Daily

Need some liquid courage

My neck hurts, and there’s another session of Pilates tomorrow! So much pain.

Today’s workout lasted 6 hours, and each trainee teacher was challenged to step up to the front of the class to lead and teach the group for a short period of time.

Did I mention how this Pilates thing is really getting me to step out of my comfort zone? I was questioning my motives for joining the course when I found out that this was how we were going to learn to teach, but through ignoring the purple Inside Out character in my head, I managed to get it done.

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Pretty sure this is the guy controlling the console most of the time

It didn’t go particularly well, but the good news is that it went. And there was a tremendous amount of relief that it was over. There’s so much more I’ve got to work on – about controlling the class, and on getting more familiar with the pieces. The basics, and especially the intermediate pieces.

I realised today that I’ve been running away from the intermediate pieces, and that I hadn’t actually pushed myself to work beyond the basics – because once again.. hello comfort zone, my old friend.

Todays’ workout made it clear to me that I wasn’t putting in enough effort in improving my basic pieces and I was definitely not putting in any effort in familiarising myself with the intermediate pieces.

I’m horrified. There’s so much more to do and I don’t feel confident about this at all.

Daily

Always learning something

I guess we can all agree that life is actually really boring if we don’t keep finding new things to try. This probably accounts for everyone’s dreams of becoming a world traveller, and Singaporean foodies’ never-ending hunt for good food and stuff.

This is probably somehow related to every girl’s habit of hoarding makeup and beauty products. We’re all just looking for new experiences, new products to try, and new lessons to learn. Even if that means spending $100 on a lotion, only to find out a month later that it’s not more satisfying than the $10 product we already have because – what about that newer $30 product we haven’t tried yet? Damn you, Sephora.

I realise typing this out now that this was a very long intro to what I really mean to say – which is that I’ve started my Pilates instructor training course!

I’m hoping to be able to keep up. Everyone’s just such quick learners I feel scared of being left behind. But what’s new about that?

I was terrified of taking the entrance test to the instructor training course, nervous about the movement anatomy classes, the matwork classes, the First Aid course, and scared out of my wits teaching my first Pilates class..

I’ve just gotten out of my comfort zone about twenty times ever since I’ve started the course, but I’m still alive and so glad I took the leap. I might be afraid of a lot of things, but holy fuck I swear that fear is not going to stop me.

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Daily

Train rides

I’m on the train now and I’m thinking about how grateful I am for Singapore’s really well-connected train system. Ever since I started freelance work and studying, I’ve been shuffling between home, gym and class, and on the rare occasions to the office.

It could always be better, I would never complain if there was a train station nearer to Kaki Bukit – but I know that it’s coming up soon and it’s only a matter of time that the Kaki Bukit station opens (Blue line!).

Still, extremely grateful that it only takes me half an hour to class and the entire journey doesn’t cost more than lunch.

On the way to class now so I’ll stop here, but who knows what I’ll be thankful for next?

Daily

Still searching

Yesterday was my last official day at work. It’s been a whirlwind adventure, and it swept me up in a tornado of things. There was a certain sense of autonomy but also a great sense of responsibility which crippled me.

I told myself to look at it as a challenge, but I realised after fighting for it that it wasn’t me. The industry that looked so enticing at first no longer excites me. I can only describe the disappointment in that discovery as if I figured out the trick behind the magic.

I was constantly on the lookout for the nearest escape route. I could be a librarian. I could be a barista. I could help in the family business. I could do anything I wanted, and live ten thousand different lives. The world was huge and there are other things to explore and learn.

So I decided to leave.

It was difficult because I felt like I owed it to everyone to make it work. But it became easier after I realised that it was the most responsible thing for me to do.

In Singapore, it feels like success is measured with a ruler. Being someone, somewhere, doing something big and important.

I remember writing in autograph books when I was in primary school that my wish was to be successful when I grew up.

What does that look like? I’m still searching.

Daily

Beautiful insecurity

The beautiful thing about being insecure is that when good things happen, it feels as though the entire universe is working in your favour.

The ugly part about insecurity is that when good things happen, you attribute it to the universe’s alignment and other external factors that undermine your good work.

But it’s okay to do that, it’ll just help you get even better at what you do and it will help you stay real. Just remember to come up for air every once in a while.

Breathe.

Daily

Getting caught up in election drama

I attended the ‪Workers Party‬ last night, just to 湊熱鬧 and hear what they have to offer. I understand the appeal. It feels good to be on the opposition. It feels exciting to be part of a ‘revolution’. But I think the only revolution needed is internal. We need to see more PAP people being the opposition. We need to see more of the incumbent question the status quo and stand up for something real to the common man and be specific about it.

I love that there are so many things that have popped up because of the national event though. If I were Minister, Haiku party, sgpartyti.me and of course Mothership’s coverage of #GE2015. Everyone gets involved!

Daily, Social

I’m looking for a job

I was a social media intern as early as 2009 (Facebook got huge in 2006). When I was taking my journalism degree, many of my reports were about social media: The convergence of media in journalism and how Twitter was impacting the industry, What Google+ was going to be about (they were undecided then and still undecided now) and whether it was going to succeed (no), and how our rhetoric has changed in this age of social media (lol). I then used social media to get an internship, and after said internship, I joined a social media agency.

I don’t know what you think, but I think that’s a lot of social media.

It’s great to be an ‘expert’ in a specific area, but I believe that it’s important to diversify our skill set – in the early stages of our careers and even after – so that we do not fall in too deep in our specialisation that we bury ourselves in a dark pit, hiding from anything else outside our little world. It’s why people travel right? To learn and to experience other cultures and lifestyles, it helps us appreciate what we have and to help us aim for better.

Some people have lost sight of what the right thing is for their clients because they haven’t considered other solutions. It’s normal for traditional agencies to suggest advertising on traditional media, it’s normal for social agencies to suggest activity on social platforms.

I’m a big fan of social media. Trust me. I love how I’m able to get help from my friends and family to get an internship, I love that I can spread the word about of issues that bother me, and I love that I can get recommendations on a good tailor. I also particularly enjoy getting updated on the lives of others, especially if they are my boyfriend’s psychotic ex-girlfriend (no link there, sorry).

But I’ve learnt that social media isn’t always the right answer for brands and products, and it has always been very limiting. Social has to be integrated for it to work, just as ideas have to be intrinsically social to be effective. Even if the clients’ budgets don’t care about integration and social media budgets are usually always separate when it should be an ingrained cost in all marketing efforts.

So I’m not looking for a job in ‘social media’. I’m looking for a job to help brands become more human.

Update (15 Aug): I am no longer looking!

Daily

Tolerance

I’ll be straight with you. I’m not adventurous. It’s a romantic thought to be ‘young, wild and free’ and I am in love with the idea, but I’m far too logical and practical to have that much guts.

That said, I embrace tiny little experiences that aren’t too crazy – and these usually come in the form of learning something new or going on vacations.

So we went to Europe this year and managed to check those two boxes off. It was a good time that felt like an educational school trip about World War II. That stuff intrigues me. The fact that the Holocaust happened fascinates me to no end – that fact that we could let it happen right under our noses.

First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.

We visited Dachau, and we went to Sachsenhausen. It was so peaceful and unlike how you’d imagine a death camp to be. Everything was made to help visitors understand what went on, except no one would actually be able to imagine it fully. And we learnt that this was what intolerance looked like.

Intolerance against a different race, culture, religion or sexual orientation would ultimately look like extermination camps – if you had a problem with homosexuals or muslims or anyone, your intolerance would mean horrid things for them, whether you were passive about it or not. Putting that into context blew my mind.

Amsterdam, on the other hand, was tolerant of everything, which made our trip pretty memorable (Ha ha).

All articles about being young suggest traveling as the thing to do, whether you can afford it or not. My holidays usually aren’t as immediately life-altering and dreamy as those articles make it out to be. But I can definitely see priceless value in getting out of my daily life and getting into my traveling pants.

I didn’t just visit Europe to learn history though. So if you find yourself in Berlin, you need to grab heavenly Vietnamese food at Monsieur Vuong’s because that was probably as life-changing as anything.

Daily

The option to get married

Everybody seems to have something to say about the same-sex marriage ruling. And although I’ve been on that side of the boat before (I’m an equal opportunities player), I’ve never gotten so far that the inability to get married was a problem. It was always just acceptance, and this I’m sure even with the ruling will continue to be an issue.

I don’t appreciate that you have to be either for or against ‘marriage’ between same-sex couples. I am neither. Just like how I’m neither ‘for’ or ‘against’ marriage between heterosexuals.

So I will not pick a side – I’d like to sit here on this fence. Marriage has not worked for some heterosexuals, and I can imagine it might not work for the LGBTQXYZ group either. But if we were to believe in equality, and if we believe independent individuals exist (gay or not), then we’d watch and see if same sex marriages have the same successes and failures..and I’m really interested to find out.

My Facebook feed seems to be filled with people on one side or the other. My stand has always be that if someone supports it, that’s cool and if someone doesn’t, that’s cool too. We all have our reasons and no amount of debating on Facebook will change anyone’s mind – it’ll only emphasize your own narrow-mindedness to be unable to accept the other’s opinion.

But a majority of my feed seems to be supporters of the marriage debate and it’s feels a bit like peer pressure is sinking in and you’re deemed a narrow-minded, religious person if you don’t support gay marriage. Some people appreciate the option to get married (even if they might not choose to do it). Some people cannot get behind the issue, leave them be. They have their right to their own beliefs as much as you do.

Daily

Songs to dream to

Since I’ve fixed up my Google account and have proper access to YouTube now, I thought I’d make use of its features. Now, this here is the kind of music I daydream to, and the kind of music I’d love to die to. ‘Songs to die to’ was the title of this post until I realised there might be people who might paint a depressing and morbid picture of me.

To elaborate on how un-morbid and un-depressed I am and paint the dream-like sequence that goes through my head when I picture death, I’ll refer you to the ending scene of one of my favourite movies. More dreamy than gruesome, and completely unrealistic.

In any case, Sigur Ros’ Hoppípolla at the top of the list of songs I would love to go to sleep with forever. If I ever meet with an untimely death, I trust you know what to do.