Review of September, can you tell that I’m losing track of things.

  • Kelong trip- I get nolstagic whenever I hear the ‘pass it on’ song.
  • Toddlers church + Happy Teacher’s Day!
  • Pro bono consulting started. I hope it changes lives HAHAHA am I putting too much hope on one non chargeable project.
  • Go live at a client site started. Will be busy these two weeks. I hope cupcakes taste good!
  • Planning for Phuket trip is over, trip went well 🙂 Thank god for atrociously good and sunny weather on the second day, I would have been really sad if all our plans went down the drain just because it flooded.
  • Took over some admin duties- I share a bit of what I read/watch every week with my colleagues in my team, kind of like tagging it on that that admin update weekly. So far I’ve covered failure and the growth mindset 🙂 next week will be a learned optimism update.
  • Planning for the upcoming BBGB camp is starting this week. Hope everything goes well, I’m managing the budget (I think, have been MIA recently).
  • YX booked hotel for HK trip.

I am still not sure about solo travel. I can recognise directions, but I have a tendency to get lost in my own thoughts and then end up somewhere I don’t know. It’s like when I am talking to people, I only think about the moment and I don’t have a plan for things beyond the moment. Which often ends a bit miserably when I realise that people think that I have other intentions.

Upcoming things

  • CC Leaders retreat
  • CC Church camp
  • Get a tattoo?

Bought a kindle paperwhite just now. When I was feeling reaallllly frazzled. My mind just went “fuck it I’m going to buy it now.” I’ll pack food to work for the next year if I have to.

Sigh. Ok no more posts until I get my mind back on track. I think I’m either going to drink later or I’m going to go for a run. Probably drink, haven’t been running in a while.

Review: August, 2017

I have a backlog of things that I want to write about- the past week was relatively more relaxed for work, but I am trying to sleep earlier and this also includes an after-dinner activity of watching a Chinese TV drama called Young Sherlock Holmes, broadcasted in 2014. So writing got kind of pushed to the back of my priority list. Anyway, this is a review of August, hastily done, might contain a fair bit of grammatical errors because I really need to start clearing my to do list.

“Good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.”

-Anne Lamott

August was a month filled with friends, work, and emotional discoveries. You know that sort of ‘aha’ moment when you scrutinise what you have been doing for the past three weeks? And finally understand why you don’t really like doing those things, or why you find happiness in some things and want to continue doing them? I realised that for the department rec club activities, I only volunteer for things that revolve around writing and children (corporate social responsibility). I don’t really like doing logistical planning, although I am good at it- finding things, sourcing for resources, details, budgeting etc. To me it is operational and it is something that everyone can do, it doesn’t require a special skillset.

I know the people better now, and their comments on things can be quite funny. For the planning of dinner on the first day, T asked D if the hotel is aware that we are definitely booking their restaurant, because we have to make sure that there are enough seats and that the menu is the right sort (halal, food allergies etc). D paused for a microsecond and then replied, “close to being aware.” There are so many details to take note of when planning logistics because we are involving people who are fresh hires, and also partners who have been in the firm for twenty years. From things like the number of vans and the allocation of people to teams, to things like availability of cold drinking water if we are going to be travelling around Phuket, these things need to be threshed out one by one because of budgeting reasons, and also because it is a department trip and each unit has their own quirks.

It has been an interesting journey with the rec club so far, even though it is voluntary and none of it will be counted as part of the performance appraisal process. But that is life, and I want people and relationships to be part of my life. I don’t want to be a corporate drone. I enjoy writing sincere letters to people, and I feel that it is a way to get in touch with my emotions and practise emotional honesty and vulnerability, hence I’m doing the comms part. Rather than have a really perfectionist and KPI-driven personal branding, I would rather people know me as a person who likes to work with children, on projects that have an impact on humans and who values the practice of honestly expressing oneself. Not going to kill myself over political situations or the fear of not getting promoted.

It is difficult to hold back from volunteering for other things, but August is also a month where I am learning to balance my work better, to set boundaries for my time and to not let work eat into all of my weekends. I am a pretty slow person so I don’t mind working on the weekends, but it must not be an expectation and it has to be self-initiated. So if I leave early to meet friends, I am going to make up for it on the weekends and that is fine with me.

Speaking of humans, I met some really nice people for lunch this month. I will be spending the next month at Changi (seems like my life is either Tuas or Changi), and I am glad that I got to know quite a fair number of people before getting transferred to the client’s place. Although my food bills are not going down, it is something that I don’t mind because it makes my life better. Love aloha poke bowls and fish soup. But a mental note to self, no matter how sad I am about my day, I will not, will not, will not, WILL NOT, use other people as a scratching post for my emotions. Enough said. Perhaps it is a good thing that I got transferred to Changi.

Church activities wise, we are going to Blue Mountain Kelong in a few days! I have to get a wifi router egg thingy so that I can do my work there, and hopefully I won’t get bitten by too many mosquitoes. Also, toddlers class resumes tomorrow, I’m really hoping that Kaeler will be in a better mood tomorrow. I discovered yesterday that the person who is booking the room for cell group every month at my company was from my DG, it’s not some random person who isn’t a Christian, it’s just that the DG got too big hence we split into two. There’s bible study class tomorrow, we’re doing Mark, which reminds me that I have not started revising it yet.

Yesterday during DG E said something along the lines of “the laws are different from the bible”. Which I agree, we might know God’s laws (ten commandments etc), but we might not know God as a creator and loving Father. We can be given many laws but it takes time to change a person’s heart and to approach the bible not as a set of old and fixed rules, but as a set of parables for us to learn what he meant for us humans to be like. Grace, love, compassion, hope, and faith. However it takes a long time, it is a journey that not everyone will commit to because of the stigma attached with Christianity. That the Christians are not like Christ.

Also- I haven’t been exercising a lot but anyway- will post an update about anxiety tomorrow. My health has been steadily going downhill as of July 2017. I can’t do anything about it, but at least I have the money to pay my bills.

Thankful for:

Friends, food, advice from bosses, and opportunities at work to learn. I have a clearer idea of what I would like to do at work (not just business transformation through consulting services). I would like to invest more time in working on government projects and VWO projects, because I value impact. Working for global FMCG companies can be exciting because of the scope of the project, but the value to me is low. We’ll see if it is part of my life to end up where I would like to go. After all, I’ve only been at work for two months.

I just listened for a long time; she went from crushed to defiant.

“I have what everyone wants,” she said. “But no one would be willing to pay.”

“What do you have?”

“The two most important things. I got forced into loving myself. And I’m not afraid of dying anymore.”

Anne Lamott

Reviewing: May and June

Hi I think I forgot to do a review of May lol. But fear not, I have a calendar with a lot of coloured boxes so I know that my life was not a blackhole in May. I shall separate what I did into categories so I will not feel like a complete mess.

Work

  • I am scared.
  • However, I got new makeup.

School

  • Settled degree related things. I returned all my business knowledge to the profs already.

Family

  • Mom theoretically let go of some of her commitments, but somehow, I still don’t see her at home.
  • I put in more effort to see my grandma during these two months because I finally have time. Bought her egg tarts from some HK bakery.

Friends

  • Travelled overseas twice with different people. Wish I could have gone to Australia to see Panda-king, but I need a break. I only have five days left to myself, including today.
  • Made lots of friends aged 18 months to 3 years old HAHAHAHA. *pat pat*. Sometimes they really ignore you and start playing with the toys at the back of the room when they are supposed to be listening to the teacher, that’s when I go and tell them “Okay just take one ball with you…no, one ball only! You have to participaaaaaate!” *carries them over*
  • Caught up with old friends from school and internships. I prefer Burmese food over Western food 😊 Korean is good, if there is cheese involved. I don’t really appreciate movies unless there is popcorn involved, but then I’ll get scolded for eating it all before the movie starts.
  • Got to know more DG people. I agree with what A said though- she wants to find a DG that is transitioning into adulthood, just like us. Maybe at the most with 2 or 3 years of working experience. With my current DG, they are all seasoned working adults who have been in the industry for at least 6-7 years, some with multiple degrees. They can be a little more jaded and less…bushy-tailed and bright-eyed?

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Creative endeavours

  • Journaling, some water-colouring involved. I prefer markers and black pen drawings because those are easier to control. For watercolours, I haven’t gotten used to controlling the amount of water yet. Plus because I’m practicing on moleskine paper (although I did get a pad of mixed media paper), everything just buckles and turns out uneven.
  • Discovered Amy Tan, love her writing.
  • Returned to reading Jack Kerouac but I don’t like his style anymore.
  • Started on David Wallace but hmm.
  • Uploaded less posts? I feel like I ramble less now because I don’t have time to sit down and ramble.
  • Decorated my room- dad repainted the walls. I wanted light grey with a hint of pinkish undertones. For some reason, even though my dad used a priming base, it turned out to be light blue. I’m going to use fabric paint for the curtain over my door. Also, getting some flowers etc when the walls are completely done.

Health

  • Survived a meditation retreat for 12 days.
  • The chicken wings at ECP are nice, but not as good as the tze char ones in KL. Both were 45-minute waits lol. I didn’t update much on what I did during church camp but there was a lot of food involved (not hotel food), and not a lot of side effects from all the hokkien mee and prawn noodles 🙂 I didn’t mind eating because my DG has a lot of doctors so the odds of me dying are lower.

Speaking of doctors, I was in a car with three doctors yesterday because we arranged to cycle at ECP. I mentioned that I wanted to get a motorcycle license because I don’t like being in a confined space (car or cupboards etc) alone, and they immediately said “no that’s a bad idea!! We see a lot of RTAs!!” “What’s RTA?”Road traffic accidents.” “Ohhh.” “Do your parents know about this?” “I wasn’t going to tell them?” “When it rains the roads will be slippery!” “All the bikers I know have been in accidents.” They said it with such conviction I was like “ok, ok not getting.” But I still think it’s interesting to bike. Maybe dirt bike LOL.

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  • TCM tapered down again- new medication, my skin hasn’t broken out in rashes for about 1.5 months now. But with regards to my monthly buddy it is still very unstable, the days in between periods for most girls are about 28 days, I can range from 38 to 50 days ): Which means that my hormones are basically all over the place, and it is difficult to track my moods cause it might just be PMS.
  • Eating a lot of kimchi maggi mee without the usual stomaches!!
  • There is a super dark scar on my leg from cupping- the cup is heated and sucks out blood from the small needle holes she makes, which means that if the rim of the cup is placed on a needle mark that too big (not a hole, sometimes it is more of a small scratch because she pokes really fast), it will cause the skin to open, leaving a scar. I covered it with a plaster during church camp but it’s still purplish. I would say that my pain tolerance is quite good, I actually enjoy blood donations and ear piercings. But TCM is a different ball game, especially when the pressure points are around my knees and hip bones. During acupuncture and cupping I’m usually covered in cold sweat.

Words can’t express how grateful I am that I can eat all sorts of good food now with my friends. Hawker centres!!! In the past I used to fear outside food because of all the sauces and spices used. And contamination from the tze char woks, even if I only order vegetables and rice etc. Mentally I feel like I have been freed from a prison, I can share food with people now. And I can eat a lot of popiah without checking for rashes (subtly) on my wrists.

  • Started swimming a lot more. Got rewarded with a tan line and the feeling that I have aged because I am not as flexible anymore.

Side note: In the past year, I got to know two friends who got married at 23, and this morning I discovered a friend of a friend who also got married…this year. At 23. Still mind-blown haha. Maybe because I believe that marriage is for life and I can’t make life decisions at 23 LOL. I can only eat satay and watch people fish at ECP.

I also bought copic markers and random things at Art Friend. I love copic markers, but they are so expensive ): I really like the shades of pink and grey.

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Looking back: March, 2017

My march calendar is almost filled up- I have another week to go but compared with all the things I did earlier this month, the next week is almost deliciously light-hearted. Here is a review of the things I learned and did.

Work

  • Went for career talks, completed my application at two places, two job interviews, nailed a job and withdrew from another. I am glad that I opened that email from the career advisor, because the company I’m accepting usually ends their university recruitment in December. I’m a very lucky off-cycle person. I kept delaying job applications because I didn’t know if I could do anything other than HR, but thankfully it worked out in the end.
  • I am no longer moving in the HR practitioner realm, neither am I going to be a HR consultant. I am glad that I can finally move out of HR but also slightly worried that I will return to being a very practical and non-social hermit? I don’t want to see people as transactions. (That said, my MBTI is INFJ. I used to be a rather (head)strong INTJ. HR did change me significantly.)
  • I am grateful for my past internship experiences which allowed me to experience life- to see life and work through different perspectives, and also to talk about what I learned from the internships during interviews. It was tiring for 2015-2016 but I know that I have to work the hardest for what I love. I love doing new things!

School

  • I’m graduating soon!
  • Presentations, quizzes, assignments due, projects discussed, friends made, things panicked about. My style for presentations is ad-lib, I can’t do scripts because I always forget them when there are no powerpoint slides. SMU is a lot more tiring than NTU ):
  • This month was hard because my sleep was terrible. I woke up feeling totally calm this morning, because I had my first proper 8 hours sleep without breaks in between due to scratchy rashes in weeks. I hope I didn’t offend anyone in school.

Self

  • I really worked hard this month.
  • No regrets, it was the consolidation of February. I might have embarrassed myself with a few things in SMU but I don’t think anyone noticed.
  • Arranged a meditation trip and 1-2 grad trips, depending on how much time I have.
  • Also, I wrote a few posts on slotherious and read a few books! I love Victor Frankl and Andrew Solomon.
  • I made sure to meet 1-2 friends a week (not from my current classes). Watched movies, had more food!
  • I love fish slices noodles from BV!!! I do detours just to dabao from that stall.

Health

  • TCM bruises and rashes and I wrote this three times in my calendar- “anxiety is exhausting”. It really is. It drains you from the inside even though you haven’t done much. But now that everything is over and I am tracking my life in a different way, I don’t think I am burned out anymore.
  • Went for massages!
  • Drank a lot of vitagen and ate a lot of lindt chocolate, I like the honey mustard sauce from subway, the tomato basil wraps from simply wrap, the tori q bento boxes, the pork ribs soup that my mom makes, and black ball desserts and matcha lattes! I’m a beagle and I love food. Can you believe that a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to eat any of these?
  • Anxiety wise- I am starting to run again. Did 2.9km two days ago and then I got wiped out by presentations, I actually managed to sleep by 11pm and then wake up at 4am to continue rehearsing.

Church

  • Signed up for church camp and went every week to DG/service.
  • I think my learning methods for church have stabilized now. I usually take about a month to get used to something new. The book of Daniel is difficult, there’s so much historical data to grapple with. ):
  • Am going for some talks with my friend from a different church next week! I haven’t seen her for a whole semester.
  • Reconnected with an old friend from CU.

Others

  • Learned to track my life according to functions- work, relaxation and others- and not impact. It is a lot more relaxing, and I sleep better now. I am learning to take myself less seriously and just let go. Incremental achievable goals, the first steps to self-improvement.
  • However, I am unable to forget some people.
  • And I am spending >$20 a week on Uber. It is not money I have, but my sense of time has somehow gone awry.

 

the happiness of pursuit/ the pursuit of happiness