I clocked 4 straight hours of teaching today!
I was worried the entire week that I wouldn’t be able to last the marathon teaching, but I managed to clock in these hours teaching four different types of classes today. These included classes that I wasn’t confident in like BARE and Slider & Tubing.
I revised the night before, and then again in the morning and I felt that helped tremendously. I hope the students enjoyed the class because contrary to what I thought about attending BARE classes, I quite enjoyed teaching it.
Roller & Ball at 9am happened first. I’m getting a lot more comfortable with Roller & Ball so it’s getting more fun to teach. There was a student who previously came up to me and said that I had improved in my teaching, and thanked me for improving (!) You’re welcome, of course! I hope to keep improving!
Today, she told me that she enjoyed my class so much that it passed super quickly without her realising it. I feel so blessed to have students like that who affirm my teaching. Truly. It’s hard to know if students are enjoying class or not sometimes. Some grunts of pain, some peals of laughter. Maybe a slight increase in class size or having the same familiar faces in a class can signal that but otherwise, it’s not an obvious path of improvement.
Also grateful to have an incredibly encouraging Clifton Sim – who (at most times) drives me to the studio in the morning and then spends an obscene amount of time in the gym on his own to pass time.
Thanks for always pushing me harder and telling me to take up that extra class tomorrow morning to continue harvesting experience. But WHY do I have to wake up early again tomorrow?!
(Shout out to the Honey Lime Tea I bought at Fun Toast that helped me survive the consecutive hours of teaching. What a great decision and a good use of $2.40.)
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.
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.
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!
If there was one question I’m self-conscious about, this is it. I’m not sure why, but working on social media strategies and social media content sometimes feels frivolous when a majority of people seem to think all I do is just play around on Facebook. That’s not true.
I play around with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr too.
There are thousands of social media blogs and millions of social media experts on Twitter out there. These blogs and influencers get really repetitive really quickly – because ultimately, there are really just three main things you can get out of them:
That brands have to embrace authenticity and transparency, that they should be listening to what people are saying online and having conversations with them, and that they have to invest in content.
They are helpful in understanding social media – and I read them to find out about new tools, new apps and updates in the space. But they’re really not helpful in understanding people – and their relationship with brands. Maybe someone should start one that allows a little insight into people and their behaviours instead.
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.
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.
Feeling a lot like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, if he didn’t meet Mrs. Robinson. What I’m trying to say is that I’m a lost sheep, a drifter. I’m waiting for my life to begin, and there isn’t a specific moment where I’m going to know for sure that it has begun. There isn’t a starter to shoot off a pistol, telling me when I’m supposed to grow up, propelling me to move ahead into my life, to start on my career.
So yes, I’m a little bit hazy and a little bit sad.
It’s so difficult to concentrate on school now. I feel like an idiot when I’m reading my assignment description and tasks, what do they want from me? The words research and report are so uninspiring, it doesn’t help that my projects are slowly piling up and deadlines are looming.
Let’s call it an adventure instead, shall we?