviors(not caring enough for the spouse/putting too much time on gaming/neglecting all the activies a couple should be doing & enjoying to cultivate the affection & love, the list goes on and on...)
They thought they could get away easily by just ignoring the *nagging*(frustrating) spouse until the boiling point reaches, then they start to take actions and by this time, it's too late to save the relationship/marriage.
The relationship/marriage needs constant work!!
Not just one time or one specific period will do it.

BlackRX said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have no doubt that a relationship takes hard work, so I agree with you on this point. Coincidentally, Nicole Kidman made the same remark in an interview, sometime back in 1995 or 1996.

Now, as for your comments beginning with "men are always like that...". Well, generalize or stereotype all you want; I am going to assume that whatever wisdom is supposedly contained in those sentences are conveyed with the absolute best of intentions, otherwise I'd be inclined to just read it as a rant.

What a rant? Because it seems to me that you are not being fair to Anthony here. He asked readers to read thoroughly before making any judgments. And he has pretty much bared his soul to us. To get comments like your containing stuff line "they reevaluate or regret... they thought they could get away easily..." is, well, a tad unfair to Anthony.

I am willing to wager that you do not know Anthony well, if at all. So you have not been able to *see* the work he has been putting into his relationships.

For all the work I have seen him put into his relationships, and helping others (including myself) with their own woes, he deserves my praise and my support, not a rant delivered in poor taste.

And Anthony's invitation to fellow bloggers is open. I will meet him. And you?

Anthony said...

Black Rx,

I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Anonymous,

I have nothing to say to you. My actions speak for themselves.

Besides, this entry isn't hope that we will patch together. It's about the lessons I've learnt from it.

Anonymous said...

No, I do not know Anthony well.
I have a few questions (If you do not want to answer them publicly, it's fine by me. Just answer it to yourself).
1) Do you think is it you or your wife who bears the most of the responsiblities of your falling apart(if that is the case) marriage? If so, how many percentage, approximately?
2) If time could be reversed, what would you do differently to not get onto this path?
3) Why do you think she chose the path that she is taking now rather than saving or working things out with you for your marriage? [No woman would give up easily on her marriage that easily unless she sees no hope or turning point...i.e totally hopeless and frustrated with her marriage.]

OK, I might offend you or most of your friends here by writing such a harsh or unfair comment because I do not know you well enough or your situation. If so, I apologize, but I can't help my blunt voicing.

Anthony said...

The answers to your question.

1. I don't think my marriage ending is about fault at all. I've mentioned this in my previous post.

If you are asking who is responsible, I am. In my defense, I acted out of ignorance. I saw all the signs, but I misinterpreted them.

2. I understand where you are getting at with this question, but I think it's an incredibly unfair question. A marriage is complex. If I had done things differently, I might have just found another incredibly horrendous way to fuck up. Or not.

Hence, my stand - I'm not regretting this happened. I needed this event to grow and become comfortable with myself. If I patch things up with my wife, it will be on a fundamentally different level than when I started the relationship with her.

3. I think she chose the path she is on now because she wants to experience a new life, which she can't do without me.

These were her own words.

Now, some questions for you Anonymous.

1. If I were female and wrote all these on my blog, would you have reacted the way you did?

2. If I told you that I took on many parts of the "wife" in a traditional relationship, i.e

(i) I was doing all the cooking, some cleaning and housework

(ii) I was the one who gave up my career to follow my wife to California because she got her scholarship

would you feel differently?

(3) I'm curious why you specifically mention spending too much time playing computer games. I acknowledge that is a flaw of mine, but I'm interested to hear why females find it so off-putting.

These aren't challenges btw. I'm genuinely interested to know.

Anonymous said...

1) I wouldn't react to any blogger(male or female) blindly. I kind of knew that you play WoW(have read your past entries) and so I assumed that you spend a lot of time gaming. Actually, that was my main reason to bash you the way I did. I've read this a few days ago.
http://www.twitchguru.com/2006/08/08/world_of_warcraft_players_addicted/

2) Yes, I would feel differently if I knew those.

3) I guess I do not need to answer this further(See #1).

Anonymous said...

The link got messed up. Here it is again.
http://www.twitchguru.com/2006/08/08/world_of_warcraft_players_addicted/

Anonymous said...

OK...third time for the link.
http://tinyurl.com/mup79

Anthony said...

Anonymous,

You will be happy to know that I've cancelled my WoW account. Completely unrelated of course - I cancelled it in the course of doing my Bar Exam.

Regarding computer game addiction - perhaps. I'm interested to know, if a wife is addicted to WoW and her husband wanted a divorce on those grounds, would you still feel strongly about it?

The reason I ask is because I know a number of married female gamers who are totally addicted to the game as well. I'd like to hear where you're coming from about this.

Anonymous said...

Regarding gaming addiction, I will take side on the one who is the victim, regardless of the gender.

Anthony said...

Anonymous,

Fair enough. I have some thoughts about it, being a recovering addict myself. I'll be glad to take the discussion away from this comment if you want something for indepth.

As for how it affected the divorce, I have a suspicion it does. However, of the many things that I've been told broke down the marriage, my wife did not say that this was one of them.

It might still have impacted indirectly though.

Incidentally, Anonymous, do you happen to be the same Anonymous that disagreed with my views about Izzy flashing her breasts? If you are, you'd be happy to know I take a completely different view now.

Anonymous said...

I do not know anything about "Izzy flashing her breasts" issues.

One thing I'd like to add is that if you can spark the love in the beginning to get married, you can certainly cease the spark/love unless you maintain/keep igniting it.
That's the feeling I get about your marriage.

Heck...I am no expert on this and why I am so bossy! (sounds like an expert, no where near it).

Anthony said...

Anonymous,

Re Izzy - sorry, was just acting on a hunch.

Re Spark - That sort of assumes that the people who begin the relationship are the same people ending the relationship.

That was certainly not the case here.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Here's a theory. No doubt some parts of it will be mistaken.

Basically, you and your wife had a tough time in the past year, because you both experienced some huge life changes.

Both of you quit your respective jobs; both of you left Singapore and went to live in another country, an unfamiliar one; both of you got back to studying; both of you were cut off from your network of relatives and friends in Singapore; both of you ran into some financial troubles because neither of you were working anymore.

The marriage got very stressed along the way, due to these changes.

Now, you are coming back to Singapore, and some of these changes will reverse. So who knows what will happen next ...?

Assuming the two of you were married in Singapore, well, divorce proceedings take some time. 3 years is the mandated separation period, before you can initiate the proceedings, and if the two of you change your minds anytime during that 3-year period, well ...

Anyway, 3 years is a long time to think. And maybe heal.

-ben said...

Have a safe flight, Anthony.

Keep in touch.

James said...

Hey Anonymous:
1. Shut up.

Give Anthony a break or give him some advice that he can use. You remind me of a constant whiner/pessimist at work. By the way, I've known women who gave up their marriage as easily as restarting a video game. So go back to point 1.

Anonymous said...

James,
First of all, 苦口良藥. That's what I want to say.
LOL. Pessimist? That's the problem, nowadays, people like you are too optimistic or optimistic in the air(i.e not realistically). They(including me) need to learn a little bit to be pessimistic(to prevent/protect from doing wrongs). Otherwise, they are more likely to bump into the rock blindly in the end with such an unexptected shock.

BlackRX said...

Dear Anonymous,

while you may view your blunt remarks as intended to help Anthony in the longer run, I hope you take note of the following for your own sake, some of which I will now mention for the second time:

1) Your stereotyping/generalization of men is hardly fair.

2) I don't think your questions are going to help that much. Esp. the question about what percentage of fault should be accountable by Anthony. As he replied, he acknowledges responsibility. And, I will add here, love is not like accounting, where one compares "debits" and "credits", who loves who more, who has sacrificed more, who has made more mistakes and the like. It is hard enough to deal with issues of commitment, responsibility, and well, feelings of love and frustration depending on the situation. So, to think about comparing percentages, shares of blame and and that, gosh, do we really need to overthink and overcalculate so much?

3) Whether you regard and behave yourself as an optimist, pessimist or realist is up to you. I am a pessimist myself, as a matter of fact. Yet, is it a matter of optimism or pessism. I see it as a responsibility issue here. Both Anthony and his wife have issues to deal with, by themselves, and together. And by the way, I am concerned about adopting a pessimistic viewpoint in the following: would you recommend that Anthony's wife be pessimistic about overcoming her problems?

4) James may have been a bit over the top in telling you to shut up, but I think the underlying geist of his point is this: Anthony and his wife are never alone is having to deal with their problems. I have mine to deal with. And from what I can gleam from your latest reply, so do you. We all do. And drawing upon our past experiences in hoping to help others is certainly a worthy intention. But this does not render all viewpoints equally valid or pertinent during all situations.

5) We can help Anthony and his wife as much as we can through this difficult period. And if Anthony does not mind me saying, we can learn from his experiences. From his blog entry, one can pretty much tell that he is sharing his pain not only because it might be therapeutic -- even if only a little -- but for our sakes. With this in mind, I have no qualsm about potentially offending you, because it seems to me from the questions you posed and Anthony's answer, that you, too, have more to learn about relationships beyond the kinds of questions you were inclined to ask.

And here is something for everyone (else) reading: Did we all not think love was supposed to be so wonderful, and perhaps, rather simple? Takes two to tango, you know it when you feel the butterflies in your stomach, blah blah kind of stuff. But the longer we go on about it, the more some if not too many of us end up making it so complicated?

Anthony said...

Mr Wang,

Your insight is concise and very accurate as usual. I don't want to talk too much about the legal options I have. Suffice to say, the three-year bar is going to end VERY soon.

I do however, take your point that it was an incredibly stressful year. I'm not sure how much impact it had on my wife, and her decision to leave though.

BlackRx, James and Anonymous,

I appreciate the points made. I do, however, ask that people keep a civil toungue here. No censure, just a reminder.

Anonymous,

I understand where you are coming from with your advice, and I take it in the spirit it is intended. What I will say out of concern for you is that guarding your heart is a surefire way of making sure you never enjoy the benefits of a life live to its fullest.

In other words, I'm not so scared of loving that I won't ever love again. I don't even want to second-guess myself. Ever.

This might be out of line, but may I ask if your "good medicine" is the only thing that is bitter here? Was there someone that you are thinking of when you are talking to me? Someone you loved deeply perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I think I sincerely owe Anthony an apology for intervening your marriage issue without clearly understanding the situation. Sorry about my impulsive responses.

As for you question “Was there someone that you are thinking of when you are talking to me? Someone you loved deeply perhaps?”
Simple Answer: No.
True that I had an unhappy experience of a past relationship with a guy who was addicted to gaming. I have also seen a father who has a birth defected baby of 2 yrs old spending more time in playing games than caring for his baby. Well, you could argue that he needs to let his stress out sometimes aside from stressful work. Call me tradition or old-fashioned, I just despise seeing addicted gamers who have families or relationships.

Like the article link I provided above said, games addiction is truly no difference than drug or gambling addictions. It is one of the mental disorders. I myself once was addicted to a game. So I know how the addiction can be dangerous and can cause lots of problems.

Anthony said...

Anonymous,

Don't be sorry. And like I said, I take your advice in the spirit in which it was meant.

I think that most of the commentators of this section were more concerned about your statement about men being a particular way than the subsequent explanations. I'm glad we clarified that.

Anonymous said...

Aiya, anon, relationships fail for a million and one reasons, who's right, who's wrong, your fault, my fault, I blame you, you blame me, you didn't support me, I didn't support you, I have an affair, you have an affair, I'm an addict, you're an addict...and so on and so forth. You get the drift. Such is life. Is it so hard to just wish Anthony and his wife well at this rough patch in their lives.

Anthony, i wish you well and things will get better. Do take care of yourself. Life goes on.
Kat

Anonymous said...

"Is it so hard to just wish Anthony and his wife well at this rough patch in their lives."

>> That is the easiest thing to do, yet very superficial, useless and meaningless thing to do among other things you can do.
What is the use of wishing Anthony and his wife this and that? Will it have some effect? Maybe I am just a weird person. I usually take wishes(birthday/holiday or whatever) as useless junks. At least giving him positive or even negative comments or suggestions are way better than that.

BlackRX said...

To be honest, right now I don't think you are weird, rather I think you are quite dysfunctional.

Whether our well wishes to Anthony are superficial, useless, and meaningless, or not, is firstly up to Anthony on how he wants to accept the wishes. And whether we meant the wishes in a superficial manner is up to us to answer within our own hearts.

If this is how you view our gestures to Anthony -- and have you ever considered whether posting a blog entry comment is merely the tip of the iceberg of how we are trying to help Anthony? -- then it is not just Anthony you owe an apology to, but us as well.

Quite a few of us have, or are going to meet Anthony in person. And do you think we meet him just to ask him how many percent of the separation is his and his wife's fault respectively?

I feel so very insulted.

Anonymous said...

BlackRX,
"Whether our well wishes to Anthony are superficial, useless, and meaningless, or not, is firstly up to Anthony on how he wants to accept the wishes. And whether we meant the wishes in a superficial manner is up to us to answer within our own hearts."

>> Your explaination doesn't change my POV upon wisehs. To me, wishes or the action of wishing are still just a waste of time, doesn't matter how the recipients accept them or how the givers give them. Absolutely zero effect, which is worse than positive or negative impact you can have on one. Better save your energy/time by saving your meaningless wishes coz we have had enough meaningless/uselss/superficial things we are forced to do in life.

"I don't think you are weird, rather I think you are quite dysfunctional."

>> You are absolutely entitled to have your own opinion about me. With that said, it's only fair for me to comment your repeated invitations(I believe this is your second time invitation to me) to come and meet you guys as lunatic behaviors.