Finally | A rushed post 

It’s been 29 days into 2017 and I’ve only managed to write a new post now?! {edit: it’s now the end of January, lol}

Yup, I’ve been undisciplined on the blogging front. I apologise. I have no real excuse apart from the fact that I’ve been journaling almost everday since the year began (I’ll do a flipthrough it at some point), so a lot of my ‘drafts’ are actually sitting in there. 

So, what’s new?

On goals

It’s been a difficult yet motivating start to my year because I’ve been working through my goals and aspirations, and there are actually way too many of them. I’ve got to sit down and re-prioritise them all. I’m probably not too comfortable with sharing them with you guys just yet, but I’ll delve in a little deeper in one of the following posts.

On cycling

So this weekend, I finally put an end to my research obsession on bikes (as in literally over the last few months I’ve been googling like crazy about cycling, bikes, cycling laws, etc.). 

Yup, this weekend, I bought a bike! 


My reasons for buying one is no different to most people – it’s a great way to get fit whilst being able to get from point A to point B! I’ve only had Norcz (I’ve officially named it, derived from its brand, Norco Bicycles) for under 48 hours but it has brought me so much happiness already! I mean right now, I’m sitting in Sydney Park drafting this post, and guess how I got here? I rode here! That’s about 8kms (return) that I would have used my car for! I didn’t even have to worry about parking or traffic.



I did some research earlier today, and I may have a route from home to Central station via bicycle paths – how cool would that be?! I have to work on my fitness first though, as well as getting use to riding on major roads… it’s still pretty daunting. I’m sure with more practice, I’ll get there. 

I’m trying to figure out a routine to incorporate riding into my weekdays, not just riding on weekends… I’ll let you know how that goes. I’ve also only bought the bare necessities for riding so over the next few weeks I’ll start buying the following

  • Bike lock 
  • Kickstand
  • Phone handlebar mount
  • Rear light for night riding (I’ve got a helmet that has a built in rear light though, just don’t know if it’ll be strong enough?)

On humans

I’m going through a bit of a rough patch from the people side of things, unfortunately. Over the last few weeks, I’ve come to realise that I have to stop counting on other people. 

It’s frustrating because I’ve spent majority of my adult life independently and as most of you know, a strong preference for solitude. However, in the last year, my loved ones have given me a taste of what it’s like to build your life around others. They’ve taught me how to rely on others – may it be for fun or for serious things. They’ve shown me what it’s like to be someone’s priority. The sad part is that since then, circumstances have changed, and I can no longer count on these same people for my happiness. 

I have come to realise that at the end of the day, it’s me against the world. There’s no such thing as ‘us against the world’ – I know that sounds real cynical (perhaps even vague) but for me it’s true. 

Sorry, I know this is all over the place, I promise my next one will be a better post! I kind of just wanted to get one out there already before the month ended! 

Cheers,

A

Advertisements

2016 has taught me | Question Time

[Quick context: I share a blog with my best friend, S, and it’s filled with random posts about our lives/friendship- may it be inside jokes, differences in opinions, perspective on life, weird things that it seems like only the two of us do… and more recently, we’ve been leaving each other questions for the other to answer. In this particular instance, I left her a relatively difficult question – one that I was going to blog about on here. Here it goes…]

Q: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself in 2016 and why has it made such an impact?

I’d like to start off with the fact that I love solitude. I thrive in my ‘alone time’. I’m one of those people that would rather be out and about by myself than go out with a ‘squad’.

This year, has been significantly different to my previous years. My love for solitude remained but it has made me realise that I am a lot more reliant on my sisters than I’d ever care to admit; and I guess this could be attributed to a series of significant changes or events in 2016.

New Apartment

So with my rent going up at my previous apartment, and P&N wanting to move closer to the city, we collectively decided to move into a 3bdr apartment in the same area as my previous place. This move saves us all a lot of money but still provides us with a brand new apartment, great onsite facilities and close proximity to everything – the city, the station, the beaches, and not too far from mum’s and dad’s.

I didn’t know how bad or how good of a decision this would be in the long run, but it was a decision I didn’t take lightly because of my history with my sister (yeah there were phases in our lives where I wanted to punch her in the face).

I was prepared for the worst case scenarios, but I was not prepared to grow closer or even clingy-er to P. I found myself waiting for her to come home from work, sad whenever our work timings don’t line up (i.e when she leaves early and comes home early but I get home much later so we end up not seeing each other), we coordinated our train times on our way to work, etc. We basically bonded a lot more than I expected.

The sad part hits me when I want to do something with her but she can’t because she’s already made plans with her husband. She tries to include me but sometimes it doesn’t feel like we’re all hanging out, it’s like them and then me?

Touring around the Philippines

So my one and only vacation this year was in the Philippines, with K & C, prior to their wedding. It was an absolute blast and boy am I lucky to have had C with us – he was such an older brother for me and I don’t think I can express my gratitude enough.

My time with them has been amazing, but spending 4 weeks with just the three of us has only made me realise (again, like above) that it was the two of them, plus me.

Whenever we’d do an activity that required two people, it would always be the two of them, and I’d have to do it on my own; which is a stark contrast to how K & I used to be. And like I said, I love doing things by myself – but I guess it’s the feeling it leaves me with that really gets me down.

Wedding

The J wedding was also held in the Philippines so most of what I said in the previous section hold true. The key thing I wanted to say was that the wedding was like the ‘nail to the coffin’ in terms of realising that K, someone whom I was inseparable with at some point in my life, was again, someone I had to let go.

My Maid of Honour speech was pretty truthful and transparent about how I felt.

“After some time, I finally adjusted and acknowledged the fact that I had to share K with someone else – someone who i was willing to share my sister with.”

It signified the end of an era – the end of K & A, but the start of K & C.

Since the wedding, everything has been K & C and very rarely been K & A. And ever since then, I’ve realised how much it’s actually hurt me. I guess I never really realised how much the wedding/marriage would actually impact me and my relationship with her.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my sisters to death. My love for them has not diminished at all this year. I know they love me and (hopefully) that’ll never change. All I’m saying is that the dynamic between our relationships have changed.

I guess ever since they met their partners, I kind of knew that I no longer played as big of a role in their lives as I used to. But having gone through these things with them this year has re-iterated the fact that I’m only truly realising now, the I’m no longer a priority in their lives – and that I’m only starting to learn to be okay with that now.

I guess as I head into the new year, I’ll be learning more and more about how to come to terms with this? I’ll just go back to my usual solitude ways – without relying on my sisters for my happiness.

[God, I started this draft over 4 weeks ago… only managed to finish it today, on the last day of the year. Actually, to be completely honest, I had to force myself to finish it today. I have no excuses, but I really had to rush the rest of this post. I’m sorry!]

Happy new year, WPers!

xo

A

When your passion and career are not synonymous 

As some of you may know, I work the 9 to 5 job in the IT function of the Finance industry. I’ve been in my current role for the last three years, and can confidently say that I love my job. (yes, despite the many instances where I’ve wanted to pull my hair out, punch a wall or just had enough working long hours {yes, outside the ‘9 to 5’} and weekends)

I love my day job and I want to further my career in the IT world. 

BUT I also love my creative passions: photography and graphics/illustrations. 


This year, more than any other year, I’ve noticed my passion grow stronger. How do I know this? Well my day job has been excruciatingly more demanding this year, however, majority of my time outside the office is spent on these passions. That is – coming home from exhausting days at work and still sitting down to draw or making a detour on my way home from the office to squeeze in a quick shoot. I basically sacrifice rest time to focus on these. 

I’ve invested a lot of time (and some money) learning and building on my skills in both areas, to further improve the quality of my work. Hours and hours are spent on YouTube, SkillShare, Lynda, etc., doing online courses to learn more technical or theoretical skills. After which an equal amount of time is spent actually practicing the things I’ve learnt- may it be going out for a shoot, drawing on the train or playing around in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve had a surge in inspiration and motivation to actually pursue my creative passions. I’m not saying I want to drop my day job, but God, wouldn’t it be great if I could actually monetise some of my work? I mean I do shell out a lot on equipment to help me further my skills after all. Just recently, a good friend of mine just started a photography business with her friend, and I was both proud of her and also motivated by her. I too want to have digital business in the future – digital work ranging from photography to design/illustrations, and maybe even incorporate my IT background in there (perhaps web dev or ux design?). 

It’s probably too early to make promises or commitments about my plans around this space, but I think about all this quite often. I have a lot to figure out before I can kick this off – one of which is confidence. I need to work on believing in myself, that I can actually do this. On the same token, I also need to figure out how this ‘dream’ of mine fits into my overall career path – what if I want to go back to uni for further study? Will I have enough time to work, study AND run some sort of business on the side? 

As you can see, I’ve got a lot of uncertainties but it doesn’t hurt to have this out here and serve as a reminder of an aspect of my life that I hope to be able to integrate more into my daily life. 

I’ll keep you guys posted on this, if and when I have progress!

[p.s. I still do photography gigs here and there – that’s not likely to change at this point… what I’m referring more to in this post is at a larger scale and more frequent gigs] 
xx

A

Knowledge is power?

dsc_6401-1w
Sunset @ Manly Beach

They teach us that ‘knowledge is power’ (and yes, it is) but I think it’s just as important that we also get taught that it’s okay to not know things, that knowledge is attained through hard work, through learning; for us not to be afraid to accept gaps in our knowledge in order to better ourselves.

Cliff hangers 

So I’m fairly certain that everyone knows how much I love the water – that is: to be by the ocean, to walk by any body of water, to photograph seascapes/waterscapes/landscapes.  Because of this, you’ll often find me at the beach, by the harbour or strolling down the coastlines of Sydney; by myself (I guess that’s another thing most people know about me – my love for solitude). This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of doing what I usually do, but this time with one of my best mates. It was definitely a wonderful day (but tiring)!

I wasn’t intending to shoot that day, but here are some quick snaps for y’all.

Cheers,

A

dsc01286-1w

Processed with VSCO with k2 preset
He took me to the damn South Coogee Stairs of Death!!! One day I’ll be fit enough to not feel like dying going up them,  one day.
dsc01278-1w
Not sure which one I enjoyed more – the coast or catching up with this guy

Sucker for the romantics

I’ll always be the girl who finds absolute joy in bawling my eyes out while watching a solid romantic (drama or romcom) movie and tv show. I know, it sounds pretty damn lame and pansy-like of me but I am definitely a sucker for the tearjerkers, the ‘aw’ moments.

Watching lovey dovey shows and films give us the ability to feel ‘in love’ without actually being in love in real life. It enables us to feel butterflies in our stomachs when in reality those feelings are hard to come by. It let’s you believe in chivalry, sweet gestures and traditional courtship, even if both are a rarity in today’s world. 

Being able to cry it all out. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m a crier. I cry easily. I cry easily, but I am also a ‘tough gal’ on the outside. I’ve put up walls around me to deceive outsiders of my actual emotions. I put on a brave face even when all I want to do is cry. Watching a dramatic show or film makes me cry – thus letting me cry out all the pent up cry-worthy moments lately. It makes me feel better. 

Outside of film and tv show contexts, I’m still a crier and a firm believer in chivalrous behaviour. I believe that there are still mothers out there teaching their boys how to treat women right, and with respect. I believe that even in the world where online dating and cyber encounters are prevalent, that you can still meet ‘the one’ in a cafe, a mall, the beach, somewhere spontaneous or even ordinary. I’m someone whose heartstrings get pulled when something serendipitous occurs. 

The downside to being a sucker for the romantics is that it makes you more vulnerable to disappointments. You watch these shows and movies and believe in all these beautiful things but when you are out in the real world, you realise how fictitious most things are in these films. To imagine a dialogue go one way but end up another, emits some level of frustration. 

For me, as lame as romantic comedies and tv dramas are, I enjoy them. I enjoy them because I believe in romance and let’s be honest, our love life in the real world will never come close to those we watch on our screen. 

[I’m sorry, this might be one of my worst posts but I am in bed typing this on my phone and I’m half asleep. Hope it makes sense!]

Diligence + Perseverance = Luck?

[This has been sitting in my drafts for months now {yes I mean drafts on my previous blog}. So apologies if it’s not as cohesive as my usual posts]

People tend to refer to my situation as ‘lucky’.

  • “You’re lucky you managed to land a job in the industry before you graduated”
  • “You’re lucky you work for a good company”
  • “You’re lucky you scored a permanent role so quickly”
  • “You’re lucky you have your own car, your own place, you’ve been to x, y , z….”

Don’t get me wrong – I am absolutely grateful and undoubtedly blessed.

My issue lies with the fact that none of these things came easy for me. I did not have a job handed over to me on a silver platter.

I have a $60k HECS debt because I chose to fast track my degree and had to go through a private institution for my first year. (as opposed to a typical degree of maybe half of that cost)

I pulled all nighters, lived off coffee, deprived myself of sleep – all of which I did to ensure my grades were maintained at high standards.

Those same grades are what got me to the interview stage for my internship.

The nerves I had on my interview day were inexplicably the worst nerves I’ve ever had (to this day). I sustained a 1 hour-long interview without embarrassing myself.

I scored the 12-month internship.

During these 12 months, I lived the intern life. The lack of confidence. The phase in anyone’s career where you essentially have no credibility. The struggle in transitioning from the university world to professional world. I coped with the stress, I faced my fears. I took the plunge and worked hard to impress everyone. I employed work ethics which my mother taught me. I put 210% of myself into everything I did. I ran to uni every second night after work and attended classes on Saturday – I juggled work and study.

At the end of my internship, not only did I bag 12 months of industry experience, but I got offered a job to stay. I was lucky that my team had room for another FTE. 

I then survived the awkwardness of salary negotiations, only to find out from my sisters that whatever I was getting was actually pretty decent. (Although I would have been happy with the minimum salary to be frank, because I knew nothing about what was ‘good’ and what wasn’t).

I signed the contract and threw myself into the ‘real’ work life. I continued with the balancing act between work and study. I took on more units to decrease the amount of years I’d need to complete my degree. I continued to put 210% of myself into everything I did.

Another 12 months went by and I managed to finish my degree. I was also offered a permanent role in the same team I’ve been working in for the last 2 years. Of course I accepted and again, continued to put 210% of myself into everything I did.

The journey I’ve been on to get to where I am today and achieve the things I’ve done definitely hasn’t been easy. From the outside, it looks like it has all been smooth sailing, but it’s definitely been a challenging roller coaster – this is why I don’t take references to ‘luck’ too lightly.

The one major thing I can attribute to luck would be the fact that I was lucky enough to have hardworking parents who took a risk by migrating to Australia, to give us a better education, a better opportunity. I owe a lot of my achievements to my parents – none of these could’ve been done without their hard work.

Bottom line is that I’m a firm believer that everyone, anyone who works hard will get what they deserve. All the work you put in, eventually will pay off. Let’s not diminish the value of diligence and perseverance by attributing others’ lives to luck, because let’s face it – they couldn’t have gotten to where they are now without putting in the hard yards right?