Rare,

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary:

(Of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often:

Rare indeed, do I post nowadays.

Glimmer
Glimmer

So, why now?

After a week or so of having tough nights where my mind just wanders in circles and prevent me from falling asleep – thus not getting enough rest to get about with my daily activities. I think it’s time i started noting these thoughts down again.

Does it mean i’ll start blogging more often again now, I hardly think so.

I’ll jump straight into it.

I’ve been unable to drag myself to blog at all ever since I moved to Singapore. I don’t fully know why, but I think it’s because..

  1. I’m generally content with life. If i look back, i think most of my posts were due to complains or discontent with myself. Creativity seems to flow more abundantly when I’m unhappy.
  2. I’m so busy with work that when I get home, it becomes painful to be creative.
  3. I’m using so much of my brain to do analytical work that I think my creative side has just shut down? Is that even possible? Or perhaps i’m not just naturally creative at all, and require extensive effort to TRY to be creative. If so, disappointing :\

OK, back to why I’m blogging today..

Have you ever wondered about how you’ve become who you are, what makes you, you and are you content with who you are? Recently, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this.

I don’t know for certain when this began, but I’ve been starting to find that a lot of my actions or thoughts are quite.. peculiar. If I were to describe myself in a few simple words, I would consider these:

  1. Indecisive
  2. Persistent
  3. Perfectionist

Those 3, I’ve known already for quite a while. But recently, I’m struggling to accept that I may also be… a Gambler.

Prior to arriving at being a Gambler, I’ve always thought of myself as merely having a higher tolerance for risk. However, recent events have started to make me realise that not only do I have a high tolerance, but I may in fact, be actively seeking out risky situations (not the tangible kind).

Now, I know for certain that I have no other addictions beyond gaming addiction – I definitely already talked about this on my post once upon a time. So, I don’t mean that I go to the casino or any sort of gambling activity to dish out money in hopes of gaining more money in return. Instead, I seem to be gambling with my own wellbeing.

So if we put all that together, I’m indecisive, persistent, a perfectionist and also a gambler. How does this even fit together? I don’t know. They are quite contradictory..

When i first openly declared that I’m a perfectionist, it was many many years ago when I was still in university. I’ve since come to adapt to my surroundings (mainly work) and remoulded my behaviour and understanding of perfectionism to ‘striving to be better’. I no longer need something to be perfect, it just has to be better than before. I can go on and on about that, but let’s not do that today. Ok let’s start over – Indecisive, Persistent, Strive to be Better (is there a one word equivalent for this?), and Gambler.

Ok here’s what I’m at war with within my head.

I want a new career. I currently work as a Risk Consultant in a declining oil and gas industry but I’m in a desperate need of a change and I’ve long known that my interest lies in IT. What exactly? I haven’t fixated on anything yet, simply because I haven’t tried anything, but one thing’s for sure, my interest spans quite a bit.

For those who followed my blog once upon a time, are aware that I finally made an effort to eject myself from this vicious cycle of stable but dissatisfied employment by letting my manager know of my intentions to resign IF this project in Singapore fell through (at that time it was a pretty high likelihood that we weren’t going to get it). I was totally ready for it. I did not even try to prepare a backup, nor seek alternative employment. I knew I just wanted to stop. Funny enough, we won the project and here I am in Singapore.

Truthfully, I’m quite blessed and no doubt thankful that we did win this project, because after going through 9 months of it, I’ve definitely gained a lot more experience and knowledge. More importantly, it has reaffirmed my desire to venture into IT. But.. that’s not all. It’s also brought out that inner desire to pursue entrepreneurship even more. What does this mean these days? Easy. Start-up.

However, the core problem in all this is.. I have very little work experience in IT, and I have no contacts to start-a-start-up. I believe I mentioned before, I’m terrible at human interaction. Nothing’s changed since. I’m still a social piranha and a small network circle. A lot of it has to do with my insistence on not mixing work and life. Which means, I don’t like to and don’t want to have colleagues as friends. Although that’s the easiest and best way.. I haven’t quite acknowledged or come to the conclusion that I should. Despite saying that, I’ve also come to learn that my inability is not so much to do with my

OK, I’m diverging a bit, so let me retract. As I’m quite indecisive, I’m often crippled by choices. The way I’ve chose to deal with this; as I have in many aspects of my life, is to either let someone choose for me, or eliminate my choices.

Example – a few months after starting my work in Singapore, I openly expressed my interest in other industries, specifically Data Analytics in IT. Not just to colleagues, but to my immediate Managers. Yes, that’s shooting myself in the foot there. Why would anyone do that? It’s a recipe for being excluded on any future promotions, involvement in projects, etc, etc and being in the industry where you might just be laid off tomorrow, It’s like I’m simply asking for it. Just so you know, I am still employed, but probably only because my contract term hasn’t expired yet, hahaha. However, to me, that’s how I force myself to get out. There’s definitely better ways of approaching this, but this was what I did and well, been told my actions are irrational.

Despite doing that, I am in no way a slacker, etc. I strive to be the best at what I do, and I work hard. Even with every intention to leave the company, I will and do fulfil my duties and beyond. Not because I’m expected to, but because I can’t help it. It’s precisely because of this as well that I felt I had no choice but to act irrationally. That’s not all, during my initial performance review, I mentioned to my managers (in part to do with a declining industry) that it was not necessary for me to be promoted. I will always do what is expected of me, and what I believe should be done to achieve the goals of the project within my means. I don’t need to be paid more, nor be given a better title for me to carry them out. So again, why did I have to act irrationally?

If my wish of being unemployed in this way truly comes to fruit, then I’ll be left with nothing much. Maybe the people, particularly my managers will still be willing to put in a good word for me for my next job. I have yet to even try to secure a new job – so I’ll be jobless. I won’t be able to remain in Singapore, so I’ll either have to return to Australia, or back home – Brunei. It’s as though as I’m just waiting for an angel to drop from above to give me a job without me even trying. Or perhaps, that’s not even what I want? Am i putting too much faith in myself that I’ll be able to find that entrepreneur within me to bring together something that will both sustain my interest and feed me? Am I simply being ignorant or overconfident of my own abilities? I have during the past year and before, read many articles which points towards this being a very risky / disastrous path. Most advise towards doing this on the sidelines WHILE being in a stable job as the best way of transitioning. So why am I being so stubborn..?

Do I simply take joy in gambling with my own fate?

Perhaps the excitement of achieving a goal outside of the norm overwhelms the possibility of just being successful the tried and true way?

I’ve come to realise that I’ve exhibited this behaviour a few times in my life..

Long ago back in high school, I took part in athletics, particularly long distance running. It was the norm (and the obvious thing to do) to practice diligently to build up your stamina in preparation for the event. However, once I simply refused and decided that winning like that simply wasn’t exciting enough. I wanted to do it without any preparation. So i did. I didn’t win, but I came in 2nd. Was it because I wanted to brag about it, no, surprisingly. It was mostly to test myself and to satisfy my own curiosity to see how far I would get, simply by being me.

This again happened in a similar fashion when I used to take part in competitive gaming locally in Brunei. I annoyed my teammates quite a bit because of my curious nature to ‘experiment’ and try fancy and unproven things. We were at that time, the leading team in this game we were playing. During crucial moments in the tournaments, I would – behave irrationally in order to ‘create’ a much more exciting win. This could mean, I would intentionally put ourselves in a situation which, if wasn’t executed perfectly, could throw the game. Clearly, doing things normally would already win the game, but that wasn’t enough for me.

That definitely describes me as being a selfish person, putting everyone’s need aside to satisfy my own curiosity. Though, at that time – I rationalised my behaviour towards, it being JUST a game. There’s no need to be so serious over winning.

Today, I think that’s still true. I have little, to no desire to win. Little, to no desire to be rich. Little, to no desire to be number one. However, I have every bit of intention and desire to try and experiment things in ways that I imagine possible. All this, in hopes to better myself.

that being said, am I simply just a compulsive gambler?

If you’ve managed to survive through that rant, I would really love to hear from you 🙂 ciao!

Post submitted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Rare

Carton boxes to my left,
Half unpacked luggage to my right,
Lying on a dissimilar bed,
Fireworks crackling in the air.

Any idea what’s happening?

The last few months have been rather.. turbulent. Let’s rewind a bit to where I was – living in Perth, unhappy with job and trying to find meaning in life?

 

How bout now?

I’m on vacation back home in Brunei to spend some quality time with my family, and today is the eve of the Chinese New Year. The clock has struck twelve and there are people happily putting up fireworks to celebrate this new year.

What else has happened in between?

I expressed my interest to resign, which felt extremely good. Interestingly enough this ended with an opportunity to move to Singapore. One month later, I found myself in Singapore after moving everything I collected over almost a decade in Australia, back home to Brunei and to Singapore. Packing up everything you had and leaving a country in one month; one word – insane.

Singapore?

9am-9pm.
People, more people, lots of people, damn – how do you fit 6 million people in this tiny island?
HUMID.
Food, oh lots of food.
Tired.. so tired.

That’s all for now.. i’ll elaborate more next time.e Happy Chinese New Year to all of you out there who are celebrating this festive period 🙂

Always on the run.
Always on the run.

Cheers!

Post submitted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Time

It started as a means to help me decide if I should continue waiting..
Now it’s become a path towards chronic pain, destruction or unending what ifs.

How did it come to this?
If only the circumstances were different.

Please get out of my mind..
This is becoming unbearable…

 

 

nty6x

 

The sky is the limit..

Sky is the limit
Sky is the limit

Post submitted in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Boundaries

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nty6x

Here’s a beautiful song from Les Misérables~

On my own
Pretending he’s beside me
All alone
I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and forever

And I know it’s only in my mind
That I’m talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there’s a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river’s just a river
Without him
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I’m learning
All my life
I’ve only been pretending
Without me
His world will go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness
That I have never known

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

On my own
On my own

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nty6x

Survived! Phew! A very big thank you to all of you who have supported me through this difficult time.. If only I could really express how I grateful I am for everything you’ve all done for me 🙂

Now if only i can go back on a holiday… but I’ll settle for a song for now.

But someday
I will find my way back
To where your name
Is written in the sand

Tell me how to get back to
Back to summer paradise with you
And I’ll be there in a heartbeat

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nty6x

You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down
You, you enchant me even when you’re not around
If there are boundaries, I will try to knock them down
I’m latching on, babe, now I know what I have found

nty6x

Hello peeps!

This week’s prompt couldn’t be any better.

Change is commonly defined as “to give a completely different form or appearance to; to transform.”

This may be a drawn-out process that’s difficult to capture in a single photograph, or a quick transformation that’s depicted in a snapshot. Perhaps it’s the change of seasons. A caterpillar becoming a butterfly. A shift in the weather.

I figured I should take this opportunity to blabber on a bit.. (Yes, there is actually some content this time which doesn’t involve extracting lyrics from songs :P)

Roughly a year ago, some heavenly sent peeps decided to get me a DSLR. For a really long time, I really wanted to take up photography, but never made the effort or took the leap to get a DSLR. In hindsight, I really didn’t need a DSLR to start. Like come on, you don’t need a DSLR to take photographs. You have compact cameras, camera phones, etc.. Big fat excuse I came up with.

Nevertheless, I never for a moment thought that things could change that drastically by taking up a hobby – which doesn’t involve hours of mindless grinding to obtain that godly loot to bring forth godlike carnage to those who dare stand in my path.

It was hard at first, carrying a DSLR around was like carrying with you the weight and responsibility of all other photographers out there on your shoulders. Don’t know about you, but back then, my first thought of seeing someone with a DSLR would be, “Ah, that person must be a professional photographer, photos must be great”. If and when they find out that the photos you took were crap, it’ll be like.. “Oh, he’s just one of those.”.

Eventually, I got over that ridiculous fear of being judged.

It’s not about getting that trophy shot to gain the acceptance or approval of others.

It’s about shooting for yourself. Camera in hand, the world is at your fingertips and it’s up to you to use the wonders of light to tell a story, your story.

Unless of course you’re commissioned, then it’ll be their story ;D

So a year ago on my first holiday with a DSLR in hand, I took this picture.

Beat that drum
Beat that drum

In the Chinese culture, drumming is often associated with things like, welcoming the new and chasing away the bad juju. I chose to use this picture as it relates to my situation and this theme. I’ve been desperately looking for and forcibly imposing change on myself for quite some time now. 6 months ago, I made a firm decision to resign so that I can rediscover myself. Unsurprisingly, such a resolution doesn’t just happen overnight. Today, I have yet to resign. In saying that, I don’t regret not being able to make that leap.

Why? That simple resolute had changed my perspective. I was no longer bogged down by the fear of instability. Had a holiday destination you’ve been dying to try but was fearful of disappearing for a few weeks from work, especially in challenging times? Afraid to voice out your opinion because everyone else thinks otherwise? Fear of not being able to make your next mortgage payment? Worrying over something that may happen gets you no where. If you have the time to worry, why not use that time to work on an alternative solution instead?

2 months ago, I was told that I needed to do some public speaking for my company. That scared me shitless. That was one of the things I loathe doing the most. It was precisely the reason that I was looking for to finally resign. It was a no brainer for me at that time. However, it’s not in my nature to give up or back down from a challenge. Along the way, I almost succumbed to various temptations which would prevent me from having to publicly humiliating myself – I almost decided to just abandon everything so I can spend a few months road tripping around the different states of Australia. However, every time I walked up to my manager, the words wouldn’t come out. I won’t give up.

Next week will be the day I fulfil this objective. I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself – regardless of the outcome, I will come out a better, stronger person. Even if I fainted on stage, I would be able to store this experience in my reservoir of things I’ve been through. If there comes a time when I need to compare humiliating experiences with others, I’d be able to brag that I fainted in front of 200 people 🙂

So now I ask myself, what awaits after next week?

Apologies for I have digressed.. now back to topic.. photographs representing change…

Bliss
Bliss

Here I have one of my favourite photos ever taken on my most recent holiday. It’s been more than a year since I sunk my boat. I salvaged whatever I could, drifted with the tide, sought solace on deserted islands, got attacked by a few crustaceans along the way, shook some coconut trees only to get knocked unconscious by the same rations I was after, swam with dolphins and finally… made it back to shore 🙂

Will I ever be able to find that person who will make everything else around me disappear into the unknown except for what’s right there in front of me? Only time will tell.

PS: I know none of these photos actually show any change, I just wanted to tell a story 🙂

Post submitted in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Change.

Here’s an awesome video to usher in a change!

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nty6x

We were strangers, starting out on a journey
Never dreaming, what we’d have to go through
Now here we are, I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

Down an unknown road to embrace my fate
Though that road may wander, it will lead me to you
And a thousand years would be worth the wait
It might take a lifetime but somehow I’ll see it through

Far away, long ago
Glowing dim as an ember
Things my heart used to know
Once upon a December

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

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nty6x