30/06/2020 § Leave a comment

Of which this blog is also a form.

Since last year, I have planned on designing my own journal. Seeing a lot of journal spreads in my social media feeds, I was attracted to do so as well. I think it suits me just fine. I have been keeping journal/diary since I was in high school? Or grade school? I can’t remember but it was already that long. Writing journal entries of my everyday life used to be a normal thing. Besides helping me remember things better, it keeps my thoughts in order too. It was time consuming in a way, and tiring if I have loads to write about, but a fun way of remembering things.

While photos speak a thousand words, written entries of your journal reignite emotions that you had while writing them. I used to spend some time reading my old journals, and there were things I wrote down that I can’t even remember. Your journal is your life biography. It tells your stories from your point of view. It saves you the time of trying to remember things for when you become famous too (according to Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

So this year, I planned and designed my own journal pages on a monthly basis. It’s only July but I have nearly used up a whole notebook for my first ever DIY journaling. I am trying both bullet journaling, with enough space for note-taking (for when I need it) and doodling.  I also make collages of stickers and washi tapes. It’s a pretty colorful mess right now.

Righr now, my journal is not only meant for memory keeping and notes taking. I added trackers for my habits, skin care, sleep, budget, and even food. It’s basically my lifestyle on paper. It helps me monitor my activities and my health in a way.

It’s a bonus that I love stationeries. I tried to stock up on my supplies since last year so I can be prelared for my journaling project. I bought sticker books, more stickers, and washi tapes. My favorite shops are Muji, Tokyu Hands, Daiso, Spotlight, Art Fried, and Overjoyed right now. They have everything I need. I also purchased brush pens, liner pens, and colored pens to use. I’m still learning about brush pen lettering but it’s a pretty nice way to kill time and relieve stress. And there are so many ways to use a brush pen, so it’s fun playing with it.

Again, it’a really time consuming activity especially since I make my journal spreads on a monthly basis. I had to think of my theme and try to design my journal spreads within the same theme. I need to prelare my trackers, calendars, and other things that I need for my monthly journal. Since I’m also a working adult, I don’t have a lot of time to reserve for my journaling activities but I make do with what I can.

If you’d like to see out my journal pages, please check in Instagram account: @skechpadforletters


2019 brought about changes

12/01/2020 § Leave a comment

2019 has been a year of changes for me. Big, drastic changes that forced me out of my comfort zone. Which, I believe, is for the better.

September 2019 marked my eighth year in Singapore. I remember returning to the country in 2011, and bringing my new friend around the Merlion Park. It was the F1 period, and barricades were set up for the race. We had to climb over the bariccades to get us to our destination. That was the week before we started our employment. Fast foward to 2019, eight years later, I was being kicked out of the company by my b**** manager.

The official reason given to me, and what I have told others, is that there was not enough quota for foreign workers in my company, hence they are unable to extend my contract. I always tell people the part “at least that’s what I was told”. While that maybe true, I am fully aware that that was bs. I, and many of the people I know, who have left, and are still there, knows our b**** manager. She cares only for herself, her position, and her face (literally speaking: honestly is not nice; figuratively speaking: has been tarnished long ago). I worked and stayed there for eight whole years, and built my life post-school and without my parent’s financial support there. It was part of my daily routine, and my comfort zone, but I was being forced out of it. And it is a good thing. 

I honestly think it was all according to my will as well. I’m not really good at planning my life out, and I do things depending on how I want them done. If there is something that I want, if I have a strong desire for it, and if I can’t get it out of my mind, somehow, and eventually, I always get it. Sometimes, I get things that I want even without having to do anything…like, it naturally comes my way. At one point, after realizing this, I started to think that I am a lucky person. Though, I have also noticed that there are things that I have to work hard for. My luck doesn’t seem to work for things that I am simply being lazy about. In this case, I have been wanting to get out of my manager’s clutches since I noticed her antics – favoritism is one. Slowly, the people I liked to work with left the company until there were only new employees and me. 

I have been stagnant for 8 years, and work became boring to me. I came to the point of not even wanting to wake up just to go to work. I feel like I was just forcing myself to get there, and to end the day as peacefully as possible. I hate the feeling of being restricted, and being treated unfairly. I needed to follow rules if I work for a company, that much is a given. Unfair treatment of staff and witnessing them is something I cannot withstand, even though that is something common that also happens in a company. When I was told about the end of my term, I am actually ecstatic. I was very much happy not to be reporting to her anymore. I have no issues with other people in the whole company…it’s really only her. I would have not extended my contract either, anyway.

Leaving the company was the biggest change that happened in 2019. I purposely made my travels lesser, because I am pretty much expecting my unemployment. Another reason is that I started getting tired with my travels. It became too monotonous, so I did not plan too much travels either. I used to fly out of Singapore every other month, if not every month. In 2019, I only had 4 short holiday plans. Unlike before, I did not have the urge to travel, or to plan a holiday. Perhaps it was age catching up to me.

I was unemployed for a month. Despite the fact that I had to pay for my rent, and other necessities without expecting income at the end of the month, I managed to live my current lifestyle without holding back. I was finally free. The day is ending and I don’t have to think about my shift the following day. I actually thought more about how I would spend my tourist days in Singapore, than finding a new job. Somehow, I wasn’t very worried about my unemployment. I would admit that there was a time that I was sad, and stressed, that I might not be able to provide financial support to my family as a consequence. That was a small, nagging thought at the back of my mind. I still searched for jobs online, sent out resumes, and answered possible interview phone calls. I know how the rules have been tighter for foreign workers as well. I am aware that chances of getting a new job is slim. I also made plans of living in Vietnam and staying with a friend for a while, as a back up plan in case I reached my 30day tourist visa limit. I even started searching for jobs there. I had to support myself after a month break somehow, even temporarily.

What I was not expecting is that I would get an email in respond to my job application on the first week of my unemployment, a job interview on the second week, and IPA approval, medical and letter of appointment on the third week. I kept my friend updated and he even told me how lucky I was. These are the kinds of things that my luck works on…things that I feel strongly about and would affect my life. I am always thankful for that. It felt like having an angel guide me in all my struggles. I find answers when I need them.

October 2019 is when my new life started. I was not expecting to be thrown into a whirlpool though. It was easy to see how people and things worked there. I immediately had people I liked, and people that I need to be wary of. I realized what kind of easy life I led while I was in my previous company. And I am so grateful to be able to experience a different culture.

November 2019 came as a shock. I dreamt of my grandfather when he passed away, but I don’t remember having a dream about my grandmother. I was on a short holiday in Vietnam then, maybe it was my holiday mood, or my tiredness. What pains me most is that I have not seen her for a couple of years. She’s a person dear to me because I was taken care of by her from childhood. I even planned on seeing her on my next visit. And I did, just in a different circumstance. I had been having a nagging feeling that I must visit her, but I always put it off. I always tell myself that I will see her on my next visit. This is probably one of the things I would regret in my life. Even while writing this, I am crying. Just the mere thought of her makes me heartbtoken all over again.

I had to deal with so much change by the time that the ber months of 2019 came. I would admit that changes are not my forte, but I had to face them. The last months of 2019 brought with them a rollercoaster of feelings – thrill, excitement, sadness, devastation, regret. I welcome each emotion no matter what kind it maybe because after them, a stronger and better me surfaces. It’s like shedding a layer of my old self and revealing a better one tha has been kept hidden all this time.

2019 brought with it changes that even I cannot stop. I welcomed these changes as I go about my life. There was no use in struggling against them, since change is the only inevitable thing. And I believe that these changes are for the better. And for my own good.

To 2019, thank you for everything. It has been a fulfilling and self-satisfying year.

Next, bring it on 2020. I’m ready.

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