Adapting, learning, flying

Inconsequential

It’s the third week now and tomorrow, we’re leaving for Myanmar. I’m doing a number of different things and the days are starting to blur into one another. I figure I should jot down my thoughts before I start feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything this past week.

I’ve been fixing the items I got from IKEA. Last Friday, I cleared the study room and put together two desks. Fixing those desks was hard work. On Tuesday, I put up aluminium shelving units in the utility room and tidied the space.

Work wise, I’m also filing online stories and pitching ideas to more publications. On Monday, I attended a Personal Branding workshop. It was more to support R but it was a good opportunity to network anyway. Interestingly, I met a lady there who is an advocate for those with dementia, and another lady who is a mother of a child with autism. I will probably arrange to meet each of them when I’m back from Myanmar, if they are willing.

I will have the house, specifically the kitchen, cleaned by today so that our vacant apartment will not be attracting unwanted visitors. I also need to pack my luggage. The time this week has simply flown by and I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.

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A new season in life

Book matters, Lists, Singapore

It’s the second week being out of full-time employment. Quite surprisingly, each day has been full and fulfilling. I am meeting people, writing stories, arranging flowers. I also have time to cook and tidy the house.

I have also submitted the complete manuscript of my book to the publisher for editing. Another milestone reached!

Some stuff I found online and have become my favourites in these two weeks:

The Hustle – Daily emails with a smart-ass version of global news

Skillshare – Learning platform with tons of videos to teach you all kinds of things. Even Seth Godin is on it! (Paid membership required, but new members get a month of free unlimited access.)

The Futur – Brand agency but they provide some great content for free. Geared towards business education for the creative entrepreneur, the resources can be found on their website and various social media platforms.

Jeraldine Phneah – Personal blog by a 26yo Singaporean. She has a very well-written post on the non-existent 2017 Presidential Elections.

Launch Summit – Virtual conference for tech start-ups, presented by Launchpeer

Cherishing the ‘now’

Faith

I find myself looking back on the past every now and then. Since I’m in a different church now, I don’t see my friends at the church I used to attend that often anymore. Just few weeks ago, I caught myself thinking this: If only I have a community here, like that back in my church.

I had probably thought this a couple of times before and my past resolve to “Let’s build a community” or “Let’s start something” was probably partly due to this thought. I just never realised it before. This was the first time that I caught myself thinking about it and being aware of it. And it seemed like it was because the Holy Spirit was revealing to me my true motivations.

I started to really think about the times I had with my group of friends back then – when I saw them at church every week, when we would all go for lunch, when we met for cell, and when we went off for retreat together every year. And I realised that there were many times I had been unhappy about something, pissed, upset, disappointed and I had secretly wished to be in a different community. I saw the deficits and wanted something better.

Now that I am no longer a regular member of that community, I miss being with them and wish I could meet them more often. 

(I’m such a terrible human being.)

But I learnt something… That’s who God is. He doesn’t reveal something to us to make us feel bad or guilty (like realising how self-serving my desire was), He does it so that we learn something. And He reveals it at the right time so that we draw closer to Him.

So I learnt that I simply need to cherish the place I’m currently at. Stop wishing for something better, stop feeling sorry for myself, and start living in the here and now.

It sounds so simple but honestly, it has never really been who I was. In many parts of my life, I was constantly looking either to the past or to someone else’s life. I was always comparing and feeling dissatisfied with what I had.

When I realised this, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that I do have a community here. In fact, I meet them every week. I was trying to look for a community I wanted when God had already put these people on the same path as me. There are only a few of us and although I used to think the group was getting too small, I now see that it’s a great size for building stronger relationships. 

Before this, I have been asking God how we can build a community. And I believe God is now answering, “Right here. They are right here.”

Blogging

On Writing

For the past two weeks, the subject of content marketing has cropped up a number of times in casual conversations, which eventually led to more thoughtful, in-depth discussion.

The current opinion, it seems, is that blogging is no longer the way to reach out to your audience. Or rather, the traditional way of maintaining a blog isn’t.

The traditional way: Post a new entry on your website or your blog. Share the link on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other social platforms you use. Watch website traffic increase as people click on your link to read more.

The new way: Post the entire message on the social media platform. The reason is that when people are on a social media platform, they rarely want to leave it just to read your post. With the amount of content available, they would simply scroll down and move on. To engage with your audience, your message needs to be on the social media platform itself.

Many local bloggers have noticeably become inactive on their blogs. They are instead actively updating their audience on Instagram and creating content on Youtube. Even if they are still active on their blogs, the entire post shows up in their emailers and on their Facebook page.

Media companies however, doesn’t seem to have changed much. Sure they have increased their use of social media, but they continue to put up many of their stories on their websites before blasting only the links out on Facebook.

I’m not sure how long this traditional way of “blogging” will last. R is of the opinion that a website with an active blog still has a place in branding and marketing. I agree, because people do want meaty content, but I don’t think website traffic should continue to be the main motivating factor.

As I write this, I am not blind to the fact that it’s ironic that I talk about changing the way we blog while I continue to do it the traditional way. This is after all, a personal blog which I do not intend to publicise or use for personal branding. But as I consider options for my book and new business, this is something I shall give further thought to.

Mission

World

R and I returned from a mission trip to Cambodia last week. It was very good to be back at a place I’ve thought about often. 

We went with Aunty Joyce, Steven, Ruth, Lay Eng, Adeline, Veron and Josephine. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with these wonderful people.

Without fail, I’m also blessed by the people there. The simplicity of life is also one that strikes me.

Now that we’re back, it’s time to think about how we can contribute when we go there again.

The Sermon

Faith

On Sunday, the preacher Professor Freddy Boey talked about the Beatitudes.

The next day, Hoon passed us a book on the Sermon on the Mount.

The first line of the Beatitudes goes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Recognising that we need the Holy Spirit is the first step. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s about realising that what we need is more than what this world can offer.

And when we have tasted the goodness of the Holy Spirit, we can agree that He is not just more, but also better than anything this world can give.

Am I living in God’s Kingdom? Every day, do I recognise how much I need Him?

Two months after

Lists, Our home

Today marks two months of being married! (How did it pass so fast?)

Some weeks ago, when my editor left his post, he gave each of us in the office a handwritten note. 

Mine consisted of this statement: “In this 1 year, you got proposed to, bought a house, got married and went on honeymoon!”

I definitely did. And as I read the note a second time, I realised how true that was and how much I had overlooked this fact. It had been so obvious to others but I had been simply oblivious to it.

Looking back on the past 1.5 years, I have actually done more things than I thought I did!

  1. Feb 2016: Started Post A Posy instagram account
  2. Feb 2016: Took on a position in this current conpany that I now work at
  3. Apr 2016: Set up a flower booth at The Local People Art Market
  4. Jun 2016: The proposal. I said yes!
  5. Jul 2016: Holiday-ed at the Amalfi Coast with Mel
  6. Sep 2016: Threw an engagement party
  7. Oct 2016: Started our search for a house
  8. Nov 2016: Found a place we liked and placed a deposit
  9. Feb 2017: Attended First Appointment at HDB
  10. Mar 2017: Attended a last-minute appointment at HDB to re-do our financial plan
  11. Apr 2017: Attended Second (and final) Appointment at HDB
  12. Apr 2017: We got married!
  13. May 2017: Honeymoon-ed in Taiwan
  14. Jun 2017: Went for church camp
  15. Jun 2017: Cleaned up our new house and started moving in
  16. Jun 2017: (Soon to happen) Go on a mission trip to Cambodia!

    I been fretting over selecting furniture and getting the house ready. And I wondered why we didn’t seem to have time to do the house properly and why I was tired all the time. I thought something must be wrong, with us and with me.

    But I guess I overlooked that we actually have done A LOT OF things and I really need to stop being so hard on myself.

    A heartfelt post on IG

    Our home

    ​These few weeks, R and I have been busy getting our new place ready. I’ve always looked forward to the day I have my own place. And up till these couple of days, moving out has been an appealing idea. But now that it’s actually happening, I’m a mess of emotions. I miss everything about this home I’ve lived in. I miss my parents. I wish I hadn’t lost my temper at them for all the times I did. I miss all the memories, both good and bad, that come with each room and hallway I walk through.

    I never thought I’d get emotional from moving out. And this makes it even harder because I’m totally unprepared! I suppose sometimes, we can surprise even our own selves.

    Same but different

    Our home

    These weeks seem to pass in a blur. And I thought the whirlwind would pass after the wedding.

    Life is somewhat “back to normal” but normal has taken on a new meaning. Weekdays are spent at work or meeting people while weekends are spent adulting. Just yesterday, we had the air-con checked and cleaned. I have been really tired but the work is not finished.