Moving On, Bon Voyage!

My time in Australia has come to an end. It’s pretty tough these days, especially the last couple of weeks. I knew for sure that I have to pack up my stuff, yet I still want to spend time with my friends and would still love to go on another adventure and also to visit the familiar places I’ve been too.

Been juggling things around, I still needed to come to work and after work, I will try to clean up my stuff a bit and pack some more then attend another gathering. Once the work has come to an end, I spent the time to unload my shelves and gather things. Create another section for donation, another to be put in the bin, and another box for me to keep my stuff and bring back.

I cherish things a lot as a result of being taken for granted in the past. Even a letter from years ago I still keep. Friends and family matter the most to me. It’s as if they are messing around with my loved ones, then they are messing with me too – meaning you are messing with a wrong person my friend.

In the past years, I changed a lot. I created my own wall, I become tougher and stronger. I learned how to be a professional in my work field. Despite building my own wall and train myself to become the person I am today, deep down I still care for people. There is a burning soft heart inside me. Finally, I really understand the meaning of don’t judge the book by its cover. I worked as a Teaching Associate in a reputable university who is included in the top 100 universities in the world while also working part-time at the local post office. Who says only those who don’t have work experience, who don’t have the knowledge, who are not professional are the ones working part-time? Maybe working at the post office is not as fancy as working in THE BIG FOUR, but hey I truly enjoyed it.

True that retail and customer service field made me put a lot of effort to keep the smile on my face when dealing with irate customers and to keep on giving the best service, to answer and serve the customer professionally. I tried and failed sometimes when the emotion overpowered myself.

I learned and am still learning to control my emotion, to have a better anger management every time. You know that’s not easy yeah? Sometimes a different approach would be better than fire up another argument.

Life goes on, the time is ticking, night turns into day, people are graduating, and I need to move on too. Australia is my very first adventure. I still remember the time when I started my college degree I asked my mom about what’s next after uni? She said well that’s up to you. You gotta do whatever makes you happy my dear.

From the time we were born, we know that there are some clear stages that we have to go through. Alrighty, I’m looking at it from the education perspective. We entered pre-school or kindergarten, and the primary school where we learned basic stuff. A bit older and still not wise enough, we struggled and had fun in junior high, and a bit wiser this time maybe while we’re finishing our high school. We fought to secure a good place in the university we chose with a major that we like (this applies to most of the people).

After we earned our bachelor degree, the next thing to happen is to get a real life or the industry exposure. We started to join the workforce and learn that things are not working the same way as what the textbook stated. Made mistakes and that what sculpted us to become better and better.

Some people after a few years of working would give up and started to study again. Maybe this time they know for sure what they want to study. They have the passion to grow and gain more knowledge, the scholar type.

Some other would love to stay forever and ever in the same particular company where they started if they landed in a very nice company there! Others would move from the first company they worked for because like what happened in the real world, it’s a stepping stone.

Another people would loveeee to explore another field. Keep on jumping around here and there to learn about different industries and how it works. This is interesting! I’d love to learn great stuff and the mechanism of the industry but would love to move on to another field only if I have mastered the previous industry where I landed my career on.

Mostly for women, after working for a little while they would get married and become a full-time mom. That’s not going to be the case for me. I’d love to stay in the workforce as long as I could, would love to use my brain more. And would love to learn how things work even more! Not that I don’t like kids but it’s my passion to learn new things is greater, at least at this current moment.

Talking about taking different pathways makes me nervous sometimes. I mean can’t we all just walk hand in hand and support one another while taking the same road? Sure we are not taking the exact same road, but we can still communicate and meet each other yeah?

Moving on is kinda scary but it is thrilling. I don’t know what kind of adventure that I would have soon. Being in a different country or even in different state scares me the most. What if I won’t be able to meet and hang out with my friends again? I’m so used to meeting them at least once a week. We have a meal together and just talk nonsense and enjoy each other’s company. We grow up together. The men have become my brothers, and the girls are all my sisters.

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In my family, we always walk together hand in hand and support each other because we are one. Even though I moved to Australia to study, I brought my family together with me though they are not physically moving to the land down under. I want to bring them to the same road I’m taking.

It’s the same thing like friendship. Especially after I grew close to my community friends, I feel like bringing them to the same road and pathway. That’s not possible I know. Everyone has their own interest and way to overcome things. To me taking another road means being separated and that also means that I might have left my friends behind.

Actually, that is a wrong thinking. Sure we are not on the same path, but if we keep our pace then we are moving together.

Like tunnels. I may have chosen tunnel B instead of A unlike my friends do, but if we keep our pace while driving and being in touch with a walkie-talkie or social media in real life, then we will arrive at the destination at around the same time (given that the length of tunnel A and B are the same)

And like the old man I know said, I may have to move out and explore different things before coming back to meet my fellow friends. There must be a legit reason behind why am I heading to a different tunnel. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. We will never know what will happen next.

While I’m taking a different path, to all the friends who read this post:

I will be back soon. Don’t lose hope on me. We have our own fight but we will win in the end. Keep your head held high and keep your thinking straight. Keep in touch while we are away from each other. Always support one another even though we are not living in the same environment.

To my family: I’m always waiting for the time when we can gather together and have some good fun!

Until the time we can gather together again, Goodbye and I will be back.

Move on and BON VOYAGE sailors!

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In The END, It’s All Fine

For privacy protection, I am not going to mention the university name.

The second semester has come to an end. I am so glad I applied for the job I currently have. To work at one of the universities in a group of eight was my dream job.

On the day when I was contacted by the unit coordinator of this uni, I was very delighted. Finally, my day on getting my foot on the dream job has come! Being accepted to work professionally along with great staffs is another level of experience. To this day, I am very grateful for the door that was opened to me.

Starting out was very exciting and put me on my nerve. What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t know how to explain it? What if I need to debate with my students? What if they don’t like my teaching style?

Lots of ideas came to my mind. I did not know how to handle it. I still remember the very first week joining the team, I was very scared. Attended the team meeting was a good idea for me to start off. Then came the day where I need to be the main actress for the show! I was nervous, I did my prep but it was not enough….

I read a lot from the cheat sheet, I could not express myself properly – not in the way I wanted. Having a young face people thought I was a student and some of them came to me asking if I would like to join their group for the semester.

Started talking some words, did my brief intro and I saw a strange look from some students. Who is this little girl talking? Plus I’m Asian. What is wrong being Asian? I am still a human being.

The first semester was crazy. I was constantly marking the internal assessment. The arrangement of the assessment was so intense. Almost every week we have to mark, and the number of students I needed to mark was about 160-180 students per assessment. I slept for 3-4 hours when it was due, also because I was doing another two different jobs to support my life.

Then comes marking the final exam. It was my first time seeing lots of unreadable handwriting. I gotta finish that in about 10 days or so. Some other staffs were even started off marking at 7 in the morning, go for lunch and break for say about 3 hours and come back just to mark the exam until 10 at night.

Tired and pressured to finish up asap, I did not have any good night sleep on the marking period. I looked tired and also ended up marking it slowly and was talking a lotttt of my time. I just wanted to finish it soon (who likes marking anyways).

I kept going and I cheered myself up by saying “hey you can meet your family soon! hurry up and then you deserve to get the holiday!”

It did not really work.

An older staff was there to the very end and kept on encouraging me. She was so helpful, she kept on saying that I will do well, I will go home and sleep soon, though I was tired I would get my well-deserved break.

We passed the finish line together! We shouted for joy and was very very happy to have finished all the marking for the semester. Sounds very cheesy and cliché but hey that’s what I felt at least!

I came back fresh for the second semester. This time I got to work with different people in the same unit. More prepared than the first semester, I came to the class with a happy heart just to be questioned if I actually could teach, or if what I said even make any sense. Again they were questioning my skills and ability.

I was hurt and a mental breakdown. Why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong? Am I really not qualified to teach you? Or are you actually doing this because you are forced to take the unit by the faculty just because it is a fundamental subject?

More problems arrived entering the quarter of the semester. More and more until the very end of the semester. I had lots of trouble, had lots of feeling I had to hold as it won’t be professional if you’re letting everyone knows about what’s your problems are.

Applied for sponsorship and yet it was rejected. I guess it really is not my path to take on. The door has closed yet another is opened and will lead me to a different way I suppose.

I thought I had a good and fun class every Friday just to close off my week nicely. There is this one particular person really likes to mess around with me. We parted our ways on good terms, and hopefully, that would stay like this. A group draw an angel and said it was me, all people gave an applause for the work me and my colleague have done this semester, and some people even said a proper farewell.

Before ending this post, I would like to say thank you GOD for letting me in taking this path. Thank you for molding me into a stronger person. I learned a lot. For my supporters, the biggest ones are my family and for my friends and the students who really appreciate my effort – THANK YOU!

I know thank you is not enough to express how thankful I am for your support. Thank you for cheering me up, thank you for lifting me up when I fall, thank you for BELIEVING in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I survive and at least am leaving on a good note. In the end, it’s all fine.

 

It’s Not You! But …

We heard this a lot in a drama. Usually, it’s in a break-up stage. Actually, this can be applied everywhere don’t you think?

A month ago I attended an alumni event in my alma mater in which they offered several sessions there. I came in and was the only one who is not doing my honors, masters, or PhD there. They were talking about entrepreneurship, about how to take chances and develop something different, to be brave and offer your ideas to the market and to be a good consultant. Experiences are important for someone to work in a good company as it will be your asset. I have met some people who are super smart but they don’t have the required soft skills or they have great soft skills but they are not really experienced and not working in the related industry.

When you are assessing these, at times we hope everyone is balanced. The ideal situation would be those who are super smart should be experienced and are outstanding in using their skills. As for those who are not as bright, they should be able to work harder. I think it’s fair to have one aspect is stronger than the other and so you will be able to survive. If one has all the perfection then it’s not fair for those who are not doing so well.

Also on top of that, I realised how unique every individual is. Each person will have different knowledge, was exposed to different culture and even environment and norm as well as having different interest and also has different expertise. Everyone certainly has their own key skill. What I am interested in might be different from yours. You might think I am weird because our focus and interests are not aligned, and what I’m doing is different from yours. As for me, I might also think you are also different from me. That’s why I said every individual is unique. We are not supposed to label them and should embrace the differences.

Especially being at a quite young age and not fully developed, I think it is normal for us to not able to fully decide what do we want in our life. Do you still want to pursue the career you’ve always wanted or you came to realisation that it’s actually not the right path for you to take? It might not be something that you find your interest in. Even lots of people changed their major half way through. Some of them even are not doing in the industry. They prefer to do something else. Continue reading “It’s Not You! But …”

Do You Remember Me?

I went back home to visit my family when on one of the evenings I went to the nearest cafe and on the way home I met this childhood friend of mine. Our house is actually just 5 houses apart. We went to the same primary school and we were good friends until we completed our sixth grades. Starting from the year seven onwards until we finished our high school, we went to different school.

We also have different beliefs but it is not a barrier for us to be friends because diversity is great! Our parents also know each other as we’re neighbours. Once a year, we take turns to send a gift to respect each other especially during Hari Raya (the events celebrated by religious people such as Christmas, Eid Mubarak, Vesak, etc).

We grew apart because we never meet each other and because we did not attend the same school anymore, so we stop exchanging gifts. When I saw him, I was surprised at how he looks like. He looks the same as he did 10-15 years ago – it’s just his hair is now longer. I was wondering if he remembered me. True we were good friends but that happened when we were so young.

While I’m currently considered as someone from Generation Y, the situation is completely different from people from Generation X. Take my parents as an example, they are still close with their childhood friends though they are not living in the same area as they did when they were kids. They still hang out together just to have some meals together and catch up. Even the cohesiveness of the group is still very tight! Hundreds or even thousands notification appear from the group chat every day, I repeat, EVERY FREAKING DAY is just normal to happen.

To me now even it’s hard to talk to my childhood friends. We still share the same bond because we grew up together, but things changes as always. We are not living in the same neighbourhood, not attending the same uni, not working in the same corporation, and some of us are not even living in the same country. It’s just funny how things work (maybe) better back then during my parents time.

 

Sometimes I’m wondering what will happen to our friendship?

Would we be able to talk to one another and share what is happening in our life like today?

Or are we going to grow apart and will not work on our friendship?

 

It takes two hands to clap. If the one hand is not welcoming the other hand, then you’ll be hanging until the other one is ready. Well, it’s not really worth your effort if even after so many times trying your hand is not welcomed by the other one.

We may not remember what happened in 2017, but sure we will remember some of the good times!