Month-sary

Yes, I’ve been gainfully employed for a month despite me breaking a voice recorder in the first week of the job. (For the record, I’m paying for half the damages.)

So I’m still trying to adjust to a new environment, and I very much miss SMU and working with Jimmy. I’ve gone whining to him twice now: once before Commencement Appreciation dinner and once during Convocation Appreciation supper (which was like last Friday, so very recent). He totally laughed about the breakage and declared that he wouldn’t have made me pay. To which, I happily shot down because he made a student pay for her mistakes, and he was all,”Oh yeah, I did.” Then he proceeded to cackle evilly at my plight, which I appreciated not.  He has told me to just hang in there and give it my fucking all and that a month is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I agree, but I still wanted very much to be well, sayang-ed, by him. But then he also said to have more faith in myself or at least faith in what SMU (or him) has put me through. So some saving grace at least.

Other than the fact that he knows my M.D and that they are overdue for drinks. I basically keep begging him to not discuss me with her because (and I told him this) I can’t deal with having to meet the expectations of 3 people all of whom are important. In a sense that they’re all my superiors. But I’ve said I’ll crawl back to him if I get fired LOL. But I really do miss the familiarity of OSL.

But my current colleagues are really really nice people, plus they super pretty. Everyone who works in that office is attractive and I’m just the ugly dud they hired. Like maybe this was what was going on in my boss’ mind when she hired me:

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The full quote would be: Do you know why I hired you? I always hire the same girl- stylish, slender, of course… worships the magazine. But so often, they turn out to be- I don’t know- disappointing and, um… stupid. So you, with that impressive résumé and the big speech about your so-called work ethic- I, um- I thought you would be different. I said to myself, go ahead. Take a chance. Hire the smart, fat girl. I had hope. My God. I live on it. Anyway, you ended up disappointing me more than, um- more than any of the other silly girls.  

Disclaimer though: All the ladies who work there are smart and capable. They are friendly and very willing to help each other. I just occasionally feel like the ugly and incapable one. I’ve a very steep learning curve and I’m learning from everyone and every chance that I get.

I do like it there even though I’m not sure if PR/agency work is really for me.

TLDR: I’m still employed and I’m learning a hell lot. I think I enjoy my work there and am learning a lot of things from all whom I work with. I also hope to make it till end of probation HAHA.

不安

It’s rare but thought I would just post in my current state of unease, whiny and in desperate-need-of-love kind of mood. Because I’m really uneasy, nervous, scared and anxious.

Moving into a new environment causes a desire in me to grab onto an anchor of the past be it people or physical items. I miss gossiping with Ryandall and his stupid grouchy rants, and accompanying Jeremy on his smoke breaks to talk about nothing. I miss the Sports and SL teams shouting over each and their exceedingly loud laughter. I miss Jane’s warmth and maternal presence. I miss trying to spot Jimmy in his cubicle that he has successfully paneled up.

Everything here is new and overwhelming.

Journey.

That was the theme of my SMU Commencement this year.

True to my words last year, I was sitting comfortably in the audience seat, appreciating the showcase. Mind you, only the showcase and some of the speeches. But hey, I’ve been officially conferred with my degree. (I was right that the speech is a spell ok.) Thank you for the flowers (Amelia, Eunice, Susu, Liwei-even though it was technically a cookie lolly), Sandra for cookies too, that I didn’t expect to have and also for attending (Kon too). It’s essential that I don’t forget the brains and crew behind Commencement because they’ve put in months of hard work for that 30mins of showcase. I’ve been through it so yup, I feel them.

It wasn’t that weird to be a normal participant this time round unlike for PD but I still wished to be backstage where I could be comfortable with the number of people around. What is weird is that my time in SMU has officially ended. I always knew that 4 years wasn’t a long time but I didn’t expect it to be so short. I can chart my years in SMU with the events that have become my own milestones: growth markers.

Looking back, would I have changed anything? Maybe the modules (and the professors) I chose but I would choose SMU over and over again. If I didn’t choose SMU, I would never have been a part of Convocation, Commencement and Patron’s Day that forced me (constantly) out of my comfort zone. Nor would I have met some of my current friends. I’ve also met so many people whom I’ve so much to learn from and I’m incredibly grateful and appreciative for the support/guidance some of these people have shown/given.

Graduation felt surreal (it still does) while I was watching the fireworks as I was being flooded by balloons. Once again, I’m hit by the tingly feeling of departing from my safe harbour of the academic world and pushed into the working world. It’s exciting and scary. I don’t know what lies ahead nor where will I be led but I hope that I can hopefully retain my current friends as we part to embark on our own paths.

Also Weish, we haven’t forgotten.

Falling by Pangdemonium

I caught this play last Tuesday and it was an educational and emotional experience. All the actors were wonderful in their roles and brought out their various complexities.

The play revolves around a family of four and offers us a glimpse into their everyday lives. Each family has their own unique ecosystem of habits but for the Yeos, the situation is more nuanced than that. Their ordinary lives are made extraordinary by their 18 year old child, Josh, who has severe autism. The play explores the fallout when the ecosystem is disrupted by the arrival of Nana, the grandmother.

Tami, the mother, is clearly one of the 2 central figures in the play. She is Josh’s primary caregiver. This is shown at the beginning when we see her successfully coaxing Josh into getting ready for school and thus saving her husband, Bill. Her love and patience for Josh never wavers, even during and after his violent outbursts. Even though her days are long and occasionally difficult, she manages to steal tiny moments of freedom and happiness as she jams to her favourite songs. But she is a human after all and we see her resorting to alcohol as a form of escapism and cracks in the marriage forms as she distances herself from Bill. She admits her helplessness in trying to take care of the entire family while keeping all of them together as a family. It is impossible to fault her due to her love for Josh, resilience and determination that has kept her going when most of us would have chosen easier ways out.

Josh is an enigma even though he is also a central character. We know his habits, the games he plays, the songs he sings and the things he dislikes. But we are never truly able to step into his world. With his hypersensitivity, he experiences the world differently from us. He has an acute sense of hearing and some sounds appeal to him more than the others. He is also not a big fan of Bill’s voice. We know a lot about him but understand very little about him.

Bill the father, tries his best to do his part. He really is a typical dad who is the family’s breadwinner and occasionally takes the easy way out of disagreements or arguments by going out or ironically, hiding in the kitchen. Like Tami, he worries about the future now that Josh is of legal age. He attempts to form a stronger bond with Josh and to mend the gaps that have appeared in his marriage. I would say he has done slightly better at the latter even though what he needs (physical intimacy) is not what Tami needs. However, he does provide comical relief that alleviates the tension and these occasional doses of laughter help the family to get through the day.

Lisa is the 16 year-old sister with a rebellious attitude and a resentment for her brother. I personally think that one of the best parts of the play is that it does not fault or blame Lisa for feeling the way she does or any of the other characters in fact. It is not difficult to see why she thinks a future without Josh or at least away from him, would make life better for everyone. In a dream sequence, she lists the things that they can finally do together as a family sans Josh. Perhaps she had an prior incident with Josh that caused her to draw away from him or maybe school took her time away from Josh. The family’s situation has also been mentally and emotionally-wearing her down. She worries that she may one day come home to find Tami dead. But when she presents the option of her leaving for Australia with Nana, it is evident that she still loves her family and would much prefer to stay.

Nana, the Bible-wielding grandmother arrives with her own set of expectations just like us, the audience. She is a conduit for the audience. Nana arrives at the house and assures the couple that she understands and knows what to expect. So do we. Only to have our previously-held expectations and understandings to be shattered. We learn about autism together with Nana as the play proceeds and begin to reflect how each of us can help. Nana eventually makes the decision to move back.

Besides educating us about autism, Falling presents us with the challenging questions and opens room for discussion for a topic that we find difficult to talk about. The post-show dialogue is helpful and insightful. Awareness and education are definitely the first 2 steps we have to take before figuring out suitable solutions for autistic individuals and their families.

Europe tripping

Has officially begun.

Currently on the train from Munich to Berlin.

Thanks everyone who has messaged me with news of Brussels and reminding me to stay safe. I’ll do my best. Also very glad for the size of German polizei- they look extremely reassuring (and hot) in their uniforms.

We had an extremely eventful first day in Germany. First there was the security check where I fucked up with the liquids and made to throw my beloved shampoo and conditioner away ): That’s however a relatively small issue for me even though I was slightly upset since those were Tsubaki that has kept my hair silky smooth and straight till now.

Then we got to the airport to catch a bus to the train station. We would have been on time since we had buffer time but alas, we were held up by a quartet of English guys plus a traffic jam. Had to spend an extra €154 for 2 more tickets for the next train. NTUC TRAVEL INSURANCE: IS THIS UNDER MY COVERAGE??? Please pick this up on your radar #ineedtoknow

We had a great time in Munich. Wish we had another day here but to Berlin we shall head. Will upload photos through my Instagram. Maybe I’ll do a photo post when I get back here.

Take care everybody.

A list of things I

worry about and how I feel occasionally expressed in GIFs of course.

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Because girls travelling together sounds exactly like a recipe for BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN.

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I mean yeah, if I get my kidneys stolen as Hua is ever cautioning about.

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(It’ll be Pinning instead of Paula.)

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More practically, what if I lose my money cause pickpockets left and right? Trust me on this, I’ve been a victim.

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Excited and horrified????

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Breathing. It helps, right?

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This is how I feel at all of the above.

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I’m not even that stressed. (Looking at you, Pris)

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The cooler side of me feels I’m ridiculous for all the above. I totally agree.

 

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It’s only a month.

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But my long-awaited trip is finally here!!!

 

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So bye guys and please keep me in your prayers~!

Sidenote: why didn’t anyone GIF the part when Rebecca says I scared in a really really small voice?! WATCH CRAZY EX GIRLFRIEND IT HAS BEEN RENEWED.

CNY update

I guess that title makes this post sound more festive than it will be.

But if you guys don’t already know, my CNYs are always quiet and peaceful: visiting is kept to a minimum. That’s good except for the fact that my angbao income is also sadly minimal. Steamboats are also not my thing but they’re the tradition and I will put up with them for 2 days to please my parents.

Perhaps I should split this post into 2 posts instead in which one will be my PD reflections and the other one about my aunt(s). Then again, I can’t be bothered so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For the first time ever, I attended PD as a normal participant. Not going to lie but it was weird as hell to not be involved operationally or be holding a walkie listening carefully to every update. I’ve been involved in some way ever since PD13 and PD is obviously one of my most important markers of growth in SMU. Every PD reminds me of how far I’ve come and how much more I’ve to learn.

I had great fun as a normal participant (I can’t stress that enough because everyone thinks I’m involved. I’m just the person the org comm goes to when they need to print stuff ok) making my terrariums and bottled sand art. I guess I should attempt making a dreamcatcher after seeing several beautiful attempts versus 老板’s nightmare catcher. Plus I got to watch the show in peace for the first time and enjoy the food catered. Like an enthusiastic freshie/auntie, I finished using all my coupons. Going with the PD15 people just made the entire event 100000Xs better and almost everyone in the org comm who could attend were there. I’m really glad to have met this bunch of people in SMU.

Of course going with the gang also means that we could pick out certain details that others might have missed such as Joseph’s 2-minute grumbling (actually more like raging) of the helper that was queueing for a corporate partner’s booth in her event tee. That’s a huge NO in our books. Or how the queue system isn’t ideal etc. Then again, event execution usually has space for improvements. But as someone who more or less saw the org comm developed, they should be given due credits especially for their ideas. Show managed to showcase more CCAs instead of just the popular ones and yes, that made their lives ridiculously tough. Programmes managed to engage the terrarium vendor to conduct mini workshops that they don’t usually host during the event. It’s not easy given their limited budget and the weight of having to match PD15 in a way or other.

It has come to a full circle in one way or another having been a helper for PD13 and another helper of sorts this year. Have also met one of the helpers for PD14 at this year’s PD which is kind of comical. I only remembered him because he talked so much like my deputy did and still does. On a side note, I’m always quite amazed by people who can talk non-stop because a) are you really interesting? b) do you love your voice that much? c) do you really think that your opinions/topics are all that valuable to others especially those who have no choice but to listen? It’s fascinating and annoying at the same time. The latter is especially applicable to people with high, grating, nasally voices.

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I’ve an upcoming trip to Malaysia to visit my relatives that I am dreading because I can already predict every question that will come up. Not looking forward to it. At least it’s only 3 days.

It’s a weird CNY this year somehow given that my aunt passed a week before CNY. Nobody seems to have discussed whether or not we should cease celebrations and everyone is just proceeding ahead with celebrations. Then again, who passes away of dengue nowadays? Malaysia is no third-world country, I’ll give it that much. And I guess that filial piety is actually a value that has to be inculcated into children and not an innate value that people are born with.

Are there truly people in their right minds who will leave their own family to suffer a fever for 2 weeks?

Weird as fuck.

I recall my mum joking about how that aunt will live the longest cause she worried least and possibly the hardiest of them all. Guess it didn’t come to pass. Strange how certain things only come to light after a person has passed. Such as the story of my aunt fleeing her house to call my cousin’s wife to cry and that she was scolded during their reunion dinner last year. I don’t know why she put up with shit like that. A majority of my family with me included are guilty of not being as good to her as we should have been.

I canceled a dinner because of this. I take some time to digest such news and didn’t feel like putting on a fake front for people who don’t really care about me. The dinner date was set up awkwardly in a manner that made me look bad. Who the hell guilt trips you into a dinner so you don’t look petty for not attending? Haven’t heard from them since the cancellation. Probably am not wrong about them not caring.

I remember sitting at a friend’s father’s wake not too long ago, thinking that I’ll have many more to attend in future. Didn’t think that it would be so soon or closer to home this time round.

What a weird end/start to the year.

Starting 2016 with

a panicky post.

Thoughts of rounding up 2015 are almost non-existent. But if I had to summarise 2015 really really quickly, it would be: a year dominated by consecutive events from PD15 to Chingay 2015 to Commencement 2015 and finally to Convocation 2015. The last is still ongoing because the evaluation for hours have yet to end and the manual has yet to be submitted. It annoys me to no end that an event that took place at least 3 months ago still has loose ends that cannot be tied.

My main point of this post is actually to express my panic of my current unemployment. Writing my resumé and trying to figure out how to enhance my LinkedIn profile. No doubt I’ll receive spam comments with links to advice after this post is published but everything is truly daunting.

-screams-

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This later half of 2015

hasn’t been very kind to my friends. That’s what I think. I am constantly reminded to spend more time with family, friends and other loved ones.

Today I received news about a friend whom has also been on my mind recently. He had gone completely off grid since last semester and left multiple messages unanswered.

People are often surprised to know that my Bondue group still keeps in touch with each other or at least some of us do. But that’s how it is: you gain some new friends while some older ones get left behind. Perhaps cause I hated FTB and was heavily reliant upon Bondue to provide a foundation for a new social circle in university.

I’m mildly surprised by how long it took for the news to fully sink in and the repeated texting of the same phrase It’s unbelievable. Because it is. Because why would cancer strike someone so young when youth is supposed to be this cloak of invincibility that wards against illnesses/evils/whatever. Aren’t the odds supposed to fall on the side of youths?

I keep thinking how we were supposed to graduate together, attend the same Commencement ceremony, take photos and compare to them to those taken a couple of semesters ago, laugh at our past selves, laugh at how we were overly enthusiastic at certain games. And I recall how damned hard you studied because that’s SMU for us all. Competitive as fuck especially for finance etc. But you were always modest about your own achievements. I recall you skating down at the T-Junc because the skating team would appear like clockwork every week and you would be there. I remember that you’re the only person who shares the same Chinese character as mine in your name. I know for a fact that you were never too busy to stop and take time out for a quick chat. I still have photos that you shared with us of your Europe trip. So how can it be that you’re gone?

The worst part is that all these don’t feel sufficient. That we didn’t stay in touch often as we should have. That we didn’t know until it was too late and knowing that a part of this is also selfish because you probably didn’t want to worry people.

I just don’t understand why this happened to you.

 

 

 

Please don’t feel the need to text me about this because there’s really nothing to say.

 

(mis)Adventures with my Dad

For some reason or another, my dad and I have never spent much time together as a duo in public spaces. Even when we’re at home, we more or less keep to our own corners with him doing the chores/talking on the phone while I would be on the bed with my Mac.

So the jubilee weekend was an extremely rare occurrence when we went out shopping together. It all started with my desire to get a pair of black & white shoes for my internship. Because backstage safety calls for covered shoes with thicker soles and yes, nails have gone through people’s flats before. I don’t even know why my dad agreed to come but he did and so off we went to Queensway.

We spent a couple of hours wandering that also had him frowning at several pairs of shoes. Without spotting any pair that I wanted, we decided to go Vivo City where he could visit Bata for his uncle sandals and I would continue my quest for my Nike roshes (only to find out that they aren’t carried locally the next day) . For some reason, my internal GPS marked the route that we usually took by car instead of bus and thus cleverly suggested we go opposite to take the bus.

So off we went huffing and puffing up the bridge.

The next brilliantly wrong suggestion came from my dad to take 197 that ultimately led us in the direction of Jurong. Belatedly realised how off we were when we got onto the highway and I saw the Science Park. Hurriedly herded my dad off the bus which led to more grumbling that we should have just continued to NUS where it would be easier to change buses. Yet again we boarded 197.

We finally got to Spottiswoode where I told my dad to get off and just walk. I thought he would want to walk instead of changing buses to get home but I was wayyyyyy off the mark.

All ended well because we got home in fits of laughter.

At night, I just thought about how much I would treasure this day, remember our laughter, the warmth and tenderness in my dad’s hands, not to forget the the heat of the day.

But occasionally, I fear when I hear the ticking of time passing.