Siem Reap – I did nothing


In 2007, I took a short holiday break with my high school best friend, Slo, to rejuvenate. She was one of those girls who would sleep through class and ace all the examinations. We hardly talked or emailed but we would see each other every now and then in different parts of the world, and catch up like we had never separated.

We spent a few days in Siem Reap among the temples of Angkor Wat. Most afternoons were spent lazing around the infinity pool at the boutique hotel. I tried to push thoughts of chapters left untouched out of my head. I was finishing up the Masters in Laws degree that year and exams were coming.

One observation enthralled me in that short week. Slo now read and wrote – a lot. I used to indulge in both. I wrote and read poetry, prose, novels, non-fiction, and short stories. I wrote in my journal everyday. I thrived on using new vocabulary I learned and expressing myself in creative ways. But the last time I wrote must have been high school.

I had forgotten my lexicon. I did not pick up a pen to write anything except post-it notes as task reminders. I did not read anything else besides finance-related newspapers or my textbooks for examinations. Yet Slo was reading Sherlock Holmes and Eckhart Tolle at the same time, and wrote a travel log everyday. Where did my patience and passion go?

siem reap

That was the first sign from the universe that I was not nurturing my creativity and passion. Accomplishments in the career world came at the expensive of my own mental and spiritual health.

I heard the warning. Yet, I did nothing.

Today, I feel stressed out. I have a tummy ache. I cannot sleep despite the clear blue skies and Christmas holiday. I am frantic about my thesis topic. I cannot come up with any ideas. I am procrastinating. I am resisting. A million things in my head I want to do.

What is going on?

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about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.