29 October 2014

Life sweeps you up and carries you away.
Nothing you can do but let it.

And hope that when you come to a stop,
if only for a brief moment, you are still whole.

That is the only hope you can have,
Not to leave too much of you behind.

Because on the path of life,
To remain whole is all you can do.

Feeling poetic this morning. 🙂

Now I’ve gotta rush to work.

#ImSorry

Love, as always,

But you already know that,

Val

8 October 2014

I learnt another important life lesson yesterday: communication, communication, communication.

I have always taken pride in my ability to express myself clearly. Then yesterday happened.

A message I had sent was misunderstood and cost me an opportunity I was looking to pursue. I do not regret my actions. I thought well and hard before sending that message, and I genuinely believed (I still do) that it was the right action to take.

But now that I re-read it with a fresh pair of eyes, I see how it could have been taken to mean something completely different. And I take responsibility for not having been clear enough. I could have worded it differently, been more explicit, so on and so forth. The next time I send a message of this sort, I’ll be sure to re-read it more than once (which is what I now do) before sending. Maybe sit on it for a few hours to see if I can come up with something better (which is to say, clearer).

This misunderstanding has been on my mind since yesterday afternoon. I am not so much frustrated at the missed opportunity as with myself for not having been sufficiently clear in my communications. In a way, though, I am grateful this happened. I’d rather discover this weakness now than later. Thanks to yesterday, I will now be more careful with all my future communications. You could say yesterday’s events opened my eyes.

I am glad I am experiencing this now, just before I enter the world of full-time employment. Where I am sure I will find myself in this particular situation countless times, and where I do not intend to repeat the same mistake. Not too many times at least.

It’s all about communication, communication, communication. Be clear. Be concise. Be ready to assume the consequences. (That’s my mantra of the day.)

I’m going to end with a quote from Dan Gilbert that I’m borrowing from Brain Pickings (a brilliant site where I constantly find inspiration and courage). A quote that resonates with me even more now after yesterday’s events.

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our lives is change.

Love,

Val

 

 

19 September 2014

No one told me job hunting would be fun.

So. Much. Fun.

No. Really. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m actually really enjoying the process.

This enjoyment comes completely unexpected – I had pictured job hunting to be a long and torturous process, a soul-destroying endeavour that takes and takes and never gives, and that ultimately saps away all your confidence and self-belief, leaving you with an empty shell, an unemployed empty shell.

Granted, my expectations were rather exaggerated. And deep down I knew it couldn’t possibly be that bad. But still, I had expected the process to be a negative one: time-consuming, energy-consuming, confidence-draining, so on and so forth.

It has turned out to be quite the opposite, which has taken me by surprise. But a good surprise, the kind of surprise you get when your boyfriend gets you a gift for no apparent reason (birthday, Christmas, etc.), just because he wants to.

*pause so you can go awwww*

Anyways, to get back to my point, I’m finding this job hunting business to be surprisingly stimulating and self-affirming. For starters, producing customised CVs and cover letters is turning out to be an extremely rewarding process. It gives me a legitimate reason to sit down and spend hours thinking about all the good things I’ve done in life and how I’ve learnt and grown from past mistakes – something you don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to do when you’re busy studying, or working for that matter.

And then, with each job application comes a whole world of possibilities. I happen to have applied for very different roles. Picturing myself in these different scenarios is, I think, one of the few times in my life where I’ve come close to actually understanding the saying “life is full of possibilities”. And it’s an extremely empowering feeling/realisation. It’s amazing.

Of course, this brimming optimism is most likely due to the fortunate fact that I haven’t had an application rejected yet. So of course life is full of possibilities. Get back to me when I’ve had my first rejection – we’ll see how full of optimism and self-belief I’ll be then!

On an unrelated note, I got back into teaching. So I was rooting about in my teaching folder and discovered my teaching log from when I was giving English lessons – and what on earth was I writing in that log?!? I had painstakingly come up with a system of notation that must have seemed clever at the time but now just gives me a headache. Over-complicating things – how typical of old me. I’m all for simplicity now – simple and effective! That could be my rallying cry. I should start adding that as a tagline in all my job applications – what do you think? *chuckles Sheldon-style*

On another unrelated note, I walked into a plant today. And it hurt. Yes, it really did. The leaf (you’ll understand when you see the picture) hit me right in my left eye socket, missing my eyeball by an uncomfortable 5-millimetre margin. I was sweeping the leaves on the patio and thinking about which long article to work on for my other blog when BAM. There I go for not paying attention where I walk, for letting my guards down in the perceived safety of my own garden. I’ve learnt my lesson.

2014-09-19 18.00.22

Meet the offending plant.

2014-09-19 17.59.59

The ‘leaf’ in the middle of the picture is the one I managed to poke my eye with. It’s like walking into a block of wood.

I’m lucky to have escaped without a black eye. To have escaped with both eyes, even. So yes, sweepers beware – look before you walk. It’s not for nothing that they say most deaths occur from accidents in the household. Just think, I could have lost an eye. *shudder*

With love,

Val

p.s. Oh and do wish me luck for my job applications. I am taking my time, as I so emphatically wrote in my last post. But still, it’d be nice to have some offers for me to take my time considering. Choice is bad, but money is good. *evil grin*

p.p.s. How random was this post? How did I go from the empowering effect of job applications to a murderous plant?! I must be a torture to read. Thank you for putting up with my writing antics!

 

 

 

 

 

12 September 2014

I’m taking it slow today; I felt like it.

I am supposed to have dinner with a friend in two and a half hours. And for the past (*check time on phone*) hour (wow, time flies) I have been sitting in the dressing room of my sports club, waiting for my hair to dry.

I don’t think I’ve ever sat and waited for my hair to dry. I’m usually in a hurry to get somewhere, and the services of my trusted hairdryer are usually called on.

It feels good to take it slow. Really good. I didn’t realise how good it would feel, but it does.

Taking it slow also happens to be my philosophy of the day. It has been 3 months since I graduated, and I’m still unemployed. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Why rush into a phase of your life that will last for well over 30 years? What’s the hurry?

I have no urgent financial need for a job; if I’m careful with my money, I can stay unemployed for the better part of a year. I don’t plan to; but if I happen to, it’s not the end of the world. Far from it.

So yes, I’m taking my time. Am I looking for a job? I keep my eyes open. But am I in a hurry to get one? No. For the first time in seven years, I have no immediate obligations; I literally have all the time in the world. And I plan to take advantage of it.

So if you ask me what I’ve been up to since I graduated, don’t be surprised if my answer is “mostly reading and blogging”. That’s exactly what I plan to spend most of my time doing. Because once I do get a job, I won’t have as much time for it anymore.

Maybe you’ll disapprove of my slow approach to graduate life. But I’m currently quite happy with it.

We never know what’s going to happen, though. We’ll see how long this phase lasts; I have no idea.

But I guess that’s the beauty of it.

Love,

Val

5 July 2014

I’m flying to Brazil tomorrow.

Which is why I’m watching Brazil vs Colombia right now. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that Brazil wins. I don’t have anything against Colombia, but arriving in Rio two days after Brazil leave the World Cup would just be bloody depressing.

And extremely unfortunate, given the World Cup prime I paid on those flight tickets. #Capitalismisabitch

(I realise I’m being inconsistent in my use of singular/plural in the second paragraph. To be honest, I have no idea which is correct. I just went with what sounded right in my head.)

I also realise I haven’t been the most regular of bloggers. I would apologise, but I don’t want to set a dangerous precedent (of making myself feel guilty for not blogging). So I won’t.

I hope you understand.

I’ve been busy. And I’ve been not busy. I think it’s the latter that’s the problem.

The past two months have more or less confirmed a crucial piece of information that I have suspected about myself for a while now: it’s all about routine. I won’t be elaborating on this just yet. I’m sure I’ll get round to it in a future post.

For now, let me catch you up with what’s been happening in the life of Val:

– I graduated! (big news no. 1)

– I am officially at the end of my seven-year scholarship! (big news no. 2)

– I moved back to Bangkok! (big news no. 3)

– I’ve travelled a decent amount around the UK. I intend to blog about these travels. Most likely on my other blog. After I’m back from Brazil.

[Aaaargh… the match is getting intense.]

#brb

WE WON! BRAZIL WON! WOOHOO THIS MEANS I GET TO WATCH BRAZIL VS GERMANY IN RIO ON TUESDAY. WITH MY FRIENDS. THIS IS AWESOME.

OK. I’m going to calm down now.

So yes, that’s what’s been happening with me these past months.

My 25th birthday is in three weeks. Just a few days after I’m back from Brazil. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

I hope my granddad is planning an extravaganza. He always wants to have a big celebration. Not because I’m special, but because he has lived enough years to know that any such occasion should be celebrated and enjoyed.

And for once, this year, I’m not going to be a bitch about it. I’m not going to be the teenager who resolutely refused to graciously accept the effort and thought that went into the planning of the birthday lunch. Year, after year, after year.

I’m going to embrace it and be grateful there are people in my life who want to make my birthday special.

I am looking forward to it.

I am happy.

And that’s really all I hope to be. 🙂

Until next time,

Val

p.s. I’m not bringing my laptop to Brazil. And I doubt I will be blogging from my phone. I’m considering short daily travel updates, but then…