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Things I love Thursday, a Throwback Edition

I remember being so in love with books when I was younger that I’d hide under my blanket covers to read.

Fairytales and Sweet Valley Twins, Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew.

I loved stories about Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Having a twin sister sounded like the best thing ever, a best friend I could depend on.

My brain doesn’t hold many memories of my childhood, but one good memory I have is one of my brother bringing me to the large Borders bookstore at Wheelock and then telling me to pick one book as a Christmas gift.

I was spoilt for choice.

Sweet Valley Twins - Big for Christmas

Sweet Valley Twins – Big for Christmas

The one I finally picked was Christmas themed, to go along with the spirit of the December season.

I must have read this about twenty times (or more).

You might also be surprised to find out that I still have this book with me.

I realise now that it’s not the coolest thing to talk about, but I was never exposed to Roald Dahl. I think I was probably turned off by the illustration style on the Roald Dahl books, which would have been unappealing to me as a kid.

And as much as I’d like to think I was a bookworm, I was never the Rory Gilmore-type who’d read Moby Dick or Pride and Prejudice.

Trust me, I tried with Anna Karenina.

Wheelock no longer holds a bookstore, and now, I get my books off booksdepository.com.

Latest novels to arrive are the second and third books of Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

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Impulses

A dormant hobby? Did I say that watching vintage bags on eBay would be a dormant hobby? I was wrong. That was a week ago, and a week ago I was young and naive to have thought that watching beautiful things on eBay get sold to other people was an enjoyable, passive activity.

What was I thinking?

I discovered a new impulsiveness. One you would only understand if you’ve ever watched the last 30 minutes of an online auction. It was almost as gripping as an episode of Game of Thrones (Season 2).

All I can say is…as the number on the countdown clock drew nearer, a different kind of fear gripped me – what if I win? And then panic, what if someone outbids me and my bid gets pushed to my maximum bid?

Nobody did.

I’m now waiting for the arrival of my new most expensive not-so-new bag.

Even though a sturdy plastic bag could probably do as good a job of holding my wallet and my phone.

That’s all.

Daily

Things I love Thursday

tiltAnd thus begins a new type of sharing, that is in no way original, but the first of its kind on this blog – what I’m obsessed about this week. Let’s see if I’ll regret these things in the next ten years like I regret 90’s baggy jeans. Jumping right into it…

…I’m currently infatuated with  vintage bags 

I’ve been telling myself not to be such an easy victim of consumerism and get too materialistic, but vintage Chanel bags are so classic looking and just so intriguing.

I mean, the things that these bags have seen – there needs to be a short film on vimeo around this, amiright? Plus the thought that these pieces can get pretty rare (depending on design), gives me crazy, grandiose dreams of what a unique human being I am. I know, it’s mad.

But look at how beautiful it is!

Chanel half moon

Is it not the most exquisite Chanel bag you’ve ever seen? Can you believe I have one of these babies in my possession? I got it last year for less than a thousand bucks (thanks Carousell!).

Sadly, it’s not seen much of the outside world due to my lack of participation in cultured activities that allow teeny tiny purses.

I mean..since I’m running around all day with my laptop and gym gear, it only makes sense for me to carry a bagpack these days.

So, maybe creating watchlists of bags on eBay may just be a dormant hobby for now. But I make no promises – there’s still one more Tiffany & Co. vintage bag I’ve been dreaming of.

Funny thing is, I can imagine a younger version of me looking at a these bags and wondering what the big deal is. Black quilted bags? For how much? And you’re saying they’re second-hand? Siao.

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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.

fear

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.

pilates

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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.

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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!