3 things that I’m thankful for:
A shoebox of my own in just under a week
An inspiring church that’s just a 10-minute walk away
A job interview

Yes, I took a leap of faith and upped and came to New Zealand, just as I’ve said that I probably would in my previous post. I’ve loved every moment of it since my arrival – the temperature (a steady 14 – 18 degrees), the sights and sounds, and just the convenience of moving about. Oh, and the public library!

But the real struggle is when you’re here on a mission, and not just for a vacation – the game changes. It’s been 17 days in to my little adventure but I am still trying to find that spot of calm, that peacefulness of knowing that ‘everything will be OK’. I knew it would be tough to attempt settling into a foreign environment, but I didn’t have a gauge on the extent of it until I embarked on a job hunt for a full-time position. It’s been tough. Sending out more than 10 applications only to hear back from just a couple sure leaves a dent in your self-confidence. But on the flip side, it has also reminded me of how blessed I’ve been for all these years. Back in Malaysia, I had jobs that were waiting for me. While I was in the midst of my college degree, I was referred to a small creative consultancy that did amazing works for one of the world’s largest shopping malls. I interned with them and eventually became a full-time hire. I worked there for seven years, and when I resigned, I immediately had something else to take on. I did not actually have to go through a job hunt.

So here I am now, actually experiencing what would be my first job hunt in 29 years of my life.

While the calm is taking a while to set in, I have made conscious effort to try things I otherwise would never even think of – applying for an assistant store manager role with kikki.K, for instance. Haha! Yes! I am very aware that I do not have the experience for that role, but what the heck, right? It could only go two ways – a. they won’t hire me, or b. they’d love my enthusiasm and train me for it. (ps: I’ll give an update to this if they reply me.) Also, I’m practising letting go of things and events that I really just have no control over – whatever happens after I hit the ‘Submit’ button on every application I send out. I’m almost a control freak, if not one already. I don’t like the feeling of not being in control of things be it my finances, schedules, or my future. And this leap to Hobbit Land has definitely stretched me in a lot of somewhat uncomfortable ways. But, I try.

I try to look on the bright side. I feel very grateful for everything I’ve achieved so far and know that other people have to struggle up much bigger hills than my own. But sometimes, gratitude and optimism can only get you so far. Gratitude and optimism can’t satisfy lingering doubts, or tell you what it all adds up to – or if it is meant to add up to anything at all. They don’t soothe the voice that keeps prodding and asking, “What are you doing? Do you think any of it really matters?

The voice wants answers, but I haven’t got any. I just keep going, ploughing ahead, and hoping to God I can pay my bills, while I watch the days and weeks flit past. These 17 days have sometimes felt like an exercise in contortion. They have sometimes felt like I have twisted and wrapped myself into strange shapes to continue on. Sometimes I have felt like I have become someone else entirely: the kind of person who doesn’t think about anything other than the achievement of goals, not their meaning. The kind of person who is committed and confident and sure. The kind of person who believes, intrinsically, in what they are doing. The kind of person who is not afraid.

When you go to bed after hours of being someone else, your head feels as full as a fishbowl and your shoulders feel as heavy as your heart. Instead of relaxing, you find yourself trying to reconcile the distance between who you think you are and who you need to become to get by. I have tried letting go. I have tried resigning every conceit I have about myself and just accepting that I need to become someone else for good. But every time I have tried to let go, I’ve found some small part of myself clinging determinedly to the remaining strands of who I imagine I am, or who I imagine I should be.

So I carry on and hope that, in the end, it all works out.

17 days in to this adventure have definitely done a very good job of pushing me out of my comfort zone, right into something I knew very little of. I’ve got a loooooong way ahead of me, and a lot of praying (and crying. Haha!) to do, so wish me luck and keep me in your prayers.

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hello there

I don’t know about you but I love organising my emails, work or personal ones alike. Labelled, tagged, colour coordinated – you name it, I’ve most probably tried it. It seems like a great move that tells my brain that I’ve productively gone through my emails, categorised them for the trash, bills to pay, deals to consider, or read later.

It’s great! You should try it.(:

So anyway, I came across a whole lot of good stuff that was Starred and tagged for later reading, which I couldn’t make time for, up until yesterday. I know I’ve skipped a million rounds of Weekend Wonders postings, so here’s making it up with a whole lotta good stuff for this weekend.

Beauties, have an amazing weekend ahead!

A new hit by Ms. Bareilles.

Not sorry for wanting a work/life balance.
ps: Stefan Sagmeister’s TED video is a MUST watch!

Lettering, love.

A dish that I’ll be cooking up today!

It’s ideal to call it quits.
ps: This helped push me to my decision of quiting my previous job and moving on to things that felt right.

Chicken parm! Chicken parm! Chicken parm!:D

{lettering hands at typographyserved}

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The hiatus has been a long one but I’m glad to be back, with the greater hope that I’d be able to keep up with the thoughts in my head, and translate them into posts right here.

The past two months have been rough on me, mentally. It was a mashup of exhaustion and exhilaration, both at once, and you can only imagine how draining that would have possibly been.

Plans to go abroad are in the works, and with the year coming to an end too quickly, it has almost if not already forced me to fast forward a lot of my other plans on hand. There’s that fear of making it, or not making it, and the dealing with it afterwards, whichever the outcome may be.

I think what really affects me here, is the idea that I don’t seem to have much time left to do a lot of things I initially set out for myself. Or more possibly, having to postpone my next dive trip. Haha. Yes, I hate when that happens. But on a serious note, it does feel like a severe case of “too much to do, too little time”. This is nonetheless a step closer to my dream, to say the least. So it’s alright, perhaps.

The collating of my portfolio has also been a rather arduous one, if I may add. I have had to painstakingly sieve and sample what felt like a million portfolio hosting sites only to return to good ol’ WordPress and Behance. And then there’s the LinkedIn profile that needed dusting, and lots of refining. Did I mention that I suck at beefing up a personal profile? Lol. I could so do someone else’s but mine.

I’ll be visiting that place abroad in November, for the first time. It’s going to be my chance to fall in love with that new ground, that unfamiliar space, with absolutely no strings attached. It was a fairly spontaneous decision to book that flight out, but I’m glad I did it. It’s going to be a really good holiday. I can feel it already.

I’ve had big dreams before, but none thus far that have required such attention to the life changing details, up until now. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough,” so I read somewhere.

At this rate, yup! It’s safe to say that my dream is officially big enough.

I am a storyteller, a blogger, and a writer. What I’m definitely not, is a copywriter.

The difference, you ask? I don’t like writing to sell. I enjoy writing in hopes of promoting something that I believe in.

Part of the worry that I had about going abroad was simply, not knowing what I should sell myself as, and what sort of jobs I would/could/should land. Should I be a writer, or a photo stylist? How about an editor? Oh, what about a graphic designer? It always felt like I was half-baked in every way despite the endorsements I’ve received. It felt like I was a jack-of-all-trades, and a master of none. It was tougher than I had thought it to be. It became a personal battle – a constant one that made me question if I was ever good enough to make the career cut out there.

It was during this time that someone reminded me of the other side to it. Much like how David saw Goliath, the giant – too big to miss, I had ample skills under my belt to at least land one job out of all the possible writing/styling/designing vacancies out there. I found myself breathing a little easier after that, really.

About three weeks ago, I was briefly in touch with a publishing house – more specifically, a publishing division of the renowned Penguin Books. We spoke about my manuscript (which still is a work in progress and a far cry from completion), about its illustrations, colours, paginations, cover finishing of choice, and we even got to the part about marketing and royalties!

The whole conversation was amazing, and I loved how alive the idea was that I would be able to publish a book of my own, eventually. It did come with a relatively huge (but affordable) price tag, but I’m just really glad that I had the opportunity to be in touch with the young lady on the other line, and to discuss all the possibilities that we could put together, especially under such a prestigious publishing label that I grew up with reading its titles.

It’s not everyday that I get these kicks that make me feel like I can take on the world, with words. And it’s also things like this that reminds me that my writing carries weight, if I allow it to. It pushes me out of a zone of disbelief that I have inevitably created for myself along the way, and helps me realize that there are a lot of things that could be well within my reach, if I would only stretch a little further and grasp for a little more than what I think I’m comfortable with.

It’s one of those life-changing experiences, you know? The kind that comes right when you need it, and right where you need it.

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I’ve been meaning to write this earlier but I have to be honest, I struggled — not due to matters of confidentiality, but of anger, frustration, a truckload of hate, and a loss for words.

I spoke of my decision to resign and join a different company altogether at my work performance review just two week ago, and was empathetically advised by both my superiors that I would have to prepare myself for all sorts of office politics imaginable that I would face in a huge corporation as the one I was going to, and that it will be nothing like my current workplace — petite and sans the politics.

This April will officially mark my seven years of service right here. I have been witness to many that have come and gone, and more than that have asked what kept me for seven years. For those who have read my earlier posts — this and this, you might have inevitably deduced that my work place is a hellhole. No, it isn’t, really. Like all other legit, registered companies, we serve a purpose. And for six years of my life, I have set out with our team to realise that purpose. In fact, most of us give our 250% to meet the unwritten expectations of our superiors. But for the last leg of it, I started to realise that loving what I did didn’t necessarily and automatically mean that it would make me happy.

I loved what I was doing, but by the end of my sixth year, the good people that contributed to it have mostly, if not all, left and moved on to greater things. I felt like I was in a rut. My ex-colleagues were out there building their lives with bricks that were less decorated, less glamorous, less jet setting, and less luxurious, but they were all nonetheless so much happier. It struck me that that was the sense of greatness I was searching for within the things that I have been doing all these years but never found. It made me re-evaluate my life only to realise the sad reality that in place of greatness, I was hoarding gossips, lies, self-centredness, pride, and a love for the things that never ever once mattered to me. It broke me when I realised these things defined me more than I’d wish to admit.

So in 2014, I set out to weed my life of things that didn’t add to it — this career included.

You see Superior 1, you’ve been a generous boss, but it stops there. What I’ve been trying to make you understand is that the many who work for you are not hard up for your generosity. All the extras are well, extras. Instead, buck up. Be a good paymaster. Don’t deny them what they are truly worth, and don’t delay your payments. Everyone’s got their bills to pay, and mouths to be fed, and whether it concerns you to say the least, they deserve the wage they’ve put in the work for.

Over the course of the seven years that I’ve toiled for you and your company, I can safely say that you don’t know what it truly means to appreciate another human being. You’ve always spoken highly of yourself — of your perfect sense of ‘friend-conscience’, your travels that have taken you to so many places and seen so many cultures, your intellectual affluence, your selflessness for animals and the helpless people around, your certifications, acknowledgments, titles and rewards garnered from your studies and courses, and of the many consulting job opportunities you were offered by “tons of clients who desperately need you to rescue their dying publications.” You are undeniably good at what you do. But if I may say, even with all that travelling, all that certifications and titles that are supposed to set the educated apart from the less discerning ones, you are by far, the most uneducated person I have known. You lack everything that makes a human, human — conscience. You have none, and yet you sleep well at night. I am genuinely flabbergasted.

I remember my early days working with you. When a client cancelled her subscription to our design services, she spoke to me separately and requested that I continued to write for her simply because she liked what I did for her. Out of respect and courtesy, I spoke to you about it and you told me to go ahead with it because you always want to allow your staff the opportunity to grow. Two days after, you sat me down and told me to be cautious of this client simply because you heard from the grapevine that she had mentioned to some of your mutual friends that I had begged for the writing job she actually offered me. I slept on it for over a week, and I soon realised it all didn’t make much sense. I was merely a copywriter to her. In fact, what I was writing for her didn’t and wouldn’t actually incredibly make or break her business in any way. What I did for her was just a means of perfecting what was already in place. I thought to myself that she had nothing to gain by having me as her copywriter — aside from perfect grammar and a spell check. But you had everything to gain if I did eventually reject the job and look up to you as my ‘saviour’.

That was when I first made up my mind to question to death everything that you would tell me, which proved itself as one of my life’s most valuable decision.

My heart goes out to one of our ex-designers. In my opinion, she was the bravest amongst us all. She decided early on that she wanted out, and went on ahead of us to experience her exit; one that she never knew would cripple her for a good two months, and scar her for life. You see Superior 1, none of us were prepared for what ensued along with her exit. And if there were anyone who was the least prepared, that would have been her. We all knew she looked up to you, to your success and your stature. She wanted to do good works because your approval of it would make her feel good about her talents — all of which are good things. But instead of building her and egging her on, you tore her down and stripped her of every bit of dignity she had when she spoke of resigning. Instead of wishing her well with her future endeavours, you chose to speak ill of her and word quickly spread like a plague of death. Instead of celebrating her ambitiousness, you chose to ostracize and pick on her for actually making a decision that was beneficial to her self-growth. Instead of making her believe that her respect for you was worth it, you chose to be the ugliest, most dishonourable figure of what a superior, let alone a human, could ever be. I know you don’t need our respect in any way, but as a person of such a high stature, it baffles me as to why you’d stoop so low just to make a person’s life a living hell.

Months, and even years after her leaving, you still had a way to bring her name up in conversations, to maim whatever was left of her reputation that wasn’t already destroyed. She had a passion for fashion and publications, but you made sure she had nowhere to go by pulling all your strings and telling them the nastiest, most untrue stories about her so that they wouldn’t hire her. All these made you feel good. It fed your ego. It validated the lies you made about her. It felt like the right thing to do, for you.

And through it all, it wasn’t as if I was without fault. I was there the entire time all of these happened. I watched as she burnt down, and you rose to be very pleased and contented with the path of emotional devastation you set her on. I, just like everyone else, knew better that there was nothing that could be done to make things better, so I turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to stay out of things. Guilty — and all of these followed me for the next few years, right up until when I decided to embark on a search for something greater, a year ago.

I wasn’t pinched for this new job I would soon go to, as you and Superior 2 think is the case. If you would take time to read this, you would at least realise that I was not enjoying my work as much in May of 2014. In actual fact, the dissatisfaction dates back even earlier, just sans the written documentation of it until the month of May. I wasn’t particularly looking to job hop, but I was very open to that possibility. However, what I was keener for was to take on bigger, better, and more portfolio-worthy jobs that didn’t just seem like stuff you didn’t want to pay someone else to do. But those things never happened. Instead, I had an ad-selling quota to fulfil. When your designers underperformed and I went the extra mile to stand in the gap with whatever design skills I had, you said I was wasting my time. You didn’t even give me the opportunity to explore this part of the job just because you thought this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. Did you know that seven years into the job have robbed me of what I initially loved about it — styling, coordinating and executing photoshoots? You made me a glamorous Project Editor by profession, but I could never answer when someone asked what was it really that I did for a living.

I write copy, proofread the exact shit I write, check designs, sell ads, prepare invoices, chase clients for paymentI guess?

In place of shoots, I got the accounts to worry about it. I mean, what Project Editor does billings and chase payments?

But it’s been seven years I’ve toiled and laboured for you and this company, and I’ve never made a peep about these ridiculous tasks. But on January 30 2015, you didn’t just give me one, but too many reasons in fact, to never see you in the same light ever again. When I witnessed the extent of wickedness you had inside you when our ex-designer left, I couldn’t say I didn’t already have an idea of what would hit me when I decide to leave. But I was naïve enough to think it would be different because I played all my cards of employee loyalty while I worked for you, and I thought it was enough. I couldn’t be more wrong. As I write this, I am but barely surviving all the hostility and nasty chatter that have overtaken me, thanks to you (and the existence of Whatsapp chat rooms, unfortunately). As I write this, I am in that phase of fighting against every thing you are, and everything that you have intentionally set in my path to break me as I serve my two months of notice. As I write this, I find myself desperately coveting the prayers of people I never thought I would need prayer from. But above all, as I write this, I realise you are everything that I do not want to ever become.

Superior 1, this is you — vile, malicious, intemperate, proud, deceitful, hypocritical, short sighted, and unjust. And sometimes, people can see how bad you try to be like Superior 2, who has earned for herself honest respect and regard, but try as you may, you will never be like her. Don’t crave the kind of employer-employee relationship that Superior 2 keeps even after her employees have left, because you don’t deserve them, and you don’t know how to appreciate them anyway. The only thing that you have superseded Superior 2 at is being a foul blabbermouth.

I remember the time you asked me to tell you three things you could work on to be a better boss. I know, sounds almost unbelievable that a person like you would ask me this, right? Anyway, I recall telling you that you should channel your generosity to those who deserve it. I told you that you also needed to correct those who need correction, and learn to give praise where it is due too. That was the only one I seem to care to remember, but my point is, it’s so typical of you to ask for an opinion but never actually taking time to sleep on it. As a person who is so short sighted to refuse correction, how do you even bring yourself to think yourself fit as a role model to your team?

I can say without a doubt that you are neither a leader, nor a mentor. You are an empty vessel.

Someone asked me if I ever feared getting into trouble should you chance upon my blog. I think I do. I think that fear is inevitable, but secretly, I kind of hope you’d actually come to reading this. You’d probably serve me a lawyer’s letter like you did this other ex-designer of ours, and I’ll probably take it down. We all know the drill.

You are only as good as your team, Superior 1. To you, everyone is dispensable. And unfortunately for me, it took me seven years — too long, in fact — to realise that you are just as dispensable. I have lost all respect for you as a person. Frankly, I am just short of wishing the worst things to befall you, only because that would be me, stooping to your unscrupulous ways. Instead, I thank you for showing me the person that I don’t want to become. Thank you for being the asshole that I never knew existed, and reminding me never to judge a book by its cover. Thank you for putting me through all this drama. I choose to think you are doing me a favour and toughening me up for the office politics I was told of to exist only in larger corporations like the one I’m off to. It’s really funny how you’d think your company is without politics when you are the only reason it actually exists though.

If there were one thing you were right about when we spoke at my review, it would be that the new corporation I’d soon be part of would be nothing like my current workplace.

Thank God.

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I quit my job of seven years, and if anyone thought that seven years of service deserves a good exit, to say the least – oh boy, are we wrong.

As with every other staff that quit this company, it’s always ugly. And my seven years isn’t spared of the ugly exchange of texts, gossip, and hostility either, unfortunately. I am beyond disappointed that I really couldn’t care less now.

I am still serving my two months of notice as I write. In fact, it’s only the beginning. I am eagerly counting down to the evening of April 1 – when freedom is finally mine. Every night, I go home feeling like I just want to climb into bed, die there and not have to face another day in my office. I’m not even exaggerating. I hate this place already.

I’ve never felt so vulnerable before, and I’ve never prayed so hard before. I remember I once prayed that God wouldn’t humble me by taking away my job, but now, all I hear myself saying is ‘God shield me. Give me patience, and just shut out every talk around me. I don’t want to know about it, I don’t want to care. Just two months and I’m out. Please make this as easy for me, God.’

Seven lessons I’ve since learnt…

1. ALWAYS BE PREPARED BUT ALSO KNOW THAT YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO PREPARED I was, because I’ve seen how my superior would just tell her staff to pack and leave the very next day, so I had my exit plan ready. But then there’s always the loophole of not ever being able to be completely prepared – my superior sprung a surprise and requested that I get all my jobs sorted by month end, and she’s ready to release me a month earlier. Sounds legit. The catch? She wants my new company to pay her for the one month that she’s releasing me early. Please, don’t even try to make sense of this.

2. PEOPLE WILL TALK ABOUT YOU Especially those who constantly talk about every other person. I’ve always understood this, but I always seemed to find the stupidity in me to think it would be different for myself. Why, you ask? I don’t know. Maybe because I always give people the benefit of doubt that they’ll react different, be better, or whatever. Okay, I’m naïve. Enough said.

3. EVERYONE IS DISPENSABLE This perhaps, rings truer for china-man companies – who are more often than not, known to be crude, unscrupulous, incredibly calculative, and narrow-minded. Even they have told you many times that you are indispensable, never for a second believe it. To them, regardless of how great a worker you’ve been, they’ll never truly appreciate you as a person. It’s sad but they don’t understand and respect the need for their staff to grow, individually and as a whole with the company. They look at you much like every other piece of equipment in the office. If you call it quits – the sooner they can replace you, the better. Their motto: Keep working, or get out.

4. PEOPLE WHO MIND DON’T MATTER, THOSE WHO MATTER DON’T MIND It’s a cliché saying but this is the real shit that I’ve been having to remind myself of – that these people who add to all the chatter really don’t matter, and those who’ve got my back are with me all the way. Many have been concern of my resignation and its reason but I’ve learn to just shrug the questions off even when I’m so tempted to yell ‘BECAUSE THE WORK CULTURE SUCKS!’, simply because it’s hard to really trust the people around you. Haha. The walls have ears, you know.

5. DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF This, in my opinion, is so easy to speak of but not do, especially when you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s natural that we’d prefer to retreat and keep away from all contact whenever possible. But I ask myself why? Why should I retreat and make it seem like I am guilty of something? Much like a self-fulfilling prophecy, doubting yourself and retreating wills more talk, stares and attention to yourself. So I’ve learn to not give a shit, because the more unfazed I am despite everything that’s happening, the lesser of an entertainment I’d be to them.

6. BE KIND Just because they aren’t to you doesn’t mean that you should throw it right back at them. Instead, see where they are coming from and accept that not everyone is built to handle a crisis the same way. The meaner they are to you, the kinder you should be to them. It’s not even about making amends with them, it’s about learning to be a bigger, better person and rise above the very shitty position you are in. After all, they really only want to see you go down, so don’t allow it. Swim. Float. Do whatever you need to, but be kind.

7. PEOPLE REMEMBER YOU BY THE WAY YOU LEAVE It’s not entirely true when they say people remember you by the way you live. When it comes to quitting a job, people really just remember you by the way you leave. The way you make your exit, the way you bid farewell, will be the only thing they’ll ever recall when they speak about you. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. So whatever it is, leave on a good note. Don’t burn bridges (as much as I would’ve wanted to), and don’t bitch about work or anyone right before you leave. Word gets around, and it will never be pretty. So though the ugly end is almost always inevitable, just do whatever you can to try to minimise all the drama. This is when you learn to bite your tongue, and is also when you truly learn what it means to be humble by keeping your mouth shut even when the accusations come flying at you like fiery arrows.

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Today is February the 1st.
And tomorrow, February the 2nd marks the beginning of the end — my last day as a Project Editor where I work.

Yes, I finally did it. I resigned.(:

I must say it ended in an utterly undesirable state, but that is a long story in itself, which I’d probably put into writing some time this week. But for now, let me just prepare myself for the two months notice that I will have to serve, beginning tomorrow, and for all the drama that will inevitably follow. Am so not looking forward to it but on the bright side, two more months and I am out.

For those who are wondering about the lead up to my decision to calling it quits, read this and this for the gist of it. All these aside, weekend gems for you lovelies as usual! Have a great, great Monday ahead wherever you are!

Love, thought out loud by Ed Sheeran.

Cheese! And a career with it. How creative!

A v. light read.(:

Gorgeous, gorgeous chocolates by Nendo. And rubber bands, and chopsticks, and transparent wood, and ice cream cakes.

Gratitude, on the scale of success.

I’ve found a new love. Meet UGMONK.(:

{keeping things small by Ugmonk at 99U Team}

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Hello everybody, please meet Mr. Riccardo Guasco.

Hailing from Alessandria, a small town in Italy, Mr. Guasco is an (amazing) illustrator which I first stumbled upon browsing Pinterest. I love his work, and I love the way his colours, lines and ideas come together to give his illustrations and paintings so much meaning.


Here are just some of his artworks. For more, there’s always a riccardoguasco.com to go to!(: Also, here’s a Q+A with the illustrator himself, by Pushing Pixels, and if you follow arts on Behance, here’s Mr. Guasco on it too. Go ahead and enjoy his amazing pieces!

On a separate note, it’s been so long since I did a weekend post. I must have you know how much I missed writing, especially signing off the weekends with a handful of gems for your reading and listening pleasure.

I am back!

So, cheers to the weekend ahead and three more cheers for my first Weekend post in 2015.

The must raved about Sugar by Maroon 5.(:

If I had a space of my own, I swear some rooms would scream LAMPIONE!

Ham & cheese toasties, anyone? Yes please!

Read: the science behind break ups.

Get back at someone glitterbomb style!

Here’s one for the ocean. Love.

{Mr. Illustrator from Riccardoguasco.com}

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I haven’t written in a long while. Heck, I haven’t even Instagram-ed anything in a really long while, hence the stark absence of my Instant Months posts – my last being September.

2014 is about to come to an end, and to be honest, all I could think of was how bad it has been. I had a lot to deal with, from work related matters, to a flurry of funerals and hospitalisations that required my (almost) immediate attention, inevitably forcing me into a place of spreading myself thin, in efforts to meet my deadlines/catch up with friends/spend time with my family/work my church duties/make time for myself and so much more.

But I’ve grown. It’s been a tough year but I’ve grown, and I choose to carry that with me from the rough and turbulent everything else the year chucked my way.

Every new year, there are two seasons that garner big resolutions – the beginning of it, and six months into it. Yup, and I used to be (or might still be) a sucker for all that too. Come 2015, there are just three things I’d like to make happen.

1. Dive
2. Get fit.
3. Be happy.

It’s not much, but it’s really quite a lot when I think about it. You know what I mean?

This shot was taken on my recent trip to Singapore. This bunch of workers were putting up, or painting down, whichever, a fresh new Hump Ahead sign. It was a work of art, if you actually saw how they did it. Them – chalk, rulers and paint in hand, it was like watching someone work up a typography poster, large scale, freehand. Love.

And I just thought I’d immortalise their work that would very soon be weathered down by rain and shine, tyre marks and soiled footprints.

This is a reminder, that there will be hump(s) ahead, whether you are ready for them, whether you approve of them or not. All you got to do is to hit the road, enjoy the ride, and make the most out of wherever you are headed for. 2015 will be okay, if not better than 2014.

We’ll all be okay.(: So to everyone out there, Merry Christmas and have a happy, happy New Year! Whatever your resolutions are, just remember to live every moment, good or bad/happy or sad. xx

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I remember what it felt like to lose my mojo, and I definitely remember what being at the peak of my performance felt like. But the state I was in for the past two months felt like a whole new, unfamiliar level of mojo-losing-incredibly-hardpressed-and-unmotivated state of mind.

I’ve been where I am for a good seven years now. It first started as a part-time job, which continued as a college internship, and then a full-time hire offer. Seven years is no child’s play, and it always is a mix of job perks, company loyalty and passion for the job that people would often ‘suggest’ as reasons to my staying, for a good seven years.

Perhaps I have said this in one post or another of mine – I enjoy what I do, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I love it. Well, at least not anymore.

In the recent years, I have mentioned of moving on, or away, from this place. But it never really stuck. It felt more like a rant, a rage, a temporary moment of anger and bad decisions lumped in one. About a couple of weeks back, I was offered a job as a copywriter – and to be frank, it’s not a job I’m entirely keen on, but it felt more like something I needed than something I should even consider wanting or not. It was then that I realised I really just want out.

The past two months were a nasty clash of deadlines and everything else imaginable – from travel schedules, to bad decisions, and funerals. It was overwhelming, but more depressing than the crazy deadlines had to be having a boss who thinks she knows best. From job hires to job allocations, travel schedules to problem solving skills, she is a heap of bad decisions and rash reactions. I don’t say this out of spite, but just as is. A lot of work gets unnecessarily doubled up, rejected with no further direction, assigned with no proper brief or account, all because she always has to have the last say. She’s a god when it comes to pretty things, which is absolutely good. We all love us some pretty things every damn time. But pretty things that look good and don’t fulfil its purpose is utter rubbish, if I may say, which is what most of our jobs are – pretty but useless, taking pretty useless almost too literal.

I always thought I had to bring the change that I wanted to see in my workplace, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. As harsh as it sounds, this place rejects change with all it’s got. It is absolutely contented with the standards it’s got, the wonky work system it employs, and the crippling work culture that it nurtures. No good amount of creativity can and will come from this place. This place is stale and stagnant, almost dead of its creativity. And I hate it.

It’s easy to just throw the ‘pack and leave’ card on the table, but calling it quits is yet another major problem. No one person who has left this company has had it easy, not with my boss. Four designers have left since I started with this company. The first was ostracized until recent years for ‘wanting a change of environment’, the second was labelled domesticated and unambitious for ‘wanting to marry, have kids and move to a different state’, the third was called a spoilt brat for ‘wanting a change of work culture’ and for using the magazine as her portfolio (which doesn’t even make sense because the designer was really only showcasing works of hers that were legit), and the last was only recently served a legal warning for posting our magazine pages as part of her online portfolio (which equally doesn’t make sense because she really did work on them), which needless to say, got her frantically removing them almost immediately.

Whether you quit, or you get asked to leave, either way it’s not going to go down well.

It’s sad (or pathetic, whichever) when someone of such a notable position is unable to be the bigger person, even in situations that do not call for any party to feel inadequate, intimidated or challenged. I don’t get it.

Is this what they call ‘office politics’? Good Lord, I hate it.

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Oh God. Don’t let me die a Quasimodo.

I’ve been struggling with really bad posture for about half of my life. To be honest, I don’t remember actually being that way when I was much younger. I recall my sister struggling with her posture (and how we suggested to affix a cross-like structure to her back), but exactly when did I start showing signs of becoming a Quasimodo, I absolutely have no recollection whatsoever.

Aside from the fact that I need so badly to strengthen my back muscles to heave on scuba dive tanks without falling face first, I have also looked to it as a routine to correct my posture. I even got a brace. Actually, two to be precise. And trust me, it’s not the most comfortable piece of posture support you’d ever want to be in. But unfortunately, I am only doing myself a favour so yeaaaaa…no pain, no gain. Okay. Ugh.

It really makes a difference, when you (when I) don’t hunch – your ass is perkier, your boobs look firmer, your frame is stronger, your belly gets sucked in. Well, kinda. And everything else just falls into place. Aaaaaah. How I wished this wasn’t my struggle.

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