one year.

approximately a year ago.

this time last year, was the end of my four-day trip in Penang with team Mossery. this was my very first encounter with the team. i was also about to lose my grandpa, as well as witness one of my first international weddings later on. 

many events have taken place in between then and now.

the fact is this: everyone talks about these events, don't they? what has happened, how it has affected them, et cetera. well, here are some things that hasn't quite changed about myself throughout the year: i still feel as unconfident about whatever i am doing sometimes, catching myself feeling like an imposter; i can still get into crazy emotional bouts (though i do acknowledge that i get better at these things); and well, the most infamous one of them all that absolutely everybody and nobody cares about - i'm still single. 

jokes aside, i want to tell you about the things i've learned over the year. 

1. relationships that come and go, as well as those who stay

i've always sucked at managing relationships. i have almost no habit of asking people to go out just so i can get to know them better. i only ask my closest friends to hang out because i know i'll enjoy their company. hence, i'm quite terrible at evolving relationships from being acquaintances to hi-bye friends to actual, problem-sharing friends, unless i truly enjoy their company since day one. 

and i never learn my lesson. in the past year, i've seen many people come and go at Mossery. whether it's my bosses or colleagues' friends whom i'm curious about but pretty much have next to no chance of getting to know more of, to friendships that i somehow manage to miss entirely because i was either too busy being task-focussed or i was just too occupied with trying to read the person. 

i keep telling myself to hang out with different crowds so i can get a chance to get to know different people. but i seem to enjoy getting to know someone at a very deep level more than knowing many people at many different levels. however, i'm thankful that i have a handful of friends whom i've gotten to know through the company who have decided to remain in my life.

2. self-development isn't just about reading all the books

it is, ultimately, about actually developing yourself. the fastest way to learn something new is to actually do it. reading books will help familiarise you with whatever techniques or particular concepts, but if you don't actually do it, you will never know if it works, and you will never really get better at it.

the first step is to always suck at it. nobody is awesome at what they do the first time they do it. there is no such thing as pure talent. people who look like they're gifted are usually the ones who work thrice as hard to hone their craft and skills. what we know as 'talent' comes mostly from hard work and strong discipline.

there are no excuses. there is only doing, and learning by doing.

3. whatever you do, don't hold back

note: this applies to everything except for anger. and any emotions that cause you to decide impulsively. (you must most definitely hold back on those) other than that, do not hold back.

i've learned that if i shy away from sharing my opinions now, either someone else will share it and it will seem like i have no ideas and i add no value whatsoever, or i will regret it later because we'll make some kind of mistake that has to do with the unspoken issue.

one of my values this year is to identify problems and solve them head-on. i have a terrible habit of 'neverminding' problems. 'it's okay, it'll all come around eventually' is not the kind of attitude one should have when you're called to be a problem-solver.

i've learned to run towards the problem rather than away from it and waiting for someone else whom i think is 'more skilled' to solve it.

4. die to the self, depend on God

it's really easy to depend on all the knowledge and experiences you have to move forward. it's logic. it's common sense. well, not exactly. especially if you already know God. He asks you to trust Him and silly little human you will go 'what?! You're asking me to trust You with all this money at stake?'

this is the creator of the Universe we're talking about. the One who is unchanging yesterday, today, and forevermore. this is what i said to Him, probably. so many times i shrunk away from trusting Him because i thought i could, i could do this and i could do that.

but what i do see now is this: He can. He has promised that He will and so He shall.

written in one breath again. i really should edit my work.



there's a post-it note on the side of my table that says 'comfort ≠ stability. it is a sign of warning.' it keeps my mind and heart aligned to not feeling complacent or pure contentment that it leads to laziness. it keeps me going.

i pause to re-examine this word today: comfort.

i understand the danger of being complacent. i simply cannot picture my life sitting at the same spot, being happy with doing the same thing. i want to live. i want to be uncomfortable, to seek for a discomfort that will keep growing me.

today, i find myself feeling happy. comfortable, almost. 

friends of mine will know that i cannot stop talking to them about my work. i work in Mossery, a local stationery startup that pushes and drives me beyond what i've ever imagined myself doing. (my friends are probably sick of me talking to them about this by now, so if you're a friend who fits this description, read no more)

i like being here. i really, really like it. and it scares me a little because i've never liked being at one place so much before. i've never felt like i could connect with a physical place, not even home. and i've never known myself to be a nostalgic person, but being in this company has made me more vulnerable and stronger all at once. 

allow me to explain.

1. the people
the essence of my love for Mossery is the people i work with. for almost all of my life, even my closest friends have half-joked with me, telling me not to 'think so much'. i've never felt all happy about this. i've always felt like 'thinking too much' was a horrible, unacceptable thing. and that it destroys me. at Mossery, i was actually told to 'think more'. well, of course, there's the doing part, but i'll talk about that a little later. being here gives me the freedom of talking about the weirdest possible topic. from aliens to Elon Musk to educating the local market on design, it stirs up my mind and lights up all of my neurons like you would see in a movie sequence when a character gets a brilliant idea. i feel like i belong here. (also, something i don't often feel.)

2. the work
i graduated from majoring in English Literature and minoring in Gender Studies. all i knew when i graduated, was that i wanted a job at a company so i could experience the corporate life and working with a team. but the truth was this: i hated any form of corporate jobs, yet i still knew that i had to learn how to work in an office setting to become a normal working person. i wanted that kind of an experience. i also knew i was setting out to write a book, but i didn't know what yet. the work at Mossery is extremely rewarding. i get to do what i love (which is to write, and sometimes, draw too), i get to talk to people (online or at bazaars), i get to have human connections with amazing artists all across the world, and i get to learn a million new things. it's a steep learning curve. it still is. but i love every bit of it. being in Mossery has taught me to not take work for granted, but be so clear and conscious about wanting to be excellent at what i do. 

3. the vision
i love people. five years ago, you may not ever hear me utter these words, but now is now and i will say these words again: i love people. the vision of me being at Mossery is essentially to bring people closer. closer to us, closer to each other, closer to strangers and friends galore. i hope to be able to fulfill this vision every single day. and i love being able to fulfill this vision every day as well. 

maybe the word isn't 'comfortable'. but i'm happy. and i'm scared. that i'm too happy. at one place. that scares me sometimes. like everything's going too right, and although they do go haywire at times, i still feel happy. i've just never felt such a strong feeling of being at a right place in the right time as being in Mossery right now. don't get me wrong, i'm scared for my life every day too—the sensation of never doing quite enough always comes back to haunt me. perhaps i'm living on that strange edge again: where everything can seem quite right even when it isn't.

nonetheless, it scares me. 

but it's alright, i suppose. being happy should be a thing. i just hope i'm not living in my own reality and being stuck here. if i am, please tell me. i would appreciate that a lot. 


Sunday musings.

two things today:

 1. it's easy to focus on results.

in a time when highlight reels of other people's lives carry the immense possibility of obliterating joy and inducing envy, it's really easy to just focus on the results. it's easy to hear good news and react like this: why do good things only happen to others? we lose sight of the grueling processes that people go through to achieve these results. we play ignorance to the fact that the friend who suddenly looks attractively fit is because they had been paying off the hours at the gym every single morning. we place all of our focus on the singular outcome that is seen by the eye. we subconsciously or consciously pretend that the people around us never had to go through stuff we do to achieve their wondrous results - whether it's scoring an A or getting to travel halfway across the world.

it's easy, so, i had to mentally slap myself this morning for focusing on the results.

empathy is an important tool in these situations. put yourself in the other person's shoes. experience what they've experienced to have come down to this single point. a gold medal was not earned from being happy and comfortable all of your days - hard work, pain, injuries, sleepless nights, emotional breakdowns, long chats about dreams and hopes and passion and desires, and more, are the ingredients to a gold medal. same to everything else. nothing just happens. everything comes in a process. be aware of it. your process will carry results too. you're just still in the process right now. focus on your process. give your best. your time will come. and even if it doesn't, acknowledge all of the lessons you've learned in the process and apply them to future processes. rinse and repeat.

2. breaking down big tasks into smaller ones. push yourself.

i went running/jogging/walking with my friends these evening. i had come home from church and was dozing off multiple times in the afternoon while i was typing on my phone. (literally nodding away and to the point of even almost dropping my phone) so i took a nap with incredibly restless sleep - i knew i was dreaming the moment i lied down. i woke up late to a number of missed calls from my friend, but pushed myself to get out of bed (in spite of being late) to go for that run anyways.

during the run, i knew i was not physically fit at all, so i ran for the first 1.5km and slowed down to a walk. halfway through, i was really tempted to give up and just walked the whole way. it was something i knew i could do. strangely enough, i began to set small goals for myself and pushed myself to go back to that slow jog anyways, however long i was able to keep that up. i was telling myself things like "if you could run to that bush, you can run to that streetlight. if you can run to that streetlight, you can run to that bench." every milestone was only a few steps away from each other, but i found it much easier to push myself like this than looking at completing a 4km run.

4km sounded big to me. running to the bench/street lamp/rocks was not. small tasks and goals work. just keep doing the little things and soon, you'll realise that you're getting big things done.

(i completed the run with a lot of hiccups and pauses in between, switching from running to jogging to walking to jogging and walking again, but i made myself finish it nonetheless. bonus: having supportive friends really help too.)