Not the city in Arizona. But the long-lived bird that obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

But how do we know we can rebirth? What if nothing comes after the ashes? What if we’re just the mere mortals as reflected in the mirror?

To succeed as an artist, I thought getting the work visa is the one and only way. I was blindsided by my otherwise strength, my laser beam focus.  I cast myself off to the island of desolation when I was convinced that it was where I could find freedom, a free pass for life.

Since yesterday, I started to disassociate myself from the place that I’ve been staying for the last three years of my 20s.  I gazed at the books,  the clothes, the craps I’ve hoarded, and pictured them neatly lied in the dark beige moving boxes, ready to be shipped to China.

What had been so hard to accept is now something I’m aching for. I’m thrilled to see my parents on a daily basis, to be stuffed by dad’s Michelin-standard cooking, to have my mum’s nagging as my soundtrack, and what’s more charming than to be awakened by kitty Michael’s morning meow?

I would see my best friends in Shanghai again, and more regularly.
I wouldn’t need to worry about the ticking bomb, the date to have to exit the country.
I would be able to [Drum rolls, please.] work again, legally!

My root is calling. I have a business idea. I want to test out my entrepreneurship. I want to be my own boss and call my own shots.

Friend asked, “Does that mean you’re a sell-out now?”

Here is the thing, before I’m a writer, I was a hustler. It’s still in me. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

Maybe the only way to prove I’m a Phoenix is to be one. And Phoenix the bird, or the city, would both agree with me on this one: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

To quote the mantra from author Reema Zaman which she revealed in the Dear Sugars podcast:

I’m the author of my life.


Yours truly,


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