Monday, 17 April 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 4


"She's been on my mind a lot lately because she is to me, the epitome of what it means to be never too late to do something that you truly love."

That was a snippet from a previous blog post about someone who inspired me - Bronwyn Fancourt - who showed and not just told me that it's ok to live one's life at one's own pace and for one's own interest(s). There's absolutely no need, and a matter of fact quite a waste of time, energy and sometimes money, to keep up with the Jones' by stalking their Facebooks and getting all flustered with envy of holiday/engagement/career pictures of others. 

Also applies to social media posts by surface-reflective, career-confident people who flick their hair back with exclamations about climbing the career ladder while others are settling down. 

No one walks my path but me. At the moment it seems like a terribly bumpy uphill road with so many switchbacks that it looks like I'm pacing back and forth with no progress on the journey but nevertheless it's my own buggering path. I just hope to God that the view's really worth it at the end. 

Bronwyn and a few others at university may have left quite an imprint on me in regards to forward planning, scheduling, and all sorts that lead to an efficient lifestyle that's properly oiled with discipline in order to churn out results like primly wrapped packages. The imprint is still there but after nearly 5 years, it's still a difficult thing to start and keep going. I was probably shooting wildly in the dark in an attempt to emulate them but someone came along to un-blind and unbind me. 

That someone who also showed that walking the path less chosen is quite alright; that the world may be bigger yet smaller with uncountable facets; that it's alright to fall short of expectations that are usually set at improbable heights by one's ownself; that if all else fails and everything is bleak and full of misery, there's always, always, always another way.

That someone who could be a great example to start the incredible nature vs. nurture debate.
That someone who has pushed himself and took on so much with only a complaint or two despite not knowing the results or lack thereof.

That someone with whom I've decided to spend the rest of my life with before I fully realised it. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 3



As a reigning queen of procrastination, #1 should be laughable as this post is already, supposedly, a week delayed. In all honesty, I had written quite a bit for each of my listed top three pet peeves but the hesitation in posting it for public viewing was due to the reluctance in posting a mundane bunch of words that usually goes up on Facebook, my default facade.

As a self-proclaimed grammar nazi that has probably lost me a few friendships and gained me a title as a know-it-all snob, it is with a horrifying revelation that I've actually toned down my correcting and 'gone down to their level' to the point where I can hardly speak, much less write, proper English. Editing work that became a portion of my responsibilities did not come as easy as expected - in fact, being lost for words is often the case as I've reduced my vocabulary to direct translations, peppered with dialect words.

As for wastage, grey areas and 'closing an eye' progressed to wider areas on a narrower field of vision. Not that I've been using disposables with abandon; the guilt is very much still there if I've forgotten to be less wasteful. I still hoard items that clutter the house but I'm not lugging around my own cutlery and refusing straws and plastic bags every single time.

My pet peeves are still pet peeves but my reactions towards them are very much less outward. In recent years, Lent became the season to really give up on things and I'm not talking about vegetarian meals for 40 days. I've greatly reduced my road rage and decreased my habit of over-thinking, over-worrying, over-analysing, over-this and that...

Life is then so much better. But of course, there's still plenty to be done, plenty to improve.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 2


"You are one, very complicated lady!"

Full of contradictions, the constant pushing forward and pulling back of enthusiasm and reluctance, of bravery and cowardice has finally taken its toll and left me in a quandary about my self-esteem, and self-worth which then ignited a whole bunch of self-realisation exercises that left me tearfully stricken and mentally exhausted - translating to physical fatigue.

Every single time I'm doing something I wish I were doing something else. Every single time I'm somewhere I yearn to be someplace else. I'm mostly in my own head where I can be anyone, anytime, anywhere and hence, it affects long periods of conversation or discussions with actual people. It's affecting my real time presence and it stopped being funny now.

This current process of disentanglement I'm now putting myself through is an on-going, stop-start, painful procedure and all I really want is the reset button but all I really need is a keen sense of clarity and mindful purpose to focus on every juggling ball that comes to hand. 

Why is it so difficult to wade through treacle? 
Why is it so difficult to tear through cobwebs?

Remarks about myself range from being an 'ultimate, selfish bitch' to such a 'sweet and cute' person bounces off my walls every now and then, usually by people who spend plenty of surface time with me. Like a cold-blooded animal, it takes me awhile to warm up to anyone at anytime - the danna not included as I'm practically super glued to him as a painfully 'extroverted introvert' would do in social situations. Hence, not many can accurately remark on my whole self.

That particular observation was made by my boss during an intense, open discussion and is possible the second time someone has said that to me. If I dredge up my horrid memory right, the first person who told me that was Bronwyn, whom I spent hours in a car and days in small cabins for fieldwork.

Not sure how they both came about this conclusion about myself but it seems pretty accurate. Since I hit the double digits, the proud age of 10 years old, I knew what I wanted to be and do - the next Steve Irwin, getting down and dirty to come to face level with all sorts of non-humans animals. Gratefully, I was able to pursue that dream which unfortunately did not have a mapped future past graduation.

So, from the age of 24, every step and move I made is done in pure trepidation. Gone, was my fiery, know-it-all and do-it-all, gung-ho persona and in her place, one very anxiety-laden and constantly apprehensive worrywart.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 1

Plenty of things have been waving their arms at me from Pinterest and Instagram, beseeching to be my next crazed hobby - at the moment, it's DIY embossing and lo, and behold, I have almost all the materials to start. 

Weirdly, I seem to have this ailment where I get super excited, super enthusiastic, super everything about it but I can't make the crucial step: to start.

So here's to picking up an old hobby, an old yet forever love: writing and this time with a purpose, which is this 30 Day Writing Challenge. A challenge because nothing has been challenging me with such fervour for the past handful of years now.


...and I assume these listed things will make me 'really' happy and not just a swish of delight like pictures of bunnies and babies. More like a unicorn having a severe bout of diarrhea over me and I could get run over by a truck yet skip away like I just won the lottery.

1. Really, really good coffee made with really, really good chocolate...
2. Or a tea that makes me feel less like a whale with bloating issues. 

Freshly brewed coffee in Australia seems to be the norm and instant coffee is almost unheard of. I believe that's where my love for real coffee began and it grew exponentially when I started to learn more about it through work where I met Jimmy from Coffee Rescue - Penang who not only taught me about the chemistry of it all but guided me to learn about the biology and history of it all. Too amazeballs. His locally roasted Columbian brew coupled with his own choice of cacao just makes me sproing all over the place and so far every other cup has failed abysmally against it. 

As for tea, I'm no connoisseur but I take it black and strong (quite the opposite of my coffee) and it usually does the trick in making me think I can wear latex full body suits like Angelina/Evangeline.

3. Stationery.

The stuff that comes in sets of different colours and it could range from colour pens to brushes to journals to punches. These are usually quite pricey so the ultimate happy comes when they are on big discounts.

4. Rain

I don't care if I just washed my hair or I'm wearing something nice. I refuse to use umbrellas most of the time (and I have like five in the car) but I try to since not many people appreciate having a sodden idiot dripping all over the place. Even better if I shelter from heavy rain in a heavily air-conditioned place. Shivering from cold is one of my weird, favourite things. 

5. Shopping for other people

I can buy stuff for myself and it gets tossed to the side immediately until I unearth them during seasonal paleontology excursions but the ultimate glee is in getting something for someone else, even though it results in out-loud monologues (that makes even the most enthusiastic salesperson back away slowly) on whether the item suits the person or not.

6. Spicy food 

An excellent dose of spicy food that just clears my intestines and any secret thought of harbouring parasitic tapeworms that may 'help' me lose weight is quite a sadistic pleasure and I've gotten to the point where I'm almost willing to suffer gastric by having extremely spicy food on an empty stomach. 

7. Showers

Either taken ice cold or boiling hot under high pressure - the former after a long, hot and sweaty day and the latter after being caught in the rain. However, ice cold showers aren't real anymore since the pipes get heated up during the day and hot showers don't go hot enough to scald a layer of skin off.

8. Getting dirty with a purpose

Well I suppose it merits an ice cold shower afterwards but being able to play with dirt after a sterile childhood is a satisfaction beyond words. I remember being stuck in and wading through mud, trampling though waist high leaf litter, sifting through innards, knowing all sorts of things that crawl about doesn't deter me the least. 

9. Animals

A default really. Anyone who knows me would know the extent of my love for animals. Plonk any non-human on my lap and I'm done for.

10. Stubble

The danna's stubble on his chin to be exact. I can live without it anywhere else. His facial hair is like my security blanket. The few months we were dating, he shaved off his month-long beard without any notice and I almost cried. Otherwise, I take every opportunity to annoy him by transforming into a cat in order to crawl up his belly and nuzzle the rough. Or so I imagine. 


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Here's to talking to myself...again

It has been a whole year and a little more that I've stopped talking to myself in a written manner. The past year was wrought with more lows than highs but instead of heavy clouds of gloom overhead while trying to keep up with the ever appearing stepping stones on bruised feet, I think it was a slow downhill collapse that went nearly unnoticed.

It was only somewhere during the last quarter of the year when I sat down with my Managing Director and confessed I'm not doing very well, for myself and for the company and not for the lack of trying either. A few talking-to's with my other, much better half only riled me to get back up just a little before waves of futility knock me over and wash over my head.

Equivalent to digging a hole in loose sand that keeps falling back and filling up, I eventually lost sight of what I'm doing and what I'm supposed to do.

Pretty bad shape, I'd say. 

Stifling up erratic, over-enthusiastic, overly blatant outbursts of personality in order to exude a calm, controlled manner in adulthood has somewhat girdled off the supply of life into the rest of me and what is left is a slow death.

What prevails is uncertainty -  the lack of direction in pursuit of anything - and lethargy in overcoming even the smallest hurdles of life. All this then leads to short bursts of enthusiasm but then is quickly dampened by so-called rational, adult-like thinking.

There were attempts to put things into order by going back to old ways which have served well in a way - colour coding and compartmentalising but yet in a more transparent way. Sadly, there seems to be more than a lethargy in getting things going; life in 2016 was more of trying to overtake on a slope but my car doesn't have enough torque to speed up.

My Other and Much Better Half asked me if I had any ideas or whims and fancies in relation to our wedding - not to my surprise, even though I'm at that age-stage where peers are getting married left, right, and centre, following the natural phases of life, I have always 'prided' myself in not walking the same path which yes, could be quite despairingly lonely and trying at times if not most and this includes having a notion of how my own wedding would be. When asked, I had to confess that whatever that is in the drawer marked 'weddings' are notes on what not to do and what I don't want to do/have.

In fact, I don't think it has fully sunk in me that I'm actually getting married, myself. Too often have I been reined back and have reined myself back and thus, adopted a Pavlov-like behaviour - do not overreact, wait and see, do not count your chickens before they hatch, do not dream so high and so big so you won't have far to fall.

This has to stop.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

It's always darkest before dawn

The wolf hour. 
Before first light.
Before day breaks.

Tomorrow will be the eve of the new year 2016. 

2009 - 2012 were the best, eye-opening, loneliest years of my life. 
2013 was the most adventurous, limit-pushing, frustrating year of my life.
2014 was the most risk-taking year of my life - where I've now reaped the harvest in 2015. 

My world and perception has truly expanded and in that short period of time it did, I was busy playing catch up, trying hard to fall into step, squeezing out every drop of life to live like there's none to be wasted.

I can equate this year to a frantic hop-skip over hot coals while juggling hot potatoes. Hopefully when the new year rolls in, I would grow half a brain to not expect to develop calluses thick enough to handle the heat but to wear heat-proof gloves and shoes instead. 

Instead of a laissez-faire attitude towards goals and resolutions that has happened for the past few years, resulting in a no-surprise lack of achievement, I'm setting some this year....just that I haven't really gotten around to some serious thinking ah-hyuk hyuk.

Here's to a blessed year of Mercy.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Still singing the same old song...

I read back my old blog posts from a year and a half ago and came to the dreadful realisation that not much has changed.

Still singing the same old song where I'm feeling sorry about myself, reminiscing too much of the supposedly glorious past, not doing much about making things better or striving for change for the better....

I feel like hitting myself. Today was the day where I realised that there's no point looking for a job that I would love getting up in the morning for. 


Optimists will say, there's always one bad day or two..., and unknowingly, that bad day or two had stretched into nearly two years now. This enlightenment came after the boss 'had a word' with me about decrease in income and lack of proactive productivity from my one-and-a-half man department. 

I had vowed never to be chained to my desk during office hours. I end up doing so despite part of my job scope is to go outdoors.

I had vowed to avoid sales and high levels of interaction with people where they are to be persuaded to part with their money. Unfortunately I'm being warned reminded constantly that public relations - which includes some sort of salesmanship - is very much 80% of my job scope. 

To be honest, I've had a few long-ish weekends where I have some time to myself to think things through and do some serious adult-thinking. But it never happens as I end up reading or sleeping the entire day. Even cleaning up seems to be half-hearted. 

Despite having to meet people, I feel happiest when I'm "OOO" which means Out Of Office. No, I don't have colleagues from hell that I hear a lot of, and that's a blessing. I have a management that may be budget-tight with big dreams but after each admonishing, I walk away not dispirited and disheartened but quite the opposite - more annoyed and frustrated at myself for not doing my best when I could but didn't due to lack of prioritising or enthusiasm; wishing for more time and self-discipline.

After all that, I know I do need a break. A real one where I don't think of impending workload or overworrying about things to come that I have no control - and that's scary. The danna is constantly reminding me to let go of things I cannot control, not to let my emotions run me, that there's really no point in spending effort and time on happenstances that cannot be helped, or let everyone and anything get to me. 

He might not know I use him as a tissue for my anxiety tears 
but he really is my pillar of strength to hold back that ceiling of fear.