Every morning, the first thing I did was writing.

It feels like just yesterday that I started writing On Lockdown and the nationwide movement control order began. I could remember how I was irked by the backlash that people directed towards the BTS meal. Then by going inward, I tried to unpack my motivation behind changing the trajectory of my life, reflecting on the differences of fitting in to conform and going in for tinkering.

On desirable difficulty

Personally, the level of difficulty changes from moderately challenging to mildly difficult depends on the topics that I have chosen to write about. I have…


Am I conveniently being the person everyone wants me to be?

After observing my own patterns of reading, I came to the realization that I love reading Asian female authors’ work. From Yiyun Li to Mieko Kawakami and Sayaka Murata (the author of Convenience Store Woman), their characters represent boldness against a world that questions their nonconformity. “You are not normal,” they are told.

I stumbled upon the latest book from the list of suggestions by the Haruki Murakami Book Club. As I finished Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs about a month ago, the powerful aftertaste from reading that book in some way drew my attention to the Convenience Store Woman


Being present for someone including yourself without judgment

First of all, before we even talk about holding space, looking into someone’s eyes without judgment is extremely difficult or what I call “skilled labor”. I do not even know you in person but I can judge you for how you beam when crossing paths with strangers. I might roll my eyes at you wearing a pair of Vans in your 70s. I could judge you by the content on your Facebook feed.

Using a layman’s definition, holding space is to be present for someone physically, mentally, and emotionally. It hints at…


How our concentration, effort, and feeling change over time

“You are too serious in this!”/ “That is intense!”- I get this a lot. It is not too bewildering to know my favorite poem starts with Do not go gentle into that good night”.To my friends, I am a walking human torch. One day, I might experience burnout if I do not slow down or lower the intensity of how I approach things. This is what you see of me from the window seat.

I am sure that my consciousness has picked these signals up. Subconsciously, I am moving towards a…


In a world where personal values matter

About the same time four years ago, I made the decision to leave the corporate world for good. Being a white-collar, client-facing, and business-first operation manager, one of the biggest issues for me is to show that I was smiling but I was really not happy.

My decision-making plate was full every day. There were hard and easy decisions. Some of them were easy because they could be justified by numbers and everyone involved would be happy about it. The hard ones included frustrations, a sense of unjust, anger, and sometimes despair.

Perhaps…


An aptitude or a skill? (How to live a balanced life — Part 2)

I grew up believing that being independent is I can do everything by myself.

In my culture, I learned subconsciously that asking someone for help is creating unnecessary hassle for the helpers and that would be a nuisance. I assumed that asking for help is showing or being weak, or incapable. In a nutshell, it is all about a negative experience and should not be encouraged.

Later through experience and mostly walking the hard way, I discovered that being independent does not mean need-less to seek…


Superpowers or superficial?

Have you been reading lately?

I call myself a seasonal bookworm. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I would not imagine and spend more than 10% of my monthly expenses on books. I doubt I would lay in my designated reading chair to read for more than an hour. My current reading habit is the manifestation of solitude and eagerness to explore within my inner world, a replacement for physical travel that is impossible amid movement control.

What happens when we read

Most people I know believe books are the source of knowledge. I grew up listening to “Go and read books so that…


Experimenting with the minimum viable effort

A lot of us are driven by “ I’VE DONE IT”. Upon hearing that exclamation, it means that you have finally done something that you are proud of or you have come a long way. In order to get there, what do we really have to do? Many people say that the mindset is everything whereas some argue that “do something” is the least thing you can do. 🤔

I wrote this while pondering over a conversation with a friend two days ago. He wanted to start writing. At the same time, he was…


Did we learn or continue to widen the gap?

It has been two years since OK boomer caught the meme fever. I wonder if it has really made us think deep enough or just “social-media” deep. Did we just ride on the high wave and go silent again when the wave falls?

Are you a boomer? (Who cares?)

Boomers are born between 1946 to 1964. There are six generations that followed based on considerable.com. Personally, I feel rather odd to be part of the Gen “Millenials” Y (born between 1980 and 1996). It is not so much about my age (a product before 1990). It was…


and making our lives a little better

The word “loser” is commonly used to describe a person or thing that loses or has lost something, especially a game or contest. However, the most celebrated living creatures will not settle for single-dimensional words and usage of language. We harness the power of words from the dictionary and use them to express dislikes, hatred, discrimination, prejudice, and the list goes on. Instead of empowering others, when driven by our subconscious emotion, we tend to apply the disempowering black magic of languages and words against others.

The finite game

“Loser” is to signify that the game…

Yong Yee Chong

I am a sport scholar who writes about personal stories and intersectional identity.

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