Thursday, July 5, 2018

The importance of gaining consent

There's a lot of things that you are not told before you return back to your own country after you move to study abroad, especially if you're the type of person who immerses themselves in the local culture. One thing that I have learnt from living in the UK for close to 5 years is that when you return, there are going to be many differences, positives and negatives that you can take from both places. But one thing that has been worrying to me ever since I have returned to Malaysia is the lack of privacy, data security and lack of consent when attaining anything from members of the public. 

One such occasion that took place was when I was at a park, as I always am in the evening for my run. I was approached by a couple of girls who asked me what my stance was on LGBTQ+ and they said that it would be for a research project and I am of course always willing to offer my opinion, but what I didn't realise was that some of them were using their mobile devices to record a video of me and my opinion. Now, it's one thing to record my voice, and a whole other thing to record a video of me. I wasn't given a warning that I was being filmed, neither was I informed how the information would be used and when I actually realise that they were recording me, was when they were almost done and I was too taken aback to say anything. It's one of those moments where you froze in disbelief.

I think it's really important to realise for us Malaysians that as much as we are a developing country, but our mindset plays the main role in us achieving a first world status. How we approach subjects such as these. I was actually very much annoyed and I honestly was very unhappy about the situation but it was also partly my fault that I froze in disbelief instead of saying something or asking them to delete the video that they had taken of me because even the location in which they were collecting information was at a park, where people went mainly there to exercise and I was definitely not in a situation in which I was comfortable to be filmed in. I'm sure many people would hold the same opinion. But once again, each to their own.

I feel that in Malaysia there are still a lot of things such as discrimination based on race, religion, age and gender that influences many people. I have always held opinions of upholding gender equality, treating people the same regardless of their race and etc. mainly because my family is quite liberal and we have many discussions and arguments on our differences in opinion but that also helps us to change our opinions on things and it has never stopped us from being a family. If anything, it has definitely helped us in being more opinionated and independent. I know Asian men have a problem with women being strong, independent and opinionated and there's been a few occasions on which some people who have asked me if I was a feminist and how much they hate feminists and I have stared at them in disbelief, because feminism isn't about thinking women are better than men but that we are equals and this is very much debatable because physically we aren't and we are more competent at certain things than men and equally the other way round. But that's not a discussion for today and regardless, if being opinionated makes me a b***h, then, I proudly am. The best one you have ever seen.

Regardless, there are a lot of things I feel I can bring to the table especially in educating Malaysians how to react better to situations, be more accepting of our differences and also living in a harmonious environment as we used to in the 80s. I think social media is an amazing tool to utilise and especially almost everyone in our country is very connected in the online web, I have decided to attempt to make a change in my own country, an amazing, beautiful, culturally vibrant and eccentric country. So, let's start this. 

On an unrelated note, I have also not been blogging as much as I have been adjusting to living in Malaysia again. My work assignment which has led me to be living in Malaysia again is exciting and also provides me a platform to be socially connected once again. So, leggo!

Till my next post. xx

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Train ride snacks guide

I've recently been looking at getting snacks to go on a train ride. The train ride is only 2 hours, but to me, I think that I'm someone who feels like I have to have the option that I can munch on something without buying on the train. I just think the price of food on trains and low-fare airlines are ridiculous. I guess being at uni actually made me think, why would I want to pay for something more expensive when with just a little planning, I can get my favourite things on and enjoy it when before I really won't care and just splurge on whatever I want.

Okay, so top tips! Never get hot drinks on the plane because they only clean out the pipes probably like once a year. Yuck. So, don't do it and I never do it on trains or even airplanes. I try my best to avoid using the water on public transport as much as I can but I do try to keep hydrated as much as possible with bottled water, which again, I'm trying to phase out by using reusable bottles. But, I'm still new on my sustainable journey and am taking things one step at a time.

So this is the list of things I got (because I was travelling with someone who is lactose intolerant, not that they care much, but I always make it a point to cater for the person I'm travelling with. The list of snacks just so happens to be vegan!)

1. Chocolate (£0.40 each from Sainsbury's)
It's free from as well. I got it in 3 different flavours (crispy choc bar, plain choc bar and choc and orange bar)

2. Fizzy straws (£0.40 each from Sainsbury's)
I love fizzy straws because I like sour and sweet combined together and sometimes, I just crave it. I got this from Sainsbury's as well, because it's suitable for vegetarian. I got the cola and strawberry flavour.

3. Bugles (£1.00 from Sainsbury's)
This is a smokey bbq flavour crisp and it's a little bit fancier than regular crisps, but I thought why not since it was lactose free!

4. Frusli (£1.00 from Home Bargain)
It's like an alternative to flapjack and it's slightly less calorie, although by not much, but it was lactose free as well and I thought not only would it serve as a snack on the train, but also if we were walking around and got hunger pangs, this would work out great.

5. Face and body wipes (£0.39 from Home Bargain)
I love having wet wipes at hand because again, I hate washing my hands in the toilet on the train because of the pipes never being cleaned out or if it does, then, maybe once a year. But, I will try to wash my hands before I get on the train as much as I can, but if I don't, I know I can use these. I am trying to try to get ones that are biodegradable, but I'm still looking for them. I have been told that there are baby wipes that are flush friendly, so will check that out next time)

6. Pocket tissue (£0.15 from Home Bargain)
Also a very important thing to have in case of spills or to use it as a napkin. I think it's important to have some because it doubles up if you need to go to the toilet too, together with the wipes (in case they run out of loo rolls)

7. Fruit and honey seed mix (£0.50 from Sainsbury's)
I got a trail mix like fruit and seed mix because I think they're a lot healthier and a lot more sensible to have but I only got one pack because I've already gotten other snacks too.

8. Head Splitters (£0.19 from Home Bargain)
I like getting something extra to try, well, not particularly me, but my friend to try just to see their expression and on this case I saw these head splitters, which are sour candies to see my friend's facial expression.

For drinks, I get a six pack of water bottles because it's much easier to just get enough for the trip for our day trips as well than to get it on the go.

Volvic Natural Mineral Water (£1.00 from ASDA)

Altogether, in snacks, toiletries and drinks, I spent, £6.23 in total, which you could probably get it under a fiver if you were to swap some things out. But, that is all my snacks that I got for my trip. 

So, there you have it, everything I got for our trip. I will try to update you on tips and tricks to maximise your time and your trip as much as I can. I always think it's good to spend as much time at the place you're visiting rather than going in search for snacks or drinks. So, I get them in advance because I know even with the snacks, we probably won't even finish it all and will have some for later.

If you want to know how I organise my trips beforehand, then just leave a comment or send me a message via social media and I will make a blog about it.

Thank you for reading. 

Till my next post. xx

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Why there is no such thing as your own opinion...

We're always taught to have our own opinions in life, to always stand up for our beliefs and to always respect opinions of people that are different to ours. As I grow older, I find that hard to believe because if you don't hold a belief that is accepted by the vast majority, then your opinions are irrelevant and often most time than not, you are ostracised for it. I for one think that more and more people are becoming more sensitive to issues. As much as I do agree that you should be take an initiative to understand others and also to ensure that everyone isn't judged in one way or another but it just seems that it might have gone a little too far this time. 

If you ever read the news these days, if ever even one word that was used was off, then people would start riling up and going on protests for that matter just because it was an insensitive thing to say. Alright, maybe, sometimes, the media does spout nonsense and we all know some that do. But then again, I think with there being freedom of speech, of course you're going to hear opinions that are not to your taste. I think in a way, it is good to be exposed to things that you don't believe in because it expands your worldview on things. 

Recently, I had been watching a video on moon cups or diva cups, whatever people would like to call it and the person was talking about periods as you would imagine. I was scrolling down the comments section as I would normally do, to gather what other people were saying about the topic, as I think a lot of people do discuss their opinion and most of them are quite reasonable. Until I stumbled upon a comment which said, "For future reference, please use people who menstruate rather than women who menstruate as it is more inclusive speech", or something along the lines. I for one did not even notice that she said women who menstruate and additionally, I was sort of baffled as women are technically the ones that do menstruate naturally anyway and you would think that it would be okay to say that, but then you have people who disagree with it. Of course I did some digging with why this is such. Apparently, there are people who are trans and who choose not to transition physically, but then there are others who do choose to transition and go through the physical procedure and take hormone pills and all that, so, it is a possibility or something along the lines where you can read more here.

I am very accepting and understanding in general regardless of a person's background. I never intentionally or unintentionally try to upset people and most definitely I try my utmost best to educate myself about everything and anything. You would see that it is technically impossible. So, I would consider myself having a good grasp of current issues and I also try to be friends with a wide group of people rather than only having a small clique so I think generally, I'm not too bad with it. However, I find myself increasingly either left flabbergasted or dumbfounded because I literally just feel that it is something that was never done intentionally. For example, because of the tone of my skin, I do get often asked if I am from India, or often times, if there are middle eastern people around, they tend to think I'm one of them, but I don't get offended by it because I understand that they don't know and they're making a guess, because as humans, you do try to relate to something that is as close to what you know. So, really, it's not anyone's fault. Of course, I do get taken aback sometimes, because I'm like, "please don't enforce your beliefs on me", but most of the time, people would be very understanding and say, "I'm sorry, I didn't know" or something along the lines of trying to understand me.

But nevertheless, I just feel that our society is somewhat a little too sensitive and tend to attack people who have a different belief system. I think you do need to hear a different narrative and why must you feel so personally attacked? After all, the freedom of thinking and forming your opinions should be on both sides. I think the only way we are going to resolve our differences is through having a genuine conversation and trying to understand the fundamentals behind why someone have formed an opinion of someone or a group of people in that way. Is it because they have had bad experiences with them? Is it because that's what their parents believed? Is it because of the news they read? It's very easy to attack others but I also think maybe we should hear the other side of the story. We are all a tad bit too sensitive and this environment that we live in is not good for us. 

We cannot just sue someone because we are unhappy with it. I find it increasingly worrying that we take time out to scrutinise everything that is being said or posted on social media. I feel sorry if this would be the case in the coming years and more so when my child (if I ever have one) is growing up in an environment where they cannot express their opinion or if they were expected to conform. No, I think we should form our own opinion on things. I am very happy to include anyone at my dinner table and I have met friends who have allowed me to form a different narrative on certain groups of people and as much as I do share liberal opinions, I also find it necessary to have some sort of an opposing opinion so that I can form my own belief system. 

However, having said that, I do not believe in violence, as many would consider this a passivist behaviour, but I also don't like labels. So, to me, I think as long as something is being said in a calm, collected and respectful manner, than it should be addressed with something similar. I don't believe in attacks against someone because of their beliefs. I also don't believe that you should be nasty to someone because of their belief system. But at the same time, I equally believe that we should live in a peaceful environment where we are able to share our opinions. Of course, we don't live in an ideal world and sometimes, things just don't pan out the way we want it to. For example, the viral video of that New York lawyer who was racist towards the Spanish customers, calling them immigrants and saying that they should be deported. Now, that kind of behaviour is appalling and unacceptable. There is a time and place for everything and going on a hissy fit during your lunch break is not okay. 

But speaking to people and trying to understand their circumstance might just be it, but we know that the reality of the situation is that a lot of people are generally not going to think the way that we do. But, it's up to us to change ourselves and also hope that we are able to change the opinions of people around us. So, even if it is just one person, we will form a chain reaction. 

Last but not least, can we just stop being so sensitive about everything and try to understand why people are racist, or mean, or whatever it is they are. I am not saying to accept their behaviour and I must say this because I don't want to be misunderstood, but I think we should condemn their behaviour but also try to rehabilitate these sort of people and what better way than trying to understand the root of the problem and then trying to address this. I hope I have not offended anyone through this post, as I do believe that everything that I have said was meant with good intentions in mind. I hope everyone has a pleasant day and the next time that you hear something, maybe try to take them aside and have a conversation with them instead of publicly humiliating them (if this is someone you know, of course).

Till my next post. xx

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I'll be honest

There have been many people who have recently asked me how it's like to be a graduate. Especially since I've done it twice now, most of my friends who are still students are curious as to what life is like after graduation.

I'm not going to lie about this and am going to be perfectly honest about this:

It sucks. 

Being a graduate sucks because from when you step into University till the time you leave, you're expected to study, be involved in societies, have a job/work experience, volunteer and at the same time expected to socialise. If you know me, and you've seen me at University, you will know that I have done all of that and I started applying for jobs at the beginning of my third year because I knew how competitive jobs were and I wanted to secure mine before I left University. But the reality is not always perfect and as much as I have tried my best to do everything, I sometimes wish that I just sat down and studied and got perfect grades and did nothing at all because it seems to me that time and time again, these people are the ones that end up getting a job. 

I split my time to so many places. My typical day would be go to uni at 7am, go to the library until 9am, go to class, eat, socialise, go to classes/work, go to society meeting, go to work, go home, watch a movie and eat dinner, sleep. Repeat.

Yes, I was always on the go, always looking for things to do and my weekends would be used to either go on short breaks or to attend more society things. I was Vice President of the baking society in my third year and every Saturday, I would attend baking society and even before, I would attend baking society sessions on a Saturday anyway, and have most definitely turned down going to baking sessions because I had already done the same recipe. So, you see, my time at University was nothing short of gaining more experience, whether it be work wise, social communication skills, studies or anything along the lines of what you might have experienced whilst at University. 

And yet. Yet, I cannot find a job. Nothing to lead me to a fulfilling career that was promised to me as a hopeful A-levels candidate looking to study abroad, never having lived abroad on my own, for the first time. I've been on holidays with family abroad but nothing quite like living on your own in a foreign country. 

It frustrates me really when time and time again when I am looking for full time employment, I'm told such things like, "there's nothing wrong with you, we just wished you would have applied earlier. Unfortunately, on this occasion we are only hiring one candidate." My advice to recruiters, if you have a foreign graduate and a local/EU graduate and you're only looking for one candidate to fill the post, don't bother calling the foreign graduate. PERIOD. Why? Because, we're going for a graduate job, and we're both recent graduates with probably equal experience and even if I did have more experience, I wouldn't make the cut because there is a need to prove that there isn't any local/EU candidates that can do the job and for a graduate job, sorry to burst your bubble, but everyone gets training for the job and as long as they are willing to learn, they'll be able to do it. So, please don't waste our precious time, money and effort because that is just disrespectful because we never had the chance anyway.

I know a lot of recruiters think that "What if the international candidate is better?". My answer to that, is no, you're most likely going to go for the local candidate, so don't worry about giving them a chance. I don't need a chance, I need an opportunity. There is a difference. A chance is maybe if we think she may be better, and an opportunity is let's see what she have and let's put her as the candidate that we want to choose unless she proves otherwise.

The recruitment process these days are so soul and mind numbing to the extent the automated processes from filling out the application form to the final stages are all via the computer and you only finally hear someone's voice at the final stages of the recruitment process and then finally, you attend an assessment center where your every move is being watched and everything you say is being assessed and you have so many other hopeful candidates there, sometimes even up to 8 for a single vacancy. Recruiters get paid for their time, because it is part of their role in this process, but most candidates don't. Most of us have to pay out of our own pockets to get to the recruitment location, then we have to factor in the time out of part-time employment if they are and also a whole load of different factors depending on where they are coming from, like accommodation, food and all that if they were to be travelling further. 

I've been through all of this and time and time again I have been rejected because I require a visa to work in the country and I know this because when I call HR and ask for feedback, they always say the same thing and all I can say to that is that's fine, but please, I'd rather not be called for the interview at all because that would save me from having any hope at all rather than be crushed at the end of it all with the disappointment that I have not got a job and I'm dipping into my savings for something that I could have after all used to do something different. 

I'm still interested in working abroad and I have accepted the situation that this would keep on happening, but I've also tried to make it even more glaring the fact that I would require a work visa even after I am called for an interview, calling and confirming with the company for probably the hundredth time that I do require a visa and them saying that's fine and still putting me through the vigorous recruitment process with 7 other candidates in the room with some having more experience than me and me still being the least likely to get the job because of the nature of how work visas are given.

I don't know where my job applications would take me and I am still actively searching for opportunities across the globe, so we will see where this would take me.

But let me just say to you that it's not fun after graduating and if you already possess the right to work in the country that you're applying for, it's still not easy to get a job because you've got so many unnecessary hoops that you have to jump through. As an international candidate, you have to be clear with what you want to do and you can't just apply to jobs because you want to stay in the country. I'm happy to relocate wherever as long as they have well paying job opportunities with importantly a work life balance. Where I come from, a work life balance is unheard of, you go to work at 8/9am and you get back at 9pm, I don't mind it if that happens occasionally, but this is the norm in the country and if you go back early, you're not hardworking enough and you get turned down for promotions even if you're performing significantly better than someone who goes home late, staying in the office and playing games. That is just the reality of the situation and maybe this will change in the future but until then, I don't want to give my whole life to work, because having that work life balance is very important not only for my sanity but because I would like to venture into different things, have hobbies and also spend time with the people I love. 

I don't know where my path is heading but I am very grateful for everything that I have done and all the people that I have met but if I knew that these were to be the circumstance when I graduated, then I WOULD have done it differently and potentially never even get a degree. But these are just my two pence worth and this is in no way a criticism to anyone I have met in the past or present.

Till my next post. xx

Thursday, May 17, 2018

When you don't want anything anymore....

This is a semi-appreciation filled post to thank everyone who has been around me and who have helped me very much. Shout out to my loyal fan come friend, Naco, who reads my every post and replies me on twitter, giving me the inspiration to continue writing, and to forever staying true to my blogging motto, "As long as even one person reads, I'll continue writing". 

I know that we all feel lost at some point in our lives, and we feel like we're drowning. I've felt that before, you've probably felt that way at some point in your life or perhaps, you're still feeling that way? Nobody knows. In all of my blog posts, I try to relate what I'm feeling with how I could essentially help people who are in the same, or similar position as I am. I don't know of course if it helps unless I receive comments or if you contact me via my social media profiles. I know a lot of people, still feel apprehensive about contacting me, but I never share any of your personal accounts or your names unless you allow me to. Most of the time, when it comes to personal accounts, I hold back from sharing any from my friends or followers because I know how it can feel like I'm letting out a secret. So, I just refrain altogether. 

I think many of my readers know that I had been struggling from a pretty rough patch since a year and a half ago and how I've been getting better and having better clarity. Recovery after all, is a recovery period before you're fully recovered. After you've done some exercise, or maybe you don't exercise and you've climbed a set of stairs, you need some time to recover after it. You don't suddenly reach the top and feel okay immediately. That's how it feels like emotionally as well. I'm really happy to see how people speak more openly about emotional well-being and are treating it just the same as a fractured bone (more or less, because more people are jumping onto the bandwagon of recognising mental health as a legitimate issue and not something you can just snap out of).

Having said that as well, mental health history should not be seen as a reason why people would commit some crime. I think the media throws about mental health issues and mental illness as the reason why someone commits murder or whatever. But there needs to be a distinction between psychopaths and people who have episodes of sad and disorders. Some things are temporary. My mental health hit rock bottom in 2014, I didn't feel like killing anyone, what I felt was isolation, panic attacks, sleep paralysis, anxiety, overwhelming episodes of sad and tremors. Everyone feels differently during their attacks and it's okay to speak about it. I am much better than what I was before and to all those people who are still suffering, I want you to know that it is okay to feel however you are feeling and it will pass. It may feel like you're putting in a lot of effort and you're going nowhere, but this too shall pass, it's only temporary as much as you feel that there is no hope. My only advice is to keep at it and you'll get better with time, don't give up.

All these things have made me realise what I want in life and I've also realised that they are not much and are achievable and I have been putting a block on my mind without even realising it because of what I have been through. It's not easy to tell people how you feel and especially online, where there are so many keyboard warriors and if you don't articulate yourself well enough, you're slated. It's even more scary to want to share your feelings. But the way I see it is, I now have the capability to deal with obnoxious criticism, the ones that come from extremely butt hurt people and so, I can take on the responsibility of letting people know how someone (not representative of everyone) feels in these type of situations. 

Moving on from how I feel, I think as we progress, a lot of people want more and more. I somehow have learnt to let go and to take things as they come. I use to chase after things all the time and when it slipped away, it made me feel all kinds of awful. But now, I'm just trying to be the old me. I'm watching movies and series again. I'm reading books, I'm writing again, I'm singing again and I'm focusing on the things that I love doing. I'm picking up new hobbies. I'm taking things as they come and I'm trying not to worry too much. I'm keeping an open mind. 

I think the journey of liberation from your belief system and from what you think is true or valid is always going to be a bit difficult but now, I think it's better to spend your time on things that you enjoy or believe to be good for you rather than just accepting. I'm not saying I've hacked life, I'm far from it, but I'm learning new things and as my friend says "You're too innocent to die. You have to taste life first", I am taking things less seriously and just trying to enjoy the moment.

Till my next post. xx

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The next steps..

As I've graduated from University and am moving onto real life issues, like searching for a job, travelling and realising who my true friends are, this past 2 months post moving back to Malaysia has been a real eye-opener. I realised that looking for a job is not the most important thing in the world. I don't have to have a job immediately after I graduate. I have learnt that my family will always be there for me, regardless of what I choose to do. I realised that I had to pause before I decided to move forward again. I also realised how some people who you consider as friends envy your achievements and somehow are proud of others' achievements but not yours. You discover that people you thought were close to you saw you as a competition and your happiness meant that they were unhappy. I also realised that "close" friends are also the ones that wish for you to be unsuccessful so that they can feel happy with their lives. 

In my life, I have never envied another person's success to the point that I wished they were unsuccessful. Sure, I have envied someone else's success by wishing that I could achieve the same, but never make their success a marker of my happiness. I understand that everyone has a path that they take and that success is different for everyone. I realise that sometimes we all face tough challenges and sometimes, we look through the outside and fail to see the struggles of others that they may go through internally. I have seen too many of this these days that sometimes I wonder what exactly drives someone to feel this way. When my friends achieve something, I feel so happy for them that they are doing really well for themselves, but how is it when you've been there for someone, they feel the need to envy you?

Be proud of me. Be happy for me. My success only means that I will share with you what is mine. Unfortunately, seeing some people only wish bad things for me in life is just disappointing when all I have ever given or wished for them is good things and happiness. I thought that throughout my life that if I don't do something before a certain time, then I will never be happy. But I'm realising that things happen at its own pace and we don't get to force things but just to go with the flow. 

At the same time however, I have rediscovered how friends from many years who I've treated as family, no matter how many years of not seeing each other, despite many missed birthdays and despite circumstance have wished me only good things and happiness. I have realised that sometimes, the people that care for you, no matter the distance, the time or the circumstance, will always wish good things for you. I realised how blessed I am to have so many people that still care for me and pray for me when the times get tough. I am so blessed to have people who support me, who spend time on me, who share what they have with me because of how much they love me. I never really stopped to look at things from a different perspective, because I saw the people around me, some moving to new countries, some getting a job, some getting married, some having children and I thought, "Oh, no, I'm running out of time".

Then I had a conversation with a few of my friends and realised that nothing really mattered and feelings don't really change and we will always make things work. I also noticed how people come and go in life but the real ones stayed. I sometimes feel a bit awkward to approach people because I am afraid that I might worry them, that I might make them feel like I worry too much about them, yes, I am afraid of how people would perceive my actions. But regardless, I also know that I worry too much about things that I cannot control. But these are my character flaws and I cannot change it. 

I have always used writing as a medium to help with organising my thoughts and feelings. But sometimes, it does get a little overwhelming to explain things in which I am putting it out there for people to read and get a glimpse into how I feel. 

Although throughout my life, now turning a quarter of a century in age, I'm starting to realise that we all make choices that we will regret or cherish, but where we are now is all because of the mistakes and the right choices we once made. I am happy with where I am now. I believe that as long as you never hurt anyone intentionally on the way, as long as you are honest, hardworking and you are resourceful, you will be happy. Regardless of my circumstance, I am happy, because I have nothing to worry about in life. 

I have been blessed with amazing people in my life, although I am not the type who have many friends, but the ones I have, I cherish. It's hard for me to have a connection with someone and usually, I'm much comfortable with someone who is a lot older than I am. But regardless, the few friends that I have, they are amazing. I may not keep in touch as often as I would like, but I definitely know who have been there when the going was tough. I know who had my back when I was sad. I know who helped me and supported me through difficult times. I also know who are the people who claimed they were my friend but either did nothing or mocked me behind my back. 

I think in life, as naive as it may sound, the most important thing is to listen to your heart, to never hurt a person and to always be kind to anyone. I have done so many things in my life on my own, but I never feel like it's enough. What I have, I owe it to the people around me, for without them, I would be nobody. So, to those reading, you know how you have helped me, or when we have communicated and regardless, whether you're a friend, a co-worker, a person I met once, or a couple of times, regardless if we spoke frequently or occasionally or even if we hardly speak these days, I know each and everyone of the stories and conversation we have had because I cherish them.

I remember how being at University, people thought I knew just about everyone, but up till this day, I remember every unique trait of everyone I have met and stories I've heard about them. Deep down, I'm still the 17 year old book worm who has her head down on the table, while reading a book, but still knows what everyone is doing in the room. I will never cease to be a nerd, a knowledge seeking, inquisitive nerd. But at the same time, I have come so far that I no longer am ashamed of the colour of my skin or the shape of my nose or my height or my waist size. I learnt to embrace myself when I was in the worst state of my depression because I learnt that there is nothing I can change. But at the same time, I got tired of feeling upset about it. 

When people look at me, they say I have an air of confidence, but the air of confidence comes from constantly being told I was not good enough. But I am. I am good enough for myself. There will never be another person like me. I recognise that I have flaws and good traits. I know that I can sometimes be too chatty, I know that sometimes, I hate losing a fight, but I've learnt to compromise, I have learnt to listen, I have learnt to accept criticism and I think that's a pretty damn good improvement. No, I'm not sorry for who I am. I am only apologetic for the times I have hurt someone's feelings whether intentionally or unintentionally. I am only sorry when I should have met expectations, but I fell short. I am only sorry for things that I could have and should have fulfilled and not looking at both sides of the story. 

But I'm no longer sorry if someone doesn't like me, or if they are envious of the life that I lead. I'm no longer sorry for being a tad bit too tanned, I'm not sorry that who I am as a person does not meet what you require from me. I cannot be someone's punching bag. I will support, but not be a doormat and that's something that everyone should know and learn: their limits. 

It's very easy to be there for someone when they need you, and to be grateful. But not everyone is raised the same way and people will take you for granted and you should learn when to say no and when to realise that enough is enough. I realised that University was just the beginning and when you graduate, there are more lessons you learn, from people and from the job searching journey. I realised how passion is important and why I should pursue it. I realised why consistency is important and no matter how much I feel I don't want to share something, I should, if it helps to educate someone. 

Life is a journey, for sure, I never realised why people say, it's too short, so learn to enjoy it. But now, I do and for every time I'm somewhere, for whatever it is I get to enjoy, I am thankful and I am happy even if I'm not where I want to be because I am where I am supposed to be and I'm enjoying the time I have with the people around me and that sure is special. I love everyone that I have been surrounded with recently. Everyone who have been kind and patient with me. Everyone that have made me laughed and all the hugs we have shared. All the places I have gone to and all the spectacular views I have enjoyed. And for all the amazing food I have eaten, my tummy loves you but my body just wants to get rid of you. 

So, friends and family, acquaintances and former colleagues. I ask you just one thing. 

Be grateful.

Be grateful for your friends, family, time, time spent with others, their achievements, your opportunities and most importantly the love you receive. Trust me because you'll never have another moment at the very same time you're having. So, be grateful. 

Thank you. Till my next post. xx

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Are we easily offended and irritated?

What I have realised over the years, whether it be based on my personal experience or on materials that I have read; is that our society that we live in have become easily offended by things that we hear, read or see.

Before, I used to put myself in tough situations so that I am able to learn to handle situations which I feel uncomfortable in. However, as I grow older, I find myself avoiding situations in which I feel uncomfortable in or where I have little to no control. I have become increasingly vexed by little things that I have no control over and because of that, even with people, I don’t particularly like uncertainties. I found myself becoming increasingly cautious and doubting everything and to some extent I began doubting the importance of anything and adopting a somewhat negative perspective on life.

But I suppose, the hectic lifestyle that I was leading made me unhappy with my life and the uncertainties that I was experiencing, further vexed me. In my mind, I saw no escape from this unhappiness and it drove me further into feeling negative about everything around me. I found myself being critical and avoiding the news mainly because it made me upset. I would shy away from people because it felt like too much of an effort to spend time with people, because while I was physically present, I was mentally absent and I continued thinking about things that I could have done differently or to ponder upon things that I should do, or paths that I should take. 

Then I thought about the people around me, especially sometimes, when I speak to people who work in customer facing roles, and how bitter they are in life (not all but some) and the fact that I have to clearly point out that I mean some folks and not all so that people don't get offended by my words. This is testimony to the sheer reality in which our society have become increasingly sensitive to any topic that is brought up today.

As much as I do think that there ought to be more structure in the things that we do and as much as I think that there are increasingly things that dissatisfy us. But, I also wonder, if it is the increasing ease in almost all our transactions that has made us almost expectant of the services that we receive. In striving to achieve operational excellence, we always say that only the first time that you go above and beyond have you exceeded expectations, every other time, it would merely mean you are meeting expectations and failing to do so, would mean that the service delivered is unsatisfactory.

Having said that I wonder if all these technology that has made everything a lot simpler, made us tune out and disconnect to real life and with people. I wonder if that’s why we increasingly have no regard for human life. So much so that a child can be raped by someone that they trust and be killed afterwards. I wonder as well, if that is why people think that deaths that happen due to a war that is happening is irrelevant as that is what happens when there is a war. I also wonder, if because of that, we don’t bother to check facts as to why these things happen and instead accept it as it is.

Let us say that we are to ignore all of those and now focus solely on how we feel on a daily basis. Are we mostly content with what we have? And if not, are the people around us making us unhappy? Sometimes, I feel so lost and almost confused because I feel like I’m doing so many things yet we are going nowhere. Equally, when you look at the news, you look at the political situations of each country and time and time again, it’s only news if there’s a bombing, or political unrest or the games, or something that some people view as significant.

People hardly smile to each other anymore and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to try and connect with people and to me, I can’t help but wonder why. And of course, there are things that deeply disturb me in regards to my situation and my pursuit of happiness, particularly in looking for a job in which I can kick-start my career. But equally, LinkedIn can sometimes be depressing, especially with the Generation Y label and how we are thought to be selfish, entitled, lazy and ignorant. But equally, the same people who asks us not to stereotype, do exactly that. I wonder sometimes what exactly I am doing wrong as I constantly speak to guidance counsellors and friends and people of influence and attend events as well as work really hard.

But I think maybe I am doing something wrong somewhere and if that is the case, I would like to know in which area. This being so that I am able to improve myself. Sometimes, I wonder, am I ignorant, selfish, entitled and all of the above? I ask myself the questions and I suppose in some ways I we all feel a certain way, but I guess I need to view myself from a third person point of view before suggesting that I am doing things right. But equally, my point is that I don’t know if this is true and would definitely like your opinion as to whether or not people these days get offended very quickly.

Till my next post. xx