Conversations I Need To Have…

I have been running my own company since 2017. I remember how worried I was and how badly I wanted a partner to do it with me. Back then, it was my ex that I thought would be in it with me but, he hated commitment and he talked me into doing it by myself. So, that was how I became the solo Founder/CEO/Director/Business Owner. I’ve definitely learned, struggled and succeeded by myself through the years. Doing it all alone is definitely not easy as you are both the Boss and also the Worker plus you have to deal and handle everything from A to Z of the business but, that being said; when things don’t workout, you learn from it and you only have your own to reflect or blame for it. Though when you succeed, the taste of victory never tasted so good.

I’m starting to look at my life and realized that since I was young, I was taught to be independent from a very young age. Many might say, “That can’t be true since you’re the only child. Am sure your parents spoilt you rotten…” Reality with the Yip-Atkinson upbringing was, if you wanted something you’ll have to earn it. We’re not going to just give it to you. My parents worked hard themselves to build what they have today – the properties, the cars and the lifestyle. I’m thankful that my parents taught me the meaning of the word, “No”. That was a word that I heard often growing up. When I asked for my first pair of Black Basketball LA Gears with Red LED light at the heel. They flash with each step you take. I remember I waited really long to get that pair of kicks when I was 8. I also remembered that I had to make sure I got straight A’s and behaved well for a really long period but, when my parents finally got them for me, Boy!! I was over the moon and I cherished every step that I took in them.

I truly owe a lot to my parents. The love and patience they had with me growing up. I wasn’t crazy naughty or a trouble maker and I definitely was a good student in school that got good grades and was athletic as I enjoyed playing sports but, that being said I did go through the famous rebellious stage during my teenage years. I remember how I just didn’t want to be in photos and if I was, I’d be displaying RBF (Resting Bitch Face).

If I could turn back time or visit Young Valerie, what would I tell her? I think I would say this, “Life will get better with time. You will work in many companies but, the role that taught you the most and groomed you the most would be the role you had as A Business Development Executive/PA to your Director. That would be the most stressful job you’ll ever experience but, you also learned the most with all the projects and responsibilities that your director put on your shoulders. That being said, if it’s possible to change your career path, you should get into Recruitment once you graduate from College as you’ll make tonnes of money from it compared to the rest of the jobs. Also, control your shopping habit and safe more money and invest your money wisely. You will meet many interesting people along the way and you will get your heartbroken countless times. It may hurt a lot when it happens especially the break up that happened in 2013 that took the longest to get over and heal. 5 years to be exact but, that’s alright because it only meant that you were truly inlove and that it mattered. Because of that, you turned into a workaholic to mend and guard your heart. You will meet someone great in 2018 and it would feel like he’s your soulmate. You will later get engaged and married but, you will not get the happy ending you always wanted. He will break your heart and shatter your dreams but, you will not hate or blame him because he gave you happiness once and also because he proved to you that someone wanted you to be their wife and he also gave Mom the opportunity to see you get married in 2019 before she got really sick in 2020. 2020 will be tough for everyone because a pandemic would hit the world. Mom’s health will start deteriorating in mid 2020 because her cancer would have spread rapidly and she would lose the battle she fought so hard for 5 years. To prevent this from happening, make sure Mom gets her yearly check ups and screen for cancer in 2013/2014, You might be able to change the course of her history and safe her because losing her in December 2020 will leave you devastated and ever so lonely than you already are. The pandemic will still be around in 2021 and life would be very different from what you’re used to now but, you will meet many new people this year and you’ll learn who’s your true, real friends when you need them the most. You might eventually meet someone special to. Just don’t overthink things and just go with the flow. You’re such a thinker Dear Valerie that sometimes you worry over nothing. You will be okay at the end of the day. You have to be because you are Valerie Atkinson!!…”

XoXo, VA

My Thoughts Go Out To You…

As most of you now know or are learning about my Mom. Thursday, 18th February 2021 is exactly 2 months since she left us to be with The Lord. Not a day goes by without me thinking about her, our moments together and our conversations which I miss so, so much. I don’t think the missing will ever stop especially when you were so close to someone.

That being said, whenever I hear someone mentioned that their loved one is battling cancer, I feel a knot in my throat as I know that the Big C sounds like a death sentence. Atleast, it is to the most of us. It affects not only the patient but, also their loved ones. I remember when I first heard that Mom was diagnosed with lungs cancer 3rd stage in November 2015, I didn’t think of it badly but, instantly was “We’ll fight this to the very end and we will win this!!…” and we’ll get all the necessary treatment done which we did for the past 5 years. The journey was definitely a long one with many twists and visits to the hospital monthly.

Cancer grows and spreads fast which is scary but, staying positive and having a good doctor and support from loved ones is super important. Giving up in my opinion is not an option atleast not until you’ve given it all you have. We all deserve a fighting chance. I know that Mom lost the battle after 5 years but, everyone is different and I can testify that she fought hard over the years and never did she give up until the end.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. That there’s many people in the world who has gone through it or is still fighting it daily. Get the support you need. It’s always better to have some form of help as it’s not easy.

To set the record straight, I’m not mad at her for leaving. I just miss her so much. Her energy, her kindness towards everyone around her. She was the best mom anyone could ask for. Despite only spending little time with my Hubs, JR in 2019. She still loved him as her own son. I miss the daily conversations we had because with her, I could be real. I could talk to her about anything under the sun despite sometimes we had our disagreements but still we were mother and daughter.

Her last words to me when she was in the hospital was, “Don’t cry, don’t cry…” as she reached out to touch my hand when I broke down and cried when I saw her in the fragile condition she was in barely able to open her eyes or talk. Mom, I’m sorry that I’m still crying. I’m sorry. I know that you wouldn’t want to see me like this but, I just miss you so crazy much and I can’t help it.

XoXo, VAS

Happy Chinese New Year 2021 – The Year of The Ox…

I would like to wish the Chinese and anyone who celebrates Chinese New Year @ CNY a very Prosperous & Healthy New Year ahead. This year it’s the year of the Ox based on the Lunar Calendar. It’s my year, It was supposed to be Mom’s year as well. In our family, my grandma, my dad’s mother is an ox, my aunt Linda, my dad’s sister is also an ox, Mom was an ox and so am I. So, it was clear to state that our family consists of very strong women.

This is the first year celebrating CNY without Mom. She’s only been gone almost 2 months now but she’s clearly not forgotten. When I got dressed to head to my grandma’s place in Bangsar for our Reunion Dinner, my Mom’s words echoed in my ear, “Remember not to wear black on Chinese New Year!!” I also remember when my Mom heard about my Pre-Wedding Photoshoot, she said the same thing. As I went through a stage in 2015-2018 that almost any piece of clothing that I bought were all black. She was worried that I’d chose a black wedding dress.

Anyway, Reunion Dinner is one of the most crucial time to be home with family to enjoy a feast. This dinner is carried out on the Eve of Chinese New Year. If one is married, the wife will attend this dinner at her inlaws place and then on the first day of Chinese New Year, the pair will have dinner at the wife’s family home. So, if your hometown in in different states, you will then travel on the eve or on the first day of CNY.

Chinese New Year’s main purposes is to start the new year on a good note, there is no better way to do that than to be with family and have a big feast while children and the non married ones will get Red Packets or “Äng Paos”. It’s a time to let water under the bridge aka forgiveness as well.

I remember growing up celebrating CNY in Ipoh, Perak with my Mom’s side of the family when cousins, aunties, uncles, great aunts and uncles will meet up. It was always filled with snacking on CNY cookies, food + getting red packets, fire crackers and aunty and uncles gambling. My favourite CNY Cookies would be Pineapple Tarts, Love Letters + Beehive.

I think since Mom’s no longer with us. We’ll be celebrating CNY in Kuala Lumpur with my dad’s side of the family from now on. Not sure when I’ll ever head back to Ipoh, Perak TBH. Maybe if Hubs visits and we have something to do or see I guess. I was never really close to Mom’s side of the family. Mainly because of the language barrier. I suck at speaking Cantonese. I can only speak a few words here and there but I can understand more than speak. Ipoh definitely has good food that I will miss.

Anyway, we did the Reunion Dinner at my Grandma’s place and high chances, we won’t be doing any visiting for CNY as we’re still under MCO 2.0 (The Movement Control Order) and also because Mom just passed away not too long ago. Chinese tradition states that the family in mourning should not be celebrating anything for the year. Mom was Chinese so, I feel that we have to honour her traditions. This means, I would not be giving out any Red Packets this year as well.

Talking about Red Packets, my Mom and I had our lil tradition. I was not allowed to open any of my red packets until the 15th day of CNY which meant that CNY was over. I had to write the aunty/uncle name that gave me the red packet on the packet itself too. I got a strong feeling my Mom just didn’t want me to appear rude and open the red packets infront of the aunty that I just received the red packet from as may kids does. Some ungrateful kids would also comment about the amount that they receive. So if the amount was small, the kid would say it out loud. LOL.

Everything that I do and as the days that passes me by, I can’t help but, be reminded about Mom and the things she used to say to me. That’s just how much I miss my Mom.

XoXo, VAS

Joys of Having Furkids…

As you can tell from the title that I love having furkids, especially dogs. Yes, I love them so much that I have 2 – Laurent, a French Bulldog and Saint, a Pocket Beagle. I honestly would have been so lonely if it wasn’t for them. I never ever pictured that when I move out from my parents’ place that I’d be staying alone but, I’ve lived alone for the past 2 years ever since my ex moved out. Since my Mom passed away last month, I’ve gotten my dad to move in with me as I know that he wouldn’t be okay living alone as he was very, very, very attached to my Mom.

Laurent + Saint keeps me busy everyday with feeding them breakie first thing in the morning when I get up and then of course I have to clean up after they’ve both gone potty. Because I don’t feed them kibbles, I have to prepare their breakfast + dinner right before I feed them. They have been on raw diet since early last year as Laurent has been struggling a lil with some food allergies since June 2019 when she was 2+ years old.

Talking about food allergies, I got her to take an allergen test last year which was on the pricey side. To my horror, she’s allergic to pumpkin which was one of the healthy choice of vegetable that I’ve been feeding her + the protein and other vegie for a really long time. So, I immediately removed pumpkins from her diet. So, ever since I’ve been feeding her beef tenderloin that’s cubed. I will try giving her lamb too eventually. It seems that it has sorted out her slight allergies. So, YAY!!

One thing that I feel bad about is not bringing them out for walkies like I used to when I had help. One thing I think many do not know about me is, I’m very anal about hygiene/cleanliness. Therefore, after each walks and before they can get back into the car, I wash their lil paws and once we get home, they get a full shower. So, that being said, it’s quite tricky to do it all by myself. So, what I have been doing is, I play fetch with them to ensure they get enough runs in to stay healthy. I also forgot to mentioned that they do zoomies and chase each other around the house every day. I’ve spoken to my dad and after the MCO 2.0/Lockdown has been lifted, I’d like to bring them to the park for walkies. I know they miss going out.

A month before my Mom lost her battle to cancer, I had a few breakdowns or better known as anticipatory grief and the furkids were always there keeping me company. They would look at me and sit quietly next to me while I pet them. That definitely gave me some comfort. I read that dogs can read humans emotions and I would have to agree with this as this wasn’t the first time that I was comforted by them. In the past, Cookie my Shih Tzu comforted me too when I was sad. How can you not love them?

XoXo, VAS