Missed connections


My dreams recently bring me nostalgia. I see people from old days: ex-colleagues, romances, school mates. In my dreams, I was frequently on a boat or ferry, bombarded with people.

I wake up feeling a sense of pity, not quite regret, but definitely wondering how many opportunities I had lost in building connections and relationships with people.

People I never got to know better, or people with whom I did not bother. Those I deleted from Facebook or my email list during my depression, because I felt they hurt me more than tried to understand me. The hurried paces I took to avoid eye contact. The relationships I did not keep because I was not comfortable with myself, in my own shoes.

I look at people around me, and wonder how many relationships that I, today, sacrifice, because I am more engrossed in my plights than what they have to say. I feel a sense of limited time and urgency, as if I had no spare second to say an extra Hello — and stay there to listen to the response. I have to get back to my writing, my thoughts, my proposals, my reports…

I had valued achievements, goals, milestones over relationships and health. I crashed and burnt. And now I am starting that cycle again.

Sometimes PLPL comes to me at my desk, and tells me she wants to sit on my lap and work with me. She brings her paper computer in with her backpack, hair scruffled. Those are the precious moments I sometimes choose to ignore. Or I prop her on my knees and let her fiddle with my pens, as I try to finish typing that email over her shoulders.

Choices we make, are always at a cost. We cannot have it all. 

“Come play, Mummy.”

Another missed connection.

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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.