Back to Work

During Christmas last year, I wrote a note and inserted it into a Christmas stocking. I told Santa I wanted a rewarding career. I missed the feeling of job satisfaction and achievement. Something I’ve not been feeling for over 2 years. I had a 8-month career break since June last year. It was a big decision to make. I had all my worries and concern. I knew I needed to take time off to clear my mind, to reset my life, to completely recover from depression. I was worried about the salary that will not be credited into my account, I was worried if any employer would take me in after seeing a gap of unemployment in my resume, I was worried if my skills will be outdated. I was worried about so many things but I made the decision anyway to be out of employment.

As much as I enjoyed the time off, I had moments particularly after the wedding that I wanted to get back into the working world. I wanted to dress up, drive a car and go to work. I wanted to be with people. I wanted to have colleagues. I just want to start working again and to restore my lost confidence.

I had 3 interviews over the span of 2 weeks the moment I started actively looking for job in the beginning of the year. Two were referrals and one was a company contacting me through LinkedIn. I accepted the offer to work for the smallest company I’ve ever worked for. Just the 10 of us.

Of course, I was worried again if I made the right choice but I didn’t overthink this time. The last time I remember, I overthink into whether to accept a job offer that it aggravated my already stressed mind and since then I started spiralling down into the black hole. I didn’t want to apply for any further jobs since I got the job offer. I do not have big fat benefits a large MNC would offer. It’s not an international company. Everything is pretty basic but my heart just told me to just go for it.

I’m just thankful that I’ve got a job, to have the opportunity to start from ground zero again. There is no job description in black and white given to me so I went in with a blank canvas, taking on my first project with a lot to learn. I’m the only one in the team with the designated role and the only female in the team.

I’m grateful for the nice people at work. I’m grateful to have a MacBook Pro even though it comes with a really noisy fan. I’m grateful that I can commute later in the morning to work to escape the traffic jam. I get home later because of that but I’m fine. At times, I would need to hang around a little longer at work or the mall below it to wait out on traffic jam on rainy days. I drive 37km one way everyday. I’m grateful to be working in the same area (opposite blocks) with my sister. We can meet up for lunch. Something I cherish and appreciate very much now that we are not staying together since I got married.

I rejoice in the ability to be independent again. I rejoice in the ability to focus. I’m happy that I don’t beat myself up. I’m happy that I can utilise my brain again 🙂

I’m more at peace with myself. I’ve never regretted taking that career break. Even though I was poorer (bank account wise), productivity wise there wasn’t much, no big achievements but I spent time with myself. It taught me lessons…that it’s ok to take a break. Things will eventually work out. Worrying and overthinking is the worst thing you can do to your heart and brain. I know what is important to me and what matters. I am more “cincai”. I ignore little stuff that don’t really matter so that I spend energy and time on stuff that matters. I value my health and happiness more so I’m always on constant check on my stress level. I’m rounder and fatter because exercise time has been reduced since I started working…but I want to get back to my exercise routine again.

There are definitely more things that swim around in my mind now. During my break, I focused on myself. Now, I’m also thinking for my loved ones. I’m just glad that even though I’m a changed lady but I’m still very much me.

Happy International Women’s Day!


Getting into a Routine

December was a super lazy month for me. The wedding happened and I had a lot of free time on hand as I was free from all those wedding planning. Gained a kilogramme. Ate a lot. Ate things I like. Didn’t exercise as much as I did due to the holiday seasons. Slept a lot.

Came January and I started to go into a routine. The little one (niece-in-law) started going to a montessori and being the only one who’s still unemployed in the house, I’m driving her to and back from school, accompanied by her favourite Grandpa. I get up at 7 something to be ready by 8am. School starts at 8:30am.

The first week of montessori was an interesting scene. I sat on the little bench outside while Grandpa walked the little princess up to her class. Wailing boy at the gate, hoping to get a sight of his parents who just dropped him off. A crying boy in the arms of his mother, shouting “I want Mummy!” even though Mummy is already carrying him. Another little boy was sobbing silently. He was trying very hard to hold back the tears. He was sad that he’s left alone without his parents but he also knew he had to go to school. Amidst the tears, he took off his shoes, obediently put the shoes on the rack and then stepped into the montessori. It was funny and at the same time heartbreaking.

Then there was one little girl who walked into the gate of the school in a very cheerful demeanour. She was holding on to her little dog soft toy and walked joyfully. Seeing her makes you happy.

The little princess did well on her first day too. She didn’t cry. She loved school. She was down with fever the day before and insisted on going to school despite everyone telling her she can’t since she’s got a temperature. Such persistence! Me and her Grandpa surrendered to her request and brought her to school only to be told by her teacher after having her temperature taken to go home. She obediently obliged.

Apart from that, I also drive my mother-in-law to buy vegetables on some mornings. In between my free time, I’m starting to look out for jobs. Attended one just yesterday and there’s two more upcoming interviews. Let’s see where I’ll land.

2014 Flashback

January: Started a new job. No longer being in the same office of my then husband-to-be. Being comfortable and more open about the relationship. Removed a lot of stress.

February-March: Working very hard at the new workplace.

April: Took pre-wedding photos and booked the date for our ROM(Registration of Marriage)!

May-June: Took the plunge to take a career break because the work stress is making me go haywire. Travelled to Bandung with my sister as a pre-wedding gift for me.

July: Started going for yoga. Diagnosed with dengue fever and had a depression relapse not long after that. This is the worst birthday for me as it was the last year. Depression haunted my favourite month for 2 years.

August: Morning depression disappeared. Travelled to Shanghai and Chengdu. Signed the papers and became someone’s wife legally but still acting like I’m single. 😀

September: Trying my best to be in control of my well-being, physically, mentally and emotionally. Travelled back to Sandakan.

October: Religiously doing my exercises. Yoga, tennis.

November:  Got married!

December: Honeymoon in Bali.

A Month into Marriage

It’s been a month since I got married. Gone for my first honeymoon (hoping for a second 😀  ) and settling at a new home. “How is married life?” is one of the questions I get lately. It is going well and I’m happy. I live with my parents-in-law and they are very nice and kind to me. And that, I feel very thankful! Today marks their 41th year together. 🙂

Been spending time with them and getting to know them better since I’m still not working and looking for a job now. It’s nice to have 2 mothers and 2 fathers now. My parents and my parents-in-law.

I appreciate the time that I have now to be with people who love and care for me. With MH370, MH17 and QZ8501 happening within one year, it serves as a reminder how fragile and unpredictable life can be. I’m allowing myself to enjoy the smallest of things, like sipping a cup of my favourite milk tea, hugging my soft toy duck even though I’m turning 33 next year and not the 3-year old I used to be, acting crazy with my hubby when it’s just the two of us.

I’m thankful for the ups and downs of 2014. The downs allow me to get up. I appreciate the ups more now because of the downs.

I wish all of you a happy 2015.

Pre Wedding

The only thing and the many things filling my head is my upcoming wedding so much so that I’ve not been sleeping very well. Like now I’m awake when I should be sleeping because my head is full of table layout, table arrangement, things to bring, what else I miss, songs, slideshows and just reminding myself to get enough rest.

I’m not stressed, I’m excited. The old me would be panicky by now but despite the little sleeplessness I’m experiencing now, I think I’m still good. I trust that I will prepare and do my best and just enjoy on my big day.