I just did the most random thing….

Ramadan Kareem to all who celebrates! I have never felt the same kind of excitement in the past years. I had to spend 2 years of Ramadan away from family which, definitely has got its own perks and drawbacks. Honestly, even though I missed everything about England, I don’t feel the same for the LONG fasting hours haha, oh god :’)

I survived nonetheless — despite the odd jobs or not being able to prepare food on my own (so I got a solid reason to order Dominos that I can eat for 2 days *cough*). The experience was truly refreshing so I’m not complaining about fasting 13 hours in Malaysia, it’s definitely nothing compared to the UK. So don’t complain! I know some countries in the south has got shorter hours but seriously, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference as it is with the northern countries. #blessed

So, in case you missed it, so many things had happened in Malaysia within a short period of time. News run pretty quick so I’m trying my best to catch up too!

The general election last week was really intense but it ended up well and a celebration of democracy! It was a pretty historic event if I may put it that way and I’m proud that my generation (including me!) have done the best that we could to make sure that we rebuild the nation. Although the results worked in the people’s favor, I can see there are some groups who are unhappy with it.

As a spectator, politics have always been my cup of tea. I speak about feminism and gender discrimination all the time. I learn the meaning of tolerance and empathy along the way. I get called several different names and be labeled a liberal in the past. I don’t worry about all that for a slightest but what worries me the most is not being able to assert myself for an opinion that I collected based on my observation or pure research. You see, everybody thinks they are right. Even to an extremist. But what forms a moderate nation, is to learn about toleration and use that in your discourse. It will make a huge difference. I don’t think everyone understands that and still, I think it’s okay. All we need to do is to educate the people by showing them how it is done.

What I do to the group of people who disagree with the election results or myself is to listen to their concerns attentively, regardless how nonsensical the argument is. Personally, I feel that these people have got something to offer from their observations too. Everyone interprets information differently and we just have to acknowledge the fact that that’s what it is. It can be a 9 to you and a 6 to others, depending which side are you looking at.

I’m not here to conclude the news, pretty sure everyone is well-informed by now but to do a quick refresher course, especially to my non-Malaysian friend; after 61 years of a solid government led by UMNO (which later formed a coalition of Barisan Nasional with all races included), the 14th general election broke the status quo by proving that the people wanted Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) to govern the country. I figured that the nation, has once again, proved that it’s possible to change your leader without pulling the extreme ways, we simply worked out our responsibility. Due to that, I am once again, proud to call myself a Malaysian. I’m sure a huge number of us are feeling the same way right now.  Even though I battle with my inner conscience every other day where I rather stay in bed than making any human contacts, political discourse really got me engaged. It’s comforting to talk about this with like-minded people where opinion is not (always) taken as an attack on their personal values and likewise.

(I’m writing while refreshing my Twitter feed for meme materials so this post has really taken aaaaaages to get to the end, omg)

It took up to this point to FINALLY (drum rolls) share the most random thing that I did last week. Ohmygod, see I told you not to trigger my political beats, it’s never going to end! I went to KL for an interview with a banking company for a position (take a guess…) that has nothing to do with design. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I was this adventurous to try out new things but this bit particularly has given me all sorts of mixed feelings. The interview was okay even though I attempted a wrong test at the beginning (it was embarrassing though, I don’t wish to talk about this haha) The hiring manager was polite, we’ve exchanged conversation like I had known her for a long time and I, for one have to make sure that I am showing my best self.

I told myself that I wanted to try out this whole career affair in a small agency, where the opportunity to grow is likely observed in the first few months but I had not found a single one that I’m keen to yet, due to many reasons. So, with the entire free time that I have had at home, I decided to embark my journey as a full-time freelancer.  This too  is a challenge on its own. The gig isn’t always guaranteed so you gotta be one tough cookie to travel on this road, buddy. I guess I don’t mind going on a journey that WILL teach me the values of money and network because I so need that.

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Finally, I hope I’d be able to update something similar in my future entry, or I might be able to include some of the design work that I did for clients (upon their consent, of course) for your interpretation. I have never received any critical feedback on my blog yet so I hope a visual engaging post will stimulate likewise.

P/S: I just happened to know that a full-time freelancer has to register the business in SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia), as a sole proprietor or a partner in a business. Has anyone had any idea if I can do this online?

 

Food Review: Ain’s Patisserie.

This is going to be my first food review slot because:

  1. This underrated cafe deserves a token of appreciation for its good desserts and pastries!
  2. I know the lady boss (we went to the same uni twice!) and I think she’s a pretty cool person.

Okay okay. I might go slightly bias on this one just because I know the individual who runs the business but I genuinely think that everyone has got that tendency to pick the familiar side when giving an opinion, right? Honestly, I’d still come down to taste the pastries had I not known the owner myself, they post some really delectable desserts on Instagram! (follow @ainpatisserie, you won’t get disappointed!)

First of all, let me just say that.. I have been longing to drop by since the opening in 2016 (I think? I can’t remember) but I was not in Malaysia during that time. So my first impression when I found out about Ain’s new venture was “oh cool! she’s working on her dream!” so I decided to follow her and promised myself that I will pop by whenever I am back. 2 years and a couple months later, here I am.

So the real first impression after coming to see the cafe myself? I LOVED the ambience! Honestly, I think the cafe was underrated. Literally, it was just me and my brother who wanted to take an interior shot of a cafe (okay, well I was there for a reason, you see?) I was catered by 2 staffs after walking in, which were lovely people. I’ve always liked an empty space. It’s definitely a sure fire way to declutter my mind — I get to write, think and just be myself when no one else’s around. So the cafe, to me, was an ideal place where I can do all of that, except that I’m coming with my little brother and he needed my help for a photography project so I wasn’t really on my own. 

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See? We took a few of shots where no one was around, i mean, really. There was no one! I love it.

Anyway, I’m not good at describing an interior plan but imagine a regular shop lot and space inside is divided into 2, that’s how much space that they have. It’s not too small because I could still walk, direct laugh and not be feeling constricted. I don’t have claustrophobia anyway so it was good. So the moment we walked in, we were invited by a delicious smell of cakes and pastries! The concept was using a tray to pick whatever desserts that you want and eat before the payment.

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We took the table closest to the entrance just because we need a neutral light for our photoshoot. Photo-editing could have helped as much but the neutral light was SO IMPORTANT guys, pls remember that. We took 3 different desserts; a red velvet cupcake, Marie Toffin and a gigantic cream puff. For the drinks, I ordered the good ol’ Cappucino (thanks Fran, for introducing me to the nectar of the gods) my brother ordered a cup of Latte. It took us a while to get the coffee but I was fine. We had some time to perform some photo shoots before we get to be careful not to spill the drinks! (The table was a little shaky and light, we try not to put any heavy stuff on the table surface while enjoying our desserts)

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I was quite proud of how the photos turned out to be, they were amazing! Mostly, I was helping out with getting the right composition even though, I say it was a little hard to get an accurate composition for an indoor shoot. (or maybe I just didn’t know how to do it, trying my best anyway) But we’re not here to crit photos. I’m giving a food review guys!

Okay so beginning from the square Marie Toffin, the first bite almost made me cry. They were very generous with the gooey chocolate sauce, it literally melted in my mouth. I had a gum bleeding history in the past so I’ve always avoided any sorts of extreme sweetness desserts but this one was an exception! 3 seconds later, my gum aches so badly haha. I had to stop chewing for the next 10 minutes. Onto the next dessert, the cream puff. Oh, btw we shared the desserts together. I didn’t eat just mine, my brother didn’t eat only his. We’ve swapped food (i mean, who doesn’t? it’s siblings affair lmao)

That was the first gigantic cream puff I have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t decide whether I was going to rate 5 for Marie Toffin or the cream puff because honestly sis, they were so good. The cream puff was not too sweet, I think they really made a wise choice of filling the puff up with a cream, almost like a foam texture. I think it was a whipped cream? But I try to avoid playing the assumption game so I might have to ask Ain about this myself.

What else?

Oh yes. The red velvet cupcake. I think this will be the 3rd preferred desserts. Not because I don’t like the cupcake, (I have a soft spot for anything red velvet). I think the cake texture wasn’t like how I’d have expected before coming to the cafe. I’ve seen their Instagram stories for way too many times so that could have been the reason why I have had such a huge expectation. BUT, it was not a disappointment! Trust me, I still like it. The cream cheese didn’t taste industrial. I mean, have you guys tried an industrial-made cream cheese? They feel so heavy to your mouth and really sweet to my tongue. I never liked them. They’re like the evil one among your notorious step sister — Idk where is this going but you get what I mean, right? 

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Last but not least, our coffees! I had no particular complaints about my coffee. Although I’d prefer an actual grounded bean, the taste in this one was not disappointing either. What else? I can’t think of anything else. Interior wise, checked. Food wise, checked. Oh yes, I came for 2 things. I wanted to meet the lady boss herself. We have not seen each other for 5 years so I just thought of dropping by to say hi (in case she still remembers me) and helping out my brother. I did mention that, right?

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And that’s me, feeling rather stoked despite my heartless side look. I have too many side photos like this but never get tired of posing the same 😀

Finally, taking care of myself on Thursday, also checked.

Thanks for reading.

 

I was a medical student but…

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Honestly, I can’t remember how many times have I shared about my educational background to strangers in the last 5 years — which by the way, was completely unintentional. Most of the time, it was for filling out the small talk vacuum (How To Impress A Date 101), other times were merely flashbacks. I don’t cling to the sentimental values of it anymore — it’s just that I like the feeling of being able to articulate about my past. I can pretty much tell whether I’ve moved on from the way I share to people about it.

Studying medicine was definitely a great thing, or at least to my mom because it was a noble job (according to her that she heard from another friend who never had a single kid in medical school) but then, I  guess I am so much happier to see the world outside the zone of the glamorous medical life. Oh btw, sorry to burst your bubble but medicine, was indeed not a glamorous job. Any medical student who is reading this right now, prepare to see my side of the story with a sceptical eye and pray “thank god she didn’t end up in medicine!

Also, just to clarify that my decision comes with a whole lot of challenges especially growing up in the environment of *Bawang (I’m Malaysian, guys.) so it was not easy. I exhaust myself trying to think of the right way to justify my decision until I land to the state of not giving a single damn anymore. I sipped a coffee one day and said to myself:

you know what, f*ck this. I’m not explaining myself anymore.

It was a defining moment to my mental health because, for the first time in my life, I decided not to care about what others would think of me. Not just from the relatives. Sometimes I had to explain the same sh*t to Margaret from a random coffee shop because my age doesn’t fit the criteria of pursuing another degree in another school (or in another country, halfway across the globe). yeah, it was absurd.

So this isn’t going to be your usual fantasy tale that ends up with a happy ending in your dusty young adult novel from years ago. In fact, my story is not even close to fantasy to offer to readers so I hope you will still be reading this, which happens to be the best yet, that I can share.

I always thought that the university phase is the most grown-up time for me as an 18-year-old conservative school leaver because I was confident in myself, although looking back, I was really ashamed of some of the stupid things that I did in the past — truthfully, I did not know many things back then!  So of course, I was constantly worrying about my future because my results were not the best at the time.

I was basically a clean slate all over again. The only thing that determined the future back then was my subject selection in high school. I was a science student, meaning I took the triplet of Biology, Chemistry & Physics with a side of Additional Maths, parfait.  As for the Add Maths, it was not an option to drop the subject so I had to do it anyway.

I know, that was a strange concept but trust me, some schools in Malaysia do that lmao. 

Looking at the history of my high school subjects, I thought I was the perfect fit for a medical science course, become a doctor and make money. Sure, not a big deal, right? Still pretty young and occasionally wild, never made my parents cried about myself even once. Little did I know that this was going to be the beginning of my endless panic attacks.

Even though I was a medical science student, I was not the brightest one in the classroom. Sure, it was cool and everyone was helpful. But, the competition was really aggressive and I learned that I didn’t like that. The competition was not the right method for me to learn but in the medical school (where I was back then), that’s all that matters. It got to the point where studies are draining my brain so much that I cried almost every day. Did I even mention that I almost passed out looking at a decaying corpse? (cue surprise soundtrack) but this has nothing to do with any medical phobia.

So, back in uni, we used to have a forensic room where they preserve cadavers in a tub like a freezer. I remember vividly about getting really discomfort looking at the dead bodies drowned in a tub full of formaldehyde  yet exciting! In the sense of getting to know the history of the bodies, who were they belong to and why did they end up in the forensic room. Students are always required to use a mask in order to execute a study because of the extreme level of embalming chemicals floating in the air. I thought I was cool with spending 10 minutes inside the room without using a mask — yes, I was that smart. So I came out and everything turns .. blank. I was not able to see anything passed the exit room.

I was confused by my choice back then and my relatives were pressuring me into thinking that medicine was a noble industry. I know it was, I just didn’t like the fact that people had to say it in my face when I told them that study was exhausting. So, putting up with their views is one thing but letting their views dictate my life was another. Slowly and eventually, I became someone who never smiles. I was completely a different person after 5 months into a medical school.

A few weeks after, I walked briskly into the finance office and decided that I wanted to quit. I guess it was a well-thought-out decision, at least for myself and my mental health. I had asked some friends about it, some of them were not supportive. A few did but I thought it did not matter to me as I was the one who’d have to worry about the consequences in the future. It was a sudden movement, not even a discussion was made with my parents. I was on a student loan and probably not the best decision for any medical students to make at the beginning of the study. A week later, my dad found out and interrogated me like a policeman. I shared his sentiment, he was really worried about my future — as did I during that time. (shoutout to dad for not disowning me over my decision) 

I guess that was the most grown-up decision I have ever made in my life. My passion has always been in art. I just..never listen to my instinct. I let people views and opinions dictate my life back then which was a big mistake. And then a friend sent me this and it’s definitely something that I can relate to so many levels:

For you who are reading this, you’re going to realize it one day that happiness was never about your job or your degree or being in a relationship. Happiness was never about following in the footsteps of all those who came before you, it was never about being like the others. One day, you’re going to see it — that happiness was always about the discovery, the hope, the listening to your heart and following it wherever it chose to go.

Happiness was always about being kinder to yourself, it was always about embracing the person you were becoming. One day, you will understand. That happiness was always about learning how to live with yourself, that happiness was never in the hands of other people. It was always about you.

I decided to follow my heart and I’ve never been happier.

Anyway, here’s a little ad for what’s coming up! I will be running a masterclass on June ’18 and it’s been something that I’ve longed to do since in uni. If you guys are interested or just want to get more info, kindly inquire within! direct message me on Instagram/Twitter or email me: dinihairuddin00@gmail.com! 🙂

 

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UNIQLO turned me down and then…

Hello friends.

I wasn’t able to post anything since the last announcement for many reasons but mostly been feeling unwell. I have not told many people about this but it’s been a hell of a ride to take care of my mental health especially post-heartbreak and conflicts. I’m just the kind of person who would avoid the double trouble  (is what I call them) because I struggle to pick myself up after a life tragedy. I will be very inclined to self-blaming and torturing myself upon baseless reasoning. It’s definitely has becoming a defensive mechanism to cope with denials in the past. I try not to go as far as questioning my faith in Him but that also happens quite frequently lately.

Anyway, how are you guys doing? I have so much to share, so much to ask about, probably too much for a roller-coaster of emotion (heavy breathing). I’m glad that there are people reading my blog and say nice things like it’s relatable – honestly, it’s the mission of this blog. More often than not, people talk about the interface like easy navigation, basic design. I’m not so much about decorating my blog right now. I do it for my personal values, sharing my journey in taking care of myself and rambling about adulthood in hope to meet at the intersection point; which it did. The post today is subjective. Even though I have to push myself to document this feeling (while it’s there ya know) and slightly feel uncomfortable in sharing my insecurity, I think it’s good to recognize what it’s there.

So out of curiosity, I applied for a job in UNIQLO as UMC. Anyone who understands/ have applied/ had relatives who work at/ somewhat knows about Uniqlo hiring system, you’d understand how tedious they were. Yes, I have a job atm but I have always wanted to work with Uniqlo and the opportunity was there so might as well grab it, ya know? Funny thing is that I did not expect any calls from UNIQLO but there they were, giving me some kind of hope. It was all good until getting to the part where no one hopes to hear, “your application was probably getting rejected.” I say probably because it happened so quickly and in a subtle way you couldn’t even tell.

Dealing with an unsettling information prior to knowing that my application didn’t make it, I was quite or shall I say, severely disappointed. I blame for the fact that I was just..being really bitter about it. Other than that, I understand that I should definitely move on.  A friend came to me saying stuff like “Don’t get upset! They’ve got several intakes in a year so you can always try again!” of course, I’m just not sure whether I should do it again or not is all.

To date from the beginning of my graduation until now, the number of job rejection that I received could turn all the papers that I use for my CV into another living tree again. True story. Although some of you might say that I’d probably get used to rejection by now, I’d still get a pang of disappointment with every rejection that I received, mostly via my email. It was definitely compounded by the previous rejection fear and a sense of effort that I put in in order to apply for the job. The fact that I know about this in a subtle way didn’t really help much. So I was supposed to get an email to attempt an online aptitude test anytime between Monday (12/03) to Friday (16/03) after the first interview. It was until Thursday that I realised I did not get any further information from the HR team so I phoned them up. Technically I still have Friday, 16/03 to wait but I’m sure UNIQLO must have had sent the link earlier and not wait until Friday. (Never underestimate Japanese work manner). I was informed that shortlisted candidates should receive an email to the online test on Wednesday. I did not get any email from them yesterday, so I guess that could indicate something but I did not assume. At the same time, I feel like I might as well move on. I’m living that moving on phase from time to time that it could almost define me. Sure, it does shape me to become who I am now and I can certainly say that I handle heartbreaks more efficient than I was, probably 6 months ago but heck of a long journey it was to be able to recognize some setbacks and say “that’s okay.” 

Anyway, this isn’t going to be the usual long entry just because I need some time to breathe, meditate and heal. Not just from the recent rejection but also from anything else that exhaust my soul and gives a hell lot of burden to my brain. Kindly reach out to me via my social media whenever you need to do so. Any words of encouragement is very much apreciated.

P/s: Talking about adulthood, people have many strange misconceptions about growing up as an adult and I feel compelled to debunk myths that I find…atrocious or just bullsh*t at its best. Will do this in my next entry and hopefully when I feel much better.

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New project, who dis?

Before I begin rambling in many blathering tangents, is there any veteran blogger out there willing to help a sister out? (me, I’m the sister)

I’m not sure how or what’s the best way to treat this blog — am I supposed to write every day? twice a week or only curate the most important part of my life? I realized that many bloggers do that, means they only write about certain things to keep the blog minimal yet interesting. I never set myself to certain rules but just because I am training myself to articulate better in a conversation, I turn this into a weekly errand. So just to be safe, I’m sticking to the normal once a week schedule even though it’s almost never happened (sorry!)

Anyway, I have an exciting announcement to make.

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Not that it’s a glam and glitz biz but I’ve been longing to explore this hobby since I left uni and had a few request from my friends all over the place (Hello? the screenshot above is one of them) so the anticipation is sort of building up on this one. My best friend thinks it’s the right time to do it:

“Hey, you’re super creative and coming (this project) from you, I know it’s going to be amazing!”

I have not been able to catch-up with my friends for many valid reasons and for that, I’m really sorry. It’s only fair if I share this with everyone that I know, my readers and supportive friends who backed this project for so long by writing an entry about this on my blog. So, lo and behold!

Lately, I spend a lot my free time doing creative things, freelancing and finding pretty inspiration online. I like pretty things so if you think you’re pretty, there are 99% chances I already liked you. (ohmygod that was such a bizarre pick-up line!)

So I have been Pinteresting lots of ideas, Youtubing tutorials and designing graphics to see if I can develop any interesting projects in the future. They are therapeutic, to say the least, and make me happy. I don’t hang out very often for an obvious reason but when I have time to do so, a lot of my friends are not available haha! The time doesn’t always work out in the favor of 2 people but it has always been, for my sweet spot.

Anyway, here’s the new project about. (drum rolls) I’m going to begin a video journalling and setting up a Youtube channel for my creative endeavor. Honestly, this is a big deal to me because announcing a big promising project gives me a lot of anxiety for the amount of expectation I am getting from people like, okay I’m slowly learning to get something out of this project and building my way up whilst making sure that I don’t get your false hope up, you feel me? The only good thing about a project is how it keeps a conversation going! (yeah, it’s a small talk filler between creative people. It’s 99% effective, trust me).

fun fact: French people maintain a quality small talk by avoiding questions about the other party’s job. Interesting huh?

So I’m in the middle of refining some bits and pieces of my channel, I will mostly cover (but not restricted to) tackling adulthood, my life in general or maybe some cut-offs from videos that I made in the past, design experimentation and creative tutorials. What do you guys think? Is there anything in specific that you guys want to see on my channel? Comment down below!

Many do not know that so many times, I have to compromise with time to do a side project. I wouldn’t say it’s hard just because I have the right foundation, to begin with. And for that, I’m grateful. You have to like the entire process to achieve satisfaction in doing one. Refinery29, Esteé Lalonde, Ladylike or even a language-learning channel like Damon&Jo are some of my best references for video journalling (you should check them out!)

Finally, if anyone has any useful tips to share in vlogging or anything as simple as “How to avoid the public attention while carrying around a video camera” will be very much appreciated.

Here’s a shameless promotion to another new beginning: go subscribe to my Youtube channel and show your #sistersbeforemisters support! 😀

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What no one tells you about hustling alone.

Hello!

Surprise surprise. It didn’t take me long to write a new post! I was feeling rather pumped to share what I saw and felt about the news that I received last Friday. We will get into this bit in a sec but first, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who voted in a poll that I made on Insta story. Whether a nay or yay, I was glad that MORE people had engaged in a non-conventional discussion, which means that I’m so close to achieving my social target this year!

I’m sure some of you guys have seen my active engagement on social media since I came home and so many people have asked me about my career path at the moment. I think this post will focus on just that and hopefully many other relevant things and not going down the memory lane of my degree simply because I wouldn’t stop if we go that way haha! Just a quick disclaimer before I begin my storytelling. This is the path that I choose, yes. No one forces me to take the road less travelled, yes. Essentially speaking, I am not complaining or trying to get into a deep emotional conversation about building my way up. I decided to give a quick rundown through the many facets that no one sees just because. (right? Just because.)

For a lot of creative individuals that I know, getting our names out there is the most challenging aspect of working in this industry. Unless you work in a company with stable demographics and a niche player, you will struggle to develop your personal brand at some point. For me, now that I understand the analytical aspect of social media, I find it to be less intimidating to put myself out there but still get a little confused sometimes. I mean, social media, is almost like an augmented reality that gives you a superficial hint to someone’s life and for some reasons, we believe it. Right? I’m imposing a question that does not need an immediate, one size fits all answer. You can think about this when you have the right answer. Personally, I think this is a trivial deal (not a global threat like North Korea nuclear war is what I’m saying)  for as long as you deliver the right message that resonates with your identity, lifestyle, and brand. What do you think? Comment down below if you have your own take on this, I want to hear that!

It’s definitely worth the effort to invest time and money in social media. I’m sure many YouTubers out there do the same because let’s be honest. If you have the money, you don’t have a lot of issues to deal with. But for artists with limited resources on either time or money, it’s a big deal. A lot of them stumbled upon struggles, fell through or decided to give up after many failed attempts at finding the right network to support & encourage them to do what they love! and that my friend, is just the tip of the iceberg. But I promise, if you thrive at the beginning right, the next challenge will be less of a nerve-wracking event because you will have all the right people to help you. So 2 of my biggest tips to thrive in the realm of personal branding are:

  1. Never give up. I know it’s easier said than done. Sometimes we do get tired of our own brand or unable to see it grow or the vibes simply fizzle out as you go along.  Trust me, your brand will get out there sooner or later. You have to find the right network, resource and most importantly, a mentor who you can look up to. She doesn’t have to sit down with you and do a thousand dollars consultation, sis. A mentor can be anything or however you want to define that for as long as the person keeps you going and makes you feel excited to be in this industry. so, just keep doing you.
  2. When you find the right friend to lift you instead of knocking you down, keep them.

Talking about resources, my favourite online media have always been the girlBoss radio & Atelier Doré. I went through many difficult phases in my life and had been in a situation where I woke up one day and unsure of what I want to achieve in my life anymore. That happened quite frequently after my graduation. Realising the sort of unhealthy pattern beginning to eat me alive, I decided to do something. I can’t go along like this for the next couple of months or until I get my first job. I went on to Instagram, Pinterest, and Spotify to find the impetus to help me get back up. Before I knew it, I have already subscribed to 10 self-help podcasts (and increasing!) and reading stimulating entries from career-driven women websites such as those. It’s strange to say that they are the reason I look forward to waking up in the morning but it’s true. Even though I consider myself a spectator, (mostly the silent one who would sit in a corner of the room and read), it almost feels like there’s someone giving me an affirmation about success in life and personal finance.

Guess it’s definitely the time to put on my big girl shoes and fake it ’til (whenever) I can make it!

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(I’m very big on podcasts now)

I’m not trying to force my bona fide millennial doctrine to you guys because hey, you do you! If you’re not an active user, that’s fine! Personally, for me, among many reasons why I got myself into the virtual realm of social media are:

  1. (Career development) This is actually a job requirement. Honestly, I wake up, breakfast, caffeinate myself and breathe for social media because this is my day job, that actually pays my bills.
  2. (Self-development) It’s 2018 but not everyone sets a goal of becoming an active listener. In the world where an imbecile orange face becoming one of the most powerful leaders and always have something ridiculous to tweet about, speaks a lot about how we should set our priorities right — to listen. People always tell me I’m a good listener, a quality that I attributed from spending most of my time with writing… inside my head. I never loathe about spending time on my own (You know, I’d rather do that than throw myself in a forced social setting to say things I don’t mean to people I don’t know.) Speaking of, I take pride in a little thing about myself. I’m very big on Myers-Briggs personality test. Personality wise, I’m almost always leaning towards introvert (according to Thesaurus, a person who retreats mentally, whatever that means) so I guess it’s almost easy for me to achieve this, as long as people are comfortable to open up, which comes to my next point
  3. (Social awareness) To create a safe space for everyone. I know, it’s a piece of cake. I’m not a therapist or anyone who works in the line of psychology but life has taught me the lessons of hardships and appreciates the little things in life. If I can only cheer up a person’s day by doing so then be it. There’s no refined term of how a ‘safe space’ should be. I definitely see it as a place for me to seek refuge and free from any judgements. What about you?

———

Last Friday, I woke up to Cheri’s screenshot on Messenger. It’s a creative event that will take place in the Arnolfini in conjunction with the International Women’s Day.  The reason she sent the picture was very obvious: I was in it. (Thank you Cheri! Love you loads,x)

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So the image was taken during a free mentorship event in St. George last year. I was working on my final year project about intersectionality and I thought I needed some kind of network to help me out. I always knew about Facebook fortune telling algorithm might have helped me to get this but still, how this came at the right time still beyond me. I was so grateful to be there representing a Muslim, intersectional woman and probably the only hijabi I’ve seen yet! So, expanding my creative network, checked. I met Jules Temko for the very first time here. We were in the same mentee group and clicked the moment we spoke to each other. I *almost* had never missed out any her rotational gigs around Bristol. I said almost because I couldn’t come to one or two in London and the night when I had to catch up with tight deadlines. Receiving a free mentorship from talented women of Bristol, checked. Getting a free ticket to watch an orchestra theatre in St. George? At this point, I wasn’t sure anymore — is this part of the deal? They said yeah and I got super excited.

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And then I spoke to a couple of Bristolian friends who later told me about the same thing. This time, it appeared on Instagram feed. I have never received so much of public attention in my life, hahah. I know it was only meant to be a promotional image but I still take pride in being the only international student in the event last year. It was amazing.

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(Conversation with Tils)

Whenever people ask me about my career at the moment, I usually give them the most common template that I made up inside my head 5 months ago.

(What’s life of an introvert without a  month long of preparation for a short no-one-gives-a-damn life updates anyway?)

Right now, I’m just working a day job as a content creator in Gabir Malaysia. This job to me — is amazing because of its own set of challenges. I used to dissociate myself from social media because I didn’t like how superficial it is. I end up paying my bills via working on social media now haha. Karma definitely knows which one to hit first.

So guys, never hate something so much. You’ll end up sticking around longer than you’d have thought. Lessons learned. Besides my day job, I have my side hustle called Alpha Studio. It’s definitely a brainchild that I have always dreamt of and I’m working slowly (but surely) to turn this into a studio that focuses on content creation & editorial work. 

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I’m ending this post with a refreshing take on becoming your own boss. This was quoted by an American author who taught American women to live independently (History of Majorie Hillies) at the time when men were considered the breadwinner of the family.

 “Be a Communist, a stamp collector, or a Ladies’ Aid worker if you must, but for heaven’s sake, be something.”

 Marjorie Hillis, Live Alone & Like It: The Classic Guide for The Single Woman

P/s – It took me a box of a creampuff, 3 mugs of coffee and a 2.5-hours long music playlist to unwind and finish off this post. I’ll do better next time.

Think you know how to adult?

Hey guys!

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I had the most productive week in a row so 2k18 started off well for me. I told myself that I’m going to learn something new in 3 minutes every day whether from books, audiobooks, podcast, Udemy or human interaction. Slowly, I inserted some of my favourite podcasts into my music playlist and boy, that turned out to be an amazeballs combo!

(This is not a sponsored ad btw) As a big Spotify premium fan, the app has helped me to get through some of my rough, productive, busy, sluggish and all the indescribable days only your soul can tell. If Spotify ever decided to shut down their app, I’d probably not going to take it easy (please don’t!)

And also, I’ve spent more time at the gym than I did in the last 6 months. Usually, I prefer a workout at the comfort of my home (shout out to Blogilates & The Body Coach!) where usually, no equipment is needed but since I have been working on a flexible job that gives me the freedom to plan my entire day, I get the extra strength to work out more and make good use of my daily routine. So, not too bad eh?

I feel like I’m slowly getting the hang of my new life but not quite there yet. I also realise that the way I tackle my life right now has a lot to do with being a Gen-Y myself. Formally speaking, Gen-Y gets the best of both worlds, we understand how life was like back in the 90s but also get to see the emerging technology, machine learning and globalisation. I feel like everything happens so quickly like legit have so much to do yet so little time. People say there’s always room for improvement if you mess up but sometimes it’s not the case for me who takes a wild ride in making sure that my mental health will never be at risk. The good news about living my life as a millennial at the moment is how the generation has become reasonably expressive on so many social stigmas. I feel like we’re heading towards the right direction and progressed better than our past generations.

I was super keen to understand myself as a millennial every day. I’d like to be informed and aware of my decision. Mind you, this is not an easy task when your surrounding is ridiculously toxic, in fact they might make you feel like you’re scared of taking risks or “lazy” (that’s probably why millennials get called entitled and lazy?) I’ve also been telling myself that it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to choose which risks you’d rather take and rather not. Those are some of the new life skills that I get outside school.

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So, I have not been able to get myself to write anything since my first post for many reasons;

I’m not ready to open up.

Revealing yourself to the online world is extremely intimidating. One day, you feel good about sharing your struggles with the community and other days, you worry about getting susceptible to vulnerability.

“Wait, will I be tokenised in a room full of mentally-stable people?”

“Will my future employer read this? If so, how will she react to this?”

“I’m opening space for people to attack me so brazenly. This is not right but I can’t take it back.”

“This is so pointless. No one cares about your struggles.” 

Those are some recurring thoughts that I used to have (probably still) at the back of my head. Honestly, not one of them had ever occurred in the past. The thoughts usually come by like a sudden realisation when I start to feel good about myself.

I mean of course, if you decide to look at them from the positive angle, you will create a well thought out blog entries. It’s not like I don’t want to but just the thought of it requires a lot of effort. I don’t create a blog to curate only the good things and superficial being, this is almost like a personal journal that plays a huge role in reminding myself that I matter

Here’s another fun fact: I am not good at showing affection and most definitely cringe at my own vulnerability. Growing up Asian, my parents have never demonstrated any kinds of domestic affections. It doesn’t come by as a surprise. A lot of my local friends have shared the same thing. So in a way, being expressive is not my strongest attribute. Sometimes I find myself lost in a myriad of words in my brain, not entirely sure which one to use to describe things as they are. Thankfully my therapist understood me.

I simply don’t know where to begin.

Those of you who said I can pretty much begin from anywhere should stop right there. I mean — sis, no. Even though I haven’t published anything since October last year and probably have a thing or two to share about what’s happening, I’ve gotten super concious over my writing skill lately. I don’t know why.

 

Speaking of, I have never had any background in creative writing skill nor trained in one but I’ve had some of the best people in my life who are supportive and believe in me! The next thing to do is to find a good starting point. Right?

My mom said I was outspoken and I should consider about channelling the skill into blogging so I did.  I’m on my 10th years of blogging with a total of 250 posts over the period — which wasn’t a huge number at all. 

Perhaps I’m just not passionate enough to write.

This is pretty self—explanatory. Writing takes a lot of cognitive effort and requires your time to just sit down and think. I rarely indulge in creativity writing per se (well, except for coming up with memes everytime someone tags me funny posts on Facebook) ever since I graduated. The only acceptable writing experience that I had in the past was probably for my module file which btw was mental, sis. So all these reasons deter me from writing! 

Good thing is, I’m not usually like that. A burning desire to try out Turkish cuisine has taken me on my first solo trip to Istanbul. It was amazeballs! Crazy things about this trip were:

  1. I planned the trip 3 days prior because I was bored.
  2. My dad didn’t know anything about this. YES, IT WAS HELLA CRAZY BECAUSE IF SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED TO ME WHILE I WAS THERE, I’D BE SCREWED FOR LIFE 

Anyway, after getting hit by creepy guys on the street, sore feet on a rainy day, lost in the alleyways and Grand Bazaar for almost 3 hours, I made it boo! I made a new friend along the way as well as spending my last 2 days with good friends who later took me to Sahabah’s shrine.

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Okay, where were we again?

What I look forward to achieving this year

Finally, what I hope to achieve this year. I’ve taken a whole lot of interest in exploring the context of slow living including spending more time with family and friends. I will make another post on this one, hopefully not too long from now.

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Yep. Everything that Kylie said, basically.

Quick news! AFC (Alpha Female Club) is back

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Some of you might have noticed my insta stories from months ago when I made the announcement! I’m happy to be working on the collective again, this time in Malaysia with some of the greatest women I’ve known who have strong opinions on important discussions, who are not afraid to be vocal and work together to provide a safe space for women to speak up.

We will also be selling merch (and a giveaway time!) in the upcoming month so stay tuned!

This is also a good chance for any POC female artists who want to collaborate for a project/sign up to join our collective. Kindly get in touch (hello@alphafemale.club) 

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(I might have posted this many times in the past but this is legit my favourite photo from my final year project in March 2017. Geri, if you can read this, thank you so much for being my alpha female!)

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Thanks for reading. If you haven’t yet, go follow my Instagram to see what I’ve been up to. I post reflections, opinions and nitty-gritty of my life (that includes a long caption if you like lol)

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