I woke up this morning to see the screen of my phone with a pop up from my Countdown app.
‘50 Days till Engagement Day’, it read.
My heart sank a little. Almost in autopilot, I showered, got dressed and turned on my louder than average blender to make breakfast. It was an unsuccessful attempt to drown the gloomy, mehhhhness (I’m pretty sure this is a legit emotion that’s on the List of Human Emotions).
I started scrolling my phone, and the thought just dismissed (if I have to be specific, I watched this video, and got distracted!) 😛
While I was at work, the thought of my now-postponed-engagement crept back to mind, and I sent a screenshot of the countdown to my Free Therapist a.k.a The Mister. His reply was, ‘I want birthday’. The date of our planned engagement coincides with his birthday – and I wasn’t even really thinking about his birthday. Oppsss? Typically, I planned months ahead on lame games, puns and funs for the big baby.
It clicked me how this wasn’t even something worth fretting upon. It wasn’t like I was prohibited to get married to this guy! Our wedding might just happen on the planned date *fingers crossed*.
I mean there are bigger problems in the world – like a pandemic with no vaccine, not-so-great economy, Trump and an incompetent cabinet of ministers in a certain southeast Asia country ruining, sorry, running a government.
I have bigger problems. Piling up workload with urgent deadlines. Or, the fact that I can’t just go home to see my parents whenever I want. Or, that it’s been over 60 days since I had seen my groom.
So, I chose to just write a blog post about this unnecessary emotion– and then, let it go!
I’m going to end this post with a reminder how we used to be a decent looking duo in traditional outfits – and truth be told, now we’re both *coughs* very far from looking half as good. I guess the postponement is somewhat a blessing in disguise, eh?
We were all seated around the dining table at my parents’ house. Some extended family members were there as well. I think it was teatime, because there were mugs of hot masala chaya on the table.
I was unwrapping one of the many packages that were on the floor. It’s finally here – our wedding invitations! Excitedly, I tore open the wrapping to see the invitations for the first time. Since I was not in KL at the time of finalizing the design – I had no idea how it’ll look. I took out the one of the invitations – and my hands trembled.
My heart sank – and I was almost on verge of tears! I kept quiet for a long time. My parents asked me what was wrong – and I got (embarrassingly) hysterical at this point.
This invitation looked so bad! It had those glossy printed wording – the font was all off. The colour scheme was so unflattering. And THAT wasn’t the biggest issue at all. One of the sentences said, .. Brides residence… and there were whole lot of grammatical errors and wrong use of apostrophes.
I told my mother, ‘I go around correcting people’s grammar, and look at my wedding invitation! It’s so bad! We cannot use this!’. My father was reassuring me that we can redo the invitations if I thought that it’s really that bad.
Someone made a snarky comment about how I was being petty, and this wasn’t even a problem – and how will I handle should problems arise in our marriage later.
Someone else said I was being an ungrateful. It added to fuel to the this whole fire of anger, confusion & disappointment. I felt helpless. I just knew that I DID NOT WANT to give out these invitations.
In distance, I heard the alarm ring on my phone.
No joke, I’m telling you – this dream was so vivid that my heart beats were going crazy when I woke up and sat on my bed. And to think that THAT is my biggest fear of what can go wrong, I really don’t know what’s wrong with my priorities in life.
Another point to note – the sentence that triggered me so much (…Brides residence…)is totally irrelevant to our ceremony – at least that should’ve triggered me – that it was a dream?
I was bookmarking some wedding card designs before I went to bed. I also recall watching one of those videos on Facebook where the groom picks outrageously hideous dress for their bride – which almost always make the bride cry. A mix of these somehow manifested in the dream nightmare, I guess.
If I could actually break into a song and dance right now, it’d be a favourite from my teen days. *sings ‘We’re all in this together’ from High School Musical* Globally, we are all coming together against a common enemy – the COVID-19, with social distancing as our powerful weapon.
In trying times like this, especially having to stay indoors, and some of us undesirably away from family and our loved ones – the mood can be dull and frustrating . Here are some ideas on how to keep you out of boredom coma, and find a silver lining whilst you feel deprived of content for your social media accounts.
1) Take Up Challenge(s)
There’s a plenty of things you can attempt as a challenge – and it doesn’t have to be very complicated. Think about some of the habits that you’d like to make or break, and use this time to work on it. Staying home gives you more control and less distraction (relative to your day-to-day life). I, for example, have taken the challenge 1) To drink at least 1.5 L of water, 2) Eat all home-prepped meals & no junk food and 3) Write 3 blog posts , in the course of these 14 days. Keep track of your progress, and reward yourself at the end (only if you stayed on track, baru halal ah).
3 days of meals that I’ve been preparing at home #alonelife
Tips : Keep the challenges to a max. of 5; and choose what really matters & is meaningful to you.
2) Learn New Things
Lucky for us, there’s whole lot of FREE courses available online to enroll in. Some sites available are Udemy, Coursera & EdX. Some of the courses require payment – but mostly it’s for the certificate & grading. The course materials are almost always free. The next best thing about these sites is that they have pretty structured syllabus from renowned universities -so you can learn systematically. If you’d like to invest in better courses, try FranklinCovey-OnDemand, which costs about RM1000 – has various impactful softskills 1-hour programs. I finished 2 courses on the site which I found very useful. (Disclaimer : My access to Franklin-Covey was paid for by the organisation I work for; you can request your HR/Training &Development too!).
Other simpler alternatives are CrashCourse on YouTube which offers a wide range of topics, or Explained series on Netflix. I used to watch these while running on treadmill (when once upon a time I went to gym). If you want to learn a new language, then use the Duolingo app – and you really can progress. I didn’t know that I knew that much French until I watch an ad recently and could more or less make out what they were saying!
We all have that space or drawer in our house that’s a ‘Everything Corner’. I have a storage box which contains my stationary, some souvenirs, random notebooks, stuffed toys, certificates, paper bags, vases, candles and what-not. I’ve been adding more to this said-container, especially because I hoard at every city I’ve been relocating to. Whenever I move, I don’t really unpack this container, which really questions the essentiality (is this even a word?) of these items. This is a good time to Marie Kondo similar spaces and clear that mess you keep hidden.
You can try this for your online clutter as well. That email address that you use to sign up for EVERYTHING, and now you have 3705 unread emails in your Inbox. Spend some time unsubscribing to the newsletters that are irrelevant to you. You can do this on your social media accounts as well – unfollow the pages you followed a decade ago but find no longer your cup of tea, or the ones that are no longer active. This way, you get more control of what you see online.
4. Catch Up
While it’s relaxing that some of our critical tasks at work have been postponed; and it’s a breather to work from home – it is easy to get distracted and impact our productivity. Working from home can so easily be counter-productive. This is a good time review your To-Dos and work on what’s important. It can be that improvement idea that you have, or a proposal for a potential saving – the kind of things you never got around to doing because there were always more urgent things that needed your attention.
I’m almost grateful that I have this breather – to resurface from the pile I’ve been under – because at least 60% of the urgent items have been pushed; giving me time to refocus and catch up on work that add more value.
Tips : Use the Urgent-Important Matrix, and reevaluate your To-Do list; so when you return to office, you can focus on Q2 instead of burning out with Q1 and Q3 tasks.
5. Reconnect with Your Loved Ones
Other than the stories of hardships of how they struggled during commute to school and struggling childhood (most Brown parents tell these stories?), we rarely know our parents for who they are as individuals. Years ago, I sat both my parents (separately) for an ‘interview’ session and asked them a set of questions. I found out that my father wanted to be a teacher if he’ve had the resources back then, and finds it difficult that his girls have grown up and that my mother told me that she thought I could’ve been smarter – but still proud of me! There’s so many parts of their younger lives that we don’t know – maybe you could sit & interview them to find out more.
The same applies to your partner or spouse. Give a call and catch up with that friend that you’ve spoken to in months or years.
BONUS: Try Social Media Detox
Truth be told – this is a tough one. Being cooped indoors can already be frustrating – and scrolling up social media keeps us occupied. That being said, social media can also be a source of frustration – what with the bad news, increasing number of cases, fake news, repeated tweets about the same things and videos of our clown of a Health Minister. We all need a break from this constant feed of negativity. Thanks to the RMO, there’s no need for FOMO – because everyone’s home (at least they should be!). I am yet to try this one out myself – so I’m curious if I remain sane, especially because I’ll have to remain home alone.
That sums up my ideas for now. Do let me know in the comments if there’s anything else that you’re doing; would love to know. 🙂
Till the next post, stay home, stay safe and most importantly, stay sane! ❤
Since I started blogging in 2008, for 11 years now, I’ve been consistent at these TWO things; 1)Not be consistent at writing, and 2) Writing a blogpost in the month of December.
I realized that most, if not all my December blogs were about how the year went. So, I’m going to keep that tradition going this year too, because only then, I’ll credibly add ‘Writing Year-End Reflections’ in my list of consistencies. Amidst moving across three cities in 12 months – I felt 2019 flew by in a blink (also still certain somebody tweaked Time Machine).
This year was as eventful as 2018 – albeit the lack of awesomeness on my Instagram feed. The reason for that is my ‘digital detox’ endeavor in 2019. My attempt to stay away from social media did not last long enough though. But one good outcome from unistalling some apps and setting screen time limit is that now I feel lesser need to take pictures for Gram. Like a true millennial, I have a long way to go to strike a balance – let’s hope I work my way around it in 2020.
Professionally, it has been one hella packing-unpacking deal. I completed my first rotation down south in Johor in March. Then, I made a move further down south to Singapore for my ‘overseas’ rotation for 9 months. I saw and experienced things – at a much grander scale. Now, I’ve moved to Malacca – it’s been two weeks. In all of this, I’m glad that I met (have gotten to know more, this year) people my age from various backgrounds – how we are all different, but still the same. ASEAN curse word conventions, discussing brown parenting, learning new recipes, eating tasty home-cooked food (big hearty thanks to Uncle Manu and Mrs Manu) and and debating on random topics. I miss all this now that I’m in a place with only TWO other people.
Love life progressing on a steep gradient on our 5th Year of Woofness, as we call it. We finally lived in the same city since graduating in 2016, though for only 9 months. We had lots of fun gaining calories, exploring and failing to consistently go to gym. LDR sucks even if it’s just over 300 km yo! Our families met for the first time, and now warming up to each other’s family more. And…… we *cough* are *cough* getting *cough* married.
Personally, I could’ve done better with my New Year’s resolutions. I actually did read more this year (thanks to my book sponsor a.k.a The Mister!). I tried to limit single-use plastics – and jumped at every opportunity where I can spread the word among family members and colleagues. I saved more money than I have had since starting work. So that’s all good – I well deserve a Cheesy Wedges.
But…. I need to up my game in writing, healthy living, emotional intelligence and some other personal projects. To a more productive year in 2020. Looking forward to all the adventures that 2020 has in store.
When I was twelve, the new head teacher made all the girl prefects wear long skirts as uniform. On the day I walked to receive my badge as Head Girl, I tripped and fell in the assembly.
Months later, I was wearing a green baju kurung Kedah on Hari Anugerah Cemerlang. I tripped on the steps, while climbing on stage to receive the Tokoh Pelajar award.
At the age of 15, I would’ve tripped at almost every drain around the school. While in university, when I used to ride my bicycle to classes and library. On my way back, I would lose control downhill near the road between V1 and V2; and have fallen more times than I could admit. I drop my phone 3 times a day, (still).
My mother still nags me to be careful at work. When I tell her I climb tall structures, she worries. My safety helmet has saved me from knocking into pipes multiple times. By now, I must’ve convinced you what a clumsy, Humpty Dumpty I am.
So, just like my mother, The Mister has been self-appointed to point out (and nag me) about my clumsiness. He shrugs every time my phone takes a plunge, or and give me the I-told-you-to-be-careful look when I trip.
But, guess who broke the screen of their 3-month-old Huawei P30 Pro just TWO days before the warranty ended? Which brings us to why does The Mister has a new phone in the first place? Because his previous less-than-a-year-oldSamsung also had his screen cracked.
‘It’s because you are lazy’. That’s what The Mister said, when we started brisk walking at the Neighbourhood Park. We had just climbed three flight of stairs to get to the park; and I was already panting as if I ran a marathon (not like I have the experience of that). He insisted that we should jog, ‘Come, slowly, jog!’.
I maintained that I cannot jog, my ankle hurt and I might die of shortness of breath.
‘But you cycled in the gym last time! You used to run, you can jog! You’re just lazy!’. Bugger called me lazy. Twice! I had enough.
‘When I say I can’t jog, that means I CANNOT’. I walked away, angrily, made 2 rounds in the park, still walking briskly, mentally mocking him and gave laser stares each time I passed by him. My Amma nags me much lesser than this man!
Two days later, we went for a jog, again. We set rules this time; that I will jog to the best of my ability and that he’ll be considerate and nice(r) while at it. I did try to jog; and we completed about 1.8 km of jogging before I gave up. Frankly, I could’ve continued. But I just didn’t feel like pushing it? So, I used my ‘side stitch’ excuse to get away. Maybe I was just lazy?
Earlier this week, The Mister casually commented, ‘You don’t read OR write these days, ah?’ I pretended not to hear that, sailed on to a different topic. I’m ninja like that when it comes to avoiding anything uncomfortable.
I did not think much of it all, until earlier today, while trying to not regurgitate the yucky lunch I was having. Maybe there’s truth to it. I am being a little lazy? I have been slacking in many ways, relatively. I have the luxury of time these days, but I do nothing (other than rolling chapatis 3-4 times a week).
To all this, I had one very good excuse. I was still settling in a new country. That takes time, right? Duhhh. But, if I must be honest, I was already well-adjusted at work. And, really, it just feels like I live in an alternate universe where Malaysia has better public transportation and crappy banking app. Everything else feels the same? So, that excuse went down the drain now because transition was smooth.
The whole point to this is that I realized, that sometimes, in life, we might need someone who gives us a reality check. To be that mirror reflecting on things you and I would delusional-y ignore or avoid. Fortunately (sometimes unfortunately), that person for me is The Mister.
I realized how this is a sticky situation, because that means, mostly, I cannot get away with pity or long-winded stories with The Mister. He points out things as they are, and that’s just not so romantic, I must say.
Sometimes, I get oh-so-defensive about the little stuffs, but when I’m all alone eating yucky lunch (yucky lunch is an important variable, you guys!), his valid points somehow make sense.
Sometimes, I get that much defensive, that I make it a point to prove against whatever he has said. Like today, I am writing a blog post while eating fruit salad for dinner, after a 3.2 km run on a weekday!
Lazy, who? Sorry?
BUT, I have to also confess, I needed motivation to complete my mission; so I consoled myself that if I did run better, I would give me a reward. So……
If I described 2018 as a roller coaster ride, it’ll be shamefully an understatement. So, let me do it justice.
It was like going to Disneyland all smiles and glee, and then someone offered me a sack of gold coins for me to get on a ride. The ride made me nauseous, and I couldn’t get off halfway. I had this nagging passenger right next to me – who kept nagging and made me lose my mind. But what kept me going is the thought of that sack of gold coins and my cute little plushy which I had carried along in my pocket (which I beat up whenever I struggled on the ride). At the end of the first ride, I was so thrilled that it was over, and extremely grateful to sign up for another ride.
Okay laaa, that’s a bit drama. But now I feel I justified my 2018 chapter the right way.
So, like every year, I am going to summarize the highlights of my year. So, here we go, a reminiscent walk through my 2018 memories.
Crossing items on my 25 Before 25
I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, always been one despite being not-so great at accomplishing them all the time. In 2018, however, I did not write any yearly resolutions. I resorted to completing my 25 Before 25 (which I will blog about soon!), a list I wrote when I was still doing my undergrad studies in UTP. It wasn’t a typical bucket-list of sorts with skydiving and all. It was a simple list of random things I wanted to do. Some of the things include :
Learning hand lettering
Volunteering for Build for Tomorrow
Watching Disney on Ice
Piercing for a second earring (my Amma isn’t a big fan of this!)
The list is about 80% complete. Obviously I’m cheating a little there, because I turned 25 last September. But I decided to give yours truly an extension until February 2019.
Completing my postgraduate studies
When I enrolled for my Masters program, I had one motto. Finish on time, on a high. I repeated that to myself; and in one way or another my close knits also kept me on my toes. I am more than exhilarated as I look back on my postgraduate journey. I think I did good. 🙂
Going into 2018, I told myself that I will look for another as soon as I completed my Masters. Two weeks into 2018, I was already looking at job ads like an addict. I applied for my current job circa January 2018.
5 months and 8 stages of selection later, I got the job along with 9 others from all over ASEAN coutries. It was a ASEAN Graduate Programme which requires us to switch roles at different locations for 2 years. Now I’m almost at the end of my first block. If I have to be frank, some days are tough. I climb 2-3 stories high monkey ladders. I get asked if I am an intern at least once a week. But I am grateful for this opportunity – to spend 2 years to look for what exactly I want, and learning from the best people along the way.
4. Living Alone
My life has changed 274.5 degrees with my new job. I have to relocate every 8 months for different roles. For my first block, I was deployed (chewaahh) to Johor. After graduating from UTP, I had lived at home for a year and half. Transitioning to living alone was a little nerve wrecking in the beginning. This was different from campus life (I had the bestest roommate ever!).
The first time I cooked nasi lemak for a Saturday lunch and sent my Amma a photo, she replied, ‘Where you buy from?’.
I bought scented candles, bought so much groceries (and throwing half of them, because I have no sense for expiry dates and portions). But living alone is not as miserable or pathetic as I imagined it to be! Sure, I do miss proper home-cooked meals. But living alone also teaches you a lot – like use a peg to dry your clothes so that your jeans don’t fly away from the 21st floor.
5. The Mister’s Grand Introduction
I made up my mind about this circa 2016. I will introduce The Mister to my parents in the best possible manner, even if that meant that I’ll have to wait a little longer. I wanted a proper introduction, and I wanted it all to be certain. So, just a couple of weeks before my graduation, I called Amma and told her that The Mister is coming for convocation and that she should tell my father.
I came out of the hall in jitters, saw The Mister standing with the family. Everyone just grinning sheepishly.
Little Twin : Achu, pass ah this Etta?
Acca : Does he watch football?
The Mister : *sheepishly nodding*
Acca : What team?
Me : MU.
Acca : Then okay, pass.
You see, mine’s a conventional Indian family. You can be 25 and still be anxious about having found a boy you like. I was just relieved that the cat was out of the bag after being in there, gasping for air for FOUR years (although later Acca sarcastically told Amma, ‘You think I don’t know anything ah? I know.’)
As I complete this write-up, it dawns upon me that every part of the highlights deserves a blog post each. I keep saying this at the end of almost every year, (and it’s always true!), but 2018 has been the most eventful year of my life *clears throat*, thus far.
Happy New Year to all who’s reading!
May we all have a better 2019, and all the strength in the world.
P/s: I have not been to any Disney parks, so that was purely fictional. But, no, that entire first paragraph felt so real as I typed it. 😛
Regardless of age and background, we see EVERYONE hooked up to their smartphones anywhere and anytime. This newfound connectivity to the world has probably blinded us from basic etiquettes. In some instances, I find that people are so ignorant about what is okay and what is not, when it comes to using smartphones and social media platforms.
Some time ago, I scrolled down my Facebook feed to find a post by one of my friends, about her literally dying father. She had posted a video of her father, bedridden, just about to be unplugged of his life support. ‘He passed a few minutes later.’, she mentioned at the end of the post. People taking pictures of their unconscious loved ones in hospital, live streaming the final rites of a funeral are all far too common these days. Other things that I find questionable (or get very annoyed at) are browsing through social media, or even just playing with your phones in the cinema. We disregard the comfort of other audiences with the light from our screens because everyone else are also using their phones?
We watch videos out loud in public places. We take pictures of random cute toddlers unbeknown to their guardians. We screenshot pictures of a ‘good-looking’ person to circulate (who am I kidding, to sexualize la) in WhatsApp groups – uploading a picture on social media DOES NOT EQUAL granting permission for every idiot to download the picture!
So much for freedom of speech, we misunderstand that mean comments and cuss words are approved. A pregnant social media influencer does a photoshoot with heels, and every Tom, Dick and Harry (or Jane, Jill and Jennifer, if you’re that kinda feminist), goes on to comment of how she was being irresponsible and could hurt herself and her baby. Celebrities probably have it worse – everything one say or do comes under scrutiny.
Recently, I read the most hilarious response from the South Indian actor, Siddharth to one such know-it all – who reprimanded the actor for saying RIP instead of Om Shanti in his tweet regarding passing of a renowned lyricist.
Ten years back, these situations would have been considered outrageously insensible. Just because we have the means to take these pictures and videos, or type comments at so much convenience, we forget that there should be some boundary (and possibly a little common sense).
There is no definite guideline to what can or cannot be done. But sometimes, maybe we should all take a step back and be more mindful about how we use our smartphones.
Twisting wise words from Spiderman, ‘With a techie phone, comes great responsibility.’
What else, in your opinion, is unacceptable when it comes to social media and smartphones? Do share your thoughts with me! 🙂
Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018 (and continued in November, because I left it at Day 7 in September!). To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.
I’m overwhelmed with pride and joy as I write this, even days after my convocation ceremony, months even, since I actually completed my postgraduate studies circa early June. Well, I have very solid reasons why I am singing praises for myself (this could be a good thing, no?).
Why I Signed Up for Postgraduate Studies?
Let me begin with why I signed up for a Master’s course. You see, I was not beaming with satisfaction as much during my convocation in UTP. I wasn’t graduating with the best of CGPA, and I wasn’t proud of where I stood. I have always taken pride being an academically accomplished student – and that sort of scarred my spirit. I had to correct that, before I moved on to better things (or so I thought). So, I did not overthink about starting my masters to heal Little-Miss-Achiever in me. She needed to know that she could do better and deep down she knew she was better. I went with Environmental Engineering, mostly because it made sense at that time – I was working as an Environmental Engineer, and I kind of liked the subjects during my final year major. I thought I wasn’t ready for a MBA.
The Journey Itself
You see, my journey completing this postgraduate studies within three semesters wasn’t an easy one. I had a full-time job in an MNC and tutored part-time, three nights a week. I did a mixed-mode Masters, so that meant I had both classes and dissertation to complete. Sometimes, I had classes from eight in the morning to six in the evening, on Sundays. I was doing this to prove my worth, so I wasn’t about to sail along classes just enough to graduate. I had to be at my best. Needless to say, it was exhausting. Some days I felt like not doing anything and sleep all day. I helped increase sale of Pringles, McDonalds and Goodday Honey Flavoured Milk (this is so good!). I also had a few cry baby episodes at home. I got touchy at the slightest comment. I was always whining about how tired I was to my mum, and justified my weight gain with tears. That was all the worse parts.
The better parts came when I was once again the sought-after person for assignments, and when my results came each semester. I am being extremely honest here, that was my high. I went on this journey wanting so badly to prove to myself (who am I kidding, also to others) that I was as capable as I pictured myself to be. It wasn’t all about CGPA or being smart per say, it was my redemption. I started this journey with a wrong mindset, I guess. But I ended it on a different note, with a refreshed sense of confidence, self-worth and desire to learn. Okay, maybe the desire to learn was extra because I paid for every credit hour with my hard-earned money and I made sure to make full use of every Ringgit. I enjoyed the assignments (although I was almost always doing it last minute – #somethingsneverchange). I enjoyed the discussions, insightful conversations with my classmates and lecturers. Kind words from my close knits refueled my energy and enthusiasm. It kept me going (one of the things).
That, and the constant nagging pep talk from The Mister who can be both a Sweet Angel or a Nasty Uncle. Here’s an anecdote that’ll help explain my previous statement. On the final days of my thesis submission, I was a complete mess. I had gone two days without sleep and was on leave to complete my thesis write-up. I was constantly calling The Mister (even when he was at work) and I cried about how tired I was and complained that the thesis ‘is not finishing’. I told I was going to extend for another semester – he was all nice and motivating, until at one point I got yelled at. He told me to either do it or extend the damn semester – stop whining (not his exact words, but you get the idea laa).
I drove to Starbucks in Petronas Solaris Serdang, bought two drinks, redeemed another AND completed my thesis write up. I had to pay extra for same-day binding and submitted my thesis 6 hours later than the deadline. You see, sometimes all we need is a little (or aggressive) push. Lucky (in this case) for me, The Mister seems to have found a complete operation manual on how I work. He succeeds, almost all the time (it doesn’t work when it comes to getting me be healthy, hahaaaa!).
A year and half equivalent to three semesters later, I was done! I graduated with a 3.73 CGPA, presented in a conference and got the Best Paper Award. I had left my previous job on the last week of final examination, which was a carefully engineered break for myself. I am glad that I went on this journey – and I am more than glad that it gave me countless opportunities – to meet the right people, to learn beyond academics and to make my parents (and close knits) proud of me.
Disclaimer: This write up may seem like I’m self-bragging, but I assure you that wasn’t my intention. I’d love to keep my trumpets in the closet, but I really feel like I owe it to myself, to be proud of me, and share this story in the honest possible manner.
If I am a philosophical and oh-so cliché type, I would start this post by saying ‘Change is the only constant.’. But I would not do that, obviously. *inserts hahaa!* Fair to say, I have not gone through major unexpected events in life (I have seen people had it worst). As I thought about writing this, it came to me that I could classify the changes that happened to me into two; 1) Expected, generic changes and 2) Conscious change – when I made up my mind to change something.
Honestly speaking, tougher of the two is making a conscious decision to change. I’m not going to lie, I have had my fair share of struggles with this. Be it leaving a relatively well-paid job to join a graduate trainee program, enrolling in postgraduate studies full time while working a full-time job, moving on from the worst mistake of my life, and even deciding to stop sucking my fingers and scarring my forehead, it was all WORK. What helped me most in these transitions are three things, conscious self-reminder to be resilient, supportive circle of close knits and lots of information.
Resilience, I think, is something that we must work on. In the face of challenges or adversities, don’t uggghhh too soon. Be solution-focused instead of problem focused (I’m working on this!). December last year, I discovered this book called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Spencer Johnson. I liked this book so much that I bought 3 copies of the book for my friends. It is a story of 2 mice and 2 people who live a in maze, looking for cheese – I bet you’d find it an easy read.
2. Seek for Support
Always confide in and discuss your thoughts with people you’re close with. I was lucky enough that I’ve had people around me knocking my head, slapping me with hard reality and being supportive sweethearts. Don’t beta yourself up feeling weak, because sometimes we all need *sings* somebody to lean on!
3. Gather Information
Look for enough information about the situation that has changed. I am big on researching, no matter how petty a matter is. It is always consoling to understand what you’re going to face (are facing) especially if it’s a new job, new project or even a new romantic partner. If research tells you no-good news, then at least you know now! Be prepared for the worst – this goes back to #1, be resilient.
When I gradually stopped my skin-picking habit (I self-diagnosed myself with skin-picking disorder before my dermatologist did! See, research helps.), I was not used to looking at my face without that scar on my forehead. Some days, I’d just pick on my skin at the same spot, just to feel that comfort (stop rolling your eyes, Mister!). That’s how changes haunt us sometimes, like something’s not right. BUT, it’s just a phase, you’d get through it. Because… change is the only constant! 😉
Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.