Who am I?

We all think to some degree that we know who we are.

Why am I the way that I am?

We also think to some degree that people around us partly made up who we are.

Relationship is one of the 5 elements in the theory of happiness according to Dr Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology.

Out of the 5 elements (positive emotions, engagement, relationship, meaning and achievement) the one I struggle with the most is relationship and it’s also the one I’m most interested in learning more about.

Relationship with spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends and etc all make up of how we evaluate our level of wellbeing.

The relationship I want to dig deeper this year is the one with myself:

My Relationship with myself.

Yes, it takes courage to be vulnerable and

Yes, it takes a mindset change that imperfection is a gift and not something to be ashamed of.

Each relationship nurtures a strength and a weakness within us.

I love hats.  The different hats I put on depends on what I wear that day; it depends on where and who I am meeting.  It also largely depends on how I feel that day!

Our relationships with others is more or less the same.  Relationship is complex in the sense that not only interacting with one another is a work of art (the skill of communication and active listening as examples!) but maintaining a level of harmony in any relationship is a work in progress that can take a lifetime or two!!!

I am a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend so just like my collection of hats; I have created a collection of relationships with people around me.  I believe I am the sum or the product of these relationships.

I am my mother’s daughter! And that’s where I shall begin my quest….


What I know about my mother:

My mother is the eldest among her nine siblings

She was born in China and studied in Hong Kong

She gave birth to nine children

She was an educator and an entrepreneur


What I don’t know about my mother:

What did she study in college?

When did she leave China?

Who was her best friend in school?

What is her favourite color?


The mother that I know:

She is as tough as nails

She exemplifies female leadership

She is a natural communicator

She is a multi-tasker


Growing up in a large  (and traditional) Chinese family, I was taught to listen but not speak; to obey but not question.  I was taught the Confucian virtue of filial piety, to deeply respect one’s parents.

I was taught not raised, I was told not explained….

“Everyone in yet? “My father who was also the driver, asked as we set off to our regular Sunday dim sum lunch as a family.

Don’t ask me how but somehow all nine of us like lego pieces fitted perfectly in the backseat of my parents’ Mercedes.  

To break the silence, I asked my mom, who sat in the passenger seat, “Where are we having dim sum?” I must had been five or six years old.

I could see her fiery eyes staring right at me from the back of her head.  

“You will know when we get there, not another question from you.” Her tone of voice weighted volumes.

That set the stage for as long as I could remember. Asking meant questioning; questioning meant distrusting and distrusting meant disrespecting.

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