Living A FUNtastic Life (Part 39)

by Patrick Liew on September 24, 2011

When I was a kid, I thought I could be an artist.

I love drawing lessons. In fact, I once won second prize in the school’s drawing competition.

My grandmother used to say, “When Patrick draws a frog, you can hear croaking sounds coming out from it.”

But then again, I was her favourite grandchild.

When I was 11 years old, my dream of being an artist crashed.

During a drawing lesson, we were told to design the cover of a photo album.

I drew a very elaborate painting. As I wanted to dedicate it to my Papa, I pasted his photograph on it.

My teacher looked at my drawing and passed what he thought was a funny joke.

“Your drawing looks like the front of a lorry, decorated for funeral purposes. It has a photograph on it too.”

I felt a deep pain being rammed into my heart. My complete being just shut down after that.

I stood up and took my school bag and painting.

I walked to the waste paper basket.

I left the painting on top and I walked straight back home.

I did not cry – that’s why the experience was all the more painful.

I wasn’t sure if my teacher apologized to me – but we patched up our relationships.

Subsequently, the good thing about being a child was I did not hold on to the grudge for long.

In fact, this teacher became one of my favourite teachers. Together with other students, we spent a lot of time after normal school hours.

We were involved in many different sports and interesting activities.

This was also the teacher that taught me how to use a Pogo stick. For a while, I would play on it during my free time.

I would bounce and bounce… and got lost in time. It was not only fun, but also brought a lot of happiness to my life

Looking back, we had a wonderful time in school because of this teacher. He made schooling fun and exciting.

My experience with him was a bittersweet experience.

Although we started on a wrong footing, at the end of my life in school, I wished we had more time together.

There was sadness in my heart during the parting of ways. Strangely, the sadness helped me to appreciate the great times I had in that school.

Over the years, I have experienced many of such bittersweet experiences.

These were beautiful periods of time, but unfortunately, transient in nature.

While going through it, and enjoying every moment of the experience, I knew it would eventually come to an end.

A memorable experience in a short-term project, an exciting vacation, a relationship that was not destined to last, an overseas retreat, and leaving colleagues who have become your friends…

Many experiences in life are bittersweet experiences. The Chinese would call it ‘the sour, the sweet, the bitter, and the spiciness’ moments of life.

There is a Chinese proverb, ‘天无不散之筵席. ‘

What it means is that there is no banquet that does not end in a parting of ways.

I did not understand the wisdom of this proverb until I wrote this Love Note.

When I understand the temporal nature of every experience and pleasure in my life, I will treasure every moment.

I will value every experience. I will enjoy it to the fullest.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we turn bittersweet experiences into anchors that will help us enjoy life to the fullest?






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