Two years is not a long time – not in the grand scheme of things. But when I first started work at We Are Social, that felt like a reasonable amount of time to stay. So you can imagine how surprised I was when two good years passed by and I realised I had no pressing need to leave. Still, as the months went by I realised I needed a change of pace. Things had changed, or maybe it was because some things hadn’t changed for me and I really needed to get out and start again. Afresh, anew, again.
Someone once told me that if you want to find joy, do what you love. And it was precisely this that I joined the company, it was this that made me stay for a good two and a half years, and it was also because of this that I eventually decided to leave the best first job anyone can ask for. I’m not exaggerating.
I met people I love here; the best kind of people. The ones who’d keep pushing you to be better, the ones who’d be there when you’d trip, then tell you how much they believed in you so they’d fall right alongside, then lift you up and dust the dirt off your jeans. The ones who you’d call family.
And of course, it’s time to move out of the family home for a new adventure.
The gym gets really crowded in January like how Christmas masses are always fully packed with once-a-year Catholics. I went for Christmas mass this year and I judged. I judged so badly I almost felt like a bad Christian.
But this brings me to my point on resolutions. We’re two weeks into the new year so everyone’s probably feeling fresh and optimistic. But let’s be real – resolutions aren’t just ‘made’. Resolutions have to be planned, scheduled and executed. I mean, let’s take a look at the Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lose weight
3. Quit smoking
4. Save money
5. Get fit
6. Eat healthy
If you know marketing, you’d know that these goals are not in any way Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant or Time-bound. Which makes them pretty much useless because it just feels like you’re proposing marriage when we just met. Dude. Where’s your ring? Which HDB will we be getting?
I achieved so much in 2014 and that’s in part due to the number of things I signed up for at the beginning of the year. Planned, scheduled and executed.
Clif and I had made our weekends super productive. When we weren’t at work, we were at the gym, at pilates, at bowling lessons or salsa class every single week. It was a mad routine, but it was insanely productive.
Let’s try to be creatures of good habit this year. 2015 is going to be awesome!!
Every few months or so, I tell myself that I’m young and healthy and happy and I should live like a youngish person and do something crazy like get a pixie cut or dye my hair crazy colours to experience what it’s like to #YOLO. After all, as much as I may avoid thinking about it, I’m not going to be young forever.
Every single time then, I sieve through tonnes of images on Tumblr and Pinterest and wherever you can think of, looking at images of gorgeous hairstyles and beautiful dyes that I’m never confident I can pull off, that I’m never confident I can live with.
So when I went to get a (very normal, very sensible) haircut in Taipei and the girl complimented how healthy my hair was, I took it and I bathed in the glory of never having done anything crazy.
Maybe next time.
I received a call from the Society of St Vincent De Paul. They asked if the uncle had any family or children (No, he doesn’t), and if he can walk (Yes) and take care of himself (Yes).
Uncle Lok fits the requirements perfectly for a candidate who can apply for a home at Queen Street. There, they provide lodging and free meals. He is free to do as he likes in the day but there’s a 7pm curfew.
There’s a tissue paper uncle at the hawker centre nearby who I regularly buy tissue from. He used to sell them in bunches of four with a rubber band tied around them, and he used to write four numbers on each bunch – if you were interested in getting lucky with them. At the time I thought this was a clever idea – you can see some effort being put into the ‘work’ he was doing.
He doesn’t do this anymore. It’s now the regular tissue packets, no quirky details.
Last night, as I bent down to get tissue from him there was a man telling him, “Uncle, don’t do stupid things, uncle. Cannot.” I passed him the $2 and took one packet for myself and walked away slowly. Clif and I looked back and saw that he motioned slitting his wrists and realised what the guy meant.
Just a couple more minutes to Christmas and I find myself sitting at home. A screen before me, another in front of my father (National Geographic), one more in front of my mum (Channel 8). Nothing special this year, but I’m actually grateful. This is Christmas. This is real. No glittery bullshit, no partying like there’s no tomorrow. The Chungs are as sentimental and as romantic as a calculator.
Thing is, I’ve always loved Christmas. Just the idea of it – so nostalgic, so festive, and very very pretty. I realise now that when it comes around, I’ve actually never had amazing Christmases. There’s too much hype, too much hope. Eventually when it comes to it, I’m left with what’s really just another day. I remember writing about this exact sentiment 4 years ago.
Nothing’s changed. But I’m sure tomorrow will be better.
I get chills thinking about how things were so different before. The many people I’ve loved, who are now no longer even in my life.
Except through the damned social networks, as I see your face in the photos and get struck with familiarity, then a bout of sadness at how foreign your life looks to me now.
There is some despair when I think about how I knew this day would come. I remember predicting this. I remember thinking how one day I wouldn’t know you anymore.
In the end, I guess it’s not the end of the world, my days are going well and my life is good. I just miss having you around sometimes.
The lows become so much worse because they are accompanied by so much guilt at the pain and inconvenience I’m causing to the people around me. In that space, all I can think about is how worthless and pathetic I am, and now no one should be forced to tolerate my presence, but that kind of thinking can push people even further away because it can sound like there’s nothing they can do or that I don’t want their support.
I just need some time. I’ll be good again.
I’ve been completely crap at updating you with my life, but I’m on my second month at BBH and things have been pretty hectic. Thing is, I know that in a few years when I look back I’d be able to say that I can’t imagine having it any other way.
The good thing though? I can fall asleep so easily at night now, there’re no instances where I go ‘Shit the sun’s up, I better force myself to sleep’. My brain shuts down at night and it’s pretty damn awesome. What’s also amazing is my ability to wake up in the morning for work. Every. Single. Day. Who knew I’d be able to do that on my own?
Does adulthood mean more mornings and less nights? I can probably deal with that.
“Don’t wish me happiness — I don’t expect to be happy; It’s gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor — I will need them all.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
It’s a lovely time right now in my life. I know better than to believe in fairytales and happy endings, in fairy godmothers and love at first sight and even (gasp) an exciting career path – but it sure feels like anything’s possible right now.
Too much expectation again, but let me just revel in the possibilities. I’m amazed at my life thus far; at how things seem to fall into place, and how things seem to fit snugly and comfortably leading to this moment, leading to the now.
I just need to believe. I need courage and bravery, and a sense of humour for the downtimes.
God help me. My future is looking pretty lovely right now and I don’t want to wake up.