It’s Time To Find Meaning In Every Bittersweet Experience.

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

It’s Time To Find Meaning In Every Bittersweet Experience.

Once, while I was driving to an appointment, an old and familiar song started to play on the radio.

I’m sure you must have heard of the hauntingly beautiful song, “The Way We Were.”

That day, I was glad the radio deejay did not play the Barbara Streisand’s version of the song.

It would have intensified my emotions and feelings.

“The Way We Were” became Billboard’s number 1 pop hit in 1974.

The song also won the Grammy Award Song of the Year, the Academy Award, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Somehow the song triggered a memory that I would love to forget for the rest of my life.

I would also love to forget a particular scene in my mind – the scene where I had one of the most embarrassing moments.

When the song was first released in 1974, I was still in school.

Like many teenagers, I had a crush for another student.

It was a puppy love that was felt somehow at a very deep level of my heart.

I had put in a lot of my feelings into the relationship, and the passion for her affected almost every area of my life.

At that point, we were actively involved in a youth organisation.

It was a beautiful period of my life, a time that still brings back beautiful memories.

As leaders of the youth movement, we did many things that I believe have never been done by the generations that came before or after us.

We initiated many projects, and had many achievements that still warm my heart.

My crush and I had many things in common and shared many great moments.

We were literally floating on multi-coloured romantic clouds.

Well, to put it in a nice way, clouds are afterall clouds.

They are not supposed to last.

They can turn dark or disappear like the whiff of a cruel wind.

Shortly after we completed our studies, we started to drift apart.

We had many painful moments, despite sharing a wonderful part of our life journey.

One not-so-faithful evening, we called off the relationship.

To cut a long story short, shortly after the broke up, she found another guy and got married.

Meanwhile, for reasons I cannot explain even until today, I carried the brokenness in my heart.

I carried a pain in my soul that I could not shake off for years, even while I was dating many beautiful souls.

I knew this to be true because I once went out with a charming lady.

If my memory serves me correctly, we had a nice dinner and had an engaging conversation.

Everything went perfectly well.

After the meal, I drove her back.

It was at the East Coast Expressway that one of the most embarrassing experiences happened.

The radio started to play “The Way We Were.”

I felt something heavy forming below my eyelids.

I had to pull the car to the side of a busy expressway.

Then, a terrible thing happened.

I broke down and cried – right besides her.

I bawled like a little baby.

Looking back, this is one of the many bittersweet experiences in my life.

They brought sadness to my heart.

Yet, they also somehow highlighted the great times I had when I went through different experiences during those same periods in my life.

The Chinese would call it “The sour, the sweet, the bitter, and the spiciness” (酸甜苦辣) moments of life.

Together, these moments are like threads woven into the fabric of my life to heighten its meaning, excitement and fulfillment.

Through these experiences, I have decide that I will value every moment.

I will find meaning, purpose and significance in every experience.

I will enjoy life to the fullest.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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