funnylittlestories

Day 17 : I like busy.

by funnylittlestories

I have been getting more involved in the project at work and management of part time RAs. So basically that means work is getting busier and more exciting at the same time! During this period of transition, I am getting more aware of my likes and dislikes. I definitely enjoy and find so much comfort in being busy though quiet times are good too. I guess if I were to choose between bumming for 6 months in my room or working (well on something I feel passionate about), I would definitely choose the latter! There is a sense of accomplishment when I have finished something even as little as a logbook. It is rewarding for me. Don’t get me wrong though. I do appreciate and enjoy quiet time. I guess there always has to be a balance!

On the topic of being balance, I am getting more into my Muay Thai classes, ukulele, sleeping earlier and a bit more running! As far as the raw diet goes, I am enjoying it in the day but do find it a bit of a struggle when I am out with friends. I would consider myself a social raw dieter. I will continue eating raw for the next week and will be more flexible when I am out with friends.

A little feedback on the raw diet: it is actually not as difficult as people make it sound. I do feel cleaner, more energetic and my tummy is definitely growling first thing in the morning! cheers to papayas and all the yummy fresh food!

Did you know that papayas are known as the fruit of the angels? says Columbus.

Raw Diet

by funnylittlestories

Part of my rediscovery journey is to attempt something new weekly. For this week, I am attempting the raw diet, eating only uncooked (well, cooking below 40C is ok!), unprocessed food. So basically, my diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts! The first day was pretty tough to be honest. I was hungry a lot and was craving for something savoury! Thank god my colleague is doing it with me and have previously done it once! She rescued my savoury tooth and made a really simple and easy salad with a sprinkle of salt for lunch. I am still figuring out what I can make with the limited choices of food but I realized that it is all about being creative!

My menu for today

Breakfast: a handful of almonds/cashews, an orange
Snack: quarter of a papaya
Lunch: beetroot, lettuce, orange, orange pepper, cucumber with lemon juice + olive oil as dressing
Snack: dragon fruit
Pre-dinner: banana
Dinner: to be decided

On top of that, I drink lots of water and tea! I do not want to starve myself and this diet isn’t about losing weight! I have heard personal testimonies about how going on a raw diet can change your energy levels, moods, and skin! I thought to myself, ‘there is absolutely no harm in trying it for a week!’ I will write throughout the week and report the progress!

Failed running attempts

by funnylittlestories

So, I have been attempting to train for my half marathon that is coming up in about three weeks but have failed miserably. Yes I am adopting a healthier lifestyle, took up muay thai and make myself run. I usually manage about 3km and start strolling around the garden looking at different species of plants. It is bad! All sorts of excuses come up when I am running. It is funny too as I have been in a half marathon training on my own last year and managed it fairly well. This year, maybe a bit more struggles. One of my guidelines is to learn to be honest and keep promises. I am confessing my fails now .

Tomorrow shall be better! Tomorrow will be a better day!

Day 11 – Life talk

by funnylittlestories

I have had a really good week and realized that what has made it good was having good conversations with friends. Less boy talk, more life talk. Trying to keep to my guidelines 🙂
To highlight some of the conversations, a particular friend whose mother started an orphanage in Pakistan a couple of years back. She is now a mama to 130 over boys who have experienced traumatic losses in life. They are able to converse, write in English as well as looking all smiley in photos! It is amazing. Her goal and only wish is to have one of the boys getting a full ride to study abroad with the belief that that boy will come back and make amazing changes to the country. Listening to this, I was overwhelmed by her love and moved by her vision. Moreover, it sparked a fire in me. I feel passionate about children with special needs and I want to make changes to the education system for these children in Malaysia. It got thinking near and far about how I would be able to get there and what changes I want to see. Everything needs to be more concrete for I then can work towards. I am considering taking my PhD at my work place but also wondered about other possibilities if I don’t. I will definitely need to speak with someone who has experience in this field to be able to make better decisions. I am also constantly praying on this matter. Hopefully, I will be guided to where I should be going.

Tackling negativity

by funnylittlestories

Recently, I have been very much attached to the book by Stephen Grosz – The Examined Life. The title is a bit cheesy to be honest but the content is moving and raw. I am at this chapter on resistance to change and negativity. One of the quotes that really stuck to me was ‘our weapon against negativity is not persuasion, it’s understanding’. Everyone has a positive voice that encourages/motivates/pushes us to do something and the other voice that stops us from doing anything. For some people, one voice is louder than the other. Thinking systemically, when someone else takes on the role as the one who encourages /motivates, it often leaves the individual to start adopting the role of the other voice. Many times, when faced with negativity, we try really hard to persuade our friends to tackle negativity. However, many times it does not work that way. We tend to get more resistance from them. The key (as suggested in this book) is actually to ask questions, to lead the person to understand why not? This isn’t natural and often times, we forget about understanding. I do that.

Making new memories

by funnylittlestories

There are certain time of the year that reminds you of a particular time, place or person that has made a difference in your life. When I am at a race, the smell of people’s sweat, anxiety and adrenaline makes me think of a good friend who has supported me throughout my first half marathon. During this time last year, I have made really fond memories of pumpkin carving with someone close to my heart.

Some people rely on memories to keep going in life. Some people choose to make new ones. At this moment, I am aware that I am thinking of the past but also careful not to live in it. Reflecting on this, I am allowing myself to think, feel and act. With the intention not to replace old memories but to make many more of the similar event.

Hence, I shall be carving some big juicy pumpkin with an old friend this week while cooking up something nice in the kitchen!

Day 6 – self recovery/rediscovery journey

by funnylittlestories

The weekend has been a nice success following the guidelines. There were many moments where I had to choose between bumming at home or going out and exploring different places or meeting people. Three out of three days, I have managed to decide on the latter. I reconnected with my ukulele and jammed with some newly met friends on a Friday night, I explored little India with my Minolta and participated in the deepavali festive, I picked up a new workout, Muay Thai to be exact and had a ball of fun and sweat. Lastly, Sunday evening was spent in good company talking, eating and singing to the ukulele.

Having a good enjoyable weekend, I am starting to remember why I have moved from cities to cities. During the early stages of a transition, I have managed (in the past few moves) to challenge myself and opened up myself to different situation. Allowing oneself to be in discomfort is to allow growth to take place. It hasn’t been easy but I am trusting in the process and letting God take the lead.

Reconnecting physically

by funnylittlestories

I realized that when I am stressed or a little bit absent minded after a long day, it is best to reconnect with my body. It can be done via exercising, mediating, or simply breeze walking around the neighbourhood. It has such an positive impact on my mood and wellbeing. I guess most of us know this fact that exercising will signal to our body to release dopamine which is our happy hormones. However, the hardest part is getting out of bed or leaving the tv/laptop after a long day at work. This is a common battle for many, myself included.

I shall keep to my guidelines and make sure that I squeeze in a little bit of physical activity whenever I can and particularly when the world seems a bit uncontrollable. One thing for sure that it does for me is that it gets me down to my most basic senses and takes my mind off things that I have absolutely no control of at that moment.

How wonderful it is to be in that state of mind.

I chose happiness.

by funnylittlestories

The first two days of this self recovery/rediscovery journey definitely has its ups and downs. I picked up the ukulele and realized how rusty I have gotten. The most I was about to play is Amazing Grace, and that is after 2 hours of messing around with the strings. I did my little prayer and giving thanks on my first night and noticed that it had a positive effect on me right before bed. However, I did forget about it last night and only managed a little time on the MRT this morning. Going through this plan and remembering the guidelines, I am realizing that it is definitely a lot more effort than I had imagined. I do want to stick to it and continue with it to see how I am (hopefully) able to transform. One of the key things that is not in the guideline is writing. I will keep writing down my reflections and experiences during this 30 day period.

Well, there were two incidents that struck me yesterday evening and this morning.

I was sitting in the bus and a thought came to mind. Reflecting on the day, I am realizing, well remembering how tough it was moving to the states for the first time. I remembered crying to sleep and whining to my family that I rather be at home. I remembered how difficult it was to make friends and understand the american culture. Language was definitely one of the barriers as I was not as fluent in English as I am now. I continued to let my mind wonder down memory lane. The same cycle happened when I moved to London. It wasn’t easy and it sure took a lot of effort for the memories, friendships that I have built over the past two years. It struck me how easily I have forgotten the difficult moments in life and only remembering the good bits. But I am also wondering whether this happens to people in general. Most people do tend to forget difficult periods in life, once they have overcome it that is. When we were 17, studying late nights for SPM and deciding between which path to take were extremely painful. Yet, I remember my grades and good old school times more often than how I made it through high school.

Remembering my struggles and mediating on the idea that I have overcome those difficulties in life have an enormous impact on my outlook here and now.

On a different note, I read a blog about an American who lived in Singapore and stalked his profile (don’t judge me!). He used this phase that I found extremely powerful. At some point in life, he decided to chose happiness. What did he mean by happiness? I guess this is a relatively subjective construct. He created a life list, well a few life lists and been trying to fulfil them ever since. That was happiness for him. It got me thinking what happiness means to me.

Regardless, I chose happiness too.

Quarter Century

by funnylittlestories

It has been a long while since I have last written. It is always a bit strange to look back and read what you have written in the past. A very quick update: I have officially graduated from UCL with a MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice, moved back home, started a new chapter in Singapore.

As I would like to think that all is good and all is well. (Well, life is pretty good.) Transitioning to a new environment, people and a new phase in life isn’t easy. For some people, they drown themselves in work, drinks or in their own company. Having moved over multiple times over the past six years over four countries, five cities, I may actually feel like settling down soon. The constant moving and meeting new people is exciting yet tiring for the soul. The first few weeks is usually more challenging. Transitioning involves a lot of changes. Change involves a loss or multiple losses and gains. This is a period of mourning for the losses while having to learn and adjust to the new environment. Yes, I am struggling a bit. I have just left London, stayed in Malaysia for a little over a month and moved to Singapore in just last two weeks. I have tried to focus on my gains leaving London rather than my losses. It helped me to readjust back home and reconnect with family and old friends. Being in Singapore, it is extremely exciting and wonderful yet my heart is unsettled and lonely. My biggest losses coming to Singapore are close relationships and friendships. I have always been a firm believer in being connected and invested in closeness with people.

However this time, I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on myself. I have devised a self rediscovery plan to work on myself, on my relationship with myself. It is not about hiding in my room, in fact it is about discovering different side of me in this new environment. I am done with self-doubting talk or mourning about the losses. I want to take a positive spin on this situation and an active role to make it better.

There are rules that I have to follow during this 30 days self-rediscovery plan. I need to retrain my mind, to refocus my life to something different.

Self-rediscovery guidelines:

  1. Quiet the inner critic, focus on the positives
  2. Speak kind words
  3. Keep promises and tell the truth
  4. No body or self hating talk
  5. Reduce man talk, increase life talk
  6. Have more friend dates
  7. Be thankful and say a prayer everynight
  8. Avoid getting drunk
  9. Draw, paint, collage
  10. Do something new weekly
  11. Pick up and old or new hobby
  12. Do something nice for someone daily
  13. Cook up something new weekly
  14. Break a bad habit
  15. Start a creative project
  16. Have a healthy lifestyle (feed myself good nutritious food, exercise, meditate, pray)
  17. Free myself from negative people
  18. Let go of those who are already gone
  19. Keep evaluating and re-evaluating life goals
  20. Pay attention to my relationship with myself – take myself out, treat myself, buy myself flowers