Malaysian mother goes from wedding planning to writing a book

  • Family
  • Thursday, 13 Dec 2018

Poet Ong gave up life in the past-paced business world to bring up her son. When he turned 10, she had time to pursue her other love: to write a book. — Photos: AUDREY ONG

The love of a mother knows no bounds. No sacrifice is too great for her to make for her child.

Audrey Ong, 41, relished her work and was doing well as an entrepreneur, having established Armadale Weddings (a wedding planning set-up) back in 2004 as well as a string of outlets for multibrand jewellery store Bejeweled, a year later.

“Both of these ventures taught me so much about business operations, and I was really enjoying my journey and time there. I was passionate about weddings, fashion and jewellery,” says this former businesswoman.

“Almost 15 years ago, I graduated with a Masters in Business Systems but my interest in fashion and artistry got the better of me, and I chose the path of an entrepreneur instead of a management consultant,” she muses.

Hers was a successful venture into the world of weddings, photography and events.

Then Baby came along and, with motherhood, came a reshuffling of the priorities in her life. Ong decided to exit the business world to bring him up.

“I decided to put my career on hold to fully embrace motherhood. I used to be a go-getter, often clocking in long hours – and I am a perfectionist at heart.

“Motherhood has taught me the exact opposite of what the business world taught me: To release perfection and to enjoy the ride, with lots of patience and compassion,” she says.


Her other loves are writing and drawing.

“Writing is something I hold dear to my heart, ever since I was a child. I just never got to pursue it in terms of a career,” she says, adding that, “throughout the years I have always been penning down my thoughts as a way to de-stress, or to process my thoughts and emotions”.

Now that her child is 10 years old, Ong has more room to explore writing properly.

She began writing poetry in 2016. What began as her personal musings and thoughts have materialised into a compilation of poems and prose in a self-­published book, Whispers Of The Soul. This marks her first foray into writing.

“I found solace in poetry, in my ups and downs of life. I take comfort that, in just a few sentences, I can express myself and tell my story – this is the best method I know.”

She says that the “push” for writing the book came when she realised that it was a “now or never” moment.

Whispers Of The Soul is a reflection of my journey. It is made up of my thoughts, memories, dreams, echoes of my past, faith and the truths in my life,” describes Ong, who names Maya Angelou, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Neruda, Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur as some of her favourite poets and authors.

Her book is divided into four chapters – love, dawn, dusk and light – that are beautifully illustrated by artist Zoe Wu.

Each chapter is aimed at bringing readers on a different journey, with heartfelt connections to the soul.

Ong says, “Poetry is fluid and made up of pieces that can be read many times over, in no particular order. Some pieces will resonate and ‘sing’ to you more than others, in different seasons of your life.”

Whispers Of The Soul retails at RM70 and is available at Cziplee Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. It is also available in online stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and Kubo.

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