Challenge.

Been a while since I last posted! Nothing much has changed – except that now I’ve been tasked to give an extremely high level presentation in a month. Of course, I am internally freaked out. I think I was noticeably freaked out when my director told me about it lol. He kept asking if I was fine afterwards. Definitely not my finest moment.

But, now that I had time to comprehend it, I think I am coming around to it. I wanted to make this year a year where I try new things and well, I’m gonna achieve that with this presentation lol. Doesn’t mean that the anxiety has gone away though. It is still there every time I think about it.

I’m gonna look at it with a positive lens though. Even though public speaking is not my forte, I will take it in stride and still do my best on it. Wish me luck. I will need every ounce of it hurhur.

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2017: In hindsight

Hello! I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written (I wrote more frequently in my physical journal though) but I just needed some time to grieve over Jonghyun and make sure I made peace with it before I continued writing here. Strange, right? But I felt like that was the only way I could do him right, in a way.

Anyway, here I am writing my annual Year in Review post. I think I’ve always done it every year but since I have a very fickle mind and love to change websites, it’s all scattered over the internet. And I can’t even remember the names of some of the websites I created. What a pity.

In hindsight, I think 2017 was one of my best years so far. Lucky me since 17 is my favourite number. But I did go into this year planning to make this year work (the second half of 2016 was a mess but looking back those months made me who I am today so…)

Not to delay things further, these are some of the memorable moments of my 2017, in thematic order. It includes ups and downs like any other year but I think as a whole, it definitely was a great year. Great for me personally, but not for the whole world in general sigh.

  • Work  – this is definitely my main highlight of the year. I started with a temp job in February which helped me land a permanent job in May. I have definitely been gaining a lot of insights into office life and the civil service and I’m happy to say that I’m generally happy with my work life! It definitely could be better but hey it’s a first job and it’s the career lattice (sadly, there’s no such thing as a career ladder these days) so I am working my way up. It’s definitely a good starting point for me to slowly achieve my career goals.
  • Financial stability – of course, this comes with having a full-time job. As a creature of routine and schedules, you cannot believe what a relief it was for me to finally have a secure footing in Adulthood. This is why the second half of 2016 was a nightmare for me cos it took me so long to get a permanent job after graduation. Very thankful that I can now afford most of the things that I need and want, provide a bit for the family, give my parents and grandmothers some monthly allowance, and make financial planning for myself. I bought a long-term insurance/savings policy last month. I am too Adult already hahaha.
  • A qualified driver! – I passed my driving test after taking it twice! With a marked improvement lol. From instant failure the first time round (cos I went up a curb), to 10 points the second time. Itching to get behind the wheel soon but cars are so expensive and impractical here. I might want to try the BlueSG electric car-sharing thing if I have fellow friends to go with! *innocent jio*
  • Fanmeets & concerts – I think I went to several events this year? Started with Bogum in February (still one of the best days of my life; he’s so charming and friendly), saw Lee Dong Wook for a little bit at Plaza Sing, Music Bank Singapore (some of my favourite acts, including of cos the ult stan group BTS. Please come back for a full concert, boys.), got to see Kang Ha Neul pretty up-close before he enlisted for NS (thanks Jacq!), and saw and met VIXX in concert (actually getting to see them for a group photo was so surreal I can’t).
  • Korea – my big trip of the year! And also almost a year in planning lol. I loved experiencing autumn for the first time (I’m now unsure whether winter or autumn is my favourite season), and enjoying life in the big city where so many of my kdramas and kpop acts come from. Is it my favourite city? No, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. I liked it a lot and it was a great break from office life. Gave me the much-needed perspective that work is not everything. Sometimes, when you’ve been working non-stop you would think that work is everything. Yes, it’s important but it’s unhealthy to let it overwhelm your life. The Korea trip taught me that. So now, I’m coming into office each day feeling a bit lighter that work is not so burdensome.
  • Reading goals / TV goals / Movie goals – It was a bad year for all these goals lol. I needed some time to adjust to full time work so for a while, I just didn’t do any reading or watching. I’m definitely going to have reduce them for 2018 just to make them more achievable.
  • Many firsts – Paintball (so fun but so painful! My bruises have still not healed lol rip to perfect leg skin), Noosh (one of my favourite hangouts now!), giving out instead of receiving Hari Raya money for the first time, wearing skirts and dresses for the first time (and now they’re pretty much a staple for my work outfit haha they’re so convenient), tried Poke (so delicious but also so ex sigh),
  • Friendships – I’ve made lots of friends this year! My definition of ‘lots’ anyway. Thanks to work, I’ve met a lot of great people working in the same department/floor as me and it’s fun hanging out with them. Hopefully it’s been fun for them too haha. I’d like to think the amount of birthday / Christmas gifts I’ve received from them this month are an indication that it is 🙂
  • Drama – Speaking of friends, I just got a taste of my first office drama. I’m pretty much just collateral damage in this one, but gah I’m so mad that I’m dragged into this. Sorry to my friends who have to hear me ranting about it. But it’s over something completely stupid. I think it’s mostly over now but we’ll see. Next week, in the new year, when everyone is back in office, I think we’ll really see how it plays out sigh.
  • Confidence – this is something that I want to talk about. I’ve written about this a couple of posts back but I really do feel more confident than I’ve ever been this year. I’m speaking up more at work, with friends, with family, instead of just being the observer. Not to say that that was a bad thing (cos I learned so much just from observing people lol), but it’s a good change that I’m embracing. I think that confidence is also what made me sign up for CMB too haha. Confidence also made me know when to cut my losses like how I just ended things with this guy from the app cos it was just too one-way for me. I don’t need that.

And I think that’s it! Some pretty strong points up there. I’m really glad for this year and how it turned out to be. If I was a character in a video game, I’d definitely earned some XP points and maybe leveled up too ^^

Here’s to hoping that 2018 will be a good year.

Taking stock.

So a few weeks ago, my ex-Director gave us each farewell gifts. Everyone got a postcard and a small token of appreciation. Mine turned out to be pretty earrings. My card was a ‘I feel such gratitude for your ________’ and on it she wrote ‘dedication’. Idk why but ‘dedication’, ‘tenacious’, ‘perseverance’ and its various synonyms have appeared a lot in my life – especially in school testimonies from teachers. Am I really such a person hahaha cos I don’t think I am particularly so.

She also gave the young officers (including me) a small pep talk before she (finally) vacated her office. Okay, that sentence might sound a bit mean but I have no malice or ill intention behind it. She just really took her time to vacate her office, pushing it till the last moment before the new Director came in.

Anyway, she comes from a well-meaning place, so I can’t really fault her for that. She also gave me some pretty good advice and suggested several routes my career could take in the future. Some of which I have been considering already (despite my short term in Adulthood haha). I have been thinking of switching to the IO scheme and exploring the possibility of a more research-based posting just to see how well I would do in it. IO because, the other officers on the scheme seem to be doing well and I think I can be as good as them, given the chance. Research because well that was basically what my 4 years in uni prepared me for and I want to see how I can challenge myself further in that area.

I still need to talk to HR about it cos technically I haven’t been emplaced yet haha. We’ll see how it goes.

Random sidenote, I’ve made a new blog! #recommendationwednesday wasn’t really working on here cos I felt like it was too cluttered and unorganised so I’ve created List of Current Obsessions! It’s basically reviews of music, film, tv, books etc that I like or made me feel something. I’m really having a lot of fun on it so it would be really cool if you guys check it out 🙂

#recommendationwednesday The Financial Diet

This is an amazing Youtube channel, guys. So far, my experience of adulthood and being in my 20s is a scary and exhilarating one where mostly everything is new. I’m glad The Financial Diet exists cos at times it feels like it’s the only rope given to guide me, at least financially, through adulthood.

Definitely, definitely recommend. I picked up some good tips from it! Like having an emergency savings set aside that can at least carry you for 6 months (touch wood in case something happens) before spending on anything else. I’m still looking into how to invest my money so that it’ll “work for me” but I still need to do more research on that. Idk, the word ‘invest’ itself sounds so intimidating and capitalistic and something not me haha. But we’ll see how things go 🙂

A lift encounter. 

I had my most embarrassing work conversation to date on Friday, just after I knocked off work. 

I ended up being in the same lift with a POH (let’s call him S; to throw anyone working for the G off lol) and he started some small talk on our way down. This is nice of him I guess since he’s a very busy person, he could have easily kept the silence like I usually do in such lift journeys. 

But he asked me 3 times in that short span of time whether I’m really working here. I mean, 3 times. And each time, I’m like yeah I do, I really do. Funny thing is, he’s going to be one of the GOHs for an event that I’m in charge of this coming weekend 🌚. I brought that up and he’s like yeah yeah I saw that on my calendar. I think he was a bit embarrassed after that haha. 

Am I really that young-looking 😭 I mean it was Casual Friday so I was just wearing a dress and my leggings and my backpack so I guess I didn’t really look professional but stillllll. 

I didn’t expect this to be one of the woes of being a working adult but look where we are now. 

How To Deal with People (with different opinions than me).

Well, this weekend has certainly been illuminating, to say the least. I was down for an LP yesterday at Woodlands Bazaar (the heat and humidity almost killed me. I gulped 3 cups of water when it was iftar) seeking people’s feedback on the EP.

One of the questions was about having a woman candidate. I thought Singapore has progressed a lot on this front, and while the majority of people I approached were, it was startling to find some people still having very conservative views. One of them even justified that only males are capable to “lead” the country because Singapore has the lion as an icon. And that lions are males only. I mean – wow. I didn’t know how to respond to that but I just had to “plasticly” smile and nod like I agree with his view. I felt a bit of myself dying away cries. I mean this isn’t even for the PM position which is the real leader of the country. I almost wanted to shake the guy even though he’s a head taller than me.

Fast-forward to today where I watched Hidden Figures. This is part of my new weekly project – to watch at least a movie per weekend. Last week, I started with Me Before You (which made me cry my eyes out). Anyway, Hidden Figures was really good. It never really dawned on me how bad the segregation of blacks and whites were till I’ve watched the movie. I mean having separate bathrooms and coffee pots?? With the hindsight that we have now, it does look very, very ridiculous. I wonder what would look ridiculous 10 or 20 years down the road.

Feeling good.

Hello! I’ve taken another unannounced hiatus it seems. I hate to be one of those kinds of people that said that work has been so busy that they haven’t been able to do anything much – but it seems like I have. I try not to think that it’s a bad thing though. At least not for now, where I’m still new to the job and everyone has been really kind in showing me the ropes and letting me ask all the stupid questions (just yesterday, I asked E how to insert an image into an email; instead of it appearing as an attached document).

But Life in general, has been good! Since I’ve last written I’ve gone:

  • Paintballing with the colleagues for team cohesion – SO MUCH FUN. It was pretty funny when there were still quite a lot of paintballs left and the instructor asked who still wants to play another round and all the young ones, including me, raised their hands lol. I still have a few bruises all over my body though.
  • Family BBQ – A much more successful BBQ this time round cos of the sunny weather and cool night winds.
  • Bought BASTILLE tickets – This will be my second time seeing them and I’m excited! It’s at Star Vista and allocated seating which I don’t know if it’s a good idea for a rock concert? We’ll see.
  • Bought Seoul tickets! – My big trip to Korea is finally happening yaaaaaaas. October/November can’t come soon enough.
  • Held two tea sessions between uni students and SH (I’m actually not sure if I’m supposed to say names hence the initials) – sometimes the questions that uni students bring up are so idealistic and removed from the real world. I hope I wasn’t like that. I also hope I haven’t gone jaded.
  • Finished a book – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think this is the first time in months I managed to complete a book. I’ve been in the worst reading slump. Hopefully I’m out of it now.
  • Decided to go to MuBank SG AND #WINGSTOUR if BTS decides to hold a full concert here – my wallet is already crying. But I will cry even more once I see Seokjin IRL.

I hope you guys had a good Vesak Day! I appreciate the PH cos that means one less day of Lineup Duty for me (I was so anxious on Monday but as usual it was just my brain overthinking and it actually turned out fine. Though I still can’t get a good sense of P – which is throwing me off cos I usually can read people quite well. Gah.) I managed to catch a movie which feels so good cos it has been so long!! I still want to solo watch a movie in a cinema soon and relive my uni days.