“Life is tough my darling. But so are you.”

Coming back to write on this space strangely feels more and more foreign, especially when I’ve not written in quite a bit.

Work has been pretty swamped, the issues the seniors face get more and more daunting as their generation gets left behind amidst the fast and furious rise of technological advances as they fight to hold on to what they knew. One of my cases flew a very long , long kite that I ran so hard for, making me feel like a complete and utter gullible new bred physco. I come home to so many thoughts a day but I try to keep them contained as I head to bed each night.

Social work doesn’t get easier sometimes, especially when sometimes you feel extremely lost at what to do. But I guess that’s the challenge too, because one shoe never fits all.

In the meantime, despite my rantings and ravings of work- I would like this to be a space for leisure and thoughts. I’ve always thought that writing would be a skill to pen down all my thoughts into a space- as well as to improve my writing and command of the english language since I started blogging when I was in secondary school. Work aside…

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The kids are growing up so fast. My baby niece and nephew learning how having a sibling is the bane of existence and terror 

I was sick for the last 1.5 weeks with a on/off fever and cold, flu and sore throat and boy was it terrible. The first doctor I went to gave me a day’s mc, told me to rest and gave me the common pills (paracetamol, cough syrup). I dragged my body 5 days non stop to work and finally on sunday Leon dragged me to the clinic. Guess what? I learnt 3 things that day.

1- the first doctor was a quack.

2-I was suffering from a viral throat infection and needed antibiotics to clear. The second doctor told me I should have been prescribed antibiotics the first time to clear it and

3- I was blessed to have a doctor who kindly told me to take rest in bed and gave me a whopping (1+2) 3 MC long rest. Well, his drowsy medications were the way to go, and I did nothing but sleep the whole 3 days. img_9876-1

Aside from that…. I also finally completed both my Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT) at Ubi last week finally Whoohoo!!!

With theory out of the way, I can finally just focus on my practical lessons and hopefully finish soon with a driving license. For all those who asked why I chose school to private, I’ve come to realize that I really work and learn better by structure. Without it, I crumble/become lazy/make excuses and also I really wanted to start as soon as possible and finish without keeping to my private instructor’s schedule. Also lastly, no one could recommend me private instructors for my school’s centre. So eventually, I decided to swap from private candidature (which i signed up for when i was 18 lol) to school.

img_0005Just a side note for those who didn’t pass the BTT or FTT the first time, I would really reccommend you guys to take the e-trial tests that they offer because the questions are exactly/close to what they’re going to test you. The Etrial test gives you a total of 12 speciment papers to try and each session lasts about 45 minutes. You can try as many as you want and at the end of the paper they let you review your mistakes.

Because of the etrial tests that I attended (I attended all 3!) I passed the first time for both BTT and FTT and it was really worth it! Was really happy and pleased that I didn’t have to do it all over again because honestly I forgot how hard working and studying was especially when your motivation to do anything after work is just a -1000000.

And yes I opted for a class 3A autocar license because I think I will be a bad driver and my sister told me most cars are auto now (i hope?) so I decided to just opt for the easier option, as everyone says.


 

The weekend was one of the last few things I’ll have left to enjoy, really because I’ll be working all saturdays on the month of May. I’m dreading it not because of the scope, but more of the fact that waking up at 5.30am on a saturday morning feels terrible, especially on a train from east to west. But! I shall look at it with another fresh perspective that perhaps, if I did indeed never have to work on saturdays, I would never appreciate free saturdays as much as I do now. See that’s the thing with entitlement, I suppose.

This weekend started off great. I’m still nursing my cough, but it is a lot better as compared to when it first came about. The coughs sometimes keep me up and wake me up at night still, but it’s getting progressively better. I woke up on saturday morning and shortly after Leon came by and told me to continue sleeping, because he wanted to do his own things and make himself some leftovers for breakfast. I lazed around and watched some korean drama and was pleasantly surprised when he came in with a bowl of piping mac and cheese just for me (my favourite!!! ah!!!)

Yes been watching the korean drama “heal me, kill me” but so far, nothing beats “innocent defender” ever. HA YEON AH!!!!!!!!!! (You have to watch it to get the same feels i’m having right now as I yell, CHA MIN HO!!!!!!!!!!)

By the late afternoon we made our way to Leon’s grandma’s place to have dinner with the family to celebrate Uncle & Auntie’s birthday (their birthdays are 3 days apart) and Alicia brought us to Hai Di Lao @ vivo City. It was my first time there and I was SO impressed by the service.

1- though the wait was 1-3 hours long, we were given tables, seats, snacks, fruits, drinks, ice cream (free flow) at no cost at all.

2- They had gelish manicure service and a playpen/area for children.

3- They are right smack in the middle of vivo so you basically can just walk around when you’re bored.

4- They provide you with bibs, plastics for your phone (in case the soup drips on your phone) and a screen wiper for your phone. They also provided me rubber bands for typing my hair so I  could eat.

5- They have a bar with seasoning and their fruits are free flow.

6- Their soup was excellent. We had the tomato soup and the chicken broth. Both was so good.

Leon didn’t let me buy any gifts for his parents. When I asked why he said, “No. We don’t do that. Don’t be weird.” #thebiggestirony

Sunday morning rain is falling…………  (I wish)

Woke up at 6.45am to the alarm and then asking other people to check if it was raining because I was praying it would be the perfect excuse to sleep in. But it wasn’t *inserts cries of despair here* and so, I trudged to the park for a morning run. Not going to lie to you, the first 15 minutes were quite torturous.

As the sun rose the heat was more intense but I tried to listen to music and tune my thoughts elsewhere. I’m happy to say I managed to finish a 4km run that very morning. Celebrated by eating breakfast at Ya Kun and then later in the afternoon going to meet the boys at Jalan Kayu for our usual prawn mee session.

By the way, I’m very disappointed that Blanco has increased their prices from the old price of $4 a bowl to $5.80 within the span of less than 2 years. But selagi remains the same which we love, as well as the old school otah that we go to and not to mention, my favourite Jane’s cake station chocolate cake that I love. Yes! the 4km was worth it hur hur hur. 

Not to mention, had no monday blues this weekend because my monday was a team bonding event in the morning at Clay Street!!! I finally got to make my own mug since the last time I made my own mug when I was in Primary two yay!! Can’t wait to see how it comes out after they fire the clay up. So excited!

Last but not least, I’ve been hooked on this FREE game called fun hospital. Remember the game theme hospital as a kid??? This is pretty much the same concept. building, running and hiring and firing people etc. I love it.

Okay spent almost 45 minutes crafting out this post because my pound class at the CC got cancelled again (3 times within the last 5 sessions) and I’m extremely frustrated because I paid $60+ after $30+ sg credit waivers. I think maybe I’ll just sign for a monthly gym pass to the public gym next time because it’s so annoying when you hype yourself up for a class and then they decide to cancel the class and send you a sms only 15 minutes before it starts…….

you should have seen me and Sarah’s face.

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meanwhile, have an amazing week you guys!!!

xx

On parenting a 4 year old to willingly give back

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“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

It was quite some time ago that I wanted to share what my external supervisor had told me over the course of my ten week practicum with her that not only resonated so well with me but left me truly inspired by her. During our weekly two hour sessions, we toiled through concepts, process recordings and practical skills. Very rarely did we touch on personal thoughts, opinions and life- keeping it strictly professional.

There was this one moment where we made some small talk after the lesson had ended. She had gone to the washroom and I had to show her the way out of my office. I asked about her four year old who was now in kindergarten. She smiled and shared that her daughter was struggling with her upcoming birthday party’s choice. In local kindergartens in Singapore, some of them have a service whereby you can pay the childcare to celebrate your child’s birthday for you. “It’s usually a sum of $400, where the school will get their school canteen to cook for the children in the class something special, a birthday cake and some goodie bags for your child and his or her classmates.” She explained.

I went on to listen to her story. She shared that from the previous birthdays they had, her child’s classmate’s goodie bags included a watch that when a button was pressed-would flash cartoon characters like Spongebob or Dora pictures on a wall. It was not appealing to her as a parent at all. “$400 is a lot of money.” she chimed as I nodded in agreement. “I can’t imagine what a four year old would do with such a watch!” She laughed.

She picked her daughter up from school one day and decided to touch on this topic with her. “Mummy can use this $400 to help some poor children in Singapore.” She said. “You don’t need any new watches, right? The children you will help struggle with books and uniforms for school.” Her child was obviously adamant and disappointed, as it was indeed her birthday money. But because she had already promised her child, she told her daughter she would give her time to think about it but remained firm that the choice would still be hers- whether she chose to have a party or not.

“Wow.” I said in awe. It must have been difficult as a parent to do something like that. “Did she understand where you were coming from?” I asked. My supervisor explained that she had used simpler terms to her and told her that if she wanted to donate this money to the poor, her organization had a carnival where they will allow her to sponsor the cotton candy & popcorn machines. She will be allowed to serve the candy & popcorn to the children beneficiaries she meets on that day, should she want to donate that sum and give up her birthday party.

A week  later- they were crossing the road together hand in hand, just like any other day- when her daughter turned to her and said, “You know what mummy? I’ve decided. I’m going to give my birthday money to the other children!”

I was truly inspired by such an act of parenting. It is extremely rare these days that we hope to instill such thoughts or actions at a child’s expense. It was even more heartening to think that with such a heart of a 4 year old, that such love would be this inspiring.

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Millennials

As a 24 going on 25 year old adult in this world, I often hear my fellow colleagues mention about the term millennials and how I belonged there.

“This is your generation!” They would say. I can’t really deny that I didn’t belong there, I am after all- a person reaching her young adulthood in the year 2000’s. But truth be told, I couldn’t find anything about millennials relatable to me, which in retrospect could be a blind sight. But I do agree that we are one of the rare generations connected with technology growing up.

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Do we have high expectations? Maybe. Are we acheivement oriented? Maybe (or maybe it could have been the fact that we were raised in Singapore to study, get good grades, make the checks to our check box and be a all rounder acheiver). But personally, I was very intrigued by Goldman Sach’s page on Millennials. Check it out here.  The list goes on and on- so I only did a few screenshots of a few pictures.

Could you relate? I definitely could. I mean, i definitely am shocked by the fact that riding a uber (pool) everyday for the 10 years is still cheaper than owning a car in Singapore. So why get a car?! It’s crazy.

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What scared me the most about Goldman Sach’s research was that they knew my spending habits, thoughts, buying patterns and even how technology weaved into our every day lives as a person living in the year 2000’s. And the worse bit was that even I didn’t know how easily read I was as a consumer. Man, people put a lot into pretty infographics this day (i love them!).

That being said, I came to the conclusion that I was very underprepared as compared to my peers in terms of finances, savings, insurances and bonds. In fact, I realize that a deep part of me wanted to see change in the world- from discrimination to addiction and to people in need. And I wanted to see that change happen through the lives I met. That was a very large reason why I chose social work, as compared to all my peers out there who ran their lives chasing their communications/doctorates/banking dreams, which is great for them. But there are moments when I get upset and ask myself if I am in the right field because I never get the affirmation (emotional support or encouragement) that I seek in my job be it from above (divine intervention ha-ha) to my family , loved ones, and to my friends.

Two and a half years in the same job, with a little more responsibilities, cracking at the seams of struggle and despair between juggling schoolwork, work, personal life and all in one (while being a extremist millennial sloth)-  I found myself in this rut. I needed a sign and I figured that if I didn’t get it soon it would be time for me to rethink my options.

Just as life has it when you run busy and dry on your day to day thoughts- something interesting happened. For the first time, my director at work commended me for taking up a case that wasn’t easy at our weekly staff meeting. Everyone clapped for me, but because I had never (literally never) ever had anyone clap for me on a professional basis- I said thank you, and reported my numbers in a attempt to distract myself from my social awkwardness/anxiety from coming up. That might seem like a humblebrag, but really, it wasn’t. It was just a short affirmation that I had asked for to hold my place in Social Work because we never seem to get answers here of what we’re doing and if it’s right or wrong to help someone. Ethically or unethically, by the book or not by the book. And that was enough for me.

Truth be told, this gave me many things to think about. For one, I never once thought my job could be my life. But this instance has led me to realize that though it isn’t my life, it encompasses so much more than just a salary that you are paid with every month, it encompasses the views you take with you in life and how they change with each person’s lives you take with you. It changes you, the way you work with people in your personal life as well and as a whole. Worse still, it doesn’t stop changing you until you decide to leave this field.

Its hilarious really. Someone told me the other day, “Don’t use your social work techniques on me. It’s so irritating.” (hahahaha)

The truth in being is that we have somany things on our plates that others do not know about. And if you had taken the time to get to know us better instead of making a sweeping comment about us, you would have done well in our field.

I love the journey I took before I chose social work. I am thankful that despite having twisted God’s arms many times for an answer, he never fails to send others to remind me when he knows that I really need the affirmation.

So dear friends, I will end off with one of my thoughts for tonight.

Do good by you, and beautiful things will happen.

I’ll carry you home

Recently: battling the erratic hot and cold weathers in Singapore (but mostly hot) & exam period-IMG_9158IMG_9154IMG_9165

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I’ve been sick for the last couple of days. I had actually started to feel a bit heated up on sunday night and proceeded to drink lots of water. I woke up with a very red and sore throat and lived my life on strepsil’s extra strength which surprised me greatly. Each time there was an urge to cough I popped one in and it made my throat feel so much better. By today, the soreness went away and I was coughing out all my phlegm! I really didn’t want to waste time queueing at the GP and was so thankful this sufficed.

Exams: now where do I begin?

I used to chime the tune to the grass is always greener on the other side, till my friend Liyin told me, “the grass is greener on the side you choose to water”. Since then, I’ve been trying (very hard, I might add) to adapt her words into daily routine, especially when things get hard. This is especially so in days when I trudge one step in front of the other. One step at a time, I tell myself. Yes, I have my days of weary despair, and of days when I just want to daydream how it would feel to rub my feet together under a blanket in bed with the aircon on full blast, while waking up to no alarm ringing, or even-just to have a cup of coffee or tea and read a book on a weekend where I don’t have to be anywhere, be anyone or do anything.

My daily musings at 1.34am. This is what I get for drinking too much coffee and having a slow output system.

Brb.