Thursday, 2 December 2021

When It Gets Too Hard

Life can get hard, whatever age you are at. Growing up, I thought life was better as an adult. Now that I'm an adult, life is just as difficult. It's harder as an adult because people expect adults to have some sort of answer. The problem is, you don't. You're still figuring it out along the way, still learning and discovering. How do you handle it? 

The other day, I was stuck. Work was hard. Planning is hard. Imposter syndrome is real. As I sat there afraid to do anything, fear creeping in, I realised... I miss my mom. Growing up wasn't easy, in fact, it sucked but I'm glad I had my mom with me. I remember running to her when it got overwhelming and just ranting. And then she'll just give me some advice, sometimes it's something generic like "try your best" "you do you" "walk away" or something to that effect. It's not much, but it was enough. Without mom around, I've learnt to deal with it internally. I've always been able to solve problems myself, but I never realised how important an outlet was. It was cathartic to just, rant. Without that place to rant, it was quieter, messier, harder. But I learnt to adapt and deal. Afterall, I've always been independent that way. 

But it made me realise that no matter what age you are, life can get too hard, too much. As a child, I was always told "you don't know what hard is". Now that I'm an adult, it still feels the same way just that my problems at 33 are more real than "I can't understand Maths." But is it truly less hard, doesn't feel that way. I'm glad my mom never belittled my problems then. If you have little ones, don't belittle their problems. Speak about it, let them rant. The difference between a child and an adult is the ability to rationalise it themselves. Even adults have problems and require therapists. What more children. Let them talk about it and don't feel like you need to have all the answers. My mom sure didn't. Throw in something generic if you can't come up with a solution. Work together. 

And if you're an adult and life is feeling like it's too hard. You're not alone. These emotions can feel like a heavy blanket mixed with anxiety, fear, depression and so much more. If you have someone to rant to, rant. If not, keep a journal. Write it down. It's not so much "finding a solution" but sorting out the mess that's going on. It's also okay to say, I need a break, I need to chill. Just step away, read a book, play some music, take a walk and when you feel calmer - look at it again. 

Good luck. And whoever said life gets easier, never pushed themselves. 

-Ally

Friday, 26 November 2021

Practicing Waiting

The past 6 months were difficult. Not because we were in a lockdown. Lockdowns are now significantly easier than a lot of things I've done in life. The past 6 months were "dry seasons waiting for rain" as I call it. It was a lot of waiting. Waiting for suppliers to return my calls, waiting for income, waiting for customers, waiting for LittleLim's school, waiting... just a lot of waiting. I am well known for being impatient. Anyone who knows me for less than an hour knows I'm impatient. Waiting is not a strength of mine. My son has more patience than I do and he's four. That's how low my level of patience is. 

So waiting wasn't fun. It was torturous. It was scary. It was frustrating. Somedays, it almost felt painful. Like a pain in my heart from all that uncertainty and anxiety. And somedays the dark cloud of negativity blooms and settles. "It's not going to happen, just give up" it tells me. Tempted. Giving up always sounds easy but I'm also not someone who gives up easily. So I hold on, and torture myself some more with waiting. 

Rain happens. Eventually, the rain will come. And when it does it pours. We started getting phone calls, we started seeing green, we started receiving good news and then, the waiting feels so worth it. The waiting feels rewarded. But I'm also at this point seeing all the good things and while being grateful and happy, I also feel heavy-hearted. For all the people who are still waiting. Who are still wondering. Who are still battling anxiety, fear and uncertainty. If you're waiting, know that there are many others in the waiting room with you. 

Do everything you can to be better and prepare yourself while you wait. Keep contacting, keep researching, keep creating, keep whatever you are doing that while you are waiting, you're also preparing for the day when you no longer have to wait. It also helps remind you that you DO DESERVE what's to come. 

Most importantly, while you wait, learn to enjoy the wait. Easier said than done. I can't tell you the many times I've almost had a meltdown while waiting. But I'm also thankful for amazing people who's helped take my mind off the fear of waiting. The laughs we had in dark rooms. The company over games. The messages in uncertain days. The conversations of future days ahead. These things matter. Learn to find things that matter, learn to appreciate the waiting room, learn to see the colours and beauty in everyday things, appreciate the good things that are happening and have happened... and while you wait with gratitude, may the rain eventually come. 


-Ally

Monday, 30 August 2021

Thirty-Three and counting

I still remember being 7 and feeling so misunderstood because no one was listening to what I was saying. I kept being told "children are meant to be seen not heard" and that I was "too young" to know what I was talking about. I remember wishing I could just wake up in my thirties and have people HEAR me. 

I still remember being 15 and being told I wouldn't understand until I walked in their shoes and I had years to catch up on. I remember being told I was a selfish teenager who didn't appreciate the hard work adults have put in because they know better and I should stop fighting them. I remember telling myself, 15 years more Ally, 15 years more. 

I still remember being 21 and being told I was not "experienced" enough even though technically I was already an adult, people still saw me as a kid. I still remember being 25 and fighting to have my voice heard and ideas considered in a place where "adults" thought they were better than me. I still remember being 29, carrying my own child, and being told that I wasn't good enough to be my child's mother and that they knew better. I remember thinking, would thirty be any better? 

And then, it just didn't matter. I realized in all those instances, I was forced to make decisions some adults never had to. In those moments, I had to grow up and wise up regardless of my age. In those moments, I was forced to adapt and learn to be myself and trust myself. So that when thirty-three came, I would have this life I envisioned. I envisioned this place where I am now, I never gave myself credit for the things I had to do to get it.

I lost a lot on this journey. Somedays I mourn the things I lost. Like those childhood moments, I never got to experience. Like the kind of things, parents NEED to tell their children, but mine never had. And it hurts. But it's also what makes me, me. It's also because I lost, I had to find. And in the process, I found all this. Courage, bravery, strength. I found success and love. I found friends turned family of my choosing. People who get me and understand me. People who will tell me I'm going to make a mistake, but also will catch me if I decide to make it. I found peace to live in the crazy. I found forgiveness so that I can give my kids what they deserve, all the things I never had. 

And thirty-three is just the beginning. They say life is short, here's what I think, it's both short and long. Take your time, embrace the journey, taste the flavors, feel the feelings, enjoy the moments. There's no use rushing because here's the secret, every moment completes the big picture. I wouldn't have this thirty-three if I didn't decide in my earlier years. And, it's totally okay to start over. 

But most importantly, it's okay to be thankful for EVERYTHING you have and also grief for what you've lost. And this was exactly that moment. 

***

Hey 7-year-old Ally,

I'm sorry we never got to have the perfect family. We never got to feel the joy of being understood. We never had that moment of being told you are good enough. BUT, I can tell you this, you will never need it. You will realize you ARE enough. You will not be lonely just by being your imperfect self. You will never have to always feel you're misunderstood. 

You will find everything you ever wanted and more. You will be in a place of happiness and peace. You will feel complete even when you decide to walk away, it will give you peace. Most importantly, you will feel so proud of yourself and the things you've accomplished. 

So head up. It's a wild ride, but we're okay.

Thirty-Three Ally. 


Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Agree To Disagree

Conflicts are something I try to avoid at all costs. Not because I'm scared or because I have no backbone, but simply because it doesn't benefit anyone. I know better than anyone that I am a fighter, my temper matches the raging fires and my competitiveness and survival skills are top-notch. I know that if I chose to fight it out, I would do everything to win even if it means tearing the other party down to nothing, I would. That's the kind of person I am. 

The older I get, the more I realised it's not always wise. Sometimes, it's just better to say what you need and leave it at that. There's no need for battles, for debates, for the back and forth because sometimes, you don't need someone else to change your mind and you don't need to change someone elses' mind. Sometimes you just want to let people know where you stand and that should be enough. 

I used to think it was my job to convince people my stand was right, my choices were right, my beliefs were right - but that was too stressful on me. It felt like I had to have people agree with me for me to feel validated. That I made the right choice. That was the spiral I went through and it always ended up with me feeling super dejected because I wasn't like everyone else. Most of the time, I felt like it was just me against the world. It wasn't until I started saying, "let's agree to disagree" that I started feeling happier. 

It's when I learnt that I don't always need people to agree with my life choices that I felt happier. I apply that to almost every aspect of my life. There are things that hubbycat and I don't agree on, but it's okay. He's him and I'm me. As long as it's not fundamentally wrong or criminal - having differences makes life more interesting. 

So what if no one agrees with you. Do you agree with you? Is it working out for you? Is it giving you inner peace? Is it something that enriches you? Are you happy? If all the answers are yes, then so what if no one agrees with you. You do it and own it. That's what I did and it has been working out for me. There's no use getting into long debates just to prove yourself - let the results speak for themselves. And at the end of the day, if your life is fulfilled, happy, peaceful and rich, you have made the right decision even if no one agrees. 

Stop fighting every battle. Stop getting into heated debates. Stop feeling invalidated when someone doesn't agree. Just agree to disagree and walk away. Trust me, it's powerful to walk away from a conflict knowing that you'll never give the other party that satisfaction of bringing you down. Also, learn how to have mature conflicts. Sometimes, it's okay to listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from as well. There's nothing wrong with admitting you don't understand and would like an explanation. It's mature and it will help you grow into a better person. 

-Ally

Friday, 23 April 2021

Expectations vs. Reality - Children

 Tiny humans. 

6 years I've had them tiny humans. That's (quick mental calculation 365 x 6) 2190 days of having them around. From zero days old to 6 years and a bit. Here's what I learnt about them. 

This is my Expectations vs. Reality about them tiny humans aka children. 

***

Expectations: Babies sleep a lot. 

Reality: HELL NO. HAHAHAHA. WHAT THE HECK IS SLEEP?! 

Well, maybe a tiny few but for the most part, babies & toddlers are insufferable when it comes to bedtime. They get cranky, throw a fuss, whine because they are tired but still refuses to sleep. And when they get to toddler / young child age... it's the "Mommy, I need the toilet, a glass of water, to arrange my toys, change my shirt" before they get to bed. I haven't even talked about the light sleepers, the ones that wake up every 3 hours just to check you're still around. 

So yes... I sleep better than the tiny humans. 

***

Expectations: They're so fragile.

Reality: They're pretty resilient for tiny things. 

I learned that babies are able to float themselves if they ever fell into water. They come with built-in sponges in their foreheads so they really will survive that tiny fall off the bed. They can withstand pain if you allow them to, my son has only cried after a vaccination twice, and then it was smooth sailing after we don't make a big fuss about it. My son has eaten his own poo and survived it. 

So don't feel guilty about that tiny bump, scrape, poo-eating accident - THEY WILL SURVIVE. If anything.. I may be the one that needs rescuing.  

***

Expectations: They don't know anything.

Reality: They are smarter than we give them credit for. 

Yes, they need to be taught. But treat them as stupid and you'll get stupid kids. I learned quickly with my daughter, that there is so much she can teach me too. So much wisdom in that tiny mind and body. They're so pure and raw, unadulterated from society's expectations of them - what you lose from life, they bring back. So many times, my kids leave me speechless at how they see things, the world, and people. I see bringing up my kids as a symbiotic relationship, we learn from each other. 

If you think you're the smartest and these tiny humans are hollow shells - you will miss out on the lessons these tiny humans bring to the table. 

***

Expectations: All children are the same.

Reality: Tiny humans are their own person. 

I noticed my son is different from my daughter. Same parenting, different results. It is more damaging to them when I assume they're the same and it's frustrating for everyone. For me because I get annoyed why one gets it while another doesn't, for them because they just don't get it. Also, they have different likes, and forcing something they dislike on them is just unnecessary. 

You are not your brother/sister/friend. Don't expect the same for your tiny humans. 

***

Expectations: Tiny humans are easy.

Reality: WHAT IS EASY? GIVING BIRTH IS PROBABLY THE ONLY THING THAT IS "EASY". 

There is nothing easy about tiny humans. It's an endless problem solving, strategy tweaking, learn as you go process. 6 years and I barely know anything. Every day I learn something, every day I'm changing methods because what works yesterday may not work today. There's no easy when it comes to tiny humans. None. Nada. Zilch. Whoever says it's easy is not hands-on enough. 

But I will say this, it's rewarding. Tiny humans are rewarding. Tiny humans have so much love. Tiny humans have so much forgiveness. Tiny humans have so much understanding. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve my tiny humans. But they remind me they need me too. They remind me I am enough. They remind me of grace and hope. 

***

What are some of your expectations vs. reality moments when it comes to your tiny humans? 



Monday, 5 April 2021

Dear Twenty-Something Year Old

 Dear TWENTY-X 

Welcome to adult life. Life for me started at twenty-one. I can still vividly remember turning twenty-one and having the world open up. The first is independence, as an adult, you can do anything and everything, which includes breaking the rules. BUT, as an adult, you also face every consequences and responsibility from those decisions you make. Scary? Perhaps. But if you have a strong head on those shoulders, you will be okay. And if you don't, perhaps, hopefully, this post will help you. 

I made a mistake in my twenties. I thought I needed to figure out everything. I thought I had to achieve "milestones" to make it as an adult. But here's a secret no one wants to tell you, regardless of what age, you will always still be figuring it out. No one, no matter how confident or put together, has everything in their life figured out. So let go of the pressure of being the great big good adult and just... learn. Use every opportunity to learn to improve yourself and enjoy yourself in the process. Some of the most valuable lessons I learnt, I learnt while having fun without the pressure of "being perfect". 

Go on adventures. Life is just starting out - explore, travel, do something that scares you, do something that inspires you, eat... live. There are so many opportunities to make money. Money shouldn't be the only thing that drives you. Living should. And life is only as rich as the experiences you experience. If you tell yourself... I'll do it when I become rich, when I get married, when I have kids.... you'll only every only make excuses for not living. The worst is being 75 and regretting not having any experiences. Just go. Make a plan, budget it and do it. 

Mess up the timeline. Timelines are guides. Timelines are not law. There's too much pressure to live by the timeline, here's what I'm going to tell you, the timelines don't guarantee happiness. The timelines are not blueprints to the best life. The timelines may not even work for you. It didn't for me. I'm the epitome of messed up timelines but hey, I'm in a stage in my life where I'm glad I created my own timeline. Create your own timeline. If being married before the 5Cs is what brings you peace, do it. I did. Yes, it's hard, but the time I have with my husband, the extra time together, building our marriage, life and career together - I'd never trade those for the correct timeline. If having kids before your career is what brings you peace - do that. As long as you create a timeline that is yours, no one can say it's wrong because it's right for you.

Discover yourself. What are your dreams and goals? What are your desires? What do you want to achieve? Who do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and how can you help yourself get that you? See a therapist if you have to because let's face it, there are things in our life that can do with a little help of unburdening that baggage.

Go have fun. Go drinking, partying, dancing and socialising. I'm not going to tell you to not waste your life away because what is life without a little fun. Some of my funniest moments in life is when I'm out with friends and just having fun. Some of my life-changing moments are when I'm out there having fun and doing things that others deemed to be "wasting time". But if it's moments like those that make your life richer... who can really say it's a "waste of time"?

Lastly, don't waste time on things that drain and rob you. That includes people. I wasted a lot of my twenties trying to fix something that was broken beyond repair. I do regret the time wasted. But lesson learnt and now I can tell others in hopes that they don't make the same mistakes I do. Don't waste time, effort, emotions, and resources on people and things that don't bring you joy. Things and people that don't help you be a better person are better off out of your life. Trust me.

And there you go dear twenty-x. May your journey into your twenties be one that is fruitful, enriching and lively. Because you deserve the best!

-Ally

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Never Let Others Tell You What You Cannot Do

 


Every year when my Birthday comes around, I wished my next Birthday would come faster. Not because I wanted the celebrations or the presents, but because I wanted to grow up faster. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to do things without having to ask permission or to justify that I was ready. I believed that being an adult would mean people would stop telling me "you're too young" even though I knew I was ready.

As an adult, I still find myself justifying myself every time people find out how young I am. It's frustrating and very disappointing especially when people rather go with someone older even though your ideas are fresher and have a higher chance of success. But that's life and I've come to terms with it. It's also why I decided I will just prove myself with results of my own instead. 

It's also why I parent my children differently. I refuse to let "age" be a reason they are allowed to do something. It's also why I don't have a "age ruler" at home. I only have one criteria - they must feel ready. 

This picture is everything I'm proud of - LittleLim made her own dinner. She was required to peel potatoes in class and the teacher had asked us to boil the potatoes beforehand so that the children can peel the skins off with their fingers. The reason being they thought six years old was too young to handle a peeler. I asked LittleLim what she wanted - to use the peeler or not. We told her the peeler is dangerous and she could scrape her skin if she wasn't careful. LittleLim said she wanted the peeler, so we let her use the peeler. She was the only one in her class who used the peeler and did it all on her own. 

I don't care what books say or other people say about being "too young" because we're all different. Just because other six year olds can't, doesn't mean mine is the same. Just because people your age are not able to do something doesn't mean you can't. If you feel you can, then go for it. Don't let other people tell you what you cannot do. You know you best and if you feel ready, then prove it to yourself that you can. 

Young people are not lesser. I'm proof that marrying young, having children young, starting a business young is possible. My kid is proof that you can be a good gamer, chef, artist at a young age. Age is really just a number. What can you do today that others have told you you can't? If you think you can, go for it.

-Ally

Thursday, 31 December 2020

A Look Back At 2020

So I'm backdating this post to 31/12/2020 because it's now 11/1/2021 and I'm JUST writing this. Life has been so busy but I'm thankful. It made the last 3 months of self-imposed home isolation pass in a blink of an eye. For that, I'll forever be grateful because I would not have been able to survive another slow 3 months at home. 

2020 has been crazy. Let's be honest with each other here. It's been terrible but it's also been good. I'm certainly one of those people who fall in the "I'm so glad for 2020" because if there was no 2020, there wouldn't be a wake-up call for people like me. 

So let's start with good news okay. 

1. I picked up many new things. New skills. New friends. New ideas. 

All in the midst of a lockdown. All in the midst of no physical interactions. Because while the physical may not be encouraged, the virtual is an open world. I learnt new methods to implement in my businesses. I picked up new investing knowledge. I learnt how to play an online game, met some pretty cool people and also got LittleLim to learn with me. I learnt to adapt and be flexible. I learnt to be a more present parent and be more involved with the kids education. I learnt new tips to improve my art. I learnt how to start a business. 

2. I restarted my art business. And grew it. 

StickgirlProductions was a dream I had when I was 21. Who would have guessed 10 years later, I would bring it back from the dead. This time, I even made my own line of merchandises. Months spent planning and then spending on samples to find the right vendors. It's been an amazing journey and I'm so happy it has helped me connect and reconnect with my contacts. 

3. We lived in comfort. 

I was telling Hubbycat what a luxury it is to be able to stay 3/4 of the year at home without missing the outside world much. It means we have sufficient space and activities at home. Which is true because the kids find new things to do every day and have not run out of toys yet. 

4. We got closer. 

This is the first time since we were all stuck together. The last time was the first year of LittleLim's life. That was 4 years ago. Since then we've always been busy with life - work, socials, responsibilities. We are hardly ever home. The kids have also gotten used to playing in the office or be on the go. This year, we were all stuck at home. I thought it would drive me mad, but it's been a blessing. We have gotten closer. The kids are better siblings to each other. 

5. New and Better ideas. 

We had grand plans for 2020. I remember feeling so proud of all the things we were set to do. And then COVID hit and everything was put on hold. I felt so rejected and frustrated. Today, I realised it was a blessing in disguise. We grew stronger and replanned everything. Back to the drawing board. What turned up, plan 2.0 is better. Newer and better. 

6. Streamlining. 

Life is too short for negativity, bad vibes, toxic people and bad habits. If anything was necessary for 2020, it's learning how short life is and appreciating the good and discarding the bad. This year I was selfish. I'm not even going to try to hide it. I was selfish, I choose my family and I. I chose to focus on us. I thought about us first. Because I was just so tired of thinking about everyone else and everything else. I was tired of giving and giving without getting anything in return. I was sick and tired of being taken for granted and drained like mad. I did things that were painful but I'm glad I did. 2020 was a year where I put back into myself. And I'm reaping the rewards now. 

***

For the bad news.

1. LittleLim got diagnosed with severe myopia and amblyopia. 

This was the most heartbreaking thing for me in 2020. More so than having my plans kicked back. Because I didn't suspect anything. What was supposed to be a routine check ended up needing months of therapy and treatments. While it was heartbreaking, it also showed me what a strong baby girl I have. Not once was there a complaint from her. I never had to force her to do her treatments or go for theraphy. She took it all on her own. She never cries whenever she had to do all the drops, dilation tests, machine tests, eye checks. Never. Maybe once or twice she would feel annoyed especially after a long day, but she will still do the necessary. 

And recently our last doctor check-up has shown that her amblyopia has improvements and her short-sightedness (myopia) have actually decreased. So proud of her and for taking charge of her life at just 5 years old. The maturity of this kid. I was also telling my friend whose child has recently recovered from a life-threatening sickness as well: Kids are so resilient. They know what to do to recover and will do whatever it takes for it. 

2. Saying Good-Bye.

Death is always final. I lost a few friends this year. My heart still breaks whenever I think about them and the friendships lost. I don't have any fancy words to explain death. It's the circle of life. I cherish the memories and thankful for the blessing of knowing them. And hopefully, one day, we'll see each other soon. 

3. Emotional Health

I had a slide in the beginning of lockdown. And there were days where I just felt unreasonably angry and irritated. Anger being my number one friend, it always reminded me it was there. But for the most part, I'm in a much better place now. But the first month was crazy - I was a mess. Big mess.

***

Now the lessons. 

1. Be adaptable. Be flexible. 

You are not a tree. You're allowed to move. Get on with the times. If you stay stuck you die. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep improving. 

If anything 2020 has taught us, we need to change our ways of doing things. So many businesses failed. But at the same time, so many shifted to virtual and thrived. You are responsible. 2020 may suck, but how you react... that's all on you.

2. Life stops when YOU stop.

The one month of lockdown where I was not doing anything was the most miserable I've ever felt. I felt like I was wasting away. Until I decided to do something. Life doesn't stop at death. Life stops when you stop. When you stop trying. When you stop doing things.

***

And there's 2020 round up. 2021, whatever you have installed, I pray you're filled with laughs, good memories and fresh beginnings too. 

Happy 2021 Everyone!

-Ally

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

9 Years

 


One year. Nine years.

Never gets easier. Never really completely healed. Never really goodbye. 

Mom, 
Life moves on.
But one day of every year, times feels like it hasn't. 
Time always brings me back to that day.
When you were taken.

I don't have any regrets about the past. 
I don't have "I would have done things differently" moments.
I know you knew how much I loved you.
I know you knew how much I struggled.
I know you knew how much I felt.
I know you know me best.
I know you know I do life with no regrets.

I don't wish to redo the past. 
But there are many times where I wished for a different future. 
A future where you are still here.
A future of many 1 more hour with you.
A future where you are just a phone call away.
A future where you get to see your grandchildren. 
A future where your grandchildren know how amazing their grandma is.

But I know that's not happening.
I know and it's okay.
It's okay because I carry you with me always.
Your voice guides me. 

"Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I."
- Lion King

Love you mom.
Thank you mom.
Remembering you always.

-Ally

Sunday, 18 October 2020

"Mommy, YOU'RE SO UNFAIR!"

LittleLim, 

Today you faced a problem. Today you asked for help, but I didn't offer it to you. Today, you got angry and upset because I didn't help you even though you have been taught that "if you don't know, ask for help!". Today you threw a temper tantrum, cried, stomped around and demanded that I help you but I didn't. I walked away. You followed. Then you decided to tone it down. You pleaded, well mannered and kind - I almost gave in, but I didn't. I told you to "figure it out" and you got angry. Today you decided to give up. 

LittleLim, 

Today you faced the same problem again. Today you asked for help again, but I didn't offer it to you. Like the last time, you threw the same temper tantrum. "Mommy, why won't you help me?!!!" I told you that you have to figure it out yourself. I dropped a hint on how to help you solve the problem and you got angry with my answer and stomped away. "You're so unfair!!!" you shouted. Today you decided to give up again.

LittleLim,

Today, you faced the same problem. I expected you to come running to me again. But you didn't. Instead you sat there with your problem. I expected you to get frustrated and angry, I expected you to stomp away but you didn't. I observed you bracing myself for a meltdown, but it never came. It was like a lightbulb moment, I saw your brain gears kick in, I saw you registering what I said before and I saw you attempt to help yourself. You couldn't. You came to me for help. I asked you how do I help? And you told me YOUR solution. I noticed it was different from what I hinted previously. We worked on it together according to your plan. We solved it. Or YOU solved it. I just enabled you. 

***

I asked you - how do you feel? 

You looked at me proudly and said "I feel happy. I did it myself!" and that's what I wanted. I want you to remember this sense of accomplishment and pride of doing it yourself. You see, I wasn't mean or unfair or unreasonable when I asked you to figure it out yourself. I would always be there to help you. But there are days where I want you to depend on yourself, on your abilities and to figure things out on your own because there will be days where mommy won't know the answers or days where mommy won't be around to help. I want you to know that you have the ability to fix things yourself, that your brain is a powerful tool and to never give up whenever you face a roadblock. God only knows, how life is littered with those pesky roadblocks and if you gave up at every turn, you'll miss out so much on the beauty of life and the treasures waiting. 

Most importantly, I want you to realise that you are always learning. Just like mommy. Today I learnt that there are other ways to tackle the same problem and you showed me that. We should always be finding ways to do things better, to change it up, to create different ways to solve the same problem and that my dear, is how we improve. That's how new ideas come about, how we innovate, create and build. Now, whenever you're faced with the same problem again, instead of screaming and getting upset, you're now able to solve it yourself. That problem will not be a problem again for you. That's the other thing about life, if you don't learn from your problems, it will always be there following you, haunting you and you'll always find yourself face to face with it. So learn baby, learn. 

And some days, you will feel like I'm being unfair. I'm being unreasonable. I'm being unhelpful. But always remember this, I will still be there watching over you. I'm unfair because I want you to grow. I'm unfair because I want you to be empowered. I'm unfair because I want you to think and be independent. I'm unfair because I never want you to give up. I'm unfair because when life happens, I want you to remember you solved things on your own, and one more problem will not stop you from being great. 

Love, Mommy.

-Ally